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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Jessica Meneses Awarded Master Degree in Nursing from the University of Florida

You all remember our good friends Doris and Elias Meneses who live in Homestead, Florida. Doris was Doris Hollenbach who lived on Rowe Street in Tamaqua. She graduated from THS in 1972 with Nancy. Doris moved to Miami after graduation and met Elias while they both worked at Sears.

In 1992 - we visited Doris and Elias after Hurricane Andrew to help clean up.

Their daughter, Jessie graduated from UF with honors and a Master of Science in Nursing. She has been a neonatal nurse for St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. Jessie spent most of her time flying around in the emergency helicopter. She is moving to Philadelphia now to be a neonatal nurse practitioner for the Philadelphia Children's Hospital.

The picture is of graduation day with Elias - Jessie - and Doris. We will be visiting Doris and Elias at the end of February on our trip to the Florida Keys and the ACC Tournament in Tampa.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

We Witnessed This Mess in Vancouver Canada Last Week

Its Wild Heart Broken, a City, Like Its Eagles, Rebuilds

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 24 — No matter how high the office towers and condominiums get in this fast-growing city, those who live here still cling to the laid-back way of life that draws so many to Canada’s west coast, where spandex and a yoga roll are as common a sight as a suit and briefcase.

Nothing symbolizes this dichotomy more than Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre forested oasis next to downtown Vancouver that juts into the Burrard Inlet. Its trails and pathways are an escape for the growing legions who may live in a high-rise building and conduct an otherwise urban life but who disappear by the thousands into the park’s hiking trails or jog the six-mile path along the water.

That tranquillity was shattered, though, by two recent brutal winter storms that have all but decimated huge swaths of the park, knocking down some 10,000 trees and forcing much of it to be closed as crews struggle to clear the debris.

The park has been a part of Vancouver since the first city council was established in the late 1880s. The council’s first action after taking power was to create the park, preserving the lands that had until then been a marine base for the Royal Navy.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Drew is 30 Today

It was 30 years ago early this morning when Drew was born at the Lehighton Hospital. We drove from Tamaqua to Lehighton in a driving snow blizzard. Our Silver Ford Mustang with "summer tires" on it struggled the 16 miles thru the snow drifts. The temperature approached minus 20 degrees - I am not kidding. Nancy insisted on a natural child birth and Doctor Gene Upanavage delivered Drew - wearing jeans and sneakers - the doctor not Drew.

Today - Drew is married to Robin - his sweetheart he met at Duke University. After the two spent five years in the tropics while Drew earned his doctorate at Miami - they bought a home in Syracuse where Robin is a doctoral student and Drew is a research scientist.

The picture shows Drew being christened by Pastor Russ Funk. His Godparents were Leo Schilling - our now deceased neighbor - and Lori - Nancy's lovely sister.

Happy Birthday Son. "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased."

Side note - Russ Funk went on to purchase our weekly newspaper - The Tamaqua Paper - from us. Leo was a very devoted Catholic and got a special dispensation from the bishop to be able to go into a Protestant Church and be the Godfather of Drew. It is hard to believe from the picture - but Nancy already has her Bachelor's Degree for 2 years when Drew was born. Harry was 29.

Tamaqua Store Caught Selling Marijuana

Borough and state police arrested Nicholas A. Dietrich, 24, the owner of Loyalty Skateshop, 117 E. Broad St., and charged him with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Dietrich, 545 E. Elm St., Tamaqua, was arraigned before on-duty Magisterial District Judge Carol A. Pankake, Tremont, Sunday night. He was committed to Schuylkill County Prison, unable to pay 10 percent, or $1,500, of $15,000 percentage bail.

After acquiring a search warrant, police entered the store with a state police dog and confiscated a clear freezer bag and a 1-by-2-inch clear baggie, referred to as a "gram" bag, filled with the suspected substance.

"He was probably filling this up out of here and weighing it when we decided to come in and say 'Hey, what's happening,' " Tamaqua police Cpl. Richard Weaver said, noting that a $20 bill was sitting out on a counter top across from the cabinet where the suspected drugs were found.

The suspected substance was field tested by Trooper Ronald Kazakavage and tested positive for marijuana, Patrolman Henry D. Woods said in the affidavit.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I Captured This Rare Picture of a Florida Walking Squirrel

Some people say they are a strange group of squirrels living down there in Florida.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

FSU Wins Exciting Game Over Wake Forest

The Seminoles enjoyed a 74-66 win over the Demon Deacons on Saturday afternoon - that was supposed to be a lot easier than it was. Wake Forest owns a share of last place in the Atlantic Coast Conference - but they lead the Noles by 2 to 4 points most of the game. A late spurt by Tony Douglas and Al Thornton prevented a disasterous finish for the enthusiastic matinee audience.

