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WFMZ

Our City Reading Helping People Purchase New Homes - Regi...

Notice how Al Boscov rarely ponies up any of his money. It's most always government money, not his own. If Al Boscov really wanted to help the city, he would have built a store there. Back when his 9th Street store burnt down ... what does Al Boscov do ... instead of supporting the city, and the loyal city customers who helped build his business, he rebuilds outside of town - so much for helping the city. And more recently, from my understanding, even after bankruptcy of Boscov's, creditors, many of them being local businesses, were stiffed out of over $70 million! Don't get me wrong, it's great people are willing to help the city, but Al Boscov is only in it for his own ego (and from some reports, padding his own coffers by getting kickbacks / discounts from the contractors involved with remodeling the homes), doing very little to really help the city compared to others, such as the late Mike O'Pake.  (Aug 6, 2011 | post #5)

WFMZ

E-Z Pass V. Cash: Should It Cost The Same? - Regional New...

From all indications, the PA Turnpike Commission has already made up its mind to do away with toll collectors... E-Z Pass combined with automatic license plate readers (for drivers without E-Z Pass; they will get a bill in the mail) is the future. It's not just to save money on payroll, but also to increase road capacity, since there will be no need to stop reducing backups along with more entry / exit points, such as the new one being built in Chester County... Eventually all the toll plazas will become totally automated, such as those at exit 352 (Street Rd in Bucks County) and exit 340 (near Fort Washington). On a different, but related topic regarding feedback, WFMZ disables comments to most of its articles ... seems to me that WFMZ doesn't want to hear the thoughts of its readers / viewers regarding serious local issues - often those are the articles (ie. the most one regarding installing Stop signs on Rt 73 in Oley Township) that have the comments section turned off.  (Aug 5, 2011 | post #11)

WFMZ

PennDOT Lays Out Safety Suggestions For Intersection Wher...

Oley Township itself would need to pay for the traffic signal, which can easily run well in excess of $100,000. Presumably, the main reason the township publicly supports the cheaper "B.S. fixes" instead. If the parents / supporters of the traffic signal bring some money to the table, the traffic signal would likely be up and running within a year. Anyone doubting that need only look at how quickly shopping center developers get new traffic signals built, since the developer usually foots the bill. To reiterate, PennDOT isn't the real holdup, the municipality's lack of funds is. $100,000-$250,000 is nothing for a big city, but where this signal is proposed way out in Oley Township, that's a lot of money to spend for something of limited benefit to its residents. Bottom line is if the residents can pony up some money, that would get things moving in the right direction. Hold fundraisers, solicit donations, etc to raise a decent portion of the money needed - then approach the township to cover the remainder, which would be more realistic. Ron  (Jun 14, 2011 | post #1)

WFMZ

Lawmakers, Drivers Sound Off On Possible 422 Tolls - Regi...

The news article says, in part, "To add another lane along 422 would cost $100 million dollars." $100 million? Maybe that's per direction, equating to $200 million total, but even that number is wishful thinking. Anyone doubting that need only look over to the road widening projects in New Jersey where the costs to add an additional lane each way on a 17 mile stretch of the Garden State Parkway cost $225 million. Keep in mind that the Rt 422 bypass is nearly 50% longer, than the 17 miles widened section of Garden State Parkway, at 25 miles, which would translate to a cost upwards of $330 million, likely at best, and, if the past is any indication, more like $500+ million. And the above costs is just to add additional lanes and upgrade shoulders and medians, not taking into account the costs of reconstructing the existing highway and approach ramps, many of which likely need to be torn-up and rebuilt. On a related topic, from what I've read, the toll pricing at 11 cents per mile (25 miles; $2.65 each way) would be the same cost as the PA Turnpike - that bodes badly for commuters, because the PA Turnpike, is among the most expensive toll roads, per mile, in the entire nation. Ron  (Jun 9, 2011 | post #3)

WFMZ

Commission Hears Plan For Tolling Stretch Of Route 422 - ...

In response to the reply above. More money may help improve the road, but tolls is the worst way to raise the funds. Tolls is a very regressive form of taxation, often even worse than sales tax, affecting low to mid-income earners far more than high income earners. Or to put in perspective, commuters from Pottstown, where the tolling would begin, and beyond, such as, Reading, Exeter, Birdsboro, etc. to King of Prussia would be facing an additional expense of upwards of $120 per month... $1400+ per year - that's a lot of money for the vast majority of commuters only earning around $30,000-$50,000 per year ... the tolls would, in effect, amount to a new tax of around 3%-5% of their annual income for many. Ron  (Jun 7, 2011 | post #33)

WFMZ

Commission Hears Plan For Tolling Stretch Of Route 422 - ...

As for Rt 724 and other nearby parallel roads, expect the maintenance for those to get worse - a lot worse! And figure on absurdly low speed limits and tricky traffic lights (poorly maintained; out of sync cycling; shorter than normal yellows) to discourage people from using those routes; exclusivity zone of 10 or so miles wide along the Rt 422 corridor to protect toll revenue at the expense of safety. Roads are among the basic responsibilities of local and state governments. Individuals (non-commercial users of light-weight vehicles; operators of heavy trucks, etc already pay extra) should not be nickled and dimed to use something that their taxes should already be paying for. Ron  (Jun 6, 2011 | post #7)

WFMZ

Apartment Residents Unhappy With Changes Brought By New O...

I thought the government owned it. Guess not? When it comes to the private sector, It's all about the mighty dollar and nothing else. The loss of various amenities is likely a prelude to what's to come ... increased rents and less maintenance. Ron  (May 13, 2011 | post #8)

WFMZ

Post Office To Move Some Operations, May Relocate Employe...

