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Farewell Joe Pa Penn State community says goodbye PAGE 23 VOICES OF CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA

February 2012


Council debates weekend rentals

Ne ve r again: Unraveling


the Sandusky scandal


PA G E 2 2

Webster’s is back! Beloved bookstore reopens downtown


Jennifer Shuey Page 31 Columns and Opinion: Deutsch, Hertert, Birdwatch, Cosmo and more!

2012 CSA GUIDE - Community Supported Agriculture How to eat fresh local and straight from the farm in Centre County Independent News Since 1993

Re-thinking PSU football PAGE 35

Thoughtful. Fearless. Free.


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

February 2012 ΄ BOARD OF EDITORS contact the managing editor at Managing Editor Lucy Bryan Green Politics and Economics Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell Community and Lifestyles Andrea Rochat University Open Environment Sean Flynn Arts and Entertainment Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell Opinion William Saas Webmaster Bill Eichman

ART and DESIGN Marisa Eichman, Cover Design Kay Shamalla, Cover Design Sean Flynn, Cover Photo Mali Campbell, Graphics

CIRCULATION Kevin Handwerk


BOARD OF DIRECTORS president Bill Eichman vice president Pamela Monk secretary Elaine Meder-Wilgus treasurer Julia Hix Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. Mike McGough

The courage to ask hard questions When I heard the first reports of Joe Paterno’s deteriorating condition on Jan. 21, a heaviness filled my chest. I felt sad for all the misery he faced in final months—the surfacing of a horrific scandal, his undignified firing from the job he loved, vicious attacks on his character and several devastating Penn State football defeats. I’m sure that he, more than any of us, grappled with the question of whether he should have done more to bring Jerry Sandusky’s alleged crimes to light. I also felt sad for the Paterno family, for loss upon loss that piled up in the past months. And I felt sad for the Penn State 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 managing editor

Lucy Bryan Green community, that their fallen hero faced such a swift and inglorious end. Yet the events following Joe Paterno’s death—the viewings in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, the funeral procession attended by thousands, the memorial service whose 10,000 tickets were claimed in seven minutes—provided some much needed catharsis. Setting aside the shame that has been upon us since November, we gave ourselves permission to relive some of Penn State’s greatest moments on and off the football field. We watched as many of Paterno’s vocal critics now praised his legacy as a coach, educator and philanthropist. We remembered what it felt like to be united by Penn State pride. Joe Paterno’s death stirred in us a hope that we might, as a community, heal from the terrible thing that happened here. And that is good. But we must not let our eagerness for restoration (and our impulse to protect Joe Paterno’s legacy), prevent us from facing the fact that we failed 10 (or more) of our young boys by letting them fall victim to a sexual predator. The desire to “move on” is compelling, but we will never find true healing unless

we ask the hard Voices Advisory questions: How Council did this happen? Nick Brink What institutionJamie Campbell al, social and Jane Childs psychological John Dickison factors conAnn Glaser tributed to this Elizabeth Kirchner tragedy? And Bonnie Marshall what can we do Curt Marshall to ensure that it Bob Potter will never hapDiane Prosser pen again? Bonnie K. Smeltzer Here at Voices, Susan Squier we are asking Maria Sweet those questions. Kim Tait The first in a two Mary Watson part series, this Sue Werner month’s cover Greg Woodman story examines Lakshman Yapa how our state law, university policy and community members might better protect our children. As always, we value your readership and support. We are seeking a University section editor, and we are always in need of committed writers, distributors and copy editors. If you are interested in helping Voices to continue publishing thoughtful, fearless and free news, send me an email or show up at our weekly staff meeting: Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m. in Irving’s Bagels.

Top Stories in This Issue POLITICS and ECONOMICS

pages 3-5

No decision reached on rental regulations by Shawn Christ..............................................3


pages 6-9

Webster’s to reopen in late February by David Amerman....................................................9


pages 10-21

Study of drilling and well water released by Sean Flynn.............................................16


pages 22-30

Unraveling the Sandusky scandal by Alanna Pawlowski and Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell.....22


pages 31-34

Shuey intuitively expresses landscapes by Jessica Rommelt........................................31


pages 35-39

Joe Paterno: an educator remembered by Art Goldschmidt..........................................35


February 2012

No decision reached on rental regulations by Shawn Christ The State College Borough Council recently considered regulating what are commonly known as “football rentals” but could come to no conclusion. Issues about the rentals, also known as occasional residential occupancies, ranged from effects on neighborhoods to tax equity in a report written by the former State College Assistant Manager Thomas Kurtz. He recommended council should consider a licensing process that would require a homeowner to apply for a license for this short term rental. “I was pleased with the background he provided and the conclusion he came to,” said State College Borough Council member James Rosenberger. Football rentals have become a cottage industry in State College. Terry Williams, Borough legal counsel, noted rental ads in newspapers, Craigslist and several websites as evidence that these rentals are increasingly common. But Kurtz’s report pointed out the difficulties in regulating football rentals, a finding to which community members could attest. “I think that people are more concerned about the issue of the proliferation of these,” said Donna Queeney, president of the College Heights Neighborhood Association. “I get the feeling that the

report is really saying that this is a hard thing to enforce and can we really enforce it.” Rosenberger said safety issues were a definite concern. “Football rentals are a person’s private home, which don’t have to be inspected for code, such as fire exits and fire alarms,” he said. “So there’s an over-hanging issue of safety.” College Township Manager Adam Brumbaugh said he thinks that “safety is the primary issue.” “The intermittent rentals, or football rentals, present a life-safety issue from the standpoint that these are typically units that are being rented to folks that are from outside of the area,” he said. “The units themselves are not subject to any of the normal rental inspections and to any of the normal life-safety procedures that exist for normal rental units.” Safety inspections wouldn’t be the only requirement if a regulation system were put into place. “There’s also a question of tax equity. This is somebody who is doing this and, in some respects, can be considered to be operating a business,” said Brumbaugh. Rosenberger had a slightly different view on taxing the football rental properties. “That’s not a tax we are concerned with,” said Rosenberger. “My objection

Not a chain... A link in the community 2331 Commercial Boulevard 861--5200

Photo by Shawn Christ

Stone Glenn Apartments undertakes short term leases for people who wish to remain in the State College area for the duration of a football season. Stone Glenn is fully regulated, unlike private homes.

stated at the meeting was that we don’t do that for other home industries and this is kind of like a home industry.” Borough Council member Peter Morris took issue with a possible registration system. “A registration system would miss a lot of them,” said Morris at the meeting. “If that happens, you have a real issue of fairness.” But even if the process of establishing a registration system is difficult, Queeney said “it’s not impossible.” “I have a lot of confidence in the borough staff. I think they’re wonderful,” she said. “But before it gets any worse, we need to control it.” Queeney said that people who rent properties for a weekend “have no bearing of responsibility or concern for the neighborhood” because “they don’t think of it as a residential neighborhood.” “I think it is part of a larger issue,” she added. “I think it is part of the need to essentially reclaim our neighborhoods.”

Individuals who rent properties through are warned about obeying the local laws where their rental is located, according to Mike Doyle, founder of the website. “The contract states that the renters must comply with all local laws and regulations, and failure to do so means that they would be held accountable for any ramifications,” he said. Although Doyle believes “that people should be free to rent out their personal homes for short-term rentals, like football weekends,” he also said that “if the borough did begin to regulate the process, however, we would do whatever we could to help our homeowners comply with the regulations.” Rosenberger said that while Kurtz did a “thorough” job on the report, “it’s not an urgent issue in my opinion.” The State College borough council voted to send the issue on football rentals to a work session in Feburary to discuss it further.


February 2012

Proposed community center sparks debate by Sean Flynn The Ram Community Centre, as it is currently planned, will be a 52,000 square foot complex in Penns Valley. It will include a YMCA, a Mount Nittany Medical Group office, and a senior citizens center. It will all be run by the Ram Centre, a non-profit organization established to administer the complex. The organizers hope to raise $1.5 million to commence groundbreaking and an additional $2 million after that. According to its website, it won’t cost taxpayers a dime. But some Penns Valley citizens say they are concerned about the Ram Centre’s plans to lease Penns Valley Area School District (PVASD) property for the new complex. Ann Stapleton is a founding member of the Penns Valley Community Action Group, which has posted signs throughout the community. They oppose the Ram Community Centre’s construction on school property, and accused the complex’s supporters of running a “propaganda campaign” in its support. Stapleton says the PVCAG is circulating petitions in which the group demands a halt to the community center plans. She says they’ve collected “approximately 500 signatures” from people opposing the center. PVCAG members highlight concerns about the center, including its potential burden on the school system and the services it provides. Stapleton said that contrary to the Ram Centre’s claims, the PVASD has already spent taxpayer dollars on the Ram Community Centre. “The people I know who oppose the RCC are opposing it because they do not want it on school property,” Stapleton wrote in an email. “The PVASD is not able to provide any guarantee that the taxpayers will have no financial, civil or criminal liability.” Penns Valley Area School District board president Sal Nicosia chalked up much of the opposition to communica-

The Ram Community Centre, as it is currently planned, will be a 52,000 square foot complex in Penns Valley. It will include a YMCA, a Mount Nittany Medical Group office, and a senior center.

tion problems. “Maybe we didn’t do a good enough job doing getting the information... to the community as a whole,” said Nicosia. The PVASD has spent money on the Ram Community Centre project, he said, but the district is being reimbursed by the Ram Committee, an interim group managing the Ram Centre’s creation. Thus, he says, there are “no net expenses.” When asked about liability concerns, Nicosia said the PVASD will be protected by the contracts it has signed. “That’s one of the reasons we did a straight-out land lease,” he said. “We are responsible for only the things we come to contract with. The building itself will be the responsibility of the Ram Centre. “The District requires that the Ram Centre carry full liability [insurance], and the district will be carried as an additional insured. Even if the [Ram Centre] fails to pay its mortgage, the bank that’s going to hold the note. It will be their responsibility to take care of the building.” Stapleton’s group also brought up conflict of interest issues. “We feel that it is an ethics violation for [PVASD board members] Chris Houser and Allan Darr to be sitting on the PVASD school board and the RCC board,” Stapleton wrote in a statement provided to Voices.“We also feel it is a conflict of interest for [Superintendent of Schools] Brian Griffith to be on the fund raising campaign.”

In response to those concerns, Nicosia said the PVASD had checked with legal counsel before proceeding. “The whole organizational structure of what has been put together and the dealings that the board have had doing what we do [have] been vetted by our counselor for the district,” said Nicosia. “There is no monetary gain by any of us, whether we sit on one board, the other board or both at the same time.” Stapleton’s group admitted that after consulting with their own legal counsel, they hadn’t found any basis for legal action. “We couldn’t find it yet,” said Jonathan Gillan, a PVCAG member. But Nicosia admitted that the board has struggled to effectively communicate with the community throughout the eight years he has been a member. He attributed much of the perceived failure in communication to low attendance at school board meetings.

“Unless I yell fire in a crowded building, or put out the word that I’m going to cancel the football team next fall, it really is very difficult to get people to tune in. [Then] all of a sudden something happens, and they’re like ‘Oh my god, how did I not know about this?’ Well, when’s the last time you went to a school board meeting?” Nicosia said the school board’s role in the development of the Ram Centre was essentially finished with the signing of the lease. The true test of community support would be whether the Ram Centre receives the $1.5 million in donations required for groundbreaking. “The only thing you can do to stop this thing,” Nicosia said, “is don’t contribute to the fund drive!” But the PVCAG isn’t giving up. They have passed out more than 150 lawn signs and plan to continue collecting petition signatures in an effort to force the Ram Centre or the school board to halt the project. “The community has the right to recourse,” said Stapleton. Nicosia said the school board was open to hearing the complaints captured in those circulating petitions but that the petitions hadn’t yet been submitted to the board. The school board wouldn’t act, he said, “until we get those petitions. Then we’d have to have a discussion.”


February 2012

Deutschworks: America the reality TV show by Steve Deutsch Steve Deutsch is a regular satire columnist for Voices. Stevieslaw: So You Think You Have Talent. Smokey Diamond and I were sitting at the local University Starbucks last Wednesday morning discussing Nietzsche’s Ubermensch and how the concept might apply to the future Republican Presidential Candidate—-be it Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or, for that matter, Michelle Bachmann. The wager was that whichever one of us broke up and sprayed coffee through our nose first, paid for snacks. At the table behind us, a group of four was discussing with some solemnity the loss of Chris, as opposed to Mitch, Marge or Phillip, on the TV Reality Show—-So You Think You Can Yodel. The people at the table in front of us were busy discussing the proposed merger of American Idol with Project Runway, vis-à-vis the future of fashionable music. And although Smokey and I could be said to have little idea of what we were talking about, it seemed to us, that ours was the least bizarre of the three conversations. Welcome to America in the 2010’s, where reality TV is boss. A recent study found that Americans are watching 42

hours of reality TV a day—-on an average of 8.34 screens per household. No wonder the birthrate in America is dropping like a rock—-although people are certainly watching, “So You Think You Can Get Pregnant,” on Fox. Clearly, if it weren’t for the sale of big screen TV’s and television service, we would have no economy at all. There are problems ahead, however, associated primarily with the answers to the twin question of how can you keep up with reality and how can you plan ahead for it. Therefore, we are as pleased as Matthew on “So You Think you have Good News (8PM Tuesdays on ABC),” to announce the Less-Intelligent-thanaverage American Guide to the future of reality TV—-“So you think you have talent.” In the Guide, you will first learn some reality history. Did you know, for example, that Ray Bradbury believes he will never be able to atone for his novel “Fahrenheit 451,” a book often credited with the birth of reality television? He often says as much as the host of the popular you-are-going-to-hell show, “So you think you are hot now (1a.m. Weds on ESPN2).” In LAG you- will learn that, although the “whole” life shows will continue with titles like “Real Husbands of Topeka,” and an exciting new “cousins”

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series-you won’t believe the insights produced by the show “My sister-inlaws second cousin was Barack Obama’s barber.” Most new shows will highlight Talent (yes, with a capital T). Here are just a few of the hundreds discussed by LAG in incredible detail: So You Think You Are Charming—-in which contestants will vie for the title of “Snake Charmer Extraordinaire,” with guest appearances by Bernie Madoff, Donald Trump and Karl Rove. Trust us, the auditions for this show, involving hundreds of “wannabes,” cobras and cameras, is mind blowing. Will there even be a winner? So You Think You Are Decisive—-in which carefully chosen contestants will take to sea in command of a “boomer” submarine armed with multiple nuclear tipped missiles. What will they do when the command to fire—-real or imaginary—-comes in? Will the final contestants choke and mistake the code for Tehran with the one for Islamabad? How many Americans will know the

difference? Hunker down in your bunker and watch them live on the DIY network. So You Think You Can Fly—-in which completely untrained contestants will vie for the chance to fly a fully loaded passenger aircraft from Chicago to Osaka. Sully Sullenberger and the former head of the FAA Randy Babbitt will judge (think good judge, inebriated judge), as the flights get longer and more technically difficult. In one episode, the contestants even try to get in and out of Philadelphia International Airport—-a task most experienced pilots refuse to attempt. And get this, at no time during the flights will the passengers be told that their flight captain is completely unqualified to fly the aircraft. Best book your flight insurance now! Finally, the guide will be the first to inform you (and this is quite a sneak preview here) that the entire 2012 Presidential Campaign and Election will be run as the reality show, “So You Think You Can Govern**.” Just imagine—-campaign contributions and countless attack ads will soon become a thing of the past. Lobbyists will lose much of their influence. The candidates will be asked probing questions by a team of responsible journalists—-chosen from all political stripes—-about foreign and domestic affairs, the military, the economy, and the social safety net, while as many as two hundred million Americans look avidly on. On several of the shows, viewer questions will be entertained. And on Election Day, we estimate that fully 96 percent of eligible American voters will cast their votes by phone or on the internet to elect the next president. Stay ahead of the future of reality. Buy your guide today. Only $19.95 wherever LAG guides are sold. **Just kidding about this one. No such show is planned.


