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Issue Home July 18, 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

LAKESIDE: An ice cream festival will be held on Saturday evening, July 20, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer E. Johnson, for the benefit of Lakeside M. E. church in Lathrop.

LAKE CAREY, Wyoming Co.: Judge and Mrs. F. W. Wheaton, of Wilkes-Barre, have issued invitations for the wedding of their daughter, Miss Katharine A. Rhodes, to Ensign Harold R. Stark, U.S.N., the ceremony to be performed at “The Farm,” Lake Carey, next Wednesday afternoon at four o’clock. Mr. Stark is a son of the late Col. B. F. Stark, of Wilkes-Barre. [Admiral Harold R. Stark was later to become Chief of Naval Operations during World War II. His mother was Mary Frances Warner, daughter of Davis Dimock Warner, of Montrose.]

GLENWOOD: The 4th annual reunion of the Pease family was held at the home of C. W. Hoppe, Glenwood, July 2nd. Friends and relatives gathered at noon and a generous lunch was served under a spreading shade tree on the lawn at “Hoppe Hill.”

MONTROSE: At the peep of day, the shrill whistle of the John H. Sparks’ real live circus train announced it’s coming over the L & M and quite a number rubbed sleep from their eyes and went up to the station to watch the interesting process of unloading the circus paraphernalia from the cars to the big wagons used to carry the truck to the scene of the tent-pitching. Seven or eight cars were packed full, but the different gangs of helpers were not long in performing their tasks, and load after load rumbled quickly off to the ball ground. It was an ideal day and not a cloud in the sky. At noon the streets were literally packed with people awaiting the parade. It was nearly one o’clock when the distant “boom-boom” of the bass drum and the “umpah-umpah” of the baritone told its coming. First came the band in its chariot; the ponies and clowns amused the youngsters, and the big elephant and baby elephant attracted great attention. When the ticket sellers opened fire in the disposal of tickets and the band entered into a catchy air with vim, crowds filed in to see the side-show. We missed the Circeassian lady with her wealth of golden bushy locks but the snake-charmer was there and coiled a loathsome reptile about her neck as fearlessly as though it had been a $500 feather boa. The tiger behind his bars of safety, flirted with a mother monkey whose attentions were applied to her one-week-old baby. A fortune teller did great business, failing even to shudder when a boy climbed a ladder of rungs made of knife blades. The main tent was packed and a word of praise is extended to the circus orchestra and clowns, whose jokes were side-splitting and clean. The horizontal bar performing was fine and the slack wire performer a “king of the air.” The lady performers on the trapeze were bewitching and the trained elephants were not so slow and the educated ponies were greatly admired. Every feature of the show was first class. We hope for its return next year. The last time a circus performed here was in 1898.

CHOCONUT: Mr. and Mrs. Bernard McCahill are expecting their sons, Father J. J. McCahill and Miles McCahill, of New York City. The latter was formerly a layman engaged in Catholic mission work in the South.

NEW MILFORD: During the heavy thunder-storm, last Saturday, the house of Mr. Edward Stuart, near the tannery, was struck by lightning and damaged to the extent of about $150. Mr. Stuart, who was in the house escaped death by a narrow margin, happening to go into a room where the lightning did not enter, but he will remember it for some time. The lightning came down the chimney and ran through four rooms, tearing and splintering the wood-work, breaking a door from its hangings and melting the gilding from the frames of several pictures.

WELSH HILL, Clifford Twp.: Mrs. Wm. Leek and children, of Peckville, are camping for the summer in the old Collar school house.

BROOKLYN: F. B. Jewett has had the old blacksmith shop placed on a foundation opposite C. F. Watrous’ and carpenters are at work making it into a house.

LAWSVILLE: The descendants of Agar and Mary Lindsley will hold their annual reunion at Rev. D. D. Lindsley’s, near White Sulphur Springs, N.Y., on Aug. 21. All relatives are invited.

SUSQUEHANNA: The death of Chas. Ginnavan occurred at his late home in Port Jervis, July 12, 1907. Deceased was among the oldest Erie locomotive engineers. Removing from Susquehanna he ran a yard engine up to the time of his last illness, not long ago.

