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Last month, Wyoming County President Judge Brendan Vanston told Blue Ridge School District Tax Collectors Vicki Drake of New Milford Borough and Miriam Page of Jackson Township to collect the school taxes. Last week, Judge Vanston filed his opinion in support of that order and gave the collectors some advice.
“Council for the defendants,” Judge Vanston wrote, “maintains that the school board, in reducing the tax collectors compensation, acted out of bad motive and with 'unclean hands’. Even assuming that to be true, it is irrelevant; the School District complied with all statutory requirements.
“As this court has previously stated to the parties, the defendants remedy is political not legal. Either they should not run for election as tax collector; or, they should run for election as school director.”
At the moment, Mrs. Drake and Mrs. Page are complying with the court order that they collect the taxes in order to avoid contempt charges. Margot Merrit of Great Bend Township is also collecting school taxes in accordance with her elected duties. The three collectors are being paid at the 80 percent compensation reduction rate of 60 cents per tax bill. The school district is collecting the taxes from Great Bend Borough, New Milford Township and Hallstead because collectors there refuse to collect the taxes at 60 cents per tax bill.
Judge Vanston was brought into the matter after Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans recused himself because he is a resident of Blue Ridge School District. Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Page and Margot Merritt of Great Bend Township filed suit against the school district after the Board of Education slashed their salaries by 80 percent. The move was interpreted by most as a means of discouraging the elected tax collectors from continuing with their elected positions thereby allowing the school district to collect its own taxes.
After the tax collectors balked about the 80 percent reduction in their compensation for collecting the taxes, the school board prepared a resolution exonerating them from collecting the taxes if they would sign the resolution. However, when Mrs. Drake and Miriam Page, Tax Collector in Jackson Township, signed copies of the resolution, the school board sought a court order demanding that they collect the taxes.
On June 7, Judge Vanston denied a petition filed by Attorney Michael Giangrieco, seeking an immediate injunction prohibiting Blue Ridge School District from collecting its own taxes. The court’s decision was made one day after Judge Vanston received the petition in his courtroom and said he did not know too much about taxes and needed time to study the petition.
“None of the six tax collectors were, understandably, happy with the pay cut,” Judge Vanston said in last week’s decision. “Consequently they all entered into an agreement with the school district in February, 2006, to exonerate the tax collectors from having to collect the school taxes.”
However, Judge Vanston said the tax collectors knew of the reduction in their compensation before the 2005 elections but they still ran for reelection and subsequently took office. In his written opinion, the judge said the school district’s request for a court order compelling the tax collectors to collect taxes is appropriate.
Meanwhile, Mr. Giangrieco is awaiting word from Harrisburg regarding his appeal of Judge Vanston’s ruling with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
Forest City’s proposed landlord/tenant ordinance came in for some additional criticism at special public hearing last Tuesday night and the Borough Council agreed it will need additional time to re-write it before it can consider passing it.
Most of the complaints came from landlords who agreed with the ordinance in concept but believed some of the contents of the bill need to be changed. And there were some in the audience who believe the borough’s existing nuisance ordinance should be updated rather than pass new laws.
Mark Bevacqua of Lenoxville, who recently built two double rental homes in the borough said the borough may already have laws addressing much of the issues in the new ordinance. He said if the borough adopted the BOCA Codes they should be sufficient to take care of most of the problems in the community.
Bob Selinsky of Browndale said the borough is being discriminatory because it plans to exempt the William Penn Apartment complex that is owned and inspected periodically by the Susquehanna County Housing Authority. Selinsky also said the ordinance should include single family homes or that would be additional discrimination.
Paul Smith, borough solicitor, said the most important feature of the ordinance is the inspection of rental units so they are kept in good condition.
Ruth Fitzsimmons, a former council member, suggested that rental units kept in good condition be exempt from annual inspections. She said one every couple of years would give the better landlords a financial break in that they would not need to purchase licenses every year.
Joseph Franceski cautioned the governing body against being too strict and said the idea could backfire and that Section 8 renters, who are subsidized by welfare appropriations, may be the only ones who can afford the cost of rent. Franceski also concurred with Councilman Paul J. Amadio who suggested that landlords be fined if inspectors visit apartments three times and no improvements are made.
Perhaps the most significant observation was made by John Kameen who said the borough will not have enough time or money to be able to inspect all the rental units in the borough every year. He further said the annual inspections might bankrupt the borough because of the $22 an hour rate the enforcement officer commands. “I got a feeling this is going to be a real costly project,” Mr. Kameen said.
Duane Nolan said he was concerned about the borough’s plan to exempt Section 8 rental units because they are inspected by the government. He asked if Section 8 units that have not had any police calls also be exempt.
Nolan said the ordinance came about because of the number of complaints generated by rental units. He said the intent of the ordinance is to take the burden off the borough and pass it on to the property owners. He said he can accept the idea but that it may not be necessary to inspect all homes annually but only those that have had problems during the year.
Mr. Smith said the nuisance section of the ordinance is the only area that needs addressing but there are other areas as well.
Mayor Nick Cost, chief sponsor of the ordinance, said the borough needs the ordinance and urged council to adopt it once the bugs are taken out of it. The ordinance calls for a license to be issued at a cost of $25 a year per unit and an annual inspection by a borough appointed enforcement officer.
The Susquehanna County Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with the Northeast Pennsylvania Emergency Response Group is staging a “mock” terroristic event on Saturday, September 30. This full scale exercise will both integrate and test the county emergency response and disaster resources, according to Mark Wood, the Susquehanna County Emergency Management Director.
New to county exercises will be the criminal element, or deliberate causation of the disaster. According to Director Wood, “While individual agencies have drilled in the past for disasters, this is one of the first times we will be exercising on such a large scale, with so many agencies, and respond to a ‘potential’ terrorism event, a large crime scene.”
Approximately 22 agencies from the county will role-play in the activity, and Mr. Wood expects nearly 200 individual responders to participate. County First Responders (Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services) will be first to receive calls to the event, which will include simulated Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and large amounts of casualties and fatalities. Hospital resources will be placed on alert and will receive and treat contaminated victims.
Specialized rescue and response teams will next be called. State and Federal agencies, including the State Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operations Center and the PA DEP Emergency Response Group will participate. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also a participant.
Contractors who specialize in response and recovery to these events will also be contacted. “We have learned that in a terrorism event, we need multiple, trained and credentialed resources, who have practiced and played together prior to the incident,” according to Robert Flanagan, EMA Director in Lackawanna County and Chairman of the Emergency Response Group. “That’s why we engaged a highly qualified contractor to test our system; to plan a realistic scenario and to bring in qualified evaluators from around the country who have seen firsthand, the results and needs of a terrorism event”.
Cocciardi and Associates, Inc., a Pennsylvania based Safety and Emergency Management Consulting firm, was engaged by the Emergency Response Group to plan the events, then schedule and evaluate a drill in each county in Northeast Pennsylvania.
“Evaluators for these exercises come from real world experience,” according to Dr. Joseph Cocciardi, principal in the consulting group. “Doctors and medical specialists from Philadelphia, Emergency responders from Boston, New York and Washington, DC, and former military explosives specialists were involved in exercise development and will evaluate each aspect of the County’s response to this simulated terrorism event”.
“The Endless Mountain Health System Hospital and Barnes-Kasson County Hospital have already practiced these procedures through on-site exercises,” according to Robert Werts, the Emergency Response Group Program Manager. “They are particularly well prepared and are ready to try activities out in a real-world setting.”
“We are not burying our heads in the sand,” said County EMA Director Wood, “but meeting this potential threat in an organized, efficient and professional manner. The County’s first responders, hospitals and disaster teams will certainly benefit from the exercise, and we plan to address any recommendations that are noted by evaluators.”
Mr. Wood has advised the public that they will not be able to watch activities on-site, due to the classified nature of some of the actions that will occur. “We are requesting that all of the county’s citizens help support our effort by remaining away from any drill sites. Local news media agencies will be escorted into the simulated hazardous areas to observe and photograph activities as they occur.”
Joseph Clary to Dale Howell Enterprises Inc., Springville, in Bridgewater Township for $40,000.
Joseph Clary to Dale Howell Enterprises Inc., Springville, in Bridgewater Township for $40,000.
Michelle L. Ramey to Michelle L. Ramey, Dimock, Richard Ramey, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Anthony M. Pisano, Deborah A. Pisano, Joseph A. Pisano, Joan Pisano to Anthony Talarico, Carbondale, Joseph Pidgeon, in New Milford Township for $25,000.
Randy L. Howell to Robert H. Durst, Jr., Carbondale, in Forest City for $77,300.
Frances M. Potter to Fairfield Farm Management Co. LLC, Lansdale, in Thompson township for $106,500.
Lawrence T. O’Reilly, Christine M. O’Reilly, Thomas J. O’Reilly to Richard R. Anderson, Jodi L. Anderson, New Milford, in New Milford Township for $23,500.
Earl R. Forwood to Earl R. Forwood, Hop Bottom, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Donald E. Rehkop, Martha Rehkop to Carl E. Rehkop, Carbondale, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Francis A. Weber, Marcia E. Weber to Allton E. Brown, Elsie Brown, Sea Bright, NJ, in Gibson Township for $7,500.
David Jenner, Roland Jenner, Margaret Jenner, Delorus Jenner to Jamie Olszewski, Montrose, Emily Luff, in Rush Township for $92,680.
Brandon Carey to Ruth E. Morris, Binghamton, NY, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Ruth E. Morris to Ivan Guzman, North Massapequa, NY, Mary Ann Guzman, in Susquehanna for $1,000.
Laurie Scott to Jean Munday, Phillipsburg, NJ, in Harford and Gibson townships for $60,000.
Gary D. Wood to Harold Jeffrey Smith, Montrose, Berneda Blaisure, in Dimock Township for $10,000.
George S. Gentelia, Gaynelle Gentelia, Annette Gentelia (kna) Annette Jordan to Annette Jordan, Kingsley, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Bonnie Kunsman (estate) to Helen M. Vile, RD2, Hallstead, in Franklin Township for $26,500.
