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Issue Home June 14, 2005 Site Home

100 Years Ago
Along the Way...With P. Jay

From the Desk of the D.A.

Straight From Starrucca
The Healthy Geezer

Software Services

100 Years Ago

FLYNN (Middletown Twp.): There was a school meeting held here on Saturday for the purpose of locating a graded school site, also to see if the majority were in favor of one. After a stormy debate and one old fellow accused our postmaster of going to see his lover, the vote was in favor of the graded school and to be built on the four corners near J. W. Flynn’s. With a graded school and a new railroad along the border, Flynn is expected to become one of the mushroom towns the coming winter.

HARFORD: Two cyclists on their way from New York to San Francisco breakfasted at the Central House on Tuesday morning. They are trying to beat the record of 28 days.

SPRINGVILLE: The ladies aid will celebrate the Fourth by serving one of their famous teas in the afternoon and during the evening ice cream and other refreshments. One of the special features of the occasion will be a fantastic parade. Do not fail to see it. AND: Anna B. Stevens is offering, as a bargain, a fine line of corsets at 35 cents each, as well as many other bargains. Call and examine goods and prices.

EAST BRIDGEWATER: William Baldwin has been in poor health for a long time, not being able to lie down, and is no better at this writing. Not being able to work his wood pile became low. Many thanks to the friends and neighbors who so kindly replenished it, also plowed and put in some crops and did many other favors.

ARARAT: The 13-year old boy of Emmut Denney fell under the cars while attempting to jump on the train, Sunday morning, and was bruised and mangled badly. Dr. McNamara was called and amputated the left foot and the thumb and two fingers of his right hand. The Dr. is having quite a run in such cases and can but expect more as the car jumpers are numerous in his region and the oft repeated warnings go unheeded.

SUSQUEHANNA: Mrs. H. T. Birchard presented each member of the graduating class at Susquehanna with a fine oil painting, executed by herself. It will be remembered that her son, Harold, was a member of the same class of students. AND: The University Council of Columbia University, New York, has awarded a scholarship valued at $150 to Winifred C. Decker. Mr. Decker is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Decker.

FOREST LAKE: John Quinn, having sold his farm, will have a public sale, June 20, at 1 o’clock, a complete list of articles appearing in another column. Mr. Quinn is 70 years of age and has never been absent from his post as color bearer at our Memorial Day exercises, in the many years since the Civil War. He will spend much time now, with his sons, in Binghamton. He sold his farm to J. M. Jeffers.

CHOCONUT: Walter, the little son of Mr. and Mrs. James McCormick, passed away at his home, May 22, 1905. Little Walter was 7 years old and a bright and manly little fellow and although only a child, he was noted for his sweet respect to his parents and brothers. He was sick only a short time with appendicitis, and although a severe sufferer he had his smile so sweet for every one through it all. He underwent an operation and lived a short time after. Besides his parents he is survived by four little brothers, Michael, James, Joseph and Thomas. The flower bearers were Joseph Sweeney, James Cadden, Gregory Hannigan and John Murphy. The pall bearers were Thomas Cadden, William Hannigan, Ward Murphy and John Cane. Interment in Silver Lake Catholic cemetery.

MONTROSE: Boys, don’t hold up the street corners too much. They don’t need your support. AND: The excavation for the Susquehanna County Historical Society building is now nearly finished and the foundation will be started at once. Thomas Howley, of Towanda, who has just completed the foundation for the Lehigh Valley depot, and whose work was highly praised Wednesday by the Lehigh inspector on his tour, will have charge of the erection of the foundation for this building. The structure will be three stories high, including the basement, and will be 30 x 50 ft. in size, being made of block concrete. The time for closing of bids has been extended one week.

SOUTH NEW MILFORD: Rev. O. J. Brush baptized Maud Gleason and Cecil Clifton and Floyd Brainard last Sunday, and they were united with the Baptist church that same day.

BROOKLYN: Clare Whitman, Harry Shadduck, Charles Savige and Louis Gere, students of Wyoming Seminary, have come home for their summer vacation.

