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Boscola Bulletin

Summer is here…FINALLY!

It's Summer TimeAs we prepare to spend more time outdoors, let’s review some important tips to keep families safe in extreme heat this summer. We have to remember it is important to protect yourself from harmful ultraviolet radiation and stay hydrated to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Remember to wear:

  • ​Lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing;
  • A hat or visor;
  • Sunglasses; and
  • SPF 15 or higher sunscreen (reapply as necessary).

To stay hydrated:

  • ​Drink plenty of water throughout the day – don’t wait until you are thirsty!
  • Outdoor workers should drink between two and four cups of water every hour.
  • Avoid consuming caffeinated, alcoholic, or sugary beverages.
  • Replace salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks.

To safely exercise:

  • ​Limit outdoor exercise and stay indoors in air conditioning on hot days.
  • Exercise early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
  • Pace yourself when you run, walk, or otherwise exert your body.

To protect others:

  • ​Never leave children, older adults, or pets behind in a vehicle.
  • Check on those who may be more at risk from extreme temperatures like:
    • Infants and young children
    • People ages 65 and older
    • People with chronic medical conditions

It is also important to know the difference between heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Symptoms of a heat stroke include a high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot and dry skin, but no sweating; a rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness.

If you think someone is having a heat stroke, it is important to first call 9-1-1. After calling for help, get the person to a shady area and quickly cool them down by putting them in a tub of cool water or spraying them with a garden hose. You should not give the victim any fluids including water, to drink.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, and nausea or vomiting. Help the person cool off and seek medical attention if symptoms are severe, symptoms last more than one hour, or the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure. During extreme heat waves, cooling centers are opened in cities across Pennsylvania for individuals without air conditioning. To find a cooling center near you, please contact your local municipality or county office.

Additional information on how to prepare for summer weather can be found on the Department of Health’s website at health.pa.gov

Summer Food Program

Children EatingLearning does not end when school lets out; neither does the need for good nutrition. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is good, nutritious food that’s “in” when school is “out.” SFSP was created to ensure that children in low-income areas could continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations, when they do not have access to school lunch or breakfast.

Nearly 14 million children depend on free and reduced-price school meals for 9 months out of the year. Many of them are at nutritional risk during the months when their schools are closed for vacation. Unfortunately, only about 2.3 million children par­ticipate in SFSP each day.

Children ages 18 and younger can participate in the Summer Food Service Program which began in mid-June.  This is a federal program providing free meals and fun activities to kids 18 and under during the summer months when school is out of session. Children can receive breakfast and lunch during summer recess at many locations in Lehigh & Northampton Counties. 

To learn more please click here to search for locations near you.

Veterans License Plates

Did you know that the Pennsylvania Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA) offers an Honoring Our Veterans or the new Honoring our Women Veterans license plates for your vehicles? This is a great way to show patriotism and to support veterans in need!

Honoring Our VetsAvailable for passenger cars and light duty trucks up to 14,000 pounds, and motorcycles, an Honoring Our Veterans license plate costs $36, with $15 dollars benefitting Pennsylvania's Veterans' Trust Fund (VTF). The VTF issues grants to statewide charitable organizations that aid veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans’ affairs. These valuable advocates use available grants to assist veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living, among other services. 

Available for a passenger car or truck with a registered gross weight of not more than 14,000 pounds, the Honoring Our Women Veterans license plate costs $35, with $15 benefitting the VTF to be used for programs and resources that assist women veterans.

In addition to the sales of these license plates, there are a number of other programs designed to help fund the VTF in support of Pennsylvania veterans. To learn more about other VTF programs or to purchase an Honoring Our Veterans or Honoring Our Women Veterans license plate, please visit www.vtf.pa.gov.

June is National Great Outdoors Month

June is National Great Outdoors MonthOriginally starting as Great Outdoors Week under President Clinton in 1998, National Great Outdoors Month has grown under the Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations into a month-long celebration of the outdoors. It focuses on the healthful, economic, and social benefits that being outdoors brings. 

Participate in adventures such as fishing, boating, hiking, camping, and biking. Take advantage of sites around you such as beaches, trails, mountains, and parks. 

There are numerous proven health benefits when spending time outdoors along with being physically active according to the CDC. Economic benefits also stem from this. Did you know… outdoor recreation in Pennsylvania supports over 250,000 jobs and generates $29.1 billion in annual consumer spending? Spending time outdoors can improve memory, fight depression, and make you happier.  

For more information on spending time outdoors in PA, visit one of these sites below:

DCNR— An Official Pennsylvania Government Website  
Through the DCNR, you can navigate the website helping you find state parks, trails, reservations, and state forests across the commonwealth. You can also learn more about the geology behind our states outdoor sites. Through the DCNR, the states grants and conservation programs are explained.  
https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/Communities/Grants/Pages/default.aspx 

Visit PA 
Visit PA is a great online source to find outdoor destinations throughout the commonwealth. It provides places to stay, things to do, trip ideas, deals, and events.  
https://visitpa.com/pa-outdoor-recreation 

Trails in PA 
With more than 248 trials covering 5802 miles, you are bound to find the perfect trail in PA. Through this link, you can find the best trail for you to visit.  
https://www.traillink.com/state/pa-trails/ 

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program – Deadline Extended

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced they would be accepting applications for the 2018 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program through Dec. 31. The previous deadline had been June 30.

Property TaxIf you filed a paper rebate last year, you should have received an application in the mail.  Applications are also available at my district offices, online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling 1-888-222-9190.  As always, my staff would be happy to assist you in preparing your application.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older.  The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters.  Please keep in mind, half of Social Security income is excluded.

Rebates will be distributed by the PA Department of Revenue beginning July 1. The program is funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery and revenue from slots gaming.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

www.senatorboscola.com

BETHLEHEM OFFICE
One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
EASTON OFFICE
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
(610) 250-5629
Fax: (610) 250-1889
HARRISBURG OFFICE
458 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
(717) 787-4236
Fax: (717) 783-1257
Senate of PA:
1-800-364-158 (TTY)