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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rain is No Eggs-cuse to Cancel Hunt

This young lady gets ready to hunt for some Easter eggs at the Callahan Park ice rink Saturday morning. The Bradford City Firefighters Local 655 annual egg hunt had to be held inside because of the weather, but no one seemed to mind.

Police Get Complaints About Juveniles

Juveniles kept Bradford City Police busy Thursday evening and into Friday. They received complaints about kids from Congress, East Main, Davis and Jefferson Streets, according to the complaint report and request sheet.

Officers also looked into a theft at a High Street business and a theft of medication, a disturbance on Bushnell Street and criminal mischief at Davis and Main streets. They were also called about a motor vehicle accident on Euclid Avenue and an unwanted person on Belleview Avenue.

Fire Damages DuBois Strip Mall

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused a fire in a DuBois strip mall Friday that did three-quarters of a million dollars worth of damage.

The fire started at about 10:45 a.m. in the Beaver Grove Plaza, according to a news release sent to WESB and The HERO by State Police Fire Marshal Greg Agosti.

Commercial Radio Systems was severely damaged while Flatirons Development, Gruda Chiropractic and the Punxsutawney Sleep Center were moderately damaged. Stellabuto's Everything Under Roof had smoke damage.

James and Bernice Stellabuto of DuBois own the building.

Agosti says no one was hurt.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Greetings

A representative from Emporium’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church visited Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation residents to deliver Easter cards this week. Program organizer Sissy Miller delivers the “sunshine cards” throughout the year and also visit residents at the Guy and Mary Felt Manor and Grove House. Pictured, from left, are Eva Connors and Sissy Miller.
Courtesy of CCMH

Fundraiser Proceeds Donated to Cancer Center

Bill Sallade presents a check to Marcia Austin, Theresa Robinson and Kari Karpinski at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Patterson Cancer Care Center. The funds will benefit patients at the PCCC and were raised during the fourth annual Kathy Sallade Memorial 9-ball Pool Tournament in February. Mrs. Sallade loved pool and always thought of others before herself, even while undergoing cancer treatment. The annual tournament will continue to benefit PCCC patients. To donate toward the fund, contact CCMH’s fund development at 274-5204.
Courtesy of CCMH

Colosimo Named Alumni Award of Distinction

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Alumni Association will honor Dr. Lee Colosimo with its PBAA Alumni Award of Distinction for outstanding professional achievement and exemplary service to the community.

The award will be presented by Dr. Livingston Alexander, university president, and Chris Luke, PBAA president and 1995 graduate, during commencement exercises on Sunday, May 1.

“I’m thrilled to join the PBAA in presenting the Alumni Award of Distinction to Dr. Colosimo, one of the most accomplished and decorated physicians in the country,” Alexander said.

“That Dr. Colosimo received his educational foundation at Pitt-Bradford and Bradford Area High School speaks volumes about the longstanding quality of those local educational institutions.”

Colosimo, a cardiovascular, thoracic and endovascular surgeon in Houston, Texas, was nominated by Beverly and Fred Gallup.

A Bradford native, Colosimo attended Pitt-Bradford from 1965-66 and continued his studies at the University of Pittsburgh, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1969. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1973 and completed an internship and residency in surgery at Presbyterian University Hospital.

He has practiced in the Houston area since 1979 and is a member of many medical associations and societies.

Colosimo has received many professional acknowledgements, including being named by several publications to lists of top doctors. In 2004, he was named by H Texas magazine as one of the Top 486 Best Doctors in Houston. He was also included in the Consumers’ Research Council of America’s “Guide to America’s Top Surgeons” in 2004 and 2005 and the Consumers’ Research Council’s “Guide to America’s Top Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons” in 2009.

Candidates for the Alumni Award of Distinction must have attended Pitt-Bradford, but may have moved on to graduate from other institutions. Candidates are evaluated based on their level of professional achievement and service to the community. Nominations can be submitted by any member of the Pitt-Bradford community, including alumni, faculty, staff, administration, students and advisory board members.

Last year Pitt-Bradford honored another physician, Dr. Jill Owens.

For more information on the Alumni Award of Distinction, visit

DeMott Named to State Commission

McKean County Commissioner Joe DeMott has been named to the newly created Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.

Governor Corbett announced the formation of the commission today. Its goal is to develop innovative solutions to Pennsylvania’s mounting transportation funding challenges.

“We need a comprehensive, strategic blueprint for how we pay for years of underinvestment in our roads, bridges, and mass transit systems, and I have directed PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch to lead the commission to explore our financial options,” Corbett said.

