Beaver County Blue

Progressive Democrats of America – PA 12th CD Chapter

Archive for January, 2016

Donna Smith, Single Payer Activist, is new Executive Director of PDA

Posted by randyshannon on January 18, 2016

DonnaSmithandJohnConyers
Photo: Donna Smith with Rep. John Conyers, author of HR 676

by Randy Shannon

Treasurer, PA 12th C.D. Chapter, PDA

As a long-time activist in Progressive Democrats of America and the leader of the PDA Economic and Social Justice Team, I want to welcome Donna Smith as PDA’s new Executive Director. Donna Smith has been a national leader in the fight for Medicare for All and a long time member of PDA. She was featured in Michael Moore’s film Sicko.

Thanks to Conor Boylan for his work helping PDA through the transition from the tragic loss of our founder Tim Carpenter.

Tim Carpenter‘s last big project for PDA was to organize a national petition drive to convince Bernie Sanders to run for President. Tim’s vision is now a reality, and it is one of Tim’s greatest successes. PDA is helping build the grass roots movement that can produce a President Sanders.

Bernie has made Medicare for All a central element of his campaign for President. Who better than Donna Smith, shown here with Rep. John Conyers, author of HR 676 – Medicare for All, to lead PDA to help elect Bernie Sanders President and finally win the battle for Medicare for All.

Read the Medicare for All bill – HR 676.

Posted in elections | Leave a Comment »

Monaca to Install 200 Solar Panels at its Reservoir

Posted by carldavidson on January 16, 2016

By Jared Stonesifer

Beaver County Times 

MONACA — The borough plans on installing 198 solar panels at its reservoir that could produce more than $200,000 worth of electricity over their lifespan.

Borough Manager Mario Leone said the project, which has been in the works for several years, could be up and running by April.

The borough will install the solar panels on the ground and buildings at the reservoir, although it also plans on building a new garage-like structure that will house at least half of the panels.

The panels will cost $150,000 to buy and install, half of which was paid for by a state grant.

Leone said it won’t take long for the panels to make up the cost through savings realized by the efficiency of solar energy.

“We’re looking between a 7 1/2 to nine-year payback on our $75,000 contribution,” he said. “The solar system over 20 years is expected to generate over $200,000 in electricity.”

That number could be higher, Leone said, if the solar panels exceed their typical lifespan of 25 to 30 years.

The solar panel project is just one of several that have led to Monaca being designated a gold-certified municipality in sustainability. The latest solar project means the borough could soon be certified as platinum, Leone said.

“The borough is a leader in sustainability,” he said. “I believe with the installation of the solar panels and other things we’re working on, we will probably achieve that higher standard.”

Another exciting aspect, Leone said, is that the amount of energy generated from the solar panels will be able to be viewed on the borough’s website.

A public hearing will be held Jan. 26, when the project is expected to receive the green light from borough council.

Leone said the panels will take about two weeks to be installed after being delivered.

The panels will generate about 63,000 kilowatt hours annually.

Posted in Community, Green Energy | Leave a Comment »

Nation’s Supermarkets Fall Short of Promise to Combat ‘Food Deserts,’ Including Many in Beaver County

Posted by carldavidson on January 4, 2016

By Kyle Lawson

Beaver County Times

Aliquippa resident Taishawn Harris said she’s satisfied with the selection and prices at the new Aldi store on Shaffer Road. The challenge is getting there.

“It’s affordable, and they have enough produce,” said Harris, 40, as she waited for her ride on a December evening with a cart full of groceries. “But I definitely wouldn’t walk here, I’d have to get a cab.”

Aliquippa is among thousands of areas nationwide the federal government has classified as “food deserts,” based on the poverty level and access to a supermarket.

In conjunction with Michelle Obama’s healthy food initiatives, major retailers promised in 2011 to open or expand 1,500 markets in and around food deserts by 2016, but by their own count are far short.

The nation’s top 75 food retailers opened nearly 10,300 stores in new locations from 2011 to the first quarter of 2015, of which 2,434 were grocery stores. But only about 250 were in food deserts.

Beaver Falls, Vanport Township, Ambridge, Midland, Pulaski Township, and sections of Monaca and Freedom are located within food deserts in Beaver County, according to a formula administered by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, and Health and Human Services.

An urban town qualifies as a food desert if the poverty rate is at least 20 percent and at least 500 people live more than one mile from a supermarket. A rural town qualifies if the poverty rate is at least 20 percent and more than 500 people live more than 10 miles from a grocery store, according to the agriculture department website. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Aliquippa, Community, Poverty | Leave a Comment »

 
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