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Thoughtful. Fearless. Free.


● Colorful ducks land in Centre County ● Summer students suffer without AC ● Voices-exclusive columnists

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Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

POLITICS & ECONOMICS State College voters stay home in dismal turnout IRS steps up to fight nonprofit ‘dark money’

ENVIRONMENT Saving the Hemlocks: how volunteers are turning out to save PA’s state tree

OPINION Centre County is losing young professionals. Why? PSU’s steam plant fails its sustainability committment

COMMUNITY & LIFESTYLE Bellefonte votes to demolish historic theatre, but PA bureau isn’t convinced

Patti Smith: Musician, activist and counterculture icon at Penn State Independent News Since 1993

PAGE 2 ‘Serving the public interest’ means writing for you

Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014


Thoughtful. Fearless. Free. © 2013 Voices of Central Pennsylvania, Inc.

Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

EDITORIAL BOARD Sean Flynn, Managing Editor Politics and Economics open Community and Lifestyles open University and Education open Environment Betsie Blumberg Arts and Entertainment open Opinion open

A preview of this issue, plus a word about our future By Sean Flynn VOICES Managing Editor @VoicesPAEditor We’re working hard to refresh our look and feel online and in print. Let us know what you think. Speaking of design changes, we’ve tweaked things to make it easier to tell us what you think about what you read in Voices. We’ve placed our contributor’s email addresses at the top of every article, so that you can get in touch with them personally about the articles we write here at Voices. Because many of our writers and reporters leave town for the winter and summer breaks, we combine our July/Aug. and Dec./Jan. issues. But we’ve got some great stories for you over the break. Art Goldschmidt brings us a recap



Bill Eichman

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of the truly dismal turnout demolition of the historic in the State College 2013 Garman Theatre in Bellefonte, brought a local municipal elections. immigration reform rally to Sure, turnout is always the attention of our lower in non-presidential years, but in State College, representatives, examined how corporations illegally more than 90 percent of abuse unpaid internships voters didn’t even bother for free labor, and took a to show up. (Think you critical look at know why? Drop us a line.) We follow up on Pennsylvania’s electoral Sean Flynn Bellefonte’s decision to Managing Editor system. Stories like these are a proceed with the demolition of the Garman, and a critical part of our mission. But we surprising letter from the can’t do it alone. Independent, investigative journalism costs time Commonwealth’s historic bureau. We look at the psychology of the and money, and our future rests climate change debate, and the squarely in your hands. If the future factors that keep us debating the of independent journalism in central settled science of anthropogenic Pennsylvania matters to you, please becoming a Voices climate change instead of acting to consider supporter. solve its root causes. You can set up single or recurring When we talk about heady principles of journalism like “serving donations at, or even the public interest,” we mean you! So mail us a check. Just ten dollars a if you know of a situation that needs month helps secure our future. Voices is a 501(c)(3) non-profit our attention, let us know! To appropriate a phrase from our organization, so your contributions “friends” at the Department of are tax-deductible. And of course if you’d like to help Homeland Security: “If you see out in some other way, just drop us a something, say something.” In just the last three months, we’ve line. ■ covered the controversy over the POLITICS & ECONOMICS Advisory Council ‘Exhausted’ voters skip local elections pg. 3 Nick Brink How the IRS is fighting dark money pg. 5 Jamie Campbell Rove’s Crossroads GPS misreporting political money pg. 6 Jane Childs ENVIRONMENT John Dickison Bridging divides in the climate change debate pg. 8 Elizabeth Kirchner Volunteers fight to save embattled hemlock trees pg. 8 Bonnie Marshall BIRDWATCH: Hooded mergasners migrate through PA pg. 10 Curt Marshall COMMUNITY & LIFESTYLES Mike McGough Council approves Garman demolition in split 5-4 vote pg. 14 Bob Potter Bureau: Demolition could jeopardize funding pg. 16 Bonnie K. Smeltzer STEVIESLAW: Tire Pressure (the LAGuide to new cars) pg. 15 Susan Squier UNIVERSITY No relief in sight for sweltering summer students pg. 18 Maria Sweet CAMPBELL: It’s Christmas season, so here’s my list pg. 18 Kim Tait ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Mary Watson Patti Smith takes centre stage at Eisenhower pg. 20 Sue Werner OPINION Greg Woodman WATT: PSU steam plant isn’t sustainable pg. 22 Lakshman Yapa HALLIDAY: Why Centre can’t keep young professionals pg. 27


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

‘Exhausted’ State College voters skip local elections By ART GOLDSCHMIDT VOICES Staff Writer / Board Member

Theories about ‘why’ vary, but one thing is certain: When asked to choose their local leaders, 92 percent of voters in State College couldn’t be bothered.

Both incumbent State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham and challenger Ron Madrid spent weeks knocking on voters’ doors in State College. They both spoke at length on local television and in public forums. But for all their efforts, the overwhelming majority of registered voters in State College — more than 90 percent — stayed home. As is common in years without presidential contests, voter participation in Centre County’s 2013 municipal elections was generally underwhelming. Only seventeen percent of registered voters in Centre County cast ballots. But in State College, home to 34,998 registered voters, turnout was even worse: a dismal eight percent actually voted. “The electorate seemed exhausted in the year after the intense presidential election,� Goreham noted. Many people didn’t know when the election was, she added. Madrid pointed out that Borough registration numbers are inflated by

students who register mainly in presidential election years. He suggested there are only four to five thousand permanent residents who really care about local elections, and three or four thousand voters who will actually vote. Goreham echoed these concerns about voter apathy. “We’ve left local politics to rich guys and insiders. We need to restore popular participation. Local government is where politics start— the basis of our democracy,� she said. The breakfasts formerly organized by the Centre County Democratic Party were useful and “it is unfortunate that they were dropped,� she said. Executive Director Deb Flavin of the Centre County Republican Party agreed with the mayoral candidates, calling the student turnout in the 2013 elections disappointing. “Many students with whom I spoke considered 2013 an off year,� she said. Many students claim that the presidential race matters more to




“It’s a puzzle to me. We have student leaders who are engaged, but it doesn’t happen. — State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham them than local elections, she lamented, describing that attitude as “disappointing.� “Municipal elections are the ones that most directly affect students’ lives,� she said, pointing to noise abatement policies as an example. Goreham wondered what discourages students from voting in State College. “It’s a puzzle to me. We have student leaders who are engaged, but it doesn’t happen. Perhaps we need to divide the Borough into voting wards,� she said. Bellefonte Borough and Ferguson Township currently have geographical voting wards.

But despite their party divide, the two mayoral candidates shared some common views about Pennsylvania’s electoral structure. Both candidates agreed that national and state partisan issues have little relevance to local elections. Both wished Penn State students would become more active in local politics. Goreham said that the existing system needs improvement. She would like to see a group that would give a fairer chance to third party candidates. Neither candidate found it hard to recruit campaign volunteers. Both had reelection committees that to advise them and canvass for them. And both reached out directly to voters by taking the time to meet with them directly. Madrid opposed using the telephone to call voters. “People value their private time,� he said. Both Goreham and Madrid benefited from public candidate forums. The League of Women Voters

see TURNOUT, pg. 4

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4 state committee members) are chosen by registered Republican voters. The county chair then appoints the sponsored a Candidates’ Night in precinct leaders. Increasingly, both October, and their speeches and parties find that candidates and local voters’ questions were televised and issues attract more volunteers than rebroadcast several times via C-NET partisan loyalty. Neighborhoods to the homes of voters. But more matter more than election districts to candidates than voters and volunteers. voters appeared at For voters in State the October College, the contest for Candidates’ Night. “We’ve left local mayor drew the most It’s possible that attention. Although three politics to rich guys viewers chose to Democrats and one view the forum on and insiders. We need Republican ran for seats on C-NET rather to restore popular the Borough Council, the than attend two contest drew little popular participation.” LWV candidates’ attention. nights, the second Registered Democrats of which lasted outnumbered Republicans — State College Mayor by wide margins in all but almost three hours. Elizabeth Goreham one election district, A second forum assuring victories for Tom was held at the Daubert, Theresa Lafer, Foxdale Village and Evan Myers. retirement community about a week Madrid, a Republican, tried to come before the election. Both mayoral across as a “non-parochial” and candidates answered questions and nonpartisan candidate, hoping made brief speeches about their borough Democrats would cross party candidacy to an audience of about a lines to vote for him. hundred persons. He thought that only fifteen percent Madrid found the setting “more cast a straight party vote, leaving a informal and relaxed,” but wished large pool of undecided voters. that C-NET had broadcast the “A better opposition candidate mayoral forum to a wider audience. could win,” he opined. The traditional system of a “I obviously wasn’t that person,” he committeeman and said. committeewoman within each voting In fact, more Democrats voted district, elected by that district’s straight party ticket than Republicans registered voters, still prevails within in State College. the Democratic Party, but many One district did break for Madrid positions are vacant. over Goreham: State College West 2, The GOP chair and vice-chair (also which contains area around Our Lady

from TURNOUT, pg. 3

Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014 of Victory Church on Westerly big ticket items like a public works facility that will cost $8.5 million to Parkway. build. Voters in State She would like the College West 2 also “Municipal elections Borough to spend about chose Richard Garis, $5 million of the sole Republican are the ones that refurbishing older candidate for Borough most directly affect homes that have been Council, in a tie for students’ lives.” divided into student second place. apartments and that Madrid says he believed the borough’s might be sold to new fiscal future will be the — Centre County GOP homeowners. major issue it must face. Executive Director She also stated that surveillance The Borough Council Deb Flavin more cameras must be cannot increase its installed downtown to expenditures if its revenue remains constant, Madrid improve public security. Goreham said she may choose to stated. He suggested the borough ought to run for mayor again in four years, but institute a consumption tax, such as a has no desire to run for any other tax on every “poured [alcoholic] office. For his part, Madrid said he drink, or a sales tax. Goreham agreed that new sources probably won’t run again. ■ of revenue will be needed to pay for


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

IRS limits dark money, but enforcement still a question Social welfare nonprofits like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS spend millions on political activity without paying taxes or revealing their donors. The IRS wants to change that, but the details are still vague.

By KIM BARKER ProPublica The IRS and Treasury Department announced proposed guidelines clarifying the definition of political activities for social welfare nonprofits on Nov. 26, a move that could restrict the spending of the dark money groups that dumped more than $254 million of anonymous money into the 2012 elections. However, the guidelines, which finally define what constitutes “candidate-related political activity,” aren’t a done deal. They will take some time for public comment and debate, and more time to finalize. (The IRS asks that all comments and requests for a public hearing be submitted by Feb. 27.) Experts also cautioned that the real test of oversight on the political spending by nonprofits will be how these regulations are enforced, something that the IRS has been so far reticent to do. The proposed regulations “are only as good as the extent of compliance with them, which history would indicate requires a realistic threat of enforcement and significant sanctions on the groups involved and probably the individuals running those groups,” said Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, a law professor and associate dean at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in nonprofits and campaign finance. Social welfare nonprofits are allowed to spend money on election ads without reporting their donors, as long as they can prove that social welfare – and not politics – is their primary purpose.

But the IRS guidelines for political reported to the FEC and any grants to spending have been vague. They state other tax-exempt organizations that that the agency will apply a “facts and do candidate-related political activity. circumstances” test to each ad, (ProPublica wrote about one such meaning that if an ad walks and talks grant from Rove’s group on Nov. 25. like a political ad, it’s a political ad. Voices is republishing this article on ProPublica and others have written page 6 of this issue.) extensively about how many social Political activity would also include welfare nonprofits voter-registration have exploited Social welfare nonprofits are drives and “get out loopholes in allowed to spend money on the vote” drives — Federal Election even for Commission and election ads without nonpartisan IRS rules since the reporting their donors, as groups. It would Supreme Court’s also include 2010 Citizens long as they can prove that holding events United ruling social welfare – and not f e a t u r i n g opened the door to candidates within politics – is their primary unlimited election two months of a spending by purpose. general election. corporations and “This proposed nonprofits. guidance is a first Some of the But the IRS guidelines for critical step groups spend more political spending have been toward creating than political c l e a r - c u t action committees. vague. definitions of GOP strategist political activity by Karl Rove’s group tax-exempt social They state that the agency Crossroads GPS, w e l f a r e for example, told will apply a “facts and organizations,” the IRS it spent circumstances” test to each said Mark Mazur, more than $74.5 T r e a s u r y ’ s million on election ad, meaning that if an ad assistant secretary activities in 2012, walks and talks like a for tax policy, in a more than any statement. other dark money political ad, it’s a political “We are group and all but ad. committed to two super PACs, getting this right which are allowed to raise and spend before issuing final guidance that may unlimited amounts of money from affect a broad group of organizations. reported donors. It will take time to work through the The proposed regulations could regulatory process and carefully dramatically change how the consider all public feedback as we nonprofits spend money. strive to ensure that the standards for The proposal defines political tax-exemption are clear and can be activity as including any expenditures applied consistently.”

Until now, many groups have counted some ads reported to the FEC — those that stop short of telling people how to vote—toward their education mission. Some groups have also counted direct political spending reported to the FEC as part of their social welfare mission. Most nonprofits have counted grants to politically active social welfare nonprofits as part of their social welfare mission. The regulations represent the first time the IRS has pushed back against political activity by these groups since revealing that the agency targeted the applications of conservative groups for extra review in May, kicking off a political firestorm. (Conservative groups accounted for about 85 percent of the spending by social welfare nonprofits in 2012.) The proposed regulations appear similar to ones used by the IRS last summer for groups that wanted to expedite approval of their applications. However, the new regulations don’t propose a limit on spending, unlike last summer’s rules, which said no more than 40 percent of a group’s expenditures could be made on political activities. If adopted, the rules would also make social welfare nonprofits operate much differently than unions and trade associations, nonprofits that are also allowed to spend money on political activity. If that happens, it’s likely trade associations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will become the vehicle of choice for anonymous money in politics, experts said. ■


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

‘Nonprofit’ underreports political spending by millions Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS reported $74 million in political activities, but sent millions of dollars in ‘nonprofit grants’ to other politically active nonprofits without reporting the money as political activity. By KIM BARKER ProPublica In its 2012 tax return, GOP strategist Karl Rove’s dark money behemoth Crossroads GPS justified its status as a tax-exempt social welfare group in part by citing its grants of $35 million to other similarly aligned nonprofits. (Here’s the tax return itself, which we detailed last week.) The return, signed under penalty of perjury, specified that the grants would be used for social welfare purposes, “and not for political expenditures, consistent with the organization’s tax-exempt mission.” But that’s not what happened. New tax documents, made public last Tuesday, indicate that at least $11.2 million of the grant money given to the group Americans for Tax Reform was spent on political activities expressly advocating for or against candidates. This means Crossroads spent at least $85.7 million on political activities in 2012, not the $74.5 million reported to the Internal Revenue Service. That’s about 45 percent of its total expenditures. The transaction also provides a window into one way social welfare nonprofits work around the tax code’s dictate that their primary purpose cannot be influencing elections. Grants sent from one nonprofit to another may be earmarked for social welfare purposes, but sometimes end up being used to slam or praise candidates running for office. “They have a bad grantee here,” said Marcus Owens, the former head of the IRS’ Exempt Organizations

division, who looked at the documents at ProPublica’s request. “My question would be, ‘What has Crossroads done to recover that money?’ That’s what the IRS would expect.” Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio did not respond to questions from ProPublica about Americans for Tax Reform’s use of the grant or whether Crossroads would ask for it to be refunded. Instead, Collegio wondered whether Americans for Tax Reform could have used resources carried over from 2011 to fund the 2012 election spending, rather than money from Crossroads. “Were resources carried over from 2011?” he asked in an email to ProPublica. But after consulting with tax experts, ProPublica determined Americans for Tax Reform couldn’t have used resources from 2011 for the political spending. “That’s called bullshit with a serving of horseshit on the side,” Owens said. Americans for Tax Reform reported a total of $10.3 million in assets in the beginning of 2012. Of those assets, $8.2 million was only available on paper, an amount due from a related charity, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation. The rest – $2.1 million – was a combination of equipment, leasehold improvements, cash holdings, net accounts receivable, prepaid expenses and deferred charges. None of those amounts changed significantly by the end of 2012. In other words, the only known source for the money Americans for Tax Reform spent on politics was donations from Crossroads and others.

Collegio didn’t respond to an email from ProPublica last Wednesday outlining how some of the Crossroads’ grant had to have been spent on election activities. John Kartch, the spokesman for Americans for Tax Reform, also didn’t respond to ProPublica questions about the use of the Crossroads grant for politics. Social welfare nonprofits, also

On its 2012 tax return, made public last week, Crossroads said it gave its biggest grant, $26.4 million, to Americans for Tax Reform for “social welfare.” In the last part of 2012, Americans for Tax Reform told the FEC it spent repeatedly on ads and mailers, $15.8 million altogether on so-called “independent expenditures,” mostly in the month before the election,

“That’s called bullshit with a serving of horseshit on the side.” — Former IRS Exempt Organizations director Marcus Owens known as dark money groups because they don’t have to report their donors, are allowed to spend money on politics as long as their primary purpose is social welfare. The groups often count so-called issue ads that stop short of advocating for or against a candidate and grants toward that social welfare mission. Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision allowed corporations and unions to spend directly on election ads, these nonprofits have turned into the vehicle of choice for anonymous spending, dumping more than $254 million into the 2012 elections. Of the 150 or so social welfare nonprofits that reported spending to the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 election cycle, Crossroads was king, the biggest anonymous spender by far. Americans for Tax Reform came in fourth, with $15.8 million.

opposing Democrats and supporting Republicans running for Congress. (Independent expenditures tell people they should vote for or against a certain candidate.) Most of that money, more than $10.7 million, was for media buys, to purchase air time on TV and radio for various ads. More than $1.6 million went to designing, producing and sending mailers. Most of the rest of the money went to ad production and phone banks. (Here are some examples of those ads.) Americans for Tax Reform told the IRS in its tax return, obtained and made public by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), that it raised and spent about $31 million in 2012. Since the group got $26.4 million

see CROSSROAD, pg. 7


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

from CROSSROAD, pg. 6 from Crossroads, only $4.6 million of its revenue came from other donors. At least $11.2 million of Crossroads money had to go toward the political ads reported to the FEC. That means Americans for Tax Reform spent about 51 percent of its money on political ads reported to the FEC in 2012. But the group also told the IRS on its tax return, signed under penalty of perjury, that it spent only $9.8 million on direct and indirect campaign activity in 2012, defining that spending as “engaged solely in the making of independent expenditures supporting and opposing candidates for federal office.” Last Tuesday, CREW filed a complaint with the IRS and the tax division of the Department of Justice against Americans for Tax Reform and its president, Grover Norquist, alleging they deliberately provided false information to the IRS in the tax filing. ProPublica and others have documented how such groups often minimize their political spending to the IRS. Although the IRS has been hesitant to establish any so-called “bright lines” for campaign activity, campaign finance and tax lawyers say independent expenditures reported to the FEC definitely qualify as political spending under the tax code. Crossroads GPS itself counted all of its independent expenditures reported to the FEC in both 2010 and 2012 as part of its political spending reported to the IRS. “Clearly, ads that tell people who to vote for or against are campaign intervention,” said a Congressional Research Service report on IRS rules on political ads prepared for Congress in August 2012. Last summer, the IRS told social welfare nonprofits that wanted to

