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Affordable housing and luxur y student living:

December 2012/January 2013

COMMUNITY Affinity conducts PSU survey Page 11

Arts and Entertainment The Voluptuous Voice chats about teaching and performing


Night Kayaking Page 14


can’t we have both? Independent News Since 1993

Health care options change for students page 17

Analysis of the election PAGE 34 Thoughtful. Fearless. Free.


December 2012 / January 2013 Thoughtful. Fearless. Free. © 2012 Voices of Central Pennsylvania, Inc.

December 2012/ January 2013 BOARD OF EDITORS contact the editor in chief at Editor in Chief Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell Politics and Economics open Community and Lifestyles open Environment Allison Robertson Education Sierra Dole Arts and Entertainment Cynthia Mazzant Opinion William Saas Webmaster Andrew Timberlake-Newell

ART and DESIGN Erin Clark, Cover photos Mali Campbell, Graphics

CIRCULATION Kevin Handwerk


BOARD OF DIRECTORS acting president Elaine Meder-Wilgus secretary Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. treasurer Julia Hix board members at large Bill Eichman

Reach out to our neighbors in need The story of housing in State College and the surrounding area is really many seemingly disparate tales of struggle living side by side with lives of relative luxury. So that is precisely what Voices has tried to bring you this month. The crisis of affordable housing in the impending closure of two manufactured home communities is the neighbor of the three luxury student apartment complexes that are under construction. As of the publication of this newspaper, the residents of those two manufactured homes communities are still scrambling to secure housing or a new place for homes that can be moved. There is no new affordable housing being built here; housing costs have remained steady and high in State College so builders have no economic reason to develop low cost housing stock. This makes it difficult for everyone from those getting back on their feet to first time home buyers to get their piece of the American dream. LETTERS POLICY Voices encourages letters and opinions commenting on local issues. Letters should be a maximum of 250 words, opinion pieces 600 to 800 words. Include phone number for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and to reject those deemed beyond the limits of good taste. Due to space limitations, we cannot guarantee publication of all letters. Letters become the property of Voices of Central Pennsylvania. E-mail to ADVERTISING POLICY Write to for rate information. Voices reserves the right to refuse any advertising deemed incompatible with a socially responsible publication. Only publication signifies acceptance of an ad by Voices. Publication of an ad does not imply endorsement or recommendation by Voices of any product or service. Deadline to reserve space is the 15th of the month. Cancellation of an ad by the customer after the 15th incurs full charge. Voices accepts advertisements from all political candidates regardless of their party or viewpoint. Rates are standard for all ads. Inquiries to Voices of Central Pennsylvania Calder Square, P.O. Box 10066 State College, PA 16805 (814) 234-1699 Voices of Central Pennsylvania is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and volunteer organization. Donations and bequests will ensure the future of the free press in Centre County. Donate at or contact for details.

from the desk of editor in chief

Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell Meanwhile, student choices in housing are expanding in the State College area, with construction starting or soon to start on luxury student communities. Students do have a legitimate concern in their choice of housing stock. One student pointed out to a Voices reporter that the apartments downtown are “old and dirty,” a situation to which I can attest after spending a night canvassing part of the borough for a political campaign. As well, there are students who cannot even afford those “old and dirty” apartments. Professor Mark Brennan shared with Voices that every semester, he teaches students who are sleeping on other people’s couches, unable to afford their own housing. Permanent residents and students both need housing that is affordable and comfortable. Seeking a solution that provides this, rather than casting them as competing entities, should be the work of our community But the cover story is not just dominated by tales of woe. People who are helping out those in trouble or in need play a vital role in the article and the community. Housing Transitions, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting “families and individuals achieve a more independent lifestyle by providing a continuum of effective and well-managed services,” is providing case management to the individuals

soon to be displaced by the clo- Voices Advisory sure of manufacCouncil tured home comNick Brink munities. The Jamie Campbell State College Jane Childs Community Land John Dickison Trust, another Elizabeth Kirchner nonprofit, works Bonnie Marshall to reduce the cost Curt Marshall of home ownerMike McGough ship in the borBob Potter ough of State Bonnie K. Smeltzer College. Susan Squier H o u s i n g Maria Sweet Transitions, Inc. Kim Tait and the State Mary Watson C o l l e g e Sue Werner Community Land Greg Woodman Trust also appear Lakshman Yapa in one of this issue’s features, the annual Voices guide to nonprofits. Each and every one of these organizations listed is doing some of the most important work in central Pa; works that include sheltering our area’s homeless, fostering diversity or providing quality programming for our area’s children. Many of these organizations operate on a tiny budget, and some have seen their funding slashed as federal and state money has been redirected. As this is the season of giving, I would ask that you please remember the nonprofit organizations and consider supporting them and their work.

Top Stories in This Issue POLITICS and ECONOMICS

pages 3-10

The crisis of housing in Centre County by Voices staff.....................................................3


pages 11-13

Penn State stakeholder survey--an overview by Marilyn Jones............................ ...........11


pages 14-16

Penn State fracking reports questioned by Molly Cochran...........................................14


pages 17, 28-29

Health care options change for students byTara Richelo...................................................17


pages 30-33

Playing with passion: Amanda Siliker by Cynthia Mazzant...........................................30


pages 34-39

Analysis of the election by Mike Hill...........................................................................34


December 2012 / January 2013

Local affordable housing loses ground by Molly Cochran, James Hynes, Allison Robertson and Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell Housing in Happy Valley is not just one tale but many just beneath the surface of a pretty college town. While new neighborhoods have expanded the developed footprint of the State College area, affordable housing and student luxury housing vie for space in the increasingly metropolitan area. This brief summary of housing belies the economic truths of the region. While some can afford those big new homes, many cannot. According to the U.S. 2010 census, 51.5 percent of the residents of State College live below the poverty level, with an average income of $20,815. But the median family income statistic sited by Money Magazine is $61,057 while the median family income cited by the census for Pennsylvanians is $50,398. Yet the housing market prices don’t seem to follow the median family income. The median value of a house in State College, according to the 2010 U.S. census, was $237,900 between the years 2006-2010, while the average house value across the state from those same years was only $159,300, despite that there is only about a 10k difference in family incomes. Some of the most affordable housing in the State College area has been the manufactured homes communities. But as of next year, two of them are set to close, one of which sits on land that might be converted to student luxury rental properties. But where will they go? On July 30, 1752 North Atherton Street Associates purchased the Penn State Mobile Home Park and promptly announced that the residents have until July 2013 to leave the site. The group has offered assistance in the form of a relocation coordinator, but

“I don’t know why they’d never offer compensation here. That’s the one thing I don’t understand.” Stacy Shuey, Penn State Mobile Homes resident no financial assistance or any other kind of aid. Development & Community Relations Coordinator Susanna Paul of Housing Transitions, Inc., a nonprofit organization that offers a variety of housing services in Centre County, said she was appreciative of that year’s notice and assistance for the residents. Some residents, however, say the aid is a small consolation. Stacy Shuey has been living in Penn State Mobile Home Park for three years in December. Before she moved here, she had an apartment, but moved to the park in order to save the pets her landlord didn’t permit and to build up credit for a first-time buyers’ loan to get a house. Once the park announced its closure, Shuey tried to get a new place, but the lease fell through and she lost the security deposit. She is not only worried about herself, but her pets as well. All the shelters are full with waiting lists, Shuey said. “This has been a nightmare, an absolute nightmare,” she said. Shuey and her husband have had huge financial difficulties, she said. They had to refinance a year ago and are now locked into a five year loan. In order to earn some extra money, Shuey tried to find a renter for her home, but instead she took in her stepfather after he was forced to leave his

apartment because of a forged signature on the lease. Shuey is on social security, her husband works at Walmart and her stepfather works at the McDonald’s downtown. Their hours fluctuate, as does the cash flow, Shuey said. Shuey and her family are aiming for January move out, but really worry about the competition from students. They are not prepared for winter, Shuey said, because planned to move in the fall. If Shuey finds somewhere else to live, having to pay rent and electric for a new place after winterizing her trailer is going to be really hard. She said she doesn’t think she can do it. “We don’t know where to turn,” she said, adding that the owners of the park have not offered any compensation or very much help. “I don’t know why they’d never offer compensation here,” Shuey said, especially with how many families and seniors live in the park. “That’s the one thing I don’t understand.” The park did offer assistance, Shuey said, to help with housing transitions and the elderly finding senior living, but nothing for financial assistance. The only help Shuey has received was from the head of her daughter’s preschool, whose prayer group offered financial help for security deposit on the apartment that fell through. Shuey said she finds it odd that everyone is talking about this problem, but no one is doing anything to help raise funds for those in need, even though the parks’ closure has been mentioned in papers. She said she would even appreciate suggestions on where to go and affordable housing options in the area. “I’m pulling my hair out,” she said, after doing online search after online search and receiving no responses from calls and emails to realtors. The only feasible options Shuey has found are in Erie, Pa., which is far away

Photo by Erin Clark

Stacy Shuey outside her home at the Penn State Mobile Home Trailer Park. She and her family must leave their home by July 2013.

from the jobs her husband and stepdad have and the rest of her family in State College. “Trying to stay in the State College area is really hard,” said Shuey. Shuey grew up in Hilltop Mobile Home Park. Her grandmother, who recently died, used to live there until she was put in a nursing home. “I’m glad that she never had to see what happened,” Shuey said. Luckily, Shuey was able to sell the other trailer last year. But she’s tied to both places. With everyone leaving, Shuey said, “It’s really eerie around here now. It’s getting really sad.” Residents of Penn State Mobile Homes have thus far had little support from the greater State College community. That is, until local residents


Housing, pg. 4


December 2012 / January 2013


Housing, pg. 3

Carolyn Turgeon and Jill Gleason wrote a letter to the Centre Daily Times describing the plight of their friend Barbara Burris and asking others to rally to the assistance of “some of the most vulnerable among us” [See Turgeon and Gleason’s letter on page 34]. Turgeon herself said that if it were not for that the closure of Penn State mobile homes affects her friend, she would not

“State College is getting what they want. Next they’ll be telling you what color to paint your house.” Don “Tubby” Chamberlin, Hilltop Mobile Home Park resident

have known about it. But she also noted that this is not happening in some distant community, but close to home. “But this isn’t just anywhere, it’s here,” said Turgeon. “And it’s people here that are doing it. Specific people that are here, making this deal [referring to the fact that the owners of 1752 North

Atherton Associates are locals]. [They are] Valuing profit over people’s lives.” Turgeon is still concerned that few residents will rise to the occasion to help the soon-to-be displaced because of their perceptions of the manufactured home parks. “I have heard people refer to the trailer park on Atherton, calling it an eyesore,” said Turgeon. Across town, the residents of Hilltop mobile home park were told via letter in September that they must vacate the site by February 23, a mere five and a half months. Some have been fortunate and found housing or a means of moving their homes, but others struggle to find a place to live. On a chilly Sunday in November, Don “Tubby” and Charlotte Chamberlin work on fixing the porch of their mobile home to ready it for sale. “State College is getting want they want,” Tubby said. “Next they’ll be telling you what color to paint your house.” Unfortunately, this will be the second time they have to move. Tubby and Charlotte bought their first mobile home in Woodsdale after they were married in 1972. Twenty years later, when the land was sold, the Chamberlins came to Hilltop Mobile Home Park. In State College, Tubby has worked renting out heavy equipment for Hanson’s for 43 years. This year he will be forced into retirement.

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Photo by Erin Clark Don “Tubby” and Charlotte Chamberlin stand outside their home in Hilltop Mobile Home Park in State College. The Chamberlins are moving to Seven Mountains Campground in February.

Charlotte used to work at the Pattee Library in mail receiving, but she retired 12 years ago after working there for 31 years. Over the years, since the two had no children, they’ve let students live with them in their home for no cost and commute to campus, said Tubby. They understand that living in State College isn’t cheap, Tubby continued. Luckily, though, unlike some residents, Tubby and Charlotte have a place to go. The couple bought two acres of land in Seven Mountains Campground

and will be moving there in February. Even though they have a place to go, the couple don’t want to leave their home, they said. “We’re moving a little sooner than we want to,” Tubby said. Other than fixing the porch, the couple has to get a new septic tank before they can move. Juliet Clouser, another resident of Hilltop, has not been so lucky as to find


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Housing, pg. 4

another home. Compounding the frustration for Clouser is that she just recently moved to Hilltop. Clouser worked in real-estate until she developed a herniated disc and then after a surgery, had to have part of her leg amputated. Once she was able to work again, Clouser could only find a job that paid lower than her old job, she said. At the end of June, Clouser and her family couldn’t afford to live in her home anymore, so she put her house in Port Matilda on the market to move to Hilltop. She said she planned to stay here so she and her husband could pay off her medical bills and save up a little money. When she first moved in, she told the park owner of her troubles, Clouser said. But, she discovered later, while she was in the process of buying a trailer in the park, the park owner was negotiating a sale price for the park. Though Clouser said she asked the park owner for help, she “got nothing from them.” Clouser plans to live with her oldest

daughter and son-in-law, but that’s only if the purchase of their home is finalized. Clouser said she won’t know that until mid-November, and until then, things are up in the air. “I don’t know what to do,” said Clouser. Joyce Shuey has lived in Hilltop Mobile Home Park for ten years with her husband. She moved into the park because when she got a job at Penn State, commuting from the park was easier for her. Shuey said she didn’t plan to retire just yet, but the closure of the park has pushed her into retirement. “It’s not easy working and trying to move, and being forced to find a place real fast,” Shuey said. “It was just like, ‘Find it now, you don’t have a choice.’ It’s stressful.” Shuey will be leaving at the end of the month, moving to Ridge Crest Community, on the other side of Howard. “I was thinking I’d get lucky and this one will stay,” said Shuey. Shuey is one of the few members of the community that are left in the park. “You get to know the neighbors, and they all left. It’s like starting over

Photo by Erin Clark

Juliet Clouser, a resident of Hilltop Trailer Park, sitting on her porch. Clouser just moved into the park in June, just as the park’s owner was negotiating its sale.

“I’m upset that they’ve said they need to work on the problem with not having enough places for affordable housing, and this is the time do to that. They could say no to the rezone.” Anonymous resident of Hilltop Mobile Home Park again,” she said. When Shuey described the atmosphere of the park, she said, “They’re not angry, they’re afraid.”

Many residents don’t know where to go, or they have little options with paychecks too low to afford the expensive apartments in the area, Shuey added. The residents of Hilltop have begun to organize. They now have a Facebook page called “Save Hilltop” and an anonymous resident of Hilltop told Voices that she has been communicating with Resident Owned Communities USA (ROC USA). ROC USA helps manufactured homes communities form resident corporations and then purchase the community site. The resident then noted that making Hilltop Mobile Home Park a community-owned site may be the only easy option for residents with poor credit or


Housing, pg. 8


December 2012 / January 2013

We Wuz Robbed: The LAguide to sore losing by Steve Deutsch Steve Deutsch is a regular satire columnist for Voices. Imagine this: it is 1950, you are in the Bronx, New York City, watching a Little League Baseball game. A fourteen-yearold Donald Trump tries to make it home from second base on a single to right. As he lumbers to third base, the ball is fielded cleanly by a youthful Mike Bloomberg. Mike gets off a good throw. The Donald slides. “Yer out,” yells the ump. And the evidence suggests that The Donald is out—-he was clearly tagged two feet from the plate. The other team knows he’s out. His team knows he’s out. The group of friends and relative watching the game in the twilight September cold know he is out. Yet The Donald knows he is safe. He goes on to claim that home plate, “which is more than likely,” he screams, “imported from Taiwan,” is not regulation size and color. It is clearly much too small and much too hard to see. No matter who tries to calm him down, he won’t stop ranting about home plate. Sadly, no one smacks him. In 1950, Donald earns the title of “sore loser.” His teammates shun him. His friends and relatives are embarrassed for him. Fast forward to 2012, where The Donald, faced with a copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, still claims the president was not born in the USA. Shunned? Of course. People know a complete turkey when they see one. But, The Donald is the exception that proves the rule. In fact, even for Trump, many might still say about his refusal to give up in the face of evidence, “at least he has the courage of his convictions.” And, for more and more of us “having the courage of one’s convictions” trumps

the question of whether or not those convictions are factually accurate. As a result, the term “sore loser” has lost its meaning. A recent survey showed that an astonishing 97.5 percent of Americans feel that the fact they lost in any endeavor could only mean that the deck was stacked against them. And although mathematically impossible, the figures are some 30 percent higher for those who regularly watch Fox News. We at Stevieslaw feel that pinpointing a villain to explain your every mishap is essential to the high- self-esteem growth industry in the United States. Moreover, if you are to be a sore loser, you may as well be the best sore loser ever. To help you on your way, we are pleased to publish: “We Wuz Robbed: the Less-intelligent-than-average American Guide to The Fine Art of Sore Losing. In the guide, you will learn to: Tune your skill, through intensive drills, at instantly deflecting the reasons for your worst defeats onto some other person or group. Precertify your excuses by sprinkling your conversation with all the really bad things that might have happened to you—consider, “I bet your friends never tied you to a tree in January—in a region known for bear attacks.” Make your name synonymous with “had a really tough life.” Use the handy chart—organized by both alphabet and category—of millions of potential villains so you can instantly identify the chief villain, animate or inanimate, of your story. Learn to have the courage of your conviction. Remember you have never had a level playing field. Consider these thrilling, real world examples—I would have easily won that: Tennis Game: if only I could afford the kind of equipment my opponent bought with the limitless money from his trust fund. Chess Game: if only that five-year-old

Photo courtesy of Steve Deutsch

Steve Deutsch in his native habitat of New York City.

who clobbered me were a bit older— small children, as we all know, have no fear Job: if only my competition didn’t get a leg up by being an “affirmative action” minority, or an elite prep-schooler, or the boss’s favorite cousin. Or for that matter, all three of the above. Great wealth: if only my parents, sib-

lings, spouse and friends had invested in my recipe for belly cream—the next great weight loss phenomenon. Poker game: if only an inside straight draw were better than 8.5 percent. Bridge game: if only my opponents weren’t all named for Charley Goren Election: if only the voting machines weren’t serviced by “you know who.” Or for some, if only women had more of a sense of humor about rape. The guide will once again have an interactive feature that will allow you to learn from the experts. Go, one on one, with some notoriously sore losers: Karl Rove of “we carried Ohio,” Bill O’Reilly of “Americans are failing to become old, white and protestant in sufficient numbers” and The Donald himself of “I say you want a revolution,” to name just a few. Also you will get the inside scoop on how they find the villains at Fox News. Better get your guide as soon as it comes out. It’s certainly not my fault if they run out. *Attributed to Joe Jacobs, manager of Max Schmeling who was robbed of the heavyweight title in 1932. **You can’t blame us if the guide is not in the stores on time, what with the storm, the potential typesetters strike and my dog’s bout with intestinal flu.

