The Phoenix Files

The comments and posts on The Phoenix Files do not necessarily represent the thoughts or feelings of The Phoenix and/or ownership or management. The Phoenix and also reserve the right to delete any post. Any post which contains obscene language will be removed. Any questions or comments on this policy can be e-mailed to

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Danger-O's Performing at The Creep Store

On that $3.8 million

Most frequently asked question of the week: of the estimated $3.8 million spent by the Phoenixville Area School District on the aborted Kimberton Elementary School project, how much might be recouped?
We don't know. The School Board will not be addressing that issue seriously until it regroups, and the matter of a NEW new school project is put back on the table for discussion, when Board members return in August.
What we do know is that the $3.8 million total can be broken down into at least three broad categories. There's the $1.85 million purchase price. In addition, there was $1.3 million in design work and about $700,000 in environmental studies and analyses. Items like legal fees are inside those categories.
One could assume that some of the design costs may be recouped, as savings on design for a new building -- but I'd be wary of any expectation of recouping much. It is never the case that a building design for one site can just be plunked down on another; note, too, that the KES design was a close sister to Schuylkill School's, had major conceptual elements in common with it -- but it still cost a great deal to bring those elements onto the Kimberton site.
The big open question came with a hint from Board President Mark Casaday at the end of the meeting: the phrase "culpable parties" is always freighted with open questions. Assume that litigation over this will be explored, though we cannot be certain about the direction litigation will take.
Posted by
G.E. "Skip" Lawrence

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Barbara Cohen gives a preview of The Heritage Center

Your Thoughts

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Slo-Mo preforming "Shackamaxon" Live at Chaplin's

Dr. Don Meyer talks with Dr. David Noyes

Friday, June 20, 2008

The "Make a video for The Domino Theory" Contest

Recommendations From Creep Industries 6/19/08

School Board scratches plans for Kimberton school

The Phoenixville Board of School Directors Thursday evening dropped its plans for construction of a new elementary school on property across Cold Stream Road from the Kimberton Superfund Site.

The Board’s resolution to “abandon Kimberton Elementary School construction plans” passed by a vote of 6-2. Jill Slawecki, Mary Croke-Parris, Debbie Dawson, Paul Slaninka, Lisa Starczewski and Board President Mark Casaday voted to kill the project; William Mea and Keith Wickstrom voted against the resolution. Joshua Gould was absent.

“A lot of work went into this thing,” Casaday said. “But the building of a new school should be an occasion for everyone to be happy. This issue became devisive. It became a terrible situation that I hope is rectified by our vote tonight.”

Superintendent Dr. David Noyes estimated that some $3.8 million had been spent in the site’s purchase, in facility design and on environmental issues to date.

“I’m speechless,” Phoenixville Coalition of Concerned Citizens’ Donna Jackson said after the vote. “I am proud of our Board. They stepped up. They did the right thing.”

Posted by
G.E. “Skip” Lawrence

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Manager front-runner emerges

By G.E. Lawrence, Special to

Note: Story has been posted to The Phoenix Files for your feedback.

PHOENIXVILLE — E. Jean Krack, currently Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Development of Crozer Keystone Health System in Chester and former Coatesville city manager, has emerged as the presumptive nominee for appointment as Phoenixville Borough Manager.

Council’s three-member search committee — Mike Speck (D-East), Richard Mark Kirkner (D-North) and chair Kendrick Buckwalter (R-West) — will formally recommend Krack as its unanimous choice to the full Borough Council at Council’s business meeting Monday, June 23.

“I’m excited about this,” Buckwalter said Tuesday. “Jean Krack would come aboard with a vast amount of redevelopment experience, municipal experience, and transferable experience. His familiarity with Chester County also added a push to his candidacy.”

Krack has served for the last two years as coordinator for the Delaware County Keystone Innovation Zone, and as the Crozer Keystone Institute’s executive director since 2007. In both capacities he has held responsibility for programs accelerating the commercialization of university technologies

by start-up companies, in conjunction with Villanova and Widener Universities.

