Tales of the Good Ship Dick -- White Light Abomination in Full Retreat PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Kerns   
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 00:57


 As heard on Cumberland's WCBC Radio, AM 1270, these are the columns of the Good Ship Dick, an American privateer newly self-commissioned to the forces of truth once more sailing the ocean blue under a banner of the same hue, and stripes of red, stars of white. Currently enjoying well-deserved R&R in a sun-splashed, rum-soaked Caribbean port of call, Captain awaits return to duty about two weeks after the inauguration, when Fox & Fiends blames it all on Obama. Which is total garbage, for as we all know...

"Mele Kalik-Obama is America's way, to say Merry Christmas to the world..."

Recorded 12-14-08

  While I can't take credit for transformation awaited lo these many years, I will celebrate as one who long championed it.

Not Barack Obama‘s election, but an American revolution of a different sort, bombillas borealis.

From little wire trees aglow, to icicle strands ablaze, an explosion of color decorates Mountain Maryland this Christmas season, the forces of white-light conformity in full retreat.

I do a good bit of driving through the southwestern provinces of Allegany County, and can testify to megawatts of holiday spirit from McCoole all the way up Georges Creek to the Mountain City. And while a ride through just about any part of Frederick County, and large swaths of Washington, would reveal houses bathed in nearly naught but suburban white, rainbow colors light the night in what natives like to call true Western Maryland.


Thus is Christmas uniquely American amongst these ancient Appalachian folds, a celebration not only of the Savior‘s birth, but the independence of spirit that birthed a nation.

And I'm not talking lights of red, white and blue, though the former and latter appear, together with yellow and orange. White lights in any proper display are confined to creche alone, purely for illumination.

Because we see white lights all the time, every waking hour of every day. At their most hideous, they are flourescent, rank upon row, cold light above a place no one wants to be. White lights. Up and down the street, blinding through the windshield, in the mirror and in your face.

White light is too much with us as it is, why give our days any more?

Bombillas borealis sings of that singular time of year, that one day, when the world is truly different. And the season leading up to it, sweetened with anticipation, smoothed with goodwill. Not a bad time of year to be alive.

It is a harbor in storm-tossed seas, this Christmas season, and a year like no other it will introduce.

If you thought 2008 was a ride, buckle up for 0-9.

If I had a year-end confession to make, of sin-prognosticate, it is that I misread gas-price speculation as engine of end times. They were a symptom, to be sure, of greed run amok till it runs us off the cliff, but the root cause of downfall, the height of offense to all us working schmucks, occurred on a far grander scale, an off-Broadway orgy of excess. Last Christmas, the top five investment houses that taxpayers just bailed out, gave themselves a collective $30 billion in bonuses.

Nine months later, Washington handed them $700 billion, while Detroit, and a million-plus blue-collar jobs, gets sent packing for want of 15.

It's enough to make a working man wonder what the Republican Party is all about.

As if we don't already know, as if we didn't already vote accordingly.

Bombillias borealis at the dawn of Barack Obama; light of many colors, declaration of independence, beacon to the nation, dream unto the generations.

Mele Kalik-Obama is America's way, to say Merry Christmas to the world...

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 December 2008 02:15
Dante's: Frostburg's Best Kept Secret PDF Print E-mail
Written by Megan Lahman   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 22:39



 Dante's located on Main Street in downtown Frostburg recently celebrated its second anniversary of being opened and this town favorite isn't leaving anytime soon.

"When opening the bar, the goal was to establish a great neighborhood place that was enticing for musicians, artists, music lovers, and, of course, beer enthusiasts. I think we've succeeded," said owner Sinead Walshe. "I was fortunate in getting the right cast of characters to make this happen."

            With paintings and photographs on the walls and its historical charm of tin ceilings, brick walls, and old hardwood floors, this television-less bar is where locals enjoy hanging out. They come here to talk about current events, to play ping-pong and pool, to shoot darts, to enjoy a beer and to hear good music.

"This place feels like home. Everyone is chilled. It's a community gathering place, but it's also a subculture bar," said Frostburg native Craig Muir, who has been a patron since Dante's started.

For Meredith Lovell, Dante's is more than just a bar; it's a place where everyone knows your name. "Dante's is Frostburg's best secret. It has the best music talent, open-mic nights, and beer. Not to mention, the art is awesome. This place is my Cheers," she said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 December 2008 11:14
If I Had a (Jack) Hammer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Kerns   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 09:55


Downtown Frostburg echoed the blasts of jackhammer demolition Tuesday morning, as a city crew worked to repair a water leak in the old alley between the Palace Theatre and CME Engineering.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 December 2008 10:19
Frostburg's Storybook Holiday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Kerns   
Saturday, 06 December 2008 18:20

Hundreds gathered in front of the Gunter Hotel for performances by the Frostburg Dance Academy.