State College Peace Center ΗĂĐŚƟŵĞĂŵĂŶƐƚĂŶĚƐƵƉĨŽƌĂŶŝĚĞĂů͕ŽƌĂĐƚƐƚŽŝŵƉƌŽǀĞ ƚŚĞůŽƚŽĨŽƚŚĞƌƐ͕ŽƌƐƚƌŝŬĞƐŽƵƚĂŐĂŝŶƐƚŝŶũƵƐƟĐĞ͕ ŚĞƐĞŶĚƐĨŽƌƚŚĂƟŶLJƌŝƉƉůĞŽĨŚŽƉĞ͕ ĂŶĚƚŚŽƐĞƌŝƉƉůĞƐďƵŝůĚĂĐƵƌƌĞŶƚǁŚŝĐŚĐĂŶƐǁĞĞƉĚŽǁŶ ƚŚĞŵŝŐŚƟĞƐƚǁĂůůƐŽĨŽƉƉƌĞƐƐŝŽŶĂŶĚƌĞƐŝƐƚĂŶĐĞ͘Η - Senator Robert F. Kennedy Members of the State College Peace Center wish to thank Peter Shaw who has long been "a ripple of hope" in Centre County ĂƐŚĞũŽŝŶƐǁŝƚŚsĞƚĞƌĂŶƐĨŽƌWĞĂĐĞĂŶĚŽƚŚĞƌŶĂƟŽŶĂůŵŽǀĞŵĞŶƚƐ ƚŽƉƌŽǀŝĚĞĂůŽĐĂůĐƵƌƌĞŶƚĨŽƌƉĞĂĐĞĂŶĚƐŽĐŝĂůũƵƐƟĐĞ͘ Thank you Peter!


December 2012 / January 2013

Take a left: “Unoccupied” and the media by Ronald V. Bettig The news media coverage of the Occupy movement undermines the “myth of the liberal media.” If the media were “liberal,” one would expect press coverage of the movement to be supportive of Occupy Wall Street and the subsequent Occupations occurring nationwide. Instead the coverage was distorted, biased and largely ideologically opposed to one of the most important mass movements in recent times. Indeed, the combination of anti-occupy media coverage and police force worked together to attempt to squash the movement and its message from the beginning. A review of stories and photos on Occupy in the Centre Daily Times over

one year confirms this claim. The CDT is owned by McClatchy, a newspaper chain that includes 30 daily newspapers in 15 states with an average weekday circulation of 2.2 million and Sunday circulation of 2.8 million. It is the third largest newspaper chain in the U.S. The CDT’s coverage of national news is primarily provided by the Associated Press, syndicated McClatchy reports and other wire services. Its reporting of national affairs is therefore typical of what most newspapers produce and most readers read across the U.S.. On September 17, 2011, 5,000 demonstrators descended on Lower Manhattan’s financial district in response to a call by Adbusters, a Canadian anti-consumerist magazine, issued in August.

The purpose was to protest bank bailouts, corporate greed and economic inequality. The first CDT article on October 22 from the Associated Press set the tone for subsequent coverage that this movement would not become the love-fest such as the one between the media and the Tea Party. The lead sentence was dismissive of the protestors while at the same time alarmist: “In a small granite plaza and block from the New York Stock Exchange, a small group of 20 somethings in flannel pajamas and tie-dyed T-shirts are plotting the demise of Wall Street as we know it.” The reporter described the “headquarters” of the “Occupy Wall Street” as “a place where topless women stood…on the corner shouting ‘I can’t afford a shirt’ while construction workers eagerly snapped photos on their phones.” Next came the theme that dominated all subsequent stories regarding the movement: “What exactly they are protesting is somewhat unclear.” If the media were liberal what the movement stood for would have been utterly clear. But article after article repeated this theme as journalists found it difficult define OWS in any traditional sense. Somehow, a protest focused on economic inequality and greed was too complex to understand. At the same time almost all the coverage provided comfort to readers by emphasizing the role of the police in maintaining social order. They would not allow the “demise of Wall Street as we know it.” The fact that the Occupy movement deliberately refused to anoint leadership or release an agenda frustrated journalists. An AP story on the front page of the CDT (10/16/11) was headlined, “Protesters Push Ahead Even without Leaders.” The lead read, “They were out to change the world, overthrow the establishment and liberate the poor. But first somebody had to do something about those bongo drums.” Efforts by the protestors to put a time limit on the drumming failed as “drummers failed to obey” the rule precisely due

to the lack of leadership. The article acknowledged that the movement had gone national yet derided it as “stubbornly decentralized.” Occupiers deliberately adopted this strategy as historically the media have anointed leaders of social movements, divided its participants, and undermined the causes. The press became more desperate to find angles with which to denigrate the movement. Reporters focused on sanitation issues, safety, illegal camping on public and private property, drug use and so on. Additional AP reports in the CDT declared that the movement’s openness had attracted former criminals, homeless people, “hangers-on” and demonstrators representing a wide range of social issues. Ironically, one AP article scolded the movement that the broad range of causes within the Occupy tent threatened “to alter the message” against inequality and corporate greed (CDT, 12/10/11, A9). The movement’s adoption of the slogan “We are the 99 Percent” turned out to be unsettling for reporters who were suddenly forced to confront the myth of classlessness. They accused the occupiers of engaging in “class warfare” while ignoring the class warfare by the ruling capitalist class on the working class. The CDT’s headline for an AP report on the one year anniversary of OWS declared, “1 Year on, Occupy protest in disarray.” The story read, “The movement is now but a shadow of its mighty infancy.” Instead of writing “when the police broke up encampments” as the primary reason for its disappearance, the reporter ignores any use of force with the words “as the encampments were broken up.” The day after, when there were Occupy anniversary rallies in more than 30 cities around the world, the CDT ran color AP photo on page A2 of an OWS protestor in New York, surrounded by police, screaming on his stomach as he is being forcefully handcuffed. But there was no story on the rallies themselves.

8 from

December 2012 / January 2013

Housing, pg. 5

who live on fixed incomes. “I’m upset that they’ve said they need to work on the problem with not having enough places for affordable housing, and this is the time to do that,” said the resident. “They [College Township officials] could say no to the rezone.” College Township Council meets December 6, and will take up the matter of rezoning Hilltop Mobile Home Park on that date. If Hilltop is rezoned, then residents say that Trinitas Ventures, which has a contract with the mobile home park owners, will complete the purchase of the land. The owners of Hilltop refused to comment or verify, as did Trinitas. Trinitas specializes in what it calls “high quality commercial real estate” of student housing and mixed-use communities. The student housing that Trinitas has built, which includes The Collegiate Kentucky and The Village at Muller Park, could be called luxury student housing communities. Luxury and couch-surfing Luxury housing will be an option for students during the fall 2013-spring 2014 school year. Luxury housing will consist of The Retreat, The Heights and The Villas. The Retreat, owned by Landmark Properties of Athens, Ga, is being built on twenty-two acres of open space between Whitehall Road in College Township and Waupelani Drive overlooking the Westerly Parkway shopping center in the Borough of State College. Ninety-five of the 129 units will be in College Township. A small strip, including the main entrance on Waupelani, will be in the borough. The complex uses a cottage-style plan with separate, single-floor units, each of which will house four to five undergraduate students. The Retreat at State College’s website promises “the very best amenities in the nation,” with a gym, swimming pool, community side-

“I am very concerned about potential declines. The issue will be the extent of the lifestyle conflicts arising from the Retreat and how State College Borough, College Township, the property managers and their neighbors handle such conflicts.” Donald Hahn, State College Borough council president walks and private on-premise policing. Since it straddles two municipalities, plans for the developments must conform to two sets of zoning codes. The lot in College Township was zoned for R-1 residential (multifamily housing), and the Retreat is technically considered a multifamily development. However, Landmark secured a Planned Residential Development (PRD) exemption which permits it a higher dwelling density than the R-1 standard. According to staff at The Retreat office, many renters have already signed leases for fall 2013. Courtney Wilson, leasing and marketing manager for The Retreat, said it will attract students who have been living in downtown apartments. Wilson added she thinks that it will be a hit with Penn State students because of all the amenities. “We feel everyone loves our cottage concept with our over-the top-amenities, free parking, unlimited green space, short commute to campus and luxurious Retreat lifestyle,” said Wilson. But a luxury student housing community is not without drawbacks for the surrounding borough and township. Some residents fear property values for the surrounding homes will decline due

Photo by Erin Clark

The Retreat worksite is currently under constructiion, but already many of the cottages that will occupy this site are leased for fall 2013.

to the proximity of student housing. According to State College Borough Council President Donald Hahn, while the property taxes may be assessed slightly higher on the apartments than on single family homes, “the attractiveness of non-student homes for the borough tax base rests in the earned income tax potential.” As well, he cited lifestyle conflicts between undergraduate students and

permanent residents as a source of tension and possible property value decline. “I am very concerned about potential [property value] declines,” said Hahn. “The issue will be the extent of the lifestyle conflicts arising from the Retreat and how State College Borough,


Housing, pg. 9


December 2012 / January 2013 from

Housing, pg. 8

College Township, the property managers and their neighbors handle such conflicts. “Both sets of lifestyles [students and residents] have validity. However, when they are placed into close proximity with each other, they tend to conflict.” But Hahn also noted that The Retreat’s intended rental population of undergraduates does not even take into account the portion of the student population that most needs it, the graduate students, or any other local population in need of more access to housing. “Previous to the development, the area was utilized as open space with some informal recreational use,” said Hahn. “That was preferable to the proposed use.

“One of the great things about The Retreat is that it is truly a community.” Courtney Wilson, The Retreat leasing and marketing manager However, I understand that the owner preferred something more profitable. Nevertheless, a better use of this space may have been as graduate-student, workforce, or affordable senior housing, which already appears to be successful in the Waupelani Drive area.” According to staff at The Retreat, the integration of residential homes and the

new luxury communities isn’t a concern. “One of the great things about The Retreat is that it is truly a community,” said Wilson. The Heights is another new luxury community that is under construction on Blue Course Drive. All four bedroom units have already sold out for the 20132014 school year. The Heights will be very similar to The Retreat in that it features many amenities with rent. Emily Reinhart, a junior majoring in energy business finance, is moving to The Heights in fall 2013. “For senior year I wanted to live somewhere quieter,” said Reinhart. “Living with my own bedroom room and bathroom and in a house setting would be a good transition between apartment living and living on my own after graduation.” Although she is excited about moving

“Students are ready to get out of dorm living, old and dirty places. And the students that move out there will be ready to keep it nice.” Emily Reinhart, Junior-energy business finance off-campus into a more “real world,” type atmosphere, Reinhart still has some concerns. She said she is a little nervous about how easily she will get downtown for the night life. The integration of students and permanent residents is what The Heights hopes to accomplish. Students would live in their very own community with amenities such as a pool, back patios, club house, gym and spa, and at the same time, be nearby to residential neighborhoods. Although this all sounds promising will this really help integrate the community with the students? Reinhart thinks it could but probably not.

“I think that there will still be separation between students and people that live here full time,” she said. According to some students, what attracted them to The Heights is a chance to live relatively close to campus, but with the feeling of living in their own community. The many amenities, newer furniture and buildings, and guaranteed own rooms appears to have sold to students who are unhappy with the current off-campus living space stock. Reinhart said she thinks students are ready for this. “Students are ready to get out of dorm living, old and dirty places,” said Reinhart. “And the students that move out there will be ready to keep it nice.” Despite that some students are ready to move out of those aging apartment buildings and dorms, many college students cannot afford these luxury apartments. Some cannot even afford a place to live. “The one thing people are always raising is that students are living it up in these apartments downtown,” said Dr. Mark Brennan, Penn State associate professor of leadership and community development. “I’ve had many students over the years that were homeless. They lived on other people’s couches, bouncing around. They are a really important part of this discussion.” Brennan emphasized that the housing troubles of the borough cannot be easily reduced to a competition between students and residents. He noted that while some have said “the rich students took all the places to live,” the student population is not a uniformly wealthy group. Instead, it is a macrocosm of society, and there are many students who work full time jobs and still struggle to make ends meet. Fast forward: what will become of State College? The loss of these two manufactured homes communities is not a new occurrence in State College, but part of a trend. In the previous decade, other manufac-


Housing, pg. 10

10 from

December 2012 / January 2013

Housing, pg. 9

tured home communities have downsized or been closed, contributing to the dwindling of affordable housing stock within the borough and its surrounding townships. Some residents fear that they will be priced out of their own hometown. Carolyn Turgeon, who moved to State College with her family as a teen, said she cannot afford to live in State College, and will most likely live in Philipsburg when she chooses to purchase or rent her own home. “Barb will be living in Bellefonte or Centre Hall, which is too bad because she was born and raised here,” said Turgeon about her friend Barb Burris. “Natives

“It just keeps going, and all the sudden it is just an ultraexclusive place with zero diversity.” Mark Brennan, professor of leadership and community development

Bellefonte, Pine Grove Mills and Port Matilda. This conversion of State College from a town into an increasingly metropolitan area is indicative of suburban sprawl, he said. “I wonder if there is a limit to how far it can be built out,” Brennan pondered. “[Suburban sprawl] Increases commute times. All the things we like would disappear.” As the overall cost of housing rises with market value, he noted, the character of the area changes. In the case of State

College, that surging affluence could be at the cost of community strengths. “It just keeps going, and all the sudden it is just an ultra-exclusive place with zero diversity,” said Brennan. “We can very quickly lose a lot of the character and culture and the things that are good about this place.” For more on this story, please visit Full texts of three of the pieces that make up this story will be made available.

being priced out of their own homes is a shame. “ Prof. Brennan said he knows people who grew up in State College but do not live there because of the cost of living. Brennan also noted the higher level of house construction activity towards

Photo by Erin Clark

The home of Juliet Clouser in Hilltop Mobile Home Park. If College Township supervisors allow this property to be rezoned, Clouser’s home will be demolished in February.


December 2012 / January 2013

Affinity conducts PSU stakeholder survey by Marilyn S. Jones “Penn State is a classic case of disintegration played out in front of the whole world,” said Greg Woodman, CEO of Affinity Connection of State College. Concerned and seeking to address the situation, he and his colleagues decided to use their expertise “to shed light” on the problem, and to help make things better. Affinity Connection, a local business that helps organizations, mostly nonprofits, to “build community amongst their membership” and to “grow, raise money, and get healthier as an organization,” uses a process of identification, questioning and clarification to help clients improve their situation when they “know something is wrong and not working.” Woodman’s business begins by doing a “stakeholder audit.” Meaning they ask

clients to identify those people who have an interest in the organization. They seek to elicit “their core values,” and to “define the reason the organization exists and who they serve.” These responses are then compiled into a report that summarizes the data and reveals the responses. The goal is for the client to move forward with one voice, so they can “tap into their membership base for donations, to support their case for [financial] support.” This, then, enables the client to function in an integrated way to reach their objectives and to raise funds. The staff of Affinity Connection saw this very problem in their midst: the lack of integration among the stakeholders of the Penn State community. They wanted to “hold a mirror up” to the stakeholders, to identify the “core values” of Penn State, its alumni and the community.

