Senator Bob Mensch E-Newsletter

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In this Edition:

  • Mensch Report: Round Guys Brewing Co. of Lansdale
  • May 8: Mensch Hosts Boyertown Seminar on College Aid, Managing Student Debt
  • April 12: Vietnam War Veterans Pinning Ceremony
  • Plank Road, Seitz Road in Montgomery County to Close for Intersection Improvement Project
  • PennDOT Crews Continue Pothole Repairs Brought on by Dramatic Temperature Swings 
  • Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans Reminded to Apply for Bonus Program
  • REAL ID Online Pre-Verification Now Available for Eligible Customers
  • Reduce Junk Mail

Senator Mensch congratulated Benjamin Dolbier, Samuel VanderGast and Robert Wildman on their Eagle Scout Courts of Honor. (Also pictured: Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and Dr. Bridget O’Connell)

Mensch Report: Round Guys Brewing Co. of Lansdale

April 2018: Round Guys Brewing

This edition of the Mensch Report features my walking tour and interview at Round Guys Brewing Company in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.  I invite you to watch my tour with Scott Rudich as we navigate the different aspects of their business.

May 8: Mensch Hosts Boyertown Seminar on College Aid, Managing Student Debt

Due to the inclement weather, we had to postpone last month’s Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) seminar. The seminar has been rescheduled for May 8 and will still take place at the Boyertown Area Senior High School Auditorium (120 Monroe Street, Boyertown, PA 19512) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Please RSVP by calling 215-541-2388.

April 12: Vietnam War Veterans Pinning Ceremony

U.S. Vietnam War Veterans are invited to attend a commemorative ceremony on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 10am at the Red Hill Fire Company Banquet Hall (82 East 5th Street, Red Hill, PA 18076).

The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War and coordinate, support, and facilitate programs and activities of the Federal, State and Local governments in commemoration of the Vietnam War.  A special Vietnam Veterans’ lapel pin has been produced and will be distributed to attending veterans.

In order to attend this event, the pin 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 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of stationing location. Questions regarding the event may be directed to my district office at 215-541-2388.Registration is required for this event. Please call 215-541-2388. Veterans may register themselves and one guest.

Plank Road, Seitz Road in Montgomery County to Close for Intersection Improvement Project

Plank Road and Seitz Road are scheduled to close beginning Monday, April 9, for excavation, stormwater and resurfacing operations as part of a project to improve travel and safety at the intersections of Route 29 (Gravel Pike) at Plank Road/Otts Road; Route 73 (Skippack Pike) at Plank Road; and Meyers Road, Seitz Road and Township Line Road in Skippack, Perkiomen and Limerick townships, Montgomery County, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

The work schedule is:

  • Monday, April 9, through late June, Plank Road will be closed and detoured between Route 29 (Gravel Pike) and Route 73 (Skippack Pike) in Perkiomen and Skippack townships. Plank Road motorists will be directed to use Route 29 (Gravel Pike), Haldeman Road and Route 73 (Skippack Pike); and
  • Monday, April 9, through late September, Seitz Road will be closed and detoured between Meyers Road and Fox Heath Boulevard in Perkiomen Township. Seitz Road motorists will be directed to use Township Line Road, Wartman Road and Bridge Street.

Meanwhile, Otts Road will remain closed and detoured between Miller Road and Route 29 (Gravel Pike) in Perkiomen Township through May 2019. Otts Road motorists will continue to use Route 29 (Gravel Pike), Bridge Street, Wartman Road, Township Line Road, Seitz Road and Meyers Road.

Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling near all the construction areas because backups and slowdowns will occur. Local access will be maintained up to each work zone.

Improvements under this $11.3 million project include widening the intersection of Route 73 (Skippack Pike) and Plank Road to include left turn lanes on both roads; relocating Otts Road to align with Plank Road at Route 29 (Gravel Pike) to create a four-leg intersection; adding left turn lanes on Route 29 (Gravel Pike) at Plank Road/Otts Road; adding left turn lanes on Plank Road and Otts Road at Route 29 (Gravel Pike); realigning Meyers Road to intersect with Township Line Road; realigning Seitz Road to form a T-intersection with Meyers Road; installing new traffic signals along the project corridor; and improving the roadway alignment in three locations.

Senator Mensch welcomed Zach Whitehair and Alyssa Choing to the Pennsylvania Senate. You can watch their introduction here.

PennDOT Crews Continue Pothole Repairs Brought on by Dramatic Temperature Swings

With this season’s dramatic swings between unseasonable warmth and typical winter conditions, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation crews continue to address the growing number of potholes on state-maintained roads.

Motorists can report potholes and other highway-maintenance concerns on state routes at or by calling PennDOT’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-FIX-ROAD (1-800-349-7623).

