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Issue Home January 24, 2006 Site Home

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

From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Straight From Starrucca

100 Years Ago

LAKEVIEW: Burt Allen, 16 years of age, was arrested in Lakeview, near Susquehanna, by Chief of Police McMahon, Saturday afternoon, and taken to jail at Montrose. The story of Allen’s alleged career was told in the Binghamton Press. It is said that when Allen was 14 years of age he fell in love with Bessie Knapp of Lakeview and a short time afterwards married her with the consent of her parents. Shortly afterwards he went to Lestershire, it is claimed, and fell in love with pretty Ethel Williams, 14 years of age. He appeared to the girl’s parents like a promising young man and finally asked them to allow her to marry him. They gave their consent and the ceremony was performed. About the time of the wedding in Lestershire it is claimed that the Pennsylvania girl brought a suit against him for non-support. It was then learned that he had a wife living and had no right to marry the Williams girl. The Binghamton authorities will get requisition papers, when Allen will be taken there and tried.

THOMPSON: About a mile south of Thompson borough, Donald Starbird, aged 11 years, and his brother, George Starbird, aged 8, sons of William Starbird, and Ambrose Benton, a neighbor of Starbird’s, were playing “Hunt the Rabbit.” Donald carried the gun. George played the dog and Ambrose was the rabbit. Two caps had been snapped on the gun; then the third was put on the gun and fired and Ambrose fell to the ground, bleeding--dead, a charge of shot having lodged in the back of his head. The mother was soon by her boy and had him in her arms, but before she reached the house she collapsed and a man passing by took the dead boy and his prostrated mother into the house and gave the alarm. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon from the M.E. church, Rev. R. M. Pascoe officiating. The house was thronged with sympathizing friends and neighbors from far and near.

WEST AUBURN: At West Auburn the school matters are reported as having settled down. At a public meeting last Saturday there was a large gathering and four of the six directors voted to keep the new teacher, Mr. Tingley, and following this it was voted unanimous to keep him and now the school is running well. {Prior to this several school board members walked in to Mr. Tingley’s class and fired him.)

MONTROSE: Montrose experiencing summer heat in January is something that happens but seldom in an average mortal’s lifetime. The first three days of the week, however, found the mercury registering anywhere from 50 to 65 degrees “in the shade,” while in the sun it rose as high as 80 degrees. What makes it still more remarkable is the fact that the latter part of last week the light fall of snow made sleighing for a brief time possible and a number took advantage of this opportunity to get about on runners for the first time. It is doubtful if the oldest resident can remember a more phenomenal winter.

SUSQUEHANNA: Miss Ida Larrabee, well and favorably known as a gifted musician and vocalist, has been engaged as leader of the choir of the Susquehanna M. E. church. This will be pleasing news to the members and friends of that church, which under the able pastorate of Rev. Alex. D. Decker, supplemented by a united congregation, was never in better condition for effective Christian work than at the present.

BROOKLYN: Farm for sale, located two miles north of Brooklyn on the old Owego turnpike, known as the Daniel Watrous farm; of 144œ acres. Buildings in the best of condition. Fruits of all kinds, running water to house and barn. Would exchange for house and lot. Terms easy. For further particulars inquire of Sarah Uptegrove, Montrose.

TIFFANY: John Carter is counted one of the best judges of “hoss” flesh in the county and knows the history of nearly every equine between Wayne and Bradford counties.

UNIONDALE: Dr. Fred Grander, who has his office in Forest City, is chairman of the committee on vaccination. Drs. Fike, Nobles and Craft have lately been busy making the small boys and girls “cry” with a sore arm. All pupils who have not been vaccinated by the 22nd inst. will be turned out of the school.

LENOX: Winter weather by installments is not all favorable for the lumber and ice business. The weather of last Sunday would compare favorably with the best to be had in Florida. Warm and genial, in fact, an ideal April day. AND: Bert Cameron has a talking machine and all roads lead to the post office these long winter evenings where Bert good-naturedly sets his machine “agoin” to the amusement and sometime astonishment of the kids, both young and old.

