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Look For Our GRADUATION SPECIAL In The June 30th Issue Of The County Transcript

Issue Home June 22, 2004 Site Home

Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago
Along the Way...With P. Jay

From the Desk of the DA
Earth Talk

Slices of Life

The Horn - The Horn

Remember the orchestra song we used to sing when we were in elementary school? "The clarinet, the clarinet plays dua dua dua dua det. The violin sings with lilting melody it rings. The horn, the horn awakes you at morn."

Well, it’s that horn that is frustrating me now. After forty-five years of not touching a French Horn, I decided I wanted to play again. I’d been good in my day, but that day was long gone, and now I was starting from scratch again. I remembered the fingerings because I’d played it in my head all those years; recalling solos with the notes and fingerings intact. But getting the old lip in shape was a whole different story. It’s a little like getting these stretched-out abdominal muscles tightened up.

After several days of playing songs from a spine-broken hymnal that would stay open on a music stand, I finally went to the attic to find my old lesson books. I thought I knew just where they were, but my searching was in vain. Then one day when I was going through my music cabinet digging out things for the yard sale, I spied my old Rubank Horn Book. The first in a series of lesson books I’d conquered through elementary and high school. What a joy it was to explore this old dog-eared book full of my music teacher’s concise handwriting, complete with dates and suggestions. I smiled when I came to the German Waltz. That was my first performance piece when I was ten years old. He needed a few musical selections for the PTA meeting, and when I played that song for my lesson, I got drafted. He sat down at the piano and accompanied me, and I was blown away that he could do that with no music. I laughed about that today as I realized that he was playing only three chords. (I later used that same trick when I was teaching music, only to have a more perceptive and musically-literate sixth-grader say to me, "Isn’t it amazing what you can do with three chords?")

As I was perusing that lesson book, I was jolted by finding a couple pages in bass clef, much too low for a beginning horn player. I took a closer look and realized that they were loose pages from my sister’s trombone book. How and when they got there I’ll never know.

My reverie was interrupted by a phone call, and when I went back I delved into some of my college music. Did I play that? It was unbelievably difficult, and I don’t remember nearly as much about that as I did my first books.

For many years that heavy horn case was an extension of my arm. Back and forth on the bus to school. Then back and forth from college at vacation times, during which I never practiced it. Dad knew, even as he was maneuvering my suitcases and those of my roommates, trying to get them situated in the trunk around that awkward bell on my horn, that he would go through the same routine on the way back to school, and the horn would not have left its case once. I had more important things to do than practice on my vacation.

So, now I’m right back where I started. Only this time I’m lugging my own instrument about as I try to get some decent-sounding notes to come out of that awkward bell.

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100 Years Ago

DIMOCK: There is to be a fish-pond social at the Clubroom Saturday evening, June 25th; the ladies to bring lunch for two; only 10 cents a box--and you have a chance to eat it with somebody's best girl! Everybody welcome. Proceeds to be used in purchasing books for the public library.

ELK LAKE: S. A. Young recently completed one of the handsomest cottages around the lake for G. A. Fuller, of Scranton. It is very artistically painted with a brown body, roof and lattice green and trimmed in white and making a very showy appearance, all showing Mr. Young's good workmanship. Mr. Young is now building an automobile barn for Norman Stuart.

ARARAT: Jennie Bullard, aged about 10 years, was kicked by a horse last Friday and was seriously hurt, her lower jaw being broken so badly that a portion of the bone had to be removed.

NEW MILFORD: The Dr. Clements' Home Remedy Company is a new institution for New Milford. It is what the name implies, a company organized to manufacture remedies for the ills of the human family. The remedies are put up from prescriptions used by Dr. Clements in his practice covering a period of 17 years in New York, and cannot be classed with many of the nostrums flooding the markets with nothing behind them excepting the force of expert advertising.

BROOKLYN: The 100th anniversary of the M. E. church of this place was observed here on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The event was right royally observed, there being present a large number of ministers of the Binghamton district, besides several former pastors of the church. The meetings were largely attended and the enthusiasm of the occasion was marked throughout. The centennial addresses were appropriate and eloquent tributes to the century of Methodism. Rev. J. B. Sumner, pastor of the church, wrote and put to music the Centennial Hymn, which he also sung. Mrs. George Sterling's historical paper was well received, it being in every way unique and interesting.

SUSQUEHANNA: The graduating class of Laurel Hill Academy, alphabetically arranged, is as follows: Messrs. John Gilpatrick, Henry Houlihan, John King, Arthur MacQueen, Wm. Ryan and Frank Zellar; and Misses Camilla Baldwin, Anna Brennan, Esther Griffin, Mary Horrigan, Mary Kendrick, Clara O'Connell, Katharyn Shanley and Anna Whitney.

GREAT BEND: Mr. Park, of Scranton, has purchased the S. B. VanNess residence, he being the new proprietor of the chamois tannery in this place, and takes possession the first of July. There are a number of families coming from Brandt to this place to work in the chamois tannery, which is to be run by a larger force of men. AND: E.E.G., of Gelatt, Susquehanna Co., Pa., advertises in the Great Bend Plaindealer that he would like to correspond with a young lady or widow--object matrimony. Says he has a good character, no bad habits, and owns a good farm.

SPRINGVILLE: George Lake drives as fine a team as one might wish to ride after. George is a lover of good horses.

LAWSVILLE: A meeting was held here Tuesday and it was decided to build a Catholic church on their lot purchased some time ago, of Otis Chaffee.

RUSH: M. B. Perrigo's spacious barn was struck by lightening during Tuesday's shower. The barn, containing one horse, two wagons and farming implements was burned and three wagons were saved at the risk of life. Loss partly covered by insurance.

JACKSON: Nathan Guile, the oldest man in Jackson, died June 15, aged nearly 90 years. He formerly lived in Harford, working at the blacksmith trade, but came to Jackson some years ago. The funeral, conducted by Rev. P. R. Tower of Thompson, was from the Universalist church, Gibson, on Friday last.

LAUREL LAKE: In Franklin Forks on Saturday afternoon the Laurel Lake team defeated the home team, 10-26.

HARFORD: George Leonard and wife of Kansas, are visiting friends here. AND: Eugene Osmun and Miss Alice Matthews of Sayre, were married at the home of the bride, Wednesday, June 15. They will reside with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Osmun.

LOOMIS LAKE: Mr. Smith and family and Mr. and Mrs. Kellum are living at the cottages now. Mr. Casey and family will be here in a few days. A road will be built to the cottages on the east side of the lake.

HEART LAKE: Sherman Griffing has started the foundation for his new house, to be built on the west side of the Lake.

GLENWOOD: Warrants were issued for the 3 young lads who have been stoning houses and breaking windows and the case was settled by the boys' fathers. This will be a lesson which they will long remember.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: Edward Doherty, who with his parents immigrated to Michigan from here some 50 years ago, has been spending the past few weeks with his friends here.

AUBURN TWP.: In the recent hailstorm that passed through Auburn, T. F. Kellogg had his entire crop of oats, rye and corn totally destroyed, while the meadows and pastures were badly damaged. Five days after the storm deposits of ice 9" thick could be found along some of his fences.

MONTROSE: The employees of the cutglass factory have received orders to work five and one-half days a week, which will probably be continued until fall when full time will be resumed. AND: The person finding a pair of leather cuffs used by automobilists will confer a favor by returning them to H. L. Beach.

FOREST CITY: Forest City is to have another new church. B. J. Bussman, of Hancock, N.Y., has been given the contract to construct a house of worship for St. Joseph's Catholic congregation for $10,500. It is to be constructed of brick and native stone and will be ready for dedication on December 15.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay

And the beat goes on…

The gap between Republican Commissioners Roberta Kelly and Jeff Loomis is widening and, if someone doesn’t try to mend some fences soon, we could have a county version of the Berlin Wall right here in Montrose.

