News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
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To Protect and Shop: Bringing Holiday Joy to Kids & Cops Alike!

To Protect and Shop: Bringing Holiday Joy to Kids & Cops Alike! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

It was meant to be a shopping spree; a holiday escape from hardships.

 

But several times throughout Sunday’s Shop with a Cop event at the Target store in Middletown, reality reared its head.

 

The father of one of the children selected to take part, through referrals by area schools to buy toys with money donated by local residents and business, reluctantly asked Newtown Township police Cpl. Paul Deppi if they could pick up some diapers.

 

Another girl set her sights on blankets, wondering if she could get one for her mom and dad because the heat in the house doesn’t work well, said Deppi. Deppi said the families were “overwhelmed” with gratitude and even the shoppers enjoyed watching the kids make the rounds around the store.

 

“Some just came up to hug us,” he added. “I passed by one lady three times and each time she broke out in tears.”

 

While it was officially Newtown Township’s first time taking part, Deppi had helped out and observed the operation in Richland previously.

 

 

He knew what kind of emotional and tangible effect it had on both the kids and cops, but he still felt a sense of uncertainty from some of his younger officers when the idea was brought to them.

 

They ended up loving it, he said.

 

“Some of them were scheduled to just come by for an hour ended up staying for three hours,” Deppi said. “We got to be able to show that not only are we cops but we’re fathers and mothers and coaches and members of the community too.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Thank you Officer Deppi, @Newtown_Police and other local police officers who donated their time to help those in need of some cheer.

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News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. 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.
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Kim Allen from Sister Sledge to help judge Welcome Day's Rising Star competition in Newtown

Kim Allen from Sister Sledge to help judge Welcome Day's Rising Star competition in Newtown | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Visitors to this year’s Welcome Day on Sunday, May 5 are in for a special musical treat.

The Newtown Business Association, which organizes the spring “street fair with flair,” has announced that Kim Sledge Allen, who rose to fame with the 1970s vocal group, Sister Sledge, will not only be joining a guest panel of judges for this year’s Rising Star Talent competition, she also will be taking to the stage herself.

To conclude the competition, Sledge will join the contestants on stage to sing “We Are Family,” the song that rocketed Sister Sledge to the top of the charts in 1979 and won the group a Grammy nomination.

The performance will take place at the end of the competition, but organizers suggest arriving early just in case the contest wraps up earlier than expected.

“You don’t want to miss this. It’s going to be memorable,” said Bill Sheffer, president of the Newtown Business Association, adding that Kim is excited to be a part of this year’s Welcome Day.

According to Sheffer, between 18 and 19 contestants are signed up for the event’s Rising Star competition, which gives up-and-coming local vocal talent a chance to perform for the community.

The contest begins at 12:15 p.m. at the entertainment stage located in front of Fred Beans Family of Dealerships on Sycamore Street.

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Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting - Apr 24: Pollution Reduction Plan, Approval of Purchases of Police Motorcycles, DCED Contract for EIP Grant

Newtown Board of Supervisors Meeting - Apr 24: Pollution Reduction Plan, Approval of Purchases of Police Motorcycles, DCED Contract for EIP Grant | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

BOS Meeting Agenda (partial):

 

Pollution Reduction Plan - Public Comment Review Period (access the plan here: http://bit.ly/NT_PRPtext).

 

In accordance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements, Newtown Township has prepared a Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP). The plan details the scheduled implementation of a series of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) necessary for the reduction of pollutants (sediment and/or nutrients) in the waterways of the municipality. Newtown Township is required to reduce pollutants to the Neshaminy Creek watershed.

 

Public comment should be submitted, in writing, to the Newtown Township Manager at the address listed above, no later than May 20, 2019 at 12:00 p.m.

 

Public Hearing: La Maison LLC - application for Conditional Use Approval for a proposed D-2 Medical Use (Medical Spa). The property is located at 250 and 254 North

Sycamore Street, within the Shoppes at Sycamore Street (Goodnoe's Corner) Development at the corner of Durham Road and Sycamore Street. The use will be in Building #2A and #2B in the former Marisa - The Art of Apparel and Papillon Cafe shops.

 

Consideration to authorize the execution of contract with DCED re: EIP Grant (http://bit.ly/patchEIParticle)

 

Consideration to approve the fence replacement proposal for Field No. 1 at Helen Randle Park with County Line Fence, Inc. in the amount of $9,900.00

 

Consideration to award the bid for the purchase of two police motorcycles to Brian's Harley Davidson in the amount of $30,958.00.

 

Consideration to sell two police Harley Davidson motorcycles to Brian's Harley Davidson for $12,000.00.

 

Consideration to purchase a Ford F-250 Truck from Koch 33 Ford through COSTARs in the amount of $32,607.00

 

Consideration to approve the purchase of emergency vehicle equipment for the Ford F-250 from HAVIS, Inc. through COSTARs in the amount of $21,382.57

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Proposed Council Rock Budget Has 2.3 Percent Tax Hike - $110 More in Taxes for Average Newtown Homeowner

Proposed Council Rock Budget Has 2.3 Percent Tax Hike - $110 More in Taxes for Average Newtown Homeowner | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A proposed final Council Rock School District budget for 2019-20 maintains staffing and educational programs at current levels, allocates about $2 million for technology and continues to fund extensive improvements at schools around the district.

