Area Life

Garden Notes: Make sure to have a plan when dividing your perennials

This year, an army of iris borers bivouacked in my flower bed. The iris were especially beautiful in spring, but they’d grown into unruly patches. I tried to divide them in July and found they were polluted with Iris borers. All the rhizomes ended up in garbage bags. I am hoping the ugly ...

Time to get sold out for God

Pretending to be someone you’re not rarely works out. For one thing, it takes a considerable amount of lying. For another, it’s downright exhausting. I started thinking about this the other night while watching a movie about hidden identities. To offer a brief synopsis, the plot ...

Saxton church celebrates 100th anniversary

The congregation of St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church, Saxton, will celebrate the church’s 100th anniversary during the 10 a.m. Sunday service. A banquet will be served following the service. The service will also celebrate the 117th anniversary of the Orthodox Greek Catholic ...

Spiritual notes

Book club St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 806 13th St., will begin its fall season of the Burning Books Club beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday. The club meets the fourth Monday of each month. The public is welcome to attend. The selections for discussion include Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria ...

Some silly sisters: McConnellstown Playhouse presenting ‘Nunsense’

The Playhouse at McConnellstown is presenting a spoof about the adventures of five nuns in a seven-show run that begins Friday. Written and composed by Dan Goggin, “Nunsense” is full of “music, dancing, comedy and nuns. What’s not to love?” said Stephanie Swan, who plays the ...

Tasty Words: Dinner request resurrects grandfather’s sauce recipe

Unlike the typical Italian, I detested pasta sauce for a great deal of my childhood. I preferred buttered noodles to the traditional red sauce. My mom rarely made a separate meal for a picky eater, but she did heed my request for keeping some noodles aside just for me. It wasn’t until I ...

Earth Matters: Post-hurricane environmental issues also concerning

The human, social and financial costs of storms like Harvey and Irma are staggering. But the environmental concerns are also serious and persist long after the initial flood-water recedes. Floodwater contains a myriad of sewage, trash and industrial chemicals, which are themselves a serious ...

‘Big River’ brings American classic to Altoona stage

If you’re wondering whether Altoona Community Theatre has sanitized its upcoming production of “Big River,” it hasn’t. If the use of the N-word in a theatrical production bothers you, better not see the musical adaptation of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” While somewhat ...

Soulful sounds coming to State College

When you listen to St. Paul and the Broken Bones, you’ll swear Al Green or Otis Redding is in there singing. While lead singer Paul Janeway said he was influenced by those soulful greats, he can’t help what comes out. “I know my voice doesn’t match my body,” he said. “I fully ...

Canal Jam promises period music, stories

Period music and stories will be shared at Canal Jam II, scheduled for Sept. 23 at Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site near Gallitzin. The event, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., is free and is sponsored by the National Park Service and Penn State Altoona’s Center for Community-Based ...

PSCS opens new season with ‘Your Blues’

In choosing its season’s content, Penn State Centre Stage has a legacy of championing deep conversations — some happy, some tragic, but all with a depth that resonates. Opening with “Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine” pulls a double whammy — at least. If you were expecting a sendup ...

Seven Springs event adds new workshop

SEVEN SPRINGS — Julius Caesar coined the phrase, “Experience is the teacher of all things.” The Mother Earth News Fair agrees. At this year’s fair, attendees can try their hand at making their own foods, toiletries, pizza ovens, wood-burning heaters and more, with sustainability and ...

Sawyer Brown’s lasting appeal: Concert at PNG Field the first in a decade

Sawyer Brown owes its longevity to its fans, its choice of songs and its work ethic, says band leader Greg “Hobie” Hubbard. “We tend to give all the credit to the audience,” Hubbard said in a recent telephone interview with the Mirror. “That’s who kept us going from the beginning. ...

Garden Notes: Drainage is key to growing Cyclamen

Q. Is it true that there are kinds of cyclamen that will grow outdoors in our climate? I love the ones grown as houseplants and would enjoy having them as garden plants, too. A. There are two species of Cyclamen that overwinter in protected locations in western Pennsylvania that I have grown ...

Five more inducted into the Blair County Arts Hall of Fame

Michael Allison vaguely remembers taping paper together so he could draw poster-size dinosaurs while growing up in Altoona. It was the earliest of many “little signposts along the way” that he would become an artist, he said. For nearly five decades, Allison has advocated for and created ...

Mark Lowry on stage

Mark Lowry will tell funny stories and sing selections from his recently released album when he comes to Altoona next week. A Christian comedian and Southern gospel artist, he will present “An Evening with Mark Lowry” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at Calvary Baptist Church, 810 Ruskin Drive. ...

Events honor 9/11, call for peace

In most communities, rallies and programs held on Patriot Day to remember the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in America have ended. However, in Altoona, two events will be held Monday, the 16th anniversary of the day when militants associated with the extremist group al-Qaida hijacked ...

Roaring Spring Faith Assembly of God welcomes pastor, wife

The congregation of Faith Assembly of God, 4870 Cove Mountain Road, Roaring Spring, welcomed a new pastor earlier this year. Pastor Del Smith and his wife, Marvina, moved to the Morrisons Cove area from Bensalem, where Smith served as the lead pastor of Christian Life Center from September ...