From 1999 to 2006, Krack held successive, sometimes concurrent, responsibilities with the City of Coatesville. From 1999 to 2005, he served as Director for Economic and Community Development; from 2000 to 2005 he added responsibilities as Director of Development for the Redevelopment Authority, and became the Authority’s executive director in 2005.

He served as Coatesville’s assistant city manager from 2002 to 2005, and city manager from 2005-2006.

Earlier in his career Krack was Vice President and Acting President of the Solano Economic Development Corporation, Solano County, California, and President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Vacaville, California.

The Collegeville resident is a twenty-year Navy veteran. His last assignment was as a human resource program director for 1500 personnel. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University.

“I have a wonderful job now,” Krack said in an interview, “with two wonderful institutions of higher education, working with entrepreneurs in high technology. But there is a side of me that has missed the Chamber of Commerce and municipal experiences.

“I’ve watched Phoenixville closely for 10 years,” he said. “In Coatesville, I saw Phoenixville as a competitor. I wanted to do there what you have successfully done here. You’ve been going gangbusters. Not just downtown, but throughout the borough. I said [sometime ago] that if the opportunity came, Phoenixville is one of just two places where I’d be especially interested in working.”

Buckwalter said that his committee had first reviewed a list of “eight or ten” resumes suggested by Keystone Municipal Services, Inc., of Mechanicsburg, the executive search firm consulting with the Borough. Three candidates were selected for further review; one was lost to the process by appointment to a competing position. The remaining two candidates went through full interviews with the Committee.

All members of Council had had the opportunity to interview Krack in person or by phone, Buckwalter added.

If his appointment is approved by Council Monday, Krack said that he could begin work as early as July 7.

Sneak Peak: Inside the Construction of P.J. Ryan's Pub

Monday, June 16, 2008

Phoenixville Class of 2008 Baccalaureate


Photos by
Barry Taglieber

Monday, June 9, 2008

Album Review

The Danger-Os
Nineteen Ninety Four

Purple Press

I discovered something interesting when listening to the Danger-O’s new album, Nineteen Ninety Four: I had forgotten how good “good alternative” could sound. Labeling a band like the Danger-O’s as punk or alternative is like Bob Ross painting with a roller brush, too broad to be of any use.
I’m willing to bet that more than one member of the band is a fan of Jane’s Addiction.
With guitar parts that are not just tacked to the bass line and drum work that goes beyond simply being a syncopated dance beat, the album avoids many of the sonic failings that many bands in the indie scene fall victim to.
With songs like “Something Like Sunday” and “Mum’s the Word” the band has achieved something that appears to be near impossible in music today. They have blended all the different influences that informed their style and have created the “Danger-O’s” sound. Well done, guys.

Talking with Pat and Mark from The Domino Theory

Friday, June 6, 2008

From the edges to the center

"So it’s on to Chicago and let’s win there.”
That was the last we heard from Robert Kennedy, forty years ago last night. Forty years ago today, he was dead.
The line closed a victory speech, that essential victory in the California Democratic primary that made another at the National Convention seem almost inevitable.
The victory and the campaign were the products of an unlikely and unabashedly loose coalition gathered around just as unlikely a candidate.
The coalition was of groups and interests at the periphery, at the edges, of American politics then, brought by the candidate into the center spotlight: the disparate threads of an unraveling civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, a nascent women’s rights movement, the farm workers movement. The dispossessed, those with limited political voice save that given them in a sentient press, those without representation on K Street.
The candidate himself had moved from the conservative reaches of the party and the legal staff of Sen. Joe McCarthy to someplace else, eyes and ears open to what he’d not seen or heard or understood before, open to what he now knew, knew with unlikely certainty, to be central to the nation’s political future.
And the unlikely worked. Never doubt that politics can transform a nation’s concerns and approaches. Nor doubt that politics can transform its practitioners.
Posted by
G.E. “Skip” Lawrence

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Talking with the guys from Slo Mo

Monday, June 2, 2008

Barry Cassidy with his report to council

Ben Arnold Live at Chaplins Music Cafe

My Photo
Name: The Phoenix Files
Location: United States

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]