It was well worth the effort

Article posted on May 31, 2011

I had a town hall meeting tonight in Allensville. We had a small, but engaged group. We talked mostly about the budget with a few questions on Marcellus Shale, property taxes and gun control. After the meeting, I was invited for a tour of the new fire hall. The building looks great from the outside, but I couldn’t believe what was inside. They have a 1937 fire truck in mint shape and the largest and nicest kitchen I have ever seen in a fire hall. I know that this new building has taken years of work, and they still have a few items to finish, but from what I saw, it was well worth the effort.

-John

That is a tribute every veteran

Article posted on May 30, 2011

I hope that everyone got to a Memorial Day parade or service today. I was part of the parade and service in Bedford this morning. I was planning to ride in my truck, but was offered a ride on the float (wagon) with the Bedford County Honor Guard and accepted their offer. In addition to the parade through town and service at the court house, they went down to the river by Fort Bedford and put a spray of flowers in the water to honor the armed forces members who never returned home. As part of the service this morning, the high school band was supposed to play the national anthem. For some reason, they did not have the music or weren’t prepared to play it, so after waiting for a few long minutes at attention for the band to come in, the MC announced that the band wouldn’t be playing. Within seconds, spontaneous singing of The Star Spangled Banner started in the crowd gathered at the square, and everyone joined in. That is a tribute every veteran and every American can be proud of.

-John

I guess we know who watched over the stained glass…

Article posted on May 29, 2011

It was another warm day. It seems like we went from a cool spring to hot summer overnight. After church, I traveled to Big Cove Tannery for a Memorial Day Service at the Damascus Congregational Christian Church. I was the speaker. The people were very nice. A trio called The Sanders Sisters performed and gave me a CD of theirs, I enjoyed it on the way home. I learned today that a tremendous wind and hail storm swept through that area the other night. Bob Swadley, a Twp. Supervisor, gave me a tour to see some of the damage. I have never seen hail damage like that before. Vinyl siding, windows and roofs were pummeled. Trees were stripped of fruit and gardens and farm crops were crushed. Miraculously, the stained glass in the church was spared even though the basement windows were blown out. I guess we know who watched over the stained glass…

-John

They failed to shut down this “house of horrors”

Article posted on May 28, 2011

This is the first Saturday in a long time that I didn’t have anything scheduled. I had my own schedule of work, however. I got to the Lighthouse, as usual, and hit the office for a while. I am preparing for a hearing next week in Philadelphia on the breakdown of the local government’s oversight of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic. There have been several hearings on what the state Departments of Health and Welfare did or didn’t do over the years of this clinics illegal activity. There has not been a hearing on what happened inside the City of Philadelphia’s system. They had the inspectors, they received the complaints and they failed to shut down this “house of horrors.” Philadelphia is granted many exceptions in the law to administer their own programs. We are going to look at this case to see why their system broke down.

-John

These issues are some of the most difficult budget decisions

Article posted on May 27, 2011

I was at Altoona High for their senior class awards assembly this morning then went to the Blair County Health and Welfare Council meeting to give a report on the budget. I get to these council meetings periodically. Many of the nonprofit agencies in Pennsylvania have become dependent on taxpayer’s money to survive. I don’t think any of them started out that way, but through time, they took public funds for a program here and there and eventually built their budgets around the government guidelines for that money. Now, they’ve become dependent on these dollars. When economic times are tough, these agencies take funding cuts just like everyone else. These issues are some of the most difficult budget decisions.

-John

Senator Eichelberger to Hold Mifflin County Town Hall

Article posted on May 27, 2011

** NEWS RELEASE**

Senator Eichelberger to Hold Mifflin County Town Hall

Opportunity for constituents to discuss their views and concerns regarding state issues

Hollidaysburg, PA – May 26, 2011, Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. will host the fourth of nine town hall meetings scheduled throughout the 30th Senatorial District this year.

These meetings are part of the Senator’s effort to make state government accessible for all people in his district. Town hall meetings are open to the public, providing residents with a chance to speak directly with the Senator about issues important to them.

