Roots of Revitalization

Social Change Through Action In Pottstown PA

TIME TO BUY POTTSTOWN HOLIDAY BALL TICKETS~DEC 9th is just around the corner! November 23, 2011

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This years Holiday Costume Ball is themed with artists and creativity in mind! Pottstown is in the middle of a renaissance,  because like

minded artisans, craftspersons, painters, musicians, and community volunteers are taking action towards the revitalization.  This is a

“FUN FUNDRAISER” that will help support the Mosaic Community Land Trust and Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority.

Tickets can be bought online here : (This link also has location and band information!)

Or call Sheila Dugan, PDIDA Chairman, at 610-323-5400. for paper ticket purchases!


Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority’s Upcoming Events- September 5, 2011

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The Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) has moved in to their new space  at 17 N Hanover St.  Sheila Dugan the PDIDA Director wishes  to “thank the volunteers who helped the office move, we are also on our way to becoming  POTTSTOWNS VISITORS CENTER! As the boxes are unpacked, we are busy planning various events that we hope will bring people into the downtown and recognize the wonderful shop space and events we have here. This season we are working with the school district, other community organizations and merchants for the  OPEN DOORS event on September 10. Stores will be open, fun things will be going on throughout the downtown and at the high school. It is the start of several events, that have many different organizations working together to PROVE Pottstown is a  fun, safe place that many great people call home!

Sheila Dugan Director of PDIDA.

Super Sunday Events:



on September 18th the annual The Carousel of Flavors will return. Local eateries will dish up yummy bites to support the restoration of the Victorian Merry Ground they have been fundraising for, the last several years. ( ) Crafters and cooks alike who are interested in participating in this festival should call Jill Burbank at 610- 970-0624.

On September 24th A Pet Expo is underway for the 24thas well as a community yard sale – The Pottstown Arts Cultural Alliance and Bill Sharon from the Borough Codes Department are working on this great event. (

On October 23rd the annual Halloween Adventure will be celebrated downtown. We will have Alpacas there for the children to pet, music, scarecrow making, face painting and more at beautiful Riverfront Park. (

November 27th is the kick off date to the Hometown Holidays Season.  All through December family friendly events are being planned, which in years past have included: Christmas Bands and Sleigh Rides. In 2011 a group or an organization that would like to win $500 in the tree
decorating contest should contact the PDIDA Office at 610-323-5400 for details. Mrs. Dugan is also planning a “Vintage Holiday Theme” to help promote the Tri Pac’s December play “A Christmas Story”.  (

Mrs. Dugan also stated that as “we roll into December, we will be having Santa arrive on Dec. 2nd (starts at  630) down High Street to his Santa house where you can have photos taken. More activities will be going on throughout the various shops in town. On Saturday the 10th, we will have a spot for your pets to be photographed with Santa, as well as the regular Santa House photo opportunities for your family. Choirs are being scheduled to sing throughout town and other special activities which will be going on from noon to 6pm. We are also planning  the second PDIDA Holiday Ball which was a popular success last year, and the date is Friday December 9th!”  This fundraising event supports many community/family friendly events, the litter clean up program, and the  marketing for our downtown area.

The PDIDA Director Groovin at last years Holiday Ball in Dec. 2010

Want to help PDIDA? VOLUNTEER  at the new Visitors Center/Office at 17 N Hanover St. PDIDA is hoping to have the center open from 10 to 2,  and would love to have enough volunteers to be open every day of the week. The second thing you can do is go to to VOTE for the PDIDA sign to win the $10k make-over. The  entry is number 375. You do have to register, but click the bottom where it says view next 20 then you will get tour no 375. Click on it and press MORPHIT…it can be done once a day everyday by everyone. This would help us tremendously!!! Feel free to contact Sheila Dugan for further details on how you can help make downtown Pottstown a better place!  Call 610-323-5400  to volunteer or buy tickets for upcoming holiday ball!


“Litterbugs Are Losers” (quote from my 5 year old son!) August 25, 2011


The Pottstown Borough and PDIDA should be commended for organizing the town clean up day this past April, which appropriately coincided wtih Earth Day. However, a yearly clean up is not enough to keep our town litter free, and more attractive to home buyers and business investors.  ALL POTTSTOWN CITIZENS NEED TO JOIN IN THE EFFORT! If you look at successful neighboring towns they all have VERY CLEAN streets! Communities with popular walkable downtowns (similarly sized to Pottstown) such as West Chester, Media, and Phoenixville showcase bright welcoming appearances! Families want to spend time in towns that are pleasant and environmental!

I have asked myself several times, “why do people litter”? I have thought various reasons from laziness and social apathy to ignorance. One thing I am certain of, is that children learn environmental/community pride attitudes rom their parents and immediate culutural surroundings.

 According to  sociologists: Kees Keiser, Siegwart Lindenberg, and Linda Steg the authors of  “The Spreading of Disorder” the litter phenomena is similar to the broken window theory, in that it becomes acceptable to throw trash on the ground if  “every one else doesit!”  The social scientists state, “Imagine that the neighborhood you are living in is covered with graffiti, litter, and  unreturnedshopping carts. Would this reality cause you to litter more, trespass, or even steal? A theory known as the broken windows theory suggests that signs of disorderly and petty criminal behavior that is not corrected, becomes “the norm”, thus causing the behavior to spread. This maycause neighborhoods to decay and the quality of life of its inhabitants to deteriorate. For a city government, this may be a vital policy issue. We found that, when people observe that others violated a certain social  norm or legitimate rule, they are more likely to violate other normsor rules, which causes disorder to spread.”

