News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
1.9K views | +3 today
Follow
 
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
onto News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
Scoop.it!

McGrath, Developer of Villa at Newtown, To Pay Newtown Twp $25K For Surreptitiously and Illegally Cutting Down Valuable Beech Tree

McGrath, Developer of Villa at Newtown, To Pay Newtown Twp $25K For Surreptitiously and Illegally Cutting Down Valuable Beech Tree | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it
McGrath Homes will pay the township $25,000 for illegally cutting down a 112-year-old tree in 2015.

Newtown Township Supervisor Jen Dix said the board on Wednesday unanimously voted to accept the payment as a settlement for the action. The European copper beech tree was illegally removed during the development of the Villas at Newtown.

Preservation of the tree was a condition of approval when Newtown Township approved the development in 2006, but contractors took it down without getting advance approval by the township.

Several months after it was cut down, the supervisors voted to have an attorney file a lawsuit in Bucks County Court seeking $85,000 for the tree, a figure that was determined by a professional arborist's assessment.

However, Dix said the township decided to reach the settlement deal after it prepared to pursue litigation for a second time. "This avoided the legal costs for both sides and although it was not as much money as the forensic arborist report said it was worth, we felt it was in the best interest of the Township to accept this settlement," Dix said in an email to Patch.
johnmacknewtown's insight:
From the Release of Claims:

THAT Newtown Township, Bucks County Pennsylvania ("Releasor") , for and in consideration of the sum of Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00), receipt of which is acknowledged, does hereby remise, release, and forever discharge Villas of Newtown Enterprises, LP and Villas of Newtown Development, LLC, their employees, partners, members, heirs, executors and administrators, and assigns ("Releasees") , of and from all claims, demands and causes of actions, whether in law or equity, which were made or could have been made by Releasor in Newtown Township v. Villas of Newtown Enterprises, LP, et aI., No. 2017-02107 (Com. Pleas Bucks Co.) and Newtown Township v. Villas of Newtown Enterprises, LP, No. 2015- 06613 (Com Pleas Bucks Co.) (the "Civil Actions") relating to the removal ofa certain cooper beech tree (the "tree") formerly situated on the real property located designated as Tax Map Parcel 29-10-76, and more colloquially known as the "McGrath Homes/Villa at Newtown." The removal of the tree was allegedly in violation of certain conditions of a land development plan approved by Releasor. Releasor understand that the payment by Releasees is in compromise of a disputed debt and that Releasees have not admitted any liability.
more...
No comment yet.
News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
These curated news items were selected by John Mack. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Improving Communications Between Newtown Township and Residents

Improving Communications Between Newtown Township and Residents | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

I outline at least six steps I have taken to achieve this goal here

 

The most visible, however, is the END OF PIXELATION of web streaming video of Newtown Board of Supervisors meetings!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Second Annual Newtown Food Truck Fest 2018 Father’s Day Edition Set for June 17

Second Annual Newtown Food Truck Fest 2018 Father’s Day Edition Set for June 17 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The 2nd Annual Newtown Food Truck Fest: Father's Day Edition is set for June 17. The event, a fundraiser for the Newtown Theatre, will be held from noon to 7 p.m. at Council Rock North High School (62 Swamp Rd, Newtown).

 

Confirmed food trucks include:

 

  • Bacon Me Crazy
  • Bee Creative Artisan Foods
  • BlendLife
  • Bread and Butter Specialty Sandwiches
  • Brilliant Beverages
  • Buzzetta's Festival Foods
  • Country Girl Kettle Corn
  • Curly Tail Ice Cream
  • DeLorenzo's The Burg
  • El Guaco Loco
  • Goodnoe Farm Dairy Bar
  • Kono Pizza
  • Ma and Pa's Tex-Mex BBQ
  • Nick's Roast Beef
  • Philly Fry
  • Rita's Water Ice
  • The Cannoli Café
  • The Coffee Room
  • The Cow and the Curd (named among Pennsylvania's best food trucks)
  • The Good Donut Shop
  • The Happy Pita
  • The Little Sicilian
  • The Slider King
  • The Taza Truck
  • Wow Wagon

 

For more information about the event, visit TheNewtownTheatre.com/foodtruckfest.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Newtown Supervisors Approve Resolution 2018-R-15 Asking State to Set Up Independent Panel to Redraw Pa.’s Election Districts

Newtown Supervisors Approve Resolution 2018-R-15 Asking State to Set Up Independent Panel to Redraw Pa.’s Election Districts | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The board of supervisors approved a resolution calling on Pennsylvania officials to impanel an independent bipartisan commission to draw a new statewide legislative and Congressional map.

 

Newtown Supervisors approved the resolution at the urging of the non-partisan group Fair Districts of Pennsylvania, which is spearheading the change in the Commonwealth.

 

During the April 25 board meeting, Mary Kremser, the resolution coordinator of the organization’s Bucks County chapter, had implored the Newtown supervisors to urge the state legislature to appoint an independent 11-member panel to redraw the legislative maps, instead of having it done by the lawmakers or their political appointees.

 

“The more resolutions we have, the more pressure we can put on the legislature,” Kremser had told the supervisors at last month’s meeting.

 

“Seven other states have already set up similar panels, including California, and they were successful,” she had noted.