“Pennsylvanians expect and deserve to have a transportation system that improves not just their safety, but their overall quality of life. The time has come to put a financial plan in place that not only addresses our transportation needs but also takes into account our nation’s energy objectives and realities.”

The governor tasked the group to make its recommendations by Aug. 1. The panel’s first meeting will be on April 25. Named to the commission were:

· Patrick Henderson - Commonwealth Energy Executive
· Michael Krancer – acting Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection
· Alan Walker – Secretary, Department of Community & Economic Development
· Charles Zogby - Commonwealth Budget Secretary
· Janet Anderson - Northwest Regional Planning and Development Commission
· Richard Barcaskey - Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania
· John Brenner - Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities
· Tom Caramanico - McCormick Taylor Inc.
· J. Randolph Cheetham - CSX Transportation
· James Decker - Stroud Township
· Joe DeMott - McKean County commissioner
· Richard Farr - Pennsylvania Public Transit Association/York County Transportation Authority
· Mike Fesen - Norfolk Southern Corp.
· Michael Flanagan - Clinton County Economic Partnership
· Elam Herr - Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors
· Dale High - High Industries, Inc.
· Kevin Johnson - SEPTA
· Robert Kinsley - Kinsley Construction Co.
· Robert Latham - Associated Pennsylvania Constructors
· Frederick LaVancher - Tioga County
· Tom Lawson - Borton-Lawson Architecture & Engineering
· Ted Leonard - Pennsylvania AAA Federation
· Brad Mallory - Michael Baker Corp.
· Ron Marino - Citigroup Infrastructure
· Hugh Mose - Centre Area Transportation Authority
· Ross Myers - American Infrastructure
· Tim Reddinger – Clarion County commissioner
· Carol Rein - Bank of America/Merrill Lynch
· Jim Runk - Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association
· Robert Shaffer - Aviation Advisory Committee/Dubois Airport
· Craig Shuey - Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
· Jeff Stover - SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority
· Rob Wonderling - Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
· Dennis Yablonsky - Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
· Jeff Zell - Zell Engineers, Inc.

“I am grateful to all the commission members for contributing their time, knowledge and insight to helping Pennsylvania move toward a new decade of transportation improvements,” said Schoch. “I am committed to delivering a sound and effective blueprint for funding our state’s transportation investments that benefits our economy and our residents.”

The commission’s materials can be found at or at the PennDOT website,, under the TFAC button. The commission also has established an email address,, to accept public comments.

The commission’s first meeting will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 25 in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Office Building, 4th and Market streets, Harrisburg. Overflow seating will be in the second-floor auditorium.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

PA House Speaker Visits McKean County

Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Sam Smith (second from right) was the keynote speaker at the McKean County Republican Party Annual Spring Dinner Thursday night. Among the issues Smith addressed was the state budget. He said the Rendell administration left the state with many budget problems, making this budget difficult. He said, when the process is finished, most people probably won't be happy "but the bottom line is: We have an opportunity to get Pennsylvania back on the right track by putting a budget into place (that has) our spending in line with our revenues. That's the first real step to getting this Commonwealth back on track. Hopefully, we won't be left sloshing around in the wake of the Rendell administration for much longer.Listen here. Also pictured, from left, state representatives Kathy Rapp, Matt Gabler and Marty Causer. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati also attended the event as did representatives for US Senator Pat Toomey, Congressman GT Thompson and many of the people running for office in McKean County.

Smith also talked about:

~~ the House Wel-FAIR reform package. Listen here.

~~ Punxsutawney Phil. Listen here.

'Summer Rush' at Seneca Casinos

Seneca Casinos will deliver an unprecedented level of excitement this summer to the Western New York, Southern Ontario, and Northern Pennsylvania and Ohio regions with “Summer Rush” – a package of world-class entertainment, promotions and special events during June through August.

Summer Rush takes place at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls, Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in Buffalo and the new Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course in Lewiston. Just some of the many offerings include blockbuster concerts by Daughtry, Steve Miller Band, Melissa Etheridge, Martina McBride and more; expanded hours at the casino restaurants; and eye-opening promotions such as a cruise-a-day giveaway in August.

“The phrase ‘Summer Rush’ captures the compelling combination of activities throughout the Seneca properties,” said Jim Wise, senior vice president of marketing, Seneca Gaming Corporation. “We are the place to be for entertainment, action and excitement in the region, and I think we have a lineup that matches the fun of the summer months and will get people talking.”

Summer Rush features more than two dozen performances at the Events Center and Bear’s Den Showroom at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls as well as the Events Center at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca.

