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The Day That Newtown Township Failed to Show Love for LGBTQ+ Youth

The Day That Newtown Township Failed to Show Love for LGBTQ+ Youth | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

[UPDATE, 11 Mar 2020:

Newtown Township Supervisors Unanimously Pass Revised Love is Love Resolution”]

 

The document drafted by supervisor John Mack was modeled after one pushed by two area state legislators that failed to reach the floor in Harrisburg.

 

A resolution about love considered by many to be non-controversial was apparently just controversial enough to get voted down by the Newtown Township supervisors.

 

The document that would have established Feb. 15 as “love is love day” in the township failed 3-2 at a recent [February 26, 2020] meeting. Supervisors Chairman Phil Calabro joined colleagues Kyle Davis and David Oxley in voting no as all three said they felt the document was exclusionary.

 

John Mack, who drafted the resolution, joined Dennis Fisher in voting yes. Mack modeled the resolution after one pushed by state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-10, Lower Makefield and state Rep. Wendy Ullman, D-143, Plumstead, that failed to reach the floor in Harrisburg.

 

The document is geared to the LGBTQ+ community. It states: “Accepting the LGBTQ+ youth in our communities and in society at large helps remind those who we care about that love is love regardless of how they identify.”

 

While not having any criticism for the LGBTQ+ community, the three dissenting supervisors all said they preferred something which in essence said that all groups are deserving of love and should be treated with respect every day of the year.

 

“I support the notion,” Davis said. “I’m just not fond of the idea of a specific day for a specific group. That’s exclusionary.”

 

Oxley added, “There are a lot of people out there who also suffer from loneliness and depression in addition to the ones we’re talking about.

 

[R]esident, Joseph O’Neill, disagreed.

 

“This resolution simply shows the LGBTQ community we embrace them for who they are so they can grow to be happy adults,” he said.

 

“Just generally saying every day is love day doesn’t focus attention on this issue in the way it deserves,” Mack said. “It would dilute this and take away from its special focus.”

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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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Summer In Bucks County: Yes/Maybe To Camps And Pools, No To Kids' Sports

Summer In Bucks County: Yes/Maybe To Camps And Pools, No To Kids' Sports | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Summer camps and swimming pools in Bucks County probably will be allowed to operate this year, county officials say, while youth sports are probably canceled until fall.

 

But summertime activities, if they are allowed, will have a different look, with face masks and social-distancing expected to be the order of the day.

 

Assuming that shift happens by summer, Dr. David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Department of Health, said he plans to issue guidance to camps and pools on ways they can safely operate over the summer.

 

At summer camps, guidance will include avoiding gatherings where all the children are in a building at the same time and other social-distancing guidelines.

 

In Bucks County and elsewhere, individual summer camps have been making their own decisions whether to go forward or cancel in 2020.

 

Allowing summer camps to go forward, Damsker said, would help families as other businesses in Bucks County reopened.

 

"There's no way for society to all open fully, for certain businesses to open, if they don't have a place to put their kids," he said. "We believe we can do it safely and it's also good for our county and our families."

johnmacknewtown's insight:

As of May 24, 2020, Newtown Township’s Parks & Recreation Department plans to open outdoor programs and camps this summer with the following restrictions/guidelines in place.

 

Reopening Plan - Yellow Phase

  • Indoor recreation remains closed, including indoor summer camps – virtual programs and camps are available
  • Outdoor programs and summer camps are permitted at various parks with a limit of 25 people per active use zone, provided social distancing and CDC guidelines are followed
  • Large gatherings (25 or more) are prohibited
  • Township parks and trails are open, however, bathrooms, skatepark, snack stands, basketball courts and pavilion rentals remain closed
  • All playgrounds and ballfields should be avoided and used discretionarily
  • Organized sports are prohibited from utilizing the fields
  • Parks & Recreation Staff working in the office

 

Meanwhile, the Department’s website announcement asks, “If you do not feel comfortable sending your child to camp, please notify our department before June 12th.” You can contact the Dept by phone: 215-968-2800 X239 or via email: janycec@twp.newtown.pa.us

 

My survey of over 50 Newtown area residents suggests that 54% would not feel comfortable sending their child to summer camp even if guidelines from the CDC (and the above) are followed. For a complete summary of survey results plus comments from respondents go here: https://www.johnmacknewtown.info/ntcampsvy.html

 

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE: https://bit.ly/NTcampSurvey

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Restaurants Reopening for Outdoor Dining: Closing Streets and Opening Sidewalks to Create al fresco Dining Rooms

Restaurants Reopening for Outdoor Dining: Closing Streets and Opening Sidewalks to Create al fresco Dining Rooms | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

In the historic downtown district of Warrenton, Virginia, last weekend, American flags floated on a balmy breeze above outdoor tables spilling out onto the sidewalk and into the street.

Restaurants in this part of the state were allowed to reopen outdoor dining Friday. With a rooftop deck it could fill only halfway, Denim & Pearl Restaurant got the city’s blessing to take the indoors out. Antsy to get out of the house after weeks of self-isolation, diners lined up to grab a bite on the makeshift patio.

“It was a crazy busy weekend,” Denim & Pearl owner Jenn Robinson told USA TODAY. “Just on Saturday, we did in sales what we had done the entire previous week just with curbside and delivery.”

As the U.S. reopens and summer approaches, cities from Tampa, Florida, to Las Vegas to Portland, Maine, are opening sidewalks and closing streets to create large al fresco or plein air dining rooms. They hope this nod to the bustling cafe culture of Paris and Rome will help Americans feel comfortable eating out again and help restaurants begin to recover from staggering losses.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

During the May 13, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting via Zoom, Supervisor John Mack made a case for the Township to start thinking how it can help local businesses to re-open safely during the current and the next phases of COVID-19 restrictions. Several ideas were put forward such as outdoor dining, putting together an ad hoc business Task Force, etc. Listen to this podcast: “Getting Newtown Businesses Open Again”; https://johnmacknewtown.info/covidvbus.html

 

Related Stories:

  • “Solstice Restaurant Reopening Survey: We Care What You Think”; http://sco.lt/5k2XTM
  • “As Restaurants Remain Shuttered, American Cities Fear the Future - In Some Towns, 50% May Not Reopen!”; http://sco.lt/7e1xom
  • “Safe Dining During #COVID19? Hard to Imagine, but Many Restaurants Are Trying. What About Restaurants in the Newtown Area?”; http://sco.lt/5GQeVU
  • “Independently Owned Restaurants Are Not Happy with the New Relief Bill That Will Inject $320 Billion Into the Paycheck Protection Plan. Why Not?”; http://sco.lt/8MCNIO
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Falls Closes Pinewood Pool, Cancels Summer Camp. Will Newtown Be Next to Cancel Its Summer Camp Program Due to #COVID19?

