Casey Targets Unfair Trade Hurting Local Manufacturer

CHARLEROI, PAU.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today toured

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American toy, game and puzzle manufacturer Channel Craft to highlight the need to take tough action on China’s violation of intellectual property rights to protect Pennsylvania jobs.

“Unfair Chinese trade practices harm Pennsylvania businesses like Channel Craft and reduce their ability to create jobs,” said Senator Casey. “Tough action is needed on the part of Congress and the Administration to make sure China plays fair and halts the sale of counterfeit, low-quality merchandise that hurts Pennsylvania companies and workers.” 

Channel Craft’s products, which are sold at historic sites across the U.S. including the Statue of Liberty and the National Archives, have been reproduced in China at a cheaper price, placing an adverse affect on Channel Craft’s revenue and negatively impacting jobs.

China’s inadequate intellectual property protections are well documented, Senator Casey wrote in a letter to President Obama earlier this year urging him to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices. Last year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative placed China on its Priority Watch List, citing China’s poor level of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement.

It is estimated that 2.4 million jobs have been lost in the U.S. since China joined the WTO in 2001; 95,700 of which were in Pennsylvania. 

Senator Casey has been a vocal opponent of Chinese currency manipulation and other practices that put Pennsylvania workers and manufacturers at a disadvantage.  He has repeatedly called on the Obama Administration to more aggressively confront China and he is pushing legislation that would make it harder for the Administration to avoid taking action against China.

Senator Casey is a supporter of the Trade Enforcement Priorities Act of 2011, legislation that would give the federal government more authority to address trade barriers that undermine American workers and domestic manufacturing by reinstating “Super 301” authority.

Senator Casey is a also cosponsor of the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act, legislation that would provide less flexibility to the Treasury Department when it comes to citing countries for currency manipulation. It would also impose stiff new penalties on designated countries, including duties on the countries' exports and a ban on any companies from those countries receiving U.S. government contracts.

A manufacturing strategy that helps Pennsylvania businesses create jobs is essential to moving the economic recovery forward, Senator Casey said.

In addition to cracking down on China, Senator Casey outlined key components of a manufacturing strategy, including:

  • Make permanent the research and development tax credit to give companies the certainty they need to make long-term research investments in the United States.

  • Extend Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to help those workers who have lost their jobs to overseas competition to build new skills and find new employment.

  • Invest in science, technology, engineering and math education.

As Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, Senator Casey has held a roundtable in Southwestern Pennsylvania to gain input from Pennsylvania manufacturers. He has also begun a series of hearings on U.S. manufacturing policy.


Casey Column: Time for Action on Jobs

Friday, we learned that the economy added 117,000 jobs in July.  Better than many forecasters predicted, but not enough to bring down the national unemployment rate below 9 percent.  Unfortunately, the modest job growth is consistent with the GDP data released at the end of July, which showed the economy grew at an annual rate of less than one percent during the first half of 2011.

The recovery has slowed and we need to ensure it regains momentum. It’s critical that we focus on jump-starting job creation and reducing the unemployment rate.  Nearly 14 million Americans, including 479,000 in Pennsylvania, remain out of work and more than six million of these workers have been jobless for six months or more.

As Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, I held a hearing on Friday to better understand our country’s employment challenges.  We heard from Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Keith Hall, who oversees the federal government’s jobs data. 

Although Congress is not in session, I thought it was important to go ahead with this hearing because job creation is such a critical issue for Pennsylvanians.   I’m optimistic that Friday’s hearing helped shine a spotlight on the need for additional action to bolster our economy.

It’s imperative that we move quickly to enact common-sense measures to create jobs. I have four proposals that can help move us forward.  While none of them is a panacea, each of them would strengthen our economy and boost job creation.  

1) Provide new incentives for small firms to hire.  My Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit Act creates a one-year quarterly tax credit equal to 20 percent of the total increase in employee wages.  Firms can benefit from the credit by increasing their hiring, increasing the hours of employees, or increasing employee wages. 

2) Encourage small and medium-sized businesses to invest in life sciences R&D through the bipartisan Life Sciences Jobs and Investment Act – which I introduced last month – that doubles the R&D tax credit on the first $150 million of R&D in life sciences.

