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PRIMARILY FREE EVENTS AND TRAININGS
IMPACTING AREA INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES

Week of February 21, 2016
Helping to Bridge the Gap Between the Wealth of Available Resources
and the Poverty Associated With People Not Knowing About Them
_________________________________________________________________
In an attempt to aid reader searches, new items added each week are highlighting in
yellow. As always, we are interested in receiving feedback in regard to how we might
improve our publications, content and convenience of use.
E-Update periodically reports ways in which subscribers use our publications to aid their
families or organizations. If you have a short description that might be helpful to others
and their uses, we would like to hear about them. Please forward two or three sentences
that provide specific uses of benefit to bps461@msn.com.
_________________________________________________________________
Activities are subject to change without notice; participants are encouraged
to use contact information to confirm times and dates.
To unsubscribe, please send a message to bps461@msn.com
with the word Unsubcribe in the Subject line.

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©2009-2016 Casey Jones, Transformation Initiative for Building Healthy Communities
Through Healthy Families. Permission is granted to reproduce for personal or noncommercial uses only.

Sections Available in the attached Calendar of Events:
• UPDATED THIS WEEK: Special Activities: Upcoming primarily free activities
listed by day over the next several months.
• Ongoing Scheduled Activities: Primarily free activities held regularly each week
or month.
• Area Ministries for Those Who are Struggling. GriefShare, DivorceCare,
Celebrate Recovery, Mending Hearts.
• Day Trip Destination Sites: Free admission sites for individual and family outings.
• E-Update ResourcesTM: Accompanying Information About Services, Including
Employment Resources, for Individuals and Families.
UPDATED THIS WEEK: Calendar of Events - Please Submit Additions Today
Upcoming Activities – The following items are detailed in the accompanying Calendar of
Events and are in addition to those described within this E-Update. They will be occurring
during the current two-week period or are newly listed as part of the longer term Calendar.
These activities are provided for both personal use and printing out and sharing with others
through suggested posting on public and employee bulletin boards, hard copies or e-mail.

Updated: This Week’s Calendar of Events Activities (Found in Calendar of Events)
• Dare to Be the Best Fatherhood Initiative – Pottstown.
• Engineering of Art Exhibit – Malvern.
• Biweekly Cancer Survivors Well-Being Activity – Pottstown.
• Personal Finance Classes – Pottstown and Norristown.
• American Revolution History Events – King of Prussia (Valley Forge).
• PA CareerLink and Job Search Services – Area Counties.
• Winter Reading and Children Programs – Area Libraries.
• Look Good Feel Better for Women – Multiple Locations.
• Adult Mental Health First Aid Training – West Chester.
• Community Café Luncheon – West Grove.
• Elder Law Presentation – Berwyn.
• How to Get Your Business Online Workshop – Pottstown.
• Social Media Networks for Small Businesses and Nonprofits Workshop – Royersford.
• College to Career Fair – Downingtown.
• Strategic Civic Engagement in Higher Education Presentation – Exton.
• King of Prussia Railroads Presentation – Berwyn.
• Pennsylvania Rep. Kampf’s Town Hall Meeting – Berwyn.
• Eating for Energy Lunchtime Presentation – West Chester (East Goshen Township).
• Home Funerals Presentation – Phoenixville.
• Embraceable You Stage Production – New Holland.

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Updated: Next Week’s Calendar of Events Activities (Found in Calendar of Events)
• Dare to Be the Best Fatherhood Initiative – Pottstown.
• Engineering of Art Exhibit – Malvern.
• Biweekly Cancer Survivors Well-Being Activity – Pottstown.
• Personal Finance Classes – Pottstown and Norristown.
• American Revolution History Events – King of Prussia (Valley Forge).
• PA CareerLink and Job Search Services – Area Counties.
• Winter Reading and Children Programs – Area Libraries.
• Look Good Feel Better for Women – Multiple Locations.
• Route 30 Multimodal Transportation Study Forum – Coatesville (Wagontown).
• Independent Publishing Presentation – Phoenixville.
• Heart Failure and Strokes Prevention Presentation – Phoenixville.
• Natural Horsemanship Presentation – Chester Springs (Ludwigs Corner).
• Economics of the Valley Forge Encampment Presentation – King of Prussia (Valley
Forge).
• Intersteller Sprace Travel Presentation – Exton.
• Road to Macy’s Documentary Showing – West Chester.
• Family and Home Expo – Pottstown.
• Resolution Hike – Nottingham.
• 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment Living History Day – King of Prussia (Valley Forge).
• Join the Continental Army for Kids – King of Prussia (Valley Forge).
• Grief Awareness Workshop – Coatesville.
New:










Future Weeks Events and Activities (View in Calendar of Events)
Pennsylvania Military Academy Presentation – Exton.
Evolution of Earth Day Presentation – Exton.
Controversial Presidential Elections in American History Presentation – Exton.
Mount Vernon During the Revoluntionary War Presentation – King of Prussia (Valley
Forge).
Rowanda Genocide and Re-Birth Presentation – Exton.
Single Mothers Conference – West Chester.
The Battle of the Brandywine – A Tragedy of Errors Presentation – Exton.
Rep. Milne Shredding, Recycling and Prescription Drug Take Back Day – Malvern.
National Unused Prescription Drug Take Back Day – Various Locations.
Sheep and Wool Day – Glenmoore.
Reporting the Revolutionary War Presentation – King of Prussia (Valley Forge).

