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Priceless. Please take one! HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS ISSUE | October & November 2017


Local Flair | October/November 2017

When seconds count, count on St. Luke’s.

100 St. Luke’s Lane Stroudsburg, PA 18360 Powered by the strength of St. Luke’s University Health Network


Local Flair | October/November 2017

State-of-the-Art Technology. New facilities and advanced medical and surgical equipment allow us to diagnose and treat the problem to get you the help you need. Patient-Centered Health Care Experience. Patient-friendly exam and waiting rooms, staffed by a collaborative team committed to providing the highest level of care for you and your family.

Local Flair | October/November 2017


PUBLISHER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR is published bi-monthly and distributed throughout the greater Pocono area. Local Flair reserves the right to refuse to sell space for any advertisement the staff deems inappropriate for the publication. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. Letters to the Editor are welcome, but may be edited due to size limitations. Press releases must be received by the 15th of the prior month of publication. All contents of this magazine including without limitation to the design, advertisements, art, photos, and editorial content, as well as the selection coordination and arrangement thereof is the Copyright of Local Flair, Inc. No portion of this magazine may be copied or reprinted without the express written consent of the publisher.

MISSION The mission of Local Flair magazine is to celebrate excellence in community businesses, services, and efforts by appealing to the tastes, sensibilities, and curiosities of its readers and advertisers alike. To this end, Local Flair strives to balance informative and inspirational editorial content with relevant and enlightening advertisement.


For a subscription send check or money order for $24.95 to the address above. (6 issues/1 year)


Local Flair Pocono Mountains

Instagram: @local_flair



Mark Isaiah


Local Flair | October/November 2017

Ali Schratt EDITOR



Ali Schratt SALES CONTACT Local Flair Magazine 609 Main Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360 P: 570.424.9600 F:570.424.9601

CONTENTS 6. 8-9. 10-12. 14-26. 24. 28-37. 34. 38. 40-44. 46-48. 50. 52. 54. 56. 58.

Letter Go! October & November Give! Local Craft Local Author Local Home Local Profile Local Craft Local Home Local Living Local Profile Local Food Local Scene Local Spotlight Local Vibe

Carroll & Carroll Booksellers Monday – Saturday • 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

740 Main Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360 570.420.1516


Skytop Holiday Arts Festival A Fine Arts-Fine Crafts Show & Sale

Saturday, November 25th 2017 • 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, November 26th 2017 • 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Admission is Free

The Executive Conference Center at Skytop Route 390 • Skytop, PA

We thank our corporate sponsors George Roberts Productions Journal of the Pocono Plateau Local Flair Magazine Pocono Record Skytop Lodge The Frogtown Inn & 6 Acres Restaurant The Village View and This Week in the Poconos

Presented by Pocono Mountain Arts Council For information contact Nancy Pitcher, 570.646.8014

3414 RT. 611 BARTONSVILLE, PA 18321 570.629.3388 WWW.AMERICAN-CANDLE.COM

Local Flair | October/November 2017


Photo by Eileen Noelle After a 15 year hiatus, I’ve recently picked up my paintbrush again. I have a beautiful little studio that my husband built from reclaimed materials from a local resort. It’s my sanctuary! I’m not quite sure that what I paint is any good...but it relieves my stress and helps me think clearly. There are so many talented artists living and working in the Pocono Mountains and I feel honored to feature them in Local Flair. Some of them are old friends of mine, like Tracy Gross of Trae Be True Design; others are from neighboring towns like felt artist Ellen Silberlicht of Honesdale. A traditional New York style steakhouse featuring prime aged steaks, terrific seafood & outstanding service. We offer on or off-premises catering for all your special occasions and events.

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Local Flair | October/November 2017

This “Home is Where the Art Is” issue has no shortage of creativity on the home front either. RW Buff shared another one of their amazingly crafted homes in Stroudsburg, and Mountain Road Landscaping wowed us with a breathtaking masterpiece in Cherry Valley. Make sure to check out the Out & About pages featuring the United Way Day of Caring and DEPG’s new development projects that bring three new restaurants to the area. Also: I guess you’re wondering why we have a person on this issue’s cover rather than our usual photo of nature and the outdoors! We’ve decided to begin featuring the fascinating people who live right here in the Pocono Mountains. This issue, we’ll tell you about a young man from Mt. Pocono who is following his dream of becoming a professional musician. Stay tuned for future covers about our fabulous Pocono Mountain neighbors!

I hope you enjoy the issue - see you for the holidays!

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Local Flair | October/November 2017





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03 05 06



01Cranberry Bog Walk

Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1 1-3pm $4 members, $6 non-members A 2 ½ hour guided journey into the unique Tannersville Cranberry Bog. Environmental educators will explain the bog’s formation and its plant and animal life.

02“Legally Gray”

Oct. 6-22 Matinees/evenings | $10-18 Contemporary comedy about a couple about to retire when their 30-year old daughter and 83-year old mother move back in.


03Autumn Timber Festival

Oct. 7 - 8 | 11am-5pm In advance: $12/Adults, $10/Children At the gate: $15/Adults, $12/Children Under 5 FREE Shawnee’s exciting annual fall celebration with lumberjack competitions, blacksmith demos, chainsaw sculptures and live music.

04Annual Harvest Festival

Oct. 7-8 | 10am-5pm $10 adults, $5 children 3-12 Harvest time at the farm, with heritage tasks and crafts like spinning and weaving; folk entertainment and much more fun!

05Monroe County Garden Club

Oct. 11 | 11:30am FREE/members; $5 non-members The monthly meeting of the Monroe County Garden Club will present “Lyme Disease in Pennsylvania” and the design theme will be a collage for “Imagine Autumn.” Luncheon included. Held at the Eastern Monroe Public Library.

Local Flair | October/November 2017

06Forwardian Film Festival

Oct. 13-15 | Times vary | FREE The 2017 Forwardian Film Festival will be held at The Antoine Dutot Gallery in Delaware Water Gap. Screenings of original short and feature length films; includes raffles, 50/50 and silent auction.

07Pocono Food Truck

and Art Festival Oct. 14 - 15 | 11am-5pm Advance: $8 Adults/$6.50 Children At the gate: $10 Adults/$8 Children Under 5 FREE A lineup of over 25 food trucks showcasing the delicious, sweet and savory; and the 7th Annual Art on the Mountain show.

08Shawnee Craft Beer Pairing

Oct. 20 | 7-10pm $49 age 21 and over ShawneeCraft beer pairing at the River Room Gastropub, with a tasty 5-course meal.

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09Black Bear Film Festival

Oct 20-22 | Times TBA $10 in advance; $12 at the door The 18th annual gathering for those who love film, with feature films, shorts and student films; discussions, screenings and more. Held at the Borough Building in Milford.

10 Pocono Youth Orchestra

Oct. 24 | 7pm | FREE The Pocono Youth Orchestra takes the stage in the Community Concert series. Held in the main lobby of The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort.

11Hallowine Cocktail Costume Party Oct. 27 | 6-9pm $45/person, over 21 A fun, fallish evening out at the beautiful winery. Includes hors d’oeuvres, cocktail menu and two drinks. Costume prizes too!

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12Halloween Along Main

Oct. 28 | 10am-9pm | FREE Hosted by Origins Gallery and Visit Downtown Stroudsburg, includes trick or treating, games, activities, music and dancing throughout downtown.

13“Frankenstein Slept Here”

Oct. 28 | Times, cost TBD Fun dramedy about Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, a werewolf, The Mummy and other fantastical characters at the School of Visual and Performing Arts in Stroudsburg.

14Annual Red Carpet Event

Nov. 4 | 6pm | $80/person Pocono Cinema and Cultural Center’s annual fundraiser with art, music, live and silent auctions and dinner. Held at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort.

15Lenape of the Eastern Woodland Nov. 5 | 1-3pm | $15 Mike Dennis of Traditional Earth Skills teaches about the day-to-day activities of the Lenape culture, including their food, clothing, shelter and handmade artifacts. Ages 10 and up.

16Holiday Arts Festival at Skytop

Nov. 25-26 | Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 10am-3pm | FREE Fine arts/fine crafts show and sale at Skytop Lodge.

17Holiday Bows and Boughs

Nov. 26 | 1-3pm | $20 Create your own holiday decorations using natural materials. All materials supplied, along with music, drinks, and snacks. Preregistration required.

Local Flair | October/November 2017





With its vision of “a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” Monroe County Habitat for Humanity (MCHFH) focuses on home preservation. It serves homeowners of lower incomes who can’t afford to make necessary repairs on their homes to keep them safe, warm and comfortable. This year, the organization will complete 30 home preservation projects. Home owners are eligible if they meet qualifications like income requirements; being up-to-date on mortgage payments and property taxes; and having homeowner’s insurance.

