Casey Bill Would Target Sexual Harassment at Organizations Receiving Federal Funds

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today joined Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) Administrative Receiver Michael P. Kelly to discuss his legislation to require full disclosure of instances of sexual harassment within organizations receiving federal funds. The legislation would require that organizations receiving federal funds terminate individuals found to have engaged in sexual misconduct and require organizations to disclose any settlement payments, fees or fines arising from incidents of sexual harassment.

“Over the past year, the work that PHA has done for Philadelphia and the 80,000 residents PHA serves has been overshadowed by revelations of misconduct,” said Senator Casey.  “What has happened is unacceptable.  We must learn from the past and make changes to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.  That is why I have introduced legislation to stop sexual harassment from being swept under the rug.  When an agency like PHA is working hard to serve its community, it should not have its name tarnished by personal scandals.”

In 2010, it was revealed that the Philadelphia Housing Authority had settled sexual harassment claims filed by four women since 2004.   According to a Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General audit report, the Authority failed to obtain required approval from the Department for most of its legal settlements.  Furthermore, the settlements were never disclosed.

In order to prevent a similar situation where agencies or organizations that receive federal funds cover up sexual harassment by their employees, allowing the conduct to recur and public funds to be jeopardized, Senator Casey has introduced the Public Agency Accountability for Sexual Harassment Act.  This good government legislation would:

1.  Prohibit individuals who are agents of organizations that receive federal funds from engaging in sexual harassment;              

2.  Require that organizations receiving federal funds terminate individuals found to have engaged in sexual harassment;

3.  Require organizations to disclose any settlement payments or other related fees or  fines arising from that conduct to the federal agency from which they receive funds and to the Members of Congress representing the state in which the organization operates.

The Act empowers each Federal department and agency to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of the statute and includes significant due process protections for individuals and agencies.  Before it terminates or refuses to grant or continue assistance because of failure to comply with the requirements of the Act, the Federal department or agency must file a full written report with the committees of jurisdiction in the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The report must detail the circumstances and the grounds for termination.

The bill language cites to the definition of “sexual harassment” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and provides that nothing in its provisions shall affect any right, obligation, or liability under Title VII.   It excludes education and training programs that are covered by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.


Casey Announces Rail Improvement Funds to Create Jobs, Improve Support for Shale

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today applauded the $6.8 million in funding announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation for regional rail improvements related to natural gas development. The funding for the Lycoming County government and the SEDA-Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority would allow upgrades to expand the capacity, efficiency and safety of Pennsylvania’s short line rail network in Lycoming, Centre, Blair and Northumberland counties.

“These infrastructure improvements will pay dividends through job creation and increased economic development,” said Senator Casey. “The construction of new tracks and rehabilitation of old ones will position the railroads to accommodate increases in rail freight traffic associated with natural gas exploration and production in the Marcellus Shale formation.”

The project – which includes 200 miles of track improvements and bridge rehabilitation – is expected to create more than 300 construction jobs in Pennsylvania and will build infrastructure to support Marcellus Shale natural gas deposits.  The grant, a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER II (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program, will be matched by $4.6 million from the Susquehanna Economic Development Association – Council of Governments Joint Rail Authority.

Senator Casey supported this project during the application process last year and fought efforts to eliminate funding for the project.  He sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood along with other members of the Pennsylvania delegation expressing support for this initiative.  Last month, Senator Casey wrote to the Senate Appropriations Committee expressing his opposition to efforts in the House to rescind a previously appropriated $10 million TIGER II competitive award. 

Senator Casey noted the importance of improving rail projects in the region to accommodate increased traffic associated with natural gas exploration and production in the Marcellus Shale formation.


Home Building Mandate Repeal First Bill of Session to Governor

HARRISBURG – The first bill to be passed by both chambers of the General Assembly during the current session, and the first bill sent to Gov. Tom Corbett, will relieve residents of a costly new construction mandate, Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) said today.

The measure, which passed the House by a vote of 129-68, repeals a requirement that automatic sprinkler systems must be installed in new home construction.