FRANKLIN: The Independent Telephone Co. will put in a switchboard at Franklin Forks. Six new phones are now ordered.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: The school directors of Middletown received bids for the building of our Graded School at Flynn, which will be built the coming spring. It will be a decided improvement for the township, as it will save sending our scholars to Montrose or other places. Thomas Foster will erect the building.

FOREST CITY: Twin Girls were born to Mr. and Mrs. John Opeka on Sunday last. One year ago, almost to a day, twins--both girls, were also born to Mr. and Mrs. Opeka.

RUSH: Albert Otis, of Tuscarora township, formerly of Rush, an account of whose mysterious disappearance was published last week, has not yet been found. His wife offers a reward of $200 to the person discovering him, either dead or alive. Several clues have been followed but no trace of the missing man has been found.

SILVER LAKE: On Wednesday, January 17, 1906, a family reunion was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ward, to honor the celebration of the 50th anniversary of their married life. It is interesting to note that Mr. Ward was one of the first settlers at Silver Lake. He was born and reared about a stone’s throw from the house in which he celebrated his Golden Jubilee and throughout his life he has merited the love and esteem of those who knew him. His goodness and kindness and noble unselfishness have won for him a host of friends. The little home on the hillside overlooking the beautiful Laurel Lake was tastefully decorated in honor of the occasion. [In 1856 Joseph Ward married Miss Mary A. McCormick, daughter of James and Mary McCormick, respected citizens of Silver Lake. Joseph and Mary were the parents of 13 children.]

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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Merry.. uh, Happy... Cheerful.. ah, forget it!

Can someone out there please explain to me why it is that after observing the Birth of Jesus for centuries, we suddenly find ourselves in a world where some people are opposed to Christmas carols that make reference to His birth?

Even more bizarre, some want to substitute Happy Holidays for Merry Christmas. Adding insult to injury, a few of the nation’s largest department stores bought into the change last Christmas and decorated their stores with signs that read, “Happy Holidays” and “Do Your Gift Shopping Here.” If that doesn't tell us that Christmas has become too commercial, nothing will.

I guess we can start perking up our ears for a new Santa Claus slogan. “Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy Holidays!!”

“Joy to the world, the holidays have come. Let all the sales begin.”

Bah! Humbug!

Whatever happened to the First Amendment? Last time I looked, it was still there. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

My friends, we are allowing this great nation of ours to be overrun by people who have nothing better to do than gather for the sole purpose of trying to figure out how to project themselves into the limelight.

Religious Right says there is a “war on Christmas.” To prove their charge, they have rolled out a series of allegations involving bias against Christmas by government officials and public schools. Researchers at Americans United for Separation of Church and State looked into the most common examples of supposed hostility toward Christmas and found them largely baseless.

In Saginaw, Michigan, for example, Religious Right claim the schools oppose red and green clothes and prohibit singing Christmas songs. But School Superintendent Jerry Seese says no such policies exist and pointed out the school’s color is green.

The Religious Right claim in Watchung, New Jersey is that the community has begun referring to its Christmas tree as a “Mitten Tree” and has replaced all references to Christmas with “Holiday.” Mayor Albert Ellis said “The ‘Tree of Lights’ (not a mitten tree) is sponsored by the local rescue squad as a fundraiser. The tree is placed in the town green and people can buy a light in honor of or in memory of someone. The town has been doing it for 15 years and no one has ever raised an issue.”

Religious Right claims that, in Mine Hill, NJ, the school Christmas concert has songs in which the words are changed to avoid referring to Christmas and even replaces the word Christmas with "xmas" in Mine Hill, N.J. A school spokeswoman said this was not true.

Closer to home, Dr. Robert Vadella, superintendent of Forest City Regional School District, advised the Board of Education last Monday night that he had nothing to do with selecting the music for the district’s Holiday Extravaganza held at the elementary school on December 15.

