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Issue Home November 22, 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

JERSEY HILL, Auburn Twp.: Don’t forget the oyster supper at the Hall at Auburn Centre, Thanksgiving night. On account of only part of the numbers being in, the quilt was not given away at the pie social, but will be given away at the oyster supper. Come for a good time and excellent supper. Proceeds for Rev. Fiske.

BROOKLYN: Rev. Drury will hold a Thanksgiving service at the Universalist church on Thursday morning at 11, “Are we appreciative as a people.” The service will be followed by the ladies’ fair and chicken pie dinner in the basement. AND: Miss Alice Lee has been visiting at Dr. Wilson’s. We congratulate Miss Lee upon the series of stories from her pen, now being printed in the Youth’s Companion. The scene is laid in a Wyoming mining camp, which she recently visited.

RUSH: S. B. Roberts, the well-known Rush photographer, is getting out some very fine post card views of scenes in that vicinity. The business has grown steadily and he now gives considerable time to this class of work.

CLIFFORD: The raising of the sidewalks and filling the street between with broken stone and gravel, has made a great improvement in front of our hotel, Finn’s store, Harrel’s store and Dr. A. E. Hager’s office.

SUSQUEHANNA: In accordance with the other extensive improvements all along the line of the Erie, this place is coming in for its share. Within a few months will be constructed here on the bank of the Susquehanna river, new storage track, a new roundhouse, and a number of new shops. For a long time the land north of the present tracks was of no value, owing to the freshets [floods] in the river, but already a large retaining wall has been built along the bank at this point. The well is 446 feet long, 10 feet wide at the base and narrowing down to 2 ft. at top and about 30 ft. in height. Much of the ground so enclosed has been filled in and there is now ready for use enough territory to permit the erection of the new shops. The largest of the new repair buildings is the roundhouse, which is to contain 29 stalls, each 95 feet deep. These stalls open on to an 80-ft. turntable, which will be operated by a motor. Close by this, toward the river, will be built a modern machine shop containing all of the machinery necessary for modern repair work. A little further west is a powerhouse equipped with two 4-horse power engines and a water tank with a capacity of 500,000 gallons, which is one of the largest on the line of the road. In the yard will be erected a modern oil house and engineers’ tool room and general store house. Further to the west will be built a sand house, two sand towers, a water crane for engines going in or out of the roundhouse, and coal pit with a crane track.

MONTROSE: Miss Sallie Courtright had a narrow escape. She was suffering from [a] toothache and had a cloth to her face, containing chloroform, and its fumes overcame her, and medical attention and the best of care was necessary to save her.

LIBERTY TWP.: On the farm of Jas. Adams, on Snake Creek, is an 18-inch vein of coal which for several years the people in that vicinity have been digging out and burning. Those who have seen some coal have become considerably interested in it of late and are agitating the organization of a company for the purpose of prospecting in the vicinity of Steam Hollow for both oil and coal. Those interested claim that there is every indication of oil and coal there and they think that the vein which starts on the Adams farm could be located and that a stock company organized for that purpose would have no trouble in disposing of enough stock to do the prospecting.

UNIONDALE: We had two days of good sleighing, which the people made good use of. To-day they were obliged to use their wagons again in the mud. AND: Miss Bertha Dimmick is doing house work for Mrs. R. Hoel, who is living in rooms at Terrace Cottage. Mrs. Hoel is a consumptive and is trying the cold air cure. She spends about 20 hours out of 24 out of doors, facing the winds and storms, when I would rather die in a warm, comfortable room. [Mrs. Roma Hoel died in March of 1907, age 39.]

THOMPSON: S. D. Barnes has sold his grist mill property to G. F. Spencer. Mr. Spencer owned this plant some years ago and will be at home with the patrons of the mill. He has taken possession of the business and his family is already in his fine residence, moving up from Uniondale where they have resided for a year or two. Mr. Spencer has not sold his milling business at Uniondale and will run the two plants for a time.

HOPBOTTOM: The apple evaporator, which has been running here for several months, has closed for the season.

ELK LAKE: Miss Mary Arnold has been having the Stevens store building changed into sheds for horses, which will be a great accommodation to the public.

FRANKLIN FORKS: Fred Van Houten has moved his [photo] studio from this place to Hallstead.

NEW MILFORD: Everett S. Garrett, one of the best known business men in the county, died early last Saturday morning at his home. Mr. Garrett was a man who had a high sense of honor and who possessed the esteem of all with whom he came in contact.

