Roots of Revitalization

Social Change Through Action In Pottstown PA

Community Land Trust to Hold Informational Meetings on Garden Project February 8, 2012

MOSAIC Community Land Trust

Contact: David Jackson at 484-949-4235

Pottstown, PA— Have you ever wanted to have your own garden, but didn’t have enough room in your yard? Would you like your children to learn how to grow their own fresh vegetables, but don’t know where to begin?

This spring MOSAIC Community Land Trust is building Pottstown’s first community garden at 423 Chestnut Street. They will be holding three information sessions during the month of February to explain what community gardens are all about and to take applications for approximately 40 raised bed garden plots for the 2012 season. In addition to the garden plots, there will be compost bins, rain barrels, pavers, fencing, trellis, perennial gardens, a storage shed, and water service for irrigation.

The MOSAIC Community Garden is being built with a $30,000 grant from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation. The property at 423 Chestnut Street was donated by…

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Cowgirls, Cupcakes, & Couscous! by tjs February 7, 2012

Meet and Greet Hostesses, Terrie Uba and Jin Williams


The evening of Monday, February 6th, Jin Williams professional

business networker and fundraiser from The Referralist, along with

Terrie Uba owner and stylist of T&N Hair  Saloon, hosted a meet

and greet at the salon located at 1220 N. Hanover St., Pottstown,

PA 19464. Phone: 610-970-1606 Open Tuesday through Saturday,

call T&N Hair Saloon for an appointment or business hours. 

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Jin Williams with Nor of Bistro 137

Jin Williams with Nor of Bistro 137

This quaint western themed salon is tastefully decorated with

leather couches, complimented with cow hide pillows, and

antiquated cowgirl art. A unisex salon providing services for

cowgirls and cowboys alike! Little cowpoke (child) hair care

services also available.

Stylists of TN Hair Saloon, Terrie Uba pictured at far right.

Stylists of TN Hair Saloon, Terrie Uba pictured at far right.

Terrie Uba stated that at “T&N Hair Saloon we are here to achieve

the highest possible standards in all that we do. To help clients

achieve their most aspiring expectations. We prioritize competitive

pricing,  long term relationships, and total customer satisfaction.”

Meet and Greet Guests

Guests visit at the Meet and Greet

Guests visit at the Meet and Greet

Guests that attended the event were treated to free goody bags

filled with beauty samples, T&N coupons, and pampered with

mini chair massages. The nearly thirty guests in attendance also

had the opportunity to meet with T&N  stylists and discuss hair,

nail, waxing, facial, cosmetic, and product options.

Mediterranean Refreshments provided by Bistro 137

Mediterranean Refreshments provided by Bistro 137

Complimentary wine and Mediterranean cuisine samples were

served by Nor Sacli Basol of  High Street’s, Bistro 137. 


Cupcakes provided by Milkman Lunch Company

Cupcakes provided by Milkman Lunch Company

Mini tastings of ‘Jinny Von Cupcakes’ were sold along with raffle

tickets for a free T&N Hair Saloon make over, the proceeds

benefiting the multiple scolerosis foundation.

( ) The “Jinny

Von Cupcakes” were prepared by artisan baker Sam Rhame of

Milkman Lunch Company, another growing Pottstown business

located at 451 North Charlotte Street.

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Lisa Futcho-Tucci jewelry merchandiser

Lisa Futcho-Tucci jewelry merchandiser

Lisa Futcho-Tucci an Independent Designer at Origami Owl Living

Lockets was also present, taking necklace orders and showing off

this latest fashionable jewelry trend.

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This fun event was insight into various culinary, massage

therapy, jewelry, and spa salon services that are available to

residents living in Pottstown. Please click a hyperlink to learn

more about any of these locally owned businesses, and remember

to patronize small town America!



Community Cohesion January 10, 2012

Filed under: Quality of Life Issues — roots of revitalization @ 9:44 am
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By Anya Rhoads -Lafferty

  • We live in America—the land of freedom—the land of opportunity—the land of choices. Many different facets make America the great country it is; however, along with these freedoms and opportunities and choices sometimes comes hardship, tragedy, and poor decision-making, not just on the part of individuals, but also families, businesses, corporations, and government.The current economic strife America is facing is affecting everyone from individuals, families, local businesses, large corporations and, most importantly, our government. Across the board we all have had to make changes and sacrifices in order to survive on a day-to-day basis. No one likes change (good or bad), as we are creatures of habit, but sometimes we are forced to make changes because of outside influences (such as the current economic state of our country).

