Agency To Offer Medicare Sessions September 18, 2018
The York County Area Agency on Aging's APPRISE Program will offer free personalized counseling during Medicare's annual enrollment period, which will run from Monday, Oct. 15, to Friday, Dec. 7. The annual enrollment period is when Medicare beneficiaries can review their coverage and determine if health and prescription plans continue to meet their needs. By comparing plans and making changes by Dec. 7, Medicare will have enough time to process those changes to ensure that the new coverage will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.
Medicare beneficiaries throughout the annual enrollment period will be able to receive one-on-one counseling assistance offered by trained APPRISE counselors at different locations throughout York County. Prescheduled appointments are necessary and can be made by calling the APPRISE scheduling line at 717-771-9042 or 800-632-9073.
Sessions will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 4 to 8 p.m. at South Western High School, 200 Bowman Road, Hanover; Friday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kennard-Dale High School, 393 Main St., Fawn Grove; Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 4 to 8 p.m. at York Suburban High School, 1800 Hollywood Drive, York; Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Spring Grove High School, 1490 Roth's Church Road, Spring Grove; Monday, Oct. 29, from 4 to 8 p.m. at West York High School, 1800 Bannister St., York; and Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Red Land High School, 560 Fishing Creek Road, Lewisberry.
Sessions will continue on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Dallastown Area Senior High School, 700 New School Lane, Dallastown; Monday, Nov. 5, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at SpiriTrust Lutheran Zimmerman Place, 800 Bollinger Drive, Shrewsbury; Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon at Spring Grove High School; Thursday, Nov. 8, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Northeastern High School, 300 High St., Manchester; Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 4 to 8 p.m. at South Western High School; Monday, Nov. 19, from 4 to 8 p.m. at West York High School; Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Red Lion Area High School, 200 Horace Mann Ave., Red Lion; Tuesday, Nov. 27, from 4 to 8 p.m. at York Suburban High School; and Monday, Dec. 3, to Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to noon at York County Area Agency on Aging, 100 W. Market St., York.
USPS Shares Mailbox Reminders September 18, 2018
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has released several tips to encourage customers on city motorized, rural, or highway contract box delivery routes to examine and, where necessary, improve the appearance of their mailboxes. The USPS reminds customers of the need for providing mailboxes that are: approved by the postmaster general, safe to use, conveniently located, and neat in appearance. According to the USPS, mailboxes that meet these four requirements help delivery and collection operations and improve service to the entire route.
Some of the typical activities that may be necessary include: replacing loose hinges on a mailbox door, repainting a mailbox that may have rusted or started to peel, remounting a mailbox post that may have become loose, and replacing or adding house numbers.
Approved traditional or contemporary curbside mailboxes are required whenever a mailbox is newly installed or replaced. However, a custom-built curbside mailbox may be used if the postmaster gives prior approval and if the mailbox conforms generally to the same requirements as approved manufactured curbside mailboxes. A mailbox should display the street name and house number or, if house numbers are not authorized, the assigned box number on the side of a single mailbox or on the doors of grouped mailboxes visible to the approaching carrier. The street number, box number, and/or any other address information must be inscribed in a contrasting color in neat letters and numerals not less than 1 inch in height. Customers are encouraged to group mailboxes whenever practical, especially where many mailboxes are located at or near crossroads, service turnouts, or similar locations. If the mailbox is on a street other than the one on which the customer resides, the street name and house number must be on the mailbox. It is generally in the customers' best interest to display their address on both sides of the box. Police, fire, and rescue personnel often depend on mailbox information to locate people, and they may approach from a different direction than the carrier. In all instances, placing the owner's name on the box is optional.
Generally, customers should install mailboxes with the bottom of the mailbox at a vertical height of between 3.5 to 4 feet from the road surface. However, because of varying road and curb conditions and other factors, the USPS recommends that customers contact the postmaster or carrier before erecting or replacing mailboxes and supports.
The curbside mailbox must be on the right-hand side of the road in the carrier's travel direction in all cases where traffic conditions make it dangerous for the carrier to drive to the left to reach the mailboxes, or where doing so would constitute a violation of federal, state, or local traffic laws and regulations. Mailboxes should be placed so the carrier can safely and conveniently serve them without leaving the vehicle. Carriers are subject to the same traffic laws and regulations as other motorists. Customers must remove obstructions, including vehicles, trash cans, and snow, that impede efficient delivery. Except when a mailbox is temporarily blocked, carriers must have access to the mailbox without leaving the vehicle.
