Friday, October 31, 2014

Ride A Secret Haunted Rail Car for Hallowen

Photos courtesy of the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust.
A Halloween ride on a haunted train car can be an exciting experience.

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by the Colebrookdale Railroad.

The Colebrookdale Railroad will be offering a unique way to celebrate this Halloween -- a spooky
Or perhaps an open car hayride
is more to your liking
nighttime run to a bonfire at the old site of Colebrookdale village through the dark woods of the Secret Valley.

Passengers will be treated to s'mores and hot spiced cider around the fire.

Trains leave Boyertown at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 Friday evening and 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday evening for a 2-mile trek, leaving plenty of time to fit in trick-or-treating!

You can depart on any train and return on any later train, staying at the fire as long as you like.
Each child in costume will receive candy and small gift. 

Fare: Adults $18; Children (2-12) $10; Toddlers (under 2) $2.

Ride in the caboose, haunted coach, or hayride car.

Helpful conductors will ensure your ride is enjoyable.
The railroad will also be running leaf-peeping hayride trains each Saturday and Sunday through the fall.

Ride on the hayride car, the haunted coach, or the caboose.

The coach and caboose are heated in case the hayride car becomes chilly.

Tasty autumn treats available on board!

Tickets, full schedule and fares at for all trains.

Check back in November for dining trains and in December for Santa!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Rubbish Brigade to the Rescue

Photo Courtesy of Carol R. Lewis

The Upper Pottsgrove Rubbish Brigade rear, from left, Sherry Paup, Herb Miller, Donna Swavely, Elwood Taylor, front, from left, Renee Spaide, France Krazalkovich, Carol R. Lewis and Keith Kehl.

Upper Pottsgrove’s Rubbish Brigade met on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 9 a.m.

They so this twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, according to Township Manager Carol Lewis. 

A total of 22 volunteers put in 3 ½ hours and covered 90 percent of the township. 

They collected just under 1,000 pounds of trash in 33 trash bags. 

The Rubbish Brigade has been doing this for four years and they are noticing a decrease in the amount of trash on the roads. 

This may be due in part to residents who pick up trash while walking or to people taking note of the clean-up efforts.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Math, Missing Roof Parts and Computers for All

The Pottsgrove School Board met for 90 minutes Tuesday and discussed items ranging from their pending One-to-One computer initiative; questions about the math curriculum as well as news on the roof deck that was left out of the design for the new and improved Pottsgrove High School.

Here are the Tweets from the meeting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Authoritatively Well Run

Photo by me (on the sly)

The voluminous consultant report
on the Pottstown Wastewater System
So yes, I know, it's a few days late.

OK, a week.

But let's be honest, how many of you were sitting on the edge of your seat saying "my God, I don't know what I'll do without the Tweets from the Pottstown Borough Authority meeting Tuesday!"?

Do I see a hand in the back there?



Anyway, technical problems, scheduling problems and you know, life problems meant you had to wait until now.

They say good things come to those who wait....

By now, you have probably read my story in The Mercury about the $28 million five-year capital plan the authority adopted, as well as the article about independent consulting firm which concluded that the sewer plant and system is well-run.

But let's face it, what's a boring old news story compared to the pulse-pounding excitement of live Tweets, misspellings and all?

Well, you will now be rewarded for your patience. Here is it in all its Twitter glory.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A 'Friendly' Way to Support Music in Pottsgrove

The Pottsgrove Music League PTA is hosting a fundraising event at Friendly's on Wednesday, Oct, 29 from 4 to 9 p.m.

Fully 10 percent of all sales that night will be donated to the organization which helps support the burgeoning music program in the Pottsgrove School District.

In case you didn't know, the restaurant is located at 200 Shoemaker Road at the very visible corner with Route 100.

Anything, soda, full dinner or even an ice cream cone will help Pottsgrove students keep themselves musically fulfilled.

And all you have to do is eat.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Honorable Alumni

Photo Courtesy of John J. Armato
From left, Paul Salem son of Phyllis Sell Salem, Mark Pennypacker, David Garner, James E. Rodgers

A lawyer, a police chief, a middle east expert and a teacher are the most recent inductees to the Pottstown High School Alumni Honor Roll.

