Results Released On Wilkes-Barre Downtown Survey

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — Thursday seemed like the best possible day to release a report on a downtown survey.
 
Public Square was filled with people attending the weekly farmers’ market and Mother Nature cooperated by offering a spectacular day of sunshine.
 
Patty Kopec and her daughter, Frankie, were enjoying some of the food and sunshine. Even with no entertainment on the band shell stage, the Kopecs raved about the city and the downtown and said they wished more events were planned for Public Square.
 
“It needs this kind of stuff,” Patty Kopec said. “It needs more events that appeal to families.”

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50098707/Results-released-on-downtown-survey%23.U-P3K8JH2i4#.U-T5m_RDsxI

Obama & Biden In Scranton: Five Takeaways From The Presidential Visit

President Barack Obama and Vice President Jose...

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SCRANTON, PA — It was a climactic and emotional end to President Barack Obama’s two-day bus tour of college campuses in New York and Pennsylvania.  Mostly, because it was he first featuring Vice President Joe Biden, whose participation in the tour was curtailed when his son Beau fell ill early in the week.

With Biden’s hometown as the backdrop, Obama’s visit to Scranton’s Lackawanna College had all the makings of rich political theater, even as the president largely recited the same college affordability speech from his three earlier stops.

Here’s five takeaways from Obama’s Scranton visit:

Read more: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/08/obama_biden_in_scranton_five_t.html#incart_m-rpt-2

Faculty At State-Owned Universities, Including Millersville, In Line For Pay Raises

Get ready. The cost of a college education in Pennsylvania might be on the way up.

After 18 months of negotiations that included the threat of the system’s first-ever strike, unionized faculty at the 14 state-owned universities are hoping that on Wednesday the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education board ratifies its four-year contract proposal.

The most controversial element of the contract has been the need to raise salaries without causing significant tuition hikes, said state system spokesman Kenn Marshall.

Related: List of salaries at Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities for 2013

The deal calls for salary increases of 11.5 percent for senior faculty and 19 percent for junior faculty over the four years of the contract, with junior faculty members getting the higher increases. Faculty members now receive salaries ranging between $44,795 and $107,870 a year.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/827693_Faculty-at-state-owned-universities–including-Millersville–in-line-for-pay-raises.html#ixzz2O1Bmm4zt

Nonprofits Give More Money, Manpower To Reading

Editor’s note:  Sometimes you just have to ask!

From a $10,000 gift to Reading police to clearing a trash-clogged storm drain, the city’s three-month effort to get more local nonprofit groups to voluntarily pay either cash or services in lieu of taxes is paying off.

The city has received $27,000 in new payments it didn’t get last year from more than a dozen churches and several other groups.

It’s also gotten more than 9,000 new volunteer work hours in more than 30 new service projects including more than two dozen cleanups – worth $65,000 at minimum wage – from local groups.

“We have received an overwhelming response,” Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said.

Read more:http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=409729

NEPA Higher Education Institutions Prosper Despite Economic Uncertainly

Brennan Hall, University of Scranton, at Scran...

Image via Wikipedia

Institutions of higher learning in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Metropolitan Area are thriving.  Even during hard economic times.

The University of Scranton set an all-time undergraduate enrollment record this fall with 1,059 students enrolled.  The university received 9,045 applicants – the largest pool of applicants in the school’s history!

King’s College saw a record number of new students enrolling for the fall semester.  The school’s full-time enrollment of 2,025 sets a record as well as receiving a record number of applicants (2565).

Wilkes University will welcome 570 freshmen this fall, up from 497 last year.  The enrollment this fall will tie for the second highest number of students in the school’s history.

Keystone College will welcome 1400 full-time and 400 part-time students this fall.  The highest enrollment since the school’s founding.  330 new freshmen will swell the student body.  Over 500 students will be living on campus this year, a record number.

Marywood University will have 1,100 students living on campus this year after constructing three new dormitories. This is the most students to have ever lived on campus.

Misericordia University set a record for applications received.  This year’s 2,011 applications represent a 24 percent increase over last year’s record number.

Three State Universities Seeing Enrollment Decline

Three of Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities are projecting enrollment declines.

Mansfield is expecting 5 to 6 percent fewer students than last year.  Part of the decline is due to high paying jobs in the gas industry.  Mansfield is in the heart of the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom.

Clarion is expecting a decrease of about 5 percent.

Edinboro is projecting a few hundred less students this fall.

Indiana Univ. of PA is expecting an increase over last year’s record-setting enrollment.

Students can expect to pay about 9 percent more than last year to attend one of Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities.  An overall enrollment increase for the entire higher education system is expected, despite the three schools who are projecting lower enrollment.

York Strives To Emulate Bethlehem And Lancaster – By Becoming A Walkable Community

York, Pennsylvania: Market Street between Quee...

Image via Wikipedia

A goal that emerged from the Build York Summit, that concluded yesterday, was for York to become a walkable community.  We here at Roy’s Rants think is a great goal.  York has a compact and very historic downtown like Lancaster and Bethlehem.

Urban land use expert, Chris Leinberger from the Brookings Institute was a keynote speaker at the conference and emphasized that York should embrace the “walkable community” strategy to redevelop the city.  Walkable communities are desired by college students as well as other segments of the population.  Walkable communities have a higher rate of retention once students graduate college and seek employment.  York is already a college town so this strategy could be easily implemented and bear fruit quickly.

Downtown Inc. Director, Sonia Huntzinger took this a step further and said York could also capitalize on the city’s hospitals.  Hospitals tend to be large employers.  Having a vibrant, walkable downtown to present to prospective employees would make recruitment easier for the hospitals.

Detroit Looks To Pittsburgh On How To Revitalize Their City

The Detroit City Council paid a visit to Pittsburgh, PA to see first-hand what transformation looks like and to learn from Pittsburgh’s successes.  Unlike Pittsburgh, Detroit is at the beginning of their process.  Pittsburgh is not sitting back on their laurels as city leaders are continuously making positive changes that have made Pittsburgh the poster child for economic revitalization.  Watch a cool video about this tale of two cities.