Carbondale Area School Board To Eliminate 11 Teaching Positions

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CARBONDALE, PA  – Several Carbondale Area teachers aired concerns about the elimination of 11 teaching positions at a special work session held Saturday morning.

The school board will vote to approve the $21 million budget for 2012-13 on June 20. The budget does not contain a tax increase, but school district officials expect to save about $600,000 by not replacing 11 teachers retiring this year, according to business manager David Cerra.

But the eliminated positions could also lead to larger class sizes and fewer elective options, teachers who attended Saturday’s work session said.

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Oversight Of Allegheny County Transit To Shift From Pittsburgh Port Authority To Public Utility Commission

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pennsylvania Legislature has approved a measure stripping the Port Authority of its power to regulate transportation services in Allegheny County, transferring it to the state’s Public Utility Commission.

Supporters of the measure, sponsored by House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, said it will end the Port Authority’s “monopoly” on providing transit service in the county.

“By allowing other transportation agencies to offer services, the people will be far better served,” Mr. Turzai said in a news release after the Senate approved the bill in a 27-21 vote. “Eliminating the transit monopoly is a win-win for taxpayers and transit riders.”

The bill was passed earlier by the House and now awaits Gov. Tom Corbett‘s approval. He will sign it, spokeswoman Kelli Roberts said.

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Poetry Paths Mural Outside Lancaster’s El Centro Hispano Reflects Fabric Of Community

What had been a large, blank wall outside the Spanish American Civic Association’s El Centro Hispano has become a reflection of the community.

Pictured on a new mural, the installation of which was completed last week, are depictions of 28 people.  Some of them work inside the center that serves Lancaster city’s Hispanic community.  Some of them helped establish SACA, and some helped establish the city’s Hispanic community six decades ago.

“It’s a record,” Carlos Graupera, SACA executive director, said of the 30-foot tall mural. “It’s a way to respect what happened in this community.”

Graupera, whose image is at the far end of the painted fabric mural, said the depictions include people who came to Lancaster from Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.  It also includes many who were born in Lancaster of immigrant parents.

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PPL Plan To Level Trees Has Lancaster Residents Bewildered, Upset

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the tree cutters arrive in August, 31 homeowners in the Eden Manor neighborhood of Lancaster city fear they essentially will be losing their backyards.

The 50-year-old homes, on Princess Anne Drive off Pitney Road, border a high-voltage power line that was built before the neighborhood.

Unfortunately for the homeowners, PPL has adopted a stricter policy of keeping its rights of way free of trees.

Trees that once were allowed to grow because they were not underneath the wires must now be taken down.

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Bobst Reports Pottstown Borough Financial Picture Looking Up

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Further proof of how devastating losing Jason will be!

POTTSTOWN, PA – It’s starting to look like when Borough Manager Jason Bobst leaves the borough in August, he will be leaving it in pretty good financial shape.

He offered council a mid-year budget status report last week that could be summed up as “most of the funds are going pretty well.”

“Some lines,” he said, “are cause for concern but overall, the borough’s books are on a positive cash basis and we’re projecting a $50,000 surplus at the end of the year, barring anything unexpected.”

Given that as recently as 2009, the borough has ended the year with deficits, this is good news and the result of hard work by Finance Director Janice Lee and her staff, Bobst said.

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Month-Long Performing Arts Camps At Muhlenberg Give Young People A Taste Of The Stage At Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre

Allentown, Pa.  — Every summer, Muhlenberg College plays host to dozens of young performers, participants in two month-long arts education programs that are part of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre program. Covering grades 6 to 12, the Camp Imagine and Performing Arts Workshop programs run July 2-27, and enrollment is still available in both.

Camp Imagine, now in its 14th year, gives middle schoolers a daily experience in drama, vocal expression and movement. About 60 participants rotate through the three activities, learning from Muhlenberg College students and alumni — and from each other. At the end of the four-week session, the ensemble presents a world premiere showcase performance, developed over the course of the program.

Founded in 1999 as a program to supplement the arts curriculum in the Allentown School District, Camp Imagine was originally conducted on site at Harrison-Morton Middle School. The camp has since both expanded and moved to the state-of-the-art performance facilities on the Muhlenberg Campus.

“We found that one of the most important aspects of the program was giving the students a chance to experience the college campus environment,” says Charles Richter, a Muhlenberg theater professor who helped found Camp Imagine. “Many have gone on to study the arts in college — and study other things in college — in part because they came to Camp Imagine.”

Camp Imagine remains free to Allentown School District students, and many other students benefit from full and partial need-based scholarships. The program participates in the District’s free lunch program, and provides free daily busing to and from all four ASD middle schools.

Camp Imagine runs 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily, July 2-27, and a showcase on Saturday, July 28, at 10 a.m.

Camp Imagine’s sister program, the Performing Arts Workshop, is now in its fifth year. The Workshop gives high school students — many of them alumni of Camp Imagine — a chance to extend their performance training through intensive workshop performances taught by professional performers, as well as master classes with Muhlenberg faculty members.

The Workshop runs 1:30 to 4:30 daily, July 2-27, with a showcase Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m.

“The objective of both programs is to use the arts as a means of helping young people to nurture their passions and enhance their social and communication skills,” Richter says. “And also to build self-esteem, concentration, and confidence — all of which help them in the performing arts, in school, and in life.”

And it’s working. Parents of participants consistently report that their children are more independent, more self-confident, better able to focus on tasks, and better at cooperating and collaborating within their families.

“The best thing was that my child, who is usually negative, was positive, upbeat and excited,” wrote one parent. “He came home one day and said, ‘I asked my teacher if I could do this a certain way. The teacher said that not only could I be loud, silly and different, but that they encouraged me to be! It’s the first time that everything I do at school is right. There is no one saying, Don’t! Stop! Wrong!’ This camp was a very positive experience in my child’s life and for our family.”

Enrollment is still available in both the Camp Imagine and Performing Arts Workshop programs. Tuition for Camp Imagine is $365 for non-Allentown School District students. Tuition for the Workshop is $465. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available for both programs, based on financial need.

More information and enrollment forms are available online at, or by calling 484-664-3693.