The onus is on the shoulders of Donna Cosmello, new GOP county chair, but she seems reluctant to step in. Perhaps she just doesn’t know what is going on or she knows and she figures Mrs. Kelly and Mr. Loomis are capable of ironing out their own differences. Well. I have news –they aren’t!!

This feud has been smoldering for a few months and both sides have made what can best be described as mediocre attempts to reach some semblance of accord. But it seems when the gesture is made on one side, the other side is not ready and vice versa.

Mr. Loomis may have thrown more fuel on the fire last week when he rifled off an email to a host of business and professional people advising them of a new state program that provides money for streetscape improvements deemed vital to reestablishing downtown and commercial centers in municipalities. The county stands to get more than $1 million over a four-year period to finance improvements in the county and in municipalities in the county.

In his usual zealous manner, Mr. Loomis shared the good news among certain individuals who were quick to suggest that $500,000 be used by the county and $250,000 each would go to Montrose and New Milford boroughs. The idea generated immediate dissension from other communities including Forest City and Susquehanna boroughs who also happen to have downtown shopping districts.

Mr. Loomis added in his letter that Commissioner Mary Ann Warren was on the fence as to whether she would support the proposal and Mrs. Kelly "seems to be dead set against it." Wow, if you don’t think that stirred a hornet’s nest think again my friends. Mr. Loomis fanned the flames by enclosing Mrs. Kelly’s extension number at the courthouse and suggesting people phone her and urge her to support the program.

Mr. Loomis said he has proof that Mrs. Kelly is opposed to the program. However, I attended a meeting last Wednesday in the courthouse at which time Mrs. Kelly emphasized that she is not opposed to the program, only to the way Mr. Loomis went about promoting it.

Caught between the proverbial you-know-what and the fan is Minority Commissioner Mary Ann Warren. She seems to be taking things in stride, and while it appears to be an envious position, it has got to be extremely tough when you are the lone Democrat and two Republicans are courting you for a needed vote.

Who’s to bless and Who’s to blame? It’s a tough call because, while Mrs. Kelly and Mr. Loomis appear to be on the same page as far as objectives, their contrasting styles make it difficult for them to communicate with each other. Some of his party faithful have been known to describe Mr. Loomis as a "loose cannon." During the early months of this budding administration, it was not uncommon for Mr. Loomis to grind out his own press releases boasting of county accomplishments as if he was the soul provider of all that was done.

On the other side of the fence, Mrs. Kelly’s faithful will tell you –in a whisper, or prefaced by, "Don’t quote me but…"– that when she is given authority, she welcomes it and doesn’t hesitate to exercise it. Then, too, Mrs. Kelly appears to be the type who wants to make certain every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed before any action is completed. Nothing wrong with that except that it slows down the process and that doesn’t set too well with Mr. Loomis.

To delve into further reasons why the Republican commissioners are at odds would require much more space than what I am allowed. Right now, the ball is in Donna Cosmello’s court and it is up to her to set up a meeting that could end the cold war in the courthouse. There are three and one-half years to go in the Kelly Administration and that is a long time for any agency to function with a strained relationship.

Quote of the week:

"We would like to take care of the needs of the people before the wants."

–Susquehanna County Commissioner Mary Ann Warren

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WORLD WAR II Memorial – (Larry Spencer, who covered the memorial dedication for American Legion Post 86, brought back a brochure. The brochure contains important facts about World War II.)

In part: The United States entered the Second World War in 1941 not to conquer, but to liberate a world fast falling to the forces of tyranny. The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in uniform, of whom more than 400,000 gave their lives. It also honors the many millions who supported the war effort on the home front and celebrates the American spirit, national unity, and victory. It recognizes the price paid by families. The blue star signifying a son or daughter in service was proudly displayed in windows nationwide. It was all too often replaced by a gold star signifying another casualty of war.