Motorists are asked to be as specific as possible when providing locations of maintenance concerns. Motorists should report the county, municipality, street name and state route number, which can be found on small black and white signs posted along state highways. In addition, a description of any familiar landmarks would be helpful for PennDOT to locate the problem area.

Maintenance concerns will be corrected as soon as possible. Emergency road repairs, such as road wash-outs, are handled on a top-priority basis.

The 1-800-FIX-ROAD number should not be used to report traffic accidents, disabled vehicles or other emergencies. Motorists should continue to call 911 to report these types of emergencies.

To learn about how potholes form and how PennDOT addresses them, view the department’s “Pothole Patrol” video on its YouTube page,

Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans Reminded to Apply for Bonus Program

Eligible veterans who served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations from Aug. 2, 1990 to Aug. 31, 1991, have six months to collect a special one-time payment to honor their service and sacrifice. Applications for the Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans Bonus are due by Aug. 31, 2018.

The bonus program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), pays $75 per month for qualifying, active-duty service members, up to a $525 maximum. For personnel whose death was related to illness or injury received in the line of duty in Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm, there is an additional $5,000 available to the surviving family. Service members who were declared prisoners of war may also be eligible for an additional $5,000.

To be eligible for the bonus, a service member must have:

  • Served with the U.S. Armed Forces, a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Pennsylvania National Guard
  • Served on active duty in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations during the period from Aug. 2, 1990 to Aug. 31, 1991
  • Received the Southwest Asia Service Medal
  • Been a legal resident of Pennsylvania at the time of active duty service
  • Been discharged from active duty under honorable conditions, if not currently on active duty

Since 2008, about 9,500 Persian Gulf Conflict veterans have applied for and received a bonus for their war efforts. Individuals who received a bonus or similar compensation from any other state are not eligible for the Pennsylvania program.

For detailed instructions on how to apply, visit

REAL ID Online Pre-Verification Now Available for Eligible Customers

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) opened online application for REAL ID pre-verification for customers who are interested in obtaining a REAL ID and obtained their first driver’s license or photo ID card after September 2003.  PennDOT may already have electronic documents on file for approximately 35 percent of its total customers, individuals who received their first PA driver’s license or ID card after September 2003.

PennDOT has begun sending postcards to eligible customers inviting them to visit PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website to request that PennDOT confirm their documents are on file. PennDOT customers without internet access may call PennDOT’s Customer Call Center at 717-412-5300 or visit a PennDOT Online Messenger for assistance with pre-verification.

Once a customer has completed the pre-verification application process, PennDOT staff will review the customer’s record and verify which documents are on file. The customer will receive follow-up communication from PennDOT regarding the status of their application. Customers are not pre-verified until they have completed the online pre-verification process and received confirmation from PennDOT that all documents are on file.

If they are, PennDOT will mark the customer’s record as “verified,” and after REAL ID products are available in spring 2019, the customer can opt into the REAL ID program online, pay the one-time $30 fee, plus their renewal fee (the REAL ID product will include any time left on the current license plus the period of renewal) and their REAL ID product will be sent through the mail, eliminating any need for this customer to visit a Driver License Center.

If PennDOT does not have all the customer’s documents on file, they will receive communication from PennDOT informing them that they will need to bring their REAL ID documentation into any PennDOT Driver’s License Center beginning in September 2018 for in-person pre-verification.

REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents. A federally-accepted form of identification (whether it’s the forthcoming Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building on and after October 1, 2020.

Until May 2017, Pennsylvania law prohibited PennDOT from complying with the federal REAL ID Act. Signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf, Act 3 of 2017 repealed this prior legislation and allowed PennDOT to seek REAL ID compliance.

Pennsylvania is under an enforcement extension from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until October 10, 2018, which means that Pennsylvanians may use their current driver’s license or ID card to board commercial aircraft or enter federal facilities that require ID until at least that date. Pennsylvania will continue to apply for extensions from DHS until becoming fully compliant with the REAL ID Act. PennDOT is committed to offering REAL ID products at the customer’s option in spring 2019.

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at

Senator Mensch and State Rep. Marcy Toepel congratulated Eric Olden on his Eagle Scout Court of Honor.

Reduce Junk Mail

When the paper shredder is full and the junk mail continues, it may be time to cut down on unsolicited mail.

Preapproved or prescreened offers of credit and insurance frequently add unwanted clutter among the important bills and personal correspondence filling your mailbox.

You may opt-out of receiving those unwanted offers for a five year period by calling 1-888-567-8688 or by opting out online.  If you prefer, complete the permanent opt-out election form, sign, and return it to the provided address.  Removing your name from these lists does not affect your ability to apply for or obtain credit or insurance in the future.

Reduce unsolicited national advertising mail through the Data and Marketing Association.  Complete and return the DMA Choice Form to DMA Choice at P.O. Box 643, Carmel, New York, 10512.

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