Falls Closes Pinewood Pool, Cancels Summer Camp. Will Newtown Be Next to Cancel Its Summer Camp Program Due to #COVID19? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Falls officials have decided to cancel the township's summer camp and close the Pinewood Pool this year due to the coronavirus.

 

During a virtual meeting Monday, supervisor Chairman Jeff Dence said the moves are aimed at keeping residents and employees safe and free from COVID-19.

 

"It wasn't an easy decision for anybody," Dence said during the meeting. "We know a lot of people rely on the camp for day care in the summer. We apologize, but it's out of our hands."

 

Parks and Recreation Director Brian Andrews said it would be too difficult to practice social distancing among 175 campers and that the camp would have dramatically changed since excursions and trips to the pool would have been canceled.

 

The move by Falls officials follows a decision last month by Lower Makefield to close the township-owned pool this summer.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Newtown Township will decide by the end of May if its summer camp program will open or not. My survey of local area residents suggests that even with CDC guidelines in place, parents are “not comfortable at all” or “very uncomfortable” sending their children to summer camp this year. For a summary of survey results and comments from respondents, read “Your Decision: Send Your Child to Summer Camp or Not?”. You can also take the survey here: https://bit.ly/NTcampSurvey

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Solstice Restaurant Reopening Survey: We Care What You Think

Solstice Restaurant Reopening Survey: We Care What You Think | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Perhaps you received the same email I did from Solstice Restaurant, which is located in the Village of Newtown Shopping Center. The subject was "We Care What You Think".

"We are busy preparing the restaurant — updating our cleaning procedures, adding new service standards, upgrading our uniform specifications, and much more — to ensure the health and safety of our guests and team members once we are permitted to reopen our doors," said Solstice. "But we're not stopping there, we'd like to know what you need to feel comfortable dining in the restaurant and ordering takeout."

There was a link to an interesting online survey. Find some of the questions and my responses/comments here: https://johnmacknewtown.info/blog/?viewDetailed=202005171150

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related:

 

Middletown Township also established a task force that will be charged with developing guidelines to clarify what precautions businesses should have in place to be ready to reopen as quickly as is reasonable and safe, as soon as Bucks County reaches Gov. Wolf’s yellow, and ultimately green, criteria. Read “To Reopen Local Businesses, Townships Must Develop Guidelines to Ensure Citizens are Safe. CASE STUDY: Middletown & Sesame Place”; http://sco.lt/5n5C5Y

 

During the May 13, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting via Zoom, I made a case for the Township to start thinking how it can help local businesses to re-open safely during the current and the next phases of COVID-19 restrictions. Several ideas were put forward such as rethinking the Finance Committee's purview, putting together an ad hoc business Task Force, etc. Listen to the conversation here: https://www.johnmacknewtown.info/covidvbus.html

 

This idea will be discussed in more detail at the May 18, 2020, Special Supervisor Work Session Zoom meeting.

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CDC Publishes "Decision Trees" To Aid Pandemic Re-opening Decisions: Light on Actual Guidelines, More or Less Just Suggestions

CDC Publishes "Decision Trees" To Aid Pandemic Re-opening Decisions: Light on Actual Guidelines, More or Less Just Suggestions | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

[The “Decision Tree” for reopening camps is shown above.]

 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published six "decision trees" Thursday aimed at helping businesses, communities, schools, camps, daycares and mass transit decide whether it's safe to re-open.

 

The one-page decision trees are much shorter than a much-anticipated, lengthy and detailed document that has been delayed at least once.

 

The six documents posted on the CDC's website Thursday provide step-by-step guidance advising employers, for instance, to encourage social distancing, handwashing and intensified cleaning.

 

They do not provide any detailed advice on when it would be safe for schools or business to open -- only questions to ask before making any decisions.

 

For camps, the advice includes screening. "If feasible, implement enhanced screening for children and employees who have recently been present in areas of high transmission, including temperature checks and symptom monitoring," the decision tree reads.

 

Full guidance for the pandemic is on the CDC's website. It was not immediately clear what further guidance might be coming from the CDC, or when it might come.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Newtown is planning to open summer camps this year apparently following this decision tree (read the story in the Newtown Patch: “Newtown Twp Moving Forward With Summer Camp Plans”). Would you feel comfortable sending your child to summer camp under these conditions? TAKE MY 1-MINUTE SURVEY and give me your opinion and comments.

johnmacknewtown's curator insight, May 15, 10:05 AM

The CDC’s more detailed guidance was shelved by the administration April 30, according to internal government emails and CDC sources who were granted anonymity because they were not cleared to speak to the press. After The AP reported about the burying of the guidance last week, the White House asked the CDC to revive parts of it, which were sent back for approval, according to emails and interviews.

 

Access the 63-page CDC Guidance for Opening Up America Again Framework document. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6889330-Guidance-for-Opening-Up-America-Again-Framework.html 

 

Meanwhile, Newtown Township is planning to open summer camps without specific guidance from the CDC. Are you comfortable with that? Take my survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CLYN77J 

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Bucks County Establishes Task Force to Help Businesses Reopen Safely

Bucks County Establishes Task Force to Help Businesses Reopen Safely | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Commissioner Bob Harvie, a former teacher who took office in January, has been spearheading the county’s business reopening effort.

