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Issue Home November 28, 2007 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Straight From Starrucca
Veterans’ Corner
The Road Less Traveled
A Day In My Shoe
Food For Thought

100 Years Ago

BROOKLYN: The people of this town are agitated over the new road law recently passed by the legislature, which provides that a vote shall be taken in each township to decide whether the road tax shall be paid in cash or worked out. In 1871 a special road law was passed for Brooklyn township, providing for the payment of cash tax and the contracting of keeping the roads in repair for a term of five years. The roads in the town were measured and divided into about mile sections and let to the lowest bidder to be kept in repair for five years, payable so much per year. The operation of the law has been very successful for the past 35 years and it has been noted that the town of Brooklyn has had the best roads in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but it was not thought the new act would repeal the local law, but as the contract expires next March, the proposition to pay cash or go back to the old way of serving time on the road in lieu of paying tax. A petition is being signed asking the court to grant an order to so vote at our February election, and it seems now as though our special road law, which is most practicable in the interest of good roads, will be a thing of the past.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: The Thimble party held at Thomas Shields on Friday evening was worth remembering, as everybody had a first class time.

NEW MILFORD: Geo. E. Bennett, who recently sold out his grocery business in this place, has secured and taken possession of the Kendrick Cafe in Susquehanna.

CLIFFORD: Our town is progressive. Will Lott, our blacksmith, is over run with work. AND: We had a very quiet wedding Tuesday, Nov. 20, when Walter Lyman and Sadie Morgan, both of Lenox, were joined together in the holy state of matrimony by T. J. Wells, Esq.

SUSQUEHANNA: Whether a young man, of Susquehanna, was implicated in the robbery in Roy Leonard's store at Endicott or not, one thing is quite certain and that is he knows something about the gang who did and could, if felt so disposed, furnish some very damaging evidence. He was caught with the goods on by Detective Stephenson, and Mr. Leonard identified the same as being from his place of business. The young man told many conflicting stories as to how he came in possession of the goods. First his brother gave part of them to him but he finally admitted having no brother. Then he told the officers he bought the pieces for sixty cents from an unknown person. He admitted knowing "Tennessee Red," of Susquehanna and several other well-known characters who make their home at Canavan's Island. The young man is now out on bail furnished by relatives. He will be arraigned before Judge Ingerson, Saturday. Later: The hearing was put over till after the holidays. It is now said the police do not think the young man was in it, and that he has told who he got the watches from, and a number of arrests will be made.

LAUREL LAKE: Last Wednesday morning, St. Augustine's Church was the scene of one of the prettiest weddings of the season when Anna O. Shea became the wife of Thomas Campbell. Rev. Father Lally performed the wedding ceremony. Miss Mary Walsh, of Binghamton, as bridesmaid, and Francis, brother of the bride, as best man.

CRYSTAL LAKE: Randolph Potish was hunting on the Sanborn farm near here and came across a flock of pheasants in the orchard. He shot one and the others did not fly at the report of the shot but seemed to be in a stupor. He picked up seven and carried them to a farm house, put them in a box, tied the feet of one and left it on the porch. After a short time it sobered up and flew off to the woods. Investigation showed the pheasants ate fermented apples and all had a "jag on" and Randolph is feasting on pheasant now.

MONTROSE: Contractor G. O. Ayres is pushing work on the new club house of the Country Club, as fast as possible. It will be a large one, somewhere about 50 ft. square, if we remember correctly. It is located on the Lake Avenue corner of their grounds. Notwithstanding the cold weather of this week, the men employed in erecting the foundation of the Historical Society [and Library] building have kept bravely at work and several courses of dressed stone now rest on the solid wall of concrete. The work, we understand, has been continued so that the contractor may realize a payment on what has been accomplished, while if he ordered work to cease with not the required amount done necessary to secure the first payment, the money he put in for material, labor, etc., would be tied up until spring. The contractor, A. E. Badgely, is the same who erected the annex to the court house. This was so well done that excellent and satisfactory work may be expected of him.

LANESBORO: Master Edward Gilson, who spent last week awaiting the decision of the Juvenile Court, with reference to his case, in which he was charged with malicious mischief, has been sent by Very Rev. P. F. Brodrick, of Susquehanna, to Father Baker's Home for Boys, at West Seneca, N.Y., near Buffalo. The doors of this immense institution, under the protection of Our Lady of Victory, are open to white and black, Catholic, Jew or Protestant, and thousands of homeless boys have been cared for there, and given a free education and taught any trade desired. The "boys" run a printshop as well, and have a large band under the direction of an eminent professor of music.

