Glad to see the support for the organization

Article posted on September 30, 2017

I was a speaker this morning in Hollidaysburg at a service for police, firefighters and EMT’s at St. John’s Reformed Church.  It was outside, so it was chilly, but the public safety people who turned out made it worthwhile.  It was a nice gesture by the church and they expect to hold it annually and see it grow.  Charlotte and I spent the afternoon/evening at a Blair County Habitat For Humanity fundraiser in Altoona.  I’ve served on that board for years.  We had a good time and were glad to see the support for the organization.

-John

Hope it looks okay in the daylight

Article posted on September 29, 2017

Update on the Blair County Town Hall: still working out a new time, watch the website and Facebook page for more information.  Rumors about the new budget proposal are starting to circulate around the Capitol, but there’s nothing concrete enough to pass along.  The media has been pretty quiet about any speculation concerning the Senate coming back and a deal in the works, which is just as well; they usually get things wrong anyway.  I was surprised to see it rain this evening.  I was finishing mowing after dark (Charlotte had all of the backyard lights on for me), and it started.  I pushed on and finished; hope it looks okay in the daylight.  With the schedule I have this weekend, I didn’t have much choice but to get it done tonight.

-John

Chronic Wasting Disease Seminar

Article posted on September 29, 2017

Senator Eichelberger and Representative Topper are hosting a free Chronic Wasting Disease Seminar on Tuesday, October 10, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Company
112 East Maple Street
McConnellsburg, PA 17233

Limited to the first 250 registrants

Sorry about all of the confusion

Article posted on September 28, 2017

Getting called back to session next week brings scheduling problems.  I have to reshuffle some things, send staff to others, and miss a few altogether.  Most of these appearances don’t affect the public, but one certainly is dependent on the public: my Town Hall Meeting scheduled for Monday.  We sent out a release today and posted on my Facebook page and website that this would be rescheduled for Oct. 30th.  I found out this evening that Rep. John McGinnis has a Town Hall scheduled for that same night.  So, we’re trying tonight to tell the news media to disregard the rescheduled date in the release.  It’s still off for this Monday and we’ll get you the rescheduled date as soon as we have one.  Sorry about all of the confusion.

-John

Hopefully something good will come of this

Article posted on September 27, 2017

I drove to the Capitol this morning for a Local Government Commission meeting.  I spent a little time in the office before getting back to Blair County for a busy afternoon.  The House was in session, the Senate wasn’t.  The House didn’t act on the Fiscal Code today, but the House and Senate leadership have been meeting and apparently have some kind of budget plan that will be advanced next week.  Although it was not scheduled, we received word tonight that the Senate is called back into session on Monday at 2:00.  We have been close before to see things not work out, so there are no guarantees.  The House members I’ve spoken with were not aware of any details of the plan, nor am I.  Hopefully something good will come of this.

-John

I enjoyed meeting with everyone

Article posted on September 26, 2017

I spent the whole day in Franklin County.  I attended the ribbon cutting event for the new Eldorado Stone building in Antrim Twp.  Over 1 million square feet of space will allow the company to combine two smaller facilities and streamline their operations.  I left there for another ribbon cutting event in Peters Twp. for Atlas Copco Secoroc.  They just completed a new building and brought in workers from their Texas location.  Both buildings are first rate.  I ended the day outside of Mercersburg for a town hall.  We had a nice turnout and they had a lot of questions.  The number one question was about school property taxes; they want them eliminated.  We talked about the budget, term limits, veterans homes, redistricting, the chicken farm that may be locating outside of Mercersburg, this Fall’s ballot question, gambling expansion, severance tax, CWD, illegals registering to vote, PASSHE problems, and other topics.  I enjoyed meeting with everyone.

-John

Preserve and improve those reservoirs over the years

Article posted on September 25, 2017

The House was back in session today and didn’t take any action on the Fiscal Code bill.  The Senate non-concurred last week on this bill.  The expectations are that the House will send this bill to a conference committee and have those House and Senate members work out a compromise.  Hopefully, this process will start soon.  I was able to attend an award ceremony this morning honoring the City of Altoona.  They received the American Water Landmark Award from the American Water Works Assoc., only the third water system to be recognized in the history of PA.  The part of the city’s system specifically identified was the three reservoirs below the Horseshoe Curve.  The system was started with the highest reservoir in the 1800’s and is still functioning today.  In fact, the masonry work done at that time looks just as good as when it was first installed.  Congratulations to everyone who helped preserve and improve those reservoirs over the years.

-John

As long as everything goes well

Article posted on September 24, 2017

I didn’t see much in the papers today.  There were a couple of budget stories, with nothing new, and a story about PA being contacted by federal authorities concerning an attempt by “the Russians” to hack into PA’s election system.  According to comments in the story by the Governor, there were unsuccessful attempts in 21 states.  No word about how common these attempts have been over the years.  Certainly, there are regular cyber attacks in this country on vital computer systems from around the world every day.  I met a few years ago with the gentleman who was in charge of cyber security for the state computer systems.  I wish I could remember how many thousands of attacks he said there are each day, many are routine, but some are sophisticated.  We spend a lot of resources protecting the information and the ability to do transactional functions on a secure system.  The people who do it don’t get much attention, that is, as long as everything goes well.

-John

The very best in the next chapter of her life

Article posted on September 23, 2017

Hard to believe how warm it’s been over the past week, and no rain.  Mowing grass has become a little easier.  I got office work done and ran some errands today.  My schedule has been full lately and isn’t letting up anytime soon, so I’m behind with a few other things.  This evening I attended the retirement dinner for Blair County Judge Jolene Kopriva.  We had a nice table with Representatives McGinnis and Ward, and my former Commissioner colleague, Donna Gority, and her husband, John.  Jolene’s retiring at the end of the year after 30 years on the bench, many as President Judge.  It was a fitting tribute with well over 300 friends, colleagues, and family members there to remember a few of the milestones in her past and wish her the very best in the next chapter of her life.

-John

She liked them

Article posted on September 22, 2017

I toured the Center for Child Justice in Altoona this morning along with Representatives McGinnis and Ward.  It’s easy to see the advantages of having a facility like this to handle children who have been sexually abused.  The process is set up for the least stress possible on the victim.  It’s more of a one-stop shop that includes the information gathering process from the District Attorney’s office and police, and a medical examination room.  It’s difficult to imagine what happens to a child who has been abused this way and why anyone would do it.  I’m glad there are people who are willing to handle these cases and work to put the perpetrators behind bars.  I was in Franklin County the rest of the day with the Bear Valley Water Authority first, to attend the dedication service for their new state of the art water plant, then I travelled to Burk-Lea Farms, outside of Chambersburg, for a Franklin County Farm Bureau tour.  I hadn’t seen Charlotte much this week, so I got some Chambersburg peaches on the way back for a homecoming gift; she liked them.

-John