    Sometimes individuals, corporations, and government make poor choices that only serve to continually affect us negatively. Maybe it is because we just made the wrong choice, or maybe we chose to make the wrong choice. Whatever the situation is, we still have to continue to find a way to survive and stay strong.

    With a town like Pottstown, which continues to struggle financially and cosmetically, drastic change needs to occur. In Pottstown (the 19464 zip code), we have the borough of Pottstown and we have all of the Pottsgrove communities which surround it. On the outskirts of these two towns we have cities to our North—Gilbertsville, Bechtelsville, and Boyertown. These latter three towns most recently merged their fire departments together. Merging of businesses and companies can save one from being shut down completely, can save money, and brings people together. In the aftermath of 9/11, America came together in the wake of tragedy. In the wake of our current economic strife, we need to come together as a community. Pottstown and Pottsgrove need to follow in the footsteps of the fire departments in Gilbertsville, Bechtelsville, and Boyertown and merge to make ONE town.

    I can understand that the citizens residing in the Pottsgrove communities do not want to take on the financial burdens of the Pottstown borough. All towns and cities have their issues—no town or city is immune. As a whole, Pottsgrove appears to have their affairs in order and take care of their communities. Maybe our borough councilmen do not have the proper means to save the borough and maybe they do. If Pottsgrove and Pottstown were to come together and become ONE community—it would save our schools, save jobs, save the town, save money, and bring Pottstown (as a whole) back to life. With the Department of Education cutting funds for students, it only makes sense to merge these two school districts together. Why do we need two school districts in the same zip code anyway? If you look at our neighboring districts—Owen J. Roberts, Boyertown, Springford, Phoenixville, etc.—you see they do not have more than one school district within their towns. The best example is the Gilbertsville, Becthelsville, Boyertown cities (all of which have different zip codes) but they have ONE school district. Those towns are as close together as Pottstown and Pottsgrove. It makes no sense to have two school districts. If the Department of Education continues to reduce funding, they will either force school districts within a specified radius to merge, or we as a community will be forced to merge.

    I think of the powers that be in Pottstown were to enforce laws (i.e. hold slumlords accountable, enforce codes and laws, terminate water service to those who do not pay their bills, and escalate recuperating tax funds that are overdue in a more timely fashion to the extent of the law) that maybe Pottsgrove would be more agreeable to a merger.

    It is very difficult to take steps to make differences when people put up a barrier and don’t think of others. It is time for us as Americans to work together and be there for each other and stop asking “what’s in it for me?” Change is difficult…coming in to help clean up a mess is difficult…these times are difficult, but if we work together as a people, a community, and a country, think of the wonderful changes we can make! Pottstown and Pottsgrove should set the standard and make changes before they are forced upon us. By working together, we could make other communities stand up and say “hey—look how great that town is—how they worked together…we want to be like them!” Think about it…let’s come together and make positive change and make others turn their heads to us in jealousy and see the good we have done and they will follow suit. This can help change the world one town at a time and bring us together. Our children need to learn this valuable lesson and work together as a community. We need to get our kids out of the house, off the couch, out from in front of the television and video games. Third world countries work together each and every day (physical labor) to have the very few means they have, including food. If we get up and get moving, we also would be changing the obesity issue in our country. Let’s make big change together!

    Everyone takes the time to forward e-mails and text messages…let’s take it a step further. Let’s make big change that reverberates across the states. How far can we get our message sent and create change? Are you up for the challenge?

    Anya Rhoads-Lafferty

    Anya Rhoads-Lafferty

    Anya is a life time resident of Pottstown, PA and teacher at Antonelli Medical & Professional Institute . She studied Medical Secretary/Secretarial Sciences at Pennsylvania Business Institute, and is a member of  Phi Theta Kappa through MCCC.



Meet Julie Tonnessen of The Gallery School of Pottstown December 1, 2011

Julie Tonnessen is the Assistant Director at The Gallery School of Pottstown located at 254 E. High St. Pottstown, PA 19464

Phone 610.326.2506

Hours Tuesday-Friday 10am-4:30pm and

Saturday 10am-3pm

Closed Sunday and Monday

“I have always been a crafty person. My mom started me at a young age participating in creative pursuits like dance classes. My educational background is in English and history. I have a BA from Ursinus College and a Masters from Rosemont College. I have worked the retail side of the arts and crafts business and have taught arts and crafts for a very longtime, beginning with a summer playground program when I was still in highschool.”

