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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Senator Fontana spent time visiting with the Pre-K class at the Red Balloon Daycare in Carnegie this morning and read to them "The Bus for Us."

Senator Fontana spent time visiting with the Pre-K class at the Red Balloon Daycare in Carnegie
this morning and read to them "The Bus for Us."

 

School Safety Legislation

Stop School ViolenceSchool safety is of the utmost importance for everyone in our communities as well as employees of a school district.  We send our children to these institutions to receive an education believing that this place is a safe haven for all who are involved in the development and learning of our young ones.  The recent tragedies that have occurred across the United States and in particular, Sandy Hook, remind us that even the young and innocent are often the target of some mentally disturbed individuals. 

Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 10 (SB 10) which would provide targeted grants to Commonwealth schools in order to address the issue of school violence and improve school safety statewide.  In particular, the legislation would further enhance the current Safe Schools Grant program offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) by dedicating grant funding to school entities for the following purposes:

  • Training and hiring of armed guards
  • Security planning, risk assessments, violence prevention initiatives, conflict resolution and dispute management programs
  • Purchasing of security-related devices such as metal detectors, surveillance equipment, electronic locks and deadbolts
  • Conducting emergency preparedness drills and related activities with local emergency responders

Currently, the Safe School Targeted Grants line item in the state budget is roughly $500,000 a year.  SB 10 would significantly increase the allocation to approximately $10 million per year.  Of the $10 million earmark, 60 percent of the grant money would be used to help schools train and pay school resource officers and the remaining 40 percent would be used for emergency planning and violence-prevention programs. 

In February, the Senate Education and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees held a hearing on the issue of school safety and violence prevention.  Among the testifiers who support and encourage the passage of SB 10 include the State Fraternal Order of Police, the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

SB 10 represents an important first step in addressing the issue of violence in our schools and working to prevent another Sandy Hook from occurring.  I am proud to join the hundreds of parents, teachers, school administrators, principals, superintendents and public safety officials across Pennsylvania who have asked the Legislature to do something to help protect and avert more innocent lives from being lost.  School violence is not a partisan issue and the General Assembly must continue to work together and with stakeholders across the state by authoring enabling legislation and providing critical grant funding to school districts so that we can achieve the ultimate goal of keeping our children safe while at school. 

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.  

Register Today for Skills for Success!

Skills for Success - The Fontana Series Skills for Success: The Fontana Series. Register Online! Tomorrow is the final free workshop in the Skills for Success:  The Fontana Series, taking place at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP), Brookline branch, located at 708 Brookline Boulevard.  After tomorrow’s session, the Series will move to CLP-West End, resuming on May 7th.  A complete schedule is listed below.

If you are currently looking for a job, or are interested in boosting your skills that will help you land a desired position, sign up today for one of these free workshops, which will serve as a great resource for you.  I was proud to partner with CLP in 2011, providing grant funding for this free series aimed at building skills and creating excellent resumes and applications that aid job seekers in achieving the positions they desire.  Whether you have already built a resume and are looking to fine-tune it, if you are starting from scratch and need help with organizing your work history, need assistance with searching for positions online, or require help in improving your interviewing skills, there is a place at one of these workshops for you.

Rachel Masilamani and Richard Brzustowicz are again leading the Skills for Success: The Fontana Series, bringing over 10 years combined experience assisting library visitors with job hunting, online applications and resume writing.  The series features two separate workshops:  one focused on resumes and cover letters, and the other dedicated to interviews and networking.  The series also contains a career lab where attendees can work on online applications and explore library resources that can assist them in the job searching process.

Job seekers today face fierce competition in securing employment.  Take advantage of this free program, Skills for Success: The Fontana Series, and learn the ins and outs of the job searching process that will give you an advantage. Due to limited space, registration is required for workshops; however, walk-ins are welcome for the career labs. 

To register for any of the remaining workshops please call 412-281-7141, ext. 2012 or email careerworkshops@carnegielibrary.org.

CLP – West End
47 Wabash Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
Tuesday, May 7 – Resumes & Cover Letters
Wednesday, May 8 – Interviewing & Networking
Tuesday, May 14 – Interviewing & Networking
Wednesday, May 15 – Resumes & Cover Letters
Workshops: Noon-2 p.m., Career Labs: 2-4 p.m.
CLP – Mt. Washington
315 Grandview Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15211
Thursday, May 23 – Resumes & Cover Letters
Thursday, May 30 – Interviewing & Networking 
Thursday, June 6 – Resumes & Cover Letters
Thursday, June 13 – Interviewing & Networking
Workshops: 1-3 p.m., Career Labs: 3-5 p.m.

National Volunteer Week

NationalVolunteer WeekIn celebration of National Volunteer Week, I presented a resolution in the Pennsylvania Senate last week, declaring this week (April 21-27, 2013) as National Volunteer Week in Pennsylvania. 

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities, and they receive very little recognition or praise for their commitment and hard work.  Many volunteers give their time to work with children, assist the elderly, help those with disabilities, counsel victims, feed the hungry and work to raise funds for important programs and causes.  Volunteers are also courageous as many staff emergency service positions to rescue citizens, fight fires and deliver many vital services.