Ivan Galetovic, Dusanka Galetovic to Donna Symczyk, Hop Bottom, in Lenox Township for $187,000.
James M. McGovern, Sr., Judith A. McGovern to Franklin Brooks, Philadelphia, PA, Marie Brooks, Leslie D. Brooks, in Harford Township for $154,500.
Household Finance Consumer Discount Co., Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. to Mario Button, Susquehanna, in Harford Township for $48,000.
Durland D. Drake, Julia L. Drake to Dale Baker, Susquehanna, in Oakland Borough and Oakland Township for $20,000.
Wendy J. Sims, Christopher C. Confer to Robert D. Sypher, Aston, Mary B. Sypher, in New Milford Township for $39,833.
Joseph Yannone to Joseph Yannone, Susquehanna, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Joseph Yannone to Philip J. Yannone, Susquehanna, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
George E. Wilcox, Diane J. Wilcox to Diane J. Wilcox, RR2, Susquehanna, in Lanesboro Borough for one dollar.
James Maby, Maria Maby to Lansing Morris, Binghamton, NY, in Lanesboro Borough for $15,000.
Robert E. Whitmore, Jr., Laura Whitmore to Sandra J. Upright, RR2, Susquehanna, in Oakland Township for one dollar.
Christopher H. Schulok, Mary E. Schulok, Robert J. Morgese, Maribel Morgese to Barbara A. Plohocki, Bethlehem, PA, Denise M. Eigenhauer, Lisa M. Maderic, Crissi Ann Corbin, Jean L. Drubs, in Franklin Township for $79,500.
James M. Curley, Robert Curley, Mary Curley to Matthew E. Curley, RR5, Montrose, Renee L. Curley, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., Residential Funding Corporation (by attorney), JP Morgan Chase Bank (trustee) to Dale R. Shifler, Forest City, in Forest City for $41,000.
Edward Shager, Teri M. Shager to Edward Shager, RR2, Union Dale, Teri M. Shager, in Union Dale Borough for one dollar.
Paul H. Meyer to Paul H. Meyer, RR2, New Milford, in Franklin and Bridgewater townships for one dollar.
James N. Gardner, Kelly Gardner to Peter J. Ryan, Debra D. Ryan, Hawthorne, NY, in Thompson Township for $175,000.
David J. Pitti to San Polo Investment Inc., Tarzana, CA, in Susquehanna for $18,050.
Russell M. Carpenter, Judith R. Carpenter to Russell M. Carpenter, RR2, New Milford, Judith R. Carpenter, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Patrick S. Coles, Kimberly A. Coles to Arthur G. Bronson, Jr., Forest City, in Forest City for $95,000.
Gary C. Troupe to Gary C. Troupe (trust) Coatesville, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Frederick W. Howell, Jr., Lucinda L. Howell to Stanley Mulcock, RR1, Montrose, in Bridgewater Township for $155,000.
George S. Gentelia, Gaynelle Gentelia, Annette Gentelia (nka) Annette Jordan to James C. Baisch, RR1, Hop Bottom, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Manzek Land Co. Inc. to Paul M. Augenti Sr., Sharon Augenti, Rockaway, NJ, in Auburn Township for $165,000.
Tracy M. Myer to Virginia Lucas, Forest City, in Forest City for one dollar.
Paul M. Augenti, Sharon Augenti to Manzek Land Co. Inc., RR5, Montrose, in Jessup Township for $80,000.
Annette Jordan to Robert M. Pittsley, RR2, Tioga, Carla A. Pittsley, in Brooklyn Township for $38,000.
Ernest W. Benjamin III, Margo E. Benjamin to Shane Benjamin, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for zero dollars.
Bradley Schwartz, Karen Schwartz to Ricardo R. Torres, Cherry Hill, NJ, in Herrick Township for $227,000.
Stella Kruth to Mary W. Tourje, RD2, Union Dale, Rebecca K. Sheridan, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Marion W. Darrow (aka) Marian S. Darrow to Theresa E. Owen, East Quogue, NJ, Benjamin T. Owen, in Bridgewater Township for $155,000.
Sandra J. Janke to Jack Ogden, Calabash, NC, Edith Ogden, in Silver Lake Township for $45,000.
William Neifert, Jr., Doreen Neifert to Frank Lippincott, Bensalem, Angel L. Lippincott, in Brooklyn Township for $71,000.
Sandra Guiton, Martin E. Guiton (est) to Mary E. Guiton, Schwenksville, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
John W. Williams, Nancy J. Williams to Natalie Shinn, RR1, Forest City, in Clifford Township for $90,426.
David M. Staples and Paige J. Tokos, both of Rochester, NY.
Mitchell J. Bomysoad, Vestal, NJ and Laurie M. Sorensen, Endicott, NY.
Bradley A. Gunn, RR1, Susquehanna and Debra L. Chamberlain, Susquehanna.
David Ellis Hobart, Jr. and Deirde Deanne Philpott, both of Susquehanna.
Matthew David Neenan and Tiffany M. Gesford, both of Montrose.
Michal Marek Bartczak and Carolyn Joy Carpenter, both of Susquehanna.
Zebulon Stinson Fitch and Heather E. Abbott, both of Susquehanna.
John Coleman and Lois C. Paulo, both of Hallstead.
Anthony A. Gawlinski, Binghamton, NY and Colleen Raub, Brackney.
James Griffin and Barbie Lee Zarby, both of Forest City.
Brian D. Taylor and Kimberly Sue Bennett, both of Montrose.
Charles Kovalesky and Doris E. Hunsinger, both of New Milford.
Kevin M. Canfield and Jennifer Joy Fries, both of Nicholson.
Alison L. Radus, Springville vs. Todd J. Radus, Philadelphia. Married April 24, 1999.
Keri Lynn Bennett, Montrose vs. Jamie Michael Bennett, Del Rio, TX. Married December 2, 1997.
It appears that the county may be undergoing property reassessment within the next few years. At the September 19 COG meeting, Montrose Boro Secretary Annette Rogers told the group that the county’s chief assessor, Ellen O’Malley had attended the last Montrose boro council meeting and had informed them that her department is looking into implementing a reassessment some time in the next few years. It would be done in-house, as the costs would be significantly lower than out-sourcing it. At present, a building can only be reassessed when a building permit is issued, not when it is sold. An examination of current assessed values would seem to indicate that a reassessment is needed; a comparison of selling price and assessed values would show that there are some vast disparities in some cases.
There was also some discussion about earned income tax, as it appears that Montrose is going to implement one, at one percent. Mrs. Rogers was asked why council is looking at having Berkheimer collect it, as they will charge a collection fee of 2.25%. She said that several concerns had been considered, but Berkheimer was determined to be the best.
Discussing the tax itself, it was noted that some $58,300+ is already being paid to other municipalities who have the tax. If a municipality were to implement the tax, it would receive the funds from residents rather than the municipality where an individual works. An employer can voluntarily collect it, but they don’t have to. In Montrose’s case, Montrose will receive the entire one percent as the school district does not presently impose an earned income tax, but once the school district adopts it, the one percent will be split between the boro and the school district. It was noted that the tax is on earned income, not retirement income.
The COG meeting began with a review of bills payable. One, from DGK for the group’s insurance policy, had just been received hours prior to the meeting and needed to be added to the bill list. Secretary Cheryl Wellman noted that COG’s three committees had not been billed separately, as COG had requested. This will be addressed with the DGK rep. at an impending meeting with COG’s insurance committee.
Subcommittee reports were heard. The Planning committee reported that the county Planning Commission has requested that the commissioners approve hiring an additional secretary rather than a secretary/planner to help with the day-to-day routine. A number of ordered street signs have been completed. The owners of properties the building committee has been looking at do not want to subdivide; COG is looking at a centrally located parcel of two or three acres to site a new office. The codes audit has been completed, with copies available for members’ review.
DCED shared municipal services grant funding is available, but COG has no major needs at this time, and in any case, no room to put any additional equipment. Ideas are still being accepted for discussion.
Some time ago, interested members were asked to participate in a survey regarding shared police services. Surveys sent out to municipalities (after the initial paperwork) had not yet been returned to the Center for Local Government. Missing were surveys from Ararat, Choconut, Franklin, Liberty and Silver Lake. Mrs. Wellman would have copies available for those members the following Thursday at the township officials’ meeting.
Under new business, president Elliot Ross asked for volunteers to form a committee to address compensation and job descriptions for COG’s staff and employees. The job descriptions will outline what their roles are, what they are expected to do and what is not expected. PSAB does have some templates available that would provide a starting point. Although not present, Mr. Ross said that Chuck Mead has agreed to head the committee; Annette Rogers volunteered to serve.
At the township officials meeting the following Thursday, a disaster recovery specialist and other speakers were scheduled, although it was reported that there were some problems with the recovery specialist’s travel arrangements. The county commissioners had invited boros to send representation due to the relevance of the speakers.
One COG member has been appointed to the PSATS legislative committee, and volunteers are needed for various committees, such as: nominating, finance, rules, resolutions, convention planning, public relations, and populations.
The sewage committee is still busy addressing violations, with quite a few to look into; some require going to the solicitor. They are also busy with subdivisions, and Silver Lake is in the process of updating their Act 537 plan.
Ted Plevinsky reported one unusual request in Liberty Township; they had received a request to okay a barn on a goat farm. The farm’s operation includes processing goat cheese. There were some questions about what the municipality’s responsibilities are, so the Planning Commission was consulted. The municipality is responsible to see that the site has proper sewage and building permits. Anything pertaining to food production would be handled by the Dept. of Agriculture.
For every event there is a time, and the September 19 meetings of the Elk Lake and SCCTC joint school board contained many signifiers of the passing of time and progress made. Through the closing of some projects, and the maintenance and beginning of others, Elk Lake shows itself to be a district in motion, continually striving toward the goal of improvement.
