Bringing Foot Traffic To Pottstown!

When we talk about bringing increased foot traffic to Pottstown we have to recognize that we aren’t making it easy for people to get into town.  While we have parking we don’t have signage that goes along with it, and honestly we don’t have a lot of parking that is free, it isn’t very expensive, but we have a meter lady that is pretty efficient.  One ticket is enough to sour a visitor I’ll bet. And do we really need the parking officer?   I’m not so sure that is helping Pottstown bring traffic into town.

I mean, look at the parking lot on Hanover Street down by the “Gateway to Pottstown” from Chester County….the ten cent spaces there are rarely filled and why should they be?  Right next to that lot you have the huge vacant lot where the old AAA was.  And across the street there is usually open spaces near the paint store, but who parks in these lots?

Throughout some of the other downtown areas you have residential parking areas and 3 hour parking areas and huge lots that are relatively vacant but that have warning signs posted all over.  If I didn’t know my way around Pottstown I’d be worried about driving in and parking.

For a town with so many apparent open parking spaces it’s pretty silly to act so worried about folks actually parking in any of them!  Just think about it.





Welcome to Cantown?!

I don’t think I’m sure I like being known as “Cantown”, but I guess I like that we have our own brewery now that Sly Fox is producing their own beer.  How many years have we had to tell people that we aren’t Pottsville where Yuengling is produced?

Check out the video which is sort of sassy.  I’m posting it here, but of course  you can find it directly on Youtube:

Good job Sly Fox!  And best  of luck.




The New BB’s in Morgantown!

I had mentioned that I liked visiting BB’s over at the Manufacturers Outlet Mall in Morgantown in the past.  I don’t know, there is something about a good deal that appeals to me and you definitely can pick up a good deal at BB’s.

Today I was driving past their new location which is where the old Martin’s was behind the Pizza Hut on Route 23.  I haven’t stopped in there yet, but I sure plan on it.

In their old store they didn’t have too much in the way of produce.  I  really like produce so when I heard that in the new store they have more room for fruits and veggies I got excited!

I’ll let you know how the new store is when I get there.

Oh, if any of you have been there, feel free to let me know how the visit was.




Towels and Acne!

Sheesh.  Did you know that there is a man made substance that bleaches towels that kids are using all the time to clean their faces because of raging acne?  That is right!  The product is Benzoyl Peroxide.

Now don’t go getting all upset because I’m warning you about the bleaching action of a topical skin product.  You may choose to use that product and I don’t care.  If it works for you then use it, but it bothers me that there is such a push for young people to get rid of their acne and yet, they are being asked to use a product that could be harmful!

How weird is that?

You know what is weirder to me?  That flour is bleached with benzoyl peroxide.





Erin Brockovich Doesn’t Like “Conversion Disorder” Either

Remember we were talking about the young ladies from LeRoy  High in New York.  There were 12 of them and they were all suffering from a malady that resembled what we now call Tourette’s Syndrome, or TS.  Evidence of the syndrome like behavior was strange body movements, or tics that the girls were displaying.

A doctor called their illness a “conversion disorder” which is an updated way of saying that they were suffering from hysteria.  There was nothing physically wrong with them, but they were experiencing true suffering because of anxiety or stress.

Personally I thought that was a rather neat way for doctors to handle an illness that was only infecting a small group of young women.  It’s easier to call them crazy than it would be to actually find out what the hell was causing their problems!

Guess what?  The issue isn’t going away as quickly as New York’s Department of Health had hoped it would and more people are starting to ask questions.

In doing some rather amateur research on my own I found out that there are several harmful chemical products that are in our environment that could cause the kind of neurological damage that these young women are experiencing.  Now I’m no Ph.D and yet I can see that there are potentially harmful substances in the New York area- so why can’t anyone else in authority up there?

To be perfectly honest there was a big train derailment back in 1970.  I know you are saying to yourself that that was a long time ago, right?  But the problem with that response is that the government data on cleaning up the site had some problems with the effluent getting into the atmosphere back in 2009.  Now I’m no genius but if there has been work on this site since 1970 and they are still not done- then I’m okay with leaving that as a potential problem for these young ladies.

Some of you might be asking why would it only be young women?  Well, it’s a hormone thing.  See, some of the chemicals that we have been hiding from are pretty scary when it comes to pretending to be natural hormones.  They sort of have an affinity for certain parts of the body.  Certain parts of the developing body.  Certain estrogenic parts.  And when those body parts start changing or activating their certainly might be a problem with the women who are relying on them!

But of course all of that worry is theoretical.  There are no conclusive tests that will prove that young developing young women have to worry about pollutants!  I mean, mostly we have tests on mice and rats.  But um, I better not tell you about the tests on them because in one of them the males were so incensed in each others presence that they all had to be caged individually so as not to attack each other constantly.

Go figure.

Have these chemicals been shown to kill anyone?  NO!   Do they kill lab animals at the dosages that we can assume humans living in that area are getting?  That answer would also probably be an emphatic no.  But can they cause neurological and other serious consequences in humans?   Sadly that looks like it’s gonna have to remain a strong “maybe”.

