Opinion

A Look Back in History by Richard L.T. Orth: Fraktur among the Pennsylvania Dutch |Jul 31, 2014

As devout a Christian people as the Quakers were, they did not express their religious belief as dynamic as the Pennsylvania Dutch/Germans, whose American Folk Art naturally spilled over from the Bible into all their furniture and household belongings.

The Historian by Robert Wood: Old Inns and Taverns of New Hanover, part 1 |Jul 30, 2014

The old inns and taverns of Montgomery County share typical features that make them recognizable. Situated at a crossroads and built of stone, brick or logs, they were usually two stories high, squareish, and had attic windows in the gable ends and frequently attic dormers; along the front one will find a long porch sheltering two doors, one leading into the bar-room and the other leading into the inn parlor and family living quarters.

Dairy Recipe: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day calls for celebration |Jul 28, 2014

Another year has come to celebrate American’s second best-selling ice cream novelty, the ice cream sandwich. Ice cream sandwiches have been around since the early 1940s. Vanilla, chocolate and a combination of the two, are the most popular.

A Look Back in History by Richard H. Shaner Remembering, celebrating Dr. Alfred Shoemaker |Jul 28, 2014

Although only old-time residents remember celebrated Dr. Alfred L. Shoemaker as the founder of Franklin and Marshall’s Kutztown Folk Festival in 1950, many Kutztonians still have publications of his Pennsylvania Folklife Society, including: Christmas in Pennsylvania, Eastertide in Pennsylvania, and his memorable book called, The Pennsylvania Barn published in 1959 that featured decorated barn architecture of native Fraktur barn stars.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Vampires are cool again in anti-’Twilight’ film ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ |Jul 21, 2014

“Nosferatu.” “Dracula.” “Vampyr.” “Near Dark.” It isn’t too soon to add “Only Lovers Left Alive” to the list of the greatest vampire films – although this newest entry into the genre isn’t exactly a horror film, per se.

TMKW: What is a traditional American breakfast? |Jul 21, 2014

The traditional American breakfast is a heaping bowl of cereal. At least, it has been for the past 120 years. What did Americans eat for breakfast before Henry Perky debuted Shredded Wheat (smashed wheat berries) at the World Columbian Expo in 1893?

Sound Off: Morgantown American Legion stands up for patriotism |Jul 21, 2014

My Fourth of July “On The Record Column” questioned the patriotism of local residents, how they live that out and where they stand on the national news about the veteran’s association and the border crisis.

Tammy Tattles Movie Review: ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ is intense movie |Jul 21, 2014

Does evil exist? Not just any kind of evil, but a true evil that can possess a human soul? That is the question facing Officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) in the movie ““Deliver Us From Evil”.”

From Arthur’s Policy Desk: The Hobby Lobby Morning After Pill |Jul 21, 2014

Much has been said and written on the Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The full impact of Hobby Lobby is in what the Court ordered in six other cases the morning after the decision.

‘The Immigrant’ reflects on the struggles of finding a home in America |Jul 16, 2014

Marion Cotillard has not been nominated for an Academy Award since her role as Édith Piaf won the statuette for “La Vie En Rose” in 2007. A second nomination for her work in this year’s “The Immigrant” should be a given, except that the normally awards-hungry Harvey Weinstein has put so little faith into this remarkable film that it is no surprise that the majority of those reading this will not have even heard of it before now.

Mind Your Body: Reiki to the Rescue |Jul 16, 2014

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a subtle and deeply comforting Japanese technique which promotes stress reduction, relaxation, healing, and overall balance. One well-known Reiki teacher defines Reiki as “unconditional love.

