Fast Three: Tabulating Virus Effects; Not Quite Work or Vacation; and Senior Living Leaders in Collegeville

SANATOGA PA – The Post doesn’t play with the news, but we do experiment with it.

What you’re reading is “Fast Three,” The Post’s effort to keep readers informed and entertained. Our weekdays-only goal is to find three local newsworthy items daily between 11 a.m. and 1:55 p.m. (just shy of three hours), condense them into a fast read of three or fewer paragraphs each, and publish them by 2 p.m.

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Senator Mensch takes community pulse on COVID-19

Bob Mensch, the 24th District state senator who represents residents at the western end of Montgomery County and within practically its entire Perkiomen Valley, occasionally surveys constituents to know what they’re thinking. A Tuesday (Sept. 1, 2020) media release addressed his latest questionnaire, which consisted of three questions about the coronavirus shutdown and the state’s public health emergency declaration. He asked:

  1. Which categories were most impacted in your life due to COVID-19? 70 percent of respondents said income; 24 percent, education; and 6 percent, healthcare;
  2. What government services did you need most during the shutdown? 46 percent said unemployment compensation; 37 percent, services unrelated to the shutdown; and 17 percent, health services; and
  3. What can state government do better during a public health emergency? 44 percent said they wanted “transparency about how decisions are made;” 32 percent, “reliable and timely access to information; and 24 percent, “reliable and timely access to assistance.”

Interestingly, Mensch – who’s rarely shy about offering his own opinions – avoided drawing conclusions in the release. He simply let the results stand on their own.

Photo (at top) by Edwin Hooper via Unsplash, used under license

Zoom, served with a side of cranberry almond quinoa

Zoom, served with a side of cranberry almond quinoa
That’s the gluten-free, vegan quinoa (above), served with fresh cranberries and toasted almonds. There are other menu choices too

Every business owner on the planet is trying to determine not only how to avoid losing money during the pandemic, but also how to make a profit where possibly none existed before. Enter the operators of the Historic Smithton Inn on West Main Street in Ephrata PA, in Pennsylvania Dutch country that’s roughly a 36-mile drive from Pottstown.

They expect to gain more business from a motorists’ market, with the inn at the center of a drivable radius that includes Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York City, and parts of New Jersey. They’ve also learned, according to a Tuesday e-mail, that more guests are choosing to combine work and pleasure in what’s dubbed a “workcation,” a mix of a little drudgery and much more fun.

Key to it all is the finding that workcationers tend to get virtual business meetings out of the way during early mornings, letting them spend more time on fun later. So the inn now offers an overnight stay package featuring high-speed internet service (so meetings move at more than a snail’s pace) and text-your-order full breakfasts delivered to patrons at their computers anywhere on the grounds.

Photo supplied by the Historic Smithton Inn

Leadership team in place at Collegeville’s Providence Place

Leadership team in place at Collegeville's Providence Place
From left, Patricia Onufer, Michelle Shirley, and Francie Hoch

A three-member leadership team is now in place at Providence Place, the senior living community that arose from the former Collegeville Inn at 4000 Ridge Pike. It consists of Executive Director Francie Hoch, Director of Wellness Patricia Onufer, RN, and Connections (Memory Support) Director Michelle Shirley, its ownership announced from corporate headquarters in Hershey PA.

Hoch has more than 12 years of experience in personal care administration, and has spent the past five years in the senior living industry. With a background in mental support, and personal experience with her father, she said building an honest team with positive intentions is her top priority. “We want everyone to feel proud of what they do,” she said.

Onufer brings a clinical background and more than 25 years of nursing experience to the community, with the past six in senior living and resident care. Shirley leads the Collegeville unit’s memory support neighborhood with more than 12 years of experience in senior living, nine of which have been dedicated to memory care and support.

Photo supplied by Providence Place Senior Living