Joe Donnelly, PA Department of Transportation, Update on the Scudder Bridge Project

The Club again met via Zoom

with 17 memebrs in attendance … some enjoying a second cup of coffee!

We were luck to have Joe Donnelly

from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation join us virtually and provide an update on the progress of the Scudder Bridge Replacement Project. 

The Delaware River Bridge Commission maintains some 20 bridges which cross the Delaware River.  Unfortunately for our forefathers wuring teh Revolution, none of them were availabllle so American forces had to navigate teh icy river in boats to attack the British at Trenton in 1776.

A high level overview of teh project:

Construction Schedule

Milestone/Activity Date/Status
Project Construction Start Spring 2017
Install temporary trestle upstream of the existing bridge Completed/fully removed
Construct upstream span of the new bridge Completed
Widening (to the inside) of the PA I-295 approach – from Exit 8 (old exit 49) to the bridge Upstream half completed/second phase now in progress
First span of new bridge open to traffic Opened overnight July 9, 2019
Start All-Electronic Tolling (PA-bound only) July 14, 2019
Second span of new bridge open to traffic Late 2021
Estimated Project Completion Early 2022

Joe share the following ore recent updates:

  • Beginning June 1st, fand or approzimately 3 weeks, the ramps from I-295 to and from Taylorsville Road will be closed as work will continue 24/7 to complete the new I-295 overpass and ramps comstruction.  Peopl ewill be detoured via PA Route 332 north to the Washignton Crossing or New Hope Route 202 bridges of south through Yardley to one of the several bridges to Trenton.
  • The Walkway and bike lane on the PA side of teh northern span should be open for sightseeing during this coming summer and teh NJ side in 2021.
  • The second, southern, bridge should be open by August 2021.
  • The entire project was budgeted ag more than $500 million, with $390 milion ofr the bridge construciton.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, theproject was shut down for a brief period before a waiver to begin work again was received.

The Club thanksed Joe for his time and wished that he could join us for a subsequent update at a future time.

Issues also duscussed inlcuded:

  • Club donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoms Society
  • Hope Lodge
  • William Dick School
  • The selection for our Neshaminy Student-of-the-Year scholarship and the logistics of making the notification to the student and "presentaiton" during the coroniaaaavirus shutdown.
  • Future fundraisersss, including a Virtual Walk, Major Raffle, Virtual Auction and Golf Outing; all of which could be planned and brought to fruiting over teh next 12-18 months.
  • Schdeuling and additional Zoom meeting on June 24th for the "changing of the guard" when Bob Morris will once again take th epresidential reins from current president Jeff Revak.  Other Officers, Board Members and Committee Charis will besworn in at th at time.
  • Alan recommended that as loong as virutal meetings are the norm, we plan on at least once a month having abusiness-only meeting.
  • A virtual Fundraising Committee meeting is also needed.
  • The Club agreed to pay for a one-yeaar subscription for Zoom so that longer and even additional virtual meetings can be scheduled during, and even after, the COVID-19 Rhelter-in-Place restirctions ar elifted.

 

Supporting the Bucks County Housing Group‘s Penndel Food Pantry

“Others have questioned if hunger exists in our country; I can tell you that hunger does exist in this country.  For many adults and children, going to sleep hungry is not a threat; it’s a regular occurrence.  And it must end.”

Former USDA Secretary Mike Espy

Despite the County, State and Nation having been in a lock-down and shelter-in-place modes for more than two months, the Rotary Club of Shady Brook has remained proactive in trying to help and support its neighbors in need.

In addition to its several donations through the Bucks County Vet’s Center to provide meals for the families of veterans who have fallen on challenging economic times and donating monies to Doylestown’s shelter for the victims of domestic Violence, A Woman’s Place, the Club has reached out and made a recent donation of $1,000 to the Penndel Food Pantry.

The Food Pantry, located at 349 Durham Road in Penndel, is dedicated to assisting those individuals and families struggling with food insecurity … particularly during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and the related largest number and percentage of Americans unemployed since the Great Depression.

Both Penndel’s Food Pantry and its sister food pantry in Doylestown are run by the Bucks County Housing Group located in Warminster.  Although housing for the homeless remains its primary focus, the non-profit today dedicates significant resources to these pantries in order to assist those facing daily challenges in feeding their families.

