Monthly Archives: April 2015
Stats Suggest Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Media Market Is Among Nation’s Most Racist
In the anonymous world of the Internet, people in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area and surrounding counties use the n-word in Google searches more often than most areas of the United States, according to statistics compiled by a top data scientist.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton media market — which includes Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania along with some counties in New York and New Jersey bordering the region — ranked 16th out of 196 nationwide for frequency of computer users searching the word, the data reveals.
Residents of the media market used the racial slur in online searches more than anywhere else in Pennsylvania except the Johnstown-Altoona media market, according to a study by a data scientist who gathered the information for a 2013 report about how racial animus affected the presidential elections of Barack Obama.
Apartment Tower With 164 Units Approved Near Drexel University
A new apartment tower is scheduled to rise at 32nd and Race streets near the campus of Drexel University after receiving approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment on Wednesday.
The project includes 164 apartment units in a 192-foot tower, along with 12 three-story townhomes serving as a buffer between the tower and the lower-density Powelton Village neighborhood. It will have underground parking space to serve the apartment tower and a small surface lot serving the townhomes. The apartment tower will also include a child-care center that will be open to the public, serving around 150 children and employing 20 adults (presumably).
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/Apartment_tower_with_164_units_approved_near_Drexel_University.html#hRXQ8FGr0ziz38a3.99
108th Bethlehem Bach Festival Bach Cantatas And Concerto
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem,
Bach Festival Orchestra
& Caroline Goulding
in her Bethlehem debut
|Lehigh Valley Arts Council
www.LVArtsCouncil.org ◊ www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council.
For more information, visit:
Second Annual Powwow In Memorial Park, Pottstown
More U.S. Steel Layoffs Coming, CEO Says
U.S. Steel Corp. expects to lay off more workers this year as the Downtown-based steel manufacturer accelerates cost-cutting to deal with a significant downturn in demand, CEO Mario Longhi said Wednesday.
The company has laid off 2,800 workers since the beginning of the year as it reduces steel production at all its plants in North America. It has issued notices to 9,000 of its workers warning them that they could be cut which gives the company flexibility to react to worsening conditions.
Longhi told analysts that the number of layoffs will go higher, but he didn’t provide specifics.
Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8253660-74/steel-company-longhi#ixzz3YipFlqKv
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Lancaster City Posts Walkability Study Online
Lancaster city has posted online the walkability study an urban planner prepared for the city as part of efforts to make the city more pedestrian-friendly.
You can read Jeff Speck’s 131-page analysis by following this link here.
LNP will be delving into the study, as well as getting reaction from city officials and other stakeholders as they get a chance to read it.
Mayor Rick Gray told city Council Tuesday night the city will “review policy recommendations contained in the report and implement those that are feasible, prudent and affordable.
Wilkes-Barre, Scranton Advance In The America’s Best Communities Competition
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Scranton and Wilkes-Barre have been announced as quarter-finalists in the America’s Best Communities competition.
Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel — the competition’s sponsors — today announced that the two cities are among the 50 quarter-finalist communities that now have six months to complete their revitalization plans and compete for up to an additional $3 million to bring their ideas to life.
America’s Best Communities (ABC) competition is a $10 million initiative to stimulate economic revitalization in small towns and cities. Each community will receive $50,000 to develop comprehensive strategies to accelerate the revival of their local economies and improve the quality of life in their communities.
“I’m proud to congratulate our neighbors in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre for advancing in the America’s Best Communities competition,” said Elena Kilpatrick, vice president and general manager of Frontier. “This is also a great opportunity for Northeast Pennsylvania as a region to benefit from everyone coming together to implement plans that will enhance the total Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area.”
Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/153200376/
Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre Embarks On 35th Theatrical Season
Allentown, PA —The Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre festival at Muhlenberg College announces the lineup for its 2015 summer season — the 35th in the festival’s history. The season will feature the raunchy but heartwarming musical “Avenue Q,” the classic matchmaker musical “Hello, Dolly!,” and “Grimm!” a new musical for young audiences, based on the stories of the Brothers Grimm.
Opening the summer season, “Avenue Q,” June 10-28, winner of the Tony Award “triple crown” (Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book), is a hilariously adult take on classic children’s characters.
The 10-time Tony Award winner “Hello, Dolly!” runs July 8-26. Jerry Herman’s classic musical takes a whirlwind tour of New York at the turn of the 20th century, following the adventures of America’s most beloved matchmaker, Dolly Levi.
The world premiere family musical “Grimm!” June 17 – July 25, is a playful, puppet-filled interpretation of the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, created by the neo-vaudeville theater group Doppelskope. “Grimm!” is recommended for ages 4 and up. New this year, MSMT will offer free 45-minute workshops for children, following every performance of “Grimm!” Participants can register in advance through the box office.
Tickets and information are available at muhlenberg.edu/SMT and 484-664-3333.
