Hurrah For Small Improvements
Did you ever notice how everything fits comfortably in a room until you start re-arranging? Take my office, for instance. I will admit that it was wall to wall desks, bookcases and shelving of many kinds, but everything had a place. Then I bought a new wall unit at a yard sale, and that started the furniture shuffle. Now its wall to wall chaos.
I decided that as long as I had to rearrange furniture, I would also find out what was in all those many files and drawers. Ive been three days now and Im far from done. Part of that is because I reach a saturation point ever so often, and I have to walk away for awhile. Already the back porch is piled high with recyclables as I unearth manuscripts and ideas for stories from years back. Theres also all the documenting material from which those features were created; notes, booklets, pamphlets, advertising brochures, photos and more.
Then there are the drawers and files of music-related projects from the thirty-some years I was teaching piano lessons and working in church music. I believe I saved every scrap of paper I used to make plans, write programs, make schedules, etc. What a pack rat!
But and its a big "but" what joy I got out of looking at these memories. There were poems (if we arent too technical) that Id written for departing ministers and choir personnel, bulletins and manuscripts for the varieties of Christmas programs just wonderful memories. Im having a hard time parting with these treasures even now.
Choir attendance sheets conjure up faces of people long gone from the community and/or from life. My biggest regret is that I seldom put dates on anything, including photos. Its difficult to get any sequence of events that way.
Ive decided that I can allow myself one more full day to work on this. Then the recycling must leave the house, all furniture must be settled somewhere, and a better sense of order in the filing system has to be accomplished. Otherwise I will never finish projects Ive planned or be able to move on to other ones.
As I look about this house that my friend says, "Is beginning to reflect my personality," I am remembering how empty the rooms were when we moved from a relatively small apartment to this eight-room house. Bit by bit it got filled with new appliances, new furniture, inheritances, yard sale and auction pieces until there was barely room to move. Piece by piece were going the other way. Not that my office reflects that yet, but the rest of the house is beginning to.
Life goes in cycles. We wake up to find that things, which were vitally important at one period in our lives, now hold little interest. We reach a saturation point where stuff takes over our lives and we spend way too much energy managing it. When we suddenly realize that, yard sales no longer hold much appeal. I think Ive been to one this summer. I will admit that it makes me a little sad to no longer thrill to the hunt, but so it goes. And my house is looking better because of it.
The open shelves used for flat storage still need a lot of help. But they are going to have to wait for another clean-out session. Tomorrow Ill just tidy that area a little; stack the papers more neatly, line up the magazines, and most important; clean off the top. The baskets of greeting cards and letters that I cant part with will get hidden upstairs. Ill dust and polish. Then the room will be presentable.
Hurrah for small improvements.
SPRINGVILLE: R. W. Kent, of Elk Lake, has been in this place the past week representing the Fyrecide Co., of New York. The company has a new idea in the way of a fire extinguisher. Mr. Kent built a fire on the street, which was burning furiously, and then to show what the apparatus would do with the contents of one tube, the fire almost was entirely extinguished. AND: In Lynn, Welton Sheldon has opened a barber shop over F.S. Greenwood's store, where he will be glad to meet anyone in need of his services.
UPSONVILLE: August 4th, 1904, Uncle Edward Curtis in his 87th year, with his daughter, Mrs. J. O. McKinney, came over to help celebrate the first year's birthday of his great-granddaughter, little Thelma Estelle McKinney; it was an enjoyable day; had the father been home to dinner, four generations would have met.
SUSQUEHANNA: Louis Fox and Robert Ticknor, two lads of this place, on Friday, killed a rattlesnake on the turnpike between the Lanesboro road and the Catholic convent. It measured 4 feet and 6 inches and had 8 rattles. AND: A violent thunder shower passed over this place last Friday evening--and lots of folks were frightened into being good for a little while, as a result. AND: Susquehanna has a new-born poet, and "right up to G" in rhythm. Listen to our latest, ground out in a recent issue of the Transcript: "There was a young man who worked on Canavan's farm/He sang in the Baptist church choir/His voice was pitched high/But along came a bull/And pitched it twenty feet higher."
BROOKLYN: The Graded School will commence Monday, Sept'r 5, with Prof. Snyder, of Lancaster county, as principal; Miss Chamberlin, assistant; Miss Sterling, intermediate; and Miss Hearn, primary teacher.
SILVER LAKE: The bright light seen here Friday night was caused by the burning by lightning of Jerry Donovan's barn near Tripp Lake; none of the contents saved except the horses and harnesses.