Local Flair: When and why did you come to work for MCHFH? Kelly Kemmerer: I started volunteering at Monroe County Habitat for Humanity in 2011 while completing my Master’s in Leadership and Public Administration at ESU and was hired in July of 2013. I liked Habitat for Humanity’s mottoes of giving a “hand up, not a hand out” and “neighbors helping neighbors.” MCHFH requires the families that we partner with to contribute sweat equity (volunteer hours) and they receive 0% interest loans from MCHFH to pay us back for their homes or the materials used in repair projects. All volunteers are the Monroe County neighbors of the homeowners who are partnering with MCHFH for services. Habitat for Humanity focuses on neighbors helping neighbors get a hand up to better living. Local Flair: Do you have a waiting list for home repair? Kelly: We do not have a waiting list and we are currently accepting applications.

Volunteers are always welcome to help with painting, lawn work, construction, window installation, siding and clean-up, or by serving on various committees including marketing, event-planning, public relations and faith relations. Besides volunteering one’s time or donating to the cause, MCHFH also accepts cars (no matter what condition) through their “Cars for Homes” program. Executive Director Kelly Kemmerer talked with Local Flair about what keeps the organization ticking.

Local Flair: What is the most common demand for home repair here in Monroe County? Kelly: Of all our home preservation projects, about a third include a roof repair. Many residents have been forced to put roof maintenance on the back burner because they don’t have savings or equity in their homes to obtain a home equity loan to afford these costly repairs. By the time MCHFH is notified about the repair, the roofs are often in critical need of repair. Local Flair: Do you have any major fundraising events through the year? Kelly: We held our First Annual “She Nailed It!” competition at Memory Town USA (Mt. Pocono) this past July which was a lot of fun and a great success! We plan to hold this event again in July of 2018 and are currently looking for teams. Our golf tournament is held annually in September at Buck Hill Falls golf course. We also hold an annual Volunteer Appreciation Event in August or September. Anyone who has volunteered even for one day during the past year is invited to come to this event and enjoy food, music and relaxation. Local Flair: What happens between now and year-end? Kelly: Our home repairs will be scheduled throughout the winter. Some are inside jobs

10 Local Flair | October/November 2017

such as floor repairs, painting and plumbing, which can be completed when the weather is bad. Outdoor projects may also be completed during the winter months if the weather allows. But we don’t stop working at any time during the year. Local Flair: Do you have examples of interesting renovations? Kelly: We recently completed a small addition on a home in Mount Pocono with a handicapped-accessible bathroom for a family with an adult daughter who is disabled. Before the renovation, the family was struggling to bathe her in a traditional tub where she would sometimes get stuck and couldn’t easily be removed. The completion of this repair enabled her to be bathed more safely and efficiently. Another recent repair involved replacing a walkway for a disabled senior woman in Stroudsburg. She uses a walker and was in danger of falling over her cracked and uneven sidewalk whenever she left her house. We also made a repair to an inside sliding door that had been broken for years. The homeowner was so happy with the repair that she insisted the job supervisor watch her demonstrate how she could now open and close the door effortlessly. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DONATING OR VOLUNTEERING VISIT WWW.HABITATMC.ORG OR CALL (570) 216-4390.

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Local Flair | October/November 2017





Six years ago, Bridges Out of Poverty was formed under the non-profit Pocono Alliance. Its goal, said Program Director Sarah Jacobi, is to “unleash human potential.” Bridges Out of Poverty works with residents in Monroe County and connects them with resources to remove barriers so they can work, care for their family, or continue their education. Although the majority of program participants are employed, says Sarah, they’re not earning enough to support themselves and their family without help. “Clients need assistance with services that will allow them to work, like childcare, transportation, or even health insurance when their employer does not offer, or they cannot afford, coverage,” she explained. Last year, more than 80 volunteers put in over 800 hours of service to the organization, and they helped by preparing and serving meals, providing childcare, giving presentations in their areas of expertise and serving as mentors. “Our mentors work with clients and their families for at least a year, and sometimes longer, to provide a different perspective, offer emotional support, and help problem-solve when there are challenges.” Mentors are also helpful as a sounding board when clients are working on goals. To be eligible for services, the individual must be a resident of Monroe County with certain income requirements, and must be willing to actively participate to improve their situation. Bridges Out of Poverty is also invested in educating the community about families struggling to manage low incomes with “poverty simulations,” which jump-start the conversation about the realities of poverty. “Participants adopt a new persona and family profile,” explained Sarah. “The outcome of the simulation is unpredictable and

12 Local Flair | October/November 2017

demonstrates how strategizing with limited resources can make meeting even the most basic needs very challenging for a family.” Bridges holds up to eight simulations each year for church groups, college students and businesses. “Participants experience the confusing patchwork system of services and have to spend time and money traveling from place to place looking for help that may or may not be available.”

“It will take business, government, non-profits, education – all sectors – coming together to work in a coordinated way to develop solutions.”

Sarah said that as a large region with rural areas, Monroe County suffers from a lack of affordable housing and accessible transportation, and jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage. “It will take business, government, non-profits, education – all sectors – coming together to work in a coordinated way to develop solutions,” she added. Some successful programs around the country have helped people out of poverty by extending bus routes and operating hours, and providing yearround work with collaborations between seasonal employers. “I am hopeful that we can build momentum to create these types of changes in our community.” Watch for the annual fundraising event called “Give Poverty the Boot” coming in the spring of 2018, a special wine-tasting evening filled with musical entertainment, appetizers, silent auction, cash bar and friends. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.POCONOALLIANCE.ORG AND CLICK ON “GET HELP” TO FIND BRIDGES OUT OF POVERTY.

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Local Flair | October/November 2017







the tender age of four, Tracy Gross began singing and dancing, and at ten she landed her first professional job. Then began the national TV commercials, cartoon voice-overs and even a European tour of a Broadway show. This whirlwind continued until she was about 30 years old. “Theater is a tough life and the business end of the performing arts is even tougher,” Tracy recalled. “I always knew I had other artistic avenues to explore, but being on the road most of my life made that an impossible dream. I switched gears about 15 years ago and slowly phased out of the performing arts.” Since then, she’s honed her skills in stained glass, painting, drawing and jewelry. “Metal working, jewelry and stained glass are my forte,” she added. During a visit to New Hope, Pennsylvania, about five years ago, Tracy came across a pair of copper earrings that she fell in love with. “The price was completely out of my budget and I thought to myself, I can make that,” she said. “The next day I went out and purchased a few tools to get started: a jewelry saw, a

ball peen hammer and some tiny pliers. My dad gave me some scrap copper sheet and electrical wire he had in his shed and I just started hammering on metal.” Tools begat tools, and the more she worked with metal, the more she realized she needed to grow her tool kit. Tracy spent the next six months in her Henryville studio learning how to manipulate metal, dabbling in melting, etching, hammering, rolling and soldering; and later, wire weaving and wire wrapping. One of her favorite materials is copper, which she says comes in many colors from its patina, the addition of heat and from natural oxidation. “All of these tones make copper a metal that can be worn with just about anything,” she said. “Copper is also a very malleable metal and easy to work with.” Tracy sells primarily on social media (especially Etsy and Facebook), and some of her pieces are also available at Liztech Gallery at 95 Crystal Street in East Stroudsburg. She also attends fairs to showcase her jewelry, like the Bethlehem Fine Arts Festival this past Mother’s Day weekend; Stroudsburg’s Art on Main; the Harvest Festival in Mount Pocono; and she just participated in her second Stroudfest on Main Street in Stroudsburg on Labor Day weekend.

Her biggest seller so far, which was also the first piece she ever sold, is the “Open Heart” (see photo). Also in very high demand are her wire-wrapped creations. There are many challenges to this line of work: the length of time it takes to complete one necklace, and also the weather. “When it comes to festivals and craft fairs, if the weather is bad, so is business,” she observed. Of all the pieces she makes, creating lampwork beads is, overall, the most complex. Using an oxygen propane torch, Tracy has to work with extreme temperatures, gas pressure and manipulating molten glass. “Another challenge I face is the amount of sitting required for wire weaving. My pieces can take anywhere from one to 15 hours depending on what I’m working on and how intricate it is.” Tracy is also a yoga instructor at Boundless Yoga Studio in Stroudsburg and Mount Pocono, and says that her yoga training has helped when she’s had to sit for long periods of time to make some of her jewelry. Tracy’s company is called Trae Be True Design, “Trae” being her nickname, and “be true” comes from her mantra. “My mother always taught me that the secret to happiness is to eliminate the things in your life that don’t bring you great joy,” said Tracy. “If you remain true to yourself and what your heart desires, truth with lead you on your path to happiness.”


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Local Flair | October/November 2017




ANNUAL SALE IS HERE Liztech Jewelry’s Annual Sale event will take place at their 95 Crystal Street, East Stroudsburg location on November 11 and 12. Doors open Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. This year’s theme is “Topsy-Turvy” – one example being the event takes place in Liztech’s new first floor location, rather than the upstairs studio where it had been in the past for at least 25 years. Also, says sales manager Lizzy Tilley, “We’ll be all decorated and stocked for Christmas, and our Christmas décor will be topsy-turvy too – look for our upside-down Christmas trees!” Liztech’s Annual Sale is a highly anticipated local favorite event. Once a year, they offer selected pins, bracelets, earrings and pendants up to 50% off. Followers are so devoted to the event that some of them even camp out the night before to be the first in line. Employees hand out tickets to monitor crowds, and shoppers are allowed up to two hours to make purchases. Liztech decorates the expansive space with dozens of overflowing baskets filled with jewelry, including some one-of-a-kind and never-before-seen pieces. Since it started in the late 1980s, nearly 700 fans and collectors (of which there are many worldwide) have purchased jewelry at the Annual Sale in a single weekend, some traveling from all over the country just to participate.

