March 29, 2013

April 1 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The April 1 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click Here to print entire Digest.

Long-Time SRBC Executive Director Paul Swartz Retiring This Fall

Susquehanna River Basin Commission Chairman Dr. Robert Summers Thursday announced that Executive Director Paul Swartz is retiring this November.
“I join my fellow commissioners in congratulating Paul and thanking him for his untiring and passionate dedication to the Commission these past 21 years,” said Chairman Summers. “Under his leadership, the Commission grew into a very effective agency that balances the competing uses of the Susquehanna basin’s water resources for healthy ecosystems and a vibrant economy.”
“Over the years, Paul has done an exceptional job leading the agency’s staff in its mission to manage water resources responsibly and equitably, without regard to sectors and political boundaries. He has inspired and promoted the Commission’s values of ‘Teamwork, Professionalism, and Quality’ and has assembled a very strong team that is driven by those values everyday as they serve the public.”
Swartz has served as SRBC’s executive director since 1992.
Among his varied responsibilities, Swartz oversaw the progressive and responsible growth in SRBC’s regulatory, planning, water quality monitoring, information technology and public information programs.
“Because of Paul’s hands-on and decisive management skills, he will leave the Commission in an excellent position both fiscally and programmatically. In today’s tough financial climate, no one can take those qualities for granted, and we commend him for that,” said Chairman Summers.
Prior to joining SRBC, Swartz directed the Bureau of Soil and Water Conservation in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources. He also served as the Executive Secretary to the Pennsylvania Conservation Commission.
Swartz, a 1970 graduate of Gettysburg College, and his wife, Patsy, have three sons and a grandson.
Until Swartz retires in November, the SRBC commissioners will actively seek his replacement. SRBC released the Executive Director job announcement this week, including posting it on SRBC’s website.

Friday NewsClips

Editorial: Corbett Should Name Non-Partisan To Court
Click Here for today's PA Environmental News

March 27, 2013

Gaming Board Releases Annual Report On Racetrack Casinos

The Gaming Control Board Wednesday released its sixth annual Racetrack Casino Benchmark Report. Since its first release in 2008, this annual report has concentrated on the impact that Pennsylvania's casinos have had on the state's horse racing industry.
A portion of revenue generated from slot machine gaming is earmarked for the horse racing industry in order to accomplish the intent of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.
In 2012, more than $272 million in slot machine tax revenue was generated for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund. Of this amount, approximately $224 million was earmarked for the horse racing industry.
This Fund is utilized to enhance purses, assist breeding operations, provide health and pension benefits for horsemen, and provide a positive impact on the agricultural industry in Pennsylvania.
"Revenue from legalized slot machine gaming in Pennsylvania is helping to fulfill the legislative objectives by enhancing horse racing and breeding programs, preserving thousands of jobs and providing a positive impact on the state's agricultural economy," said Gaming Control Board Chairman William H. Ryan, Jr. "This report underlines specific areas where the impact is tangible and shows that the horse racing industry continues to benefit from the revenue that casinos generate here in Pennsylvania."
Among the findings in this year's report are:
-- The amount of tax revenue generated for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund decreased slightly in 2012 by approximately 1 percent.
-- In addition to revenue generated for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund, racetrack casinos operators invested over $7 million in 2012 and approximately $46 million since the casinos opened in 2006 to improve the stable and backside areas of their racetracks.
-- The number of days in which live racing took place and the total numbers of races held in Pennsylvania both increased by approximately 1 percent in 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.
-- Lastly, total dollars wagered on Pennsylvania races in 2012, referred to as the live racing handle, was 12 percent higher in 2012 compared to the same time period in 2011. Live racing handle in 2012 was the highest to date since casino gaming was implemented in 2006.
A copy of the report is available online.  A statistical summary is also available.

Wednesday NewsClips

Sen. McIlhinney Faces Possible Primary Over Booze Vote
Click Here for today's PA Environmental News