ST. JOSEPH: The marriage of Miss Minnie S. McCahill, of Choconut, and William Jospeh Rowan, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is announced to occur soon in the Catholic Church in this place.
FOREST LAKE: Our faithful and obliging stage driver, Moses Mott, has retired from the business and Jake Maynard succeeds him.
HARFORD TWP.: Arthur Maynard has put in a phone from his farm house to the mill. AND: In Oakley, the little 4 yr. old twin son of John Bennett was terribly scalded on Saturday last by sitting down in a pail of boiling water, left standing on the floor; he is attended by Dr. Taylor and is doing nicely.
LATHROP TWP.: At the special meeting of the School board it was decided to close the Hillsdale school on account of small attendance. The two schools now closed are Hillsdale and Deckertown. AND: One of our old soldiers, Parden Lindsley, is very low with typhoid fever.
MONTROSE: A dish-washing machine has just been installed in the Tarbell House. It is one of the best machines obtainable and when operated by two persons it does the work of six. AND: Dropping in D.V. Gardiner's place of business the other evening, we found that many changes had taken place, giving this popular tobacco and cigar store an up-to-date finish in every particular. He has established a billiard and pool parlor in the rear of the store, which is attractive and very liberally patronized. Mr. Gardiner informs us that further improvements will be added in this department within a few days.
EAST LENOX: The neighbors of George Ledyard made a bee Monday to help harvest his oats. AND: In Lenox, several Scranton people are camping at Loomis Lake. Among them is M.L. Smith, D.P.A. of the Lackawanna, who has placed a naphtha launch on the lake.
THOMSON: The Thomson camp meeting grounds are well covered with tents, something over 100 tents being up. Large crowds of people will probably attend.
HALLSTEAD/GREAT BEND: From the large number of entries in the different classes, the races here, Aug. 17, 18 and 19, will excel any event in the way of speed trials in this county. The Susquehanna Band has been engaged by the Association to furnish music on the first day (Wednesday, Aug. 17). To hear this excellent band is worth the price of admission. The Association has secured excursion rates on Railroads.
ARARAT: Ira Tinklepaugh, of Ararat, and Mrs. Margaret E. Northup, of Stamfordsville, Pa., were married at the manse in Conklin on July 25 by Rev. William J. Bridges. Mr. Tinklepaugh advertised exclusive in the Independent Republican for a wife a few weeks ago and--well you see the result. Marriageable men and women should take advantage of the wonderful opportunity offered along matrimonial lines through our columns. But then it is that way with all our ads--they bring quick results.
FOREST CITY: The chief of police wishes us to announce that all slot machines of a gambling nature must be put out of business or he will confiscate them.
TINGLEY, New Milford Twp.: Mrs. Warner killed a large rattlesnake on the farm of Ed. Summers, a few days ago.
LAKE VIEW, Jackson Twp.: A.D. Corse, postmaster, has tendered his resignation and it is thought the office will be abandoned as the free delivery route serves nearly all the patrons of the office.
NEWS BRIEF: An editor in Wisconsin says the Concordia Kansan has the advertising idea proper and draws the line nowhere. Here is his write-up of a wedding: "Miss Jennie Jones and Bob Henry were married at the Jones mansion last night. The bride is a daughter of our constable Jones, [who] made a good officer and undoubtedly will be re-elected in the spring. He offers a fine horse for sale in another column. The groom runs a grocery store on Main St. and is a good patron of our ad. columns, and has got a new line of bargains this week. All summer he has paid two cents more for butter than any other store in town. The happy couple left on the ten o'clock train for Milwaukee to visit the bride's uncle, who is reported to have lots of money and Bright's disease. Bob certainly has an eye for business."
Something Old, Something New
About a month before she took the oath of office as county commissioner, Roberta Kelly said she was ready to accept the chair of the Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners and the responsibility that goes with it. At the reorganization meeting in January, her fellow commissioners gave her the gavel, a reward for being the top vote getter last November when the electorate selected her, Jeff Loomis and MaryAnn Warren as county commissioners.
It is really too early to issue a report card on Mrs. Kellys effectiveness as a leader. At times she has displayed most of the attributes required to occupy the number one chair in county government. And at times she has waffled on simple issues such as her refusal to ask individuals making comments at commissioners meeting to step up to the podium, identify themselves, and speak into the microphone so all could hear what is being said. She has been so lax on the subject that the microphone is no longer placed at the podium.
