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Issue Home October 18, 2006 Site Home

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

From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
The Family Doctor
Straight From Starrucc

100 Years Ago

HALLSTEAD: On Saturday morning last, about two o’clock, the people of Hallstead were awakened by the sounding of the fire alarm and the blowing of whistles at a lively rate. Investigation soon showed that the fire was in the Franklin street school house, and soon the interior was a roaring mass of flames, which threatened the adjoining property. The school building is a complete ruin, and nothing but the walls are standing. The cause of the fire is unknown but it is estimated to be between $10,000 and $12,000. Temporary quarters will be provided for the different departments of the school in some place in town. The building was of brick and stone, with a wooden wall adjoining, and was built about ten years ago at an expense of $7,000. There was an insurance of $5,000 on the building; school supplies to an amount over $200 and a heater that cost $900 last year, along with about 20 tons of coal, were in the building.

NEW MILFORD: A band has been organized, starting out with about a score of members. Charles Culver, a well-known and proficient musician of that place, is the musical director, and the prospects for a strong musical organization are excellent.

MONTROSE: Mrs. Nimrod Slaughter, an old colored lady of this place, died Wednesday, after a long illness. She was once a slave in the South. Her belief in Christ was very strong. Mrs. Slaughter was a member of Bethel church, on Chenango street. AND: Mrs. Cornelia Lathrop died a little before 2 o’clock a.m., Oct. 17, 1906. She was born near New London, Conn., Feb. 23, 1818. She spent many years in the Choctaw Nation as a missionary teacher, and there met and married Edwin Lathrop, who was a missionary farmer. They located in Montrose in 1859 and here the rest of their lives were spent. Deacon Edwin Lathrop died Dec. 22, 1896. Georgiana, their only child, died many years ago. Funeral services will be held from her late residence on Scenery Hill at 2 o’clock this Friday afternoon.

SUSQUEHANNA: Friday afternoon, John J. Prater, of Chatsworth, Ill, and Mrs. Ida Crofet [Crofot], of Oakland, were married by Rev. J. R. Austin, of the Oakland M.E. church. The ceremony was preformed at the home of Mrs. Crofet’s daughter on State street. They left for their home in the West, Saturday evening. Mrs. Crofet, about two months ago, it is reported, answered an address in a matrimonial paper and received a prompt reply. Later, photographs were exchanged and the man came here last week, Tuesday. Mrs. Crofet met him at the depot. He had a red and white ribbon on the lapel of his coat and she had the same on her dress. Mrs. Crofet is a good-looking widow and Mr. Prater is a prosperous Western man.

RUSH: Photographer Roberts leaves for New Milford, November 1st, closing his studio here at that time.

LENOX: The grange fair was very much of a success notwithstanding the day was so unpleasant. A net profit of $130 was realized. State Master Hill was present and showed his shrewdness not only in his fine speech, but also in selecting the lucky number on the clock and in guessing on a can of beans by which he won the jardinière. The oil painting was drawn by J. L. Tower, of Hop Bottom, and the $5 gold piece by G. N. Bennett.

SPRINGVILLE: Mrs. Mowry, of Meshoppen, brought her grandmother, Mrs. Overfield, home to her daughter’s, Mrs. Warren Dunlap’s, Saturday. On going to the barn Sunday a.m. they found her horse dead. She also received a telegram that her father, Mr. Bunnell, was dead. Deceased was Mrs. Dunlap’s brother, and resided near Meshoppen.

BROOKLYN: A. Ely raised 170 bushels of corn to the acre this year. AND: Mrs. S. B. Eldridge has returned from New York with all the latest styles of ladies hats. Her shop is profusely decorated with autumn leaves and plants.

UNIONDALE: Last Saturday, as Lewis Norton was driving home from Forest City towards evening, he met with an accident that nearly cost him his life. At Stillwater a telephone wire had fallen across the road which he did not notice; as he came to it the horses were trotting along and the wire struck him on the throat just below the chin, dragging him over the seat into the back part of the wagon. The horses went on about 1 mile before he could recover his seat and get the lines. The cut was bleeding badly and the neck swollen when he reached H. J. Orce’s, where he stopped and had the wound dressed. He was also bruised by the fall.

HEART LAKE: L. O. Farrar, Sup’t of Mountain Ice Co., is busy with his men, making extensive repairs on their large ice houses here.

TUNKHANNOCK: A small epidemic of the itch has appeared in the public schools at this place. At a meeting of the school board one day last week the principal met with them and stated the facts. A doctor was appointed to examine the children and on his report several children were excluded from the school until such time as they could prove they were cured.

