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June 18th

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Issue Home May 30, 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
The Family Doctor

100 Years Ago

BROOKLYN: Brooklyn has a village improvement society, which, all expect, will beautify the town. These officers were elected: Rev. R. L. Roberts, President; Rev. T. L. Drury, Vice-president; G. H. Terry, Secretary; H.H. Craver, Treasurer. Constitution and by-laws were adopted which provided for seven committees that have charge of the improvements to be made in the village. AND: The Watrous school house was sold to H. N. Johnson.

FAIRDALE: E. W. Bolles had a number of valuable sheep and lambs killed by vicious dogs last Tuesday night. Oscar Downer lost three sheep at the same time.

MONTROSE: At the auction sale on the Tyler property [recently purchased for the new library and historical society], the barn was purchased by T. W. Tinker for $97. The woodshed was bid in by L. W. Bunnell for $23. AND: Everyone has troubles of their own. And now it has behooved the women folks in the several flats along the Avenue here to sound forth lustily the trumpet notes of war in strong protest against those individuals who burn the contents of waste baskets under their clothes lines on wash days--Mondays and Tuesdays. It has proved a great nuisance to the patient housewives, who now kindly make the following request of those to whom it concerns: “If the old papers, etc., are to be burned on either of those days, touch the match early, or else behold the operations of our newly organized bucket brigade.”

SOUTH MONTROSE: E. W. Lott, of the firm of E. W. Lott & Bros., stone dealers at Springville, have recently opened a new quarry at South Montrose from which they are getting a large quantity of stone of excellent quality. The firm has done a large wholesale shipping business for several years, and under its present capable management is increasing its output.

BRANDT: Thursday morning of last week George Storer, of Harmony, was driving across the railroad track at Brandt, when the pole of his wagon dropped to the ground. The shock caused Mr. Storer to be thrown to the ground. He was stunned by the fall and was unconscious for several hours. Dr. Washburn, of Susquehanna, was called and attended him. It was found necessary to take several stitches in a large gash on the injured man’s head.

HALLSTEAD: The entire family of Mr. and Mrs. James Jackson, who live about 3 miles from here, on the river road toward Susquehanna, had a narrow escape from death on Friday by poisoning, says a correspondent. A few days previous Mr. Jackson purchased some milk from the creamery and made the same into pot cheese of which they all partook very heartily. The milk must have become tainted in laying in the can too long, and was evidently poisoned, for the family soon became deathly sick, being taken with cramps and convulsions and suffering great pain. Dr. Merrell, of Hallstead, was hastily summoned and remained with the stricken family all night until they were pronounced out of danger, and they are resting very comfortably at present.

RUSH: By the death of James McManus, which occurred May 17, ’06, Rush lost one of its most highly respected citizens. The funeral was held in the Catholic church at Middletown on Monday, May 20, when Rev. Father Driscoll said Mass. Mr. McManus lived the greater part of his life in Rush township, coming to this country from Ireland, in 1828, when but a boy. He leaves a wife and seven children to mourn his loss: Patrick, Margaret, Frances and Anna, of Rush; and Peter, Thomas and Mary of Binghamton. His leading characteristics were uprightness and fairness in all his dealings.

SPRINGVILLE: The A. Beardsley property, owned by Rev. C. D. Shepard, is being remodeled, beginning with raising the house, taking out the fireplace, etc. It will be very much improved when finished.

CLIFFORD: The Baptist members in charge of the entertainment part of their centennial anniversary are working diligently for success.

AUBURN CENTRE: Allen Bros, of Meshoppen, have the contract for erecting the new graded school building; price $2,825.

BIRCHARDVILLE: James Strange, who has been spending the winter at the Soldier’s Home in Tennessee, has been calling on friends in this vicinity.

