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Issue Home December 17, 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
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

BROOKLYN: The newest thing that has happened here is the arrival of a new physician, who has taken up his residence, hung out his sign and is ready to practice medicine. He is Dr. Williams, of Scranton, an up-to-date physician. He has taken rooms at Mrs. C. H. Tiffany’s.

KINGSLEY: The stores in this place are handsomely decorated and a fine stock of Christmas goods is offered for sale.

SPRINGVILLE: The question of building a creamery, to be run on the co-operative plan, has been disturbing the minds and sleep of the farmers for a number of months. The momentous question having been disposed of by the decision not to build, the aforesaid gentlemen can “requiescat in peace.”

RUSH: Dr. Jenkins’ dental office in the Stark block will be open Friday and Saturday. AND: Several pupils of the Rush High School are quarantined, scarlet fever having broken out in the home of Victor Rutan, little Kenneth being the victim.

MONTROSE: With eight or ten inches of snow covering the ground, the outlook for a “green Christmas,” which we don’t want anyway, is decidedly slim. The fine sleighing booms the holiday trade, which is brisk this season. AND: The Montrose Dairy Co. is erecting a large ice house, so as to make it unnecessary to purchase in carload lots another year.

SUSQUEHANNA: The Susquehanna Ledger came out with a handsome industrial number of Susquehanna last week that is most creditable from every standpoint. Besides being a handsome souvenir, it gives the best general knowledge regarding that busy town’s commercial and business interests of anything yet published. AND: The Erie employees paid off this week received about $65,000. While some have been laid off during the week, the amount sub-divided among the residents of the hillside village will help dispense Christmas cheer.

LAKESIDE: Quite a few people have been fishing through the ice on the lake during the past week.

FOREST CITY: Mrs. Anthony Opeka, of Lackawanna Street, died on Monday of pneumonia. She was 40 years of age and was born in Austria. For about 10 years she resided in this place. Besides her husband, five children, the oldest only 12 years of age, survive her. The last rites were observed in St. Joseph’s church and interment was made in St. Agnes Cemetery. AND: The Delaware and Hudson company this week broke through into the Hillside mine with their large water course on which they have been working for several years. The opening of the channel is at Wilson Creek and it will drain the mine at Vandling and the No. 2 and higher veins of the Hillside company. This will prevent any future possibility of flooding the local workings and do away with a number of pumps.

ALFORD: A fine stock of Christmas presents at A. C. Betts.

BROOKDALE: Ermine F. Roe and Nellie Wilbur, both of Brookdale, were married at the Centenary M. E. parsonage in Binghamton, by the Rev. J. A. Hensey, Wednesday, Dec. 9. We wish for them health, wealth, and happiness. A reception was held at the home of A. L. Roe, father of the groom, Thursday evening. Near relatives and friends to the number of about were present. All report a fine time.

HALLSTEAD: On Wednesday evening, while returning from a shopping expedition to the village, Mrs. Pauline Lusk, who resides on her farm a short distance from the main road, on account of the darkness, became confused and lost her way and in her wanderings stepped into a swamp where in a short time she was submerged in the water up to her waist and in imminent danger of being drowned, until her cries for help were heard by David Simons who promptly procured a lantern and went to her assistance and succeeded in getting her on dry land again. Although badly scared and thoroughly chilled, she is none the worse for her exciting experience.

AUBURN: Wm. McAvoy was in Montrose Thursday. He will have a Christmas ball at his hotel, Christmas night, Dec. 25th.

SILVER LAKE: A number of our young couples took advantage of the sleighing this week. They were heard miles around with “cow bells and tin horns.” Later in the evening they were entertained at the home of one of the guests, where refreshments were served, “popcorn, taffy and molasses candy.”

JACKSON: The ladies aid has done some good work to the Baptist Church, repapered the ceiling and cleaned so that it presents a nice showing. The church will have a wood bee at Fremont Butterfield’s, as he kindly gives the timber for wood for the church and the men will go and cut it on Thursday and the ladies will go and have an aid and get the dinner or help Mrs. Butterfield.

