All posts by Sierra Rosa

Etown’s College-Community Orchestra

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The Elizabethtown College-Community Orchestra presented its Fall Concert in Leffler Chapel, last Sunday, November 18th. The conductor and Director of this concert is Etown’s very own Dr. Robert Spence.

This Orchestra contains 84 members, with students and community members alike. It features works by Wagner, Bourgeois, Bernstein, and Copland. An Orchestra has violins, violas, cellos, bass, trumpets, French horns trombones, and oboes and percussion, String and wind instruments.

During the concert, Dr. Spence gave special recognition to five, and ten-year orchestra member veterans from the community.
Now let’s go to’s Sierra Rosa.

I was able to catch Violinist Rachel Rhoads, after the concert. “The instrument I play is the Violin. I’ve been playing the Violin for almost 12 years. I can’t just pick one song that was my favorite that we played tonight it would definitely be a tie between the Cello Concerto we played and Journey to the line.”

Rachel Has a strong passion for music just like some of the audience members that were in attendance. I was able to catch up with one after the concert. Eli Kuklinski is another student of Dr. Spence but Eli is in the band which is also directed and conducted by Dr. Spence.

“I’ve been to about four concerts here, I think, three or four. Um, I’m a student of Dr. Spences, I’m in the band with him and I liked this concert because they did a song with seventeen percussionists and it was the coolest thing.”

Etown’s College-Community Program held a list of songs that they played some of which are Prelude to Die Meistersinger by Richard Wagner, Serenade by Derek Bourgeois and Concerto for Cello and Orchestra by Weinberg, which contained a soloist, whose name is Greg Flury on the cello.
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In Elizabethtown, Sierra Rosa,

The Chocolate Lab

A local Bethlehem chocolate store is melting the hearts of the locals as it gets its annual batch of custom-made chocolates ready for the holidays. The Chocolate Lab is one of a kind place. It’s been 11 years since its grand opening.

Their Chocolates are made fresh daily from the minute they walk through the door until the time they close.
Owner Arlene Brockel makes all of her chocolates by hand using Mondays to stock, prep and fills inventory.

I was able to catch up with frequenters of the Chocolate Lab, Rachel Rhoads, and Eli Kuklinski. “I’ve been to the Chocolate Lab 6 times,” Rachel said. Rachel Rhoads goes out of her way to get one of a kind chocolates from the Chocolate Lab as she is from New York. “I’ve been to the Chocolate Lab over ten times, I grew up in the area, so I used to go a lot with my mom,” said Eli. Being able to catch a local frequenter to the Chocolate Lab I was able to ask a rather interesting question about the relationship with the hands-on owner, Arlene Brockel. “My relationship with the owner is, well I don’t have a direct, she went to high school with my mom, so we know her through that. She is really nice,” Said Eli.

When asked about what they liked the most Eli and Rachel had similar answers. “My favorite thing about the lab is that I really like the people there, they are really nice. And it is conveniently located in the middle of town,” said Rachel. The Chocolate Lab has a very homey, artistic, fun environment. “My favorite parts of the chocolate lab are the atmosphere, like the people that work there are super nice, and just like being in there is super nice, you can always smell the chocolate,” said Eli.

Everyone has their go-to sweet treat and going into The Lab you are inclined to try so many new confections. “My favorite kind of chocolate is dark chocolate,” said Rachel. “My favorite kind of chocolate is milk chocolate, but there specifically I really like the choco covered Oreos,” said Eli. All kinds of differences tastes are accommodated here at the lab.

When asked about what kind of candies they like preferred overall they had similar answers.”I definitely prefer chocolate over gummies I don’t like gummies that much,” said Rachel. There is candy out there for everyone’s tastes. “Depending on how I feel that day, sometimes ill like choco more, sometimes ill like sour gummies more, I don’t really like regular gummies all that much,” said Eli.

The Chocolate Lab’s hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 11-7 Friday and Saturday 11-8 Sunday 12-5 Monday close, in Bethlehem.

Humans Of Etown: Eli Kuklinski

Eli Kuklinski

Hi, I’m Eli Kuklinski,

Everyone has an identity, has some things that define them. It’s what makes you, you. “Most people have a lot of things that they love to do, that they love to be. I only have four things that make up a big part of my life, writing, video games, reading and my friends,” said sophomore, Eli Kuklinski. An English education major with a dream of teaching English to high schoolers. Who also has the sneaking ambition to be a successful author. “I only ever came to the conclusion that writing could be a serious career choice for me, in my senior year of high school. It is quite exciting to realize you can have more than one dream,” said Kuklinski. Reading is an integral part in becoming an author and an English teacher. They would always have a book on them, no matter where they were, or where they were going. Their start with video games started in elementary school with a PlayStation 2, now a sad relic. They have no moved onto a 3ds and PC gaming, like Animal Crossing New Leaf and Sims4 and Nancy Drew games. Video games help them escape the world of painful realities and enjoy the quiet. 


When asked about their identity they couldn’t help by smile. They go by the pronouns ‘They/them.’ They wish the world was more accepting of other people’s personal choices and preferences. “I have three main things that I love being, a witch, part of  LGBTQ+ and being a memer, because the occasional meme does keep my blood flowing,” said Kuklinski. An interesting fact many people don’t know about them is that they are an actual witch, practicing magic and writing sigils. They take it seriously and it is a way of life for them. They believe there is so much more out in the world we just can’t understand yet. They wish people would be more open-minded to the idea that there is more than one celestial being in the clouds.