Actually it was at the suggestion of this writer that the commissioners agreed to put a public address system in their meeting room. But the idea never passed the installation stage because Mrs. Kelly feared that individuals who wanted to address the commissioners might be reluctant to speak if they had to do it standing at a podium with a microphone in hand.
The bottom line is that many taxpayers who have an issue to vent or a question to ask do not stand up and identify themselves, something that was required by all previous boards of county commissioners prior to the Kelly Administration. Reporters, like this writer, sit at a special table up front so they can hear what the commissioners are saying. But often individuals that address the commissioners sit in the back of the room and are barely audible. And when the meetings end, they are the first ones out the door and you cannot catch them for a name or any additional comments. While I fully realize that making life easier for reporters is not the responsibility of elected officials, I am also aware of the fact that many times, most officials do not hesitate to ask reporters for some favorable ink on items they want publicized.
At a recent commissioners meeting, your writer suggested that the commissioners add "old business" and "new business" to the agenda. The belief here is that it would be nice to keep county taxpayers updated on issues that have been brought up and subsequently pigeonholed for some unexplained reason. And it would be equally as nice if the taxpayers knew what is on the drawing board for future consideration.
My friends, placing these two items on the agendas of all meetings is nothing new. In fact, it is standard equipment on most meeting agendas that this writer has seen. So much so that on one internet link that I looked at relating to the subject, a meeting agenda includes "Other Business" as the last item. Under "Other Business" are the following subheads, old business, new business and announcements.
At the last commissioners meeting, Mrs. Kelly was absent and Jeff Loomis, who is second in command, presided. Near the end of the meeting he reported that Mrs. Kelly had rejected the idea of adding old business and new business to the agenda. He said that as chair of the board, Mrs. Kelly has control over what does and does not go on a meeting agenda. I am not too sure about that. Section 503a of The County Code, which is a state law, reads as follows: "The county commissioners shall adopt rules for the conduct and order of business, establishing also regular times and places of meeting. A copy of such rules shall be posted at all times in a conspicuous place in the county court house for the benefit of the public."
Mrs. Kelly is aware of this law and said if the other two commissioners want to change the agenda and add new and old business, they can, but she is opposed to the idea.
"I feel," she said, "that public comment gives the people the opportunity to discuss old business and new business. We also have a press conference after each meeting. I am comfortable with the way the meetings have been run and I am also going with some legal advice.
"I can see your point but I think things are covered. But I am only one vote. Mr. Loomis and Mrs. Warren could put it on the agenda."
Oh, yes, one more note of interest regarding commissioners meetings. Section 503b of The County Code reads: "Each commissioner shall have at least twenty hours notice of any special meeting and of the nature of business to be conducted thereat, unless such notice shall be waived by him in writing or by attendance at such special meeting."
Wonder how many times Section 503b has been violated in Susquehanna County.
"Pip" Grausgruber Wins 2 Games Vs. Harpursville
Several days ago I read in an area paper Patrick "Paddy" Martin, of Binghamton, playing with the Portland Beavers 85 years ago pitched and won a doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles. Reading this brought to mind the day the late Steve "Pip" Grausgruber of the Susquehanna Tri-Boro team pitched a doubleheader in Lanesboro against the Harpursville team, winning the season playoffs.
In the first game Pip allowed 8 hits, winning 4 to 2. The TBs had 9 hits. In the second game Pip allowed 7 hits, winning 6 to 2. The TBs had 7 hits also. The games were played (around) 1950.
The roster of the TBs: Fred Stearns, president, Manager, Al Mauro; Rex Keyes, Harry Brush, Lou Parrillo, Captain; Johnny Yannone, Billy Mauro, Larry DeLarco, John Parrillo, Pat Parrillo, Steve Grausgruber, Frank "Tansy" Powers, Sandy Battisti, John "Carps" Sellitto, Batboy; Alphonse (Puff) Parrillo, Business Manager; Carlo Radicchi, Secy.Treas.
Over 1000 fans witnessed the doubleheader at the Lanesboro Park. The games were played in September, but the exact date skips my mind, with year around 1950.
SUSQUEHANNA Schools "Roster" (By request) we are publishing the Susquehanna community Schools Administration, etc.
Board of Directors: President, Terry Carpenter; Vice President, James Bucci; Treasurer, Michael Kosko; Secretary, Evelyn Cottrell; Members Johnine Barns, Steve Stanford, Marti Stanford, Patricia Steward, Mary Wescott.
