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Issue Home December 20, 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

MONTROSE: Willis Bishop Deans, who died Dec. 19th, was born in Montrose, Aug. 11, 1825, but his boyhood was spent on his father’s farm in Bridgewater township, not far from South Montrose. He made good use of the best educational advantages available in his time, especially at Harford Academy. He came to Montrose to reside in 1848, and about a year afterward engaged in the Daguerreotype business, in which he continued until after the war of 1861. After that he kept a book and stationery store until his health failed in 1895. In 1855 he was united in marriage with Miss Anna Reynolds and two children survive, James Willis of Passaic, N.J. and Miss Lottie, of Montrose. AND: Misses Annie and Mamie O’Neill have rented the Wm. M. Post residence on South Main Street, formerly occupied by Mr. and Mrs. James P. Taylor, and after April 1st, will conduct a first-class boarding house within its walls.

GREAT BEND: It is stated plans are being made for the enlargement of the industrial population here, which if carried out will make that village one of the largest manufacturing towns along the line of the Erie railroad. An impetus to the manufacturing spirit of the place has been given by the successful building up of the Pennsylvania Tanning Company’s plant, which is the only one of its kind in the country making over 30 different grades of chamois leather. Vice President and general manager, Norman H. Parke of the tanning company, has announced that a large amount of new work is to be started soon, including the erection of a new dry house. Negotiations are now being carried on with the Lackawanna Railroad for the rebuilding of the old crossover from Hallstead across the Susquehanna to Great Bend and it is stated upon good authority that if this is done the Ballantine Brewery, of Scranton, will establish a branch brewery here.

SPRINGVILLE: Christmas eve there will be appropriate exercises, including a Christmas tree, at the M. E. Church.

SUSQUEHANNA: Saturday night about 11 o’clock, Church Hill was the scene of a shooting affair, but no one was injured. The cause of the disturbance was a woman who had a friend with her, and two other young men tried to get the girl away from the other party, who began to shoot. This female damsel has caused a great deal of talk since she has been here, and the officers should look after her in the future. AND: The bowling contest at Edwards' parlors for the ten highest games, before Christmas, is creating a great deal of interest.

JONES LAKE, Bridgewater Twp.: About 100 “sons of toil” predestinated to Jones’ Lake Sunday afternoon, and limbered up their muscles by gliding over its glassy surface awhile. One fellow averred he could see no harm in taking an hour’s exercise, as long as he had put in his ten hours a day, and “paid his tithes” on Sunday.

HOP BOTTOM: Mrs. Kate Turner lost two silk embroidered table doilies, on Main street, one day last week; they were wrapped in a newspaper and the finder will confer a great favor by returning them to the owner.

SOUTH AUBURN: Punderson Benninger had the misfortune to lose a horse last week. AND: At Pleasant Valley, Mr. and Mrs. Oakley, of Auburn Centre, visited A. L. Mericle and family, Saturday evening and Sunday and entertained them with some very fine music on their phonograph.

UNIONDALE: Farmers are still busy loading cars with apples and bailed hay, at the upper end of the switch, while at the lower end another set are being filled with mine props and lumber.

SILVER LAKE TWP.: A jolly party of young people thoroughly enjoyed the skating on Laurel Lake, Sunday.

NEW MILFORD: E. B. Stillwell, of Binghamton, was found dead in bed at the Thomas House, Thursday morning. Mr. Stillwell has been painting scenery for the Opera House, and has been here since last September. He has a wife in New York; also relatives in Scranton. His funeral was held at the Opera House yesterday. Interment in the New Milford Cemetery.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: The Batchelor’s Club was royally entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Lane, Friday evening, Dec. 14. Music and games were indulged in until about midnight when a bountiful repast was served, which was up to the Queen’s taste in every respect; the only feature the writer did not like was when it came time to go home. AND: Since the Middletown supervisors have gone to purchasing town supplies on a large scale, what would be the matter with buying some street lamps? They could be used to advantage on the road leading from Middletown Centre to Jackson Valley, by those who have to travel them after dark.

FRANKLIN: This town is growing very fast; we have two barber shops, Thomas Scott is proprietor of one, and Geo. French, the other.

