Anthony Kurley – October 2020 Student-of-the-Month

Despite the restrictions necessitated by teh COVID-19 pandemic, the Club is continuing several of its service programs, including its Student-of-the-Month award to an outstanding student from Maple Point Middle School.  As these awards cannot be give out in front of the membership at-large at an in-person dinner meeting, presentations are currently being made at the students' homes.

The Club is delighted to recognize Anthony Kurley as ist October 2020 recipient.

Club Secretary Lou Hatfield makes a presentation to Anthony

In his own words, Anthony told us about himself; "My name is Anthony Kurley, and I am an 8th grader at Maple Point Middle School.  First,  I would like to thank the Maple Point Guidance Department for selecting me as student of the month.  I would also like to thank you, the Rotary Club of Shady Brook. I am very honored to have received the $100 scholarship.

As you would like to know, in school my favorite subjects are math and science. I’ve always been pretty good and smart at math.  I am in an advanced math class at Maple Point. For science,  I’ve always enjoyed learning and doing science experiments.  I think science is the subject that interests me the most.

Next, I’ve enjoyed participating in numerous service projects.  I am in the Student Council at Maple Point, and with them I participated in a food drive to help those in need during Thanksgiving.  I went around collecting food from the classrooms, and I eventually sorted out all of the food at the end of the collection.  Another service project I did was, with my baseball team.  I taught the kids at the Woods School how to play baseball. I spent the whole day teaching them, and hanging out with them.  They seemed to really enjoy it when we came. 

Finally, my future goals and plans are to play baseball in high school and college.  I’ve played baseball my entire life, and want to play it for as long as I can. I also want to go to a well known college to study business and science.  I’ve always been interested in business and how to run and create a business.  Like I said, science is my favorite subject, and I’ve always been interested in it. Those are the two areas that I would most likely want to work in. 

Once again, I would like to thank the Maple Point Guidance Department for nominating me and the Rotary Club of Shady Brook for the $100 scholarship."

Anthony with his brother Vincent and parents Jodie and Mark

Peggy Walsh with the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition Spoke to the Club

We were fortunate to have Peggy Walsh

With the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition (,

a non-partisan coalition of Bucks County individuals and non-profit organizations that serve women and families. We educate and advocate together to promote gender equity and economic security for all speak to us this morning.

Peggy retired from Council Rock High School where she was the District Secondary English Coordinator and English teacher.

She is the mother of two grown children and grandmother of three children and lives in Morrisville with her husband Michael.

When Peggy retired 7 years ago, she joined Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition where she volunteered to be the gun safety advocate, charged with tracking legislation that would foster safety for all citizens, but particularly for women and families in Bucks County.  Peggy writes guest opinions for the coalition, gives various presentations, serves as the BCWAC’s representative on a monthly call with Cease Fire’s PA4GVP (Pennsylvanian’s for Gun Violence Prevention) state-wide coalition.  These 7 years have been a steep learning curve for an English teacher who has never owned or fired a gun. 

The Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition (BCWAC) was organized in 2008 as an advocacy and education project of the Bucks County Women’s Fund, the Coalition was designated a 501(c)(4) charitable organization in 2015.  It currently has more than 300 individual partners and 47 organizational partners are partnering to speak with one voice about the systemic public and private reforms needed to foster economic security of Bucks County women and their families.

The BCWAC has ten basic principles which guides its mission.

