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Issue Home June 11, 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

LYNN: There was an ice cream social held at the home of R. S. Greenwood Friday evening to raise money for a new chandelier for the church. There was a large crowd present. Proceeds $24.10.

HERRICK CENTRE: Fish Warden Foster is sleeping with both eyes open these days.

SUSQUEHANNA: Diphtheria has been declared an epidemic in Susquehanna and the Board of Health Sunday issued an order closing all churches, schools and places of amusement until further notice. All persons are asked to help in keeping the town clean and in the best possible sanitary condition by keeping scraps of paper, fruit, vegetables and all decaying vegetables and animal matter out of the streets and gutters. Clean up the back yards and alleys and use lime in all the bad places. The first death recorded is John Mulqueen of Vine Avenue. He had been ill for four or five days.

NEW MILFORD: The death of Dr. David C. Ainey, one of the most widely known and successful physicians in Northern Pennsylvania, occurred June 7, following an illness of several weeks. His membership on the Pension examining board for several terms, brought him into contact with many people, and they always found him courteous, and fair in the treatment of their cases. Although not a veteran, the esteem of the Grand Army was shown by their request to act as a guard of honor, which was granted, as well as a bodyguard from the Knights Templar. Over a 100 of the Masonic fraternity were present and a large number of Odd Fellows, of which order he was also a member. AND: As C. S. Page, of the township, was going to the creamery last Monday morning he had a narrow escape from a serious accident. As he drove on the railroad tracks he saw a pusher engine bearing down upon him scarcely a rod away. He backed his team off the track and the pusher passed by scarcely two feet from the horses’ heads; the team continued to back, the wagon going off the bank, but no damage was done.

JACKSON: Mr. Gibbs has been making the people very happy for the past few days, hanging paper for the tired housewife.

BROOKDALE: Harriet Allen, who is 88 years of age, has been having the mumps the past week. AND: The many friends of Katherine Dolan will be pleased to hear that she has secured the appointment as teacher in the grammar room of the Hallstead High School for the coming year. Miss Dolan was formerly a teacher in the intermediate department.

BROOKLYN: Brooklyn is to be congratulated on her fine young band whose efforts are very highly spoken of. The work of instruction has been progressing under Ben. Jewett, an experienced musician and band man. There is nothing so good for a town as good band music. They are already filling engagements. AND: One of Brooklyn’s enterprises is the wood working plant of S. J. Bailey who has made a specialty of telephone work and has later added trunk slat machinery and is now turning out a large amount of this work. Mr. Bailey is not only a thorough going and industrious workman himself but gives employment to several and brings a good deal of money into the town. It is these enterprises that make thrift.

FAIRDALE: The creamery is getting over 10,000 lbs of milk daily and W. B. Gould, the buttermaker, is turning out anywhere from 100 to 150 pounds of butter per day.

RUSH : The people, at least the ones living outside of the village of Rush, are pleased to hear that the directors are going to continue to run nearly all of the schools the coming year. Some of the tax payers of Middletown are anxious to have a joint school built on the Middletown line by the two townships, thereby giving them easy access to school and closing a couple of Rush schools and compel the Rush scholars to walk a considerable distance to school. The head that organized the idea deserves a leather medal.

MIDDLETOWN CENTRE: Joy was turned into sorrow at the wedding of Miss Kathryn Smith of Middletown Centre, to John Thayne, of Auburn, last Wednesday, when as the festivities were about to begin, following the ceremony, Rupert Smith, a brother of the bride, dropped dead from heart failure. He was a young man of 30 years and had been among the merriest of the 150 guests.

CHOCONUT: Marion Lynch, the infant daughter of Timothy Lynch, was scalded on her right arm by falling and upsetting a kettle of hot starch on to her.

HALLSTEAD: News of the death of K. Waldron, a former Hallstead railroad conductor, has been received from Schuyler, Nebraska.

MONTROSE: The sacred concert held in Zion A.M.E. church, last Sunday evening, was well attended and the program consisting of choruses, solos and readings were enjoyed by the congregation present.

