Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Call for Artists: 17th Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show

This oil painting won Best in Show at the 2019 Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show. It’s titled “The Papermill of Papermill Road,” and is by Russell Slocum. 

Blogger's Note:
The following was submitted by the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area.

The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area invites artists to submit original artwork or photography for the 17th Annual Scenes of the Schuylkill Juried Art Show and Sale that will display at the Walk In Art Center in Schuylkill Haven. 

The Best in Show artist or photographer will receive a $500 prize. 

Pieces ranked in second place, third place, as honorable mentions, and selected as the staff choice will also receive cash prizes. 

Tulu Bayar, the Art and Art History Department Chair at Bucknell University, will be the guest juror of this year’s show. Bayar will select the final pieces to be accepted into the show and will also rank the submitted pieces. 

This digital photograph is called “Tundradelphia,” and
was taken by Will Thompson. The photograph received an
honorable mention in the 2019 Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show.
Artists and photographers are invited to submit their original work on paper or canvas of a scene within the Heritage Area. 

The Heritage Area encompasses the Schuylkill River watershed within Schuylkill, Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. 

The submitted artwork or photography should communicate the distinctive nature of the region and can focus on people, the river, streams, landscape, or historic properties. 

The prospectus and application can be viewed at schuylkillriver.org/artshow

The 2021 show is at a new location this year, the Walk In Art Center. The center is located at 220 Parkway, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972. 

This painting is called “Put the Yak in the River and Go,”
and is by Jon Bond. The painting received an honorable
mention in the 2019 Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show. 

Artists are invited to deliver artwork or photography for submission to the center on Oct. 17 from 2 to 5 p.m., and on Oct. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. 

The 17th Annual Scenes of the Schuylkill Art Show will open as a free exhibit to the public on Oct. 25 and close on Nov. 13. The artwork in the exhibit will be available for purchase. 

For more information about this year’s show, visit schuylkillriver.org/artshow. 

The Schuylkill River Greenways NHA is a non-profit organization with the mission of connecting residents, visitors and communities to the Schuylkill River and the Schuylkill River Trail by serving as a catalyst for civic engagement and economic development in order to foster stewardship of the watershed and its heritage.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest Announced

Blogger's Note:
The following was submitted by Centro Cultural Latinos Unidos.

The Centro Cultural Latinos Unidos (CCLU) has announced the opening of the 6th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Writing Contest. 

The contest will run run until April 15, 2022, and is open to all Pottstown Area students from Third to 12th Grades. The winners will be announced on Cinquo De Mayo, May 5, 2022.

Contestants will be asked to provide an essay in either English or Spanish based on the 2021 theme for Hispanic Heritage Month: Esperanza: The journey of your past is the hope for your future--a celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. 

National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM) members, associates, and partners from various federal agencies and affinity groups -- including the general public -- selected the theme through a voting process, which started in February 2021 with 22 theme submissions.

Contest age categories are: 
  • 3rd and 4th graders: 100 to 150 words; 
  • 5th and 6th graders: 150 to 200 words; 
  • 6th to 8th graders: 200 to 250 words; 
  • 9th to 12th grades: 250 to 300 words. 
Contestants must include an original title, name, last name, address, and phone number. They must mail their essay with parental permission to Central Cultural Latinos Unidos (CCLU),301 King Street, Pottstown, PA 19464, by close of business Friday. April 15.

Centro Cultural Latinos Unidos is the only Pottstown based non profit organization serving the needs of the Spanish speaking population in the greater Pottstown, PA, area. Its mission is to bridge American and Latino cultures and connect families with needed educational, recreational, legal and health services. For more information, visit www.cclu-pottst.org.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Shusterman to Host Shredding Event Saturday

Blogger's Note:
The following was submitted by the office of state Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-157th Dist.

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman will host a free shredding event Saturday, Oct. 9 to help residents of the 157th Legislative District properly dispose of unneeded documents.

The shred event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  at the Technical College High School Pickering Campus, 1580 Charlestown Road, Phoenixville. 

In a printed newsletter sent to constituents in the district several weeks ago, the address was incorrectly listed. The correct address is 1580 Charlestown Road.

State Rep. Melissa Shusterman
“Protecting confidential information through shredding unnecessary, old documents is an important step in ensuring you do not fall victim to identity theft. Sadly, identity theft occurs every day and has greatly accelerated in frequency over the last several years. This event will give you an opportunity to take a proactive approach in making certain your private information does not fall into the wrong hands,” Shusterman said.

There is a limit of three boxes for each household, and attendees are asked to open their trunks and please remain in their vehicle while Shusterman and her team unload your vehicle. Please bear in mind that newspapers, magazines and journals will not be accepted.

Shusterman said the event will be held rain or shine and may end sooner than scheduled if the truck is full. Shredding is done on site, and all shredded paper will be recycled.

Common types of unwanted items for shredding include credit card statements or applications, bank and investment statements, canceled checks, income tax information, insurance and health records, and retirement or pension fund information.

For more information, residents may contact Shusterman’s office at 484-200-8260.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

OJR Band Cavalcade Celebrating 50 Years Today

Today's band cavalcade at Owen J. :Roberts High School will mark the 50th anniversary of the school's first-ever cavalcade in 1971.

Band director Todd Mengel has arranged for an Alumni Band event in which at least 156 former band and band-front members will attend.

"Those of us who are participating are very excited," according to Heather McCreary, who marched as a flute and tenor saxophone played in 1983. 

"There is a woman, a baton twirler, from the very first cavalcade coming, 1971 and many others," McCreary wrote in an email.

