Monday, March 27, 2017

Pottsgrove High 'Spelling' Out Comedy On Stage


Blogger's Note:
The Following was provided by the Pottsgrove School District

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" will be staged at Pottsgrove High School on March 30, 31 and April 1 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10, $8 for senior citizens and students.

Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. 

Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience.
The cast of the show

An eclectic group of mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. 

At least the losers get a juice box.

Cast:
Emma Burrus as Olive Ostrovsky
Audra Estel as Schwarzy
Cierra Fekelman as Marcy Park (Co-Dance Captain)
Trystian Hernandez as Douglas Panch
Joe Kelley as Chip Tolentino
Tyler Montgomery as Leaf Coneybear (Co-Dance Captain)
Kathleen Moser as Rona Lisa Peretti (Student Co-Director)
Jessica Samilenko as Mich Mahoney
Michael Thornton as William Barfee

Ensemble:
Bryce Clemmer
Hailey Ellwanger
Summer Grier
Victoria Grier
Sarah Ounsworth
Michaela Sloan (Student Co-Director)
Mackenzie Vanhorn
Hannah Weghorst


Production Team:
Andrea Forrest -- Director, Producer, Choreographer
Kelsey Hendler -- Vocal Director
Anna Taylor -- Assistant Director, Stage Manager
William Einhorn -- Pit Orchestra Director

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Biden to Keynote Exceptional Women Tribute

Ashley Biden, executive director of the Delaware County Center for Justice and daughter of Vice President Joe Biden, will be the keynote speaker at the YWCA TriCounty Area's 22nd Annual Tribute to Exceptional Women on March 30.
Blogger's Note: The following was provided by YWCA TriCounty 

The achievements, leadership, and service of women in the Tri-County Area are in the spotlight this month as the YWCA Tri County Area (YW3CA) presents its 22nd annual Tribute to Exceptional Women at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at the RiverCrest Golf Club and Preserve in Phoenixville.

Ashley Biden, executive director of the Delaware Center for Justice, is the keynote speaker for the event. Ms. Biden also has worked with the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families in the education unit as the education and career liaison; at West End Neighborhood House Life Lines Program with youth aging out of foster care; and at the Northwestern Human Services children’s mental health clinic in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia as a clinical support staff member. 

She earned her MSW at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, where she received the “Combating Racism” Award from the Black Men at the Penn School of Social Work Inc.; she also holds a BA in cultural anthropology from Tulane University. Ms. Biden has served on the board of directors at YWCA Delaware. She is the daughter of former vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, and Dr. Jill Biden.

Tickets to this annual event are available online by visiting: https://yw3catribute.eventbrite.com.

YW3CA’s Tribute to Exceptional Women is an annual event which recognizes women for their ability to lead by example, embrace community responsibility, and demonstrate exceptional leadership in one of 10 awards categories. YW3CA has been proud to provide this opportunity for the community to recognize and celebrate the exceptional contributions made by women in the tri-county and surrounding areas.

Community members nominated 28 women for their leadership and accomplishments in the following categories: Arts, Business, Education, Health, Racial Justice, Non-Profit, STEM, Rising Star Award for women 18-30, Coretta Scott King Award for an agent of change, and Sally Lee Lifetime Achievement Award. 

These women are leaders in non-profit organizations, business, health care and hospitals, and at schools and universities. Annarose Ingarra-Milch, the 2016 Sally Lee Lifetime Achievement Award winner, will present the 2017 Awards.

The evening will begin with cocktails and bidding on silent auction items from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with dinner, the keynote speaker, and presentation of awards to follow. The evening will end with the announcement of the silent auction winners at 9 p.m.

Event sponsors include:
  • Peace Sponsors -- Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, Altria Group, JB Supply Inc., Exelon
  • Justice Sponsor – U Financial and Mass Mutual
  • Freedom Sponsors – BB&T, DNS Construction, Wrigley Business Supply
  • Advertising Sponsor – Wolf, Baldwin & Associates
  • Wine and Cheese Reception Sponsors – Montgomery County Community College, and YWCA board members
Proceeds from Tribute to Exceptional Women will support YWCA Tri-County Area’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. 

