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Issue Home October 25, 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
Veterans’ Corner

100 Years Ago

SUSQUEHANNA: Work on the round house is progressing rapidly and should be enclosed by Dec. 1. The hardware plant is at a standstill on account of the high water and an accident to their concrete mixer. Work will be resumed and it is hoped by the first of the year to have it in operation. AND: Several politicians have been in town in the last few days extending the glad hand and looking after their interests. It is the same old story in the same old way, support me and everything will be A. O. K, and if you don’t things will go to the dogs. At election time the politicians know every voter in his district, but afterwards things are different.

HOP BOTTOM: Hon Galusha A. Grow, living a few miles from this place, explains how Hopbottom received its name. It was left to him and he named it from the wild hops then growing along the banks of the little stream that flows through the town. Hops are not and never have been raised in the valley for beer making or any other use.

STARRUCCA: Mrs. Reddington, who has conducted the Mountain House, at Starrucca, for over 20 years, died Sunday morning after an illness of several weeks. Mrs. Reddington made friends with everyone she met and used all alike, rich and poor. She will be greatly missed by the different parties who always stopped with her during trout and hunting seasons, and if anyone was not successful in capturing trout or game, she always was sure of them having better luck the next time, which always was cheering news.

BROOKLYN: The Young People’s union of the Universalist church have arranged for a masquerade social at Mrs. S. B. Eldridge’s home on Hallowe’en, Wednesday evening, next week.

NEW MILFORD: The stores of this place close at 7:30 o’clock every evening, with the exception of Saturday evening and pay day on the D.L. & W., and pay day at Crossley’s mill. AND: Mr. Cobb’s sawmill, on the Hayden tract at the lower end of New Milford, is now doing business, while Mr. Crossley’s men and teams are capturing all the marketable timber on F. W. Boyle’s hill, overlooking the town. When the jobs are finished it will greatly mar the beauties of our landscape.

HALLSTEAD: The new reservoir which the Hallstead Water Company has been building in Steam Hollow is completed and now the reservoir is 225 ft. higher than the town of Hallstead, and covers ten acres, and has a storage capacity of sixteen million gallons. AND: The employees of the chair factory are working nights this week owing to a rush of orders which speaks well for that branch of Hallstead’s industries.

FOREST CITY: Annie, the 4 year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Dzikas, who live in the Maxey block, died early Thursday morning of last week, as the result of severe burns received on Sunday. With some little companions she was playing in the yard and her dress caught fire from a small bon fire they had started. Before it could be extinguished her skirt was burned off and the flesh from waist to knee burned to a crisp. Medical assistance was at once secured, but while she lingered for two days her case was hopeless.

MONTROSE: The excavation and foundation for the Susquehanna County Historical building and Free Library is now well under way and rapid progress is being made by the contractor, A. E. Badgley, of Binghamton. The cribbing for the concrete foundation is partially in place and as much of the structure as possible will be erected before cold weather sets in. AND: Miss [Emily C.] Blackman [author of the History of Susquehanna County] is preparing to return to Florida, permanently, and not expecting to return to Montrose in her lifetime, but has made all arrangements for her burial here, when that time shall come, which her many friends trust may be a long way off.

STEVEN’S POINT: The second annual reunion of the Chamberlain and Seamans families was held Sept. 6th at the pleasant home of Wm. G. Seamans, Stevens’s Point, Susq’a Co., Pa. The day being all that could be desired they gathered at an early hour until they numbered 57. The host and hostess did everything possible to add to the pleasure of the day. The next reunion will be will be held at the home of H. T Seamans on the old Seamans’ homestead at the three lakes, the last Thursday in August.

HARFORD: A large congregation attended the Harvest Festival at the Congregational church Sunday. Rev. Usher preached on “Going through the corn field with Christ.” The decorations were tasteful and music well rendered by choir.