GREAT BEND: The Audubon society of Philadelphia has loaned the graded school of this place, a set of Nature Study books.

UPSONVILLE, Franklin Twp.: One morning as E. D. Tuttle went out to do his chores at the barn, he saw a man lying by the roadside whom he found numb by the cold and unable to walk. Mr. Tuttle assisted the man into the house and gave him breakfast and furnished him with a hat and mittens and sent him on his way. The man was bewildered, not knowing his name or where he came from, but wanted to get to Philadelphia. He evidently was a foreigner and quite aged.

NEWS BRIEF: Every young lady may mark it down as a fact that if she flirts and associates with “pick ups” she will soon have no others for associates. No matter how unjust it may be there will always be a suspicion that those who are not above making acquaintances in this way are not as pure in heart and mind as they ought to be. It would be unjust to say no pure minded girls flirt. They do and many of them lose their purity by so doing. Others, though not so unfortunate, are subject to suspicions, which every woman should be above.

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

Power – it comes in all shapes and sizes. There is power acquired through physical strength and force. There is power derived through wealth and economic success. There is power obtained in the political process. There is power that comes with fame and notoriety. And there is something about power that draws human beings like the proverbial moth to a flame. People covet it and seek to acquire it by any means.

We know power when we see it – and that is part of the allure. When you are powerful, you become an object of attention and prestige. In our country, there is a paparazzi culture that services the insatiable desire to watch the powerful. With power come privileges, honors, prestige, fame, wealth, and entitlements. But with power also comes danger. As the old adage goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

But what happened when the one being with absolute power revealed Himself to mankind? The story seems to contradict everything that we associate with power. God became man through the incarnation of his only son. Why would a deity choose to take human form? For those focused only on the acquisition of power, it is difficult to understand the incarnation.

What household did God choose for his only son? The choice had nothing to do with wealth, political prestige, or fame. To the contrary, the Lord selected an unmarried woman to bear his son to this world – a choice that even today would carry its own social connotations and stigma.

But the circumstances curiously continued – with Mary and Joseph traveling from their home to Bethlehem to participate in a census during the end of Mary’s pregnancy. Mary began her labor in the most inconvenient way – as a traveler far from her home. When the couple sought shelter, there was nowhere for them to stay but a manger. There, the only Son of God, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, the Lord of Hosts, was born into human form with the only witnesses being his mother, Joseph, and some farm animals. There were no paparazzi trying to get pictures, no reporters trying to get the scoop, and no magazines negotiating with the couple for the rights to the first photo shoot of the newborn babe. There was nothing but some shepherds who happened to be tending their flocks in the nearby fields when an angel appeared to bring them the joyful tidings.

For Christians, this holiday season is a tale of the absolute power of God incarnated into a small baby in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger with his unmarried parents, some farm animals, and the first witnesses being simple shepherds. When viewed through the prism of power, it makes no sense. There is nothing in the circumstances of this holy birth that speaks of power – no wealth, no fame, no strength, and no political prestige.

But the story has nothing to do with power, and everything to do with love. God so loved the world that He gave his only Son to the world. God not only gave his Son to this world, but God chose the most humble beginnings for his Son. There is a lesson here – and it is the reason that the Nativity is recreated across this world in decorations, statutes, and living displays. The simple message is clear – God loves us.

But there is something more – that love is more important than power. Christmas tells the story of an unending love, the humble birth of a Savior, and the importance of sacrifice for others. Christmas calls us away from the flame of power to the salvation found in the love of our God. Christmas teaches us of the greatest gift of all – love.

How much better would this world be if each of us coveted love rather than power? I suppose everyday would then be like Christmas. I pray that you have a blessed Christmas filled with love, joy and happiness.

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. Every so often, my left eye twitches. It goes away after a while, but it’s annoying. Is there a remedy?

Eye-twitching – also called eye spasms or blinking disorder – is known technically as blepharospasm. It usually is not a serious condition.

In most cases, the eyelid spasms stop on their own. The most common causes are fatigue, stress, prolonged staring, eye strain, and caffeine. The best remedies are more sleep, relaxation techniques, reduced caffeine, warm soaks, eye drops, and correcting vision deficiencies.

