Panelists Share Financial Aid Strategies This Summer At MCCC

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Is your head filled with financial aid questions? Montgomery County Community College’s Financial Aid Office will host two workshops in July to help high school juniors and seniors and their parents understand the financial aid process. The workshops are free of charge and are open to the public.

Workshops will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9 in Advanced Technology Center room 101 at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and on Wednesday, July 16 in the South Hall Community Room at the West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

Both workshops will feature an expert panel discussion by representatives from a variety of local colleges and universities. Attendees will learn about the different types of financial aid available, how parents and students can meet the cost of attending college, how to interpret award letters, and much more. Workshops will include ample time for Q & A.

Register online at http://www.mc3.edu/adm-fin-aid/paying

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Food Fridays In Downtown Pottstown, June 27th

Smith Family Plaza – 100 E High Street, Pottstown

Come Downtown and “Eat Like A Local!” 

Join our downtown restaurants, Argento’s, Grumpy’s, Lily’s Grill & The Milkmen Lunch Co. for a taste of their fare, LIVE music by ‘Bees in a Bottle’ and your community for lunch outdoors THIS FRIDAY, June 27th, between 11:00 am – 2:00 pm (music between 11:30 am – 1:30 pm)

We promise nice weather and the perfect scenery to enjoy lunch, friends and neighbors!

p.s. The RESTAURANTS WILL ALSO BE OPEN if you want to visit them inside as well!

ADDITIONAL DATES PLANNED – July 18, August 15 & September 19th

We are looking for additional local bands – if you know someone and they can play any of the above

dates, please let Sheila Dugan know – 610-323-5400 / sheiladugan@comcast.net

Sponsored by Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority

Workers, Officials Mark Placement Of Last Steel Beam Atop Tower At PNC Plaza

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)

Downtown’s newest skyscraper has reached a milestone.

Scores of construction workers, with their hard hats on and cell phones recording the moment, watched from the ground today as the last steel beam for PNC Financial Services Group’s 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza was put into place.

The beam featured the signatures of many of the iron workers, carpenters and other tradesmen who have been working on the $400 million building, billed as the world’s greenest skyrise. Others signing the beam included officials with PNC, which intends to make the glass high-rise its new global headquarters.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/06/24/Workers-officials-mark-placement-of-last-steel-beam-atop-Tower-at-PNC-Plaza/stories/201406240197#ixzz35b8WsYv1

Former Principal Sentenced For Lewd Behavior At McCandless Gym

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

A former Pittsburgh Public Schools principal convicted of lewd behavior at a McCandless gym was sentenced this afternoon to time served plus six months electronic monitoring.

Alfonzo DeIuliis, 37, was also ordered by Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel to serve five years probation and register as a sex offender for 25 years.

DeIuliis was the principal at Pittsburgh Brookline K-8 when he was arrested for obscene behavior that occurred between February and August 2013 at the LA Fitness in McCandless.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/north/2014/06/24/Former-principal-sentenced-for-lewd-behavior-at-McCandless-gym/stories/201406240199#ixzz35b6o1mA1

Tax Increase Set For State College Area School District Residents

Counties constituting the Happy Valley Region ...

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

 — Taxpayers in the State College Area School District will see a 1.95 percent tax increase after the district school board adopted its final general fund budget Monday.

Board members unanimously approved, with no discussion, a real estate tax increase from 38.75 mills to 39.5056 mills, with each mill representing $3.95 per $100 of assessed value.

Under the budget of $126,791,664 for the fiscal year starting July 1 and ending June 30, 2015, the median district homeowner will pay an additional $54, according to the district.

The district projects that the tax increase will add $1.56 million in revenue, while assessed value growth will provide another $1.2 million.

Coming This Week: A Special Report On Columbia’s Public Schools

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Editor’s note:  I hope folks from the Pottstown School District follow this story.  It’s a smaller version of Pottstown with many of the same issues!

Columbia’s public schools will reopen in late August, reverberating again with the clamor of children.

