Friday, September 22, 2017

Theater, History, Convoy of Hope, Etc.

Happy Autumnal Equinox (in time for the return of summer-like weather).

🍁🍁 🍂 🍂🍁 🍁


Friday, Sept 21, 8 pm at Centre Theater (208 Dekalb). "'Night, Mother" continues, presented by 1880 Theatricals. A round table discussion on suicide prevention will take place after tonight's show. The play finishes its run on Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets: https://www.davedirects.com/tickets

Saturday, 10 am at Eisenhower Middle School. Convoy of Hope. Free groceries, health and dental screenings, haircuts, family portraits, meals, etc. While supplies last. Hot lunch and live entertainment. Info at this link.

Saturday, 11 am at Montgomery Cemetery. How the Streets Got Their Names Cemetery Tour by the Historical Society. Walking tour of Historic Montgomery Cemetery that begins at 11:00 am followed by light refreshments inside the Cemetery’s gatehouse with a presentation from 11:45 am to 12:30 pm. Tickets for the event are $15 and include the walking tour, refreshments, and presentation. Tickets are limited to reserve a seat call 610-272-0297 or go online at hsmcpa.org to reserve your spot.

Saturday, 7-11 pm, Five Saints Distilling (Main and Green). Music by Danielle and Jennifer.

Tuesday, 7 pm, Zoning Board Hearing at Municipal Hall.

Wednesday, 8-9 am at Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (2 W Lafayette). Panel Discussion: Economic Impacts of the Cosby Trial. Hosted by the Greater Norristown Corporation. Panelists of local officials, business owners, and reporters will give their perspectives of how the area was able to take advantage of the national attention, as well as what could have been approved upon. With reports that a second trial will be occurring later this year, hopefully the feedback received can be used to our advantage to put our local area into a positive light. RSVP at this link.

Wednesday, 4:30-6 pm at the Norristown Library (Powell and Swede). Norristown Rocks. After finding painted rocks in a park in another community, a family in Norristown began painting rocks themselves to leave around town. This workshop expands on their efforts. Come paint your own rocks. Keep some for yourself or share them by placing them in public spaces for others to discover. When people find them, they can post a picture of their discovery to social media with the hashtag #norristownrocks. FREE workshop. Info and RSVP at this link.

Thursday, 11 am-2:30 pm on East Main in front of the Courthouse. The Norristown Farmers Market still continues every Thursday through Oct 26. Fall seasonal veggies and apples, farm fresh, plus baked goods (even gluten-free).

Next Saturday, Sept 30, 1-5 pm, The Norristown Project Fall Cleanup. Volunteers are needed to assist with cleaning, weeding, and mulching the flower beds around the trees in the downtown area. In addition to this project, volunteers will work on cleaning the sidewalks. Meet at the intersection of Main Street and DeKalb. Free street parking is available on weekends in the municipality. Businesses and organizations who wish to sponsor or partner on this event can email sashe@montcooic.org. To RSVP, email NorristownProject@montcooic.org. Groups are encouraged to attend. If you would like to register your group, email in advance.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Theater, Rock The Block, Mexican Fest, and More

A touch of Indian summer this weekend (thanks to Irma whipping some tropical air our way). One note though: Riverfest has been cancelled for this year.

Friday, September 15, 9 am-2 pm, PARK(ing) day on Main St. in front of the Courthouse. The notice says "Everyone is invited to come see how an ordinary parking spot can be transformed into a great public space." But the purpose of PARK(ing) Day is for everyone to get involved. If you want to participate, all you need to do is pay the meter for each hour that you're going to use the space and bring whatever you need to turn that space into a recreational space.

Friday, 8 pm at Centre Theater (208 Dekalb). the play "'Night, Mother," presented by 1880 Theatricals. Also Saturday night at 8 pm, Sunday at 2 pm and next Thurs, Fri. and Sat. at 8 pm. Tickets: https://www.davedirects.com/tickets

Saturday, Sept 16, 8 am-3 pm, Habitat for Humanity's Rock The Block, Cherry St Park (W Oak and Cherry). Lunch provided. Info and registration online at http://bit.ly/RTBCLEAN2017 or on their Facebook page at HabitatMontco.

