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Issue Home June 24, 2009 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Veterans’ Corner
What’s Bugging You?
Food For Thought
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

MONTROSE: Dr. Decker’s flower garden, adjoining his residence on Cliff street, is again getting ready to exhibit its beautiful display of flowers in almost endless variety. Dr. Decker takes great pains and much pride in his flower garden each year, and this year it will outdo all its previous efforts. The Doctor says that as he spends no money on tobacco or drink, he feels he can afford to spend some on his flower garden. He does not raise the flowers for sale, but to make a pretty sight for himself and the public and to furnish bouquets to the sick and the poor. Surely, the Doctor’s “fad,” if such it may be called, is indeed a commendable one, and we hope this enjoyment of it may continue for many years. And may his shadow never grow less.

KINGSLEY: C. A. Rozelle was in Montrose making his usual weekly trip. Mr. Roselle has a large truck gardening business and makes heavy sales to local merchants, besides having his regular customers. He is also an extensive grower of cabbage and celery plants, which find ready sale at this season of the year.

MESHOPPEN: Peter D. Overfield, formerly of Meshoppen, has been nominated by President Taft for judge of the Third Judicial District of Alaska. Mr. Overfield has practiced law in Alaska for the past three years. He was at one time a noted University of Pennsylvania football player.

ELK LAKE: Philip and Paul Warriner have been spending the week at Elk Lake, where they are erecting a bungalow on the Steadman property on the west side of the lake.

LIBERTY TWP.: G. Carlton Shafer, of Columbia University, New York City, was at his home during the week preparing for the opening of Camp Susquehannock, which takes place June 30. The popularity of the camp has been growing each year and now, with the opening of the fifth season, it is expected that about 30 boys will be enrolled and there will be about a dozen college men, some of whom act as tutors and assist in the management.

EAST ARARAT: John R. Avery and James Silves placed the new roof on the Ararat schoolhouse, which adds both to the comfort within and appearance without.

KINGSLEY: The Kingsley baseball team defeated Foster on Friday by a score of 12 to 0. In the evening the ball club gave a concert in the Universalist church, which was a splendid success. The boys take this opportunity of expressing their thanks to all who so generously gave their time and talent. Gross proceeds of day, $80.

SOUTH AUBURN: Alfred Bowen, of Philadelphia, spoke in the M. E. church here Sunday evening, relating his experience. Being a reformed drunkard and years ago a member of the secret order known as the Molly Maguires, his talk was very interesting and helpful.

HARFORD: There will be an old fashioned 4th of July celebration on the Harford fair grounds July 3. Come everybody. ALSO The barn on Wilbur Richardson’s farm, near Harford, was burned Wednesday night, the conflagration lighting up the horizon and the glare was visible in Montrose.

HEART LAKE: A special train will leave Heart Lake at 11 o’clock the night of July 5, the day of the big celebration, bringing home all who attend from Montrose. This gives a rare opportunity to spend an enjoyable day at this popular resort and affords unexcelled train service.

GIBSON: Curtis Howell, one of the well known men of that section, has lately passed his 91st birthday anniversary. Mr. Howell is active despite his years and has the finest garden in that vicinity, which he personally cares for and in which he takes great interest. ALSO In South Gibson, the well-known attorney, T. J. Davies, died at the Lewis hotel, the result of a stroke of paralysis. He was born in Clifford on June 4, 1853 and was educated in the common schools and at Wyoming Seminary. For several years he taught school and later read law in the office of Little & Blakeslee. Undertaker Hart, of Montrose, was notified by telephone and at 8 o’clock that evening he and his son, Lewis, left for South Gibson in a buggy and were followed a little later by the hearse, arriving they prepared the body and it was brought to Montrose early Saturday morning.

NEW MILFORD: Carlin Bros’ circus gave two performances in town Monday to fair-sized audiences.

HOPBOTTOM: Mrs. Burman, who has been a missionary in India for over seven years, greatly surprised her sister, Mr. A. L. Titus, last week, by walking into the house.

LATHROP TWP.: I. M. Strickland’s hill, east of the lake, is a “thing of beauty,” being covered with laurel blossoms.

JACKSON: Henry Truax is laying the foundation for Orland Tingley’s new house at Lakeside.

CLIFFORD: A quiet but very happy nuptial ceremony was performed on Tuesday evening at the cottage of T. J. Well’s which united one of Lenox’s well-known young couples. The principles were Miss Aria Tingley and Frank Ruland. The ceremony was performed by T. J. Wells, Esq.; the contracting parties are very popular and will receive many congratulations.

SUSQUEHANNA: Ex-congressman C. Fred Wright and Postmaster Geo. W. Shaeff, had a narrow escape from being killed while returning from Columbian Grove, where Mr. Wright has a summer home. They were driving through the Narrows on the Oakland side of the river when the horse became frightened and without any warning jumped over the bank and dragged the buggy and its occupants down the steep embankment a distance of about 40 ft. Messrs. Wright and Shaeff were cut about the head and sustained many severe body bruises. The buggy was wrecked, but the horse escaped with a few scratches. The injured men made their way back to the Wright cottage and a hurry up message was sent for Dr. M. L. Miller, of Susquehanna, who quickly responded and dressed the wounds, which required several stitches.

