Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2002 · Page 3
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 3

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 27, 2002
Page 3
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(Saacttc REGION Sunday, October 27, 2002 - A-3 Working for labor Ed Rendell, the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor, was courting the union vote Saturday on a campaign stop in the Indiana area. The former Philadelphia mayor touted his support for organized labor at a breakfast sponsored by the Indiana-Armstrong-Clarion Central Labor Council and the United Mine Workers Association Unemployment Assistance Fund. From left: Ron Airhart, president of the council; Bill George, president of the state AFL-CIO; and Rendell. (Gazette photo by Jamie Isenberg] Coleman keeps busy despite free pass Promise of local phone competition unrealized By MARC LEVY Associated Press Writer HARRISBURG, Pa. — As Verizon and AT&T battle state by state in the Northeast over the amount Verizon can charge other companies wanting to use its local-telephone network, one has to wonder whether consumers will see a lower local- telephone bill. For one, the basic rate of a Verizon local-telephone line to consumers in Pennsylvania has remained the same since 1994 thanks to state price caps, although other charges, such as the line-portability charge and subscriber line charge, have risen or been introduced. And two, electricity competition in Pennsylvania's restructured market has not sparked a significant surge in consumers' switching providers in an effort to save, in some cases, the cost of a cup of coffee or less each month. "I think we're headed in the right direction in the sense that Verizon Pennsylvania had their basic rates capped in ways that were found to be just and reasonable by the (Public Utility) Commission," said Irwin "Sonny" Popowsky, the state's consumer advocate. AT&T is awaiting the results of a state regulatory decision that could force Verizon to lower the amount it charges competitors to lease an unbundled network element, or UNE Viewing Harrisburg — a loop in the network that connects a customer's premises with the local phone company's switching office. Once Verizon's rate goes low enough, AT&T would enter Pennsylvania and compete to offer local residential telephone service, as it has in other states, it says. According to Verizon, its competitors currently pay it $14 on average per customer per month in Pennsylvania. AT&T wants to pay $5, but Ver- izon says $26 is the actual cost to provide the loop infrastructure. Verizon calls AT&T's actions "regulatory extortion." AT&T, which said last month that it is providing trial residential service in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, says it cannot do business in Pennsylvania until "wholesale prices are cut to appropriate levels, as was done in New Jersey." In that state, the Board of Public Utilities slashed Verizon's wholesale rates about 40 percent before AT&T, which now provides residential local service to 2 million customers in eight states, entered the market there in August. Even with a similar reduction hi Verizon's wholesale rates, the com- pany maintains that it already loses money on local service. The money it makes tends to come from extra services, such as caller ID. As such, it is possible that the basic consumer cost of receiving a dial tone will not decline. And without rate caps, which could expire next year, no amount of competition will guarantee that retail rates do not rise, Popowsky said. "There's no assurance that rates will remain reasonable," he said. Verizon maintains that competition is vibrant, with at least one competitor in each of the 339 local exchanges it serves in Pennsylvania. However, Popowsky notes that federal mandates designed to increase competition for residential lines have fallen a little flat. Verizon, formerly known as Bell Atlantic, is one of the seven regional Baby Bells that were limited to providing local telephone service after the 1982 antitrust breakup of AT&T. Regulators envisioned competition between the Baby Bells and other companies. Instead, they got mergers. Bell Atlantic merged with NYNEX in 1997 and then GTE in 2000 to form Verizon. The telephone company is Pennsylvania's largest, operating about 6 million local land lines out of a total of about 8 million while vying for 4.8 million wireless lines that it says exist in the state. Program explores benefits of new outlook IUP News Service Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Six O'clock Series will present "Long Johns, Peanut Butter and WalMart: How a New Outlook on Everyday Things Gave an Ordinary Student Extraordinary Inspiration to Enhance Society" on Monday. Cosponsored by the Center for Student Life and the student organi- zation Alternative Spring Break, this program illustrates the possible connections that individuals and groups can make between themselves and their communities. After participating in an alternative spring break program during college, Dan McCabe's "get rich" attitude changed. At age 22, he became the director of the national, nonprofit organization Break Away, and he will be on campus to share the experiences and wealth he's gained by applying his business skills to benefit the community. Six O'clock Series programs are free and open to the public. They are held every Monday from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the Hadley Union Building. Free parking is available. Home equity loan at a bargain basement rate. Make your move now to get a low interest loan that lets you borrow up to 85% of the value of your home. It's just what you need to finance that college education, home addition or to pay off high interest debt. Interest may be tax deductible, consult your tax advisor. To take advantage of this bargain bas«ment rate, simply visit any of our First National Bank branches or call 1-800-555-5455. First National Bank Relationships Built on Trust" f=> EQUAL HOUSING LENDER, MEMBER FDIC • Homo E(|uily Rale available on 85% loan lo value, minimum loan amount of $20.000. Maximum term is 60 months. Conn* your lax advisor regarding the deducibility ol inle resl. Rate includes payment aulo debit discount fiom a First National Bank deposit account. Refinancing of an tasting First National Bank loan or fine of credit must include at least &5.000 in new borrowing. Loan approval is subject lo credit qualification. Property insurance is required. Oner can be withdrawn at any time and without notice, longer tarns available at different rales. FNB For Hove of llamas Herders swap stories at resort BUSHKILL, Pa. (AP) — Llama lovers are gathering in the Poconos this weekend. Some want to learn more about the fuzzy, long-lashed pets, but others see the animals as a business venture. Dan Goodyear, a former foundry owner who was injured in a fall, now keeps 200 llamas at his Berks County farm. He breeds and shows the animals and values their intelligence