MIDDLETOWN: Alfons Lee, our genial stage driver has purchased of D. J. Jones a full- blooded, speckled hound. Alfonso thinks he can teach him to deliver postals. AND: On Sunday the entire population of this place attended the dedication of the new St. Francis Xavier church.

FRANKLIN TWP.: C. R. Tiffany and wife started Friday, in their locomobile, for a month trip in New Jersey to sell his pruning shears.

CLIFFORD: P. A. Rivenburg’s house is looking fine in its new dress of paint, in colors.

RUSHVILLE: County Treasurer N. R. Jones showed us several ears of sowed corn the other day, raised on his farm in Rushville, which were fully a foot in length. After filling a large silo the remainder of the field of corn was husked, netting some 400 bushels. This year, too, was considered a poor one for corn in this section, but the country over shows that Uncle Sam has in his store houses nearly three billion bushels, one of the largest yields in history.

NEWS BRIEFS: Judging from the popularity with which Roosevelt’s “strenuous” and “square deal” have been received, simplified spelling will be in common usage in this country at least within a few years. We have received a neatly compiled catalog of the 300 words recommended by the President, from the Superintendent of Public Documents, William L. Post, of Washington, D.C., who is related and well known in Montrose. AND: We have no prejudice against the neatly drest, nice appearing boy, while we do detest the fellow who goes around looking like a bunch of hard luck, but a girl looking for a model husband should be careful. If you don’t know one when you see him, girls, ask mother, she will recognize him at first sight.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay


A change that is long overdue!

Why does Pennsylvania elect all three county commissioners at one time? Well, I suppose the logical answer is that it is state law. My response to that is rubbish! It is antiquated, like most laws in this state, and should be changed.

If the election for county commissioner was held tomorrow, the belief here is that the voters would elect three brand new ones. Why? For openers, the three we have there now just cannot get along. We might live in a rural county but our taxpayers are not a bunch of dummies.

Have you ever stopped to consider the consequences of electing three new county commissioners at one election? You are bringing in three rookies to manage a $17 million budget. Sure doesn't seem kosher from here. And it makes no difference how intelligent the three newcomers might be. The fact remains that they are suddenly responsible for administering a multi-million-dollar business. Think about that!

The solution? Stagger the terms. Start from scratch with terms of one, two and three years. Commissioner A would have to stand reelection his first year in office, but now he is running for a full three-year term. The following year, Commissioner B’s term would be up and he would need to seek reelection, only this time it would be for a full three-year term. And, finally, Commissioner C’s initial three-year term is up, and he would have to run for another full three-year term. Thereafter, the three commissioners will be running for three-year terms, only not all at once.

So what do we have? We have one commissioner’s slot up for grabs each year. And if the incumbent should lose, there are two commissioners left with some experience under their belts. You probably noticed the full term in office is only three years, compared to the four years that currently exists. But, so what? We elect our congressmen every two years and our state representatives every two years. Doesn't appear to create problems in Washington or Harrisburg. So what is so awful about electing a county commissioner for three years?

Another thing about county government in this state that should be changed ASAP, are the financial responsibilities. Let’s face the facts, my friends. Even when they advertise a job vacancy in the newspaper, the likelihood is that the individual who will get the job has already been chosen. Nine times out of 10, one of the commissioners has an individual picked out for the job. The point is that with a multi-million-dollar budget at stake, it should not be entrusted to anyone who does not have a degree in accounting.

By no means am I suggesting that the county treasurer doesn't know what end is up. Actually, Cathy Benedict is probably the best county treasurer this county has ever had. But her responsibility is keeping tabs on the county coffers and making certain that all the i's are dotted and t’s are crossed. She can question an expenditure if it appears to go against the grain, but she cannot tell the commissioners where to spend any of its multi-millions.

On the other hand, a good financial manager is like Kenny Rogers. He knows when to hold and when to fold. Not only can he/she make some money for the county but can also save some by researching purchases and coming up with better prices. I just cannot imagine a multi-million-dollar business in private industry operating without a financial whiz on board.

