Daily Archives: August 20, 2012
Phyllis Diller Dead At 95: Pioneering TV Comedienne Passes Away At Los Angeles Home
Phyllis Diller, who kicked down the door for a generation of women comedians by creating one of America’s first desperate housewives, died yesterday at her Los Angeles home. She was 95.
She had been living at home in hospice care. She had a heart attack in 1999 and TMZ reports she recently suffered a serious fall.
Diller made her reputation as a standup comedienne who costarred in 23 TV specials with Bob Hope and later had her own ABC show.
Joan Rivers, among others, has noted she did this at a time when the comedy field, unlike today, was male-dominated.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/phyllis-diller-pioneering-tv-commedienne-dead-95-article-1.1140434#ixzz2498fZ8xy
Hess’s Workers Gather To Remember Allentown’s Heyday
Editor’s note: I too remember trips to the Allentown store, lunch at the Patio Room and the whole “Hess’s” experience. Sadly missed!
As Steve Saganowich of Whitehall Township pulls a dog-eared photo from his wallet, his face displays a giddy grin that seems much too young for his 79 years.
And it only widens as he explains the photo that shows him hemming a 7-year-old Donny Osmond‘s pant-leg when the child star appeared at Hess’s in 1964.
“See, lots of big stars came to Allentown to appear at Hess’s,” said Saganowich, who worked as a Hess’s men’s department tailor for 47 years. “Hess’s put Allentown on the map.”
Saganowich was one of more than 100 former Hess’s workers who gathered at Emmaus Community Park on Saturday for the first time since the famed downtown Allentown department store closed in 1996.
Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-hess-employees-reunion-20120818,0,6307652.story
Allentown’s Historic Americus Hotel Could Get NIZ Tax Help
Editor’s note: This is great news! Revitalizing our Pennsylvania cities is important!
Vacant and dilapidated the past nine years, Allentown’s 12-story Americus Center Hotel got good news this week when the state decided the city can alter the borders of its downtown arena zone to include the historic hotel.
Any changes to the borders of its Neighborhood Improvement Zone, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue officials say, must be made before bonds are sold to fund the $220 million arena complex.
With the arena authority preparing to sell bonds next month, it means city officials will have to work fast, said Sara Hailstone, Allentown director of community and economic development.
“We will need to follow up with the Department of Revenue and work through the details,” Hailstone said. “This is a great opportunity for the city.”
Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-pa-arena-niz-20120819,0,6877859.story
Marcellus Shale Yield Skyrockets In Allegheny County
The amount of Marcellus Shale gas produced in Allegheny County more than doubled in the first half of 2012, with nine online wells concentrated in Frazer and Fawn producing more than 3.6 billion cubic feet of gas, according to new data released by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Even with the increase, the county still contributed a pittance to total statewide production figures.
Gas production across the state climbed from January to June, with 704 billion cubic feet of gas produced, up from the 630 billion cubic feet reported from July to December 2011.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/marcellusshale/county-marcellus-shale-yield-skyrockets-649379/#ixzz246GMjMrr
Drought May Sink Mississippi River Commerce
ABOARD THE DREDGE POTTER, on the Mississippi River — This ship is making sure that the Big River, shrinking under one of the worst droughts in modern history, stays deep enough.
The Potter is scooping this stretch of the Mississippi River’s navigation channel just south of St. Louis, the ship’s 32-foot-wide head sucking up about 60,000 cubic yards of sediment each day and depositing it via a long discharge pipe a thousand feet to the side in a violent, muddy plume that smells like muck and summer.
The Army Corps of Engineers has more than a dozen dredging vessels working the Mississippi this summer. Despite being fed by water flowing in from more than 40 percent of the United States, the river is feeling the ruinous drought affecting so much of the Midwest. Some stretches are nearing the record low-water levels experienced in 1988, when river traffic was suspended in several spots.
That is unlikely this year, because of careful engineering work to keep the largest inland marine system in the world passable. But tow operators are dealing with the shallower channel by hauling fewer barges, loading them lighter and running them more slowly, raising their costs. Since May, about 60 vessels have run aground in the lower Mississippi.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/us/drought-may-sink-mississippi-river-commerce-649733/#ixzz246DvXrjq
Pennsylvania’s Online Shoppers Soon Will Have To Pay Sales Tax
Tax-free online purchases will be curtailed in Pennsylvania starting next month, but activists pushing for a federal law say much more needs to be done to address the issue of tax-free Internet shopping, and the millions in sales tax that states are missing out on.
Pennsylvania alone would lose between $254 million and $410 million in uncollected revenues this year without legislative intervention, according to a 2011 study by Carnegie Mellon University professor Robert Strauss.
But starting Sept. 1, online retailers with a physical presence in the state will have to pay at least 6 percent sales tax for items purchased by Pennsylvanians.
And for those shoppers in Allegheny County, the online sales tax would be 7 percent — a 6 percent share going to the state, and an additional 1 percent for Allegheny County. In Philadelphia, they tack on an extra 2 percent, meaning the online sales tax — just like the regular, bricks-and-mortar sales tax — would be 8 percent.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/legal/pennsylvanias-online-shoppers-soon-will-have-to-pay-sales-tax-649674/#ixzz246C7JCAT
Exeter-Antietam School District Merger Talks Give Rise To Questions
By definition, it’s a union – oftentimes, an absorption. It could be as simple as sharing a sports team. Or as complex as a new high school.
For the school officials who make the ultimate decision, though, mergers aren’t so easily defined. They’re complex; never the same. And ultimately, the trigger for heated emotions all around.
Since talk of a merger between the Exeter and Antietam school districts reignited this year, questions have arisen.
If the two were to combine, residents wondered, would there be a new name? Which high school would be used? And who, if anyone, would actually benefit?