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Issue Home July 23, 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

HARFORD: Guy King, of Gettysburg, will be the new principal of the Harford high school.

HALLSTEAD: The band will give concerts on this side of the river every Saturday night during the rest of the summer months. The businessmen of this place have been raising a fund for these entertainments and have met with a hearty response. A vacant lot owned by Rev. M.M. Dunn, kindly gave the committee the privilege of so doing.

BRIDGEWATER TWP.: A short time ago a man named Bump from over towards Towanda, was taken into Ed. Brown’s as a boarder, and a day or two later Brown’s daughter said Bump had assaulted her. This made Brown furious and he pitched on to Bump and gave him a severe pummeling about the head. He also caused Bump’s arrest; and later Bump caused Brown’s arrest for assault. Each had a hearing before judge Van Scoten. Brown was held for the grand jury, and would have had to stay in jail, except that his wife got a horse and drove out to John Buckley’s in Franklin, to get him to go Ed’s bail, which he did that night. But Bump had no one to go his bail and he remains as a guest at the fire-proof “hotel Pritchard.” [The County Jail]

SILVER LAKE: We hope to hear that some of our Quaker Lake girls will be more careful while learning to swim, as we understand some of them came near being drowned last week. AND: M. D. Sweeney is again putting on the market his famous Indian Spring Water. Six bottles in a case, for 50 cts.

MONTROSE: The houses in Montrose are soon to be numbered, as a first move towards having free delivery of mail. AND: The base ball management has now promised us one of the biggest attractions of the season--the Cherokee Indian traveling base ball team, July 31. If you can’t see the afternoon game, go at night. They carry their own electric light plant of 150 arc lights, producing 50,000 candlepower. Those who have witnessed the night games say they are “great.”

SPRINGVILLE: The “Stroller” in the Scranton Tribune has the following: G. W. Bushnell, the well-known retired leather merchant, has just returned from a trip to his old home in Susquehanna county. Mr. Bushnell was born in that county and for many years resided near Montrose. “One of the most pleasing sights that met my eye,” said Mr. Bushnell, in speaking of the delights of the journey, “was near Springville. There we came upon ‘Squire Myron Kasson, formerly of Scranton, clad in a hickory shirt and overalls, picking stones out of the road.” Mr. Kasson, upon retiring from the office of alderman of the 9th ward, went to his farm in Springville for the summer. According to Mr. Bushnell, pastoral life appears to have agreed with the squire and he will till the soil of Susquehanna in future, when not engaged in winter in picking oranges down in Florida.

BROOKLYN: Mrs. W. L. Sterling lost a silk bag with white stripes last week, either in Hopbottom station or on the road to Brooklyn. It contained a white kimono, a purse containing about two dollars, a silver thimble and piece of embroidery with the name H. B.Ware. Of course Mrs. Sterling would like to have the property returned.

SUSQUEHANNA: Daniel Malpass, who conducts a shoe and harness store here, has a record of 50 years continuous service at the bench, which will be rounded out July 28. If the shoe pegs used by Mr. Malpass could be transformed into trees they would make a forest of several acres, while the “waxed ends” would reach around the world, he says.

SOUTH AUBURN: A barn on the farm of Richard Kinney was struck by lightening and considerable damage done to the structure. Insurance Agent Titsworth went to Auburn and adjusted the loss. A team of horses standing near where the bolt struck were knocked down and afterwards were entirely deaf, although otherwise recovered.

GELATT: While Mrs. Clarence Kelly was raking with a span of horses they went to biting each other and one of them kicked and hit Mrs. Kelly on one limb, and broke both bones below the knee. AND: While Mrs. W. Howell was driving Benna Felton’s team, hitched to the hay fork, something broke and the horses ran away, but not much damage was done.

UNIONDALE: An old fashioned loom, for weaving cloth and rag carpet that is in working order in a barn on Main Street, and where several ladies are treating themselves to home made rugs, attracted considerable attention of town people who never saw them work.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: On Saturday last a surveyor was sent to measure the ground for the new church at the Flynn Corners.