“These additional costs discouraged many families from building and stalled the homebuilding industry right when our housing market was trying to recover from the recession,” Turzai said. “The sprinkler mandate is another example of government over-stepping its bounds and taking away personal choices of homeowners to keep things affordable.”

House Bill 377 removes the residential sprinkler requirement for new one- and two-family residential homes. Further, the bill requires the state’s Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council to hold public hearings to determine the impact new provisions may have, including financial impact, and vote, with a two-thirds majority, before implementing the requirements in Pennsylvania.



PC Invests In Major Upgrade

By Martha Knight

Pittsburgh Corning Corporation is giving its remaining Port Allegany manufacturing facility an extensive upgrade, following a number of demolition projects over the past several years.

According to information released by the company, the recent demolition of Plant 5 marked the beginning of Phase 2 of “a site consolidation that will increase process efficiencies and reduce operating costs at the facility without eliminating jobs.”

The PCC facility at 701 North Main Street is the company’s glass block production and assembly site, occupying a location which is also the birthplace of Pittsburgh Corning.  Plant 1 was the first manufacturing and administration building of the company, and dates back to 1937.

Plant 5 needed costly repairs, and its location required inefficient and time-consuming movement of materials across the manufacturing site, according to Don Tanner, vice president of global human resources.

Plant 5 is gone, but a large parking area is still being torn up and removed, to make way for a green space, complete with various plantings.  In recent years Plant 2 (formerly used for foam glass production), the former Products Building and a Pearl Street storage building have been removed, and shipping and warehousing have been relocated.  Far less inventory is maintained under current rapid response and just-in-time manufacturing approaches.

PCC is consolidating Port Allegany manufacturing operations into one location, Plant 1A, where an extensive upgrade is being accomplished, to prepare the facility for glass pressing and fabricating operations.

The improvements involve steam cleaning, painting, applying epoxy coating to the floor, modernizing heating systems and installing manufacturing equipment which had been located in other buildings.

Already in place in Plant 1A is the more modern of the two glass melters.

Once completed, the renovation will combine the most modern production equipment into a cohesive operation and centralize the manufacturing process.

That process “will flow in one straight line from glass melting to fabricating of glass block panels,” according to Tanner.

The company is striving for maximum efficiencies “prompted in part by the decline in the construction market, the primary market for architectural glass block,” the company spokesperson said.

Tanner went on to explain that the global recession, high unemployment and the collapse of the residential mortgage market have adversely affected the glass block industry.

“In 2010, North American glass block production fell approximately 72 percent below production rates in 2005, reflecting declines in the housing market,” Tanner pointed out.

“The recession and global competition have increased the pressure on a hotly-competitive industry, and we designed the process consolidation to help maintain competitiveness during a very tough economy,” Tanner added.

A new entrance to the property will be created.  It will still be in North Main Street, which is also U.S. Route 6 and Pennsylvania Route 155, but will be relocated away from the traffic light that marks the intersection where Route 6 bears west.

The new entrance is intended to increase traffic safety for employees, visitors and North Main Street motorists.

There will be new signage as well.  The new green space will cover the 150,000 square-foot former footprint of Plant 5.  It utilizes design principles set forth in the Pennsylvania Wilds Conservation Landscape Initiative.

The company is investing about $2 million in the site consolidation, which it expects to complete this year.  Phase 1, accomplished in 2008-09, also cost $2 million, and included construction of a company parking lot, along with break areas and restrooms.

PCC is seeking efficiency enhancements and cuts in operating costs, “while increasing our environmental and aesthetic profile in the community,” Tanner stated. “Equally important, despite our decline in production volume, we are supporting our employees, keeping high-paying manufacturing jobs in McKean County.”

Pittsburgh Corning awaits federal bankruptcy court action on its latest reorganization plan.  It has been in Chapter 11 since 2000.


Coudersport Rotary and Hospital Team Up To Offer Testing

The Coudersport Rotary Club and Charles Cole Memorial Hospital will hold a comprehensive blood analysis from 6 to 9 a.m., May 21 at the St. Eulalia Parish Center.

