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NCAA sanctions

Penn State athletics change game plan PAGE 27 VOICES OF CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA

October 2012


Abuse Survivor writes Page 11

Arts and Entertainment Muriel’s Repairing lets community members speak, heal


PA G E 3

Moving for ward: State College and PSU

Oxen in training , page 17 Columns and Opinion: Deutsch, Hertert, Birdwatch, Cosmo and more!

Prison reform PAGE 34 Independent News Since 1993

Thoughtful. Fearless. Free.


October 2012 Thoughtful. Fearless. Free. © 2012 Voices of Central Pennsylvania, Inc.

We are all one community

October 2012 BOARD OF EDITORS contact the editor in chief at Editor in Chief Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell Politics and Economics open Community and Lifestyles Andrea Rochat Environment Allison Robertson Education Sierra Dole Arts and Entertainment Cynthia Mazzant Opinion William Saas Webmaster Bill Eichman

For the past year, Happy Valley and Penn State have been all over the news, for all the wrong reasons. From the Sandusky scandal to the firing of Joe Paterno and subsequent riot, NCAA sanctions and contentious Penn State board of trustees meetings, no news coverage of our community seems to cast us in a positive light. But we are a community, and we must go forward. This month, Voices has broken with tradition; this edition will follow the theme: community regrouping. Our cover story focuses on just that—all the efforts in the community to move forward. Community leaders, students and business owners are pulling together, sometimes with mixed results. On that theme, the football program is also moving into a new season; players and coaches alike are dealing with the aftermath of major upheaval. In downtown State College, one community storytelling program, Muriel’s Repair, is letting people bring their thoughts and feel-

ART and DESIGN Erin Clark, Cover Photo 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

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 ings on child sex abuse out, and talk about them. Voices hasn’t forgotten to take on the real problem that underpins the scandal—child sex abuse. Locally it has not just been Penn State, but the Altoona-Johnstown diocese of the Catholic Church that has come under fire for child sex abuse and a cover up to protect the abusers. As part of Voices’ effort to serve as a true community forum, we have also featured two “community voices.”Voices presents Larry Conrad, an advocate for child sex abuse survivors, who shares his words of wisdom regarding the increased awareness of abuse we can draw from Sandusky’s case, and how we can use it to protect children. We also feature Michael Brand, who writes frankly about a failure of culture and leadership. Now we are left with unanswered questions, but in each of them lay an opportunity to evolve. What kind of community are we? Are we the kind of people that let abuse happen because hauling it forth to the light would damage a sports program? Do we protest or accept the NCAA sanctions on Penn State? Do we move forward, or try to somehow “fix” the past? What’s next? Perhaps this is the moment when we redefine our community—when we set down what are our values. This could be

the year we Voices Advisory determine our Council priorities, and Nick Brink reinforce them Jamie Campbell with community Jane Childs support of proacJohn Dickison tive measures. Ann Glaser We could let ourselves be the Elizabeth Kirchner Bonnie Marshall example, the Curt Marshall community that Mike McGough says, “Yes, Bob Potter something went terribly wrong Bonnie K. Smeltzer Susan Squier here, but we are Maria Sweet willing to help Kim Tait everyone find the Mary Watson way to a tomorSue Werner row where there Greg Woodman is no child Lakshman Yapa abuse.” That is a community we could all be proud of. It is not the position of a journalist to give advice in a newspaper. So now I will speak to you, readers, as a member of your community. Speaking as a community member, I would ask that everyone take away from this terrible turn of events that no matter who you are, you must take a more active role in the protection of children. We have the power and the duty to protect the most vulnerable people in our community. Let’s not make “I could have done more” the last chapter of our lives.

Top Stories in This Issue POLITICS and ECONOMICS

pages 3-10

The community moves forward by the Voices staff.........................................................3


pages 11-16

Giving voices to the voiceless by Larry Conrad.................................................................11


pages 17-21

Oxen in training: yoked to sustainability by Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell....................17


pages 22-27

NCAA sanctions hold football team back by Ryan Beckler...................................................22


pages 28-33

Healing power of art: Muriel’s repairing by Cynthia Mazzant.......................................28


pages 34-39

A lifeline cut: general assistance axed by Mary Faulkner.............................................34


October 2012

Community regroups after difficult year by Molly Cochran, Tara Richelo, Allison Robertson, William Saas and Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell Over the past year, the community of State College, Pa. and Penn State University has endured a series of dramatic blows to the tight-knit community. Allegations of child sex abuse committed by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky were made public in November 2011, drawing international media attention. The Penn State Board of Trustees swiftly responded by dismissing Penn State President Graham Spanier and coach Joe Paterno, but these moves proved controversial as some students rioted while an active alumni contingent and some of the local community protested the firings. Summer proved no respite from the cloud of unease hanging over State

College and Penn State. The Freeh report was released in July, and in it were claims of a cover-up by President Spanier, Coach Paterno, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Shultz, who according to Freeh, “never demonstrated through actions or words any concern for Sandusky’s victims until after his arrest.” In August, the NCAA placed sanctions on the university (see the article “NCAA sanctions” in this issue), which was met with concern from both a community that thrives on football season tourism and a university that depends on contributions from alumni. President Rodney Erickson quickly accepted the sanctions based on the determination that the university could readily endure sanctions instead of the threatened end of the football program.

“Given the two alternatives, I felt that it was best to accept the consent decree,” Erickson told “Face the Nation” in July. “This allows us to continue to go on playing football, it allows us to go on helping to support the other intercollegiate athletic teams that we have at the university,” he said. “The choice that I made really allows us to move forward.” It is now autumn, and a new school year and football season for the university have begun. State College and Penn State now face an important question: how can the community move forward? Together We are One? Signs proclaiming, “We are one. We are strong. We are a community,” “Together We Are One,” “Proud to Support Penn State Football” and “Proud to Support Penn State Athletics” have been taped on

the windows of downtown restaurants, businesses and apartments. Each of these poster campaigns is a product of a different group or groups who are not necessarily coordinating their efforts, but all have a similar aim—to create a sense of community. The “Together We Are One” campaign, according to, is a product of and supported by local business owners and the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County (CBICC) with additional support from the Downtown State College Improvement District. The DSCID was created by an ordinance of the State College borough. Four hundred local businesses participate in its activities, including promotions, annual


Community, pg. 4

Central Pa Catholic priests accused of abuse by James Hynes Four men have recently accused Huntington County Roman Catholic priest George Koharchik of sexually molesting them when they were minors. Bishop Mark Bartchak relieved Koharchik of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Mount Union of his priestly duties. The priest will not be permitted to have contact with children while on leave. Investigators confirm that two alleged victims reported abuse to diocese authorities while two others subsequently reported directly to the Cambria County District Attorney’s office. The allegations date back more than 30 years ago when Koharchik was parish priest in Cambria County. It’s not clear at this point where in Cambria County the abuses allegedly occurred or whether the accusers are from the same parish, but according to a brief statement published in the August 26 church bulletin,

“If someone comes to us with allegations, it goes to the Allegation Review Board. If the board deems the allegations to be credible, the bishop will notify the priest and civil authorities are notified.” Tony De Gal, spokesperson for the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese Koharchik referred to an allegation from his “first parish.” Koharchick worked in at least two parishes in Cambria County, St. Clement Roman Catholic Church in Upper Yoder and St Joseph Parish in Portage, before being assigned to St. Catherine of Siena in Huntington County.

Cambria County assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Bolton Penna said that her office is investigating the two allegations that were made directly to them but are in consultation with the state Attorney General’s office to determine jurisdiction. It is not clear at this time if the two earlier accusers who reported to the diocese will press charges. The diocese claimed that the men had requested information about them be withheld in order to “protect their privacy,” Bolton Penna said. In reporting those cases to the District Attorney, the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese was following church protocol. Church workers are mandated to report these crimes, but they were not required by law to report to legal authorities because the alleged victims are adults. Charges have not been filed for any of the allegations, and George Koharchik is the only priest presently accused. The diocese is fully cooperating with investigators.

The Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese is conducting its own investigation. “If someone comes to us with allegations, it goes to the Allegation Review Board,” said Tony De Gal, spokesperson for the diocese. “If the board deems the allegations to be credible, the bishop will notify the priest and civil authorities are notified.” The Allegations Review Board was established in 2002 as part of a comprehensive set of reforms embodied in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People—a document drafted and accepted by the United States Conference of Bishops in response to a spate of sexual abuse accusations against Roman Catholic priests. Some child victim advocates are unsatisfied with Bishop Bartchak’s response to


Priests, pg. 5

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events and civic activities to improve the State College experience. David Nevins of Nevins Real Estate Management is the campaign spokesman. According to a blog post written in September for the Huffington Post by Nevins, the series of events surrounding the Sandusky scandal is a “black swan” event—an event that “occurs totally unexpectedly and carries enormous potential impact”—but he also believes that the aftermath represents an opportunity for the community to define itself and its future. “The ‘Together We Are One’ campaign is both a call to action and an invitation to the entire nation to hear our story and visit our community and campus; a town and university filled with natural beauty and an

indomitable spirit,” wrote Nevins. “Our message to the returning students, to the parents of the returning students, to local businesses, to P.S.U. alumni and to every person who lives in the Centre Region is about awakening a spirit of courage, fortitude and resilience and that lies within each of us.” The large banners, window posters and 20,000 “Together We Are One” pins share attention with two more signs, “Proud to Support Penn State Football” and “Proud to Support Penn State Academics.” The two support posters, however, are from two entirely different sources. Mike Desmond, co-owner of the Hotel State College, told the Collegian that he and several of his colleagues created the “We Support Penn State Football” signs in August. Desmond, a longtime business owner in

State College, considers the football program to be important to the town’s downtown business prosperity. Desmond told USA Today in July that “the NCAA sanctions will have an impact on our business, but it could have been much worse.” The football signs did not follow the sanctions, according to Desmond, but preceded them. “Proud to Support Penn State Academics,” on the other hand, did not. Penn State alumnus Erik Davidson, who graduated in 2010, developed the posters at the request of several other alumni. According to what Davidson told the Collegian, the posters were then distributed by students from the Schreyer Honors College Student Council, Sigma Nu Fraternity and the College of Engineering. Davidson told the Collegian that these posters were not designed to compete with the football ones, but to complement them. “The alum who had discussed this idea with me was interested in showing the world that we’re ‘ra-ra’ about other things, too,” Davidson said. Neither the “Together We Are One” nor the “Proud to Support” poster campaigns are associated with any currently planned community activities. The “Together” campaign gave out free coffee and donuts at parking garages on the day of the first football game, but no events as of press time are listed on the website. Business and community leaders move forward Business and community leaders have found meaningful ways to create community beyond hanging up posters. On July 31, the first day of practice for the Penn State football team, fans and community members gathered outside the walkway between the Lasch building and Holuba Hall to cheer on the players that remained on the team’s roster despite the NCAA sanctions. This event, dubbed “Rise and Rally” by its host the Goon Show PSU radio program, attracted around 3,000 people, despite starting at 6 a.m. The event was sponsored by Old State Clothing Co. and Nittany Bank.

Sharon Herlocker, marketing manager for Nittany Bank, said that “Rise and Rally” was the first time she saw the community come together in an effort to move forward from the troubles. “We must put one foot in front of the other and do what we do best,” said Herlocker. Nittany Bank is also a member of the Downtown State College Improvement District and branches have signs showing support of the football team. Herlock said that the bank “supported the team in the past and supports where the program is going.” The posters, she noted, are symbols of the community coming together to send a positive message. Brittany Haislmaier, the general manager at gift gallery/art store/custom frame shop Uncle Eli’s, also expressed the importance of sticking together as a community and supporting Penn State. After everything that has happened, the community coming together “shows that the community is still alive,” said Haislmaier. Uncle Eli’s, a 40-year-old local business, has promoted community solidarity with two items—“We Are Committed” t-shirts and “We Stick Together” wrist bands. According to Haislmaier, a Penn State graduate designed the “We Are Committed” t-shirts and a 2005 alumnus came up with the idea for the wristbands. The idea behind the bracelets is to “band” the Penn State community together. A portion of the proceeds made by the sale of these items will go to support Penn State athletics, while another portion will go to Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania. Elaine Meder-Wilgus, owner of Webster’s Bookstore and Café, has taken the idea of community renewal one step further and opened up Webster’s as a gathering place for open and honest conversation stemming from the scandal. “One of the things we keep talking about


Community, pg. 9


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the allegations. In a statement issued immediately following the diocese’s press release, Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said that the diocese should do more to shed light on this case. “It is extremely frustrating that Bishop Bartchak is refusing to say how many times Rev. Koharchik has been accused, what the age group and gender of his victims were, and how many victims are known,” she said. “If he truly wants to keep his flock safe and informed, he should release all of the details he knows about Rev. Koharchik’s alleged crimes, and he should immediately reach out to parishioners and try to find other victims and witnesses.” “The diocese needs to do more outreach...the bishop has the moral authority to set the right tone for the protection of children,” Dorris added. “There doesn’t seem to be the will to change things.” History of Abuse This is not the first time that the Altoona-Johnstown diocese has been embroiled in allegations of priest sex abuse. In 1994, former priest Francis Luddy admitted to sexual relations with five boys, including at least one altar boy. Luddy made this admission in his courtroom testimony during the civil lawsuit of Michael Hutchison, a then 26-year-old

former member of St. Therese’s Catholic Church. Hutchison accused Luddy of molesting him repeatedly from 1976 to 1984 and at least once again in 1987. That suit also named the AltoonaJohnstown Catholic Diocese and Bishop James Hogan as defendants, claiming that they ignored signs of abuse and covered up Luddy’s crimes. A jury found in favor of the victim and, after years of appeals, the Pennsylvania Superior Court awarded him $1.7 million in compensation and punitive damages in 2008. Hutchison’s was not an isolated case. During the investigation and trial evidence revealed a system of secrecy and protection of accused priests. According to court documents archives open only to the bishop contained letters and other documents implicating as many as 10 priests in the abuse of possibly hundreds of young boys. For years, none was reported to authorities. In one case, the police raised the alarm. When police observed several priests “cruising” for young prostitutes, an officer urged Hogan to discipline them. Law enforcement took no further steps, and the bishop simply implored the priests to say nothing while he transferred them, offered to get them counseling or simply gave them temporary leave. Bishop Hogan’s attitude was summed up in a letter reviewed by the jury at the Hutchison trial—a letter he had written to one of the other accused priests. “Painful as the situation is,” he wrote,

“Painful as this situation is, we must safeguard your own good name, protecting the priestly reputation and prevent scandal from touching the church—even if unjust.” Bishop James Hogan “We must safeguard your own good name, protect the priestly reputation and prevent scandal from touching the church—even if unjust [emphasis added].” Bishop Hogan retired in 1987 and was replaced by Bishop Joseph Amarec. According to a February 2003 TribuneDemocrat article Amarec and the diocese were named in a new lawsuit. The bishop was accused of “covering up sexual abuse by priests, transferring offending priests from church to church and lying to area congregations.” Amarec had also been informed of four previously unknown cases of priest sex abuse in his diocese but he “kept the new accusations a secret from area prosecutors, despite [his] repeated promises of cooperation with district attorneys in the eight counties of the diocese.” By 2004, the Altoona-Johnstown diocese faced 13 lawsuits alleging sex abuse. One of the accused priests, Martin McCamley, a former McCort High School

music teacher, was accused by four men of “fondling” them and making sexual advances when they were minors. McCamley was transferred to Our Lady of Victory parish in State College in 1995. There, he led masses until he was forced on administrative leave in 2003. The extent to which he had contact with children at OLV is unclear. However, there have been no accusations against him by any member of the OLV parish. McCamley maintains his innocence. Most of these cases were never prosecuted as they either lacked sufficient evidence or they exceeded Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations. According to state law at the time, a victim had until age 30 to report his own case of child sex abuse. That was subsequently changed to age 50 as it stands today. In May 2004, the diocese agreed to a $3.7 million dollar settlement of the 13 lawsuits. Not one priest in the diocese has ever gone to prison. The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese has not been alone in defending itself against allegations of sexual abuse by priests. One of the first cases to break national news was in 1985 when Gilbert Gauthe, a Roman Catholic priest in Louisiana, pled guilty to 11 counts of molesting young boys. This case opened a pandora’s box of accusations of abuse and cover-ups that spread across the United States. Most notably, in Massachusetts a


Priests, pg. 8


October 2012

Give me strength: The LAGuide to health by Steve Deutsch Steve Deutsch is a regular satire columnist for Voices. Give me Strength: The Less-intelligent-than-average American Guide to Staying in the Pink. Need I remind you of what a klutz my genius cousin Myron is? Just yesterday he missed the curb on Flatbush Avenue and turned his ankle with a sound so loud that all six hundred dogs on his small block in Brooklyn started to howl. When his ankle swelled up to the size of a watermelon, I decided to drive him over to the local hospital emergency room. The hospital had made some small changes. They had installed a gated entry to their emergency room parking lot that requires you to swipe an insurance card to gain entry. It was the same thing with the door to the triage nurse’s station. It turns out that they have to treat you, insurance or no, once you show up at the triage desk—but not until then. That’s nothing. We have learned that the Tea Party has decided to replace all forms of health insurance with vouchers. In place of health care, seniors will get a voucher for a half priced “grand slam” (aka The Assisted Suicide) at Dennys and each woman will get a voucher that just says no. The rest of us will each get a voucher redeemable for an audio get well card, with a jingle sung from the heart by the Koch brothers to the tune of “I Ain’t Got a Barrel of Money.” There is only one solution for troubled Americans—oops, sorry if we scared you—we don’t mean voting, we know you aren’t voting. Americans must simply avoid getting sick—forever. But we are all confused over just how to do that—diet, exercise, a bubble boy suit— so that we at Stevieslaw are proud to

“We have learned that the Tea Party has decided to replace all forms of health insurance with vouchers. In place of health care, seniors will get a voucher for a half-priced ‘grand slam’ (aka The Assisted Suicide) at Dennys and each woman will get a voucher that just says no.”

food, and why Irish coffee can not only improve your mood but will help make you feel like a veritable superman. Exercise: Don’t. Exercise is for people with health insurance. People say that sports like tennis, can be played forever, but forever actually means until you break something really important that requires metal rods to fix. By all means you should go to your local gym. There you can watch other people exercise—grunt, sweat, gasp and strain—with the understanding that laughter is not just the best medicine, it is also aerobic. In the guide you will learn just how to laugh effortlessly—so that you don’t bust a gut when someone drops a 400 pound weight that just misses their toes.

