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Local Commentaries

Shoelaces and spelling

Throughout my time as a parent, I have been subjected to some awful children’s programming. Usually, the things I remember about those shows make me want to physically remove the part of my brain that stores them. Good news. Not all of it has been wretched. Among my favorites is Phineas ...

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. Happy New Year! Some holidays are better than others. For reporters, the most interesting ones are often the least pleasant (because ...

Be quiet!

We currently live in a world of smartphones and technology where silence is very hard to come by. Our days are full of notifications, pings, beeps, television and everything in between. For some people, quietness feels strange and weird, but it has been shown that silence can actually help ...

Snowsuits and winter fun

I recently saw a photo of a friend’s baby with his snowsuit. It was a two-piece set I think but he did not have on any leggings. There was a snowsuit that was passed down through the family that I remember. It was light green and very silky. You had to be careful when you carried the ...

It’s English, or else!

English is an odd language. But, it’s the only one I know well at all, so I have little choice but to use it. Use English, or else... ‘Or else.’ Threatening words. I’m thinking of a movie in which the antagonist was faced with a command from authorities. When the bad guy failed to ...

When geography augments livibility

Different locales have surroundings that enhance their livability. Warren has the river, the national forest and prime agricultural land stretching to the east and to the north. Erie has the lake into which Presque Isle State Park protrudes and a coastal plain along the lake which is famed ...

I’m the new girl in town

I may have been born here, but now I’m the new girl in town. Just a couple months ago, the thought of moving back to Warren had never crossed my mind, but here I am. It’s been 18 years since attending St. Joseph catholic school and running around these streets. There is a sense of ...

Heart Month

I think of February as “Heart Month.” Everywhere you look, you will see hearts these days. Although the red, white, and pink hearts have little to do with heart function, they are a great reminder to be kind to one of the larger organs of our body, the heart. The jury is still out on ...

Stealing the ink

I am a pen thief. I don’t really mean to be, but acquiring pens just sort of happens. I recently came to the conclusion that it’s part of a pattern that began in childhood – not of theft but of irresponsibility and the semi-comatose state that I have been living for lo these many ...

Why did we ever do away with trains?

I learned to love trains from little on. Grandma's house was just a short way from the tracks so we heard the trains. Actually, unless we were outdoors, we really did not hear the trains. I guess we just got used to the sound so we never heard it. I do remember when they went from the old ...

Better accommodations

When I was growing up in Erie, our family had properties we were concerned with besides our residence on the city's southwest side. As I now look back on those years, I am somewhat dismayed by realizing that one of those properties was shrouded in mystery. The mystery property was my ...

A history with sled dogs

When my son was growing up, we had a white German Shephard. It was not the ideal dog since we lived on a farm. That beautiful white fur was often covered with grease or animal waste depending on where she was. When I went to the hospital to have a baby the dog refused to eat. I had been ...

Anywhere on the planet

If you could go anywhere on the planet, where would it be? Tuesday was international travel day in the newsroom. Sometimes, what starts as a perfectly legitimate discussion of a newsy topic quickly makes its way down a rabbit trail. Census 2020 has been in the news recently and will ...

Meet me in Dreamland

Occasionally I get a good night’s sleep - sometimes as often as two or three nights a month. My typical hopeful night means crawling into the feathers between 11:00 and midnight, and reading for 20 minutes or so before the eyelids slowly grow heavy. Most nights I turn the lamp off just ...

We want to read what you think

Public discourse. A phrase that can be attributed to many things being posted on Facebook, Twitter, or any form of social media or otherwise in this day and age. We publish editorials every day on page A4 of the Times Observer. We publish letters to the editor on whatever subjects you feel ...

The influence of teachers

It is always a thrill for teachers when former students do well. I keep track of many of them because their parents are still around even if they are not. Conversely, I always say a prayer for those whose names make the police blotter. Most of them do not surprise me. If they were a ...

A swim I decided not to take

When we go on a morning canoe ride from our cabin on the Althom Eddy during the warmer months of the year, my wife often asks, "Are you going to swim today?" The reason for her query is that if I respond in the affirmative, she will take a magazine along to read while I am taking my dip. (She ...

Why read?

Winter seems to be the perfect time to cuddle up with a book to read. I always enjoyed it when we had a snow day. That meant I would have time to read. Now, I love to read but that was not always the case. When I was growing up, I read what I had to for school, but neglected the ...

Please continue to hold…

My day began with a simple plan. Resolve a few questions on the phone. Make a few appointments then finish my column. This is not the column I started. You’ll see. I got side-tracked ... “Please continue to hold – our representatives are currently assisting other ...

We want to read what you think

Public discourse. A phrase that can be attributed to many things being posted on Facebook, Twitter, or any form of social media or otherwise in this day and age. We publish editorials every day on page A4 of the Times Observer. We publish letters to the editor on whatever subjects you ...