FOREST CITY: Foreign-born residents who have not become citizens of the United States should remember that they must take out a license before hunting in this state. The fine for a non-citizen or non-resident hunting is $25. AND: There is a project on foot to organize a state bank here. One of those interested in the movement stated that the capital stock of the institution would be placed at $50,000 and that already there had been a number of subscriptions pledged.

NEWS BRIEF: Hereafter, clergymen performing marriage ceremonies cannot keep it a secret for a little while, when requested to do so by the contracting parties, without violating a new law which went into effect Sept. 1. This law compels every clergyman, within 24 hours after performing a marriage, to record the names and other specified particulars in the city or town clerk’s office. The law was passed to prevent secret marriages.

VISIT the Historical Society’s website at for back issues of 100 Years Ago.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


A good thing

The recently settled bargaining agreement between the Teamsters Local Union and Susquehanna County took an important step in the right direction, thanks to the union employees in the adult and juvenile probation departments and the drug and alcohol offices.

This fine bunch of guys and gals became the first union employees in the county to agree to a union contract that requires them to pay five percent of their health care premiums beginning in 2007. The employee contribution will increase to 10 percent in 2009 and 2010.

It would be nice if other union workers in the county will follow the example of the probation and drug and alcohol employees and voluntarily consent to begin contributing toward their health insurance premiums. It is being done in private industry all over the nation and at higher percentages of employee contributions.

Congratulations to those employees who voted in support of contributing to their health insurance.

More wonders of a modern world!

Technology is wonderful! Ask any parents who have school-age children and they will attest to that.

Duane Benedict, technology coordinator at Forest City Regional School District, has finished his telephone service updating. The end result is simply amazing. Well, it is to this aging writer who learned how to type in the late 1940s on L.C. Smith, Underwood and Royal manual typewriters at Vandling High School.

Benedict told me that parents and students now have a phone number to call that puts them directly into a teacher’s voicemail where they can access the homework announcement system. So, if a student should lose a homework assignment, Mom can find out what it is by dialing his/her teacher’s phone number. And, get this! Benedict completed the project without adding any additional costs to the telephone service at Forest City Regional. Parents need only to call the school or their child’s teacher to get the phone number that puts them into the homework announcement system.

Ah yes, technology. Isn’t it wonderful?

It’s that time again

Wow! Another year has gone by and once again it is time for the annual Educational Conference sponsored by the Susquehanna County Coalition for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Coming up on Thursday, November 2, is the fifth annual conference and it will be held at the Montrose Bible Conference in Montrose. Mark it on your calendar, phone some friends or neighbors, and take them along with you to this all important event.

The conference cost is only $10 per person and that includes lunch. So pick up the phone now and contact Charmarie Bisel at 258-4600, extension 6, or Bev Bennett at 178-3889.

The workshops at the conference will include Autism with George and Brenda Eaton Shadie, educators and parents of autistic children, who will share their knowledge and experiences; Grief and Loss in Children with Debra Mills, a Susquehanna County wife, mother and educator who will share her unique experiences with children; and, Self Mutilation with Thomas J. Sheeran III of Tri-County Human Services who is director of services for Susquehanna County. In the morning sessions you will hear from Dr. Loyd Lyter and Dr. Sharon Lyter on chemical dependency, implications and preventions.

If you are a concerned parent or grandparent, before you toss this newspaper on the recycling pile, make a note of the date (November 2), call and get registered so you will assure yourself of a seat. And, please, don’t brush this off with an excuse that no one in your family is being abused or suffers from Autism. It could hit home tomorrow and wouldn’t it be nice to know the symptoms and be prepared to cope with the situation?

I goofed!

Last week, while offering an opinion on the continuing saga of Blue Ridge SD vs. tax collectors, I questioned why Judge Brendan J. Vanston only ordered two of the school district’s six tax collectors to collect the school taxes.

I intended to follow up that remark with the simple question. How come all six tax collectors were not ordered to collect taxes in their respective municipalities? Unfortunately, the question I typed read, “How come all six school directors were not ordered to collect taxes in their respective municipalities?”

I am sure most of my readers understood what I intended to write but that does not excuse me for the error. If any Blue Ridge School Directors were offended or embarrassed by what I wrote, I am sorry.

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From the Desk of the D.A.
By District Attorney Jason J. Legg

There is a new grave at Saint Patrick’s Cemetery on Irish Hill where a good man rests and his name was Joseph Galletti. Joe was an attorney – a good attorney. You might say that a good attorney is an oxymoron, but, if you do, then you did not know Joe. When I say “good” attorney, I refer not only to his skills in the legal profession, but in the manner in which he conducted himself as a gentleman at all times. In my view, you cannot be a good attorney in the absence of good character.