The screening will include over 30 commonly requested blood tests including CBC, comprehensive, coronary risk, and liver function profiles. The cost for the screening is $45. A 12-hour fast is recommended. Optional tests include prostate specific antigen (PSA), $25, and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), $15.

Appointments are required and can be made at or by calling CCMH’s centralized scheduling at (814) 274-8200 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Thursday.


Spring Sale To Benefit CCMH Residents - Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation will hold a spring sale from 9:00am - 3:30pm, April 19 in the Irwin Medical Arts Center. All proceeds benefit the residents. The sale will feature Avon, Ginny Reflexologies and Hyde-A-Way Gardens with assorted flowers including azaleas, daffodils, mums, Easter lilies, tulips, perennial creeping phlox, pansies, baskets, bowls, and hanging baskets.


Pool Tournament Benefits PCCC - Bill Sallade presents a check to Marcia Austin, Theresa Robinson and Kari Karpinski at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Patterson Cancer Care Center.  The funds will benefit patients at the PCCC and were raised during the fourth annual Kathy Sallade Memorial 9-ball Pool Tournament in February.  Mrs. Sallade loved pool and always thought of others before herself, even while undergoing cancer treatment.  The annual tournament will continue to benefit PCCC patients.  To donate toward the fund, contact CCMH’s fund development at 274-5204.  Photo Submitted


Live Performance, Or--? – The Potter-McKean Players' upcoming dinner theater event will include the one-act mystery-farce "Who Murdered Who?"  Shown rehearsing are, from left, Peter Wright, Anna Margaret Binder, Alison Wright, Brian Empson and Sarah Wright. An evening of good food and great entertainment is promised, Saturday, May 14 at the Coudersport Consistory, and Saturday, May 21 at the Veterans Memorial Hall just south of Port Allegany. There will be musical numbers as well. Net proceeds will benefit Meals on Wheels.  Martha Knight Photo


Easter Sunday At First Baptist Church The First Baptist Church of Port Allegany is having a Sunrise Service at 7:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 24, with a breakfast to follow.  In celebration of the resurrection of Jesus, the First Baptist Church Choir will present a spiritual drama and song during the morning worship service which begins promptly at 10:45 a.m.  The church is located at the corner of Main Street and Grace Avenue.  All are welcome!  Pictured are Adah Meacham as Mary and Dylan Sutton as Jesus.  Pam Fischer Photo


Happy Easter! - A representative from Emporium’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church visited Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation residents to deliver Easter cards this week.  Program organizer Sissy Miller delivers the “sunshine cards” throughout the year and also visits residents at the Guy and Mary Felt Manor and Grove House.  Pictured, from left, are Eva Connors and Sissy Miller.  Photo Submitted


Help From Lions Club - Members of the Lions Club spent Sunday afternoon making repairs on the S. W. Smith Memorial Library handicap access ramp.  The ramp was severely damaged by a large sheet of ice falling from the library roof this past winter.  The Port Allegany Lions Club stepped in to repair the ramp at no cost to the library.  Pictured (from left to right) are Joe "Dan" Dzubek, Ed Schott, George Riley (right rear) and Terry Daniels (right front).  As part of Earth Day activities, the Lions Club did their semi-annual cleanup of their portion of Route 6 from Port Allegany to headed toward Smethport on Monday, April 18.  Earth Day is Friday, April 22.  Photo Submitted




Port Family Center, Others Face $$ Loss

By Martha Knight

Staff in the five Family Centers in McKean County (Port Allegany, Smethport, Eldred, Kane and Bradford) have begin to share some worrisome news with the parents who have come to rely on the centers and their services.

Tee Sizemore, of the Guidance Center, which is McKean County’s contractor for coordinating and administering the Family Center program, says, “We are quite concerned.  And of course the parents we serve are too, as we have just started informing them.

“Our fiscal year is July 1 to June 30, so the proposed cuts would affect us beginning July 1, 2011. The Family Centers have been here for 15 years and some of the other Family Centers in the state have been around even longer. Ours started in 1996, so we hate to lose ground with our efforts to help the youngest.”