 

Harvie has … been meeting with a task force of local business leaders, labor representatives, and staff of business organizations to discuss ways to get the local economy moving again. The group held their first session virtually last week. Its members include: Danielle Bodnar, of the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce; Vail Garvin, of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce; Minesh Pathak, of the Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce; Patrick Kennedy, vice president of Superior Woodcraft; Jon Mercer, of Stacks Small Business Services; Billie Barnes, of Bucks County Workforce Development Board; Tom Tosti, a Middletown Township Supervisor and chair of the AFL-CIO Central Labor Council; Paul Bencivengo, of Visit Bucks County; Steve Wray, chair of the Bucks County Transition sub-committee on Economic Development; Jeane Vidoni, President of Penn Community Bank; Richard Harvey, of the Bucks County Planning Commission and Agricultural Preservation Board; and Margaret McKevitt, the chief operating officer of Bucks County.

 

Harvie said the committee will have a significant impact in helping businesses dealing with COVID-19 impacts.

 

Among the tasks being overseen by the county are preparing guidance for businesses that will eventually be reopening to serve customers in person. He said that guidance and information will be useful for businesses looking forward to reopening and keeping staff, customers, and the community safe.

 

The information offered to businesses by the county will be direct and consistent with best practices, Harvie said.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Middletown Township also established a task force that will be charged with developing guidelines to clarify what precautions businesses should have in place to be ready to reopen as quickly as is reasonable and safe, as soon as Bucks County reaches Gov. Wolf’s yellow, and ultimately green, criteria. Read “To Reopen Local Businesses, Townships Must Develop Guidelines to Ensure Citizens are Safe. CASE STUDY: Middletown & Sesame Place”; http://sco.lt/5n5C5Y

 

During the May 13, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting via Zoom, I made a case for the Township to start thinking how it can help local businesses to re-open safely during the current and the next phases of COVID-19 restrictions. Several ideas were put forward such as rethinking the Finance Committee's purview, putting together an ad hoc business Task Force, etc. Listen to the conversation here: https://www.johnmacknewtown.info/covidvbus.html

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Ulta Beauty to Open 11,000 Sq Ft Store for "Ultra" Beautiful Newtown Area Women

Ulta Beauty to Open 11,000 Sq Ft Store for "Ultra" Beautiful Newtown Area Women | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Ulta Beauty, the largest U.S. beauty retailer and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skin care products, hair care products and salon services, is coming to Newtown.

The beauty company is planning to open an 11,000 square foot store inside Brixmor’s shopping center addition at the Village at Newtown. It would be Ulta’s fourth Bucks County location.

The company will be leasing 11,000 square feet of space in a new section of the shopping center located just to the east of the Corner Bakery Cafe and adjacent to McCaffrey’s Market. It will be the second largest store in the shopping center behind McCaffrey's Market.

On May 7, during a virtual meeting, the Newtown Zoning Board granted zoning relief to Brixmor for the store's signage, which will carry the store's corporate logo. The new retail addition will be located in the center of a new section of the shopping center, anchored at one end by Iron Hill Brewing, according to Brixmor’s local attorney Joe Blackburn.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Thank you Zoning Hearing Board for giving zoning relief for this huger than normal signage. When other stores are allowed to open, maybe they will also want bigger signs. Meanwhile, there was at least one complaint sent to the Supervisors regarding the "Chaotic" nature of the ZHB meeting. Listen to the complaint here: https://soundcloud.com/user-944327486/zhb-zoom-meeting-complaint/s-fVuHNalXZXw

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Haircuts Go Underground, While Safe Barbershops May Go Broke, Says @FuzeBarberShop Owner Tosti

Haircuts Go Underground, While Safe Barbershops May Go Broke, Says @FuzeBarberShop Owner Tosti | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The owner of a popular Newtown barbershop said the coronavirus closures are severely impacting his business, and he fears he'll have to close permanently if the state won't soon approve guidance to allow them to safely reopen.

 

Fuze owner Nick Tosti told Patch he's worried the business won't make it if the closures extend through the summer.

 

Fuze, located in the Village at Newtown Shopping Center, still must pay rent, despite not having a single customer since mid-March. He said the landlord will defer payments to be paid back later in the year, but he's hesitant to take on more debt only to return in an unpredictable atmosphere.

 

"If it stays the way it is, we could be looking at July or August" for a reopening, Tosti said. "We would be finished by then. I just don't know how we could recover from all the back debt."

 

Tosti and other industry leaders are pushing for salons and barbershops to be reopened under the "yellow" phase of the governor's coronavirus mitigation plan, "which we feel is totally responsible and safe."

 

He said he and other salon owners have been communicating with state officials to push for measures they believe will safeguard the public health, while allowing them to operate.

 

At Fuze, here's what you can expect [if, and when, it reopens]:

 

  • For one, there won't be a waiting room. All services will be by appointment-only, and the door will remain locked. When customers arrive for an appointment, they'll be permitted inside once the stylist is ready for them.

 

  • All customers will have their temperature taken at the door, Tosti said. Plus, all customers will have to use the provided hand sanitizer.

 

  • Capacity will be reduced, and all stylists will be wearing masks. Customers will be wearing masks, too, Tosti said. (The mask may have to be briefly removed when the barber is cutting certain parts of the head or around the ears, he acknowledged.)

 

  • All chairs and tools will be sanitized between each customer.

 

"We want to everyone to be safe. We're not trying to put anyone in a situation where we're opening up too soon," he said. But, he added, it seems time for a reopening with specific safety guidelines in place.

 

"Underground cuts are happening everywhere," Tosti said. "Is it safer for me to do this in someone's kitchen or at my barbershop?"

johnmacknewtown's insight:

The question is will the barbers be tested for coronavirus before resuming work and periodically while working?

 

Consider that an upstate New York barber who cut hair over the last few weeks despite the state’s coronavirus restrictions has reportedly tested positive for the illness. County health officials are recommending anyone who received a haircut at the shop during this period to get tested for the coronavirus.

