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Issue Home March 21, 2007 Site Home

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

From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Straight From Starrucca
Veterans’ Corner

100 Years Ago

MONTROSE: The cut glass factory closed down last evening. A number of the employees intend going to New Brunswick with Messrs. Becker and Wilson, while some will not leave for the present, or will go elsewhere.

SILVER LAKE: Mrs. Holland, Binghamton’s oldest resident, was buried the first of the week in St. Augustine’s cemetery, at Silver Lake. [Hannah Buckley Holland was born in 1815 and was the wife of John Holland.]

SCRANTON: Dr. J. F. Everhart has presented the city of Scranton with a museum and academy of fine arts. The gift is valued at $300,000.

DIMOCK: The Dolan House was quite badly damaged by fire on Tuesday night. It is supposed the fire originated from the placing of a lighted pipe by one of the men in his coat pocket before retiring and leaving it hanging in the barroom. The fire ate its way upward through the roof before it was discovered, and after some effort, extinguished.

RUSH: The store of Rogers’ Bros., at East Rush, was completely destroyed by fire, together with most of their large stock of goods. The store has done a large business with the farming population of that section, being conducted by two young men well known here, Messrs. Benton I. and P. H. Rogers, former students of the Montrose High school. AND: There will be an Easter social at the home of S. B. McCain on March 27. The ladies announce the following menu: Saratoga chips, salads, eggs to order in any style, baked beans, white and corn bread, pickles and sauces, ad lib, coffee and tea. Ice cream and cake will be served extra. Supper, 15c; ice cream, 10c.

SOUTH AUBURN: The family circle of Frank Gay has been increased and enlivened by the addition of a daughter called Fieda, who arrived March 14.

LANESBORO: Thieves broke into the engine room of the Lanesboro Stone Mill Company and stole brass to the amount of $20. AND: The old tannery buildings, purchased some time ago by W. E. Bennett, are being torn down and shipped to East Windsor, where the lumber will be used in making a brick-making plant.

GELATT: While returning from Herrick Centre with a load of coal, Wellington Howell’s team ran away, breaking the sleighs and cutting one of the horses quite badly.

BROOKLYN: S. J. Bailey, manufacturer of cross arms pins and other wooden articles was in Montrose on Monday. Mr. Bailey has given Brooklyn a very nice enterprise and his products find a very ready sale. AND: A pleasant social event took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Weston, when they were surprised by a number of their friends from Heart Lake, and a few from out of town. One large four-horse sleigh load came from Heart Lake. Dancing and social amusements were enjoyed until a late hour.

NORTH JACKSON: It is said that the North Jackson postoffice will be discontinued April 1.

UNIONDALE: The roads are in very bad condition. Teams break through the deep drifts and have to be shoveled out.

ST. JOSEPH: Mrs. Mary Hanly is contemplating a trip to Binghamton.

HARFORD: Hon. E. E. Jones has introduced a bill into the Legislature providing that in view of the frauds sometimes practiced in the sale of mixed feed or “concentrated commercial feed stuff,” that hereafter all such feed sold shall have a label on the bag, showing its contents. Mr. Jones seems to aid the public in his bills.

RETTA, Auburn Twp.: F. E. Carter has purchased Mell Cornell’s interest in the sawmill. Suppose business will hum now.

NEW MILFORD: Jasper Jennings writes some interesting facts about New Milford in his series “Geography and History of Susquehanna County.” Some of the first settlers were Jediah Adams, who came in 1789, Robert Corbett in 1790 and Benjamin Hayden in 1794. The people at that time had little or no money and many drove ox teams and sleds, even to town and church. They manufactured nearly all their clothing, homespun was never scoffed at, and pleasure carriages were never seen. Goods were transported or hauled all the way from Newburg, NY, over the old turnpike, in wagons. William Ward, who came in 1806, opened the first store in 1815 and Henry Burritt came in 1821, established a general store, and ran it for nearly 60 years. William Ward’s enterprises did much in developing the resources of the Salk Lick Valley.

HERRICK CENTRE: Floyd Perrington is recovering from a severe attack of typhoid fever.

FOREST CITY: Forest City Local 1688 Carpenters and Joiners have issued a new code of rules in which they announce that beginning April 1st the scale for journeymen, who have heretofore received $2.48, will be $2.75 for an eight-hour day with time and a half for over time. As the local contractors have agreed to the new price there will be no dissention in the craft over the change.

