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Issue Home January 31, 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

SPRINGVILLE: The first rural route out from Springville started yesterday. It takes in the section of country through East Lynn, Avery, Tyler station and Auburn and gives service to a large number of people in that section. An application for another route has been made, but as yet there is no response from Washington.

MONTROSE: W. A. Harrington has been granted the Tarbell House liquor license, the order of the court having gone into effect yesterday and Mr. Harrington will succeed J. R. Raynsford as proprietor. As we stated last week, Giles M. Carpenter, formerly of the Jay House, New Milford, is the new proprietor of the Montrose House, formerly conducted by his brother, E. D. Carpenter. AND: In a recent sermon, Rev. J. M. MacInnis, of the Presbyterian church, said he wanted to clear the town of unrighteousness, of gossip and tattling, the last two being denounced in scathing terms.

RUSH: While Seth Stark and Grace Snell were driving near Tom James’s their horse became frightened at an engine in the road, tipping the wagon over, throwing them out and hurting them quite bad. Miss Snell was brought to Rush where she is being cared for by her sister, Mrs. Roberts.

HERRICK: A fine deer has been seen near here several times within the last two weeks. It is reported that one of our farmers took a shot at it the other morning, but failed to get it. Possibly a good thing, as the law is quite severe on those that hunt out of season.

UNIONDALE: Miss Daisy Bronson has a “den of comfort,” furnished mostly with antiquities.

BROOKLYN: The G. A. R. banquet at the Odd Fellows’ Hall last Saturday was well attended, an unusually large number of veterans [Civil War], as well as invited guests, being present. The yellow-legged chicken dinner brought the clergy out in full force. The old soldiers fought their battles o’er again and did it well.

CLIFFORD: We have had two or three persons buried in our cemetery under the new law, nine ft. deep, with deputy registrars, and with provisos, and removals, and burial permits and transit permits, records, births, certificate of death, death without medical attendance, undertaker’s duty, certificates of physician, issue of permits, neglect to file birth certifi-cates, and 100 other things under our new law which in our opinion ought to be repealed and [Gov.] Pennypacker and Representatives that voted for the law turned out of office.

NEW MILFORD: Prof. Donnelley, of Binghamton, is conducting dancing school in this place.

LENOX: Christy Mathewson, the great base ball pitcher, of New York, J. Eilenberger of Factoryville, J. M. Jeffers, of Montrose, G. A. Roberts and J. W. Bisbee, of Hop Bottom, F. A. Jeffers and W. A. Jeffers spent Monday of last week fishing at Jeffers’ Lake, with fair success.

GIBSON: John J. Potter has taken down his factory here and is moving it to New Milford, where he will erect a mill.

LIBERTY TWP.: Jasper T. Jennings wrote the following in his “Geography and History of Susquehanna County:” Where was the first school house built? At Brookdale, on Snake creek, Edward Hazard built the house and taught the first school. The schoolhouse that Mr. Hazard built was a framed one, and was finished in quite tasty style for those days, but many of the early school houses were built of logs, with the seats made of slabs or split logs hewed smooth, with legs inserted through two inch auger holes, and arranged facing the wall, around which a wide shelf was put up for a desk, and here the “young idea was taught how to shoot.” Here the teacher or “master” as he was then called, ruled with a rod of birch, which oftentimes was more a “rod of iron” than a rod of wood. They read in the famous old English Reader, or the American Precentor, or perhaps Hale’s History or the Testament or Hirkham’s Grammar and though they labored under great disadvantages in comparison with our school privileges of the present time, some there were who succeeded in getting a fairly good education.

SUSQUEHANNA: Yesterday morning P. J. Moran was at the footbridge west of Great Bend and was struck by train 20 eastward bound. He was picked up and brought to this place and is now at the home of his mother on Jackson street. He was badly bruised and cut and sustained internal injuries. His life, we understand, is in jeopardy. Mr. Moran died this morning.

