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Mechanicsburg man has a whale of a passion - abc27 WHTM

Mechanicsburg man has a whale of a passion

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  • Shippensburg University Hosts Meet and Greet With a Kick

    Shippensburg University Hosts Meet and Greet With a Kick

    Shippensburg University Hosts Meet and Greet With a Kick

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:31 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:31:46 GMT
    It's certainly a unique way to break the ice between incoming freshmen and the faculty at Shippensburg University. A just for fun soccer match.Or, as PA announcer Stephanie Jirard, a Criminal Justice professor, put it: "The geriatric ward against the new generation!"The game has become a tradition at SU, organized seven years ago by the school's chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.Human Communications Studies Professor Dr. Kara Laskowski, public r...More >>
    It's certainly a unique way to break the ice between incoming freshmen and the faculty at Shippensburg University. A just for fun soccer match.Or, as PA announcer Stephanie Jirard, a Criminal Justice professor, put it: "The geriatric ward against the new generation!"The game has become a tradition at SU, organized seven years ago by the school's chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.Human Communications Studies Professor Dr. Kara Laskowski, public r...More >>
  • Historic Ferry Boat Operation Still Draws Riders

    Historic Ferry Boat Operation Still Draws Riders

    Historic Ferry Boat Operation Still Draws Riders

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:16 AM EDT2014-08-26 13:16:25 GMT
    It's only a one mile journey in distance, but it covers nearly two centuries in time."People come to enjoy the river," said Don Lebo, as he guided another load of vehicles onto the Roaring Bull V. "They come to enjoy the scenery and to enjoy the wildlife."Lebo should know. He's been at the helm of the Roaring Bull V and the Falcon III ferry boats for 25 years.The 20 minute trip across the Susquehanna River dates back to the early 1800's when the Millersburg Ferry system first became official....More >>
    It's only a one mile journey in distance, but it covers nearly two centuries in time."People come to enjoy the river," said Don Lebo, as he guided another load of vehicles onto the Roaring Bull V. "They come to enjoy the scenery and to enjoy the wildlife."Lebo should know. He's been at the helm of the Roaring Bull V and the Falcon III ferry boats for 25 years.The 20 minute trip across the Susquehanna River dates back to the early 1800's when the Millersburg Ferry system first became official....More >>
  • Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

    Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

    Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:59:44 GMT
    For many of her 87 years, Anna Jean Bennett Ditty was told, "You ought to write a book!" So, ten years ago, she did. In fact, she needed three books to cover her life, starting with "The House on the Hill," about growing up with three siblings in a small West Virginia town during the depression, with a hard-working mom and an absentee father.Browsing through her first book, Ditty paused to point out a childhood picture of her baby brother Dickie."He's my baby brother," she said. "My momma alw...More >>
    For many of her 87 years, Anna Jean Bennett Ditty was told, "You ought to write a book!" So, ten years ago, she did. In fact, she needed three books to cover her life, starting with "The House on the Hill," about growing up with three siblings in a small West Virginia town during the depression, with a hard-working mom and an absentee father.Browsing through her first book, Ditty paused to point out a childhood picture of her baby brother Dickie."He's my baby brother," she said. "My momma alw...More >>

When Dan Knaub talks about humpback whales, he does so on a first name basis. As founder of The Whale Video Company, his connection to the 50-ton marine mammals is personal. With pride in his eyes, he shared the life history of one of his favorite whales friends in the ocean, Salt.

"She was the very first whale named. She's at least 44 years old," he said. "Salt has 12 calves and 10 grandcalves, that we know of."

Salt is one of more than 500 humpback whales named by those who observe and study their behavior on a daily basis.

"Salt was named for her white dorsal fin. Looked like somebody sprinkled salt on her back," he explained.

It's a friendship the Mechanicsburg resident developed over 16 years of video taping whale watching trips off the coast of New England.

In total, Knaub estimates he spent more than 68-thousand hours on the water taping the whales. That's enough time to build a video archive of more than 8-thousand hours for his whale video company, an enterprise he never envisioned 25 years ago. That's when he left a secure job in banking to go watch whales. After his very first trip, he was hooked. He says that kind of reaction is typical of many new watchers.

"It's the event of a lifetime for many, many of them," he said. " And I believe they become instant fans of whales."

His videos are like a family album to him, with each whale triggering fond memories. 31-year-old Colt is one of them.

"Colt's famous for coming up to the boat," Knaub explained. "In fact, he was voted the friendliest whale in the world."

But Knaub worries because his huge archive currently exists only on hundreds of aging master tapes. So, he's seeking sponsors to help with the expense of saving them.

"My objective right now is to preserve, to digitize and annotate the entire archive and find a home for it, where educators and researchers, around the world, can work with it," he explained.

Individuals wanting to help can" adopt a whale" at Knaub's website, www.whalevideo.com. For a 30 dollar fee, sponsors receive a DVD and family history of the adopted whale.

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