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Issue Home April 9, 2008 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Straight From Starrucca
Veterans’ Corner
What’s Bugging You?
Food For Thought
Earth Talk

100 Years Ago

ST. JOSEPH: The death of Thomas Dow occurred on Saturday, April 4, ’08, at the home of a niece at Snow Hollow, with whom he had resided since the death of his wife. Mr. Dow, who was born in Ireland 82 years ago, was among the first Irish settlers in Susquehanna county, and experienced all the privations and inconveniences incident of the early days. He took up a tract of land on the brow of the hill overlooking the vale of St. Joseph, and converted it into a very desirable place to live. As a farmer he was successful, as a man he was honorable in his every dealing. The funeral was held from the church at St. Joseph. At the close of the service the remains were carried from the church to the cemetery by Matthew Griffin, John Mahoney, Cornelius McInerny, Thomas Buckley, Patrick Carney and John McNinney.

CLIFFORD: Some excitement was caused here last Friday afternoon by Mr. E. G. Greene’s horses running away. He had driven them in the field and left them standing while he crossed the creek to cut a binding pole. The wind was blowing very cold and they started running, ran to the barn and nearly stopped, but started again, ran through town, turned the corner all right, then ran to W. E. Lott’s place where they ran into a telephone pole, breaking the neck-yoke, tongue and whiffletree, but stopping the horses as one was each side of the telephone pole. Fortunately the horses were unhurt and the men soon had [them] under control. Several ladies followed in the wake, just what part they expected to take in the fracas was hard to understand. Prospective Representative B. F. Jones was among the rescuing party to see what deed of valor he might do to win favor among some of the Clifford voters.

FRIENDSVILLE: Jos. Mullen is the new clerk at the Matthews grocery. AND: Jos. Grooms and Dan Ryan are cutting wood for Camp Choconut for the coming summer.

THOMPSON: On Friday evening of this week will occur the commencement exercises of the Thompson High School in the M. E. church. The class consists of the following students: M. Elizabeth Wylie, Gladys E. Harpur, Clara F. Brown, Bartie B. Lyden, Bruce B. Wilmarth.

WATROUS CORNERS: Our school closes to-day and as it is so small there is little prospect of its being opened again. Miss Dayton, of Birchardville, was a successful teacher.

GREAT BEND: John Ward, an aged veteran of the Civil War, passed suddenly away Saturday night. Funeral was held on Tuesday morning in St. Lawrence church. AND: Galon Newman has put city water in his block on Main street and as soon as improvements are completed he and his bride will commence housekeeping in the suite of rooms over his place of business.

MONTROSE: When Treasurer N. R. Jones moved here from Rushville a couple of years ago, he brought among other things a luxuriant orange tree. The stenographers and lady attorneys in their visits to his office in the court house “jollied” Mr. Jones considerably about its failure to blossom, etc. Finally in desperation he agreed to furnish all of the young ladies connected with the courthouse with orange blossoms when they ventured on the matrimonial sea. None have qualified as yet, and as the tree is in full bloom now, Mr. Jones desires some of these young ladies’ young men to get busy or else free him from his obligation. As this is leap year it may yet be necessary for him to trim off some of the branches.

AUBURN TWP.: James W. Angle, an experienced blacksmith of Herrickville, Pa., has located at Angle’s Corners, where he will superintend the blacksmith shop for many years in charge of his father, David Angle [the veteran blacksmith came to Susquehanna county over forty years ago from New Jersey]. Mr. Angle is said to be an expert horseshoer and engages also in wood and ironwork of all kinds. His removal from Herrickville to the Corners, is a gain indeed to that section of the county, where the services of a first class blacksmith is indispensable.

FOREST CITY: Considerable excitement was caused Sunday afternoon by the finding of a dead man in the barn on the rear of the Leonard Keltz property on Main street. The deceased was Anthony Kreber, a stonemason. An examination showed no marks of violence and Dr. Wivell, who examined the remains, attributed the death to heart trouble and exposure. Kreber was an Austrian, about 45 and unmarried. Last winter he had his feet badly frozen and was for some time an inmate of the poor farm, which place he left about a week before his death.