 

Over 20 Newtown area retail businesses and restaurants that are open for limited business now have signed on to participate in Newtown BINGO!, which is a contest designed to help these establishments attract customers. Learn more about that and sign up to participate here: https://newtownbingo.com/

 

During the May 13, 2020, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting via Zoom, Supervisor John Mack made a case for the Township to start thinking how it can help local businesses to re-open safely during the current and the next phases of COVID-19 restrictions. Several ideas were put forward such as rethinking the Finance Committee's purview, putting together an ad hoc business Task Force, etc. Listen to this podcast: “Getting Newtown Businesses Open Again”; https://johnmacknewtown.info/covidvbus.html

 

Meanwhile, Newtown Township is planning to open summer camps. How comfortable would you be sending your child/children to summer camp? Take my survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CLYN77J

 

Related:

  • “Some PA Counties in "Red" Zone Plan to Encourage Businesses to Reopen in Defiance of Gov. Wolf's Mitigation Strategy.”; http://sco.lt/5WFeYC
  • “Bucks County Commissioners Demand State Move Bucks Into “Yellow” COVID-19 Reopen Phase Sooner Rather Than Later”; http://sco.lt/88g3dY
  • “Newtown Twp Moving Forward With Summer Camp Plans”; http://sco.lt/6gNAxs
  • “To Reopen Local Businesses, Townships Must Develop Guidelines to Ensure Citizens are Safe. CASE STUDY: Middletown & Sesame Place”; http://sco.lt/5n5C5Y
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Some PA Counties in "Red" Zone Plan to Encourage Businesses to Reopen in Defiance of Gov. Wolf's Mitigation Strategy. 

Some PA Counties in "Red" Zone Plan to Encourage Businesses to Reopen in Defiance of Gov. Wolf's Mitigation Strategy.  | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

[The above was recently texted to a local Newtown Twp restaurant owner. Newtown Township.] 

 

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is pushing back against county leaders who are planning to reopen their local economies in defiance of the coronavirus mitigation measures the state put in place in mid-March to slow the spread of the disease.

At least seven Pennsylvania counties, growing impatient with the governor's coronavirus mitigation strategy, have said publicly they're moving independently to lift the restrictions in an effort to get residents back to work.

But Wolf, during a mid-morning press conference, had stern words for the local politicians seeking to buck his reopening strategy. He said the counties that do so will face consequences.

"To those politicians who decide to cave into this coronavirus, they need to understand the consequences of this cowardly act," Wolf said. He said counties encouraging businesses to open despite state orders "are engaging in behavior that is both selfish and unsafe."

Officials in Lebanon, Dauphin, and Beaver counties announced over the past few days they are planning to open back up whether Harrisburg says it's OK to do so or not. And leaders in Berks, Cumberland, Franklin, and Schuylkill counties are also contemplating reopening without the permission of the state, PennLive.com reported.

Wolf warned counties that reopen in defiance of the state's phased, color-coded plan will not be eligible for federal stimulus discretionary funds. Businesses that reopen before being permitted by the commonwealth will lose their business liability insurance.

And, he said, restaurants that reopen prematurely for dine-in service will be at risk of losing their liquor license.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Businesses should follow the guidelines of the CDC and the state dept. of health. But many municipalities, including Newtown Township, do not have the resources to enforce the provisions of those recommendations. Residents can call the police dept  with complaints against businesses that they believe are putting the public at risk. However, the policy is that complaints will be received without the expectation of enforcement while assuring that the complaints are passed to the proper enforcement authority.

 

Related:

  • “Bucks County Commissioners Demand State Move Bucks Into “Yellow” COVID-19 Reopen Phase Sooner Rather Than Later”; http://sco.lt/88g3dY
  • “Newtown Twp Moving Forward With Summer Camp Plans”; http://sco.lt/6gNAxs
  • “To Reopen Local Businesses, Townships Must Develop Guidelines to Ensure Citizens are Safe. CASE STUDY: Middletown & Sesame Place”; http://sco.lt/5n5C5Y

 

How comfortable would you be sending your kids to summer camp? Take my survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CLYN77J

 

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Newtown Twp Moving Forward With Summer Camp Plans

Newtown Twp Moving Forward With Summer Camp Plans | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Newtown Township Parks & Recreation said this week it is still planning to hold its popular summer camps. "Summer camp will be even more important for kids this year because they miss interacting with friends and classmates due to school closings," an update issued Wednesday said.

As of right now, summer camp is still being planned for the summer, but a final decision on if summer camp will be held will be made by the end of May, the update said.

If it is held, "we will be following all CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of all campers and camp staff," the Parks & Recreation Department said.

If officials determine cannot be held, all fees will be fully refundable. The township hosts a variety of weekly camps for all interests. You can learn more here.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

How comfortable would you be sending your kids to summer camp? Take my survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CLYN77J 

 

Now that Trump has buried detailed CDC advice on reopening, would you trust “following all CDC guidelines”??? Find those “buried” guidelines here: https://bit.ly/3bbGb1r

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As Restaurants Remain Shuttered, American Cities Fear the Future - In Some Towns, 50% May Not Reopen!

As Restaurants Remain Shuttered, American Cities Fear the Future - In Some Towns, 50% May Not Reopen! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Restaurants have become the economic lifeblood for many cities. The coronavirus threatens to take away more than just delicious food.

 

The danger facing restaurants, which thrive on crowded rooms and get by on razor-thin margins, poses a special threat to small cities and large towns where a robust food culture plays an outsize role in the economy. In places that had been hollowed out by poverty and suburban flight, like parts of Indianapolis, Cleveland and Detroit, they are engines of growth. In other cities with a national reputation for good food that is out of proportion to their population, like Providence, R.I., or Asheville, N.C., dining is both a tourist attraction and a key part of their identity.

 

Already, restaurant closures have damaged urban economies in ways that are still being calculated. Of the 701,000 nonfarm jobs lost in the United States in March, nearly 60 percent came from food services and drinking places, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

“We have heard estimates that as much as 50 percent of the restaurants that have closed may not reopen,” said Mr. Falcicchio, Washington, D.C.’s deputy mayor for planning and economic development. “That is really troubling when we think of our economy, the job market and the district’s bottom line.”

