Opinion

|Jul 27, 2017

Town hall was not a ‘death trap’

LOWMAN S. HENRY: Black-robed blunder: Judges now writing laws |Jul 26, 2017

If you ever wonder how far off track the judicial branch of government can stray cast your eyes to the Sunshine state where a county court judge actually struck down a law on the basis that it was rewritten by legislators, not by the judiciary.

JOHN C. MORGAN: The power of free speech |Jul 26, 2017

Long ago and not so far away I started working as a journalist on a daily Ohio newspaper. I had just graduated with a master’s degree in philosophy. What does a graduate degree in philosophy get you other than walking around asking lots of questions but not really having a job, like Socrates of old?

Welcome to my world: Listening to the silence |Jul 12, 2017

I happened to come across a title for this story through a leaflet that came in the mail. In my case, I’ve learned to listen to inward silence through the practice of meditation. Yet, looking back on my life, I realized silence also spoke to me, in a seemingly different way, especially in nature.

A Look Back in History: Farm women turned out plenty of fresh bread and pies in outdoor bake ovens |Jul 12, 2017

The quaint bake oven as it is found in the Pennsylvania Dutch region was an outstanding invention for its time, far superior to any found elsewhere in America. As European families transferred their white man’s culture to the virgin forests of Pennsylvania introducing their frontier farmsteads to the area, there was no other invention, expect perhaps the large frontier fireplaces, that intrigued the native Indians more than these outdoor bake-ovens.

REFLECTIONS: Being a father isn’t harder than a long par-5 ... just make sure your playing partner is a loving mother |Jun 16, 2017

The big day is approaching, so let me be the first to wish Happy Father’s Day to all you dads.

Welcome to my WorlD: Father’s Day Remembered |Jun 16, 2017

A special day is celebrated annually on the 3rd Sunday of June — Father’s Day.

REFLECTIONS: Why doesn’t gender equity apply to barbecuing? |May 23, 2017

I always have found it amusing that men, many of whom would only cook in the kitchen if they were handcuffed to the stove, are the king of the grill.

Welcome to my world: Celebrating Women |May 3, 2017

Although I have a husband to discuss things with, I feel it’s important to get together with women friends on a regular basis. I think “me time” is good for all women, no matter what age.

look back : Our Local Dutch Country opens up during the Federal Years |May 3, 2017

Considering the dynamic change in our region’s Federal years, perhaps the biggest change was when the United States Post Office established post offices within regional General Stores, especially the Rural Free delivery that supplied these rural villages with hardware and food supplies for the community life.

the historian: Moral Lapses of Early Pennsylvania German Clergymen — Part 1 |May 3, 2017

Very few Lutheran or Reformed clergymen immigrated to Pennsylvania along with the flood of German speaking immigrants in the early 18th century. In 1751 Benjamin Franklin despaired, “This will in a few years become a German speaking colony.

REFLECTIONS: Commercial television is precisely that |May 3, 2017

I have a hunch I’m not alone in saying that commercial interruptions on broadcast and cable television networks are more painful than dangling from your thumbs over a quicksand pit.

From Arthur’s Policy Desk:” The Fall of Trumpcare: It was about Obama not Obamacare |Apr 7, 2017

The Bible warns that pride goeth before the fall. When Trump ran for office he said the Affordable Care Act (ACA), disparagingly referred to Obamacare, was a disaster and would collapse under its own weight and that when he becomes president he would fix it day one.

BOOK BEAT — IMPACT: ‘One Perfect Lie’ by Lisa Scottoline |Apr 7, 2017

Since “One Perfect Lie” by Lisa Scottoline contains many lies, I thought I had better tell you one perfect truth. Having written reviews of some of Lisa’s work previously, the publisher sent me an advance copy of this book, which is scheduled to be released on April 11, 2017.

Welcome to My world: Lent — a time for fasting |Apr 7, 2017

From ancient times, it was believed that the deity was appeased by voluntary sufferings of people. Since abstinence from food brought suffering, fasting became a way for people to make amends for their misdeeds.

EDITORIAL: Rep. Costello not at fault for missing meeting |Feb 27, 2017

For a time last week, it appeared that the controversies surrounding clashes between disgruntled Democrats and Republican members of Congress would flare up in our region.

