Layne Steps Down As Upper Pottsgrove Township Manager

Location of Upper Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Upper Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPPER POTTSGROVE — The township’s worst kept secret was finally made public Monday night when it was announced that Township Manager Jack Layne has resigned to take a job as manager of Maple Shade, N.J.

Layne began his work with the township in May, 2006, taking over to fill the void left by the surprise resignation of his predecessor, Michael Cotter.

Layne had himself resigned earlier in the year as manager of Pottstown Borough and the Pottstown Borough Authority, a position he had held since January, 2003 after leaving a post in Ohio.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131216/layne-steps-down-as-u-pottsgrove-township-manager

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Outgoing Harrisburg Mayor, Linda Thompson, Lands On Time Magazine’s 2013 Mayors’ Gaffe List

Editor’s note:  Ms. Thompson landed in the number two spot.  A rather infamous list of mayoral faux pas from around the globe.  Way to go LT for putting Harrisburg in the international spotlight.

The Year in Mayors’ Gaffes

A road to political purgatory, from bad to worst

Read more: The Year in Mayors’ Gaffes | TIME.com http://poy.time.com/2013/12/10/the-year-in-mayors-gaffes/#ixzz2nhSvTjn9

State College Council To Vote Monday On Budget, Proposed Tax Hike

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  The average State College homeowner, with a property value of $200,000, would pay $7 more per month….

State College Borough Council will decide Monday whether to go along with one member’s last-minute push to avoid a tax increase in 2014.

Council is expected to vote Monday on a proposed budget that carries a property tax increase of 1.5 mills. But Councilman Jim Rosenberger suggested last week that he would make a motion instead to put off the increase and dig deeper into reserve funds to balance the spending plan.

Rosenberger said he hadn’t seen enough at a series of budget discussions to be convinced that the borough needs to raises taxes in 2014.

Borough Manager Tom Fountaine said that the budget could be modified to include no tax increase and still be passed Monday. Council wouldn’t have to start the process over or hold additional meetings.

Bill Would Promote Products ‘Made In PA’

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG — Would you be more likely to buy a product if it were labeled “Made in Pennsylvania?”

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers has introduced a bill to create a “Made in PA” program, complete with a logo and website to encourage consumers to purchase products made close to home.

A similar program, to identify and promote Pennsylvania agricultural products, began in 2004, called the PA Preferred program.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2013/12/16/Bill-would-promote-products-Made-in-PA/stories/201312160060#ixzz2neriTSq7

Ozone Hole Stabilizing But Not Shrinking Yet

English: Ozone Hole

English: Ozone Hole (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The hole in the ozone layer is stabilizing but will take until about 2070 to fully recover, according to new research by NASA scientists.

The assessment comes more than two decades after the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty that banned chlorofluorocarbons and other compounds that deplete the ozone layer, which shields the planet from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Levels of chlorine in the atmosphere are falling as a result of the treaty, but have not yet dropped below the threshold necessary to have a shrinking effect on the ozone hole that forms each year over Antarctica, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. They presented their findings last week at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2013/12/16/Ozone-hole-stabilizing-but-not-shrinking-yet/stories/201312160113#ixzz2neqxGjk1

Eagles Come Unhinged In Loss To Lowly Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS >> DeSean Jackson fumed on the sidelines. Philadelphia’s beleaguered secondary had its own meltdown on the field.

And the high-flying Eagles landed with a mighty thud against the short-handed Minnesota Vikings.

The Eagles’ offense was stymied in the first half by Minnesota’s makeshift secondary and Matt Cassel threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns to help the Vikings end Philadelphia’s five-game winning streak with a 48-30 victory on Sunday.

Jackson caught a career-high 10 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown, but it was the play he couldn’t make in the third quarter that grabbed the most attention. He was wide open down the sideline, but Nick Foles saw him too late and his pop-fly pass was picked off by Shaun Prater.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_24729756/eagles-come-unhinged-loss-lowly-vikings

Sherman Hills Owner Promises Changes To Troubled Complex

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

The Brooklyn, N.Y., owner of the troubled Sherman Hills Apartments has vowed to create a gated community, hire armed security officers and repair and improve video surveillance, according to the Sherman Hills Task Force.

The disclosure came in a conversation between U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, who initiated the task force, and of Park Management Inc., who said the business is sending Wilkes-Barre City Council a report outlining its plans, Cartwright spokesman Shane Seaver said.

The task force is meeting Monday morning to discuss those and other plans to address the troubled Sherman Hills complex, which has been plagued by crime in recent months.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/sherman-hills-owner-promises-changes-to-troubled-complex-1.1601842

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Area Bridges Are On Replacement List

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)

The state’s $2.4 billion transportation funding law will enable the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to use its Rapid Bridge Replacement Project on at least 200 more bridges than originally planned.

Among the 998 bridges eligible for replacement are eight in Luzerne County, seven in Lackawanna County and four in Wyoming County.

The project that will reconstruct at least 500 structurally deficient bridges of similar design across the state involves PennDOT reaching out to the private sector to submit statements of qualification.

Erin Waters, a PennDOT spokeswoman, said those interested in bidding must submit their statements of qualifications to the agency by Jan.31.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1052771/Area-bridges-are-on-replacement-list

Snow Expected to Make For A Messy Tuesday Morning

Snow beginning overnight could make driving hazardous throughout the morning Tuesday morning in the Philadelphia region, according to the National Weather Service.

Accumulations of two to four inches are possible north and west of the city, including in outlying parts of Chester, Montgomery and Bucks Counties.

The city of Philadelphia, Delaware County and southern and central Chester County, should see an inch or two before rain mixes in or takes over in the afternoon.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Snow_expected_to_make_for_a_messy_Tuesday_morning.html#xq7HsvVfGB2o0xgr.99

New Pottstown YMCA Director Looks To Add On To Existing Programs, Use Wellness Center

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN — Dan Albert was wearing a light blue button down shirt with the YMCA logo embroidered on the left pocket while he walked around the N. Adams Street building on Thursday.

Albert, who has been employed with the national organization for almost 15 years, started working as the new Executive Director for the Pottstown YMCA on Dec. 2.

And he already has big ideas for the future of the local club.

“I think the beauty of the Y, with having over 800 associations throughout the country, is that we all beg, borrow and steal from each other,” Albert said. “I think what you are going to see, moving forward, is we are really going to be driving change.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131215/new-ymca-director-looks-to-add-on-to-existing-programs-use-wellness-center

Pennsylvania Sales Tax Solution Sought

Traditional merchants are suffering a 6 percent disadvantage over their Internet-only competitors this holiday season.

Though the Supreme Court recently affirmed the right of states to tax online purchases made by state residents, it really didn’t help small-business owners.

Online appliance sellers routinely boast they sell appliances free of sales tax and often offer free delivery on big-ticket items despite a requirement that Internet merchants collect the 6 percent sales tax on anything they sell for use in Pennsylvania, said Brian Sutton, part owner of Maidencreek TV & Appliance in Maidencreek Township.

“They do it all the time,” Sutton said. “We’ve been dealing with this for years.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131216/NEWS/312169981#.Uq8i_vRDsxI