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Car Care Special Featured In Our April, 5th Issue Of The Susquehanna County Transcript

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Issue Home April 4, 2006 Site Home

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

From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Food For Thoughtl

100 Years Ago

FOREST CITY: Auctioneer George H. Stephens had more than his share of difficulties in reaching a public sale up in Susquehanna county, on Tuesday, says the Peckville Journal. He left Peckville on the D. H. Saratoga express. This train was wrecked a short distance north of Carbondale. He changed to the O. and W. road and finally reached Forest City. Here he telephoned to the man who was to have [the] sale to send a conveyance to take him out to the place. The man complied with this request and they left Forest City for a drive of several miles over country roads. They encountered numerable snow drifts and were finally dumped out of the sleigh, the horse was thrown down and things were badly mixed up. At last everything was straightened out and a start made and in due time they reached the place several hours late, only to find that the few who had come through the storm had gone home.

GREAT BEND: Miss Eloise Wilmot, one of the most prominent and popular women of Great Bend and for about 15 years the organist of the M.E. church, was stricken with paralysis Friday evening while performing her accustomed duty in the church, and died Saturday morning about 2 o’clock without regaining consciousness. Miss Wilmot had complained of feeling strangely for several days but was otherwise in good health and had practically no warning of her untimely death. She took her seat at the organ as usual, there being a lecture in the church, and began to play the voluntary, when she suddenly fell forward and grasped the keys of the organ for support. She was immediately removed to her home. Miss Wilmot was 41 years of age. She is survived by four sisters and three brothers.

AVERY/LEMON: Wm. Bramer, of Avery, and Mrs. Evaline Bush, of Lemon, were married at the home of Mrs. Bush at Lemon, Thursday, March 29, ‘06. Rev. J. W. Price performed the ceremony. Mr. Bramer is 70 and Mrs. Bush 58. They have the congratulations of their friends.

SPRINGVILLE: The mail route between the postoffice and the L.V. railway has been relet and Obediah Shoemaker has the job at $100 per year. The new R.F.D. carrier, Mr. Swanick, has a beautiful new wagon. It is painted white and all embossed. AND: Chas. W. Lee is intending to take in the summer term of school of the State Normal at East Stroudsburg.

RUSH: The usual season of spring mud finds the sluices in their usual positions high and dry above the rest of the road. If the money system of road making will remove this one nuisance and construct decent and sensible sluices, that alone will save enough horse flesh enough to pay half the road tax.

HARFORD: An excellent entertainment was given in Odd Fellows hall last week for the Congregational church renovation fund. Program included orchestra, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Adams, Norman Adams, Fred D. and Lou Wilmarth; duet, Mrs. F. D. and Lou Wilmarth; violin solos, W.W. Adams; Songs, Winsor Adams; piano duet, Mrs. H. E. Miller and Miss O. Usher; recitations, Mrs. Eugene Osborne; quartette, Miss Payne, Mrs. Lou Wilmarth, Arthur Tingley and Norman Adams; An Old Maid’s Tea Party, Mrs. Curtis, Mrs. F. D. and Lou Wilmarth, Miss Payne, Mrs. O. F. Maynard and Miss Hill. Proceeds over $11.

HERRICK: Aaron Tingley has taken the new mail route between Herrick Centre and Parma to commence Monday, April 9.

THOMPSON: Thompson’s reliable milliner, Mrs. A. C. Foster, returned Saturday evening from New York, where she had spent a week buying her spring supply of millinery goods.

JACKSON: Measles are in town and from present indications the disease will be able to make a visit to most families. AND: C. F. Whitney’s sugar orchard is in full blast these days and as usual Mr. Whitney is turning out a fine grade of pure maple syrup.

MIDDLETOWN: Jasper T. Jennings writes the following about Middletown: The first settlements were made in 1799 by Riel Brister and Benjamin Abbott. The nearest mill was at the mouth of the Wyalusing creek. The first pioneers prepared grain by pounding it or carrying it on their backs to the distant mill. The first grist mill was built at Prattville and conducted by Henry Gaylord. The first saw mill was built by Josiah Grant in 1801. The township was organized in 1814. The population in 1906 is 660.

About 1815 three persons, who had received information from the Indians who once lived in this vicinity, came to one of the early settlers of Middletown and desired to dig for salt. On being granted permission they removed some three feet of earth, when they came to a large flat stone covering a well five or six feet deep laid up with logs. Later wells were sunk in a number of places, and some salt was obtained but none of these enterprises have proved entirely successful.

VESTAL CENTRE: On March 28, 1906, near Vestal Centre, N.Y., Wm. H. Lester died in the 76th year of his age. He enlisted in Co. D, 50th Reg. P.V. and served faithfully. A member of Four Brothers’ Post, of Montrose, he has ever had a great regard for all veterans. Four members of the Post attended his funeral at Forest Lake on March 30th and the burial was in Horton cemetery.

