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SHANNON HILL, Auburn Twp.: Quite a blizzard was felt in this place last Saturday and Sunday and plenty of snow fell, so we have fine sleighing.
LINDAVILLE, Brooklyn Twp.: Mrs. W. L. Bunnell has received a fine Chicago Cottage organ as a Christmas gift. AND: In Brooklyn, the Order of the American Boy gave an excellent entertainment in connection with an oyster supper in the village hall last Tuesday evening.
SUSQUEHANNA: The police of Binghamton, Susquehanna and Deposit and officials of the Erie railroad are investigating an alleged systematic robbery of immigrants enroute from Western points of New York while on board Erie trains. It is stated that a number of foreigners have been robbed of the savings they were taking back to the old country with them while they were passengers. When Erie trains No. 4 pulled into Susquehanna, Thursday, the first reports of the robberies were made to the Susquehanna police. According to accounts sneak thieves made a haul among the passengers on train #4, amounting to about $150. It is said that most of the money was obtained while the passengers were asleep. One man is reported to have lost $70 and another $30 and two or three others amounts ranging from $10 to $15. Whether the thieves alighted at Binghamton, Susquehanna or other points after making their hauls, or whether they were among the foreigners and continued with them to New York, is a question the Erie officials are trying to determine. AND: “Kid” Broderick, said to be one of the Canavan Island gang, who was convicted of burglarizing the Roy Leonard jewelry store at Endicott, in 1906, and other crimes, attempted to escape from Auburn prison but was caught before he got out of the prison yard.
FAIRDALE: There is to be a sawmill established on George Brotzman’s flat in the near future.
LAWTON: The Odd Fellows Band of Montrose will sleighride here this evening and give the people an excellent program of music. Following the concert the light fantastic toe will be tripped.
BIRCHARDVILLE: Cards are issued announcing the marriage of Miss Edna M. Small to Mr. Earle C. Stone, the ceremony to occur at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Small, on December 25th, at 8 o’clock. The young people are very popular and highly respected and much interest centers in the approaching event by their friends.
GREAT BEND TWP.: It is reported that outside capitalists have purchased the properties known as the Hanford, Williams, and the Newton farms, at Red Rock, and that they also plan to acquire other properties adjoining. The object has not been made public. However, it is surmised that these parties propose to build a dam at the narrow point at “The Rocks” to secure power for some purpose. There is one thing certain, they are willing to pay a good price for farms that might be on the market for years without a buyer as the times are now. By damming the river at this point sufficient head could easily be acquired to generate power to operate large plants farther down the river.
EAST DIMOCK: Mary A. Struppler celebrated her 87th birthday on Monday, Dec. 16. Five of her children, Mary, Ellen, George, John and Peter, spent the day with her.
NEW MILFORD: J. C. McConnell died at his late home here on Dec. 12th. He was a highly respected citizen and has lived in and around New Milford all his life. Mr. McConnell was a druggist for many years and owned the drug store which was sold to M. A. Blair about three years ago. The deceased is survived by one son, George, of New York; a daughter, Mrs. Willoughby Tucker, of Newfield, N.Y.; one brother, Thomas D., of Conklin; three sisters, Sarah, of Albany, Mrs. Coe Stearns and Mrs. Wallace Gow, of Harford.
MONTROSE: H. D. Titman, proprietor of the Titman Wagon Repository, received a big shipment of cutters Wednesday which are being eagerly purchased by those anxious to take advantage of the fine sleighing. Thirty were received and he tells us the difficulty is to keep a supply on hand. AND: One hundred and sixty acres overlooking Jones Lake has been purchased for the Montrose Bible School and work will begin on the large auditorium as soon as possible.
SPRINGVILLE: The throwing of coal ashes in the snow where teams are obliged to pull through them is very annoying to teamsters, besides being against the law, the penalty being a fine of $10. Other places can be found to dump ashes. AND: Bruce Lake is doing business at the stand formerly occupied by J. C. Hungerford, having purchased the store and good will.
