10 Years Later, Is Pittsburgh Really Climbing Out Of The Red?

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)

Ten years and four months ago, then-Mayor Tom Murphy stood before a cadre of media to deliver grim news.

By the time he stepped up to speak, eyes moistened with tears, Pittsburgh city government had been sputtering along like an airplane held together by duct tape, according to a former finance director. But now the plane was about to take a nose dive — with the possibility of bankruptcy hovering.

“I hate doing this,” Mr. Murphy told the reporters.

He announced plans to lay off 731 city workers — including police officers — and leave hundreds more positions unfilled. All but six city pools would be drained and closed early — along with 19 recreation centers that were, in many places, critical gathering spots for sports and community events. Later that year, the city’s credit rating would be downgraded, making it the only major American city whose debt was rated “junk.” A fifth of the city’s budget went to pay off old debt.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/12/29/10-years-later-is-Pittsburgh-really-climbing-out-of-the-red/stories/201312290057#ixzz2or2K9BKS

Advertisements

Construction Of Apartments Underway In Live/Work Worthington neighborhood

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

It’s taken a little time, but Keystone Custom Homes’ Worthington at Township Square neighborhood is quickly taking shape, with its residential and commercial/retail areas complementing each other.

There’s a lot going on in the community, including a new model home and work on the apartment phase of the subdivision, said Janette Hawkins, vice president of marketing and information technology at Keystone.

The Manheim Township smart-growth development will feature 259 houses — 196 singles, 33 duplexes and 30 townhomes — along with rentals above the commercial space.

The model house is a 3,197-square-foot Manchester with traditional elevation, including a wraparound front porch, a stone front and three reverse gables with pent roofs.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/937185_Construction-of-apartments-underway-in-live-work-Worthington-neighborhood.html#ixzz2oqzkUxdL

As Scranton Mayor, Doherty Leaving, His Mark Affixed

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

For an evaluation of Mayor Chris Doherty’s 12 years in the top city job, listen to his chief critic.

“Overall, the mayor did a very good job. He had a vision for the city and, by and large, I think he fulfilled that vision,” city council President Janet Evans said.

This is the same Janet Evans who spent the better part of her 10 years as a councilwoman ripping Mr. Doherty for one shortcoming or another at weekly council meetings.

Not that Mrs. Evans is done criticizing. She still thinks Mr. Doherty borrowed too much money, should have negotiated contracts with the city’s police and firefighter unions instead of fighting a losing and costlier arbitration battle and needed, in his later years, more experienced cabinet members.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/as-mayor-doherty-leaving-his-mark-affixed-1.1608177

Town By Town: Abington Homes Offer Good Value

Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, P...

Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region’s communities.

If Abington can come up with more houses to sell next year, its reputation for affordability – combined with lower Federal Housing Administration mortgage limits – might result in a sales boom.

That’s the opinion of some real estate agents, including Cheryl Miller of Long & Foster’s Blue Bell office, who sells in this Montgomery County township known for its older houses, its hospitals, its 16 neighborhoods (or parts of neighborhoods), Willow Grove Park mall, and traffic that moves at a snail’s pace along Route 611.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/town-by-town/20131229_Town_By_Town__Abington_homes_offer_good_value.html#lgiIt7UHFKYC4zXt.99

Protestors Gather In Norristown To Oppose Parkhouse Sale

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montg...

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

NORRISTOWN — Protestors rallied outside of the Montgomery County Courthouse Saturday in opposition to the sale of the Parkhouse geriatric center and its surrounding 220 acres of land in Upper Providence.

Upper Providence Supervisor Lisa Mossie, who has been at the forefront of opposition to the sale, said she was hoping the Montgomery County commissioners would notice the rally, cancel the sale and work out a new deal for the property.

“It’s my hope that it will change the commissioners’ minds that this is something nobody cares about. That it’s not a vocal minority. Everybody I have talked to is upset about this,” Mossie said. “My hope is that this sale is not done. It’s not finalized yet. They’ve cited that as their reason for not releasing the terms of the sale.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131228/protestors-gather-in-norristown-to-oppose-parkhouse-sale

Pottstown Polar Bear Plunge, Bonfire, 5K Set For New Year’s Day

Although the National Weather Service is predicting below freezing weather for the first day of 2014, that has not stopped local groups of finding fun ways to ring in the new year.

The 6th Pottstown Polar Bear Club’s celebration and bonfire will begin at 10 a.m. at Riverfront Park.

Residents willing to brave the icy water can dive into the Schuylkill River at 10:30 a.m. then warm up with hotdogs, sauerkraut for $2 as well as hot chocolate and coffee for $1.

Registration for the plunge starts at 9 a.m. at the park and ends at 10 a.m. at which time the bonfire will be lit.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131227/polar-bear-plunge-bonfire-5k-set-for-new-years-day