Joe received his law degree in the state of Florida, and practiced law in Key West for several decades. After retiring in Florida, he wanted to live in the Endless Mountains – trading in the sun and the surf for a cabin in the mountains (and the snow). When he moved to this location, he resumed the practice of law with North Penn Legal Services, an organization that provides legal services in civil proceedings for those unable to afford to hire their own attorney. As a result, Joe found himself thrust into a myriad of tasks representing those without the financial means to legally protect their interests. Joe did not have the luxury of selecting his clients – or even the types of cases that he would handle. In this regard, Joe’s “retirement” was unlike the typical senior attorney who remains active but carefully selects the clients and types of cases in which he wants to get involved. Joe was in the legal “trenches” – and I believe that is exactly where he wanted to be.

All too often, the general public judges attorneys by the style of their suit, the model of their car, or the size of their home. Success is measured with dollar signs – the bigger the bankroll, the greater the success, and the better the attorney. For this reason, there is a tendency in the public to assume that a legal aid attorney or a public defender is less of an attorney than one hired privately. This assumption is not only erroneous – but it is disrespectful to those attorneys that commit themselves to public service. This is not to say that there are not private attorneys who are more skilled than public defenders; but the converse applies, there are public defenders that are more skilled than private attorneys. You should not judge a book by its cover – or the clothes he wears or the car she drives.

While success may certainly result in the acquisition of material wealth, the measure of a man’s character requires consideration of more than a man’s finances. Joe was a family man – a loving husband and a terrific father. On his casket, there was a framed copy of the song “Amazing Grace,” and we were told that Joe had placed it in a prominent location in his home so that he saw it every morning when he got up. This small, framed object sitting upon the large coffin was a tremendous sign of faith and thanksgiving. Silently, it spoke loudly of the character of a good man.

Joe may not have selected his clients, but he represented them with skill and ardor. I know because I fought against Joe in some of those legal “trenches.” While I believe that some of his clients did not truly appreciate him, Joe never failed to represent each client effectively and fairly. In many ways, Joe not only represented these disadvantaged folks – but he gave them a gift. At a time in their lives when there appeared to be no hope, when the entirety of a powerful legal system was closing in upon them, Joe strode forth to take their hand and help them through a difficult legal process. His clients did not always make his job easy – but he always did it well. Through his counsel, Joe was able to give them hope – and, in such dire circumstances, hope is a precious gift.

Joe earned my respect and admiration over the few years that I knew him; the legal community here in Susquehanna County has lost a good attorney, and our community in general has lost a good man. For those of us who knew Joe, we were blessed, and I am sure that God’s blessings will be poured upon Joe and his family in this difficult time. Goodbye, Joe.

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. A friend who uses a lot of psychobabble described a new woman in our retirement community as having a “personality disorder.” I would call this woman a pain the neck. What’s the difference between a personality disorder and just a lousy personality?

People with a personality disorder are more than just pains in the neck. They have serious trouble getting along with others. They are usually rigid and unable to adapt to the changes life presents to all of us. They simply don’t function well in society.

People with personality disorders are more likely to experience homicide and suicide, social isolation, alcohol and drug addiction, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-destructive behavior such as excessive gambling.

About one in seven U.S. adults has at least one personality disorder, and many have more than one. Personality disorders are usually first noticed around the teen years. However, personality disorders can surface at any time, including old age. About one in ten older adults living at home may have a personality disorder. This figure is even higher among adults living in nursing homes.

Childhood experiences and your genes play major roles in personality disorders. However, personality changes can be brought on in older adults if they have trouble handling the losses of family and friends, other major life changes or their own medical problems.

Mental health professionals place personality disorders in three categories or clusters. People in Cluster A exhibit eccentric behavior. Those in Cluster B are dramatic, emotional or erratic. And those in Cluster C are fearful.

The following are some examples. The descriptions are very brief because of space requirements. You could write pages to describe each disorder.

In Cluster A are schizoid, paranoid and schizotypal personality disorders. Schizoid personalities are introverted daydreamers who fear intimacy with others. Paranoid personalities don’t trust people and see them as deceitful or worse. Schizotypal personalities are eccentrics who act inappropriately and often claim they have supernatural gifts.

In Cluster B are antisocial, borderline and narcissistic personality disorders. Antisocial personalities are belligerent rule-breakers who often get into legal difficulties and fall into substance abuse. Borderline personalities are unpredictable, self-destructive and often see things in black and white. Narcissistic personalities overstate their own importance and need constant attention.