“Given the public response and that of our faculty at Forest City Regional Schools,” Dr. Vadella said, “I must comment on a letter that appeared in the Forest City News last week. The letter accused the superintendent of dictating the content of the music presented during the Holiday Extravaganza.

“This allegation is completely false. The two music directors we have at FCR separately contacted me the same afternoon as the paper appeared on the newsstands to assure me that neither of them made any such statement to anyone. And, each stated to me that they could not have made such a statement because no such conversation with me or directive from me ever occurred.”

In the letter to the editor, Nancy Non of Pleasant Mount alleged that the music director was under orders issued by Dr Vadella to “kill the Christmas songs and only perform snowflake, sleigh and Santa jingles.”

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From the Desk of the D.A.

Under the new statute governing driving under the influence (DUI) arrests and convictions, there is a harsh penalty imposed for refusing to submit to a blood test to determine the motorist’s blood alcohol level. If a motorist is arrested for suspected DUI, the motorist is immediately taken for a test to determine blood alcohol level, which generally will be done through a blood sample taken at a local medical facility by trained personnel. A law enforcement officer cannot force a motorist to provide a blood sample; rather, the motorist must provide consent for the blood to be drawn. To discourage refusals to submit to blood tests, the legislature has fashioned a heavy penalty for refusing to submit to a blood test – namely an automatic 12 month suspension of the refusing motorist’s driver’s license based solely upon the refusal to submit to the blood test. Significantly, this suspension for the refusal to submit a sample for chemical testing is a civil penalty imposed by the Department of Transportation – and the motorist may still be prosecuted for DUI based upon the law enforcement officer’s observations of the motorist’s driving and behavior during the traffic stop.

Under the new DUI statute, the refusal also has additional implications. For instance, if a motorist were pulled over for a suspected DUI (and there was no accident or injuries) and later consented to a blood sample that revealed a blood alcohol content of .08%, the motorist would still face prosecution for DUI, but the new statute provides only for a 6 month period of probation without a license suspension. If the same motorist had refused to submit a blood test, there would be no way of knowing the blood alcohol level – but the statute would provide a minimum period of incarceration of 3 days together with an additional suspension of the driver’s license of 12 months. Thus, in the one circumstance, where the motorist consented to a blood sample being taken, the cooperating motorist would receive 6 months probation and no license suspension (again assuming the BAC level was under 0.1%). On the other hand, the noncompliant motorist who refused to provide a blood sample would be incarcerated for 3 days followed by 6 months of parole, and a license suspension of 24 months (12 months for the refusal to submit a blood sample, and 12 months for the conviction for the DUI offense).

What if the offender is under 18 years of age? Should the juvenile offender be treated differently? Recently, the Commonwealth Court considered an appeal of a license suspension for a 17-year old juvenile who refused to submit to a blood test after his arrest for DUI. The juvenile contended that the warnings given to him at the hospital were not sufficient as the warnings generally explain the penalties applicable to an adult offender, as opposed to a juvenile offender. The Court rejected the juvenile’s argument, noting that “[I]t is not the duty of the police to explain the various sanctions available under a given law to an arrestee to give that individual an opportunity to decide whether it is worth it to violate the law. It is sufficient for the police to inform a motorist that he or she will be in violation of the law and will be penalized for that violation if he or she should fail to accede to the officer's request for a chemical test.”

The juvenile also argued that he could not give a valid consent to have his blood drawn without his parents’ consent as well. In rejecting this argument, the Commonwealth Court stated: “It is a well-settled principle of law in this Commonwealth that driving is a privilege, not a fundamental right. If [a juvenile] is going to put himself in the place of an adult behind the wheel of an automobile, he must follow the Vehicle Code and all of its provisions. To allow [a juvenile] immunity from chemical testing would have a domino effect on all DUI cases regarding juveniles. A juvenile who refuses a chemical test is subject to the license suspension just as anyone else in this Commonwealth.”

The bottom line – whether juvenile or adult – the law imposes a harsh and automatic penalty for refusing to submit to a blood test in a DUI case – 12 months without a driver’s license, in addition to criminal prosecution and further penalties and suspension.