February 2012

Webster’s to reopen in late February by David Amerman Elaine Meder-Wilgus, owner of State College’s popular Webster’s Bookstore Café, thinks that books should be a part of everyone’s daily life. Starting in 1999, Meder-Wilgus was able to share this passion with the State College community through her own business. However in 2010, the economic recession swept up Webster’s in its path and forced the South Allen Street location to close when its lease expired after MederWilgus fell several months behind on the rent. Webster’s moved to a temporary location on 121 S. Fraser St. and operated from that location until the close of the sixmonth lease. Since the initial closure of the main location on South Allen Street, State College residents and friends of Webster’s have responded with support and calls for the bookstore to reopen, according to MederWilgus. “When we first got the news that we were losing our lease, my family and I thought that was pretty much it and we

were out of business,” Meder-Wilgus said. “And then, a groundswell of thousands and thousands of people came forward and said, ‘No. We won’t let this happen.’” According to Webster’s Internet sales manager Molly Haight, these supporters contributed their money and energy in order to help Webster’s. “People donated their time to unpack boxes and sort books for us,” said Haight. “We had people come in every day being like, ‘So what can I do?’ just because they love Webster’s.” Thanks to its passionate masses of supporters, Webster’s is now set to re-open in late February once everything is organized inside. Webster’s will be moving from its former location on South Allen Street to 133 E. Beaver St., once home to the Creative Oasis art studio. The new space is twice as large as the previous location, which Meder-Wilgus says will help Webster’s store more books. She added that the large space will also allow Webster’s to consolidate their business into one building instead of its previous system of maintaining multiple loca-

Photo by David Amerman

Webster’s new location is twice the size of their old one, allowing the bookstore to increase inventory. Staff and volunteers are busy unpacking boxes and preparing the bookstore café for its opening.

tions for a bookstore café, a book warehouse and a separate café.


Webster’s, pg. 9

School holds classes on MLK Day, stirs controversy by Radesha Piles State College Area High School held regular classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, drawing disapproval from students and community members. This marked a change in the school’s observance of the federal holiday. In previous years, the high school has given students the day off and required teachers to attend a professional development day. This year the school calendar allocated177 mandatory school days, nine inservice days for teachers and 16 holidays. Changes in the calendar are passed to the school board and then to the school calendar committee, which rotates the holidays that will be recognized with day off for

“The question is: Are the parents included? Are the students included? What [do] community members feel?” --Donna King

students. In preparation for MLK Day, the school planned to focus the day around civil rights education, according to Julie Gosselin, Executive Secretary of the State College Area High School District. She stated that this year, as an alternative to

having MLK day off, teachers provided students with diversity training. “There were tons of diversity programs implemented for our students,” said Julie Miller, district public information specialist. “Spanish classes were translating MLK speeches into Spanish. History classes watched Gandhi to compare him to the MLK figure. Art classes were [painting] the figure. And students watched the ‘I Have a Dream Speech.’” The decision to hold regular classes this year upset some students as well as community members, who began appealing for the recognition of MLK Day as a high school holiday in 1998. Dr. Donna King, a professor at Penn State University, community activist and

self-proclaimed “movement mama,” said she situates this discussion within a larger, ongoing struggle for social justice and civic involvement. “We fought for five years for MLK Day to be a holiday,” said King. “I sat at the school board meetings year after year for State College Area High School, and finally we received the day off. The question is: Are the parents included? Are the students included? What [do] community members feel?” Though many diversity-oriented lessons were planned, some students say that they were not provided such curriculum


MLK, pg. 8


February 2012

Understanding our bodies as machines by Matthew Hertert As I am sure all practitioners do, I get many questions about the best kind of exercise, shoes, pillows, diets and health trends. Usually the best response I have to offer is a general, common sense type answer. The truth is there is never an accurate one-sizefits-all answer to these kinds of questions. The negative side of this is that it is frustrating to not be able to provide a specific, definitive answer for a patient, especially when they are actively seeking to better their life. The positive side is that in most cases we can answer our own questions by relating to the body through a simple metaphor, by acknowledging a modern reality, and by paying attention. If you think of the body as a machine, in many cases you can simplify problems and


Health Talk provide your own answers. Second, the reality is that our machine has been doing certain things for a very long time—hunting, fishing, farming and gathering—that most of us aren’t doing full time anymore. Third, by “paying attention” I mean that your body will let you know if something is good for it or not. Don’t ask me, ask your body and, more importantly, listen for an answer. Thinking about your body as a machine is a pretty pragmatic way to approach health, especially if you’re someone who loves machines. We all know someone who can spend an entire Saturday washing and detailing her car, changing the oil and fil-





ters and replacing the brake pads. While this model is simplistic in the sense that machines are not self-regulating or selfhealing the way our bodies are, many people take our healing capacity for granted. They wait too long, ignoring their symptoms until their health problems are serious. Machines need maintenance. You wouldn’t tape over your oil light if it came on. You don’t wait for your car to run out of gas before filling the tank. If your tires are balding, you don’t replace them repeatedly without addressing the alignment. We all know this stuff, and these same principles apply to your body and self-care. This view of the body also applies to larger concepts, like wear and tear. In general the body doesn’t like repetitive-stress activities, and usually breaks down more quickly when subjected to them. Prevention is cheaper and more time efficient than repair. If you only start a machine once a year, it isn’t going to work well, and the same is true of only exercising once a year. The modern reality to acknowledge is that since we’ve been on the planet, our bodies have been walking machines. For thousands of years our bodies have been standing, walking, running, lifting, and moving. While a few professions have always been sedentary, most of us have only been sitting for a few decades, and that is not long enough for the machine to evolve and adapt to how we’re trying to force it to work. The way we use our bodies now is like trying to jackhammer a hole in the sidewalk with an electric toothbrush: it may work eventually but you’re going to hurt that machine. This can help you answer your own questions about running barefoot or with five-finger shoes, questions about standing desks over sitting desks, footwear, types of exercise and what kinds of chairs are best for posture, all of which translate to how you function, which translates to how you feel. A profound “discovery” about the body relates to these discussions: our upright evolution has put structure in place that is

meant to stand and is affected by sitting. A European MD named Janda identified two major muscle systems that crisscross the body like girders as you look at it from the side. The postural muscle system is what gives us posture, and its antagonists, the phasic muscles, keep us from collapsing like an accordion. When your body is constantly stressed against its design—like sitting with your head craned forward to read email—the body uses the strong posturals to protect the joints in your neck to keep them from dislocating, to keep discs from herniating, to slow arthritis. A smart decision on the part of your body, but the consequence is that the phasics now can’t exercise, and get weaker, making the joints even less stable, so the body turns up the posturals, so the phasics get weaker, and so on, and so on…. This modern reality isn’t as widely known as it should be, but searching the Internet for “Janda phasics” will give you many resources for knowing what to stretch and what to strengthen. When seeking chiropractors, personal trainers or physical therapists it’s important to try and find caregivers who understand Janda’s work. Finally, the truth is that your body is the boss. It will tell you if what you’re doing is bad for it. This applies to the foods you eat, the drugs you take, the shoes you wear, the chair you sit in and the exercise you’re doing (or not doing). Your body only has one way to tell you that it needs your help: pain. Pain is your friend, so listen. That said, I advocate a preventative mindset. Usually by the time symptoms are present, pathology is in place. Symptoms are your body’s way of telling you it can’t heal itself or maintain the problem any more without intervention. If something hurts, then listen to your body and stop. Avoid pain before it happens instead of waiting too long then “patching the pothole.”


February 2012

Sleep disorder center in construction at Mount Nittany by Sierra Dole It took a heart attack for Bellefonte resident Randall Yarnell Sr. to learn why he hadn’t gotten a good night’s sleep in six years. While he was in the hospital and on a heart monitor, doctors realized that he periodically stopped breathing while he slept. They diagnosed him with obstructive sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that affects one in four American men. “It’s a terrible thing, sleep apnea,” Yarnell said. “You don’t get a solid sleep. You wake up for an hour, sleep for an hour, wake back up again, etc. It got to the point where a good night’s sleep for me was four hours… Finally being diagnosed made me stop wondering what was going on.” Sleep disorder sufferers like Yarnell will soon have access to a state-of-theart sleep disorder center, which Mount Nittany Medical Center will open this fall. Mount Nittany currently has two sleep labs, which are used only for diagnosing and treating sleep-related breathing disorders, according to Robert Moser, administrative director for Geisinger


MLK, pg. 6

on MLK Day. “We didn’t really talk about MLK that much,” said senior Brian Charles. “It was a normal day of school. I’d be interested in learning more about it. Martin Luther King played a big part in our history.” Some students expressed shock that they were in school on the federal holiday and not provided educational activities about Martin Luther King Jr. “I was actually happy that we had school because I thought we’d be doing some activities [related to Martin Luther King Jr.],” said senior Daphne Weidner. “I don’t have history class this year, so maybe that’s why, but I heard nothing, even from my peers.” Some students, like sophomore

“By catching [sleep] disorders sooner, we can work to prevent some of the long-term effects such as obesity, depression, diabetes and cardiovasuclar problems these disorders may cause.” --Robert Moser

Health System Sleep Services. He explained that the new center will provide diagnostic and therapeutic testing as well as treatment for patients who express symptoms of any sleep disorder. “Sleep disorder centers are high in demand,” said Elle Morgan, Communications Coordinator at Mount Nittany Medical Center. “More and more people suffer from sleep disorders each year, and it’s important to catch these disorders early to prevent the longterm effects they have.” More than 40 million Americans suffer from long-term sleep disorders each year, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. According to Moser, the new center,

which is expected to open by November, will stay open 24 hours a day to accommodate shift workers who might otherwise find scheduling an appointment difficult. It also will guarantee direct callers an appointment within 24 hours, with a turnaround time—from the moment the patient walks into the center to when the results are in the doctor’s hand—of 48 to 72 hours. In addition, technicians who are registered through the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT) will be available around the clock to perform non-invasive testing on patients. Specialized equipment will allow patients as young as 2 years old to be tested—a dramatic improvement from

Renessa Abiola, who are members of the African American support group at the high school, attended a half day of classes followed by a field trip to Penn State University, where they participated in a day of service activities alongside college students. “I attended two periods of history and science and nothing [about MLK] was mentioned,” said Abiola. “I think it’s not fair. There should be more than one day out of the whole year to celebrate MLK. Our school takes off for hunting season, why not MLK?” Donna King claimed that the disconnect between what activities were planned and what was actually done for students at the school has created the need to inform parents and students about the change of calendar initiatives. A forum, coordinated by King, to

address such concerns is scheduled to take place in February. Meanwhile, at State College Area High School, the African American support group is working on a community show-

the current equipment, which can only test patients 18 or older. This change will allow staff to find the cause of sleep disorders and start treatment much sooner in young patients. “By catching these disorders sooner, we can work to prevent some of the long-term effects such as obesity, depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems these disorders may cause,” Moser said. According to Moser, Mount Nittany Medical Center has spared no expense in equipping the new clinic to better serve patients and get them a better night’s sleep. When patients arrive at the center for overnight testing, they will receive private rooms with full baths, flat screen TVs and breakfast areas. “It’s pretty much an upscale hotel room,” Moser said, “We try to make it as relaxing an environment as possible and make you feel right at home. Everything you normally do before bed, we want you to be able to do that here.” There are many symptoms of sleep disorders including waking up gasping


Center, pg. 9

case of African American history for Black History Month. The students state that they want to educate and unify their peers and that introducing their culture at school is very important.


February 2012


Webster’s, pg. 6

“It’s such a fantastic space for a bookstore because it’s slightly underground and it’s not as expensive as the old store, which means we can afford to house more books,” said Meder-Wilgus. “We’ve been able to go through some of the old stock and discover some forgotten gems. We’ve had boxes of books that have been sitting around unopened for nine or ten years because we didn’t have the space to put them out or the time to deal with them.” Along with the bigger bookstore, the new Webster’s will feature a larger kitchen, a stage for live performances and two gallery walls for art exhibits. One gallery will be named after the late David E. Newman, the founder of Creative Oasis. “[Newman’s vision] for Creative Oasis was to give people who may not be connected professionally or academically to art space to create,” said Meder-Wilgus. “So we’re giving space to exhibit what people create to honor his memory.” According to Haight, having an art gallery featuring local artists in a coffee shop will also provide a unique artistic experience for customers. “Actual art galleries are at a disadvantage because people simply walk through, look at everything and then leave,” said Haight. “At Webster’s, you can sit, have a coffee and enjoy the gallery.” The East Beaver Street space will also be more accessible and browsable than before, according to Meder-Wilgus and Haight.

“The income side of Webster’s was always successful, but it was the overhead that had really become too much.” --Elaine Meder-Wilgus

“The new location is a beautiful rectangular shape with two exits and lends itself to better flow because that other space was sort of a bowling alley,” Meder-Wilgus said. “We had to have different sections for the café, the records and the bookstore and even though we managed to blend them together, there was a natural separation by the length and dimensions of the old space. In the new space, we can really allow for people to walk around and not feel like they’re standing in a hallway.” In order to prevent another situation like the closings in 2010, Webster’s has a new advisory board of professional financiers who have volunteered their time to keep the business’ accounting in control. “The income side of Webster’s was always successful, but it was the overhead that had really become too much,” said Meder-Wilgus. “And when the recession hit, our expenses just kept going up. So this advisory board has been really fantastic in getting all the plans in order. I’m incredibly blessed that these people have stepped forward to be on this advisory board to assure the health and wealth of Webster’s and the community that resides within it.”




With Webster’s financial house in order, Meder-Wilgus and her staff are now focused on getting the new location stocked, coded and ready for the grand opening in late February. The reopening, according to Meder-Wilgus, will be marked with a festival of diverse events that will celebrate the culture and energy of the local community. “It’s going to be tremendous,” she said. “We have belly dancers lined up, we’re going to have readings, a political singersongwriter coming in to do a performance and an open mic night.” Along with the opening festivities, Meder-Wilgus is also excited for her community to see the new bookstore and café. “People are going to lose their minds when they come in and see the sheer volume of books,” she said. “I can’t wait. They’re going to squeal. It’s going to be great.”


Center, pg. 8

or gagging, paused breathing, head banging and especially insomnia. Moser said that by using a screening tool, physicians can determine whether or not a patient may have a sleep disorder. This tool consists of the following four questions: Do you snore loudly? Are you tired a lot? Does someone observe that you stop breathing while asleep? Do you have high blood pressure? If a patient answers yes to two or more of these questions, he or she may suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Anyone who feels they may suffer from a sleep disorder can call the Mount Nittany Medical Center’s Department of Sleep Medicine directly or visit their website for more information.

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February 2012



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February 2012

Guide to local Community Supported Agriculture Why join a CSA? Over the last two decades, a trend started by two New England farms has taken root across the country. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a model that allows consumers to buy fresh, seasonal produce directly from local farmers. Buyers purchase a CSA subscription at the beginning of the growing season, which entitles them to a share of the farm’s bounty. Typically, share-holders receive a box of vegetables (or other farm products) either weekly or biweekly. lists the following benefits of CSAs for farmers and consumers: Advantages for farmers: - Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin - Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow - Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow Advantages for consumers: - Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits - Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking - Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season - Find that kids typically favor food from “their� farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat - Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than 12,500 farms sold products through CSAs in 2007—and that number is only growing. At Voices, we know that food security, the local economy, and nutrition are important issues for our readers. For that reason, we publish this annual guide to CSAs, so you can make informed choices about the food you eat.






Full Circle Farms Contact: Sabine Carey 364-2885 Website: or follow us on facebook! Location of Farm: We are located in beautiful Penns Valley, just a 20 minute drive from State College. Pick-up/Delivery sites: To be determined After 11 years of offering veggie CSA shares, we are excited to be expanding our Flowers for this season. Come see us at the Tuesday Boalsburg Farmers market, or sign up for a weekly fresh flowers through our flexible FlowerShare Program, ranging from $75 for a 10 week of bouquets to $300 for 20 weeks of arrangements. Perfect for your kitchen table or office desk! We have been certified organic for 10 years, and are strong supporters of our local a sustainable food system.

Greenmoore Gardens CSA Organic Farm Contact: (814) 237-0082 E-mail: Website: Location of Farm: Only 15 minutes from downtown! Just off Route 550 before Stormstown on right side (coming from State College). Pick-up/Delivery Locations: Nature’s Pantry (Tuesdays), Callao CafÊ on Aaron Drive (Tuesdays and

Fridays), Greenmoore Gardens (Tuesdays and Fridays at 193 Eagle Field Road, Port Matilda, PA 16870), North Atherton Farmer's Market (Saturdays in Home Depot parking lot) Length of Season: Summer shares: 28 weeks from May through November. Winter shares: bi-weekly from November through April. Produce: We grow a diverse selection of vegetables, herbs, and berries without using chemicals of any kind. Our soil is very rich, which allows high quality vegetables to flourish. We are now USDA-certified Organic, and we believe in farming with responsibility to the land, the people who work it, and the community who eats from it. Due to the increasing demand for fresh, local vegetable shares, we encourage you to sign up early to save yourself a spot! Discounts are available to returning members, early-sign up members, and members who refer a friend or neighbor!

