Opinion

Up to Speed with David Barr: Restart of Gordon’s life part 2 |Aug 18, 2014

Hello readers, Under the threat of cloudy skies and rain, Jeff Gordon proved that the Drive for Five is still alive and well with a convincing win at Michigan. Gordon started on the pole and led the second-most laps on the day, but he had to fend off the likes of Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, and teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Under-rated superhero sequel swings onto home video |Aug 18, 2014

Like any number of recent big-budget movies – particularly those of the superhero/sequel variety – “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” bites off more than it can properly chew, with too many underdeveloped antagonists and frequently on-the-nose dialogue that makes the mistake of speaking directly to the themes at play.

Welcome to my World: My son, a tinker-of-all-trades |Aug 18, 2014

My son, Kevin, the only boy in a family of four children, was a tinker-of-all-trades. When he was around 11 years old, I was a divorced Mom living in a modular home on my brother’s land. I also worked as a bookkeeper for my brother’s sanitation business.

The Historian by Robert Wood: Inns and Taverns of Swamp, New Hanover, part 3 |Aug 16, 2014

For three days in September of 1777 the American army, about 8,000 strong, was camped in New Hanover principally in the long valley lying between Fagleysville Hill and Rosenberry Road but also extending south to Sanatoga and east to Schwenksville.

Mind Your Body: Yoga for Emotional Calmness |Aug 15, 2014

Who doesn’t want more peace in their lives? Now that most of us are plugged in most of the time, we are inundated with information—personal, community-wide, national, and international. There is too much to process and too little time in which to do it.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Thriller ‘Blue Ruin’ is now out on DVD and Blu-Ray |Aug 12, 2014

“Blue Ruin” is a prismatically efficient thriller, as daring for its unforgiving violence as its refusal to cater to audience expectations. Take an early sequence, for example (one that will remind many of the similarly tightly-wound “No Country for Old Men”): having suffered a serious injury, the main character, Dwight (Macon Blair), stops at a pharmacy for the tools needed to perform a makeshift surgery -- something he proves entirely unqualified for.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: ‘Locke’: Driving through life’s decisions |Aug 11, 2014

Taking place almost exclusively within the confines of a moving vehicle, “Locke” is the kind of film that one might think was adapted for the screen after a successful stage run. To learn that such was not the case -- that the film’s pressure-cooker style was conceived deliberately with cinematic purposes in mind -- makes it an even more impressive accomplishment.

Perfect Pear Pie Recipe |Aug 11, 2014

Despite her flagrant act of trespassing, I greatly admire Goldilocks. After all, being particular and finding something that is unequivocally “just right” takes perseverance. I searched for two years to find

Up to Speed with David Barr: Allmendinger claims first win at the Glen |Aug 11, 2014

Hello readers, Recent history at the Glen suggested that fans were in for a treat and the drivers didn’t disappoint on Sunday. Marcos Ambrose and AJ Allmendinger, the two drivers who were putting all their eggs into the road-course basket as far as winning there in order to punch their ticket to the Chase were the ones up front all day fighting for the win.

Letter to the Editor: Silk Mill Project - Another Point Of View |Aug 11, 2014

Dear Editor, I am very much in favor of the Silk Project that is being proposed for Willow Street in Kutztown.

Letter to The Editor: Bicentennial celebration should include an evaluation of well being of our ‘Most Agreeable Town’ |Aug 11, 2014

Dear Editor, As we prepare for the Borough of Kutztown’s bicentennial celebration, we all look forward to celebrating the hard work and commitment of the many men and women who built our town and who nurtured the growth of a self-sufficient family-centered rural community.

A Slice of Life: Zucchini Cake that is no joke |Aug 6, 2014

Once they start “coming-in” there’s no stopping them. Zucchini that is. Anyone who has ever grown zucchini knows that once they start it’s only a matter of time until you are inundated with them. Years ago I remember reading a story about a town that used the proliferation of their garden-grown zucchini to engage in a month-long town-wide prank in which the residents would leave piles of them on each other’s doorsteps or other inconvenient places each evening.

A Slice of Life: Zucchini Cake that is no joke |Aug 5, 2014

Once they start “coming-in” there’s no stopping them. Zucchini that is. Anyone who has ever grown zucchini knows that once they start it’s only a matter of time until you are inundated with them. Years ago I remember reading a story about a town that used the proliferation of their garden-grown zucchini to engage in a month-long town-wide prank in which the residents would leave piles of them on each other’s doorsteps or other inconvenient places each evening.

Up to Speed with David Barr: Earnhardt Jr. breaks out the broom at Pocono |Aug 5, 2014

Hello readers, For the second time this year at Pocono, it was Dale Earnhardt, Jr. celebrating in Victory Lane. Unlike June where he took advantage of Brad Keselowski trying to save his engine to pass Keselowski and score the win, Earnhard, Jr.

Poem Das Mill Creak Creamery Haus |Aug 5, 2014

Written by Eleanor Whitaker, Kutztown

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: ‘Boyhood’ an intimate epic of grand proportions |Aug 4, 2014

The mere existence of something like Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” is nothing short of a cinematic miracle. Filmed over the course of 12 years with the same cast, aging in real time, it tells a seemingly ordinary story with an extraordinary sense of intimacy and patience, profoundly urging the viewer to consider their own lives.

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.