HomeColumnists ( August 22, 2018 )

100 Years Ago

By Betty Smith, Susquehanna County Historical Society, Montrose, PA

Dimock – Last Sunday brought to Dimock the largest crowd that ever attended the Camp Meeting. While no figures are available at present, it is estimated that nearly 10,000 were on the grounds during the day. An official count was taken of the vehicles and there were found to be 1,455 automobiles, 588 teams, and three motorcycles.

Middletown – A very enjoyable time was had by the young folks at the picnic and dance held at Little Meadows, August 15th. The ball game played between Middletown and Warren proved to be the most thrilling of the season, Middletown being victorious. Three cheers for our boys.

Uniondale – Male teachers are few and far between, owning to draft conditions. Prof. Haynes, who was the successful principal of the Herrick schools last year, has gone to work in the railroad shops at Susquehanna, and claims that he realizes more ready cash than in holding down a school job.

Great Bend – Rev. John J. O'Leary, a chaplain in the US Army, has been commended for bravery during one of the recent big battles in France. In his report the Major-General states that Father O'Leary was within the lines caring and ministering to the wants of the wounded and dying soldiers while bullet and shell were falling all around him. Father O'Leary is very reticent about the matter and says that he only performed his duty. He is a 100 percent American, and the residents of this place are proud that he is a Great Bend boy.

New Milford – The work of excavating for the new pavement was commenced by Contractor Ryan with a steam shovel and gang. The work was started at the north line and has now been excavated to a point above Union street. The work of grading in preparation for the concrete roadway is being followed rapidly. The street will be 30 ft. wide with a uniform concrete curb and gutter. The concrete roadway will be 16 ft. wide, with 6 ft. gravel shoulder on each side. This will leave a grass plot on each side 9½ ft. wide between the curb and the side walk and when completed it will be a handsome street and a credit to the town. The dirt that is removed is being used to put the other streets in town in good condition.

Gibson – We are sorry to hear that Sergeant Claude Lewis, who has been at the front in France for some time, was wounded in the leg so that amputation was necessary. It will probably be several months before he is able to come home. ALSO B. J. Felton had a valuable horse barn destroyed by fire on the afternoon of August 14, during the severe thunder shower, with its contents of wagons, tools farming implements and a quantity of hay. Mr. Felton, being away, the women folks got a horse and calf and a market wagon out, the balance of the contents were consumed. Only $500 insurance.

Lenox – James Keech, a Civil War veteran, attended the Soldiers' Encampment Thursday, and it was just 55 years ago that day that Mr. Keech received his discharge at Harrisburg. Mr. Keech recalls many army reminiscences in a most entertaining manner. He was in the battle of Gettysburg, in which 75 percent of those engaged were killed. When he received his discharge he was out of money, but had 5 months back pay due, which he was unable to get. He was given railroad transportation, but had to lay over a day or two at Scranton, and being without money was obliged to beg a bite to eat of the housewives. They were memorable days.

Choconut Valley – The Rounds Brothers, who have had a feed store in this Valley for some time, are putting in a grocery in connection with the feed store.

Montrose – Daniel Searle, who is employed at carpentering in Washington, DC, is engaged in construction work on what is to be the largest office building in the world. It will have 45 acres of floor space. Some 700 men are employed on it. The building, which was started this spring, will be ready for occupancy this autumn. It is of concrete, three stories in height. [This may have been the Main Navy and Munitions Buildings, built as temporary quarters for the United State Military.] ALSO A big 7½ ton government Liberty truck was one of the sights in town. The machine, which was in charge of a US Army chauffeur, made a trip of 600 miles to secure a sawing machine purchased by the government from Beach Mfg. Co. ALSO Rev. Johnson and family, who came from Schenectady, NY to minister to [A.M.E.] Zion church, were tendered a pound party by the members of his flock. About 35 were present and a nice quantity of provisions provided for the family. The new pastor is taking hold of the work enthusiastically and Zion's needs are being well supplied by a practical man who is not afraid of work of any sort.

Clifford – Rev. Fred Finn, of Los Angeles, CA, made a short visit to his parents, Mr. and Ms. I. O. Finn. Mr. Finn has entered Y.M.C.A. work in the army and goes on duty soon. ALSO Mrs. W. S. Davis went to Buffalo last week after a new Buick car, which she drove back. She drove 260 miles in ten hours without a single mishap. On reaching this place she sold the car to S. Horton.