In Cluster C are avoidant, dependent and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders. Avoidant personalities can’t handle rejection well and may have no close relationships outside of their family. Dependent personalities lack self-confidence and rely on others to make decisions for them. Obsessive-compulsive personalities are unsatisfied perfectionists who are so detail-oriented that they have trouble making decisions.

The symptoms of Cluster A and Cluster B personality disorders may diminish with age. Those with Cluster C personality disorders often experience worsening symptoms as they get older.

There's no cure for these conditions, but psychotherapy and medication for symptoms such as anxiety and depression can help. The symptoms of some personality disorders also may improve with age.

If you have a question, please write to

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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

Does “Borderline” Diabetes mean you will have to use insulin eventually, or can it be controlled by diet? (B.L., Susqu.)

What I like about this question is that it brings up many issues, including the value of screening tests, the actions needed when a test comes up positive, and the consequences of ignoring early warning signs. The question also hints at the universal fear of insulin, which is something I battle almost daily in practice, and repeatedly try to overcome.

If you look at “official” diabetes authorities, they will tell you that there is no such thing as “borderline” diabetes. They’ll say you either have diabetes or you don’t, because the criteria for diagnosing it are so specific. On the other hand, there are two conditions that suggest a higher likelihood of developing diabetes, namely, impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance. In the first instance, a fasting (nothing to eat for 12 hours) blood test shows a higher than average level of glucose (sugar) that is not quite high enough to reach the level that defines diabetes. In the second test, a specific amount of glucose is given to a person and their blood glucose level measured afterwards, to see how well their body handles the load. Again, the blood sugar levels will be higher than average but not above the level that defines diabetes. In both cases, there is clear evidence that the body is not handling glucose properly, and thus there is a greater risk of developing diabetes.

Fasting glucose and glucose tolerance tests are screening tests. That means they should be done for people at risk for the condition, at a stage where the condition is still treatable. A good screening test needs to have a high sensitivity (ability to detect disease) and a high specificity (ability to “zero in” on the disease in question, and not turn up all sorts of other things). For example, a chest X-ray is a lousy screening test for cancer because it misses many small cancers while turning up many “spots on the lung” that aren’t cancerous at all. On the other hand, measuring blood sugar to determine how well the body is handling glucose is both sensitive and specific. Such tests will reveal problems with glucose metabolism before diabetes develops, and long before the complications and destruction of the disease. People at risk must be screened for diabetes, but the whole point is that by doing these tests, their risk can be determined and action can be taken to avert the disease.

Being found to have impaired glucose tolerance or elevated fasting glucose does not mean one will inevitably progress to diabetes. The essential thing is to confirm the test, make sure it’s accurate, believe it, and take appropriate action. Diabetes can be averted in much the same way as it is treated: careful attention to diet, exercise, lifestyle and habits. The whole point of doing the screening test is to identify the risk and prevent the disease, so it is absolutely true that you can prevent “pre-diabetes” from progressing to active disease. Ignore a positive screening test and you will probably get the disease. Ignore the disease and you will get complications, or at the very least, require more aggressive treatment.

This week’s question also jumps to the conclusion that all diabetics will need insulin, and implies that this is an undesired outcome. While insulin is powerful stuff and not to be taken lightly, neither is diabetes. We’re talking about a disease that is the number one cause of blindness, amputation and kidney failure in our country, as well as a leading cause of heart attack and stroke. This is a very, very bad disease, folks, and yet it can be relatively easily treated by giving you the very substance your body isn’t producing properly: insulin. When you know that lack of “a” causes “b”, why not give “a”? In diabetes, the very thing most patients need has been identified, purified, thoroughly tested, and is readily available for treatment. That is not to say that all diabetics must have insulin, but given the dire consequences of untreated diabetes, it is important not to have irrational fears about the medication that most specifically targets the illness. In the last few years insulin has been refined and updated, with new and more effective preparations that make it safer and more effective than a handful of different pills. It’s not to be used lightly, but it’s not to be seen as something to be avoided at all costs. The costs may be your vision, your kidneys and your legs.

Measuring fasting glucose and glucose tolerance testing are excellent screening tests. If positive, they give you a fighting chance to avoid the disease altogether, and certainly a much better chance of avoiding more intensive (and expensive) treatment. “Pre-diabetes” does not inevitably mean progression to diabetes. Development of diabetes does not inevitably mean insulin. Using insulin does not inevitably mean problems.

As always, if you have questions about health issues or medicine, you can write to me at, or care of the Susquehanna County Transcript. To schedule an appointment with me at the Hallstead Health Center, please call (570) 879-5249.

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