The Way... With P. Jay
Is there a code of ethics in the county?
Whether or not Susquehanna County has a code of ethics for elected county officials is uncertain. In all probability the answer is no. There is one thing for certain. If there is a code of ethics in the county it is probably buried so deep in the bowels of the courthouse it would take a team of surgeons to find it.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) is committed to the highest standards of conduct by and among county officials in the performance of their public duties. With this in mind, NACo created the Code of Ethics for County Officials by and for elected county officials. However, NACo emphasizes that "these principles should apply to the day-to-day conduct of both elected and appointed officials and employees of county government."
NACo believes that individual and collective adherence to high ethical standards by public officials is central to the maintenance of public trust and confidence in government. Moreover, it recognizes that this Code of Ethics should serve as a valuable reference guide for all those in whom the public has placed its trust.
According to the Code of Ethics for County Officials, as written by NACo, an ethical county official should:
· Properly administer the affairs of the county.
· Promote decisions which only benefit the public interest.
· Actively promote public confidence in county government.
· Keep safe all funds and other properties of the county.
· Conduct and perform the duties of the office diligently and promptly dispose of the business of the county.
· Maintain a positive image to pass constant public scrutiny.
· Evaluate all decisions so that the best service or product is obtained at a minimal cost without sacrificing quality and fiscal responsibility.
· Inject the prestige of the office into everyday dealings with the public employees and associates.
· Maintain a respectful attitude toward employees, other public officials, colleagues and associates.
· Effectively and efficiently work with governmental agencies, political subdivisions and other organizations in order to further the interest of the county.
· Faithfully comply with all laws and regulations applicable to the county and impartially apply them to everyone.
· The ethical county official should not:
· Engage in outside interests that are not compatible with the impartial and objective performance of his or her duties.
· Improperly influence or attempt to influence other officials to act in his or her own benefit.
· Accept anything of value from any source which is offered to influence his or her actions as a public official.
NACo points out that its code of ethics is intended for information and reference purposes only. It is not the code of ethics or ordinance of any particular county. And then, the clincher. "Contact your local county," NACo suggests, "to find out if it has a code of ethics, and if so, to obtain a copy of it or to find out how it is enforced."
There are mighty important primary elections in May. Besides the fact that two of the current three county commissioners are seeking reelection, the list of challengers on both sides of the political spectrum offers the voters a wide choice of candidates.
Before you commit yourself to a candidate because of his name or popularity, look the field over and ask yourself which of the new candidates do you believe can uphold the standards outlined in the code of ethics. Then ask yourself if any of the incumbent candidates have complied with the provisions of the code during their terms in office. Only then, my friends, will you be casting your ballots based upon your personal preference rather than the political influence of your local county committeeman, friend or neighbor.
Pollyanna Confronts Reality
I have been accused of being a hopeless romantic, and I stand guilty as charged. I make no apologies. In these days of grim foreboding of terror and war, broken families, reality television, and bottom line business, I prefer to live in my land of make believe. Is it any wonder that I dress in pink, that my only collection is bone china cups and saucers, and I adore my soft, purring cat?
Recently I downsized to basic cable TV. It was a bit of a shock to run through all those sixty channels and have most of them hissing static at me, but do I miss what was on them? Not much. Do I need "Lifetime for Women" with its stalking, rape and murder? No. Do I need the merchandise stations touting their wares with fast-talking enthusiasm? No. How about the talk shows with their experts giving advice on every issue? Guess Ill pass. What I do miss is the "Andy Griffith Show" and "Leave It To Beaver." I like visiting a gentler era where common sense and common courtesy prevailed.
When my stereo gave up the ghost and I was too intimidated to face the mega-electronics showrooms to replace it, I was bereft at losing my access to my 1950s records. Santa Claus brought me the gift of music again with a CD player. My CDs were very limited; some gifts and a few Id picked up at yard sales. I had been playing them through my computer system. Not exactly the best quality sound. Now with a real CD player, I could branch out. Last week a package arrived from my Chicago family. In it were three CDs featuring my very favorite singers; Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Mathis, all backed with lush arrangements of my favorite romantic ballads. They have crooned to me for hours this week.
