Talk to Your State Senator – Video Competition
I want to inform everyone of an initiative the Senate of Pennsylvania has organized to combat drug and alcohol addiction by encouraging middle and high school students to help find solutions to the growing heroin and opioid epidemic facing our commonwealth. “Talk To Your State Senator” is a statewide video competition sponsored by the Senate of Pennsylvania with support from the members of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania (DASPOP). It is intended to get students involved in continued legislative efforts to fight heroin and opioid abuse.
The growing heroin and opioid epidemic is taking lives every day and does not discriminate. It affects communities all across Pennsylvania, and doesn’t care whether you’re rich, or poor, or somewhere in between. Having hosted two town halls in the spring on this subject I have seen firsthand what this epidemic is doing to families in the 42nd senatorial district.
Beginning later month and running through December 10, students can submit a video, up to five minutes in length, explaining their approach to preventing teens from using drugs and alcohol. All entries must be submitted using the registration form available by clicking here or visiting www.acommonwealthcrisis.com and clicking on the “Video Competition” tab.
The video competition is available to Pennsylvania school students in grades 6-12, in public and private schools, and will be judged in two categories: middle school, grades 6-8, and high school, grades 9-12. Students will be divided into 50 regions, competing in their home address senatorial district. From the 50 semi-finalists in each category, one first, second and third place finalist will be selected. Students may enter individually or in a group of up to five students. The video submitted must address the issue of preventing teens from starting and using drugs, legal and illegal, including underage drinking.
DASPOP is providing $10,000 that will be divided into six monetary prizes. The prizes will be $2,500 for 1st, $1,500 for 2nd, and $1,000 for 3rd place in each of the two categories. Prize money will be awarded through the PA 529 College Savings Account Program and deposited into a college savings account in the winner(s) names.
The video competition is a creative way to educate young people on the dangers associated with using drugs while offering a chance to win prize money to help pay for a post-secondary education. More information on the video competition including guidelines on submitting videos, content, judging and prizes, can be found at www.acommonwealthcrisis.com, a website established by the Senate of Pennsylvania as a tool to provide information and resources on the heroin and opioid crisis. It includes information on the signs of addiction, how to get treatment, prevention, and much more.
Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic
I will be hosting my annual Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic on Thursday, September 28 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. Light refreshments will be served.
Attendees can visit with Duquesne University’s Mylan School of Pharmacy at their “Ask the Pharmacist” table and have questions answered on medications and receive blood pressure screenings. Representatives from PA APPRISE will also be on hand to counsel visitors about Medicare options.
The following organizations will also be present to provide seniors with important information on available resources, services and much more: ACCESS; Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Area Agency on Aging; Allegheny County Bar Association; Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; OASIS; the Office of the Consumer Advocate; PA Attorney General’s Office; and the PA Public Utility Commission.
Pathways to Pardons
On Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 6 – 8 p.m., along with Lt. Governor Mike Stack, I will be hosting a Pathways to Pardons town hall event at the Teamsters Temple Local 249, located at 4701 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.
This event is geared towards individuals who want to learn in more detail about our commonwealth’s pardoning process. Many individuals have made bad decisions in the past and have a misdemeanor or felony conviction on their record but have served their punishments, rehabilitated themselves, and as contributing members to their communities and society, are seeking a pardon. The Pathways to Pardons event will allow these individuals wishing to learn about pardons to engage with experts in attendance on the pardon process and what to expect as they seek a pardon.
In the meantime, if you are interested in the process, please click here to watch a short video that briefly explains the Pennsylvania Pardoning Process.
Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans Benefit Program Ends in Less Than a Year
Eligible veterans who served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations from Aug. 2, 1990 until Aug. 31, 1991 have less than a year to collect a special one-time payment to honor their service and sacrifice. Applications for the Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans Bonus are due by Aug. 31, 2018.
The bonus program, administered by the PA Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA), pays $75 per month for qualifying, active-duty service members, up to a $525 maximum. For personnel whose death was related to illness or injury received in the line of duty in Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm, there is an additional $5,000 available to the surviving family. Service members who were declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for an additional $5,000.
To be eligible for the bonus, a service member must have:
- Served with the U.S. Armed Forces, a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Pennsylvania National Guard
- Served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations during the period from Aug 2, 1990-Aug. 31, 1991
- Received the Southwest Asia Service Medal
- Been a legal resident of Pennsylvania at the time of active duty service
- Been discharged from active duty under honorable conditions, if not currently on active duty
For detailed instructions on how to apply, please visit www.persiangulfbonus.pa.gov.
Did You Know…
Did you know that since 2008 more than 9,000 Persian Gulf Conflict veterans have applied for and received a bonus for their war efforts?
RADical Days, the annual event sponsored by the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), begins this Friday and runs through October 15. In its 16th year, RADical Days is an initiative of RAD and its funded assets that thanks the public for the sales tax funds that support our region’s parks, libraries, sports and civic facilities, and arts and culture organizations.
Assets are not offering free admission every day. You may visit the RADical Days page at www.radworkshere.org to view a full schedule and listing of participating venues. You may also sign up on the site to receive RADical Days text alerts. Admissions are first-come, first-served and don’t offer rain checks.
Dancing in the Streets
As part of the above-mentioned RADical Days, Pittsburgh Musical Theater will be hosting their annual “Dancing in the Streets” this Saturday, from 2:30- 4p.m. in the parking lot of their home, located at 327 S. Main Street in the West End. The event features performances by the school’s conservatory program, attractions, free refreshments, and of course, “Dancing in the Streets.” Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
The Pittsburgh Temple Salvation Army, located at 1060 McNeilly Road is now hiring seasonal kettle workers. For more information on how to apply please call 412-207-2127 or apply in person. The Pittsburgh Temple Salvation Army also offers seasonal assistance programs for those in need. Project Bundle Up provides coats for children under 18 and seniors over 60 and Treasures for Children provides Christmas toys for children 13 and under. Please call 412-207-2127 for more information on these programs.
World’s Steepest 5K Returns
Hell on Hills, the World’s Steepest 5K is back! Last year, the hills of Beechview saw almost 300 runners charging up some of the steepest streets the world has to offer, such as Canton and Boustead. They are doing it again this year, Saturday, October 7 at 8 a.m.
This year’s event will feature a community festival at the finish line with food trucks, music, and general revelry. For more information on the race and event and to register, please visit www.hellonhills.com.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 10,270 children in the U.S. 14 and under will be diagnosed with cancer in 2017. You can visit www.cancer.org to learn more about the disease and ways you can help.
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
|Northside (Mobile Office)
Carnegie Library |
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212