Summer Rush debuts with Aretha Franklin’s return to the stage on Memorial Day weekend at the Seneca Niagara Events Center. Additional star-studded performers at the venue include Daughtry, Steve Miller Band, Paul Rodgers, Martina McBride and Jeff Foxworthy (two shows). The excitement also takes place at the Seneca Allegany Events Center this summer with The Guess Who, Kenny Rogers, Tom Arnold, Melissa Etheridge, Big & Rich with Gretchen Wilson, and Ronnie Dunn. Each Events Center location seats up to 2,400 people with no seat further than 100 feet of the stage.

Entertainers at the Bear’s Den Showroom include Patti Austin, Tonic, Oh What a Night – A Tribute to Frankie Valli (two shows), Ninety Miles, Dave Mason, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, John McDermott, Daryl Stuermer Band, Leon Russell, The Association and Johnny Winter. The intimate venue seats up to 440 people with no seat further than 40 feet of the stage.

Tickets for shows at Niagara go on sale at 10 AM on April 28 (June shows), May 5 (July shows) and May 12 (August shows), while tickets for shows at Allegany go on sale at 10 AM on April 29 (June shows), May 6 (July shows) and May 13 (August shows). Starting prices for seats range from $20 to $65. Tickets will be available at all Seneca Casino box offices,, all Ticketmaster locations, or by phone at 800-745-3000.

Promotions during June include a boat and trailer giveaway at Seneca Allegany Casino, a $50,000 summer slot tournament with a $10,000 grand prize at Seneca Niagara Casino, and the Seneca Summer Shopping Spree at both casinos – offering guests the opportunity to purchase some of the summer’s hottest items and new technology using gaming points.

To kick off July, Seneca Allegany will host its extravagant fireworks display on Friday, July 1. The following evening, an equally-spectacular fireworks display will take place at Seneca Niagara. In addition, Seneca Niagara Casino will host a backyard makeover promotion with $30,000 in prizes throughout the month, such as patio sets, grills and Home Depot gift cards. On July 30, the Seneca Allegany Casino will offer a giveaway for two Sea-Doo watercrafts and a trailer. And throughout the month at all Seneca Casino properties, baseball fans will have opportunities to win fun promotional items and tickets to see games in Buffalo, New York and Boston.

The month of August features an unprecedented promotion throughout all three casinos: cruise giveaways. There will be a winner each day at Seneca Allegany and Seneca Niagara; a winner will be drawn each Sunday at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino.

To match the expected high demand of food during Summer Rush, the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel will operate its new Tim Hortons and Cold Stone Creamery co-branded dining outlet 24 hours a day, and its popular Asian restaurant Koi will be open for dinner seven days a week instead of five.

Golf fans who want to stay overnight at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel and play at Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course can enjoy a new package with discounted hotel rates. The course is enjoying its first full season of golf and was recently ranked No. 6 Best New Public Course in the U.S. by Golf magazine. Golfers will enjoy a just-opened clubhouse and restaurant.

Fans of Summer Rush should be on the lookout for an upcoming coupon book with $200 of savings toward retail, dining, golf and spa services. In addition, Seneca Casinos will be rolling out a partnership with nearby hotels throughout the regions that will provide hotel guests with casino vouchers, as well as a new savings card for use at Seneca Casino retail shops and at the Fashion Outlets in Niagara Falls.

And finally, amidst the adrenaline of Summer Rush, the 26-story hotel tower at Seneca Niagara Casino will quietly undergo its first renovation since opening on December 31, 2006. Each of the nearly 594 AAA Four Diamond Award-winning deluxe guest rooms and corner suites will receive a full cosmetic makeover with rich, warm and colorful contemporary accents for improved presentation, as well as new furniture and amenities. Construction will take place two floors at a time beginning in July and is slated for completion at the end of the year.

Tickets are available at all Seneca Casino box offices,, all Ticketmaster locations, or by phone at 800-745-3000.

'Operation Stripped Down' Nets Six

The state attorney general’s office has broken up a cocaine distribution ring they say was operated from two strip clubs in Erie and Crawford counties.

Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan says the 14-month long investigation, known as "Operation Stripped Down," focused on the trafficking and distribution of cocaine in northwestern Pennsylvania, much of which appears to have originated from sources in eastern Ohio, but that part of the investigation is continuing.

The two strips involved are the Velvet Strip Club in West Springfield and Club Paradise in Linesville.

Six people have been arrested so far.

Erin Hannon Gets 'Heart and Soul' Award

Watch the video here.

To read the article go to

Scarnati: Transfer Surplus to General Fund

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati re-introduced legislation that would allow for the transfer of excess funds in the legislative reserve account back into the general fund.

