holiday18page 1BETHANY

The quaint village is three miles north of downtown Honesdale on Route 670.

  • Annual Christmas in the Village: This free event, held on December 1st, features holiday open houses from 2 to 4 p.m. at E.Kellogg Bed & Breakfast and James Manning House. The Honesdale High School Chamber Choir will sing seasonal carols at the James Manning House. Other surprises are in store as well as seasonal treats and goodies at both locations.

In addition, starting at 2 p.m. at the Bethany Public Library, Mrs. Claus will visit from the North Pole to help children write letters to Santa.  Cookies and hot chocolate will be served.  Tours of the library and historical society are from 2 to 4 p.m.

Plus, enjoy “A Keepsake Christmas for Families” at the Bethany United Methodist Church, a tree lighting at 3:30 p.m. at the Bethany Village Senior Living Center and a tricky tray with drawings at 4 p.m.

“A Journey through Bethlehem” Bethany Presbyterian Church’s Living Nativity is from 4:30 – 6:30 PM, Saturday and Sunday.

  • On Christmas Eve, luminaries will be lit along Bethany’s streets.

For more information about Christmas in the Village, call Janet at the James Manning House (570) 253-5573.

T here is plenty to do throughout December for people of all ages from holiday open houses to train rides.  Shop till you drop and then head to these businesses for festive fun.

  • The 27th Annual Holiday Open House at Highlights for Children: December 8th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., complete with treats, entertainment, storytelling, an art show, craft room, puppetry, and more.
  • 23rd Annual Ornament Hunt: December 8th at 10 a.m in Central Park. Children can “hunt” for ornaments for a chance to win prizes.



  • HonesdaleCSpic18Holiday Craft Fair: December 8th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ladore Lodge, Ladore Pavilion and Carousel & Staff Lounge Building in Waymart. Enjoy handmade items, baked goods, maple products, homemade soaps, jewelry, refreshments, and more.
  • Holiday Artisans Market: On December 9th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cooperage, showcasing the work of many talented artisans of the Upper Delaware Region. You’ll find a selection of unique handcrafted gifts for friends & family.
  • Annual Chorus and Band Holiday Concert: On December 18th at 7 p.m., the Honesdale High School Chorus and Band will perform holiday favorites in the high school auditorium on Terrace Street.
  • Luminaries on Main: On Christmas Eve, enjoy 300 luminaries lining historic Main Street.
  • Throughout the month, Santa Express train rides on the Stourbridge Line will be available. Kids will receive a present from Santa and candy cane. Call (570) 470-2697.

For more information about these and more December events,  visit


MilfordpicStroll along the streets and alleys and step into antique stores, unique restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, a historic theater, and specialty shops.  There are also historic architectural structures including Grey Towers, the former home of America’s first forester Gifford Pinchot; and The Columns Museum, where the Pike County Historical Society is with historical artifacts and memorabilia including the famous “Lincoln Flag.”  Both buildings are open to the public.

Other than its historical claims, Milford is considered a destination based on its shopping and dining alone with eateries satisfying every palette from authentic Vietnamese to gourmet French dishes.

  • Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony: Milford resembles something out of a picture book as the entire downtown twinkles with lights and the big star on the cliff glows from a distance. The free event is held December 1st at 6 p.m. on the lawn of the Community House at the corner of Broad and Harford Streets. In addition to the tree lighting, people can enjoy a visit from Santa, cookies, and cocoa.
  • Craft Store Holiday Open House: On December 7th, the Pike County Developmental Center hosts an open house from noon to 2 p.m. Find hand-crafted gifts for all occasions.  Enjoy complimentary refreshments.  The center is at 107 West Ann Street.  For more details, call (570) 296-6319.
  • Girls’ Night Out: December 6th from 5 to 8 p.m., Milford Presents hosts another event with downtown businesses open featuring sales, refreshments, and fun. For more information, visit
  • Holiday Tours at Grey Towers National Historic Site: Beginning December 3rd through the 16th. Guided tours of all three floors with each room beautifully decorated for the holidays are available at 1 and 3 p.m.
  • Holiday Art Exhibit and Sale at Grey Towers: In addition to the tours, enjoy plein air paintings and a juried show of photographs, all depicting Grey Towers and the surrounding landscape. For more information on Grey Towers, visit
  • Winter Lights Festival/Celebrating the Arts: This 11th annual event takes place Saturday, January 19th and Sunday, the 20th 2019. The festival celebrates the beauty of winter, as well as the opening of the ice rink in Ann Street Park for the season.  Plus, the much anticipated Mac-n-Cheese and Chili contest which will be bigger and better this year.  For additional information and updates, “like” the festival on Facebook.


