I’ll try again tonight for some extra shut eye

Article posted on August 31, 2013

I’ve had a cold or flu or something all week so I opted to sleep in a little longer this morning instead of going to the Lighthouse at 7:00. As it turned out, Lillie got us up early anyway. I had a full schedule today. I was at the Mt. Union Fire Company’s Gun Raffle this morning for a couple of hours. This is clearly the largest gun raffle in this part of the state and I never miss it. The weather was great and thousands turned out, as usual. I attended a memorial service this afternoon outside of Hollidaysburg. I’ve been to two viewings this week in addition to today’s service. It’s been a tough week in that respect. Tonight I presented a Senate Citation at an Eagle Scout ceremony in Huntingdon. I’ll try again tonight for some extra shut eye. Maybe Lillie will be a little more discreet early tomorrow.

-John

These changes will have a major impact in our area, as they will across the Commonwealth

Article posted on August 30, 2013

Johnny left this morning for his long drive back to Texas. We had a great time when he was here. I didn’t get as much time with him as I wanted, but we made the most of what we had. I’ll miss him a lot. I spent the rest of the day trying to catch up from the hours I carved out over the past week and a half. I’ve also noticed that before a holiday, we get more calls. People know that we’re looking at a 3 day weekend and they want to get to us before it starts. I did a newspaper interview this afternoon, too. The media is also trying to get to the people they need to talk to before the weekend. Of course, the local media knows how to get me anytime, but today’s interview was from an eastern PA paper. We’re hearing from people about the bridge postings. I spoke to a business this afternoon that will loose thousands each day they have a big job. These changes will have a major impact in our area, as they will across the Commonwealth.

-John

Sounds like the Obama administration doesn’t care about that

Article posted on August 29, 2013

The final score last night was 7 to 1, Bucs! We had a great time at the game and in Pittsburgh for dinner. The score isn’t as favorable, so far, tonight. Maybe we’ll come back. I was at two ribbon cuttings today. The first was at United Datacom Networks, Inc. in Bellemeade. Later, I was at Colonial Courtyard in Tyrone where they also hosted a Blair Chamber Business After Hours. Both businesses are impressive. Two headlines that grabbed my attention today – IRS to Recoginize Same-Sex Marriage Regardless of State Law and Poll Finds Pennsylvanians Say It’s Unacceptable for State or Local Officials to Ignore Law With Which They Disagree. Sounds like the Obama administration doesn’t care about that.

-John

Let’s hope we can hang on!

Article posted on August 28, 2013

I had a tour of The Village at Morrison’s Cove today. As a Church of the Brethren member and someone who has visited the Home over the years, I thought that I had a good handle on what was happening there. I learned today how much I didn’t know. They have a unique business model that includes younger residents who build their own residences on the grounds and have access to “aging in place” services. I was impressed with what they’ve done. Late in the afternoon, Johnny, his girlfriend Maggie, and I headed to Pittsburgh for a ballgame. I haven’t been to one in a couple of years and Johnny wanted to see a game during the first winning season in 20 years. We have to win just 6 more games to end up above 500. I’m hoping for more, but I wasn’t sure we could get this far. At the time I’m posting this, it’s the bottom of the 5th and we’re up 2-0. Let’s hope we can hang on!

-John

This is a true community effort

Article posted on August 27, 2013

I drove to Carlisle today for a meeting at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. I was offered a tour of this facility when I have more time. I understand that it’s a pretty amazing place with information that’s sought after by scholars from around the world. For example, they house more Civil War photographs than anywhere else. The meeting included legislators from the central part of the state who represent areas that have or are close to military installations. The group that called the meeting was the PA Military Community Protection Commission (PMCPC). The Commission members are appointed by the Governor and essentially attempt to preserve the military installations we have in Pennsylvania. With tight budgets in Washington, cuts and consolidations are frequent. What we learned today is that these decisions are not always made for the right reasons and we, as a state, need to be prepared to argue the pros and cons of a facility at any given time. The Commission explained its responsibilities and asked for our help in a couple of areas. The Commission’s budget includes just two employees, so the relationships they build at the bases, in those communities and with elected officials keeps them informed and gives them the resources they need to deal with federal agencies. This is a true community effort.

-John

Public officials need to follow the law

Article posted on August 26, 2013

I spent part of the day with Johnny skeet shooting at the Hollidaysburg Sportsmen’s Club. We had a good time and didn’t shoot too badly, either. I did some office work and got to a long meeting in Altoona this evening. In reading over news stories and editorials over the past few days, the media is slowly becoming more critical of the Attorney General’s decision not to enforce our DOMA law. Much of the commentary is focused on the Montgomery County Register of Will’s actions, but eventually the blame includes the AG, who started the chain of lawlessness on this issue. I’ve seen comments trying to justify her motivations, but they then usually say that regardless of what their perception and the AG’s perception of what’s right or wrong, public officials need to follow the law. I don’t think that concept should be too difficult to understand.

-John

We all had a good time, but ate way too much

Article posted on August 25, 2013

Most of the headlines I read today were about the President and Vice-President’s visit to Scranton. Each paper has their own twist to the story, what they said, responses to what they said, the motivations behind the trip, who’s more popular in Scranton – Biden or Hillary, etc. The bottom line is that there was no hard news today on this subject. We had a family get together for Johnny tonight. Since he’s home for only a brief time, this gives everyone the chance to see him. We all had a good time, but ate way too much.

-John

Thank one when you get a chance

Article posted on August 24, 2013

I spent a couple hours on office work after the Lighthouse this morning then attempted to mow my grass. I had about 40% of the yard to go and one of the rear wheels fell off of the mower. The bolt that acts as an axle sheared off. I didn’t have a metric wrench to take it apart and didn’t have enough room to work on it with a Crescent wrench, so I finished with just three wheels. It doesn’t look too bad considering, but it wasn’t easy. I got to drive the big fire truck in the East Freedom Firemen’s Parade tonight. Having grown up there and knowing most everyone, it’s a fun time for me. We’re lucky to have dedicated volunteer firefighters across our state. Thank one when you get a chance.

-John

It’s always good to see new construction and in this economy

Article posted on August 23, 2013

I attended a groundbreaking ceremony this morning in Huntingdon for a new branch of Clearfield Bank and Trust Co. It’s always good to see new construction and in this economy, we don’t see it as often as we’d like. I got some office work done and spent the evening at the Williamsburg Community Farm Show. Their livestock auction was tonight and I bought another pig. They had a bigger than usual group of bidders, along with an unusually high amount of rabbits, poultry and market hogs (pigs). We decided to eat at the Farm Show and had a good time visiting the vendors for everyone’s different food choice. We shared a bag of kettle corn on the way home. It was a nice evening.

-John

Thanks to those who came out

Article posted on August 22, 2013

We had a packed house for the town hall tonight. The group was engaged and had more questions than we had time. We talked about services for the mentally challenged at the beginning of the evening. Three different people came to bring the recent changes to this system to my attention. We talked about pension issues, primarily tied to pubic schools. We talked transportation, fracking and the revenue generated from it, health insurance, the merger of UPMC and Altoona Regional, Obama Care, pay raises at the Altoona School District and the situation with Denny Murray, and bottle deposits. It was a broad array of subjects and everyone was polite. Thanks to those who came out.

-John