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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

THE Giant Co. Announces Healing the Planet Grant Program

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Press Release from the Giant Co. 

In celebration of Earth Day and its commitment to healing the planet, The GIANT Company today announced a new $250,000 grant program designed to support projects that build on environmental stewardship by connecting families with community green spaces. Developed in partnership with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, The GIANT Company’s Healing the Planet grant program will begin accepting online applications Tuesday, June 1.

“Our latest grant program combines two of The GIANT Company’s key values – healing our planet and connecting families,” said Jessica Groves, manager of social impact, The GIANT Company. “By partnering with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, we can help inspire action in our local communities to increase access to and improve community green spaces and support environmental restoration efforts. No matter how big or how small, we can’t wait for these projects to come to life, make a difference for our planet and provide families an opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors together.”

Applications will be accepted on the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website from June 1- 30. Eligible projects must be located in The GIANT Company’s operating areas within Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia or West Virginia. Projects could include park improvements, park builds, watershed restoration, recycling, beautification and greening, community gardens, farmers markets, vacant lot restoration, outdoor classrooms, and tree plantings. A total of $250,000 in funding is available, with grants ranging from $2,500- $25,000. Awardees will be announced late summer.

“People have flocked to the outdoors amid the novel coronavirus restrictions. Our natural and shared green spaces have been invaluable to our physical and mental health during these extraordinary times. Outdoor space significantly benefits communities by enhancing quality of life and promoting healthy lifestyles,” said Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “We are honored to partner with The GIANT Company to make grants available to agencies and organizations who may have seen funding redirected in response to the pandemic. We’re looking forward to being a part of increased and improved access to the great outdoors.”

The GIANT Company and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful also announced that they have distributed 20 free benches, made of recycled plastic bags, to community organizations. Customers can recycle plastic bags at any GIANT or MARTIN’S location. It takes about 10,000 plastic bags to make one park bench. Since 2001, more than 1,800 benches have been donated to local fire departments, churches, schools, townships, parks, and playgrounds. To request a bench, visit giantfoodstores.com/pages/donations.

In addition, to commemorate Earth Day 2021 tomorrow, the two organizations are hosting a tree planting and park clean up event in Philadelphia. Volunteers from both organizations will spend the morning cleaning up Pennypack Park, a 65-acre park located in the northeast section of the city.

Customers can also get involved in supporting organizations that are focused on environmentally friendly initiatives. Now through May 31, customers can round up their purchase at any GIANT, MARTIN’S or GIANT Heirloom Market store at checkout. Funds donated through round up will benefit Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Planet Bee Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on driving awareness for pollinators in local communities, and Rodale Institute, the leading voice in developing solutions for the regenerative organic movement.

As part of The GIANT Company’s healing the planet initiative, the company is committed to plastic bag recycling and plastic reduction efforts, zero-waste initiatives, a solar field and bee pollinator habitat, energy-efficient fixtures in-stores, and sustainably sourced seafood, coffee and tea. To learn more, visit giantfoodstores.com/pages/our-purpose.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Neshaminy Mall Sold?

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The announcement came as a bit of surprise, but for months if not longer, there were varying reports Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem was for sale. As of last week, the mall now has a buyer.

A social media post by the Bensalem Economic Development Corporation read, “Hot off the presses! Neshaminy Mall has a buyer! Settlement will occur sometime in the next 30 days with Paramount Realty. We look forward to working with their team and hearing about the new opportunities this sale will bring to our community,” on June 14.

Brookfield Properties put the mall up for sale, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, in February.

The 1-million square foot mall sits at the crossroads of Lincoln Highway, Route 1 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Bensalem officials contacted earlier this week about the potential sale did not respond to requests for comment on what the future holds for the brick and mortar edifice.

A Philadelphia Journal Report earlier this year estimated Brookfield could get $25 million for the property.

In June of 2022, then Lower Bucks Source contributor Josh Thompson  visited the mall for a story he was working about its apparent “slow death.”

Opened in 1968, the Neshaminy Mall has hosted stores such as “Boscov’s” and “GameStop”, but over the years, the mall has started to decline in both visitors, and renters. Walking through the mall now is like walking through a ghost town. The AMC theater and Boscov’s are still there, but stores like Macy’s, Friendly’s, and even Rita’s water ice are all gone.

Then and now, it appears the food court is the most frequently visited area in the mall.