HALLSTEAD: While Mr. and Mrs. Giles Carpenter were driving from Hallstead,Tuesday, their trip was enlivened by the appearance of a large rattlesnake, lying at the edge of the wagon track. The horse first spied the reptile and seemed afraid, which called Mr. Carpenter’s attention to it. He then got out and took his whip and a well directed blow dispatched his snakeship, which was 3 ft, 3 in. long. It was a beautiful specimen, with a skin of rich coloring. Mr. Carpenter presented it to Wm. H. Warner, who will have it made into a belt for his sister, Miss Mary.

HARFORD: While Clarence Tiffany was descending Fair Ground hill, his horse, attached to a top buggy, became frightened at an automobile ascending the hill, on its way from Carbondale to New Milford, and ran away. A thill was broken and Mr. Tiffany, losing control of the horse, sought safety for himself in taking a flying leap from the vehicle, striking the ground with such terrible force as to fracture both legs at the ankle joint, and he was otherwise bruised and cut. He was removed to the office of Dr. Hover, in the village, and soon after to his home in S. Harford. Upon examination, the surgeons found it impossible to reduce the fractures and he was removed that evening to Scranton, where he has received skillful attention and it is now believed he will recover.

NEWS BRIEF: And now the “Teddy bear” is being denounced as a means of spreading race suicide. A clergyman is quoted as saying the bear is replacing the doll in the affections of children, destroying the instincts of motherhood. He urged all mothers to provide dolls for the children in the nursery, from which they might learn many gentle lessons of motherhood. AND: Why is it that the game of base ball is so attractive to the American People? Is it because it us such a democratic game? This has been given as one reason for its great popularity. Base ball is played everywhere, and there is scarcely a boy that does not play the game as soon as he is old enough to go to school. One feature of the game, which adds to its popularity, is that the contests between the teams are played on the square, and as all the plays can be seen by the spectators there can be very little crookedness. Another point is the fact that the game creates a rivalry between towns, and an enthusiasm is aroused that puts each town to the test of doing its very best.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Rail Authority Has Problems

The Susquehanna County Railroad Authority has been stripped of a proposed $700,000 state grant to support its first project. Word of the action by the Aviation and Rail Freight Division of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation was received by county officials on July 9.

“Because the project was never implemented due to the Authority’s inability to consummate the purchase of the land needed for the project,” Sharon A. Daboin, deputy secretary for Aviation and Rail Freight, wrote in a letter to Rowland Sharp, chair of the Authority, “the grant has been closed out and the $700,000 in capital budget funds have been liquidated.”

While the door has been closed for the moment, Ms. Daboin did not rule out the possibility for the Railroad Authority to recover the grant. She said the money will not be reallocated until the fall of this year.

“The Railroad Authority can feel free to reapply for the funding if the following conditions can be met:

“The land acquisition has been consummated and a copy of the title to the land has been provided to the Department.

“The Railroad Authority has obtained a letter from the County Commissioners and the Economic Development Board confirming they are satisfied with the Railroad Authority’s project direction and ability to bring the project to completion in a timely manner and has provided a copy of the letter to the Department.

“If the Railroad Authority cannot meet the conditions outlined above by the close of the fall application period, the $700,000 will be reallocated to another project.”

Ms. Daboin said the Authority will be notified when the Department will begin accepting applications for the next capital budget release.

My friends, I have been a member of the Railroad Authority since June of 2006. I can tell you without reservation that the action taken by the Commonwealth was inevitable. The Authority was advised in April that county and state officials were unhappy with the person at the helm and suggested a change. Unfortunately, a motion to make a change was defeated.

Look for disgruntled Authority members to point accusing fingers at the County Commissioners and State Senator Roger Madigan. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the one-year-plus that I have been an Authority member, I saw an organization that was comparable to a shepherd and his flock. I saw an organization that kept the County Commissioners out of the loop and ignored recommendations from Senator Madigan’s office even though the good Senator was largely responsible for securing the grant money for the Authority.