YW3CA educates children, youth, families, and communities through programming that empowers individuals to learn and grow across the lifespan, providing the foundation for a healthy and thriving community; empowers people to learn, grow, and take a stand; and advocates for racial justice, civil rights, women and girls’empowerment and economic advancement, and women and girls’ health and safety.

Nominees for the 2017 Tribute to Exceptional Women are:

Arts – awarded to a woman who encourages and/or demonstrates artistic expression, and supports the artistic development of women and girls.
  • Betsy Chapman, an accomplished harpist who mentors women in learning to play the harp, for both performance and music therapy;
  • Leena Devlin, director of the Steel River Playhouse in Pottstown.
Business – awarded to a woman who is successful in business, who exhibits a strong set of personal values, and who is a mentor to young women in her profession and in the community.
  • Linda Jacobs, owner of Downtown Design in Pottstown;
  • Sheryl Jennings, owner of Wildfree in Downingtown.
Education – awarded to a woman who motivates, teaches, and cultivates strong values in youth within the community.
  • Nehaila Ait Belouali, volunteer with the YW3CA’s Education and Training Center;
  • Calista Boyer, principal at Lincoln Elementary School in the Pottstown school district;
  • Jenee A. Chizick-Aguero, founder and publisher of Motivos, a magazine for Hispanic urban youth;
  • Dee Gallion, a community volunteer at Rolling Hills Apartments preschool, Bright Hope, and soccer coach in Lower Pottsgrove Township;
  • Kimberly Howerter, a pre-K teacher at YW3CA’s Early Education Center;
  • Denise Parham Jones, teacher at Abington School District;
  • Holly Parker, executive director of the TriCounty Community Network;
  • Camika Royal, assistant professor of Urban Education at Loyola (Md.) University and co-director of Loyola’s Center for Innovation in Urban Education;
  • Laura Simmers, director of the Early Education Center at YW3CA;
  • Kelly Earnshaw Skokowski, assistant director of the YW3CA’s Healthy Pathways program for girls.
Health – awarded to a woman who promotes healthy living in the community, raises awareness, and supports woman and girls in a healthy lifestyle.
  • Amy Bause Bartra, Bause Catering;
  • Shenise Henderson, LifeLife Trauma Informed Services;
  • Kate McKee, patient advocate at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center;
  • Dr. Maria Tucker, Total Woman Health and Wellness OB/Gyn in Pottstown.
Non-profit/public service – awarded to a woman who affects change through leadership in the non-profit or public sectors.
  • Taryn Flood, Saving Our Sons Inc.;
  • Lisa Heverly, Operation Backpack;
  • Pauline McGibbon, Women’s Center of Montgomery County;
  • Shaleah Sutton, Uniquely You Summit for Girls;
  • Landa Washington-Coppedge, a minister, radio host, and teacher.
Racial Justice – awarded to a woman who is an active volunteer, who is family-oriented with strong spiritual/religious beliefs; and who promotes racial justice and dignity for all.
  • Shenise Henderson, LifeLine Trauma Informed Services.
Rising Star Award – awarded to a woman age 18-30 who is a role model and enthusiastic leader for girls.
  • Alexandria Thomas, a licensed social worker;
  • Renee Womack, assistant girls’ basketball coach at North Penn High School.
Coretta Scott King Award – awarded to a woman who is an agent of change who advocates and empowers girls, and who is committed to social justice, peace, equality, and human rights.
  • The Rev. Leslie Callahan, St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Philadelphia.
Sally Lee Lifetime Achievement Award – awarded to a woman who has devoted many years to making a significant difference for women and in the community.
  • Toni Reece, founder of The People Chronicles;
  • Janice Warnquist, volunteer at the YW3CA Education and Training Center.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

50-Plus Inducted into Jr. Honor Society at PMS

Photos courtesy of the Pottstown School District
More than 50 Pottstown Middle School students have been inducted into the National Junior Honor Society










Blogger's Note: The following was provided by the Pottstown School District.

Recently the Pottstown Middle School held induction ceremonies for new members of the National Junior Honor Society. The candle lighting induction ceremony was conducted at a school-wide assembly which was also attended by school district administrators, school board members, and parents of the inductees.

