I hope this email finds all of you safe & healthy. You’ve likely noticed a lot of email correspondence from us lately; while our physical office remains closed, my staff and I have still been hard at work trying to stay-in-touch and keep you updated on all the latest news and happenings in the 17th District and all of Pennsylvania.
Earlier this week I sent out an email with a list of grant opportunities available in the Commonwealth. ICYMI - you can find that email archived here. We also recently relaunched The Blueprint, a resource to help better understand the legislation that impacts our daily lives and what you might be able to do on a personal level to help. The most recent edition covered the End of Life with Options Act, a bill I introduced in July that would allow people with a terminal disease to, under certain conditions, request a prescription for medicine that would end their life in a humane and dignified manner. You can learn more about the bill by checking out The Blueprint here or by visiting the website.
I hope you all had a great weekend. We’ll continue sending weekly emails with updates and other helpful info but of course don’t ever hesitate to contact our office if there’s ever anything that we can help you with. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610.768.4200.
The Latest News
PennDOT extends expiration dates on driver's licenses, ID cards, and learner’s permits
The Times Herald
PennDOT is extending the expiration dates for driver's licenses, identification cards, and learner’s permits in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Expiration dates for driver's licenses, photo ID cards and learner's permits scheduled to expire from March 16 through Aug. 31 have been extended until Aug. 31, 2020.
'This is an important day': American-Korean War Memorial opens at Montgomery Township park
A crowd of nearly 100 people gathered Saturday morning to commemorate an addition to a Montgomery County park that fortified the friendships of two countries: The United States and The Republic of Korea.
Uganda is Getting 3 Million New Trees
Human settlement, agriculture, and logging have not been kind to the world’s trees, and in turn, have been nothing short of disastrous for the animals that call those trees home.
Biden, Gates, other Twitter accounts hacked in Bitcoin scam
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Unidentified hackers broke into the Twitter accounts of technology moguls, politicians, celebrities and major companies Wednesday in an apparent Bitcoin scam.
The Justice in Policing Act will help address systemic racism in policing | U.S. Sen. Bob Casey
Since the murder of George Floyd, Pennsylvanians and people across our nation have marched to condemn the systematic injustice, violence and racism in our law enforcement system.
Civil Rights Titan, Georgia Congressman John Lewis Dead At Age 80
Longtime Georgia Congressman John Lewis, the son of sharecroppers who became one of the "Big Six" leaders of the 1960s civil rights movement and spent his life fighting for racial integration, died Friday, seven months after he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Pa. lawmakers want voters to weaken governor’s emergency powers, boost their own
Having lost battle after battle to wrest control of Pennsylvania’s coronavirus response from Gov. Tom Wolf, the GOP-controlled legislature now wants voters to permanently weaken a governor’s emergency powers while boosting their own.
Pa. Senate unanimously passes bill to reform probation system; supporters call it a ‘milestone
The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously approved a bill to revamp Pennsylvania’s probation system Wednesday, a step criminal justice reform advocates have long awaited.
Montgomery County drug-related deaths were up in 2019
Main Line Media News
Drug-related deaths in Montgomery County rose in 2019, setting a new high for fatal overdoses, according to an annual report issued by the county’s top law enforcement officer.
Radnor Township Police: Baby Bear Spotted Near Villanova
Officers with the Radnor Township Police Department said they've received several calls reporting a baby bear walking in the area of Hamilton Road and Camp Woods Road in the Villanova section of the township recently.
Protect dogs and animals from harmful algae blooms
Keeping dogs and other animals safe from toxic algae blooms in water is the focus of a free Penn State Extension webinar slated for 7 p.m. on July 23.
ArtsQuest releases list of which food vendors will set up shop at SteelStacks for Musikfest
ArtsQuest announced Wednesday which vendors will be setting up shop at the SteelStacks for Musikfest this year.
Coronavirus positivity rate declining in Montgomery County, according to latest data
The Times Herald
Montgomery County residents appear to be reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the county, according to the latest scientific data. The overall positivity rate, taking into account all county residents who were tested for the virus between March 13 and July 17, was 3.54 percent, according to the data.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is seeking hardworking individuals to work from September 2020 through April 2021 in the Winter Maintenance Program! If you enjoy working in a fast-paced and dedicated environment on a seasonal basis or with the potential for promotion into a permanent position, this is the job for you.
Upper Merion Park Partners Volunteer Tree Weed & Mulch Event
Upper Merion Park Partners need volunteers to tend (weed and mulch) recently planted trees. Hundreds of young trees, and the saplings need to be weeded and mulched, and their stakes and tree guards reset to enable them to grow up healthy.
All residents, local businesses, community, and school groups are welcome.