 

As valuable as independent restaurants are to their cities, though, owners say that most of the federal relief passed so far does not take their needs into account. The government has shown little interest in compelling or helping insurers to pay claims for business interruption caused by the pandemic, something restaurant owners desperately want. Restaurant owners say the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses that keep paying workers, is not useful for eateries that may need to remain shuttered or half full for months after other kinds of businesses are fully operational.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Restaurants are important for small towns such as Newtown Township in Bucks County PA not only for tourism, but also to provide a major source of tax revenue needed to keep the township afloat. Our Earned Income Tax revenue also helps fund schools. Right now, township residents are trying to help restaurants get back up to speed now and when they are open for dine-in. Read, for example, "Newtown Area Restaurant BINGO!" http://sco.lt/7mSgj2 

 

Related Stories:

  • “Safe Dining During #COVID19? Hard to Imagine, but Many Restaurants Are Trying. What About Restaurants in the Newtown Area?”; http://sco.lt/5GQeVU
  • “Independently Owned Restaurants Are Not Happy with the New Relief Bill That Will Inject $320 Billion Into the Paycheck Protection Plan. Why Not?”; http://sco.lt/8MCNIO
Griffin Fortney's curator insight, May 8, 7:08 PM
Many restaurants have closed down and possibly could remain closed due to the pandemic. A solution to many small businesses losing lots of money, the federal government created a program to help these businesses.There are dangers that are also faced when being in restaurants for example a crowded room. Restaurant closures have already damaged economies in ways that are still being calculated. 
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Gallery of COVID-19 Images & Cartoons

A selection of images created by John Mack that help tell the story of COVID-19’s impact on Newtown Township.

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Newtown & Middletown Townships Brace for Financial Impact of #COVID19, Including Scaling Back Capital Projects

Newtown & Middletown Townships Brace for Financial Impact of #COVID19, Including Scaling Back Capital Projects | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

While municipal officials across Bucks County have said an accurate gauge of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on their finances won’t be known for several more weeks or months, some are starting to take cost-saving steps.

 

The Newtown Township supervisors voted at their recent virtual meeting to shave more than $1 million from this year’s road paving program. They also voted to transfer one mill of property tax revenue, about $360,000 to $370,000, into the general fund to help pay for operational expenses.

 

In Newtown Township, officials had originally planned to pave about five miles of road this year using a $1 million loan to be paid back over three years and more than $600,000 from the township’s $685,000 share of the state tax on gasoline and other liquid fuels.

 

Instead, the supervisors voted at the virtual meeting to skip the $1 million loan and pave only about 2.5 to 3 miles of road using $600,000 in liquid fuels money already on hand.

 

[Read “2020 Road Program Falls Victim to COVID-19” https://bit.ly/2020roadprogcut]

 

Such moves are necessary to prepare for the pandemic’s expected impact on the EIT and other revenue sources, township officials said.

 

“It is anticipated that Newtown will see a drastic decrease in earned income tax revenue, which is the primary source of revenue in the budget,” township Manager Micah Lewis said in a newsletter [https://preview.mailerlite.com/v6h1c7] produced by supervisor John Mack and sent to residents throughout the Newtown area.

 

“Additionally, it is anticipated that real estate transfer tax, building and life safety permit revenue and park & recreation revenue will be drastically decreased,” Lewis added.

 

For Middletown

The EIT is down about $130,000, with $1.86 million collected through April as compared to $1.99 million at the same time last year [a 6.5% decrease]. Real estate transfer taxes are down more than $270,000 ($207,757 compared to $481,934), the amusement tax down more than $6,000 ($2,366 compared to $9,078) and license and permit fees down more than $30,000 ($300,035 compared to $331,297)

 

Middletown officials also reiterated they will likely be scaling back their capital projects this year.

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Newtown Area Restaurant BINGO!

Newtown Area Restaurant BINGO! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The COVID-19 pandemic mitigation efforts are having a devastating impact on Newtown Area businesses – but especially restaurants that cannot "work from home" or do business via Zoom!

 

During this trying time, restaurants need help generating business. That is why several restaurants in the Newtown area have decided to host a "contest" based on "Tempe Bingo" – a game developed by a Tempe, NV, brewery, whereby restaurants can cross-promote each other.

 

Here is the basic idea:

 
  • 25 restaurants will participate, each with a square on the BINGO GAME card.
  • Each restaurant will promote the BINGO GAME on their website, at their location and link to the official virtual BINGO GAME card that residents/game players can download.
  • To play the game and achieve BINGO!, players must order a meal of a minimum specific value from 5 restaurants all in one row, column, or diagonal of the card. No player can claim more than one BINGO! per day.
  • There will be 5 winners who must achieve BINGO! and submit proof of purchases to win.
  • Each winner gets 2 free meals of equal or lesser value based on their 5 restaurants on the BINGO GAME card.
  • Other prizes may be awarded for filling the entire BINGO GAME card.

 

There are NO out of pocket upfront costs to restaurants or players who participates in Newtown Area Restaurant BINGO!

 

This contest is hosted by East Coast Event Group. At least half a dozen restaurants/eateries have already signed up to participate as of 5/5/20. We need 25 to fill the game card!

 

If you are interested in participating as a host restaurant, please contact Eric Scott Gold for details and to sign up.

Email: ericscottgold215@gmail.com or call: 215-750-2600

johnmacknewtown's insight:

UPDATE:

 

As of May 8, 2020, the following establishments have signed on:

 

  • Green Parrot
  • Aqua E Farina
  • Vecchia Osteria
  • Green Straw
  • Solstice
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • Playa Bowls
  • Nina's Waffles
  • Isaac Newtown's
  • Slack's Hoagies
  • The Coffee Room
  • Guru Indian Cuisine

 

We need 25. If your favorite Newtown business that serves or offers food (any) -- solid or liquid -- is not on the list, please encourage them to do so. You can download the official flyer to send to them via email or drop off in person: https://bit.ly/NTbingoOnePage #SupportLocalBusiness

 

Working Together with Residents, Local Businesses Can Survive COVID-19

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"War" to Combat "Invasion" of the Coronavirus Causes Newtown Township Budget Crunch. To Mitigate the Loss of Business-related Tax Revenue, the Township Rejected Bids to Repave 5 Miles of Roads.

"War" to Combat "Invasion" of the Coronavirus Causes Newtown Township Budget Crunch. To Mitigate the Loss of Business-related Tax Revenue, the Township Rejected Bids to Repave 5 Miles of Roads. | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The coronavirus crisis is having significant budget impacts in Newtown Township, officials say.

 

Township Manager Micah Lewis said exact figures demonstrating how much revenue loss the coronavirus crisis has caused the township are not yet available, because it is ongoing.

 

"It is anticipated that Newtown will see a drastic decrease in Earned Income Tax revenue (1 percent tax levied on income), which is the primary source of revenue in the budget. Additionally, it is anticipated that Real Estate Transfer Tax, building and life safety permit revenue, and Park & Recreation revenue will be drastically decreased," he said.