During the Oct. 17 ceremony, the school district honored David Garner, James Rodgers, the late Phyllis Sell Salem and Mark Pennypacker Sr.

Mark Pennypacker Sr.

Pennypacker, a 1978 graduate, has a dizzying array of degrees and progressional experiences.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and sociology fropm West Chester University; a masters in divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary; a masters in educational administration from Shenandoah University and in geosciences from Mississippi Sate University and course work at University of Colorado, James Madison University and the University of Virginia.

He has been named to who’s who of American High School Teachers, soccer and girls soccer coach of the year and a distinguished citizen leader award where he lives in Winchester, Va.

An earth sciences and biology teacher at James Wood High School there, he is also an adjunct professor of Geography and Meterology at Lord Fairfax Community College and, as a People to People Student Ambassador, he has accompanied students to the Netherlands, Austria, Greece, Australia, China, France and the British isles.

Pennypacker has also been named a Boy Scout leader of the year, and is a member of the local Lions Club and the Treadwell Lodge No. 213 of the Masons, as well as serving on the boards of the local American Red Cross, Blue Ridge Youth Soccer, Shenandoah University Alumni Board, United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley and the Vestry of St. mark’s Episcopal Church in Virginia.

James Rodgers

Rodgers, a 1953 Pottstown High School graduate, served as Pottstown’s police chief from 1974 to 1991, after serving for five years as a sergeant and one year as the captain of the force.

Born in North Carolina, he and his family moved to Pottstown in 1946.

While in high school, Rodgers was on the track team and captain of the cross country team, as well as a member of the choir and playing the tuba in the band.

A four-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Rodgers was recognized for many innovations during his years with the police force.

They include a crisis intervention service, a crime prevention unit, a cooperative instruction program which put police officers into the schools to teach criminal justice classes and the creation of an awards and honor guard program within the force itself.

Himself a recipient of the department’s medal of valor award, Rodgers also received recognition from the International Police Chiefs Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, Jewish War Veterans and a Navy recruiting award.

After retiring from the police force in 1991, Rodgers served for six years as the executive director of the Interfaith Community Development Corp.

Phyllis Sell Salem

Salem graduated from Pottstown high School in 1948 and continued her education for many years.

From 1948 to 1950, she attended the Pierce School of Business, and in 1966 graduated with a bachelors degree from Beruit College for Women.

Two years later, she received her masters in English from the American University of Beruit and one year after that, received a second masters from the same school, this one in philosophy.

From 1975 to 1982, Salem was an organizer with Cultural Books of Distinction, a program forging connections between Europe and Lebanon.

She was a consultant with the Ministry of Information in Lebanon from 1980 to 1989 and from 1975 to 1990, Salem was chairperson of the Save Lebanon Committee, during the civil war there.

David Garner

A 1976 graduate of Pottstown High School, Garner then attended the Hill School for a year where he lettered in cross country and winter and spring track and set the home course record.

In 1981, a degree in political science and European history was earned from Ursinus College, where he again set the home course record and won a league championship as co-captain of the cross country team, as well as worked for four years as a reporter at the school newspaper.

Garner’s law degree was earned from Dickinson School of law in 1984, the same year he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, where he worked as an attorney and leaving in 1991 with the rank of captain.

Now in his own practice, which he established 14 years ago, Garner has served as the solicitor for the Pottstown Borough Authority as well as the East Vincent Municipal Authority.

He has served as president as the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities, co-chairman of the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce, the board of directors of Creative Health Services and the Rejoincing Spirits Board, a worship service for the developmentally disabled, the board of the Moasic Community Land Trust and in many positions at St. James Lutheran Church in Pottstown.

Garner has also spent 10 years with the Pottstown Chapter of the American Business Club and on the advisory committee at Manatawny Manor.

In 2008 and 2009, Garner was the president of Pottstown Borough Council.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Toys and Dollars Needed for Holiday Party for Needy Local Families

Boxes of food for last year's needy families were loaded at the Manatawny Association.

Everyone ate their fill at last year's holiday party at Norco Fire Co.
The Manatawny Association is once again hosting its Annual Holiday Project begun 27 years ago by the Pottstown Moose Lodge No. 369.