Woodman said that with what has transpired (the Sandusky case and all its repercussions), he felt that “people were trying to put a Band-Aid on someone needing reconstructive surgery.” So he decided, “That we would practice our craft and have stakeholder groups answer a series of questions to identify the gaps and [then would] file a report.” The group devised a series of questions, placed them on their website and asked the public to respond. Over 1,250 people from a variety of interests, locations and age groups responded to the 16 openended questions. Many of the answers are anecdotal in nature, but Woodman and his group were able to distinguish a lot of themes and similarities. One of the interesting results was that the strengths and weaknesses of the Penn State community were identified as being

the same: pride and loyalty. In the report it was stated: “A common theme across the stakeholder groups is the unusual level of unity, community and family among Penn Staters. They see this crisis as strengthening and bringing the Penn State community even closer than ever. The result will be an even better Penn State for the future. This is not because of any initiatives of upper leadership, but rather a more grass roots effort of the many. One student’s poignant response says it well, ‘A lesser community would have imploded on itself and gone down like a house of cards. I thought I knew what a community was until I came to Penn State...’ “A large number of respondents


Survey, pg. 13

Gruhn teaches respect and martial arts by Allison Robertson A class of about twenty kids sat on a red mat in the Central Pennsylvania Mixed Martial Arts, or CPMMA, gym. A blond boy, about eight years old, grinned as he stood in front of the class. Ryan Gruhn, his instructor, taughtwas teaching him how to tie his belt. “This is the only time anyone else will ever tie your belt for you,” Gruhn said sternly as he tied the belt around the boy’s waist. This rule, Gruhn said, will teach a child independence. He said he believes that kids need to do things on their own. Teaching kids independence is a big benefit for the youth, and even the older classes at CPMMA, Gruhn said. “It’s not about the belt being perfect,” Gruhn said. “It’s about the kid being able to tie his own belt.” Gruhn, who was born and raised in State College, was always connected to martial

arts because his father was a “prominent figure in the State College martial arts scene,” Gruhn said. Inspired by his father’s participation, Gruhn began studying martial arts at 12, but more consistently when he was 16, Gruhn said. CPAMMA, was refounded in 2009 with Gruhn as the head instructor and owner, he said. The group had been in the area since the early 90s. When given the opportunity, Gruhn was very excited to teach, he said. He was inspired by one of his instructors to continue teaching. “Before my instructor’s passing he said something very moving to me; ‘Ryan, do everything I have done and more,’” Gruhn wrote in an email. “I’d like to think that he would be proud of what Central PA Mixed Martial Arts has become.” The main classes Gruhn teaches are youth classes, the 3- to 5-year-old “Mighty Mights” and the 5- to 12-year-old youth martial arts class. Gruhn also teaches Thai

boxing, boxing, jiu-jitsu, reality based MMA and women’s kickboxing. Gruhn has invented his own style of teaching martial arts to children and calls his method “Youth Martial Arts.” This method gives kids a taste of all kinds of martial arts, Gruhn said, so then after kids earn that black belt, he or she can narrow down what form of martial arts they want to practice. These youth classes start with continuous movement as a warm-up. Then Gruhn talks about merit movements, which involve qualities like respect, discipline, focus. Gruhn said he believes these qualities are the most important for children to learn. “I am always calling them by ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’ along with their name and demonstrating respect and discipline,” wrote Gruhn in an email. To help reinforce the qualities Gruhn teaches at the gym, the kids work at home with their parents on merit badges to get the parents involved in the teaching process.

“I’ve had people come up to me out of nowhere and say “Some little boy with a Youth Martial Arts uniform held the door open for me at the grocery store this evening!”’ Gruhn wrote in an email. Gruhn described seeing a little kid at the grocery store saying “yes, sir,” or “no, sir.” “That brings a smile to my face knowing that they’re learning respect and discipline and focus,” Gruhn said. After the merit movements, Gruhn teaches mat movements for jiu-jitsu and then the punches and kicks of boxing and Thai boxing. For the youngest kids, Gruhn builds an obstacle course or uses parachutes with them. After the merit movements, Gruhn teaches mat movements for jiu-jitsu and then the punches and kicks of boxing and Thai boxing.


Gruhn, pg. 13


December 2012 / January 2013

Healthtalk: Worry is a waste by Matthew Hertert, D.C. Over my years in practice, I have noted that two emotional-mental processes in particular stand out as unpleasant, unhealthy and consuming. Each can take over our mind and day, and we waste time and energy without any gain. I’m talking of course about guilt and worry, which are common and even taught in some familial, ethnic and religious cultures. Both create negative biochemical cascades that make us literally, physically ill and take over our mental and emotional resources. They do this without accomplishing anything. Some people feel like these can function as powerful motivators, however we rarely use them this way. There are positive, effective, healthy motivators that fuel our progress without draining our energy, resources and health. I am encountering more worry recently than I normally do, and there are a few main themes I hear people sharing about. The economy, the elections, and the predictions about December 2012 are all coming up a lot in conversation. At least two of these are situations important to most of us, things that we really see as impactful on our daily lives to a degree that we feel there’s something important at stake. As for the third, worry about an impending apocalypse, a little perspective might be nice. The first thing worth noting is that there have been predictions about the end of the world in dozens of cultures going back about as far as we have recorded history. They have become more common and elaborate over time, but that must be taken in the context of the dramatic increase in the percentage of the population that can read, write and make public their concerns. With regards to the Mayan predictions, it is important to note that the idea of cataclysm and Armageddon are Western notions that the Mayans did not hold, and their predictions more likely referenced a rebirthing or mass transformation of our world or of human consciousness.

The elections were a source of strong passion and deep concern, not just about whether “my candidate” would win, but also about the direction of our nation, which includes the strong division in our nation’s concerns. Politics relate to our two deepest triggers: our values and our survival (in terms of jobs and economy). In recent elections the stakes seem higher as the world changes dramatically around us and we all grasp for a sense of where we are headed and what might come next. It is challenging for us to look at the world and not recognize it or not understand what people are doing. The economy is a reasonable thing to be thoughtful about and attentive to, and while it may not help your wallet, it can help your peace of mind to realize that the history of economic depressions in the U.S. started in 1797, and there were events classified as downturns on average every 7.8 years since then. This is a new era in our history, having come out of a period of dramatic consumerism where many of us became used to the idea that prosperity was a given. The fact remains that our country has always recovered and there are already signs that we are getting stronger. In the end, these situations all upset one thing inside us, our sense of control. We are deeply wired to seek control, to strive for it in every circumstance and relationship. In the end control is largely an illusion, one that has been pointed out via all sorts of now-trite expressions like, “If you think you’re in control, go stop that ocean wave,” or, “When you make plans God laughs.” Despite our ability to stop, think and acknowledge that we really don’t have control over anything except our reaction to events, in any given moment it is not our first instinct to recognize this – it is our first instinct to scramble for a sense of control. This is where worry comes in. Worry is often our brain’s attempt to reconcile “cognitive dissonance,” a term which describes trying to hold two contradictory ideas at once. In this case the conflicting patterns are first the desire for a sense of safety,

manufactured by the illusion of control, and second the understanding that we are, in fact, powerless. Michael Beckwith said, “Worry is like paying interest on money you haven’t borrowed yet, and it pays no dividends except more worry.” It is a habit, and a negative one that distracts, drains and divides you against yourself. You spend time fighting a deep evolutionary instinct with a rational mind and end up satisfying neither – in fact you train yourself to stop thinking rationally. It can be hard to simply stop worrying. Especially if you’re like most people, having engaged in the pattern for years, this would be like asking yourself to stop drinking coffee in the morning after a decade of doing so and to be more rested and clear once you stopped. It just wouldn’t be easy. The reality is, however, that most of us who worry don’t need medication and we don’t need a coach. While there are those who have legitimate chemical imbalances, most of us suffer from a lousy habit. The question becomes whether you want to be effective, whether you want to spin your wheels, whether you want peace of mind. You have the chance to make an evolutionary choice: to call yourself forward in a mastery mindset and place your attention on the here and now, this moment, and what you can do in it to facilitate the outcomes you want. If you’re worrying – i.e.

in the future–you can’t do that. Whenever you catch yourself worrying about the future, and you probably will, simply acknowledge it and bring your attention to the present. Don’t further waste your energy by getting frustrated that you were worrying again, just come present. There were times in my life when I felt like I had to catch myself like this every thirty seconds, and it may really have been that often. Those, however, are the boot camp periods where you’re really being asked to master the process. As you move through the holidays, with people coming to visit and gifts to get and schedules to coordinate, practice this with yourself. Also realize that if you can’t control whether Uncle Bob makes bad jokes at Christmas dinner (and you know you can’t), then the fate of the economy, the country and the planet are probably a bit out of reach. Be well and be peaceful. All my best to you and your family for the holidays and the coming year. Dr. Matthew Hertert practices in Boalsburg, where he lives with his wife and 1.5 kids.


December 2012 / January 2013 from

Survey, pg. 11

express great concern about the failings of Penn State’s upper leadership, particularly the Board of Trustees. Many are calling for the resignation of the members of the Board of Trustees, less the most recently elected.â€? One respondent said: We are “loyal to a fault – have on blinders naĂŻve about how cult like some of their behavior is – the endless defense of the institution.â€? Another said: “Ridiculous adherence to hierarchy in decision-making such that the intelligence and creativity of a very large number of talented individuals is never tapped.â€? “What Penn State needs to do is marshal its considerable intellectual resources and design a decision-making structure that is based on our core values,

is transparent and has room for dissent and yes, whistle blowing. “There needs to be real substantive change from doing business as usual.� Woodman said that it is not enough to replace people; it is the structure that is damaged. “People are interested in these core values [of Penn State: honesty and academic integrity], not what the national press thinks Penn State cares about,� said Woodman. Woodman’s group is releasing their report to all possible media outlets. It includes a summary and people’s comments, organized in a way to help convey the overall ideas clearly. It is the hope of the survey sponsors that after analyzing the data and presenting it to all the stakeholders, that Penn State and the State College community will “uncover the foundation to rebuild.�


Gruhn, pg. 11

Gruhn admits that with teaching classes for 20 to 30 hours, in addition to running his business, his life gets pretty stressful. His relaxation time comes when he travels to do martial arts in different tournaments around the country. These tournaments have brought him to all kinds of places, like L.A. and Toronto. “I go a whole bunch of different places and that’s my time to, number one, do martial arts, but also to relax.� But it’s not all relaxation time. When Gruhn travels, he said he still

trains with his instructors and continues to find out things that he hasn’t learned. Though Gruhn has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a Full Dog Brother in Dog Brothers Martial Arts and a Full Instructor in Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts, he said he still has some work to do. “I’ve been doing it since I was 12, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning, I’ll never stop growing,� he said. Gruhn said he is still learning about his instructorship in Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts and is also working toward black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Photo by Allison Robertson

Central Pennsylvania Mixed Martial Arts owner/instructor Ryan Gruhn spars with students.






December 2012 / January 2013

Penn State fracking reports questioned by Molly Cochran Penn State released three reports about natural gas drilling, “Emerging Giant, Prospects and Economic Impacts of Developing the Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Play,” in 2009. An update was followed in 2010, and finally “Impacts and Future Potential,” was released in 2011, according to the complaint filed by the Responsible Drilling Alliance. Of these three reports, the Marcellus Shale Coalition gave funding to at least one that was released. This caused a stir among advocacy groups, like the Responsible Drilling Alliance, because the majority of members on the Marcellus Shale Coalition are drilling companies. The Responsible Drilling Alliance, a nonprofit organization located in Williamsport, filed a complaint about these

research articles. According to the complaint that was filed to the Middle State Commission on Higher Education, the articles were said to have made “exaggerated projections on economic development, jobs, and tax revenues.” Head of the Responsible Drilling Alliance Jon Bogle said that Penn State used these reports as a “political weapon,” because these reports were very influential in shaping Tom Corbett’s policy toward hydraulic fracturing. According to Bogle, Penn State was advocating against the tax for drilling because the severance tax could prohibit economic development. “[For a] main institution to take sides, it can be very damaging,” said Bogle. The Responsible Drilling Alliance requests two things: Penn State take its name off of the reports and have true research and advocacy.

“[Penn State] allowed their reputation to be put on the line.” John Bogle, Head of the Responsible Drilling Alliance “[Penn State] allowed their reputation to be put on the line,” said Bogle. Middle State Commission on Higher Education is located in Philadelphia and can’t discuss complaints over the phone. There was no comment from them as of press time. The Earth and Mineral Sciences Dean William Easterling responded to the complaint filed against Penn State. Easterling contacted the Responsible

Drilling Alliance and told them there was a revised report that met the research policies, and the college of Earth and Mineral Sciences stands by the right of all faculty members to do research. The two faculty members of the Earth and Mineral Science College who released these reports were Robert Watson and Tim Considine. Considine transferred to the University of Wyoming to teach and Watson retired from Penn State after these reports were released. “I must confess the [original reports could have been] packaged more appropriately. The reports had the Penn State Shield, and it didn’t have a disclaimer,” said Easterling. The revised report that was released had the disclaimer, and there was only one


Reports, pg. 15

Annual Glow Float illuminates river advocacy by Brenda Palmer On October 13, 2012, 31 canoe and kayak enthusiasts gathered in the parking lot of the Inn at Edgewater Acres in Alexandria, Pa. for the third annual Juniata Clean Water Partnership’s Glow Float (JCWP). The JCWP is a non-profit regional coalition of conservation organizations, county planners, community groups, watershed groups and citizens. The Juniata River watershed covers a substantial portion of the state including Huntingdon, Blair, Bedford, Fulton, Mifflin, Juniata and Perry Counties. The non-profit’s mission of building and sustaining local capacity through education, assistance and advocacy, covers a lot of territory. This night focuses on river awareness of the fantastic and under-valued resource that is the Juniata River. The Glow Float is one of several annu-

al events that promote awareness and stewardship of the river through recreational enjoyment of the river. Another is an annual sojourn held for 3-7 days in June. Each year highlights either the main canal of the Juniata River or one of its branches: the Frankstown branch, Little Juniata branch or the Raystown branch. Canoes and kayaks in all forms were lined up waiting for the guides from Rothrock Outfitters to arrive with rental boats for those that did not have their own and to load everyone’s boats to shuttle upstream to the entry point. Participants decorated themselves and their boats with glow stick necklaces. A few went a little further and wore costumes over their life jackets. It was dusk as the paddlers slipped their boats into the chilly water. This year they had added the challenge of a moonless night. The water level was a little low, making

Photo by Brenda Palmer

Guides from Rothrock Outfitters help shuttle kayaks to the entry point on the Juniata River for the third annual Juniata Clean Water Partnership’s Glow Float.

less push from the current, but exposing more rocks and low spots. As the paddlers maneuvered the 2.4 miles downstream to the Inn, the rocks became invisible. Light from glow sticks, giving each boat its own distinctive pattern of colors, became

the only way to know the location of other boats but did nothing to illuminate water hazards.


Kayaking, pg. 15


December 2012 / January 2013 from

Kayaking, pg. 14

Kristen Jovell, a teacher at Juniata Elementary School, reported hearing a screech owl. Only her third time in a kayak, she got wet when her boat took on water after going sideways on a shallow bar. “I was cold,” she said later, “but I want to do it again.” Reaching the Inn once again, boaters were welcomed by a bonfire, hot apple cider, hotdogs and a pot of chili provided by Boxer’s Café in Huntingdon. The hotdogs were toasted by Mike Makufka, Executive Director of the JCWP, and his wife Darlene, who volunteers her time for all the events since budget cuts have made an AmeriCorps employee unaffordable. Makufka’s ongoing work through JCWP offers free educational programs for schools and civic groups, and consulting with land owners on stewardship. Past projects include the Juniata Watershed Management Plan; building rain gardens and replacing asphalt with porous pavement solving a rainwater runoff problem for Tussey Mountain High School; and strategic management plan to control noxious and invasive weeds. Despite the budget cuts in 2010 and 2011, Makufka has submitted proposals for funding for a source water protection plan for Standing Stone Creek, aquatic invasive plant education and improving river access along all the branches of the Juniata River. He is also working with the Greenway Alliance to address issues along the Main Line Canal Greenway, working at bringing more environmental education to elementary and middle schools, and finishing up a project working with farmers in Juniata and Perry Counties on the Conservation Resource Enhancement Program (CREP). Tonight Makufka smiles and chats about the river as a recreational resource. Makufka is a fly-fisherman and has

shared his hobby with youth groups and adults. The Juniata is known for excellent fishing. A few miles upstream, part of the Little Juniata (Little J) is a trophy catch and release trout stream and one of the nation’s few native trout breeding streams. Here at the Inn at Edgewater Acres, patrons can fish the banks with their own equipment, use the Inn’s fly-fishing gear or even have the Inn staff arrange guide service and trip planning. Around the fire this night after the Glow Float, everyone was in a good mood. It was the first Glow Float for Deb and Chuck Monts from Duncansville who said they would definitely do it again despite the cold and hanging up on rocks. Nine-year-old Iris Seguin rode in a tandem kayak (two cockpits for two paddlers) with her father, Tony. Tony is owner of Rothrock Outfitters who provided guide and a shuttle service for the event. A State College couple in their 60s had only ever taken their canoe on lakes. Even though “flat water” paddling is much different than the moving water of rivers, they chose this nighttime paddle for their first attempt at river canoeing. “Even though I wasn’t paddling, I could feel that we kept moving,” he explained. “That is, until we got stuck and I had to get out and pull us off. I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear the other people scraping bottom, too.” He decided that maybe they would try it again during the day. His partner enthusiastically nodded her head as she held her hands out to the fire. The interaction with wildlife, weather and unknown obstacles against your own skill and fitness gives a sense of accomplishment, mental and physical well being that no man-made entertainment could ever compare to. The message underlying all the fun is that we need clean rivers like the Juniata for a whole spectrum of reasons, as a water resource its value is immeasurable.


Reports, pg. 14

Penn State shield on the title page, meeting research standards, according to Easterling. “There is a myth that people think because a particular entity provides support, that researchers will alter their work to favor a sponsor,” said Easterling. Easterling also said that Penn State’s accreditation was never in jeopardy because of these reports. Some groups at Penn State, such as Penn State Extension and MCOR (Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research), represent the colleagues at Penn State who strive to find research and assist the community. MCOR helps community members who are affected by the natural gas industry, according to Dave Yoxtheimer, a hydroge-

ologist and agent for MCOR. Yoxtheimer said that MCOR is not in place to say whether natural gas drilling is good or bad. “Our purpose is to provide people with evidence, and for you to make up your mind,” he said. Yoxtheimer said that Penn State’s reports showed the university in a “progas,” light. He also said that the economic impact, that was in the report that was released by Penn State “painted a pretty positive picture.” Despite the reports released by Penn State, there are many researchers that are trying to catch up to the natural gas drilling boom by providing fact-based research on the environment, Yoxtheimer said. “The number one thing that needs done is to protect the environment,” said Yoxtheimer.