GroundWork Farms CSA and Buying Club Contact: Nell Hanssen 814-349-8915 Website: Location of Farm: Penns and Brush Valleys Pick-up/Delivery location(s): Delivered to your home, work, or a central location. Length of season: Summer pro-


February 2012

Voices 2012 Guide to Community Supported Agriculture duce from June through October; Bread, dairy, egg, coffee shares and seasonal produce offered year round. Types of Produce: A wide variety of vegetables and melons, plus raw dairy products, eggs, herbs, bread and coffee are offered as CSA shares. Meats, berries, fruits, mushrooms, canned goods, whole wheat flour, honey and more are available by order. GroundWork Farms is a network of farmers in Penns and Brush Valleys. All of GroundWork’s producers use humane methods and no synthetic chemicals to raise their products. GroundWork Farms makes weekly deliveries to homes and businesses in State College, Bellefonte, and surrounding areas.

Healthy Harvest Farm CSA

Photos provided by GroundWork Farms

Top: A pasture-raised pig from GroundWork Farms CSA and Buying Club. Bottom left: The winter greenhouse at Fiedler Farm provides fresh greens in the winter months to GroundWork Farms' CSA. Bottom Right: Vegetable shares from GroundWork Farms CSA and Buying Club

Contact: Sara Eckert & Dave Sandy 814-355-2842 website: Location: Bellefonte next to Musser Dairy Store Pickup locations: At the farm in Bellefonte on Tuesdays or in State College at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Thursdays. Seasons: We run year round Summer/Fall shares are weekly pickup from June thru November and Winter/Spring shares are biweekly pick-up from December thru May Produce: We offer over 40 different crops with over 120 varieties. See our website for a complete listing and a chart detailing each crops season.

At Healthy Harvest Farm you will get a large selection of seasonal produced picked fresh for that home grown taste. We do not use any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and are always thinking about the health of your family and our fields. Your produce is not pre-boxed, so you can select the items you like. All of the produce grown on our farm goes to the CSA members, we do not sell through any other outlet. We want people to have a personal connection to where their food comes from, which is why the farmers Dave and Sara will be at every distribution to answer question. The farm is conveniently located just outside Bellefonte and we host monthly Saturday farm days where everyone is invited to spend the morning getting dirty and the afternoon socializing with fellow members. Our #1 goal is to get our members excited about vegetables. Once you have top quality produce and instructions on how to properly prepare it, eating healthy will be a pleasure. Our website has much more information including recipes and veggie facts, so please check it out.

Howard’s End CSA Farm Location of Farm: 345 Hidden Valley Lane, Howard, Pa. 16841. Howard’s End Farm is a 20 acre diverse organic farm nestled in the Little Nittany Valley about a 30 minute drive from State College. Contact: Addison Hoffman (814)571-5414 Addison Hoffman, Valerie Anderson: Partners; Lura Shopteau,


February 2012

Voices 2012 Guide to Community Supported Agriculture Associate. Email: Website: Pick-up/Delivery locations: From mid-May until early November: Pick-ups are at either the Tuesday downtown farmer’s market on Locust Lane (11:30- 5:30) or on Saturdays at the North Atherton Farmer’s market at the Home Depot (10 – 2). In the off-season ( mid-November until mid-May), the downtown State College pick-up is at the Movement Arts Studio, 140 Kelly Alley from 12- 3 every other Tuesday, and at Webster’s Café on Aaron Drive every other Saturday from 12-2. Season Length: year-round. Types of Produce: A broad variety of produce is available including: chickens, eggs, ducks, cheese, certified raw milk, sprouts, jams and other sweets, yogurt, butters, and herbs. We hope to add oven fired breads, pork, and specialty plants such as ginger, water chestnuts, figs, artichokes, chickpeas and fresh peanuts in 2012. For more information

please visit the website. Current CSA membership: 75 families Available 2012 memberships: 15 Membership enrollment: We are going to fill the 15 spots during the months of February and March for a new member starting date in April. Duration of membership: Ongoing. We are a year- round CSA. Cost of Membership: We require an initial deposit of $400 which will put $420 into the new members’ debit account. This is an “A la Carte” CSA which means that members are not obligated to pick up produce. Instead, a weekly email goes out to members on Sundays which lists all available goods for the coming weeks. Members can then place an order in advance for the following weeks’ pickup. Recipes are often provided for each weekly pick-up.

Jade Family Farm Contact: John and Dana Eisenstein 717-527-4719 Website: Location of Farm: Port Royal, PA

Photo by Healthy Harvest Farm CSA

Sara Eckert and Dave Sandy of Healthy Harvest Farm CSA.

Pick-up/ Delivery Locations: Boalsburg, College Heights, Park Forest (pending) Length of season: 22 weeks Types of produce: Everything but sweet corn. Jade Family Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm nestled at the foot of the Tuscarora Mountain near Port Royal, Pennsylvania. Our har-

vest share (CSA) features about 50 different vegetables, all picked ripe and delivered fresh, and in exactly the right amount, more or less! The season runs from the end of May to the end of October (22 weeks). Delivery is Tuesday afternoon to several convenient locations in the State College area. We offer three share options: a

Community Harvest CSA A New Vision! A New Farmer! Our Lucky 13th Season!

Cultivating Local Earth Since 1950 7 Miles East of State College on Route 322 ~ 814-466-2386 ~


February 2012

Voices 2012 Guide to Community Supported Agriculture family share, designed for a medium sized family of good eaters, a regular share, which is about 60-65 percent of the produce in a family share, and an “a la carte” share. The a la carte option features week to week ordering via the miracle of internet technology, with no automatic delivery and no unasked for items- perfect for those who travel frequently or have limited or varied vegetable needs. Both the family and regular shares are customizable (within reason) and are also eligible to order off the a la carte menu. Included in your membership is a witty and informative weekly newsletter complete with recipes (some of which we've actually tried) and various farm events throughout the season, many of which involve a shovel. For more information or to sign up, visit, or give us a call!

Plowshare Produce Photos provided by Plowshare Produce

Top: Micah Spicher Schonberg gives a wagon ride with horses Polly and Sadie at the annual Fall potluck at Plowshare Produce. Bottom left: Farmers Micah and Bethany Spicher Schonberg of Plowshare Produce. Bottom Right: Vegetables and flowers from Plowshare produce.

Contact: Micah and Bethany Spicher Schonberg 814-667-2756 Website: Location: McAlevy's Fort, sixteen miles south of State College and sixteen miles north of Huntingdon on Route 26. Pick-up/Delivery Location: University Mennonite Church, State College; Standing Stone Coffee Company, Huntingdon; Plowshare Produce, McAlevy's Fort Season Length: 24 week summer share, 8 week winter share Produce: certified organic vegeta-

bles, melons and flowers Plowshare Produce is us – Micah and Bethany Spicher Schonberg – and six beautiful acres along Stone Creek that were farmed with horses by Bethany’s great-grandfather in the 1940’s. It’s also Polly and Sadie, our draft ponies, a great crew of employees and work shareholders and the 75 members who join us each season for weekly vegetable shares. Plowshare Produce also includes neighbors and friends who offer our members bread, meat and eggs. Our farm name comes from the Old Testament prophet Micah, who anticipated the day when his people would “beat their swords into plowshares” (4:3), and we hope that our work cultivates peace and prosperity in our community. “Plowshareholders” come to the farm in Stone Valley – or to a central location in State College or Huntingdon – once a week to fill their bags with freshly-picked certified organic vegetables. Our full share provides a family of four with vegetables all season long and includes a newsletter with recipes and farm news. Half shares offer the opportunity to pick up vegetables every other week. We are now accepting new members for the 2012 summer season. We’d love to be your farmers!

Tait Farm Community Harvest Contact: Katy Cleary 814-466-2386 Farmer: Adam Raish Website:


February 2012

Voices 2012 Guide to Community Supported Agriculture Location of Farm: 2.5 miles east of Boalsburg on Rt. 322 (179 Tait Rd, Centre Hall, PA 16828) Pick-up Location: At the farm Length of Season: Full-Year – January through December Half-Year – mid-May through Thanksgiving Types of Produce: Seasonal vegetables and some fruits Here at Tait Farm local matters, as it has for over 60 years. Community Harvest, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program was founded in 2000 and thrives on helping local folks live well by eating well. Being a part of the local food revolution is very meaningful to us where we believe eating seasonally is important to a healthy lifestyle and our way of life. Our produce is certified organic and we take great pride in working in cooperation with nature to preserve the land for future generations. With our expansive dreams, we have managed to produce over 20 tons of produce on 10 acres each year, the majority of which is consumed in Centre County. Our pro-

duce is harvested at its peak of ripeness and nutrition, often on the same day of pick up - it doesn’t get any fresher than that! During the main season, we have a unique farmer’s market style distribution that gives members an opportunity to choose their favorites from the weekly harvest. Our passion is keeping the local community connected to its food and the farms that grow it!

Village Acres Contact: Roy Brubaker, Farmer, and Dave Ruggiero, CSA Manager 717-436-9477 Website: Location of Farm: 229 Cuba Mills Road, Mifflintown, PA 17059 Pick-Up/Delivery Locations: Friends Meeting House, 611 East Prospect Avenue, State College Tuesdays from 4-6:30 pm during the summer and 4-6 pm during the winter. Length of Season: Summer shares: 28 weekly distributions, from May to Thanksgiving.





Winter shares: every other week from Thanksgiving to May. Types of Produce: Over fifty crops, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, beans, sweet corn, asparagus, rhubarb, cantaloupe, beets, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, sweet potatoes, summer and winter squash, lettuce, mesclun, and cooking greens. Village Acres grows certified organic vegetables and berries along the bank of Lost Creek, in Mifflintown, PA. Our CSA has been serving State College since 1997 and offers not only fresh produce but pasture-raised poultry, eggs, and pork, as well as the opportunity to buy extra items such as organic citrus and mushrooms from our local co-op. We often have canning-size quantities of vegetables and berries for sale at our distribution, and have recently finished building a commercial kitchen that will allow us to sell sauces, soups, and jams next year. We host two festivals a year, and visitors are welcome anytime – or check our website for more information!

Photo by Lucy Bryan Green

Plowshare Produce shareholder Jason Smith and daughter gloria inspect greenhouse tomatoes at a CSA potluck.


February 2012

Study of drilling and well water released by Sean Flynn A study released by Penn State University found no correlation between hydraulically fractured gas wells and well water quality, but discovered that many of Pennsylvania’s private water wells have serious water quality issues. The study, entitled “The Impact of Marcellus Gas Drilling on Rural Drinking Water Supplies,” examined more than 230 private water wells across the Marcellus Shale region. The study was funded by a grant from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania (CRP), a bipartisan agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. CRP’s website states that it “promotes and sustains the vitality of Pennsylvania’s rural and small communities” by sponsoring and organizing research on rural issues. According to released results, the study found no correlation between water quality and proximity to hydraulically fractured natural gas drilling sites, but it did find many private water wells contained other

contaminants that made them unsafe. Further, many water well owners were unaware of the contaminated water in their wells. The Penn State study stands in contrast with an earlier Duke University study that examined 68 drinking water wells in Pennsylvania and New York and found an increase in methane concentration near active drilling sites. The Duke study, entitled “Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing,” was published May 2011 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That study found increased methane concentrations in water wells within 1,000 meters of active drilling sites. However, neither the Penn State study nor the Duke University study found any contamination from fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process in water wells. Bryan Swistock was one of the lead scientists working on the Penn State study. He is the Senior Water Resources Extension

Photo by Danyel Woodring

This natural gas wellhead sits in northern Centre County.

Associate at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences in the School of Forest Resources and has conducted peerreviewed water quality research for more than twenty years.

Both Swistock and the Duke University researchers suggested that faulty gas well


Study, pg. 17

“Buy local”: a growing trend with an uncertain definition by Kelly Godzik Centre County grocery stores, restaurants and other food outlets are investing in the national “buy local” trend, but an unclear definition of “local” can make it hard for consumers to know exactly what they’re getting. Farmers markets run year round in Centre County, and shops like Otto’s Pub and Brewery, Herwig’s Austrian Bistro and Fasta and Ravioli and Co. are certified by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) as “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” venues. Penn State has even taken an interest in “buying local” as showcased through the WPSU local food blog, “Local Food Journey.” Different contributors from the community post seasonal recipes made

from local and in-season goods. “Buying local” is increasingly popular, but consumers, producers and distributors don’t always agree on what “local” means. Kristin Hoy, the Buy Fresh Buy Local Chapter Coordinator for PASA, said the term “buy local” can confuse consumers. Hoy said that unlike the buzzword “Certified Organic” which indicates that a product has met certain FDA regulations, there is no regulated, certified and Congress-approved definition of “local food.” Therefore, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if an advertised product is actually from a nearby farm. PASA defines any place with a “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” (BFBL) sign or label as “a business with a commitment to feature local foods and support local producers.” One way “local” goods are labeled is in

terms of the distance the product must travel to get to wherever it is sold. “It is really popular for people to advertise their products in terms of miles radius, like if the product is [produced] within 25, 50 or 100 miles of where it is sold,” said Hoy. For example, the Pennsylvania BFBL website lists 30 restaurants, shops and farms within 6 miles of the 16802 zip code. The local State College Wegman’s also defines the local produce, dairy products and even frozen foods it carries by miles transported. Service Area Manager for the State College Wegman’s, Tim Berends, said that the local produce they carry in store must come from within a 50-mile radius. “We want to carry as much local foods as possible to cater to our customers,” said

Tim, “but sometimes it’s harder to get local food because of the high standards we carry. We look for perfect produce.” In comparison to other nationwide chains, the State College Wegman’s provides food that is produced closer to where it is sold. The Wall Street Journal stated that Safeway considers anything that travels under 8 hours as “local,” while Kroger and Supervalu do not even provide a definition. Debra Brubreaker, co-manager of Village Acres Farm about 40 miles outside of State College, said she considers products local if it comes from somewhere close enough for the consumers to build a relationship with the producer. Village Acre Farm, which utilizes The


Local, pg. 20


February 2012


Study, pg. 16

casings were to blame for the methane contamination of nearby drinking water found by the Duke study. Those researchers suggested that “such leaks could occur at hundreds of meters underground, with methane passing laterally and vertically through fracture systems.” Swistock noted that Penn State’s study found no increase in methane concentration because of new standards for gas well construction. “Their testing was done before the changes of the casing and cementing requirements,” he explained. “The bulk of our testing was done after those requirements went into effect.” “The Penn State study differs from the Duke University study in that the Penn State study tested wells before and after

hydraulic fracturing occurred,” he added. The Penn State study also included wells located further from drilling sites. According to the Oil and Gas Act, drilling companies are presumed responsible for water quality issues within 1,000 feet of drilling sites. Swistock said that “testing that’s normally done is within 1,000 feet” of drilling sites, but the Penn State study reached out further. “Eighty percent of the people who were within 3,000 feet had testing done by industry already,” he said. “We were looking for sites in phase 2 that were out to a mile.” Swistock was quick to point out out some of the limitations of the study, specifically the study’s inability to examine longterm effects of drilling and hydraulic fracturing. “It was a relatively short timeframe, looking only within months of when

drilling and fracking [occurred].” He also pointed out the small sample size, and suggested that wider research was needed. “We have a very limited number of samples,” he said. “Neither study was all that big as far as the number of wells that were tested.” While both the Duke and the Penn State study called for further study of the relationship between water quality and proximity to drilling sites, Swistock pointed out that water quality problems are affecting rural Pennsylvania residents now. In comments made before the House Consumer Affairs Committee on Jan. 10, 2012, Swistock said his research found that “approximately 40 percent of private water wells in Pennsylvania fail to meet at least one safe drinking water standard,” with coliform bacteria presenting the primary threat. “About one-third of the water wells, and an even higher percentage of springs have coliform bacteria in them, and that can be related to either the water supply or activities around the well or spring,” he said. He added that although water supply testing has become more common because of the drilling industry, “people who got very extensive water tests didn’t understand what was wrong with their water, which implies that people don’t understand the reports.” Swistock said the study shows that construction of water wells is correlated with water quality. “There is evidence that if you construct water wells better, you’ll have fewer preexisting problems,” he said. In both comments made to Voices and before the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s House Consumer Affairs Committee, Swistock encouraged the implementation of statewide water well construction regulations. House Bill 1855, under consideration in Pennsylvania General Assembly, would establish regulations for private water wells. The bill would require water well drillers to adhere to well construction standards to be established by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB). The bill allows the state to require per-

mits for private water wells and to conduct inspections to ensure compliance with construction standards. The EQB comprises 11 state agencies, five members of the Citzens Advisory Council and four legislators from the General Assembly. The bill, sponsored by Representative Ron Miller of York County, has been referred to the Committee on Consumer Affairs. At press time, H.B. 1855 was still in committee. Erika Staaf, a spokesperson for environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment, agreed with the push for private well standards. “We do agree that standards would be a huge help,” she said. “Everyone should have clean water. There might be more hoops to jump through, but people would end up with clean, reliable water wells.” Still, she said that the Penn State study’s findings dp not necessarily mean drilling is safe, pointing out that hydraulic fracturing is still a dangerous process regardless of its effect on drinking water. “In general, we know there have not been too many documented cases by state or federal agencies that the specific process of hydraulic fracturing affected groundwater,” she said. “However, when there is fracking, there are many other processes that go along with fracturing.” “There have been, I would say, hundreds of instances where human error has caused spills, leaks, other problems to harm or reach waterways,” Staaf said. “We can’t afford to have that same track record.” Swistock acknowledged that much of the hydraulic fracturing process was still a work in progress, with work left to do on fracturing fluid disposal. “We’ll see how things progress as far as deep injection wells get used,” he said. “There’s a lot of questions about how that will be handled.” He said that scientific study on the effects of drilling on water quality is still in its early stages. “This is a first-step research project looking at limited parameters,” he said, adding that more research on the “obvious issues” surrounding groundwater quality is needed. “We’ve just taken one baby step looking into that.”


