I met many of the areas movers and shakers at lunch

Article posted on February 29, 2012

I traveled to Franklin County in a driving rain early this morning.  It was well worth the effort.  Franklin County Commissioner and old friend, Bob Thomas, arranged two tours for me in the morning and helped the Greencastle-Antrim and Tuscarora Area Chambers of Commerce host a luncheon where I was able to speak.  I was very impressed with the Manitowoc operation in Shady Grove.  They are a leader around the globe in crane manufacturing.  Their facilities were as clean and well maintained as any I have seen.  I also visited the construction trailer for the Norfolk Southern Intermodal Center.  It was tough to comprehend the scope of this four mile long project.  Even coming from a railroad community, I had a lot to learn about the overall workings of a system that networks trucking with rail freight up and down the east coast.  I met many of the areas movers and shakers at lunch.  They heard my views on our budget, and I tried to answer as many questions as time permitted.  I appreciated greatly my time in a county that I may someday be proud to represent. 


My introductions are a little awkward under the current circumstances

Article posted on February 28, 2012

I met with the Appalachian Fruit Growers Association this morning then stayed for lunch at their invitation. We had a “round table” discussion that covered the concerns on their minds. Their highest priority was the preservation of their migrant workforce. It was an interesting discussion, and I learned much about how they operate and why they use migrant workers. I got as much done in the afternoon as I could before leaving for a dinner in Franklin County. I won’t get home till late tonight. I will be back in Franklin County at 8:55 tomorrow morning. I have had a number of invitations to speak in Franklin County predicated on the 30th District including part of that geography. My introductions are a little awkward under the current circumstances.


I have a busy week ahead

Article posted on February 27, 2012

I was on the road early this morning to travel to Harrisburg for three meetings.  I had a Governor’s Advisory Committee on Probation meeting at 10:00.  We approved our version of the new federal standards for county probation departments.  Having served on the subcommittee that wrote the clarifications,  I’m glad this task is complete.  I had another interesting meeting at 1:00 at the Local Government Commission Office.  We had the stakeholders involved in the drafting of the Third Class City Code in to work through their proposed changes.  The meeting went better than I anticipated.  There are two other smaller meetings scheduled this week to work out more agreement on language between three of the parties.  What we can’t work out in advance, we’ll debate in the Senate.  My last meeting was with the Ag Dept. to review a constituent issue.  I got back just in time for a Habitat For Humanity meeting, then went to the office to get ready for tomorrow.  I have a busy week ahead.


Thanks also to the Shriners and other vendors who made everyone welcome

Article posted on February 26, 2012

I was invited to the Pine Street Chapel in Hollidaysburg this morning to hear The Skyline Boys, a southern gospel quartet from Virginia.  I love that music and enjoyed their concert very much.  I went to the Sports Show for the afternoon.  Today’s topics included: getting a job as a wildlife or conservation officer, nepotism in a local school district, projects for scouts, the Castle Doctrine, youth fishing and shooting programs, concealed weapon reciprocity agreements between states and school real estate taxes.  The topics I listed over the past three days were only a portion of those presented by constituents.  It was a busy show.  My staff put in a lot of time on this, especially Wendy Reitz and our newest volunteer, Charlie States.  Thanks also to the Shriners and other vendors who made everyone welcome.


I took a lot of notes

Article posted on February 25, 2012

In addition to the Jaffa Sports Show today, I got to my men’s fellowship meeting this morning at 7:00, an Eagle Scout ceremony at 1:00 and a dinner at 6:00.  Unfortunately, since I did presentations at both events, I had to change clothes from my casual sports show pants and shirt to a suit for the ceremony and dinner and then back again.  It makes me feel better about simply staying in a suit all day.  The topics I heard about today included: Sunday hunting, Clean and Green Real Estate taxes, state employee union issues, wasteful spending in public education, a number of personal issues, including job training, a lot of national issues including Obama Care, lots of energy issues, including gas drilling and coal fired power plants and local government issues, including taxes, city sidewalks and Act 47.  I took a lot of notes.


I enjoyed the conversations with people from all across our region

Article posted on February 24, 2012

We finished our first day at the Jaffa Sports Show.  We had a good crowd today, not as big as some years, not as small as others.  I squeezed in two constituent meetings this morning in Huntingdon, a photo to promote an upcoming Blair County Chamber event, another meeting in the afternoon and saw lots of folks at the show.  The topics today I heard about the most included: the Castle Doctrine, school vouchers, a variety of social issues, hunting and fishing concerns and problems with public schools.  I enjoyed the conversations with people from all across our region.


I’ll feel better when we get this Sports Show under our belts

Article posted on February 23, 2012

Today was one of those days that put me up against deadlines.  A few weeks ago, I promised to have an article written for a publication of the County Commissioners Association of PA.  They needed it by last Friday, but gave me a one week extension.  I spent most of the day, on and off, working on it.  Tomorrow is the Jaffa Sports Show and we were working through the final preparations all day.  We go through about two truck loads of materials over the three show days.  Because tomorrow is totally booked for me and several of my staff, we had to take care of some time sensitive constituent requests as well.  But, everything seemed to come together by late afternoon thanks to an extra push by staff.  I’ll feel better when we get this Sports Show under our belts.


30th Annual Jaffa Sports Show

Article posted on February 23, 2012

For Immediate Release
Contact: Wendy Reitz
1-866-509-EICH (3424)


30th Annual Jaffa Sports Show
Senator Eichelberger and Staff to Attend Show

Hollidaysburg, PA- February 20, 2012, Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr. and staff will again host a booth at the 30th Annual Jaffa Sports Show. Senator Eichelberger will be providing copies of Pennsylvania laws and regulations regarding hunting, fishing, boating, and firearms to attendees.

WHO: Senator Eichelberger and Staff
WHAT: 30th Annual Jaffa Sports Show
WHEN: February 24-26, 2012
WHERE: The Jaffa Shrine, Altoona, PA

The show hours will be Friday, February 24th from noon until 9:00 PM, Saturday, February 25th from 10:00 AM until 9:00 PM, and Sunday, February 26th from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Senator Eichelberger will be present throughout much of the weekend.

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


This, apparently, is the final conclusion to the redistricting drama

Article posted on February 22, 2012

There was a lot of news coming out of the state capital today.  The first is a personal item, Senator Mike Folmer issued a statement about his health.  He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  The type he has is very treatable and the prognosis is good.  Please keep Mike in your prayers, he’s a great man who has done a lot for this Commonwealth.  Secondly, the Reapportionment Commission met today for the purpose of approving the newest maps, that didn’t happen, however.  They set another date, February 28th for that purpose.  In an answer to questions from the media at the meeting, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said that he would not support changing the Primary Election date.  Given the House’s negative view on moving back the election, it looks like the boundaries will not change for two more years.  This, apparently, is the final conclusion to the redistricting drama.


There is still a long way to go for some

Article posted on February 21, 2012

Many of the news stories these days are about the criminal trials of three House members, John Perzel, Bill DeWeese and Mike Veon. Perzel pleaded guilty, DeWeese was convicted, and Veon’s case is still underway. They all had staff involved with their misconduct, as well. Both Perzel and DeWeese are former Speakers. There can’t be many former Speakers still alive, and two of them are awaiting sentencing. My contention is that more sitting or former members of the legislature should be charged with crimes, but they, thus far, have gotten passes. Behavior has improved over the past few years, but there is still a long way to go for some.