Blake Announces $900K State Grant for Abington Community Park Project

HARRISBURG, September 14, 2011 – – State Sen. John P. Blake (D- Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced the release of a $900,000 state grant for the Abington Community Park project.

“This state grant will not only allow the Abington Community Park to improve and expand its facilities, but it will also increase visitation, which could positively impact the local economy,” Blake said. “I applaud the hard work of everyone involved that made this much-deserved state grant possible for the South Abington community and the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board.”

Blake said some of the improvements include the rehabilitation of playing fields, developing hiking and biking trails, constructing a boardwalk to provide fishing access to Wilson Lake, enhancing existing walkway systems to accommodate disabled citizens, and improving existing parking and driveway access areas. 

The state grant, initially authorized in 2010 by the Rendell Administration through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), had been under review by the Corbett Administration.   This program requires a dollar-for-dollar match of non-state funding in the amount of the RACP grant award and, as such, the total value of improvements to the park will be at least $1.8 million

The 97.5 acre Abington Community Park is located just west of Clarks Summit Borough in South Abington Township.

Blake Encourages Luzerne Co. Residents to Act Quickly in Applying for Federal Flood Relief

HARRISBURG, September 13, 2011 – – State Sen. John P. Blake today encouraged all Luzerne County residents affected by last week’s flooding to act quickly and apply for federal assistance.

Earlier today, President Barack Obama made an emergency declaration for 19 Pennsylvania counties, including Luzerne County, which were devastated by flooding brought on by Tropical Storm Lee. This declaration allows federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts to flood victims.

“President Obama’s disaster declaration will certainly provide a greater deal of financial assistance for families affected by the flooding as their painful cleanup and recovery process continues,” Blake said. “Families around NEPA saw their homes ruined and their precious and personal valuables destroyed in the flood, it is now more important than ever to band together to help them get back on their feet.”

Lackawanna County was not included in President Obama’s emergency declaration. To substantiate inclusion in such disaster declarations counties must experience a very high threshold of dollar value damages as well as a very large number of homes affected. 

Blake said that this federal assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured or underinsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and businesses.

Residents and businesses in Luzerne County that sustained flood damage may be available for aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  To qualify for aid, victims must first register with FEMA either online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by phone at 1-800-621-3362.

A Disaster Recovery Center will be established at Luzerne County Community College, 1333 S. Prospect Street in Nanticoke beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Blake said that constituents are welcome to contact his district offices with any questions about the declaration or flood assistance.  More information on flood assistance available through the state and federal government is available online at www.senatorblake.com.

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Blake Announces $900K State Grant for Abington Community Park Project

HARRISBURG, September 13, 2011 – – State Sen. John P. Blake (D- Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today announced the release of a $900,000 state grant for the Abington Community Park project.

“This state grant will not only allow the Abington Community Park to improve and expand its facilities, but it will also increase visitation, which could positively impact the local economy,” Blake said. “I applaud the hard work of everyone involved that made this much-deserved state grant possible for the South Abington community and the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board.”

Blake said some of the improvements include the rehabilitation of playing fields, developing hiking and biking trails, constructing a boardwalk to provide fishing access to Wilson Lake, enhancing existing walkway systems to accommodate disabled citizens, and improving existing parking and driveway access areas.

The state grant, initially authorized in 2010 by the Rendell Administration through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), had been under review by the Corbett Administration. This program requires a dollar-for-dollar match of non-state funding in the amount of the RACP grant award and, as such, the total value of improvements to the park will be at least $1.8 million
The 97.5 acre Abington Community Park is located just west of Clarks Summit Borough in South Abington Township.

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Blake Saddened at News of Marine’s Death

SCRANTON, August 4, 2011 – – Reflecting, with sadness, on the death of Sgt. Patrick Dolphin, state Sen. John P. Blake today offered sincere condolences to the local Marine’s family and friends.

“Staff Sgt. Dolphin is a local hero and I am deeply saddened with this loss. It is when we lose one of our brave men or women in service that we only begin to glimpse the extraordinary sacrifice they and their families make for our country. Louise and I and our entire family will keep our prayers with Sgt. Dolphin’s friends and family at this very difficult time.”

Staff Sgt. Dolphin, a 2000 graduate of North Pocono High School, died earlier this week while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Dolphin, 29, was serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan after two previous tours in Iraq.

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Blake: Marcellus Shale Region Cancer Study is Investment in Health and Future of PA

Sen Blake speaks at news conference

SCRANTON, July 7, 2011 – – State Sen. John P. Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today joined the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute at Lackawanna College to announce a $75,000 state grant to conduct a health survey in the areas of Northeastern Pennsylvania affected by Marcellus shale drilling operations.

The study, which will be conducted by Cancer Institute researchers, will determine the current health status of the population in Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Pike Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming counties and establish an important baseline of data for future comparisons and research regarding public health in the areas impacted by Marcellus operations.

“Research is one of the most important tools in the fight against all cancers and this grant shows the state’s faith in the quality of research being conducted here in Scranton,” Blake said. “It is imperative that the health and well-being of Pennsylvania residents be the number one priority as the Marcellus industry expands in our state.”

The specific goals of the survey are to estimate the prevalence of a variety of acute and chronic medical conditions among residents living in counties where natural gas production has begun or is likely, as well as estimate the prevalence of known health risk factors in this population. At least 500 survey participants will be recruited for the study.

“With 20 years of experience in cancer control and more than a decade of experience conducting epidemiological research in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Cancer Institute is very glad to be able to provide the community with this valuable information on public health in the Marcellus shale region,” added Robert Durkin, president of the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute. “The Institute welcomes the support of Pennsylvania’s Northeast delegation in the General Assembly as well as the support of the Corbett Administration through the Department of Public Welfare.”

The grant is being administered by the Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare.

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