Activities Submission - Organizations are encouraged to submit information about ongoing services and activities, along with special events, as soon as possible after establishing a
date to maximize publicity and to help individuals and other organizations with planning
processes for their own events.
Formats for submission should be similar to and include all information as that shown on the
current, accompanying Calendar of Events. Further information about submissions appears
at the end of this E-Update and the Calendar. Information should be submitted to
bps461@msn.com. Don't let your important activity be left unknown.

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NEW THIS WEEK: Rep. Milne to Host Prescription Drug Take Back and Recycling –
Saturday, April 30
Pennsylvania Rep. Duane Milne will host his
annual Shredding, Recycling and Prescription
Drug Take Back Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in
the Penn State Great Valley Parking Lot, 30 East
Swedesford Road, Malvern.
The event, which traditionally has resulted in the highest collection of unused prescription
drugs in the area during the biannual Drug Enforcement Administration’s nationallypromoted activity, also will include document shredding and small electronics and items
recycling.
Improper appropriation of unused prescription drugs from home medicine cabinets has been
identified as a leading cause of teenage and adult migration to heroin use in the Philadelphia
area and other parts of the country. Flushing of medicines has resulted in measurable
amounts being found in municipal water supplies.
Law enforcement officials coordinate Take Back activities at police departments,
supermarkets, drug stores and other locations that schedule the event from 10 a.m. to
2 p.m., with further information, including a searchable database of national locations
available starting Friday, April 1, at
www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan recently reported that nearly two tons of
unused prescription drugs were collected last year through year-around secure drop boxes
at 19 county locations.
He reported 57 overdose deaths in 2015, with 42 involving prescription drugs.
Nationwide, more people are dying from prescription drug overdoses than from overdoses of
any and all illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines, he said.
A searchable database of Pennsylvania drop box locations, including hours of collection, is
available at https://apps.ddap.pa.gov/GetHelpNow/PillDrop.aspx.
Additional information for the Milne event is available at
www.duanemilne.com/Display/SiteFiles/92/OtherDocuments/Milne%20Recylcing%20flyer%
202%2016%2016.pdf, dmilne@pahousegop.com or (610) 251-1070.

NEW LAST WEEK: Chester County Commissioners Continue Cold Shoulder Toward
Fixing Public Emergency Alert Deficiencies
Chester County Commissioners this month continued to ignore deficiencies in its public
emergency alert system and procedures.
Commissioners listened to a short report at its meeting on February 9 from Casey Jones,
editor of this E-Update, on alerting deficiencies that occurred for as long as nearly four
hours during January’s blizzard, motioned him to speed up his three-minute presentation,
and then adjourned with no comment.
Jones has made similar reports on numerous occasions to Commissioners for more than
three years and to the Department of Emergency Services starting more than five years ago

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as to what he has termed “erratic, sporadic and, therefore, unreliable” emergency alerting
processes to the public.
He said in his latest presentation that county operating procedures for public notifications
are “boiler plate”; the County isn’t recognizing the impact of National Weather Service
division of the County into two reporting sectors, with individuals on opposite sides of
Route 30, for example, sometimes receiving two different types of notifications, if delivered;
and individuals on the county’s “Preferred List” often receiving notifications of conditions
much sooner than the rest of the population that sometimes receive them through the
County’s emergency alert system.
He says the County’s actions, and inactions in addressing the issues, put its half million
residents, along with more than 80,000 individuals traveling into and out of the county for
work, shopping and other business, at risk.
In prior situations, Jones has reported the County to have been hours late in issuing flood
warnings, and is relying primarily on technology, without human oversight, even when
directly advised of errors in reporting and system breakdowns.
Jones has alleged, based on volunteer efforts through his Transformation Initiative and
Transformation Initiative – Emergency Preparedness Facebook pages, that the county
system can achieve major improvements “overnight” with little effort or increased costs but
it first has to come out of denial as to deficiencies.
County officials previously have said there is no intent to change its current practices.

UPDATED LAST WEEK: Weather Information Now Entirely on Separate Page
This week we have moved our emergency preparedness reporting for Chester and adjoining
counties from our Transformation Initiative Facebook Page to our companion Transformation
Initiative - Emergency Preparedness Page. This will include weather alerts such as
Warnings, Watches, Advisories, and general and specific preparedness information.
To help ensure continuation of weather information in your Facebook News Feed and
Timeline, go to that Page and "Like" and "Follow" in the dropdown menu next to "Like" to
reflect your own particular needs

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In providing the most comprehensive multi-jurisdiction reports for Chester and adjoining
counties, we are finding during major incidents such as last month's Winter Storm Jonas
and the just concluded flooding situation that the amount of weather information is
overwhelming the Transformation Initiative Page, with important individual and familyrelated information being submerged.
Those who have been with us for the last two years will remember that we started weather
reporting due to erratic, sporadic and unreliable information from Chester County,
something that we have document often as continuing today. We tried the changover once
before but it didn't catch on so we reverted back to a single page. However, as our
Transformation Initiative site has grown it has become evident that we need to split the
content.
We hope you will follow both Pages for the most comprehensive reporting of their types in
Chester, Lancaster, Berks, Montgomery and Delaware counties and beyond and apologize
for any inconvenience this may cause.
Again, please go to the Transformation Initiative - Emergency Preparedness site at
www.facebook.com/TransformationInitiative.EmergencyPreparedness and "Like" and
"Follow" to avoid information interruption. “Like” and “Follow” at
www.facebook.com/TransformationIni for regular individual and family-related news,
resources and events.
As always, if you should have any thoughts in regard to how we might improve either Page,
please let us know by dropping an e-mail to bps461@msn.com.

