Opinion

A Look Back in History: Frontier Roots between our PA Dutch and Canada |Oct 29, 2014

When researching the ethnic heritage of the PA German/ Dutch, I traveled to Ontario Canada to visit their early American museums of the PA Dutch natives who immigrated from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to pioneer the farmlands of Colonial Canada.

Opinion Column: Politicians should have integrity, truthfulness, fiscal responsibility, transparency & more |Oct 29, 2014

WILL WE EVER LEARN? HIGHLY UNLIKELY!

Guest Column: PennDOT planners content to propose shortsighted solutions that disregard obvious need for 222 massive upgrade |Oct 29, 2014

I moved to Allentown in 2002. Driving to work on my first day at Kutztown University, stuck behind a trash truck for several miles of two-lane no-passing zone on US 222 until the Kutztown bypass, I wondered, through the inescapable stench, what I had gotten myself into.

What’s Cooking with Linda: Black Forest Coffee Cake |Oct 29, 2014

If you enjoy a great Black Forest Cake, then you will really enjoy making this “coffee cake”. This black forest cake is made in one pan, NOT iced, served from the pan - easy to make, easy to transport, a great treat instead of the usual cinnamon coffee cake a lot of people serve.

Reel Experiences with Rob Humanick: Still waters run deep in ‘Love is Strange’ |Oct 29, 2014

Heartbreakers don’t come much more true to life than in “Love is Strange,” the latest from filmmaker virtuoso Ira Sachs, whose past work includes the marvelous “Forty Shades of Blue” and “Married Life.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Experimental film box set offers multifaceted look at film history |Oct 28, 2014

In almost any year, the recently released compilation of the works of Bill Morrison, 1996-2013, courtesy Icarus Films, would be the cinephile’s most essential home viewing purchase. Adventurous filmgoers will find virtually endless riches here – due to both the quantity of material included (roughly eight hours’ worth, making the $50 retail price look downright generous), but the ineffable depths, artistic and culture, that this particular work affords.

Ask Esther: Clean up messy credit to get keys to dream home |Oct 27, 2014

Dear Esther – My wife and I have decided on the area we’d like to raise our kids in and found a house we love. In the process, we were disappointed to find out our credit score is not high enough to purchase.

Through My Kitchen Window: |Oct 27, 2014

It’s time! This is the week I answer your food and cooking questions, and share your favorite recipes.

Focus on the Family: Marriage may not be right answer for expectant couple |Oct 27, 2014

Q: Should I marry my pregnant girlfriend? Our relationship has always been one of convenience, and neither of us considered it permanent. She intends to raise the baby, and I want to do my part. But my girlfriend has some significant life issues, and we’d face huge obstacles if we married.

Small Beginnings: He turns the seasons around and then she changes her crown |Oct 27, 2014

These lines from an obscure song in the animated classic, “Charlotte’s Web” haunt me in this transitional time of year. Father Time turns the seasons. Mother Earth adjusts her garb accordingly.

Felicia Fisher’s a Slice Of Life: The social experiment’s Apple Cake |Oct 21, 2014

I spend a good part of each morning daydreaming. Rolling pie crust is a monotonous task and as the simultaneous whir of my industrial strength mixer and window fan make listening to music difficult, I find myself working in relative silence and wondering about the most ridiculous things.

The Grange, part 2 |Oct 20, 2014

It may be difficult for newer residents to realize, but the housing developments that have transformed the south half of New Hanover Township have been built in less than one lifetime. Before, say, 1960, tract housing developments simply did not exist.

Welcome to my World: What’s your name? |Oct 20, 2014

If I meet someone new, and there’s no one around to introduce me, I’ll ask, “What’s your name?” One of the first questions a new mother is asked is, “What did you name your baby?” Names are a way we identify ourselves to our family, friends, and the world.

Small Beginnings: Compiling a curious body of evidence |Oct 20, 2014

I have come to the conclusion that Americans are obsessed with the human body. It’s not because of the constant envelope pushing from the advertising industry where the less clothing you wear the more successful you are.

From the Item Editor: It’s that time of year again, happy Halloween |Oct 20, 2014

We all have our favorite holidays and time of year. Fall and Halloween just happen to be mine. I’ve always enjoyed watching the leaves changes and all the different colors I pass by while driving around.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Allegorical ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is mind-blowing in more ways than one |Oct 15, 2014

In the eyes of popular culture, “Guardians of the Galaxy” will likely go down as the year’s most popular film, and you could do far worse than Marvel’s slightly offbeat hit.

