Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Deadline

Heather Smith - Friday, December 10, 2010

Governor Ed Rendell reminds eligible older adults and people with disabilities that Dec. 31 is the deadline to apply for rebates of up to $975 from Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

"Nearly 619,000 seniors already applied for rebates this year, but we know there are about 88,000 more people who qualify but have not yet applied," Governor Rendell said. "I encourage all Pennsylvanians to review the program's criteria to consider if anyone they know may qualify for a rebate, and help those loved ones apply before the Dec. 31 deadline."

Pennsylvania is providing a total of $772.5 million in property tax relief this year, including expanded rebates from the state's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for seniors and residents with disabilities and general property tax relief for all homeowners that was distributed through school districts this past summer.

"So far, these rebates helped to eliminate school property taxes for about 120,000 residents this year," said Governor Rendell. "I don't want any eligible person to miss out on this help to pay property taxes or rent."


 Source: PA Office of the Governor


Governor-Elect Corbett inherits staggering fiscal mess

Heather Smith - Friday, December 10, 2010

Just how broke is Pennsylvania? For starters it has a $4 billion to $5 billion deficit left over from the last two years of the Rendell administration. Then there's the impending spike in pension costs adding billions more. Finally, the state is poised to lose several additional billions in federal aid scheduled to go away next year.

Clearly, Corbett's job isn't to cut out the fat; it's to cut into the bone. His choices are both few and painful.

He can of course back away from his no-new-taxes pledge, as George H.W. Bush did in 1990, and seek to cover the mushrooming deficit with new tax revenues. The result for him, however, would be political poison, almost ensuring he would be a one-term governor and severely damaging his party.

Corbett's other choice seems equally grim. He could hold firm on the no-new-taxes pledge and pursue deep cuts to state programs and jobs. Getting consensus on expenditure reductions will be a Herculean task. Politically powerful interest groups will fight fiercely to protect their favorite programs.  Should Corbett succeed in making substantial cuts, there will be few if any "sacred cows." Virtually everything will be on the table, including state employee layoffs. Corbett himself has talked about across-the-board cuts.

Such cuts will have consequences. How much more can be cut without precipitating a general crisis in state government services remains an unanswered question. Moreover, cuts in many state government programs will inevitably be passed through to local governments and school districts already straining under the burdens of the recession. This in turn is likely to result in pressure to raise local property taxes and/or reduce local services.

Nor will the problem end here. The president's bipartisan deficit reduction commission is now proposing massive cuts at the federal level including Social Security and Medicare, together with the elimination of some middle-class tax breaks. Americans are about to get it both coming and going.

Corbett may not have had many electoral options when he pledged no new taxes. But in doing so he has painted himself into a very tight corner, one that will take the skills of a political Houdini to escape. He is going to be tested his first year in office as much as any Pennsylvania governor since the Great Depression. How he fares is likely to determine both his and his party's fate for some time.

Source: The Mercury - "Corbett inherits staggering fiscal mess" -


A reminder from Clarion!

Heather Smith - Thursday, December 09, 2010

Don't forget!  The Open House Christmas Party for Clarion PCA's is on December 16th and so far there have been quite a few RSVP's.  Be sure not to miss out on all the holiday fun.

Consumer Advocacy Meetings are CRI supported consumer advocacy groups throughout our Center for Independent Living.   Assisted by CIL Staff, these groups identify issues and develop strategies for communicating with policy makers and ultimately, affecting positive changes in the community.  On December 23rd, the Clarion office is having an Advocacy Meeting/Christmas luncheon for their consumers. So far there has been a good response regarding the meeting.

To find out more information regarding CRI's Consumer Advocacy Meetings visit our website at or contact the CIL Secretary in the Erie Office for more information at (814) 838-7222.

Release of October 2010 GNF Donations

Heather Smith - Tuesday, December 07, 2010
October 2010 Good Neighbor Fund Donations:

       $ 3,300.00: United Way of Erie County

       $ 500.00: Sugar Creek Station- Erie Office

       $ 500.00: Kentucky State University – Hermitage Office

       $ 500.00: White Cool Funeral Home – Hermitage Office

       $ 300.00: Walmart Gift Card - Hermitage Office

       $ 200.00: Sheetz gas card –Hermitage Office

       $ 200.00: Country Fair – Warren Office

       $ 150.00: Walmart Gift Card - Erie Office

       $ 50.00: Asera Care Hospice – Erie Memorial

       $ 50.00: Bloomin’ Gails – Oil City Office

       $ 46.59: Phoebe Florist – Allentown Office

       $ 46.00 Scolio Fruit Baskets – Erie Office

       $ 42.40: Clearfield Florist – Clearfield Office

       $ 41.00: Scolio Fruit Baskets – Erie Office

       $ 35.00 Ekey Florist - Warren Office

       $ 34.50 Roseman's Florist - Clarion Office

Total Donations of GNF for October 2010: $5,995.49

For more on the Good Neighbor Fund Visit!