Despite the questionable leadership, the Authority did make some progress. It was only in its efforts to secure the land for the proposed transfer station that things got touchy. In the process, the Authority refused to keep the Commissioners abreast on how the negotiations were proceeding. Negotiations, by the way, that were handled by an Executive Committee consisting of the three officers.

From here, it would seem that the logical move for the Authority is to urge its chairman to step down. And the Authority needs to stop biting the hands that feed them and that is exactly what was done to Roger Madigan and the senator’s staff. Having made that change, the next order of business should be to mend some fences. Finally, a grant application should be secured and filed for the fall application period.

Many, many moons ago, a man named John Dunne wrote: “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main....” There is more but the most relevant part is here. It reminds us that, despite our successes and our good fortunes, it would be impossible to survive alone in a world with no other living souls.

And, finally, one more proverb, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” I know what you’re thinking: who wants to catch flies? But there is a better message in these words and it would do well for some people to learn and practice it.

The Authority’s regular meeting originally scheduled for July 13, was changed to July 20 before the letter was received from Harrisburg. For your information, the meeting will start at 10 a.m. in the County Building on Public Avenue in Montrose.

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

Ms. Maerz was a 70-year old woman living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. On a December evening, Ms. Maerz saw her neighbor shining a flashlight around her windows around 10:00 p.m., and she was not happy. In reality, her neighbor was only walking his dog, but Ms. Maerz was convinced that he was intentionally harassing her with his flashlight. She went onto her front porch and launched into a nasty tirade. According to her neighbor, she said: “You g** d*** m*****f*****g son of a b****, what the h*** are you doing, get that light off my house.” Ms. Maerz immediately reentered her home and called the police. She indicated that her neighbor was drunk and shining a flashlight into her windows. When the police arrived and investigated the incident, Ms. Maerz received a citation for her obscene and loud outburst into the peaceful evening night of her neighborhood. She was found guilty and ordered to pay a $50 fine and court costs of $117 – but she was having none of it. She appealed her conviction.

Ms. Maerz was charged with a specific section of the disorderly conduct statute, which requires proof that a person intentionally or recklessly creates a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm by engaging in unreasonable noise. The first question is whether the person is being annoying or alarming in a public place. The statute defines a public place as a place to which the public or a substantial group has access, including highways, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business, or neighborhoods. There was no debate that Ms. Maerz was in public when she let loose her outburst from her front porch at her neighbor and his bewildered dog.

While the disorderly conduct statute has a provision relating to the use of obscene language, the police officer did not charge her with causing public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm through the use of obscene language and gestures. As a result, the door was left open for the 70-year old defendant to argue that she had not used unreasonable noise on the evening in question.

In considering the facts, the Pennsylvania Superior Court noted that the disorderly conduct statute was “not intended as a catchall for every act which annoys or disturbs people; it is not to be a dragnet for all the irritations which breed in the ferment of the a community. It has a specific purpose; it has a definite objective, it is intended to preserve the public peace.” In considering whether Ms. Maerz used unreasonable noise, the Court noted that it was not the content of her outburst that was determinative; rather, it was the volume of her voice in making her obnoxious discourse. In fact, the Court conceded that Ms. Maerz had used “loud and vile vocal outbursts,” but did so with a specific intent to stop what she perceived, albeit erroneously, as harassing conduct (the shining of the flashlight into her window). In fact, even after shouting at her neighbor, she immediately called the police, which further suggested that she was attempting to end perceived harassment – not engage in conduct aimed at public inconvenience, annoyance and alarm. If Ms. Maerz did not intend to cause public annoyance and alarm, she could not have committed the act of disorderly conduct.

Interestingly, the Court went further to conclude that the public peace was not breached. The Court opined that her “single outburst was brief, was only as loud as a person of her presumably ordinary physical abilities can shout, occurred in the evening hours prior to ordinary sleeping hours, and prompted neither civil unrest nor a single neighbor to seek police intervention.” With clear incredulity, the Court noted that there was no evidence that “the public peace in this particular neighborhood could not survive a passing, albeit very loud, vocal noise during evening hours.”