NEWS BRIEFS: It is slightly over two years ago since we first got up a few post card designs and placed them on sale. We were pioneers in the selling as well as the manufacture of local view cards, which then were something very “new.” We were urged to supply local retailers, furnishing them new designs as published, and now perhaps have over one thousand engravings for this special work, which item alone is not a small one. Now, in view of the handsome, richly colored postals made abroad, we are importing cards made from local scenes, and having made shipments large, will be able to supply retailers of cards. Montrose Democrat AND: It is said that Susquehanna County is so thoroughly organized that there is not room for another Grange, and it is recognized as one of the strongest Grange counties in the state.

BACK ISSUES of “100 Years Ago” can be found on our website,

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Not much wild about Wilder

I have never met Gary Wilder so I know little about him. However, during a telephone conversation with him, his consideration for others stuck out like a sore thumb and I was impressed by it.

Gary now works as voter registrar at the Susquehanna County Courthouse. Laura Watts, the gal that was hired for the job, left after doing it for seven months. She is now a candidate for county commissioner

If you are familiar with the case, you will know that Gary is the veteran who applied for the job but did not get it for reasons that have yet to be explained. Gary has the qualifications and the ability to do the job and, as a military veteran, he is entitled to extra points for serving his country.

I asked Gary if he has dropped the lawsuit he filed against the county after being told he has the job. He said he had not and that surprised me. After all, he does have the job now so why continue the lawsuit?

“I have not dropped it,” he said, “because the point has not been made.”

“The point,” I said rather inquisitively.

Gary went on to explain that the Pennsylvania Veterans Preference Statute is applicable in his case despite the fact that, initially, the county apparently did not acknowledge it. “I want the law established statewide so that all qualified veterans are covered by it,” he said. “When a veteran applies for a job and his qualifications are equal to all other applicants, I want the preference statute to be recognized and the veteran to get the job.”

You gotta like a guy with that kind of attitude. Shows that he is not only thinking for himself but also for others.

I will be in the courthouse next Wednesday as usual and I am going to make it a point to introduce myself to Gary Wilder. Sounds to me like someone who would be a pleasure to know.

Wow! Look who made a mistake!

My friends, I made a mistake a couple of columns back in stating that Commissioner Jeff Loomis made a motion to take Laura Watts off an hourly rate in favor of an annual salary. Actually, while it was on the agenda, the motion was tabled on a motion by Roberta Kelly, chair of the Board of Commissioners.

As you must know by now if you have been following this column, Mr. Loomis and I have been at odds since his first term as a county commissioner. The opinion here has always been that he is knowledgeable about finances but just does not know how to cope with the rest of his responsibilities as a county commissioner, including dealing with his constituents.

At the last meeting, Mr. Loomis was quiet about it until I brought it up, but the “great one” made a mistake – yes, a mistake – also on the Laura Watts issue. Ironically, his mistake was made in the same letter to the editor he wrote chastising me for my mistake. Why do I bring it up? Again, because the opinion here is that Mr. Loomis would have you believe he is infallible and that just isn't so.

In one paragraph of his original letter to the editor (and I do have a copy of it), Mr. Loomis wrote the following sentence. “Secondly, the wording for that motion in the agenda item was made up and submitted for the agenda by Commissioner Mary Ann Warren, not by Jeff Loomis.” His letter that appears in The Transcript was changed to read, “Secondly, the wording for that motion in the tabled agenda item was made up and included in the Salary Board agenda by the chief clerk after she checked with Salary Board members Mary Ann Warren, Cathy Benedict and Jeff Loomis.”

When I asked Mr. Loomis why he made the change, he replied because he made a mistake in the initial letter. He said he acknowledged his mistake but I haven’t. Wrong again, Mr. Loomis. I did write a correction and the editor of The Transcript saw fit to incorporate it in a note responding to Mr. Loomis’ letter to the editor. And that was ok with me but I had to mention this because Mr. Loomis said at a public meeting that I failed to admit my mistake.

And while we are on the subject of mistakes and corrections, I never said that the position of county commissioner requires a law degree, as Bill Skoronski intimated in his letter to the editor last week. And I did not say that should Mr. Giangrieco be elected, he would relegate some of his duties as a county commissioner to his staff at his law office. I was referring to the routine duties in his legal office.

My friends, when I started in this whacky world of journalism more than 50 years ago, I was taught that reporters must write for eighth grade level education. Somewhere in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s it was reduced to sixth grade level. Perhaps it is time for another look at the situation and maybe another drop in the grade level.

