The 8th Annual FontanaFest was held this past Saturday, September 15th at South Side's Riverfront Park. The large crowd in attendance enjoyed a beautiful day outdoors with great entertainment, fun activities, takeaways from our terrific booth sponsors and plenty of food and drink. Read more about FontanaFest below.
Neighborhood Centers for Voter ID
Last week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments on why Act 18 (voter ID legislation) should be ruled unconstitutional or at least delayed in its implementation for the November 6th General Election. Because November is approaching quickly and the voter ID mandate may be affirmed, I sent a letter to Governor Tom Corbett and Secretary of State Carol Aichele in mid-August asking them to authorize state offices as a place where individuals can go to get their photo identification, or at the very least, establish more centers in neighborhoods for this purpose. After all, while we wait for the court decision, our state should be doing everything in its power to make sure everyone has the ability to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
Over the past few weeks, I have heard from representatives of both the Secretary of State as well as the Governor’s office. Both offices have thanked me for the suggestion but ultimately are not interested in exploring my idea for neighborhood centers. I am deeply disappointed by this decision. This clearly demonstrates to me that the Administration fails to recognize the importance in making the process of obtaining a voter ID easier and more convenient for those who lack the necessary photo identification.
For many voters who do not possess a driver’s license, getting themselves to a Driver’s License Center is a serious challenge. In story after story we have heard about the glitches in the system and long waits at PennDOT. Unless the Supreme Court strikes down this law or delays its implementation in the coming weeks, tens of thousands of voters in Allegheny County may be disenfranchised, simply by lacking the means to get to one of only four Driver’s License Centers in the county.
What is even more unsettling to me was the denial of allowing state offices to serve as intermediaries where individuals can go and get their photo taken and have their paperwork forwarded to PennDOT. One of the stated reasons for denying my request is that “PennDOT’s ID issuance process is highly secure and conducted by trained document examiners, possibly making it an administrative challenge to be done in legislative offices around the state.”
I have convenient district offices spread throughout the areas that I represent and every day my offices process multiple requests for various clearances and certificates. Individuals trust my staff with confidential information on a daily basis. One of our top priorities is to make sure this information is handled in a proper way and never compromised. In fact, between April 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 alone, my office processed over 500 PennDOT requests. This clearly demonstrates that district offices have the ability to serve as intermediaries at the will of constituents. After all, shouldn’t the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and General Assembly be working with the citizens of our state to make sure everyone has the proper identification to vote in a timely manner?
Even though the Administration is not willing to agree with my suggestion of how to make getting a voter ID as simple and convenient as possible for people of Pennsylvania, my office stands ready to help. If you have questions about your identification or need more information on how to get the necessary ID to vote, please call or stop by one of my offices. Please contact us should you or someone you know need to get to a PennDOT center and we will work with you to find you transportation if you need it. As always, I will continue to work to bring this service to the community and look forward to serving your needs in the future.
Need Help Finding a Job?
The latest installment of the Skills for Success: The Fontana Series is underway with two more workshops scheduled for this Thursday, September 20th and Friday, September 21st at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Allegheny Branch on the North Side.
I am proud to partner with CLP, providing grant funding for a free series aimed at building skills and creating excellent resumes and applications that aid job seekers in achieving the positions they desire.
This series will feature two separate workshops: one focused on resumes and cover letters, and the other dedicated to interviews and networking. This series will also contain a career lab where attendees can work on online applications and explore library resources. Here, individuals will receive assistance with resumes, interview skills and online application forms. Due to limited space, registration is required for workshops however walk-ins are welcome for the career labs.
The remaining fall schedule is listed below. To register for one of these free workshops, please email email@example.com or call 412-281-7141, ext. 2012.
CLP – Allegheny branch
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Thursday, Sept. 20 – Interviewing & Networking
Friday, Sept. 21 – Resumes & Cover Letters
Workshops – 10 a.m. – noon, Career Labs – noon – 2 p.m.
CLP – Knoxville branch
400 Brownsville Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15210
Thursday, Sept. 27 – Interviewing & Networking
Friday, Sept. 28 – Resumes & Cover Letters
Thursday, Oct. 4 – Resumes & Cover Letters
Friday, Oct. 5 – Interviewing & Networking
Workshops – noon – 2 p.m., Career Labs – 2 – 4 p.m.
CLP – Beechview branch
1910 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Thursday, Oct. 11 – Resumes & Cover Letters
Thursday, Oct. 18 – Interviewing & Networking
Thursday, Oct. 25 – Resumes & Cover Letters
Thursday, Nov. 1 – Interviewing & Networking
Workshops – 3 – 5 p.m., Career Labs – 5 – 7 p.m.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make the 8th Annual FontanaFest such a rousing success. The day was picture-perfect and I appreciate so many of you coming out to enjoy activities along the river and visiting with all the participating organizations.
