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Issue Home May 21, 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

SUSQUEHANNA: Thompson Bean, for many years connected with the Scranton Republican, has assumed charge of the Susquehanna Transcript and will devote his time principally to the editorial and local departments. The retiring editor, Henry T. Birchard, has been associated with the paper for 17 years and has proven himself an able and versatile newspaper man.

LANESBORO: Rev. George Comfort, aged 77, died at his home on Tuesday evening. Mr. Comfort was injured in a railroad accident a number of years ago, while traveling in Utah, and has been in poor health ever since. He was a pioneer missionary in Montana, going there in 1868, when it had been but four years a territory. Prior to that time he had been 7 years a minister in the Methodist church, joining the Wyoming Conference in 1862. He was a son of James Comfort and was born at Comfort’s Pond, Harmony Twp., April 28, 1831, the eldest of 13 children. He is survived by his second wife, the former Marian G. Ackley, of Tunkhannock and an adopted son residing in Helena, Montana.

MONTROSE: Every little while some interested citizen of the town makes a suggestion that the name of Jones’ Lake be changed. Some even prefer having it called Smith’s, but the majority thinks it should have a name that would identify it with the town. The one most acceptable seems to be Lake Mt. Rose, and that certainly is a vast improvement. Others considered are Arrowhead Lake, from the fact that numerous Indian arrowheads and relics have been and are still to be found on its shores; Torrey Lake, from the noted evangelist who is to make Montrose his home, and that the Bible Conference, of which he is the leader, will be located overlooking the lake, and a number of others, largely of Indian origin, the latter seeming to be particularly applicable to summer resort towns and possess and restful suggestion of being near to nature’s heart. We know history tells us that a branch of the big family of Jones was among the first to locate on its shores, and from them the name was derived. But the spirit of the times appears to demand a more suitable name. Look at Heart, Silver, Elk, Forest, Quaker and Crystal Lakes, whose names are euphonious and mean something. With apologies to the whole Jones family, cannot someone suggest a name that will make everybody happy?

HALLSTEAD: A moving picture machine in Clune’s Hall exploded on Wednesday evening of last week and the operator, George Lee, was burned about the hands and face in attempting to carry it from the building. His sister, in attempting to assist, had her skirt practically burned off. The small audience was not panic stricken, but endeavored to give the exhibitor what assistance they could. A hand extinguisher and a fire hose subdued the flames and little damage was done to the hall. The machine, valued at $175, was ruined.

SNOW HOLLOW, Silver Lake Twp.: Maurice Bomboy has sustained a number of losses this spring. First he lost three horses and a cow, and last Wednesday while he was in Montrose, meeting his wife who was returning from a hospital stay at Sayre, his house and goods burned. The fire started in the chimney and only a few things were saved, their little children being home at the time. They are staying with her sister, Mrs. Stone.

GELATT: Two thousand cheese boxes have been received at the factory and they expect to begin making cheese this week.

FOREST CITY: We are pleased to note that a number of flag sidewalks are being laid along Main street this spring, and before the summer is ended it is probable that there will be a few, if any bare spots along Main street. Among the marked improvements already made is a substantial walk in front of the Metropole hotel. Messrs. H. W. Brown and E. A. Bloxham have also had some stonework done in front of their buildings, which puts the finishing touches on these handsome structures.

EAST DIMOCK: Ray Green has a lamb with six legs; the lamb is doing well. AND: In Dimock, C. W. Barnes has now got moved to his new blacksmith shop near the Baptist church, where the sound of the anvil can be heard from early morning till late at night.

HEART LAKE: The band boys have hired A.W. Richardson as instructor for another year. They now have about 15 members and will be in shape to furnish some good music the coming season.

HARFORD: The quiet town of Harford was thrown into quite a panic on the evening of May 6, by the ringing of bells. The more nervous were sure it meant fire, but were soon assured that it was only wedding bells for two of our esteemed young people, Elizabeth Estabrook and J. A. Williams, who went directly after the ceremony to their new home on Main Street.

JACKSON: Last Thursday was the hardest storm and wind for years, it blew down fruit trees, took off barn doors and blew in windows of out buildings and houses, and took fences; the ax and hammer was heard all over town on Friday.