The $246.26 million spending plan will be considered by the school board at its April 25 meeting and a vote on a final budget is scheduled for the May 30 meeting, school district Business Administration Director William Stone said.

The proposed final budget has a 2.3 percent property tax increase and recommends taking $4.12 million from the district’s $21.4 million fund balance, or savings account, to close the current gap of $242.14 million in projected revenue and $246.26 million in projected expenses for next school year, he added.

A 2.3 percent tax increase equates to 2.843 mills, or $110 more in taxes for a landowner with a property assessed at the school district average of $38,520.

The tax hike would increase total millage in the district to 126.45, or $4,871 in annual taxes for a landowner with a property assessed at the school district average.

Many working residents also pay a 1 percent earned income tax that is split with the district’s five municipalities of Newtown Borough, Newtown Township, Northampton, Upper Makefield and Wrightstown.

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Supervisors Give Iron Hill Brewery the Go-ahead to Open a Brewpub/Restaurant in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center

Supervisors Give Iron Hill Brewery the Go-ahead to Open a Brewpub/Restaurant in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The board of supervisors gave conditional use approval for a Wilmington, Del.-based microbrewery and eatery chain to set up shop in the newest under-construction section of the Village at Newtown Shopping Center at Eagle and Durham roads.

However, concerned that the proposed size of the outdoor seating area and recorded music would create excessive noise for nearby residential areas, the supervisors restricted the number of outside seats and prohibited the restaurant from installing any audio speakers in that dining area.

After a public hearing lasting a little more than an hour at the April 10 supervisors’ meeting, the board voted 4-0 to allow Iron Hill Brewery LLC to operate a roughly 7,200 square-foot G-1 manufacturing facility for the brewing of beers, as well as an E-5 zoning exception to run a full-service sit-down indoor and outdoor restaurant.

Voting for the conditional-use approval were: Chairman Phil Calabro, along with Supervisors John Mack, Dennis Fisher and Linda Bobrin. Supervisor Kyle Davis did not attend the meeting.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Also Read:

  • “The Newtown Township Planning Commission Votes to Recommend Iron Hill Brewery Application” http://sco.lt/93N5Y8
  • “Craft Beer Brewery, Food Trucks and Fun Coming to Newtown Commons This Summer”; http://sco.lt/5m3Hqz
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What Can Be Done to Attract New Businesses and New High-Paying Jobs to Newtown Township?

What Can Be Done to Attract New Businesses and New High-Paying Jobs to Newtown Township? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

This is an important question because to maintain a low 4.5 mill property tax while providing the excellent services our residents have come to expect, the Township depends on business-related sources of income such as the Earned Income Tax (EIT), which accounts for nearly 80% of its tax revenue!

 

Read my answer to this question...

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Doylestown, Media, Manayunk up for USA Today's "Best Small Town Cultural Scene"

Doylestown, Media, Manayunk up for USA Today's "Best Small Town Cultural Scene" | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Some Philadelphia-area locales are topping a nationwide contest for "Best Small Town Cultural Scene."

Here's how USA Today describes the choices:

"Bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to these 20 small towns, each with a population of fewer than 30,000 people (as of the last census). What each lacks in size it makes up for with a big cultural punch - museums, art galleries, performing arts and busy event calendars."

Doylestown, Bucks County is currently No. 1. You can vote here.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

What about Newtown? We have to do more to get some recognition and respect - perhaps after the Village at Newtown "Shopping" [Fine Dining?] Center is complete the Township can help promote it as part of a New Newtown - A Great Place to Live, Work, Worship and Have a Great Time Out! And let's work with the Borough too in a coordinated campaign! We won't get listed in such contests without a planned, coordinated community effort. I'll have to talk to our local business associations about this.

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Democrats endorse Mack and Fisher for seats on the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors

Democrats endorse Mack and Fisher for seats on the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

John Mack and Dennis Fisher, both incumbents on the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors, have been endorsed by the Newtown Democrats in their election bids for six-year terms. They are running unopposed in the May 21 Democratic Party primary for the only two upcoming openings on the township’s governing body. The general election will be held on November 5.

Mack won a two-year seat in the 2017 election drawing the most votes among all candidates running for three open positions on the board. Fisher was appointed to the board in July 2018 to fill the remaining term of Democrat Jen Dix who moved with her family to New Hampshire.

“We’re very fortunate to have two highly capable and dedicated candidates who have already proven themselves on the Board of Supervisors as advocates for responsible government,” said George Skladany, chairperson of the Newtown Democrats. “The municipal election this fall will be about who has the best long-range interests of the township and its residents in mind.”

Mack and his wife, Debbie, have been township residents since 1995. In a statement to the Newtown Democrats, Mack cited his background -- degrees in chemistry and biochemistry and publisher of a pharmaceutical industry newsletter that advocates for ethical industry practices -- for his focus on protecting the environment and combatting the opioid crisis.

“Through my efforts, the township now offers a 24/7 drop-off program for unused prescription and other drugs,” he said. [Read “John Mack Proposes 24/7 Drug Drop-Off Box for Newtown” and “My Case for a 24/7 Drug Drop-Off Box”] He also noted his strong support for the anti-fracking resolution enacted by the Board of Supervisors last year, and his introduction of the 2018 anti-discrimination ordinance that established the township’s Human Relations Commission [Read “Newtown Township Appoints Members of the Newly Created Human Relations Commission”]

 

A township resident for 27 years, Fisher has been active in local affairs since being appointed to the township Planning Commission in 2006 and serving as its liaison to the township Environmental Advisory Council. In 2017, he was elected to the post of Township Auditor, from which he stepped down to assume his place on the Board of Supervisors. Recently retired after a 42-year career as a mental health professional, Fisher is active in church affairs, is chairperson of the non-profit Liberia Education Project, and is the former vice chair and chairperson of the Newtown Democrats.

