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International Day at Montgomery County Community College

April 20th, 2010

MCCC will host International Day this afternoon and evening on the campus at 202 and Morris Road. The End will perform at the USA tent between 7:00 and 8:30.

Fishing In The Schuykill

April 18th, 2010

While doing a musical recording session with the band The End, the http://PhilaNet.com news team catches video of a monster fish caught in the Schuylkill River, Montgomery County, PA.

“Celebrity Boxing” Promoter Charged with Rigging Fights

April 15th, 2010

HARRISBURG – A self-styled “celebrity boxing promoter” has been charged by the Attorney General’s Office with staging numerous events in the Philadelphia area without a valid promoter’s license from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, as well as pre-arranging the “winners” and “losers” of various bouts.

Attorney General Tom Corbett identified the defendant as Damon Richard Feldman, 40, 2208 Dickins Lane, Broomall, Delaware County.

Corbett said that according to the criminal complaint, Feldman, operating as the “Celebrity Boxing Federation,” staged a series of at least six different events in Philadelphia and Delaware County between September 2008 and December 2009, all without holding a valid Pennsylvania promoters license and in violation of the state’s Boxing Act. The events included a 2008 match featuring actor/radio personality Danny Bonaduce and Bob Levy, from the Howard Stern show.

“The only thing that appears to be ‘real’ about any of these events is the money that went into Mr. Feldman’s pocket and the media attention that he received,” Corbett said. “These so-called fights were staged without concern for the health and safety of the participants, a lack of proper medical care and with a total disregard for the professional standards of boxing in Pennsylvania.”

Corbett said that the “fights” were promoted by Feldman on the Internet, in newspaper ads and on television, often using claims of charitable contributions that would supposedly benefit the families of slain police officers.

According to the criminal complaint, Feldman never received the required permits from the State Athletic Commission for his events, which required the use of state-licensed doctors, referees, judges, timekeepers, matchmakers, trainers and other professionals – for the protection of the boxers and to ensure legitimate results.

Corbett said that various fights observed by inspectors from the State Athletic Commission and agents from the Attorney General’s Office included bouts where boxers were knocked out and did not receive prompt medical attention; situations where doctors were not present at ringside to examine and treat injured fighters; and potentially dangerous matches that included out-of-shape boxers fighting opponents with clearly superior skills.

“As if dangerous conditions and reckless mismatches were not enough, Feldman is accused of ‘fixing’ the outcome of many bouts,” Corbett said, “allegedly picking the winners and losers before any punches were even thrown.”

Feldman is charged with six counts of staging prohibited competitions and six counts of rigging publicly exhibited contests, all first-degree misdemeanors which are each punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000 fines.

Feldman was preliminarily arraigned on April 7th before Folcroft Magisterial District Judge Edward W. Christie and released on $50,000 unsecured bail. Additionally, Feldman is prohibited from staging any fights in Pennsylvania as a condition of his release on bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 14th, at 9:30 a.m., before Magisterial District Judge Christie.

Feldman will be prosecuted in Delaware County by Senior Deputy Attorney General John Flannery of the Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecutions Section.

Corbett thanked the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

Ambler Environmental Advisory Council

April 8th, 2010

The Ambler EAC is an Environmental Advisory Council made up of a group of community residents, appointed by Borough Council. Our members devote time and energy to assist elected and appointed officials in protecting the environment. We advise the local planning commission, park and recreation board, and elected officials on the protection, conservation, management, promotion, and use of natural resources within Ambler Borough limits. Ambler EAC is supported by the Ambler Borough Council Parks & Recreation Committee.

For more information visit: http://amblereac.org/

Growing Greener Projects and the PA Economy

April 7th, 2010

HARRISBURG, PA — Addressing some of Pennsylvania’s most pressing environmental challenges, the Department of Environmental Protection today announced more than $16.5 million in Growing Greener funding for projects that will clean state waterways, restore stream banks, prevent flooding, reclaim mine-scarred lands and reduce pollution.

“During the past seven years, Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener program has delivered more than $237 million to local communities to improve the quality of our waterways, address serious environmental problems at mine sites and make communities more livable,” said Secretary John Hanger. “Growing Greener has also sparked economic redevelopment by providing the tools and funding needed to tackle tough environmental issues and restore the state’s natural resources.”