Friday September 29 marks the halfway point of the first semester for students and staff. While it may seem as if the school year has just begun, this marker shows it to be in full swing. The district is settling into its established routine, with the continuation and implementation of various activities. The Technology Center restaurant is slated to open September 26, the cosmetology clinic is advertising its business hours, and the auto mechanic safety program was approved for another year. In the middle school and high school, class officers are being elected or have been elected, graduation projects are started, and games are being won. The staff is continuing the process of professional development, and recently had a training regarding methamphetamines and how to recognize their use.
Time is often accompanied by technological advances, some of which the district is embracing. It recently began utilizing a new online grading system, which will be in place for progress reports in October. This will allow parents to access their child’s grades electronically. Information regarding this will be sent out in newsletters, and there will be two training sessions at an upcoming parent/educator night. It is currently only for grades 4-12, with younger grades slated to follow next year. The district is also planning on updating its fire alert system, and switching companies for the provision of this service. The new system will be safer in case of fire, as it includes the ability to pinpoint the particular location of tripped sensors. The current system only provides general area information, for instance saying that the sensors were tripped in the elementary school, but not in which part.
Prior to the public portion of the meeting, the board members toured the SCCTC house project and were very satisfied with the results. SCCTC estimates that it might be finished in about two weeks. They plan on having an open house after the project is completed. No definitive date for the open house was set at the meeting due to the lack of a fixed completion date, but more information will be forthcoming.
As one door closes another opens, and the center also approached the board for the go-ahead toward the start of another house project. The new house will be located on adjacent property to the existing one, with the two houses sharing part of a driveway. The plan is for it to differ from the first house in ways that will allow the students to expand their experience base, having multiple roof levels, a taller deck, etc. It is planned as a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house. The board hopes that excavation for the foundation can be completed before winter sets in and the students can begin construction in the spring.
A sad mark of the passing of time in a district is the loss of long-term staff. The board regretfully accepted the resignation of Annie May Hunsinger, who has driven bus and van for the Technology Center for 30 years. Members spoke very highly of her for her years of service, and expressed sadness at losing her. She loved the students, and they loved her. Dr. Bush wished her the best for the future.
Also with an eye toward the future, the tax study commission had its first meeting on the 18th, where they elected officials and approved by-laws. Dr. Bush commented on the great enthusiasm of commission members. They have all been provided with binders containing the pertinent information and have scheduled their next meeting for October 10 at 6 p.m., at which time they will get more into the “nuts and bolts” of the issue. They are required to have a public meeting with their findings 90 days after approval of the committee. More information on this will also follow.
Near the close of the second meeting, Dr. Bush again broached the issue of the Community Foundation, which was dealt with at length at the previous meeting. After having spoken with a solicitor regarding the idea, he recommended joining the Foundation, so long as the wording was altered such that donations previously given to the school would remain under the school’s jurisdiction unless the donor wished otherwise. Some board members still expressed concern – fearing that as read, the document eliminated the possibility of someone donating directly through the school, and wondering what the benefit of joining would be to the district. After discussion amongst board members, the motion was approved contingent on a further wording change This second change would ensure that future donors can decide for themselves whether they want to go through the foundation or not. Even then, there were two negative votes.
With due respect to our very own Harvard Behaviorist, B.F. Skinner, in using the phrase, “Particulars of My Life” (which was the title of one of his bestselling books), and being the only employee left that was employed by the U.G. Baker family, and the last link in a long line of employees that worked on the “Baker” Transcript, I feel that I am the logical person to author the history of the Transcript employees since the 1930’s.
(NOTE: Kin of the Baker family, as I know them, are Eugene Baker and Kathy Baker Bundy, children of Paul and Eleanor Lannon Baker; Mary Ryan Baker, widow of J. Donald Baker.)
I first came into contact with the late U.G. Baker in the early 1930’s, as I sold him a Scranton paper each morning. Later, I was offered a Transcript route in the Church Hill section of town. A little later, I was asked to help out in the plant, sweeping the floor, working in the mailing department.
One summer, come September and school time (I was 16 years of age) I decided not to go back to school. This perturbed Mr. Baker, a lot. He insisted I go back to school and come to work after. Seeing he could not convince me to return to school, I remained at the Transcript on a full-time basis.
So, being on a full-time basis – and I do mean full-time – for some time, a lot of times we would start work around 8 a.m. and not get out until after 7 or 8 p.m. I do recall, one night, or should I say one morning, due to press problems we finally finished our press run around 3 a.m.
As best as I recollect, the workforce down through the years consisted of, naturally, Editor U.G. Baker; son, Paul Baker, sports editor and Linotype operator; Guy R. Horton, shop foreman, ad man and job printing; Cyril Brick, stereotype operator and pressman; Howard Adams, linotype operator and late owner and publisher of the Afton, NY Enterprise paper; Everett Howard, nephew of Mr. Horton, job department, who went on to a position with the Sayre, PA Times; Dorothy Springsteen and Jessie Cooke Keyes, bookkeepers and collectors in charge of the carriers; Fred Halloran, reporter and columnist; Charles Goshorn, linotype operator and later publisher of his own newspaper in Florida; J. Donald Baker, son of U.G. (as yours truly) did a little bit of everything, like operating the linotype, getting the paper ready for printing and helping out on the press; Mrs. Lillian Kasson, type distributor; Carl Tross, pressman and stereotyper.
(NOTE: Not being connected with the paper during World War II and from 1954 through 1963, I cannot name the employees.)
After January 20, 1964 (under my ownership), the employees were my wife, Clara Parrillo, as custodian of the carriers and office work; my brother, Pat Parrillo, as bookkeeper; Howard Birdsall, linotype operator and all-around man; Kenneth Balmer, who helped in the job department and press room; James Napolitano, stereotyper and pressman; Art Thompson and Michael Malantino, in the job department and press room; Ron McIntosh, news desk; Teresa (Trynoski) Maino, linotype operator; Richard French, mailing dept.
During the Charles Ficarro/Tony Aliano ownership, other employees included Lou Parrillo, columnist; Howard Birdsall; Mrs. Charles (Rita) Ficarro, computer, typesetter, bookkeeper; Peggy MacNamara, advertising sales; Linda Watson, graphics, computer, typesetting.
Employed today (1986) by the publishers, Charles and Rita Ficarro are Howard Birdsall; Lou Parrillo; Brian Lewis, printing and advertising sales; Charlie Lewis, graphics; Jay Reploeg, calligraphy.
“The Transcript And U.G. Baker”
The following was related to this columnist by County Detective Willard Collier, former longtime police chief of Susquehanna. While police chief and also county detective, this columnist – while owner of the Transcript – received much cooperation and news items from Mr. Collier and his staff.
Chief Collier told us:
”As I remember, it was 1929 and Burt Grausgruber was teaching me his paper route, in Oakland, so that he could take a summer job in the silk mill. I had been delivering the Transcript for about a month, when the Transcript “top kick,” Dorothy Springsteen caught me and after a rigid examination of names and manner of payment and seeing I knew what to do, I kept the job. All this was observed by the man himself, Editor U.G. Baker, who gave this 12-year old boy one big bit of advice: “Please place the paper on the porch, for we have more broken windows on that route than all the other routes combined.” Burt had invented the V Mail, by rolling the paper up tight and bending it into a V, so we could throw it from the sidewalk, without walking all the way up to the house.”
Continuing, Chief Collier reminisced in “short shots” what he remembers about U.G. Baker and the borough:
“In years to follow, we all drifted away to other parts of the country, but always got the news through the Transcript – the back shops were moved to Hornell and the long depression started, then came a headline in the Susquehanna Transcript when U.G. said, ‘Susquehanna to Live Again’ when the Erie RR decided to ring the coach repair shop to this community.
“I remember U.G.’s fighting spirit, in righteous anger, in the Water Strike, when the Canawacta Water Co. wanted to raise the rates. He told the people not to pay their bills, but to save their money just the same, for sooner or later they would have to pay something. Using the slogan, ‘You don’t have to pump water downhill.’ Although the PUC declared the water company ‘the winner’ it showed that Mr. Baker was a fighter for a town that he loved.
“Then came Pearl Harbor. I stopped in the Transcript to verify a report that one of our boys died at Pearl Harbor. U.G. nodded, with tears in his eyes, and said, ‘They got one of our boys on the first day.’ Now, 45 years later, Seaman Bobby Dineen (who had resided on Willow Avenue) is still on station on the Battleship Arizona, at age 18.
“I remember one sad article Mr. Baker wrote; ‘I saw women going to work in the Erie Shops. Our young men are all gone from the streets, some never to return. I can’t bring myself to go look at the names on the service board. It seems like every time I look there are more Gold Stars. A sad, gloomy time of the year.’
“Then came the fire and the Transcript was destroyed. A clipping from the Binghamton Press told the sad story. But the people rallied and together with professional help from the Erie Coach Shops force, moved the office from next door (City National Bank Building) to its present site and rebuilt the presses, wired all the machines and the voice of the Three Boroughs was back in business through the Baker family, the Lou Parrillo family, and now the Charles “Chuck” Ficarro family, who continues to give the people all the news worth reading.
“My congratulations,” said the Chief, “and may the Transcript continue to serve the people for many more years to come.”
Following is the list of names drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors, to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse, Montrose, on the second day of October, at nine a.m.
Ararat Twp.: Elaine E. Burman, Charlotte Stone, Ellen Treacy.
Auburn Twp.: David Carlin, Edith Dodge, Inez Lyne, Barbara See, Ronald L. Smith, Diane Walling.
Bridgewater Twp.: Hector Heguy, Joseph S. McDaniels.
Brooklyn Twp.: Alice Willcutt.
Choconut Twp.: Megan M. Oleniacz, Bernard T. Shamberger, Mandy H. Wood.
Clifford Twp.: William Cook, Michael J. Dec, Amy Ferris, Pete Freely, Donald F. Gumpert, Ruth J. Knighton, Edward Rogalski.
Dimock Twp.: Darlene Bisel, James M. Borosh.