The National Junior Honor Society is sponsored by Diane Halpine who also organized the candle
lighting induction program. Stephen Rodriguez, Acting Superintendent of Schools, was the keynote speaker and encouraged students to achieve academic success and to use it as the foundation for accomplishing their adult goals.

The middle school band, under the direction of Katie German, provided entertainment for the program.

Honor society student Liza Eames gave the keynote introduction and Julian Paskel led the inductees in the Honor Society Pledge. As has been the tradition of Pottstown Middle School National Junior Honor Society, a poem was read. This year, eighth grade student Destri Roye provided the reading.

Middle School Principal David Todd said, “I am extremely proud of the choices that these young men and women have made that have brought them to this point in their lives. Their continued good judgment and willingness to make a personal commitment to excellence will lead them to future adult success.”

Halpine explained that the object of the chapter is to create a desire to render service, promote leadership, and to encourage the development of character. Requirements for membership include that a student must obtain a minimum grade point average of 91 percent during their sixth and seventh grade years and maintain that average. Additionally, they must complete an application that includes obtaining character references from community and staff members.
Stephen Rodriguez, acting superintendent of Pottstown Schools,
delivered the keynote address at the middle school ceremony.

Under the direction of Halpine, the students work to maintain high standards of academic achievement and community service. Their participation helps to keep them focused from an early age on the goals of high academic achievement. Students who actively pursue academic excellence increase their chances of success in adult life.

The Pottstown School District is proud to have a local chapter of a prestigious organization such as the National Honor Society and a coordinator who works tirelessly to provide opportunity for students to gain an appreciation and value for education. This year’s inductees include:

Tajera Bass, Jaylah Becker-Aiken, Natalia Brown, Madison Carberry, Michelle Castillo, Felicidade Chimbinja, Kennedy Cole, Calista Daye, Vincenzo DeLeo, Colin Dellaquila, Genesis Diamond, Elizabeth Eames, Nada Elgendy, Evelyn Estes, Kylie Farmer, Julianna Figueroa, Xzavier Francis Williams, Rylie Gasper, Beatriz Guardado, CyeNyla Hall, Nathan Harper, Alexa Heater, Cynae Hills, Maria Jimenez, Cheyenne Lee, Anthony Lowe, Angelina Ludy, Dylan Maximenko, Kaleigh Martin, Mackenzie Moser, Kira Nihart, Allison Ormston, Yasmin Paez, Anthony Pinos, Leana Playfair, Jesseny Redrovan, Ma’kea Regis, Jessica Rivera, Tori Robinson, Ian Rosales, Gabriel Roseo, Savannah Sluzenski Minnick, Deanna Stefanavage, Ariana Torres, Lacie Townsend, Noel Wallner, Alexis Watkins, Austin Weller, Daniel Williams, Jayniana Williams, Joshua Wilson, Nerissa Yost.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pottstown Works Kicks Off, Names Program Director

Nancy March
Blogger's Note: The following was provided by the Salvation Army of Pottstown.

The Salvation Army of Pottstown has officially launched Pottstown Works, a program aimed to combat poverty and boost economic development by connecting the unemployed and under-employed with job opportunities. 

The Salvation Army has appointed Nancy March as Program Director. She will work under the direction of Wendy Egolf in establishing the program to teach job readiness skills to the unemployed and partner with businesses to meet workforce needs. 

The announcement was made by Major Frederick Clarke, Co-Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army of Pottstown. March is the former editor of The Mercury and also serves as an adjunct instructor at Reading Area Community College. 

She will direct the Job Readiness Workshop classes and business partnerships of the program, as well as community outreach.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Nancy’s experience in community leadership take on this program,” said said Wendy Egolf, Director of Housing Programs, The Salvation Army of Pottstown., who has been involved with a team of core volunteers in the startup. “This is an ambitious undertaking, but we’re confident that we are bringing something that is needed in Pottstown. 

Pottstown Works is now partnering with local businesses and non-profit agencies with a goal of training its first class of participants this summer.