WinterfestpicDec18I n just a few days, Hawley will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Hawley Winterfest. The celebration will take place starting Friday, December 7th and running through Sunday, December 9th. Winterfest kicks off on Friday night with a celebration of music featuring the internationally acclaimed organist and conductor Kyler Brown and the melodic talents of his Virgin Concort.

Saturday, visitors will be treated to a variety of activities including a horse and carriage ride, pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at B. Madigan’s, special sales at our downtown shops, and local authors at the Hawley Library. Be sure to stop by the library for a fresh cup of homemade soup contributed by the Library board of directors. And while you’re strolling down Main Street, be sure to stop in at our Festival of Lights.

The historic town of Hawley is nestled in the beautiful Pocono Mountains lake region and is home to vibrant local shops, lodgings, restaurants, and entertainment.

Sunday will feature the delights of children’s theatre at the Ritz Playhouse and a special presentation by Bob Eckstein on his newly revised book, The History of the Snowman, at the Hawley Library.

No Winterfest would be complete without taking part in our House Tour. This year is extra special and will feature homes from a different era and all representing the rich history of our area. In addition, you can enjoy ice carvings, a beer tour, a cookie walk, exhibits, contests, demonstrations, giveaways, and much more for the entire family.

“I am so proud to be co-chairing this event with Jeanne Genzlinger. We have an amazing committee of talented and committed volunteers working hard to bring this event to life,” says Kate Hayes.

Hawley Winterfest is presented by the Downtown Hawley Partnership and is made possible by the efforts and generous contributions of our sponsors and donors. All levels of sponsorship are welcome and appreciated. Proceeds from this event are used to support ongoing community projects.

Please visit for more information on events and how you can support this event. You are welcome to join our Facebook page for updates:



Do a one hour check-up: It could save your life!

By Gary Ryman

Do you have the oil changed in your car, tires rotated, and brakes checked?  Sure, you say.  Cars are expensive and I want it reliable and safe.  Makes sense.  Cars are the second most expensive item most of us will ever buy.  Then what about ensuring the safety of our most expensive investment?

Houses need the same regular safety inspections—check-ups—especially for the most dangerous disease they’re exposed to, fire.  Investing an hour or so once a year can pay inestimable dividends, not only in keeping the property safe, but also the loved ones who live and sleep there.

Start with your heating system.  Pick up the phone and make an appointment for a professional to inspect and service your furnace.  Have a fireplace?  Get that chimney cleaned and make sure your wood supply is dry and well seasoned.  Have a safe place designated to dispose of ashes.

Check your smoke detectors.  Have the batteries been changed?  Are the detectors less than ten years old?  Smoke detectors were never intended to last forever, and now new models designed for a ten-year life with sealed batteries which never need to be (and can’t be) changed are readily available.  “Just like any electrical appliance, the components of smoke alarms wear out over time.  When a smoke alarm reaches ten years of use, the potential of failing to detect a fire increases substantially,” says the National Association of State Fire Marshals.

Do you have detectors everywhere needed?  The answer can differ depending upon the home and local or state codes.  National standards recommend that for new homes, a smoke alarm is provided in each bedroom, and at least one outside the bedroom area, but near enough to be heard in the bedrooms with the doors closed.  In addition, there should be at least one detector on each floor level of a home, including basements.  This is so regardless of where a fire starts; inside or outside a bedroom, the occupants receive prompt warning.  For existing homes, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends a detector outside the bedrooms and at least one on each level of the structure.  Both they and the National Association of Fire Marshals agree that more is better, and providing the numbers called for in new construction is best.

Check your dryer.  Why, you ask?  I clean the lint trap every time I use it.  I’m very careful.

I’m sure you are, but when is the last time you checked the dryer hose itself?  First, make sure it’s metallic.  The plastic ones are inexpensive but burn like solid gasoline.  Second, disconnect the hose and check the interior.  Have a vacuum ready.  You’ll probably be surprised at the amount of lint which gets by the screen and accumulates in the hose.  A good annual cleaning helps prevent dryer fires.

Do you have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen or garage?  As importantly, do you know how to use it if you need to?  When the stove is on fire is not the time to be reading the instructions.  Remembering one word will help you: PASS, pull, aim, squeeze, sweep.  Pull the pin, aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle, and sweep back and forth, applying the agent to the fire.  An important tip: keep a pot lid, pizza tray, or similar item out when you fry.  Covering the pot can smother the fire.

Annual inspection time is also a good time to review your home evacuation plan.  Don’t have one?  They’re not complicated to develop.  Have a safe meeting place outside the home and teach children never to go back inside.  Keep bedroom doors closed.  If a hallway fire occurs, a closed door may hinder the smoke from overpowering family members, giving firefighters extra time for rescue.  Teach toddlers not to hide from firefighters.  Their protective gear can be scary in times of crisis.  Teach children that firefighters are there to help in an emergency.  Take children for a tour at your local fire station so that they can see a firefighter in full gear.  Teach your children how to crawl under the smoke to reduce smoke inhalation.  Also, teach your children how to touch closed doors to see if they are hot before opening.  If so, use an alternate escape route.

Check your carbon monoxide detector.  Over a ten-year period, the Center for Disease Control and prevention reported over five thousand deaths from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.  You can’t see it, smell it, or taste it.  Without a detector, you can be one of the statistics.  Visit your local hardware store and make sure that won’t happen.

Is your house address visible from the roadway?  This is a big help for emergency responders who may be trying to find you in the dark.

You wouldn’t think twice about spending an hour cleaning the gutters or washing the windows on the house.  Take the same amount of time to check it for fire safety.  It can be as important as that annual physical from your doctor.

Gary Ryman is the author of the novels Mayday! Firefighter Down & Fire in His Bones as well as the memoir, Fire Men: Stories From Three Generations of a Firefighting Family.

All three books are available in paperback and ebook versions from For more information, visit



A lot of what Americans eat comes from other countries, and as the number of food recalls rises, experts urge consumers to get smarter about where their food originates.

By Ben Larrison, CTW Features

If you are what you eat, you’re probably getting a little less American every day.

The United States’ food supply has become increasingly foreign over the past fifteen years.  A wide variety of fruits and vegetables are now available year-round, long after their seasons have passed locally.  Bananas from Ecuador, beans from Mexico, and apples from New Zealand are waiting for you comfortably in the aisles of your neighborhood grocery store.  Seafood is another popular import: Shrimp, for one, comes in from Thailand, China, and Indonesia, and Chinese catfish and eel are prone to show up on your dinner plate.

Chances are your morning beverage also comes from overseas; there are Colombian coffee and Indian tea, and the sugar you add may be from the Caribbean.  More of a juice person?  We’ve got apple juice from Argentina and orange juice from Brazil.

Even the oils you cook your food in come from outside the United States: Canola oil is Canadian, and olive oil is from countries like Spain, Greece, and, of course, Italy.

“We are importing an enormous number of food products,” says Patrick Woodall, a policy analyst for New York-based Food & Water Watch.

From 1983 to 1985, imports amounted for just nine percent of fresh vegetable consumption in the United States.  By 2003 to 2005, they were up to 16 percent, and that number is on the rise.  Many of the products we import are things that can be grown in the U.S.  More than one third of the tomatoes we consume are grown overseas, as are nearly half of the cucumbers, one-third of melons like honeydew and cantaloupe, and more than half of the garlic.

This boom in food imports has brought the luxury of a wider variety of healthy options no matter the month.  But with these benefits come hazards.

“The risks obviously are the possibility of picking up some exotic food-borne disease, getting sick, and in some cases dying,” says Larry Busch, director of the Institute for Food and Agricultural Standards at Michigan State University, East Lansing.

Part of the issue is the FDA and USDA’s inability to monitor the incredible amount of food brought into the country every day on ships and planes.  According to Woodall, less than two percent of the edible goods are actually inspected, focusing mostly on items that have a higher risk for contamination, such as seafood and produce.  Inspectors have found veggies that are rotten, filthy, and contaminated with pesticide or salmonella.  Fish, in particular, has presented problems, with the U.S. importing 80% of its seafood.  Mike Doyle, director of the Center of Food Safety at the University of Georgia, Athens, says that inspectors have found “an awful lot” of salmonella in shrimp – up to 8-10% by some estimates – due to the use of chicken manure as a fertilizer at some aquaculture plants.  Most tuna is imported and has at times been found to contain high mercury levels.  And just last year, the government placed a temporary ban on farm-raised shrimp, catfish, and eel from China because they had been treated with harmful veterinary medicine and antibiotics.

“We import about a billion pounds of fish per year, and we look at about two percent of that,” Woodall says.  “And what that means is that 980 million pounds of fish are being imported without even a cursory glance from the FDA.”

Seventy-six million Americans get some sort of food-borne illness every year, though it is unknown how many of those are the result of foreign-grown and raised food.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which monitors food illness rates in the United States, “hasn’t really been trying to differentiate between whether it’s foreign foods and domestic foods that are causing problems,” Doyle says.  Experts say the government’s ability to properly inspect food coming into the country has declined because of budget cuts, while at the same time the number of imports has increased.  “I think it’s probably slightly true (that imported food has more safety issues than food from the U.S.)” Busch says.  “On the one hand, the sheer volume of imported food has been growing at an incredible rate, and the other thing to remember here is the safer the food supply gets, the more these incidents are going to show up in the media.”

A few years ago, Chinese imports came under greater scrutiny after four dogs and ten cats died due to tainted pet food, leading to massive recalls.  This skepticism soon spread to food, and a study in Consumer Reports magazine found that 92% of Americans want to know their food’s country of origin.  The 2002 Farm Bill included the stipulation that fish, beef, lamb, pork, fruits, and vegetables had to be identified by their country of origin.  But to date, only seafood has been subject to the program known as COOL (country of origin labeling.)  Busch says that while there may be public interest, “I’m not sure knowing where it’s from is a good proxy for knowing whether or not it’s safe.”

As far as safety is concerned, Busch says that most people automatically assume the food they buy from the supermarket is going to be safe.  And, he adds, “I would say that on the whole, people tend to be more concerned about the nutritional value of their food than where it comes from.” Some experts recommend buying locally at places like farmers’ markets, as that food is subject to strict domestic food regulation that does not necessarily apply to imports.

Here are some ways to eat well and stay safe:

Try to keep tabs on what foods are presenting problems and where the tainted goods have been coming from, be they domestic or foreign.  “We do know that based on the FDA’s surveillance data, food from certain countries in particular tends to have a much higher occurrence of defects,” says Mike Doyle, director of the Center of Food Safety at the University of Georgia.  India, Mexico, and China are currently among the leading countries for rejected food shipments.

To get the latest updates on import refusals, go to, click on “Import Program,” and then select “Import Refusal Report.”  From there, you can search by product or country for all rejected goods, including food.

Proper preparation and careful cooking of food can help to reduce the chance of contracting a food borne illness.  “Many of the microbiological issues can be solved by good handling aspects,” Doyle says.  “If you properly cook foods, you will kill shigella and you will kill salmonella.”

Don’t be afraid to buy foreign foods.  The inspections and regulatory practices in the product’s country of origin tend to get the job done.  “For the most part, (the system) works extremely well,” says Larry Busch, director of the Institute for Food and Agricultural Standards at Michigan State University.


EaglesConcertCommittee (9)The Wayne Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has the perfect outing for you.

Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy! Sound familiar?  It’s a line from the Eagles’ song, Take it Easy.  And thanks to the Wayne Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, one of the most popular Eagles tribute bands in the country, Best of the Eagles, is coming to the Woodloch Pines Nightclub on Sunday, September 23rd.  Best of the Eagles or BOTE is expected to perform lots of Eagles hits such as Hotel California, Take It To the Limit and New Kid in Town.

The hospital auxiliary has been offering tribute band concerts for six consecutive years, starting with Terri Dixon performing Patsy Cline songs back in 2013.  An overflow crowd that year led the auxiliary to move to a bigger venue and more tribute band concerts. “We had a good thing going, and we knew it,” said Martha Wilson, who, along with Diane Fox,  is coordinating this year’s event.  “Talented tribute bands are as close to the ‘real thing’ as you can get, and we bring them close to home.”

band-composite-04-logo            BOTE guitarist/vocalist Joe Vadala formed the band in 2012 with five other professional musicians who brought a wealth of experience with them—and a passion for Eagles music. Bass player/vocalist Vinny Daniele has performed with Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Carly Simon and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Other BOTE band members have played with Emmylou Harris, Laura Branigan, Art Garfunkel and more.

“BOTE isn’t just a copycat band or impersonator act,” said co-coordinator Diane Fox, “but rather a group of excellent musicians who authentically re-create the songs, the music and the magic of one of America’s greatest rock bands.”

The Wayne Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has been supporting the hospital since the first patient crossed through its doors almost 100 years ago.  Through well-organized fundraising operations, such as the tribute concerts, the annual Mistletoe Ball, uniform sales, the Other Shops in Honesdale and Hawley and a large yearly bake sale, the auxiliary has helped the hospital advance on many fronts. Auxiliary funds helped purchase a mammography van, improve cardiac care with updated equipment and build a helipad to supports its successful application for Level IV Trauma certification. When the hospital’s new patient tower is finished in mid-2019, it will have a state-of-the-art nurse call system that the auxiliary helped the hospital acquire.

“Our goal is always to enhance the hospital’s ability to provide the best care for the community,” said Wilson, who adds that this coming year the auxiliary will focus on ways to help with physician recruitment.

The BOTE concert, enhanced by Woodloch’s acoustics and sound system, promises to be especially fun for Eagles fans. “Make Sunday September 23rd ‘one of these nights’ for yourself and bring along some friends,”  Fox said enthusiastically. “You’ll leave with a ‘peaceful easy feeling’; I can guarantee that!”

The $40 tickets may be purchased by calling Katy 570-674-6427 or Joan 570-226-9750. Doors open at 3 pm. Open seating and cash bar.



Wally Lake Fest: August 24-26, 2018

Wally Lake Fest is three days of fun, sun, sand and water on beautiful Lake Wallenpaupack and the surrounding region. From August 24th through the 26th, people of all ages attend the weekend-long event celebrating the third largest man-made lake in the state and all its 52 miles of shoreline has to offer.

The action packed festival gives people the opportunity to have fun out on the water and enjoy themselves on dry land.  Wally Lake Fest is the perfect way to spend the last summer weekend together as a family before back to school and the Labor Day holiday. Who says summer can’t last just a little bit longer? On Lake Wally, it can!

This August marks the ninth year, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. The party gets started on Friday with a variety of live music at the local restaurants and pubs as well as a comedic play at the local playhouse. The live entertainment continues throughout the weekend.

The thrilling festival continues with fanfare on Saturday and Sunday. Some of the exciting activities planned include an open market fair, a motorcycle ride, a bike ride, kayak and standup paddleboard demos, various artisan and craft fairs, a beer tasting, live music on a floating stage, a boat, watercraft and outdoor show, free tastings of local cheeses, train rides, sailboat rides, a sailboat regatta race, a kids’ activity zone complete with face painting, bounce houses and more, a car cruise, plenty of shopping and much more.

Wally Lake Fest is a non-stop adventure in the Lake Region with a plethora of activities for the young and young at heart. Gather the family and spend the weekend on Lake Wallenpaupack, whether you live locally or are visiting the scenic area for the day or the entire weekend!

To make it possible for people to get the most out of their Wally Lake Fest experience, multiple free shuttle buses will run throughout the weekend, making a variety of stops. On Saturday, FREE shuttle buses will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, buses run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wally Lake Fest is proudly hosted by the Downtown Hawley Partnership and presented by Lighthouse Harbor Marina and Silver Birches.

For more information, pick up a Wally Lake Fest brochure available at the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors’ Center and other area businesses. The brochure lists the complete schedule of events for the entire weekend. Additional details and daily updates are posted on, and the Facebook page,