NEW MILFORD: A basket picnic, to which every one who ever lived here is invited, will be held in the park in this place on Thursday, August 6th. This will be in the nature of a “home coming.”

DIMOCK: A medicine show has pitched a tent on the green near the hotel, and is giving nightly scenes, making the people believe that they can cure all.

RHINEY CREEK, Liberty Twp.: On Sunday evening, July 5, Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Fish quite remarkably escaped serious injury. Mr. Shafer, of Camp Susquehannock, at Tripp Lake, while driving from services here, got one of the lines caught and was unable either to guide or control his horses. They ran against Mr. and Mrs. Fish, knocking them down. Both of them got up from under the horses and in almost unaccountable way escaped being stepped on. Mr. Fish was hurt on the hand and Mrs. Fish sustained some injuries, but nothing serious. Mr. Shafer expressed most sincere regret and offered to assist them in any way possible.

FOREST CITY: A good-sized crowd went to the Odd Fellows hall on Thursday evening to see a bout pulled off by the Forest City Athletic club. Young Jacobs, of New York, who was advertised to meet Kid Shronis, failed to put in an appearance and Guessler, of Carbondale, took his place in the ring. Those present were--ahem--treated to a smooth exhibition, the contestants being well matched. The result was a tie. In the second contest, Neal failed in the first round and was replaced by Patty Curry who finished five rounds. Kid Guessler over reached him a bit and took the fight. The Club is arranging for one of the “best yet” in the near future in which Burke, the fastest glove artist Wilkes-Barre can produce, will be a prominent figure.

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

Everyone is talking about the price of a gallon of gasoline and feeling the pinch at the pump – and the cost of simply traveling from one place to another has increased significantly in a short period of time. The government has recognized this increase by adjusting the mileage rates applicable to employee travel. For instance, the IRS mileage rate for 2007 was 48.5 cents per mile, and it has now jumped to 58.5 cents per mile, which represents roughly a 20% increase. Moreover, Susquehanna County has also adjusted its mileage rate from 40 cents per mile in 2007 to its current level of 50 cents per mile, which represents a 25% increase.

Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania legislature has failed to make similar adjustments to the mileage rates applicable to witnesses and jurors. By statute, a witness is entitled to receive a $5 appearance fee and 7 cents per mile for travel. For some unknown reason, the statute provides that if a witness is needed to testify on multiple days, the mileage rate applies only to the first day! As a simple example, there was a proceeding the other day where a victim traveled from Forest City to testify for the Commonwealth – and her compensation was a little over $10 – the $5 witness fee and around $5 for her mileage. She had to drive over 80 miles round trip for the proceeding.

Jurors do not fair much better. By statute, a juror receives $9 per day for service, unless the jury service exceeds three days, at which point, the rate then jumps to $25 per day for each additional day of service. Jurors also receive 17 cents per mile for their travel to and from the courthouse on each day of service. The average juror in Susquehanna County might receive around $20 for each day of jury service between the juror fee and mileage allotment.

While jury service and witness testimony are both duties of every good citizen, there is a strong argument that citizens should be fairly reimbursed for the reasonable costs of that service. Jurors and witnesses should not get rich for their service – but neither should they get hosed. Even if you have an automobile that gets 30 miles to the gallon on our country roads, the current mileage rates for witnesses (7 cents) will lead to a reimbursement of only $2.10 for every 30 miles. In other words, before even considering the wear and tear on the automobile, the witness is not even receiving 50% of the cost of the gallon of gas. Admittedly, a juror fares a little better as they receive approximately $5.10 for every 30 miles driven, but this barely covers the cost of the gallon of gasoline. If you have a vehicle getting less than 30 miles per gallon, then the results are obviously much worse. For instance, if you drive a truck, and get 15 miles per gallon, then your rate of reimbursement for those 15 miles would be $1.05 for a witness and $2.55 for the juror.

