Fall/Winter 2020 Senior Resources 

(Oct 16, 2020)

Back in April, my staff and I created a list of resources to help connect seniors and their families with the services they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage you to refer to that list for important information about our State and County Departments of Aging, as well as resources for seniors in need of meals, economic assistance, and more. The list below contains additional resources and suggestions to help seniors stay safe and beat boredom and isolation in the coming fall and winter months. If you have suggestions for the list, please contact my office at repotten@pahouse.net . COVID AND FLU RESOURCES Nasal Swab COVID-19 Testing Chester County offers nasal swab diagnostic tests for individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms or who have had a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 and live or work in Chester County. Testing is offered at multiple sites, and registration is required. Visit the county website for registration and an up-to-date weekly schedule of dates, times, and locations. Free Flu Shots The single most effective protection against the flu is getting a flu vaccine. It is recommended that everyone aged 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine every year. It’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. The flu and COVID-19 have many similar symptoms (cough, Read more

 

Otten, Shusterman announce $428K Recreation and Conservation grant

(Oct 15, 2020)

ROYERSFORD, Oct. 15 — State Reps. Danielle Friel Otten and Melissa Shusterman today announced that Royersford secured a $428,000 Recreation and Conservation grant to rehabilitate an area trail. Funding comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and will go toward increasing ADA access, landscaping and other related site improvements on the Royersford Trestle Bridge. “I’m glad to see this project gaining more momentum,” Shusterman said. “Restoring this trail creates a great outdoor recreation opportunity for community members, and I’m pleased that this funding will help everyone of all abilities utilize it.” “Restoring the Royersford Trestle Bridge will make pedestrian and bicycle travel a safe, easy and appealing option between Royersford and the Borough of Spring City, just across the Schuylkill River,” Otten said. “This expands opportunities for business and community while providing us with a new way to enjoy our beautiful surroundings. Strengthening ADA access ensures that all residents will be able to benefit from this project.” The investments are among 41 grants supported by the Keystone and Environmental Stewardship funds, ATV and Snowmobile restricted accounts and federal Pennsylvania Recreational Trails funds awarded statewide, totaling approximately $7.6 million for trail projects including planning, construction and rehabilitation, as Read more

 

WEEKLY E-BLAST (OCT. 9): "Pennie" replacing healthcare.gov for Pennsylvanians

(Oct 09, 2020)

With so much happening in the world these past few weeks, I want to make sure this piece of good news for Pennsylvania families doesn’t get lost in the shuffle: Last month, Pennsylvania announced the launch of its new state-based health insurance marketplace, "Pennie." Read more

 

Otten: $109,300 grant awarded to expand Marsh Creek State Park

(Oct 08, 2020)

UPPER UWCHLAN TOWNSHIP, Oct. 8 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, announced today that a $109,300 state conservation grant was awarded to expand Marsh Creek State Park. The grant, approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, was awarded to Natural Lands Trust toward the acquisition of approximately 2.7 acres in Upper Uwchlan Township to be added to the park. “Marsh Creek State Park connects people to the outdoors and adds tremendous quality of life to the region,” Otten said. “I appreciate the administration working with my office to see the value in an investment here, and I look forward to helping direct more state dollars to the 155 th Legislative District.” Otten also passed legislation in the House in 2019 adding land for trails, wetlands and wildlife habitat for Marsh Creek State Park. DCNR grants help communities and nonprofit organizations in Chester County and across Pennsylvania acquire land for public parks and open space to be enjoyed by all for generations to come. DCNR supports land conservation and acquisition through several methods, including: The acquisition of lands that are added to state parks, state forests and state game lands. Grant funding assistance for acquisition of trail corridors, recreations areas, greenways, critical habitat and other open space by local government or nonprofit organizations. Grant funding Read more

 

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Oct. 2): Protecting your right to vote

(Oct 02, 2020)

Last week, I shared information about safe, secure, and legal options for casting your vote in the General Election. This week, my office has received calls and emails from dozens of constituents concerned about HR1032 and attempts to interfere with the election. Read more

 

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Sept. 25): Important: Don't miss this step when voting by mail!