“Avenue Q” is a puppet-filled musical that follows a group of 20-somethings as they struggle to find their purpose in big-city life. Filled with gut-busting humor and an ingeniously catchy score, “Avenue Q” is a one-of-a-kind theatre experience. MSMT veterans Bill Mutimer and Ed Bara serve as director and musical director. Mutimer last directed “Schoolhouse Rock” for MSMT, and Bara recently starred in the Muhlenberg Mainstage production of Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene” and as King Arthur in last summer’s MSMT production of “Spamalot.” “Avenue Q” features full-frontal puppet nudity, songs about porn, and other risqué puppet hijinx, and is intended for mature audiences.
A ten-time Tony Award winner, “Hello, Dolly!” tells the story of self-professed “meddler” Dolly Levi, on a quest to make a match of her own, to Horace Vandergelder, the richest man in Yonkers. Audiences will leave the theatre humming the show’s irresistible score — and charmed by the ebullient personality of one of musical theater’s most fabulous characters. MSMT founding artistic director Charles Richter will direct the production. Michael Schnack serves as musical director, and Karen Dearborn choreographs.
Doppelskope’s new family musical “Grimm!” offers classic fairy tales like Rumpelstiltskin told as they’ve never been told before, and invites young audiences to join the Grimm Brothers in their quest to rescue their precious stories and make things right. In a world where the line between story and reality is as thin as a golden thread, the Grimms are on a mission to protect all stories from unraveling. Doppelskope’s interactive theatrical adventure combines puppetry, music and magic, and invites the audience to discover their own magical stories. Following each performance, audiences will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the performers and puppets.
A free 45-minute workshop follows each performance of “Grimm!” Participants will explore their own family stories in a series of energetic hands-on activities designed to get kids up on their feet, thinking, playing and expressing themselves. Participation is limited, and advance registration through the box office is recommended.
Sensory-friendly performances of “Grimm!” will be presented on Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 18 at 1 p.m. The July 18 performance will be followed by an interactive workshop. Sensory-friendly performances are designed for children with autism and other sensory challenges. At these performances, sound levels are reduced, and startling sounds are avoided; lights remain on at a low level during performance, and strobes and other flashy lights are omitted; patrons are free to talk or leave their seats during the show; and attendance is limited. Social stories will be available in advance from the MSMT website, and the theater staff and cast will receive special training in meeting the needs of patrons with autism and sensory issues.
Audio Description and Open Captioning will be available at the Sunday, July 26 performance of “Hello, Dolly!” Call 484-664-3087 for tickets in the accessible section of this performance.
“Avenue Q” runs June 10-28; “Hello, Dolly!” runs July 8-26. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Ticket prices for both “Avenue Q” and “Hello, Dolly!” are as follows. For the first four performances: $33 regular admission; seniors, $29; students and children, $18. For the remaining 11 performances: $39 regular admission; seniors, $36; students and children, $20.
“Grimm!” runs June 17 through July 25. Performances are Wednesday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m, and Saturday at 10 a.m. only. All tickets to “Gruff!” are $10 for June performances and $12 for July performances.
Subscriptions to “Avenue Q” and “Hello, Dolly!” are available for $52 for the first four shows, or $62 for the remaining 11 shows. Subscriptions for students and children are $32 for any shows throughout the runs. Group discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Sundays are Family Matinee Day; mainstage tickets for children ages 5-18 are just $10 when purchased with a full-price or senior ticket. (Limit two discounted tickets per full-price ticket.)
Tickets and information are available at www.muhlenberg.edu/SMT or 484-664-3333.
Business Leader Lynn Utter To Deliver 2015 MCCC Commencement Address
Blue Bell, Pa.—Dynamic business leader Lynn Utter will deliver Montgomery County Community College’s 2015 Commencement address on May 21 at 7 p.m. in Blue Bell.
Utter most recently served as president and chief operating officer of Knoll, Inc.—headquartered locally in Montgomery County, but recognized worldwide as a leading designer and manufacturer of branded furniture and textiles. Much like the company’s iconic designs transformed the way people furnish their homes and offices, Utter, and visionary leaders like her, are transforming the role workforce development plays in building vibrant communities.
“Education and industry are critical pieces of a community’s comprehensive workforce development strategy. Such a strategy builds multiple pathways with multiple access points: high school to college; college to transfer or employment; employment to retraining, and all of the many steps in between,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, MCCC President. “As illustrated by her outreach efforts at Knoll, Ms. Utter values an educated and engaged workforce that is part of the larger community.
Through Utter’s outreach, MCCC and Knoll partnered on several diverse initiatives. Both organizations were early partners with the PerkUp Workforce Consortium, a unique collaboration of business and industry leaders, government officials and educators working together to develop a 21st century workforce for the Upper Perkiomen Valley. In 2011, Utter gave the keynote address at MCCC’s Leading Women Symposium and Golf Experience, which supports women’s scholarships and programming through the College’s Foundation. And, in 2012, MCCC hosted an art exhibition featuring the architecture and design work of Florence Knoll Bassett.