MONTROSE: Our townsman, H. C. Burgess, returned last week from a trip to Vicksburg, Miss., and reports a very delightful time. He was a member of Co. D., 50th Regt. Pa. Volunteers, and was in the siege of Vicksburg. The U.S. Government furnished free passes for all Union soldiers who were in this siege. Comrade Burgess speaks in praise of the South, but says Pennsylvania is good enough for him. AND: The sad death of Anna Dolan, aged 13, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thos. L. Dolan, occurred Tuesday evening, April 3, resulting from appendicitis and following an operation for same.

SUSQUEHANNA DEPOT: Nineteen establishments selling cigars have been certified as liable for a Mercantile Tax as retail or wholesale dealers for the year 1906. AND: A musical entertainment will soon be held for the benefit of the Simon H. Barnes Hospital.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Due to a death in the family, Along the Way will not appear this week.

P. Jay expects to be back next week.


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From the Desk of the D.A.

In one of his routines, comedian Ron White tells of his arrest in New York City for public drunkenness. In essence, the story goes something like this: In the course of enjoying himself at a local bar, White has an encounter with a bouncer, who apparently has it out for him. The bouncer eventually removes White from the bar, and the local authorities are called. White recalls that he was charged with being “drunk in public.” White contends that he told the authorities that he did not want to be drunk in public, but wanted to be drunk in the bar with everyone else. With this logic in hand, White concludes that the only reason he was in “public” was that he was thrown from the bar by the bouncer, and, as such, the bouncer should be arrested. This explanation did not persuade the police, and White was arrested. But this story raises a more interesting question: Is it lawful to be drunk in the bar as White contended?

Law enforcement in Texas is putting this theory to the test. In Texas, undercover police officers have been going into bars and arresting visibly intoxicated patrons for public drunkenness. The new program has caused quite a stir – but the stated purpose is to combat drunk driving by going to the source and stopping the patron before he or she can even get behind the wheel of an automobile. On the other hand, many people are questioning whether it is appropriate for undercover law enforcement officers to sit in bars waiting for patrons to become intoxicated, and then arresting those individuals for public drunkenness.

Under Pennsylvania law, public drunkenness is a criminal summary offense, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine. But what constitutes public drunkenness? The statute provides that it is unlawful for any person to “appear in any public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol to the degree that he may endanger himself or other persons, or annoy persons in his vicinity.” 18 Pa. C.S. § 5505. What constitutes a public place? It is simple – any place open to the public, which would include a bar.

The statute prohibits significant alcohol impairment, but there is little guidance as to what level of intoxication is required to meet this burden – except that the intoxication must present a danger to the defendant or others, or the defendant must be acting in an annoying manner. As to the “danger” portion of this definition, the criminal law indicates that a person cannot lawfully operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.80% or greater. Thus, law enforcement officers have some guidance as to what level of intoxication causes a person to become a danger.

But what if you are responsible and have a designated driver so that you will not be a danger to yourself or others. You could also be arrested for public drunkenness where you are intoxicated to the extent that you annoy other people in your vicinity. We would all agree that this statute is very broad – it allows the arrest and conviction of any bar patron who becomes intoxicated and annoys fellow patrons.

How should the police enforce this law? Should undercover law enforcement enforce this particular statute by entering bars and looking for intoxicated persons who are acting in an annoying manner? Texas is taking a proactive approach in the hopes of stopping drunk driving. It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to this Texan initiative – and whether it becomes a national trend. If I had to guess, this initiative will not even survive in Texas, let alone in other jurisdictions.

The bottom line is simple: if you are going to drink alcohol in public, drink responsibly.

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 heard that marijuana helps glaucoma. I’d like to try it, but won’t I get in trouble?

Marijuana can help your glaucoma and it could definitely get you in trouble because it’s illegal.

Marijuana refers to the parts of the Cannabis sativa plant, which has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 4,800 years. Doctors in ancient China, Greece and Persia used it as a pain reliever and for gastrointestinal disorders and insomnia.

Cannabis as a medicine was common throughout most of the world in the 1800s. It was used as the primary pain reliever until the invention of aspirin. The United States, in effect, made prescriptions for Cannabis illegal through the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. The only opponent to the legislation was the representative of the American Medical Association.

Marijuana contains at least 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. THC is the main component responsible for marijuana's mind-altering effect. Marinol (dronabinol), a prescription drug taken by oral capsule, is a man-made version of THC.

One of THC's medical uses is for the treatment of nausea. It can improve mild to moderate nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy and help reduce nausea and weight loss in people with AIDS.

Older people, especially those with no marijuana experience, may not tolerate THC’s mind-altering side effects as well as young people. Doctors generally prescribe several kinds of newer anti-nausea drugs with fewer side effects before resorting to Marinol.

Glaucoma increases pressure in the eyeball, which can lead to vision loss. Smoking marijuana reduces pressure in the eyes. Your doctor can prescribe other medications to treat glaucoma, but these can lose their effectiveness over time. Researchers are working to develop medications containing cannabinoids that can be put directly on the eyes.

Researchers are trying to develop new medications based on cannabis to treat pain. THC may work as well in treating cancer pain as codeine. A recent study found that cannabinoids significantly reduced pain in people with multiple sclerosis, a disease of the nervous system.