The USPS does not approve support posts. In addition, the USPS does not regulate mounting of mailboxes for purposes of traffic safety. Mailbox posts are often subject to local restrictions, state laws, and federal highway regulations. In areas where snow removal is a problem, the USPS suggests using a semi-arch or extended arm-type support, which allows snowplows to sweep near or under boxes without damaging supports. For further information on authorized post and support mountings, customers may contact either American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 444 N. Capitol St. N.W. Suite 249, Washington, D.C., 200011-1512, or Federal Highway Administration Office of Highway Safety HHS 10, 400 Seventh St. S.W., Washington, D.C., 20590-0003.
Additional information is available at www.usps.com/manage/mailboxes.htm.
Trust Fund Honors Veterans Organizations September 14, 2018
Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania's adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), recently attended an event to personally thank Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF) grant recipients for their work in support of the commonwealth's nearly 820,000 veterans. The event in Harrisburg was hosted by Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania, one of the honorees.
The event was the third of four being held in Harrisburg, Erie, Bedford, and Norristown to recognize 31 VTF grant recipients. Grants issued through the VTF allow DMVA to expand its partnerships with charitable organizations, veterans' service organizations, and county directors of veterans affairs, ultimately benefiting commonwealth veterans and their families.
The nine organizations recognized for their special programs and services include Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Harrisburg; Dog T.A.G.S., Mechanicsburg; Clinton County Office of Veterans Affairs; Franklin County Office of Veterans Affairs; Juniata and Mifflin County Offices of Veterans Affairs; Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors, Camp Hill; Potter County Office of Veterans Affairs; Veteran's Helping Hand, York; and Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg.
A total of 13 Pennsylvania County Veterans Affairs Offices received $150,000 in grants and 18 charitable or veteran service organizations received $650,000 in grants from the Pennsylvania Veterans' Trust Fund. The grants are funded by Pennsylvanians who voluntarily made a donation when applying for or renewing their driver's license or photo ID and renewing a motor vehicle registration, proceeds from the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans license plates, and private donations.
The DMVA is authorized to solicit and accept donations to the VTF on behalf of the commonwealth. Tax-deductible donations can be made at www.donate.dmva.pa.gov. To learn more about the VTF, readers may visit www.vtf.pa.gov or www.facebook.com/padmva.
Veterans' Assistance Posted September 13, 2018
The Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars invites veterans of all ages and from all service eras to utilize its Service Officer Network to receive free information and assistance for government benefits including VA healthcare, compensation, pension, education and dependent benefits. Surviving spouses can also use these VFW Service Officers to learn about their eligibility for VA benefits.
A VFW state service officer is now available for scheduled appointments at Lititz VFW Post 1463 on Mondays from noon to 5 p.m. To make an appointment, readers may call 717-234-7927 and specify Lititz as their preferred appointment location. The service is made possible by Pennsylvania Act 66.
The addition of Lititz as a VFW service officer outreach location was chosen to reduce travel time and expense for veterans living in rural areas, who might otherwise drive farther to receive assistance with a VA claim.
Veterans do not have to be a VFW member to receive benefit filing assistance, but they must provide a DD-214 discharge form and possibly other information about their military service in order to enter a VA claim. Veterans requesting that the VFW becomes involved in their claim will need to sign a form declaring the VFW as their power of attorney. Veterans who have already signed a power of attorney with another organization should either follow up with that organization or sign over their power of attorney to the VFW.
Vietnam veterans should know that the VA has defined some health conditions as being "presumptive" for being caused by exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange. Veterans with these health conditions may be eligible for benefits (there are qualifying issues with each condition): AL amyloidosis, chronic B-cell leukemias, chloracne, diabetes mellitus Type 2, Hodgkin's disease, ischemic heart disease, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathy/ early-onset, porphyria cutanea tarda, prostate cancer, respiratory cancers, and soft tissue sarcomas. For more details, readers may visit www.va.gov and search for Agent Orange information.
