Do Not Reboot Your Computer – Broken Windows Update

From MePush

A new Windows update is breaking computers. There is a new development, but here is what we know:

1. A Windows 10 update that was released last week has been found to cause some computers to blue screen and, in some cases, get stuck restarting.
2. A fix is planned but not in place as of right now
3. You might have Windows updates pending and this bad update might be one of them.

How can you help prevent this update from breaking your computer?

1. Do not turn off or restart your computer. This will prevent the broken update from having a chance to complete it’s installation.
2. We recommend leaving your computer up and running until Microsoft releases an updated fix for this problem.
3. We make this recommendation to all of our customers.

This is informational only. There is nothing we can do to help at this point. We just have to wait until Microsoft fixes this issue. If you have already experienced this problem and it boots to the repair screen, do not attempt any repair options. This could erase your data. 

EITC & OSTC Approval Letters Being Released by PA Department of Community and Economic Development

Once again this year, the state budget impasse has held up the popular Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs. Following a letter signed by 79 House Republicans to Governor Wolf, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) began sending out approval letters the week of Oct. 9. As there are several thousand letters to be sent, the process will take a number of weeks for DCED to complete.

The process of approval will follow its normal course, which is:

  • The first approval letters will be for applications filed for year 2 of a previously approved 2-year application;
  • The next approval letters will be to those companies filing “initial” applications to launch another 2-year cycle that were eligible to file those applications on May 15 with the “preference”;
  • If credits remained after June 30 in any of the various program categories (SO, EIO, Pre-K and OSTC), the final set of approval letters will go to those companies applying on or after July 1st until those individual categories of credits are exhausted.

As always, the requisite 60-day period for disbursements will be in effect, with the same 30-day “window” to provide proof to DCED of charitable gifts by forwarding them letters from any qualified charities to which businesses are making EITC or OSTC gifts. For businesses that intend to take credits on 2017 tax returns, and are on a calendar fiscal year, disbursements must be made on or before Dec. 31, irrespective of when approval letter(s) arrive. Businesses do not have to wait for the actual letter before making qualified gifts, which may be especially relevant for those in year two, as your credits are virtually guaranteed.

Chamber Renews Call to Bloomsburg Council for More Information

On Monday, Oct. 9, Bloomsburg Town Council voted 6-1 to advertise an ordinance that would add considerable detail to the Town Manager’s job description. In previous public meetings regarding this issue, the Chamber has suggested that Council take a more comprehensive approach to detailing the processes of Town Hall. At the most recent Council meeting, the Chamber offered specific suggestions on how to improve communications.

An original draft of the ordinance was considered by Council earlier in the summer. Public concern over the language as well as the process by which the draft was developed led Council to send the ordinance back to committee for further discussion. Following several public workshops, the Town’s Personnel Committee was working on revising the draft ordinance. However, the Administration/Finance Committee forwarded a version at its meeting Oct. 4, and another version was apparently sent to Council members the afternoon of Oct. 9.

“I hope you can appreciate how difficult it is for the public to follow issues,” said Chamber President Fred Gaffney at the Oct. 9 meeting.

During the Bloomsburg Candidate Forum held Oct. 4, several of the incumbent Council members asked that concerns be brought to them proactively to be discussed and addressed, rather than having contentious Council meetings. With the confusion regarding the development of this ordinance, the Chamber again suggested that all committee meeting agendas, prior meeting minutes, and relevant materials be placed on the town’s website in advance of meetings.

“This would allow all interested parties time to review materials, gather information, ask questions, and provide relevant feedback at appropriate times,” said Gaffney. “Refining the process should save time and money, and encourage more positive collaboration within Town Hall and with the public.”

The Chamber will be working on a list of other concerns to present to the incoming Town Council following the November election.

Chamber Coalition Letter Urges Support for Federal Workforce Development Legislation

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the presidents of the PA Chamber, Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia sent a letter to U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, asking that he urge the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to act on the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. “Perkins CTE” would accompany the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which was passed in the U.S. House earlier this year and earned the support of the letter’s signatories.

“As you know, Pennsylvania employers are currently reporting a shortage of skilled workers to fill in-demand positions,” they wrote. “Modernized and relevant CTE programs, designed with the input of employers and responsible for the needs identified by labor market data, are central to overcoming this skilled labor shortage.”

The letter also outlined the ways in which existing law can be improved to help close the jobs skills gap, including aligning CTE programs to the needs of state, regional and local labor markets; supporting collaboration between educators and employers; increasing student participation in work-based learning opportunities; and promoting the use of credentials upon completion of these programs.

Locally, Columbia Montour Chamber member Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School is a recipient of Perkins CTE Act funds. 

Here is the full letter

Construction of Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Gets Underway

Mike Atchie of Williams (standing) speaks with local officials about construction getting underway on the pipeline project earlier this month.

Construction of a natural gas transmission pipeline through Columbia County is starting in October. The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project is divided into seven sections, and is expected to be completed in approximately one year. On Thursday, Oct. 5, representatives of Williams met with local officials to discuss construction logistics including soil conservation, road crossings, inspections, security, and land restoration. There will be approximately 45-50 inspectors and private security for each section of the project.

The project is expected to support over 1,000 jobs in Columbia County and have a value-added impact here of $85.5 million as a result of contractors utilizing local goods and services. The Chamber has already been receiving calls regarding campgrounds and lodging. To help workers find what they need in the area, Williams has developed the WillShop Local app, which is now available on the Google Play and Apple stores. There is no cost for businesses to be included in the app, and for those businesses that haven’t yet registered to be listed on the app, the Chamber is sending its membership list to be incorporated.

WILLShop Local app screenshot

Additional information about the project is available at the project’s website.