CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

June 20, 2011

Pennsylvania Hero Walkers to Stop in Ligonier (PA) June 22, 2010

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

PENNSYLVANIA HERO WALKERS

TO STOP IN LIGONIER (PA) JUNE 22, 2010

     You suck up and deal with the soreness and tiredness that comes with a long walk, according to Al Pulice. After all, you don’t compare it with the discomfort of the guys walking with you, the soldiers who bear the wounds of protecting freedom.

     Pulice, 55, of Murrysville, Pennsylvania, is one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Hero Walk. This year a core group of twenty wounded soldiers will trek the entire 329 mile journey.

     He said the third-annual walk should remind Pennsylvanians of the sacrifices troops continue to make in Iraq and Afghanistan. “They hear about the casualties, the deaths, but they don’t hear about the injuries,” he said. “This definitely brings attention to the injuries.”

     Participants in the walk are collecting donations for the Wounded Warrior Project, a nationwide nonprofit that helps injured service members that offers counseling, mentoring, and support programs. The organization is based in Jacksonville, Florida. The goal for this year is $100,000.

     The 2010 walk began Sunday, June 12, at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and will end June 25 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 92 in Lower Burrell.

     Participants in the 329 mile walk expect to be in Ligonier on (more…)

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June 19, 2011

Newspaper Acrostic: June 12, 2010

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

NEWSPAPER ACROSTIC: June 12, 2010

Last week my husband Monte and I drove to Lakeside, Ohio (on Lake Erie). While reading the newspaper during the drive, I decided to write an acrostic poem. June 12 was the perfect newspaper to choose, since that day is Monte’s birthday.

AMERICAN SPIRIT is live in large in small towns,

served generously in local roadside diners.

BLOOD—just a drop—of beautified Pope, John Paul II

Is now on a Krakow church altar, there to be venerated.

CAMEL’S carbon footsteps in Australia aren’t (more…)

June 8, 2011

John Hanger Addresses Marcellus Shale Drilling Concerns

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

JOHN HANGER ADDRESSES

MARCELLUS SHALE DRILLING CONCERNS

Written with Monte W. Holland

      Marcellus shale gas drilling won’t ever be as devastating to the environment as coal-fired power plants have been.

     John Hanger, former secretary of the state Department of Environmental made that comment during a presentation on Marcellus shale gas drilling at Ligonier’s (PA) Town Hall on June 7, 2011. About one hundred people attended the meeting on the pros and cons of extracting the estimated 168 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the rock formation…Hanger compared energy generated with natural gas to energy generated by oil and coal, and said that the less reliant the country becomes on the latter the better.*

     My husband, Monte, heard Hanger speak. Below are his comments on the presentation:

    I was there for the presentation. It was excellent. The article (Greensburg Tribune-Review*) has accurate statements from the talk. However, Hanger said much more.

     He stated his biases about energy consumption—he is a huge proponent of conservation in all phases of energy use.

     Hanger ranks energy sources from the best to worst:

  • solar
  • wind
  • hydro
  • gas
  • petroleum
  • coal. 

     In Pennsylvania he is encouraged by the continual growth of (more…)

February 3, 2011

Women, the Super Bowl, and Heart Attacks

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

WOMEN, THE SUPERBOWL  AND HEART ATTACKS

 

Dinasaur in Ligonier Valley Library, Ligonier PA

February 4, 2011, is National Wear Red Day, a day set aside to raise awareness for women’s heart health and the effect of heart disease on women.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Super Bowl fans, watch out: If you’re a Packers or Steelers fan and your team begins to lose, the resulting stress could trigger a heart attack. “It is known that stressors such as intense sporting events may increase cardiac event rates in fans…” researchers report.

A recent study by a Los Angeles researcher at the Heart Institute of Good Samaritan Hospital and a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California has found that not only men but women can be susceptible to a heart attack while or after watching the Super Bowl.

  • A 1980 study of cardiac events and Super Bowl suggests that cardiac deaths in both women and men increased for fans of the losing side.
  • A 1984 study suggested that cardiac deaths decrease for fans of the winning team.

