“Unofficially Summer” Weather To Bake Lancaster County All Week

It’s a good thing swimming pools around Lancaster County have just opened because the week ahead will be unseasonably warm and muggy.

And that’s not good news for area farmers, where a deficit in precipitation around the county is making it hard for newly planted crops to shoot upward.

Nor for the county’s firefighters, who continue to be called out to brush fires.

“Unofficially summer,” is what Eric Horst is calling the unusually hot spell.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/unofficially-summer-weather-to-bake-lancaster-county-all-week/article_469a42aa-03b6-11e5-a09d-0303b8c296f3.html

News From The Althouse Arboretum‏

In the News

The entrance to our parking lot is done! Soon (with the help of our volunteers!) the handicapped gardens will be in place. The shed is almost finished so we’ll be able to move all the gardening tools out of the house. Plants are blooming, some we identify and add pictures of on our facebook page. Come visit!

Gardening Series

A lecture series presented by Master Gardeners and other experts in their field. Please preregister here Starts Tuesday, May 26, 7pm Donation $5 First in our series is Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Composting. Do you need a bin? If so what size? What do you put in it? How do you use it? All questions answered! Also a limited supply of native plants will be available for purchase.

Volunteer Weekend

May 30th & 31st, 2015, The last Saturday and Sunday of each month, Come any time in between 10am & 3pm We’ll be doing a little of everything! Planting, weeding, moving, choose your favorite activity, meet your neighbors and have fun! Families welcomed! No experience necessary! No preregistration required!

Summer Camps 2015

Children grades K through 4th June 22-26, 9am to 12pmNature Explorers Learn about nature by exploring it! Campers become detectives looking for clues to reveal each day’s nature mystery and wonder. July 13-17, 9am to 12pmWildlife Week Looking closely you can find wildlife everywhere in our nature center! Campers will see, collect and identify familiar and quite strange creatures in our woods, fields and ponds. (8am arrival available) Click on the picture for more info and registration.

Recycling Day – Scrap Metal and Tires

Saturday, June 27th, 9 am to 1 pm Support the Arboretum and clean out the garage at the same time! No fee, all donations appreciated. (Please drop off only during recycling hours)  

Upscale Eateries Give Struggling Malls A Lift

After perusing a few boutique stores and getting her hair done at Rizzieri Salon & Spa at Moorestown Mall, Jamie McCulloh-Martin decided to go for dinner at Osteria a few doors down.

“I’ve been here more in the last 1½ years since [Osteria] opened than in all of my 22 years living in Moorestown,” said McCulloh-Martin, 50, owner of a physical therapy chain, who ate outdoors with her administrative director, Kelly Casio. “The mall is really changing, and for the better.”

In the new mall world order, you can taste Jose Garces’ tacos at Moorestown Mall, Bobby Flay’s burgers at Cherry Hill Mall, and filet mignon at Morton’s – the Steakhouse at King of Prussia Mall.

The mall and high-end restaurants have struck up a marriage that’s holding on to shoppers longer and generating a better return for powerhouse owners such as Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) and Simon Property Group.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150524_Upscale_eateries_give_struggling_malls_a_lift.html#61pW5raHst0VyXYE.99

10 Reasons To Visit Downtown York This Summer

If you love bacon, beer and the beach, then a trip to York City might be worth your while this summer.

Downtown York might not be the island vacation you’ve been dreaming about, but you will be able to feel the sand between your toes during at least one York event this summer.

We spoke with Downtown Inc. marketing director Meagan Feeser and some downtown businesses about some of the events, attractions and activities coming to the city in the next few months.

See all ten reasons by clicking here:

http://www.flipsidepa.com/region-yorkhanover/ci_28145589/10-reasons-visit-downtown-york-this-summer?source=most_viewed

In The Lead: Carnegie / The Comeback Continues

Hans and Virginia Gruenert wanted to start a theater company when they lived in New York City. That’s where you’d do something like that.

But Off the Wall Theater Co. was destined to be born in Western Pennsylvania when Mr. Gruenert’s work brought the couple here in 2007. And after five years in Washington, Pa., they found a better fit in Carnegie.

Their decision happened to mesh with the borough’s trajectory of late.

The economic doldrums that gripped the region for years didn’t miss Carnegie. Then in 2004, when Chartiers Creek overran the business district as a remnant of Hurricane Ivan, dozens of businesses were damaged and many did not return.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/in-the-lead-2015/reports/2015/05/14/In-The-Lead-Carnegie-The-comeback-continues

Conshohocken AMBUCS’ Ninth Annual Restaurant Rally Set For May 17

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA – According to one French proverb, “A good meal ought to begin with hunger.”

Conshohocken Restaurant Rally organizer Vince Flocco isn’t about to try one-upping the French when it comes to matters of cuisine. But Flocco would add this for food-lovers who plan to participate in Conshohocken AMBUCS’ ninth annual Restaurant Rally Sunday, May 17 from noon to 4:30 p.m.:

“You really have to pace yourself. You’re not getting a full meal at these restaurants, but when you have 20 or so offering a very generous taste, it’s a substantial amount of food by the time the day ends. People can always use the shuttle buses (provided as part of the Rally) to get from restaurant to restaurant. But, maybe, it’s best to just walk it off.”