For general information about the VFW's State Service Officer network, visit www.vfwpahq.org and select the "VA Claims Help" section. Sections for "Veterans Links" and "Veterans Resources" also provide helpful information.
Deputy Sheriff Makes Connection At Festival September 12, 2018
On duty at the recent Citadel Country Spirit USA concert in Ludwig's Corner, Chester County Deputy Sheriff Matthew "Jamie" Mendenhall was giving Nero, his K-9 partner, some exercise when a man initiated a conversation about the importance of K-9s. The man subsequently introduced himself as Doug Paisley, the father of country superstar Brad Paisley, who was to perform at the concert on Aug. 26.
As the two continued their discussion, Mendenhall noted that two area K-9 handlers had lost their lives in the line of duty in recent years: Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox and Berks County Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly. Mendenhall, who came to Chester County from the Berks County Sheriff's Office, had supervised Kyle in the K-9 Unit there.
Doug asked if Mendenhall could supply photos of the two fallen heroes so that his son could pay tribute to them during his performance. Further, he asked if Mendenhall wanted tickets to the concert.
Mendenhall shared that Kyle and his wife, Alecia, were both huge fans of Brad. In fact, Kyle's special song for his wife was Brad's "She's Everything." Mendenhall then contacted Alecia to let her know that "Brad Paisley's dad says hello" and to see if she wanted to come to the concert.
Alecia arrived 15 minutes before Brad Paisley took the stage; it was the first time she had seen him live. He sang "When I Get Where I'm Going" in front of a giant projection showing Kyle and Fox and their respective K-9 partners, Jynx and Nick. The country icon also performed Kyle Pagerly's anthem to his wife. According to Doug, that song was added and had not been on the original play list.
Alecia also reconnected with Chester County Sgt. Paul Bryant Jr., who was also on duty at the music festival. She had not seen Bryant since the day her late husband graduated from the Philadelphia Police K-9 Academy, where the sergeant had previously worked.
At the end of the event, Mendenhall was unable to leave the concert grounds because his vehicle was blocked by a school bus bearing the number 27, which was Kyle's badge number.
For more information on Kyle Pagerly, readers may visit https://kylepagerlymemorial.com.
Planning Commission Posts Meeting September 12, 2018
The York County planning commission has scheduled the second of three public information sessions to discuss creating a county stormwater authority to combat flooding and water pollution in York County. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the York Learning Center, 300 E. Seventh Ave., York, from 6 to 8 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
The purpose of the meeting is to further educate the public on the possibility of creating a countywide stormwater authority and, if created, how the authority would operate, what services it would provide, and what fees would be assessed. Planners will present an update on the exploration process and answer questions from the public. Breakout groups will form for property-specific items.
If approved by the York County commissioners, a stormwater authority would address flooding and pollution problems by investing in stream restoration, erosion control and reforestation projects along waterways throughout the county. Approximately 1,100 miles of streams that do not meet mandated environmental standards have been identified in York County, and many miles of streams have not yet been tested. The planning commission has identified 215 locations on roads in the county that experience frequent flooding problems.
The county is considering the stormwater authority option while Pennsylvania and neighboring states work together to clean the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. The stormwater authority would work to help York County meet its responsibilities to reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that flows into the Susquehanna River from local waterways.
The final public information session will take place on Thursday, Nov. 8. Residents may obtain updates and submit comments at www.yorkstormwater.com.
Nature Programs Planned September 6, 2018
The Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation will offer programs to the community. Unless otherwise noted, there is a per-person fee to take part in the programs. Programs are for people of all ages and will take place in Lancaster County Central Park at the Environmental Center, 1 Nature's Way, Lancaster, unless specified otherwise. To register, readers may visit https://apm.activecommunities.com/LancasterCountyParks or call 717-295-2055. Registration and prepayment are required by noon on the business day before the event, unless otherwise noted.
A Butterflies program will be presented on Thursday, Sept. 13, from 1 to 2 p.m. Families will learn facts about the life cycle of butterflies, their physical traits and the plants they need. Afterward, attendees will watch butterflies on the butterfly bush, look for Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed plants, and use nets to catch butterflies in the field.
