Get Out: Get Active this Summer

A Column by Senator Dan Laughlin

Spring 2020, a time that most of us would just like to forget, is about to fade into the history books and we are moving into the new reality of Summer time in Northwest Pennsylvania. As the calendar changes, I know that we – as a community – are finally starting to relax just a bit.

However, we also recognize that there is a lot of work ahead of us as we adjust to this new “normal.” It’s certainly going to require some changes in our routines, but we are resilient – how else could we tolerate the annual snow dumps that we endure?

I am confident we will recover and now that the reopening of Erie County is well underway, I have two words for you.

Get out!

Go stroll Main and Center streets. Visit the shops and restaurants there and along the side streets of downtown. The past few months have dramatically impacted all businesses from the big box stores to the mom and pop boutique retailers. But while the big chain stores will – for the most part — survive the downturn, the future is often much more uncertain for our smaller businesses.

Show your support for those businesses, the ones that you’ve patronized for years as well as the ones that have always been on your wish list to visit. Now, more than at any time in the recent past, it is vital for all of us to shop local whenever we can.

Get out!

Go for a leisurely walk on the trails of Asbury Woods. We’ve all spent way too much time cooped up inside.  Go rediscover all the beauty and wonder of Mother Nature. Go down enjoy the beaches of Presque Isle. There may just be a few more open picnic tables than usual waiting for you.

As the Chairman of the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee, I can testify that Lake Erie and its tributary streams are some of state’s prime fishing locations with a wide variety of species there for the catching. Next time we meet, ask me about some good spots – or even better, tell me where you like to fish.

Now, we all know that it does occasionally rain here, so let’s not put all of the board games and playing cards back into storage just yet. Even so, there is one absolutely essential thing that you can do inside – fill out your census form. By now, everyone should have received the online filing information by mail and I hope you’ve already completed the form. Keep in mind that participating in the Census is required by law and an accurate count is critical for you and your community.

The Census provides crucial data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide services, products, and support for you and your community. Billions of dollars in federal funding goes to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census information. Therefore, it is vital that you complete the Census and remember — everyone counts!

In closing, I encourage local residents to get out and then afterwards visit my website,, and my Facebook page,, to keep up to date with state government news and learn more about state services and agencies.

Contact:         Matt Azeles       

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