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Notebook Worthy

SANATOGA  PA – Weekend (May 2-3, 2009) jottings from a reporter’s notebook:

Field Trip; Everybody Aboard!

Oh, to be a kid again.

The first-grade students at Pottsgrove School District‘s Ringing Rocks Elementary School – in classes taught by Mary Bradley, Melissa Holloway, and Diane Shallcross – were scheduled to take Friday (May 1, 2009) off and ride buses south to the big city for their annual field trip to the Philadelphia Zoo.

Did you hear the tigers roar? See the polar bears swim? Pet the sheep? Cool.

Area Engineers Win Award For Art

One of New York City's man-made wonders, its four temporary waterfalls, photographed July 19, 2008, from South Street Seaport.

One of New York City's man-made wonders, its four temporary waterfalls, photographed July 19, 2008, from South Street Seaport.

Between June and October last year, the rage-to-be-seen among visitors to the upper harbor in New York City was the “New York City Waterfalls.” The structures were a series of temporary monuments, conceived by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, which consisted of four different 90- to 120-foot-tall, man-made cascading waterfalls.

The artist’s idea was to explore the relationship between the Big Apple’s urban and natural landscapes. Consequently, some waterfalls were mounted near towering bridge supports; others stood alone in the middle of the harbor.

All were beautiful, and they won rave reviews from tourists. Several local bus tour operators included visits from Pottstown to the falls in their Summer 2008 travel schedules.

Last month (April 7, 2009) an area company, STV Group Inc., won a 2009 Engineering Excellence “Diamond Award” from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) for its role as the falls’ engineer-of-record. STV is a nationally-known engineering firm whose corporate headquarters are in nearby Douglassville PA. It was responsible for overseeing the falls’ structural design, for civil and construction inspection services, and for assisting in maintenance and operating inspections.

The diamond award is the highest given in the ACEC competition. STV also won two other awards for construction of a library, and for a road extension project.

Accident-Preventing Samaritans

A short stretch of North Sanatoga Road, from Snell Road south to Crownview Drive in Sanatoga, can be a white-knuckle driving experience under good weather conditions. Things get worse there when it’s nasty outside.

Cars sometimes zoom down the twisting hill just before Snell as though their drivers were testing at Le Mans. Then they speed past Crownview without pausing to look whether traffic is approaching the bottom of the hill there. Drivers on Crownview, heading east down to North Sanatoga, also occasionally fail to look for oncoming traffic in either direction. There have been several accidents at the intersection of North Sanatoga and Crownview over the years.

The mirror-on-a-post gives east-bound drivers on Crownview, and southbound drivers on North Sanatoga, a look at traffic nearing the intersection of both.

East-bound drivers on Crownview Drive, and southbound drivers on North Sanatoga Road, get a mirrored peek at the intersection.

So a public “thank you” is issued here to the unknown Good Samaritan(s) who secured a convex mirror atop a 4-by-4 post, behind the guardrail, facing north on Sanatoga at Crownview. The half-moon-shaped reflective surface is positioned so drivers coming down either Crownview or Sanatoga can see easily any opposing traffic without craning their necks … if only they look.

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