On September 12th, Senator Fontana, along with County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, spoke at the Community Appreciation Day held at Kennard Field in the Hill District hosted by Representative Jake Wheatley. The event was part of the Health and Wellness Weekend, an effort to increase health awareness and motivate participants to live an active, sustainable and healthier lifestyle.
On September 9th, Senator Fontana attended and participated in a Town Hall meeting in Brookilne, organized by Representative Dan Miller that included Representatives Harry Readshaw and Dan Deasy that discussed the status of the state budget and various local issues.
Important Reminder to PHEAA Recipients and Families
As I reported in last week’s edition, the unfortunate, unnecessary budget impasse continues while more and more Pennsylvanians are beginning to feel the effect of the ineffectiveness among the majority in Harrisburg. To that end, as Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), I feel it is my responsibility to remind students and parents who rely on PHEAA grant and loan reimbursements to institutions of higher learning that all transactions are on hold until a final budget agreement is enacted.
The General Assembly appropriates funds to PHEAA for the State Grant Program as well as other important programs. By law, PHEAA is unable to confirm grant and loan awards or disburse funds to schools and employers for the current academic year until the budget is enacted. This affects all state and federal programs administered by PHEAA.
Once again, we need to have a budget passed that makes our state and its residents stronger rather than wasting time toying with the futures of so many Pennsylvania students and families.
Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic
I will be hosting my annual Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic on Friday, September 25th from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Quinn Hall at the Church of the Resurrection in Brookline. American HealthCare Group will be providing free vaccinations to any senior with the Medicare Part B health insurance card. Make sure to bring your card with you.
I am also pleased that several organizations from around the region will be present to provide seniors with important information on available services and resources including AARP, the Office of the Consumer Advocate, PA APPRISE Health Insurance Counseling Program, Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Seton Center, Allegheny County Bar Association and Duquesne University’s Mylan School of Pharmacy, and more.
Fire Company/Volunteer Ambulance Grants
The Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) has opened the online grant application process for the 2015-16 Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program (FCVASGP). The application became available on September 8th and will remain open through October 22nd at 4 p.m. No applications will be accepted after October 22nd.
All fire companies, volunteer ambulance services, and volunteer rescue squads are eligible to apply for grant funding. Eligible projects include: construction and/or renovation of the fire company’s or ambulance service’s facility; the purchase or repair of firefighting, ambulance or rescue equipment; the purchase or repair of fixtures and furnishings necessary to maintain or improve the capability of the company to provide services; debt reduction associated with the facility or equipment; or the training and certification of members.
Grant applications are available online by clicking here. For any organization that submitted a grant application last year, you still must create a new User ID and Password in order to access the 2015-16 grant application.
Voter Registration Deadline
Anyone not registered to vote who wishes to vote in the November 3rd General Election must register by October 5th. As a reminder, voter registration can now be done online. Simply visit www.votespa.com to get started. In addition to registering to vote, current registered voters can also use the online system to make updates to their voter record, such as a change of name, address, or party affiliation.
Anyone wishing to register with a paper application can obtain an application from any of my district offices, or by downloading one at www.votespa.com. Completed applications can be returned by mail to the Allegheny County Division of Elections and must be postmarked by October 5th in order to be processed prior to the November 3rd General Election. You can also register by completing an application in person, no later than October 5th, at the Division of Elections office. The location of the Allegheny County Division of Elections office is listed below. For any questions related to registering to vote, please contact 412-350-4510.
Attn: Voter Registration Services
Allegheny County Division of Elections
542 Forbes Avenue, Room 609
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2953
Did You Know…
Did you know that roughly 5,000 Pennsylvanians registered to vote online in the first week that online voter registration was available?
DEP Holding Listening Sessions on Clean Power Plan
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is hosting 14 listening sessions, including one in Pittsburgh, on the federal Clean Power Plan to hear from Pennsylvanians about the plan to cut carbon pollution. The listening session in our region is scheduled for September 21st in the Singleton Room in Roberts Hall at Carnegie Mellon University from 6 - 9 p.m. The Singleton Room is located on the 4th floor at 5000 Forbes Avenue on CMU’s campus. Anyone wishing to speak at any of the listening sessions can register by calling 717-783-8727.
In addition to the listening sessions across the state, DEP will accept comments on Pennsylvania’s compliance with EPA’s Clean Power Plan through November 12th. DEP is soliciting comments on the Clean Energy Incentive Program component of the Clean Power Plan and on the EPA-proposed Federal Plan that serves as a model rule for states developing their state plans. DEP is also soliciting comments on specific compliance related questions which are available on the DEP website.
For more information on the upcoming listening sessions please contact the DEP Policy Office at 717-783-8727.
Local Parks and Recreation
Last week the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Pennsylvania Park and Recreation Society (PRPS) announced the “Good for You, Good for All” campaign. The campaign is intended to raise awareness and increase engagement and support for local parks and recreation and hopes to make more than 5,600 local parks go-to destinations for all Pennsylvanians. A new website, www.GoodForPA.com, was created to allow visitors to search for a local park nearby, or by county. It also provides aerial photographs of the facility and a list of amenities available.
Local parks and recreation are essential services provided to community residents, offering many benefits including:
- Improved health and wellness for all
- A refuge from busy lives and a community “commons” that connects people to nature and each other
- More desirable communities and an enhanced sense of place
- Increased property values and municipal tax revenues
- Open space protection
- Increased tourism and visitor spending
Pennsylvania’s new five-year Outdoor Recreation Plan to connect citizens to healthy outdoor recreation shows maintenance of existing park and recreation areas continues to be a top concern and priority for citizens and providers, and that park and recreation services are a central asset in combating societal health care issues like obesity and mental health.
The “Good for You, Good for All” initiative meets one of 83 action steps outlined in the recreation plan to develop a unified brand for local parks and recreation with accompanying marketing strategy. The new website meets a second goal of launching a mobile-friendly website to help residents easily identify and locate local parks. The Outdoor Recreation Plan can be viewed at www.paoutdoorrecplan.com.
ALCOSAN Open House
ALCOSAN is hosting their annual Open House this Saturday, September 19th from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at their 56-acre campus, located at 3300 Preble Avenue. The region’s largest watershed and environmental festival features hands-on environmental activities and exhibits, treatment plant and laboratory tours, microbiology and watershed life demonstrations, and educational activities for all ages.
Kids looking to STEM careers and those looking to enter a trade will have an opportunity to meet engineers, scientists, mechanics, and laborers to learn about their experiences. ALCOSAN’s “Snuffleupagus” truck that cleans out the big sewer lines will be on hand, as well as the video robots that travel through the sewer lines to find blockages. Attendees can also walk through a simulated sewer pipe to better understand the challenges in stopping sewer overflows and what needs to happen collaboratively moving forward.
For more information on the Open House, please visit www.alcosan.org or call their Open House Hotline at 412-732-8002.
Last week, a ship measuring 328 feet long by 50 feet wide docked on the North Shore in the City of Pittsburgh. The LST (Landing Ship Tank) 325 is the only Landing Ship Tank in the country that remains fully operational. The LST 325 and many of the more than 1,000 LST’s that were made were instrumental in winning World War II and Dravo Company on Neville Island was a major producer of LST’s during the war effort. Read more about this remarkable ship at http://www.lstmemorial.org/.
Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana
|| Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
543 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
524 Pine Hollow Road
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
|| Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Tuesdays – 10 am – 4 pm
|Strip District (Mobile Office)
Pittsburgh Public Market
2401 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Thursdays – 10 am – 4 pm
|Northside (Mobile Office)
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Wednesdays – 10 am – 4 pm