Tree Ring Relief Art will take place on Friday, Sept. 14, from 7 to 8 p.m. People age 12 and up may participate. Attendees will make woodcut relief prints and learn about native tree species, tree growth and conservation.
During Squirreling Around on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 10 to 11 a.m., participants will take a hike through Central Park and learn how squirrels prepare for the winter. Afterward, the group will head back to the nature center, where each attendee will make their own make squirrel and drey (nest) to take home.
Wonderful World of Leaves will be offered on Sept. 15 from 1 to 2 p.m. Attendees will help conduct a science experiment revealing the real colors of leaves. As part of the activity, attendees will take a short walk and learn how to identify common trees. The program is appropriate for people age 6 and up.
Medicare Information Sessions Planned September 6, 2018
Individuals are invited to attend an information session for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period to receive valuable information to assist persons in making a well-informed decision about their health and drug coverage.
Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D Prescription Drug Plans are allowed to change the amounts of their plan deductibles, co-pays, and total out-of-pocket expenses, as well as their drug formularies each year, which is why Medicare strongly recommends that beneficiaries compare their current plan against other plans available for 2019.
The information sessions are for people already on Medicare and enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or Prescription Drug plan. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, readers may call Lancaster County Office of Aging at 717-299-7979, 800-801-3070, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sessions will take place at the following locations: Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 10:30 a.m. at Millersville Senior Center, St. Paul Lutheran Church, 222 N. George St., Millersville; Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m. Lancaster Neighborhood Senior Center, 33 E. Farnum St., Lancaster; Monday, Sept. 24, at 10 a.m. at Lititz Senior Center, Lititz United Methodist Church, 201 E. Market St., Lititz; Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. at Manheim Township Library, 595 Granite Run Road, Lancaster; Thursday, Sept. 27, at 10:45 a.m. at Lancaster Recreation Senior Center, 525 Fairview Ave., Lancaster; Friday, Oct. 5, at 10:30 a.m. at Columbia Senior Center, Columbia United Methodist Church, 510 Walnut St., Columbia; and Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 10:30 a.m. at Next Gen Senior Center, 184 S. Lime St., Quarryville.
The Medicare Open Enrollment period will run from Monday, Oct. 15, through Friday, Dec. 7.
Medicare beneficiaries will have the chance to get personalized help from APPRISE Medicare counselors at numerous locations during the Open Enrollment Period this year. APPRISE Counselors offer impartial assistance to Medicare beneficiaries so they can receive the most comprehensive healthcare and prescription coverage possible at the best price possible. They also screen beneficiaries to determine eligibility for several benefit programs that can help with the costs of Medicare and prescription coverage.
Those who are already in a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Part D Prescription Drug Plan can make an appointment to meet with an APPRISE counselor during the Open Enrollment Period by contacting Lancaster County Office of Aging at 717-299-7979 or 800-801-3070 or emailing email@example.com.
A list of locations and dates for Annual Enrollment Period appointments is as follows: Adamstown Public Library, 3000 N. Reading Road, Adamstown, on Monday, Nov. 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Denver Borough Hall, 501 Main St., Denver, on Friday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Elizabethtown Area Senior Center, 70 S. Poplar St., Elizabethtown, on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Ephrata Public Library, 550 S. Reading Road, Ephrata, on Tuesday, Nov. 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Also, Lancaster County Office of Aging, 150 N. Queen St., Suite 415, Lancaster, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, from Oct. 15 through Dec. 6 (except for Nov. 11 and Nov. 22); Lancaster Neighborhood Senior Center, 33 E. Farnum St., Lancaster, on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Lancaster Recreation Center (LRC) Senior Center, 525 Fairview Ave., Lancaster, on Monday, Oct. 22, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1 to 3:30 p.m.; Lititz Public Library, 651 Kissel Hill Rd., Lititz, on Monday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Manheim Township Library, 595 Granite Run Road, Lancaster, from 10:30 am - 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 24, Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Tuesday, Nov. 20; Milanof-Schock Library, 1184 Anderson Ferry Road, Mount Joy, on Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Quarryville Public Library, 357 Buck Road, Quarryville, on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from noon to 7 p.m.
