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Issue Home December 31, 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

FOREST CITY: The first sleighride party of the season took advantage of the fine sleighing and went to Dundaff, Monday night, where a most enjoyable time was had by the participants. Arrangements had previously been made to accommodate the party and a delicious chicken supper was awaiting them on their arrival. The hall was given over for their pleasure and dancing, games and music formed the amusements of the evening. Those who enjoyed the ride were: Misses Clara Devaney, Lillian Stephens, Mary Healey, Irene Hood, Mary McKenna, Louise Hornbeck, Irene Pohren, Joe Unger, George Hornbeck, Edwin Stanton, Howard Reese, Joe Kelleher, John Cleary, Harry Brown and Leo Soully. James Hoar was the official driver.

RUSH: Dr. A. G. Gary, of Walker, Iowa, was in Montrose, Tuesday evening, on route for a visit in Hallstead before returning to his home in the West. The doctor was accompanied by his father, A. D. Gary, of Rush, where he had been spending Christmas. [Artist Grant Wood asked his dentist, Dr. Gary, to pose as a farmer in his painting, “American Gothic,” one of the most famous and recognizable paintings in the history of American art. Dr. Gary was born and lived in Rush until leaving for school and eventually Iowa.]

BROOKLYN/MONTROSE: Mrs. F. B. Jewett is spending some time with her sister, Miss Lillian Chamberlain, in Montrose, helping to care for Dr. Richardson, who is not expected to last very long. Dr. Richardson, who is 95 years old, began to study medicine in Brooklyn while working at his trade, that of carpenter, in building the house now owned by H. H. Craver, for his uncle, the late Dr. Braton Richardson. Instead of spending his evenings in the stores or barroom, he read his uncle’s medical books and by the time he had the house built he was ready to take lectures and soon began to practice. He married Miss Mary Fish and soon after began to practice in Carbon county. About forty years ago he located in Montrose and became one of the best known surgeons and doctors in the county.

ELKDALE: Miss Muriel Stevens, of West Chester Normal School, Janette Stevens, of Wyoming Seminary, and Meryl Jones, of Mt. Vernon, are spending their vacations at home.

UNIONDALE: Otis Dimmick died at his home on the farm where he was born, Dec. 1, 1908. He lacked only 15 days of being 91 years old. His grandfather, Edward Dimmick, was one of the pioneers of the place. His father, Marshall Dimmick had a family of five sons and two daughters, Otis being the eldest son. Three of his brothers chose professions as a means of getting a livelihood. Sidney was an agent for musical instruments, Addison a lawyer, Marion a Presbyterian minister, and Elmer a farmer for several years who later moved to California. Only one sister remains, Mrs. Diantha Reynolds of Glendale, Calif. Otis married Miss Caroline Burritt and to them were born three children. His first vote was cast for W. H. Harrison, Republican, and he voted that ticket at every election since. An aged patriarch has passed from among us, one who was a Christian every day and whose pure life was a constant rebuke to evildoers. A good man has gone from us, for, like Enoch of old, “he is not, for God took him.”

LAUREL LAKE: Farmers are taking advantage of the good sleighing and are hauling logs to the mill.

JACKSON: Mr. and Mrs. Alpheus W. Gates have just celebrated the 62nd anniversary of their marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Gates were united in marriage at Jackson by the Rev. A. H. Fish, a well known minister of three-score years ago. Mr. Gates, now being 88 and his wife, 85, are both vigorous and give promise of many more years.

NEW MILFORD: G. H. Edwards, who conducted a bakery and restaurant here for several years, has sold the business to Pierce H. Comstock, who will take possession Jan. 1.

DIMOCK: In reading the notice of the death of Mrs. Thomas, in her 95th year, I am reminded that she was formerly a resident of Jessup township; a worthy teacher, and was known as Miss Caroline S. Bowman. A card neatly printed by her own hand, while a teacher in the Bolles school, was shown to her only a few years since, and caused a pleasant smile and cheerful conversation. The card is still carefully kept in remembrance of one who was a life long friend; and also as the first record of the possessor’s good deeds. The card reads, “This may certify that Edgar W. Bolles is a good boy in school. Mary 14, 1841 - Caroline S. Bowman. AND: Curtis Hinckley, who sold his farm some time ago, expecting to retire from farming, of which he thought he was very tired, found himself uneasy without a farm, like a “fish out o water,” and has now purchased the Wm. Perry farm in Brooklyn.

