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One arrest announced. We must go on.

November 24, 2010

It’s quiet here lately because the recent violence in town has definitely gotten to me. I’m worried about my friends and everyone who’s living in the midst of this. And I’m reminded that if the streets of Pottstown are not safe, our revitalization dreams are pretty much out of reach. It’s a sobering thought – that challenges which are already fairly monumental become flat-out impossible in an environment of violence and fear.

The early morning arrest of the alleged shooter from this past Sunday is welcome news. The report of a stabbing early this morning in the general vicinity of the shooting is not. Still, we must go on.

I recently received an email from Citizens for Pottstown’s Revitalization regarding the need for Block Captains in organizing a strategy for increased civic participation in keeping streets safe. Here is an excerpt below:

“Please reply by Dec. 3rd if you would like to serve as a BLOCK CAPTAIN. (Our first meeting will be organized ASAP to define our roles and strategy)

To help keep us safe the Pottstown PD has generously offered:
Collaborating for Town Watch Patrols
Specialized Witness Training
The Civilian Police Academy

If interested in participating please reply by Dec. 3rd with your selections so the coordinating can begin.”

The email address is vivapottstown@hotmail.com.

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6 Comments
  1. The Baron permalink
    November 27, 2010 11:21 am

    I’d believe in revitalization of Pottstown if I had even a remote belief that the mayor and the people at borough hall believed it was necessary. I get the impression they believe that Pottstown is fine. They lack vision and creativity. Thankfully I don’t live in the borough and only have to go in once a month to pick up prescription items at Professional Pharmacy.

    • November 27, 2010 1:25 pm

      Hey, Baron, thanks for writing in. I know there are a lot of skeptics about Pottstown’s chances, and I realize the odds. However, that’s not going to stop me and a whole bunch of others from trying! In the past six months, I’ve met quite a few people in traditional leadership positions as well as throughout the community, and have found quite a lot of talented, creative people who are starting to connect in a bunch of different ways to move some ideas forward and work together. I’m encouraged that we’ll be heading into 2011 with some new energy and forward momentum. A joint meeting with Council and the School Board is set for Monday, Dec. 20th at the Middle School to talk about economic development, housing and a Community Land Trust concept. I’m involved in that last item and our team is looking forward to presenting it as a way to increase homeownership, stabilize neighborhoods and even do economic development, involving the residents every step of the way. Ultimately, I hope we can change things enough so that people like you will have a reason to come into town more often. Thanks again, Sue

      • The Baron permalink
        November 27, 2010 11:31 pm

        Sue,

        I actually applaud what you are doing and hope you are successful. The current Pottstown is a far different place from the one I would go into to visit my grandparents back in the 70’s and 80’s.

        When leaders of the NAACP fight Pottstown efforts to decrease rental properties and increase home ownership, I realize how difficult the effort is. Not to mention the handling of the former Mrs. Smith’s site, choosing to use the water front for low-income housing. etc…

        One of the difficulties is transitioning a town that was built on production industries such as Firestone and Jacobs Aircraft into a town that can attract more service oriented employers such as Siemans, Vanguard, Wyeth, etc. That is a challenge the decision makers of the borough must understand benefits the town and find a creative solution.

        The other difficulty is creating the anchor to draw people to the downtown for recreation. Phoenixville has the Colonial Theatre and the renaissance of that town is growing from that point. What is Pottstown’s equivalent of the Colonial?

        Sue, I say keep on doing what you are doing. I am rooting for you!

      • December 1, 2010 3:05 pm

        Hi, Baron – sorry for the delay. Trying to keep several balls in the air…

        I agree that there is still a big conceptual hurdle to get over to transition from manufacturing to a service, tech, green or pharmaceutical economy. I have my fingers crossed that the “Pottstown Partnership” will post the economic development director position by Jan. as promised, and someone will be hired to take the lead on developing real & substantial economic opportunities for the town.

        Regarding an “anchor” arts/cultural venue… have you been to the Tri-County Performing Arts Center at 245 High Street? They are putting on some amazing drama, musicals, dance and music acts. I believe I heard that they are getting some money to renovate their facade, which will be a big boost to their street visibility.

        And there may be an acoustic music venue opening up soon on High Street… some things are percolating behind the scenes, and if they come to fruition, we’ll get closer to the critical mass needed to attract even more.

        Cheers!
        Sue

      • December 1, 2010 3:07 pm

        Hi, Baron – sorry for the delay. Trying to keep several balls in the air…

        I agree that there is still a big conceptual hurdle to transition from manufacturing to a service, tech, green or pharmaceutical economy. I have my fingers crossed that the “Pottstown Partnership” will post the economic development director position by Jan. as promised, and someone will be hired to take the lead on developing real & substantial economic opportunities for the town.

        Regarding an “anchor” arts/cultural venue… have you been to the Tri-County Performing Arts Center at 245 High Street? They are putting on some amazing drama, musicals, dance and music acts. I believe I heard that they are getting some money to renovate their facade, which will be a big boost to their street visibility.

        And there may be an acoustic music venue opening up soon on High Street… some things are percolating behind the scenes, and if they come to fruition, we’ll get closer to the critical mass needed to attract even more.

        Cheers!
        Sue

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  1. Police Familiar With Sunday’s Alleged Pottstown Shooter | The Sanatoga Post

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