Origin of Pumpkin Carving – by L. Peterson

With Halloween approaching, many houses have already been festooned with spiders and their webs, skeletons, fake blood, tombstones and other ghoulish spectacles. Yet no matter the theme of the house, most porches and stoops will be hosting carved pumpkins, also called jack-o’-lanterns. This is in fact not a custom reserved to the United States. It did not even start on this continent, and there is a reason they are called jack-o’-lanterns (No, it has nothing to do with Jack Skellington from the Nightmare Before Christmas).

Read the entire article in the Oct. 29th edition.

Photolithography & Microchips – by Lauren Peterson


So what is photolithography and how does it relate to microchips?

Also called UV lithography and optical lithography, this process describes how light is used to transfer patterned coatings from a ‘reticle’ to a light sensitive ‘photoresist’ on a substrate. Chemical treatment engraves this exposure pattern onto the substrate (the substrate is the silicon wafers we have been talking about, in this case), beneath the photoresist. This can be done multiple times; indeed, some microchips (integrated circuits, to the electronics world) have up to fifty layers on them. The process is not so different from regular photography, before the age of digital cameras, when a pattern was created in the presence of light, except that our resist (the layer used to transfer a pattern to a substrate) is not a picture but an exceedingly precise circuit pattern.

Read the entire article in the Sept. 4th issue of the Express.


Invasive Beetles in the Area – by L. Peterson


There are so many nonnative species in the Malta area that we could go on for weeks, but I will conclude with the three invasive beetles you are most likely to come across in your typical garden: The red lily leaf beetle, the Japanese beetle, and the ladybug!

First off, anyone who has any type of lilies in their yards will likely have already encountered the red lily leaf beetle, courtesy of Asia. Brilliant red on top, with black legs, head and underside, these beetles will strip every true lily (the lilium species) as well as the fritillaria species of all its leaves, eventually killing it. Introduced in Canada in 1945 and the New England area later in 1992, these strong-flying beetles rapidly spread throughout the northeast. They are small, less than half an inch in length, and winter in the soil in order to emerge in the spring, when they feast and mate


Read the entire article in the Aug. 7 issue of the Express.


Round Lake Boat Launch Opens – by L. Peterson


This weekend lake-happy residents were out in droves just east of Round Lake to enjoy the brand-new boat launch for the sunny weather. In construction since last year, this is the first proper boat launch since the original boat house was torn down two decades ago, and a victory for many people who have long argued that a properly maintained site to launch motorboats on the lake will help prevent traffic accidents from boat owners parking on the shoulder of busy Route 9.



Read the entire article in the June 12th Express.

Beneath Malta – by L. Peterson


 When I say Malta, I am not talking about the island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea which our town may or may not be named after. With places like Troy and Athens in the area, it would seem that the history behind our namesake would be similar. But in fact, local myth suggests that we are named after a malt brewery that was near the place where Maltaville first sprang up.


Read the entire article in the May 29th issue of the Express.

The Express Newspaper – May 29, 2014

Round Lake’s Gingerbread Houses – by Lauren Peterson


Round Lake is almost entirely made up of gingerbread cottages designed in the Victorian Era. This was a style popular in America in the late nineteenth century, mostly among the emerging middle class. The Victorian Era is considered to range from 1837, when Queen Victoria I began her reign in England, to 1914. Several coinciding factors aided the explosion of Victorian architecture in the West, not least of all the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which allowed all manner of supplies to be transported back and forth across the states, an exhibition in Paris which brought many architectural influences to light for America, and most importantly, the explosion of the Industrial Revolution, which had been going on for several decades by this time.


Read the entire article in the May 8th issue of the Express.

Gingko Trees in Round Lake – by Lauren Peterson

Ginkgo biloba – commonly known as the ginkgo tree – has become a familiar name in many American households in the past few years, along with a host of other eastern plants that promise medicinal benefits. It may surprise some residents of the area to learn that we have ginkgo trees growing around us. There are several young ones in Round Lake, some of them well-hidden, though the easiest one to locate is in the middle of the small park on the southeastern corner of the village where the museum used to stand.

Most people who know about Ginkgo biloba are thinking of the health supplement. It is believed by some to enhance memory and concentration, but scientific studies have thus far been extremely contradictory. It may have no effect on the body, or it may improve blood flow, protect against damage from free radicals and block the effects of many central nervous system disorders.

Read the entire article in the May 1st issue of the Express.

Bald Eagles at Round Lake – by Lauren Peterson

Many people are familiar with the bald eagles that show up on Round Lake at the end of each winter, and in fact those with binoculars have already been out watching them for weeks. The lake and the village itself is a bird-friendly environment, with feeders in many yards and birdhouses set up everywhere. Some birds even come back year after year to nest in the same locals’ porches and vines, despite human traffic and our proliferation of cats.

Yet the eagles are what draw the most attention. At least three have been seen this year, two adults and an immature, though up to five have been spotted at once before. They have already been here a month, and could often be seen sitting on the ice that has now completely washed off the lake, or swooping up Prospect Avenue.

Read the entire article in the April 24th issue of the Express.

Introducing Round Lake – by Lauren Peterson

For those of you who have never made it to the beautiful village of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, consider visiting Round Lake, NY instead. The village of roughly 600 residents has been around since the first cottages were erected in 1869. Today its small and winding streets are lined with Victorian houses dripping with gingerbread ornamentation in all hues.

The original exterior Victorian house color schemes of this era consisted of tans, pale oranges, whites and light blues, but you can find residences painted in all colors of the rainbow today. Among those currently standing there is a bubble gum pink house, several in yellow, many in bold shades of blue and more. One house on the western edge of the village has nine different colors decorating its molding. Along with the sometimes extensive gingerbread, various residences boast conical turrets as well, and one house is even octagonal in shape.

The entire articles is in the 02-06 issue of the Express.