“It is important that the citizens are involved in the process as we work to overcome the challenges of today,” said Senator Eichelberger. “I look forward to meeting with people in this open setting.”

WHO: State Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr.
WHAT: Town Hall Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Allensville Community Building
Main Street
Allensville, PA 17002

Please contact Wendy Reitz, Legislative Aide, at 1-866-509-EICH(3424) or email wreitz@pasen.gov for further information.

###

814 Area Code Impact Discussed at Huntingdon County LEAD

Article posted on May 27, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

814 Area Code Impact Discussed at Huntingdon County LEAD

Huntingdon, PA (5.26.2011) – Reconsideration of the various options concerning the 814 area code relief effort was a major topic of discussion at Wednesday’s Huntingdon County Local Economic Activity Discussion (LEAD) held at the Huntingdon Borough Building. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is scheduling additional hearings to again gather input on the potential solutions to the looming end of available numbers in the 814 area code. The economic impact on businesses associated with a change in telephone area code may be extensive. As a result of the far-reaching effects of this decision, it is important that area businesses and residents participate in these hearings and provide input to the PUC. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming hearings on this issue or provide written comments directly to the PUC. Specific dates and times will be announced by the PUC soon.

Senator Eichelberger updated the group on the status of legislation and the FY 2011-12 state budget process. He expects the budget to be completed by the end of June. Under the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), many programs have been cut or combined to create more efficiency through cooperation. These changes will require significant effort on the part of local economic development agencies. In addition, the Huntingdon County Planning Commission shared recent survey data with the group that reflects recent demographic and economic trends in Huntingdon County that show a slight increase in population and employment over the past decade.

LEADs are a unique opportunity for local leaders involved in community and economic development to share information and work collaboratively on important issues facing the county. The attached list includes the organizations that participated in Wednesday night’s Huntingdon County LEAD.

###

I felt like I got a lot accomplished

Article posted on May 26, 2011

I had one of those rare days where I felt like I got a lot accomplished. I was in Tyrone, again, this morning at a ribbon cutting for a walking trail that was a joint effort between the Tyrone Hospital and the Tyrone School District. The trail is behind the school campus and was built to encourage wellness through exercise. This same group has a nutrition program for the community’s youth and talked today about the extremely high diabetes rate in northern Blair County. I don’t know what our society is doing to our children, but the obesity and health problems seem to be chronic. I went to the Bedford County Young at Heart Games Banquet and Closing Ceremony for awhile this evening before driving to Williamsburg High School for their Class of 2011’s Award Ceremony. On top of all of the office work I finished today, I got a haircut. That was pretty good for a Thursday in May.

-John

This is an issue that affects everyone in our area

Article posted on May 25, 2011

This morning, after an early morning meeting, I traveled past Tyrone to the Village of Vail where I attend a memorial service for the Walter L. Main circus train that derailed in, I believe, 1893. The service was held at the site of the accident. Many animals were killed and were buried at that very location. It is an interesting story. We had a LEAD meeting tonight in Huntingdon. It was a long one with a lot of information exchanged. I answered a lot of questions about the 814 area code situation today and at the meeting tonight. This is an issue that affects everyone in our area, and people are slowly starting to pay attention to it. I think that the hearings this summer will be well attended.

-John

It is important for our area to weigh in

Article posted on May 24, 2011

We had a long discussion in caucus today about the budget. It was the first time we had, as a caucus, to form a consensus on many of the general issues. We expect the House to pass their budget bill tonight without much change to what has been reported. So, those numbers were what we debated. We passed quite a few bills on the floor again today and have a lot going through committees. Tonight I testified at a Public Utility Commission hearing in State College on the potential changes to the 814 area code. The PUC decided, last year, to split the 814 area code territory into 2 area codes. Our area would retain the 814 number, the northern tier would receive a new number. After complaints from folks in the northern counties, the PUC has reopened this case and is holding hearings to gather additional information. It is important for our area to weigh in, and I did so this evening.

-John