 

Under the group’s plan, the Commonwealth Secretary, who oversees elections in Pennsylvania, would formulate the 11-member bipartisan redistricting commission.

 

It would be comprised of four Democrats, four Republicans and three Independents.

 

To be eligible for appointment, its members could not have held elected office for at least five years, and they would also be barred from running for any political position for another five years after they serve on the special commission.

 

The same restrictions would apply family members and lobbyists.

 

According to Kremser, even though Democrats have 700,000 more registered voters in Pennsylvania than Republicans, currently 13 of the state’s 18 members of Congress are Republicans because of redistricting based on the 2010 U.S. Census.

 

“It’s not going to be a perfect system, it’s going to be tough,” she noted before the supervisors’ vote on the resolution, “But it’s going to be a lot more fair than what we had.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Find the resolution and view the video of Ms. Kremser at the Supervisors’ meeting here: “Supervisors Pass PA Congressional Redistricting Resolution.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Elcon Reapplies to DEP for Toxic Waste Facility Located Next to Delaware River

Elcon Reapplies to DEP for Toxic Waste Facility Located Next to Delaware River | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The controversial project, which opponents call an incinerator, is now on its fourth attempt. New filings reveal Elcon intends to pay U.S. Steel nearly $3 million for the land.

 

For the fourth time in as many years, Elcon Recycling Services is resubmitting application materials in an attempt to build a controversial waste treatment facility in Falls. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced the newly submitted materials this week; the agency previously rejected the company’s application materials three times.

 

Elcon seeks to build a hazardous waste treatment facility that would process between 150,000 and 210,000 tons of chemical and pharmaceutical waste each year, according to its past filings. The company aims to build the facility on a 23-acre site in the Keystone Industrial Port Complex, which is an approximately 3,000-acre industrial park encompassing the former footprint of U.S. Steel’s Fairless Works operations. The new filings reveal Elcon intends to pay nearly $3 million to U.S. Steel for the land.

 

Elcon touts a proposed “thermal oxidation” process it says would limit toxic releases from the facility. Concerned citizens and environmental opponents are skeptical of the claim, saying the facility is simply a waste incinerator. Groups such as Bucks POWA and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network say they’re specifically concerned about toxic materials being released to the air and potential drinking water contamination should an accident or flood release chemicals into the nearby Delaware River.

 

“Siting Elcon next to the Delaware River, where millions of people get their drinking water from, is short-sighted and reckless,” Fred Stine, citizen action coordinator for the Riverkeepers, wrote in an email. “Every day, as many as 25 tanker trucks filled with chemical hazardous waste will drive within one-half mile of the river.”

 

Elcon’s four-year quest to have the facility approved by the DEP has been mired in setbacks…But Elcon may be zeroing in on the target. Last May, the DEP cited six areas as lacking. In October, it was down to just three, all revolving around Elcon’s lack of ownership of the land and relevant paperwork.

 

Whether Elcon has filled in all the gaps remains to be seen.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

In 2016, Newtown Township - among others - passed a resolution opposing this plant due to "danger" to drinking water. See here for more information about that.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Council Rock School District Approves Improved Lockdown Communication Protocol & Training for Teachers and Staff

Council Rock School District Approves Improved Lockdown Communication Protocol & Training for Teachers and Staff | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Council Rock has approved a new safety initiative as well as a revised lockdown communication protocol.

 

District representatives said after meeting with local police to review lessons learned from an April 16 lockdown at Richboro Middle School, they chose to implement changes to the communication protocol.

 

The district said it learned three lessons from that lockdown. First, it must quickly communicate a general lockdown notification districtwide. Parents must also be clearly directed not to immediately go to a lockdown site. Finally, in the event of a prolonged lockdown, a staging area needs to be established for parents to safely gather and receive information.

 

As a result of those lessons and the meeting with local police, the district has adopted a new centralized lockdown communication protocol that incorporates those elements.

 

Additionally, the district will be implementing a new safety initiative called ALICE.

 

The school board on Thursday approved a three-year agreement with the ALICE Training Institute. ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate "teaches people to participate in their own survival, while leading others to safety," according to information from the district.

 

Council Rock says the ALICE model is being utilized by 4,150 police departments, 950 higher education institutions, and 4,200 K-12 school districts.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

According to the ALICE Training website, the "Counter" aspect of the training does not involve confronting the active shooter: "ALICE Training does not believe that actively confronting a violent intruder is the best method for ensuring the safety of those involved. Counter is a strategy of last resort. Counter focuses on actions that create noise, movement, distance and distraction with the intent of reducing the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately. Creating a dynamic environment decreases the shooter’s chance of hitting a target and can provide the precious seconds needed in order to evacuate."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Warminster, Horsham, & Warrington Sue Manufacturers Over PFA-Contaminated Water

Warminster, Horsham, & Warrington Sue Manufacturers Over PFA-Contaminated Water | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Warminster Municipal Authority, the Horsham Water and Sewer Authority, and Warrington all initiated legal proceedings against half a dozen firefighting foam manufacturers this week. Anapol Weiss, a Philadelphia-based law firm, is representing all three plaintiffs.

 

Listed as defendants are the 3M Co. of Minnesota, the Buckeye Fire Protection Co. of North Carolina, National Foam Inc. of West Chester, and Chemguard, Ansul, and Tyco Fire Products, all of Wisconsin. Although the three suits are separate, Larry Cohan, lead Anapol Weiss attorney on the cases, said they take a similar tack. Cohan will be joined on the case by his son and fellow Anapol Weiss attorney, Josh Cohan.

