Cincinnati Streetcar Plan Pits Desire For Growth Against Fiscal Restraint

Downtown Cincinnati

Downtown Cincinnati (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CINCINNATI, OH — It has been a long time since a streetcar was just a streetcar here.

Instead, a $133 million project to build a 3.6-mile streetcar line through downtown has come to represent, depending on whom you talk to, a debt trap that will sink the city or an ambitious development effort that is central to Cincinnati’s revival.

And when the debate ended last week in an unexpected last-minute victory for the streetcar proponents, it was seen as both a vote of confidence in the city’s future and a reminder of how tenuous support for the project had become.

On the brink of being shut down, the project was saved by a successful petition drive and a written commitment, provided by the Haile U.S. Bank Foundation, from about 15 private backers to pay up to $9 million in operating costs, if needed, over the line’s first decade.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/23/us/cincinnati-streetcar-plan-pits-desire-for-growth-against-fiscal-restraint.html?_r=0

Advertisements

Santa Express Brings A Little Christmas Magic To Bellefonte

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

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

BELLEFONTE, PA — Dressed as Rudolph this weekend, Mike Hawbaker made his way through the train cars of the Santa Express.

During one of the 11 trips, Hawbaker approached a small child, who gave the costume-clad volunteer a small piece of paper. The child had hand drawn a little picture of the reindeer and wanted to give it to the red-nosed Christmas staple.

“That’s why we do this,” Hawbaker said, smiling as he looked at the drawing.

The annual event is a joint effort among the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority, the Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad and the Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society, train owner Jeff Pontius said. He also organizes similar events in Williamsport, Bloomsburg and Sunbury.

Plan Maps Future For Murrysville

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

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

Murrysville is home to an aging population along with younger families who can’t afford to buy the empty-nesters’ larger lots, according to an architect who is developing the municipality’s comprehensive plan.

The plan provides a glimpse into Murrysville’s future, including some trends that are beginning to emerge, Andrew Schwartz, of Pittsburgh-based Environmental Planning and Design, told officials this week.

“You need to start thinking about that (55- to 65-year-old demographic) now,” Schwartz said. “Are there some places that maybe there should be higher densities encouraged?”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/5284558-74/plan-murrysville-council#ixzz2oKIFIRmI
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Man Shot To Death By Lititz Police Officer Is Identified As 2009 Warwick Grad

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

The Lititz man fatally shot by police Saturday was a 2009 graduate of Warwick High School and attended Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, where he was named to the dean’s list multiple times.

Officials on Sunday released the name of the shooting victim, David P. Giliberti, who was shot and killed by a Lititz police officer.

According to his Facebook profile, the 22-year-old originally was from Cassadaga, N.Y.

The shooting occurred after police responded to 101 Arrowhead Drive just after 3 a.m. Saturday after Giliberti’s grandmother called 911 and said she needed help.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/934769_Man-shot-to-death-by-Lititz-police-officer-is-identified-as-2009-Warwick-grad.html#ixzz2oKDbfChp

No Lack Of Ideas For Steamtown Mall’s Future

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

As Betty Lou and Larry Stevens carried bags of heavily discounted merchandise out of the closing Bon-Ton store, the Moosic residents hoped Ikea will take its place at the Mall at Steamtown.

The couple currently drives to Philadelphia’s branch of the Swedish store when they need furniture and thought Ikea could provide a major draw to the downtown Scranton mall.

“I think people would come to Steamtown for Ikea,” Mrs. Stevens said.

John Topa, the mall’s director of marketing and specialty leasing, told The Times-Tribune last week mall officials have a replacement lined up for the departing anchor store that would revitalize the downtown shopping center.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/no-lack-of-ideas-for-mall-s-future-1.1605656

Luzerne County Interested In West Side COG

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

The West Side Council of Governments could soon expand into a dramatically different political body.

Luzerne County and the City of Nanticoke have voiced interest in joining the COG that was created by 12 West Side communities.

