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Newtown Township Police Begin a Third Round of Aggressive Driving Enforcement Starting on July 8

Newtown Township Police Begin a Third Round of Aggressive Driving Enforcement Starting on July 8 | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Police in Newtown Township are launching the third wave of its aggressive driving enforcement campaign.

 

Newtown Township is one of more than 215 police departments from across Pennsylvania to participate in the seven-week aggressive driving enforcement campaign, which goes from July 8 to August 25.

 

The focus will be on heavy truck enforcement, red light running, tailgating, the Move Over law, and speeding. Other unsafe driving behaviors, such as driving too fast for conditions, texting, careless driving, and Work Zone Safety violations, will be included.

 

"Any aggressive driver stopped by police will receive a citation," police said.

 

The second wave of the year's Aggressive Driving campaign was conducted March 18 to April 28 (read “March 2019 Newtown Police Report: Crack Down on Aggressive Driving!”).

 

Related:

johnmacknewtown's insight:

As a result of the crack down on aggressive driving from March 18 through April 28, 2019, Newtown Police issued a total of 305 traffic citations in March and 254 in April (more details here).

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Public Health & Safety
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. They focus on public health issues such as opioid addiction, water and air quality, emergency services, traffic, crime, etc. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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Court Case Reveals Further Evidence of Drug Industry's Complicity in Opioid Epidemic. Pill Mills: 3,271 Pill Bottles Per Month Sent to Pharmacy in Florida Town of 2,831

Court Case Reveals Further Evidence of Drug Industry's Complicity in Opioid Epidemic. Pill Mills: 3,271 Pill Bottles Per Month Sent to Pharmacy in Florida Town of 2,831 | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The Walgreens employee was bewildered by the quantity of opioids the company was shipping to just one store. Its pharmacy in Port Richey, Fla. (population 2,831) was ordering 3,271 bottles of oxycodone a month.

 

“I don’t know how they can even house this many bottles to be honest,” Barbara Martin, whose job was to review suspicious drug orders, wrote to a colleague in a January 2011 email. The next month, the company shipped another outsized order to the same store.

 

The email was among thousands of documents from corporations across the pharmaceutical and retail industries — internal memos, depositions, sales and shipping reports, experts’ analyses, and other confidential information — filed Friday in federal court in Cleveland by lawyers for cities, towns and counties devastated by addiction. They lay out a detailed case of how diverse corporate interests — far beyond the familiar players like Purdue Pharma — fed a deadly opioid epidemic that persisted for nearly two decades.

 

Little-known manufacturers of generic pills, superstores like Walmart and chain retailers like Rite Aid also flooded the country with billions of pills, according to the filings (read “KVK Tech - Located in Newtown Township - is #7 Among the TOP TEN Biggest Rx Opioid Manufacturers! According to DEA Database”). The devastation was so extreme that one Ohio county resorted to a mobile morgue to handle all the corpses of people who died from overdoses.

 

As the epidemic crested, the suppliers with the greatest sales were not the branded manufacturers but those who made generic prescription drugs. Between 2003 and 2011, lawyers for the plaintiffs said in one filing, Mallinckrodt, the Ireland-based manufacturer of generic and branded drugs, sold 53 million orders of opioids. Yet the company stopped and then reported to federal authorities at most 33 orders as suspicious, a ratio the lawyers described as defying credibility.

 

The filings represent a signature moment in the run-up to the first trial of nearly 2,000 cases brought by cities and counties nationwide, consolidated in an Ohio federal court. They are seeking billions of dollars in compensation from the corporations implicated in the opioid epidemic.

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Officer Brent Helvig Sworn In as New Newtown Township Police Officer

Officer Brent Helvig Sworn In as New Newtown Township Police Officer | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

On July 10, 2019, 27 year old Brent Helvig was ceremonially sworn in as a police officer for Newtown Township Police Department by District Judge Petrucci before the township Board of Supervisors, his family, the public, and members of the Police Department. Officer Helvig was born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia and is a graduate of the Philadelphia Police Academy. Well-rounded with Emergency Services experience, he formerly served as a police officer for the Philadelphia Police Department for two years, assigned to the 22nd District.

 

Prior to joining the police department, Brent began his career in public service as a volunteer firefighter in Bucks County. Brent was also employed with the Philadelphia Fire Department as an EMT and was assigned to Engine 70/Medic 42 where he spent almost three years.   

 

Brent is excited to bring his experience to the citizens of Newtown and Wrightstown Townships and looks forward to fostering a positive relationship between the community and police department with emphasis on community policing. 

Sourced via CRIMEWATCH®: https://bucks.crimewatchpa.com/newtowntwppd/34824/post/officer-helvig-sworn-new-police-officer

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Newtown Township Police Begin a Third Round of Aggressive Driving Enforcement Starting on July 8

Newtown Township Police Begin a Third Round of Aggressive Driving Enforcement Starting on July 8 | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Police in Newtown Township are launching the third wave of its aggressive driving enforcement campaign.

