Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We Want to Win!

The Weekender is holding their annual "Weekender Readers' Choice" nomination and awards.  We'd really love it if you'd take a moment to nominate NEPA Blogs for the honor of Best Local Blog.  The link to vote is located here:

You must vote for at least 25 categories and only once to be counted.  You have until Tuesday, April 12th to cast your ballot.

We completely missed the nomination process last year while focusing on other things (mainly Spring BlogFest).  We want to win the whole kit caboodle this year, baybee! 

Please share with anyone who is casting a ballot.  A vote for us can help them make their quota of 25 entries!

About the header image: March 27, 2013

Energy: It's what makes things go. Pennsylvania has long played a role in the energy industry. The first modern oil wells were drilled in Titusville in Northwestern Pennsylvania, while high-quality anthracite coal was mined in Northeastern PA, especially in the Wyoming Valley. The region still bears the scars of those days in the form of decaying, abandoned structures, poisoned waterways, and the occasional mine subsidence.

Now a new energy rush has come to Pennsylvania as numerous concerns vie to extract the natural gas trapped within layers of the Marcellus Shale. Some residents (and non-resident landowners) have eagerly signed leases with gas extraction companies, sometimes to their regret - and with lasting impacts to the land and the legacy that these people leave behind.

Some might look at a Pennsylvania field and wonder how much natural gas could be extracted from it. But this image by Don Williams, the Susqehanna River Sentinel, shows two other forms of energy in ample supply in Pennsylvania: solar and wind. Some might think that Pennsylvania is lacking in solar resources compared to some of the sunnier states, but the thickly forested landscape bears witness to the wrongness of that thought. (And our cooler temperatures allow solar panels to operate at higher efficiency than in, say, Arizona.) As for wind, the numerous wind farms that have popped up throughout the area show that wind is a viable energy source on a commercial scale. But neither sunshine nor wind can be commodified in the way that oil, coal, or natural gas can. As long as there is a profit to be made and a market eager to buy, the fossil fuel industry will continue to tear resources out of the land. And as long as there is a Pennsylvania to fight for, people like Don Williams will continue to fight to protect the environment that so many of us take for granted.

See this post for the original image.

Send your header submissions to Thanks!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

PA Live! Blog of the Week: Charlie the Cavalier

NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on the WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.

Watch this episode on the PA Live! site: 

Our PA Live! Blog of the Week this week is Lisa Rusczyk's  Charlie the Cavalier (

If you realize that the "Cavalier" in the title refers to a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and not to, say, a foppishly-dressed Royalist partisan in the English Civil War (and, yes, there is a connection), you might be excused for thinking that this is a "dog blog." But in fact the full title is "Charlie-The-Cavalier and his Friends, Family and Home" - which points to the fact that this is really a blog about much more than just Charlie. As Lisa puts it in her "About Me" page,

...I have blogged about many different things in my life including getting married, buying a house, going on vacation, staying organized, and now the amazing process of having a baby.  My goal is to help others with the things that I have done in my life.  The blog now includes baby tips, printables, decorating, cavalier king charles spaniels, being organized, thrifty and simple life, faith, celebrations, and travel.

The content of Charlie the Cavalier is amazingly varied. Lisa writes from her home in Lock Haven about life, motherhood, family time, maintaining a home, living with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and features guest posts with additional tips about all of these topics and more. You'll be sure to find something of interest in the blog!

If you have a blog you would like us to link on NEPA Blogs, or know of a blog you think we should link, please let us know! You can always drop us a line at!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Blog Fest Spring 2013 is coming!

Bloggers, blog fans, and the local political set will be gathering at Rooney's in Pittston for the Spring 2013 edition of Blog Fest! This will be your chance to meet your fellow bloggers, or met the people behind the blogs!

From the press release:

Northeastern Pennsylvania Bloggers will be hosting the 7th semi-annual BlogFest at Rooney's Irish Pub, Friday April 19th at Rooney's Irish Pub, 67 S. Main St., Pittston, PA 18704 starting at 6PM. This is an informal gathering of bloggers, candidates for office, elected officials and anyone interested in politics or blogging. There is no charge for admission.

Since its inception 3 years ago BlogFest has been described as the best political event of the season. No speeches are allowed and the rule is agree to disagree but don't be disagreeable. Many local and statewide candidates will be attending. We have received RSVPs from most of the Luzerne County Council Candidates, some Pittston JD candidates, and two of the 2014 Lt. Governor hopefuls.