There were several comments in the decision that made clear that the character of this particular neighborhood was a central fact in determining that no crime had occurred. In fact, the victimized neighbor testified that Ms. Maerz’s outburst was “kind of standard,” and the undercurrent of the entire decision is that the neighborhood was not disturbed because they were used to Ms. Maerz’s bizarre behavior. In other words, Ms. Maerz had annoyed her neighbors for so long that her outbursts were no longer disorderly – they were the norm!

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

In the last column, I wrote about heart attack symptoms and what to do when you feel them. Today, we’ll discuss the causes of heart attack.

A blood clot in a narrowed coronary artery is the usual cause of a heart attack. The clogged artery prevents oxygenated blood from nourishing the heart. This can lead to pain, the death of heart cells, scar tissue and fatal arrhythmias.

There are a variety of causes that lead to the narrowing of arteries, which is called “atherosclerosis.” This, in turn, increases the likelihood of a heart attack.

The following are some of the leading causes of heart attacks:

Genetics. If early heart attacks run in your family, you may be at risk to have one.

You may have inherited the tendencies to have high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Cholesterol and triglycerides. These can lead to deposit buildup in the arteries, which constricts the flow of blood. High levels of these substances are dangerous to the heart.

Smoking. This habit damages the inside walls of arteries, allowing cholesterol to collect on them. And, smoking can increase the risk of clots forming. The risk of getting coronary artery disease is two to four times greater if you smoke.

High blood pressure. Also known as hypertension, this can damage arteries and speed up atherosclerosis. High blood pressure makes the heart work harder. The added effort makes the heart thicken and become stiffer. The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age.

A sedentary lifestyle. Insufficient exercise contributes to high blood cholesterol levels. Exercise also prevents obesity and lowers blood pressure. The more vigorous the activity, the greater your benefits, but any exercise can benefit your health.

Obesity. Obesity is associated with high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, excess weight forces the heart to work harder.

Diabetes. This disease accelerates atherosclerosis. Diabetes strikes more often in middle age. It is also more common in people who are overweight. About three-quarters of people with diabetes die of heart or blood-vessel disease.

Stress. This can elevate your blood pressure. It may also lead you to gain weight from overeating, and make you smoke to relieve tension.

Alcohol. Too much drinking can raise blood pressure and triglyceride levels. However, the risk of heart disease in people who drink moderately is lower than in nondrinkers Moderate drinking means one to two drinks a day for a man, and one drink daily for a woman. A drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of an 80-proof liquor.

Diet. Too much saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet can narrow the arteries to your heart.

Age. More than eight out of ten people who die of coronary heart disease are 65 or older.

Gender. Men are at greater risk than women of having a heart attack.

Race. African-Americans suffer from higher blood pressure than Caucasians and face a higher risk of heart disease. Heart-disease risk is also higher among Mexican-Americans and Native Americans.

In our next column, we’ll discuss treatment for heart attack victims.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

Sorry that I have not written in a while, but I have been extremely busy.

So it seems that the road to the cemetery is finished. It looks really good.

Gale Williams got married on the fourteenth of July to Tom Reddon from Bloomsburg. Best wishes, Gale and Tom!

Congratulations to Nate and Amanda Williams on their new addition to the family. Caden Parker Williams was born on July 10, weighing in at eight pounds and thirteen ounces.

The Post Office looks great with its new coat of paint!

Unfortunately, I am going to have to give up “Straight From Starrucca.” I work a full-time job and a part-time job that take up most of my time. In the fall, I am planning on going to college, and I would be unable to keep up with what is going on in town. I hope that someone would be able to take over the column because it is a once in a lifetime experience and it is definitely worth it.

Also, I would like to thank my readers for all of their support. I am going to miss people asking me if I’m the girl that writes the newspaper column!

Best wishes to everyone and, of course, Cheerio!

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Veterans’ Corner

No Veterans Corner This Week

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