Ryan Copenhaver said he taught himself how to fix iPhones when he broke one he owned. He repairs mostly Apple phones, but can fix other brands as well. "All of my friends' phones," he said.
His workbench in these photos is in a city coffeehouse. He often consults illustrations on his computer screen while he works. Replacement parts are shipped directly from China but he said he can also get parts from New Jersey. Copenhaver, 40, lives on Charlotte Street in Lancaster.
This is where you did not see me on Black Friday. But if you were at Cherry Hill Orchards, you saw me buying apples.
Full disclosure: a close relative manages a Wal-Mart store in Florida.
Starting tomorrow nearly 200 countries are meeting for United Nations climate talks in Qatar's capital city, Doha, where summer temperatures often exceed 120 degrees, which is pretty close to one of my hot flashes.
There we can expect to hear the same old tune that China sang at U.N. talks in Kyoto: that although it's a world leader in carbon emissions, "rich" countries like the U.S. should allow it to do so because it's a -- get this, Wal-Mart shoppers -- developing nation.
Here in the U.S. we've watched our manufacturing jobs go to China and other so-called developing countries. Seems to me all they're developing is an appetite for U.S. jobs and U.S.-Euro money.
The island nations that are at immediate physical risk from climate change need all the help the U.N. can give to keep above water -- literally. But pay "developing" countries like China and India to cut emissions? They've already got their hands in our pockets up to the elbows!
China, it's time for a carbon rollback. We need to act quickly and collectively to address global warming.
Give thanks for sunshine, and the outdoor places that widen vision and lift the spirit.
Give thanks for cool air that refreshes.
Give thanks for this colorful world and the many wonderful forms of life that share it.
Five years after the Gateways Revitalization Strategic Plan, aimed at revitalizing the neighborhood surrounding the Amtrak Station, here's the view:
In the photo, left, the trolley -- and the street in front of the Amtrak Station -- were blocked for about five minutes by the driver of the white SUV who for some reason was just not motivated to move out of the way.
The train station needs a parking garage AND more frequent bus connections.
Despite the caution sign (photo, right), vehicles exiting LGH's parking garage charge the sidewalk, stopping only at the streetside, if at all. Walking down Queen Street? Better wear your running shoes here.
From the Gateways Plan:
"Vision: The community envisions a future of the Gateways Area that ... offers a range of transportation choices, including an efficient network of sidewalks, trails and paths ...
"... Strategies to be undertaken by cooperating private and public entities in achieving the vision for the area ... [include:] Establish a pedestrian-oriented character within the Gateways Area."
LGH, a healthy neighborhood is about peds, not meds.
November 2005 Gateways Open House:
"Participants said ... it is important that new development not create nuisances related to traffic, noise, odors, or vibrations...
"Some stated that they would like to see an increase in owner-occupied houses which are more likely to be maintained.
"The Gateways Area needs safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle facilities within the area. P[eople]... cited a lack of safe pedestrian crossings and the need for sidewalks or paths in non residential areas, and more pedestrian connections throughout the area. They also expressed the need for more street trees, traffic calming and other streetscape approaches to improve safety and enhance the pedestrian experience. They also called for both pedestrian and bicycle connections to shopping, recreational and employment opportunities beyond the Gateways Area ... truck traffic should not be encouraged to travel through neighborhoods.
"Participants identified a lack of green infrastructure, including trees, paths, gardens and parks... They also identified the need to create more green space by extending linear parks and greenways, establishing pocket parks and dog parks, and providing a trail and sidewalk network that links important areas."
The development of the Liberty Street corridor is an opportunity to rise to the challenge of the Gateway Plan's vision. Young men play basketball in the street in this neighborhood. People walk here; children ride bikes. Despite its industrial past, this is a safe, healthy, walkable neighborhood. Let's keep it that way.
Gateways Revitalization Plan / Lancaster City & Manheim Township / Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Route 341 runs from the middle of nowhere to the Susquehanna River near Middletown. Before TMI was built my family rented an outdoor stand at Dutch Village on the Middletown-Hummelstown Road where we sold plants from our greenhouse.
One day a young man bought a lot of plants and asked for help getting them to his car a short distance away. My younger sister accompanied him. As she placed the plants in his car he pushed her into the back seat and slammed the door shut.
She was around 11 years old at the time and the veteran of many sibling scraps. As the door closed she kicked it open and jumped out of the car. He got in the car and took off.
My mother called out for help, and noted the license plate number. Someone called the police. And that was that.
The attack, so soon after the murder of Peggy Reber, left a lasting impression on my young life. There was no follow up, no media outrage, no counseling, just a helpless sense of, oh well. The police said the license plate number didn't match the vehicle description. Our family just didn't discuss it.
When the Nickel Mine School was bulldozed I felt a sort of rightness. That's how it should be. You don't forget about it by any means. But you don't let ugly reminders linger either. All you can do is keep creating the best life possible for as many people as possible, and protect each other from harm.
A few years ago I talked with my sister about our family's silence regarding the kidnapping attempt. She then told me she thought the young man who did it may have been Freeman May. But he was only a couple grades ahead of us in school, she added, so he wouldn't have been able to drive.
But later I remembered that he'd been held back in school. And even if he hadn't been old enough to legally drive he may have driven anyway. Also, his home near Colebrook was a straight shot down Route 341 to Middletown.