I like movies with happy endings or at least great romantic drama. "Youve Got Mail" gets much play time. The same goes for "Sleepless in Seattle," "A Place in the Sun," and "As Good As It Gets." "Road to Perdition" was abhorrent to me. People knowingly hurting one another in any way is unacceptable. Unlike my young cousin who said he would "Get down under the seat and play awhile" when the 1950 love scenes were being played out in the local theater, I relish the three-hanky movies. And Im not alone here. Why else would "Gone With The Wind" still be drawing sell-out crowds?
There is much sadness in the world, and to pretend otherwise is only delusion. In an old scrapbook, I have a newspaper photo of a South Vietnamese soldier kneeling beside his dead wife, head and arms resting on her body. It haunted me when I cut it out during the Vietnam War, and it haunts me today. In some way it stands for all the innocents who have lost their lives in war, and the loved ones who have had to live with the tragedy. And here we are again, face to face with this reality.
If statistics can be trusted, we live in a world where 40,000,000 lives have been snuffed out through abortion. That thought chills me.
So I guess I shouldnt have been surprised when my doctor stated recently that my neurological ailment was very possibly psychosomatic. Pollyanna living in the real world is bound to suffer shocks to her nervous system.
Years Ago 1902-2002
HARFORD: It is reported that Henry Jeffers has purchased the Soldiers' Orphans' School buildings and will have them removed. He has an offer of $500 for the boys' dormitory.
FOREST LAKE: The recluse of Forest Lake township, old Michael Sullivan, who for many years has lived in a hut on the hill above the St. Joseph Church, was buried on Wednesday. The last few days of his life he was cared for by Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan-his nearest neighbor.
LENOX TWP.: The boiler in the Crawford saw mill, at the foot of Pine Hill, blew up Tuesday morning of last week, wrecking the mill and badly injuring and scalding Daniel Rought and his son Jule. The latter died from the effects of the explosion the following Thursday morning and grave doubts are entertained for the father's recovery. At the time of the catastrophe the younger man was filling the boiler with water and was thrown 150 feet, landing in a creek, while his father was buried under the debris. The boiler was an old one and it is thought the water got too low, so that when the cold water was turned into the highly heated boiler it was unable to withstand the suddenly increased pressure. Two other men, Messrs. Crawford and Barber, were in the mill at that time, but both escaped unharmed.
GLENWOOD: There will be busy times here this summer. The old hotel is being fixed up for a boarding house. The prospects of Glenwood look bright for the future. Anything that will give it life and prosperity will be welcomed. It will be like the young lady who went to the forest to pray for a man, when a owl sitting up in a tree sang out, "Who?" "Who?" "Who?" She hallooed, "good Lord, anybody." So anything that will give activity to this place will be welcomed.
MONTROSE: When Jacob Titman went to milk his cow last Wednesday morning, he found that during the night she had got cast, and so badly disabled that she died. This is serious calamity to Mr. and Mrs. Titman, for this cow furnished the supply of milk for themselves and three neighboring families. They can ill afford such a loss and they have the sympathy of all who know them. [Jacob Titman was a Civil War veteran, serving with Co. K, 187th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was one of the guard of the martyred President Lincoln.]
NEW MILFORD: A drowning accident occurred at Moon's pond New Milford township, on Friday. A child of Mr. and Mrs. William Felton, aged 3 years, fell into the water and was drowned before it could be rescued. A second child of the same parents, aged 5, narrowly escaped a like fate.
FAIRDALE: P.L. Shelp was a pleasant caller at this office Wednesday. Mr. Shelp intends removing to Binghamton where he has secured a fine position with the Stickley & Brandt Furniture Company.
ARARAT: Cecil Pocock of Bayonne, N.J., is spending a few weeks at Leonard Baldwin's in search of health.
LITTLE MEADOWS: A grange was organized here on Saturday night by Hon. A.C. Barrett, with 28 members. Thus it seems that Hon. A.C. can find time to circulate among the farmers and boom up the grange, as well as attend to his legislative duties. It is said that the farmers are more enthusiastic in grange matters by reason of the insurance rates on farm property and they hope to be able to secure better rates through the instrumentality of the grange.