Saturday, 9 am-noon at Montgomery Hose Fire Co. (Freedley and Pine). Rabies Clinic for all dogs, cats and ferrets. Only $10 per pet.

Saturday, 7:30 pm at Coffee Talk (507 W Marshall), Herman Bruning performs. Donations accepted.

Saturday, 8-11 pm, Five Saints Distilling (Main and Green). Music by Brick.

Sunday. 1-6 pm at St. Patrick's Hall and parking lot (Dekalb and Chestnut). Mexican Independence Day Festival. Great Mexican food and beer. Music and dance. Grupo de Danza Nuevo Mexico (also known as the Mexican Kids Dancers) will perform.

Tuesday, 6:30 pm, Council Workshop at Municipal Hall.

Thursday, 11 am-2:30 pm on East Main in front of the Courthouse. The Norristown Farmers Market still continues every Thursday through Oct 26. Fall seasonal veggies and apples, farm fresh, plus baked goods (even gluten-free).

Next Saturday, Sept 23, 10 am at Eisenhower Middle School. Convoy of Hope. Free groceries, health and dental screenings, haircuts, family portraits, meals, etc. While supplies last.

Also next Saturday, 11 am at Montgomery Cemetery. How the Streets Got Their Names Cemetery Tour by the Historical Society.



Friday, September 8, 2017

Arts and Music Fest This Weekend

Beautiful fall weekend in the forecast (before rains from Irma settle in later next week). Get out and enjoy.

Friday, Sept 8, 6:30 pm at the Salvation Army Building (533 Swede),  Redemption1010 church is hosting a community spaghetti dinner. Open to all. Families and kids welcome. They'll provide spaghetti and dinnerware. If you would like to bring bread, salad, drinks put that in the RSVP to info@redemption1010.com. If you have any questions, please contact 215-350-8475 or jetpac1010@gmail.com.

Saturday, 7-11 pm, Five Saints Distilling (Main and Green). Acoustic Martin and Company performs.

Sunday, 1-7 pm at the Elmwood Park Bandshell, For Kids Sake Arts and Music Festival. Bands: The Supernaturals, Carlos Danger, Civil Discord and more. Food trucks, vendors.

Tuesday, 7 pm, Planning Commission meeting at Municipal Hall.

Wednesday, 5:30-7:30 pm at Norristown Library. MY Life Montco is a fun, inspiring group for 13-23 year-olds who have experience with mental health, substance abuse, foster care and other challenges. The group meets monthly with inspirational speakers, entertainment, activities, free food and info on a variety of topics. RSVP to Collette D'Angelo at 610-272-3042 ext. 318.

Thursday, 11 am-2:30 pm on East Main in front of the Courthouse. The Norristown Farmers Market still continues every Thursday through Oct 26. Fall seasonal veggies and apples, farm fresh, plus baked goods (even gluten-free).

Thursday ~ Don't go to the final stop on Council's Listening Tour. It's been postponed. Time and date to be announced.

Next Saturday, Sept 16, 8 am-3 pm, Habitat for Humanity's Rock The Block, Cherry St Park (W Oak and Cherry). Lunch provided. Info and registration online at http://bit.ly/RTBCLEAN2017 or on their Facebook page at HabitatMontco.

Also next Saturday, 9 am-noon at Montgomery Hose Fire Co. (Freedley and Pine). Rabies Clinic for all dogs, cats and ferrets. Only $10 per pet.

Also next Saturday, 7:30 pm at Coffee Talk (507 W Marshall), Herman Bruning performs.

Next Sunday: Riverfest's date has changed to Sept 17. 10 am at Riverfront Park, Car and Bike Show. 2 pm, Riverfest. Dragon Boat races, Cardboard and Duct Tape boat competition. For info, contact dragonboatcrew@gmail.com.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Fair, Car Show, and more for Labor Day

Friday and Saturday, (Sept 1 and 2) 6-10 pm at Norristown High School, Montco Fair. Last 2 nights. Food, rides, games, and more. Proceeds go towards the Atheletic Complex.

