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In this Email Update:
Tamaqua Community Art Center Big Benefit Concert
On April 22, I will join some very musically talented individuals – Micah Gursky, Director of the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership, St. Luke’s Miners Campus President Bill Moyer, Tamaqua Mayor Chris Morrison and Zac Yenser, a guitar student at the Tamaqua Community Art Center, to perform at the center’s Big Benefit Concert.
This will be the first (and perhaps, the last!) time I play the saxophone in concert in forty years, so while the other members of the band are sure to make a good impression, I may be a little rusty. When I recently began to practice at home, my two terriers – Maggie and Wolfgang, ran to the far end of the house and they haven’t joined me for any of my practice sessions since then. This fundraising event is a great cause for the community but please, no rotten tomatoes for the saxophone player!
Learn more about the event here.
Town hall meeting on heroin epidemic
On Wednesday, I attended a town hall meeting to discuss the growing heroin epidemic that is plaguing our communities.
During this town hall meeting where 200 people gathered, potential solutions were discussed on how to combat this issue and raise awareness about the harmful consequences of heroin use and drug addiction. One of the recommendations that was made is to increase the resources that are available for treatment. Read more about the town hall from the Republican Herald here.
Both Schuylkill and Berks counties are unfortunately not immune to this epidemic and have experienced heroin-related deaths. Schuylkill County has already reported five deaths related to heroin use this year alone, and Berks County has seen a rise in fatalities from 2010-2015.
For more information about heroin and opioid addiction, treatment options, as well as the various laws that are currently in place to address this issue, please read the 2015 report from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania here.
Now is the time to tackle this issue head-on in order to protect our children and loved ones.
Request applications for Pennsylvania AmeriCorps grants
PennSERVE, an agency under the Department of Labor and Industry that is responsible for promoting volunteerism and community service throughout the state, recently announced the opening of application requests for the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania AmeriCorps State Grants – Formula Funding.
AmeriCorps is a service program nationwide that offers education awards to thousands of citizens in exchange for 1-2 years of their service to the community. Some of the services these volunteers provide include: assisting crime victims, helping to build homes, mentoring high-risk youth, and providing emergency support and assistance to victims of natural disasters.
The state grants provide AmeriCorps and its members with the ability to operate and carry out their core functions and duties of helping those in need.
If you wish to apply for this grant, a “Notice of Intent to Apply” is required by Tuesday, April 12 at 5 p.m. Applications are due Tuesday, May 24 at 5 p.m.
To learn more about the grant and how to apply, click here.
Pennsylvania Farm Conservation Tax Credit Program
Pennsylvania’s farmers are encouraged to apply for the remaining Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program tax credits for 2015-16.
REAP is a tax credit program for farmers who utilize best management practices (BMPs) or make equipment purchases that help to decrease erosion and sedimentation which impacts streams and watersheds in Pennsylvania.
Farmers interested in applying can be awarded tax credits up to $150,000 per agricultural operation for 50-75 percent of the project’s cost. Since its inception in 2007, REAP has provided tax credits to 3,900 projects at a total exceeding over $50 million.
Deadline to submit applications is April 22, 2016. For more information or to apply, please click here.
Deadline extended for Schuylkill Acts & Impacts applications
The deadline for applications to be submitted for the Schuylkill Acts & Impacts expedition has been extended to Friday, April 8.
Hosted by the Schuylkill Headwaters Association and Fairmount Water Works, this watershed excursion provides high school students with the opportunity to learn more about water quality impacts in the watershed and experience the great outdoors.
The expedition will take place June 18 – 25. For more information or to apply, click here.
FCI Schuylkill Recruitment Day
Federal Corrections Institute Schuylkill will be holding a federal employment and career job fair for individuals interested in working at the facility. Staff will be available to speak with regarding the following employment opportunities that are available: Correctional Officer; Staff Psychologist; Physician Assistant; Registered Nurse; Nurse Practitioner; and Warehouse Worker Supervisor.
The event will be held on Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the FCI Schuylkill Training Center located in Minersville. Prospective candidates are welcome to walk-in or schedule appointments by calling 570-544-7108 or emailing SCH/ExecAssistant@bop.gov. Candidates can also apply online at: www.usajobs.gov.
Save water, save money
Looking for ways to save money in your household? Well look no further than your sinks and toilets. Simple repairs such as replacing faucet washers and gaskets can not only prevent small leaks from occurring, but can also contribute to saving money in your pockets.
If you have a single leaky faucet, you could be wasting over 3,000 gallons of water a year, and over 500 gallons per year for a shower leak.
Replacing old toilets and using one that is labeled “WaterSense” can save an average household 13,000 gallons of water a year.
For more information about water leaks and ways to save water, click here.
Pennsylvania’s Great American Cleanup
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and PennDOT, over the past twelve years almost 160,000 miles of the state’s roads, trails, waterways and shorelines were cleaned up, along with more than 149,000 trees, flowers and bulbs planted due to the efforts of Pennsylvania’s Great American Cleanup.
So far it has been reported that volunteers have collected 86.5 million pounds of litter and waste, as well as approximately 237,000 tires and more than 163,000 pounds of scrap across the state – and this number is projected to increase with this year’s initiative.
Keeping our environment clean and litter-free is critical. For more information about cleanup efforts in Schuylkill and Berks Counties, click here.
Exploring Pennsylvania’s state parks
As we enter the spring season, and with summer not too far away, what better time to enjoy the outdoors and the many natural resources we have than to visit one of our many state parks?
From hiking to hunting and fishing to swimming, our state parks offer several recreational activities that will have you, your family, and your friends coming back for more. Pennsylvania’s state parks also offer visitors and residents with accommodations for overnight lodging such as cabins, cottages, inns and even tents for your furry little friends!
For more information about camping and lodging opportunities available in Pennsylvania’s parks, click here.