 

Newtown Township is one of more than 215 police departments from across Pennsylvania to participate in the seven-week aggressive driving enforcement campaign, which goes from July 8 to August 25.

 

The focus will be on heavy truck enforcement, red light running, tailgating, the Move Over law, and speeding. Other unsafe driving behaviors, such as driving too fast for conditions, texting, careless driving, and Work Zone Safety violations, will be included.

 

"Any aggressive driver stopped by police will receive a citation," police said.

 

The second wave of the year's Aggressive Driving campaign was conducted March 18 to April 28 (read “March 2019 Newtown Police Report: Crack Down on Aggressive Driving!”).

 

Related:

johnmacknewtown's insight:

As a result of the crack down on aggressive driving from March 18 through April 28, 2019, Newtown Police issued a total of 305 traffic citations in March and 254 in April (more details here).

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Fentanyl Opioid Lollipop - "tastes like the most delicious candy you ever ate" - Was Illegally Marketed by Cephalon, Just One of the Pharma Companies Being Sued by Newtown and Other Municipalities

Fentanyl Opioid Lollipop - "tastes like the most delicious candy you ever ate" - Was Illegally Marketed by Cephalon, Just One of the Pharma Companies Being Sued by Newtown and Other Municipalities | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Bruce Boise said "every day was different" even "exciting" to him as a pharmaceutical salesman at Cephalon. But that all changed in 2000 when he says he was ordered by his boss to promote drugs "off-label" to doctors -- meaning for purposes that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration -- in order to boost sales.

 

"It's not legal for a pharmaceutical company to promote off-label," said Dr. Christopher Gharibo, a NYU pain specialist.

 

"I didn't do very well at all with selling off-label, because my heart just wasn't in it. I didn't think it was right," said Boise, who shared his story with host Alex Ferrer in the "Whistleblower" season finale, "Opioid Lollipops: The Case Against Cephalon." So, Boise took action and contacted investigators at the FDA. They wanted proof the company was breaking the law.

 

"A couple of agents … sat down and talked to me about what the company was doing and asked me to bring material to show how they were doing it," Boise explained.

 

In 2003, agents asked Boise if he'd wear a wire at a Cephalon national sales meeting.

 

"I thought if that's what … it took to stop a company from doing what they're doing," he told Ferrer.

 

Boise was outraged when he heard a sales rep describe how he was promoting Actiq, a medical lollipop made with the extremely powerful opioid fentanyl to general practitioners.

 

"Fentanyl," Dr. Gharibo explained, "is a very strong opioid. It's about a hundred times stronger than morphine."

 

Fentanyl is the drug that killed Tom Petty and Prince and, according to Gharibo, "very easy to overdose on."

 

[As described by one patient, Actiq "tastes like the most delicious candy you ever ate.”]

 

The FDA had approved Actiq only for cancer patients in acute uncontrolled pain – a very small market. Cephalon, though, pursued a much larger one. "They eventually marketed it," Boise said, "for low back pain and migraine patients."

 

"You're talking about a Class 2 narcotic," he said. "And you're giving it to a migraine patient. … So it puts patients at risk."

 

Boise was fired when the company learned he was working with the FDA -- and then his fears about promoting Actiq for off-label use were realized: Robin Geist-Wick, a migraine sufferer who took Actiq to dull her headaches, tragically, became addicted.

 

"It hooked her right away," Robert Wick said. "I wish Robin had never taken that Actiq. I think she'd still be alive."

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NAC, Marco's: Some of Newtown's Most Popular Eating Places Fail Recent Newtown Health Inspections in June

NAC, Marco's: Some of Newtown's Most Popular Eating Places Fail Recent Newtown Health Inspections in June | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The Bucks County Department of Health has inspected 19 Newtown establishments so far in June.

Here's what they found:

(Click here to access full report on each inspection)

  • Aaron's Fresh Meats - 3 violations
  • Barbie's Soft Pretzels - 2 violations
  • Dominick's Pizza - 3 violations
  • Joey G's - 7 violations
  • KO Restaurant - 10 violations (2 inspections)
  • Marco's Pizza - 6 violations
  • McCaffrey's Market - 4 violations
  • Meglio Wood Fired Pizzeria - 3 violations
  • Melt Shop - 1 violation
  • Newtown Athletic Club Poolside Cafe - 13 violations
  • Ota-Ya Japanese Restaurant - 8 violations
  • OwowCow - 4 violations
  • The Temperance House - 3 violations
  • Triple Sun Spirits Company - 1 violation
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NAC's poolside cafe racked up the most violations!