Wayne, Shirley, Nancy and I left the house at 3:30 - the law school parking lot was already full by that time - so we had to park at Ruby Diamond Auditorium if we wanted to use our faculty parking pass. Since we did not have tickets - Nancy left me off at the Tucker Center and drove to the parking lot. My job was to land 4 tickets together "at a good price."

Maybe it is my smiling face - or the pathetic look of a grayheaded old man holding up 4 fingers - but two separate people walked up to me and offer me a pair of seats for free - good lower level tickets no less. One fellow had me walk him to the President's box entrance to make sure he had seats before he gave me his season tickets - what a nice thing to do.

By the time Nancy and all got to the arena - I had 4 tickets - 2 and 2 - but when we went inside - there were plenty of seats in our area - so Wayne and Shirley sat with us. We all cheered hard for the Noles. To celebrate the victory - we went to Julie's Place and lifted our glasses to the Seminole's 3 game home winning streak.

This victory was a lot harder than it was supposed to be.

The picture above shows Al Thornton scoring some of his 25 points.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Duke 73 FSU 60 - Duke Remains Undefeated and 21-0

Last night George and I went to see the FSU girls play Duke. After supper at Hooter's with our book review club - we drove to the arena. I was disappointed with the size of the crowd - maybe 2000 people - to see the number 1 team in the nation. I thought FSU with a record of 15-4 had a good chance to knock off Duke. At halftime we were down 8 and at the end we lost by 13. Duke has a girl - Alison Bales - that is 6 feet 7. She moves well without the ball and has a nice touch. She scored 15 points.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Seattle Has Two New Domed Stadiums For Football and Baseball

The Seattle Area has a population of 3 million people. They certainly seem to do a great job supporting their professional sports teams. They have built two modern covered stadiums to support the Seahawks and Mariners.

Quest Field is the football stadium - its roof opens in 2 halves like a clam shell. Safeco Field is for baseball - and the roof slides off in one big piece on rails. The stadiums are right next to each other - they are also downtown next to the historic district and along the harbor waterfront.

The Key Arena for basketball is about 2 miles away right next to the Seattle Space Needle.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Largest Building in the World - Boeing Assembly Plant

A trip to Seattle is not complete with a trip to Boeing. The plant is about 25 miles north of town. It is in a pastoral setting. The building does not look like much from the outside - but it is the biggest building in the world by volume.

Inside the building is as impressive as the Grand Canyon. The ceiling is over 100 feet high and has over 1/2 mile of open length and width. They said you could fit 911 basketball courts on the floor - and each of the 6 large doors was the size of a football field.

Unfortunately - they were super strict about not allowing cameras or cellphones in the factory. They said it was because a tourist dropped a camera once and put a $225,000 dent in a plane - but I suspect it has more to do with security and the paranoia over terrorists.

The workers were building Boeing 777's - they plan to start building the new 787's in June. The two pictures show the size of the body of the 787 and also the new interior of the 787. It will be made of composites making it lighter - more fuel efficient - and quieter. It will also be more spacious inside with larger windows. The neatest and most easily idenitified feature is that not only are the wings swept back - like a normal jet - but they also curve upward like a bird's.

The few pictures I got were taken in the museum area. The museum and tour were equipped to handle lots of people - but yesterday there were only 24 folks on our tour. Temperature outside was 45 and it was dark - breezy - and drizzling.

Still the largest and most expensive airliner is the Boeing 747. It used to cost $25 million when first build in 1970 - but now has a price tag over $200 million.

The Beautiful and Very Unusual Seattle Public Library

Any Everhart visit to a new city is not complete without a trip to the library. Seattle's is a wonderful diamond. The outside is angles of glass and metal - mostly glass. Inside - is a mixtures of glass shelves - lighted surfaces - bare metal - and vast open spaces.

Nancy likes to judge libraries that we visit by seeing if they have one of her books on their shelves. You can tell by Nancy's smile - she was happy with this place.

Escalators - large plain graphics - and tons of black computer terminals pull the theme together. But the best part of this library was the patrons' use. There were crowds of people enjoying the building and it services.