Without the financial support of our sponsors, FontanaFest would not be possible. Thanks to the following organizations for their generous support:
I want to thank all the organizations that sponsored booths, participated and donated services. Your participation and donations help make FontanaFest such an attraction for families. I also want to thank my staff for their hard work before, during and after the event and the volunteers who gave their time and assisted with this year’s event.
If you wish to view photos from this year’s FontanaFest, you can visit our Photo Gallery. If you didn't make it this year, watch for the announcement of the date for the 9th Annual FontanaFest after the first of the year.
PHEAA Online Student Aid Guide
As the Vice-Chair of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) I want college-bound high school seniors and their parents to be aware of PHEAA's Online Student Aid Guide, which is now available. The guide provides a complete overview of the financial aid process and contains information on most of Pennsylvania’s financial aid programs and services.
By visiting www.pheaa.org and searching under the College Planning section, you can:
- Learn how to qualify for grants, scholarships and other “free” aid that does not need to be repaid
- Get information on work-study programs that allows students to earn money to help cover education costs
- Understand the types of loans available for students and parents to help pay for higher education
- Find a variety of career options and salary information that provides an idea of the possibilities that the future holds
- Access checklists, timelines, applications, and forms that you need to apply for and receive financial aid
It is never too early to begin planning for life after high school and PHEAA offers many free resources to assist students and parents through the process. For more information on all of PHEAA’s services, please visit them online at www.pheaa.org. Students without internet access are encouraged to contact their school counselor who can order additional hard-copies of the guide online at www.pheaa.org.
Did You Know…
Did you know college students that qualify for the work study program may be eligible for up to $3,600 during the school year and up to an additional $3,600 during the summer term?
2nd Annual Heidelberg Oktoberfest!
The Heidelberg Borough Recreation Committee is hosting the borough’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 29th. The festivities run from 1-8 p.m. at Heidelberg Park (corner of Jackson Street and Industry Way).
Many festivities are scheduled throughout the day including: live music featuring many local bands, Zambelli Fireworks, German & American Foods, Paulander Oktoberfest Beer, and craft vendors. Children's activities include a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, bounce house, face painter, games, hay rides and more.
Craft and Food Vendors are wanted for the event and the Recreation Committee is seeking volunteers for the day and to help organize the event. For more information, please contact the Borough Manager at 412-276-0363 or visit the Heidelberg Borough website.
High School Sports Update
Congratulations to Angela Heintz, a senior at Seton-La Salle, Jody Macklin and Katie Oliverio, seniors at Bishop Canevin, on being named 2012 Girls Volleyball Players to Watch by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The high school soccer season is underway and several girls and boys teams from the district have gotten off to fast starts. On the girls’ side, Chartiers Valley has started the season 5-0 while Keystone Oaks is 4-1-1. Baldwin has started the season 4-1 and leads their Class AAA section and Bishop Canevin has started the season winning three of their first four games. On the boys’ side, Baldwin leads its section on WPIAL Class AAA with a 3-0 record and Seton-La Salle and Bishop Canevin are in a tie for first place in their Class AA section. Carlynton (5-1-1) and Montour (3-2-1) are also off to strong starts. Best of luck the rest of the season to all our girls and boys soccer teams!
Below are some of the high school football highlights from the district during week 3:
- Devin Wilson caught nine passes for 131 yards including a 45-yard touchdown reception in Montour’s 41-0 win over Mohawk. Six different Spartans scored touchdowns.
- Rick Mellick rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns and Lou Rotunda scored two touchdowns in Seton-La Salle’s 45-0 win over Keystone Oaks.
- Lenny Williams of Sto-Rox led all W.P.I.A.L passers in week 3, throwing for 400 yards in the Vikings’ 35-34 loss to Neshannock. Williams threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another. Ben Shackelford caught seven balls for 152 yards and Javelle Kirkland caught five passes for 187 yards.
- Bishop Canevin defeated Carlynton 38-0 behind Giovanni DeMarzo’s 142 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Jim Tersak also rushed for two scores.
- Cody Walter rushed for two touchdowns and Ryan Kirby hooked up with Timon Gribbon on a 15-yard touchdown pass in Northgate’s 21-7 win over North Catholic.
Below is this week’s high school football schedule. All games are Friday unless noted.
Week 4 High School Football Schedule
University Prep @ Brashear, 7 p.m.
Mt. Lebanon @ Baldwin, 7:30 p.m.
Montour @ New Castle, 7:30 p.m.
Quaker Valley @ Keystone Oaks, 7 p.m.
Seton-La Salle @ Steel Valley, 7 p.m.
OLSH @ Sto-Rox, 7 p.m.
Bishop Canevin @ California, 7:30 p.m.
Carlynton @ Serra Catholic, 7:30 p.m.
Fort Cherry @ Brentwood, 7:30 p.m.
Wilkinsburg @ Northgate, 7:30 p.m.
Chartiers Valley @ Ellwood City, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 15th was National Tell a Police Officer “Thank You” day. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), 72 police officers were killed in the line of duty last year. Even though September 15th has passed, we should take a minute each day to honor and thank our brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect their fellow citizens.
Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana