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Look For Our HUNTING SPECIAL In The NOVEMBER 24th ISSUE Of The County Transcript

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

From the Desk of the D.A.

Earth Talk

Slices of Life

The Tea Set

Last Christmas I received a tiny Japanese tea set. It contained a red china teapot, along with two matching cups and saucers and some special teas. Shortly after the holiday my two little boy friends (about five and three years old) came to visit me, and the tea set, being on display, was an intriguing curiosity. I allowed them to pour make-believe tea from the pot until the spout began banging into the cups. I decided it was time to engage them in something else. But the fascination did not go away.

We think of boys enjoying cars, trucks, hammers and nails, all those masculine things, and these boys do. But there was just something fascinating about that tea set. So I had this great idea. We always have something good to eat when they and their Mom visit, so why not serve their milk from that tiny teapot into the tiny cups? And better yet, I’ll trust them to pour it.

Just as they were sitting down at the kitchen table, my elder buddy noticed the teapot and started talking to his Mom about it. Before she could say, "No, we’re not going to play with that," I piped in.

"How would you like to pour your own milk from that teapot into these little cups?" I asked. They were definitely up for that!

So I filled the pot about half-full and set the little cups and saucers in front of them. With a little guidance as to when it was time to stop pouring each time, no milk got spilled but about a pint got consumed. And what fun they had pouring, drinking and eating cookies.

It reminded me of all the ploys my mother used to use to get my siblings, and especially me, to eat nutritionally. I’ve told you how I hated raw milk – or any milk. Mom would buy Ovaltine and malted milk flavoring from the Raleigh man. Or she would make hot chocolate with cocoa and sugar, or whip up eggnogs. Then there was baked custard and rice pudding. Sometimes even homemade ice cream. Anything to get that milk into us. And the grandchildren all seem to remember coffee with lots of milk and sugar or heavy cream and sugar. I remember that, too.

The medical community tells us that whole milk is bad for us, eggs are to be used sparingly, meat should be eaten in small quantities only, and yet we have these family members in their nineties who grew up on salt pork, eggs, bacon, beef, whole milk and cheese – all the wrong things according to today’s diets.

There’s something wrong with that equation. I’d much rather blame today’s illnesses on the hydrogenated foods, the genetically engineered produce, hormone fed animals, additives in everything, chemical fruit sprays and weed killers. To say nothing of the pollution in our air and water.

So, as I watch these little boys drinking their milk from tiny cups and eating cookies made with hydrogenated shortening, I realize that, even though they are having great fun, I’m probably not doing them any favor.

Life just gets too complicated sometimes.

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100 Years Ago

FOREST CITY: Charles Sczlinsky, whose back was broken under a fall of rock on Aug. 8 last, and has since been at Emergency hospital, was reported last night to be so low that it was not believed he would survive the night, says a Carbondale correspondent in yesterday's Scranton Tribune. Sczlinsky's case excited a good deal of interest among local surgeons, who realized in his recovery a great surgical triumph. Though in a desperate condition when received at the hospital and with scarcely a prospect of his living any length of time, the one chance of preserving his life lay in a most delicate operation. He rallied and lived so long that there was a faint hope of his recovery. The past week, however, he weakened and last night there was absolutely no hope beyond a few hours' life.

SUSQUEHANNA: Messrs. Thomas and William Ahearn have returned from a two months' trip to Ireland.

MONTROSE: On Hallowe'en some of the young men and boys of the town take the liberty of destroying property and doing injury of various kinds and it is the duty of the Boro. officials to put a stop to this thing, which grows worse from year to year, simply because it is tolerated and nothing done about it. Innocent fun is all right, but damage to private property is all wrong. For instance, when somebody decorated the front door of the residence of the Democrat editor with a picture of President Roosevelt, that was innocent fun and harmed nobody. But when they broke down the fence in front of Mrs. McCollum's, an aged lady upwards of 91 years, it was wantonly destroying property. In front of the Crocker property, owned by two orphan daughters of a dead soldier, the sidewalk was torn up and thrown into the gutter. We need speak of these cases only, but there were scores of them all over town, fences broken and board walks torn up and other damages to repair, for which the innocent owner must now be put to an uncalled for expense. These property owners have been paying taxes and are entitled to have their property protected. But there is practically no protection given them from year to year, nor anything done as to it. The excuse given is that one policeman or two or three specials cannot patrol the whole town. Then hire 40 specials, which could be done for $100. The citizens and tax payers are entitled to protection, no matter what the cost. It wouldn't be stretching the case far to say that the people who had their property destroyed ought to be able to recover from the Boro.

