Local Commentaries

The adventures of Baxter

We got Baxter as a puppy in April of 2006 in Oswego, NY. He was a month old and no bigger than a Coke bottle. There were two other puppies left from that litter, and we had already discussed choosing a girl. That was until Karyn picked him up and he kissed her face. He chose ...

Pet adventure

It has been a long time since I have written about our pets. When I was growing up I was not allowed to have any pets so moving to the farm with the opportunity to have them was a big deal for me. I have more than fulfilled my desire for pets having been a mother to several wild pets plus a ...

Afterthoughts

An occasional collection of vignettes from events and public meetings in Warren County that never make it into news stories because...well, you’ll see. Big news An email alert arrived in the newsroom announcing a bust involving DEA, ATF, and others, and a man who had been using a Warren ...

Where are anglers catching the largest walleye?

There was a time in the foggy past at a mystical river called Allegheny, more than anywhere else below a mighty dam called Kinzua, when walleye weighing 12 pounds, 13 pounds, 14 pounds, even 15 pounds were caught with some degree of regularity. For a while, local anglers kept this quiet. But ...

Those quiet golden years?

Retirement. I've decided to try it. Since I took my last job a year past the age at which most sensible people retire, I don't have a quarrel with the age factor. I am more than old enough to hang it up. And yes, there have been many days that I thought I stayed way too long. So my ...

Cricket sounds

I don’t intend to start playing mid off, silly point, short leg, nor gully any time soon. They just don’t seem like the positions for me. Deep cover and deep midwicket maybe? Historically, I would have been a fit for wicket keeper. All of these position names will become common ...

The renewal of trees

I sat at the table as the student while a fellow educator modeled a lesson. We first made observations of different tree leaves. Words poured out. Smooth, zig-zag, oval, pointed, thin, fuzzy, bumpy, green, symmetrical, not symmetrical, dark green, even darker green. She then asked, “Why are ...

August is the time to enjoy the garden

I love August. The list of garden tasks for April and May doesn’t apply anymore. The planting of containers and the installation of new perennials in June and July are over. As the calendar turns, summer perennials are fading and the early fall perennials are taking center stage. My ...

A trip down memory lane

Ah, The Warren County Fair. The sights, the sounds, the smells. You know the smell I mean... Nostalgia. The Fair is a cacophony of odors. Some of them taken by themselves can assault the senses. But when you mix in the fried bread dough, curly fries and Italian sausage, it creates a ...

We can be prickly sometimes

I have a confession. I’m terrified of bees. Not for any good reason. I just really, really hate them. I think it’s because I never ate honey until I acquired a coffee maker that could brew espresso pods. It was then that I began making americanos at home, and I substituted what I lacked ...

I imagine!

Last weekend, I watched a movie on television. That is something that I do not often do, but I had heard this movie advertised and wanted to see it. When I noticed it on television I decided it was cheaper to purchase it that way rather than go to the movies or to buy a DVD. The movie was "I ...

Only you

“Only You” by The Platters is an absolutely wonderful ballad. I figured their version of the tune had to be a #1 hit way back when they did it in 1955, but it wasn’t. It only made it to #5. They were up against Mitch Miller and “Yellow Rose of Texas,” The Four Aces and “Love is a ...

Army Brick Road

They’re not in Pennsylvania anymore. That was my loose intro based on the Wizard of Oz line, “We’re not in Kansas anymore,” in reference to my niece and nephew jetting off to Dorothy's home state to meet their parents. Isabella (6) and her younger brother Aiden (5), along with their ...

This glorious summertime weather

Our annual schedules are based on weather. We vacation during summer because summertime weather is nice. Right? The weather was beautiful when we left Warren for one of our vacations this summer. A little warm maybe, but the car and hotel rooms are air-conditioned. We headed west with the ...

Ancestry, Part II: Olsen

In the 1880’s, my maternal grandmother, Johanna Jonsson, was one of five siblings who emigrated from the Malmo area of Sweden after the death of their parents, leaving behind only their oldest sister Gunhilde, who married there in 1885. My wife and I have visited two of her descendants in ...

New discoveries — at any age

One of the most important things that I’ve learned since being at the Audubon Community Nature Center is you should never lose your sense of wonder. No matter what age you are, there’s always something incredible to discover. At Audubon, true curiosity is easy to observe when working with ...

No choice on this one

Last week, I wrote a story about proposed state-wide changes to the distribution of basic education funding. And as we’ve talked about the issue here in the newsroom and I’ve pondered the political and practical implications of what Governor Wolf has proposed, it’s pretty clear that my ...

A different ancestry

I’ve always considered myself to be Swedish, just as my classmates and companions in multi-nationality southwest Erie considered themselves to be Italian, Greek, German and Irish. My father was born in Sweden as well as my mother’s mother. There was a grandfather who came from Norway, but ...

What it feels like

We had a special project this week in the newsroom. A tab all about women. Women in leadership. Women in the workplace. Women and how they live in “a man’s world.” Dudes? I felt like Jane Goodall in that editorial meeting. I sat, utterly fascinated, listening as a handful of men ...

The power of one

Many times, we think that one person cannot do anything. That is wrong. If nothing else you can make your corner of the world a little more pleasant. I ran across this poem in my reading. I do not even know where I found it now, but I copied it down to use at a future time. The time is ...