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Issue Home January 23, 2008 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
Earth Talk

100 Years Ago

HEART LAKE: The Ladies Aid at J. C. Carter’s, Saturday, was a great success, both socially and financially. During the afternoon the people were entertained with fine music by the Mahon orchestra, of Montrose, which was highly appreciated by all. Mr. Carter certainly spared no pains in preparing for the occasion. Proceeds, $11.65.

BRANDT: The Kessler Co. tendered a smoker to their employees on the evening of Jan. 15th. Phonograph selections were rendered and games and other music was indulged in. E. R. Burrows, Superintendent, entertained the guests with slight of hand performances, while Messrs. Brooker and Thomas played Violin and Guitar selections. Among those present were: E. R. Burrows, Wm. Watkins, foreman, D. C. Brooker, Frank Effner, Lyman Scott, Ralph Howell, M. G. Wadin, A. L. Kessler, L. Monnell, Samuel Paugh, Sterling Thomas and Bert Watkins.

BIRCHARDVILLE: Will the person who found a black fur mitten, Thursday, between Fairdale church and Bumps corners, please write Harry Hogeboom, at Birchardville, and he will call for same. AND: Mrs. D. Fred Birchard and son, Dayton, are spending the week in Corning, N.Y., as guests of Mrs. Birchard’s sister, Mrs. Burton Baldwin.

HARFORD: Business men and all interested in having the mail train going east stop at Kingsley, have an opportunity of signing a petition which is in the post office.

HERRICK CENTRE: Monday p.m., Murton Taylor, Eddie Benedict, Wade Gibson and E. P. Bowell, took the 5:02 train for Bedford, Pa., to attend a Rail Road School and the best wishes of the community goes with them.

CLIFFORD: Sam Entrot, O. T. Rounds, Ira Curtis, and S. H. Norton, were in Montrose before the Grand Jury, as witnesses against Richard Willard, accused of stealing the horse of Mr. Entrot, Dec. 27. Willard was doing chores for Entrot while the latter was on his wedding tour and on his return horse, outfit and man were missing. He was tracked to Uniondale by Mr. Curtis and Mr. Rounds found Willard and the horse in the Westgate barn near his farm.

GELATT: G. Gelatt put new windows in the school house, Saturday, and we think they will be appreciated by teacher and pupils, as many lights [panes] had fallen out of the old ones.

LAWTON: John Curley had a wood bee last Wednesday, getting about 40 cords of wood cut.

SUSQUEHANNA: Rumors are again about that the Erie shops at Susquehanna are to close and that the shop at Hornell will be enlarged to partially accommodate the work at that place.

NEW MILFORD: Dr. William L. Weston [dentist] would respectfully say to the people of New Milford and adjoining towns that for the next 90 days he will do all work in his line for the lowest cash price, for first-class work. Special attention given to the preservation of the natural teeth. A word to parents: See that your children take proper care of their teeth and take them to a dentist as often as once a year at least; once in six months would be better, and have teeth examined, and if any need filling have it done before it is too late. Examination free. Local and general anaesthesia constantly on hand for the painless extraction of teeth. Office over J. J. Hand’s store, Main Street.

FOREST CITY: Dominick Klackowski, aged 27 years, had his skull fractured and left arm broken by a fall of rock and top coal at No. 2 mine, Saturday. He was taken to Emergency hospital but his injuries were of such a character that he died Sunday morning about 2 o’clock. The deceased’s only near survivor is his wife.

MONTROSE: Russell C. Sprout is preparing to open a newsstand and deal in periodicals and magazines, delivering papers to regular customers as formerly, after Feb. 1. His place of business is located in the storeroom lately occupied by the Shaw cigar manufactory, just above the laundry. Mr. Sprout is an enterprising young man and intends conducting the business in an up-to-date methodical manner.

BRIDGEWATER TWP.: E. J. Keough has his large ice houses, at Jones’ Lake [Lake Montrose] filled with clear ice a foot thick, and is at work cutting for the Borden people, who will fill their icehouse and stack a large quantity.

