Coronavirus: Monroe County Commissioners Ask Voters to Consider Voting By Mail-In Ballot

3/12/2020 – Stroudsburg, PA ---The Monroe County, PA Commissioners share the concern of the community regarding the COVID 19 (coronavirus) virus. We are taking the same steps that other prudent organizations should consider to limit the spread of the virus:
 We encourage our staff to heighten their practice of good health habits (frequent hand washing with warm soapy water, sneezing into the crook of their arm, staying home when they are ill, and resisting the urge to shake hands).
 We have distributed effective cleaning/sanitizing materials so that counters, door knobs and other points of public contact are clean.
 Gloves have been distributed to those offices that accept money and documents from the public.
 We have eliminated all official travel to areas identified as high-risk by the Center for Disease Control and we are requiring staff returning from these areas to quarantine themselves for
fourteen days.
 Our cleaning staff is being more vigilant in cleaning bathrooms and other high-traffic areas.
There are two cases of the Corona virus in Monroe County presently. It is our belief that practicing good health habits and restricting travel to and contact with people from high-risk areas will reduce the chance of the virus spreading.
Should anyone be concerned that they may be exposed to the coronavirus while voting on April 28, 2020, we encourage you to vote via Mail-In Ballot. This type of ballot is new to Pennsylvania and just happened to come along at a time when people are concerned with the spread of the coronavirus. In fact, it can be used in this and all future elections.
The application for a Mail-In Ballot must be received in the Monroe County Voter Registration Office by April 21, 2020 at 5:00 PM. Once the application is approved, a ballot will be sent to you. This ballot is used for voting and it must be returned by April 28, 2020 at 8:00 PM. Because this form of voting may prove to be very
popular, we encourage you to apply early.
Directions for applying for a Mail-In Ballot can be found on the website: http://votespa.com/applymailballot
This site also describes how you can apply for an application by mail or in person.

Carbon County Band Festival cancelled

Carbon County Band Festival at Jim Thorpe High School that was scheduled for next week is officially cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.  We will do what we can to plan for a one or two day festival later in the school year if possible.

Tobyhanna Twp Postpones Public Meeting

POCONO PINES, Pa. – The Work Session to discuss a new C-1 zoning district in Long Pond is postponed, the Board of Supervisors announced today.

The call comes in light of the spread of COVID-19 to Eastern Pennsylvania, with confirmed cases in Montgomery, Monroe, Wayne, and Bucks counties.

“The health and well-being of our residents is our top priority,” states John Kerrick, Chair. “Our Board understands the concerns surrounding the coronavirus and will be postponing our meeting this evening until a later date.”

The decision follows suit with other local organizations and schools who are postponing large public gatherings. While the meeting may be on hold, this will not affect the daily operations of the township.

“For our residents who are choosing to stay home, we are always available by phone, email, our website, and Facebook,” states Julia Heilakka, Community Engagement Coordinator. “Our staff stands ready to work with anyone who has been impacted, and we are taking the necessary steps to evade any potential disruption of government services.”

The C-1 district work session will be rescheduled at a later date. Further information will be disseminated to affected property owners and over our social media platforms.
 

National Museum of Industrial History to Celebrate International Women’s Day with Weekend of Events

Sponsored by: Keystone Savings Foundation, Just Born, and OraSure Technologies
 
BETHLEHEM, Pa., - This weekend the National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) will kick-off a month-long commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with International Women’s Weekend. Women’s Weekend will celebrate the voices and stories of women in industry through a full schedule of youth educational activities, guided tours and exhibit enhancements, live historical reenactments, Girl Scout badge programs, film screenings and lectures.
 
The weekend will have several great photo ops, from speakers and discussions to youth activities and re-enactments.  Select speakers will be available for media interviews. Please use the below contact information to arrange.

WHEN: 10am to 5pm Saturday, March 7th and Sunday, March 8th
WHERE: National Museum of Industrial History, 602 E 2nd St, Bethlehem, PA 18015
 
Speakers include:
 Dr. Louise Krasniewicz, Department of Anthropology— UPenn, discussing Emma Allison, a 19th century steam engine engineer
 Charlotte Edwards, CPP, Senior Packaging Engineer at Just Born, presenting how her childhood spent tinkering lead to a career combining mechanical and industrial engineering, robotics, and physics to deliver the Just Born’s famous marshmallow PEEPS ®
 
• Constance Thompson, CCDP Senior Director for Women’s Engagement at The Manufacturing Institute, lecturing on women of color creating a better future through manufacturing
 
 Lisa Jane Scheller, Chairman and President of Silberline Manufacturing Co., Inc, a Lehigh University alumnus whose company is a world leader and global supplier of high-quality special effect and performance pigments based in Tamaqua
 
…and more.


A full schedule of events, with bios, headshots, and descriptions can be found at http://www.nmih.org/event/international-womens-weekend/

 

Shopping for Energy Suppliers Can Help Cut Costs


By State Rep. Jack Rader (R-Monroe)

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is alerting consumers about the potential for large winter energy cost increases for electric customers who do not shop for competitive electric suppliers.