National Volunteer Week in Pennsylvania seeks to recognize the impact volunteers have on our communities and thank them for their efforts and service.  Most individuals I speak with, who are volunteers, tell me they do volunteer work because they love the work, the cause, and/or the people they work with, not for the recognition. 

Despite this belief, I would like to publicly recognize all the volunteers across the 42nd Senatorial District and the Commonwealth, and thank them for the service they provide and the time they give on behalf of their community.  No matter whether you volunteer for your church, your local little league, or as a firefighter in your community, your work is important and deserves praise.  As we recognize volunteerism this week, I hope more people are encouraged to volunteer.

Did You Know…

Did you know between September 2011 and September 2012, roughly 64.5 million people in the United States volunteered through or for an organization at least once?

Table Games Revenue Sets New High

Last week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced that revenue generated from table games at Pennsylvania’s casinos during March was the highest monthly total to date.  The gross table games revenue in March was over $67 million, a nine-percent increase over the $61.8 million in gross revenue generated in March 2012.  Combined with revenues from slot machine play in March, the overall gross revenue from both slots and table games was over $296.7 million, a one-percent increase over March 2012.

Unused & Expired Medications

Dispose RXThe Allegheny County Police will be collecting unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs and other medications at two locations this Saturday, April 27th as part of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  Anyone wishing to dispose of medications can do so between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the North Park County Police Station (700 West Ridge Drive, McCandless Township) or the South Park County Police Station (1801 Buffalo Drive, South Park Township).  No liquid medications or needles will be accepted.

Drug Take-Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

During last year’s Drug Take-Back Day in September, more than 244 tons of unwanted and expired medications were collected at over 5,000 sites across the nation.  For additional information on the April 27th Drug Take-Back Day in Allegheny County, please call the North Park County Police Station at 724-935-1901 or the South Park County Police Station at 412-835-5650.  For more information of properly disposing of unwanted, unused or expired drugs, please visit DEA's Drug Disposal website.

McKees Rocks FEASTIVAL!

McKees Rocks FEASTIVAL! The McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation is planning the first ever McKees Rocks FEASTIVAL on Saturday, May 11th.  The FEASTIVAL will celebrate the community and show what it has to offer, in part creating a “Pop Up” Restaurant District in downtown McKees Rocks.  Local businesses are being invited to participate with sidewalk sales and discount features.  Details are still emerging but the McKees Rocks CDC is putting together a fun, entertaining day for the community to enjoy.  If you’re interested in participating, contact the CDC at 412-331-9900.  You may also visit their website at www.mckeesrocks.com to get updates as plans emerge.

Cruising on Broadway

Landmarks Housing Resource Center (LHRC) Landmarks Housing Resource Center (LHRC) The Beechview Merchants Association is hosting the 3rd Annual Car Cruise, “Cruising on Broadway,” Saturday, May 11th from 1 – 6 p.m.  The Car Cruise will take place along Broadway Avenue in Beechview’s business district and merchants will be out and about offering special event prices on their unique delicacies.  If you’re interested in putting your car in the Cruise, you can register here.  For more information please visit www.beechviewmerchants.org.

CLP Community Meeting

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) will be hosting a community meeting to update the public on the library’s plans for the proposed consolidated library on Brownsville Road that will accommodate Knoxville, Carrick and all the hilltop communities.  The meeting is scheduled for this Saturday, April 27th, at 10 a.m. at the Temple Baptist Church, located at 743 Brownsville Road.  Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the library’s plans, offer feedback and ask questions.  Registration for the meeting is not needed.  If you have any questions please contact Maggie McFalls, CLP’s Community Engagement Coordinator at 412-622-8877 or mcfallsm@carnegielibrary.org.

Carnegie Volunteer Fire Department 5K

Carnegie Volunteer Fire Department Carnegie Volunteer Fire Department The Borough of Carnegie is hosting the 6th Annual Carnegie Volunteer Fire Department 5K Run/Walk, this Saturday, April 27th.  The race beings at 8 a.m. and all proceeds from the event will benefit the Carnegie Volunteer Fire Department.  The race is open to serious runners as well as walkers, families, dog walkers, and anyone looking to enjoy a leisurely day outside in the community.  The event will also feature music, refreshments, and door prizes as well as awards for the top finishers.

If you are interested in participating in the race and have not registered yet, you can download a registration form from the Borough's website.  You may also register at the Borough Building from 6:30 – 7:45 a.m. on race day.  For more information, please visit www.carnegieborough.com.

Fontana Fact

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC)The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) was born in 1932 and is the Commonwealth’s first conservancy.  Known then as the Greater Pittsburgh Parks Association, its first large project was the landscaping of a park along Bigelow Boulevard.  Since its establishment, the WPC has protected more than 233,000 acres of natural lands in Pennsylvania, helped established 10 state parks, and protected or restored more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

  Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Fax: 412-344-3400
Harrisburg
543 Main Capitol
Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-5300
Fax: 717-772-5484
Kennedy Township
Kenmawr Plz.
524 Pine Hollow Rd
Kennedy Twp, PA 15136
Phone: 412-331-1208
Fax: 412-331-2079
Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Phone: 412-343-2080
Fax: 412-343-2418
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC)