Bethlehem Press

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Christmas tree inspires book

Friday, December 6, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Have you ever gone to the Christmas tree farm and cut down a tree, only to find when you got it home, there was a little eight-legged stowaway among the branches?

Erin Ferguson and her two daughters have. “We’ve been cutting down live trees for years and we always got a spider in our Christmas tree,” Ferguson says.

“One year, we named one Earl and joked about it all season. He became a part of our family and it started a yearly Christmas tradition of welcoming Earl back into our home.”

Moscow Ballet adds puppets, peacock to the ‘Nutcracker’

Friday, December 6, 2019 by CAMILLE CAPRIGLIONE in Focus

The Moscow Ballet “Great Russian Nutcracker” again comes to the State Theatre Center for the Arts, Easton, 2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 8 with a dazzling and lavish full-length production.

Based on the choreography of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, and a stunning score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, the ballet tells the story of Masha, a young girl who receives a Nutcracker doll from her mysterious uncle. The Nutcracker comes to life and turns into a prince.

Bel Canto concert theme peace for holiday season

Friday, December 6, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

In addition to the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Dec. 7 and 8 concerts, Bel Canto, the youth choir affiliated with the Bach Choir, is holding its winter concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 7, St. John Windish Church, Bethlehem.

“Patrons can do a double-header,” says Joy Hirokawa, Bel Canto director. “The can go to the Bel Canto concert at 2, go out to dinner and then go to the Bach Choir concert.”

Hirokawa says Bel Canto’s program is eclectic and she’s very excited about it.

She says one of the focuses of the concert is “finding and seeking peace.”

Healthy Geezer: If this makes you yawn, it’s cool

Friday, December 6, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. Why do we yawn?

There are several theories about the cause of yawning. One of them has begun to gain more advocates. This theory is that we yawn to air-condition our brains.

In a paper published in the Journal of Medical Hypotheses, scientists Gary Hack of the University of Maryland and Andrew Gallup of Princeton University wrote that, during yawning, the sinuses act like bellows to cool off the brain. If you suffer from sinus congestion, you might yawn more.

“Brains, like computers, operate best when they are cool,” the authors said.

Movie Review: Grumpy old gangsters

Sunday, December 1, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Apart from being an intriguing yarn about mobsters, labor unions and United States political conspiracy theories, “The Irishman” is a character study about some real characters, actual and fictional.

It’s also a cinematic reunion of some of the greatest actors of a generation in the past five decades.

“The Irishman” is a particularly Pennsylvania story.

Once in a lifetime: Whitehall artist receives national exhibit top prize

Friday, November 29, 2019 by ED COURRIER in Focus

Douglas Wiltraut has received the Robert Sanstrom Prize, a Gold Medal, and $5,000, as an honorarium, for his painting, “Fading Away” (2018, egg tempera on panel, 22 in. x 33 in.) at the 65th Annual Exhibition of the National Society of Painters in Casein & Acrylic (NSPCA) held at the Salmagundi Club, New York City.

Healthy Geezer: Three questions from the email bag

Friday, November 29, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. My brother-in-law is getting a defibrillator. How is that different from a pacemaker?

An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) and a pacemaker are battery-powered devices installed in the chest to deliver electrical impulses to the heart. In general, a pacemaker is used when the heart beats too slowly; an ICD is used when the heart beats too quickly.

Pacemakers jog the heart with mild reminders that patients usually can’t feel. Pacemakers are small; some are only as big as a quarter.

Respectfully Yours: Gift card acceptable present for holidays

Friday, November 29, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I’m trying to get a head start on my holiday planning. I’m debating whether or not to give gift cards as holiday presents this year. I would like to know if giving a gift card is too impersonal.

Dear Reader,

Gift certificates have a reputation for being unthoughtful, but they can be great choices because they allow the recipient the freedom to choose his or her own gift. Whenever you give someone a gift card, you thought of that person and were generous enough to consider them at the holidays.

St. Luke’s athletic trainer a 2020 Olympic hopeful

Friday, November 29, 2019 by The Press in Focus

Time is closing in on the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, and St. Luke’s athletic trainer Jillian Seamon knows it.

Seamon, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, an athletic trainer working at the Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, Allentown, transitioned to the new St. Luke’s Fitness & Sports Performance Center, Union Boulevard, Allentown, when it opened Nov. 23.

And while serving as an athletic trainer for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympic Games surely would be a dream, Seamon, 29, has her sights set on something even higher: competing as an athlete.

The Family Project: Stepmother must resolve role with stepson

Friday, November 29, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. My 15-year-old stepson told his dad that he doesn’t want me to tell him what to do. He would rather his dad (my husband) tell him. I try to make sure homework and chores are done before his dad gets home so they can spend time together. I understand that being a stepparent can be thankless, but I am a maid, chauffeur, chef, scheduler, and more, and now don’t have enough authority to ask my stepson to take out the garbage. What can I do?

“The stepmother needs to take a step back and think about what her goals are,” panelist Mike Ramsey said.