Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gettysburg Park Advisory Commission to Meet September 10

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Gettysburg National Military Park
1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100
Gettysburg, PA 17325
717/334-1124 phone
717/334-1891 fax

Gettysburg National Military Park News Release
For Release: August 25, 2009

Gettysburg Park Advisory Commission to Meet September10

Gettysburg, PA. Gettysburg National Military Park’s Advisory Commission will meet on September 10, at 7:00 p.m. at the park Museum and Visitor Center, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg. The public is invited to attend. Since the meeting is being held after visiting hours, access will be through the building’s group tour entrance.

The meeting agenda includes sub-committee reports from the historical, executive, and interpretive committees; federal consistency reports on projects within the Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District; operational updates on park activities which include the new Museum and Visitor Center, the David Wills House, battlefield landscape rehabilitation, the shuttle system; and a citizens' open forum.

The purpose of the Commission is to advise the Secretary of the Interior on coordinating activities within the Gettysburg National Military Park and Gettysburg Battlefield Historic District with local government and the community. Members of the public may submit comments on the agenda to the Commission Chairperson, care of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325.

For more information contact Gettysburg National Military Park at (717) 334-1124 x 3121

END

Experience Your AmericaTM

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage

-NPS-

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2009: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

DR: While Pennsylvania Burns

If nothing else, the state's budget impasse shows us how close to the edge many of our fellow citizens live, especially those who are old, young, alone, have disabilities or are victims of violence. Both government and private agencies are on the brink of collapse.

One institution that is far from the brink of collapse is the General Assembly. Its $200+ million surplus can keep it going until March and longer if they cut some fat from the nation's most bloated legislature. Is it any wonder that they fiddle while Pennsylvania burns?

Some programs already are closing with serious and sometimes life-and-death repercussions. Here are quotes from a story in Sunday's Scranton Times-Tribune . Newspapers everywhere report similar problems.

Domestic Violence: "The Women's Resource Center held an emergency finance committee meeting on Wednesday and found that even with an extended line of credit and an advance on its United Way funding for the year, it will have to begin cutting its services - including a 24-hour domestic abuse hot line and a sexual assault response program that works with hospitals and the police - by eight hours a day, beginning Nov. 1. At a time when the agency has seen the average stay in its domestic abuse shelters increase from 33 days to 52 days since last year, the shelter program would be devastated' if reimbursements don't arrive in October..."

When emergency shelters close, it becomes easier for predators to find the women and children they abuse, often with deadly consequences. Click here for a report from the PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence about this summer's 47 killings.

Welfare to Work: "The Employment Opportunity and Training Center will not be starting fall programs that would normally begin in September, and it has created a waiting list for its parenting programs because it cannot afford to enroll new students. It is reducing the number of days it offers classes at the Lackawanna County Prison and is temporarily suspending a Tuesday job search group that helps unemployed people find work. Starting this week, the center will be closed every Friday. Within the four remaining work days, each of the 45 staff members will take an additional 7.5 hours without pay. The normal 75-hour, two-week pay period will now be reduced to 52.5 hours."

Children: "In the past month, nearly $900,000 in child care subsidies through the state Child Care Works program has not been paid to 247 day care providers, putting 1,900 children at risk of losing services. The waiting list to receive subsidized child care has increased from three months to at least six.... In Lackawanna, Pike, Wayne and Susquehanna counties, seven Head Start classrooms have closed, eliminating services for 238 children and jobs for 28 staff members.... a private bus contractor for Head Start is losing six runs a day because of the classroom closures. Supermarkets where Head Starts normally spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on groceries for their lunch programs will now see a fraction of those sales."

When child care programs close, parents often can't work, including those who are trying to escape welfare. The same applies when children can't attend pre-school programs or school.

Seniors: "One home service provider... was forced to stop providing personal assistance - such as bathing and grooming - to about 50 seniors last week due to a lack of state funding. About 20 of those seniors, who could not be picked up by another provider, have stopped receiving service and are now on a waiting list for care."

Drug & Alcohol Treatment: "Jeffrey Zerechak, the director of the county Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, said that without state funding, the county can no longer fund inpatient drug and alcohol treatment for the working poor. In the last three weeks, 14 people the commission has found need inpatient service have instead been put on a waiting list. 'This definitely has an impact on society, when people are not getting what they need to be healthy,' Mr. Zerechak said. You have a chronic, progressive illness that is not being offered the treatment it needs, and people are going to continue to get sicker until it manifests itself in other ways.'"

False Economy

As human service programs close, we can expect increased demand for emergency room treatment (the most expensive health care) for conditions that state funding normally prevents. We can expect increased demand for jails (the most expensive housing) resulting from desperation that state funding normally keeps at bay.

Local governments and schools that must borrow money to keep going thereby force local taxpayers to pay interest on those loans, an entirely unnecessary cost if a state budget were in place.