“What you have is two documents from the same group, one for the FEC and one for the IRS, both submitted under penalty of perjury. At least one is incorrect.” — Former IRS Exempt Organizations director Marcus Owens expedite their approval that political expenditures included administrative and overhead costs, and any expenditure on printed, electronic or oral statements supporting or opposing the election or nomination of any candidate for public office. Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, a law professor and associate dean at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in nonprofits and campaign finance, reviewed the Americans for Tax Reform documents at the request of ProPublica and said it was possible that the group was allocating overhead or other costs differently in its tax return than in its FEC filings. “I do not see how any reasonable allocation differences could result in such a large disparity, however,” Mayer said. Owens, the former IRS official, said it was possible that some of the media buy money reported to the FEC was later refunded by the TV stations. But even that money wouldn’t account for such a large gap, he said. Owens speculated that Americans for Tax Reform might have determined that some of its ads wouldn’t qualify for reporting to the IRS. “There’s just no way that could withstand scrutiny under the laws that exist,” Owens said. “What you have is two documents from the same group, one for the FEC and one for the IRS, both submitted under penalty of perjury. At least one is incorrect.” Still, on Tuesday, Kartch insisted the $9.8 million figure on Americans for Tax Reform’s tax form, known as a

990, was correct, while ignoring requests from ProPublica to explain how it was derived. “The correct number to use here is the $9.8 million figure as reported on our 2012 990, not the number you cite from an FEC report,” Kartch wrote. “ATR meets or exceeds the requirements of the FEC and the IRS according to their standards.” He also scoffed at the CREW complaint, saying, “This attack is political and CREW knows it is nonsense.”

It’s not clear how the IRS might respond to the apparent misuse of the Crossroads grant or to the fact that Americans for Tax Reform seems to have underreported its political spending. Complaints to the IRS about the tax-exempt status of Crossroads and other political social welfare nonprofits have been made since 2010, but they are still pending. So is an earlier CREW complaint against Americans for Tax Reform for its spending in 2010. A scandal that erupted in May over the IRS targeting the applications of Tea Party and other conservative social welfare nonprofits may have also made the IRS more likely to take a hands-off approach to the groups, experts say. “They’re going to keep their heads down,” Owens said. ■


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

Bridging divides in the climate change debate Progressives and conservatives need to solve their differences and start fighting the causes and effects of climate change instead of fighting scientific facts. Here’s how we could start. By DOROTHY BLAIR VOICES Staff Writer Consider these extreme weather events since 2011: Philippine Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps the worst storm ever to hit land; massively destructive U.S. Hurricane Sandy costing $50 billion; the 2012 heatwave and drought in the West and Midwest causing $30 billion in crop damage and untold hunger throughout the world; super-heated brush fires in Australia; and 9.2 billion acres of timber fires in the dry American west. How we react to and rationalize these events reveals much about our ideological stances, our environmental awareness, anxiety, fear, and the importance we attach to social norms. According to 2013 Pew Research

Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert has identified four elements of climate change that affect the debate: 1) Climate change lacks bin Laden-like human villain. 2) Climate change doesn’t induce physical disgust. 3) The effects of climate change are far in the future. 4) The detrimental effects of climate change are gradual. Center surveys, 69 percent of Americans think that climate change is real, but only 42 percent believe that human activity is responsible. Only 28 percent of Americans think that dealing with climate change is a policy priority, compared with strengthening the economy (86 percent) or improving the job situation (79 percent).

The theory of cultural cognition, originally espoused by anthropologist Mary Douglas, predicts that world views and ideologies reinforced by group affiliation account for a significant amount of variation in risk perception. Two world views associated with conservatism help explain why Republicans, particularly the more

individualistic Tea Partiers, are likely to see climate change as a hoax or a non-issue. Individualists who want the government to move out of their way view government regulations around fossil fuels as curtailing their freedoms. Conservatives with faith in technology, comfortable with the current hierarchy and the status quo, may feel that fossil fuel regulations will interfere with innovation and free market capitalism, thus limiting their sense of privilege and lifestyle choices. On the opposite side of the political spectrum, egalitarians with a strong belief in distributive justice are more sensitive to environmental risks and negative climate change images.

see CLIMATE, pg. 9

Volunteers fight to save embattled Rothrock hemlocks Hemlocks in the Rothrock State Forest have been invaded by an infestation of wolly adelgids, sapsucking parasites threatening the forests. Forty-six volunteers came to save Pennsylvania’s state tree. By BETSIE BLUMBERG VOICES Environment Editor Pennsylvania’s state tree, the hemlock, is under siege. The main threat? A tiny insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid that sucks the sap from the twigs, leaving a white waxy residue at the base of the needles and, after a couple of years, a dead tree. The infestation was first identified in Pennsylvania in 1966 and now plagues Appalachia from Georgia to

Massachusetts. To save some of the hemlock trees in Rothrock State Forest, a group of volunteers recently met at Bear Meadows Natural Area to treat the trees with insecticide under the supervision of the Bureau of Forestry. Early Saturday morning on Nov. 9, Mark Potter, District Forester for Rothrock State Forest, and some of his forestry staff greeted the volunteers with rubber gloves, digging tools, cases of pelleted insecticide, and instructions on how

to apply it. The foresters had previously identified the trees to be treated with orange ribbons. The volunteers then marched into the woods, off the trail and through the tangles of rhododendron, looking for marked trees. In groups four or five, they opened small holes in the soil around the base of the tree, one hole for each inch of trunk diameter, dropped three pellets in each hole, and stamped it shut with their boots. They worked for about three hours and in that time 46 volunteers treated

302 trees. These were trees with trunks 14 to 17 inches in diameter; last year volunteers treated trees of larger diameters. Next year the plan is to apply treatment in another area of the forest. One treatment protects the tree for three years. The active ingredient in the insecticide used is a chemical called imidacloprid. Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide, absorbed by the

see HEMLOCKS, pg. 12


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

from CLIMATE, pg. 8 Egalitarians are strong supporters of policy intervention. When people believe that climate change is happening and that humans are causing it, what interferes with effective action-taking and support for policy changes such as carbon taxation? In his book “An Introduction to Entrepreneurship,” I. B. Vasi says that ”support for climate change is a mile wide and an inch deep.” Emotion, habits and practical considerations trump action. Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert states that climate change lacks four important features that would otherwise magnify our sensation of imminent risk. First, it is anonymous, without a human face at which to direct blame, someone like Osama bin Laden. Second, climate change provides no sense of moral outrage or physical disgust. Third, negative outcomes are perceived as far in the future, thus cannot compete with present needs. Fourth, the climate change process is too gradual. As climate-caused tragedies become more common, we forge new norms for what we consider horrific weather events.

Some climate-savvy changes carry their own perceived risks, like riding a bicycle to work or driving a smaller car. Climate change investments in electric cars or solar panels are put off until proven. An early buyer risks damage to his own self-esteem and scorn from his neighbors. Over generations our environment has become increasingly degraded. Do people remember or notice? This gradual adjustment is a phenomenon called environmental amnesia. We live comfortably with the new normal, because we have only minimal or secondhand recollections of the “good old days.” If the environment causes no immediate difficulties, it doesn’t need to be fixed. Other cognitive limitations include the mistaken belief that 97 percent scientific agreement about climate change implies a lack of scientific certainty. Psychologist Daniel Kahaman explains in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow, how our rapid, intuitive, decision-making brain makes judgments using only the information at hand. Because climate change is outside our normal range of experience, the brain cannot round up the right set of emotions and cognitions to respond appropriately. We optimistically undervalue distant risks.

Though climate electric cars or solar change may be panels are put off until perceived as real, proven. An early Other cognitive mitigation that buyer risks damage to limitations include requires stepping his own self-esteem outside of your own and scorn from his the mistaken belief social group’s neighbors. consumption norms Psychologists point that 97 percent may be unthinkable. to some people’s scientific agreement In their 2011 overwhelming fear A m e r i c a n and anxiety over about climate Psychology article climate uncertainly. change implies a on human behavior, Anxiety and despair Penn State social may be immobilizing, lack of scientific psychologist Janet particularly when certainty. Swim and required responses colleagues discuss painfully conflict with the cognitive our cultural norms or dissonance between realities. consumerism and climate change The ill or elderly cannot turn down action. the thermostat. For some, driving Consumerism is a “belief and value long distances is an economic system” resulting in meaning for the necessity. Most U.S. families lack the buyer based on self-identity and the funds to retrofit their houses, or are envy of others, resulting in social renting. Advertising blurs the lines status. As such it is painful to give up. between wants and needs. Though reducing meat However, fear and emotion can also consumption is a powerful means of be motivators if people are shown mitigating both CO2 and methane how to take small steps. What are the gasses, it requires developing new implications of this psychological tastes, investments in time and new research? cooking skills, rejecting the Insights about what determines convenience of fast food, new denier resistance and believer shopping patterns, and risks the inaction are helping to reshape the wrath of spouse and family. work of climate change activists. Keeping up with more Communicators and educators use environmentally-competitive Joneses this research to navigate ideological may require rooftop solar arrays, a hard and soft spots; reduce Prius in the driveway, and a personal environmental numbness, fear and relationship with an organic vegetable anxiety; and help create social group farmer. solidarity. Some climate-savvy changes carry They are rethinking and rephrasing their own perceived risks, like riding a climate change education and actionbicycle to work or driving a smaller car. Climate change investments in

see CLIMATE, pg. 13


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

Hooded mergansers migrate through central Pa. Catch a glimpse of these ostentatious ducks as they stop here on their way to warmer winters. By JOE VERICA VOICES Columnist

As I write this, it’s late November. Winter will be soon be upon us. For some, the weather at this time of year is dreadful. For those of us who enjoy watching ducks, the weather is delightful. As the cold temperatures move down

from the north, rivers, lakes, and ponds begin to freeze over. Birds that require open water for foraging, such as ducks, are left with little choice but to move south in search of warmer temperatures. Many of those ducks move through Pennsylvania on their way south. Among the ducks moving through central Pennsylvania are the hooded mergansers. Hooded mergansers breed in forested wetland areas in North America. In the Pacific Northwest, their range extends from southern Alaska

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south to Oregon and east to Montana. In the east, the range is more expansive, extending from Nova Scotia west to Manitoba and south through the Appalachian mountains to Arkansas. The breeding season extends from late February to June. As the nesting season draws to a close, the mergansers may begin moving south to their winter quarters in the southern half of the U.S. It is typically the birds in the

see BIRDWATCH, pg. 11

As long as the merganser has access to open water where it can forage, it tends to remain on site. When temperatures drop to the point that the water freezes over, the merganser will move on.


