Mosaic Community Gardens Celebration‏

Mosaic Community Gardens

Saturday, January 5, 2013

12 Noon

423 Chestnut St.


Welcome to the Mosaic Community Gardens for a celebration of the winter gardens and installation of the artistically designed and built pergola that will support the beautiful Wisteria vine planted last spring.

The pergola is designed and built by Ryan Procsal, a Pottstown resident, designer and craftsman.  We’re excited to feature Ryan’s creative skills in the community gardens and we’re honored to call him “neighbor.”

Ryan’s website:

Join your friends and neighbors on Saturday, January 5th for a ceremonial celebration of the winter gardens, led by Jodi McCarty and Lorraine Kat Morris of the EnlightenedPathHolisticCenter, 1494 N. Charlotte St. Ste#11.

Warm spiced cider and hot chocolate on tap!!

This project/program was made possible through a grant from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.

The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation’s mission is to enhance the health and wellness of area residents, providing education, funding and programs that motivate people to adopt healthy lifestyles. Visit for more information about the Foundation. Discover Pottstown area’s online community at to learn and share great information on how to lead a healthier life. You can also follow Mission Healthy Living on Facebook and Twitter.

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra Triumphs At Giant Center

I attended the 4:00 pm Trans-Siberian Orchestra show at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA this afternoon.  I have always been a big fan of TSO but have never been to one of their concerts.  Now I am an even bigger fan!

The concert lasted two hours and 35 minutes.  It’s divided into two parts.  Their new Christmas production, The Lost Christmas Eve and then after an introduction of the band and singers, they played a string of their songs from previous albums.  They ended with their Carol of the Bells/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen mash-up (which gets played on the radio a great deal this time of year).

Musically, I think they are superb.  Their level of talent is phenomenal and the music speaks for itself.  What you miss out on by not seeing them live is their incredible stage production.  All is can say is, WOW!  Lasers, strobes, fog, fire, pyrotechnics, elevated platforms and musicians running through the audience playing, is just some of what you can expect.  It is sensory overload, but in a good way.  I just saw Australian Pink Floyd at the Sovereign Center in Reading, PA last month.  They have an amazing stage production and laser light show but it was nothing like what we were treated to by TSO!  This was Pink Floyd on steroids!

The crowd was into it and TSO really fed off of our energy.  They were doing a second show at 8:00 pm!  People were waiting to get in as we were leaving.  I bet they get an equally great show.  You can tell this group of musicians loves what they do!  They were having a great time entertaining us.

The tickets were very reasonably priced and my friends and I felt we got great value for our money based on the length of the show, the stage production and quality of the music.

I give two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to TSO and highly recommend you go to one of their concerts if you are a fan.  You won’t be sorry!

To check out TSO tour dates or learn more about the group, you can visit their website here:

Lower Providence’s Final 2013 Budget Adopted With No Tax Increase

Location of Lower Providence Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Providence Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER PROVIDENCE — The final, $9,557,713 2013 budget was unanimously adopted Thursday night by the Board of Supervisors with no increase in the township’s 1.512 mill real estate tax rate.

For a homeowner with a home assessed at the township average of $167,022, the 1.512 mill tax rate translates into a township tax bill of $252.54.

The township will use the $730,023 fund balance from the 2012 budget to balance the 2013 budget, said Township Manager Richard Gestrich, when the preliminary budget was adopted in mid-November.  To give the township budget some operating capital while tax revenues are trickling into the township accounts during 2013, the board also approved transferring $425,000 from the unrestricted capital account.

“At the end of the budget year we will need the balance of the $425,000 to get through the end of the year,” Gestrich said.

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Ambler Borough Council Approves Tax Hike

Location of Ambler in Montgomery County

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

AMBLER — Ambler Borough Council adopted a the new tax rate for 2013 that raises real estate taxes for residents at its Dec. 18 meeting.

The real estate tax millage rate will increase by 0.48 mils to 6.78 mills, a 7.62 percent increase. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed value.

For a home assessed at $100,000, that translates to a tax bill of $678, an extra $48 a year or $4 a month in taxes.

The borough expects to collect $1,564,643 in real estate taxes in 2013, according to borough figures, which contributes to a total projected general fund income of $4,101,743.

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Lancaster County Convention Center Has Good Month, But Future Cloudy

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Lancaster County Convention Center finances had a good month in November.

Reserve funds topped $5.6 million for the public meeting center.  And center officials believe this month will also end well.

That means the 20 percent stake of the Lancaster County hotel room tax which has been diverted to the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority will once again be paid to the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.

That money, which totals about $900,000 annually, has been going to the center authority since spring when the reserves required under the center’s bond indenture fell below $5.25 million.

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Manheim Township School Board Makes Gene Freeman Highest-Paid Superintendent In Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Manheim Township school board Thursday agreed to limit any tax increase in next year’s budget to 1.7 percent and approved a five-year contract with superintendent Gene Freeman.

The employment agreement, which runs through June 2018, will pay Freeman in excess of $1 million in salary and compensation over five years, making him the highest-paid superintendent in Lancaster County.

The vote on Freeman’s contract was unanimous, as was the vote to keep a possible tax rate increase for 2013-14 at or below the school district’s Act 1 index of 1.7 percent.

That vote marks a return to form for the district, which had stayed within its state-mandated index every year since 2006 until 2011-12, when it boosted taxes by 3.96 percent in the face of a revenue shortfall of about $4.7 million.

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Reading Civic Center Venues Performing Better Than Last Year

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Reading’s two civic center venues are doing far better financially so far this season compared with the first five months of last season, but they still aren’t up to budget projections, the Berks County Convention Center Authority learned Thursday.

Several shows sold out, but attendance at others – among them Alan Jackson and American Idol – was lackluster, Zane Collings, general manager, told the board.

The civic center generally operates at a loss the first five months and did so again this year, he said. The loss was more than the budget projection, but far less than last year, he said.

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Reading Gets $4 Million Grant To Add 30 Firefighters

The city won a $4 million federal grant on Thursday to hire 30 new firefighters over the next two years, replenishing a force that was shrunk by budget cuts the past several years.

Although Fire Chief David W. Hollinger and other city officials were elated at the news, they said they’re still working out the details of how the grant will be used, when the new recruits could be hired, and what happens when the grant runs out in two years.

The announcement came in separate statements by U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr., who had written the Department of Homeland Security supporting the city’s application for the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response grant.

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