This will be Susie Andrews’ seventeenth year at the sale. She’s one of literally hundreds of fans and collectors who await this event each year; many of them brave the elements and sleep outside the night before to get a good spot in line. Susie estimates she’s purchased more than 400 pins over the years. Liztech Jewelry was founded in 1985, and through the decades has continued the tradition of creating quality, handmade American crafts with a strong commitment to community outreach. All of Liztech’s jewelry is wire-wrapped by skilled artisans in their in-house studio using beads, fine crystals and vintage stones. Heavily awarded for her tireless work with local charities, owner/designer Jill Elizabeth has proven her contribution to the local community and innumerable worthy causes. This year includes a food drive for the Salvation Army. Visitors may bring a nonperishable food item for the special needs of our community during the holiday season. Celebrity clients include Hillary Clinton, Jessica Alba, and Joan Jett, to name a few.


16 Local Flair | October/November 2017

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Local Flair | October/November 2017




Around the time he turned the big 5-0, Michael Glenn - an IT specialist for a local Pocono school district realized it was time to listen to his inner artist and get back to drawing, a passion from his earlier years. Now 56, with a lot of catching up to do, he has already amassed a portfolio that includes extraordinarily detailed portraits of celebrities, scantily clad women (as inspired by artist Olivia De Berardinis) and a pair of elegant, colorful wine labels. Quite a topical variety. “Art takes a lot of dedication,” he commented. “The past few years have ignited that passion like nothing ever did throughout my whole life.” Something will catch his eye; it could be the shadows or the contrasts in a photo. His preference is to work with black and white photos because “they draw my attention before a color photo will.” That doesn’t mean the final product will always be black and white, only how he starts the process. How many photos he studies depends on the complexity of the subject matter. For example, he’s now working on a very exciting commission that consists of designing the front and back labels for Blue Ridge Estate Vineyard & Winery wine. This project yielded over 300 photos so he could consider the subject in great depth.


The Blue Ridge Estate wine label is an “awesome opportunity” that came about when Michael asked owner Randy Detrick if he could hang some of his drawings at their Saylorsburg winery. Randy liked what he saw, and decided to display Michael’s work. “Randy was working on labels for a new wine that was coming out, and I mentioned to him I’d love the opportunity to do a drawing for one of his new wines. He said he wanted a drawing of his winery,” Michael recalled. “I’ve often said this place is magical. You can enjoy the summer night air out on the deck or even in winter inside the building, lined with windows and a view of the grape vines.” His objective has been to somehow transfer this magic on two labels (front and back), the

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larger one no more than 4” x 6”. “I worked my brain for months before pencil ever touched paper. I focused on the grape vines and the grapes, the leaves soaking up the sun, and the building in the background slightly out of focus.” Michael uses watercolors, and pen and ink; lately he’s also been working with professional-grade colored pencils. “As much as I love the shading process with graphite pencils, color is always an exciting thing for me. I used to work with an airbrush when I was younger. That was very expensive to dabble with. Graphite was a way for me to get back into art at a level that wasn’t so hard on my finances.” Capturing an accurate likeness in portraiture is no easy task. Michael studies details like the texture of the skin, scars, dimples, the eyes, the lips and the nose. “One of the first Frank Sinatra portraits I did was of a close-up photo of him,” the artist recalled. “His skin was so detailed. The years and experience of this man were all on his face. It took me over 50 hours, but the end result was worth it.” Michael’s Facebook page has a quote from Walt Disney that says “Start doing.” It’s a meaningful mantra that reminds him he needs to continue with his art. “I just want to draw. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and what I’ll be drawing,” he said.


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Local Flair | October/November 2017






In August 2015, right before the new school year was about to start, Honesdale potter and art teacher Ellen Silberlicht was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. Not only was it a shock, but she had to take time off from work and change everything about her daily routine. Yet she kept a positive outlook. “It’s not a death sentence; so many people continue to work. They’ve come up with the right drugs in the right amount that is needed,” she said. Enduring a course of chemotherapy – for which she was thankful not to suffer side effects – one residual change was she had to give up pottery. Clay often harbors mold, which is detrimental to the chemo patient. Ellen had to switch gears if she wanted to continue to express her creative side. The interesting thing was this: during the summers, she had worked on raku vessels (a type of firing method developed by ancient Japanese) and only made the vessels, not the tops. Typically, the tops should be formed at the same time so there is the same rate of drying and shrinkage. “I made two dozen vessels without lids and knew I was going to cause myself a problem,” she said. “After I made those vessels I took a felting workshop, which opened my eyes to a new sculptural application.” Ellen’s pots sometimes develop thin spots in the stretching stages and can “rip open” in small areas. “I wondered if felt could come out of those torn areas. But it was so close to school I

had to put that thought on the shelf and get ready to go back to teaching.” Once she received her diagnosis, she realized she couldn’t work in clay; however, going through chemo, she still felt well enough to work in her studio. Little did she know that the felt could not only “ grow” out of the torn areas, but also “explode” out of the tops of the vessels. Ellen uses a “wet” felting technique where the fibers are crisscrossed, then wetted down with hot water and soap, and massaged. “The hot water opens the fibers and the soap allows them to slide together,” she explained. “The massaging makes the fibers hook onto each other. The more you do it, the denser it gets. It takes a lot of patience and stamina.” Since she embraced felting, Ellen has created fun fantasy creatures and forms, whose vibrant coloring is often reminiscent of Henri Matisse or Dr. Seuss. She’s partial to organic elements like vines, roots and wings, as well as plants and animals. “There’s always been an underlying sense of lightheartedness that continues on,” she said. “I had a younger sister who passed away from breast cancer in 2010. She had lived six years after her diagnosis. My initial reaction to being diagnosed was imagining my life would be like her life. But after two days, I realized I am not her; she had Stage 4 and I was Stage 2. And a lot has progressed from over ten years ago.” Today she’s doing very well, and has retired from teaching to devote herself to her artwork. She checks in with her health care professionals every several months. Staying positive is not an effort. “I feel I am a naturally positive person. I mix joy and humor in my life wherever I can. It’s not a problem for me.”


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Local Flair | October/November 2017



FINE ART FROM FIBER WO RD S | De b b i e B urke

Heidi Hooper of Stroudsburg used to be a sculptor, but after losing dexterity in her right hand due to cancer, she had to find another outlet for her art. She considered clay and paper but it didn’t grab her. One day as her mother-in-law was visiting and helping with laundry, they saw the huge, colorful pile of lint that some chenille blankets had left behind. “I said, ‘I could do something with this’,” recalled Heidi. Though she considers her first attempts “primitive,” the artwork she began (portraits, riffs on famous paintings) soon caught on and was even acknowledged by Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. She has since been shown at various regional galleries like A Mano in Lambertville, NJ and at science fiction conventions, where she was an Artist Guest of Honor and invited to participate as a panelist. Heidi has also received two Niche Awards, which are given to professional artists from the US and Canada. HGTV and DIY found her art online and included her on their websites. Creating art from lint is a laborintensive process. Heidi has 778

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small boxes organized by color, filling a large walk-in closet. The finished artwork is placed behind glass and must remain permanently framed otherwise the material will move. Still, one question lingers: does she really do that much laundry? “I have fans all over the world who send me lint,” Heidi said. “I still buy colorful towels to get good lint, but I mostly rely on the kindness of strangers! I reward my contributors each year with a signed print or other art.” The subject matter in her illustrations includes animals and tributes to the old masters. “I call them ‘selfies’ because I work the artists into the work. They’re portrait bombs!” A lot of her clients request their pets, and one wanted a large piece of himself playing poker with his cats. Others like wolves or chickens. She’s had two separate requests for a portrayal of Salvador Dali, and has done a piece inspired by midcentury artist René Magritte. Two little-known facts about the artist: she loves cats and a percentage of her income goes to local animal rescue groups like Animals Can’t Talk.