Here is the schedule for today's events:
  • 2 to 3:30 p.m – Practice in OJR Stadium with our current HS Band. Part of the time will be spent positioning on the field, and part of the time rehearsing the music together to prepare for the performance at the end.
  • 4:30 p.m. – Cavalcade Begins
  • 8:30 p.m. – OJR High School Band Performance
  • 8:45 p.m. – OJR Combined Alumni & HS Band Performance (SSB, Alma Mater, America the Beautiful)
  • 9:15 p.m. – GRAND FINALE Performance (all bands on field together playing Blinding Lights)
  • 9:45 p.m. – Refreshments provided in HS Cafeteria. All OJR Band Alumni & current HS Band Members invited to socialize. There will be complimentary pizzas, drinks, and other refreshments available.

Friday, October 1, 2021

PA disaster Declaration Extended for Ida Damage

The remnants of Hurricane Ida raised the level of the Schuylkill River significantly.

Blogger's Note:
The following was shamelessly lifted from the Sept. 23 weekly newsletter issued by state Rep. Tracy Pennycuick, R-147th Dist.

Recognizing the long recovery ahead in many areas of the state that suffered extensive damage related to Tropical Storm Ida, the state House and Senate has approved a resolution extending the governor’s disaster emergency declaration issued Aug. 31.
State Rep. Tracy Pennycuick

The resolution proposes to extend the declaration through Oct. 27.

This is the first time the General Assembly has voted to extend a disaster emergency since voters approved an amendment to the state Constitution limiting a governor’s disaster declarations to a maximum of 21 days. Anything beyond 21 days requires legislative approval.

Many residents and businesses in Montgomery County were negatively impacted by the storm. 

If you are in need of assistance, check out the county’s website. There you will find information on applying for aid from the federal government, U.S. Small Business Administration assistance, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, free transportation, debris collection and more.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

PHS Marching Band Wins 1st Place in Boyertown

The triumphant Pottstown High School Band returns home from the Boyertown Cavalcade of Bands with the first place goods.

Blogger's Note:
The following was submitted by that energizer bunny of perseverance, John Armato, Pottstown's director of community relations.

The Pottstown High School Marching Band took home first place Saturday at the American Open Class of the Boyertown Arlen Saylor Cavalcade of Bands competition.

Their first outing of the season netted a score of 71.6 to take 1st place, and win both the High Percussion and High Auxiliary awards. 

Under the direction of David Bonilla-Garcia, the band begins its competitive season strong as they continue towards the Cavalcade of Bands Championships held on Nov. 13 in Hershey. 

"All of our students are working hard to develop their skills and perform at the highest level. They are building the foundation for future success," Bonilla-Garcia said.

To catch a glimpse at the Pottstown High School Marching Band's 2021 field production "Departure,"  come out to the remaining Trojan Football games and also come watch at the following competitions and festivals this fall:
  • Oct 2nd -- Owen J. Roberts High School
  • Oct 9th -- Penncrest High School
  • Oct 30th -- Phoenixville High School
  • Nov 13th -- Hershey Stadium, Hershey Park
John also included a link to a YouTube version of Queen's anthem to success, "We Are the Champions," but I will spare you all.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Houlahan Business Bill Included in Build Back Better

U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-6th Dist.
Blogger's Note:
The following was submitted by the office of U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-6th Dist.

U.S. Representative Chrissy Houlahan  has announced her legislation was successfully adopted in the House Small Business Committee’s $25 billion funding package advancing through the House. 

The committee now sends the bill to the House Budget Committee for inclusion in President Biden’s next legislative priority – the Build Back Better Act.

“As an entrepreneur, I know how difficult it can be to scale a business under normal circumstances, let alone during a global pandemic,” said Houlahan. “As Congress considers this next round of investments in our Main Streets, I am proud to bring the concerns of my community to the forefront. Simply put, the recovery of our small business community is the linchpin to the recovery of our economy.”

Houlahan’s key initiative adopted in the legislative package would invest $9.5 billion to establish a subprogram within the Small Business Investment Company program to provide long-term capital to underserved markets and small manufacturers.

“Not only must we help our small businesses recover but we must do so in a way that reflects the diversity of our investment community,” added Houlahan.

In addition to Houlahan’s SBIC initiative, the legislation includes the following investments:
  • $35 million in funding for veteran federal procurement entrepreneurship training
  • $1 billion in funding for an uplift accelerator program and business development academy at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) for underrepresented small businesses
  • Provides $1 billion to establish a national network of business incubators
  • $20 million to enhance the SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs
  • $600 million to enhance, improve, and expand the SBA’s Community Advantage program
  • $4.465 billion to fund a direct loan product under the current 7(a) lending program administered by the SBA
  • $500 million to fund a pilot program for eligible cooperatives and employee-owned businesses to receive SBA loan products without the requirement of a personal or entity guarantee
  • Invests $2.746 billion to establish a direct lending subprogram under the 504/CDC lending program to allow CDCs to make loans to small contractors, small manufacturers, and small businesses in underrepresented markets
  • Over $100 million to invest in entrepreneurial training initiatives for the formerly incarcerated

“Small businesses are the foundation of our economy and ultimately the key to our nation making a full economic recovery,” said Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “The small business policies that we advanced today represent a generational investment in America’s entrepreneurs and will help businesses recover from COVID now and prosper in the future. That’s why Congress and the Biden administration must continue moving forward with the Build Back Better Agenda and pass this legislation.”