In this Update:
Gov. Wolf’s Costly Bridge Tolling Plan Halted
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction stopping Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to toll nine major bridges, including the I-83 South Bridge Project, until further court action occurs. The Commonwealth Court sided with Cumberland County and several local municipalities that are challenging the bridge tolling plan as unlawful.
The bridge tolling initiative would cost the average commuter an additional $1,000 per year and was advanced by PennDOT without legislative input nor approval. Senate Bill 382, which I cosponsor and has been moving through the General Assembly, would require the P3 (Public-Private Partnership) process to be more transparent, while stopping this current initiative.
I believe PennDOT needs to explore cost savings and focus on delivering a better product more efficiently before asking residents to pay more. Instead of tolls, we should first eliminate non-effective regulatory compliance activities, inefficient planning and procurement processes, and the bloated bureaucracy, and better prioritize the use of existing gas tax revenues as well as federal support.
Help Available for Historical Records Care
Area historical societies, libraries and other records repositories can apply now for state grants to improve the preservation of historically valuable records.
The Historical & Archival Records Care grant program provides funding assistance for surveying, inventorying, preserving, arranging and describing historical records significant to Pennsylvania, as well as for records reformatting and equipment.
The competitive grant program is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the official history agency of Pennsylvania. The application deadline is Aug. 1.
Tips for Cars and Motorcycles Sharing the Road
As warmer weather brings more motorcycles to our roadways, it’s a good time to consider some safety tips for sharing the road:
There were 3,578 crashes involving motorcycles on Pennsylvania roadways in 2021, resulting in 226 fatalities, an increase in both from 2020. For more information on motorcycle safety, visit the PennDOT website.
Watching the Development of the Capital’s Young Peregrine Falcons
Pennsylvanians are tracking the development of young peregrine falcons nesting on a ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg.
The live Falcon Cam provides a window into the lives of the falcon nestlings and adult birds. The peregrine falcon was removed from the federal Endangered Species List in 1999 and the Pennsylvania Threatened List in 2021 but remains federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the state Game and Wildlife Code. Eighty-three falcons have hatched in Harrisburg since reproduction began in 2000.
The birds are banded and tracked throughout North America by biologists and birdwatchers.
Falcons born on the ledge at the Rachel Carson building have been tracked to Florida and Canada. The next phase should start around May 22, as these falcons attempt their first flights.
Lowering Your Risk of Skin Cancer
With more than five million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, skin cancer is America’s most common cancer. Fortunately, it is also one of the most preventable.
Reducing your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can lower your chances of getting skin cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anyone can get skin cancer, but people with certain characteristics are at greater risk, such as a lighter natural skin color, certain types and a large number of moles, a family history of skin cancer and more.
You can learn about ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer here.
Honoring the Work of EMS Personnel
This week, we celebrate the men and women who serve our community during the worst or most challenging moments, and who ensure their patients receive high-quality, compassionate and lifesaving care.
Members of EMS teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their skills. We owe them our gratitude for their time and dedication.