GLENWOOD: Memorial service was held in the Glenwood church Sunday by Rev. Mr. Hillery. He handled his subject with great earnestness in speaking of the great hardships in the south-land, and the dangers that accompanied the many battles. It seems almost a miracle that any lived to tell the tale but there came a goodly number back to their homes, but scarcely a sound man in the ranks of the G.A.R. to-day. He then branched off on the great danger of being overcome by temptation not to enlist in the army of the Lord, where all can be soldiers and win any battle that is fought. AND: C. H. Doran and Ray Conrad have been supplying two tables with eels and bullheads for the last two weeks.

THOMPSON: Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Gelatt are entertaining her sister, Mrs. Emma J. Dolph, of Denver, Col. and her brother, Rev. G.R. Merrill and family for a few days. She had not seen her sister before in 25 years and her brother is visiting before going to his new pastorate in Oxford, N.Y. He preached a fine sermon in the M.E. church here Sabbath morning. AND: The Jefferson [railroad] Branch quartette will sing for the boys at the services Decoration day.

HEART LAKE: The Misses Nellie Powell, Bertha Wall, Elizabeth Lee, Blanche Smith and Alice Lee were treated to a ride to Salt Springs by their friend, F. W. Sherer, May 19.

TUNKHANNOCK: The borough has just passed an ordinance imposing a fine of $10 for the following: Obstructing sidewalks, riding bicycles or vehicles on sidewalks, coasting on streets, throwing stones, snowballs or baseballs on the streets, shooting guns, fireworks or slingshots or to congregate or loiter in a manner to obstruct public travel.

NEWS BRIEF: Craze for arm enrapture, started at Atlantic City, has reached Honesdale says the Independent. It is a harmless bear cub made of plush and wood and is supposed to supplant the lap dog. The girl who does not tote a ferocious looking artificial bear is not now regarded as being in the social swim.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Primary Election Fallout

Guess what folks! Come November there will be some Democrats on your ballot seeking state and national elective offices. It has been so long since I had the opportunity to write that, please indulge me while I repeat it. Come November there will be a few Democrats on your ballot seeking state and national elective offices.

Wow! Isn't that exciting news? Local Democrats seeking state offices right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I hope when the general election is over they bring in some big name Democrats to pin Purple Hearts on these candidates. Somebody like Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton.

Now let me get this straight because it is so seldom that we see Republican candidates in Northeastern Pennsylvania facing opposition from the Democrat Party.

Of course statewide it seems like we always have a few familiar Democratic candidates trying to grab the brass ring as the political merry-go-round spins. People like Gov. Bob Casey’s kinfolks who have already distinguished themselves by winning a couple of state offices and thereby believe they warrant a shot at one of the top prizes. This year, for instance, Bob Casey, Jr. is trying to upend incumbent Republican US Senator Rick Santorum. Frankly, I would like to see Mr. Casey win for a number of reasons but mainly because I have always felt that if the chief executive of our nation can be limited to two terms or eight years in office, then other state and national candidates should also be so limited.

This habit of making a congressman seek reelection every other year is costly and downright ridiculous. And because incumbent congressmen spend six months every other year watching their P’s and Q’s while they campaign for reelection, none of us get full two-year terms from them. But they get full two-year salaries plus expenses. I say elect them to four-year terms and limit them to two terms in office. The same law should also apply to our state representatives in Harrisburg.

By the way, who in Sam Hill’s name came up with the idea that the taxpayers of Pennsylvania are obligated to provide elected county, state and national officeholders with pensions and lifetime health insurance when they leave office? In Susquehanna County, candidates elected to county positions are assured of these two “bonuses” after two terms in office. And they do not have to be consecutive terms. What this country needs is another Mr. Smith to send to Washington.

Where was I? Oh, yes, Democrat candidates.

After Bob Casey, Jr., there’s our incumbent Democrat Governor, Ed Rendell, who comes to us from the City of Brotherly Love. Naming Philadelphia the City of Brotherly Love is like naming Iraq the Disneyland of the Middle East. Ever walk the streets of Philadelphia at night? Rosary beads in one hand and the other hand clutching a switchblade in your pocket.

We have some local talent from the minority Democratic Party seeking critical offices in Washington and Harrisburg.