In his appeal for the support of the Newtown Democrats, Fisher cited his years of experience in township governmental and political affairs, and his open-minded listening skills honed in his professional career. “I see the role of Supervisor as one of public service, and I have a heart for it,” he told the group. “My only ambition is to keep this township a great place to live, work and raise our families.“

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “John Mack Lists the Air Pollutants the ELCON Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Would Be Allowed to Emit”; http://sco.lt/8qcY8e
  • “Newtown Becomes the FIRST Township in Bucks County to Pass an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance That Protects the Rights of the LGBTQ Community”; http://sco.lt/7EQgdN
  • “Democrat Dennis Fisher Appointed to Fill Vacancy on Newtown Board of Supervisors”; http://sco.lt/5Fu6e9
  • “DRBC "Swamped" by Over 9,000 Comments (Including Comments from Newtown Township) on Proposed Fracking Ban”; http://sco.lt/6doXFR
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Fresh from a Victory in Court Case Against Plumstead, Wawa’s Attorney Convinces the Newtown Planning Commission to Support Amending Zoning Ordinance to Allow Wawa on the Bypass

Fresh from a Victory in Court Case Against Plumstead, Wawa’s Attorney Convinces the Newtown Planning Commission to Support Amending Zoning Ordinance to Allow Wawa on the Bypass | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A proposal to build a Wawa in an office-research zone on the Newtown Bypass took a step forward Tuesday [April 2, 2019] night in what is expected to be a long road to a final up or down vote.

 

In a consensus decision, the township’s Planning Commission recommended that the board of supervisors support the concept and to ask the jointure to consider amending the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance (JMZO) to include a new use - motor vehicle fueling center - in the office research zone.

 

Five planners - Paul Cohen, Mary Donaldson, Jerry Festa, Craig Deutsch and Kierstyn Zolfo - said they support the concept. Weighing in against the concept were planners Allen Fidler, Peggy Driscoll and Andrew Jacobs.

 

Wawa has been pressing for an amendment to the JMZO, which would allow it to build a convenience store and fueling station at Lower Silver Lake Road and the Newtown Bypass across from Crossing Community Church. [Read “Developer and Attorney Present Their Case for a Wawa Superstore on the Newtown Bypass”].

 

The sale of gasoline as an accessory use to a retail operation is currently not permitted in the office-research zone, or for that matter anywhere in the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance (JMZO) making the ordinance challengeable, Wawa’s land use attorney John VanLuvanee told planners Tuesday night.

 

VanLuvanee opened the latest discussion with the planners by pointing out the exclusion and raising a recent court decision regarding a proposal for a Wawa in Plumstead Township.

 

In that case Wawa brought a substantive challenge to the validity of the ordinance. “We contended the ordinance was exclusionary because it did not provide a motor vehicle fueling center,” said VanLuvanee.

 

“The point that is made by that decision is that things change. New uses evolve. This is a legitimate land use at this point. This case may be appealed, but you have at least one judge who has said that,” said VanLuvanee. [Read “Facing $130,000 in Legal Expenses, Plumstead Chooses to Challenge Wawa Ruling”]

 

The JMZO, said VanLuvanee, was written at a time when petroleum was sold by gas stations and doesn’t take into account today’s modern convenience stores that sell petroleum as a product.

 

“The entire jointure is lacking any provision allowing modern fueling centers, in this particular case a Wawa,” said VanLuvanee. “If you assume that a retail use selling gasoline as a product is a legitimate land use then your entire jointure is vulnerable,” he told the planners.

 

The question, he said, is whether the JMZO has a hole in it. “You have the ability to control it by enacting an amendment that provides the use in a particular zoning district,” he said. “Or you have the option of sitting back until someone takes a challenge and you may end up with something Upper Makefield, Wrightstown or Newtown may not want.”

 

“This is a fundamental change from OR to a commercial gas station,” said [former supervisor Gerry Couch]. “It’s not what can we do to make it pretty or more palatable. This is taking OR and putting in a commercial gas station. How many of those do we want on the bypass?”

 

Resident Norm Seeger, who lives near the proposed location, said if the Wawa is built the name of the Newtown Bypass will have to be changed “because it won’t be a bypass anymore. The bypass was built to eliminate stopping at places like this. Once this is built, others will develop as well. You need to listen to ‘We the people’ and not ‘We the Wawa,” he told the planners.

 

Still others, including Shelley Howland, said they’re excited by the prospect of a Wawa coming into the township.

 

Read the full article for more comments from residents.

 

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Neshaminy School Student Art on Display on "Middletown M" Outdoor Electronic "Billboard"

Neshaminy School Student Art on Display on "Middletown M" Outdoor Electronic "Billboard" | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Art crafted by students at all district schools will be on display over the next several months on the Middletown M monument, a large electronic advertising structure that replaced a vacant transmission shop at the corner of Business Route 1 and Bristol Oxford Valley Road in Middletown.

