For low-income disabled and elderly residents in the Borough of State College, a state of emergency exists

Lilian Hutchinson was my neighbor and friend for over eight years. She is shown here shortly before her 90th birthday. The cast is from a fall she took in her kitchen.

For immediate release

Monday, August 6, 2018

To: Mayor Donald Hahn, Borough Manager Tom Fontaine, Solicitor Terry Williams, Esq. and the unfit members of the State College Borough Council

From: Joel Solkoff, [email protected]

7 PM: Four minute praise of Mayor Hahn, Borough Manager Tom Fontaine, and denunciation of all members of the State College Borough Council (all of whom, sadly, are Democrats).

7:30: My arrest on Beaver Avenue between Allen and Pugh



On her 90th birthday, Lilian asked if I could see what I could do about slowing down the intense traffic on Beaver Avenue which limited her ability to participate in the community of State College.

I called the Borough and spoke to one of its otherwise excellent employees who observed, “Fat chance.”

The following day, I had lunch with a  high level elected official who told me the Borough cannot control the autocrats at PennDot.

Since then, I have regretted not making what is in effect a federal case. Governor Wolf, under the authority invested in you, I beg you to issue a proclamation declaring the Borough of State College a “man made disaster.”

Governor Tom Wolf

A State of emergency exists in the Borough of State College, PA for those of us who are low-income disabled and elderly residents. We are being deprived of our rights to practice our religion, to have access to restaurants and other public accommodations, to adequate housing, to receive adequate medical and dental care, to safe housing, and to vote.


Deprived of our First Amendment Rights to pray to God


Deprived of our rights—presumably guaranteed by the 1990 Americans with Disabilibilities Act—to have access to restaurants

Video by Emily Hartsay


The unfulfilled promise of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act


Work in progress section

§ 7302.  Temporary housing.

(a)  Authority of Governor.–Whenever the Governor has proclaimed a disaster emergency under this part, or the President has declared an emergency or a major disaster to exist in this Commonwealth, the Governor is authorized:

(1)  To enter into purchase, lease or other arrangements with any Federal agency for temporary housing units to be occupied by disaster victims and to make the units available to any political subdivision of this Commonwealth named as a party to the emergency or disaster declaration.

(2)  To assist any political subdivision of this Commonwealth which is the locus of temporary housing for disaster victims to acquire sites necessary for such temporary housing and to do all things required to prepare such sites to receive and utilize temporary housing units by:

(i)  advancing or lending funds available to the Governor from any appropriation made by the General Assembly or from any other source;

(ii)  “passing through” funds made available by any agency, public or private; or

(iii)  becoming a copartner with the political subdivision for the execution and performance of any temporary housing for disaster victims project;

and for such purposes to pledge the credit of the Commonwealth on such terms as the Governor deems appropriate having due regard for current debt transactions of the Commonwealth.

(3)  Under such regulations as the Governor shall prescribe, to temporarily suspend or modify for not to exceed 60 days any public health, safety, zoning, transportation (within or across this Commonwealth) or other requirement of statute or regulation within this Commonwealth when by proclamation the Governor deems the suspension or modification essential to provide temporary housing for disaster victims.