Steve Deutsch

publish, Give Me Strength: The LAguide to Staying in the Pink. In the guide you will learn the core techniques, practiced by luminaries as diverse as Dr. Oz, Lance Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey and Betty White, to staying healthy well into your platinum years (older than 150) . In the guide you will learn about the importance of:

Sleep: In the guide, you will learn that sleep is overrated. It is worrying about not sleeping that will kill you. You will learn the nearly forgotten technique of near sleep; a coma-like existence which people mistakenly believed could only be induced by watching reruns of Liberace or Pat Boone TV specials. We will also open up an entire universe of medicinal near sleep-inducing herbs that can be smoked, toked or baked in brownies—oh wow.

Eating Right: You will learn that maintaining a proper diet is mostly a matter of timing. If broccoli is good for you on Tuesday, you can be certain it will be really bad for you by Thursday. Here, in a stroke of Stevieslaw brilliance, the guide will give you instantaneous food alerts on whatever smart device is currently occupying your every waking moment, so that you can stop chewing on that once-healthful pastrami sandwich and move on to Greek yogurt with embedded m&ms. In the guide you will also learn which 400 supplements are essential to enriching your urine, why dirt is the perfect

Stress: Avoiding stress is the key to living healthy forever. Sure, your mortgage is underwater and six months late, your job and your spouse were outsourced to Burma, your daughter with the Ph.D. is working as a cashier at a supermarket, your son is over enjoying non-FDA approved medicinals, and you have no health insurance—but don’t worry, be happy. In the guide, you will learn the age old technique of reality avoidance through song. There are hundreds of songs about blue skies alone: how about— Blue skies smilin’ at me Nothin’ but blue skies do I see or Gray skies are

Photo by Steve Deutsch

Steve Deutsch in his native habitat of New York City.

gonna clear up. Put on a happy face… Sing, sing, sing. Good Genes: Wish you were born into a family whose members routinely live to be 100? Or perhaps a family with money dating back to the Reformation? Rejoice! If there is one thing we have learned from the birthers, it’s that there are birth certificates and there are birth certificates. We will introduce you to the new rebirthcertification concept that is sweeping the nation. Be reborn into the family you deserve—completely fool Mother Nature and possibly the voting police. What are you waiting for? Walk, don’t run, to your local store to buy a guide. The life you save may be your own.


October 2012

Take a left: The mythical middle class by Ronald V. Bettig Voices introduces “Take a left” written by Ronald Bettig as a new politics and economics column. The Mythical Middle Class Ninety percent of Americans are right handed. Ninety percent of Americans say they belong to the middle class. The first figure is based on observation. The second figure is based on a subjective response to a pollster but reflects a deeply held myth that wealth and income in the U.S. are more or less equally distributed. It is a comforting myth since being in the middle always implies that it is possible to move up. The myth of the middle class is reinforced through political rhetoric as candidates’ claim their policies will lift, save, or protect it. Naturally, these claims have broad appeal whether they are true or not. A Pew Research Center study found that 99 percent of respondents situated themselves in the lower- to upper-middle class. Pew defined the “middle class” as those making between $39,000 to $118,255 in 2011. Since 1971 middle class income declined from 62 percent to 45 percent, while the income of the upper tier rose from 29 percent to 46 percent. The distribution of before-tax income going to the top 10 percent in 2010 totaled 44.5 percent with the bottom 90 percent earning just 55.5 percent of the pie. The income share of the top one percent peaked in 1928 before the Great Depression at 23.9 percent dropped to less than 10 percent in the 1970s but by 2007 was back to 23.5 percent before the Great Recession. The unequal distribution of wealth in the U.S. is even more skewed toward the top than income. The top ten percent of U.S. households controlled 74.5 percent of the total wealth in 2010 while the bottom 90 percent held just 25.5 percent.

The myth of the middle class is reinforced through political rhetoric as candidates’ claim their policies will lift, save, or protect it. Naturally, these claims have broad appeal whether they are true or not. Ronald Bettig Median net wealth—assets minus debt—for the middle-income tier dropped from $152,950 in 2007 to $93,150 in 2010, a 39 percent decline. This enormous drop is directly related to the bursting of the housing bubble, as home equity comprises 40 percent of mean assets of the middle-tier. Wealth becomes even more concentrated when slicing the pie even thinner. The top one percent of U.S. households control 43 percent of total U.S. wealth and the next four percent hold an additional 29 percent. The richest four hundred households control more wealth than the next 150 million. The analysis of the distribution of income and wealth categorically reveals that capitalism is inherently unfair and defining the middle class is a numbers game. A more powerful way of understanding the U.S. class structure is a relational view that looks at households in terms of how people make a living. At the top sits capitalist class, the one to two percent that make up the super-rich. These are the owners Big Business and Big Finance, the “job creators” that put the economy into motion (or not as is currently the case). The next nine percent have enough wealth they wouldn’t have to work if they didn’t want to because they have enough capital that it works for them.

That leaves around 90 percent of us who must earn a living generally by working for someone else. This is the working class. My buddy Scott in San Diego worked as a mason for 30 years. The work dried up with the collapse of the housing market. He now works part-time at a big-box crafts store stocking shelves and doesn’t earn enough to make a living. Another San Diego buddy, Tim, lost his job at a Sony factory and went to work for Home Depot. He is now a full-timer with some benefits but faces daily threats of being fired to be replaced by part-timers with no benefits. They both face age discrimination in the job market but still have 10 to 15

years before they can claim Social Security or any retirement benefits they have managed to accrue. For them, the American Dream has become an American Nightmare. Still, the powers that be would define them as middle class. The myth of the middle class is used as a form of ideological manipulation to divide us. It serves as a means for the ruling capitalist class to exploit our differences based on social issues, political beliefs, and that which shapes our identities. By rejecting the category of middle class and recognizing that most of us are working class is precisely what is needed to unite us and move toward a more humane society.

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Boston Globe inquiry led to the eventual downfall of one of the American church’s most revered figures. Boston’s Archbishop Cardinal Bernard Law became the highest-ranking church official to be accused of suppressing evidence and misleading legal authorities. Cardinal Law was defrocked but never faced criminal charges. Reform By the time Law was forced to retire in 2002, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States had been under public and legal scrutiny for years. Trust for the church hierarchy had been greatly damaged and congregation numbers were declining steadily. In response, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called a general meeting in Dallas where it approved a blueprint for reform called the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. One of the changes instituted was the formation of a National Review Board. This board commissioned the John Jay College Research Team to study the scope and causes of priest-led abuse and to suggest systemic changes to prevent further molestations. According to one of the subsequent studies, The Causes and Contexts of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010, 4,392 priests were named in 10,667 individual cases of abuse reported to dioceses between 1950 and 2003. The number of cases “increased steadily from 1950 through the 1970s and then began to decline sharply at or about 1985, with the decline continuing through 2002.” Even cases that came to light after this period mainly involved abuse that took place in the 1960s through the early 1980s. According to the study, there are many reasons for that spike and decline. Some of the reasons given involved cultural changes in sexual norms and increased opportunity for abuse as parishes began

developing youth services before informed plans for detection and prevention of abuse were even considered. The findings in the study did not, however, support claims by some conservative Catholics that the sex abuse within the church was a product of a liberalized church. Critics of the church reforms undertaken in the 1960s claimed that the “liberalized church” has emboldened gay priests, and that sex abuse is the direct result. Despite that 81 percent of all priests’ victims were boys, the study findings indicate that “priests who identified as homosexual, as well as those who participated in same-sex sexual behavior prior to ordination (regardless of sexual identity), were not significantly more likely to abuse minors than priests who identified as heterosexual.” Tony De Gal, the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese spokesperson, agreed. “I don’t believe that those accused of pedophilia are homosexual,” he said. “This is about people abusing children.” De Gal challenged the idea that child sex abuse is particular to the Catholic Church or that the Church’s hierarchical structure is to blame. “Child abuse is a problem in society,” he said, “Pick up any newspaper. This is a problem across the country.” While acknowledging that the Church has made mistakes and that his own diocese has justly been criticized, De Gal contends that the Church has made real changes. “We are very serious about protecting children,” he said. “Our Diocese and the Church as a whole are being proactive in making children feel safe. We have been a leader in this.” He pointed to the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People as evidence that the Church is serious about reform. The Charter established several institutional changes to reduce abuse and maintain transparency. Church leaders set up abuse prevention programs aimed at seminarians and programs to train all employees how to

“The [Dallas] charter has no teeth. It still holds no one accountable.” Barbara Dorris, outreach director of SNAP detect and respond to possible abuse. It has created outreach programs in every diocese to increase open dialogue between parishioners and church officials and invite parishioners to report suspicions. A National Review Board oversees diocene compliance with protocol. Each diocese has set up an Allegations Review Board that hears allegations and reports credible ones to

civil authorities, reflecting a shift toward viewing sex abuse as a real criminal matter. But as Barbara Dorris of SNAP pointed out, this still leaves considerable discretion in the hands of church leadership. The Allegations Review Board has the power to determine which allegations are credible and which are not. In the case of George Koharichik, the Altoona-Johnstown’s latest accused priest, the diocese claimed to have followed the Dallas Charter’s protocol. However, Dorris countered that, in spite of having reported the allegations to civil authorities, the diocese is still not obligated to provide specific information about those allegations. “The [Dallas] Charter has no teeth,” she said. “It still holds no one accountable.”


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Community, pg. 4

here in the bookstore is this loss of civil discourse in which people are just able to have a conversation,” stated MederWilgus. “Our community, the bigger picture of who we are and who lives here, isn’t going to heal overnight.” To further this healing process, Webster’s is hosting events such as Muriel’s Repairing: Telling Ourselves Who We Are; Light, Not Heat – Conversations on Issues That Matter; and The Human Rights Film Series in order to bring people together to talk about the bigger issues like civil discourse and child sex abuse. But what they are not talking about is football or Penn State athletic teams. Meder-Wilgus emphasized, “It’s not about football. It’s about the survivors and the abuse and how can we show up and change the culture that allowed it to go on.” Focusing on the reason for the scandal and its aftermath instead of the repercussions for the sports team or the university is imperative for changing the way that the community responds. “[Abuse] is still happening…[the scandal] is a real opportunity for us to change and to be a community that is supportive and proactive,” said Meder-Wilgus. “State College should become a community where we can develop a vocabulary and a social structure and a culture that makes those conversations easier to have.” Opening up the discourse on sex abuse in this community forum also changes the avenue for information sharing. Most of the Sandusky updates and abuse related news articles have appeared in the sports section of newspapers and television segments. “Pedophilia is happening everywhere, and we don’t cover it in the national news unless it brings down somebody big,” said Meder-Wilgus. While one upshot of the scandal has been that child abuse is being discussed openly, there has also been an economic

benefit to the rallying around Penn State. Tourism to State College by families and alumni has increased. Instead of abandoning what some consider their second home, more people have returned to show their support. Meder-Wilgus sees this through the increase of tourism and customers in Webster’s. “I think that people [want] to show up in a show of solidarity. I’ve seen so many more families walking around the football games.” Penn State students and faculty take a stand The students and faculty of Penn State have not been left out of this community renewal effort. According to Arnold of the DSCID, one important goal of the organization is to “bridge the gap between the students and the community.” The DSCID may yet realize this goal, if the current sense of community felt by some students is any indication. “I belong here. When I go home it doesn’t even feel like home anymore,” said Casey Kurtyka (junior, Computer Engineering). Kurtyka, who lives in downtown State College, said he was impressed with the efforts made by the community to send a positive message. He too has a “Proud to Support Penn State” poster in his apartment. “State College is a hard town to bring down,” said Kurtyka. “If you walk downtown there are students, but there are families and children. State College is a good place to raise a family.” Other students have questioned whether the current outpouring of concern for victims of sex abuse is more than just a show. “I feel like the town is more trying to act like they care than being active,” said Madeline Chandler, undergraduate, media studies and women’s studies. “I haven’t seen very many people change their behavior to reflect what we are saying, it just seems as if the town and the student body don’t want people to look down on us anymore. I respect the donations to charities, but being active towards sexual assault (especially the ever-present

“The victim/survivor community, a population that numbers in the many thousands on this campus and in this town, has yet to see efforts made to include them and to acknowledge what they need and deserve before any notion of “moving forward” can justifiably be imposed on it.” Matt Bodenschatz assaults on students by students) would be much more admirable.” Some survivors of abuse question the efficacy of the Penn State and State College community’s attempts to create an inclusive, supportive community. Matt Bodenschatz is an undergrad majoring in English and has written about the scandal as an advocate for survivors. “What’s disconcerting about the WE ARE ONE campaign is the false impression it gives that everyone’s included, that everyone’s been thought of—because that isn’t the case,” said Bodenschatz. “The victim/survivor community, a population that numbers in the many thousands on this campus and in this town, has yet to see

efforts made to include them and to acknowledge what they need and deserve before any notion of ‘moving forward’ can justifiably be imposed on it.” “‘WE ARE ONE’ pretends that all is well because everyone is ready to link arms at the shoulder and begin stepping forward. This ignores the fact that the Penn State scandal has hit victims harder than anyone else, and that no act of moving forward is justified until “We” reach down and extend our hands and arms to them, to lift them with us, to bring them along too, and to fulfill our many promises made to them in the past year, when we claimed to be committed to helping them to thrive, to ensuring they’re never forgotten, and to help them heal.” Some faculty also takes a more measured view of the community’s efforts to regroup. “Moving forward is the right—and in some ways inevitable—thing to do,” said Dr. Rosa Eberly, professor of communication arts and sciences and English. “Confusing PR with moving forward is merely repeating the mistakes of the past.” The things left unfinished Not everyone in the Penn State and State College community is prepared to move forward. The faculty senate and two trustees have contested the NCAA sanctions and the Freeh report. A group of 30 of the past chairs of the