A Look Back in History by Richard L.T. Orth: Congressman Daniel Hoch and our American Patriotism |Jul 14, 2014

Last fall, our American Folklife Institute did an article on the Sacred Oak of the Oley Valley (“Godhead Trees and Virgin Forests”), and while working on the Oley Valley History II: The Federal Years, I had become reacquainted with the knowledge that this iconic natural wonder was on the farmstead once owned by Congressman Daniel Hoch in Oley Township.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: “SNOWPIERCER” and “LIFE ITSELF”: Two great movies lead the charge on new distribution method |Jul 14, 2014

Two of the best pictures of the year are currently in theaters, but not necessarily near you. Fortunately, these films – the sci-fi dystopia “Snowpiercer” and “Life Itself,” the documentary about the late Roger Ebert – are both employing a distribution model that acknowledges the ways technology has changed how movies are both made and watched.

Up to Speed with David Barr: Almirola takes King back to Victory Lane |Jul 6, 2014

Hello readers, Rain was a major factor again for the second time this year at another race at Daytona. The cars never got on track Saturday night as rain postponed the Coke Zero 400 from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon.

From Arthur’s Policy Desk: Hobby Lobby, An Example of What Does Not Matter |Jul 3, 2014

In the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., Hobby Lobby asserted that from its religious perspective, anything that prevented the fertilized egg from growing into a baby – by definition – was in the same category as abortion.

Thinking Out Loud by Connie Schaeffer: A day to display our patriotism |Jul 1, 2014

Every year we celebrate American Independence Day on the 4th of July and this year will be no exception. Our great nation will be celebrating its 238th birthday. It is always a treat to have a day off to kick summer into high gear.

Up to Speed with David Barr: Keselowski dominates at Kentucky |Jun 30, 2014

Hello readers, If you looked up the word dominant in the dictionary, you might find a picture of Brad Keselowski celebrating in Victory Lane after winning the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky. Kyle Busch attempted to steal the win away but he didn’t have the car to hold off Keselowski as Keselowski retook the lead with just 19 laps to go.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Donald Rumsfeld highlighted in documentary ‘The Unknown Known’ |Jun 30, 2014

There should be no doubt among anyone who has seen any of Errol Morris’ films (which began with 1978 profound “Gates of Heaven”) that he is among our greatest living documentarians. Few have so incisively probed their subjects’ knotty moral grounds while also pushing the form of the medium.

On the Record with Carol Happy 4th of July, celebrate our nation’s birth |Jun 28, 2014

Being the granddaughter of a man named George Washington Kreisher born on the 4th of July, as a child the celebration of the nation’s birth was always special to my family.

The Historian by Robert Wood: The Stone Cutters |Jun 28, 2014

This week we speak of granite. Most of the soils attracting the German farmers to New Hanover were weathered from soft Brunswick Shales and mudstone. However on the far eastern section below Faglesville the underlying rock is granite or diabase, a hard, gray igneous rock.

Small Beginnings: The two hour marriage retreat |Jun 23, 2014

I know I’ve been writing a lot about fishing lately, but I’m not quite done. Our fishing date which was aeons ago yielded a little more material so hang in there and endure one more column about fishing! In addition to becoming a contributing factor in the worst cooking disaster I have ever pulled off, and also bringing to my attention a great spiritual truth, our brief fishing excursion produced one more unexpected result.

Thinking Out Loud by Connie Schaeffer: The Incredible Shrinking Package |Jun 19, 2014

The economic turndown has affected everyone on some level, but for me, it is most noticeable when I go shopping for groceries. Everyone goes food shopping, so I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about! One hundred dollars used to buy a lot – a whole cart load, but not anymore.

Letter to the Editor: Two sides to every story, reader responds to support Rep. David Maloney |Jun 19, 2014

Editor’s Note: The following is in response to the article “Reader admires Basile’s integrity” that ran in The Southern Berks News June 4 edition.

Pickin’ in Pa by Ellen Geisel: What would an antique dough bowl say? |Jun 18, 2014

If only antiques could talk. What wonderful things they would say! The history and mysteries of our families would come alive again! Do you have any family heirlooms that have been passed down from generation to generation? Have you picked up a wonderful old antique in a store and often wondered where it came from? Do you ever wonder just what that antique would say if it could talk? It might go something like this:

Welcome to my World: What is your passion? |Jun 17, 2014

I think most of us, at some time in our lives had a “knowing” what we were good at and what we had a passion for. These are our God-given gifts. Sometimes, if you really love your job, that can be one of your gifts.