Walk or ride, no one leaves hungry. Restaurant Rally tickets are $60, and you’d be hard-pressed to find more bang for your buck.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/lifestyle/20150512/conshohocken-ambucs-ninth-annual-restaurant-rally-set-for-may-17

Braddock’s Backers See Lots Of Potential In Community’s Future

When talking about Braddock, Molly Rice and Jeffrey Carpenter avoid the word “revitalization.”

The term, they say, implies what already exists in the community isn’t vital, and, therefore, doesn’t apply to the historic town.

“Braddock isn’t what you might think it is. There are so many elements and varieties of colors and layers and things to see,” says Rice, a playwright who’s working with Carpenter’s Bricolage Production Company and Real/Time Interventions to bring her “Saints Tour” immersive theater experience to Braddock in May and June.

The show is one of many efforts to draw outsiders in while the community continues to move forward from its unstable past.

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/moreaande/8147634-74/braddock-sousa-theater#ixzz3ZrLDNYdB
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Pollinating Problem: Disappearing Bees Could Have Devastating Effects

Jeff Koch, a biology teacher at Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences, starting keeping bees two years ago as a hobby because he is very interested in farming.

At the time, he never considered that his activity might be impacting a worldwide problem, as well as one local gardeners are also reporting — the disappearance of bees.

“Bees pollinate 80 percent of our crops,” Koch said, adding that some crops, like almonds, are pollinated only by them.

Koch’s own experience with bees illustrates one of the problems believed to be affecting the pollinators: colony collapse disorder.

Read more:

http://standardspeaker.com/news/pollinating-problem-disappearing-bees-could-have-devastating-effects-1.1879442

Olde York Street Fair Packs Downtown York City

Benefitting non-profits and showcasing local artists was the fair’s original goal 40 years ago and remains so today.

The 40th Olde York Street Fair sprawled over several blocks Sunday afternoon, stretching between Pine and Pershing streets east and west and King and Philadelphia streets north and south.

Pop-up stands lined the streets and they clustered around Continental Square.

Some vendors sold the typical wares: food, clothes and jewelry. But others sold unique crafts and represented local businesses

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_28089011/olde-york-street-fair-packs-downtown-york-city

Lancaster Businesses Find CRIZ Paperwork Cumbersome, Time-Consuming

Downtown business people say they support Lancaster’s City Revitalization & Improvement Zone, or CRIZ.

But boy, they sure wish the paperwork were less of a hassle.

“The process is very painful,” said David Leaman, senior manager of finance for the Isaac’s restaurant chain, which has its headquarters and one of its restaurants in the CRIZ.

Moirajeanne FitzGerald, who owns Here to Timbuktu on North Prince Street, says, “The CRIZ paperwork is cumbersome. The directions are difficult to understand.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/city-businesses-find-criz-paperwork-cumbersome-time-consuming/article_f9428c5e-f5cf-11e4-a572-83e1416c6222.html

Progress 2015: Wilkes-Barre, Pittston Lead Charge In Revamping Downtown Ecomomic Atmosphere

Shopping outside from store to store has almost become a thing of the past in some areas. But don’t tell that to downtowns in the Wyoming Valley, especially Wilkes-Barre and Pittston.

Downtown shopping in both communities is thriving thanks to the advancements each city has made over the past several years. Couple that with the excitement and enthusiasm of business owners and residents and youv’e got a recipe for success. The success in downtown Wilkes-Barre starts with Public Square.

Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association President John Mayday, who is a resident of South Wilkes-Barre and does all of his shopping in the downtown area, said the excitement and enthusiasm is something he hasn’t seen before. And it can only get better, he said.

“New businesses are constantly moving in,” he said. “Our mission is to create the opportunities for our customers and residents to come downtown. They’re been absolutely well-received by the public.”

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/business-home_top-local-news/152539268/Downtowns-looking-up

Costco, Whole Foods Shopping Center Groundbreaking Set For This Week In Lower Macungie Township

A Whole Foods executive is slated to join Hamilton Crossings developers and local officials this week for the shopping center’s groundbreaking ceremony.

Whole Foods Market Executive Coordinator David Pinkney will be on hand for the Thursday afternoon event to be held at the future site of his company’s first Lehigh Valley store, developers announced Monday.

Representatives from The Goldenberg Group, of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, and TCH Development, of Staten Island, New York; state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie; a representative from state Sen. Pat Browne’s office; Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller; Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners President Ryan Conrad and Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. President Don Cunningham are expected to attend the 2 p.m. ceremony, as well. It will be held at 4972 Medical Center Circle near the Wescosville Recreation Center.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/lehigh-county/index.ssf/2015/05/costco_whole_foods_shopping_ce_5.html

A MATCH MADE IN…….POTTSTOWN!

