Senator Argall E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Saturday: Pottsville Oktoberfest
  • Tamaqua Revitalization: Plans for Riverwalk Move Forward
  • Public Hearing Highlights Impact of Anthracite Industry on Northeast PA
  • Reviewing the Hazleton Integration Project with 3-Time MLB Manager of the Year and Hazleton Native Joe Maddon
  • Lt. Governor Fetterman’s Health Issues Could Have Caused Constitutional Crisis
  • Weekend Events and Meetings Across the District
  • Tours of State Game Lands Slated for October

Saturday: Pottsville Oktoberfest

Visit downtown Pottsville on Saturday for the Pottsville Business Association’s Oktoberfest, which will feature food vendors, crafters, a beer garden, kid’s activities, and more. These events are an important part of Pottsville’s ongoing, successful, downtown revitalization strategy…and a lot of fun!

Tamaqua Revitalization: Plans for Riverwalk Move Forward

A recent article by Times News highlighted the ongoing efforts to revitalize Tamaqua. The Tamaqua Area Community Partnership has recently purchased several properties for future use as a planned walkway to better connect the downtown with a future park along the Little Schuylkill River. Any time a community can turn an old junkyard into a park for people of all ages is a very good day, indeed!

The progress in Tamaqua would not be possible without a real public private partnership—public officials and private citizens, including the Morgan Foundation and Lisa Scheller, working together to bring a shared vision to life.

Photo by Kyle Whitley

Rep. Jerry Knowles and I have worked to bring state grants to the borough to tear down blighted buildings, renovate many new apartments, and restore historic buildings like the Tamaqua Train Station (pictured above) and now, the town’s former Moose Lodge– but our efforts would not have been successful without the work of so many local volunteers and the Borough’s elected Council Members who have worked with us to breathe new life into this old town.

Public Hearing Highlights Impact of Anthracite Industry on Northeast PA

I joined Senator John Yudichak, the Senate’s only Independent member, and the Senate Community, Economic, and Recreational Development Committee in Hazleton City Hall this week to review the impact of the anthracite industry on Pennsylvania’s economy and environment. This may have been the most important public hearing I attended all year.

I grew up 500 yards from one of the many abandoned mines that were once so common across our region. Now, thanks to the efforts of so many people including our coal refuse plants, countless black hills and pits have been transformed into green fields and forests.

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A few years ago, Senator Yudichak and I worked together on a bipartisan effort to expand the Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation Tax Credit, which helped protect hundreds of local jobs so that our local coal refuse electric power plants could continue to operate. Jason Kelso of Reading Anthracite and Jarrett Gibbons of ARIPPA testified that without this new law, it’s likely that a majority of the ten coal refuse plants in Pennsylvania would have closed their doors.

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In addition, Greg Driscoll of Blaschak Coal testified that because of the war in Ukraine and the ban on Russian anthracite in the United States and Europe, anthracite production in northeastern Pennsylvania could double in the near future. The result: hundreds of new jobs and bigger paychecks for anthracite employees in Pennsylvania!

Read more here.

Reviewing the Hazleton Integration Project with 3-Time MLB Manager of the Year and Hazleton Native Joe Maddon

This week, 3-time MLB Manager of the Year Joe Maddon invited me to visit the Hazleton Integration Project, a community-based effort started by Maddon and Founding President Bob Curry to bring people of many different cultures together in the city. Their work has received national recognition—and support from Joe’s professional baseball colleagues— for its successes to date.

Learn more about all their child and adult education programs offered here.

Lt. Governor Fetterman’s Health Issues Could Have Caused Constitutional Crisis

Lt. Governor Fetterman’s failure to properly disclose the severity of his stroke could have caused a constitutional crisis in Pennsylvania had the governor also been incapacitated by a medical issue, according to an op-ed written by Senator Jake Corman, the President Pro Tempore of the state Senate.

As the Chairman of the Senate State Government Committee, I have invited the lt. governor to testify about how he notified the governor of his disability, to ensure that the proper procedures were followed, and the current law is sound. To date, he has yet to respond.

If the lt. governor is now healthy enough to resume his public schedule, he should be able to work in a bipartisan manner with my committee to ensure the continuity of our state executive branch is never again in question.

Weekend Events and Meetings Across the District

Rep. Jerry Knowles and I were invited to a truly special celebration on Saturday: the 100th birthday party in Deer Lake for Carl Hafer. I’ve known Mr. Hafer since the 1960s when I was growing up in Tamaqua. In addition to his service as a World War II veteran, he and his late wife Jean were the leaders of my Cub Scout Pack. The lessons I learned from Carl and Jean changed my life for the better at a very young age!

Friday evening, Beth and I were invited to join the 25th anniversary celebration for the White Haven Area Community Library at their beautiful facility, a renovated historic structure once utilized to repair massive steam engines for the railroad. As the son of a school librarian, I was happy to meet many of the volunteers who provide the White Haven area with easy access to books and other forms of information.

Sunday, Schuylkill County Commissioner Gary Hess and I attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Sean T. Coyle in Auburn. For his Eagle Scout Project, Sean built a flag retirement box for Auburn Borough and retired about 300 worn and tattered flags. Congratulations Sean!

Tours of State Game Lands Slated for October

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is holding public tours of state game lands in October.

Nine tours are scheduled throughout the state, the first of which will be held Sunday, Oct. 2. More tours are planned each Sunday through Oct. 16.

The tours provide a good example of the opportunities available on game lands statewide, while showcasing how habitat work being done on these tracts benefits wildlife. All tours are free, held rain or shine and open only to vehicles licensed for travel on public roads. You can find the complete tour schedule here.

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