In this Edition:
The Mensch Report: Prostate Cancer Awareness
This edition of The Mensch Report features my walking tour and interview with Dr. Angelo Baccala, Chief of Urology, at the Lehigh Valley Health Network. Dr. Baccala is also a member of the newly created Pennsylvania Prostate Cancer Task Force. I invite you to watch this informative and helpful program which highlights different treatments and options available to those battling prostate cancer and other related illnesses.
June 4 Coffee with your Senator
My next Coffee with your Senator will take place on Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library. I invite you to stop by, join me for coffee, and ask me any state related questions that you may have.
RSVP for the event by calling 215-541-2388.
Plan Your Getaway with the PA Tourism Office
Planning a road trip, field trip or weekend getaway? The Pennsylvania Tourism Office is available to help you plan a trip to Pennsylvania's landmarks, parks, museums, festivals, sporting events, shopping locations, wineries and more. Also, this resource assists individuals, groups, and families who need to find a place to stay during multi-day trips. You can request a vacation guide to learn about the various options that are available to you. You can also stop by any of my district offices to request a Pennsylvania map to assist you on your travels.
PA Camping Guides Available
For those of you who enjoy the outdoors, I encourage you to stop by one of my district offices and pick up a copy of the Pennsylvania Camping Guide. Whether your pleasure is fishing or hunting, boating or swimming, snowmobiling or skiing, or any other outdoor activity, you will find it in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Camping Guide provides a directory that is divided into six regions which includes campground names, facilities available, driving directions and more.
If you’re unable to stop by the office, simply call my office at 215-541-2388 and we can mail a campground directory to you.
Volunteers Needed for Spotted Lanternfly Tree Banding Program
The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect known to be established in Eastern Berks County and portions of Montgomery, Bucks and Chester Counties. This insect has the ability to severely and negatively impact a number of agricultural commodities. Attempts are being made to eradicate this insect in the affected area.
Residents of municipalities included in the quarantine are encouraged to sign up as volunteers to band trees to trap and destroy this insect on their property. To participate, you must own property with a confirmed population of spotted lanternfly, and have Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven) trees. Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) crews will service other targeted properties where volunteers are not available.
Penn State Extension, in cooperation with the PDA, and the United States Department of Agriculture is offering three opportunities to train volunteers.
What is involved?
Interested residents must attend one training session to participate in the banding program.
Participants must agree to hang sticky bands on a number of Ailanthus trees on their property, service these bands every two weeks from May through December, and enter results into an on-line database. The estimated time to service a single band, count, and enter data is 15-20 minutes every two weeks. Five bands could take about an hour. The number of trees banded will vary depending on the availability of equipment and time commitment of the volunteer.
Participants must agree to schedule pick-up of spent bands for proper disposal by PDA crew members or other volunteers.
Call the Penn State Extension office in Lehigh County at 610-391-9840 or email your name, address and phone number to LehighExt@psu.edu to register for a training session.
What is provided?
Training : At the training sessions, volunteers will be shown how to identify target hosts of spotted lanternfly, how to identify spotted lanternfly, how to band trees, how to accurately count specimens on a tree band, and how to enter their results into the online database.
Equipment: Equipment is limited, so targeting of infested properties is essential for the success of the program. These properties will receive top priority. Provided equipment includes rolls of tree bands, push pins, trap labels, and trash bags.
Support: Field survey crews will begin employment with PDA and be assigned to specific areas. These crews will be available to assist with site assessment, initial band deployment, initial insect identification, waste disposal and biosecurity, and covering services if needed. Volunteers should expect regular contact from the PDA crew assigned to their area.
Leafminers: Agriculture Secretary Alerts Residents of New Invasive Threat, Stresses Need for Containment
An invasive pest new to the United States was discovered for the first time on a farm in Lancaster County and has been found to have spread to at least four other counties, according to officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
The invasive pest, known as allium leafminer Phytomyza gymnostoma, infects crops such as leeks, onions, garlic, chives, shallots and green onions. While researchers are still working to understand this invasive species, previous research suggests that the pest can be more damaging in organic, non-commercial farms or homeowner gardens.
Covering onion, chive and garlic plants in February, prior to the emergence of adults, and keeping plants covered during spring emergence, can be used to minimize crop exposure to the pest. Delay planting starts until after mid-May for fall allium crops such as leeks, has also been suggested to reduce infestation rates.
Leafminers are most likely transported with commercial cargo or in passenger baggage. There is a high likelihood that leafminers will escape detection at ports of entry.
The adult leafminer are about three millimeters in length and appear to be gray or black flies with a distinctive yellow or orange patch on the top and front. The yellow coloring is also present on the side of the abdomen. When resting, the wings are positioned horizontally over the abdomen. The eggs appear white, about 0.5 millimeters in length and slightly curved. The larvae are white, cream or yellowish in color and up to eight millimeters in length.
The adults appear in late winter (around March) into spring (throughout April and possibly May and lay eggs at the base of plant stems. Adult females lay eggs on the base of stems, and emerging larvae mine downwards, feeding on the bulbs. Damage caused by feeding and mining results in softening of the plant parts, increasing susceptibility to bacterial and fungal infections. The leaves of infected plants appear wavy, curled and distorted with a row of white dots.
The allium leafminer is native to Poland and Germany and was first detected in 1850. It is currently present in Europe and has been reported in Asia, Turkey and parts of Russia and Turkmenistan.
Little information is available on the life history of the pest in Pennsylvania. Surveys are ongoing to determine if any other areas of the state have positive detections. The timings for different emergences and life stages are based on the pest’s history in areas of Europe with climates similar to Pennsylvania’s.
Anyone who thinks they may have observed damage or a life stage of the allium leafminer should contact a plant inspector in the regional Department of Agriculture office or Penn State Cooperative Extension. Citizens are urged not to transport any crops suspected of infection, as doing so, will greatly increase the risk of spread of the pest. Adult specimens in counties outside of those listed can also be turned into the department’s Entomology Lab or to the Penn State County Extension Office for identification. Adult specimen can be placed in alcohol or hand sanitizer in a leak proof container. A sample submission form can be located on the entomology page, under Plant Industry, on the Department of Agriculture’s website.
Individuals can also take photos and submit them to Badbug@pa.gov. They can also call the Bad Bug Hotline at 866-253-7189 with details of the siting and contact information.
Medical Cannabis Legislation
The General Assembly this week gave final approval of legislation to permit the use of medical cannabis in Pennsylvania for limited medical conditions. The bill was enacted by the Governor.
Act 16 of 2016 establishes a state program under the Department of Health that creates a network of growers, processors and dispensaries and allows doctors to certify a patient to receive medical cannabis for certain medical conditions, including cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
The bill was amended in the Senate to give dispensaries clearer authorization to operate and add stronger oversight for employees of medical cannabis organizations.
For many of our fellow citizens, especially children suffering seizures, cannabis provides relief from their conditions.If you have questions regarding the legislation, I encourage you to use this resource.
Twitter and Facebook I post regular updates on legislative action, committee developments, useful state-related information, happenings in the 24th Senatorial District and more on Twitter @SenatorMensch and on my Facebook page.
If you find this e-newsletter
useful, I invite you to visit my website
for more information about your state government.
Red Hill Office
Lansdale District Office
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.
2016 © Senate of Pennsylvania