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The many dimensions of Michael Ventrella: he’s a Stroudsburg criminal defense attorney, author of a series of fantasy novels and non-fiction works about music, and the former bassist for a college band called The Naughty Bits. Michael put his love of writing this way: “I’ve been writing all my life. I worked on school newspapers, wrote a play our high school put on, worked for a newspaper in Boston, wrote background information for games, founded and edited a magazine about animated films called Animato! and of course, as an attorney, I write a lot of briefs.” About twelve years ago, he took the plunge and decided to write a novel titled Arch Enemies. “You know those fantasy novels where they grab some kid and tell him he’s the Chosen One from some ancient prophecy?,” he asked. “I thought, ‘What if they got the wrong guy?’ It grew from there.” Michael is a typical author in the sense that he often has many works in progress simultaneously. He’s currently editing two anthologies (Tales of Fortannis and Baker Street Irregulars, the most recent additions to which are slated for release during 2018). Through the years he has also written three more books. “The current one is with my agent at the moment and is being considered by a major publisher, so here’s hoping for good news,” Michael said. Adding to his growing body of work are about a half-dozen short stories published in various anthologies; a political novel (but not a parody) called Bloodsuckers: A Vampire Runs For President; and a non-fiction book coming out from Bear Manor Media this year about the music of The Monkees. His fourth novel, currently with his agent and being considered by a major publisher, is a time-warp creation dubbed Big Stick. “It’s an action-packed steampunk adventure with Teddy Roosevelt and Mark Twain fighting against a vast evil conspiracy in the year 1897,” he explained.

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Is there an overriding theme, or message, to his stories? Michael said it’s really just “to have fun.” True; dangerous things happen to his characters and there are some serious consequences they have to face, but at the same time, there’s humor and fun. His imagination took a turn towards drama and acting, when, about 25 years back (while living in Boston) Michael, his wife Heidi and some friends created a game: instead of sitting around a table pretending to be wizards and warriors, they would go out in the woods and act it out. “This was the start of ‘live action role-playing’ (or LARP, although we had never heard of the term at the time),” he said. “Soon, there were copycats all over the country.” He gleefully admits that all those people running around hitting each other with padded weapons and shouting about lightning bolts “can be partially blamed on me. I now run Alliance LARP, one of the biggest in the US and Canada, with chapters everywhere.” Around five years ago, Michael got the idea to “pay it back” and started a writing group in the Poconos. “We originally were calling ourselves the Pocono Writers Group but I was able to associate ourselves with the Philly Liars Club, so now we’re the Pocono Liars Club,” he said. But it’s not a disparagement. “After all, that’s what we fiction writers do, don’t we? We tell glorious lies!” The writers’ group (there are no dues) meets on the third Wednesday of each month at the Hughes Library in Stroudsburg from 7 – 9 p.m. On September 23, the group hosted its first Writers’ Workshop, offering advice, exercises and lectures on a variety of topics for authors. It will present the 5th Annual Pocono Writers Conference on January 20, 2018 at the Hughes Library from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event is free but limited to the first 50 people who sign up. This conference is not so much for the beginning writer. “We bring in established authors, editors and publishers who spend the day giving lectures, answering questions and helping steer the unwary from mistakes.”


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Local Flair | October/November 2017





A well-known, multipaneled mural on Main Street in Stroudsburg first created in May 2014 has set the stage for the amazing artwork now seen in public spaces around town. The coordinator of these colorful vignettes in the downtown area is Jody Singer. He’s the secretary of the Board of Directors at Pocono Arts Council; the director of Origins Gallery at Pocono Arts Council; and director of a public mural/ public art program called St’ART Stroudsburg (a subsidiary of Pocono Arts Council). FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.POCONOARTS.ORG, CALL (570) 476-4460 OR EMAIL MOUNTAINSIDEARTS@HOTMAIL.COM.

Local Flair: Who are the winners of this summer’s mural contest? Jody Singer: There were three winners from this juried exhibition, which is the second time St’Art has run the contest. Two will be painted in Stroudsburg, and one at the Mountain Center in Tobyhanna. One of the Stroudsburg images is titled “Celtic Heart” [pictured] and was created by Kayla O’Connor. This is a nod toward the strong Irish heritage within our townspeople. The second winning image will go on the public parking deck wall facing the Stroudsburg United Methodist Church’s parking lot on Ann Street. Called “Bugs Chillin’ in a Tree Hole” [pictured], it was created by artist Carly Kripps, one of the artistic cake decorators at Kitchen Chemistry (on Main Street). It’s a whimsical piece that portrays nature and fun. The third mural will be placed at our Mountain Center on Route 611 North near Tobyhanna. The mural is by a local artist, Jillian DeLuca. Her winning image is titled “Just One of the Trees” [pictured], reflecting our close relationship to nature and our role in the natural world. Local Flair: How did the mural contest come about? Jody: We noticed that many people commented on the murals, from the townsfolk, to the business owners who saw more business, to tourists who enjoyed our beautiful town. We also saw people were using the murals as pictorial backdrops or even for wedding photos. Something was happening, and I felt that we could and should continue creating works that would foster this kind of activity and acknowledgement for the arts in the downtown area.

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Local Flair: Why are murals important for the community? Jody: The murals show that we have talented artists here and gives support to their efforts. Murals and decorative images also enhance the local atmosphere and help give “image” and “feel” to the downtown area. They can attract visitors and even home-buyers, and elevate value to the area’s tourism and properties as a whole. Local Flair: Were supplies provided? Jody: Most often the supplies are donated. The paints have been donated by Sherwin Williams Paint in Stroudsburg. We are so grateful for their support in this, and we love the product, which will last for years! Those supplies were made possible because Richard Berkowitz, President and CEO of the Sherman Theater, allowed the former Project Street Art to use the Sherman Theater’s non-profit status to gather the donated supplies. We’re grateful for his help. We always welcome donations of supplies as well as advertising and promotion. We’d also like to get to the point where we can pay the artists, who have been doing this for free. After three years, we have not yet gotten to the point where we can pay them. Local Flair: Other comments about upcoming initiatives at Pocono Arts Council? Jody: We are planning more public murals and public art displays through St’ART Stroudsburg; and public gallery events, poetry readings and other exhibitions at Origins Gallery. The Pocono Arts Council will continue to sponsor fine arts exhibitions at the ARTSPACE Gallery, host special events and offer classes at the Pocono Arts Cultural Center.


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Local Flair | October/November 2017





Tim Coover says the feedback from his customers at EZ Mountain Rustic Furniture is nothing short of exuberant. “A lot of our customers can’t wait to get it into their home. They keep calling to ask when it will be in,” he said. “Then when they get it, the first thing they say is ‘Wow!’ They can’t believe the quality. They want to show it off.” For almost 30 years, Tim and Carla Coover have been the owners of EZ Mountain Rustic Furniture. Tim said his customers are excited because it’s “more of a fun purchase.” This past January, the store moved from Tannersville, and acquired a 12,000-square-foot building at the new Pocono Lake location. Said Tim, “We moved so we can own our own building and show our product line.” As home furnishings go, he’s on top of the hot trends like aspen. “You can’t get that wood around Pennsylvania,” he observed. “We ship the logs from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It has a lot of character, like beetle tracks and where elk chewed on it.” Barn wood is also in vogue now. “We have a furniture line that’s 100 years old with nail holes, and we make everything from bedroom furniture to kitchen tables and coffee tables. People like that rustic and reclaimed look,” he said. In addition to big furniture items, EZ Mountain also offers lamps with decorative lampshades, coasters, and knickknacks, all of which hearken back to the outdoor lifestyle. Aside from offering monthly specials, there’s the trade show circuit. EZ Mountain is exhibiting at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg from February 3-11, 2018. Tim said it will be their sixth year participating. “We have our biggest sale of the year there,” he added. “We have customers from Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and all over, who come to buy.” Tim, who works at the store with his wife and son Kyle, said they’re very hands-on, and have built a friendship with their customers. Sometimes they just come in to say hi and share their love of the outdoors, he said. “We are the first and last thing our customers see. Our strength is in customer service.”

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LOVING HIS RUSTIC VIBE Bill Haas, from Lake Naomi, said, “EZ Mountain outfitted multiple bedrooms, a mud room, chairs for our living room and dining room in a log cabin we own. My wife, Denise, and I had previously seen and were impressed by EZ Mountain furnishings in neighboring drywall style homes. We knew the furniture would blend in perfectly with the ambience of our cabin. Unlike online log furniture companies, EZ Mountain furniture is very solid and needs little, if any, assembly. We can’t encourage someone enough to visit their showroom and see, first hand, the extensive variety set up on display for many room types and sizes. While you may seek a decorator for various room touches, EZ Mountain gladly handled our furnishing questions and were extremely helpful.”


Local Flair | October/November 2017





WOR D S | De bbie Burke

The perfect dream home for Jere Dunkelberger and Joyce Wetlesen was conceived and completed last summer, within ten months; and the momentous move-in date was this past July.

in the attic and basement with an area for Jere’s workshop. The home is highly energy efficient, with three bedrooms, three and a half baths, and a sitting room that doubles as an exercise room.

Built by RW Buff, the home, located in Stroudsburg, is a timber frame hybrid construction with wide plank floors, a walk-up attic above the garage, and is specifically designed for one-floor living by the owners with guest quarters in the lower level.

One of Joyce’s favorite spots is just a step or two outside. “We find ourselves gravitating to the porch for cocktail hour or to read a book in the afternoon,” she said.

