HomeColumnists ( September 26, 2018 )

100 Years Ago

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

With Our Boys in the Field: The Titman brothers, of Springville, are in France—Harold, the older of the two has been through the fighting at Chateau-Thierry, being detailed in carrying supplies to the front lines by motor truck; Raymond, the younger, has just arrived. Gomer J. Pritchard of South Gibson, is a lieutenant of infantry in the Machine Gun Co., 4th regiment, New York Guard, now guarding New York City's great aqueduct near Walden, NY.; Amos A. Conrad, formerly of Glenwood, died from wounds received in action on July 19; Curtis Sharp, Kingsley, of the 09th Infantry, was injured while fighting on the Marne; Carl Huntley, of New Milford Twp., is in the second line trenches in France; Charles E. Daly, of Fairdale, arrived safe overseas; Sgt. Wm. Quinlivan, Forest Lake, of the 521st Engineers Corps., is now in France; Mr. and Mrs. Angelo Ferraro, of Forest City, were notified that their son, James Ferraro, had been wounded in France; another Forest City boy, Joseph Murin, was also wounded in France.

Hop Bottom – The Hop Bottom band took the trolley to Glenwood road and traveled up over the hills to serenade Sherwood Coil and wife last Saturday night.

Montrose – The five and ten-cent store, conducted by Mrs. James Langley, will hereafter be known as "The People's Bazaar." Since Mrs. Langley has assumed ownership many improvements have been made and she is offering a large and varied assortment of low-priced goods. ALSO Andre & Sweet are erecting a grain conveyor over Mill street, which will take the grain from the car on the D. L. & W. tracks to their mill, depositing it directly in huge bins in the upper stories. Electric power will be used, the hoist being an endless chain arrangement.

Brooklyn –W. C. Cox, while driving his automobile on the macadamized road just north of Brooklyn Center, met with an accident in which his car was badly wrecked, but in which he and the other occupant of the car, Joseph Piney, a stock buyer, fortunately escaped serious injury, tho' the genial Montrose councilman is shy one perfectly good tooth, as a result of the experience. Mr. Cox was driving at a fast rate of speed and while passing another automobile his car skidded and struck a concrete guard-post. The car turned turtle, throwing the occupants clear.

Franklin Twp. – Mrs. Abbie Adams and Mrs. Sarah Wall went to their grandfather Adams' grave last Sunday, which is in the Franklin cemetery. Mr. Adams was a soldier in the Revolutionary war.

Harford – "The frost is on the pumpkin."

Forest City – The basketball team has organized for the 1918-19 season. The line-up includes the following: Owens and Podboy, forwards; Walker, Center; Heller and Bud, guards; Kilhullen and Cheevers, substitutes. Ziz Ruane will manage the team with Podboy as captain. Come on now, you fans and fannettes, give the boys a little support. ALSO Mrs. Anna Muzuchowski, the oldest resident of this vicinity, if not the county, passed away at the home of her son, Lawrence, of Hudson Street. Her death was due to the infirmities of old age. Had she lived until the 10th of November she would have reached the century mark. Deceased was born in Poland and came to this country 27 years ago. She is survived by four children and 85 grand and great-grandchildren. The funeral was held from Sacred Heart Church and interment was made in St. Agnes cemetery.

Thompson – W. L. Simrell and family, of New York, are at their farm in Starrucca, having a bath room installed in their home. E. A. Mead is doing the work.

Uniondale – Court has appointed W. T. Davies, of Forest City, as guardian of Clara, Orpha, Dorothy, Henry, Frank and Fred Lichtwark, orphans to the late Fred Lichtwark and wife. ALSO J. J. Rounds has been appointed general yardmaster for the Delaware and Hudson railroad company's railroad yards at Albany and Troy. It speaks well for his ability.