Saturday, 7-11 pm, Five Saints Distilling (Main and Green). Len Martelli performs.


Sunday, 11 am-3 pm at the Norristown Maennerchor Club (Haws Ave). The Norristown Police Thomas Barone Memorial Car Show (supports the Thomas Barone Memorial Scholarship Fund). All vehicles welcome. Registration begins at 9 am. $15 pre-registration, $20 day of show. Door prizes, raffles, food and drink. For more information contact Rich at (610) 585-7115 or via email at raceitch3@verizon.netwww.everycarshow.com  *Raindate, Sept 10.

Sunday, 2-5 pm at Elmwood Park Zoo. Free zoo admission for Norristown residents with ID.

Sunday, 3pm at Centre Theater. Two Cellos. FREE Concert.

Sunday, 7 pm at the Elmwood Park Bandshell, Summer Concert Series LAST night concert. R&B All-Stars (R&B and Motown). Bring a chair or blanket to sit on. Concession stand will be open.

Monday (Labor Day), 8 am-3 pm at Carver Community Center (249 Jacoby). Back To School FUN Day. Free games and prizes. Unlimited food and drinks. Free haircuts and curls for kids (hair must be washed before you come). Dancing and music. All welcome.

Tuesday (and all Tuesdays in September), 6-7 pm at the Historical Society of Montco (1654 Dekalb). Intermediate Genealogy Workshop with Rose Brown. For information or to reserve a space, call 610-272-0297, email contact@hsmcpa.org, or on-line at http://www.hsmcpa.org.  $10 member/$40 nonmember materials fee (covers all classes).

Tuesday, 7:30 pm, Council meeting at Municipal Hall.

Thursday, 11 am-2:30 pm on East Main in front of the Courthouse. Norristown Farmers Market. Every Thursday through Oct 26. Variety of fruits and vegetables, farm fresh, plus a new vendor with baked goods (even gluten-free).

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Best News About Our Riverfront

At the first Council Listening Tour meeting, I asked 3 council reps what the plan for Riverfront Park was. All 3 told me the plan was listed on the Norristown.org website. So that was the source I used for my last Diary entry about the park. Turns out, though, that I should have talked to the Planning Dept. Director, Jayne Musonye, and ignored the website and the council reps entirely. So, first of all, I apologize for any incorrect information I passed on (though, in my defense, I was just using the resource Council told me to use).

Last Wednesday, The Audubon Center at Mill Grove gathered volunteers, tools and potted plants and put in a whole garden of native flowers and shrubs along much of the park’s riverbank, to restore the riparian buffer zone and provide food for wildlife as part of the Plants for Birds project. These plants will spread out and help prevent erosion and absorb pollution in stormwater runoff. This garden was Audubon's gift to Norristown, so take your kids over to Mill Grove some weekend and thank them for their work.

Winterberry
Here’s what they planted:

Winterberry shrubs: They produce beautiful bright red berries which birds love to eat. (Not good for humans or pets, though, so keep your kids and dogs from picking them.)

Pink Muhly Grass
Pink Muhly Grass: These native grasses turn pink in autumn and birds eat the seeds.

Blackeyed Susans: Once established, they’ll flower all summer, providing food for pollinators, and birds eat the seeds in late summer and autumn.

Now the even better news. At last week’s Council Listening Tour meeting, Jayne Musonye said that the Comprehensive Plan for the park had been changed. The original was too expensive and the Planning Dept didn’t like the idea of paving the riparian zone, so Public Works will follow Audubon’s lead and plant more native shrubs and plants along the rest of the riverbank. We’ll have a gorgeous, natural area along the river that everyone can enjoy. Teachers will be able to use it as an environmental education area. And who doesn't like looking at colorful flowers and plants? Despite the mess of the last month and a half, good has come from it.