On the other hand, a federal government employee would receive $17.55 for every 30 miles driven, or $8.78 for every 15 miles driven. A county employee would receive $15.15 for every 30 miles driven, or $7.58 for every 15 miles driven. The disparity is striking and inequitable. There is no rational reason for this sharp disparity between the rates paid to employees and those paid to witnesses and jurors.

The reason rests with the Pennsylvania Legislature as it sets these mileage rates by statute. While the county can adjust its rates for its employees, the rates for witnesses and jurors are regulated by Harrisburg – not our Commissioners. In terms of the statute governing compensation of witnesses, it has not been amended in three decades. As to the mileage rate payable to jurors, it has not been changed for roughly 25 years. Why the legislature has not provided for adjustments to these fees annually is a question only our state legislators can answer. They certainly make sure the mileage rates applicable to their own travel are adjusted to accommodate the increased costs. The time for them to extend the same courtesy to witnesses and jurors is long overdue.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I know lead poisoning is a danger to children, but what effect does it have on adults?

It’s true that children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults because lead is more easily absorbed by growing bodies. The tissue of children also is more sensitive to lead's damaging effects. However, adults can suffer from lead exposure.

Lead can affect many parts of your body, but the primary victim is the nervous system, which can be weakened by exposure to this metal.

Lead exposure can cause anemia, make you irritable, affect your memory and ability to concentrate, and it can increase blood pressure, particularly in older people. Lead can also lead to digestive problems and cataracts. Exposure to high lead levels can be fatal.

Symptoms of lead poisoning in adults may include: numbness in extremities, weak muscles, headache, abdominal pain, loss of memory, mood disorders and abnormal sperm.

Lead is a natural component of the earth's crust. However, people have spread lead throughout our environment by burning fossil fuels, mining, and manufacturing. Two common sources of lead in our environment were paint and gasoline; lead has been banned from both of them.

The following are sources of lead exposure:

WATER. Plumbing can contain lead, which you cannot see, smell or taste. You can have the water tested.

PAINT. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint both inside and outside. This kind of paint can also be found on old toys and furniture. Small children can be exposed by eating lead-based paint chips or chewing on objects painted with lead-based paint.

SOIL. Lead from exterior paint, old leaded gas or other sources can be absorbed by soil that you can track into your home.

DUST. Household dust can contain lead from old paint or soil brought inside.

CONTAINERS. Food or liquids stored in lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery can become contaminated because lead can leach in from these containers.

HOBBIES. Refinishing furniture, pottery and making stained glass artifacts are hobbies that use lead.

FOLK REMEDIES. There are potions that contain lead such as greta (lead oxide) and azarcon (lead tetroxide) that have been used to treat intestinal problems.

CANNED FOOD. In 1995, the United States banned the use of lead solder for sealing food cans, but some foods still are imported from other countries where lead solder may be used.

COSMETICS. Kohl, a mixture used in eye makeup, frequently has high levels of lead.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent exposure to lead:

Clean up paint chips immediately.

Clean floors, window frames, window sills, and other surfaces weekly.

Wash hands often.

Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.

Repair damaged painted surfaces.

Plant grass to cover soil with high lead levels.

To remove lead hazards permanently, you must hire a certified lead-abatement contractor. Contact the National Lead Information Center (NLIC) to locate certified contractors in your area. Call NLIC at 1(800) 424-LEAD [5323]. You can email NLIC on this website:

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


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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail: Summer’s fluttering beauty

Perhaps one of the most relaxing events of summer is the observation of a carefree, colorful butterfly flitting from one flower to the next. In many cases, the butterfly is as colorful as the blossoms from which it imbibes. This is especially true of an exquisite yellow and black splendor, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus.

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar.