Chris Carney of Dimock is trying to unseat incumbent Congressman Don Sherwood in the Tenth Congressional District. Sherwood survived the primaries, thanks in part to the dedication of Republican voters. Regardless of how a Republican officeholder behaves, rank and file party members will continue to support them. But don’t sell Carney short. He is a college professor and a lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve.

Robert G. McNamara of Susquehanna, superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools and a political newcomer, appears to be a viable Democratic candidate for state senator in the 20th District. McNamara racked up a total of 8488 votes in his unopposed bid to challenge Republican Lisa Baker in November.

To no one’s surprise, Baker scored wins in all of the counties the 20th Senatorial District covers enroute to an easy victory in a field of five candidates. Other contenders included Jim Haggerty, Carl E. Sutton, Russ Bigus and David Madeira.

The November winner will replace Senator Charles Lemmond who is retiring.

And last, but certainly not least, there is Diane V. Ward. Who? Diane V. Ward is a Democrat challenging Republican State Representative Tina Pickett (110th District). That is the extent of what I know about Diane V. Ward.

I talked with Susquehanna County Democratic Chairman Joey Franks and he said no one named Diane V. Ward has ever contacted him asking for support of her candidacy. According to voting numbers released by the county, Diane V. Ward received 285 votes in the eight Susquehanna County municipalities that are included in the 110th District.

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From the Desk of the D.A.

In response to a 3:00 a.m. call regarding a loud party, the police responded to the scene of the complaint, where they heard shouting and fighting inside the house. As the police proceeded down the driveway, they saw two juveniles drinking beer in the backyard. As the police officer approached the juveniles, they could see individuals inside the home through a screen door that opened into the backyard. As they were approaching, they witnessed an altercation inside the home involving four adults and one juvenile, and saw the juvenile punch one of the adults in the face, causing him to spit up blood into the sink. In response, the police rushed to the door and announced their presence through the screen door. Unfortunately, as a result of the scuffle and noise, no one inside the residence heard the police, and, consequently, no one let them into the residence. The police then let themselves into the kitchen area, again shouting their presence, and restored order to the scene. The adults present inside the kitchen area were arrested in connection with furnishing alcohol to the juveniles. The defendants sought to suppress all the evidence obtained from inside the home on the grounds that the police did not have a search warrant and/or permission to enter the home, and therefore, the entry violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

At the state level, the defendants were successful. The Utah Court of Appeals (the highest state court in Utah) determined that the police should not have entered the home because the physical altercation that they witnessed from the yard did not rise to a sufficient level of seriousness to permit a warrantless entry into the residence. The Government then appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court.

In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court reversed the suppression of the evidence. In an opinion authored by Chief Justice Roberts, the court noted that the Fourth Amendment protections center upon the “reasonableness” of the search in light of the applicable circumstances. Although the Fourth Amendment generally requires a search warrant prior to entry into a person’s home, there are exceptions that allow warrantless entry, and one such exception involves situations where there is a need to render emergency assistance to persons seriously injured or to persons threatened with such injury. In the circumstances presented, the unanimous court determined that the police officers acted reasonably. They had received a complaint about a loud and rowdy party at the residence at 3:00 a.m., they could hear shouting from the residence as they approached from the street, they observed juveniles consuming alcohol in the backyard of the residence, and observed a physical assault inside the residence itself. After attempting to announce their presence at the door without success, the police officer entered the residence to prevent any further escalation of a volatile situation. As Chief Justice Roberts noted, “The role of a peace officer includes preventing violence and restoring order, not simply rendering first aid to casualties; an officer is not like a boxing (or hockey) referee, poised to stop a bout only if it becomes too one-sided... (O)nce the announcement was made, the officers were free to enter; it would serve no purpose to require them to stand dumbly at the door awaiting a response while those within brawled on, oblivious to their presence.”

The touchstone of the protections of the Fourth Amendment hinges upon “reasonableness,” which requires a strong reliance upon common sense. The ultimate ruling of the Supreme Court is not surprising – the average citizen would expect a police officer to act in exactly the way that the police responded in this case. If the general public expects to act in this manner, the disturbing question is how could the highest court in the State of Utah conclude that the conduct was unreasonable. At least the United States Supreme Court, that is the entire Court, corrected the mistake.

