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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

 

Package of Carbon Monoxide Prevention Bills

Carbon MonoxideAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pennsylvania is a national leader in carbon monoxide (CO) deaths and poisonings.  In December, Governor Corbett signed into law the Carbon Monoxide Alarm Standards Act that requires landlords to install CO detectors in all multi-family rental units and single-family rentals that have an attached garage.  Although I supported this law, I do not feel like it goes far enough and that is why I have introduced a package of bills that will protect even more lives and prevent unnecessary deaths from CO poisoning. 

Considered the “silent killer,” CO is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane and natural gas from items like portable generators, vehicles, power washers as well as malfunctioning fireplaces, furnaces and water heaters. In high concentration, carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms including headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pains, loss of muscle control, confusion, unconsciousness and ultimately death. 

The only safe way to know if CO is present in your home or building is with a working alarm.   My package of legislation would require carbon monoxide detectors in the following facilities, if the facilities use a fossil fuel-burning heater or appliance, or has an attached garage:

  • Dependent care facilities which include nursing homes, older adult daily living centers, personal care homes and assisted living residences

  • Dorms at institutions of higher education including universities within the State System of Higher Education, community colleges, State-related institutions, and any college or university which is operated not for profit

  • Lodging establishments including a hotel, motel, inn, guest house, hostelry or other structure that provides temporary accommodations

  • Schools which include public schools, nonpublic schools, charter schools, regional charter schools and cyber charter schools

  • Child care facilities including boarding homes for children, child care centers and nursery schools that are licensed and regulated by the Commonwealth

Carbon monoxide deaths are entirely preventable and there is no reason why these facilities should not have this alert system to warn individuals and possibly avoid hundreds of unnecessary deaths.  Averaging around $20 a detector, this is a small price tag to put on an individual life.  Furthermore, CO detectors are also very easy to install and typically last for seven years. 

I hope the introduction of my legislation brings new awareness to this avoidable problem and encourages people to install at least one carbon monoxide detector in the home, preferably one on each floor near a bedroom area, and to change the batteries regularly. Remember, if you experience any of the listed symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, please get out of the building right away along with any other individuals and pets and call 911, the local fire department, or your gas company immediately. 

Did You Know…

Did you know that annually, CO poisoning is responsible for approximately 15,000 emergency department visits and nearly 500 deaths in the United States?

Honored by the PDCDC

Western Pennsylvania Junior Achievement’s 75th Anniversary

Senator Fontana accepted the 2014 Community Leader Award presented by the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation at their Annual Dinner on March 13th.  Pictured with Senator Fontana is the Executive Director of the PDCDC John Valentine and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald who presented Senator Fontana with the award.

Last week I was honored to attend the 2014 Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation's (PDCDC) Annual Awards Dinner where I was presented with the 2014 Community Leader Award.  I am humbled to be receiving this award as a large list of distinguished individuals, organizations, government leaders and businesses have contributed a great deal towards the re-emergence of downtown Pittsburgh.  Congratulations to Ralph Falbo on receiving the Resident of the Year Award and to PNC Bank on receiving the Corporate Citizen Award.

Downtown Pittsburgh has become more than a great place to live and work.  It has become a destination city for new businesses, tourists, and others who are impressed with our civic pride and unique mix of our blue collar ethnic past and our vibrant high-tech future.  All throughout my life, I have watched downtown evolve through periods of both growth and stagnation, so witnessing the vibrancy that downtown is experiencing today is something very special.  As I accepted the award March 13th and looked across a roomful of 300 people, I was reminded how so many people have worked closely and cooperatively on ways to encourage interest and investment in downtown Pittsburgh.  It’s that spirit of cooperativeness and togetherness, when citizen activists, the business community and all levels of government work in collaboration that has allowed downtown to become a destination place today.  That continued spirit is what will allow downtown to continue moving forward well into the 21st century.

I appreciate the work of the PDCDC as they strive to make downtown a better place to live, work and play through residential development, the promotion of arts and entertainment, and by helping small businesses succeed.  They have instituted, and continue instituting, programs that bring residents and businesses together while enhancing the quality of life downtown and I am happy to support their mission.  I am excited to continue working with them and their many partners on important initiatives in the years to come.

Annual Fishing License Buttons Available

Fish and Boat The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) has re-introduced a Pennsylvania fishing license button.  Anglers are now able to purchase a $5 button through the PFBC’s Outdoor Shop (www.GoneFishingPa.com) or by visiting any of the PFBC's regional locations.  License buttons can also be ordered using the mail-in form posted on PFBC's website.

The annual buttons are available to all current, adult and youth Pennsylvania fishing license customers who possess a valid Pennsylvania fishing license that enables them to fish for the entire year.  Lifetime senior license and multi-year license holders can also purchase the buttons.  For all eligible customers, the buttons are not required by law, rather are an optional purchase.

The purchase of a traditional (paper) Pennsylvania fishing license is a requirement in order to purchase the optional license button.  As long as an angler is carrying their valid paper license, a valid alternate display annual license button is the only display requirement while fishing.

For more information on the new alternate display annual license buttons, please click here.