(Sep 25, 2020)

This week, our Chester County Commissioners shared some important updates about the November 3 general election and the measures the County is taking to ensure that this election is held safely, securely, and efficiently. Read more

 

Otten announces $366K in outdoor recreation and conservation grants

(Sep 24, 2020)

EAST PIKELAND, Sept. 24 – State Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten, D-Chester, today announced the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources awarded $366,725 in grants to three communities in her legislative district. Details of grant recipients and projects are as follows: East Pikeland Township: $192,000 toward constructing a dog park, pedestrian walkway, pavilions, parking area, a community garden and fencing, ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements to Township Park. East Brandywine Township: $61,725 toward creating a parking area and horticultural garden, improving ADA access, enhancing landscaping and related site improvements to Bondsville Mill Park. West Vincent Township: $113,000 awarded to Natural Lands Trust Inc., toward building a pedestrian bridge and boardwalk, improved ADA access, landscaping and other related site improvements to Bryn Coed Preserve. “Upgrading our area’s parks helps to create a stronger sense of community and safely bring people together,” Otten said. “I’m proud to help bring this funding home, and I look forward to seeing these projects benefit residents of all ages. I applaud our local communities’ proactive efforts to promote outdoor recreation and create public spaces that enhance the quality of life for our neighbors.” The DCNR Recreation and Conservation grant program is funded with a Read more

 

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Sept. 21): COVID-19 Cases on the Rise as School Starts

(Sep 21, 2020)

Recently I’ve received a lot of questions from friends, neighbors, and constituents about the COVID-19 situation in Chester County and what it means for our schools. Read more

 

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Sept. 11): Patriot Day, Marsh Creek Update and COVID-19 Resources

(Sep 11, 2020)

Today, I visited southern Chester County, in the nearby district of Rep. Christina Sappey, along with our neighboring legislator Rep. Dan Williams. We gathered to honor a group of brave men from our three legislative districts who came together during a flash flood just weeks ago to save a family that was swept away in their car by a rising creek. Read more

 

Summer 2020 6-page newsletter

(Sep 04, 2020)

Rep. Otten's September 2020 newsletter highlighting a pipeline/environmental update, grants awarded to the district, voting by mail and more. Read more

 

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Sept. 3): Important Election Info

(Sep 04, 2020)

Yesterday we wrapped up a busy week of session, where election system efficiency was front-and-center. The House debated and voted on HB 2626, a bill that would effectively ban remote drop boxes and move the deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot from seven days before an election to 15 days before the election. Read more

 

Williams, Otten, Howard announce $358K in grants awarded to six area schools

(Aug 25, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 25 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Dan Williams, Danielle Friel-Otten and Kristine Howard announced that Coatesville Area School District, Chester County Intermediate Unit and 21st Century Cyber Charter School each received grant funding to improve educational services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Awardees are schools designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Grants were awarded as follows: Coatesville Area School District: North Brandywine Middle School: $68,542. Rainbow Elementary School: $60,320. Reeceville Elementary School: $38,494. Coatesville Area Senior High School: $56,148. Chester County Intermediate Unit: $96,353. 21st Century Cyber Charter School: $38,371. “Ensuring that each student has the tools they need to succeed this academic year will be more complex compared to years prior. I’m proud to see these schools receive this much-needed funding so children can safely continue to learn as we work toward mitigating COVID-19 throughout our community and our commonwealth,” Williams said. “Pennsylvania’s schools were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and historically underserved students are likely to be the most impacted. I am grateful for this additional funding, which will help ensure a successful, safe and productive Read more

 

Otten announces $1.3 million in water and sewer grants for three communities

(Aug 21, 2020)

UPPER UWCHLAN, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten, D-Chester, today announced that $1.3 million in grants has been awarded to three communities throughout her legislative district to help upgrade water and sewer infrastructure projects. The funding will be distributed through two grant programs by the Commonwealth Financing Authority . Details of grant recipients and projects are follows: H2O PA grants: Upper Uwchlan Township Municipal Authority: $463,996 to extend the township’s sanitary sewer system to properties that currently have failing on-site septic tanks. Borough of Phoenixville: $650,000 to upgrade the borough’s wastewater treatment plant to include hydrothermal carbonization, a process that converts organic matter to a carbon-rich, coal-like product called hydrochar. PA Small Water and Sewer grant: West Brandywine Township Municipal Authority: $254,316 to renovate four pump stations at Culbertson Run, Swinehart and Reeceville Roads. “These grants will help to address the waste management needs of our communities and ensure that current and future needs are met without further burdening taxpayers ,” Otten said. “Additionally, these projects will benefit our environment as they seek to reduce energy consumption, and, in Phoenixville’s case, decrease waste sent to landfills by using biosolids and food waste to create marketable end products. Read more