Think about this. The county pays a private firm $130,000 a year to keep its computers running properly and to develop software programs that will benefit the county. But the county will not consider hiring a financial expert to manage its money.

Doesn't seem fair does it?

Before the commissioners climb down my throat, permit me to explain something. The county does have a financial service to invest money from its retirement fund, and the firm is making some money for the fund. But that is not to be confused with having someone to manage the day-by-day spending of our tax dollars.

In the 2006 budget, the projected numbers for running the county cost a little over $400 for every man, woman and child living inside its boundaries. Granted, they will probably have some money left over at the end of the year, but don’t look in your mail for a tax rebate. Any surplus funds will more than likely be pumped into the 2007 county budget.


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

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence takes many forms – physical, psychological, emotional and sexual abuse. Generally speaking, domestic violence centers upon the abusers need to gain and maintain power over the victim. If the abuse continues unabated, then it will generally escalate and increase in severity until some form of intervention halts the destructive conduct. Escalating physical violence and abuse can lead to tragic consequences. For instance, in 2005 in Pennsylvania, 180 persons died as a result of acts of domestic violence.

Domestic violence largely affects women and children with the man being the batterer or abuser. There is no prototypical abused woman or child – domestic violence can be found in all socio-economic classes, religious beliefs, age groups, and ethnic classifications. Likewise, an abuser potentially could be any person that you know – there are no clear classifications that identify abusers.

What constitutes abuse? Emotional abuse includes screaming, swearing, cursing, repeated harassment, attacks upon self-esteem, insults or critical comments. Psychological abuse includes threats of physical violence, suicidal threats, smashing or breaking property, throwing objects, punching walls, slamming doors, or even spitting. Of course, some of these examples are questions of extent and frequency. A one-time argument between spouses where voices are raised does not necessarily equate to domestic violence. Continued screaming, swearing, cursing, and degrading on a regular basis, however, should be considered to be abusive and dangerous. Any threat of physical violence should be taken seriously and considered to be an act of domestic violence. There is no justification whatsoever for threatening to physically harm a spouse or child.

Sexual abuse includes any type of forcible compulsion of the victim into sexual conduct, forcing the victim to dress in a sexual manner, minimizing the victim’s sexual feelings, nonconsensual touching of the victim, or even sexual insults aimed at the victim. Physical abuse includes slapping, tripping, choking, punching, scratching, kicking, grabbing, pinching, burning, pushing, restraining by force, biting, pulling hair, and twisting limbs.

This is an uncomfortable topic for most people, and, especially in rural areas, oftentimes more aptly considered to be a little secret that goes untold. Rural areas present unique and difficult problems in the battle to combat domestic violence. There is likely no prompt law enforcement response in the event that the victim contacts the police. The victim feels isolated and alone – with no real options for escape. This isolation and loneliness may lead the victim to become resigned to suffer in silence as the abuse slowly escalates and becomes increasingly destructive and dangerous.

In Susquehanna County this past year, the Women’s Resource Center has serviced approximately 300 victims of domestic violence, and 107 victims of sexual assaults. As a small community, these numbers likely appear staggering – and the danger lies in the unwillingness to acknowledge the problem. As good neighbors and friends, we must be willing to be proactive in assisting victims of domestic violence escape from their nightmares. What can you do to help? At a minimum, you can provide support, financial or otherwise, to local agencies that assist battered persons, such as the Women’s Resource Center. As the numbers unfortunately indicate, such assistance is not only important, but also sorely needed.

Moreover, if you find yourself faced in a situation where an abused person is seeking assistance, do your best to give support and encouragement, protect the victim’s confidentiality, and point the victim toward the community services that are specifically trained to deal with the problem. Locally, the Women’s Resource Center can be reached at the following telephone number: 1-800-257-5765.

In conclusion, you may be faced with a situation where you recognize the signs of domestic violence, but the battered victim does not appear to have the same recognition. In such circumstances, you should try to be supportive and, at the same time, you should work toward making the victim understand the inherent danger in the situation. Hopefully, with time and patience, you may be able to make a real difference.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801.


