Good afternoon and welcome to our Week End Update.
My wife Shelley and I are saddened and appalled by the horrific shootings that occurred in El Paso and Dayton this past weekend. My thoughts are with the families of the victims, and I wish them peace as they are forced to deal with such an unimaginable loss. Hate and bigotry have no place in our country, and I stand with President Trump in his call to put politics aside to prevent future acts of domestic terrorism. I look forward to working on solutions that address mental illness in a serious manner and don't infringe upon the Constitutional rights of law-abiding American citizens. We all must work together to put an end to these atrocities.
As I mentioned in last week's update, I taped an interview on ABC-27's program This Week in Pennsylvania with host Dennis Owens. The interview aired last weekend. We discussed the important issues facing our nation, like the need for comprehensive border security. Click here to watch my appearance. I want to thank Dennis and ABC-27 for the opportunity to appear on their program.
This past week, our team met with state and local elected officials and constituents on issues that are important to the 9th Congressional District. We also conducted radio interviews with WKOK and WHLM.
On Monday, we met with Rep. Frank Ryan, South Londonderry Township Board of Supervisors Chair Faith Bucks and South Londonderry Township Zoning Officer Dawn Blauch for a tour to discuss stormwater fee issues. They are great public servants and I am committed to work towards a solution to our stormwater issues and these outrageous fees.
Later, Shelley and I attended the Carbon County fair where I spoke at the Opening Ceremony. We enjoyed visiting with so many great friends and local farmers in the County. Shelley and I are pictured below with County Commissioner Tom Gerhard and President of the Carbon County Fair Bob Silliman and photobombed by State Representative Doyle Heffley.
Tuesday was National Night Out and we attended an event Northern Berks Regional Police Department. As the proud son of a retired police officer, I have a unique appreciation for the work and sacrifices our law enforcement and first responders make day in and day out. We owe these brave men and women our gratitude and thanks everyday for the work they do to keep our communities safe.
As always, I was pleased to see so many of our great friends in attendance supporting law enforcement, including my friends Berks County State Representative Barry Jozwiak (a retired police officer) and Donna Lee Merritt.
We visited Schlouch Incorporated in Hamburg for a tour, safety briefing and meeting with their employees. Schlouch Incorporated provides design and survey work, excavating, utility work and much more. Our District is home to great companies and this is one of the best. They have unique techniques, skills training, provide great services and employ excellent workers with family-sustaining jobs. I want to thank Barry Schlouch for his great leadership and for having me out with his team.
Later that morning, we stopped by Grifols Plasma Donation Center in Reading. This facility employs thirty Pennsylvanians and the plasma they collect from donors helps to create medicines that are essential for the treatment of a variety of rare and chronic conditions including: bleeding disorders, primary immune deficiencies, certain neurological conditions and genetic emphysema.
We then visited Palmer Chocolates in Berks County. Palmer Chocolates makes delicious chocolate and candy products and is an employer of hundreds of employees. They have chocolate creative equipment and assembly lines dating back 70 years. This is truly a great manufacturing company and maker of chocolate in the heart of the 9th District. Central Pennsylvania doesn't realize how sweet it is, but we are right smack in the middle of the Chocolate Capital of the world. We had a great tour of their operations and visit with COO Mark Schlott (Pictured below).
We then dropped by Conrad Weiser's End of Summer Picnic. We enjoyed discussing the upcoming school year and the tools they will be using. The teachers and staff are wonderful, especially Adele. These are some bright young women and men and I am wishing all of them a great new school year.
We then stopped by the Potes Picnic for Shriners with State Representative Barry Jozwiak. The Shriners have a rich history of fellowship and philanthropy. It was great to see so many in attendance supporting this great cause.
We also took a moment to honor and remember the 1.8 million American soldiers who received a Purple Heart for meritorious service. These brave men and women have sacrificed for our nation's freedom and security. We are indebted to each one of them and their families for their service.
On Thursday, we attended the Grand Opening of the Brookdale Treatment Center in Scotrun. The Brookdale Treatment Resort is a private, sub-acute and freestanding Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center. The facility will be licensed by and under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. This co-ed facility will provide patients, who are at least 18 years of age, with treatment for chemical dependency. The Treatment Resort will be a self-contained facility located in a rural, tranquil setting that permits patients to engage in the process of self-reflection and change, leading to recovery from dependency and a return to chemical-free, productive life. I want to thank my friend Eddie Abraham (Pictured below) for inviting me to attend.
Today, I am going on a Congressional trip to Israel for a few days to visit with their government and receive briefings regarding the latest news and issues impacting both of our countries. This trip is sponsored by American Israel Education Foundation. Israel is one of our nation’s strongest and most trusted allies. Specific details can't be shared about our activities before our visit for security reasons, but we will provide you with a briefing from my trip when I return.
Have a great weekend and I will see you soon.