3) Make the R&D Tax Credit permanent to give companies the certainty they need to make long-term research investments in the United States.

4) Strengthen U.S. manufacturing by creating a national manufacturing strategy that supports manufacturing companies and workers in our country and cracks down on China’s currency manipulation and other unfair trade practices.

The labor market is recovering.  After all, we’ve recorded 17 consecutive months of private-sector job gains.  But, the recovery isn’t happening as fast as we would like and it has yet to touch millions of Americans.

People in our state and across the country are hurting – struggling to get back to work, put food on the table, pay the mortgage or just make ends meet.  I hear the stress in the voices of people I talk with and see it in the letters I receive from folks across the Commonwealth.  We need to help people get back on their feet.  And to do that, we need to get back to work on creating private sector jobs and strengthening the economy.


Can You Hear Me Now?:  The Age Of Wireless

Members of the CWA and IBEW headed for the picket lines Sunday, as thousands of Verizon workers set out to preserve benefits and pensions.

The age of going wireless is affecting the American workforce as over 40,000 Verizon employees walked the lines, beginning as early as 6:00am Sunday.  On the line are issues relating to pensions, healthcare and rules.

CEO Lowell McAdams, at the top since the beginning of August, is now the head boss of thousands of employees, retirees and management, trained to replace those walking picket line.  Employees stretching from the nations capitol to Vermont.

The nations largest wireless provider offers landline service in 13 states, with all but Texas and California being on the east coast.  Nearly 200,000 are employed by Verizon, with 135,000 being non-union workers.

On the corporate side, the company is asking for contract changes as more people go wireless, affecting Verizon's business.  Declining over the past decade, the wired business lost customers to wireless to the tune of 1 million over a 6 month period in 2010.  Other reasons for the decline in landline customers is that Verizon has sold off some clients to other providers.


Port A Fire Department Seeks Fire Protection Tax

By Martha Knight

LIBERTY VILLA—D. Mark Errick took his quest for area-wide tax support for the local fire department to the governing body of the Liberty Township part of that area, in a presentation at the Liberty Township Supervisors meeting Tuesday night.

The pitch by the president of the Port Allegany Fire Department to one of the three municipalities in its service area coincides with the organization’s poster and flier campaign to tell the public about the changing financial picture affecting the company.

The private organization, also known as Star Hose Company No. 1 (dating back to its early history), is the sole fire protection provider to Port Allegany Borough and Annin and Liberty Township.  It is seeking to have all three municipalities provide financial support for this protection area on the basis of a one-mill fire protection tax. Errick said the Fire Department estimates that this would result in an annual cost of about $24 per residence.

For years the townships have had a support agreement with the borough instead of a direct or independent agreement with the fire department. The borough has a .4 mill tax dedicated to fire protection.

Errick makes the case for the real estate tax on the basis of additional revenue needed to keep up with the department’s increased costs, and less time needed for fund raising activities, including the annual Old Home Week event with its carnival and parades.

A drop in volunteer numbers in recent years means their times should be devoted to training, practices and actual fire and other emergency calls. The department has EMTs and equipment to backstop first responder Port Allegany Ambulance Service.

Supervisor chairman Gary Turner said he would like to see the public included in discussions and enabled to ask questions and state their views. Errick concurred, stating that the company wants to hold a large public meeting for people from the whole district.

Errick also said that the company is open to the concept of having a fire protection authority or similar body with representatives from the three municipalities, governing the organization. Also, he is of the opinion that the department’s books should be open to the public, inasmuch as it receives public funding.

As for a timetable for a shift from partially voluntary support to tax support, Errick said the company had hoped that 2012 would see at least a “step” in that direction. As it is, each year can produce a shortfall of about $90,000 between revenues and needed income.

The traditional fund raising mainstay, bingo, has ceased to work at the local level, Errick pointed out, because of the casinos, especially the ones in Salamanca.

A policy to codify the relationship between the township and its employees was discussed at some length. Openly in favor of having a policy in place were Turner and Chuck Safford. Not in favor of adopting the one under consideration was Fred Ernst III, who is not only a supervisor but also a member of the highway crew. He predicted that current laborers would share his reservations.