LAWSVILLE: Otis Chaffee sold horse, buggy and harness one day last week. He is going to visit his son at Los Angeles, Cal. AND: The road is nearly impassable from here to Conklin. In fact, roads are in terrible condition everywhere. We hope spring is here and that the mud will soon be dried up.
BROOKLYN: C.A. Courson has begun sawing out the large stock of logs, which he bought of E.L. Weston. The sound of the whistle three or four times a day is a welcome sound in this quiet town. AND: M.W. Palmer is putting in a bathroom and plumbing his house with all modern improvements. Will have hot and cold water all through his large and elegant house (the old Col. Frederick Bailey homestead, of whom his wife is a grand-daughter).
HALLSTEAD: Work at the silk mill is now heavier than at any time since first the mill was built. The force of employees is larger and the amount of work turned out far exceeds that of the old plant. Last week a large consignment of materials and machinery was received. Among the new equipment received were four new looms.
SOUTH AUBURN: The new Methodist church will be dedicated on Thursday, March 19.
SUSQUEHANNA: The subject of a borough building is again agitated. AND: Charles Ball is still seriously ill with typhoid fever. AND: The widow of the late Michael Hines of the Oakland side will receive $2,000 from the Modern Woodmen. Michael Hines sustained fatal injuries in the Erie shops, while at work with a hydraulic jack.
RUSH: In 1865 there were 12 schools in Rush Township; in 1901 there are 44. The tax levy in 1865, 3 mills; in 1901, 3 mills-and one mill building tax. Average cost per month, per pupil in 1865, 65 cents and in 1901, $1.87.
NEWS BRIEF: Anna, daughter of the late Joseph Drinker, died at Edgemont, Pa., Feb. 25, 1903, after living the life of a recluse for 13 years. Her age was 76 years. Her father was the owner of a great tract of land in Susquehanna county, known as the "Drinker Tract," and lived for a long time in a big house on South Main St., Montrose. Joseph Drinker, a brother of Anna, shot W.H. Cooper, the banker, several years ago at Montrose, after brooding over fancies as to the way he thought Cooper had handled Anna's estate. Drinker was tried for murder and the jury rendered a verdict of insanity. Drinker was sent to an asylum and died there about six years ago. Anna had the body taken to Rockdale, Pa., where her own body now rests. She was a gifted writer and many of her poems were published under nom de plume of "Edith May." The greater portion of her life, however, was spent in an asylum.
POLITICAL FIGHT "Brewing" According to a news release, Rep. Pat Toomer will challenge Sen. Arlen Specter for the US Senate, next year. Both are Republicans from Pennsylvania.
DALEY "WINS AGAIN" Mayor Richard Daley won his fifth term as mayor of Chicago. He defeated three other candidates.
GAS SHORTAGE Not The Problem According to "those in the know," more oil is now being produced by Saudi Arabia; that should stop the escalating gas prices. OPEC said that oil production is now at its highest and should stop the (gouging) of oil dealers.
SABERS GOLF TOURNEY The fourth annual Sabers Golf Tournament will be held this year on Sunday, April 27 at the Conklin Players Club. The format will be captain and crew. Cost will be $70 per person. Registration will be at noon. Shotgun start at 1 p.m. Fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, banquet, prizes and loads of fun. Proceeds will benefit the Susquehanna Sabers Golf Team. If you cant play, donations can be made to: Sabers Golf Team, RR 3 Box 5A, Susquehanna, PA 18847. For more information call Chuck or Rita at (570) 8533134 or 18003727051. Make checks payable to "Sabers Golf Team."
SESQUICENTENNIAL Books Can Be Ordered In a few weeks, the Susquehanna Sesquicentennial books will be available. Have you ordered yours yet? A copy can be saved for you by calling 8533657 or 8534538. The book is filled with "Happy Birthday" ads from businesses throughout the county, from state and county elected officials, memoriams and donors from all over the area. History and photos of the last 50 years make very interesting reading. They will make excellent gifts for relatives and friends. The cost only $10.00. Call one of the above phone numbers, place your order now. Dont be left out. (PS: The centennial committee needs floats. Call the above numbers. They also need people for the chorus.)
