Letter: Thank you, for your service |Mar 24, 2015

Hi Jeff, I don’t usually read through the Tri County Record but I am glad I saw your article this week. Very interesting. Vietnam? I was 4 F in 1961 and couldn’t go in the army or Navy (my preference) so by 1965 I was raising a family and only reading about the horrors of Vietnam.

Welcome to my World: Upon my back |Mar 24, 2015

Reprint: Daily Meditation 1993; Lutheran Digest 2009

The Historian: Clover, Part II |Mar 23, 2015

During most of the 18th Century, Germanic immigrants continued the centuries-old agricultural practices with which they were familiar. The paramount need of the settlers was grain.

Staying healthy with milk’s magic nine |Mar 20, 2015

Snow is melting, birds are chirping, and bulbs are magically sprouting from the ground. These are all signs Spring is moving in and it is a great time to use milk’s magic nine to boost your immune system.

Op-Ed: We are what we choose to be |Mar 20, 2015

Humanitarian organizations and charitable agencies which use television commercials to ask for donations often show filthy, third-world children sitting in a roofless, dirt-floor school seeking the barest of educations with rapt attention.

Felicia Fisher’s Slice of Life: Lemons help to fake spring |Mar 19, 2015

I am taking no solace in the fact that Spring begins in a few days. Despite the bitter cold and snow accompanying Winter, at least Winter is pretty. I enjoy watching snowflakes accumulate on the tree branches and discovering dangling icicle spears that resemble translucent stalactites.

Listen Up: And so goes the dream |Mar 18, 2015

“It is with a heavy heart that I have closed the doors to the Historic State Theatre of Boyertown for the last time tonight, March 7, 2015,” reads the opening on the Historic State Theatre’s web-site.

Letter to the Editor: Domestic violence and rape are an epidemic in America |Mar 18, 2015

I would like to add my voice to the recent letter fromT he Women’s Rights Coalition of Southern Chester County regarding domestic violence and rape. Senator Pat Toomey appears to be grossly indifferent to funding programs to protect women from domestic violence and women and girls who have been raped.

Guest editorial: Take ‘It can wait’ pledge to save lives |Mar 16, 2015

“LOL” turns into “RIP” more and more every day in the United States.

Welcome to my World: Dandelions, we love them, we hate them |Mar 16, 2015

I loved dandelions! Still do. Every spring, bucket in hand, found me in a nearby field picking dozens of the round fluffy seed heads. I then blew them far and wide. If I caught a flying seed, I’d make a wish.

Small Beginnings: These things puzzle me... |Mar 16, 2015

While driving along a back country road heading home the other day, my observant and inquisitive daughter pointed something out to me for which I had no explanation. I add this particular observation to a long list of things that puzzle me.

Letter to the Editor: Upgrade 222, it is time for PennDOT to be held accountable |Mar 13, 2015

On March 11, PennDOT sent a response to each of the 431 people who participated in the US 222 e-mail campaign calling for a 4-lane, limited access bypass to replace the current 2-lane road between Reading and Allentown.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Marion Cotillard soars in life-affirming ‘Two Days, One Night’ |Mar 13, 2015

“Two Days, One Night” may well be a small cinematic miracle, which would make it par for the course with the works of the Dardenne Brothers. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne write, produce, and direct together, and their body of work contains some of the greatest insights into the human condition as we’ve seen from any living filmmaker.

Letter to the Editor: Stop voting against programs that help people who are in distress |Mar 10, 2015

Dear editor: I’m writing this letter in response to Sen. Toomey’s votes against victims of domestic violence and abuse. He has voted three times to defund programs that protect women from domestic violence, including ones that combat violence against women.

Meet Private Beetle Bailey’s Protege |Mar 10, 2015

Just wait a minute! Uncle Sam wants to send ME to Vietnam for 12 months? I am the one who went to camp the summer after fourth grade and was so homesick that I actually ended up in the infirmary for a few days but was fine once I reached home.

Felicia Fisher’s Slice of Life: Snow-Day scones |Mar 9, 2015

I’ve come to the conclusion that resolutions are simply pointless. In fact, statistics show that only 9% of people who make resolutions at the beginning of the new year actually report achieving them several months later.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Somber, brooding ‘A Most Violent Year’ a compelling period piece |Mar 9, 2015

If you were flipping through the channels and came across “A Most Violent Year,” you’d be forgiven for initially thinking it was a film from the 1970s, indebted as it is to the deliberate, somber drama and muted visual palates of the first two “Godfather” films, among others.