Turner and Safford urged Ernst to discuss his objections with them, and include the other laborers in the discussions, with an eye to arriving at a policy that would meet the township’s needs. Then the policy would be reviewed by their solicitor, Ray Bulson, and would be advertised and the public would have a chance to weigh in.

A new ordinance pertaining to tank-based on-site sanitation, proposed by PGE Corp., was met with unanimous disfavor by the supervisors. They stated that it seemed excessive and that it could be applied too broadly.

The supervisors decided that they would apply for county distributed aid or reimbursement for highway projects, including a number of sluices that had been installed.

The supervisors voted to buy a quantity of sand and salt mixture, with a seven to one ration, at $25.75 a ton delivered, from the sole bidder, Buffalo Crushed Stone, Inc. The regular sand will be rebid.

At the beginning of the meeting, after the flag salute, chairman Turner called for a moment of silence in memory of longtime reporter on Liberty Township matters for the local press. Petrisek died this past Friday.


School Board Agrees To Refinance Bonds

By Martha Knight

The Port Allegany Board of School Directors ended its summer hiatus Monday night by working through a lengthy agenda, affirming some actions taken by the administration since the June meeting, and agreeing that one of the district’s two bond issues should be refunded in December from proceeds of a new bond issue.

Refinancing the 2007 bond issue would save the school district around $72,000, according to Public Financial Management, Inc. senior managing consultant Gregg McLanahan. It would save the state even more, because it participates in the bond payments according to the reimbursement rate established for the major upgrade of the elementary school. Another bond issue was refinanced in a similar move about a year ago.

McLanahan described the method that will be used to sell the bonds, auctioning them on the Internet. He said this method has stimulated more competition among purchasers, resulting in better interest rates, and savings to clients such as school districts.

The principal would be $4,555, but payments would total around $5,800 over the 15-year term of the bond issue.

Board member and IU9 board member and president Dave Mensch briefed fellow school directors on IU9’s decision relocate some of its offices and its Early Intervention program to space being renovated for them in the former North Penn Building, on West Mill Street in Port Allegany.

Mensch said the arrangement is “win-win-win,” easing the crowding in the IU9 administration building in Smethport, providing good space for the offices and class, and bringing 35 jobs to Port Allegany.

In personnel matters, Betty Niles was transferred to the head cook position in the high school cafeteria, at a wage of $15.42. Patricia Babcock’s resignation as cheerleader advisor was accepted, effective immediately.

Theresa Daniels was hired for the supplemental position of junior high volleyball coach. Lora Rankin was approved as cheerleader advisor for the fall season at a pro-rated salary of $1,013.22, subject to adjustment when a new contract with the teachers’ union is ratified.

John Kriner Jr. was approved as a summer school science teacher, retroactive to July 5. Board member Gary Hardes expressed some surprise that summer school was held, because there had been talk that it would be dropped.

Junior-senior high school principal Marc Budd said there had not been enough elementary students to offer summer school at that level, but there are around 20 students who have been in summer school. Instruction has been offered in four subject areas.

Volunteer coaches and advisors were approved, as follows: Jason Luther, football; Tracy Smith and Scott Bowser, volleyball; Lora Rankin, winter season cheerleader advisor and Olivia Riley, another cheerleader advisor; and Christopher Ernst, golf.

Willie Bova and Josh Saltsman were approved as football coaches; Ron Daniels and Kaci Daniels will be volunteer volleyball coaches, and Ryan Sabolcik will be boys’ soccer coach, also on a volunteer basis.

Several textbooks were adopted by the board on the recommendation of Budd. He said the teaching groups in the relevant subject areas had selected them after examining various possible choices.  The textbook purchases are in keeping with the ongoing program of keeping textbooks current.

The board voted to continue affiliation agreements with Edinboro University and with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, whereby some student teachers are placed in the district.

The board observed a moment of silence at the beginning of the meeting, in respect for George Petrisek, a retired English teacher for the district who died this past Friday at his Ulysses area home.

Student Assistance Program service provision letters of agreement with Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services and with The Guidance Center were approved for the 2011-12 school term.

Bus routes and a list of bus drivers were approved, as recommended by the district’s transportation contractor, Culver Bus Garage.

