Upper Makefield Township
August 2011
In This Issue
September is National Preparedness Month
David Kuhns and John C. Kernan receive 20 years of service recognition
For children & adults:
The basics of friending, tweeting, and playing safe on social networking sites
Municipal building landscape receives beautification makeover thanks to local Boy Scout
Duathalon, Sept. 4!
Go back to school with
bus safety basics!
Community Events
 
Labor Day is Monday, Sept. 5-Township offices are closed.

We will re-open at 8:30 am on Tuesday, Sept., 6. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns prior to the holiday weekend.

Sept. 8: Philadelphia Union Mobile Tour

Please join the Upper Makefield-Newtown Soccer Club on September 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Brownsburg Park for the Philadelphia Union Mobile Tour.  The event will include give-aways, an inflatable field and a visit by a Philadelphia Union player! Join us at the park for this great community event!
Find out more information today!

Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve fall native plant sale: Sept. 10, 11, 17, 18
10 am to 4 pm

 

A premier selection of over 100 species of high-quality plants native to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the Delaware Valley region will be available for fall planting. Choose from herbaceous perennial wildflowers, trees, shrubs, ferns and vines. Knowledgeable staff and volunteers will be on hand to help you choose the most suitable plants for your site and to answer questions. Find out more information here.

Colonial Cooking Class, Sept. 18,
10 am to 4 pm  
Experience what cooking was like before microwaves and stove tops at a hands-on open hearth cooking class on Sunday, Sept.18 at the Hibbs House in Washington Crossing Historic Park. During the class, a food historian will teach participants how to stew, boil, roast and bake using the building's large open hearth fireplace. She will also share interesting culinary facts from the 18th century. Find out more information here.

Sept. 25: Paws in the Park at Tyler State Park     Join us for the first annual Paws in the Park dog walk and fair at Tyler State Park on Sunday, Sept. 25 from 9:30 am to 4 pm. This event benefits healthy, adoptable homeless animals in Bucks County and other PA cities. Find out more information here.

We will try to include as many events as possible; however we may edit submissions. The township maintains the right to select appropriate submissions for inclusion.

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September is National Preparedness Month - Learn what you can do to stay safe during unexpected emergencies

Irene damage

With cleanup from hurricane Irene just wrapping up, it is more important than ever for township residents to be informed and prepared for other emergencies and national disasters that could occur this year.

 

National Preparedness Month is held every September to increase public awareness about emergency preparedness. Like hurricane Irene, natural disasters can occur unexpectedly at any time, and these are tips you can use year-round to ensure that your family, business and community are as ready as can be.

 

Sign up for ReadyNotifyPAReady PA
While the majority of emergencies are unpredictable, if you are informed of situations quickly, you can do simple things to prepare yourself and possibly avoid an crisis situation.

 

What is the best way to stay informed and be in-the-know? Find out first with ReadyNotifyPA at   .

 

The ReadyNotifyPA system is a free emergency alert used by local emergency management officials in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties to send emergency alerts, notifications and updates to the cell phones and e-mail accounts of subscribers. Whether it's e-mail or text messaging, you get to decide how you'd like to be notified.

 

ReadyNotifyPA alerts cover many emergencies, including:

  • Health threats
  • Severe storms including hurricanes, blizzards, and tornados
  • Floods
  • AMBER alerts
  • Black ice
  • The need to seek shelter in the event of a chemical release
  • And much more!  

Online registration is easy!
To sign up, simply visit ReadyNotifyPA's website,
 www.readynotifypa.org, and select whether you would like to receive the alerts via text message or e-mail.

 

Along with being informed about breaking news and emergency information, we encourage everyone to make an emergency supply kit and create a family emergency plan. Emergencies can be scary, but by being informed and prepared, you can reduce the impact that it has on your life and return to your daily routine faster following an emergency. Read the full story on our website.

 

David Kuhns and John C. Kernan receive
20 years of service recognition
   

Director of Planning and Zoning & Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator David Kuhns and Fire Marshal John C. Kernan were both formally recognized on July 13, 2011 by Upper Makefield Township. Resolutions were adopted in both of their honors for their 20-plus years of service to the local government and citizens of Upper Makefield Township.  