#1In the fall of 2008 Ron Garza, chef-proprietor of Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine on High Street in Pottstown, was scouting locations to realize his dream of opening a fine dining restaurant.  Classical guitarist Russell Ferrara was, at that time, in the eighth year of disability from his lifelong music career. He was taking baby steps, post spinal surgery, to reactivate his performance activities.  He had just accepted an invitation join the music faculty of the soon to be opened Steel River Playhouse.

In early 2009 Ferrara began to notice construction activity at the northwest corner of High and Penn Streets just three doors down from Steel River Playhouse.  Spring brought signage which indicated that the storefront was becoming a Mexican restaurant. When work was nearly complete he walked in unannounced and began playing amidst the construction. Garza hired him on the spot and the two have remained close since.  Ferrara returned to Juan Carlos on Friday nights a few weeks ago after an eight-month absence during which he was on the road with his group Lackawanna Sky featuring Native American Flute player David Rose. Lackawanna Sky broke out at the April 2014 Launch Festival in Lancaster, PA where they were signed by Spirit Wind Records.  They subsequently toured in Georgia and Wisconsin, returning to PA to perform at the Kipona and Spirit of Oneness festivals in Harrisburg and in a continuing series of weekend performances in the Central Market of Lancaster. They are finishing up their first album and will return to Georgia in June.  Surprisingly, Ferrara credits much of this success to his tenure at Juan Carlos.

“I was introduced to the Native American flute at Juan Carlos,” Ferrara states. “On a quiet night I noticed a woman had lingered long past dessert. She approached me asking if I could wait ten minutes until she returned. She returned with a case full of flutes, chose one, announced the key and off we went!”  Within three weeks, the duo had made a demo and been accepted to perform at the 2010 International Native American Flute Association festival.”  That partnership did not work out long term but the recordings circulated and came to the attention of David Rose of Elizabethtown. Ferrara again: “David contacted me in June of 2013 as I was leaving for a tour with Candace Keach, Principal Flute of the Macon Symphony. Not long after I returned David and I gave our first ever performance at Juan Carlos.”

For his part, Garza was busy during Ferrara’s absence as well. Juan Carlos was nominated in two categories of the WPHL 17 ‘Hot List’ competition.  Garza brought home a win in the “Best Mexican” category as well as a second place in the “Best BYOB” category.  In addition, Garza collaborated with Steve Armstrong of Armstrong Ales in East Pikeland to create the first ever Mexican-style lager brewed in Pennsylvania.  Garza credits Ferrara with lending a hand in the first year the restaurant was open. “I guess we were a little green when we first opened.” Garza stated. “Russ introduced me to Anthony Bellapigna of sister restaurants Ariano and Fellini’s in Media, PA.  We met with him on a night that Russ was playing at Ariano.  Anthony helped me to streamline the menu.  He sent one of his best managers to Juan Carlos and made lots of great suggestions. Russ has been with me since the beginning.”

The two often talk about their goals and display a genuine regard for each other’s artistry. “I’m a foody,” Ferrara states. “My father owned restaurants and cooking is my hobby. I immediately noticed the passion and creativity that Ron displays in the kitchen.” Garza’s response to that was simply, “Yes, Russ and I are the same in that way.”

Juan Carlos, 235 E High St. Pottstown is open 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. Catering is available anytime in the Wine Cellar.  Ferrara holds forth every Friday night.

From Beers To Burritos, Cinco De Mayo A Big Boost For Restaurant Owners In York County

Cinco de Mayo may be a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. But for restaurants in York County, the holiday is a big boost to the bottom line.

El Serrano’s two locations in Springettsbury Township and Lancaster, for example, are expected to do three to four times the business they do on a typical Tuesday, said Melanie Torres, who manages the Lancaster location.

Read about Cinco de Mayo celebrations in our area.

Mexitaly, a Springettsbury Township eatery whose menu features Mexican food, pizza and craft beer made on the premises, is bringing in extra help for Cinco de Mayo and ordering 20 percent more food ingredients than usual, owner Greg Skirboll said.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_28047513/from-beers-burritos-cinco-de-mayo-big-boost

Event Packed Weekend In Pottstown

Every now and then there are those weekends that are jam-packed with activities.  This warm and sunny weekend was just such a time.  If you live in the TriCounty Area here’s what went on.

Saturday and Sunday in Memorial Park a Native American Powwow took place.  There was music, dancing, food etc…  Nice write up in the Mercury about it with pictures:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150502/pottstown-jam-packed-with-saturday-full-of-fun

Saturday night was the first Nostalgia Night of the season on High Street, downtown Pottsown.  The first Saturday of May, June, July, August and September you can find hundreds of classic cars downtown along with music and food.  To learn more about Nostagia Nights, click here:

http://www.pottstownclassics.com/

This weekend was the opening weekend for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” at the Steel River Playhouse in downtown Pottstown.  The show continues next weekend.  Click here for details and to buy tickets: http://www.steelriver.org/current-season/4438-2/

Today, Sly Fox Brewing Company held their annual Bock Fest and Goat Races in Pottstown at the site of their brewery on the Circle of Progress.  Thousands of people attended.  The event featured live music, food, beer and goat races.  Here are some pictures from this afternoon:

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