Through My Kitchen Window: Meals out the box and into the skillet |Oct 15, 2014

Those skillet meals in a box that simply require a pound of hamburger and a cup of milk are so helpful on busy weeknights. Assuming you’ve thought ahead and thawed the hamburger.

Ask Steve energy & money saving tips from Steve Moyer: Can a new thermostat save you money? |Oct 14, 2014

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.

A Look Back in History: Our Kutztown Community Library |Oct 14, 2014

Perhaps the longest overdue article I should have written for the last couple of years involves our Kutztown Community Library, located on Bieber Alley.

Auctions in action |Oct 14, 2014

Auctions can be a bummer or a blast! Please follow me as I go through a progression of three auctions that my wife, Barb and I attended. Our oldest son, Greg, was the star of the third one.

Welcome to my World: My country walks |Oct 13, 2014

I’ve been taking short and long walks since my childhood days on the farm. I still enjoy walking---sometimes it’s for exercise, to drop off my mail at a postal box, or to pick up a few grocery items.

Small Beginnings: These are a few of my favorite things |Oct 13, 2014

I don’t know if this happens to you, but every now and then in the middle of my ordinary day a burst of extreme joy will just well up inside me and begin to overflow. Depending on where I am and what I’m doing I may suppress this emotion, but if I’m alone I may burst into laughter or even tears of gratitude for the simple joys of life.

A Look Back in History: Culinary tricks and treats of the past |Oct 10, 2014

As we look back more than 250 years of American history, certainly nobody thinks about the history of bread, certainly not Colonial bread.

Focus on the Family: Son needs to be pulled away from video games |Oct 7, 2014

Q: Our teenage son is extremely intelligent. The problem is he only wants to play video games all day and night when he’s home. It’s a struggle to get him involved in any kind of physical activity or even just to read a book.

Small Beginnings: Mundane and profound questions, inquiring minds want to know |Oct 6, 2014

Interlaced haphazardly with the mundane questions I grapple with each week appear some profound ones that can be quite the stumpers. An example of the potential thoughts that pass through my mind on a given day may look something like this… Do these pants make me look fat(ter than I actually am)? Did I pay that bill or did I dream that? If I were an atheist, how would I view this news story? Can I truly know the will of God for my life or am I just guessing? Why is my dog barking at the ceiling for no apparent reason? Deep stuff, I know.

From the Item Editor: The trick to taking a successful, relaxing vacation |Oct 6, 2014

After this past week, I can safely say that I found the perfect way to take a vacation; visit old friends. Not only do you get to catch up with some of the people closest to you, but you can actually relax during your time-off.

Reel Experiences with Rob Humanick: Hilarious and heartfelt ‘Obvious Child’ packs a contentious punch |Oct 6, 2014

“Obvious Child” is a deeply political film that is all the more potent for its subterfuge as a crowd-pleaser. Dealing with an inflammatory topic – abortion – the film is bound to provoke strong responses from women and men alike.

Welcome to my World: My Letters to Paul---Newman, of course |Sep 29, 2014

Reprint: 2008 Lifestyles over 50

Small Beginnings: Technology and travel meet together for a better experience |Sep 29, 2014

I know that technology has an impact on everything we do and having just had a vacation I experienced the impact of technology during our trip as well. One significant way technology changed our travel plans was with the handheld GPS device we used to navigate among our many destinations.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Transformers 4: Giving sequels, robots, movies, and numbers a bad name |Sep 26, 2014

Whatever your opinion is on him, it’s probably not news to you that Michael Bay is someone who movie fans tend to have opinions about. A populist creator of excess that has managed to land two films in the Criterion Collection series, his movies make money no matter how much people hate them.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Less is more: wartime documentary overplays its hand |Sep 24, 2014

In 2008, CNN correspondent Mike Boettcher and his son Carlos were based with U.S. forces in Afghanistan, video cameras in hand, capturing award-winning footage of the ongoing operation. Despite some extraordinary subjects and harrowing circumstances, the documentary compiled from some of this footage, “The Hornet’s Nest,” is thoroughly ordinary, forgoing the intensity of verite cinema for something closer to propaganda, save for how dramatically inert it is.

Mind Your Body: Quieting your mind leads to increased awareness |Sep 24, 2014

My primary teacher of yoga therapy used to say, “You can’t heal what you can’t feel.” This certainly offers a hint that awareness is an important key to our well-being.

Small Beginnings: Some helpful tips for flying the friendly skies |Sep 22, 2014

You’ll never guess where I am right now. I’m cruising along in the atmosphere at approximately thirty two thousand feet above the earth’s surface. Yes, I’m returning home from an adventure with my family and as I sit here in my seat on the plane, I am considering a number of things that may in fact make the experience of flying just a bit more pleasant.