February 2012

River basin commission delays drilling decision by Catherine Jampel Citizens and policymakers waiting for the Delaware River Basin Commission to make a decision on natural gas exploration and drilling in the Delaware River Basin will have to keep waiting. The DRBC, a regional body that oversees the river system across Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware, cancelled a special meeting on November 21 that would have considered regulations on natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin and lifted the moratorium currently in place. Without a special meeting, the moratorium on natural gas drilling in the area under the DRBC’s jurisdiction, including eastern Pennsylvania and natural gas development areas in Wayne and Pike counties, remains


in effect. Environmental activist groups, property rights groups, and other concerned citizens planned protests and counter-protests for the now-postponed meeting, which was to be held in Trenton, N.J. The DRBC postponed the meeting after Delaware governor Jack Markell announced that Delaware would vote against the regulations. Passing the regulations requires a majority vote from the five members of the commission, which comprises the four states and the federal government and is represented by the Army Corps of Engineers. New York was already expected to vote no, while Pennsylvania and New Jersey were expected to vote in favor of the regulations.


DRBC, pg. 20

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February 2012

The European Starling, a truly American bird by Joe Verica “The king forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer. But I will find him when he lies asleep, and in his ear I’ll holler ‘Mortimer!’ Nay I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but Mortimer, and give it to him to keep his anger still in motion.” - William Shakespeare (Henry IV, Part I) These are the words responsible for bringing starlings to our shores! In the late 1800s, the American Acclimatization Society was formed with the expressed purpose of bringing European flora and fauna to North America. The society decided to introduce every species of bird mentioned by Shakespeare. Accordingly, 100 European Starlings were released in New York City’s Central Park. Since then, their population has grown to 200 million birds and they have spread throughout North America. Although starlings are native to Eurasia, they are truly American birds in many ways. Like us, they came here from overseas. Driven by a pioneering spirit, they rapidly spread across the county, and are now one of the most numerous birds on the continent. As a result, starlings have been implicated for driving out native cavity-nesting species like flycatchers, woodpeckers and bluebirds—sort of like Manifest Destiny on wings! Despite (or because of) their American character, many people dislike starlings. Other factors causing starlings to be held in such low regard are their appearance and demeanor. Many consider them to be unattractive. They are compact birds about the size of blackbirds. They have short, pointed wings, pointed bills and stubby tails. From a distance, starlings appear black, but closer inspection reveals a more intricate pattern. Following a molt, starlings are a mix of black and brown,

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Photographed by Dick Daniels, used courtesy of a Creative Commons License.

and are bespeckled with brilliant white spots. The physical structure of the feathers also gives them an iridescent greenishpurple sheen when viewed in the appropriate light. At this time, they are quite spectacular birds. As the bird ages and feathers wear, the white spots fade, leaving a drab, greasy-looking bird. In regard to disposition, starlings are aggressive and obnoxious. They are well adapted to co-habitation with humans. They build their nests in our houses – under air conditioners, in vents, behind gaps in siding, or just about any cavity they can access. They eat our garbage. They leave corrosive, foul-smelling droppings where they roost. They are gregarious and noisy, and their song is not considered easy on the ears. As mentioned above, starlings have a tendency toward flocking, particularly in winter. It is common for flocks to consist of tens of thousands of birds. Open areas, such as agricultural fields and airports, are favored habitats. This sometimes causes problems, as

collisions with aircraft cause significant economic damage and are sometimes deadly. In 2006, a plane taking off from University Park Airport sustained engine damage when it struck a flock of starlings and was forced to land. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the potential remains. As a preventative measure, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered a “wildlife assessment” be conducted near the airport. As a result, 20,000 starlings were eradicated. This reminds me of something Terry Tempest Williams wrote in her wonderful book, Refuge. “Perhaps we project on to starlings that which we deplore in ourselves: our numbers, our aggression, our greed, and our cruelty,” Williams wrote. “Like starlings, we are taking over the world.” “What makes our relationship with starlings even more curious is that we loathe them, calling in exterminators because we fear disease,” she continues, “yet we do everything within our power to encourage them as we systematically

erase the specialized habitats of specialized birds.” Perhaps our outlook on tarlings should not be all negative. In contrast to the short-comings we ascribe to them, starlings have many redeeming qualities, the most endearing of which is the beauty of their flight. Watching it, you lose track of space and time. Recently, I was birding along Fox Hill Road, just outside State College. The trees delineating the adjacent fields were blossoming with an abundance of starlings. A Cooper’s Hawk slid deliberately above the tree line. Simultaneously, a legion of birds exploded from the trees! Following the chaotic burst, a flock quickly coalesced. In wide flowing motions, it swept across the sky. 20,000 individuals moving as a single organism. They turned sharply, in unison, and climbed above the stealing raptor. The hunter rose, shooting upwards through the flock, hoping to separate out his prey. The flock veered to the right, in choreographed fashion, leaving the hawk confounded and alone. The starlings drifted back over the field. The hawk pursued, only to be outmaneuvered again. Disconsolate, he gave up and slipped away. The flock carried on, moving like fluid over a warped surface, expanding and contracting as it progressed, as if breathing a collective sigh of relief. Danger averted, the flock slowly dematerialized. The starlings returned to the trees and settled down. Questions or Comments? Joe Verica can be reached at


February 2012


DBRC, pg. 18

“I truly believe the sheer turnout had a great deal to do with the reason the meeting was cancelled,” said self-described river advocate Don Williams, a native of northeastern Pennsylvania who primarily focuses on the Susquehanna Rriver and its watershed. When the meeting was cancelled, environmental activists held a rally in place of the protest, featuring Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox, and actors Mark Ruffalo and Debra Winger. “We felt it was very important to be out in front and make it known that the public was not going away and that we’re redoubling our efforts,” said Tracy Carluccio, deputy director and founding member of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “We worked very hard to get the drilling moratorium in place, we spent all of our time trying to keep it in place, and we will continue to do that,” said Carluccio. “We can’t support drilling in the basin because we don’t believe that it would be possible to protect water resources for the 15 million people that get their water from the Delaware River watershed.” Marian Schweighofer, executive director of the Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance in Wayne County, Pa., said that citizens concerned about their property rights are not in favor of this “moratorium for the sake of having a moratorium.” “From a property owner perspective, whether you are for or against natural gas,

whenever a quasi-federal regulatory agency tries to control what you and I can do on our land, it’s a property rights issue,” she said. The Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance, according to its website, “exists to serve as an advocate for local landowners with oil and gas producers.” “I don’t feel the DRBC should be compelled to offer advance notice and allow the same dangerous scenario to develop as did for the last meeting,” said Schweighofer. “What happened the last time actually caused potential danger for a lot of people. It has become a very heated, hot emotional topic. Were I the Executive Director of the DRBC I would not want to put my staff in harm’s way, while knowing that antidrillers were staging civil disobedience.” Protest organizer Carluccio disagreed and said that the protest would not have been violent. “We felt that there was an escalating level of violence on the part of landowners and pro-gas contingent,” she said. “So we planned, set up, and carried out non-violence training with non-violence trainers prior to the 11/21 protest, one in Trenton, one in New York. We also had legal observers that were trained by attorneys to oversee and make sure that nothing violent would happen. We have made and will continue to make a big effort to ensure that nonviolence and peaceful expression of first amendment rights is carried out by people who come to these meetings and rallies.” Security was not the reason for postpon-







ing the meeting, said Kate O’Hara, DRBC communications assistant. “Commissioners decided they needed additional time to work through the information for themselves,” said O’Hara. “We’ve been holding our meetings in buildings that can allow more people to attend, which has been our norm since about June of 2008. With the natural gas issue, we’ve had almost all of commission meetings off-site because we know they’ve been more heavily attended.” The DRBC’s press releases do not provide information about why the meeting was postponed. The organization first published the proposed regulations allowing natural gas drilling in December of 2010 and received approximately 69,000 comments during the comment period, which was extended from 90 to 120 days. The original special meeting was scheduled for Oct. 21, and was postponed until Nov. 21. “We don’t have any information on when the regulations will come before commissioners for a vote,” said O’Hara of the DRBC on Jan. 13. The DRBC is required by law to inform the public 10 business days prior to meeting. The status of the meeting can be found on the DRBC website. Meetings have historically been announced at least a month in advance but given the sensitive nature of the topic, the meeting may be called 10 days prior with little lead time. Those with a stake in the current negotiations differ in their reading of the commission’s history and compact. Founded in 1961 in response to the “water wars” and

controversy about water usagee, the DRBC has the power to regulate both the quantity and quality of water, making it unusual among the river basin commissions. The Delaware River has been recognized for its outstanding water quality and the entire river is designated as special protection waters. “This is very important because gas drilling will affect this exceptional water quality,” said Carluccio. “Economic needs of the region are a compelling factor in the compact and often overlooked,” said Schweighofer, and “equitable apportionment for all is another very important part of the compact. Fortunately, the northernmost reaches of the DE watershed have never had a reason or need to call for its share of the water before.” The debate pits the rights of property owners against the rights of citizens elsewhere in the basin to safe drinking water. “Regardless of whether property owners stand to benefit from the process, ultimately the river basin provides drinking water for 15 million people,” said Deb Nardone, director of the Natural Gas Campaign Reform for the Sierra Club. “We commend DRBC for taking a stepback approach and looking at the environmental impacts before issuing drilling permits,” Nardone said. “We wish the PA Department of Environmental Protection had done the same, along with SRBC. I think this stands as a test for what people have been advocating for across the country, and concerns people have across the country.”


February 2012


Local, pg. 16

Community Supported Agriculture Model (CSA), develops relationships with members who sign up to receive a season share of harvested produce by paying beforehand. About 200 members sign up for Village Acre’s summer share, which runs from May until Thanksgiving, and 150 members bought a winter share this year, which covers the remaining months. “The CSA is more than just box of vegetables,” Brubaker said. “It helps provide a connection to your food growing processes, and in that way it goes further than just an organic certification.” Head chef at Otto’s Pub and Brewery, a “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” certified restaurant, Pete Herncane said he defines local by county. “As long as the products are from Centre County, maybe even a neighboring

county, I would consider it local,” said Herncane. The unclear definition of “local” can lead to the term being used incorrectly as a marketing tool, said Karen Myford, marketing director of Tait Farm and Harrison’s Wine Grill and Catering. Myford said she has encountered places advertising that they use local foods when they only buy local seasonally or occasionally. “It bothers me when restaurants or shops advertise that they buy local, even though it was because they bought heirloom tomatoes locally once,” said Myford. “Then they go on to advertise themselves as ‘local’ forever.” Myford said she thinks buying locally grown foods shouldn’t be a seasonal marketing tactic, but a yearlong effort. On the other hand, Herncane said he hasn’t witnessed any false advertising first hand at other nearby restaurants or stores.

Hoy said buying from local farmers who grow products only several miles away is beneficial for the economy. “It’s keeping money within the community… and I think that provides people with a sense of security,” said Hoy. This approach to buying locally has even lead to the creation of a website, complete with 211 ‘likes’ on Facebook called The site states that its purpose is for, “consumers, farmers, businesses and organizations [to] network around local foods and sustainable food systems throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States.” Wegman’s manager, Tim Berends, has also noticed an increase in those who want to buy locally since the downturn of the American economy around 2008. “There is definitely a growing demographic of those who buy local products,” said Tim, “It’s a shift to buy American, buy local and shop local because people are more conscientious about the economy, and local products are usually cheaper.” Brubaker said she is also hopeful for the resurgence of small farms. Myford said her mission to buy local came from her understanding of organic and local food production through her work and the many benefits local foods provide, including some health benefits. “I hope people understand that local foods taste better and are healthier because it’s not traveling far,” said Myford. The Pennsylvania BFBL website also claims: “Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seed in their operations. Buy food from local farmers you trust.” Professor Lynn Parker Klees, an instructor of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State, said that she buys local products as much as possible for the quality of the products. She added, however, that just because someone advertises food as local, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the most healthy for you. “If you know exactly who and where you are buying from, it’s possible that the

local food has higher vitamins,” said Klees, “because with increased travel time, food is exposed to oxygen and sunlight which results in loss of water soluble nutrients.” Klees’ example of this effect was in comparing lettuce that she grows in her own garden to lettuce from another state, which, according to, could spend “seven to fourteen days in transit before it arrives at a supermarket.” “The lettuce from my garden might not degrade for a week, but the lettuce on the shelf at a grocery store could turn brown the day after you buy it because you don’t know how long it has been traveling around,” said Klees. Eating local foods may also provide some variety in your diet, but might be a difficult transition at first. Since certain crops are only harvested at specific times of the year, Brubaker said it is a challenge to learn to eat seasonally. “Things don’t grow year round, so sometimes you need to develop an appreciation for turnips,” said Brubaker. Hoy said that that creating a legal definition for “local food” would be near impossible as well as not beneficial to consumers or producers. Hoy also pointed out that since production of goods differs from county to county and state to state, there are some limitations to goods that can be produced locally. For instance, olive oil, which is used in many dishes, can’t be produced in Pennsylvania, Hoy pointed out. Moreover, limited produce is able to grow during the off-season winter months. Herncane explained that during the summer it is easier to buy most things local for dishes at Otto’s, but in the winter sometimes the restaurant resorts to bigger food distributors like Pennsylvania Preferred as well as green-house lettuce. Hoy said the best way to combat the confusion about whether something advertised as local was actually produced nearby is to simply ask those who are selling the goods. “If you aren’t sure where the apple you are holding at the farmer’s market is actually from, just ask the farmers selling it,” said Hoy.


February 2012

Unraveling the Jerry Sandusky scandal and President Graham Spanier, both of whom were fired by the University Board of Trustees within a week of the revelations. Reports concentrated to a lesser degree on Tim Curley and Gary Schultzâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the Penn State officials who face charges of lying to a grand jury during the investigation of the caseâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; and on Mike McQueary, the Penn State assistant football coach who testified to seeing Sandusky rape a 10-year-old boy in a campus locker room in 2002.

by Alanna Pawlowski and Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell A flurry of accusations and fingerpointing characterized the weeks following the revelation of child sex abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. As the State College community fell under the microscope of the national media, much of the scrutiny focused on the actions, or lack thereof, of Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno

The hoards of news trucks have left College Avenue. The university has commenced its spring semester with a new president and football coach, but the horror of what allegedly happened to at least ten young boys remains. Many within the University and the broader community are left asking, â&#x20AC;&#x153;How did this happen? What could we have done differently?â&#x20AC;? PSUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Right-to-Know exemption One of the issues that has received

substantial attention following the scandal is Penn Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exemption from Pennsylvaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Right-to-Know Act and the implications it has for accountability and transparency at the university. The Right-to-Know Act is an open records law that gives citizens the right to request and receive records from state agencies. Of the 25 pages of regulations that


Scandal, pg. 25

Before the scandal broke: a timeline of events reported in the Grand Jury Notices

1998/1999: Sandusky allegedly commits inappropriate acts on Victim 4.

