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February 22, 2002
Vol. 43 No. 16

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Who can make the best...State-ment

New York

By Joe Guistina, Asst. Sports Editor

I am one of the almost 19 million people that call themselves New Yorkers. Maybe it wasn't something I would've chosen to do had I been given a choice between Rochester, N.Y. and say, anyplace south of it anywhere in the world.

First, let me explain, Rochester is not New York City, nor is it near New York City. Forty-two percent of the state's population dwells in the 322 square miles of the city, yet the state astonishingly has more than 45,000 more square miles in it. Still, New York City has a stranglehold on what most outsiders believe is the state.

To be honest, I've been in New York City once in my life, when I was six. Other than in politics, the city can go for months or even years without being noticed by anyone in the rest of the state. But to some Upstate New Yorkers constant dismay, New York City is still there and worse still, New Jersey is still below it.

Rochester is the image center of the world including the company headquarters of Xerox and Kodak.

Rochester is a city of 220,000 people, the third largest in the state. Imagine Harrisburg, for all you Pennsylvania folk, except imagine it twice as big with sports teams that are above AA. For the Jersey people, imagine Newark and then imagine Newark not being a suburb of the City and you have Rochester.

New York, outside the city, is host to some spectacular scenery -- Niagara Falls, Watkins Glen, Catskills, Thousand Islands or the Adirondacks. When I think of what New York truly is, I think of the Southern Tier Expressway that I drive down to get to school. It's a quiet reminder that New York stood tall before the Twin Towers and will continue to exist, the quiet dignity possessed everywhere throughout the state untouched by any external force.

I am a New Yorker. I always will be and if you make me, I'd even admit to you that I'm proud of it. More than anything, New York is an attitude, something that can't be bootlegged.

Pennsylvania

By Jonathan Illuzzi, Asst. Forum Editor

Let me set the record straight: Pennsylvania is one of the greatest states in which to live. According to pavisnet.com, a Web site for visitors, Pennsylvania is home to a plethora of firsts in the nation.

For starters, we are home to the birthplace of America. For you non-history majors, the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia in 1776, the Constitution, 1787.

We are responsible for building the nation's first hospital in 1751 called "The Pennsylvania Hospital." At least it cannot be said that Pennsylvanian's aren't hospitable.

We created the first public library to better educate our citizens free of charge. If you were around way back when, you would need to come to Pennsylvania to see animals in our countries first public zoo.

We printed the first circulated newspaper for the select few who could read at the time. Weren't we nice people?

Let's see, what other firsts are we credited with? We established the Nation's Capitol, built the all motion-picture theater, made a television and radio broadcast and started the first educational public-television station.

You want more? OK, we built the first paper mill, drug store, locomotive for railroad use and high-speed multi-lane highway (the Pennsylvania Turnpike). However, our roadways do not rank first in this country and I'll be the first to admit that one.

And for the grand finale, we made the first banana split and the longest, built the first electronic computer and set up the first commercial use of the computer along with cable television. Is that enough for you?

We are also home to the world's largest outlet mall near Lancaster. To satisfy your sweet tooth, we have chocolate in Hershey. And where else does the U.S. turn to in order to find out if we have spring around the corner or another six weeks of winter other than Punxatauny?

For the sports fan, Pennsylvania boasts two championship-caliber football teams, a winning basketball team, two quality hockey programs and two not-so-good but entertaining baseball teams in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

If Pennsylvania is still not suited to your liking, go ahead and complain. Just make sure someone cares enough to listen.

Connecticut

By Mike Maffei, Staff Writer

Writing an article on the greatness of Connecticut would be almost parallel to writing a book on the epic adventures of Don Quixote. After all, when you're that great, people should just know.

There are some things about Connecticut that people do not know. Surely, everyone must know Connecticut as the state that first passed the law that developed the system of cattle branding. Connecticut was also one of only two states that failed to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution: prohibition. And, it was some Connecticut college students who gave us the Frisbee (Those crazy kids from Yale).