“Thanks to Lynn Utter, Montgomery County Community College has an innovative partner in Knoll—a great connection and resource for our students right here in Montgomery County!”
Before coming to Knoll Inc. in 2008, Utter worked in a variety of operating and strategic positions at Coors and Frito-Lay, as well as with Strategic Planning Associates in Washington D.C. She is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and has held leadership roles with a number of organizations that support the advancement of women in the workplace.
Currently, Utter serves as a director for WESCO International and on the Internal Audit Committee for The University of Texas. She has also served on several non-profit boards, including Stanford Graduate School of Business, The University of Texas and the United Way.
Among her many accolades, Utter has received the 2015 Paradigm Award from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. She has been inducted into the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame and recognized as an Outstanding Young Texas Executive. In addition, she received the John Gardner Award for Service, as well as the Award of Merit from Stanford.
Utter earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Ms. Utter and her husband Ward reside in Devon, Pa., with their two children.
Crowdfunding: What It Means For The Arts
|In the increasingly competitive environment for arts funding, artists and emerging organizations are finding both access and success through crowdsourcing platforms.
As part of its Professional Development Series, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council is presenting a crowdfunding seminar, featuring the largest arts fiscal sponsor in the country, Fractured Atlas, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at Penn State Lehigh Valley from 5:30 to 8:00PM.
Fractured Atlas helps more than 3,500 artists and organizations in every discipline to find funding and other resources to support their creative projects. With fiscal sponsorship, one can solicit tax-deductible donations and apply for grants; the sponsored “project” might be a one-time collaboration or an independent artist or even an arts organization that does not have its own 501(c)(3) status.
“The popularity of crowdfunding is definitely on the rise,” says Randall Forte, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “We are pleased to offer the arts community this opportunity to learn first-hand how it works.”
Fractured Atlas Project Specialist Theresa Hubbard from the New York office will serve on a panel with local arts professionals who have used the program. Hubbard will explain the application process and the many of the ancillary benefits that the company provides, such as marketing and ticketing services.
The basic criteria for eligibility to attain a fiscal sponsorship are:
Refreshments will be provided. The fee is $30 for Lehigh Valley Arts Council members, $50 for nonmembers. Registration is required. To order tickets, visit LVArtsCouncil.org.
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, PA 18101
610-437-5915 / operations@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org / www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org
Bethlehem Businesses Being Recruited For Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone
Many Bethlehem businesses are being recruited to move to Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which at least one Bethlehem official finds distressing.
NIZ developers — chiefly City Center Lehigh Valley — have approached at least a half-dozen Bethlehem businesses in recent months, the merchants said. Lynn Collins Cunningham, the senior vice president for Bethlehem initiatives for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, said she’s disappointed by the recruitment effort — arguing it runs contrary to the stated goals of the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority.
“I remember ANIZDA Board Chairman Sy Traub saying that the purpose of the NIZ was to redevelop Allentown, not to hurt other communities. With the outreach to so many of Bethlehem’s downtown businesses, it doesn’t seem like that philosophy is being followed,” Cunningham said. “I have been and continue to be a big proponent of the NIZ, but not at the expense of Bethlehem.”
Three Pop-Up Beer Gardens This Year From PHS
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop-Up Garden has been annual warm-weather hit – what with the transformation of a vacant lot into an urban oasis, complete with beer and great food.
Why not do three of them this year?
PHS plans to set up in new spots in East Passyunk and Logan Square and to return to 1438 South St., starting the first week of June. The closing date for each beer garden is October 1.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/Three-pop-up-beer-gardens-from-PHS.html#eLQfqpkxFaEqp1Mz.99
Plum High School Teacher Hires Attorney Who Also Represents Jerry Sandusky
A Plum High School teacher has hired an attorney who also represents Jerry Sandusky.
Drew Zoldak, 40, of New Kensington, has hired Butler county defense attorney Alexander H. Lindsay Jr. to defend him against charges of witness intimidation.
Lindsay also represents Sandusky in the former Penn State assistant football coach’s post conviction relief act appeal of his conviction for molesting young boys.
Zoldak is accused of identifying a girl in his class as one who allegedly had sex with Joseph Ruggieri, 40, of Plum, an English teacher at the school charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and witness intimidation.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8254654-74/zoldak-attorney-plum#ixzz3Yd9jBB00
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Route 222 North Between Route 322 And Adamstown Now Open
Route 222 North has been reopened after closing for more than an hour between Route 322 and the Adamstown exit, state police said.
It was closed between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to allow police to further investigate Sunday’s police pursuit and shooting along the highway, they said.