The funding awarded today includes $12.6 million in Watershed and Flood Protection grants and $3.9 million in federal funding for Non-Point Source Pollution Control grants.

Grants range in size from $6,145 to the Cameron County Conservation District to address invasive species and repair riparian buffers along the Sinnemahoning Creek to $664,500 to the Schuylkill Headwaters Association to design and construct a system to treat the 1.7 million gallon-per-day discharge of mine drainage from the Mary D Borehole into the Schuylkill River.

More than 1,300 Growing Greener Grants have been awarded since 2003. These grants have funded new and innovative drinking water/wastewater treatment systems, dam improvements, open space acquisition, repairs and upgrades of fish hatcheries, wildlife habitat development, acid mine drainage abatement, industrial site revitalization, community parks and recreation projects, acid mine discharge treatment, abandoned mine reclamation, watershed protection, and advanced energy projects through Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.

The funds are distributed to non-profit organizations, watershed groups and county and municipal governments to address local and regional water quality issues.

A complete list and descriptions of the Growing Greener grants announced today by DEP may be found online at: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/growing_greener/13958/watershed_grants/588895.

New National Auto Standards Good for Montgomery County

April 2nd, 2010

Governor Rendell: Obama Administration’s New National Auto Standards Are Good for Consumers, Economy, Environment

New Rules Will Save PA’s Consumers $14 Billion in Fuel Costs, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 57 Million Metric Tons over Next Decade

HARRISBURG — Governor Edward G. Rendell today praised President Barack Obama and his administration for announcing bold steps that will greatly reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, save motorists thousands of dollars, and help clean the air of climate-changing greenhouse gases.

In a joint announcement today, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the nation’s first national standard for greenhouse gas emissions and rules that will greatly increase the fuel economy of passenger cars and light-duty trucks.

“Today’s news from the Obama administration is great news for Pennsylvania and the entire nation, because cleaner cars are a big win for consumers, the environment and our national security,” Governor Rendell said. “With access to more fuel-efficient vehicles, consumers will have to spend less time and money at the gas pump, which means fewer dollars going to foreign, oil-rich nations that may be hostile to our interests.

“The less fuel we burn, the cleaner our air will be,” Governor Rendell said. “That will make our people and our planet much healthier for the long term.”

According to the federal government, the new rules will reduce carbon dioxide emissions about 960 million metric tons and conserve about 1.8 billion barrels of oil—or the amount the U.S. now imports every six months from foreign sources—over the life of the vehicles that are subject to the requirements. Consumers who purchase a 2016 model year vehicle—the target year for attaining the new fuel economy standards—will save $3,000 over the life of that automobile by using less fuel.

According to the state Department of Environmental Protection, the new standards will cut Pennsylvania’s vehicle carbon dioxide emissions by 57 million metric tons and save the state’s motorists an estimated $14 billion in fuel costs over the next 10 years.

Transportation is responsible for more than one-quarter of Pennsylvania’s greenhouse gas emissions, so enactment of the new emissions standards will help the state meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Pennsylvania has been pursuing cleaner standards for new vehicles based on California’s Low Emissions Vehicle Program. The Pennsylvania Clean Vehicles Program was amended in 2006 to require automakers to sell new cars and light-duty trucks in Pennsylvania that are cleaner than would be required by the federal government, starting with model year 2008.

Pennsylvania’s Clean Vehicles Program cuts volatile organic compounds as much as 12 percent and nitrogen oxide emission 9 percent more than the less stringent federal standards, resulting in a 5-11 percent greater reduction of six toxic air pollutants including benzene, a known carcinogen.

By establishing one nationwide standard, the new federal rules announced today also will help ease concerns that tougher standards in Pennsylvania would increase vehicle costs. Nearly all Mid-Atlantic states have already adopted tougher emission standards like those in place in Pennsylvania and California.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov.

Wissahickon High School Takes First Place

March 27th, 2010

Wissahickon High School’s FIRST Robotics Team took first place in both the Philadelphia Regionals and the New York Regionals. Next, they fly to Atlanta, GA for the world championship.