STEVENS POINT: Wm. Lee, who removed from this place to Nebraska two years ago, has returned with his family. AND: H. A. Springsteen has purchased the Rockwell interest in the Rockwell and Bennett quarry; consideration $100.

FLYNN: We had quite a lively runaway through here on Saturday last when M. P. Curley’s team of young horses ran away from him at Birchardville, while he was trading, and ran to their home, about 5 miles, doing no damage to horses or wagon.

FAIRDALE: Our supervisors are fixing up the roads by putting on stone and pounding them so as to make a solid highway.

NEWS BRIEFS: Notice to rural route patrons--Buy stamps and put them on your mail yourself. Don’t put the money in the mail box and expect the mail carrier to pick it out and do the licking. He has no time for that kind of business, it is not his duty to do. Another thing, don’t do. Don’t stop the carrier unless you have business with him. AND: In Standing Stone, Bradford County: Mrs. Frances Kinner, wife of A.M. Kinner, is the only living relative of Frances Slocum, who was stolen and carried away by the Indians during the Wyoming Massacre, and after many years was found living in an Indian village on a reservation in one of the Western States. Mrs. Kinner is a niece of Frances Slocum, having been named after her. Some time ago Congress set aside a mile square of land near the Wabash river in Indiana for the relatives of Frances Slocum and so far as known Mrs. Kinner is the only claimant to the property. An investigation looking to the claiming of the land grant is now being made by Mrs. Kinner.

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

I receive a lot of feedback from readers – and two topics have been hot lately. First, internet email scams, and, second, oil and gas leases. This column will address these two topics.

The IRS rebate checks are coming – and it provides another opportunity for the scam artists to get into your wallet. Susquehanna County Treasurer Catherine Benedict notified me of an email that she had received from the “IRS” with information concerning the rebate check. The email suggested that the reader provide a checking or savings account number to allow the IRS to direct deposit the rebate check. By providing this information, it would assure that the rebate was received faster. There was a link in the email that went to a replica of the IRS website – the only problem was that this website was fake and apparently based in Asia. If you fell for the scam and furnished your account information, the crooks could then drain your bank account from halfway around the world.

The IRS will not contact you by email or telephone seeking personal account information. If someone contacts you in this manner contending to be the IRS, you should not provide them with any personal information. The best response would be to contact your local IRS office on your own to investigation as to whether the IRS needs any information from you.

Periodically, we receive forwarded scam emails from residents. There is no way to warn readers about every single email hoax. I received another forwarded email from a reader yesterday that was a lottery notification of prize winnings. In order to collect, of course, you had to provide certain personal information to “process” the prize. Why would you be a winner in a lottery that you never heard of, let alone played? This does not seem to stop people from releasing their personal information to a total stranger. As I have done in the past, I can simply reiterate that your personal information should not be blindly given to any person or entity.

I have also received a lot of questions regarding oil and gas leases – and numerous requests to do a column addressing the issues that arise from the leasing relationship. Unfortunately, I lack the expertise to even begin to address the myriad of issues that arise in the context of an oil and gas lease. There are a few local websites that provide information for the public, including and Attorney General Tom Corbett has issued a press release addressing some of these issues ( In the end, the best approach would be to consult with an attorney prior to signing any lease.

There are many persons providing consulting services concerning oil and gas leases, including those assisting landowners with negotiations and lease revisions. If you are relying upon someone to review and revise your lease, it is important to verify that the person is a licensed attorney. While the “do it yourself” approach may work for some things, this approach should not be applied to important legal matters. Likewise, you should not trust your property and your rights to a person with no legal training. There is an old adage that says an attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client. What about a person who allows his or her legal interests to be represented by someone without legal training – I suppose they are worse than a fool.