Forest Lake Twp.: Ronald J. Evans.
Franklin Twp.: Monoka Collins, Geraldine C. Johnson.
Friendsville Boro: Dale Yoder.
Gibson Twp.: Timothy G. Oakley.
Great Bend Twp.: Lynnette Ryman.
Hallstead Boro: Robert A. House, Jean Irwin, Cheryl A. Manchester, Robert R. Pingarelli, Raymond Rood.
Harford Twp.: Denise A. Crouthamel, Jacqueline M. Gillick.
Herrick Twp.: Robert J. Isger, Penny M. Strickland.
Hop Bottom Twp.: Michael Ainey.
Jackson Twp.: Ronald C. Brainard, Bobbi Kotowski, Candy S. Roosa.
Jessup Twp.: Lou Ann Smith, Mary L. Torney.
Lanesboro Boro: Muriel Davey, Frank H. Hobbs.
Lathrop Twp.: Frank Carpenetti, Barbara Jane Clark, Randal L. Helms.
Lenox Twp.: Adelaide S. Atkinson, Loena Barbar, David L. Perry.
Liberty Twp.: John Considine, Gary C. Wells.
Montrose Boro 1W: Robert W. Beck, Weller Jennifer Button, Russell D. Ely.
Montrose Boro 2W: Joel C. Maxey, Retha S. Stone.
New Milford Boro: Richard R. Anderson, Joyce Carroll.
New Milford Twp.: Robin M. Armstrong, Regina M. Collins, Judith A. Daniels, Rita S. Driscole, William A. Furch, Lois E. Lee, David A. Ragantesi, Willard Tingley, Nancy S. VanCott, Bryce A. Whitney.
Oakland Boro: Twila D. Stark.
Oakland Twp.: Denise Lyons, Howard W. Potter.
Silver Lake Twp.: Tyler P. Blackman, Jackie Hart, Sally M. Hawley, Erin M. McPherson, Stella T. Nowik.
Springville Twp.: Dorothy C. States.
Susquehanna Boro 2W: Bruce M. Walsh.
Following is the Silver Lake Township Police Report for August, as submitted.
ATV ON ROADWAY
On August 04, two juveniles were stopped while riding an ATV on SR4002. Both were issued a warning and they were escorted back to their residence.
On August 08, the Brady’s, at the cottage on the Beach at Quaker Lake, reported that a car full of people stopped and tried using the private beach. They were asked to leave but refused. The actors then did leave at a high rate of speed after doing some road raging throughout the area.
On August 8, Jackie Snyder violated a PFA, whichwas filed against her by Donald Overfield, disallowing her to be at his property in Silver Lake Township. Snyder was eventually arrested and is currently incarcerated.
On August 12, Jennifer McPherson reported that her residence mailbox was destroyed on Lake Sophia Road.
On August 15, several acts of vandalism and criminal mischief were reported on Laurel Lake. A home was egged with permanent stains left on the siding. A newly constructed garage had windows shot out with a BB gun. This activity is still under investigation.
ATV ON ROADWAY
On August 22, while on patrol, Silver Lake Police observed a yellow high performance Quad traveling at high speed out of Valley View Road and onto SR4002. The vehicle sped east on SR4002 into Liberty Township where it turned onto Bel Air Lake Road and disappeared in a cloud of dust.
On August 16, Silver Lake Police were dispatched to the Brackney Inn for a burglary. Sometime between approximately 3:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., someone entered the building, disarmed the alarm system and took the cash register and cash from another cash box from the building. An undisclosed amount of cash and checks were taken. This incident is still under investigation.
On August 22, SLTPD was dispatched, with assistance from PSP Gibson, to the Michael Snow residence in Silver Lake Township for a domestic dispute in progress. Subsequently Mr. Snow was cited for Harassment against his wife, Monica.
On August 26, at approximately 2300 hrs., SLTPD was dispatched to the Hawleyton Road area for possible shots fired or fireworks. Investigation revealed that a benefit celebration was taking place with a fireworks finale at the Mt. Top Grove in NY State.
On August 27, Dane Howell, who lives in Charlotte, NC, formerly of Laurel Lake, reported that someone had forcibly entered his former residence and camping trailer on Laurel Lake, and removed items from within.
(NOTE: Eugene is the son of the late Paul and Eleanor Baker and grandson of Editor U.G. and Nora Baker.)
Looking back, and it has been a while, to the “Transcript Days,” does not really require tremendous effort.
One of the first impressions which comes to mind is the smell of the “old” Transcript.
Paper, by the roll, by the tons, bits and pieces all waiting, waiting to be fed into the hungry maw of the mighty press, the fabled Goss Comet.
Warm steel, hot oil, paste and ink. Ah, the ink. In your hair, on your clothes, under your skin. It is said, a real newspaperman (that is one word, isn’t it?) has printers’ ink in his veins. It must be so, for after 28 years, I can still feel it pulsing.
And the sounds. The hammering of wood on type, being smoothed in the form; clattering and clacking from the linotype; the roar and groans from the press, which appeared and sounded ready to tear itself from its very bed and charge through the nearest wall. What other impression could a small boy have to this monster with its great, huge, cogged wheels and the slashing side rods connected to the never-stilled rollers; the web of cream-white paper mysteriously disappearing without a mark on it, only to reappear seconds later with the total of the day’s events printed for all to see, to read, to learn and profit by? My God, it was heady stuff!
Memories, those ghostly, wispy remembrances of men and women who were giants to me.
One must begin the list with Ulysses Grant Baker, who quite literally was a “man’s man.” He was, as I recall, big but ever so gentle. Fierce with his adversaries, those who would do harm to the citizens of the Three Boros, be it parking meters or the raising of water rates. I believe he would have taken on the devil himself to help his neighbors.
And his sons, Paul S. (my Dad) and John D., known to all as “Don.” They carried on the tradition after “U.G.” died, publishing the Evening Transcript and the Weekly Ledger. How many remember Paul’s nickname was Zep; short for Zeppelin or so he told me.
Guy Horton, who always seemed to be bent over the forms, cigarette dangling from his lips, thick glasses smudged from toiling in the “back room,” doing the casting (pouring molten lead), studying the efforts of his labor, looking for errors.
And Dorothy Springsteen. Now there was a lady who took no sass, be it from man or child. She ran her office like the quarterdeck of a ship and I truly believe the “Big Guys” would have folded up without her.
Last but by no means least, by any stretch of the imagination, there is Louis Parrillo, known to all as “Louie.”
Here was a man who had a “magic” about him to me. He and Don Baker, along with so many others from the Three Boros, served their country in World War II and I recall standing on the pipe railing between the Town Theater and the Hotel Lorraine looking at the great, white board with so many names, some with stars after them and seeing Louie’s name and because I knew him, thought he was special. Which, indeed, he is. He is the last direct link to the past. The town baseball team, the bowling tournaments in New York City and the “old” Transcript. The stuff legends are made of.
Memories: the Transcript burning, wisps of smoke in the office and Dad couldn’t get my boots on, it’s January, 1945. Dorothy Springsteen took me across the street to the Erie Hose rooms and we watched the school kids, under Fire Marshall Jack Palmer’s direction, try to break out windows in the upper floors with snowballs so that the fire fighters could direct their streams of water in the upper windows. Don’t think there was a ladder truck available at the time. After the fire, ice. All was ice. Smothering and blanketing the Transcript. But in March, like the Phoenix and with the help of so many, the press rolled again.
Bits and pieces from the past: snow days, sitting in the window of the Transcript looking out on Exchange Street watching the Erie trains thunder by the shops, mighty steam engines front and back, pouring out great clouds of grey/white/black smoke, so thick that even the falling snow turned grey.
Running to the “Dog House” for a ten-cent bottle (Page’s or Lamb’s pint milk bottles) of coffee, cream and sugar, two plain donuts. Dad would share the donuts but the coffee was his.
FDR dies; front page story. World War II is over; front page story. Korea; for a while, front page story.
And in between these events, our town changed. Steam gave way to diesel and the railroad changed pitch. So many men were no longer required and Susquehanna slowed down just a notch. But, being kids, we didn’t even notice.
Little League was now our passion. It’s 1951; it’s summer and who should be one of the men holding tryouts at Victory Park but Louie Parrillo. He took one look at me, handed me the catcher’s mitt and pronounced that I was now a catcher for the very good reason that I was the fattest kid and nobody was going to get by me to home plate. He was right.
It was also during these wonderful, golden summer days when every kid wanted a paper route. My name went on the list (no favoritism) and lo, one day, I was told to get a paper bag and go to work. Thank God for Moms, for a bag of the proper dimensions was forthcoming, almost at once.
My first paper route (I had two) was Main Street, Front Street, and the Erie depot. With paper bag stuffed (it banged off my knees, as I recall) and list in hand, off to my appointed rounds; Wagner’s Newsstand, the Sugar Bowl, Reddon’s Drug Store (both of them), Lamb’s Ice Cream Store, the Post Office, E.K. Owen’s Hardware, Ryan Brothers Five and Dime, Ryan and Allpaugh’s Men’s Store, Haynes Department Store, Perrine’s Furniture, the Moose Club, Clapper's Secondhand Store, The Brick Restaurant, the Langford and Eagle Hotels, Mae’s Quick Lunch and all the homes out Front Street to the very end. In winter, it got very tricky. I recall once having to walk on top of the retaining wall behind the depot as the snow was too deep in the road. Part of the route called for climbing down a ladder behind the depot to deliver to the Barber Shop, the Telegraph and Caller office, the Erie Restaurant. Always had a few extra papers to sell (at two cents a copy) to the railroad men.
At the end of the route, there would be Dad in his ’41 Chrysler, waiting in the Erie parking lot to take me home. In winter it was quite dark now, usually snowing and the wind would be bitter. But in summer, it was fun to watch the old Italian gentlemen playing Bocce in their court on Front Street, just above where the Erie ice house once stood.
