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Look For Our Up Coming CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Featured In The Dec. 21th Issue Of The Susquehanna County Transcript

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Issue Home November 22, 2005 Site Home

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

From the Desk of the D.A.
Straight From Starrucca

Earth Talk
The Healthy Geezer

100 Years Ago

BROOKLYN: State Road Commissioner Hunter was up last week, and acquiesced to the application of Brooklyn township for a State road, as provided by law, and says same will be built in the early spring. The road, beginning at Brooklyn Centre, will be built to the Lathrop township line. Hop Bottom is anxious to see the road extended to Hop Bottom and Lathrop will be asked to consider this question. If Lathrop would build to the borough line, then Hop Bottom boro. could continue it to the railroad. Otherwise not, as a boro. can only continue a road coming to its limits. This is the only road applied for, under this law, in this county, thus far.

TINGLEY/NEW MILFORD: On Saturday morning between three and four o’clock, occurred an accident which has cast a gloom over all the surrounding vicinity, and by which Arthur Aldrich, son of Mr. and Mrs. Will Aldrich, of Tingley, met his death. On Friday night he attended a party near Harford, going with a load of schoolmates from New Milford. On returning he left them with a cherry good night and proceeded homeward, going down [the] railroad track. When nearly home he stepped from one track to avoid a freight train, to the other, directly in front of one of the fast night lines. He was crushed beyond recognition. He was a member of the New Milford High School and would have graduated this year. His funeral was held Monday, Nov. 20, 2005.

ARARAT: LeRoy Ballard, of Ararat, was brought to Montrose Wednesday night of last week, by Constable Fred Empet, and placed in the county jail. Ballard was arrested on the charge of being implicated in the burglary at Ararat, when the home of Eli Avery, a well-to-do farmer was broken into and $800 stolen. It will be remembered that the occupants of the house were tortured to make them reveal the hiding place of the money.

HEART LAKE: W. A. Brown has his mill lighted with electric lights.

TRIPP LAKE: I [Mrs. T. L. Mahoney] wish to thank my good neighbors, Messrs. M. J. Hannagan and son, Jeremiah Mahoney and son, John Mahoney, Ernest Ingraham and Morris Wilbur for their hard work and generous efforts in saving my home from being consumed by fire when we felt it would be a hopeless cause, the fire had gained such headway. Also Messrs. Salisbury and Tiffany of the F.A. & I.U. for their prompt and satisfactory adjustment of my loss.

SUSQUEHANNA: Jasper Jennings, in his Geography and History of Susquehanna County column writes: “Susquehanna is situated on very uneven ground; long flights of steps often reaching most of the distance from one street to the next above, and on this account it has been called ‘The City of Stairs.’ It is picturesquely located at the foot of the heavy grade leading over the high water-shed by the way of Gulf Summit to Deposit, 62 ft. to the mile. The principal business of the place is connected with the railway interests. Monster locomotives are kept here to help the heavy trains up the ascending grade; and during the cool and frosty mornings in the Fall of the year immense clouds of smoke and steam mark the course of the long trains as they wind around the distant curves and crawl over the large embankments, across the great Starrucca Viaduct and along the far off mountainside, combine to make an impressive picture.”

FAIRDALE: J. J. Ryan & Co. put a heater into the basement of the church last week. You can come to church now and not get smoked. The carpenters are hurrying along as fast as possible and we hope the church will soon be ready for service. AND: Fred Hart butchered 13 hogs for Charles Steiger and W. E. Sterling in 2 hours and 15 minutes, last Tuesday.

DIMOCK: John Park’s barn burned to the ground last Friday night. Origin of fire unknown. This makes the third barn burned in that vicinity within the last three months and certainly has the appearance of suspicion. The barns burned were D. G. Underhill’s, Dimock Camp Ground barn and now Mr. Park’s.

EAST RUSH/ELK LAKE: Between East Rush and Elk Lake: brown dog and collar, his name is Browney. Please return same to Price Smith, Montrose. Reward offered.

LYNN, Springville Twp.: Nov. 12th the house of Nick Titman tried to burn. The neighbors carried the furniture out, put out the fire, then carried the furniture back again. The damage was slight. AND: The vaccination law was enforced here Monday, Nov. 20, but against the teacher’s wish.

