Saturday, September 5, 2015

More Trees Please

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Montgomery County.

Lower Perkiomen Valley Park is hosting a series of Wednesday Walks, the sixth of which, “Trees,” will take place on Sept. 16, 2015 at 9 a.m. 

The program will meet in the Main Pavilion. 

Themed Wednesday Walks occur the third Wednesday of the month, April through October. 

The pace is leisurely over flat, paved trails, and all ages are welcome.

Bid farewell to summer, and welcome autumn with a walk among the arboreal giants in Lower Perkiomen Valley Park. 

Visitors will trek along the Perkiomen Creek to see colorful maple, black walnut, hickory, birch, and other trees, and learn how deciduous trees prepare for winter.

Participants will need sturdy walking shoes and water, and are encouraged to bring binoculars to view the treetops and river. Preregistration is preferred.

This free event will occur weather permitting. Lower Perkiomen Valley Park is located on New Mill Road in Oaks, PA, easily accessible from Egypt Road off Route 422. 

The park is open year-round, except for major holidays. For further information about this program or to preregister, please call 610-666-5371, or visit the website at

Friday, September 4, 2015

Award Winning Liquors to be Joined by New Gin

Manatawny Still Works Award winners Odd Fellows Gin, 

No. 3 Small Batch Wiskey and J. Potts Whiskey
So anyone who knows me knows I like gin .... and scotch .... and beer ..... OK, you get the picture.

Anyway, ever since they opened I have been excited about Manatawny Still Works because:
  1. it's in town and they are helping to put Pottstown on the map; 
  2. because they make use of local history in their products and, most importantly,
  3.  they make darn good booze.
Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks so.

At the recent MicroLiquor Spirit Awards, Manatawny came home with some serious hardware.

They won awards for Batch No. 03 of the distillery's highly regarded Small Batch Whiskey and Odd Fellows No. 214 Gin.

MSW also won Gold Medals for their unaged whiskey, J. Potts Whiskey.

Packaging Design awards were also presented to Manatawny Still Works and J. Potts Whiskey, Batch #3 Small Batch Whiskey and Odd Fellows No. 214 Gin all won gold.

And, to top it all off, Odd Fellows No. 214 Gin also grabbed Best of Show.

"It's very gratifying to be recognized for all of the work that has gone into getting our spirits to where they are," said Director of Operations Max Pfeffer.

"We're focused on creating premium products in compelling packages at competitive prices," he said. "It's great to be recognized for that effort."

So apparently, making the "Best of Show" gin is not enough for the folks at MSW.

This Saturday, tomorrow, they will begin selling a new aged gin called Hidden River Gin, starting at 12 noon on a first-come, first-served basis.

(For those of you who don't know "Hidden River" is what the Dutch word "Schuylkill" means).

According to a press release announcing the release:
Hidden River Gin is as mysteriously complex as the winding waters from where it's carefully distilled. Unexpected twists of vanilla, caramel and spice tame juniper into a mellow favorite as the oak barrel's transformative interior creates a complex and compelling spirit.

Hidden River Gin
Barrel-aged and rested Gin is very en vogue right now, but Manatawny Still Works created this spirit in their effort to continue to break new ground as a craft spirit maker and showcasing a full, well respected portfolio. Manatawny Still Works' Odd Fellows No. 214 Gin is rested in premium oak Whiskey cooperage for several months. The Whiskey and wood both impart nuanced character to the award-winning Gin.

Straight off, Gin drinkers will notice a complexity in Hidden River and Whiskey and Scotch drinkers will enjoy Hidden River Barrel Rested Gin's nuanced flavor and mellow and smooth finish.

Light amber in color, Manatawny Still Works' aged gin delivers the perfect amount of sweetness and warmth when sipped neat with underlying juniper commingling with hints of oak and bourbon.
So I don't know about any of you, but I think you'll have a hard time getting ahead of me in line tomorrow.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Decision Makes Fecera's a 'Yes' Parking Zone

Wednesday night's zoning hearing board meeting was among the speediest I have ever attended and they got down to the heart of the matter right away.

In two unanimous decisions, the three zoning hearing board members approved parking and sign variances for the Fecera's project.

For those of you who have been sleeping for the past three years, that project seeks to convert the slowly crumbling former Fecera's Furniture warehouse at Beech and North Evans Streets, into apartments for artists.

It will also (hopefully) be the new home of Pottstown's signature art school and gallery, ArtFusion 19464.

A rendering of what a finished Fecera's, now called
Beech Street Factory, would look like.
The hearing was necessary because despite meeting previous parking requirements through the pending purchase and razing of two buildings for more parking, borough council adopted new more expanded parking rules.

Had the board failed to grant the variances, the project would have died after three years of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, plans and bureaucracy.

The sign variance will allow two new painted signs on the building. Even though they are larger than allowed in zoning, they are smaller than the signs on the building now.