In an information item, it was announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Education has set the permanent reimbursement rate at 68.52 percent, for the elementary school upgrade project.

Tony Edgell of Turtlepoint and Port Allegany resident Joyce Stehle spoke in the public comments portion at the end of the meeting, expressing concerns about students who will be taking advanced placement courses which are scheduled for the eighth period.

Stehle said she has two sons who are student athletes whose practices will cause them to miss some eighth period classes. Edgell has a daughter with the same conflict.

Budd said most of the students who are taking the classes in question find eighth period the best one for them. For those who will have to miss some class time, there will be podcasts of the class.

Edgell said that will help, but the students will not have an opportunity for interaction.

Budd said scheduling is “one hundred percent student driven.”

Board member Rikaya Tanaka asked why the student speakers at local graduation exercises do not include someone identified as valedictorian. He said gaining the rank of valedictorian is an important achievement, and one that impresses colleges.

It was pointed out by business manager Judy Bodamer, Budd and others that class rank is the important consideration. The traditional valedictorian title denotes having the highest average or the Number One rank.

Board member Denise Buchanan recalled a situation from her high school days in which the highest average had been held by a commercial student, but it was felt that grades represented more effort and achievement when based on sciences, languages and the more rigorous academic courses.

The board observed a moment of silence in remembrance of George Petrisek, a retired English teacher and journalist who had died this past Friday.


Former Teacher, Curmudgeon & Newspaper Reporter Dies

Brandon Abbott, PAO

A volunteer, teacher, college graduate and father of 3 passed away last Friday.  George Petrisek had 33 years under his belt, walking the halls of PAHS as an English teacher.  Liked by those who had him in class or knew him throughout town, Petrisek was often seen at various meetings or walking around Port, taking a picture here, saying a hello there.

He was many days, walking the halls of the high school throughout my high school days, retiring the same year I graduated.  Following retirement, I often saw him around town outfitted in the usual tan sport coat and jeans.  While I didn't have him as a teacher, cafeteria monitor study hall monitor., etc., I still saw many of the qualities many have remembered since his passing.

It's with deep sympathy and a final "Shantih" to the ol' curmudgeon we re-publish his final "By George" column from May 29, 2009.

{Sitting here in the detritus (I’ve looked for an excuse to use that word for years) of what has been for more than five years my office and Port Allegany home, I am still frantic to come up with that final column—a last memorable 20 or so inches that will say “Farewell” and maybe “It’s been nice to see you” or some such thing, in a way that none of my readers will ever forget.

Wanda says that it should be easy—start with “Good-bye” and end with “Good-bye”—with nothing in between.

She’s right in a way, because that hits directly at the problem that makes this column necessary.

The fact is that I do not want to write any more, or more that I do not want to have to write any more is at the bottom of it.

In the past year or so, deadlines have become burdens—the mere thought that I have to write something has made it almost impossible to write anything.

Even writing reports on the various meetings that I attend has become more than I can stand, and attending the meetings is no longer bearable, let alone fun.

I just don’t want to do it—35 years is enough.

Besides that, since Wanda and I met and were wed, my home is in the suburbs of Gold, far from the center of the things I must write about.

That means, among other things, that I must spend half of my time in this office/bedroom in Heartbreak Hotel, away from my real home in Potter County.

Wanda and I planted a super-size field of corn over the weekend, and I want to be home to protect it from the bears.

Then too, there is the difficulty of living in two places at once—of trying to remember to take with me all that I need when I go from here to there, or there to here.

This morning is a good example—I drove from Cutler Summit to Coudersport and stopped at Sheetz for gas, only to find that I had the wrong wallet and my credit card was 15 miles behind me.

I drove back to get it—there’s no use going into details, but I ended up going back home to get other things from various points down the road three times.

It’s been that way for the past five years—even though I have two sets of almost everything, what I need is all too often at the other place—I’m always wondering where I left my underwear.

The same is true of the materials I need for my writing.

So Saturday the junk furnishings of my home away from home (or is this really my home) will be for sale on the porch at Benton Place, and though I truly love the town, I will leave Port Allegany for my new home in Potter County.

If you are out for the yard sales, stop up and help me get rid of the junk.

