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Lancaster-York : In the News

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Farmers pursuing sustainability can learn from traditional Amish farming methods, professor says

Utah State University's Hard News Cafe interviews Douglas Jackson-Smith, a sociology professor at the college, about his research on Amish farming methods in Pennsylvania.

There are four main goals of sustainable farming, he said -- the first one is the most obvious, to produce the necessary outputs such as food, fuel and fiber. The second goal is to sustain the quality of the natural environment.

"We pushed beyond environment, and we had two other goals," Jackson-Smith said. "One is the economic viability of farming and farmers -- that's a big issue that’s separate from those first two; and the fourth one is enhancing social welfare."

Original source: Hard News Cafe
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York's MyRuralRadio.com lets local musicians play for listeners around the world

The York Dispatch reports on MyRuralRadio.com, an Internet radio station created in Pennsylvania to give local artists more exposure.

"We were going to open mic nights, and we ran into great local talent," (founder Michael) Males said. "We asked ourselves, 'How can we get these people we love to others?'"

"The solution was simple," he continued. "Create our own Internet radio station."

Three years later, the site has gone global with at least 50,000 listeners and songs from more than 400 artists worldwide.

Original source: The York Dispatch
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At York County's Emeco, dozens of hands work together to produce high-quality chairs

Fox 43 goes behind the scenes at Emeco, a south-central PA company that makes chairs favored by customers from the U.S. Navy to Britney Spears.

The end result may look simple but the process is anything but. It takes 77 steps to build an Emeco chair and most of the work is done by hand. Fifty hands in fact. Those 50 hands weld, stamp, grind and polish for eight hours just to produce one chair. If you want this polished beauty, add another 8 hours of labor.

"It`s kind of like putting a puzzle together, all the pieces have got to fit together," Harman said.

Pete Harman has been working with Emeco for 45 years. He has seen the highs and the lows of the business. The company gained its prominence back in the 1960's, with its 1006 Navy Chair. The navy uses these chairs aboard ships and subs because they don't rust and are basically indestructible.

Original source: Fox 43
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Study says PA's foreclosure-prevention program works better, less expensive than federal version

MarketWatch reports on a study which found Pennsylvania's Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program prevents home foreclosures more effectively and for less money than the federal Home Affordable Modification Program.

The New York Fed study says the HEMAP program can be cheaper for taxpayers and help a large number of troubled homeowners. It compares the two approaches by evaluating costs on assistance for two hypothetical mortgages valued at $210,000 at the time of unemployment. The HAMP modification program, the report argues, costs the federal government $13,600 while the HEMAP program cost Pennsylvania $1,620.

The report said the HEMAP program can be cheaper, in part, because when the homeowner finds a job again, the loan ends and he or she begins to repay it.

Alternatively, the HAMP program provides taxpayer funded assistance to bank servicers, who, in turn, modify the borrower’s current mortgage payments, and those adjustments stay in effect for five years regardless of whether the borrower returns to employment.

Original source: MarketWatch
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Free technology means food stamp recipients can buy fresh, healthy food from PA farmers markets

The state Department of Agriculture is offering 145 free wireless card readers to farmers' market vendors who want to accept food stamp benefits as payment, KYW Newsradio reports.
Mike Pechart, with the agriculture department, said more farm stand owners will now be able to accept state and federal food access cards.

“Folks can bring those benefits to farm markets, and those that have these wireless terminals and readers, they can use their SNAP cards to get fresh fruits and vegetables,” Pechart said.

And farmers also will be able to take credit and debit cards, though those transactions will be charged the standard bank fee.
Original source: KYW Newsradio
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In York, visitors get up-close view of how household products are made

The Washington Post reports on factories and workshops in York that are opening their doors to visitors who want to see how soap, ice cream and other goods are made.

If you think that everything’s made in China these days, think again. York is the self-proclaimed factory-tour capital of the world. Spend a weekend in this south central Pennsylvania town, and you can see how Martin’s makes potato chips, how Bluett Brothers builds violins and how Harley-Davidson constructs motorcycles.

Original source: The Washington Post
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Visual and performing artists join to promote Lancaster as artistic destination

CBS 21 reports that museums, musicians and other artistic groups are joining together to promote these institutions as a way to draw visitors.

The city is home to hundreds of artists and more than 125 professional arts venues, including one of only 40 private art colleges in the country, fine art and craft studios and galleries, art and cultural museums, antique and vintage shops and several performing arts centers, including one of only eight National Historic Landmark theatres in the country. Additionally, Lancaster’s popular First Friday events encourage visitors to explore the growing arts scene by attending exhibit openings, musical performances, artists’ talks and a variety of other art-related events the first Friday of each month.

Original source: CBS 21
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Harley-Davidson enthusiasts can now design custom motorcycles built to order

The Central Penn Business Journal reports that riders who want custom Harley-Davidson motorcycles can go online and order bikes made to their specifications.

Customers can point and click their way to the paint job or handlebars they want, take printouts to local dealerships and have the Harleys they want in four weeks or less, said Paul James, director for the company's product communications.

There are about 2,600 configurations in which customers can order the first Harley model in the program, the Kansas City-built Sportster 1200 Custom, James said.

