Vivian Hafer, 77, of Douglassville and Betty Weisser, 84, Exeter Township roll out the dough to make pretzels at Berks Encore in Birdsboro as part of an activity Monday celebrating National Pretzel Day.
Mary Heffelfinger, 99, Birdsboro, politely declined to put her fingers in the gooey pretzel batter, but that didn't mean she wouldn't eat them after they were baked and served.
"Nooo, I never made them, but I eat them," said Heffelfinger at a National Pretzel Day celebration that attracted about 25 seniors on a rainy Monday morning at the senior citizens' center at Berks Encore in Birdsboro.
Besides making their own pretzels, seniors received six cases of pretzels for the event from Unique Pretzel Bakery, Muhlenberg Township. Some of the bags were to be distributed to Meals on Wheels clients. Seniors also planned to make a cream cheese dip.
"I've already done my share of cooking," said Heffelfinger, who will turn 100 on May 25.
"How do I like 'em (pretzels)?" she repeated. "With a good apple, that's how I'll eat pieces of pretzel."
Of course, good teeth and the ability to swallow are needed to do that, as Heffelfinger learned in a trivia questionnaire conducted by Carol Smith, center manager: "President George W. Bush once choked on a pretzel and momentarily lost consciousness."
That's darker pretzel lore.
Accentuating the positives of pretzels was the immediate task at hand.
Unlike Heffelfinger, Vivian Hafer, 77, Amity Township, and Betty Weisser, 84, Exeter Township, didn't hesitate mixing it up with pretzel batter.
"When you roll them, it just gets a little sticky, that's all," said Weisser, who grew up in Reading, once known as the proud pretzel capital of the nation.
Weisser recalled buying bags of broken pretzels for a nickel on Cotton Street during the Great Depression.
"I think they are really good for you unless you eat too much salt," she said.
"What do they call a pretzel without salt?" Smith asked.
All was quiet.
"You know, like an old man without hair," she said, giving seniors a hint.
Still no speedy answers.
"Baldies," she said loud enough to raise a round of laughter and maybe even a few hairs.
Smith went on to tell seniors that pretzels are a $550-million-a-year business and that 80 percent of all pretzels are made in Pennsylvania. The biggest pretzel ever made was 40 pounds and 5 feet across, she said.
"The average American eats between one-and-a-half to two pounds of pretzels per year, but around here we're supposed to eat 12 times that amount," Smith said.
That's quite a twist on pretzel consumption on National Pretzel Day.
It makes you wonder: How much did Berks County seniors eat when they recently observed Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day?
By Bruce R. Posten
Originally Published: 4/27/2010
Meet Amanda MakkiAmanda Makki is a GOP candidate for Congress in Florida's 13th District. An attorney and conservative national commentator, Amanda is a strong conservative with a proven record of fighting for the values and principles that made America the greatest country in the world!
As an infant, Makki and her family escaped an oppressive religious regime in Iran after the Revolution in 1979, to come to America. With the little resources they could quickly scrape together, they escaped to come to the Land of Opportunity, where anyone with a dream and a good work ethic could become successful. While Makki’s father studied to become a surgeon, her mother was a childcare provider and delivered Yellow Pages to provide the family’s income. Makki witnessed her parents drive to succeed and commitment to the American Dream, which motivated her to start working at the young age of 15.
As a Farsi language speaker, Makki served at the Army General Counsel at the Pentagon just weeks after the September 11 terrorist acts. Makki went on to serve as senior Republican Healthcare Advisor in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, and before the age of 40, became one of the youngest partners at K&L Gates, one of the nation’s premier law firms.
Makki grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland and is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she obtained her degrees in Finance and Business Management and the Catholic University of America where she obtained her law degree. Makki is also proficient in Spanish.
Amanda is frequently brought on for her expertise as a Republican Attorney and Strategist on national networks such as Fox, Newsmax, CNBC International, BBC, Sky News and Fox Business. She has resided in St. Petersburg, Florida since 2015 and enjoys fishing, biking and golfing. She is active in her faith and worships at Starkey Road Baptist Church.
Deputy Michael J. Magli was killed Feb. 17, 2021, while trying to stop a fleeing pickup truck driven by a man accused of driving drunk.
D'Ann Lawrence White
TARPON SPRINGS, FL — A year after his death, Pinellas County sheriff's personnel are remembering Deputy Michael J. Magli, who was run down by a man accused of driving drunk while Magli was attempting to stop the driver from harming anyone as he speeded down East Lake Road as the rush hour was beginning.
