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Pa. couples search for equality in Centre County

Seventeen U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C., have legalized same-sex marriage, but Pennsylvania has yet to jump on board, with a pending ACLU case that might just change things. Centre County has proven to be a progressive leader in the state, and several accomplishments toward marriage equality have been made in the area.

On August 19, 2013, Joseph Davis, now Joseph Scalzo, 50, and Gregory Scalzo, 47, from Bushkill, Pa., were married in State College in the home of Mayor Elizabeth Goreham. They were married by Church of the Brethren pastor Ken Kline Smeltzer, who was later fired from his church in Burnham, Pa., for going against the church’s stance on same-sex marriage.

The Scalzo wedding took place soon after Goreham told a reporter that she would be happy to officiate at a wedding for a same-sex couple as long as they had a marriage license.

Page 2: Instant spiritual renewal, just add mountain

2p2pagetwo.pngSean Flynn. Managing Editor



I dislike gyms. One of my favorite parts of journalism is that the job demands you get out of the office, see new things, and occasionally soak up some sunlight. This is the exact opposite of a gym, which is completely indoors, demands ‘reps,’ and is notoriously short on sunlight.

So when my girlfriend (who was feeling shut in after an endless winter) and I decided to get back in shape, we picked hiking.

Wiser people might have waited until it was above freezing, but we had Gumption, by god, and that plus a good coat is all you ever need.

We thought we’d take on an easy trek to start. So we filled our Nalgenes and headed out to Shingleton Gap.

A hiking map favored by the locals warns that there are no easy trails in the Rothrock State Forest. Wiser people might have listened to the map, but maps are for people without Gumption and Resolve.

Before we even got out of the parking lot, we were warned off by a woman who was abandoning her attempt.

“The trail is pretty icy,” she said as she bolted for her car. We thanked her and completely disregarded her warning. Gumption shall overcome.

We expected some frost on the edges of the trail. Instead, what we got was an inch-thick ice rink in the shape of a trail that extended for miles.

Doomcasting and the snowstorm that wasn’t

Graphic courtesy Jay Searles

Through the weekend before the snowstorm was scheduled to hit, The Weather Channel was still forecasting six inches of snow for a large portion of the state.


The Maker Movement comes to State College

Photo by MARGARET COOK// VOICES Staff Writer

John Stitzinger, founder of The Make Space, carefully removes a plastic creation from the RepRap 3D printer in the workspace.


The Maker Movement, a growing community of tech-inspired DIYers, has made its way to State College and found a home at The Make Space, one of the many hackerspaces popping up all over the US.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a “hackerspace” as a place in which people with an interest in computing or technology can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge.

People who gather at hackerspaces are known as hackers, but eschew the Webster’s definition of “who illegally gain access to and sometimes tamper with information in a computer system.” In his Make magazine blog article “Is it a Hackerspace, Makerspace, TechShop, or FabLab?” Gui Cavalcanti explains that the popular definition of hacker is transforming to mean someone “who makes existing objects do something unexpected.” Other labels for frequenters of hackerspaces include makers, DIYers and tinkerers, although subtle distinctions do exist among them. Read more »

History ablaze: saving Centre County's historic buildings from fires


The Centre Furnace Mansion in State College, Pa., is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building has been restored to its original condition and decorated in the style of its 19th-century times, and now serves as the headquarters for the Centre County Historical Society. It’s one of the buildings in Centre County that Alpha Fire Director Steve Bair believes may be at risk for a fire. Photo by Chelsea Labar Voices Community editor.


Visiting a historic building is like taking a step back in time. Unfortunately, the historic buildings in Centre County may have a bleak future if they continue to rely solely on the fire department, in the case of an unanticipated blaze, instead of installing sprinkler systems.


Owners, or towns that historic buildings reside in, don’t want to install sprinkler systems because of water damage and cost concerns. The problem is they’ll come to regret that decision when a fire does occur and the building is beyond repair.


“It does take a lot of money to make improvements and people don’t want to tell elected officials to spend more money.”

Erin Hammerstedt PreservationPA Read more »

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by Dr. Radut