Pennsylvania Third-Class Cities’ Problems, Solutions May Be Addressed

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All 53 of Pennsylvania’s third-class cities share common bonds, and one state senator believes legislators who represent those cities should band together to help address their common challenges.

“Sprawl, changing demographics, public safety concerns and archaic tax structure have drained the vitality of our once-vibrant downtowns,” state Sen. John N. Wozniak, D-Johnstown, wrote in a letter to his colleagues.  “Since the causes are not unique, we can’t stand by and ask local government officials to stem a tide that is overwhelming their capacity and authority to innovate.”

Wozniak noted in the letter to colleagues from both parties in the Senate and House that while the state’s historic downtowns are unique, the fiscal problems they face are not.  With that in mind, Wozniak is proposing the creation of a bipartisan “Third-Class City Caucus.”

“We can no longer afford to consider the plight of our cities as a concern that is separate from the overall welfare of our Commonwealth,” he said.

Read more:,256451

Fans Get Look At New RailRiders PNC Field Ballpark Stadium

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Joe Mielo has been attending ballgames at the minor league baseball stadium in Lackawanna County since it opened in 1989.

PNC Field, home to the new Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, closed last year for a $43 million rebuilding and will have its much-anticipated season opener April 4.  Mr. Mielo, who will be in his usual spot behind home plate, in Section 22, Row 5, Seat 7, was one of many fans who braved frigid temperatures Saturday to get a first glimpse of the stadium’s overhaul and new look during an open house.

“Oh, it’s going to be nice,” the 77-year-old West Scranton man said of the revamped ballpark.

Gone is the steep, hulking upper deck that had a roof line as high up as the stadium’s lighting towers.  The main gate is now a spacious, open-air corridor into the ballpark. Other new features include a wraparound concourse, a bar, bleachers and lawn seating and a kids’ area.

Read more:

Mexico: The New China

3-D perspective image of the San Diego-Tijuana...

3-D perspective image of the San Diego-Tijuana area from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In November I quit my job as the editor of Wired to run 3D Robotics, the San Diego-based drone company I started with a partner as a side project three years ago.  We make autopilot technology and small aircraft — both planes and multirotor copters — that can fly by themselves.  The drones, which sell for a few hundred bucks, are for civilians: they don’t shoot anything but photographs and videos.  And they’re incredibly fun to build (which we do with the ample help of robots).  It wasn’t a hard decision to give up publishing for this.

But my company, like many manufacturers, is faced with a familiar challenge: its main competitors are Chinese companies that have the dual advantages of cheap labor and top-notch engineering.  So, naturally, when we were raising a round of investment financing last year, venture capitalists demanded a plausible explanation for how our little start-up could beat its Chinese rivals.  The answer was as much a surprise to the investors as it had been to me a few years earlier:  Mexico.  In particular, Tijuana.

Read more:

Philly TV Icon Sally Starr Dies At 90

Sally Starr, 90, the vivacious blonde TV cowgirl who served as a surrogate parent for the Philadelphia region’s baby boomers, died Sunday morning.

Starr died peacefully in a South Jersey nursing home shortly after 6 a.m., according to Michael Yip, a close friend of Starr’s.  She had been in poor health for years, both from various natural causes as well as from the effects of a 2005 car crash.

Read more:
Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else

Abundance Of Attractions Makes Lancaster County Marketable

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Lancaster County, Kathleen Frankford contends, is no one-trick pony.

“It’s probably the most diverse destination in the country,” she said.

Sure, it is known for its Amish and the outlet shopping that attracts people by the busload.  But, there is also live entertainment, dining and lodging.

And, “within each of those categories, you have such a wide range of offerings,” Frankford said.

Read more:

Plan For Takeover Of Reading Pagoda Advances

Picture 511The new nonprofit that plans to take over the city-owned Pagoda says it’s ready to rock, but agrees with the city there are too many outstanding issues, as well as confusion over board membership, to get the 99-year lease it wants.

In the meantime, both sides are considering a temporary agreement allowing the Reading Pagoda Foundation to take over operations while the other issues are resolved.

The first of them: The year-old Foundation for the Reading Public Museum has a board, but none of its members were nominated by Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer nor approved by City Council as required, member Lee C. Olsen told City Council last week.

Rather, they were members of the task force set up by former Mayor Tom McMahon and, when the foundation recommended by the task force was created, sort of morphed into the foundation board, he said.

Read more:

Alvernia University On The Rise

English: Alvernia University Category:Alvernia...

English: Alvernia University Category:Alvernia University Category:University logos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Dr. Thomas F. Flynn took over the presidency at Alvernia University in 2005, the future looked bright.

The university was growing rapidly, and officials were putting together an aggressive plan to expand the campus in the next decade.

Then the recession hit in 2008, just as the university began not only its strategic plan, but its first comprehensive capital campaign.

Despite the challenges of the past five years, Alvernia flourished and moved forward faster with its plans than anyone expected.

Read more: