Harrisburg, PA – Construction for the North Farmersville Road (State Route 1025) bridge, spanning the Conestoga River in West Earl Township, Lancaster County, is scheduled to begin during the week of April 16 as part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Rapid Bridge Replacement Project. Replacement of this bridge will allow PennDOT to remove it from Lancaster County’s structurally deficient bridge list.
During construction, drivers will be directed to follow a detour along Main Street (Route 23), Route 772 (Glenbrook Road/State Street), Route 272 (Oregon Pike), Old Akron Road (SR 1041), and Tobacco Road/Diamond Station Road (SR 1022). Construction should be complete in late June.
In the event of unfavorable weather or unforeseen activities, this schedule may change.
This bridge is referred to as JV-265 and is one out of the 558 bridges being replaced under the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project. JV references the joint-venture partnership between Walsh/Granite, which is leading construction for the entire project.
The Rapid Bridge Replacement Project is a public-private partnership (P3) between PennDOT and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (PWKP), under which PWKP will finance, design, replace, and maintain the bridges for 25 years. The P3 approach will allow PennDOT to replace the bridges more quickly while achieving significant savings and minimizing impact on motorists.
Harrisburg, PA — The Department of State today will take the next step toward modernizing Pennsylvania’s elections by issuing an Invitation for Bid (IFB) to voting system firms.
By: Andrea Sears
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Medicare is sending out new identification cards that no longer display enrollees’ Social Security numbers. Pennsylvania residents will be among the first to receive the new cards that assign each person a randomly generated eleven-digit number.
Joanne Grossi, president of AARP Pennsylvania, points out that Social Security numbers are the keys for access to personal financial records, medical information and legal documents. So if a card with a Social Security number on it was ever lost or stolen, the enrollee could easily fall victim to identity theft.
“Every time you’re giving over that personal Social Security number, it’s an opportunity for either an individual or a hacker to use it for opening credit cards or getting a loan,” she warns.
She says once the new card arrives, the old card should be destroyed. But if you’re on a Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription plan, those are separate so be sure to keep those cards.
Pennsylvania Medicare enrollees should receive their new cards by June 30. Grossi adds that it won’t be necessary to memorize the new identification number.
“One of the benefits of this new card is if you leave it at home, you’ve forgotten it, the doctor’s staff is going to be able to look up your new Medicare number on a secure computer site,” she explains.
The new numbers are linked to existing Medicare accounts, so all your current information will still be available to your doctor.
Finally, it’s important to know that the new cards will be mailed out automatically. Grossi cautions everyone to be on guard against scams that may try to get personal information.
“Medicare will never call you,” she adds. “So if anyone phones you claiming to need additional information from you in order to get your new Medicare card, this is a scam and they are attempting to commit fraud.”
Nationally, the transition to the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier numbers should be complete by April of next year.
By: Andrea Sears
PHILADELPHIA, – Interfaith protests and arrests marked the week before Easter as clergy and congregants demanded investment in a clean-energy grid for Philadelphia’s low-income communities.
Twenty-five people with the Power Local Green Jobs campaign were arrested for acts of peaceful civil disobedience over three days this week as they demanded more investment in local solar energy.
Greg Holt, communications manager for the Earth Quaker Action Team, points out that PECO, the Philadelphia Electric Company, gets almost two-thirds of its power from fossil fuels in a city where dirty air contributes to high rates of asthma and other respiratory diseases.
“Solar is an opportunity that can bring a lot of jobs and other economic benefits, and health and life benefits, to residents,” says Holt, “and PECO needs to lead the way.”
The demonstrators want the company to aim for getting 20 percent of its energy from solar by 2025. PECO says it agrees with the goals of the campaign, but questions the timeline.
PECO did give a grant for solar jobs training in North Philadelphia last year. But Holt notes that the company is still only getting one-half of one percent of its power from solar, the state-mandated minimum.
“When one in four families are experiencing deep poverty in Philadelphia, that’s not a time to wait,” says Holt. “That’s a time when action is needed, when vision is needed, and investment.”
The campaign organized the three demonstrations this week under the title “We Won’t Wait.”
While the protests are over for now, Holt says they will return, putting their bodies on the line for clean energy and economic opportunity.
“The company’s dirty energy business won’t go unchallenged,” says Holt. “And we will stand in the way until it’s changed direction and commits to a future for green jobs and for justice in our communities.”
March 28, 2018
BALTIMORE – A natural-gas pipeline expansion that would run from Pennsylvania through Maryland and into West Virginia is raising concerns about its potential environmental impact.
TransCanada wants to build the Eastern Panhandle Expansion, and says increasing the natural-gas supply in the area will support growth.
Opponents call it the “Potomac River Pipeline” because it would run underneath the river, with the potential of affecting the drinking water in and around Washington, D.C.
Rianna Eckel, a Maryland organizer for the group Food and Water Watch, said reliance on fossil fuels is moving backwards from a healthier environment.
“We believe that further investing in pipeline infrastructure, natural-gas infrastructure, locks us into a system where we are then dependent on fossil fuels,” she said.
Food and Water Watch called on Gov. Larry Hogan to begin an investigation into whether the pipeline would negatively affect water quality, but the governor declined. Emergency legislation has been filed in Annapolis to require that the more extensive Water Quality Certification be conducted, and currently is in the House Rules Committee.
If the legislation doesn’t pass, only the federal government would have the ability to halt the pipeline’s progress.
Environmental groups are worried about the method known as horizontal directional drilling that TransCanada would use to dig under the Potomac. They have said that on previous pipelines, thousands of gallons of drilling fuel leaked into water sources. In this case, Eckel said, that would affect millions of local residents.
“The Potomac River is the main drinking-water supply of more than 6 million people who live downstream,” she said, “so anything that happens to that water can quickly impact the drinking water of almost 6 million people.”
The pipeline would connect with the Mountain Valley Pipeline that begins in northwestern West Virginia, which also has been the subject of recent protests by environmental groups.
Information about House Bill 1826 is online at mgaleg.maryland.gov.