10th Annual FontanaFest!
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make the 10th Annual FontanaFest such a rousing success! It was a wonderful day at Highmark Stadium on Saturday filled with many fun and educational activities for children, parents and grandparents, great food and perfect weather conditions.
FontanaFest is a 501(c)(3) and would not be possible without the tremendous support of our sponsors. Special thanks to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Highmark Stadium for hosting us this year and for the way they welcomed us and assisted us in putting on such a terrific event. I also want to thank Station Square for providing all guests with free parking. Thanks to the support of all the following organizations for their contributions to the 10th Annual FontanaFest:
I want to thank the team members from the Pittsburgh Riverhounds who gave their time to play soccer with, and provide instruction to our young guests. In addition to playing soccer, kids in attendance also had to the opportunity to be active through a series of inflatables and a rock climbing wall as well as visiting with balloon and face painting artists. The following organizations were in attendance at FontanaFest providing important information to attendees as well as in many cases also providing a fun craft or activity for children and families to enjoy: 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; Calgon Carbon; and Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania.
I thank them for attending and for the way they are able to provide information and education in a fun and enjoyable manner.
Senator Fontana was presented with the Bob O’Connor Leadership Award by Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania at Saturday’s FontanaFest. Pictured below with Senator Fontana are: Robbie Zeremberg, Development Specialist with Junior Achievement; City Councilman Corey O’Connor; Bill Lucas, Vice President of Development for Junior Achievement; and Bill’s son, Brady.
I am also very appreciative of the Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania for presenting me with the Bob O’Connor Leadership Award at this year’s Fest. I was honored to receive the award and I thank Junior Achievement’s Vice President of Development Bill Lucas and Development Specialist Robbie Zeremberg for their kind words in presenting me with the award. With so many children in attendance, it was fitting that Junior Achievement was on hand as they play such an important role in preparing young people for the challenges they face while providing them with an opportunity to be successful.
First Meeting of the Basic Education Funding Commission
In June, I wrote about Act 51 of 2014 that established the Basic Education Funding Commission, which is tasked with creating a more transparent and equitable formula for distributing basic education funds throughout the state. The commission met for their inaugural meeting in late July and will continue to hold several additional hearings on the topic in conjunction with the Department of Education and the Appropriations committees in the General Assembly. The next meeting is scheduled for August 20th.
Currently, Pennsylvania divvies up state funding to school districts in proportions that have remained fixed and are no longer applicable under this economic climate. Furthermore, Pennsylvania is one of only three states that does not have a funding formula. Rather, the General Assembly enacts a new basic education funding formula each year. For several years now, the formula to each school district is at least the same level of funding as the district received in the prior year. However, this manner of funding distribution has failed to recognize the differing needs of schools with increasing or decreasing enrollment levels among other elements.
The commission is made up of 15 members including six Senators, six Representatives and three state administrators. By law, the commission has up to a year to complete the report, which makes the deadline June 10, 2015.
Flu/Pneumonia Shots & Senior Clinic – September 30th
I 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 including AARP, Carnegie Library, and the Pennsylvania Office of the Consumer Advocate to name a few. 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!
Senator Fontana toured and spoke with staff members from the YMCA Allegheny branch located on the North Side on August 6th as part of YMCA Advocacy Days. Bill Pricener, Executive Director of the Allegheny YMCA led the tour and he and staff members spoke about the numerous programs and activities available to people of all ages including their Silver Sneakers program, Summer Day Camp for children, Residency for men, and after school programs. The above photo was taken in the YMCA’s urban garden where Rodney Tucker and Michael Rushin spoke about the garden’s impact on the YMCA.
August 5th was National Night Out, where communities across the country host events in an effort to raise crime and drug prevention awareness and generate support for local anti-crime programs while strengthening partnerships between communities and local law enforcement. There were over 50 Night Out events in city of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Senator Fontana attended the Night Out event in Beechview which drew over 100 people, and is pictured here with Zone 6 Commander Scott Schubert, City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, State Representative Erin Molchany, Beechview resident Anthony Coghill
and Lieutenant Shawn Malloy.
