There’s no denying it, our area is feeling the hit of the recession—hard. As of April, the unemployment rate was at 8.5 percent in Columbia County, and 6.5 percent in Montour County. Last December, Fleetwood Motor Homes in Paxinos closed, leaving 325 people jobless. In March, Sunbury Textile Mills laid off 42 employees, and Evangelical Hospital in Lewisburg cut 28 full-time workers. Bloom Mills in Bloomsburg shut down in June after 120 years in business, putting 134 people out of work. Several other local companies have had layoffs, and others have cut full-time workers’ hours. The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Have we seen the worst yet? We all hope so.
The summer/fall 2009 issue of Spectrum Magazine is “The Recession Issue.” Our intention wasn’t to create a magazine underlining the strain of the economy on our area, but rather to bring to our readers the issues and events of their community. After going into the surrounding communities and talking to the people, the staff found that the effects of the recession are issues and events in Columbia and Montour counties.
We lead off the magazine with “Recession Rescues,” a story of pet owners in financial struggle, with no choice but to abandon their animals. Shortly after that we feature a story about the usage of counterfeit money on the rise because of the economic crisis. Next, pay-out prices at a recycling yard in Paxinos drop significantly, leaving people who once depended on the extra income troubled. Finally, we profile a hard working immigrant family from El Salvador who found that getting into the U.S. was only half the battle.
In consumer tips, Spectrum shows readers how to fill their grocery cart without emptying their pockets, and clarifies misconceptions about the mineral makeup trend. We also give readers an idea for a family weekend trip that fits into the budget.
In our human interest stories, Spectrum examines the path of training a puppy to become a guide dog for the blind. We look at a local photographer whose childhood hobby turned into something she never dreamed was possible, and a man’s love for car restoration that was tragically cut short.
For a touch of culture, we look at the unique dialects of the coal mining region, and we introduce sushi to our readers, the Japanese food that’s making its way to Columbia and Montour counties. Finally, we feature a story about American volunteers at a Guatemalan trade school for underprivileged children, and retrace the ugly legacy of the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania.
As always, Spectrum is proud to be your award-winning community magazine for over 22 years, and we hope that these stories reach out to our readers, giving them pride in their community, no matter what economic state it’s in.
Click on story for teaser
Restoring the Memory
More Than Minerals
Clipping the Costs
Change in Fortunes
Uncovering a Lost Heritage
Taking the Lead
Capturing the Essence
Love @ First Site
That Path of Least Expenses
A Long Way to Liberty
From Street Struggles to Success