Pottsville Residents Complain About Demolition Waste In Alley

When residents complained Tuesday about more than a ton of concrete refuse, which a city contractor dumped at the far end of a Pottsville alley more than a year ago, officials promised action.

“A contractor dumped those there about a year and a half ago. There’s a wall here that borders my yard. And the weight of those, with the snow and the rain, is pushing that wall toward my yard,” Sue Rich, 422 Harrison St., Pottsville, said.

Mark Santai, 426 Harrison St., and Betty Guy, 432 Harrison St., also complained about the load of concrete dropped behind their properties.

“We already talked to that contractor and he said he was going to come out and move that stuff. We’ll contact him again and if he doesn’t get to it in a couple of days, we might have to issue a citation,” Justin D. Trefsger, the city’s code enforcement officer, said Monday.

On Tuesday, City Administrator Thomas A. Palamar identified that contractor as Penn Earthworks, Hazleton.

Read more:

http://republicanherald.com/news/pottsville-residents-complain-about-demolition-waste-in-alley-1.1888747

Philadelphia Wants To Buy Former Scott Plaza Site As Part Of Airport-Expansion Plan

Philadelphia wants to buy the 27-acre property known as International Plaza on Route 291 in Tinicum Township, Delaware County, as part of a long-range expansion of Philadelphia International Airport.

An ordinance was introduced in City Council on Thursday, paving the way for the city-owned airport to purchase the complex, which has two office buildings that were once the corporate headquarters of Scott Paper Co.

The former Scott Plaza site is owned by a joint venture of affiliates of New York-based private equity firm Angelo Gordon & Co. and Amerimar Enterprises Inc., a commercial real estate development and management company.

“We are in the loop on this,” said Gerald Marshall, president and CEO of New York-based Amerimar Enterprises. “Yes, we are willing to sell it.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150527_Phila__wants_to_buy_former_Scott_Plaza_site_as_part_of_airport-expansion_plan.html#U7MimCXQbI5WcApC.99

Potential Face-Lift In Store For Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square And Its Fountain

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Something’s shaping up on Public Square.
 
During Tuesday’s work session, Wilkes-Barre City Council will hear a resolution allowing city officials to enter into an agreement for the rehabilitation of Public Square, with the downtown hub’s long-defunct water fountain as one of the potential project’s main focuses.
 
Andrew LaFratte, municipal affairs manager, said the administration applied for a grant in December through the National Resource Network, an organization that provides assistance to cities facing economic challenges. The creation of the network was at the core of the Obama Administration’s “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” initiative, enacted in 2012 to spark development in ailing communities with help from the federal government.
 
To be considered eligible for assistance, cities must have over 40,000 residents and must meet one of three criteria, including a 2013 annual average unemployment rate of 9 percent or more, a population decline of 5 percent or more between 2000 and 2010, or a poverty rate of 20 percent or more.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/153665740/

Pittsburgh Has Dim View Of Ads On Sign Above Point

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The sign in question is to the right of the tall building and the incline. Looks like a cement wall next to the trees on the cliff. Actually a billboard.

Picture this scrolling hundreds of feet above the iconic confluence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers: “Chipped ham, $1.39 a pound.”

That’s the plot Mayor Bill Peduto says his administration has foiled as it negotiates a new permit with Lamar Advertising for the company’s famous 32-foot-tall, 225-foot-long neon sign on Mount Washington, which has loomed over the Point since around the time of the 1929 stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression.

Bayer, which for years had pushed for upgrades to the dilapidated sign that was covered with a banner during the G-20 summit in 2009 like an embarrassing piece of furniture, finally dropped its nearly 22-year lease of the sign last summer. Lamar pledged to overhaul it. During its lifespan, the sign has also been graced by the sponsorship of Iron City Beer and Alcoa, and displayed the time and the temperature.