The visual art show will be shown several times a day and is a cooperative effort between Neshaminy and the M’s owner, Catalyst Experiential.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “Catalyst Outdoor Advertising Paid Kickback to Lower Southhampton Solicitor. The Same Company Made Two Pitches to the Newtown BOS in 2016”; http://sco.lt/8AlwYL
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Apr 4 | Newtown Zoning Hearing Board Meeting

Apr 4 | Newtown Zoning Hearing Board Meeting | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

On the agenda: The Iron Hill Brewery LLC, applicant/lesee, 2920 S. Eagle Road, Unit 41, Building 9, Village at Newtown Shopping Center, Newtown Township, Newtown, PA, tax map parcel 29-3-24-3 is seeking a variance to permit the operation of a G-1, manufacturing use, for the onsite brewing of beer in a 7,500 sq.ft. tenant space where 6,500 sq.ft. will be devoted to the operation of a full service restaurant (E-5, eating place) and the remaining 1,000 sq.ft. will be devoted to the on-site brewery. The G-1, manufacturing use, component is subordinate and accessory to the E-5, Eating Place use, though it is not a permitted use in the PC District as per the 2007 Newtown Township Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance, as amended.

For more information, read "The Newtown Township Planning Commission Votes to Recommend Iron Hill Brewery Application".

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After Purdue Opioid Settlement in Oklahoma, More Pennsylvania Counties Want Out of Delaware County Court to Move Litigation Forward at the Individual County Level

After Purdue Opioid Settlement in Oklahoma, More Pennsylvania Counties Want Out of Delaware County Court to Move Litigation Forward at the Individual County Level | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

When Oklahoma wrested a $270 million settlement last week from Purdue Pharma for its alleged role in fueling the opioid epidemic

[Fore more on that, read “To Avoid Bankruptcy, Purdue Pharma Said to Plead Guilty to Illegally Marketing Opioids”], the reverberations were felt about 1,400 miles away in Delaware County.

 

That’s where upward of 40 cases, including Philadelphia’s, are grouped together in a coordinated action against opioid makers and distributors, and where little progress has been made over the last 18 months.

 

[What about Bucks County? Read: “Bucks County sues drug manufacturers over opioid crisis"

 

More than a dozen counties are taking new steps to get out of Delco, and get on with litigation in their home counties, citing the cases’ lack of movement in the Delco courthouse.

 

“It’s my opinion that we are not getting a fair shake to get our cases to trial in a reasonable amount of time,” said lawyer Joseph Cappelli, who represents Bensalem township and 14 counties, largely in Western Pennsylvania. “The Oklahoma settlement," he added, “was the result of the plaintiffs in that case having an opportunity to push their case and get a trial date.”

 

Oklahoma’s attorney general is still barreling toward a May 28 trial for the remaining defendants in the lawsuit. About 1,600 opioid cases, consolidated in federal court in Cleveland, are heading for a bellwether trial set for October. The companies accused of downplaying the risk of addiction, including Purdue, and of failing to flag suspicious orders of painkillers, are vigorously defending against the claims.

 

At the state level, Cappelli filed a motion Monday in Delco court, asking to break up the proceedings on behalf of 13 counties.

 

One reason for the request, he said, is that Delaware County’s case isn’t there anymore. That suit — the first opioid case filed by a Pennsylvania county — brought all the others to Media, Pa. It has since been transferred to federal court.

 

Another reason: “Nothing is progressing," Cappelli said. “It would be more efficient to have each and every [case] … sent back to their counties for that litigation to go forward.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related stories:

  • “Newtown Township Supervisors Vote to File Civil Lawsuit Against Drug Manufacturers Over Opioid Crisis”; http://sco.lt/7Wibjd
  • “OxyContin Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma Reportedly Exploring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”; http://sco.lt/8OuLIG
  • “Purdue #Pharma Doesn't Want Court to Unseal Oxycontin Marketing Documents. What's It Hiding?”; http://sco.lt/6wb24f
  • “OxyContin's 12-hour Problem: Misrepresentation of Efficacy Leads to Addiction & Purdue Knew It”: http://sco.lt/8RfD5F
  • “The History of Purdue's Marketing of Oxycontin & Its Connection to the Opiate Epidemic”: http://sco.lt/6RajLd
  • “Doctor with Ties to Purdue #Pharma Helped Develop Canadian Opioid-Prescribing Guidelines”: http://sco.lt/7f1iin
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John Mack Lists the Air Pollutants the ELCON Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Would Be Allowed to Emit

At the March 13, 2019, Board of Supervisors meeting, John Mack called for the Board to re-affirm its opposition to the ELCON hazardous waste treatment plant proposed to be built in nearby Falls Township. Mack listed all the air pollutants that the PA Department of Environmental "Protection" may allow to be emitted from the plant.

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johnmacknewtown's curator insight, March 18, 7:43 AM

Further Reading:

  •  “Elcon Reapplies to DEP for Toxic Waste Facility Located Next to Delaware River”; http://sco.lt/88Ru3l
  • “A Crowded Meeting Pits Citizens Against the PA DEP Regarding the Elcon Proposal”; http://sco.lt/56CrQ0
  • “It May Take Lawsuits to Stop the Elcon Toxic Waste Incinerator”; http://sco.lt/68dz7p
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Newtown Accepts $706K Bid to Pave 2.7 Miles of Township-owned Roads This Year

Newtown Accepts $706K Bid to Pave 2.7 Miles of Township-owned Roads This Year | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

As part of a greatly expanded road-paving effort, the board of supervisors accepted the $706,596 low-bid to resurface 2.73 miles of township-owned roads in 2019.