One of our larger native butterflies, with a wingspan of about four inches, this beauty is commonly found throughout the Eastern United States and as far west as the Rockies. The males are bright yellow with four black “tiger stripes” on each forewing. The females have two possible color patterns. The yellow variety is very similar to the male, except for the presence of a blue band between the black margins and yellow on the hind wings. The other female variation is dark gray or black, instead of yellow. The presence of the “tiger stripes” remains visible as shadow-like streaks. Unlike many butterflies, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail often rests with its wings spread out horizontally. The “swallowtail” portion of the name refers to the long extensions at the rear of the hind wings.

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.

The female lays spherical green eggs on the leaves of such host plants as tulip poplar or black cherry trees. Upon hatching, the tiny larvae eat the eggshell for a “jumpstart” in nourishment. The caterpillars are voracious eaters, who will also feed on the leaves of ash, birch, cottonwood, basswood, and willow trees. When lying motionless on a leaf or twig, the young are uniquely camouflaged to appear as bird droppings. These inconspicuous, small, brown larvae soon turn into much larger, green caterpillars with striking eyespots, giving the impression of a fearsome snake. When disturbed, these caterpillars will rear up their head in an aggressive display. Further aggravation will cause them to extend two small, red “horns” that resemble a snake’s tongue. These structures are capable of exuding a strong, foul odor. All these actions combine to provide a formidable defense against hungry birds.

The larvae are generally found resting on silk mats in folded leaf shelters. These shelters are on the topsides of leaves, high in the host trees. Although relatively common, the caterpillars are seldom seen because they primarily feed at night. The bodies of the older caterpillars are uniquely counter-shaded so that they are even more difficult to spot.

Often, the adult swallowtails are missing one or both of their “tails.” It has been hypothesized that birds often confuse these tails for antennae. This causes them to mistakenly reverse the orientation of the butterfly, thus snatching the wrong end. The tails, which aren’t vital to the butterfly’s existence, easily break off, and the butterfly escapes to flutter another day. This is just another example of nature’s wondrous ways of protecting its vulnerable members.

The graceful, sailing flight of these beautiful butterflies carries them to a variety of garden flowers. Their favorites include butterfly bush, lilac, honeysuckle, phlox, lilies, and Joe Pye weed. However, even though they don’t linger long, they will stop and visit most any comely blossom. Surprisingly, they are also attracted to the more pungent manures of a barnyard or the rotting snake carcass on the road.

As with most other species of butterflies, the males and females communicate between each other by the use of special chemical messengers called pheromones. These chemicals have numerous roles in most insects’ lives. In courtship, they serve as a sort of perfume that identifies and attracts a potential mate. This species-specific scent can be detected over a considerable distance. There are generally two to three generations of these butterflies per year. They overwinter as an inconspicuous brown chrysalis (cocoon) attached to a twig high in a tree.

Certainly one of nature’s most delightful treats, these beautiful swallowtail butterflies help us to lean back and enjoy an occasional moment on an otherwise hectic and stressful hot summer’s day.

Questions, comments and suggestions regarding this article, identifications or any other insect-related matters 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

Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard that there are plans to build a large repository for nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain in Nevada, but that plans have been slow and are very controversial. Where is our nuclear waste kept now and what dangers does it pose?

Miriam Clark, Reno, NV

Plans to store the majority of our nation’s spent nuclear fuel and other highly radioactive waste at a central repository underneath Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert 80 miles from Las Vegas were first hatched in the mid-1980s. But the project has languished, primarily due to opposition from Nevadans who don’t want to import such dangerous materials into their backyard. Critics of the plan also point out that various natural forces such as erosion and earthquakes could render the site unstable and thus unsuitable to store nuclear isotopes that can remain hazardous to humans for hundreds of thousands of years to come.

But the Bush administration is keen to jump-start the project and recently submitted a construction license application to develop the facility – which, when completed, could hold up to 300 million pounds of nuclear waste – with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). In announcing the filing, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said that the facility being proposed can “stand up to any challenge anywhere,” adding that issues of health safety have been a primary concern during the planning process.