UNIONDALE: Fourth of July celebration at the Driving Park. Amusement will consist of races, ball games, etc.

SOUTH GIBSON: A New York State paper tells of a heroic deed done by Winfield Tripp, a former South Gibson boy, who plunged into the Delaware river at Sandy Bottom, and rescued a boy by the name of McCierry and brought him to shore when he rose to the surface for the third time.

DIMOCK: A public sale of personal property will take place next Friday, June 23, on the Julia A Burdick farm, about two and one half miles from Dimock, on the Meshoppen creek road. Among the things to be sold are three cows, one horse, several good wagons, mowing machine, horse rake, plow, cultivator, harrow, harnesses and innumerable other articles.

FOREST CITY: On Monday next, John Mitchell, the great leader of labor will be here, accompanied by District President T. D. Nicholls, Secretary-Treasurer Dempsey, Vice President Roscavage, National Board Member, McCollough and other notables in the labor world. They will arrive on the 6:20 Erie Flyer. At the depot they will be met by several locals of this vicinity, the Star and Vandling Drum corps and some of the city officials. A parade will take place along Main street to the No. 2 school building where a platform will be erected in the open air for the speech making. All workingmen, union or non-union, are urged to attend and the ladies are given a special invitation. All merchants are encouraged to decorate in honor of the occasion. AND: Extensive interior decorations are taking place in St. Anthony’s church that will make that place of worship one of the most ornate in North Eastern Pa. The work is being done under the personal supervision of Frank Bogdan, a New York artist. Six large pictures of scriptural scenes are already completed. Included are “The Good Samaritan,” & “The Resurrection.”

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Along the Way...With P. Jay

The Young and the Restful

Shortly after the May Primary Elections I penned a column indicating that there is very little being done to entice young people into the whacky world of politics. One needs only to attend meetings of the municipal agencies where you live to quickly learn that the young apparently are too restless to mingle with senior citizens for the betterment of the community.

I am not sure if they keep statistics on ages of elected municipal officials but I maintain that the average age of individuals who enter the political arena election-after-election is between 55 and 70. I know that I have attended numerous conventions sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and most of the elected officials there either are either card-carrying AARP members or most certainly eligible for membership.

But alas! My friends there is hope thanks to whomever came up with the idea of making high school seniors develop worthwhile projects as a prerequisite to receiving a diploma. For example, in many high schools senior class members have turned individual senior projects into highly successful community-wide social and financial activities. In Forest City, Senior Bill Orasin recruited help from friends and relatives, including his grandmother, in making and selling hoagies. The profits, coupled with some generous monetary donations for the worthy cause, ended up with enough money to purchase defibrillators for the sprawling K-12 Forest City Regional School District.

More recently, Carina Burton, a junior at Forest City Regional, appeared before the Forest City Borough Council with a request for recycling bins she intends to place in strategic places at the school in an effort to entice students to bring aluminum and plastic recyclables to school. Her objective – to help protect our environment. The Borough Council agreed to cooperate with Ms. Burton’s senior project and will provide the required recycling bins.

In the Mountain View School District, Bethany Brainard and Taylor Kavka have teamed up on a project aimed at physical fitness. Last week, the girls got the county commissioners to proclaim June 17 as Million Pound Meltdown Day in Susquehanna County.

The idea of adults working side-by-side with young folks has lead to yet another exemplary statewide project that will include our area. At its meeting last week, the Forest City Regional Board of Education agreed to cooperate with the Pennsylvania Freemasons who are funding and staffing the Child Identification Program (CHIP) in Pennsylvania in the Fall.

At a news conference earlier this year, William Slater II, Grand Master of Pennsylvania Masonic Lodges, talked of the need for the Masonic Community to continue the program it started in January 2004. Again this year, the Freemasons will be in partnership with the Crime Prevention Association of Pennsylvania in an effort to make certain that parents have the tools they need in the event their child is abducted.