FRANKLIN FORKS: Archie Summers went to Binghamton Friday with a load of Christmas trees.
UNIONDALE: M. O. Dimmick was 90 years old the 16th of this month. He was born in Uniondale and has always lived in this place and has voted at every presidential ever since he became a voter. His politics is of the Republic faith. Mr. Dimmick’s health is quite good but we are sorry to say that several years ago he fell and hurt himself so he has to use crutches now.
ST. JOSEPH: Edward Crowley and Pattie Griffing are furnishing the kindling wood for the Kane school this year. AND: The recent snowstorm has made the roads almost impassable in some parts of the country.
JACKSON: Mrs. A. B. Harding entertained the “Old Maids” convention last Saturday. The names of the guests are not mentioned. AND: P. K. Benson opened a stone quarry near C. L. Marsh’s mill and is getting out some new flagstone.
NEWS BRIEF: In past years many communications have been received by the Postoffice Department requesting delivery of so-called “Santa Claus letters” to philanthropic societies and others in various parts of the country, but the request has always been denied, the department taking the stand that letters of importance would be classed with the “Santa Claus letters” through error and that it would be exposing to public scrutiny private correspondence. Postmaster-General Meyer, this year, has adopted a more liberal attitude toward the children, however, as indicated in his action in issuing an order to postmasters all over the country to let the people know, through the newspapers, that mail addressed to Santa Claus will be delivered to any regularly organized charitable society that will undertake to act as Santa Claus agents in the matter.
There was a commercial on television last night about an online dating service that will help you find love – and it was guaranteed. I then heard a similar advertisement on the radio. For a small fee, the love experts can match you up with your soul mate. Love is not only marketed as its own commodity, but it is also used as a marketing tool to sell other products.
We are constantly told of the different ways to “show” our love for another person. Jewelers tell us that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Florists suggest that roses (or other flowers) are the perfect way to express your love. Car dealers contend that a new luxury automobile will prove your affection. Restaurants promise that a romantic dinner at their establishment will improve your relationship. Travel agencies sell special trips that will renew your love. Greeting cards immediately tell us the right words to say for a small price. Toy manufacturers package happiness and joy for children. In the end, capitalism has transformed love into a booming business.
When it comes to Christmas, the marketing of love steps it up a notch. Advertisers attack love zealously as a means to increase the bottom line. The television is filled with pictures of instant happiness that explode forth as a gift is revealed. As humans, we have been divinely created to be called to love. It is this divine gift that makes the advertisements so powerful – we want to show our love, or even prove our love, but often feel we lack the abilities to do it on our own. We are grateful and eager for the assistance that can be provided to us by the jeweler, the florist, the restaurant, the retailer or the greeting card. For a small (or large) fee, we are provided the means to “show” our love to our spouse, child, parent, relative, or friend.
Because we love so strongly, we are drawn to give to others – and this desire is natural, beautiful and purposeful. We should accept, embrace and follow it. But we should do so on our own terms, not on those developed by marketing strategists. The most precious things that we can give often cost nothing financially, but perhaps are even more difficult to find than the newest video game or perfect diamond. For shopping procrastinators like me, these marketing traps are difficult to avoid – and it seems I find myself snagged in these traps every Christmas Eve as I frantically search for the “perfect” gift in a crowded mall. Every year I am disappointed in myself and promise that I will do better next year. Hopefully, someday I will.
There is also a danger that our natural disposition for giving can be warped into a feeling of entitlement to receive from others. As we watch the commercials on television, it is so easy to allow false expectations to grow. As we are programmed by the marketers, we begin to see love in the commercial sense and the proof of love in the gifts under the tree, and not in the depths of the heart. There is also a tendency to compare the gifts given to the gifts received – and the tendency to assume that you must care more because you gave the person a “better” gift. But true love does not require recompense or even equality – though it is easier to love where love is returned in kind. And this is what Christmas demonstrates.