At the March 27 supervisors’ meeting, the board unanimously accepted the bid submitted by Harris Blacktopping, Inc. of Washington Crossing, one of several companies which sent in proposals which were received last week.

Because the bids came in less than expected, all the roads on this year’s basic repaving list, and two of the streets on the alternate lists, will be done. 

Voting to accept the bid were Chairman Phil Calabro, along with fellow Supervisors Linda Bobrin, John Mack, Dennis Fisher and Kyle Davis.

 

[See here for a list of the roads, including maps.]

According to township engineer Leanna Colubriale, because the advertised bids for these roads come in under the allotted budget this year, the township will also pave two streets on the alternate lists: Terry Drive, and Blacksmith Road.

About $710,000 had been set aside in the 2019 budget for the road paving project, with the township having hoped to get as much as $640,000 of that amount from the state’s liquid fuels fund.

However, township manager Micah Lewis noted that the township will now receive roughly $611,000 from that state fund, which still a substantial amount.

In 2017 and 2018 about 8.3 miles of roads have already been repaved under the enhanced road program.

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Facing $130,000 in Legal Expenses, Plumstead Chooses to Challenge Wawa Ruling

Facing $130,000 in Legal Expenses, Plumstead Chooses to Challenge Wawa Ruling | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Chester County Court of Common Pleas Judge Robert Shenkin ruled on March 22, 2019, that Plumstead’s zoning ordinance was a de facto ban on contemporary gas stations, a decision which could allow the plan on the property to move forward.

 

Plumstead supervisors voted 3-2 on March 26, 2019, to challenge the ruling. Lykon estimated the legal fight with the developer has already cost Plumstead taxpayers about $80,000, and an appeal to the state court could mean another $50,000 in legal expenses.

 

The developer, Doylestown II-Rt 313 TVC-ARC LP, proposes a 4,700-square-foot convenience store with 10 gas pumps at the intersection in an area known as Fountainville — the borderline of Dolyestown, New Britain and Plumstead townships.

 

Plumstead’s zoning officer issued an initial opinion early in 2017 that the store was a “Gasoline Service Station” and not allowed at the intersection, but could go elsewhere in Plumstead.

 

The developer, a Verrichia Co. Partnership, appealed that opinion to the township’s zoning board soon after arguing the store was a retail location first, and a gas station second.

 

The township’s zoning laws allow retail sales in the neighborhood commercial zoning district the developer planned to locate, but consider gasoline sales as a primary use.

 

Attorneys from Eastburn and Gray argued this definition created a de facto ban on contemporary gas stations — retail convenience stores that sell fuel — but the zoning board sided with the township in September 2017.

 

The developer then filed the appeal with the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas two months later, dragging on for the next 13 months.

 

Pennsylvania zoning laws allow towns to regulate where different land uses can go, but prevent them from banning any development legally allowed in the state.

 

The decision by the court might also set a precedent for similar future appeals, Eastburn and Gray attorney Julie Von Spreckelsen said in a news release Friday.

 

“The decision marks one of the first legal instances of Pennsylvania courts recognizing that motor vehicle fuels are a product now widely sold by retail stores,” Spreckelsen said.

 

Related:

  •  “Wawa Land Developer Takes Plumstead to Court to Appeal Decision by Zoning Hearing Board to Refuse Variances”; http://sco.lt/7l77A1
  • “Plumstead Residents Wary of “Closed Door” Deal to Settle Wawa Case and Urge Supervisors to Continue the Fight”; http://sco.lt/6IHTXN
johnmacknewtown's insight:

Meanwhile, in Newtown Township, the Provco Group - another Wawa developer - has decided to bypass the township’s Zoning Hearing Board and appeal directly to Newtown Supervisors to change the zoning ordinance in order to allow a Wawa Superstore in the OR district. For more on that, read “Developer and Attorney Present Their Case for a Wawa Superstore on the Newtown Bypass” and “Proposed Newtown Wawa Requires Zoning Change or at Least 10 Zoning Variances". See, also, Wawa's Traffic Impact Study (prepared for Newtown Twp).

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To Avoid Bankruptcy, Purdue Pharma Said to Plead Guilty to Illegally Marketing Opioids

To Avoid Bankruptcy, Purdue Pharma Said to Plead Guilty to Illegally Marketing Opioids | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Purdue Pharma LP has agreed to settle the state of Oklahoma’s claims that its illegal marketing of the Oxycontin painkiller caused financial devastation to local communities, the first accord in a recent wave of lawsuits stemming from the U.S. opioid crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.

 

The settlement comes two months before the scheduled start of a trial against Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in Norman, Oklahoma. Terms of the deal, which covers only Purdue, weren’t immediately available.

 

 Oklahoma claims the three opioid makers understated the risks of prescription painkillers and overstated their benefits, fueling an epidemic that’s costing its communities tens of millions of dollars for treatment and policing. Those companies and others are also battling claims by three dozen other states and 1,600 U.S. cities and counties, but those suits are pending in another court and the first trial isn’t until the fall.

 

The settlement is the first in the most-recent group of opioid lawsuits against Purdue. More than a decade ago, West Virginia settled a case against Purdue over its marketing of Oxycontin, which came on the U.S. market in 1996.