FOREST LAKE: Turkey buyers are offering as high as 18 cents a pound for picked turkeys.

FACTORYVILLE: Christy Matthewson has signed with the New York Giants for the season of 1906 for $8,000.

FOREST CITY: As a result of the prosecutions instituted by the Law and Order League against the saloon keepers for selling on Sunday, six persons were convicted, while one pleaded guilty in the county courts last week. Four rules to revoke the licenses of wholesale liquor dealers here were obtained, it being claimed that they had been guilty of violating the liquor law.

MONTROSE: M. Shaw, a cigar manufacturer of nearly 40 years’ experience, has started a cigar factory on South Main street in [the] location formerly occupied by W. H. Dennis & Son. It will be known as The Montrose Cigar Factory. Mr. Shaw is turning out some good brands and is making a specialty of his “Teaser” and Shaw’s fives and tens.

LENOX: The Lenox Grange held their second annual fair and also the dedication of their new hall in Glenwood on Saturday, Nov. 11. It was a complete success and the members wish to extend thanks to everyone who helped to make it so. Receipts were $146.39.

MIDDLETOWN/CHOCONUT: Miss Agatha K. Foran, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Foran, of “Sunnyside,” Middletown, and Patrick J. Byrne, son of Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Byrne, of “Green Hedge,” Choconut, were married by the Rev. B. V. Driscoll in St. Francis Xavier’s church, Friendsville, on Wed., Nov. 15, 1905. Miss Mary Foran, of Binghamton, sister of the bride and Christopher Byrne, Jr., of Port Washington, L.I., brother of the groom, attended them. The bride was dressed in a dark blue voile gown, over silk, with lace trimmings, and wore a dark blue velvet toque. Immediately after the marriage ceremony the bridal party returned to “Sunnyside,” where dinner was served to over a hundred guests, who by their presence and numerous valuable gifts showed the high esteem in which the young couple are held. They will be at home to their friends after Nov. 26, at “Green Hedge,” Choconut.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Ellen O'Malley

I will never understand why Susquehanna County officials have to make things so difficult for themselves. Especially our illustrious county commissioners who seem to thrive on controversy. Take the latest incident that is bouncing off the courthouse walls – the hiring of Ellen O'Malley who just happens to be a cousin to Roberta Kelly, chair of the Board of Commissioners.

The commissioners, in their infinite wisdom, could not wait for one of their regular meeting dates to employ Ms. O'Malley as the county's new chief assessor. That would have been totally above board, completely legal and while it would probably still have raised a few eyebrows I do not believe it would have kicked up quite as much dust as the way it was handled.

I was advised that Ms. O'Malley is presently regarded as a “provisional employee,” a term under which the union would allow her to begin work until the commissioners get the opportunity to vote on her employment status at the November 23 meeting. Why the union has stuck its nose into this issue is beyond me. The chief assessor most certainly has to be looked upon as a managerial post that should exempt Ms. O'Malley from any personal affiliation with the union.

So what’s so bad about hiring Ms. Kelly as chief assessor? Truthfully? Absolutely nothing but the stench attached to it by her premature beginning on the job. County employees are supposed to be hired and fired at public meetings. And when the commissioners attach a sense of urgency to an appointment it is more of a reflection on their lack of professionalism than a slap against the person being hired. Unfortunately, in this incident, Ms. O'Malley comes to the county steeped in controversy over her position as chair of the Civil War Monument Restoration Committee, a volunteer assignment scarred by a gentlemen named Fred Baker who saw an opportunity to focus some attention on himself and grabbed it.

The feeling here is that Ellen O'Malley could become an outstanding chief assessor if she ignores the gossip surrounding her appointment and earns the state certification required for the job. It is too bad that not one of the county commissioners flagged the premature appointment and suggested it be delayed until it could be done properly at a public meeting.

At least turn back the clock!

It has been almost five years since Susquehanna County Commissioner Joan Stalter's untimely death. Mrs. Stalter was into her second year as a commissioner and chair of the Board of Commissioners when she lost her fight with cancer.