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CrimeWatch: @Newtown_Police Cut a Deer Loose, Give Marijuana User a Break, and Educates Resident About Amazon Delivery People

CrimeWatch: @Newtown_Police Cut a Deer Loose, Give Marijuana User a Break, and Educates Resident About Amazon Delivery People | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

June 12, 2019: Police were dispatched to a home on Delaware Court just before 6 a.m. for a report of a deer tangled in a soccer net in the back yard. The responding officers received permission from the resident to cut the soccer net in order to successfully free the deer.

 

[I would love to see a video of that! Not only the deer could have been injured but also the officers. It’s amazing the things our Police Department is asked to do! Seems to happen often if Google Images is to be believed (the image above is NOT this incident, but just a random photo I found online).]

 

June 8, 2019: Police stopped a driver on Durham Road for committing a vehicle code violation. Upon contact with the driver, the officer detected the odor of marijuana. A small amount of suspected marijuana and drug paraphernalia was discovered and collected as evidence. The driver satisfactorily performed Field Sobriety Tests and was permitted to leave the scene. He was advised that he would be receiving several citations for his violations.

 

[I am in favor of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. There’s no sense ruining a young person’s life with a criminal record for that!]

 

June 7, 2019: A Newtown Township resident reported seeing a woman stealing packages off of front porches in the area of North Drive and Sequoia Drive and decided to follow her around the neighborhood until the police arrived. Police responded and met with the complainant. Both observed that the woman was delivering packages for Amazon and was not stealing them. Police explained to the complainant that most Amazon deliverers do not have uniforms or marked vehicles.

 

[Q: Was the delivery person a person of color and that’s why she was followed?]

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Courier Times Says Has A Simple Message for Elcon: "Go Away."

Courier Times Says Has A Simple Message for Elcon: "Go Away." | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Shame on Elcon for ignoring the will of the masses in its relentless pursuit of profit. Even after five years of hearing “no,” the company is still unwilling to take it for an answer.

 

We’re not going to litigate the [issue] here. But we’ll say this: Elcon Recycling Services had five years to draft a plan that would pass muster with the township and assuage the fears of residents and environmentalists. Instead, if the specificity of the filing is any indication, it seemed to spend those five years laying the groundwork for an appeal.

 

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued a draft “intention to deny” Elcon’s application following a 10-month review process after a public comment period ends July 15 (see here http://sco.lt/5QONnc). It’s possible that Elcon could still submit alterations to its application in the next few weeks that’d change the DEP’s position but, at this point, it looks like Elcon is heading toward a “no” from the state as well.

 

We implore Falls Township to continue the fight at county court. We urge Elcon to take all these ’no’s for an answer and simply go away.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “Despite Falls Vote Against It, the Elcon Proposal Isn’t Dead Yet. Activists Plan to Double Their Efforts to Kill It”; http://sco.lt/89CAoy
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CrimeWatch: @Newtown_Police Responded to Overnight Attempted Robbery at KVK Tech Site

CrimeWatch: @Newtown_Police Responded to Overnight Attempted Robbery at KVK Tech Site | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

On June 10, 2019 at approximately 4:35 am, Newtown Township Police Officers responded to a reported robbery in progress at KVK Tech, located on Campus Drive [the old Lockheed Martin site]. Overnight security staff reported that they encountered two black males pictured in the attached photos, that had gained access to the interior of the business and demanded to know the location of any drugs on site. The security advised the males that the location does not include any drugs on site and the males forced the security staff inside of an office and threatened them to remain inside for a period of time, or they would be shot. The males then fled the business and security notified police. The males are described as 1) a black male, approximately 5'8", thin build, & 2) a black male wearing a construction hard hat, approximately 6'0" tall.

 

Through the course of the investigation, Detectives have learned that the black male wearing the floral pattern shorts, a black hat and the “Big Paw Paw” t-shirt, entered the property recently and attempted to access the business.

Sourced via CRIMEWATCH®: https://bucks.crimewatchpa.com/newtowntwppd/34824/cases/overnight-attempted-robbery

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Glad no-one was harmed. These guys probably wanted to nab some oxycodone (an opioid), KVK's #1 best-selling drug.

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FDA Finds PFAS in Chocolate Cake at 250 Times the Health Advisory Level for Drinking Water. Should You Be Concerned?

FDA Finds PFAS in Chocolate Cake at 250 Times the Health Advisory Level for Drinking Water. Should You Be Concerned? | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The Food and Drug Administration found substantial levels of a worrisome class of nonstick, stain-resistant industrial compounds in some grocery store meats and seafood and in off-the-shelf chocolate cake, according to FDA researchers.

The FDA’s food-test results are likely to heighten complaints by states and public health groups that President Donald Trump’s administration is not acting fast enough or firmly enough to start regulating the manmade compounds.

