Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 29, 2002 · Page 12
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 12

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Indiana, Pennsylvania
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Tuesday, October 29, 2002
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Page 12 —Tuesday, October 29, 2002 REGION (Sazette Carl Kologie Lineup set for Nov. 5 Next Tuesday, Pennsylvania will elect a new governor. It's going to happen even if you don't take the time to cast your ballot. And if you believe the polls, which have been known to be wrong on occasion, this is stricdy a one-man race; Ed Rendell will be declared a runaway winner soon after the polls close Tuesday evening. Some of the political pundits in the commonwealth are predicting that, with the Rendell forecast for an easy victory, there could be a light turnout at die polls and that could have a damaging effect on GOP candidates who are expecting to be involved in close battles. If registered Republicans feel the fight for governor is a lost cause and decide to stay home Nov. 5, Democratic candidates will be riding Rendell's coattails all the way to Harrisburg. The sparse lineup on the ballot doesn't even cover a full page. Voters only have four choices to make, and that could narrow to two if the straight-parly ticket is one of the selections. Besides the race for governor,, voters will be asked to make a decision on a state representative and U.S. congressman in their district. , There is a question on the ballot concerning authorization of funding for fire companies and emergency services, and that should be a no-brainer. These are invaluable services that we need and must be protected with a yes vote. There will be new names on some of the ballots because of the recent reapportionment. That has left some of the incumbents with an uneasy feeling. Of course, some incumbents will win regardless of who is in the governor's office at the state Capitol. Two Republicans, state Reps. Fred Mclihattan in the 63rd District and Jeff Coleman in the 62nd District, are running unopposed and can get to bed early Tuesday night knowing they will be winners Wednesday morning. Supporters of Sam Smith, the Punxsutawney Republican in the 66th District, are not anticipating much of a battle from Democrat Anson Brosius of Mayport. Included in Smith's district are the eight upper-tier townships in northern Indiana County. Six-term incumbent state Rep. Sara Steelman, D-Indiana, is involved in a scrap in the 62nd District with newcomer Dave Reed. Sometimes referred to as a Jeff Coleman clone, the 24-year-old Indiana Republican has been hard at work in an effort to unseat Steelman. Voter turnout could be a determining factor in that race. One of the most interesting situations occurs in Indiana Borough and White Township in the races for U.S. Congress. If you live on the north side of Philadelphia Street or the west side of Wayne Avenue or Old Route 119 North, you can choose between Rep. Bill Sinister, R-IIoll- idaysburg, and John R. Henry, a Breezewood Democrat, in the 9th District. But if your residence in on the south side of Philadelphia Street or east of Wayne Avenue or Old Route 119 North, your choice is between Rep. Jack Murtha, ID- Johnstown, and Republican Dr. Bill Choby, also of Johnstown, in the 12th District. Because of the recent reapportionment, the county was split between two districts. You may recall that Murtha waged a bitter battle against Rep. Frank Mascara, D-Charleroi, in the primary. Both Murtha and Sinister are heavy favorites in their respeciive districts. Don't rule out the possibility of upsets in any of those races. Stranger things have happened. One thing we are sure of, there will be a woman in the stale Capitol for the first lime in the history of the commonwealth. Jane Earll and Catherine Baker Knoll are the candidates for lieutenant governor. Earll, 44, is a state senator from Erie and Mike Fisher's running mate. Knoll, 72, a two-term state treasurer, is teamed with Rendel!. Even Green Party candidate Michael Morrill has selected a female running mate in Vicki J. Smcdley, a speech therapist from Jersey Shore. There you have it. The lineup for Nov. 5 is set and it is time lo perform your civic duly. 'Karving for Kids' Students in the honors college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania carved pumpkins Sunday as part of Karving for Kids, a program that benefits Salvation Army tutors for children. Wal-Mart sells the carved pumpkins, above, to Downtown Indiana Partnership, which then sells them to area businesses. The program was sponsored by the Honors Connection, students who try to incorporate the honors college with the IUP and Indiana communities. (Gazette photos -•-, by Melissa Pucillo) Upgrades could cost $36 million Continued from page 1 The district would sell bonds over three years to pay for the work and would phase in the tax increase over that time, Gardner said. To make payments on a $10 million bond issue this year, the