On November 1, 2000, Joan Stalter was responsible for a significant change in the pay rate of the tax collectors in the county. Permit me to turn back the clock and let you read how the minutes of that November meeting recorded motions made by Mrs. Stalter. “Motion by Commissioner Stalter to set the rate of pay for tax collectors for 2002 at $2.50 per collected real estate tax notice; 2003 at $2.50 per collected real estate tax notice; 2004 at $2.50 per collected real estate tax notice; and, 2005 at $2.50 per collected real estate tax notice. Second by Commissioner Smith. Ayes: Commissioners Stalter and Smith. Nay: Commissioner Dean. Motion carried.”

The second motion: “Motion by Commissioner Stalter to set the rate of pay for tax collectors for 2002 at $2.50 per collected occupation tax notice; 2003 at $2.50 per collected occupation tax notice; 2004 at $2.50 per collected occupation tax notice; and, 2003 at $2.50 per collected occupation tax notice. Second by Commissioner Dean. Ayes: unanimous. Motion carried.”

The key words in each motion by Mrs. Stalter were “per collected real estate tax notice” and “per collected occupation tax notice.”

Eight days after Mrs. Stalter died, Commissioners Lee Smith and Calvin Dean held a special night meeting and rescinded both of Mrs. Stalter’s motions and replaced them with the following motion: “Motion by Commissioner Smith to amend the motion of November 1, 2000 to set the rate of pay for tax collectors from $2.50 per collected real estate and occupation tax notices for the years 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 as follows: collected and uncollected 2002 at $3.60 per notice; 2003 at $3.70 per notice; 2004 at $3.80 per notice; and, 2005 at $3.90 per notice. Seconded by Commissioner Dean. Ayes, Unanimous. Motion carried.”

Commissioners Smith and Dean increased the pay rates by more than 40 percent when compared with Mrs. Stalter's motion, and returned the additional bonus the tax collectors have been receiving for years – payments on collected AND uncollected tax notices.

The revised motion passed by then Commissioners Smith and Dean state that the purpose of the motion is to set the rate of pay for tax collectors for the 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. So, does this mean that the commissioners need to come up with a new rate of pay effective 2006? It certainly would appear that way but the commissioners do not seem to be concerned about it.

Then, too, if a new rate of pay for tax collectors needs to be set by the county, shouldn't there be a public hearing on the issue so that the taxpayers as well as the tax collectors can be heard on the subject?

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From the Desk of the D.A.

In 1621, Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth colony declared the first day of thanksgiving and prayer. Initially, there was no set holiday known as thanksgiving, but it was common for the colonists to have a celebration each year around the harvest time. For many years, thanksgiving-type celebrations were celebrated throughout the United States on different days without any uniformity. The tradition of thanksgiving, however, was ingrained in the national soul – even before there was a nation.

In October 1782, toward the end of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, issued a proclamation designating November 28 as a day of Thanksgiving. The proclamation provided: “It being the indispensable duty of all Nations, not only to offer up their supplications to Almighty God, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his providence in their behalf: Therefore the United States in Congress assembled . . . Do hereby recommend to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe, and request the several States to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of Thursday the twenty-eighth day of November next, as a day of solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify to their gratitude to God for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience of his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.” At that time, however, the Continental Congress did not have any formal control over the individual states, but was only encouraging each state to celebrate a national thanksgiving. In 1789, after his election as the first president of the United States, George Washington continued this tradition and proclaimed November 26 to be a day of thanksgiving.

In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation establishing the last Thursday of November as a special day of Thanksgiving. In his proclamation establishing a national holiday, President Lincoln stated: “The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strengthfrom the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”

President Lincoln’s words ring forth from the pages of history with the same power and force as they did in the midst of our civil war. While today’s politicians rarely invoke such strong reference to God in their statements, there is no doubt that Thanksgiving is a holiday with one purpose – giving thanks. For nearly four hundred years, the citizens of this country have joined together for a day of prayer and thanksgiving to collectively count our blessings and good fortune. I pray that you and your family have a blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving Day.

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

Last Sunday, a blessing of the children’s Christmas Shoeboxes was held at the Baptist Church with Rev. Albert Rodriguez conducting the services. The forty-three boxes were collected from the churches in the area and filled with gifts for needy children at home and around the world.

Mr. and Mrs. Holmes, Trumansburg, NY, part-time mission workers representing the Fellowship of Christian Farmers, Int. go to Albania each year. In their annual newsletter, which I receive they told that they were given 1200 shoeboxes to hand out in fifteen rural villages and schools. This effort brought smiles and laughter to many happy children. So we do know that our “Santa” work here has arrived and is appreciated.