KINGSLEY: On Sunday, at about 9 p.m., John Igo, a teamster here, met with a serious accident by having his foot cut off above the shoe top by an engine of a coal train. He was otherwise injured, though not seriously, and was taken to the Moses Taylor hospital at Scranton.

LAWSVILLE: Mrs. E. D. Northrup will serve ice cream on Friday afternoon and evening, also Saturday and Saturday evening, at her store through the summer, and asks a share of the public patronage.

SOUTH GIBSON: The South Gibson baseball team journeyed to New Milford Saturday last to do battle with the team of that town. The New Milfordites were no match for the Gibsonites, as the official score told the tale, sad to relate, to the tune of 8 to 28 in favor of South Gibson.

LAUREL LAKE: A pleasant party was held at the home of M. Mahoney last Friday evening. Dancing was indulged in, the music being furnished by P. O’Day and Chas. Donovan.

NEWS BRIEFS: The “barn dance” has been officially recognized by the National Association of Dancing Masters. This will be good news to local dancers. AND: To destroy squash bugs, lay a cloth or shingle by the plants. The bugs go under it and can be collected and killed in the morning.

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

Alcohol is a drug. It may be a legal drug, but it is still a drug. Alcohol is classified as a depressant. Depressants slow the functioning of the central nervous system. The more alcohol in a person’s system – the more impaired the central nervous system becomes, leading to loss of coordination, reaction time, perception, understanding, speech, judgment, impulse control and memory. As with any drug, a person could “overdose,” or, in more common parlance, alcohol poisoning, which can lead to serious injuries, a coma or even death.

As with most drugs, alcohol consumption can become an addiction, i.e., alcoholism. The statistics show that the younger a person is when they begin consuming alcohol the more likely that person will become an alcoholic. For instance, a national study has demonstrated that a person who consumes alcohol as a teenager is five times more likely to develop a serious problem with alcohol than a person who does not consume alcohol until they are 21. According to statistics, approximately 14 million people in the United States have an alcohol abuse problem. This accounts for approximately 7% of the entire population, even though a large segment of the population does not even consume alcohol. It is estimated that over 50% of adults have a family member who has suffered from alcoholism.

Alcohol consumption can lead to so many other problems. Alcohol can potentially cause serious health problems. Alcohol is also a leading contributor to traffic fatalities, drowning deaths, and suicides. It is estimated that alcohol abuse or alcoholism in the United States costs society between $40 and $60 billion annually.

With the upcoming graduation season and the summer that follows, there is a corresponding pressure for our teenagers to find ways to get and consume alcohol. The statistics demonstrate that everyone is better off if we keep alcohol out of their hands and stomachs. Of course, it is illegal for any person under 21 years of age to possess or consume alcohol and it is illegal for any person to provide alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age.

In previous columns, I have outlined the potential criminal penalties. The criminal offense of furnishing alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor of the third degree, punishable by up to one-year incarceration and a fine up to $2,500. The legislature, however, has deemed this offense to be so severe that a mandatory fine of $1,000 for each violation must be imposed. Therefore, the potential financial consequence for each act of furnishing alcohol to a minor will be at a minimum fine of $1,000 up to a maximum fine of $2,500.

Providing alcohol to a person under 18 could also be considered the criminal offense of corruption of a minor. This is a more serious offense than the furnishing charge, and carries a period of incarceration of up to five years and a potential fine of up to $10,000 for each count. In order to convict a person of this offense, it must be demonstrated that the defendant was over 18 years of age and engaged in conduct involving a person under 18 years of age that tended to corrupt the morals of the minor. If a jury concluded that furnishing alcohol to a minor tended to corrupt the morals of the minor, the adult who furnished the alcohol would also be guilty of corruption of a minor.

While the criminal sanctions are potentially severe, the cost to society and to the children is far greater. Whenever an adult furnishes alcohol to a minor, the adult and the minor are playing a dangerous game similar to Russian roulette. The statistics are real and verify the dangers. As soon as the child consumes the alcohol, the cylinder starts to spin – the only question is whether it will end up in a safe position or a deadly one. The risks are great – addiction, abuse, sickness or death. In the end, it is not a game any of us should be playing.