Community, pg. 10

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Penn State faculty senate released a statement in August that stated the Freeh report fails “on its own merits as the indictment of the University that some have taken it to be” and that the NCAA sanctions were unfairly levied on the basis of no substantial fact. “The way that the NCAA treated Penn State has very strong implications for every college and university,” said Professor Keith Nelson, professor of Psychology. Nelson also noted that the faculty senate and many of its past chairs said that it was, “absolutely essential that we speak up about untruths in the Freeh report, and the NCAA statements that echo and expand beyond the Freeh report.” In particular, the faculty senate took offense at the NCAA’s characterization of Penn State culture. “The heart of the matter we believe is that a characterization of the Penn State culture is blatantly false,” said Nelson. “In contrast to what the Freeh report and the NCAA [statement]; Penn State has a long, established record of caring about integrity in sports.” He went on to say that NCAA had stepped out of bounds within its own process. On August 6, alumni-elected trustee Ryan McCombie announced that he would try to appeal the NCAA sanctions against Penn State. McCombie questioned the board’s deci-

sion to accept the Freeh report to stand as their independent investigation, though it did not include interviews of the key witnesses. “Our Board allowed the Freeh report to be presented as a full and fair review, which it most certainly is not; and we stood by passively while the University accepted an unprecedented penalty from the NCAA, based entirely on the findings of the Freeh report,” wrote McCombie in a letter to the Penn State Board of Trustees. “These are grave mistakes that inflict undue harm on the entire Penn State community, in addition to compromising the rights of numerous individuals.” The NCAA penalties and the Freeh report inflict “undue harm” on the university and those accused of crimes by unfairly tarnishing the reputation of the university, compromising its future and violating “the rights of the accused individuals,” McCombie wrote. More recently, trustee Joel Myers spoke at a meeting of the trustees in support of appealing the sanctions. Myers noted that the Board had not yet fully accepted the Freeh report, and questioned whether President Erikson had the authority to accept the NCAA sanctions. “We hired an independent investigator to explore and provide his expert opinion and findings,” said Myers. “However the Freeh report, despite what the NCAA consent decree says, is still being reviewed by the Board, and has not been fully accepted. We committed to a full disclosure. We commit-

Photo by Erin Clark

The windows of the Corner Room Restaurant in downtown State College display the “Proud to Support Penn State Football” signs and the “Together We are One” sign.

ted to move forward in a healthy way, correcting what was wrong, and providing information to law enforcement officials so that those accused would have their day in court.” New board member and major alumni donor Anthony Lubrano has made even more strenuous demands. On his website,, Lubrano asserts that as part of his platform, he will secure a public apology for the Paterno family “for the disgraceful manner

in which coach Paterno was treated.” He added that the community cannot heal without it. Lubrano could not be reached for comment. On the same Saturday that Penn State’s football team played the Navy, a crowd of 350 students, alumni and faculty gathered at the steps of Old Main to call for the resignations of Governor Corbett, University President Erikson and the Board of Trustees.


October 2012

Hearing the voices of the voiceless by Larry Conrad

Community Voice Larry Conrad (72) is Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Middle East Studies, University of Hamburg, Germany. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse himself, he has worked with many male survivors in recovery and is the former site administrator for MaleSurvivor. At the end of this month Penn State will host a conference on childhood sexual abuse. It will highlight the university’s efforts to respond to what is possibly the greatest crisis ever to befall it and the community of proud alumni and supporters. This will be a decisive step to move discussion away from recriminations and

punitive action to consideration of positive strategic measures. Many survivors pursuing their own healing journey, myself included, will recognize the significance this shift. At some point a survivor learns that no degree of punishment or rage can compensate him/her (hereafter referred to in the masculine) for the terrible harm he has suffered. The challenge comes when he must examine the past in order to shape a more positive future. There is a profound difference between “Who can we blame?” and “How can we heal?” It is upon this latter question that the survivor’s future will turn. The same can be said for the Penn State and State College community in the wake of the Sandusky trial. This is not to minimize the importance of the quest for justice. Sandusky himself is likely to die in prison, and any who enabled

his crimes should also be held accountable. This process is the legal reckoning that expresses society’s determination that child abuse can never be tolerated. However for victims this reckoning does not bring closure, but marks a transition to a new phase with its own issues. As one fourteen-year-old survivor said after testifying against his father for years of abuse: “They said, ‘You’re a brave boy. You should be proud. This is a turning point in your life.’ But all I can think about is what’s going to happen now?” Our attention should turn to the welfare of survivors, and we should consider whether the well-intended gestures of support offered thus far actually help. Victims of abuse, Sandusky’s included, face years of struggle to recover from a shattered childhood, form a healthy and functional self-image out of the rubble of guilt,

shame,and confusion, and find their way in a world where abuse has taught them that no one can be trusted. The importance of perspective The problem of child sexual sexual abuse extends far beyond Sandusky’s known victims, and should cause us to broaden our focus. One study of convicted pedophiles concludes that “situational” abusers like Sandusky – molesters of children outside their family circle – abuse an average of about 150 boys. Figures as high as 450 have been confirmed. Even at the level of the family unit the facts can be staggering: one priest with over 100 victims, for example, abused all seven of one parishioner’s sons and nephews, including a boy only


Voice, pg. 12

Rescue shelter president puts pets first by Jessica Beard Between 2 and 4 p.m. on a drizzly September Saturday, Deb Warner, president and founder of Pets Come First, an animal shelter and rescue organization in Centre Hall, found emergency care for a pug-beagle mix who’d swallowed a sponge, vaccinated and bottle-fed four eight-week-old kittens, adopted out a Rottweiler named Abby and found a foster home for a blind cat. “And this is a really quiet day,” Warner said with a grin. Warner started Pets Come First in 2005 in an effort to improve the SPCA Centre Hall branch shelter by maximizing adoptions and spaying/neutering as many stray animals as possible, including “TNR” feral cats which are trapped, neutered and released. Until January 2012, Pets Come First called itself a “virtual shelter” because it was a volunteer base with no headquarters. Its volunteers mainly worked to support the

SPCA shelter’s operations, with volunteers providing foster homes and reaching out to local kennels to house animals that the SPCA shelter couldn’t. With the help of Warner and Pets Come First, the SPCA shelter went from an 87% euthanasia rate to a no-kill facility in 2008. However, the past few years have seen the regular closure of Pennsylvania SPCA branch shelters due to budget cuts. In late 2011, the PSPCA approached Warner with the opportunity to keep the Centre Hall branch from closing by taking over the facility in January 2012. According to the contract, if Warner can successfully run a no-kill adoption center for two years, the shelter itself will be transferred to Pets Come First for $1. “In order to optimize the operations, we believe now is a good time to turn over the shelter to a group that is locally based, better understands the needs of the community, and can continue the positive trends,” PSPCA CEO Susan Cosby said in a September 2011 letter.

Photo by Jessica Beard

Pets Come First's president and founder Deb Warner bottle feeds an eight-week-old kitten at her Centre Hall shelter.

Although Warner had no experience running a shelter, she took on her new role with definite ideas on how to make positive


Shelter, pg. 15


October 2012


Voice, pg. 11

four years old. Numerous studies indicate that one out of every three girls and one in six boys in the United States are sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. These figures exclude the many victims who do not remember or cannot disclose. The extent of child sexual abuse in our country is clearly far greater than current research indicates. It is in this grim context that we must consider the victims of the Second Mile and the possibility that there are others who have not come forward. Survivors number in the millions and are all around us. Survivors are our relatives, friends, partners and colleagues. Suicide rates among them are far higher than the national average, as are trends for substance abuse, gang-related crime, prostitution and reckless behaviors that endanger themselves and others. Survivors are more likely to cut short their education or underachieve academically and in employment for reasons unrelated to their ability; they can find it difficult to cope with intimate relationships, and marriages more frequently end in divorce. The importance of open dialogue To ask what we can do to support Sandusky’s victims is to ask how we can contribute to the larger battle against childhood sexual abuse. More appropriately, what must we do? With great crisis comes great opportunity, and this holds true not

only among the professionals who support sexual abuse survivors in police investigations, the judicial process and healing therapy, but among the general public as well. One of the most important ways in which the public can respond is to avoid the usual discomfort and reticence that obstruct any conversation about sexual abuse. Discussion often means hearing about acts of unimaginable evil and cruelty, but silence and avoidance do not change the realities of child abuse. Reticence and denial discourage survivors from disclosing abuse and seeking help, and ultimately preserve the secrecy that allows it to continue. The case of Sandusky, who was nothing if not brazen, illustrates this. He abused boys for as long as they were accessible, sometimes for years, molesting them in their schools, on the Penn State campus, at his own home, in moving cars, in hotel rooms in Pennsylvania and on bowl game trips elsewhere in the country. One of his preferred venues was the coaches’ showers at the Lasch Building on campus, where discovery could occur at any moment. Sandusky gave extravagant presents, pursued grabby and aggressive physical contact with the boys, complained, sulked and badgered them with calls and messages when they tried to avoid him. In hindsight there were clearly “more red flags than you could count,” as Louis Freeh put it in the Freeh Report, but most were ignored or trivialized. How could all this happen without pro-

Some victims of childhood sexual abuse find voice and healing in the creation of art. One survivor, Chris, at age 16, expresses his image of his place in the world through a drawing of a boy curled up in a ball in a mostly-dark room.

voking enough alarm to make a difference? Some of the muted response suggests a cover-up, but a large part of it reflects the widespread lack of public awareness of sexual abuse issues – not just at Penn State, but everywhere in our country. And the problem extends beyond lack of awareness of abusers to a corresponding ignorance of how abuse affects victims. To a frightened child who thinks, as most do, that the abuse is his own fault and that no one will believe him if he tells, the most urgent priority in his life is to hide what is happening to him. As the abuse goes unno-

ticed, his situation seems to him more hopeless and confusing. Much of this occurs in front of adults in a position to help, but even the most obvious warning signs can be missed. Victim 4 began to hide in closets when Sandusky visited, yet these visits were allowed to continue. The reality is that, unless we are aware, we will not recognize the import of what we see. This is a common theme among


Voice, pg. 14

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October 2012

Voices asks: What’s next for the Penn State community? Photos by Erin Clark

Tom Thorme, class of 1978, says that in the end, he’s confident PSU will do the right thing.

Roni Clark, from Lancaster, PA, says questions are complicated, answers are simple. Pat Flohr, PSU alumna, says together we are one, moving forward.

Kristen Szwast, PSU student, says that the university is more than football.

Mary, from Lancaster, PA, says that we are moving ahead.

Rick Favinger, PSU alum, says PSU will go on.

Jim and Pat Walters from Harrisburg, PA, say PSU is a great school with superior academics.

Eugene Freeman, grad student, still loves PSU.

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parents of sexually abused children, who often react to disclosure with shock and ask, “How could I not have known?” This unawareness and reluctance to engage in dialogue that could rectify trauma are frequently noted by survivors, who recall how “invisible” they felt as abused children. The abuser seemed all-powerful, his conduct beyond reproach and his offenses beyond detection. It felt like no one wanted to know, and if the boy did the one thing he could do to protect himself – tell someone – who would believe him? Abusers exploit these feelings with threats and subtle innuendos of looming rejection and catastrophic harm. I was told, for example, that if my father ever found out, he would send me to the local orphan-

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age where all bad boys go. Sandusky threatened to send Victim 4 home in disgrace from the Alamo Bowl when he resisted his advances. It’s hardly surprising, then, that Sandusky’s victims, like most others, remained silent. The example of Sandusky also alerts us to the fact that very few perpetrators are strangers, an image perpetuated by such high-profile abduction cases as those of Shawn Hornbeck and Elizabeth Smart in 2002. Focusing on “stranger danger” obfuscates the fact that most abused children are victimized by someone they know and trust; fewer than 10% of perpetrators are strangers to their victims. An abuser can be anyone from any walk of life. As the Sandusky case demonstrates, a life full of apparently worthy deeds can cover a determined molester. Cases of childhood sexual abuse con-

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School I don’t want to go to school because there is a giant monster With razor sharp teeth and massive tentacles That he can choke me with I don’t like monsters But I pretend everything is okay because if I didn’t Then the world would explode In a poem, Chris, age 18, expresses his feelings about going to school every day. To understand this dilemma is to understand the tremendous courage it takes for a survivor to break silence.

front us with situations in which perpetrators and victims routinely remain invisible unless observers are aware of the warning signs. It’s clearly vital that every institution or group involved with children has policies in place to react quickly and effectively to protect potential victims. Programs must focus not only on the recognition of signs, but on the reporting procedure. Functionaries at all levels need clear guidance on their personal responsibility during a questionable situation. The Freeh Report criticized Penn State for the overwhelming authority of “football culture,” but unless trained to do otherwise, all will act in accordance with their own perceptions of their place in the culture with which they identify. As the Sandusky case shows, the mere existence of state and federal laws is not enough. Failure to report occurred not only at the higher levels, but all through the system—much of this because so many who could have intervened had never heard of mandatory reporting or disclosure regulations such as those of the Clery Act. Mandatory reporting protocols vary among jurisdictions and can be so impenetrable that multi-day seminars are convened to clarify them. As a result, the answer to what should be done and by whom can collapse into confusion when an actual problem arises. This significantly impacts survivors, who as children had to cope with situations

in which they were defenseless and deprived of hope. When later on in life they see other children enduring the same things that were done to them, it can feel like the situation is hopeless and that nothing will ever change. Recovery, a daunting challenge in any case, becomes especially difficult when the world looks so bleak as this. Where to go from here? As awareness and engagement increase, more survivors of childhood sexual abuse are encouraged to disclose and seek support. One of the most positive statements emerging from the Sandusky case came in Attorney General Linda Kelly’s press statement after the verdicts were announced: “One of the recurring themes of the witnesses’ testimony, which came from the voices of the victims themselves in this case, was: Who would believe a kid? And the answer to the question is: We here in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, would believe a kid. And I think that I speak not only for my own agency, but for law enforcement across the country, when I say: We would believe a kid.” This is a powerful message to a survivor. Everything the abuser says and does makes the victim feel that if he tells, no one will believe him. Why would they? The abuser


Voice, pg. 15


October 2012 from

Shelter, pg. 11

changes in the shelter. “I never thought I’d be running a shelter,” Warner said. “And I can’t believe how much I love it.” Warner is a lifelong animal lover who started keeping horses and Saint Bernards when she was young. While she had rescue and adoption experience with the SPCA, she had never managed a shelter facility herself. Reflecting on when she was approached about taking over the Centre Hall branch, Warner had one major concern: money. She estimated that the shelter would require $250,000 in operating costs every year—a huge sum for a non-profit to locate. Warner approached her financial needs with a creative, spontaneous marketing style, like using Penn State football traffic

“We’re trying to stick to the waiting list, but we have some cases where we know that [the owners] are going to do something to the animal as soon as you turn them away. That’s the hard part.” Deb Warner President, Pets Come First to raise funds and supplies. “One day we were in dire need of paper towels, so I just made up a poster with bright pink letters and put it out on the side of 322,” Warner said. “That same day we had several people come in bringing us stuff. I couldn’t believe how many donations we got.” A floor-to-ceiling shelving unit now overflows with rolls of paper towels. “I’m hoping we can get kitty litter next,” Warner said. Warner also strategicially uses social media, as demonstrated by the interactive Facebook page for Pets Come First featuring pictures and stories of animals in need. Warner claims that social media has been a huge force in getting the word out fast and

getting fast results in return. While a shed adjacent to the main building is open to donations of food, litter, blankets and more, strict signage warns visitors against dumping unwanted animals, as it stresses the budget and resources of a center devoted to a no-kill policy. Because Pets Come First doesn’t euthanize, it relies on a waiting list (currently 19 pages long) to place pets with a new family. “We’re trying to stick to the waiting list,” Warner said. “But we have some cases where we know that [the owners] are going to do something to the animal as soon as you turn them away. That’s the hard part.” A foster system made up of volunteers who provide homes for animals until they can be placed permanently helps Pets Come First cope with long waiting lists and limited resources. One day Warner said that she took in four gray kittens in because one of her volunteers immediately offered to foster them. Warner said that overpopulation in Centre County is the greatest challenge facing Pets Come First. In response, she prioritizes further education and action on spaying and neutering. The shelter spayed 25 cats at its last “Cat Clinic”—with Warner transporting the cats to and from a Bellefonte veterinarian herself. In the nine months since it took over the SPCA Centre Hall branch shelter, Pets Come First has adopted 333 animals and spayed or neutered 104 animals (not including the cat clinics). With its success, Warner still focuses on all the ways she hopes to improve the facility, such as visiting rooms, bright, welcoming spaces for potential pets and adopters and training for more adoption counselors. Although Warner is known to say that there are not enough hours in the day, her colleagues claim that her contagious passion is making a real difference at Pets Come First. “If anybody can make this place go, it’ll be Deb,” volunteer Cookie Crissman said. “All the time [she is] thinking what we can do to make it better. She loves these animals like they’re her own. It’s a wonderful experience. I wish I could be here every day, I really do, because it gets in your


Voice, pg. 14

is respected, his crimes are unseen and the victim himself can hardly believe what is happening to him. The moment of disclosure involves a leap of faith. Assurances that he is believed open the way for further disclosures and facilitate the process of healing. If the survivor’s disclosure is met with doubts and denials he is likely to retreat into isolation, perhaps for years or even decades. It is equally important that victims – Sandusky’s and all others – be assured that they are not to blame for what was done to them. A sexually abused child is most likely to conclude that the shame and guilt he feels reflect his own worthlessness and weakness. Survivors need to know that nothing they ever said or did, or complied with, could make the abuse their fault. This nurtures a foundation upon which recovery can be built. One of the most decisive moments in my own life came the day my father said to me, “Larry, this was not your fault.” Finally, I want to raise the question on the fringes of any discussion of childhood sexual abuse: Why are pedophiles sexually attracted to children? Here our knowledge is secure. Abuse gives the perpetrator opportunities to wield power: to deceive, to emerge undetected from great risk-taking, to completely control a relationship and to oblige a defenseless child to submit to the most extreme violations of body and soul.

