Pottstown, PA — Montgomery County Community College’s West End Student Theatre (WEST) group, in collaboration with the students’ recently formed chapter of the National Organization for Women, will present Eve Ensler’s award-winning “The Vagina Monologues,” on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. in the South Hall Community Room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The students will be performing this as part of a national initiative known as V-Day to help raise awareness of violence against women and girls.
The show is open to the community, but anyone under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult due to the explicit content of the production. Tickets cost $2 at the door. Proceeds will benefit The Laurel House, a comprehensive domestic violence agency serving individuals, families and communities throughout Montgomery County.
Participants include Joanna Bak, Maliah Buxton, Tess Devlin, Rebecca McGovney-Ingram, Jamie Menio, Shelby Poston, Lavinia Soliman and Cat Urbanski, with Director Morgan Carrasquillo, Stage Manager Maliah Buxton and WEST Advisor Tim Gallagher.
MCCC’s V-Day joins thousands of other community groups which perform “The Vagina Monologues” each February. “The Vagina Monologues” consists of a series of monologues performed by women covering a variety female experiences. Ensler considers the show a conversation about women’s sexuality that should be centered in the global discussion on stopping violence against women and girls.
This type of community activism is what inspired several female students to form a local chapter of the National Organization for Women, a grassroots organization dedicated to the advocating for women’s rights. At MCCC, the chapter is led by President Lavinia Soliman and advisor Rebecca McGovney-Ingram. The MCCC Campus NOW chapter meets every Friday between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on both Central and West campuses to discuss modern feminism and campus outreach events.
According to its website, V-Day is “a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.” Through V-Day campaigns, activist groups present productions, such as “The Vagina Monologues” to raise awareness about violence and funding to support anti-violence community organizations. For more information, visit http://www.vday.org
On July 25th, Harris Family Ministries and Pottstown New Life Assembly of God will be holding the 8th Annual Stop the Drugs Stop the Violence Crusade in Pottstown. The event runs from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm in Riverfront Park, Pottstown. The park is located on College Drive across the street from Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus. There will be free food and beverages.
The theme is Love Can Build a Bridge and the keynote speaker is Pastor Luis Sanchez of Casa de Oracion of Pottstown, PA.
If you would like more information of would like to make a donation of Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Rolls, soft drinks, water, snack packs or cash, contact the Rev. G. Harris at 610-764-4984. All donations are tax deductible.
On Thursday, April 30th at 6:00pm – 8:00pm, the YWCA Tri-County Area will be hosting a Take Back the Night rally and vigil at Memorial Park in Pottstown in honor of all of the survivors and victims of sexual violence. Take Back the Night (TBTN) is a national movement to raise awareness about sexual violence and give a voice to survivors whose stories are too often silenced. The event will include a keynote speaker, a “Speak Out” section for survivors to share their stories, music, a candle light vigil and moment of silence, and community resources.
To learn more about Take Back the Night… http://takebackthenight.org/
Mary Kate Fain
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Mary Kate Fain as soon as possible.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Is there hope for Sherman Hills?
The bigger question — Is there hope for the City of Wilkes-Barre?
The Restored Church on North Franklin Street will do its part to try to revive the city’s morale and its pride, and eliminate its fear.
The church will hold an event — “I Love My City” — on Saturday, April 25 in the Sherman Hills apartment complex parking lot. All residents of the city are welcome with their children. The church hopes the event will serve as a catalyst for similar events to be held.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Three shootings. Three days. Two dead.
After more than six months without a gunfire-related homicide in Wilkes-Barre, city police investigated three separate shootings this week — two of them hours apart on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, a vigil in support of non-violence is planned for Public Square tonight.
The latest investigation concerns the shooting death of Peter Bielecki Jr., 49, at his home at 70 Carey Ave.
The man who fatally stabbed a Pittsburgh police dog will spend 17 3⁄4 to 44 years in prison, an Allegheny County judge ruled Tuesday.
John Rush, 22, of Stowe, said nothing as sheriff’s deputies led him back to his holding cell in handcuffs and shackles.
Rocco’s handler, Officer Phil Lerza, said he was “happy” with sentence.
“I lost my partner from this and he was also a family member,” Lerza told the judge. “I lost a family member that day.”
When Wawa employees told Terron Reed his order couldn’t be prepared as requested, he apparently didn’t take the news too well.
Instead of adjusting his meal, the 36-year-old Bear, Del., man threw a coffee display stand at a worker, then tried to strangle her, threw her to the ground, and threatened to shoot other employees before leaving the convenience store, according to Delaware State Police.
Police said the bizarre altercation happened at the Wawa at 1400 Beaverbrook Plaza in New Castle about 2:30 a.m. Thursday.
In 2006, Michael A. Fiore was talking with a police officer about a shooting — the kind that never happened in Altoona before big-city drug dealers came to town.
The officer said his department didn’t even have bulletproof vests to wear on raids, Mr. Fiore recounted Tuesday. “I said, ‘Go out and get eight of them, and send me the bill.’”
Over the course of a year, that act of generosity morphed into the creation of Operation Our Town, in which Blair County business leaders pledge $10,000 each year to fight drugs.
Last year the organization backed Altoona’s schools, after school programs, youth sports groups, mentoring for first-time mothers and construction of a playground, among other efforts.