But overshadowing the back-to-school routine will be difficult questions.

Columbia is a tiny, high-poverty school district struggling to prepare kids for our fast-changing, technology-driven world.

The single-municipality district has the weakest tax base in Lancaster County and the second-highest proportion of needy children. Its taxes are the county’s highest and salaries the lowest. It has too many dropouts. Test scores are abysmal.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/coming-this-week-a-special-report-on-columbia-s-public/article_a2e62f5a-faf3-11e3-83c4-001a4bcf6878.html

3 Youth Artists Will Win $500 In Art Supplies!

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Snikiddy is proud to be supporting Youth Art!

Submitted art will be displayed in grocery stores around the country for two months. Three lucky entrants will also win $500 worth of art supplies.

Submit your child’s original signed artwork to:

Snikiddy, LLC
8603 Long Acre Ct
Bethesda, MD 20817

All artwork must be 9″ x 9″ and submitted with a signed release form. Download the form here and get more information about Snikiddy’s Youth Art Project!

Submissions are due July 31st; winners will be announced October 15th.

Snikiddy * 2505 Walnut St. Suite 100 * Boulder CO 80302 * http://www.snikiddy.com

Dietz & Watson To Build $50M Complex In Tacony

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

Cold-cuts maker Dietz & Watson will build a $50 million, 200,000 square-foot trucking and distribution center on a large tract between the company’s Tacony Street headquarters and the old Frankford Arsenal on the Delaware River, Gov. Corbett and Mayor Nutter confirmed this morning.

The deal was first reported from industry and city sources June 18 in The Inquirer.

The center will employ 110 who will pack and ship Dietz & Watson and Black Bear-brand meats and cheeses. Another 50 or more jobs will be created as the facility expands, Corbett said in a statement.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140625_Dietz___Watson_to_build__50M_complex_in_Tacony.html#pcbr39xshytokp7S.99

Philly Orchard Project Raise Money For A Greener, Healthier City

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

Growing up in Philadelphia, if my family wanted to visit a farm or an orchard to pick our own fruits and vegetables, we had to get in the car for a long ride. In more recent years, however, there has been a push to provide more green spaces and more community gardens and orchards that would help provide healthier food options to urban neighborhoods, especially those where food scarcity is a serious issue. Since 2007, the Philadelphia Orchard Project (POP) has been working with community-based groups and volunteers to plan and plant orchards in the city.

On Saturday, June 28 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Friends of Philadelphia Orchard Project and Sedgley Woods are holding a fundraiser to support the work POP has been doing. At this family-friendly event, you are invited to come learn how to putt, and drive discs from golfers of Sedgley Woods in East Fairmount Park. Tickets start at $15 and include a free POP pint glass. Children under the age of 12 are free.

The money raised will allow POP to continue its work planting orchards in vacant lots, community gardens, schoolyards as well as other urban locations. So far they have supported 46 orchards and have planted 36 orchards and 697 trees. Their bounty has included apples, asian pears, cherries, figs, peaches, pears, plums, berries, grapes and kiwi.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/things_to_do/Friends-of-Philadelphia-Orchard-Project-raise-money-for-a-greener-healthier-city.html#YSTwwDPt0Kf8c3XE.99

Three Birdsboro Residents Arrested In Drug Ring Investigation

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

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

HARRISBURG, PA — A joint investigation between state and local officials uncovered a large-scale drug ring that spanned three counties.

The results of the year-long “Operation Tourniquet” lead to the arrests of “48 mid- and street-level drug dealers,” a press release from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office said.

The dealers, the release said, “were part of two organizations, who were loosely tied and responsible for distributing drugs throughout at least three counties including Berks, Lancaster, and Schuylkill.”

Three Birdsboro residents where among the alleged “street-level” dealers who were arrested.

Read more: http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20140624/three-birdsboro-residents-arrested-in-drug-ring-investigation

Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination

Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination.  Great promotional video from VisitPittsburgh.

