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Senator Wayne D. Fontana
Senator Fontana participated in a groundbreaking ceremony in Morningside on Aug. 23 for the Morningside Crossing project. 
Senator Fontana participated in a groundbreaking ceremony in Morningside on Aug. 23 for the Morningside Crossing project.  This project, developed by a.m. Rodriguez Associates,  involves remaking the former Morningside Elementary School into a senior living facility and community center.

Senator Fontana spoke at a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Hilltop Alliance on Aug. 24 to commemorate the launch of their Urban Farm project on the site of the former St. Clair Village.
Senator Fontana spoke at a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Hilltop Alliance on Aug. 24 to commemorate the launch of their Urban Farm project on the site of the former St. Clair Village. This project will be anchored by what will become one of the largest urban farms in the country.

Warning for Students of Higher Education

PHEAA PHEAA The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is warning students in the commonwealth to be extremely cautious if they are solicited by any company offering federal student aid assistance (FAFSA), scholarship searches, or student loan debt relief.  These companies typically charge significant upfront fees for services – sometimes through non-existing programs – that are readily available for free from the federal government. 

Some good, credible FREE sites to assist with student aid search include,,, and  In addition, Pennsylvanians can visit NerdWallet’s Watch List which names companies that charge for fraudulent or questionable debt relief services. 

Students and families who believe they have been targeted or victimized by a scam should file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at  or the Federal Trade Commission at

I would also like to remind high school seniors and college students that they can check out all that PHEAA has to offer by visiting their facebook page or follow them on twitter.  There you will find ways to lower college costs and a financial aid checklist.  Also, new to PHEAA is the ability for borrowers to chat with staff with questions pertaining to recently submitted forms or requests, repayment options, deferment, and school enrollment status.  The chat option is available Monday through Friday from 12-4 p.m.  For more information please visit   

Offices Closed

All Senate offices will be closed next Monday, Sept. 4 in observance of Labor Day.  My offices will re-open on Tuesday, Sept. 5 as scheduled.

DEP Small Business Grants

small businessThe Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has opened its Small Business Advantage Grant program to eligible Pennsylvania small businesses.  The program provides 50 percent matching grants, up to a maximum of $9,500, to enable small businesses to purchase energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or adopt waste reduction processes.

Pennsylvania-based businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible.  Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and must save the small business a minimum of $500 and at least 25 percent annually in energy consumption or pollution prevention related expenses.

An overview of the program, eligibility requirements, application instructions, and a link to the online application are available by clicking here.

The program is open through June 30, 2018 or until funds are exhausted.

School Bus Safety

Bus SafetyAs the school year has begun for many students, I want to remind parents and students to visit to view tips offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for kids to stay safe while riding the bus.  I also would like to remind motorists of the state’s School Bus Stopping Law and that anyone convicted of violating the School Bus Stopping Law can face penalties including a $250 fine, five points on your driving record, and a 60-day license suspension.  Below are important items to remember when driving.  If you are driving in areas with a high concentration of students waiting for the bus, please slow down and be careful.

  • Motorists must stop when meeting a school bus with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended.

  • Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses.

  • Motorists must wait until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm has been withdrawn before moving.

  • Do not proceed until all children have reached a place of safety.

  • Motorists approaching an intersection where a school bus is stopped with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended must stop whether on the same street or the cross street.

  • Motorists do not have to stop on a highway with clearly defined dividing sections or physical barriers providing separate roadways.  This only applies when the school bus is on the opposite side of the road.

Did You Know…

Did you know that during the 2017-18 school year in Pennsylvania more than 1.5 million children will be transported over 400,000 miles?

Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic

shotI 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.

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.  Organizations scheduled to participate include: ACCESS; Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Area Agency on Aging; Allegheny County Bar Association; Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy; OASIS; the Office of the Consumer Advocate; PA Attorney General’s Office; PA APPRISE; and the PA Public Utility Commission.  I hope to see you there.

ALOCSAN Open House

ALCOSAN ALCOSAN The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) is hosting its award-winning Open House on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at their wastewater treatment plant on the Northside.  ALCOSAN’s Open House is the region’s largest watershed and environmental festival and is celebrating its 15th year this year. More than 40 exhibitors will be present, offering hands-on activities, displays and games for children and adults.

Last year, a record crowd of more than 2,300 people attended.  A tour of the plant, where as much as 250 million gallons of wastewater is cleaned every day, is always a crowd favorite, so guests should register for a tour time as soon as they go through registration at the event.  Visitors can save time by registering for admission in advance at, but the only way to get tour tickets is to pick them up on the day of the Open House.

Other highlights include seeing ALCOSAN’s state-of-the-art laboratory, getting up close with creatures that live in the watershed and taking a look at a 2,200-gallon tank filled with fish that will be pulled from the Ohio River on the morning of the event.  Walk through a simulated sewer, learn to prepare for an emergency, find out how to connect household downspouts to rain barrels, and much more.

Admission and parking are free and a free shuttle will be provided from the Northside T stations.  Free lunch is also provided.  More information on ALCOSAN’s Open House can be found at

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

solar eclipseFontana Fact

Last Monday much of the country was able to witness the rare phenomenon of a solar eclipse.  Solar eclipses happen when the moon moves between Earth and the sun and in our region, we were able to see roughly 81 percent of the moon covering the sun.  It was the first total solar eclipse visible in the United States since 1979.  We won’t have to wait quite as long for the next one though as scientists claim we will experience another total solar eclipse in the U.S. in 2024.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
543 Main Capitol | Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-5300
Fax: 717-772-5484
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
Kennedy Township
Kenmawr Plaza
524 Pine Hollow Road
Kennedy Twp, PA 15136
Phone: 412-331-1208
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
By Appointment
Northside (Mobile Office)
Carnegie Library | Allegheny Branch
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
By Appointment
Hell on Hills Consumer Financial Protection Bureau