Good point, but often not true. For many residences, and even many businesses, the postal carrier doesn't physically visit each one, but rather often pulls up to a mailbox cluster, opens the back, and pushes in the mail without even leaving their vehicle. Furthermore, in many rural communities, people must visit the post office to get their mail; no mail delivery. And yet, ironically, in many such instances, private carriers, such as UPS and FedEX, will physically deliver to such addresses even though the USPS doesn't. I've never seen a postal carrier run ... never! Have you? And yet, I frequently see UPS and FedEX workers moving fast. Don't get me wrong ... I'm sure many USPS mail carriers work hard, but the inflexibility, top-heavy management, and complacent attitude of many USPS workers gives the USPS a very bad reputation... Long waits at the service counter doesn't help matters - often I've observed workers going on break while there are many customers waiting at what would be normally be expected busy periods, such as around lunch time - one would think the post office would shift breaks to off-peak times much as the private sector does... The USPS should be dominating the package delivery business and yet doesn't - why is that? Price can't be the sole reason, because in many instances USPS is actually cheaper ... and yet, despite that, many choose to use UPS, FedEX, etc instead. Ron  (Apr 7, 2011 | post #8)

WFMZ

Post Office To Move Some Operations, May Relocate Employe...

This looks to be the beginning of the end for the USPS Reading mail distribution facility. In a few years, it will likely be little more than a postal window for people to drop off mail and buy stamps. As for bulk mail acceptance, don't put much hope in that keeping the place going. Presumably, bulk mailers / pre-sorters (ie. PSI) with mail going to various non-local zips that used to be handled by the facility, will likely instead transport such mail to Harrisburg and/or Allentown. Shame to see the U.S. Postal Service rapidly becoming irrelevant in today's world... The USPS could become more of a package delivery company like UPS and FedEx, but that would take a significant change in the USPS staffing culture, which is very inflexible and management top-heavy - U.S. Postal workers tend to move at a leisurely pace while UPS and FedEx workers regularly move quickly to get their routes done. Ron  (Apr 7, 2011 | post #2)

WFMZ

Our City, Reading To Host Several Open Houses This Weeken...

Strange how the comments section is turned on for this news article, but not for many others. WFMZ really seems to be censoring more than usual lately - they don't care whatsoever what people think. As for Boscov's - from my understanding, when they declared bankruptcy, the settlement resulting in creditors, collectively, be stiffed for over 70 million dollars. Boscov's isn't much about charity - sad to say. Much of the funds, directly and indirectly, are coming from the government. If Al Boscov was serious about helping Reading, he would have put a large department store, and the corporate offices, within city limits - instead he, like many others, fled and abandoned the city. Ron  (Apr 2, 2011 | post #13)

WFMZ

Deadly Pedestrian Accident Prompts Warning From Police - ...

Intersections that don't allow for safe pedestrian crossing should be illegal. Personally, I cross roads where it's most convenient regardless of the signage. Some may consider doing so civil disobedience, and it may be, but mainly it's being practical... I'm not going to walk a quarter mile out of the way to cross a road - a few hundred feet total, maybe, depending on the area, but anything more than that is generally unreasonable. Bottom line is pedestrians have the right of travel too, and that needs to be respected in roadway / intersection design... Some cities, such as Seattle, Washington get it. But many other places, such as eastern Pennsylvania, not so much - around these parts, for a pedestrian, crossing an intersection is more akin to playing Frogger - cross quickly and hope for the best. Ron  (Mar 15, 2011 | post #23)

WFMZ

Parents Trying To Help District Save Full-Day Kindergarte...

Even with all the program and staff reductions, according to recent news reports, district residents will likely still get hit with a hefty tax increase ... possibly upwards of 8%! For those concerned about full day kindergarten being reduced to 1/2 day, that's better than none... I wouldn't be surprised to hear the district considering eliminating kindergarten completely, if they can ... are public schools in Pennsylvania required to provide kindergarten? Ron  (Mar 15, 2011 | post #31)

Allentown, PA

PennDOT Examines Pair Of Dangerous Intersections - Region...

The main reason for more overpriced studies with little action is Berks County has a lack of clout in Harrisburg. Look at other counties and how they seem to have less problems getting expensive new construction done while Berks County is ignored. Bottom line is for Berks County, there isn't enough money available to actually fix the numerous serious problems (ie. among the worst being RT 222 north of Reading), so PennDOT spends what little they do have to placate people, and to justify their division's budget, with more studies. Ron  (Mar 5, 2011 | post #5)

Dividing Creek, NJ

Officials: Poisoned meat likely killed dogs

Are the trails where the poisonings happen open to the public? Or are the trails on privately owned land that's clearly posted "No Trespassing"? While it's a shame what happened, IF the dog walkers were trespassing and the poison bait was intended for coyotes, the dog owners may have little to no effective recourse. Ron  (Mar 3, 2011 | post #1)

WFMZ

School District Considers Cutting Band - Regional News - ...

Daniel Boone school district recently spent many millions to build and renovate buildings plus a $3+ million stadium ... and yet doesn't have enough funds for band. And to add insult to injury, school taxes are going up! The residents in Daniel Boone need to give the district a reality check much like residents did in the Wyomissing Area School District multiple times... * Wyomissing Area wanted to build a huge, extravagant swimming pool complex (verses a basic pool, which most people were ok with) - residents shot the proposal down. * Then a few years later Wyomissing Area was at again with a $30+ million proposal to build a new extravagant elementary school instead of renovating the building that was already there for far less - and again, Wyomissing Area residents shot it down in a landslide public referendum vote. Many more Daniel Boone school district residents need to speak up ... or otherwise expect lots more wasteful spending and many more program cuts. Ron  (Feb 28, 2011 | post #3)