Hoover Financial Advisors’ Philip Gagliardi Earns Prestigious Destination

Philip A. Gagliardi

Philip A. Gagliardi

Malvern, PA – Philip A. Gagliardi, a planner with Hoover Financial Advisors HFA), recently became one of only 350 individuals in the U.S. to earn the Certified Portfolio Manager® designation. This prestigious program is presented by the Academy of Certified Portfolio Managers and was completed at Columbia University in New York.

The designation, which was created five years ago, is the first of its kind for portfolio managers. To qualify, Gagliardi successfully fulfilled course studies in advanced concepts of Fundamental Analysis, Option Valuation, Foreign Currency Exchange, Credit Default Swap Strategy and Valuation Analytics. He and other designees explored cutting-edge issues in finance and investing with internationally recognized Columbia professors. The program was developed to meet a missing need among money managers enabling them to achieve the highest level of expertise in all facets in an ever-changing global economy.

Gagliardi joined HFA in 2011. Prior to that, he was a trust officer with Charles Schwab Bank in Wilmington, Delaware. Before that he held a similar position with Wachovia Bank in Wilmington. He holds a master’s degree in taxation and financial planning from Widener University, Chester. His Bachelor of Science degree from Cabrini College is in accounting.

“I am now better able to enhance portfolio models for our clients,” says Gagliardi. “The CPM program expanded my practical and pragmatic skills through in-depth theory and insight.” “We are very proud of Phil,” adds Peter K. Hoover, CFP, founder of HFA. “Achieving such a high-level designation is an excellent asset to the firm. Phil’s dedication to serving our clients is evident and testament to his commitment to the industry, as well.”

HFA, which is headquartered on Moores Road in Malvern, was launched in 2005 by Hoover, who has been an independent financial advisor for more than 30 years.  Since its inception, HFA has more than tripled in size. Employees include client relationship managers, financial planners, insurance and tax specialists, investment analyst and an information services manager.  HFA selected as 2012 Small Business of the Year by Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. For more information, visit its website at http://www.petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777.

Transportation Plan Calls For $4.7 Billion For Southwestern Pennsylvania

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A draft plan for improvements to the region’s transportation system envisions $4.7 billion in spending in the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania in the next four years, a 52 percent increase from the current four-year plan.

The plan for fiscal years 2015 through 2018 signals a reversal of years of diminished spending on infrastructure and public transit, bolstered by the funding bill that the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett enacted last fall. The draft Transportation Improvement Plan was released last week by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, a regional planning agency.

“From my perspective, we were able to add significant projects that were simply unaffordable in the last TIP update,” said Dan Cessna, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s district executive for Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties.

Among them is a $79 million rehabilitation of the Liberty Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh, which at present is weight-restricted and rated structurally deficient, meaning its components are deteriorated but not yet unsafe. Numerous smaller bridge and paving projects were added as well, he said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/frontpage/2014/06/23/Plan-calls-for-boost-for-southwestern-Pa-transportation/stories/201406230085#ixzz35UedvrMx

Report: Lancaster Metro Economy Rates 100th In Size In U.S.

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Lancaster County boasts the 100th largest economy among the 363 metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S., according to a report released in conjunction with the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting.

The economy here produced $21.6 billion in 2013, according to the report (PDF), prepared by the economic analysis firm IHS.

The mayors are using the report to call attention to the outsized role of metro areas in the U.S. economy. Metro areas account for 90 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and are expected to generate 92 percent of overall U.S. economic growth through 2020, the report said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/report-lancaster-metro-economy-rates-th-in-size-in-u/article_cfba5fbc-fb0a-11e3-a5ce-001a4bcf6878.html

Going It Alone: America’s Top 15 Hubs For Solo Entrepreneurs

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  A big congrats to Allentown, Pennsylvania’s third largest city and metropolitan area, for being the only Pennsylvania city on the list.  Big things are going on in the Lehigh Valley, making us Pennsylvania Proud :).

