I wish him the best

Article posted on May 31, 2013

We had lunch at the Hollidaysburg office today in honor of Bill Jones, an intern, who just finished his senior year of college. He did a great job for us and was very well liked by staff. We’ve had different policies in the Senate regarding interns and subsequently have only had a couple in the six years I’ve been in office. We get inquiries from students periodically about internships, but often it doesn’t work out for one reason or the other. When we do get them, it’s interesting to hear their perspective on issues. They usually have a lot of questions and seem to enjoy their time in the office working on whatever assignments we give them. Bill will do well. He’s not afraid to work, he’s honest and bright. I wish him the best.

-John

Please keep his family in your prayers

Article posted on May 30, 2013

I attended the funeral of Terry Wagner this morning. Terry was the Chief Clerk of Blair County when I was a Commissioner and was appointed to take my place on the Board of Commissioners when I was elected to the Senate. I spent many hours with Terry over the years and appreciated his commitment to our community and our country. Terry was a retired “Full Bird” Colonel from the United States Army. He brought that sense of duty and purpose to his work at the court house, and as I heard at the funeral today, to everything in his life. Terry leaves behind a wife and two grown daughters. Please keep his family in your prayers.

-John

Congrats to them all!

Article posted on May 29, 2013

We had another productive meeting of our subcommittee on the rewrite of Act 47 this morning. This is a year long process and the subcommittee has completed the first step, I hope. Every member will go back to their respective organization to make sure there is agreement on what we did. If that checks out, we move on to drafting legislation and working through the nitty gritty of the language. So far, so good. I left that meeting to get to a Finance Committee hearing on the Governor’s pension reform proposal. I’ll have more on that soon. I ended the evening at McConnellsburg High School’s Commencement Service where I presented awards to two distinguished graduates. It was a good looking class of 2013. Congrats to them all!

-John

Some of the situations we get involved with are fascinating

Article posted on May 28, 2013

I only had one meeting scheduled today, so I thought that I could get home early and work on a project at the house. I compromised with staying for a while at the office to read and getting home around 6:30, not too bad. I have to get ready for another Act 47 Task Force Subcommittee meeting at the capitol tomorrow followed by a Finance Committee hearing on the state pension system. These are not easy subjects to get through. I also worked on scheduling today as well as constituent issues. Some of the situations we get involved with are fascinating. They are generally confidential in nature, however, so I can’t put them in the blog. But trust me, some people in our area are involved in very interesting situations.

-John

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy Memorial Day and remembered to thank a vet for their service to our country

Article posted on May 27, 2013

I was in the Huntingdon Memorial Day Parade this morning and was their speaker at the service immediately following. I rode with my friend Vic Ellenberger, who usually drives me in the Huntingdon parades. He just got a new Dodge pick up. These new trucks have a lot of features. I don’t think there’s much else they could put in them. I went to my sister Wendy’s house on the way home for our family picnic then got caught up on chores around the house. The weather was a little cool for the kids that wanted to swim, but for the rest of us, it was pretty nice. I hope that everyone had a safe and happy Memorial Day and remembered to thank a vet for their service to our country.

-John

Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow

Article posted on May 26, 2013

I was at my second Memorial Day event this weekend. The service was this afternoon at Alto Reste Park Cemetery just outside of Altoona. I’ve attended this for years and found that it’s the only service in our area that has a rider-less horse as part of the service. Others features of the program included a vocalist, an honor guard, a 21 gun salute, a bag piper playing Amazing Grace with an accompanying snare drummer, a speaker (of course), the release of white doves, carnations for the audience to take and place on undecorated graves of veterans in the cemetery, and taps (which was me). I spent most of the remainder of the day in the office. I’ll be at the Huntingdon parade tomorrow morning and will deliver the keynote at their service immediately following the parade at War Vets Field. Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow.

-John

I think she might be right

Article posted on May 25, 2013

I helped plant flowers along Chestnut Avenue in Altoona this morning with the Altoona Garden Club and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. There are locations throughout our area that get planted each Spring and I have always been able to help with at least one work site since I’ve been in the Senate. I got a little office work done then came home to do lawn work. Since we were in Texas last weekend and every night this week I was away or it rained, the grass was pretty high. I hoped to get plenty done at home over the weekend, but with some events scheduled and office work that needs to be finished, I don’t think I’ll get as much done as I thought. Charlotte always says that I unrealistically plan too much work for the time I have allotted. After all these years of marriage, I think she might be right.

-John

When principle loses to greed, no one is an honorable victor

Article posted on May 24, 2013

As a former scout and long time supporter of the program, I was disappointed and perplexed by the Boy Scouts of America’s decision today to allow homosexual boys into scouting. I don’t think this will quiet their critics since they don’t allow homosexual leaders and it already has angered some of their supporters including many churches that sponsor troops. Equally troubling is the message that they changed their position to obtain money from corporations that withheld funding until they accepted homosexual boys. When principle loses to greed, no one is an honorable victor.

-John

We were rewarded with a double rainbow for our wait

Article posted on May 23, 2013

I spent most of the day in Bedford County. I met with constituents all morning at the Bedford office, went to the Chamber luncheon at White Sulpher Springs then to a groundbreaking ceremony for Homewood at Spring House Estates near Everett. The luncheon speakers were two Air Force Colonels who spoke about the readiness of today’s military in a world troubled by terrorism and other threats to our peace and freedom. They were great. The expansion project at Homewood includes 15 new cottages and a swimming pool for the residents. It’s an investment of about $4 million. I spent the evening at the Three Springs Firemen and Lions’ 24th Annual Memorial Day Parade. One heck of a storm hit before the parade started, so we were delayed about 20 minutes. We were rewarded with a double rainbow for our wait. Wow!

-John

I’m thankful for the service they provide

Article posted on May 22, 2013

I drove to Harrisburg today for an Act 47 Task Force Subcommittee meeting. For anyone outside of Altoona who doesn’t know what Act 47 is, it’s the state law concerning the financial distress of municipalities. The Task Force is charged with preparing legislation to rewrite this statute. Today we developed a framework to address the various problems we’ve identified with the process. It was a productive meeting. I got back in time to stop by the Southern Alleghenies EMS Council’s EMS Apreciation Day event. I’m thankful for the service they provide. You never know when you’ll need these folks.

-John