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Random Thoughts: The first 100 days and a bit more

April 25, 2014

Punxsutawney's governmental outline took on a new look last January with the inauguration of its first new mayor in 12 years.

Richard Alexander came abroad, as he says, to make a difference in Punxsutawney as well as the local police department. In Pennsylvania, a mayor is the highest-ranking municipal officer, who serves as a borough's chief executive.

Although Borough Council does the hiring and firing, it is the mayor who also has the task of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the law enforcement segment of the borough.

The Watering Hole: I'm not ready to say goodbye to baseball in Pittsburgh

April 24, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

In the past 27 years, I've walked through the gates of Three Rivers Stadium and PNC Park more than an estimated 450 times.

There's nothing like handing the smiling usher your ticket, getting your program and taking in the view of the freshly-cut field as you go to your seats.

Unfortunately, on Saturday, I may have taken that in for the very last time.

Yes, the rumors are true.

Come May 10, I'll no longer be at The Punxsutawney Spirit.

On May 13th, I'll no longer be in the state of Pennsylvania.

Blame Gomez if you want, but don't put it all on him

April 21, 2014

Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

By now, you've seen the replays of the Brewers extra-inning victory over the Pirates.

While losing three of four to Milwaukee is a big storyline, the even bigger one is the bench-clearing brawl that took place in the third inning.

You know the culprits by now — Carlos Gomez, Gerrit Cole, Martin Maldonado and Travis Snider — but all I've seen is people wanting to place all of the blame on Gomez and Maldonado, while giving Cole and Snider a free pass.

Since we are in Pirates' country, this doesn't come as a huge shock.

Zak of All Trades: Easter is a time for blossoming hope

April 18, 2014

This weekend, we will celebrate what may just be one of my favorite holidays in Easter.

This week, we asked the children at Mapleview Elementary School what their favorite Easter tradition was, and so many of them had fun answers — from egg hunts to hunting real rabbits to planting jellybeans.

While planting jellybeans was not a tradition I grew up with — I love how much we learn from these Questions For Kids pieces — many of the other traditions that the children enjoyed were familiar to me and were ones that I grew up with.

McGuire's Musings: Where's your Easter bonnet?? Where's my Easter basket??

April 18, 2014

This past week, I entered the world of the third graders to ask what their favorite Easter traditions are.

I took the long trek to double school Mapleview in the Punxsutawney Area School District on Route 536.

The kids had a blast and came up again with some cute and funny answers.

Some of the answers involved Easter dinner, Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets filled with candy, Easter candy, coloring eggs and eating ham, just to name a few.

I remember that growing up as a kid, coloring Easter eggs was an exciting event.

The Watering Hole: What's with all of these injuries?

April 17, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

Any athlete knows the risk of stepping on to the playing surface.

It is, after all, why many fans say they don't feel sorry when an athlete gets hurt, because they know the risks, and they get paid handsomely for it.

But this past year, the injuries seem to be coming at an alarming rate, especially when it comes to the NFL and MLB.

In 2013 alone, there were 61 recorded ACL tears in the NFL.

Joan Niesen of The Denver Post, calculated that 2,589 players appeared in at least one preseason or regular-season NFL game this past year.

Zak of All Trades: Your local library — you should check it out

April 11, 2014

Reading has always been there for me. When I needed a bit of therapy, I could pick up a book and be whisked away to another world for a while.

When I needed something to keep me entertained on a long drive or flight, I could take a magazine or two with me and be just fine.

Like I said, reading has just always been there for me. And each chapter of my life has had books that I remember having a big influence on me.

The Watering Hole: Welcome to Wrestlemania

April 10, 2014

By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit

In my time here at The Punxsutawney Spirit, I think my favorite piece that I've produced was my column about high school wrestling.

This year, I finally understood the sport, but more importantly, I gained a new respect for the sport and the athletes.

Instead of dreading the matches, I looked forward to them.

After Joel Bowers and Kaleb Young bowed out at Hershey, I found myself missing the sport of wrestling.

While it's nowhere near the same thing, I started watching professional wrestling again.

Zak of All Trades: The good news first, or the bad?

April 4, 2014

We've likely all heard the question, and many of us dread it: "Which would you like to hear first — the good news or the bad news?"

Depending on our personality types, so many of us who are quite alike would answer this question differently.

For some, hearing the good news first puts them in a better state of mind to hear the bad news. I call these individuals "a little bit crazy."

As for me, my answer has always — without hesitation — been "give me the bad news first." That way, when the good news came, I would know that the worst of it had already come.

On Review: 'Noah'

April 4, 2014

Editor's Note: This monthly installment of movie reviews by Spirit employees Matt Triponey and Dan Long rates Noah.

In Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there's a scene where young Huck faces a moral crisis — his entire life, he's been told it's a sin to assist the enslaved in freeing themselves.

However, over the course of his journey, he's become friends with the runaway slave Jim, whose freedom is now at stake. So, faced with a choice, Huck says one of the book's most famous lines: "All right, then, I'll go to hell." And he helps his friend.

(Editor’s note: This piece is one in a series of “Familiar Faces Friday” features to be written by Spirit reporter...
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