CHRISTMAS HINTS: A nice Meerschaum or brier pipe, or box of cigars makes an ideal present for your friend. Burnt wood outfits, also patterns for burning, fancy baskets and novelties. How about a croquet set, or a fine hammock for a gift. Oh yes, iron toys, mechanical toys, shooting gallery, swords and children's wash sets. Drums, pianos, mouth organs, tubaphones, photograph albums, toilet sets, collar & glove boxes, all at your local stores.

NEWS BRIEFS: In 1896 there were 608 Grand Army Posts in Pennsylvania. At present there are but 523, showing a loss of 82. Death is rapidly depleting the ranks of the veterans of the Civil War. At the close of 1905, 640 Posts had been organized in the State. The largest membership was that of Ezra Griffin Post, at Scranton-428; 39 Posts had a membership of 10 each; 8 of 9; 3 of 8; 4 of 7, and 2 of 5. AND: The new electric railroad from Scranton to Factoryville is nearly graded and much of the track is laid. This road will eventually be extended to Tunkhannock and may come over the hill to Nicholson. This road is of the standard gauge and will increase the value of property in the towns thru which it passes. A large power house is being erected at Dalton, also a large car barn. AND: The plan they pursue in New England of observing Apple Tuesday might well be adopted in this state; the exact date is immaterial, the idea is the thing. In their school on that day the New England children had instruction in the planting, pruning and grafting of apple trees. It is expected in this way to promote the interest in that section in apple products.

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

On November 25, 2002, the first day of bear season, a defendant killed a bear in the early morning hours in Wyoming County near the defendant’s hunting camp. As a result of a “tip,” the Game Commission discovered that the defendant had used bait to entice the bear into the shooting area. Upon receiving the information, a game officer went to the hunting camp to investigate. When the game officer arrived, there was no other person present at the camp. The game officer had to walk up an access road, which ran for approximately 600 feet as the camp itself was not visible from the public roadway. The entire camp property, however, was clearly marked with “no trespassing” signs. Approximately 90 feet from the hunting cabin, the game officer observed, in plain view, a pile of “apple mesh,” in which imprinted was a large bear paw print. The game officer also found leaves with blood droplets near the pile. The game officer located a second “apple mesh” pile approximately 150 feet from the cabin. Finally, the game officer located a pile of bear entrails, which demonstrated that the bear had eaten corn and mashed apples prior to being shot. As a result of the investigation, the defendant was arrested for the unlawful use of bait while hunting. The defendant was convicted and ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 and restitution in the amount of $2,599.87 (the cost for replacement of the bear).

At the trial, the defendant sought to suppress the evidence, contending that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy at his hunting camp as the entire camp was posted with no trespassing signs. In other words, the defendant contended that the “search” that located the bait pile was unlawful as the game officer was trespassing. The defendant argued that the officer should have obtained a search warrant prior to entering his private property. The trial court rejected the defendant’s assertions and he appealed.

In 2005, the Pennsylvania Superior Court also determined that the defendant’s rights had not been violated and that the game commission officers had the right to enter upon defendant’s real property even though the property was posted. The defendant then appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Last week, in a monumental decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court also determined that the search was lawful.

In making its decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court followed federal precedent in concluding that a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy to areas known as open fields, i.e., outdoor areas that are not around the immediate vicinity of a personal residence. Even where a person posts their property, this does not create a reasonable expectation that law enforcement personnel will not enter upon the open fields for investigative purposes. The decision was important because it clarifies the position of the Pennsylvania courts relative to open fields. Law enforcement officers now know that they may lawfully enter open fields in the course of their investigations, even where such areas are posted by the landowner.

In a rural area, the open fields question arises often. Many people have homes that sit far from the public roadway, with acres of posted property. There was always a question of whether law enforcement could enter posted property to investigate suspicious activity without probable cause. A simple example that repeatedly occurs is reports of outdoor, underage drinking parties in fields that cannot be seen from the public roadway. There was always a question whether a patrol officer could drive his motor vehicle up a private driveway to posted property to investigate the report. Where such activities are occurring in open fields, it is now clear that law enforcement may take such reasonable investigative steps to assure that no criminal activity is afoot.