OAKLAND: Louis Regan, 13 year old, suffering from a bad wound in the right side, is a patient at Simon H. Barnes Memorial Hospital. The young lad, in company with a number of other boys, was skating on what is known as the swamp near Erie No. 1 bridge, west of this place, and as boys generally do they had built a fire. One of the older lads threw a dynamite cartridge in the fire, causing an explosion and badly injuring young Regan. Dr. M. L. Miller worked over the young lad two hours.

HALLSTEAD: We wish to state that the item in the Hallstead news-letter, in this paper last week, concerning the marriage of Mr. Leon Trowbridge and Miss Myrtle Doran, is a false report. We have been authorized by Mr. Trowbridge to make this correction. We accepted the item in good faith, and would advise the writer to be cautious hereafter and gather “news that are facts,” and disregard rumors.

SOUTH AUBURN: The dairy inspector from New York was looking after the condition of dairies in this locality last week. His welcome could have been warmer.

KINGSLEY: G. C. Finn has installed gas lights in his store.

WYOMING COUNTY: Down the Susquehanna a short distance, in the county of Wyoming, trees were felled years ago and later lumber from them became a part of that famously infamous building--Libby prison. This fact is not generally known, but it is vouched for by Dr. John Denison, of Tunkhannock, who was told the full facts by an old Susquehanna river raftsman. The lumber was cut for Bishop Jennings and he sold it for transportation to Richmond, Va., consigned to a man named Libby. The lumber was rafted down the Susquehanna by Jerry Beers, of Mehoopany, an old time raftsman, dead these many years. It was from Mr. Beers that Dr. Denison heard the story. After reaching Richmond the lumber was used in the erection of a tobacco warehouse by that man Libby, and when the Civil War ensued that warehouse became Libby prison

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

I received a letter from a few weeks ago concerning a traffic statute that requires an operator of a vehicle to flash their headlights prior to passing a vehicle heading in the same direction. Apparently, the reader’s friend had received a traffic citation for violating this provision. The reader stated: “I am 47 years old and have been driving both a car and a motorcycle since I was 16 and have never heard of such a law.” The reader admits that she did a little research and discovered that there was a statute that covered this scenario. On the other hand, she also “questioned 83 people, ages ranging from 26 years old to 72 years old, and not one person had ever heard of such a law.” The reader was frustrated that the Vehicle Code contains so many provisions that the public knows little or nothing about, and, as a result, an unsuspecting motorist may learn the hard way with a traffic citation and fine (and possibly points added to a driving record).

The reader was correct in her research and there is a provision of the Vehicle Code that applies to this situation. Under section 3303 of the Vehicle Code, whenever an operator overtakes a vehicle traveling in the same lane of traffic and attempts to pass the vehicle on the left hand side, the passing vehicle must provide a “suitable signal” to the overtaken driver. A “suitable signal” can be audible (the horn) or through the use of the headlights, i.e., flashing the lights at the overtaken vehicle. After fulfilling this duty, the operator of the vehicle being overtaken (and passed) has the additional obligation to allow the pass to occur, i.e., the operator cannot speed up to attempt to prevent being passed. If a person is convicted of an improper pass, then three points are added to his or her license.

You have all probably encountered this situation at one time in your life – from either as the passing motorist or the motorist being passed. You have probably also experienced the dread of attempting to make a pass and the vehicle you were passing suddenly increased their speed, or, perhaps, in a moment of road rage, you were the one who put the petal to the metal to prevent the “jerk” behind you from making a pass. This statute is designed to prevent these impromptu drag races from occurring so that the highways may be a little safer.

The requirement of the signal prior to the pass (either audible or the flashing headlights) is also intended to eliminate the sudden surprise that a motorist may feel when a vehicle is suddenly along side them. I had this happen to me recently – I was traveling on a local highway when suddenly a young kid passed my car at a high rate of speed. The vehicle came upon me so quickly that I never noticed them in my rearview mirror and frankly I was startled. If the motorist had used an audible signal, I would have been prepared for the appearance of his vehicle to my left. On the other hand, as noted by the reader, there are virtually no motorists who know this traffic rule – so there are none that really comply.

