Mail Processing To End At 10 Pennsylvania Postal Service Sites

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United States Postal Service mail processing facilities in Altoona, Erie, Greensburg, Lancaster, New Castle, Reading, Scranton, Washington and Williamsport, as well as the Southeastern operation are slated to close.

Read entire article: http://www.ydr.com/state/ci_20029285

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Poverty Rate Climbing In Pennsylvania

Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1959 to 20...

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According to statistics released from the U.S. Census Bureau, families in Pennsylvania are worse off than they were 10 years ago.

Cumberland County saw its poverty rate for families increase from 6.2 percent in 1999 to 7.8 percent.

Dauphin County saw its poverty rate for families increase from 12 percent to 20 percent!

Lebanon County saw its poverty rate for families increase from 8.9 percent to 15.2 percent.

York County saw its poverty rate for families increase from 7.1 percent to 11.4 percent

Crawford County saw its poverty rate for families increase from 16.2 percent to 20.7 percent.

Erie County saw its poverty rate rise to 17.4 percent while the City of Erie’s poverty rate increased six percent to 30.2 percent and is the second-highest poverty rate in Pennsylvania.

The City of Reading has a poverty rate of 41.3 percent and comes in at numero uno!  Poverty rates for other major Pennsylvania cities are Allentown 27 percent, Philadelphia 26.7 percent, Pittsburgh 22.3 percent, 21.1 in Scranton and 20.9 in Bethlehem.

The poverty rate for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is 13.4 percent or more than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians.  More than half a million people living in poverty are children under the age of 18!

These rates are higher for minority families.  For example, 45 percent of blacks and Hispanic families in Erie live under the poverty level.  The poverty rate is 25 percent for white residents.

The U.S.poverty rate hit a 17 year high of 15.1 percent.  46.2 million people in the United States were living below the poverty level in 2010.  The federal poverty level for a family of four is a yearly income of less than $22,314.

Is There Life After Borders? In Pennsylvania, YES!

By now most people know Borders is going, going, gone in the very near future.  The departure of Borders from many malls has book lovers everywhere scrambling for a new place to buy books.

Books-A-Million is looking to fill that void, at least in some Pennsylvania locations.  Recently Books-A-Million opened a new store in a former Borders Express at Coventry Mall, Pottstown.  I also noticed in my last trip to Park City Center, Lancaster that Books-A-Million had opened a store there too.

Now Books-A-Million, a Birmingham, Alabama based bookseller, is trying to acquire eight more locations in Pennsylvania (there are currently five PA stores).  One site under consideration is the soon to be vacant Viewmont Mall Borders store in Dickson City.  According to the Times Tribune, the Dickson City Borders is Lackawanna County‘s only general-interest bookstore.

You can imagine that the Viewmont Mall management and Lackawanna County book lovers are waiting with bated breath to see if this deal goes through.

To check out Books-A-Million’s complete list of locations from their website, click here: http://www.booksamillion.com/storefinder?id=5114383831772

With the demise of Borders, Books-A-Million will become the nation’s second largest book retailer.

The Gallery School Of Pottstown Partners With The Pottstown Regional Public Library

Pottstown, PA – The Gallery School of Pottstown Partners with the Pottstown Regional Public Library

On Saturday, August 13 from 6 – 9pm, Pottstown will be hopping! Two important Pottstown organizations–the non-profit Gallery School of Pottstown and the Pottstown Regional Public Library—will be hosting a joint fundraiser. The Books and Brushes Beef and Beer will feature local food and businesses and benefit the programs and ongoing operations of the community art school and the library.

The theme for this event is “local.” Popular Pottstown restaurant Grumpy’s will be catering, and the fundraiser will be held at the Ballroom on High, a great downtown venue.  The Ballroom, at 310 E. High St. next to the Farmer’s Market, is also the home to SwingKats. Pottstown’s own radio station WPAZ will be creating the soundtrack for the event, so bring your dancing shoes!

Tickets are only $20 and include hot roast beef sandwiches, pasta and veggie salads, beer and soft drinks, and homemade desserts. There will also be vegetarian wrap sandwiches available. Guests can purchase their tickets online at www.galleryonhigh.org, or in person at the School at 254 E. High St. or the Library at 500 E. High St.

The Gallery School of Pottstown is a 501c3 non-profit community art school and gallery. The School offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. The Gallery on High hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The Gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.

Boscov’s Names New Vice Chairman

Boscov’s Chairman and CEO Albert Boscov made an announcement today appointing Jim Boscov as Vice Chairman of Boscov’s Department Stores.  The promotion ensures that the 39-store chain will remain a family business.  Jim holds a master’s degree from Tufts University and started with Boscov’s in 1975 as an assistant store manager.

Albert Boscov said he has no plans to retire but wants to assure employees and business partners that “Boscov’s will remain Boscov’s for many years to come.”

Boscov’s is a Reading, PA-based department store chain founded in 1911.  Boscov’s is one of the last family-owned department store chains left in the United States.  Boscov’s successfully fought off bankruptcy in a little more than one year and has emerged strong. 