MontNews.com at the FIRST Robotics Philadelphia Regionals as the crowd roars for Wissahickon, Ambler, PA High School’s Team 341 Miss Daisy. [Video / DivX / .AVI]

PA Lawsuit To Block Health Care Reform Legislation

March 23rd, 2010

HARRRISBURG, PA — Attorney General Tom Corbett today said that he will file a lawsuit to protect the citizens of Pennsylvania whose rights will be violated when the health care reform legislation, passed last night by the U.S. House of Representatives, is signed into law by President Obama.

Corbett said that he believes the courts will find the health care reform legislation unconstitutional.

Corbett said he is discussing legal strategy with attorneys general from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Michigan, Texas, Utah, Washington, North Dakota and South Dakota and Virginia.

FIRST Robotics In New York City

March 15th, 2010

New York, NY — The Wissahickon FIRST robotics team 341 competes at the Javits Convention Center, New York, NY USA, 12-Mar – 14-Mar-2010.

Team 341’s Miss Daisy competing in the FIRST Robotics New York Regional competition [Video / .MP4]

Interview With a Local Sports Hero

March 10th, 2010

Travis Pollen, a swimmer for Swarthmore College, set a Paralympic record for the 100 meter freestyle. (see the article). Recently, we had the chance to ask Travis some questions:

Q: At what age did you start competitive swimming?
I joined my high school team along with my two best friends our sophomore year. Prior to my first day of pre-season practice, I had no competitive swimming experience whatsoever, a huge disadvantage compared to the other kids who’d been racing since they were eight and under. That first day, I swam my first lap and was winded beyond belief. The next day, I came into school and I could barely move my arms. Fortunately, no cuts were made from the team that season. Five years later, along with countless hours spent bulking up in the gym, I am swimming over two hundred laps per day and keeping up remarkably well with my able-bodied college teammates. In the water, I’m at a pretty substantial disadvantage compared to my able-bodied peers due to my lack of an effective kick, but hard work and year-round swimming goes a long, long way. On February 21, the third and final day of my college Centennial Conference Championships, I set the new American record in the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 54.80 seconds, eclipsing the previous, six-year-old mark by 0.18 seconds! In just over a month I will be traveling to San Antonio to compete in the U.S. Paralympics Spring Swimming Nationals. At this meet, a team will be selected to compete in the World Championships in the Netherlands in August.

Q: At what age did you become paraplegic an amputee?
I was born, August 1, 1989, with an extremely rare congenital abnormality called Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD). This physical difference resulted in the absence of my left hip and femur. A small residual bone chip from my left knee became fused with ligaments and tissue at the site of my nonexistent hip. Thus, my left leg consisted of a tibia and foot parallel to my fully formed femur on the right side. For labeling purposes, I am considered an above-the-knee amputee, though I have a very small residual limb and no functional hip. At three years old, my parents opted for a Syme’s amputation to remove my left foot. This enabled me to be fit with a prosthesis (artificial leg) with the artificial knee approximately level with my sound right knee.

Q: Are there any competitive advantages for an paraplegic amputee swimmer?
In short, not really. I’m at a pretty significant DISadvantage because I don’t have much of a kick behind my pull, and I don’t get as far off my starts and turns since I’m pushing off with only one leg. Nevertheless, on “pulling sets” in practice where we put pull buoys between our legs to prevent us from kicking, I flourish, handily beating many of my teammates because I’m so used to having to do all the work with my arms.

Some more info:
Oftentimes when discussion of my disability comes up with my friends, they tell me that I’m the least disabled person they know. They sometimes even admit to forgetting that I have one leg, although I’m not sure how truthful that is considering that I walk with a rather pronounced limp, despite extensive work with a Shriners physical therapist during my teenage years to correct my gait. Also, during the summer, I always wear shorts, proudly displaying my physical difference. It’s possible to get a cosmetic cover for the metal knee, but I’ve never had any interest. This has led to plenty of little kids staring at me. I remember in particular our family vacations to Disney World when I was a child. Kids would give me funny looks, wondering what had happened to my leg, and my dad and I would give them funny looks back, as if we were saying, ‘What happened to YOU?’ right back at them. If asked, I cycled through the truth (“I was born with a short leg so I wear this to walk”) or some version of “a snake/alligator bit it off” if I want to scare them!