Making the case for raising the minimum wage |Feb 5, 2016

As we approach tax time again, we all would feel much better about this process if we thought everyone would be paying their fair share. Not happening.

A Look Back in History - Operation: Community Cleanup |Feb 5, 2016

Being out and about in the community and frequenting local businesses almost on a daily basis, I have made some observations during the recent blizzard that many of the businesses I patronize, as well as other citizens of Kutztown, have taken a substantial business hit over the week or so span of storm and cleanup.

Welcome to my World: Celebrating Valentine’s Day |Feb 5, 2016

Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, is a day when people send expressions of affection through cards or gifts to loved ones. Although the custom of this day is to send love messages, the day originated in early Christianity.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: ... And this is my solemn vow |Feb 3, 2016

Dear Readers: If you read last week’s column entitled “The Right One? Part I,” it stands to reason you would expect to see Part II this week. However, something has been brought to my attention within the last 24 hours of this writing that I feel I must discuss with you.

Letter to the Editor: Response to article ‘Board weighs 2 percent tax hike for 2016-17’ |Feb 3, 2016

Dear Editor: Being a tax payer of the Daniel Boone School District and having been going to the Daniel Boone School Board meetings for 38 years, I feel this is a terrible tax hike to throw at the tax payers.

Real Estate Column: The year of thinking and doing |Feb 3, 2016

As we begin 2016, interest rates are still pretty low and it is a great time to consider purchasing for the first time, selling and purchasing a larger home for your growing family or downsizing. I wanted to share a few points for you to consider when choosing a Real Estate Professional.

Letter to the Editor: A BIG ‘thank you’ |Feb 3, 2016

Dear Editor: I appreciate this venue to thank Goin’ Postal and particularly Christine Malcom.

Fleetwood Area School District Report: Considering options for post-secondary education |Feb 1, 2016

The Fleetwood Area School District Guidance Department is working, along with guidance departments across the state, to revise its career education program in light of the changing career opportunities in our country.

The Historian: Discovering the Antes Garden |Feb 1, 2016

While 2015 ended with eerily warm weather, temperatures became more winter-like in early January. The long-range predictions are still calling for a warmer and wetter winter than usual here in the Goschenhoppen region as a consequence of an unusually strong El Niño weather pattern in the Pacific basin.

A Look Back in History: The PA Dutch & Fredericksville Tavern |Jan 29, 2016

Living in the PA German territory were almost all ancestors of the PA Dutch people, who still were bilingual and spoke their ethnic German dialect; they did not fully understand the American English language.

Welcome to my World - Weathervanes: The wind predictors |Jan 29, 2016

Even in today’s age, farmers continue to watch the local TV weatherman, as did my father some 50 years ago. Yet, I recall during harvesting or planting season, my father, upon glancing at the weathervane atop our home, often commented about the direction of the wind.

From Arthur’s Policy Desk - Trump: Fifty years in the making |Jan 29, 2016

The Republican Party, for more than 50 years, has cultivated a narrative to attract and hold the working class, high school educated, anti-intellectual white male voter who feels politically and economically emasculated in his own country.

Letter to the Editor: A ‘thank you’ to road maintenance crews |Jan 29, 2016

Dear Editor: My home town of Fleetwood and many other communities in Berks County are great places to live, in part because of the dedication of those providing public services.

For what it’s worth: Learning to make chicken noodle soup |Jan 28, 2016

Earlier this January, I made homemade chicken noodle soup for the first time.

Permanent life insurance: Peace of mind and financial flexibility |Jan 27, 2016

When it comes to life insurance, you have two primary options: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. Term insurance is fairly straightforward and offers affordable life insurance coverage for a specific amount of money over a specific period of time.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: The Right One? |Jan 27, 2016

In preparation for Valentine’s Day 2016, this week and next will be devoted to figuring out who is The Right One for me!

Coming out of the shadows: Substance abuse, mental illness and treatment |Jan 25, 2016

Substance abuse and risky behaviors have been a growing concern for the Kutztown Area and surrounding community. This leaves parents, teachers and community members with many questions: What can be done? How can we prevent this from happening? Where can we go for children and teens that need help now? Families struggling with substance abuse often feel left out in the cold, and due to the stigma attached to substance abuse and mental illness are anxious to ask for help.

Welcome to my World: Fear of... |Jan 22, 2016

Fear of... You name it, I probably had every one of them already. I’ve overcome some fears and others I simply keep; they’re too hard to surmount. I decided to go back to my childhood and up to present day, to see if I could figure out where these fears came from.