To avoid the possibility of “sticker shock” from high bills during the coming cold months, the PUC reminds consumers that the start of winter is an important time to compare prices for electric generation and evaluate competitive supplier options.

A half dozen of the state’s major electric distribution companies increased their “price to compare” (PTC) as of Dec. 1. The PTC averages 40 to 60 percent of the customer’s total utility bill.  However, this percent varies by utility and by the level of individual customer usage. PPL announced that its PTC went up from 7.585 cents to 7.632 cents per kilowatt hour (less than 1%). 

In most areas of Pennsylvania, consumers can choose who supplies their electricity, based on price or other factors, such as renewable energy. To learn more about how to shop for your energy supplier, or to make a change, visit www.PAPowerSwitch.com.

Customers not choosing a supplier continue to receive default service from their local utility, with the cost per kilowatt hour set quarterly or semiannually based on electric generation procurement plans developed by those utilities.

According to the PUC, more than 1.8 million (31%) residential and business customers currently have their electric generation provided by competitive suppliers, representing approximately two-thirds of the state’s regulated power load. In the residential rate class, more than 1.5 million customers (about 24%) are enrolled with competitive suppliers.
 

Our new phone number

The Atlantic Broadband phones are in, and working great. Our new number is 570-215-0204.

MATT ~ The Marker Advocates of Tobyhanna Township

This video is about MATT MARKER DISCOVERY inviting you to explore the northeast Pocono Mountains in Tobyhanna Township. An odyssey through history examining what transpired in the development of northeast Pennsylvania, specifically Tobyhanna Township and the surrounding area.

New Obituary Page

Obituaries published in The Journal-Herald and The Journal of the Pocono Plateau will now also be posted to the Obituary page on this website. Because the papers are not published daily, some obituaries may appear first on the web, so people can be informed about calling hours and service details.

When to Take Away the Car Keys from Aging Parents

Figuring out when it’s time for a loved one to stop driving is one of the tougher challenges a family can face. Driving means independence, which is an increasingly precious commodity as we get older. While you don’t want to make your parents miserable by taking away their keys, you don’t want to see them get into a serious accident, either. But how do you know when it’s time to intervene? Griswold Home Care of Luzerne & Lackawanna Counties offers some tips for family members:
Know the dangers. Safe drivers need eyesight and reflexes that are up to the demands of driving, and sometimes have to make snap decisions. When debris blows onto the road or someone makes an unexpected turn, the difference between a close call and a total disaster is often less than two seconds. Age only makes vision and reaction time worse, which is why 80-year-old drivers get into just as many accidents as 18-year-old drivers, according to a study by Consumer Reports.
Look for warning signs. Fortunately, it’s easy to spot many of the signs that it’s time to quit driving. When a driver becomes easily distracted, has trouble maintaining the correct lane, has significantly impaired vision, tends to drive too fast or too slow, or starts hitting curbs frequently, these are warning signs that shouldn’t be ignored. If you don’t spend much time in the car with your loved one, the signs you’re looking for might be minor scrapes or dents appearing in the car or garage.
Be Thoughtful of the Life Change. Giving up driving can lead to emotional, physical, and practical concerns about how to get around. Seniors are already at-risk for isolation and depression, and making it more difficult to get around can only worsen outcomes. Nobody wants to feel like they’re imposing on their family or friends, especially not every time they want to go out on a whim. Services like Lyft or Uber can help provide safe transportation on demand. And in-home caregivers can sometimes provide transportation.
Rely on Judgement, Not the Law. Most states don’t require older drivers to undergo additional testing, and legal authorities are generally powerless to strip someone of their right to drive until they’ve actually done harm. That means families have to work out these issues for themselves. Telling someone it’s time to hang up their keys is a tough topic to broach, but ignoring the signs it’s time to quit is a mistake many people don’t live to regret.
For more information, visit www.griswoldhomecare.com or call 570-338-4060.
 

Tips for Traveling with Someone Suffering from
Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease

A dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean the end of all travel, but it does mean taking extra precautions and making extra preparations in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all. For those seniors who are able, travel is part of a healthy balanced lifestyle in preventing and slowing the onset of dementia.

Griswold Home Care of Luzerne & Lackawanna Counties offers some tips for caregivers who are traveling with someone living with dementia:

Determine If Travel Is Appropriate
Travel may simply be impossible for some, including those with Stage 6 or 7 Alzheimer’s. Signs that travel is impracticable include high fall risk, unstable medical conditions, severe mood swings, or agitation and aggression. Before you embark on the trip, evaluate whether travel is right for your loved one.

Simplify the Trip
Look for ways to simplify travel, such as taking direct flights, avoiding unfamiliar modes of transportation, and keeping surroundings familiar to the largest extent possible. It’s also a good idea to cap total travel time to four hours.

Stick with the Familiar
Unfamiliar circumstances can give rise to mood swings, fear, and anxiety. For example, if your loved one has never ridden a subway, it’s best to avoid that situation now. If they have an object that brings familiarity to them, make sure you have it while traveling.