Even better, Planning has put rules in place for the upcoming development of the rest of Norristown’s riverfront (as part of the Lafayette Street project). Residents said they wanted access to their river, so developers will need to set back their buildings at least 100 feet from the riverbank. They’ll be required to put in native plantings on the floodplain and in the riparian zone.

This may not sound like much, but it’s incredibly forward-thinking. I don’t think any other river community in the immediate area has provisions for their riverfront environment like this in development areas. Not only is it a total win for the environment (and consequentially for our drinking water), but it will create a riverfront that outsiders will want to visit (and hopefully stay in town long enough to spend some money at restaurants, at least). It’ll be something Norristown can brag about and promote.

But we as citizens need to be vigilant and make sure this bright future for the riverfront happens. We've had too many instances in the last ten years where developers have circumnavigated the rules one way or another. Still, Planning seems to be taking a proactive stance with those who already own property between Lafayette St. and the river, so I'm more hopeful than I've been in a long time about Norristown and development.

In the meantime, go take a look at Audubon’s work at Riverfront Park. You can read more about the Plants For Birds project at http://www.audubon.org/plantsforbirds.

Friday, August 25, 2017

End of Summer? Lots to Do in N-Town

Enjoy the last full week of summer break. The Montco Fair is this week, the last days of "Hero School," Coffee With A Cop, and a Peace Rally. Also, stop by Riverfront Park and check out the wonderful new native plants that the Audubon Center put in along the riverbank this week (I'll blog more about that next week).

Friday, August 25, last weekend for "Hero School" at Theatre Horizon, an interactive play for children and their parents. Performances at 5, 6:15, and 7:30 pm; Friday, Saturday at 10 am, 11:15, 1:30 pm, 2:45; Sunday at 2 pm, 3:15, 5:30 and 6:45. Tickets at this link.

Saturday, 10 am-noon at New Life Internet Cafe, 19 W Marshall. Photo ID Clinic (plus voter registration, social services applications). Bring some form of personal identification and proof of residence. Questions, call 610-945-6398.

Saturday, 11 am-3 pm, at 401 Dekalb. The Willow School will celebrate its first 5 years with a block party.

Saturday, 7-11 pm, Five Saints Distilling (Main and Green). Wildflower on the Side performs.

Sunday, 10 am-noon, Coffee With A Cop at Selma Mansion. Homemade goodies courtesy of the Norristown Preservation Society. Come by and chat with the cops who patrol that neighborhood, or take a tour of the inside of the mansion.

Sunday, 7 pm at the Elmwood Park Bandshell, Summer Concert Series presents the Newspaper Taxis (Beatles music). Bring a chair or blanket to sit on. Concession stand will be open.

Sunday, 8-9 pm at Riverfront Park. Back to School Campfire hosted by Healing Word Church. FREE marshmallow roast for all children. Snacks and sticks provided.

Monday, 6 pm on the steps at Municipal Hall. Unity in the Community Peace Rally to stand against hatred and bigotry. Hosted by the Greater Norristown NAACP, in partnership with religious leaders and elected officials. All welcome to attend, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.

Tuesday, 6-10 pm at Norristown High School, Montco Fair. Food, rides, games, and more. Runs through Saturday, Sept 2. Family nights Tues through Thurs. Proceeds go towards the Athletic Complex.

Wednesday, 6:15-7:30 pm at Riverfront Park, Introduction to Dragon Boating for Breast Cancer Survivors and Supporters. FREE. For more info and to RSVP, email info@dragonboatclub.org.


Thursday, 11 am-2:30 pm on East Main in front of the Courthouse. Norristown Farmers Market. Every Thursday through Oct 26. Variety of fruits and vegetables, farm fresh, plus a new vendor with baked goods (even gluten-free).


Friday, August 18, 2017

ECLIPSE! and other events this week

Theater, a movie and a once-in-a-decade eclipse viewing for the kids this week (and any adults like me who think eclipses are cool). Plus members of Council will be out and about listening again, and the N-twon Chamber of Commerce will show you what's planned for downtown.