HARFORD: A party consisting of Henry LaBarr, James LaBarr, Frank LaBarr, Charles LaBarr, George LaBarr, Arthur Tingley and Andrew Mead left here Monday morning for the wilds of the Pocono Mts. of Pike Co. Last year Frank and his two sons killed a fine doe, and we wish as good success to the whole party this year. AND: E. J. Whitney and wife have moved in with their mother, Mrs. Osterhout, owing to the death of Mr. O. and Mr. Whitney will conduct the wagon shop formerly run by Mr. Osterhout.

SILVER LAKE: John Mahoney picked from his apple trees, 1,150 bushels.

LENOX: At Loomis Lake, Saturday evening, a pedro party was given by M. L. Smith and wife, and S. W. Kellum and wife at the Kellum Cottage. The guests were: E. E. Tower and wife, Chris Tiffany and wife, Galusha Benjamin and wife, N. M. Tingley and wife, Will Jeffers and wife, the Misses Bird Tingley and Bess Tiffany. The refreshments, which were served at 7 o'clock, were in the nature of "A spread" to which all did ample justice. The hours were merrily chased away by games, recitations by Mrs. Jeffers and the skillful manipulations of the phonograph by Mrs. Smith.

EAST DIMOCK: Many farmers are feeding their large crop of apples to stock and find it pays better then to draw them away and sell them for the small sum of 40 cts. per 100 lb.

RUSH: Notice- Five per-cent will be added to taxes in Rush, after election day. R. H. Hillis, collector.

JACKSON: C. L. Marsh, of Jackson, was seriously, if not fatally, kicked by a horse. Drs. Goodwin, of Susquehanna and Cole, of Jackson, trepanned the skull, 2x3/4 inches being removed.

HALLSTEAD: At Mount Manatonome, Hon. James T. DuBois has spent the summer, as he has several preceding summers, in constructing a macadam road from the red shale rock found in a quarry on the mountain, and in beautifying the park. The work all having been done at his personal expense and at a cost of many thousand dollars. Upon the top of the mountain is a level tract of several acres where he has constructed a speedway exactly one mile around, and from which a wonderful and beautiful scene presents itself, mountain ranges fifty miles distant in view. Several thousand visitors have enjoyed the beauties of the scenery from the mountain park this summer, Mr. DuBois having given a general invitation to the public to visit the mountain and enjoy its grandeur.

HOP BOTTOM: A sad accident occurred on Wednesday, the 26th, to Bert, the 5-year-old son of Perry Chamberlain. While attempting to cross the track he was struck by a passing train and instantly killed.

BROOKDALE: Clara Fisk, we are pleased to say, is able to ride out. She has been confined to the house for nearly three months with typhoid fever.

FRIENDSVILLE: Mrs. Mary Tierney moved the Post-office into her residence.

JERSEY HILL, Auburn Twp.: Fred Lee, while assisting Daniel Everett with his thrashing, fell through the scaffold to the barn floor and was badly bruised, but we are glad to say was not seriously hurt. AND: In Auburn Center, T. Strickland has rented the blacksmith stand and is now doing a rushing business. He is a fine shoer.

NEWS BRIEFS: Scranton is to the front again, the Lace Curtain Manufacturing Company having captured the gold medal at the St. Louis Exposition for the finest exhibit of lace curtains. The second prize, a silver medal, was awarded to the Wilkes-Barre Lace Curtain Manufacturing Co. There were exhibitors from Philadelphia and England, who, however, received no special recognition.

Be sure to visit our web site,, for back issues of 100 Years Ago.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay

More mustard for the franks

"We need your help!! Our treasury is getting low. With this very important election coming up, we need the funds to get our candidates elected."

That was the opening paragraph of a letter most Democrats in the county received late last week (mine arrived Thursday, October 28) from the Susquehanna County Democratic Executive Committee.

Wow! Is this the same Democratic Executive Committee that voted to let some officers of the committee dip into the treasury for funds to attend state meetings? Something incidentally that I was advised had never been done before?

Is this the same Democratic Executive Committee that does not field candidates for 90 percent of the elected state and county offices? In the last county election, the only area Democratic candidates were Mary Ann Warren and Katherine Shelly both of whom ran for county commissioner and, if memory serves me correctly, Robert Chamberlain, who’s elected position as a jury commissioner is mandated by law.

Is this the same Democratic Executive Committee that openly supported a Republican candidate that lost in a GOP primary election then ran successfully as a Democratic in the Fall but remains a registered Republican and a strong supporter of that political party?

