Jan. 13, 2017

You Are Cordially Invited to my District Office Open House

I would like to invite you to join me and my staff at our new district office Open House celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 19, from 4-6 p.m.
The office is located at 65 West Main St., Suite 200, in Uniontown. It is located in the Chamber of Commerce building, and parking is available in the side lot next to the building.

This office is designed to be a direct link between residents of the 51st District and state government. My staff and I will provide a wealth of services, from helping to cut through government red tape, to linking people with programs that may be beneficial.

Our main focus will be meeting with people to listen to their concerns and helping to develop and enact policies that will allow our region to be an attractive place for job creators. I welcome everyone to stop by and see what we have to offer.

The office is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is available by phone at 724-438-6100.

To view a video invitation for this event, click here.


Farm Show Attracts Thousands

The 101st Farm Show will wrap up Saturday, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to walk through the doors at the Farm Show Complex near Harrisburg. There’s still time to stop by if you haven’t yet visited the largest indoor exposition of its kind along the East Coast.

This week, I visited the Farm Show and had the chance to meet up with several residents who either entered their animals or products in competitive exhibits, participated in the many interactive contests, took in the entertaining and educational displays or tasted the hundreds of different food items made right here in Pennsylvania.

Locally, the 51st District is boasting a lot of blue-ribbon entries in this year’s Farm Show. Be sure to check out list of winners on the Farm Show website. The site also includes hundreds of photos from the week, categorized by competition, and recipes from the award-winning baking contests.


I visited with Bob Junk of Republic Food Enterprise Center (RFEC) at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. RFEC aims to help increase agricultural production and return on investment for farmers as well as increase the availability of healthy, local produce and products available to our community. Bob helps run a great business in the district!
LIHEAP Can Help with Home Energy Bills

Residents who are struggling with their home heating bills can apply for assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) this winter.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps individuals and families pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants. It also provides crisis grants to help in the event of an emergency or if a resident is in danger of losing his or her heat due to broken equipment, lack of fuel or termination of utility service.

The income eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are set at 150 percent of the federal poverty level income. For an individual, the income limit is $17,820; for a couple, the limit is $24,030; and for a family of four, it is $36,450.

Residents may apply for LIHEAP online or by contacting the Fayette or Somerset County Assistance Office in their county of residence. Click here for details.
Prepare Now for Driving in Winter Weather

Motorists are being encouraged to prepare their vehicles and take time to familiarize themselves with winter safety laws as part of Winter Driving Awareness Week.

Drivers should plan and prepare their vehicles ahead of time, as weather patterns can change rapidly. Drivers should frequently check all fluid levels, lights and wiper blades. Tires should also be examined often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow. Finally, the traveling public should also prepare or restock a vehicle emergency kit.

All vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine.

When winter weather does occur, drivers should be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment.

For more detailed tips on winter weather emergency preparedness, click here.
Testing Your Home for Radon

As part of national Radon Action Month in January, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds residents that radon – a colorless, odorless, and radioactive gas -- is a known human carcinogen and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Radon occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks and enters homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. Due to its geology, Pennsylvania is prone to high radon levels, and has been detected in all 67 counties, with about 40 percent of homes having levels above national safety standards.

Winter is an ideal time to test, because doors and windows are generally closed, producing the most conservative results. High levels of radon tend to be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home. Simple radon test kits are inexpensive and available at home improvement and hardware stores.

For more information on radon, testing and daily tips, visit the Pa. Department Of Environmental Protection website.
My Audio Podcast

I am recording audio Legislative Report podcasts on a periodic basis. You can listen to them by clicking on the Audio Podcast link above the headline in this email, and all future ones.

All podcasts are on my website as well at RepDowling.com. Just click on the audio section in the left column.