Virginia Upright had a rather lonesome job last weekend. She was house-sitting for her daughter, Brenda and family. Her only companion, a good book – probably a Louis L’Amour novel.

Since September the ladies who make quilts for the homeless have added twenty-eight to the total they have made so far.

Florence and Denny Downton have arrived from Sun City, Arizona to spend the holidays at their home here and will return after New Year’s.

The union Thanksgiving service will be held Wednesday, November 23, 7 p.m. at Thompson United Methodist Church. Come and bring a friend.

Practice has started for the annual Ecumenical Cantata at the Thompson Church. This much-awaited musical presentation will be Sunday, December 11 at 3 p.m.

Maxine Dickey arrived home last weekend and was welcomed by her caregiver, Eugenia, recently from Bangor, PA, but her first home is in Kenya, Africa. She is a very nice lady and dedicated to her job of caring for Max.

Have a thankful prayer for all our blessings, and don’t forget to say a prayer of gratitude for all our servicemen here and overseas who can’t be with their families this holiday season.


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Dear EarthTalk: Regarding all the hype about fuel cell powered vehicles that will run on hydrogen produced from water: Where is all this water going to come from? It's my understanding that there is a severe water shortage, or potentially so, worldwide.

Stephen Cavaliere, Honolulu, HI

Some 400 million people around the world do indeed suffer from water shortages, but analysts say that the eagerly awaited conversion to a hydrogen-powered energy economy will not aggravate such problems.

Even though hydrogen itself is the most common chemical element on the planet, it does not exist in nature in its elemental form. To generate hydrogen, electrical charges break up water molecules into their component parts of oxygen and hydrogen in a process known as electrolysis. The separated hydrogen is then compressed into storage tanks from where it is later dispensed into fuel cells that, in turn, generate power when it is needed.
Robert Wichert, a mechanical engineer who serves as technical director for the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, says that while water is initially broken down during this process, it is later re-combined and released into the atmosphere as water vapor. "Using water in this way does not deplete the amount of water globally," he says. "Instead it uses water at one spot and releases it back into the rain cycle at the point of use."

"When one looks at the water requirements for the production of hydrogen via electrolysis, the numbers are very interesting," says Skip Staats of the National Fuel Cell Education Program (NFCEP). Staats' analysis shows that generating the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline in hydrogen requires just 2.3 gallons of water--all of which gets recycled directly back into the Earth’s hydrological systems.

Meanwhile, refining petroleum to create a gallon of traditional gasoline requires 12 gallons of water--which then must be treated before it can be released back into the environment. So, in essence, creating hydrogen via electrolysis requires less water than creating gasoline, and it is also a much cleaner process.

Right now, however, 95 percent of the hydrogen being produced in the world is derived not from electrolysis using water but by re-forming fossil fuels such as natural gas and even gasoline. A handful of forward-thinking companies are coming to the rescue, though. The U.K.-based Hydrogen Solar Ltd., for one, is commercializing "nanotechnology" to generate hydrogen from tiny solar cells without burning any fossil fuels. The company currently operates a prototype hydrogen re-fueling station just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Other major players include Midwest Optoelectronics, GE Global Research and Avalence LLC, all of whom have received sizeable federal hydrogen research and development grants.

CONTACTS: U.S. Fuel Cell Council,; National Fuel Cell Education Program,; Hydrogen Solar Ltd.,; Midwest Optoelectronics,; GE Global Research,; Avalence LLC,

Dear EarthTalk: Which pet foods are the healthiest and most Earth-friendly? Can I feed my dogs and cats vegetarian?

Carolyn Cacciotti, Bridgeport, CT

With consumer demand for organic food growing in leaps and bounds, it’s no wonder that pet owners are starting to think about what they are feeding to Fido and Scruffy as well.

A few brands stand out for their commitment to all-natural ingredients. Health conscious pet owners have looked to Breeder’s Choice for more than five decades. The company offers several all-natural lines of age-appropriate dog and cat foods. Other reputable producers, many with organic or hormone-free ingredients, include Honest Kitchen, Yarrah, Eagle Pack and Urban Carnivore, among many others.