NATHAN BENEFIELD: Reinventing Pennsylvania government |Feb 24, 2017

Imagine if Stephen King had written “Green Eggs and Ham.” What if Dr. Seuss had penned “The Shining?”

CHRIS FREIND: We need common sense in immigration debate |Feb 24, 2017

The immigration debate was back in the headlines. Par for the course, both parties’ spewed lip-service on the need for reform, while simultaneously killing any meaningful legislation. Comprehensive immigration reform hasn’t gone anywhere in decades, making it clear that neither party’s ruling class wanted it.

EDITORIAL: A tribute and thank you to Albert Boscov |Feb 24, 2017

We admire. We respect. We love. We thank you.

Reflections: Waiting for a cancer cure is like waiting for Godot |Jan 22, 2017

We have been waiting for a cure for cancer for what seems an eternity.

Carole Christman Koch: President’s Inauguration firsts, traditions, and more: Part 2 |Jan 22, 2017

Part 2 Franklin Pierce, in 1853, accepted his presidency, but was still in mourning. Just a few months prior to the ceremony, the Pierces lost their 3rd and last child in a railroad accident, that both witnessed.

PERSON TO PERSON – IMPACT: Tension |Jan 20, 2017

Sometimes, the simplest things in life create tension in you. A few days after Christmas I took our car to be serviced at a dealership. On the way, I passed close to the store that sells my favorite donuts.

PERSON TO PERSON – IMPACT: Dear Diary - 2016 |Dec 31, 2016

It would have been great if someone had engrained in me as a child to keep a diary during my life. No, I wouldn’t have to be a huge success to make it interesting. If nothing else, it might have been something I could leave to my kids in case at a certain point in time they wondered about my thoughts, where I lived, what was involved in my work, my interests, my successes and my failures.

Think About It: Farewell, Dear Friends, Farewell |Dec 31, 2016

“Goodbyes are not forever; goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you, until we meet again.” — Anonymous

A Look Back: How PA Dutch Are You: Did you eat your good luck pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day? |Dec 31, 2016

This folk practice still creates a yearning, especially among our older folk people and those still appreciative of our heritage and a good, hot Pennsylvania Dutch meal. Many Dutch families over the generations and years never forget this dish on New Year’s Day and eagerly partake in the consumption of pork and sauerkraut.

Think about it: Becoming a full-time member of AARP |Dec 28, 2016

“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.” — Ann Landers

person to person — impact: Better Than MREs* |Dec 26, 2016

Over ten years ago, Barb and I, along with several others from our church, started a program we called Operation Encouragement. The objective of the program was to pray for, communicate with and send care packages to the men and women serving in our Armed Services.

A look back at history : New Year, New Ideas, New Horizons in the PA Dutch Culture |Dec 26, 2016

Plain groups as the Old Order Mennonites and Amish continue to prosper in our area and expand, protecting our rich and vast farmland. Nearby Plain Brethren, once called “Dunkards,” the sect that founded Pricetown in the Oley Hills, still maintain their 18th Century Brethren Meeting House off the modern Pricetown Road.

Think about it: Moving from One Season to Another |Dec 19, 2016

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different.” — C.S. Lewis

Look Back at History: Old tin-stamped cookies at Christmastime a Pennsylvania Dutch Tradition & treat |Dec 19, 2016

Hormon Foose, a creative tinsmith from Fleetwood, was one of those craftsmen that demonstrated his artistic abilities at the Kutztown Folk Festival and made tin cut-out cookie cutters which were collected by many families.

person to person — impact: There’s no business like snow business! |Dec 19, 2016

No, there is no mistake in the title of this column. I slightly modified the 1954 movie musical “There’s No Business Like Show Business”. During this Christmas season when many (especially the kids) have the song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” on their minds, I thought I would take this column to prepare for Christmas and in doing so also talk about Christmas, snow, and the above Irving Berlin musical, staring: Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O’Connor and others.