CHIP is provided free of charge to the public and all of the identifying items generated during CHIP are given exclusively to the child’s family.

The CHIP program includes creating a digital video interview that captures the appearance, speech, mannerism and other personal characteristics of the child. The finished product is recorded on a CD and given to the parent or guardian; children are fingerprinted with an inkless fingerprint system and placed on a CHIP ID card that is also given to the parent or guardian; and, last but far from least, a DNA kit is provided and is to be completed at home as soon as possible. The DNA materials include fingernail clippings, hair samples and an oral swab for a saliva sample.

Last year, nearly 100,000 children in Pennsylvania went through the program and Mr. Slater anticipates the number will be close to 150,000 in 2005.

So, there are some things going on in this great world of ours that do blend the young with the old together for a common cause. And it is not uncommon in other areas of the state for municipal governing bodies to have a student councilperson sit in on meetings and even vote on issues although the vote does not impact on the outcome of an issue.

Wouldn't it be nice if Donna Cosmello, chair of the Republican County Committee, and Joey Franks, chair of the Democrat County Committee, pooled their efforts to sponsor a political seminar in area schools designed to focus attention on the importance of voting and the equally important responsibility of serving their communities?

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From the Desk of the D.A.

It is common to receive reports during the summer months of parties where adults furnish alcohol to persons under the age of 21 years. This conduct is particularly disturbing, as the adults understand that the conduct is criminal, but manage to justify their criminal acts. I hear the same excuses repeatedly, i.e., if you can vote or die for your country, you should be able to drink a beer. Other adults justify the conduct by stating that they will make sure that no one drives an automobile or that it is better that they drink under my supervision than somewhere else unsupervised. Regardless of the excuses or the safeguards implemented, the furnishing of alcohol to a minor is a criminal act.

Further, those charged with the furnishing alcohol to minors are often shocked at the potential consequences resulting from such actions. The criminal offense of furnishing alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor of the third degree, punishable by up to one-year incarceration and a fine up to $2,500. The legislature, however, has deemed this offense to be so severe that a mandatory fine of $1,000 for each violation must be imposed. Therefore, the potential financial consequence for each act of furnishing alcohol to a minor will be at a minimum fine of $1,000 up to a maximum fine of $2,500.

If you consider this matter practically, the potential financial penalty for furnishing alcohol to minors can be staggering. If a parent were to throw a graduation party for his child and allowed his child and 9 friends to consume alcoholic beverages at the party, the parent would have committed ten separate acts of furnishing alcohol to minors. Thus, the parent faces a minimum fine of $10,000 and a potential period of incarceration of up to 10 years.

As to the minors, they also face criminal prosecution. The consumption (or possession) of alcohol by a minor is a summary offense, resulting in a fine of not less than $300 for a first offense, and not more than $500 for any second and subsequent violations. For the minors, the financial penalty may not be as severe, but a conviction also results in a suspension of the minor’s driver’s license for 90 days on the first offense, one year on the second offense, and two years for a third or subsequent offense.

Finally, the furnishing of alcohol to minors can also have tragic consequences. For instance, in Commonwealth v. McCloskey, Judith McCloskey allowed her child to have a “keg party” in the basement of her home. McCloskey assisted with the party, getting ice and blankets for the kegs. Approximately 40 underage drinkers were in the basement of the home, with over 20 cars parked outside the residence. During the party, McCloskey interacted with underage drinkers while they consumed alcohol in her presence. A neighbor called the police. As the police arrived, one of the teenagers fled, got into his vehicle with three other teenagers and drove away from the McCloskey residence. As a result of his intoxication and high speeds, an accident occurred, resulting in all four of the teenagers being ejected from the vehicle, and three of the teenagers were killed. The teen driver’s blood alcohol level was 0.20%.

McCloskey was prosecuted for three counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deaths of the three teenagers, which required proof that McCloskey caused the deaths of the teenagers through reckless or grossly negligent conduct. A jury convicted McCloskey on all counts, and she was sentenced to a period of incarceration of 12 months to 54 months. McCloskey filed an appeal, contending that her behavior was not reckless and that there was no proof that she caused the deaths.

