Category Archives: editor’s note

October 2017 – “The Road Not Taken”

october2017-coverThe October 2017 edition of Pennsylvania Bridges – “The Road Not Taken” – is now available online and in print.

Thoughts from our Editor – October 2017

As you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this year, the month has special meaning for me.

Over the summer, I was referred for a routine mammogram. I turned 40 this year, and my primary care physician – who is very vigilant when it comes to the health of her patients – insisted it was time.

So, a few weeks later, I found myself sitting in the waiting room of the local hospital, consumed by a growing sense of dread. I’d never had a mammogram before, and from all accounts, I was in for an uncomfortable experience.

Once called for my appointment, the tech quickly put me at ease. Yes, it would pinch, she said, but it would not be unbearable.
A true professional, she made the process seem to fly by, and moments later, I was out the door, footloose and fancy free.

Care free, until the call came from the nurse at my doctor’s office, the nurse who said I needed a follow up ultrasound, and could she get me scheduled sometime this week?

I tend to treat most situations with humor, and I joked with the receptionist who checked me in for the ultrasound roughly a week later. I made small talk with the ultrasound tech during the test, asking her  where she went to school and if she had any kids, the usual banter.

After the screening, I was headed to the waiting room when she asked me to stay behind and wait to speak to a doctor. She ushered me into a room where a kindly physician explained the ultrasound had detected an unusual mass in my right breast, and it would need to be biopsied. I made a weak joke about setting a new record for having medical tests, but no one was laughing.

Due to a host of factors, I had to wait nearly a month before the biopsy, and then two weeks after that for the results. It was benign, thank goodness, perhaps the most glorious word in all of the English language.

During the interminable wait, however, like anyone else confronted – even briefly – by their own mortality, I spent a lot of time thinking about the road not taken, the paths I’d yet to forage. I considered the footprints I’ve left behind and thought about the mark I still wanted to leave on the world.

That’s why when an opportunity presented itself to bring to the community a free screening of an inspiring and educational documentary, Our School, along with a panel of distinguished scholars, I jumped at this chance. As responsible members of the media, we at Pennsylvania Bridges believe above  all in the power of information.

Less than a week ago, we partnered with the Romani Media Initiative to hold a very successful, well attended event, during which I firmly believe many minds and hearts were changed. Thanks to George Eli and Patrick Wiley from the RMI, to George’s assistant Ben, to our incredible panelists Jud Nirenberg and Cristiana Grigore, and to my fellow sponsors, Buday Law and Webchyk Design Studio. Thanks also go to so many others involved with the planning of the event, with an especial thanks to Dr. Richard Martin and Pastor Dawn Hargraves.

I’m running out of space so I’ll conclude by saying two things. Number one is simply to encourage all women of appropriate age to schedule a mammogram. Early detection saves lives. You may be apprehensive, I certainly was, but let me assure you it’s a relatively painless process and so worthwhile.

Two, I challenge everyone reading this to contemplate how you might be a catalyst for positive change, no matter how small or how significant, in the lives of those around you. If we all try to make the world a better place, it will be.

Until next month,

Carla E. Anderton

Free Screening of Award Winning documentary “Our School”

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“Part case study on entrenched racism, part heartbreaking human rights story.”- Award winning “Our School” to be shown at free screening in California

On Thursday, September 28, a free screening of award winning documentary “Our School” will be shown at the California Municipal Building, 225 Third Street, California, PA, at 6:00 p.m., with an introduction by Roma filmmaker George Eli of the Romani Media Initiative.

Following the screening, a panel discussion will be held featuring noted Roma scholars including Jud Nirenberg and Christiana Grigore.

The New York Times describes “Our School” – produced and directed by Mona Nicoara and co-produced/co-directed by Miruna Coca-Cozma – as “part case study on entrenched racism, part heartbreaking human rights story.”

This free screening is being held as part of an ongoing effort to bridge the divide between local residents and members of the Roma community who have recently relocated to the California, PA, area. Area officials and members of the community are being invited to attend, as well as the general public. Come help us learn more about our new neighbors and the persecution they’ve fled.

Sponsorship for the event is being provided in part by the Romani Media Initiative, the Law Office of Lisa J. Buday, Webchyk Design Studio, and Pennsylvania Bridges. We are also partnering with local officials and churches to help make this event a success. Additional sponsors are both welcome and needed.

FMI about the free screening of “Our School” please contact Carla Anderton at 724-769-0123 or via email at carla@pabridges.com.

To view a trailer for “Our School” please click here.