But the administration has still not submitted a crucial document declaring how protective the facility will be with regard to radiation leakage. Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency concluded that the facility needs to prevent radiation leakage for up to 10,000 years. But a federal judge ruled that to be inadequate and ordered the administration to require protection for up to one million years. The White House argues that the NRC should press on with its review process and that the standard can be settled on later.

Currently, without any central repository, nuclear waste generated in the U.S. is stored at or near one of the 121 facilities across the country where it is generated. Nevadans like Democratic Senator Harry Reid, who has doggedly opposed the Yucca Mountain repository, say it makes more sense to leave such waste where it is than to risk transporting it across the nation’s public highways and rail system, during which accidents or even terrorist attacks could expose untold numbers of Americans to radioactivity.

But others say that the current system, or lack thereof, leaves Americans at great risk of radioactive exposure. The non-profit Nuclear Information and Resource Service concluded in a 2007 report that tons of radioactive waste were ending up in landfills and in some cases in consumer products, thanks to loopholes in a 2000 federal ban on recycling metal that had been exposed to radioactivity.

As with all issues surrounding nuclear technology, where and how to dispose of the wastes is complicated. While some environmental leaders now cautiously support development of more nuclear reactors (which are free of fossil fuels) to help stave off climate change, others remain concerned that the risks to human health and the environment are still too high to go down that road. Whether or not the NRC approves plans for Yucca Mountain won’t resolve the larger debate, of course, but perhaps the green-lighting of other promising alternative energy sources could ultimately make nuclear power unnecessary altogether.

CONTACTS: Nuclear Regulatory Commission,; Nuclear Information and Resource Service,

Dear EarthTalk: Summer’s going to be a scorcher this year, and I’d like to know how I can keep cool indoors without just running my energy-hogging air conditioners all the time. Any tips?

John McGovern, Cohasset, MA

According to Harvey Sachs of the non-profit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the movement of air over the skin is what’s key to keeping the body cool. So instead of turning on that A.C., see which direction the breeze is blowing outside (no matter how minimal it may be), and then open a few windows strategically to try to get it flowing through the house from end-to-end or side-to-side.

If the breeze alone isn’t enough, apply some fan power. Even small tabletop fans, which can be had for $30 or so, can really whip the air around. Placing one facing in by the window where air is coming in, and one at an opposite window positioned to blow warm air out, can create a nice “wind tunnel” effect in pulling air through the house.

This strategy can be especially effective at night when it is cooler. But then it’s important to shut the windows when you leave for the day in the morning to keep the cooler air in and the warmth of the new day out. Keep blinds shut and curtains drawn, too, as sunlight pouring into the house only creates more heat. And remember that lights left on are not only wasting electricity – they’re creating heat, as well.

Ceiling fans also do a nice job of circulating air in the rooms you occupy most, and though they do require some up-front costs for installation they use only about 1/30th the electricity of a room air conditioner.

Beyond moving the air around to keep cool, the website lists several tips for using water to keep cool sans AC. One tried and true method is to wet your wrists and other pulse points with cold water, and then keep those spots cool by holding an ice cube wrapped in a face cloth against them. The relief is immediate, and this method will cool down the entire body – by as much as three degrees Fahrenheit – for upwards of an hour. Another WikiHow suggestion: Wear a short-sleeved shirt and keep the sleeves wet with cold water (from a squirt bottle, faucet or hose). Keeping the pant legs of long pants wet is also a good way to keep your legs cool. Add in a breeze or a fan, and you can actually get cold.

Of course, if you just can’t live without air conditioning, there are greener options out there. For starters, a single window unit that keeps one room cool is far less energy intensive and polluting than central air conditioning that keeps all the rooms in the house (including those you’re not using) cool. Look for new models sporting the federal Energy Star label, which marks units as energy efficient.

Another option for those in hot, dry climates is an evaporative cooler, which cools outdoor air through evaporation and blows it inside the house. These units make for a nice alternative to traditional central air conditioning, as they cost about half as much to install and use only one quarter of the energy overall.

CONTACTS: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy,; WikiHow,; Energy Star,

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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