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Local Commentaries

River’s future is anything but clear sailing

Conditions were fine for canoeing on the Allegheny River during much of the early fall. The weather was fairly warm, and thanks to the abnormally dry weather, the river was low. The daily discharge rate from the Kinzua Dam seemed to be below 2,000 cfs (cubic feet per second). I could travel ...

View from Hickory Heights: Celebrating with those who served

Years ago, I listened to a speaker share the words of a song. I was impressed by what he said so I asked him to give me the title of the song. He complied. When I looked it up, I had a better understanding of why we celebrate our veterans. I want to share this with you today as we prepare ...

Masks are not just for Halloween in this era

Masks are now everywhere. And not just covering faces. Masks advertised in catalogues. Masks in internet ads. Masks littering the ground presumably accidently dropped. Masks hanging from rear view mirrors. Masks making statements. Homemade masks. Makeshift masks. How much more will we make of ...

A mountain of garbage

There have been some good things happen because of the pandemic. Families, those who live together, have spent more time together. Parents have been held accountable for their children’s education. That was sure an eyeopener for some of them. I am sure that parents were not prepared for ...

Not all messages heard in communication explosion

Mankind is a categorizing, cautious, and discriminating species. We have real categories such as by culture, ethnicity, nationality, and religion. But there is only one race—that being the human race. The aforementioned categories may form sub-groups of the human race, but they are not ...

Clean Slate initiative offers second chance

Earlier this year, House Bill 2050 was introduced — a measure to allow for the legal sale of adult-use cannabis through a permitting structure for growers, processors, and dispensaries. There are several great components contained in this bill, including provisions to help our youth, support ...

U.S., voters have choice of two paths

So America has finally reached this historically critical crossroads, where two very different paths beckon. On one path is the man who currently occupies the White House, insisting that he deserves a second (and even third) term based on what he has done thus far. Indeed, he has done many ...

Thinking outside the box

All of the organizations that need funding have had to become inventive since there are no events being held in person these days. I just heard that a football coach tested positive for COVID on Wednesday, and has since had three negative tests so he will be on the sideline for his team. What ...

There’s no watering down major forest fires

Paul Wetzl, the chief meteorologist for TV station WKBN in Youngstown, said recently that in his long career with the station he had never given a forecast that called for overcast skies filled with smoke the following day as he was about to give that early evening. The smoke, which did make ...

Why COVID lockdown is worrisome

The United States has suffered worse epidemics (for example, smallpox and the Spanish Flu) and emergencies (for example, the Civil War and World War II) than COVID. Yet the government never before locked down the people similar to what just happened. The American people will regret allowing ...

Colorful gardens enhance autumn

Our gardens welcome October with fall mums of all colors and sizes. Our garden centers overflow with beautiful mums, pumpkins in every shape and size along with corn stalks and bales of straw. With our summer flowers finished for the season, it is time to decorate our lawns, porches and ...

There’s a ‘gold lining’ to professional EMS

After reading of the poor attendance by local government representatives to resolve the poor EMS response to emergency calls in Warren County. I had to write this letter of concern. Lack of manpower during the day, poor response times by volunteer providers is nothing new. I served nearly 20 ...

Navy getaway little work, lots of play

One of the benefits of having lived a long life is that one can look back on so many experiences and perhaps benefit from them as “lessons learned” that can influence other decisions, or perhaps help direct the lives of others so that they are less apt to stray. What follows is an account ...

Quilts provide a legacy

I have come to realize more and more that quilts provide a legacy. When I was growing up my mother had a quilt on her bed that I think my father’s mother made. I loved that quilt. Often, I would remove her bedspread just so that I could see the quilt. The quilt had squares that had ...

Pass the reforms Pennsylvanians actually need

Editor’s Note: This column initially appeared at realclearpolicy.com. It is republished here with permission. In recent weeks, Gov. Tom Wolf called on state legislators to enact parts of his political agenda — including legalizing recreational marijuana and mandating small businesses ...

Escaping division by ‘believing as a way of life’

Divisions are often difficult. Factions that fracture families and communities. Rifts that run rampant. Hard on organizations and collections of citizens. Also perplexing when occurring within a person. Not along the lines of being torn between three tempting flavors of ice cream. Rather the ...

It’s the perfect time to tidy the garden

We all know in our heart the gardening season is very quickly coming to an end. Our average daily high temperature drops 2 to 4 degrees every week and we are losing about 14 minutes of daylight every seven days. After 5 nights of frost here It is time to cut back those perennials and compost ...

A run on canning items

It appears that canning supplies are among the things that have been hit by the pandemic. I, personally, have not looked for lids or jars, but I noticed that some are being offered for sale through the classified. That tells me that they are of limited availability. Earlier when I was out ...

Memorable birthdays

It was just a couple years ago that I learned that Don’s birthday was just a couple days after mine. Our first “date” was a dinner to celebrate my birthday. I recall that I was surprised when he invited me to go, but I accepted his invitation. Why do I remember this? I guess because we ...

‘Clean Slate Act’ is giving many a second chance

A little over a year ago, Pennsylvania became the first state to automatically clear some criminal records as part of a new “Clean Slate” Initiative. The effects of this law have been nothing short of staggering: more than a million Pennsylvanians have had cases sealed or removed from the ...