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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Senator Fontana kicked off National Library Week by visiting with children and their parents at the Carnegie Library-Brookline on Saturday, April 13th.

Senator Fontana kicked off National Library Week by visiting with children and their parents at the Carnegie Library-Brookline on Saturday, April 13th.

National Library Week

American Library AssociationThe time has come again to celebrate National Library Week throughout Pennsylvania!  Created in 1958, National Library Week is an observation sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country and will run from April 13th through April 19th.  The goal is to highlight the contributions of libraries, librarians and library workers and the services and resources they provide to people of all ages. 

Libraries have worked hard in recent times to be more than just a repository for books.  In fact, these days, libraries have evolved to meet the needs of all members of the community.  Serving millions of visitors each year, Pennsylvania’s libraries conduct hundreds of thousands of programs for children, parents, entrepreneurs, senior citizens and students on topics such as resume writing, employment material, financial planning and retirement services, creating arts and crafts, registering for health care or learning how to use the latest technology.  Furthermore, local libraries have also become a major hub for the latest technology and useful tips on how to navigate in this new technology-based society.   

The 2014 theme of “Lives Change @ Your Library,” illustrates that libraries help individuals, communities, and schools change for the better through the various resources available at these facilities free of charge to residents.  Furthermore, the theme also demonstrates that libraries and librarians have a powerful and positive impact on the lives of residents on a daily basis because they are a place that people go to reconnect and engage with one another while at the same time enriching their lives for the better with the vast knowledge that is available at libraries. 

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) We are particularly fortunate to have one of the state’s major library systems in the 42nd district:  the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP).  Unlike many other library systems across Pennsylvania who are faced with major budget constraints, CLP went from announcing possible closures and merging of libraries within the system to extended and expanded hours, days, staff, resources and programs.  This is all thanks to revenues from two new funding sources – a property tax of 0.25-mill approved by two-thirds of city voters in 2011 and money from a casino gambling tax. 

I am extremely proud of what the CLP has become over the years and look forward to working with them for many more years to come!  For that reason I introduced Senate Resolution 349 (SR 349) last week to declare and kick off festivities for National Library Week in the Commonwealth.  I hope my resolution will bring awareness to all the activities that are scheduled for this important week and encourage everyone to visit their local library and see exactly how your life can change too at the library! 

Did You Know…

Did you know there are 45 libraries that are members of the Allegheny County Library Association?

Offices Closed

All Senate offices will be closed on Friday, April 18th in observance of Good Friday.  My offices will re-open as scheduled on Monday, April 21st.

Register to Vote!

If you are not registered to vote and wish to vote in the May 20th Primary Election, you must register with the Allegheny County Elections Division no later than Monday, April 21st.  Individuals needing to register may apply in person between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday this week in Room 609 of the County Office Building, located at the corner of Ross Street and Forbes Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh.  The Elections Division will remain open until 5 p.m. on April 21st to accept hand-delivered voter registration Vote PA Vote PA forms.  All registration forms being mailed must be postmarked by April 21st in order to be processed for the May primary.

You may also visit one of my district offices to obtain a voter registration form.  If you would like to obtain a form online, you can download and print a form at www.votespa.com.  If you have questions about your registration or would like your registration verified, please call the Allegheny County Elections Division at 412-350-4510.

PA Women Veterans Symposium

Women Veterans SymposiumPennsylvania female service members and veterans of all military branches and components are invited to attend the 2014 PA Women Veterans Symposium scheduled for June 6th – June 8th at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Pittsburgh.  The event will feature informative general and breakout sessions and a health and wellness fair while providing an opportunity to meet with fellow female veterans from across Pennsylvania.

Registration opens at 3 p.m. on June 6th and will be followed by an evening reception. June 7th will feature a day of keynote speakers and informative breakout sessions before wrapping up on June 8th with a breakfast, closing sessions and discussions and additional activities.  The Symposium also provides the chance to visit with vendors and exhibitors who will be on hand offering a variety of valuable resources.

Space is limited and registrations must be received by May 19th.  For more information on the 2014 PA Women Veterans Symposium, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs website.  You may also download a registration form by clicking here.

Work Zone Safety

As last week was National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania State Police are reminding motorists to use extra caution in work zones to protect workers.  In 2013, there were more than 1,800 crashes in Pennsylvania work zones and 16 people were killed in work zone crashes.