In normal times, the Food Pantry typically services approximately 30 families each day.  However, since the social and economic impacts of the coronavirus began earlier this year, this total has become unpredictable and can spike by a factor of two or three times.  It has also noticed more frequent visits by some families, particularly those with “at risk” members.

As with the homeless shelters they operate, their food pantries have been made safer for both staff and clients … practicing social distancing, the use of masks by all members of the staff and regular cleaning and disinfecting. 

The Bucks County Housing Group had is origins In the mid-1970s when a group of concerned community members noted that there was a growing number of homeless individuals in Bucks County.  Their first homeless shelter in Bucks County was opened in Penndel in 1979, at which point Bucks County Housing Group was incorporated to assist families and individuals on their journey from homelessness to permanent housing.   

Its mission remains to advance the interests of people with low-moderate income and people in crisis through the provision of affordable housing and related social services, and more recently including feeding people through its two food pantries.

Some sobering statistics:

  • 48% of all homeless persons in Bucks County are children or transition-aged youth below the age of 24.
  • 10% of all Bucks County residents are considered "food insecure".  In a county of roughly 630,000 individuals, that's 63,000 citizens living without adequate food. 
  • The number of homeless persons in Bucks County rose by 9% between 2015 and 2016.  
  • ​​The median rent of an apartment of any size in Bucks County in 2017 was $1,780 per month.  To put this into perspective, the median for the state of Pennsylvania is $1,395 per month.
  • In the month of June, 2016, there was one foreclosure for every 884 houses in Bucks County. This number is a more than 10% increase from 2015 at this time.
  • The average age of a homeless person is just 9 years old.  That's a child in only third or fourth grade.
  • The median price for a house in Bucks County in June of 2018 was $339,990.  
  • Roughly 50% of women and children who are homeless in the United States are escaping a situation of domestic abuse. 
  • About 40% of all homeless men are, or have served, in the armed forces.

The good news is that Bucks County Housing Group’s tirelessly efforts have produced some significant results:​

  • It is the largest provider of homeless services in Bucks County.
  • 100% of the families in our Family Permanent Supportive Housing Program achieved permanent housing stability in the fiscal year 2016.
  • Roughly 400 clients are served annually by our Housing Counseling program.
  • In the fiscal year 2016, 553,594 pounds of food were donated to our community food pantries. This equates to $952,000 of food.  
  • Its community food pantries used the donated food to serve 47,689 customers.
  • It impacts the lives of over 57,000​ individuals each year.

The Bucks County Housing Group also partners with two other recipients of the Rotary Club of Shady Brook support … A Woman’s Place and Philabundance.

If interested in supporting the Bucks County Housing Group’s food pantries, you can click on the donate button at its web site (www.bchg.org).

****************************

Just today, we received a letter of "Thanks"  … 

Dear Rotary of Shady Brook,

I hope you are well! Thank you so much for your donation during this time, and thank you for your interest in what we have been doing.

SIncerest thanks,

Nick Parsons

 

Supporting A Woman’s Place in Doylestown

The Rotary Club of Shady Brook, in partnership with the Villas of Shady Brook have been working together to raise awareness of and provide services to help the victims of domestic abuse … women, children and men.  In particular, both organizations have actively supported A Woman's Place, in Doylestown.

Its Vision
A Woman's Place envisions a society where all individuals are safe in their relationships and can flourish.

Its Mission
A Woman's Place is a community-based social change organization committed to the empowerment of women and to ending intimate and domestic violence for all.

Its Values
To accomplish our vision of a society where all individuals are safe and can flourish, the programs, services, and decision making at all levels of A Woman's Place are rooted in and guided by the following values:

CourageA Woman's Place acts bravely and boldly, notwithstanding fear.

CreativityA Woman's Place encourages the creation of meaningful new ideas, interpretations, and rules.

Equality:  A Woman's Place believes each and every one of us must collaborate to create a new society based in equal power and rights.

Integrity:  A Woman's Place is of sound moral character and adheres to ethical principles.

Respect:  A Woman's Place is considerate and honors the worth and dignity of all beings and resources.

