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The Latest Edition of Voices of Central Pa


Kramer finds humor in everyday motherhood

“At the tail end of each of my three pregnancies, many thoughts paraded through my head. If I recall correctly, the three most common ones (besides from wondering where I last had placed my car keys) toggled back and forth between ‘I’m ready to be finished with this’ and ‘I’m not ready for what comes next’ and ‘Bring it on.’” Read more »

The November 2012 Issue of VOICES is out!

Artists create art, cope with depression

June compost painting 640

Compost Painting by Ramsay

By Veronica Winters

It seems like a stereotype—the artist struggles through emotional turmoil, the struggle feeds the works of genius—but there may be more than a fabled link between mood disorders and art. According to various separate studies, artists have up to 18 times the rate of suicide seen in the general population, 8-10 times the rate of depression, and 10-20 times the rate of manic-depression.

Depression and its effects are also difficult to categorize. Mood disorders that include both depression ( unipolar disorder) and manic-depression ( bipolar disorder) have vastly different intensity levels. Some artists are affected by it mildly a few times a year while others experience depression daily throughout their lifetime. Depression can even be genetic.

The number of persons in creative fields believed or known to suffer or have suffered mood disorders is staggering.  Over 50 percent of the 15 abstract expressionist artists such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko had mood disorders, suicidal thoughts and alcohol abuse.  18th and 19th century poets including Emily Dickinson are thought to have suffered from depression. An artist doesn’t have to be internationally known to struggle with depression.  Five local artists running the gamut from a rock musician to a landscape painter speak frankly here about depression and the arts. Read more »

U.S congressional candidates speak

By James Hynes

U.S Congressman (5th district) Glenn Thompson and challenger Charles Dumas spoke with Voices.

Charles Dumas

Your opponent Glenn Thompson has a million dollar war chest and lots of powerful friends in DC. What made you decide to run against him?

No one else was doing it. I would have gladly not jumped into the ring if someone with more experience and gumption had decided to run. I looked around—a lot of people were considering running back in January, but then no one was willing to step to the plate. And I was concerned that Congressman Thompson was going to get away with no one asking him about putting his allegiance to his party and his friends above his constituents.

So this isn’t an act of protest. You are serious about this run?

I don’t know what else I can do to prove that I’m serious. I’ve been working hard in the district. Centre Country is about 15% of the district vote. We expect a good turnout in Elk, Clearfield, and Centre where Democrats will likely vote straight across the ticket. My job is to get out into the other areas and to get Democrats enlivened and mobilized.  Look, Obama won Pennsylvania in 2008. In 2010, there was a 30-40% drop in Democratic Party turnout. The Republicans didn’t win; we lost. So, it’s not my seriousness that matters. What matters is whether or not people see that there is a contrasting vision for our country. Do we give our resources to the rich and hope for trickle down or do we have a vision of a nation where people help each other? Read more »

PSU gets mixed review on free speech

By Jessica Beard

The University Park campus is getting good marks from students for its allowance of freedom of speech. It hasn’t always made the grade, however, and some of its policies are still under the critical eye of constitutional watchdog groups.

On a brisk Thursday in September, the Penn State Atheist/Agnostic Association held an event on the HUB patio called “Stone an Atheist.” There were no stones. However, club members provided water balloons—two for a dollar—for students to pelt them, with proceeds going to Village Reach, a nonprofit group that provides health care in developing countries.

Several members of the Penn State Atheist/Agnostic Association held posters proclaiming “Stone an Atheist!” in bright bubble letters.

Club treasurer Noah Orris held a poster covered in the Leviticus passage of the Bible from which the club took its subversive inspiration; “And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.”

“We’ve been pretty blessed with this campus,” said club president Nick Shaff. “We’ve had no problems besides the occasional student flipping us off.”

“But it’s nice that they can exercise their freedom of speech, too,” said club secretary Daniel McGill. Read more »

Plow-to-Plate dinner celebrates fall harvest

By Tara Richelo

On October 10, a crowd of 112 guests gathered at the Mount Nittany Winery as the sun set over the nearby Tussey Mountain to taste wine and enjoy the seasonal food of the first ever “Plow to Plate” dinner.

The winery is made up of two beautiful wood paneled buildings, with the smaller one housing their bottled wines. This building was the starting point for the tour of the winery that took guests through the entire process, including the separation of grapes from their stems, into the large holding tanks, and finally into the bottling and labeling machine.

The larger tasting room was set up with five food stations, three of which had the chefs present and plate the food for each guest. Three tall standing tables, each topped with a festive pumpkin and assortment of flowers, were scattered throughout the space for the convenience of the diners.

In addition to the indoor tasting room, the attached porch provided additional picnic-style seating and another food station filled with freshly baked brick oven pizza, bread and olive oil. The back porch provided a spectacular view of the lake, side of the mountain and stretch of rows and rows of grapevines.

The dinner featured dishes prepared by local chefs using locally grown and raised produce and meat provided by the Boalsburg Farmers Market farmers, also referred to as vendors. Read more »

Penn State offers on-campus voting registration

By Sierra Dole

Election time is here again. Students certainly have enough on their plate with classes, jobs, internships, and extra-curricular activities. However, there’s one thing they don’t need to stress about: voting.

Penn State’s University Park Undergraduate Association Elections Commission gives on-campus students peace of mind by giving them the option to register to vote right on campus. Voter registration volunteers on campus then take the completed registration forms to the County Election Office.

“In the state of Pennsylvania, students at institutions of higher learning are considered temporary residents at the campus address,” Bradley Middleton (junior, sociology) said. “For that reason, they are eligible to register to vote at their permanent address, back home with their parents, or at their campus address on the local ballot.”

A student’s decision whether to register on-campus or to head home for election day is in no way a light one to make.

According to Middleton, while registering on-campus is convenient for most students, out-of-state students would be precluded from voting for a representative from his/her home district.

“One votes on the ballot for where they are registered,” Middleton said. “This means that anyone registered to vote in State College will be able to cast their vote for PA and national representatives running in the district around State College. This would only be a concern if a student had grown up in, say, Bucks County and wanted to cast a vote for their local representative for Bucks County. They would not have the option to do this on the Centre County ballot.”

Aside from registering to vote, students also have the option to increase their political involvement by joining clubs such as the Penn State College Democrats and the Penn State College Republicans. Read more »

Sandy's rains make for high water levels in Huntingdon

Huntingdon High Water
These are all at Portstown Park, downtown Huntingdon.They closed the park and moved some of the picnic tables up near the railroad tracks. These were taken at 2:15PM today. The flood gage for the Juniata River is at Lewistown, it read 16'. It is not considered flood stage until it hits 23', even though it's over its banks. Photos by Brenda Palmer Read more »

WPSU debate between incumbent Glenn Thompson (R) and candidate Charles Dumas (D)

Students protest the rape culture at PSU photo

Students protest the rape culture at PSU photo
"...took this photo today on my way to class. It's outside the HUB Robeson Center and it's a group of students protesting the lack of response from PSU admin about the 11 sexual assaults reported this semester." Left to right: Madeline Chandler (senior, media studies), William Doll (senior, telecomm), Spencer Paret (sophomore, engineering) Photo by Sierra Dole. Read more »

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