Beaver County Blue

Progressive Democrats of America – PA 12th CD Chapter

Archive for October, 2014

Defend the EPA, Keep Our Water Clean

Posted by carldavidson on October 11, 2014

Posted in Community, Environment | 1 Comment »

PA Auditor General: DEP Fails to Protect Our Water

Posted by randyshannon on October 11, 2014

Ambridge Reservoir Arial Photo by Steve White

Ambridge Reservoir Arial Photo by Steve White

Auditor General Issues Critical PADEP Audit

Pennsylvania Environmental Organizations Applaud Investigation’s Goals

Report’s findings mirror concerns raised by Pennsylvanians dealing with water contamination

Harrisburg, PAPennsylvania’s Auditor General office released a highly anticipated audit of the Department of Environmental Protection’s performance regarding shale gas development today. 

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale stated that the audit “…shows that the meteoric growth of the shale gas industry caught the Department of Environmental Protection unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints”.

The report is available here:

 http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/resources/Reports/PA%20AG%20audit%20DEP072114.pdf

For the last 18 months, environmental and citizens groups have been in touch with DEP regarding our grave concerns about procedures and policies for water quality monitoring, testing, and response in the face of the shale gas boom. It has long been clear that:

  • they lack transparency;
  • result in the withholding of vital data from affected households and the public;
  • force residents to undergo prolonged exposure to contaminants that can impact health;
  • and delay action necessary to correct pollution and ensure that operators provide clean drinking water to those who need it. 
  • The audit confirms that basic reforms are needed to address the harms communities are experiencing from shale gas development in the Commonwealth.

“The Auditor General’s inspection is not just a capture of deficiencies within the agency in present time but a call to the future to take actions that will improve agency policies & operations so that public confidence in the agency can be restored & we can better protect drinking water & public health”, said Steve Hvozdovich, Marcellus Shale Policy Associate, Clean Water Action.

“For countless Pennsylvanians in the Marcellus and Utica, the Auditor General’s findings come as no surprise. His frank assessment of the deficiencies within the DEP accurately tells the story of an agency that was unprepared to deal with shale gas development’s impacts on our water supply and, by extension, our communities. The tenor of the agency’s response included in the report is discouraging in its denial of many of the problems the Auditor General has cited and its misguided belief that it has satisfactorily addressed some of the other issues, particularly those dealing with transparency and public access to critical data,” said Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth.

 

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Posted in elections | 1 Comment »

Students Plan City-wide Strike to Defend Philly Schools

Posted by randyshannon on October 8, 2014

PHL Students Announce Plans to Strike as Mayor Praises SRC

Students vow to be truant until SRC restores union’s contract.

October 7, 2014
By Flood the Drummer
CLICK HERE to read "PHL Students Announce Plans to Strike as Mayor Praises SRC."By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris 10.7.14: Philadelphia – (Politics): The reason the Philadelphia School Reform Commission quietly voted to cancel their labor contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers yesterday was to push them into contributing to their healthcare and reinvest the savings back into the classroom, particularly ensuring nurses and counselors would be on sight and that school buildings are stocked with the appropriate supplies, like pencils, pens and toilet paper.

But in response to the news, students didn’t cheer and applaud the five-member, state controlled board, instead they announced their intentions to strike on Wednesday, October 8th 2014, and every day after that until their teacher’s contracts are restored. As organizers noted on their Facebook event page, the peaceful protest(s) will include students arriving to their schools, but not entering the buildings.

City Hall nor school district headquarters have responded to the threat of widespread truancy, however, the mayor did express his support for the SRC and hopes others can see this for what it is: “another consequence of this horrible situation our schools have had to face year after year.”

Mr. Nutter, in his statement which was released this afternoon, brings attention to Principal Linda Carroll of Northeast High School who has a operating budget that breaks down to $5 a student.

“That’s inexcusable,” said Mayor Nutter, who noted he was pleased that Dr. Hite has chosen to reinvest the savings in schools.

Mr. Nutter wants the PFT and the School District back at the negotiating table, as does PFT President Mr. Jerry Jordan and his attorneys. Mr. Jordan yesterday said the last proposal to cross the table was from the union, and they’re waiting on the district to respond.

In the meantime, the students in Philadelphia – who all this political maneuvering is allegedly for – are organizing themselves in support of the teacher’s union and hope their voices and opinions will one day matter as much as politicians and their appointees

Posted in elections | Leave a Comment »

Philly Students ‘Strike’ in Support of Teachers

Posted by carldavidson on October 8, 2014

Beaver County Blue via Inquirer Staff

Last updated: Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 10:39 AM
Posted: Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 8:32 AM

Students from at least two Philadelphia public high schools are refusing to go to classes this morning to protest the cancellation of their teachers’ labor agreement.

"We’re striking because every single teacher in the districts benefits are at risk and being played with through politics," organizers said in a Facebook post.

Dozens of students protested outside the High School for Creative and Performing Arts on South Broad Street and the Science Leadership Academy at 55 N. 22d St. in Center City.

The School Reform Commission on Monday canceled the labor contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers in a move aimed at requiring the union’s members to contribute to their health care costs.

The action had the support of both Gov. Corbett and Mayor Nutter.

At CAPA, band members provided music for the protest.

Outside SLA, students were holding up hand made signs and beating drums in a buoyant, upbeat demonstration.

"This is why we’re striking," Ruby Anderson, 18, an SLA senior said as she offered information leaflets from Students4Teachers to passersby.

Throughout the morning, SLA students offered up a variety of chants, including: "SRC! Leave our teachers be!" and "Tom Corbett, shame on you! We deserve a future, too."

Striking students planned to remain outside the schools until noon, when the schools are to close for a scheduled half-day.

Posted in labor, trade unions, Youth and students | Leave a Comment »

Its October – Get Out the Vote

Posted by randyshannon on October 2, 2014

Canvassing in western PA

Canvassing in western PA

IBEW 712 Hall

217 Sassafras Lane, Vanport, PA

Phone Banks on Wednesdays from 4-8

Literature Walks on Saturdays from 10-2

Union members and Progressive Democrats welcome!

Posted in elections | Leave a Comment »

PA Republicans Appeal to Racism

Posted by randyshannon on October 1, 2014

Racist Campaign001

 

by Randy Shannon

PDA 12th CD Chapter

Progressive Democrats of America – Economic & Social Justice Team

Most people already know or sense that Pennsylvania has dropped from 8th to 47th in job creation under Corbett. That’s an important issue that Corbett lies about in this campaign mailer.

The real message in this mailer is subliminal. “The effectiveness of subliminal messaging has been demonstrated to prime individual responses and stimulate mild emotional activity.” – Wikipedia

The images of Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf are several shades darker than the images of President Obama in this Republican mailer. The reality is that Wolf’s skin color is much lighter than Obama’s.

The purpose of this subliminal message is to stimulate voter turnout with an appeal to racial prejudice based on skin color. The Republicans consider this effective now because they have spent the last couple years spreading racist images, jokes, cartoons, references, insinuations, insults, and lies about Obama. They expect many voters to stay home on election day, discouraged by the failure of the government to address so many problems. So the strategy is to use fear and racism to boost the turnout of Republican votes, overcoming their passivity in this election.

Posted in elections | 1 Comment »

 
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