“One of the recurring themes of the witnesses’ testimony, which came from the voices of the victims themselves in this case, was: Who would believe a kid?. . . I think that I speak not only for my own agency, but for law enforcement across the country, when I say: We would believe a kid.” Linda Kelly, Attorney General This terrible truth can help us once we understand it. Victims of sexual abuse need to know that the powerlessness they remember from their childhood was real but not their fault. Once they disclose the abuse, they will be believed and supported without judgment. The larger challenge then becomes clear: to break the power of abusers, who use secrecy and lies to prey on the young, and at the same time to empower institutions and families to protect children, to encourage victims to disclose and seek the support they deserve and to facilitate their recovery as they emerge from isolation and attempt to trust again. As an aware and committed community we will be able to respond decisively when a survivor steps forward to declare, as one young man said to me: “I am the captain of my own ship.”

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October 2012

What causes disease? by Matthew Hertert Dr. Matthew Hertert is a doctor of Chiropractic and holds a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology. As much as I’d love to be able to impress you with a concise and useful answer you could put into effect today to achieve immortality, I can’t. This is an age-old question with many different answers, and unfortunately the answer is usually less about what to avoid and more about what we must do to promote health. The kinds of answers that seem most academic are arguably the least accurate.

We think of disease and we think of viruses, bacteria and genetics. It’s not that these aren’t causes, but they are a small part of what makes us sick and robs us of health. Bruce Lipton, a biologist with an impressive four-decade resume, often speaks on the idea that genetics have been given too much power in the discussion, and that this is common when an area in research gets “trendy.” He contends that genes are merely blueprints, and points out that you don’t cook dinner or take a bath in blueprints. In fact a review of illness in identical twins shows that genetics are often a weaker influence than environment; if your twin has schizophrenia, for

Health Talk example, you are more likely not to develop it. A similar observation can be made about the overemphasis on pathogens. We have all had the experience of being in a classroom, office or family situation in which half the people got sick and the other half didn’t. So if the bugs cause the illness, why didn’t everyone get sick? Of course genetics are an influence, and with some illness they are a much greater factor than others. Pathogens such as salmonella and e. coli are far more virulent and difficult for the immune system to resist. But what is powerful to realize is that what really causes – allows – disease to occur in most cases is our environment, and our environment is largely within our control. The American Medical Association has estimated that fifty percent of all illness Americans face is lifestyle related. In other words, what we eat or don’t eat, what we smoke, what we drink or don’t drink, how we exercise, the chemicals we expose ourselves to, and stress. I find this statistic horrifying and liberating. It is horrifying in that it brings attention to how inert and comfort-driven we are as a culture. It is liberating because it means that half the illness that everyone reading this will face can be influenced by things within our control. We have a choice. I recently watched a TED talk by a woman named Robyn O’Brien, speaking on commerce-driven food “design” in the U.S. She noted that the U.S., in which these engineered proteins are allowed, has dramatically higher cancer rates than other developed countries where such foods aren’t allowed, and that in some cases only one in ten of the cancers are genetic. It seems that annually, yet another university study publishes findings showing that exercise works better for depression than medication does. Depression is some-

thing that most of us experience at some point in our lives, that many of us live with long-term, and that is estimated to cost $83 billion dollars and 35 thousand suicides each year. Nerve compression and postural imbalances cause the body tremendous dysfunction and stress as communication is cut off between the brain and the viscera and extremities, and as vast metabolic resources are used by the muscles as they strain to protect joints. This, just like mental and emotional stress, dramatically alters our biochemistry, creates inflammation and toxic waste products, and poisons our interior. Household chemicals, cleaners, solvents, health care products, makeup, hair spray and cooking plastics all introduce huge amounts of toxins into our precious inner environment, many of which are strange to our bodies and are therefore more challenging to process or excrete. The most common way for our bodies to try and process toxic chemicals and heavy metals is to encase them in fat, so the more we are exposed to these contaminants, the more fat our body will retain to protect us. Weighing more makes exercise more difficult, less fun, and can inspire depression, which also discourages exercise. The primary cause of most illness is a lack of resistance. This lack arises from a stressed system that is overwhelmed and cannot defend itself the way it is meant – and able!! – to do. Get good rest, eat well and lightly, exercise regularly, take care of your mental and emotional stress, get massages and adjustments and rolfing and go to yoga class, and throw out half the cleaners and makeup in your house. Remember, fifty percent is up to you! Be well.


October 2012

Oxen in training: yoked to sustainability by Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell For Brian Burger, owner of New Harmony Farmstead in Coburn, raising and training oxen is just one aspect of his greater commitment to and philosophy of sustainable agriculture. “All flesh is grass,” said Burger. “Animals can be an important and integral part of sustainable agriculture. They can convert plant matter into useable substances to grow our food crops.” The animal of choice for most draft animal farmers in the area is a horse. Burger chose to work with oxen not because of the numerous oxen-fancier competitions throughout the U.S., but because he is seeking a more sustainable means of cultivating fields, through the use of the most commonly available draft animal.

“If the objective is truly the most sustainable agriculture we can do, if it’s about community and environmental stewardship, if it’s about teaching people alternative ways of doing things and teaching people gentle ways of doing things, oxen fit into it,” said Burger. By definition, an ox is a castrated bull over the age of four. Before that, the animal is deemed a working steer. An ox must be fully trained by the time that it reaches adulthood otherwise the animal would be too unruly for farm work. Burger has been training three bull calves and one female calf (called a heifer) since very early this year when he purchased the calves at one week of age. To create a strong connection between him and his future oxen, Berger bottle fed them himself, using a milk replacer.

“If the objective is truly the most sustainable agriculture we can do...oxen fit into it.” Brian Burger This strong bond has, according to Burger, helped in the training process as it developed the animals’ trust in him. An ox begins his training when he is one month old and he is put into a halter for the first time. What follows is a mixture of training in commands by his handler, socialization, exposure to implements and plow training with a driver. Burger explained that the standard commands direct the animal without using force or violence—an ox can be

told to “whoa” (stop), or “giddup” (go), which would be followed by a gentle tap with a goad. Other commands tell the ox to turn right or left, step into or out of the harness or stall. Oxen must also be socialized to work with humans and other oxen. “One of the things they have to learn is that humans are in charge,” said Burger. “Always. Doesn’t matter which human it is.” He also pointed out that the animals must be well-trained to work with people because oxen retain their horns. Oxen use their horns when they walk backwards to brace the yoke while hitched to a yoke and plow. Usually the horns are tipped with balls, but Burger warned that


Oxen, pg. 20

West Nile virus on the rise in Central Pa by Allison Robertson Pennsylvania is no exception to this year’s outbreak of West Nile virus. As of mid-September, 47 states, including Pa., reported at least one human case of West Nile virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As recently as September 18 in Centre County, other mosquito samples from Liberty and Howard townships tested positive for West Nile virus, reported the Centre Daily Times. This season, bird samples that tested positive were found in State College and Ferguson, Halfmoon and Harris townships. This West Nile virus season, from May to October, has yielded one human case, two veterinary cases of horses, 17 positive birds and 46 positive mosquito samples in Centre County alone, said Centre County West Nile Virus Coordinator, Albert Lavan.

“This is a significant increase with still a month to go in the surveillance season. Pennsylvania has potential for a very serious outbreak.” Albert Lavan, Centre County West Nile Virus Coordinator He added that not only do the total cases of West Nile virus change daily, but these numbers are only likely to rise. Last year in Centre County, only 14 birds and 10 mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus, Lavan said, with no reported human cases. “This is a significant increase with still a month to go in the surveillance season,” said Lavan. “Pennsylvania has potential

for very serious outbreak,” he added. West Nile virus was first discovered in an adult woman in the West Nile District of Uganda in 1937. Though West Nile virus had been found in Africa, the Middle East, west and central Asia, and Oceania, the U.S. was safe from the virus until it appeared in New York City in 1999, according to Penn State Agricultural Science’s web page. The bulk of West Nile cases have been found in Texas, where 1225 positive human cases were tested with 50 deaths, reported the CDC. Mississippi comes in second with 172 positive human cases and four deaths, while Louisiana comes in second with the death toll at 10 but only 147 cases of West Nile. While Pa. has seen many more cases this year than in the past, it is far behind Texas with 20 positive human cases and one death, according to the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus Control Program’s website.

While Pennsylvania has not suffered a huge outbreak like Texas, with the warm weather lengthening the mosquitoes’ breeding season, Lavan still worries about the spread of West Nile virus. Mosquito season ends with the first good freeze on the puddles and other stagnant pools of water, which will shut down the mosquitoes’ reproduction, said Lavan. “Until we have that, we still have potential for risk,” Lavan said. One reason for this year’s severe season is last year’s warm winter. The first freeze didn’t come until late in the season, allowing the mosquitoes to reproduce long into the fall months. Lavan predicts the West Nile virus season will last longer in the fall and start earlier in the spring of next year due to the warm, wet weather.


West Nile, pg. 21


October 2012

Rogue weather yields poor harvests for farmers by Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell It’s mid-September, and Bill Zimmer looks across a small field that should have been full of Baby Bear pumpkins. These small pumpkins would have been just the right size for the little hands of children receiving them from the State College Food Bank. Zimmer grows produce for his family, but is also the master gardener for the food bank. Much of the produce growing in these fields is destined for the food bank, so the effects of his gardening woes will be directly felt by local families in need. “All of these rows,” Zimmer said, gesturing to the empty rows flanking the few surviving pumpkin vines, “should have had pumpkins. I also had a poor harvest of cucumbers and melons. This was the second round of pumpkins.” Just a field over, however, the cauliflower and broccoli are flourishing. Beyond the field of cauliflower and broccoli are two fields that have been mostly harvested and are now littered with huge plastic crates of potatoes. This year, the potato crop was huge, but last year, Zimmer’s crop of potatoes was hit by the Colorado potato beetle and decimated. Fortunately for the clients of the food bank, Zimmer makes up the shortfall in produce with fresh fruits and vegetables he purchases and then donates. “If I can’t grow it myself, I go buy it,” said Zimmer. “Sometimes I go out to Amish country and buy bushels of apples [for the food bank].” While the food bank won’t be feeling the pinch of local growers’ difficult harvests, the challenges that Zimmer has faced represent some of the issues that farmers have encountered in this difficult year for farming. A warm March followed by frosts in April damaged fruit trees earlier this year in the northeast and Canada.

Zimmer’s apple, pear, plum and peach tree crops were ruined because the trees blossomed early, and were then hit by frost. According to, the cooler April temperatures did slow the blossoming of some trees, but not enough to protect them from a series of unusually cold nights from April 25 to 30. During those hard frosts, ice crystals formed in the cells of new leaves and blossoms and destroyed them. Yet, not all the fruit tree crops in central Pa. were damaged, thanks to variations in the trees’ blossoming dates and locations of the orchards. “Fifteen miles can make a big difference,” said Zimmer, speaking of orchards that survived the frost in Belleville. “Two to three degrees can make a big difference.” Following that crop calamity was the arrival in early June of late blight, the blight that caused Ireland’s potato famine in the late 1800s. Late blight was identified in nearby Blair, Franklin, and Mifflin counties, according to a statement made by Penn State college of agriculture research assistant Beth Gugino to Penn State Live. This blight affects both potatoes and tomatoes, but did not affect Centre county home gardeners like Zimmer. After these successive agricultural woes, Pa. farmers got a break from other woes that swept through other parts of the country. The drought that decimated corn and soybean crops throughout the Midwest had little effect on the crops here. The USDA reports that corn production from farms in Pa. will top the national average yield per acre, with harvests of 125 bushels per acre, as opposed to the expected average of 122.8 bushels per acre throughout the rest of the nation. Bill Zimmer’s small corn field looks much like other corn fields in central Pa.—the stalks are green, healthy and tall. That is, they would be tall if a storm

Photo by Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell

Bill Zimmer stands in his pumpkin patch. This patch should have been full of pumpkins destined for the State College Food Bank, but this year’s harvest was difficult.

just a few days before had not flattened them to the earth. “It’s still good corn,” Zimmer said as he picked a few ears from the fallen stalks. Heavy storms can force a farmer into an early harvest, but Pa. farmers may have been spared the worst of what this summer’s weather had to hold for food growers.

According to agricultural economics professor James Dunn (speaking with Penn State Live), the real effects of the drought will be seen in the higher cost of animal protein. Farmers will take more of an economic hit than the consumers because corn and soybean producers have nothing to sell, while livestock producers will pay a higher cost for the limited animal feed resources.

State College Peace Center

Hum a n R i g


F ts

i l m S e ri es FR EE

“Myths for Profit” (2009) October 25, Thursday, 7:00 pm, WEBSTER’S BOOKSTORE CAFÉ 133 East Beaver Avenue with a lower-level no-stairs entrance on Humes Alley adjacent to the Pugh Street Parking Garage Myths for Profit takes a hard look at the differences between the propaganda Canadians are being sold about "humanitarian interventions" and "peacekeeping and development", verses the reality of who is really getting rich off of military and supposed democracy-building assistance. (58 minutes)


October 2012

Lincoln’s Sparrow: A fall visitor to Central Pa by Joe Verica Fall brings many changes to Happy Valley. The leaves begin changing colors. Warm summer days are replaced by windy days with cooler temperatures. New faces grace the walkways on campus as another school year gets under way. Fall also brings many migrating birds to our area. Birds like the Dark-eyed Junco and White-throated Sparrow stay with us for a few months, becoming winter residents. Others, like Broad-wing Hawks and Cape May Warblers, are passage migrants with more southerly destinations in mind. Another bird that is just “passing through” is the Lincoln’s Sparrow. In eastern North America, the Lincoln’s Sparrow breeds in an area extending from the subarctic regions of Canada down to New England and northern N.Y. They start heading south to their wintering grounds in the southern U.S. and northern Mexico in late August. By midSeptember, the Lincoln’s Sparrows begin showing up here in Central Pa. Although the sparrows are present in ample numbers during migration, they can be somewhat difficult to see due to their secretive nature. The Lincoln’s prefers wet brushy areas where it has a tendency to stay under cover. It forages primarily on the ground, where it diligently works over an area in search of insects and seeds. Lincoln’s Sparrows are often mistaken for the closely related Song Sparrow due to their similar appearance. By comparison, the Lincoln’s Sparrow is smaller and more neatly attired. Its upper parts are olive-brown and streaked with black. The belly and throat are white. The breast and flanks are buffy and overlaid with crisp black streaks. Like the Song Sparrow, the Lincoln’s also has a dark, central breast spot, but it is neatly delineated and much reduced relative to the messy-looking breast spot of the Song Sparrow. The Lincoln’s crown is light brown, marked with fine

black streaks, slightly peaked or shaggy in appearance and is divided by a central gray crown stripe. The face is gray with a dark, narrow line behind the eye. The eye is encircled by a thin, white ring. Contrary to popular opinion, the Lincoln’s Sparrow was not named in honor of our fallen 16th President. The sparrow was named by John James Audubon in honor of his guide and companion, Thomas Lincoln (no relation to Abe). Audubon first became acquainted with Lincoln in 1832, when he hired him as a guide for an expedition in the woods of Maine, where Audubon hoped to find Spruce Grouses. Although the mission fell short of its goals, Audubon was so impressed with Lincoln’s work ethic and abilities as a guide that he invited Lincoln to join him on his famed “Labrador Expedition” the following year. It was during that expedition that Audubon heard the song of a bird that was unfamiliar to him. Following some difficulty in collecting (i.e., shooting) the bird, it was eventually tracked down and “procured” by Thomas Lincoln. Finding it to be a previously unnamed species, Audubon named it “Tom’s Finch” (later Lincoln’s Sparrow) in Lincoln’s honor. The song of the Lincoln’s is robust and musical. It has been described by Pete Dunne as “rollicking, care-free, but somewhat hurried series of repeated notes, trills and warbles.” Ornithologist Jonathan Dwight states that the Lincoln’s song “suggests the bubbling, guttural notes of the House Wren, combined with the sweet rippling music of the Purple Finch, and when you think the song is done, there is an unexpected aftermath.” During fall migration, when the Lincoln’s is making its way through Central Pa., the bird does not typically sing. Your best chance to see one is to go to an area where the bird is likely to be found–areas with brushy cover. The best local places to check are Scotia Barrens, Toftrees Gamelands, Musser Gap or the

Arboretum at Penn State. The best time to go is late September and early October. If you miss them in the fall, you can catch them again on their return flight in mid-May. Any sparrow seen hopping along the ground, popping around in the brush or making its way through the lower layers of a hedgerow is a good candidate for a Lincoln’s. Although they tend to be somewhat reserved in habit, they can be coaxed out into the open by persistent, soft pishing. Upon hearing pishing sounds, the bird will typically fly up to an exposed perch to assess the situation, and then gradually return to the safety of the brush. With a little patience, you are likely to get a good view of this handsome sparrow.

