Elmwood Park Zoo

January 23rd, 2010

Wild animals including cougars, jaguars, and otters in a variety of natural settings, such as, bayou and wetlands aviary and the petting barn. Cougar Cafe is open and the animal shows are presented during season. The Nature Shop is open all year-round.

Elmwood Park Zoo
1661 Harding Boulevard
Norristown, PA 19401

Energy Star and LEED Toolkit

January 23rd, 2010

Energy Star and LEED EBOM: A Toolkit for Existing Buildings, Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 8:30 AM — 10:30 AM

Building Owners and Managers are currently faced with the challenge of making their existing buildings more energy efficient, while keeping a close eye on capital expenditures in an unstable economy. There are tools available to help you get started, but which ones should you be using? Energy Star? LEED? This session will demonstrate how both of these tools are an important part of your toolkit and how you can use them to achieve favorable results. Andrew Kreider from the EPA will give you an overview of Energy Star Portfolio Manager, and Bill Craig from Re:Vision Architecture will review how LEED EBOM (Existing Building, Operations & Maintenance) tackles energy efficiency, and beyond. Marla Thalheimer, Sustainability Manager from Liberty Property Trust will provide an example of how Liberty is using these tools to measure, set goals and track the results throughout their portfolio. Together well look at the advantages, the differences, and how they work together to ultimately create a high performance building.

Where: Temple University Center City (TUCC), 1515 Market Street, Room 222

Recycling Tools For Schools

January 23rd, 2010

Recycling Tools for Schools K-12 Workshop: Collect It, Haul It, Recycle It!, Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 8:00 AM — 12:30 PM

The Green Schools Circle of DVGBC presents this informative workshop for teachers, students, school administrators, community members, and everyone else to come share ideas, recycling program success stories, and bring it back to YOUR SCHOOL!

Where: Chester County Intermediate Unit Conference Center, 455 Boot Road, Downingtown, PA

EPA: Removal Of Underground Tanks in Warrington, PA

January 21st, 2010

Workers are in the process of removing six underground storage tanks at the abandoned former Malcolm’s gas station and auto repair facility in Warrington, Pa. to make way for a Recovery Act-funded project to determine possible contamination at the property.
In August 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency distributed $6.16 million in Recovery Act funding to Pennsylvania to assess and clean up underground storage tank petroleum leaks. The abandoned Malcolm’s gas station, located at 994 Easton Rd., will be assessed for soil and groundwater pollution. The project is being funded because the responsible parties are unable or unwilling to conduct the cleanup.

“This project is a prime example of how Recovery Act funding is helping local communities address environmental threats,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “For a small amount of money, we can make a significant, positive impact on improving the environment. This work also paves the way for redevelopment and future job creation.”

The greatest potential hazard from a leaking underground storage tank is that petroleum or other hazardous substances seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly one-third of all Americans.

Under a cooperative agreement with EPA, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) will manage the project. In 2002 PADEP inspected the underground storage tanks at Malcolm’s and found a multitude of violations including the failure to install and maintain equipment to prevent releases and the failure to conduct regular leak detection on six underground storage tanks, including one 500-gallon tank that is still full of used oil and sludge from the auto repair side of the gas station. The other tanks (two 4,000-gallon tanks and three 6,000-gallon tanks) which held gasoline, diesel and kerosene, have already been removed and were empty. The tanks are between 20 and 30 years old and are made of bare steel, which is subject to corrosion.

The gas station owner failed to install the required leak detection equipment and abandoned the site shortly after the 2002 inspection.

After all the tanks are removed, PADEP will sample the surrounding soil and groundwater to determine if petroleum products have been released to the environment, and the nature and extent of any contamination.

The tank removal and site assessment are being conducted by PADEP through local certified contractors. The work is expected to provide two to five temporary jobs and will cost approximately $75,000. The results of the initial assessment will help determine the scope and cost of the cleanup phase to follow.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Feb. 17, and has directed the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at www.Recovery.gov. As part of the Recovery Act, $200 million was allocated for cleanup of petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks.

Pennsylvania Haiti Scams

January 21st, 2010

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Tom Corbett urged consumers to be watchful for possible financial scams and questionable charitable pleas linked to this week’s massive earthquake in Haiti.

“Natural disasters are often a magnet for scam artists and con-men, hoping to take advantage of well-meaning people who simply want to help victims,” Corbett said. “It is important to help people in-need, but consumers should also be watchful for scams and report any suspicious activity.”