So how can we understand all of the rules of the road? Well, you could read the entire Vehicle Code in the hopes that you will remember all of the different provisions and requirements. I flipped through the Vehicle Code this morning and it goes from section 1 through section 9802. It is very large and voluminous. Many of the statutes relate to licensing, registration, financial responsibility, and other matters that do not directly impact upon driving. There are also sections that are very specific relating to motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, all-terrain vehicles, funeral processions, emergencies, school buses, equipment requirements, and there is much, much more. There is a very specific part of the Vehicle Code titled “Operation of Vehicles,” which contains the rules for actual driving. This section encompasses around 150 different statutes – and, if you were so inclined, this would be the area to study if you were interested in reviewing the rules of the road.

While this may seem to be a daunting task, I had a friend tell me that the most dangerous thing we do in our lives is drive an automobile – and we do it every day. The Vehicle Code is designed to eliminate some of the dangers associated with driving. While motorists will occasionally make mistakes, the issuance of a citation becomes a learning process for not only the individual motorist, but also for each person the motorist tells. In the example above, there are at least another 85 people who understand section 3303 as a result of the traffic citation issued to the reader’s friend. While very few people will sit down and read the Vehicle Code, every motorist generally remembers the specific examples that he or she has experienced or heard about from friends.

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. Since my eyes started to go, I’ve been hallucinating and I’m afraid to tell anyone about it. Any ideas?

Hallucinations can be a symptom of a variety of problems – both physical and mental. They can be caused by schizophrenia, dementia, depression, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, fever, drugs, and alcohol. You should see a doctor immediately about this symptom.

You wrote that your hallucinations started with impaired vision. Visual loss (worse than 20/60 in both eyes) is a common cause of hallucinations, too. However, research suggests that it is more likely to appear if you have visual acuity between 20/120 and 20/400.

About one in ten people with vision problems has hallucinations. It is suspected that this phenomenon is under-reported because victims fear they are losing their minds and don’t want their doctors to know.

Complex hallucinations among people with vision loss is called Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). Charles Bonnet was a Swiss philosopher. In 1760, he described this condition in his 89-year-old grandfather who was blinded by cataracts.

These hallucinations can strike at any age, but usually affect seniors. The most likely reason that the syndrome affects the elderly is the prevalence of visual problems in this age group. The common conditions leading to CBS are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataract.

It’s common for vision-related hallucinations to be doozies – odd people, animals, panoramas, bizarre images right out of the most phantasmagorical dreams.

These images – sometimes called visual hallucinations – can range from elaborate images to less-complex line patterns. The pictures appear suddenly and can last for hours.

The visual hallucinations often stop within a year to eighteen months. However, it is difficult to predict the frequency of the hallucinations and how long they will persist.

Today, CBS is not widely known even among physicians. One reason for this phenomenon is that many of those who hallucinate keep it to themselves.

There is no cure for CBS. The best way to handle the syndrome is to reassure victims that the weird images are a symptom of eye disease, not mental illness.

The syndrome is sometimes called “phantom vision” and it is compared to phantom limbs. Amputees can have sensations from limbs they no longer have. Similarly, when retinal cells become impaired and are no longer able to receive and relay visual images to the brain, the visual system begins firing off images on its own.

A research study in the Netherlands found that people used a variety of techniques to deal with CBS. If you believe you are suffering from the syndrome, try these: close your eyes and then open them; look away from the image quickly; walk away from the image or approach it; stare at the image; turn a light on; concentrate on something else; believe it or not, some got relief by shouting at the image or trying to hit it.

If you have a question, write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

No Straight From Starrucca This Week

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Veterans’ Corner

No Veteran's Corner This Week

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The Road Less Traveled
By Bob Scroggins

Tweaking The Tiger's Tail or . . .