DIMOCK: A. W. Newton has sold one of his horses to Homer Smith, to drive on the mail route from Montrose to Dimock.

HARFORD: The Aid Society of the Congregational church will serve a roast pig supper, Saturday evening, Nov. 25 from 5 to 9 at the home of H. S. Esterbrook. Price 25 cents. Menu: Roast Pig, Mashed Potatoes, Squash, Biscuits, Cranberry Sauce, Jellies, Celery, Pickles, Ice Cream, Cake, Tea, Coffee.

GREAT BEND: Miss Lulu VanAuken has gone to Binghamton where she has secured a fine position, being an expert silk weaver.

NEWS BRIEFS: “Notice,” says an exchange. “This fall when you think a woman is coming toward you she is very likely going from you. They are wearing their waists buttoned in the back and their skirts down in front. Their hats have broad brims in the back and little narrow brims in front. Everything they put on this fall is put on backwards.”


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Along the Way...With P. Jay


More School Problems Coming?

Don’t look now folks but the student population in your schools is shrinking. And if projections prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) are anywhere near correct, five of the six schools in Susquehanna County will have a total enrollment population eight years from now that will be about 700 students below the 2006-2007 estimated total of 7710.

So what does it mean? Obviously the less pupils the less money the state will kick-in to our school districts. So who has to make up for the loss of state revenue? Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Susquehanna County Taxpayer.

Enrollment projections released by PDE indicate that Elk Lake’s student population, currently estimated at 1,424 will be 1,138 in 2014-2015. Other districts in the county for that same period are projected as follows: Blue Ridge, 1149-1048; Forest City, 930 to 1001; Montrose Area, 1855 to 1651; Mountain View, 1364 to 1229; Susquehanna Community, 909 to 882. The only district the state figures will grow is Forest City, which is expected to add about 71 students during the next eight years.

And if you are thinking less students mean less teachers, think again. A lot of parents across the Commonwealth are pushing their school boards for a reduction in the number of students in a classroom. Recently in one school in our county, a mother asked the board of education to consider 14 students per classroom.

One more important item related to schools, although school officials are only slightly involved. A report prepared by Forest City School Superintendent Robert Vadella reveals that 41.8 percent of the students attending Forest City Regional are low-income students. If that doesn't send a message to our state and national representatives in Harrisburg and Washington, nothing will.

In this last election, we saw what could happen when Bob Casey and Chris Carney put together election campaign crews that went out and worked damn hard for the two underdog Democrats, and both men are going to Washington as our representatives. I sure hope they both realize that, if we don’t get more employment opportunities in Northeastern Pennsylvania the next stop is poverty – the bottom of the barrel.

And when are you folks going to realize that if you don’t push those perennial favorites you send to Harrisburg term after term after term, you are compounding the financial woes of our area. You cannot be content with an occasional check for some cause, no matter how worthy it might be. The area needs jobs that offer more than minimum wages. It is time for people like Major, Pickett, and Madigan to step up to the plate and slam a home run or two for the people back home. In fact, it is long overdue.

We can no longer stick with the status quo if there is nothing coming back to help restore Susquehanna County. It is a beautiful county and I know that many of you would prefer that it remain the rural area that we all have grown to love. But sometimes we cannot see the trees for the forest. We end up sending our sons and daughters to other states where there are more lucrative opportunities. We see our kids on holidays and at wakes and weddings. And the rest of the time we grow old alone.

It doesn't have to be that way. We need politicians that will do more than shake hands and kiss babies. We need politicians that will lobby for our county in Harrisburg and Washington. We need politicians who are not afraid to stand up and urge industrial developers to consider Susquehanna County for their next expansion project. But most of all we need a politician who won’t forget the people that put him where he is. A politician who will look over his shoulder once in a while and see the folks back home cheering for him.

Years ago, I moved into a rural community in New Jersey and it was like being back home in Pennsylvania. Rolling hills, cows in the field, the crops growing all around me. Just marvelous. Until a developer came into a township with a plan to buy a couple of adjoining farms and put up a housing project. The town fathers changed the zoning for him and allowed him to put four homes on an acre of land.

The homes went up fast, the buyers took advantage of reduced prices because of smaller lots and the township population doubled almost overnight. And so did the school population. The township had to build a new school in the development just to take care of the kids in there. The school went up fast and so did the taxes to pay for it. The town fathers said no commercial or industrial developers came around so they catered to the housing developer.

