In this Edition:
The Mensch Report Ė Kwik Goal
This edition of the Mensch Report features one of three tours that took place on Manufacturing Day in October 2017. Pennsylvania celebrated its third annual Manufacturing Week from September 30 to October 6, 2017. Throughout the week, Pennsylvania manufacturers and partners held events to give students and their families an inside look at todayís modern manufacturing.
Our first tour took place at Kwik Goal in Quakertown, PA. I enjoyed the opportunity to tour the facility with CFO Doug Propst and Vice President Ardie McCue, who demonstrated their products, design process and more.
More than 400 Attend Menschís Veterans Appreciation Breakfast
I was honored to host my sixth annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast on November 11 at Upper Perkiomen High School. Approximately 400 attended the event, which included veterans, veteransí guests, exhibitors and speakers.
The morning featured special guest speaker Colonel Michael J. Regan, Jr. Colonel Regan currently serves as Deputy Adjutant General-Air for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, State Representative Tom Quigley, State Representative Marcy Toepel, State Representative Ryan Mackenzie, and Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh, M.D. gave formal remarks and thanked the veterans for their service.
Veterans also enjoyed patriotic songs performed by the Upper Perkiomen High School Womenís Choir. Attendees were also able to obtain veteran identification cards from the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds.
Various organizations were available to provide veterans with information and services, including: the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the National Guard Transition Assistance Program, Montgomery County Veterans Affairs, Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds, Vets for Vets, Veterans Brotherhood, Tails of Valor/Paws of Honor Program Inc., First Choice Loan Services VA Home Buyerís Program, Hope for Veterans, Korean War Memorial American-Korean Alliance Peace Park, and the Greater PA Military Vehicle Historical Society.
You can view Veterans Appreciation Breakfast photos here. Video from the breakfast will be featured in a future Mensch Report.
PennDOT Advises Customers of REAL ID Preparations
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding customers that there are steps that they can take now to help prepare for when REAL ID-compliant driverís licenses and ID cards are available to customers who want them in spring 2019.
A federally accepted form of identification (whether it's the forthcoming Pennsylvania REAL ID driver's license or ID card, a U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building on and after October 1, 2020.
If a customer decides that they do want a REAL ID, federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, PennDOT must verify the following documents:
PennDOT strongly advises its customers to begin gathering the required documents as soon as possible, especially if they will need to obtain replacement documents. Some states may take up to six months to process duplicate birth certificates, so it is advisable to begin that process right away.
Beginning in March 2018, these customers will be able to visit PennDOTís Driver and Vehicle Services website (or call PennDOTís call center or visit an authorized agent for assistance) to request that PennDOT confirm the customerís required documents are on file. Most of PennDOTís customers, however, received their initial product BEFORE September 2003, so PennDOT does not have their required REAL ID documents on file. Customers in this group who want a REAL ID will need to bring the required documents to a Driverís License Center so they can be verified in person. Beginning in September 2018, PennDOTís 71 Driverís License Centers will be equipped to verify these documents.
Customers will pay a one-time fee of $30, plus a renewal fee (current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driverís license or a photo ID). Pennsylvania is currently under an enforcement extension from the Department of Homeland Security until October 10, 2018, and will continue to apply for extensions until becoming fully compliant with the REAL ID Act.
Turn On Vehicle Headlights When Using Windshield Wipers
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation notes that, under state law, motorists should turn on their vehicleís headlights any time their windshield wipers are on. They should also be turned on between dusk and dawn, in fog, when visibility is less than ideal, and generally any time it would help you to see out of your vehicle or for others to see you better.
Pennsylvania law states that when your wipers are on, your headlights are also required to be on. Daylight running lights, a standard feature on most cars these days, are not enough. It is necessary for drivers in vehicles with daytime running lights to turn on their headlights in order to activate their taillights.
Also, according to Pennsylvania law, all motorists are required to travel with their headlights turned on in all posted work zones, not just active work zones.
Financial Assistance Available for Families Struggling With Home Heating Costs
The onset of cooler weather creates significant challenges for many low-income families throughout the region. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides grants to help eligible families pay heating bills.
Crisis grants are also available for heating emergencies such as a broken furnace, utility termination or fuel shortage. Applications for LIHEAP can be completed online on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Access to Social Services (COMPASS) website at www.compass.state.pa.us.
Pennsylvania Number Three in Collisions with Deer
Ranking third among states experiencing deer collisions, Pennsylvania drivers have a 1-in-63 chance of colliding with a deer or other large animal, according to a 2017 insurance industry report. Analysts expect a 6.3 percent increase this year over 2016 collisions.
Deer-involved crashes are not considered at-fault. A surcharge cannot be added to the policyholderís premium, as a result. Contact the PA Insurance Departmentís Consumer Services Bureau online or at 1-877-881-6388 for related problems.
Insurance industry reports tie increased collisions between vehicles and deer during autumn to outdoor enthusiasts, from hikers to hunters, and the breeding season when yearling bucks seek new territory and adult bucks roam the home range seeking doe.
Flu Season Precautions
Pennsylvania experienced nearly 71,000 confirmed cases of flu and 148 deaths from flu complications during the last flu season, increasing the need for exercising precaution, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
You can protect yourself and your loved ones this flu season by getting vaccinated and taking specific preventive actions:
Flu symptoms come on quickly and may include a fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches. Populations at particular risk include the very young, older Pennsylvanians, pregnant women, and those with chronic health conditions.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Homes with wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, gas-fired fireplaces, appliances, grills, generators, and motor vehicles are susceptible to the release of deadly carbon monoxide as a result of the incomplete burning of combustible materials, according to the Pennsylvania Office of State Fire Commissioner (PAOSFC).
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, often mistaken for the flu, include nausea, headaches, dizziness, disorientation, fatigue, and death, if undetected. On average, carbon monoxide poisoning claimed the lives of 73 Pennsylvanians annually between 2009 and 2013.
The PAOSFC recommends installing carbon monoxide detectors and changing the batteries in the fall and spring when resetting your clocks and replacing smoke alarm batteries.
Love Your Dog, License Your Dog
Did you know your dog must be licensed by January 1 of each year if you are a Pennsylvania resident?
Dog owners may purchase an annual license for $8.50 or a lifetime license for $51.50. The annual fee for spayed or neutered dogs is reduced to $6.50 annually or $31.50 for a lifetime. Older adults and those with disabilities may apply for a discounted dog licensing fee.
Purchase your dog license from your local county treasurer.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement reminds dog owners, a current license is the fastest way to have a lost dog returned home rather than having it become a statistic among the more than 5,000 dogs in shelters across Pennsylvania.
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