Northbound motorists were detoured to Route 322 West and Route 272 North.
Charges have been filed against the man who led officers from multiple police departments on a high-speed pursuit, rammed a police car head-on and drove his SUV directly at officers on foot Sunday morning on Route 222.
Police Say Hazleton Man Fired Several Shots At A Victim
Bullets from a 9 mm handgun pierced the quiet in Conyngham and neighboring Sugarloaf Township early Monday morning, along with a home and another piece of property.
State police at Hazleton said numerous shots were fired from the weapon after an altercation involving Dominic M. Lamont, which began on Main Street in the parking lot of Cuz N’ Joe’s Place, 291 Main St., around 2 a.m. Police say Lamont chased down the victim in a vehicle, firing rounds at him on Banks Avenue after the victim fled the parking lot after the verbal exchange.
No injuries were reported and Lamont, 25, Star Mor Lane, Hazleton, was taken into custody by troopers.
When troopers interviewed Lamont after the incident, he continually stated that he “snapped out” and messed up his life by shooting at the victim, court papers state. He said he fired at least 15 rounds at Mickey B. Boswell, 29, Leland, North Carolina, troopers wrote.
Wilkes-Barre City, Township Police Join Forces With Smartphone App
Two local police departments have gone mobile.
The Wilkes-Barre and Wilkes-Barre Township police departments enrolled in a new smartphone application called MobilePatrol that allows users to receive police alerts on their phones and report suspicious activity, among other features.
Both departments announced their collaborative effort to utilize this application on Friday on Facebook, encouraging their followers “to assist (them) in this new progressive endeavor for community-wide information sharing.”
Law enforcement officials are able to set up an account to send alerts about recent police activity and share lists of wanted suspects, active warrants, missing children, registered sex offenders and current inmates in the local prison.
Philly in Bloom
MCCC Business Students Earn Awards At Phi Beta Lambda State Competition
Harrisburg, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) earned several awards during competitions at the PBL State Leadership Conference April 11-12 in Harrisburg.
Three MCCC students earned second place awards in the Business Decision Making competition. They are Abel Cruz, of Philadelphia, Wes (Carlo) Pipitone, Horsham, and Candice Yohe, Willow Grove.
During the PBL State Leadership Conference, MCCC’s students competed against chapters from across the state, including four-year institutions such as Drexel University, Penn State University and University of Pittsburgh. Along with the competitions, MCCC students participated in workshops and business events during the conference.
Phi Beta Lambda is a student-led, collegiate-level organization of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). For more information, visit http://www.fbla-pbl.org.
MCCC’s ‘Innovation Of The Year’ Tackles Issue Of Textbook Affordability
Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) 10th annual Innovation of the Year award was presented to Holly Parker, of Stowe, financial aid and enrollment generalist, for her work to develop a Student Success Textbook Lending Library at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown.
Seven projects were nominated for the 2015 honor, and all were evaluated against criteria established by the League for Innovation in the Community College—an international organization committed to improving community colleges through innovation. Award criteria include quality, efficiency, cost effectiveness, replication, creativity and timeliness.
Ultimately, a college-wide committee selected the Student Success Textbook Lending Library as the winner because it touches all six of MCCC’s strategic goals, especially as they relate to student access and success.
Launched in 2012 in response to the rising cost of textbooks, the initiative addresses a very real, very challenging problem faced by community college students.
“We started seeing more and more students, especially those who are out-of-county or who have student loans, struggle to pay for their textbooks. The idea was very grassroots—how can we help a handful of students?” explained Parker.
What began with a few textbooks donated by West Campus faculty has grown into a library of more than 75 titles.
“We partnered with Phi Theta Kappa [honor society] on a campaign to collect books from students. We also offered lunch vouchers in the cafeteria for students who donated their books once they were done with them,” said Parker.
Last year, thanks to an internal grant from MCCC’s Foundation, Parker was able to purchase high-demand textbooks for the library, thereby helping greater numbers of students.
“We’re still building the collection, especially since textbooks go out of date so quickly,” said Parker, who works with individual faculty to determine whether students can continue to use older editions of some textbooks and materials. “The initiative has really helped a lot of students who are financially pressed.”
To date, the Student Success Textbook Lending Library at MCCC’s West Campus has enabled more than 100 students complete their course requirements.
As recipient of MCCC’s award, the lending library initiative will be forwarded to the League for Innovation in the Community College for national recognition in a program that showcases innovation at America’s community colleges.
Other projects nominated the 2015 Innovation of the Year at MCCC included Academic Affairs Analytics; Winter Session Pilot; Sustainable Waste Solutions Partnership with the Culinary Arts Institute; Green Office Initiative; LED Light Bulb Replacement Initiative; and PHEAA Grant Database Automation. Collectively 34 members of MCCC’s faculty and staff worked on the nominated projects.