Their favorite customization is the living room with its huge, stone fireplace. “It has built-in shelving, a great view of the outdoors and a truly wonderful cathedral ceiling with exposed timber frame trusses. I love it!” said Joyce. The natural wooded surroundings are showcased by the home’s oversized windows, sliding glass doors and threeseason screened-in porch, which, said Joyce, “gives us a bit of a treehouse feeling.” Since Joyce and Jere entertain a lot, they were pleased they received a spacious gourmet kitchen with extra storage, more than ample counter space, and excellent all-around lighting which included an heirloom chandelier. The homeowners also requested a large master bath with a roomy shower and whirlpool tub. “The crew did a beautiful job with all the tile work that it required,” noted Joyce. Other items on their wish list that were incorporated into the home include a small office, his and her closets, guest quarters with a sitting room, a three-car garage, and extra storage space

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A retired schoolteacher, she actually had the builder, Robert Buff, as a student in the fifth grade, and years later, taught his son in kindergarten. “I have always known Bobby to be a great guy and his reputation as a builder is unparalleled. It was a dream of mine to have a Bobby Buff house, a dream I really didn’t think would materialize,” she noted. “However, I shared that dream with Jere and together we made it happen.” RW Buff ’s Project Manager, Joe Holbert, was equally impressive; Joyce said his attention to detail and great customer service made for a smooth and stress-free experience. Other individuals who helped make the dream a reality for Joyce and Jere were Carol Decker from Friedman Electric; JoAnn Mesko from Never Too Organized; and Jim Nelson from Imaginations.




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Local Flair | October/November 2017




IS WHERE THE ART IS WO RD S | Tom W i l kins, Wilkins & Asso c iates

We’ve all heard that old saying ‘home is where the heart is,’ but today we’re talking about art and your home. Art comes in a variety of mediums, colors, sizes and styles, and includes painting, sculpture, pottery, hanging ornaments, photography and other items. Art can be a colorful print from Pier 1, a painting by one of our many local artists, or artwork from our children in school. When properly displayed, art adds value to a home whether you’re buying, selling or simply enjoying your home. My wife and I are great supporters and purchasers of art. While we’re not collectors (purchasing art as an investment), we enjoy the art we’ve accumulated that is displayed at our business and in our home. Since tastes vary, you want to make sure the art complements your home. Our BHG Business Campus at Shafers Schoolhouse Road and Route 209 in Stroudsburg (the home of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates, Pennsylvania First Settlement Services and NEPA Management Associates) is an approved art gallery for the Pocono Arts Council. The art displayed at the BHG Business Campus blends with our Class A décor, and we’re very proud to display local arts and crafts here, where it’s all available for sale. It’s not unusual for our Realtors to show the artwork we have on exhibit, knowing one of their buyers might like the piece for their home. Or, it could be a past client and our Realtor feels one of these pieces would fit fantastically into the home they bought two years ago. If you’re selling your home, staging it is another way you can show that art is where the “heart is.” Our sellers are always advised to remove as many personal items as possible in the home, but they’re never told to remove artwork from the walls, sculptures, kids’ art or professional works that the family owns. These things make a house a home. In a vacant home for sale, staging, with even minimal furniture but always adding a piece of art, will sell a home more quickly. The National Association of Realtors states that 60% of homes that were staged sell more quickly than homes that were not staged. Staging companies typically have a variety of artwork and/or prints that can be used in different style homes.

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That classic Vermont woods scene would go great in a farmhouse-style home. Contemporary art would be perfect for a California Contemporary home. Bi-levels, Cape Cods, ranches and other primary homes will also benefit from a variety of styles of art. I love to see art in the kitchen whether it’s quality collectibles from various places you’ve visited or a bold print that just vibrates on the wall. Art does not need to be expensive. There are many times that you can purchase art for your home at flea markets and garage sales. You can purchase local artwork at a very reasonable price and support local artists while enjoying your artwork. In my wife’s and my opinion enjoying art is where the real value is—you get to enjoy it every time you come home, whether it’s in your living room, family room, kitchen or bedroom. Art comes in many colors, flavors and styles. Enjoy your home by enjoying your art. Home is where the “art” is.


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here’s a fascinating timeline that leads to Penn Furniture’s current 55,000-square-foot building in Scranton. The modest start began with Harry Jaffe selling furniture from the back of a truck in the early 1900s, to a small showroom in Scranton, then adding two locations, followed by a fire. The showroom at the 97-99 Lackawanna Avenue in Scranton now encompasses an entire city block. Their big news is a fully interactive website with a room planner that includes multiple design tools, fabric customization, floor plan design, and at-your-fingertips information on specific products. Penn Furniture accommodates all tastes, with over 3,500 items to choose from in the store and more than 100,000 from their catalog. Owner Adam Jaffe claimed there isn’t simply one style of furniture that’s popular right now, as customers are still partial to eclecticism. “People tend to buy what they like and then use finishes and fabrics to tie it all together,” he said. On the fabric side, solids and textures with large-pattern accent fabrics are hot. “A solid makes it easy to choose a durable and attractive fabric, while the patterns allow the customer to bring in color and pop,” he observed. This way you can tie together art, accessories, wall colors and rugs to complete the design package.

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Many people tend to struggle with putting together their living rooms. Between maintaining foot traffic patterns, having enough seating and being able to see their televisions, there are a lot of factors to consider. As a design element, leather’s hot while the weather’s getting colder. It has style and durability, and in addition to the traditional browns and burgundies, now there are more bright-colored leathers than in the past. “We’re using them on accents like ottomans, and also on entire living room suites,” noted Adam. “If bright colors aren’t for you, we are also using neutrals to add an additional texture on top of a nice monochromatic look.” Adam said they’re noticing a few trends like more artisan details (such as tufting and hand embellishing) and the use of driftwoods and large walnut slabs which allow for a very natural and organic look. Color-wise, all hues of blues are in, and mixing textures and patterns can translate to any color selection. When choosing a color palette, a favorite piece of artwork or a rug that you love is a great starting point. One specialty item that gets a lot of attention is artwork they carry by artist Christopher Marley. These pieces include insect and mineral art. “It offers a beautiful and even educational way to add some color to your room,” Adam suggested. “Some people fall in love with the art before they even realize it’s composed of insects. If the insects turn you off, then the minerals can fill that space on your wall.”


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Local Flair | October/November 2017



LANDSCAPING THAT EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS Mountain Road Landscaping’s detailed vision was realized despite inclement weather, meeting a threemonth project deadline with a sensational finished product. The site - a country estate home, nestled on eight acres among the rolling hills of Cherry Valley - evolved around a new pool installation. It required removing an existing flagstone terrace that was re-purposed for a fire pit patio, and also used in the beautiful dry-stacked stone walls. The space is exceptional, with three different levels of terrace consisting of various-sized shapes, melded together in a simple yet elegant design surrounded with natural stone walls. Equally important are the elements softening the hardscape, such as low-voltage LED lighting, a landscaping surround with a sod lawn, and propanefired torches and lanterns, “warming” the patio areas to feel like part of the home from inception.

entertaining friends and family, and the goals were accomplished through “old-world craftsmanship with the use of modern technology.” Said Justin, “The scope and the efficiency of the design allow for the largest of gatherings, but each area retains the ability to feel intimate and handle a private conversation over a cup of coffee or glass of wine.”

Justin Fallenstein, owner of Mountain Road Landscaping which has locations in the Poconos and Lehigh Valley, said one of the biggest challenges of the project was that the site required a substantial amount of fill to level off the terrace. “We knew with the scale of the patio that one level was not going to work. We wanted the design to flow but needed the feeling of different rooms or areas of retreat,” he commented. “Getting the levels right was also a key to the ‘infinity’ look allowing us to truly capture the beauty of the bucolic setting.”

The color palette included grays with splashes of tans to add warmth to the overall feel, and the beige grout pulls colors from the home. A slate finish gives the appropriate look for the setting and complements the abundant use of colonial stone throughout the project. All in all, said Justin, “The property was custom built to soak in the sun while enjoying the simply stunning views.” While he agrees the photos are breathtaking, he said the craftsmanship is best seen on site. For example, a radius step that was cut from six natural bluestone pieces weighing over 600 pounds each is hard to appreciate in a photo. For someone not in the industry, it’s difficult to comprehend the man-hours spent on the finest details in the project, but any spectator instantly appreciates the results born from such precision.

The homeowners’ vision was to create a “timeless design” that matched the elegance of the home. Their yard needed to accommodate both relaxation and

What’s on trend now is contrast. “We’re seeing a much larger demand for the more modern designs,” Justin said. “We’ve been using smooth-finish products with lighter color grays and black

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inlays to create some stunning effects.” Mountain Road Landscaping also incorporates design into the foliage. “We like to plant splashes of color, like using foundation plantings of mostly evergreen with color layered in front or grouped in pockets to create a ‘flow’ to the design.” Preparedness is important, but so is adaptability. It’s preferable to have every detail in order before starting the excavation, but Justin said they sometimes have to change course. What looks amazing on paper might not feel right when the work is in progress.

