Townships Eligible for Keep America Beautiful Awards
If your township takes pride in its appearance, why not think about entering Keep America Beautiful’s 2014 Community Improvement Recognition Awards competition?
The annual awards recognize local governments and other groups for their work in:
- beautification and community greening, including graffiti abatement, gateway beautification, flower and tree planting, community gardens, and cleanups;
- litter prevention and community revitalization, including Great American Cleanup activities, adopt-a-highway programs, and litter hotlines;
- recycling and waste reduction, including composting, recycling centers or programs, recyclable collections, and illegal dump hotlines; and
- environmental education.
Winners will be recognized at the Keep America Beautiful 62nd Annual National Conference in Washington, D.C., January 27-29, 2015.
All entries must be submitted online at www.kab.org by October 1.
For more information, call Alexandra Donovan at (203) 659-3070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn Over Lunch with PSATS' Upcoming Webinars
PSATS' 'Learning at Lunch' webinars, held from noon to 1:30 p.m., are a great way to access essential, interactive training opportunities without ever leaving your desk!
All webinars are $30 for PSATS members and $40 for nonmembers. [To qualify as a member, you must have paid current annual membership dues to PSATS or its affiliates (solicitors, engineers, planners, and emergency management associations) or be an associate member.]
Get a glimpse of the available webinars below, and then click on each link for more information. Please note that all webinars are eligible for 1 course credit for enrollees of the PSATS Municipal Government Academy.
Protecting Your Municipality from Fraud - August 27, 2014
PA DEP Underground Mine Mapping and Mine Subsidence Insurance Program - September 10, 2014
Expanding Volunteer Recruitment and Retention for Fire/EMS Services - October 8, 2014
Accessibility for Parks, Playgrounds and Trails - November 5, 2014
Action Alert: Townships Urged to Oppose Clean Water Act Change
PSATS is asking township officials to urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw their proposed change to the Clean Water Act that would dramatically impact land, water, and local budgets.
If adopted, this rule would tighten federal control over the nation’s waters and land, including private property, by redefining what constitutes “waters of the U.S.” This phrase currently covers “navigable waters” that flow between states, typically rivers, but under the new rulemaking, it would include streams, wetlands, ponds, and even temporary bodies of water created by heavy rains and flooding, such as ditches.
While the agencies’ intentions may be admirable, their approach is being roundly criticized as a “terrifying power grab.” Why? Because the rule change would give the federal government greater authority over public and private waters and land. Local officials worry, for instance, that the regulation would delay projects and create new bureaucratic hurdles.
PSATS opposes the rule change and is encouraging townships to support its efforts. Here’s what you can do:
Study up on the rule change. Read more on the proposed rule from the National Association of Towns and Townships. Townships can also go to any search engine and do a keyword search — use such phrases as “Waters of the U.S.” and “Clean Water Act expansion” — to find related information and news articles.
Participate in the EPA’s public comment period, which ends October 20. Comments may be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-2011-0880. (Note:Suggested talking points for PSATS member townships are available under "Member Resources" and then "Environmental Info." You will need to enter your member ID and password to view the information.)
- Register your opposition with Pennsylvania’s senators, Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, and your congressman. (You can access their contact information by entering your zip code here.)
Submit Your Citizen Communication Contest Entries by Aug. 31!
If your township has published a newsletter or other publication to communicate with residents in the past year, show your pride in a job well-done by entering it in PSATS’ 47th Annual Township Citizen Communication Contest. Eligible publications or other forms of communication must have been produced between August 1, 2013, and July 31, 2014.
Entries must be received by August 29.
Thirty-one awards in eight categories will be up for grabs. Winners will receive a framed certificate and coverage in the Township News. All entrants will also compete for the 24th Annual Outstanding Citizen Communication Award, which will be presented at PSATS’ Annual Conference to the township that exhibits an exceptional commitment to informing its residents.
The contest honors townships for their citizen communication efforts in the following categories:
- Most improved newsletter
- Electronic newsletters (This category is for electronic newsletters that are produced strictly for the Web. Printed newsletters that are posted on a township’s website as a PDF are not eligible.)
- Annual reports (Year-end budget or financial reports that include figures but no text or graphics are not eligible.)
- Other publications, including brochures and calendars of events
- Cable TV channels and programs (Audiotapes are not eligible.)
- Social media (Judges will evaluate townships’ overall use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and other resources to communicate with their residents.)
Entries in the printed newsletter category will be judged according to the following population ranges:
- 2,500 and under
- 10,001 and over
Entries in the remaining categories will compete against one another regardless of township population.
Each entry will be judged on the usefulness of information presented, how well the information is communicated, and the entry’s attractiveness, readability, or technical quality, depending on the media being judged. First-, second-, and third-place awards will be given in all categories unless the entries fail to meet the minimum standards of the judges.
Awards will be mailed to winners in November, and the Association will publish an article in the Township News about the winning entries and send news releases to the winners’ local news media.
To enter, provide the following:
- For newsletters and other printed publications, send three copies of each entry.
- For websites and social media, send three printouts of the home page and the Internet address for judges to access the sites.
- For cable TV channels and programs, send three DVDs of each entry. Please note: Each township is limited to three entries in this category.
Each entry must be accompanied by a cover letter noting the category being entered and, for printed newsletters, the township’s population.
If submitting multiple publications in one category, such as Newsletters or Other Publications, please indicate whether they should be judged as one entry or separate entries. Multiple issues of the same newsletter, such as the spring and summer issues, will be judged as a single entry.
Townships entering the Most Improved Newsletter category should state in their cover letter who was responsible for the redesign, such as staff or outside agencies, and include three copies each of “before” and “after” newsletters.
Note: Once-a-year tabloid-type newsletters that contain a map of the township and business advertisements and are produced by outside firms are not eligible.
Mail all entries to: PSATS, 4855 Woodland Drive, Enola, PA 17025, Attn.: Brenda Wilt.