Anyone who has been to one of these before knows what a great time they can be. Whether the tone will be primarily political or primarily about bloggers and blogging depends on who shows up. Why don't you come out and get into the mix? See you there!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

About the header image: March 20, 2013

Today is the first day of Spring, but you wouldn't guess that from the weather lately. This hasn't been the worst Winter in NEPA history, not by a long shot, but I think we were spoiled by last year's extremely mild weather. This has been what I've called "The Winter of Minor Annoyances", with frequent nuisance snowfalls and occasional dips into sub-freezing temperatures - but still enough to produce the death and damage that always accompany snow and ice.

Still, as the days begin to outlast the nights, we can look forward to increasingly warmer temperatures. Perhaps this would be a good time to take a look back at the season that has just ended and raise our hands in salute. Our header for the week of March 20 through 26 is a farmhouse on Church Hill Road in Newton, Lackawanna County, photographed by Mike Burnside ( This scene is just begging to be turned into a painting!

And now, Winter is over, and we can all enjoy the Spring. Right...?

If you have any photos that capture the spirit of NEPA, send them in to us at and we'll use them as the NEPA Blogs header!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

PA Live! Blog of the Week: NYC, Style, and a little Cannoli

NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on the WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.

Watch this episode on the PA Live! site:

Our PA Live! Blog of the Week this week is Rosemary Nardone's NYC, Style, and a little Cannoli (

Rosemary Nardone is from Northeastern Pennsylvania, but she has a passion for a place a short drive to the East - New York City! She shares that passion on her blog. The title gives you a good idea of what the blog is about: New York City, style (and fashion), food, entertainment - the complete New York City experience. And she doesn't limit herself to New York City: recent posts have covered the Philadelphia Flower Show and taking tea at the Stegmaier Mansion.

New York City is an easy drive from most of Northeastern Pennsylvania. If you're planning to go there for a day-trip, to spend a weekend, or even if you might never go there, NYC, Style, and a little Cannoli is a great way to visit through the eyes of Rosemary Nardone, and get a taste of what New York City has to offer!

If you have a blog you would like us to link on NEPA Blogs, or know of a blog you think we should link, please let us know! You can always drop us a line at!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Agent Teachers

I came across this blog in a LinkedIn Group that I had recently joined.  JW Hoban & Associates is an insurance agency located on Carey Ave in Wilkes-Barre.  They recently turned to blogging to help educate the public about the ins and outs of insurance.

Agent Teachers

The blog is authored by Jerry Usher - one of the Sales Agents of the group.  Are you looking to manage your risk?  Or want to know why insurance is so expensive?  Or want to get a clearer definition of what insurance actually is?  This blog will be right up your alley.

You can also learn more at the Agency by visiting their website -

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

About the header image: March 13, 2013

The Susquehanna River floods periodically. Anyone who lives alongside it long enough knows that. Whether the floods are every fourteen years, or every forty, remains open to some debate. Few living in NEPA today need to be reminded of the Flood of September 2011. (Though you can still catch a few performances of "Flood Stories Too," a dramatic presentation of accounts of the flood at the Alvina Krass Theater in Bloomsburg. Performances run this Thursday March 14 through Sunday March 17 - hit the link for more details.) The Flood of September 2011 was brought on by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, which inundated the area a week after the remnants of Irene had torn through NEPA, dumping rain and bringing high winds. Lee parked itself over the headwaters of the Susquehanna, much like Agnes did in 1972. Until 2011, Agnes was the worst flood many people around here remembered. But members of an older generation speak of another great flood - the St. Patrick's Day Flood of 1936, seventy-seven years ago this week.

In late 2009 historian Philip Lord contacted me about a picture I had posted on the NEPA Blogs sidebar of one of the eagles on the Market Street Bridge. He had found the photo above and was wondering if these might be the same eagles. I quickly determined that they were, and tentatively identified the building on the left as the Hotel Sterling. He did some research and determined that this photo was from the St. Patrick's Day Flood of 1936. I recreated the photo in February 2010. The story of our exchange, and a link to his site, can be found here.