Now we are in high school, Little League is behind us. Carl Tross, Ann (Nancy) Lea, Guy Horton, Don Baker, Dad and myself; we do it all. Casting and type setting; mailing and painting; name it and we could do it.
Carl and I could take that Goss Comet apart, clean it and put it back together (no parts left over) in one day, usually a Saturday and have it greased, oiled and inked, ready to roll come Monday. We’d sweep and clean, paint and repair, fix the machine (or the plumbing) and help get the paper out. All for the sum of fourteen dollars a week! We considered ourselves as Captains of Industry, able to leap over tall buildings, etc., but only if Carl’s ’47 Chevy would start.
I don’t’ recall the last day in the Transcript. I’m sure I was aware I would not be coming back. It just happened and maybe that is just as well.
Thinking now about those days, I remember Dad sitting out on the Transcript stoop on Exchange Street, sitting in the sunshine, cleaning the Linotype space bands, that were used to separate words. This was one of his few moments each day in the sun, and I would stop and we would talk. Just talk. I miss him even now.
I recall driving by the Transcript and the doors were all open in the summer heat, the roar of heavy machinery easy to hear and thought that, even though most of the “giants” I had known and loved, “U.G.,” Dad and Don, Dorothy and Guy, had all gone on to A Better Place, the Transcript looked the same, sounded the same, and is very much the same.
I believe, even though the “wise ones” say you cannot go home, ever again, I believe if you ever worked for the Transcript, all you have to do is step through the front door.
Hornell, New York
Dunmore – A motorist from Meshoppen has been found guilty of disorderly conduct charges stemming from a July 25 incident in a work zone in Wyoming County, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said today.
George Shiffer, 44, was found guilty and fined for using obscene language on a public highway following the disruption of a PennDOT line-painting operation on Route 4015 in Meshoppen Township. The driver ignored signs and drove through freshly painted lines. When confronted by the crew foreman, the motorist began using profanity.
“We hope prosecutions send out a strong message to the public about work zone safety,” said Stephen Shimko, District Executive of PennDOT’s District 4-0. “We’ll continue to pursue every one of these cases. We’ll do everything we can to ensure the safety of our workers and the public.”
The ruling was issued on September 15 by Senior Magisterial Judge Watson Dayton. The prosecuting officer was Trooper Stephen Brdaric of the Pennsylvania State Police Tunkhannock Barracks.
Although I live in New Hyde Park (NY), I have been reading the County Transcript for thirty years. This newspaper has brought back memories of my childhood, when I lived in Susquehanna. The Evergreen Cemetery has most of my relatives, grandparents buried there.
This paper has kept me in touch with people that once lived there. I still correspond with folks in Oakland. My Aunt Rose, Steve Smith lived in an apartment over the Haynes Department Store and are now deceased.
This paper should be congratulated on its hard work to capture the spirit of the town.
as Written by the Late Editor, U.G. Baker
Following is a reprint of the August 3, 1936 issue of the Susquehanna Transcript daily publication.
Begins 51st Year
As A Daily
(The following article appeared in the August 1, 1986 issue of the Transcript. We believe it is worth repeating, due to its vast amount of information of the Transcript since its first issue, 120 years ago, August 2, 1886)
This newspaper first issued as weekly arose from the ashes of the Gazette.
The Susquehanna Evening Transcript, with this issue, begins its fifty-first year as a daily publication.
The publication became a daily a half century ago, on August 2, 1886. James Burns was Chief Burgess of the Borough at that time.
The Transcript “born into the weekly field of publications,” arose from the ashes of the Susquehanna Gazette, which was destroyed by fire in 1883.
It is interesting and proper at this time to review, briefly, the history of the communities of The Transcript, first as a weekly and then as an afternoon daily.
The Susquehanna County History says Susquehanna’s first newspaper was the Northern Pennsylvanian, founded by M. H.C. Vail in 1858. It was a seven-column folio, neutral as regarded politics, and was edited and published by Mr. Vail for about two years and a half. In the eight and a half years next ensuing it was owned and edited in succession by L.P. Hinds, Esq., W. J. Hunter, P.H. Rafter, E.A. Benedict and N. B. Chase. The last named removed the office in the spring of 1868, to Great Bend. There the paper was published under the same name, although with several different owners, for a few years when it was then removed to New Milford, and in 1871 the publication was discontinued.
In May 1869, W. H. Gardener, of Homer, N.Y., started the Susquehanna Journal, a seven-column folio, and conducted the same until September 1871, when B.F. Pride of Union, N.Y., purchased the property. The Journal had, up to date, received a very limited support, and it had come to be generally understood that a newspaper could not live in Susquehanna, seven different gentlemen having tried the experiment, and each with very unsatisfactory results, within the preceding twelve years.
Mr. Pride, although a very young man, took the Journal under very discouraging circumstances, and by hard work and close application succeeded in building up a good paying business. The paper was independent in all things. It was from time to time enlarged until it became a tri-weekly and the largest newspaper in Susquehanna County.
Mr. Pride, at the age of thirty-four years, enjoyed the distinction of being the oldest newspaper publisher in the county, having continuously occupied the editorial chair of the Journal for nearly sixteen years. During June, 1874, the Journal office was destroyed by fire, and was almost a total loss to the owner, but in two weeks thereafter it was again issued, and appeared regularly for a long time. Mr. Pride, during this editorship, served as Chief Burgess of the Boro.
In February, 1874, Messrs. C.E. Whitney and B.C. Kidder, with the material of the defunct Northern Pennsylvanian, which was removed from New Milford to this place, started the Susquehanna Gazette, an eight-page column folio, neutral in politics. This paper passed in turn to the hands of C.E. Whitney, E.W. Rogers and Sons, Dunlea and Brosnam, and was finally destroyed by fire with the Cook block, in which it was located, in February, 1883 and the publication discontinued.
In May 1883, F.A. Miller started the Susquehanna Weekly Transcript, a six column quarto, Democratic in politics, and published the same until February, 1886, when he sold the paper to Joseph Clark, Jr., of Denver, Colo. The publication of The Transcript as a daily was begun on August 2, 1886, with C.E. Whitney as editor.
The foregoing facts from the History of Susquehanna County are verified by the records of Harmony S. Warner, local historian; and also by Henry C. Miller, Cobleskill, N.Y., banker, a former resident of Susquehanna, and brother of Frank A. Miller, following the destruction of the Susquehanna Gazette by fire in 1883, bought the subscription lists and what was left of the plant and started The Transcript. He was assisted by Arthur W. Cook, who served as assistant business manager.
The Gazette was located in the Cook block, which stood on the site now occupied by the City National Bank, in which building The Evening Transcript is now located. Thus, from the ashes of the Gazette came the Transcript, first a weekly, and then as a daily.
Editor Miller started the paper in an old building on Franklin Avenue, back of the present post office Block, on the site occupied by Patsy Valentine’s home and shoe repair shop. Editor Miller was young in years, and in appearance, and was continually referred to by Editor Pride of the Journal as “The boy editor of our contemporary, the Transcript.”
Many were the word battles carried on through their pages by Editor Pride of the Journal. Editor Miller was outspoken, as was Editor Pride, and a perusal of the files brings to light some bitter as well as witty newspaper writing. Editor Pride once warned Editor Miller as follows: “You are going to awaken the wrong passenger one of these days, and then look out for trouble.”
Editor Miller continued the Transcript until February 1886, when he sold to Joseph Clark, Jr., a new comer from Denver, Colo. Mr. Clark employed C.E. Whitney as his editor.
On August 2, 1886, Publisher Clark launched the Evening Transcript as a daily, with Mr. Whitney still at the editorial helm. Joseph M. Ryan, of Ryan & Allpaugh of Susquehanna, and Jeremiah Ryan, now leader of Organized Labor in Southern New York State, were employees of Mr. Clark when the daily was started.
Publisher Clark said in the first issue of The Evening Transcript fifty years ago:
“In issuing the initial number of The Evening Transcript no elaborate statement is made as what it proposes to do. The fact that the paper is today placed in the hands of the public is evidence that the management desires to aid the town in all that tends to its growth, activity and development. It remains with the public to make its publication permanent. A combined population of 7,000 people in this trio of boroughs ought certainly to have some daily means of communication. A local daily newspaper has been in the dream of our people for years. The dream is realized, and the people have now the opportunity of making the paper one of the established institutions of the city.”
Editor Whitney made the Evening Transcript well known throughout the East, many of his snake stories being republished in the great newspapers of the day.
Publisher Clark, who assisted with the editorial work, was kept busy trying to find money for the fixed charges of the office. He was a deeply religious man, a fine musician, and took deep interest in church work. It is said of Publisher Clark that he was a tower of strength in the Methodist Church, and a fine aid to all worthwhile religious work in the community. His one ambition was to enter the ministry.
He sold The Transcript property in 1887, to George Resseguie, and went to Ohio, where he became State Superintendent of Sunday School work for the Methodist Church. He later served in the same capacity in New York State for over a quarter of a century, during which time he became an ordained minister. He has written the present editor of the Transcript twice in late years, his last message being typed with one hand, while the other hung helpless at his side from paralysis. He said in one of these letters: “I had nothing to start with, and nothing when I left Susquehanna, but thank God the Evening Transcript had continued down through the years to serve a fine community of splendid people.”
William Epes, now general manager of the Erie Y.M.C.A. here, well recalls Mr. Clark’s fine religious efforts in the community.
The Transcript, for many years was located in the building on Euclid Avenue, now owned by W.E. Bennett, and occupied as the office of the Canawacta Water Company. Charles Miller, one of the community’s most substantial citizens in his day, erected the brick building on Euclid Avenue for his son, Frank A. Miller, founder and editor of the weekly Transcript, and the publication continued there until removed to the City National Bank building in 1928, by the present owner.
In 1887, George E. Resseguie purchased the Evening Transcript from Joseph Clark, and changed the name of the Weekly Transcript to the Weekly Ledger, which is now published as the weekly edition of this daily. C.E. Whitney edited the papers for George Resseguie, who guided the policies of the publications until his death in 1891.