Though some doctors and patients suggest marijuana has a legitimate use, the federal government disagrees. The law classifies marijuana as one of the “most dangerous drugs that have no recognized medical use.” The penalties for possession of marijuana can range from a small fine to a prison sentence.

Along with the legal implications of smoking marijuana are the health problems such as memory impairment, loss of coordination and the potential for withdrawal symptoms and hallucinations. And, inhaling marijuana smoke exposes you to substances that may cause cancer.

One study has indicated that the risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana. The researchers suggest that a heart attack might be caused by marijuana’s effects on blood pressure, heart rate and the capacity of blood to carry oxygen.

Most polls show that about three out of four people approve of medical marijuana. This has led to the introduction of bills in Congress which would eliminate federal controls in states which approve medical marijuana. None of these bills has been voted into law.

There is legislation on the books in 33 states and the District of Columbia allowing the medical use of marijuana. Most require that it be prescribed. This provision presents a problem because federal agencies control the power to prescribe.

If you have a question, please write to

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Food For Thought

There have been many articles, and letters to the editor recently on ethanol as a renewable energy source. There are several other renewable energy sources that are now becoming available to us, the tax payers in America. If we are not careful, they will be squashed as being "not cost effective."

We need to stop and take a good look at them, and at the actual cost of foreign oil, so that we can really compare apples to apples.

There is a new company using thermal conversion to convert garbage into high quality oil. Oil that can be used for heating oil. Oil that can be used to run power generating plants.

The thermal conversion process takes all kinds of garbage: tires, appliances, household garbage, meat packaging plant waste, sewage treatment sludge, etc., and turns it into oil, water, and fertilizer, with only a small amount of solid waste. And the water is pure enough to be sent directly to a water treatment plant. It is not highly contaminated like the water in and around petroleum distilling plants.

Initially, it was expected to be a much less expensive process than it is. Right now, it is costing about $80.00 per barrel of oil produced, which is higher than foreign oil is costing per barrel. That is not considering all of the costs associated with foreign oil importation, or with domestic oil production.

Thermal conversion will not require armies and war, death or destruction. It does not pollute the environment with petroleum distillates, nor does it generate a waste product with extreme storage conditions (like nuclear power generation does). Its by-products cannot be turned into weapons of mass destruction. Because it is using waste products, it will help to diminish the growing need for landfills and other types of waste management.

Because it can use meat and poultry by-products, it can be used to help control the contamination prevalent in our meat packing industry today.

All of these costs need to be added on to the actual cost per barrel of imported oil in order to truly compare the cost effectiveness of the thermal conversion process. The ancillary costs of foreign oil will only continue to expand, continually driving the cost upward.

Thermal conversion is a new process. With time, like all other technologies, the cost will probably decrease.

Because the cost per barrel has been much higher than originally estimated, it is highly likely that the technology will be sold to a foreign interest. We will be back to square one. Inventing a technology that gets shipped out of country, then importing back the finished product.

We need to stop this and keep the technology here where it belongs. We need to stop our dependence on foreign oil. We need to take a good, hard look at ways to lower the cost of thermal conversion.

One way would be to pay the thermal conversion plants to take the garbage and waste products, instead of them having to buy it. That’s correct! The thermal conversion plants are paying for the garbage they are using to generate oil. Power plants that use old tires to generate electricity get paid for that privilege. Why this disparity, if not to discourage the technology?

With all of the scare about mad cow disease a few years ago, and with the current issues with bird flu, I would think that this technology would be being pushed forward, instead of being handicapped. This process does destroy the mad cow prion, and the bird flu virus, as well as creating a easy way to dispose of all the waste products of those associated industries.

One of the cost increases resulted from cleaning the air and smoke generated in the conversion process. Unpleasant odors were a big problem, so more smoke scrubbers had to be used. This is actually a good thing. But again, why is this not uniformly applied? The people who live near the large conglomerate farms in the mid-west, and near the meat and poultry packaging plants are not given respite from those odors. And there are certainly odors near petroleum processing plants, and many other industries. Why are they not all forced to absorb the costs of reducing those odors, further leveling the cost analysis?

It is up to us, the taxpayers and consumers to clamor for more renewable energy sources. It is up to us, the taxpayers and consumers to clamor for cleaner energy sources. It is up to us the taxpayers and consumers to clamor for the end of a war over oil rights. It is up to us the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, to clamor for the end of killing over oil rights. What is the price of a life lost? Compare that to the price of a barrel of oil.

The cost of that barrel of foreign oil is much more than the current $60.00 per barrel as we are being told. All of the other costs associated with it need to be added on to that $60.00. Those are the costs that are increasing the national debt with every breath we take. Those are the costs that are going to bury our children and grandchildren in debt. Those are the costs from constantly out-sourcing our jobs and technologies, and importing finished products. Those are the costs of burying our children and friends, killed on foreign soils for foreign energy rights.

Let’s keep our money and our children home. Let’s use our technology to help each other improve our world.

Ethanol, thermal conversion, wind mills and solar energy costs are laid out in black and white, up front. Let’s do that with foreign oil, and really compare apples to apples.

You decide which is more cost effective. Then let your Senators, your Congressional Representatives, your President know what you want.

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