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The Healthy Geezer

Q. A friend told me that sinusitis could be causing a mild toothache I had, so I waited a while. Well, when my sinuses cleared, the tooth pain disappeared. Was my friend right?

I can write from personal experience on this one. I had a bad toothache that sent me to my dentist. He did some x-rays and could find nothing wrong. He asked me about my sinuses and I told him I was fighting an infection. Bingo.

Yes, infection in the sinuses located in your cheekbones can cause your upper jaw and teeth to ache, and your cheeks to become tender to the touch. Sinusitis is a nasty malady that can do much more than give you a toothache.

Sinusitis, which is infection or inflammation of the sinuses, creates suffering for about 37 million Americans every year.

The sinuses are four pairs of cavities: the frontal sinuses over the eyes, maxillary sinuses inside each cheekbone, ethmoid sinuses just behind the bridge of the nose, and sphenoid sinuses behind the ethmoids. Each sinus is connected to the nose.

Acute sinusitis lasts for four weeks or less. Subacute sinusitis runs four to eight weeks. Chronic sinusitis can continue for years. Recurrent sinusitis includes several acute attacks within a year.

Unlike sinusitis, a common cold usually goes away without treatment in about 10 days. So, if you have what feels like a bad cold for longer than 10 days, go to your doctor for a check-up.

Most cases of acute sinusitis start with a cold or allergy attack, which inflames the mucous membranes of the sinuses. Swelling traps air and mucus in the sinuses and they cannot drain properly. The trapped mucus creates ideal conditions for bacteria to grow.

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may be less severe than those of acute sinusitis. However, untreated chronic sinusitis can cause damage to the sinuses and cheekbones that sometimes requires surgery to repair.

Most people with sinusitis have pain or tenderness. Other symptoms of sinusitis can include fever, weakness, fatigue, nasal congestion, cough and sore throat.

If you have acute sinusitis, your doctor may prescribe decongestants, antibiotics and pain relievers. Many cases of acute sinusitis will end without antibiotics.

Many health care providers treat chronic sinusitis as though it is an infection, by using antibiotics and decongestants. Others use both antibiotics with steroid nasal sprays. Further research is needed to determine the best treatment.

When medical treatment fails, surgery may be the only alternative for treating chronic sinusitis. The most common surgery done today is functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) to enlarge the natural openings and allow drainage.

FESS is less invasive than conventional sinus surgery. With the endoscope, the surgeon can look directly into the nose while clearing the narrow channels between the sinuses. This type of surgery can be done under local or general anesthesia.

One worthwhile way to help keep your sinuses clear is to use an over-the-counter saltwater nasal wash every day. Most pharmacies carry them. They help remove mucus and bacteria from the nose and sinuses. I use one myself and it has been beneficial.

If you have a question, please write to


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The Family Doctor

Another week with no questions, so I thought I would start a series of columns to take you on a little guided tour of your various body systems. The more you understand about how they work, the less alarmed you’ll be when they act up. You may also be able to make some changes that result in improved performance, better mileage and fewer breakdowns. This week’s tour: the upper gastrointestinal (GI) system, which runs from the teeth to the pylorus. Not sure where the pylorus is? Read on!

Any readers with fairly new cars know that if the fuel cap is loose, the car won’t run. You must pay attention to the simplest opening to your fuel system for the whole machine to run right. The same is true with the body: the opening to your fueling mechanism, the mouth and oral cavity, is extremely important and shouldn’t be ignored.

Your mouth is where your food begins to undergo a complex series of chemical reactions to convert food to energy. This means that several things have to happen, and rushing past this stage will affect everything downstream. One of the most frequently overlooked processes is simply chewing thoroughly. Remember the old advice to “chew every bite 30 times”? It’s pretty good advice! If you have ever tried to mix anything with water, you know that stirring it, breaking up clumps, and thoroughly reducing the size of the pieces results in faster mixing. Since everything you eat has to undergo several chemical reactions within your body, the smaller the pieces, the better the chemistry. You will also find that chewing thoroughly reduces the amount you eat, results in less indigestion, and directly results in weight loss by filling you up sooner, with fewer calories. You’ll also find that you enjoy your meals much more.