Meanwhile, actor Paul Newman’s company, Newman’s Own Organics, known for providing people with organic salad dressings, pasta sauces and popcorn while donating all profits to charity, recently introduced a line of healthy pet foods with all profits going to support animal welfare causes. All of the company’s pet food varieties contain certified organic ingredients and avoid antibiotics, hormones, chemical ingredients, artificial preservatives, colors and additives.

As to turning your pet into a vegetarian, even though your values may dictate otherwise, putting your dog or cat on a vegetarian diet might not be the most responsible course of action. Both dogs and cats evolved eating meat, and both rely on it as nutritional staples in their diets.

While dogs are used to a more varied diet by nature, cats, as natural predators and true carnivores, thrive on meat, and will often seek it out the old-fashioned way--by hunting neighborhood birds and rodents. Cats require certain nutrients from meat that they can't get from plant-based foods.

Deficiencies of these nutrients can lead to blindness and even death. Meanwhile, dogs are omnivores and can survive on an otherwise varied diet without meat, but they do better when fed a regular source of animal protein.

Luckily, dog and cat owners whose vegetarian beliefs extend to their pets' diets do have some options. Yarrah's Organic Vegetarian Dog Food, for instance, contains whole wheat, soy, sunflower seeds, maize, yeast, sesame chips and minerals, and is recommended for overweight dogs. Meanwhile, Evolution Diet, available from, takes a wide range of healthy vegetarian dog and cat foods that contain nutritional supplements to keep otherwise carnivorous pets healthy without the meat.

The Animal Protection Institute offers a handy online set of guidelines for choosing healthy foods for your dog or cat. While these pet foods can be found at pet stores across the country, they are also starting to appear in health food stores like WholeFoods and Wild Oats.

CONTACTS: Breeder's Choice,; Yarrah,; Honest Kitchen,; Urban Carnivore,; Eagle Pack,; Newman’s Own,; Evolution Diet,; Animal Protection Institute,

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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The Healthy GeezerBy Fred Cicetti

Q. My understanding is that angina is not as serious as heart disease. Is this true?

Angina pectoris--or simply angina--is the medical term for chest pain or discomfort caused by coronary heart disease. Angina is a sign that someone is at increased risk of heart attack, cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death. If you get angina, you should get medical attention immediately.

Angina (pronounced “an-JI-nuh” or “AN-juh-nuh”) hits when the heart doesn't get enough blood. This usually happens when there is a narrowing or blockage in one or more of the vessels that supply blood to the heart.

Angina can come from exertion. It may make you sweat or lose your breath. The pain can strike your arm or neck, too.

“Stable angina” comes on with exertion and then goes away easily. You can have this kind of angina for a long time.

When the pattern of angina changes a lot, it's called “unstable angina.” This is a danger sign. Unstable angina may be the first sign of a heart attack.

Then there is “variant angina pectoris” or “Prinzmetal's angina.” It usually occurs spontaneously and almost always occurs when a person is at rest. It doesn't follow physical exertion or emotional stress, either. Variant angina is caused by transient coronary artery spasm.
Physicians have a variety of diagnostic tools.

An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) can tell a doctor if your heart has been damaged by a heart attack. If the EKG is done while you are having chest pain, it can also show if your angina is caused by a problem with your heart

A stress test is often done while you walk on a treadmill. Your doctor will look at your EKG to see if it's abnormal when you exercise. Your doctor may also have x-rays of the heart taken before and after you exercise. These pictures can show if an area of the heart is not getting enough blood during exercise.

A cardiac catheterization involves inserting a long, thin tube into an artery in the arm or leg and then guiding it into the heart. Dye is injected into the arteries around the heart. X-rays are taken. The x-rays will show it if any of the arteries that supply the heart are blocked.
Most people diagnosed with heart disease have to take medicine. Medicines called beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and nitrates can help relieve angina.
There are surgical options.

Angioplasty uses a tiny balloon to push open blocked arteries around the heart. The balloon is inserted in an artery in the arm or leg. A stent (a small tube) might be put into the artery where the blockage was to hold the artery open.

In bypass surgery, the surgeon takes pieces of veins or arteries from the legs and sews them into the arteries of the heart to bring blood past a blockage and increase the blood flow to the heart.
If you have a question, please write to

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