News Brief: In line with fuel conservation many church congregations are planning to conduct their services in smaller rooms during the cold season, in order to conserve coal. In some cases only a morning sermon and Sunday school are to be held on Sunday. It is pointed out that union services in country districts, entered into last winter, have proved beneficial in their effects in all instances. People became acquainted, religion was helped, not injured, the social life was promoted, and money was saved. ALSO The merchants, the National Chamber of Commerce and the National Government, have united to make the forthcoming Christmas unique. The Government insists that no presents--barring toys for children—be given, except useful ones. In an order just issued by the Council of National Defense, this request is emphasized very strongly. The merchants urge customers to do their shopping early and at the same time urge them to eliminate all buying of useless presents. It is proposed that no Christmas gifts shall be mailed or expressed after December 5th. The Council of National Defense expressly says that toys for children are not to be interfered with. All merchants have agreed not to increase their working hours, nor their force of working people during the Christmas season, which means that the public, in order to do their shopping with any degree of comfort, must begin early.

Psychology of War on Women's Dress: With the coming of the war woman's work has been made real. Women have found the waists that muss on the slightest provocation, like chiffon, and other materials designed for the drawing room, impractical for the real work they are now called upon to do. They have found that high heels advertise weakness, and those who are doing Uncle Sam's work must think of their feet in terms of strong ankles and strong arches. They have discovered above all, that clothing reveals personality and that to gain personality they must consider their work, its ideals, and their own social responsibility. Forty-nine hairpins and a fluffy cascade of feminine adornment are becoming obsolete since Uncle Sam is accepting woman workers. Modesty in dress means the right attitude toward the dignity and worth of the human body, and respect for dignity does not go with a neck too exposed for business. Women are fast learning that if they desire equal pay for equal work the first emphasis must be placed on the work.

200 Years Ago from the Montrose Gazette, September 26, 1818

*WILKES-BARRE BRIDGE. We have observed with much pleasure the progress of this excellent structure. The severe ice freshet in the spring cut down the piers, which had not been completed the preceding season, owing to the frequent occurrence of high water; --and in consequence of that circumstance, the work has been greatly delayed the present season. The low water, which has for some time prevailed, has been extremely favorable to the work;--and it now progresses as rapidly as the nature of the work will allow. Two arches are raised and the raising of the others is fast progressing.

*Dissolution of Partnership. The Partnership heretofore existing between Sayre & Mulford is this day mutually dissolved. All persons having unsettled accounts with the firm of Sayre & Mulford are requested to call and settle with delay. Benjamin Sayre, Silvanus S. Mulford. Montrose, Sept. 25, 1818.

*SCHOOL. The subscriber proposes to open a school in the Village of Montrose on Monday next, where she will teach Reading, Writing, English Grammar, Geography, Rhetorick, [Rhetoric], Composition, Drawing, Painting &c. &c.—Terms of admission can be known by calling at the house of Benj. Sayre. MARY T. CHAPMAN.

Back to Top

Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

Jonathan Smith spent the evening going to several bars drinking alcoholic beverages with his friends. As the evening was drawing to a close, an intoxicated Smith told his friends that he wanted to go get some drugs. Smith and four friends then set off in Smith's motor vehicle to find some drugs to purchase. As Smith was driving, he struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk causing serious injuries to the pedestrian. Smith then fled the scene in his motor vehicle without checking on the pedestrian.

Smith was later apprehended and charged with a variety of offenses. As part of a negotiated plea agreement, Smith pled guilty to one count of DUI and a felony count of aggravated assault. The aggravated assault count was based upon Smith recklessly causing serious bodily injury to the pedestrian "under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life."

At the time of his sentencing, the Commonwealth requested that the court apply a sentencing enhancement to increase Smith's sentence, namely the deadly-weapon used enhancement (DWUE). The sentencing court refused to do so based upon its conclusion that Smith had never intended to use his motor vehicle as a weapon; rather, he had intended to use it only for transportation and, as such, it was not a deadly weapon upon which a sentencing enhancement could be applied. Smith was sentenced to a period of 6 ½ to 15 years of incarceration. The Commonwealth appealed to the Superior Court and the Superior Court affirmed the sentencing court's refusal to apply the DWUE.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to accept the appeal and affirmed with the following language: "[We] ultimately conclude that the criminally reckless use of such a vehicle for its ordinary purpose of transportation does not trigger an enhanced sentence notwithstanding that such recklessness results in serious bodily injury." In reaching this conclusion, the Supreme Court noted that the DWUE applied in circumstances where the defendant injured or threatened a victim with a weapon. The use of the term "threatened" in the statutory language suggested that the injury has to be "accomplished according to purpose or design" of the offender.

