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BC-PA--Exchange, Advisory, PA

April 2, 2019

Here are the stories for this week’s Pennsylvania Member Exchange package. If you have any questions, contact the Philadelphia bureau at 215-561-1133.

For use anytime:

EXCHANGE-EDITORIAL RDP

Editorials from around Pennsylvania.

For Saturday, April 6, 2019:

EXCHANGE--CONSTABLES CONUNDRUM

PITTSBURGH _ There’s never a dull day for Adam Kujawa. Whether it’s talking to people in Pittsburgh neighborhoods or navigating the back roads of Fayette and Westmoreland counties, the Mt. Pleasant constable loves it all. “It’s basically a day-to-day adventure,” he said. He dons his vest with an embroidered patch identifying him as a Pennsylvania State Constable and serves paperwork from magistrates in the three counties. He has worked in the elected position since 2011, sometimes in dangerous situations. “I take a lot of pride in what I do,” he said. “Six days a week, I’m out the door working.” Constables are getting less training starting this year under several cost-cutting measures Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency officials put into effect to ration a fund that was being depleted. At the same time, opposing proposed state legislation targeting constables could either create oversight at the county level or eliminate the position altogether. Renatta Signorini, Tribune-Review.

EXCHANGE--GHOST TOWN TO DESTINATION

GLEN ROCK _ In this day and age, it is peculiar to see a long-forgotten town being completely rebuilt and not bulldozed in favor of a new shopping center. And yet, in a little corridor off of Route 616, in a petite section of York County, a pair of Shrewsbury residents are in the middle of rebuilding the lost rail town of Seitzland Village. The whole idea came from David Keller’s affinity for a single building: The former site of the Seitzland Store, which was built in 1848. It’s a building his partner Ellen Darby used to call “the butt ugly building at the corner of the road.” During the height of railroad commerce in the 19th century, Seitzland would see over 72 trains within a 24-hour span, approximately one every 18 minutes. However, as the use of commercial trains declined and other means of transportation became available, the town began deteriorating. Neil Strebig, York Daily Record.

EXCHANGE--WATER PLANTS-WORKERS

LANCASTER _ Behind every toilet flush and faucet turn that draws on a public water system, there’s an entire industry making sure the water meets certain standards. “Nobody touches the community like a water treatment plant operator,” said William McKeon, who teaches classes geared to prospective operators at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. “Drinking water is public health,” he said, “and wastewater is the front lines of environmental work.” But McKeon and others in the field worry about a looming shortage of water-treatment plant operators, as a wave of older operators hits retirement age. McKeon fears that in the next 10 years, there won’t be enough operators to monitor and control every public water system adequately. Hurubie Meko, LNP newspaper.

EXCHANGE--BOROUGH-BLACK HISTORY

MOUNT HOLLY SPRINGS _ As a girl, she couldn’t wait to get away. As a 69-year-old woman, Carmen (Redmond) James wishes she would have asked many more questions about her modest neighborhood, which just happens to be a nearly-forgotten jewel in Pennsylvania’s African-American history. The nexus of this post-Civil War African-American community in the heart of Cumberland County was the Mount Tabor AME Zion Church, now a dilapidated log structure off Cedar Street in Mount Holly Springs. At its height, it was the spiritual and community center of several hundred African-Americans who settled there after the Civil War. They came for jobs in Mount Holly Springs’ paper mills. The log-structured church, erected on its stone foundation in 1870, remained active for the next hundred years, as generations were baptized, married and buried here. John Luciew, PennLive.com.

EXCHANGE--CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION

DOYLESTOWN _ Even as states across the country work to address toxic per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) by creating their own drinking water protections, legal experts and regulators say the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plays a crucial role. The dynamic is particularly important where the military is the polluter, since the EPA also holds federal authority. Several attorneys said listing PFAS as hazardous substances under Superfund, the nation’s primary law governing areas of major chemical contamination, would help most in pursuing cleanup actions. Some say they think the EPA already has authorities it could use more aggressively. But recent Department of Defense actions to challenge state regulations underscore the pitfalls of states taking the lead. By Jenny Wagner and Kyle Bagenstose, Bucks County Courier Times.