 

The companies all historically produced aqueous film-forming foam, a specialty material widely used by the military, civilian airports and some other private industries to snuff out petrochemical fires. The foams also contained chemicals called perfluorinated compounds, or PFAS, which have been found to be toxic.

 

The subject of investigation by this news organization, PFAS chemicals do not break down in the environment and quickly spread through and persist in soil and water. The foams were used at area military bases from the early 1970s into the 2010s, before being discovered in area groundwater over the past eight years. The Horsham, Warrington and Warminster water authorities all previously relied on groundwater to provide drinking water to approximately 70,000 combined customers.

 

Due to the contamination, the water systems were forced to close approximately 18 water wells in 2014 and 2016. The three authorities then implemented “zero tolerance” plans to remove the chemicals in their water system to nondetectable levels. As the military only agreed to pay to filter wells contaminated above a safety limit recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency, the water authorities were on the hook to pay for the plans, which involved buying large quantities of water from the North Wales Water Authority.

 

“These local governments have sustained enormous (financial) losses,” Larry Cohan said. “That problem relates directly to these manufacturers, selling a product that they certainly knew long before was potentially hazardous to health.”

 

Warminster is currently paying about $2.5 million extra a year, while Horsham is paying about $1.2 million, which it passes through to customers as an average surcharge of $73.48. Warrington projects paying about $1.8 million total in 2018 and 2019, said water and sewer director Christian Jones. Cohan said his firm and the water authorities have not yet totaled an exact amount of alleged damages but that it will be “many millions” of dollars.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Also read: “Newtown Artesian Water Company Discounts Study That Found 7 Carcinogens in Water Supply

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Newtown Township Manager Kurt Ferguson Will Take Lower Makefield Township Manager Position in July

Newtown Township Manager Kurt Ferguson Will Take Lower Makefield Township Manager Position in July | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

In a unanimous vote, the board of supervisors on Wednesday night approved the appointment of Kurt Ferguson as its next township manager.

 

Ferguson, who has managed Newtown Township since 2012, will replace retiring manager Terry Fedorchak who has led the township’s administration for the past quarter of a century.

 

Ferguson, the supervisors’ top choice out of a field of 35 candidates, competed in an extremely vigorous selection process conducted by Jersey Professional Management. He will begin his new duties on July 16 under a two year contract with the township.

 

“After a comprehensive search, we are pleased that Kurt is joining the township as our next manager,” said Chairman John Lewis. “Kurt has a proven track record of leadership,” he said, adding that board members were “impressed with his demonstrated financial and operations management expertise.”

 

Ferguson began a career in municipal government in 1998 as an Economic Development Officer for Mt. Lebanon in Western Pennsylvania. He went on to serve as manager for the Borough of Edgewood and Hempfield Township, also in Western Pennsylvania, before taking his current job as manager of Newtown Township.

 

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected as the next township manager for Lower Makefield,” said Ferguson. “I am grateful to the board of supervisors and thank them for the confidence they have in me. It is truly a privilege to follow Terry Fedorchak, the longest tenured manager in Bucks County, and look forward to working with the supervisors, staff, businesses and residents.”

 

Before coming to Bucks County, Ferguson was the manager of Hempfield Township in Westmoreland County.

 

The population of Hempfield Township was 43,241 at the 2010 census, making it the largest suburb in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area by population. It’s motto: “A Great Place to Raise a Family.”

 

During his three years in the manager’s role in Hempfield Township, Ferguson professionalized the services they provided and utlized his financial management skills ”putting expenditures on a predictable path.”

 

In a related motion at the May 16 supervisors meeting, the board unanimously approved an amendment to the township manager ordinance allowing the manager to live within a 20 to 25 mile radius of the township building. Under the current ordinance, the manager is required to live in the township. Ferguson currently lives about 20 miles from the township, according to solicitor Dave Truelove.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Residents Present Their Case For and Against a Super WaWa on the Bypass

Residents Present Their Case For and Against a Super WaWa on the Bypass | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Previously, I summarized the case made by the developer and his legal counsel for approval of a Super WaWa (convenience store + gas station) on the Newtown Bypass. In this post, I summarize comments from the audience made at the May 14, 2018, Board of Supervisors (BOS) Work Session. 

Biggest Speed Bumps: Traffic and concerns regarding amending zoning ordinance

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

President's Politics Still Driving Bucks Democrats to Polls

President's Politics Still Driving Bucks Democrats to Polls | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Many Bucks County voters took Tuesday’s primary election as their chance to reject Republican officeholders. Several cited a disdain for President Donald Trump, even in deciding local and state elections.

 

Pennsylvania’s political climate might more closely resemble that of November 2017 — when Democrats took over all but one of the county’s five row offices for the first time in over 50 years in the so-called “blue wave” — than of November 2016, when President Donald Trump eked out a statewide win despite a narrow loss in Bucks.

 

A Newtown Township Democrat who declined to give his name said protesting Trump and all Republicans aligned with him was the main reason he came out to vote in the midterm primary.