Christmas is all about love – absolute and pure. Christmas is the greatest gift of all time – God so loved us that He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ. He came to this world and became flesh with the knowledge that He ultimately faced pain, rejection, and death on a cross. Despite knowing that He faced persecution, He came to remind us that we are called to love each other as God loves us. He gave himself totally and freely for each of us without any expectation of receiving anything in return. He stands as the shining paradigm of how we should conduct our lives – especially when we are celebrating His birth.
God is love – and that love was proved absolutely on Christmas Day. In the end, there is really no need for fancy commercials, catchy jingles, pithy phrases, or high priced marketing experts. Christmas markets itself perfectly. How could it not?
I pray you have a blessed and holy Christmas.
Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at www.SusquehannaCounty-DA.org.
Q. A friend of mine said you can get epilepsy when you get old. I always thought this was something that came on you when you were a kid. What’s the story?
Epilepsy, which is sometimes called a seizure disorder, can strike at any age, but it usually starts during childhood and after age 65.
People with epilepsy suffer from abnormal signals in the brain that can affect the senses and emotions. These faulty signals can also generate convulsions, muscle spasms and loss of consciousness.
The common image of epilepsy is of someone on the floor, unconscious and suffering wild convulsions. This is only one scenario created by epilepsy. Doctors have described more than 30 different types of seizures. An epileptic seizure can also create less intense symptoms such as confusion, a staring spell, lapse of awareness, and jerking movements by the limbs.
More than two million people in the United States have been diagnosed with epilepsy or had an unprovoked seizure. You must have two or more seizures to be diagnosed with epilepsy. Seizures can be controlled with drugs and surgery in about 80 percent of cases of epilepsy.
There are seizures that may not be associated with epilepsy. Many people have a single seizure without a sequel. Children sometimes have a seizure with a high fever.
Eclampsia, which can develop in pregnant women, produces sudden elevations of blood pressure and seizures. Then there are pseudo-seizures that produce no evidence in the brain.
There’s no cure yet for epilepsy. However, in some cases, epilepsy just goes away. The likelihood of becoming seizure-free spontaneously is better for children than adults.
The onset of epilepsy is often traced to a head trauma, disease or stroke – something that injures your brain or deprives it of oxygen. About one-third of all cases of newly developed epilepsy in the elderly appears to be caused by disease that reduces the supply of oxygen to brain cells.
Many types of epilepsy tend to run in families. However, epilepsy has no identifiable cause in about half the cases.
The following are some instructions if you see someone having a seizure:
First, call immediately for medical help.
Roll the person on his/her side to prevent choking on any fluids.
Cushion the person's head.
Loosen any tight clothing around the neck.
Do not put anything into the person’s mouth, especially your fingers. It’s a myth that people are in danger of swallowing their tongues during a seizure.
Keep the person's airway open. If necessary, grip the person’s jaw gently and tilt his/her head back.
Don’t try to restrain or wake someone having a seizure.
If the person is moving, clear away dangerous objects.
Stay with the person until medical personnel arrive. If possible, observe the person closely so that you can provide details on what happened.
Look for a medical alert bracelet. The bracelet should have an emergency contact and names of medications the person uses.
After the seizure ends, the person will probably be groggy and tired. He or she also may have a headache and be confused or embarrassed.
If you have a question, please write to email@example.com.
No Straight From Starrucca This Week
No Veterans' Corner This Week
The Christmas Story; Part II
Days after the birth of Jesus, His parents, both observant and pious Jews, take their son to the temple in Jerusalem to be circumcised on the eighth day as the law commands. It is a difficult journey for Mary. She rides atop Joseph's donkey but is burdened with the care and nursing of her newborn son.
After a three-hour walk, the family arrives at the temple. It is here that their son is given the name that the Archangel Gabriel commanded. His name is Joshua. It was he who succeeded Moses and led the Israelites into the Promised Land. And it is His namesake who would lead His people – all people as Christians believe – into a far greater promised land. We know Him by the Grecianized form of Joshua – Jesus, which means salvation. His title in Hebrew is Messiah and in Greek it is Christ. Both have the same meaning; anointed.