In most people, eye-twitching develops spontaneously. However, the symptoms of dry eye frequently precede it.

Blepharospasm stems from an abnormal function of the basal ganglion, which is the part of the brain responsible for controlling muscles. Benign twitches often affect the calf and the thumb, too. Some believe that eye-twitching is a hereditary problem.

It is possible to suffer from severe muscle spasms that close the eyelid completely. These can be caused by irritation of the surface of the eye or the membranes lining the eyelids.

You should see an eye doctor if twitching continues for more than a week, completely closes your eyelid or affects other parts of your face. Other symptoms that require medical attention are a drooping upper eyelid, redness, swelling, or a discharge from your eye.

In severe cases, there are treatments available.

There is no successful cure for eye twitching, but treatments may reduce its severity. The injection of Botox into the muscles of the eyelids is an approved treatment in the United States. Botox paralyzes the muscles of the eyelids.

Oral medications for twitching are available, but results with them are unpredictable. Symptom relief is usually short term and tends to be helpful in only 15 percent of the cases. One drug may work for some patients, and not for others. When the effects of one drug wear off, sometimes the replacement with another drug helps.

The following drugs may be tried: Artane (trihexyphenidyl), Cogentin (benztropine), Valium (diazepam), Klonapin (clonazepam), Lioresal (baclofen), Tegretol (carbamazepine), Sinemet or Modopar (levodopa), Parlodel (bromocriptime), and Symmetrel (amantadine).

Alternative treatments include biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnosis, chiropractic, and nutritional therapy. There is no proof that these alternative therapies work for eye twitching.

In rare cases, surgery may be recommended, particularly if twitching is interfering with vision. Myectomy is a surgical procedure to remove some of the muscles and nerves of the eyelids. This surgery has improved symptoms in 75 to 85 percent of people with eye twitching.

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

Mosquitoes: control tips

Considering the numerous diseases and conditions transmitted by mosquitoes, it is important to contain and control their populations. While globally this is a near impossibility, it is a feasible endeavor for northeast homeowners. Since the majority of the mosquitoes breed in standing water, the elimination of such breeding locations is very effective in their control. No significant quantity of water is required for a female mosquito’s egg deposition. A discarded soda can or an over-watered flowerpot can provide an ample breeding site. The removal or covering of unused kiddy pools, discarded tires or any other neglected receptacle capable of holding rainwater is very effective in reducing the local mosquito population. Wheelbarrows and other occasionally used devices should be turned over. Clogged gutters and leaky outdoor faucets are other often-overlooked locations of mosquito populations. Any depressions in the yard, driveway or even an old stump are sufficient to collect enough rainwater to become mosquito breeding grounds. For individual home backyard mosquito problems, the elimination of these undesired water sources are sufficient to reduce mosquito problems to an acceptable level.

Mosquitoes are the natural food for many forms of wildlife. Ornamental fishponds should be kept stocked with fish that will eat enough larvae to control mosquito populations. Birds, bats, and dragonflies are natural predators of adult mosquitoes. While their mosquito consumption might not be significant in a widespread control program, they can definitely impact the biting population in your backyard. The encouragement of their presence via the placement of suitable houses and vegetation can contribute to the control of mosquitoes near your home.

The distribution of a natural soil bacterium, Bt israelensis (BTI) has proven to be especially effective. When ingested by mosquito larvae, the crystalline spores fatally interfere with digestion. BTI is suitable for widespread aerial distribution as well as hand distribution in a yard. BTI is available over the counter to the public in various forms. “Mosquito Dunks” is a brand name for small solid rings of BTI that are designed to float and slowly release the bacterium into the water. “Mosquito Bits” is similar, but comes in small granular form. A liquid form of BTI is available as “Microbe-Lift BMC.” In most cases, BTI will kill all mosquito larvae within 24 hours and can provide up to 30 days’ protection. The advantage of BTI is that it specifically targets only certain Dipteran (fly) family species, thus having no ill effects on other wildlife.