Work ZoneWhen traveling through a posted work zone, whether active or not, motorists are required by law to travel with their headlights turned on.  Motorists that do not have their headlights turned on in a work zone are subject to a $25 fine. 

Active work zones are recognized with a sign that reads “Active Work Zone When Flashing” that includes a flashing white light.  The flashing light will only be activated when workers are present and turned off when workers are not present.  Motorists caught driving 11 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit in an active work zone, or who are involved in a crash in an active work zone and are convicted for failing to drive at a safe speed will automatically lose their license for 15 days.  Fines for certain traffic violations are also doubled for active work zones.

Below are tips offered by PennDOT to ensure the safety of both motorists and workers in work zones:

  • Drive the posted work zone speed limit
  • Stay alert and pay close attention to signs and flaggers
  • Turn on headlights if signs instruct you to do so
  • Maintain a safe distance around vehicles and don’t tailgate
  • Use four-way flashers when stopped or travelling slowly
  • Avoid distractions and give your full attention to the road
  • Always wear a seat belt
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Be patient

Spirit of the Strip

Neighbors in the Strip is hosting their annual Spirit of the Strip PhotoWalk on Saturday, April 26th.  The first 50 people to register will receive a free breakfast at Pamela’s.  The PhotoWalk is an opportunity to spend Neighbors in the Strip Neighbors in the Strip Neighbors in the Strip Neighbors in the Strip the day photographing your favorite destinations in the Strip District and show what the Strip means to you, in your own eyes.

Participants can also enter a contest and submit one photo to Neighbors in the Strip.  Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, photographic quality, and effectiveness in conveying the spirit and character of the Strip District.  All photographs will be displayed at the Pittsburgh Public Market and visitors to the Market can vote for the People’s Choice Award.  A panel of judges will review the submitted photographs to select the Juried winner and the Pink Poodle Award will also be selected for the photo that most effectively reflects the issues that Neighbors in the Strip faces in achieving its mission.

For more information on the PhotoWalk and to register, please visit www.neighborsinthestrip.com

Taste of Brookline

Taste of Brookline Taste of Brookline The 3rd Annual Taste of Brookline is scheduled for April 27th from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Church of the Resurrection gymnasium in Brookline.  The South Pittsburgh Development Corporation organizes this annual event that showcases the many excellent restaurants and eateries that make Brookline a unique destination and a great place to live.  In addition to local food and drink samples from local establishments, live entertainment will be provided with the music of Jack Stanizzo of the Contrails and guitarist Paul Lowe.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.tasteofbrookline.com or in person at A-Boss Optical (938 Brookline Boulevard), Cannon Coffee (802 Brookline Boulevard), Kriebl’s Bakery (546 Brookline Boulevard) or Le Cupcake Shoppe (109 Capital Avenue).

Walk for a Healthy Community

The 2014 Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community is scheduled for May 17th beginning at Stage AE on the North Shore.  Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. while the 5K walk begins at 9 a.m. with the one-mile fun walk starting at 9:15 a.m. 

FOR Focus on Renewals This annual event brings together 69 local non-profit organizations, including Focus on Renewal and many other terrific organizations that deliver vital health and human service programs in our community.  There is no registration fee to participate in the walk but all walkers are encouraged to raise funds for the organization of their choice.  Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield underwrites the cost of the walk, so all money raised is donated to directly benefit the organization of your choice.  Walk to a Healthy Community

If you are interested in participating, please visit www.walkforahealthycommunity.org to get started.  On the home page, click on the link to “Pittsburgh” and then the “Register Now” tab which will allow you to select the organization you wish to support.

TV Series Filmed in Pittsburgh to Air

SteeltownAnother project that recently filmed in Pittsburgh has been ordered by the Starz Network and will appear this fall on the cable television station.  “The Chair” is a reality TV series, a documentary that follows two young filmmakers that have been given the same screenplay to make their own movie.  The ten episode series will show each director creating their film and audiences will be able to vote on their favorite of the two films with the winning director receiving a $250,000 prize.

To read more about the latest film production taking place in Pittsburgh and the success our region continues to enjoy in luring productions here please click here to read a piece authored by the Steeltown Entertainment Project.

Fontana Fact

Last Saturday, April 12th marked the Opening Day of Trout Season in Pennsylvania.  Under current PA Fish & Boat Commission regulations, statewide trout season opens at 8 a.m. on the first Saturday after April 11th.  The Fish Law of 1949 established the first Opening Day of Trout Season which took effect in 1950.

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
American Library Association Walk for a Healthy Community Steeltown