Joseph purchases the required temple offering for a male child. For families of little means it is two pigeons. He offers two pigeons.
At last, the wise men arrive from distant Babylon. They enter Jerusalem, just eight miles north of Bethlehem. The size of the caravan brings them to the immediate attention of King Herod. He inquires about the purpose of their visit. The wise men explain that their observations of the stars portends the birth of a king of the Jews. They have come to pay homage to him. Herod is mortified to discover that this child threatens his throne. But exactly where is this king to be born, he wonders?
Herod summons the Sanhedrin, the 70-man ruling council of the Jews, to find an answer. He is informed that it is in Bethlehem that this king is to be born. He tells the wise men, "Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also."
Herod is devious. He plans to murder the young child, just as he executed two of his sons who plotted to overthrow his reign.
After leaving Herod's palace, the wise men note another event in the stars more spectacular than the one which set them on their journey. The planets Jupiter and Venus are again coming into conjunction, but this time so close to the star Regulus as to appear as one single bright star. The wise men know that Regulus is in the constellation of Leo, and Leo is the tribal sign for the tribe of Judah. Following this point of light, notable only to astronomers, leads them to a small village on the crest of a ridge, Bethlehem.
By this time the blessed family are no longer in a stable. Joseph has found suitable accommodations for his wife and stepson. When the wise men find the Christ child, He is in a house. And He is no longer an infant but somewhere between several months to a little more than a year old. "And when they come into the house, [the wise men] saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshiped him."
He looks like any other Jewish boy of that age, olive complexion, dark hair and eyes. Yet there is something about this boy of unique paternity. He is but a toddler, yet grown men, nobles of learning and stature, have neither hesitation nor embarrassment at prostrating themselves before Him.
Gifts are presented, but not as birthday presents since the time of His birth is well past. Some have supposed that the three gifts indicate three wise men. Perhaps. Other traditions say there were 12 wise men representing the 12 tribes of Israel. According to this tradition, the three gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh – are emblematic of the only one who would hold the three offices of king, high priest, and prophet.
Gabriel warns the wise men not to return to Herod. When Herod learns that his scheme to murder the Christ has been thwarted, he orders all male babies from two years – the oldest possible for Jesus – down to newborns, to be slaughtered. But Gabriel foils this endeavor, too. Joseph is instructed to take the boy and his mother and flee to Egypt. One year later Herod dies and they return to Nazareth.
When next we hear of Jesus, He is 30 years of age. His public life opens just prior to His baptism. He is crossing the Jordan River at the very spot where the waters divided for the other Joshua, who led the Israelites into the Promised Land 1,450 years ago.
No A Day In My Shoes This Week
No Food For Thought This Week
From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine
Dear EarthTalk: We just started an environmental club at our high school. What issues and activities do you recommend we get involved with to make the most difference?
Kurt Perry, Cedar Park, TX
Participating in an environmental club is an excellent way for high school students to learn about environmental issues while providing measurable benefit to their community.
Given their local focus, most clubs focus on issues close to home. Many undertake hands-on activities like cleaning up local riverbanks and beaches strewn with litter, restoring degraded wildlife habitat and planting and managing a community organic garden. Other worthy ideas include starting a recycling program (or setting up a compost bin) on school grounds, involving the school or community in measuring and lowering their “carbon footprint,” organizing energy- and emissions-saving carpools for students who drive, and asking school officials to print all documents double-sided (to save paper).
Another way for an environmental club to get involved is to offer assistance to a local green group already working on a project, be it an effort to preserve a threatened parcel of open space, promote bus ridership, get a wind turbine installed in town or pressure a local polluter to clean up its act. Polling club members on what issues matter most to them is a good way to get started on picking projects and activities.
Several national nonprofits also help environmental clubs find focus areas and accomplish their goals. One of the leaders is EarthTeam, formed in 2000 with the mission of “creating a new generation of environmental leaders” by introducing teens to inspiring environmental experiences. The group’s website offers up extensive resources for starting an environmental club, finding resources and getting going on various environmental projects. The group also helps facilitate collaboration among clubs.