“For too long the General Assembly has carried an amount of taxpayer money in a reserve account that exceeds the necessary total,” Scarnati stated. “It is my belief that this legislation institutes the appropriate balance needed to continue operations in case of a budget impasse.”

According to Scarnati, Senate Bill 1000 will retain sufficient funds in the legislative reserve account in case of emergencies or a budget impasse in order to allow for the continuation of government business. Under the legislation, funds in excess will be returned to the general fund.

The legislation would transfer prior year legislative funds that remain unexpended, uncommitted, or unencumbered, and that exceed a four-month reserve.

“I have stated time and time again, the reserve account is greater than it needs to be, and hopefully when this bill becomes law, that will be rectified,” Scarnati said. “This is just another step in reforming the way business is done in Harrisburg.”

Senate Bill 1000 has 30 co-sponsors, and has received bi-partisan support.

Four Picked up in Drug Bust

On Wednesday, officers of the McKean County Drug Task Force, Bradford City, and Bradford Township Police conducted operations in the City of Bradford. Arrested were Leonard Lionel Holmes, AKA “Phil Brooks”, age 25 of Buffalo, Kennedy D. Gadley, Jr., AKA “PJ”, age 26 of Buffalo, Irvin Mitchell, age 27, of Buffalo, and Angel Fenton, age 18, of Bradford.

The arrests were made after officers of the McKean County Drug Task Force conducted controlled purchases of suspected crack cocaine. A search warrant was subsequently executed at a residence at 189 Congress Street in the City of Bradford. Seized in the operation was approximately 35 grams of suspected cocaine, and smaller amounts of Heroin and Marijuana. Also seized were a handgun, $2,400 in cash, and a computer.

Statements from District Attorney Raymond Learn: “Getting drugs and drug dealers out of McKean County remains a top priority with my office. We have received many tips and complaints from concerned citizens regarding the residence and individuals involved in the operation today. If it was not for that information, these arrests may not have happened. The officers involved in this operation worked tirelessly to get these drugs off the streets and arrest those who sell them. I cannot say enough about the dedication these officers have shown to their community. They spend hours and sometimes days away from their families to make our communities safer places to live, and I salute them for it. I also want to encourage members of the public to report any suspected drug activity that they to the McKean County Drug Task Force Confidential Tip Line at 887-3232.”

COurtesy of the McKean County District Attorney's Office

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Results are In:
Sweet Corn Beats Onions

By more than two-to-one, New York Farm Bureau's Facebook friends think sweet corn should be the Official State Vegetable, beating out onions and some other write-in vegetable candidates.

Farm Bureau's informal Facebook poll on the state vegetable debate resulted in sweet corn with 725 votes versus onions with 311 votes. Cabbage, potatoes and pumpkins received 240 votes.

The Farm Bureau started the poll after two bills were introduced in Albany aiming to designate an official vegetable.

Casey Offers Help to Bradford County

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement on the hydraulic fracturing well blowback incident today in Bradford County. Senator Casey has introduced legislation to improve safety for workers and emergency response procedures at drilling sites as well as legislation to protect drinking water and require public disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process.

“My office has been in contact with state and local officials to see if any federal assistance is needed after the blowback in Bradford County,” said Senator Casey. “I will continue to monitor the situation as the investigation continues and more details are known. Natural gas drilling offers Pennsylvania a great economic opportunity. However, incidents like this blowback are a reminder that there are dangers and that precautions must be taken to protect the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians.”

Senator Casey's Faster Action Safety Team Emergency Response (FASTER) Act provides the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the ability to draft regulations that will enhance emergency response procedures at oil and gas wells. Specifically, the Act provides OSHA the power to draft regulations that will require operators to:

• Have an employee, knowledgeable in responding to emergency situations, present at the well at all times during the exploration or drilling phase;

• Make available a certified response team, within three hours of ground travel time, if an emergency situation arises;

• Contact local first responders within 30 minutes of the commencement of an emergency situation;

• Contact OSHA within 1 hour of the commencement of an emergency situation;

• Contact the National Response Center within 1 hour of the commencement of an emergency situation;

• Provide communication technology at the well site (e.g., mobile communication or satellite phone);

• Provide annual training to local first responders on the hazards of a well site and proper emergency response techniques; and

• File an annual report with OSHA that names the certified response team assigned to each well of the operator.

State Police Make Arrests, Capture Fugitives in Crackdown 'Operation Maximum Effort'

Harrisburg - The Pennsylvania State Police made 78 arrests, captured 19 fugitives, and seized vehicles, drugs and more than $675,000 in cash during a recent four-day enforcement blitz, Commissioner Frank Noonan announced today.