Social Justice:  A Woman's Place analyzes structural social inequalities in order to promote justice.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, A Woman's Place remains open and ready to respond to the needs of those caught in a cycle of domestic abuse … within safety guidelines and without interruption.  It fully supports social distancing recommendations for the benefit of the community as a whole.  Those same values are why A Woman's Place continues to deliver its mission through our 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter,

Unfortunately, a May 21st fund raiser to be held at the Villas of Shady Brook and jointly sponsored and hosted by the Rotary Club of Shady Brrook and Villas of Shady Brook has necessarily been postponed as a result of COVID-19. 

However, recognizing the needs of A Woman's Place continue to grow the Rotary Club of Shady Brook recently made a $1,000 donation to the shelter.  

When medial circumstances permit, the fundraiser will be rescheduled to raise additional funds and donations of clothing and other essentials typically needed by those escaping domestic abuse in their homes.

If you would like to help the Rotary Club of Shady Brook in its support of A Woman’s Place, please mail your donation to A Woman’s Place, P.O. Box 299, Doylestown, PA 8901 and mark “RCSB’s Woman’s Place Drive”.

Your donation can change the life of the victim of domestic abuse

**********************************

The following is a letter of appreciation was received from A Woman's Place in response to a the Club's recent donation

 

The Club’s First Virtual Meeting

This morning, thanks in large part to Ira Sherman, our Club hosted its first virtual meeting … not bad for a group whose average age in the 70s and most of whom were born more than a decade before ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) … the first electronic general-purpose digital computer) was invented!

Among the fourteen members who "attended" … some who could get online via video

Ira Sherman

Alan Agree

Fred Edelman and Fran  (celebrating their second anniversary)

Art Issadore

Syd Baron

Dick Newbert, Jerry Redington annd Ed Carne not shown

and others who were video-challenged as they were using their cellphones.

Jeff Revak (Club president)

Irv Perlstein

Lou Hatfield

Augie Adrid

also attending but not shown, Mark Nath

The meeting began, as when physically together, with a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance  and Four Way Test.

Among the items disucssed were a letter of "Thanks" from the Bucks Vet's Center in Bristol.  In addition to the previous monies raised and donated, another $475 was donated as a result of Irv's Facebook initiatives. 

The monies were used to purchase additional gift certificates at Shop-RIte and provided to Jeff Hoeger, Director of the Bucks Vet's Center in Bristol.

In a letter to the Club;  "Good morning.  Thanks to the generosity of the Shady Brook Rotary Club, we were able to offer $50 Shop Rite gift cards to another six veterans and their families affected by COVID-19.  Your ongoing support of our veterans is greatly apprecaited, as always.  Thanks again for all you do.  Best,  Jeff"

Another major initiative will be to try to make contact with the guidance department at Neshaminy High School to enlist its assistance in distributing applicaitons of the Club's annual scholaarship given to a graduating senior.  It is hoped that once notified, interested students wil be able to apply online.

It was agreed to hold addiitonal virtual meetings every other Wednesday morning as long as the shelter-in-place restrictions are in effect.

 

 

 

Thanks to Longtime Supporter Denny Deflice

Since reporting on our fundraising efforts to support needy veterans through the Bucks Vets Center, a longtime supporter of our Club, Denny Felice

(Denny Felice Enterpises LLC – dba Heritage Homes Realty in Fallsington)

made a generous donation of $200 which will go towards purchaisng additional gift certificates for combat veterans who are facing challenging financial times through the Vet's Center.

Helping Veterans Displaced by COVID-19 Closings

The Club donated $250, together with a $75 private donation from Edith and Bill Schultz to Jeffrey Hoeger (LCDR-USNR Ret.), Director of teh Bucks County Vets Center in Bristol which were used to purchase thirteen $25 gift cards from Shop-Rite.

(l to r)  Irv Perlstien and Jeff Hoeger

These gift cards wrre then given to seven combat veterans who are currently unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic or experiencing financial hardship.

On behaalf of these veterans, Jeff extended his thanks to the Rotary Club of Shady Brook for its ongoing support; some "grateful and a few even tearful" for our Club's and its members' and friends's continued generosity.

Changes Due to the CoronaVirus Pandemic

Due to the Coronavirus, the Cub has canceled its weekly breakfast meetings and monthly dinner meetings until further notice.

It's monthly Students-of-the-Month awards will continue, but be presented in private ceremonies with the students and their parents.

Our anual Applebee's pancake breaakfast to raise monies in support of Angel Flight Northeast scheduled for March 28th has been rescheduled for October 24th, 2020.