FOREST CITY/UNIONDALE: A large part of the population of Uniondale has been laughing up its sleeves the past few days. Forest City fishermen have been the cause of it all. The capturing of Forest City fishermen has become a leading Uniondale industry and one of considerable profit to those engaged in the business. William Steinburg, the baker, and his son, went fishing on Monday up to Stillwater. William cut two holes in the ice, one for himself and one for his boy and fastening a couple of lines to a piece of brush he began to fish. He noticed a young man on the ice cutting figures eights, but paid no attention to him until the skater came up to him and told him he had a bite. He pulled in a pickerel. The pickerel proved to be a bite for both Bill and the skater, however, as the latter informed Mr. Steinburg that he was C. H. Coleman, the fish warden and that he would take possession of the six fish and fishermen. He took them to Uniondale where a hearing was had before Squire Bass. William was fined $25 for illegal fishing and $10 a fish or $60 for the six fish caught. This fine with the cost made $86.60. William gave a check for the amount and departed with one of the illegal fish, which he had asked for and received so that he might eat, for once in his life, an $86 dinner. Then homeward he plod his weary way. Reaching home he consulted his attorney, F. M. Gardiner, who promptly issued orders on the bank to “stop” payment for the check. Meanwhile that piece of paper had been converted into coin at the Uniondale store and divided. Tuesday it was gathered together into a pile again. The case hinged on the question as to whether a fine could be imposed for each fish as well as the illegal devices. The case was settled on payment of $26.60

NEWS BRIEF: Last November the veteran goose bone prophet of Reading gave the public his prophecy for the winter. It predicted mild open weather, with only an occasional sprit of cold, until about the first of February. Then he said winter really would set in and continue until the middle of March. To this date the reputation of the Reading prophet is excellent. Now let us see if we have snow and sleigh riding in February.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Loomis makes peace offering

At last someone on the Board of County Commissioners appears to be making a move toward a cease fire. And wouldn’t you know it! The commissioner who is instigating the peace talks is Jeff Loomis. Yes, the very same Jeff Loomis who took his differences with Commissioners Roberta Kelly and MaryAnn Warren to veterans groups, agricultural groups, the dairy industry and just about anyone who would listen to him.

After two years of bickering back and forth with the two female commissioners, Loomis is now ready to parley with them. He said at last week’s commissioners meeting that his New Year’s Resolution is to work together with his colleagues on the board for the betterment of the county.

“It takes three people to get things done and to get things done they must first get along.” Loomis said, referring to the three-member Board of Commissioners.

It goes without saying that Commissioners Kelly and Warren probably will not welcome Mr. Loomis into the fold without some long, drawn-out explanations. But they do appear willing to talk and Republican Kelly is ready to welcome him back into the fold.

“I would really love to believe it,” said Mrs. Kelly, chair of the Board of Commissioners. “I can only hope he truly meant it.”

Mr. Loomis’ differences with the other two commissioners are causing some concern in Republicans circles. County, state and national elections in Susquehanna County have always been won handily by the GOP. As the feud between the two Republican commissioners enters its third year, there are Republicans who see the possibility of a party collapse.

“The one thing that we have to avoid at all cost,” a longtime Republican told me, “is a takeover by the Democrats.” Fortunately for the GOP, Susquehanna County Democrats are not up for the challenge. They proved that in 2003 when they had two viable candidates in MaryAnn Warren and Katherine Shelly. Instead of getting behind both of them, Democrats were confident that only one would be successful. So they chose one and ignored the other and it cost them a Democratic majority in the courthouse.

In 2007, Democrats could be faced with the same decision and in all probability the rank and file will get behind one candidate and again toss the other one to the wolves. Or, in this instance, the elephants.

And what about the GOP? Well, there was a time when the commissioners in office at election time got the vote. But that era appears to be gone forever. These days, Republicans support the open primary concept and that spells trouble for incumbent candidates. So come next Spring, we can again look for more than two candidates in each party.

On the Republican primary ballot in 2007 look for incumbents Kelly and Loomis to be challenged by Fred Baker, Tom Jurista, and Lee Smith. And it is almost a sure bet that more GOP candidates will surface between now and that primary election day.

On the Democratic side of the ballot, look for MaryAnn Warren, Kathy Shelly, and Calvin Dean. Of course there are bound to be one or two more names added to the list as the 2007 primary election filing deadline approaches.

How sincere is Commissioner Loomis regarding peace talks with his fellow commissioners? It is too early to tell. At the end of last week’s meeting, a new reporter from the Scranton Times-Tribune introduced himself to Mr. Loomis. Jeff immediately exchanged email addresses with the young man so you can bet he will be receiving emails from Jeff on everything from soup to nuts.

Donna Cosmello, Republican County Chair, was in the audience at the meeting when Mr. Loomis spoke of mending fences. One has to wonder if it was really an attempt at solidarity or a political demonstration staged for Ms. Cosmello’s benefit. Only time will tell.


