On July 17, Natalie Reid Miller reported in the Observer-Reporter that the Marianna Outdoorsmen Association “completed a $150,000 Ten Mile Creek handicapped-accessible water trail project.” The intention of this project is wonderful. People with disabilities want and need......
Recently, an editorial was published that discussed the mental health system in our area. While there is certainly work to be done, over the last number of years there have been a number of successes in the region that are noteworthy.
Expansive service development has occurred in recent years, during the time frame of the closing of Mayview State Hospital. The five counties that made up the hospital’s service area – Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, Lawrence, and Washington – implemented many programs in an effort to serve those leaving the hospital, and provided for those who would have otherwise been considered for admission to Mayview. Within the service area, numerous residential programs have been developed, including one serving nearly 500 individuals in permanent supported housing.
While adequate housing options are a cornerstone to success of living in the community, clinical services are also essential. To that end, over 1,000 people received high-intensity Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) in the region, and community-based crisis services were expanded.
In addition to seeing more positive results for individuals living in the community, there is also a significant cost reduction: the closing of Mayview State Hospital resulted in a savings of $175,000 per person, per year when compared to the costs of serving individuals in the community. Budget cuts at the state level continue to jeopardize the ongoing sustainability of many services, but the counties have made commitments to prioritize services for individuals who have left Mayview, and for those in the community who would have gone there.
This spring, Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc. published a report that provides an update on how the 300 individuals who were discharged from Mayview are doing. According to intensive monitoring by the counties, no one discharged has experienced homelessness, and only 18 people had jail admissions. Additionally, inpatient psychiatric admissions have steadily decreased, and lengths of hospital stays have remained flat.
Research has shown that 1 in 4 people endure a period of mental illness at some point in their lives. We need to work together to find positive ways to support the mental-health system and to expand funding for services that effectively address illnesses that touch nearly all our lives.
Brandi Mauck Phillips
Mauck Phillips is the chief executive officer of Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc.
It should come as no surprise that the Philadelphia media is supporting Gov. Tom Wolf’s blast of the oil and gas industry. If we end up with an extraction tax on that industry, you will see a decline in activity, and all that new tax money will go to Harrisburg and then to Philadelphia.
In Washington County, look around – the impact fees seem to benefit, to some degree, all those who endure the presence of the natural gas industry. Check out sponsorships of most major events around you, road upgrades, and so many more public services. With Washington County’s reassessment coming up in 2016, it will no doubt have an impact on all our taxes in the county.
With an extraction tax, we are being promised yet another property-tax reduction, this time on the backs of the oil and gas industry. Let’s look at previous promises of tax relief: The Pennsylvania Lottery; Parimutuel betting; casinos; table games. How did all those work out?
When does it stop? Should we just keep going through the motions before it is too late?
Is the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) truly being responsible in administering all the commonwealth’s environmental laws and regulations? Or are they only concerned with promoting advanced energy?
The Department of Environmental Protection has to stop rubber-stamping industry requests and truly look at the impact these permits are having on our communities and the environment. I truly understand this is not an easy task. The laws and regulations are very complex and favor industry. One also has to wonder how responsible DEP is being when it continues to issue permits which allow for stream damage, knowing there are still seven streams within the same watershed as Ryerson Station State Park in Wind Ridge that have not returned to pre-mining status.
We have to stop kicking the can down the road and find common ground. We have to hold industry accountable for their actions. If we don’t, more will be lost, not just the dam at Ryerson Station State Park. Without water, we have nothing.
Kimberly A. Jones
This country has two major problems that support one another. They are drugs and cell phones.
I know the American people seem to think that their world revolves around their cell phones. But I find them to be a tool for drug dealers and a distraction in everyday life. A person cannot even go to the bathroom without being hounded by calls, and people do not visit and chat as they once did. They
are all too consumed with this alleged high-tech necessity.
I will admit that they do have some good points, but most are just silly distractions. The worst thing is texting. How many people are killed texting while driving?
I have a “dumb phone” and would easily give that up in a heartbeat. I carry it out of a dumb habit, not out of necessity.
Visit a loved one tomorrow and leave your cell phone home. They will love you more if you do.
While all of us sit back and watch and listen to the candidates for the Republicans’ 2016 presidential nomination run their mouths about who is the best and who is the worst for their party, we should try to look below the surface of the pretentious and pompous attitudes of those who are......
The ongoing debate over the future of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board makes it plain that the truth is the first casualty of the privatization wars, especially if that “truth” belongs to a vested interest such as a restaurant owner. I am referring to the July 21 letter from......
Reading about the dilemma with Charleroi Cemetery and, I’m sure, of other cemeteries and more to come, I recalled a bronze plaque hanging in the Allegheny Cemetery office. It was a quote by former British Prime Minister William Gladstone, and I have recalled it often when visiting cemeteries:...
In response to the letter by Michael Passalacqua, “Liquor must be privatized,” which appeared in the Tuesday Observer-Reporter, I am sure that the current employees of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board would be valuable within a private system, but would only be paid......
Our obsolete system of providing financial support for local schools via property taxes should be eliminated. The current system ensures that children in poor districts cannot and will not have the educational opportunities that exist in wealthy communities....
Are you as fed up as I am when you turn on the news or open the newspaper and learn about another shooting victim, or multiple shooting victims? The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people......
I am writing this letter in reference to Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed tax on gas production for the benefit of Pennsylvania’s schools. I presume these funds will be distributed to school districts on the basis of population. If so, the majority of this tax will serve urban areas or those......
Seventy-three-year-old Jewish socialist Bernie Sanders elected president? Get real. Fear and ignorance of socialism would have to be overcome, assumed and heartfelt bigotry discredited, and the length and quality of his public service deemed worthy of extension....