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									4        The Hamburg Area Item, January 14, 2004
                                                                                 actually because it’s not often that    but last year went into the books      that winter weekend long ago            erties of absorbing water and
                                                                                 snow is recorded during them. The       on several counts.                     when the gasoline line on my            burning when ignited. So it went
                                                                                 year before the total was a scanty         At 63.2 inches, the year was the    automobile froze up.                    through the fuel system, taking

         Opinion                                                                 7.51 inches, a deficit of 9.21 inch-
                                                                                 es.
                                                                                     A major factor was the rainfall
                                                                                 in September. Last year, the
                                                                                 monthly total was 9.25 inches,
                                                                                                                         fourth snowiest, including that
                                                                                                                         surprising 10 inches on Dec. 6, the
                                                                                                                         sixth greatest snowfall in history
                                                                                                                         before the official start of winter,
                                                                                                                         on Dec. 22, of course.
                                                                                                                                                                    Thawing a frozen gasoline line
                                                                                                                                                                in an unheated garage without a
                                                                                                                                                                door is, to say the least, a chal-
                                                                                                                                                                lenge. You don’t take a blowtorch
                                                                                                                                                                that close to gasoline. I finally got
                                                                                                                                                                                                        accumulated water and the risk of
                                                                                                                                                                                                        freezing with it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't’ know what antifreeze is
                                                                                                                                                                                                        made of these days and I don’t
                                                                                                                                                                                                        keep my car outside or in an
                                                                                 compared with 3.46 for the same            Snow, too, was much in our          it open by applying towels soaked       unheated garage, so it makes no
                                                                                 month in 2002. Boosting the total       minds back on Presidents Day in        in boiling water to the offending       difference to me.
                                         The Weather                             last year were two tropical storms.     2003 when two feet piled up.           elbow in the line.                          All others, not so blessed,
                                             Everybody talks about the               For some of us who reflect a        Again, my sheltered lifestyle has          That taught me one lesson I         beware.
                                         weather.                                rural background, the five main         erased all memory of that event        never forgot as long as I kept my           Oh, by the way, Mark Twain
                                             So declared the philosopher         months of the growing season are        although I suspect if I still lived    car in an unheated garage. A stan-      said in full, “Everybody talks
                                         Mark Twain.                             of more interest. They are April        down at Shanesville I’d have quite     dard procedure was that each fall       about the weather, but nobody
                                             Last year, the weather was real-    through September.                      vivid recollection.                    when I put antifreeze in the radia-     does anything about it.” That’s
                                         ly something to talk about.                 Last year they, too, chalked up        Living in the country breeds        tor, a pint went into the gas tank.     still so.
                                             Wetness was its most talked         a significant gain over the year        many of those vivid memories.              Old-time antifreeze was alco-
                                         about feature.                          before, a total of 8.58 inches.         For example, I’ve never forgotten      hol and alcohol has the twin prop-
                                             The subject came up as often as         Aside from those overpowering
                                         it did, I suppose, because the year     9.25 inches in September, June
                                         before in 2002 the main topic of
                                         conversation was the opposite,
                                         dryness, or the drought.
                                                                                 was the wettest summer month,
                                                                                 with 7.2 inches, the ninth wettest
                                                                                 June since precipitation records
                                                                                                                                            Letter to the Editor
                                             For the three months of sum-        have been kept for the past 134
                                         mer (July, August, September) the       years.
                                         difference was pronounced. Last             Given the reclusive nature of       To the Editor:                         there was, by her first-hand            should be of complete clear mind
                                         year those three months racked up       my retirement years, I don’t pay           I must note with alarm the          knowledge, a couple of individu-        while crossing children, a rational
                                         a total of 16.72 inches of rain,        all that much attention to snow,        action taken by the “new”              als already serving who were            basis requirement. However, on
                                                                                                                         Hamburg Borough Council on             more impaired than what a drink         the first evening of being seated as
                                                                                                                         Monday evening, Jan. 5 which           or two would do. The collective         new councilmembers, the body
                                                                                                                         puts our children and grandchil-       group decided to refer the issue        voted to ignore this prudent
                                                                                                                         dren at risk while going to school     for further investigation by the        approach and take care of political
  Adams’ Apples                               “Reaching a hundred my way”                                                in the borough. This being done
                                                                                                                         in the rush of taking care of polit-
                                                                                                                                                                personnel committee to establish a
                                                                                                                                                                policy on this matter before any
                                                                                                                                                                                                        allies while ignoring any account-
                                                                                                                                                                                                        ability responsibilities of crossing
                                                                                                                         ical allies.                           further action was taken.               guards.
                                         porosis.                                and that rolled up leaf that I             The “old” borough council had          This action appeared to be a            We now know where the “new”
                                            5. I will do housework. My           chewed and spit out. I also have        identified a potential problem of      prudent action by the serving bor-      council stands on safety issues.
