Free plants at MOSAIC Community Garden tonight & tomorrow morning!

Calling all area gardeners!

The 8th grade students at St. Aloysius School started a bunch of plants from seedlings this past spring with help from Strogus Flower Shop and funding from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation. They gave the starter plants to their parents and parishioners, but they had many more left over.

Anna Brendle from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation suggested they get in touch with us. So… there are a bunch of good-looking plants at the rear of the garden now. The MOSAIC Community Garden is at 423 Chestnut Street, Pottstown, PA 19464. I’ll be there from 6-7:30 pm tonight and from 8-9:30 tomorrow morning if you want to stop by and pick some up. They’re FREE! There are mostly squash and zucchini, but also some spinach, peppers, and tomatoes.

After tomorrow morning, I’ll set the remainders on the rear curb of the garden, in the alley. Spread the word!

Summer writing classes offered by local author & blogger

Okay, the “local author & blogger” is me.

This summer I’m slated to teach two classes – one for high school kids and one for adults – at The Gallery School of Pottstown, and I hope enough people will sign up so we can run the classes! You may know me as a blogger, or as the community garden lady from Mosaic Community Land Trust, but I am also a creative writer. My fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in journals in print and online for quite awhile now. In January I got my master’s in creative writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars, where I studied with some pretty awesome teachers and classmates. Back in NJ I coached high school sports for five years, taught summer journalism camps, and spent six months teaching middle school English (some people thought I was crazy, but I loved it!) Anyway, I’m hoping to bring that experience and my love of writing and self-expression to these summer classes.

Robert Frost Grave, Bennington, VT

The class for teens is called, “The Heart of the Matter: Personal Essay Writing for High School Students.” We’ll read a few short essays and get a feel for what an essay can be before the students dig into their own.  The whole idea is to  figure what you want to say in a way that grabs a reader’s interest, then take the reader along on your journey, and come to some moment of discovery… all within a certain number of words. This class will help kids get more comfortable with those pesky essays on standardized tests and in crafting essays that sing out to college admissions officers. The sign-up info is here. The key details are: The class runs on Tuesdays from 6:30-9pm for 6 weeks, beginning July 10th. Cost is $140 (member), $150 (non-member). The Gallery School is at 254 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464. It’s open to kids from ALL area high schools. Sign up with a friend! Sign up soon!

The class for adults is called, “Flash Memoir and Essays for Adults.” In this workshop, writers will share short pieces (no more than 3 double-spaced pages) of nonfiction for discussion. Nonfiction = “It really happened.” We’ll spend some time discussing what is meant by this, and how “the truth” can be shaped into a compelling story.  By limiting the number of pages/words, we are forced to see how every word really does count.  The very short form still requires that the writer establish setting and character, build scenes, create mood and tension, and explore a theme. Please bring some of your work for the first class. Writers at all levels are welcome! Sign up with a friend! For those of you who might be nervous about writing about your lives, rest assured that we will spend some time during the first class talking about ground rules and how to talk objectively about someone’s personal story while still being sensitive to the fact that the person is sitting right at the table. Registration info is here. This class begins on July 11th and runs on Wednesdays from 6:30-9pm for six weeks. $140 (member), $150 (non-member).

Pottstown’s Memorial Day Parade starts at 10 am

The Pottstown Memorial Day parade begins at 10 a.m. today at Goodwill Fire Company at 714 E. High Street. It is being organized by VFW Post 780. All veterans are encouraged to walk in the parade, which will continue down to the Vietnam veterans monument in Memorial Park at the end of King Street. There will be a ceremony there that includes a short speech from Severin Fayerman, a survivor of the Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen concentration camps and eventual co-founder of Baldwin Hardware in Reading, PA. Mr. Fayerman has recorded his story as part of StoryCorps, an independent nonprofit oral history project. His story will be archived in the Library of Congress along with other stories from around the country.