Unable to find a buyer for the property, Charles Wesley Resseguie, father of Editor George Resseguie, became the owner and publisher, with Henry Birchard as editor. Publisher Charles Resseguie continued the business until his death in 1898. Mrs. Charles W. Resseguie and daughter, Miss Gertrude Resseguie, conducted the publications until 1900, when they sold to Clarence E. Titsworth of Montrose, and Editor Henry Birchard, who had learned the publishing business in the county seat.
Mr. Titsworth writes us that his job was to find cash for carrying on the publication, while Editor Birchard wielded the pen in fluent and telling style.
Hon. C. Fred Wright, and Hon. W. D. B. Ainey were the political powers in this section of the State at that time, and Mr. Titsworth says he was induced to come to Susquehanna and enter the publishing field through the good offices of Mr. Ainey, who apparently had a financial interest in The Transcript following the Resseguie regime.
During the Titsworth-Birchard ownership, the office was wrecked by a fire, which started when some gasoline was spilled. The building was gutted and all the equipment practically ruined.
Publisher Titsworth and the late James M. Tinkler, with the insurance money, went to New York City and purchased new equipment, while Editor Birchard carried on here, making ready for the resumption of the publications. The plant was housed in the old electric light building until the brick building on Enclud Avenue was repaired, when business was resumed at the old stand by Messrs. Birchard and Titsworth. All this is verified by interesting letters from Mr. Titsworth, now in California, and Mr. Birchard, retired.
George V. Larrabee, North Jackson’s well known journalist, became business manager of The Transcript and Ledger following Mr. Titsworth, and for many years he served efficiently as a writer for the papers, his North Jackson letters being outstanding.
Mr. Larrabee recalls interestingly two weeks he spent in Montrose reporting the Show-Egan murder trial, the most sensational case in Susquehanna County history. He also recalls reporting the runaway train on the Jefferson division, and the shooting and capture of desperate men suspected of robbery by Constable Leach at Ararat.
Editor Birchard had a powerful ally in Mr. Larrabee, who was not only a fine writer, but a shrewd business man as well. Mr. Larrabee was known to every person in the county, as was Editor Birchard. Mr. Larrabee lives retired on his fine farm at North Jackson, and often writes for this paper. His experience has been varied and extensive. During his active years he wrote for the leading papers of the State and for many farm publications. He was also correspondent for the papers at Montrose and Honesdale. Mr. Larrabee was especially well informed on politics, and his advice was always sought by candidates covering the county and district.
Editor Birchard had a wonderful career as editor of The Evening Transcript.
The “feud” started by Editor Pride of the Journal and Editor Frank Miller of the Transcript, was carried on by Editor Whitney, and “kept alive” by Editor Birchard. In fact Editor Birchard missed no opportunities of “blistering the Journal” with scathing words. Editor Pride would “strike back,” and the people of the community were always “expecting something terrible to happen to both editors.” They were believed to carry loaded revolvers, sharp knives and dynamite; and to wear bullet proof clothes. However, it was not unusual to see them walking arm in arm along the street following an exchange of broadsides in their respective newspapers.
Editor Pride, then Chief Burgess, longed to “jail Editor Birchard,” but the opportunity did not present itself, so he contented himself by taking “pot shots” at the editor of The Evening Transcript, who always returned the fire without apologies.
Henry T. Birchard, George V. Larrabee, and Clarence Titsworth could fill large volumes with their experiences in editing and publishing The Transcript.
Messrs. Birchard and Larrabee were longer in control than any of the others, their service covering about 18 years.
Thompson Bean, John P. Shanahan and Joseph Suter followed Editor Birchard, with Mr. Larrabee continuing as business manager and contributing editor. Thompson Bean was a “scrappy editor” and enjoyed clashes with anybody and everybody.
John P. Shanahan, one of Susquehanna’s best-known and popular citizens of this day, edited The Evening Transcript from 1912 to 1915, following Thompson Bean. Mr. Shanahan was strong for local news, and kept the column of the paper well filled with the news of events taking place here. Like his predecessors, he often found himself in difficulty with irate readers who took offense at items he wrote and printed in The Transcript.
Publishing Company Formed
George Schaeff, well known business man here, secured control of the property, purchasing the interests of Messrs. Titsworth and Birchard, and formed the Transcript Publishing Company, the late Hon. C. Fred Wright, then a member of Congress and later State Treasurer and member of the Public Service Commission, being one of the principal stockholders. Mr. Schaeff was publisher, and it was during his regime that Messrs. Bean, Shanahan and Suter served as editors, Mr. Larrabee serving as business and special writer.
The paper played a tremendous part in Susquehanna County politics during Mr. Schaeff’s regime. He was appointed Postmaster here, and in the Spring of 1917 died suddenly while enjoying a vacation in Florida.
Hon. C. Fred Wright and his son, F. Miller Wright became full owners of the Evening Transcript following the death of Mr. Schaeff. In the Summer of 1917, C. Myer Fairchild, then a member of the E.K. Owen Hardware Company, on a visit to his old home town Towanda, where he is now in the hardware business, asked U.G. Baker, then editor of The Towanda Daily Review to come to Susquehanna and buy The Evening Transcript property which was “on the market.” The Messrs. Wright not being newspapermen had no desire to carry on the business.
In keeping with Mr. Fairchild’s suggestion, U.G. Baker visited Susquehanna, inspected The Transcript office and made the Messrs. Wright an offer for the property. The offer was just half what the owners asked. They said: “We will meet you half way. You increase your offer 50 percent, and we will reduce our price the same amount.” The sale of the property was consummated in less than ten minutes. This was in August, 1917. The Title to the property was given as of November 1, 1917, and that was the date of the transfer, although U.G. Baker did not become editor until November 6, 1917, the day of the election of Judge Smith, following a bitter contest with Judge H.A. Denny. Hon. C. Fred Wright supported Judge Smith with The Transcript, and had he surrendered possession of the property under the terms of the sale on November 1, 1917, the paper would have been “silenced” as far as the Judgeship contest was concerned, as the new owner and editor could not have taken part in the fight under the circumstances. U.G. Baker thus became active owner and editor of The Evening Transcript and The Weekly Ledger on November 6, 1917.
Before coming to Susquehanna, U.G. Baker purchased a modern Linotype, which was delivered here late in December, less than two months after he took possession of the paper. It is interesting to note in this connection that the Linotype, undoubtedly the greatest mechanical invention of all time, is fifty years old at this time.
The installation of the Linotype was followed by other new equipment. When The Transcript was moved to the present location a Gross Comet newspaper press printing from a roll supplanted the time honored cylinder press, which served for years. The paper was increased from four to six pages in 1928 and has continued this size through the “depression years” during which time the office has been completely re-equipped and modernized.
The Transcript “born out of glowing embers” has always sailed the stormy seas. The four year contest waged by The Transcript against increased water rates in Susquehanna, attracted national attention, being covered by newspapers and magazines throughout the country, and abroad. A year ago The New York Times mentioned The Transcript in a column article concerning a “snake-worm” found here, it was the first time that The New York Times ever mentioned a country newspaper by name.
That the general public has but little idea what confronts an editor and publisher of a daily newspaper is proved by the fact that on five occasions, during two years, the editor stood face to face with threatened libel and damage suits that had no connection with the water rate case. They developed in other quarters and were fraught with tremendous possibilities, which continued several weeks.
The Evening Transcript has been under the present ownership and editorship for 19 years. Since January 1, 1936, F.J. Halloran has ably assisted U.G. Baker in editing the paper. Since January 1, 1936, Paul S. Baker, son of the owner and editor, has served as assistant publisher. The other members of the force are: Guy K. Horton, Charles Goshorn, Cyril Brick, Louis Parrillo, Miss Dorothy Springsteen, and twelve carrier boys. Three young lady reporters are employed in the three boroughs. Others who are connected with The Transcript bring the total number up to 29.
In order that the records may be complete, it is recorded that the present owner and editor, U.G. Baker a native of Bradford County, gained his early experience as a journalist with the Towanda Daily Review. For two years he was connected with the Daily News of Burlington, Vt., as circulation manager, and later as a member of the editorial force. For a time he was on the staff of the Times-Democrat of Akron, Ohio, and then accepted the editorship and management of the Daily Tribune at Toronto, Ohio, continuing for five years when he resigned to accept a call to return to Towanda and the editorship of The Daily Review, where he served for ten years, from 1907 to 1917, when he came to Susquehanna.
The late U.G. Baker, with his always prevalent smile and the often spoke of “Mound of Papers” at his desk.
Hallstead Boro Council spent most of their September 21 meeting discussing road repair, much of it damage caused by the June flooding.
Pothole patching is in progress and will continue. The sides of Old Rte. 11, Pine Hill and Railroad Street will get modified to fill in the edges that washed away.
Three bids were reviewed for paving. One, to fill in and pave a section under and near the viaduct on Pine Street was accepted. Another, for a section of Old Route 11 was accepted, with the provision that work would be done before the end of the year, after pipe replacement that will involve tearing up part of the road has been completed.
The third, on Pine Hill led to some discussion. There had been considerable water damage, and it is unclear whether it was caused by flood waters or by a water main break. Council will contact the water company to ascertain if there are any water lines in the area; if not, work will proceed. A contractor who was to have done the work will be contacted to see if he could still do it; if not, another contractor will be contacted. As all of this may delay the work past the time of year when paving material is available, the only option may be to level it out as best as possible, and complete the work in the spring.
A work list for the coming month was compiled; some items are replacement of the base of the merry-go-round at the Chase Ave., replacement of a catch basin, and a clogged drain in the boro building, and a broken drain on New York Ave.
Other business discussed included council members’ need to take NIMS training before the end of the month. A class originally scheduled for the following Saturday had been canceled. Secretary Cindy Gillespie agreed to contact the county Emergency Management office to find out if the only other option was to take the course on-line, or if a written test and study guide are available.
Council will meet on October 12 at 7 p.m. to work on next year’s budget.