                                         assignment: The den, laundry            200 pipes from a life of disgusting     alcohol impairment by a proposed       ough council and in the best inter-                      Richard W. Boyd
                                         room, garage and basement. I            carbonaceous. With today’s              individual for crossing guard. In      ests of the citizens of the borough                          Hamburg, Pa.
                                         wash the car, mow the lawn -            excessive cigarette taxes, all          discussion with the “new” council      and their children and grandchil-          Editor’s note: Boyd is the for-
                                         where does it end? My wife only         smokers should stop for their           on this issue it was pointed out by    dren. This is consistent with the       mer Hamburg Borough Council
                                         has the rest of the seven room          (monetary?) health.                     an incoming councilperson that         concept that the crossing guards        president.
                                         house to take care of.                     15. I will buckle up. The life I
                                            6. I will not meditate. I do a lot   save just might reach 100. If I go,
                                         of reflecting though, it helps pro-
                                         duce physiological activity and all
                                         those great anti-aging hormones.
                                                                                 MET/LIFE goes too.
                                                                                    16. I will not run. Not for office
                                                                                 or for health. No aspirations. Too
                                                                                                                         Britney and the Croc Hunter
                                            7. I will watch TV sitcoms.          much respiration and perspiration.
                                         Laughter is part of my stress bust-
                                         ing activity. It keeps me mentally
                                         young.
                                                                                 That’s my gratification in the long
                                                                                 run.
                                                                                    17. I will speak up. However, it
                                                                                                                         - Forever tarnishing images
                                            8. I will not live beyond my         does get me in trouble. My opin-
                                         means. If you grew up in the 30s        ions and advice? So who cares           By Chris Barnes                        end’s news that the famous pop          about time he got out there and did
By Charles J. Adams Jr.                  you’d know the value of the dollar      Charlie?                                   When John or Jane Citizen           star got married in Vegas should        his first croc demo.”
   I’ll be the big eight-o in April. I   ( 33 cents?).                              18. I will not get a dog. Over       crosses over from being a mere         just be like any other star gossip.         You know, I remember when
have every intention of going for           9. I will try hard to watch my       the years we had five. Walk, wash,      nobody to getting whisked away         Who cares?                              my dad bought me my first cigar
the century mark. Maybe I will.          blood sugar levels. It ain’t easy for   feed, paper train, treat a disease or   onto the red carpet with celebrity         For a girl who tearfully broke      at age 17.
Maybe I won’t.                           this     chocoholic.       (Hershey     condition, bury, - been there, done     status, the world (and tabloids)       down in front of television jour-           A fine smoke is more appreci-
   That said, allow me to tell you       Saccharin Kisses?)                      that!                                   are awaiting and analyzing every       nalist Diane Sawyer, crying how         ated over being dangled above
exactly how I plan to do it.                10. I won’t overeat. Aging              19. I will and do have the right     move.                                  she’s misperceived, the new bride       blood-thirsty jaws.
   “One hundred” is 20 years             slowed down my gorging, along           partner. How does six decades              Tom Hanks and Jay Leno are          said her “I do’s” and got an annul-         Irwin doesn’t necessarily hold
away, so I wrote down 20 things I        with a painstaking effort by my         grab you?                               balancing quite well on that           ment      the    following      day.    the same level of high society that
will and won’t do to accomplish          wife. (She never sees the junk at          20. I will not take up dancing       tightrope, still being known as the    Remember moms, your daughter            Spears does, which can be even
this yearning.                           night.)                                 thank you. Right partner or not.        nicest people in show business.        might idolize this ‘princess.’          more detrimental.
   1. I will (after 60 years) contin-       11. I will do the work I love.          I got it figured: If I can imagine      But like a lion at feeding time,        USA Today reported that                 This stunt will most likely
ue to be faithful. Monogamous            You are reading part of it right        my future at 100, I’m more than         the world’s watching eyes never        Spears “didn’t fully understand         haunt the Croc Hunter longer than
men live longer and healthier            now. Drawing cartoons for publi-        two thirds there. That’s the trouble    close and just one slip can cost       what she was doing when she got         his flopped movie. Whose idea
lives. I’m willing to die for her -      cation is my number one activity.       with the future. It keeps getting       them their squeaky-clean images.       hitched on the spur of the              was it to put Steve Irwin on the
she’s willing to let me.                 (Call my editors.)                      closer and closer. Once I get there,       Britney Spears, however, has-       moment.” Donning a baseball cap         silver screen anyway? Probably
   2. I won’t indulge in drink. Two         12. I won’t take afternoon naps.     more conjecture begins.                 n’t been the cute, pigtailed           and torn jeans, she was escorted        the same person who gave Food
units of alcohol (beer) now and          That means no sleeping pills at            If any of the above confused         Mousekateer for years. That            down the aisle by a limo driver.        Network chef Emeril his own sit-
then can’t hurt. Actually, I never       night. That way I get double rest. I    you, you just don’t know what’s         image was flushed when she             I’m sure daddy was proud, wher-         com.
