|Aug 3, 2015

I have a few questions after attending the Phoenixville Borough Council committee meetings on Tuesday, July 28. First, I have to ask, whose idea was it to do away with regular committee meetings? This new format is terrible.

Think About It: An unforgettable Amish dinner |Aug 2, 2015

“The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table.” — Unknown

Think About It: Road rage on a bicycle |Jul 26, 2015

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair of the human race.” — H. G. Wells

Think About It: Trying to please everybody |Jul 19, 2015

“It would be nice if everyone liked you but it’s not necessary.” — Dr. Richard Dobbins

Readers’ Views: Borough council should give Firebird Festival another chance |Jul 12, 2015

Last year, after vandals torched the namesake icon of the Phoenixville Firebird Festival the night before its scheduled burning, the playing surface at Friendship Field was trampled—but the spirit of a community soared.

Think About It: Learning to throw a boomerang |Jul 12, 2015

“If you want your boomerang to come back, first you’ve got to throw it.” —Steven Hall

Think About It: How one tweet changed a life |Jul 5, 2015

“We are masters of unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.” — Winston Churchill

Think About It: On taking a detour |Jun 28, 2015

“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours we didn’t mean to take.” — Angela N. Blount

Think About It: A day on the mountain |Jun 21, 2015

“You never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory. Memory rebuilds the mountain, changes the weather, retells the jokes, remakes all the moves.” — Lito Tejada-flores

Think About It: Reflections on a great writer |Jun 14, 2015

“Surprisingly, often a difficult problem in a sentence can be solved by simply getting rid of it.” — William Zinsser

Think About It: Mind your manners |Jun 7, 2015

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.”

Think About It: The Power of Practice |May 31, 2015

“If I don’t practice the way I should, then I won’t play the way I know I can.” — Ivan Lendl, tennis professional

EDITORIAL: Pennsylvania pension time bomb: Tick, tick ... |May 29, 2015

The ticking time bomb that is tucked inside the Pennsylvania budget has not detonated – yet.

Think About It: Play it by ear |May 24, 2015

“I love the winning; I can take the losing; but most of all I love to play.” Boris Becker

THINK ABOUT IT: Trust your crazy ideas |May 17, 2015

“It’s easy to come up with big ideas. Just think of something that everyone agrees would be ‘wonderful’ if it were only ‘possible’ – and then set out to make it possible.

THINK ABOUT IT: Two Great Musicians: Crosby and Jackson |May 10, 2015

I grew up singing the old hymns. I loved them then and I still love them today. Just hearing the melodies of some of them instantly transports me to places and times long past. Some keep reminding me of times of great victory and others bring back some of the darkest seasons of my life.

Think About It: The Copy Machine Study |Apr 29, 2015

As we were growing up, I think all of us heard the words “just because.” To our questions of why we should eat our vegetables or take a nap or study math, the answer all too often was simply “just because.

From the Editor’s Desk: Farewell Phoenixville, or rather, see you around |Apr 29, 2015

It’s with mixed emotions that I write this final column and put one more issue of The Phoenix Reporter & Item to bed.

Valley Forge Road bridge closing creates traffic nightmare scenario |Apr 29, 2015

We all knew it was coming. The past few months, especially, were filled with confused looks, furrowed brows and general disdain at the mere mention of Valley Forge Bridge closing on Route 23 in Schuylkill Township.

Hydrogen fuel cells are the future of renewable energy storage |Apr 23, 2015

In the run-up to a solar eclipse on March 20 of this year, European tabloids had a Y2K-style field day.

Wolf’s budget has unintended consequences |Apr 23, 2015

Kermit Bell is worried about his 90-year-old mother, Louise.

Think About It: Learning Something New |Apr 23, 2015

For quite some time now I have known about the famous song “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen,” which was released in 2013. Whether it was Idina Menzel singing the Oscar-winning song or it was a host of imitations of little girls on YouTube, most of us have heard it over and over.

Wolf’s homecare order a money grab, puts personal care choice at risk |Apr 17, 2015

For the past 25 years, Don Lambrecht and David Smith have teamed up to allow Dave, a homebound quadriplegic, to lead a productive and fulfilling life — and they’ve formed a close friendship in the process.

Think About It: Just Did It |Apr 17, 2015

Robert H. Schuller was a force. When he died recently at 88 years of age, I felt as though I had lost a friend. Although I never shook his hand, his influence in my life was profound.

Equal work deserves equal pay |Apr 17, 2015

When Doris and Don Fisher opened their small retail store in 1969, they each put up $21,000 in savings and, without even discussing it, paid each other the same salary. That’s how equal partnerships work.

Guest Column: Say thanks to your township supervisors |Apr 10, 2015

You may read about them in the newspaper or see them along local roads, plowing snow in the winter or patching potholes in the spring.