 

Since Trump’s election, the county’s Democrats have kept a lead in terms of newly registered voters while Republicans appear to have hemorrhaged numbers to the unaffiliated ranks, according to data from the Bucks County Board of Elections. Of the 11,617 Bucks voters who registered to vote since November 2016, 4,735 (40.8 percent) identified as Democrats, 3,660 (31.5 percent) did not identify with either party, and 3,222 (27.7 percent) identified as Republicans.

 

Of the county’s 448,363 currently registered voters, 191,956 (42.8 percent) identify as Democrats, 183,196 (40.9 percent) identify as Republicans, and 73,211 (16.3 percent) do not identify with either party.

 

Linda Amos and Daniel O’Leary, judges of elections in Warrington and New Britain Borough, respectively, both said they saw roughly even splits between Democratic and Republican voters at their polling places as of Tuesday afternoon.

 

John Cordisco, chairman of the Bucks County Democratic Committee, said he believes the path to progress lies in “healthy debate and discussion” across party lines but that, for that to happen in the current political climate, “you probably need to change the person in the White House.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

I was at the American Legion polling place handing out official literature to Democrats. It was brutal standing in the hot sun for 2 hours! Luckily, my Republican colleagues invited me to stand under their canopy for relief. While there I engaged in some "healthy debate and conversation" with them about medical marijuana, Super WaWa on the Newtown Bypass, guns, new development in Newtown and impact on traffic, our kids, etc. Come to think of it, we never mentioned the president at all!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Developer and Attorney Present Their Case for a WaWa Superstore on the Newtown Bypass

Developer and Attorney Present Their Case for a WaWa Superstore on the Newtown Bypass | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Details of the application for a Wawa at the southwestern corner of Newtown Bypass and Lower Silver Lake Road were presented at a Work Session meeting of the Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) on Monday, May 14, 2018. No decisions are made at BOS Work Sessions.

 

Michael Cooley of the Provco Group, which was hired by the owners – Innovative Hospitality Management – to develop the site, presented sketches and concept images of how the WaWa Superstore would be laid out and look to drivers.

 

One major stumbling block is the fact that the site is within the Office Research (OR) zoning district, which does not allow retail stores or the selling of gasoline according to a memorandum prepared by CKS Engineers.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Developer and Attorney Present Their Case for a WaWa Superstore on the Newtown Bypass. Zoning problem, traffic, and frontage are major issues.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

EPA, Department of Defense, White House Conspired to Put Clamps on Release of PFAS Safety Limits for Drinking Water, Says Union of Concerned Scientists

EPA, Department of Defense, White House Conspired to Put Clamps on Release of PFAS Safety Limits for Drinking Water, Says Union of Concerned Scientists | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Newly released emails appear to show EPA, DOD, and White House officials putting the clamps on PFAS safety limits lower than what the EPA has set forth.

 

Newly released emails appear to show EPA, DOD, and White House officials putting the clamps on PFAS safety limits lower than what the EPA has set forth.

 

In May 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency dropped a bombshell, setting new recommended limits for perfluorinated chemicals, also known as PFAS, in drinking water. The new safety level was as much as eight times lower than the amount considered safe just the day before.

 

The change meant millions of Americans were then drinking water with unsafe amounts of the chemicals, including tens of thousands of Bucks and Montgomery County residents. Local water authorities immediately closed public drinking water supply wells impacted by the chemicals, adding to those already closed two years prior based on the old limits.

 

But new emails obtained by the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists, along with reporting from specialty news publication InsideEPA, show the concern about how much of the chemicals can be safely consumed didn’t stop there. Instead, they show the EPA took part in an apparent effort earlier this year, along with the White House and Department of Defense, to stop another federal agency from releasing health limits far lower than what the EPA used in May 2016. The agency in question is the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, or ATSDR.

 

“The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these new numbers is going to be huge,” one email stated. “We (DoD and EPA) cannot get ATSDR to realize the potential public relations nightmare this is going to be.”

 

The “nightmare” is this: After studying the chemicals for years, the ATSDR drafted limits on how much of several of the most common PFAS chemicals are safe for humans to consume. For PFOS, their proposed level was 10 times lower than the dosage the EPA created. For PFOA, it was approximately seven times lower. As the EPA’s current limit for both chemicals is approximately 70 ppt combined, a drinking water limit for the chemicals based on the ATSDR’s analysis would likely fall into the single digits or low teens of parts per trillion.

 

The ATSDR has yet to release its draft limits publicly, but the levels were obtained and reported by InsideEPA, which is a subscription-only service.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

More Details On Proposed Wawa In Newtown Township: Sketch Plan

More Details On Proposed Wawa In Newtown Township: Sketch Plan | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A proposed Wawa in Newtown Township would have fuel pumps and a 5,585 square-foot convenience store, the sketch plan shows.

 

A proposed Wawa in Newtown Township would have fuel pumps and a 5,585 square-foot convenience store, according to a copy of the application obtained by Patch ahead of Monday's meeting on the proposal.

 

The Wawa is proposed at the Newtown Bypass and Lower Silver Lake Road. The applicant, developer Provco Pinegood Aquisitions, is seeking to put the Wawa on a privately owned parcel across the street from Crossing Community Church.

 

 

Last year, Township Supervisor Phil Calabro's pitched an idea for the township to lease or sell two acres of Silver Lake Park, which is also located off the Bypass, to Wawa or another similar convenience store chain. This proposal is completely unrelated to that, Supervisor Jen Dix noted.