The last picture is of the Library Bistro - a restaurant near the library. Of course - guess where we had lunch?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Seattle Underground Tour - Amazing Story

Yesterday Nancy and I toured the Seattle Underground. It is truly an unreal story. Let me review quickly - if you want more - google "seattle underground."
1. Seattle was first built on mud flats along the Puget Sound.
2. During high tide the streets would turn to muck.
3. When the first "crapper toilets" came to town - when high tide hit - water would shoot up out of the toilets.
4. In 1889 - the town burnt down.
5. They decided to raise the streets 10 feet by building walls on each side of the street and filling the street with dirt.
6. An entire town existed with sidewalks and buildings 10 feet lower than the street.
7. People would have to climb down ladders to go into the front door.
8. Finally - the city covered over the sidewalks with a new sidewalk to the second floor.
9. There was an entire town underground that existed for over 60 years.
10.Stores and sidewalks were accessed from these "tunnels."
11.The crapper toilets were then put on the second floor so the tide would not come out of the toilet.
Harry is checking out one of the toilets in this old underground city.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

We Saw Sonics Beat the Cavs and LeBron James - But The Big News To Me Was the Women NBA Official

You all know how the Everharts love to go to see college football and basketball games - but since our hotel is only a couple of blocks from the Space Needle and Seattle's Key Arena - we decided to go see the great LeBron James play. We did not have tickets but when did that ever stop us - there were plenty of tickets for sale outside. The Sonics are not winning - and also the area is having bad weather here - ice and snow storms have closed many schools in the state. Nancy landed 2 tickets way to early and we ended up in the arena 40 minutes before game time.

The first picture is from our purchased seats. After a quarter we moved down to court level behind the Cavs bench.

The big story for me was the women NBA official. I have not seen a women do an NBA game before and she did a great job. The second 2 pictures were taken from our "move-down" seats and they show the "lady official" and LeBron James. She would not take crap from anybody - she even overruled another official on an out of bounds call.

Oh yeah - James got 30 points - and Ray Allen got 22 points - and the game was tied after 3 quarters and the Sonics won 101- 96 - and we had a great time.

After the game - we stopped at the Five Points Cafe - for a beer and late snack - just like in Tamaqua. It was 11 PM local time - which would be 2 AM Tallahassee time. This was big time nightclubbing for Nancy and Harry.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Seattle Map - You Are Here

I am in downtown Seattle. Click on the map to enlarge.

Our hotel is the white building just south of Denny Park. You can see that we are close to the Space Needle and the Museums and Sports Parks.

Right now the snow has stopped but it is foggy and heavily overcast - not like when this picture was taken.

Greetings From Snowy Seattle

Click Picture to Enlarge.

For the next 8 days - I will be reporting to you from Seattle. Nancy and I traveled here all day yesterday - leaving Tallahassee at 9:30 AM - and getting here at 11:30 PM Eastern Time. There was a big layover in Atlanta. Most of our flight was on a Boeing 767 wide body - and it was relatively bumpy flying over that storm that was attacking the mid section of our country.

We are here mainly because Nancy is doing a presentation of her Project LEAD to the American Library Association Convention. The librarians gather twice a year somewhere in the USA. Nancy's presentation will be 1 PM - your time - today. Nancy loves going to these conventions and meeting all the other "library people" from all over the country.

To our surprise - we woke up early today - 5:30 here - to a teaming snow storm. Since we are about 8 blocks from the convention center - I had the pleasure of driving our trusty snow white Kia Optima V6 that short distance. In that little round trip - I saw two fender benders and two cars do 360's. It appears they do not get this much snow here often - I have not seem any plows or salt trucks. The news said it will be clear by 10 AM. It was fun seeing school snow delays stream across the TV like back home on WNEP.

The picture above is from our Best Western Hotel. It is snowing hard and you can see how close we are to the Space Needle. Click the picture to see the snow and cars. It is no big deal to most of you readers - but since we came from Florida - it was fun to see snow - when you do not have to shovel it.

Nancy got our hotel on We have it for 6 nights - so we were able to settle in a bit. Most of the convention hotels were $250 a night - but we got this one for $60. Not bad - when you could really walk to the convention from here - but knowing Nancy - she will want to ride a limosine - like Aerosmith. I will shuttle her daily.

During the rest of the time here - I will be free to travel the great Northwest. We plan to visit Vancouver, Canada - maybe Mount Saint Helens - but most of the time will be spent in Seattle.

Our hotel has free breakfast - if this morning's breakfast was an indicator - that will nice. Since it is open from 5:30 to 10:30 - I may be able to slip in lunch there too :-) The parking and Internet are free. There is a big gas fireplace in the lobby too.