Some aspects of NEPA can only be found in old photos tucked away in books. Have you ever found such an image? Send us a copy, let us know what it is, and we'll use it as the NEPA Blogs header some week!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

PA Live! Blog of the Week: Growing Up Geek Podcast

NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on the WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.

Watch this episode on the PA Live! site:

Our PA Live! Blog of the Week this week is the Growing Up Geek Podcast (

This is a special sort of blog. It's a podcast, a sort of streaming audio broadcast, with posts delivered as audio presentations. It's a collaborative work, featuring Trevor Shafer, Jason Percival, Jerry Mullen, Dale Culp, and John Mullen, who get together and discuss computers, computer games, technology, and other generally geeky topics. The pace is fast, the posts are long, and the discussions free-wheeling and ribald...sometimes very ribald. But if you're looking for news and opinions on the latest geeky stuff, this is a great place to get it. Fire it up in the background while you're doing something else and congratulate yourself for multitasking!

If you have a blog you would like us to link on NEPA Blogs, or know of a blog you think we should link, please let us know! You can always drop us a line at!

Monday, March 11, 2013

570 Mine Fire

I first met Bill Thomas at the annual Sideshow Gathering at The Woodlands. After the 2011 Gathering I also found out that he had an interest in blogging. This blog has been around since July 2012, but it was on hiatus from September 2012 through March 2013. It's active again.

570 Mine Fire

A blog about independent music in Pennsylvania - not just NEPA - by Bill Thomas. From the About page:

Independent music is like a mine fire. It’s always there. Burning underground.

Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. And no matter what you throw at it, you can’t snuff it out. It’s damn near impossible to kill.

Like any fire, though, it still needs fuel and oxygen to thrive. Without recognition and support, especially on the local level, there’s always the danger of fading, of being reduced to mere embers.

Throughout Pennsylvania, there are countless artists carrying the torch of independent music. This blog is a celebration of them. It’s also meant as a show of support, one minor contribution towards keeping those creative flames lit. Long may they endure.

Burning underground.

(There's a heck of a lot more on the About page. You should make yourself a snack, maybe a nice drink, throw on something comfortable, and set aside some time to read it.)

Saturday, March 09, 2013

From the Mailbag: The Last Dinosaur

We received another mailbag entry last Tuesday for a new poetry blog.  Check it out:


     My name is Dean Robbins.  I have recently begun a blog, under the advice of an author/publisher who is familiar with current publishing trends, to showcase my original poetry.  It is titled "The Last Dinosaur" and can be found at  Please feel free to add my blog to your current listings.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

Dean Robbins

According to the first post, the name "The Last Dinosaur" is due to Dean's avoidance of the use of technology.  From the author's mouth:  "...I proudly referred to myself as a Luddite, refusing to join the rest of the world in its excitement over what seemed to be daily innovations in our rush to achieve the inevitable conclusions of our most foreboding science fiction"

Stop by the Last Dinosaur and deliver some words of encouragement to Dean for joining the 21st century :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

About the header image: March 6, 2013

This week's header image is one submitted by Guerrilla Historian and urban archaeologist Cheri Sundra ( some months ago. I came across it by accident and thought that it looked so sunny and cheerful (seriously, those huge windows, like the windows at the Ashley Breaker, let in a lot of sunlight) and emblematic of this region. This is the interior of the old Plymouth Powerhouse, now abandoned and falling to ruin. Maybe someday it will be gone forever, but for now it is another decaying relic of NEPA's past.

Do you have an image that captures some aspect of Northeastern Pennsylvania? Send it in to us at and we'll use it as a header image - eventually!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Forget Me Not Lady

Today's blog offering is straight from our NEPA Bloggers Facebook group.  Tamara Tertel-Hersberger coins herself the "Forget Me Not Lady".

"Where Creativity, Inspiration and Faith Collide!"

From the About:

"I remember back in 11th grade when we all were trying to decide what we wanted to be when we GREW UP, I chose Interior Design. I loved every aspect of it and I give “SOME” of that credit to my creative and designing parents, who really made it come natural.

Well then life happened and the road I was getting ready to travel on had a HUGE DETOUR sign that took me in a whole different direction with no GPS. That lady would have been telling me the whole time “You’re going the WRONG WAY” lol (but I wouldn’t have listened anyway.) So now my live choices weren’t about me anymore and the desires of my heart had to be placed on hold for some time."