2005/2006: Sandusky meets Victim 1, age 11 or 12, through The Second Mile; 9LFWLPVSHQGVWKHQLJKWDW6DQGXVN\¡VKRPHDOOHJHVLQDSSURSULDWHWRXFKLQJ

1999: Victim 4 attends Alamo Bowl with Sandusky; Sandusky retires and is given Emeritus status.

2006/2007: Central Mountain high school wrestling coach Joe Miller allegedly observes inappropriate touching of Victim 1 by Sandusky.

Summer 2000: Sandusky meets Victim 3, who is in middle school, through The Second Mile. Victim alleges inappropriate contact throughout year.

June 1, 1998: Sandusky interviewed by Department of Public Welfare investigator Jerry Lauro and Detective Schreffler.

2007/2008: Sandusky allegedly performs oral sex on Victim 1 twenty times over the course of one year.

Fall 2000: janitor James Calhoun allegedly observes Sandusky committing a sex act on a young boy at the Lasch Building at Penn State.

May 13-19, 1998: State College Police Department investigates Sandusky.


1998: Alleged shower incident involving Victim 6; Sandusky takes Victim 4 to the Outback Bowl.






January 11-12, 2011: Penn State employees testify before the grand jury.




1997: Through The Second Mile, Sandusky meets Victim 10, who later alleges that Sandusky performed oral sex on him. 1996/1998: Alleged shower incident involving Victim 5. 1996/1997: Sandusky meets Victim 4, age 12 or 13, through The Second Mile.











2004-2008: Victim 9 participates in various The Second Mile camps. He alleges multiple sexual assaults over that period of time. 2002: President Graham Spanier is made aware of the incident and approves banning Sandusky from bringing children into the football locker rooms. March 2002: Curley informs The Second Mile Executive Director Jack Raykovitz of the incident. Mid March 2002: McQueary reports what he observed to Curley and Senior Vice President for Business and Finance Gary Shultz.

1995/1996: Sandusky meets Victim 5, age 7 or 8, through The Second Mile. 1994/1995: Sandusky meets Victim 6, age 7 or 8, through The Second Mile. 1994: Sandusky meets Victim 7, age 10, through The Second Mile.


0DUFK3DWHUQRUHSRUWV0F4XHDU\¡VVWRU\WR$WKOHWLF'LUHFWRU7LP&XUOH\ March 2, 2002: McQueary reports alleged sex act to Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

March 1, 2002: Graduate assistant coach Mike McQueary allegedly observes Sandusky committing a sex act on Victim 2. Graphic by Lucy Bryan Green

All information provided in this graphic derives from the first and second Notices of Submission from the Thirty-Third Statewide Investigating Grand Jury.


February 2012

A week in photos: Saying goodbye to Joe Paterno

Photo by William Saas

Jay Paterno recounts final moments shared with his father at his Jan. 26 memorial service.

Photo by Sierra Dole

Anastasia Huncik, 3, places a Nittany Lion doll at the Joe Paterno statue by Beaver Stadium Jan. 22. Photo by Sierra Dole

Wendy Venema and her daughter Rachel pay their respects at the Joe Paterno statue near Beaver Stadium Jan. 24. Photo by David Amerman

Wed., Jan 25, a CATA Bus on campus displays the message “Paterno Proud” during Joe Paterno’s funeral procession.

Photo by Lucy Bryan Green

Crowds wait to view Joe Paterno’s funeral procession fill the intersection of Allen and Beaver Streets on Jan. 25.

Photo by Lindsay Lipovich

Students (from left), Courtney Back, Caitlin Malone and Emilie Mariotti reflect on Joe Paterno's life while at a Penn State Dance MaraTHON meeting on Jan. 22.

Photo by Sierra Dole

2008 graduate Colby Wesner pays his respects at the Joe Paterno statue Jan. 24.


February 2012

Residence halls run recycling challenges by Jessica Placke As part of the recycling challenges that Penn State runs in its dorms every semester, several residence halls are taking initiatives to encourage recycling this spring. Penn State has the means and locations to recycle and compost 88 percent of its waste, but in 2010, 8,870 tons of recyclable material ended up in Penn State dumpsters, according to Penn State’s Green website. Until results improve, dorms across campus will run pilot programs to combat the problem. East Halls is currently conducting a pilot for the 2011-2012 school year, which tests whether making recycling locations more convenient improves results. In addition, a pilot will run in North Halls this semester to see if the residents can achieve a 99 percent waste-free environment. Recycling in residence halls Thomas McAdoo, manager of housing services in East Halls, is in charge of recycling at that location. Although the recycling effort is campus wide, dormitories have their own budgets separate from the rest of the Penn State campus, said McAdoo. He explained that East has to pay the Office of Physical Plant, located on campus, an extra fee to empty the dumpsters on top of what it pays Centre County Solid Waste Authority

(CCSWA) to process the recyclables. “Because we have our own budget and it costs less to recycle, the less in the dumpster, the less cost it is for East,” McAdoo said. According to Penn State’s Green website, University Park pays $20 to dispose of each ton of bagged recyclables and $5 per ton of loose recyclables as opposed to $70 per ton of trash. All halls on campus took part in a Recycling Challenge before fall break to find out which ones were recyling most. Representatives from the Office of Physical Plant examined random trash bags from the commons to find out how much recycled material ended up in the trash. According to the statistics posted in Johnston Commons, North Halls won the recycling challenge with an average of only 18.82 percent of recyclable material left in the trash. Pollock followed with 20.48 percent, then West Halls with 30.97 percent. East and South came in last with 33.61 and 35.06 percent. “It was upsetting to see how much recycled material ended up in the trash,” McAdoo said. Pilot programs Currently, East Halls is running a pilot to test whether the location of recycling bins influences recycling practices. In half of the halls, seven recycling bins are

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by the elevators to make them readily available to students. The other half of the halls only have bins that McAdoo said “are in bad locations, like at the end of the hallways, and mostly go unnoticed.” “Buying the collection containers for the rest of the halls in East would cost an estimated $25,000,” McAdoo said. “That’s why we are holding off putting them in the rest of the buildings for now.” The recycling bins also pose a problem for the Safety Organization on Campus. “They want us to use metal collection bins, which would be more expensive, instead of plastic because they are afraid someone could put Photo by Sierra Dole a match or burning item East Halls Resident Assistant Courtney Yealy contributes to the resiin the current plastic con- dence hall recycling effort Jan. 24. tainers,” said McAdoo. In January, Runkle of a special “Earth House” living option Hall and North Halls ran a pilot with the for students interested in environmental goal of achieving zero waste, McAdoo said. see Recycling, pg. 29 The students in Runkle Hall are part

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February 2012


Scandal, pg. 22

make up Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Act, less than half a page applies to Penn State. Penn State, along with the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Lincoln University, is exempt from the law based on its status as a state-related institution. This categorization exists because, though these universities receive public funds, they are not part of the state-owned university system. In the aftermath of the scandal, the lack of public access to Penn State’s records has left some wondering what the public or journalists may have discovered about Sandusky had they been free to access university records. “The strongest Right-to-Know Act wouldn’t have prevented [Sandusky’s actions],” said Terry Mutchler, executive director of the state’s Office of Open Records. “However, because the state-relateds receive public money, it might have tipped people off earlier.” Mutchler said after news of Jerry Sandusky’s grand jury investigation broke, her office was inundated with requests to access Penn State documents related to Sandusky. Of particular interest were documents related to a closed 1998 investigation by university police into allegations of sexual assault by Sandusky. Penn State’s exemption from the act prevented the office from honoring those requests for records. According to Mutchler, while many people only recently become aware of Penn State’s state-related status, those who work in the field have long seen problems with the university’s Right-toKnow exemption. “For the past 20 years, even students at [Penn State’s] own newspaper have been talking about it and writing articles about it,” Mutchler said. “There are people at open press associations that find it ridiculous that an organization that receives as much taxpayer money as Penn State does, is exempt.” Mutchler said she hopes citizens will

be able to comprehend the gravity of the situation. “It’s like dropping a quarter of a billion dollars into a well and having no idea where it’s going to end up,” she explained. Pennsylvania is one of only three states that grants an exemption to staterelated institutions. The others are Alaska and Delaware, Mutchler said. The only information Penn State is required to divulge each year is the salaries of its officers and directors, the highest 25 salaries paid to other employees, and a basic tax form for non-profits, according to the text of the law. State Senator John Blake (DLackawanna County) has introduced legislation that would change that. He is the primary sponsor of S.B. 1377, which would remove the state-related exemption from the Right-to-Know Act. The bill currently has 19 co-sponsors and was referred to the State Government committee on Jan. 17. According to Blake, when the state’s Right-to-Know Act was revised in 2008 to allow easier public access to documents, Penn State launched an extensive lobbying campaign to ensure that the university would be exempt from the law based on its status as a state-related institution. The main arguments from the university concerned the potential negative impacts on fundraising and competitiveness that could result if donor information and proprietary research could be revealed. However, Blake said protections for the type of sensitive information Penn State was concerned about are already built into the Right-to-Know Act, and his proposed bill does not alter that. He also noted that other world-class universities are subject to their states’ open records laws and seem to have no problems. For example, top public schools like The University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan all operate in states that apply their open records laws to those institutions. He said in the wake of the scandal,

there is strong bipartisan support to end the exemption soon. “The Penn State tragedy is certainly an impetus, but I think there were already issues with the exemption,” Blake said. “If anything comes from this tragedy, it’s about the expectation of a public institution to have accountability.” Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate at the national Student Press Law Center based in Arlington, Va., echoed Blake’s concerns about automatic trust in public institutions. “It’s always a bad idea to just accept ‘trust us,’” Goldstein said. “Unfortunately, the only way to find out is to not trust…It was one thing when what we weren’t being told was about donations or contracts…it’s a little something else when it’s someone being sodomized in a shower.” The core of open records laws is ensuring that officials are being good public stewards of taxpayer money, said Goldstein, adding that “the little wrinkle to what you’re dealing with in colleges is that it’s not just money we’re trusting them with—it’s students, it’s children and minors.” When it comes to documents relevant to safely concerns, such as police investigations, Goldstein said there are obstacles in addition to the Right-to-Know exemption, such as some of the privacy shields imposed by the Department of Education. He said the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act


(FERPA) has been interpreted extremely widely and in such a way that universities are able to hide behind it even in the presence of Right-to-Know acts. Furthermore, federal law requires only very limited information from universities in reporting crimes. There is no law requiring open cases or single incidents to be reported, said Goldstein, adding, “You shouldn’t have to be victim number two or number three to know that there is a danger.” “Universities don’t need someone to tell them what not to tell people,” Goldstein said. “What they do need is someone to say ‘you need to turn things over.’” Penn State’s Board of Trustees Penn State’s Board of Trustees’ accountability has also come into question in the aftermath of the high-profile dismissals of Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno. Dr. Ben Novak, Board of Trustees candidate and former trustee, has been a vocal opponent of the current board. In January, Novak ran a series of articles in the Centre Daily Times called “Reflections of a Former Trustee” in which he stated that the Board effectively absolves itself of responsibility by turning over all decisions to the university president and states that they rely on the university president for all information.


Scandal, pg. 27

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February 2012

Celebrating black history month in an election year by Jamie Campbell Jamie Campell is a regular opinion columnist for Voices. We are in an election year and in the middle of a primary race in which it looks like no one wants to or can win. Through the numerous debates that have occurred, sidebar press conferences and talk show interviews, I have come to one conclusion after hearing all the “facts”: black and poor people are the problem with America. I mean it is Black History month, and I am so thankful that someone of has finally pointed to me what the problem is. One candidate strongly suggested that young black students drop out of school if they are not doing well and become janitors and maids because they could become better earners than their lazy parents, who only provide examples of illegal employment. Another suggested getting blacks off of welfare by eliminating government support for everyone and returning the money to taxpayers (even though the majority of persons on welfare and Medicare are NOT black). Still another proposed drug tests for crack and marijuana (but not meth or cocaine) as primary reasons to push folks off the rolls. One candidate and his son said they feel that the groundbreaking 1964 Civil Rights

Act should be repealed, and companies should be allowed to discriminate if they so choose. A strong candidate proudly totes the mantle of “job creator” while putting more people out of work and strongly feels (now anyway) he should be able to tell people whether or not they can get married. This primary season has illustrated that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream is slowing becoming a waking nightmare. Attacks on people because of their pigment or country of origin continue. We are not even trying to judge people on the content of their character; rather, we judge them by the size of their wallet or contribution. The least among us are under siege, and some do not even realize their predicament. They allow hate and fear to cause them to vote against their own interests, just so they can say they are not like those blacks living off the government. In reality, they are holding onto the same lifeline. As all politicians do, those involved in this primary are playing loose and wide with the facts, avoiding the issues and degrading themselves with name calling and false accusations. It’s up to all of us to bring the truth to light so we can all make intelligent decisions that are not knee-jerk,

feel-good choices. Oh yeah, and it is Valentine’s Day in a couple days! How about this year we truly express a type of agape (Google/Bing it)? Let us love each other enough to commit to telling constructive truths. An example would be if you came across a teacher who truly does not like students. You might suggest meditation techniques or some coping strategies that will help him through the day. Or if there is a person in power who seems not to know how to treat, talk or

deal with subordinates (or people outside of their intellectual circle), kill her with kindness. Often times this type of individual is just insecure in his or her position, and this behavior is a defense mechanism. Showing true kindness and love with no intention of personal gain will help them to deal with others in the same manner. The template for this can be found in the “Drum Major Instinct.” Let us hold each other and those who think they are in positions of power accountable for their words and actions.


February 2012


Scandal, pg. 25

But members of the board Anne Riley and Peter Khoury pointed to their meetings with student and faculty groups as proof of their close working relationship with the whole of the university population. “On Friday morning, the board is meeting with the student leader roundtable,” said Peter Khoury, student trustee. “This is the group that advises the vice president of student affairs, and it includes all three student body presidents. This is an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings with the board.” But outside these meetings, students, faculty, and alumni may be hard-pressed to reach a trustee to make their thoughts known. No contact information is listed on the current membership page for the Board of Trustees, and none is found in their biographies. Regarding the scandal itself, Novak cites the Board’s failure to enlist the help of the Penn State community as a sign of their lack of accountability. “Many Penn Staters are fed up and frustrated with the actions of the socalled leaders of our alma mater,” he states in his campaign promise to Penn Staters, “not only because they have not met the high standards expected of them, but also because they have failed, at every turn, to adequately inform and involve the University community at a

time when our help and support is needed most.” Community members have questioned whether former President Spanier was accountable to the board. Eckel stated that Spanier was accountable to them, but said that over Spanier’s 16 years in office, the board had established a trust in him. Yet, according to board members, this trust did not equate to a lack of oversight. “It’s a delicate balance that we as a board need to find,” Masser said. “We as a board must not be delegating our full authority as the board, and on the other hand, not micromanaging. We have to find that balance, I’m not sure we had that balance. It’s not lack of oversight of the board, but entrusting everything to the administration. So that balance is what we’ll be searching for.” Board members pointed to the administration’s failure to keep them adequately informed as the reason they did not act sooner than November regarding the Sandusky scandal. But many have expressed concern that the board did not act after a May 2011 board meeting in which Graham Spanier and Cynthia Baldwin, the board’s legal counsel, informed them that Spanier had testified before the grand jury. The grand jury was investigating Sandusky’s alleged child sexual abuse in incidents in 2009 at Central Mountain High School. “In my case, I was not in attendance at

the May 2011 board meeting,” said Eckel. “None of my colleagues recognized the importance of the report concerning the investigation. Nor did management feel that this was on the level that if you weren’t in attendance that they would inform us.” Keith Masser was at the May 2011 board meeting, but he stated that the connections between 1998, 2002 and 2011 investigations into Sandusky’s alleged crimes were not identified by the administration or clear from what the board was told. “There was a March 31 Patriot-News article that referred to the 1998 incident that happened on campus that was dismissed because the D.A. dropped it because there was not enough evidence to pursue,” Masser said. “So that was that incident we should have had knowledge of. We knew that there was an investigation going on with Sandusky and the Second Mile and the Central Mountain High School. There was no connection between that incident and the 1998 incident that we made.” Masser went on to explain why even after the board was made aware of Spanier, Curley and Shultz’s grand jury testimonies, the board did not take action. “I didn’t know about that Patriot article until December,” said Masser. “May 12 was the first time we knew that there was something going on. We felt that with the information we had May 12 that there was no connection. We were

not told there was an article; we were pretty much given the information contained within the articles. We were told about an incident that happened on Penn State campus, and it was dismissed. It was properly investigated, and there were no grounds.” Masser noted that he thought Penn State had no relationship to crimes under investigation by the grand jury. “We figured we had no liability or exposure; it was with Second Mile or at the Central Mountain High School,” Masser added. Most of the trustees said they were not aware of the growing crisis in Centre County and its connection to Penn State until November, days before the world’s attention turned to Happy Valley. Background checks at Penn State The simple act of investigating a job candidate’s history with a criminal background check could potentially prevent some cases of child sexual abuse. Sandusky’s alleged crimes could not have been prevented by a criminal background check, due to the lack of an investigation resulting in charges. But even in situations where a potentially dangerous criminal could be revealed, Penn State’s background check policies can stymie rather than assist discovery. According to Lisa Powers, Director of


Scandal, pg. 28



February 2012 Even after a subsequent investigated incident at Central Mountain High School in Clinton County in 2009, he interacted with minors through the organization for a year and a half. According to the Patriot-News article written in March of last year about the 2009 incident, an anonymous The Second Mile board member said that Sandusky had informed the board of the allegations against him and the investigation, after which he no longer had regular contact with the program’s youth. Background checks can work to prevent persons under investigation from being brought on coaching and teaching staffs, as was the case for Sandusky in 2010. That year, Juniata College declined to bring Sandusky on as a volunteer football coach because the college’s background check on him revealed an investigation.

