RSS Feed from The Berks-Mont News: The latest news from The Berks-Mont News: website: all stories The Berks-Mont News Fri, 09 Oct 2015 21:19:46 -0400 60 <![CDATA[Letter to the Editor: Senate Bill 76]]>

Dear Lisa:

Two words you are not hearing in Harrisburg lately as we debate the state budget are "We agree." As cosponsors of Senate Bill 76, legislation that would eliminate school property taxes, we are here to say, "We agree" with the need for true property tax reform.

Republicans and Democrats have been locked in a three-month debate on how to resolve the state's fiscal affairs for Fiscal Year 2015-16.

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:56:55 -0400 20151009145655 2015-10-09T14:56:55-04:00 2015-10-09T14:56:55-04:00
<![CDATA[Welcome to my World: Reminiscing with one-room school reunions]]> My niece, Diane Christman Smith, of Bastian Road, Kutztown, asked me if I'd be interested in writing an article about the one-room school reunions she organizes.

Since I myself attended the one-room schools, Stone Quarry (near Maxatawny) School and Eagle Point School, and also lived in Millcreek School (Millcreek Road, near New Smithville) a few years, she definitely piqued my interest.

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:47:36 -0400 20151009144736 2015-10-09T14:47:36-04:00 2015-10-09T14:47:36-04:00
<![CDATA[A Look Back in History: The Revolutionary War and the Daniel Udree Mill]]> Among the oldest mill sites in the county, within 300 hundred yards of the historic Oley furnaces, of charcoal days gone by, between the Oley hills and threading the valley, is the Udree Mill powered by the Furnace creek, which gave life to active water-wheels, a mill famous during the American Revolution.

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 14:19:34 -0400 20151009141934 2015-10-09T14:19:34-04:00 2015-10-09T14:19:34-04:00
<![CDATA[PERSON TO PERSON - IMPACT: Donald Ennis's Treasures, Part I]]> Note to Readers: As a substitute driver, I have delivered Meals on Wheels to Donald Ennis for about three years. Since my initial deliveries to him, I have known there is something special about him and many times "threatened" to have lunch with him. Finally, I had a series of lunches with Don resulting in this series of articles.

Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:21:19 -0400 20151007132119 2015-10-07T13:21:19-04:00 2015-10-07T13:21:19-04:00
<![CDATA[Final Expense Life Insurance: A simple option for an inevitable issue]]> Do you have a way to pay for final expenses after you're gone?

Thrivent Financial cites a 2013 study by the National Funeral Directors Association that estimates the average funeral now costs more than $8,000. Final expenses are often more than just funeral costs and can also include expenses such as unpaid medical bills, unpaid debt, immediate household expenses and even estate settlement costs.

Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:21:07 -0400 20151007112107 2015-10-07T11:21:07-04:00 2015-10-07T11:21:07-04:00
<![CDATA[The Historian: Bees, parties, frolics or a chore called by some other name]]> We have all heard the expression, "Many hands make light work." This seemed to be the idea behind the frolics, parties and bees of our Goschenhoppen forefathers. Diaries that have been saved and translated from the original Pennsylvania German dialect attest to the popularity of these "parties."

Excerpts from the diary of John F.

Tue, 06 Oct 2015 12:26:10 -0400 20151006122610 2015-10-06T12:26:10-04:00 2015-10-06T12:26:10-04:00
<![CDATA[Letter to the Editor: Longing for the 'good old days']]> Dear Kutztown Patriot:

For the past 8 years, I have helped out building the sets for the Kutztown High School Musicals.

During that time, I met some really great parents and kids who I now call friends. I enjoyed watching the behind the scenes rehearsals and seeing the excitement in the students' eyes as the sets began to take shape.

Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:52:36 -0400 20151002115236 2015-10-02T11:52:36-04:00 2015-10-02T11:52:36-04:00
<![CDATA[Christ, the Pope and what Christianity says about those in prisons]]> In the Book of Isaiah 42 and 61, two things are said of prison. It is written that it is the will of God "to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house." The Prophet Isaiah wrote of Jesus, that God sent Him "to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:39:12 -0400 20151002113912 2015-10-02T11:39:12-04:00 2015-10-02T11:39:12-04:00
<![CDATA[Welcome to my World: Mom's (6) Favorite Daughters]]> I'm the youngest of 10 children. I have four older brothers, Lester, Paul, Carl and David, and five older sisters, Anita, Jannetta, Mary Alice, Dorothy and Gladys. It's the older sisters I've had a problem with in life. Each one of them honestly thinks she was Mom's favorite daughter!

I guess I have to admit, I started this whole jealousy thing they have with me.

Fri, 02 Oct 2015 10:59:30 -0400 20151002105930 2015-10-02T10:59:30-04:00 2015-10-02T10:59:30-04:00
<![CDATA[Book Beat - Impact: The Runaway Pastor's Wife by Diane Moody]]> I always thought my wife was a peaceful person, but in the last few years, ever since she got her Kindle, she addresses Amazon Gatling gun-like as she downloads dozens of books. I never would have selected The Runaway Pastor's Wife to read without her urging. Although the book is fiction, it holds an incredible number of truths, which are varied enough to entertain any reader.

Wed, 30 Sep 2015 10:50:37 -0400 20150930105037 2015-09-30T10:50:37-04:00 2015-09-30T10:50:37-04:00
<![CDATA[A Look Back in History: Pope Francis, the People's Pope]]> This past Fall's pilgrimage of the Roman Catholic Pope Francis to honor Christians in America has renewed our Colonial American heritage everywhere. Take, for instance, the Holy Church of the Blessed Sacrament established in Bally, Berks County where thousands of people were devout members. An iconic Catholic Church founded By Father Theodor Schneider in 1743, where mass was conducted twice on Sundays among the PA Dutch ethnic farmers.

Tue, 29 Sep 2015 13:21:57 -0400 20150929132157 2015-09-29T13:21:57-04:00 2015-09-29T13:21:57-04:00
<![CDATA[The Historian: Pennsylvania Dutch music and dance]]> Why are there so few references to folk-dancing and music in local history? The record of folk-dance and dance tunes is sparse at best. Didn't our ancestors bring any folk-dances from Germany and Switzerland in the early 18th century?

The first explanation that comes to mind is that German immigrants, mainly Lutherans, Reformed and Mennonites, were too religious to dance.

Tue, 29 Sep 2015 12:35:54 -0400 20150929123554 2015-09-29T12:35:54-04:00 2015-09-29T12:35:54-04:00
<![CDATA[A Look Back in History: The 1754 Salem UCC and their French Huguenot Connection]]> The humility of the Pennsylvania Dutch, specifically the French Huguenot immigrants like the (Johann) Bieber, Bertolet, DeTurck, Lesher, Levan and Yoder (et al) families who went to Philadelphia to market their agrarian homemade products, was not lost among the English Quakers who founded the City of Brotherly Love.

Fri, 25 Sep 2015 13:29:11 -0400 20150925132911 2015-09-25T13:29:11-04:00 2015-09-25T13:29:11-04:00
<![CDATA[Welcome to my World: Which is the Oldest Band in the Land]]> Community bands were once a part of the cultural social activity of almost every city and village in Pennsylvania. The bands were a popular form of entertainment, whether performing a concert or in a parade. Everyone took great pride in their community band.

This pride is still a factor in rivalry over which is the oldest band in America.

Fri, 25 Sep 2015 13:12:48 -0400 20150925131248 2015-09-25T13:12:48-04:00 2015-09-25T13:12:48-04:00
<![CDATA[Through My Eyes - B.C., Braille and Beyond: Notable Blind Writers in History]]> As a writer, I am constantly looking for sources of inspiration. I recently performed a search for a previous column for blind heroes in the field of mathematics. When this search actually yielded results, it got me thinking about the possibility of other blind writers like me. Thus began my search for established writers who had lost at least part of their sight; it was a search that yielded some surprising names.

Fri, 25 Sep 2015 12:55:17 -0400 20150925125517 2015-09-25T12:55:17-04:00 2015-09-25T12:55:17-04:00