On Feb. 17, 2021, Magli parking his cruiser across East Lake Road and was placing stop sticks in the road to blow out the tires of speeding car when the driver struck him with his pickup truck. Magli was pinned beneath his cruiser and died at the scene.
After hosting fishing and golf tournaments, along with other events in the year since Magli's death, the sheriff's office is continuing to raise money for Magli's wife and children through the Deputy Michael J. Magli Memorial Fund.
In December, the sheriff's office in collaboration with the nonprofit Saving A Hero's Place, dedicated an honor chair to Magli, symbolic of "saving his place" in the history of the sheriff's office.
The honor chair is located in the main lobby of the sheriff’s Largo administration building in front of the Wall of Honor. Saving A Hero’s Place crafts honor chairs for first responders who have died in the line of duty.
"Some will say that Michael was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I say nonsense," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. "Deputy Michael J. Magli was in the right place at the right time doing what cops do every day throughout this country: protecting others, even if it means grave personal danger to themselves."
The sheriff's office posted a tribute to the fallen deputy on its Facebook page Thursday.
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"Deputy Magli and his family will always have a place in our hearts at the PCSO, and each year on this day, we will honor his sacrifice," Gualtieri said.
He added that Feb. 17 "will always be our darkest day."
"This is the first line-of-duty death in the sheriff’s office’s 109-year history," he said. "We never wanted this day to come, but we will continue to remember and honor Deputy Magli’s life. His name will be inscribed on our memorial in front of the sheriff’s administration building, but more importantly, his name will be inscribed in our hearts forever."
Gualtieri said Magli's death is a reminder of the sacrifices his deputies make every day.
"Their mission is to protect and serve the citizens of Pinellas County, and they put themselves in harm’s way to save lives," he said. "Their oath is not limited to working hours; they are committed to protecting the public 24/7 and have a duty to act when evil enters their path."
Magli had been with the sheriff's office since 2013, and Gualtieri said his example is a reminder that a deputy's responsibilities go beyond his official duties.
It "involves matters of the heart. He cared about people and went out of his way to show it, whether it was telling a fellow deputy a joke when they felt down, taking extra time on a domestic call to ensure the couple was OK, or simply giving a citizen a bright smile as he crossed their path," Gualtieri said.
Robert Allen Holzaepfel was charged with first-degree murder, DUI manslaughter, driving while his license was suspended, leaving the scene of a crash involving property damage and aggravated fleeing and eluding police officers following Magli's death.
At the time of the crash, Holzaepfel had a blood-alcohol level of .230 percent. Under Florida law, a driver can be declared legally drunk with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent.
Gualtieri said Magli's wife, two daughters and parents will "never be the same over some drunk who's got 16 felony convictions and who's driving with a suspended license, who's fleeing from the cops, who's driving like a maniac."
Those interested in donating to the memorial fund can drop off contributions at any SunTrust bank location or can mail a check to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Fiscal Affairs Bureau made payable to the Memorial for Michael J. Magli, P.O. Drawer 2500, Largo, FL 33779-2500.
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Home health care company to lay off nearly 700 in Tampa BayBayada Home Health Care will close offices in Clearwater, Brandon, Port Richey and Brooksville.
By Jay Cridlin
Published Earlier todayA New Jersey home health care company will close four of its seven Tampa Bay offices this spring, eliminating nearly 700 local jobs.
Bayada Home Health Care, headquartered in Moorestown, N.J., with more than 350 offices, will shut down operations in Clearwater, Brandon, Port Richey and Brooksville, according to a notice filed with the state. The offices provide Medicaid care and support throughout Florida.
According to the letter, the closures will eliminate 306 jobs in Brooksville, 150 jobs in Brandon, 144 jobs in Port Richey and 79 jobs in Clearwater. Another three remote jobs in Tampa were also cut, bringing the total to 682. Ninety-six percent of those cuts were home health aides.
The letter, dated Jan. 19, did not offer a reason for the office closures, but said they would take place by April 1. In a statement, a company spokesperson blamed the “difficult decision” on “several external forces.”
“Our current Bayada clients and employees are our top priority during this transition,” the statement read. “We are working closely with our key referral partners to help ensure our clients have continued care. We’re also working closely with impacted employees as they seek new opportunities, including roles at other Bayada locations throughout the state.”
