Blogs > etc etc

Notes, comments and observations from the Lifestyle and Entertainment desk by Lifestyle Editor Aixa Torregrosa-Vazquez.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Feeling blue ....

Check out this April 24 photo showing a field of bluebonnets in Sweetwater, Texas.

(AP Photo/Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tom Turner)

Basketball Shootout to help local family

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

GVMP Doctor Explains How to Sew Stitches

Learning by practicing:
Jennifer B. O’Connor, MD explains to Pennridge Middle School that they may practice sewing stitches using pigs’ feet, a tactic used in medical schools. A physician of the Grand View Medical Practices at Highpoint, O’Connor was one of the guests of the Pennridge Middle School Career Day in April.

Fresh food drive planned, lend a hand

Keystone Opportunity Center sent this announcement:


Saturday, May 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Landis Supermarket in Vernfield.

Shoppers are asked to make a donation of fresh fruit and vegetables. The Community Nutrition Coalition, which is a network of food pantries working together to provide food and nutrition education to those in need in the Greater North Penn/Indian Valley area, will be sponsoring the fresh food collection. Donations will be taken directly to local food pantries: Cornucopia Cupboard, Emmanuel Evangelical Church, Hatfield Church of the Brethren, Keystone Opportunity Center, Manna on Main Street and Shepherd’s Shelf.

Time to play with Legos

Two area libraries are playing with Legos these days ... that is ... providing programming that utilizes the popular toy. Here's a look at two offerings.

The new Children's Librarian at Wissahikcon Valley Public Library, Tyler Works, is starting many new programs and an entirely new summer series of events focusing on Tweens and Teens, in addition to the regular Summer Reading Club.

One of Works' new ideas is a Lego Club. Call Works to sign up for the next club time and date. Students can build anything they wish, from buildings to planes. The library supplies the Legos. Works can always use more Lego donations. Call him at (215() 643-1320 extension 21 or visit the website at
The club meets in the Community Room of the Wissahickon Valley Public Library, 650 Skippack Pike (Route 73) in Blue Bell, just west of the intersection of Route 73 and Penllyn-Blue Bell Pike.

There's also a LEGO Club at MONTGOMERY COUNTY-NORRISTOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY YOUTH SERVICES DEPARTMENT, 1001 Powell St., Norristown. The club meets at 10:30 a.m.- noon , May 8 . Bring your imagination, build, and have fun. No age restriction—CHILDREN UNDER 8 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A RESPONSIBLE ADULT. Youth Services Department, second floor. For information contact Shawnette Brown, (484) 844-2632, or Denise Pulgino Stout, (610) 278-5100, Ext. 3.

PICTURED ABOVE, students sort through Legos and get ready to create buildings, helicopters, planes and more. They can create any size or any color they desire.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Talking new journalism

There are exciting days ahead for the news business. As our company, JRC, moves further into the 21st century with a renewed commitment to the communities we serve, more transparency, embracing technology and most importantly making good journalism its first priority, the new newsecology is nothing but a good shot in our journalistic arms.
Recently while talking at a writer’s conference and making the case for blogging and using social media and sharing all the good things our newspaper website has to offer, people asked “What’s in the future for newspapers? Where do you see them going, are print editions going to disappear?...”
I do not know the answer to all those questions to be sure. The business as a whole does not have definitive answer yet. But we are all working hard looking for them; we are all working to make sure journalism thrives and grows its important role in our democracy.
As we toil to find answers and grow, the future is here. You could say, there’s not time to waste looking back.
But there’s something interesting happening …
At some point we were all flummoxed by the Net … but we should not have been.
The Internet and all its offerings and capabilities are but a conduit to do what we’ve done since the beginning of time.
The more I think about it and every time a Tweet goes off about what’s new in the business is like … “We’ve done that before.” We’re just doing it at a different “place” and a different mode.
From the oral histories and stories at the dawn of time to the tablets of antiquity, the papyrus that went from hand to hand, to the Roman forums, the Greek Agora, early city or small community newspapers gazettes and pamphlets, it was all about the business of recording and disseminating information, effect change and voice opinion.
To those who are still resisting change, don’t fret.
Everything old is new again. (Or almost everything.)
And it is a good thing, there are many good things.
*We are the news consumer’s and the public’s writing wall. The writing walls of antiquity have morphed into citizen journalism initiatives like our new SeeClickFix feature ( , and through blogging and the myriad social media we are now using. We’ve been there and we are doing that even better.
*Our Forums are hyperlocal and digital, no need to walk to the Agora to be at the center of our city's civic life or to be an agent of change.
*The erstwhile chicken dinner news of yore are here to stay, but just a click away, with video even, and the opportunity for all to make sure it makes the news.
* Now more people have a stake in making sure we all know about what happens or needs to happen in their community, their neighborhood, their street.
*Even the afternoon newspaper is making a comeback (sort of), here’s a Tweet from the Huffington Post: “check out 'HuffPost Hill,' our new DC afternoon email newsletter. A breezy, must-read fix for all politics junkies
*What about news aggregators, either you love ‘em or hate ‘em … Now think back, maybe the news aggregators of today were not the first…. Hmmm, early small community newspapers perhaps reprinted stuff from other publications or big-city newspapers.
There’s a lot of unwanted noise in this big and global yet at the same time hyperlocal, conversation. You bet there is, but we can make our way through and make what’s important to our communities come to the fore.
Do we have the answers to all that ails us? Perhaps not yet, but we are on our way, to be sure.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Some ideas to keep kids busy ... in case of a strike

If you need to keep the kids home because of the potential North Penn School District teachers’ strike, here are some ideas to keep them busy …

Check the Mapman Game at, through questions kids can explore different areas of the world.

