Senator Joe Pittman E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Town Hall in Kiski Township, Armstrong County
  • Celebrating Guard and Veterans Day at the PA Capitol
  • Violence Intervention & Prevention Grants Available
  • Comments Accepted on PA Freight Movement Plan
  • Bird Hunters Reminded to Take Avian Influenza Precautions
  • Tours of State Game Lands Slated for October
  • New Hayride Standards Subject of Oct. 5 Webinar
  • Enjoying PA’s World Class Fall Foliage 

Town Hall in Kiski Township, Armstrong County

Thank you to those who were able to attend and participate in my town hall meeting this past Wednesday evening in Kiski Township, Armstrong County.

I appreciated hearing your concerns and enjoyed the conversation!

Celebrating Guard and Veterans Day at the PA Capitol

Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) members as they celebrated Guard and Veterans Day at the state Capitol. 

A special ceremony was held to honor members of PNG and employees of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for their exceptional service to communities and veterans across the commonwealth and nation.

The PNG is the nation’s second-largest state National Guard with about 18,000 members, while Pennsylvania is home to nearly 800,000 veterans, the fourth-largest veteran population in the country.

Thank you ALL for your service.

Violence Intervention & Prevention Grants Available

Local municipalities, district attorneys, counties, community-based organizations and institutions of higher education can apply now for Violence Intervention and Prevention funding under two grant programs. 

Under the VIP Competitive Grants Program, eligible applicants can request funding for a wide range of programs that address community violence and prevention efforts. The deadline to apply is Oct. 12.

The Coordinated Community Violence Intervention Strategies Pilot Grants Program supports collaborative community violence prevention and response strategies within contiguous geographic areas. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31.

Detailed information about these funding opportunities can be found on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s website and on the Open Funding Opportunities webpage.

PCCD will host informational webinars for prospective applicants to provide an overview of these funding opportunities and offer a chance to ask questions and receive instructions on the application process. Registration for the webinars can be found under “FY 2022-23 VIP Application Resources” here.

Comments Accepted on PA Freight Movement Plan

The public comment period for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s 2045 Freight Movement Plan ends Oct. 5.

The plan provides information on steps to improve the safety and efficiency of moving freight statewide. Having an approved and up-to-date freight plan helps ensure Pennsylvania remains eligible for federal funding under the National Highway Freight Program. This federal program will add an average of $58.5 million annually to the state’s program.

An electronic comment form is available. Questions or comments on the freight plan can be sent to ra-pdpenndotcfmp@pa.gov.

Bird Hunters Reminded to Take Avian Influenza Precautions

 

As the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) continues, the Pennsylvania Game Commission urges the public to continue reporting wild bird mortality events, and hunters who handle wild birds are advised to continue to take precautions.

Several hunting seasons for wild birds are either underway or will begin soon. If hunters properly handle the wild birds they harvest, they protect themselves and help reduce the risk that this extremely contagious disease spreads to other birds. Bird hunters should:

  • Harvest only healthy-looking wild birds.
  • Wear gloves when handling any wild birds.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately after handling wild birds.
  • Dress harvested wild birds in the field.
  • Change clothing as needed, especially if visibly soiled or if any wild birds contacted clothing.
  • Change clothing, including footwear, before coming in contact with any pet birds or domestic poultry.
  • Wash all equipment, tools and work surfaces with soap and water, then disinfect with a 10% household bleach solution. Allow to air dry or rinse after 10 minutes of contact time.

Any sick or dead domestic birds should be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at 717-772-2852. Sick or dead wild birds should be reported to the Game Commission at 1-833-PGC-WILD or online using the Wildlife Health Survey tool at www.pgcapps.pa.gov/WHS.

Tours of State Game Lands Slated for October

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is holding public tours of state game lands in October.

Nine tours are scheduled throughout the state, the first of which will be held Sunday, Oct. 2. More tours are planned each Sunday through Oct. 16.

The tours provide a good example of the opportunities available on game lands statewide, while showcasing how habitat work being done on these tracts benefits wildlife. All tours are free, held rain or shine and open only to vehicles licensed for travel on public roads. You can find the complete tour schedule here.

New Hayride Standards Subject of Oct. 5 Webinar

Many farmers, other business owners and individuals offer hayrides in the fall to supplement income or for community events. In 2023, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) will be enforcing newly adopted national standards for hayrides.

The department and the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau will offer a webinar Wednesday, Oct. 5, at noon to discuss the new standards, which cover hayrides and amusement rides.

The standards were developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials, an international standards organization. The PDA has been informing operators that it will begin enforcing those requirements under the state Amusement Ride Inspection Act beginning next year.

Recognizing that the standards are burdensome and there are nuances and variations that exist with hayrides on farm and agritourism operations, PDA officials will participate in the webinar to receive input from businesses and individuals whose operations these regulations might affect.

To register for the Hayride Attractions & Amusement Rides Webinar, please email Kyle Kotzmoyer of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau at kfkotzmoyer@pfb.com.

Enjoying PA’s World Class Fall Foliage

Pennsylvania has a longer and more varied fall foliage season than anywhere in the world, and experts are available to serve as regional advisers, offering tips and resources to help residents and visitors experience a colorful autumn in a variety of ways.

Weekly fall foliage reports can be found online on the DCNR website. The report will be updated every Thursday. Fall foliage typically peaks for several weeks throughout October across Pennsylvania. Visitors can get suggestions about the best spots to view fall foliage on the Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage story map and on the Pennsylvania Tourism Office website.

Foliage viewers can also check out one of Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks and more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland for some of the best views, recreation trails and park experiences. State foresters and park personnel are also available to recommend the best times and locations to experience the beautiful vistas of the season.

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