Senator Cris Dush E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Be Aware of Partisan Political Mailings that Try to Appear Nonpartisan
  • September is National Preparedness Month
  • Much of the 25th Senatorial District, and PA, Placed on Drought Watch
  • Assistance Available for Fire & EMS Companies to Help with Costs 
  • Jefferson County SARA and Safety Summit
  • Dedication of the Captain Raymond Harry “Bud” Hetrick Memorial Bridge in Brookville, Jefferson County.
  • Sawyer Snyder Achieves Rank of Eagle Scout
  • You can Help Track PA Cases of Rabbit Disease
  • Virtual Town Hall to Focus on Transportation Issues Veterans Face
  • Municipalities can Apply Now for Grants to Improve Traffic Flow

Be Aware of Partisan Political Mailings that Try to Appear Nonpartisan

It has come to my attention that two political advocacy groups, the Voter Participation Center (VPC) and the Center for Voter Information (CVI), will be conducting unsolicited direct mailings to Pennsylvania residents that contain voter registration applications and mail ballot applications.

These unsolicited mailings are NOT affiliated with or endorsed by any county board of elections in the 25th Senatorial District

The VPC and CVI organizations bear all responsibility for the mailings, including any mailings that contain incorrect information – and be aware the information contained within the mailing is partisan in nature, i.e. it is designed to produce support for one set of political candidates.

The mailings are expected to begin in late August and continue through mid-September, possibly longer.

Any recipient of an unsolicited VPC or CVI mailing who wishes to be removed from the mailing list can do so by noting a code near the bottom of the letter and emailing the code to the correct organization: unsubscribe@voterparticipation.org or unsubscribe@centerforvoterinformation.org. Recipients can also request to be removed from the mailing list by calling VPC at 866-255-6750 or CVI at 866-290-1599.

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, which serves as a reminder to take steps to prepare for emergencies and ensure that our homes, businesses and possessions are adequately insured.

September is also when Pennsylvania experiences a higher risk of flooding due to hurricane and tropical storm activity in the Northeast this time of year. The state Insurance Department encourages property owners to consider purchasing flood insurance.

Simple, low- or no-cost steps you can take now to prepare for emergencies include:

  • Creating a family emergency plan so loved ones know who to contact and where to go in an emergency.
  • Signing up for weather alerts.
  • Knowing how to safely turn off utilities in and around your home.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency can help you prepare for emergencies through Ready, Set, and Check! It includes an informative card that will help you with simple, yet important, steps to get started and track your progress.

Much of the 25th Senatorial District, and PA, Placed on Drought Watch

At the end of August, the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Commonwealth Drought Task Force declared a drought watch for 36 Pennsylvania counties, including (with the exceptions of Elk and Jefferson) all the counties within the 25th Senatorial District.

The drought watch comes amid a summer that has seen little rain throughout much of the state.

Residents on drought watch are asked to reduce their individual water use by 5% to 10%, or a reduction of three to six gallons of water per day.

DEP is notifying all water suppliers in the affected counties of the need to monitor their supplies and be prepared by updating their drought contingency plans as necessary. Varying localized conditions may lead water suppliers or municipalities to ask residents for more stringent conservation actions.

At this time, two public water suppliers are requiring residents to reduce their water use: Galeton Borough Water Authority in Potter County and Waterville Water Association in Lycoming County.

Six suppliers are asking residents to voluntarily reduce their water use: BCI Municipal Authority, Clearfield County; Driftwood Boro, Cameron County; Jersey Shore Area Joint Water Authority, Lycoming County; Lock Haven, Clinton County; Palmerton Municipal Water Authority, Carbon County; and Pennsylvania American Water Company – Bangor District, Carbon County.

For more drought information that’s updated daily, see the DEP’s drought information web page.

Assistance Available for Fire & EMS Companies to Help with Costs 

First responders have until Oct. 21 to apply for assistance through the state Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program.

It helps fire and EMS cover the rising costs of training, equipment, recruitment, retention and more.

It sometimes happens that when officers change within a fire company, the individuals who had been responsible for applying for these grants move on and the applications are neglected.  My office attempts to reach out to each when we see that an application has not been awarded, but any help from volunteers in each company to ask the leadership team in the company if these have been applied for can help prevent it being a last minute hustle to get them in.

The financial challenges facing first responders are especially serious for volunteer companies. Each new generation sees fewer volunteers, increasing the workload on those willing to step up. This grant program is one of the most important that the General Assembly funds each year and I hope it provides some relief to our local first responders.

Jefferson County SARA and Safety Summit

The first Jefferson County SARA and Safety Summit will be held next week, on Monday, Sept. 12, at the Jeff Tech School in Reynoldsville, PA.

This summit is designed to help build community resilience and provide for a safer community. Everyone is invited to attend. Registration is between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. with the program starting at 8:30 a.m. To register visit,  http://www.jefftech.info/Jefferson-County-SARA-and-Safety-Summit. If you have any questions, please call 814-849-5052.

Topics to be discussed include hazardous materials in the business sectors, active shooter events, keeping schools and communities safe and more.

This is a comprehensive program presented by well renowned speakers from law enforcement backgrounds, specialists that deal with chemical safety, cybersecurity for businesses/schools and representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

This event is FREE. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided by the Jeff Tech culinary students and staff.

This is a great way to network and learn from professionals to better prepare for the future.

