If you have a special pet in your life, you may want to pack up him and/or her and stop by Animal Friends this Sunday for the animal blessing service.

Too often in our day-to-day lives we forget to stop and be grateful for the many ways that pets enrich our lives. The face that's always there to greet us when we get home from work, the warm body snuggled up against us in bed, the lick or nuzzle or head butt that communicates their love for us -- these are moments that we often overlook as we focus on the seemingly more important goals of life.


I don't know who developed the idea of holding school homecomings -- probably some college fund-raising officer -- but it's a great idea that probably needs to broaden its application.

We live in an area where it is common to find several generations of a single family living within walking distance of each other; where grandparents help raise their children's children, and grandchildren return the favor. It makes for a strong foundation.


This is one week when you won't want to miss picking up a hard copy of The Citizen. That's because September is National Coupon Month, and local businesses are offering big savings on a variety of products and services.

There are coupons for everything from getting your hair cut to having lunch or dinner -- with car repair, manicures and many different products in between.

It's always a good idea to do business locally, but this week it's a better idea than ever!


I don't care what your politics are -- when schools start choking at the idea of showing a video of the President of the United States speaking to students, someone needs to get a much firmer grasp on reality.


This will be the first time since our publication day changed in January that we'll be covering Friday night football games. With the paper coming out on Friday, fans normally would have to wait an entire week -- until the next Friday -- to find out the results.

While the full game coverage and photos will continue to be published in each Friday's paper, you'll be able to get game results in our on-line Sports section by Saturday. Keep an eye out for additonal Web-only game photos!

Good luck to both local varsity teams!


The North Boroughs Fireworks Celebration is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, starting off with the Avonworth vs. Northgate hotdog eating contest, followed by music from Uptown Rhythm & Brass and fireworks at dusk. Should bad weather force a delay or change in the event, you can check this blog on Saturday for the latest information.


The North Boroughs Independence Day Fireworks Celebration -- delayed due to flooding at the end of June -- will take place this Saturday, Aug. 29.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the second annual hot dog eating contest featuring members of the Avonworth and Northgate varsity football teams.

"Uptown Rhythm and Brass" will bring the musical entertainment right after the hotdog eating contest, about 7 p.m.

The fireworks will go off at dusk, which will be about 8:30 - 8:45 p.m.

There will be refreshments for sale.


The lack of a state budget. Swine flu. Bullying. Property tax reform. Wage tax collection reform. Health care reform. State test scores. There are any number of critical issues requiring the attention of school board members.

So please, please tell us why the Avonworth School Board would involve itself in something as relatively insignificant as a booster organization trying to collect money it believes is due from two parents?


I have no problem with employers being generous to their employees. If I made more money, I'd be more generous with my own.

I have a problem, however, with my tax dollars being used to give government employees benefits that most local businesses can't afford to give their own people.