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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

 

FontanaFest – This Saturday!

Fontanafest FontanaFest The 10th Annual FontanaFest is this Saturday, August 9th!  This year’s event is changing venues and will be held at Highmark Stadium at Station Square, home of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., RAIN OR SHINE!  Station Square will be providing free parking in the Stadium’s West Lot for attendees from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Members of the Riverhounds will be present and children in attendance will have the opportunity to participate in soccer activities on the field with them from noon – 1:30 p.m.  Other activities include inflatables, balloon making and crafts, along with the chance for children and families to receive important information on exercise, nutrition, healthy lifestyles, health care, education and jobs and job training. 

Participating organizations include:  Highmark; The Home Depot; Society for Contemporary Craft; Homeless Children’s Education Fund; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; Carnegie Science Center; Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater; Central Blood Bank; Calgon Carbon; and the Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania.

Lunch will be provided from noon – 2 p.m. for all guests and once again IT’S ALL FREE! 

FontanaFest is a 501(c)(3) and would not be possible without the tremendous support of our sponsors.  I want to thank the following organizations for their contributions to the 10th Annual FontanaFest:

Pittsburgh Riverhounds
I.B.E.W. Local 5
Laborers' District Council of Western PA
Point Park University
Chester Engineers
Pittsburgh Plumbers Local 27
Eat'n Park Restaurants
Station Square
Highmark
Steamfitters Local 449
Peoples Natural Gas
Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Beverage Association
Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale

PHEAA Grant Programs

As students prepare to head back to college, it is an appropriate time to highlight the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), which provides grants, scholarships, loan forgiveness, and other financial assistance to students and higher education institutions.  Created in 1963 by the state legislature, PHEAA has become one of the nation’s leading student aid organizations and I am very proud to serve as the vice chairman of the board of directors for this great organization!

PHEAA PHEAA PHEAA began administering the Pennsylvania State Grant Program in 1965.  By PHEAA’s 25th anniversary, the program had awarded aid to 1 million recipients and by the 2012-13 fiscal year, more than 6.2 million awards. 

Grants to Students are types of financial aid awards that an individual does not have to repay, as long as he or she meets all of the eligibility requirements.  This funding accounts for the largest portion of the PHEAA state appropriation and has once again been level funded with state dollars equaling $344.88 million.  Additionally, PHEAA will direct $75 million from its business earnings from servicing students’ loans for third-party lenders to supplement the State Grant Program for a total of $419.88 million.  

Currently, the largest grant amount is $4,011 with the average grant award being $2,869.  However, with rising tuition amounts and less carry forward money, the maximum grant amount will likely have to be reduced, while at the same time the number of students receiving awards is estimated to rise by more than 8,200 students.  For the 2012-13 award year, the State Grant Program served approximately 192,300 individuals. 

The Institutional Assistance Grants, which are also funded by PHEAA’s business earnings, provide support to higher education institutions that do not receive other state funds.  This year, 88 colleges and universities will receive this allocation based upon the total number of eligible grant recipients enrolled.  Although this program has been flat-level funded for the upcoming fiscal year, it is expected that per capita grant amounts will be $558. 

A new “Ready to Succeedscholarship will be available during the 2014-15 award year.  Ready to Succeed is designed to provide merit based scholarships of up to $2,000 to middle income students who pursue two-year or four-year post secondary degrees at any Pennsylvania college, university or technical school.  “Middle income” under this program is defined as families with incomes up to $110,000.  Although $25 million was proposed for Ready to Succeed, only $5 million was allocated in the final budget. 

Not to be forgotten is the Targeted Industry Cluster Certification Scholarship Program which provides grants to students enrolling in skill and trade certification that are less than two years of studying and trains individuals for areas of immediate workforce need.  The 2014-15 budget increases funding for the Targeted Industry Cluster Scholarship from $5 million to $6 million, funded through the PHEAA business earnings.  
PHEAA has made significant strides in accomplishing its goal of becoming a valuable partner with Pennsylvania parents and students and I look forward to supporting this organization for years to come.  If you would like more information on how to apply for any of the grants, scholarships, loan forgiveness, or other financial assistance, please visit www.pheaa.org.

Did You Know…

Did you know the Pennsylvania State Grant Program is the third largest need-based student aid grant program in the nation?