Scandal, pg. 27

the Department of Public Information at Penn State, the university has conducted criminal background checks on potential employees since 2004. As stated in Penn State’s policy, the university will background check: - Anyone hired full time after 2004 or who has a break in service of longer than 12 months - Anyone hired as a part-time or student employee whose position is considered to be sensitive, such as one involving child care or student living areas - Anyone with a break-in-service, such as employees who only work summer camps, must have a background check completed every three years The Board of Trustees announced at their Jan. 20 meeting that the background check process would be reviewed and at the recommendation of independent investigator Judge Louis Freeh, would be revised and enhanced. Freeh is the investigator hired by the board to look into all aspects of the university’s actions with regard to Sandusky’s alleged child abuse accusations. The investigation was announced Nov. 21 and is ongoing. Penn State’s administration has in two instances changed policy hiring practices after episodes that revealed shortcomings in policy. Just as the Sandusky incident spurred a revision in checks, Penn State instituted checks in 2004 because of a shocking find. In 1999, the College of Education hired Paul Krueger as an assistant professor. Krueger had been convicted of a triple murder in 1965 and sentenced to life in prison but released on parole in the 1970s. Krueger resigned his position when the university became aware of his prior conviction in 2003. By contrast, students in the college where Krueger taught must now submit to extensive background checks including a tuberculosis test, FBI fingerprints, the Pennsylvania Child Abuse check and a check of a student’s state Criminal Record. These students are expected to

Photo by Katherine Rodriguez

Penn State Board of Trustees members Steve Garban and John Surma answer questions after announcing University President Graham Spanier's resignation and Football Coach Joe Paterno's firing Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011.

interact with minors during the course of their degree work in controlled and tracked circumstances. Who is left out of the background check process? Faculty hired prior to 2004, even if they interact with children directly at summer camps. Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Paul Durrenberger said he was never subjected to background checks. “But that’s a function of time,” he explained. “I signed on in 1997.” Graduate teaching assistant Nicolette Hylan was also not subject to background checks, as she is a part-time employee not working in what the university deems “sensitive areas.” But she was told via email that background check policies were soon to change. She received an email from an English department staff member that said: “We have been taking a look at all of our programs and have been discussing background checks for anyone involved even if they do not meet the requirements of the official policies. I am sure that this is the way we will han-

dle things in the future.” Volunteers at camps are also not subject to background checks unless they stay overnight with the children. In non-profit organizations, volunteers can be subject to criminal background checks. Eric Herman, speaking on behalf of The Second Mile, said that the organization does require background checks and has always done so. Based on events, however, it is doubtful that even a revealing background check would have had any effect on Sandusky’s access to children. But this fact does not necessarily exculpate the organization. According to the first grand jury report, in 2002, The Second Mile Executive Director Jack Raykovitz was informed by Former Athletic Director Curley of the sexual misconduct reported to him and that Sandusky was “prohibited from being youth onto the Penn State campus from that point forward.” Raykovitz, by his own admission, took no further action, and Sandusky still had access to children through The Second Mile.

Cultural and psychological factors Not including those who were involved in the fruitless 1998 investigation of Sandusky, at least 13 additional adults were aware that some of Sandusky’s interactions with children were inappropriate, if not clearly sexual, according to the initial grand jury report. Only two of those 13 individuals were involved in reporting Sandusky’s suspected sexual abuse to police in 2008, spurring the investigation that led to the 50 current criminal charges against him. One of those two was the mother of one of the victims. The gap between the number of those who knew something and the number who reported it is not unique to this scandal, according to Penn State sociology professor and associate department head Eric Silver. Silver’s essay in the January/February issue of the Penn Stater magazine highlights some of the realities and problems associated with whistleblowers—those who speak up about wrongdoing, especially when it defies expected behavior.


Scandal, pg. 30


February 2012


Recycling, pg. 24

and agricultural issues. “We have the resources to have a 99 percent no-waste if we recycle all that can be recycled,” McAdoo said. “It will be interesting to see if this pilot will show the results we want.” From cafeteria food foam containers, to pill bottles, to compost, students in Runkle Hall made an effort to recycle as much as they could. Each room in Runkle Hall was also provided bags for compost, such as food and tissues, so it could be sent straight to the compost collection bins. “It is a good opportunity because some students work[ed] together to help organize the pilot,” McAdoo said. “We value their ideas because after all, they are the ones who will be recycling.” Photo by Radesha Piles

Dr. Donna King and other Peace March attendees stand in front of Boucke building with lit candles, listening to a reading of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “The Social Organization of Nonviolence.”

Peace March honors MLK by Radesha Piles In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Week, Penn State students participated in annual Peace March from the HUB Auditorium to Waring Commons. “The vigil [was] not only to walk and talk,” said junior Ryan Brown, Community and Events Director of the MLK Week committee. “It [was] a vigil for the life and legacy to the civil rights and all its leaders.” This year, the University events honoring MLK Week followed the theme “Stand Up.” After lighting candles, students and community members sang “Amazing Grace” and held signs supporting peace and justice. Brown reminded participants that they don’t have to be a historical leader to take a stand. “It just takes an individual who is passionate,” Brown said. “Stand up for what you deem is right.” During the march, junior Tramond

Baisden recited “The Social Organization of Nonviolence,” an article Martin Luther King, Jr. published in October 1959. In a series of performances, Senior Melissa J. Lo sang “Sweet Chariot,” Brown recited a poem by Langston Hughes, and five students put on a theatrical performance at Waring Commons. “I think it was extremely powerful to see students as well as faculty and community members there,” said junior Malika Velinor. “What was even more meaningful to me was the variety in ages and races. It showed that although many of us marching were not alive during the struggle. We are still internalizing it.” Velinor also noted that she was glad to see the community perceiving the event as more than “a black thing.” “My families are multiracial and have come a long way,” said sophomore Angelique Laster. “There has always been a dividend between us, it was nice to see people come together.” The Peace March concluded with a social justice forum in Waring Commons.

Eco-Representatives East Halls now has EcoRepresentatives, paid first-year students who encourage students in their buildings to recycle, compost and live a sustainable lifestyle. In the 2010-2011 school year, each building in East Halls housed one EcoRep. “The results of last year’s numbers brought a new idea,” McAdoo explained. “This year, there are 28 representatives in seven buildings.” Katie Patterson, a resident in Pennypacker Hall, said she became an Eco-rep because, “I’ve always been environmentally friendly and I wanted to share my passion with my fellow students.” Patterson said it’s a lot harder to get students to recycle than she thought. “People are pretty lazy and don’t find the need to recycle or compost,” she explained. “To help convince them, we’ll hold little events that educate and entertain the students.” The recycling challenges are the main force behind the push to recycle, she explained. “I also go and check the bins in my hall to see if the students are recycling,” Patterson said. “It’s obvious that not

everybody cares as much as I do, but the quality of our recycling has definitely improved.” Student Awareness Rachel Bove, a freshman living in McKean Hall, has access to the recycling bins outside the elevators on her floor. “I don’t find myself using the bins to my fullest potential,” she said. “I throw away almost everything. The only things I recycle are bottles.” McAdoo said that many students are unaware of what is considered compost, and few know that even tissues can be recycled into the compost containers. Bove said she wasn’t sure which items could be placed in the compost container. “I definitely think I would make more of an effort to recycle more if I knew the benefits of recycling,” Bove explained. “This sounds bad, but I think my ignorance is a big reason for my lack of effort. If I knew the differences I could make, I most likely would do more of my part to contribute.” In addition to confusion about the containers, students are often found placing recyclable materials in the trash can on the hall floors. “That sounds like something I would do,” Danielle Peters said. “I don’t recycle my milk cartons because they don’t fit in the hole in the bin.” The lid for recycling plastics 1-7 are shaped for soda bottles, but the lid can be removed in order to place larger items such as milk cartons inside. “Recycling is honestly just not a concept on my mind right now,” said Peters. Others in the halls recycle at least some of their waste. “I think I do a good job recycling,” said Alex Revere, a freshman in East Halls. “I put all of my bottles, milk bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard and cereal boxes into their containers.” Although she said she believes she does well recycling, Revere added, “I honestly wouldn’t recycle if the bins weren’t on my floor. I know it’s good for the environment, but I don’t think I would take the time to find bins to recycle.”



February 2012

Scandal, pg. 28

Silver states that while everyone tends to think they would be the one to speak up, the statistics suggest otherwise. “It’s risky to be a whistleblower because it’s deviant,” Silver wrote. “It’s a person who’s breaking ranks.” Furthermore, the bureaucratic nature of some of the parties jobs could have made them ineffective at dealing with uncommon occurrences, Silver explained. Such individuals often revert to habitual actions such as simply reporting up the chain of command. “The fact that responsibility is divided, it dampens our moral judgment,” Silver stated. “We don’t see it as our job to be policing and judging the entire enterprise; we believe someone else is doing that.” Not only is there a lack of whistleblowing regarding child abuse, American culture tends to prevent male victims from coming forward by reinforcing a male gender role that does not allow for vulnerability. “If you think about what it means to be male [in our culture], almost every male learns you are supposed to be strong, to be tough, to be able to take care of yourself, not to be weak,” said David Lisak, an Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Massachusetts and a founding board member of 1 in 6, a nonprofit that helps male victims of sexual abuse. “If you are abused as a child, and if you are a boy, the abuse instills a sense of vulnerability, helplessness,” added Lisak. “The underreporting among men is really dramatic, and that’s because the experience is really shameful and humiliating; stigmatizing.” A study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control revealed that 14.2 to 18 percent of men were sexually abused before the age of 18, but the instances of such abuse may be much higher. “It is safe to say, that we are further behind as a society in recognizing sexual violence as it applies to males and as

it applies to boys or adults,” said Lisak. “All the weaknesses of the criminal justice system are magnified with regards to boys.” A clear example of this is the recent change to include male victims in the definition of “forcible rape” in the reporting of crime statistics in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 1927, the definition has included only female victims. The change will also expand the description of actions that qualify as rape. In addition to the difficulty that comes with discussing male-to-male sexual abuse, children of lower income brackets—like those involved in The Second Mile—tend to be at higher risk, according to the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center. There is disagreement about the strenth of this correlation, and some cases suggest it is more related to other forms of maltreatment or family problems, such as parental rejection. A web of connections Also important in preventing the disclosure of Sandusky’s alleged sexual misconduct is the web of connections among people involved. In 1998, the investigation into Sandusky’s actions toward the person cited in the grand jury report as Victim 6 was discontinued by then Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar. Why Gricar closed the investigation is unknown and will continue to be a source of mystery because Gricar disappeared in 2005, shortly after announcing a bust on the largest narcotics ring in the county. Gricar’s computer was found in the Susquehanna River. According to the grand jury report, university detective Ronald Shreffler stated that he remembered being told to close the investigation by director of campus police Thomas Harmon. Harmon lived in the same neighborhood as Sandusky in 1998. The Centre Daily Times reported at the time that the two men’s children played together, and

the Sandusky and Harmon families both attended St. Paul’s Methodist Church. Circumstances surrounding the 2002 incident, in which Mike McQueary allegedly witnessed Sandusky committing a sex act on a young boy, are even more tangled. The timing of that event coincided with the completion of a major real estate deal involving several key players who were involved in both the real estate venture and the Second Mile charity. Around the same time that athletic director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Shultz were dealing with McQueary’s report, the development deal for The Village at Penn State, a retirement community near the campus, was in its final stages. On board with the deal were Joe Paterno, William Schreyer, Jack Infield and Bob Poole. The idea for The Village was the 1995 brainchild of Graham Spanier. Gary Schultz is the current president of The Village Board. Former The Second Mile board member Peter Weiler was the Village’s then president. Bob Poole is the current president of the state board of The Second Mile and a 2002 board member. He is also chair of S & A Homes, Poole Anderson Construction and Schreyers Honors College. Poole Anderson construction completed the 1999/2000 renovation of Atherton Hall, and S & A Homes built the Village. Jack Infield is The Village Board’s current vice-president, but he is also on the The Second Mile Central Region board of directors and recognized by the Arthur C. and Evelyn M. Sandusky Society for making an irrevocable estate provision for The Second Mile. The Schreyer Foundation (a major donor to the Honors College) is also recognized by the Sandusky Society, as is DrueAnn Schreyer, who is a member of the Central Region board of The Second Mile. The only non-overlap in business ties between The Second Mile and this particular project was Paterno, who had no official involvement with The Second Mile.

However, The Second Mile has been a popular charity with football players and coaches. Ex-Nittany Lion Franco Harris has served as honorary board member, as has current Eagles coach Andy Reid and former coach Dick Vermeil. So that it won’t happen again Penn State’s Board of Trustees has been striving to create an environment at Penn State in which crimes like those alleged to have been committed by Sandusky could never happen again. Judge Louis Freeh’s investigation is one facet of the board’s efforts. At the Jan. 20 board meeting, newly elected Board President Karen Peetz stated that the board will work with President Rodney Erickson to increase the university’s openness and transparency with the public. She also stressed maintaining a proper balance between athletics and academics at the university. But both David Lisak and Theo Fleury, also a board member of 1 in 6, caution that situations like Sandusky’s can arise at any time because the opportunity remains and that constant vigilance is the most important tool. “The vast majority of coaches and counselors are good people, but because they have both access to children and authority over them, it is a position that a sexual predator is going to seek out,” warned Lisak. “It gives them access and allows them to groom children. The grooming is a key thing—most predators will spend time preparing the child, gaining trust of child and family, so that they feel comfortable that the child can go on a trip overnight with the coach because it’s safe.” Fleury said he was abused by his hockey coach as a child. His advice was even more specific. “It’s a tough situation,” he said in an interview with CBS News. “Activities are not a baby-sitting service. You really have to make sure you’re there, that you observe and that your children are never left alone in a one-on-one situation with a coach.”


February 2012

Shuey intuitively expresses landscapes by Jessica Rommelt

Image of painting courtesy of Jennifer Shuey

“Stream Scene” demonstrates the artist’s passion for moments of tranquility.

Image of painting courtesy of Jennifer Shuey

“Myrtle Beach Sunrise” is one of the paintings Shuey displayed in November.