 So what is considered universally deviant  and criminal (littering) evolves into a subculture of acceptability. Some neighborhoods are cleaner in Pottstown than others, locals often argue that it is the homeowners that pick up more litter than the renters. That the corner grocery stores need to make more of an effort cleaning up after their customers!  However, we need to stop blaming others! The Pottstown Borough is in the process of enacting a litter ordinance that will require property owners to clean up the trash or be fined!This “hold property owners accountable for the way their properties look law” shoud go into effect by winter 2011.

A good start to teaching your kids about environmental stewardship andcommunity pride is by reading them the following books: TheWartville Wizard by Don Madden, Pick Up The Litter by Bill Wallace, and Lil’s Legacy of Litter by Lester Lex. If you cannot find these greenreads, then head to the Pottstown Public library and they will be happy to help you find some earth friendly books for your youngsters.Another good thing to do is “bribe” your kids with a “reward” perhaps taking them for an ice cream cone or swimming after they,have helped you clean up around your home area and block!




PDIDA: Working With Students To Better Pottstown! July 10, 2011

Filed under: Kool Kids,Student Art Work — roots of revitalization @ 4:18 pm
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     The Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA), has

several new internship programs underway with local teen students according

to Sheila Dugan the Chairman of The Board.

Sheila Dugan Chairman of PDIDA

Lindsay Hayver, a junior at Pottstown High

School is responsible for a clean-up crew

that meets every other weekend to gather litter in

the borough. Havyer manages the work schedule and

recruits fellow students to help.  She will be working with

PDIDA as her senior project for the

next two years. Perhaps you  have seen these kids

wearing their yellow PDIDA shirts while they are tidying up

town? The clean up crews range in size from four to

ten people all dedicated to making Pottstown a  more environmental place.

Havyer is also working with local businesses and church volunteer groups to

help PDIDA meet one of their main objectives “keeping the downtown clean,

safe and well managed”. Dugan commented on Havyer, “Lindsay is taking her

own initiative in a  responsible manner that is rare in teenagers today. She is

truly giving back to her community!”

Lindsay Havre Clean Up Crew Managing Intern for PDIDA!

Some of the PDIDA Volunteer Litter Patrol!

The second aspect of the mentoring program utilizes young artists such as

Jaira Kurtz who is a senior at Pottstown High School. Kurtz will be working with

local businesses and designing murals as advertisements as a way to market

downtown Pottstown. One of her first murals will be doing her own version of

the Grumpy’s logo at the sandwich shop located within the Pottstown Farmers


Jaira Kurtz Artistic Advertising Intern For PDIDA!

Kurtz commented on her senior project intership, “I

lovePottstown and I feel like local students and citizens

don’t get enough credit. We always get the short end of

the stick when it comes to  everything and I  would just

like to bring more positivity to the town so others can

see what good things can come from Pottstown and the

people who inhabit it. I’m also the

drum major of PHS band and spoke at the past board

meeting about just making this town a better and happier place. It kills

me to see how some of the borough and board members are cutting and taking

away the things that affect this town in positive ways.”

Dugan further discussed how much talent she has seen from young people in

Pottstown, and that past students were responsible for both of the outdoor

murals at the Farmers Market and MCCC’s Riverfront Center.


Kool Kid: Virginia Lee Dugan! June 30, 2011

 By TJS       

    Some of you local Pottstownians may know the Dugan family, who have been renovating a historic home on North Hanover Street for the last few years!

Mother, Sheila Dugan is active with Historic Pottstown Neighborhood Association and also the Chairman of The Board at Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA). 

     Father, Gene Dugan is the chef and owner of  Grumpy’s Hand Carved Sandwiches  located in the Pottstown Farmers Market at 300 E, High Street.   

     There oldest daughter of five children, Virginia Lee Dugan, is ROR’s first “KOOL KID” to be interviewed and featured on our blog. The reason we chose VL , is because she achieved high honor roll her entire Freshman year, and is a big help to her family in that she works at the family’s sandwich shop.

Name: Virginia-Lee Dugan

 Nickname: VL or Vee

 Grade Level: I will be going into 10th.

 School: Pottstown High

 Favorite Subject and Why?: English and History because they come very easily to me.

 Favorite Color: Pink!

 Favorite TV Show: Pretty Little Liars!

 Favorite Movie: Freedom Writers!

Favorite Music: Hip-Hop and Rap!

 Favorite Quote: “A best friend knows everything about you and loves you anyways.”

 Favorite place that you have travelled to: Raystown Resort.

First thing that you ever wanted to be when you grew up: I wanted to be a teacher.

What do you want to be now? I want to be a lawyer.

 Hobbies: I love reading.

 What do you expect to be doing in ten years? I hope to just be graduating law school from Pittsburg University.

 Advice that you would give to your fellow students: Study and pay attention, it helps a lot.

 Something unique about yourself? My personality, I swear I’m bipolar. I’ll be happy one minute then the next I’ll be really mad for something stupid.

 Do you have a hero, if so who and why? Yes, my Mom. She has been through a lot in her life and I don’t think that I could ever handled it as well as she has.