Is this the same Democratic Executive Committee that included a spot to check if any recipients of the letter would like the committee to get them an application for an absentee ballot. The application must be filled out and mailed or delivered to the county courthouse in order to get an absentee ballot. I am told that, by law, the absentee ballots themselves cannot be hand carried to the courthouse but must be mailed. As I said, I received my letter on October 27. The deadline to have the absentee ballot applications into the county was October 28. You figure it out!

This is the same Democratic Executive Committee whose urgent plea for money to get "our candidates elected" arrived in the mail five days before the election. By the time any money begins to flow into the coffers, the election will be over and the Executive Committee will have more funds to send their officers to statewide meetings and other functions.

And, finally, this is the same Democratic Executive Committee who said in its letter to be sure "get out and vote on November 2" but makes absolutely no mention of who the committee would like its rank and file Democrats to vote for. Not one name is mentioned in the letter. Of course, they are expected to vote for Democratic candidates but wouldn’t it have been nice to mention them by name in the letter or on an attached card?

Restructuring is costly to employees

When the Susquehanna County Commissioners changed the leadership roles of some key people in the 911/Emergency Management departments, the change affected two longtime employees, Dawn Watson Zalewski and Mark Wood. Mrs. Zalewski, who had headed up both departments, was stripped of the Emergency Management Agency and Mr. Wood, who had been Mrs. Zalewski’s man Friday became the new boss of the EMA.

On the surface, it appears to have been a smart move by the commissioners. As pointed out by Roberta Kelly, chair of the Board of Commissioners, these departments are separate in most counties. However, since Susquehanna County is one of the smallest counties in the Commonwealth and with a population of little more than 40,000, it would seem that having both departments under one capable head was working. And, of course, any followers of this column know the thinking here is if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

It was the ensuing action by the commissioners that made these ears sit up and take notice. The commissioners reduced Mrs. Zalewski’s salary by 15 percent and took Mr. Wood off an hourly pay rate and made his position salaried, a move that no longer made him eligible for overtime pay. The bottom line will result in less money per annum for both department heads.

Will the courthouse be closed?

"Absolutely not," said Chief Clerk Suzanne Brainard when asked about a rumor that the courthouse will close for two hours on December 10 for the annual employees’ Christmas Party.

Mrs. Brainard said most offices will remain open and allow their employees to go by shifts to the Montrose Fire Hall where the party will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. But she also pointed out that she has no jurisdiction over departments run by elected officials but if these department heads want to shut down for a couple of hours, they must advertise in the newspaper and post a notice on the courthouse access doors.

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From the Desk of the D.A.

Last week, the article discussed "dangerous dogs" and the potential criminal liability that might arise from an assault by a dog. This question may have raised several questions as to the actions a private citizen may take for protection. First, it is important to report potential problem dogs to the dog warden or law enforcement. Hopefully, the owner can be persuaded to take appropriate steps to avoid any further problems. If the owner fails to take corrective steps, and you witness a dog wounding or killing another domestic animal or a human being, the Dog Law provides that you may lawfully kill the attacking canine without liability. 3 P.S. ß 459-501(a).

While the dog law provides this potential remedy, such lethal action should only be taken in the most extreme situations, where serious bodily injury or death could result from the dog attack. Furthermore, the use of such lethal force potentially could involve risk to other animals or persons. Other means of restraint should be exhausted before any use of lethal force is ever considered or used.

In the event that the lethal force was not justified, the person may be prosecuted under the Crimes Code. Under the Animal Cruelty Statute, it is unlawful for any person to kill, maim, mutilate, torture or disfigure a dog or cat. This particular offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to two years incarceration and/or a fine up to $5,000. In fact, the court must impose a minimum fine of $1,000 for a violation of this subsection. Thus, the Dog Law provides a potential defense, but if the killing was not justified, the Crimes Code provides a serious penalty for the unlawful shooting of another’s dog or cat. In fact, the Animal Cruelty Statute makes it unlawful to willfully and maliciously kill, maim or disfigure any domestic animal or fowl.

In this regard, over the past five years, we have had a few cases where a neighbor has killed another neighbor’s dog because the dog was trespassing. Each of these defendants had complained to their neighbor about the dog running loose to no avail. After becoming frustrated with their neighbor’s inaction, as well as the trespassing canine, each defendant decided to shoot and kill the dog. Each of these actions resulted in criminal prosecutions under the Animal Cruelty Statute.