NEW LAST WEEK: New State Legislative District Resource Guide Published
Pennsylvania Rep. Chris Ross has published a new Resource Guide for his 158th District in
Chester County.
The 52-page document includes a wide variety of information on organizations and services
in and serving the District that includes East Bradford, East Marlborough, London Britain,
New Garden, Newlin, West Bradford, West Goshen Middle and South Precincts, and West
Marlborough Townships, along with Avondale Borough.
The guide is available online at
www.repross.com/Display/Display/SiteFiles/86/OtherDocuments/2016ResidentsGuide2-316.pdf with a few hardcopies available for those without online access through his district
office at 692 Unionville Road, Kennett Square, or (610) 925-0555.

Community Behavioral Health Clinic Forums Scheduled –Including Wednesday,
February 24
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) will hold a communications forum from
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. February 24, in Building 33, Norristown State Hospital, 1001 Sterigere
Street, Norristown, to obtain provider input in regard to creation of Certified Community
Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC). Additional forums are scheduled for Friday,
February 12, in Harrisburg and Tuesday, February 16, in Harrisburg.
A Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant will allow
DHS to determine how CCBHCs fit into system redesign efforts, along with supporting

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efforts to improve the behavioral health of Pennsylvanians by providing community-based
mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
The clinics will serve adults with serious mental illnesses, children with severe emotional
disturbances, and individuals with substance use disorders, providing intensive, personcentered, multidisciplinary, evidence-based screen, assessment, diagnostics, treatment,
prevention, and wellness services.
Further information and requested registration is available at
www.paproviders.org/tag/ccbhc-communication-forum, info@paproviders.org or (717) 3643280.

Free Local Income Tax Preparation Now Available, Along with Preparation Software – Through
Friday, April 15
Free income tax preparation sites throughout the region are
providing income tax preparation services for individuals who
generally make $54,000 or less annually, persons with
disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers
who need assistance in preparing their own returns.
In addition, the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also is providing free tax preparation
software to aid individuals having less than $62,000 in 2015 income.
The free services take particular note of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that provides
up to $6,269 to an individual or couple with three or more qualifying children and earning
less than $53,506, all based on a sliding scale.
The IRS estimates that one out of five individuals who have earned money during a year
and qualify for the benefit, which can be more than that paid in taxes, fail to file for it.
Further information on the ETIC is available at www.irs.gov/Credits-&Deductions/Individuals/Earned-Income-Tax-Credit/EITC-Income-Limits-Maximum-CreditAmounts-Next-Year.
Information and searchable databases for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax
Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) preparers are available at www.irs.gov/Individuals/FreeTax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers.
Information on Free File software is available at www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-YourFederal-Taxes-for-Free.

Pottstown Rotating Shelter is Open – Through April
Ministries at Main Street Pottstown shelter for the homeless is open at different community
churches for the winter.
Intakes will be processed, starting at noon weekdays, at Trinity Reformed United Church of
Christ (UCC) at 60 North Hanover Street. Sheltered individuals then will be transported to
St. James Lutheran Church, 1101 East High Street, during November; Christ Episcopal
Church, 316 East High Street, in December; St. John’s UCC in January; remain at Trinity
Reformed in February; St. Paul’s UCC, 927 North Franklin Street in March; and First United
Methodist Church, 414 East High Street, in April.

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Further information is available at www.ministriesatmainstreet.org/calendar.html or (610)
970-2444.

LIHEAP Heating Assistance Re-Opens – Through Spring
Pennsylvania Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
(LIHEAP) has re-opened for the winter season.
Eligible individuals, both renters and homeowners, can receive
funds paid directly to home energy providers to assist with winter
fuel costs.
In addition, a crisis program provides funds for broken heating equipment, lack of fuel or in
danger of being without fuel or utilities, or repair of a primary or secondary heating source.
Being on public assistance or having an unpaid bill aren’t requirements of the program.
Further information on LIHEAP and other assistance programs and application methods are
available at www.dhs.state.pa.us/foradults/heatingassistanceliheap or County Human
Services offices.

UPDATED THIS WEEK: Community Organization Networking Connection Meetings (Regular
Meeting Dates are Subject to Change)
Phoenixville Area Resource Network (PARN) meets from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the fourth
Tuesday of the month, except December, at the First United Methodist Church (north
entrance), 865 South Main Street, Phoenixville. Representatives of community organizations
exchange information about current and upcoming activities and hear presentations from
various services providers. On February 23, Home Instead and Women, Infants and
Children (WIC) will present. Additional information about the group is available from Debbie
Dundon at Open Hearth, Spring City, at debbie.openhearth@verizon.net or (610) 792-9282
x201.
Chester County Faith Community Health Ministry Network meets from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., on
the first Thursday of each month, from September through June to exchange information on
promotion of holistic health within faith congregations and communities and to develop
additional faith community nurses, also known as parish nurses. Further information is
available from Joan Holliday at dochollisv@aol.com or (610) 717-2180.
Area Bridging the Community meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesdays of January, March,
May, July, September and November at various community locations with any interested
individual or organization welcome to attend and share information on resources and needs
that can build "bridges" toward a more integrated Kennett area community. On March 9, the
meeting will be at Kaolin Mushroom/South Mill, 649 South Street, Kennett Square.
Additional information is available from Joan Holliday at dochollisv@aol.com or (610) 7172180. Minutes from prior meetings are available at
www.bridgingcommunity.com/bridging.php.
Coatesville Area Resource Network (CARN) meets from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the third
Wednesday of the month, except August and December, in the fourth floor conference room
at Brandywine Health Center at 744 East Lincoln Highway, Coatesville. Representatives of
community organizations hear presentations from various services providers, discuss ways
to develop effective systems of care, help identify solutions to specific issues, and exchange

