In this Update:
Senators Martin and Aument Set the Record Straight on Meeting the Needs of Parents and Students
A recent opinion editorial in LNP made several wildly false accusations about policy positions held by Senator Aument and me pertaining to education. We wrote a response to set the record straight and correct any false or misleading statements that were made.
As the Senate Education Chairperson, I have always and will continue to support many different pathways to learning. That means supporting students, not systems. That means supporting parents to make decisions for their children and put them in the best environment to learn.
I will continue to engage in meaningful discussions on important issues facing education in the Commonwealth with parents, teachers and students. Feel free to read the entire response by visiting my website.
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.
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.
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:
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 email@example.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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