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. What’s the best way to get rid of athlete’s foot?

As a victim of athlete’s foot, I’ve had a lot of experience battling that nasty nuisance so I can add some personal notes on this subject. I’ve had the most success treating my athlete’s foot with an Australian remedy. I’ll get to that later.

Athlete’s foot is caused by tinea, a fungus that can also cause jock itch and ringworm. You can catch it from another person, from animals or wet surfaces, such as the floors of public showers.

Athlete’s foot symptoms include dry skin, itching, burning, scaling, inflammation, and blisters. If blisters break, tissue becomes exposed and this can be painful.

Athlete's foot usually shows up between the toes, especially the last two toes. Tinea thrives on feet because they are usually in shoes, which are perfect for fungus – they are warm, dark and humid.

The fungus can spread on the feet. It can also travel to other parts of the body if you scratch your feet and then touch elsewhere.

Before attempting to treat what you think is athlete’s foot, you should have your feet examined by a doctor. Symptoms you assume are from athlete’s foot could be from eczema, psoriasis or other maladies such as a skin reaction to shoe dyes.

For a mild case of athlete’s foot, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter or prescription preparation. There are antifungal sprays, powders, creams and lotions. If you have a severe case of athlete’s foot, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication.

After the medication works, athlete’s foot recurs in some people because they are prone to get it. The tendency to get athlete’s foot repeatedly is a genetic condition.

This brings us to a remedy that works better than any I’ve tried since my first of many cases of athlete’s foot about 40 years ago. It’s tea tree oil. You can get it in health food stores.

Tea tree oil is an essential oil distilled from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, an Australian plant. For many years, the leaves of the plant were used for treating cuts, burns and infections.

A randomized, controlled trial examined the use of 25 percent tea tree oil solution, 50 percent tea tree oil solution, or placebo in 158 people with athlete's foot. After twice daily applications for four weeks, the tea tree oil was found to be significantly more effective than placebo.

I have used many over-the-counter products on athlete’s foot. A few did not work at all. A few were effective after several weeks. I applied 100 percent tea tree oil twice a day and my athlete’s foot was gone in a week. I’ve continued to apply it once a day to prevent a recurrence.

Do not apply tea tree oil to your feet without consulting a physician. There are possible side effects that include allergic rash, redness, blistering, and itching. I experienced a mild burning sensation when I applied the undiluted tea tree oil, but had no other problems.

There are ways to prevent getting athlete’s foot. The best general advice is to keep your feet clean and dry. Here are some good specific tips:

When you can, remove your shoes.

Change your socks at least once daily.

Avoid walking barefoot in public areas. Wear sandals or flip-flops in communal showers.

Never borrow other people's shoes.

Dry carefully between the toes after showering.

Apply antifungal foot powder daily to feet and inside shoes.

Wear shoes and socks made of natural materials that breathe.

Don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row; give shoes a chance to dry out.

Have a veterinarian check your pets for fungus.

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: Recent NASA photos showed the opening of the Northwest Passage and that a third of the Arctic’s sea ice has melted in recent decades. Are sea levels already starting to rise accordingly, and if so what effect is this having?

Dudley Robinson, Ireland

Researchers were astounded when, in the fall of 2007, they discovered that the year-round ice pack in the Arctic Ocean had lost some 20 percent of its mass in just two years, setting a new record low since satellite imagery began documenting the terrain in 1978. Without action to stave off climate change, some scientists believe that, at that rate, all of the year-round ice in the Arctic could be gone by as early as 2030.

This massive reduction has allowed an ice-free shipping lane to open through the fabled Northwest Passage along northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland. While the shipping industry – which now has easy northern access between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – may be cheering this “natural” development, scientists worry about the impact of the resulting rise in sea levels around the world.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of leading climate scientists, sea levels have risen some 3.1 millimeters per year since 1993. And the United Nations Environment Program predicts that, by 2010, some 80 percent of people will live within 62 miles of the coast, with about 40 percent living within 37 miles of a coastline.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports that low-lying island nations, especially in equatorial regions, have been hardest hit by this phenomenon, and some are threatened with total disappearance. Rising seas have already swallowed up two uninhabited islands in the Central Pacific. On Samoa, thousands of residents have moved to higher ground as shorelines have retreated by as much as 160 feet. And islanders on Tuvalu are scrambling to find new homes as salt water intrusion has made their groundwater undrinkable while increasingly strong hurricanes and ocean swells have devastated shoreline structures.