The war that changed the world also changed life at home. After 1945 education expanded through the G.I. Bill. Technology surged as industries retooled for peace. Women’s rights and civil rights made new strides toward that great goal: liberty and justice for all.

The memorial celebrates a generation of Americans who emerged from the Depression to fight and win the most devastating war in world history. Americans and their allies triumphed over tyranny. Unprecedented unity at home saw the nation become the world’s breadbasket and industrial arsenal. In a spirit of sacrifice, Americans rationed at home and channeled the nation’s might to help restore freedom to millions. The World War II Memorial reminds future generations that we must sometimes sacrifice for causes greater than ourselves. This war that changed the world was "fought across six of the world’s seven continents and all of its oceans," noted British historian John Keegan wrote. "It killed 50 million human beings, left hundreds of millions of others wounded in mind and body..." and devastated great parts of the world. After the war, through the innovative Marshall Plan, the United States helped both its allies and former foes rebuild. America continued to play a strong leadership role in world arenas as peacetime life returned.

DON’T DO DRUGS! – Over the past few weeks, several athletes have been banned from competing in sports events - due to testing positive for drugs. The most recent, Vita Pavlysh, Ukrainian shot putter, was stripped of her world title and banned from the sport for life. Twice she was caught using drugs. So, if any of you athletes "out there" have intentions of competing professionally - in any sport - drugs will not help you, but ruin you. You may not get caught "early," but eventually you will - and lose any and all medals you won. Do "it" on your own, you don’t need stimulants to become a good athlete.

BIG LEAGUE Umpire "Strikes Out" – Former major league umpire Al Clark (and a good one) was sentenced to four months in jail for his part in selling baseballs that he falsely claimed were used in historic games. One of the games he claimed a ball was used in was the game that Cal Ripken, Jr., broke Lou Gehrig’s record for the longest streak of games played. After prison, he will be under house arrest for four months. He was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay back $40,000, including $7,920 a Texan paid for one of the bogus balls.

BLUE RIDGE "Champs" – Blue Ridge High School, girls’ softball team, with Brittany Pavelski on the mound, won the District 2 Class A Softball title on Wednesday, June 2, 2004. Pavelski allowed four hits, with six strikeouts to win, 6 to 1. (Congratulations to the entire Blue Ridge team.)

MORE MONEY "For Wars" – The Senate and House committee have voted to give Pres. Bush $25 more billion dollars to help the Iraqi’s and Afghani’s. Where is the money coming from? Our Social Security? Our Medicare? Out of our pockets? We keep giving money to "rebuild" the two countries. Why, may I ask isn’t Mr. Bush using the money Iraq is getting for oil being sold to foreign countries? As you may have read in my previous column, the Iraqi motorists are only paying five cents a gallon for gas, while we are being shafted. Now, Mr. Bush wants $25 billion to help rebuild a country rich with oil. I read recently that Iraq, next to Saudi Arabia produces the most oil. Why aren’t we getting some of it? Can anyone "out there" answer the question? Did you know that the United States (Washington) is still buying oil to store in the reservoirs? That’s one reason gas prices are high. Does Washington care? It doesn’t seem so, does it?

FORMER RESIDENT Dead – M. Searle Wright, age 86, died in Binghamton, NY on June 3, 2004. Mr. Wright, a former resident (the family known by several senior citizens), moved to Binghamton where he grew up and was a Link professor of Music at the State University of New York until he retired. Born in Susquehanna in 1918, he discovered theater organs after his family moved to Binghamton. He was director of chapel music at St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University, New York, from 1952 to 1971. He wrote music that church choirs in North America have been singing for years. There are no known survivors.

A VERY NICE Gesture – While having breakfast in our American Legion Sunday, June 6 with friends, a young lady (with the last name of Cross) approached me, verified my name, and said, "I know you served in World War II. I would like to thank you and all of the other vets that served in WW2. Without you and the other veterans, me and many other young people would not be here today." (Thank you, Ms. Cross, you made my day.)