At there are stories, games and activities. Have the kids try the games of Cluedoku. Check the Solar System 101 video.

Have a suggestion or idea ...
Share your ideas, check us on Twitter at

Labels: , ,

Food is needed at Community Housing Services

The nice weather does not make the need for food go away for those in need in our area.
If you could .... when shopping this weekend throw in some extra things to help the following drives ....

Community Housing Services, 311 N. Broad St., Lansdale, is currently experiencing a critical shortage of food for its food cupboard. Most needed items include canned meat, chicken, tuna or ham, canned fruit, cereal, spaghetti sauce, macaroni and cheese, Jello, peanut butter, jelly, sugar, flour, juice, baby items such as diapers, food, cereal and juice, paper products, toiletries and cleaning supplies. Cans with flip top lids are most appreciated. Items may be dropped off at CHS from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call (215) 362-5250.

ALSO, during April, Christ Covenant Church, 2200 Sumneytown Pike, Kulpsville, will be supporting Community Housing Services with donations of nonperishable food. Items especially needed in restocking their food pantry are: all canned goods (especially with pull-top lids), cereal, spaghetti sauce, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, sugar, flour, juice, toiletries and paper products. Contributions may be dropped off through April 30 at the church office Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. Call (215) 256-8101.

ALSO, MANNA on Main Street Lansdale is also seeking volunteers to help cook meals at home and bring them to Manna. They are also seeking donations for their food pantry and soup kitchen. Call them at 215-855-5454 or check the Web site at

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Inequality closes too many doors, damages too many lives

Every now and then we NEED to be reminded about the subject of inequality.
It is still rampant, it dwells among us -- in every facet of life.
And, it is painful to be reminded that it goes further than someone not having a pair of shoes or enough to eat today ... is a matter of real opportunities -- education, transportation, etc.
Sadly, "poor and working class Americans have been falling behind" attorneys Bryan Stevenson and Michelle Alexander discuss in this Bill Moyers interview. I hope you take time to watch.
As they explain, there is great wealth in this country. And, in one way or another, I think, many of us have shared in the bounty at some point or another. But many are left wanting ... and it goes beyond having access to a food cupboard ....
We need real solutions, real legislation that helps people, that empowers people, legislation that does not suffocate them and push them further into the abyss.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Can you believe this .... it's time to party

This weekend the International Club of the Lansdale Library is presenting the 19th Annual International Spring Festival.
The event is set for Saturday, April 17 at North Penn High School from 11am to 5pm.
What's planned?
Lots of fun stuff for all .. and lots of yummy international foods to try.
Check the video ....

For more check the festival's Wet site:


How many plastic bottles do you need to make a chair?

This one-of-a-kind chair made from 111 recycled plastic bottles debuts at the 2010 Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, Italy. The chair was created by Coca-Cola and Emeco, according to AP.

PHOTO: Business Wire/Associated Press

Friday, April 9, 2010

Families sought to play "Jeopardy" at Spring Festival

Do you like "Jeopardy"? Here's your chance to play, sort of.

Families interested in participating in a Jeopardy-style game show which will take place during the International Spring Festival on April 17 at North Penn High School are asked to e-mail library director Tom Meyer at prior to the event. The game will be held at 2:30 p.m. with categories that include geography, history and current world events. Contestant families should consist of a minimum of one parent and a child 10 years of age or older. There is no limit on the maximum number of family members. Three families will be chosen to participate, in a random drawing which will be held during the festival. Although families may apply the day of the festival, those that apply in advance will have an advantage in the drawing. The rules for the game may be found online at


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A recipe for chocolate lovers

This seems easy and looks very yummy!

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 5, 2010

Oh, 'What a Treasure!'

Parents, kids: dig into this.
I just got the press packet announcing the 2010 selection for Pennsylvania's One Book, Every Young Child early literacy program.This year's book is "What a Treasure!" written by Jane Hillenbrand and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. The program officially kicks off April 13 in Harrisburg and reaches more than half a million Pennsylvania children ages 3 to 6, according the press release.
The program stresses the importance of reading early and often to young children and how that impacts their future lives. Visit for ideas, resources and more.

" 'What a Treasure!' was inspired by ordinary objects being extraordinary as seen through the eyes and experiences of our son, Ian, when he was two years old," said Jane Hillenbrand. "Ian loved to dig. His prized possession (in addition to books) was a miniature shovel."

Labels: , ,