Friday, August 18, "Hero School" continues at Theatre Horizon, an interactive play for children and their parents. Performances at 5, 6:15, and 7:30 pm. Only 30 seats per performance. Hero School will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through August 27. This weekend's performances Saturday at 10 am, 11:15, 1:30 pm, 2:45. Sunday at 2 pm, 3:15, 5:30 and 6:45. Tickets at this link.  FREE tickets are available for Norristown families at this link.

Saturday, 10 am, Centre Theater's Kids' Movie presentation will be "Frozen." FREE. For more information and to reserve your seats, please send an email to centretheater@gmail.com. Since seating is limited, we recommend making reservations.

Saturday at 10 am at Coffee Talk, 507 W Marshall, Heather Lewis, the 2nd District Councilwomen will be on hand to speak with residents.

Saturday, 7-8:30 pm at Montgomery Cemetery. The Historical Society of Montgomery County will be offering a twilight tour entitled "Symbols of the Cemetery." Discover the meaning of symbols on the tombstones and the history behind them. $15 per person includes the tour, refreshments and presentation. RSVP 610-272-0297 or contact@hsmcpa.org.

Saturday, 7-11 pm, Five Saints Distilling (Main and Green). Hal Aaron performs.

Sunday, starting about 1:30 pm (after the noon mass) in the basement of St. Patrick's Church (Dekalb and Chestnut). Irish Festival with food and music.

Sunday, 7 pm at the Elmwood Park Bandshell, Summer Concert Series presents the Whiskeyhickon Boys (classic sounds). Bring a chair or blanket to sit on. Concession stand will be open.

Monday is the solar eclipse. The optimal time for viewing it in Norristown is 2:43 pm (when 80% of the sun will be blocked by the moon), but it will last from about 1:20-4 pm. Two places in town (below) will hold Eclipse Viewing events (if it's a sunny day). If you can't make either or if it's cloudy in the afternoon, check out the NASA website at this link to find a livestream of it between noon and 4 pm. Whatever you do, DO NOT look directly at the sun without approved glasses.

Monday, 1:30-4 pm, Norristown Library (Powell and Swede). Solar Eclipse Comes to Norristown. Cliff Hirst will help you safely observe the eclipse and explain how and why eclipses happen. For info, contact Cliff Hirst at 610-278-5100, x 0 or cliffhirstmnl@gmail.com.

Monday, 2-3 pm at Selma Mansion (1301 W Airy). View the Partial Social Eclipse from one of Norristown's highest points. FREE event. Elena Santangelo (yeah, me) will answer questions about the eclipse and explain the science. The Norristown Preservation Society will have safe cardboard box viewers and a telescope viewer for anyone who wants to stop by and see the partial eclipse. Or bring a box at least the size of a copy paper box and they'll help you make a viewer. Family friendly event.

Tuesday, 6-7:30 pm at the Norristown Library. Norristown Chamber of Commerce will mix, mingle, then listen to Tom Bonner, Capital Projects Program Director for Montgomery County, discuss the Montgomery County Campus Redevelopment Plan which consists of six projects in downtown Norristown including a 220 million dollar Justice Center, and renovating and expanding Hancock Square park. RSVP to this link. Food provided by Banh Mi Bar & Bistro.

Tuesday, 7 pm at Municipal Hall. Zoning Board Hearing.

Thursday, 11 am-2:30 pm on East Main in front of the Courthouse. Norristown Farmers Market. Every Thursday through Oct 26. Variety of fruits and vegetables, farm fresh, plus a new vendor with baked goods (even gluten-free).

Thursday, 6 pm, Theatre Horizon (401 Dekalb). Council Listening Tour again. This time about economic development. Bring your smartphone or a pen.

Next Saturday, Aug 26, from 11 am-3 pm in front of 401 Dekalb. The Willow School will celebrate its first 5 years with a block party.

Next Sunday, Aug 27, 10 am-noon, Coffee With A Cop at Selma Mansion. More details next week.