Questions:
  • When will the cost of trying to save money exceed the amount saved?
  • Who will accept responsibility instead of casting blame?

Please support Democracy Rising PA.

Donate here.

Thank you!

Tim Potts
Co-Founder, Democracy Rising PA

Thanks, Tim! Great work!

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2009: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Upcoming Events from Gettysburg Foundation

Here are the upcoming scheduled events sponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation.

September 2009

September 11: Lincoln in 3D.
7 p.m. at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

During this bicentennial anniversary year of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, take a unique and fascinating journey through Lincoln's presidency when Civil War photo experts Bob Zeller and John Richter present "Lincoln in 3-D," a photographic history of one of our greatest presidents in stereoscope images.

Through 3-D glasses, you'll feel as if you can literally step into the images of many of the most famous photographs of Lincoln and the Civil War. Captured by Gardner, Brady and others, these photos are projected in their original stereoscopic format, delivering an amazing view of history.

This rare and unique perspective on President Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War will be followed by a lecture by Bob Zeller and John Richter on Civil War photography.

Purchase tickets online at:
or call 877-874-2478. For more details on this event or to be added to the special programs e-mail distribution list, please e-mail the Gettysburg Foundation's Programming Department at: programs@gettysburgfoundation.org

September 12: Book Signing in the Museum Bookstore.
Author Jeff Toalson will be signing copies of No Soap, No Pay, Diarrhea, Dysentery & Desertion from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Purchase pre-signed books by this author at the Museum Bookstore's online shop at:
http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/

September 19-20: World War II Weekend
A living history encampment at the Eisenhower National Historic Site is featured this weekend. The program features Allied soldiers, a German camp and World War II vintage jeeps and trucks. Hours are Saturday, Sept. 19 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 0 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Included in site admission.) Both shuttle service and, weather permitting, on-site parking is available at the site this weekend only. Call 717-338-9114 for more information.

October 2009

October 3: A Night at the Ball
. Step back in time with the Susquehanna Travellers and the Victorian Dance Ensemble, the performing troupe of the Civil War Dance Foundation, for an evening of period entertainment.

Learn steps to many popular Civil War-era dances as well as some of the etiquette of the day. Enjoy period refreshments with the evening's interactive dance.

Come as you are (shorts and a t-shirt are fine) or dress in period attire. You don't have to know anything about Civil War-era dancing to come and enjoy this program. You will learn everything you need to know when you are here!

TICKET PRICES:
Single $10
Couple's Ticket $18;
Friends of Gettysburg Member Single Ticket $8;
Friends of Gettysburg Member Couple's Ticket: $14
Family Ticket: $25

Purchase tickets online at http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/visit/tickets.html (select Oct. 3 on the calendar and scroll down the program offerings for the day to locate "A Night at the Ball") or call 877-874-2478 to reserve tickets.
For more information, e-mail the Gettysburg Foundation's Programming Department at:
programs@gettysburgfoundation.org

This program is part of the David Bruce Smith Education Initiative, funded by the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.

October 10 Sunrise Battlefield Photo Safari.
Purchase tickets online at http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/visit/tickets.html or call 877-874-2478.

Chris Heisey, renowned battlefield photographer, presented a sunset battlefield photography tour on Saturday, May 23.

The evening included a half hour lecture on landscape photography followed by a two and a half hour intimate sunset tour of the battlefield. Participants stopped at some of Chris' favorite spots as Chris gave you tips and hints on composition, lighting, aperture and exposure.

Chris Heisey has published images in more than 135 publications, including National Geographic Traveler, America's Civil War and North & South. He is also co-author of Gettysburg: This Hallowed Ground. In addition to his publications, Chris has received numerous honors including a Photo of the Century award.

View the image gallery for photos from the safari participants.

These photo safaris are open to all photographers, beginner through experienced. Whether you bring your point-and-shoot or your SLR, this program offers something for photographers of every level.

WHEN:
Saturday, October 10, 2009 from 6:30 - 9:30 a.m.
WHERE:
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, Ford Motor Company Fund Education Center
TICKET PRICES:
Single: $75; Friends of Gettysburg Member Single: $70
Tickets are available online at http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/visit/tickets.html or by calling 877-874-2478. When purchasing tickets online, be sure to select the correct date from the calendar on the right side of the page. Scroll to the bottom of the day's program offerings to find the battlefield photo safari listing.

For more information on these battlefield photo safari programs, e-mail the Gettysburg Foundation's Programming Department at:
programs@gettysburgfoundation.org

November 2009

November 7: John Scott Adams Seminar Series.

"Wearing the Green: Hiram Berdan and His Elite Union Sharpshooters at the Battle of Gettysburg" featuring Licensed Battlefield Guide Wayne Motts. Registration for this Adams Seminar is now available online or download, complete and mail the registration form. All registrations must be received by Oct. 23.