While we plan on continuing our semi-annual dinners at Hope Lodge, although unless the Lodge's quarintine has been lifted by our next scheduled dinner, the meals willordered by us and delivered to the door by Amato's … one or two Club members will attend the delivery.

Future visists and interaction with the William Dick School are suspended until the school reopens and such visits are coordinated with the school and permitted under any future restrictions imposed by teh Philidelphia School Deparrtment.

Meanwhile, our members, many in the higher-risk age group, are taking precautions to prevent exposure to themselves, their familes, neighbors and others. 

We hope everyong knows how to most effectivelyprotect themselves and those around them.

Know How it Spreads

Illustration: woman sneezing on man

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Take steps to protect yourself

Illustration: washing hands with soap and water

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

 

Illustration: Woman quarantined to her home

Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

man in bed

Stay home if you’re sick

 

woman covering their mouth when coughing

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 

man wearing a mask

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

 

cleaning a counter

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Support for A Woman’s Place

Club members Fred Edelman and Dolly Sokol, together with representatives of the Villas of Shady Brook Barbara Bloomberg and Susan Tobin, are continuing their efforts to coordinate an information evening about and fundraiser for "A Woman's Place",

a safe and nurturing domestic violence organization located in Doylestown, Bucks County.  In addition to a shelter, 24-hour hotline, counseling, and other emergency first response services, we have an education department that reaches out to people of all ages and professions.

A Woman's Place began as a storefront, drop-in domestic violence counseling center in Sellersville. The first woman seeking safety came with her two children to the tiny, one-room shelter apartment on Christmas Eve 1976.  Since then, more than 2550 women, men, seniors and teens have had a compassionate ear and a skilled hand that helped them through physical and emotional abuse.

Memberss of the Shady Brook community, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Rotarians and other interested and concerned citizens can contact our Club (see list of Contacts on the Officers, Board Members and Activity Charis page of this website) for more information.  The event is scueduled for 7:00 PM on May 21st at the Villas of Shady Brook club house in Langhorne.

Andy Meehan, Republican Primary Candidate for US Congress Spoke to the Club Today

We were honored to be joined by Andy Meehan, Republican Candidate for US Congress, opposing incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick in the April 28th primary election.

A long-time local resident, Andy and his wife and two sons currently live in Holland. He grew up in NE Philly and has also resided in Bucks County for many years. He’s been a certified financial advisor for over 20 years. This is the first time Andy has run for office. He is running for Congress because he feels that Brian Fitzpatrick does not adequately support President Trump nor does he reflect “traditional American Republican” values.

Andy is a proponent of much smaller government and greater fiscal responsibility and accountability. He said that the first thing he would do if elected to Congress is to propose a ball that would prevent anyone who is biologically a male from participating in women’s sports teams in areas such as their locker rooms and changing areas. There is currently an Equality Act proposal, which his opponent Brian Fitzpatrick supports, which would allow transgender females (biologically male) to participate on female team, including their changing areas. Club members asked him questions related to his proposal, some were supportive of it while others supported completely equal treatment regardless of biological gender.

If elected, Andy has committed to suppprting Preisdent Trump (if reelected), vote for "Republican" values, support civil rights, vote to fund the southern border wall, support legal immigration, vote for lower and fewer taxes and less governmental regulation; wants to repeal and replace Obamacare, protect women's rights while defunding Planned Parenthood, oppose sanctuary cities, support equal justice for all, wants free and open candidate debates and open town hall meetings.

Club president Jeff Revak and Andy Meehan

Like our speaker last week, Andy needs a petition signed by 1,000 resident Republicans to qualify for the ballot on the April 28th election.  Andy received a round of applause for his presentation and stayed afterwards to collect signatures.  

 

 

Speaking to the American Legion Jesse Soby Post 148

Last Friday, Club Member Irv Perlstein spoke to members of the Jesse Soby American Legion Post 148

about our Rotary Club, the many initiatives it supports and the Club;s long-standing relationship with the Post.  For several years, Jesse Soby has provided a conduit to distribute the Gift Certificates purchased during the run-up to Thanksgiving and Christmas to provide holiday meals for area veterans who have fallen on challenging econoic times and their families.  Members of the Post have also supported participated in the Club's charity golf outings.

Both Irv and Post Commander Bob Osterhout reinforced their mutual appreciationfor  and and benefits accuring from the relationship between their organizaitons.