A Look Back in History: From Native Clay to Beautiful Roof tile Adorning our Most Primitive Homes |Nov 30, 2016

In the Colonial years, when handmade brick was scarce, the availability of native clay also afforded Valley pioneers to build attractive brick chimneys with courses of brick corbelling. The result: the entire Oley Township being honored as a National Historic District by the United States Department of the Interior, for its heritage.

person to person — impact: Common, yes, but a treasure still |Nov 30, 2016

It’s amazing how by happenstance you can be taught a lesson! Barb was walking on the sidewalk from our driveway to our front porch. She thought she saw a leaf on the sidewalk and was about to crunch it as she walked, when she focused more closely on the object.

Think about it: The Literary Craftsmanship of Rudyard Kipling |Nov 30, 2016

“After you have read Kipling fifty or seventy-five best stories you realize that few men have written this many stories of this much merit, and that very few have written more or better stories.

A Look Back in History: 19th Century cane carvers of the PA Dutch Country |Nov 23, 2016

Locally, the most popular cane carver, “Schtockschnitzler Simmons” (1885-1910) from the Kutztown, Moselem, Hamburg area was a late German born immigrant who bartered his carved bird handle canes from farm to farm or tavern to tavern.

Think about it: The Sponge Capital of the World |Nov 23, 2016

“Do you ever wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.” — Stephen Hawking

JEFF EDELSTEIN: The 15 people you’ll meet at Thanksgiving this year discussing Donald Trump |Nov 23, 2016

There may be five people you meet in heaven, but there will be 15 people you meet at Thanksgiving Hell 2016.

person to person — impact: In His Time |Nov 23, 2016

The main speaker in my column of November 8th, “Precious In His Sight: Bill Montgomery” (http://www.berksmontnews.com/opinion/20161103/person-to-person-precious-in-his-sight-bill-montgomery), which talked about the home going of Bill Montgomery, indicated his death was no accident.

In our helter-skelter lives, Thanksgiving dinner with the family is good for the spirit as well as the belly |Nov 21, 2016

Many of us, myself included, seldom are fully engaged in a given moment because we’re always in a hurry to move on to something else. Consequently, we skim along the surface of life. We exist in the topsoil of life and never seem to have the time to get to the root of the matter.

Think about it: Leading with creative style |Nov 16, 2016

“If you want to build a high performance organization, you’ve got to play chess, not checkers.” — Mark Miller

person to person — impact: Voted Most Utilitarian |Nov 11, 2016

I am on probation! I’ve been told that more and more copies of the Tri County Record are being sent back to the printer. I have no idea why, except that my boss has pinpointed my articles as the culprit.

A Look Back in History: Helping the community with PA Dutch cuisine |Nov 7, 2016

With a number of the senior citizen cooks who have backed our local fire company kitchens retiring from civic organizations, we can only hope they have past their recipes down to their daughters and other kin.

Person to Person: Precious In His Sight — Bill Montgomery |Nov 3, 2016

In September I wrote two articles about the life of Bill Montgomery entitled “Treasurers Among Us”. In October, Barb and I attended Bill’s memorial service. After sweet memories and songs presented by members of Bill’s family and friends, an extraordinary talk was given by one of his friends.

OPINION: Texting drivers and slow drivers should be punished as harshly as drunk drivers |Nov 3, 2016

We all encounter those foolish folks who combine driving and texting with the multitasking skills of a dairy cow. Their distracted driving is shakier than the lead singer in a rumba band.

Think about it: Stephen R. Covey and his Seven Habits |Nov 3, 2016

“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” ­— Stephen R. Covey

Think about it: The Phenomenon of the Ring |Nov 2, 2016

“Of all the passions, the passion of the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things.” — C.S. Lewis

person to person — impact A Big Thanks to All Veterans |Oct 31, 2016

Dear Reader: Although this article concentrates on the war in Vietnam and the troops that served during that era, I am using those troops as an example because this is the period in which I served (albeit my service was easy during this time, as I have mentioned previously).

|Oct 27, 2016

Kampf will fight for us in Harribsurg

welcome to my world: Pennsylvania’s ‘Greene Country’ |Oct 26, 2016

“Trees” by Joyce Kilmer “I think that I shall never see

Think about it: The cut flower culture |Oct 26, 2016

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”— Peter Drucker