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Wissahickon High School Wins Robotics Award

April 21st, 2010

“Team 341 “Miss Daisy” of Ambler, Pa., won the Chairman’s Award, the highest honor given at the FRC Championship, recognizing the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.”

ATLANTA, GA — Twenty thousand FIRST ® supporters – mentors, students, volunteers, sponsors and fans – gathered this weekend at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to experience the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship, the ultimate heart-pounding, highenergy celebration of science and technology. The 19th annual FIRST Championship culminated in a frenzied final round of robotic matches when teams from Redondo Beach, Calif., Milford, Mich., and South Windsor, Conn., emerged victorious as the winning FIRST® Robotics Competition alliance. FIRST founder, inventor Dean Kamen, presented this award and a list of others, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined Kamen in presenting the 2010 FIRST Dean’s List Award.

“Over the past few days in Atlanta, we have had the opportunity to inspire the next generation of innovators and engineers,” said Kamen. “This is increasingly important as we try to build momentum in the U.S. to fuel a robust talent pipeline of innovative 21st century STEM professionals. For the thousands of young problemsolvers who participated in the FIRST Championship, we caught a glimpse of the great things that are in store when these students tackle greater challenges in years ahead.” Another noted technologist, Bill Gates, sent a special video offering encouragement and congratulations to all competitors at the FIRST Championship.

FIRST is a not-for-profit that celebrates science and technology via robotics competitions worldwide. The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization inspires young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that encourages innovation, and that foster self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

The FIRST Community continues to grow with more than 212,000 students, 90,000 volunteers, thousands of alumni, and more than 3,500 sponsors. This year’s event marked the highest level of participation since FIRST began in 1992 in a New Hampshire high school gymnasium with one level of competition. FIRST now offers three distinct and challenging levels of competitions. Following are descriptions of each competition and winners:

High-school student teams built their robots from a kit of hundreds of parts in six weeks. More than 340 teams competed in “Breakaway™,” a soccer-like game to climb obstacles and score goals against their opponents. The Winning Alliance of the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship was: Team 294, “Beach Cities Robotics,” Redondo Beach, Calif.; Team 67, “The HOT Team,” Milford, Mich.; Team 177, “Bobcat Robotics,” South Windsor, Conn., from the Newton Division.

Team 341 “Miss Daisy” of Ambler, Pa., won the Chairman’s Award, the highest honor given at the FRC Championship, recognizing the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.

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]