And if you don’t have time, the message is the same: Goodbye, Port Allegany—I hope you will miss me half as much as I will miss you.


Performers To Entertain Twice In September

The Potter-McKean Players are presenting a Broadway musical show this year to benefit the Port Allegany and Coudersport swimming pools.  The show, entitled “Broadway on the Allegheny”, is a revue featuring twenty-four songs from major Broadway productions.  The revue will be performed in Coudersport on September 16 and in Port Allegany on September 23 at 7:30pm and has a cast of more than 22 talented local singers and dancers accompanied by eight musicians.

Ticket prices are $10 and may be purchased by sending a check payable to ‘Potter-McKean Players’,   Dotty Anderson, 82 Volney Street, Port Allegany, PA 16743.

Please identify the location and date you are requesting.  Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door the evening of the performance.


1911: The Austin Flood, by Paul W. Heimel

By Martha Knight

A Book Review

How does it go? It’s news today, but it’s on its way to being history?

And today’s history was current events, at the time?

Nearly 100 years ago a cataclysmic event changed bustling, prosperous Austin, Pennsylvania, forever. Nearby Costello was included in the effects.

At least 80 lives were lost. Buildings, businesses, infrastructure, power, heat and communications were swept away by the force of millions of gallons of water, suddenly freed from its forced confinement and service to an industrial giant.

Dozens of bodies were recovered, but some of those were mutilated. Austin itself recovered only in part. To this day, it and Costello are living monuments to what once was, but is no more. Yet the community and its people maintain a tiny but effective school system and a certain vigor, even a “make lemonade” opportunism that has managed to squeeze some benefit from its famous catastrophe, all these years later.

An active Austin Dam Memorial Association pulls off an annual festival, complete with live music, vendors, arts, crafts, food, light show, and more. This year’s, held in July, was more extensive than usual. Author Paul W. Heimel’s dramatic reading, “Echoes from the Past,” was a highlight.

Author Heimel’s powerful grip on amassed facts, including those bitter lemons often used before, has yielded meaning, significance and even amazement. And as always in his books, there is zest.

Looking at that event from every perspective and multiple timeframes and viewpoints, through the eyes of a news man, author and government figure, brings the Austin Flood into sharp focus. By the time the reader finishes “1911: The Austin Flood,” he has begun to imagine that he was there, witnessing the horrific scenes.

This is the latest book by former reporter and editor Paul Heimel, currently a member of the Potter County Board of Commissioners, who has written extensively about significant personages and events from this area’s history. Where Truman Capote would spice up events with embellishments such as imagined dialog and convincing conjectures, Heimel prefers the realities, as many as he can find and present in their actual context.

Every bit the “news hawk,” as TIME magazine used to style his former profession as a reporter, Heimel applies a keen and persistent gaze. This fact, that contemporary news account, another record, each photo, every eye-witness recollection, some additional piece of correspondence—the entire collection of material is mined for its relevancy and meaning. The classical “lead paragraph” interrogatories, who, what, where, when, why, run through the book, those broad questions being applied and prizing out answers, chapter after chapter. Photos, many of them never before published, are put into their order and relationship and captioned so as to present their meaning.

There’s an attention to detail, an almost prosecutorial approach to presenting detailed facts as evidence, that persuades the reader of a core truth: there was cause and effect at work, there were unworthy motives behind certain key decisions, there were watershed moments and points of no return. The flood did not have to happen. The dam did not have to fail, if only—

The main characters are presented largely in their own words, without speculation, identified by role and activities. The science is made available to the extent it assists understanding of what happened and how.

The issues as they were perceived at that time are set forth in a straight-reporting style: Here are the facts, unvarnished. Draw your own conclusions. But those conclusions are riveting. They pack an emotional punch, 100 years later. They still can shock. The angst is palpable. The indignation is rekindled.

Heimel has called this work, the latest in his masterful presentations of certain aspects of local history, a labor of love. It was timed to coincide with the centennial of the Austin flood, and was released close to the annual Austin flood festival, and barely two months before the September 30 date marking the 100-year anniversary.

