01 October 2013

( flaming foliage for all this fall )

portraits of nature
( flaming foliage for all this fall )
by “porcupine pat” mckinney

you stared in disbelief when you tore off yet another month from your calendar to reveal that the great engine that turns our earth is shifting into the autumn gear. yes, a new season has arrived, and with it the visual stimulus which is a main ingredient of autumn.

each month has its own personality, too, and this time of year seems befitting of a split one ! we start out with warmer days but end up with light jacket weather, that is, from cool to cold at night.   

some swear that the cooler temps are the reason why leaves change color. over the course of late summer, you probably glimpsed some leaves that were already expressing their true colors. most likely, this is due to stresses from drought and hot temps. the major reason for fall color is the length of sunlight available during the day. 

according to www.sciencemadesimple.com, “leaves are nature's ‘food factories.’” plants siphon water from the ground through their roots and absorb a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose.

oxygen is a gas in the air which we need in order to breathe. glucose is a kind of sugar. plants use glucose as food for energy and as a building block for growing.

the way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar is called photosynthesis, which means "putting together with light."

a chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen and is the stuff that gives plants their green color. as summer ends and autumn arrives, the days get shorter, and this is how the trees just "know" when to begin getting ready for winter.

trees have to shut down for the winter because there is not enough sunlight or available water, due to the ground being frozen. if a tree still had sap in its wood, most likely the tree would shatter due to the extreme cold. this is akin to when your pipes burst due to ice expanding inside the pipes from a home that has lost its heat during winter. 

but, we are getting ahead of ourselves ! the key to remember is that green chlorophyll masks the true color of each leaf.  as a tree shuts down for the season, the green chlorophyll fades away, unveiling that leaf’s true colors.

we all know that there are several ways to identify a tree from its shape, bark, leaves, etc. leaf color is yet another way to do so.

most common tree colors include: bronze for american beech, red for red maple, orange for sugar maple, yellow for tulip poplar and slippery elm, and the list can go on. we are very fortunate in having such a variety of trees to enjoy in our little nook and cranny of pennsylvania, especially when in some places on this same planet of ours, the change of seasons is less authentic and visible for appreciation station efforts.

as you traipse around the environs here in southeastern pennsylvania, keep a sharp eye out for peak foliage that usually occurs around mid to late october. experts predict that this year will be a doozy, so be sure to take time to enjoy the sights.

some of the best sites for the act of “leaf-peeping” include: anywhere along the schuylkill river, route 100, and oley valley’s back roads. in fact, places like monocacy hill in douglassville feature walkable trails and enjoyable views of autumn leaves crisply responding to each footfall you offer the ground.    

remember that folks who enjoy glimpsing fall foliage are sometimes called “leaf-peepers.” so, be sure to take time this fall to peep at some leaves !

( madelyn fudeman: an early advocate of justice )

by jennifer hetrick

few could say their days of delivering justice to the people literally began in their single-digit years, early in childhood—but this is an integral detail in the career of attorney madelyn fudeman.

on tuesday, november 5th, fudeman is running for judge of the berks county court of common pleas.

“my mother, my aunts, and my brother and sister have always said i was born to be a lawyer,” notes fudeman, beaming. she joined the world at her birth in berks county’s reading hospital in 1956. “she has always been an advocate for people she knew weren’t being treated fairly or justly,” says fudeman’s aunt virginia, who at 91, lives with fudeman.

when fudeman was nine-years-old, she had to have an emergency appendectomy in the reading hospital. at the time, she found herself visiting her aunt bert moscirella in sinking spring. after the surgery, fudeman’s surgeon came to tell her aunt virginia and aunt bert, “your niece should consider becoming an attorney because she asked so many questions about the surgery, what it would entail, how long i have been performing surgery, etc.,” the surgeon said with a smile. he told her family that her words and delivery were incredibly effective.

and fudman’s commitment to justice continues to resonate with her even more poignantly today.

“i always had a strong sense of fairness,” fudeman reflects.

one day during third grade, her mother—julia moscirella-fudeman—attended a meeting her teacher had requested. assuming the teacher arranged the meeting in order to compliment her daughter’s schoolwork and good grades, mrs. moscirella-fudeman reacted in surprise when the subject of discussion veered in an altogether different direction.

( madelyn fudeman enjoys time with the fur kids in her home
– photo courtesy of madelyn fudeman ) 

“your daughter is a staunch advocate for other students, and she certainly delivers her objections quite effectively and assertively. however, i did tell her this isn’t a courtroom, and we can discuss her thoughts and ideas collectively,” her teacher stated with a big smile.

today, fudeman is president of her legal practice for the past 20 years, while her work in law spans 25 years overall, including her time spent out of state.

“i began practicing in miami as a prosecutor in janet reno’s office, and then for several years, i did legal reporting, including covering the trial of manuel noriega,” she explains.

today, fudeman is the president of essig, valeriano, & fudeman, p.c., in wyomissing, with one of her specializations in zoning and real estate law.

she also mentors young attorneys and served as a director of the berks county bar association. twelve years ago, she took on the job of chairperson of the berks county bar association’s alternative dispute resolution program. her website notes that the program “provides an alternative to the overwhelming expense and uncertainty of litigation.”

the family mediation program in the berks county court system is also something fudeman’s efforts helped to shape as a way to somewhat alleviate the often painful, ugly particulars in custody battles between divorcing or separated parents and the children who don’t usually have a choice or a much of a voice in such traumatizing times.

the program is set up to offer supportive mediation to parents or guardians as a way to benefit them, but more importantly, the children. and fudeman points out that if the mediation helps at all and sets a good example for the children, it is an enormous benefit to the family and the court system.

fudeman also spent more than a decade on the board of directors for mary’s shelter, a nonprofit based in the city of reading, supporting women and children during times of crisis situations related to pregnancy, and presently serves on the board of prospectus berco, which helps mentally challenged individuals find work and live productive and fulfilling lives.

reflecting on why she is running for judge, fudeman says, “judges have an even greater ability [than lawyers] to make sure the law works the right way.” fudeman believes the county deserves forward-thinking, fair-minded public officials serving to improve the quality of justice and living in local communities.

to find out more before november, email info2013@fudemanforjudge.com or go online to visit www.fudemanforjudge.com.