In this Edition
Mensch Hosts Quakertown Roundtable on School Safety Efforts
On Friday, September 21, I hosted a Senate Majority Policy Committee roundtable discussion focused on school safety efforts at Quakertown Community School District.
The committee, chaired by Senator David G. Argall (R-29), heard from teachers, students, administrators and others. The public roundtable discussion included Rep. Craig Staats (R-145) and featured a brief summary of recently passed legislation, pending proposals that are awaiting action by the General Assembly and a focus on new school safety solutions from local participants.
This discussion was imperative in order to ensure that we are doing everything we can to improve the safety of our schools. We received a tremendous amount of helpful feedback, and it will be instrumental in helping us continue crafting policy that will give us a multi-faceted approach to this matter.
Topics included a new $60 million state grant program that will give school districts flexible options to improve school safety, including hiring school security personnel and counselors, purchasing safety equipment like metal detectors, and implementing special programs to reduce violence in schools.
The need to address mental health issues, the role of school bus drivers in identifying potential threats, and other related topics were also covered.
We are going to need to find the dollars elsewhere in the state budget to make school safety and security a greater priority. It is my hope that as we implement the Performance Based Budgeting process I authored, and spending will have to be justified from dollar one, the General Assembly will be able to shift more dollars toward keeping students and teachers safe.
A complete list of participants and video of the event can be found on my website at SenatorMensch.com.
October 11: Mensch and Mackenzie to Host Concealed Carry Seminar
Representative Ryan Mackenzie and I will be hosting a Concealed Carry Seminar on October 11, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Community Fire Company #1 of Seisholtzville, 24 Saint Peters Road, Macungie, PA 18062.
Attendees will learn the facts about Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws, the Castle Doctrine, your Second Amendment rights, firearm estate planning, how to safely interact with police while carrying, and how to obtain a concealed carry permit.
Seating is limited. To register, call Rep. Mackenzie’s office at 610-965-9933 or register online at www.RepMackenzie.com.
October 19: Mensch to Host Seminar on Starting a Business
On October 19, I’ll be hosting the “First Step Seminar” to provide information on starting a business.
The seminar will be held from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Red Hill Borough Council Chamber located at 56 West Fourth Street in Red Hill.
Lehigh University SBDC consultants will present the program and will answer questions about initiating a successful business. The seminar is free, but pre-registration is required. To find out more information or to register for this seminar, you may also visit www.lehigh.edu/sbdc, email email@example.com, or call 610-758-3980.
Accepting Registration for Veterans Appreciation Breakfast
On November 3, 2018, I will be hosting my annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast at the Upper Perkiomen High School located at 2 Walt Road, Pennsburg, PA 18073.
Veterans are invited to join me for breakfast to honor the military men and women who have served our country. The Keynote Speaker will be Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel John W. Groth, USA, Retired.
Seating is limited so please register before Thursday, October 25. Veterans should register themselves and up to one. To register, visit https://www.senatormensch.com/veterans-appreciation-breakfast/ or call 215-541-2388.
The Mensch Report: TriCounty Active Adult Center (Parts II & III)
Spotted Lanternfly Update
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has been working on addressing the latest invasive species pest that threatens our natural habitats, managed landscapes, and farms and forests – the spotted lanternfly. This is potentially the worst invasive pest since the introduction of the gypsy moth nearly 150 years ago. The Asian planthopper was found for the first time in the United States in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014. It has since spread throughout 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, currently under quarantine, and has recently been found in New Jersey and Virginia.
This insect threatens not only about $18 billion of agricultural products in Pennsylvania, but it can make outdoor areas unusable by excreting a sticky substance called honeydew, which serves as a host for sooty mold. Furthermore, the presence of spotted lanternfly could threaten the shipment of goods over state lines and from the port of Philadelphia, should restrictions be placed on the movement of Pennsylvania products.
Since it is new to the United States, little is known about its behavior and biology, but researches in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working tirelessly to gather scientific data on how to contain and manage this pest. The PDA and USDA are leading the strategy and implementation of containment and control efforts, while the college focuses on research, education and outreach.
Working with PDA and USDA, Penn State Extension has launched a spotted lanternfly website – extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly – that serves as the primary hub for the most up to date information on this insect. To help stop the spread, the public can visit the website to learn how to identify spotted lanternfly and to report any potential sightings for action by PDA. You will also find an online course that provides businesses with the necessary training to receive a PDA permit that is required for companies operating in the quarantine zone to move equipment and goods within and out of the zone. Constituents can also call the SLF hotline at 1-888-4BADFLY (1-888-422-3359) to get information and report a sighting.
Flu Season Preparation
Schools are back in session, workplaces are buzzing with employees, and restaurants are seeing locals return from family vacations contributing to conditions conducive to the spread of influenza.
Ideally, vaccination against the flu should occur by the end of October when outbreaks can begin, but may be administered through peak activity in January and beyond. Two weeks are required for the vaccination to become effective.
Report Potholes and Poor Road Conditions Year Around
Motorists may also express concern with construction projects, signs and signals, speed limits, and personal property damage by calling 1-800-FIX-ROAD (1-800-349-7623). Be prepared with details on location and a description of the issue whether calling or completing the simple reporting form.
Urgent roadway concerns before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m. should be reported directly to the appropriate PennDOT Regional Office.
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