A Look Back in History: Going to bed with Sister and Sergeant |Jan 22, 2016

My wife and I were pleased that we put a small cat door in our wagon shed so stray cats could enter if there was a storm or blizzard. But, one female cat decided to live under my wife’s car in the parking lot, so last winter I grabbed this cat and put her in the 1804 Town Crier’s house, where my son’s house cat once lived, but passed away.

Real Estate: Have you outgrown your current home? |Jan 20, 2016

Your home should be your castle, your own little piece of the American dream. So, if your little corner of the world has been feeling cramped and you find yourself eyeing those larger homes, here are a few reasons why people choose to make a move.

BOOK BEAT - IMPACT: The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto |Jan 20, 2016

“What would you give to remember everything? I have this power. I absorb your memories; when you hear me, you relive them. A first dance. A wedding. The song that played when you got the big news.

The Historian: Oak splint baskets |Jan 19, 2016

Sturdy and inexpensive, oak-splint baskets were used in almost every kitchen and barn on the old homesteads. Prized now by collectors, these plain, undecorated, utilitarian forms tended to fall by the wayside in the 20th century when inexpensive imported baskets, commercially made bushel and “peach” baskets, and all sorts of other containers came on the market.

A Look Back in History: Germanic homes, clay tile and salmon brick arches |Jan 15, 2016

There is no better a material cultural tie between Rhineland natives who settled the Pennsylvania Dutch Country than the medieval orange roof tiles that still protect our ancestral homes and buildings in Germany.

Welcome to my World: Being ‘Baby Carole’ |Jan 15, 2016

I was the 11th child (the first having died in infancy), yet I still refer to my siblings as a “family of 10,” namely Lester, Anita, Paul, Jannetta, Carl, Mary Alice, Dorothy, David, Gladys, and myself, Carole.

Ask Esther: Must we rid our home of the colors we love in order to sell? |Jan 13, 2016

Dear Esther: We have been in our home for 20 years, and in that time, have made it our own. We’ve painted bedrooms colors to please our kids and enjoyed decorating according to our tastes. My husband is relocating, so we have to sell.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: My life by music |Jan 13, 2016

“What would you give to remember everything? I have this power. I absorb your memories; when you hear me, you relive them. A first dance. A wedding. The song that played when you got the big news.

The Historian: Pity the poor postman |Jan 12, 2016

In bygone eras, people identified their home’s location not by road name and street address (indeed there were none), but by geographical location. Geographical locations were usually geographical features such as hills, creek valleys or other notable landscape features.

Column: Signing off after 35 years at Berks-Mont News |Jan 11, 2016

As I sit here in front of my monitor, I find that I’m at a loss for words. In just a few more hours (Jan. 8), I will no longer be employed by Berks-Mont Newspapers. I’ve spent my entire professional life writing for Berks-Mont, and its time for me to make a change.

From Arthur’s Policy Desk: Police use of force, race and the Constitution; the Fourth Amendment is part of the problem |Jan 8, 2016

On Nov. 22, 2014, two Cleveland police officers were called to investigate a “man with a gun” in the park. The caller told the dispatch that there was a juvenile in the park flashing a toy gun.

Welcome to my World: ... As little children |Jan 8, 2016

For years I’d hear one of my five sisters, as the recipient of birthday gifts, say, “May I open my presents now?” My sisters and I loved both the giving and receiving of gifts..

A Look Back in History: The Historic Oley Valley Turnpike |Jan 8, 2016

Besides the historic roads that led to Philadelphia in the Colonial period, travelers who visited the quaint agricultural center known as the Oley Valley were often amazed at its early American trade route, known as the “Oley Valley Turnpike.

Color Me Thiel: One calendar year to the next |Jan 6, 2016

Each year my parents always gift the next year’s calendar under the tree for me to unwrap. At age 27, I’ve come to expect this present and learned to appreciate the meaning behind it.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Beetle Bailey’s Mailbag Part 2 |Jan 6, 2016

Dear Private Beetle Bailey: I thought I would turn the tables on you. In my first Mailbag article I was completely stunned after I hired you to answer correspondence from my readers, and the very first letter was written by you.

The Historian - Scrapple: ‘Flower of Flavors’ |Jan 4, 2016

In the old Pennsylvania Dutch days, cold winter weather was the time for butchering. At the end of a butchering day or sometimes the next day, the pork leavings were processed into scrapple.