Walk With Ease Classes Planned September 6, 2018
The Lancaster County Office of Aging invites seniors age 60 or older to Walk With Ease, which will be offered at Lancaster Rec Senior Center, 525 Fairview Ave., Lancaster, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from Monday, Sept. 24, to Wednesday, Nov. 7.
Walk With Ease is a six-week Arthritis Foundation evidence-based physical activity and education program. Classes will include stretching and strengthening, walking, health education, and motivational strategies.
The senior center may be reached at 717-399-7671. For more information on programs of the Lancaster County Office of Aging, readers may call 717-299-7979 or visit www.lancoaging.org.
Contest Open To Dogs August 29, 2018
The Lancaster County Treasurer's Office is partnering with the Pennsylvania SPCA Lancaster Center, the Lancaster County Sheriff's K-9 Unit, a local pet supply store, and others to find the 2019 Face of Lancaster County Dog Law. All currently licensed dog owners countywide may enter their canines to be chosen.
The winner will be featured on all 2019 dog license applications, and the dog's image will be displayed on all Lancaster County Dog Law promotional and marketing items.
The purpose of the contest is to bring awareness to Pennsylvania's dog license requirements and give licensed dog owners the opportunity for their dog to represent the 2019 Dog Law program. The Treasurer's Office also aims to raise awareness about the adoptable dogs and cats in Lancaster County shelters.
To enter their canines, Lancaster County dog owners may submit a picture of their dog with a brief description of how the dog became a part of their family by emailing MartinA@co.lancaster.pa.us or by posting at www.facebook.comMartinLancasterTreasurer. Additionally, the Lancaster County treasurer will be attending the Pennsylvania SPCA Lancaster Center's one-year anniversary celebration on Saturday, Sept. 8, from noon to 3 p.m. at 848 S. Prince St., Lancaster, and dog owners may enter at that time, as well.
The judges' panel will include the Lancaster County treasurer, a representative from the Pennsylvania SPCA Lancaster Center, animal rights advocate Lynn Manton Lewis, Lancaster County Sheriff K-9 Deputy David Cole, and Harry Davis of a local pet store.
The winner will be announced on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 10 a.m. at That Fish Place -That Pet Place, 237 Centerville Road, Lancaster.
Board Seeks New Members August 29, 2018
Columbia Borough is seeking building professionals to serve on the borough's board of review and appeals. The board hears appeals from residents regarding property maintenance matters, including violations of existing borough ordinances.
To fill vacancies within the board, the borough will select five individuals with experience and training on matters pertaining to property maintenance. Individuals who may be interested include general contractors, HVAC technicians, electricians, plumbers, historic renovation specialists, property managers, and landlords.
To express interest in serving on the board, email Rebecca S. Denlinger, borough manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solid Waste Authority Posts Recycling Update August 23, 2018
The Chester County Solid Waste Authority (SWA) reminds local residents of the "When in doubt, throw it out" message that applies to recyclable materials and curbside collection programs.
According to the SWA, overzealous recyclers may contaminate recyclables with trash, which ruins the ability to market the materials. Properly prepared and collected recyclables are valued commodities sold on the global market. However, when too many nonrecyclables are mixed in with the recyclable material, it all becomes trash because it is too costly to separate and requires disposal at a landfill. This results in more money being spent on collecting, transportating, and processing material that was not worth collecting in the first place.
Material such as hangers, scrap metal, pieces of rope or hose, pieces of wood, yard waste, and children's toys are just a few of the items that contaminate recyclables. Scrap metal may be taken to a scrap dealer, yard waste should be composted, and children's toys may be donated or thrown away if they are broken. These items, along with Styrofoam, polystyrene, and other foam materials, should not be placed in recycling bins.
In addition, plastic bags present a problem because they are not recyclable in most curbside programs. The bags jam the source separating equipment at recycling facilities. Therefore, plastic shopping bags should be returned to a local grocery store, where recycling containers for the bags are typically located at the entrance of the store.
Most curbside recycling programs in Chester County collect mixed paper, flattened corrugated cardboard cut down to 18 by 24 inches, glass bottles and jars, steel and aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and containers with recycling numbers of 1 through 5, as well as 7. SWA programs also collect clean aluminum foil, pie tins, and empty steel aerosol cans. Only plastic containers and bottles with recycling symbols can be recycled. If there is no recycling symbol, it should be thrown away.