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From the Desk of the D.A.

When did the judicial nomination process become so perverted? It is literally sickening to watch the entire process – as evidenced by Judge Samuel Alito’s wife having to leave in tears at one point during the Senate hearings apparently in response to the character assassination of his husband. The entire process no longer seeks to determine whether a person is qualified to hold serve on the United States Supreme Court; rather, the hearings (and debates) have become a wholly political process designed to advance the national policies of a particular political party at the expense of the reputation and character of a particular nominee.

So where (or when) did it go so wrong? The process has certainly never been the same since the defeat of the nomination of Robert Bork in the late 1980s. For instance, in 1991, Clarence Thomas had to undergo “special” hearings to determine whether he had subjected Anita Hill to sexual harassment. In the end, his nomination passed the Senate on a vote of 52 to 48 – with the Senate Democrats voting 46 to 11 against the nomination, or approximately 81% of the Senate Democrats voting against Justice Thomas. But there was still some intellectual honesty in the Senate at that time – because Thomas would not have been nominated if the Senate Democrats had all voted against Thomas. In the end, at least 11 Senate Democrats recognized that Thomas was qualified for the position – and that was enough to secure his nomination.

In 1993, with the Thomas nomination proceedings still in everyone’s mind, Justice Ginsburg went through a relatively quiet nomination process – resulting in confirmation by a vote of 96 to 3, with the Senate Republicans voting 41 to 3 in favor of her confirmation, or 93% of Senate Republicans voting for Justice Ginsburg. A year later, Justice Breyer successfully won confirmation with by a vote of 87 to 9, with Senate Republicans voting 33 to 9 in favor of the nomination, or 79% of Senate Republicans voting for Justice Breyer. Thus, after the embarrassment of the Thomas hearings, the Senate recovered some of its composure, and properly conducted hearings to determine qualifications – not ideological attacks and character assassinations. No one can reasonably argue that the Senate Republicans agreed with the positions and views of Justices Ginsburg and Breyer – but there was no serious debate that they were qualified for the position. Despite strong ideological differences between the Senate Republicans and President Clinton’s nominations for the United States Supreme Court, the Senate Republicans provided strong support for the nominees quite simply because they were qualified.

But in 2005, the Senate Democrats again resurrected the memories of Bork and Thomas. First, in the confirmation proceeding for Chief Justice Roberts where the confirmation vote was 78 to 22 in favor of confirmation, with Senate Democrats splitting their vote 22 to 22, or an even 50% of Senate Democrats were opposed to Chief Justice Roberts’ confirmation. If we were to consider the collective nomination votes of the opposition party over the past four nominations – two republican nominations and two democratic nominations, you will find that the Senate Republicans supported President Clinton’s nominations with approximately 86% of Republican member support, while the Senate Democrats have opposed the Republican nominees by a margin of 65% of Democratic member opposition.

Now we have the nomination of Judge Alito – and, as I write this, there is talk by some Senate Democrats that they will filibuster any attempt to vote on the confirmation of Judge Alito. Of the 45 Senate Democrats, only two have come out in support of Judge Alito (Byrd and Johnson), and, ironically or significantly, both of those senators are up for reelection this year. Why is there such strong opposition for Judge Alito?

There is no question on his qualifications. In fact, having served 15 years as a federal appellate judge, a good argument can be made that he is one of the most “qualified” nominees for a position on the United States Supreme Court. In 1990, a Senate controlled by the Democratic Party unanimously approved his nomination to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The American Bar Association has given him its highest rating for a judicial candidate. The judges (from both parties) who have worked with Judge Alito for the past fifteen years have strongly endorsed his nomination. There is a strong argument to be made that he has better qualification than Chief Justice Roberts had at the time of his nomination.

Apparently, Senate Democrats contend that Judge Alito is not qualified to sit on the Supreme Court because he is too far to the right of mainstream America – though they never indicate how the “mainstream” is measured or gauged. There have been suggestions and innuendos that he is a racist, a bigot, a religious zealot, an unethical judge, and ultimately a “swing vote” that will take America to a darker and scarier place. No one can suggest why he is less qualified than Ginsburg or Breyer – nor is it likely that Ginsburg and Breyer are somehow more “mainstream” then Alito. But the debate is no longer about qualifications – or even about “mainstream” thought. In fact, the debate is no longer really about Judge Alito – he was just thrown into the cesspool while both sides sling mud at each other without regard to the damage done to the reputation of a tremendous public servant. Quite simply, he deserved better.