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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I’m a geezer and I believe in herbal products because they’re natural, and I think you should tell your readers how wonderful they are.

I get a kick out of people who are big on “natural” and “organic.” Poison ivy is natural and organic. So is cobra venom.

You have to be very careful when you use herbal health products and dietary supplements, especially if you are a senior. Always consult a doctor before taking any of these products, which I like to label “alternatives.”

These products may not be safe if you have cancer, an enlarged prostate gland, high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, psychiatric issues, or problems with clotting blood, your immune system, liver or thyroid. You should be especially cautious about these products if you are taking drugs that treat any of these health problems.

Alternatives can interfere with the way your body should process medicine. For example, you may not absorb enough of the medicine that you need.

These products can cause difficulties during surgery, including bleeding and problems with anesthesia. You should stop using herbal products at least two weeks before surgery.

In the United States, alternatives are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as foods. Therefore, they are not held to the same standards as medicines whose manufacturers must prove they are safe and effective.

These products can also contain ingredients that aren’t on the label. That bottle of natural elixir on the shelf could contain plant pollen, steroids, arsenic, lead and pesticides.

The active ingredients in many of these products are unknown. In fact, because alternatives are not held to tough standards, you may even consume more or less of the supplement than what the label tells you you’re taking.

Well, you ask, these products must be standardized in some way, right? The fact is that, in the United States, there is no legal definition of “standardized” for supplements.

There are hundreds of alternatives on the shelves that claim they will help you feel better in a variety of ways. However, the advertising claims usually aren’t backed by reliable information.

Some of the most popular alternatives include chondroitin, echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, glucosamine, kava, melatonin, black cohosh, saw palmetto and St. John’s wort.

These alternatives may have additional effects that the manufacturers don’t always tell you about. Here are some side effects you should know about:

If you are sensitive to aspirin, don’t take black cohosh because it contains salicylates. Black cohosh is used for menopausal symptoms. Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid is a drug in the family of salicylates.

If you have a shellfish allergy, you may also be allergic to glucosamine. Glucosamine is taken for arthritis.

Don’t drink alcohol if you take kava products. Kava can increase the effects of alcohol. Kava is used to calm your nerves.

If you have a question, please write to

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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

Q. I would be interested in knowing about the effects that molds have on your health. I would like to know what illnesses can be linked to mold growing in our homes, and what symptoms we should watch for. (J.A., Hallstead)

A. Given that many of us are still suffering effects of the Great Flood, and all of us are getting ready for winter by closing windows and reducing ventilation in our homes, this is a very timely question. There has also been a lot of discussion in the media about “Sick Building Syndrome” and other problems caused by mold.

Basically, there are four categories of illness caused by mold: Allergy, Infection, Irritation, and Toxic Effects. Fortunately, severe illness is rare, but unfortunately, molds are everywhere, and it doesn’t take a flood or obvious damage to trigger symptoms.

The differences between irritation and allergy are subtle. Both are characterized by sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and cough. In fact, it may take blood tests or skin tests to determine if true allergy exists, since the symptoms are so non-specific. In the final analysis, it really only matters if you plan on undergoing allergy treatments with shots (sometimes called immunotherapy) because nearly all of the other treatments for allergy will also help with irritation.

Molds smell because they produce gasses that are biologically active. They also produce active gasses that are odorless, and both can irritate mucous membranes. Mucous membranes line the eyelids, nose, and mouth, which explains why irritating compounds cause tearing, sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, and a bad taste in your mouth. Because the compounds themselves are irritating, anybody exposed to them can be affected, but obviously some people are much more sensitive than others. There is also a dose-response, in that the higher the concentration of gas in the air, the worse the irritation.

