Recreation area a big win for Pa.
Thumbs up for the Wolf administration’s acquisition of some 5,600 acres of land for conversion into a motorized recreation area.
The plan, announced last week, calls for development of what will be known as the Catawissa Recreation Area in the Weiser State Forest in Schuylkill and Luzerne counties, northeast of York.
The project “was made possible by the nearly $700 million secured by Gov. Tom Wolf in the 2022-23 budget for conservation, recreation, and preservation throughout the commonwealth,” according to a news release from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The department said the funding will also be used to develop three more parks elsewhere in the state.
Motorized recreation, which includes trails for ATVs, snowmobiles and the like, is a growing from of outdoor activity. State leaders hope to use the new park to combine these offerings with traditional amenities like hiking trails.
The DCNR will also manage natural resources on the property, which include old-growth forests, sensitive plant habitats, wetlands and tributaries to Catawissa Creek.
The department is working with a consultant to put together a master plan for the site and intends to solicit public feedback.
It sounds like a terrific opportunity to provide additional outdoor opportunities to Central Pennsylvanians while stewarding the natural resources that are among the state’s hallmark attributes.
Thumbs down for Fox News and personality Brian Kilmeade for plunging below even their already tawdry standards to smear the judge who signed off on the FBI search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
Kilmeade, filling in as host on fellow Fox propagandist Tucker Carlson’s show, aired a Photoshopped image allegedly showing the judge, Bruce Reinhart, receiving a foot rub from Ghislaine Maxwell, intimate associate of the late sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.
The image, clearly altered from a photo in which Epstein was the second party, contributed to the avalanche of online abuse and threats directed at Reinhart in the days following the FBI search.
Kilmeade owned up to the photo’s inauthenticity the following day. “This depiction never took place & we wanted to make clear that we were showing a meme in jest,” he wrote on Twitter. It would have been nice had he mentioned that during the broadcast (while he was at it, he could have explained the “jest”).
The response from too many Trump loyalists to the FBI raid has been angry and threatening. One supporter posted numerous threats on social media last week before attempting to attack the FBI office in Cincinnati and subsequently being killed in a police standoff; a second man fatally shot himself after crashing a flaming vehicle into a barricade at the U.S. Capitol on Sunday and firing several shots into the air. Less violently, but no less threateningly, armed Trump supporters protested outside the FBI’s Phoenix offices on Saturday.
The jesters at Fox should consider just how much gasoline they want to throw onto this potential firestorm.
Thumbs up for the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, which is actively seeking to return unclaimed property to state residents.
We’re not talking simply loose change; the Treasury estimates there is more than $4 billion in inactive bank accounts, unclaimed insurance policies and forgotten stocks, not to mention tangible property like collectible coins, jewelry, military medals, stamps, antiques and savings bonds. The goods are funneled to the Treasury department by banks, insurance companies, utilities, courts and other business and governmental institutions.
The department retuned an estimated $135 million in such property last year but that’s just a fraction of what’s waiting to be claimed.
State Treasurer Stacy Garrity estimates one in 10 state residents has unclaimed property waiting for them. And with the average return worth about $1,500, a check of the list is well wort the effort.
Additional information about unclaimed property, including a searchable database of state residents owed property and information on how to make claims, is available online at patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property.