Further, the Supreme Court also found that the statutory language specifically applied to the use of "firearms, deadly weapons, and devices, implements, or instrumentalities capable or producing death or serious bodily injury." The Supreme Court conceded that a motor vehicle could be a device capable of inflicting death or serious bodily injury if it was consciously used to do so. In this case, however, Smith was intending to use the motor vehicle for transportation – not to cause death of serious bodily injury.

The Supreme Court did not foreclose the application of DWUE in the appropriate cases and summarized its holding as follows: "Plainly, motor vehicles are ordinarily used for transportation. However, they can become weapons when re-purposed to threaten and injure others." If Smith had purposefully driven his motor vehicle into a crowded pedestrian area, then his use of the motor vehicle was not for transportation – but to kill and maim and the DWUE would apply. Conversely, Smith's reckless use of his motor vehicle while intoxicated – while criminal – was insufficient for imposition of the DWUE.

Back to Top

How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

"D" – The loser vitamin? Study results conflict!

If you get a D in algebra, you are lucky that you passed. If you take vitamin D, you are not doing much better, according to recent studies. For example, one large clinical study has revealed that taking a daily vitamin D supplement does not prevent bone fractures. Another new clinical study has found that extremely high doses of vitamin D do not prevent cancer. Haven't we heard the opposite in other studies? Yes. Much of our confidence in the benefits of vitamin D came from studies of the supplements during the 1980s, which were never replicated and were flawed in terms of their study design.

The largest clinical study ever performed on the benefits of vitamin D in preventing fractures was reported this year in the British Medical Journal. The study involved over 500,000 people. The results showed no significant association between vitamin D levels and the risk of fracture. But is this the truth? What is meant by a "significant association?" This means that some people actually benefitted from vitamin D for their condition. However, there were not enough of them to announce that D can prevent cracked bones or even cancer, your worst nightmare. What should we believe? After all, our bodies make vitamin D. Yet, we take supplements to avoid a vitamin D deficiency. The problem is that there is little agreement on what vitamin D deficiency is. Deficiency levels are arbitrary with no international consensus. A "normal" level can vary from 50 to 80 nanomoles (nmol) per liter of blood. Conversely, recent studies suggest 30 nmol is quite enough. Those who have vitamin D levels of 40 or 45 may be prescribed very high doses of vitamin D to get them back into the so-called normal zone.

There are 2 things to know about vitamin D supplements. First, high doses of vitamin D can cause side effects. Because D is fat-soluble, it can hide in the cells and cause toxicities, such as extremely high blood levels of calcium (hypercalcemia). Symptoms of hypercalcemia include abdominal pain, bone pain, confusion, depression, weakness, kidney stones, or an abnormal heart rhythm including cardiac arrest. Second, we are all different and respond differently to chemicals such as medications and vitamins. Often our genetic background dictates how we respond to these chemicals. For instance, race can contribute to special dosing requirements for the blood thinner warfarin, with blacks requiring higher doses and Asians requiring lower doses than whites do.

Patients with very high vitamin D blood levels (over 100nmol) are becoming routine, and toxic overdoses are increasingly common. Several randomized trials have shown that patients with high blood levels or taking large daily doses of vitamin D (above 800 IU) had an unexpected increased risk of falls and fractures. Vitamin D was supposed to protect us from fractures.

The bottom line is that we do not know how vitamin D supplements work. Yet, we need the vitamin so badly that nature has provided us with the means to make our own without the need for supplements. Vitamin D probably does prevent fracture and cancer in certain populations. We just do not know who benefits the most and at what doses. About half the US population takes vitamins daily, despite zero benefits, and with increasing evidence of harm. Instead of taking it as a dietary supplement, healthy people should get vitamin D from small doses of sunshine every day as well as from food, such as fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and fortified dairy products.

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

Back to Top