Digestion begins in the mouth, too, as saliva starts to break down food, primarily starches and complex carbohydrates. That’s why bread and pasta start to taste sweet after a few moments in your mouth. Again, bypassing this process results in more complex carbohydrates downstream, which can complicate digestion and increase certain socially embarrassing complications, like lower intestinal gas. Finally, the mouth and saliva provide specific antibodies and infection-fighting chemicals which, if not given a chance to work, increase your chances of GI infections and irritation. So all of this suggests that simply eating slowly and chewing thoroughly results in weight loss, greater satisfaction from eating, fewer infections, and better overall health. Not to mention the fact that many vegetables are “calorie negative” in that it takes more energy to chew them than you get from them, so you could actually lose weight eating celery, for example.

OK, so that was a very long, methodical and occasionally tedious paragraph on how to eat: slowly and methodically. Now on to the next step. Swallowing initiates a series of muscle actions to close off your trachea and keep food out of your lungs, while starting its journey into your digestive system. Swallow small amounts, rather than gulps. Liberally lubricate the pathway with sips of water. Avoid laughing or talking or gesturing wildly during eating, or you’re liable to choke. And again, don’t rush things. Many is the time I have had to send people to surgery for endoscopy to remove a piece of meat stuck in the esophagus, and every time, it was when they had been in a noisy gathering liberally lubricated with alcohol. The esophagus, which is a small floppy tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, is easily obstructed and easily perforated. It does not have the muscle strength to propel food along very well, and thus small bites, well chewed, with plenty of water (no, not wine or beer) are the only things that pass easily. The lower end of the esophagus is partially closed off by a valve of muscle, and if this is too tight, food gets stuck more easily. If it is too loose, you get heartburn, reflux of stomach acid or worse into your throat, and more socially embarrassing, gas (unless you’re a teen, in which case it can be a source of immense pride). Either way, problems with the valve can result in unpleasant (at best) and serious problems such as cancer (at worst) if ignored. Who would have thought that the simple mechanics of eating could be so important!

The stomach begins where the esophagus ends, the “diaphragmatic hiatus”. The diaphragm is the large muscle that separates your lungs from your abdomen, and it has a gap (hiatus) through which the esophagus passes to enter the stomach. The stomach ends at the “pylorus”, which is a thick ring of muscle that opens to let out the stomach contents. Typically, an adult stomach can hold up to four liters (almost 4 quarts) of material, although the usual size is much less, around 1-2 liters. Remember, though, that there are extensive amounts of fluids added to everything you swallow, so don’t feel like you can easily eat a gallon of food. It will triple in volume before long, and you will feel more than stuffed. Rumor has it that King Farouk of Egypt died form overeating and overdrinking at a series of parties, and his stomach literally burst. Bad news, since the fluids produced by the stomach include pretty potent enzymes and hydrochloric acid. Not the sorts of things you want spilling into your body. Quite a bit happens in the stomach in terms of chemical reactions, and there is also churning and mixing and squeezing and tumbling of your food and digestive chemicals. The process can go on for minutes to hours, depending on what you eat, and certain things delay stomach emptying, like fatty foods and complex carbohydrates. Another area where making smart food choices can affect how full you feel and how much you eat. And now that we have come to the end of the upper GI system, we shall wait until next time for the pyloric valve to open and allow us to continue our Fantastic Voyage through the digestive system.

As always, if there is something you want to learn more about or have explained in general terms, write to me at “Ask the Family Doctor” c/o Susquehanna County Transcript, 212-216 Exchange Street, Susquehanna, PA 18847. You can also e-mail me at To schedule an appointment, call my office in the Barnes-Kasson Health Center, Hallstead Office, 879-5249.

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