“My English teacher in high school really inspired me to follow my dreams, she really encouraged me to be the best I can be. I want to be just like her,” said Kuklinski.  Their favorite part of being an English major so far is that the people they meet really bring out the best in them, really pull the creativity from them. They like to write fantasy and because the people they met, creative non-fiction has become a quickly growing, new favorite. Their favorite professor right now is Jesse Waters, who teaches Reading the Novel like an Author. They want to be a high school English teacher, they feel that teaching, enlightening high schoolers would be beneficial to their growth. They will have someone to help them along like Kuklinski had.

They love the idea of working in the school system, they want to encourage children, teenagers, and young adults to follow their dreams because if Kuklinski didn’t have someone like that, encouraging them every day, they would not be where they are now. Encouraging words can really make a difference in someone’s life.

Humans Of Etown

Laura Slaybaugh 

Laura Slaybaugh

“I never thought I would be here. I thought I would be riding a magical purple unicorn into the sunset with a package of Oreos, but hey here I am!”

“I like helping children grow into semi-competent future human beings of society.”

Jamie Verrekia

Jamie Verrekia,

Tell us about your experience so far as a college student.

“Coming to Etown I was extremely shy. However, coming to Etown I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone both academically and socially. For my communication classes, I had to give lots of presentations and even had to be in front of the camera. Outside of classes I’ve joined certain clubs like the dance club, Emotion, and the school newspaper. I feel like I’ve grown throughout my college experience and hope to continue to grow throughout these next two years.”

Kelsea Davis

Kelsea Davis

Tell us what is the most important thing to you.

“Faith is really important to me. Just as kind of the foundation of my life and identity, I guess. I just really enjoyed growing in that since coming to college. Which is something I did not expect. I didn’t pick this school based on of my religious beliefs. I could have gone to Catholic school, that wasn’t even like something I was looking at and it’s a little crazy to think that I have grown in that way by being at this small liberal arts college. It has nothing to do with Catholicism and, so it is really cool to be involved in that group. To have grown in that way. Yeah, now I am the president of the group, so like it’s cool so and just like in more of a personal growth too, just kind of come about since starting here which is something I did not expect. I’m really passionate about my faith. Yeah, that’s a big passion. I am an education major. Sometimes I like to go back and forth, I don’t know if I can see myself in a traditional classroom for my whole career. So, I do know that I am passionate about educating someway, even if it is not in the traditional sense or about a subject. I just like passing along knowledge of some sort of what I am passionate about. I feel like there is a lot to learn about in life and all different aspects and so that is what I see myself doing is just something that I can pass along knowledge, I guess, and educate.”

By: Sierra Rosa, Amity Radcliff, and Kelly Simkins

The Death Penalty

Many believe that the death penalty is instrumental in correcting criminal behavior. More and more states are getting the death penalty removed from their judicial systems. I believe that the death penalty is just a way to downsize and scare others into being ‘good’. The death penalty just causes problems, sometimes it fails, or they had put an innocent person to death. Many throw accusations that because the human on trial was black that they got the death penalty because of their skin color, and not the crime. Judges and other judicial figures have called for the death penalty to be ended also.

The most effective reason the death penalty should have been ended a long time ago is that many innocent people have been put to death. Multiple reasons could have contributed to that. They could have been framed, the detectives did a poor job, the jury was biased. The list goes on.  Those that have had family members put down by the judicial system have written, protested and tried to go directly to their representatives and pleaded with them to rid the system of capital punishment. Although many states have begun to disassemble the capital punishment, others still stick to the firm belief it is needed, even with the innocence project many innocent people die by needle.  In Arizona alone, they have put nine innocent people to death. A poll was taken April 1st, 2017 of which state had the most death row inmates; California topped the chart with a total of 744 people. 42% black and 42% white.

Many people argue that inmates deserve death, that they’ve had their chance to live normal, civilized lives. Those fighting to keep the death penalty in play, throw out the argument that it is reserved for the most heinous of crimes. That since they took a life or multiple they deserve to have theirs taken. Their biggest argument is that they deserve death. They believe that the death penalty helps save lives.

But in reality the death penalty does not reduce homicide rates, it does not hinder other criminals from committing other crimes. According to a survey of the former and present presidents of the country’s top academic criminological societies, 88% of these experts rejected the notion that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder.

Another reason to disband the death penalty is that there are judges and juries that ignore the evidence and attack the person on trial based on their skin color and race. It’s something that people can’t do tests on so it can’t be proven that way, only people can assume and throw their opinions out there about it. The race of the person on trial should not even be considered as a fact when determining the evidence and whether they are innocent or guilty. In Louisiana, the odds of a death sentence were 97% higher for those whose victim was white than for those whose victim was black.

The last reason to eliminate the death penalty is that many of those in the law enforcement, know exactly how the judicial works. Some know exactly  how to work the system to their advantage. Some cops also take cases seriously and will do whatever it takes to get a convictions. Some even do the bare minimum to get a conviction and it still goes to court and they still aim for capital punishment. If it isn’t about a emotional vendetta, it’s the lack of resources to make a legitimate collar. Lack or resources is the main cause of what interferes with effective law enforcement.

A logical solution for this problem is to disband the death penalty and focus on rehabilitation for those that commit crimes that aren’t murder. Those that commit murder should just get life sentences. Rehabilitation focuses on fixing the inmate not further punishing them. I believe that the death penalty does nothing but make space in prisons and feed the demented agenda of those that want vengeance and it’s basis is all about the race of the criminal.