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I received this letter from County Waste regarding an additional $5 monthly fee for recycling pickup service. 

See also, related article: China Throws Recycling Scam in the Trash.  

Actual text from the letter as follows:

June 2018

Dear Valued Customer,

As many of you are aware, recycling programs in the United States have come under fire over the last year. Our costs to provide the service since 1988 were largely provided by the sale of the products we recycled. Unfortunately, the payment received has turned into a bill to accept. This situation has forced us to reconsider or rework the mechanics of the program.

Escalating competition between Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s to be the dominant health system north of Philadelphia is driving the construction of hospitals and doctor’s offices in the Poconos.

In late 2016, St. Luke’s opened a 102-bed hospital in Bartonsville. Three months later, Pocono Health System merged with LVHN to become LVHN-Pocono. And by the end of 2017, St. Luke’s added a cancer center with a sleep disorder wing, and LVHN opened a 12-bed inpatient rehabilitation center at its Pocono hospital, and a health center in Blakeslee with an urgent care service. It also announced plans for a hospital campus in Tannersville in 2020 that will provide emergency care, a surgical unit with private rooms, a sleep disorder center and medical offices.

This study is the first large RCT of a state-funded pre-k program and one of only two such studies ever conducted of a public preschool program in the United States. As such, it provides uniquely credible evidence in the area of early childhood education.

While the study found positive short-term effects on child achievement (at the end of the pre-k year), these effects dissipated as children entered elementary school and turned modestly negative by third grade. At the third-grade follow-up, the control group scored significantly higher in math and science achievement than the pre-k group.

Read the Full Article

For all who are concerned about losing the Recycling Center in Barrett:

Original Article:

Now you get to do the work that China won’t.

The huge dirty secret of recycling was also one of the world’s worst polluters.

Every branch of government from Washington D.C. to your local town council had spent a fortune convincing people that recycling is a magical process that turns your old pizza boxes into new pizza boxes while creating those imaginary “green jobs” in the community. The reality was a lot dirtier.

All of America’s industries, including trash sorting, had been outsourced to China.

And recycling is just a fancy lefty way of saying "trash." All that recycling, which children in progressive communities are taught to sort as the closest thing to a religious ritual, was really being dumped by the ton on dirty ships and sent over to China. We weren’t recycling it. The Chinese were.

But now China is banning foreign recycling because it’s bad for the environment.

To whom it may concern:

Until recently, with Blue Ridge Cable's phone service, the modem came with a battery backup.  This way, if the power at your house goes out, you can still call 911 while the battery is still charged (approx. 4 hours).

Now, Blue Ridge's modems are the new "DOCSIS 3.1" technology, and they don't include a battery!  They now require you to purchase the battery separately (see below).  Customers that still have the old DOCSIS 3.0 modems will continue to have battery backup available until Blue Ridge replaces that modem.  

For now, my suggestion is that you purchase your own "UPS" battery backup (Amazon link) instead, so that you can plug not only your cable modem, but also your WiFi router, cell phone, laptop, etc.

- A new father's perspective - 

Background

My wife and I had planned on having our first baby at home with a private midwife. Unfortunately, we were unable to actually have the baby at home, as my wife required magnesium via IV to keep her blood pressure down. We wound up having the baby in our nearest hospital, formerly known as Pocono Medical Center.  (In January 2017, Lehigh Valley Health Network absorbed Pocono Medical Center, which is the ‘primary’ hospital in the Poconos.  There is now a St. Luke’s hospital in the area but they don’t have a delivery / newborn facility... yet.)

[Full Article]

I recently came across this article about how a particular neighborhood in Brooklyn is creating their own micro-grid.  It can be attached to the main grid, when the power is up, and if the grid goes down, this little micro-grid in Brooklyn can operate on its own, at reduced power.  This would be a great addition to any community.  For the Poconos, how great would it be to set up some hydro-dams that operate in a similar fashion?

Update 7/12/18:
This ordinance was passed at the last night's (July 11) meeting

Clarification:
This ordinance only applies to 'large' fireworks displays (e.g. if you hire a professional company).  All others are regulated by the State of Pennsylvania.  

Pennsylvania's purchases of consumer-grade fireworks are limited to buyers 18 and older, and have usage restrictions, including requiring permission from the property owner, not using them inside buildings or motor vehicles or within 150 feet of an occupied structure.

Further reading:
http://www.psp.pa.gov/public-safety/pages/fireworks-safety.aspx

Some thoughts regarding the snow storm that wiped out the power throughout much of the Pocono region back in early March, 2018: 

The Starner’s Exxon gas station was one of the only working gas stations around.  On Sunday 3/4/18, the underground, 10-thousand-gallon tanks were filled up.  On Wednesday 3/7/18, the tanker truck was back in town, and we were down to around 25% capacity.  That means that as a town, we would have run out of gas in less than 7 days!  

Blue Ridge Communications has completed a 12-month project to bridge gigabit-speed internet to its entire service area, the company announced in a statement Tuesday.

Its top-tier offering now boasts download speeds of 1,000 megabits per second — one of the fastest speeds available to residential consumers in the U.S.

“Our 1 Gig launch represents our commitment to continued investment in our network and infrastructure,” Mark Masenheimer, vice president of operations for Blue Ridge, said in the statement. “We are deeply invested in this region and the people who live and work here.”

[Full Article]

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