 

Monday's meeting starts at 7 p.m. at 100 Municipal Dr, Newtown

 

Further Reading: 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Nine Newtown Township Police Officers Receive Commendations; Police Chief Rick Pasqualini to Retire

Nine Newtown Township Police Officers Receive Commendations; Police Chief Rick Pasqualini to Retire | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Keeping with its annual tradition each May, the township awarded commendations of merit to its police officers for perseverance, teamwork and leadership.

 

At the May 9 supervisors’ meeting, Police Chief Rick Pasqualini awarded the honors to nine officers for work over the last year.

 

  1. Det. Cpl. Daniel Bartle
  2. Sgt. Daniel Bell
  3. Lt. Jason Harris
  4. Det. Christopher Bush
  5. Cpl. Patrick Hardy
  6. Ofc. Frank Goodwin
  7. Ofc. Nicklaus Whitney
  8. Det. Joseph Camp

 

And newly-hired Officer Brandon Turpyn, who was sworn in last November, received a commendatory letter for his exceptional actions while responding to a report of a possible overdose last month [he saved a life by administering Narcan].

 

Police Chief to Retire

After 10 years heading the department, Newtown Township Police Chief Pasqualini will formally retire Jan. 1, 2019. “It’s been an honor and privilege to serve the men and women of the department,” the chief said. “Ten years went by rather quickly.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Sorry to see you go Chief. I hope whoever replaces you is as forthright and compassionate as you!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

New Cross Culture Indian Restaurant and Turning Point Breakfast/Lunch Restaurant Coming to Newtown Township, But Maybe Not a Drive-through Starbucks

New Cross Culture Indian Restaurant and Turning Point Breakfast/Lunch Restaurant Coming to Newtown Township, But Maybe Not a Drive-through Starbucks | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A new Indian restaurant at the Village of Newtown South is planning to open just a few doors down from the new Pharmacy at Newtown and the Newtown Farmers Market.

 

The menu at Cross Culture is focused on the Northern Indian style of cooking, highlighting specialties from the tandoor - a traditional clay oven - and a wide selection of various curries and kormas with varying degrees of spices.

 

The first Cross Culture opened in 2006 in Peddler’s Village, Lahaska. Since then it has grown to include locations in Doylestown, Buckingham and New Hope in Pennsylvania and in Princeton, New Jersey.

 

In addition to Cross Culture, a new breakfast/brunch and luncheonette will be opening at the Village at Newtown East near the new Harvest Seasonal Grill.

 

Turning Point will be located at 2841 South Eagle Road and will occupy 3,700 square-feet with 125 seats inside, and another 30 outdoors, weather permitting.

 

The eatery will be open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. seven days a week serving breakfast, brunch and lunch.

 

“We crack hundreds of eggs a day because we know it’s the best thing for our customers,” says its website. “Every item on our menu is cooked to order… to your requests. We will make it how you like - just give us a little time. Our philosophy is ‘fresh is always best.’”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Despite a recommendation for approval of a “conditional use” application for a drive-through Starbucks restaurant by the Newtown Planning Commission, Supervisors voted 5-0 against the application at the May 9, 2018, Board of Supervisors meeting. The restaurant is proposed to be located in the Village at Newtown West at 2896 South Eagle Road.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Guest Opinion: Steve Bacher’s Position on the Environment and Marijuana

Guest Opinion: Steve Bacher’s Position on the Environment and Marijuana | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Bacher says: "We candidates in the Democratic congressional primary should talk about issues, not each other. I am running a positive, issue-based campaign. You can view detailed positions on more than a dozen issues at https://www.stevebacher.com/issue.

For example, the Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal is featured prominently on my website. It is a specific, bipartisan proposal to put a fee on carbon emissions and send the money back to American households as a monthly dividend.

Fellow Democratic Party candidate Scott Wallace has said publicly that there’s “not much daylight” between us. Not true. My environment page addresses several facets of environmental policy on which my opponents are silent. For example, we should ban fracking, which poisons our water and air.

I support legalizing marijuana for recreational and medicinal use. The other candidates don’t address this issue. A majority of American adults have used marijuana. Most have purchased it through someone with a connection to organized crime gangs.

It’s time to legalize it, regulate it, allow purchase through specially-licensed retail outlets like liquor stores and tax it.

Legalizing it will reduce the likelihood that users are exposed to other, more harmful drugs offered in the black market. Early studies are showing that places where marijuana is legal have lower incidence of opioid abuse."

 

Also read:

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Long time former Newtown resident, environmentalist, and 1st Congressional District Candidate Steve Bacher discusses environmental issues of concern to Newtown residents as well as his opposition to the 287g program, in which local police are trained to act as immigration officers. http://bit.ly/BacherPodcast 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

First Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Bucks County Scheduled to Open on May 11, 2018 - Only a 20-minute Drive from Newtown!

First Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Bucks County Scheduled to Open on May 11, 2018 - Only a 20-minute Drive from Newtown! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The first medical marijuana dispensary in Lower Bucks County will start serving patients next week, opening its doors about eight months after getting its approval from Bristol Township to set up shop.

 

Beyond/Hello will open its dispensary at 2412 Durham Road in a small shopping center at the intersection with New Falls Road. It will offer medical marijuana pills, concentrates and other forms allowed by state law regularly Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The dispensary is set to open Friday, May 11 at 10 a.m.