Administration: Superintendent, Bronson Stone, High School Principal, Michael Lisowski; Elementary Principal, Robert Keyes; K-12-Asst., Principal, Mark Gerchman; Business Manager, Ray Testa; Special Ed. Coordinator, Joni Miller.
Teachers Hired: Permanently, Jeff Hall, Dori Chervanka, Sharon Lubaszewski, Dawn Steele.
SANDY MAJOR Report School districts in the 111th will receive the following state subsidies for basic education, special education and block grants. The block grants can be used for a variety of programs that help bring school districts into compliance with federal No Child Left Behind act: Tunkhannock Area $11,406,060; Wayne Highlands $8,402,375; Montrose Area $7,613,297; Susquehanna Community $6,623,396; Elk Lake $6,422,813; Blue Ridge (New Milford) $6,172,068; Lackawanna Trail $5,743,376; Mountain View $5,348,675; Forest City Regional $3,317,630. (Susquehanna gets an increase of $443,284.) The state ended the year 2003-04 with a $637 million surplus.
Rep. Major opposed the slot machines, saying that the people will receive minimal school property tax relief, and that operators of casinos will get richer. She said, "A total of $3 billion annually will have to be lost by slot machine operators in order to fully fund the property tax relief measure. I dont believe this bill was the right one for my constituents."
Also several bills have been passed in recent years to help keep doctors in Pennsylvania. For example, in December, 2003, the Legislature approved a proposal to pay 100 percent of the Mcare premiums for high-risk physicians and nurse midwives and 50 percent for other physicians for 2003 and 2004.
RIGO AWARDS The Theresa Ann Rigo ninth Memorial Scholarship award winners are Matthew Thorn and Brent Soden of Susquehanna Community High School and Megan Giblin and Jessica Gale of Seton Catholic Central High School. The award is given in memory of Theresa Ann Rigo, who was killed in a car accident the summer she was to enter her senior year of high school. She had been a student at Seton Catholic and spent her junior year at Susquehanna Community.
GASPAR LEGION Commander Josh Gaspar of Archbald of the 111th district which Post 86 is a member was elected commander of the American Legion at its 86th convention recently. He defeated his opponent Bob Miller of York County. Mr. Gaspar has held several different Legion offices. He once served as part of a Presidential Honor Guard.
DEATH TOLL 900 According to the Associated Press American soldiers in Iraq have been dying at a rate of two a day since Iraq regained political control on June 28. The US military toll (as of July 21) has now reached 900, and the number of American soldiers injured is fast approaching 6,000. Defense secretary Rumsfeld said the Americans will be less at risk when Iraqs own security forces become better trained and equipped to fight the insurgency. (Lets hope its soon). There are about 140,000 US troops in Iraq.
HOME REPAIRS A bill has taken effect that allows Pennsylvania house owners to make repairs in their home without getting permits and inspections. Small repairs are allowed. Major repairs must have a permit. Permits are not needed to replace a water heater, or moving a door or window, etc.
POOR, POOR Saddam! According to a recent published report, Saddam Hussein, jailed in solitary confinement, is tending a garden, writing poetry and reading. He is depressed and demoralized. One of his poems concerns the Bush family. Above all, he feels afraid for his life. He should, after all of the men, women and children he sent to their death. And, isnt it too bad that hes not allowed newspapers, TV or radio! The Red Cross has supplied him with travel books. (I cant understand that, can you?)
OIL FIRMS "Earn $$$" An Associated Press release, Friday, August 30, reports that Exxon Mobile Corp. posted record profits of $5.79 billion and the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos. saw its earnings rise 54 percent, thanks to higher prices for oil and natural gas. The only ones that profited from the higher gas prices, naturally, were the oil firms, shareholders and gas stations. If the above oil firms reaped so much money, why, I ask, were gas prices so high at the pumps? Why? Just plain greed by all of the oil distributors. Asked why "they" dont lower prices, one oil magnate responded. "Do you want the CEO fired?" "Why reduce prices, when there is so much money to be made," one top official was quoted. At this rate, we will be gouged for months to come.
COURTHOUSE Elevator The addition of an elevator to the Montrose Courthouse should begin this year, following an award of $220,000 to contractors.
TAYLOR "Real Happy" Dave Taylor, one of Thompsons most ardent sports fan, no doubt is one of the happiest Chicago Cubs fan, as a recent blockbuster major league trade sent star short stop, Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs. Nomar, who is hitting .321, with 5 home runs and 21 RBIs in 38 games; he missed 57 games to injuries. The Cubs are 11 games from the top. Nomar was unhappy with the Red Sox, who tried to get A-Rod to replace him. (Keep smilin, Dave!)