The Legislature recognizes the specialized training necessary to practice law. In fact, it is unlawful for any person to engage in the unlawful practice of law. What constitutes the unlawful practice of law? Courts have defined the practice of law in a variety of ways. For instance, any activity that requires the exercise of legal judgment would be the practice of law. Another court has indicated that the practice of law also encompasses the preparation of legal documents, such as contracts or leases. The overall standard indicates that a person is engaged in the practice of law whenever the person engages in services that require legal knowledge, training, skill and ability beyond those possessed by the average layperson. If a person engages in the unlawful practice of law, it constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree, and is punishable by up to one year incarceration and a fine of $2,500. Thus, if you rely upon a layperson to negotiate and draft your oil and gas lease, you have not only jeopardized your own rights, but you have also assisted in the commission of a crime. The bottom line is simple: do not sign anything until you have an attorney review it.

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. In my HMO’s provider directory, some of the doctors have a “DO” after their names instead of an “MD.” What exactly is the difference between these two?

DO stands for doctor of osteopathic medicine. MD is the abbreviation for doctor of medicine. MDs are also called doctors of allopathic medicine.

Here are a couple of brief dictionary definitions:

os·te·op·a·thy n. A system of medicine based on the theory that disturbances in the musculoskeletal system affect other bodily parts, causing many disorders.

al·lop·a·thy n. A method of treating disease with remedies that produce effects different from those caused by the disease itself.

Osteopathic medicine is a safe, established practice. Like MDs, DOs must pass a state medical board examination to obtain a license to practice. There are about 15 MDs for every DO in the United States.

Both DOs and MDs are fully qualified to prescribe medication and perform surgery. Like a medical doctor, an osteopathic physician completes four years of medical school and can choose to practice in any medical specialty. However, osteopaths receive an additional 300 to 500 hours in the study of manual medicine and the body’s musculoskeletal system.

An osteopath will often use manipulation – hands-on techniques to make sure the body is moving freely, so that all of the body's natural healing systems can function properly.

The osteopath is trained to feel the body’s flow of fluids, motion, textures and structure. The DO applies precise force to promote healthy movement of tissues, eliminate abnormal movements, and release compressed bones and joints. This process is called Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM) or Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT).

Osteopathic therapy follows a holistic (whole body) approach to health care.

Osteopathy takes advantage of the body’s natural tendency to strive for good health. DOs often say that the best drugs are within the body’s immune system.

Over the years, the gap between MDs and DOs has narrowed as physicians in both categories have adopted many of the approaches of their colleagues.

Osteopathic physicians who wish to specialize may become board certified in much the same way MDs do by completing a 2- to 6-year residency within the specialty area and passing board-certification exams.

Civil War Surgeon Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, founded osteopathy in 1874. Dr. Still believed that many of the medications of his day were useless or even harmful. In response, Dr. Still developed a philosophy of medicine based on ideas that date back to Hippocrates, the father of medicine. That philosophy focuses on the unity of all body parts.

Dr. Still identified the musculoskeletal system as a key element of health. He recognized the body's ability to heal itself and stressed preventive medicine, eating properly and keeping fit.

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

No what's Buggins You 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

Dear EarthTalk: How or where can I recycle clothes that are too old or worn out for Goodwill?

Tim Cheplick, Perrineville, NJ

Just because that old shirt you used to love is too threadbare to wear anymore doesn’t mean it has to end up in a landfill. “Consumers don’t understand that there’s a place for their old clothing, even if something is missing a button or torn,” says Jana Hawley, a professor of textile and apparel management at the University of Missouri-Columbia. “Ninety-nine percent of used textiles are recyclable.”

Non-profits like Goodwill and the Salvation Army play a crucial role in keeping old clothes out of the waste stream. When they get donations of clothes that are too threadbare to re-sell in one of their shops, they send them to “rag sorters” that specialize in recycling pieces of fabric large and small. Says Hawley, these textile recyclers sell about half the clothing they get back overseas in developing countries, while unusable garments, especially cotton t-shirts, are turned into wiping and polishing cloths used by a variety of industries and sold to consumers. She adds that other textiles are shredded into fibers used to make new products, such as sound-deadening materials for the automotive industry, archival-quality paper, blankets and even plastic fencing.

Outdoor clothing and gear maker Patagonia, which plies a strong environmental mandate in key aspects of its operations (from sourcing of raw materials to managing waste to making grants to environmental nonprofits), in 2005 launched its innovative Common Threads Garment Recycling program. The program was originally begun so customers could return their worn out Capilene long undies for recycling, but has expanded to taking back Patagonia fleece and cotton t-shirts as well as Polartec fleece from other manufacturers. Consumers wanting to unload items that meet the program’s criteria can do so at any Patagonia retail store or by mailing them into the company’s Reno, Nevada service center.