‘Reel Experiences’ with Robert Humanick: ‘Ernest & Celestine’ released on DVD June 17 |Jun 16, 2014

It was noted by some Oscar pundits that of the 56 movies nominated for the 2014 Academy Awards, none had as slim a chance of taking home the prize as the darling Ernest & Celestine. The animated film is a poignant fable about an unlikely friendship between a bear and a mouse that in a just world, would have at least had a chance against the mega-success of Disney’s Frozen.

Up To Speed With David Barr: Johnson finally earns first Michigan win |Jun 16, 2014

Hello readers, Races at Michigan have a history of being fuel-milage races and it was a fuel-milage race on Sunday. After everyone had pitted for gas late in the race, the lead had cycled back around to Jimmie Johnson and Johnson held on for his first win at Michigan.

Letter to the Editor Drugs in schools? Solution: bring God back into classroom |Jun 16, 2014

To whom it may concern: A number of weeks ago, there was an article in the Kutztown Patriot about the drug problem in the Kutztown schools and Brandywine schools. To be brief about my concern, the leaders that spoke about the problem it appears can’t find a solution to end this.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Cruise and killer aliens hit reset button in Edge of Tomorrow |Jun 12, 2014

An early draft of the script for Groundhog Day made an effort to explain the time loop predicament that found Bill Murray’s weatherman Phil Connors reliving the same 24 hours over and over. That sort of exposition would have upset the delicate balance of humor and profundity that that movie achieved, but in the not-dissimilar alien invasion thriller Edge of Tomorrow, it’s part of an intelligently crafted story, and just a small part of the impressive filmmaking chops on display.

Sound Off: Home-schooling family shares their views |Jun 10, 2014

Well the school year is ending and graduations are in the air. In my last On the Record Column I asked for people to write in about homeschooling, cyber schooling, and private and public schools.

A Few Thoughts by Melynda Wagner: Making Connections |Jun 7, 2014

I have been thinking a lot about where we are headed with the human element and interactions with other human beings both in our business environments and social circles. I wonder and I think to myself, is the human element of social interaction and engagement really going to go away? No, it can’t.

A Father’s Day Tribute: Remembering my Dad, John M. Kearney M.D. |Jun 5, 2014

When I was a little boy, I thought my Dad could be President of the United States.

The Historian by Robert Wood: Schneiders’ Tannery, part 1 |Jun 5, 2014

Austin Miller’s daughter, the late Beulah Spatz, was seven or eight when in 1925 she was running near the chicken coops on her father’s farm and the earth gave way. Their farm was right below the Minister Creek bridge on the Swamp Pike where a large, old, brick house built in 1791 now lies abandoned.

|Jun 4, 2014

Dear Editor: The following is in reply to Reid Warren’s criticism on the Opinion page of the Tri County Record’s June 3, 2014 edition of my book review of Philomena on May 28th. This is the second criticism of one of my book reviews by Reid.

Berks County Dairy Princess offers dairy recipe celebrating June as National Dairy Month |Jun 3, 2014

Splashing in the pool, laying under the sun, vacationing and picnics are all common activities during the summer months. Did you know celebrating dairy is another popular activity for the month of June? In 1937, June was announced as National Milk Month, which later turned to National Dairy Month as a way to promote drinking milk.

Admiring Basile’s integrity |Jun 3, 2014

I’d like to address the integrity of Andrew Basile and the manner of how both candidates ran their campaigns in response to the article in last week’s paper May 28, 2014 “Incumbent Maloney defeats Basile in primaries.

Letter to the Editor: Tri County Record goes too far with book reviewer’s opinions |Jun 2, 2014

Dear Editor; The area covered by the TCR is often referred to as part of the Bible Belt - as indeed, the paper’s content with emphasis on local church events, Focus on the Family and the Church Service Directory illustrate.

