Legislation to Support Medical Schools
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S.
Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
introduced two bills aimed at helping medical schools
improve education and research.
“Countless reports in
recent years have found that our country needs to educate
and train more physicians in order to meet growing need for
medical services,” said Senator Casey. “In order to prevent
predicted physician shortages, Congress must take action to
help bolster medical school construction to spur job
creation and increase the number of physicians.”
Senators Casey and Schumer
introduced the Medical Education Development Act,
which would create grants to fund scholarships, develop
academic research programs and residencies, recruit and
retain faculty and build infrastructure.
The Senators also
introduced the Medical School Construction Grant Act,
which would create grants for medical schools to construct
new facilities or renovate and improve existing facilities.
Newly accredited schools would be given first priority.
Causer’s Office To Close
For Senior Expo
BRADFORD – Rep. Martin Causer’s (R-Turtlepoint) Bradford office
will be closed on Friday, Aug. 5, for his annual senior expo.
The expo is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh at
Bradford Sports and Fitness Building gymnasium. Causer said his staff will have
a table set up at the expo to answer questions about the many state assistance
programs available to older Pennsylvanians. Dozens of other businesses and
organizations will also offer valuable information at the expo, and a free lunch
will be served.
Causer’s Bradford office will be closed all day on Aug. 5, but the Coudersport
office will be open regular hours. That office can be reached at 814-274-9769.
The Bradford office will reopen on Monday, Aug. 8.
Information about the senior expo is available at
Being Offered By Cable Provider
With the beginning of school
about a month away, a cable company is stepping up to help those in need.
Comcast announced in the last week that they will be providing internet service
to those families whose children receive free lunches through the National
School Lunch Program. As long as those students who qualify remain in school,
the service will continue to be available.
Eligible students will
* Service for a year for $9.95 a month (not
including several charges)
* The chance to buy a $149.99 computer, plus
* Access to training – online, in print or in
Additional information can be obtained by calling (855) 8 INTERNET
(855-846-8376). Or you can log on to
An application will then be mailed to be filled out and returned. You should
hear from Comcast within 7-10 days.
Former PLCB Chairman
Announces Support of PLCB Privatization
PHILADELPHIA – Former Pennsylvania Liquor
Control (PLCB) chairman Jonathan Newman today announced his support of
privatizing the PLCB at a press conference with House Majority Leader Mike
Turzai (R-Allegheny). Turzai has sponsored legislation, House Bill 11, to
privatize the wholesale and retail operations of the PLCB.
“Jonathan Newman knows the PLCB inside and out,” Turzai said. “The fact that he
favors privatization speaks volumes. Government has no business selling alcohol.
We have crafted a bill that moves Pennsylvania out of the Prohibition era while
at the same time strengthening enforcement of liquor laws. This is a proposal
whose time has come.”
“The current system is antiquated – all anyone has to do is drive across the
border to any of our neighboring states to see how out of touch the PLCB system
is,” Newman said. “I am intimately familiar with the history and operations of
the PLCB, as well as with modern retailing practices. There is no doubt in my
mind that due to the inherent problems with the system, there is a desperate
need to privatize. Privatization will lead to greater convenience and better
prices. It is time to stop burdening Pennsylvanians with this backwater system
that dates back to Prohibition.”
The current monopoly system was created in 1933 by then-Gov. Gifford Pinchot,
who said the PLCB’s mission was to make liquor sales “as inconvenient and
expensive as possible.” Currently only two states, Pennsylvania and Utah, have
complete control over wholesale and retail operations. Under Turzai’s
privatization proposal, the PLCB’s role will focus solely on regulation and
education, removing the conflict of interest that currently exists by having the
same entity promote and regulate alcohol sales.
“House Bill 11 is a commonsense proposal,” said Rep. Tom Killion
(R-Chester/Delaware), a co-sponsor of the legislation. “This legislation
responsibly moves Pennsylvania out of the alcohol business, while at the same
time maintaining state revenues and ensuring greater enforcement of the
Commonwealth’s liquor laws. Privatization would enable to the PLCB to focus its
priorities solely on regulation and education.”