œ“iʜvÊ̅iʙ‡Ìœ‡x œ‡,i«i>ÌÊ7œÀŽ`>Þ


December 2012 / January 2013

Snow Buntings: Visitors from the Arctic by Joe Verica

Looking for some activities to do outdoors this winter? How about a manure chase? That’s right, a manure chase. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds. Each winter, members of the State College Bird Club make their way around the agricultural areas of Central Pa. in search of freshly spread manure. Their goal in this seemingly odd endeavor is not the manure itself, but rather the birds that are drawn to it. In addition to its value as a fertilizer, manure also contains undigested seeds that have passed through the digestive systems of grazing livestock. For birds, these seeds are like manna. A variety of birds are drawn to the seed-bearing manure, such as sparrows, Mourning Doves and Horned Larks. Although these birds are a

pleasure to watch, what really motivates bird watchers to brave the wind and sub-zero temperatures is the chance to catch a glimpse of some uncommon winter visitors from the arctic, such as Snow Buntings. Snow Buntings are small songbirds that superficially resemble sparrows in regard to body size and shape. In breeding plumage, males are white overall with black bills and black on their back, central tail feathers and the distal half of the wings. In non-breeding plumage, which is typically how we see them here in Central Pa., the birds are somewhat duller in appearance. The bill is yellow-orange with black at the tip, and the upper parts, including the head, are washed or mottled with a rusty ginger. The upper breast has a rusty band just below the neckline. Nonbreeding females look similar to males. The exact taxonomic relationship of Snow Buntings to other birds is a matter of some debate. Traditionally, Snow Buntings have been included in the sparrow family. In accordance with the recent genetic evidence,

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis). Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

flocks in anticipation of migration. Flocks may consist of anywhere from a few hundred to well over a thousand birds. By mid-September, the flocks begin heading south. They overwinter in a region extending from just below their breeding areas, south to Washington and Colorado in the west and the Mid-Atlantic States in the east. Here in Central Pa., Snow Buntings historically start showing up in early November. Your best bet to find Snow Buntings is to search the shorelines of lakes or harvested agricultural fields, particularly those with freshly spread manure. While I am no connoisseur of cow pies, I have found that fresh manure is significantly better than the fermented liquid variety when it comes to holding a bird’s attention. Look for wind-blown areas where small patches of bare ground are exposed. Birds tend to congregate in these areas, as seeds are easier to find. Snow Buntings are usually found mixed in with flocks of Horned Larks, so be sure to scan the lark flocks carefully. You should also keep in mind that larks and buntings have a habit of frequently moving from one field to another as they forage. In flight, Snow Buntings are surprisingly easy to pick out from the other birds, due to their long blacktipped wings and conspicuous white wing patches.

Snow Buntings have been placed in their own family, in a position between waxwings and wood-warblers. Snow Buntings are birds of the high arctic, with a North American breeding range extending from arctic Alaska to Greenland. They have the northern-most breeding among songbirds, sometimes breeding above the Arctic Circle. Their preferred breeding habitat includes rocky tundra and other open spaces with interrupted vegetation. Males establish and defend territories early in the spring by singing and a variety of flight displays. Following courtship, males and females will forage together and search for an appropriate nesting sight. The female alone builds the nest, typically in scree or a fissure. The nest is composed of grasses, leaves, or moss, and lined with scavenged feathers or fur. Four to seven eggs are laid, which are incubated almost exclusively by the female. Both parQuestions or comments? Joe ents attend to the nestlings. Following the breeding season, Verica can be reached at joeveriSnow Buntings begin to form large


December 2012 / January 2013

Health care options change for students by Tara Richelo Last fall, University Health Services (UHS) terminated its contract with United Healthcare Student Resources. The current health insurance plan offered to students runs through Aetna Student Health. The change occurred after UHS completed a Request for Proposal in order to reevaluate their service with United Healthcare Student Resources. UHS had been unsatisfied and hoped to address some of the problems they and the students had encountered. Specifically, UHS wanted to improve the benefits that were available to students who purchase a UHS plan. Manager of Student Insurance, Karen Kline, said, “We were looking for the best plan for our students that was going to be

compliant with health care reform…Aetna Student Health is looking ahead to health care reform and how things are going to be impacted.” The Affordable Care Act became a law on March 23, 2010, regulating health insurance requirements between employers and employees. The essential health benefit categories included in the Affordable Care Act include preventive and wellness services, laboratory services, prescription drugs, hospitalization, mental health and substance use, disorder services, maternity and newborn care and several others. Under the act, health care plans must allow persons under 26 years of age to remain on their parents’ plan, remove lifetime essential benefit limits and eliminate the exclusion of persons under 19 years of age with preexisting conditions.

The new UHS plan with Aetna Student Health is compliant with these requirements. The overall cost of health insurance provided by University Health Services has increased due to the change in providers. An annual plan costs $2,137, which breaks down to $842 for only fall semester coverage and $1,295 for only spring semester coverage. Aetna Student Health will now offer a discounted dental section as well as cover acne, assistant surgeons, and multiple office visits on one day, none of which was previously covered. Additionally, the benefits no longer have a yearly maximum putting a dollar limit on the cost for an injury or sickness. Instead, costs will be unlimited. The cost for prescriptions purchased and filled at UHS are now 100 percent

covered through Aetna Student Health. Also, Aetna Student Health will cover 50 percent of prescriptions purchased and filled outside of UHS. Students who want to use University Health Services for medical needs, but do not have Aetna Student Health, will be billed to their bursar account. Between one and two weeks later, they will receive an e-mail alerting them that their bill is ready. From there, students can print out the bill and send it to their own insurance company for reimbursement. While it may be difficult for the students to navigate this process, it would be highly unrealistic to expect UHS to handle it for each student. This could be a


Health care, pg. 28

FOBA—In time: A New Year’s resolution by Jamie Campbell I hope you are reading this in good health and spirits as this holiday season engulfs us. Commercialism attacks with little-to-no remorse as you try to explain to your children (and some adults) the meaning of whichever holiday you may celebrate. There are so many commercials that you would think an election is going on. Well, we did just have one, and we elected an African-American to the highest office in the land. Again. So, I guess this means that we really are over racism. Classism and sexism are no more, right? Well, not exactly… This election was the most divided and contentious election ever; rich versus poor, female versus male, majority versus minority. Everyone had something to say and, while I will admit that some of the arguments are supposed to show differences, that was the problem.

Only a few of the arguments were about topical issues. The attacks were often untrue and misleading. The bias was incredible enough that one pundit believed his own vile press and could not fathom that the election was lost even when faced with insurmountable facts. The election results told us that women, minorities, younger voters and the poor voted strongly in one direction while white males and the elderly overwhelmingly went in another. Where did this take us? This biased and spiteful form of campaigning has led us to attacking, distorting and lying statements from each side and no truth in sight. What is truly troubling about this is that the attacks are shifting. Women and the poor are under attack, yet no one seems to care. Female Rhodes scholars are being called “not that bright” by males whose own intellect can be called into ques-

tion. Women leaders are being questioned about their age and their ability to lead. Has a male outside of sports ever been questioned about his ability to lead after a certain age? Reid, Kerry, Louis and a host of others have been in leadership forever, yet no one has ever suggested that they move aside for younger leadership. When the current Secretary of State took office, she was questioned, not because of her lack of skill, but because she might be “too emotional” for the job. Yet she has continued to perform the job superbly. So, why not bring another woman into the position? What can be the rational reason for this fear? Time. It appears that as time moves forward and changes, there will be those who are going to fight progress. They fight because they cannot understand that time elevates everything and tries to make things better. They fight because

they see themselves as losing power to people who do not look like them and have very little reason to listen to them drone on and on about the “good ol’ days”. Those good old days were not good for everyone. For those selected few, time is the enemy. The changes are unfathomable. Changing times for them means fading into obscurity and irrelevance. This New Year, let us resolve to help time. Show those who don’t understand their place in the new world that there is a place for them. This latest election provided all U.S. citizens with many mandates, the greatest of which being that in order for us to move forward as a nation, we must work together despite our philosophical differences. It should not take another natural disaster to make conservative and liberal come together. We all need to be agents of change and help usher in a new age of understanding. Miracles do happen.


December 2012 / January 2013

Voices Guide to Community Nonprofits 2012 The Guide to Community Nonprofits is an ever-growing effort on the part of Voices. Any suggestions for the guide should be emailed to: Cover image by Mali Campbell.

Pennsylvania Chapter provides a comprehensive range of essential programs and services including a 24/7 Helpline, referral and care consultations, local support groups and Medic Alert+ Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return.

4-H State Office The Pennsylvania State University 115 Agricultural Sciences & Industries Bldg. University Park, PA 16802 814-863-3824 4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. The 4-H program is all about people sharing, doing, and learning together in all kinds of projects, events and activities through local clubs, special interest clubs, schoolbased and after-school programs and individual memberships.

Amnesty International 307 HUB-Robeson Center University Park, PA 16802 (814) 865-2998 Website: In keeping with the principles of this international organization, the local chapter of Amnesty International promotes human rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all people regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, belief, culture, skin color and political affiliation.

Acoustic Brew Concert Series Linda Littleton, Volunteer Coordinator (814) 238-8048 PO Box 1090 Lemont, PA 16851 web site: The Acoustic Brew Coffeehouse is a nonprofit, volunteer-run concert series committed to providing reasonablypriced, quality folk and acoustic music in an intimate, smoke- and alcohol-free environment. Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Pennsylvania Chapter (717)651-5020 3544 N Progress Ave, Ste 205 Harrisburg, PA 17110 24/7 Helpline: (800) 272-3900 Web site: The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to eliminating Alzheimer’s disease by advancing research and to enhancing care and support for individuals, their families and caregivers. The Greater

Arms for Peace: The Family Memorial (814) 238-4439 P.O. Box 322 Boalsburg, PA 16827 Web site: The Arms for Peace Family Memorial is a peace project designed to show the full effects of war on families and communities. The memorial will list the names of Central Pennsylvanians lost in Iraq and Afghanistan and will also list the names of family members of those lost who must rebuild their lives following the loss of their loved one. Art Alliance of Central PA P.O. Box 811 Lemont, PA. 19851 (814) 234 2740 Marie L. Doll, executive director Web site: The Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania is a member-supported, non-profit organization that offers studio art classes, exhibition space, and opportu-

nities for emerging and established artists to thrive in a community of like-minded individuals. Artistic Horizon 219 S. Patterson St. State College, PA 16801 (814) 234-3441 Artistic Horizon is a nonprofit integrated art center. Our classes and workshops offer a supportive art environment that will encourage the artist in everyone. Programs are available for three year olds through adults. Drawing, painting, clay hand building, metal arts, stained glass, sculpture, theatre programs music and much more. Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County Patricia House, executive director 814-355-4280 P.O. Box 125 133 North Allegheny St. Bellefonte, PA 16823 E-mail: Website: An Imagination celebration! We celebrate the human spirit through the arts and recognize the importance of art in our lives by exhibiting artistic and cultural shows from around the world and around the corner. Bellefonte Family YMCA Liz Toukonen, Branch Executive Director (814) 355-5551 125 W. High St. Bellefonte, PA 16823 Email: Website: Provides a variety of programs and services that build strong kids, strong families and strong communities.

Bellefonte Historical & Cultural Association PO Box 141, Bellefonte 16823 E-Mail: Web site: BHCA presents diverse programming in the arts and music in Bellefonte throughout the year, at no cost to the public. Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society Daniel M. Durachko, president (814) 355-1053 320 W. High Street Bellefonte, PA 16823 E-Mail: Web site: The Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to promoting, preserving, and fostering a public appreciation of the railroading heritage of Bellefonte and beyond. The society provides the funding and volunteer crews for the Bellefonte Historical Railroads excursion and rideto-dine trains. Bethany Christian Services of Central PA Wendy Burket, LCSW, LSW (814) 867-2848 426 S. Allen Street, Suite 104 State College, PA 16801 E-mail: Web site: Services include: pregnancy counseling foster care, International adoption, Domestic Infant adoption, Foster care adoption, Safe Families for Children, safe Families for Children Plus Post Adoption Services (support groups, respite and case management) services through Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) Boy Scouts of America—Bucktail Council Greg Bennett, Scout Executive

December 2012 / January 2013 Irv Gable, District Executive (814) 371-5650 209 First St. DuBois, PA 15801 Email: Web site: Promotes, supervises and administers the educational/recreational programs for Boy Scouts in character development, citizenship training and physical fitness. Boy Scouts of America—Juniata Council James Kennedy, Scout Executive Kevin McKay, Council President (717) 667-9236 9 Taylor Dr. Reedsville, PA 17084 Email: Web site:

Voices Guide to Community Nonprofits 2012

38 Promotes, supervises, and administers the educational/recreational programs for Boy Scouts covering character development, citizenship training and physical fitness. C-NET (814) 238-5031 243 S. Allen St., Suite 336 State College, PA 16801 E-mail: Web site: and centreconnect. org C-NET operates Channels 7 and 98 - the Government and Education Access Channels for Centre County. C-NET’s local programming is also available on the web at C-NET programming consists of government and educational meetings, high school sports, con-

certs and community events. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown (814) 353-0502 Bellefonte Office 213 East Bishop Street P.O. Box 389 Bellefonte, PA 16823 E-mail: Financial assistance is offered to individuals and families on a substandard income. Aid is given to assist in meeting necessary expenses of daily living. Center for Alternatives Community Justice Bonnie Millmore, Director (814) 234-1059 411 S. Burrowes St. State College, PA 16801



E-mail: Works with local courts and human service agencies to provide alternatives for criminal justice through mediation, pre-trial supervision, training and education. Center for Sustainability David Riley, Executive Director (814) 865-3369 Center for Sustainability 310 Sackett building University Park, PA 16802 Website: Our research focus areas include food security, green design architecture and engineering, hybrid energy systems, natural wastewater treatment and engineering education. The Center offers students and faculty educational experiences with “real world” projects, enhancing opportunities


Voices Guide to Community Nonprofits 2012

Center for Well Being (814) 237-3042 PO Box 644 123 Mt. Nittany Rd. Lemont, PA 16851 Web site: The Center for Well Being offers services to promote mental and physical health.

opers, lending institutions, realtors, builder associations, churches and private citizens. It is the mission of the Centre County Affordable Housing Coalition to ensure that all residents of Centre County, especially those with low incomes, have decent, safe, affordable and accessible housing. The goals include providing information and raising awareness about the need, benefits of and best practices in affordable housing.

Centre County Affordable Housing Coalition Thelma Walters, Chair (814) 441-6280 Web site: The Centre County Affordable Housing Coalition consists of 60 member agencies: including social services agencies, devel-

Centre County Farmland Trust Executive Director: Sarah Parker (814) 355-6791 PO Box 604 Centre Hall, PA 16828 Web site: The Centre County Farmland Trust works with willing farm families to place

for ecological literacy, experiential education and professional development.

Use C-NET to increase your non-profit’s visibility! z z


Advertise your services to potential clients Request donations or support from the community Promote an upcoming special event

C-NET offers affordable ways to get your message out to the Centre County community. z



Production of Video Public Service Announcements to air on Channels 7 and 98 and Online! Creation of Community Bulletin Board Messages Coverage of Special Events Government and Education Access for Centre County For more information about these services for non-profits, call 814-238-5031 or email

December 2012 / January 2013

a conservation easement on their farmlands, ensuring that the land is preserved for agricultural purposes forever, regardless of future ownership. Centre County Historical Society Mary Sorensen, Executive Director (814) 234-4779 Centre Furnace Mansion 1001 E. College Ave. State College, PA 16801 Email: Web site: The Centre County Historical Society is an educational organization that works collaboratively with local, regional, county and state organizations in helping to preserve and promote the area’s historic, cultural and natural resources. Centre County Pomona Grange #13 Master-Barbara Gates 153 Quarry Street Bellefonte, PA 16823 (814) 353-1375 E-mail: The Grange is a family fraternal organization dedicated to the betterment of rural America through community service, education, legislation, and fellowship. Grange is family friendly and anyone can join. Some of the community service projects our Granges contribute to throughout Centre County and beyond include collecting food for local food banks, toys for tots, military support, providing FFA jackets to local high school members, plus dozens more. Centre County Library Lisa Erickson, Director (814) 355-1516 200 N. Allegheny St. Bellefonte, PA 16823 Web site: Provides a complete range of library services, historical and genealogical records. Libraries are located in Bellefonte, Aaronsburg, Centre Hall and Philipsburg, while a bookmobile service is provided throughout Centre County.