As with other insects, application of chemical pesticides will kill the adults. This can be as simple as an aerosol can on the picnic table, or as complex as aerial spray from a specially adapted helicopter. DDT, now banned in the US, was formerly used worldwide for major mosquito control. While banned here, due to its environmental persistence and collateral effects, it is still used in many developing countries with severe public health issues.

Various forms of mosquito traps are also available. These utilize propane or electricity to emit carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and octenol, a chemical component of human breath and sweat, as well as other chemical attractants. While they are somewhat effective in long-term mosquito control, they are expensive to buy and operate. Some scientists feel that they are counter effective in the fact that they actually draw mosquitoes in from greater distances than they would normally travel.

Individually, there are numerous precautions that we can take to protect ourselves against aggressive, bloodthirsty female mosquitoes. Avoid being outside in mosquito-prone areas at dusk and dawn, the times of peak mosquito activity. If outside, wear long-sleeved, light colored shirts and long pants with socks. Diligently apply an insect repellant containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide). When properly applied, DEET is considered to be a safe and effective product against mosquitoes, ticks and other arthropods capable of vectoring disease. It should not be used on children younger than 2 months of age. Further, it should not be applied over cuts or other breaks in the skin. Experts discourage the use of sunscreen products that incorporate DEET, since frequent reapplication may cause overdosage of the repellent. The use of window screens and netting in and around the home is effective in protection against the occasional mosquito.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in conjunction with local officials, collects and tests mosquitoes from locations throughout the state from April until October. Information regarding the current collection and distribution of mosquitoes in reference to their vectoring of the West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis viruses can be accessed online at You can also report the presence of dead birds (an indication of West Nile virus presence) on this website.

Besides being a major nuisance, mosquitoes are a serious threat to our health. It is important that people take adequate steps to control or eliminate them around their homes.

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: Is using nitrogen to inflate my car’s tires really better for the environment than using air? And if so, how?

Roger Mawdsley, Abbotsville, BC

Whether or not it makes environmental sense to inflate car tires with nitrogen instead of air is a matter of much debate. Proponents of nitrogen say the element is a smart choice for the environment primarily because it leaks from tires at a slower rate than air, so tires stay inflated longer at full capacity, which helps a vehicle attain maximum fuel efficiency, i.e. better gas mileage. According to the Get Nitrogen Institute, a Denver-based non-profit which advocates for replacing the air in our tires with nitrogen, under-inflated tires inadvertently are a big contributor to global warming as they cause drivers to waste fuel.

Although auto experts recommend checking your car’s tire pressure weekly, studies show that the majority of drivers rarely, if ever, check to see if their tires are properly inflated and usually only add air when a tire is visibly low or beginning to go flat. A recent study by the European division of tire maker Bridgestone found that 93.5 percent of cars in Europe have under-inflated tires, wasting some 2.14 billion gallons of high-priced, polluting fuel every year. Analysts believe that a similar percentage of North Americans are driving around on under-inflated tires as well.

While properly inflated tires certainly promote better fuel efficiency and are thus good for the environment, not everyone is convinced that filling tires with nitrogen instead of plain ol’ air makes a difference. Terry Jackson, who writes the influential “Driving for Dollars” column for the website, points out that air is composed primarily of, you guessed it, nitrogen; some 78 percent of the regular air you put in your tires is nitrogen, with oxygen making up most of the remainder. “So going to pure nitrogen only squeezes out a small amount of the oxygen molecules that nitrogen proponents argue are so detrimental,” relates Jackson.

Nitrogen proponents may quibble that it’s the oxygen in the mix that causes problems, though oxidization can start to degrade the rubber inside tires while corroding the interior of the wheels as well. But Jackson counters that tires and wheels will have been long worn out on the outside before any oxygen-induced interior damage causes them to come apart. Also, he adds that a lot of the leakage from tires happens because the wheel and the tire do not line up perfectly, and air (or nitrogen) escapes accordingly.

