By BOB URBAN

rurban@tnonline.com

Swami Bhaktipada, the ex-Hari Krishna leader died this week in India. Many area residents remember the 1980s when the Swami and his followers attempted to purchase Flagstaff Mountian to build a sprawling golden paradise.

How different would Jim Thorpe be today had that deal gone through?

I can still remember the anger of residents who opposed the proposed sale. Remember the "Swami Busters" T-shirts? They were a hot item back then.

The Steelers host the Patriots Sunday at 4:15. It doesn't get much better than that in the NFL.

In what should have been one of the happiest experiences of her young life, somebody had to go and throw a monkey wrench into one of Allysa Vavra's finest moments.

Vavra, a Coaldale resident and Panther Valley High School graduate, won a bronze medal in the 400 individual medley swimming competition at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, recently while a member of the U.S. team.

But Vavra was happy to get back to the good old U.S.A. following the competition, especially after the Mexican hospitality wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Allysa had her recently acquired Big Ten championship swimming ring stolen from her hotel room. She earned the ring as a member of the Indiana University Big Ten championship swim team.

Hopefully the school will get her another ring.

I won't be terribly disappointed if the NBA doesn't have a season this year. College basketball is much more fun than the pros anyway.

My two-year-old grandson, Sean James Urban, has already made his Halloween debut as the cutest gorilla in captivity.

Whether his doctor is guilty or not, didn't Michael Jackson have a free will to decide whether or not he wanted to take all the drugs he was popping?

Reflecting on the New Philadelphia fire last weekend that critically burned one resident. I'd be a little nervous if I had a neighbor who possessed 134 firearms and cache of ammunition, legal or otherwise.

It's Halloween weekend. And I can't help but remembering how it was way back then. Local bar rooms were the best places to go trick or treating. Not now. First there are too few bars compared to back then, and secondly parents aren't as inclined to let their youngsters frequent taprooms like they did when they were kids.

Thanks to Facebook and the Internet, people have a lot more friends these days. But, are they really friends or just more contacts?

Despite his genius and his wealth, I don't think Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple, Inc. was a happy man.

Navy-Notre Dame this weekend. Always an interesting matchup.

I think college athletes who participate in revenue producing sports like football and basketball should be paid a stipend.

A Republican reader sent this thought along:

Recession is when your neighbor loses his job.

Depression is when you lose your job.

Recovery is when Obama loses his job.