As grim as Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed budget looks for public schools, colleges and libraries, spending for those services has been cut, but not eliminated. However, Corbett’s fiscal plan calls for the elimination of state funds for Community Based Family Centers

“These cuts would be a severe blow to our network of five Family Centers in McKean County. The Family Centers are a critical resource in our efforts to support struggling families,” according to the Guidance Center.

Not only is the state finding for Family Centers eliminated, but the federal funding for family center programming has been shifted to the Department of Public Welfare’s line item for county child welfare.

Will the state Welfare Department designate those funds for Family Center use? “Officials in this Department have not been able to provide us any assurances,” Family Center administrators say.

Another source of Family Centers funding in McKean County has been Human Services Development Funds (HSDF). But there’s more bad news: the HSDF state line item has been eliminated too!

The state budget ax would chop 63 percent from the McKean County Family Centers’ support.

In human terms, that represents a loss of services to 422 children and 433 parents.

Present indications are that the total loss of funding for the Family Centers would be $395,072. That includes $159,696 in state funding formerly designated for Family Centers, $180,711 in federal monies formerly used for Family Centers, another $30,600 for the Fatherhood program, and $24,065 for Human Service Development funds that were available to Family Centers in the past.

Last year the Family Centers were able to serve 687 parents and 670 children, in programs designed to help parents raise their children in safe and healthy family environments.

The Family Centers utilize the services of family development specialists who provide parenting education, school readiness help, economic self-sufficiency resources and child abuse prevention services. One useful program has been Parents as Teachers. Home visits by staff extend the reach of the on-site programs.

In McKean County 52 percent of Family Center referrals come from Children and Youth Services (CYS). “The Family Centers are the front line services called upon to help families with young children reorganize and focus on the needs of their children,” a program spokesperson explains.

Long-term effects of Family Centers’ diminished ability to respond to needs can be severe, program leaders believe. Prevention services, which are aimed at helping parents enhance their understanding of child development and effective parenting, are seen as cost effective in that they help head off or shorten placements of children out of their homes.

Placement costs can reach $60,000 a year for children removed from their homes. Keeping children safe at home is the goal for their well-being and also for saving the costs associated with interventions done for child protection.

While services to parents are a big part of what Family Centers do, educating young children is another part of the centers’ program. But here again parents are involved in many of the educational or developmental activities carried out at the centers.

Regular developmental screenings are carried out through the centers, to help identify children and families where special needs are present. When needs are found, family development specialists refer families to health and educational resource providers.

School readiness has been a goal and a result of the Family Centers, and the Parents as Teachers program has been found to pay dividends as PAT families’ children enter kindergarten.

As the potential impact of the proposed state budget’s drastic defunding of Family Centers is studied, the program’s administration and staff are bracing for a crisis.

“It isn’t just about money. The real cost is—children could fall through the cracks,” a worried program planner says.


Mary McEnteer Named April Unsung Hero

The Port Allegany United Methodist Church Sunday School named the April 2011 Unsung Hero during the morning worship service.  Making the presentation was Cheryl Brown who read the following, "Our April Unsung Hero has been nominated for a lifetime of volunteer work and the special things she does for others.

She was instrumental in getting the ambulance service started in Port Allegany and helping with the local hospital's transition after we lost it; she has served on the board of the Charles Cole Memorial Hospital; she served as a nurse at the Port Allegany Community Hospital and created the nurse's aide program there.  She was also a nurse at Sena-Kean Manor.

Our recipient helps the Catholic Women's Club make ornaments for their bazaar every year and also donates quilts to organizations to help them earn money for various groups and benefits.

She has been married to her husband, Bill, for 56 years, has three children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.  Our April Unsung Hero is Mary McEnteer, my mother and my best friend."