At the Gallery School, “I teach adult fiber arts (knitting,crochet, felting) and jewelry classes, and recycled art for kids and teens. Ialso teach a fun class called Crafty Kids, where we explore the three-dimensional and crafty arts. I get to pass on all the techniques and projects I most like to do, which makes this class always a lot of fun. We work in all mediums, from glass and mosaic tiles to paper and fabric. I also teach in the Gallery School’s out-of-school-time programs, where thestudents are all ages, from elementary to high school. These programs can be particularly rewarding, when you connect a student with the fun of creating something with their own hands. In an increasingly virtual world, it’s important to give our children an experience of working in the real world. Itis amazing to see a child gain confidence and pride in their work, and perhaps discover that although they may not be a great athlete, or have the best gradesin their class, they have this talent they never knew they possessed.It’s just as important to convey the value in the journey, that havin gfun and stretching themselves in a new way is more important than getting everything “perfect.””

For further information on classes available to the community go to this link:

Find The Gallery on High on Facebook as well!!/pages/Gallery-School-of-Pottstown/208707525132



2012 Will Be The Year Of The Carousel! November 30, 2011

Filed under: Family Friendly Activities,Quality of Life Issues — roots of revitalization @ 2:14 pm
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Several years ago a group of Pottstown citizens formed a committee with a common goal to revitalize our once-proud downtown area and make it a safe and appealing hub of activity for families to enjoy. We knew that, realistically, we could not revive every building on every street, but we knew from studying other depressed towns whose urban centers had made remarkable comebacks that a single, unique attraction often proved to be the inspiration for a turnaround.

For a number of cities, the downtown attraction that brought families and businesses back — right along with the pride of community that had been lost — was a carousel. 
We decided that a carousel for Pottstown could be a reality and committed ourselves to achieving this goal for our children, grandchildren and future generations who will call Pottstown “home.”

This initial influx of money has enabled us to purchase a 1905 carousel mechanism made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and to commission animals, which have been carved by world-famous carousel artisan Ed Roth.

This project represents a wonderful opportunity to restore a sense of place to our downtown. Please help us make a huge difference in our town’s society, economy, and the quality of life that we pass to our children.

The Carousel at Pottstown is an official part of the Community and Economic Development Action and Implementation Strategy for Pottstown. Thus far, the project has won support from the Mayor and Borough Council, the Pottstown Historic Society, Preservation Pottstown, the American Carousel Society, the Pottstown Artists Guild, US Congressman James W. Gerlach, State Senator John Rafferty, State Representative Thomas Quigley, and the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce.

The pictures span over a 4-5 year period.  Each animal on the Carousel has been hand-carved by a Disney Artist in California, shipped to our Work Shop on High St, where volunteers sand, prime and paint each animal.  On average each animal has taken approx 200 hours from start to finish.  We have some amazing artists in Pottstown that have pained these animals, volunteering one night a week for several years.
The most recent pictures are of the Carousel after numerous hours of cleaning, painting and erecting the Carousel.  Again this is all volunteers.
Website is; where there is some more history on the project.
The contacts that will be able to answer any and all your questions are the following:
Ken Weaver  610-469-6331  or email:
Jim Arms  610-587-1278 or email:
We have also started a Facebook page.  Carousel at Pottstown
We still have some animals available for sponsorship, along with panels.  George Wausnock can give you more details on the sponsorships available.
Contact Info:

We hope to have the Carousel turning by early 2012.  The building will not be completed due to more funds needed, but people will be able to ride the Carousel.  People called it a pipe dream, in 2012 we can call it REALITY!


