Across the area
Matt Stich was recognized by the Altoona Blair County Photo Society as Photographer of the Year for 2019 competitions. Stich was show champion for both the Print and Projected Image Competition taking the highest points. Phil Andraychak, Randy Klobetanz and Ken Becker finished with top scores for the 2019 club year. The annual banquet was canceled due to COVID-19. The society enters competitions held by the Photographic Society of America, competing against photographers all over the world. Stich received Award of Merit for two of his images, “Somnium” and “Cream Soda.” For more information about the club, visit www.abcps.clubs.
War veterans council plans parade
The Blair County War Veterans Council will hold its Veterans Day parade on Saturday, Nov. 7.
All veterans are invited to participate. Line-up starts at 10 a.m., and the parade will start at 10:30 a.m.
A bus will be available for veterans who would feel more comfortable riding. There will be a service following the parade at 11th Avenue and 14th Street.
For more details and to sign up, please send a letter by Oct. 1 to Cmdr. Lloyd Peck, 2000 Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona, PA 16602. (No phone calls please.)
Donations are appreciated.
Master Gardener training starts Oct. 1
Penn State Extension in Blair County is accepting applications for the 2020-21 Penn State Master Gardener program. This program consists of a volunteer training course designed to provide experienced home gardeners with information and skills necessary to share their experience and knowledge with others.
Weekly classes will be held via Zoom from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays from Oct. 1 to March 4.
After completion of the instructional classes, candidates must agree to volunteer 50 hours to the Penn State Extension Master Gardener Program during the first year. In subsequent years, 20 hours of volunteer time and 10 hours of continuing education are required.
Volunteer activities currently carried out by the Master Gardeners include maintenance and education in demonstration gardens, consultations on public gardens, answering garden related questions on the Garden Hotline and teaching about horticulture in schools, among others.
There is a program fee of $200 to cover the cost of training materials and expenses. Applications are being accepted through Sept. 18, with interviews being scheduled for the week of Sept. 21.
Apply at https://pennstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6G6ufvCSprhfGZf or contact Blair County Master Gardener Coordinator Cathy Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or Area Master Gardener Coordinator Valerie Sesler at email@example.com.
Coalport Museum Commission meets
COALPORT — With the Coalport Area Coal Museum back in operation after being closed since March due to the COVID pandemic, the museum commission held its first meeting on Aug. 25 at the community building.
Vice President Rita Hahn, who ran the meeting in place of the absent Robert Counsman, made the suggestion that the commission consider purchasing a new computer specifically for patrons to view the wealth of digitized files transferred from an abundance of researched material that currently is on various members’ computers.
“By having a centrally located computer, that (the information) would be frequently backed up, as well as protected from viruses,” Hahn said. “Visitors would be given permission and instructions to search the multiple databases.”
The museum has in its reference room, for example, 1,400 birth certificates listed by year, more than 7,700 obituaries specific to the “Glendale Valley” that are indexed by surname, large notebooks with gravestone listings from every local cemetery, etc.
Curator Richard W. Snyder II, acknowledging the expense of ink for the current inkjet printer/copier, suggested that the board also consider purchasing a laser printer/copier/scanner. The board will investigate laptop computers, laser printer/copiers, software that aligns with the data files and proper security for both the software and firmware.
In other news, the board:
n Heard from Pat Onrubia, AARP SCSEP museum assistant, who told the commission that she plans to finish typing up copies of Coalport Borough minutes from 1883 (when the borough was incorporated).
n Received a wealth of “The Beacon” newspapers of Beccaria Township High School from the 1930s and 1940s — donated by Trina Troxell Corson.
n Purchased two volumes of Carl Kriner’s “The Pennsylvania Barn Book” in memory of Chuck Fleming, thanks to a donation from Rita Hahn.
n Learned that Hahn had a chance to converse with Martin Hula about possibly doing a presentation next spring of his novel, “The Coal Picker” — which is loosely based on his early life in a western PA coal mining town.
n Received a donation from Cathy (Twigg) Lebda of her late mother Rose Virginia (Stiles) Twigg’s collection of photos and reunion information from the Beccaria Township High School Class of 1936 — coincidently the only class photo the coal museum did not have in its substantial “former schools collection.”
The commission’s next meeting is tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Coalport Community Building. All individuals interested in either the early hand-building days of bituminous coal mining and/or the genealogy of Glendale Valley are encouraged to attend.