 

“Patients will now be able to access life-changing treatments in a cutting edge dispensary that offers a discreet, safe and understanding environment,” Beyond’s president, Blythe Huestis, said in a news release from the company.

 

The dispensary will be open in two side-by-side vacant storefronts, which formerly housed a hookah lounge.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Although zoning and other restrictions do not allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Newtown Township, at least this dispenary is close enough for Newtown patients.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Bensalem Won’t Cooperate with ICE to Root Out Undocumented Immigrants

Bensalem Won’t Cooperate with ICE to Root Out Undocumented Immigrants | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Bensalem officials have dropped plans to have township police officers partner with ICE agents to enforce federal immigration laws, the Bucks County Human Relations Council announced Wednesday.

 

The township’s proposal had drawn outrage and opposition from scores of people who packed a public hearing in January, and from organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, Bucks County NAACP, a Latino business group and several agencies that are active around immigration issues.

 

Currently, ICE has 287(g) agreements with 76 law enforcement agencies in 20 states. ICE has trained and certified more than 1,822 state and local officers to enforce immigration law. The program largely went dormant under President Obama, but has been revived since President Trump was elected. If approved, Bensalem would have become the first Pennsylvania police agency to join with ICE.

 

“I’m pleased with the outcome of our advocacy efforts, and want to thank all those who called, raised their voices, wrote letters, and signed petitions,” said Theresa Conejo, a Bensalem resident and NAACP member who helped lead the opposition. “The people’s voice was heard.” [Read “Crowd Urges Bensalem to Opt Out of Proposed Immigration Program”]

 

At issue was Bensalem’s potential participation in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s “287(g)” program, in which ICE partners with state or local police agencies that agree to help enforce immigration laws within their jurisdictions.

 

ICE officials say the 287(g) program — named for a clause in federal law — strengthens public safety and helps build consistency in immigration enforcement across the country. Some local communities see the program as a way to make their towns safer, and to help catch and deport dangerous criminals.

 

Public Safety Director Harran earlier portrayed the proposed partnership as a tool to remove criminals from the community. Law-abiding undocumented immigrants would have nothing to fear, he said. The ICE partnership would come into play only when a crime is committed for which an officer would make an arrest, Harran said.

 

Bensalem, bordered by Philadelphia to the west and south, is home to 60,354 people. The population is 75 percent white, 11 percent Asian, 8 percent Latino and 7 percent black, census figures show. Nearly 11,000 are foreign-born, more than one out of five residents.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Long time former Newtown resident and 1st Congressional District Candidate Steve Bacher discusses his opposition to the 287g program. Listen here.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

1st Congressional District Candidates Speak on Environmental Issues

1st Congressional District Candidates Speak on Environmental Issues | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

An environmental forum for candidates for the 1st Congressional District was organized by the newly formed group Bucks Environmental Action (BEA) on May 2, 2018. “Environmental issues have never had the spotlight they deserve during campaign season,” said BEA co-founder and forum moderator Sharon Furlong as she opened the event.

 

For two hours, Democratic candidates Steve Bacher, Rachel Reddick, and Scott Wallace, as well as Republican challenger Dean Malik, fielded questions created by the group’s officers and those submitted by residents of the district ahead of time.

 

On the issues, questions focused on climate change, renewable energy, and public land policies, with each candidate given two minutes to discuss their position.

 

“Will all due respect to all the good work of my opponents ... I’m the one who has been fighting for these issues here in Bucks County for the past 10 years,” Bacher said. [Listen the this podcast interview of Steve Bacher, who discusses environmental issues of concern to Newtown residents.]

 

To combat climate change, Bacher advocated strongly for a “dividend and fee” system that would tax carbon emissions and return funds to consumers to purchase more energy efficient projects. Reddick said she believed in eliminating any federal subsidies benefiting the fossil fuel industry and re-affirming regulations such as the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era plan to decrease carbon emissions in the power sector.

 

When asked, all candidates said they were generally opposed to local hot button issues such as the proposed PennEast pipeline and Elcon hazardous waste treatment facility in Falls. That included Malik.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

On April, 26, 2017, Newtown Township passed Resolution 2017- R-ll, opposing the PennEast Pipeline alternate route in Newtown Township. Resident Steve Cickay noted that communities along the preferred route in New Jersey are organizing strong opposition to it, which could force Penn East to consider the alternate route, which goes through the playing fields in Woods of Saxony, exposing hundreds of children to danger. Read more about environmental issues affecting Newtown Twp here.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

The New Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors to Consider a Revised, Stricter Online Privacy Ordinance

The New Lower Makefield Board of Supervisors to Consider a Revised, Stricter Online Privacy Ordinance | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Lower Makefield is taking another crack at giving residents a choice in how they share their “personally identifiable information” with internet service providers.

 

An ordinance supervisors recently advertised would block Comcast and Verizon from providing advertisers data from customers — including their web searches, medical or financial information and video viewing habits — unless the customers opt in to information sharing.

 

The township’s newly-advertised ordinance could be considered a stricter online privacy protection compared to a previous version supervisors advertised in September but never approved. That earlier ordinance would have allowed Comcast and Verizon to collect and pass along the personal information by default but required the companies to mail customers annual notices that they could opt out.

