Senator Argall E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • State Grant to Convert Blighted Downtown Pottsville Building into Market-Rate Apartments
  • The NEW 29th Senate District
  • Giving Thanks for Our Blessings
  • Limiting the Hassle of Thanksgiving Travel
  • Please Support Small Businesses with Holiday Shopping
  • Safety Tips for Hunting Season

State Grant to Convert Blighted Downtown Pottsville Building into Market-Rate Apartments

Photo by Lindsey Shuey, Staff Photographer for the Republican Herald

This week, Representatives Twardzik and I announced that the upper six floors of the Schuylkill Trust Company building in downtown Pottsville on Centre and Market Streets will be transformed into sixty market-rate apartment units due to a $3 million state grant. This grant will be matched with a multi-million dollar private investment.

Because these floors have been vacant for many years, at one of the best-known business locations in Schuylkill County, this 1923 building’s complete renovation has been a goal for many of us for many years.

This competitive grant doesn’t just help address the ongoing housing shortage gripping our region, but also continues the significant progress made in recent years to revitalize downtown Pottsville. You can see it all over the city, from the new Pottsville CollegeTowne campus of Alvernia University, to the new businesses that have opened their doors. I’m excited about the future of Pottsville!

 The NEW 29th Senate District

After announcing that my Hamburg and Spring Township offices are now closed, I was interviewed by WFMZ about my time representing Berks County in the state Senate and House. We discussed some of the important projects I’ve assisted with over the years, including rebuilding Rt. 222 from Reading to Lancaster, along with much-needed improvements to Routes 422 and 61 and helping to bring Cabela’s and many other employers to this region.

Due to the once-in-a-decade redistricting process, I will no longer represent Berks County on December 1st. The new 29th senatorial district includes all of Schuylkill and Carbon Counties and portions of Luzerne County including the city of Hazleton.

Giving Thanks for Our Blessings

“Let all of us, in accordance with our hallowed custom, foregather in our respective places of worship or in our homes and offer up prayers of thanks for our manifold blessings. Let the happiness which stems from family reunions on Thanksgiving Day be tempered with compassion and inspired by an active concern for those less fortunate in our own country and in other lands; and let us ask God’s continuing help and guidance in our conduct, both as individuals and as a Nation.” — President Dwight Eisenhower, Thanksgiving Day 1957

I wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving filled with warmth and gratitude.

Limiting the Hassle of Thanksgiving Travel

Nearly 55 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving. That’s a 1.5% increase over 2021 and 98% of pre-pandemic volumes.

One way to get the most current and relevant Pennsylvania traffic information without taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel is the 511PA app. 511PA provides real-time, hands-free traffic advisories for every state roadway in Pennsylvania, and for major roadways in neighboring states of New Jersey and West Virginia.

The Historic Holiday Traffic page allows users to see how traffic speeds on the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019 and 2021 compare to traffic conditions during a typical, non-holiday week. Users can choose their region and view an hour-by-hour, color-coded representation of traffic speeds to help them decide the best times to travel during the holiday.

AAA says traffic will be lighter before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. on Wednesday. On Thanksgiving, the best travel times are before 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m.

Please Support Small Businesses with Holiday Shopping

While online shopping has its place, local small businesses with brick-and-mortar stores and owners who live nearby are a huge asset to communities.

Small Business Saturday is a reminder that these businesses create 65% of jobs in Pennsylvania, and the holiday shopping season is a great opportunity to support them.

Many of the goods and services offered by these businesses are locally sourced or crafted, so the effect of buying local is multiplied. Please support our local employers this season and year-round.

The Greater Schuylkill Haven Area Business Association is spearheading an effort to encourage local shopping on Saturday. Learn more about it here.

Safety Tips for Hunting Season

Firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 26. As you prepare to head out to our fields and forests, be sure to keep safety in mind. The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers these important tips:

Basic Safety

  • Positively identify the target – Be sure you are shooting at legal game and not another hunter. And never shoot at sounds or movement.
  • Stay in the zone! Hunters should be spaced 25 to 40 yards apart, and always in sight of one another. Each hunter’s zone of fire spans about 45 degrees directly in front of the hunter. Never shoot at game moving between you and someone else.
  • Plan your hunt! Let someone know where you’re hunting and when you’ll return.
  • Buckle up! If you hunt from an elevated stand, always wear a full-body, fall-restraint device as soon as your feet leave the ground until they return.
  • Keep fit! Hunting is hard work. Don’t become a statistic. Keep physically fit. Start with a check-up and follow your doctor’s advice.
  • Stay found! Become familiar with your hunting area. Learn how to use a map and compass or GPS unit. Be prepared for emergencies. Carry a basic survival kit and know how to use it.
  • Be seen! Wear or display the required amount of fluorescent orange clothing.

Firearms Safety

  • Handle all firearms as if they’re loaded. Never assume they are unloaded and double check to be sure.
  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction and don’t put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Unload and place your firearm on the ground before crossing a fence, log or other obstacle, or climbing a tree.
  • Shoot only when a safe and adequate backstop exists. Don’t shoot at hard, flat surfaces, water or a target on the horizon.

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website.

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