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

from BIRDWATCH, pg. 10 northern part of their breeding range that need to move. Mergansers from the southern part of the breeding range tend to be year-round residents. The main factor pushing birds south is the temperature. As long as the merganser has access to open water where it can forage, it tends to remain on site. When temperatures drop to the point that the water freezes over, the merganser will move on. Hooded mergansers forage by swimming on the water’s surface with their head submerged. When a prey item is spotted, the merganser will dive and pursue its quarry under

The male merganser abandons his mate, leaving her to incubate the eggs and rear the young. With a resume like that, they should audition for deadbeat dad of the year! water where it uses its serrated bill to secure it. Their typical food items include small fish, aquatic insects, amphibians and small crustaceans. Hooded mergansers are small ducks weighing in at 20 ounces and measuring 18 inches from bill to tail. Like most birds, mergansers are sexually dimorphic. Males have a black head and eyes with a brilliant yellow iris. The back is black, while the sides are chestnut brown. The most distinctive feature of the male is its expandable crest or hood. In a relaxed position, the crest is black with a narrow white central area.

When the bird becomes excited, the erectile crest is expanded in a fan-like fashion revealing a large wedgeshaped white patch. In this posture, the male is really a sight to behold! The female lacks the contrasting patterning of the male and is dully colored with drab grays and muted browns. The flight feathers on the wings are black with white borders. When the wings are folded over the back, this gives the merganser a striped appearance. The breast is white with a daggerlike black bar on its flank, extending

just below the neck. The black bill is long and narrow with serrated ridges. Males employ elaborate courtship rituals in their attempts to lure a mate. The male may swim beside the female with his crest fanned out. He typically bobs his head and cranes it back over his wings. This may be accompanied by a loud croaking call. A female will signify her consent to the male by bobbing her head and flattening her tail. Soon thereafter, they will consummate their relationship. The nest site is chosen by the female and is typically a tree hole or other cavity near water. The nest cavity is loosely padded with feathers. A clutch of 6 to 12 eggs

see BIRDWATCH, pg. 13

12 from HEMLOCKS, pg. 8

Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

Interested in volunteering? Rothrock will host another opportunity to help the hemlocks in 2014. Follow them on Facebook:

root of the tree and distributed thoughout its tissues. Any critter survive well when released in the eating any part of the tree ingests forest. This research some pesticide. continues. Imidacloprid is Without the hemlocks, Unfortunately, widely used, and the heavy shade the because treating there is concern that each tree is a laborit is a factor in hemlocks provide, the intensive process, it colony collapse cooler temperatures isn’t feasible to treat disorder where every hemlock in applied to species that the shade Rothrock State important to bees. Forest. The Bureau of provides wildlife in The Bear Forestry has tried to summer, and the Meadows Natural use biological Area was chosen as control to manage abundant nesting a priority for hemlock wooly spots in the dense treatment because adelgid. the forestry agency This exotic pest branches would be has decided it’s a has long existed gone. special place with hemlocks in meriting special Asia, but has been naturally controlled by beetle protection. Bear Meadows Natural Area predators, preventing the devastating outbreaks happening in this country. includes a shallow peat bog Research is underway, including surrounded by a buffer zone of typical work at Penn State, in an effort to Appalachian forest. According to the National Registry employ these small beetles imported of Natural Landmarks, that peat bog from China and Japan. Potter says that research in is vital to ongoing research. “The vast accumulation of pollen Rothrock State Forest indicated that although in the lab these beetles and spores in the peat has aided thrived when fed on infected research and understanding of branches from local trees, they don’t vegetation and climatic changes in the

region,” according to the registry. The National Natural Landmarks (NNL) program, administered by the National Park Service, identifies landscape features of significant geological and biological interest in the U.S. and American territories, and acts as an advocate for protection of designated sites. There are 596 designated NNLs, special examples of our nation’s natural heritage. If the hemlocks were to succumb to the adelgid infestation, the character of the Bear Meadows National Natural Landmark would change. The heavy shade the hemlocks provide, the cooler temperatures that the shade provides wildlife in summer, and the abundant nesting spots in the dense branches would be gone. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry is working to protect this local gem from that fate. ■

Photo by BETSIE BLUMBERG // VOICES Environmental Editor Volunteer Drea Choperena applies insecticide at the base of a hemlock tree in Rothrock State Forest.


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

from CLIMATE, pg. 9

the core values of a wide swath of the population to provoke action: “ingenuity, innovation, responsible oriented messages. In their 2011 American Psychologist management, stewardship, and article introducing psychology’s interdependence.” The next step is to contributions to climate change, popularize the use of more intuitive Janet Swim and colleagues address and visual phrases, in this case to substitute “green house gasses” with veffective motivators of change. Emphasizing positive outcomes is “heat trapping blanket.” When public understanding of the more effective for resistant groups, than emphasizing the dire problem is clearer, then reasonable, clear and specific consequences of policy actions are inaction, Swim wrote. Climate change introduced. For example, According to reducing our believers need to get Daniel Kahan, a dependence on coal out of their bunkers psychologist has health benefits interested in such as clean air and and realize that cultural cognition, reduced asthma. Cost Americans want a increased science savings, such as reduced fuel bills are secure environmental knowledge does not alter climate motivating for the future; most want to change denial. less committed. Rather, experts Swim discusses learn how to be part affiliated with a how creating new of the solution. group’s norms and social norms for values have more involvement in collective climate change activities effect. The messenger is critical. Thus, faith groups who feel can be accomplished through with interfaith informal institutional activities. uncomfortable Interfaith Power and Light (IPL), a activities around climate change can nation-wide organization with state build movements motivated by their affiliates, provides an example of this own trusted experts. One example of this movement is approach. IPL encourages faith-based Young Evangelicals for Climate communities to tackle the moral Action (, a issues of social justice and the group of evangelical Christians who environment, ultimately to promote believe their faith demands action. In a Penn State seminar last year, energy efficiency and conservation. The Pennsylvania IPL office, Lee Ann Head of the Shelton Group located in State College, focuses on said that her sustainability-focused reducing church use of fossil fuel and ad agency already uses this research create public service on helping low-income households to announcements and to stimulate lower utility bills through home energy audits and the efforts of effective environmental action and dedicated voluntary teams of energy-efficiency campaigns. Like the Shelton Group, climate retrofitters. The Frameworks Institute in change believers need to get out of another institution seeking to their bunkers and realize that want a secure reframe the public discourse on Americans environmental future; most want to climate change. The institute’s messages tap into learn how to be part of the solution. ■

Photo by Frank Boston // Creative Commons A male and female pair of hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) swim across the water. Hooded mergansers can be spotted in Central Pennsylvania as they migrate south for the winter.

from BIRDWATCH, pg. 11 is laid. In some cases, upwards of 30 eggs may be found in a given nest. Once the eggs have been laid, the male merganser abandons his mate, leaving her to incubate the eggs and rear the young. With a resume like that, male mergs should audition for dead-beat dad of the year! Fortunately for the female, the chicks are capable of swimming and feeding within a few days of hatching.

The best local places to find hooded hergansers are Colyer Lake, Bald Eagle State Park and Raystown Lake before the lakes freeze over. The morning after a rain or snow storm is likely to turn up the most mergansers, as well as a wide assortment of other waterfowl. ■ Joe Verica is a vice-president of the State College Bird Club. Questions or comments? Reach him at

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Council approves Garman demolition in 5-4 split vote Dozens of BHCA supporters spoke at the meeting, urging the council to save the historic theatre. By SEAN FLYNN VOICES Managing Editor @VoicesPAEditor After nearly three hours of discussion, the Bellefonte Borough Council voted 5-4 to demolish the historic Garman Theatre in downtown Bellefonte on Nov. 11. More than 100 people attended the council meeting, which had been originally scheduled for Nov. 4. The special meeting was held at the Logan Fire Hall in Bellefonte because supporters of the restoration of the theatre overwhelmed the borough building’s capacity at the first meeting. At the end of nearly three hours of discussion, debate and public comment, borough council members Wilson, Halderman, Dainty,

Schneider and Beigle voted to approve the demolition of the theatre, while members Provan, Dunne, DeCusati, and Brown voted against demolition. Despite the unfavorable vote, Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association president Keith Koch said the BHCA had already had its next move. “We have two appeals pending in Harrisburg, and we’ll be filing a stay in court this week,” he said. A hearing in Commonwealth Court is scheduled for Dec. 4, at which time the court will hear the BHCA’s request for an injunction blocking demolition, as well as the Bellefonte Industrial Development Agency’s request to quash the injunction.