“Our goal is to exceed our customers’ expectations on every project, and we understand that flexibility is often needed. I can’t say enough about the amazing people on our team. It is through their attention to detail and their relentless pursuit of both beauty and function that allows Mountain Road Landscaping to offer a timeless final product.” FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AT WWW.MOUNTAINROADLANDSCAPING.COM.

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Local Flair | October/November 2017




When you walk into Gamut Art Gallery on 109-111 N. 8th Street, you instantly understand owners Jim and Mary Evanisko’s desire “to discover the beautiful and unusual - to share art, its history and our experience of unearthing.” After 34 years of working in NYC and traveling the globe, Jim and Mary Evanisko felt it was time to begin a new adventure and take their love of art and collecting to the next level, and Gamut Gallery was born. The offerings at Gamut are just as the name implies: eclectic. Over 400 fascinating works from around the world fill the rooms of the gallery and each one has a unique story. Contemporary art, antiques, midcentury, Art Deco, furniture pieces and Jim’s art (which is created in their studio at the back of the gallery) trigger conversations of bygone eras, the history of art, and unusual materials. “Someone will see a piece and remember - Aunt Rose had one of these - and they are instantly excited to learn more about it,” Jim says. Examples are fun and unexpected: an 18th century Hessian cannon ball; a bronze Victorian-era “boudoir dish” so named because when viewed upside down it reveals a woman with a dress over her head and her legs exposed; a whimsical earthquake detector sculpture by New Mexico artist Rosemary “Pozzi” Franzetti; and a mid-century, one-of-a-kind New York City subway gum dispenser. There is also a painting by artist Janet McKenzie, famous now for having sold a painting of Christ as a woman of color to the Vatican.

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Some of the most unique pieces are made by Jim from repurposed materials in the gallery’s studio. “There were two staircases over here and we needed the space for the gallery. How do you throw away the original stair spindles from 1902?” Jim answers, “You don’t! You make an American flag out of them.” Inspired by Jim’s creativity, the flag, a lamp made of Legos and furniture made from reclaimed items are just a few of the repurposed creations you will find throughout the gallery. Why Stroudsburg? The pair had been visiting the downtown area since 1972 along with many other historical towns along the eastern seaboard. “We chose Stroudsburg for its residents, small-town feel and location,” explains Jim. “There is such a wealth of great artists here in the Poconos. As a former educator, I’m excited when young artists with potential walk into Gamut,” Jim adds. “Mary and I love to nurture emerging artists and help them develop their style, and suggest ideas to help them sell and eventually make a living from their art.” VISIT GAMUT ART GALLERY ON 109-111 N. 8TH ST. IN DOWNTOWN STROUDSBURG ON FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY FROM 11 A.M. - 7 P.M., AND MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. CALL (570) 517-5021 OR VISIT WWW.GAMUTARTGALLERY.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.

A full spectrum of diversified art

Fri-Sun 11am -7pm Mon-Thurs by appointment only 570-517-5021 109-111 N. 8th St, Stroudsburg PA

An eclectic mix of antiques, crafts, contemporary art, sculptures, vintage, one of a kind and unusual items spanning the early 1890’s to present day.

Local Flair | October/November 2017




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This home instills the word “luxury” in luxury real estate! Seldomoffered for sale “Williamsburg’’ estate model offers the Grand Colonial Williamsburg feel with modern touches. This golf-front, 6,000 sq. ft., 5-bedroom, 5-bath home with finished basement and 3-car garage is impeccably decorated with perfect earth tones throughout. Chef ’s gourmet kitchen has highest grade cabinetry, commercial appliances and large island perfect for entertaining. Extra-large rooms on both levels include 9 ft. ceilings throughout. Large classic dining room with butler pantry, playroom or den off family room is close to kitchen. Master bedroom offers large private sitting room leading to luxurious large master bath suite. Enjoy summer entertaining on the large deck with the gazebo or winter skiing just 2 miles away!

This secluded oasis, only minutes from town, has just come on the market.

Conveniently located ten minutes to Interstate 80 and close to Lehigh Valley Hospital - Pocono, St. Luke’s Hospital, and sanofi, the home is situated central to both Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg in the desirable Stroudsburg Area School District, an ideal location. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy its proximity to hiking trails, township and state parks, and Camelback Resort. This spacious cedar and stone home was built to resemble a restored vintage home. It features extensive professional landscaping which includes hand-laid stone walls, stone terraces accessed by boulder and flagstone steps, and a tranquil waterfall. Lush lawn areas are carved from the heavily wooded three acres, offering ample privacy. Perennial gardens offer seasonal color and carefully chosen native plantings provide appeal even in the winter season.

The recently remodeled kitchen is a home chef ’s dream with two dishwashers, oversized granite peninsula, and storage galore in the custom-built cabinets and pantries. A 60” AGA gas range with four ovens will delight passionate cooks. Antique heart pine floors add warmth throughout the first floor, with low maintenance oak flooring in four of the five bedrooms. The gorgeous Master has a stone fireplace, oversized glass shower, and Jacuzzi garden tub. The first through third floors are accessed by a grand main staircase with an open foyer, as well as by an antique-style winding staircase off the kitchen. The first- and second-floor laundries offer options according to your preference.

Visible from the charming screened porch is the oversized in-ground swimming pool, complemented by two levels of hand-laid stone patios, ideal for entertaining.

A spacious bonus room is located above the oversized garage. Currently used as home gym and home office, it suggests many possible uses.

The interior features a floor-to-ceiling, two-sided fireplace, open to the kitchen and dining room.

This custom-built home offers a wonderful place to raise a family or as an ideal vacation retreat.

This listing is offered by Jane Wachter of Century 21 Keim. Office number: 570-476-1861 Text/Cell: 570-460-6449 Website: Local Flair | October/November 2017 Email:





MAGd aI L a n d s c a p i n g ar BY | F

Local Flair: The photos are AMAZING! Tell us where you are on this project? Anthony Farda: When I look back at the photo of the two excavators sitting on the ridge, I can’t believe how far we have come on this project. We have created a quartermile long driveway, and half-mile long drive to access the septic site. The septic has been installed, underground utilities laid, the well pounded and the house built, and many of the landscaping projects are complete. Local Flair: And all of that completed by Farda Landscaping and Excavating? Anthony: Any aspects pertaining to excavation and landscaping for these projects have been completed in-house by Farda Landscaping with our own equipment and operators. Local Flair: We’re eager to hear more about the landscaping projects. The stonework is stunning. Anthony: Last issue, we talked about the challenges of the grades for this site. We have completed some massive stone retaining walls where the walk-out basement climbs to the front elevation. Sourcing as much stone from the site as we could, we built boulder steps into the wall that is pictured here. The end design really complements the location of the house in relation to the site and the surrounding vistas.


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We have also completed front and rear stone porches with Pennsylvania bluestone, along with stone front walks from the same material. The front elevation offers

a beautiful foundation planting and front lawn. The plant material was carefully chosen for interest spanning the seasons. The growing habits, bloom times and even the bark textures were carefully curated. What I love about projects like this is working with naturally occurring materials. The hand-laid walls and walks really lend themselves to the wooded home site and the cottage simplicity of the home. The rear flagstone porch will soon be converted to a three-season room to enjoy the endless views. In the spring, we will reveal outdoor entertaining areas. Local Flair: Are you seeing a trend in returning to more natural landscapes? Anthony: The trend using manufactured paving and wall materials is still strong and relevant. One can create stunning outdoor living spaces using those materials, and they certainly are well-suited for many homes, especially new construction. Endless possibilities exist with those products. That said, I am seeing a movement to smaller, cozy and inviting homes and landscaping. I think that speaks to the popularity of TV renovation shows, in which smaller, older homes in established neighborhoods are reimagined and restored. While this is new construction, the goal is for it to appear as if it’s always been here. The result is a seamless union with the natural beauty of the site.

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Local Flair | October/November 2017




COMPLETES THE LOOK Jim Wilson is a structural engineer who also serves as treasurer on the board of the Pocono Builders Association. He and his family live in a modern, wooded home, but they have always had an awkward front entrance due to their steep front yard and excessive difference in elevation from the street up to the house. They had replaced original timber retaining walls and wood steps with boulders and slab steps approximately 10 years ago, but the solution was inadequate. They had been looking for the right solution since shortly after that work was completed. “It was unfinished, unattractive and hard to maintain,” Jim said. They hired Gilroy Northeast Inc. to finally address it. “They were the right contractor for the right job to reconfigure the stone staircase,” he added. “They were willing to work at a pace that allowed us to design it as we went.” The Wilsons were confident that Gilroy Northeast could help them realize the vision they had to raise the walkway and create an eye-catching effect. “They definitely achieved it,” Jim said. “John [Gilroy] and I would meet over the course of a couple of months,” he added. “We were able to


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create a perfect front entrance from existing materials. Our new wall was built from boulders that we found buried in the same spot. We had no idea we would get so lucky.” Working with the existing boulders and steps, Gilroy Northeast added new gravel fill to raise the area and create the sculptured look. “The uniqueness of the project is hard to visualize without seeing it in person. There is a major change in elevation along the walkway that Gilroy helped us to take advantage of, and better accentuate with construction materials and landscaping,” said Jim.