With allergy, only people who have antibodies to the compounds develop symptoms. Antibodies are chemicals made by the immune system, and they serve to recognize, isolate and attack foreign proteins. Not everybody has antibodies to molds, and only those who do have the antibodies develop a true allergic response. Some people are concerned because they don’t have antibodies that cause an allergic response, and they wonder if their resistance to infection is lowered as a result. Fortunately the body has other mechanisms to deal with invading proteins and thus absence of allergy symptoms does not mean less protection against infection.

Infections from mold fortunately are quite rare. Unusually there is chronic and overwhelming exposure to mold, and usually the patient has lowered immunity due to other diseases, and they are less able to fight off infections in general. Mold infections can cause pneumonia, skin infections, and even systemic infections that travel throughout the body through the circulation. Again, these are rare, and usually develop in patients weakened by other illnesses. The lungs are the most common site of infection, but also the most common site of severe allergic response, known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Sometimes it can be tough to distinguish whether lung symptoms are due to allergy or infection, and further tests are needed. X-rays, blood tests, skin tests, pulmonary function tests and sometimes even CT scans and biopsies are needed to be certain of the cause of lung symptoms.

Toxic effects of mold are due to the production of chemicals other than gasses, and are usually caused by ingestion. The most famous example of this is ergotism, which is the ingestion of grain contaminated by mold. Ergot, a mold which contaminates grain, produces a chemical very similar to LSD and thus induces hallucinations and behavioral changes. It can also produce skin infections and gangrene. Ergotism has been blamed for mass hallucinations in Salem (leading to the witchcraft trials) and for painful infections in the extremities as far back as the Middle Ages, when it was called “St. Anthony’s Fire.”

Fortunately, the vast majority of problems caused by mold are mild and non-destructive. Itchy and watery eyes can be treated with over the counter eye drops. Sneezing and runny nose can be treated with nasal sprays (and oddly enough, prescription sprays are much safer than over-the-counter products). Wheezing and chest congestion can be treated with inhalers or antihistamine medication, and pneumonia or other infections are rare, but usually respond to specific anti-fungal medications. Skin infections respond to creams or pills, and systemic infections are extremely rare but also responsive to appropriate medications.

The bottom line is, molds are pesky and troublesome but seldom dangerous, and don’t pose any major public health risks.

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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Veterans’ Corner

EDITOR’S NOTE: Following is the first column written by Harold Wegman, Deputy Commander, District 15, American Legion and member of American Legion Post 154, Montrose. The column will begin by highlighting county servicemen and women on active duty, who are currently serving in combat zones.

Cpl. Matt Remington

Cpl. Matt Remington, of South Montrose, graduated from Montrose High School in 2003, where he was active in the sports programs, and played football and basketball. In September, 2003 he joined the United States Marine Corps. He went to Parris Island boot camp from September 23 to December 19, 2003. He completed advanced Infantry training at Camp Geiger, from January 27 to March 19, 2004, was assigned to 3/8Kilo Co., and was deployed to Haiti from April to June, 2004 to provide security to the Haitian capital. He then returned to Camp Lejeune. He then went to 29 Palms, California in November, 2004 for Desert Training. He was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq from January 6 to August 14, 2005 and was at the Abu Ghraib prison when it was attacked on April 2, 2005. On November 1, 2005, he attended Recon School and on January 8, 2006, suffered a light-duty injury. He was reassigned to 3/2/Lima on January 15, 2006. He was again deployed to Iraq with 3/2/Lima Co., 3rd Platoon from July 14, 2006 to (approximately) February, 2007. He is currently stationed at Camp Habbaniyah, located between Ramadi and Fallujah.

Cpl. Remington has been awarded the following service medals and ribbons: Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism (Service), Global War on Terrorism (Expeditionary), Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Matt’s grandfather, Stanley Remington, served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

His grandfather, Donald Blaisure, served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

If you have a family member or loved one who is currently on active duty in a combat zone, and would like to have him/her included in the Veterans’ Corner, information may be sent to Harold Wegman, 24 Hinds St., Montrose, PA 18801.

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