“The PLCB is an archaic dinosaur that is sorely out of step with the times,”
said Rep. Curt Schroder (R-Chester), also a co-sponsor of House Bill 11. “The
opposition’s arguments against privatizing are nothing but an attempt to protect
the status quo and continue on with business as usual in Harrisburg. The people
of Pennsylvania have spoken. Numerous opinion polls have shown a majority of
Pennsylvanians are in favor of privatizing the PLCB. It’s time to move
Pennsylvania into the modern age.”
Specifically, House Bill 11 proposal would:
Eliminate the 18 percent Johnstown Flood
tax and the 30 percent markup by the PLCB.
Implement a fairer gallonage tax.
Enhance enforcement of liquor laws by
providing concurrent jurisdiction for state and local police; requiring
retail managers and employees to attend Responsible Alcohol Management
Program (RAMP) training; mandating the use of ID scanners with age
verification software; requiring retail operations to be maintained in a
separate area dedicated to the sale of liquor and all retail store employees
to be at least 21 years old; and subjecting retail licensees to “age
compliance checks” to ensure against selling to minors. Licensees who fail
to adhere to these standards will face heavy penalties and possible
suspension or revocation of their licenses.
Offer current PLCB employees the following
opportunities: hiring preference in other state jobs; tax credits for
employers to hire them full-time; and education grants to help retrain
employees to perform other jobs.
The proposed bill can be viewed at
www.repturzai.com/LCBPrivatization.aspx, just click on the “House Bill 11”
Casey Pushes for
Transparency in Post Office Closure Process
WASHINGTON, DC –
U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today sent a letter to Patrick
Donahoe, Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS),
pushing for more transparency in the process of considering
post offices in Pennsylvania for closure. Earlier this week,
the USPS announced it was considering closing 203 post
offices in Pennsylvania.
“Unfortunately, many of my
constituents feel as if the USPS has repeatedly dismissed
public opinion associated with these closures,” wrote
Senator Casey. “While I understand that the USPS needs to
restructure, when citizens of Pennsylvania ask reasonable
questions regarding this process, it is imperative that the
USPS respond to these inquiries in a thorough manner.”
Senator Casey requested
that the USPS submit a plan to ensure that public input is
given the weight it deserves as facilities are considered
Senator Casey also
expressed his commitment to working with the USPS to
overcome the agency’s fiscal challenges while preserving the
jobs and services on which Pennsylvanians depend.
Port Allegany Boy Dies During Party
A Port Allegany 4-year-old passed away
following an incident at a Wellsboro party he was attending last Saturday.
Bryce A. DeBockler, 4, of Port Allegany
was attending a party at the Charleston Road home of Jeff and Dawn Beckman
of Wellsboro when a partygoer found the youngster unresponsive in the
A son of Tara and Nate DeBockler, the
young boy was swimming in the 4-foot deep above ground pool before the
incident occurred. CPR attempts by a guest at the party were later taken
over by the ambulance crew, but were unsuccessful in reviving the
youngster. Shortly after 5:30pm, he was pronounced dead at Soldiers and
Sailors Hospital in Wellsboro.
A complete obituary for Bryce is posted on
Potter County Down In Dumps?
By Martha Knight
That was among the findings of a study done by Keep Pennsylvania
Beautiful (formerly Pennsylvania
CleanWays). The group has been performing such studies of all
Pennsylvania’s counties, a few at a time and issuing studies. Potter is among
the counties studies most recently. A similar study was done in McKean County
several years ago.
According to the report, 82 percent of the dumps are considered
“active.” Nearly all are in rural areas—but then, Potter County is nearly all
There is no curbside recycling in Potter County. Only 13 of the
county’s municipalities have access to a recycling drop-off program.
The study notes that 18 of the illegal dumps are within 50 feet of
a stream or body of water. In fact, at 12 sites there were waste materials in
The survey teams noticed that most of the sites contained
recyclables, and 84 percent contained household trash. There were bagged trash
and tires in 77 percent—clearly visible tires numbered 500 when surveying was
going on; the team believes many more could have been under other discards.
