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HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania fair season has begun, offering visitors a chance to get a first-hand look at agriculture, from petting zoos and livestock shows to great food and music.
“Fairs are a great way to celebrate the commonwealth’s rich agricultural heritage and provide travel destinations for millions of people each year,” said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff. “Fairs offer a glimpse at farm life for people who otherwise would not experience it. They also provide some great entertainment and fun.”
The fairs run from March through October, but the bulk of the fair season is just beginning. The 2006 fair brochure, “Let’s Play Fair, Everyone,” provides information on fairs by region, including their locations and dates.
“Let’s Play Fair, Everyone” is available by calling the Department of Agriculture at (717) 787-5342. The publication can also be viewed online at www.agriculture.state.pa.us (click on Pennsylvania Fairs).
The Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees (PARSE) met on June 6 at the Towanda Gun Club.
Entertainment was provided by Karen Ballard, a native of California and a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus, with a major in music. She sang several vocals from different genres, accompanying herself on an acoustic guitar. In addition to her musical prowess, she is also pastor of the Rome Presbyterian Church. Her vocal offerings were greatly appreciated, as well as her humor and audience participation.
The meeting was called to order with a report by Legislation Chairman Jesse Bacon. He stated that since the legislature returned to session on June 5, Representative Pickett will update PARSE membership on the status of pertinent House Bills regarding an annual COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for Pennsylvania state retirees. Representative Lynn Herman, who is a longtime friend of PA, is retiring. He will need to pass the torch to someone who will be an advocate of PARSE for an annual COLA. Money is not an arguing point, as the pension fund received 3.8 billion in interest, more than enough for an annual COLA. House Bill 2339 got out of committee on January 3, 2006, but has not come up for a vote on the floor.
Senators Brightbill and Jubelirer, incumbents, were not returned to office in the recent primary election. However, Senate Bill #4, which was drafted to limit spending, really has no direct impact on an annual COLA as the funds are already in place.
Regional Vice President Clara Smith gave an updated report on the PARSE dental care, eye care and nursing home care programs. She also stated that there will be a hearing aid program. Enrollment will begin in August, at which time more information will be sent to members.
President Arnold announced that the annual chicken barbecue will be held at noon at Green Gables, New Milford on July 11. To make reservations or secure more information, contact Susquehanna County Vice President John Benio at 278–2380.
By virtue of a dispensation granted by the R.W. Grand Master, the three degrees were conferred on actor Bronson Pinchot in Harford Lodge No. 445, Hop Bottom, in December. Bro. Pinchot has been in films since he appeared as the comical gallery assistant in "Beverly Hills Cop" in 1984. Through the years, he has appeared in feature film roles, generally amusing, except not funny as the villain of the 1995 Stephen King TV miniseries, "The Langoliers." Pictured (l-r) are: front – Bro. Pinchot; Robert H. Benson, P.M., Treas. of Freedom Lodge No. 328, Thompson, who conferred the Fellow Craft Degree; and Martin W. Migliori, D.D.G.M., 15th Masonic District; rear – Johnnie A. Florance, P.M., then-W.M. of Bluestone Lodge No. 338, Great Bend, who conferred the Master Mason's Degree; Eugene R. Graves, P.M., Sec., Canawacta Lodge No. 360, who conferred the Entered Apprentice Degree; Ralph Jenkins, W.M., Harford Lodge; and Dieter G. Dauber, P.D.D.G.M.
Karen Halesky of Montrose, PA is serving an internship at the United Way of Susquehanna County. She just completed her junior year at Clarion University in Clarion, PA where she is majoring in communications with an emphasis in public relations.
Ms. Halesky is assisting with the coordination of the United Way’s Punt Pass and Kick contest on July 3, and will be working with the Leadership Giving Group. A “Day of Caring” is also planned for later in the summer. With this experience she hopes to expand her skills and knowledge of her desired field of work in communications.
Karen plans to return to Clarion University for completion of her Senior year. She is the daughter of Michael and Jackie Halesky of Montrose.
The Rail–Trail Council would like to remind trail users of the D & W and O & W Rail–Trails, that ATVs, dirt bikes and motorized scooters are not allowed on the trail or in the trailhead areas at any time. The trail is posted, and patrolled frequently. Citations have been issued for trespassing to numerous illegal trail users over the past few weeks. Patrols will continue as complaints continue to be heard from walkers, joggers and bikers.
For the fourth year in a row, New Beginnings Drop-In Center has donated a tree in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. On May 24, members of New Beginnings and staff of Step-By-Step, Inc. planted a tree at Memorial Park in Thompson. Thompson was the recipient of a weeping cherry tree.
Pictured (l-r) are: standing – Tami Robinson, Leland Robbs, Lisa Jones, Florence Colwell, Mary Richardson, Lisa Moore, Alan White, Pam Buchanan, David White; kneeling – Judy Sager, Jessica Thurston, Donna Fassler, Christina Price.
Each year members choose a town within Susquehanna County to receive a tree. In previous years trees have been donated to Montrose, Hallstead and New Milford. Members hope hat the presence of these trees will make people aware that anyone can suffer from a mental illness and still lead a productive life.
Rural Development, an agency of the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has loan funds available for very-low income homeowners in rural areas.
Loans are available for general repairs to improve or modernize homes, remove health and safety hazards, and increase adaptability for households with persons with disabilities. Loans can be made for amounts up to $20,000, a maximum of 20 years’ repayment period, and at an interest rate of one percent annually. Individuals 62 years or older may qualify for a grant in cases where an individual lacks the financial ability to repay a Section 504 loan.
USDA, Rural Development offers several housing programs and administers a water and wastewater financing program in rural areas, cities, and towns with populations of less than 10,000. Other programs include technical assistance for community development; financial programs for community facilities such as fire trucks and daycare centers; and loans and guarantees to rural businesses to save or create jobs. For more information on the programs offered by Rural Development, contact the Wyoming Local Office at (570) 836–4157, ext. 4, or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/pa.
One year of taping and hours of footage have yielded a wonderful collage of living links to the past and their delightful, poignant and informative revelations of day-to-day existence. The video promises to be a unique presentation of sight and sound as it transports you through two hundred years of Clifford Township's history. Enjoy the interviews of thirty friends and neighbors, as well as the expert commentary of several local historians. The backgrounds to these interviews are scenic areas, historical structure, sight and sounds throughout the township.
For more information contact Mary Hoehing at (570) 222-4053 or email email@example.com.
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