HERRICK CENTRE: Last Friday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gibson was organized a grange. Allen Miller, of Thompson, and Bingham Smith, of Gelatt, were over and helped give it birth. Eighteen members were taken in. They expect soon to build a hall and start a grange store.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: There will be a dance and chicken supper given in Friendsville on New Years night for the benefit of the new church at Middletown. The diamond ring contest between Misses Degnan, Reilly and Flynn, will close on that night; also a beautiful dinner set will be disposed of.

CLIFFORD: We have good sleighing and it is being thoroughly used for pleasure and business. As high as 25 loads of props pass through here for Carbondale in one day.

LAWTON: Filling ice houses is the business of the day. Ice is 12” thick on Shoemaker’s Pond.

SUSQUEHANNA/LANESBORO: While Erie train No. 47 was passing over the stone bridge at Lanesboro, Saturday morning, some object protruded from a passing freight train, struck the storm window, breaking it. The flying glass struck fireman Edward Taylor, of Port Jervis, causing a bad gash over his right eye. On arrival of the train at Susquehanna he was taken to Simon H. Barnes Memorial Hospital, where his injuries received medical treatment. He returned to Port Jervis.

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

Marcus Borden has been the varsity football coach for East Brunswick High School in New Jersey for more than 25 years – as a well as a high school Spanish teacher. During that time, Borden has amassed a stellar record of achievement and honors. In 2003, USA Weekend magazine honored him as the “Most Caring Coach” as a result of his efforts in getting his players involved in fundraising efforts for local charities that benefit children. He has been inducted into the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame and received the New Jersey Gatorade Coaches Care Award. In 2004, the American Football Coaches Association awarded Borden the Power of Influence Award. But Marcus Borden also allowed his players to pray before games – and he now finds himself in front of the United States Supreme Court.

East Brunswick High School football program has a longstanding tradition of voluntary, student-led pre-game nonsectarian prayer. The prayer simply states: “Dear Lord, please guide us today in our quest in our game. Please let us represent our families and our communities well. Lastly, please guide our players and opponents so that they can come out of this game unscathed, no one is hurt.” Because it is a public school, Borden cannot lead a team prayer – but there is nothing that prevents students from voluntarily doing so on their own.

In 2005, however, a parent complained to the school district after a student offered a prayer prior to a pre-game pasta dinner. With visions of a lawsuit, the school district responded quickly and issued a policy that prohibited every school official from participating in student-led prayer activities. As Borden was the primary target, the school district went as far as telling Borden that he could no longer take a knee with his players or even bow his head while the students voluntarily prayed. Borden was told that if he disobeyed, he would lose both his coaching job and his teaching position.

Initially overwhelmed, Borden offered his resignation in protest. After receiving support from both current and former players, Borden withdrew his resignation. But Borden was frustrated and, with the help of the Rutherford Institute, he filed a lawsuit seeking review of the prohibition against his silent support of his players’ voluntary, student-led pre-game prayer activity.

Borden prevailed at the district court level, and the school policy was struck down. The school district, with the aid of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, appealed the decision. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court decision, and concluded that Borden’s silent activities (such as taking a knee or bowing his head) were not activities protected by the First Amendment. More importantly, the Third Circuit concluded that the coach’s silent actions during the voluntary, student-led prayer were a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. In other words, while acting in the capacity as the football coach, not only does Borden not have the right to bow his head or bend a knee in response to his players’ prayers, but Borden would be violating a constitutional provision if he engaged in these silent activities.

Borden has filed a petition for certiorari, asking the United States Supreme Court to hear the case. As of this date, the Supreme Court has not acted on the petition. The case could have serious implications for the activities of student athletes and their coaches. According to a poll conducted by the American Football Coaches Association, a majority of high school football coaches indicated that they have participated with their players in a team prayer. Unless the Supreme Court intervenes, this tradition may well become extinct.

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’m worried about my hearing because I played in a rock band when I was a kid. How dangerous is the sound level on the bandstand?

Sound volume is measured in decibels (dB). You risk hearing loss when you are exposed to sounds at 85 decibels or more. The louder the sound and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk.

