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At the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association's annual meeting, held on January 28 at the St. Paul's Episcopal Church Hall in Montrose, a capacity crowd listened to annual reports, enjoyed refreshments, and learned (and laughed) about the Underground Railroad.
Rev. Cesaretti welcomed everyone to St. Paul's and talked about the importance of the library to a community. Mrs. Connie Page, President of the Board of Directors, called the annual meeting to order, and asked Treasurer Chris Caterson to give the financial report. Mr. Caterson announced that 2005 was a better year than 2004 thanks to community support, and congratulated Administrator/Librarian Susan Stone and her staff on hitting the budget exactly on the mark--within 1%, which he said is difficult to achieve. "They are careful with your money!"
Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association 2006 Board of Directors pictured (l-r) are: standing – Jed Garm, Eleanor McKeage, Kim Harwood, Mary Jo Bayer, Judy Decker, Cornelia Page, Ron Smith, Duane Hinds, Susan Stone (Administrator/Librarian); sitting – Alice Wood, Gladys Bennett, Ellen O'Malley, Cathy Chiarella, Brenna Aileo. Not shown: Cynthia Beavan, Jeff Loomis, Mary Ann Warren.
Mrs. Page then gave the President's report. She thanked Mrs. Frances Smyder, Dr. Edward Stark, and Mr. Chris Caterson (all leaving the Board) for their years of faithful service. She touched on the highlights of the year, including the Auction (to be held this year on April 22, 2006) and the Blueberry Festival (which raised an all-time high of $48,000). In conclusion, she mentioned the loss of Sue Smith, long-time supporter of the Association. Mrs. Page invited Mr. Kim Harwood to briefly address the audience. He announced that the Montrose Area School District's donation of a 3 1/4 acre lot for a new library has been finalized and that the coming year will bring more information about this exciting future project.
The Historical Committee report, presented by Mrs. Priscilla Andre, focused on the theme of 100 years ago (the title of Curator Betty Smith's weekly newspaper column)--what's changed and what's the same. Mrs. Elaine Henninger, Chair of the Library Friends, described another productive year for the Friends, including the best Blueberry Festival ever, the 26th Annual.
Mrs. Susan Stone, Administrator/Librarian, got a huge laugh by starting her speech with some relative word counts. She said that her speech was 2,211 words long and compared that to the 10 Commandments (297), the Bill of Rights (463), and Lincoln's Gettysburg address (266). However, "a recent US Federal directive to regulate the price of cabbage contains 26,911 words!" Mrs. Stone explained that though she tries to be as brief as possible, the many services and programs of the Association make it difficult. She concluded by expressing thanks to many local businesses and organizations who do so much to help.
Mrs. Cathy Chiarella, First Vice-President, thanked long-time library employee Yasuko Ely for 15 years of service and presented her with artwork by local artist Betty Bryden.
Following the business portion of the meeting, the audience of over 100 enjoyed delicious refreshments. Karen James from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission then took the stage, enthralling the audience with stories of the abolitionists in Pennsylvania. "To be free is not just about the body, but about the mind," she said, "and freedom is nothing without justice." She explained how Pennsylvanians clung to justice for all in their courts and laws, and told of brave citizens like Wilbur Gildersleeve of Wilkes-Barre. “We must not forget that the runaway slaves themselves were the first abolitionists, with the most to lose,” she emphasized. She cleared up some common myths and misconceptions about the Underground Railroad. Runaway slaves were not chased with dogs and on horseback--they could just walk away. Slave-catchers pursued them primarily to get money. And there were no tunnels! "What happened here mattered," she concluded. "It mattered to the world."
For more information about the Association or any of its programs and services, please visit susqcolibrary.org and susqcohistsoc.org, or call 278-1881.
As I look back on the last eight months, I can’t believe time has gone by so fast. My reign as Dairy Princess will soon be over. I was always such a shy and quiet little girl when I was growing up. This experience has helped me to become more comfortable with people. I can relate to their feelings on dairy and persuade them to make the right choice when it comes to incorporating 3-A-Day into their diets.
So much has changed in my life since I first set out on this journey to open the eyes of our county to the benefits of the dairy industry. I’ve gotten to know so many amazing people that I may never have otherwise known if not given this opportunity being Dairy Princess. I’ve met Secretary of Agriculture, Dennis Wolf. I’ve gotten to know him on an even more personal level as we have both been at the same events. I have met our County Commissioners and State Representatives, and I must say it’s been a pleasure. I especially love working with my Dairy Court. These girls are an amazing and very talented, hard working group.
I’ve realized that I, as an individual, can make a difference. So many little girls dream of meeting a “real princess” and I can just tell that when I have talked with them about the importance of eating 3-A-Day of dairy, they look at me with their wide eyes, so filled with wonder, that I have made a difference. When I talk someone into drinking that glass of milk, I’ve made their bones a little stronger.
The events that I’ve already participated in aren’t things that I will put behind me. I will use each and every one of those experiences to shape and influence the times that are still to come. I’ve traveled all over in my quest of dairy promotion, and I must say, I love meeting all of you and supporting our dairy farms the way that I do.