Travel During the Day
Daytime travel is often easier for seniors living with dementia, as it illuminates surroundings and allows for increased visibility. This, in turn, makes surroundings feel more familiar. Many seniors also have problems seeing and reading signs at night, which can increase the likelihood of wandering.

Place an Info Card
Before you begin traveling, write out a note card with your loved one’s name and information and the name of the hotel or address where they will be staying. Place this card in their purse or pocket. It may be useful if they wander off or become lost.

Keep Essentials Close By
Pack a bag with the essentials, including legal documents like identification cards and passports, a fresh change of clothes, itinerary, prescriptions and medical information, food allergies, and emergency contacts. Keep this bag close by at all times, whether in the car or on a plane.

For more information, visit www.griswoldhomecare.com or call 570-338-4060.
 

Protect Your Aging Relatives from Heat Exhaustion and
Dehydration This Summer

Of the 8,000-plus heat-related deaths reported annually in the United States, 36 percent are among those age 65 and older, according to a Centers for Disease Control Heat-Related Illness Survey. Hospitalizations for heat-related symptoms increase for those over 85.

Everyone wants to ensure their loved ones are comfortable and safe during the hot weather, but checking up on neighbors and non-relatives can go a long way toward stemming the tide of heat and dehydration deaths. Griswold Home Care of Luzerne & Lackawanna Counties offers the following advice:

Perform an air conditioner check. Air conditioning is the top protection against heat-related illness. If the home isn’t air conditioned, buy a room unit or encourage your loved one to go to a public place during the hottest hours of the day, like a library or senior center.

Avoid dehydration. Non-alcoholic beverages will replace the body’s salts and minerals released from sweating. Put a glass of water in every room, and encourage sipping from them throughout the day. Frequently drinking small amounts is the best way to stay hydrated. Check your loved one’s urine; light yellow means they’re getting enough to drink; darker yellow means they’re not. Other symptoms include very dry skin, dizziness, rapid heartbeat or rapid breathing.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion. Too much heat can cause heat exhaustion or, even worse, heat stroke. Heat exhaustion happens when you become dehydrated and your body is unable to replace the fluid and electrolytes it has lost. The signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, nausea, and feeling light-headed and faint.

If body temperature continues to rise, it can result in heatstroke, a serious medical condition. Signs of heatstroke include fainting, a body temperature above 104° F, confusion, flushed skin, irritability, and acting delirious. If you’re around someone with signs of heat exhaustion, call 911.

For more information, visit www.griswoldhomecare.com or call 570-338-4060.
 

Pocono Springs proposal

In the most recent edition of The Journal of the Pocono Plateau, we promised to upload the Pocono Springs presentation made recently in Tobyhanna Township. We weren't able to upload it here, but we did put it on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Journal-of-the-Pocono-Plateau-115632595121731/#
Please view it there.

PennDOT Launches Video to Assist Pennsylvanians in Navigating Roundabouts

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today launched a video to assist Pennsylvanians in navigating roundabouts. The video instructs viewers how to use both single and multi-lane roundabouts whether in a vehicle, on a bicycle or on foot.

The video can be accessed by visiting the roundabout page on www.penndot.gov or by visiting the department’s YouTube channel.
“Data shows that modern-day roundabouts reduce crash severity and injuries while improving traffic flow,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “This video illustrates how to navigate these intersections regardless of how you travel.”

A modern roundabout is a type of circular intersection where traffic flows continuously in a counterclockwise direction around a central island and where the entry traffic must yield to the circulating traffic. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) encourages implementing roundabouts as they have been proven to significantly improve safety and reduce traffic delays over traditional stop- or signal-controlled intersections. In tandem with the FHWA’s recommendation, the Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) has prioritized implementing roundabouts as alternatives to traditional intersections when possible.

Crash rates and severity of at least three years of data from before and after installation for the state’s first 10 modern roundabouts built at previous traditional stop-sign or signal-controlled intersections showed that fatal crashes were eliminated (two to zero) and major-injury crashes were also eliminated (four to zero). Additionally, moderate-injury crashes were reduced by 71 percent (seven to two) and minor-injury crashes by 25 percent (16 to 12) as well as the total number of crashes which dropped by 16 percent (63 to 53).

National studies have shown that modern roundabouts reduce fatal crashes by up to 90 percent and result in a 75 percent reduction in injury-causing crashes. Modern roundabouts also improve pedestrian safety by allowing people to cross shorter distances with slower moving one-way traffic.

Modern roundabouts have been being built in the United States for less than 30 years and in Pennsylvania for less than 15 years. In Pennsylvania, there are currently 32 completed roundabouts, 20 under construction and at least 10 more expected to go to construction over the next two years. To learn more about roundabouts, visit www.penndot.gov and enter “roundabouts” in the search bar.

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Set your bookmark right now, because this is a website you'll want to return to regularly. We will be posting news, pictures, last minute stories, events listings and much more to keep you informed about what's happening in and around our western edge of the Pocono Plateau. Watch for PDF postings of The Journal-Herald, The Journal of the Pocono Plateau, and The Journal of Penn-Kidder.

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