Photo by Jeff Whitlock

The Lincoln’s sparrow visits in the autumn.

Questions or Comment? Joe Verica can be reached at

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October 2012

Oxen, pg. 17

the driver must be aware of where the horns are at all times. The work done by oxen often also requires them to be socialized to work with other oxen. Oxen can work singly, in pairs, or be hitched in pairs in tandem, but the most common is the pair. Some other oxen trainers, noted Burger, train their younger animals with older animals. Burger will soon be pairing up his animals to work together; he has been waiting to assess the confirmation of the oxen so that the pairs will be evenly matched. Burger noted an issue with pairing oxen. “One of the frustrating things is that once you pair up animals, they become really tied to that pairing, to the extent that when one animal passes, the other animal is put down because it won’t work well

with another mate,” said Burger. Before the animals are paired, they must be exposed to different situations and farm implements. Burger has not taken his young oxen out into the field to plow yet, but they have pulled objects in his garden. One-third of their training was in the forest, so that the ox develops the confidence to step over logs and push through brush. Recently, Burger took the oxen around the farmyard, introducing them to the sights and sounds of each animal so they would not be frightened or aggressive when coming across another animal. There are several ways to harness an ox, and the driver may be in front of, behind or to the side of the pulling animal. Typically in the U.S. oxen are yoked to a bow yoke, which is a wooden crosspiece bound to the necks of the oxen, held in place with an oxbow.

According to Burger, the bow must fit into the hollow spots near the ox’s shoulders, and he will go through several of these for each animal from beginning of training to adulthood as the ox grows. While it may be challenging to acquire the proper farm implements for this sort of cultivating, an advantage to the Penns Valley area for the oxen trainer is that there is a lot of draft horse usage, and the equipment used on the horses can be used or adapted to oxen. Burger even acquired his harnessing equipment at the local harness

shop, though he did purchase his yokes through a maker in New Hampshire. Also found in the area is the kind of cattle used for oxen. Oxen are usually dairy cattle because of their advantageous build. Beef cattle, said Berger, have been manipulated through breeding to be broad and short-legged— better for meat production, but not well adapted to the plow. Dairy cattle, however,


Oxen, pg. 21

Photo courtesy of Brian Burger

Burger trains his young ox on his farm in Penns Valley. Cattle are part of the sustainable farming plan that Burger has been creating.


October 2012 from

West Nile, pg. 17

Although Centre County has been spraying for mosquitoes every week since sometime in July, only the first freeze of winter will really control the mosquito population. “Mosquitoes go from egg to adult in a week and a half. If we spray this week, we’ll knock back the mosquito population, but then the potential [for West Nile virus] is still there,” said Lavan. Centre County will be collecting mosquito samples until the end of September, said Lavan. The virus causes fatal encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, in humans and horses and death in certain domestic and wild birds. The virus is contracted within 3-14 days after being bitten by a positive mos-

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quito, reported the CDC website. Only 1 in 150 people have serious symptoms of West Nile virus, according to CDC website. West Nile virus is spread through infected mosquitoes, blood transfusions, transplants, and mother-to-child through breastfeeding and pregnancy, the CDC website reads. To prevent West Nile virus, Lavan advised people to cover up and use bug spray. It’s best to wear long sleeves outside and make sure to use insect repellant in the evening and morning when the mosquito species that carries West Nile virus are most active, said Lavan. To check the current updates on the number of positive cases of West Nile virus, visit Pennsylvania West Nile Virus Control Program’s website at


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Oxen, pg. 20

are taller and have longer legs. Burger’s cattle are Jersey cattle, but the common black and white Holsteins, the milking Devons and the Durham cow are also commonly used as oxen throughout the northeast United States. Burger and his wife are in the process of creating a non-profit organization based around a working farm homestead that would “carry out the goal of providing experience and opportunities for people.” Some of these people, he stated, could be student interns from the three universities and colleges that surround Penns Valley—Penn State, Lock Haven and Juniata. For them, Burger’s farmstead could serve as an “experiential classroom” where they could receive a

multi-disciplinary educational experience that they could apply to their work and share with others. According to Burger, sustainability has been largely ignored in agriculture because modern commercial farming demands fossil fuel usage, which in his estimation is largely unsustainable because fossil fuel will run out and commercial farming does environmental damage. “I see three key elements to our future existence—clean air, clean water, good soil,” said Burger. “If we really cook it down, we can’t really do it without any of these three things. That keeps the human organism alive. And to despoil any of those is our death knell, and yet we do it every day without thinking. It’s not about putting more in the bank account. We have to be willing to live with less, and live sustainable.”


October 2012

NCAA sanctions hold football team back by Ryan Beckler When the NCAA levied “unprecedented” [and arguably harsh] sanctions on the Penn State Football Program two months ago, no one really knew how harsh those sanctions would be. Those invested in the future of Penn State thought the consequences of the sanctions would not only affect Bill O’Brien’s newly undertaken program, but the other teams umbrellaed by the athletic program and also many offthe-field, non-athletic organizations. Those fears have not yet been put to rest. The sanctions have certainly taken their toll on the Nittany Lion Football team, a squad that is only a third of the way through the season. During the season opener vs. Ohio, Penn State came out strong but eventually

fell flat during the second half, mainly due to depth issues on defense. During the fourth quarter, the linebacking corps was noticeably fatigued, letting Ohio easily drive down the field for the game-clinching touchdown. Had Khari Fortt, junior middle linebacker, not transferred to California University, Penn State’s defense would have had the extra linebacking depth that they lacked during the final drive. The following Saturday, Penn State lost a gut-wrenching game in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Nittany Lions had the win in their back pockets, several times in fact, but their kicker by default, Sam Ficken, faltered on four occasions. He struggled all afternoon, hooking two kicks wide left and missing wide right twice more. Penn State’s would-be kicker, Anthony Fera,

“The Intercollegiate Athletics piece of the project funding was tight to begin with, and the restructuring of the ICA capital budget after the sanctions put the project further out of reach.” Lisa Powers, university spokeswoman transferred to Texas only five weeks before the Virginia game with this statement:

“I’ve been afforded the opportunity to give back to my family and make their lives a little easier by transferring to a university much closer to home, The University of Texas.” Although he transferred due to a family medical situation, one could wonder if he might have stuck it out with the team if the opportunity to leave hadn’t arrived. Three weeks into the season, Penn State might have been 4-0, but due in part to sanctioninduced transfers, they sit at a frustrating 2-2. While Bill O’Brien’s opening season has shown points of promise, the attendance at Beaver Stadium have not. The three home games thus far have shown


Sanctions, pg. 24

Penn State football program moves forward by Molly Cochran Goosebumps and chills: two feelings every Penn state fan could identify with at the first home game of the season. As the student section filled up and alumni filed into their tight seats, the scene will never be forgotten. As the crowd anxiously awaited the football team, the roar was unlike any Nittany Lion heard before. The crowd sang the alma mater, emphasizing “May no act of ours bring shame…” as the football team poured out of the tunnel and ran across the field. They were just as excited as the crowd as they ran to the alumni section and tried to get them on their feet to help cheer. The Penn State football team of 2012 moved on. Signs that the football team has moved on are everywhere. There are names on the back of the jerseys. Crowd members wore blue ribbons, signifying

“The One Team logo is a good motto. We are one school, one team, moving forward together.” Nolan Maynard

the awareness of childhood abuse, while the ‘One Team’ logo is posted nearly everywhere. Players are also exercising their new right to grow facial hair. “The One Team logo is a good motto,” said Nolan Maynard a junior (environmental engineering) and season ticket holder. “We are one school, one team, moving forward together.” One team. That is what the entire

crowd was on September 1st, at the home opener. It was the first home opener the team had lost since 2001. According to the Penn State Athletics website, nearly 97,000 Penn State supporters gathered at the game on September 1st and showed that they would support the Penn State football team no matter what. The football team has taken a rough hit in light of the NCAA sanctions (see the NCAA sanctions article for more), but it is clear that the players who decided to stay are feeling right at home. Nick Mox, (junior-accounting), a season ticket holder, said that he noticed some changes during the first game and was proud to be a part of the new era of Penn State Football. “The fans seemed more anxious and excited than usual,” Mox said. “[The fans] seemed in high spirits like last year, if not higher this season,” Mox

said. Maynard also expressed a similar experience at the game. “When the players ran out of the tunnel, there was a feeling of relief from the crowd,” he said. Change was in the air on the first game of the season. A moment of silence was held at the beginning of the game for the victims and Mox stated that he thought this was enough to signify the past. “A moment of silence was suffice [sic], nothing more nothing less,” said Mox. Penn State’s new coach, Bill O’Brien may face many challenges this season. O’Brien faced tough questions at the press conference following the first


Football, pg. 25


October 2012

The unfinished business in Happy Valley by Michael Brand

Community Voice Sometimes really, really, really smart people fail at the most basic governance responsibilities. Consider the now retired Dr. Robert Jaedicke, a widely respected accounting professor and former dean of Stanford Business School. These days, he serves in volunteer governance roles such as member of Board of Advisors for Montana State University and president of the Yellowstone Park Foundation. However, during his brilliant academic career, he sat on several corporate boards, where his name and fame brought legitimacy to corporations across the USA. One of these outside gigs was as the Chairman of the Audit Committee for a major utility trader, Enron. While never implicated in criminal activity, his governance role on the Enron board brought Jaedicke a Congressional subpoena, where he testified that even as Audit Chair he knew nothing of Enron’s peculiar transactions or opaque accounting practices. Jaedicke’s statements so angered noted management author Tom Peters (In Search Of Excellence), that he repudiated his own Stanford MBA and returned his diploma to the esteemed university. “When the guy who headed Stanford Business School, the last bastion of beancounting, invokes the ‘Clueless’ defense, it makes you wonder about the value of a Stanford degree,” Peters said. The Jaedicke experience is informative when considering people like Spanier, Curley, Shultz and Paterno. While the Sandusky scandal is about the sexual abuse of young boys, the Penn State Scandal is about the collapse of principled leadership. Even deeper, with all revelations about the scores of civic, government, business and academic leaders in the region who knew major parts of

what was happening for years and years we might want to call it the Happy Valley scandal. At its core, the Happy Valley scandal is about culture that left so many good people morally blind. As with Robert Jaedicke, we’ve repeatedly been offered the ‘Clueless’ Defense. How is it that so many knew so much yet no one had a clue? What happened with Sandusky should have been stopped almost as soon as it started. The systematic cover-up that ensued occurred precisely because the leadership of the Second Mile, Penn State and other civic institutions allowed a culture of idolatry to flourish. The status of the football program and late coach Joe Paterno had reached such gargantuan heights that fear of shedding light on the scandal dissuaded many from saying anything. Happy Valley had a culture so entrenched that it cavalierly overlooked the degradation of its young. Driving home this point is the tale of the janitor, James Calhoun. After witnessing Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy in the locker room in November 2001, the visibly shaken Calhoun discussed it that night with several of his fellow janitorial staff. They did not report the matter out of concern for their jobs. As one testified, it, “Would have been like going against the President of the United States.” One can hardly disagree with that observation. In a culture of such football idolatry, a mere victim or an observant employee doesn’t really stand a chance. How ascendant the football program became is illustrated by the well-known tale of when PSU leadership did try to exert some influence over football. Recall the 2004 visit to the Paterno home by Chair of the Trustees, Steven Garban, and President Graham Spanier. They went seeking the coach’s retirement. As revealed in the just-published biography, Paterno kicked them out of the house while telling the two, “You take care of your playground, I’ll take care of mine.”

On the organizational chart, Paterno served under Spanier and Garban. In real life, it was something quite different. To understand how deviant this situation had become, the question was recently put to a roundtable of business CEOs and nonprofit Executive Directors, “If you and your Board Chair went to an employee to seek their retirement, and got the response ‘You take care of your playground, I’ll take care of mine,’ what would you do?” Not surprisingly, the consensus was that the employee would be immediately terminated. But not Paterno. In this culture, Spanier and Garban readily abdicated their governance responsibilities. As one CEO noted, the story “gives lie to the notion Joe had ANY superiors at that place.” And it was this culture, this perversion of priorities, this loss of institutional control which was noted again and again in both the Freeh Report and in the subsequent NCAA sanctions. It wasn’t just that the football program drove the university; the football program drove life throughout Happy Valley. There are indications that not much has changed. The largest outpouring of public emotion in this entire affair was not in response to boys being raped or in leaders looking the other way while boys were being raped. No, the fury was over the firing of the coach, the outrage over losing a few scholarships and four bowl games. Rather than loudly trumpet the creation of a “Center for the Protection of Children,” the university would do well funneling increased resources into the myriad of leadership and ethics centers already existing within many academic programs. The same holds true for our community at large. The rush to create new abuse awareness programs should be coupled with similar initiatives to bolster principled leadership in our government, business and nonprofit sectors. For, if Happy Valley is serious about ‘never again,’ it will take more than tossing around a few million, creating a few chil-

dren’s programs, and tearing down a statue. Over the years, many looked the other way because it was all so lucrative. And the temptation is to continue to focus upon pedophilia and away from leadership because so many continue to make a living having things just the way they always were. This creates a strong desire to ‘move on’ and ‘get back to normal.’ However, ‘back to normal’ is not acceptable, for normal was a culture that distorted the judgment of so many. Penn State has tremendous intellectual assets. A few departments are worldclass, several colleges among the best in the nation and more than a few faculty who are premier in their field. This has not changed and remains unaffected by the events of the past year. If Penn State is a university first, then it will continue to flourish because the foundation of academic strength remains. But there is much in the larger community that needs to change as well. You don’t have to agree with all parts of the Freeh Report to understand its basic call to reshape the PSU culture. And by reshaping the university, there is an opportunity to reshape the culture of Happy Valley into one that is less blindly faithful and more morally courageous. Jerry Sandusky did what he did, driven by some soul sickness (and possibly a childhood history of his own). Call it ‘evil’ if you wish, but ultimately there was something darker going on with our leaders. These were our neighbors. These were smart, caring men and women who heard the truth, contemplated the truth, deliberated with others about the truth and then made conscious decisions to hide the truth. In this sense, the Freeh Report is correct. We created an abnormal culture in Happy Valley that perverted the thinking of so many good people. There is no moving on until this culture changes.