SUPER PITCHER (Softball) – Rachel Foster of Woodbridge, Conn., a senior right-hander at Amity Regional High School, has thrown 17 shutouts and struck out 175 of the 407 batters she faced. The Lady Spartans, undefeated in 20 games so far this year (June 6), are on a 50-game winning streak, and she has a 68 won, 2 loss career record.


EVERY town has gossip. If you don’t hear any, you’re it.

TWO BOYS from the city were on a camping trip. The mosquitoes were so fierce that the boys had to hide under their blankets to keep from being bitten. Then one of them saw some fireflies and said to his friend, "We might as well give up. They’re coming at us with flashlights!"

ACCORDING to Hollywood the ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you inside, and you can travel to any other part of the building without difficulty. You’re likely to survive any battle of any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home. All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach up to armpit level on a woman but only to waist level of the man lying beside her. If being chased through town, you can usually take cover in a passing St. Patrick’s Day parade at any time of the year.

A MAN slowly hobbled into the doctor’s waiting room, bent almost double, grasping a cane in one gnarled claw. Another patient looked on sympathetically. "Arthritis with complications?" the patient asked.

"No," the man replied. "Do-it-yourself with cinder blocks!"

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From the Desk Of The DA

I have received a request to provide some framework for the emancipation of a minor child. In child support actions, courts occasionally consider whether a minor child is emancipated. If a minor child is emancipated, the support obligation ceases. In making such determinations, the courts consider factors such as (1) the minor’s ability to be economically self-sufficient; (2) the minor child quitting high school; and (3) the minor child’s marriage. A court must review the totality of the circumstances in each individual case to determine whether a particular minor child should be deemed emancipated.

Under the Public Welfare Code, an emancipated child is defined as "a minor who is aged 16 or over, who has left the parental household, and who is capable of acting independently of parental control" or "a minor who is married, regardless of whether the person continues to live in the parental household." 55 Pa. Code ß 145.62. Interestingly, the Public Welfare Code indicates that an emancipated minor child can return to being a dependent minor child by such acts as (1) moving back in with the parents, or (2) getting a divorce. Thus, a determination of emancipation does not forever change the legal status of the minor child; rather, this occurs only upon the minor child reaching the age of majority. As with child support, the Public Welfare Code attempts to determine whether the parents remain responsible for the minor child, or, if truly emancipated, then the government begins to provide the support and assistance.

Emancipation is not a term that applies regularly to the criminal law. Instead, except for certain enumerated criminal acts, minor children committing criminal offenses are charged as juvenile offenders. The juvenile system aims toward rehabilitation of the juvenile offender – not punishment of the offender.

The Juvenile Act provides a means through which the Commonwealth may seek to transfer the juvenile from the juvenile system to the adult criminal system. The Juvenile Act requires the Commonwealth to file a petition seeking such a transfer and the Commonwealth bears the burden of establishing, at a hearing, that this juvenile offender should be treated as an adult offender.

In order for such a transfer to occur, the juvenile must be 14 years of age or older. The Commonwealth must present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the juvenile committed the offense charged, and that the offense would have been a felony if committed by an adult. The court must also determine that the public’s interest would be served by transferring the juvenile to adult court. In making this assessment, the court considers such factors as (1) the impact the juvenile’s acts had upon the victims and community at large, (2) the ongoing threat posed by the juvenile, (3) the specific nature of the juvenile’s actions, and (4) the degree of the juvenile’s culpability. Finally, the court must also conclude that the juvenile can no longer be rehabilitated through the juvenile system itself.

Certainly, if a minor child were "emancipated" prior to committing an offense, such emancipation could be used in any attempt to transfer the juvenile to the adult criminal system. Although emancipation of a minor child is a term used generally with reference to civil support matters, it could come into play as a basis for transferring a juvenile into the adult criminal system.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801.

