PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 11 – State Rep. Emilio Vázquez reminds families with multilingual students to complete the new student registration process, available through Aug. 25 at the Multilingual Assessment Center (MAC) of the School District of Philadelphia. Vazquez, D-Phila., said this is an initiative to help speed the enrollment process for immigrants, refugees and students who speak a language other than English. To enroll students, parents or guardians should visit the School District Education Center, 440 N. Broad St., Suite 1058. Appointments are encouraged but not necessary. “Philadelphia has experienced significant changes in its ethnic composition during the last 20 years. My district has a 51 percent high school dropout rate. Only 26 percent of the residents have high school diplomas, 3 percent have associate’s degrees and 4 percent have bachelor’s degrees. That’s why this initiative is so important for me and for the people of the 197th District -- because it addresses one of the very first push-out factors that directly impact the schooling process of our children,” Vázquez said. According to the school district, throughout the process, staff with the Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs will be available to walk families through the registration, screen students in need of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services, and provide resources and information about the district. Parents must Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 10 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., hosted Dennis M. Davin, secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, Wednesday in northwest Philadelphia. Kinsey and Secretary Davin toured four of the 16 historic houses, destinations, and museums in Kinsey's district and other parts of northwest Philadelphia. “I enjoyed showing Secretary Davin a few of the rich treasures that retell the birth of our nation,” Kinsey said. “These sites are part of the fabric of our community. It’s important for the state to recognize how vital these sites are, not only to northwest Philadelphia, but also to preserving the authentic history of the United States.” Kinsey and Davin toured Grumblethorpe, the Stenton museum, the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, and the Johnson House. Following the tour, Kinsey and Davin met with a few of the directors of northwest Philadelphia’s 16 historic sites for a discussion on the importance of keeping the sites alive. “Northwest Philadelphia has a rich history that each of these sites retell – from the battle of Germantown and the birth of our nation, to the fight to abolish slavery and the Johnson House serving as a stop on the Underground Railroad,” Kinsey said. “They offer our children the opportunity to experience history instead of simply reading about it, and that is why we must continue to invest in them. I’m hopeful that with the help of Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 9 – State Rep. Jared Solomon, D-Phila., today in partnership with the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, announced that he had taken initial steps to preserve the historic buildings at 6901 Rising Sun Ave., site of a popular former Police Athletic League center and of a proposed Royal Farms store. Surrounded by community leaders, Solomon and Preservation Alliance President Paul Steinke heralded the submittal of a nomination to the Philadelphia Historic Register of the buildings at Longshore and Rising Sun avenues. This nomination at least temporarily and potentially permanently places the buildings under the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia Historical Commission and prevents their demolition. “These buildings are unlike any other on Rising Sun Avenue and occupy a special place in the hearts of the people of Lawndale and Northeast Philadelphia as a whole,” Solomon said. “I am grateful for the immense work of the Preservation Alliance in researching and submitting this nomination. "I am all for development in Lower Northeast Philadelphia, but it needs to respect the interests, character and history of the community. Razing these historic buildings to put in a gas station doesn’t cut it. This is one of the few green spaces in our neighborhood and presents the possibly of business corridor development that can move our neighborhood forward. We are here to work closely with Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 9 – The start of school is just around the corner and Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, has an important reminder for parents regarding new vaccination requirements impacting both public and private institutions. The most notable change is students will have five days instead of up to eight months to prove he/she has the state-required vaccinations. Those who still lack them after day five may be required to stay home. However, students who don’t have all the needed vaccinations within the first five days may continue attending if he/she has a written plan from a doctor outlining the child will get the needed immunizations. “Vaccinations not only protect the child receiving them but also their classmates, which is why having the required immunizations is so pivotal in keeping Pennsylvania schoolchildren healthy,” Petrarca said. Students starting in any grade need these vaccinations: 4 doses of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (usually given as DTP or DTaP) 4 doses of polio 3 doses of hepatitis B 2 doses of measles, mumps, rubella (usually given as MMR) 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) or evidence of immunity Students entering 7th grade need these vaccinations: 1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) Students entering 12th grade need one dose of meningococcal conjugate Read more
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 8 – Continuing what has become a popular summer tradition , state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, will host the 5 th Annual Health and Wellness Weekend from Friday, Aug. 18 through Sunday, Aug. 20. “This yearly event not only reminds residents of the importance of healthy lifestyles; it also serves as a celebration of the history and vibrancy of our community,” Wheatley said. “My staff and I look forward to sharing this time with as many constituents as possible, and informing them of how we can be of assistance year-round.” Wheatley said the festivities will begin with an opening night reception and fundraiser for the K. Leroy Irvis Scholarship Fund, hosted by Wheatley and state Rep. Ed Gainey, at 6:30 p.m. at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh. The three-day affair will culminate in a Health Expo at the Warrington Recreation Center on Sunday, Aug. 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wheatley added. Saturday, Aug. 19 events will begin at 7 a.m. with the UpHill 5k, which is aimed at increasing the health and wellness of African-Americans in Pittsburgh and is part of a deeply rooted legacy to bring awareness to health disparities that exist within the Hill District and beyond. Also on tap for Aug. 19 is a Community Day celebration from noon to 5 p.m., taking place along Centre Avenue in collaboration with the Thelma Lovette’s YMCA Spin-A-Thon, the Hill District Education Read more