UNIONDALE: News has been received here of the marriage of Miss Daisy Bronson, formerly of this place, now a resident of Pasadena, Cal., to Austin Cole, of San Diego. AND: George Payne is moving from the Aunt Mary Dimmick farm to Burnwood.

SOUTH MONTROSE: The McDermott Bros., the new proprietors of the So. Montrose milk station, and their patrons, had some misunderstanding as to the price of milk and the patrons quit that creamery and brought their milk to Montrose.

LENOX: Parley S. Squires died at his home in Lenox township, March 29, 1908. Mr. Squires was born on the place now owned by his brother, Reuben S., in Lathrop, on May 30, 1837. His parents, William Squires and Betsey (Brown) Squires, came from Vermont in the early part of the last century and settled on the farm where Parley was born. Mr. Squires was a schoolteacher for several years, and was one of a lot of Susquehanna county teachers who were sent to Lebanon County to teach English to the inhabitants of that county. He married Ellen R. Bailey, a daughter of Sidney Bailey in the spring of 1865 and went to Nicholson and started a livery business. A few years later he was tanning upper leather in a small tannery on Horton Brook near the old Shields quarry. This burned down in August 1884. The next spring he bought and moved to a large farm in Lenox, where he lived until his death.

SUSQUEHANNA: Arrangements are being made for a game with Wyoming Seminary for Friday evening, April 10. This team has won a large number of games this season and is noted for their clean playing. This promises to be a very good game. The second game will be played with Oneonta Saturday evening, April 11. The Susquehanna team has forwards, Birdsall and Epes; centre, Curran; guards, Kunckle and Normile.

NEWS BRIEF: Horseradish days are here. It is a good appetite sharpener.

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

By District Attorney Jason J. Legg Jose Medelin is a Mexican citizen sitting on death row in Texas. In 1993, when he was 18 years of age, Medelin (and some friends) chased down two teenage girls as they were walking home. Medelin then raped and murdered the two girls. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.

While Medelin has spent most of his young life illegally in the United States, he was born in Mexico and was a Mexican citizen. At the time of his arrest, because of his Mexican citizenship, the Mexican consulate should have been notified of his arrest, and, Medelin had a right to consult with his Mexican consular. This right was created by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, an international treaty that has been approved and ratified by the United States Senate. Medelin was never afforded the rights provided to him by the Vienna Convention, i.e., the Texas officials did not notify the Mexican consulate, nor did Medelin ever have the opportunity to speak with a Mexican consular.

While he was sitting on death row, Medelin sought relief from the International Court of Justice, which determined that Medelin’s rights had been violated and ordered the State of Texas to give Medelin a new trial. The judges in Texas ignored the ruling, noting that the International Court of Justice had no jurisdiction over them. The Texas courts simply noted that Medelin had been afforded a fair trial, with all of the rights guaranteed under the Texas and United States Constitutions. Texas was not required to do more.

President Bush stepped into the fray and issued a presidential memorandum, directing the Texas courts to honor the International Court of Justice decision. Don’t mess with Texas – the Texas courts also ignored President Bush – and the case made its way to the United States Supreme Court.

The question was simply whether a President has the authority to unilaterally order a state court to comply with an international treaty. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court sided with Texas and found that President Bush did not have constitutional authority to direct Texas to follow a ruling of the International Court of Justice. As such, Medelin will remain on death row in Texas, though, given the reputation of Texas, one wonders how long he will have to wait.

President Bush tried to assert that he had broad executive powers to make states comply with international obligations – and he could accomplish this unilaterally with the swipe of his mighty presidential pen. Interestingly, the conservative block of justices on the Court formed the block that rebuffed President Bush’s executive power claim. The reason rests upon principles of federalism – the ability of the federal government to impose things upon a sovereign state government is specifically governed by the constitution, not by some vague claim of presidential privilege or prerogative. Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority (Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Kennedy), stated: “The President has an array of political and diplomatic means available to enforce international obligations but unilaterally converting a non-self-executing treaty into a self-executing treaty is not among them.”