Solopreneurs (a mash-up of the words “solo” and “entrepreneurs”) may freelance, consult, coach, offer services or sell products. The defining characteristic is that whatever they do, they do it without the help of a single employee. And that means they do everything, from product design to marketing to customer service, whether it’s fun or not.

$1 Trillion in Revenue
No matter what they make, sell or do, solopreneurs are becoming more common. In 2012, the latest year for which data is available, the U.S. economy had a total of 22.7 million solo businesses, a gain of almost 245,000 from 2011. Those businesses had total revenue of $1 trillion (yep, trillion) in 2012, up from $41.3 billion in 2011.

These statistics made us wonder. Where is solopreneurship especially popular? Where is it boosting the local economy? Where are solopreneurs reaping the most financial rewards?

See the list and read more: http://blog.sparefoot.com/6384-top-places-for-solo-entrepreneurs/

Greater Norristown PAL To Hold First Job Fair June 24

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

NORRISTOWN, PA — It’s not every job fair organizer that offers to hook up applicants with a necktie if he needs one, but Ken Fennal is passionate about making Greater Norristown PAL’s first open job fair a success for all concerned.

And that extends to making sure every male applicant who shows up is dressed to impress.

“If someone needs a tie they should contact me and I’ll provide them with a tie myself,” said Fennal, PAL’s program director. “Men should at least wear a tie, if not a suit or sport jacket. First impressions can make the difference in getting a second interview or being hired on the spot, versus another candidate who may have the same level of skills but may not be dressed appropriately. We know the difference in going to an interview dressed well or wearing something casual, but a young person may not know that. We want to emphasize that they should be prepared properly when they come in the door, so I think not only is it appropriate to have a dress code, social standards dictate that you should be dressed a certain way for certain professions.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140623/greater-norristown-pal-to-hold-first-job-fair-june-24

Sanatoga K-Mart Store Signs Announce Its Closing

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

SANATOGA PA – The K-Mart discount department store at 2200 E. High St., which occupies the largest retail building in Sanatoga village and has operated there continuously for decades, will close its doors Aug. 31 (2014), a store management employee confirmed Saturday (June 21).

Read more: http://sanatogapost.com/2014/06/22/sanatoga-k-mart-store-signs-announce-closing/

23rd Annual Pottstown Rumble: A Glorious Weekend For Pottstown

I say kudos to the Pottstown Rumble organizers for another successful tournament.  For a large event that draws several thousand volleyball players from across the United States and probably several thousand spectators, it runs like a well oiled machine.  The Rumble is one of the biggest events that is hosted in the borough and probably the most well run.  I think it draws a great group of people.  A very well-behaved group from what I have observed over the years and today was no different.

I think the cooperation between the borough and the event organizers was apparent.  From the PART trolley shuttling people between venues, the folks at Parks and Recreation and the powers that be in borough hall, it seemed as though everyone was on the same page.  I even noticed Pottstown Police Officers walking around.

This event has put Pottstown on the sports world map and is a favorite venue among players.  Memorial Park looked great.  The music was a nice mix and had high energy.  The sun was shining.  Vendors had lines of people waiting to buy food.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.

The Rumble showcases the best things about Pottstown.  One vendor said to me they wished there were several more big events during the year like this one. It’s a nice infusion of cash into the local economy. That’s always a positive thing.

So hats off to another great Pottstown Rumble!  Feeling Pottstown Proud.

Get Ready To Whine About The Weather — Again

Summertime, and the livin’‍ is … steamy?

Welcome to Summer 2014 as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and its rival publication, the Farmers’‍ Almanac, forecast it.

Summer, which officially began at 6:51 a.m. today will be scorching hot and unbearably humid with thunderstorms soaking here and throughout the entire eastern section of the United States, the publications predict.

Wait. You don’t like that? Then perhaps you’‍d prefer the National Weather Service’s more temperate long-range prediction. Its forecast says the Pittsburgh region likely will have a typical summer for temperature and precipitation.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/06/21/Get-ready-to-whine-about-the-weather-again/stories/201406170159#ixzz35I0aT5Er