"Operation Maximum Effort succeeded in removing criminals, fugitives and drugs from our highways," Noonan said of the April 12-15 initiative. "At the same time, we took an aggressive and proactive approach to promoting highway safety."

Noonan said troopers seized $675,321 in cash, six vehicles, 253 grams of cocaine, 36,483 grams of marijuana, 9,000 grams of an illegal stimulant known as khat, four ecstasy pills, 83 grams of uncut heroin and 1,500 packets of heroin. Officials estimated the street value of the seized drugs in excess of $130,000.

The teams also seized 840 cartons of untaxed cigarettes.

In addition to the 78 criminal arrests, state police made 37 arrests for driving under the influence and issued 734 citations for speeding, 142 for seat belt violations, four for failure to use child safety seats, and 898 for other traffic law violations.

Noonan said seven teams of troopers were placed on major highways across the state as part of the operation. Each trooper received training through Operation SHIELD, which teaches officers how to identify potential signs of criminal activity after a vehicle has been stopped for any routine violation, such as speeding. A state police canine handler and a drug-sniffing dog were assigned to each team. Noonan said about 60 troopers participated in the effort.

NY's Route 62 is National Veterans Highway

Senator Catharine Young (R, C, I – Olean) today joined local officials to praise the designation of the 103 miles of Route 62 in New York State as National Veterans Highway.

“The designation Route 62 as National Veterans Highway is a way of expressing our deepest gratitude to our brave veterans. The men and women of our armed forces have been courageously defending our country in many wars over many generations. Because of these patriots, our country continues to shine brightly as a beacon of freedom worldwide,” said Senator

Signage has been erected on Route 62 at the New York/Pennsylvania state line and in Niagara County to commemorate the designation, which is the result of legislation co-sponsored by Senator Young (S.6277-A) that was signed into law last summer.

Senator Young remained hopeful that other states will make similar designations.

“I am confident that the nine other states encompassing Route 62 will follow New York State’s lead by honoring our veterans with this special designation so every mile of this highway pays tribute to our nation’s heroes,” concluded Young.

Route 62 spans 103 miles in New York State beginning in Niagara County and ending in Chautauqua County before continuing southwest 2,131 miles to El Paso, Texas.

Assemblyman Andy Goodell said, “Dedicating this highway will gives us an important daily reminder of the incredible service and sacrifice given to our country by our veterans. I am thankful for our veterans and honored to be part of this special event.“

"I consider it a privilege to recognize our Veterans by the dedication of this portion of New York State Route 62 in Chautauqua County," said County Executive Greg Edwards. "It is my hope that by the placing of this sign naming this much traveled route, "National Veterans Highway" we will pause to remember and thank all of the men and women who have served, or are currently serving our Country. I would like to once again express my commitment to assisting the over 11,000 veterans living in Chautauqua County."

County Executive Edwards went on to say, "I would like to thank Senator Young for her tireless support of our Veterans evidenced by her co-sponsorship of the legislation which makes this worthy dedication possible."

Pictured (top), Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Bob Reed (Chaplain, Sons of the American Legion Squadron 880), Commander Walt Sedlmayer (New York State, 8th District), Commander Ken Szal (Sons of the American Legion Squadron 880), Senator Catharine Young, Anthony Costanzo (WWII Veteran), Commander Tom Tighe (Newell Faulkner American Legion Post 880), Commander Karen Cummings (Samuel L. Derby American Legion Post 556).
Courtesy of Senator Young's Office

Child Porn Charges Bound to Court

Charges against a 29-year-old Bradford man accused of having inappropriate contact with a male juvenile have been bound to court.

Jason Howell is charged with 60 counts each of child pornography and photographing a sex act with a child in connection with alleged incidents from October of last year to February of this year.

According to papers filed in District Judge Dominic Cercone’s office Howell put his hand down the pants of the boy while he was sleeping and touched his genitalia. Howell also allegedly took 60 nude photographs of the boy and asked him to take a shower or bath with him a number of times.

Howell is jailed on $25,000 bail.

Accused Drug Dealer Back in Jail

One of the accused drug dealers arrested in the November drug bust in Bradford is back in jail.

26-year-old Kennedy Gadley was arrested and arraigned this morning after officers with the McKean County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at his Congress Street home and found about 100 pieces of crack cocaine packaged for sale.

Last month Gadley waived his preliminary hearing on charges of delivery and possession of a controlled substance that were filed in November. At that time he was released on $12,500 bail.

Today, he was sent to jail on $50,000 bail. A preliminary hearing on the new charges is scheduled for May 4 in front of District Judge Dominic Cercone.