 

Legislators call on Wolf administration to revoke Mariner East pipeline permits in Chester County

(Aug 14, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 14 – State legislators representing five House districts and three Senatorial districts in Chester County have signed a letter to secretary Patrick McDonnell of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, secretary Dr. Rachel Levine of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Chairwoman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission calling for an immediate halt to Mariner East pipeline construction and a revocation of Energy Transfer’s permits in Chester County. “Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean water, clean air and the preservation of our state’s vast natural resources, but time and time again, construction on the Mariner East pipeline has violated that right,” state Sen. Katie Muth, Berks/Chester/Montgomery, said. “This latest incident further proves that construction cannot be carried out safely. All state-issued permits for the Mariner East pipeline in Chester County must be revoked.” “In just the past month, we’ve had more than a dozen serious events at Mariner East pipeline sites in Chester County, endangering our waters, ecosystems, and public health and safety,” state Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, said. “We’ve had sinkholes along Business Route 30 at one segment of the Mariner pipeline, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water pouring out of a hillside at another, pipeline Read more

 

Chester County Legislators' Letter to DEP, DOH and PUC

(Aug 14, 2020)

Chester County has been plagued yet again by a recent string of Mariner East pipeline construction incidents. Read more

 

Otten Statement on Mariner East Construction Incidents at Marsh Creek Lake (HDD290) and Shoen Road (HDD360)

(Aug 11, 2020)

Aug. 11, 2020 – Late yesterday afternoon, drilling fluid from a Mariner East horizontal directional drilling (HDD) site upstream of Marsh Creek State Park spilled into a tributary of Marsh Creek Lake and ultimately into the lake itself in an incident the industry refers to as an “inadvertent return” (IR). Sunoco/Energy Transfer initially claimed that 1,000 gallons of drilling fluid were spilled from the site, along pipeline segment HDD-290 in Upper Uwchlan Township. As of 2 p.m. on August 11, the PA Department of Environmental Protection has increased that estimate to at least 10,000 gallons. The pipeline operator has set up barriers and vac trucks in an attempt to contain and mitigate the damage, but as photos and videos sent to my office by constituents living along the path of the spill indicate, these efforts are far too little, too late. The actual volume of the spill and the full extent of this damage are not yet known. The DEP, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Fish & Boat Commission have been on site to survey the damage. Marsh Creek Lake is one of our greatest treasures in Chester County and in the 155th Legislative District. It is an important habitat for fish, birds, turtles, amphibians, and other land and aquatic wildlife, and a drinking water source for Downingtown Municipal Water Authority and Aqua PA’s West Chester division. Like the dozens of constituents who have called, Read more

 

Otten calls on legislature to ‘do better,’ votes against bill promoting fracking in Pennsylvania

(Jul 14, 2020)

EXTON, July 14 – State Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten today voted against legislation that would provide a state tax credit to petrochemical manufacturers, demanding that the General Assembly “do better” than giving away tax money to out-of-state companies putting their chemical refineries in Pennsylvania. According to the Department of Revenue, if signed into law, H.B. 732 could result in $22 million in lost tax revenue per year, with giveaways to multinational corporations to expand plastics and petrochemical manufacturing in Pennsylvania. “When we talk about tax fairness, that conversation doesn’t include the people of Pennsylvania shouldering property tax hikes while petrochemical companies get kickbacks and sweetheart deals invented by the very politicians who have existed for decades on fossil fuel campaign contributions,” Otten said. “This cycle must stop if we want to see any change in this state.” Otten also mentioned that the legislation goes against the strides that Pennsylvania has made in restoring and preserving residents’ health since the COVID-19 crisis began. “Two weeks ago, Attorney General Josh Shapiro shared a grand jury report that specifically outlined how fracking can have severe impacts on human health, and now we are seeing how living with pollution-induced illness has compounded the impact of COVID-19 in frontline communities, disproportionately Read more

 

PA public health policy must also include protection from fracking

(Jul 02, 2020)