Jennifer Shuey, artist and executive director of ClearWater Conservancy, exhibited her solo show of pastel works at the State Theatre throughout the month of November. Jennifer Shuey’s art work is undoubtedly rooted along side her career as an environmental conservationist. ClearWater Conservancy is a natural resource conservation organization that works directly with landowners to protect their land and water resources through a variety of outreach and fundraising programs. ClearWater’s mission is to conserve and restore the natural resources of central Pennsylvania. As the director, Shuey oversees the overall vision and keeps the program moving forward through strategic planning. Her passion for the natural world is similarly articulated in her artistic work, in which she vividly depicts landscapes composed with pastels. The technique of using pastels creates a surface that combines the properties of drawing and painting and is an important aspect of Shuey’s signature style. Shuey’s pastel landscapes translate environmental locations into imagery, largely featuring native Pennsylvanian forests and mountainsides. She prefers to capture moments of tranquility and reconciliation with the natural world. Her works serve as a window into natural environments that become increasingly segregated from civil space. Shuey reconnects viewers to nature through her paintings, reminding them of their primal relationship to the woods, oceans and rivers. These environments beckon the viewers, calling them to discover the beauty and simplicity of nature. “My art primarily captures the beauty that is inherent in our natural world. Trees and hedgerows, sky, water, open fields, and mountains feature prominently in the

images that speak most powerfully to me,” said the artist. “My hope is that the beauty of my art will inspire others to pay closer attention to the beauty that is all around them and in fact to take action to ensure that those beautiful places, which also serve essential ecological functions in the landscape, are protected for future generations. “ Shuey considers her work a, “visceral and intuitive expression.” It is no surprise that she gravitates to making work using the medium of pastels which provides potent stylistic qualities as well as potential portability. “I tend to work in quick bursts of time when I go to workshops or paint outs with other artists, and the pastel medium allows me to jump right into creating art without a lot of prep work or clean up,” Shuey explained. When painting she is often on site, observing the location in person. But Shuey also utilizes photographs she has taken to complete her pieces. This relationship with location is demonstrated by the titles of her pieces, such as “Snowy Day at Brush Mountain Kettle,” and, “Myrtle Beach Sunrise.” The seed of Shuey’s art career is a relatively young one that got its start about six years ago in a painting class at the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania. But Shuey was initially drawn to the

arts since being exposed to art and design studios at Penn State where she studied and received her degree in Landscape Architecture. All students of landscape architecture take two foundation art studio courses. Taking studio classes turned out to be a life-course-changing event for Shuey. “After school I didn’t pursue design. I was drawn more to the larger scale landscape and community planning scale and worked as a planner for the Centre Regional Planning Agency for several years before moving into nonprofit management at ClearWater Conservancy.,“ Shuey said. One of her first opportunities to work with other artists came through one of ClearWater’s annual fundraisers called, ”For the Love of Art & Chocolate.” It was during the planning of this event that she met other local artists who encouraged her to pursue her artistic career. Since then, Shuey has exhibited her work in venues throughout the centre region ranging from the Hub Robeson Center to the Bellefonte Art Museum. This year will see the artist venturing outside Centre County for a show. She will be exhibiting at Julie’s Café in Williamsport but Shuey also has a show planned for the Mount Nittany Medical Center in the coming year.


February 2012

A brief retrospective of Gil Aberg’s protean career by Art Goldschmidt Call Gil Aberg a jack of all trades in writing—he’s been a screen writer, a playwright, a science reporter and volunteer journalist. But this description only captures the playbill synopsis of a man whose long life has had many acts. Aberg’s first act was theatre, a scene he revisited throughout his life. According to Aberg, his abiding interest in the theater began when, as a 15-yearold, he read Macbeth’s dagger speech to an appreciative audience of his classmates at Lake View High School in Chicago. Since then, he has acted in thirty-two plays, written several and published one, with some of his best known works and roles following a Jewish theme. In 1969, Aberg published a play, Esther, which consists of three acts written in verse based on the biblical book having that name. It is now available online. For the past two years he has been working on a play, entitled “Passover at the Rothschilds–1863.” According to Aberg, it was inspired by a sentence written by Niall Ferguson about how the Confederacy hoped for financial backing from the English branch of the Rothschild family. Inspired by this sentence, Aberg centered his play on how history would have been different if the Rothschilds had actually supported the South. Congregation Brit Shalom’s website says Aberg read his play on Oct. 16 last year, and described the play as exploring “the soul-searching of the Rothschilds while they try to decide whether or not to back the Confederacy during the Civil War” and that “Gil says of the work: ‘It’s about the importance of being Jewish.’ ” On January 25, Aberg presented a retrospective of Key to the Cupboard at Foxdale Village Retirement Community. The audience was treated to a videotape of one of the programs. This particular program juxtaposed a brash but poetic mouse puppet (Gil wrote his lines) with Ed Beittel, an art professor who threw clay pots on a potter’s wheel, and Alice

Schwartz, an art education graduate student who showed how to turn clay coils into a pot. Aberg has also been a regular actor at Boal Barn Playhouse. As an actor, Gil is probably best remembered in State College for playing the part of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof at the Boal Barn. A stint in graduate school ushered in the second act of Aberg’s life, screen-writing and producing. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he did a year of advanced study in philosophy at UCLA but decided that graduate school did not suit him. So Aberg went to work as a writer for Britannica Films. He wrote—and occasionally edited— educational films on Shakespeare, the pilgrims’ colony at Plymouth and the Civil War. He is especially proud of a 20-minute film he wrote on the American Revolution, which is still being distributed by Britannica Films. His children and even his grandchildren have told him that they remember viewing it in school. Children’s educational programming became a theme that carried into Aberg’s screen work in Centre County. Aberg first came to State College in 1955 to work in Penn State’s motion picture studio, located under what was then the Cathaum Theater (about where Indigo Nite Club is today), as a writer-director. During his time at Penn State’s studio, he produced and wrote a 13-part children’s series on the arts. Called “Key to the Cupboard,” the program ran weekly on many Pennsylvania television channels, before the University inaugurated its television station as WPSX in 1965. Later, inspired by the original Earth Day in 1970, Gil produced a program series, aiming at promoting environmental awareness, called “Only One Earth.” Presented in a humorous style, it invited viewers to write letters to a monthly magazine that bore the same title. Aberg pointed out that he invented the title. It was not taken from the popular book written by Barbara Ward and Rene Dubos, which came out two

years later. “Only One Earth” ran for ten years and was shown on many Pennsylvania television stations. Aberg’s third act was as a professional writer for Penn State’s Office of Public Information. Here he wrote articles about new discoveries made by faculty scientists and engineers. Aberg said he is proud that he was able to present scientific work as a creative art. Often, by interviewing these innovative scholars, he enabled them to realize that they had original ideas they had not previously thought about. After years of writing plays, television programs and scientific articles, Aberg brought his years of experience to bear as an reviewer of books, movies and plays. Aberg reviewed two plays for Voices in 1999.

“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

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


February 2012

“Grizelda” comic book artist envisions teaching by Veronica Winters Jason Lenox illustrates comics. Beautiful, creative, humorous, serious, scary, lovely, critical, groovy, you name it. His engaging illustrations look both professional and fun. There is often a sense of motion or an unusual point of view captured in each frame of a story. “I like to bring this notion of a movie camera moving, rotating, and going around places to excite the eye,” Lenox said. To prove his point, the artist showed one of his drawings from the Grizelda series. A large part of the image is taken up by a hefty cat’s back that is positioned in the image’s center. Presumably the cat observes a complicated scene evolving in front of it. As a consequence, the viewer is looking at it from

In the studio the cat’s point of view. In another drawing from the series the cat escapes from a castle filled with armed monsters. The description of the place in that frame is seen through the cat’s gigantic pupil. In his other comic series Lenox follows a more accepted style of illustration. While the Griselda series take up the entire page for a single picture, here each page is subdivided into sections and every section becomes a continuation of a story. Reminiscent of movie shots taken one by one, Lenox creates sequences of scenes. Each of the subdivisions has its

unique design, angle, and composition. The story unfolds and viewers get absorbed into a story line. The artist works on large pieces of heavy paper that gives precision and clarity to his art. “I draw on the Blue line art book paper only,” he said. Using Sakura pens and a simple graphite pencil Lenox is able to create an imaginary scene in a few hours. He completes graphite penciling first and then does the inking. The artist applies cross-hatching, stippling, broken lines, parallel lines, and other techniques to give texture. “I don’t work in Photoshop and hire other artists to complete coloring and put words together,” Lenox said. Although he usually comes up with a plot, someone else writes. The artist pencils and inks it and other artists finish up the job coloring and lettering. Drawing courtesy of Jason Lenox This is an established process of This is one of the Grizelda pencils, used as a promotional piece. comic book illustration. Lenox also does T-shirt designs, posters, and other artistic proj- Central Pennsylvania. “Everyone can learn the principles of ects. design,” he said. “I envision everything myself and He is enthusiastic about this new venthen put it on paper without looking at ture and feels lucky he is the one to do any visual references,” he said. This working process is unique to it. Lenox got a thorough introduction to Lenox as usually artists rely on some visual aids. He also sees images as art concepts when he was a child. He essentially being black-and-white and took private art lessons on a weekly feels uncomfortable dabbing into color. basis at an illustrator’s studio in His recent work includes a poster Lancaster to develop his ideas and design for the upcoming independent skills. Lenox was admitted to the film “Zero Charisma.” Lenox is also working on two comic book projects Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the and illustrating for TPK Games, a role Arts at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania for the summer of 1992. playing game company. The artist is on the threshold of Currently, the illustrator lives and gives opening up his own business: giving art lessons in his studio in State College. lessons in comic book illustration to For more information about the artist, both children and adults. He also plans go to or call: 814-232to teach a class at the Art Alliance of 0259.


February 2012

New director changes theatre’s trajectory by Shelly Mato Richard Biever brings wide-ranging theatre experiences to his new position as the Executive Director of the State Theatre, experiences he believes will be advantageous in guiding the theatre into solvency and accomplishment of its mission. Biever took the helm of the State Theatre in December when the theatre’s board did not renew its contract with then Executive Director Harry Zimbler. That move came at the end of a financially rough year for the local non-profit. “Our first priority is to eliminate the debt,” Biever said. “It is a drain on expenditures and it prevents us from being able to make the theatre available to local groups at a reasonable rate.” The debt to which he refers is roughly $800,000 left over from renovations and a maxed-out line of credit. The State Theatre, built in 1938 by Carmike Cinemas, closed its doors as a movie theatre in 2000. Owners Sidney and Helen Friedman gave the property for redevelopment as a community theatre. That gift, valued at $3 million, need never be paid back as long as the theatre maintains its mission as a community performance space for local groups, explained Biever. Maintaining that mission and offering more opportunities for local performance groups tops Biever’s list of priorities. “We have ways we can work things out with local groups,” he said. Biever envisions the theatre as producer for local groups’ theatre by providing theatrical production and directing expertise as well as offering business and marketing avenues. Another way Beiver hopes to increase local groups’ involvement with the theatre is through partnerships with local organizations, especially nonprofits. An example of this is the upcoming Heart of Gold show in which the State Theatre partnered with The Easter Seals Society. In this kind of partnership, the non-profit provides fundraising lists for

Biever took the helm of the State Theatre in December when the theatre’s board did not renew its contract with then Executive Director Harry Zimbler. That move came at the end of a financially rough year for the local non-profit.

promotion, while the theatre, in the capacity as the producer, brings expertise in theatrical production and marketing. Ultimately, Biever said he would like to see the State Theatre produce its own performances. “Well, the idea’s been voiced out loud now,” he said. “Now all we have to do is make it a reality.” He even suggested that the State Theatre could in time be home to its own resident theatre company. For now, however, Biever plans to pull the theatre out of its mire through programming and marketing. “We’ve been sort of throwing things up against a wall and hoping people come,” he said. Instead they will plan an entire season, leaving some open time to add first-run independent films and local performances. “Our challenge is to have programming that appeals to wide audiences, that is diverse, and that is spread out so we are not hitting the same target audience too often. And then we have to get the word out,” he said. In the past, touring acts have been scheduled through a broker, who booked deals at the last minute. “Our new programming manager is calling and getting deals directly, and that allows us to book further out,” Biever said. The trick, he said, is to spread out the demographic. “If we’re clear that throughout our season this show is marketed to this audience, and the next to another audience, then that determines our marketing plan,” he said. Marketing too will see an overhaul if Biever puts his plans into action. “Marketing has not been effective because

it has basically been a list,” he said. He plans to rearrange the website and improve the marketing plans overall, especially again in terms of targeting specific audiences. He also hopes to use social media more effectively, and not just to sell. “Social media can be used to give,” said Biever. “It’s easy and free to get the conversation going.” Biever began the conversation last month, posting a “Suggestions” page on the theatre’s websites and links to the theatre’s pages on various social media sites. Programming films can be a bit trickier, said Biever. To get most first-run films, movie theaters must commit to a run of several weeks, and the State Theatre cannot do that. Instead they run a host of independent films, and some old favorites and cult classics like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Big Lebowski.” While audiences for many films are small, it’s still worth it because the film schedule brings in some $30 to $40 thousand per year. And cult films like TBL see large audiences and significant sales from the bar/snackbar. “We sell a lot of white Russians at Lebowski,” said Beiver, “because that’s what they drink in the movie.” Movies, however, take the lowest priority for the theatre in terms of programming. “Our primary mission is live local,” said Biever. “Second is live national, and third is films so that we open the house every night if possible.” Biever also plans to open the house more. He envisions using the lobby as a

coffee shop during the day, offering light fare and previews of upcoming shows playing on a screen. “We have to have the doors open more often,” he said. He is also tackling the State Theatre’s education mission more directly. He is currently teaching an acting class for middle and high school students at the theatre. He plans to add other workshops offered by area performance arts professionals in the future. Biever has a wide array of theatre experience he brings to his new position. He began performing on stage as a young child, eventually earning an undergraduate degree from Indiana University in voice and choral conducting. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Directing for the Musical Stage from Penn State. He has directed and produced musical theatre, and opened Singing OnStage Studios in State College and Singing OnStage Productions in New York City. In these last two ventures he also gained experience in the business and marketing side of theatre. “I am a practitioner of putting shows together,” said Biever. This will prove especially useful in partnership arrangements with local performing and nonprofit groups. “We will be making our expertise in these areas available to local companies,” he said. All of this is a challenge, he notes, but one for which he has a vision formed by his five-year involvement in this community’s theatrical life. “This is not an elitist place,” said Biever, referring to both the town and the State Theatre. “Folks from all walks of life are involved in the performing arts.” “We have to translate the love for this theatre into participation in the theatre,” Beiver said. “We need to get them to come see stuff, become members, and donate more, so that more is possible here. What we provide is a communal experience, and that is key. It’s the thing that you’re experiencing together that’s the selling point,” he said.


February 2012

Joe Paterno: an educator remembered by Art Goldschmidt

Joe Paterno was truly an educator. This is not a term I use lightly. The journalistic custom of calling the university president or a high school principal an “educator” is misplaced. Even many college instructors and schoolteachers are not really educators. Good parents are true educators. They raise their children to be competent and empathic, to know right from wrong, and to take responsibility for their actions. In relating to his players, Joe knew their strengths and weaknesses and sought to develop the former and overcome the latter. He wanted them to work together as a team and not as prima donnas. He hated to lose games and often scolded players who did not live up to their potential—or who disobeyed his rules. Some players quit. Most of all, he wanted his players to succeed, not only on the football field, but in life. He was proud of those who went on to play professional football, although he acknowledged that it took a fearful toll on

most players. He talked about those who became coaches themselves. But he also noted his alumni who became doctors, lawyers, business executives, or teachers. What he most wanted for himself was to be recognized as a good husband, father, and grandfather. His 47 academic allAmerican players mattered as much to Joe as his 409 victories as head coach. As a teacher at Penn State myself, I talked to Joe many times. I knew that, if I asked him what happened to a player whom I had taught, he could tell me what his job was, where he was living, and whether he was married and had children. Our first encounter came early in my career. I knew that several of my students in a large history course were freshman football players. In their final examinations, several wrote in their bluebooks short notes to the graders, asking them to grade mercifully and inviting them to call on them if they ever needed game tickets. The players could not have known that I shared grading chores with my teaching assistants. When I read the notes, I saw red!

A grad student might be tempted by such an offer. I phoned the coaching office to complain to Frank Patrick, thinking he was the assistant coach for freshmen, but had to leave a message. An hour later our home phone rang, I picked it up, and it was a voice with that familiar Brooklyn accent calling me “Professor Goldschmidt.” Flustered, for I was a young assistant professor, I stammered my reason for calling. Joe thanked me and said he would talk to the relevant players. That very afternoon three hulking lads slunk into my office to apologize. I later heard that he had really given them hell. Many years later in a Middle East course, I taught two players, one of whom was excellent and the other was cutting classes and doing mediocre work. His discussion section leader and I feared we might have to flunk him. I wrote Joe a note, saying that we had

Photo by Sierra Dole


Paterno, pg. 38

Mourners left tributes of flowers, notes, and Penn State gear at the Joe Paterno statue near Beaver Stadium during the week following his death.