Another factor, of course, is cost. Nitrogen-equipped service centers will fill up your tires with nitrogen for something like $10 per tire, which is a far cry from the couple of quarters (if even that) it takes to trigger the air machine at your local gas station. “When it comes down to a dollar decision, it’s hard to argue that spending as much as $40 for nitrogen in a set of tires is a good fiscal move,” writes Jackson.

“Save your money and just keep an eye on your tire pressures,” he concludes.

CONTACTS: Get Nitrogen Institute,;,

Dear EarthTalk: Backyard fire pits have become the latest must-have gardening feature. How bad are they on the environment?

Michael O’Laughlin, Tigard, OR

With Fall setting in and the mercury starting to drop, many of us want to extend our time outdoors, and sitting around a backyard fire pit has become one of the most popular means to do so. But even though it may be fun – s’mores anyone? – it is not good for the environment, especially during times when air quality is already poor.

It’s hard to assess the larger impact of backyard fire pits on local or regional air quality, but no one questions the fact that breathing in wood smoke can be irritating if not downright harmful. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so-called fine particles (also called particulate matter) are the most dangerous components of wood smoke from a health perspective, as they “can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose and illnesses such as bronchitis.”

Fine particles also aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases, and have been linked to premature deaths in those already suffering from such afflictions. As such, the EPA advises that anyone with congestive heart failure, angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or asthma should steer clear of wood smoke in general. Children’s exposure to wood smoke should also be limited, as their respiratory systems are still developing and they breathe more air (and air pollution) per pound of body weight than adults.

Geography and topography play a role in how harmful wood smoke can be on a community-wide level. People living in deep, steep-walled valleys where air tends to stagnate should be careful not to light backyard fires during smog alerts or other times when air quality is already poor. Lingering smoke can be an issue even in wide-open areas, especially in winter when temperature inversions limit the flow of air.

The Washington State Department of Ecology reports that about 10 percent of the wintertime air pollution statewide can be attributed to fine particles from wood smoke coming out of wood burning stoves. While a wood stove may be a necessary evil as a source of interior heat, there is no excuse for lighting up a backyard fire pit during times when you could be creating health issues for your neighbors.

Another potential risk to using a backyard fire pit is sparking a forest fire. Some communities that are surrounded by forestland voluntarily institute seasonal burn bans so that residents won’t inadvertently start a forest fire while they are out enjoying their backyard fire pits. If you live in one of these areas, you probably already know it and would be well advised to follow the rules.

If you must light that backyard fire pit, take some precautions to limit your friends’ and family’s exposure to wood smoke. The Maine Bureau of Air Quality recommends using only seasoned firewood and burning it in a way that promotes complete combustion – small, hot fires are better than large smoldering ones – to minimize the amount of harmful smoke. The moral of the story: If you need to burn, burn responsibly.

CONTACTS: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),; Washington State Department of Ecology,; Maine Bureau of Air Quality,

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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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoski

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is celebrating National GERD’s Week during December 14 – 20.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a disease that is classified as a more serious form of gastroesophageal reflux or GER. Both are classified as acid reflux. When acid reflux occurs, food or fluid can be tasted in the back of the mouth. When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it may cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat, called heartburn. This is the most common symptom of GERD in adults; with children however, they usually experience a dry cough, asthma symptoms, or trouble swallowing. It is possible, though for children under 12 years with GERD to experience heartburn.

Studies show GERD is becoming more common in very young children and is being overlooked. It is sometimes hard to distinguish if an infant had GERD or is just experiencing another common disease, such as asthma. And although coughing and wheezing are common symptoms in young children or GERD, other symptoms can occur as well. For example, GERD can present as repeated regurgitation, nausea, heartburn, coughing, laryngitis, or respiratory problems like wheezing, asthma, or pneumonia. Infants and young children may demonstrate irritability or arching of the back, often during or immediately after feedings. Infants with GERD may refuse to feed and experience poor growth.

Because GERD is so common, it affects at least an estimated 5% to 7% of the global population – men, women, and children. To help control the symptoms of GERD, it is advised that patients undergo a change in diet. Limiting acidic foods and fried foods are recommended. For further information on controlling GERD or any other form of Acid Reflux, consult your family doctor.

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