 

Lower Makefield’s new ordinance also now mirrors a counterpart Falls supervisors approved in October, in that, if the board votes “yes,” Comcast and Verizon would not be subject to any immediate new requirements. Instead, the “opt in” provision would be mandatory for future franchise agreements between the township and companies.

 

Supervisors said an online privacy ordinance passed last year in Seattle had not been challenged and Falls’ ordinance was challenged only on procedural grounds.

 

Verizon Pennsylvania argued in a November county court lawsuit that Falls supervisors unlawfully made a “substantial amendment” to their ordinance — so it would go into effect with future franchise agreements rather than immediately — minutes before they approved it (read “Verizon's All Out Legal Battle Against Falls Attemp to Protect the Online Privacy of Its Residents”)

 

“Clearly it’s not going to happen at the federal level with the people who are in charge,” said resident Sally Farneth at the meeting. “Anything we can do to move this sort of thing forward and get other communities nearby to join us, I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Should Newtown enact a similar ordinance? If so, should it be "opt in" or "opt out"? Take this survey and let me know your opinion.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Bucks County Continues to Get Failing Grades for Ozone Pollution

Bucks County Continues to Get Failing Grades for Ozone Pollution | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The American Lung Association ranks Bucks County as the second worst county in Pennsylvania for air pollution. 

 

Bucks County continues to struggle with high levels of air pollution, putting its residents at risk of lung-related ailments, according to a new report card from the American Lung Association. The effects on Burlington County across the Delaware River are unknown: There are no monitoring stations in the county, where prevailing winds from Bucks County typically blow.

 

The ALA annually releases its “State of the Air” report, which analyzes air pollution levels across the country. Released this week was its 2018 report, which reviewed data from 2014 to 2016 and gave Bucks a “failing” grade. Bucks joined 13 other Pennsylvania counties with a failing grade, although a scoring system ranked Bucks second worst overall, just behind Philadelphia.

 

“Bucks County is one of the areas that has a long history of F’s,” said Kevin Stewart, director of environmental health with the American Lung Association’s Mid-Atlantic Region.

 

Pennsylvania DEP records show Bucks surpassing Philadelphia for ozone pollution last year. According to the DEP’s website, Bucks exceeded 70 ppb for ozone during 12 days last year, and exceeded 75 ppb during eight.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Polluters and their friends in Washington, D.C. want to weaken the Clean Air Act. That’s why we must keep fighting to make sure the U.S. EPA enforces the Clean Air Act to reduce pollution and save lives

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Merck Chemist, Charged with Dumping Cyanide in Public Water Supply, Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

Merck Chemist, Charged with Dumping Cyanide in Public Water Supply, Found Dead in Apparent Suicide | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Two months after he was charged with dumping poison in public water (read about it here), Richard O’Rourke reportedly has been found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A chemist from Warrington charged with dumping a poisonous chemical in a Bucks County storm water inlet has been found dead, police say.

Officers Tuesday afternoon discovered the body of 60-year-old Richard L. O’Rourke inside his home along the 2800 block of Highland Road during a well-being check requested by a neighbor, Warrington police said in a CRIMEWATCH post.

The neighbor asked police to check on O’Rourke because he had not been heard from since Sunday and was reportedly unhappy with his life, according to police.

O’Rourke is believed to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police say.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

EWG Report: Perfluorinated Pollutant (PFAS) Contamination of Water Spreading

EWG Report: Perfluorinated Pollutant (PFAS) Contamination of Water Spreading | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The chemicals are in the drinking water of about 16 million Americans, a nonprofit group has calculated.

 

A new analysis from the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, finds that drinking water contamination with PFAS chemicals now exists in 36 states.

 

The pollutants, also known as perfluorinated compounds, have been found at high levels in the drinking water of approximately 70,000 residents in Bucks and Montgomery counties and are the subject of ongoing investigation by this news organization.

 

According to a new mapping effort by the Environmental Working Group, known drinking water contamination sites have grown from just a handful a decade ago to more than 94 locations. That includes dozens of military bases where the chemicals were used in firefighting foams, as well as near industrial plants that used the chemicals in manufacturing processes.

 

The chemicals have been linked by some studies to health effects including high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, immunodeficiencies, low birth weight babies and some cancers. However, researchers say much about potential health effects is still unknown, prompting lawmakers to provide $10 million this year to fund a nationwide federal health study on the chemicals.

 

Despite growing concerns, the chemicals remain unregulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA officials previously said they are considering the creation of a formal safe drinking water limit for the chemicals but might not decide until 2021. In lieu of federal action, states such as New Jersey and Michigan have passed or proposed regulations such as drinking water and surface water limits, as well as limits for the consumption of sport fish. Pennsylvania is considering regulation of one chemical, PFOA.

 

“With the alarming spread of known PFAS contamination sites, it’s unconscionable that the Environmental Protection Agency has taken only the most feeble steps to respond to the crisis,” said Bill Walker, an investigative editor for the Environmental Working Group, in a prepared statement. “States are stepping up to set cleanup standards, but a national crisis demands a national response.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

At an August, 2017, Board of Supervisors meeting, Dan Angove, Assistant General Manager of Newtown Artesian Water Company, claimed that EWG, which is responsible for this analysis, is a "California resident who was working for a company selling water fitters." Read "Company Discounts Study That Found 7 Carcinogens."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Redistricting Activists Flood PA State Capitol to Make Their Voices Heard

Redistricting Activists Flood PA State Capitol to Make Their Voices Heard | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

After suffering a setback last week in the state House of Representatives, activists in the redistricting fight flooded the Capitol Building to make their voices heard.