For a listing of Boscov’s store locations:

http://www.boscovs.com/static/about_boscov/stores_locations.html

Reading/Berks Jobless Rate Falls In February

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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Some better economic news for the City of Reading and Berks County was released for February 2011.  The jobless rate in Berks County fell to 8.1 percent and the City of Reading’s jobless rate dropped to 12.5 percent.  Berks County saw a third straight month of decline in the unemployment rate.  State and local government hiring helped lower the jobless rate.  Schuylkill County (Pottsville) saw a decline in their jobless rate to 9.1 percent.

Major labor markets with higher unemployment than Reading/Berks were Johnstown (8.4 percent), Philadelphia (8.5 percent), Lehigh Valley (8.7 percent) and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (9.0 percent)

The State College metro area had the lowest jobless rate at 5.3 percent.  Other metro areas with low jobless rates were Lebanon (6.3 percent), Lancaster (6.8 percent), Pittsburgh (7.0 percent), Harrisburg (7.1 percent) and York (7.6 percent).

Reading and Johnstown tied for the third-highest jobless rate for PA cities (12.5 percent).  Allentown was second with 12.7 percent and Hazleton took top honors with 14.9 percent.

Bradford County had the lowest county jobless rate with 5.1 percent.  This is due to the Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling in Bradford County.

Pennsylvania’s jobless rate was 8.0 percent and the U.S. rate was 8.9 percent for February 2011.

Borders Bookstores File For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

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Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York on Wednesday.

Borders is hemorrhaging cash at the rate of $2 million dollars a day from underperforming stores.  Borders intends to close 200 of its 642 stores nationwide.  The closures will come in the next few weeks.  Clearance sales could start as early as this weekend.

Borders will receive $505 million in debtor-in-possession financing from GE Capital Partners and others to help with the reorganization.  Borders owes over $100 million to various publishers.  Book sales nationwide fell 5 percent in 2010.  Borders controls 14.3 percent of the book selling market.  Barnes & Noble, on the other hand, controls 29.8 percent of the market which is helping them survive the economic downturn.

Borders has been in business since 1971, when it started out with one used bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Borders was owned by Kmart Corp. from 1992 until 2006.  Borders committed a fatal error when it opted out of their e-commerce contract with Amazon.com in 2001.  This decision made it possible for Barnes & Noble to eventually double Borders market share.

William Penn Memorial Fire Tower In Reading Offers Incredible View – 60 Mile Radius

The William Penn Memorial Fire Tower in Reading offers a 60 mile panoramic view!  From the skyscrapers in Philly to Palmerton‘s bald mountain and more.

If you would like the opportunity to see this gorgeous panorama, the fire tower in Reading will be open to the public on November 20th and December 18th!  You have to be willing to walk the 168 steps to the top, but it is well worth it.

Check out the rest of the Reading Eagle article here:

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=258903

2010 Pennsylvania Blue Ribbon Schools

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Here is the list of Pennsylvania schools who made the cut!

Ancillae-Assumpta Academy

2025 Church Road

Wyncote, PA 19095-1124

Conemaugh Township Area Intermediate School

1516 Tire Hill Road

Johnstown, PA 15905-7822

Cornell Elementary School

1099 Maple Street

Coraopolis, PA 15108-2910

Delaware Valley Middle School

258 Routes 6 & 209

Milford, PA 18337-9454

Devon Elementary School

400 South Fairfield Road

Devon, PA 19333-1712

Franklin Learning Center High School

616 North 15th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19130-3487

Harding Elementary School

820 Lincoln Avenue

Erie, PA 16505-5030

Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and

Demonstration School

1699 Spring Garden Street

Philadelphia, PA 19130-3913

Mary, Mother of the Redeemer School

1321 Upper State Road

North Wales, PA 19454-1007

North Dickinson Elementary School

623 West Penn Street

Carlisle, PA 17013-2239

South Fayette Elementary School

3620 Old Oakdale Road

McDonald, PA 15057-3598

Tinicum School

First and Seneca Streets

Essington, PA 19029-1116

 Unami Middle School

160 South Moyer Road

Chalfont, PA 18914-3129

Wylandville Elementary School

1254 Route 519

Eighty Four, PA 15330-2824

Reading Headed Toward Financial Crash And Burn

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Our neighbor to the west received some very bad news Monday night at a City Council meeting.  The projected $9 million dollar budget deficit will now be more to the tune of $17.2 million.  The city will run out of money by November!   

Reading also needs to add $900,000 to next year’s budget to begin paying off a loan.  (Pottstown residents will relate to this.)  The city borrowed $11.5 million from the sewer fund to pay bills.  In Reading’s case, they are not allowed to do this after a 2004 ruling by a federal judge and the U.S. Department of Justice.  Now Reading is scrambling to pay the money back before fines are levied.   

Reading is suffering from the economy and bad financial practices which hamper City Council’s ability to make good decisions.  Hopefully the help they receive under Act 47 will allow Reading pull themselves out of their current financial abyss.   

Grand Reopening Of The Pottstown Library

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Good things are happening at the library!  The Pottstown Public Library will have a grand reopening and a name change.   The Pottstown Regional Public Library will open its doors for the first time on Saturday, September 11th from 9 am to 4 pm.  Light refreshments will be served from 11 am to 3 pm.  

The library is located at the corner of High & Washington Sts,. in downtown Pottstown.   

Voice: 610-970-6551  

Internet: http://ppl.mclinc.org/