Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jobless Rate Shows Little Change Here

Ranking in state moves from #67 to #66 for March By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER
Fulton County's jobless rate showed little sign of recovery in March as the unemployment rate dropped only 1.2 percentage points from a final 16 percent rate in February. The county's March unemployment rate was 14.8 percent, according to preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor and Industry this week. The small gain in employment figures was enough to move the county from the highest rate in the state to the next to-highest rate. The county exchanged positions with Cameron County, according to the preliminary figures.
March's statistics, like those for January and February, mark the highest rate for Fulton County in 27 years when the April 1982 rate was 27.2 percent, according to Pa. Dept. of Labor and Industry statistics. Fulton County's unemployment rates stayed at 20-25 percent for most of 1982 and 1983.
The seasonally adjusted data for Fulton County for March 2009 showed unemployment at 1,200, with a total labor force of 800 for the county. By comparison, the March 2008 unemployment rate for Fulton was only 6.5 percent.
Fulton County's current unemployment rates are markedly higher than both the state and national rates. Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose three-tenths of a percentage point in March to 7.8 percent. The United States' rate rose four-tenths of a point to 8.5 percent. Pennsylvania's rate was up 2.9 percentage points from March 2008, while the U.S. rate was up 3.4 percentage points over the year.
Rankings for Fulton's neighboring counties include Franklin at number 25 with an unemployment rate of 8.1, up slightly from a rate of 8.0 percent in February. Franklin is tied for the number 25 slot with Beaver, Juniata and Lackawanna counties. Bedford's ranking remained at number 63 with an unemployment rate of 11.5, up slightly from 11.4 in February. Huntingdon County's rate went from 10.9 percent in February (and ranked 61) to 11.3 percent in March and ranked 63.
In March, Centre County posted the lowest unemployment rates in the state with 5.6 percent followed by Chester County with a rate of 6.0 percent.
Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs count fell by 30,500 in March. At 5,677,700, Pennsylvania's job total fell below 5.7 million for the first time since June 2005. Three sectors showed a decline of greater than 5,000 jobs in March - manufacturing was down 11,800; trade, transportation and utilities was down 6,600; and construction was down 5,200.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No Elk Expo in Emporium

Pennsylvania Game Commission Manager Dennis Dusza has notified the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce that the commission has no interest in holding a live drawing for elk license in Cameron County, according to a release from the Chamber.The PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau had sponsored the event in Elk County. Citing dismal crowds and a lack of vendors, the tourist promotion bureau notified the Game Commission and vendors that it was not going to host the event this year. According to Cameron County Chamber of Comerce Executive Director Tina Johns Lorson, "I immediately put phone calls into the Game Commission, the county commissioners and our state representatives asking for support to hold the live drawing here."Finally, two weeks later, Dennis Dusza left a message at the chamber that the Game Commission had no intention of hosting a live drawing anywhere but in Harrisburg," she said."He cited the cost of travel and bringing computer equipment plus dwindling crowds as the reason. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. This would have provided visitors a chance to see Cameron County and our businesses including small outdoor stores a chance to show off their products."


Saturday, April 25, 2009


While watching the LL game, we were treated to a rare sight. The osprey was working the river behind the field and I managed to get a few shots

Little League Baseball started Today

Spring is officially upon us!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lawmakers Consider Banning Teacher Strikes

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- There was a heated debate at the state Capitol Wednesday as lawmakers considered banning teacher strikes.

Pennsylvania is one of 13 states in the country that allows public school teachers to strike. Whether that is appropriate is an issue bubbling to the surface in Harrisburg.
Members of the state Senate Education Committee were presented with statistics, including the fact that Pennsylvania often leads the country in the number of teacher strikes conducted each year.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Carbon Footprint of Spam

Globally, annual spam energy use totals 33 billion kilowatt-hours (KWh), or 33 terawatt hours (TWh). That’s equivalent to the electricity used in 2.4 million homes in the United States, with the same GHG emissions as 3.1 million passenger cars using two billion United States gallons of gasoline."
Read article...