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

Every school has a Joe Frederick – sometimes more than one. Joe does not like authority, and, in order to subvert and undermine that authority, he utilizes every tool at his disposal. Even though Joe is still a student, he clearly knows more than all of the adults combined, and bristles when confronted with proof of his lack of both respect and knowledge. So, Joe pushes the envelope to see how far the bar will bend before it breaks. Joe does this for personal and selfish reasons, yet he is smart enough to cloak his motives with the banners of liberty and freedom. When confronted by school personnel for his subversive conduct, Joe has an uncanny ability to quote various political philosophers and denounce the fascist school regime. Every school has a kid like Joe Frederick, but the Joe Frederick I am talking about has a case pending in the United States Supreme Court.

In January, 2002, in Juneau, Alaska, the local high school was conducting an Olympic torch parade with teachers and students. In close proximity to the parade itself, Joe and his comrades unfurled a 14-foot banner that read, “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” When the school administrators noticed that Joe and various other students were engaging in this disruptive conduct, the banner was torn down and discarded. Joe received a 10-day suspension. Joe then sued the School District for violating his constitutional right to free speech.

At the federal district court level, the school administrators explained that Joe’s banner contained a drug-related message, which was directly contrary to the school’s anti-drug policy. On the other hand, sweet innocent Joe contended that the words were simply “nonsense meant to attract television cameras because they were funny.” In agreeing with the school district, the district judge concluded: “Having determined that speech advocating illegal drug use is inappropriate in the school, [the principal] had the authority, if not the obligation, to stop such messages as a school-sanctioned activity so as not to place the imprimatur of school approval on the message.” The school district is off the hook, right? Not so fast. Joe does not give up so easily, and Alaska sits in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – and these are Joe’s type of judges.

And the 9th Circuit just loved Joe and his band of merry students. In reversing the district court, the Ninth Circuit conceded that school officials have the right to prohibit student speech that is “plainly offensive to any mature person.” The court, however, found that Joe’s banner “may be funny, stupid, or insulting, depending on one’s point of view, but it is not plainly offensive.” In reviewing cases from other circuits, the Ninth Circuit conceded that other courts have upheld a school’s right to prohibit children from wearing certain clothing, such as Marilyn Manson T-shirts containing pro-drug and anti-religious messages, where the clothing contained “symbols and words that are patently contrary to the school’s educational mission.” The Ninth Circuit has never really cared too much about precedent – and this case was no different. In short, the Ninth Circuit not only thought Joe’s banner was protected speech, but they essentially encouraged him to wear a Marilyn Manson T-shirt next time he displayed his “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” message at a school event. Joe was back in the saddle, and the School District was now on the hook for monetary damages for suppressing Joe’s protected speech at their school event.

The United States Supreme Court has decided to review this case to determine whether Joe’s “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” sign constituted the type of protected student speech that a school district must endure at a school sponsored event. As to Joe’s contention that his sign was simply nonsense meant to attract television cameras, his assertions turned out to be nonsense. While at college, Joe was arrested and pled guilty to selling marijuana. Joe knew exactly what he was doing, intended to be disruptive and disrespectful, knew that the school would not tolerate his behavior, and may receive a payday as a result of the school’s attempt to control its own event. Every school has a Joe – so the upcoming decision is being closely monitored to see just how much nonsense a school is required to tolerate.

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. My doctor told me my cholesterol and triglycerides are elevated. I have a vague idea what cholesterol is but I’m clueless about triglycerides. What are they?

Triglycerides are a fat in your blood. They are important to maintaining good health. However, if your triglycerides get out of control, you can put your heart at risk. People with high triglycerides usually have lower HDL (good) cholesterol and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Calories you take in but don’t burn immediately are converted to triglycerides to supply you with energy later. Your triglycerides level can be too high if you continue to consume more calories than you need. Of course, this causes obesity, too.

Other causes of elevated triglycerides – called hypertriglyceridemia – include diabetes, an underactive thyroid, kidney disease, and drugs such as beta-blockers, some diuretics, estrogen, tamoxifen, steroids and birth control pills.

The common guidelines for triglyceride levels are the following: normal, less than 150 mg/dL; borderline-high, 150 to 199 mg/dL; high, 200 to 499 mg/dL, and very high, 500 mg/dL or more. “Mg/dL” stands for milligram per deciliter.

The primary remedy for too many triglycerides is changing your habits. Here are some pointers on how to get your triglycerides down:

Get off the recliner and exercise.

