Lansdale Municipal Building Topped Off, Soft Cost Contracts Coming Before Council

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

LANSDALE, PA – The steel frame of Lansdale’s future police station and municipal building has now been topped off, and several contracts for internal systems, servers and furniture could be awarded later this month.

Those soft costs total roughly $400,000 and will let contractors move ahead with interior fittings even if winter weather arrives soon, according to borough Director of Community Development John Ernst.

“Over the next couple of weeks, the entire building will be enclosed with glass, so they can work inside as inclement weather starts to come up on us,” Ernst said.

During his monthly update on the building’s construction, Ernst showed photos of the exterior glass and brick walls now surrounding much of the newly constructed police wing of the building, located to the northwest of the brick former borough hall walls that are now being restored.

Read more: http://www.thereporteronline.com/general-news/20141107/lansdale-municipal-building-topped-off-soft-cost-contracts-coming-before-council

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Higher Aluminum Prices Help Alcoa

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

One of Alcoa’s biggest initiatives in recent years has been shuttering outdated, inefficient smelters and focusing on more lucrative downstream markets like aerospace and automotive.

Just as that strategy is bearing fruit with the introduction of the aluminum-intensive Ford F-150 pickup truck and long-term supply agreements with Boeing and Pratt & Whitney, strengthening aluminum prices are making Alcoa’s aluminum production business less of a poor stepchild and more of a diamond in the rough.

Aluminum spot prices reached $2,100 per metric ton recently, up from as low as $1,700 earlier in the year, according to Morningstar analyst Andrew Lane.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/09/20/Higher-aluminum-prices-help-Alcoa/stories/201409200040

Sears, Penney Sever Ties With Paula Deen

Sears Essentials (Kmart) logo

Sears Essentials (Kmart) logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORKPaula Deen’s media and merchandising empire is collapsing.

Sears, J.C. Penney and Walgreen said Friday that they’re cutting ties with Paula Deen, adding to the growing list of companies severing their relationship following revelations that the Southern celebrity chef used racial slurs in the past.

Meanwhile, Paula Deen’s publisher has canceled a deal with her for multiple books, including an upcoming cookbook that was the No. 1 seller on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

Ballantine Books announced Friday it would not release “Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up,” which was scheduled for October and was the first of a five-book deal announced early last year. Interest in it had surged as Deen, who grew up in Albany, Ga., and specializes in Southern comfort food, came under increasing attack for acknowledging she had used the N-word.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130628/NEWS04/130629609/sears-penney-sever-ties-with-paula-deen#full_story

Scripture, Swearing Unleashed At Wilkes-Barre Council

WILKES-BARRE — To get his point across at the city council meeting Thursday, James Gallagher quoted Scripture.

Bob Kadluboski used profanity.

Both speakers decried the administration’s failure after nearly four months to decide on whether to terminate the contract of LAG Towing as complaints mount against the company and its owner, Leo A. Glodzik III.

Gallagher, who regularly addresses council, said he tried to steer clear of LAG but was compelled to talk about it because he was sick of hearing and seeing about it in the news.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/428028/Scripture-swearing-unleashed-at-council

Fired Administrators Sue Reading School District For More Than $150,000 In Damages

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A group of administrators suddenly fired in April by the Reading School District has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $150,000 in damages.

The administrators claim the district violated the terms of their employment contracts by not providing 30 days’ notice before terminating the contracts.

After a series of retirements and resignations of several top administrators following the 2010-11 school year, the district found itself in need of a leadership team.  The district turned to a group of retired administrators who had been working with the district through the state’s Distinguished Educator Program.

The district hired several administrators, including acting superintendent J. Drue Miles, on a temporary basis.  They were asked to lead the district for up to a year, or at least until the district was able to permanently fill the slots.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=412251

Budget Crisis In Reading School District

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Reading School District‘s financial picture for next year was painted for the public Monday night – and it’s not pretty.

The district is facing a nearly $53.2 million hole in its proposed budget for the 2012-13 school year, which the district administration presented for the first time to the Reading School Board.