Here’s the bad news: rock music is on many lists as an example of a dangerous sound. Here’s one of those lists: 30 dB = library; 50 dB = rain; 60 dB = conversation (apolitical); 70 dB = vacuum cleaner; 80 dB = busy street; 90 dB = shop tools; 100 dB = chain saw; 110 dB = rock music among audience; 120 dB = rock music on bandstand; 130 dB = jackhammer; 140 dB = air raid siren; 150 dB = rock music crescendo.

If I played electric guitar in the Sixties next to one of those gigundo amplifiers, I’d get to a doctor for an ear exam.

You don’t have to be a rocker to suffer from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL); anyone at any age can be a victim. About ten percent of Americans between ages 20 and 69 already may have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive noise.

You can sustain NIHL at work, play or sitting around the house. Music players turned up too high can damage your ears. Woodworking can be an unsafe hobby. Leaf-blowers reach hazardous sound levels.

Most people’s hearing diminishes with age. About one in three Americans over 60 suffers from some loss of hearing, which can range from the inability to hear certain voices to deafness. Those who are healthy and not exposed to loud noise can maintain their hearing for many years.

The first symptom of NIHL is the inability to pick up high-pitched sounds, or not understanding conversation in a crowd. As hearing declines, you lose the lower-pitched sounds.

Prevention is the key to NIHL. Here is some advice to avoid damage to your ears. Avoid exposure to noise when possible. When you can’t avoid noise, wear earplugs that are available in drugstores. Earplugs can stop 25 dB of sound. Cotton in your ears doesn’t work. You can cut down noise in the home with rubber mats under appliances and carpets on floors. Drapes on windows help keep outside noise from coming into you home. Turn down the volume on TVs, radios, music sound systems and portable MP3 players. Be especially careful to keep the volume down if you wear ear buds. Don't sit near speakers at concerts, dances or weddings. Look for noise ratings when buying any product that creates sound, such as a hair dryer. Choose quieter models.

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

No What's Bugging 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: Is it true that palm oil, common in snack foods and health and beauty products, is destroying rainforests? If so, what can consumers do about it?

Emma Miniscalco, via e-mail

It’s no wonder that worldwide demand for palm oil has surged in recent years. Long used in cosmetics, palm oil is now all the rage in the snack food industry, since it is transfat-free and therefore seen as healthier than the shortening it replaces.

But to produce palm oil in large enough quantities to meet growing demand, farmers across Southeast Asia have been clearing huge swaths of biodiversity-rich tropical rainforest to make room for massive palm plantations. Today, palm oil production is the largest cause of deforestation in Indonesia and other equatorial countries with dwindling expanses of tropical rainforest. Indonesia’s endangered orangutan population, which depends upon the rainforest, has dwindled by as much as 50 percent in recent years.

The clearing of these forests is a big factor in global warming, given how much carbon dioxide (CO2) trees store when left alone. Once forests are cut, tons of CO2 heads skyward where it does the most harm. Also, when not replaced by palm oil plantations, rainforests help maintain water resources by absorbing rainfall and then releasing it into streams and rivers, thus minimizing flooding and soil depletion.

Simply boycotting palm oil and the products containing it may not help, as reduced demand could force the companies behind the plantations to instead initiate more intensive timber harvesting and a widespread conversion of the land to agriculture, which would add a heavy pollution load onto the already compromised land, air and water. It is up to the countries involved in palm oil production to regulate the industry and budget sufficient funds for enforcement. But with huge profits coming in from the sale of palm oil, public officials in Indonesia and elsewhere are loathe to clamp down on their golden goose.

Several of the largest palm oil producers have joined forces with banks and nonprofit groups to try to green up the industry. In 2003, some 200 commercial entities in the global palm oil supply chain met and established the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to promote the growth of palm oil in an environmentally friendly manner. RSPO works to develop definitions and criteria for the sustainable production of palm oil, while facilitating the adoption of more green-friendly practices throughout the industry. The group celebrated its first shipment of “sustainable palm oil” to Europe this past November.