 

The township has already taken some steps to offset the anticipated loss in revenue, he said. [For more on that, listen to this podcast: “2020 Road Program Falls Victim to COVID-19”; https://www.johnmacknewtown.info/covidvroads.html]

 

He noted the township has reached out to the state Department of Community and Economic Development to determine if there are any loans, lines of credit, or other resources available to assist municipalities with operational expenses during the crisis.

 

The problem is not unique to Newtown Township. [For more on that, read: “Local Governments Seek $1 TRILLION to Avert Layoffs Due to #COVID19”; http://sco.lt/7D3GJU]

johnmacknewtown's insight:

The PA Department of Community & Economic Development estimates that small townships with a population of 3,000 will collect 6% less in Act 15 taxes – mostly Earned Income Tax on employee income – by year end. For Newtown Township, that is an estimated loss of at LEAST $440,000 - perhaps much more - and this does not include an estimated 25% reduction in revenue from fines, licenses, and other fees.

 

Related stories:

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My Supervisor Activities: April 2020 Was The Cruelest Month!

My Supervisor Activities: April 2020 Was The Cruelest Month! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

In April 2020, as the COVID-19 shutdown of business as usual in the Township was in full swing, I spent only 19.5 hours on official Supervisor business. That's well below the average of 63 hours per month in January and February before COVID-19.

 

I attended only one "Special" Board of Supervisors meeting via Zoom that lasted about one and a half hours and a Planning Commission meeting via Zoom that lasted just over one hour.

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Local Governments Seek $1 TRILLION to Avert Layoffs Due to #COVID19

Local Governments Seek $1 TRILLION to Avert Layoffs Due to #COVID19 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday state and local governments are seeking up to $1 trillion for coronavirus costs, a stunning benchmark for the next aid package that’s certain to run into opposition from Senate Republicans.

 

Pelosi acknowledged the federal government may not be able to provide that much. But she said a “heroes” fund is needed to prevent layoffs as governors and mayors stare down red ink in their budgets. Many jurisdictions are facing rising costs from the health pandemic and plummeting revenues in the economic shut down. The best way Americans can support local nurses, bus drivers and other front-line community workers, Pelosi said, is to make sure they don’t lose their jobs to budget cuts.

 

“This is something of the highest priority, it honors our heroes,” Pelosi said.

 

The $1 trillion request comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shifted his tone suggesting he is “open” to considering additional funds in the next coronavirus relief bill.

 

But the eye-popping figure would be on top of nearly $3 trillion Congress has already approved over the past month to salvage the economy and confront the health crisis.

 

McConnell said Thursday on Fox he’s willing to consider money for the states, but isn’t about to send federal dollars to bail out overspending.

 

“We’re not interested in borrowing money from future generations to send down to states to help them with bad decisions they made in the past unrelated to the coronavirus epidemic,” the GOP leader said.

 

McConnell insists any fresh funding must be tied to liability reforms to prevent what he calls “an epidemic of lawsuits” against doctors, hospitals and businesses reopening in the pandemic.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

IT’S NOT “BAD DECISIONS” THAT HAS CAUSED THIS FINANCIAL CRISIS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, IT’S THE “COVID-19 DOMINO EFFECT” – LOCAL BUSINESSES SHUT DOWN DUE TO COVID-19, WHICH CAUSED MASSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT, WHICH IS CAUSING MASSIVE LOSSES IN TAX REVENUE.

 

The PA Department of Community & Economic Development estimates that small townships with a population of 3,000 will collect 6% less in Act 15 taxes – mostly Earned Income Tax on employee income – by year end. For Newtown Township, that is an estimated loss of at LEAST $440,000 - perhaps much more - and this does not include an estimated 25% reduction in revenue from fines, licenses, and other fees.

 

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Newtown Businesses Struggle to Stay Afloat During #COVID-19

Newtown Businesses Struggle to Stay Afloat During #COVID-19 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

[Chart: About 60% of Newtown Township' revenue comes from Earned Income Tax (1% tax imposed on earned income including salaries). Even a small decrease in that revenue source can have a big impact on Newtown's financial health.]

 

As Goes the Success of Local Businesses, So Goes the Solvency of Newtown Township

 

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.” These are indeed extraordinary times with many businesses forced to close and millions of people out of work due the measures necessary to contain the Coronavirus pandemic. And municipalities like Newtown Township that depend upon business and job related taxes (e.g., Earned Income Tax or EIT) face financial difficulties if the shutdown continues much longer and people do get their jobs back.

 

Newtown Township's over-dependency on business-related tax can lead to what I call a "COVID-19 Domino Effect" whereby as businesses remain shut and as more local workers are laid off or furloughed, eventually the township will face a financial crisis due to lack of revenue and increased expenses necessitated by the pandemic.

 

To help keep the township stay afloat until the end of the year, management has already made some "drastic" choices that will impact road repairs.

 

Read my article in the Newtown Patch to learn about how Newtown area businesses are dealing with the COVID-19 restrictions and about the decisions made by Newtown Township as a result of lost revenue.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related:

 

******************

One thing that can help Newtown and other townships in a similar situation is for the U.S. Congress to pass a Phase Four coronavirus response legislative package that includes robust financial support for state and local governments.

 

You can call Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (215-579-8102) and Sen. Pat Toomey (215-241-1090) and ask them to support such legislation.

 

Here's a script you can use:

 

"I am calling to demand that the phase four coronavirus response bill include funding to help our state and local governments. Local governments support our teachers, law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and the infrastructure that we all rely upon. I am offended that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to let these entities declare bankruptcy - that is NOT a solution to this problem. The next bill must help our local governments!!"

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PA State and Local Governments Facing “Plummeting Revenues” Due to #COVID19

PA State and Local Governments Facing “Plummeting Revenues” Due to #COVID19 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Facing plummeting revenues, increased demand for public assistance, and a July 1 budget deadline, Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers are trying to piece together how they can spend federal stimulus dollars and simultaneously manage a massive budget hole.

 

Despite the state’s Independent Fiscal Office projecting an up to $4 billion budget shortfall, Wolf is sticking by his original budget proposal that includes a 4% increase in spending over the current year and relies on relatively robust revenue growth.