 

Related:

  • “Newtown Township Supervisors Vote to File Civil Lawsuit Against Drug Manufacturers Over Opioid Crisis”; http://sco.lt/7Wibjd
  • “OxyContin Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma Reportedly Exploring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy”; http://sco.lt/8OuLIG
  • “Purdue #Pharma Doesn't Want Court to Unseal Oxycontin Marketing Documents. What's It Hiding?”; http://sco.lt/6wb24f 
  • “OxyContin's 12-hour Problem: Misrepresentation of Efficacy Leads to Addiction & Purdue Knew It”: http://sco.lt/8RfD5F 
  • “The History of Purdue's Marketing of Oxycontin & Its Connection to the Opiate Epidemic”: http://sco.lt/6RajLd
  • “Doctor with Ties to Purdue #Pharma Helped Develop Canadian Opioid-Prescribing Guidelines”: http://sco.lt/7f1iin 
johnmacknewtown's insight:

As published in the Washington Post (3/27/2019): “The reckoning for the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history began Tuesday, with Purdue Pharma and the state of Oklahoma agreeing to a $270 million out-of-court settlement in the first major test of who will pay for more than two decades of death and addiction sparked by prescription opioids.”

 

“Under the terms of the Oklahoma settlement, Purdue will immediately contribute $102.5 million to establish a new foundation for addiction treatment and research at Oklahoma State University. Members of the Sackler family, who own the company but were not defendants in the case, will pay an additional $75 million in personal funds over five years. Purdue also will provide $20 million worth of treatment drugs, pay $12 million to cities and towns and cover about $60 million in litigation costs.”

 

If Newtown's case against Purdue and other opioid drug companies results in a settlement, this is how I'd like to see the money spent: on TREATMENT programs.

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johnmacknewtown's curator insight, March 27, 6:32 AM

As published in the Washington Post (3/27/2019): “The reckoning for the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history began Tuesday, with Purdue Pharma and the state of Oklahoma agreeing to a $270 million out-of-court settlement in the first major test of who will pay for more than two decades of death and addiction sparked by prescription opioids.”

 

“Under the terms of the Oklahoma settlement, Purdue will immediately contribute $102.5 million to establish a new foundation for addiction treatment and research at Oklahoma State University. Members of the Sackler family, who own the company but were not defendants in the case, will pay an additional $75 million in personal funds over five years. Purdue also will provide $20 million worth of treatment drugs, pay $12 million to cities and towns and cover about $60 million in litigation costs.”

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Newtown Township Seeks Grant to Assess Finances

Newtown Township Seeks Grant to Assess Finances | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

[The following is an excerpt from an article published in the Newtown Patch. Read the full article here.]

 

Claiming "stresses" on finances, Newtown Township has applied for a matching $40,000 PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) grant to implement an Early Intervention Program (EIP) that will assess the township's financial condition and identify additional sources of income.

[Listen to this podcast: "About DCED's Early Intervention Program"]

If the township is awarded the grant, it would have to match it by providing up to $40,000. The grant would be used to hire a consultant to develop a "multi-year trend analysis of historic financial data" and to perform an "assessment of current budget performance." A secondary, but an "extremely important objective," is to identify additional sources of revenue for the township.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related:

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Barbershop Opening Soon In Newtown

Barbershop Opening Soon In Newtown | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A barbershop described as "classic meets modern" will be opening in May at the Village at Newtown Shopping Center.

Fuze Barbershop, which will be located in the portion of the shopping center near Nothing Bundt Cakes and School of Rock, will offer haircuts, straight razor shaves, beard services, long layer cuts, color treatments, and more. The shop offers services for women, including cuts, color, blow outs and more.

The shop boats its signature massage shampoo, and finishes every service with a blow dry, style and a dab of it "Fuze fragrance."

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Meet the Newtown Township Human Relations Commission

Meet the Newtown Township Human Relations Commission | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Newtown Township Human Relations Commission (NTHRC), which was established by the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors on November 28, 2018, met for the first time at a public meeting on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. The purpose of this meeting was to elect a chair, vice chair, secretary, and appoint non-voting members as well as to get input from the public, and prepare for the next steps, which includes training by the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission (PHRC).

Learn more about the NTHRC members and the NT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance here: http://bit.ly/NTHRC-Patch

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The Newtown Township Planning Commission Votes to Recommend Iron Hill Brewery Application

The Newtown Township Planning Commission Votes to Recommend Iron Hill Brewery Application | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Newtown Township Planning Commission has recommended approval of Iron Hill Brewery's application to open a location at the Village at Newtown Shopping Center, township officials said.

 

The Iron Hill's application for a location at 2920 S. Eagle Road, which was reviewed Tuesday by the Planning Commission, will move along for approval in front of the Board of Supervisors.

 

The building where the brewpub is proposed is currently under construction, Township Manager Micah Lewis said.

 

If approved by the Supervisors, Iron Hill would join several new additions to the shopping center, which is currently undergoing a renovation.

 

[Iron Hill is also a restaurant and can serve food, whereas the Newtown Brewing Company located on Penns Trail will not serve prepared food.]

 

Related Stories:

johnmacknewtown's insight:

The Brewery will be located just across the outdoor amphitheater from Chipolte. But will you be able to get a burrito from Chipolte and a beer from Iron Mill and dine outdoors? You might have to sneak the beer over to Chipolte's outdoor eating area.