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  PEAK stands for Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten Readiness, and is an initiative of the Pottstown School District. I am an employee of the Pottstown Family Center, a program of Family Services of Montgomery County. PEAK is a collaboration of the Pottstown School District, community agencies, and the local early learning programs. PEAK works to improve the readiness of children entering kindergarten through community outreach, quality improvement at sites, family engagement, and kindergarten transition. PEAK’s goal is that all children in Pottstown enter kindergarten ready to learn and achieve. My role as the Family Engagement Specialist is to support parents and families as their child’s first teachers. Children learn from those around them, and parents are an important influence in preparing their children for success in school and in life. A big part of my job is providing parents with community resources, and making referrals when necessary. Some of the systems available are difficult to navigate, so I walk through the process together with families. PEAK also provides printed resources and age- appropriate activities in their Parent Resource Boards, located at sites and throughout the community. I organize breakfasts for parents at the early learning sites, to facilitate social connections and to give parents a chance to take a moment out for themselves. I also put together parent-child workshops for the teachers to facilitate, encouraging parent involvement in the classroom and extending learning to the home. I am very proud to be part of such a unique program, and truly recognize the importance of parent involvement in quality early learning experiences. For more information, please contact me (Whitney Leone) For further info on early childhood education in Pottstown visit:

From Pottstown to Carnegie Mellon Dean of Arts! November 3, 2011

Lowry Burgess of Carnegie Mellon

Lowry Burgess of Carnegie Mellon

Lowry Burgess was inducted into the Pottstown High School Hall of Fame on Friday, October 21 during an honorary ceremony at the school auditorium . The program featured a video showcasing the art of Mr. Burgess and some of his lifetime accomplishments which involve his dedicated leadership to revitalizing financially struggling communities through artistic movements.



“He is a Professor of Art and former Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Distinguished Fellow in the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. He has founded and administrated many departments and institutions, during his 45 years as an educator in the arts. He has created curricula in the arts and humanities in the US and Europe while serving for twelve years on the National Humanities Faculty.”



After Mr. Burgess was presented with his titular award, entertainment was provided for by the PHS jazz band.
His photo will be displayed in the main hallway at PHS until the induction of next year’s members. After graduating  from PHS, Mr. Burgess attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and then the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked and studied at the artist colony of Instituto Allende in San Miguel Mexico. Mr. Burgess is a world-famous artist and educator, who created a sculptor for NASA in 1989, which is floating in outer space, he is among the first in the medium of Space Art works.

To read more about the life of Mr. Burgess follow these links:

Lowry Burgess PHS Alumni

Lowry Burgess PHS Alumni

Lowry Burgess with his PSD Honorary Hall of Fame Diploma

After the high school program there was a congratulatory luncheon at Brookside  Country Club for Mr. Burgess and his wife Janet,  who has partnered with him, in much of his art activism. The Pottstown High School, student award presenters, were also in attendance at the luncheon.

Pottstown School District Superintendent, Dr. Reed Lindley, PHS Principal
Stephen Rodriguez, and Pottstown School District Director of
Community Relations, Joel Armato were also lunch guests to visit with the

PSD Superintendent Dr. Reed Lindley stated “Inductees to the Pottstown Alumni Honor Roll on Friday were focused and highly motivational to any student or adult interested in improving their lot in life. I was greatly motivated and humbled to share the stage with such a group of winners, doers, and givers. Lowry Burgess highlights what can happen when talent is combined with a dream that is addressed with persistent focus. There aren’t too many artists who have their work carried to the moon. With his connections to MIT, Carnegie Mellon, NASA, and the World Bank; we should all seek his guidance as we work to build partnerships and look to enhance the arts community, an important ingredient in the economic development of Pottstown.”

Mr. Joel Armato commented on Mr. Burgess’ induction, “Lowry Burgess is an inspiration to our community, his combination of creativity, willing to take risk and never give up attitude has been his trademark. We look forward to working with him as we continue to grow a new Pottstown with arts and culture at the center of our revitalization efforts!” The honorees, and the day’s events give me more reason to say PROUD TO BE FROM POTTSTOWN

Lowry Burgess at Gallery on High in Pottstown

Following the luncheon Janet and Lowry Burgess were
invited to The Gallery On High, where Erika Hornburg Cooper and Cathy
Paretti hosted a small reception and discussion panel. 

Mr. And Mrs. Burgess spoke to a small group of Pottstown citizens,

Kate Jackson of  Mosaic Community Land Trust (Pottstown)

Sue Repko, an urban planner from Positively Pottstown,,

and Teri Jensen-Sellers of Roots of Revitalization in Pottstown, PA

about how Arts and Cultures movements cannot not only improve business districts in towns like Pottstown, but promote community pride and unity!  He and his wife, Janet are responsible for creating the model for the first night program promoting arts and humanities in Boston, that has become an internationally celebrated festival .