November 19: 146th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address
This annual observation with brief memorial services in the Soldiers' National Cemetery begins at 9:45 a.m., preceded by a wreath laying at 9:30 a.m. This event is sponsored by the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, Gettysburg National Military Park and the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.

November 21: Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremonies
This annual event is held in conjunction with the Gettysburg Address anniversary. It features a parade of Civil War living history groups. The parade begins at 1 p.m. and is sponsored by the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War.

November 21: 7th Annual Remembrance Illumination
Luminary candles are placed on each Civil War grave in Soldiers' National Cemetery as a testament to the sacrifices made here in 1863. For information, contact the Gettysburg Foundation at 717-338-1243. Sponsor a luminary candle or volunteer for the Illumination by downloading, completing and mailing our sponsorship and volunteer form.

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2009: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

"Some Pigs Are More Equal Than Others."

As the leaders of the creatures in George Orwell's Animal Farm grow into the human tyrants they had deposed by revolution, they justify their own venality and corruption with this familiar quotation:
"Some Pigs Are More Equal Than Others."
On Tuesday House Democrats, with soaring rhetoric about the need to pay hard-pressed state workers, passed Senate Bill 850, thereby allowing Gov. Ed Rendell to veto most of the budget while keeping the part that allows state workers to get paid.

Apparently foremost in the minds of House Democrats, being more equal than other state workers, were themselves. Even before Rendell put pen to paper with his line-item vetoes, House Democrats took their back pay with this disingenuous argument:

"We have always had the ability to pay our Members throughout this budget impasse, but our leadership team made the decision early on that we would not pay our Members until we passed a bill that would allow state workers to get paid. We passed that bridge bill yesterday, and the Governor just signed it today," a spokesman for Majority Leader Todd Eachus, D-Luzerne, told the Allentown Morning Call's John Micek.

Their ability derives from their share of more than $200 million in surplus funds sitting in legislators' leadership accounts. It's money just sitting there so that lawmakers can be comfortable while they starve and slash programs that serve citizens - and contemplate higher taxes.
  • Forget that other state workers have done their jobs while lawmakers and the governor have not.
  • Forget that state workers won't actually see any money for another week, while House Democrats have cash in hand.
  • Forget about 2.1 million children ready to attend pre-K through high school in a few weeks.
  • Forget about the parents and students whose college tuition payments are due.
  • Forget about victims of domestic violence, mental retardation and mental illness.
  • Forget about businesses forced to be unwilling lenders as they provide goods and services to the state without getting paid.
  • Forget about local governments whose only lawful option will be to raise local taxes.
One way or another, nearly everyone in PA is suffering from the lack of a state budget. But some pigs are more equal than others.

As of now, news reports say that the Senate Republicans will pay their members but only after the state workers start getting paid again. The House Republicans won't pay their members until the staff of the Public Utilities Commission, the State Employees' Retirement Fund, the Public School Employees Retirement Fund and the Small Business and Consumer Advocates are getting paid. The General Assembly has not passed those appropriations yet. The Senate Democrats haven't gotten paid. They have not announced plans.

Questions:
  • Did the surpluses in leadership accounts provoke the budget impasse?
  • Will there be anything left in the leadership accounts by the time the budget passes?
  • Will individual lawmakers refuse to take their pay while the people they serve are without a budget?
  • Are the Senate Democrats waiting for word from Fumo?
Remember the automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that lawmakers and top political leaders get every December 1? Here's what the law says:
    "...the salary of the members of the General Assembly shall be increased by an annual cost-of-living adjustment calculated by applying the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland area, for the most recent 12-month period for which figures have been officially reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics..."

    Click here for the complete text of the 1995 law. Scroll to the top of page 8.

    But as Joe Sterns from the Commonwealth Foundation asks, "What happens when the CPI-U is a negative number?"

    This is not a hypothetical question. As of now, the CPI-U is a negative number: -0.9% for the first half of this year. If that continues, legislative leaders will have to make a judgment call. (Citizens can only despair at the prospect.) Click here for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and go to "All Urban Consumers."

    At first blush, it appears that legislative leaders have three options:
    1. What goes up must come down. Add a negative number and thereby reduce salaries.
    2. Call it a wash. Take no increase and no cut because the law only allows them to increase salaries, not cut them.
    3. Heads we we win, tails you lose. Increase salaries by a nominal percentage since the law says salaries "shall be increased," not held constant or cut.
    Question:

    When will it be time to repeal the automatic COLA?

    Please support Democracy Rising PA.
    Donate here.

    Thank you!

    Tim Potts, Democracy Rising Co-Founder

    <----------------------------------------------->

    Thank you Tim, for your "as usual" fine work in reporting and analysis of State Government.

    GettysBLOG

    We support the Roadmap to Reform!

    “Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

    “Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

    Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

    Copyright © 2005-2009: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.