“It is ugly,” said Roger Brubaker, acting district business manager.

It’s so bad that the district might have to consider taking drastic steps – from closing schools, to laying off teachers, to freezing wages, to cutting kindergarten to half-day.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=375711

Allentown Sees 42 Firefighter Retirements

English: City of Allentown from east side

Image via Wikipedia

Allentown officials knew a staggering number of city firefighters would retire in 2011, it was just a matter of how many.

Fire Chief Robert Scheirer predicted months ago that some 50 firefighters would retire before the union’s contract that contained a generous pension clause was set to expire Dec. 31, echoing a similar mass exodus six years ago in the police department.

Now that the paperwork has settled, city officials say 42 firefighters left in 2011 — nearly one-third of the department usually staffed with about 140 firefighters. That’s by far the most firefighter retirees in one year, second only to the departure of 80 police officers six years ago.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-allentown-pa-firefighters-retire-20120104,0,7856335.story

Why Is It Important For Pottstown Residents To Be Informed And Proactive?

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Code Blue is asking Pottstown Borough residents to make themselves aware of the current issues facing our borough and school district.  We here are Roy’s Rants agree!  The borough and school district occupy the same five square miles.  Therefore, it is crucial that the borough and school district work harmoniously and with the one vision for our community.  Your tax dollars support the borough government and the education of our children.

We believe the school district and borough are working more closely together.  A new spirit of cooperation is evolving since Dr. Lindley has become Superintendent of Schools.  We applaud the effort that the borough and school district are making to this end.  We encourage the borough and school district to continue working together and defining a common mission and vision to move Pottstown forward.

As a resident, the decisions that the Pottstown Borough Council and the Pottstown School Board make have a direct impact on your wallet.  Therefore, it is critical that taxpayers are educated consumers.  There are 22,377 Pottstown borough residents (2010 census).  Residents need to make fact-based decisions and not make decisions based the opinions of one or two outspoken people.

You are encouraged to attend school board and borough council meetings to gain first-hand knowledge of what goes on and see who is making decisions on your behalf and spending your money!  Knowledge is power.

Upcoming Pottstown School Board meetings are:

March 31st, April 14th, May 5th and May 19th

Upcoming Pottstown Borough Council meetings are:

April 11th and May 9th

There are some big decisions coming down the road about the number of elementary schools Pottstown really needs and can afford.  The school district is facing a large budget deficit due to funding cuts from Harrisburg and a declining tax base.  The teaching staff is without a contract and negotiations are not going well.  If you do not think these issues will impact your wallet, guess again!  If you are unhappy with your child’s education, your tax bill or have concerns with any of the issues I mentioned above, come to a school board meeting and let your feelings be known.  We elected these people into office and their job is to serve the taxpayers of this community.  They will welcome your comments.

http://www.pottstownschools.com/pottstown/Our%20District/Board%20of%20Education/Board%20Members.html/_top  Click this link to see who is on the school board if you are unsure.

The borough government is constantly grappling with decisions that affect your daily life at every meeting.  Sadly, a handful of people attend these meetings and offer little citizen advice.  Council needs to hear from the citizenry of this community.  Complaining that Pottstown sucks to everybody you know is not helpful and accomplishes little more than further damaging our community’s image to the outside world.  If you want to express your dissatisfaction about how this town is run, COME TO A COUNCIL MEETING and tell the people who can do something about it.  There are seven councilors making decisions for 22,377 people.  We voted them into office and they serve at our pleasure.  The taxpayers of this community put them in these positions.  Do you know who your councilor is?   http://www.pottstown.org/about_council.htm  Click this link to see who represents your Ward.

Do not be swayed by propaganda and skewed facts.  Make informed decisions by coming to meetings and asking questions from our elected officials.  Just because someone writes an opinion piece and publishes it in the newspaper does not mean it is 100 percent accurate.  It is an opinion.  An opinion can be defined as:  A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof. 

Knowledge is power!