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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The Healthy Geezer

Q. I’m a geezer planning to have surgery in a few months. I was wondering if I can I donate blood to myself in advance?

Yes you can. This is called “autologous” blood donation. It’s done in the weeks before non-emergency surgery. The blood is stored until the operation. Autologous donation is most often employed in surgery on bones, blood vessels, the urinary tract, and the heart, when the likelihood of transfusion is high.

This form of blood donation is good for the patient, but it’s beneficial to society, too.

People over the age of 69 require half of all whole blood and red blood cells transfused, according to the National Blood Data Resource Center (NBDRC). Giving blood to yourself cuts down on the demand for blood.

Typically, each donated unit of blood, referred to as whole blood, is separated into multiple components, such as red blood cells, plasma, platelets, and antihemophilic factor, for transfusion to individuals with different needs.

With an aging population and advances in medical treatments requiring blood transfusions, the demand for blood is increasing. On any given day, an average of 38,000 units of red blood cells are needed.

Volunteers donate almost all the blood transfused in the United States Using current screening and donation procedures, a growing number of blood banks have found blood donation by seniors to be safe and practical; if you’re a geezer, you probably can help the cause.

To be eligible to donate blood, a person must be in good health. In general, donors must weigh at least 110 pounds. Most blood banks have no upper age limit. Donors are screened for AIDS, hepatitis, other diseases, and other possible problems.

Adult males have about 12 pints of blood in their circulation and adult females have about nine pints. The donor's body replenishes the fluid lost from donation in about 24 hours. The red blood cells that are lost are generally replaced in a few weeks. Whole blood can be donated once every eight weeks.

What is the most common blood type?

The approximate distribution of blood types in the US population is as follows. Distribution may be different for specific racial and ethnic groups: O Rh-positive – 38 percent; O Rh-negative – 7 percent; A Rh-positive – 34 percent; A Rh-negative – 6 percent; B Rh-positive – 9 percent; B Rh-negative – 2 percent; AB Rh-positive – 3 percent; AB Rh-negative – 1 percent.

In an emergency, anyone can receive type O red blood cells, and type AB individuals can receive red blood cells of any ABO type. Therefore, people with type O blood are known as “universal donors,” and those with type AB blood are known as “universal recipients.”

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca

The only one from the borough who made it to the Farm Show in Harrisburg was Darwin Haynes. I watched the horse-pulling contest until 2 a.m., then I gave up and wondered if they broadcast all night?

Charlie Levchak is again challenged with a five-thousand piece jigsaw puzzle he received for Christmas. Daughter Carol, Tunkhannock comes by occasionally to help him out. The puzzle is a mountain scene.

Alice and Kirk Rhone were guests, a week ago Saturday in Vestal, NY to help celebrate the fiftieth wedding anniversary of David and Norma Glover. David grew up in Starrucca and Norma was from Thompson.

Rosemary Cosentino spent last Wednesday afternoon with me and during a spa treatment on my feet we played Quiddler, a game slowly catching on around here.

The nuns tell me they have a new novitiate, Sister Aleta from Virginia, which brings the total now to thirteen. Sister Theresa also said their cow, Cleo, is burgeoning with calf, new baby expected soon.

Diane Brooking, Dallas, Texas spent Christmas and New Year’s with her mother, Ruth Slocum. Ruth is coming along good after heart surgery, so she says, but not quite up to driving yet.

I had a lady visitor from Honesdale yesterday. We spent an hour gabbing about everything under the sun and somehow got on the subject of Christmas. Their family has an unusual way of giving gifts. The first thing the children find under the tree are small token gifts with clues as to where to find the big things “outside.” She asked the children if they wanted to do the same thing this year because it was getting “old hat.” They all agreed they liked the way it was, so come rain, snow, sleet, wind or high water they donned their winter clothes and went searching. Luckily, Mom and Dad found gifts that withstood the elements.