Fracking Fluid Spilled Near Towanda

UPDATE: DEP spokeswoman Katy Gresh tells RadioPA that the fracking fluid has stopped flowing into the unnamed tributary of Towanda creek and that, so far, there's no evidence of impact to aquatic life. She says DEP will continue to take samples and monitor the situation.

Seven families in Bradford County have been evacuated after a Marcellus Shale well blowout that spilled thousands of gallons of fracking fluid.

In a news release, Chesapeake Energy says that at 11:45 last night an equipment failure caused the spill just west of Towanda.

The company says an undetermined amount of the fracking fluid has flowed into the Towanda Creek, which feeds the Susquehanna River.

DEP has not commented yet.

Wiffle Ball, Tag, Kickball OK -- For Now

ALBANY – State health officials made the right decision by nixing a proposal to deem children’s games such as freeze, kickball, tag and Wiffle ball dangerous, said Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I – Olean).

The reversal followed an uproar when villages, towns and other summer day camp operators received notice from the New York State Department of Health (DOH) that common playground games posed a “significant risk of injury,” and would require additional safety regulations that would make many programs unaffordable to operate, said Senator Young.

“This situation is a classic example of state government run amuck. Overregulation and red tape from Albany continue to cause significant problems. At least the kids won this round. Summer fun won’t be outlawed,” she said.

Senator Young said she first learned of the new rules after she was contacted by a local town board member.

In an email, the official wrote, “These regulations would put a financial burden on our town and we would probably have to cancel most of our recreation programs. They want our children to exercise to have better health, and then they do this.”

Senator Young agreed.

“Childhood obesity is an epidemic, and kids already are too sedentary. Discouraging them from running around and playing games is the worst thing the state could do.”

DOH drafted the list of “risky” activities in response to a 2009 law that was supposed to close a loophole that allowed indoor day camps to operate without the same state oversight required of outdoor day camps.

The state’s rules would have mandated programs to acquire a $200 state permit and have medical staff available at all times.

”Having to hire nurses to supervise games such as Dodge ball and Red Rover was over the top. Most summer programs already operate on shoestring budgets,” Senator Young said.

The playground games were lumped in with more advanced activities such as archery, horseback riding, shooting rifles and martial arts.

“I agree that these types of activities should require more supervision and safety training, and it is appropriate to classify them differently. But playing tag just doesn’t compare,” Senator Young said.

“The new DOH Commissioner Nirav Shah had the common sense to pull these regulations back. DOH said they now realize they were micromanaging, and have promised to withdraw and redraft the rules,” she said.

DOH is inviting public input before the new regulations are finalized.

Public comments may be made through May 16 to gather suggestions regarding what sports, games and other activities should require camps to follow health regulations.

Mail comments to Katherine Ceroalo, DOH, Bureau of House Counsel, Regulatory Affairs Unit, Room 2438ESP, Tower Building, Ablany, NY 12237; or email them to

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Prom Dress Made from Candy Wrappers

Phillie Phanatic is Fan Favorite

The Phillie Phanatic has officially dethroned his archrival, the mascot formerly known as The San Diego Chicken, as America's favorite sports mascot in a Forbes annual fan survey.

The Famous Chicken – as he’s now known – is number two in the survey this year.

The Pirate Parrot didn’t make the top 10 – but maybe after the Ultimate Fishing Town contest we can work on moving him up in the rankings.

By the way, voting in the first round of the fishing town contest is going on for 2 more weeks.

Photo by Dave Arrigo and provided by the Pittsburgh Pirates

Just Ducky

SBU Announces Tree Campus Advisory Committee; Arbor Day Tree Planting

As part of its Tree Campus USA initiative, St. Bonaventure University has appointed a Campus Tree Advisory Committee and planned an Arbor Day observance.

As announced earlier this semester, St. Bonaventure has earned Tree Campus USA recognition for 2010, capping a yearlong effort to demonstrate its commitment to promoting healthy management of its campus forests and engaging the campus community in that effort. The University is among only about 100 campuses to have received the designation since the program began in 2008.

The University’s Arbor Day tree planting will take place at 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 29. A sapling donated by Schichtel’s Nursery of Springville will be planted near Shay-Loughlen Hall (parking lot adjacent to the Rathskeller). The University community and the public are invited to attend.

To renew the Tree Campus USA designation, the University must annually demonstrate standards of tree care and community engagement. A Campus Tree Advisory Committee was established to aid in planning.