As noted above, the best course of action is to discuss the problem with your neighbor. In the event that such discussions yield no results, the next step would be to contact the dog warden or a law enforcement officer. If the neighbor continues to shirk their responsibility, then the Dog Law provides some means of protection if the trespassing canine becomes violent and attacks someone or some other animal. The use of lethal force should never be lightly used, and must be based upon circumstances that demonstrate a potential threat of serious bodily injury or death resulting from the dog’s attacks. Finally, you cannot shoot a trespassing animal simply because the animal is on your property.

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: A number of "natural" shampoos claim to be "sodium lauryl sulfate free." What is sodium lauryl sulfate, and should it be avoided?

Kristen Lohse, Seattle, WA

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a synthetic detergent known for its ability to generate a sudsy lather. As a result, the beauty and cosmetics products industry has long used it as a key component in shampoos and other personal care products, citing consumer desire for a foamy bath and shower experience.

But what most happy bathers don't know about this shampoo ingredient is that it dries the scalp, stripping the skin’s surface of its protective lipids. Follicle damage, hair loss, skin and eye irritation, and allergic reactions such as rashes and hives can result. And if accidentally ingested, SLS can lead to gastrointestinal and/or liver distress.

Despite these potential maladies, nine out of 10 shampoo brands contain SLS or one of its variants. And since the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate beauty or cosmetics products, SLS is likely to remain a staple of the personal care products industry as long as consumers want sudsy shampoos.

While consumers who switch to SLS-free shampoo might miss the sudsy lather they have grown accustomed to in mass marketed products, they can still expect clean and manageable hair. Manufacturers of all-natural shampoos usually opt for good old-fashioned soap instead of SLS-based detergent to get the cleaning done. "It is a fallacy that you need to have foaming bubbles to get it clean," says Dr. Ron Shelton of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Buyer beware, though: not all shampoos marketed as "natural" or "organic" are SLS-free. Check ingredients lists for SLS or variations such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS), or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES). All-natural herbal shampoos are least likely to contain SLS-type products. Aubrey Organics, Aveda, and Kiss My Face, among many other companies, make SLS-free shampoos. Check in your local natural foods markets.

CONTACTS: American Academy of Dermatology, (847) 330-0230,; Aubrey Organics, (800) 282-7394,; Kiss My Face, (800) 262-KISS (5477),; Aveda, (866) 823-1425,

Dear EarthTalk: There is a surge of interest among my MBA students in going to work for a "green company." Where do I find information on companies that are environmentally friendly?

Rahn Huber, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

Shareholders, employees and customers alike are demanding more and more that companies conduct business in an environmentally responsible way. And many are responding by "greening up" everything from the components of their products and the energy used to make them, to the recycled content in their packaging and the way they deal with the waste that their operations generate. Still other companies exist purely to provide environmentally friendly alternatives to mainstream products and services.

Several socially concerned investment firms track corporate environmental records and publish their findings on-line. One such firm is Light Green Advisors, a Seattle-based investment advisor that helps investors who seek environmentally sound investment opportunities. Their "Eco-Index" ranks the environmental performance of large companies in a wide range of industries.

Other places to look include the lists of socially responsible mutual funds managed by firms like Calvert Group, Domini Social Investments, Green Century Funds and Pax World Funds. Likewise, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes include multinational corporations that meet various environmental standards.

A number of non-profit watchdog groups monitor corporate environmental performance as well. One is the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES), an association of investment funds and environmental groups that helps businesses adopt eco-friendly practices. Some 70 mid- to large-sized companies have formally committed to "continuous environmental improvement" by endorsing CERES' 10-point code of environmental conduct.

Co-op America, based in Washington, DC, offers report cards detailing where more than 300 major companies stand regarding environmental (and other) labor policies and practices. The organization also publishes the National Green Pages, the largest annual directory of America’s leading socially and environmentally responsible businesses.

Even the U.S. government weighs in regarding "green" companies, at least when it comes to commuting. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation have teamed up on the creation of a "Best Workplaces for Commuters" website. It bases its rankings on corporate offerings such as subsidized public transportation or van-pool passes, telecommuting (working at home) programs--even bicycle racks and showers for the sweaty. According to the EPA, the top 20 companies on the list save 250 million miles of driving and 12 million gallons of gasoline annually, while preventing the emission of more than 186,000 tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

CONTACTS: Light Green Advisors,; Calvert Group,; Domini,; Green Century,; Pax World,; Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes,; CERES,; Co-Op America,; Best Workplaces for Commuters,

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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