Cut your caloric intake across the board. This means you have to reduce your consumption of not just fat, but carbohydrates and proteins. Substituting carbohydrates for fats can raise triglyceride levels. People with high triglycerides may have to limit their intake of carbohydrates to no more than 45 to 50 percent of total calories.

Avoid saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. This is a complex subject. A good starting point is to stay away from foods that come from animals such as meat, dairy and eggs. But there are plant-based foods that are bad for you, too. These include oils from coconuts, cottonseeds and palm kernels.

Eat oily fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease triglyceride levels

A small about of alcohol can generate a big increase in triglyceride levels. Cut down as much as you can.

Quit smoking. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you must know by now that smoking doesn’t just cause respiratory diseases such as lung cancer and emphysema. It kills you in so many ways.

If changing your habits is insufficient to bring your level of triglycerides down, there are medications that can be prescribed. Fenofibrate, gemfibrozil and nicotinic acids often work to reduce triglycerides.

Hypertriglyceridemia can run in families. While high triglycerides don’t usually present noticeable symptoms, people with a family history of very high triglycerides may have visible fatty deposits under the skin.

Elevated triglycerides are often part of a group of conditions called metabolic syndrome.

This syndrome is the combination of high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, excess weight, low HDL cholesterol, and high triglycerides. This syndrome increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

[In the next installment of The Healthy Geezer, we’ll focus upon cholesterol.]

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

I am sorry that my column was not in the paper last week; there were some problems with the software on which I write my column. But I hope that I can make it up to you by informing you of your 2007 ballot for the borough council. This year there are only four open seats on borough council, but eight candidates are hoping to retrieve one of those seats. On the ballot for council members are: Robert Buck, Bridgett D’Agati, Barbara Glover, Louis Gurske, Helen Haynes, Art Kopp, Anthony Palonis, Robert Weldy. On the Ballot for Mayor: Maryann Debalko.

Remember that elections are held on May 15, 2007! Good luck to all the candidates! I hope you can make the right decisions to lead our borough onto a better path.

I also want to congratulate Bill McHale for being a finalist in the WVIA “Favorite Teacher” essay contest. Bill McHale wrote about his Physics and Chemistry teacher, Mr. Jonathon Salinkas. Way to go, Bill!

I hope everyone has enjoyed this warm weather that we have had this past week. Unfortunately, it does not look like it will continue. So keep a coat with you just in case!


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Veterans’ Corner

Three generations of military tradition continues with a local Navy man. Second Class Petty Officer Charles S. Baker from Springville Township, currently stationed in Virginia, is the grandson of the late Fred B. Baker, Sr., of Auburn Township and son of Fred B. Baker, II of Springville Township.

Fred Baker, Sr.

Fred Sr., nicknamed Ted, served in the Pacific as a quartermaster, with the rank of Petty Officer second class, aboard the U.S.S. Independence during the Second World War. He was a “plank owner,” meaning that he was assigned to the ship from its commissioning. The Independence earned eight battle stars and suffered a torpedo strike during the war in the Pacific. Ted was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with one Silver Star and four Bronze Stars, Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asian Clasp, Philippine Liberation Medal with two Bronze Stars, and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.

Fred Baker II

Fred II was drafted into the Army in 1967, originally trained as a combat medic and later attended flight training. He served as a Chief Warrant Officer and helicopter pilot, with the First Infantry Division, during the Vietnam War. During his tour he had the distinction of being chosen to be the command and control pilot in charge of the air security for the President of the United States during his visit to the Republic of Vietnam in 1969. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Air Medal with 18 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four Campaign Stars, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device, Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of France Fourrageres, and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation. He later served with the Fourth Armored Division in Europe both training and developing specialized airmobile tactics against armored units.

Charles S. Baker

Charles, originally trained as an Avionics Electronics Technician, recently served a tour of duty on the U.S.S. Enterprise after receiving training for a cross rating as an Aviation Machinist Mate. In January of 2006, he joined the world famous Knighthawks VFA-136 and presently works on organization repair on Hornet aircraft engines. While on board the Enterprise he completed training as Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist. His deployment started in the Persian Gulf supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and later supported NATO forces in Afghanistan. So far, he has been awarded the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. While on board last October, he received a recommendation for the Safety Pro Award for detecting and directing fire control during a hangar bay fire. The Enterprise was the first east coast carrier to make a western-Pacific tour since Vietnam. Also of note, they became the first carrier to support two fronts at the same time. His latest tour of duty ended just in time for him to be home for the birth of his son, Alan Jacob on December 13, 2006

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