  • Principle 1: Women must have safe, secure housing
  • Principle 2: Women must have access to nutritious food and reliable transportation
  • Principle 3: Women must have access to comprehensive integrated services when needed
  • Principle 4: When assistance is needed, it will be provided in a manner that enables women to be as independent as possible and to achieve their full capacity in the economy
  • Jobs and Education
  • Principle 5: Women must have educational opportunities to achieve financial literacy
  • Principle 6: Women must have an adequate supply of employment opportunities which pay family-sustaining wages
  • Principle 7: Women must have access to high quality, affordable child care (including early care and education), eldercare, assistance to disabled individuals and caregiver support
  • Principle 8: Women must have workplace training and development needed for ongoing marketability and advancement
  • Principle 9: Women must have access to appropriate health care for all family members
  • Principle 10: Women must be free from predatory, exploitive, and abusive practices and

The main focus of her presentation centered around two pieces of gun-related legislation stalled in Harrisburg, HB 1747 which would prevent the Governor from suspending or limiting the sale, dispensing or transportation of firearms during a declared emergency.  It would also remove the carry prohibitions that exist with exemptions. and HB 2440 which would make the entire firearms industry, retailers, and shooting ranges life-sustaining businesses and protects them from arbitrary closure during a state of emergency — at a time when you need them the most.

The BCWAC supports a common-sense policy agenda that will dramatically reduce gun violence, an epidemic that claims the lives of about 1,600 Pennsylvanians every year.

Gun violence takes many forms across the Commonwealth: suicide (62%), homicide (35%), mass shootings, and unintentional shootings (3% between the final two categories).  And as surging gun sales in 2020 inject firearms into more volatile situations, it will only get worse.

First-time owners are up to 35 times more likely to commit suicide.  Partners subject to domestic violence are five times more likely to die when a gun is present. And in recent months, homicides have climbed rapidly in Philadelphia and other cities.  Different solutions are needed to address each part of this public health crisis, many of which have been proposed in previous legislative sessions. Based on significant research and an examination of gun violence in Pennsylvania, we believe the following common-sense policies are the best starting point:

  • Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) will reduce firearms suicides, mass shootings, domestic violence, and even community violence/homicides. This policy establishes a process in which family members can petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from a loved one in crisis without subjecting them to an involuntary mental-health commitment. Nineteen states–including Indiana, Florida and Colorado–have established these orders. Research conducted thus far has pointed to a clear decline in both suicides (13.7%) and mass shootings (13%). ERPO legislation has received wide-ranging support, including from the PA District Attorneys Association.
  • Closing the Private Sale Gap in Our Background Checks System would prevent violent felons and other potentially dangerous individuals from purchasing a long gun from a private/non-licensed seller. Keeping these weapons–which include military-style rifles, the weapon of choice for mass shootings–out of these individuals’ hands will prevent violent crimes and homicides, as well as mass shootings, where these types of firearms are often used. And a background check at the point of sale is the only surefire way to tell a “good guy with a gun” from “a bad guy with a gun.”
  • Lost or Stolen Gun Reporting would help prevent illegal firearms falling into the hands of people with violent intent. According to a recent study of Pittsburgh law enforcement, nearly a third of firearms recovered at crime scenes were said to have been stolen. This policy, which would require gun owners to report the loss or theft within three days of discovering the firearm is gone, would reduce community violence in our most beleaguered communities by requiring owners to act responsibly, and would give police a much-needed tracking tool to identify and investigate repeat “lost or stolen” offenders as potential neighborhood traffickers.

Peggy provided some statistics Statistics on Gun Violence in US (Everytown and PCADV)

  • 38,000+ deaths/year.  100 Americans killed by guns every day. 100,120 injuries.

2/3 suicides

  • US gun suicides 10 times higher than that of other high income country
  • Access to guns increases risks of death by suicide 10X
  • Suicides concentrated in states with high rates of gun ownership
  • First-time gun owners are up to 35 times more likely to commit suicide in the next Decade (CF)

2nd leading cause of death for teens /children. 1700 per year 

Domestic violence

  • Women in the US are 2X more likely to be killed by a gun that in any other developed country.


    An average of 52 American women are shot to death each month by an intimate partner.