A federal toxicology report last year cited links between high levels of the compounds in people’s blood and health problems, but said it was not certain the nonstick compounds were the cause. 


The levels in nearly half of the meat and fish tested were two or more times over the only currently existing federal advisory level for any kind of the widely used manmade compounds, which are called per- and polyfluoroalykyl substances, or PFAS.

The level in the chocolate cake was higher: more than 250 times the only federal guidelines, which are for some PFAS in drinking water.

Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Tara Rabin said Monday that the agency thought the contamination was “not likely to be a human health concern,” even though the tests exceeded the sole existing federal PFAS recommendations for drinking water.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

I guess it’s “not likely to be a human health concern” unless you eat a whole lot of chocolate cake!

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Nation’s First Massive Trial Against Opioid Manufacturers In Oklahoma Will Test How Much Pharma Will Be Held Responsible For #OpioidCrisis

Nation’s First Massive Trial Against Opioid Manufacturers In Oklahoma Will Test How Much Pharma Will Be Held Responsible For #OpioidCrisis | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

A trial that kicked off in Norman, Oklahoma, on Tuesday will provide an unprecedented examination of how the country spiraled into a devastating opioid epidemic — and could indicate to what degree drug companies accused of fueling the crisis will be held responsible in hundreds of other lawsuits still pending across the country.

 

Most of the litigation against opioid makers and distributors — involving states, cities, counties and tribes [including Newtown Township’s case. For more on that, read “Newtown Files Suit Against Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors”] — is wrapped up in a single massive lawsuit overseen by a federal judge in Ohio. But the Oklahoma lawsuit against a single manufacturer of prescription painkillers is the first to reach trial and could establish a precedent for damages paid to communities ravaged by opioids.

 

In opening arguments Tuesday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter accused Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals — the lone remaining defendant in the case — of creating “ruinous destruction” by flooding the state with highly addictive painkillers.

 

"It's time to hold them responsible for their actions," Hunter told Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman, who will decide the case instead of a jury.

 

But Johnson & Johnson attorney Larry Ottaway countered that Oklahoma is distorting facts to wrongly blame the company for the addiction crisis and questioned whether it can get a fair trial in state court.

 

“When they make the charge that the people at Janssen set out to addict kids, it is only fair that we bring before the court what Janssen actually does to educate kids,” Ottoway said.

 

The Oklahoma trial, which is being broadcast online, is expected to last for much of the summer, drawing renewed attention to a health crisis that is still claiming 130 U.S. lives a day. The testimony will focus on how much manufacturers of highly addictive painkillers are to blame for getting patients hooked on opioids through misleading medical claims and aggressive marketing practices.

 

The trial will be closely watched by the hundreds of parties participating in the larger multi-district litigation overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster, who has been pushing for a massive settlement before the first of those cases go to trial in the fall.

 

“It’s going to be one of the first times that there will be evidence presented in an open forum about how we got to where we are,” said Joe Rice, co-lead counsel in the federal litigation targeting drugmakers and distributors in Ohio. “That’s a big question that a lot of people in the health community want to know. … Why and how did we get here?”

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related Stories:

  • “PA Sues Purdue Pharma: If They Won’t Negotiate, Then We Must Litigate!”; http://sco.lt/6JagyW
  • “Purdue #Pharma Doesn't Want Court to Unseal Oxycontin Marketing Documents. What's It Hiding?”; http://sco.lt/6wb24f
  • “OxyContin's 12-hour Problem: Misrepresentation of Efficacy Leads to Addiction & Purdue Knew It”: http://sco.lt/8RfD5F
  • “The History of Purdue's Marketing of Oxycontin & Its Connection to the Opiate Epidemic”: http://sco.lt/6RajLd
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Fetterman's Listening Tour in Newtown: Attendees Overwhelmingly Support Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Fetterman's Listening Tour in Newtown: Attendees Overwhelmingly Support Legalization of Recreational Marijuana | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Legalizing recreational marijuana appears to be favored by area residents if Wednesday night’s visit from Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in Newtown Township is any indication.

 

A crowd of about 150 people came to the Zlock Performing Arts Center at 275 Swamp Road as part of Fetterman’s statewide listening tour for legalized cannabis use.

 

Only about 40 people were able to speak during the meeting, but a show of hands at the end of the night had only about 15 people opposing legalizing the federally prohibited drug.

 

Fetterman was joined by state Sens. Steven Santarsiero, D-10, and Maria Collett, D-12, as well as Reps. Perry Warren, D-31; Wendy Ullman, D-143; and Tina Davis, D-141.

 

There was no shortage of opinions for or against the idea as local elected officials, registered nurses, police officers and people in recovery from addiction spoke out for and against recreational marijuana use.

 

“It’s a shame it’s taken this long in Pennsylvania to get to a place where we’re ready to have this conversation,” said Alex Overton, a registered medical marijuana patient.