Centre County PAWS Inc. (814) 237-8722 1401 Trout Rd. State College, PA 16801 Web site: PAWS (Promotion of Animal Welfare and Safety) is an organization of volunteers committed to providing humane solutions to our area’s pet over-population. In order to care for homeless cats and dogs and to promote responsible pet ownership, PAWS maintains a non-euthanasia animal shelter and administers a spayneuter assistance program, an educational outreach program, and emergency medical aid funding. Centre County United Way Tammy Gentzel - Executive Director (814) 238-8283 2790 W. College Ave., Suite 7 State College, PA 16801 Web site: Centre County United Way, along with our 37 Partner Agencies, provides the infrastructure for the vital network of health and human services in our community. The mission of Centre County United Way is to improve lives by prioritizing needs and mobilizing human and financial resources to positively impact the education, financial stability and physical and emotional health of our neighbors. Centre County Women’s Resource Center Anne Ard, Executive Director Jody K. Althouse, Director of Outreach & Communications Meredith Hall, Director of Volunteer Programs 140 W. Nittany Ave. State College, PA 16801 Office phone: (814) 238-7066 24 hour HOTLINE: (814) 234-5050 toll free: 1-877-234-5050 E-mail: or edteam@ Web site: Visit us on Facebook! Operates a 24-hour HOTLINE for victims of sexual assault, dating and domes-

December 2012 / January 2013 tic violence, and stalking. Free and confidential services including shelter, counseling, support groups and legal advocacy. Offers school, agency, and community programs on bullying, healthy relationships, domestic violence, and other prevention education programs. Centre County Youth Service Bureau (814) 237-5731 325 West Aaron Drive State College, PA 16803 E-mail: Web site: Provides early intervention services to youth in need of adult attention and support through a Big Brother/Big Sister program. Maintains a community center in the mountaintop area which offers social, educational and recreational opportunities. Centre Crest Auxiliary Sharon Eminhizer (814) 355-5942 502 East Howard St Bellefonte, PA 16823 E-mail: A volunteer service providing equipment and supplies for the county home residents. Beauty parlor services, craft sessions and holiday celebrations are conducted throughout the year. Centre Homecare, Inc. Ellen Weaver, Director (814) 237-7400

Voices Guide to Community Nonprofits 2012

2437 Commercial Blvd., Suite 6 State College, PA 16801 E-mail: To provide quality, cost-effective home healthcare and related services to all persons or families in Centre County, regardless of ability to pay. Programs include home health skilled care nursing and therapies; hospice and healthy beginnings. Centre/Huntingdon Tapestry of Health Mary Jane Isenberg, Executive Director (814) 355-2762 240 Match Factory Pl. Bellefonte, PA 16823 E-mail: Web site: Provides women’s health care including family planning, cancer screenings, pregnancy testing, birth control, annual exams, and pap tests. STD testing and treatment. Adolescent and parent outreach education. Centre Region Bike Coalition Paul Rito, President P.O. Box 10163 State College, PA 16805 Web site: The Centre Region Bike Coalition was founded to help facilitate the vision of a more cycle-friendly Centre County. The organization is a collection of cyclists working for cyclists, with the goals of promoting bicycling as a means of recreation and transportation in the area.

CentrePeace, Inc. Thomas (Thom) L. Brewster, Executive Director (814) 353-9081 3013 Benner Pike Bellefonte, PA 16823 E-mail: Thom’s e-mail: Web site: Teaches social and vocational skills to individuals incarcerated at the Centre County Correctional Facility. Provides conflict resolution training to individuals incarcerated at CCCF and the State Correctional Institution Rockview. Publishes criminal justice advocacy and support directory. Coordinates these programs for local and state inmates: prayermate program, birthday cards for death row inmates, Christmas cards for inmates. Operates a used household goods and furniture outlet Showroom to generate programming revenue. Centre Volunteers in Medicine Kristin Houser, Executive Director (814) 231-4043 2520 Green Tech Drive, Suite D State College, PA 16803 Web site: Centre Volunteers in Medicine is a nonprofit serving those in Centre County that do not have health insurance. Residents in Centre County that are in need of medical and dental care receive free primary and preventative assistance. These residents must meet the eligibility requirements.


The organization also provides services to help residents quit smoking. Centre Volunteers in Medicine guide patients in receiving help from other social services if needed. Centre Wildlife Care Robyn Grabowski, Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator (814) 692-0004 Centre Wildlife Care P.O. Box 572 Lemont, PA 16851 E-mail: Web site: Centre Wildlife Care is an organization dedicated to caring for injured, orphaned, sick and displaced wildlife for the purpose of releasing them back into the wild. CWC is run on a volunteer basis and is funded solely by donations. Child Care Information Services of Centre County Ann Walker, Executive Administrator Nichol Sheridan, Program Director (814) 231-1352 2565 Park Center Blvd., Suite 100 State College, PA 16801 TDD: (800) 654-5984 (ask for 814-231-1352) E-mail: Web site: E.O.E and Language Line available Provides free child care resource and referral services to anyone looking for quality child care and education services


Voices Guide to Community Nonprofits 2012

through a state-wide data base. Financial assistance for child care costs is available to families who meet eligibility requirements set by the state and based on a sliding fee scale related to income and family size. Eligible parents, caretakers, guardians or foster parents can participate in this “parent choice system.” Child Development & Family Council of Centre County Ann Walker, Executive Administrator Paula Thornbloom, Program Administrator (814) 238-5480 2565 Park Center Blvd. Suite 100 State College, PA 16801 E-mail: Web site: E.O.E and Language Line available Provides the following services to Centre County families: Quality child care and education programs, including before and after school and summer camp programs. Free pre-kindergarten programs for eligible children age 3 and 4 years. Head Start and Early Intervention services available on-site. United Way member agency offering a Scholarship program for qualifying families with children from six weeks through middle school, we welcome inquiries. Administration of Food Reimbursement Program for Family Day Care Homes (CACFP) offered. Administration and funding for Child Care information Services of Centre County provided. Education and consultation services which includes training and technical assistance for those who work in child care and education programs. Children’s Aid Society Bonnie Floro, Executive Director (814) 765-2686 ext. 230 1008 S. Second St. Clearfield, PA 16830 E-mail: E-mail: Web site: Provides special needs, private

and international adoption services and classes in a 14 county area in central Pa. Hague accredited.Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) affiliate . Other services include child care, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Healthy Marriage and Relationship programs, the Nurturing parenting program, the Relatives As Parents Program,and Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts preschool. ClearWater Conservancy Jennifer Shuey, Executive Director (814) 237-0400 2555 N. Atherton St. State College, PA 16803 E-mail: Web site: ClearWater Conservancy of Central Pennsylvania, Inc. is a Centre Countybased land trust and natural resource conservation organization. Its mission is to promote conservation and restoration of natural resources in central Pennsylvania through land conservation, water resource protection, and environmental outreach to the community. Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion Museum Christopher Lee, President and CEO (814) 466-9266 Boalsburg, PA 16827 Web site: The mission of the Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion Museum is heritage education, historic preservation and community service. This non-profit manages the 40-acre Boal estate, a national historic site on the register of the U.S. Department of the Interior that includes the 1789 Boal Mansion. Community Help Centre Bonnie Tatterson, Executive Director (814) 237-5855 141 West Beaver Ave State College, PA 16801 Help line: (800) 494-2500 E-mail: information@communityhelp-

December 2012 / January 2013 Web site: Is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization that provides services, resources, education, training, and information to people who are in need of support and to people who are seeking volunteer opportunities in our community. With a drop-in center and 24-hour hotline as their foundation, we work to coordinate and deliver services throughout Centre County. Easter Seals Lance and Ellen Shaner Child Development Center Kathleen Zdenek, Child Development Center Director (814) 238-4434 Easter Seals Central PA 383 Rolling Ridge Drive State College, PA 16801 Web site: Operates an inclusive early care and education summer day camps for all children, ages six weeks to entry into Kindergarten. Provides support programs and training for families, weekend recreation activities and disabilities awareness and advocacy support. Able to make referrals for car seat loan program. Food Bank of State College Area Caol Pioli, Executive Director (814) 234-2310 276 W. Hamilton Ave. State College, PA 16801 Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 907 State College, PA 16804 E-mail: Web site: Office hours: Mon., Wed., Fri.: 1 p.m.–4 p.m.; Sat.: 10 a.m.–noon. Provides emergency food to those in need in the State College and Upper Bald Eagle Valley and assists the network of food pantries in Centre County. Friendship Community Library Susan Gibson (570) 962-2048 P.O. Box 478 Main St. Beech Creek, PA 16822 E-mail: Provides library services, book lending, audio-visuals and audio phonics reading programs to community residents, as well aa a biweekly story hour for preschoolers. Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pa. Jane Ransom, CEO State College Service Center (814) 231-4077 1040-1 Benner Pike State College, PA 16801 E-mail: Web site: Provides learning activities that help girls discover their leadership potential, connect with others to appreciate diversity and make a difference in the community. Global Connections

December 2012 / January 2013 Merrill David, Executive Director (814) 863-3927 404 A Boucke Building University Park, PA 16802 E-mail: Web site: Offers programs that promote intercultural community and understanding by assisting people from other countries through ESL classes, conversation partners, tax filing assistance and individual assistance, bringing Americans and internationals together with cultural exchanges and friendship programs; and educating the community about other cultures and international issues through school speakers programs and other regular and special events. Goodwill Industries of North Central Pa. Business office: (814) 371-2821 Local store: (814) 237-8006 Westerly Park Plaza State College, PA 16801 Web site: The mission of Goodwill Industries of North Central Pa., Inc. is to provide voca-

Voices Guide to Community Nonprofits 2012

tional services and employment opportunities for all people, who, because of disabilities, disadvantages or employment displacement, face barriers to competitive employment. Goodwill takes gently used items and recycles them into communities while keeping them out of our landfills. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County Tom Mesko, Executive Director (814) 353-2390 1155 Zion Rd. Bellefonte, PA 16823 E-mail: Web site: Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, faith-based ministry building affordable homes for those in need. Family selection is nondiscriminatory, based on housing need, ability to make payments to purchase the home and willingness to work in partnership with Habitat. Homes are energy-efficient and easy to maintain. Hearing Loss Assoc. Central Pa. Chapter Jennifer Kane, Immediate Past

Public Service Announcement Voices and the community want to thank Peter Shaw and the Peace Center volunteers. The Peace Center has staunchly supported the work of Voices and the cause of peace. We all will miss you. -The staff of Voices of Central Pa

President 814-574-0948 State College, PA 16801 E-mail: Web site: Part of the national Hearing Loss Association of America. Our mission is to open the world of communication to people of all ages with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy. Our chapter, established in 2005 as a nonprofit, is dedicated to serving all persons with hearing loss in Central Pennsylvania. Hope for Kids Brenda Goldman, President & CEO (814) 353-0200 1400 Fox Hill Rd, State College, PA 16803 E-mail: Website: Hope For Kids is a non-profit specialized foster care and adoption program. Hope For Kids services children birth through 18 years of age whose needs are too intense to be served in traditional foster care. The agency serves children who have been neglected, physically or sexually abused, mental health or mental retardation, children with autism and special medical needs. Our adoption program offers child profile, family profile, child preparation, finalization and post-permanency services. Housing Transitions, Inc. Ron Quinn, Executive Director (814) 237-4863 217 E. Nittany Avenue P.O. Box 1391 State College, PA 16804 E m a i l : Web site: Assists families and individuals who are homeless or near-homeless achieve a more independent lifestyle by providing an array of effective services and housing alternatives. Programs include the Centre


House emergency homeless shelter located in State College. The Hundred Cat Foundation 814.206.5423 PO Box 10 Centre Hall, PA 16828 E-mail: Web site: The Hundred Cat Foundation is devoted to improving the lives of feral, stray and free-roaming cats throughout Centre County and to assist people in caring for these cats. To do this, the organization provides assistance to people caring for cat colonies, finds homes for socialized cats and provides access to low cost spay/neuter clinics. Interfaith Human Services Matt Hall, Executive Director (814) 234-7731 2100C East College Ave State College, PA 16801 Web site: Provides financial assistance to meet emergency basic needs for low-income residents of primarily the State College School District and Port Matilda areas. Provides a free furniture recycling program to low-income residents of Centre County. Keystone Human Services Charles Hooker III, CEO State College: Kristine Royer, Director (814) 231-0138 ext. 205 915 Benner Pike State College, PA 16801 E-mail: kroyer@keystonehumanservices. org Web site: Delivers early intervention services as well as support the facilitation of their existing programs. Last Rights of Central Pennsylvania Laurie L. Mulvey, President (814) 237-7605 780 Waupelani Drive Ext. State College, PA 16801 Web site: The mission of Last Rights of Central

Voices Guide to Community Nonprofits 2012


Pennsylvania (LRCP) is to help families to avoid the emotional confusion and high expense associated with caring for deceased loved ones. LRCP is available to assist in planning either a conventional or family-directed funeral by providing information about legal procedures, memorial ceremonies, and local end-oflife establishments that will work directly with a family’s wishes. Leadership Centre County Georgia Abbey, Executive Director (814) 238-5559 P.O. Box 10265 State College, PA 16805 E m a i l : Web site: The mission of Leadership Centre County is to increase the community’s leadership pool. The organization brings diverse individuals together for networking and exposure to community issues, opportunities and needs, encourages increased participation for leadership in civic service and creates a support network for present and future leaders. Local Bounty Kate Sanfilippo, Marketing Memberships (814) 883-3174 P.O. Box 865 State College, PA 16804 Web site:


Community ommun y

Liif Lifestyl Lifestyles


Local Bounty’s mission is to empower communities to find locally-produced goods and foods, to share their experiences and to grow their local economies. provides a user-generated directory of local producers, searchable by community and by category. Local Help & Transient Fund P.O. Box 541 Bellefonte, PA 16823 Tel: 355-5834 E-Mail: The Local Help Fund provides assistance to individuals and families living in the Bellefonte and Bald Eagle School districts who find themselves in need of financial assistance. We offer help with rent, heating, utilities. Those in need of Local Help are referred to The FaithCentre. 355-2238. We also provide emergency overnight lodging,dinner and breakfast for transients experiencing a variety of situations. Transients need to contact a pastor in the Bellefonte area. Master Gardeners Molly Sturniolo, Coordinator (814) 355-4897 Willowbank Building, Room 322 420 Holmes Ave. Bellefonte, PA 16823 E-mail: Web site: CCMG provides gardening information

If you are passionate about your community and would like to write sstories that matter, B Meet


December 2012 / January 2013

and programs throughout Centre County. The organization participates in the planting and maintenance of gardens at local schools, parks, and museums. MidPenn Legal Services Rhodia Thomas, Esq., Executive Director Brent Frank, Regional Manager (814) 238-4958 ext. 1132 3500 E. College Ave. Suite 1295 State College, PA 16801 E-mail: Web site: Makes free legal services available to low income people in a variety of civil matters. Provides community education events and materials to the public and client populations in order to prevent the need for direct representation in a variety of civil matters. Network with local private bar associations to promote pro bono referrals for various civil matters. Mid-State Literacy Council Monica Mathews, Director (814) 238-1809 248 Calder Way, #307 State College, PA 16801 E-mail: Web site: Trains volunteers to tutor adults and young adults who read and write below a fifth grade level. Non-English speaking persons are also tutored through a one-onone reading program. Moshannon Valley YMCA Mel Curtis, Branch Director (814) 342-0889 103 N. 14th St. P.O. Box 426 Philipsburg, PA 16866 E-mail: Web site: Offers more than 50 programs and services which promote good health and strong children and families.

Mount Nittany Conservancy E-mail: Web site: The Mount Nittany Conservancy seeks to preserve Mount Nittany for future generations of Centre County residents. The organization builds and maintains trails and overlooks while seeking to prevent further encroachment on the region’s wildlife. New Leaf Initiative Eric Sauder, Director of Community Growth (717) 519-9190 100 South Fraser Street Lower Level E m a i l : Web site: New Leaf Initiative is a non-profit organization designed to bring us all together, and help our ideas to take root and flourish. Through immersive projectbased experiences, individuals and organizations are working together to reimagine sustainable solutions to the problems our communities, nations, and world face. The Next Stage Mary Skees and Jay Shuchter, Cofounders and Producing Artistic Directors Join mailing list by calling (814) 404-2649 Mailing address: Calder Square P. O. Box 11111 State College, PA 16805 E-mail: Web site: The Next Stage, in its 14th year, offers three mainstage productions each season. The company produces important contemporary plays emphasizing acting and thought-provoking stories. It also offers acting classes taught by professional actors, and occasional readers’ theatre productions, as well as an outreach program that contracts with clients for training sessions that use tailor-made scenes as a springboard for discussion. Ni-Ta-Nee NOW (814) 364-9391

December 2012 / January 2013 P.O. Box 162 Bellefonte, PA 16823 E-mail: The local chapter of the National Organization for Women whose mission is to “bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society NOW.” Areas of concern include reproductive justice, economic justice, health care, lesbian rights, ending violence against women, ending racism and other issues that impact women and children’s lives. Nittany Beagle Rescue PO Box 127 West Decatur, PA 16878 E-mail: Web site: Nittany Beagle Rescue is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the lives of beagles in central Pennsylvania. We accept beagles from shelters and from owners who can no longer keep them, and we work to find them loving, permanent homes.For more information about adopting, fostering, volunteering, or making a donation please visit our Web site. Nittany Greyhounds Ellen Aschenbrenner, President (814) 933-6981 30 TLD Circle Port Matilda, PA 16870 Nittany Greyhounds is an organization dedicated to re-homing ex-racing greyhounds. Over the past 12 years, the organization has re-homed 1,200 greyhounds. Nittany Valley Symphony Music Director: Michael Jinbo Executive Director: Roberta Strebel (814)231-8224 P.O. Box 1375 State College, PA 16804 (270 Walker Drive, Suite 102-E, physical location) website: email: Nittany Valley Symphony a community orchestra comprised of both professional and non-professional musicians. We per-

Voices Guide to Community Nonprofits 2012

form 5 concerts per season at Eisenhower Auditorium (4 classical and one pops). We have a family concert at SCAHSSouth Auditorium and an outside pops concert at Tussey Mountain Amphitheater. NVS has been performing since 1967. Old Gregg School Lending Library (814) 422-8582 106 School Street Spring Mills, Pa 16875 Web site: The Old Gregg school a multi-purpose, non-profit facility benefiting the entire Penns Valley Community. It houses several local non-profits and serves as a community center. Houses Tri Yoga and Thrifty Tailzs and Pawz.

Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra Douglas Meyer, Music Director Charles Welch, President (814) 234-8313 119 S. Fraser St., Suite D State College, PA 16801 E m a i l : i n f o @ c e n t r e o r c h e s t r a . o rg Website: The Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra is the Centre Region’s professional chamber orchestra. Founded in 1990 to 1991 the orchestra has performed both rare and well-known music by the greatest composers, from the Baroque period to the present day. The orchestra’s season includes a series of orchestral concerts, a family concert, a Vienna Serenade at The Tavern Restaurant and a 7 Mountains Summer Music Fest.

Pa. Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation Susan Oram (814) 863-7192 206 Forest Resources Lab University Park, PA 16802 Web site: The mission of PA-TACF is to restore the American chestnut tree to the forests and woodlands of Pennsylvania and the Eastern United States, by using the backcross method of breeding. Volunteers have established more than 150 chestnut orchards and have planted over 40,000 trees.

Penns Valley Conservation Association P.O. Box 165 Aaronsburg, PA 16820 E-mail: Web site: Penns Valley Conservation Association (PVCA) serves as a steward for the natural and cultural communities in the Upper Penns Creek watershed. We seek to preserve and honor the agricultural roots of Penns Valley by protecting and conserving its waters, farmlands, forests and rural heritage.

Park Forest Day Nursery Gloria Horst Rosenberger, Director (814) 231-8492 1833 Park Forest Ave. State College, PA 16803 E-mail: Web site: A tuition-free preschool for children from low income families, many of whom are at risk. The comprehensive program includes education, social skills and developmental motor skills taught by qualified teachers in a safe environment. Nutritious breakfast and lunch are provided/planned by a dietitian.

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Brian Snyder, Executive Director (814) 349-9856 P.O. Box 419 Millheim, PA 16854 E-mail: Web site: PASA works to improve the economic prosperity, environmental soundness and social propriety of Pennsylvania food and agricultural systems. PASA works with farmers, consumers and those concerned with the ecological well-being of our environment and natural resources, among others. The association


seeks to address the sustainability of the entire food and agriculture industry. Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light Cricket Hunter, Executive Director (814) 861-6171 205 Pasquerilla Spiritual Center University Park, PA 16802 E-mail: Web site: Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light is a community of congregations, faith-based organizations, and individuals of faith responding to climate change as a moral issue, through advocacy, energy conservation, energy efficiency, and the use of clean, renewable energy. Pets Come First 2451 General Potter Highway Centre Hall, PA 16828 (814) 364-1725 E-mail: Web site: Pets Come First is the new SPCA. The organization is mostly volunteer-run, and its primary mission is to facilitate the placement of stray and unwanted animals into loving homes. Pets Come First is also working towards the elimination of the critical overpopulation of homeless, stray and abused animals. PICCC, Inc. Cheryl M. Johnson, Executive Director (814) 237-8998 2595-1 Clyde Ave. State College PA 16801 E-mail: Web site: Summer youth career development program which enables youth to make career decisions, plan for the future and transition successfully to the workplace. Schlow Centre Region Library Director Catherine Alloway 211 S. Allen St. State College, Pa 16801 (814)237-6236


Voices Guide to Community Nonprofits 2012

The mission of Schlow Centre Region Library is to open doors for members of our diverse community to gather, share, and discover a wealth of ideas, the joy of reading, and the power of information by providing services and resources in a welcoming, convenient and responsive manner. Sierra Club Moshannon Group Gary Thornbloom, group chair 814-353-3466 E-mail : Web site: A local group of the national Sierra Club, whose mission is to explore, enjoy and protect the environment. The organization leads outings and welcomes all members of the public to participate. It is engaged in local environmental issues including advocating that Spring Creek Canyon to be owned and managed as a recreational and wilderness resource for the public’s enjoyment, opposing the proposed landfill in Rush Township, promoting alternative energy sources that are environmentally sustainable and others. Sight Loss Support Group of Central PA Rana Arnold, Co-founder and Director (814) 238-0132 111 Sowers St., #310 State College, PA 16801 E-mail: Website: Offers support and referral services to those coping with any stage of sight loss at any age. Program consists of self-help, emotional support, peer counseling, community education and advocacy. Skills of Central PA David M. (Mike) Rice, Ph.D., President and CEO (814) 238-3245 ext. 304 341 Science Park Rd., Suite 6 State College, PA 16803 E-mail: Web site: Provides community-based homes,

jobs, training and long-term support services for persons with disabilities. Smart Start Centre County Eileen Wise, Executive Director (814) 238-0331 P.O. Box 853 State College, PA 16804 E-mail: Web site: Engages a wide network of volunteers to promote awareness, educate, and affect positive change in the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive health and development of all young children in Centre County. State College Area Family YMCA Howard Long III, CEO (814) 237-7717 677 W. Whitehall Rd. State College, PA 16801 E-mail: Web site: Provides a variety of programs and services that build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities. State College Community Land Trust Ron Quinn, Executive Director Colleen Ritter, Projects Coordinator (814) 867-0656 420 W. College Ave. State College, PA 16801 Web site: Since 1996, the SCCLT has been working to address the need for affordable housing in the borough of State College. We are a nonprofit organization of volunteers that purchase, rehab and sell decent housing to income-qualified, first-time home buyers. Our houses meet all building codes and are always owner-occupied. State College Friends School (814) 237-8386 1900 University Dr. State College, PA 16801 Web site: A Quaker kindergarten through eighth

December 2012 / January 2013

grade independent school, nurturing intellectual growth with a stimulating academic curriculum in a spiritually-enriching environment. We celebrate diversity and welcome families of all faiths and perspectives. The State Theatre Richard Biever, Executive Director (814) 272-0606 130 W. College Avenue State College, PA 16801 Web site: The State Theatre is a non-profit community theatre dedicated to serving the Centre County region by providing a venue for theatre, dance, music and film. Local community productions, children’s theatre, local and national concerts, film festivals, “art house” and second run films are just some of the programming ideas being considered. Strawberry Fields, Inc. Cindy Pasquinelli, Executive Director (814) 234-6023 3054 Enterprise Dr. State College, PA 16801 E-mail: Cindy’s e-mail: Web site: Provides Early Intervention Services for children birth to 3. Casework services for children and adults with mental illness and adults with developmental disabilities. Organization operates eight residential programs for adults with development disabilities and a residential program for adults with mental illness. Tides 814-692-2233 Email: Tides is a local non-profit organization that serves the needs of grieving children, teens, and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one. The mission of Tides is to provide a safe place for families to work through the grieving process. There is no cost to attend the

Tides program. United Nations Association Norma Keller, President (814) 684-4720 or (814) 360-5818 1900 University Dr. State College, PA 16801 The United Nations Association of the United States of America is dedicated to educating, inspiring and mobilizing Americans to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations, strengthening the U.N. system, promoting constructive U.S. leadership in that system and achievement of the goals of the U.N. Charter. Voices of Central Pennsylvania Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell, editor in chief (814) 234-1699 Calder Square, P.O. Box 10066 State College, PA 16805-0066 E-mail: Web site: Voices of Central Pennsylvania is a nonprofit monthly paper that strives to provide high-quality community-based journalism to educate the people of Central Pennsylvania about issues that affect them and their community. Voices fulfills a local watchdog role by investigating issues that receive inadequate attention in the commercial media. Youth Service Bureau Andrea Boyles, CEO (814) 237-5731 325 W. Aaron Dr. State College, PA 16803 E-mail: Web site: The Youth Service Bureau strives to ensure that children, youth and families will have opportunities to realize and fulfill their potential for growth and development through a continuum of services.

28 from

December 2012 / January 2013

Health care, pg. 17

good opportunity for students to learn to handle another aspect of their rapidly approaching adult lives. In past years, health insurance offered through the university covered between 8,000 and 9,000 students, including their spouses and children. The number has yet to be finalized for this year. Given all of the services and affordable pricing UHS offers, students may still have a hard time utilizing them. For the fall semester, UHS is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Weekdays are appointment only and Saturdays are walk-in only. Therefore, if

Halal Meat

a student falls sick in a short period of time, they might struggle to be seen by UHS. Additionally, the health center’s hours are not conducive to students who may have classes, jobs or internships throughout the morning and afternoon and have more availability during evening hours. If a student does fall ill quickly, their other options are MedExpress or, in an emergency situation, the Mount Nittany Medical Center. Neither of these options is particularly useful to students residing on campus or downtown. MedExpress can be reached via the Vairo bus route, and Mount Nittany via the Red Link. While the Red Link is free to use, it stops running at 7 p.m. The Vairo bus line runs later into the evening, but has a $1.50 fee each way. This amount of travel may deter students from seeking immediate


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“I think it would be useful to have some kind of different option on campus, besides just Penn State. A facility where you could use other insurances.” Emily Miller, junior treatment when necessary. Additionally, while the offered services have expanded and improved, Kline fears that students are not fully aware of the plan. UHS communicates with a small portion of parents who have signed up to receive the UHS newsletter and the health center also has access to a list serve of new parents. Other than that, the center relies on students to relay information back to their parents about updates and changes in the plan. Due to this lack of information, students may be unaware of the procedure of scheduling an appointment as well as going about filing for reimbursement from their insurance company. Considering the quantity of students living in State College and that these individuals are spending seven or eight months out of the year at Penn State for four years, many people believe that the university should provide easily accessible healthcare for their students. Emily Miller, a junior nursing major, has stopped trying to use UHS. After an unsatisfactory experience with their service and insurance reimbursement process, Miller decided to use MedExpress exclusively. “MedExpress is the fastest, they are the nicest and they accept both of my insurances,” Miller said. “I know [the UHS plan] exists, but I don’t know specifics about it. I just know there is an option for people that don’t already have health care.” Miller also stated that a brand new health care option may be necessary. “I think it would be useful to have some kind of different option on campus,

besides just Penn State,” Miller said. “A facility where you could use other insurances.” Miller described the difficulties she faced seeking reimbursement in which her insurance required a printed copy of the receipt instead of the e-mailed version provided by UHS. After making several trips to UHS and communicating with her insurance company, she still did not receive the reimbursement in full. Paula Borra, a senior criminal law justice major, had recent success seeking medical attention from UHS. Borra said that she goes to UHS first because of its convenience and simple billing process. In addition to her insurance coverage, Borra appreciates the direct billing to her Bursar account because she can cover the payment with loans. As a whole, Borra finds that UHS “has its ups and downs, but it’s mostly fine.” However, regarding the placement of the building, Borra, who lives off campus, admitted that she has trouble with parking. The Eisenhower parking deck is located nearby, but is reserved exclusively for faculty and staff permit parking during the UHS business hours, thus creating a problem for students. In addition to the lack of parking, Borra said that the facility is inadequate for the massive number of students attending the University Park campus. There are just fewer than 40,000 students at Penn State and she admitted that it might be time to think about another facility location. “The campus is too big to only have one [health center],” Borra said. “It’s convenient for people who live on campus, but not for people who don’t.” Recently, Borra used MedExpress on a Sunday when UHS was closed. She admitted that the experience made her think that the center should have emergency hours available on the weekend. While the University Health Services does its best to provide quality and affordable medical attention, some students feel that there is still room for improvement in order to make it more available and useful to students.


December 2012 / January 2013

Bellefonte votes against clear backpacks by Rachel Peddie Students recently convinced the Bellefonte Area School Board members to vote against a clear backpack proposal. Now, these students are working with the school board and teachers to find an alternative solution. According to Principal Stephanie Brown, in the past 5 years at Bellefonte Area High School, there have been 16 thefts, 10 incidents involving weapons being brought to school including 5 in the past year alone, and 46 incidents involving alcohol or controlled substances. Police Officer, Jason Brower, spoke more about this problem at the board meeting. According to Officer Brower, three-fourths of the drugs, weapons and thefts the arrests were made for came from backpacks. In 2010, officers began bringing in dogs to perform random drug searches in the hallways. “I heard from some students that these [drug searches] were no longer a problem because students started carrying the drugs in their backpacks,” said Officer Brower. The original proposal for the administrative guideline required students to keep their backpacks in their lockers throughout the school day unless they were clear or mesh. In an attempt to make things more convenient for the students, an extra minute was proposed to be added in between each class to allow students more time to stop at their lockers. Students also had the option to carry a six-by-nine inch purse or purchase a clear backpack in the school store for five or six dollars. Principal Brown stressed that the purpose of the guideline was not to punish students, but to protect those who made the choice not to bring these harmful items to school. Vice President of the junior class and student council member, Sarah Horner, said she has been in the Bellefonte Area School District since kindergarten and has never felt threatened. She argued that

this guideline would only hurt the students who make the right choices. “We are supposed to be learning responsibility and how to make rational and well-informed decisions,” Horner said. “This requires choices.” Horner said that she felt that if this guideline were passed, the school would be taking choices away from the students. Senior Shane Kaschalk said that the lack of a backpack causes him to be much less organized.

“These weapons can still be brought to school, just kept in a locker that [students] can get anytime during the day. The drugs will go from backpacks to pockets.” Tisha Christopher, mother of a Bellefonte High School student “In middle school, we weren’t allowed to carry our backpacks during the day and I was a C and B student,” Kaschalk said. “Once I got to high school, I became an A student because of my being more organized.” Kaschalk expressed his fear that this new policy will cause his grades to slip back into the C and B range. Trisha Christopher, mother of an 11th grader within the school district, was also concerned about what effects this might have on the students. She calculated that the extra minute between classes would take away 45 minutes of class time every week. In one school year, these minutes would add up to almost four full days of school that students would miss, which would not be fair to the students who are there to learn. Christopher also said that, in her opinion, this guideline would not stop these incidents from occurring. “These weapons can still be brought to school, just kept in a locker that [stu-

dents] can get anytime during the day,” Christopher said. “The drugs will go from backpacks to pockets.” Ann Davis, mother of a 10th grader within the school district, expressed similar concerns. She said that this proposed backpack guideline did not include the time on the bus or the students’ pockets. “The guideline provides a false sense of security for parents and students,” Davis said. Don Smith, a longtime member of the Bellefonte Area School District community, admitted that he also believed that the guideline was unnecessary. He said that the parents were failing if these guidelines were necessary in the school. “The teachers know who the troublemakers are and there is no need to punish the majority,” Smith said. The school board members responded later in the meeting with mixed feelings. Board member, Hope Boylston, said that the guideline seemed to be too big of a change to be forced into. She suggested that the students, teachers and board members work together to find a solution that works for everyone. Vice President Jeff Steiner also supported the idea of putting together a committee in charge of determining the most effective way to keep students safe. “The policy needs an all or nothing approach,” Steiner said. “A halfway approach takes away from the effective-

ness.” Steiner said that the ability for students to still bring their backpacks into the school and carry items on their person would make the guideline ineffective. Board member, Keith Hamilton, said his thoughts on the matter changed after hearing the students speak at the meeting. However, he said he supported the idea of postponing an action on the issue of safety until the board could create a guideline that would work for both the students and the community. Board President, Becky Rock, stressed that safety was their utmost concern. She said that the administration should try the new guideline, but keep track of data such as organization and tardiness to evaluate whether or not the guideline is succeeding in the manner they expected. “Policies have been revised before, “she said. “Teachers need to be accommodating [once the guideline is in effect.]” The vote was tied at four and Attorney Brian Marshall concluded that the motion failed. “A committee is being formed to discuss how we can make our schools as safe as possible,” Rock said. “This committee will include students, parents, teachers, administrators, our school resource officer and other members of our staff.”