The program is modeled after Cincinnati Works, which has helped thousands of people find and keep jobs. Its success is being implemented in cities and towns throughout the U.S. with Pottstown as the first project in Pennsylvania, according to Dave Phillips, co-founder of Cincinnati Works. 

The program model is unique in its partnerships with businesses, providing coaching to members and getting feedback from employers during their first months in a job to reduce conflict and turnover. As a result, Cincinnati Works has achieved an 85-percent job retention rate for its members after one year and a dramatic reduced turnover rate for businesses hiring entry-level employees.

“Everyone talks about jobs – we’re trying to do something about it, helping people find and keep jobs that will lift up their families and the overall community,” Egolf said.

Your can read more about Pottstown Works here and here.

The Salvation Army of Pottstown serves thousands of individuals and families each year through a multitude of programs and services. 

These include: The Lessig-Booth Family Residence, Transitional Housing Program, Pottstown Works job training, holiday assistance, character building for youth and adults, and Pathway of Hope, a new intensive case-management initiative to help motivated families achieve self-sufficiency.

The Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware is a faith-based, comprehensive human service organization whose programs help individuals, families and whole communities lead healthier, safer and more productive lives. Since 1879, 

The Army has held a record of accomplishment stemming from its holistic approach to providing for the needs of the whole individual – physically, emotionally, economically and spiritually. The Army’s programming serves every zip code through 51 community centers and a network of volunteers throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Delaware. Programs and services include: shelter, hot meals, counseling, early childhood development, recreational opportunities, music programs, after-school arts and educational programs, job training, activities for older adults, spiritual development, and drug rehabilitation.

Mission Statement: The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyPottstown.org or www.SalvationArmyPendel.org

Thursday, March 23, 2017

'Calm' Advised at Pottstown Immigration Forum

Photo by Evan Brandt
From left, Audrey L. Allen, head of Audrey L. Allen Immigration Law LLC in Conshohocken, Lance M. Malcolm, an attorney with Prince Law Office in Bechtelsville, and Gonzolo Peralta, also of Allen's law firm, discussed immigration law and the current political climate during a forum organized by Centro Cultural Latinos Unidos in the basement of First Baptist Church in Pottstown Wednesday.


Rita Paez is talking to a lot of worried people these days.

A borough councilwoman and member of the Pottstown Human Relations Commission, Paez is also the founder and head of Centro Cultural Latinos Unidos or CCLU as it is more commonly known.

An Hispanic cultural organization, CCLU is also frequently a voice for Pottstown's Hispanics, who comprise about 18 percent of the borough's population according to 2015 Census estimates.

But perhaps Paez is best known in Pottstown as a person who helps Spanish speakers in the community connect to the services they need and lately, she has been directing a lot of them to Audrey Allen, whose Conshohocken law firm specializes in immigration law.

The sign hung outside CCLU's offices in the basement of 
First Baptist Church.
"People are coming to me much more worried," said Paez. "One poor lady she had to go to the hospital she was so worried. A lot of people are telling me they want to go to Canada."

What they are worried about is the emphasis newly elected President Donald Trump has put on stopping illegal immigration, deporting those who are here illegally and the executive orders he has implemented to accomplish those goals.

So Paez decided it was time to share some expertise and invited Allen, her colleague Gonzolo Peralta and Lance Malcolm, who is an associated with Prince Law Offices in Bechtelsville, to a forum on the latest issues in Immigration.

Their advice Wednesday night to the approximately 30 people who showed up at the CCLU offices in the basement of First Baptist Church?

"Keep calm."

"These are uncertain times that have been made more uncertain by the new administration," said Malcolm. "It's important not to respond in fear. We can't respond to the politics of fear by being fearful ourselves."

"I recognize that these are tough times for a lot of people and they may have become disheartened in the last few months," Allen said.

"The vast majority of immigrants are not being affected right now. Even if you are undocumented, here in America, all human beings have rights," she said. "Keep calm."

Allen reminded the audience that among those rights, is the right to keep silent.

"Remember, you do not need to answer questions. You should say clearly that you invoke your right to remain silent and to make your phone call," she said, adding that rather than rely on their phones, a card with the attorney's number should be "carried in your pocket."
The card Paez handed out has the same text in Spanish
on the other side.