For more information, readers may contact their local hauler or municipal recycling coordinator or visit www.chestercountyswa.org.
Police Plan Aggressive Driving Enforcement August 22, 2018
Forty-six local law enforcement agencies throughout southcentral Pennsylvania are joining the Pennsylvania State Police to conduct the third targeted aggressive driving enforcement wave through Sunday, Aug. 26. Southcentral Pennsylvania municipal departments are from Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties.
As part of the Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project, the third wave will aim to reduce the number of aggressive driving-related crashes, injuries and deaths on roadways throughout the state. Any aggressive driver stopped by police will receive a ticket.
The enforcement wave will focus on red light running, the Steer Clear law, tailgating, and speeding. Motorists exhibiting other unsafe behaviors such as driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or other aggressive actions will also be cited.
During the last enforcement wave from March 19 to April 29, 45 participating municipal law enforcement agencies made contact with 4,376 vehicles, issuing 4,144 citations; 2,761 of those citations were speeding violations. In addition, 26 texting violations were cited, 18 fugitive apprehensions were made, and 27 impaired drivers were removed from roadways.
The aggressive driving enforcement is a part of the Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project and is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More than 235 municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Pennsylvania are participating.
For more information, readers may visit www.penndot.gov/safety.
Kagel, Bookheimer Earn Appointments August 22, 2018
Chester County Commissioners Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone, and Terence Farrell have announced the appointments of Robert Kagel as county administrator and Julie Bookheimer as chief financial officer.
Kagel will assume his role effective Saturday, Sept. 1. Kagel, who has served as director of the Chester County Department of Emergency Services for four years, will be responsible for the supervision and direction of all county government programs, finance, and administrative operations under the leadership of the County Commissioners. Chester County chief operating officer Mark Rupsis is slated to retire on Sept. 1.
Kagel joined Chester County's Department of Emergency Services as a quality analyst in 2002 and was promoted to assistant director for quality in 2007 and deputy director for emergency management in 2010. As director of the Chester County Department of Emergency Services, Kagel oversaw the implementation of the $45 million emergency radio system, as well as the construction of the Public Safety Training Campus. He has worked with the leaders of other departments and has formed relationships with various county partners.
Kagel also represents Chester County as eastern area president of the Keystone Emergency Management Association and vice chair of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force and was appointed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Region 3 Regional Advisory Council. Kagel is an emergency medical technician and a volunteer firefighter, and since 2003 he has been an adjunct instructor for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Emergency Training Center, Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Md. Kagel earned a Bachelor of Science in legal studies from California University of Pennsylvania and holds an Associate of Applied Science in technical studies: emergency management and planning.
Bookheimer has served as director of financial services for the county for six years. As chief financial officer, Bookheimer will play an enhanced role in the financial matters of the county. She will continue to oversee the departments of Procurement, General Services, Board of Assessments, and Tax Claim and also manage the Finance Department.
Bookheimer worked for Montgomery County for 26 years and served as first deputy controller prior to joining the Chester County Controller's Office in 2010 in the same role. In 2012, she was promoted to director of Financial Services. She is accredited as a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant and is a graduate of Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science in accountancy.
County Website Wins Statewide Honor August 22, 2018
Chester County's website, www.chesco.org, received a top statewide honor, with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) bestowing the Excellence in Website Design Award as part of its 2018 Excellence in Website Awards. The award, for a website in a first- to third-class county, was recently presented to Chester County representatives at the CCAP annual conference in Gettysburg.
In presenting the award, CCAP's first vice president, Kathi Cozzone, pointed out Chester County's website design, its up-to-date content, and its user-friendly navigation as some of the reasons for the award. The judging panel noted website enhancements that led to accessible, modern designs with increased functionality, the highlighting of county services, and greater transparency to improve residents' interactions with county government.
Chester County's website receives an average of 110,000 site visits every month and provides information on all county services, including how to obtain a passport, paying taxes online, juror login, emergency preparedness information, and details on health clinics.