Some popular events among EarthTeam clubs include tree plantings, river and beach clean-ups, visits to local wetlands and nature preserves, and holding environmental awareness days at schools. Movie nights are also popular. Showing a relevant environmental documentary on the big screen in a school auditorium or some other venue is a sure way to get a larger membership base and stir up student interest. Some recent releases that might stimulate discussion and ideas include: The Cost of Cool, an in-depth look at the environmental consequences of excessive consumerism, hosted by former Baywatch star Alexandra Paul; A Crude Awakening, about the impact of global oil dependency; and Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.
Another great resource is Earth Tomorrow, a national network of high school environmental clubs administered by the National Wildlife Federation. Through the network, clubs gain access to a wide range of resources on which they can base projects. Examples include the Schoolyard Habitats How-to Guide, which walks high schoolers through the steps involved in enhancing wildlife habitat and ecological health on school grounds, and the Science and Civics program, which shows students how to use science, economics, the law and politics to address a local conservation issue and implement an action plan. Beyond these pre-packaged resources, Earth Tomorrow members can tap each other for project ideas, help and general guidance to help make their club experience as productive and rewarding as possible.
Dear EarthTalk: My condo kitchen floor is vinyl, installed back in 1979. I am told the vinyl contains asbestos. Now it needs replacing. How do I safely remove the vinyl and what are some green choices for a new floor?
Green Dreamer, via e-mail
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be used in a variety of industrial applications due to its strong flexible fibers, its resilience to heat and chemicals, and the fact that it does not conduct electricity. From the late 1800s through the 1970s, asbestos was used extensively in the U.S. and elsewhere in everything from pipes and insulation to siding and flooring, including vinyl tiles.
The problem with asbestos is that its microscopic fibers can become airborne when materials containing it get worn out, damaged or disturbed. Inhaling these airborne fibers can lead to a variety of health problems such as asbestosis (a chronic lung ailment that can produce shortness of breath and permanent lung damage) and a variety of cancers, including those of the lung, larynx and gastrointestinal tract.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effectively banned asbestos in 1989. (The ban was later overturned in federal court as a result of pressure from mining and construction interests, but the damage to the substance’s reputation was too formidable for industry to start using it widely again.) Today, the only money to be made from asbestos is by those in the business of getting rid of it, and an entire industry has sprung up specializing in safely removing asbestos from both commercial and residential buildings.
The EPA recommends that homeowners who want to remove asbestos-containing materials from their residences hire a licensed contractor to do the dirty work, so as not to compromise family or personal health. The EPA maintains an online listing of asbestos removal specialists across the country, and homeowners can also look in their local Yellow Pages under “asbestos abatement” or “asbestos removal” to find local contractors qualified to remove and dispose of the stuff safely and completely.
Hiring such a firm can cost thousands of dollars; so many do-it-yourselfers still take it upon themselves to remove worn asbestos-containing materials (tiles, siding, etc.) from their own homes. Anyone willing to undertake such risks should make sure to get a respirator and other safety equipment to protect against inhaling airborne asbestos particles, and should seal off work areas so the carcinogenic dust does not spread into other areas of the building. The Flooring Lady website is chock full of details on how to minimize risks and includes strong reminders that such a task is not for the risk-averse.
As for what to replace those worn vinyl tiles with, many greener choices abound. Bamboo, cork, linoleum, and sustainably harvested or reclaimed wood are all environmentally sound and widely available flooring options. Some of these products are available at the big box home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, but better selections can be found at online green building supply stores like Ecohaus, Green Building Supply and GreenFloors, among others.
CONTACTS: U.S. EPA Asbestos Information, www.epa.gov/asbestos; The Flooring Lady, www.theflooringlady.com; Ecohaus, www.ecohaus.com; Green Building Supply, www.greenbuildingsupply.com; GreenFloors, www.greenfloors.com.
GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php.
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