Goodwill is also serving breakfast today, so grab your lawn chair, head out early, get a bite and then watch the parade begin!

FREE Summer Art Camps: The Gallery School’s FREE program deadline is June 8

The Gallery School of Pottstown is excited to offer three free summer programs for students ages 8-12.

1) Kids Art Academy is a general arts exploration class, where students will explore two-  and three-dimensional arts.

2) Students in Clay Academy will delve into all aspects of creating with clay, including using a pottery

3) The third class, Asian Arts, will take students on a journey through the art traditions of many Asian countries.

Art Academy and Clay academy begin in June, while Asian Arts starts in July. Applications must be received by June 8, 2012 for all three programs. Applications can be found online at, or in person at the school at 254 E. High St., Pottstown, PA.

All three programs are funded by the Greater Pottstown Foundation and are free for the students, with the exception of a small registration fee.  While preference is given to those students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, students who do not qualify are also encouraged to apply. Questions can be emailed to, or asked over the phone at 610-326-2506.

The Gallery School of Pottstown is a 501c3 non-profit community art school and gallery. The School offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. The Gallery on High hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The Gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The Gallery on High is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-4:30pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The Gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Parents: MCCC’s Green STEM Camp Seeks Pottstown Middle School students for FREE summer program

Students: Do you ever wonder what a scientist sees through the microscope lens in the laboratory? What actually lives in the water and soil around us?

Montgomery County Community College is offering a free one-week opportunity from June 25-29 for Pottstown middle school students to step into a lab and find out.

For the second year, the College is hosting this free G-STEM—Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—camp at the West Campus in Pottstown, as the result of a $10,000 grant from TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank.

Students will get to do a variety of hands-on activities, including collecting water samples, gathering specimens and making observations during field explorations. In the laboratory, students can examine the miniscule life and microbial diversity that can only be seen with through the magnification of lenses.

At the conclusion of the week, the students get to their data and discoveries through Power Point presentations.

“What makes this program truly unique is that it is done at a community college with middle school students within five days,” said Program Director Dr. Davi Gonzales. “Usually, these types of programs are done by research universities with much older students.”

To sign up for the program, contact your school counselor immediately, complete and submit the application form. The camp’s hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Lunch is provided.

If you are interested in science and the environment, this program is for you. For additional information, contact Dr. Davi Gonzales at or 610-718-1883.

LointerHOME completes another gorgeous home in Pottstown

New to the market today, 542 Chestnut Street is the latest renovation by LointerHOME, the residential construction team headed by Amanda and Cristian DeSeta. 542 Chestnut is a New American Craftsman that boasts 1,736 square  feett, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and features a jacuzzi tub, all granite counters, and stainless steel appliances.  The new gas-fired heating system provides long-term savings on heating bills, and the 2-car garage is relatively rare in Pottstown. 542 Chestnut is within a couple blocks of the Hill School, the Chestnut Street playground, MOSAIC Community Garden, and downtown Pottstown. It is listed at $125,000.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the Pottstown real estate market, you’ll have noted that in the past year LointerHOME has successfully renovated and sold homes at 116 King Street, 467 Farmington Avenue, and 426 King Street. All of their homes are brought back to life with major systems overhauls and an attention to historic details like hardwood floors, lighting fixtures, and facades. Clean lines, cool palettes, and stainless steel appliances have brought these properties into the 21st century. (542 Chestnut includes one of my favorite materials of all time: “subway tiles.”)

Please enjoy these photos by Betsy Barron Photography. If you like what you see, check out the listing here and get in touch with realtor Lori Vanderbilt of Coldwell Banker Hearthside in Collegeville today at 610-489-7700.

Thank you to LointerHOME for recognizing the architectural gems here in Pottstown and continuing to invest in the Borough’s future!

FREE Dress for Success event tomorrow

This just in…

FREE Dress for Success Event

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

10am – 1pm

Salvation Army of Greater Pottstown

137 King Street

Pottstown, PA 19464

Registration Required! Call for your appointment NOW!