HOWARD SINGER Dead Howard (Crash) Singer, Hallstead, PA, died February 27, 2003. A veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, he was well known to Susquehanna Legionnaires, as he often joined the local Honor Guard for services to Post 86 deceased members. He was a member of the Great Bend VFW and held the state post of Sergeant of Arms of the American Legion.
SCHMIDT and ROSE Mike Schmidt, former Philly star, believes Pete Rose will eventually get in the Hall of Fame. Huh, even the Canadian Hall of Fame turned him away. I would too. I dont think he deserves it.
DID YOU KNOW? Effective since February 21, motorists driving in highway construction zones must put on their lights. Failure to do o could cost you a $25 fine. Play it safe slow down, turn on your lights.
A PHILLY FAN Dr. Bernard Rupakus of Hallstead, a Blue Ridge sports enthusiast, believes that the Philly baseball team this year "will go all the way, due to several top players added to their roster."
RON GRIFFIS Bowls 300 Ron Griffis of Great Bend and Susquehanna, who bowled his first 300 game in Susquehanna, recently notched his eighth 300 game at the Mid-Way Lanes in Binghamton. I believe (as you get older your memory fades a little) that Ronnie had his first three 300 games right here in Susquehanna, and that I was a witness to all three. His first 300 game came in February of 1964 (that I remember, for I was publishing the Transcript at the time). Also getting a 300, his 36th, was Mike Dervay, who often bowled at the Susquehanna lanes. Ronnie had a 724 series, Mike a 757 series.
A GOLFING FIRST? Could be. When Jack Nicklaus, "The Golden Bear" tees off in a golf tourney in Greenville, NC, with his four sons, Jack II, Steve, Gary and Michael on May 1.
WHO CAN YOU TRUST? In Ambler, PA (near Philadelphia) Matt and Leigh Urbanski are accused of taking more than $65,000 from a youth football team. It is believed that more than the Urbanskis are involved.
WHATS HER BEEF Martha Burk is upset that she cant golf in the Masters Golf Tourney with the men. She plans to protest. I wonder, if a male would try to infiltrate the National Womens Basketball Leagues, how far would he get?
WHY AM I "MUM" Got a letter, unsigned. Will not elaborate on it. It asked about the Susquehanna Blue Ridge merger, which I have refrained from publicizing, because, it seems no one "out there" cares whether they merge. (NOTE: The Transcript did not receive one letter on the subject for or against.) Amen.
What Is The "REAL STORY" Filmmaker Michael Moore says journalists are missing the real story on Iraq. Journalists should look into a possible deal between the Bush administration and Russia to carve up Iraqs oil fields after ousting Saddam, he said. "People in the media know this story but nobody will just say it, or just do it," Moore said.
A TICKLE A C-141 was preparing for departure from the US Air Force base in Thule, Greenland, and the crew was waiting for the truck to arrive to pump out the aircrafts sewage holding tank.
The aircraft commander was in a hurry, but the truck was late in arriving and the airman performing the job was extremely slow in getting the tank pumped out.
When the commander berated the lowly airman for his lack of speed and promised to pursue punitive action, the airman responded, "Sir, I have no stripes, its 40 degrees below zero, I am stationed in Thule, and I am pumping defecation out of airplanes. Just what are you planning to do to punish me?"
Every man whose life comes to an end deserves more than just the fact that he passed away, as I stated last weeks column. Now that Ive leaned more, talking to his wife, would like to acquaint you with more facts about Donald Hazleton.
Don and his wife of eighteen years, former residents of Jersey and Honesdale, lived on King Hill, Starrucca, in a house he designed and built himself, on a knoll between the old Carpenter and Stearns places.
As he relaxed there, he must have taken great pleasure in remembering his career, excelling in baseball and basketball in his younger days. After starring in these sports in high school, he went on to play professional baseball in the Boston Braves farm system.
