Casey: Time to Reach a Debt Agreement

WASHINGTON, DC U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today released the following statement:

“With a week until the United States government defaults for the first time in history it is way past time that an agreement is reached to cut spending and avoid catastrophic consequences for the economy and job creation.

“At this point, a plan is needed that can beat the deadline and that will make significant spending cuts to put the country on a path to fiscal responsibility and avoid a credit rating downgrade that will further hurt the economy and increase costs to taxpayers.

“The proposal by Senator Reid takes steps toward compromise and is the most viable plan to make a down payment on debt reduction and avoid default before the August 2 deadline. It includes significant spending cuts of $2.7 trillion, including $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts.

“This has been a frustrating process marked by partisan politics and posturing. It is time for Washington to put politics aside and reach an agreement.”




Casey Leads Bipartisan Effort to Create Jobs and Promote Investment in the Life Sciences Industry

PHILADELPHIA, PA U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to announce the introduction of the Life Sciences Jobs and Investment Act of 2011, legislation to promote job creation and investment in the life science industry.

“The life sciences industry is an essential source of economic growth and high paying jobs in the Philadelphia region and across Pennsylvania,” said Senator Casey. “This legislation will help U.S. businesses create jobs and maintain a competitive edge in a challenging global economy.”

Senator Casey was joined in announcing the legislation at University City Science Center by U.S. Representatives Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Pat Meehan (R-PA), who are introducing companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The legislation doubles the existing research and development (R&D) tax credit to incentivize life sciences R&D from 20% to 40% of the first $150 million businesses and innovators spend on such research.

The legislation also provides U.S. businesses a tax incentive to hire additional researchers, make new investments in life sciences research at U.S. universities and institutions, and invest in new laboratories and related life sciences research facilities.

The life sciences industry is influential in laboratories at companies and universities in Pennsylvania and across the country, including biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, medical and diagnostic laboratories and manufacturers of surgical appliances and medicines.

In May, Senator Casey was awarded Legislator of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) for his commitment to the life sciences industry. Senator Casey has been a strong supporter of funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), fighting to prevent cuts to the agency to prevent the country from falling behind on research that stimulates the economy and promotes advances in treatments and cures for diseases. Senator Casey has also introduced the Creating Hope Act of 2011, a bipartisan bill that will encourage the development of new medical breakthroughs for rare and neglected pediatric diseases, and he is a leader in a bipartisan effort to deal with the problem of prescription drug shortages.




Casey Supported Bill to Help Military Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, DC U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) this week praised the passage of a bill he supported to fund military facilities in Pennsylvania. Facilities in New Cumberland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia will together receive more than $67 million for much needed improvements.

“Military facilities keep local economies strong,” said Senator Casey. “Supporting these facilities helps the military remain prepared to meet the needs of the nation.”

The bill provides over $13 million for a new Navy Reserve Center in Pittsburgh, $8 million for improvements to the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA’s) Defense Personnel Support Center in Philadelphia and $56 million for construction and improvements to DLA’s distribution center in New Cumberland.

Senator Casey will work to ensure these projects remain in the final version of the bill that is sent to the President.



Santorum Announces Iowa Steering Committee

Verona, PA - Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) announced today the formation of the Rick Santorum for President Iowa Steering Committee.

Twenty-Five conservative community leaders from across Iowa have now joined the fight with Rick Santorum to return America to its founding principles. Each of these local leaders will work in their communities to share Senator Santorum's campaign message of fighting for American jobs, American values, and American security.

The Rick Santorum for President Iowa Steering Committee (in alphabetical order):

Bill Brown (Polk County)
Ed Bull (Marion County)
Rochelle Burnett (Polk County)
Karen Fesler (Johnson County)
Joan Flanders (Muscatine County)
Rob Gettemy (Linn County)
Cody Hoefert (Lyon County)
Carolyn Haugland (Cerro Gordo County)
Kevin Hollinger (Kossuth County)
Scott Hurd (Story County)
Susan Hurd (Story County)
Jenn Jones (Jones County)
Chad Kluver (Scott County)
Jill Kluver (Scott County)
Mark Larette (Muscatine County)
Terry Moran (Woodbury County)
John Lillis (Woodbury County)
LeaAnn Saul (Black Hawk County)
Gale Severson (Clayton County)
Luana Stoltenberg (Scott County)
Emily Waund (O'Brien County)
Rosemary Wilson (Story County)

These twenty-two community leaders are in addition to the already announced endorsements of RNC National Committeewoman and former President of Iowa Right to Life Kim Lehman (Polk County), former congressional candidate Ben Lange (Buchanan County), and Iowa State Representative Walt Rogers (Black Hawk County).

"I am honored to have the support of this esteemed group of Iowa community leaders," said Senator Santorum. "I am confident that with their support, our grassroots efforts to share our campaign's message of fighting for America again will resonate all across Iowa. I thank each and every one of them for their support and trust, and I look forward to working with this great team as February draws near."


