News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
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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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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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Incident In Front Of Starbucks in Newtown Borough Under Investigation.

Incident In Front Of Starbucks in Newtown Borough Under Investigation. | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Police in Newtown Borough said they're investigating an incident that occurred outside of the Starbucks on State Street​ Monday

 

Police in Newtown Borough said they're investigating an incident that occurred outside of the Starbucks on State Street Monday.

 

The incident was captured on video and viewed widely on Facebook.

 

Anju Madnani, in a post since shared more than 275 times, says she was with her adult son and daughter as they put up flyers related to the death of George Floyd.

 

In the video, a couple is seen approaching and yells at them. The man then confronts the woman putting up the flyers, hitting her phone from her hand.

 

Police issued a statement Tuesday saying the investigation into the incident is not complete. "Upon completion, we will address the outcome here. We will do our job thoroughly as always," the statement said.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Let's Make Sure Racism Has No Place in Newtown!

 

The mother of the victim said “Do you think this white couple will do the same thing with white kids if they were putting the same posters? I really think people have to drastically change their thinking and support humanity, not racism.”

 

Just a few days prior to this incident, the the Newtown Township Human Relations Commission (NTHRC) decided to dedicate its Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 7 PM, Zoom public meeting to discussing racism and what can be done to ensure that racism has no place in Newtown and that incidents such as the above are not tolerated. The Commission wishes to invite members of the public to attend by invitation only.

 

Please complete this registration form if you are interested in attending this meeting. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/93KWKFT

 

Related:

  • “Many Blacks Feel Their Safety is Ignored”; http://sco.lt/8nF40e
  • “ADL: There were eight incidents of extremism and anti-Semitism in Bucks County in 2019. Only the tip of the iceberg, IMHO!”; http://sco.lt/5UpBqq
  • “Film ‘Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. is the Answer’”: http://sco.lt/8C7RFA 
johnmacknewtown's curator insight, Today, 7:14 AM

Let's Make Sure Racism Has No Place in Newtown!

 

The mother of the victim said “Do you think this white couple will do the same thing with white kids if they were putting the same posters? I really think people have to drastically change their thinking and support humanity, not racism.”

 

Just a few days prior to this incident, the the Newtown Township Human Relations Commission (NTHRC) decided to dedicate its Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 7 PM, Zoom public meeting to discussing racism and what can be done to ensure that racism has no place in Newtown and that incidents such as the above are not tolerated. The Commission wishes to invite members of the public to attend by invitation only.

 

Please complete this registration form if you are interested in attending this meeting. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/93KWKFT

 

Related:

  • “Many Blacks Feel Their Safety is Ignored”; http://sco.lt/8nF40e
  • “ADL: There were eight incidents of extremism and anti-Semitism in Bucks County in 2019. Only the tip of the iceberg, IMHO!”; http://sco.lt/5UpBqq
  • “Film ‘Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. is the Answer’”: http://sco.lt/8C7RFA
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Lovebird Chicken Eatery Now Open In Newtown. Answers the Question: Why Did The Owner Cross Sycamore Street?

Lovebird Chicken Eatery Now Open In Newtown. Answers the Question: Why Did The Owner Cross Sycamore Street? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Lovebird eatery is now open on Sycamore Street in Newtown. The chicken restaurant is located next to Greenstraw in the storefront that was previously Knitting To Know Ewe.

Lovebird operates locations in Doylestown and Bryn Mawr. The menu includes fried chicken, chicken sandwiches, salads and bowls. There are also sides, including hand-cut fries, mac and cheese, slaw and more.

The restaurant is created by John Ordway, the founder of Jules Thin Crust, which is just across the street in Newtown.

Ordway, when explaining the concept during a township meeting late last year, said Lovebird offers "high end fried chicken" sourced from a specific Amish farm in Western Pennsylvania.

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Newtown Borough Planning Ahead For Outdoor Dining Reopening

Newtown Borough Planning Ahead For Outdoor Dining Reopening | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Newtown Borough officials will discuss ideas for allowing local restaurants — which have been closed since mid-March — take advantage of the governor's yellow phase guidelines for outdoor dining.

 

The topic will be discussed during a Zoom meeting Wednesday. You can register to attend the Zoom here

 

The agenda includes a segment on the process for allowing temporary permits for tents, outdoor dining, and alcohol consumption.

 

Borough Council member Nicole Rodowicz said she expects council to discuss how they can help State Street restaurants make plans for outdoor dining.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

At recent Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) meetings, the Supervisors grappled with how the township might be able to allow restaurants without outdoor seating certificates of occupancy to place outdoor seating tables on sidewalks and/or parking areas. Several ideas were put forward and discussed. Find the streaming videos of recent BOS meetings here

 

Related:

  • Podcast: “Getting Newtown Businesses Open Again”; https://johnmacknewtown.info/covidvbus.html
  • “PA Restaurants Can Open Outdoor Dining Rooms June 5 - But What About Restaurants Without Outdoor Seating Areas?”; http://sco.lt/58A7Xc
  • “Restaurants Reopening for Outdoor Dining: Closing Streets and Opening Sidewalks to Create al fresco Dining Rooms”; http://sco.lt/8rUPXE
  • “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
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#BlackLivesMatter: Locals Make Voices Heard Peacefully At Five Points Intersection in Levittown

#BlackLivesMatter: Locals Make Voices Heard Peacefully At Five Points Intersection in Levittown | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A group of about 45 people made their voices heard near the Five Points intersection in Levittown Sunday evening.