Funny story - we arrived in the hotel at 11:30 PM - your time - last night. The heat was not on in the room - so it was cold. I put the heat on and got ready for bed. During the night the room was cool - not cold. When I woke up this morning - to check out the weather - I opened the curtain - and our room window was open the whole night - and snow was blowing in the window. No wonder it felt breezty all night!

Thanks to George and Joel Dawson for house sitting while we are away. We left 78 degrees in Tallahassee and I had spent a full day running errands on my scooter in shorts and sandals. I even jumped into the pool for a few seconds when Nancy dropped the pool brush and pole into the deep end. The air was warm - but the pool water is below 60. It did not feel as bad as I expected.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Panther Valley Trail from Tamaqua to Jim Thorpe

By Chris Parker Of The Morning Call
Building a 14.9 mile hiking and biking trail stretching along railroad lines from Jim Thorpe to Tamaqua is expected to cost $1.5 to $2 million.

The results of a $40,000 feasibility study on the Panther Valley Heritage Trail were released Tuesday by Robert H. Hosking Jr., environmental services manager for McTish, Kunkel and Associates.

The voluminous study was completed about a week ago, said Dale Freudenberger of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.

''The next step would be to start seeking funds to do design and engineering,'' he said.

Construction costs would ''likely come from state or federal funds,'' Freudenberger said.

The money would be in the form of grants from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and/or the federal Transportation Enhancement Program, he said.

The study was paid for by a group that included the borough of Lansford, the Carbon-Schuylkill Industrial Development Corp., the Tamaqua Area Community Partnership, and funds secured by state Rep. Keith McCall, D-Carbon, and state Sen. Ray Musto, D-Luzerne, with a matching grant from the state Heritage Park Program.

The first choice of alignment of the trail, which would take travelers on a trek through anthracite culture and history, would include 5.9 miles in Schuylkill County and 9 miles in Carbon. The trail would extend through Walker, Tamaqua, Coaldale, Lansford, Summit Hill and Nesquehoning.

The trail would pass historical sites, including coal mine tunnels, mine breakers, a site of a mine cave-in and the Moser Log Home in Tamaqua — the first house in the community.

It would also run by the site where mine boss John P. Jones was murdered in 1875 by the Molly Maguires, a group of Irish-Catholics who confronted mine owners over low pay and dangerous conditions.

However, the first-choice route depends on getting permission from landowners along the way. They include the Kovatch Corp., Lehigh Coal and Navigation, the Carbon County Railroad Commission and Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad.

An alternative route would stretch for 14.3 miles, Hosking said.

The trail, with a packed stone surface, would be for hikers and bikers.

''The trail is not to be used by [all-terrain vehicle] riders,'' Hosking said.

McTish, Kunkel and Associates said in the study that the trail would be a popular recreation area for residents and also draw tourists.

It based its findings in part by examining attendance at the Lehigh Gorge State Park and visitors to the No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum in Lansford.

The park drew 384,490 people last year and the museum has about 6,000 visitors a year, the study said.

The trail would begin in Walker Township, just west of Tamaqua along Route 209. It would go through the six municipalities to the western end of the Nesquehoning Trestle.

The trestle is south of the confluence of the Lehigh River and the Nesquehoning Creek, the study says, and extends northeast across the Lehigh to the state park.

When completed, the trail would link two larger trails — the 165-mile-long Delaware and Lehigh that runs through Jim Thorpe with the Schuylkill River Heritage Trail that runs through Tamaqua toward Philadelphia.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Portable Directv Satellite TV System

Placeshifting is becoming a popular phenomenon as people increasingly want to take their TV everywhere they go using something like a Slingbox.

But what if you didn't need a Slingbox and could have a portable TV that could receive your subscription TV service from anywhere? Well DirecTV are trying to do just that with the DirecTV SAT+GO!

The Sat+GO! has a 70s brown color scheme and has a fold away briefcase design making it a handy portable device for watching your DirecTV satellite TV subscription. However, there is one problem (other than the colors) -- you better be facing south.

The lid of the device looks to be the satellite dish meaning that to get the best reception you need to be pointing it towards the satellite which could be a bit annoying.

The Sat+Go! portable TV has not yet been released and specific details on the device are very thin on the ground.

For those of you that don't want to wait there is already a similar third party product available called the SatCom PASSPort. This is just a portable satellite dish, so no TV, but at least you can point the satellite in the right direction and keep the TV pointing the way you want to.