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tom Wolf has demonstrated his willingness to go to great lengths to protect the health and safety of the public. It is time to bring the same political will to the issue of fracking. In its two-year investigation of the unconventional oil and gas industry, Pennsylvania’s 43rd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury “uncovered systematic failure by government agencies in overseeing the fracking industry and fulfilling their responsibility to protect Pennsylvanians from the inherent risks of industry operations.” (Source: Office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro ) The report outlined eight recommendations to protect Pennsylvanians from the risks of fracking and address the lack of oversight of the unconventional gas industry. In his public statement on June 25, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro painted a vivid picture, describing parents’ testimony that their children “would repeatedly wake up at night with severe nosebleeds caused by increased levels of gas in the air around the fracking sites.” While we are encouraged by the attorney general’s strong language regarding the health effects on children and others who live near fracking infrastructure, the eight recommendations miss an obvious first step: Stop the bleeding. The grand jury report provides irrefutable information and facts – 243 pages’ worth – demonstrating that people are Read more

 

Renter and homeowner aid available

(Jun 29, 2020)

Renters and homeowners who were financially impacted by the economic slowdown related to the coronavirus pandemic will be able to access applications for rent and mortgage relief beginning Monday, June 29. At that time, applications will be accessible from a red banner on the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s website at www.PHFA.org . Homeowners who became unemployed after March 1 or who suffered at least a 30 percent reduction in annual income due to reduced work hours and wages related to COVID-19 may be eligible for financial assistance to help with missed mortgage payments. To qualify for the Pandemic Mortgage Assistance Program, the applicant must be an owner-occupant of their residence, the dwelling must consist of one or two separate units, the mortgage must be at least 30 days delinquent, and the applicant-homeowner’s annual household income must not exceed the Area Median Income for their county of residence adjusted for the number of people in their home. For renters to be eligible for financial assistance under the CARES Rent Relief Program, they will need to document at least a 30 percent reduction in annual income since March 1 related to COVID-19, or they must have become unemployed after March 1. If unemployed, they must have filed for Unemployment Compensation. Their household income cannot exceed the Area Median Income for their county of residence adjusted for the number of people in their home. For more information Read more

 

Small Business Assistance grants available

(Jun 29, 2020)

Applications are expected to be available June 30 for a new program aimed at providing critical funding to local businesses hurt by the coronavirus. The first round of the $225 million COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance grant program is expected to open for applications on Tuesday, June 30 and will remain open for 10 business days. Additionally, applications will continue to be accepted after 10 business days to be considered for future rounds of funding. Those rounds will be announced soon. This program will award grants ranging from $5,000 - $50,000 to small businesses economically impacted by the coronavirus, and money is specifically set aside for businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people. For an application preparation checklist, criteria for eligibility and consideration, and a full list of participating Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), please click below to go to the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance website. https://pabusinessgrants.com/ Read more

 

Fall/Winter 2020 Senior Resources 
Oct 16, 2020

Otten, Shusterman announce $428K Recreation and Conservation grant
Oct 15, 2020

WEEKLY E-BLAST (OCT. 9): "Pennie" replacing healthcare.gov for Pennsylvanians
Oct 09, 2020

Otten: $109,300 grant awarded to expand Marsh Creek State Park
Oct 08, 2020

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Oct. 2): Protecting your right to vote
Oct 02, 2020

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Sept. 25): Important: Don't miss this step when voting by mail!
Sep 25, 2020

Otten announces $366K in outdoor recreation and conservation grants
Sep 24, 2020

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Sept. 21): COVID-19 Cases on the Rise as School Starts
Sep 21, 2020

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Sept. 11): Patriot Day, Marsh Creek Update and COVID-19 Resources
Sep 11, 2020

Summer 2020 6-page newsletter
Sep 04, 2020

WEEKLY E-BLAST (Sept. 3): Important Election Info
Sep 04, 2020

Williams, Otten, Howard announce $358K in grants awarded to six area schools
Aug 25, 2020

Otten announces $1.3 million in water and sewer grants for three communities
Aug 21, 2020

Legislators call on Wolf administration to revoke Mariner East pipeline permits in Chester County
Aug 14, 2020

Chester County Legislators' Letter to DEP, DOH and PUC
Aug 14, 2020

Otten Statement on Mariner East Construction Incidents at Marsh Creek Lake (HDD290) and Shoen Road (HDD360)
Aug 11, 2020

Otten calls on legislature to ‘do better,’ votes against bill promoting fracking in Pennsylvania
Jul 14, 2020

PA public health policy must also include protection from fracking
Jul 02, 2020

Renter and homeowner aid available
Jun 29, 2020

Small Business Assistance grants available
Jun 29, 2020