Photo by SEAN FLYNN // VOICES Managing Editor A crowd of more than 120 people listen to the public comment section of the Nov. 11 Bellefonte Borough Council meeting. After nearly three hours of public comment regarding the Garman Theatre, the Progress Development Group’s Bellefonte Mews apartment development, and the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Associations plans for a regional arts center, the Council voted 5-4 to approve PDG’s request to demolish the historic building.

see GARMAN, pg. 17

Bureau: Demolition could jeopardize developer’s funding By SEAN FLYNN VOICES Managing Editor @VoicesPAEditor The effort to demolish the Garman Theatre and Hotel Do De received a significant setback when the Pennsylvania Bureau for Historic Preservation stated it had “continuing concerns” with demolishing the buildings. On Nov. 11, the Bellefonte Borough Council voted 5-4 to approve the Progress Development Group’s application to demolish the Garman and the Hotel Do De, to make way for

The Bureau for Historic Protection says the buildings still have historic value and demolition could jeopardize the developer’s state and federal funding. apartment complexes. At that meeting, PDG director Ara Kervandjian presented a letter from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency describing the historic preservation review process as being complete. But in a Nov. 22 letter to the PDG, Andrea MacDonald, acting director of the Bureau for Historic Preservation described that letter as “mistaken.” Removing the Garman and Hotel

Do De “has the potential to adversely affect historic properties, specifically the Bellefonte Historic District,” wrote MacDonald. The buildings “retain sufficient integrity to convey their significance and contribute to the Bellefonte Historic District,” she wrote. The letter instructed the Progress Development Group to provide the BHP with “documentation of the efforts to identify consulting parties

who have an interest in the project’s effect on the historic district,” and to include the office on future correspondence and meetings. The BHP also directed the development group to identify historic preservation stakeholders and discuss “avoidance, minimization, or mitigation for the project’s effects on historic

see BUREAU, pg. 16


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

Tire Pressure: the LAGuide to buying a car By STEVE DEUTSCH VOICES Columnist No one sane would ever accuse the male members of my immediate family of “poetic leanings,” yet each and every one of them certainly subscribed to a philosophy based to some extent on the poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes entitled “The Deacon’s Masterpiece or The Wonderful One-Hoss Shay.” You probably memorized parts of the poem as a child. It is about a carriage built so logically that “it ran for a hundred years to a day,” and “it went to pieces all at once.” That is, every single piece of the Shay broke down at exactly the same time. My father had a similar experience with a 1938 Packard that collapsed into gray dust on Hopkinson Avenue in Brownsville, Brooklyn in 1957 leaving just the cushion of the front seat behind. My dad considered it a highlight of his life and mounted that cushion on a wall in every apartment he and mom ever shared. While Marvin next door and Joel around the block had parents that would buy new Chevys every three years, my parents — indeed, all my relatives — would only buy cars when the ones they owned went completely

to pieces. My relatives’ cars were constantly breaking down. For that reason, they always went in a convoy of three or four cars, if attending to VOICES columnist some serious Steve Deutsch business—-like taking someone to the airport. My memorabilia from childhood vacations consists mostly of post cards or photos from repair garages all across the Northeast. The roughly 200 mile trip from New York City to The Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, which might take most folks four hours, was a nine day trip for us. For those of us who buy a car every 20 years or so, the process of purchasing one is very serious business and that is the reason that we at Stevieslaw are in the unique position to publish “Tire Pressure: The Less-intelligent-than-averageAmerican Guide to Buying a Car.” In the guide, we will hammer home the one overriding principle to buying

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a car—-bragging rights. grandmother to and from church on New car-used car, good car-bad car, Sundays. For those of you choosing used, we gas guzzler-plug-in all pale in have a how to kick the tires like a pro comparison to good deal-bad deal. If you can get the same lousy car video; while for those choosing new, that your neighbor did for fifty dollars we provide a handy pull-out guide explaining what the less, you win! sticker on the window In the guide, you My relatives’ cars were might mean and why it will learn how to: constantly breaking doesn’t matter. 1. Use Consumer 3. Although all the Reports and the down. For that reason, really cool people are Highway Safety they always went in a buying hybrids, we Agency Reports to analyze your driving zero in on the cars you convoy of three or four habits and lifestyle to should consider. cars, if attending to determine whether a Spend several careful some serious gas engine, hybrid or weeks analyzing the plug in vehicle is best reports and preparing business—-like taking you. Our spreadsheets. someone to the airport. for sophisticated program Pick the ten most likely models and schedule test drives uses over 100 variables from age and at the dealerships. hair color to foot size and type of Then learn to throw all the research deodorant to determine what the best away and go with your neighbor money saving choice will be. And there is no need for you to fill Harvey’s offhand remark that “the Banshee Expanded SUV is a sweet out a complex form with information you may find hard to recall, as every ride and gets great gas mileage.” 2. Choose new or used by careful shred of information about you and weighing the advantages and yours is readily available to us from disadvantages of creating your own the NSA, Google and Amazon headache through a huge payment websites. book to inheriting someone else’s 4. Find a dealer who believes you headache — one that was clearly not just used by a gray haired

see DEUTSCH, pg. 16


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

Councilwoman’s allegations await confirmation By SEAN FLYNN VOICES Managing Editor @VoicesPAEditor Bellefonte councilwoman Vana Dainty made some controversial allegations on the night of the Garman demolition vote. During the council meeting, Dainty said most people she’d talked to told her they didn’t want the Garman saved, but instead wanted to keep low-income housing out of Bellefonte. “A lot of the the letters I’ve got from the people who want to save the Garman were about affordable housing.” Dainty said she therefore “could not even consider” the project to save the Garman, saying she had an obligation to support “fair housing.” Dainty said that most of the

from BUREAU, pg. 14 properties.” The Progress Development Group, which plans to demolish the Hotel Do De and Garman Theatre as part of its Bellefonte Mews apartment project, is relying on a combination of potential federal and state funding to build workforce housing apartments on the

Bellefonte councilwoman Vana Dainty said most Garman supporters didn’t want to save the Garman, but opposed low-income housing. residents she’d spoken to “don’t see the need to save [the Garman].” She said that while BHCA supporters at the meeting had spoken out in favor of workforce housing, “a lot of the letters we’ve got did say they were against that. And I’m sorry, they are letters that were sent to us. They’re on record,” she said. Dainty called supporters of the Garman a “low minority,” of Bellefonte’s 6,000 residents, and said while no residents supporting the apartment project spoke at the meeting, “their voice doesn’t need to be heard because because they think [the council] will follow through.”

Dainty said those communications were “on the record” and available for examination. In response to that statement, Voices filed an open records request on Nov. 11, requesting any emails or letters addressed to Councilwoman Dainty regarding the Garman. Assistant borough manager Don Holderman requested “a couple of weeks” for borough staff and IT contractors to fulfill the request. A follow-up story will appear online at and in print in the February issue of Voices. ■

site of the Garman Theatre, the Hotel Do De and the Cadillac Building in downtown Bellefonte. If PDG demolishes the building before the completion of the historic impact review process, known as a Section 106 review, the project’s federal funding eligibility could be put in jeopardy, MacDonald wrote. When reached for comment,

MacDonald referred further inquiries to the department’s external affairs director, who was vacationing for the entire week and was unavailable at press time. A press release from the Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association, the citizens’ group working to save and restore the Garman, called the developments “very positive.” ■

from DEUTSCH, pg. 15 are a unique and special human being who deserves better than the best deal possible, because of your charming social skills and fierce bargaining abilities. This is the essential ingredient to your future bragging rights! In the guide, we will show you that the best deals are never in your town, even if it is the home to nearly fifty or sixty car dealerships. Finding the best deals, like finding Shangri-La, will require you to traverse Tibetan-like mountainous regions around your home in midwinter so that you may find the near mythical dealer who has no overhead. My cousin Alfred, after two years of searching, a divorce, and 450 gallons of gas at $3.50 a gallon, found a dealer willing to knock nearly $80 off the sticker price of a Nash Rambler. He’s still bragging about it. Drive by the store and pick up the Guide as soon as you can. For each purchase, we will place a bold advertisement in your local newspaper, informing all the people who know you — or wish they did — that you made the best deal in the history of mankind in buying your new car. ■


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

from GARMAN, pg. 14 More than 20 people spoke at the meeting, asking the council to reject the Progress Development Group’s request for a demolition permit. PDG plans to demolish the Garman Theatre and the Hotel Do De as the initial phase of its plan to build apartments that will occupy the site of the two historic buildings as well as the Cadillac building. Numerous residents from Bellefonte, State College and surrounding areas spoke during the public comment period. Monteca Confer of Confer’s Jewelers presented the borough council with a petition signed by 22 downtown Bellefonte merchants who had all endorsed saving the Garman

Councilwoman Dainty said most of the people she’d spoken to “did not see the need to save” the Garman, and that letters she got from supporters were opposed to “fair housing.” — “and 22 is all of us,” she said. Jack LaFonde, Bellefonte resident and the first executive director of The State Theatre, said the vote was “not about a piece of real estate — it is about the heart and soul of this town.” Nancy Noll, owner of a Bellefonte bed and breakfast, called the Garman “the future of economic development in Bellefonte.” Bellefonte councilwoman Vana