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 know I should wear sunglasses to protect my eyes, but what should I look for when I buy them?

The most important feature in sunglasses is the ability to protect your eyes from invisible ultraviolet (UV) light, which also causes sunburn.

Long-term exposure to the high-energy ultraviolet radiation in sunlight is linked to eye disease. Buy sunglasses that block 99 percent or 100 percent of all UV light. Look for a label that lists protection.

If you want to be extra careful, get wrap-around sunglasses because they keep out more light. Eye doctors also recommend wearing a brimmed hat when you’re going to be in the sun for a long time.

If you don’t protect your eyes from the sun, you risk getting cataracts, macular degeneration and cancerous growths on the eye. A cataract is a clouding of the lens, the clear part of the eye that helps focus images like the lens in a camera. The macula is at the center of the retina in the back of your eye. The retina transmits light from the eye to the brain.

Most of the eye damage caused by ultraviolet light rays is gradual and irreversible. People have different levels of sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation.

Some studies show that people with eye diseases such as macular degeneration may be at greater risk from UV rays. As a precaution, they should wear sunglasses whenever they are outdoors. This precaution is wise, too, for anyone who has had cataract surgery.

If you take drugs that make your skin more light-sensitive, discuss eye protection with your doctor. These medicines can make your eyes more sensitive to light.

There are other features in sunglasses that you should consider. None of these features is linked to UV protection. Remember, always check a pair of sunglasses for a UV rating.

Shade: You’ll need a dark lens if you are in bright sun frequently. However, a medium lens will suit you for most days. Sunglasses should be dark enough to reduce glare, but not dark enough to distort colors.

Color: Prevent Blindness America, a volunteer eye health and safety organization, recommends lenses that are neutral gray, amber, brown or green.

Blue Blockers: There’s a controversy over the possible harm done by blue light. There is blue light in the bright glare from snow or water. Lenses that block all blue light are usually amber colored. This color is supposed to help you see distant objects more easily. Amber sunglasses are used by many pilots and hunters.

Polarization: Polarized lenses cut reflected glare and are especially helpful for driving.

Photochromics: A photochromic glass lens automatically darkens in bright light and becomes lighter in low light. These are convenient for people who are in and out of doors all day.

Gradients: Single-gradient lenses are dark on top and lighter on the bottom. These are great for driving. Double-gradient lenses are dark along the top and bottom and lighter in the middle. These are suitable for skiing.

Mirror Coating: Lenses with mirror finishes reduce the amount of light that passes through to your eyes. These make an emphatic fashion statement.

Quality: A good way to check the quality of nonprescription sunglasses is to look at a rectangular pattern, such as tiles. You’ll know the glasses are good ones if the lines stay straight when you move your head.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

No Straight From Starrucca This Week

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Veterans’ Corner

Thomas A. Albertson

Thomas Albert Albertson, New Milford, son of the late Albert and Doris Albertson, formerly of Thompson, PA, graduated in 1965 from Susquehanna High School. He wanted to be a farmer, but the Vietnam War was already in progress, so he enlisted June, 1965 into the Marine Corps with eight weeks of boot camp, in a delayed entry program, leaving for Parris Island, SC in September, 1965 and graduating boot camp on the 190th Marine Corps birthday, November, 1965. He then went on to Camp Geiger, NC and then on to Camp LeJeune, NC.

He was shipped to Puerto Rico as an engineer; some of his duties included repairing and building airfields, fence lines and the like. He was there at two six-month intervals. He was then sent on to Vietnam as a combat engineer until December, 1968.

His duties were, but not limited to, mine sweeping and defusing of mines, also building bunkers and air strips and the like.

He received Rifle Marksman and other meritorious awards, one being the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry With Bronze Star. He was honorably discharged in September, 1969 as a Lance Corporal. Tom is the father of PFC Thomas Albertson, and the son-in-law of the late Charles Joseph Pfamatter.

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The Road Less Traveled
By Bob Scroggins

The Social Wars: Drugs

The is the final segment on America's three social wars. The first dealt with governmental efforts to reduce poverty, the second, to find a cure for cancer. This column casts a critical eye on the third metaphorical war...

