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FontanaFest 2011

The 7th Annual FontanaFest was held this past Saturday, September 24th at South Side's Riverfront Park. We had beautiful weather, great entertainment and plenty of food and drink. If you didn't make it this year, watch for the announcement of the date for the 8th Annual FontanaFest after the first of the year - and visit our photo gallery to see what you missed!


Yesterday, I stood with my Senate Democratic colleagues to talk about the misplaced priorities of the leadership in Harrisburg. Those who are at the helm of our government in Harrisburg are either unaware or unconcerned about you, the people we represent – people who are desperate to get back to work or who are in fear of losing the job they have.

Senate Democrats are ready to stand up with our ideas to create jobs, stabilize the economy, and instill confidence in those who do the hiring. We are coming up with answers – We have been proposing solutions for the last year now. What’s important to us is what’s important to our districts -- Families need to feel secure, small businesses need to flourish, students need skills to be marketable, and young women and minorities need to not lose hope. They’ve waited too long for answers.

As you know from the News & Views, Senate Democrats came up with a jobs plan in January called PA Works. Once it was proposed, we didn’t stop working. We worked with our colleagues in the Senate to see some of the proposals worked into the budget agreement during the spring and early summer. Once we recessed, our work didn’t stop either. Over the summer, we refined our plan and came up with more ideas to stimulate job growth.

PA Works NowQuite simply - the top priority of this fall’s legislative session must be job creation. The unemployment rate is now 8.2 percent and more than a half million Pennsylvanians are out of work. Last month, the unemployment rate spiked nearly one-half percent. There is a tremendous amount of economic uncertainty undermining our economic recovery. We should clear the agenda and only act on those items that can create jobs. As I’ve said many times before, each and every item before us should be looked at through the “job lens.”

The streamlined version of our PA Works plan to jump start our economy is called PA Works Now – and is quite simple. We are proposing that the state pump $1.2 billion in much-needed capital into proven job creation initiatives. The plan would create 80,000 jobs, leverage billions in private investment and repair our roads, bridges, water and sewer systems and public building.

PA Works Now calls for the creation of a $1.1 billion Pennsylvania Investment Bank. It asks for $100 million in new capital for programs like the Business in Our Sites and the Machinery & Equipment Loan Fund. The plan also seeks to leverage federal money to aggressively support a new job training program based on the successful Georgia Works plan. PA Works Now includes $25 million in new housing initiatives and funds $25 million in new targeted job creation tax credits that will help generate economic activity.

In the coming weeks, I will provide more detailed information on the proposal and the legislative initiatives that are associated with the plan, but there is much that can be done now – by the Governor, without a need for legislative action.

As just a few examples, the Governor can ask the PennVEST board to immediately authorize another $500 million in financing for water and sewer projects. Moving quickly on water and sewer rehabilitation investment will put people to work now. The administration can also shift $30 million in federal grants to fund Pennsylvania’s version of Georgia Works because Pennsylvania already has a federal waiver that allows them to take this action. This action will put thousands of long-term unemployed on the job now.

In the meantime, I will continue to provide information to you, my constituents, on job opportunities and more through a special edition of News & Views, like I did this past Wednesday. I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensure that creating and retaining good-paying jobs is part of any discussion that we have at the state level – and pledge to work with my colleagues to accomplish that this fall in Harrisburg.

PCN Appearance

…and speaking of priorities… I will be the guest on tonight’s PNC Call-In Show, along with Senator Bob Mensch, as we discuss Fall legislative priorities for the Senate. The show begins at 7 p.m. so tune in.

Grants for Volunteer Ambulance and Fire Companies

Applications for the Volunteer Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program are now being accepted. Volunteer fire companies and volunteer ambulance services may apply for the grants, which can be used for things like the construction or renovation of a company’s facility, the purchase or repair of equipment, debt reduction, or the training and certification of members. The deadline to apply is 4:00 p.m. on October 21st.

Volunteer fire companies can apply for grants of up to $15,000, and volunteer ambulance services can apply for grants of up to $10,000. Volunteer fire companies that also provide volunteer ambulance service are eligible to apply for both a volunteer fire company grant and a volunteer ambulance service grant. The grants are provided by the state to help improve and enhance the capabilities of Pennsylvania volunteer fire companies and volunteer ambulance services. Applications and grant program guidelines can be found on the State Fire Commissioner’s website.

Emergency Readiness for Older Adults

Are you prepared to leave your home in the event of an emergency? A free Safe Neighbors Workshop is being offered to help you prepare for the unexpected on Tuesday, October 4th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Emergency Readiness for Older Adults workshop will teach residents about personal emergency plans, organizing medications in advance, and home safety during weather and emergency events. Everyone who attends will receive a free resource guide and a Grab n Go Kit to further help you prepare.

City and other municipal emergency representatives will be on hand, along with officials from the American Red Cross and Columbia Gas. Refreshments will be provided and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about preparing for an unexpected emergency. The workshop will be held at the Seton Center Auditorium (1900 Pioneer Avenue). To register, please call the Seton Center at 412-344-4777.

Did You Know…

Did you know that only seven percent of Americans have taken the recommended actions to prepare for disasters? According to the American Red Cross, floods, landslides, blackouts and droughts are just some of the local disaster threats in our region.

Golf Outing and Benefit

The Castle Shannon Revitalization Corporation (CSRC) is holding its first annual golf outing on Saturday, October 8th. Golf registration and donations are still being accepted. All proceeds from the event will benefit the community of Castle Shannon. The CSRC works to revitalize the Castle Shannon Business District through growth and development. The golf outing takes place at Westwood Golf Course (formerly Duquesne Country Club in West Mifflin). The cost is $90 per golfer or $360 per foursome (18 holes, cart and dinner). For registration and sponsorship information, visit the CSRC website.