DERRY, Aug. 8 – The list is out, and for the first time, Derry Area School District is one of the fortunate academic institutions in Pennsylvania awarded this year’s 21 st Century Community Learning Center Grant totaling $300,000. “This is great news,” said state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D- Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. “With this money, the district can boost its educational resources and help students succeed in the classroom.” The 21 st CCLC grant provides federal funding to establish community learning centers that provide: Academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low performing Title I schools; Help for students to meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading, math and science; Students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and Literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children. Each grant award is for three consecutive years, contingent on continued availability of funding from the federal government and satisfactory performance. Read more
Rep. Pam Snyder reports that the East End United Community Center in Uniontown has been awarded a $307,252 grant for its 21st Century After School Program offered at the center and in the Central Greene School District. Read more
SCRANTON, Aug. 8 – A staffer from state Rep. Marty Flynn's office will provide outreach assistance next week in South Abington Township. The visit will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Aug. 16 at the South Abington Township Building, 2nd floor meeting room, 104 Shady Lane Road, Chinchilla. The monthly outreach visits alternate on the third Wednesday of every month between South Abington Township and Clarks Green. Flynn's staff can help with Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program applications, PennDOT paperwork, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, PACE/PACENET prescription-drug coverage, unclaimed property searches and any other state-related matter. His main office – in Jay's Commons, 409 N. Main Ave. – is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 570-342-4348. Next month’s visit will take place Sept. 20 at the Clarks Green Borough Building, 104 N. Abington Road. Read more
SCRANTON, Aug. 7 – Older residents with questions about Medicare or health insurance coverage should visit state Rep. Marty Flynn’s office during his monthly outreach next week. Flynn said an APPRISE counselor will be available from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Aug. 14 at his office – 409 N. Main Ave. in Jay's Commons – to help answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap plans, Medicare drug plans, PACE/PACENET prescription-drug coverage and various low-income assistance programs, such as the Medicare Savings Program and Extra Help. Appointments are suggested by calling Flynn's office at 570-342-4348. The local APPRISE program is sponsored by the Voluntary Action Center and is funded by the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., announced he will introduce legislation that would require the leaders of Pennsylvania’s executive and legislative branches to hold daily public hearings on the state budget whenever there is a budget impasse. The bill would require executive and legislative leaders to hold public hearings if comprehensive spending and revenue bills for the upcoming fiscal year have not been introduced by June 19. These leaders include the governor, state treasurer, secretary of revenue, auditor general, Independent Fiscal Office director, and majority and minority leadership for both the House and Senate. These individuals would be required to participate in hearings until such legislation is introduced. “It’s been six weeks after the House overwhelmingly passed a spending plan, and we still don’t know how we are going to pay for it,” Rabb said. “On Friday, our state treasurer had to extend to the Commonwealth a $750 million line of credit to prevent us from running out of money. We are only in the second month of the fiscal year and our schools and county agencies are already at risk of experiencing funding shortfalls. This is not responsible budgeting and it certainly is not how to run a government.” Rabb said he wants Pennsylvanians to see democracy in action and require all relevant parties work together to meet the needs of the Commonwealth. Hearings would be required to last at Read more
EBENSBURG, Aug. 7 – Ever-mindful of stretching state dollars for maximum impact, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, is replacing a retired employee with an experienced grant writer who will offer those services free to 72 nd Legislative District municipalities. Burns, who has made a habit of reminding municipalities to apply for state grants while offering general assistance through his legislative offices, said the addition of Brittany Blackham starting Aug. 30 takes those offerings to a new level. “As I scoured resumes looking for the best fit, what jumped out at me was Brittany’s experience and savvy in securing and managing grants from national corporations and local foundations,” Burns said. “As a grant writer for a nonprofit, she’s skilled in all phases of the process and can readily share that expertise with our municipalities that have questions or need hands-on help.” Burns said Blackham, who had an 80-percent success rate as a nonprofit grant writer and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh, is replacing legislative assistant John Lushko, a district office employee who recently retired. She will also perform many of Lushko’s constituent service-related duties. Blackham has additional experience as a writing and reading comprehension tutor for disadvantaged children, a creative writing instructor for middle school students, and in customer service at the university level, Burns said. Read more
State Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, D-Lackawanna, is inviting senior citizens to his annual free Senior Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11 at St. Mary’s Center, 320 Mifflin Ave., Scranton. Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, is co-hosting a “Pathways to Pardons” event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16 at the State College Municipal Building, 243 S. Allen St. Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who chairs the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, has partnered with Conklin to present the event, where they and others will explain the process for obtaining a pardon or expungement of a past criminal conviction in Pennsylvania. Conklin understands the need to remove such impediments for those who may have made a mistake, paid for it and now wish to obtain gainful employment. The program is free, open to the public and will include a question-and-answer session. Stack created the “Pathways to Pardons” program to bring together experts in corrections, drug and alcohol treatment, probation and parole, and public interest law to give step-by-step help to people who want to remove barriers to employment by clearing a minor criminal conviction from their records. For more information, please contact Conklin’s office at (814) 238-5477. Media coverage is invited. Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila., will host Dennis M. Davin, secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, to discuss the history, development, and needs of Historic Germantown‘s 16 historic sites at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9 in northwest Philadelphia. Kinsey and Davin will tour four of the 16 historic houses, destinations, and museums in his district and other parts of northwest Philadelphia. They will first meet at Kinsey’s district office at 5952-54 Germantown Ave. Following the tour, Kinsey and Davin will meet with the directors of each historic site for a discussion on the significance of keeping the sites alive and preserving the nation’s history. The tour agenda is: 1 p.m. – Arrival at Kinsey’s office 1:15 p.m. – Travel to Historic Germantown for tour overview Trapeta B. Mayson , executive director, Historic Germantown 1:30 p.m. – Tour of historic sites Grumblethorpe Stenton Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion Johnson House 3 p.m. – Meeting at Historic Germantown, 5501 Germantown Ave., with historic site directors Media coverage is invited . ### Read more
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 4 – State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio said the House of Representatives should convene soon to work on completing a state budget for 2017-18. “The state budget is indeed one of the most, if not the most, important responsibilities of the Pennsylvania General Assembly,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “The state budget for the new fiscal year that began on July 1 is still not complete,” DeLissio said. “The legislature approved a spending plan on June 30, and Gov. Tom Wolf permitted that bill to become law without his signature on July 10. “Since that time, the House has convened one time on Saturday, July 22, and on that day we were in session for less than 10 minutes. The Sunday session was canceled,” DeLissio said. The Senate was in the week of July 24 and passed five code bills ( H.B.118 , administrative; H.B.178 , school; H.B. 542 , tax; H.B. 453 , fiscal; and H.B. 59 , human services). The votes for these bills can be found at www.legis.state.pa.us . “These bills are now in the House, and the bills are being reviewed and analyzed by House members,” DeLissio said. DeLissio said she reminds constituents that the devil is in the details and said it appears that the bills would have both positive and negative impact on citizens. For example, a Marcellus Shale tax is included but so are environmental regulatory changes that benefit the natural gas industry. Gambling expansion has been Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 4 – State Rep. Peter Schweyer has been appointed to the Labor and Economic Development Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. “I look forward to working with lawmakers from across the country on the biggest concern for families – good jobs that pay good wages. Being part of a national working group focusing on labor and economic development means I have a real chance to improve working conditions and job opportunities for all,” said Schweyer, D-Lehigh. Schweyer is one of two House Democrats appointed by House Speaker Mike Turzai to serve on the committee, along with Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky of Montgomery County. “It’s a privilege to represent Pennsylvania on this national committee and I thank Speaker Turzai for giving me this opportunity,” Schweyer said. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 3 – State Rep. Kevin Haggerty, D-Lackawanna, is pleased with news that a New Jersey-based coffee manufacturer and distributor will call Dunmore home, bringing 130 jobs to Lackawanna County. Read more
PHILADELPHIA , Aug. 4 – State Rep. Emilio Vazquez, D-Phila., is inviting the community out to Ryan Howard Field at Hunting Park, 10th Street and Cayuga Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 to enjoy America’s favorite past-time in an effort to promote good sportsmanship. “Baseball is a great opportunity to endorse sportsmanship, which can get lost in the fame and glory,” Vazquez said. “In reality, it’s an important ingredient in building character, especially at a young age.” Vazquez is teaming up with the Sports Association of Chronicles of Santiago, which is based in the Dominican Republic. The group has changed lives both locally and internationally through the game of baseball since 1937. “Saturday will also be a time to recognize their continuous effort to make a difference in the community I serve,” Vazquez said. Participants will get to enjoy outdoor activities, including the chance to watch an exhibition baseball game at 11 a.m. If it is canceled because of inclement weather, it will not be rescheduled. Read more
Rep. Paul Costa reports that the Pittsburgh region is losing three films and hundreds of local jobs because of the state budget impasse directed by House Republican leadership. “Over $100 million in local investments are gone with the wind with the inaction by House Republican leadership," Costa said. Read more
State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, today invited constituents to a discussion on the rising cost of health care and what direction the American health care system should take at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8 at Rodano’s Pizza, 53 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701. Read more
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