Now it must still get land development approval from the Pottstown Planning Commission, final approval from borough council, and building permits and the like.

The board also dealt with two other smaller matters, granting a variance for siding to be put around a brick home on State Street and denying a request to allow Chestnut Street widow to rent two of rooms in her house for extra income.

Here are the Tweets from the meeting.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pottstown Rotary Holds Designer Bag Bingo Sept. 25

The Rotary Club of Pottstown will stage a "Back to School Designer Purse Bingo Fundraiser" on Friday, Sept. 25.

The event, which will feature a fun night of Bongo, 50/50 raffle, Chinese auction, door prizes and food, will be held at the Gilbertsville Fire Company, 1454 E. Philadelphia Ave.

Original purse designers include Dooney & Bourke, Michael Kors, Coach, Kare Spade and more.

The doors open at 5:30 p.m. with bongo starting at 7 p.m.

Reserved tables are available.

Tickets are $25 per person and can be obtained by calling Lori Musson at 610-505-0341.

They will also be available at the door.

Proceeds will be used to support the Rotary Club of Pottstown's Sixth Annual Performing Arts Competition scholarship awards program for area high school youth.

More than $3,000 in scholarships will be awarded in this year's contest.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Very Special Tennis Tournament on Tap

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by  Greater Pottstown Tennis and Learning.

The United States Tennis Association Middle States Section has recently partnered with the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania to pilot a series of entry level tournaments/play events geared towards Special Olympics athletes.

On Sunday, Sept. 20 the Greater Pottstown Tennis Association will host its first Special Olympics Tournament and Play Day event at The Hill School tennis courts in Pottstown.

The tournament is open to all SOPA athletes and will feature three separate draws based on skill level of participants:

* Traditional (regular tennis balls)

* Green Dot (full court, slightly lower compression balls)

* Red Ball Short Court (ideal for beginner players)

The tournament registration fee is $5 and will cover the entry into the tournament, food/refreshments, giveaways and participation medal. 

For tournament registration,  email

At the end of the tournament, GPTA will host a free Play Day open to all adaptive players that includes fun tennis games and drills! 

For Play Day registration,  email Maryellen at

Questions should be addressed to Kerriann Herdelin at

"Greater Pottstown Tennis and Learning is one of the region's only organization currently offering an Adaptive Tennis program and this event is hopefully going to go a long way to grow this program and allow other youth in our area to participate in a sport they may have never thought possible," said David Faulkner, vice president of GPTL.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Make an Appointment with VNA for Free Child Immunizations Starting Next Week

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by the Visiting Nurse Association of Pottstown and Vicinity.

Visiting Nurse Association of Pottstown & Vicinity (VNAP) will hold free childhood immunization clinics each month for un-insured and under-insured children (ages 0-18 years) starting next week.

By appointment only, the childhood immunization clinics are held at the VNAP facility located at 1963 East High Street in Lower Pottsgrove.

In an effort to continue its mission to promote healthy living and have accessible care to its community members, the next clinics will be held on:

• Wed., September 9, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

• Thurs., September 24, 8:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

For more information or an immunization schedule for 2015,  call 610.327.5700 ext. 3800 or

Since 1917, the Pottstown Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) has provided the most comprehensive home health care services available in the area.

Regardless of ability to pay, its nurses help individuals achieve a level of physical independence and emotional well-being in their home of choice.

VNAP still continues to offer round-the-clock support to patients and their families after nearly a century.

Pottstown VNA's primary programs include Home Health Care including skilled nursing, therapy, Wound, Ostomy and Continence Care, IV therapies, and Hospice. 

Additionally, it takes care of bothersome details like insurance authorizations, service coordination and supply deliveries. 

For more information, visit or call 855.THE.VNAs.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tropical Storm Relief in Linfield

Floodwaters wash over a car in Dominica where Tropical Storm Erika has killed at least 20 people, with many more still missing.

In Ian's Boots is trying to pull together 1,500 pairs of shoes for victims of Tropical Erika in Dominica.

The shoes will be assembled and packed up for delivery to UNICEF starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, at the Linfield Shoe Box, 43 Railroad St., Linfield.

According to CNN, flooding from Erika has killed 20 people in Dominica, "as torrential rains burst the banks of rivers and streams with turbulent force. Erika swept away even more people, who are still missing, authorities there said."

Dominica was deluged by 12 inches of rain in fewer than 10 hours, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. The waters also pushed walls of mud down hills, destroying homes and livelihoods.

They have cut off the village of Petite Savanne, where rescuers are searching for mudslide victims, with other countries in the region providing helicopters and other assistance.

In Ian's Boots is a non-profit named after the late Ian Joshua Miller a North Coventry 12-year-old who was killed in 2010 in a sledding accident.

Inside his ski boot was found this Bible passage, James 1:2-4:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
His parents, Ron and Holly Wastler-Miller, founded In Ian's Boots in his memory. The non-profit collects and provides footwear for needy families.