Fair Districts [a citizen-led, statewide coalition working to create a process for redistricting that is transparent, impartial, and fair] has advocated for a pair of bills in the state Senate and House of Representatives to amend the state constitution and strip the power to draw voting maps from the General Assembly, placing it instead with an independent commission.

But despite a sustained campaign that drew more than 700 people Monday to chant and sing under the Capitol Rotunda — a number organizers say likely suffered last-minute losses because of the morning’s heavy rain — Fair Districts Chairwoman Carol Kuniholm said many politicians continue to skirt the issue.

The state’s highest court drew the ire of many Republican lawmakers when it tossed the state’s 2011 congressional map and later imposed its own map in a radical reshaping of house districts that some say could favor Democrats. Yet those new lines — which put Bucks and Montgomery counties into the newly drawn 1st and 4th districts (except for a sliver of Montgomery County in the new 5th District) — could again be redrawn after the next U.S. Census in 2020.

Andrew Benton, of Blue Bell, who rode the bus with his wife Sally Benton, said he was encouraged by the bipartisan showing of politicians who made appearances at the rally.

Having just gained citizenship after immigrating from England in the 1980s, Andrew Benton, a semi-retired engineer, said he too feels change is inevitable as he plans to finally vote in his first American election.

“I can’t see how much longer this goes on. There’s just so much support,” he said.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

This issue was discussed at the April 16, 2018, Working Session of the Newtown Board of Supervisors. Jan Filios - a Newtown resident and supporter of Fair Districts PA - asked that the Newtown Board of Supervisors adopt a resolution supporting an impartial, nonpartisan commission to draw the legislative districts in Pennsylvania.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

New Autism-Friendly Playground Opening This Month In Bucks County

New Autism-Friendly Playground Opening This Month In Bucks County | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The playground is at Potential, a non-profit organization located at 170 Pheasant Run in Newtown. It will open on Saturday, April 21. A grand opening event is planned from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the special event, children will be able to use the playground. Snacks and beverages will also be available.

 

Kristine Quinby, founder, president and CEO of Potential, said she is excited for the new playground to open. "Learning to play (with others) and playing to learn (social interaction) is a real benefit to children with autism," Quinby said. "We wanted to make this securely-fenced playground available to the community, free of charge, during evenings and weekends, when it is not in use by our clients," she said in a statement.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

DRBC "Swamped" by Over 9,000 Comments (Including Comments from Newtown Township) on Proposed Fracking Ban

DRBC "Swamped" by Over 9,000 Comments (Including Comments from Newtown Township) on Proposed Fracking Ban | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

With public comment closed on a controversial fracking ban proposal for the Delaware River basin, regulators must now tackle an arduous task: combing through nearly 9,000 submissions received over the past four months.

 

Last fall, when the commission put forth updated proposals that would ban fracking in the basin — a measure long sought by environmentalists — but allow for the disposal of treated wastewater and extraction of river water for fracking operations outside the basin.

 

The proposed regulations are among the most controversial in years put forth by the DRBC, an interstate regulatory group composed of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and the federal government. Introduced last fall, the proposal calls for the banning of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — in the basin. The process involves injecting highly pressurized fluids underground to crack up rocks and release natural gas deposits.

 

Among the proponents of a ban are the Newtown Township supervisors, who recently voted 4-1 to submit a comment calling for a ban of all fracking-related activities. But the town is also considering preemptive action, with supervisors saying they may dust off a proposal to amend the township’s joint municipal zoning ordinance, which it shares with Upper Makefield and Wrightstown.

The amendment would establish “oil and gas drilling, processing and transport” as a new land use, requiring conditional approval for fracking. It would also only allow drilling in Wrightstown’s rural industrial and quarry/agriculture districts, not on any property subject to a conservation easement or open space restrictions.

Newtown Township Supervisor John Mack said board members recently had discussed resuming work on that amendment [read “Newtown Supervisors Discuss Proposed Ordinance to Allow Fracking”], though it has not yet been placed on any planning commission meeting agenda.

The proposed amendment came under review at a January 2017 community meeting, where attorney Jordan Yeager, of Doylestown Township’s Curtin & Heefner law fim, discussed its pros and cons as a way to regulate gas and oil drilling at the municipal level.

Yeager noted in a letter to the Riverkeepers that officials in the jointure municipalities should not approve the amendment without first revising it, saying a lack of scientific due diligence could render the municipalities vulnerable to legal challenges under the state’s environmental laws.

Amendments to the joint zoning ordinance cannot go into effect until all three municipalities approve them.

Wrightstown supervisors have considered the fracking jointure amendment on and off for the past two years, said Chester Pogonowski, the board’s chairman. Right now, he said, there is no consensus and there is no scheduled discussion.

The amendment has not yet been in front of Upper Makefield’s board of supervisors, said Chairman Tom Cino. Some environmental groups have been critical of the proposal, saying it could signal to drillers that the township is open for business.

more...
No comment yet.
Curated by johnmacknewtown
I am a retired small businessman who has lived in Newtown Township PA since 1995. The opinions expressed here are solely mine and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.