Volunteer Opportunity in Brookline

Pitt Make a Difference DayThe South Pittsburgh Development Corporation is looking for volunteers to help clean up Brookline this fall. As part of the University of Pittsburgh’s “Make a Difference Day,” students will take to the streets of Brookline on Saturday, October 22nd. The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The South Pittsburgh Development Corporation especially needs volunteers to act as team captains for this event. Captains will provide direction and help supervise students at various litter sites. There will be complimentary coffee and snacks available for volunteers on the day of the clean up. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Keith Knecht, Vice President of the South Pittsburgh Development Corporation, at 412-670-4312, or email

Don’t Forget - NAMI Walk

NAMI Walk 5th Annual Walk on Sunday 5th Annual Walk on Sunday

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southwestern Pennsylvania is holding its 5th Annual Walk on Sunday, October 2nd. The 5K Walk will be held at SouthSide Works & Three Rivers Heritage Trail to raise awareness and dispel the myths associated with mental illness. The goal is to raise at least $150,000 to support mental illness advocacy, research, education and support programs. You can register as an individual or as a team on the NAMI Southwestern PA website. You may also call 412-366-3788 for more information.

Soldiers & Sailors Soldiers and Sailors website Soldiers & Sailors Fundraiser Event

Help one of our region’s oldest and best known historical landmarks celebrate 100 years of operation. Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum will hold its annual fundraiser event on Sunday, October 16th at 3:00 p.m. The Cannon Ball Military Follies Revue will feature patriotic and military scenes and music from stage and screen, including Bill Deasy, Joe Grushecky, band members of The Clarks, and local arts schools and organizations. This year’s event will mark the grand finale of Soldiers & Sailors’ yearlong centennial celebration and mark the beginning of another 100 years of honoring our military heroes (to see my Senate Resolution from last session honoring Soldiers & Sailors click here). Tickets for the fundraiser can be purchased online. Visit the Soldiers & Sailors website for more information.

High School Rundown – Week 4

Congratulations to Maura Gray, a freshman at Keystone Oaks High School, for earning her way to the WPIAL AA Girls Tennis Championships. Maura was one of 18 girls to earn a spot in the tournament and she also finished in second place in the Section 5-AA singles tournament. Congratulations Maura!

Week 4 High School Football Highlights

  • Dom Patterson returned a blocked punt for a touchdown and Tre Gaines rushed for two touchdowns in Brashear’s 31-0 win over Westinghouse.
  • Baldwin upset Thomas Jefferson 21-14 behind Dorian Brown’s 278 yards rushing. Brown led the WPIAL in rushing yards for week 4. Brown scored his second touchdown of the game with less than two minutes remaining in the 4th quarter on an 80-yard run. Zack Denardo connected with Tarief Green on a 23-yard touchdown pass for Baldwin’s other score.
  • Shawn Owens threw a touchdown pass and ran for two scores in Cornell’s 22-7 win over Neshannock.
  • Kevin Mechas passed for 235 yards and three touchdowns in Bishop Canevin’s 46-6 win over Frazier. Bobby Gustine, Jordan Maloney, Sal Oliverio and Casey McCaffrey all ran for a touchdown in the win.
  • Sto-Rox rallied for a 48-27 win over Rochester. Josh Beverly rushed for 256 yards and a touchdown. Lenny Williams threw for 148 yards and rushed for 101 yards for Sto-Rox and Marzett Geter caught two touchdown passes.
  • Wayne Capers threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score in a 24-17 Chartiers Valley win over Bethel Park. Juliano Coury scored for Chartiers Valley on a 63-yard run.
  • Justin Vickless returned two punts for touchdowns in Brentwood’s 42-6 win over Avella.
  • Dillon Buechel threw for 206 yards and five touchdown passes in Montour’s 52-19 win over Canon-McMillan. Darren Massey and Julian Darden each had two touchdown receptions.
  • Jake Abernathy and Cody Walter each scored a touchdown in Northgate’s 26-12 loss to Springdale.
  • Dale Kolbuchir rushed for three touchdowns and Matt Buckley threw for three scores in a 41-8 Keystone Oaks win over South Allegheny.
  • Kevin Hart rushed for three touchdowns and caught two touchdown passes from Luke Brumbaugh in Seton La-Salle’s 35-0 win over Quaker Valley.
    (From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

For anyone interested in supporting their local teams in person, here is a schedule for week 5:

Friday, September 30

  • Perry @ Langley, 7pm
  • Baldwin @ Upper St. Clair, 7:30pm
  • Belle Vernon @ Chartiers Valley, 7pm
  • Montour @ New Castle, 7:30pm
  • Washington @ Keystone Oaks, 7pm
  • Sto-Rox @ Union, 7pm
  • Brentwood @ Fort Cherry, 7:30pm
  • Carlynton @ Serra Catholic, 7:30pm
  • Oliver @ Wheeling Central Catholic, 7pm
  • Seton La-Salle @ Quaker Valley, 7:30pm

Saturday, October 1

  • Cornell @ South Side Beaver, 12:30pm
  • Northgate @ Wilkinsburg, 1:30pm
  • Steel Valley @ Seton La-Salle, 7pm
  • Springdale @ Bishop Canevin, 7:30pm

Borough of Castle ShannonFontana Fact

The Borough of Castle Shannon derived its name from a local farm owned by David Strawbridge. After obtaining a land patent in the late 1700’s, Mr. Strawbridge named his farm Castle Shanahan to reflect his Irish roots. The Borough would evolve, as did its name, eventually becoming Castle Shannon.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Transportation Funding Advisory Commission Report
Run Your Rox first annual golf outing on Saturday, October 8th