Top Priority - The old County Home, Poor Farm barn, is seen from the 911 Center parking lot, on Tuesday afternoon. The bright sunshine shows that the roof is old and damaged. Rainy days find water coming through. The county commissioners will advertise for bids for re-roofing the historic but still quite serviceable structure, now seeing more use because of the new community service Good Growing Gardens program.  Martha Knight Photo


Through The Cracks - The McKean County Commissioners are continuing their renovations at the Court House by seeking bids on renewal of the "patio" at the rear, second level approach to the building. Time and weather have taken a toll on the concrete.  Martha Knight Photo

Looking for Something to do?  Check Community Events!!



Airport Multi-tenant To Open In Spring

By Martha Knight


LEWIS RUN—The multi-tenant center (MTC) at Bradford Regional Airport will cost $2,359,141 by the time it is ready for its first tenant to move in, about eight months from now, based on contracts the airport authority authorized last Thursday.


That total is based on the sum of four contracts, which include a number of alternates bid as deducts, and includes enough interior finishing or “build-out” for the first unit, a 6,000 square-foot one, to be occupied. That could happen by March of 2012.


In fact, according to airport manager Tom Frungillo, the lease details with the first tenant are being finalized now.


The construction contracts approved by the authority went to low bidders in all cases, all of whom were said to be qualified according to “due diligence” by engineers from Lee-Simpson Associates, DuBois, the authority’s engineering firm. and by North Central Regional Planning and Development, by the Bradford Office of Economic and Community Development, and some of the municipalities represented on the authority. Also, all the contractors must furnish performance and other bonds.


Allison & Associates Construction Services, Inc., DuBois, was successful bidder for general construction, with a quotation of $1,692,941.19. There were nine bids in all.


The largest single component of Allison’s part of the project will be a pre-engineered metal building, with interior space totaling 30,000 square feet. That cost is listed as $819,195.


Also included in the Allison contract are site preparation, excavation, drainage, seeding and mulching, paving, curbing, concrete and masonry, sanitation and other items.


General construction will cost some $300,000 less than the engineers’ estimate.


The general heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contract went to Mazza Mechanical Services, Inc. of Olean, N.Y., at their quote of $145,000. Theirs was lowest among four companies’ bids, and slightly less than the engineers’ estimate of $150,000.


Scobell Company, Inc. of Erie won the plumbing contract with a bid of $226,200, less than two other offers. This low bid exceeded the engineers’ estimate of $185,000.


The electrical contract went to Dave Kronenwetter, Kersey, who had bid $295,000, well within the estimate of $416,603. There were six bidders for the electrical work.


When completed, the MTC will be comprised of four units, two of them with 6,000 square feet of floor area, one with 4,000, and one with 14,000.


A per-square-foot number of $5 is being used to derive rough projections of the potential income the facility will generate. Fully tenanted, the facility could produce around $150,000 in gross rental income annually, according to Frungillo.


The creation of the MTC is a major part of the authority’s long-range plan for use and expansion of the facility. Businesses in the MTC will help drive airport use.


Airport manager Tom Frungillo points out that business development at the airport site is not seen a competing with Bradford or other area communities for commercial development, because its attractions are closely linked to its proximity to the airport.


The airport authority also approved a contract with Solveson Contracting, Inc., Emporium, for obstruction removal on Runway 23. Solveson’s $132,275 bid was lowest of four received. Engineers had estimated the work could cost $168,000.


The authority’s vote to enter into a contract with Solveson was made contingent on the passage of a federal reauthorization bill keeping the federal funding in place. The federal airport safety program would reimburse 95 percent of the cost, with the state contributing 2.5 percent and the airport providing the last 2.5 percent.


The MTC bids were opened June 17, and the runway work bid was opened July 11.


At last week’s regular meeting Frungillo reported on various operations and on the financial status of the airport, said to be holding its own and within budget targets.


Frungillo also gave his assessment of the latest talk of cuts in the federal Essential Air Service program, which subsidizes commercial air service in rural airports deemed necessary because the closest alternative airports for the service area are too distant.


U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., has introduced an extension to the authorizing program which would strike 10 rural airports from the list.


At issue is the distance to the alternative airport. As Frungillo noted, “They are picking Bradford” as the point from which the measurement, in land miles, is taken. This results in a 90-mile distance, making Buffalo a reasonable alternative. But from airport to airport is 93 miles. A different beginning point within the service area could result in a different finding as to essential status.


As chairman Joe DeMott pointed out, Bradford Regional Airport serves multiple counties, and a sprawling geographical territory. It is not reasonable to assume Bradford, or even McKean County, is the beginning point of a putative drive to the nearest airport, DeMott said.


Frungillo agreed that picking DuBois or Emporium or even Lewis Run, the airport’s official address, would result in another finding. Ridgway is 124 miles from an alternative airport, Warren is 96. The 90-mile conclusion is arbitrary and meaningless, authority members agreed.