Small Business Online Resource
The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities has launched an online resource for business owners looking to raise capital to expand or start new businesses. The Department is available to small business owners to help them learn about how to raise capital in compliance with the Pennsylvania Securities Act of 1972, which governs the offers and sales of securities in Pennsylvania. When used correctly, the provisions of the Securities Act can assist companies raising capital to further their business growth. This online resource can help guide business owners in the offering and sales of securities and addresses several important issues business owners must address if they are going to raise capital by offering securities including:
- how to raise capital for your business
- disclosure and your securities offering
- registering your securities offering
- information on exemptions to the PA Securities Act of 1972
If you’re a small business owner interested in learning more, the online resource can be found by clicking here or by visiting the Department of Banking and Securities website at www.dobs.state.pa.us and clicking on the tab titled “Entrepreneur Education.”
Preventing Identity Theft & Fraud
I 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.
Get Smart Competition
This fall, children can showcase their creativity and help spread the word about decreasing antibiotic resistance by appropriate antibiotic use, hand hygiene, and vaccination through the Pennsylvania Department of Health's 2014 Get Smart Drawing Competition. The contest is part of Pennsylvania’s Get Smart Program, aimed at reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics and raising awareness of the dangers associated with antibiotic resistance that is brought on by overusing antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance can cause significant danger and suffering for children and adults who have common infections, once easily treatable with antibiotics. Serious and sometimes life-threatening illness can occur when infections can no longer be treated by available antibiotics.
The contest is available for all children, ages 4 -12 and drawings, posters, stories or poems will be accepted as entries. Each submission must follow at least one of the following themes: importance of proper hand washing; importance of vaccines; or knowing when not to use antibiotics. The deadline for submissions is October 24th and the top three entries in each age group will win a prize. For more information on the competition and the Get Smart Program, please visit www.KnowWhenToSayNo.org.
Did You Know…
Did you know that two million people in the United States acquire serious antibiotic-resistant infections each year?
Kennedy Community Days
The annual Kennedy Township Community Days celebration begins tomorrow and runs through Saturday, August 16th at Fairhaven Park. The event features numerous game and food booths, rides and local non-profit organizations in attendance. There will also be live entertainment each night including Kennedy’s own Miller School of Dance, N2O2R, Mon Valley Push and a live broadcast of the Frank Powaksi Polka Festival program. Saturday night will feature the Kennedy Volunteer Fire Department’s annual Firemen’s Parade and a fireworks show.
OASIS Pittsburgh will be hosting free training sessions for adults aged 50 and over who are interested in serving as tutors for students enrolled in Pittsburgh Public Schools. These training sessions will be held on August 20th and August 27th from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Macy’s Department Store in downtown Pittsburgh. All materials, books, and supplies will be provided by OASIS.
OASIS is a non-profit organization, founded in 1982, that is active in 40 cities across the country in promoting successful aging by providing opportunities for adults aged 50 and over to pursue vibrant, healthy, productive and meaningful lives. Their Intergenerational Tutoring Program trains older adults on tutoring children and provides older adults the chance to help students learn. The program is operated in partnership with the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council.
For more information on how to become an OASIS tutor, please call John D. Spehar, Pittsburgh OASIS Tutoring Coordinator at 412-232-2021 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Your Heart to a Senior, an initiative of the United Way of Allegheny County in cooperation with Family Services of Western Pennsylvania and North Hills Community Outreach, is in need of volunteers. Volunteers are needed in neighborhoods throughout Allegheny County to assist seniors with light yard work, planting flowers and mowing lawns. This is a great volunteer opportunity for teens and groups and the time
commitment is flexible. To register as a volunteer with Open Your Heart to a Senior please call 412-307-0071 or email Allegheny@openyourhearttoasenior.org.
There is also a Safety for Seniors Service Day scheduled for August 30th. Volunteers are needed to visit the homes of two seniors to check for common fall and fire hazards and make recommendations to help people improve safety and reduce the risk of fall and fire hazards in their homes. Training is provided from 11 a.m. – noon and home visits are scheduled for 1 – 4 p.m. For more information or to register for this upcoming Service Day, please contact Jeffrey Holmes at email@example.com or 412-661-1670, ext. 613.
The Fort Pitt Block House, built in 1764, is celebrating its 250th birthday this year. The Block House is the only surviving structure of Fort Pitt, which was one of the largest British forts in North America at one time. The Block House is a national Historic Landmark and the oldest Pre-Revolutionary War building that remains on its original site in western Pennsylvania. It was gifted to the Fort Pitt Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1894 and has been open to visitors for over a century.
Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana
|| Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
543 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120
524 Pine Hollow Rd
| Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15216