CCAC Job Fairs

CCACThe Community College of Allegheny County Job Placement and Career Services is hosting four upcoming job fairs that will be open to students and alumni, as well as the general public.  All applicants should dress professionally and bring copies of their resumes.  The schedule of upcoming job fairs is listed below.  For more information, including a listing of participating companies and organizations, please contact the appropriate campus.

March 19th – 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 
CCAC Allegheny Campus
Foerster Student Service Center 
808 Ridge Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15212
412-237-2545

April 2nd – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
CCAC North Campus 
Atrium
8701 Perry Highway
Pittsburgh, PA  15237
412-369-3631

March 26th – 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
CCAC South Campus
B Buliding, Fourth Floor Commons
1750 Clairton Road
West Mifflin, PA  15122
412-469-6214

April 9th – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
CCAC Boyce Campus
Student Union
595 Beatty Road
Monroeville, PA  15146
724-325-6771

Farm to Table Conference

Farm to Table Farm to Table The 8th Annual Farm to Table Conference is being held this Friday and Saturday, March 21st and 22nd at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.  The Farm to Table Conference provides attendees with two days of networking and educational opportunities on healthy lifestyles.  Local exhibitors will be providing hands-on cooking demonstrations, information on gardening, where their food comes from, and where to find businesses and organizations that can provide them with healthy food and healthy lifestyle choices.

For more information on the Farm to Table Conference including sponsors, exhibitors and schedules, please visit www.farmtotablepa.com.

Camp Cadet

Camp CadetThe Allegheny County Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office and the Pennsylvania State Police are holding Camp Cadet once again this summer for girls and boys between the ages of 12 – 14.  Camp Cadet will begin on July 20th and run for one week with a graduation ceremony scheduled for July 26th.

The camp was established in 2004 and is designed to provide a better understanding of law enforcement and other community agencies to youth living in Allegheny County.  Camp Cadet, held at Camp Guyasuta in Sharpsburg, provides cadets with an opportunity to participate in numerous activities and events that help build self-esteem and self-discipline while fostering new friendships.  Some of the activities include mock crime scenes and mock trials, demonstrations by the SWAT/SERT units and the Bomb Squad, and physical training.

Applications from potential cadets are due by April 15th.  Applications can be downloaded from the Camp Cadet website.  If you have any questions or need additional information please visit www.alleghenycountycampcadet.org.  Completed applications can be mailed to:

            Allegheny County Camp Cadet
            P.O. Box 16364
            Pittsburgh, PA  15242

Heinz History Center Special Event

Heinz History CenterThe Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is hosting one of the Smithsonian’s most respected experts as part of a special book event this Saturday at 11 a.m.  Dr. Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture, will be discussing the inside story behind the nation’s most iconic objects as described in his new best-selling book, “The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects."

The 762-page book chronicles America from prehistoric times to the present through national treasures found in the Smithsonian’s vast collections.  During the book talk, Dr. Kurin will discuss the artifacts that define our common heritage and visitors will learn how he worked with the Smithsonian’s top curators and scholars to select the 101 artifacts included in the new book and reveal which items were left out.  A special Q&A session with Dr. Kurin and Heinz History Center President and CEO Andy Masich will discuss the surprising stories behind the objects with western Pennsylvania connections.

For more information on this special event including ticket information, please click here or call the History Center at 412-454-6000.

Supporting Focus on Renewal Food Pantry

FOR Focus On Renewal (FOR) All food and financial donations made to the Focus On Renewal (FOR) Emergency Food Pantry during the months of March and April will be matched by The Feinstein Foundation.  For the 17th consecutive year, Alan Shawn Feinstein, a Rhode Island philanthropist, will divide $1 million among hunger-fighting agencies across the country.  Cash, checks and food (valued at $1 per item) will qualify.

If you are interested in contributing by making a financial donation, mark “Feinstein” on the memo line of a check and mail it to:

            Focus On Renewal
            701 Chartiers Avenue
            McKees Rocks, PA  15136

Anyone interested in donating non-perishable items can drop them off at FOR’s Community Center, located at 701 Chartiers Avenue in McKees Rocks during regular business hours Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Holy Family Academy Open House

Holy Family Academy is hosting an Open House this Sunday, March 23rd from 1 – 5 p.m. at their Emsworth campus, located at 8235 Ohio River Boulevard.  The Open House provides an opportunity for the community to learn more about Holy Family Academy’s new Corporate Work Study Program. 

Holy FamilyThe program provides students an opportunity to gain real-work experience as freshmen in high school, providing them the tools to succeed in life when they are older and enter the work place.  Students will work with these corporate partners while in high school in departments such as Human Resources, Marketing, Legal, or Finance.  In addition to providing students with a work opportunity, corporate partners participating in the program provide financial support necessary to implement the work study program and partially cover tuition costs for families and students.

For more information on the Corporate Work Study Program, please visit Holy Family Academy's website.

paradeFontana Fact

This past Saturday was the annual Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the official holiday was celebrated yesterday.  According to Pittsburgh Today, nearly 15 percent of the Pittsburgh region claims Irish ancestry with over 244,000 living in Allegheny County.  Nationwide, roughly 35 million people claim Irish ancestry which is more than seven times the current population of the Republic of Ireland.

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
http://hfa-pgh.org/ Fish & Boat ccac Heinz History Center Camp Cadet