Excavation and Construction

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TO HOST 10TH ANNUAL “A NIGHT FOR THE CURE” On Sunday, October 15, 2017, the Woodloch Pines Resort in Hawley hosts the 10th Annual “A Night for the Cure.” The tricky-tray fundraiser benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure as part of BK Hope Cures. Originally established 17 years ago by Bob Kiesendahl (“BK”), co-owner of Woodloch and leukemia survivor, the organization’s mission is to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer.

table and a 50/50 raffle. Guests will enjoy live entertainment and have the chance to win overnight stay packages at the area’s leading resorts and hotels, a big-screen LED television, dining gift certificates, unique gift baskets as well as this year’s raffle prize, a Future Beach Fusion 10 Kayak. Admission is $10, and 100% of the proceeds are donated.

Last year’s event attracted 400 attendees and raised over $20,000, 100% of which benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fifty percent of the money raised stays in northeast Pennsylvania for education, screening and treatment grants, and 50% goes toward cancer research.

“A Night for the Cure gives our local community of friends, co-workers and family members an opportunity to come together in the fight against breast cancer. We are so grateful for the generous support of local businesses and individuals who donate their time and talents to make A Night for the Cure truly spectacular. It is proof that we can make a difference in the fight against breast cancer,” said Bob Kiesendahl.

Held in the Heritage Nightclub at Woodloch Pines from 5 to 8 p.m., the evening features over 150 items donated by local individuals and businesses, as well as wine and beer tastings, chair massages, acupuncture and reflexology treatments, hors d’oeuvres, a dessert


Local Flair | October/November 2017



HIGH-QUALITY CORRECTED VISION WITH BUCCI LASER VISION There was a time when declining vision meant increasing your lens strength, changing prescriptions, or trying to adjust to reading glasses, bi- or trifocals. For those wishing to eliminate or reduce their dependency on glasses, there are surgical advancements that can treat many vision issues. The procedure known as LASIK is typically performed on younger patients who want to reduce or eliminate their need for distance glasses or contacts. LASIK does not wear off or revert; the distance vision will remain corrected. Over time, though, reading glasses might be required just due to the natural aging of the eye. Another option is multifocal lens implants. Surgically implanted, replacing the natural lens, they don’t require the user to continue to locate the line where the prescription changes like bifocals. Similar to a camera lens, implants correct the vision as light enters the eye and transmits it to the retina.

simple tip is the 20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from your screens and blink for 20 seconds. Dr. Bucci – the sole surgeon in his practice – has performed over 15,000 LASIK/refractive procedures; 5,000 multifocal lens implants; and 35,000 microsurgical eye surgeries (for cataracts). A prolific clinical researcher, he has published over 92 articles in peer-reviewed and trade journals, and is frequently invited to lecture worldwide. A recent clinical trial that he participated in led to the only FDA-approved therapeutic treatment for a corneal disease called progressive Keratoconus. Free consultations are available where Dr. Bucci will discuss a personalized surgical plan. He also offers free educational seminars every month, an opportunity to meet a surgeon and have your questions answered before deciding if you’re going to have surgery.

In 1998, Dr. Frank A. Bucci, Jr. MD founded the Bucci Laser Vision Institute, and added the Angela Theresa Bucci Ambulatory Eye Surgical Center in Wilkes-Barre in 2000. With additional offices in Hazleton, Old Forge, Pittston, Scranton, Swiftwater, Brodheadsville and the newly expanded site in Tannersville, Dr. Bucci is driven by the reward of helping the visually impaired see. Annual eye exams are always recommended and be aware of your family history of eye diseases. Eye safety – using safety goggles for sports, outdoor activities and at work with certain tasks – is also important. Omega 3s are beneficial in eye health as well, helping the eye to maintain a good oil layer. They may prevent the effects of Evaporative Dry Eye which is becoming a serious concern of many patients. Dry eye is increasing because of how we rely on computers and phone screens. We stare at those screens for long periods of time, often not blinking as often as we should, which also causes the natural moisture to evaporate off the surface of the eye. A

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Experience. Reputation. Dedication. Dr. Frank A. Bucci, Jr. has performed over 35,000 eye surgeries including Bladeless LASIK, Cataract and Multi-Lx Elite (a pre- cataract lens implant surgery with the potential to eliminate bifocals or reading glasses). Dr. Bucci is an internationally acclaimed eye surgeon who was voted by peers as one of the top 50 opthalmologists in the United States as published in Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today.

Correcting eye disorders through the pursuit of excellence in eye surgery for over a decade. • 1-877-DR-BUCCI • Free Consultations Wilkes-Barre • Hazleton • Pittston • Scranton • Old Forge Tannersville • Swiftwater • Brodheadsville


296 Upper Swiftwater Road # 426 Swiftwater, PA 18370 203.939.1505

Local Flair | October/November 2017




Since 1975, families with loved ones who need home health care have been able to get a full spectrum of services from BAYADA. The global company helps those in need of services remain safely at home with comfort, independence and dignity. For those who thought home health care is only available to adults, the Director of BAYADA Pediatrics Barbara McDermott RN said, “There are many families in need who are not aware they qualify for services or that services are available to assist them to care for their children with special needs or chronic medical conditions.” In Monroe County, added Barbara, the last five years have seen an increased need for home health aide services, and a rise in children with autism and developmental disorders who require help with their daily living activities in the home, school and community settings.

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BAYADA’s facilities in Monroe County include a pediatric and adult office in Bartonsville, and a hospice and visit office in East Stroudsburg. Care is administered in the patient’s home, community, and in the case of children, at school or camp. Services are also available on a temporary basis as part of rehabilitation from illness, injury or surgery; or to address specific needs like wound care, medication administration or dressing changes. Future plans for BAYADA locally include the possible addition of a hospice for children, a demographic that has been identified as in need of more services. According to Barbara, “The most challenging part of my job is seeing children with serious illness. The only comfort is knowing we can improve the quality of the life that they have.” FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL (888) 4-BAYADA OR VISIT WWW.BAYADA.COM.

Assistive Care | Home Health | Hospice | Pediatrics


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Because it Matters. If you or a loved one needs home health care, it matters who you trust to deliver it. Since 1975, families have trusted BAYADA Home Health Care to provide the highest quality, comprehensive home health care for their loved ones. Our fully insured caregivers are thoroughly trained, experienced, and deliver care with compassion, excellence, and reliability. Whether you or a loved one needs skilled nursing, assistive care, or rehabilitation, we are here for you. Our comprehensive services for clients from birth through seniors includes: • High-tech nursing care for children, including tracheostomy and ventilator care • Assistive care, such as help with bathing, grooming, and meal preparation • Nursing skilled visits and rehabilitation to help recover from an acute illness, injury, or surgery, or to manage a chronic condition • Clinical, social, emotional, and spiritual end-of-life care Choose BAYADA…because it matters. Call 888-4-BAYADA. 17-665-1140 V1 5/17 © BAYADA Home Health Care, 2017

Compassion. Excellence. Reliability.

Local Flair | October/November 2017




Opening their doors the day after a major blizzard this past March was actually a good sign for Indulgence Hair Studio owners Phylicia Crowe and Amber Garvin. The customer base was right there and ready, supportive from the start. “We have loyal customers who believe in us and want to see us succeed,” said Amber. “Without them, we would not be where we are today. Social media has been a helpful platform to showcase our work and obtain new customers, as well as word-of-mouth referrals.” Tucked away one short block from Main Street in Stroudsburg, the business combines over twenty years of styling savvy between both owners. Their specialties are coloring services ranging from traditional, custom and creative color applications, as well as cuts, professional makeup applications, special occasion hair, waxing and an array of hair care treatments to fit individual needs. Amber and Phylicia chose the salon’s name because of how they want clients to feel. “We created an atmosphere for our customers to be comfortable while indulging themselves,” said Amber. The staff consists of the owners; stylist Susan Ksiaskiewicz-Murray; and the receptionist/assistant stylist, Ale’Sandra Castellanos, who is training to become a stylist. “Continuing education is important to our team,” noted Amber. “We keep current on the latest hair trends and techniques.”


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Transitioning into fall and winter, Phylicia said, many people are seeking a new look. Typically, at this time of year, they like to deepen and enrich their hair color. In fact, contrasting colors within one style is a hot trend, and there is a wide array of colors. Indulgence Hair Studio is a Wella Salon, and the company introduced multiple shades that will be released this fall. “The Wella brand also created a technology, incorporated into a color line, that reduces the risk of developing allergies,” Phylicia added. Upcoming promotions include a half-off discount on Lux Oil treatment with any color service, which must be mentioned when booking an appointment. In November and December, the studio will hold a raffle where each customer with a scheduled appointment will be automatically entered. The salon is sleek, pleasing and comfortable, and the owners are happy to serve their growing clientele. “We’re very excited to be part of the downtown Stroudsburg business community,” Phylicia said, “and we look forward to future opportunities that come from being part of a community with many other small businesses.”


