Arts advocacy requires an ongoing conversation with both our electedand appointed government officials. Since negotiations for the state budget have stalled, it’s time for citizens to help to set priorities. Let the Commonwealth’s current budget impasse prompt you to contact them and remind them with a personal story of how much the arts mean to you and your family.
A father wrote to me about the sensory-friendly performance of a children’s play attended by his child with autism. They thanked Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre for their effort to understand the daily challenges faced by families like theirs. “Our son may not have the chance to do so many things in life that others do,” they said. “It was a very special day.”
A thriving arts community does not exist in isolation. While engagement in the arts affects people in deeply quiet ways, the arts experience can unite us around shared values:
We believe that everyone in the Lehigh Valley deserves access to our rich diverse arts culture.
We take pride in locally produced arts experiences; they are integral to the region’s cultural infrastructure.
We realize that the arts are essential to our economic vitality and quality of life.
The Lehigh Valley is the third largest region in the state; it deserves recognition and its equal share of reallocated state tax dollars. An individual story sends a powerful message. Many stories command attention.
Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Arts Council
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Move over, Silicon Valley: Pennsylvania has a tech hub of its own.
Over the past couple of decades, the San Francisco Bay Area has been the tech mecca of the country. It’s the shiny, silicon haven where the nerds are the cool kids and where artisanal coffee is a main food group; where there are more startups than gyms and everyone seems to be living far in the future.
But this flood of entrepreneurial hopefuls has brought with it a surge of sky-high housing costs and a lack of space. Those looking to start a company are already using all of their resources to make sure their venture is a success. But how can they take such a risk if they’re paying upwards of $4,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment?
As it turns out, there are other areas of the country—including some in Pennsylvania—where more tech companies and venture capital firms are popping up every year. These dark horses may be poised to become the next silicon superpowers.
A grand jury in Harrisburg declared 17 months ago that school administrators are singularly unqualified to investigate alleged sexual abuse, but the practice continues.
“School district administrators lack training needed to conduct a meaningful investigation into whether or not physical or sexual abuse has occurred,” according to a Dauphin County grand jury’s investigation of Susquehanna Township School District in January 2014.
The grand jury said administrators lack access to investigative resources such as search warrants, court orders, wiretaps or subpoenas and lack training in the questioning of victims, witnesses and suspects.
“Very often, a preliminary investigation will tip off a suspect and foreclose the availability of the investigative resources described above even once the police become involved,” the panel concluded.
Explore the best towns to live in the US. Niche ranks towns based on livability using grades for weather, safety, schools, and access to activities, jobs, housing, and transportation. A high ranking indicates that a town offers a high quality of life to its residents.
Editor’s note: There are 27 Pennsylvania counties under this watch, including Berks.
Keith Hilliard has been watching the sky from his farm in Sugarloaf Township, hoping for rain.
Hilliard hasn’t seen the weather he’d like so far this spring.
The dry weather helped him plant seeds, but now, “if we don’t get any rain, it will affect those crops pretty quickly,” he said.
Some crops are worth irrigating for Hilliard, president of the Luzerne County Farm Bureau. Others won’t offer enough return on his investment. About 40 percent of his hay crop has already been affected by the dry weather.
“There’s not a whole lot you can do with a lack of rain,” he said.
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.
Lancaster city was lauded for its “unique shops and boutiques, a plethora of outstanding restaurants and a beautiful countryside,” while Strasburg was recognized for its railroad attractions and its countryside, which was described as “rich in history and beauty.”
HARRISBURG, PA — Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s tax plan would hit all income classes and amount to a “huge tax grab,” said a leading Republican lawmaker.
But John Hanger, Wolf’s policy director, on Friday disputed the Independent Fiscal Office report’s main conclusions. Wolf’s plan “would benefit most Pennsylvania homeowners making up to $100,000 and renters up to $50,000,” Hanger said.
The report released this week makes a key observation when it says all groups would pay more — including a small net increase for the lowest income group, those making $25,000 or less annually, said House Appropriations Chairman Bill Adolph, R-Delaware County.
That “directly contradicts” claims by Wolf and testimony of top staffers at appropriations meetings, Adolph said.
Gov. Tom Wolf said Friday that students educated at Lehigh Career & Technical Institute and Lehigh Carbon Community College will power Pennsylvania’s economic engine.
“If we’re going to have a future in manufacturing in Pennsylvania, what you learn here is really, really important,” Wolf told students after touring LCCC and LCTI, which sit on neighboring campuses in North Whitehall Township.
“I’m preaching the gospel of manufacturing,” he said. “Manufacturing is making a comeback…Part of the reason manufacturing has a great future in Pennsylvania is because we have really good workers.”
When Turkey Hill comes to mind, most people think of flavorful ice cream and sweet iced tea. But in Wilkes-Barre, many mention the recent spike in robberies at the company’s stores before thinking of their signature snacks.
