August 28, 2015

August 31 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The August 31 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Here are just a few of the headlines--

A five-member team of high school students from Penncrest High School in Media, Delaware County, earned second-place honors early this month at the 2015 International NCF-Envirothon.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Thursday announced that over 128,157 volunteers participated in the 2015 Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Great American Cleanup of PA and collected 300,186 bags, or 6,003,720 pounds of trash, cleaned 11,943 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines, and 6,422 acres of park and/or wetlands and planted 13,050 trees, bulbs, and plants in an effort to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.

Voting members of DEP’s Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee Thursday continued to raise objections to the final draft of Chapter 78 drilling regulations presented to the Committee for their review and said litigation would be pursued by conventional drillers challenging the legality of the rulemaking.

The PA Environmental Council Environmental Policy Conference on October 13 in Harrisburg will feature key decision makers on Pennsylvania’s foremost policy challenges in 2015 and beyond.

Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program is a way for businesses to enrich educational opportunities for students and earn tax credits by donating to an Educational Improvement Organization.  

In partnership with the PA Recreation and Park Society, the Department of Conservation and Resources will again be offering free, in-person grant workshops at six locations across Pennsylvania in November.

To read the Digest, visit:  Click Here to print the entire Digest.

PA Environment Digest is edited by David E. Hess, former Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and is published as a service of Crisci Associates.

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Disciplinary Board Notifies Kane Of Pending Suspension Of Her Law License

On Friday, the Disciplinary Board of the PA Supreme Court notified indicted Attorney General Kathleen Kane it is seeking an emergency suspension of her law license.  Without a license, Kane would be unable to fulfill her duties as Attorney General.
Kane has 10 days to respond to the notice and make her case for why she should keep her license.
Kane Law License Targeted By State Disciplinary Board

PA Cyber School Partners With Community College Of Beaver County

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School is now offering the College in High School Program in collaboration with the Community College of Beaver County.
The unique program, taught online, permits students to be exposed to college-level material and earn college credits while still in high school.
Five initial courses are being offered. Each course will be taught online during the regular school day by a PA Cyber instructor who is approved by CCBC.
The cost of College in High School courses from CCBC is at the family's own expense and is $50 per credit, with initial classes providing three or four credits. The cost of the required textbooks will be sponsored by PA Cyber.
To participate in the program, PA Cyber students must register through the school's CIHS program and must be of junior status (having completed at least English 10 or equivalent) and up to date or ahead in coursework. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and be recommended by their academic adviser.
"The beauty of this program is the low cost and the ability of our students to attend college classes seamlessly along with their regular high school classes," said Mike Smith, who administers the CIHS program. "Our online high school students will learn the same course content as their college counterparts sitting in a classroom."
The program has been launched for the 2015-16 fall semester, offering five courses: Principles of Biology, Western Civilization 1, Vietnam, General Psychology and English Composition. The biology course provides four credits; the others, three credits.
Thanks to Pennsylvania's credit transfer system, credits will be transferrable to participating colleges or universities within the Commonwealth, and are widely accepted by other colleges and universities across the country.
CCBC has several dual enrollment programs in partnership with area high schools, but this is the community college's first venture with a public cyber charter school to offer online dual enrollment, according to CCBC.
"This program will enable students to enroll in transfer-friendly, college-level courses and pay a fraction of standard tuition that they would pay at a four-year college," said Dr. Melissa Denardo, CCBC vice president for academic affairs/provost. "If they take full advantage of this program, they will graduate from high school far ahead of the game....both intellectually and financially." House Democrats Ask Treasury For Payroll Loan reported late Thursday House Democrats wrote to State Treasurer Timothy Reese on August 13 asking for a loan in order to meet payroll and related costs having exhausted its reserve funds as a result of the ongoing budget stalemate. said House Democrats may not be able to meet its payroll for the 568 House staff members on September 15.  The first check the 84 Democratic members of the House would miss would be on October 1.
The State Treasurer has not yet responded to the request.
House Republicans said they have concerns about the legality of the request and would attempt to block the request from the House Bipartisan Management Committee, since staff for the Senate and House are specifically excluded from a law that required regulator state employees to be paid during a budget impasse. said Senate Republican and Democratic Caucuses have enough reserve funding left to operate through the end of September.
NewsClip: House Democrats Ask Treasury For Payroll Loan

Friday NewsClips

Click Here  for Today's PA Environmental News

August 27, 2015

F&M Poll: Voters Hold Legislature More Responsible For Budget Stalemate Than Wolf

A new poll released Thursday by Franklin and Marshall found 54 percent of registered voters surveyed held the General Assembly responsible for the current budget stalemate, while 29 percent held Gov. Wolf responsible.
More voters trust Gov. Wolf to make budget decisions-- 42 percent-- than the General Assembly-- 39 percent, although those numbers are closer than what you might expect given who voters think is responsible for the stalemate.
The poll was taken before this week’s failed attempt by House Republicans to override parts of Gov. Wolf’s budget veto.
Gov. Wolf’s own job performance rating remained mostly unchanged since June at 39 percent, 61 percent among Democrats.  This is lower than the 45 percent found in the Quinnipiac Poll earlier.
Wolf’s rating in similar to Governors Rendell and Corbett at this point in his term by the same poll, but lower than Gov. Ridge.
Attorney General Kane
46 percent of those polled believe indicted Attorney General Kane should resign, slightly lower than the Quinnipiac Poll earlier in the week, and of those 52 percent feel the General Assembly should begin the impeachment process.
U.S. Senate Race
The F&M poll also found U.S. Senator Toomey leading both Kate McGinty (35 to 28 percent) and Joe Sestak (41 to 29 percent) in the 2016 U.S. Senate race.
Related Story:
Quinnipiac Poll: Kane--Resign, Wolf--OK, Toomey Leads, Casey--OK

Thursday NewsClips

Click Here  for Today's PA Environmental News

August 26, 2015

PA Supreme Court Unseals 7 More Grand Jury Filings Related To Kane Case

The PA Supreme Court Wednesday unsealed documents in seven grand jury filings related to Attorney General Kathleen Kane. The documents were unsealed at the request of the supervising judge of the grand jury.
The documents are available online.
One of the seven filings, 175 MM 2014, has an attachment containing graphic, objectionable material which is not available on the website. It is available at any of the three Supreme Court Prothonotary offices: in the Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg; City Hall in Philadelphia; and the City-County Building in Pittsburgh.
Redactions contained in the filings relate to other grand jury matters solely under the purview of another supervising judge.