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Dear EarthTalk: What incentives are in place for homeowners and businesses that want to install renewable energy systems?

Kelly Nemi, Sacramento, CA

Several state and municipal governments are trying to stimulate demand for alternative energy by offering cash incentives to companies and homeowners that install solar electric (photovoltaic) systems, fuel cells, small wind turbines, solar thermal systems for heat and hot water, and other renewable energy technologies.

The website of the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE), a project of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, contains comprehensive information on state and federal incentives – tax credits, grants, rebates and special utility rates – for renewable energy technologies.

For example, according to DSIRE, Anaheim, California’s public utility is encouraging residential and business customers to install photovoltaic systems by offering rebates of $4 per watt up to $7,000 total for residential systems and $50,000 for industrial installations. The state of Indiana’s Alternative Power and Energy Grant Program will help businesses, non-profit organizations and units of local government (such as schools) with the costs of installing solar, wind, fuel cell, geothermal, hydropower, alcohol fuel, waste-to-energy and biomass energy technologies. They’ll pay up to 30 percent of the project cost, or $30,000, whichever is less. And New Jersey’s Clean Energy Rebate Program pays between $.30 and $5.50 rebates per watt for commercial or residential solar electric systems, depending upon size.

These are just a few examples. The DSIRE website features a United States map on which site visitors can click on their state to access detailed information on what grants, rebates or tax incentives are available through their local governments and utilities. The site is updated each week and features new programs as well as changes to existing ones.

Homeowners can also finance the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems through home-equity loans. This strategy can help bring down costs through tax savings, since interest payments on mortgage loans are tax-deductible.

CONTACTS: Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE),; Interstate Renewable Energy Council,

Dear EarthTalk: What contaminants could be present in my well water, and how can I test for them?

Ruth Zandstra, Highland, IN

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), even when there is no human-caused pollution, ground water, including well water, can contain a number of natural impurities that result from conditions in the watershed or in the ground. Water moving through underground rocks and soils can pick up magnesium, calcium and chlorides. Some ground water naturally contains elements such as arsenic, boron, selenium or radon, a gas formed by the natural breakdown of radioactive uranium in soil. Whether these natural contaminants will cause health problems depends upon how much is present.

Well water can also be affected by improperly built or maintained nearby septic systems, leaking or abandoned underground storage tanks, storm-water drains that discharge chemicals into ground water, chemical spills at local industrial sites, or improper disposal of pesticides, fertilizers or animal manure. In 1999, nearly 500 people were sickened and one child died in an outbreak of deadly E. coli bacteria at the Washington County Fair near Albany, New York. Health officials concluded that the water supply had been tainted when rainwater washed over cow feces from a cattle barn on the fair grounds and ran into an underground aquifer tapped by the fair’s wells.

About 15 percent of Americans obtain their drinking water from wells, cisterns and springs. Unlike public water supplies, private wells in the U.S. are not regulated or regularly checked for contaminants. Therefore, homeowners should periodically check their well water for the presence of potentially dangerous substances.

A good place to begin is with your local health department, which may provide free testing for contaminants, or, at the very least, advice on how to proceed. If local testing is not an option, the EPA suggests that you find a state-certified lab through the yellow pages or on-line. Such labs can perform tests for bacteria, pesticides, nitrates, heavy metals and other possible contaminants.

It is also possible to order specific tests from on-line labs, such as The company can send a water testing kit with a prepaid envelope for mailing in samples. Results are then e-mailed back to the well owner. As another option, individuals can do their own well testing with home kits, available from companies such as Promolife. Lab results can then be compared with public safety standards. If toxic levels are identified, you can discuss results with your local health department to determine how to rectify the situation.

CONTACTS: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, (800) 426-4791 (Safe Drinking Water Hotline),;, (978) 692-8842,; Promolife, (888) 742-3404,

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; or submit your question at:, or e-mail us at:

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