Wal-Mart’s small wage increase not enough for employees, taxpayers |Apr 10, 2015

You don’t need a Wal-Mart front-door greeter to find the flaw in the company’s recently announced boost in worker wages: it’s not enough. Not enough to pull its lowest-paid workers out of poverty, and therefore not enough to get American taxpayers off the hook for subsidizing the giant retailer’s low-wage payroll.

Construction entrance to ELC site should be moved |Apr 2, 2015

After considerable research and “digging” yesterday, I discovered some troubling information that was not shared with the surrounding residents relating to the first construction step of the Early Learning Center project.

Charter school bill rejects $136M in savings, could raise property taxes |Apr 2, 2015

Students and taxpayers have much at stake as charter school reform is debated in Harrisburg. Unfortunately, a bill House Republicans passed recently (H.B. 530) would not deliver for our kids or taxpayers.

Wolf’s budget could save Pennsylvania |Mar 26, 2015

Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal presents a clear vision for the future of our state and dares us to be great in the spirit of President John Kennedy who said that “a rising tide lifts all boats.

Wolf negotiates billions with unions who gave him millions |Mar 26, 2015

Gov. Tom Wolf’s

Think About It: Our Love of Animals |Mar 26, 2015

When you grow up on a farm, you have an inborn love for animals. Whether it was the cows and chickens, hogs and geese, horse and pony, sheep, cat or dog, from the start of the day to the end of the day we were around those animals.

Taxpayers deserve a fair trade with school property tax elimination |Mar 19, 2015

Many local football fans have watched their favorite NFL team make numerous trades and acquisitions over the past two weeks. Some of those trades leave fans scratching their heads and wondering what the front office is doing to help the team get to the Super Bowl.

Pa. should make cyber charter school funding reform a priority |Mar 19, 2015

Schools that teach. A very basic concept, yet one that has more complicated layers — with one layer costing about $426 million annually.

Energy efficiency legislation works |Mar 12, 2015

Last year was the hottest ever recorded globally, and the U.S. remains the world leader in CO2 emissions per capita.

Why this Catholic physician supports medical aid in dying |Mar 11, 2015

Inspired by the public advocacy of terminal brain cancer patient Brittany Maynard, lawmakers in

Think About It: Sew Many Quilts; So Little Time |Mar 11, 2015

Every now and then, I like to stop by the old quilt rack hanging on an upstairs wall in the old farmhouse where we live here on the University of Valley Forge campus. The oldest part of the house was built somewhere around the mid-1800s, so an old quilt hanging on that wall fits perfectly.

Trust Pennsylvanians, not government, to lead the way |Mar 11, 2015

Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a budget with a spending rate clocking in at a blistering $1,000 per second. That means in the time it takes you to read this article, say three minutes, state government would spend a stunning $180,000.

Think About It: You Know You are Old If... |Mar 4, 2015

One of hardest things to understand is what it means to be old. I am beginning to realize what Bernard Baruch meant when he said, “To me, old age is always ten years older than I am.”

Gov. Tom Wolf inviting conversation: Who’s up to task? |Mar 4, 2015

We’ve heard a lot of state budget addresses over the years, stretching back to Gov. Dick Thornburgh. They’ve been fairly predictable, as have been the default responses of the opposite party (one party’s “investments” are another’s “taxes” or “giveaways”).

EDITORIAL: Pa. Legislature sitting on $161M of taxpayer money |Feb 27, 2015

You have to give Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature points for chutzpah.

Think About It: Addicted to Snow |Feb 27, 2015

“The very fact of snow is such an amazement.”

Community Reinvestment Act can boost energy efficiency, funding for low-income schools |Feb 25, 2015

One in five Americans spends his or her days in our nation’s 140,000 K-12 schools. Those schools spend close to $8 billion a year on energy costs, the second-largest line item in a school budget after personnel costs.

Wolf’s so-called ‘moratorium’ on death penalty holds no water in Pa. courts |Feb 20, 2015

Governor Wolf did not impose a “moratorium” on Pennsylvania’s death penalty.

Pa. government should do less so we can do more |Feb 20, 2015

Prosperity or ruin? In theory, it’s a simple choice with an obvious answer. But in practice, complicating factors make the decision anything but easy.

Think About It: Thoughts on Leadership, Part I |Feb 18, 2015

Last week I shared six “Thoughts on Leadership - Part I.” Today I would like to share six more.

Dusting off the Church Committee an option for overhauling oversight |Feb 12, 2015

“It is not often that nations learn from the past, even rarer that they draw the correct conclusions from it.”

Think About It: Thoughts on Leadership, Part I |Feb 12, 2015

“A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them.”

The real ‘dark money’ in Pennsylvania politics |Feb 12, 2015

January marked the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United v. FEC decision, which lifted many restrictions on corporate spending in politics.

Long-term problems are big opportunities for change in Pennsylvania |Feb 4, 2015

Pennsylvania added nearly two dozen new lawmakers in November, and there’s a new face in the Governor’s Mansion. Indeed, that face will look very new, as Tom Wolf is the first Pennsylvania governor with a beard in more than a century.