My friends, don’t let that happen in our county. Believe me, an industrial complex here or there with some light manufacturing can be a godsend compared to a huge housing project. Right now it is costing Forest City Regional $10,000 a year for every student in the school. Do you know of any homes around here that pay $10,000 in real estate taxes? So who makes up the difference when someone moves in with one or two or, perhaps three or four young ones?

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

O.J. Simpson is finally admitting that he killed Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman... sort of. Apparently, Simpson will appear on a television show outlining the manner in which the murders were committed... hypothetically, if he did it. Simpson will also follow this interview up with a book outlining his theories on how he would have committed the murders if he were a murderer – and he will receive $3.5 million from the publisher for these “hypothetical” musings on the mechanisms of brutal slayings.

There are people that give an honest day’s work for a decent wage who will never earn $3.5 million over the course of their lifetime. How could O.J. be given such wealth for revealing the murderous means he utilized in extinguishing the lives of two human beings? What is the moral state of our society when a television producer and a book publisher determine that this is appropriate entertainment? Does the drive for profit supersede the need for decency? These are somber thoughts that we should all consider collectively as Americans.

What about the victims’ families? Where do they factor into the decisions of the producer and publisher? The families have already lived through the loss of their loved ones, they have already watched a murderer escape justice, and they wake up every day to a sense of loss that will never disappear. As if the constant sense of loss and injustice were not enough, they are now forced to endure the brazen public confessions of the monster that destroyed their families, coupled with the knowledge of the fortune he earns by extolling his own brutality.

What about Simpson’s own children? He has vehemently proclaimed his own innocence for the past ten years – and vowed publicly that he would not rest until the killer was caught. I would imagine that he has privately told his children that he did not murder their mother – but now he will tell the entire nation exactly how he would have killed their mother if he had been the one committing the murders. What additional emotional and psychological damage will Simpson wreak upon his children with his expert musings on the perfect murder?

The acquittal on the murder charges gives Simpson virtual immunity from any further prosecution, as the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution protects him. Simpson never actually testified at this murder trial – so there is no possibility of a perjury charge. Even if he did provide false testimony, the statute of limitations for perjury is three years in California. Because of the time lapse, the statute of limitations on the lesser offenses would have long expired. Simpson can act with virtual immunity at this point without fear of prosecutorial recourse.

Simpson provides a glaring example of the media trend in this country. The mere fact that he is provided this opportunity to garner national attention is obscene – and the $3.5 million is frankly blood money. In the end, the stunt causes others to react, and thereby increases the media attention on the incident. But to say nothing would be more offensive as silence could be viewed as acceptance. On behalf of the victims’ families, as well as victims of violent crimes across the country, such silence would be irresponsible. Plain decency demands that we raise our voice in condemnation.

As we gather around our tables this Thanksgiving, we should look at our loved ones and count ourselves fortunate that our families have not felt the destructive force caused by monsters like Simpson. For the Brown and Goldman families, as well as other families that have suffered at the hands of senseless violence, let us pray that they can find solace that, even where justice may be lacking in this world, there will be perfect justice in the next.

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. My doctor put his stethoscope on my neck and muttered to himself, “no brooey.” I’m not the type to ask the doctor questions, but I’m still wondering what he meant by that. My spelling is probably wrong.

Your doctor was checking your carotid arteries on the sides of your neck to see if the blood flow to your brain was blocked. If one of the arteries was blocked, it would make a “swoosh” that the medical profession calls a bruit. Your phonetic spelling is excellent. Bruit is pronounced “BROO-ee” like “phooey.”

Carotid arteries run from the aorta – the main trunk of the arterial system – up to your brain. When these vessels become blocked, you have carotid artery disease, which can cause a stroke.

The chances of developing this disease increase with age. About one percent of people in their fifties have significantly blocked carotid arteries, but ten percent of people in their eighties have carotid artery disease.

As you age, a sticky substance called plaque, which contains cholesterol, can accumulate on the inside walls of your arteries. The process is called atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.

Some of the causes of carotid artery disease are high blood pressure, cholesterol in your blood, smoking and diabetes.

It is possible to fight carotid artery disease. First, quit smoking. This is the probably the most significant thing you can do to combat this disease. In addition to quitting smoking, you should get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet and keep your weight down. Obviously, if you have high blood pressure, too much cholesterol in your blood or diabetes, you should be treating those.