Flu/Pneumonia Shots & Senior Clinic – September 30th

Flu ShotI am hosting my annual Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic on Tuesday, September 30th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Quinn Hall at the Church of the Resurrection in Brookline.  American HealthCare Group will be providing the free vaccinations to any senior with the Medicare Part B health insurance card.  Make sure to bring your card with you.

There will also be several organizations from around the region in attendance, providing seniors with important information on available services and resources.  I will continue to update you with additional information on the Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic moving forward, but please save the date – Tuesday, September 30th!

Preventing Identity Theft & Fraud

Identity TheftI am pleased to be attending an event being hosted by Representative Dan Miller on the subject of identity theft on August 29th in Dormont.  I encourage anyone with questions or concerns on this topic to attend and listen to a presentation offered by the Office of the Attorney General on how to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud and how to best keep your personal information safe.  This presentation will begin at 10:15 a.m. at the Hillsdale Community Resource Center, located at 1444 Hillsdale Avenue in Dormont.  For more information, please contact Rep. Miller’s office at 412-343-3870.

National Night Out – TONIGHT!

national night outTonight is National Night Out across the country.  This event, which began in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch, is held on a selected night each year to raise crime and drug prevention awareness and generate support for local anti-crime programs while strengthening partnerships between communities and local law enforcement.

Last year, 42 community groups in the city of Pittsburgh hosted Night Out events which were attended by 3,000 residents.  Nearly 50 Night Out events are scheduled citywide this evening.  To find an event in your neighborhood, please visit the city's Department of Public Safety website.

WIC Increases Income Limits

Income limits for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program have increased.  The increase was effective July 1st.  WIC serves about 16,000 individuals in Allegheny County and has funding to enroll an additional 2,000.  It is a federally-funded program for pregnant women, postpartum mothers, breastfeeding mothers and children under the age of five, and eligibility is based on both income and medical or nutritional risk.  The new income limits, based on annual gross income, are listed below:

# of people in the household   Total income cannot exceed
1
2

3
4
5
6
7
8
$21,590
$29,101
$36,612
$44,123
$51,634
$59,145
$66,656
$74,167

Through the WIC program, families can receive nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support and food vouchers redeemable at participating grocery stores for items including:  infant formula and cereal; milk; eggs; cheese; juice; cereal; peanut butter; whole grains; soy milk; tofu; jarred baby food; dry or canned beans; canned tuna/sardines/pink salmon; and fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.  Additional vouchers are also available during the summer to purchase fresh Pennsylvania-grown produce at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands.

For more information about the WIC program and to learn how to apply for benefits, please call the Allegheny County Health Department WIC program at 412-350-5801 or visit http://www.achd.net/wic/.

Allegheny Alerts Expands

Allegheny Alerts Allegheny Alerts Overview In April, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced the launch of Allegheny Alerts, a new system where users could sign up to receive alerts from the Parks Department and Kane Regional Centers.  The new Allegheny Alerts system has now expanded with the addition of the Public Works and Health Departments.  

To receive alerts from any of the above mentioned departments, individuals can create a user account by visiting www.alleghenycounty.us/alerts.  Users will be requested to provide some basic information which will be kept confidential and not used for any other purpose.  Once the account is created, the user can choose the topics and how the information will be received, whether through email, text messaging or voice, and where it will be received, either a home, work or cell number.  Users at any time can change the information and topics by logging in to their account and modifying previously selected choices.

If you are interested in signing up for Allegheny Alerts, please visit www.alleghenycounty.us/alerts to get started.

Andy Warhol Museum Honored

WarholCongratulations to the Andy Warhol Museum on receiving the Arts Innovation Award as part of the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts.  The awards ceremony will take place on September 28th at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Performing Arts Center.  The annual event honors outstanding Pennsylvania artists, arts organizations, cultural leaders, and patrons who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the arts.

The Andy Warhol Museum, located at 117 Sandusky Street on Pittsburgh’s North Side is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a comprehensive redesign of its permanent collection galleries.  The Museum displays works of art, films and videos, and extensive archives that document all periods of Andy Warhol’s life.

CellFontana Fact

In 1973, Martin Cooper and the Motorola Communications Company created the first mobile telephone.  The device was first sold in 1983 and cost nearly $4,000 and weighed about two and a half pounds.  Today, nearly six billion people worldwide use some type of mobile phone that weighs somewhere from one quarter to one half pound each.

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
Andy Warhol Museum