LEGION World Series The 79th annual American Legion Baseball World Series is set for August 20-24 at Hansen Stadium on Taylor Field in Corvallis, Oregon. Eight regional champs across the US will play, (Note: A Legion team here is sponsored by Post 86 Susquehanna, Forest City Legion and the Lenox VFW Post).
WHAT! No baseball fields A newly opened park in Union , NJ, has been named Phil Rizzuto Park. It has no baseball fields, but it does have a soccer field. (Maybe later).
A "REPEAT" A man staying in a posh hotel called room service one morning and read from the menu. "Id like one undercooked egg thats runny, and one overcooked egg thats tough and hard to eat. Id also like grilled bacon a bit on the cold side, burnt toast, butter straight from the freezer that is impossible to spread, and a pot of lukewarm coffee."
"Thats a complicated order, sir," the bewildered waiter said. "It might be difficult."
"I cant be that difficult," the guest sarcastically replied. "Thats exactly what you brought me yesterday."
DIRT TO DIRT A man is feeling poorly, so he visits his doctor. After numerous tests, the doctor says, "Im sorry, but you have an incurable condition. I cant do anything for you." The man pleads with the doctor to suggest anything he might do to improve his condition, so the doctor says he might try going to a spa and taking a daily mud bath.
"Is there any hope of a cure?" the man asks.
"No," the doctor replies, "but it will help you get used to dirt."
A reader recently requested information on the proper operation of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles. In this area, the use of ATVs and snowmobiles is extremely popular. There are numerous social clubs and groups that promote the responsible use of these vehicles. Unfortunately, the unlawful use of ATVs and snowmobiles is widespread. The Vehicle Code provides specific guidance as to the permitted use and operation of ATVs and snowmobiles.
First and foremost, ATVs and snowmobiles cannot be operated on public highways, streets or roads, unless the state or local municipality has designated the roadway as an ATV or snowmobile road. Therefore, it is generally unlawful to operate an ATV or a snowmobile on a public road. An operator, however, is permitted to use a public road to cross a bridge or culvert. Further, an operator may cross the public road at a ninety-degree angle in order to get to the other side of the public road, provided that the operator has come to a complete stop at the shoulder of the public road prior to crossing the surface of the roadway. An operator may not generally drive down a public roadway as a means to getting from one point to another.
No person may operate an ATV or snowmobile upon private real property without the consent of the owner of the real property. In this regard, upon request of a landowner, an operator must stop and identify himself, and, if requested by the landowner, immediately remove the ATV or snowmobile from the private real property. If the real property is posted, it is presumed that the operator knew that he was not permitted to operate the ATV or snowmobile upon the private real property.
The penalties for the unlawful operation of an ATV or snowmobile upon private real property can be substantial. If there is no damage to the real property, the operator faces a fine of $100. If the real property has been damaged, then a first conviction results in a $500 fine, plus restitution for the damage to the real property. If an operator is convicted a second time for causing damage to private property, there is a fine of $1,000 plus a suspension of the operators drivers license for six months.
As to age restrictions for use of ATVs and snowmobiles, no person under 10 years of age may operate an ATV or snowmobile upon state-owned land. No person between the ages of 10 and 15 shall operate an ATV or snowmobile unless: (1) the child is being supervised by a certified safety instructor; (2) the child is operating the ATV or snowmobile upon property owned by a parent or legal guardian; or (3) the child has obtained an appropriate safety certificate for the operation of an ATV or snowmobile.
Interestingly, the Vehicle Code imposes absolute liability upon the owner of an ATV or snowmobile for the negligent use of the ATV or snowmobile. In other words, if you let a third party use and operate your ATV or snowmobile, you are liable for any damages caused by the third party during the use of the ATV or snowmobile.
The Vehicle Code provides additional regulations concerning ATVs and snowmobiles, including registration and insurance requirements. Aside from the penalties listed above relating to trespass and damage to private property by an ATV or snowmobile, any other violation of the Vehicle Code results in a fine for a first offense of between $50 and $200, and, for a second offense, a fine between $100 and $300. In short, the ownership, use and operation of an ATV or snowmobile can provide hours of enjoyment, but also requires a good understanding of the provisions of the Vehicle Code. If there are any questions or concerns regarding the lawful use of your ATV or snowmobile, I would encourage you to contact a local law enforcement officer, the Pennsylvania State Police, or the District Attorneys Office for clarification.
Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to: Susquehanna County District Attorneys Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801.
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