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 getting heartburn a lot since I turned 60. Is more heartburn something that comes with more years?

More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month and more than 15 million Americans experience heartburn daily. Heartburn is more common among the elderly.

Heartburn two or more times weekly may be caused by gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD. See a doctor if you have heartburn too often. The doctor can test for GERD.

In the upper GI series, you swallow a liquid barium mixture. Then a radiologist watches the barium as it travels down your esophagus and into the stomach. Another test is an endoscopy, in which a small lighted flexible tube is inserted into the esophagus and stomach.

GERD makes stomach acid flow up into your esophagus. There is a valve at the lower end of the esophagus that is designed to keep acid in the stomach. In GERD, the valve relaxes too frequently, which allows acid to reflux, or flow backward.

A hiatal hernia may contribute to GERD. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach is above the diaphragm, which is the muscle wall separating the stomach from the chest. The diaphragm helps the valve keep acid from coming up into the esophagus.

When GERD is not treated, you can suffer from severe chest pain, narrowing or obstruction of the esophagus, bleeding, or a pre-malignant change in the lining of the esophagus. One study showed that patients with chronic, untreated heartburn were at substantially greater risk of developing esophageal cancer.

The following are some symptoms that may mean there has been damage to your esophagus: difficulty swallowing, a feeling that food is trapped behind the breast bone, bleeding, black bowel movements, choking, shortness of breath, coughing, hoarseness, weight loss.

You can control infrequent heartburn by changing your habits and using over-the-counter medicines.

For example, you should avoid heartburn-producers such as chocolate, coffee, peppermint, tomato products, alcoholic beverages, greasy or spicy dishes. Quit smoking because tobacco inhibits saliva that helps with digestion. Tobacco may also stimulate acid production and relax the esophageal valve. Lose weight. And, don’t eat two hours before you go to sleep.

For infrequent episodes of heartburn, take over-the-counter antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Pepto-Bismol, Rolaids, and Riopan. Or, you can take an H2 blocker. H2 blockers are available in both over-the-counter and prescription forms. For example, Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac and Axid are all over-the-counter H2 blockers which are available by prescription at higher doses.

The FDA is expected to approve another type of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for the treatment of infrequent heartburn at dosage levels below the prescription-strength formulations. PPIs include Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Aciphex and Protonix.

GERD is a chronic disease that calls for continuous long-term therapy. To decrease the acid in your esophagus, raise the head of your bed or place a foam wedge under the mattress to elevate the head about 6-10 inches. Avoid lying down for two hours after eating. And don’t wear tight clothing.

Prescription medications to treat GERD include the H2 blockers and the PPIs, which help to reduce the stomach acid and work to promote healing at prescription strength. In addition, there are agents that help clear acid from the esophagus.

Surgery is an option if other measures fail. A surgeon can improve the natural barrier between the stomach and the esophagus that prevents acid reflux.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca

A late Christmas party, which took place a week ago last weekend was at the home of Sandra Ostrander, Castle Creek, NY, who entertained Marie Swartz from here and the rest of Marie and Francis’ children.

Mrs. Joan Warden, Stratford, NJ has been staying with her daughter, Renee Wander since last September. But, during the flooding a week or so ago she became very uneasy and a little scared because the creek water was again pounding on the foundation of the house, so her daughter took her back home to NJ. The creek wall had been badly damaged by flood water some time ago and has yet to be repaired.

Mrs. Fisher (Baptist parsonage) is awaiting the arrival of her sister, Melva Wharton, from Indiana. She is expected on groundhog Day, February 2, so Mrs. Fisher doesn’t much care whether the “old fella” sees his shadow or not, she is so happy abut the reunion with her sister.

My daughter-in-law, Phyllis and her daughter, Rebecca, Jordanville, NY, stopped by Dan Dickey’s house in Harpursville on the way down and brought him down to spend last Sunday with me.



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According to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, coral reefs are becoming increasingly threatened around the world due to coastal development, over-fishing and pollution. Some 25 percent of the world’s original coral reefs have already been lost, and the process is accelerating, in part due to global warming, which increases ocean temperatures and makes the corals more susceptible to disease and die-off.