Mr. Peduto said Friday that the company is threatening to cease the improvements over his administration’s insistence that the sign not be used for advertising purposes beyond displaying a company name. Mr. Peduto said he was told his stance “killed” a deal with Giant Eagle to become the new sponsor.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2015/05/23/Pittsburgh-has-dim-view-of-ads-on-sign-above-Point/stories/201505230071

Lancaster City Seeks Proposals For Bulova Building, Adjacent City Property

Lancaster city is formally seeking proposals for the vacant Bulova building and adjacent city-owned property in hopes of connecting a stagnant part of downtown.

The city intends to use eminent domain to take the Bulova building at North Queen and East Orange streets. That means the city would pay fair market value for the property and the building’s lien holders would then be paid.

The city issued requests for proposals on Friday.

Randy Patterson, the city’s economic development and neighborhood revitalization director, said the property is in a critical location downtown.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lancaster-city-seeks-proposals-for-bulova-building-adjacent-city-property/article_09f9f3de-00a7-11e5-84a4-17935f8a2998.html

Citizens Action Committee For Pottstown Schedules Another Public Meeting With Montco District Attorney’s Office

Another meeting with Assistant D.A.’s Kevin Steele and Jason Whalley is set up for June 1st, Pottstown Borough Hall, 100 E. High Street, 3rd floor at 7PM

THE LAST TURN OUT WAS FANTASTIC.  LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN AGAIN.

Hopefully we will have another great turnout with an active audience.

I would really like to focus in on additional things that the DA/PPD can be doing to help the residents with their efforts.

• A willingness to pursue property forfeiture (landlords renting to drug dealers and other criminals in Pottstown)

• A standardized form for recording and reporting suspicious/criminal activity if there are any other items that you are aware of or that any people that you have been speaking to think we should be pushing for, please comment or message us.

This is a form that we think could be a good choice for Pottstown. When details matter there needs to be a good reporting method for crime.

http://www.accesskansas.org/…/Is%20That%20House%20a%20Drug%…

Kennett Square Gets New, Refined Historic District

KENNETT SQUARE, PA – By a 4-3 vote, council Monday night adopted an ordinance that creates a new, expanded historic district, disbands the borough’s historic commission, and creates a unified Historic Architectural Review Board. The measure will affect every structure in the new and refined historic district.

“This is probably the toughest decision that we have made as a council,” said Leon Spencer, council president.

Councilors Geoff Bosley, Chip Plumley and Patrick Taylor dissented.

The ordinance is the result of a compromise from a previous proposed historic district ordinance that was more stringent and had two separate historic zones. That proposal was defeated last year.

Read more:

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20150521/kennett-square-gets-new-refined-historic-district

Officials Envision Reinvigorated Allegheny County Airport

The county airport authority wants West Mifflin’s Allegheny County Airport to be a destination — but not for commuter flights.

That sums up a meeting borough officials had Monday with new authority CEO Christina Cassotis that came 24 hours before a $1.5 million federal grant was announced for taxiway rehabilitation there.

“It was a positive meeting,” borough Manager Brian Kamauf said. “We discussed the history of the airport.”

It dates back to Pittsburgh and McKeesport’s window to the world between 1931 and 1952, when commercial service moved from West Mifflin to what then was Greater Pittsburgh Airport, now Pittsburgh International.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/8407018-74/airport-county-authority#ixzz3asqtZ8jy
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Columbia Hopes To Land Downsized State Call Center, With 129 Jobs

A year after tabling a plan for a call center here, the state Department of Human Services now says it wants to put a smaller version of the call center somewhere in Lancaster County.

And even though the proposed call center has been shrunk by more than half, Columbia Borough is in hot pursuit of the venture, which would create 129 jobs.

Its Borough Council voted this week to spend $835,000 to support the effort of developer Bill Roberts to put the call center in a fire station at 137 S. Front St.

“Every now and then, when a municipality embarks on an economic development project, they need to be willing to put some skin in game,” said Mayor Leo Lutz.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/columbia/news/columbia-hopes-to-land-downsized-state-call-center-with-jobs/article_cf7669f8-ffdf-11e4-ac60-370a1a706522.html

Pottstown Crime Affected By Shorthanded Department, Increase In Drug Trade

POTTSTOWN, PA – There is a fairly simple reason why violent crime in Pottstown seems to have been on the rise in 2014.

