Press and Journal

Switch to desktop Register Login

'The turtle man' delights library youngsters

PlayingtheKhim1Press And Journal Photos by Dan Miller -- Matt Mazur plays a khim - a hammered dulcimer.

Matt Mazur wants to be "the Bruce Springsteen of early childhood music."

He's off to a good start. He's from New Jersey, gives a high-energy show, and is booked through June 2017.

Mazur, 28, said his young fans call him "the turtle man." The name comes from his goal of using music as a way to get kids to come out of their shell.

HighfiveMatt Mazur prepares to give a high five to a young spectator outside the MCSO in Middletown.

Mazur brought his show to Middletown on Wednesday, June 29, as part of the Middletown Public Library's Wow! Wednesday series of free programs that the library is holding all summer.

Mazur gives a one-hour show in which he barely comes up for air. He plays a variety of instruments - including guitars, banjos, a hammered dulcimer known as a "khim" and a long-tube like contraption called a didgeridoo that is made from a tree branch hollowed out by termites.

For good measure, he throws in some ping-pong, leading kids around in a circle as if he was the Pied Piper, and applying bubble wigs, beards and goatees.

Mazur graduated from New York University with a degree in music and theater, but in 2008, he couldn't find a job in the field.

Then on the side he started doing arts programs and early childhood music classes in schools, and it took off. Parents and principals loved the shows because Mazur had a unique of using music to engage all kids, but especially those with autism and similar intellectual challenges.BubblewigMatt Mazur builds a bubble iwig.

So he went back to school, this time to get a master's degree in autism intervention and early childhood development. Now he has the academic sheepskin to go with the street credibility.

"I can take a big crowd of kids of different age ranges, different developmental abilities and different socio-economic statuses and I can create a collective that is engaged for a whole 60 minutes," Mazur said.

Based on the reaction of the kids who attended Mazur's show, it works.

You can learn more about Mazur and what he does by going to

Guitarandcrowd1The crowd of children enjoy the performance by Matt Mazur.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:43

Hits: 1293

Boy Scout Troop 97 makes its rounds around township

7 6 scouts IMG 6276SLIDESubmitted Photo -- From left, Garrett Little, Mason Swartz, Luke Spangenberg, Daniel Jilka, Alex Jilka, Ben Spangenberg, Leo Nissley and Kyle Hoyt accidentally came upon an Eagle Scout service project at the summit of Round Top during a 10-mile hike throughout Londonderry Township. The project was done in 1996 by fellow Troop 97 Scout Scott Stine. The seating area was a welcome sight during their hot and humid hike. The Scouts were able to confirm their discovery by reviewing the troop's historical records.


Londonderry Township's Boy Scout Troop 97 has been spotted all over town during the last couple of weeks doing community service projects. 

They were first spotted at Londonderry Elementary School's May Fair. The Scouts put up a gaga pit, which is an Israeli version of dodge ball in a a pen. Gaga means hit, which is what you are to do to the ball while not getting hit by the ball. The Scouts also built a monkey bridge for the fairgoers to enjoy. In addition, they helped Cub Pack 97 run its backyard fishing and rocket launching stands.

 The next sighting took place at Geyers United Methodist's Vacation Bible School. The Scouts ran the game portion of VBS for five evenings. Due to the heat, a lot of water activities took place along with good ol' fashioned potato sack races, three man tug-of-war and tightrope walking. The popular gaga pit made an encore appearance at VBS. The Scouts worked with 60 children each night to make sure they all had a good time.

While taking a 10-mile hike through Londonderry Township, the Scouts found a service project that was constructed back in 1996. The Scouts stumbled onto an area of benches that were erected on the highest point of Round Top. The benches were part of an Eagle Scout project that was done for area residents by Troop 97's Scott Stine. The project has held up well over the last two decades.

 Area residents honked their horns and yelled out expressions of gratitude as the Scouts cleared trash off of a 2-mile stretch of Route 230. More than 15 large bags of garbage and debris were removed from the road. Shull's Tree Service expressed its appreciation by giving them a nice donation and words of encouragement. A resident came out of their home and made a second donation and asked the leaders to treat the boys to a cold treat as it was hot as blazes on the black pavement.

Troop 97's upcoming events include Sea Base high adventure sailing in the Florida Keys, summer camp at Bashore Scout Reservation in Jonestown, Middletown National Night Out, mystery trail hiking/campout, Harrisburg International Open House, Appalachian Trail hike/campout and Harrisburg International Airport’s Disaster Drill. For more information, please contact Kevin Little at 944-1957 or Ted Pauley at 944-2766. Boy Scout Troop 97 is sponsored by Londonderry Fire Company.

 Guide and Life Scout Cole Carlson helped fill 15 trash bags with garbage and debris along Route 230 in Londonderry Township. The troop was encouraged by honking car horns, cheerful yells and even a couple of unexpected donations to the troop for doing a good deed.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:29

Hits: 1056

23 Years Ago 7_6_16

O70616SLIDE23 YEARS AGO - High Water Ron – We’ve all heard about high-water marks; well, here’s a high-water Ron. Ron Rhodes, of the Middletown Public Works Department, is pictured high above downtown shoppers keeping the thirsty little beauties blooming during the summer heat.


NRC Will Require Vehicle Barriers At Nuclear Plants

 Three months after a United States subcommittee urged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and federal intelligence agencies to work together in preventing terrorism in the nation’s nuclear power industry, the NRC has voted to require vehicle barriers at all nuclear plants as a protective measure against attack.

 The ruling came as a result of several recent developments affecting the nation, according to officials, including the terrorist plot recently thwarted in New York City, the bombing of the World Trade Center, and the February 7 intrusion at Three Mile Island.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:23

Hits: 901

If brewery passes inspection, part of first floor will be ready

TatteredFlag7 6 16


Saturday, July 9 is the target date for a soft opening of part of the Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works in the Elks Building at Union and Emaus streets in downtown Middletown.

The July 9 opening is pending Tattered Flag passing a building inspection this Thursday, July 7, said Pat Devlin, one of the Tattered Flag partners.

The building will be inspected by Commonwealth Code Inspection Services, a firm that the borough uses for building-code related inspections.

The portion to be opened includes a bar at the main entrance of the first floor. Tin from the old ceiling of the Elks Building has been recycled to line the bottom wall of the bar.

Tattered Flag hopes to open the rest of its combined brewery/distillery brew pub to the public by sometime this fall.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 16:19

Hits: 852

Out & About: 4th of July Freedom Celebration


Londonderry Twp. played host to its eighth annual Stars and Stripes Salute at Sunset Park and Sunset Bar & Grill on July 2.

The event featured two bands and food, and culminated with a huge fireworks show.
Big crowds gathered at Sunset Park and on the deck of the Sunset Bar & Grill, as well as on the 10th tee of Sunset Golf Course.

For more photos of the Stars and Stripes Salute by Bill Darrah, check out our print edition or click here for our E-edition.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 15:38

Hits: 855