Additionally, because there are significant expenses associated with bringing this great event to California, we’ve set up a Go Fund Me page to try and raise extra funds: https://www.gofundme.com/support-free-showing-of-our-school
What’s the press saying about our event?

September 2017 Edition – “Under Construction”

september2017-coverThe September edition of Pennsylvania Bridges is now available online and in print.

August 2017 Edition – Like An Open Book

august2017-coverThe August edition of Pennsylvania Bridges is now available online and in print.

Editor’s Note: August 2017 – Like An Open Book

“Live your life like an open book.” I’m sure you’ve all heard this sage saying. For me, it’s more than great advice, it’s an adage I strive to live by. But, what does it really mean?

Simply put, it means being transparent and honest about who you are and what you believe in. It’s certainly not always easy, but it keeps my life from being unnecessarily complicated. I don’t harbor hidden agendas, and I don’t hide behind any masks. What you see is what you get, period. Love me or hate me, I believe in genuine interactions, and in saying what you

Simply put, it means being transparent and honest about who you are and what you believe in. It’s certainly not always easy, but it keeps my life from being unnecessarily complicated. I don’t harbor hidden agendas, and I don’t hide behind any masks. What you see is what you get, period. Love me or hate me, I believe in genuine interactions, and in saying what you mean, when you mean it.I haven’t always ascribed to this philosophy, but I learned (the hard way), which I don’t recommend, that nothing is to be gained by being false to yourself.

I haven’t always ascribed to this philosophy, but I learned (the hard way), which I don’t recommend, that nothing is to be gained by being false to yourself.Lately, though, I’ve started to believe there’s a deeper meaning behind living your life like an open book. I think it also means to keep your mind

Lately, though, I’ve started to believe there’s a deeper meaning behind living your life like an open book. I think it also means to keep your mind open, and to realize there are yet more words to be written in your personal story.The first rule they teach aspiring writers is that your first draft is just that, only a beginning, a shaky foundation you will eventually replace with a more concrete one as you revise and polish your manuscript. Get your ideas down on the page and, later, you can (and will) fret over whether or not they’re the right words.

The first rule they teach aspiring writers is that your first draft is just that, only a beginning, a shaky foundation you will eventually replace with a more concrete one as you revise and polish your manuscript. Get your ideas down on the page and, later, you can (and will) fret over whether or not they’re the right words. The same can be said for life. Your story can and should evolve over time. As you grow personally, spiritually, and professionally, you change.

The same can be said for life. Your story can and should evolve over time. As you grow personally, spiritually, and professionally, you change.“Live your life like an open book.” Live your life, day by day, and always be open to new experiences and to learning unfamiliar ideas. Be true to yourself and to others, but welcome viewpoints that may cause you to more closely examine the ones you hold dear. Never miss an opportunity to educate yourself and be receptive to change.

“Live your life like an open book.” Live your life, day by day, and always be open to new experiences and to learning unfamiliar ideas. Be true to yourself and to others, but welcome viewpoints that may cause you to more closely examine the ones you hold dear. Never miss an opportunity to educate yourself and be receptive to change.This edition of Pennsylvania Bridges is our annual education issue, meaning we’ve chosen this month to loosely focus on individuals and groups in our region who are learning and developing, as well as those who are advocating for and teaching others.

This edition of Pennsylvania Bridges is our annual education issue, meaning we’ve chosen this month to loosely focus on individuals and groups in our region who are learning and developing, as well as those who are advocating for and teaching others.As usual, this issue contains coverage of local and regional arts and entertainment offerings to help you relax, unwind, and recharge your batteries as you get ready for you and yours to go back to school. Take a break from school supply shopping and take in a play or musical performance.

As usual, this issue contains coverage of local and regional arts and entertainment offerings to help you relax, unwind, and recharge your batteries as you get ready for you and yours to go back to school. Take a break from school supply shopping and take in a play or musical performance. We’ve also got advice on how to best prepare your body and mind for a return to the classroom, with everything from

We’ve also got advice on how to best prepare your body and mind for a return to the classroom, with everything from skin care tips to a newish way of getting organized.

Next month’s edition will feature small and local businesses who are helping to sustain and revitalize our communities. Know of a business we should feature? Drop me a line at carla@pabridges.com. I’d love to hear from you.Until next month,

Until next month, Carla E. Anderton

July 2017 Edition – “Fun in the Sun”

july2017-coverThe July 2017 edition of Pennsylvania BridgesFun in the Sun – is now available online & in print.

Thoughts from our Editor: July 2017

I’ve written before in this space about some of the personal and professional challenges I’ve faced as a writer and publisher. The predicament facing me now, as I sit in my office on the afternoon of the 4th of July, is I find myself at a loss for words.