The impromptu protest along Woodbourne Road on the Bristol Township and Middletown Township border came together after rumors of a potential demonstration on social media. The fear conveyed in some social media posts was not realized during the protest, which featured signs that said “Black Lives Matters,” “I can’t breathe,” and “I stand with Floyd,” referencing the black man murdered by a police officer last Monday in Minneapolis.

Passerbys along the busy roadway were largely supportive of the group and many beeped or put their fist up in the air. A few passerbys threw the group the middle finger or screamed an obscenity.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Do black lives matter in Newtown? 

Newtown Human Relations Commission Meeting

Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 7 PM via Zoom.

 

On the agenda will be a discussion of racism and what can be done to ensure that it has no place in Newtown. The Commission wishes to invite members of the public to attend by invitation only.

 

Please complete this form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/93KWKFT if you are interested in attending this meeting.

 

Not all people who request to attend will be selected due to limitations of the number of attendees and at the discretion of the Commission. The information you provide will be confidential and not disclosed to any authority or government agency. It will be solely used by the NTHRC to invite members of the public to its meeting.

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Bucks County Lawmakers - Mostly Dems with Hair - Urge Gov. Wolf to Reopen Salons, Barbershops In Yellow Phase

Bucks County Lawmakers - Mostly Dems with Hair - Urge Gov. Wolf to Reopen Salons, Barbershops In Yellow Phase | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

A group of Bucks County lawmakers are pushing for personal services businesses, like barbershops and salons, to be permitted to reopen in the yellow phase of Pennsylvania's coronavirus mitigation plan.

Senators Steve Santarsiero (D-10) and Maria Collett (D-12) as well as State Representatives Perry Warren (D-31), Tina Davis (D-141), John Galloway (D-140) and Wendy Ullman (D-143) have sent Gov. Tom Wolf a letter asking for him to issue an executive order permitting the personal services businesses be permitted to reopen with enhanced safety measures.

The letter references a plan for reopening of the personal service industry used in neighboring Ohio. That plan includes a list of requirements, such as maintaining six feet of social distancing (except between the client and employee when appropriate), requiring employees to wear facial coverings (with some exceptions), requiring businesses to clean high-touch items after each use, and requiring employees to wear gloves and dispose of gloves in between tasks.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related:

  • “Haircuts Go Underground, While Safe Barbershops May Go Broke, Says @FuzeBarberShop Owner Tosti”: http://sco.lt/6Un6wK
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Newtown Township Summer Camps Canceled for 2020

Newtown Township Summer Camps Canceled for 2020 | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Newtown Township Parks & Recreation is disappointed to announce the cancellation of our 2020 Summer Camps due to the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. These camps include Camp Newtown, Teen Camp, Camp Beechtree, Playground Camp and Sports Camp.


This decision was not easy but our top priority is the safety of all
campers and staff.


Everyone registered will receive a refund for the amount you paid or if you choose to keep your child enrolled in the system, we can offer you the rates you paid this year for next year’s camp. Please let our department know by Monday, June 1st if you are interested in taking advantage of this discount option.


Please note, all registrations made over 120 days ago (on or before
February 1st), will be processed by check and mailed to you within the next 3-4 weeks. Please allow all other refunds, 7-10 business days to process.

 

We hope to be of service in the near future!


Sincerely,


Newtown Township Parks & Recreation

johnmacknewtown's insight:

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?”. 

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PA Restaurants Can Open Outdoor Dining Rooms June 5 - But What About Restaurants Without Outdoor Seating Areas?

PA Restaurants Can Open Outdoor Dining Rooms June 5 - But What About Restaurants Without Outdoor Seating Areas? | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

The state has issued guidelines for restaurants opening amid the pandemic. Rules include spacing between tables and limited capacity.

 

Pennsylvania restaurants in the yellow phase of coronavirus mitigation will be permitted to open outdoor dining areas starting June 5 provided they follow safety and social distancing guidelines, state officials announced Wednesday.

 

All Pennsylvania counties are expected to be in either the yellow or green phase of mitigation by that date. Restaurants in the green phase are allowed to open interior dining rooms.

 

The following rules apply for restaurants in the yellow phase:

 

  • Indoor areas, including bar areas, of restaurants and retail food service businesses must be closed to customers except for through-traffic.
  • Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e., tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.
  • Customers being served must be seated at a table.
  • Tables must maintain a 6 feet distance between parties.

 

Yellow-phase dining operations are prohibited from operating self-service food or drink options, such as buffets and salad bars. Condiments must be removed from tables and dispensed by employees upon the request of a customer. Reusable menus, other than digital menus sanitized after each use, are prohibited.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

At recent Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) meetings, the Supervisors grappled with how the township might be able to allow restaurants  without outdoor seating certificates of occupancy to place outdoor seating tables on sidewalks and/or parking areas. Several ideas were put forward and discussed. Find the streaming videos of recent BOS meetings here.

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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:

UPDATE - May 27, 2020: Newtown Twp Manager says the Twp will cancel summer camp activities this year. Registration is down by 70% and the Twp cannot guarantee that teenage camp personnel will scrupulously follow guidelines. Plus most venues that host camp activities will not be open. It's a wise decision say Supervisors at today's Board meeting via Zoom. Here's the official announcement and info about refunds: http://sco.lt/4kOiIa

 

As late as May 24, 2020, Newtown Township’s Parks & Recreation Department planned 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

 

 My survey of 65 Newtown area residents suggests that 50% 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

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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.

 

Related stories:

 

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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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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.
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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.
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