Dainty spoke out against the Garman project. Despite the overwhelming number of Garman supporters in the room, councilwoman Dainty said most of the people she’d spoken to “didn’t want to save the Garman,” but instead were opposed to “fair housing.” When asked by a member of the crowd why nobody who supported demolishing Garman was in attendance, Dainty stated that “their voices didn’t need to be heard,” because those people were confident that the borough “would follow through.” TPG owner Ara Kervandjian spoke at the request of the council. He explained that workforce housing, which is income-based housing, is open to residents making between 60

and 100 percent of local median income. Mr. Kervandjian also offered to make a $50,000 donation to the BHCA if the cultural association would find a different property, a proposition that BHCA board member Jonathan Eburne later dismissed as “flatly insulting.” Mr. Kervandjian presented the council with a letter that he said was assurance that his project met the state requirements for the demolition of a historic building, and he said that funding would soon be in place. Mr. Koch challenged PDG developer Ara Kervandjian’s confidence in his funding, saying that “if he takes one brick out [of the Garman] he’ll lose his federal funding.” ■


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

No relief in sight for summer students sweltering in dorms Most dorms don’t have air conditioning, and students can’t bring their own. So when summer heat waves hit State College, many dorms become unlivable. PSU will fix it — if you can wait 15 years. By LINDSAY MCAVOY VOICES Staff Writer In the months of June, July, August, and even sometimes September at Penn State, the heat waves that consume the Valley can be excessive. This past year the temperature was in the high 80’s at the end of June and into the low 90’s during mid-July, according to data from Accuweather. For a freshman staying in Pollock dorms and the high school athletes residing in East dorms, this heat can seem doubled inside these old 1950era buildings. Although there are places to retreat to, such as the HUB, the library, or other university buildings, students seeking a place to sleep often come up empty. In the summer of 2011, the heat wave that swept the country posed great problems for students living in the dorms at Penn State. The

temperature spiked to 103 degrees in warning them of the heat wave and Harrisburg and above 95 degrees in offering housing in East View Terrace,” said Sharkey. State College. East View Terrace consists of With the humidity, it felt like well over 100 degrees. The last time State single-room dorms on the east side of College had a similar heat wave was in campus that are all equipped with air conditioning units. 1988. Sharkey spent one night there to get Mike Sharkey, a student who away from the heat. attended summer After staying in East session in 2011, View Terrace for a shared his night, Sharkey filed to experiences with the have an AC unit heat wave that installed in his dorm caused students to room in Ritner Hall, leave the dorms. which is located in the “It was horrible,” Pollock dorms. Sharkey said, “I Carr, would wake up from —Mike Sharkey Conal university housing my bed and be stuck PSU summer student director, said that AC to it.” units are being Sharkey noted that he also saw students sleeping in the installed in the newly renovated South Halls (South Proper) dorms HUB to try and escape the heat. “They sent an e-mail to the students and will be completed by December

“It was horrible. I would wake up from my bed and be stuck to it.”

2014. He said “the Board of Trustees have also approved the renovation of East and Pollock [dorms] (7,000 beds) which will also include AC.” The Pollock and East dorm renovations will take place between 2016 and 2026, and the board is currently “working on a phasing schedule” said Carr. This will help eliminate the risks that students face during the hot summer months while living in the dorms. There will however, be some dorms that do not have plans to be renovated in those years. South Center, which includes Simmons, McElwain and Atherton as well as West halls, will not be getting AC units. Meanwhile, the university is taking steps to ensure that students are

see DORMS, pg. 19

CAMPBELL: It’s Christmas list season, so here’s mine By JAMIE CAMPBELL VOICES Columnist Christmas time is here! I know because a certain 24 hour shopping and retail store keeps telling me so. Every time I go to purchase milk, bread, or juice, there it is: the Christmas counter. Telling me, you, and the employees of the store that there are only (let’s say) 30 days left until Christmas. Helping all our kids to remember the real meaning of Christmas: the receiving of things. Big, gaudy,

expensive things. station that has host Since my kids are going to either syndicated or local bug me about what they that can report the news without being so, well, want, I thought I would share what I want with you. curmudgeonly, to put it It’s a short list, but the items nicely. are big, and if anyone can I am all in favor of hearing both sides of an pull off making this list argument, but I do not happen, I’ll take it! So here we go! want to be yelled at to First: I want another radio learn what that other side Jamie Campbell, is. News is news, to be station in State College. Not VOICES Columnist just any kind of radio station reported for the masses mind you, I want another and explained clearly and talk radio station. I want a radio coherently. Not be editorialized, over

hyped or even exploited – just simply reported. While I am complaining about radio, it’s TV as well. With the decline of newspapers, there is almost nowhere to just get plain unbiased news. Each commentator has to be louder and more opinionated then the next, and is ideally rude and loud at the same time. Wouldn’t you like to sit down to watch or listen to the news and be

see CAMPBELL, pg. 19


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

from CAMPBELL, pg. 18 informed? I mean, who knows? Imagine actually learning something when you watch the evening news. And imagine this: hearing the news without being yelled at. I listen to both sides because I choose to be informed, but this constant yelling makes me want to just listen to people that I agree with. At least their yelling sounds like cheering, because they agree with me. Yes, I am aware of NPR. They do great work, but sometimes I just want to have local news reported. So, if you have a way to bring some informative news and ideas to the air waves without yelling at me, I’ll be the first to listen. Second: I want everyone, and I mean everyone, to be able to celebrate their lives as they choose. I mean it’s almost 2014, and we still cannot figure out how to let people live their lives without casting judgment. Really? When 2014 hits, I say we all pitch in and try something revolutionary and radical. Let each person decide what kind of life they would like to live without judgment or making them feel like an outcast. If we aren’t worrying about what someone is eating or drinking, we’re worrying about telling folks what they can do in their homes, bedrooms and dietary programs Since we’re chatting about 2014, here’s a third thing: I truly want us all to remember how important it is to vote. There are going to be some major issues coming up in the next few years. We cannot let our voices be trapped or silenced just because some politician is afraid of a challenge in the next election, or has been bought by some lobbyist. When legislators try to draw congressional districts that disenfranchise voters, it’s up to us to make sure we know what the laws are.

I want everyone, and I mean everyone, to be able to celebrate their lives as they choose. I mean it’s almost 2014, and we still cannot figure out how to let people live their lives without casting judgment. Really? It’s up to us to hold them accountable. In 2014, I want us to squawk about voting just as loudly as we do about guns, calories, and marriage. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I want all of us to truly be productive in 2014. Not happy, but productive. You see, we often say “Have a Happy New Year!” The harder we try to force happiness, the further away it

seems. In 2014, let us all work on being productive, and happiness will come as it can. I know it is important for health reasons that we have some level of happiness, but being happy can be more stressful than you think. Being productive can be tough but it is truly a liberating experience. Have a productive Christmas and New Year! ■

from DORMS, pg. 18 properly taken care of during high heat months by “provid[ing] AC equipped lounges for students and conference guests in all of our residence halls,” Carr said. Though that won’t actually solve the living area issues, dorm residents will at least have a cool space to which they can temporarily retreat. Carr also noted that although not having air conditioning in the dorms can pose problems to students in the summer months, that, “historically speaking, we only have about 12-15 days that go beyond 90 degrees in the summer so we’re able to manage the heat otherwise.” ■


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

Patti Smith takes center stage at Eisenhower By DOUG MASON VOICES Staff Writer In my Blakean year I was so disposed Toward a mission yet unclear, advancing pole by pole Fortune breathin’ into my ear mouthed a simple ode One road paved in gold, one road just a road — Patti Smith, My Blakean Year I was a music critic in my early years as a journalist, and saw hundreds of mostly rock acts from the late sixties onward. So I learned years ago that when you see Patti Smith, you can never be sure what to expect. I knew the rock world was in for something different when her genderbender version of Van Morrison’s “Gloria” hit the airwaves in 1975 (opened by the poem, “Oath”). The Patti Smith Group played one of the most memorable shows I’ve ever experienced in in 1979. She joined the ranks of some pretty stiff competition that night; Elvis Presley, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin (Big Brother), the Doors, etc. The band was in top form and her manic energy shook the foundations of the club with material from four LPs. Smith was chosen to receive the 2013 Institute for the Arts and Humanities Medal for Distinguished Achievement, perhaps the most preeminent award of its type in the U.S. It was about time. Smith has been well known in the pop music world for decades. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the other inductees honored her during the grand finale with a performance of “People Have the Power.” In 2011, she was named a winner of the Polar

Music Prize, which noted that “Patti Smith is a Rimbaud with amps.” In 2005, Smith had been named a Commander in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture (fittingly, this poetess loves the works of Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire and other French wordsmiths). She also has an honorary doctorate from the Pratt Institute, and a National Book Award for her memoir, “Just Kids.” Patti Smith doesn’t like labels, but she’s been called the “Godmother of Punk.” Her poetry shifted the rock paradigm into a new realm starting with her 1974 EP, “Hey Joe”/”Piss Factory.” “Piss Factory” is widely considered the first true punk song. The next year, her debut album “Horses” further manipulated voices, words and music , all done without any slick embellishment. But her artistry didn’t start or end there. In a groundbreaking course taught this semester by the Women’s Studies and English Departments, “Patti Smith: Punk, Poetry, Performance,” the class learned that her sketchings, prose and photography are also compelling facets of her body of work. Smith has also been praised as a profound oral storyteller, easily connecting with crowds despite her thick Philly truck driver’s accent (she spent six years of her life in my old neighborhood, Germantown). Whether having an intimate discussion with students in a classroom or fielding questions from an older audience before her Oct. 15 show at the Eisenhower Auditorium, Smith brilliantly connected with the crowd. Arts were not the only topic on the table when it comes to a dialogue with this performer. Devon Santoro, an anthropology/history major taking