The thermometer on the old Frostburg National Bank showed 23, but as the patrons of the American Legion can tell you, it reads a few degrees warm.

Even the cold couldn't chill the good times at Saturday's Storybook Holiday, however, as hundreds of people turned out for the parade, story time and numerous other activities in downtown Frostburg.

The day ended with Santa's arrival at City Place following the tree-lighting ceremony, and Ralphie pining for his Red Ryder BB gun in a special showing of A Christmas Story at the Palace Theatre.

Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to pull it off. A good, cold time was had by all!

To see more photos, click Read More just below.

Last Updated on Saturday, 06 December 2008 19:17
Storybook Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Kerns   
Friday, 05 December 2008 07:52


The window of Frostburg City Hall is decorated for Saturday's Storybook Holiday celebration of reading, which will feature activities throughout the day in various locations in town, including the annual Jingle Run, free carriage rides, Elf Olympicsand storybook readings at Main Street Books, the Gunter Hotel and the Frostburg Community Llibrary. The event culminates with a 6:30 p.m. tree-lighting ceremony at City Place, and an 8 p.m. screenng  of A Christmas Story at the Palace Theatre.


Last Updated on Friday, 05 December 2008 08:17
Hoping for a Bright Christmas PDF Print E-mail
Written by Megan Lahman   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 22:36

            Despite the area's economic situation being tense, the organizers of Toys for Happiness are optimistic that they will have enough donations to give at least 2,000 local children gifts.

            "With every year, you just never know, but we do have a wonderful community here who always has come through for us even when the economy was bad," said Toys for Happiness treasurer Sharon Gero.

            Currently, Toys for Happiness are only about one-forth of the way through the holiday season and with distribution to families. Toy donations are average for the moment, but money donations are low. "But that is nothing unusual for us," said Gero.

            Every year people wait to make monetary and even toy donations after they have taken care of their own gift shopping for family and friends, she said. But that doesn't mean the economy wasn't on her mind. "I'll be honest; this year's situation is not as bad as I thought it would be, but it's still not easy."

            As a result of the economy, the organization hasn't received many donations yet and has seen a major increase in applications for aid. According to Gero, the total amount of applications received is at least 40 percent higher than last year. Also, at least 60 percent of applications received came from families who live in Cumberland.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 December 2008 22:44
Governor approves Frostburg Arts District PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Kerns   
Monday, 08 December 2008 22:42

Editor's note: The following news release was issued by the governor's office:

GoveRnor O'Malley DESIGNATES Frostburg AS


Newest arts district joins 17 communities across Maryland


BALTIMORE  - Governor Martin O'Malley today announced that the City of Frostburg has been selected to join the State's vibrant Arts and Entertainment (A&E) District program. Administered by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) through the Maryland State Arts Council, the program provides local and county governments with assorted tax benefits designed to boost economic development and create a cultural district filled with artists and arts enterprises. Maryland was one of the first states to develop a statewide A&E program.

"Maryland's Arts and Entertainment districts have received national recognition for developing vibrant centers of commerce, culture and creativity," said Governor O'Malley. "With this designation, Allegany County is harnessing the synergy of two creative communities - Cumberland to the east and Frostburg to the west - and is developing a critical cultural mass that offers residents, visitors and students an outstanding place to live, work and visit."

"The designation of the City of Frostburg-Mountain City Arts & Entertainment District provides visitors and residents with an opportunity to participate and invest in the arts, while contributing to the economic vitality of the region," said Frostburg Mayor Arthur T. Bond, adding, "It offers the City an opportunity to be part of the State's marketing efforts for arts and tourism, provides new business ventures with potential property tax credits for investing in new arts-related businesses and gives tax incentives to qualified artists."

Last Updated on Monday, 08 December 2008 22:48
More On Population, Family Planning, and Saving the Planet PDF Print E-mail
Written by Craig Etchison   
Wednesday, 03 December 2008 09:25



Recent commentaries in our local paper have offered different views about the use of artificial contraception, in the one instance based on a conservative theological position, while the alternative view offered a more progressive position.  If the decision to use contraception or not were purely a theological matter, had no ramifications beyond such esoteric matters as when a fetus becomes a person, or what a dead Pope believed, people could agree to disagree—though one side would probably condemn the other to hell—and life could go on.  Unfortunately, whether to use contraception or not impinges on the single greatest crisis humankind has ever faced.  The crisis is global warming and the overall destruction of our environment, the root cause of which is an exploding population.  If we do not get the world’s population under control soon, the chance of saving our world from global warming and a host of other environmental ills will be irretrievably lost.  If we do nothing, the apocalyptic vision of Mad Max may become a grim reality.

Last Updated on Friday, 05 December 2008 08:38
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