Recent features added to the website are WebCAD, a web-based incident monitoring system that allows visitors to view real-time fire, emergency medical, and traffic incidents in Chester County; the Pipeline Information Center; a new online reservation system for parks education programs, camping, and pavilion rentals; and WalkWorks ChesCo! The WalkWorks program encourages residents to sign up and track their steps toward the county's goal to walk 5 billion steps by the end of this year.
Recreational Programs Set August 15, 2018
The Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation will offer programs to the community. Unless otherwise noted, there is a per-person fee to take part in the programs, which will take place at the Environmental Center in Lancaster County Central Park, 1 Nature's Way, Lancaster. To register, readers may call 717-295-2055. Registration is required by noon on the business day before the event.
Story, Craft and Critter: Lizards will be offered on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Attendees will learn about lizards through an interactive story reading, then make a craft celebrating lizards. Participants will meet some live lizards. Children must have an adult helper. The program is geared for children ages 3 to 8, but all are welcome to attend.
Cub Scouts: Into the Woods will take place on Sunday, Aug. 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. for Cub Scouts age 6 and older. Cub Scouts interested in completing the Into the Woods adventure will hike to explore a local woodland and discover native trees and shrubs, pot up a native woodland species to take home and nurture, and ponder the many uses for wood. Participants should dress for the weather and for walking on rocky woodland trails.
A Full Moon Walk in the Meadow will be offered to people of all ages on Aug. 26 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. from the Muhlenberg Meadow parking area. A naturalist will lead the group for a walk under the full moon to listen to night time sounds.
Outdoor Recreation Registration Opens August 15, 2018
Those wishing to visit Fort Indiantown Gap (FTIG) for hunting, fishing, trapping and other activities in restricted areas may now complete the mandatory safety briefing and pay the annual $50 access fee via any internet capable device by visiting https://ftig.isportsman.net.
After completing online registration and payment of fees, hunters will be able to check in and check out of the hunting areas using a kiosk located on the installation. This kiosk will be operational starting Tuesday, Sept. 4, when scouting opens at Fort Indiantown Gap. The 2018-19 season will end on Friday, May 31, 2019.
The briefings, formerly only available in person, are now online and can be accessed throughout the season. The briefings cover the changes for the upcoming season and the safety information required to recreate on an active duty military base. There is also an additional $20 access fee for individuals wanting to hunt with a rifle during the 12 days of regular deer rifle season.
Additionally, there are 700 Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) coupons this year for Unit 643 in Cantonment. There are 200 DMAP coupons for Unit 2840 in the corridor. DMAP coupons are available by visiting the FTIG Fish and Game Club, building 13-4 on Thursdays from 7 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 2 p.m.
To be eligible to participate in the DMAP, hunters must complete the online safety briefings, pay the access fee, and have a valid Pennsylvania Game Commission License. DMAP coupons will not be available at the Wildlife Office at any time.
All fees collected are used for the protection, conservation and management of fish and wildlife at Fort Indiantown Gap, including habitat restoration and improvement, biologist staff and support costs and related activities. The outdoor recreation program is offered as a courtesy; access and availability of sites is dependent upon the military training mission.
For more information about the program, readers may call 717-821-3028 or 717-861-2663, or email RA-MVORP@pa.gov.
County Recycling Changes Posted August 8, 2018
Effective Monday, Sept. 10, the York County Solid Waste Authority's (YCSWA) Recycling Drop-off Facility, located on Blackthorne Court in Manchester Township, will be open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. The Recycling Drop-off Facility will be closed on several holidays, including Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
Items accepted at the facility will now include only metal food and beverage cans, including aluminum, steel, and bi-metal cans, and corrugated cardboard. The change is a response to China's ban on contaminated recyclables and a realignment of accepted materials with permit requirements.
The facility is open to York County residents. There is no fee to recycle these materials at the drop-off facility. The site is camera-monitored and will be gated after hours. Illegal dumping of trash or recyclables is prohibited.
In York County, the majority of residential households have access to curbside recycling programs. The YCSWA's Recycling Drop-off Facility is a requirement of Act 101, Pennsylvania's Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act and serves as a supplement to municipal residential curbside recycling programs.
Under Act 101, 18 York County municipalities are mandated to offer curbside recycling to residents. A total of 63 York County municipalities currently offer curbside recycling either because they are a mandated municipality or because they passed a municipal ordinance establishing curbside recycling for their residents. In addition, multiple municipalities offer drop-off recycling for residents either as stand-alone programs or in conjunction with curbside recycling.