In fact, to emphasize the point, Paez handed out cards immigrants should carry in their pockets to hand out, English on one side and Spanish on the other.

Allen further emphasized "do not sign anything without talking to a lawyer first. Don't sign your rights away."

She also advised immigrants not to answer the door when the government comes knocking. "Ask them to slip the warrant under the door," she said. "If you open the door and there are undocumented immigrants inside, they can be detained."

In terms of police involvement, Malcolm informed the group that there is no formal cooperation agreement between any police agency in Pennsylvania and the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, often referred to as ICE.

So without a warrant, local or even state police cannot be compelled to cooperate with an ICE raid or, more importantly, pick up a suspect and detain them for ICE.

Also at the forum, although he did not intend to be a speaker, was Pottstown Police Sgt. Ed Kropp Jr., who was asked by Paez to say a few words.

He said the borough department has no written policy regarding immigration enforcement. "It's not our job to go door to door unless there is a warrant," said Kropp, who added that there has been no change in that condition since Trump took office.

There has also been no perceptible change in the level of cooperation police are receiving from Hispanic residents or in their behavior from a police standpoint, he said.

"In fact, obviously I watch the news and I know what's going on in the country, but if I lived in a vacuum and just came to work every day and did what I always do, I wouldn't be able to tell anything had changed," Kropp said.

"The police in the have been very good about this," said Paez, noting that they
Rita Paez inside the CCLU offices.
often call her when they need to get into contact with Spanish speaking residents.

Allen advised undocumented drivers to be particularly careful "and not do anything that will get you pulled over."

But sometimes, being detained is unavoidable and when it it is, it is best to be prepared, the lawyers said.

And while Allen said schools are generally considered off-limits as places for ICE agents to conduct raids, Malcolm said it is a good idea to have custody papers drawn up for children as a precaution if parents detained.

"A lot of people are trying to use power of attorney and that won't work in Pennsylvania," he said.

He said that immigrants who are a victim of a crime, or who can show they have been abused by a spouse, often have some leverage in immigration matters. "It does not have to be physical, it can be emotional abuse, like a spouse restricting or controlling access to a green card."

"If you have been here more than 10 years and have children who were born here, there might be a way to get you a green card," said Allen.

As far as what may change under Trump's executive orders, which Malcolm described as "a parade of horribles," he noted that the impact they will have is unclear.

"They are so badly written, perhaps intentionally, they give no specific direction and are vague and ambiguous," which may make them difficult to enforce," Malcolm said. "We're just going to have to wait and see. In the meantime, people should continue to live their lives."

One thing that is recently evident, said Peralta, is the number of phone calls his office is receiving from people asking about detentions.

"There has been a marked increase," he said, noting that the increase is no larger than some of the raids conducted under the Obama administration.

"President Obama deported more people than any other president in history, and they came in waves and troughs," he said. "We're just waiting to see if it will be the same under Trump."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

$3.7 Million Sludge Dryer Replacement Approved

Photos by Evan Brandt
The Pottstown Borough Authority decided Tuesday night to replace its current 10-year-old sludge dryer with this new, more efficient system.

The Pottstown Borough Authority Tuesday night voted unanimously to move forward with a $3.7 million project to replace the maintenance-plagued dryer at the sewer treatment plant and replace it with a new type of dryer.

The new system, a pressure differential dryer, has fewer moving parts and so is easier to maintain, is more energy efficient and will allow the plant to process 20 percent more sludge than it currently does, Authority Engineer Tom Weld told the board members before the vote.
W. Tid Griffin, president and CEO of Owensboro,
Ken.-based Gryphon Environmental LLC,
holds two jars of processed sludge. In his right
hand is the powder produced by the current sludge
dryer at the Pottstown Wastewater Treatment
Facility. In his left are the pellets left over from
his pressure differential dryer, which cuts down
on odor and is preferred by farmers.

The annual operational savings of nearly $700,000 over the current system means it will pay for itself within six years, he said.

"The thing practically pays for itself, it's really a no brainer," Utilities
Administrator Robert Plenderleith said as the presentation wrapped up.