Heimel credits numerous sources, and offers special homage to Marie Kathern Nuschke, whose book “The Dam That Could Not Break” he cites as a “foundation” and praises as “very thoroughly documented and well written.” His new book has been in the works for ten years, off and on and give or take.

This reviewer is not giving away the plot in mentioning that the Bayless Pulp and Paper company had the concrete dam built in 1909, to impound modest Freeman Run within a deep, narrow gorge upstream of the paper mill, the community’s major employer. Also generally understood is that the dam failed, not because of a freak attack by nature which could not have been foreseen(though one did happen), but because of weaknesses in design, and flawed, even irresponsible suppositions about applicable and critical details of local geology.

Concrete dam design and construction were in their infancy. The design team approached its task by applying engineering principles in a project that had no actual “track record” or existing model. Formulae were based on laws of physics, some never before applied to such a project. Weight. Impermeability indices. Anchoring. Gravity. Controls. Probabilities.

There were no government agencies with regulatory authority in such projects, back then. Who was to decide what the safety margin should be? Who would weigh the probabilities against the consequences of a wrong assumption coming into play? Where was the value of human life factored in?

“1911: The Austin Flood” presents the solution to the mystery in a comprehensive fashion that removes “reasonable doubt.” It does not identify an individual villain who is guilty of causing the tragedy, with collaborators who connived or knowingly acquiesced, caring nothing for the potential for death and destruction; nor does it absolve the other “suspect” altogether. That would be a Charles Dickens approach, in a moralizing novel, or an Erin Brokovich account of a deliberate conspiracy to pollute and cover up.

Heimel presents some good guys, letting us hear their voices raised in wilderness cries. Then there are there are the ones who not only failed, but refused, to heed cogent warnings, applying budgetary considerations, again and again.

Did designers consent, or even collude? Yes, sometimes, up to a point. Would the dam’s base be sturdy and stable enough, beyond applicable questions? Or was the company’s bottom line factored in where engineering considerations should have been what counted? Heimel satisfies readers’ longing to resolve those issues, even in distant retrospect.

It is a cautionary story, shorn of rumor and fable. It tells us, undeniable conclusion on incontrovertible fact, that it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature, and not safe, and not acceptable. The consequences are too great.

With the Austin dam, it was not whether the 50-foot-high monolith might fail, but when it would. But those driving the decisions and those resisting the owner’s tendency to shave costs unsafely had no conscious desire to harm, merely an ability to discount one set of facts and considerations in favor of another, more financially advantageous set. Heimel resists a tempting potential for black-and-white, good vs. evil presentation. His chapter, “Who’s to Blame,” is even handed.

Major players George Bayless, owner, and T. Chalkley Hatton, his chief engineer, dueled in their correspondence. The company and Bayless suffered devastating flood losses along with the community, though, and were at great pains to temper the blame directed toward them, and the financial consequences.

In the aftermath to the flood, Hatton came in for considerable ire, some due to being used as a scapegoat by Bayless, some due to a certain, understandable inability to have the last word in certain crucial disagreements. After all, Bayless was his most important client. Bayless paid the fees.

As for the community at large, we might marvel at the population’s collective intrepidity, following a recent scare, and in the face of highly visible danger signs—cracks, leaks, changes in curvature, testifying to something less than the impervious quality needed in the dam. But then, Austin had a reputation for dogged determination to survive, snatching prosperity from the jaws of destruction, as had happened after two major fire calamities. The local businessman, William Nelson, who harped about the danger signs, seems to have been given all the credence Cassandra received in ancient Troy.

As for the inevitability of the flood, in anything like the near term, Heimel points out that no one could have foreseen the concentrated rainfall incident that swelled the manmade lake and total impoundment well beyond “normal.”

This reviewer would have bought the book just for the photos. However, the text proved so satisfactory, the two generous photo sections could be seen as a nice bonus. Yet they are used with canny journalistic effect, pictures that together could be valued at many thousands of words, explaining, proving points, reinforcing impressions, augmenting the text.

Another bonus is the “They Were There” section at the end. It consists of the statements of 38 eyewitnesses or contemporaries using recollections and family knowledge. There is something mesmerizing about the matter-of-fact accounts, some sounding stoical, many conveying something of the continuing struggle to accept the enormity of what they had experienced and witnessed, even much later.

