Category Archives: editor’s note

Thoughts from our Editor: Land of the Free

stars_stripes_296498As I write this, July is fast approaching, and my Facebook feed is filled with photos of friends on vacation. Some are sunbathing on beaches, while others are dancing in the rain at music festivals. While I certainly don’t begrudge them their fun, I must admit their photos of frolicking out of doors are vivid reminders to me that I’ve been stuck indoors, working on this edition, for what’s starting to seem like an eternity.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love what I do, so much so that I hardly even consider it work. But when deadlines loom and I’m forced indoors for an extended period, I get a little stir crazy, and the urge to roam is intense.

I love to travel, and I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had the opportunity to travel widely. From the banks of the Mississippi River, where I spent my formative years, to the Monongahela Valley region I now call home, I’ve made numerous stops along the way. I’ve witnessed the plunging rapids of Niagara Falls, hiked beneath the towering trees of the Redwood Forest, and swam in the Gulf of Mexico, just to name a few of the experiences I’ve had touring this marvelous land.

While I’ve not traveled all 50 states, I’ve come close to visiting most of them, and as an American, my heart swells with pride to know I live in such a beautiful and diverse country.

At this time of year, as we prepare to celebrate our independence on the Fourth of July, I think it’s appropriate for all Americans to reflect on the ideals that truly make this country great. Ideals like freedom of expression spring to mind, without which I wouldn’t be penning this column or – for that matter – putting out a monthly publication.

Because I so cherish that freedom, I admire others who also express themselves, whether it be through the written word, song and dance, or some other medium. More often than not, the results of those expressions mirror the magnificence of America itself. This edition is inspired by these expressions, and by the people who exercise their freedom to have a voice, whether it be in their local communities or on the world stage.

Until next month,

Carla E. Anderton

Pennsylvania Bridges June 2018 Edition – Lean on Me

june-2018-cover_9xThe June 2018 edition of Pennsylvania Bridges – Lean on Me – is now available online and in print.

May 2018 Edition – “Coming Back to Life”

may-2018-coverThe May 2018 edition of Pennsylvania Bridges“Coming Back to Life” – is now available online and in print.

February 2018 – “All You Need Is Love”

february 2018 cover.qxdThe February 2018 edition of Pennsylvania Bridges“All You Need is Love” – is now available online and in print.

Thoughts from our Editor – February 2018 – “All You Need is Love”

IMG_0786I just left my husband. He was lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV, with a steady parade of doctors and nurses in and out of the room, checking his vitals and making notes on their chart.

Before you all nominate me for the Worst Wife of the Millenium, please be advised that he’s on the mend, and he’s in the best possible hands under the circumstances. His fever is down, his various counts are up, and he’s resting, storing up much needed energy.

Meanwhile, I’m back in the office wrapping up the February issue because that’s what I do. Just like the U.S. Postal Service or the Maytag repairman, we at Pennsylvania Bridges put out an issue every month, without fail, come rain or shine, snow or hail, or even in sickness or health. I’m here putting the finishing touches on this edition, checking that all the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed because – if I don’t – I risk the disappointment of 10,000 plus loyal readers.

You see, unlike most daily newspapers and glossy magazines, we aren’t owned by a large corporation, and while I personally believe some of the finest writers in the field grace our pages, we don’t have a large staff. We don’t have a parent company who dictates what we print or what we don’t. We’re a family owned publication, and we’re controlled by only one aim. As we state in our official motto, we believe media should uplift and inspire. That’s why we only print good news about good people.

Long story short, as my husband often says, when you pick up an issue of our publication, tell a friend about us, or you help us achieve our mission by placing an ad for your business or special event, you can feel secure in the knowledge that you’re supporting a truly local business. We’re owned and operated by people like you who are living and working in the southwestern Pennsylvania region, trying to bring a little positivity to people’s lives.

If you are one of those people – and if you’re reading this, you are – please allow me to thank you for supporting our endeavor. You’re the reason we can continue to exist. This isn’t a lucrative business, but your appreciation makes it an infinitely rewarding one.

Before I go, I’ve been asked by our technology columnist and the aforementioned husband to say Tips from TechBoxz is on hiatus this month due to his health issues, but he plans to be back next month with his continuing series on how to get the most from your Alexa device.

Until next month,

Carla E. Anderton

January 2018 – Opportunity Knocks?!?

january-2018-coverThe January 2018 edition of Pennsylvania BridgesOpportunity Knocks?!? – is now available online and in print.

December 2017 – “The Gift of Giving”

December2017 cover.qxdThe December edition of Pennsylvania Bridges“The Gift of Giving” – is now available online and in print.

November 2017 – Let’s Talk Turkey!

November2017-coverThe November 2017 edition of Pennsylvania BridgesLet’s Talk Turkey! – is now available online and in print.

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