Daily Archives: May 3, 2014
MOSAIC Community Land Trust Home Garden Contest
Squeezed In America: The U.S. Middle Class Underperforms Its Peers
Editors note: A very insightful editorial by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette folks.
A new analysis that shows the U.S. middle class is no longer the world’s richest should alarm more than just those in the nation’s dwindling middle.
Decades-long trends that have shifted the nation’s wealth to the top and widened the gap between rich and poor have undermined democracy. They also have weakened the consumer-driven economy.
No one understood the importance of a healthy middle class better than Henry Ford. In 1914, he more than doubled the wages he paid his workers. The $5, eight-hour workday was a bold strategy to lower employee turnover and enable them to buy Ford cars.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2014/05/03/Squeezed-in-America/stories/201404290020#ixzz30ffKoORh
Former York City Financial Officer Says Mayor Asked Him To Resign
York City’s former top financial officer said the city’s mayor showed up at his house on a Sunday in April and asked for his resignation.
This week, former business administrator Michael O’Rourke said Mayor Kim Bracey did not provide an explanation for the request, and he still does not know the reason.
“I asked her why, and she said, ‘I just want to make a change,'” O’Rourke said.
That contradicts Bracey’s original characterization of the situation.
Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25682926/former-york-city-financial-officer-says-mayor-asked
Forever 21: E-Commerce Center’s Work Force Could Hit 600
When Forever 21 jumps into the local labor pool this summer, it will make a bigger splash than originally expected.
Company spokesmen this week said its new e-commerce fulfillment center here will employ 200 year-round.
But its work force could reach 600 during peak times, such as the back-to-school and Christmas shopping seasons, they said.
This newspaper reported Tuesday that Forever 21 had leased the vacant School Specialty distribution center along Route 283.
Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/forever-e-commerce-center-s-work-force-could-hit/article_dbeb735c-d1fc-11e3-a1f5-001a4bcf6878.html
Survey Good News For Downtown Wilkes-Barre
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Larry Newman, executive director of the Diamond City Partnership, Friday released limited details of an online survey that asked respondents to assess the downtown.
While Newman wouldn’t give specifics, citing an unfinished analysis of the data, he did say he was pleased with what he has seen so far and that was good news for the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association.
“We’re thrilled with the results,” Newman told about 50 members of the association at a breakfast meeting at the Westmoreland Club. “We received thoughtful opinions and insights and we learned what it takes to bring people to the downtown — their likes and dislikes.”
Newman said the success of the downtown is like a four-legged chair — organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring. He said the downtown business group is the promotional leg that offers events and activities to draw people.
Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/1366375/Survey-good-news-for-Downtown-W-B
Northampton County Grant Will Buy Trolley For Downtown Easton
Easton officials hope to ease the city’s rising parking problems by introducing a trolley to the Downtown area purchased through a Northampton County grant.
Mayor Sal Panto Jr. said today that the city plans to buy a used trolley sometime this month and have it up and running through the Downtown area this summer. With the city’s new parking garage not due for completion until autumn, the city will rely on the trolley to connect distant parking lots to popular tourist spots, Panto said.
“We can’t invent parking, so I think it’s the next best idea,” Panto said.
County Executive John Brown said the $42,000 grant from the Northampton County Gaming and Economic Redevelopment Authority is part of the county’s outreach to regional partners. The county will also allow the city to use the Northampton County Courthouse’s parking lots for the Easton Farmers’ Market and other large events, he said.
Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2014/05/northampton_county_grant_will.html
Future On Hold For 30th Street Station
Even as grand plans proceed for development around 30th Street Station, the iconic station will remain wrapped in scaffolding and netting for lack of funds for repairs, a top Amtrak official said Friday.
A $60 million restoration project, to repair the 81-year-old station’s limestone, clean its facade, and waterproof the exterior, is included in Amtrak’s nationwide five-year plan for construction and repairs.
But Congress has not authorized the money, and there is no indication when – or if – it will, Amtrak’s chief of Northeast Corridor planning and performance, Drew Galloway, said Friday.
“We’re ever hopeful,” Galloway said, after addressing a gathering of commuter and transit advocates in Old City.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140503_Future_on_hold_for_30th_Street_Station.html#WIFShYEgF0asQjTu.99
Broke Shamokin, Pa., Seeks State Crutch That Few Cast Off
(Reuters) – Shamokin, Pennsylvania, tucked away in the coal country about 120 miles northwest of Philadelphia, has $800,000 of unpaid bills and can’t get a loan from a bank. It’s so broke, the gas service to city hall was temporarily cut off last month.
So the council for the city of 7,000 residents has agreed to seek entry to a state financial oversight program dating from 1987 that facilitates access to credit and permits the levying of certain taxes. Now, though, some lawmakers say the program is more like a trap than a benefit: municipalities get into it, and few get out.
Just seven of the 27 local governments to enter state oversight under the program, known as Act 47, have ever been released from it. As a result, legislators want to cap how long cities can stay under state oversight and, in the hardest cases, impose a municipal death penalty that amounts to disincorporation and a state takeover. The law was passed in a bid to help Pennsylvania cities battered by the decline of the American steel industry in the 1970s and ’80s.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Broke_Shamokin_Pa_seeks_state_crutch_that_few_cast_off.html#CTx13mYx3Q210qd0.99