Photo courtesy of EDWARD MAPLETHORP and The Lavin Agency. Counterculture icon, musician and activist Patti Smith played a concert at the Eisenhower Auditorium at Penn State Oct. 15. She was awarded the Penn State Institute for the Arts and Humanities Medal for Distinguished Achievement, and spoke to a class of students studying her work and life.

the Patti Smith course, was taken by Patti’s advice to take care of your teeth. “This translated to me as taking care of your body as your shell, your home. Patti is known for being a relatively sober rock star. I think she takes pride in what is sacred to her, such as her work and other

sentimental items she keeps around. Her teeth, as part of herself, are sacred as well. I love how after all her of her success and hardships, she is just as passionate as when she first started with her work,” said Santoro.

see SMITH, pg. 21

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Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

from SMITH, pg. 20

“Sonic” Smith (formerly of MC5), “Beneath the Southern Cross.” She was grateful to interact with I’ve always thought Smith was a good singer, even if not always in tune young people taking the Patti Smith class earlier that day, (especially live). and dedicated “My Sometimes she recites Blakean Year” to those poetry as the band In a groundbreaking students (the poet plays appropriately course taught this William Blake is (think Jim Morrison another major Smith and the Doors), or semester by the influence). Patti and intones with the Women’s Studies and Lenny performed guitar. While she is English Departments, “Pissing in a River” as interested in a duet, and the entire minimalizing the “Patti Smith: Punk, audience sung along music, in general her Poetry, Performance,” for her biggest hit, lyrical poetry is anything but. the class learned that “Because the Night.” “It’s not always easy Her performance her sketchings, prose to get the crowd going sampled material and photography are with an acoustic from six albums. The performance, but she show began and also compelling facets and Lenny had the ended with her call to audience captivated,” activism ”People Have of her body of work. said Sam August, an the Power.” It was an English/Philosophy student in the unaccompanied recitation to kick things off, and then we got the Patti Smith class. “Her voice sounded amazing and really resonated musical version as an encore. Long-time guitar mate Lenny Kaye throughout the room very well.” The Patti Smith story would not be joined her for the acoustic set that began with a guitar glitch from Smith complete without pointing out that and then recovered into the feel good she is an activist, “one of the shittiest, most noble jobs,” as she told the class. “Grateful.” She first got off the couch during Then she played a song written to commemorate the birth of her the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1990s, daughter, Jesse, “Wing.” Next was an contributing “Memorial Tribute elegy to her late husband, Fred (Live)” to the AIDS-Benefit Album

“No Alternative.” Smith spoke at the first protests against the Iraq War in 2002 and for several years after. She supported the Green presidential ticket in 2008 and 2012, after campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008 and John Kerry in 2004. She was also one of the first anti-war

voices against invading Syria. Smith, who has suffered many personal losses, said she wants people to keep their chin up. “Every day, some new, wonderful thing is revealed. Whether it’s a new book, friend or constellation, life is interesting.” ■

November photo credit correction VOICES Editorial Staff Last month’s issue of Voices contained an error in a photo caption. In the story “REVIEW: Billy Brag brings masterful blend of music, political activism to State Theater,” which appeared in the November

issue of Voices, the first photo of Billy Bragg was improperly credited to staff writer Tanner Cooke. The photo was actually taken by photographer Stevie Berberick. We regret the error. ■


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

WATT: PSU steam plant fails committment to sustainability By KATHERINE WATT Guest Columnist Penn State’s current approach to sustainability ignores the difference between complex problems and difficult problems. Energy conservation – sealing building envelopes and rationing electricity use – is not complex. It’s difficult. It requires money for supplies and for physical, not intellectual, labor. In the last six months, Office of Physical Plant (OPP) staffers have repeatedly announced plans to install a Combined Heat & Power (CHP) unit to expand the West Campus Steam Plant (WCSP) after the initial $56.3 million boiler replacement and gas pipeline installation.

Email exchanges with trustees, and Cooper’s They compare the CHP project to a Prius, response to a question during the September 12 characterizing CHP as public forum make clear that energy priorities are set an efficient and reliable by the Office of Physical Plant, and that the Board of mid-point between inefficient coal-fired Trustees’ only role is to authorize and fund utilities, and renewable the OPP-selected projects. energy such as solar, wind and geothermal. But a community activist with expertise of Environmental University Park building Department in air quality regulation stock), gains in efficiency Protection (DEP) hearing, along with Katherine Watt said a better analogy other vulnerabilities including are lost. would be a Prius publication of two different baseline shaped like a box, running on square Despite the announcements, the emissions data sets, use of space wheels. in “best available CHP phase is not included in Penn constraint When an efficient steam and State’s West Campus Steam Plant technology” analysis, retroactive electric plant supplies heat and power permit application, in violation of to inefficient end users (14 million state law. Community activists raised square feet of energy-porous this legal issue at the October 30

see WATT, pg. 23


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

from WATT, pg. 22

The Board of Trustees and OPP must change priorities. Diverting funds earmarked for new

revisions to 2010 and 2011 construction to instead bring the aging existing building stock up to high energy efficiency and particulates data, and violation of the State College Community Bill of safety standards is an investment that will support local construction workers and their families Rights air quality provisions. and cut emissions and fuel costs, while making Penn State far more resilient to natural gas and Similarly, Penn State officials have other fossil-fuel price volatility and supply disruptions. said the purpose of the WCSP gas conversion commitment is to “comply” with new Maximum remarked: “You can’t have it both `Dahlhausen estimates that deep must change priorities. Achievable Control Technology ways.” Diverting funds earmarked for new retrofits to campus building stock (MACT) standards. In light of these contradictions, need an investment of more than construction to instead bring the But their written filings show the community activists have been $100 million over ten years. aging existing building stock up to project is designed to avoid major thinking about the accountability, Coincidentally, hundreds of millions high energy efficiency and safety source MACT standards, motivations and of dollars are slated for new standards is an investment that will area source National good faith of construction under the five-year support local construction workers Emissions Standards for Until Penn State’s leaders OPP leaders. capital plan approved by trustees in and their families and cut emissions Hazardous Air Pollutants Some OPP September, including a $140 million and fuel costs. rules, and facility-wide figure out how difficult our representatives Chemical & Biological Engineering It will also make Penn State far New Source Review societal energy h a v e building, and a $69 million data more resilient to natural gas and (NSR, a permitting that center. predicament really is, the complained program of the Clean Air they feel The Board of Trustees and OPP physical campus is Act). u n f a i r l y After the October 30 nothing more than a large demonized and DEP meeting, Matt b e s i e g e d Dahlhausen (MS salvage yard in the because they architectural engineering making, and the don’t control student and community energy strategy, educational programming activist) spoke with the Board of Assistant Vice President is a temporary Trustees does. for Physical Plant Steve Yet email anachronism: a throwback exchanges Maruszewski, reporting: with “Steve was upfront that to more prosperous times. trustees, and they’d like to do the CHP C o o p e r ’ s project as soon as response to a possible, but are delaying it to avoid question during the September 12 triggering NSR.” public forum make clear that energy On November 6, OPP Director of priorities are set by the Office of Energy & Engineering Rob Cooper Physical Plant, and that the Board of and project consultant Jim California Trustees’ only role is to authorize and appeared before the State College fund the OPP-selected projects. Planning Commission again, To date, OPP staffers have contradicting each other. dismissed community-generated California presented information alternative energy plans (such as the about other populated CHP locations Rybacki proposal) by failing to at universities to demonstrate that the distinguish between converting the Penn State plan is not unique, and entire campus to geothermal and then Cooper said the CHP is “not a solar at current consumption levels, real project,” because “we do not have and making deep conservation funding.” To which Planning retrofits to reduce the campus-wide Commission Chairman (and load, followed by renewables Councilman-elect) Evan Myers deployment.

see WATT, pg. 24


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

from WATT, pg. 23 other fossil-fuel price volatility and supply disruptions. Until Penn State’s leaders figure out how difficult our societal energy predicament really is, the physical campus is nothing more than a large salvage yard in the making, and the educational programming is a temporary anachronism: a throwback to more prosperous times. The university must shift its priorities, and fully engage in energy master planning and alternatives analyses that account for the whole life-cycle of energy production, distribution, consumption and emissions.

In the meantime, community members must continue to educate ourselves. We must remain aware of about Penn State’s leadership predicament, measure PSU’s transparency aspirations against actual performance, and hold decisionmakers accountable through constructive criticism of institutional representatives and their public statements about energy planning. ■ Katherine Watt is a State College writer and community organizer. Katherine can be reached at More information at her website,

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Whitey Blue: Can’t pay for charter school? Put those brats to work By David Silverman VOICES Satirist I was talking the other day to Whitey Blue, longtime Centre Region area resident and hard-nose. DS: Whitey, any thoughts about the various ideas concerning the rebuilding of the State College Area High School? WB: “Yeah! You don’t need any public high schools. If people want to send their kids to such a school, let them pay for charter school.”