    • 54% of mass shooters had a history of domestic or family violence.
    • Of 117 people killed as a result of domestic violence in PA, 78 were shot.
    • 92% of all women killed with guns in high-income countries in 2015 were from the U.S. Women in the U.S. are 21 times more likely to die by firearm homicide than women in other high-income countries.
    • When the COVID-19 pandemic began, firearm sales boomed by 45 percent and Domestic violence calls increased 25 percent (CF)

Polls show that the majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws.

  • Universal Background Checks      83% (PBS)
  • Red Flag or Extreme Risk Protection Laws (ERPO) 72% (PBS)

She also touched on the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision which ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home, and that the District of Columbia's Handgun ban and requirement that lawfully owned rifles and shotguns be kept "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock" violated this guarantee.

But Scalia also wrote something else in the Heller decision that the NRA didn’t applaud: “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”  He continued, that “like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” and that it is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” 

However, the BCWAC is not solely focused on gun-related issues.  Among the other causes they are championing are 

Election-related issues, specifically PA House Bill 2916 to allow pre-canvassing of mail-in ballots 10 days before Election Day.

and Pay Equity; The American Association of University Women has released the new pay equity numbers in The Fight for Pay Equity: A State Road Map for Pennsylvania. The numbers are from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2019.

The good news is that in general salaries increased. The median earnings for men in Pennsylvania increased from $53,269 to $55,221, an increase of 4%. Women’s median earnings went from $43,243 to $43,791, an increase of 1%. Unfortunately, income in Pennsylvania did not increase as much as other states or for women compared to men, which means Pennsylvania’s earnings ratio fell from 81% or 21st last year to 79% or 32nd this year out of all the states and the District of Columbia.

However, in the first congressional district we made some progress. Income for men increased 2.3% while income for women increased 5.2% over last year. That resulted in a pay gap of 80.1% compared to 77.7% last year. That also raised our status in the state from 11th out of the 18 Pennsylvania congressional districts last year to fifth this year.

The numbers for Pennsylvania are not broken down by race or ethnicity, but we know that the ratios for women of color are much worse. October 29 is Latina Women’s Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day when Latina women’s earnings “catch up” to non-Hispanic white men’s earnings from the previous year. According to the new national pay equity numbers, Latinas saw a small increase from 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, to 55 cents in 2019. That means it takes Latinas ten additional months in order to be paid what the average non-Hispanic white man took home by December 31, 2019.

While we do not have new numbers for Pennsylvania’ Latinas, we know that last year the pay gap was 57%. If the wage gap were eliminated a working Latina woman would have enough money on average to purchase 29.5 additional months of child care, 25.8 additional months of rent and 1.6 additional years of tuition and fees for a four-year public university.

President Bob Morris thanked Peggy for her informative presentation.

Frank Farry – Republican Candidate for the PA State House District 142 Seat

This morning we were honored to host Fraank Farry, the Republican candidate for the 142nd Pennsylvania State House seat.

Representative Frank Farry was first elected to serve the people of the 142nd Legislative District in 2008.

During the 2019-20 session, he has been appointed to serve on the House Consumer Affairs where he chairs the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Gaming Oversight, chairs the Committee On Ethics, along with the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, where he continues to chair the Sub-Committee on Security and Emergency Response Readiness. In addition, Frank serves as a House Republican Deputy Whip and chairman of the House Firefighters and Emergency Services Caucus.

Over the course of his legislative career, he has been successful in advancing legislation to designate cancer as an occupational disease for firefighters, offering protection to both career and volunteer firefighters who develop cancer as a result of their service. Farry has advanced legislation establishing the Safe2Say Program which provides methods of anonymous reporting concerning unsafe or potentially harmful criminal activities in schools or to individuals. He has also authored legislation to save taxpayer dollars by allowing counties that operate their own criminal laboratory to receive the money generated by the criminal laboratory user fee imposed on guilty defendants within that county. Additionally, he championed public safety measures to require carbon monoxide alarms in multi-family dwellings and prevent minors from the dangers of indoor tanning.

