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The weather outside may have been frightful, but inside it was delightful for the sixty people who enjoyed Christmas dinner with friends, instead of being home alone, thanks to volunteers and the sponsorship of Endless Mountains Health Systems.
The second annual Christmas Day Dinner was held at the Montrose Square Apartments in the Community Dining Room. The free meal was open to anyone who cared to attend, but targeted those who might have spent Christmas alone.
Pictured are some of the participants enjoying Christmas dinner at the Montrose Square Apartments.
The buffet style dinner was donated, prepared and served by hospital personnel and friends. The tables were set with holiday cloths and centerpieces by the children of Dr. Ellis Rucker and Dr. Joseph Speicher, and folks were greeted by the Speicher family.
Dr. Ruckers surgical skills were put to the test on the turkey. But the menu also included ham, donated by Dr. Ihab Dana, a variety of side dishes, and many home made breads, pies and cookies.
On January 9, residents of Ararat, Clifford, Gibson, Harford, Herrick and Lenox Townships gathered at the Gibson Township municipal building to form the Upper Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Association. The group, a private, nonprofit association will study the creek, its tributaries and the lands draining into it to establish a baseline for stream stability and water quality. It will discover, not only what is wrong, but also what is right about the watershed and how we can best maintain its quality.
The fledgling association adopted a set of bylaws and accepted volunteers for the initial board of directors. Jo diPalma and Ron Boyd, of Gibson Township, Jeffrey Parsons of Lenox Township, Sioux Petrow of Harford Township and Kathie Shelly of Ararat Township will serve as directors for the first year. The new board will meet Thursday, January 23, 6:00 p.m. at the Gibson Township building at which time they will organize and approve a Growing Greener grant application for an inventory of the Upper Tunkhannock Creek. They will work with Mike Villanella, Watershed Specialist for the Susquehanna Conservation District.
The inventory, characterizing the stream bed, for instability and pollutants, will be conducted by a consultant. According to Nancy Ross, Herrick Township, who helped out with such an inventory in the Lackawanna River Basin, volunteers can help. She reported that it was a lot of fun and that she had learned a lot.
Donald Stone, of Ararat Township, had brought along a report written several years ago by Joyce Stone about the entire Tunkhannock Creek watershed, including flora and fauna, water quality and perceived problems in the watershed. According to Rob Parker, Watershed Coordinator for the eleven-county RC&D Council, that report contained much invaluable information to help understand certain aspects of our watershed.
Water quality is only one of the issues addressed by watershed associations. Growing Greener grants are available to address problems created when streams change their beds during storm events. Gravel bars and undercutting of stream banks can be a major problem, especially near homes.
Martins Creek Watershed Association is being formed to help with just such a problem in and around Hop Bottom. A natural stream management system using the placement of rock fins to channel high water into the center of the stream and forestall erosion was installed in Martins Creek just above the hamlet several years ago. More of the same is needed downstream.
Stream bank restoration is an expensive, after-the-fact fix. It makes more sense to understand the stream and its behavior, to avoid future problems. Land use planning can provide the proverbial "stitch in time" that will allow mankind and streams to co-exist without constant expense. Understanding land use planning by watershed was mentioned as a possible issue to be addressed.
Shelly read messages from DEP Secretary David Hess and Choconut Creek Watershed Association Co-Chair, Carolyn Doolittle. Shelly suggested the group could take inspiration from these words written by Secretary Hess. "Your two hands make a difference. One of the most effective environmental technologies Ive found are your own two hands. You can extend your hand as an invitation to work together. You can give someone a hand to work on a project. You can use both hands to praise someone doing good things. The ability to join hands in a partnership is the most powerful tool we have to restore and protect our environment."
In a letter faxed the morning of the meeting, Doolittle wrote, "You have joined together to protect one of the three elements that make life possible. There is no better use of your time and talent." Reminding them that the work "is as necessary to your fiscal health as your physical well-being," she congratulated the group on its foresight and courage.
The program was slides of land use, ponds, streams and wetlands, plants and animals typical of the area, taken by Ed Cameron and shown by Kathie Shelly, followed by refreshments and socializing.
The public is invited to attend the board meeting January 23, 6:00 p.m. at the Gibson Township building.
Washington, DC Congressman Don Sherwood has set up a new, toll-free telephone number for citizens to call if they require the Congressmans assistance or to register their views on issues of importance concerning the federal government.
The new toll-free number is 888-366-7210. It is answered in Sherwoods new district office in Clarks Summit. It must be dialed from a telephone within the "570" area code.
The new district office in Clarks Summit is located at the Abington Shopping Center, 1146 Northern Boulevard, Clarks Summit, 18411. It replaces the district office formerly located in the Scranton Life building, which is no longer in the 10th district.
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