WWF says that rising seas throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world have inundated coastal ecosystems, decimating local plant and wildlife populations. In Bangladesh and Thailand, coastal mangrove forests – important buffers against storms and tidal waves – are giving way to ocean water.

Unfortunately, even if we curb global warming emissions today, these problems are likely to get worse before they get better. According to marine geophysicist Robin Bell of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, sea levels rise by about 1/16” for every 150 cubic miles of ice that melts off one of the poles.

“That may not sound like a lot, but consider the volume of ice now locked up in the planet’s three greatest ice sheets,” she writes in a recent issue of Scientific American. “If the West Antarctic ice sheet were to disappear, sea level would rise almost 19 feet; the ice in the Greenland ice sheet could add 24 feet to that; and the East Antarctic ice sheet could add yet another 170 feet to the level of the world’s oceans: more than 213 feet in all.” Bell underscores the severity of the situation by pointing out that the 150-foot tall Statue of Liberty could be completely submerged within a matter of decades.

CONTACTS: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),; WWF,; Earth Institute at Columbia University,

Dear EarthTalk: What’s available now in lawnmowers that are easier on the environment? My yard is too big for one of those “reel” mowers, and I’m no longer a spring chicken, so I have to buy something that runs on more than human power. What’s out there?

Joel Klein, Albany, NY

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), traditional gas-powered lawnmowers are a public nuisance to say the least. Using one of them for an hour generates as many volatile organic compounds – dangerous airborne pollutants known to exacerbate human respiratory and cardiovascular problems – as driving a typical car for 350 miles. The EPA estimates that, with some 54 million Americans mowing their lawns on a weekly basis, gas lawnmower emissions account for as much as five percent of the nation’s total air pollution. Beyond that, homeowners spill some 17 million gallons of gasoline every year just refueling their lawnmowers.

So what’s a green-minded property owner to do about keeping the grass down? Go electric, of course!

Electric mowers, which either plug into a wall outlet via a long cord or run on batteries charged up from the grid, create no exhaust emissions and run much cleaner than their gas-powered counterparts. They also need less maintenance, with no spark plugs or belts to worry about, and are easier to use, as they tend to be smaller and come with push-button starters. The icing on the cake might be the fact that electric mowers are cheaper to run, using about as much electricity as an ordinary toaster. Most electric mower owners spend about $5 a year on electricity to keep their grass trimmed just right. The non-profit Electric Power Research Institute reports that replacing half of the 1.3 million or so gas mowers in the U.S. with electric models would save the equivalent amount of emissions of taking two million cars off the road.

But going electric has some minor trade-offs. Electric mowers tend to cost up to $150 more than their gas-powered counterparts, and the plug-in varieties can only go 100 feet from the closest outlet without an extension cord. And the cordless models last only 30-60 minutes on a charge, depending on battery size and type, though that’s plenty sufficient for the average lawn (just remember to re-charge it in time for the next mow).

And, of course, just because electric mowers don’t consume fossil fuels or spew emissions directly doesn’t mean they are totally green-friendly. Most people derive their household electricity from coal-fired power plants, the dirtiest of all energy sources. Of course, running an electric mower on electricity generated from clean and renewable sources (solar, wind or hydro power) would be the greenest of all possibilities, and those days may be upon us soon.

For those ready to take the electric mower plunge, the Greener Choices website, a project of Consumer Reports, gives high marks to Black & Decker’s corded ($230) and cordless ($400) models for their efficiency, reliability and ease-of-use. Corded models from Worx and Homelite (both around $200) also fared well, along with cordless offerings from Craftsman, Homelite, Remington and Neuton ($300-450).

CONTACTS: Black & Decker,; Remington,; Homelite,; Worx,; Neuton,; Greener Choices,

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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