Welcome to my World: Not something to be sneezed at! |Dec 30, 2015

How many times, after you’ve sneezed, has someone said to you “Bless you” or “God bless you”; even though the expression “not something to be sneezed at” means people aren’t taking the act of sneezing seriously, it has a long history of frightening humans.

A Look Back in History - Pricetown: an early American outpost steeped in deep religious roots |Dec 30, 2015

In the 1700s, the heavily traveled Pricetown highway was a major route through the hills on the Reading prong of the Appalachian Mountains. It traversed to the city of Reading for passersby buying and selling wares in this thriving market city.

Through My Eyes - Learning to feel colors: The methods of John Bramblitt |Dec 30, 2015

Let it be known that while I was an honor student for most of my high school career, this does not mean that every subject came easily to me. There was one class in seventh grade that I dreaded because it seemed to me both largely sight-based and highly subjective.

Through my eyes: Reginald Bonham, a Hero for Blind Nerds |Dec 29, 2015

As I have stated before, it is my belief that if I have tried something, the odds are that so has someone else. I was hardly ever a grand master, but one of my hobbies growing up was chess. Even now I will still play the occasional game online, and this got me thinking about the possibility of successful blind chess players in history.

Financial Column: The most important financial guide... You! |Dec 29, 2015

Many people want to know the secret to financial success. Whether they should be saving more, protecting more, investing more, spending less... Everyone wants a magic bullet to set them on the road to financial success.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: The thing about brothers |Dec 29, 2015

Brothers compete against each other, fight and sometimes hate each other. However, I would like to focus on the more positive aspects of their protecting each other, feeling sorry for each other and downright loving each other.

Kutztown Strong: When to start the conversation |Dec 28, 2015

Q: What is an appropriate age to start talking to our children about drugs and alcohol?

The Historian: The Fagleysville Fire Company |Dec 28, 2015

The first fire company in New Hanover Township was in Fagleysville. It existed for a brief time around 1920. A long-time resident, the late Pete Ganovsky, recalled the alarm was a great iron wagon tire with a slit in it hanging from a tree.

Welcome to my World: My seasons of gratitude |Dec 23, 2015

As usual, heading toward the New Year, I was thinking of the resolutions I’d write up for the coming new year. And then I remembered, I had written last year’s resolutions on paper. I quickly re-read the notes.

A Look Back in History: Relaying religious messages to early PA Dutch frontiersmen |Dec 23, 2015

In frontier times, priests and various clergy did not have a congregation in their immediate neighborhood but did God’s bidding by traveling a number of miles throughout the countryside in making sure each one was baptized.

PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Beetle Bailey’s Mail Bag |Dec 22, 2015

Dear Reader>> I have received so many comments about past columns (ahem!) that I have enjoyed. With no staff, I have only been able to reply to a fraction of them. Therefore, I have hired Beetle Bailey to handle correspondence and verbal comments as he sees fit.

The Historian: Early church schools |Dec 21, 2015

In the late 17th century, a group of six German Pietists (a religious movement within Lutheranism) wanted to start a community of their faith in Pennsylvania. To that end, on Oct. 13, 1701, a warrant was issued by William Penn to the Frankford Land Company for 22,377 acres in what was then western Philadelphia County.

Kehoe Rodgers: Gifts even better than Little Kiddles, a Barbie camper and an ABA basketball |Dec 20, 2015

The other day I was on the phone with my sister discussing “the menu” for Christmas day. There are quotes around the phrase “the menu” because that’s how my mother referred to it – like she was planning a sit-down meal for 100 people.

Welcome to my World: Getting to the roots of Pennsylvania’s Christmas trees |Dec 18, 2015

William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, loved nature. He directed his surveyor to lay out “a greene country town where every house be placed in the middle of the plot, so that there may be ground on each side, for gardens, or orchards or fields and so that it will never be burnt, and always be wholesome.

A Look Back in History: Christmas dew and ‘Peace on Earth good will to all’ |Dec 18, 2015

Of all the materialistic Christmas celebrations PA Dutch people engage in, from Saint Nick or Santa Claus, to handing out boxes of candy or giving out oranges at Sunday schools, I have always felt old time farmers who set out hay in the barnyard the night before Christmas had the humanitarian spirit of the Universal Lord who preached a world civilization of Peace on earth good will to man and beast.

Why college should be free! |Dec 18, 2015

In my opinion, education after high school should be provided free, or at a very low cost with living expenses, at the most. America has the highest amount of debt for college students after they graduate, and even if those students drop out, they still collect debt.