Food will be distributed to 59 needy families in the area, and gifts for the 150 children in those families, will take on Dec. 19.

And on Dec. 20, a holiday party for more than 100 other foster children will held at noon at the Norco Fire House.

Organizer Jim Frymoyer said an example of the families being helped include on in which three
This lucky lad met a special someone last year
children were left without parents after their mother died of cancer and their father first lost his job and then was killed in an accident.

A friend with four children of his own is trying to adopt the three children without parents so they will not be split up into different foster homes.

Families include 12 recommended by the Cluster of Religious Communities; eight who are on the free or reduced lunch program in the Pottstown School District; three who are in hospice and 19 who are recommended by Montgomery County Children and Youth.

The party to brighten their holidays will include a magician, balloon maker, a visit from Santa, a face painter and a buffet of food.

But help is needed to make it happen.

This year, instead of putting out boxes and asking for donations of food for the food baskets, organizers are asking for donations of $10 or $20 Giant Food Store cards that will be wrapped and included with the turkey and ham that will also be in the baskets.
Of course there were lots of gifts for the kids.

Milk, eggs and peanut butter and jelly are already being provided by the Comfort Inn and the United Auto Workers Retirees are providing cereal and oatmeal for the food baskets.

Money is also needed to pay for the party and to keep the Reed-Frymoyer Scholarship Fund going.
Established in 2012, it honors the memory of Shawn Reed of Spring City, who went to St. Pius X High School, and James Frymoyer who went to Pottsgrove High School.

This year a $1,000 football scholarship will be provided to Mark Bonomo, Perkiomen High School Class of 2013; and to Nico Demetrio, Pottsgrove High School Class of 2013.

Donations (checks should be made out to James Frymoyer, with a notation if it is for the scholarship
Pookie the Clown did face (and hand) painting.
fund) and gift cards should be mailed to James Frymoyer, Project Coordinator, 422 Upland St., Pottstown, PA 19464; or to Karen Reed at Piazza Honda, 629 Lewis Road, Limerick, PA 19468.

You can also help by donating toys at the Angel Trees located throughout the community.

They are located at:
  • Dana Holding Corporation, 1040 Center Ave. in Pottstown (610-322-4200)
  • Manatawny Association, 20 King St. in Pottstown (610-326-8840)
  • Piazza Honda of Pottstown, 629 N. Lewis Road in Limerick (610-495-7076)
  • Piazza Hyundai of Limerick, 640 Lewis Road in Limerick (610-495-7070)
  • Sea Star Solutions, 640 Lewis Road in Limerick (610-495-7011)
  • Sign Krafters, 1392 Ben Franklin Highway in Douglassville (610-949-8475)
  • Spring-Ford Diner, 55 E. Bridge St. in Spring City (610-792-3404)
  • T & N Hair Salon, 1220 N. Hanover St. in Pottstown (610-970-1606)
  • Tim's Ugly Mug Bar & Grill, 1281 E. Main St. in Douglassville (610-404-1155)
  • Traffic Planning & Design, 2500 E. High St., Suite 650 in Lower Pottsgrove (610-326-3100)
  • Tri-County Toyota, 15 D & L Dr. in Limerick (484-984-4999)
  • U.S. Axle, 275 Shoemaker Road in Pottstown (610-323-3800)
  • Vito's N.Y. Style Pizza and Deli, 569 W. High St. in West Pottsgrove (610-327-3354)
  • Comfort Inn, 99 Robinson St. in Pottstown (610-326-5000)
Rich Gerber performed magic at last year's party.
And there is another way you can help, and have fund at the same time.

Vendor Bingo, held the third Friday of each month at the Friendship Fire Company, 269 Green St. in Royersford, will devote its Nov. 21 proceeds to the holiday project.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and Bingo begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 and includes a free wildcard sheet. Children are admitted for free.

You play the vendor rounds you choose.

Winners win products from vendors such as Jazzy Jewelry, Stampin Up, Avon, Celebrating Home, Jam Nails, Scentsy, Pink Zebra, Tastefully simple, Pampered Chef, Third-One, Sweet Ashley's Chocolates and more.

Regular games are $1 per card or three cards for $2 and the charity round is $2 per card or three cards for $5.

The kitchen is open for dinner and there is a cash bar.