Since January 2014, city police have responded to at least 22 Turkey Hill robberies, 13 of which occurred in the last four months.
Frequent customers have not abandoned these stores, but some have questioned the safety during late-night hours.
Lisa Cummings of Mountain Top often visits the Turkey Hill on North Pennsylvania Avenue after work, but said she would probably not go to the store at 3 a.m.
POTTSTOWN, PA – Gov. Tom Wolf may not have learned everything there is to know about “Beowulf” when he was a student at The Hill School, “but I did learn how to ask questions; I did learn how to think and I did learn how to live.”
Those were among the short lessons Wolf had for the students and guests Thursday night when he accepted the school’s 17th Annual Sixth Form Leadership Award.
“I came to Hill in the fifth form, so I was only here a brief time, but it made a big difference in my life. I came away from this place a much better person that I was when I came in,” said Wolf, who attended the school from 1965 to 1967.
During those years, he was on the swimming and soccer teams, was assistant editor at The Dial and played the sousaphone.
On sparsely traveled back roads across Lancaster County, more than two dozen narrow, unassuming bridges built in a simpler era are showing their age.
Concrete is weathered and cracking. The decks are no longer safe for even moderate loads.
The Lancaster County commissioners are addressing the problem by turning to impact fee revenue from natural gas drillers. As of February, the county had $2.2 million available, said county engineer Scott Russell of Rettew Associates.
The commissioners are counting on continuing impact fee revenue to help fund the replacement or repair of nearly all 44 county-owned concrete or steel bridges over the next five years.
Lancaster, Pa. – Pa. based social service agency is addressing poverty by making funds available to help families make ends meet. As disposable income declines, some 76% of Americans have a hard time and struggle to pay for their needs. Community Clearinghouse Agency is launching a new voucher program designed to provide funds to help women and families pay for their needs. CCA partnered with the Trade Exchange Network who will provide their members with the funds they need to pay for things they want. The unique feature is that rather than cash, Credits serve as currency. Each member gets a free checking account to write checks to pay for goods or services from other members. Checking accounts are monitored using the credit and debit system. Unlike the old barter system where each person had to have what the other wanted with the same value, a hard match to make. The Exchange offers a pool of members that can trade with one another using credits as money.
Programs called LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) with 200 in the U.S and 1,500 in 39 countries offer mutual credit or complimentary currency, allowing members to trade goods or services without the use of cash. Because of a poor economy, Greece and Spain currently use this system, trading for food and household needs. Members earn Credits by selling goods or services; they can also purchase virtually anything within the Network. The idea, according to Dale Vega, CCA executive director is to provide funds enabling families to afford what they need. Families can purchases vouchers in any amount they choose, the Exchange subsidizes it based on a 5-1 ratio.
CCA is a volunteer based 501-C-3 social service helping Abused Women, Seniors, Veterans and Families in need in Lancaster County since 1995. Vega said “We anticipate that the new partnership will benefit thousands of families and CCA too. The Exchange serves as a no cost community service designed to help families get what they need. After quarterly operating expenses, the Exchange will donate the balance to the CCA charity to continue community services. Sponsors are invited to purchase a voucher in any amount and donate it to CCA for distribution to families that lack funds to pay for one.
An information kit and application are only available by mail. The charity asks for ten dollars to defray postage, printing and expenses, the Exchange will credit it to your account. Requests can be mailed to CCA P.O. Box 8361 Lancaster, Pa. 17604-8361. Inquiries by telephone or email are not accepted.
THREE-FIFTHS OF Chris Aschman’s jazz quintet managed to fit onto the tiny stage upstairs at Jose Pistola’s, where the crimson glow makes musicians look like they’re playing in Amsterdam’s red-light district.
Aschman, a 29-year-old trumpet player, stayed on the floor, next to the saxophonist.
Then, the bassist reached overhead and turned off the TV and the audience of 20-somethings switched their attention from NCAA basketball to a funky, odd-time-signature groove driven by a young drummer in a Phillies cap who stomps on the kick drum like he’s got something to prove.
The song, called “UCB,” short for “Undercover Brother,” is an Aschman original, as were nine of the 11 songs his group played at the Center City bar earlier this month.
A lot of people in this part of the nation swore they’d move south during this year’s harsh winter. It appears many of them already have.
According to estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, warm regions regained population growth momentum last year that was lost during the recession. But population fell in the area comprised of Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming counties.
Fourteen of the 20 fastest-growing metropolitan areas were in Florida, Texas or the Carolinas, led by The Villages near Orlando, which grew by 5.4 percent between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. In contrast, the fastest-growing metro areas in Pennsylvania grew by 0.6 percent.
The bureau estimated that the population in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area fell by 2,159, or 0.4 percent over the year. Within the three-county region, Lackawanna County lost the most, 1,115, or 0.5 percent. Luzerne County’s population declined 1,033, or 0.3 percent, and Wyoming County’s was relatively unchanged.