Starting the Conversation – Do We Appreciate What We Have?

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In my younger days, I would have given a resounding, “YES!” I was raised to be keenly aware of how bad my grandparents had it back in the old country and how lucky and fortunate we all are to be Americans. But somehow, in my mind, I pictured the old country being like an old photograph and really had nothing to do with us now. [Read more…]

Starting the Conversation: Where Does the Buck Stop

By: Marianne Reid Anderson

In addition to my work here at Northern Connection, I also have my own sideline business where I recently had a rather unpleasant experience. A person who shall remain nameless inadvertently sent me a different file than the one she “meant” to send me. When I opened the file, technically everything was correct and so I assumed it was her final draft and distributed it accordingly. [Read more…]

The Restroom Privacy Controversy

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By: Marianne Reid Anderson

I honestly never thought about privacy regarding a public restroom before the recent controversy. Usually, I’m just relieved one is available when I require it. But a few years ago, before there was any controversy, a young Dad that I know mentioned to me, “The best thing ever invented was the ‘family restroom.’ Being a Dad with two young daughters, it makes my life so much easier. Before the family restroom or when I go to places without a family restroom, I have to seek out a trustworthy-looking woman to ask to take my daughters to the restroom. Even when they were babies, it was tough because very few men’s rooms have diaper changing stations.” [Read more…]

Is there Still a taboo over Mental Illness?

Prevention shotByMarIanne Reid Anderson

Nothing is more tragic than someone taking their own life. It is especially tragic when it is a young person. The isolation, despondency and despair that must lead to such an act is heart-wrenching. [Read more…]

Starting the Conversation Is Legalizing Medical Marijuana a Priority?

Hand with marijuana (2)At the printing of this issue, a bill legalizing medical marijuana passed in the Pennsylvania House and was on its way to the Senate. After decades of research, the FDA has proven beyond a doubt that certain medicinal properties of the cannabis plant, when extracted, can have a tremendous positive effect on several disorders including seizures, epilepsy, and autism, among others. The chemical properties of the plant are administered clinically through pills and other pharmaceuticals.

Here’s what I don’t understand: So why is the legislature involved? Why can’t a physician who is qualified make the decision and prescribe as they do with any medication? There are certainly worse drugs available on the market that are infinitely more addictive, laden with opiates, and don’t effectively help anyone in anyway except to mask pain for a time but not cure what is causing the pain.

Personally, I would prefer that the legislature focus on getting drugs like heroin off the streets and out of the schools. Creating programs and awareness to keep kids off drugs and to provide a safe environment in our schools from criminal elements.

But, as always, what do you think? Let’s continue the conversation on my blog at, email me at or send me a “Letter to the Editor” at P.O Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722 attn: Marianne Reid Anderson.