In 1948, he played with Mount Vernon, IL and batted .340 for the second highest in the Illinois State League and led that league in hits and triples. In 1948 he played with Owensboro, KY, and stole 84 bases before being sidelined with broken leg.
After leaving pro ball, he played with the Honesdale Ramblers where he was named to the 1920-47 all-star team as first baseman. He won the Wayne County League batting title in 1954, hitting .591 which is the Wayne County League all-time record. (Stats taken from obituary published in Wayne County.)
Hunting with bow and arrow was a great sport to him, as was other hunting and fishing.
Born in Honesdale on September 10, 1929, the son of the late Gurdon and Grace Bushnell Hazleton, he was retired from the New Jersey Transit Co., after working there for forty years as an electrical engineer.
Donald died prematurely at age 73 on February 23, at home, from a heart attack. Being confined to a wheelchair, he still enjoyed looking over his beloved land and at his request, wished his ashes to be spread thereon. Private services to be held later.
Memorial donations may be made to the Thompson First Aid Squad, Thompson, PA.
Im sorry that none of our folks had more than just a nodding acquaintance with this fine and talented neighbor of ours. May he rest in peace, and my sympathy to his wife and children, who survive.
I saw a robin, and then it snowed again. But, through the snow on Thursday, March 6, I saw the sun. March is here and spring is just weeks away. So its time for us to go exploring the mud beneath our feet for the promise it holds for us. This time we will check out planting plans, visits to some very special gardens (some virtual tours are out there that are beautiful), our soils, our topography and finally well, I have to leave you some mystery don't I?
At www.landscaping101.com I suggest you link to bhg.com and get to see all the basics and beyond in gardening plans. You know that little yellow and green box every gardener owns and treasurers? Well, check out www.miraclegrow.com, you will not be able to miss much about gardening here.
If you are particularly Earth-friendly, go to www.gardners.com. You will learn about gardening tools, supplies and maybe check out some of the "gifting" that goes along with gardening. At www.gardeningplanning.com, just take your pick of the stuff you find at this site. I don't want to spoil it for you! Moving on to www.gardeningplanning.com/index/. Look for gardens of the world, too. Of course, we here in the United States have something to really be proud of and you can see it for yourself at www.usna.usda.gov/search_usna.html. Make sure you check the new invasive plants sections.
At www.inst.org/gardenvg.com/gardening/contents.asp?copy_id=5066#a3 you will be able to take a home study course from the Institute of Gardening.
Now we all know that gardening depends on the weather. Sun and rain make a big difference in your results at the end of the season. So, if you do not already have favorites for weather information go to www.accuweather.com. Of course, if you are in our area you will want to acquaint yourself with www.nws.noaa.gov. Find your town and find all the places you need to find out about around us. I looked at www.weatherworks.com and found a treasure-trove of education on clouds and other things coming from that place above our heads. www.rainorshine.com is another name for www.accuweather.com, but the information comes from a different perspective and it is worth a peek. Weather factors are also examined at www.intellicast.com. So, check that site as well!
Planting will not work without soil. Doing soil study is sometimes an interesting assignment. Therefore, go to www.nrcs.usda.gov. This is an official United States site and "sprouts" just about anything you want to know about soil.
Now I figured what is below and above is doubly interesting, so I decided to find some topography sites that you might enjoy. I came up with www.tapestry.usgs.gov/two/two.html. Why two? Well, as you click onto and through this site you can also see some interesting illustrations of geology. The best part comes when you are able to download Quicktime Plug-In and then can watch a geologic map merge with a topological one. There is a Quicktime Movie here of 1.3Mb here. Very, very cool, my friends (even if it does take some time to download). I assume you will be careful and do know what your computer can handle at any time. This plug-in is good for Apples also.
An interesting place to visit, but it will take some time to get through is www.terraserver.com. You will be able to access some aerial photography. It's a different idea on the net, anyhow!
Finally, www.cr.usgs.gov/earthshots/slow/tableofcontents has some great earth-shots. It takes some fiddling, but will be worth it in the end.
Time to start dreaming of the spring, so let your fingers tap gently but with enthusiasm until we meet again, cyberphiles!
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