Ainey, Springville Twp. – A. F. Hobbs, the genial agent for the Scranton Republican, was calling on patrons of that paper in this place last week. The lines on his gas horse did not pull just right. The "gee" and "haw" gear did not work and gave him some "Hobbservations" in the rail fence. No damage done.

Silver Lake – Michael McCormick, son of James McCormick, and nephew of T. P. and J. M. McCormick, of Forest City, is reported missing on Saturday's casualty list. The young man enlisted at Binghamton and received his service training at Camp Upton. He left for France about the first of March. The information given by the war department stated he was missing, but so far the particulars are not available.

Forest City – The Erie Breaker boys held a moving picture show at the Plaza theatre Sunday afternoon and evening. The net proceeds, amounting to $188.20, were donated to the Red Cross society. The boys worked with commendable energy in selling tickets and deserve a great deal of credit for their pronounced success, and the spirit that prompted them to undertake the benefit performance. [Breaker boys, usually between the ages of 8 and 12, removed impurities from coal by hand]. ALSO John Chicosky was reported severely wounded in France. He enlisted about 5 years ago and served on the Mexican border under Pershing. His father was killed in the mines about 20 years ago. ALSO William Kolesinsky was in an auto wreck Sunday. While driving on Susquehanna street his machine got beyond his control. It made a quick plunge to the side of the street and turned turtle. Kolesinsky was injured about the face and his right optic was placed out of commission. His companion escaped injury. The car was slightly damaged. Kolesinsky says the next time he takes an auto ride he will walk.

News Brief: Many people seem to be under a misapprehension as to the sugar regulations. For ordinary purposes each family is expected to get along on one-half pound a week per person. For canning, however, sugar can be secured in larger quantities as it is the desire of the food administration that all fruits and vegetables possible be preserved. Only a sufficient supply for your immediate needs should be purchased for this purpose, and when you need more you can go and get it. If everyone will conform to this rule, and avoid hoarding, there will be enough sugar for everybody.

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Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

Rodney Class was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia in connection with possessing a firearm. The firearm had been found on Class' locked jeep which was parked on the capitol grounds. Federal law prohibits the possession of the firearm in a capitol building or capitol grounds. Class challenged the constitutionality of the statute contending that it violated his Second Amendment rights but the federal district court dismissed Class' constitutional challenge.

Thereafter, Class entered into a written plea agreement with the government where he agreed to plead guilty to the offense. Class thereafter filed an appeal contending that the district court had erred in refusing to dismiss the charges. Class again asserted that the statute violated his constitutional rights. The government argued that Class could not file an appeal because he had pled guilty and that the guilty plea represented a waiver of his constitutional challenge. The Court of Appeals agreed with the government's position and denied Class' appeal. The United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

In a 6-3 decision, Justice Breyer, writing for the majority, opined that a defendant does not waive a challenge to the constitutionality of a criminal statute by virtue of entering a guilty plea to violating the challenged statute. While the majority noted that a guilty plea normally results in a waiver of a variety of defenses, Justice Breyer cited to prior precedent that a constitutional challenge was not waived through a guilty plea. Moreover, the written plea agreement itself did not specifically provide that Class was giving up his right to challenge the constitutionality of the statute.

Class was not contesting the facts – he admitted to possessing the firearm on capitol property – but he was challenging the power of the government to lawfully prosecute him for that offense. In other words, there was no need for a trial as Class was not contesting the evidence – he was contesting the legality of the statute itself. In such a circumstance, a trial would have been a futile exercise and the guilty plea simply facilitated the ability to seek appellate review without wasting judicial resources. Thus, the majority remanded the case to the Court of Appeals to consider the merits of Class' constitutional challenge.