The police were short-handed.

“At the beginning of 2014, we were down by 15 officers,” said Pottstown Police Chief Richard Drumheller.

“As a result, we had to pull people off the drug detail and, not surprisingly, we saw an increase in the drug problem,” he said.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150308/pottstown-crime-affected-by-shorthanded-department-increase-in-drug-trade

George Secures Dem Nod For Wilkes-Barre Mayor

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Tony George won the Democratic nomination for mayor in Tuesday’s primary election.

The four-candidate Democratic primary included George, 63, former Wilkes-Barre police chief and current city councilman; George Brown, 64, who retired from a career in business management for international companies and is a current councilman; Darlene Duggins-Magdalinski, 46, a community activist who founded the advocacy group “United We Stand Divided We Fall;” and Brian Kelly, 67, who retired from IBM Corporation as a senior systems engineer and currently works as an information technology consultant.

George will face off against Frank Sorick, 42, Republican, realtor and president of the Wilkes-Barre City Taxpayers Association, in the Nov. 3 general election. Independent nominees/candidates could also still join the general election race.

Democratic Mayor Tom Leighton is not seeking a fourth term for the city’s top position, which currently pays $84,779 per year.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/george-secures-dem-nod-for-w-b-mayor-1.1884847

Wilkes University Student Wins Democratic Nod For Wilkes-Barre City Council

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Beth Gilbert, a 20-year-old Wilkes University student, easily won the Democratic nomination for City Council in District C, saying voters wanted youth and change in city government.

And change will come, as three of the five council members will be new come 2016, along with a new mayor and a new controller, according to unofficial results.

Gilbert, who will be a senior next year studying political science and international studies, said she felt it was her time to seek political office.

“I didn’t want to wait four more years to run,” Gilbert said Tuesday night. “I’m young and I think voters wanted younger people, new faces, to serve on City Council.”

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/153590457/

Kenney Stayed Confident As Williams Floundered And Flailed In Philadelphia Mayoral Race

Jim Kenney started 2015 eager to run for mayor but uneasy about leaving the at-large City Council seat he held for six terms.

Then the city’s political landscape shifted swiftly and sharply in his favor.

Kenney, who handily won the Democratic primary election Tuesday night, became a candidate at the end of January, due largely to factors over which he had no control.

First, City Council President Darrell Clarke – the first choice for most of the city’s labor unions – ruled out a run on Jan. 12. That labor support soon migrated to Kenney’s campaign.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/mayor/20150519_Kenney_stayed_confident_as_Williams_floundered_and_flailed.html#v1dgYBCSl5w4bb2K.99

Innovative Columbia Borough Digester Plan Gets $1.7M In State Funding

Columbia Borough’s plan to develop what’s believed to be the first biogas production site of its kind in Pennsylvania has gotten crucial state support.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority last week approved a $1.7 million funding package for the venture, which could cost up to $3.5 million.

The state package consists of a $1,449,952 loan and a $300,000 grant from the authority’s Alternative and Clean Energy program.

Columbia Borough intends to build an anaerobic digester at its wastewater treatment plant that would use food waste, delivered by truck from area food-processing plants and other sources.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/innovative-columbia-borough-digester-plan-gets-m-in-state-funding/article_c2be3eb2-fe26-11e4-a8aa-77ab18e7e403.html

Lancaster City Zoners Grant Variances For Lancaster General Hospital $60M Expansion

Lancaster General Health has received variances from city regulations that will enable its planned $60 million expansion of Lancaster General Hospital to move ahead.

With little discussion and no public opposition, the Lancaster Zoning Hearing Board on Monday approved variances to building height and setback requirements.

The county’s largest health care provider wants to expand the Stauffer building on the northeast corner of the hospital at Lime and Frederick streets to eight floors, putting in 66 private rooms.