 

Overton was the first person to comment, and several of the issues he raised in support of recreational marijuana would set the tone for many of the supporting comments that followed.

 

For Overton, marijuana isn’t a step toward harder, more addictive drugs, but a way to get away from them [read “Pot vs Pills: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Special Report"]. He said he is one of many Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients using cannabis to manage his methadone treatment.

 

[Do you believe Medical Marijuana (MMJ) can have a role in preventing the over prescribing and overuse of opioid painkillers and thus help fight opioid addiction? Take my "Medical Marijuana vs. Opioids Survey".]

 

Another man, who didn’t give his name, said he too was an addict in recovery and credited medical marijuana as a major aid in his now decade-long sobriety.

 

He identified himself as a paramedic who aided emergency workers in New York City during the 9/11 attacks, which led to post-traumatic stress disorder and other similar conditions afterwards.

 

At least two women who said they were registered nurses objected to comments made by legalization supporters suggesting marijuana had no negative health effects.

 

Bensalem police Chief Fred Harran warned legalizing marijuana use would almost certainly make the roads more dangerous with impaired drivers, while Warrington Supervisor Fred Gaines said he supported decriminalizing marijuana to free up police resources.

 

“It’s freaking 2019,” frustrated Newtown Township resident Stephen Cickay said.

 

“Prohibition failed for alcohol, and prohibition, right now, is failing for pot,” Cickay said.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Legalizing Recreation Use of Marijuana in PA Could Mean $581M Windfall in State Taxes, Says PA Auditor General”; http://sco.lt/8e0LeC
  • “State Rep. Perry Warren, D-31, of Newtown, Supports PA House Resolution 567 to Study Possible Decriminalization of Marijuana”; http://sco.lt/7Oy3Af
johnmacknewtown's insight:

Not only can legalized marijuana raise much needed tax revenue, it can also help combat the opioid epidemic, save lives, and save EMS expenses as well as freeing up law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes. Read “Is There a Role for Medical Cannabis in Combating the Opioid Epidemic?

 

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Hard-hit Pennsylvania to Sue Drug Maker Over Opioid Epidemic

Hard-hit Pennsylvania to Sue Drug Maker Over Opioid Epidemic | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The attorney general of Pennsylvania says he’s filing a lawsuit accusing a pharmaceutical giant of fueling the opioid epidemic.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office said it would announce details of the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon. Pennsylvania is one of the states hardest hit by opioid addiction.

Shapiro’s office two years ago joined with dozens of other states to investigate companies that make and distribute opioid painkillers. Several Pennsylvania counties have already sued drugmakers, and a federal judge in Cleveland is overseeing more than 1,500 lawsuits filed by local governments, American Indian tribes and others against the opioid industry.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioids, including prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and illicit drugs such as fentanyl and heroin, were involved in a record 48,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2017.

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14 Sites Have PFAS Contamination In Eastern PA

14 Sites Have PFAS Contamination In Eastern PA | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

A new report shows that hundreds of sites nationwide — including 13 in eastern Pennsylvania alone — have been contaminated with the PFAS chemicals so familiar to many area residents, many of whom have had their drinking water systems impacted by the toxic substances.

 

Researchers at the Environmental Working Group, an activist nonprofit group, said Monday that at least 610 places in 43 states are now known to be contaminated with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known collectively as PFAS. That's up from the 172 the organization had identified in July 2018. A total of 19 million people have had their water source affected.

 

The new study gives Pennsylvanians a comprehensive look at just how widespread the problem is, and offers a comparative glance at how severely area military bases, drinking water wells, and other sites have been compromised.

 

The results from EWG show that many eastern Pennsylvania sources have skirted this line, while others have shown far greater levels of contamination. Here’s a sampling of sites:

 

Aqua PA Hatboro

  • Population served: 12,901
  • Testing dates: 06/25/14 - 12/30/17
  • PFAS detected: PFHpA, PFOA, PFOS
  • PFAS min - max: 0 - 55.3 ppt

 

Upper Dublin Township

  • Date of discovery: 2016
  • Results: North Hills well (Jun 2018): -PFOS= 40 ppt -PFOA= 3.1 ppt Upper Dublin Township well (Jan 2019): -PFOS= 5.7 ppt -PFOA= 4.1 ppt
  • Suspected source: Firefighting foam used at Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base

 

Horsham Water and Sewer Authority

  • Population served: 25,000
  • Testing dates: 06/24/14 - 12/27/17
  • PFAS detected: PFBS, PFHpA, PFHxS, PFOA, PFOS
  • PFAS min - max: 0 - 44001118.4 ppt

 

See the full list here.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Add to the list:

 

Newtown Artesian Water Company

  • Population served: More than 20,000
  • Date of Discovery: March, 2019
  • PFOS min - max: 2.4 - 26 ppt
  • PFOA min - max: 3.5 - 23 ppt

 

Read "PFAS in Newtown Drinking Water" staring on page 5 of the April, 2019 edition of Newtown News Update.