Municipal solid waste that is not recyclable is managed at the York County Resource Recovery Center, an advanced waste-to-energy process that converts these materials into renewable energy (enough to power 20,000 homes) and recovers ferrous and non-ferrous metals and aggregates from the remaining combustion ash and reduces reliance on non-renewable sources of energy.
To learn more, readers may visit www.ycswa.com.
Honoring Our Veterans License Plates Available August 6, 2018
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) has posted information about Honoring Our Veterans license plates that community members may obtain for their vehicles as a way to show patriotism and support veterans in need.
Available for passenger cars, motorcycles and light-duty trucks up to 14,000 pounds, the license plates may be purchased by anyone. A portion of the proceeds benefits Pennsylvania's Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF). The VTF issues grants to statewide charitable organizations that aid veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs. These advocates use available grants to assist veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living, among other services.
In addition to the sales of the license plates, there are a number of other programs designed to help fund the VTF in support of Pennsylvania veterans. To learn more about VTF programs and to purchase an Honoring Our Veterans license plate, readers may visit www.vtf.pa.gov or www.facebook.com/padmva.
Archery Hunts Slated For Silver Mine Park August 2, 2018
The Pequea Township Park and Recreation Board is trying a new strategy in its wildlife management efforts. In an attempt to control the size of the deer population that lives in Silver Mine Park, 200 Silver Mine Road, Conestoga, the board will host archery hunts during the first two weeks of October.
"The deer herd has gotten rather large around here," noted board secretary Cynthia Evans-Herr, who is also vice chair of the township's board of supervisors.
Park and Recreation Board chair Tim Weaver reported that at least eight deer have been hit by cars since October 2017. In addition to the pain and suffering inflicted on the animals and the destruction to private vehicles, a Southern Regional Police Department cruiser sustained $2,000 worth of damage in one impact, and another deer totaled an SUV owned by the department.
The hunts are not designed to eliminate the herd, but the hope is that with fewer animals living in the park, there will be fewer animals crossing roads, thus reducing the chances of collisions. Evans-Herr noted that the good news is that the herd is healthy; chronic wasting disease has not be identified there as it has in other herds in the region. The healthy, growing herd is also an indication that work done at the park in the past few years is producing results. The larger meadows have become a significant food source for the herd, and the park is a safe place to raise young.
"When we walk up there in the wintertime, there are tracks all over," Weaver observed.
Archery hunts will be held from sunrise to noon and from noon to sunset on Wednesdays through Saturdays, Oct. 3 to 6 and 10 to 13, in the north end of the park. Five zones have been established in the 65 acres, and each hunter will be assigned to a zone. Tree stands will be permitted at some sites. The zones will be labeled several weeks in advance so that hunters may scope out the areas. At the start of each hunting slot, everyone will enter and depart the zones at the same time.
"We're putting them in the woods, and we're responsible for bringing them out," Evans-Herr remarked.
A total of 80 hunting opportunities will be available, and a drawing will be held to determine who will have the privilege of hunting. Only 320 tickets will be offered, and they may be obtained by donation, which will be used to offset the cost of producing the event. The hunt is insured, and approval was granted by the board of supervisors at the April meeting, by the township supervisor, and by the township's insurance company. Evans-Herr noted that the entire process has been based on the example set by the Pennsylvania Game Commission's elk hunt.
The drawing will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the Park and Recreation Board meeting that will begin at 7 p.m. at the New Danville Fire Company, 43 Marticville Road, Lancaster. Winners do not need to be present. While anyone may enter the drawing, only licensed hunters may take part in the hunt, and all state game regulations will be in effect. Disabled hunters are encouraged to participate, and accommodations will be provided as needed.
Weaver noted that if donations are received beyond the cost of producing the hunt, the excess amount will most likely be used to purchase native grass seeds and plants to expand the meadows. "Meadows bring in more pollinators," Evans-Herr explained. "We're all about pollinating. We want to be part of the initiative (to benefit) our farmers."
For more information or to enter the drawing, readers may call Weaver at 717-672-1479.