I wondered why she hadn't mentioned this sooner. Or perhaps she had, and nobody had paid attention?
He and his son are Pennsylvania's first father and son on death row.
If I could have one wish granted it would be this: to free ourselves from the burden of imprisoning people.
Do I mean get rid of prisons, you say? Is that what you said?
Yes, because prisons solve nothing and correct nothing. If anything they exacerbate the disease of crime and add to human misery -- not just for the people inside, but for their friends and family.
People often say they don't want their tax dollars supporting scum in prison. But people are not scum. Let law enforcement people do their work. Then let family, in the context of their community, rooted in love, do the hard work of healing. This includes clergy, teachers, elders, and perhaps a system of parole supervision, one-on-one if warranted, including electronic monitoring.
People often say the person who is imprisoned for murder had years of life that the person who was killed did not have.
Life in prison is not life at all. It is torture. I don't know anyone whose character is improved by torture, and I would rather have my tax dollars spent more productively, in ways that honor the untimely loss of life, instead of adding to it. There are better ways of treating people, ways that are healthier for everyone. Putting people to death, or imprisoning them for years or decades, makes our behavior little better than theirs. We are free to create something better and healthier.
I like street performing but to get a paid singing engagement is a rare and wonderful thing. My guitarist friend, our conga player and I hauled our gear and ourselves to a second floor space where we expected to perform for about an hour.
We’d barely gotten warmed up when a man interrupted and told us he had some poets and singers coming soon, and they’d be using the space.
He walked away and we sort of puzzled over this unexpected twist. Then when nothing more happened we decided to keep on playing. Our few listeners seemed to enjoy it; some smiled and danced.
After a while people started arriving. Then more people, perhaps 25, mostly women, a few men, and some children. Mr. Manager reappeared and asked us to step aside. I packed up my pennywhistles, but my friend with the congas and the guitarist with his mic and amp were sort of stuck. I roamed around, at a loss. I was hired to sing and play, and that’s what I wanted to do.
A well-dressed lady stepped up the mic and began speaking about racial equality in the workplace.
“Things are a lot better now than they were in the ’70’s,” she intoned. “Back then it used to be master and slave. Now it’s man to man.”
She sat down to a scattering of applause.
I wandered around some more while someone sang a song, and then another poet spoke, and another. Finally, I approached Mr. Manager and asked to have a word with him in private. I said, my guitarist friend is too polite to tell you this, but we’ve been here more than two hours and we’d like to leave, but we can’t because you co-opted his sound equipment.
He reacted with angry denial -- no he had not co-opted the sound equipment, you can’t leave because you’re being paid, and you had better stop yelling. And he turned and walked away.
I hadn’t been yelling and said so. Who are you talking to, he said over one shoulder, as he kept walking away. Your backside! I observed ruefully.
After perhaps another half hour, Mr. Manager finally informed the gathering that we were packing up the sound equipment and the congas. Someone called out: that’s okay, we don’t need a microphone!
When we got to the car and loaded everything, Mr. Manager shook the guitarist’s hand and thanked him. Ditto with the conga player. Then he turned and walked away. I played too, I reminded him. He turned on me with more "bad dog" words. I encouraged him not to make it about me, and walked home savoring the cold, clear air.
It makes no difference to my life whether the president is a white transvestite or a black man -- in order to get there, that person must belong to the privileged master class whose pets have better health care than a lot of people. It is always master and slave, as long as the master is himself a slave to the illusion that he is somehow better (or she, worse); that his gain is not in some way another person’s loss.
Just got to keep on singing.
I owned the land by the oceans and rivers that my ancestors didn’t build on
Because they understood the risks. And land was plentiful elsewhere.
I am the developer who purchased the land to subdivide into lots.
I am the realtor who brokered the sale.
I am the banker who unleashed the money.
I am the insurance company who weighed the odds.
I am the lawyer who presented the plans to the township.
I am the council member who voted “yes";
a builder myself. Or a landscaper. Or a lawyer.
I am the architect, the builder, and the builder’s work crew.
I am the buyer who always wanted to live near the water.
I am the mortgage company that said, sure!
I am the homeowner’s insurance company that also agreed.
I am the citizen
who sees glaciers melting
and ice caps receding
(along with my hairline, my salary, and gums).
I see a monoculture of humans, shoving aside most all other species, overcrowding a fragile lifeboat,
and I change the channel.
I am the mother who would go six shades of ballistic to save my children from a predator,
but who cannot stop dumping poisons into their bodies, into their world, with every mile I drive;
With every empty room I heat or cool;
With every blade of grass I cut with a gasoline mower.
Hundred-year storms are getting bigger, lasting longer, hitting harder.
The climate may be changing
but so can I.
Sketch courtesy of Chickies Chimney Sweeps.
In the epic tale of a former rental property and never-ending fixer upper, one of the worst moments was the day technicians from Walker Brothers arrived to service the oil furnace and immediately disconnected its electrical supply and posted a warning sign on it.
They had found the furnace was not connected to the chimney (see drawing, left).
Before I moved in, the property manager had told me the former tenants had preferred to use electric heaters instead of the furnace. He said he didn't know why.
Had they used the furnace, the consequences from carbon monoxide poisoning could have been deadly.
The property manager said he was not aware of the problem. So did the absentee owner, who paid to have it fixed.