What meaningful contribution can I add to the voices assembled in the pages of this edition? What can I say but that I am so blessed – and grateful – to have such an eclectic group of writers share their talents in this publication?

Early in my career, a former colleague told me “If you got content, you’ve got everything.”

It is with no small amount of pride I can say we’ve got such terrific content this month that I’ve been referring to this edition as the Everything AND the Kitchen Sink Issue.

Beginning on page 5, veteran and seasoned reporter Dave Zuchowski takes us on a tantalizing journey to family owned Salamone’s Italian Market. It’s an appetizing read that will leave you ravenous for more.

Still hungry? Looking for a pick me up to perk you up? Flip to page 7, where freelancer Lauren Rearick talks with the proprietors of the Mon Valley’s newest java and culinary destination, Perked Up Café in Charleroi.

Simply turn the page, where we’re delighted to feature an article by noted historian Christopher T. George about the Battle of Monongahela. Taking place on July 9, 1755, this battle “focused the world’s attention” – as Chris notes in his piece – on our region.

Only a couple of pages later, we’re pleased to announce the return of The Entertainment Chuckwagon, where staff writer Chuck Brutz serves up a nostalgic tribute to the late, great Adam West, TV’s Batman.

Speaking of writers making repeat appearances, technology columnist Eric Worton is back this issue with Tips from TechBoxz, with a tongue in cheek commentary about a mobile game his wife can’t stop playing.

Staff writer Keren Lee Dreyer explores the full spectrum of the arts, with stories about a children’s theater program and a local fine arts exhibit.

Columnist and licensed aesthetician Tasha Oskey shares tips on how to prevent sunburn and sun damage.

Managing Editor Fred Terling and contributor Stan Popovich tackle heavy hitting mental health topics, while columnist Reanna Roberts gives her take on the paranormal.

Finally, if you’re looking for a cool activity to enjoy on a hot summer day, we’ve got you covered, with an extensive list of things to do, people to see and places to go this season.

As always, thank you for taking a break from your fun in the sun to peruse our pages.

Until next month, Carla E. Anderton

Thoughts from our Editor: Rise Up Singing

Sun IconSummertime is upon us, and with it comes all the trappings: longer, brighter days, the feel of freshly cut grass beneath your bare feet, the sensation of the sun’s rays warming your skin. The smell of chlorine in the neighborhood pool mixed with the sweet, tropical scent of suntan oil, the sound of childish voices at play, the sight of sandcastles lining the beach, the taste of ice cream enjoyed in the shade – all are synonymous with the onset of our hottest season.

Summertime, and people seem to laugh more, relax more, and frown considerably less than they do in colder months. There’s a greater sense of camaraderie and shared experiences, as individuals and families gather for picnics and celebrations in our parks and on our waterways and strangers become fast friends.

Summertime, and as the old jazz standard goes, “the living is easy.” Indeed, as we first heard from the great songstress Ella Fitzgerald, the “fish are jumping and the cotton is high.”

My favorite line of this George Gershwin tune comes later, however, when Ella tells us, “One of these mornings, you’re going to rise up singing, and you’ll spread your wings and take to the sky.” What a wonderful sentiment is expressed here, this notion that with enough motivation and enthusiasm, we can soar to new heights and expand our horizons.

This is a sentiment shared by many of the people and organizations featured in this edition, the idea they can “rise up singing,” improve their lives, and make their communities a better place.

For example, look at our friends at the Phoenix Arts Center, who’ve risen from humble beginnings to become an established beacon for the cultural arts in Fayette County and the surrounding areas. Fayette isn’t alone in this regard, as the members of the Valley Art Club have been promoting fine arts in the Mon Valley region for two-thirds of a century. Stories on both groups are on pages 15 and 5, respectively.

The aforementioned organizations are only two of the community groups making positive changes in their hometowns, and several more are mentioned in this edition of Pennsylvania Bridges.

I know you’re eager to dive right in, but before I go and let you start reading all the outstanding stories contained within the pages of this issue, I want to take a moment to say “goodbye, thank you, and best wishes as you move forward” to our longtime Faith Columnist, Pastor B.T. Gilligan. In addition to penning his regular, thoughtful commentary on how faith transforms lives, Pastor B.T. has been both a friend and spiritual advisor to my family, and we will miss him dearly. His final column – and his “goodbye” to our readers – is on page 8.

Until next month, Carla E. Anderton

May 2017 Edition – “May Flowers”

The May 2017 edition of Pennsylvania Bridges“May Flowers” – is now available online & in print.coverproof