board would have to raise the real-estate tax by 3.5 mills next year. Another $10 million'bond issue next year would cover.,the work at the junior high school, and a 2-mill tax increase would have to be added the following year to pay for it. If the board approved the rest of the work proposed in the feasibility study, the district would have to sell more bonds in the third year and raise the real-estate tax 3.3 additional mills, Gardner said. The board would also have to hold a separate public hearing on any proposals beyond the ones for the juniorhighschool. ..; • At the senior high school, the pool and gym, and a new weight room, would be built on land now used by the marching band to practice. Also, a new driveway would be added off Knox Street so that cars dropping students off could avoid buses coming up to the main entrance, and a gravel lot behind the school would be paved, fenced and lighted for additional parking. Dan Engen, principal architect at Eckles, said putting artificial turf on the football field would allow the band to practice there instead. The dirt is rutted where the band practices now and that would happen if the band practiced on the dirt football field, he said. The field would he open to many other uses, too. "Most school districts where they have this, they're running 80-plus events a year," Engen said. The use of the field would be limited only by how long the school kept the lights Guidance counselor retiring after 30 years A 30-year veteran of the Indiana Area School District is retiring in January. Nancy Receski, a guidance counselor at the senior high school, has submitted her resignation, effective Jan. 21. The school board approved her resignation at its meeting Monday. In other business Monday, the board: • Approved field trips to Washington, D.C., in March for 49 sixth- graders .at Horace Mann Elementary ScrMbl'and 76 sixth-graders at Ea§^ikg^lemer4ary School to study! American history and visit monuments. The cost will be $4,800 for transportation. • Granted family and medical leave to Kathy Wagner, junior high school English teacher. • Added Michael Jordan to the list of school police, who patrol school activities. — Timothy S/iocfc on, he said. • He estimated die turf would cost $1 million. Because it is not a building, it is not eligible for state aid. A pad of urethane would lie beneath a green fiber turf made in part with the shredded soles of. recycled athletic shoes. The state Department of Education would reimburse the district about 18 percent of the $10.2 million cost of the work at the senior high school, Engen said. The work at the junior high school is eligible for 19.3 percent reimbursement, based on enrollment and the sixe of the school. Board member Earl Hewitt noted that although the senior high school was renovated 10 years ago, the ath- lelics facilities were not part of that renovation. "Essentially, the athletic component of that building is 40 years old," lie said. The school was built in 1963. Hewitt prodded Engen to say the school's athletics facilities are deficient compared to those of similar . dis Diets. • "Wouldn't you say that, compared to other schools you've seen, this is a modest proposal?" Hewitt asked. Engen replied that Indiana's athletic facilities are less than what many similar schools have. For instance, he said, his firm has not designed a school in the past 15 years that did not have two gymnasiums. Hatcher said she would like lo see a new weight room lo replace the cramped one now in use at the senior high school. She asked Engen if the district could build just that, without a pool or new gym, and not encroach on the band's practice space. Engen said that is possible. The study also included the district's elemcnlary schools, and the architects propose $5.4 million in renovations for the Ben Franklin school and $3.8 million for Eisenhower. Much of that work would be to make the buildings more accessible to people with disabilities, replace modular classrooms with permanent structures and separate car and bus traffic. Horace Mann and East Pike have been renovated recently, so the architects proposed no changes there. • "It would be nice to have it all, but we have to consider if we can afford it," said the board president, Mary Beth Sweeney. Sweeney said district' re'sidents should let the board know what they think about the proposal, by calling board members individually, writing to the board or speaking at board meetings. The board will vote on the work for the junior high school early next year, she said. A former board member, Bill Balint, railed against the proposals for the senior liigh and elementary schools. He said that they looked like a Christmas wish HsL He said he expects the district to fall from Quad-A lo Triple-A status in its athletic conference, based on student enrollment, and that other schools in that athletic division don'l have such facilities. "How many triple-A's have turf fields? We could be the first one," he said. He repeated his call for the districl to close Eisenhower