The advisory committee is composed of Larry Sorokes, associate vice president of Franciscan Mission and director of the Center for Community Engagement; Br. Kevin Kriso, O.F.M., of Mt. Irenaeus; Dr. Ted Georgian of the Department of Biology; Emily Deragon, vice president of the Student Government Association; Lauryn Klinger, a student representative; Bridget Steele, a student representative; Rob Hurlburt, associate director of Facilities for Maintenance; Sue Cooper, city of Olean forester; and Wayne Cooper, a retired forester with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Already this year, the University has replaced a number of damaged trees and planted saplings.

DEP Calls on Natural Gas Drillers to
Stop Giving Treatment Facilities Wastewater

HARRISBURG -- At the direction of Governor Tom Corbett, acting Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer today called on all Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operators to cease by May 19 delivering wastewater from shale gas extraction to 15 facilities that currently accept it under special provisions of last year’s Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) regulations.

“While the prior administration allowed certain facilities to continue to take this wastewater, conditions have changed since the implementation of the TDS regulations,” Krancer said. “We now have more definitive scientific data, improved technology and increased voluntary wastewater recycling by industry. We used to have 27 grandfathered facilities; but over the last year, many have voluntarily decided to stop taking the wastewater and we are now down to only 15. More than half of those facilities are now up for permit renewal. Now is the time to take action to end this practice.”

The 2010 revised regulations require publicly owned treatment works and centralized waste treatment facilities to treat new or increased discharges of TDS to more stringent standards. Removing TDS from water also removes bromides. The previous administration, however, chose to allow facilities that had historically accepted drilling wastewater to continue to accept it, as long as they did not increase their input load of wastewater.

Recent surface water sampling has found elevated levels of bromide in rivers in the Western portion of the state, where the majority of natural gas drilling is taking place. Bromide, itself non-toxic, turns into a combination of potentially unsafe compounds called Total Trihalomethanes once it is combined with chlorine for disinfection at water treatment facilities.

“While there are several possible sources for bromide other than shale drilling wastewater, we believe that if operators would stop giving wastewater to facilities that continue to accept it under the special provision, bromide concentrations would quickly and significantly decrease,” Krancer said.

Judge Appointed to Reapportionment Committee

HARRISBURG — President Judge Emeritus Stephen J McEwen, Jr., of Pennsylvania’s Superior Court has been appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to chair the Legislative Reapportionment Commission, the Court announced today.

Judge McEwen began service on Superior Court in 1981 and served a five-year term as
that court’s President Judge. He was named President Judge Emeritus in 2001 and has been a Superior Court senior judge since 2003.

“My colleagues and I have acted with expedition in making this appointment so that the reapportionment process may move forward,” said Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille. “Judge McEwen is widely respected throughout Pennsylvania and the United States and has served the Commonwealth with high distinction throughout his career. This Court has full confidence in his ability to lead the reapportionment commission with fairness, lending to the forthcoming task his superb problem-solving skills and keen ability to mediate differences.”

The Supreme Court’s appointment authority is derived from Article II, Section 17(b), of the Pennsylvania Constitution which vests with the Court the responsibility to appoint a chair should the four other Commission members be unable to reach consensus in naming a chair.

During his period of service as Commission Chair, Judge McEwen’s service as a senior judge will be suspended.

Chief Justice Castille noted that this is the second, consecutive time that a jurist from the Superior Court has been appointed to chair the Reapportionment Commission. In 1991, Superior Court Senior Judge Frank J. Montemuro, Jr., was appointed to that post by the Supreme Court.

SPCA Calendar Contest Starts Saturday

The McKean County SPCA kicks off its annual pet calendar contest Saturday at the Bradford Area Public Library. Pet owners are invited to bring their animals to the library between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., where Dana DiBlasi will take photographs for the “voting” phase of the contest, which will begin early in June.

“This has been a popular event for us the last two years,” said Dick Gorton, President of the organization. “For a small fee of $5, pet owners can have a picture of their pet taken for the contest board, which circulates through the county in June and July. If you’ve seen the board in the last two years, many of the photos were taken by Dana.”

Gorton also reminds contest entrants that they may bring 3 x 5 pictures of their pets to the library on Saturday or to the McKean County SPCA shelter any time until the contest ends. “The entry fee is the same,” he noted, “but some animals may be a bit shy, or maybe a little too big to come to the library, so their owners can use their own snapshots for the contest.”

Gorton notes that the competition is wide open to all kinds of pets. “In recent years we had hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, two kinds of birds, and a bullfrog,” he said, “in addition to a variety of dogs and cats.”

Free punch will be provided by the contest committee and the library. Shelter animals will also be on hand for a visit with animal-lovers.