I will incorporate past experiences into future plans so that the dairy industry may grow long after I have passed the crown on to a new Princess. Even then, I will show just as much support and compassion for our farmers as I do today. I look forward to the next four months of dairy promotion that still lie ahead of me, and will work to make my entire year as the Susquehanna County Dairy Princess a success.
This beautiful, brown and white male English Pointer/hound mix was found near Laceyville. He is a sweet, friendly gentleman who would make a wonderful hunting and/or family companion. This handsome guy will be happy to see visitors/potential owners at our facility. Won’t you visit? We also have the most wonderful selection of absolutely gorgeous cats! Come see Raisin, Rusty, Lady, Sox and Suzy. They’ve got whole bunches of purrs bottled up inside!
They’ll be waiting for you at the Susquehanna County Humane Society Shelter in Montrose, (570) 278–1228.
Before the New Milford Borough council addressed to its agenda items at its meeting on the evening of February 2, it recognized Head Start for helping the youth in the community and presented the organizations with its Good Neighbor recognition. This recognition is a practice the borough started about two years ago, as a way of thanking the people, business and organizations that contribute to making the town a great place to live.
Council also granted a request by Jennifer Weller to authorize closing some streets on the morning of June 3 for a 5K relay run to benefit the American Cancer Society. Weller noted that she didn’t expect the race to take more than an hour, and to start at around 8 in the morning.
Also present was Del Austin who was personally following up on a suggestion made at last months meeting by mayor Joe Taylor – and that was to consider contributing to a fund established by Austin to honor, by way of two bluestone benches at the new welcome center, the eight fallen soldiers of the 109th infantry battalion of the national guard out of New Milford, and for all other servicemen and servicewomen in all the armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice. In this way, said Austin, and in our way, we will remember and thank these young people. He reported that the local community has opened its hearts and pocketbooks to this project, with donations coming from all areas of the county, as well as from California, Washington and Tasmania. Every penny, said Austin, goes directly He added that the state has picked up on the idea, and will put in a memorial garden at the center. Austin expects to be meeting with state representatives in March.
Council was already convinced before Austin spoke, because at the end of his very heartfelt presentation, that honored all veterans and the respect they are now being given, with a check for $150 to the fund. Anyone can contribute to the memorial fund by sending a check made payable to the “109th Memorial Bench Fund,” Peoples National Bank, PO Box A, Halstead, PA 18822.
Taylor reported on efforts to address complaints by neighbors on a couple of properties. In one case, about a property on Church Street by the Southern Tier Plastics building, Taylor reported that he wrote a letter to the owner and saw someone cleaning up stuff on the property the previous week, but it didn’t look as though much of a dent were made in it. An audience member wanted to know how the town could have someone take junk off a property like the Church Street one, and still have the junkyard at the end of town. Taylor pointed out that the junkyard has a junkyard license, while the other property owner does not.
Taylor also relayed conversations with the town’s codes enforcement officer about another situation concerning suspect apartments, and said that the property owner has referred the enforcement’s letter to his attorney. Council, Taylor and the CEO will continue to pursue both situations.
In other codes-related items, council members discussed whether to purchase a complete set of UCC codes books, or just those sections of it that the town’s zoning and codes enforcement officer needs and which are now housed next door in COG offices. Should COG move, the books would not be so readily available. Since the price of a complete set of codes was thought to be around $300 and since it was thought that purchasing just that part of it that its own officer needed could be almost as much, more research will be done on costs and the matter discussed later on. Also, membership in COG was pointed out to have gone up to $180 – up from the $100 that the organization charged for many years.
The borough also received plans for a proposed Barnes Kasson facility on Main Street that will be the topic of another public meeting on February 8 at 7 p.m. in the borough building. The hospital wants to build on a property on Main Street and, after a public meeting held a couple of months ago, New Milford’s zoning board sent a letter to BK telling them its application for a zoning variance was denied. The reason, noted Taylor, was that, at the first meeting, Barnes Kasson didn’t have enough information, such as distances and a survey. Thus, the hospital’s second application and a second meeting on it. Council member Jane Zick noted that the public is welcome to stop by the borough building and look at the plans.
Council members also discussed an idea brought up by Taylor that was about the municipal authority’s plans to build its garage in land that is in the middle of Cosmello’s junkyard. He thought the fill that such a building would need would increase the flooding problems on the property, and wondered if a nice new building could be built, say, not in a junkyard, but another spot. Council member Rick Ainey didn’t think the authority could build on other borough property because of setbacks. He added, in response to a concern about the possibility of hazardous materials in the junkyard land, that borings from environmental testing done a couple of years ago on the property were clean for building as well as environmental purposes. Council passed on any kind of comments, because, as Zick said, it was something that should be brought up at a meeting of the municipal authority.
Taylor had even more reporting to do at the meeting, updating council on the flood-soil debris-removal situation on Johnston Street by the creek, about which the DEP said something had to be done. The result of on-site conversations between the railroad, which owns the property, and the DEP, is that the railroad will remove as much soil as it can with one big loader.
