Archive for December, 2008

Midway through making these hors d’oeuvres they may look like something Sherman stepped on marching through Georgia, but not to fear.  With these balls, Dixie never tasted as good.

6 ounces pork sausage

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter, room temperature

3/4 cup grated or shredded Chedder cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

36 pecan halves

Gently cook the sausage but stop before any of it gets hard.  Drain, cool, and crumble.

With a spatula cream the butter and cheese together until smooth.  Gradually blend in the flour and salt to make a dough.  Crumble the sausage over the dough and mix in with your hand.  Chill until firm or about 20 minutes.

Make small balls no bigger than the end of your thumb.  The balls need to be big enough to press a pecan halve into the center, but no bigger.  You should get close to 36 dough balls.  Place on a cookie sheet.  Bake in the oven 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve warm or store in the refrigerator.  Charles Marlin

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In David Guterson’s The Other a happy, productive high school teacher tells the tortured story of his blood friendship with a high school friend who seeks, finds, and wallows in madness.  Both lives are given their due, and you realize living and enjoying being a high school English teacher and husband can be a high accomplishment.  You don’t buy this, you earn it.  I wish he had been my high school English teacher.  Charles Marlin

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This recipe is easy and you don’t have to be exact.  Remember Sister Bridget who taught Home Arts?  If you didn’t measure each ingredient to within dust and check it off in your cooking journal, she went into a snit for a week.  You can with sweet memories cook this in her honor.

2 1/2 lbs beef stew in 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces or any cut of beef you prefer

4 to 6 slices of bacon, quartered

Olive oil

All purpose flour

Salt and Black Pepper

14 oz can of beef broth

2 cups of red wine

6 oz can of tomato paste

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons of herb – either marjoram, parsley, thyme, tarragon, or chives. Select one.

1 to 2 cups cut carrots

15 oz jar of drained pearl onions or frozen pearl onions

8 oz mushrooms, cut in half if large

Lightly coat beef with flour and set aside.  Begin bacon in stockpot over medium heat, then increase heat and brown half of beef and remove.  Brown the other half of beef and remove.

Add half of beef broth to stockpot and deglaze by scraping the bottom with a plastic spoon and stirring for 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in red wine, remaining beef broth, tomato paste, garlic, herb, salt and pepper.  Return all the beef to the stockpot.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

Add carrots and onions, cover, and simmer for another 30 minutes.  As the last step, add mushrooms, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve over noodles or rice or with crusty bread.  It looks and tastes great.  Charles Marlin

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If you let the authors’ silly wordplay bother you, you may not get past philanthrocapitalism, Billanthropy, philanthropreneurship, philanthrocrats, and celanthropist which they credit to Time in Matthew Bishop and Michael Green’s Philanthro-Capitalism: How The Rich Can Save The World.  The book can not be faulted as a scholarly work as the authors are not historians.  They skitter through with no footnotes, biases ablaze, and at magazine depth.  If they judge something to be fresh and discovered by them, they sing its praise, everything else is outmoded and anecdotal.  Their anthem is that today’s wealthy entrepreneurs and venture capitalists must and will save the world by eliminating all inequity and need if the reactionaries will be cooperative or at least step aside.

On the management of risk in the market, Bishop and Green write on pages 77 and 78, “in the past few decades there has been a revolution in finance that has allowed a much deeper understanding of risk and generated more efficient ways of managing it.  This has resulted, overall, in a massive increase in the productivity of capital, the lifeblood of capitalism, and has benefited most of us, by driving faster economic growth, as well as handsomely rewarding its most capable practitioners.”  Well, we are lucky.  Charles Marlin

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Established in 1994 from a bequest in the will of Mary E. Shaner, the scholarships awarded from the fund are for graduating seniors at Keystone High School, Knox PA. The scholarship committee includes members of Mary E. Shaner’s family, the Keystone High School administration, the pastor of the Salem Lutheran Church in Lamartine, the Executive Director of Bridge Builders Community Foundations, and the Board President of the Clarion County Community Foundation.