Texting Amendment Fails in House

The state House has rejected a proposal to prohibit using hand-held cell phones or sending text messages while driving.The proposal would have imposed a $50 fine and made violations a primary offense, meaning police could have pulled over motorists only because they were seen using cell phones.Among the issues debated was what it means to actually operate a motor vehicle. Representative John Maher is one of the people who spoke against the amendment."So under Pennsylvania law, this amendement would have the effect that a mother wating outside a school, parked in a school parking lot, waiting for children to complete a school activity, while she's talking on her cell phone, she would be committing a crime," Maher said.Debate continues on other amendments to the underlying bill addressing teen driving safety, including proposals to address the issue of distracted motorists.

Tourism spending hailed as answer for state budget

By TIM MEKEEL, Staff WriterLancaster OnlineState spending on tourism isn't part of Pennsylvania's budget problem, a local industry leader said today.It's part of the solution, said Chris Barrett, president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.So rather than cut it by 39 percent in the coming fiscal year, as the Rendell administration proposes, it should be restored to its original 2008-09 level, he argued.The reason is that state funding of tourism generates "a tremendous return on investment," said Barrett, speaking in Harrisburg at "Pennsylvania Tourism Day." More...

GM May Halt Production at Some Plants for Up to 9 Weeks

Automaker May Extend Traditional Summer Shutdown to Cut Stockpile of Vehicles

By Kendra MarrWashington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, April 22, 2009; 7:47 PM

General Motors may halt production at some of its U.S. factories for up to nine weeks to combat slumping auto sales this summer, according to people familiar with the plan.
GM typically closes its facilities for two weeks in July to change production lines for new models. Much like over the winter holidays, the automaker may extend that scheduled shutdown at unproductive plants to help bring down the growing stockpile of unsold cars and trucks.
The automaker is considering extending this year's summer shutdown if auto sales remain at their depressed levels......READ MORE

Pennsylvania House bill would ban hand-held cell phones while driving

A bill to improve safety of teen drivers is under consideration in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and it might be amended to prevent drivers from using hand-held cell phones.
The legislation narrowly survived a Republican-led attempt to postpone action Wednesday, opening the door to debate on an amendment calling for the ban on hand-held cell phones. The amendment also would ban text messaging while driving.
The underlying bill would impose a string of new restrictions on the youngest drivers. It is not expected to be voted on this week, and whatever passes the House will still require approval from the state Senate and the governor.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To view this image full size, click HERE

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rendell, NRA official spar over gun ban

Taking his campaign for stronger gun-control measures to the national stage, Gov. Rendell squared off with a top National Rifle Association official on national television yesterday over the federal ban on assault weapons.
On CBS's Face the Nation, Rendell said there was no "rational reason" to allow the sale of assault weapons. "They are used for only one reason . . . to kill and maim people," he said.
Rendell, who has fought for years in the state legislature for tougher gun control, revived his efforts after the slayings this month of three Pittsburgh police officers who were killed by a man using an AK-47 assault rifle.
At least one of the officers would still be alive, Rendell contended, if the shooter had not had a semiautomatic weapon.
Countering Rendell, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, called the assault-weapons ban "a totally phony issue" and called for stronger enforcement of existing laws.
read more

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

To see this image full size , click HERE

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Biomass systems cut heating costs at school

KANE - Three and a half years ago, the school board of the Kane Area School District asked its facilities Manager John Rook if it could heat the school with a biomass system.During a Pennsylvania Fuels for Schools & Beyond public meeting at the school Thursday, Rook said when he was asked that question, he could only tell the board, honestly, "I don't know." Knowing little about biomass over three years ago, Rook is now comfortable and confident operating and maintaining the school's $1.4 million biomass project which has been online since December.Of the project costs, $655,000 was paid for through grant funding. Rook said the school used to pay between $105,000 to $125,000 annually in natural gas heating costs. With the biomass system, those heating costs have been reduced to $40,000 annually.....MORE

We are surrounded by biomass! I wonder if we could do this here?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pennsylvania Pie Fight: State Cracks Down on Baked Goods