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information about current and upcoming activities. Further information is available from
Kathryn Spurlock at ccch@comcast.net or at (610) 380-7111 x16.
Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Counties LINK to Aging and Disability Resources meets
from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at various Lancaster area
locations, and from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on the third Tuesdays of the month at various
locations in Berks County for services cross-trainings and exchange of information on
creating a one-stop, no-wrong-door resources for older adults and adults with disabilities,
including consumers, family members and others, seeking information about local
resources. On March 17, it will meet at the Denver Borough Municipal Building, 501 Main
Street, for presentations by Geriatric & Dementia Care Consulting on Dementia is
Everywhere, Good Communication is Essential and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Blindness
and Visual Services. Further information is available at
http://berkslancasterlebanonlink.org, or from Brian Long, coordinator, at blllink@mail.com
or (717) 380-9714.
Chester County Family and Community Partnership meets from 10 a.m. to noon on the first
Friday of February, April, June, August, October and December at various locations. The
group is a diverse partnership of individuals, families, community organizations, service
agencies, businesses and funders committed to empowering individuals and families in
living self-sufficient, productive and fulfilling lives. Additional information is available from
Kathy Brauner at kbrauner@chesco.org or (610) 344-5262.

Communities That Care (CTC) groups in several Chester County school districts provide
networking opportunities for community organizations and individuals that use a planning
and mobilization model to promote healthy youth development and prevent and reduce
negative youth health and behavior issues that may include substance abuse, delinquency,
teen pregnancy, school drop-out, and violence.

West Chester CTC meets from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the second Thursday of each
month of the school year at the West Chester Area School District Spellman
Administrative Building, 829 Paoli Pike, West Chester. Lunch is provided by reserving at
rsvp@wcctc.org or (610) 359-5817.

Downingtown Area CTC meets from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of the
month from September through May. Further information and registration available at
dtownctc@umly.org or (610) 458-9090 x2827.

Coatesville CTC Community Prevention Board, a body coterminous with the Coatesville
Youth Initiative Steering Committee, meets periodically in the fourth floor Community
Room, Brandywine Health Foundation, 744 East Lincoln Highway, Coatesville. Further
information and requested lunch reservations are available from Jarvis Berry, CTC
community mobilizer, at Jarvis@coatesvilleyouthinitiative.org or (610) 380-0200.

UPDATED THIS WEEK: Support Groups for Unemployed and Underemployed Ongoing
Several networking/support groups (open to everyone) are available at area churches for
persons who are unemployed or unemployed, with each providing its own variety of specific
services in support of those who attend:

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Downingtown (Lionville/Exton) – Job-Seeker Group at Calvary Fellowship Church,
95 West Devon Drive (rear entrance) at Route 113 in Exton (Lionville) is named after
the Biblical disciple known as the Son of Encouragement. Weekly sessions are part
of the church’s Care Monday, that includes a prayer group that meets at the same
time in the Prayer Lobby (Portico Entrance), with intercession for those attending the
Barnabas Group and the church’s other Care Ministries, including DivorceCare for
those coping with separation or divorce, even years later; Mending Hearts for those
with prodigal children and other family members; and various offerings focused on
assistance in healing and coping. Further information on Job-Seeker Group activities
is available at barnabasgroup@cfdownington.com or (610) 363-7171.

Malvern – Penn State Great Valley’s Alumni Association and My Career Transitions
(MCT), an all-volunteer job counseling group, meets from 9:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
the second Saturday of the month, except August and December, in 130 Main
Building, Penn State Great Valley, 30 East Swedesford Road, Malvern, preceded by a
new member orientation at 8:30 a.m. On March 12, Cheryl Bonner, director of
alumni career services, will discuss Stand Out in the Crowd! Show Value to Potential
Employers! Further information and required registration are available at
http://mycareertransitions.com/new/?q=upcoming-meetings. Further information
and required registration are available at
http://mycareertransitions.com/new/?q=upcoming-meetings.

Wayne – A one-on-one Employment Guidance Ministry, along with periodic special
employment related events to aid jobseekers is available at St. David’s Episcopal
Church, 763 South Valley Forge Road, Malvern. Further information is available from
George Vosburgh at gbvosburgh@aol.com or (610) 688-7947.

West Chester – Unemployment support group meets bi-weekly from 5:45 p.m. to
7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 130 West Miner Street, West Chester, to
learn tips and techniques related to job searches. Further information is available
from Elisabeth Hartwell at ehartwell@firstpreswc.com, at (610) 696-0554.