Reading the City of Hazleton’s 2015 Proposed Budget got me thinking about spending and waste. These two towns are a good comparison because of population, ethnic diversity, demographics and even physical size. Pottstown’s budget is more than 4 times are large as Hazleton’s, so here are some numbers to ponder courtesy of http://www.CityData.com:
Hazleton (2012) 25,224
Pottstown (2012) 22,480
- White alone – 14,580 (57.9%)
- Hispanic – 9,717 (38.6%)
- Black alone – 422 (1.7%)
- White alone – 15,377 (68.7%)
- Black alone – 4,147 (18.5%)
- Hispanic – 1,785 (8.0%)
Physical size (land area):
Hazleton is 5.97 square miles
Pottstown is 4.83 square miles
Crime rate – U.S. average = 296.6:
Hazleton (2012) 306.3
Pottstown (2012) 434
Police Department size:
Hazleton – 38 officers, hiring 10 new police officers built in the $9.3 million proposed budget (they think they have a crime problem).
Pottstown -46 officers, (they don’t think they have a crime problem)
Hazleton – July 2013, 12.8%
Pottstown – July 2013, 6.7%
Hazleton – 4,222 people per square mile
Pottstown – 4,655 people per square mile
Hazleton – $9.3 million (2015 Proposed budget)
Pottstown – $44.8 million (2015 Proposed budget)
Cost of living index:
Hazleton – 95.3 (near average, U.S. average is 100)
Pottstown – 103.7 (near average, U.S. average is 100)
Average home value:
Hazleton – $93,389 (2012)
Pottstown – $134,796 (2012)
Hazleton – Median gross rent in 2012: $631
Pottstown – Median gross rent in 2012: $762
Estimated median household income:
Hazleton – $30,492 (2012)
Pottstown – $41,864 (2012)
Registered sex offenders:
Hazleton – there were 10 registered sex offenders living in Hazleton, Pennsylvania as of November 10, 2014
Pottstown – there were 49 registered sex offenders living in Pottstown, Pennsylvania as of November 10, 2014
The weekend in the Philadelphia region was marked by a series of violent incidents, including shootings and car crashes that have left at least eight people dead since Friday night.
The deaths include two fatal shootings in Camden and three in Philadelphia, as well as two deadly traffic accidents in South Jersey and one in Bensalem.
Other violent incidents also added to the weekend mayhem, including the shooting of a Temple University student, two double shootings and a robber who threatened to give his victim AIDS.
In Camden, authorities are investigating two deadly shootings that occurred hours apart Sunday morning.
Gunmen targeted three victims in two apparently unrelated incidents Monday after a “pretty violent” week around the city that left some residents fearing for their lives.
A Pittsburgh sanitation worker was shot to death in his car Monday morning as he prepared to begin his route. Less than five hours later, two masked gunmen chased two victims on the streets of Glen Hazel in full view of neighbors, killing one and leaving the other in critical condition. A Chicago man was shot in the face and killed Saturday night in Beltzhoover. Arlington Heights was the scene of two daylight shootings Saturday and Sunday that wounded four.
Police are treating the incidents as unrelated, said Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler.
“Right now, there’s no reason to believe they’re connected,” Toler said. She described the past week as “pretty violent” and said the people involved in most of the shootings participated in “undesirable activities.”
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Desperate for answers in the shooting death of one son, Yvonne George pleaded to be heard in order to save her other child.
Her brief statement capped the raucous and at times unruly city council meeting Thursday night filled with other members of the black community fed up with violence in the city and demanding something be done to end it.
A photo of her son David George was on the collage of black-and-white photos above the words “Stop The Violence” on posters held up in the audience. The 24-year-old man was shot and killed July 18, 2013, on South Welles Street, the seventh of the city’s 13 homicide victims that year.
“I feel that the Wilkes-Barre police every time something happens with a black person down here, the first thing they say is is it’s drug related and it’s gang related,” the deceased man’s mother said. “My son was not in no gang.”
A post on the White House’s We the People website petitions the Obama Administration to cease Section 8 subsidies to the Sherman Hills apartment complex.
But before it earns a response from White House staff, it first must gather 100,000 signatures by Aug 15.
Readers on the Times Leader’s Facebook page were quick to respond when asked if they would sign the petition. Many readers commented emphatically that they would sign. However, the petition only gained 5 signatures in the same time period.
One commenter suggested tenants receive criminal background checks and drug tests.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Surveillance cameras in Sherman Hills did not record Tuesday’s shooting at the troubled apartment complex when two men were seriously injured, city police Chief Gerard Dessoye said Thursday.
Dessoye said the camera system, he believed, was “not fixed” as pledged by the complex’s former owner, Sherman Hills Realty Inc.
“(Cameras) couldn’t provide any details about the shooting,” Dessoye said, noting he has not seen any security enhancements at the apartment complex besides the installation of a chain link fence.
U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, stated in a news release that Treetop Development, which purchased the apartment complex from Sherman Hills Realty earlier this year, “repaired all cameras.”
POTTSTOWN, PA — A local hoops legend lent his support Monday night to the anti-violence movement that began in the borough a little more than a month ago.
“When I heard about this, it’s just a natural thing for me to want to be involved in some capacity,” said Howard Brown, the Pottstown grad who went on to play basketball at Villanova and internationally. “We’re actually drumming up a lot of residents and former residents to just not only bring awareness but to talk about some of the issues that we do have, to change.”
With a driving rain cancelling plans for a full march, the Stop the Violence campaign moved indoors at the Ricketts Center, where players in the Olivet Boys and Girls Club’s summer basketball league gathered together between games to pose for a picture and show their support of the movement.
A Maryland resident now, Brown is in town for a combine for his basketball agency, iBall United, which will be held over the weekend both in Valley Forge and at The Hill School.
POTTSTOWN, PA — The victim of a fatal shooting Thursday night has been identified.
Steven Mitchell, 20, was found dead in a car in the 400 block of Jefferson Avenue.
Mitchell died from a single gunshot wound to the torso, according to Dr. Walter Hofman, the Montgomery County Coroner. Hofman was not able to confirm where Mitchell lived.
Mitchell’s death was ruled a homicide, Hofman said.