All pets who come for the contest should be on leashes or in carriers.
“It promises to be a good time,” says Gorton, “so we hope a lot of people turn out. We’re looking forward to another terrific calendar contest.”

Upcoming SPCA events include the annual "Woof Stock" open house at the shelter on Glenwood Avenue on Saturday, May 14. "We always have a lot of things to do on that day at the shelter, so it's a good family outing," Gorton says. "And it comes right at the end of 'Be Kind to Animals' week. What could be more kind than adopting a pet from the shelter?"

Thanks to Rick Frederick for the information.

Farmer's Market Starts May 21

The Downtown Bradford Farmer’s Market will kick off its 2011 season on Saturday, May 21.

The market, which will run every Saturday from May 21 to October 15, will again partner with the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Center for Rural Health Practice and Canticle Farm of Allegany, NY to bring locally-grown fresh produce to downtown Bradford. The hours of the market are 8 a.m. to Noon.

The Bradford Farmer’s Market is sponsored by Bradford’s Downtown Bradford Business District Authority and organized by the Bradford Main Street program. Initially started more than 15 years ago, the market underwent several changes in 2010, hoping to attract new vendors. One of those changes was the change in location, moving from Veterans’ Square to the Old City Hall parking lot on Boylston Street. That changed proved to be very successful providing vendors with a better area in which to set up their wares as well as providing a safer, less-trafficked location for customers.

“2010 was a great new start for us,” said Main Street Manager, Anita Dolan. “The new location, new vendors and support of the community helped us have a wonderful season,” Dolan added. The success of the last season has helped launch the market into a weekly market for the 2011 season.

Canticle Farm, a non-profit Community Supported Agriculture Farm will again provide certified naturally grown produce. Other greenhouses and local growers will provide fresh in-season fruit and vegetables.

In addition to produce, items available will include baked goods, preserves, plants, herbs, locally produced honey and hand crafted items.
New vendors are welcome. For more information, contact Dolan at the Main Street Manager’s office.

Not-So-Happy Days

To read the story go to

SBU Journalism Professor Authors Article for Civil War Magazine on Maine Army Regiment

Chris Mackowski, an associate professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University, has had an article accepted for the upcoming issue of Blue & Gray magazine.

“The 1st Maine Heavy Artillery at Harris Farm: The Hometown Press Reports Their Baptism of Fire” tells the account of a Maine regiment that saw its first action during the Civil War at the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in May of 1864.

The First Maine Heavy Artillery earned a place of infamy in Civil War history during the early days of the siege of Petersburg, Va. On June 18, 1864, the 900-man regiment charged across an open field of fire and sustained 67 percent casualties: 115 men killed, 489 wounded, and 28 missing — the highest casualty rate sustained by any unit in the army during the entire war, Mackowski’s article points out.

But it was just outside Spotsylvania Courthouse that the unit first saw combat, just one month before the men made their ill-fated charge outside Petersburg. According to Mackowski’s article, one member of the regiment said May 19 was “a day long to be remembered by the 1st Maine Heavy, as it was on this day that we received our baptism of fire and learned the stern duties of a soldier.”

Mackowski searched through old issues of two Maine newspapers — the Bangor Daily Whig & Courier and Ellsworth American — to piece together the account.

“Soldiers wrote home, and their families often shared those letters with the local newspapers so that townspeople could get the latest news from the front,” Mackowski explains. “So these newspapers have these fantastic, and sometimes terrible, firsthand accounts from these soldiers. It’s a unique way for us to see the Civil War today.”

Mackowski says that the accounts he used in the article have not been published since they first appeared in print nearly 150 years ago.

“These days, with 24-hour news, it's heart-rending to imagine the folks at home waiting weeks or months to find out about their loved ones,” said Blue & Gray editor David Roth. “The periodic updates of deaths and tidbits on the fighting were interesting to follow in the various accounts. This is a nice piece ... a journalistic slant from a journalism professor.”

The article will appear in the summer issue of Blue & Gray, available this May. In the summer of 2009, Mackowski and historian Kris White co-authored the cover story for Blue & Gray. That story, also related to the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, focused on the May 12 fight at “The Bloody Angle.”

Mackowski has also written and co-written several books on the Civil War, and he regularly gives battlefield tours for the National Park Service in central Virginia. He has taught at St. Bonaventure since the fall of 2000.

Causer Discusses Budget Issues

State Representative Marty Causer held a Coffee & Conversation event this morning at Pitt-Bradford, and discussed a variety of topics including Marcellus Shale, education funding and department of public welfare funding.

You can listen here.

Causer is also holding a town hall meeting at 6 o’clock tonight at the Smethport Fire Hall.