Corbett said that one of the most common topics for consumer complaints in these situations is fraudulent disaster-related fundraising efforts.

“A few minutes spent researching various relief organizations can help you avoid scams and also make certain that your charitable contribution will actually be helping the victims of the Haitian earthquake, or other catastrophic events,” Corbett said. “Also, be watchful for look-alike or sound-alike organizations or websites created by scam artists who are hoping to fool unsuspecting consumers.”

Corbett urged consumers to review the following tips if they are considering making a contribution to a disaster-relief agency or other charitable organization:

Be wary of high-pressure tactics and door-to-door collections.
If you are making a contribution electronically, be certain that you are using a secure Internet site.
Be cautious of “SPAM” email messages that ask you to click on links, open files or download photos (these could contain computer viruses).
Be skeptical of email messages or posts on social networking sites from people claiming to be foreign officials or surviving victims asking for electronic donations.
Ask for details about any charity before you make a donation (legitimate charities will always explain their programs and services).
Check to see if a charity is registered in PA before making a contribution (charity registration info is available on the PA Department of State website at www.dos.state.pa.us).
Ask for information about how funds will be spent (legitimate charities will tell you what percentage of your gift will go toward community services, operating expenses or fundraising).
Write checks directly to the charity, rather than giving cash.
Be watchful for fictitious organizations or websites created by scam artists that are designed to sound or look similar to legitimate relief agencies.

Consumers with questions or problems related to disaster-related fundraising scams can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-441-2555 or file an online complaint at www.attorneygeneral.gov.

Pennsylvania Attorney General

January 21st, 2010

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office website offers citizens access to advanced technology and up-to-date information.

The site offers on-line services for consumers, contact information and the ability to file complaints.

Pennsylvania Attorney General News Feed

Montgomery County Evacuation Plan

January 21st, 2010

Norristown, PA — Residents of Montgomery County and surrounding counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey will be asked Thursday to participate in a comprehensive Regional Evacuation Survey.

The survey will conducted through phone interviews on a limited basis on January 7th and 8th, with the full survey implementation to begin on Saturday, January 9. It will take approximately two to three months to complete all the phone interviews.

Nearly 3,500 residents in the region will be randomly selected and asked to participate in a telephone survey to evaluate their evacuation needs and to assess their decision-making process as to whether or not to evacuate should officials give an Evacuation Order.

“This is the first-ever evacuation behavior study conducted in Southeastern Pennsylvania and in parts of South Jersey,” said Montgomery County Public Safety Director Tom Sullivan.

“We encourage Montgomery County residents who are called to participate in the survey. Your experiences and opinions count and will help us fine-tune evacuation plans based on the needs of our residents.”

Typical questions residents will be asked include: whether or not they have had to evacuate in the past, why they needed to evacuate, where they would go if they have to evacuate in the future, the mode of transportation they would use to evacuate. They will also be asked whether they have developed a family emergency plan and prepared a family emergency kit, how they would most likely hear about an emergency and how they would plan to stay informed during an emergency.

Residents will also be asked if they ever chose not to evacuate when an evacuation order was given and why.

Residents will not need to identify themselves during the survey and their answers will remain confidential.

The $150,000 survey is being funded by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force through U. S. Department of Homeland Security funds on behalf of the ten county emergency management coordinators. The phone interviews will be conducted by Kerr and Downs Research (KDR) for the Task Force.

Apron Activists For Haiti

January 19th, 2010

A group that I founded called the Apron Activists is holding a 2nd mostly vegan bake sale this Sunday, January 24 at Siren Records Doylestown. A story was already ran about the last bake sale. We would like any press coverage you can give this event in order for us to raise the most money possible for Haitian relief efforts. Thank you, Jennifer Wise

Saint Miriam Parish, Blue Bell, PA

January 18th, 2010

Blue Bell, PA — On New Year’s Eve, a few members of Saint Miriam gathered to clean and ready for New Year’s Day. Included in the gathering were noted and renowned artists, Raymond Leight and David Romeo. Mr. Romeo and his wife, Pam, are two of the finest framers and owners of Romeo’s Fine Arts in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. They all walked into Saint Miriam together to accomplish one goal — the installation of Mr. Leight’s latest, original masterpiece entitled, “Jesus and the Little Children.” This large, beautiful and inspiring work was completed for Saint Miriam as a gift from Mr. Leight. Mr. Leight also donated 14 other original childrens pieces for the children’s education room. Dave and Pam Romeo gifted the framing and hanging, as well.