In his dissent, Justice Breyer, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Souter, contended that the Vienna Convention was an approved treaty, and, as such, was the supreme law of the land. By virtue of the approval of the treaty, Breyer contended that the opinions of the International Court of Justice were likewise binding upon the state courts.

Finally, Justice Stevens, in a concurring opinion, took a more pragmatic approach, agreed that the judicial decision of the International Court of Justice had no binding effect on Texas and also agreed that President Bush could not unilaterally impose the ruling on Texas. In the end, Justice Stevens made a rather non-judicial plea: “One consequence of our form of government is that sometimes States must shoulder the primary responsibility for protecting the honor and integrity of the Nation. Texas’ duty in this respect is all the greater since it was Texas that – by failing to provide consular notice in accordance with the Vienna Convention – ensnared the United States in the current controversy. Having already put the Nation in breach of one treaty, it is now up to Texas to prevent the breach of another.”

If Texas did not listen to President Bush, I doubt that Justice Stevens’ plea will fare any better.

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 son and his male partner are going to adopt a child. I fear that my grandchild will suffer from the experience of having two fathers and no mother. Are my worries justified?

There have been many studies demonstrating that gay parents (both male and female) are as likely as heterosexual parents to raise well-adjusted children. In addition, children of gay parents have shown no greater incidence of homosexuality.

However, children with homosexual parents often face social pressures; most of these children are able to overcome the problems associated with being in an unconventional family.

Let’s define terms. A person attracted to another person of the same sex has a homosexual orientation. Both homosexual men and women can be called gay. Female homosexuals may be called lesbians. To simplify explanations, I’ll use gay when referring to both sexes.

Gay parents are becoming more common. An estimated 65,500 adopted children are living with a gay parent in the United States. However, there are between 8 and 10 million children in the U.S. being raised by a gay parent. Most gay parents conceived their children in heterosexual marriages.

The questioner’s concern stems from the common anxiety about people who are different. Information about sexual orientation might relieve this uneasiness.

The official position of all of the major professional mental-health organizations is that homosexuality is not a mental disorder. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its diagnostic manual more than 30 years ago.

For many years, it was thought that homosexuality had psychological roots. Today, there is a lot of evidence suggesting biological causes. Many of the psychological theories have been discredited. And, so far, there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any biological cause for homosexuality.

The most plausible statement I found – based upon current evidence – was that there are probably many reasons for sexual orientation and those reasons vary from person to person.

Sexual orientation is an emotional or sexual attraction to another person. Sexual orientation is different from sexual behavior because it refers to feelings and self-concept. People may not express their sexual orientation.

Sexual orientation emerges for most people in their early teens prior to sexual experience. It is usually said to range from homosexuality to heterosexuality with different forms of bisexuality in between. However, orientation is a rainbow with colors that blend into each other, not a box of assorted chocolates.

Asexuality, the state of having no sexual attraction for either sex, has been studied sparingly. There is a Canadian study that estimates there is one asexual for every 100 people.

Some believe that homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice” and that it can be reversed through “conversion therapy.” However, there is no published scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of therapy to change sexual orientation.

In my next column, I’ll discuss gay health issues.

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

No Veterans' Corner This Week

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

Mayflies: here today, gone tomorrow

It was a warm and humid August evening. My neighbor and I were seated in the stands at the Binghamton NYSEG baseball stadium, watching the home team lose. Suddenly, the stadium lights appeared to dim, and the grandstands were inundated with “winged snow.” An immense cloud of insects had descended upon us and suddenly, total strangers were mutually cooperating in the slapping and swiping of each other in the attempt to remove the invaders. The winged intruders were in everyone’s hair, inside shirts, behind eyeglasses and in gaping mouths. No, it wasn’t an invasion of aliens, but a major hatch of mayflies from the nearby river.

A mayfly in its larva stage.

Along with dragonflies, mayflies are the most ancient of flying insects. Mayflies, also commonly known as shadflies, willowflies, spinners and duns, belong to the insect order Ephemeroptera. This name stems from the Greek words ephemeros, meaning, “lasting a day,” and ptera, for “wings.” The common names refer to the fact that many adult mayflies emerge from the water in the spring, when the willow trees are blooming and the shad are spawning. Dun and spinner are the common terms used by fisherman for referring to mayflies. Mayflies are found in most aquatic environs, from small, rapid streams to large, still lakes. There are over 600 species of mayflies in North America.

