Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - September 10, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania
GAME: Steelers drop season-opener, 21-3 / Bl NOTEBOOK: Jags’ WR Smith has big day / B6
Tips for buying age-appropriate toys
Hayes: Pa. produce ‘Simply Delicious’
By Michael Emery Staff Writer
BELLWOOD — When Sam Hayes, Pennsylvania’s secretary of agriculture, visited the Bellwood-Antis Farm Show this weekend, he made a point of visiting the “Pennsylvania Produce... Simply Delicious” exhibit by seventh-and eighth-grade students in the Bellwood-Antis School District.
The artwork was “wonderful,” Hayes said.
Hayes visited two local fairs Friday. He also visited Claysburg Community Days Fair
earlier in the day.
The Bellwood-Antis and Claysburg fairs are two of the 114 community fears that are held in Pennsylvania annually, Hayes said.
The “Pennsylvania Produce ... Simply Delicious” program has been called successful since its inception four years ago.
The Department of Agriculture started the program in 1997 as a means of promoting Pennsylvania produce.
The program has grown to include more than
600 growers and 1,000 retailers statewide.
Through the Simply Delicious program, stores and retailers in Pennsylvania agree to sell Pennsylvania-grown produce — before selling fruits and vegetables grown out of state — as long as there is sufficient quantity and quality of Pennsylvania-grown fruits and vegetables.
Hayes said he is confident of the quantity and quality of all Pennsylvania-grown produce.
“Like the slogan says, Pennsylvania produce Please see Produce/Page A5
BLAU COUNTY ASSOCIATION FOR IDE BLIND
Golfers wear eye patch in benefit tournament
By MIA ROHART
Staff Writer LAKEMONT - Linette Beck had an interesting golfing experience Friday.
She played the game wearing an eye patch to help raise awareness about blind people.
“It’s an eye-opening experience,” Beck said with a chuckle.
“It makes it a different game. You have to concentrate more,” another golfer, Yvonne Gentry, said.
Beck and her husband are close friends with Stephen Mielnik, who
Please see Golf/Page AIQ
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■ Altoonan expecting nomination to 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
By Walt Frank
Chief U.S. District Judge D. Brooks Smith is expected to be nominated to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by President Bush as early as today.
Bush’s nomination of Smith, 49, of Altoona is anticipated as early as this week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported during the weekend.
“The appointment of Judge D. Brooks Smith to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is imminent,” said state Senate President Pro Tem Robert C. Jubelirer, R-Blair, a close friend and one-time law partner.
Smith, contacted at his home Sunday, said he did not wish to comment at this time because he has not received any official notification.
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said he hoped the announcement would be made soon.
“I have been advocating very strongly on his behalf. I think he’d be a good addition to the court,” he said.
Jubelirer said he was happy for his friend’s possible nomination.
“It is a great appointment. I am so happy for him,” Jubelirer said. "He is as close a friend as I have. We’ve been very close for a lot of years.”
After his nomination, Smith must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, a process that could take several weeks.
Smith became chief judge of the district court in January and sits in Pittsburgh and Johnstown.
Smith, a federal judge since 1988, has served as chief judge since January, replacing Judge Donald Ziegler in that role. By statute, the chief judge serves a seven-year term.
Smith started his law career in Altoona with the firm Jubelirer, Carothers, Krier & Halpem and later became a managing partner there.
During his years in private practice, he also served as an assistant district attorney in Blair County and a special assistant attorney general of Pennsylvania.
In the early 1980s, he helped lead a grand jury investigation into organized crime in Blair County.
After serving as district attorney from 1983-84, he was appointed judge in Common Pleas Court in 1984 and was elected to a full term the next year. In 1987, he was appointed administrative judge of the court.
Staff writer Walt Frank can be reached, at 94& 7467 or [email protected]
From Mirror staff and wire reports
HARRISBURG - Gov. Tom Ridge this weekend offered a proposal for making state and local government records more accessible to the public, although the measure dispensed with some tools sought by proponents.
Ridge said the plan would revise the state’s 44-year-old public records law by defining the furnishing of records to the public as a basic responsibility of government, placing deadlines on public officials to fulfill information requests and making the law applicable to electronic documentation.
■ Text of Gov. Ridge’s Right to Know proposal / Page AIQ _
“Ifs the right thing to do, and I believe my bill strikes the balance we need to actually get something done,” Ridge said. “These reforms expand access to public records, but without disregarding legitimate concerns in the General Assembly about privacy and the orderly operation of government.”
Open records advocates consider Pennsylvania’s current Right to Know Law one of the weakest in the nation. It assumes that a government record can be kept from public view unless specifically designated by law as open for inspection.
The law applies to records ranging from police logs to minutes of government meetings.
A coalition representing the state’s newspaper publishers and other media organizations praised Ridge for pursuing a “long-needed reform,” but it took issue with how the proposal defines public records and sets deadlines for government officials.
The proposal keeps the current definition of an open record intact while amending some of the procedures used to obtain public information.
“Under this proposal, Pennsylvania would continue to have probably the narrowest definition of public records in the country,” the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and other groups said in a joint statement.
“This means that citizens will be denied access to information that they could get if they lived almost anywhere else or requested it from the federal government.”
The proposal leaves the burden on citizens to prove to die government that it has a right to information. Most states have adopted the federal Freedom of Information Act philosophy, assuming all records are open unless they meet specific criteria.
The proposal does not contain some items sought by open-jecords advocates, including an independent state office that would hear appeals of disputes over records requests.
Instead, a member of the public would appeal the dispute to the head of the agency involved in the request who would have 30 days to make a final determination.
Please see Open/Page AIQThe X Games bring extreme sports mainstream attention. Local teen-agers reflect on the changing face of sports in this month’s Altoona Mirror Teens Page.
Mirror photo by Jason Sipes
David Barr, a 19-year-old Penn State Altoona student, draws a crowd of observers as he soars off one of the ramps while in-line skating at Mad Lines Indoor Skatepark near Altoona. Barr of Philadelphia is one of a legion of young adults taking their love of extreme sports to the edge. His efforts are sponsored by K2, a snowboarding company.