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News for Constituents - July 1, 2011

Confused About Purchasing Fireworks, Sparklers and Novelties?

Fireworks displays are best left to the experts, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

State residents may legally purchase ground and hand-held sparkling devices, novelties, and toy caps through tents, stands, convenience stores,
retail establishments, and various other outlets not licensed by the PA Department of Agriculture.

PSP recommendations for the use of permitted novelty sparklers include: 

  • Always read and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Use items outside in an open area.
  • A responsible adult should supervise all activities.
  • Only light one item at a time.
  • Place used items in a bucket of water prior to properly disposing of them.

In contrast, Pennsylvania residents may only purchase “Consumer Fireworks” with a display permit issued by the municipality wherein the display will occur.  The operator must also be registered with the PA Office of Attorney General (OAG).  For related information, call the PA OAG, Criminal Division at 717-787-3391. 

The PSP points out that any law enforcement officer having jurisdiction may make an arrest and confiscate fireworks under the Fireworks Law.  Violations can be reported to the police department servicing your area.

Pennsylvania State Police:  http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/psp/4451/fireworksfaq/537214
PA Department of Agriculture: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_24476_10297_0_43/AgWebsite/ProgramDetail.aspx?name=
Registered with the PA Office of Attorney General:  http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/037/chapter711/chap711toc.html
Fireworks Law:  http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_190926_407710_0_0_18/Title_35_Chapter_13A_Fireworks

Just for Kids

Rainy summer days and kids mean more time indoors to be managed productively by moms and dads.  Pennsylvania State Government websites offer numerous fun and educational activities for those rainy days. 

The PA Department of Environmental Protection provides a website for kids focusing on the topics of air, energy, falcons, land, recycling, and water.  For the budding geologist in your family, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources dedicates web space to fossils, rocks and minerals, and earthquakes, as well as glaciers and landslides.  

The PA Fish & Boat Commission website is stocked with fun for kids.  Visit with Bob the Boating Safety Pirate to locate information critical to safe boating.  Join your kids for a shared experience under the direction of the PF&BC’s Educators webpage

The PA Office of Attorney General reveals tips for cyber-bulling and safe web surfing.  Kids who pass the Safe Surf Quiz will become an official Junior Attorney General with a printable certificate.

Fun facts, games, and coloring books are just a click away.  Check out the selection of educational sites and then add those bookmarks to your list of favorites for hours of fun during those rainy days. 

Pennsylvania State Government websites:  http://www.pa.gov/portal/server.pt/community/pa_gov/2966
PA Department of Environmental Protection:  http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/just_for_kids/ 
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources:  http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/classroom/kidscnr/index.aspx 
Bob the Boating Safety Pirate http://fishandboat.com/education/pirate.htm
PF&BC’s Educators webpage:  http://fishandboat.com/edind.htm
PA Office of Attorney General:  http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/kid_site/elementary_school/index.htm

Help Seniors Avoid Heat-Related Illness

Intense summer heat and humidity sends most of us in search of air conditioning in our homes, malls, theaters, and libraries, as recommended by the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA), especially for seniors. 

Hyperthermia or an abnormally high body temperature is caused by a failure of the heat-regulating mechanisms of the body to deal with hot summer weather.  The victim may suffer heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after prolonged exposure to the heat), heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. 

Take the following steps to assist someone suffering from a heat-related illness: 

  • Get the person out of the sun and into a shady, air-conditioned or other cool place.  Urge them to lie down. 
  • If you suspect heat stroke, call 911. 
  • Encourage the individual to shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water. 
  • Apply a cold, wet cloth to the wrists, neck, armpits, and/or groin, places where blood passes close to the surface of the skin.  The cold cloths can help cool the blood. 
  • Offer fluids such as water or fruit and vegetable juices, but avoid alcohol and caffeine. 

Consult this OCA’s Consumer Tip and learn more about avoiding and treating heat-related illness.  For local resources and assistance, contact the
Area Agency on Aging

OCA’s Consumer Tip:  http://www.oca.state.pa.us/information_links/ConsumerTips/2010/July_2010.htm
Area Agency On Aging:  http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/your_local_resources/17952

PA Game Commission Announces 2011-12 Hunting Seasons and Bag Limits

Seasons and bag limits for hunting and trapping from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 are now available on the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) website.

Pennsylvania offers 45 different types of hunting and trapping licenses and provides easy links to information related to each.  You will also find links to address licensing and permit issues, as well as answers to frequently asked licensing questions

Acquire answers to additional licensing questions by calling the Hunting License Division at 717-787-2084 or by fax at 717-705-1628.  Offices are open Monday through Friday (except state holidays) 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Hunting and trapping:  http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=576240&mode=2
Pennsylvania Game Commission:  http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/ 
45 different types of hunting and trapping licenses:  http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=596046&mode=2
Licensing and permit issues:  http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/licensing___permits_community/14314
Frequently asked licensing questions:  http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=596052&mode=2

Dial Before You Dig

If your list of summer projects includes planting trees and shrubs, building a deck, or other home improvements, the Pennsylvania One Call System has a message for you – Dial Before You Dig. 

Pennsylvania homeowners and businesses are living and operating on land peppered with a complex infrastructure of pipelines, wires and cables that serve your neighborhood and beyond.  Prevent personal harm, service disruptions, repair costs, and fines by dialing 8-1-1 to notify the PA One Call System before you begin those projects.  

Be prepared to provide necessary details which, in turn, will allow you to conduct your projects three to ten business days from the date of the call.  Excavators, facility owners, designers, project owners, and emergency responders can consult the PA One Call System User’s Guide to guarantee proper compliance with the law. 

Pennsylvania One Call System:  http://www.pa1call.org/pa811/Public/Home/Public/Default.aspx?hkey=c30c8456-bab1-49cc-be60-

Homeowners:  http://www.pa1call.org/pa811/CMDownload.aspx?ContentKey=dd7a06bb-2c68-45de-8dfb-d87255f7f6b1&

Provide necessary details:  http://www.pa1call.org/pa811/Public/POCS_Content/About_Us/FAQS/Information_When_Calling.aspx
User’s Guide:  http://www.pa1call.org/pa811/CMDownload.aspx?ContentKey=89dbe534-8860-4609-9fc4-40fa183d183e


Reminder:  Seat Belts are Important Even on Short Trips

When does an adult equal the weight of a flying elephant?  Unrestrained in a 30 mph vehicle crash, an adult is thrown with the force of a 3 ½ ton elephant with no regard for hitting you, your child, or a friend. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reminding motorists, most crashes happen close to home and at speeds under 40 miles an hour, when we are in familiar neighborhoods often considered the comfort zone.  PennDOT’s 2009 Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics reveals 3 out of 4 crashes occur within 25 miles of home.   

When taking trips to the local store, school, or a friend’s house, PA’s Bureau of Highway Safety and Traffic Engineering is reminding us to buckle up and leave the flying elephant behind.

Weight of a flying elephant:  http://www.drivesafepa.org/Resources/Flying%20Elephant%20card.pdf
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation:  http://www.dot.state.pa.us/
2009 Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics:  http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/Bureaus/pdBHSTE.nsf/InfoFb09?OpenForm

Buckle up:  http://www.drivesafepa.org/Traffic-Safety-Information-Center/Seat-Belts/