The committee considers grade point average, financial need, and occupational plans. Preference is given to students enrolling in Clarion University, Penn State University, or Thiel College. To receive the scholarship the following year, the applicant must receive a minimum 2.75 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 point scale for one semester. The scholarship will not be paid until the foundation receives the applicant’s official transcript for the previously completed semester.

Ms Shaner, age 95, died May 16, 1994. A life-long resident of Clarion County, she attended Clarion State Teachers College and Penn State University. For 47 years she was a teacher and librarian in the Salem Township School in Lamartine and the Keystone High School in Knox, until her retirement in 1964. She is buried in the Salem Luthern Cemetery.

Although the market downturn and recession has battered all trust funds, current loses are not likely to do long term damage because of the investment policy followed by the CCCF. Funds are invested for long term growth with moderate income. The high risk associated with investments earning a high return are avoided. During a downturn new money is invested not because an investment advisor believes a bottom has occurred, but because down markets are generally a good time to invest long term.

For information and assistance in creating a new scholarship fund with the CCCF, contact our Executive Director Steve Kosak at (814) 677-5085 or Board President Charles Marlin at (814) 797-2233. Thanks to Opal Watkins Johnston for the photograph of Miss Shaner at work from the Keystone 1961 Yearbook. Charles Marlin

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Philip Roth’s new Indignation is small in size and punch.  If you didn’t already know that he has every literary honor America can find to give him, this book would not cause you to wonder.  If you like following an author through the years, then you should stay loyal and buy it.  Much will be familiar and by association pleasing.  If you want to read your first Roth book, pick one of the other twenty-eight titles.  Charles Marlin

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Somethings are common sense and somethings we need to be told by a governmental report.  Common sense would never have made us aware that we are in a period of large generational transfer of wealth.  Thanks to the research supported by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a legislative agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, a report Wealth Transfer in Pennsylvania is available on line at www.ruralpa.org  The report covers the potential transfer of wealth, county by county, from 2005 to 2015.

Although the market turmoil and current recession may skew their figures at this time, for the entire ten year period the figures may be valid.  The total current net worth for Clarion County in 2005 was $2.90 billion, and for individual households the average was $192,000.  The ten year transfer of wealth from one generation to the next will be an average of $39,000 per household.  The per household average for 2005 to 2055 will be $202,000.

The study recommends that community foundations and nonprofits encourage a five percent set aside for community endowment.  A 5% capture from the 2005 to 2015 period would be $29.69 million, which at a 5% payout would provide $1.48 million for charitable grants and nonprofit programs.

There are many problems with these projections.  Some families are not in a position to set aside 5% for endowment.  Others have moved or will move away for retirement and lose contact with Clarion County.  The next generation may have even weaker ties to Clarion County.  The whole idea of creating an endowment may not be a family tradition or familiar to either generation of the family.  Historically there is not a strong local tradition of creating endowments.

Our area has in previous times gone through a number of large transfers of wealth.  Consider the fortunes and prosperity brought about by timber, farming, gas, oil, coal, the appearance of I-80, and the emergence of Clarion University.  Endowments from those sources either were never made or were concentrated in church buildings, library buildings, the Clarion Hospital, and the Clarion University Foundation.   A smaller amount went to local scholarships.

If the Clarion County Community Foundation is to be successful it must advertise its services but that in turn takes money.  The idea of creating an endowment is not something that springs to mind one day and the next is acted on.  The goal of a 5% set aside should be set higher at 10%.  A small fund created by a 5% set aside will in thirty or forty years grow to the size that gives it impact; however, more money initially more than triples the impact and much sooner.  It would be astonishing if every family set aside something for endowment, but we know that will never happen.

The work of ensureing the future of Clarion County is the voluntary responsibility of a very few.  Hopefully you and I are among those volunteers who prepare the county for the challenges ahead.  The first step is yours.  Call or request your attorney to call our Executive Director Steve Kosak at (814) 677-5085, or Board President Charles Marlin at (814) 797-2233 to ensure that your wishes are fully understood now.  Charles Marlin

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