To nominate the Unsung Hero in your life, e-mail Pam Fischer at pamdfischer@gmail.comPam Fischer Photo


Photography Sale To Benefit Cancer Center - From left, Marcia Austin, Tammy Huey, and Theresa Robinson display photography by Elaine Appleby Russell that is for sale at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Patterson Cancer Care Center.  All proceeds will be donated to the PCCC.  As a cancer survivor, as well as having several friends and family have cancer, this is an issue close to her heart.  Russell grew up in Coudersport, retired from nursing in 2003, and has been focusing on her art career since then. She graduated from the New York Institute of Photography in 1990 and has been selling her work since 1986.  Her work has been featured in several galleries, magazines, and publications throughout the US.  Most recently, she was published in the book “365,” was featured in a show at the Charming Wall Gallery in New York City, and had a photograph featured in the Fall 2010 issue of Artful Blogging magazine.  You can read more about her at Photo Submitted


2007 PAHS Grad Makes Dean's List - Christopher Sabolcik has been on Dean's list every semester of his college career.  He graduated from Port Allegany in 2007.  He started at Wake Forest University in North Carolina in the Fall 2007 and is graduating this May 2011.  He will be graduating Magna Cum-Laude and also was just inducted to Phi Beta Kapa Academic Honor Society.  He was also awarded a Master Teacher Fellowship which includes a full scholarship.  Sabolcik is majoring in English, with a minor in Philosophy.


Headley Honored - Barbara Headley, was one of more than 40 students at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford who were recognized at the university's annual Honors Convocation for their academic achievements and contributions to campus life.  Mrs. Headley, a senior, received an Outstanding Achievement Award, given by each academic division to the senior with the best academic performance, for Human Relations. She also received the Human Relations Award.  Pam Fischer Photo


Bayline Speaks At Rotary - Ki Bayline was the program chair of the day at the weekly Rotary luncheon held Thursday at the Moose Family Center.  He gave a vocational talk about Bayline Insurance Company.  There were 24 Rotarians present for a reportable attendance of 70 percent.  Winner of the 50/50 raffle was Mick Caulkins.  Rotarians John Mallery and Lloyd Eastman stopped to chat with the speaker following his presentation.  Pam Fischer Photo


Gator Baseball Action - Camrin Stuckey is pictured during the Coudersport Falcon - Port Allegany Gator game held April 12 in Port Allegany.  The Gators were defeated 10-4.  Stuckey had three walks and two strikeouts.  Also pitching were Kyle Hildebradt (3 innings, 5 walks, 3 strike-outs and Garrett Drabers (one walk).  Pam Fischer Photo



Gator Track - Max Morris quadrupled (100, 200, 400, 1600 relay) to help the Gators defeat the Northern Potter Panthers in track action at PAHS.  Nick Conway also quadrupled (high jump, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and pole vault).  In addition, Conway, a sophomore, set a school record with his 6'3" high jump.  Gators defeated the Panthers 83-67.  Pam Fischer Photo



Lady Gator Track Action - Senior Bryanna Evens is pictured during the home opener track meet for the PAHS Lady Gators.  The Lady Gators hosted the Northern Potter Lady Panthers.  The Panthers defeated the Gators 88 - 62.  Pam Fischer Photo




Lady Gators Softball Action - Debbie Andrus is pictured during the Lady Gator's season opener with Coudersport on April 12.  The Lady Gators lost 8-2.  The team defeated Bradford High School with a score of 5-0.  Andrus earned the complete game shutout, allowing four hits, five walks, and two hit batsmen while striking out three.  Leading the offensive attack was Kris-Ann Raymo with two doubles and Kyley Mickle added two hits and a run scored.  Pam Fischer Photo


Un-defeated! - Were you a member of the Undefeated 1986 PAHS Football Squad?  If so, the Alumni Association is looking for YOU!  This year's Alumni game, scheduled for July 9th is honoring the undefeated team of '86.  Those who were part of the undefeated team in 1986 are asked to contact the PAAFA at with your contact information.

It's the hope of the alumni association to honor that undefeated squad during the 2nd Annual Alumni Football Game, to be held in Port Allegany when the Gators take on the Coudersport Falcons at the swamp.

About The Season Of '86:  The 1986 Gators finished 10-0, and won the Allegheny Mountain League Title defeating Johnsonburg 23-14. They totaled 298 points on the year, for an average of 29.8 per game.  This ranked them 8th in the state.  Their defense gave up a total of 28 points, averaging 2.8 per game.  This ranked them 3rd in the state.  Their point differential of 27 points per contest, ranked them 2nd in the state.