HARFORD: Sunday morning Rev. W. Usher will preach a Christmas Sermon at Cong. Church “How Christ has enriched the worlds’life” [with] special music. The Christmas exercises and tree on Monday evening.

NEWS BRIEFS: The city of Binghamton will remove about 500 bodies from the old abandoned Eldridge cemetery on the North side and the same will be buried in some spot designated by the city. The grounds of the old cemetery will then be cut up into building lots and sold by the city. A possibly dangerous situation confronts the grave diggers, the question of contamination from smallpox having arisen. Several prominent physicians of the city have propounded the question of “What will be the result of opening the graves of those persons who died from smallpox?” Although years have passed since a number of persons who died from the dread disease were interred in the burial ground, there are physicians who maintain that there is still danger in digging up and transferring these bones. Other physicians contend that after a body has remained buried for a few years, every danger of contamination is removed by the chemical action of the earth and the germs destroyed. And there you are! AND: The substitution of modern enameled ware for the old-fashioned copper and iron cooking vessels is believed by Prof. William H. Diffenbach, of New York, to be largely responsible for the increase in the number of cases of cancer of the stomach. He also says that the X-ray produces cancer.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Only in America

It’s the holiday season and it just doesn't seem right to chastise, galvanize, emphasize, epitomize or criticize any person, place or thing. So, with the spirit of the season in mind, the decision here is give you some food for thought; perhaps a chuckle or two; or maybe a subject to kick around over the Christmas dinner table.

It’s not only the holiday season but also the budget season for most county and municipal governments. So let’s take a look at some of the most ridiculous government spending plans as gathered and compiled by Leland H. Gregory III and published in his book, Great Government Goofs.

For example, Congress once approved $500,000 for the reconstruction of the home of Charles Corneau. And just who was Charles Corneau? I thought everyone knew the answer to that question. He was Abraham Lincoln’s neighbor.

In the fiscal year 1996 budget, Congress approved $1.2 million for potato research. To date more than $13 million has been appropriated for such research including $200,000 to NASA to develop a sweet potato that can be grown in outer space.

A few years ago, Congress approved a $5 million interest-free loan to Sears, Roebuck under the federal “antipoverty” funds program.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse spent $102,000 for a project that included an experiment to see if sunfish that drink tequila are more aggressive than sunfish that drink gin.

In Gregory’s book, which was published in 1997, the author noted that the Pentagon spends $8,612 per second or about $271.6 billion a year.

The Department of Agriculture once spent $491,607 for a party in honor of 900 employees. But it did reflect a cut in costs. The year before they spent $667,000.

Congress once approved a bill appropriating $1 million for a study to discover why people don’t walk or ride bikes more often as a means of transportation.

The Pentagon spends $119 million a year for newspapers and periodicals.

In the 1996 Congressional Pig Book Summary issued by the Citizens Against Government Waste, Senator Daniel Inouye was awarded the “Oinkers Lifetime Achievement Award.” He used his power in Congress to send a total of $67 million in “pork” projects to his home state of Hawaii, making a grand total of $609,995,000 since 1991.

On its 1992 inventory list, the Bureau of Indian Affairs included $297 million for three chain saws, one television set at $96 million and two typewriters, one at $77 million and a cheaper model at $42 million.

In 1986, the National Park Service purchased a half acre of land in southwest Washington, D.C. for $230,000. In 1988 it was discovered that the Park Service already owned the land. They bought it in 1914.

Here are a few items Congress contributed to themselves in the early 1990’s: $8 million for new Senate elevators; $6 million to refurbish the Senate’s private subway; $2 million to upgrade a House restaurant; $375,000 to renovate the House beauty parlor; $250,000 to study placement of television lights in the Senate; $40,000 for new wastebaskets; and, $25,000 to study the best location for a House gym. Your tax dollars at work my friends.

Here’s a gem. Congress once approved $84,000 for a project to discover why people fall in love.

A farm bill earmarked $500,000 to make a memorial out of the boyhood home of Lawrence Welk. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Quentin N. Burdick (D-North Dakota).

In the mid-1970’s, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) spent nearly $27,000 to determine why prisoners want to escape from jail.

The US Department of Agriculture once spent $46,000 to calculate how long it takes to cook eggs.

