Local Commentaries

Name it to tame it

Mental health. Physical health. We hear these words a lot. We know what physical health is. We hear how to take care of ourselves physically such as eating well & exercising. Do you know how to take care of your mental health? Mental health is the well being of yourself inwardly, ...

Nothing roundabout about it

What’s in a name? I couldn’t have picked a better time to move back to Warren County than at the dawn of “Roundaboutgate.” Not only am I impressed with the positive changes that have been made in my hometown for over 20 years, but I’m also impressed that we are continuing to ...

‘Great day’ for Warren General and community

On Monday, September 24, Warren General Hospital entered into partnership with Allegheny Health Network, LECOM Health and Highmark Health. The agreement provides funding to improve services and advance medical care in our community. It was agreed by our new Partners and our Hospital Board of ...

Flathead catfish still hitting down-river

Mid-September was about as late as we have fished for flathead catfish in Pennsylvania, so there was a fair amount of curiosity attached to this fishing trip. Our destination, on the Allegheny River at Kennerdell. Herb Wagner said we were getting started too late. He would have preferred ...

Potato Head

When you don’t have the expertise to fall back on, sometimes you have to cheat. No, wait. That was in my younger days and before I had children who might read about me cheating in the newspaper. ... sometimes you have to work harder and/or smarter. Three years ago, Jim Goodling and/or ...

It’s Halloween (month)

Happy first weekend of Halloween, y’all! You start talking about Christmas before this month is over I will knock that gingerbread latte right outta your hand, Valerie. You know I’ll do it. This is our time. The weirdos and wackos, the delinquents and devils and droogs. The first day ...

Autumn is beautiful

Autumn arrived last weekend. I look forward to this beautiful season each year. Actually, I look forward to the change of all of the seasons. We live in a wonderful area. I have talked to a lot of people who have gone through this area commenting on its beauty. When I was working with ...

Survey me not

I am occasionally annoyed at how frequently my inbox contains a survey. No, that’s not completely true. I am often hacked off at these relentless idiots. I know they need marketing feedback to run their business, but daily? Enuf already. Everybody wants my opinion. I never realized ...

Discover YOUR superpowers

With superheroes dominating worldwide box offices, I get a kick out of the irony— that as a young comic-book fan growing up in Warren County, I was lucky to have two or three friends with that shared interest. Now, it seems pretty much everyone has seen or at least gets the gist of, many ...

Landscape stories

When I drive back and forth to my parent’s house in North East, I pass an old homestead on the ridge. Now, all that remains are old trees, roughly in the shape of a square. When I was growing up there, a house and barn were part of the footprint. Now the trees stand stoically, alone, no ...

Hard to believe we’re into fall

October is getting almost too close to avoid this September being one of the warmest on record for Northwest Pennsylvania. Yet we did have a fall cool-off. Unfortunately, it was a cool-off from the 90s. The temperature did dip into the low 50s one night while sitting in the backyard by the ...

Going home

Last weekend I went back to my hometown for a class reunion. Our class decided to have a seventy-fifth birthday reunion. It was so much fun. Our foreign exchange student from the Netherlands came back for the first time since we graduated. That meant we had not seen each other for ...

The Tooth Fairy fiasco

“Mommy, she didn’t come.” It was in the cool gray light of early morning on Tuesday that those words jolted me out of a particularly deep sleep. The sleep was particularly deep because it was fueled by my having ingested a nice strong dose of the sedative/hypnotic benzodiazepine Halcion ...

You are a good parent

Are you a good parent? Would your children agree with your answer? I feel every parent should ask themselves these two questions on a fairly regular basis. Until my son was born, I admit, I didn't know what being a good parent meant, exactly. I have had nieces and nephews around me for ...

The moment I knew

There are some people that can remember the exact moment they knew what they were going to do with the rest their life. Me, I think I’m one of those people. I remember the exact moment I knew I was meant to be a naturalist. Growing up my sister, Clare, and I spent a lot of time catching ...

Goodbye to summer; hello to pike

A turn in the weather. That is all it takes to get pike excited about fall. Forget the calendar. Fall begins whenever nature decides it will begin. Or maybe pike decide when fall begins. They are mean enough to do it. Pike ooze mean. Look a pike in the eyes. Evil, not just nasty. I think ...

Goodbye to summer; hello to pike

A turn in the weather. That is all it takes to get pike excited about fall. Forget the calendar. Fall begins whenever nature decides it will begin. Or maybe pike decide when fall begins. They are mean enough to do it. Pike ooze mean. Look a pike in the eyes. Evil, not just nasty. I think ...

‘I know my worth’

“Know your worth and mind your company.” Someone I’m in the process of developing a particular fondness for said that to me recently, and I can’t help being a bit fixated on it still, days later. We’d been involved in a negotiation of expectations, consequences, and rewards at ...

Doing the wash

Things are far different today when I say I have wash to do than they used to be. Today I open the lid on the automatic washer, set a few dials or punch a few buttons, add my detergent - which incidentally now comes in pods, one per load - put the clothes in and close the lid. In twenty ...

Into the rescue boat

The flood coverage on television has left me saturated with sadness. I can’t even imagine how the victims of all that moving water are coping. The loss, the heartbreak, the realization that your life is forever changed. I imagine that in the future the victims' everyday memories will ...