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Dear EarthTalk: Is it more environmentally friendly to hand-wash dishes or use a dishwasher?Jennifer Furnari, Sonora, CA

Dishwashers are the way to go if you comply with two simple criteria. “Run a dishwasher only when it’s full, and don't rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.” So says John Morril of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, who also advises not using the dry cycle. The water used in most dishwashers is hot enough, he says, to evaporate quickly if the door is left open after the wash and rinse cycles are complete.

Scientists at the University of Bonn in Germany who studied the issue found that the dishwasher uses only half the energy, one-sixth of the water, and less soap than hand-washing an identical set of dirty dishes. Even the most sparing and careful washers could not beat the modern dishwasher. The study also found that dishwashers excelled in cleanliness over hand washing.

Most dishwashers manufactured since 1994 use seven to 10 gallons of water per cycle, while older machines use eight to 15 gallons. Newer designs have also improved dishwasher efficiency immensely. Hot water can now be heated in the dishwasher itself, not in the household hot water heater, where heat gets lost in transit. Dishwashers also heat only as much water as needed. A standard 24-inch-wide household dishwasher is designed to hold eight place settings, but some newer models will wash the same amount of dishes inside an 18-inch frame, using less water in the process. If you have an older, less-efficient machine, the Council recommends hand washing for the smaller jobs and saving the dishwasher for the dinner party’s aftermath.

New dishwashers that meet strict energy and water-saving efficiency standards can qualify for an Energy Star label from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Besides being more efficient and getting the dishes cleaner, qualifying newer models will save the average household about $25 per year in energy costs.

Like John Morril, the EPA recommends always running your dishwasher with a full load and avoiding the inefficient heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-rinse features found on many recent models. Most of the appliance’s energy used goes to heat the water, and most models use just as much water for smaller loads as for larger ones. And propping the door open after the final rinse is quite adequate for drying the dishes when the washing is done.

CONTACTS: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy,; Energy Star,

Dear EarthTalk: Someone told me that methane gas emitted by cows is a major contributor to global warming. I thought it was a joke, but is this true?

David Rietz, Goose Creek, SC

Accumulation of methane in the Earth’s atmosphere has nearly doubled around the globe over the past 200 years. Scientists believe that rising concentrations of this “greenhouse gas,” which absorbs and sends infrared radiation to the Earth, are causing changes in the climate and contributing to global warming.

Livestock animals naturally produce methane as part of their digestive process, belching it while chewing cud and excreting it in their waste. According to the Worldwatch Institute, about 15 to 20 percent of global methane emissions come from livestock. John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution and Diet for a New America, says that methane is 24 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, the culprit normally at the center of global warming discussions.

And there are plenty of sources of it: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that animals in the U.S. meat industry produce 61 million tons of waste each year, which is 130 times the volume of human waste produced, or five tons for every U.S. citizen. In addition to its impact on climate, hog, chicken and cow waste has polluted some 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association, says that a food chain with meat at its top is unsustainable not only as a major contributor of greenhouse gases, but also with regard to inefficient dedication of large amounts of acreage to livestock grazing. The USDA, for example, says that growing the crops necessary to feed farmed animals requires nearly 80 percent of America’s agricultural land and half of its water supply.

In addition, animals raised for food in the U.S. consume 90 percent of the country’s soy crop, 80 percent of its corn crop, and 70 percent of its grain. “If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million,” says Cornell ecologist David Pimentel. He adds that irresponsible livestock farming is directly or indirectly responsible for much of the soil erosion in the U.S.

Unfortunately, environmental problems associated with livestock rearing are not limited to the United States. According to the international environmental journal, Earth Times, meat production grew more than fivefold worldwide during the latter half of the 20th century. And as intensive “factory” farming methods of raising livestock spread from the U.S. to other countries – many with regulatory monitoring and enforcement standards far worse than our own – this form of pollution is sure to play an increasingly larger role in environmental problems moving forward.

CONTACTS: Organic Consumers Association,; Worldwatch Institute,



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