Annual Pottstown Family Fest

Family Services/Pottstown Family Center

Annual Pottstown Family Fest

Tuesday, March 12, 5pm-7:30pm

Pottstown Senior High School, 750 North Washington Street, Pottstown

This free family-focused event will feature information/resources from more than 30 area organizations, activities for the entire family, roving entertainment, sandwiches, drinks, Rita’s water ice, and a variety of door prizes.  Informational booths will be open from 5-7 p.m.  Door prizes will be awarded from 7-7:30 p.m. (must be present to win).  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  For more information call Jenn Brown at 610-326-1610 ext. 247

Changing Skyline: New Cheesecake Factory At 15th And Walnut: A Creamy-Rich Glass Box

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What kind of building do you get when you cross the über-cool, urban minimalism of the Apple stores with the indulgent, diet-busting excess of the Cheesecake Factory restaurants?

Would you believe an architectural confection that is as visually sublime as it is intellectually rich?

I’ll admit that when I first heard that the popular suburban temple of caloric overload was touching down at 15th and Walnut Streets, the news didn’t exactly stoke my appetite for good design.  I imagined a generic box, done up in flat, lifeless stucco the color of American cheese, elbowing its way onto a corner that has been occupied for the better part of a century by three ordinary, but charming, commercial buildings.

But the architecture gods have smiled on Philadelphia.

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Pittsburgh Police Bureau’s Finance Chief Claims Harper Told Her To Divert Funds

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Now it’s going to start “hitting the fan”.  This is gonna get way worse before it gets better.

The attorney for the Pittsburgh Police Bureau‘s finance manager said Thursday his client was instructed by former chief Nate Harper to open a credit union account now under federal scrutiny and followed his orders in diverting tens of thousands of dollars to it from funds meant for the City of Pittsburgh.

William H. Difenderfer represents police personnel and finance manager Sandra J. Ganster, who, he said, reported her concerns about the account to city Public Safety Director Michael Huss on Feb. 9.  He said his client has since spoken twice to federal authorities.

“The chief would tell her, basically, keep roughly a $3,000 balance in this account,” Mr. Difenderfer said.  “Like she said, I guess the best way to describe it was, ‘It had an odor, but the chief directed me to do it, and I did what he told me to do.’  She didn’t feel comfortable with it … but obviously complied.”

He estimated that between $28,000 and $37,000 was diverted to the credit union account since about 2008 or 2009 when the account was opened.

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Pottstown Borough Council Dickers Over Tax Abatement Deal

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

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

Editor’s note:  Pottstown is already perceived as NOT business friendly.  Companies aren’t rushing to relocate there.  The KOZ site is empty.  The best chance of enticing other companies to build there is to get a business in there STAT.  Then you can market away.  These tax abatements are the cost of doing business.  Sadly, not many on council understand that.

POTTSTOWN — Several borough council members Wednesday picked at a proposed tax relief deal floated to bring a new business to town, saying the borough is giving too much away.

The discussion centers around the former 84 Lumber truss assembly plant at 451 Keystone Blvd., which a Conshohocken business wants to buy for a hearse and limousine company that would bring half a dozen jobs to the borough.

The site is located in Pottstown’s mostly moribund Keystone Opportunity Zone, which would allow for a property tax abatement on the property, with the agreement of council and the school board.

After knocking the subject around at the joint meeting between borough council and the school board on Feb. 26, Borough Manager Mark Flanders and Schools Superintendent Jeff Sparagana were tasked with negotiating with Jay Lankford of Heritage Coach Co. Inc. to iron out a deal all sides could agree on.

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Fairgrounds Square Mall Sells At Auction For $13.6 Million

Editor’s note:  Hopefully somebody can turn Fairgrounds Square around.  It needs some TLC.

The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co. today bought the

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Fairgrounds Square Mall for $13.6 million, pending judicial approval.

The mall is expected to remain open and continue to operate.

An attorney for the trustee was the only bidder at the sale, performed by the U.S. Marshal Service in Philadelphia, said Patrick Ennis, supervisory criminal investigator civil unit for the marshals.

The mall was scheduled for marshal sale after GP-Fairgrounds Square LP, the mall owner, failed to meet its financial obligations.

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Firearms Certification Lapse Puts 6 West Reading Cops On Leave

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  They sure are having one problem after another in the department!

Half of the West Reading Police Department, including the acting officer in charge, was placed on temporary administrative leave Thursday after it was discovered that the firearms certification for a department range instructor had lapsed.

Borough sources confirmed that six officers – five full-time and one part-time – were taken off the streets for the day as department officials worked to resolve the issue.

“Yes, I have officers who I have instructed the officer in charge that I do not want working until their firearms certifications have been updated,” West Reading Mayor Shane J. Keller said. “We have them scheduled (to be recertified) at 8 a.m. (today), so this will be taken care of relatively quickly.”

Keller declined to discuss who was at fault for the error.

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