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Sanctions, pg. 22

very underwhelming crowds, numberswise at least. The turnout for the Temple game was a paltry 93,680, the lowest attendance since 2001. Combine already expensive ticket prices with an ongoing scandal and it’s easy to see why fans have shied away. Non-football sports appear to be immune from sanction aftermath; President Rodney Erickson has reiterated on several occasions that other sports programs won’t be affected by $60 million fine that Penn State will pay over the next five years. However, it appears that athletic construction projects aren’t as immune. The planned expansion of the Penn State natatorium as well as the construction of a new

“Penn State has a strong network of admissions professionals, academic college staff and faculty, current students and alumni volunteers who all deliver the message about “Why Penn State.”“ Anne Rohrbach, executive director for undergraduate admissions indoor tennis center were both quickly halted after Penn State discovered that its Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) funding

had started to dry up. Athletic funding was supposed to account for $25 million of the $65 million bill shared by the two projects, but it appears that the $60 million fine imposed by the NCAA forced Penn state to put the two projects on hold. “The Intercollegiate Athletics piece of the project funding was tight to begin with, and the restructuring of the ICA capital budget after the sanctions put the project further out of reach,” said University spokeswoman Lisa Powers in a recent Centre Daily Times article. Through the last ten months, even with all of the trials, lawsuits, and candlelight vigils, one thing remains constant: Penn State is still successfully recruiting students. In fact, more students are applying to Penn State than ever before. Application numbers were up four percent across Penn State’s 20 campuses. But how does the admissions department sell the University to prospective students? “Penn State has a strong network of admissions professionals, academic college staff and faculty, current students, and alumni volunteers who all deliver the message about ‘Why Penn State’,” said executive director for undergraduate admissions, Anne Rohrbach. “Reaching students and families with the highest quality service and information remains our goal.” The men and women of the admissions department don’t seem too concerned about any sanction after-effects. “We have greater concern about the

Pennsylvania and regional decline in the number of high school graduates in the coming years affecting the applicant pool,” Rohrbach said. And the current students? According to the Kevin Horne, University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) press secretary, the sanctions don’t seem to affect them either.

“We have greater concern about the Pennsylvania and regional decline in the number of high school graduates in the coming years affecting the applicant pool.” Anne Rohrbach “Students are ready to move forward and rally behind the team, regardless of the injustices handed to us by the NCAA,” Horne said. “It doesn’t affect our pride in our team or our pride in our University. The average student cheers just as hard or even harder for these 114 men – even if the NCAA dealt us a bad hand.” This is just the beginning of the sanctioned era. Penn State still has to navigate through four bowl-less seasons, withstand a $60 million fine, and endure a five-year probation period. Perhaps, only then, can we look back and assess the damage done at Penn State.


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game. However, when asked if he thought that the game against Virginia would be more hostile, O’Brien expressed no concern. Instead, he discussed all the hostile crowds he has encountered in his long career, and he is willing to take on the challenge. When asked about the players’ emotions during the first home game, O’Brien said, “…it was an emotional day, but it came down to turnovers, 3rd down conversions, and that is usually what it comes down to in close games.” O’Brien stated during his press conference that the focus was on the present, not the past, and that is ultimately what Penn State fans want to see from their head coach. Many members of the Penn State community still proudly support the Penn State football program by attending every home game and displaying the ‘proud to support Penn State football’ signs in home and office windows. But most of all, these community members

“ was an emotional day, but it came down to turnovers, 3rd down conversions, and that is usually what it comes down to in close games.” Bill O’Brien, Penn State football coach respect those players who chose not to transfer. These players stayed even knowing that there are many people out there rooting for them to fail and thatsome of them may never see a bowl game. Mox said that when he attended this year’s first home game, he looked at the players with respect. “I had more respect for the [players] that stayed.” Mox said. “[Staying at

Penn State] showed tremendous character because they stayed for the love of this place since they are essentially not playing for any championships or bowl games.” Maynard said that he, too, respected the players that chose to stay. “It does make me support the team more because of the players that stayed,” Maynard said. “Penn State will come back stronger, with more resilience.” During the press conferences following the first win of the season against Navy and in preparation for the “Blue Out” game against Temple, O’Brien expressed that the main focus still remains on the team. “I think it is more about the players. It is really all about the players and the staff…” When asked what type of impact he

expects from the “Blue Out” game he said, “I believe it’s going to be a great day for the Penn State community. I think it’s going to be a very, very tough football game, but I believe there will be another great crowd. have the crowd dressed in blue T-shirts for the Blue Out game and helping put an end and to have awareness to the child abuse problem in this country and everywhere, I think it’s going to be a great day.”

Penn State hosts the White Out game against Ohio State on October 27 at 6 p.m. Homecoming is October 5 against Northwestern.

“With Foxdale’s intellectual side, and one of the state’s best cold water fishing spots nearby, we are definitely hooked.” – John and Beverly Zavodni After looking at lots of different retirement communities, John and Beverly Zavodni decided to move to Foxdale Village. John, a retired Penn State associate professor of zoology emeritus, liked Foxdale’s intellectual side, and with several former colleagues already living there, looks forward to having “quality discussions” with his new neighbors. He also likes the prime fishing spots that are so close by. “One of the state’s best cold water fishing streams is just down the road,” says John. Now, it’s your turn to enjoy maintenance-free living. Our new apartments offer spacious living, patios, balconies, and more. Call 272-2117 now to find out which of our new apartments are still available. Visit us at A Quaker-Directed Continuing Care Retirement Community

Photo by Molly Cochran

Penn State stands as ‘One Team’ against Temple, September 22, 2012, at Beaver Stadium.

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


October 2012

Get out and vote! It’s a right, not a privilege by Jamie Campbell There’s only 30 days until we elect a new commander in chief, and what do we know about the candidates? They are superb fund raisers. They have both raised enough money to erase the debt…twice. Ok maybe not twice, but they could make a sizeable dent in the debt instead of talking about each other. They both are a little sensitive. However, while I want sensitivity in the “leader of the free world”, I don’t want the sensitivity of a five year old in that leader. They both appear to be family men. Both wives showed up and told their respective conventions how great both men are. Alas, a recommendation from your wife is like a recommendation from your parents on a job application. It’s a lot of nice words, but don’t they have to say nice things about you? We have to believe on face value they both want to advance the country, well for lack of a better term….forward. So what makes them different? It’s simple: we do. You see, it doesn’t matter if you think one of these men created the debt, has seven wives, doesn’t have a birth certificate, or even has a semi-secret war against the poor. We will define who these men are and how either man will


run this country. With one pencil stroke we will determine how we live and progress. It’s just that simple. Yet what have we done to find out about these men, except listen to your favorite complaining pundit point out how horrible the other is? Our vote is too important to rely on someone else’s opinion on what is good for this country and our families. People have died for the right for us to make our mark, and take an active part of our government. Yet, we have done absolutely nothing when folks are having their right to cast a ballot snatched from them. From redistricting to telling those who have paid their debt to society for minor offences that they can no longer vote, to telling our elders that they cannot vote with a piece of paper, we have done nothing to help protect the simplest basic right; that of the right to vote. You see, voting is not a privilege as some would have you believe, but it is a right. I firmly believe that.

Too many people have been harassed, bullied, beaten, and even killed to vote. How we allowed someone to come in and dictate how we as a people are able to vote is insane. Now that this law is in effect, people who are supposed to have their right protected will now be disenfranchised. Does it matter if a few thousand seniors or poor people cannot vote? I mean, we know who they were going to vote for anyway, right? But, that’s just what the problem is: we don’t know who these people would vote for. Their vote is the only voice they have in this incredibly complicated government process. After being marginalized in so many ways, to void their voting rights without real provocation is just too much. We have got to do better. So much so, that even the thought of jeopardizing one person’s right to vote is a sickening feeling to us all. Just the thought of it should send all of us in to high alert. Every voice, every vote is as precious as life. We must ensure threat everyone is heard, because

every vote counts. October 9 is the last day to register to vote in PA. Use your right. Make your voice heard.

To register to vote or to find your nearest polling location, go to or contact your county board of elections.


October 2012

Life goes on at Penn State:a collection of images from autumn 2012 Photo by Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell

Photo by Erin Clark

A flag hangs outside of Beaver Stadium to remind the Penn State community of the forty-four bowl games the Penn State football team had the honor of participating in.

Photo by Allison Robertson

On September 13, Penn State students, faculty and locals took part in a 24-hour reading marathon of the novel Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.

Photo by Molly Cochran


October 2012

Healing power of art: Muriel’s repairing by Cynthia Mazzant The New York Times covered it. The Wall Street Journal explored it. Johnson & Johnson is behind studies in search of answers. The majority report declares that the arts in all varieties can contribute to greater health and wellness for the individual--the power of art to heal. We’ve seen an increase in therapeutic fields. Once you could only find visual art or music therapists, but now we also have registered drama and dance therapists. Alzheimer patients respond to art therapy and cardiac patients respond to art therapy. Arts therapy has been used in community building, conflict resolution and emotional literacy. Over the next few issues, we’ll be examining the role of art in healing. For

this issue, we’ll look at Muriel’s Repairing – special sessions of Muriel’s Repair (June 2012 issue) dedicated to the work of healing our community in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. On September 16 and September 23, over 50 community members participated in sharing stories of hope and understanding, illustrating the possibility of recovery. “So many wonderful organizations are stepping up to help, but we wanted to reach out in our own way. And for me, and for many of the folks involved, the arts and community discourse offer a chance to heal,” said Elaine MederWilgus, co-creator/sponsor of Muriel’s Repairing. “What I found was that everyone was telling stories – personal ones – about how they felt,” offered co-creator

“So many wonderful organizations are stepping up to help, but we wanted to reach out in our own way, and for me, and for many of the folks involved, the arts and community discourse offered a chance to heal.” Elaine Meder-Wilgus, cocreator/sponsor, Muriel’s Repairing Pamela Monk. The two created Muriel’s Repairing

with storytelling as the foundation and added “a panel to lead a more focused discussion and time for people to talk to each other afterwards.” Gathering people with expertise from various backgrounds, Meder-Wilgus and Monk brought together Daleen Berry, award-winning author/journalist; Susan Russell, Artistic Director of PSU Cultural Conversations; PSU drama students of Charles Dumas, PSU Professor of Theatre; and of course, community members who are all posing questions of recovery and redemption: Where do we go from here? How do we move forward productively? Meder-Wilgus offered “We’ve learned the vocabulary to speak about domestic


Repairing, pg. 30

Local painter prepares for winter season by Tara Richelo Long time Pleasant Gap resident Randall Yarnell will begin his winter painting again this October. Yarnell has had no formal artistic training and honed his skills through watching Bob Ross’s “The Joy of Painting” over the years. He began painting in December of 2008 when his grandchildren presented him with an oil painting set after he had joked, “I kept telling the kids I was going to paint a masterpiece one day.” Since then, his four grandchildren have continued to gift him with new brushes and oil paints each year in order to grow his collection. Yarnell paints from October to April each year and completes around fifteen paintings each winter season. He works exclusively in oil painting because it gives him more flexibility in his painting schedule. As with Bob Ross, Yarnell

paints “wet on wet,” where he first puts down a layer of liquid white and proceeds to paint on top of it. The oil paint can take up to eight weeks to dry completely, soYarnell can paint for a few hours one day, come back a few days later and pick up where he left off. Yarnell also noted, “If you don’t like it, you can scrape it off and do other stuff with it.” He draws inspiration from places he’s gone and other locations he has seen in pictures or on television. Yarnell paints nature and landscapes, including trees, rivers, mountains and forests. Everything he paints, he does from memory. Yarnell also includes an eagle somewhere in every one of his paintings, either close up and detailed or distant. He is not fond of painting people or any other animals besides the eagles and admits he Photo by Tara Richelo


Painter, pg. 29

Yarnell prefers to paint native landscapes, and always includes an eagle in each painting.


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would need more practice. Early on in his life, Yarnell worked as a carpenter. His house is filled with handcrafted wood working and detailing that he’s either built himself or added on to the house. He believes that his experience has helped him with the creative process and painting. Yarnell has also built his own frames for his works. Of his collection containing over 40 paintings, Yarnell has given most of them away because he does not paint for the money. The first painting he completed he gave to his eldest granddaughter. Now, when he has finished a number of them, his grandchildren look through and take whatever they would like. After that, Yarnell gives them away to the rest of his neighbors and friends. A modest man, Yarnell is still honored when someone enjoys his paintings and offers to pay. He’s given a couple of paintings to a neighbor of his who has since moved from California to Arizona, taking the paintings with her each time. He said, “I gave her two pictures. She wanted to buy them but I said, “no take them.” I’ve got good neighbors.” His paintings are widely enjoyed and many of his friends and family have suggested he attend a fair or try to sell his paintings at a nearby mall. Yarnell, however, humbly expresses,

“I’m not an expert. I don’t even like to consider myself an artist. I just like to doodle around.” Yarnell has noticed the more popular pieces chosen are the black and white depictions of mountains and snow. As he hypothesizes about people preferring the contrast, he admits he favors those with color. Despite his popularity, Yarnell still enjoys his painting only as a wintertime hobby as something to pass the time and work on a little bit day by day. During the summer, he takes his boat out fishing or works in his yard gardening. As a man who discovered his talent for painting later in life, Yarnell advises anyone considering painting to “just do it. Whether it’s good or bad just do it. But whatever turns out turns out, and if you don’t like it, you can throw the thing away.” This casual approach to painting allows the activity to provide only peace and relaxation. There is no need for Yarnell to overanalyze his paintings or paint with a distinct goal in mind. “I don’t think they’re worth that much. I’m not making any money painting and I’m not interesting in making any money either,” states Yarnell. He is an excellent reminder that a person can so something for simple enjoyment out of it. Yarnell already has a stack of canvases waiting in his workspace to be used for winter season of artwork.

Bard Cat sayeth: “Pray thee, need more?” “Get thee to the web!”

Photo by Tara Richelo

Randall Yarnell holding one of his framed works.

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October 2012

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violence, but we haven’t begun to make sexual abuse, especially predatory abuse, something we can recognize or speak about.” And so they spoke. “Back then, I understood nothing – and I thought I knew everything. From thirteen to sixteen, when most girls experience shopping trips and teenage angst through broken relationships, I experienced a combination of forcible rapes, and rapes without force when I was silently compliant, which only enhanced my feelings of guilt and shame,” wrote Daleen Berry in her award-winning book, Sister of Silence. Berry shared her personal journey and offered up questions and commentary

on the code of silence and feelings of guilt, pain, fear and shame. The panel discussion was moderated by Susan Russell. Russell also spoke about using playwriting and performance as a way to talk about social issues, personal trauma and community redefinition. Russell has devoted her new works festival, “Cultural Conversations,” to using theatre, dance and visual art to foster and promote conversations about social issues. In its seventh season, “Conversations’” theme “Indigenous Knowledge: Knowing Who ‘We Are’” will run from February 4-9, 2013. According to Russell, the aim is to “help victims of sexual assault heal and bring awareness of this local and global crisis to the forefront of our minds.” The National Association of Drama

Therapists’ website states that, “Drama therapy is the intentional use of theatre techniques to facilitate personal growth and promote health, thus treating individuals with a range of mental health, cognitive and developmental disorders.” As participants in Muriel’s Repairing move forward in personal storytelling and discussions, mixing these with art forms and art therapy, they can begin to create community dialogues that can heal. The second session of Muriel’s Repairing offered “We Are…” with student voices filling the air as Charles Dumas’ class took the stage. Echoes of disbelief, shame, guilt and fear were also a part of this discussion as community members and students talked about their individual and shared experiences. And so the journey has just begun. “It was unreal – everyone that I met seemed be taking part in one large discussion, but in the form of stories,” said Monk. “We aren’t going to change the past, but we can work to change the culture and our community through these discussions” stated Meder-Wilgus passionately. “Survivors of sexual abuse are everywhere and many can share their stories of how they’ve reclaimed their

lives, to empower us, themselves, and the many other victims who haven’t come forward. Ultimately, our ability to listen is one of our greatest gifts.” Meder-Wilgus and Monk invite everyone to join these community discussions. Any community member may share his/her story, or simply come to listen. Upcoming Muriel’s Repair (Oct-Dec) will be stories of Maskings, Turkeys and Light. To tell a story, please go to, and fill out the contact form. Muriel’s Repair is held at 7p.m. on the last Wednesday of the Month (Oct 31, Nov 28, Dec 26) at Webster’s Bookstore Café. Webster’s is located at 133 E. Beaver Avenue, State College, PA. $5 donation at the door. go to: for more information. Cultural Conversations 2013: Indigenous Knowledge: Knowing Who “We Are” will run Feb 4-9, 2013 at the Downtown Theatre Center on Allen. In following issues Voices will examine the use of art in everyday life, artsin-education and art therapy.