Meet Berks-Mont Newspapers intern Steven Stolley |May 29, 2014

Hi, my name is Steven Stolley and I am a Kutztown University senior majoring in professional writing. I am the summer 2014 intern for Berks-Mont Newspapers. As part of this assignment, I will perform a broad range of duties for the editors of these weekly newspapers, including feature and column writing, typing, editing, photography, videography and content entry.

Thinking Out Loud… Graduation Memories |May 29, 2014

In everyone’s life an occasion happens worthy of celebrating, it’s a time worth remembering; for some that special something is called graduation. Kutztown University recently ushered 1,300 students out into the world and who doesn’t know someone who is graduating from something (Pre-School-PHD)!? This season of diplomas and tasseled caps has sparked some wonderful reflections of my own high school graduation –Kutztown Area Senior High School Class of ’69.

Letter to the Editor: ‘Losing Chief Stoltz is a real blow to this community’ |May 29, 2014

Dear Editor, When I moved here the first person I met was Chief Stoltz. Never, ever in my previous residences did the Police Chief do patrols and talk with the people in the community. Losing Chief Stoltz is a real blow to this community and the board of supervisors should be ashamed.

From the Item Editor: My day at Berks Encore for Celebrity Meals-On-Wheels Day |May 27, 2014

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be asked if I would be interested in participating in Berks Encore’s Celebrity Meals-On-Wheels Day. Having enjoyed covering events involving our Berks Encore centers and always being open to volunteer, I said “yes.

Welcome to my World: In our own words |May 27, 2014

Here are some of the memories, from the newsletter, of the ten siblings “in our own words.”

A Look Back in History by Richard H. Shaner: Kauffman’s book on PA German folk art |May 26, 2014

Over the years as a PA German historian, I have met several outstanding authorities on our PA Dutch/German culture. Professor Henry J. Kauffman, who wrote the book Pennsylvania Dutch: American Folk Art in 1964, did such a prolific job; I used his text when I was teaching a course about the Oley Valley to Oley High School students.

Making Dollars Out Of Sense by Ben Haas: Is it time to issue a financial recall? |May 23, 2014

Have you been paying attention to all the car company recalls the past few weeks? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, close to 90% of Americans use motor vehicles as their primary mode of transportation1.

Science meets summer reading at the Exeter Community Library |May 22, 2014

The library is getting a makeover....for summer, that is. This year’s Summer Reading Program is science-themed, entitled “Fizz, Boom, Read” for kids, “Spark a Reaction” for teens and “Literary Elements” for adults.

Letter to the Editor: Chief Stolz’s Resignation |May 21, 2014

Dear Editor, I was one who was in attendance at the Caenarvon Township supervisors meeting on May 13. The supervisors surprised most of those in attendance when they opened the meeting, quickly recessed and then came out with the announcement to accept the resignation of Chief Stolz.

Welcome to my World: My brother, David |May 20, 2014

My brother, David, was 4 years older than me. I had 3 older brothers, but David was special. I don’t know if anyone else ever saw his pearly white wings, but I did. They extended from his shoulders, up high into the air.

Small Beginnings: Some graduation trivia to use at your next party |May 20, 2014

Having just had the delightful pleasure of being the proud parents of a recent college graduate, I was curious to know about some of the traditions we have just participated in at the commencement exercises.

From the Hamburg Item editor: Upcoming schedule and early deadline reminder |May 20, 2014

As many of you have seen when stopping by the office lately or more recently as a notice in the paper, we have moved all of our operations to our main office at 24 North Hanover Street, Pottstown. The only change for you as readers is that the office operations are out of our main office.

Letter to the Editor: Sharing joys of small town life with NYC children |May 19, 2014

Dear Editor; This summer, The Fresh Air fund needs more host families to carry out its great summer time tradition of sharing the joys of country and small town life with children from New York City, picking berries straight from the vine, tasting honeysuckles for the first time or walking barefoot in the grass!