As to recklessness of McCloskey’s conduct, the Superior Court stated: “This is not a case of an unwitting parent who was tricked into hosting a party at which alcohol was served without her knowledge. Instead, . . . McCloskey knew alcohol was being served in her basement and the minors were drinking it. She interacted with teens as they drank and allowed the party to continue for hours into the night, interrupted only by the arrival of the police. As a result, her recklessness was established.”

As to the causation argument, McCloskey argued that she did not cause the teenager’s voluntary decision to drink in excess, operate a motor vehicle at high speeds while intoxicated, and not wear a seat belt; rather, McCloskey argued that all of these factors were outside her control. The Superior Court rejected this argument, stating that the deaths were caused by McCloskey’s “outrageous conduct, in knowing the teens were consuming alcohol, interacting with them as they drank and allowing the illegal and unsupervised behavior to continue into the night.”

In short, there are substantial criminal penalties arising from the furnishing of alcohol to minors – regardless of the steps taken at supervision or safeguarding. Further, if a tragedy occurs, there is a potential that the person furnishing the alcohol will be prosecuted for a criminal homicide charge, namely involuntary manslaughter.

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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Straight From Starrucca

June Downton was quite taken aback when she entered the door of the Lanesboro Community Hall and over a hundred friends and relatives sang the birthday song to her in honor of her 75th birthday. Her exact date is June 23. So sorry I missed the party.

The nuns at the convent are busily planting vegetables and flowers. They’re making their old barn into a retreat for priests. They have a new Jersey cow, Cleo and the other cow, Lily is about to deliver. The sisters seem very happy and contented.

Joy Mead is entertaining her two grandsons, James and Patrick Romanofski from Jacksonville, Florida for several weeks.

June 16 is the Baptist lawn supper. All are welcome. A donation will guarantee a good meal.

We learned at our senior citizens meeting, last Wednesday, that Arlyne Travis, 67, passed away the night before, Tuesday, June 7. The funeral took place in Hancock, NY. Burial was in Shehawken Cemetery.

Arlyne was the sunshine lady of the Spirited Seniors of Starrucca. A poem was read by June Downton in remembrance of her. Her office has been filled by Val Tilton.

We were reminded at the senior meeting that hereafter we’ll do away with door prizes and each of us pay a dollar a month. The accumulated fund is to be used to help someone in need. The next meeting will be in July.

Pastor Brian Lucas has been assigned to the pastorate of Dalton, PA and Factoryville, PA Methodist Churches. He will begin services there July 1. He is well liked and ours being his first charge, has shown great improvement in sermons and delivery.

The Civic Association met on Tuesday night and their main subject was planning for a square dance in the Community Hall on July 9, beginning at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be sold.


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The Healthy Geezer

Q. My daughter heard that grapefruit juice can be toxic for some people. Is that true?

A. The juice, itself, is not toxic, but you should be careful taking medicine with any grapefruit.

Grapefruit juice can raise the level of some medications in the blood. The effect of grapefruit was discovered after using juice to mask the taste of a medicine. So, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe to have grapefruit with your medications.

Taking medicine can be hazardous to your health. You have to know what you’re doing.

For example, calcium-rich dairy products or certain antacids can prevent antibiotics from being properly absorbed into the bloodstream. Ginkgo biloba can reduce the effectiveness of blood-thinning medications and raise the risk for serious complications such as stroke.

You should educate yourself so you know what active ingredients are in the prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are taking.

Some people treat over-the-counter pain relievers as if they are harmless. They can hurt you if you take them improperly. They contain drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and aspirin. Acetaminophen is in Tylenol. Ibuprofen is in Advil. Naproxen sodium is in Aleve.

Many prescription or over-the-counter medicines that treat multiple symptoms, such as cold and flu medications, also include acetaminophen and the other pain-relieving ingredients. So you have to be careful not to take too much of any one ingredient by ingesting more than one medication that contains that ingredient.