The recyclable materials the survey team noticed include steel and
bi-metallic items, aluminum cans, glass, plastic containers, newspapers,
magazines and cardboard, and other items not listed.
None of these findings surprised Potter County Solid Waste manager
Mike Salvadge. He saw the data some time before the report was released to the
public last week.
Salvadge has known all along that illegal dumping occurs in the
county, and is not surprised at all. For many of the county’s approximately
17,500 residents, there is no convenient way to recycle, and even garbage
collection is not easy to arrange.
The county sprawls over 1,081 square miles, most of it too far and
too sparsely settled to appeal to a commercial garbage collection firm.
Municipalities have not developed direct garbage collection systems.
As Salvadge points out, Act 101 (a state measure) requires every
county to provide a disposal point for its citizens. In Potter County, that
would be the transfer point at Gold. All municipal and construction waste is
Casella Waste Services hauls the material from the transfer station
to a landfill at Angelica.
Recyclables can be brought to recycling stations, where they will
be collected by Casella and taken to its sorting operation in Geneva, N.Y.
Salvadge explains that Potter County municipalities do not have
garbage collection contractors and curbside recycling in place because the
communities are not attractive to the companies that provide such services
elsewhere. Distance is the enemy.
It would not be profitable for companies to ply the county’s roads
with garbage trucks, even if those did not weigh too much for the rural roads
and bridges. In some areas the distances between customers would mean that labor
and fuel costs would be far more than could be recovered by the providers
through fees, short of charging more than the residents would be willing to pay.
The county and its Solid Waste Authority have had their
difficulties for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and
operate the transfer station under its scrutiny. The county has had to deal with
the closing and cleaning up, to DEP satisfaction, the old-line dump or landfill
operation used years ago. This is a task many municipalities and counties have
Salvage points out that municipalities are responsible for
enforcing the laws against dumping. From time to time there have been grant
programs that would fund eligible projects—he was not sure whether the current
state budget includes such funding.
There have been local organizations that were active in cleaning up
illegal dumps or held periodic clean-up days to help residents and businesses
dispose of accumulated refuse and discards lawfully. The groups active in those
efforts asked the county and the Solid Waste Authority to waive tipping fees for
the special cleanup events, and usually the requests were accommodated. Salvadge
mentioned former John Turok as an elected official who was a leader in those
It isn’t as if Potter County is about to be buried under gross
accumulations of trash and construction waste, Salvadge points out: county-wide,
only about 7,000 tons of solid waste is generated in a year.
“We have an ordinance in the county—the Waste Flow Control
ordinance,” Salvadge says. All of the kinds of waste it covers must be disposed
of through the systems operated by the SWA. Although some residents might wish
to use some other method, “the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld
As for the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful study and resulting report,
Salvadge sees it as confirmation of what local officials and many others know.
Illegal dumps exist. They are undesirable, but difficult to prevent. Cleanup
National Forest Visitors Bureau releases new Dining Guide and Map
BRADFORD, Pa. – A brand new brochure – Dining
Guide & Map of the Allegheny National Forest Region – is now available through
the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau.
The brochure includes information on 25 area
restaurants and farmers markets along with the times the business is open, if
there is a full bar or if reservations are required. There is also a map of the
region that identifies the location of those in the brochure as well as other
attractions in the area.
The Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau is
the official destination marketing organization for McKean County. The
free maps are available by calling 800-473-9370 or e-mailing
info@visitANF.com. In addition, a variety
of tourism information for individuals or businesses may be picked up at the ANF
Visitors Bureau Welcome Center located at 80 E. Corydon Street, Bradford, which
is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Boro Almost In DEP Good Graces
By Martha Knight
“It never rains but it pours” seemed to be the way the spring
and summer have been going, concerning borough operations, according to a
report by borough manager Dick Kallenborn.
“Either there’s no rain or we get these big storms,” he said.