Former Senator Robert Kasten (R-Wisconsin) secured $10 million to build a ramp to the Milwaukee Brewers stadium parking lot.

And, last but not least, $23 million spent by the post office to find out how long it takes for the mail to be delivered.

Merry Christmas friends, and a sincere wish that Santa Claus is kind to all of you.

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

According to a recent study, the average American will spend approximately $800 during this Christmas season for gifts, with a whopping total of $154 billion estimated to be spent collectively by Americans this holiday season. The “war” on Christmas that seemed to rage so mightily last year has faded, with retail giants again embracing Christmas with a feverous zeal fueled by a ravenous hunger to get a piece of the $154 billion pie. To put this number in perspective, the entire state budge for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is approximately $24 billion. We could run the entire government of Pennsylvania, together with all of its entitlement programs, for six years just on the money that American consumers will spend this holiday season!

Christmas has become an indispensable fuel for the national economy – to the point that President Franklin Roosevelt actually moved Thanksgiving to provide for a longer holiday shopping season. Adding to the awesome economic power of Christmas is the lights, decorations, cards, trees, lawn ornaments, and other spectacular holiday traditions. Some radio stations play only Christmas carols for an entire month prior to Christmas – fueling our own desire to have the latest album by our favorite artist with their version of a traditional Christmas carol. As a nation, we now celebrate Christmas with a fervor and dedication that would be alien to our founding fathers. As a result, we spend staggering amounts to create the perfect Christmas for our families – which often results in stress and pressure to finish shopping, getting up the decorations, fixing the holiday dinner, or finding a good tree.

But Christmas is perfect not because of the right gift, the beautiful tree, the best decorated house, or a good Christmas dinner. Each of these traditions merely celebrates the perfection of Christmas – they cannot make a family Christmas perfect. No, Christmas, standing alone in the silence of a cold, starry night, without fanfare or song, is perfect in itself. Christmas is the singly most significant moment in human history – both secular and religious. While we celebrate mightily this Christmas season, all of our collective celebrations pale in comparison to the beauty of Christmas.

God made flesh born in a manger with no witnesses except farm animals. The Messiah entered the world through the unquestioning faith of one young woman and her espoused husband who trusted in God’s will. Angels were dispatched to proclaim His birth, but they gave their good news not to the wealthy and privileged, but to the shepherds tending their flocks near the manager. The transubstantiation was accomplished without grand decoration or ceremony. Jesus Christ was the ultimate gift to mankind – a gift of unending love and the promise of salvation. The first Christmas was perfect, simple and necessary.

As we approach Christmas day, and as we fight with the pressures and stress that seem to creep into this season, we should take an opportunity to remind ourselves what we are celebrating – and that, no matter what we do, this Christmas will be perfect just as it has been for each of the last 2000 years. So, finish your shopping, decorating, baking, cooking, wrapping, and mailing, and, if you don’t, it really doesn’t matter. On Christmas Eve, sit back, relax, maybe take a large steaming cup of hot chocolate, and look into the cold night sky, and thankfully remember God’s perfect gift to each of us. Merry Christmas.

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

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. Do people who are colorblind see everything in black and white?

“Color blindness” is the common term used to describe color vision deficiency. The term is misleading, because total color blindness that turns the world into shades of gray is rare.

The most common type of color blindness makes it difficult for people to discriminate between red and green. The next most common form of the deficiency affects the perception of blues and yellows. Those with blue-yellow blindness almost always have red-green blindness, too.

Many people with color blindness don’t know they have it. What some of them call green may actually be yellow. They can go through life thinking yellow is green. So, for example, they are taught at an early age that grass is green. They look at lawns and see yellow grass. Subsequently, if you ask them what color the grass is, they will tell you it’s green. (Please don’t ask me how they handle shopping for bananas.)

Color blindness affects about ten percent of men, but only one percent of women. Most people with color blindness inherited it. There is no treatment to correct inherited color blindness. However, there are specially tinted eyeglasses that can help people with deficiencies to discriminate between colors.

Another cause of color blindness is simple aging, which gradually diminishes our ability to see colors.

Diseases can affect your color vision, too. Usually, diseases affect the perception of blue and yellow. Some conditions that can cause color blindness are diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, leukemia and sickle cell anemia.