Seniors take more medicines than any other age group because they have more health problems. Taking several drugs a day presents dangers. Here are some more tips to avoid side these hazards:

Always inform your doctor or pharmacist about all medicines you are already taking, including herbal products and over-the-counter medications.

Tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about past problems you have had with medicines, such as rashes, indigestion or dizziness.

Don't mix alcohol and medicine unless your doctor or pharmacist says it's okay. Some medicines may not work well or may make you sick if you take them with alcohol.

The best advice is this: Don’t be afraid to throw a lot of questions about your medicines at your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. Here are some good ones:

When should I take it? As needed, or on a schedule? Before, with or between meals? At bedtime?

How often should I take it?

How long will I have to take it?

How will I feel once I start taking this medicine?

How will I know if this medicine is working?

If I forget to take it, what should I do?

What side effects might I expect? Should I report them?

Can this medicine interact with other prescription and over-the-counter medicines – including herbal and dietary supplements – that I am taking now?

And, ask your pharmacist to put your medicine in large, easy-to open containers with large-print labels.

If you have a question, please write to

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Software Services

Hey, Where Did The Start Button Go?

For no apparent reason, your PC’s Start button has disappeared. The Start button is located on the Taskbar. The Taskbar is that special space, usually at the bottom of the screen. It has the Start button on the left, next is programs you are using, and on the far right there are some icons and the time.

But what do you if the Taskbar is up at the top or to the right or left? Or worse yet, disappears completely?

If it’s completely gone, you can press both the Crtl and the Esc buttons at the same time to bring it back. Next, move your mouse to the bottom of the screen. It will turn into a two-headed arrow. Left click and hold the button down while you drag upward and your Taskbar will reappear. If the mouse cursor doesn’t turn into a two-headed arrow at the bottom of your screen, try the sides or top of the screen.

Most people keep the Taskbar at the bottom, but you can move it. The entire Taskbar can be moved from the bottom to the top or sides by left clicking and hold the button down while dragging on a blank portion of the Taskbar.

The size of the Taskbar can be increased or decreased. Move your mouse to the top border of the Taskbar (assuming it’s at the bottom). It will turn into the two-headed arrow again. Left click and hold the button down while you drag it up or down. You can make your Taskbar two or three or more levels high. This is useful when you have a lot of programs open and want to see them all. You can also shrink it down to nothing and frustrate others who use the machine (unless they’ve read this column).

If you cannot change your Taskbar, chances are it’s locked. Right click on a blank portion of the Taskbar. If Lock the Taskbar has a check beside it, the Taskbar is locked. Click on Lock the Taskbar to remove the check. Click again and the check reappears. If you don’t want others to mess with your Taskbar, you might want to lock it.

You can right click on a blank portion of the Taskbar and then click on Properties. There’s a box for Auto Hide Taskbar. This feature makes the Taskbar disappear until you move your mouse to the edge of the screen where the Taskbar is nowlocated. You can uncheck this box to make the Taskbar stay put.

Next time learn how to easily move data from one place to another using the clipboard.

Lori Martin is owner of Martin Works, Inc. (, Susquehanna, PA.

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From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: How worried should I be about skin cancer now that summer is approaching and I'll be spending time in the sun?

Eva Haley-Locke, Seattle, WA

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), incidences of skin cancer in the United States have reached epidemic proportions, with one in five Americans now developing the disease in their lifetime. The National Cancer Institute reports that cases of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, increased faster than any other cancer among Caucasians in the U.S. over a recent 20-year study period. The sometimes-fatal disease now accounts for three percent of cancers diagnosed in the U.S.

Incidences of melanoma in African Americans are much lower than in Caucasians due to the additional melanin, or pigment, in the skin, which offers some sun protection. However, dark skin is no guarantee against melanoma--and once African Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, studies show that their long-term survival is significantly lower than that of Caucasians: 58.8 percent compared to 84.8 percent.