A soil conservation representative was also on site, and Taylor reported that he turned his attention to another property where debris also has to be removed. Because council member Chris Allen, who was unable to attend the meeting, has been working with this property owner, Council decided to check hear from Allen before going any further.
Council also approved renovations to the borough building that would give the borough’s secretary Amy Hine and an employee of the municipal authority – whose office is also in the building – more breathing. It will require moving a wall and all that goes with it, along with making it look nice, as well as adapting the front office for more efficient working space for the two workers. The cost would be split with the municipal authority. Hine received three estimates for the work, with the highest at $3,000 and the lowest from CB contracting: $1,236 for the wall, and no more than $500 for the front office.
In the continuing saga of the borough’s attempts to obtain information about the police pension plan they once sponsored with other municipalities, council agreed to send a letter to Great Bend borough council, requesting its permission for New Milford’s solicitor, Jodi Cordner, to talk to the borough’s attorney. Taylor also suggested that his town council might also want to contact Rep. Sandy Major, since New Milford has been sent information about the plan by the state auditor general.
Council member Teri Gulick reported on a situation with the borough’s school tax collector, who requested permission to ask the town’s solicitor to review a letter the collector wrote to the Blue Ridge School District. (The district has decided to significantly reduce what it pays for collection of school taxes and has plans to do it themselves.) Council gave permission about reviewing a letter, but Gulick reported that it appears the collector is calling and faxing the solicitor on other matters. The solicitor had already suggested that the collector obtain her own lawyer. Council agreed at an earlier work session that any other correspondence to the borough’s solicitor would need to be though Hine, and that the solicitor’s and council’s obligation was to borough taxpayers. Council will make it clear that the tax collector needs to get her own solicitor, and was pleased that its new solicitor is acting in the town’s best interests.
In its last piece of business, council agreed to put an ad in the newspaper notifying residents that New Milford will be reinstating the noontime siren – one that council members and most residents well remember. With the new siren needing testing, and with nostalgia a big tug, the siren will wail soon. The town’s emergency response coordinator Jim Carpenetti will work on the set up, and shortly, folks will be able to listen and know it’s time for lunch.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you want to know what is going on in New Milford Borough you have to read the County Transcript, as we are the “only” publication in Susquehanna County who cares about what is happening in that fine community. If you want to find out what they are advertising for, you will have to read some other (?) publication who could care less what is going in New Milford Borough, but is happy to take their money. Taxpayer dollars well spent?
The next regular meeting of the New Milford Borough Council is scheduled for March 2 at 7 p.m. in the Borough Building on Main Street.
DUNMORE – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation PennDOT District 4 reminds motorists that potholes and other roadway concerns may be reported by calling 1-800-FIX ROAD (1-800-349-7623).
All calls are routed to the county maintenance departments in their district.
Counties included in PennDOT District 4 are Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming.
Drivers can get updates on roadwork at PennDOT’s Northeastern Pennsylvania Transportation website: www.neparoads.com.
Mary Bernadette Manley, daughter of Marilyn and Michael Manley, Morris Plaines, New Jersey and Brendan Corrigan, son of Annette and Barry Corrigan, Jackson, Pennsylvania were married on January 14, 2006 in St. Virgil's Catholic Church, Morris Plains, New Jersey.
Mr. and Mrs. Brendan (Mary) Corrigan.
Mary graduated from Morris Catholic High School, Morris Plains, New Jersey in 1995 and College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, New Jersey in 2002 with a BS in Nutrition.
Brendan graduated from Blue Ridge High School in 1994 and Penn State University in 2002 with an Aeronautical Engineering degree. He is employed by Keystone Helicopter in West Chester as a Certification Engineer.
The couple honeymooned in Jamaica and will reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Harrisburg – Secretary of Revenue Gregory C. Fajt reminds taxpayers that the Department of Revenue has 16 district offices across the state that offer free tax assistance. The Scranton District Office, located at 101 Penn Avenue, Samters Building, Room 305, is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“If taxpayers need help filing their state income tax return, they can go to one of our district offices or temporary locations,” Fajt said. “The offices are equipped to handle most tax issues and technology gives the staff access to the same records and information available at the department’s headquarters in Harrisburg.”
Staff from the Scranton District Office will also serve at the following location to assist taxpayers with filing their state Personal Income Tax and Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms: Honesdale – Area Aging Senior Center, 323 10th Street, Honesdale, on February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; April 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
State tax forms are available at all district offices and by calling the Department’s toll-free, automated Forms Ordering Message Service at 1-800-362-2050. Assistance is available by calling the Taxpayer Service & Information Center, (717) 787–8201, during officer hours (7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday), or by visiting a Revenue district office.
Through the department’s website, www.revenue.state.pa.us, taxpayers can file returns using pa.direct.file, make payments (including estimated payments), check the status of a return or refund, update information, pay taxes by credit card, access on-line customer service, and download tax forms.
Mr. and Mrs. Rick French are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Julie Ann French, a graduate from Susquehanna Community School, working as a CNA, to Jason Micheal Funk, son of Terri Funk, and an employee of Envirocycle in Hallstead. The couple has set a May, 2006 wedding date.
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