West Chester –BarnabasWC group meets from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Mondays,
except holidays, in the Community Room, Providence Church, 430 Hannum Avenue,
West Chester. Further information is available at www.barnabaswc.org or
info@barnabaswc.org.

Six Area Affiliates of Joseph's People meet during the month:
Berwyn/Main Line - 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays at the
Hagenbach Room, St. Monica’s Church, 635 First Avenue. Further information is
available from Bob Schubert at bobschubertjr@aim.com or (610) 755-2398.
Central Delco – Groups at three locations in Central Delaware County now
coordinate meetings in Media and Upper Darby at 7 p.m. on the first three Tuesdays
of the month. First Tuesday: St. Francis Room at St. Mary Magdalen Church,
2400 North Providence Road, Media, with further information at
smmemploy@gmail.com or (610) 873-7117. On March 1, Lisa Verzella, an account
executive with Monarch Staffing, will provide Resume Writing tips. Second
Tuesday: St. Laurence Church, 8245 West Chester Pike - St. Laurence Road
Entrance, Upper Darby, with further information at smmemploy@gmail.com or (610)
873-7117. On March 8, human resource professionals will provide a Resume
Review Roundtable. Third Tuesday: Hassler Chapel, Media Presbyterian Church,
30 East Baltimore Pike, Media, with further information at robinst37@gmail.com. On

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March 15, career coach Karen Huller of Epic Careering, will discuss Is It Time to Hire
a Career Coach?
Downingtown -- 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays, in the
Parish Meeting Room – Rear of the School Property, St. Joseph's Parish, 338 Manor
Avenue (Route 322). Information about the affiliate is available by leaving a
message at (610) 873-7117. On March 22, job coach Amy Dinning, re-scheduled
from February due to weather will discuss The Power of Connecting. Further
information and required registration for limited seating are available at
www.josephspeople.org/retreat.
Upper Uwchlan Township – 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays at the School
Education Center, St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, 100 Fellowship Road, Chester
Springs. Further information is available at (610) 321-1200 or at
david.bolz@verizon.net.
Reading – 7 p.m. to 8:30 pm. on the first and third Wednesdays at St Catharine's of
Siena Parish Center. 2427 Perkiomen Avenue, Reading. Further information is
available from John Senick, facilitator, at (610) 779-4005.
West Grove – 6:45 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month in the new Parish
Life Center, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 300 State Road, West
Grove. On February 24, Bob Moran, change management manager at WAWA
stores, will discuss Gotta Havva Change and the role change management has in the
job search process. Also, local accountant Henry Jarusik will provide tax tips for job
seekers, including expenses from a job search that are tax deductible. Further
information is available from John Colgan at johnfcolgan@gmail.com.
Additional information on all St. Joseph’s People chapters is available at
www.josephspeople.org.

Free Job Assistance Workshops and Job Opening Report - February
Unemployed and underemployed persons seeking education and training in career planning,
along with employment assistance for veterans, ex-offenders and persons with disabilities,
can take advantage of a broad series of services and monthly workshops offered by the
Pennsylvania Department of Labor CareerLink at its Exton offices in Suite 500, 479 Thomas
Jones Way in the Oaklands Corporate Center.
These trainings include an orientation presentation as to services PA CareerLink has to offer.
A calendar of PA CareerLink-Chester County workshops for the current month is available at
www.workshop.pacareerlinkchesco.org/calendar.
The February Job Openings Report is available at http://pachestercounty2.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/32322, with daily job opening updates
are available through www.cwds.state.pa.us.
Websites for additional county PA CareerLink offices in the area, at which many services are
available to out-of-county residents, include:
Berks: www.co.berks.pa.us/Dept/CareerLink/Pages/default.aspx
Delaware: www.delcoworks.org

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Lancaster: www.jobs4lancaster.com
Montgomery: www.montcopa.org/index.aspx?NID=1024

Free Mobile Job Lab Debuts
A new monthly Mobile Job Lab will be held from
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. the first Monday of each month in
Room 114 at the University Center, 95 South
Hanover Street, Pottstown.
Montgomery County Community College’s University
Center, its Career Services and TriCounty
Community Network (TCN) will host the activity the first Monday of each month, with
attendees being able to search for jobs and obtain resume writing and other job-seeker and
career support services. Representatives of the University Center’s college and university
partners also will be available to discuss admission processes.
Further information is available at
http://calendar.mc3.edu/EventList.aspx?fromdate=2%2F1%2F2016&todate=2%2F29%2F2
016&display=Month&type=public&eventidn=12720&view=EventDetails&information_id=195
32 or (610) 850-0181, with additional information on the University Center at
www.mc3.edu/universitycenter.

Free Online Training Available for Health Care Professionals Aiding Veterans
Health care professionals now have a free online course developed by the federal
Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DoD) to help serve veterans and service
members.
The eight-hour Military Culture: Core Competencies for Health Care Professionals training
covers a variety of topics through interactive features, video vignettes, case examples and
treatment planning scenarios.
Each of the four modules within the course was developed using research, surveys and
extensive interviews with service members and veterans.
Information and registration for the training, along with other military culture-related
materials, are available at www.deploymentpsych.org/Military-Culture.