DS: What if some parents couldn’t afford that? WB: “Let the poor little brats go to work after 8th grade.” DS: They couldn’t earn very much with such a limited education. WB: “I think it’s time to scale back salaries of workers, so we can compete with countries that use inexpensive labor to cut prices and sell stuff here! ■


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

COSMO: Pet psychology finally pays off ASK Cosmo

By COSMO the Dog VOICES Columnist

Campus and Culture from the Canine Perspective

EDITOR’S NOTE: A local psychologist recently told Voices that she thought Cosmo “exhibits good emotional health.” We didn’t believe it for a New York minute, so we sent both Cosmo and his human off to several therapists. Between the Minnesota MultiPhasic Personality Inventory-2, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the Beck Depression Inventory, Cosmo has answered enough questions for this month—719 of them. So we’ll hold our other letters to him, and just ask the big one: Dear Cosmo, How are we feeling today? — the Heads of Voices Dear Voices In My Head,

I’m different! I’m real! I’m a separate being from my significant other! I process feelings! I have coping skills! I have credit cards! I use too many exclamation points! I need more therapy. It’s not too hard to see that mental health isn’t for everybody. I’m not allowed on the couch, except at home. But there was no gouteed, monocled guy with a thick German accent saying “Aha!” as I interpreted his collection of sexy ink blots. There were a ton of little black dots on the questionnaires, but no right or wrong answers. If filling in a bunch of little black dots equalled therapy, then the SAT’s wouldn’t send most of us to institutions! It’s all about insight. There’s no magic biscuit — no tidy explanations, nobody telling me that since Mom had only eight spickets, and I’m the

ninth pup in the litter, that I suffer from Nipple Anxiety. But if I did, I’d find an NA meeting. Forget the stigma associated with therapy — images of being dragged off kicking and screaming — most of us have outgrown displays like that when we’re told the hour’s up. There are scarier things. Some people like to watch scary movies. Some people live in scary movies; some just work there. Some people make scary movies. Some people are scary movies. Some swear there’s no such thing as a scary movie. Some lucky dogs get Disney roles. Others stick to the newsprint — at least as puppies. So here’s a glimpse into the flea soap opera I call my life. Since my human is the sick one, I don’t mind sharing the test results. Much. The Beck Depression Inventory detects and rates one’s severity of depression. I got a 3, and the human got a 9. He looked sad until he read that scores below 10 indicate that “these ups and downs are considered normal.” Then he started quacking about how he finally rated “Normal”

on something. Any port in a storm, eh? The Myers-Briggs test locates your personality “type.” Its result yields a four-letter code—I’ve let a few of those fly in my day. However, these codes describe how you focus your attention (Extraversion or Introversion); how you acquire information (by Sensing or INtuition); how you arrive at decisions (via Thinking or Feeling); and the lifestyle you adopt to deal with the outer world (Judgment or Perception). I’m an ESFP; ol’ 2-legs is an ENTP. We’re both extraverts, and we both deal with the world by pPerceiving it through either sensing or intuition (as opposed to judging it based on our thoughts or feelings). I prefer to Sense it: eyes, ears, nose, the here and now. He prefers iNtuition to grasp the essential patterns and see new possibilities— like dragging his best friend to the shrink. I make decisions based on feeling, rather than logic. I’m sympathetic, appreciative and tactful when it comes to people, even if they are bozos. My human decides his stuff based on thinking—analyzing what’s wrong

My needs include social approval, power, status and recognition. Gee, me and every other columnist on the planet...

with something or looking for an objective truth. So he thinks. Since he and I aquire information and arrive at decisions by opposite means, one might surmise it’s a match made in hell. But actually, Intuitive Types need Sensing Types, Feeling Types need Thinking Types, and vice-vice versaversa. Each helps the other to bring up facts or outline possibilities; read the fine print or keep the big picture in mind. He drives, I meditate. He annoys, I comfort. It’s nice to be needed. The MMPI is problem-oriented— designed to detect possible underlying troubles even when you sugar-coat some answers, like I did. It doesn’t let lying dogs sleep. It said my human had a better “validity scale” on the test—he’s so stupidly honest, it’s honestly stupid. It said I “possibly present myself in an improbable light, and that common human frailties are being denied.” Well, hell yes!—is it probable that a dog took these tests? One WITHOUT many human frailties? My human denies his, too, according to the test. The MMPI said I have the possibility of ignorance going for me, though. My denial might just be a genuine lack of awareness. I prefer the term “blissful.” It also said I show emotional

see COSMO, pg. 26

26 from COSMO, pg. 25 excitement characterized by large ups and downs, and that I sometimes show agitation—becoming resentful and hostile with family members when demands are not met. For cryin’ out loud! A bowl of crunchies, a fresh flush, a few cats to torment, a windshield to smudge and a garden to dig in—is that so much to expect?! I chew socks and underwear strictly for entertainment and nutrition—not retribution—so I don’t know where they get that “expresses thoughts passive/aggressively.” And the box over my eyes is to protect my anonymity when I’m out in public—it has nothing to do with paranoid mentations. Shhhh! What was that?! According to the MMPI, I don’t control my emotions enough; I may be hyperactive, grandiose and unpredictable; I may be oversensitive, rigid, may overreact to criticism, and I experience a rapid shifting between topics, with a loud voice and excessive speech. My needs include social approval, power, status and recognition. Gee, me and every other columnist on the planet... It’s also possible I “suffer” from excessive daydreaming—a good trick, since sleeping fills about 18 hours of my daily agenda. And it said I’m complaining, unambitious, perhaps opportunistic, and have difficulty in delaying gratification. Now that’s a load of Gingrich, and I

Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014 could prove it, but the explanation might make me look bad, and it’s time to eat. At least I’ve never bitten anybody— my human has. And the dentist employed the red rubber cork for the next five years until my human turned 9. His MMPI indicated he should continue to put a cork in it. It perceived him as irritable and moody, tending to under-control his emotions, to disapprove of social norms, and be predisposed to getting into trouble. Awww, those pedestrians deserve it. He’s self-indulgent (garage sale freak), verbally fluent (if you count “duh”), and like me, has difficulty delaying gratification. He allegedly has “good social technique,” (puts the seat back down) an “extraverted personal style,” (wipes nose on sleeve); is “socially uninhibited and gregarious,” (wears ugly shirts); is able to create a good first impression (an ace manipulator) and has a problem with authority figures (bites dentists). The most telling diagnosis was that he “may have some underlying insecurity present.” Gee, call Mike Wallace! What a unique revelation that is for anyone with a pulse. My human said that despite what the test said, it’s perfectly OK to rationalize—that he’d go crazy if didn’t. Let’s face it, if life were a test, we’d have been given better instructions! You’re barking up the wrong tree if you think you can tell by smell who’s

It’s no crisis to bury our old coping strategies—provided they’re dead. Most of them need to be retired. They got us through puppyhood, but now it’s time to go sit by the door and look purposeful. coping and who isn’t, or that fibbing on a few of those black dots will throw anyone off the scent. It’s no crisis to bury our old coping strategies—provided they’re dead. Most of them need to be retired. They got us through puppyhood, but now it’s time to go sit by the door and look purposeful. It sounds like a St. Patrick’s day plagiarism, but there are two kinds of people in the world: those in therapy, and those who should be. Or, those in

therapy and those who drive them there. Maybe those driving others to therapy should park the damn car, feed the meter, and sniff it out. They provide Kleenex. And on March 18, think of this poor, misguided therapy hound as you pass those little puddles of green vomit on the sidewalk, and keep telling yourself, “It’s only a movie...It’s only a movie...” ■

The MMPI said I have the possibility of ignorance going for me, though. My denial might just be a genuine lack of awareness. I prefer the term “blissful.” Sudoku puzzle by Peter Morris. Solution on pg. 27.


Dec. 2013 / Jan. 2014

Why Centre County can’t keep its young professionals By HANNAH HALLIDAY Guest Columnist By and large the State College area is a decent place for young professionals to live. The university brings in a large transient population of early to late twenty somethings, and there are a large number of graduate and professional students using Penn State to launch careers. While there is not a particular overabundance of career track professions in the area and most of this young population will move on degree completion, there is an awful lot of professional talent getting its foundations laid in State College. Unfortunately, in the community there is a divisive cultural split between the student population and the long term residents. The university is so large and central to student life that it seems to isolate the students from forming ties to the rest of the community. Penn State culture becomes conflated with State College culture, and there’s no incentive to develop a community identity beyond the constraints of “this is where Penn State is.”

I think that’s unfortunate, and it sells both the students and the locals short. Universities that can foster an atmosphere of scholarship and community engagement add immeasurably to the cities that they’re part of. We want people in their twenties engaging with their communities, because when you have a young population that feels like they’re involved with town they live in they’ll put their time, energy, and money into growing the best parts of it. Cities and universities that crack this code become the kinds of places there people want to stay in after their time as students is over. Sadly, what we see in State College right now are unengaged students who use State College and Centre County as a stepping stone. For as many livelihoods and projects as Penn State launches, it seems that an awful lot of talent is getting developed in the student body but getting directed elsewhere. There is no compelling reason in either careers or community to stay in the State College area once you exit the university. Instead of productive and creative towns, the surrounding areas have

There is no compelling reason in either careers or community to stay in the State College area once you exit the university. Instead of productive and creative towns, the surrounding areas have become bedroom communities for the university. become bedroom communities for the university. The city of Bellefonte, for example: it has attracted a large population of graduate students and professionals looking for a smaller city and cheaper housing, but nearly all of this population is commuting to State College for work. The population that would maintain a vibrant downtown in Bellefonte is spending their time and money elsewhere. And worse, even when young

professionals and students want to spend time and money in this community, the places they would be interested in supporting are either closed or don’t exist. Closing down the entire town at 9 p.m. creates the kind of place that professionals move away from, not an environment that fosters growth. ■ Hannah Halliday is a graduate student at Penn State and a 3 year resident of Bellefonte.

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Sudoku puzzle and solution by Peter Morris

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Voices of Central Pa Dec/Jan 2013/14  

Patti Smith counterculture icon at Penn State, Centre County is losing young professionals, Pa State Tree Hemlocks being protected by volunt...

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