From Arthur’s Policy Desk: The Moynihan Report, 50 Years of Policy Debate |Mar 6, 2015

This month is the 50th Anniversary of The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, otherwise known as the Moynihan Report. This report, then and now, is a controversial policy paper on the status of the black family and the impact of that status on the American society as a whole.

A Look Back in History: Colonial Trade with the Port of Philadelphia |Mar 6, 2015

Before the 1862 Oley Valley Turnpike was opened from Pikeville to Black Bear Tavern, facilitating later trade with the town of Reading, many Colonial styled Conestoga wagons, like the surviving 1803 Sternbergh wagon, hauled wheat grain to the Port of Philadelphia from the Oley Valley during harvest grain rushes.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: ‘Princess Kaguya’ and ‘Maps to the Stars’ offer alternative choices for adventurous moviegoers |Mar 2, 2015

It’s not inaccurate to describe “Maps to the Stars” as a departure from the typical work of David Cronenberg, save for the fact that there’s rarely been anything in his oeuvre befitting the word typical.

Welcome to my World: Peddlers and vagabonds of yore |Mar 2, 2015

Before modern transportation developed, a variety of itinerants — from homeless and vagabonds to specialized peddlers, professionals and teachers — contributed to Pennsylvania’s social and economic development.

Small Beginnings: If life is a game of Rummy who is in your discard pile? |Mar 2, 2015

I have developed a new analogy for life here of late. Life is like a game of Rummy. Rummy was one of my parents’ favorite card games to play and it had many variations on a theme. You could play Gin Rummy, Millionaire Rummy or just plain old Rummy.

The Historian: Himmelsbriefen were in most homes |Mar 2, 2015

Movable type was invented in 15th Century Germany, and the consequences were world-changing, allowing literacy and the Reformation to spread with previously unimagined speed.

A Look Back in History: Georgian Keystones not just for mansions |Feb 27, 2015

During the Industrial Revolution when steam powered threshing machines replaced horse powered tread-mills, farmers with large tracts of land built huge Pennsylvania bank barns with double and triple threshing floors, realizing that these structures provided them with the most efficiency.

Letter to the Editor: Thank you, volunteers, for your shoveling help |Feb 27, 2015

This winter we have had more snow and ice than in an average year. As senior citizens living on West Main Street of Kutztown, my husband and I appreciate the opportunity to have younger volunteers from Operation Snowflake help us to clear the sidewalk in front of our home and yard.

For what it’s worth: York County’s Live Eagle Camera has my attention |Feb 26, 2015

I’m not sure why it’s so interesting to me—but it is. Since I discovered it, I cannot seem to stop watching York County’s live feed of an eagle nest.

The Historian: Fraktur, the folk art of the Pa. Germans |Feb 25, 2015

During the 100 years between 1720 and 1820, well over 100,000 German-speaking immigrants entered Pennsylvania, most of them through the port of Philadelphia. In just the five years between 1749 and 1754 nearly 37,000 Germans came through that port and spread throughout Pennsylvania and beyond.

Guest Column: Teachers are Born, Not Made |Feb 25, 2015

Before I came to realize that my future resided in the classroom, I took two education classes in my senior year of college. I’d already completed most mandated courses and taken more than the required units of English.

Welcome to my World: My sports enthusiast |Feb 22, 2015

My husband Harry and I were married in our 40s. He’s what I call a sports enthusiast. We are now married 33 years. Before we married I knew he was a sports nut. On our dates he either wore his Penn State Nittany Lions shirt, or a favorite baseball shirt with “Phillies” blazoned on it in red.

From the Item Editor: The book and the movie |Feb 22, 2015

There was a point in time, when I was excited to see that a favorite book of mine was being made into a movie. I remember heading to the movie theater right after getting off the school bus to see “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” on opening day and missing school to see “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” for its first showing at the local movie theater.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: ‘Birdman’ a Hollywood satire that even Oscar can love |Feb 22, 2015

The Oscars are, at best, a funny thing. Like any group that purports to canonize the arts, the Academy walks a thin line in their yearly spectacle of self-congratulation, their status as a group of individuals in flux compounding the already impossible-to-quantify business of measuring and comparing works of art.

Letter to the Editor: PennDOT does not feel a bypass is viable solution to safety and capacity issues on US 222 corridor |Feb 20, 2015

Regarding efforts by local advocates on behalf of an expressway option for the Route 222 corridor north of Reading, I wanted to explain some factors.

ON THE RECORD WITH CAROL: Blue Marshmallow Peeps for Fat Tuesday? |Feb 18, 2015

It’s an odd combination, snow on the ground and Easter candy in the stores, and Lent is upon us Ash Wednesday was Feb. 18, when we begin by repenting and receiving our ashes.

