Considerable time to help their community

Article posted on March 18, 2018

I was in Mount Union this morning for church.  The fire company has a memorial service at a different church in the community every spring and invites me to attend.  This year the service was at the Allenport United Methodist Church.  The company, including their ambulance service, has a brief memorial ceremony to honor their deceased members at the conclusion of the normal church service.  The Church was very gracious today and hosted a luncheon afterwards.  I was honored to sit with these men and women who volunteer considerable time to help their community.


Serve our communities 24/7, 365

Article posted on March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  After my men’s fellowship group this morning, I got a hot breakfast at the Standing Stone VFW.  The proceeds benefited the Boy Scouts.  Charlotte joined me for the Tyrone St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the only one in our area.  Our placement in the parade line up had us right behind the mass of netted helium balloons that are released in downtown Tyrone.  We are usually ahead of the balloons and miss the event, so this year it was fun to watch.  We ended the day at Shade Gap Fire Company’s Annual Banquet.  Things went smoothly at this banquet, unlike a few years back when during the dinner, the company’s president came over to the table where I was seated with the County Commissioners and told us that their speaker never showed.  We were asked to help and quickly decided we would jointly do a presentation on the funding and operation of the 911 system.  It actually went pretty well.  Thanks to all who serve our communities 24/7, 365.


A good meal for a good cause

Article posted on March 16, 2018

I spoke to students at Crestview Elementary School this morning.  The kids were extremely well behaved and attentive.  They had great questions, too.  The subject they invited me to discuss was the state capitol/state government.  I enjoyed my time there.  I then drove to Gettysburg for a regional legislative meeting with the Hospital Assoc. of PA.  We went over a number of issues important to the hospitals including an animated discussion on opioid treatment and dispensing.  I got home in time to join Charlotte and some friends for a fish fry at the Geeseytown Fire Hall.  It was a good meal for a good cause.


Part of a master plan

Article posted on March 15, 2018

We had a relatively brief PA Board of Education meeting this morning, then I hurried across town to a Governor’s Advisory Committee on Probation meeting, which had been cancelled (we missed the cancellation notice).  I have served on this committee, as the Senate’s representative, for 11 years and have never seen a situation like we’re in now.  The Governor has not made appointments to the committee for a couple of years; as members’ terms expire, he allows that slot to remain open.  We’re down to just two people on the committee, not enough to do anything.  It could be that he is that far behind on work, but it’s more likely that he doesn’t want this committee to exist.  He has been restructuring the Dept. of Parole and Probation on his own, after no changes were approved by the legislature.  Looks like this is part of a master plan.


Personal contact is always better

Article posted on March 14, 2018

I was at the Capitol for part of the day for some obligations I have and am staying over because of an 8:30 Board of Education meeting tomorrow morning, a Governor’s Advisory Committee on Probation meeting after that, and a meeting at the Capitol after that.  I went through some correspondence today from constituents including local municipalities and school districts.  One thing that I have mentioned many times before is the ineffectiveness of form letters or form emails.  We get these regularly from people or governments involved in an organization that asks them to send it out.  I think every legislator understands that the position of the organization is shared by most of the members in that group, so sending it out multiple times has little to no additional impact.  If someone took the time to write an original note and made it apply locally, it would receive much more attention.  What’s worse, however, are letters or emails from an organization that sends the message out on behalf of their members.  I’ve talked to people that didn’t even agree with their organization’s position on an issue, but had a letter sent in their name, without their permission to their legislators.  Personal contact is always better.


It seems like a good move

Article posted on March 13, 2018

I was up early to get to a 7:30 Greencastle Chamber Breakfast.  The presentation was put on by the Franklin County Visitors Bureau on their new Certified Tourism Ambassador program.  CTA’s must go through training to achieve their certification and must have continuing education credits to receive their renewal.  This is designed primarily for frontline staff in the hospitality and retail industry, but certainly includes others.  These are the people that deal with visitors to the county and often ask questions about where to eat, stay, or visit.  They want to hear from a local, and they want to be treated politely and professionally.  Their treatment is shown to produce results if done correctly.  It seems like a good move.


Watching television and eating Bonbons

Article posted on March 12, 2018

We had a few snow showers today in Blair County, but nothing that stayed on the ground.  It’s a little too early to think the snow is behind us.  I was working on scheduling this week and realized, again, that I can’t be two places at the same time.  I will be on the road all week with stops around the state including a Board of Education Meeting, a Governor’s Advisory Committee on Probation Meeting, speaking to school children, a Hospital Association Meeting, a Tuscarora Area Chamber Reception, a Senate Retreat and a Greencastle Chamber Breakfast.  I have other invitations, but they are at times that conflict with what I already committed to.  Anyway, if you don’t see me at something, know that I am not home watching television and eating Bonbons.


Reminded of that today

Article posted on March 11, 2018

There is a benefit to being early with the time change.  Charlotte and I were a little late for lunch at the East Freedom Fire Hall today, and they were sold out.  That doesn’t happen often, but no lunch for us.  I then drove to Cove Valley Youth Camp outside of Mercersburg to speak to kids part of the Trail Life USA, Woodlands Group.  The girls were having a “Tea” and I said hello to them; the boys were gathered to discuss state government.  They were a very polite bunch and the parents who help couldn’t have been nicer.  The camp is beautiful and I was given a tour by the camp director after I spoke to the kids.  From one of the lodges on a hillside, you can see four states.  Sometimes I lose sight of just how spectacular the countryside is in our area.  I’m glad I was reminded of that today.


An hour in the morning

Article posted on March 10, 2018

This afternoon, I attended the Woodland Owners of the Southern Alleghenies 21st Annual Forestry and Wildlife Conference in Bedford.  They had about 65 people and a good program including a presentation on CWD by the PA Game Commission and a presentation on the impacts of best conservation practices on the Chesapeake Bay.  I always enjoy seeing these folks and learning more about issues facing large land owners.  I still didn’t see any news on the map case, but heard that Fox News had a report on it.  Probably a few stories will appear in the Sunday papers.  Charlotte and I got to a dinner tonight in Fulton County.  Don’t forget to spring ahead tonight or you’ll be the only person at church for an hour in the morning.


Work tirelessly in the trenches

Article posted on March 9, 2018

The oral argument on the map case was today, but as of the time I’m writing this, I haven’t heard anything about what happened.  No one expected an immediate decision, but there may have been some indication of how the case was received.  I suspect there will be news stories tomorrow.  Tonight, Charlotte and I attended the Precious Life Banquet in Altoona, which has to be the largest pro-life gathering in the region.  It’s always an encouraging evening and tonight was no exception.  One part of the program was to hear from a Romanian preacher, explaining the dire circumstances in their community and expressing appreciation for the help this organization has given.  Thanks to all who support this organization and those who work tirelessly in the trenches.