There is an In Memoriam listing of those who perished, with such information as is known concerning their identities, connections or place in the community.

“1911: The Austin Flood” is available online from Knox Books (; 814-558-7107), as a soft cover book. Other outlets include the Potter Leader-Enterprise office, Olga’s Café, and the Potter County Historical Society Museum in Coudersport; Big Mike’s Dairy-Dine, E.O. Austin Historical Museum and Perry’s Country Store in Austin; Copy Katz/Endeavor Media in Emporium; From My Shelf Books and Tioga Publishing/Wellsboro Gazette in Wellsboro; and Otto Bookstore in Williamsport. More distribution points are being added.


Stahlman's To Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary

The children of Leland "Lee" and Margaret "Peg" Stahlman will honor their parents by hosting a 50th wedding anniversary celebration on August 27, 2011, from 1-4pm at the First Presbyterian Church, Port Allegany, PA. This is an open invitation to all family and friends, so please attend anytime between 1-4pm to offer your congratulations. Your attendance is a gift in itself, so no presents please.

Margaret E. Moyer and Leland D. Stahlman were married August 26, 1961, in the Episcopal Church in Foxburg, PA. They are parents of David (Nikki) Stahlman, the late Denise (Dave) Leonard, Diane (Sam) Dynda, and Debbie (Tony) Gamboa. Their nine grandchildren are Bryce and Bryan Stahlman, Rachel and Jillian Edgreen, Alex and Lauren Dynda, and Alyssa, Dominic, and Amanda Gamboa.


County Contracts Awarded On 3 Projects

By Martha Knight

McKean County Commissioners chose three contractors from among five bidders, at their “second Tuesday” meeting Tuesday morning. Chairman Joe DeMott and vice-chairman Al Pingie handled business between them, with commissioner Judy Church away on vacation.

Sole bidder M J Painting of Olean, N.Y. was awarded a contract for painting the court house fascia, at a bid sum of $24,980.

Blair Roofing, Inc. of Holidaysburg, was approved for the jail re-roofing project, for $48,900, also on the basis of the lone bid presented. The project entails removing and replacing about 6,000 square feet of roof on the front portion of the McKean County Jail. The new roof will be elastomeric membrane.

Kinley Corporation of Allegany, N.Y. will replace the concrete patio outside the rear doors of the court house, for $10,141. That was the lowest of three bids.

In all cases, county buildings and grounds supervisor Ken Bush said the bids satisfied specifications and were within estimates for the projects. The contracts were awarded based contingent of the contractors’ supplying all required bonds. Chief clerk Audrey Irons, wielding the letter opener and checking contents of each bid packet, confirmed that the bid bonds were in order.

Bush noted that all three contractors have carried out projects for the county.

The projects are to be completed during the current construction season.

Invoices approved included one for $13,826,75 from the Area Transportation Authority, for a portion of their budget allotment for the current quarter; and one for $3,686 from the YWCA representing the July payment for the homeless assistance program they administer for the county. Irons said funds for the latter come from a Public Welfare Fund grant, and the finds are in hand.

The commissioners declared their support for child passenger safety through a proclamation of the week of September 18-24 as Child Passenger Safety Week, and Saturday, September 24 as National Seat Check Saturday.

DeMott read the operant portion of the proclamation aloud, including the language that the board of commissioners “urges everyone to help reduce injuries and the tragic loss of life by buckling up themselves and every child on every trip, every time.” 

DeMott announced that the jail expansion and renovation project is complete, except for some minor finishing work in one cell, and that about 18 inmates have been brought back to the McKean County Jail from nearby counties’ prison facilities. This will save considerable costs for their incarceration, DeMott said. Still, there is not enough space to house all inmates locally, he noted—courts still have to sentence offenders to jail time, and their number exceeds jail capacity to some degree.

DeMott also expressed the commissioners’ condolences to the family of George Petrisek, who had covered various aspects of county government for many years. DeMott also mentioned Petrisek’s service in the Port Allegany area, where he had lived during most of his adult life. Petrisek, who was also a retired English teacher, died this past Friday at his home near Ulysses.


