Newspaper Page Text
A3B-L«ncistef Farming, Saturday, October 3, 1998
Pa. State Grange
(Continued from Page AST)
Fears have arisen that perhaps
formalization of the volunteer
program would provide volunteers
with some state authority that
could override the rights of land
owners against trespass.
According to Courtney, "The ag
community seems to have several
questions about the program. Who
is liable if there is damage to the
farm, or if the citizen is hurt on the
“What recourse does a landow
ner have if they say, ‘No trespass
ing,’ and the monitor goes on the
private land anyway?
"What happens to the data when
it is collected, and what happens if
the data is collected to further a
vendetta against the landowner
(such as a hog, dairy, poultry or
feedlot operation that is unpopular
with a residential neighbor)?
"The Grange feels it needs to
formulate policy on the issue and
will take a serious look at it at the
state convention...” he said.
Another issue of the Sub
committee is the condition of
landfills in Pennsylvania.
(As an aside, accord
ing to a report this week,
Pennsylvania accepts 25
percent of the nation’s
states’ exported waste
into its landfills. With
proximity to the East
Coast megalopolis, and
the lack of proper plan
ning by the other states’
cities for waste manage
can make more money
using a farm as a landfill
than for food
According to Court
ney, “Gov. Tom Ridge
has put a moratorium on
new landfills and expan
sion permits, and has
asked for the legislative
imposition of a three
year freeze on new per
mits. The Grange plans
to discuss this issue in
depth at the conven
tion,” he said.
Paul Dawson, chair
man of the state Grange
about three issues of
concern for the
against misleading sol
icitations to purchase
goods hidden in so
called “sweepstakes by
mail” programs; achiev
ing a lawsuit abuse
reform act to discourage
the waste in money and
time on frivolous law
suits; and providing
some statewide compe
tency and consistency
with regards to local
enforcement of the laws
regarding the use of
farm vehicle license
“Does the American
public have the protec
tion it needs to guard
against mail and phone
solicitations and from
those who prey on inno
cent citizens? Should
we support tightening
the laws against fraudu
lent or near-fraudulent
He said that with a potential
Lawsuit Abuse Reform Act, "...
there is not an official draft ...
because the General Assembly is
not going to introduce it until the
next legislative session.
“However, the Grange will look
at developing policy at this con
vention (OcL 22-28) so that the
legislative director will have a
clear position to represent the
Grange ... .”
Barbar Gross, chairman of the
State Grange Family Issues Com
mittee, said there were four issues
of concern; school violence; a
proposal to the state Public Utility
Commission by a group of 20
small telephone companies to have
their rates increases made auto
matically through a tie with the'
inflation index; the lack of
required credentials for those [
home-schooling children and the'
lack of confirmatory testing, and'
consistency in rules (they vary
from school district to school dis
trict); and the lack of telecommu
nications equipment in rural areas
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