Eileen Cipriani, COG president, said COG members have agreed to allow Nanticoke to join the police equipment project and the COG will vote on the membership request at the next meeting.

Robert Lawton, county manager, attended the recent meeting held at Kingston fire headquarters and said he would like to look for ways for the county to work with the COG. He expressed interest in the county joining the COG.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/county-interested-in-west-side-cog-1.1605533

Forks Township Supervisors Approve 13 Percent Tax Increase

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

Property taxes will go up 13 percent next year in Forks Township.

Last week, the board of supervisors approved a budget that includes the tax increase and an additional $700,000 in expenditures.

The extra money will pay for new vehicles and equipment or repairs.

Finance Manager Jim Farley said vehicle prices continue to go up despite the economy. He estimated a new, fully loaded dump truck with a plow could cost $500,000 and a fire engine could cost as much as $2 million.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2013/12/forks_township_supervisors_app_4.html

Schuylkill Leads River Of Year Balloting With 5 Days Remaining. So Vote!

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

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our favorite recreational river last year lost the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources annual (20 years running we might add) River of the Year competition to the Steel City’s (ugh!) Monongahela. Out of more than 24,000 ballots that were cast last year the Schuylkill fell short by just 146 votes.

This time around, the Schuykill leads the balloting for 2014 River of the Year honors with a hefty 40 percent of popular votes cast. The voting period runs from November 25th to December 27th, so we have a fews days left to make sure the the Kiskiminetas-Conemaugh Rivers, in second place with 21%, don’t close the gap.

So vote!

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Schuylkill_leads_River_of_Year_balloting_with_5_days_remaining_So_vote.html#dswVbBm0Mc6OHQ8F.99

Long-Awaited Change Coming To Italian Market

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighti...

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighting South Philadelphia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 30 degrees and an icy rain is falling, but as Michele Gambino stands in the center of the Italian Market, she’s feeling surprisingly warm.

Not from the flames snapping in the fire barrels.

But because in 10 days, a change four years in the making comes to the venerable market, one that Gambino and others believe will enrich shoppers and enliven the assembly of grocery stores, butcher shops, and restaurants that line Ninth Street in South Philadelphia.

On Jan. 1, the business-district association takes control of the market’s iconic, outdoor rows of wooden stands.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131223_Long-awaited_change_coming_to_Italian_Market.html#xkxhQzitABLg2xCv.99

Pottstown-Area Church Leader Responds To ‘Duck Dynasty’ Controversy

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

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

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — A national controversy hit close to home Friday afternoon after three-year-old videosof Phil Robertson speaking at a local church resurfaced.

Robertson, the patriarch of the family featured on the hit TV show “Duck Dynasty” on A&E, made what some perceived as anti-gay comments in an article in GQ Magazine. The article is published in the January 2014 edition of the magazine.

His controversial comments have started a firestorm of online discussion and led to Robertson’s indefinite suspension from the popular reality show.

But the faith-based comments Robertson made in the GQ article were echoes of statements he made while speaking at events long before the show on A&E started.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131220/pottstown-area-church-leader-responds-to-duck-dynasty-controversy

Eagles Make Statement, Rout Bears

PHILADELPHIA – They couldn’t help their playoff chances no matter what they did on the field, which made the Philadelphia Eagles‘ performance Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field all the more impressive.

Playing an essentially meaningless game after a Dallas comeback win set up a winner-take-all finale in Texas, the Eagles demolished the Chicago Bears 54-11.

Quarterback Nick Foles threw two more touchdown passes and LeSean McCoy ran for a pair of scores for Philadelphia (9-6), which maintained its one-game lead over the Cowboys (8-7) in the NFC East.

But because the Cowboys won at Philadelphia in the season’s first meeting and also clinched a better division record by rallying to beat Washington earlier in the day, the Eagles must win or tie at AT&T Stadium to take the division and earn their first playoff berth since 2010.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131223/SPORTS/312239938/1052#.UrhywfRDsxI