Bay City competes in Wooster OH Tournament

Heather Smith - Tuesday, December 07, 2010
This weekend kicked off the 4th Annual Rock and Roll Shoot Out in Wooster, Ohio.  In which, our very own Bay City Thunder and Lightning competed against 9 teams from all over.  Bay City played 6 grueling games this past weekend facing teams from as far away as London, Ontario.  Although this weekend the boys did not capture the Rock and Roll Shootout title, the team definitely made the progress they were looking for in the right direction.  Even though their statistics may not have been strongly reflected on the scoreboard, the teams relentless on court performance very much did. Bay City looks to capitalize on these improvments and to continue moving forward at practice in the coming weeks!

The weekends scores are as follows:

Bay City 16 - Cleveland Cavs - 38
Leading scorer Jay Shufffstall with 10 points

Bay City 31 - Turnerstone - 52
Leading scorer Jay Shuffstall with 8 points
Bay City 28 - Forest City - 52
Leading scorer Jay Shuffstall with 12 points 

Bay City 35 - Pittsburgh 56 
Leading scorer Lincoln Jamison with 11 points

Bay City 31 - Rochester 35
Leading scorers Joe Jaroni and Lincoln Jamison both 8 points game going into overtime 



For more games and news stay turned to



Friendship & M.A.M.M.A. in Lewisburg

Heather Smith - Monday, December 06, 2010

During the holiday season sometimes it’s not the actual gift, but the message that it brings that is most cherished. Friendship boxes are a great way to give back to others.  Recently, the Lewisburg office in conjunction with the American Red Cross have created Friendship boxes to be distributed within their community.

Also, Lewisburg staff have been collecting donated items to be given to military service members in Afghanistan through the Mifflinburg Area Military Mom's Association (M.A.M.M.A.).  MAMMA is a group of parents from the Susquehanna Valley, all of whom have children and or loved ones currently serving in the military.  These donations will directly effect individuals of the Lewisburg area community that are currently overseas serving our country.   

The acts of kindness of the Lewisburg office will be greatly appreciated this holiday season here and overseas. 

"Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love."
~ Lao Tzo ~


~~ Goodwill here and abroad ~~

Heather Smith - Wednesday, December 01, 2010

"Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special
time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such
as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by
driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we
follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago
followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space." 
~  Dave Berry ~

It's that time of the year again where we find ourselves embellished in the season of giving.  Some may believe that Christmas isn't a season, but rather a feeling within each and every one of us.  Here at CRI we have all embodied a feeling of goodwill.  Throughout CRI, the warmth and joy of Christmas has brought us all closer to each other and our communities.  


The Erie Office has been illustrating their exemplary efforts of goodwill recently through collection efforts for a winter clothing drive, Blizzard of Blankets's,  and the creation of Christmas boxes for our troops.  The office has been collecting gently used coats, sweaters, and sweatshirts for the homeless and needy.  The office as a whole collected 50 coats for us to give away.  The Blizzard of Blankets also allowed our office to gather an astounding 47 gently used and new blankets to be distributed to Blizzard of Blankets in Perry Square this month.  Also, our Veterans Committee is getting set to mail Christmas boxes to our troops overseas.  Store brought and homemade contributions were made for services members in order to thank them from their dedication and service as they will be spending the holidays away from their families.  The scope of these service men and women ranges from soldiers, sailors, and air men. 






CRI would like to thank all those who donated to each cause.  We would also like to wish a happy and safe holiday season to our service men and women overseas. 


December 2010 Monthly Meetings

Heather Smith - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell signed into law House Bill 60

Heather Smith - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For the past few years, a large, bi-partisan group of State Representatives and Senators have been trying to pass a state housing trust fund to improve the amount of affordable housing in communities all across the Commonwealth.  38 other states have similar funds, and in 2008, Congress enacted the National Housing Trust Fund.  The only hurdle has been finding the money to capitalize the fund as state revenues (nationwide) have been in decline. Without an appropriation, there was a lack of interest in moving to legislation.  However, now that Congress sits on the threshold of capitalizing the National fund, efforts to have the State fund in place are moving. 

On November 15, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives concurred on legislation authorizing the creation of a State Housing Trust Fund. The Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Act (PHARE) was introduced by Rep. Peter Daley (HB 60) and Sen. Gene Yaw (SB 599).  PHARE supports programs to increase the availability of homes within reach of low and moderate income Pennsylvanians and will be administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA).  30% of the money is targeted to those at 50% of area median income or below.

Recently, Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell signed into law House Bill 60: Establishing the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Program, to provide funding for housing projects to benefit older adults, people with disabilities and low-income residents.

For more information on specific bills, visit

4th Annual Rock and Roll Shoot Out

Heather Smith - Monday, November 29, 2010

This weekend the Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers will host their 4th Annual Rock and Roll Shootout at Kent State University from Friday, December 3, 2010 through Sunday, December 5, 2010.

A total of 10 teams will be competing in a round robin format of play in which the top 2 teams from each pool will advance to bracket play.  Our very own Bay City Thunder & Lightning will be competing in the tournament along with the Turnerstone Bandits, Moraine Minutemen, Western NY Wheels, Forest City Flyers, Hill on Wheels, Cleveland Cavaliers, Kentwood Rollers,Pittsburgh Steelwheelers,and Connecticut Spokebenders.

For the Bay City Thunder & Lightnings schedule click here!

Come watch the team and show your support!

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