Montco Author Launches Online Book Tour at Norristown Library
Teen series author Jon McGoran's Montgomery County virtual book tour is coming to the Norristown Public Library at 4 p.m. on July 29.
In the engagement, the author is set to discuss his "Spliced" trilogy. To attend McGoran's digital address, one must register online in advance. Once registered, attendees will be sent an access code. The event is intended for readers between ages 12 and 17.
Night at the Ball Park/Wiffleball Classic
Click Here to register
New Lower Merion Recycling Schedule In Effect
Beginning the week of July 20, every household in the township will recycle commingled materials such as metal cans, glass and aluminum. According to township officials, this means residents will put out only the commingled materials and not paper and cardboard recyclables.
Beginning the week of July 27, every household in the township will recycle paper and cardboard. This means put out only the paper and cardboard recyclables and not commingled materials.
To help residents become accustomed to the change, the Township Calendar and its Facebook and Twitter pages will also post every Sunday to remind residents what the recyclable week is that coming Monday.
Co-existing with Nature
Summer is here and whether we like it or not, so are new hatchlings of Spotted Lanternflies. It is important we do what we can to control populations now, while they are young and cannot yet fly. (Like the nymph pictured above)
If you notice an abundance of these pesky bugs in your yard, here are some helpful, easy and environmentally-friendly tips on ways to remove them, provided by the French and Pickering Creek Conservation Trust:
For large infestations: check in with Penn State for chemical solutions.
For the small homeowner and for people who prefer to limit their use of chemicals:
- If the nymphs are on a limb, bend the limb over a margarine-type tub with a couple inches of water or hold a wide mouthed bottle like a gatorade bottle filled with water under the nymph. Slowly tap the branch from on top or drag the rim of the bottle under the nymph The nymphs will fall in the water, and they can't get out. You can catch dozens this way. Flush the contents down the toilet!
- If they're still small, wrap a piece of duct tape around a stick, sticky side out, then touch the tape to the SLF s. Once they're through a couple instar stages they're strong enough to resist, but it works well during the first week or two.
- Get a micro attachment kit for your canister vacuum and vacuum them off the plants. The micro attachment kit decreases the suction, so it doesn't suck the plants in.
- If you see a number of nymphs in a tree, knock them onto the ground with a forceful stream of water from a hose or pressure washer or broom. Wrap sticky paper around the trunk, and wait a few minutes. The nymphs will make a bee line to climb back up the tree, and they will be trapped on the sticky paper. You can also smush those on the ground while you are waiting, so bring your fly swatter with you. Once you have caught the nymphs, remove and discard the sticky paper. Don't leave the sticky paper unattended or it could harm beneficial insects, birds and wildlife.
- Using a band of sticky insect paper or inside-out duct tape will catch all of the nymphs – BUT, birds, other wildlife, and beneficial insects can be harmed. Making a wire cage to put around is one way to keep your sticky tape from hurting birds and wildlife.
- Plain Water! One woman tried putting out bowls of water after seeing so many dead lanternflies in her pool, and it worked! She uses all kinds of bowls, plus aluminum foil lasagna pans. She gets many dead lanternflies every day. Another woman reports that a large pan of water on the picnic table with a couple drops of Dawn will draw them to the water and cause them to drown within a couple hours.
- Water again! One woman reports: I actually pressure washed my maple last year to get them off. The tree was fine after; the lanternflies, not so fine.
- If the lanternflies are on weeds you don't want around anyway (they love wild grape), spray with vinegar. They die instantly, and you might get rid of the weed, too.
- Vacuum them into a shop vac with warm soapy water in the bucket (people use Dawn), and they will die. If you don’t have a shop vac, you can buy a small one you can put on top of a bucket on Amazon or in many local stores.
- Fly swatters, esp. teams of children carrying fly swatters. We have heard that paying 1 penny per nymph is a great incentive!
- Planting common milkweed is good for just about everything, including pollinators and bees, as well as being pretty to look at and smelling like a perfume counter. Because eating milkweed is toxic to most animals and insects, it is only eaten by Monarch butterfly caterpillars and a couple other species, which are immune to the toxin. The lanternflies are from Asia. They are not familiar with our milkweed, and they eat it and die.
- Rubbing alcohol kills them. If you find them on your deck or a surface, spraying them with rubbing alcohol mixed with water will kill them. The alcohol will then evaporate and not harm beneficial bugs and animals. Rubbing alcohol is not good for plants, so don’t spray near your garden or on the ground.
- If you want to spray something on your plants, Neem Oil is rated Good for killing Lanternflies by Penn State. It is all natural (comes from the seed of the neem tree) and only harmful to bugs that eat the plant leaves - in other words, it won't hurt pollinators or beneficial insects like spiders and ladybugs. To be on the safe side, don't spray it on flowers.