Why we cannot win a war with Iran.

Early this month, five Iranian boats recklessly taunted three American warships. The Iranians maneuvered their crafts provocatively close to the US ships. A radio transmission from one of the Iranian vessels warned, "I am coming at you. You will explode after a few minutes." White boxes were thrown overboard by the Iranians into the path of the American ships, which took evasive action. We were but a heartbeat away from an exchange of fire.

President Bush weighed in quickly, as did presidential hopefuls, with a fusillade of dire warnings and threats against Iran. Cooler minds would have urged restraint until all the facts were known.

What are the facts?

The American ships were the USS Port Royal, a 10,000-ton guided-missile cruiser with eight machine guns; the USS Hopper a 9,000-ton guided-missile destroyer with eight machine guns; and the USS Ingraham, a 4,000-ton frigate with two radar-controlled Phalanx guns capable of firing 3,000 depleted uranium bullets per minute.

The Iran vessels were unarmed, outboard-motor speedboats. The open-cockpit boats had three-man crews. They were all wearing bright-orange life vests, not exactly the uniform of the day for suicide bombers. Only one of the boats came close to the American ships, and that was about 100 yards.

The American video tape of the incident was doctored, in that the video and audio were spliced together. The Navy Times now believes the audio was from the "Filipino Monkey," a shore-based heckler who interjects comments in ship-to-ship transmissions. And the white boxes? Neither the American nor Iranian video or audio tapes makes any mention of them. Their existence is suspect.

During the 20-minute incident, the Americans and Iranians were in radio contact (see Neither party gave evidence of alarm. Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff said, "I didn't get the sense from the reports I was receiving that there was a sense of being afraid of the five boats."

Gradually, reality seeped into hype; a handful of daredevils almost started a war. The incident quickly de-escalated except with President Bush. He brushed aside facts and ratcheted up his rhetoric. The President labeled Iran as "the leading sponsor of world terrorism" and ominously, we "must confront this danger before it is too late."

The overall commander of all operations in Iraq, Admiral William Fallon, stressed that the incident underlined the importance of a hotline with Iran similar to the one we had with Soviet Russia during the Cold War. This, too, the President brushed aside.

President Bush continues to view Iran's "nuclear ambitions" as a danger to world peace. But a recently declassified summary of all 16 American intelligence agencies reported with "high confidence" that Iran disbanded its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003. The report continued, even if Iran resumed nuclear weapons research, it would not be able to develop an A-bomb until the middle of the next decade. This, too, was blithely ignored by the President.

But something the President should not ignore is the result of a $250 million war game. It pitted the US Navy against the Iranian strategy of swarming scores of speedboats against an American naval strike force. The agile, fast-moving boats armed with torpedoes, missiles, and loaded with explosives attacked the Americans en masse. It was a turkey shoot – but not for the Americans. The war game sent 16 American vessels, including a carrier to the bottom of the Persian Gulf.

If the speedboats were armed with Russian torpedoes capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph, the result of the exercise would have been even more lopsided.

Further, Iran possesses Chinese sea mines. These mines are designed to lie on the ocean bottom. When a ship passes over them, they rocket up to detonate on the bottom of a ship's hull. The explosion creates a vacuum which causes the air pressure inside the vessel to explode outward. The mines are said to be able to blow out the bottom and sink even carrier-sized ships.

But even if we were able to counter any and every Iranian military thrust, the US would still lose. Forty percent of the world's oil passes through a narrows in the Persian Gulf called the Strait of Hormuz. This passageway is wide enough for only two lanes, one incoming and the other outgoing. Any interference or blockage of this waterway would have calamitous consequences for the world's economy.

President's Bush's oft repeated "all options are on the table" – code for military actions that include atomic weapons – is the height of bellicose bravado. A war with Iran is one in which everyone loses. On January 6, we walked right up to the edge.

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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

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

No Earth Talk This Week


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