 

More about David KuhnsDavid Kuhns

Kuhns started his career at Upper Makefield Township in 1991, and has held various leadership positions in the Planning and Zoning Department. Specifically, he has made significant contributions during the years of tremendous growth in Upper Makefield Township-providing leadership during the construction and building of new park facilities, pavilions, streetscape projects, and more. He also has been a key advisor in the development and implementation of improved stormwater management practices and reforestation projects within the township.

 

Additionally, throughout his 20 years of service with the township, Kuhns has provided professional support to the Planning Commission, Environmental Advisory Council, and Historic and Architectural Review Board.

More about John C. KernanJohn Kernan
Throughout Kernan's 20 years of service to Upper Makefield Township he has held various international, national, and state certifications for his position as Fire Marshal. Kernan shares his knowledge, expertise, and zeal for his career as an instructor in fire investigation. Additionally, Kernan is often called as an expert witness, and serves as a fire code inspector and investigator.

 

Over the years, Kernan has been recognized for his dedication and service as the recipient of local, state, national, and international commendations-including the Distinguished Service Award (2011) from the Pennsylvania International Association of Arson Investigators.

For children & adults: The basics of friending, tweeting, and playing safe on social networking sites
You may have not grown up with MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter-but if you have a teen or tween-their social status and daily communication with their friends is deeply rooted in everyday use of these social media websites. Even though, as a parent, you may not have a Facebook account-it is still recommended you learn how to monitor what photos and feelings your children post on the web. This is one of the hottest topics in news today due to the alarming stories about cyber-bullying, sexting, and other forms of online harassment. The Upper Makefield Police Department offers the following tips to protect yourself and your family.

Here is a good start: Tips for monitoring your
kids' social media
  • No Facebook for children under the age of 13: According to Facebook.com, no one under the age of 13 is permitted to join Facebook. The only issue is, there is no real way for Facebook to truly enforce it, because anyone can lie about their date of birth. It is up to parents to make sure their kids do not sign up for Facebook before the age of 13, or until you feel ready to sign them up for an online account. Filtering software is a great option to consider: There are software programs you can purchase to monitor what websites your children visit and how much time they spend on the internet.
  • Use your computer's privacy settings & Facebook's privacy settings: Check that your privacy settings for the Internet and Facebook are set to the strictest levels. In many instances you can adjust the settings directly from the options tab on your computer. Additionally, Facebook has extensive privacy settings.Click here to go see what level of privacy you have your children's Facebook account and your personal account set at. 
  • Consider keeping the family computer in a central location: It's much easier to monitor what websites your children visit and how much time your children are spending on the computer if you keep it located in a busy part of your home.
  • Be a good example of using social media: Children see everything we do-if we're constantly on Facebook we're showing our children it's ok to be on Facebook all the time. Always remember to ask yourself if you're setting a good example. See our guidelines for adults below.
Guidelines for adults: What we post today, can hurt us tomorrow
It's not just our children that are mis-using social media and photo-text messaging either-the inappropriate use of social media has negatively affected professional athletes, sports announcers, teachers and congressmen, too.

We have to remind ourselves that when we publish something like a photo or deeply personal message on Facebook-that it could one day in the future hurt our chances at a new job. Many people's online profiles are searchable and public-so a potential employer could see information that you would have not wanted them to see. Other issues arise from people who seek to exploit information we freely post online in order steal our identities or perpetrate other crimes against us.

The basics: Adult tips for safe social media use
  • Limit the posting of personal information: Do not list your date of birth, address, home phone number, cell phone number, or any other identifying information as this will greatly aid someone in stealing your identity or enable someone from your past to track you down.
  • Like your children, manage your account privacy settings: When you open your account, these sites typically have a low security/privacy setting as the default. Please educate yourself on the privacy and security settings of the social media site for which you have an account, so that you can prevent unwanted persons from viewing your page.
  • Do not announce or share your locations: This applies to listing or discussing your upcoming vacations, places that you will be around town, or where your current location is-as this can give a perpetrator a window of opportunity to know when your home will be empty.
  • When using these social media sites, never assume anything is private: From your pictures to your messages or the posts on your wall, assume that it is all public information and can be viewed by people for which the content was not intended. Do not post anything that you do not want everyone to see or read.
  • Do not accept all friend requests as not every friend request is legitimate: People can create fake accounts in an effort to gain access to you online. Some may be criminals looking to commit a multitude of crimes while others may be looking to stalk you. A simple rule to follow is if you do not know the person, do not accept the request.
  • Be wary of applications: Some may give the developer access to your personal data while others may be used to spread malware or viruses. Only download applications from trusted sources.
  • Keep your anti-virus software current
  • Deactivate or close a social media account when you wish to stop using a particular site
Municipal building landscape receives beautification makeover thanks to local Boy Scout

Jon RuffeThe landscaping at the Upper Makefield Municipal Complex received a major extreme-makeover thanks to Jon Ruffe, 17, of Boy Scout Troop 74 who installed a new garden and stone bench as part of his Eagle Scout project.  