     The studies, based on the 1980 Los Angeles Super Bowl loss and the 1984 Super Bowl win showed that the loss “triggered more (more…)

January 14, 2011

Children of courage: May They Rest in Peace

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

CHILDREN OF COURAGE:

MAY THEY REST IN PEACE

I read about two courageous children this week. One was on the other end of the world in Toowoomba, Australia. One was in Tucson, Arizona—on this country’s soil.

JORDAN RICE

A thirteen year old boy who chose life for his ten year brother Blake rather than life for himself.

     On January 11, 2011,flash flooding struck without warning in Toowoomba, a city of about 90,000 people nestled in mountains of Australia,  2,300 above sea level. The deluge fell over a concentrated area, sending a 26-foot, fast-moving torrent crashing through Toowoomba and smaller towns farther down the valley.

     Jordan and Blake were in the car with their mother when a torrent of floodwater trapped the family in their car. Two men reached the car in spite of the pummeling water, which knocked one of the men away from rescue attempts. When the second man managed to reach the car, Jordan insisted (more…)

October 13, 2010

October 13, 2010: The San Jose Mine Rescue

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

OCTOBER 13, 2010: THE SAN JOSE MINE RESCUE

     As I write this post, the following is occurring:

    The 25th miner to be rescued, Renan Avalos, 29, is on his way up. Renan’s younger brother Florencio was the first miner to be brought to the surface just after midnight on Wednesday. He decided to come to work in the San Jose mine four months ago.

     I interrupt my writing to view Renan Avalos’ reunion with his wife. The BBC commentator noted that there is amazing discipline among the press, who are unwilling to invade the privacy of the miner’s reunions, yet who know the whole world is participating in the event unfolding at the San Jose Mine in Chile.

     For me, it’s been a day of distractions characterized by an inability to focus. Partially, it’s that this day follows five hectic days. Two days were absorbed by Fort Ligonier (PA) Days: photographing its ninety–minute parade, manning our Beanery Writers Group table, and enjoying festival concert. On Sunday my husband Monte and I traveled to Harrisburg for a conference on poverty, which ended mid-afternoon on Monday. Leaving the conference, we headed to Minersville, where I finally met two fourth cousins—Bob and Allen Borinsky—who filled me in on some family history. We left Minersville, ate in Pottsville, and found a motel room a little further on. Tuesday morning we took side routes—not the interstate—back to Laurel Mountain Borough, arriving in time to attend Mellow Mike, where I was guided some writers in practice writing about structures.

     It seems coincidental that Lawrence Borinsky, the grandfather of Bob and Allen, died in a mining accident in Minersville. He was 27 years old. He left behind a two year old son, William a.k.a. Vince, the father of the two brothers.

     So perhaps my restlessness is due to tiredness.

    Or perhaps it’s due to the fact that the date is the thirteenth—even though it’s Wednesday, not Friday.

    However, a large part of the distraction is a deep-seated need to participate in a global celebration—good news, for a change—surpassing that which happened at the Quecreek Mines in July, 2002 (QUECREEK MINE DISASTER: A 21st Century Historical Site in Somerset County, PA).  Then, nine miners were rescued—a miracle. Although I lived about twenty miles from the site, I watched in New Jersey, where I was visiting my sister, Kitty.

      Today, thirty-three miners are being rescued. Is one rescue scene more miraculous than the other? Not really…but as the world (more…)

October 7, 2010

Drought, Drought, Drought…Through Time in Southwestern Pennsylvania

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DROUGHT, DROUGHT, DROUGHT…

THROUGH TIME IN SOUTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA

It’s raining, it’s pouring…from the Midwest to the Atlantic Coast, as I type this post. Will this rain improve conditions at Yough Lake, where dry, cracked veins are visible in the lake basin because the water level is down fifteen feet?*

     The following headlines were pulled from local newspapers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dry conditions continue    

Rain hasn’t helped much at Yough Dam.