Over 500 Continuing Education Courses Now Available Online
Pottstown Regional Public Library now is offering over 500 online continuing education
courses for the price of a free library card.
A wide variety of offerings for professionals and others, including job-seekers, business
owners and housewives, including topics such as business, office skills, web development,
arts and photography, alternative medicine, crafts, pet and animal care, home and garden,
teacher tools, writing help, self-help, and homeschooling, according to reports.
Further information is available at www.sanatogapost.com/2015/11/21/library-offerscontinuing-education-courses or the library at 500 East High Street, Pottstown, or (610)
970-6551.

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Zika Virus Now Being Linked in Pennsylvania
Zika virus travel health alert for pregnant women and others now are being linked to
Pennsylvania.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel alerts,
particularly for pregnant women who may be susceptible to babies with birth defects and

poor

pregnancy outcomes.
Reports of Pennsylvanians who have traveled being tested
and one of the mosquito species that carry the Zika virus
living in Pennsylvania followed at

www.facebook.com/TransformationIni/posts/987238388008079.
Experts aren't predicting widespread transmission of the virus within the United States,
according to reports, with the greatest concern associated with out-of-country travel, such
as to the Olympics this summer in Rio de Janeiro. Further CDC information is available at
www.cdc.gov/zika.

Several Area High Schools Rate Among Pennsylvania’s Best Based on SAT Scores
Several area high schools are ranked among tops in the state last year based on the
Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores for reading, math and writing.
Pennsylvania Department of Education says that schools in our reporting area held six of the
seven top spots, with Downingtown STEM Academy second with a composite average score
of 1837, followed by Conestoga Senior High School in Tredyffrin-Easttown School District at
1820, Unionville High School in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District with 1786,
Harriton Senior High School in Lower Marion School District at 1777, Radnor Senior High
School at 1771, and Lower Merion High School at 1744.
The clear overall leader state-wide was Julia Reynolds Masterman Laboratory and
Demonstration School in Philadelphia at 1993.
The complete sortable list is available at www.education.pa.gov/K12/Assessment%20and%20Accountability/Pages/SAT-and-ACT.aspx#.VrT_OVIaL-t.

Homeless Students Exist in Every County and Most School Districts in Pennsylvania
Every county in the state and 96 percent of school districts in Pennsylvania have homeless
students, according to a report for the state Department of Education.
PennLive analyzed the data at
www.pennlive.com/news/2016/02/by_the_numbers_how_many_homele.html, along with a
look at life for the state’s 22,000 homeless schoolchildren at
www.pennlive.com/news/2016/02/working_title_homeless_student.html#incart_river_index
and the ten numbers behind the spike in homeless students at
www.pennlive.com/news/2016/02/pennsylvanias_homeless_student.html#0.

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Unborn Babies at Risk from Drinking Mothers

More than three million U.S. women are at risk of causing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
(FASD) in unborn children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC).
In a new report, the agency warns that "alcohol use during pregnancy, even within the first
few weeks and before a woman knows she is pregnant, can cause lasting physical,
behavioral, and intellectual disabilities (FASD) that can last for a child’s lifetime."
Sexually active women who stop using birth control should stop drinking alcohol, the CDC
says, but most keep drinking.
"There is no known safe amount of alcohol – even beer or wine – that is safe for a woman
to drink at any stage of pregnancy," according to the warning.
The full report is available at www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0202-alcohol-exposedpregnancy.html.

Estimated 100,000 Pennsylvanians To Lose Food Stamp Benefits
Some 100,000 Pennsylvania residents are expected to lose food stamp benefits after a
three months period this year due to better employment opportunities.
Under a 1996 federal law, waived during the economic downturn, unemployed adults
without children who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food
stamp benefits are limited to three months of benefit within a three-year period.
Reports indicated this will affect 43 state counties, including all but Delaware and
Philadelphia in Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Cities of Lancaster and Reading due to
high unemployment rates.
Further information about the action is available at
www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/philadelphia/89640-food-stamp-changes-in-2016affect-100000-pennsylvanians?l=df, with a United State Department of Agriculture
explanation at www.fns.usda.gov/snap/able-bodied-adults-without-dependents-abawds.

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Adult Depression Screening Being Recommended
A federal task force is recommending that primary care clinicians screen the general adult
population, including pregnant and postpartum
women, for depression.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force)
published its final recommendation yesterday, saying
it should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis,
effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.
The Grade B recommendation means the task force found there is “high certainty the net
benefit is moderate or there is moderate certainty that the net benefit is moderate to
substantial.”
The task force says that “(d)epression is one of the leading causes of disability in adults and
affects millions of Americans.
“It can affect a person’s quality of life and is associated with an increase in suicide rates,
among other health problems
“Pregnant women and new mothers are also affected by depression, and both mother and
child can experience the effects of the illness.”
The Task Force found that patients who were identified through depression screening and
went on to be treated with antidepressant medication, psychotherapy, or both showed
improvement in depression symptoms.
The group is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and
evidence-based medicine that is said to work to improve health of all Americans by making
evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings,
counseling services, and preventive medications.
Further information on the recommendation is available at
www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/d
epression-in-adults-screening1.

Supreme Court Gives New Chance to Teens Serving Life Sentences
U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that some 500 Pennsylvania inmates, including dozens from
our reporting area who are serving life sentences for murders committed as teenagers,
must be given an opportunity to argue for eventual release.
The 6-3 decision found that mandatory life without parole for juvenile homicide offenders
violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “cruel and unusual punishments.”
A report on the ruling is available at
http://mobile.philly.com/beta?wss=/philly/news&id=366506431&#RoLIixvyVp3XWttr.01
and the decision at www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/14-280_diff_ifkn.pdf.