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Indulgence Hair Studio offers highly educated staff, the latest trends, and the ultimate salon experience. It’s our mission to provide a comfortable environment for our customers to truly indulge themselves with our offered services. HAIRCUTS • HAIR COLORING • HAIRSTYLING • MAKE-UP APPLICATIONS • FACIAL WAXING • AND MORE!



The Face of Financial Services.

Melisa D.B. Mersini Vice President, WS&M LLC

Discover how Wealth Strategies & Management can help you work toward realizing your financial goals.

Your Care. Your Choice. No Referral Needed.

Phone 570-424-1555 | 907 Main Street, Suite 102, Stroudsburg, PA 18360 Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, LLC, a registered investment advisor. Private Advisor Group, LLC and Wealth Strategies & Management, LLC are separate entities from LPL Financial.

East Stroudsburg • Tobyhanna Brodheadsville • Tannersville

Local Flair | October/November 2017



WEATHERING THE STORM WORD S | Kevin Conroy They didn’t have long to wait. The National Weather Service broadcast warnings of a fast-moving storm producing three-inch hail and hurricane-force winds. With no way to prepare, Joe O’Hara and his son Patrick took shelter as the onslaught roared into their orchard. They had to cover their ears from the noise of hail on the shed where they hunkered down. After it passed, the O’Haras surveyed their damage, stepping on hailstones blanketing the ground. Wiped out in minutes. An orchard is a complex system. Each variety of tree requires specific training: some trees get pruned to open the inside, some are spread out to open branches to the sun. Trees in one row must be kept at a height that will allow sun to strike the next row; fire blight must be removed. Every one of their 40,000+ trees are pruned by hand, thinned by hand, tended to like children. Sixty of their 110 acres stood ruined, became shredded leaves and open wounds in the woods. An entire winter and spring’s work wrecked. Destroyed fruit hanging useless on the trees was the worst of it. The surviving apples were good only for cider that year. “People from other orchards in the area offered help,” says owner Joe O’Hara. That freak storm struck three years ago; today there is no evidence it ever happened. This past year, in fact, OHF Orchards (located in Mountain Top) won multiple ribbons at the Bloomsburg Fair. On a bright Sunday afternoon, the O’Haras pick apples. Wooden crates strapped to their chests fill as they reach into branches, twisting fruit from stem.

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“It’s a hobby gone mad!” laughs Joe. His pastime of growing fruit trees on what had been his greatgrandparents’ farm expanded to a business in 2013, when he purchased a neglected orchard. He has since planted tens of thousands of trees: more than 20 varieties of apples, 15 kinds of peaches, various pears, cherries, apricots and nectarines. There is great beauty here. Vistas from the hillside orchard stretch for miles over neighboring hills, trees blossom in springtime, branches hang with fruit summer and fall. Everything about OHF is pristine: the buildings, the equipment. The rows of trees are spotless, the grass between them mowed and edged. Healthy trees mean healthy fruit. It isn’t hard to find a sweet apple or even one that is juicy. But it’s something else to find apples with mingled flavors that call cinnamon to mind. “My favorite apple? Jonagold,” says Joe. “It’s tart, sweet, and tastes like cider. It’s perfect.” Double-filtered to keep it crisp and clean, the cider made by OHF is pressed from Honeycrisp apples instead of the Macintosh used by most producers. It is sweet, with overtones of caramel and honey, and can stand up to the addition of anything from bourbon to sparkling water. The O’Hara orchard shrugged off one of the worst storms in memory to continue growing premium apples, peaches and other fruits for the health and pleasure of their customers. OHF Orchards sells their products at the Monroe Farmers Market. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE AT @OHFORCHARDS.

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Open 7 Days A Week In Eagle Valley Mall • East Stroudsburg 570-421-7680 • Come Rock ‘N’ Bowl with us! Fri. & Sat. & Sun.

Local Flair | October/November 2017





United Way of Monroe County held its 20th Annual Day of Caring on September 14, kicking off with the launch of United Way’s Annual Campaign and comments from United Way of Monroe County’s President and CEO Michael Albert. The event was attended by community guests and past campaign chairs. Announcements were followed by nearly 200 volunteers from local businesses who went into the community

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to volunteer at nonprofit projects across Monroe County. “Today is all about coming together,” said President and CEO Michael Albert. “To advocate, volunteer and give back. As we launch our campaign today, we are creating the means to make positive change in our community.” Photos © Unify Interactive and © VIP Studios

wed with wine

Nicole Taylor Photography

Seriously Fun Local Sustainable Wine


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Mark and Gil Coronado of CILA LLC Management have Mt. known each other for a few years, because Gil had worked Poconowith Mark’s father, Robinson Peralta, a salsa performer in his based own right. “I never knew of Mark’s talent,” Gil admits. “He student Mark Isaiah has was shy and reserved. When I saw Mark on The Voice, I sung his way to NBC’s The couldn’t believe it. I know we’re going to accomplish great Voice Top 10 Finalists. On things together.” November 11, Mark will perform at the Sherman Theater The writing, the prep and the mixing in the studio is to debut his love song “Wanna just part of the work that goes into production. Mark Go.” The song was one of his first; says that the best part, however, is when the song is it was produced by T-Town with complete. “There’s nothing better than that feeling lyrics by Mark and Taj Jackson. Mark of accomplishment. You immediately feel anxious said he wrote it “on the spot.” to share this excitement with fans. It’s the best!” Mark is working on new songs that, with “Wanna Go,” will appear on an upcoming EP (album). He’s been singing since about the age of two and has always had the encouragement of his family. “Support from family means everything, I’m super grateful for all they do,” he said. “In the Poconos, I have received an abundant amount of love. It truly means everything.”

Born in NYC, Mark and his family (two sisters, one brother and their parents) soon moved to Mt. Pocono. He describes his family as “very tight-knit” as well as influential on his music; his father headlines the Roby Peralta Salsa Band and Mark’s brother is also musically inclined. “I want to show people how universal music is and how it can bring people together,” he says.

He chose the Sherman Theater because it’s Mark’s hometown concert hall. Also, says Mark, “The Sherman Theater is an iconic and historic venue in the northeast region.” The other regional finalists displayed their talent too, and Mark is in good company. “I’m excited to share the stage with The Voice’s Top 20 JCHOSEN, Fusia Dance Center, and Gallagher School of Irish Dancing. I appreciate all the media support and the promotional efforts of CILA LLC Management. It’s going to be an incredible show.” FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.SHERMANTHEATER.COM.

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“I can’t wait to connect with my fans and give my first official concert. It’s going to be really special!” The upcoming performance at the Sherman Theater will run on November 11. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8:00 p.m.



DEPG Development in Bartonsville recently celebrated the groundbreaking of Plaza 611 Shopping Center (at the intersection of Route 611 and Wigwam Park Road) and the last phase of Bartonsville Square, located south of the Route 611 and Route 33 intersection. There will be three new restaurants coming to this busy commercial corridor including Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell and La Tolteca Mexican restaurant.

DEPG’s General Partner James DePetris said, “We are proud to bring these three new restaurants to the Bartonsville area. These restaurants will give residents and visitors new dining alternatives.” Legend Properties is the exclusive leasing broker for both centers. Heading up leasing activity are CEO James DePetris and President Maria Rita Aristone. “We have excellent opportunities in Plaza 611 Shopping Center for retail and professional medical users that will have great prominence from Route 611,” said Aristone.

Local Flair | October/November 2017





KATIE RUBINO WOR D S | De b b i e B u r ke

Which instrument does 17-year old Katie Rubino NOT play? Already a well-rounded practitioner, the vocalist from Stroudsburg takes lessons in violin, viola, clarinet, guitar and classical voice. Her plans are to study music composition when she starts college.

fairs around Pennsylvania and some gigs at the Monroe Farmers Market, Eastburg Community Alliance’s Music on Monday Concert Series at Dansbury Depot, and the ShawneeCraft Brewery. This fall into the winter she will play additional local events.

Katie knew she wanted to pursue music when at the age of 12 she got a Taylor Swift CD for Christmas. She had already been active in musical theater at Shawnee Playhouse, and when she heard Swift, she decided she wanted to play the guitar and perform. “My first public appearance was Pocono Idol at St. Luke’s Church Festival in the summer of 2011,” recalled Katie. “I sang along to a karaoke track and was blessed enough to win. It was a very fun experience. I couldn’t think of any place I’d rather be.”

A few singles made their way to iTunes: “Torn” and “Run.” The music and lyrics she writes are inspired by other people’s experiences. First and foremost, though, she ultimately sees herself as a composer on the classical side.

Right now, she’s a solo act and will also front a band seeking a lead vocalist. She’s just finished playing a handful of summer music

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Until she leaves for college (a music program in Boston is in her sights), Katie’s staying put. “The Poconos will continue to see a lot of me in the upcoming two years. I’m working on new music right now, which I’m excited to share when I’m finished.” FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.KATIERUBINO.COM.

Local Flair | October/November 2017


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October & November 2017  
October & November 2017