Of course, do-it-yourselfers handy with needle-and-thread or sewing machines can turn their old clothes into new creations such as quilts, handbags and smaller items. The website Expert Village, which claims to have the largest online collection of “how-to” videos, offers a free series called “How to Recycle Old Clothes into New Fashions.” Short step-by-step videos in the series cover such topics as transforming old garments into works of art; sewing patches, buttons and beads onto old clothes; deconstructing a wedding dress; ironing graphics onto old garments, and much more. Another good use for threadbare clothes (as well as sheets and towels) is pet bedding, whether in your own home or donated to a local animal shelter.

According to the non-profit Institute for Local Self-Reliance, textiles make up about four percent of the weight and eight percent of the volume of all municipal solid waste in the U.S. The commercial recycling company U’SAgain – which runs private for-profit recycling services in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, Seattle, St. Louis and elsewhere – finds that some 85 percent of the 70 pounds of textiles the average American purchases each year ends up landfilled. That means the typical U.S. city with 50,000 residents has to pay (with local tax dollars) for the handling and disposal of some 3,000 tons of textiles every year. The shame of such waste is that textiles are so easy to recycle or otherwise find new uses for.

CONTACTS: Goodwill,; Salvation Army,; Patagonia,; Expert Village,; U’SAgain,

Dear EarthTalk: What are the conservation implications of all the wild colonies of escaped pet parrots that have turned up in and around some major U.S. cities?

Mike Gifford, Kirkland, WA

At least three dozen different parrot species are now considered threatened or endangered in their quickly shrinking native tropical and sub-tropical habitats (mostly in South America). As such, the health of wild flocks in the U.S. and other developed countries around the world may well be key to preserving these birds that could otherwise go extinct.

Today wild parrot flocks thrive in urban and suburban areas of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Texas, Washington State and elsewhere. San Francisco and Brooklyn each host particularly large flocks, especially considering their relative lack of green space. Wild parrot flocks are also reportedly thriving in cities across much of Western Europe. Most of these parrots, of course, are not former pets themselves, but the descendents of birds that long ago may have escaped during transport from their jungle homes to pet stores generations ago.

Parrots are among the most intelligent and adaptable birds, so it is no surprise that they’ve done so well in North America and other regions, despite colder temperatures. Indeed it is not uncommon in the Northeast to see large groups of parrots perched in winter on deck railings piled with several inches of snow. The regions they inhabit, despite the cold weather, provide enough food and shelter to meet their relatively modest needs. And once the parrots were able to establish themselves in their new habitats, they got on with the business of breeding. Therefore, their offspring, though born in the city, are wild birds nonetheless, carrying on lifestyles not unlike those of their ancestors back in the jungles of South America (though their predators are different).

Conservationists are optimistic that the parrots’ successful adaptation to more northerly urban environments bodes well for their future, despite the loss of much of their ancestral rainforest habitat. According to Roelant Jonker of the non-profit City Parrots, encouraging the formation of wild flocks of urban parrots promises to be a much more effective conservation tactic than trying to raise more birds in captivity where they would not so readily pass on their genes or learn the survival, adaptation and social skills necessary to survive. To Jonker, the proof is in the pudding: Some 2,500 wild red-crowned Amazon parrots (a quarter of the world’s total) are thriving in and around California’s biggest urban areas at the same time their population numbers are plummeting back in their native rainforest habitat.

The 2006 Judy Irving documentary, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, shadows wild parrot crusader Mark Bittner and his efforts to care for a wild flock of Red-headed Conyers living in San Francisco. Bittner feeds birdseed to the Conyers and gets to know each individual bird and its idiosyncrasies. The film’s shots of parrots interacting with one another and with Bittner really drive the point home how much we have in common with the wild kingdom of animals all around us, whether we live in the city or the country.

CONTACTS: City Parrots,; The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill,

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at:, or e-mail: Read past columns at:

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