Mr. Leight met Father Jim quite by happenstance at Dave and Pam’s store and gallery in Lansdale. The Romeos were helping Father prepare the finishes for the collection of Stations of the Cross that hang in the main Sanctuary. Mr. Leight was present on his own business and the two men met, thanks to Dave and Pam. The rest, as they say, is history.

Mr. Leight began to paint this masterpiece and as he did, he puts it best, “The Holy Spirit came to me and held my hand…the great Comforter told me what and how to paint…” This work is the result and Mr. Leight claims proudly, “It is one of my best pieces!”

The work of Mr. Leight’s is in many major collections throughout the world in both private and corporate exhibits. He has displayed his impressive collection of painting, sculpture, and cartoon illustration from California, Florida, Pennsylvania, to The Hollywood Art and Culture Center, just to name a few. His work has been featured at The Center for the Arts, Vero Beach and The Brevard Art Center and Museum. And, a Museum is now being built in New York to house his vast collection!

Born in small West Point, Pennsylvania in 1931, Mr. Leight is a true, natural born artist without formal training. He has painted and sculpted many works since childhood, is a published cartoonist, draftsman and illustrator for the Ford Motor Company, award-winning graphic designer, an author and illustrator of children’s books, founder of a successful toy company and noted and accomplished artist to many generations.

Mr. Leight’s work lend themselves to the simplest of analysis; often using colorful collages of materials and ideas suggest that their stories are below the surface, waiting for interpretation by the viewer and revealed by further study. His work is nothing short of magnificent and his genuineness is genuinely displayed in this latest piece for Saint Miriam.

The Saint Miriam Board of Directors, along with the Parish Council, decided to honor Mr. Leight by honoring his love and gift to us with the naming of the CCD and Education Room after him. On April 11 2010, when the parish is formally consecrated by our bishops, the CCD room will officially become, “The Ray Leight Children’s Education Room” and will feature other works of his made with children in mind!

To further honor Dave and Pam Romeo for all of their dedication to us, and to thank them for their love of Mr. Leight and Saint Miriam, the large floor to ceiling window within this Children’s Room will be dubbed, “A Window onto the World for our Children, a gift of Pam and David Romeo”.

There would be many ways to illustrate Mr. Leights love of children, but none more apropos than Ray’s own rendition of a passage of Scripture… “Children are important,” Jesus said. “No one in the world is greater than the smallest of these. No one is closer to God, for Guardian Angels are watching over them always. And remember this: anyone who is cruel to a little child would be better off at the bottom of the sea. But the person who loves a child, and tells her the truth, and helps her to be good, is loved by God forever. Never forget: when you help a little child, you are helping me.”

Saint Miriam has two main services each week, Thursday at 6:30PM and Sundays at 10:30 AM. They also honor a Rosary on Wednesdays at 6:30PM and a monthly Charismatic Mass. The services are Catholic, but inclusive and inspiring with a mix of music from old and new, modern touches and incense smoke that finally warms the heart, as well as the senses!

Please contact Father Jim St. George for more information or visit www.mySaintMiriam.org.

Peace Corps: Local And Global

January 13th, 2010

Maple Glenn, PA — Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Thailand
Joel Gerstman, 23, of Maple Glen, Penn., has been accepted into the Peace Corps.
Gerstman will be departing for Thailand on Jan. 19, 2010 to begin pre-service training as a community development Peace Corps volunteer. Upon graduation from volunteer training in April, Gerstman will be addressing community needs through work within local subdistrict administrative offices.
Gerstman is the son of Ira and Jody Gerstman, and a graduate of Upper Dublin High School in Fort Washington, Penn. He then attended Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, graduating in 2009. Gerstman previously worked at Sealord LLC, Susquehanna International Group and Mufson Howe Hunter & Co.
“I was motivated by the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives, travel abroad, and grow as a person,” Gerstman said about his decision to join the Peace Corps.
During the first three months of his service, Gerstman will live with a host family in Thailand to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist his community, Gerstman will serve for two years in Thailand, living in a manner similar to people in his host country.
Gerstman joins the 294 Pennsylvania residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 7,237 Pennsylvania residents have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.
Over 4,863 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Thailand since the program was established in 1962. Volunteers in this Southeast Asian nation work in the areas of education and community development. In addition to their primary assignments, Peace Corps volunteers in Thailand also focus on HIV/AIDS education in their host communities. Currently, 98 volunteers are serving in Thailand.
As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with over 7,600 volunteers serving in 75 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit our website: www.peacecorps.gov.