 

As part of the federal stimulus package, which can only be used to cover COVID-19 expenses, Pennsylvania has already received at least $2.9 billion of an expected $4.9 billion in relief, with more than $1 billion allocated to the state’s counties with 500,000 residents or more (see chart above).

 

The looming question is whether Congress will take a pass at yet another relief package that includes unrestricted aid to states. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., KY) recently said he’s in favor of allowing states to declare bankruptcy, prompting sharp rebukes from Democrats, though more recent comments indicate he’s open to a deal.

 

Pennsylvania has already stopped paying more than 10% of its workforce — approximately 9,000 state employees — who were forced to use sick or personal leave time if they wanted to continue receiving a paycheck.

 

For his part, Wolf has said he won’t abandon his $36.1 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year, and a spokesperson said he does not plan to introduce a modified budget proposal.

 

******************

One thing that can help Newtown and other townships in a similar situation is for the U.S. Congress to pass a Phase Four coronavirus response legislative package that includes robust financial support for state and local governments.

 

You can call Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (215-579-8102) and Sen. Pat Toomey (215-241-1090) and ask them to support such legislation.

 

Here's a script you can use:

"I am calling to demand that the phase four coronavirus response bill include funding to help our state and local governments. Local governments support our teachers, law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and the infrastructure that we all rely upon. I am offended that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to let these entities declare bankruptcy - that is NOT a solution to this problem. The next bill must help our local governments!!"

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Newtown Township also faces “plummeting revenues” due to #COVID19. Newtown Township's over-dependency on business-related tax can lead to what I call a "COVID-19 Domino Effect" whereby as businesses remain shut and as more local workers are laid off or furloughed, eventually the township will face a financial crisis due to lack of revenue and increased expenses necessitated by the pandemic. Read “Newtown Businesses Struggle to Stay Afloat During COVID-19”; https://bit.ly/COVID19DominoEffect

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SURVEY RESULTS: Impact of COVID-19 on Newtown Businesses

SURVEY RESULTS: Impact of COVID-19 on Newtown Businesses | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

"Extraordinary Times Call for Extraordinary Measures." These are indeed extraordinary times with many businesses forced to close and millions of people out of work due the measures necessary to contain the Coronavirus pandemic. And municipalities like Newtown Township that depend upon business and job related taxes (e.g., Earned Income Tax or EIT) face financial difficulties if the shutdown continues much longer and people do not get their jobs back.

 

To stay financial solvent, it behooves the Township to do all it can to help local businesses. As a Newtown Township Supervisor I expect that I will be called upon to make critical decisions in the coming weeks and months in response to the dire financial impact on Newtown Township of the Coronavirus pandemic and the emergency mitigation measures currently in place. Consequently, it is important that have the necessary information and feedback from local businesses to make the right decisions. That is why I hosted the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey.

 

Download a summary of results of the survey here.

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#COVID19 Is Forcing State and Local Governments to Make Painful Budget Choices Ahead

#COVID19 Is Forcing State and Local Governments to Make Painful Budget Choices Ahead | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Here’s the problem in a nutshell: Government at every level relies on revenue estimates when planning budgets. More than a year in advance, council, commissioners and county executives anticipate how much the economy will grow, how much the usual taxes (income, sales and property among the larger sources) will rake in and then authorize spending on such broadly popular purposes as paying teacher salaries as well as those of police and firefighters, upgrading transportation (from building roads to filling pot holes) and addressing a host of other small, yet important responsibilities from reviewing development plans to maintaining public parks. The abruptness and jaw-dropping scale of the current downturn could surely never have been anticipated even weeks ago.

 

Governments have installed some protections such as surpluses and rainy day funds (a balance that is tapped only in the event of an unanticipated emergency) but none is anywhere near enough to cover what’s eventually coming their way. The state government’s reserves might float its general fund obligations a month, for instance. So they have two options but really only one. Officials can cut spending or they can increase taxes. And given how any elected leader who dares pursue a tax hike right now would mean his or her own unemployment courtesy of the ballot box, it’s really just about cutting spending. At first, there will be fat to trim, efficiencies found, public relations campaigns that can be deferred, contracts that can be delayed. Then there are the tougher choices like hiring and pay freezes. And then, as things get bad, the dreaded "f" word — furloughs or unpaid holidays or even salary reductions for government workers.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Newtown Township especially faces painful choices. At the April 22, 2020, Board of Supervisors, the Township Manager suggested that he will recommend that the general operating budget be supported by a real estate tax next year. Currently, all RE tax collected is earmarked for debt reduction and emergency services. To help keep the township afloat until the end of the year, the township has already made some "drastic" choices. For more about that read "Rough Road Ahead for Newtown Township"; https://preview.mailerlite.com/j5v4u6 

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Safe Dining During #COVID19? Hard to Imagine, but Many Restaurants Are Trying. What About Restaurants in the Newtown Area?

Safe Dining During #COVID19? Hard to Imagine, but Many Restaurants Are Trying. What About Restaurants in the Newtown Area? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Although many restaurateurs are still unsure if they will ever open their doors again, there are plenty — from fast-food operators to chefs at the most elite temples of haute cuisine — who spend their days strategizing how to get back to hosting diners.

 

Culinary and health organizations are drawing up guidelines and protocols for re-creating the American dining room as a safe space — even while acknowledging that could take many months or even longer to happen.

 

The first step in the long crawl back will be setting standards to protect workers and diners. “The most pragmatic thing we need to figure out right now is safety protocol,” said David Chang, the restaurateur and media star. “We are all asking for that, and no one really knows.”

 

The questions pile up fast. Should you rely on disposable paper menus, or is wiping down plastic-covered ones safe? What kind of thermometers are best to check employees’ health, and will diners submit to temperature checks? Can air-conditioning spread the virus? What is a restaurant’s liability if a customer gets sick? How does a sommelier taste wine while wearing a mask, and how do you rewrite a menu so cooks can stay safe in the tight confines of a restaurant kitchen?

 

“Once you go down this rabbit hole, it’s going to make your brain bleed,” Mr. Chang said.

 

In the United States, the rules dictating what is safe in a restaurant are anything but clear, even as states begin allowing them to reopen.