Governor Joins Anti-Sexual Violence Movement While in Lancaster County
Governor Tom Wolf, in Lancaster County, has pledged Pennsylvania as the first state to kick
off an "It's On Us" campaign to end sexual violence.

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It’s On Us PA, which joins in with a White House initiative, was announced at Elizabethtown
College and is designed to enlist colleges, universities, school districts and communities in a
broad-based fight against sexual violence of all kinds.
Further information on the action is available at www.lancasteronline.com/news/local/govwolf-launches-it-s-on-us-pa-campaign-against/article_803d6dcc-c6d7-11e5-bcf7af197c259daa.html#.Vqwhv550Ccg.facebook.

Dramatic Jump Recorded in Pain Medicine Hospitalizations Among Older
Pennsylvanians
A dramatic increase has been recorded in pain medicine overdoses that required
hospitalizations among older Pennsylvanians, eclipsing heroin overdose admissions, but the
percentage of deaths from heroin overdoses is four times greater.
PA Health Care Containment Council reports a 225% increase in 2014 hospital admissions
for pain medication overdoses, with 62 percent of patients being 50 years or older and 1.5
percent of hospitalizations ending in death.
In contrast, heroin overdose admissions jumped 162 percent, 66 percent of those being
ages 20 to 39, with a 7.5 percent death rate.
The full report, including regional breakdowns, is at
www.phc4.org/reports/researchbriefs/overdoses/012616/docs/researchbrief_overdose20002014.pdf.

FTC Unveils New Website for Reporting and Recovery from Identity Theft
U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has debuted a new website that is said to make it
easier to report and recover from identify theft.
The initiative, at www.IdentityTheft.gov provides a personal recovery plan that walks one
through each recovery step, tracks progress and adapts to changing situations and pre-fills
letters and forms for easier reporting.

Pennsylvania Settles Suit Against Keeping Mental Prisoners in County Prisons
Pennsylvania has agreed to hire more workers to help keep defendants found incompetent
to stand trial from spending hundreds of days in county prisons before being transferred to
state psychiatric hospitals for treatment.
Settlement of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was
announced by the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Further information is available at
www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DPW_details.aspx?newsid=189.

Public Now Can Track Winter Plowing on Major Highways
The public now can see if winter plows are out on interstates and expressways and where
on www.511PA.com.

- 17 -

The action is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Automated
Vehicle Location (AVL) system pilot that is designed to improve the agency’s information on
vehicle movement and use of winter materials.
Although some 500 PennDOT plow trucks and more than 200 contracted rental trucks will
be able to be tracked on the department’s website, officials said that trucks from
lowertraffic roads that are moved onto interstates won’t be shown on 511. In addition, due
to differing staff schedules, storms or equipment usage, locations of all of the trucks will not
be visible at all times.
Further information is available at www.governor.pa.gov/gov-wolf-announces-plowtrucktracking-now-publicly-viewable-511pa.

Free AlertBerks Crime Tips App is Introduced
Crime Alert Berks County has introduced a new smart phone application that allows county
residents to provide anonymous tips about crimes or suspicious activity, including
anonymous two-way conversations.
AlertBerks, developed by tip411, can be downloaded at no charge via the Google Play Store,
iTunes App Store, or by visiting the Crime Alert Berks County Web site at
www.alertberks.org.
Further information is available at www.bctv.org/special_reports/safety/crime-alertberkscounty-launches-tip/article_51ee8ace-b55b-11e5-baa823552383f307.html#.VpeOrMTuKmg.facebook or (877) 373-9913.

Court Rules Permanent Employment Ban Law Unconstitutional
Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court has ruled that the state's lifetime ban on certain
convicted criminals obtaining full-time employment in nursing homes and long-term care
facilities is unconstitutional.
The court, in its decision, said “it defies logic to suggest that every person who has at any
time been convicted of any of the crimes listed in (the law), including misdemeanor theft,
presents a danger to those in an Act-covered facility.” It also took issue with lawmakers
determining that individuals employed on July 1, 1998, would be safe when those employed
after that date would fail the test.
The General Assembly is able to create a more logical law if it chooses.
A copy of the decision is available at
www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Commonwealth/out/216MD15_12-30-15.pdf?cb=1.

Pennsylvania Establishes New State Veterans Benefits Portal
Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs(DVMA) has established a new
online application that allows veterans to obtain
information about state benefits, programs and services.
Registrant information will be shared with County
Directors for Veterans Affairs and other Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania agencies to help facilitate local connections.

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Officials say the PA Veterans Registry is the department’s first step of a long-term strategy
to achieve a higher level of communication with veterans and partner providers supporting
them.
Further information and registration is available at www.register.dmva.pa.gov.

New Consumer Rating System for Hospitals Unveiled
Capital Blue Cross, which services Lancaster and Berks County west, along with the Lehigh
Valley, and LeapFrog are starting a consumer rating system for hospitals, designed to help
employers and consumers make informed health care decisions.
The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is said to be the only nationally standardized and endorsed set
of measures that captures hospital performance in patient safety, quality and resource
utilization. Rating results will be made available online.
Further information is available at www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/capitalbluecrossnew-hospital-recognition-program-improves-quality-of-care-for-customers300200235.html.