For many in state, drought means dry wells

and

Drought emergency declared

and

Area water supply running dry…

Drought sends flood of business to well drillers

     Perhaps an upcoming newspaper headlines will proclaim that Despite recent rainfall, the Yough River Dam is still in a “fairly dry situation.” Will private wells go dry? Will there be a flood of business for well drillers?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

     Gov. Tom Ridge declared a drought emergency in 55 of 67  Pennsylvania counties…including Fayette, Greene and Washington counties. “Pennsylvania’s water supply is at a dangerously low level throughout the entire state. If we don’t begin to conserve water today, there won’t be any to conserve tomorrow.” Ridge declared a drought warning, which calls for a voluntary 10 percent reduction in water use, in four counties, and a drought watch (a voluntary 5 percent reduction in water use) in eight counties. It is spurred on by weeks of triple-digit temperatures and a well-below-normal rainfall. Groundwater levels across the state have plummeted in recent weeks, emptying streams and rivers and drying out residential and commercial wells.*

     The Yough River is eleven feet lower than average, and dropping six inches a (more…)

March 14, 2010

Earthquakes in (Southwestern) Pennsylvania

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

EARTHQUAKES IN (SOUTHWESTERN) PENNSYLVANIA

     Pennsylvania: the Quaker state.

     Earthquakes shaking Southwestern Pennsylvania? Is this the source of its second most common nickname, the Quaker State?

     One of the above statements is true: earthquakes do occur in Southwestern Pennsylvania. However, the nickname “Quaker State” originates from the fact that the state’s founder, William Penn, belonged to a religious sect known as Quakers.

     Although earthquakes occur far less frequently in Southwestern Pennsylvania than they do in California, they do occur. Forty-five earthquakes have been recorded in Pennsylvania since 1900,*** some originating in the east, others in the west.

     Eastern originating earthquakes include (more…)

January 30, 2010

Replace Punxsutawney Phil with a ROBOT?

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

REPLACE PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL WITH A ROBOT

 IS MY ILK TO BE NEXT?

Cochran Cornell the Cantankerous Cockroach

     OK, so you haven’t heard from me for a while. Writer’s block. That’s what I suffer from. Just when I thought it was hopeless, I was injected with a jolt of verbal energy…just as you would be if someone suggested replacing all humans with robots.

     I’m so shocked!

     I had pulled myself out of my doldrums just enough to scoot over the local newspaper that my creator Carolyn was reading. And what did I spot? Why, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is campaigning to replace Punxsutawney Phil with a robot

     (Carolyn has this illustration for Punxsutawney Phil—

http://www.flickr.com/photos/beaneryonlineliterarymagazine/2493962362/ . He is so cute as a Beany Baby that someone adopted him.)

     Who do those folks think they are? Personally, I think it’s just a publicity stunt. But if the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals manages to succeed in their quest to robotize my friend…well, fat chance of that…

     PETA claim that humans should treat Phil with compassion. That drew the ire of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, and drew battle lines with the thousands of people, perhaps millions worldwide, who rise early each February 2nd to find out what the near-future weather will be.

     When I heard PETA was campaigning for humans to be compassionate to Phil, I thought to myself, “Rubbish!” But to get the real scoop, I scooted off Carolyn’s newspaper onto the road. Fortunately, I was able to hitch a ride to Punxsutawney, not too far from Carolyn’s Pennsylvania home, in (more…)

January 1, 2010

Post Office Closings in Rector and Export, Pennsylvania, Mirror a Larger Postal Service Problem

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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POST OFFICE CLOSINGS IN RECTOR AND EXPORT, PENNSYLVANIA,

MIRROR A LARGER POSTAL SERVICE PROBLEM

     Rector is a small rural community on the outskirts of Laughlintown, Pennsylvania, near the eastern border of Westmoreland County. Rt. 381, near Linn Run State Park, passes through the community that is about five miles south of the Lincoln Highway, Rt. 30. Its population is undetermined, since it is included in a regional count. However, it has just over one hundred post office boxes.

     Export is a community of less than 830 residents, not far from Monroeville, Pennsylvania. It is on Rt. 22 in Westmoreland County, on its northeastern edge.

     These two communities are experiencing a problem common to many communities across our country: the suspension of (more…)

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