Call TCN to register for a Free Appointment at 610-705-3301

Choose from our 100s of outfits to find the ensemble that helps you stand above the rest!

 Register for our free event and have help picking your best interview outfit, accessories and shoes.   (Sizes are limited.)

SPONSORED BY THE TCN Homeless Services Program, Soroptimists Program, The Nottage Project, In Ian’s Boots, The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities, and The Salvation Army.

TriCounty Community Network

Partnering to improve health, social and environmental conditions



“Buy Local” spirit is at heart of PDIDA, WBZH and this month’s Happy Hour

The “Buy Local” movement is sweeping across the country and it has arrived in Pottstown like a force from Mother Nature. So, what does it mean to “buy local?” It’s pretty simple: By shifting even a fraction of your spending to locally-owned businesses in your hometown, you are supporting the employment base, the tax base, the school system, and your neighbors and friends. And, when the word gets out that there is support for local businesses from area residents, Pottstown could become a more attractive place for those considering expanding or opening up a new business.

During the month of May, the Pottstown School District and the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority, otherwise known as PDIDA (puh-dee-duh), have teamed up to help Pottstown flex its economic muscle with a “Buy Local” competition in the school district. All the schools and the administration are competing to see who can spend the most money during the month of May in the PDIDA district. PDIDA encompasses High Street from York to Evans Streets and Hanover and Charlotte Streets from Queen to King Streets. Students, staff and their families are shopping in those areas, getting a receipt, asking the merchant for a “Buy Local” sticker for the receipt and then turning it in at a School District building. In just two weeks, more than $16,000 was spent in the downtown! See Evan Brandt’s article here.

Did you know that there’s another Buy Local wave rolling through the region?

Local radio station WBZH, The Buzz (1370 AM), has been living and breathing the “buy local” philosophy 24/7 since February, when they announced that “buying local” would be the essence behind everything they do.

While their programming has always included local voices and up-to-the-minute local news and coverage, they have come up with advertising packages with customizable options that fit every business budget. They even offer free “buy local” taglines that you can record, along with your business name and location, to get the word out about the importance of supporting the people who are working and making an investment in your community.

We are bringing these two entities together for the next Positively!Pottstown Happy Hour, taking place tomorrow, Friday, May 18 from 5-7 pm at the PDIDA office at 17 N. Hanover Street. WBZH will be broadcasting the “Suki Says!” show live from 4-7 pm. Come out to network and meet local folks who are running businesses and trying to support local business, arts and culture in Pottstown every day. A $5 cover charge will get you food from Giuseppe’s, a new Italian restaurant and pizza place at 864 E. High Street; chocolate-dipped pretzels by Sugar High, a new sweet shoppe at 250 E. High Street; and complimentary beverages.

To rsvp, send an email to; we also won’t turn anyone away at the door, so just stop by to get your weekend started right, right here at home, keeping it local.

Girl Talk Series continues at YWCA with panel on non-traditional careers

The YWCA – Tri-County Area has been presenting the Girl Talk Series of programs during their Year of the Young Woman, and the series continues this Saturday with a talk on Non-Traditional Careers.

Entitled Who Said “It’s A Man’s World?”, the program will take place Saturday, May 19 from 10 am – 2 pm at the YWCA at 315 King Street, Pottstown. This discussion will explore non-traditional careers for women, consider where women should start to pursue a non-traditional career, and will provide examples.

Guests can park in the Evans Street lot located on King Street across from the YW. (Use the PERMIT spaces ONLY.) The program is free with reservation for women and girls age 8 and up. Just call the YW now to reserve a spot for you and your daughter: 610.323.1888.

Future events in the Girl Talk Series include:

July 28, 2012: Cyber Bullying and Stalking
September 22, 2012: Advocacy
November 10, 2012: Go Green!

For information about events, please contact the YWCA at 610-323-1888.

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