Meanwhile, the growing popularity of scuba diving and snorkeling has put additional pressure on these already fragile coral systems.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), direct physical damage to coral reefs by divers and snorkelers is well documented. The damage inflicted consists mostly of breaking fragile, branched corals or causing lesions to massive corals. Research indicates that reefs degrade quickly and “die,” essentially, once a certain level of use by divers is exceeded. As such, UNEP recommends that governments limit to 6,000 per year the number of diver and snorkeler visits to any one area.

Many divers fail to think about the harm their pleasure trips to coral reefs can do. Damage is often caused by simple carelessness. Hillary Viders, author of Marine Conservation for the 21st Century, says that divers should learn about the fragility of the reefs they plan to visit, and always practice “minimal impact” when around coral. “Even a seemingly insignificant brush against coral can remove its protective coating, making it vulnerable to algae infestation, and fatal disease,” she reports.

Divers should also take care that their kicking doesn't ruin reef structures, and it is important not to touch coral with your hands. Some diving instructors even recommend against using gloves, because they tend to make people clumsier and less aware of their surroundings. Photographers should take care not to lean on corals when taking pictures.

Certification programs teach proper diving technique, although divers often forget that safety basics like carrying the proper weight to control buoyancy and keeping equipment close to the body to prevent it from getting caught can also prevent reef damage. The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) has partnered with Project AWARE, a non-profit organization dedicated to coral reef protection, to offer a specialty course focusing on coral reef conservation for environmentally conscious divers. The two-hour course counts as one of five specialty certifications required for PADI’s Master Scuba Diver certification.

Scientists estimate that global warming may well kill off the world’s remaining coral reefs within the next 50 years. These dire predictions have ignited a spark among marine activists and scientists to try to save the world’s remaining reefs. But without help from the divers and snorkelers who recreate in the waters surrounding coral systems, this tough job will only be harder.

CONTACTS: UNEP coral reefs page,; Project AWARE,; Reef Relief,

Dear EarthTalk: Are there any toothbrushes that are recyclable?

Emily Sacchetti, Ellicott City, MD

Small as they are, tossed toothbrushes certainly do create a lot of waste. Indeed, some 50 million pounds of them are tossed into America’s landfills each year. If we followed our dentist’s recommendations and replaced our toothbrushes every three months, we'd be throwing even more of them away.

Fortunately there are some greener-friendly alternatives, most available at natural food retailers or, if not, online at the companies’ websites.

The handle of a Recycline Preserve toothbrush, designed by dentists, is made out of polypropylene plastic that has been recycled from used Stonyfield Yogurt cups. And when a Preserve toothbrush reaches the end of its effective life, consumers can either put it out on the curb in the blue bin with other recyclables (if your community offers #5 plastics recycling), or send it back to Recycline in a postage-paid envelope supplied to you with your purchase. It will then likely be reborn again as raw material for a picnic table, deck, boardwalk or other durable long-lasting product.

Another wise eco-choice is the Terradent line of toothbrushes from Eco-Dent. These innovative toothbrushes have replaceable heads, so that once the bristles have worn out, consumers can retain the toothbrush handle and just snap on a new head, thus minimizing waste.

Meanwhile, Radius offers stylish recyclable toothbrushes that are made not from plastic at all but from naturally occurring cellulose derived from sustainable yield forests. Beyond its standard toothbrush line, the company also sells a battery-powered electric “Intelligent Toothbrush” that uses replaceable heads to reduce environmental impact. And the company will take back the handle for recycling once the battery has worn out, usually after about 18 months.

For those stuck on their favorite mass-market toothbrush brands, the online retail website Toothbrush Express offers a toothbrush recycling program similar to Recycline's. Consumers can sign up to receive new toothbrushes from Toothbrush Express at predefined intervals ranging from monthly to semi-annually. And for only a few dollars extra, the company will include a postage-paid mailer inside each shipment for consumers to use to send their old toothbrushes back for recycling.

Don't want to bother sending your toothbrushes back? HGTV's crafts guru Carol Duvall recommends making kids‚ bracelets out of old toothbrushes instead of sending them to the landfill. After about a minute in boiling water, a toothbrush with its bristles removed can be re-shaped accordingly by wrapping it around a small jar and then allowing it to cool. Full instructions are available on the HGTV website.

CONTACTS: Recycline,; Eco-Dent,; Radius,; Toothbrush Express,; HGTV,,1789,HGTV_3268_1382191,00.html.

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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