 

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Newtown Township Will Receive $611K In State Liquid Fuels Payments

Newtown Township Will Receive $611K In State Liquid Fuels Payments | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Newtown-area municipalities are slated to get more than $1 million in PennDOT liquid fuels payments this year.

According to PennDOT data from late January, the state has pledged $500.7 million in payments around the Keystone state this year. Checks were sent to towns this month.

Below is how much local towns will get: 

Newtown Borough – $73,602.84
Newtown Township – $611,209.38
Upper Makefield – $345,770.57
Wrightstown – $130,414.28


The liquid fuels payments can only be used for work on certain locally-maintained roadways.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Newtown Township will use the funds to "rehabilitate" (i.e., repave) 2.3 miles of roads in 2019. More about that here: http://bit.ly/2019roadprg 

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MOD Pizza Said to be Opening In Newtown

MOD Pizza Said to be Opening In Newtown | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

MOD Pizza is opening a restaurant in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center at the end of 2019, the shopping center's leasing company [Brixmor] has confirmed to Patch.

 

The restaurant will be located in a 2,800-square-foot space and is scheduled to open sometime in the fourth quarter of the year, said Brixmor Property Group spokesperson Kristen Moore.

 

MOD Pizza is a Seattle-based, fast-casual chain that serves artisan-style pizzas and salads.

 

MOD Pizza is just the latest in many restaurants and eateries that are planning to open in the shopping center, which is currently undergoing renovations. The restaurant has not yet filed an application with the township, said Township Manager Micah Lewis.

 

Further Reading:

“Newtown Board of Supervisors Approve Chipotle To Be Located in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center”; http://sco.lt/5xG9jM

johnmacknewtown's insight:

From the photo it looks like the pizza boxes are lined with paper, which I'm guessing prevents the boxes from becoming greasy and thereby unrecylcable!

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Newtown Board of Supervisors Approve Chipotle To Be Located in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center

Newtown Board of Supervisors Approve Chipotle To Be Located in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors will [considered] an application for a Chipotle at Village at Newtown Shopping Center during a meeting Wednesday [March 13, 2019].

 

Last month, the township's Planning Commission recommended the supervisors approve the Mexican eatery be permitted to open at 2930 South Eagle Road (read “Summary of February 27, 2019, BOS Public Meeting”). The supervisors will weigh in the conditional use application during the meeting, which starts at 7:00 p.m.

 

[T]he 2,500-square-foot restaurant will be located in a new building under construction at the shopping center.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

This application was approved unanimously at the March 13, 2019, Board of Supervisors meeting. There will be a wall along Durham Road that will prevent people from jumping over into Newtown and vice versa (seriously :)

 

The approved Brixmor (shopping center leasing agent) development plan allows for a maximum of 45% of retail square footage to be allocated to eating places. With the approval of Chipolte, about 15% of retail square footage is now allocated for that purpose.

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New Warrington Park to Offer Bluetooth Technology to Inform Visitors About Sights & Sites in the Park

New Warrington Park to Offer Bluetooth Technology to Inform Visitors About Sights & Sites in the Park | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Warrington Township and the Warrington Lions Club have raised $900,000 for the park, slated to open March 29. It is located at the former site of Twin Oaks Day Camp on Bradley Road.

Warrington Township and the Warrington Lions Club are partnering to open Lions Pride Park, a local spot that will enable a smartphone to be a guide.

The park, slated to open March 29, is at the former site of Twin Oaks Day Camp in Warrington. Lions Pride Park will link to a Bluetooth-enabled beacon app, which will serve as a park guidebook.

Beacons will be located near informative signs and when a smartphone app detects a beacon, a description will be played through the phone’s speaker. The description could be as simple as “oak tree” or as detailed as a webpage. Lions Pride Park will be one of the first parks in the Philadelphia area to have this app, local township officials said. It will also include GPS navigation to help the visually impaired move about the park more easily.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. March 29 at the park at 3129 Bradley Road.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

I wish we could implement similar technology in Newtown Township parks! There were some proposals made:

 

At the May 6, 2018, public meeting of the Newtown Township Parks and Recreation Board, I proposed a project to use technology to identify sites within the parks to provide greater details for community awareness. This is a collaboration project with the Township’s Technology Committee. One thought was to have videos from drone fly-overs to create a two minute snippet which would be added to a web page devoted to the parks. The Technology Committee also recommended using geolocation technology to assist with park navigation (see presentation by Jo Vlastaris, former Chair of the Technology Committee, at the June 13, 2018, Board of Supervisors meeting). To date, these options have not been put before the the Board of Supervisors by the Parks and Rec Board.

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Newtown Township Gives the Final Go-Ahead for the Renovation of the Fred Beans Dealership on Sycamore Street

Newtown Township Gives the Final Go-Ahead for the Renovation of the Fred Beans Dealership on Sycamore Street | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The Newtown Township board of supervisors has finally formalized plans for a major renovation at the Fred Beans of Newtown dealership and auto body shop at 10 North Sycamore Street.

 

The Doylestown-based auto dealership, which had acquired Bill Marsh Ford in 2016, is investing millions of dollars into upgrading the five-acre property.

 

With the latest action executing the land development agreement, that renovation can get underway.

 

At the Feb. 13 meeting, the board voted 4-0, without discussion, to formally sign the final plans which the supervisors had approved early last year.

 

Voting to execute the agreement were Chairman Phil Calabro, along with fellow Supervisors Linda Bobrin, John Mack and Dennis Fisher. Supervisor Kyle Davis did not attend the meeting.