 

Last Thursday, the National Restaurant Association, whose members are largely chain restaurants, sent out a general set of guidelines that defers to government regulations, which will likely vary. They leave taking employees’ temperatures to the restaurant owner’s discretion, and recommend that restaurants follow state or local rules on the use of masks. Other suggestions include eliminating unwrapped straws, salad bars, buffets and cut lemons.

 

Independent restaurant owners are working with one another and some culinary organizations to develop more detailed protocols. Many have referenced a playbook put out by Syed Asim Hussain, a founder of Black Sheep Restaurants, in Hong Kong, which includes both science and tips on the art of hospitality.

 

“Guests are very sensitive to hygiene,” the guide states, “and anything that even looks messy will translate to unclean in their minds, so everyone’s uniforms, hair, nails, any surfaces guests can see, it all needs to be tidy and spotless, now more than ever.”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Under the new plan by PA Governor for re-opening businesses, lower Bucks County restaurants may not open for regular dine-in business for months because the County is not even close to being in the so-called "yellow" phase and dining in at restaurants is not even allowed during the "yellow" phase.

 

BUT some restaurants are open for curbside pickup and delivery. I have a list of over 40 Newtown Twp & Newtown Boro restaurants/eateries open for business during COVID-19 restrictions. The list includes hours of operation, phone and website info, notes for customers, and comments from patrons. Access the list here: https://bit.ly/OpenRestuarantsCOVID19 

 

 

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Newtown Planning Commission vs. Jointure Regarding Maximum Allowable E-30 "Fuel Pumps"

Newtown Planning Commission vs. Jointure Regarding Maximum Allowable E-30 "Fuel Pumps" | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

[The image above is an idea of what Wawa would likely prefer.]

 

In a first-ever virtual Zoom meeting of the Newtown Township Planning Commission (PC) on April 21, 2020, the members discussed the latest version of the E-30 Ordinance - Convenience Store/Fueling Station - submitted by the Joint Zoning Council (JZC).

 

In the 9-minute audio snippet featured in this post, the PC members discuss their consensus as to the maximum number of allowable fueling "pumps" and "stations". The Commission members answered questions sent via email by resident Michael Horbal:

 

It seems that the term "fuel pumps" is used by the town, but that proposed developments have used multiproduct fuel dispensers (MPD, Definition) with their terminology and there seems to be some confusion as to what is being proposed.

 

My questions are:

 

  1. Does "fuel pumps" have the same meaning as multiproduct fuel dispenser (MPD)?
  2. How many fuel pumps are being proposed by the planning commission?
  3. How many vehicles will be able to receive gas at the same time under the planning commission proposal?
  4. Does the proposal put our existing local gas stations at a competitive disadvantage if new stations will allow more fuel pumps than what currently exists?

 

Find out how the PC answered Mr. Horbal’s questions here…

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Independently Owned Restaurants Are Not Happy with the New Relief Bill That Will Inject $320 Billion Into the Paycheck Protection Plan. Why Not?

Independently Owned Restaurants Are Not Happy with the New Relief Bill That Will Inject $320 Billion Into the Paycheck Protection Plan. Why Not? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Independently owned restaurants are blasting the passage of a bipartisan bill that would replenish funds to a program designed to keep small businesses from shuttering amid the nation's coronavirus pandemic, arguing it does not make the "fixes" their industry desperately needs.

 

The $484 billion relief bill, which passed the Senate on Tuesday, would inject $320 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program, which was halted last week after it ran out of money. That includes $60 billion for community-based lenders, smaller banks and credit unions to assist smaller businesses that don't have established relationships with big banks and had a harder time accessing the funds in the first round of loans.

 

But the Independent Restaurant Coalition – which represents chefs and owners of small, non-chain restaurants – has lobbied for policy changes to restrictions around how the loans are used and the timeline in which the money must be spent. They say the rules don't work for businesses that still aren't sure when customers will return.

 

The PPP, which was created with approval of the original CARES Act last month, allows businesses smaller than 500 employees, including restaurants, to apply for financial loans during the pandemic to help keep them from closing completely.

 

To have the loans completely forgiven, businesses are required to spend 75% of the federal money on payroll and 25% on fixed expenses such as rent, utilities and other bills. A business must start spending the money 10 days after getting approved, and they have eight weeks until the loan expires.

 

But restaurants say these are unreasonable mandates while many are closed and not accumulating normal business expenses – and could remain closed for months, well past the expiration date.

 

Restaurateurs want the loan extended from eight weeks to three months after they open, noting business will probably be slow even when they open their doors again, as people remain reluctant to re-congregate until there's a COVID-19 vaccine. They want the origination date of the loan to be when they can legally reopen fully, not within 10 days of receipt. They've asked that the period to replay loans be lengthened from two years to 10 years.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

I have created a list of Newtown Township/Borough restaurants/eateries that are OPEN for business even if it's for limited service such as curbside pickup on certain days for limited hours. Find the list here: https://bit.ly/OpenRestuarantsCOVID19

Theresa Winebrenner's curator insight, April 25, 9:12 AM
This is so sad for all of the small business owners. I hope they can survive.
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A Study Predicts When PA May Be Ready To Relax Social Distancing, Depending Upon...

A Study Predicts When PA May Be Ready To Relax Social Distancing, Depending Upon... | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A leading model for coronavirus predicts that some states may be ready to relax social distancing measures as early as May 4 provided "robust containment strategies" are implemented to prevent a second wave of infections. The analysis shows that Pennsylvania may be ready to relax some measures a few weeks later, around the first of June.

 

Pennsylvania's statewide stay-at-home order goes through May 8. After that, the governor has said it may be lifted on a regional basis. All Pennsylvania schools have been closed for the rest of the academic year.

 

In recent days, state officials have said social distancing measures have flattened the curve of new coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf has cautioned, however, that a reopening will be slow, deliberate, and careful.

 

"Life is going to be different on the other side of this," Wolf said during a Monday news conference announcing some preliminary steps towards recovery. "We're going to take the same measured approach to reopening as we did to closing."

 

And just as the country's reopening will be phased, so will the state's. The areas that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, including the Philadelphia area, will likely have longer lasting restrictions so as to prevent a second wave of infections.

 

"Minimizing the risk of resurgence will be more likely if the number of remaining infections in the community is at a low level," the institute's researchers said.

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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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