Farry has been recognized by medical organizations, child advocacy groups, drug and alcohol safety councils, and small business organizations for his advocacy efforts. He was received the James Baird Award from the Firemen’s Legislative Federation of Pennsylvania, which is presented to a legislator who has demonstrated outstanding support on behalf of Pennsylvania emergency services. Additionally, the Jesse W. Soby, American Legion Post No. 148 presented Farry with an award for his dedicated service to the community and state.

In addition to his professional endeavors, Farry is also very active in his community, serving as a volunteer firefighter with the Langhorne-Middletown Fire Company since June 1990 and as chief of the organization since January 2001. He currently serves on the board of trustees for Bucks County Community College, is a past board member of the Middletown Community Foundation and the Lower Bucks Chapter of the American Red Cross, past president of the Bucks County Consortium of Municipalities, and has served on numerous township and county boards and commissions.

Before being elected to serve the people of the 142nd District, Farry served as assistant township manager and director of community services for Middletown Township from October 2000 to June 2008. He also worked as a legal intern in the U.S. Department of Justice.

A lifelong resident of Bucks County, Farry is a graduate of Neshaminy High School. He received a bachelor of science in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a master of science in public policy from Rutgers University and a juris doctor from Rutgers University School of Law.

Farry currently resides in Langhorne with his wife and two children, where he is an attorney at the law firm of Begley, Carlin & Mandio.

On the issues …

In describing today's political landscape, he believes it is the most chaotic he’s ever seen and that voter opinions are hardened to the point most refuse to even listen to the “other” side. 

It does not support the “voting integrity panel legislation state Republicans are pushing in Harrisburg.

Frank mentioned that the first batch of requested Mail-in ballots were being mailed today (October 7th).

Middletown has not been immune from COVID-19, as he lost count when over 700 cases had been reported.  Sadly, he noted, that the pandemic is REAL and that two country fire department employees had died from the virus.

The challenges the public and government of the commonwealth has faced during the past eight months fall into three major categories:

  • The economy – which businesses should be opened and when.  One group hit hard and requested relief were the car dealerships.
  • Schools – again where and how to open them safely for in-person learning.
  • Unemployment – and the breakdown in the commonwealth’s payment system, still non-functioning and thus delaying badly needed payments to those out of work residents.

Too often, he bemoans, “Politics has won the day with respect to the pandemic” and it is “despicable!”

Frank discussed the legislation passed in December 2019 permitting mail-in balloting, while acknowledging its challenges and the mis-information being circulated about potential fraud, mostly coming from the Administration.

Frank mentioned he has sponsored or co-sponsored 27 bills which have been passed into law, including closing loopholes in Meagan’s Law, job-related care for fire fighters and defining COVID as a potential cause of such job-related infections.

He believes in wearing masks and believes they are a major source of protection from COVID-19 at least until vaccines are available.   He mentioned that Woods Services of Langhorne has stepped up to help make masks … from American-made textiles (which were a challenge to acquire).

As for reducing the size of the state legislature, he is not overly optimistic, although he voted in favor of such a move.  However, he is concerned that the advertised savings will not be anywhere near as large as some proponents have suggested.

Frank has worked with Fair Districts PA to eliminate the problems stemming from gerrymandering.  At the same time, he worries that political influence will continue to dominate the process.

With the exception of the most violent of crimes, he favors judicial discretion in sentencing. 

He thinks that having elected judges in “Nuts!”.  He would rather see the governor nominate judges which would then need to be approved by the State Senate.

Frank talked about the state’s backstop legislation to assist people in the event the U.S. Supreme Court rules the Affordable Care Act in unconstitutional, protecting those with pre-existing conditions.  When asked if the legislation would also prevent health insurance companies from reinstating lifetime caps on insurance, he did not recall but would find out and get back to us.  His office called to day and is looking into the matter.

Club president Bob Morris thanked Frank for his again joining our meeting.