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Pennsylvania Adding Anxiety Disorders, Tourette’s Syndrome As Qualifying Conditions For Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Adding Anxiety Disorders, Tourette’s Syndrome As Qualifying Conditions For Medical Marijuana | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The Pennsylvania Health Department is adding anxiety disorders and Tourette’s syndrome to the list of conditions that can qualify people to obtain legal medical marijuana. The heath secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, announced Thursday she’ll be adding them as of July 20.

Levine says her decision was based on the recommendation of the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board and her own review of medical research literature.

She says medical marijuana shouldn’t be the first treatments for those conditions, but physicians can recommend it to be used together with traditional therapeutic approaches.

The list already includes cancer, epilepsy, intractable seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, terminal illness and other conditions.

Nearly 111,000 Pennsylvanians have been certified for participation in the state’s medical marijuana program.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related:

  • “The Public Now Can Request That More Illnesses Be Added to the List to Qualify For Medical Marijuana In PA”; http://sco.lt/7HHfY8
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June 2019 Newtown Township Police Report: Traffic Citations Drop, But Don’t Get Complacent!

June 2019 Newtown Township Police Report: Traffic Citations Drop, But Don’t Get Complacent! | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Police Chief John Hearn presented the Calls Report for June 2019 at the July 10, 2019, Board of Supervisors meeting.

 

In June, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,603 total calls, 361 (23%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown Township and Wrightstown).

 

More details here.

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Best Way to Fight Climate Change? Plant a Trillion Trees. Plant Many Fewer Trees in Newtown to Fight Pollution of Our Streams and Lakes

Best Way to Fight Climate Change? Plant a Trillion Trees. Plant Many Fewer Trees in Newtown to Fight Pollution of Our Streams and Lakes | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The most effective way to fight global warming is to plant lots of trees, a study says. A trillion of them, maybe more.

And there’s enough room, Swiss scientists say. Even with existing cities and farmland, there’s enough space for new trees to cover 3.5 million square miles (9 million square kilometers), they reported in Thursday’s journal Science . That area is roughly the size of the United States.

The study calculated that over the decades, those new trees could suck up nearly 830 billion tons (750 billion metric tons) of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That’s about as much carbon pollution as humans have spewed in the past 25 years.


Much of that benefit will come quickly because trees remove more carbon from the air when they are younger, the study authors said. The potential for removing the most carbon is in the tropics.

“This is by far — by thousands of times — the cheapest climate change solution” and the most effective, said study co-author Thomas Crowther, a climate change ecologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

According to comments from the Neshaminy Creek Watershed Assn submitted to Newtown Twp in response to its Pollution Reduction Plan, trees are the best way to prevent sediment and other pollutants from entering the watershed. View the video here.

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Newtown Police Department Adds Nextdoor to Its Social Media Outreach Program. Kudos!

Newtown Police Department Adds Nextdoor to Its Social Media Outreach Program. Kudos! | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

This morning, I was surprised to see the above message in my email inbox from Nextdoor. I should not have been surprised because the Police Department has an excellent FB page, plus  Twitter and Instagram accounts!  Kudos to Sergeant Lupinetti, who manages these accounts.

 

Read more about this here: http://bit.ly/NTPD_nextdoor 

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A New Analysis by the Pennsylvania DEP Has Found that Newtown Creek is Now “Impaired.”

A New Analysis by the Pennsylvania DEP Has Found that Newtown Creek is Now “Impaired.” | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The issues are believed to stem from a mix of agriculture and increased development.

 

A recent draft report from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection brings bad news for some of Bucks County’s beloved waterways. Titled the “Pennsylvania Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report,” the analysis shows that water quality in the Newtown, Unami, and Morgan creeks has deteriorated since last evaluated.

 

[Note: The Neshaminy Creek is listed as impaired from past evaluations.]

 

“As we reassess, what we’re finding is a lot of developed areas, and increasing development in areas like Bucks County,” Dustin Shull, a section chief in the DEP’s Division of Water Quality, said during an interview last week. “They’re going from farm fields to more residential and more impervious surfaces.”

 

Shull says the DEP is required to deliver reports to the federal Environmental Protection Agency on the state of Pennsylvania’s waterways every two years. The regulations require DEP to identify four potential designations for each stream — supportive of aquatic life, recreational use, fish consumption, or potable water supplies — and then evaluate whether the waterways are “attaining” that designation based on a variety of testing. If the steams don’t meet the standards, the DEP then has to come up with a plan to improve water quality.