A July 25 downpour dropped 1.5 inches in half an hour, causing catch basins
Worse, just as Port Allegany was coming up on one year
without any sewage treatment plant bypass incidents, a pump shutdown
occurred on July 22, causing a minor bypass to occur. The bypass-free year
must start anew, counting from July 23.
That was the frustrating news Port Allegany borough manager
Richard Kallenborn gave the Port Allegany Borough Council at its monthly
meeting Monday night.
No matter how brief the bypass incident was, or that it was a
mishap caused by equipment failure that could not have been foreseen, the
result is that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
will hold the borough to the provision in its consent agreement, and will
continue to restrict additional sewer hookups.
Also part of the agreement is continuing upgrades to the
collector system, thus eliminating most infiltration and leakage. In
addition, any channeling of eaves gutters and other non-sewage flows into
the sanitary sewer system must be eliminated by property owners.
Extreme temperature could have been a factor in the
electrical overload that caused a pump to shut down, allowing sewage to
bypass the treatment plant and be discharged into the Allegheny River,
Heat caused other concerns about borough operations, during
the recent heat wave Kallenborn said that on days when the heat index was
over 100, he “had to pull the men off the job by noon.” They were assigned
to indoor tasks in the afternoon. While on outdoor jobs he saw that they had
food and ample hydration to offset the effects of extreme heat.
One of the ongoing projects has been laying over 1,000 feet
of new water line along Smith Avenue, and placing two new fire hydrants. The
new line will be tested by September 15.
Other work has involved sluice and berm repairs along Church
Street, Smith Avenue and West Mill Street. Blacktop patching is continuing.
Council member Dave Fair mentioned places where pavement needs repair, at
the Mill Street and Chestnut Street intersections with Main Street, and
Kallenborn added them to the list.
It was reported that two sewer customers who had not
accomplished their re-connections to sewer laterals, following sewer line
replacements in their neighborhoods in recent years, had hired contractors
and would soon be in compliance.
Police Chief Dave Distrola praised the borough crew for its
prompt assistance in clearing a street of obstacles, after a truck hauling
rocks had lost part of its load. “They were helpful,” Distrola said.
Plans for next year’s sewer line replacement project call for
work to be concentrated in the East Mill and Hillside Avenue area,
A fire department report included an informal and preliminary
opinion that the net proceeds from Firemen’s Old Home Week, the week before
last, will prove to be down somewhat from past years’ take. Star Hose
Company members had put in some 800 fund raising hours in July, much of the
time in connection with the annual event. The hot weather had caused some
drop in attendance of the carnival and parades.
Mayor Don Carley noted that requests to television cable
franchisee Zito Media for a Pittsburgh channel have resulted in the addition
of WTAU as Channel 67.
Borough secretary Sue Roboski reported that the 2011 real
estate tax levy is at 80.20 percent collection, normal for this time of
year. She foresees collection of better than $60,000 0f the amount
Negotiations with non-uniformed borough employees will be
held at 6 p.m. August 8 and 10. Council chairperson Judy Taylor announced
that she and Fair have received a notice that the police officers also want
to open labor negotiations.
Kallenborn mentioned that the hot weather has taken a toll on
some of the floral plantings in the community, including those in public
areas, around the gazebo and in the downtown area. He praised the efforts of
organizations that have helped weed and water the flowers, and asked that
businesses where there are hanging planters on street light poles water the
planters nearest them, as some have been doing.
Island VBS - The ever-popular Port Allegany Alliance Church Vacation Bible School, Monkey Island, was held last week at the church. In
this photo, Debbie Beckley tells a story to the Pre-K class. A week
full of laughter, learning and fun was on the agenda. For more photos
from this event, turn to this week's picture page.