Joseph Puskar, an LGH senior vice president, said the hospital is responding to changes in the health care industry.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lancaster-city-zoners-grant-variances-for-lancaster-general-hospital-m/article_3e74556c-fdb1-11e4-bf1e-8f1af7ea2f8c.html

Ross Belovich Running For Pottstown Borough Council, 4th Ward

Editor’s note:  We support Ross in his effort to gain a seat on Pottstown Borough Council. We have gotten to know Ross and feel he is a leader with a vision for Pottstown.  Here are a few words from the candidate:

Ross with Montco CommissionersWorking away at solving real problems with real practical answers. This is where experience and being involved matters. It takes time learn all the true hard facts beyond the gossip and analyze problems in order to come up with real implementable solutions. I have been working with local and county officials for some time now to try to start putting things in motion that will lead to a better tomorrow for Pottstown. I certainly hope you will allow me to take this to the next level for you by choosing me to be Pottstown’s 4th Ward Councilor. Primary Election day is Tuesday May 19th. I will see you at the Grace Lutheran Church 660 N Charlotte St, in Pottstown from 7am to 8pm!

https://www.facebook.com/electrossbelovich?fref=photo

Obama Set To Praise Camden Policing; ACLU Has Concerns

President Obama is expected to speak at 3 p.m. in Camden, where administration officials say he will praise the work of the Camden County Police Department in establishing better ties with the community.

Camden is a “good example of a community that’s putting innovative strategies in place to advance community policing,” Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said in a conference call with reporters Sunday.

Obama chose to visit Camden because of its emphasis on community policing to reduce crime, Muñoz said. She noted that Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson had testified at one of the task force’s hearings in February.

Camden also is participating in Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which the president launched last year to address persistent opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20150519_Obama_to_recommend_Camden_policing_as_national_model.html#262XoD8CAOx7O6Wy.99

Attorney General: Charges Filed Against Exeter Township (Luzerne County) Officials

Four Exeter Township officials are facing charges for inflated billing on a contract for an EMA building nearly a decade ago, state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced today.
 
Charged were supervisors John E. Coolbaugh, Richard E. Overman, James W. Douse, and current secretary and former supervisor Mary F. Martin.
 
According to Kane, the case was referred to her office by Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis due to lack of resources.
 
According to the criminal complaint, the township received a $50,400 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) towards the cost of erecting a pre-fabricated EMS building in 2006.

Read more:   http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/153521649/

Officials Hold Ribbon Cutting Ceremony In Norristown For 24 Townhouses At Arbor Mews

NORRISTOWN, PA – The ribbon-cutting ceremony was a casual affair at the 24-unit Arbor Mews townhouse project Thursday on DeKalb Street.

Nine of the 24 townhouses have been sold and two more are under deposit, said Sarah Peck, the president of Progressive Housing Ventures.

“We will have purchase settlements twice a week from mid-May to mid-June with the homeowners moving in shortly after that. Seven of the buyers are first-time homebuyers and four qualified for at least one grant to help with the townhouse purchase.”

Construction for the overall project is expected to be complete in late fall or early next year.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150514/officials-hold-ribbon-cutting-ceremony-in-norristown-for-24-townhouses-at-arbor-mews

Susquehanna-Roseland Power Line, A $1.4 Billion Project, Switched On

The long-anticipated Susquehanna-Roseland power line was fully energized this week for the first time.

The 150-mile-long, 500-kilovolt line links PPL Electric Utilities’s switchyard at its Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Salem Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, to Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.’s switching station in Roseland, Essex County, New Jersey.

It cost $1.4 billion and is designed to bolster electricity reliability for the power grid run by Pennsylvania-based PJM Interconnection that serves 61 million people in all or parts of 13 states plus the District of Columbia.

“It’s all about reliability,” PPL Electric Utilities spokesman Paul Wirth said. “It prevents overloads on other power lines and gives electricity another path to travel, especially during period periods when it’s extremely hot or extremely cold.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2015/05/susquehanna-roseland_power_lin_4.html