Justice Alito, writing for the three dissenting justices, noted that 95% of all felony cases are resolved through guilty plea proceedings. Justice Alito contended that it was important for prosecutors, defense attorneys, defendants and judges to understand the finality involved in a guilty plea proceeding. A guilty plea is generally understood as encompassing a waiver of all defenses to the conduct in question. As a result of this decision, Justice Alito identified a broad category of potential challenges that could arguably be raised where the defendant was stipulating to the facts but still challenging the power of the government to prosecute – and each one of those challenges would thereafter call into question the finality normally accorded to guilty pleas. Justice Alito expressed concern that this decision would "bedevil the lower courts" in terms of how to apply it.

In the end, the lower courts will need to assure that the record makes clear that defendants understand that they are waiving all defenses and challenges as a result of the guilty plea. If there is concern over a constitutional challenge, then the lower court needs to ask a defendant questions regarding whether the right to challenge the constitutionality of the underlying statute on appeal is also being waived by the guilty plea. Of course, the parties may also agree to a conditional guilty plea that would allow the defendant to file an appeal relative to specific issues. In the absence of a clear waiver and where the record is unclear, the appellate door may remain open for a collateral constitutional challenge even in the face of a guilty plea.

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How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

Will my multivitamin help me live longer?

The pharmacist was reading a new study that claimed multivitamins are ineffective at reducing the risk of disease, and may even cause harm. The pharmacist rolled his eyes. Multivitamins are getting to be like coffee consumption. One year a study comes out that claims coffee will shorten your life. The next year another study asserts that coffee will extend your life. What is the consumer supposed to believe? 

This latest review of over 18 clinical trials, involving 2 million people followed for an average of 12 years, found that multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin C showed no benefits in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, or premature death. That's disappointing, thought the pharmacist. For many busy pharmacists, meals are eaten on the fly. Instead of a salad, a bag of chips may be lunch. Instead of a healthy glass of V8®, a sugary soda may be the chosen beverage. The pharmacist hopes that a daily multivitamin will prevent him from collapsing face down on his counting tray. Is this an unfounded hope?

There are 2 types of people who take multivitamins (MV). There are those who eat healthy foods, eschew most red meat, never eat sugar, and exercise regularly. These people probably do not need to take a vitamin supplement. Then, there are those people who, like the pharmacist hope that despite their poor eating habits, an MV will fill all the gaps in their otherwise empty diet. There's a third group who think Twinkies® are one of the 4 main food groups. They should start pricing coffins now.

Multivitamins are a concoction of Madison Avenue. Starting with One-A-Day® vitamins in 1940, the vitamin industry is a multi-gazillion dollar endeavor. Couple this with the obesity epidemic and the excess of fast, possibly carcinogenic, probably artery-clogging foods, and people buy into the hype that all it takes is a vitamin supplement to remain healthy. Even the "once daily" notion is a myth. B and C vitamins stay in the body for 3 or 4 hours before they are peed out of your system. Check your urine a few hours after you take your vitamin. If it is bright yellow, there go your B vitamins right down the toilet. So, what is covering you for the other 20-plus hours? There is a reason why we eat 3 meals a day – we need constant refueling. The same goes for vitamins – which, incidentally, are plentiful in food too.

A vitamin supplement is not the panacea that their manufacturers would have you believe. MVs cannot take the place of eating a variety of healthy foods. People who are on low-calorie diets, have a poor appetite, or avoid certain foods – such as vegans and vegetarians do – might consider an MV. But, beware: Too much of a good thing can be bad. In 2011, a major study which involved 35,000 men ages 50-plus showed that those men who took vitamin E (400 units) and selenium (200 micrograms) per day had a 17% increase in prostate cancer than those who took placebos. Vitamin A and D toxicity may occur after taking excessive amounts of those vitamins for a long time. In severe cases, liver damage can occur. Very high doses of vitamin D (50,000 units) are sometimes used to treat medical problems such as vitamin D deficiency, but these are given only under the care of a doctor for a specified timeframe. Use of beta-carotene has been associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in people who smoke or who have been exposed to asbestos. One study of 29,000 male smokers found an 18% increase in lung cancer in the group receiving 20 mg of beta-carotene a day for 5 to 8 years. This is not to say that people need to fear taking MVs. If taken at the correct dosage, MVs can fill the void in your diet. But, as the pharmacist agreed, there is no substitute for good food. Next time, take your MV with a fruit or veggie.

Ron Gasbarro, PharmD, is a registered pharmacist, medical writer, and principal at Read more at

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