and gentleness. "They just have a unique quality," said Goodyear, who operates Goodyear's Berry Acres Llama Farm in Robesonia. Each morning he visits his herd, which greets him with a low hum. Llamas are becoming more popular, both as pets and businesses. About 250 llama owners are attending the Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Association gathering at the Pocmont Resort. Pennsylvania alone boasts more than 2,500 registered llamas. Most live on small farms, where their owners keep between one and five of the animals. Owners use them as pack animals on outdoor trips, show them in competitions, and make rugs, blankets and clothing from their soft wool. Some even visit schools and nursing homes. Continued from page A-l gambling at harness-race tracks. Not even if it means more money for the Prescription Assistance Contract for the Elderly, which helps low-income senior citizens pay their drug bills. "No," Coleman said without hesitation. "Expanding gambling is temporary, a Band-Aid solution to state budget problems, and it has to be checked with quality-of-life and family issues. Funding PACE with lottery funds has not been enough to keep them stable. "Second, I'm not interested in having Atlantic City-style conversions of western Pennsylvania communities. It's inaccurate to say that if we build a casino 30 feet across the border from New York or Maryland that we will catch up with decades of gambling in the other states. It's too late," Coleman said. "I'm especially against gambling for funding public education. To gamble to educate kids sends a dual message and a conflicting message." He said he will vote, reluctantiy, to sell the state liquor-store system. "I think (Republican gubernatorial candidate) Mike Fisher has a good proposal in the sense that the sale of state liquor stores will provide a temporary boost of revenues and we'll be able to fund prescription-drug programs and shore up other state expenditures," Coleman said. "I'm not comfortable with the government being in the business of liquor sales. It drives up consumer costs. "On the reverse side, if we were to sell the state stores, I want to see strict measures in place for retailers and grocers who would become the retail sales points for liquor in Pennsylvania. "I support the sale for a number of reasons, but I would really like to see first comprehensive studies of the full impact on underage drinking and the quality of life in communi- ties." In 2000, Coleman advocated property-tax reform. Nothing was done during his term because, he said, not enough other lawmakers made it their priority. This year, Coleman is confident about getting results. "The political winds have changed and tax reform is now front and center. It will be a matter of how we do it, not when we do it," Coleman said. Another priority is to clear the glut of lawsuits from the state's courts, Coleman said. Lawmakers must change the practice of shopping for a better venue in another county's court, "the lottery- style jury-selection system that has driven doctors from Pennsylvania. We have to complete tort reform." In the district, much ado was made in 2000 of Coleman's being the youngest member of the state House, at 25 years of age. He will outgrow the distinction, but, for now, he is using it to change many people's mind-sets in the region. "I m not looking for a job as a temporary entitlement, and if I don't keep my commitments, I don't deserve to go back to Harrisburg." — Rep. Jeff Coleman "Politics now is a safe arena for young people to offer their talents and skills. It's energizing a demo- grapliic group that has been static and non-participatory, rarely breaking double digits in terms of voter turnout. Now we have a flood of new registrations of young people." Coleman tapped area schools for ambitious students to serve in his district offices, which he calls citizen-action centers. "We had 50 to 60 students serve. Many learned to speak in public for the first time and learned to articu^ late and reason their viewpoints in classroom discussions. I'm proud to say that many are considering careers in community service," he said. "We are changing the attitude that government is irrelevant and decreasing the cynicism that many in my generation have about government." Coleman extended his roach to young residents, he said, by holding assemblies for about 7,500 students in district schools. And of all the state legislators' Web sites, Coleman's is one of the most frequently visited. In the next two years, Coleman says, he plans to tackle a matter that polls don't show as a major poiitica! issue. "It has nothing to do with dollars and cents or preparing kids for 21st- century job market; it's the growing- problem of drug and alcohol abuse; in Pennsylvania," he said. "There,; isn't a government program or grantr that will solve this issue. We have to* say what is the role of legislators^ pastors, parents and grandparents tc£ create drug-free, safe communities."It is a shared responsibility." Coleman said he will be producing a half-hour, hard-hitting video to instruct teachers and parents of the dangers of heroin and about heroin- use prevention. "I'm using the office of state representative to launch out into something that isn't my function," he said. "If we don't do something, that's a black mark on our community. It's a black mark on people in public life." Call it constituent service. "I made myself very clear at the beginning," Coleman said. "If I don'! do the job in two years, I won't deserve to go back. I'm not looking for a job as a temporary entitlement, and if I don't keep my commitments, I don't deserve to go back to 1 larrisburg. "The same rule applies for the next two years." THE CURRAN FUNERAL HOMES ANNOUNCE THE TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP ... A Tradition of CURRAN-SHAFFER BRADY-CURRAN FUNERAL HOME, INC FUNERAL HOME, INC 100 Owens View Dr. 429 Franklin Ave. Apollo - 724478-1244 Vandergrift • 724568-1621 /ames T. Hamilton, Supervisor ArthurR. Kunkle, Jr., Supervisor CURRAN FUNERAL HOME 300 Market Si. Lecchburg- 724842-1021 OnvidS. Duke, Supervisor CURRAN FUNERAL HOME 701 Salt Sl. Sallsburs-724-639-3911 John W. Taylor, Supervisor A tradition of funeral service excellence was established in Apollo, PA by Gary P. Curran in 1975. Over the years the business has grown from the original funeral home in Apollo to the present four locally owned funeral homes serving ihe Salisbury and Kiski Valley communities. Art Kunkle and Bill Curran, lifetime residents of Saltsburg and the Kiski Valley, have been responsible for the operation of the funeral business over the past four years and now together own Ihe Curran Family of Funeral Homes. Along with their dedicated staff, they pledge to continue the tradition of'excellent funeral services for all families selecting the Curran Funeral Homes. If you've visited other funeral homes and noticed the difference, call us. Curran FUNERAL HOMES

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