Nutmeggers take deep pride in their official state shellfish, the eastern oyster. My prize-winning oyster collection is only second in my heart to my giant accumulation of the official state mineral, the garnet.

The area in the vicinity of Selinsgrove was first colonized by Connecticut settlers. An open interpretation to Connecticut's 1662 charter lead to the 1753 formation, in Connecticut, of a group of settlers known as the Susquehanna Company.

It wasn't until 1773 that the crown granted Connecticut title to nearly one-third of present day Pennsylvania. Connecticut made sundry attempts at colonization around the Susquehanna River but history is unclear about what happened. Anyone with a passing knowledge of U.S. history will realize that shortly after 1773, the crown's charter to Connecticut didn't mean as much. However, it took an act of Congress in 1786 to finally force Connecticut to yield its claims on Pennsylvania.

You may call us Connecticuters, Connecticotians, Connecticutensians or Nutmeggers, but no matter what term you use, I think that the residents of Connecticut are undeniably the smartest, most athletic and the best lovers.

Massachusetts

By Van Aylward, Staff Writer

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts might not have the whores, thugs and bad 24-hour eateries that Jersey boasts, nor the omnipresent aroma of cow manure that Pennsylvania emanates, but I still feel that Massachusetts is the best state in the union, never mind superior to those represented at Susquehanna.

First, Massachusetts is home to many of the world's greatest universities. Massachusetts also offers a vibrant, enthralling nightlife. Greater Boston has a plethora of dance and rock clubs, along with vamped-up pool halls, bars and pubs, coffee shops and shopping centers that entertain all types and interests.

Boston is also the ideal home for the rock 'n' roll junkie, with the hundreds of venues for shows. Somerville, Cambridge and Boston have one of the most notable underground music scenes in all of the country, which has spawned many legendary acts, such as Aerosmith, the J. Geils Band, Boston, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and a host of others.

Boston also offers arguably the most comprehensive sports scene in the nation. Professionally, Boston houses the 2002 World Champion New England Patriots; the Boston Red Sox who constantly draw millions to picturesque Fenway Park year in and year out; or the Boston Celtics who boast the most World Championships -- 16 in all -- of any other NBA franchise and are poised to make a playoff run for the first time in years.

Massachusetts also offers an exciting college sports scene. The Beanpot Hockey Tournament -- a four-team annual tournament played among Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern -- provides some of the best college hockey around.

Furthermore, Massachusetts offers the ideal geographical landscape, with four distinct seasons. In the winter, Massachusetts offers several ski resorts, and is in close proximity to many more in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. In the summers, the North Shore offers several beaches within a reasonable distance, and with a little more road time, you can vacation on gorgeous Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard.

So, as you must be able to see clearly now, my state beats the poop out of yours. But hey, really, cornfields are fun, and honestly, Trenton isn't as bad as it's cracked up to be. Isn't there a Six Flags theme park around there somewhere?

New Jersey

By David M. Applegate, Forum Editor

Jersey may be the armpit of the nation, but with a little Old Spice the state quickly shines through as a true gem.

Pennsylvanians have to come to New Jersey to go to the beach. Pennsylvania may have the most roads in the nation, but in New Jersy the roads will take you places that you actually want to go in less than two hours.

Want music? Stop by Asbury Park where Bruce Springsteen had his start in clubs such as the Stone Pony.

Want sports? The Meadowlands includes the Nets, Devils, Jets, Giants and MetroStars as well as three nights of Dave Matthews per summer.

The Lakewould Blue Claws, Skylands Cardinals and Newark Bears as well as three other Minor League Baseball teams offer family entertainment.

Want gambling? Take the Parkway to the Atlantic City Expressway and feed Donald Trump your quarters.

Want news? New York and Philly stations offer coverage of real news -- the last car accident that the networks covered was when Princess Diana died. Also, UPN, based in North Jersey, offers nation wide news coverage.

New Jersey gets a bad wrap -- but I will take my choice of any number of 24-hour diners over Sheetz any day.

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