Founded in 1975, the privately held Bayada has 26,000 employees in 22 states and eight countries. After the closures, it will still have six offices in Florida, including in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sun City Center.
“We remain committed to our work in Florida and will continue to grow our presence here across our various lines of business to help our clients live at home with comfort, independence and dignity,” the company’s statement read.
Along with taking your medication as prescribed, some lifestyle habits can help manage your risk and help you live a longer, healthier life like watching what you eat, getting more exercise and managing stress.
Make Healthy Menu Choices
A healthy eating plan is a well-rounded diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables (at least 4-5 servings each day). In fact, researchers at the University of Columbia found each daily serving of fruits or vegetables was associated with a 4% lower risk of coronary heart disease and a 5% lower risk of stroke.
Other smart choices for your menu include nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean proteins and fish. Limit sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and fatty or processed meats.
You likely know exercise is good for you, but an Oxford University study revealed simply swapping 30 minutes of sitting with low-intensity physical activity can reduce your risk of death by 17%. Mortality aside, in its Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services noted physical activity offers numerous benefits to improve health, including a lower risk of diseases, stronger bones and muscles, improved mental health and cognitive function and lower risk of depression.
The greatest impacts come from getting the recommended amount of activity: at least 150 minutes of moderate activity, 75 minutes of vigorous activity or a combination of those activities per week. Be sure to discuss with your doctor which activities may be best for you.
If you're having trouble getting motivated, small steps like walking your dog can lead to big changes over time. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association on pets and heart-health showed dog parents are more likely to reach their fitness goals than those without canine companions.
Constant or chronic stress can have real consequences on both emotional and physical health. In fact, research shows chronic stressors like long work hours, financial stress and work-life conflict may be as risky for health as secondhand smoke, according to a report by the Behavior Science and Policy Association.
Aside from the direct toll on your body - including elevated risk for heart disease and stroke from high blood pressure, depression or anxiety - stress can lead to unhealthy habits like overeating, physical inactivity and smoking.
Exercise is an effective way to keep your body healthy and release stress. You might also consider incorporating meditation and mindfulness practices into your day to allow yourself a few minutes to distance yourself from daily stress.
Research compiled by the American Heart Association suggests meditation can reduce blood pressure, improve sleep, support the immune system and increase your ability to process information.
Another powerful tool to fight depression, anxiety and poor sleep, according to researchers at the University of California-San Diego, is practicing gratitude or thankfulness. Start by simply writing down three things you're grateful for each day.
Learn more about managing your cholesterol and habits to protect your heart health at heart.org/cholesterol.
How a Major Health Event Can Reveal Unknown Risks
Before his stroke, Lee Stroy, a father of five, considered himself to be a healthy person.
"My gauge of being 'healthy' was my ability to wake up in the morning, get to work, take care of my family and live another day to do it again," Stroy said. "That is, until I couldn't."
In December 2014, Stroy woke up disoriented and scared after suffering a stroke at just 38 years old. He quickly discovered he had undiagnosed hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol.
"It surprised me to learn there are often no visible symptoms for high cholesterol until a heart or stroke event," Stroy said. "Unfortunately, I was not diligent about my annual check-ups, so my health setbacks provided me with a huge wake-up call."
Stroy decided to take control of his health and this marked the beginning of a major lifestyle transformation.
The first change was quitting smoking. Next, he began incorporating exercise into his daily routine, initially with simple exercises from occupational therapy. Eventually he worked up to walking several miles a day. Stroy also gradually made changes to his diet and went from being a meat eater to vegan. He also attends regular doctor's visits to keep tabs on his progress.
"While it was no easy feat to make such drastic lifestyle changes, they are now second nature," Stroy said. "Don't put off or be afraid to go to the doctor. You could catch something early and be able to make changes that save your life."
The Franciscan Center presents “Aging Gracefully”, a six series Zoom program beginning January 13th. Sign up for one or all of the series at www.franciscancentertampa.org. Each program is $15.
Aging Is Not for Sissies
Thursday, January 13 from 2-4 p.m
Maureen Connors, Ph.D.
Bette Davis said it best! As we age, we realize more and more that aging requires a renewed grace and courage. Certainly, these past two years have required us to be anything but “sissies”.
How do you stop yourself from being a “sissy” when you are in pain, lonely, or experiencing some other dark emotion? What helps you be brave?
How Do We Truly Age Gracefully?