An adult mayfly.

Although there is considerable variation from species to species, most mayfly larvae are flattened, with relatively long bodies. Most species have three “tails” and featherlike gills attached to their abdomen. Mayflies always have three pairs of legs and wing pads on the thorax (the body section right behind the head). Although the adults are not aquatic, they are generally found in the vicinity of water. The adults have large, elongated front wings that are clear, membranous, and laced with many veins. The oversized wings are held upright over the body when the insects are at rest. The hind wings are also membranous but rounded and much smaller. While most adults and larvae have three long “tails” (called cerci) extending from the tip of their abdomen, a few species only have two. This sometimes results in them being misidentified as stoneflies. Unlike stoneflies and caddisflies, mayflies have short antennae. Mayfly males can be distinguished from the females by the presence of fully developed forelegs.

Most species of mayflies have only one generation per year, with some requiring two years to reach full maturity. The eggs, which are always deposited in water, usually hatch in several weeks. As in other aquatic species, diapause can delay their development during periods of unfavorable conditions. Having incomplete metamorphosis (no pupal stage), the larvae are aquatic. As the larvae grow larger, they shed their skins several dozen times before reaching maturity. These larvae gather and consume small particles of organic matter that circulate in the water. Some species feed by scraping off the thin layer of algae that grows on the stones in the bottom of a stream. Upon completing their larval development, mayflies emerge from the water. While some use their final larval skin as a flotation device and fly away from the water’s surface, others, especially those residents of fast flowing streams, migrate to either the water’s edge or to quiet pools where they surface and fly away. Still others crawl to the water’s edge, climb out on protruding rocks or sticks whereupon they shed their final skin. Unlike other aquatic insects, the insect that emerges from the final larval stage is not the adult. Instead it is an intermediate step, known as a subimago. While it looks like an adult, its internal organs have not fully developed and its exterior appearance is much duller, due to a covering of fine hairs. The subimago flies only a short distance to nearby vegetation where it remains for a short period of time (several minutes to several days). After resting, the subimago sheds its skin one final time and becomes a true adult. The adult is very short-lived, generally living only long enough to reproduce. Thus, a mayfly’s average lifespan is about 24 hours, with some species living a few hours and others living a few days. Adult mayflies have no mouthparts or functional digestive organs. Consequently, the adults never feed. Their only function is procreation of the species. The males congregate in large swarms over or near bodies of water. A particular pattern of movement, much like a dance, is specific to each species and attracts females to the appropriate swarm, where mating occurs. Immediately after mating, the female lays her eggs. Some deposit their eggs at the water’s surface. Others creep down into the water to lay clusters of eggs underneath stones or other submerged objects. Both the males and females die soon after mating.

Generally, neither larval nor adult mayflies are considered to be pests. However, at times, especially near major waterways, mass emergences of the adult mayflies can be a major nuisance. Accumulations, into the millions, of the dead and dying mayfly carcasses can cause slippery conditions on highways and bridges. Near areas like the Great Lakes and Mississippi River, snowplows have actually been mobilized during warm summer months to clear the highways of the matted mayfly mess.

Like stoneflies and caddisflies, mayflies are also very sensitive to pollution. The presence of multiple mayfly species, in conjunction with elevated populations, is indicative of a healthy aquatic environment. The larvae are especially important components of aquatic ecosystems. Since most mayfly larvae consume either algae or decomposing plant matter, they are a primary part of the food web that converts plant matter to animal tissue. This is an important role since there are many predators in the food chain that consume the larvae, subimagos or adults. Since most fish, especially trout, consume large quantities of mayfly larvae, artificial mayfly imitations are often successfully used by fly fisherman. The proper match of an artificial mayfly at the appropriate time is a near guarantee for an enjoyable and successful fishing trip. Once again, a seldom seen, little known insect is an important component of our natural world!

Questions, comments and suggestions regarding this article, identifications or any other insect related matters or are welcome. Please email them to

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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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