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August 29, 2014
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News in brief


Rally pushes jobs, not spending cuts

MONTICELLO, NY — Citizens led by local MoveOn members rally in front of the Monticello office of Congressman Maurice Hinchey on August 10. Among them were Kathie Aberman, who waved a sign that said, “Corporate America: Share your Wealth with the Workers! Create JOBS not higher profits!”

Julie Allen, a representative of Congressman Hinchey, accepted a petition handed to her by Aberman. The petition, called “Contract for the American Dream,” said, “Together, we must rebuild our country, reinvest in our people and jump-start the industries of the future. Millions of jobless Americans would love the opportunity to become working, tax-paying members of their communities again. We have a jobs crisis, not a deficit crisis.”

Toomey wants to repeal road signs regs

HARRISBURG, PA — After meeting with local municipal leaders, Senator Pat Toomey announced that he would introduce legislation to reverse an onerous Department of Transportation regulation mandating new road signs in towns across the country.

The regulations would require all municipalities to replace their current road and street signs with new signs that meet federally approved reflectivity standards. According to the mandate, local towns will have to pay for the replacement of current signs.

“This is just another example of an unfunded mandate coming from the federal government,” said Jeff Dexter, chairman of the Damascus Township board. “It comes at a very bad time. We’re just not going to afford it.”

Senator Toomey has already had success in alleviating a similar burden in Lower Merion in Montgomery County. Officials there argued that the street sign mandate was not only expensive, but would force the town to replace expensive cast-iron historical street signs, stripping the community of its historical character.

Working with the Department of Transportation, Toomey achieved an exemption for the town.

PPL lowers lake levels

LAKE WALLENPAUPACK, PA — PPL will lower the level of Lake Wallenpaupack by about five feet more than normal after Labor Day in September to allow for scheduled maintenance and inspection of the dam and power plant. The drawdown of water will stop at about elevation 1,175 feet in mid-October.

The drawdown is done every five years to allow PPL to perform routine maintenance and testing, including a test required by the plant’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license. Following the maintenance and testing, PPL will then gradually allow the lake to refill naturally. Residents may want to consider removing docks from the water earlier than they normally would, although this is not mandated by PPL.

“Lowering water levels will not have a significant effect on most local businesses around the lake,” said Paul Canevari, PPL’s regional community relations director for the Pocono region. “We still encourage people to visit the lake and take advantage of the area’s many attractions.”

The generation schedule, the elevation of the lake and PPL’s plans regarding the drawdown are subject to change without prior notice due to changing plant and weather conditions. Visit www1.pplweb.com/ilwpk/cgi-bin/present_operation.pl.

Pike County has most gay couples

MILFORD, PA — According to a recent study released by William Institute at UCLA School of Law, Pike County has the highest percentage of gay couples in the state: 12.12 per 1,000 households. Wayne County is fifth (7.88) behind Philadelphia (10.62), Dauphin (9.30) and Monroe (8.46).

The 2010 Census identified 266 same-sex couples in Pike County. Philadelphia has 6,371, Dauphin has 1,027, and Monroe has 517. Female same-sex couples accounted for 63 percent of households and male same-sex couples for 37 percent. Only 20 percent of same-sex couples were identified as raising children. To make the list, an individual municipality would need more than 50 same-sex couples.

Visit www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute or call the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, 310/267-4382.