The War on Drugs. President Nixon fired the opening salvo in 1970 when he signed the Controlled Substances Act. The war has been continued by every president since then. The stated goals are to reduce drug use, addiction, and the crime associated with 77 substances classified by the government as illegal drugs.

This is America's second prohibition. The first was the prohibition against alcohol, which began in 1920 and ended in 1933. The similarities resulting from the legal attempts to curtail the use of alcohol and illegal drugs are striking. Take a look at these 10 parallels between the prohibitions of alcohol and drugs. They are disturbingly alike.

Alcohol: Prohibition aimed to achieve abstinence through legal means. But during each of the 13 years of Prohibition, alcohol consumption increased.

Drugs: Same aims as Prohibition. Drug related arrests have climbed every year since the '70s to 1.9 million arrests in 2006. It remains an intractable and growing problem.

Alcohol: It was easily smuggled across the borders of Mexico, Canada, and from the Caribbean.

Drugs: Smugglers use the same routes today. Drugs are smuggled in by the ton. This year a record-setting single bust weighed 20 tons.

Alcohol: Bootleggers manufactured liquor for the black market. Contaminated spirits caused thousands of deaths.

Drugs: Home-grown marijuana (MJ) – America's largest cash crop – and domestic meth labs supply the black market. Annually, about 11,000 deaths are caused by drug overdose and diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C, caused by dirty needles.

Alcohol: Smugglers and bootleggers organized into cartels. Crime bosses like Al Capone made $60 million a year and had vast political influence.

Drugs: Smugglers organized into drug cartels. Drug kingpins like Pablo Escobar accumulated billions of dollars and corrupted almost the entire nation of Columbia.

Alcohol: Enforcement cost rose every year during Prohibition.

Drugs: Enforcement expenses increase each year. According to an analysis of government reports by Jon Gettman, Ph.D., MJ enforcement alone cost $42 billion.

Alcohol: During Prohibition, the use of hard liquor became increasing popular.

Drugs: The use of highly additive drugs such as crack and cocaine are more prevalent, while the potency of marijuana has increased by 10 fold and more.

Alcohol: Penalties became increasingly harsh. The sale of one drink could result in a prison sentence of five years or a fine of thousands of dollars.

Drugs: America has harsh punishments, yet has the highest addiction rate in the world. More than one million citizens are presently incarcerated for drug use.

Alcohol: During Prohibition federal prisons operated at over 150 percent of capacity.

Drugs: Today, building prisons is the fastest growing industry in the US.

Alcohol: Speakeasies flourished. Alcohol was easily obtained.

Drugs: The use of MJ as measured by arrests is steadily increasing. Last year a record 830,000 users were arrested for MJ offenses. Heroin, cocaine, meth, and other illicit drugs are cheaper, purer, and easier to get than ever before.

Alcohol: Measured by its stated goal of abstinence, Prohibition was a total failure.

Drugs: The current measures of arrest and incarceration have failed to stem the use of illegal drugs. After an expenditure of over a trillion tax dollars and 37 million arrests for drug use, the War on Drugs has not achieved its objectives.

But if enforcement has failed and if smuggling is unstoppable, what is the answer? Perhaps it is right in front of us. There is a dangerous and highly additive drug that is completely legal, easily obtainable, and affordable. It is nicotine, found in tobacco. Every year 440,000 deaths are attributed to its use. What was the answer with this highly toxic and habit-forming drug? It wasn't to be found in jailing smokers, spraying tobacco fields with herbicides, or fruitless efforts to stop smuggling. The answer was a nationwide education campaign.

When the Surgeon General released his first report in 1965 on the dangers of smoking, 42 percent of the population smoked. Since that time smoking has steadily decreased to 21 percent in 2006.

The most commonly used illegal drug is MJ. It accounts for 44 percent of drug arrests. The questions we should ask ourselves are these: Would the legalization and regulated sales of MJ – and MJ only – be a more effective control than criminalization? Would education be a better solution than incarceration? Given the success in decreasing cigarette smoking, would the same measures yield a similar result with MJ?

As for alcohol, it has been legal for almost eight decades. The sky did not fall. No one would doubt that the legalization and controlled sales of spirits are immeasurably better than the acknowledged failure of the first Prohibition.

Insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." – Albert Einstein.

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A Day In My Shoes

No A Day In My Shoes This Week

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Food For Thought
By Lauretta L. Clowes DC

No Food For Thought This Week

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