The common diagnostic tests for carotid artery disease are: carotid duplex scan, an ultrasound study that shows the location and size of the problem; arteriogram, which is an X-ray; and computerized tomography (CT Scan) of the brain for damage.

The amount of blockage in a carotid artery determines the risk of having a stroke. If the blockage becomes severe enough, you may need surgery to open the blood flow to your brain.

In carotid endarterectomy, a surgeon makes an incision in the neck to open a carotid artery. The blockage is removed and the artery is closed.

Carotid artery stenting is a procedure in which a wire mesh tube called a stent is positioned and expanded across the blockage in the artery.

In its early stages, carotid artery disease may have no symptoms. The initial indication could be a stroke. However, you may experience warning symptoms of a stroke called transient ischemic attacks or TIAs, which usually last less than an hour.

TIA symptoms include: weakness, numbness, or a tingling on one side of your body; inability to control a limb; loss of vision in one eye, and inability to speak clearly.

If you experience TIA symptoms, contact your physician immediately.

If you have a question, please write to

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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

”You really ought to write about second-hand smoke.” (C.G., Susq.)

This was the suggestion of a favorite patient of mine, an extremely unfortunate man who is dealing with chronic lung disease although he never smoked a day in his life. His suggestion that I write a column on second-hand smoke became even more poignant to me following a recent trend of parents telling me (as I examine their asthmatic children), “I smoke, but not in the house”

I suppose there will be no surprise at a doctor writing a column about the evils of smoking, but instead of beating you over the head with the same dire warnings and scolding about what you are doing to yourself when you smoke, I am writing from a different perspective altogether: what your smoking may be doing to your loved ones. The holiday season is coming up, and if you make a concerted effort to begin the quitting process now, you will be able to present your loved ones with perhaps the most valuable gift they could ever get this Christmas: your health and theirs. Imagine their reaction when they get a gift-wrapped pack of cigarettes; they will look at you quizzically and say, “You know I don’t smoke,” at which point you can smile, hug them, and say, “Neither do I, any more.”

The fact is, second hand smoke is deadly, and the laws that have been passed in cities around the world are based on sound evidence that people chronically exposed to smoke develop all the same problems and conditions that smokers do. One could even argue that the second-hand smoke is worse, because it is unfiltered, and because the people exposed to it consider themselves non-smokers and thus don’t get the screening tests, attention, and concern that smokers get from their health care providers.

Second hand smoke causes over 3,000 cases of lung cancer a year, over 60,000 cases of heart disease, and over 300,000 cases of respiratory illness in children. Cigarette smoke contains over 100 chemicals known to cause cancer, including cyanide, benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde. It has been shown that the blood vessels in the heart spasm from exposure to second-hand smoke in as little as five minutes of exposure. Even children in homes where the parent insists “I only smoke outside” have higher rates of asthma, bronchitis, respiratory infections, and other medical problems. This may be because toxic chemicals remain in the hair and clothing of parents, or because their smoke wafts in through windows, or even because the “always smoke outside” rule is occasionally broken. Whatever the reason, “I only smoke outside the house” does not lessen your children’s’ risk. If you want proof of whether your children are exposed to smoke, ask for a cotinine level to be drawn on their blood. Cotinine is a product of nicotine found in the blood of smokers and very frequently in the blood of non-smokers living with a smoker.

One of the reasons I am writing this column now is that this is the perfect time to start the quitting process in order to succeed at quitting on Christmas or New Year’s Day. It has been shown that the most effective quitting technique involves a couple of weeks of preparation and medication. The pill Zyban (Bupropion) works by suppressing cravings for cigarettes, but must be started several weeks before the quit date in order to be effective. Unlike the patch, gum, or inhaler, you can smoke while on Zyban, and in fact should start taking it several weeks before quitting so you have effective levels of it in your bloodstream and brain when you do quit. As the quitting date gets closer, you can prepare yourself with patches or gum to use immediately upon quitting. The combination of nicotine replacement plus Zyban has been repeatedly shown to be more effective than either approach alone, and when you have had a few weeks to mentally prepare yourself for the big day, it is often a lot easier. The two biggest New Year’s resolutions are quitting smoking and losing weight, neither of which is successful unless you start the process weeks ahead of time.

There are lots of resources to help you with smoking cessation, including a free program at Barnes-Kasson hospital, which will provide you with nicotine replacement products for free, and offer you support, suggestions, encouragement and all the help you need. If not for yourself, quit for your loved ones, because there is no question anymore about their risks from your bad habit.

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

No veterans' corner this week.


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