 

The site, which lies between Washington Avenue and Jefferson Street, will see building renovations totaling 7,419 square feet added to the 34,694 square-foot showroom and body shop.

 

The two buildings' frontages will be extended closer to Sycamore Street in order to meet the Town Commercial (T/C) Zoning District whose goal is to create a feeling of a downtown street with building fronting the street and parking in the rear.

 

The auto dealership will have a new facade and no cars will be displayed in front of the showroom. The auto dealer’s attorney Don Marshall had told the board that the building has to be “more attractive to customers,” noting that automobiles no longer have to be set up for show as much as they have in the past. [But, as can be seen from the rendering above, a few cars will still be displayed along Sycamore Street in a 9’x18’ “inventory parking” area, which technically is NOT located in “front of the showroom”.]

 

The auto body shop will now also have a stone facade, similar to the La Stalla Italian Market which opened down the street in early 2017.

 

The Town Commercial District, which was established in 2012, does not allow auto dealers, so any additions and improvements had to be approved by the township’s Zoning Hearing Board as a non-conforming use.

 

Fred Beans will have six less signs to be more consistent with the Town Commercial District.

 

In addition, the four current entrances to the property will be reduced to three, with one of them being only one way.

 

Fred Beans had worked closely with the township and the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) to develop designs for the project that fit the streetscape, even though the site is technically not within the township’s historic district.

 

As part of that plan, Fred Beans will dedicate 10,890 square feet of open space on the northern-end of the property to Newtown Township. It would have several picnic tables, trash cans and a bicycle rack for public use.

 

A sidewalk will also be installed across the front of the Fred Beans property which will complete the missing section of the existing Sycamore Street walkway. Existing light poles will be relocated in order to minimize the auto showroom’s interior lighting onto Sycamore Street.

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Guest Opinion: "EPA Playing Us for Fools" Regarding PFAS in Local Drinking Water, Says Warminster Resident

Guest Opinion: "EPA Playing Us for Fools" Regarding PFAS in Local Drinking Water, Says Warminster Resident | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Thursday marks the third anniversary of when firefighting foam sprang to life in a “special report” on the front page of local papers. The top of page one shouted, “Unclear and uncertain danger,” announcing a water crisis in Bucks and Montgomery counties that continues unabated. The latest headline accuses the EPA of spinning wheels.

 

In 2015, the Department of the Navy posted a small notice for a public information session set during a workday regarding contamination at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove in Horsham and the Johnsville Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster. We locals were used to this — we all knew the bases were Superfund sites.

 

We’ve got many sick friends and neighbors. As an A-10 Warthog flies and firefighting foam seeps, only 3 miles separate the two bases — both have tested at the highest levels in the nation.

 

This has long been known and artfully hidden from the public. The earliest concerns date to reports from Dupont in 1954. More than a decade ago, the National Fire Prevention Association’s Committee on firefighting foam stated that consumption of PFOA and PFOS was a death warrant.

 

Although the EPA lowered its “advisory” limit to 70 parts per trillion, ppt, Harvard University Chan School of Public Health said their research showed that the level should be 1 ppt. Richard Clapp, the leading researcher, spoke at the only meeting held in Warminster that was sponsored by the township’s Environmental Advisory Council. He told us that New Jersey’s limit of 14 ppt was closer to what was needed, but is still inadequate.

 

If we stop being mesmerized by the EPA, Navy and Department of Defense spinning wheels, we’ll realize that we’re being played for fools. Veterans have taken the brunt. Government strategy has been out of the same playbook that they use for traumatic brain injuries. They used it against Agent Orange claims, PTSD, shell shock and a host of other veteran issues.

 

Our answer now lies at the state level. We need to actively support Senate and House bills like Tom Murt’s — co-sponsored by Madeleine Dean and others — to set a 5 ppt limit for Pennsylvania. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, DRN, submitted a similar petition for rulemaking to the Environmental Quality Board, EQB.

 

All our local legislators, Gov. Wolf and Sen. Casey are on our side. We, the people, just need to step it up. It’s our water, our health. Over 80,000 local residents and many veterans are depending on what we do. Let’s end the spinning wheels.

 

[Warminster resident Larry Menkes is the CEO of Veterans Green Jobs Initiative that finds green jobs for wounded warriors.]

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johnmacknewtown's curator insight, February 26, 8:49 AM

Further Reading:

  • “Editorial: EPA Spins Its Wheels on Setting Maximum Contaminant Level for PFAS”; http://sco.lt/5uSirA
  • “As EPA Launches National PFAS Plan, Pennsylvania Says Its People “Can’t Wait” for Federal Government & Launches Its Own Plan to Set Lower Health Limits for PFOA and PFOS”; http://sco.lt/7EkKRc
  • “Perfluorinated Compounds Detected in Newtown Township's Water Supply”; http://sco.lt/70ujU9
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.
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A good government is an open government where transparency reigns supreme. These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. 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.
Human Relations
This board is dedicated to promoting the value of diversity and addressing discrimination based on age, race, color, gender, religion, creed, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin and disability. These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. 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.
News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. 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.
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These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. They focus on public health issues such as opioid addiction, water and air quality, emergency services, traffic, crime, etc. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. 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.
Summaries of Newtown Board of Supervisors Meetings
These summaries are based on official minutes and/or audio and video recordings of public meetings.