Welcome to my World: A look at four-leaf clovers |Sep 22, 2014

“I’m looking over a four-leaf clover

Pickin’ in Pa: Rewarding the customer |Sep 19, 2014

When was the last time you were “rewarded” just for being a customer? I’ll admit it has been a long time since I felt special for shopping at a certain place. But, it wasn’t so long ago that merchants “rewarded” their customers with all kinds of gifts just for shopping in their store!

A Slice of Life: Deep Fried Fare… |Sep 16, 2014

Resistance is simply futile. Despite the fact that the nutritional benefits of anything which is deep-fried is essentially zilch, the scent of funnel cake batter hitting hot oil is oftentimes too great a temptation to resist.

Up to Speed with David Barr: Keselowski starts Chase strong |Sep 16, 2014

Hello readers, Brad Keselowski dominated last week at Richmond to prove that he would be someone to watch in the Chase. In case anyone still doubted Keselowski as a serious title contender, Keselowski silenced his critics on Sunday.

Reel experiences with Robert Humanick: Hear him roar: ‘Godzilla’ ‘14 raises the bar on Hollywood monsters |Sep 15, 2014

The heck with beating around the bush: “Godzilla” was the best mainstream American release of the summer, with little serious competition. Those who complained that it didn’t have enough monster action weren’t by and large simply exhibiting impatience with the rare “popcorn” movie that actually cares about more than just giant things crashing into each other – they were clearly also not familiar with the dozens of Godzilla movies made in the last 60 years, many of which focus more on the humans than the monsters and some which barely include the big fella at all.

Small Beginnings: Some insight and history on the concept of vacations |Sep 15, 2014

Did you know that according to a recent survey, forty-seven percent of Americans took at least one vacation in the past twelve months? That is nearly half the country and quite an intriguing statistic.

Ask Esther: Rent being raised; What do I do? |Sep 15, 2014

“Dear Esther, I graduated from college a few years ago and have a job I love. I’ve been renting a townhome and need to renew my lease. In so doing, I was told my rent is going to go up $100 per month.

Welcome to my world: Mom and the peacocks |Sep 15, 2014

Reprint: First Rights to Pennsylvania Magazine; local Kutztown Historical Newsletter

From Arthur’s Policy Desk: President Obama: It’s in our national interest to return to Iraq |Sep 12, 2014

One of the first lessons in studying policy making is that a single event can change everything. Vice President Chaney and others in the Bush Administration wanted regime change in Iraq before they came to power but did not have the political means (opportunity) to implement that policy.

A Look Back in History: Early Americana weathervane was one of a kind |Sep 12, 2014

A couple weeks back, I was pleased to write about the rare Americana weathervane on the Levan barn in the Oley Valley. But ironically, Clarence Shirk had a local farm auction with an identical weathervane for sale at an Emmaus farm auction Sept.

Thrivent Financial Column: September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, Think about your needs, protect your family |Sep 12, 2014

Think you don’t need life insurance? Think again!

Up to Speed with David Barr: Who will make it to the final four? |Sep 9, 2014

Hello readers, Brad Keselowski took most of the drama out of Richmond, leading all but 17 of the 400 laps in route to an easy win. With the win, Keselowski picked up his series-high fourth win of the season and will enter the Chase as the top seed.

WTIM: Music Around Town: Sept. 10 edition |Sep 9, 2014

What’s going on musically in the Berks-Mont Newspapers coverage area? A lot, and we want to help keep everyone in the know.

Reel Experiences with Robert Humanick: Beauty and horror co-exist in violent modern western ‘The Rover’ |Sep 9, 2014

“The Rover” is so bleak an experience that many viewers will understandably be forced to turn away. An opening title card informs us that the events depicted begin 10 years after a global economic collapse, and the Australian setting brings to mind the similarly desolate landscapes of the “Mad Max” films.

A dessert to savor summer |Sep 9, 2014

Fall needs to stop encroaching on Summer. Lately I’ve been thinking of Dylan Thomas’ poem, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” and, specifically, it’s celebrated line, “Rage against the dying of the light.

Small Beginnings: the rural commuter’s worst nightmare |Sep 8, 2014

Come with me folks, as we travel down the scenic back roads of rural Berks County. As we journey along the winding way, passing bucolic farms and quaint homesteads, spying furry little woodland creatures and yielding to the occasional pedestrian or cyclist, every now and then our peaceful serene sojourn is interrupted by one of the most terrifying sights known to man.

Welcome to my World: The Eagle Point School |Sep 8, 2014

Reprint: 1986 Pennsylvania; 1993 in Kutztown Historical Society newsletter; 2012 in Berks County TV web site.