The current dryer system, manufactured by Komline Sanderson, was purchased in 2007 for $6.7 million and was one of only three options on the market at the time, said Weld.

Since it was installed it has allowed the plant to produce a high-quality end product that can be used by farmers as fertilizer, or as fill. Most importantly, it does not have to buried in a landfill, a proposition that cost millions.

But the plant has been plagued with maintenance problems, forcing it to be shut down for days, meaning the plant's end-product had to be landfilled during the colder months when the dryer was off-line.

Since 2008, maintenance costs have added up to more than $2.5 million, in addition to another $5 million in hauling costs and the addition natural gas costs of $1.7 million, said Weld.
The current dryer building at the Pottstown Sewer Plant
will have to be expanded to accommodate the Gryphon dryer.

According to the average over the last three years, keeping the current dryer would mean an additional $270,000 a year in maintenance costs, compared to Gryphon's estimated $70,000 a year.

With maintenance estimates adding up to another $4.2 million by 2020 for the current system, Weld said it was time to explore other options.

The borough team looked at five other types of sludge dryers and settled on the one manufactured by Gryphon for the reasons stated above.

Overall, the Gryphon system is estimated to save the authority about $670,000 a year, said Weld. The authority also approved a motion to begin seeking the necessary state permits as well as a tentative timeline which has the system coming on-line in October of 2018.

The current borough dryer produces dust, seen on the left,
as an end product. The Gryphon product is pellets, right.
That does not include the increased marketability of the end product which, unlike the dust currently produced, comes in pellet form, which farmers prefer because it is easier to distribute and cuts down on odors. As an added bonus, the new system is also expected to cut down on odor complaints at the sewer plant, said Utilities Manager Brent Wagner.

In addition to taking out the old dryer, the current building must be expanded to accommodate the Gryphon system and the work timed so that when the current dryer is off-line and being disassembled, the class B product the plant produces without the dryer can be land-applied as fertilizer, which is much cheaper than sending it to a landfill.
Griffin explains how his system works during
Tuesday night's Borough Authority Meeting

The longer timeline also allows the three townships which also send their sewage to the plant -- Lower Pottsgrove, Upper Pottsgrove and West Pottsgrove -- time to plan to pay their share.

According to a spreadsheet put together by the authority staff, Pottstown ratepayers will pay 59.67 percent of the total cost or $2.2 million.

Lower Pottsgrove, the next largest user, would pay 26.28 percent or $975,000. West Pottsgrove would cover 10.26 percent of the cost or about $380,000 and Upper Pottsgrove just 3.8 percent, or about $140,000.

The approval was not the only thing that happened at the meeting last night. Here are the Tweets about the rest.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Wrestling Champs, Bumble Bees and Real Estate

Photo by Evan Brandt
The Pottstown High School Wrestling Team is congratulated by the school board for being the champions of the frontier division of the Pioneer Athletic Conference.
Monday night's school board meeting, clock in at 32 minutes, may have set a record.

After congratulating those Pottstown High School Trojan wrestlers for winning the Frontier Division championship of the Pioneer Athletic Conference, things moved along at a quick pace.

A presentation by the guidance office revealed that already by March, 6, 65 percent of the Class of 2017 has been accepted into a two-year, four-year or technical post graduate institution, or the military.

"Sixty-five percent accepted in March is an awesome number," said Acting
Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez.

He said it is a sign that "the culture in this school is shifting and it's obvious students in this school are getting excited by continuing their education." 

The board also endorsed a suggestion from board member Thomas Hylton that Save Our Lands, Save Our Towns, a non-profit with which he is affiliated be supported in pursuing a grant to turn the large lawn at the former Edgewood Elementary School into a natural meadow, planted with wildflowers, to help support declining bee populations.

And Rodriguez also offered an interesting piece of news. 

He said according to information from Drexel University's Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, the median property price in Pottstown rose from by 16 percent last year from $128,000 in 2015 to $161,000 in 2016.

Rodriguez also said according to Realtor Matt Green, there has been a 19 percent increase in total home sales in 2017.

"I think that is evidence that Pottstown is finally turning the corner," said Rodriguez.

Here are the Tweets from a very short meeting.