drink unless I am alone with             often dream I’m sleeping.               going on. I am a man with the           transformed from a sweet, inno-        ever he was.                                I’ve always said there’s nothing
somebody.                                   13. I will check my prostate         courage of my convictions. You          cent, teen role model to a basical-        So while her now ex-husband,        worse than wasted talent. You
   3. I will eat lots of fiber. Seven    regularly. I give blood often, and      have just read 20 of them.              ly-naked sex symbol that was           Jason Alexander, can proudly            can’t blame the public for attack-
different cereals, pretzels and          in return I get reports on the             To make a long story short...too     tossed into the Hollywood caul-        declare he was Mr. Britney              ing the gossip, especially when
chips. Love’em.                          soundness of my rugged 184-             late!!!                                 dron of scandalous behavior.           Spears, if only for one night, the      it’s just so easy. When a “celebri-
   4. I won’t lift weights. Winding      pound physical structure.                  Your        opinion?       E-mail:      These days, just shrug your         one-time musical sweetheart is          ty” climbs on top of the world, or
my pacemaker every morning is               14. I won’t, and I don’t smoke;      LST281@aol.com.                         shoulders at whatever she does or      continuing her downward spiral.         into a crocodile pit, it’s so easy to
exercise enough to prevent osteo-        I did for 50 years - packs of butts,                                            wears next – nothing should be a       True, you can’t be sweet and inno-      fall down. Luckily for the baby,
                                                                                                                         surprise anymore. So last week-        cent forever, but her image has         Steve remained on his feet.
                                                                                                                                                                become as dirty as her videos.              Chris Barnes is the co-editor of

A year of ups and downs for Hamburg area                                                                                                                            Traveling down under, Steve
                                                                                                                                                                Irwin (better known as the Croc
                                                                                                                                                                Hunter), didn’t think he did any-
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Free Press and The Saucon
                                                                                                                                                                                                        News. He can be reached at
                                                                                                                                                                                                        tfp@berksmontnews.com.
   Another year has come and                The timing seemed perfect.           focal point in the downtown dis-        prior.                                 thing wrong. The Animal Planet
                                                                                                                                                                star and crocodile guru stunned a       Letters to the editor can be
gone, and while looking over the            Just as Cabela’s announced it        trict.                                     But 2003 wasn’t without its
happenings of 2003 for our Year-         would make the area its new                 Barta jumped on board as well,      flaws.                                 crowd by feeding a 13-foot croco-           sent via e-mail to:
In-Review (featured on page 14), I       home, the Our Town Foundation,          extending its service to Northern          The year also saw a lot of          dile while holding his 1-month-         nmurry@berksmontnews.com.
noticed there have been many ups         charged       with      revitalizing    Berks; and the Our Town                 infighting between members of          old son in his arms. Irwin was
                                                                                                                                                                quoted in Australia’s Sunday              All correspondence must
and downs for the Northern Berks         Hamburg’s downtown, was get-            Foundation, Greater Hamburg             council and the citizens of
area.                                    ting up and running.                    Business      Association      and      Hamburg, which are also detailed       Telegraph denouncing compar-              be signed by the author.
   First, we’ll review the good.            Through the non-profit organi-       Northern Berks Chamber of               in our Year-In-Review.                 isons to the Michael Jackson               See below for details.
   Many had something to be              zation’s efforts, the town saw such     Business and Industry saw the              Now that 2004 has seen the          stunt, holding his infant son over a
excited about when the World’s           beautification efforts as sprucing      launch of www.hamburgpa.org, a          election of four new faces to          hotel balcony.                                EDITORIAL POLICY
Foremost Outfitter, Cabela’s,            up the municipal lot at Fourth and      Web site serving as a planning          Hamburg Borough Council, I’m               “I would never, ever put my             The Hamburg Area Item wel-
opened its first east coast store in     Pine streets and grants awarded to      tool for visitors to the area from      hoping the arguments will wane.        son in any danger – not in a mil-       comes letters to the editor concern-
Tilden Township on Sept. 18.             local businesses to implement           near and far.                              Here’s to continuing success        lion years,” Irwin told the paper,      ing local issues. Letters must
Thousands came out in force to           changes such as facade improve-             Not only is an increased num-       for the Northern Berks area in         somehow with a straight face.           include the writer’s signature,
get a look at the store and, albeit      ments.                                  ber of tourists visiting the area,      2004!                                      That’s as good an excuse as
                                                                                                                                                                saying he couldn’t find a babysit-      address and telephone number.
slowly, it seems shoppers are get-          Also, the Rotary Club of             but the Hamburg they’re visiting                        Nikki M. Murry                                                 Unsigned letters will not be pub-
ting curious about what down-            Hamburg donated a clock to the          today is a more beautiful and                                Item Editor       ter.
                                                                                                                                                                    After the stunt, Irwin told the     lished.
town Hamburg has to offer.               borough, which now serves as a          exciting place to see than in years                                                                                        We encourage our readers to
                                                                                                                                                                crowd, “He’s 1 month old so it’s
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