After review of the boro’s permit fee schedule and a comparison of several other municipalities’, a motion carried to reduce the fee for installation of modular homes as it was found to be too high. This would fall under the category of non-UCC permits; UCC-related permit fees are unchanged.
A motion carried to update the boro’s real estate transfer tax ordinance; it was agreed that the interest imposed on delinquent tax should be the equivalent of the interest rate imposed by the Commonwealth.
Another proposed ordinance will be sent to the solicitor for review. DEP had requested that the boro enact a water connection ordinance, requiring that any newly constructed building be hooked into the water system, and that no on-lot well be used for any purpose other than cooling.
The final discussion was brought up by a resident in attendance, who asked about the boro’s contract with the little league for the Route 11 ballfield. She had heard that the contract the boro has with the little league included a clause that stated that the boro could cancel the lease agreement at any time, and asked if this were true. Council assured her that the lease is for (the standard) seven years. The only way that council could cancel the agreement would be if the park were to be in a serious state of disrepair, and all agreed that that would never happen, the park has been well cared for. The lease had been reworded slightly from the previous agreement, to add a stipulation that if the lease were to be canceled by either party, the buildings at the site would remain the property of the boro. All other equipment, such as the lights and fencing, would remain the property of the little league. And, council assured that the lease with the boro is binding; even if it should turn out that all present council members were to leave and an entirely new council were to be put into place, the lease would remain in effect..
The next meeting will be on Thursday, October 19, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
Preliminary PSAA scores had been made available several weeks ago, which indicated that the Susquehanna Community School District’s scores were quite good. At the September 20 board meeting, Superintendent Bronson Stone reported that the score results are now final, and the district’s students have indeed performed extremely well. In reading, 70.5% of students are proficient or advanced in reading, and 72.18% are proficient or advanced in math. Mr. Stone was proud to say that the district’s scores are among the highest in the county. This makes the third consecutive year that the high school scores have met or exceeded Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards, and the elementary has achieved the same for the fourth year in a row.
Several factors were credited for the outstanding scores, among them hard work on the students’ part, curricular upgrades the district has implemented, the dedication of teachers who have met the challenge of constant demands, and increased contact with parents.
The Strategic Plan has been posted as required, and has been submitted to the Dept. of Education in Harrisburg. Created over a 13-month period, it includes a variety of student services plans, and its six-year goal is in correlation with No Child Left Behind. It will be available for public review for 28 days.
The district’s current Internet contract with Epix expires in 2008, after which Internet 2, specifically designed for schools, will be the service provider.
A public hearing is scheduled for October 5, 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium; the subject is the Act I legislation, particularly the earned income tax provision. (The sole purpose of Act I is the reduction of real estate taxes.) After an informational session, individual residents will be given the opportunity to express their opinions. Information about Act I is posted on the district’s website.
The elementary’s first open house of the year was a huge success, with 77% of families attending, 279 out of 361. Friday, October 6, a teacher in-service on the Saxon math program is scheduled and on September 27, an “Up, Up, and Away” assembly is scheduled, including a slide presentation and a hot air balloon demonstration to be held outdoors, weather permitting.
Transportation is running well, and bus contracts are 90% complete. The annual audit is set to begin on October 10, and the budget process for the next school year will begin shortly.
The Parent Involvement Committee had met the previous evening to reorganize. They are working on a list of activities, which will be presented to the board for final approval. Included will be the Mocha Moose Café, to be held during the All Curricular Expo.
The board approved the following:
-The District Strategic Plan, Professional Education Plan, Technology Plan and Teacher Induction Plan.
-A Bird Flu Crisis Response Plan; if a pandemic were to occur, the district will have guidelines of operation in place.
-The 2006 District Report Card, which includes the PSAA results as well as other data, such as the graduation rate, attendance, subgroup percentages. The detailed report is available on the district’s website.
-A Blended Schools Program Payment Schedule as submitted. This provides for payment of teachers who are involved with the cyber school program, which is in addition to their regular course load.
-Three tax rebates for Harmony Township, due to emergency reassessments as a result of flood damage.
-Appointing Frank Mroczka to the tax study commission in lieu of Chris Maby. Mr. Maby is unable to serve on the commission due to a conflict of interest; a relative is employed by the district.
-Adding the following to the Wellness Committee: Tia McAndew – Licensed Dietician, Tammy Stone – School Counselor, Denise Reddon – Teacher, Scott Glidden – Teacher.
-Substitute Personnel for the 2006/2007 school year: William Szili and Joanna Wallace, high school and Eve Baker-Swartz, clerical and elementary classroom.
-District Transportation Drivers for the 2006/2007 school year.
-District Transportation Contracts for the 2006/2007 school year. Once the county’s readdressing program is in place, the district will be implementing software that will provide a way to create single-tier busing, rather than the double-tier method used at the present time. Single-tier busing will be highly beneficial all around; students will all arrive at the same time, which will allow for more instructional time, and it will make the district eligible for a higher rate of reimbursement from the state.
-A request for Homebound Instruction for a 10th grade student.
-The following resignations: Elementary Wrestling Coach, Special Education Aide, HS Guidance Counselor, high school learning support aide.
-Hiring the following Staff for the 2006/2007 school year: instructional aide, substitute aide, junior high boy’s basketball - assistant coach, maintenance and cafeteria substitute, assistant yearbook advisor, substitute RN.
-A volunteer for Cross Country.
-The customary lists of activities, workshops, and fund-raisers.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, October 18, 7:30 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building.
Following are some of the ads and news items that appeared in the first issue of the Evening Transcript, on August 2, 1886 (Volume 1, No. 1):
ADS: Guttenburg, Eisman & Co., Clothiers. Lannon & Baxter, 60 Main Street, Choice Groceries. O.T. Smith, 22 Main Street, Undertaking and Furniture. A.D. Harding, 42 Main Street, The Best in Fotografs. Bell & Son, 82 Main Street, Shoes and Rubbers, up to $3.00. J.C. Kane & Brothers, Satins, Robes, Ladies Underwear, Etc. A.M. Bronson, Pianos and Organs. H.J. Ward, Lanesboro, Painting and Paper Hanging. W. C. Mitchell, 1 Main Street, Dealer in Pure Medicines and Chemicals. Hogan Opera House, Managers, Jackson and Shaeff; admission to “A Brave Woman,” 25¢, 35¢, 50¢, Monday night, August 2 only.
NEWS ITEMS: 12-year old Michael Dwyer, of Elm Street, picked up a revolver, looked into it to see if it was loaded, and shot himself in the face, knocking out two teeth and causing other injuries.
Two tramps were caught stealing. They gave names as James Hogan and Thomas Ryan. Erie Station agent Conklin swore out the warrant. They were arrested by Chief of Police Hall and officers Shirley and Sillick. After spending the night in the local jail, they were taken to the Montrose jail. The tramps were accused of stealing a supply of lager beer.
The first issue of the Evening Transcript started with a subscription list of 600 customers, to which Editor Joseph Clark “is very grateful.”
Annual reunion of Co. B., 17th Penna. Cavalry, August 21, at residence of A.D. Corse, Lake View, Jackson Township. All soldiers and friends welcome to attend.
CLASSIFIED ADS: Neroli is prepared by Dr. L.S. Gilbert, dentist, Susquehanna, and may be obtained at his dental rooms. Try the popular “Crow” cigar, only five cents. New drug store opened by D.M. Wheeler, opposite the town clock. Drugs, medicine and a full line of wines and liquors for medicinal use. Three loaves of bread for 25¢ at Shaeff Brothers. “Cheaper than you can make it yourself.”
ROMANCE AT THE GORGE: “I suppose,” said an inquiring newspaper man from the city to an old farmer, “that there are many romantic incidents connected with that picturesque gorge there?” The old farmer looked at him mournfully and said, “Yes, only six months ago a pair of youthful lovers strolled through and never came back.” “You don’t say so! What became of them?” asked the city man. “They got married and settled in the next town,” answered the old farmer.
Rev. Joseph Clark tells of his experience and friends in Susquehanna.
(NOTE: The following appeared in the Transcript issue of January, 28, 1930)
Rev. Joseph Clark, D. D., now of Albany, NY founded the Susquehanna Evening Transcript in 1886, the first issue of the daily appearing on August 2 of that year. Some time ago, the editor of the paper wrote Dr. Clark asking him to write a sketch of his experience here, that it might be preserved in the records of the publication. Dr. Clark complied with the request, and his letter is a part of this article.
After leaving Susquehanna, Dr. Clark entered the Methodist ministry and gave all his time to religious work, being unusually successful. For several years, he was General Secretary of the Ohio Sunday School Association, and there became known far and wide as a platform speaker of power and brilliance. In June, 1912, he became Secretary of the New York State Sunday School Association and located in Albany.
In the Empire State, he duplicated his success in Ohio, and added to his prestige by publishing several books and penning many poems, which had wide publicity.
Dr. Clark’s Letter
Here is Dr. Clark’s letter to the editor of the Transcript:
January 14, 1930
My Dear Mr. Baker:
I have your letter of January 8, seeking a sketch of my experiences in connection with the founding and editing of the Susquehanna Evening Transcript, in 1886, to which I am glad to respond at the age of 75.
Forty-four years is a long time since my experiences in Susquehanna were introduced, by the purchase from Frank Miller of his printing office and the subscription list of the Weekly Ledger, and I embarked upon a journalistic career. The paper had a very limited circulation, and a vigorous competitor in the Journal, owned and edited by Frank Pride. There was scarcely room at that time for two weekly papers, nor, as I look back upon it now, was there room for a daily. However, in my ambition to succeed, I thought there was and ventured to launch the Evening Transcript in hope that such an enterprise would appeal to the pride and appreciation of the borough and would be supported by Susquehanna’s advertising and reading public. As I look back upon it now, Susquehanna did respond generously to the new enterprise, and not to such an extent as to make the paper a pronounced financial success. I put into the enterprise determined application and hard work for two and a half years, when I retired from the field a wiser but poorer man, to answer a call I had long felt, to enter the Methodist ministry in Ohio, and to be eventually led into the interdenominational leadership of Sunday school work, in the states of Ohio and New York, to which work I have devoted my energies for more than thirty years.