From “family” to “community”: re-thinking PSU football by William Saas Like many other folks in this area, I qualify as what might be called an “itinerant” citizen of Central Pennsylvania. We itinerants comprise a significant percentage of the State College population. Our roots run shallow, our harvest is brief and our imprint is rarely enduring. In common with a small share of this population, I had no emotional investment in the Penn State football program prior to moving to State College. We first encountered Penn State football as one might first encounter a different culture’s mythopoetics. To us, Joe Paterno’s “Great Experiment” was a curious and fascinating origin story. We could identify some historical analogues (Christianity, the Pope and the pater familias were popular

comparisons), but the truth is that we didn’t quite know what to make of it all. Many of us were struck early with a feeling of alienation, lacking emotional access to a greater historical narrative that seemed to have no problem leaving us behind. We were less than shocked when we discovered a politics behind the mythology. Our conversion stories vary greatly, but for all of us, eventually, Joe Paterno became a unifying principle for community life in State College. For better or worse, we were—we are—all implicated in his legacy. But what, exactly, is that legacy? Paterno’s harshest critics—many of whom are far-removed from the community—condemn his coaching legacy as forever tainted by the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Paterno’s most sympathetic defenders— usually those emotionally closer to the mat-

ter—frame Paterno’s coaching legacy as entirely insulated from Sandusky’s and the Penn State administration’s actions, and seek to emphasize also Paterno’s record as a successful educator. From the middle-distance (the perennial perspective of the uninitiated itinerant), it is impossible for me to come down decisively on either side. Several months and a healthy amount of debate later, I see an equal distribution of positives and negatives issuing from the “Paterno legacy.” At the top of the list of positives is Paterno’s record of community-building. As several speakers noted at his memorial on January 26, Paterno recruited a wide range of people whom would live and thrive in State College. These were not only football players, but also undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds. As the

football program prospered, Paterno made sure to keep the research side of things topnotch as well, donating massive amounts of money to the university. Attracted by both the athletic and academic developments, the first itinerants came, studied, graduated and then sent their own children here to study. The result was a burgeoning community, fostered in large part by one man’s talent at coaching and passion for education. Which brings me to new head coach Bill O’Brien and a potential problem I see rising from some of his early rhetoric. At his first press conference as head coach, O’Brien said: “I’m in charge of this family, the football family . . . We’re going to try and teach [the players] what it means to be a Penn State man.”


Family, pg. 39


February 2012

ASK Cosmo

Dear Cosmo, I’m amazed at the huge number of ads on TV for insurance companies. They must be making enough money to buy that much advertising, so the ads must be making them still more money. But it’s hard to decide what each insurance company is actually like based on their commercials. They’ve got so many different characters it’s hard to keep track. If the aliens were out there watching our broadcasts, what would they make of this insurance craze? Signed, Not A Flo-bot. Dear Flo-bot, What do you mean “if” the aliens are watching? Who do you think writes and stars in those ads? It’s all an ingenious strategy to sort out the human species based on their fundamental worldviews.

Campus and Culture from the Canine Perspective

It’s kind of like taking the whole tackle box to the old fishin’ hole and keeping track of which fishes bite on which lures. If you vibrate to a perky, smockbedecked, poofy-dooed vendeuse with perfect makeup mincing around the insurance boutique, then maybe Progressive is your style. The same goes for Flo’s advice-spewing counterpart, the Messenger, who roves the country in s vintage Pontiac GTO, sporting a ‘70’s porn star look, eavesdropping on conversations, paying peoples’ tolls and performing other “random acts of savings.” His dashboard introduced the world to the Flo Bobblehead doll, which still goes for about $75 on e-Bay. If it’s quirky insurance professors torching giant dryer lint balls with flamethrowers or warning students about plummeting space capsules, then maybe Farmers’ is your speed. If you live in a world where your cubicle mates steal your phone, siphon your gas and shout “Pick up the Phone,” or where proctologists line up donning rubber gloves, or strangers come up and give you wedgies because that’s

what it feels like to pay for auto insurance, then maybe you’re the Safe Auto type. If you’re not that anal, maybe you prefer the amiable man from Allstate, or Nationwide’s milquetoast interviewer with the stick mike and retro blue dial phone. Or maybe none of these strategies tickle your cortex, so the insurance aliens try to lock onto your coordinates with Cockney line-dancing lizards, or caricatures of Robert Stack/Bill Curtis asking, “Do woodchucks chuck wood?” and “Is Ed ‘Too Tall’ Harris really too tall?” and “Did the Waltons take too long to say good night?” If you’ve still evaded Geico’s siren call, they can still pull out the squealing pinwheel piglet, as well as the indignant, persecuted, yuppie cavemen. That’s only a short list, but it represents millions of dollars spent by insurance aliens trying to wiggle into the public consciousness. Most states require auto insurance, so it would seem the State is complicit with the private sector in this industry. Driving is a privilege, but insurance is required. “Thou shalt carry car insurance,” may be the law handed down from orbit, but try to provide universal insurance coverage on the domestic front for the “privilege” of health, or require employers to provide it, and the pundits come oozing out of the woodwork, screaming that it’s socialism. This is the kind of dreck you humans get to ponder. Canine minds contemplate sensory data that is already on board. It isn’t derived from television. Plus, the

concepts are far more Zen-like. We can zone out on meditations of “squirrel,” “squeakie-toy,” “hydrant” and “litterbox hors d’oeuvres,” and we don’t have to mess with those goofy-looking tinfoil hats to keep the aliens out of our thoughts. That’s an insurance plan I can live with. Dear Cosmo, Last month, the world was shocked by a video clip of U.S. soldiers urinating on Taliban corpses. What were those young men thinking? How should the rest of the world think? Signed, Crying In Outrage. Dear Zip It, That was an unfortunate thing to experience for everyone, with the probable exclusion of the corpses. It confirms two time-honored sayings: that it’s worse to add insult to injury, and that it’s better to be pissed off than pissed on. As mammals, we’ve all been culprits and victims of inadvertent pissing. Infants and children are even more notorious than the internet for unintended leaks. If you’ve been around little critters, you’ve probably been unintentionally downstream yourself. But bladder control and self-control develop at different rates, and with that comes the practice of editorial pissing. For civilized animals, it’s a means of marking turf. For uncivilized ones, such as humans, it reeks of contempt. It’s often a malicious lark launched at unsuspecting


Cosmo, pg. 37


February 2012


Cosmo, pg. 36

targets below – off hotel balconies at strangers, or out frat windows or from atop scout camp trees at acquaintances. In some kinky circles, it’s even consensual. And lots of adolescents substitute their friends’ drink with pee just to watch the reaction. While tacky and disrespectful, there is substantial social precedent for peeing on live beings. Some unhappy relatives may boast that they’ll piss on the graves of deceased family members, and in some cases they actually do. It’s not the most spiritual gesture, and while it’s also tacky and disrespectful, someone’s grave rests on a different symbolic plateau than one’s person. There’s plenty of outrage to be had, but it’s interesting where different people draw the line. To me, it’s a matter of triage. The greatest grievance is in creating corpses in the first place. Then comes celebrating over their deaths. Then comes the humiliating manner of celebration. Then comes documenting it. Then comes sharing it with others. Then comes the happy reactions to sharing the documentation of urinating on corpses. Only the first item falls within a soldier’s job description. The rest seem like a series of poor judgment calls. And in terms of creating international outrage, we’re all downstream. Is peeing on a dead guy worse than waterboarding a live one? It would seem so. One is sick, while the other is sick and sadistic. Wait,

I’m confused. Meaning seems to be fluid, but some fluids have more meaning than others. There are tons of those little car decals with the kid pissing on Ford logos or Chevy emblems, and they sure did sell a lot of those stick-on Osama Bin Laden urinal targets, so live fire exercises seem to be accepted practice. But abuse of a corpse is abuse of a corpse, and it’s not acceptable practice even among warriors, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There are Marine regulations against such behavior, and the investigation will take its course. War is hell, and looking out for number one isn’t such a big deal when there’s a whole Number Two storm brewing. So if you think it’s OK to urinate on a dead person, even if you think he’s an enemy, then you’re buying into the ultimate Ugly American snow-job. And you might not like it so much when it’s your turn for a second helping of that yellow snow. As Uncle Frank says, “Watch out where the huskies go.”

Whitey Blue on entitlements by David Silverman I was talking the other day to Whitey Blue, longtime Centre Area resident and hard-nose. Whitey, some members of Congress want to privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicade. Any thoughts about that? “I think its long overdue! Why should this country go into the red in order to fund the income and medical care of a bunch of deadbeats who can’t make it on their own?”

Wait a minute! Most of these people are honest and hard-working. They just can’t afford to pay the higher rates that would result from privatization. “Hey, this is a free-enterprise country! Why should we be taxed to support a bunch of underachievers?” Some of these people would die of hunger or illness. We’d have throngs of starving and ill people, like many countries in the world! “So what! The world is becoming overpopulated.”


Dear Cosmo, What do you think of the Republican presidential primaries so far? Is there a second feature after the cartoon? Signed, Need More Popcorn Dear Cop More Porn, They sure had a bunch of clowns come out of that little car, but there’s still a few left. And with the Elephant Party, you always have to watch out for the junk in the trunk.

Huh? What did you say? Could you repeat that?

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Instructions: Fill in the grid so every row, every column and every threeby-three box contains the digits 1 through 9. There is no math involved. You solve the puzzle with reason and logic. The solution to this month’s puzzle can be found on page 39 of this issue. By Peter Morris



February 2012

Paterno, pg. 35

talked to him, were concerned about his work and hoped he might get some counseling. A day later, around 5:30 when I should have gone home for dinner with my family, my office phone rang. It was Joe. We ended up talking for ten minutes about the player. I wanted to be lenient, but he told me to get tough with him—quite the opposite of how we assume professors and coaches act in such an encounter! I was walking across campus one day with a freshman, an eager lad who has become a high-powered Philadelphia lawyer, and we happened to encounter Joe. I introduced them, and the young man said, “Hey Joe, I was walking with my girl through College Heights Last Saturday and saw you in front of your house. Did you see me?” “Sorry,” he replied, “I didn’t see you. I was too busy looking at your girl!” Just before I retired, I taught a freshman seminar on Penn State history, a topic better suited (I thought) for first year students than the Middle East, so I wanted to bring in speakers who had experienced the University as it had been. Since the Paternos were listed in the phone book, and I knew Sue had headed the Liberal Arts Alumni Association, I called her to ask if she would tell my class what she had done as a PSU student. “Art, why are you teaching a course on Penn State history?” she asked. “We all know you as a Middle East expert.” I explained that I was teaching the seminar in addition to my usual load, as I was about to retire. “You must not retire,” she exclaimed. “You’ll DIE if you retire!” She had injured a leg that summer and, as Joe himself told me, she couldn’t come to my class. They both recommended Anne Riley, who came to most of our meetings and gave invaluable tips to the freshmen. During his 62-year coaching career, Joe occasionally speculated on what he might do in retirement, but he did not want to retire. He loved coaching football. He cared about his players. But he was also the most prominent Penn Stater. To most people, near and far, he personified Penn State. As Ronald Smith, retired professor of

Exercise and Sport Science and a researcher, writer, and frequent speaker on sports history has told me, with a few qualifications, he did more for Penn State than any other person in its history. More than George W. Atherton? Hmm. Why did the Board of Trustees end his coaching career? Joe’s ultimate undoing was his transition from being a teacher to being a fundraiser. He had excoriated the Board of Trustees and administration in 1983 for not calling on alumni and others who loved Penn State to give it the money it needed to become a great university. He and Sue gave generously of their time and money to fund scholarships, the newer half of the Library, many books, a named professorship in English, scholarships for needy students, support for the Schreyer Honors College, and other worthy causes. In the process, he came to see himself as indispensible to the team, to the students, and to Penn State generally. He was overextended. As he admits in his autobiography, he could not understand the selfindulgent attitude of many Americans younger than himself. He may not have grasped what Mike McQueary was trying to tell him about what he saw Jerry Sandusky doing. Penn State has evolved in many ways since Joe first arrived in 1950, but it has some systemic flaws. Long obliged to compete for support with other colleges having larger endowments or more generous state legislatures, Penn State has a topdown administrative structure that fears dissent, rewards those who bring in money and discards those who threaten its security. Its trustees receive thick books of information but rarely see how it performs its educational mission. Penn State will honor Paterno now as it should have done when he was terminated. As Charles Dumas, professor of theater arts, wrote to me: He placed dignity and integrity above winning He placed teaching above football He helped make me proud of our sports program. He wanted, above all, to make Penn State a better university than it had been before he came.


February 2012

The frightening trend of racial code words by Toby Carlson In my Voices article of April 19, 2010, I claimed that a deep seated reason for the anger on the right was due to racial and cultural stresses, resulting in a growing sense of alienation and even hostility toward contemporary American society. I wrote of the tea party which has captured the Republican Party and which consists of about 20 percent of the population. The tea party is almost exclusively white, mostly middle aged or older, mostly Protestant, overtly religious and not very well educated. And virulently antiObama, whom they regard as foreign. I stated that the anger voiced by the tea party is not fueled by superficial political issues, such as the national debt, but it is a mask that covers a gnawing fear of the

‘Other’, objectified by its hostility toward a city, Washington. In part, however, they are uncomfortable with the present. They consider themselves the real Americans, the legitimate leaders of their country, and they yearn for the glorious days of yesteryear when the country was smaller, life was simpler and America less diverse, populated by people like themselves, white and Protestant. What is the underlying reason for this alienation? Partly, it is the age-old and simmering hostility between the city and the countryside, between older, rural America and a newer, urban and highly diverse and increasingly non-white America. In part it is racial, as evidenced by the viral campaign issue of immigration and also against welfare programs which they simplistically and somewhat

incorrectly assume benefit the black, Hispanic and other ‘undeserving’ groups. The increasing difficulty of assigning racial labels notwithstanding, approximately 35 percent of the country is either non white or Hispanic. White Protestants make up about 42 percent of the population, white Catholics about 20 percent, leaving about 3 percent which consist of Jews and Moslems (not in the non-white category). Demographic predictions indicate that in a generation or so the non white/Hispanic component in the population will increase to 50%, much of this increase coming in the south. This startling forecast has already begun to take place, as non white births in this country have just begun to exceed white births. . To many, the codeword illegals, evokes


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Family, pg. 35

I admire O’Brien’s chutzpah, and from what I’ve read, so do his football players. But I believe that he may be missing the more broadly communitarian nature of Paterno’s legacy. If gone unchecked, O’Brien’s misinterpretation could lead us down some familiar and imposing roads. This is first of all because the “family” metaphor, while inviting, is also exclusionary. The family O’Brien referred to in his speech is the group of students he will manage in future seasons of Penn State football. He is also, however, referring to a greater football “family”—lettermen, alums and fans. Left out are those affected by Penn State football, but who may not think of themselves as part of its “family.” What’s more, the family way of doing business is not exactly conducive to a policy of transparency. Families are prone to secrets, and keeping those secrets “in the family.” Indeed, the nature of the charges against Sandusky suggests that a family mindset may have been a factor in suppressing reportage of the alleged incidents. Finally, the “family” metaphor introduces the twin (masculinist) burdens of patriarchy and fraternity, which have the

the specter of a tidal wave of immigrants from Latin America, though subconsciously it also refers to all Hispanics, illegal or not. In response, a number of Republican dominated states have shortsightedly and against the spirit of the constitution attempted to pass laws to restrict voting rights of the fastest growing segments of the population: black, Hispanic and young people, employing as an excuse the codeword: voter fraud. I fear that the demographic trend will lead to increasing violence in this country during the coming generation as those who perceive themselves as the true Americans will resort to desperate measures in the face of their declining influence in order to restore their self respect and their once dominant status. capacity to encumber the transparent and egalitarian outcomes the University should strive for moving forward. At the Jan. 26 Joe Paterno memorial, former Penn State Penn State letterman Charles V. Pittman called Paterno an “architect,” one who gathered good materials and assembled them in a thoughtful and caring way. Imagined as an architect of a thriving and enduring community, Paterno is freed from the weirdness and obligations of the patriarchal metaphor. Not only that, but those of us who have felt—or still feel — like outsiders may feel more welcomed into a process of community-building. In the spirit of Joe Paterno’s enduring legacy of community-building, let’s build some more community.

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Voices of Central Pa February 2012  

Farewell JoePa, the Penn State Community says goodbye. Unraveling the Sandusky Scandal part 1. 2012 CSA guide community supported agricultur...

Voices of Central Pa February 2012  

Farewell JoePa, the Penn State Community says goodbye. Unraveling the Sandusky Scandal part 1. 2012 CSA guide community supported agricultur...