 

When waterways are found to be impaired, Shull says the DEP must develop plans called Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs. They focus on keeping too many harmful pollutants or runoff from entering streams and returning the waterway to a more natural state.

 

For practical purposes, that means the DEP might use a more rigorous permitting process for developers and require advanced stormwater retention or rain gardens, or work with industries to limit their direct discharges into the waterway.

 

“It’s a prescription for reducing pollutants ... that’s the whole purpose of the (federal) Clean Water Act,” Shull said.

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@Newtown_Police Seek Help to Identify "Actors" Involved in Vending Machine Thefts at BCCC 

@Newtown_Police Seek Help to Identify "Actors" Involved in Vending Machine Thefts at BCCC  | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Newtown Township, Pa - Newtown Township Police are investigating a theft that took place at the Bucks County Community College on June 14, 2019 at approximately 9:30 a.m.  Six vending machines in different locations on campus were found to have been damaged. 

 

Surveillance video was reviewed and two actors were observed to be involved with damaging the machines and also removing money from them. These two actors are also believed to be suspects in similar thefts in Montgomery County. 

 

Detectives are investigating this case and would like your assistance with identifying the actors in the attached pictures. 

Sourced via CRIMEWATCH®: https://bucks.crimewatchpa.com/newtowntwppd/34824/cases/theft-help-us-identify-these-actors?fbclid=IwAR0inSm5dpPevE2i97hv5-2odsvwCVO_zQ9ScHfL6vmgo6fuvArrSnmWzpk

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May 2019 Police Report: A Speeding Ticket Is The Best Education!

May 2019 Police Report: A Speeding Ticket Is The Best Education! | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Police Chief John Hearn presented the Calls Report for May 2019 at the June 12, 2019, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting. In May, the Newtown Police Department (NTPD) responded to 1,633 total calls, 310 (19%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (NTPD provides services to both Newtown Township and Wrightstown).

 

See more details, including "calls for service" data, here.

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Newtown Police Log: Underage Drinking, Theft From Vehicles & Elderly Man in Red SUV!

Newtown Police Log: Underage Drinking, Theft From Vehicles & Elderly Man in Red SUV! | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

June 3
Suspicious Persons

Just after 11:30 a.m., a Sebelius Road resident contacted police to report that an elderly man with a white beard, driving a red SUV, suspiciously drove on to her property and around her house. When the complainant approached the vehicle, the operator waved and drove away. The complainant was unable to report the license plate of the vehicle.  Police searched the area for a vehicle matching the description, but the vehicle was not found.

[See more incidents reported by the Newtown Police for May 31 through June 6 here.]

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A bit early for Santa Sightings isn't it? Could the @Newtown_Police have been "punked"?

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Mundipharma – the International Arm of Purdue #Pharma – Pushes Opioids to Docs In Italy Via “The Pain League”

Mundipharma – the International Arm of Purdue #Pharma – Pushes Opioids to Docs In Italy Via “The Pain League” | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Managers with Mundipharma, the international arm of Purdue Pharma, have been swept up in a corruption case in Italy alleging they and other pharmaceutical executives paid a prominent pain doctor to help push more opioids in this country long leery of the powerful painkillers.

 

It is the first known case outside the U.S. where employees of the pharmaceutical empire owned by the billionaire Sackler family have been criminally implicated, more than a decade after Purdue executives were convicted over misleading the American public about the addictiveness of OxyContin.

 

Investigative files obtained by The Associated Press detail how Dr. Guido Fanelli was allegedly paid to help promote painkillers by an alliance of pharmaceutical managers he called "The Pain League." Prosecutors say Fanelli wrote articles, organized conferences and helped counter government warnings that opioid consumption was spiking and that physicians should be cautious. The message trumpeted, the AP found, was that there's an epidemic of chronic pain, opioids are the solution and addiction fears are exaggerated.

 

Those are the same practices, experts contend, the pharmaceutical industry employed in the U.S. that helped create an addiction crisis that has claimed 400,000 lives.

 

"It makes me feel sick more than anything else," said U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, who sent a letter to the World Health Organization in 2017 warning that Mundipharma was repeating the "deceptive and dangerous practices" of Purdue, which faces some 2,000 lawsuits in the United States over its promotion of opioids. The letter implored the agency to act — before the American epidemic becomes a pandemic.

 

The case Italian prosecutors lay out offers a look at how Big Pharma executives still pushed opioids abroad even after the cause and consequences of the U.S. epidemic had become apparent.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

With the U.S. in the grip of an opioid epidemic that has claimed more than 200,000 lives, the U.S. medical establishment is turning away from painkillers. But Purdue has shifted its marketing practices to Europe. Read “The Pain in Spain: OxyContin Sales Shrink in U.S., So Purdue #Pharma Goes Global!