Beyond that trivial concern there is another tiny problem in the LeRoy area and in the area of the LeRoy High School in particular!  Ready?  Read this from the Batavia news:

Five natural gas wells owned by the LeRoy school district ring the junior/senior high school building, which opened in 2003. The wells have undergone the controversial procedure known as hydraulic fracturing, state environmental officials said. About 25 Western New York school districts own gas wells, though none have more active wells than Le Roy.

“We believe that it would be premature to draw any correlation between these tragic and unexplained illnesses and the gas wells on the school’s playing fields,” said Roger Downs of the Sierra Club’s Atlantic Chapter. “But we have seen no evidence that these wells were adequately considered by the Department of Health as potential contributing factors to the illnesses in the initial investigation.”

Rumors persist that the school or ground sit atop rock and soil trucked in from a part of Le Roy still suffering the after-effects of a huge spill of the toxic solvent trichloroethylene in a 1970 train derailment.

Now why would Erin B. want to join with the Sierra Club in asking some tough questions about the students at LeRoy?

By the way, where there were 12, now there are 15.

I’ll keep watching!





Google Thinks I’m Older and Male!

I guess it’s a good thing that Google has figured me wrong.   I don’t want to be sold every time I come online so it’s okay with me that Google’s algorithms for figuring me out tell them that I’m ten or more  years older and male.

The bad thing is that it’s probably an indication of some sexism in their algorithms.  I mean I know I hang out at tech sites and science sites  and world news sites more often than I hang out at traditionally female sites  but I”M STILL A FEMALE!  Sheesh.

I don’t feel like changing my ad preferences though so I bet they are going to keep selling me on banks and travel sites.


mo ( even my name sounds masculine doesn’t it?)





Whooping Cough At Great Valley!

We talked about the possibility that this was going to be a big season locally for whooping cough a couple of weeks ago.  First the illness was in NJ, and then it was in Quakertown and now it’s made it to Great Valley High School.

So is that supposed to scare you?  NO, but you need to pay attention to colds that hang on.  This illness pretends to be a regular cough with regular cold symptoms, but then the cough hangs on for a couple of extra weeks and then patients cough so hard they can throw up, or turn blue from not being able to breathe in deeply.  The concern with this disease isn’t that it will kill most of the people who come down with it, but the problem is that it’s highly contagious and you can’t tell for 2 weeks or so whether you’ve picked up the virus, or you just have a cold.

I’m sorry that we have to worry about this, but it seems that the illness shows up every few years and we are due for it. Most children have gotten vaccinated against this virus but if your children haven’t then you might want to check with your physician or your health provider.

One more thing- the particles that are able to infect you are so incredibly small- don’t think that just avoiding someone who sneezes directly on you will keep you safe.  Just do your best to take extra care of yourself so that your immune system isn’t on the fritz!

Best of luck!




Purple Cow’s and Goops!

How many people are familiar with the silly poem about a purple cow?   A show of hands?  Well, for those of you who don’t know the poem I’ll gladly recite it for you- ahem:

I never saw a purple cow

I never hope to see one;

But I can tell you anyhow

I’d rather see than be one

Now do you remember it?  Well, if you don’t it was a poem written over a hundred and fifty years ago by a man named Gelett Burgess who wrote several works of humor but this particular poem wasn’t one of his favorites because it became so popular!  I read that he said the following about having written it:

Ah, yes, I wrote the “Purple Cow”—, I’m Sorry, now, I wrote it; But I can tell you Anyhow, I’ll kill you if you quote it!

Mr. Gelett also wrote a series of stories about the Goops, or a family of rather stupid people that no one would want to be like. 

Why am I writing about purple cows and Mr. Gelett Burgess?  Well, he is one of the talented authors that Mrs. Santorum collected works from in her book on Everyday Graces, an anthology of stories that teaches children about manners.

How do you like that?



PS, Mrs. Santorum’s book has a forward by  Joe Paterno!

The Goops

by Gillette Burgess

The Goops they lick their fingers
And the Goops they lick their knives:
They spill their froth on the tablecloth
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!
The Goops they talk while eating,
And loud and fast they chew;
And that is why I’m glad that I
Am not a Goop, are you?


Shooting on Thun Trail

I’m a little uneasy with a story about a bicycle rider being attacked by three young men while riding on Thun Trail near Reading.  It seems he shot one of the attackers in the neck killing him and he shot the other and the last one was picked up by police and taken to a detention center.

At first glance this seems like a story that seems like the good guys are winning, ( the 65 year old bike rider).   On second glance though, I’m a little worried about an 11 am scuffle ending in the death of a teen.

I know that the older man was released and the shooting is being considered self-defense but I’m still a little worried because we don’t know who the older guy is?  And something I read on a gun forum online suggested that the 911 folks had trouble with the language of the caller calling in the incident.  Which might be because the older guy didn’t have a cell phone and had to get someone else in the vicinity to call it in….so he had a gun but no cell phone.  And he was attacked  but then he had no trouble accessing his gun to shoot a kid in the neck.

Of course that is possible…but honestly I’m not really thrilled with the idea that citizens can shoot each other on bike trails or walking trails in PA.  I hate that teens would harass a rider on the trail…but I’m wondering what made them do it?

Maybe things worked out for the best…or maybe there is more to this story that we won’t ever find out about.  In the meantime I’m not going to get too excited one way or the other.