Pennsylvania Not Well Prepared for Infectious Disease Threats
Pennsylvania is less prepared for protecting its residents from new infectious disease threats
than all surrounding states other than Ohio, according to a new report.
The Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases, from the Trust for America's
Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, finds that more than half of states,
including Pennsylvania, scored a five or lower out of 10 key indicators related to preventing,
detecting, diagnosing and responding to outbreaks.
Delaware and New York were among five states tying for the top score, achieving eight out
of 10 indicators, with Maryland in the second tier and New Jersey the third.
The report concludes the United States must redouble efforts to better protect the country
from new infectious disease threats, such as MERS-CoV and antibiotic-resistant superbugs,
and resurging illnesses like whooping cough, tuberculosis and gonorrhea.
Further information is available at www.healthyamericans.org/reports/outbreaks2015.

Several from Region on State Police Megan Law Absconder List
Pennsylvania State Police is seeking the public’s help in locating over 140 “absconded”, or
wanted, sexual offenders throughout the Commonwealth.
The state’s Megan’s Law requires individuals convicted of a sexually violent offense to
register with the Pennsylvania State Police and to update and verify their information
periodically at an approved registration site, authorities say.
They said that offenders who have failed to register, update their information, or verify their
information as required are considered to be non-compliant with the statute, a felony
offense. Once a warrant is issued for their arrest, they are considered “absconded”.

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A list of absconded offenders is available at http://ow.ly/VroNM. Persons with information
can tip the Megan’s Law Section at (866) 771-3170.

National Institute on Aging Issues Guidelines for What to Take to Hospital
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institute on Aging has issued
some safety tips for before, during and after trips to the hospital, including some guidance
for family and caregivers.
The information, which also includes a patient’s rights, is available at
www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/hospital-hints.

Please Note: New and Updated tags refer only to the time of appearance of information
in these E-Updates. Some on-going activities may have been in existence for some time
and are being listed for awareness.

Letting People Know/Making a Difference - Ongoing
Feedback indicates that a lack of communications tools is a primary deficiency in bringing
community services providers and those needing information together.
If you know of an activity designed to have a real impact on families (this includes
individuals and youth) that we should be aware of or might be interested in reporting in
these periodic e-mail updates, please let me know, either with details or a web site link. In
order to maintain its value, this forum currently is a subjective, selective distribution so all
information submitted may not be used.
Also, if you know someone who might be helped by these periodic updates, please forward
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from this list, please hit reply and advise by typing "Subscribe" or "Unsubscribe" or
something similar in the Subject line.
Events listed are based on subject matter related to activities impacting families and is
based on information reported to us. No endorsement is made or implied.
Suggestions for improvements are encouraged. We currently are developing a more
advanced electronic communications method for this type of material that will have more
expansive yet less obtrusive characteristics. Please stay tuned.
To submit materials for publication, please refer to the guidelines that follow.

Blessings
Casey
Casey Jones
Transformation Initiative
Building Healthy Communities Through Healthy Families
(610) 707-1494 / bps461@msn.com
©2009-2016 Casey Jones, Transformation Initiative for Building Healthy Communities Through Healthy Families.
Permission is granted to reproduce for personal or non-commercial uses only.

- 20 -

Information provided is designed to highlight activities within the broader community that can help
enhance Christian principles relative to development of healthy children, individual and family
relationships.
Recipients are encouraged to print and post this Calendar to employee and public bulletin boards
for benefit of others.
Activities included in this publication are gathered from various submissions and other sources. No
representation is made as to their accuracy or value.
Persons wishing to be included in future e-mailings of updates, should request inclusion by sending
an e-mail with Subscribe in the Subject line, along with your name, organization, community and
where you heard about the publications to bps461@msn.com.
General Guidelines for Information Submission:
Submission up to two to three months prior to the event is encouraged to increase exposure to new
subscribers, individuals who only may read the list periodically, and for other organizations that want
to avoid scheduling opposite an event or may want to collaborate with others in the area. For annual
events, even longer lead times may be appropriate. Our deadline generally is the Friday before the
week of publication.
A general idea of the information needed (many submit too little for the consumer to understand what
actually is occurring and why they should consider attending) can be obtained by perusing the
publications or using the following guide:
Please use full names followed, if appropriate, by acronyms in parenthesis.
• Name of Event:
• Date(s) - Include both day(s) of week and actual dates:
• Times (Starting and ending):
• Location (Including any applicable room number, particularly in a large facility, and a
MapQuest or Google Maps searchable address:
• Sponsoring Organization(s), if not part of the location address:
• Participant Eligibility (Ages, gender, etc.):
• Description of Activities and, as applicable, the presenter and the purpose of the event (Two to
three descriptive sentences with the most appealing information; please avoid superfluous
words such as "wonderful", "great", etc.):
• Any Fees, including free-will offerings:
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specific activity:
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We generally use only free activities of a non-commercial nature or those in which a very small,
optional materials fee is charged.
• Fund-raising activities generally are not published unless there is a good mixture of free
activities also available, including free admission, with a participant having the choice of
purchasing incidental items such as food or crafts.
• Church events generally are published only if they are separate from normal weekly worship
services.
Due to the wide variety of activities available, decisions on publication ultimately are determined on a
case-by-case basis in context with focus of the publications.