Pam Fischer Photo
The Port Allegany Youth Counselors have
announced their annual Splash Party dates as follows: Elementary
Splash (for students who have completed grades K-6) is scheduled for
Wednesday, August 10 from 6 to 8 p.m.; the High School Splash (for students
who have completed grades 7 through 12) is Thursday, August 11 from 8 - 10
p.m. Pizza will be provided at no charge. The party will also feature a
DJ. Any questions can be directed to Tracy Kio at 642-7923 or Barb Delacour
Health Center Update
luncheon and informational session on the Port Allegany Community Health Center
renovation and expansion project was held July 27 at the
Port Allegany United Methodist Church. The project is expected to be
completed in nine months. In addition to the Port Allegany Community Board
Advisory Committee members, former Port Allegany Hospital employees were also
invited so they could give their input on how to best capture the history of the
hospital, for display within the building, as a lasting tribute to the work and
of many community members. Rev. Randy Headley gave the welcome and
invocation followed by a project overview by Ed Pitchford. Patrice Levavasseur
(pictured) spoke on the Community Campaign. Also pictured are some of the
former employees of the Port Allegany Hospital (left to right) Dianne Russell,
Okla Sweet, Janet Howard, Mary Jane Rickard, April Lang, Mary Ostrander, Beverly
Comes, Dawn Johnson and Pat Wilson. Photos and other Port Allegany
Community Hospital memorabilia are being sought as are the names and addresses
of former PACH employees. Contact Pam Fischer at 814-642-7514 or at
email@example.com, if you have
something to share. Pam Fischer
Reading Program At S. W. Smith - The 2011 Summer Reading
Program at S. W. Smith continued with PAHS French teacher, Sara Bishel
and her daughter, Katie, talking with the Kids Club members about
France. Theme for this year's program is One World, Many Stories.
Leading the program is children's librarian Karen Strait.
Pam Fischer Photo
Hollow - Members of the group, Jakob's Hollow are pictured as they
entertained concert-goers Thursday night on the square. The free concerts,
sponsored by the Port Allegany Women's Club, feature great music, great food and
great fun in the outdoors. Even the rain didn't dampen spirits of those in
attendance. The concert series continues Thursday nights at 6:00 p.m.
during the month of August. Pam Fischer
Hour - Drive by the S. W. Smith Memorial Public Library on Wednesday mornings and you're likely to see kids...lots of kids. Each week, the library hosts Story Hour for
pre-school kids and Kids Club for those in grades Kindergarten and up. In the
above photos, Matt Lawton reads a story to the older set of pre-schoolers while
Pat Errick hands a piece for the flannel board to Nick Wilfong. Organizing
these summer events is Children's Librarian, Karen Strait.
Pam Fischer Photo
Class of 1971 - A 40-year reunion was held for the Port Allegany High
School Class of 1971. The weekend festivities began with a Friday-night
gathering at the home of Barry and Donna Sauers. Saturday, the class
toured PAES and PAHS with superintendent of schools and Class of 71 grad, Tony
Flint guiding the group. The classmates then met at the Veterans Memorial Home
for a dinner/dance. Those pictured are (front row, left to right) Jeff
Ford, Rhoda Treat Weimer, Bonnie Culver, Jane Foster Smith, Linda Lute Ford,
Rhonda Jackson Elliott, Larry Hults, Wayne Shelley; (back) Ron Johnson, Gary
Caulkins, Floyd Chilson, Mark Bowen, Cliff Frederick, Ron Deitz, Jim Lane, Rick
Simar, Phil Tobias, Jim Radlinski, Ed Nolder, Tony Flint, Bruce Mowery, Susan
Bova Flint, Dave Bockoras, Sue Skelton Villa and Diana Culver Batchelor.
Attending the reunion, but not pictured are Donna Taylor Sauers, Barry Sauers
and Kris Miller Nulph. Pam
VBS Ends Tonight - The annual Community-wide VBS, sponsored by the
Port Allegany Ministerium, will end their five-day program tonight at 8 p.m.
Parents are invited to gather in the sanctuary of St. Gabriels Catholic Church
at 7:45 p.m. to enjoy the music provided by the Worship Band and VBS students.
In the above photo, Leigha Nelson pours water into a cup on the head of her team
member Madeline Smith as Madelynn Triplett looks on. More photos of this event
will appear on this week's picture page.
Pam Fischer Photo