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December 2012 / January 2013

Playing with Passion: Amanda Silliker by Cynthia Mazzant The voluptuous voice. It’s not just the voice-it’s the smile, the laugh, the hug, the raucous joke when you need it. Amanda Silliker embraces her work and her life as if she’s the luckiest individual in the world. After spending a few hours with her, I might agree. I imagine she arrived in this world singing a perfect arietta - in pitch, with a vibrato largesse, and one extremely healthy pair of lungs. A voice that would make one pause and listen. Amanda remembers her first performance as a 1st grade precocious smarty-pants playing Bambi’s mother in the school play. And if you ask, she can still sing you the song in its entirety. Amanda, known as the “Voluptuous Voice,” is more than her voice, more than her stature. She defines herself as an educator, performer, and healer. I met Amanda a few years ago through my husband and began studying with her about two years ago. “She’s amazing.” “She’s wonderful.” “She’s got such a beautiful voice.” “She’s fun!” “I learn so much from her.” All I heard were wonderful testimonials. “Wait til you spend some time with her. You want to wait for a spot in her studio to open.” And so far, they’ve been proven right. But I wanted to know more about her, not just the usual – background, education, shaping experiences. I wanted to know what makes Amanda, well, Amanda. So first things first – the studio in Bellefonte. Walking into the house, Kita greets you at the door. Kita is the very loving guard dog who will meet you and hang out with you until he’s told to, “find his spot,” often under the baby grand. Walking into the studio, you are greeted with a collage of images and an overwhelming feeling of harmony. The baby grand piano takes center

stage but it’s surrounded by a bevy of instruments–from the euphonium to the ukulele to the djembek to the hand-made shako and the heirloom F.O. Stanley violin–the place is filled with instruments too many to name. All make wonderful sounds but even more appealing, the instruments are filled with stories. There was the time the students played with the Boom

“My favorite moments are the organic ones--the times when a group of like-minded people can improvise together.” Amanda Silliker

Whackers and chaos ensued… There is the inherited violin, the handmade instruments and lots of “bells and whistles.” Joining you, Kita and Amanda will be a small but bold tuft of fur named Molly, one of the household’s two cats, who will sing along with you if you hit the right note. Innanna (the other cat) will also occasionally come for a short visit. There are fish and at one point there were birds that would sing too. Did I mention that Amanda loves animals? But, back to the studio. One wall is filled with bookshelves–music from different genres, music from different cultures, books on technique, books on sounds, books on–well you name it, it’s probably there. I once asked her for a handbook on percussion techniques to teach to small children. Twenty minutes later, I think she had unearthed at least 17 (and that was when I told her she could stop.) Then there was the time I was looking for a 1944 song–and out she produced an

entire box of 40s original sheet music. She said she had more in another box. Again, I said stop. On top of the bookshelves, you will find posters from previous productions she has been involved with –both as a performer and/or as a m u s i c a l director/vocal coach. Enshrined are pictures drawn by students, props from various shows, and signed pictures from Silliker in concert. grateful casts and students. There’s a story that goes with each and every one. The studio also has chairs, a computer, a chalkboard with a message of the week, music stands, a mirror - the accoutrements one expects in a studio. But this studio feels less like a studio one would normally find. This studio, Amanda’s Studio, feels more like home. “What I want for my studio is for it to be a safe place. A place where students can explore, create, be authentically themselves. A place to make mistakes without judgment. A place to grow. A place to be who they are meant to be.” We continued to talk – why such a need for a place to be who you are? “I didn’t fit in growing up,” Amanda offered. “It took me a long time to find my place, to find my people.” And the studio is designed to offer her students the same such refuge. A place to come home. A place of safety. A place of comfort. A place of ease. So what makes this studio so unique-

Photo courtesy of Amanda Silliker

besides its “no place like home” feeling? Making complex ideas readily accessible. Finding the digestible, understandable words so that students can relate. Professional standards administered with hope and compassion. “I get such an incredible sense of satisfaction when I see a student find that ‘oh’ moment. When comprehension dawns and you see that sparkle in a student’s eyes. That moment is so cool!” On an average day, Amanda begins her studio days around 3 p.m. and teaches until 9 p.m. She keeps a running journal and notebook on each student to track progress and ideas. Amanda offers both piano and voice lessons in 45 minute sessions. Her youngest student is in third grade and her oldest is in his 80s. And she still has students who study with her since the opening of the studio in 2003. Amanda also created the summer chil-


Silliker, pg. 31


December 2012 / January 2013 from

Silliker, pg. 30

dren’s theatre group Acting Out performing short musicals at the UU (see photo on page 33.) She began her teaching career at an early age, when she coached other students while she was still in high school. This year in the studio, Thanksgiving week serves as Naked Piano Week. The week the fallboard and music stand come off the piano. The week that students get a chance to look inside the piano, strum the strings, play with the struts, the hammers, the jacks and explore how the piano works. Like all of her other lessons, this week works developmentally as students develop and create at their own pace, asking questions, setting the tone and from there Amanda creates a unique les-

Photo courtesy of Silliker

Silliker as a young performer.

son for each student. The studio is not full of cookie-cutter recipes and exercises. There’s no pre-recorded warm-up – each student is treated individually and each lesson designed accordingly. Today, Amanda defines herself as an educator more than a performer. But her voice and performances are as memorable as her lessons. She began singing for a living in churches and remembers one of her earliest professional gigs was in the Harrisburg Opera in 1997 (or 1998.) Her favorite composer to sing is Verdi and she counts her top three arias as “O don fatale” from “Don Carlo” by Verdi, “Mon c’oeur s’ouvre a ta voix” by SaintSaens and “Stride la vampa!” from “Il Trovatore” also by Verdi. When asked what her favorite performance was, Amanda offered what she felt was her best performance and what she felt was her favorite to sing. Her best? The “Verdi Requiem” with the combined Penn State choir and orchestra. Her favorite to play? “Musical of Musicals” where she played Abby and was able to sing a variety of musical theatre styles as the musical created parodies of Kander & Ebb, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Sondheim, and Jerry Hermann. Amanda’s latest performance was November 30 as the opening act for The Celtic Tenors at The State Theatre. She will be playing the role of the

Mother in Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra on December 18. But it is not opera nor musical theatre or classical music that defines her or her musical tastes. Hit shuffler on Amanda’s i-pod and you’re not sure what might play. It might be Verdi (her favorite composer) but it could easily be a song by Kate Nash or Morphine or Sweet Honey in the Rock or Vas or Libana or The Axis of Awesome. Her musical choices are eclectic and she embraces all genres. Take her women’s choir, “The Accidentals.” I asked her, why start a choir? I know that the choir was started as a request but why do it? That’s what I really wanted to know. “My favorite moments are the organic ones–the times when a group of like-

minded people can improvise together,” said Silliker. “When they can create something deeper and richer. This group is comprised of powerful, strong women who are not afraid of being themselves. The camaraderie, the laughter, the tears, the music. That’s why.” And in our own James Lipton 10 Questions, we end our interview. CM: What turns you on creatively? AS: Authenticity. CM: What turns you off creatively? AS: Superficiality. CM. Nickname? AS: Don’t have one. CM: Then create one – what would you want your nickname to be? AS: Pie. Honey Pie. That’s what my


Silliker, pg. 33

At this time of year, we are grateful for the many gifts we have received... Thanks to each and every member of the Central Pennsylvania community who made a donation, volunteered time or attended a ClearWater Conservancy event or program in 2012. Your support makes it possible for ClearWater to vigorously pursue its mission to conserve and restore the land and water resources of our glorious ridges and valleys.

Make your year-end donation at


December 2012 / January 2013

Burns reimagines women with juxtaposition by Veronica Winters

In the artist’s studio Emily Burns is promising young, confident, and a very talented artist–the painter of imaginable realms. Her artwork is uniquely defined by clever juxtaposition of women, animals, and the environment they are in. Beautiful renderings of figures almost scream with photorealism, while familiar subjects puzzle viewers with unfamiliar situations they are in. The subjects are women. Women who are half-dressed in their undergarments

and stockings, sensual, slender, youthful, and assertive, yet they have no human heads. These are pin-up-style girls of the 50s with the heads of large male game animals-moose, antelopes, and gazelles. Burn’s portfolio of images could be divided into two folders: drawings and paintings. Ink drawings flow with elegant lines of perfect bodies, the pin-up girls with large animal heads playing instruments, holding playful objects, showing off their glamour, wit, and confidence. Beautifully rendered textures and patterns of clothes, shoes, underwear, fur, grass, tiny flowers, and cute animals heighten the feeling of whimsical and fun.

Paintings are even more complex. Evoking the icons of the past, Burn’s deer girls represent a very meticulous, laborious process for the artist as she works on her compositions intensively. First, Burns sets up photo shoots to capture women in their various stages of undress. “I’m lucky to have so many friends posing for the pictures. As I paint from pictures of my friends whom I know really well, my friends’ characters eventually come out in my paintings,” she said. Burns then works with her pictures digitally. Sometimes it takes her up to 10 hours just to make the image on the computer. She creates composites in Photoshop by collaging figures, animal heads, and the surroundings. Sometimes, the backgrounds are taken from famous paintings, and other times these are more ambiguous landscapes with no reference to the past. Burns creates the composition in a long process of trial and error until she feels she can pursue it in painting. She often makes several versions of the same image to make sure it would work in the long process of painting. Then, she lets the image dictate the medium of choice, whether it’s oil, acrylic, ink, or watercolor. As Burns grew up on farms in Va and Pa she developed her deep appreciation for deer hunting and taxidermy. While in New York, Burns visited the American Museum of Natural History, studying and photographing the dioramas. “These were fantastically preserved animals. I took so many pictures of gorgeous animals, collected under Carl Akeley- renowned taxidermist and naturalist,” she said. When she came home with all her images, the artist felt inspired to create her deer girls, these characters in the American pin-up style. Not interested

in disclosing the entire idea behind her imagery, the artist leaves it up to the viewers to bring their experiences to her art. “They [the paintings] are interesting being unexplained, mysterious, anthropomorphic,” Burns said. She strips women down to bodies that have no identities of their own. It’s the juxtaposition of the animal and the human, like the old technique of painting and the new world of digital. It’s about what it’s like to be the female now. In a way they are portraits of the artist. She took the idea of pin-up when young women were put into these unreal situations to create that ideal, the subconscious view of what woman should be like: playful and whimsical. “It’s the way women are viewed in ads, media, and movies,” she said. In her art Burns tries to show how

Photo by Emily Burns

“Deer Christmas Lights” by Emily Burns.


Burns, pg. 33


December 2012 / January 2013 from

Silliker, pg. 31

CM: Favorite word. AS: Sesquipedalian (at least for this week) CM: Favorite Movie/TV Show? AS: Mystery Science Theatre MST3K CM: Favorite bird. AS: Tufted tit-mouse. CM: Top 3 Favorite Books. AS: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak,

Photo courtesy of Silliker

Silliker applying makeup for an Acting Out performance.

Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price, When Fox is a Thousand by Larissa Lai. CM: Favorite Recording Artist? AS: Kate Nash CM: Favorite Piano Composer AS: Debussy CM: One thing you want people to know. AS: I’m passionate about moving people, encouraging them, motivating them, illuminating ideas – together. CM: Describe an awesome home moment. AS: Sitting on the couch with my feet tucked up, cup of hot cocoa, a good book and a purring cat. Trust me - You will want Amanda to sing, laugh, tell a raucous joke, invite you into her home. You can see Amanda perform during December, join The Accidentals or check out her studio. Email her at See Amanda Silliker in “Amahl & the Night Visitors”: Williamsport Symphony Orchestra Community Arts Center, Williamsport December 18, 7:30pm Join The Accidentals: Tuesday Evenings 7-9pm At Foxdale Community Room

Gifts From the Land for the Holiday Season Simple Natural Delicious 7 Miles East of State College on Route 322 ~ 814-466-3411 ~


Burns, pg. 32

women feel being objectified and sexualized. “Every viewer takes visual cues from my paintings to create unique image of their own,” Burns said. Burns gained her painting skill at the Grand Central Academy of Art in New York after graduation from Penn State, but she is also glad that she learned how to work on her concept art while she studied at the university. “I’m always free with my concept. Although it’s important for me to get better technically, I don’t want to lose the style,” she said. Splitting her time between New York City and State College, Burns works on the development of her new portfolio painting in two studios. She loves the fact that there is room to work in State College where the cost of living is much lower. “I paint from my home in Lemont, working on small pieces and I paint large in another studio in Boalsburg,” she said. After graduation from Penn State with her B.F.A. degree in 2008, Burns moved to New York in 2009 to find temporary art jobs and meet Jeff Koons. Burns worked as one of Koons’ assistants for several months, mixing colors and painting for the prolific and famed

artist. “I did a lot of color-mixing and it was a very-very complicated process of painting by numbers,” she said. Burns didn’t really enjoy the job that was fulfilling financially but lacking creativity. “It was great experience to see so many talented people, go to art openings, and enjoy the culture but it was also very hard to be left out with almost no time to do work of my own,” she said. The artist taught photography and worked several other part-time jobs while living in New York. As Burns tried to find the market for her artwork, rather than changing it for local marketplace, the artist got acquainted with the art scene in California via the Internet. “While my art is sort of strange over here, it’s almost normal in California,” she said. Burns is preparing for her new show to be held in a gallery in San Francisco next spring. “You really have to make a lot of work before exhibiting,” she said. Burns eventually wants to go to graduate school in pursuit of her artistic career. To contact the artist visit her website: or e-mail:


December 2012 / January 2013

Interpreting the presidential election by Mike Hill Ever since the recent elections, analysts and pundits have been quick to point fingers, both at the candidates and at various demographics and constituencies. If only Mitt Romney had done better with Latinos, or Barack Obama's economy hadn't started to pick up in the nick of time, we'd have a different president come inaugeration day. At least, that's what the theories say, though deep down inside, they boil down to one simple proposition -- more people voted for Obama than Romney - that is hardly rocket science. To be sure, there's some grain of truth in each of these theories. Certainly, Romney would have won if women broke for him in great numbers. Obama also could have turned the election into a Reagan vs. Mondale scale romp if

only he'd done better with white guys. To pinpoint any one of these factors is, essentially, to cherry-pick a single detail out of the larger picture of the election. Obama beat Romney because 3.3 million more voters found his vision of the future and his plans to achieve it credible. The shock this reality has caused in conservative circles is well-documented: Even the Romney campaign, itself, fell prey to the belief that a purposefully-silenced majority of Americans shared their perceptions of reality along with their conviction that only conservative solutions could guarantee America's future. By election day, however, the GOP had asked Americans to swallow any number of propositions that were clearly and outrageously untrue, and here are just a few: Man is incapable of causing

global warming. Taking away reproductive choices and rights from women isn't an attack. If we just let the rich keep enough of their money, they'll use it to take care of the rest of us. Equal marriage rights aren't civil rights. A majority of Americans might agree with any one item on the list. Hardcore Republicans seem to have no problem with the majority of the list. But the combined weight became too much for the average American to swallow: How are we to believe that the rich will consent to a single penny trickling down when Mitt Romney set up a tax shelter for his dancing horse in order to net $50 on his tax return? Even against an incumbent with much vulnerability, the weight of absurd beliefs was more than Romney could withstand. The right was never going to be happy with Obama, under any cir-

cumstances, and he's done a lot to alienate liberals, from failing to close Guantanamo Bay to his reluctance to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gays. As the first presidential debate showed, Obama's advantage was hardly insurmountable, and when Romney made a more credible spokesman for his cause, that advantage nearly disappeared overnight. By the end of debate three, Romney couldn't even decide if his economic plan was going to create millions of jobs or if government could never ever create jobs. The nonsensical combination of those two beliefs proved even more than Romney, himself, could contain.


Election, pg. 35

Sandusky, rape, and prison reform - solutions by Greg Brown I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. ~ Abraham Lincoln As detailed in the November issue of VOICES — If you are younger, poor, uneducated, male, and/or dark-skinned and living in the United States of America — there's a considerable probability you are going to be sent "up the river" sometime (or times) in your life. We have become a Crime Culture; many rather ordinary US citizens (not just professional criminals) are vulnerable in the demoralized paranoid social climate in which we now exist (partially due to overwrought indiscriminate terrorism concerns). So stay in school, work hard, and keep relatively anonymous if you don't want to be caught up in our Government's ever-widening dragnet — or you might as well start packing for an extended stay at The Gray Bar Hotel. Society demands its pound of flesh—

but refuses to dedicate any sincere consistent effort towards actual rehabilitation (education, job training, etc.). Remember, this culture is so selfish, apathetic, vindictive, and/or deliberately cruel that it can't even be bothered to keep its own citizens safe IN PRISON. Once their freedom, civil rights, and citizenship are taken away, does their hope and dignity have to be eradicated, too ? Three-million-plus Americans (mostly the uneducated poor and the politically/ racially "troublesome") are warehoused in US prison gulags (most for nonviolent offenses), the highest proportion in the world (including former Communist Russia and Red China), an international disgrace. Minor league druggies and check-kiters go in, but (after "reeducation" inside) racist gang-affiliated felony rob/ rape/ murderers (who think the world really owes them something this time) come out; a growing national crime industry with no end in sight. Based on the facts delineated here last

month, it would appear that the average American citizen is not nearly so different from or superior to Jerry Sandusky (which is how we first got into the overall subject of prison reform) as they might flatter themselves into believing. In this country's ongoing mean, disenfranchising, and unenlightened treatment of its legions of malcontents (including criminals), outsiders (anyone who's different or lacks economic and political power), subcultures, the poor, homeless, mentally ill and other undesirables, we are proving every day that we are . . . more like the Sanduskys of this world than most of us will ever readily admit. In the war between humanity's destructive primitive vengeance-seeking instincts and our oft-stated but irregularly practiced egalitarian ideals, our darker more vindictive natures often win out. To substantively evolve and truly advance, our society (institutions, laws, justice, and punishments) needs to endeavor to be far better (smarter and kinder) than Jerry Sandusky

and his violent psychotic ilk, not JUST AS BAD AS (cruel, hateful, unfair, and unforgiving). Fundamental case in point: To appease their many vocal "Zero Tolerance" - minded constituents, national, state, and regional legislative politicians routinely "get tough on crime" by criminalizing petty "acting out" behavior, ridiculously increasing criminal sentences, and denying the basic funding necessary to adequately administer our country's overflowing jails and prisons. Forgive doesn't mean forget. Earnest attempts at criminal rehabilitation, undertaken with both intelligence and common sense, would be a very hopeful sign indicative of this culture's genuine growth, positive strength, and future potential, not any sort of actual weakness. Want to really "get tough on crime" ? Instead of building additional needlessly harsh high-capacity jails


Prison, pg. 36


December 2012 / January 2013

ASK Co smo


Campus and Culture from the Canine Perspective other explanation? Funny Here

Dear Cosmo, I thought that the natural gas companies were in a big hurry to establish lots of gas wells in Pennsylvania so that we could stop being dependent on foreign oil. Last year, when there was substantial public outcry about drilling, the proMarcellus lobby would characterize anyone who opposed gas wells as unAmerican tree-huggers, unpatriotic liberals, anti-jobs extremists, or simply proterrorist. Now they say that because the price of natural gas is down, it’s not a good time to step up production. Do low natural gas prices mean that we have become less dependent on foreign oil, more patriotic, more pro-exploitation, and less pro-terrorist, or is there some

Signed, Something

Dear It’s a Gas, You need to brush up on your Marcellus porn. Stop by any hotel lobby in the area, and check out the complimentary tabloids devoted to natural gas worship. Conduct a little content analysis on the entire paper, and see how many articles repeat the same themes: drilling brings progress to the area, drillers offer low-risk but substantial returns on investment, and the goodhearted companies are proud to protect the astounding beauty that we’re so blessed to enjoy, perched as we are above the largest, easily extracted energy deposits in North America. I don’t think any of the alleged reasons for the boom ever percolated to the surface. We’re still getting our energy


Cosmo, pg. 39

Whitey Blue on election by David M. Silverman I was talking the other day to Whitey Blue, longtime Centre Area resident and hard-nose. Whitey, any thoughts about the reelection of Obama? “You bet! The country is heading for disaster!” Why do you say that? “This country is going to go broke by continued giveaways to the underachiev-

ers. Medicare and Medicaid should be privatized, not government -operated. Schools should be privately chartered, not paid for by local governments.” But that would result in many poor or elderly people not being able to afford health care! Also, many could not afford nonpublic, private schooling! “Hey, this is a competitive world. Eventually those non-achievers would die away and leave this country to the rich, know-how -to -make -a -buck guys.”