Original source: Central Penn Business Journal
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Pennsylvania's future lies in its cities, mayors insist

Despite the challenges Pennsylvania cities face, they also have a promising future, the mayors of Lancaster, Lebanon and Reading said at a recent meeting covered by the Intelligencer Journal / Lancaster New Era.

The three Central Pennsylvania mayors, led by (Lancaster Mayor Rick) Gray, said the hollowing out that cities have experienced since the post-World War II baby boom is now shifting to the suburbs.

Younger people want to live where there are restaurants, night life and entertainment venues. Middle-age people with empty nests no longer want to keep up their home and half-acre lots. And even retirement centers are considering redevelopment projects in old city warehouses and factories, Gray maintained.

"The nuclear, 'Leave it to Beaver' family is no more," Gray pronounced, referring to changing demographics.

Original source: Intelligencer Journal / Lancaster New Era
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Self-serve wine kiosks coming to Walmart stores in PA

The Associated Press reports that 24 Walmart stores in Pennsylvania will be home to the vending machine-style wine kiosks that have been making their way into grocery stores throughout the state.

The kiosks are located at certain Wegmans, Fresh Grocer, Brown's Family ShopRite, Giant Eagle, Supervalu, Genuardi's, Acme, Giant Food, and other stores. The Liquor Control Board is working on getting about 100 such kiosks installed around the state, and (spokeswoman Stacey) Witalec said it's possible the project may be expanded beyond that.

Original source: The Associated Press
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Exports from PA businesses up 22 percent, federal data show

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Pennsylvania companies' exports increased 22 percent in 2010, a drastic improvement from an 18 percent drop in 2009.
Pennsylvania, which ranked 11th in the nation in terms of total state exports last year, had a greater percentage increase than the nation as a whole, which experienced a 16.6 percent increase after falling 14.6 percent during the recession in 2009.

Canada remained the No. 1 buyer of Pennsylvania exports at $10.2 billion, up 14.6 percent from $8.9 billion in 2009. China bought $2.67 billion worth of goods from businesses in the state, a 78 percent increase from $1.5 billion in 2009.

The chemical industry topped all industries in the state with $10.2 billion worth of exports, up 14 percent from 2009. Machinery, primary metal manufacturing, computers and electronic products, and transportation equipment rounded out the top five.
Original source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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Cleaning up creek in south-central PA could make Chesapeake Bay cleaner

Farm and Dairy reports on an effort to reduce the amount of pollution from farmers' fields that ends up in a creek that flows toward the Chesapeake Bay.

“If what we are trying to do works here, we believe it can work in tributaries throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said Matt Royer, director of the Lower Susquehanna Initiative for Penn State’s Ag and Environment Center.

The Conewago, which marks the county line between Dauphin and Lancaster counties, is not victimized only by agricultural runoff. While there are about 270 farms in the watershed, the creek also receives storm water runoff from development.

Original source: Farm and Dairy
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PA Peanut Power: Planters hits highway in peanut-shaped truck fueled by biodiesel

The New York Times reports that a peanut-shaped truck built for Planters Peanuts, which was founded and headquartered in Wilkes-Barre for 36 years ending in 1961 and includes floorboards taken from a Lancaster barn, will tour the country, powered by peanut-based biodiesel.

The Nutmobile's unmodified diesel engine will run on up to 20 percent biodiesel fuel and return 10 to 15 miles per gallon, Mr. Riseborough said. Energy captured and converted by the wind turbine and solar panel drive an alternator that recharges batteries for the vehicle’s interior lighting and sound system.

"This form of advertising has really taken off," Joe Doyon, Turtle Transit's general manager, said in a telephone interview. "The advent of camera phones means that vehicles like the Nutmobile get photographed a lot."

Original source: New York Times
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Pennsylvania v. Maine: Who invented the whoopie pie?

The Wall Street Journal reports on the ongoing debate over which state can rightfully claim to have invented the whoopie pie: Pennsylvania or Maine.

Here in Lancaster County, everyone has heard pretty much the same story, which may just be a rural legend: Amish mothers plopped leftover chocolate-cake batter into the oven, filled the result with icing and the whoopie was born. The practical pies were easily transportable for farmers in the field and children at school.

And the name? "The Amish moms used to put the whoopie pies in the children's lunches and when they found them they would yell 'Whoopie!'" says Deryl Stoltzfus, general manager at Hershey Farm Restaurant & Inn in Ronks, home to the annual whoopie-pie festival, in which 20,000 whoopies are made in 100 flavors on the big day, including one 240-pound pie.

Original source: The Wall Street Journal
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StartUp Visa Act would give immigrant entrepreneurs visas to stay in places like Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on upcoming legislation in Congress that would give green cards to immigrants poised to start new businesses and put Americans to work.

The StartUp Visa Act targets startup efforts across all sectors, but enthusiasm for the bill is especially acute in tech communities like Pittsburgh that see an outsize number of foreign-born students who want to stay and develop a company.

But these new visas -- a permanent resident card (or "green card") called an EB-6 -- aren't available to any immigrant with a good idea. To qualify, an entrepreneur would need to raise at least $250,000 from investors, and over two years create at least five full-time jobs in the United States, attract $1 million in additional investment or surpass revenue of $1 million.

Original source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Read the full story here.
182 Lancaster-York Articles | Page: | Show All
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