Family Safety Fair Held

Saint-Gobain employees, families and retirees were invited to attend the fifth annual SGC Family Safety Fair held Saturday at the plant in the soccer field area.  Events included picnic food and beverages catered by Fox's Pizza, horse and wagon rides, kids jumper and obstacle course, safety related booths, face painting, crafts for the kids, horseshoe tournament and more.  Karizma provided the music and the Port Allegany Ambulance was on hand along with a truck from the Star Hose Fire Company #1.  In the above photo, Gracee Donovan, daughter of Tammy Donovan, works on a sand art creation.  Adult giveaway drawings were held for active employees and retirees.  More photos from this event will appear on next week's picture page.  Pam Fischer Photo


Library Dinner Auction Coming Soon

The annual Library Dinner Auction will be held on September 17 at the Star Hose Banquet Room.  Doors will open at 4 p.m., with dinner at 6 p.m. and the live auction at 7:30.  Tickets are available for a $25 donation.  This year's theme is Happy Days and the committee is urging people to dress in 50's garb.  Ed Vicic and the Port Freeze will be catering the event with Dan Carter as auctioneer and Music by Karizma.  Other new features include prize drawings from our Juke "prize" Box and a Big Balloon Bonanza where you can pop a balloon for a chance to win cash.  Madden Nelson and his sister, Leigha, are pictured here with Kaitlin Kallenborn.  Leigha pulled out her poodle skirt to remind R-A readers to begin searching for their best 50's outfits.  The committee is also looking for donations for the live auction, silent auction and bucket auction.  Pam Fischer Photo


Port Allegany Car Show Held

Drizzles and downpours weren't enough to keep Port Allegany Car Show fans away during the annual event held Saturday on the Town Square.  In this photo, Nate Carlson, Mark Carlson, Perry Carlson and Bob Kinney socialize by Kinney's car.  Winners will be announced in a future issue of the Reporter Argus.  For more photos from this event, turn to this week's picture page.  Pam Fischer Photo


Miss Port Allegany - Homecoming Queen, Renee Edgell was recognized along with other PA/NY Homecoming Queens at the 38th Annual Don Raabe Charities Classic held Saturday evening in Bradford.  Miss Edgell is the niece of Tony and Dawne Edgell of Turtlepoint.  She was selected as Queen of the 2010 PAHS Homecoming by the student body.  More photos from the Big 30 game will appear on next week's picture page.  Pam Fischer Photo



McKean County Fair Representative

Miss Port Allegany, Hannah Wise, is pictured following her introduction at the Don Raabe Charities Classic held Saturday evening in Bradford.  Miss Wise will represent Port Allegany and PAHS during the Queen's Parade, Talent Show and Coronation.  That event will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 15.  The 106th Annual McKean County Fair will be held from August 13 - 20 at the fairgrounds located in Smethport.  To save $2 off the general admission price of $8, advance sale tickets can be found at the Fair Office, Costa's Supermarket, Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy in Eldred, Country Porch Cafe, Northwest Savings Bank and Hamlin Bank in Smethport; Costa's Supermarket, Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy and Hamlin Bank in Eldred; Bradford Era, Hamlin Bank and Northwest Savings Bank locations in Bradford; Buchanan Brothers Pharmacy in Coudersport; Hamlin Bank in Mt. Jewett; Hamlin Bank in Kane; and Port Pharmacy and Pierce Federal Credit Union in Port Allegany.  Pam Fischer Photo


Big 30 Game

Port Allegany High School was well represented at the 38th Annual Don Raabe Charities Classic held Saturday evening at Parkway Field in Bradford.  In the first photo, Camrin Stuckey (#82) and Seth Lowery (#44) are pictured during the singing of the National Anthem.  In the second photo, Stuckey is pictured holding the ball for kicker, Ken Kysor.  More photos from this event will appear on next week's picture page.  Pam Fischer Photo


Cheering On Their Team - PAHS grads, Class of 2011, Cora Bova, Breanna Foster and Caryne Healy are pictured at the 38th Annual Don Raabe Classic held at Parkway Field in Bradford Saturday night.  The trio represented Port Allegany on the Pennsylvania Cheering Squad.  Pennsylvania defeated New York with a score of 28-3.  Pam Fischer Photo