Some drugs can alter color perception, too. These include drugs for heart problems, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, nervous disorders and psychological problems.

Exposure to certain chemicals can cause color blindness. These include carbon disulfide, fertilizers, styrene and mercury.

The eye is like a camera. There’s a lens in the front that focuses images on the retina in the back. The retina contains nerve cells that react to light and transmit information to your brain. If the cells responsible for color don’t work properly, you suffer from color blindness.

If you think you are having a color-vision problem, see an eye doctor. You’ll be asked to look at a book containing several multicolored dot patterns. If you have a color vision deficiency, you won’t be able to pick out numbers and shapes from within the dot patterns.

If you have a question, please write to

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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

To continue the series on coronary artery disease and heart attacks, I thought I would write about some of the tests we use to identify these conditions.

The first and most important is the “listening” test. Almost 100 years ago, one of the pioneers of scientific medicine, Sir William Osler, said the famous words, “If you listen to the patient long enough, he will tell you what is wrong with him.” (Osler also said, “The secret in caring for a patient is in caring about the patient”)

Osler’s words are still valid even in these days of high-tech testing. The decision to admit or discharge a patient from the ER is still primarily the result of the patient’s history and exam. A person with classic symptoms and multiple risk factors will be admitted even if all the initial tests are negative.

The test most commonly used for heart evaluation is also one of the oldest: the EKG. Originally developed in Germany, where “cardiac” is spelled with “K”, the EKG (or ECG, if you want to be a purist) measures electrical activity generated by the heart. When a muscle contracts, it generates a tiny electric charge, which can then be picked up by a sensitive detector and recorded. Since EKG’s have been around for so long, and have been so intensively studied, we can tell a lot about the heart from examining the electric tracings. For example, areas of the heart that are starved for oxygen show distinct changes, while areas that are damaged or dying show different patterns. Careful analysis of the EKG can identify hearts that are struggling, dying, or showing signs of chronic disease over years. The specific coronary arteries involved in a heart attack can be identified, as well as disturbances in rhythm, blood flow, valves, and pumping.

With all of these abilities, though, it is very important to realize that the most common EKG finding in a heart attack is NO findings, namely, a normal EKG.

The EKG is great for confirming suspicions and proving that a heart attack is present, but lousy for ruling one out.

An EKG done at rest tells us about the heart at rest. Since coronary artery disease results in diminished supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart, it may be easier to identify this condition when the heart is more active and demanding more oxygen. This is the rationale behind the “stress test,” which involves stimulating the heart to beat faster, either through exercise on a treadmill or by administering a medication that stimulates the heart to beat faster and harder. If a patient is hooked up to an EKG while the heart is stressed, we can often see signs of coronary artery disease that wouldn’t be detected in a quiet, resting heart.

The EKG and stress EKG tell us how well the heart muscle is supplied with oxygen. The echocardiogram tells us how well it is pumping. The echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart, which uses sound waves to generate a picture. It can not only tell us how well the heart is pumping, but also if any of the muscle is damaged or inactive, and if the valves within the heart are all opening and closing properly. The echocardiogram can be combined with the stress test as a “stress-echo,” to tell us how the heart muscle itself is handling the extra demands of exercise.

Those of you who have had a stress test may recall being injected with Thallium in the last moments of exercise. Thallium is a faintly radioactive material that is taken up by active cells and can be detected on a special scanner. By injecting thallium in the final stages of a stress test, we can identify which areas of the heart are starving for oxygen, if any permanent damage exists, and how badly flow is obstructed through the coronary arteries supplying the heart muscle. While the EKG tracing alone can show if there is muscle starving for oxygen, adding thallium can tell us how much, and how badly. Because of this added information, most stress tests now include this step.

The “gold standard” for evaluating coronary arteries is to inject dye into them and take X-rays to show how well the dye passes through them. To do this, a tiny (but very long) tube called a “catheter” is threaded into the artery of the groin or the wrist and then slowly advanced until it is at the heart. The dye is then injected and a series of X-rays taken. It shows exactly where a coronary artery is narrowed, and by how much. A tiny balloon on the end of the catheter can be inflated to open up a clogged artery, and a tiny metal device can be positioned to keep the artery open (a “stent”). More on this next week.

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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