 

Ruffe was recognized for his dedication and project leadership by the Upper Makefield Township Board of Supervisors at the August 3 Board of Supervisors meeting.

 

Be sure to stop and smell the new flowers at the municipal complex on Eagle Road the next time you drive by! In addition to clearing the overgrown brushes, Ruffe's landscaping efforts resulted in planting all new shrubs and perennials to add variety to the landscape.

 

About the experience of enhancing and altering the landscape at the municipal complex, Ruffe says, "It felt really good knowing that all my hard work and the work done by my fellow scouts and family members was noticed! I'm happy everyone liked all the things I picked out for the garden-especially the stone bench. It means a lot to me. It feels good to see people care about the hard work you put in."

The Board of Supervisors' chairman Conrad "Bud" Baldwin presented Ruffe with a certificate of appreciation. "This is something that makes me very proud living in Upper Makefield," says Baldwin.  

 

Township Manager Stephanie Teoli narrated "before" and "after" presentation which showcased the beautification project at the August 3 supervisors meeting. During her presentation Teoli said Ruffe's work "provided a beautiful, nice new landscape for the township."  

 

Throughout the planning and planting of the garden at the municipal complex Ruffe worked closely with Dave Kuhns and the Upper Makefield Township staff. Ruffe said his project would not have been possible without some key donations and guidance from professionals, including Colin Guerra of Reality Landscaping, Bucks County Blue Stone, Raines Pool Service and Thorpe Farm.


Ruffe, who lives in Upper Makefield, will be a senior at Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, N.J., this fall.
 

 
Duathalon, Sept. 4! River Road closed morning of race day 

On your mark, get set, go! Join hundreds of athletes and runners for a fun-filled morning of racing during the second annual Bucks County Duathalon on Sunday, September 4. Racers will compete in a 2 mile run, followed by a 10 mile bike ride, and will conclude with another 2 mile run. All Money raised from the event will benefit two worthy causes: The Washington Crossing Visitors Center and the Missy Flynn Fund, which provides financial aid for medical assistance to the Newtown athlete who survived a life-threatening brain aneurysm five years ago.   

 

A note to residents: River road will be closed!
Keep in mind that River Road will be closed on race day, September 4, from 7:30 am to 9 am from the Washington Crossing Bridge to Taylorsville Road.

 

There is still time to register!
Click here
learn more about the event and to register today.      
Go back to school with bus safety basics!

The first day of school is here! And since you and your kids haven't seen or been on school buses for almost three months, the Upper Makefield Police Department wants to take a chance to remind everyone about some basic school bus safety guidelines from DriveSafePA.org

 

School bus safety is a high priority in Pennsylvania. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, and the motoring public all play a vital role in keeping our children safe while on or around the school bus or school bus stops.


PA does have a School Bus Stopping Law:
  • Motorists must stop at least 10 feet away from school buses that have their red lights flashing and stop arm extended.
  • Motorists must stop when they are behind the bus, meeting the bus or approaching an intersection where a bus is stopped.
  • Motorists following or traveling alongside a school bus must also stop until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and all children have reached safety.
  • If physical barriers such as grassy medians, guide rails or concrete median barriers separate oncoming traffic from the bus, motorists in the opposing lanes may proceed without stopping.
  • Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety.
  • The penalties if convicted of violating Pennsylvania“s School Bus Stopping Law include:
    • $250 fine
    • Five points on your driving record
    • 60-day license suspension
For more information, review Pennsylvania“s School Bus Stopping Law Fact Sheet and read our full article on the web at DriveSafePA.org.      
Our website and eNews are two of our most cost-efficient ways to provide residents with valuable information. However, if you know someone who does not have a computer, and would be interested in receiving a copy of this eNews by mail, please have them call the township at 215-968-3340. For those with e-mail .  
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