Meanwhile, non-melanoma skin cancers are on the rise, too. Every year, more than a million Americans develop non-melanoma skin cancer, and more than 1,900 die from the disease, according to EPA statistics. But non-melanoma skin cancers have a cure rate as high as 95 percent if detected and treated early.

Skin cancer is triggered by exposure to the sun's ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. Luckily, the Earth's ozone layer absorbs most UV-B radiation before it reaches the surface. However, the recent thinning of the ozone layer due to the emission of chlorofluorocarbons (chemicals used to propel aerosol sprays and keep refrigerators and air conditioners cool) may have further increased everyone’s exposure to UV-B radiation.

Fortunately, 183 countries, including all the major industrial powers, have agreed to phase out these chemicals by 2015 according to the terms of a 1987 treaty known as the Montreal Protocol. The signatories to the treaty are optimistic that the phase-out should restore the ozone layer to its normal thickness over the course of several decades.

Interestingly, some researchers don't believe that current melanoma increases are related to the thinning ozone layer, as the disease can take several decades to develop, whereas ozone depletion is a more recent phenomenon. "Recent increases in rates may just reflect better reporting, or the popularity of suntans in the 60's and 70's," says University of Colorado biochemist Robert Parson.

Nevertheless, UV-B exposure remains a risk. People should protect themselves by wearing hats, sunglasses and sunscreen, and avoiding extended sun exposure. Many dermatologists believe there may be a link between childhood sunburns and melanoma later in life; so strong sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) should be applied to kids before they head off to the beach.

CONTACTS: EPA SunWise Program,; National Cancer Institute,; Montreal Protocol,

Dear EarthTalk: I recently heard an alarming statement, that every woman on Earth has some trace of a chemical called dioxin in her breast milk. Is this true? And if so, why is it and what are the ramifications? Should I not breast-feed my baby?

Katya Proctor, Richmond, VA

Unfortunately, it is true that women all around the world have dioxins in their breast milk. In fact, most people--not just women--have detectable levels of dioxin in their tissues, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Dioxins are now widespread in our environment, and tend to remain in the environment for long periods of time, traveling long distances, primarily through air.

Dioxins are typically detected in air, soil, sediments and food and result from a number of industrial activities, including incineration of municipal solid waste and medical waste, vinyl manufacturing, the chlorine bleaching of wood pulp in papermaking, and coal-fired power plants. Other major sources of dioxin include forest fires, residential wood burning and the backyard burning of household waste.

There are 75 forms of dioxin. All are "organochlorine" compounds, that is, organic chemicals to which varying amounts of chlorine have been added. They are potent chemicals known to cause cancer, skin disease, liver problems, birth defects and damage to the brain and central nervous system. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says that dioxin is "among the most toxic substances on Earth."

According to the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC), kids are exposed to dioxins through food, primarily from the animal fats in meat and dairy products. Also, dioxins can cross the placenta to expose babies in the womb. Breast-fed infants are exposed to dioxins that have accumulated in breast milk. Researchers worry that fetuses and breast-feeding infants may be at particular risk from exposure to dioxins, which may cause harm to the developing brain and immune system.

Despite these risks, the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends breast milk as "the preferred source of feeding for almost all babies for at least the first year of life," touting its health, nutritional, immunological, developmental and psychological benefits. Besides, dioxins are so prevalent that even infant formulas can contain some.

Eradicating dioxins from the environment is a tall order, says NRDC, as they are unintentional industrial byproducts and their elimination would require fundamental changes in how industry operates. The EPA does report, however, that industrial dioxin emissions in the U.S. have been reduced by more than 90 percent since 1987. Environmental organizations are calling on industries and the EPA to make every effort to eliminate or reduce dioxin formation where possible, and are calling for an end to many forms of incineration and the phase-out of products whose manufacture and disposal produces dioxin.

CONTACTS: U.S. EPA,; Natural Resources Defense Council,; Children’s Health Environmental Coalition,

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

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