Despite progress, many green leaders are skeptical that RSPO has the teeth to make a positive impact on the fast-growing palm oil industry. Greenpeace International considers RSPO to be “little more than greenwash,” pointing out that at least one RSPO-certified producer – United Plantations, a supplier to Nestlé and Unilever – is deforesting Indonesia’s vulnerable peat land forests. And Sinar Mas, another major RSPO player, has cleared tropical rainforests all over the country for its palm oil plantations, and is still expanding rapidly. Greenpeace is calling for a moratorium on deforestation throughout Indonesia, so that the RSPO and the government can take stock and then proceed accordingly.

CONTACTS: RSPO,; Greenpeace,

Dear EarthTalk: Which is better for our environment: to use dryer sheets in the dryer, or liquid fabric softener in the wash? It seems they both have properties that are not very green.

Deborah, via e-mail

If you’re concerned about the health and safety of your family members, you might want to stay away from both conventional dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners altogether. While it may be nice to have clothes that feel soft, smell fresh and are free of static cling, both types of products contain chemicals known to be toxic to people after sustained exposure.

According to the health and wellness website, some of the most harmful ingredients in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener alike include benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant), ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders), limonene (a known carcinogen) and chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen), among others.

Since fabric softeners are designed to stay in your clothes for extended periods of time, such chemicals can seep out gradually and be inhaled or absorbed directly through the skin. Liquid fabric softeners are slightly preferable to dryer sheets, as the chemicals in dryer sheets get released into the air when they are heated up in the dryer and can pose a respiratory health risk to those both inside and outside the home.

For those who don’t want to give up the benefits of fabric softeners but are afraid to risk exposure to potentially toxic chemicals, National Geographic’s Green Guide recommends adding either a quarter cup of baking soda or a quarter cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle. Either one will soften clothes, while the latter will also address static cling. (Be sure not to mix either with bleach, though, as resulting chemical reactions could cause noxious fumes.) If eliminating static cling is your top priority, try drying natural-fiber clothes separately from synthetic materials. The combination of cotton and polyester is often the culprit behind static cling. Better yet, reports Green Guide, line dry synthetic clothing, as it tends to dry fairly quickly anyway.

A few companies have heeded the ever-increasing call for greener, safer ways to soften clothes and reduce static cling. Seventh Generation’s Natural Lavender Scent Fabric Softener and Ecover’s Natural Fabric Softener are both good choices that rely on vegetable products and natural essential oils instead of harsh chemicals to get the job done.

Another safer option is Maddocks’ Static Eliminator, a non-toxic, hypoallergenic reusable dryer sheet made out of a proprietary, chemical-free polynylon. The Canadian company Maddocks originally developed the material to rid industrial-scale mechanical systems of explosion-inducing static electricity, but soon realized that it could benefit consumers as well, who can now buy the sheets – each one is good for some 500 wash loads – from natural foods retailers as well as from several online vendors.

CONTACTS:,; The Green Guide,; Seventh Generation,; Ecover,; Maddocks’ Static Eliminator,

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 observing National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Week, December 28 through January 3.

Each year, thousands of children under age 5 experience eye accidents. Doctors encourage parents to keep a close watch over their children to prevent eye injury. The most common causes of eye injuries in children are misuse of toys. During this holiday season, it is very important to read all warning labels on toys before giving them to your child.

During the winter months, parents need to be especially wary of their children’s eye protection. Because of the cold weather, children tend to be inside more often. This makes them more prone to injuries from household items. Contact with harmful products, such as paints, glues or detergents can infect the eye and lead to blindness. Falls from beds, couches or stairs that create blows to the eye can damage the cornea.

Besides the cornea, other parts of the human eye can easily be broken. If anything causes the delicate sections of the eye to break, a child might not be able to see well or at all. Vision problems affect one in 20 preschoolers and one in four children by age 6. If an eye problem remains untreated, the issue can worsen and eventually lead to other very serious problems. These problems range from distortion of your child’s personality, learning ability and blindness.

The most common problems in children are Amblyopia (lazy eye), Strabismus (crossed eyes), color blindness, Myopia (nearsightedness), Hyperopia (farsightedness) and Astigmatism. Some children are born with these deficiencies, others develop them over time.

The most important thing you can do to keep your child’s eyes safe during this winter season, is to keep your child up to date on his or her yearly vision appointments and to always keep a close watch.

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