Photo by Cynthia Mazzant

Charles Dumas’ drama students took the stage for the second session of Muriel’s Repairing.


October 2012

What’s happening in the arts around Central Pa Gallery 3 West It began as an empty storefront and ended as a new art gallery in the Monument Square Center in Lewistown. On Friday, Sept. 21, the Mifflin Juniata Arts Council opened Gallery 3 West with a show celebrating Art Deco. “The Council wanted to provide a physical space where artists of all forms could come together to showcase their talents and create a year-round presence in the community,” said Council President Angela Niman. “We hope to provide a space that is not only for the enjoyment of the arts but also educational for all ages.” Gallery 3 West hopes to offer art classes, live music, open mic nights, poetry readings, writing workshops and other arts-related events. The plans for now are to be open two nights a week and offer local artists a place to call home.

Cameron County Arts in Residency Program a Big Hit Approximately 100 silk scarves were made recently during a class offered at the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce & Artisan Center in Emporium. Fiber artist Deborah Sementelli taught a class of more than 30 people. Because of the overwhelming success the class will be repeated when she returns in October. Sementelli will also offer a simple batik class. Students will be given a swatch of fabric no larger than 12 x 12, a bottle of glue and fabric dye. Using the materials, students will make a piece of artwork suitable for hanging or quilting. The fee for the class is $3.00 per student. Arts Erie is providing funding for the Artist in Residency program. “The affordability of the class is a plus, but the bonus is the number of people attending the classes, meeting new people and sharing ideas!”

Housed in the old Montgomery Ward Art Deco-styled building, the inaugral show was themed to fit the surroundings. eleven artists exhibited paintings, photographs, design posters and wood assembly sculptures surrounded by antiques and fashion pieces from the period. Artists included Connie Bowsman, Heather Confer, Todd Cubbison, Barb Devita-Stahl, Jessica Filson, Melody Gehlbach, Jen Hartzler, Aimee Hubley, Nancy Knarr Kast, Holly Lubenesky and Nathaniel Thierwechter. The next exhibition will focus on a home-town tradition (the annual Chip Drop) as the gallery offers pop art focused on Hartley’s Potato Chips. For more information on gallery hours, events and submissions contact, visit, or visit the gallery at 3 West Monument Square, Lewistown, PA. Sementelli will return again in November for a water color class along with yarn bombing.

Photo courtesy of Tina Soljak

Two scarves made by Sementelli’s class.


October 2012

Event photographer Fong inspired by street scenes by Veronica Winters

In the artist’s studio Street scenes, images of common people, blue-collar workers are the hallmark of Chuck Fong’s personal vision. These pictures were taken for fun and carry no monetary gain. They are illustrations of real life, often of people living on the edge of poverty: cooks in diners, common folk in a subway car, workers at fairs, and so on. Is search of subjects that would be captivating for the artist, Chuck Fong usually drives around old places and fairs. Fascinated with street photography, the artist often finds and talks to his models in diners. When he goes in, the photographer tries to open up a conversation with a prospect model. He is eager to hear about their lifestyle before showing his camera and snapping a picture. Enjoying such a process, the artist gets a much better insight into people’s reasons for working seasonal, unstable and low-paying jobs. “Such people as carnival workers tell stories about themselves I don’t expect to hear. Those strangers often have no roots, jumping from job to job, place to place. They hold anger and frustration,” he said. The artist showed a black-and-white image of a cook smoking outside at the bar. A middle-aged man appears to be

detached from the world while smoking and staring into the emptiness in front of him in silence. Fong listened to this man’s frustration. The cook talked about his dim work prospects in the future as young people were hired over the older ones. Returning a favor to his unexpected models, the artist always mails the image to people who posed. Images of diners’ exteriors, blue-collar establishments, run down places, old towns and neighborhoods also fascinate the artist. Color photographs of “LeafBean” in Pittsburgh, “South Street” in Boston, “Franco’s Lounge,” and “Club Cafe” diners are displayed at Fong’s studio. All pictures seem to defy no particular year and have no relation to present. Some diners are surrounded by modern buildings while others look like colorful frozen islands of the past situated on empty streets. “I don’t look for them intentionally,” he said. Instead, the artist jumps out of his car when he sees the opportunity to capture blue-collar America. Inspired by painters such as Degas, Henri de ToulouseLautrec and Edward Hopper, Fong is in love with taking pictures of urban scenes. One day while preparing to shoot the empty exterior of “Pete’s Barber shop,” Fong became irritated by a man repeatedly passing his site on the street. Yet, it

Photo by Chuck Fong

Fong captures the gritty with with his photography--workers at fairs, cooks in diners, and ones like this of people riding a subway.

became his lucky moment capturing that man several times over. Back in his studio the photographer opened Photoshop to recreate the scene where a funny-walking guy was placed in a line in front of the shop five times over, capturing his awkward movement. Fong also works in his studio taking pictures of athletic-shaped models and abstracting their bodies into shapes and lines. One of his most successful blackand-white pictures shows a nude female bent backwards, creating an abstracted arch surrounded by black space. The same model appears on other images posing with ease for the photographer. One particular photograph captures the same young woman facing the photographer. The entire image is composed with the dress, props, and matching interior to set the mood. The softness of the image creates an aura of a dream-like state. “I use various backgrounds for my photography, such as doors, props, walls and fabric. I also use up to four lights,” he said. Working digitally, Fong applies various

filters in Photoshop. He also can create photo composites in the same program. “I like digital photography a lot more versus the analog one because of creativity,” he said. The artist showed a picture with a faceless person hidden behind bars bare feet sticking out, grasping those bars in seamless desperation. For this picture Fong posed a woman holding a frame and made a composite in Photoshop layering her over his previously taken image of bars. “You can’t force yourself to be creative. It just happens,” he said. He is on the path of inspiration. Fong received his Bachelor’s degree in photography from Penn State in the late 70s. He started his business two years after the graduation. Chuck Fong has been a successful event photographer for over thirty years. Fong’s conveniently located studio downtown makes it a breeze to pay him a visit. To contact the photographer, visit Studio 2 Photography at 123 S. Fraser St. in downtown State College, go to or call: 814-234-2000.


October 2012

October calendar of arts and entertainment events October 1 Bellefonte Museum of Art for Centre County: Tea Room gallery—Helena Martemucci (silk/pottery), Robert Baumbach (photos) Green Drake Gallery: Hameau Farm arts retreats—a retrospective Palmer Museum of Art: Celebrating 40 years of gifts: Works on paper from the permanent collection Palmer Museum of Art: Floating between worlds: New Research on Japanese Prints from the Permanent Collection Palmer Museum of Art: Photography at the Palmer: A Selection of Gifts State Theatre: Blue Sky Riders (8 p.m.) Websters: Bill Russell mushroom discussion (11:30 a.m.) Websters: Community yoga with Karen Sapia (6 p.m.)

Kockelmans (7 p.m.) October 6 Juniata College Museum of Art: Creative Collages (10 a.m.) Juniata College Museum of Art: Splatter Painting class for kids (11:30 a.m.) Standing Stone Coffee Company: Jeff Miller (7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) Websters: Book signing, Greg Miller (5 p.m.) Zeno’s: Pure Cane Sugar with Dan &Daryl’s Rhythm Nation (10:30 p.m.) October 7 Bellefonte Art museum for Centre County: Community gallery—Sue Parsonage Elk Creek Café: Kevin Gordon (5 p.m.)

October 3 Bryce Jordan Center: Truth campaign featuring Cobra Starship (7 p.m.) Schwab Auditorium: Kalichstein, Laredo, Robinson trio (7:30 p.m.) State Theatre: The Future of the NCAA and Its Members (7 p.m.) Zenos: Andy Tollins Bluegrass Revue (7 p.m.)

October 10 Bryce Jordan Center: Zac Brown band (7 p.m.) Green Drake Gallery: Michael Chesley Johnson pastels workshop (through Oct. 13) Schwab Auditorium: Actors from the London Stage present Merchant of Venice (7:30 p.m.) Zeno’s: Andy Tollins Bluegrass Revue (7 p.m.)

October 4 Elk Creek Café: Pub Hang featuring Tyne +Wiggus State Theatre: Ben Taylor (9 p.m.) Websters: First Thursday wide open mic (6 p.m.) Zenos: The Nightcrawlers (10:30 p.m.)

October 11 Schwab Auditorium: Actors from the London Stage present Merchant of Venice (7:30 p.m.) Zeno’s: The Nightcrawlers (10:30 p.m.)

October 5 Bar Bleu: Lowjack (10:30 p.m.) Lincoln Caverns: Ghosts and Goblins tours (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) Saloon: Velveeta (10:30 p.m.) Webster’s: Light not Heat: Conversations on Issues that Matter (12:00 p.m.) Webster’s: Book signing, Joseph

October 12 Bar Bleu: Lowjack (10:30 p.m.) Bryce Jordan Center: Wiz Khalifa, the 2050 tour (7:30 p.m.) Webster’s: Light not Heat: Conversations on Issues that Matter (12 p.m.) Webster’s: Second Winds live music (5 p.m.)

October 13 Elk Creek Café: Blue Mountain (8 p.m.) Juniata College, Rosenberger auditorium: Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata (7:30 p.m.) Webster’s: O-An Zendo benefit concert featuring Richard Sleigh (8 p.m.) Zeno’s: Pure Cane Sugar with Dan &Daryl’s Rhythm Nation (10:30 p.m.) October 16 Eisenhower Auditorium: In the Mood: A 1940s big-band and swing-dance review (7 p.m.) October 17 Zeno’s: Andy Tollins Bluegrass Revue (7 p.m.) October 18 Elk Creek Café: Poe Valley Troubadours (7:30 p.m.) Webster’s: Poetry forum: the poetry of nature (7 p.m.) October 19 Bar Bleu: Lowjack (10:30 p.m.) Eisenhower Auditorium: Doug Varone and his dancers (7:30 p.m.) Saloon: Velveeta (10:30 p.m.) Webster’s: Light not Heat: Conversations on Issues that Matter (12 p.m.) October 20 Art Alliance: Fall Colors Studio Tour Elk Creek Café: Andrea Wolper Quartet (8 p.m.) McCann School of Art: Fall Festival (9 a.m.) Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center: Fall Harvest Festival (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Zeno’s: Pure Cane Sugar with Dan &Daryl’s Rhythm Nation (10:30 p.m.) October 21 Art Alliance: Fall Colors Studio Tour Green Drake Gallery: Community

singing workshop with Andrea Wolper (2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center: Fall Harvest Festival (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) October 23 Pasquerilla Spiritual Anonymous 4 (7:30 p.m.)


October 25 Juniata Theatre presents at Suzanne von Liebig theatre: Macbeth (7:30 p.m.) October 26 Bar Bleu: Lowjack (10:30 p.m.) Juniata Theatre presents at Suzanne von Liebig theatre: Macbeth (7:30 p.m.) Saloon: Velveeta (10:30 p.m.) October 27 Elk Creek Café: John Train (8 p.m.) Juniata Theatre presents at Suzanne von Liebig theatre: Macbeth (7:30 p.m.) October 30 Bryce Jordan Center: Pretty Lights, Dancing in the Dark (7 p.m.) Eisenhower Auditorium: Pilobolus Dance Theatre (7:30 p.m.) Items for upcoming events listings can be emailed to the editor in chief Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell at:


October 2012

A lifeline cut: general assistance axed by Mary Faulkner On August 1st, 2012, the Department of Public Welfare ended Pennsylvania’s General Assistance (GA) program. That it survived an additional month was a testament to the advocacy work of “PA Cares for All”, a network of over a hundred organizations opposing the program’s elimination. The PA Coalition against Domestic Violence (PCADV) and the Centre County Women’s Resource Center joined PA Cares for All recognizing the vital role that General Assistance has played in helping women leave their batterers. Moreover, domestic violence agencies in counties across PA coordinate regularly with other human services agencies who will now face additional burdens created not only by the loss of General Assistance but also by other cuts in the Corbett

ASK Cosmo

Dear Cosmo, A friend of mine sent me this e-mail with the title,”Outstanding is a very mild word for this.” In it, are pictures of numerous cemeteries in Europe with the number of American dead buried in them. At the end of the post is the following message: “Apologize to no one. Remind those of our sacrifice and don't confuse arro-

Administration’s budget. General Assistance’s elimination does not mean that the safety net is increasingly frayed. From my work with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, I can tell you that there is no longer a safety net at all. General Assistance was a cash assistance program which provided $205 per month for Pennsylvanians without income for a period of up to nine months. It had been in existence since the Great Depression, and the level of assistance for each participant has not been increased since 1990. It served as a lifeline for nearly 70,000 annually. The recipients of this small stipend included people with disabilities, adults struggling with addiction, caregivers for elderly or disabled relatives, orphaned children, and survivors of domestic violence. Nearly half of those who received General Assistance are in the process of applying

Campus and Culture from the Canine Perspective gance with leadership. The count is 104,366 dead, brave Americans. And we have to watch an American elected leader who apologizes to Europe and the Middle East that our country is "arrogant"! HOW MANY FRENCH, DUTCH, ITALIANS, BELGIANS AND BRITS ARE BURIED ON OUR SOIL... AFTER DEFENDING US AGAINST OUR ENEMIES? WE DON'T ASK FOR PRAISE... BUT WE HAVE ABSOULUTELY NO NEED TO APOLOGIZE! Americans, forward it! Non-patriotic, delete it! Most of the protected don't understand it. DO THINK ABOUT THIS. THANK YOU.”

for federal SSI disability income, and once approved, that program pays back the previous General Assistance outlay. This por-

The recipients included people with disabilities, adults struggling with addiction, caregivers for elderly or disabled relatives, orphaned children, and survivors of domestic violence. tion of the costs, therefore, merely functions as a loan. When Governor Corbett released his budget proposal with the elimination of General Assistance on Feburary 7th, 2012, he described it as “lean and demanding.” Please pass this one on to your readers. Sincerely, Never Apologize. Dear Just Say No, Never Apologize? Maybe you need to check out an NA meeting to get that apology disorder addressed. Then again, maybe not, since those 12-step cults ask you to do things like admit the exact nature of your wrongs, ask to have your shortcomings removed, enumerate your misdeeds, make amends to those you’ve harmed, and promptly admit it when you’re wrong. That doesn’t exactly sound like your cup of tea party. Your letter cautions us not to confuse arrogance with leadership, but it seems as if you’re confusing leadership with arrogance. In fact, I believe that insisting one need never apologize is the very definition of arrogance, so I’m not sure I follow your “logic.” If you’re leading by example, then you’ll find me revolting. But since I’m American, I’m forwarding this, and I’m not non-patriotic, so I’m not deleting it, either. Maybe you grew up in that John

He stated that he “will not raise taxes” and, furthermore, “there is no talking around these limits.” In a likely reference to cutting programs like General Assistance, he argued that the budget “proposes more in the way of reforms by continuing to change a culture of government from one of entitlement to one of enterprise.” Gary Alexander, the Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare, wrote in his own Patriot News op-ed in November 2011 that “the DPW has taken swift action to ensure that scarce taxpayer funds are not lost to waste, fraud, or abuse.” For this administration, the specter of “waste, fraud and abuse” has been raised with regard to any and all public benefits program whether or not any such irregularities have been documented. General Assistance is not a program rife


Lifeline, pg. 37

Wayne-inspired “Real men don’t cry” era. Or maybe your role model was Fonzie, who, being super-cool, was unable to ever say that he was “Wrrrr.” Or maybe your favorite slogan from the Viet Nam era was “Kill ‘em all; let God sort ‘em out. That just doesn’t add up. Somewhere in there, your emotional arithmetic equates honesty, empathy and contrition with weakness. Humility is galaxies away from humiliation. If that’s what you consider leadership, then I hereby anoint you as King of the Lemmings. I’m sorry, but refusing to apologize is just plain lame. Pardon me, did I say spurning apology was wrongheaded? I must beg your forgiveness and hope that you will excuse me if you found such encouragement of accountability unmanly. Your stance reminds me of someone who is strong-willed and narrow-minded, but with a weak intellect and an even


