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News for Constituents - November 3, 2011

Time to Prepare Mailboxes for Snow

Early snow accumulations come with a reminder from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to prepare your mailbox for the rigors of winter weather.

Residents living along rural state and local roads can reduce the risk of damage from a snowplow by following a few tips from PennDOT:

  • Place a 6- to 8-inch piece of reflective tape on the mailbox to help snow plow operators see it at night.
  • Remove snow from around the mailbox, but never throw it back onto the road.
  • A mailbox located within the legal right-of-way and damaged in the past, can be repositioned for winter.
  • Install a cantilevered mailbox support that will swing the box out of harm’s way.

PennDOT recommends contacting your local post office for additional questions on the correct placement of a mailbox.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation: http://www.dot.state.pa.us/
Prepare your mailbox: http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/pdNews.nsf/8c5bc4e349ab4db6852576c800678468/14f02a11e927465e85257928005ce8aa?OpenDocument
Cantilevered mailbox support: ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/Bureaus/Press/mailboxdiagram.pdf

Hunters Reminded to Display License

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is issuing a reminder that hunters and trappers must continue to display their licenses. Announcements regarding bear hunting, turkey season,
early muzzleloader season, and grouse and squirrel seasons all include the reminder of the statutory requirement for a visible license.

Legislation to remove the requirement, while supported by the PGC, has not received the necessary support to eliminate requiring the display of the license on an outer garment.
Visit the PGC’s Licensing and Permits webpage for answers to related questions.

Pennsylvania Game Commission: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pgc/9106
Announcements: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=12775&PageID=648010&mode=2&contentid=

Licensing and Permits: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/licensing___permits_community/14314

Home Burglary Prevention Guide Now Available

Burglars break into a house, apartment or condominium every 11 seconds, according to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).
Sixty percent of those residential burglaries occur during the daylight hours when many of us are away from our homes.

A Home Burglary Prevention Guide is now available to help you keep your family, home, and belongings safe and secure.

As holiday shopping and gift giving picks up, the PSP Guide urges residents to avoid flaunting large purchases by leaving intact boxes
curbside for trash collection. Boxes should be broken down and positioned under other trash on the day of pick-up.

Holiday plans should remain private. Avoid sharing your shopping, party, travel, and other holiday plans with strangers and social media.
Never leave your schedule details in a note on your door. Phone messages should be devoid of information about your plans.

Review the PSP’s prevention tips related to landscaping, windows, doors, locks, and more.
Consult the PSP’s Understanding Crime Prevention to help reduce and eliminate crime.

Pennsylvania State Police: www.psp.state.pa.us
Home Burglary Prevention Guide: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/document/339430/psp_home_burglary_prevention_guide_sp5-331__pdf
Understanding Crime Prevention: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/document/339435/psp_understanding_crime_prevention_sp5-334_pdf

Preventing Lead Poisoning

With nearly 2,600 children statewide showing elevated blood lead levels in 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is reminding parents and families of a variety of health-related problems associated with lead exposure.

Lead poisoning is hard to detect and may be confused with other illnesses with similar symptoms such as:

  • stomach aches or cramps;
  • convulsions;
  • headaches;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting;
  • fatigue;
  • irritability;
  • vision problems;
  • loss of appetite; and
  • sleeplessness.

Permanent injury, including damage to the brain, nervous system, and kidneys, as well as hyperactivity, slowed growth, and aggressive behavior patterns, are among the known behavioral and learning problems. Coma and death may occur with high levels of lead poisoning.

The ingestion or inhalation of lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust is more likely in homes built prior to 1978 when the lead ban for paint was instituted. Find answers to your questions about protecting your family from the hazards of lead. Parents, physicians, contractors, and homeowners concerned about lead poisoning, prevention, and control may call the Lead Information Line at 1-800-440-LEAD (5323).

Lead exposure: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=18&objID=443507&mode=2
Answers: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/lead_poisoning_prevention___control/14175/lead_

Lead Information Line: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/lead_poisoning_prevention___control/14175/lead_

PA State Museum Fills November With Fun Activities and Shopping

Archaeology, astronomy, and folk art fill the November schedule at the Pennsylvania State Museum located at 300 North Street in Harrisburg.

Highlights from investigations along the Susquehanna River, a flint knapping demonstration, and an artifact identification session will be among archaeological
workshops offered early in November. Over 30 master artists whose works represent a wide array of traditions such as African dance, stone wall construction,
Native American clay flutes, Pysanky eggs, contemporary blacksmith work, woodcarving, and Vietnamese funerary portraits will exhibit later in November and
continue into spring 2012. Planetarium shows fill November weekends with Star Stories of the Native Americans and the Ultimate Universe.

The 6th Annual Holiday Marketplace operated by the Pennsylvania Heritage Society will be held on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 17 and 18, 2011 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
in the Commonwealth Keystone Building located at Forster Street and Commonwealth Avenue in Harrisburg, PA.
Museum stores from the Pennsylvania Trails of History and other participants including Tony's Cafe at Keystone, the Capitol Preservation Committee, the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, and the Department of Community & Economic Development’s Artisan Trails will be offering unique items to help start off your holiday shopping.

November schedule: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/document/1206166/state_museum_of_pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State Museum: www.statemuseumpa.org
Planetarium: http://www.statemuseumpa.org/planet.html

Borders Transfers Customer Database to Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble’s purchase of the now defunct Borders book store chain includes $14 million for a database of nearly 50 million former Borders customers, including the customer’s name, email address, telephone number, birthday, credit card information, and purchase history, according to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

Previous Borders customers can prevent the data transfer by going directly to the Barnes & Noble website for instructions. Option number two allows an individual to respond to the official email being sent by Barnes & Noble to all former Borders customers. Check your email inbox for the notification from Barnes & Noble to opt out of the data transfer.

A large number of Pennsylvania consumers are expected to be affected since Borders operated approximately 30 stores in the Commonwealth. Those not meeting the deadline for the transfer of data will have the choice to opt-out of any future related email contact at the bottom of the unwanted message.

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/press.aspx?id=6225
Barnes & Noble: http://www.bn.com/borders