Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Saturday, November 10, 2012
In his short life, Canvass White would oversee or consult in the design of the Lehigh Navigation, the Union Canal, the Schuylkill Navigation, the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal, the Glens Falls feeder canal, the New Haven and Farmington Canal, and the water supply for the city of New York.

Two men are responsible for the transformation of the Lehigh Valley from a frontier into the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution. Those two, although they shared a common surname, were unrelated. They were Josiah White, founder of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, and Canvass White, perhaps the greatest canal builder in America.

Saturday, October 13, 2012
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Tim Dugan (standing in left foreground) from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources led the planting project, the fourth program in their Tree Vitalize Program-previous programs have taken place in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton and over 2,000 trees have been planted.

A partnership of organizations with three dozen volunteers planted 520 trees as part of a project to transform a former hazardous waste site into a riparian meadow park which already has a boat launch and bike trail.

The site, along the Lehigh River, immediately south of the Rt. 873 bridge, was the location of one of the area's 19th century industries. In 1858, Robert Prince began processing the local iron oxide ore as a paint primer and established the Iron Ore Metallic Paint Company. The plant prospered and in 1879, was relocated to Bowmanstown.

Saturday, October 6, 2012
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Mari Gruber in the alley behind the Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary at the burn barrel where she, without warning, became engulfed in flames.

Always the teacher, within seconds of removing her flaming apron and extinguishing her charred shirt, Mari Gruber thought to herself, "Oh God. What about kids with scarves and puffy coats around bonfires?"

Gruber, the proprietor of the Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary in the Penn Forest Township suburb of Jim Thorpe came very close to becoming a burn victim.

"I was in the alley behind the Butterfly Sanctuary building, burning paper and cardboard in my burn barrel," she said. "I burn trash at least once a day.

Saturday, September 8, 2012
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Giuseppe Puddu's wood-fired brick pizza oven on wheels is parked beside his L'antico Caffé Italian cafe in the Penn Forest Township suburb of Jim Thorpe.

A wood-fired brick pizza oven on wheels?

Why would anyone build a wood-fired brick pizza oven on wheels?

This was the question put to Giuseppe Puddu who built the wood-fired brick pizza oven on wheels that is parked besides his L'antico Caffé Italian cafe on Rt. 903 at 4 Danner Road in the Penn Forest Township suburb of Jim Thorpe.

Saturday, August 25, 2012
AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Approaching Sand Island in Bethlehem. Larry Rafes completes the first half day of his 200-mile odyssey from Allentown to Cape May to raise organ donor awareness.

Larry Rafes is on the journey of a lifetime. A journey he never expected to make. An odyssey he hopes will serve as an inspiration to others.

Just 18 months ago, Rafes could hardly walk or even breathe. His kidneys were failing and every day that he waited for his name to be called for a transplant seemed longer than 24 hours.

Rafes received a kidney transplant at Allentown Hospital, and after several months of recovery, felt so healthy and hearty that he wanted to give something back.

Saturday, August 18, 2012
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS A soldier with the Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment marches past the Tomb of the Unknowns, located in the center of the cemetery. The soldiers, who guard the tomb 24 hours a day, routinely perform a Changing of the Guards ceremony at the Tomb.

Serving as the most hallowed burial ground of our Nation's fallen, the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia honors those men and woman who have served our nation and their families by providing a sense of beauty, patriotic respect and peace.

Arlington serves as a final resting place for over 300,000 American military servicemen or women. This total does not include veterans who've not been found. Those people are represented by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in the center of the cemetery.

Saturday, July 28, 2012
Brandon Taylor

Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora.

When are we going to learn?

Reading about the recent tragedy in Colorado, the story of a man gone mad and a defenseless crowd of theater-goers forced to play witness to their own horror film, was saddening, depressing. But it wasn't surprising.

Saturday, July 21, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012
PHOTOS BY BRANDON TAYLOR Built between 950 and 1050 A.D. by the Chandela, the ruling clan of much of the central jungles of India, the temples showcase some of the most intricate stone carvings and statues in the world.

(This is the sixth in a series of columns on Brandon Taylor's recent trip to India.)

Sex sells. It sells very well. For the relatively sleepy and secluded town of Khajuraho in central India, sex drives the tourist industry, just not in the same way that it lures many an individual to places like Las Vegas. In Khajuraho, it's the heavily advertised erotic statues and "sex temples" that draw in crowds. From across the globe, people come to ogle at, blush over and take photos of the busty carvings of bodacious, scantily clad sandstone babes and bros.

Saturday, May 26, 2012
The bell-shaped curve implies that there is a large normal toward the middle and a lesser amount toward the outliers. But normal is abnormal, according to The Best and the Rest: Revisiting the Norm of Normality of Individual Performance, a paper published in Personnel Psychology by Ernest O'Boyle Jr. and Herman Aguinis.

Twenty-five years ago, when my wife was studying for her secondary education certificate at Kutztown University, she was required to take a class on how to grade students using the bell-shaped curve.

She asked the instructor, "Why do we have to curve our grades? If the grades were so poor, wouldn't that imply either the students were not learning, the students were not working hard, the test was not testing what it should, or the teacher is not doing a good job. I did not get a satisfactory answer."