Election, pg. 34

It's a sobering message for Republicans -- and for all politicians -that there's a limit to the credibility even of those who want desperately to believe what you say. What a fine world it would be if global warming were out of our hands, if women could be truly free without reproductive self-control, if cutting taxes to the rich grew the economy, and if we could rest assured that the poor deserved their suffering. Instead, America's voters endorsed Obama's vision, his story of the recent past, analysis of the present and course for the future, precisely because it seemed more credible, overall, than Romney's version. Even Romney's perception of his own chances was based

on an obvious fiction, the "unskewed" polls based on the assumption that a conspiracy amongst mainstream polling outlets was leading to a vast undercounting of conservative Americans. Instead, those polls helped Romney hide from the reality that he just wasn't going to win, in the exact same way that carbon-fuel industry shills help conservatives believe that humanity isn't responsible for heating up the Earth. These theories collapse upon contact with reality—as conspiracy theories so often do, and as Republican hopes for the White House collapsed on election night. Mike Hill writes a semi-regular online column at

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December 2012 / January 2013

Prison, pg. 34

(which these days primarily function as concentration camps for the uneducated non-white poor), try investing in more schools of demonstrably higher quality. Educated people generally make more money, statistically live stabler, happier, more comfortable, more productive, more contented lives — and thus tend to commit far fewer violent crimes than those frustrated by the triple whammy of poverty, ignorance, and psychosis. So how do we fix America's broken criminal justice system ? Simple logic and adequate business sense strongly indicates that taking the steps outlined below would make for a very good start. PRISONER SAFETY Would you opt to reduce prison violence if you could ? This would be easier than you might think. Start by giving hardcore violent urban gang-affiliated inmates the ignorant intolerant functionally racist society that most are already used to on the outside and would likely prefer in prison — a racially separatist one. Restrict competing perennially warring groups from all contact with each other, housing each in different secure cellblocks — Aryan Brotherhood in one, Crips in another, Bloods in a third, Irish Westies in a fourth, Jamaican gangstas in a fifth, Hell's Angels in a sixth, a Latin gang in a seventh, etc. Gang mentality rules stress "Thou shalt not attack or exploit a fellow gang member, it's purely bad

form". Peace in our time. "Family squabbles" are so much easier to manage than full-scale gang riots. Some basic planning and commonsense administration would be necessary, but not a lot of retrofitting of existing facilities would be required. And with Victimless Criminals (see further below) furloughed (cut loose), there'd finally be plenty of room; the cells could even be enlarged (bust down a few non-loadbearing walls and quadruple their size) so they'd be passably fit for human habitation at long last. PLANTATION ECONOMY Exploitation of the weak by the powerful has always been a sad fact of human nature. But no decent rational person ever said we had to wallow in such reprehensible characteristics to the point of institutionalizing them. Nearly 150 years after the end of the Civil War, the vestiges of slavery are still thoroughly ingrained into the collective mindset of American society — North, South, East, West, and Midwest. Prisons are the new plantations, where labor is both cheap and plentiful. Inmates are routinely exploited as virtual slave labor, often forced to perform arduous unpleasant backbreaking work for literally pennies an hour. They toil under frequently adverse conditions, in indentured servitude to mercenary American corporations in an unholy alliance with corrupt corrections officials and craven regional politicians. Solution: Eradicate the prison plantation system across America. Emancipate all our country's citizens as much as is practicable,

even the ones who must necessarily reside behind bars. Oblige corporations and politicians to make their money and profits honestly. Pay all prisoners in the USA Minimum Wage (or more, depending upon their skill level, job duties, and hours worked). Convicts with a sizable nest egg waiting for them on the outside, accrued from legitimate prison employment, are far less likely to reoffend once they're released. VICTIMLESS CRIMES America's Puritanical underpinnings have never served us well, and our accelerated systematic incarceration of millions of ordinary US citizens for petty nonviolent offenses must surely be the the prime example. Imagine all the needless human misery — amplified by the abject squandering of individual and national potential and resources — that has been caused over our country's relatively short history

by our culture's far-too-casual condemning of non-dangerous Americans to a living death in lockup. The US Crime Rate Is Way Down — But Our Incarceration Rate Is Way UP !?! Prisons and jails should be reserved exclusively for persons too dangerous to be at large, who are in the great MINORITY of all criminals. Want to radically ease prison overcrowding ? Stop sending nonviolent criminals there. Definition of Consensual (Victimless) Crimes—Activities, currently illegal, in which no harm or damage to another person or individual's property occurs; such as recreational drug use, immigration offenses, gambling, illegal weapons possession, prostitution, pornography, public intoxica-


Prison, pg. 38

“We find the idea a new, maintenance apartment at Foxd really appealing especially since w go south for the win – Pete and Marge C A fter living in the same house for 38 y g p excited to move to their new 2-bedroom apartment at Foxdale Village. “We looked at ever y retirement community in State College,” says Marge. “W hen we visited Foxdale, we felt such a warm feeling a nd we just knew this was the place for us.” Now, it’s your turn to enjoy the maintenance-free lifestyle at Foxdale. Our new apartments offer spacious living, patios, balconies, and more. Call 272-2117 now to f ind out which of our new apartments are still available. A Quaker-Directed Continuing Care Retirement Community Visit us at w w

500 East Marylyn n Avenue | State College, PA A 16801 (814) 238-3322 | (800) 253-4951


December 2012 / January 2013


John Harris State College I take issue with Andrew TimberlakeNewell's column in the November Voices. He claims that population growth improves economic well-being: a bigger population leads to more commerce and to a larger gross domestic product (GDP). But by itself, a larger GDP doesn't make anyone richer. If the GDP doubles, but the population also doubles, the amount of money per person stays the same. How is anyone better off? A more relevant measure is GDP per person. With slow population growth, Japan's GDP per person is still rising. When Japan's population begins to decrease, it will benefit by becoming less crowded. The book, "Steady State Economics" by Herman Daly shows how we can have a healthy economy without population growth. Our economic well-being is determined not by the population size, but by how the products of our economy are distributed.

Credit: Peter Morris Solution on page 39

It has been a long war, this war on terror, and the new Veterans’ memorial is appropriate to honor the warrior virtues-courage, supreme sacrifice for the nation. But it is important to remember that the spartan words inscribered there are answered by the virtues of Athens, Sparta’s rinal. Athens’ gift is democracy, and the free speech at its heart is the foundation of our whole intellectual tradition, including Penn State. Speech is free when we honor each other and open our hearts to understand. The prerequisite of this is peace. Warring peace is the moral equivalent of war. And Athens would say to Sparta What I say too--war is blind, it needs peace to tell it why it battles. War is but an episode. Peace is the foundation. One day this cordial open hand will unite the whole world.

This is determined by our trade and tax policies, our social safety net, and our educational and health care systems. Most of the increase in the GDP in the last 30 years has gone to the top 1%, so most Americans are not better off than they were 30 years ago. Economist Kenneth Boulding once wrote, "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." With 315 million people, the U.S. is already living far beyond its means. We already use such vast amounts of many resources that they must be imported. Increasing the population further will only make things worse. Sooner or later, population growth must stop. Bob Baillie State College Buried deep on page 23 of your October issue, after page upon lugubrious page of breast-beating platitudes in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, a reader found Michael Brand’s succinct and spot-on wise discussion of the local enabling Sandusky enjoyed. Yes, the Happy Valley culture most of us shared--and still share--invited us to miss, ignore, rationalize, deny or actively cover up Sandusky’s unspeakable behavior. Yes, football reigned higher among us than higher education and even child welfare. Among many of us, it obviously still does. My own lengthy litany of examples from my Penn State career led me long ago to the firm and frequently expressed conclusion that the academic mission and revenue-producing college sports programs are inherently incompatible. But at this stage, I gladly defer to Michael Brand’s accurate and refreshingly objective analysis. John Swinton State College

Teamsters Local 8 Proudly Supports Local Youth Activities The Men and Women of Teamsters Local 8 Encourage Supporting Local Youth Activities

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Prison, pg. 36

tion, and traffic violations. (Drug pushers, drunk drivers, and gun freaks who've directly risked innocent lives or actually been responsible for fatalities understandably do not fall into my version of the victimless crimes category.) Putting nonviolent criminals behind bars does nothing but squander public resources. It deprives society of able-bodied workers and costs us massive amounts of resources which are stolen from the general public through the coercive theft of taxation. America can't afford to prosecute and imprison its millions of weird, creepy, sleazy, obnoxious, or disturbing (but usually not dangerous) undesirables—social "outlaws" who've committed lifestyle offenses — anymore. It's long past time to free (grant conditional amnesty to) the los-

ing side in the Culture Wars. A few statistics which demonstrate how thoroughly destructive the mass incarceration of victimless criminals has become to American society. Victimless criminals now constitute 86% of our federal prison population. They have not stolen any property, damaged any property, or harmed anyone directly by their actions. Over half of all US federal prisoners are incarcerated for drug offenses; a further 35% for so-called "public (dis)order" offenses; only the remaining 14-minus percent are inside for committing violent and property crimes. Public order offenses include such things as immigration, illegal weapons, public drunkenness, selling lemonade or performing in public without a license, and dancing in public. The point should not be lost on anyone that, the fewer of our citizens who are forced into the United States' antiquat-

ed unwieldy justice system over specious causes like substance abuse charges (addicts and users belong in rehab hospitals where they can be treated), the fewer of them will be seriously injured or die in prison. Immigration cases alone now account for nearly a third of all federal prison sentencing. Owing to manifest economic realities, a blanket amnesty and accelerated naturalization process would seem to be called for. Why ?! Because illegal immigrants perform all the lowdown dirty jobs for nonliving wages that the vast majority of native-born Americans won't even touch. They keep fresh produce, housekeeping and landscaping services, and domestically manufactured products affordable for most of the rest of us. Without the now-essential presence of illegal aliens (or substantive changes in the way this country's financial system operates), the United States economy would arguably totally collapse. It would appear that the only way to stem the runaway growth of America's prison and jail populations is to return to the original Bill of Rights and reinstitute Habeas Corpus— a crime has only been committed when there's been injury to another person or property, an actual physical victim. Victimless consensual crime laws should be eradicated from the US Judicial Code before we all drown in the colossal waste and debt they generate. Such legislation principally serves to create a populace of criminals — the systematic criminalization of ordinary American citizens.

COMMUNITY SERVICE / ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING Community service and alternative sentencing ? Why not ? Most criminals are not dangerous, after all, except possibly to themselves (though they may indeed be socially disruptive). But most Americans prefer their convicted prisoners be housed in isolated rural gulags, and they frequently won't tolerate halfway houses in their own neighborhoods. So much for proverbial Christian charity. This is the major reason why nothing fundamentally changes in human society in the short run—nobody wants to be bothered, or take a risk —mean ignorant apathetic citizens as a group get the government and society they deserve. Too bad the minority (or possibly Silent Majority) of us sincerely motivated to improve things get taken along for the ride. It costs some $25K-$50K (average $40K) per person per year to maintain convicts in a virtual vegetative state in prison; they expend valuable resources, yet produce next to nothing. That's $80 BILLION ($80,000,000,000) of your taxes squandered annually for no discernible positive return, which is simply extraordinarily bad business. Imagine the incredible benefit to state and federal economies (and your own pocketbook and lifestyle) then, if 2,000,000 non-dangerous able-bodied men and women were suddenly released back into the American workforce; your taxes would go down, but pro-social projects like essen-


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December 2012 / January 2013 from


Cosmo, pg. 35

from the same places we have been for years. I really enjoy the euphemism of “Marcellus Play” in the industry press. It’s as if extracting an underground resource is a frisky frolic with helpful, established rules and leisurely enjoyment for all involved. For those who don’t understand the process of hydrofracking, it’s like this. They collect a little bit of local water -- just a few million gallons – and add a secret cocktail of solvents, and then they give the earth a giant enema with it. Then after about a third of the juice gushes back out, they sit back and try to siphon off the farts. And then sell them. The prospect of surcharges didn’t scare the developers away, but the drop in natural gas prices sure made them scamper off. Apparently the emergency isn’t as urgent when the dimes don’t pile up fast enough. Too bad we didn’t get a damage deposit. Maybe we’ll remember to collect when they migrate back the next time the earth-fart market looks lucrative. The whole model stinks.

Prison, pg. 38

tial national healthcare services and long overdue infrastructure improvements could at last be more readily funded. The newly employed ex-inmates would be contributing mightily to the US GNP/ GDP — and not incidentally to their own stable solid citizenship as well — you treat someone like a human being, they'll likely react like one; middle class morality is so much easier for a person to maintain once they've achieved it than the lifestyle of an outcast criminal ever could be. But what if there aren't enough jobs to go round (which is an increasing chronic problem in a modern culture like ours which exports so many grunt work service jobs overseas, and where machines have permanently replaced many employees), and a whopping quarter of the now-ex-cons have to subsist on Welfare or Social Security or Unemployment plus Food Stamps ? At approx. $12.5K in federal and/or state benefits spent per person per year times 2 million people, that would equal $25,000,000,000 — which would reduce that $80 Billion cash windfall to a monetary surplus of merely . . . $55 BILLION per year. Not bad, I'll take it. SERIES CONCLUSION "What does this series on American prison reform specifically have to do with Pennsylvania ?", you might ask at this point. Well, some states' prisons and jails are decidedly worse than others, and Pennsylvania's certainly aren't going to win

any prizes anytime soon (Louisiana's prison system, for instance, is even more reprehensible — virtually every inmate a corporate slave). But it's all one big country, we're all citizens, and the United States' correctional system is corrupted, demoralized, and dysfunctional from coast to coast. Regional grassroots movements and state legislatures can possibly achieve incremental improvements. But true dynamic leadership will have to come from the Federal level for sweeping lasting change to be accomplished and encoded into American national thinking and law. This four part series has described what demonstrably has happened to United States society over the past several hundred years due to relentlessly oppressively unenlightened national prison policies. And what will certainly rapidly and progressively come to pass in our very near future should the object lessons of our past and present national incarceration policies continue to go largely unheeded by American government, business, and citizens alike. The Future Is Unwritten. We can change the destructive path American society is taking — if enough of us muster the will and unceasing resolve to do so. Greg Brown is a professional writer, photographer, researcher, Website developer, former computer software manufacturer, and inveterate social observer who resides in State College, PA. He hopes to never ever be "asked" to stay at The Gray Bar Hotel.

Voices of Central Pa

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID State College, Pa Permit No. 213

P.O. Box 10066 State College Pa 16805

Dear Voices supporter, I recently spoke to a new community member and he told me that there were two reasons that he chose to relocate to Centre County. One of those reasons is that here we have the dedicated independent paper called Voices. I was touched that he noticed and I realized how lucky we are to have Voices. We are proud of our independent press, but we can’t take it for granted. I’m writing you today to ask for your continued support of Voices.

Even if you can’t monetarily support Voices, we are always looking for volunteers. Please consider volunteering as a writer, a distributor, a section editor, or a copy editor. Volunteering with the paper can take as little as an hour a month, and every contribution is essential to putting our paper into the hands of readers, like you. Thank you for taking the time to read this appeal. We wouldn’t be here without you! Sincerely,

We have some exciting sponsorship opportunities that allow you to show your pride and support directly. Would you consider sponsoring a particular section of the newspaper? Or how about sponsoring an editor or distribution? Free Press sponsor: $300 Section sponsor: $100 Page sponsor: $50 Distribution sponsor: $25 We appreciate readers who become donors. If you’ve contributed in the past, thank you. Perhaps you’d consider passing this letter on to a friend or neighbor who isn’t yet a part of the Voices family. And if you’re a member of the Free Press Fund already, kindly make sure that your pledge is up-to-date. Every small donation makes a big difference. We at Voices would never expect any one donor to underwrite our paper, but together, we can all support the mission to give voice to the voiceless. Our mission is twofold—to tell the stories of central Pa, and to educate. Voices brings our readers the untold stories about what’s happening in our community, thereby fulfilling our main mission to hear the quieter voices in our area. But part of our mission as a community newspaper is also educational. We are teaching community members the tools to become citizen journalists, so that they can not only report on what they see in the community, but also learn how to produce it in a newspaper format. This is crucial because an educated citizen journalist is an empowered one, empowered to seek the truth.

Elaine Meder-Wilgus Acting Voices President

Sponsorship Information Please fill out the following and include with your tax-deductable contribution. You may also make a contribution through our website: Name: Address: Email: may we add you to our email list?: yes no, thank you Free Press sponsor: $300 Section sponsor: $100 Page sponsor: $50 Distribution sponsor: $25 Other: $______ Do you want to be acknowledged in the printed edition? yes no If yes, how would you like your name to be written? _____________________________ Do you want a paper delivered to you at home? yes no Would you like to cancel a current subscription and read Voices on-line or by picking up a copy? yes no

December 2012 / January 2013 edition  

December 2012 January 2013 edition of Voices.of Central Pa, articles on affordable housing, Penn State University, the November Ekection res...

December 2012 / January 2013 edition  

December 2012 January 2013 edition of Voices.of Central Pa, articles on affordable housing, Penn State University, the November Ekection res...