At the time of my advent in Susquehanna, the borough was dominated by the Erie Railway Shops, its chief source of support. Prohibition was not then the law of the land and Susquehanna liberally supported about forty saloons, which on pay-day reaped a liberal financial harvest in the settlement of drink bills. The community was largely Catholic and the Catholic Church enrolled among its communicants many of the borough’s best and most enterprising citizens, under the fatherly care of a noble and much loved priest, Father Broderick, of sainted memory. The Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and other Protestant Churches were aggressive and thrifty and ministered to a large congregation. The Rev. Mr. Brooks serving as pastor of the Presbyterian Church and Rev. John B. Sumner as pastor of the Methodist Church.
Among the employees of the Transcript I recall the names of Byron French, Herb Benson, and Jerry Ryan. These were the days when the Millers, Cooks, Falkenburys, Bewers, Mathews, Benson, Ashes, Telfords, Birdsalls, Kanes, Langfords, Springsteens, Smiths, and others whose names I cannot recall, were among Susquehanna’s outstanding and most enterprising citizens. I recall the largest dry goods firm, but cannot give the correct firm name.
The Evening Transcript will soon celebrate its semi-centennial of founding. Little did I dream, in the faraway days, that the paper would attain a gray-headed age, and would have prospered as it has. The property and goodwill of the paper has increased from $5,000 to $50,000 and is established permanently in the community. I evidently built better than I knew.
While I am unable to use my right side with anything like comfort or freedom, due to paralysis agitans, and by the aid of a cane I cannot walk more than 500 feet without resting, nor speak without difficulty, I am blessed in the unimpaired use of my mind in writing and in ability to eat and sleep normally. I suffer no pain for which I am profoundly thankful. My condition of course makes it impossible to travel or to do platform work – activities, formerly loved so much. I am, however, retained on state staff as Consulting General Secretary. I am in daily phone communication wit the State Headquarters.
Thus am I privileged to retain active interest in the work of the State Association and continue to think of and plan for the work of Sunday school at large. I am further privileged to produce literature publication in the religious educational press. These mental and physical activities keep me engaged in worthwhile tasks, which conduce to better health conditions and dispel any tendency to worry. Though very much of a “shut-in,” I am happy in Him. Isn’t it fine?
Here’s wishing the Transcript and its publisher abundant success and to the community great prosperity.
“Cordially and Fraternally Yours,”
Since the first issue of the Transcript, August 2, 1886, the Transcript was delivered in the Three Boroughs by young men and women, boys and girls, that is. But due to the “scarcity” of young carriers, the Transcript, along with many other small-town newspapers, is now being directly mailed to customers.
Richard Miller, 1945-1949; Ruth Barnes, 1981; Jamie Decker, 1984-1985; Mark Matis, 1968-1970; Gordon Mallery, Sr., 1912-1914; Jackie Romanofski, 1946-1948, listed as the first “girl” paper carrier; Daniel Hand, 1975-1977; Debra (Whitehead) Cavanaugh, 1978-1983; Ron Whitehead, 1976-1982; Sharon (Ball) Miller, 1953.
Billy Ball, 1954; Carolyn (Maino) Rinker, 1969-1972; Cheryl (Maino) Tarbox, 1970-1972; Barbara (Whitney) Ballard, 1970-1972; Tony Napolitano, 1942-1945; Liberato (Chip) Parrillo, 1931-1933; Mary Theresa Ayres, 1974, who inherited the route from her brother, Michael “Midnight” Ayres; Lenny Murphy, 1928-1930.
Richard Sherman, early 70’s; Jimmy Sherman, late 60’s; Marion (Sullivan) Sherman, late 70’s; Brian Tadlock, 1983-1984; Terry Tadlock, 1984; James A. Mason, Major (Ret.), 1936-1938; Tommy Murphy and Nancy Sue Murphy, children of Lenny and Clara Murphy; Donald (Smokey) Hurley, around 1939.
Carl Tross, 1952-1957 and later “graduated” to the stereotype casting department of the Transcript; Diane Lindquist, 1948-1950; Ralph Hadden, Jr., 1930’s; Louie Hart, in the 1930’s and also helped out in the plant; Karen Towner; Judy Peltz; Michael Malantino, 1930’s and also worked in the plant running job presses; Angelo Tolomei, 1948-1949; Lou Parrillo, in the 1930’s; Ray Waddy, 1958-1972; Mark Tarbox, 1966-1968; John Ackley, 1972-1973; Chuck and Tim Welch, early 1970’s.
The Hendrickson family: Jay, 1946, Gene 1955, Gerald 1957, all “helped” to deliver the papers by their father, Roland Hendrickson. Terry Mortenson, 1982-83; Richard Agler, mid 1940’s; Richard French, late 1940’s; Erik Smith, 1970’s; Kurt Smith, 1970’s; Mary Ann (Canini) Testa.
Transcript carriers 25 years ago: Sharon Ball, Billy Ball, Carol Sellers, Judy Sellers, Charlotte Sellers, Lucy Sellers.
Last, but not least, on our list are two of the community’s most respected and well-known citizens. First we have Miller Perry, who went on to become a Brigadier General in the United States Armed Forces. He delivered papers in the Church Hill area, around 1915-1917. He worked in the Transcript mailing department in 1924, succeeding Fred Halloran, and succeeded Fred Skinner in the folding department around 1925. (Mr. Perry was a graduate of West Point and would often pay visits to the Transcript, on Exchange Street, while going to the “Point.”)
Our oldest carrier was a grandfather, Thomas Luciana, of Lanesboro. As many “younger” residents will remember, Tom was a super car salesman in his “younger” days. After his retirement, he kept himself busy around his home. Around 1973, his grandson, Chris Maby, became the Lanesboro carrier boy, while still in school. He kept the job until the 1980’s, with the help of his grandfather Tom, who would come to the Transcript and pick up Chris’ papers. At first, Tom would wait for Chris to get out of school, then help him deliver the papers. But as time wore on, Grandpa Tom would become restless waiting for school to let out and would deliver the papers himself. Many a time, Chris would come down to the Transcript after school to pick up his papers, only to find out that Grandpa had already picked them up – and also delivered them. But the sad note is that Tom had to quit delivering the papers, due to failing eyesight and that he was forced to “retire,” by his family. Once in awhile, customers would call Chris when the paper was late. “Don’t blame me,” Chris would answer. “Call my grandfather, he took over my route.”
At the September 18 meeting of the Great Bend Township Supervisors, supervisor/secretary Sheila Guinan gave a summary of an informational hazard mitigation meeting she had recently attended at Blue Ridge School. NTRPDC is sponsoring a cleanup, funded by the state. Ten crews will be trained and dispatched to remove trees from waterways and cut them up for disposal. Areas hardest hit will be targeted first, Trowbridge, Salt Lick and Dubois creeks in the township among them. The program is expected to span a period of six months.
Ray Fletcher requested time on the agenda to thank the supervisors for the work they did on his road. He also had a question about a clogged sluice; it was scheduled to be cleaned the following day, weather permitting.
Township property owner Josh Taylor has requested inclusion in the Hazard Mitigation Buy-Out program. The program is administered through the county; if the application is accepted, the township will eventually become the owner of the property.
Mr. Squier gave a rundown of the road crew’s activities. Work was complete on Church Hill Road, in progress on Airport Road, and washouts on Old Route 11 had been filled in. An emergency sluice pipe had been put in on Locust Hill; the township’s inclination was to leave it there, especially after local residents requested that they do, but there were some questions about whether or not DEP would allow that. It seemed likely that DEP would require that a larger diameter pipe be put in.
The Bridging Communities committee has applied for additional grant funding in the amount of $17,000, to cover expenses not covered by the original grant/community contributions.
Growing Greener 2 grant funding is available, through municipalities, for projects such as Rail–Trails, recreation, recreation trails, or revitalization. Since an application would need to be sponsored by a municipality, the supervisors agreed that they would be willing to sponsor a group such as the American Legion if they were to apply for funding.
A motion carried to adopt a resolution identifying the Route 11 corridor as a new enterprise zone. Doing so will make that area eligible for DCED grant funding to provide resources to assist in economic growth, by providing potential resources to assist in economic progress. The request to adopt the resolution was at the request of the county commissioners.
Under unfinished business, the supervisors reviewed a letter from Ralph and Mary Reynolds regarding their property. Cleanup was underway, it said, with significant progress. Flood damaged materials were sorted, to determine what was salvageable and what had been destroyed. The Reynolds’ expected to have the cleanup completed by the September 30 deadline, after which they would be continuing work on the damage to rental units on their property.
Joan Long reported that she had been continuing cleanup of her property, although there had been a delay due to illness, but work would continue. The supervisors asked for some specific details, particularly about the area around her house. They reminded that she had twenty days from the time of receipt of a letter that had been sent in compliance with the township’s nuisance ordinance, after which further action would be to go to the magistrate. Mr. Squier commented, “We don’t like to do that, but we will… it (the property) needs to be cleaned up.”
Another letter has been sent to Ken Tingley in regards to his property, giving twenty days from receipt to clean up.
A motion carried to adopt Ordinance No. 57, an update of an existing ordinance regarding real estate transfer tax, authorizing the sate to collect that tax, and enforcing the tax, interest and penalties.
Public comment included thanks for the work done on Church Hill Road, a request that any leftover blacktop from other projects be used to fill in potholes on Bogart St., and a question as to when the flagpole that had been removed from in front of the township building during construction would be replaced. Mr. Squier said that its replacement would require equipment and manpower not presently available; Mrs. Guinan added that, of late, there were a number of other items that had taken precedence. Two residents in the audience volunteered to see to it.
The next meeting will be on Monday, October 2, 7:00 p.m. in the township building, at which time the supervisors will revisit the question of whether two meetings a month are necessary, or if one will suffice.
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