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The Latest Edition of Voices of Central Pa


Voices of Central Pennsylvania September 2015
In This Issue: September Public Meetings Calendar | Moral Hazard and Big 10 Climate Commitments | Superlatives overtake the airwaves | Yemen a hotspot in US-Iran power struggle | LAGuide to PetEuphoria | Jewelweed - A Gem in the Marsh | Poet of the Month ~ Julia Spicher Kasdorf | Musician Profile: Tyne Palazzi | Winter Outlook | Local Home-Scale Photovoltaic Solar | Finding Made-in-USA products | An Uncommon Fall Visitor | Advice to agripreneurs | PSU Should Apply Whole Systems-thinking | A Tale of Two Nittany Theatres | Ways Ferguson Township Can Protect Water

Local retail thrives amidst big chain stores

Local retail businesses in State College cater to a wide audience—a mix of both college students and local residents. By providing a plethora of styles for all ages, locally owned businesses are holding their own.

BIRDWATCH: Brown thrasher, master mimic

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the brown thrasher is its song – or more appropriately, its large repertoire of songs. Like its close relatives the catbird and the mockingbird, the thrasher is an accomplished song mimic.

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NATIVE PLANTS: Pa.’s ‘invasive native’ trees

Photo by GLENN BRUNETTE // Creative Commons

And now for a word from our sponsors...

Sounds expands the State College music scene



Misha Cleveland’s career path has been more of a maze. Through twists and turns, it has directed her towards a future that appears to have been hidden within all along.

Cleveland’s path has led her to travel throughout Brazil’s misty Amazon rainforest, to wait on tables, to dig deep in the soils of central Pennsylvanian wetlands, and to perform on-stage with a guitar in her hand and a dream to be a rock star.

Ironically, the combination of her misty, mucky adventures and her eyes half-shut from stage fright have given Cleveland a sense of clarity.

Planning a pedestrian-friendly State College

Graphic from the Borough of State College Downtown Master Plan

Downtown State College may see some drastic changes in its landscape in the coming years with the recent adoption of a new Downtown Master Plan by the Borough Council. This plan has two phases focusing on the marketing and branding of downtown, but also focuses on creating a more pedestrian friendly environment.

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 »

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by Dr. Radut