Elementary School because of declining enrollment. "You have enough classrooms in the other schools to pul 22 kids in each classroom," he said. As enroll- meni continues to decline, ihe number of students per classroom would drop toward 20. He suggested that any proposal lo increase laxes be put on the ballot for voters to decide. School may build track Continued from page 1 track wedged between Route 119 and Old Route 119 on. the south end of the campus, and one called Option 2 positions the track at the north edge of the building. The track requires a 580-by-260- foot piece of ground. The idea of placing a track around the football team's Memorial Field was dismissed because of the cost of acquiring needed land and moving the bleachers and press box, Hayden said. The district also ruled out selling Memorial Field and combining the football and track facility on school grounds, according to district Superintendent Joseph Marcoline. "We have poured a considerable amount of money into the bleachers, concession stand and press box" in recent years, Marcoline said. "There's a cost (to move it), and we're not sure we want to bear that. "However, we have considered building the infrastructure for a future stadium here." Neighboring property owner Brian Sardone told school officials to scrap Option 2, which would require part of his land. "The property is not for sale, £nd I'm not interested in a land swap," Sardone said. Homer-Center's track team now practices on a !/ 5 -mile cinder oval (hat needs to be replaced as soon as possible, said Tom Lawson, the former track coach. "That track is a trap," Lawson said. He told of a runner who suffered a stress fracture and could not return to competition because of the poor surface. Lawson, now the cross-country coach, said that the boys and girls track-and-field and cross-country teams have about 75 participants, more than any otiier sport at the school. Coral resident Jerry Bertig urged the board to buiid the track because students and citizens, young and old, would be able to use it. "It cuts across generations," Bertig said. "It's good for competition. People could be looking for these extras when they move into a community. I'd like to see it happen, but I'd like to see good long- term planning." "I'd rather see this $500,000 or $600,000 be put in to'education so all the students will benefit, not just those who run track," said district resident Jim Kundla, who voiced the most direct opposition to the proposal. "This will not bring people into the community." By holding the meeting Monday, school officiais wanted only to gauge public sentiment for ending 15 to 20 years of wishing for a track "This is one step in a progression to taking our 'campus where it ought to be," Costello said. "As we look at our campus, one of the things that's missing is a running track. "This is either the start of the project or the beginning of the end of the discussion." Costello said the school board wants to collect opinions from other district residents who could not attend the public meeting before deciding whether to move ahead. There is no timetable for making a decision or completing the track, Costello said. "I don't want to put a rush on it, but I don't want to let it sit around and fester." One possibility, Costello said, is to delay the track project and finance it along with other improvements when the district becomes eligible for a state-aided high school renovation project in 2003. Copper Beech plan approved Continued from page I criteria, the township should grant the final approval. The plan was given final approval on a 3-1 vote. Beatty voted no. After the meeting, Ronald Lucas, attorney for Copper Beech, said the new storm-water facility would be built wilhin 90 days, weather permitting. Although Copper Beech has now won township approval for its storm-water plans, the developer continues to face a battle with neighbor Specialty Tires. Officials of the tire maker say runoff from Copper Beech could flow onto the factory's property and affect operations. They have asked the Indiana County Court of Common Pleas to overturn the township's decision and issue a stay on any construction of a new storm-water facility until the court can review Copper Beech's plan. Indiana County Judge Gregory Olson is expected to review the re- quesi for a stay at a meeting set for Nov. 6. Increased Exposure Will Increase Your Bottom Line...Let Us Help! ,00.000 Total Page Views Per Quarter On The Indiana Gazette Website... A Growing Opportunity, & Every One Could Be KOI/ff Next Sale. jitbtann 'SERVING INDIANA COUNTY PA 5INC6 IS9O www mdianagazette com $ 50 AUTO GLASS FREE OFF INSURANCE DEDUCTIBLE I WHEN WE REPLACE YOUR WINDSHIELD Free Mobile Service At Home Or Work (Offers valid with this coupon) • 700.000- APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG. SEPT 2001 2001 OCT NOV. DEC 2001 JAN. FEB. MAR APRIL MAY. JUNE JULY AUG 2002 2002 2002 CALL 1-8CHM52-7799 Family Owned/Operated For Over 30 Yrs. 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