Dedication of the Captain Raymond Harry “Bud” Hetrick Memorial Bridge in Brookville, Jefferson County

From Left to Right: Commander Bill Littlefield, Brookville Honor Guard; Rep. Brian Smith (R-66); Sen. Cris Dush; Lee and Ramona Hetrick, Bud Hetrick’s brother and sister in-law; and Linda and Dan McAllister, Bud Hetrick’s sister and brother in-law.

Late last month, I had the honor and privilege to, along with state Rep. Brian Smith, officially dedicate the South White Street bridge located in Brookville, Jefferson County as the Captain Raymond Harry “Bud” Hetrick Memorial Bridge.

Thank you to all the members of the Brookville Honor Guard for participating in the event and to Lee Hetrick and his family for making the trip to honor Lee’s brother. It was truly an honor to have met all of you at the event.

Raymond Harry Bud Hetrick, born on Sept. 11, 1936, and a native of Brookville, enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1959, attaining the rank of captain.

He served as a pilot attached to the 1st Air Commando Squadron, based in Pleiku, Vietnam arriving at his post on Jan. 12, 1966.

On Feb. 24, 1966, his Douglas Skyraider Attack Aircraft was on a search and rescue mission south of Seponh, Savannakhet Province, Laos, when his aircraft was struck by hostile fire, crashed and exploded. He was listed as “Killed in Action,” but his remains were not recovered until July 10, 2001 and not identified until March 26, 2004.

He was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Sept. 16, 2004: Section 66, Grave #2548 and Vietnam Wall Section 5E, Line 72.

Captain Hetrick served his country with distinction and received the Air Medal, Purple Heart, United States Aviator Badge (Air Force), National Defense Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Abraham Lincoln called those who serve our country as the last, best hope on earth.

Captain Hetrick served in a war he did not choose, but he honorably did his duty for his country and gave his life for the cause of peace and liberty in a foreign land.

We may honor athletes for their speed or strength. We may bestow awards on actors. But those who deserve real honor are those like Captain Hetrick, who selflessly put his life at risk to serve his country and defend principles on which our nation was founded.

Those who serve in our military are asked to do a difficult job and undertake sacrifices and risks that few others willingly choose.

We should never underestimate the selflessness of their response when duty calls.

The dedication of this bridge in his name is only a small token of the appreciation and thanks that we owe him. It is a pledge that we will always remember his service and its cost to him, to his family and to the Brookville community.

May this memorial to Captain Raymond Harry “Bud” Hetrick ensure that we never forget one among us who gave his all serving his country honorably and advancing the cause of freedom for others. May we will always hold dear his memory and the ideals for which he dedicated his life.

Thank you for your service, Bud. May you rest in peace and honor. God bless.

Sawyer Snyder Achieves Rank of Eagle Scout

Congratulations to Sawyer Snyder for earning the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest advancement rank achieved in the Boy Scouts of America and only attained by a small percentage of all Boy Scouts.

This monumental achievement represents the great sacrifice and tremendous efforts that have been made by this young man.

Sawyer is the son of Derrick and Angela Snyder and Teralyn and Nick Franco.

Thank you to the parents and to the leaders of Troop 422 of Kane for staying the course. I know the years may have had their challenges but trust me, it will all be worth it.

For his Eagle Scout community service project, he built a beautiful pavilion located at the Kane Fire Department.

Sawyer, I commend you on the outstanding commitment you made to the Boy Scouts since you entered at the age of 6. The life lessons you have learned will certainly guide you and set you up for success no matter the task.

You can Help Track PA Cases of Rabbit Disease

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking the public to report any rabbit mortality events – defined as finding two or more dead hares/rabbits at the same location with an unknown cause of death – by calling 1-833-PGC-WILD or by using the online Wildlife Health Survey reporting tool at www.pgcapps.pa.gov/WHS.

This comes after two cases of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD), which can cause internal bleeding and sudden death in rabbits, were identified in a Fayette County facility. The disease is considered an endemic in wild rabbits in 11 states and has been detected in domestic populations in 13 states.

Domestic rabbit owners who have questions about this disease should contact their veterinarians, who in turn should immediately report suspected cases of RHD to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Health.

RHD is not infectious to people or domestic animals other than hares or rabbits. However, multiple dead or sick hares or rabbits can also be a sign of tularemia or plague, diseases that can cause serious illness in people. You can find more information on RHD here.

Virtual Town Hall to Focus on Transportation Issues Veterans Face

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will host the fourth in a five-part series of virtual Veteran Town Halls on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 6-7:30 p.m. The town hall will focus on resources to assist veterans facing transportation issues.

Attendees can participate by using this Microsoft Teams link. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions during the program through the chat feature.

Older veterans and those with a disability often have problems accessing health care because of not having proper transportation available to them. The town hall will outline community resources ready to provide veterans with transportation to and from the federal VA and other health care providers.

Municipalities Can Apply Now for Grants to Improve Traffic Flow

A new grant program created by the General Assembly this year to reduce traffic congestion is now accepting applications from municipalities.

The Traffic Signal Technologies Grant program is unique in that it is intended only for new technologies at existing traffic signals, including adaptive signal control technology, which adjusts the timing of lights to accommodate changing traffic patterns and ease congestion.

No local matching funds are required. A pre-application form must be completed by Sept. 23.

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