The ability to shop online, experts say, is the single biggest contributor to the demise of shopping malls in America.

Calls to Paramount Realty were not immediately returned as of Wednesday.

Editor’s Note: Bensalem’s Josh Thompson contributed to this report. He currently works for the Bensalem School District supporting the educational successes of students with challenges. 

 

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Twp Council To Vote On Volunteer Fire Company Consolidation Monday Night

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Just under two years ago at a Bristol Borough Council meeting, officials were getting an update on the then planned fire company consolidation effort by Steve Reeves,  president of the Bristol Borough Fire Association. At the time, talk of consolidating fire companies in the borough and Bristol Township was a hot topic.

During his presentation Reeves mentioned consolidation talks of the Bensalem fire company volunteer services were also in progress. At the time tidbit was not in the public domain.

Credit: Submitted

Now after two years of planning, the Bensalem Township Council will vote on a resolution to form The Bensalem Volunteer Fire Department at its next meeting Monday night.

If the resolution is passed, the six legacy fire companies, including Cornwells, Eddington, Newport, Nottingham, Trevose, and Union, will be consolidated into one volunteer fire department. This consolidation plan is necessary to ensure adequate fire/emergency response within the township because of reduced membership amongst the current companies, a press release announced late Friday afternoon.

Credit: Submitted

Reeves knew what he was talking about at the time. Lower Bucks Source in the following days reached out to area first responder sources, officials and Bensalem area volunteer firefighters. No one anywhere would go on or off the record. LBS was directed, by Battalion Chief/Fire Marshal Robert Sponheimer, to the Deputy Director of Public Safety Robert Race who politely declined to respond to a request for comment at the time.

Credit: Submitted

Late last year, according to a Lower Bucks Times report, Bensalem officials spoke rather openly about dwindling volunteer numbers.  This led William McVey, director of public safety, to ask for council approval to apply for a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant through FEMA, which was subsequently approved in November by council.

This past February the township announced the hiring of Mark Antozzeski as the first career Fire Chief in Bensalem history. He is leading the volunteer fire services, as well as Bensalem Fire Rescue, career staff. McVey told Bensalem Patch.com the hiring was an important piece of the consolidation process.

 

Credit: Submitted

Earlier this month,  Nottingham Fire Department Chief Ron Harris was named the Bensalem Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief as part of the consolidation effort, according to published report. 

Credit: Submitted

Beginning Friday evening, shortly after receiving the Bensalem announcement on the expected consolidation vote, first responder sources Lower Bucks Source contacted said that back in 2022 when first contacted they declined to comment because the topic was sensitive in nature and a real possibility of backlash existed and concerns about “sabotaging” the process were also omnipresent. Those sources again declined to comment on the record.

Consolidation Efforts in Bristol Borough & Bristol Township

In February, Bristol Borough voted to consolidate their volunteer fire services. Prior to that step the borough approved applying for a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Grant in the amount of $1.5 to build a new fire house at a yet to be determined location.

As far back as February of 2022, a smaller plan in size and scope was being discussed in Bristol Township involving Newportville Fire Company #1, Third District Fire Company with career fire personnel from the township which came off the heels of  a fire study completed in 2020.  That plan is no longer in play, fire officials say. Third District Fire Chief Howard McGoldrick said it’s a “complete mystery” why Newportville ultimately decided against the discussed move and merger.

” Volunteer fire services in Bucks County are changing right before our eyes” one first responder said last year.

Credit: Submitted

In each of the consolidation efforts, public safety, declining volunteer numbers and increasing costs have been cited repeatedly by officials publicly.

“It’s just not sustainable anymore financially for fire companies, the municipalities they serve, and taxpayers. It’s consolidate or die”, a high ranking first responder source said Friday.

Bensalem Council is expected to pass the resolution with its vote tonight.

Editor’s Note:  Each of the images in this story come from the volunteer fire companies serving Bensalem Township.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Video Clip: Storm Rolling Through West Bristol Friday Night

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NOAA Weather

Philadelphia, Northeast Philadelphia Airport, PA

Last Updated on Jun 5 2024, 7:54 am EDT

Current Conditions: Fog/Mist

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Temp: 68°F

Wind: East at 5mph

Humidity: 87%

Dewpoint: 64.0°F

Your 5-Day Forecast at a Glance

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