ROCHESTER, Pa. -- On the first Friday of Lent, an elderly female parishioner of St. Cecilia Catholic Church began unwrapping pies at the church. That's when the trouble started.
A state inspector, there for an annual checkup on the church's kitchen, spied the desserts. After it was determined that the pies were home-baked, the inspector decreed they couldn't be sold.
"Everyone was devastated," says Josie Reed, a 69-year-old former teacher known for her pumpkin and berry pies.
Sold for $1 a slice, homemade pies have always been part of the Lenten fish-fry dinners at St. Cecilia's, located in this tiny city near Pittsburgh. Similar dinners are held in church basements and other venues across the country this time of year.
Kris Maher/The Wall Street Journal
After a state crackdown forbidding the sale of homemade pies, members of St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Rochester, Pa., proceeded with their annual Lenten fish fries anyway. The pie flap helped draw healthy crowds.
Kris Maher/The Wall Street Journal
The problem is the pies are illegal in Pennsylvania.....READ MORE

Thursday, April 9, 2009

To see this drawing in its original quality, click HERE

Monday, April 6, 2009

County Conservation Districts Taken Out Of The Loop By DEP

By DAVID THOMPSON dthompson@sungazette.comSun Gazette
The state Department of Environmental Protection said recent changes to its policy regarding the review of sediment, erosion and stormwater control plans for gas exploration will enhance environmental safeguards.
Some environmental groups said they fear the changes will give the oil and gas industry a free pass to do as they please regarding those safeguards.
Under the new policy, county Conservation Districts will no longer review the plans. The reviews now will be done by DEP staff, according to the agency.
The department also is making plans to streamline its erosion and sediment and stormwater permitting processes as they pertain to gas drilling.
A letter from the DEP's Office of Water Management notified the agency's regional offices and Conservation Districts about the changes. More...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cameron County Genealogy Club sponsors hike

A dozen area residents hiked into the remains of the Smokeless Powder plant and Aetna Picric plant Saturday near Route 46 outside of Emporium. Inez Jordan of Emporium looks at what is left of one of the structures. With the onset of World War I, explosives had been in great demand in Europe, giving Emporium the opportunity for growth and the nickname “Powder City." The Cameron County Genealogy Club sponsored the trek.

Cameron County Genealogy Club leader Wendy Davis takes a picture of one of the structures. With the onset of World War I, explosives had been in great demand in Europe, giving Emporium the opportunity for growth and the nickname “Powder City."

material contributed by Alex Davis

Pizza as sport? Miss. siblings competing in Italy

OXFORD — For one Oxford family, pizza is not just a culinary delight but also the center of a globally competitive sport.

Chris Green and his sisters, Missy Green and Caroline Felker, are in Italy to take part in the World Pizza Championship, which runs Monday through Thursday. Chris Green is the U.S. Pizza Team Trainer and has been training new and upcoming recruits since 2004.

.....................David Smith II, a “renaissance” pizza man from Emporium, Pa., will be representing the United States in all categories spanning culinary, fastest pizza, largest stretch and acrobatic dough-tossing..........MORE

2009 Canoe and Kayak Classic a huge success

The 2009 Cameron County Canoe and Kayak Classic was a huge success. Despite cold temperatures and a biting wind, over 180 boats entered the frigid waters. More than a few didn't finish the 11 mile course, deciding to go swimming instead, but most braved the conditions all the way to the finish line at the Driftwood bridge. A big thank you to Randy Bailey and crew for once again putting together a first class event. Lots of photos at

PA Forests Could Provide Energy

Nearly 500 million tons of low-use wood, poor quality or damaged wood are estimated to exist in Pennsylvania's forests. The portion of this resource that is available economically could be used more extensively in an environmentally friendly way as an alternative energy resource."Pennsylvania has an exceptional opportunity to look at homegrown alternatives to meet our energy needs," said (Agriculture Secretary Dennis) Wolff. "Using renewable materials like low-use wood as fuel sources will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, keeping more of our hard-earned money at home benefiting our local communities rather than sending those dollars abroad."For more information, click HERE.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I don’t just drink water,I paddle it

The snow has melted, rivers are flowing, and the paddling season is soon upon us. Experience one of the fastest growing recreations—kayaking and canoeing—in guided fashion on one of 12 organized river sojourns this spring and summer, coordinated by the Pennsylvania Organization for Rivers and Watersheds. Immerse yourself on our greatest treasures—our waterways. Get treated like royalty on this year’s chosen queen—the middle and lower sections of the Susquehanna River, recently named Pennsylvania’s River of the Year. Explore a portion of this 103-mile section on a five-day sojourn in June, sponsored by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy the ride.