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PADEP Hands a Fresh Setback to Elcon's Toxic-Waste Incinerator Proposal

PADEP Hands a Fresh Setback to Elcon's Toxic-Waste Incinerator Proposal | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection came out against an application for a proposed toxic waste treatment facility in Bucks County on May 15, saying it had “a number of outstanding deficiencies.”

 

PADEP’s Notice of Intent to Deny comes after completing a 10-month technical review of materials submitted by the applicant, Israel-based Elcon Recycling Services. Elcon wants to build a facility in Falls Township that would store and treat nearly 200,000 tons per year of hazardous and residual waste. This includes mercury, lead, cadmium, benzine, vinyl chloride and 260 other chemicals.

 

“After a rigorous review of the application, supplemental materials submitted by the company, and input from the public, DEP will not approve this application in its current form,” PADEP secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a statement. “Unless the company can address these outstanding deficiencies, DEP will have no choice but to move forward with a full application denial.”

 

PADEP, in its statement, was careful to point out that a Notice of Intent to Deny is not a final action by PADEP. It is a draft decision. Elcon may comment on the notice and submit materials to address the deficiencies cited by PADEP.

 

But members of the public now also have an opportunity to go on the record. With its decision now public, PADEP will open the Elcon application to public comment.

 

The public comment period begins June 1 and runs until July 15. PADEP must acknowledge all comments received during the 45-day comment period, with the agency reviewing and addressing each comment in a public document. All comments should be emailed to ra-ephwelcon@pa.gov .

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Related stories:

 

  • “Victory! Falls Supervisors Reject Elcon Plan”; http://sco.lt/8JeZ4y
  • “Despite Falls Vote Against It, the Elcon Proposal Isn’t Dead Yet. Activists Plan to Double Their Efforts to Kill It”; http://sco.lt/89CAoy
  • “John Mack Lists the Air Pollutants the ELCON Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Would Be Allowed to Emit”; http://sco.lt/5y8LUu 
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PA Sues Purdue Pharma: If They Won’t Negotiate, Then We Must Litigate!

PA Sues Purdue Pharma: If They Won’t Negotiate, Then We Must Litigate! | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Pennsylvania sued the opioid maker Purdue Pharma on Tuesday, marking the latest effort by a state attorney general to hold accountable the company that popularized OxyContin and that many have blamed for fueling the opioid epidemic.

 

[Pennsylvania is among the states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. Roughly 5,390 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdoses in 2017 — more than any other state — and a majority of the deaths were caused by opioids, according to the 121-page lawsuit.]

 

“Simply stated, Purdue took advantage of addiction to make money,” the suit alleges. The Stamford, Conn.-based company has sold more than 2.9 million prescriptions – or, more than 200 million doses – of opioids in Pennsylvania since May 8, 2007, according to the suit.

 

The lawsuit alleges a massive marketing effort by Purdue, with what the suit calls more than 500,000 misleading and deceptive messages about the addictive nature of opioids directed at Pennsylvania doctors. With the exception of California, the suit says, Purdue “made more sales visits in Pennsylvania than any other state.”

 

[For details about the deceptive, questionable marketing practices of opioid manufacturers, read the summary of Newtown Township’s lawsuit against 15 opioid manufacturers and 3 distributors.] 

 

Shapiro said Pennsylvania’s suit in Commonwealth Court is unique in uncovering how the company used its sales force to target prescribers – visiting doctors, or “detailing” them, 131 times a day on average, and showering them with gifts, meals, trips, and “cold-hard cash.” As for the company’s Oklahoma settlement, Shapiro said such a deal wouldn’t suffice for Pennsylvania, because that agreement set aside only $15 million for cities and counties and no money for the state itself.

 

And Shapiro singled out Purdue, compared with eight other pharma companies that his office is investigating, for its unwillingness to engage in “serious” talks.

 

If They Won’t Negotiate, Then We Must Litigate!

Purdue Pharma “has not been willing to negotiate in good faith, and come to the table with a meaningful settlement offer. And that is unacceptable,” said Shapiro. He is one of the leaders of a 41-state coalition that began investigating opioid makers and distributors in 2017. Talks with the other companies remain ongoing, Shapiro said.

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April 2019 Police Report: Eagle Road Speeding Citations, Swastika Graffiti, More...

April 2019 Police Report: Eagle Road Speeding Citations, Swastika Graffiti, More... | Public Health & Safety | Scoop.it

Police Chief John Hearn presented the Calls Report for April 2019 at the May 8, 2019, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting. In April, the Newtown Police Department responded to 1,686 total calls, 300 (18%) of which were in Wrightstown Township (Newtown Police provides services to both Newtown Township and Wrightstown).

 

See the details here.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

While there were incidents of swastika graffiti in and around Newtown, Chief Hearn reported that there have been no reported hate crimes in Newtown Township in the last three years.

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