Frungillo noted that the subsidy money comes from user fees, not taxpayer dollars. He was somewhat reassured to see that a draconian version of the extension authorization did not get through the Rules Committee.


“I have been in constant contact with the committee,” Frungillo said. Also, he had been assured by Senator Jay Rockefeller, on a key aviation committee, of continued support for maintaining commercial air service for rural populations such as his West Virginia constituency.


Authority members approved an easement for Penelec, and okayed an EDA special condition for a subdivision.


Following the special session and the regular one, both open, the authority reconvened in a closed executive session.


Authority members went into executive (closed) session after their regular meeting, to discuss with Lee-Simpson representatives the scope of and fees for upcoming engineering work.


The August meeting of the airport authority will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, August 11 instead of the regular second Wednesday date of August 10.




Commissioners Approve Payments, Providers

By Martha Knight

SMETHPORT—The McKean County Commissioners breezed through a short agenda Tuesday morning, with not much business having accumulated since their meeting last week. That session had been delayed one week because the commissioners had been away.


The three did approve letters of agreement, letters of understanding, resource family appointments, purchase of service agreements and mental health-mental retardation (MH/MR) agreement extensions as requested by the Department of Human Services (including Children and Youth Services).


Showing up in four places on the list was Bradford area based Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems.


Commissioners approved payment of $4,800 to Northwest Engineering, Inc., in the latest of payments for services rendered in connection with the Galico Bridge project.


Also authorized was payment of $27,932 to the Area Transportation Authority for the medical assistance transportation program, representing the county’s obligation for the third quarter of fiscal 2010-11.


Commissioner chairman Joe DeMott and fellow board of county commissioners members Al Pingie and Judy Church said they had decided not to advertise and sell the older model tractor the county owns and had considered surplus equipment. Since last week’s meeting they have realized that the “older model” tractor is still useful for programs and projects the county carries out or cooperates with, such as the Good Growing Gardens community service project at the old Poor Farm, and work at the county fairgrounds.


Still on track is the restoration of the “patio” at the rear approach to the Court House. Specifications for that and the reroofing of the Poor Farm barn have been readied so the commissioners can seek bids.


Commissioners said the new venetian blinds purchased for the Court House will be installed in coming days, with the vendor’s installation advisor to be on hand while director of maintenance Ken Bush’s crew install the new blinds.


At the beginning of the session, commissioner Church stated that the commissioners offer their condolences to the family of Kenneth R. Van Giesen, 30, the former resident of Kane who died last Monday of injuries sustained in the course of his military service in Afghanistan. Van Giesen was in his fourth active duty tour with the National Guard.


A letter will be sent to the bereaved family conveying the commissioners’ sympathies.




Growing Well - Good Growing Gardens, at McKean County's old Poor Farm site, shows the effects of lots of work by people doing community service. In one raised bed constructed by and for the program, onions flourish. The sweet corn looks as if it has been slowed down by the drought, but maybe it will catch up after some rain.  Martha Knight Photo




Canoe Place Historical Society Topic:  Collectable Memorabilia

The Canoe Place Historical Society of Port Allegany will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 3, in the social room of the Free Methodist Church, off Smith Avenue.

There will be a discussion of historical memorabilia, with Pete Nunn showing some items from his extensive collection. Others are invited to show historical keepsakes as well.




Burial Of Bunt Flags - Moose Lodge 460 would like to donate grounds for a Burnt Flag Memorial.  This Burnt Flag Memorial could be used by Boy Scouts, American Legion, VFW and any other organization that has a ceremony for Burning and Burial of US Flags.  Moose Park will be the location of the Burnt Flag Memorial; it will be fenced in with a lighted US Flag flying and a Stone Marker identifying the burial site location.  Moose Lodge 460 will be responsible for the site upkeep.  Donations will be accepted to help defer the cost to set the site up.  To make a donation, send a check to Port Allegany Moose Family Center #460, 35 Pearl Street, Port Allegany, PA 16743 or to Robert Windsor, Sr., P. O. Box 35, Eldred, PA 16731  Please put on memo of check:  Flag Memorial.   In addition to any donations received, fund raisers will be held to defray the cost.  A Flag Memorial Dedication will be held on July 30th at 2 p.m. at the Port Allegany Moose Park located on Route 155 South, Port Allegany.  Please RSVP to Robert D. Windsor, Sr., Past Governor at 814-225-3208.




90th Birthday Celebration - Sena Kean Manor resident, Bernard Corsaw, will celebrate his 90th birthday with an open house on the back porch of Sena Kean, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on August 7th.  Everyone is welcome to stop by and share his cake and visit with him.  For those unable to attend but who would like to send well wishes, his address is Bernard Corsaw, Sena Kean Manor, Room 32, 17083 Rt. 6, Smethport, PA 16749.  His actual birthday is August 2.