Letter to the Editor: Thank you for helping our pet live a happy and healthy life |Feb 18, 2015

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, to Dr. Lauren Jones and all the techs and staff at Country Companion Animal Hospital in Morgantown who helped our pet live a happy and healthy life through nine months of treatment for heart disease.

Color Me Thiel: A farewell to readers |Feb 17, 2015

When I started as editor for The Southern Berks News almost two years ago, I had little knowledge of newspaper production, and even less knowledge of Berks County.

Small Beginnings: Maybe you just want to think again... |Feb 16, 2015

I’m writing this column before the next ubiquitous holiday, though you will be reading it after it has already passed. I am referring to Valentine’s Day of course although I tend to be a bit cynical about the various ways in which people are supposedly encouraged to celebrate this random calendar date.

Welcome to my World: The many names of the Easter season |Feb 16, 2015

I haven’t found one holiday season that has more names for its days then Easter. These names have been gleaned from various countries, but mainly England. Some of the names have been carried over to the United States by different cultures.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: ‘Mr. Turner’ is a ‘masterpiece’ |Feb 13, 2015

While there are many who are unfamiliar with the 19th century English painter J. M. W. Turner, there are few who haven’t seen his work, much of which graces the National Gallery in London (and where it was featured in the most recent James Bond film).

The Historian: Fences and the Antes Garden |Feb 11, 2015

In the 18th and 19th centuries, winter was the ideal time for many tasks not directly related to the planting, cultivating and harvesting of crops that took up all available time during the more temperate months.

PERSON TO PERSON – IMPACT: Valentine’s Day should be every day! |Feb 10, 2015

One of the many things that impressed me in my recent BOOK BEAT - IMPACT report on 41 – A Portrait of My Father, is how President George H. W. Bush made new friends, but at the same time was faithful in keeping in contact with his old friends.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Confused and confusing ‘Jupiter Ascending’ is a folly for the ages |Feb 9, 2015

In the hours and days following one’s first encounter with something as massive, expensive, unwieldy, and utterly weird as “Jupiter Ascending,” confusion is to be expected.

Welcome to my World: The kiss |Feb 9, 2015

Valentine’s Day is approaching and love messages are every where — stores are laden with gifts of love and valentine cards, windows are decorated with symbols of love, to love stories in books and TV.

The Historian: Spring Houses - valuable additions to the farmstead |Feb 9, 2015

A spring house was a valuable addition to the early farmstead. A good, year-round spring on a property often influenced the location of the dwelling house and barn. The spring house usually was built directly over the spring and served as a cover, protecting it from dirt, leaves, livestock and other foreign material, but it also served as food storage area and sometimes work area.

The Historian: Baking Practices among the Dutchmen, part 2 |Feb 3, 2015

Most Germanic houses built in Southeastern Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries had bake ovens; it was almost a requisite for Pennsylvnia Dutch dwellings.

Small Beginnings: Things that become hard to do when you’re hurting |Feb 2, 2015

No this is not a Jeopardy category. It’s just something I have been contemplating lately. You and I are surrounded by hurting people. Everywhere we go we encounter people who are struggling to overcame deep personal pain from one source or another and we are seldom aware of this.

Welcome to my World: Handkerchief stories and memories |Feb 2, 2015

You might wonder how on earth a handkerchief story can be interesting. How can a square of cotton cloth used to blow one’s nose have any significance? Yet, I’ve found my childhood, and even grown up stories, to hold memories in their crimps and creases.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: ‘John Wick’ - a stellar art house/action movie crossover |Jan 30, 2015

“John Wick” serves as a reminder that even so-called mindless entertainments are capable of great artistry, and in more than a few ways, recalls the magisterial, breathless kineticism of John Woo’s Hong Kong films of the late 80s and early 90s – namely, “The Killer” and “Hard-Boiled,” two of the greatest action films ever made.

Ask Steve: How important is installing a carbon monoxide detector in a new home? |Jan 27, 2015

As a service to you and our community, I want to answer your questions so you can make educated and more informed decisions when it comes to your energy, comfort needs and saving money.

The Historian: Baking Practices among the Dutchmen |Jan 27, 2015

Most Germanic houses built in Southeastern Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries had bake ovens; it was almost a requisite for Pennsylvnia Dutch dwellings.

Thrivent Financial: You bought the policy…now what? Knowing your policies supports healthy financial strategies |Jan 27, 2015

Purchasing proper insurance coverage is an important part of a healthy financial picture. However, with many policies, staying engaged ensures you have adequate coverage as your life changes.