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In this Email Update:
Help Senator Argall with his 2017 calendar
I’m holding my first-ever photo contest to showcase the best of Berks and Schuylkill counties. I’m compiling the best photos to create a calendar for local residents for 2017.
Photographers of all skillsets are encouraged to participate.
Here are the rules:
Contestants may submit up to five photos per category of their favorite shots.
The categories are: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. The contest is open for both adults and children, but photos must have been taken by residents of the 29th Senatorial District within the boundaries of the 29th Senatorial District.
To determine whether your photo is eligible, please click here to view a map of the district.
The contest will remain open for submissions until Friday, October 7, 2016. Voting will take place from Friday, October 14, 2016 through Sunday, November 13, 2016. Voters will be permitted to cast one vote once per device.
Learn more about this exciting competition on my website.
Vietnam Veterans’ Commemorative Ceremony set for Nov. 17
On Thursday, November 17 at 6:30 p.m., I am hosting an event to recognize and honor the Vietnam Veterans of the 29th Senatorial District for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States, with a special Commemorative Ceremony.
In order to attend this event and to be eligible to receive the commemorative pin, the recipient must be a United States Veteran who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 01, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of stationing location.
Please visit my website for more information.
Schuylkill United Way kicks off 2017 campaign
Earlier today, I was honored to provide a few remarks as well as a congratulatory citation from the Senate of Pennsyvlania at the kickoff event for the Schuylkill United Way’s 2017 campaign.
I noted that in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville, a French political scientist, came to America to study our prison system. What he found was something far more noteworthy and remarkable – a political and community structure that, in his words, was “the most advanced example of equality in action.”
He marveled at the strength of Americans to mobilize toward a cause and solve problems without reliance on the federal government.
He was one of the first political observers to note the impact of charity and volunteerism on our way of life.
“It is simple to see the time approaching when man will be decreasingly able to produce alone the commonest necessities of life. The tasks of government will therefore constantly increase and its very exertions must daily extend its scope. . .The only way opinions and ideas can be renewed, hearts enlarged, and human minds developed is through the reciprocal influence of men upon each other.”
Tocqueville contrasted the American approach with the aristocratic societies of Europe, in which only a small number of wealthy individuals had the power to perform great enterprises single-handed.
Essentially, what he was saying was a simple and powerful message – while the French relied on the crown and the aristocrats for assistance, Americans banded together to help themselves.
The qualities that Tocqueville detailed in the early 1800s continue to be on full display today.
Through two World Wars, numerous armed conflicts, depressions and recessions, and catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina, the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and even the recent spate of weather-related disasters in the South, America and its citizens have persevered not because of a strong central government, but because of the resolve of our citizens.
We have survived and thrived because people were willing to come together and organize to solve our own problems through volunteerism, charity and the indomitable strength of the American spirit.
That’s a sentiment that is embodied by the United Way and the amazing donors and volunteers who make the organization’s mission a reality.
Congratulations and keep up the good work!
NOT a scam: Muscarella v. Commonwealth postcard solicitation
Residents may be receiving postcards regarding a possible settlement reward due to a $20 million class fund.
The law firm Stern & Eisenberg, PC and Kramer & Kramer LLP sent out postcards regarding the lawsuit. The Commonwealth Court approved a settlement on August 2, 2016 whereby Pennsylvania created a $20 million class fund.
The fund is to be used to pay real estate tax rebates to the estates of certain deceased Pennsylvania homeowners.
Estates of decedents are able to claim rebates from the class fund if they passed away between 2004 and 2009 and they paid their property taxes in the year of their death.
The average claim is approximately $400. The maximum is up to $975 per decedent. More information can be found here.
We remember the nearly 3,000 Americans killed in the atrocity of September 11, 2001, including the 40 passengers and crew aboard Flight 93.
We must never forget the lives lost or the threats that remain.