Follow Tamara's restoration, interior decorating, and life journeys on her blog or on her Facebook page.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Miss Cupcake

I first learned about this blog on a Home & Backyard segment on WNEP-TV sometime last year...more on that later.

The Miss Cupcake

"A blog about my sweets, treats, and disasters!"

From the About:
What is this “Miss Cupcake” project might you ask? Well, it’s my goal to bake everything under the sun. All things cute and cuddly that is. Cupcakes, cake balls, fabulous layer cakes, chocolate covered cuties-you name it. But all with my own little twist. I love creating new and fabulous things for people to eat and rave over . It’s going to be fun-except I’m a perfectionist-which you soon will find to be true. Get ready I bet you’ll be hooked! Also, if there is something that you have allllwwaayss wanted to try, but didn’t have the guts to bake, I’m your “cupcake!” Let me have those requests. I love to be innovative.

As I mentioned earlier, Lauren Elsasser (the blog's author) was on a segment on WNEP-TV's Home and Backyard.  I created the draft for this blog post roughly a year ago and have been sitting on it since because I'm a slacker (well...technically, the draft got shoved to the last page of our draft post list...and I forgot about it).  Anyway, it turns out the recipe that Lauren made for H&B last year was for adorable Easter Cupcakes - perfect timing to feature this blog and post since Easter is at the end of this month.  I love when my procrastination unintentionally yields positive results!

If you missed the episode and would like to see the recipe for the cupcakes, check out this post.  Better yet, you can watch the segment online for free right here:

Home & Backyard airs Saturday mornings at 9am.  We'll have to keep our eyes peeled to see if any bloggers from Northeast PA appear on upcoming episodes!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Beer and (more) Pizza Review Blogs

You've had a long week - the weather sucks, gas prices are rising, and the kids are being evil brats.  You've worked hard and now you deserve a treat.  How about a tall cold one and a slice of cheesy greasy pizza?  Sound good?  I thought so.

We have two bloggers to help you out with selecting your brew and pie.

NEPA Beer Reviews 

"Reviews for Beer Geeks and Craft Beer Beginners"

Joe, Sean and Amanda post video and photos of beers they review on the blog.  They've been at it since March 2012 and are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.  You can also follow their adventures on Twitter under the handles @NEPABeerBlogger @NEPABeerReviews and on Facebook.

Keystone Pizza Critic

"my gluttonous | your gain"

You may remember a few months of go, we featured +NEPA PizzaReview on the blog.  At the time, I thought they were the only Pizza Review blog in the region.  It turns out, I was wrong!  James, of the Keystone Pizza Critic blog recently followed us on Twitter and I learned quickly that there was another Pizza Review blog in the area!

From the About: 

"I’m James. I dabble with this, ride my mountain bike, dabble with that, love traveling, pets, entrepreneurship, and of course, pizza.

I love all pizza, so long as it is good. I don’t believe that I have a bias towards thin vs. thick crust, crisp vs. pliable, acidic vs. sweet, round vs. square, fried vs. baked, and so on. While I currently live in the Philadelphia region I was born and raised in the Wilkes-Barre, PA area, and so I have consumed more pizza in that area than any other. I will note that Wilkes-Barre is a short ride from Old Forge, which is viewed by many as the pizza capital of the world. Ironically, I don’t find Old Forge style pizza to be anything special, but I will nonetheless offer reviews of it in the future.

The intent of this blog is to document my opinion and information of varying pizza shops and their products. Most of my reviews will be of establishments in Pennsylvania; maybe sometimes from neighboring states. Sometimes you will agree with my opinion, and maybe sometimes you will not. I welcome your comments either way."

Sounds delicious.  I think I just gained five pounds while adding these to our blog roll.

Happy Saturday!

misterjim's neighborhood

Jim Warner is a poet and writer. As such, I'll let him describe himself:

Jim Warner is the author of two poetry collections Too Bad It’s Poetry and Social Studies (Paper Kite Press). His poetry has appeared in The North American Review, Word Riot, Drunken Boat, PANK, and various journals. Jim is a the former Assistant Director of Graduate Creative Writing Programs at Wilkes University and currently writes for Neatorama and the blog Best Worst Year for Sun Dog Lit. 

Jim has a Tumblr blog which can be described as anything but a writing blog.

misterjim's neighborhood