The Inquirer’s Jessica Parks reports that Montgomery County, after selling off much of its property over the last year, is reconsidering what to do with its headquarters and central offices in Norristown. The county is hiring a consultant to study the options, “including rehabilitating One Montgomery Plaza, building atop the county courthouse plaza, replacing an underground parking garage, renovating or tearing down the old stone prison, or even expanding the county footprint by buying the Post Office building behind the courthouse.” The 10-story One Montgomery Plaza alone needs at least $17 million in repairs.
Converted barns are always fun to look at to see how owners decide to use all that space (here’s one resembling a resort). This Erdenheim, PA, home was originally a Pennsylvania Dutch Bank barn built around 1900. The current owners chose to renovate and reinvent, along with architect Terence Woods, who has since moved back to Dublin.
In the stone-walled great room is a 30-foot stone fireplace and a loft overlooking the area. Exposed beams and timber framing are distributed here and there throughout the home, as are custom iron railings, and flooring consisting of wide-plank cypress and radiant heating. The original barn doors were kept, as well.
Today, Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes filed an appeal against the Commonwealth Court’s Sept. 12 ruling that banned him from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The argument asks the State Supreme Court to deem Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban “patently unconstitutional.” Philly.com reports:
The Daily News has a juicy, juicy scoop:
According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, [Montgomery County Republican Party] Chairman Robert J. Kerns, partner in the Lansdale law firm Kerns, Pearlstine, Onorato & Hladik, LLP, allegedly got drunk the night after a major GOP power-broker dinner last month and sexually assaulted a female with whom he worked. Rumors are also circulating that a grand jury is being convened and Kerns’ law partner was subpoenaed.
The night before, Tom Corbett was in town for the party’s annual fall dinner in West Norriton. The DN says several anonymous sources corroborated the rumors, but Kerns himself could not be reached, and several state party leaders would not comment.
The perpetually troublesome Fetters Mill Bridge, which is more than a century old, has been shut down by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Red light cameras: not just for the city anymore. We all have Abington Township , the first municipality outside of Philly to install the cameras, in Montco to thank for that. The township could see up to three cameras go up before the year’s close.
PennDOT approval is still pending, but the township has already signed a deal with a Massachusetts-based company to install the lights at several high-traffic points around town:
If PennDOT gives the final green light to the project, cameras could be functioning by year’s end at Old York Road and Susquehanna Road, Old York Road and Old Welsh Road, and Moreland Road and Fitzwatertown Road.
Philly is the only municipality in Pennsylvania with red light cameras currently, but nationally, more than 500 communities across 24 states utilize the technology. The possibility for cameras in the ‘burbs only opened up last year, when legislation passed to allow their installation. [CBS]
Homosexuals, like 12-year-olds, cannot marry, which makes the licenses issued to them in Montgomery county invalid—or so goes the word from the Tom Corbett Gang. Judge Dante Pellegrini even backed him up, ruling last week that the Montco register of wills must stop issuing licenses. And therein, for attorney Dan Clifford, lies the rub:
A Norristown attorney says yesterday’s decision by a Pennsylvania Commonwealth judge may have stopped any more licenses from being issued to same-sex couples in Montgomery County, but those that have been issued cannot be taken back.
That’s right: married gay people are still legally married, even if some people say they aren’t. Na-na na-na boo-boo.
Couples who made license applications but didn’t yet receive licenses, unfortunately, are still out in the cold, but Clifford’s look at Pellegrini’s ruling could help them in the long-run, too. Gotta love those legal loopholes.
Soon, hopefully, we won’t need them, though: A federal panel will begin reviewing Whitewood v. Corbett suit next month, a direct challenge to Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act. [CBS]