Cosmo, pg. 37


October 2012

Sandusky, rape, and prison reform - part 1 by Greg Brown Rape is not funny, nor unimportant, no matter to whom it happens, or why. The following allegedly humorous but in fact especially mean-spirited and insensitive "comedic" poster has been making the rounds of the 'Net and the real world the past couple months: "Jerry Sandusky is about to go from tight end to wide receiver." It originated on A Man's Point of View — the name of both a website and Facebook page advertising a moderately well-selling volume of tongue-in-cheek masculine "self-help" aphorisms authored by one James Bradley . A young friend of mine, not fully discerning its deeper message, more-or-less

innocently shared the malevolent poster on her Facebook wall. Legions of other Netizens obviously did likewise. Now, the hateful broadside has gone viral amongst virulent Sandusky loathers, generating roughly 1,500 “likes” and an equal number of Shares on Facebook alone. Plus plenty of extraordinarily vin-

dictive comments. The Internet continues to spread cruel gossip, ignorance, character assassination, intolerance, and sexual bigotry with cyberspace-age efficiency. Mindless hatred hasn't been eliminated by human civilization's sweeping technological advances — it's simply been rendered more comprehensively effective. Some Brave New World. Certainly the malicious sentiment expressed in the popular antiSandusky poster does accurately portray many Americans' not-so-secretly wished-for fates for the likes of Jerry Sandusky. But the shockingly high incidence of chronic systemwide prison rape in this purportedly enlightened

modern democracy of ours is of much greater future consequence to its citizens than some thoughtlessly uncharitable punchline (hate speech) routinely delivered by any number of heartless hack comedians would imply. It's easy for even jaded homefront veterans like myself of our country's failed 1960s-1970s egalitarian social revolution to feel outrage at the disturbing sentiments expressed in this poster. I used to believe that people this casually vicious might well have become extinct by now. But negative self-destructive aspects of our traditional American culture, commingled with


Prison, pg. 38


October 2012

dissoi logoi

dissoi logoi: from the Greek; “arguing all sides of an issue.” This is a new feature of Voices’ opinion section. If you have ideas for future themes, e-mail

Pro-choice by Mike Hill "The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7, New International Version) The topic of abortion polarizes society practically from stem to stern, and the primary source of resistance to abortion consists of pro-life Christians. But the doctrine that life begins at conception has only been popular for a couple of centuries – the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reports adopting it in 1800. How could such an obvious theological point have escaped the finest theologians of 80% of Christianity's history? It's because the Bible is clear as a bell about when conception begins: With the first intake of breath, and not a moment before. When you delve into pro-life belief, you'll find two types of Biblical quotes are commonly referenced: The Bible does contain a few poetic references to life before birth, like Luke's description of a baby leaping in her mother's womb (Luke 1:41) , and “"Before I formed you

in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart “ (Jeremiah 1:5) Others, like the famous “innocent blood” passage (Psalm 106:38) refer explicitly to infants, but this is to be expected, as pro-life Christians already believe that fetuses are infants. While right-wing Christians rhapsodize about the sanctity of human life, which the Bible supports, they ignore the very passages in the Bible that deal exactly with the topic of when life

I was talking the other day to Whitey Blue, lomgtime Centre Region resident and hard-nose. Whiat’s your thoughts about the new PA voter I.D. requirement? “I think it’s a great move!” But many elderly and non-drivers will lose the chance to cast a ballot. “That will be terrific! Why should our elections be influenced by a bunch of

by Karl Leitzel Late last year and earlier this year, my wife and I had the excitement and joy of sharing our one daughter’s pregnancy and then the birth of our first grandchild. From the time the pregnancy was confirmed, we often went with her to her appointments, saw the amazing ultra-

Issue: Regulating human reproduction begins and what God says about the destruction of a fetus. The latter topic is dealt with explicitly in Exodus 21:22: "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows.” Prior to the invention of pro-life theology, this was commonly interpreted to mean serious injury to the mother, as this law falls under a section of Exodus that details property damage and personal injury


Hill, pg. 39

Whitey Blue on voter ID by David M. Silverman


old dead-beats and young punks?” So you think these people should be dis-enfranchised? “I guess you could say that. We need people in government who favor business and profits, not a bunch of bleeding hearts!” David M. Silverman (Child of the Great Depression.)

sounds, and helped her prepare for as natural a birth as possible. The whole process was an exciting and beautiful thing, and now we have the joy spending time with our dear granddaughter. Over the past year or two, it seems like there has been a flurry of births among our circle of friends, with the same kind of joy and nervous anticipation each time. These experiences have made me think a lot about a dichotomy that’s been troubling me for some time and that I feel like I need to address in a way that might cause others to reflect as I have. That dichotomy is the willingness of many people I know to embrace the beauty and wonder of a devel-

oping baby in the womb, but also the right of a woman who doesn’t want to be carrying a child to purposely end that life. I’m afraid that I myself can’t do the mental gymnastics necessary to hold both attitudes in my head. I understand and respect the right each of us has to make our own medical decisions regarding our body, but what happens when that right comes smack up against another person’s right to exist? For most of a human being’s first nine months, there is only one place where it can survive and only one person who can provide that place. That is a very special position to be in, and the big question is whether we as a society should condone it being optional. Anyone who knows me should realize that I’m not a “typical” pro-lifer. I’m an artist by profession, an avid amateur musician, an outside-the-box thinker by personality type, and all over the map politically. I’m a Christian, but a rather open-minded one. In many things I lean more toward the liberal side, and on any other question of a person’s right to make decisions regarding his or her own body, I’d be right there, including end of life and death with dignity issues. But in this case, I’m convinced that the right to life of the developing baby


Leitzel, pg. 39


October 2012 from

Lifeline, pg. 34

with “waste, fraud and abuse.” The small amount of money each month is put to the most practical of uses. It covers medical co-pays and over-the-counter medicine, hygiene needs like toothpaste and soap, and bus tokens. Providing individuals with the $200 per month can allow them a degree of autonomy and keep them from homelessness. Critics of the Governor’s budget have deemed this cut “penny-wise, pound-foolish.” Without General Assistance, destitute Pennsylvanians will cost the government more over the longterm. They may wind up in homeless shelters and state psychiatric hospitals. Some will become incarcerated. The timeline on which payments ended was also problematic for recipients and human service

providers. Previous restrictions to General Assistance were enacted with a minimum of sixty days of advance notice to prepare for the changes. Advocates fought to preserve an additional thirty days of assistance, but the abrupt timeline of this program’s elimination left little opportunity for individuals in crisis to find alternatives. Some only learned that the program ended when they attempted to access the money. At the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, we provide a range of crisis intervention services including emergency shelter to assist women who may be in the process of leaving an abusive partner. Leaving is a process, and it can be the most dangerous time for women in violent homes. Along with assessing risks, it requires women to weigh their financial situation as well as their safety concerns. Economic uncertainty is a very real barrier

to women ending a violent relationship. Women may return to their batterer between 7 and 11 times as they seek a stable and safe new living situation. These families may find themselves in and out of both domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters because in their experience, the violence and the homelessness are intrinsically linked. Survivors have difficulty establishing themselves on firm financial footing because part of the pattern of an abusive relationship includes economic abuse. Economic abuse includes a range of tactics. For example, a controlling spouse may demand that her paycheck be deposited into his account. Alternatively, she may be discouraged from working outside the home or her ability to work consistently may be sabotaged. Telling Amy’s Story, a WPSU-produced documentary about a


Cosmo, pg. 34

weaker soul. If that’s what it means to be a man, I’m glad I’m a dog. But your bluster did leave me rather weak-kneed. In fact, I was so weak-kneed that I had to relieve the pressure by lifting my hind leg in order to anoint you King of the Lemmings. Now this whole “It’s wrong to apologize” craze seems to be sweeping the nation lately. The anti-Obama jihad was in full lather on September 11 amid the Libyan consulate takeover and murder of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Candidate Romney was all over it like crème brulee on a cashmere cummerbund … or like white on rice, you pick. So were many members of conservative media, coveting the chance to bear Romney’s witness. There was some particularly awesome journalism flying about the blottosphere. The first reports were that President Obama was apologizing for American values, even though the first statements were issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, unapproved by the White House, and posted in hopes to avert violence, hours prior to the Libya

Centre County domestic violence homicide, demonstrates how Amy’s husband constantly interrupted her work day with harassing calls and caused her to leave work early or miss days. Amy attempted to obtain a transfer to another work location to mitigate the violence at home, but her employers could not accommodate her request. A battered woman may need to leave her job on little to no notice and flee to a new town with few immediate employment prospects. My colleagues and I now better understand that women can be in what seems to be a financially stable family but have little to know access to money or credit. Imagine then how vulnerable they would feel when they have to leave the roof over their head.


Lifeline, pg. 38

riots. Now I may just be a dog living here in the hinterlands of Pennsyltucky, and the only diploma I have is from Obedience School, but I don’t think that the Egyptian embassy speaks for the President, nor did they claim such a thing. The Embassy spoke for the Embassy. But that’s not the way the Investor’s Business Daily at summed it up in its September 11 coverage. I may style myself as a humorist or a satirist, but there is no way that I’m brilliant enough to come up with tripe this hilarious. No, wait, this is about questionable apologies – I’m sorry, I can’t make up stuff this good: “As the late, great Andrew Breitbart famously said in a tweet to someone who demanded he apologize for this or that, "Apologize for what? Should we apologize for the exercise of free speech in a democracy?" Yet that is what the U.S. Embassy in Cairo did. "The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts


Cosmo, pg. 39

38 from

October 2012

Lifeline, pg. 35

For those women who begin the process of leaving, emergency shelter is a thirty-day goal-oriented program for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Survivors can access round-the-clock advocacy, but they continue to face barriers to establishing autonomy. Displaced women in Centre County come up against the high cost of gas and limited public transportation, a crisis in available affordable housing and a lack of full-time employment opportunities. Advocates can facilitate an application to the state’s Victim Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) if the participant has cooperated with law enforcement or filed a protective order. VCAP is an important component for some victim’s journey to restoration, but it is a process of reimbursements victims which can take months to process. Our local human services agencies, such as the Housing Authority, and charitable organizations have worked to prioritize the needs of battered women and their children, but these providers find themselves stretched thin amid the broader need in our area. Without cash-on-hand to maintain health and hygiene and to travel to job interviews or to view potential rentals, I have seen women become disheartened about the possibilities of living on their own and may return to abusive situations. However small the amount General Assistance provided to these women, it was a resource to begin to build a safer

and independent life. In late June, Freelance reporter Jake Blumgart , described the recipients of General Assistance in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed piece as the following: “It is hard to imagine a less politically connected group than the low income people helped by General Assistance.” Furthermore, General Assistance is “an easy target for politicians who want to seem to be making tough budget decisions without enraging anyone powerful.” Since the elimination of these payments on August 1st, there continues to be an outcry of activists about the effects of this cut on Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens. ACT UP staged a “funeral” for General Assistance accusing the Governor of “digging more graves.” On behalf of the abused and destitute of Centre County and those who flee here for safety or opportunity, it is important to send a message that those with a voice can speak out for those who feel disenfranchised. Community members can support their local agencies and charitable organizations that assist those among us who are experiencing crisis, and we can ask tough questions of our elected officials and those running for office about whether or not short-term budget cuts reflect either the economic or ethical values of Pennsylvania. In particular, we can question the Governor’s false dichotomy of entitlement versus enterprise. I worked with women who accessed General Assistance because they were experiencing a crisis not because they felt entitled.


Prison, pg. 35

basic cynical self-serving human nature, keep manufacturing more of them. You'd think with all the advantages citizenship in this country has bestowed upon them, they'd bloody well know (or eventually learn) better. But such xenophobia can and does occur in any socioeconomic stratain modern America. Not that that's any kind of rationale or excuse. Jerry Sandusky is no doubt a horrible excuse for a human being. But NO ONE "deserves" to be raped and possibly

murdered, particularly as state sanctioned "moral" retribution for his crimes. In a nation of laws and (supposedly) due process like the USA, such an outcome would constitute torture, not to mention cruel and unusual punishment. Surely the American people are capable of far more enlightened, more civilized, behavior than this toward our country's arguably most devastated and vulnerable citizens — those forcibly institutionalized behind bars. NEXT MONTH: Facts & conclusions


October 2012 from

Hill, pg. 36

laws – not capital crimes like the murder of an Israelite, which the unborn would surely be if it were possessed of humanity. But the Bible is clear, in its description of the creation of Adam, that God does not cause the soul to enter the body until the first breath, until birth. God reiterates the point, in more detail, to Ezekiel, in the Valley of Bones (Ezekiel 37:5-10), where God says: “I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life....” ...there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in


Leitzel, pg. 36

trumps the right of the woman carrying the baby to abort. The question of when a developing baby is really a human being often comes up, but there is little question scientifically or in most religious traditions that a new, distinct human being is present from the moment of conception. With separate blood flow, separate DNA, and a separate nervous system, even the early embryo is clearly a separate person. Obviously, there are situations in which a woman or couple is not at a stage of life to take on the formidable job of properly providing for and raising a child. There are lots of options once that baby is out of the womb and capable of being taken care of by someone else. That’s when there should be a full range of choice as to the best situation for the child. But for nine months or so, there is only one person who can sustain that child. Of course, there were two people involved in the actions that brought about the pregnancy, and the father should always be held responsible to hold up his end from day

them....So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet— a vast army.” God, with His own voice, repeats Genesis' description of the creation of life, of the formation of the body by God followed later by the entrance of the soul, simultaneous to the first breath. Then, to drive the point in, Ezekiel describes watching the process in those exact terms, as God explained through visions the resurrection of the nation of Israel. While the arguments of pro-life Christians take circuitous routes or even ignore a passage's context entirely in order to make it fit, the Bible's direct references to both the destruction of fetuses and the gifting of life by God strike directly to the point: Before its first breath, a fetus has no soul, and is not a human being, and the Bible treats it accordingly. one. If there is a question of paternity, DNA testing can now take care of any uncertainty. I haven’t broached situations involving rape or incest, the mother’s health being at serious risk, or the knowledge of severe birth defect. Those are very real complicating issues, but in the vast majority of pregnancies, it is a matter of “oops, now what?” I truly believe that the life of the unborn child has to be looked at on its own merits and then everything else dealt with as secondary. And leaving that decision to each person’s conscience and moral code seems like a cop-out by us as a society. As nice as total freedom to do as we like sounds, there are many issues we decide on as a group and hold one another to. Our Constitution wisely confirms from the outset the rights of all Americans to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Just as we have worked hard to widen that net of protection to include all races, genders, and classes, I believe we need to remove the current exception for gestational age.


Cosmo, pg. 37

by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions," the statement read in part. It went on to say that the U.S. "firmly rejects the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others." “This craven statement that the Obama administration has disavowed was issued before the embassy attack in Cairo where a mob stormed the compound, tore down and burned the U.S. flag and replaced it with an al-Qaida banner. Our weakness once again invited terror.” That puts the “aw” squarely into “awesome.” You can do your own research on the greatness of Breitbart. I agree on the “late” part. You know it’s the gold standard of deeply grounded historical canon if it appeared in a tweet. “Famously” tweeted, no less. I agree with him that we needn’t apologize for free speech in democracy. Especially not in apologizing for specific time-honored concepts such as “this and that.” But street riots in the Middle East, probably wasn’t the democracy he had in mind, and foaming the runways for a fast-descending incendiary fatwa isn’t exactly an apology. I’m sorry – that is, I apologize -- but I can’t see is anything even CLOSE to an apology anywhere in the embassy’s

statement. Then again, maybe the phrases like “condemns continuing efforts by misguided individuals,” and “firmly reject the actions” by “those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others,” are what pass for apologies around the teapot. My bad. The authors state that this censure was a “craven statement,” and better yet, that the Obama administration disavowed it. But even so, issued by the Egyptian embassy, and disavowed by the President, it’s this type of “weakness” that has once again “invited terror.” Yep, “we condemn it” means we’re sorry, and “knock it off” means “you’re invited.” That dog don’t hunt. What’s more believable is that your overblown sense of uprightness has invited my anointment. But if you enjoy that kind of trickle-down ergonomics, I’ll make sure it’s aimed to benefit the right class. I’m sorry you guys are crazy, but I don’t apologize for it. That’s your job, if you ever replace your fear-based paradigm with a truth-based one and actually grow a pair. Want some extra fun at home? Search the internet for “Penn State Apology” and see how that butterfly metamorphoses into a slug between June 20, July 12 and July 25. I’m sorry to put you though it, but you’ll thank me later.

Voices of Central Pa P.O. Box 10066 State College Pa 16805

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October 2012  

The October edition of Voices of Central Pa.

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