THOMPSON: Parties from “Old Kentucky” are defying our county court by offering for sale all kinds of liquor, in any quantity, with the government guarantee upon them, sent C.O.D., and they are not particular as to the moral character of their senders. Preachers and laymen are told they can do a thriving business with impunity. And the number of drunkards reported on our streets cause remarks in our remarkable town.

FAIRDALE: The committee on arrangements for the 3rd of July celebration are sparing no pains to make the day an enjoyable one for young and old. Silvara band will give several concerts during the day; foot racing, solid shot throwing and other athletic feats. East Rush team will cross bats with the Birchardville team in the a.m. E. Lemon Athletes vs. Fairdale Tigers at 3 p.m. The ladies aid will serve dinner. Ice cream, lemonade and other refreshments will be served during the day.

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

Do you think that money can buy a different “justice” for a wealthy defendant? This was a question that was posed to me by a friend last week. The question was posed in the abstract - and I attempted to answer it broadly. Money certainly provides a wealthy defendant with opportunities that are unavailable to an indigent defendant. With enough money, a defendant can cripple the criminal justice system. I recall the rape case involving Kobe Bryant in Colorado where the defense team filed countless pre-trial motions, and it is estimated that the State spent over $300,000 in responding and preparing for the prosecution - in the end only to have the charges dismissed as a result of the victim reaching a civil settlement with the defendant and indicating that she did not want to testify. Did money buy “justice” in that case?

Money provides not only a different type of defense - but also gives a defendant the ability to influence the victim through financial incentives. As noted above, the victim in the Kobe Bryant case indicated that she no longer wished to proceed after there was a civil settlement. In cases involving purely financial crimes such as thefts or bad check cases, victims are often more interested in getting their money back - and restitution becomes the priority for the victim. If the victim has to choose between jail and no immediate restitution, or a quick lump sum payment and probation, most victims choose the immediate cash. And who can blame them? Thus, a defendant with money has the ability to satisfy the victim through restitution and thereby exert some influence on the resolution of a criminal case.

A stunning example of this situation appeared in the recent conviction and sentence of the NFL player Donte Stallworth for a DUI manslaughter. Stallworth was driving drunk when he hit and killed a pedestrian in Miami, Florida. Stallworth had a blood alcohol content of .126%, which was well over the legal limit of .08%. According to reports, Stallworth was looking at up to 15-years incarceration for the DUI homicide charge. In the end, Stallworth apparently reached a financial settlement with the deceased victim’s family, which somehow spilled over into the prosecution of the criminal matter. The prosecution worked out a plea agreement where Stallworth pled guilty and received only 30 days incarceration, followed by 2 years of home confinement, and 1,000 hours of community service. The terms of the plea agreement allow Stallworth to resume his NFL career. Did money buy “justice” in that case?

Under Pennsylvania law, if Stallworth had been convicted of a DUI homicide, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in a state correctional facility - or 1,095 days. When viewed in comparison to Pennsylvania law, Stallworth’s 30-day sentence seems grossly inadequate for the harm that his criminal behavior caused. Even if convicted of the lesser misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter in Pennsylvania, the standard range for a first offender is minimum period of incarceration of somewhere between 3 to 12 months. If the offense had occurred in Pennsylvania, it is difficult to envision any plea agreement that would have provided for the outcome that Stallworth received in Florida - regardless of the victim’s request.

It would be naïve to suggest that money has no influence in the criminal justice system. Prosecutors should do their best to eliminate any disparity between the affluent defendant and the indigent defendant. Justice should not depend on the size of a person’s wallet - but on the appropriate disposition and punishment based upon the nature and circumstances of the crime coupled with the prior criminal record and personal history of the offender. In addition, however, a prosecutor must also consider and weigh the victim’s views toward an appropriate disposition - though these views are never determinative.

Was justice done in the Stallworth case? Apparently, the deceased victim’s family believes that justice was done - as does the prosecutor and the judge who accepted the plea. Some would argue that this is enough, while still others would decry a rich man getting off with just a slap on the wrist. Every case presents different facts and circumstances - there is no exact cookie cutter device that meets out justice with perfect certainty. Money plays a role - the only question is how much of a role is appropriate.

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. There are lots of sunblocks out there with SPF numbers on them. What exactly do these numbers mean?

[Sun exposure is an extensive and important subject that is worth two columns. This is the first one.]

Sunblocks - or sunscreens - work to prevent the damage of ultraviolet (UV) rays, an invisible component of sunlight. There are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB and UVC.

UVA is the most abundant of the three ultraviolet rays at the earth's surface. These rays penetrate through the outer skin. Many of the UVB rays are absorbed by the stratospheric ozone layer, so there aren’t as many of these at the earth's surface as the UVA rays. UVB rays don’t penetrate as far as UVA rays but are still harmful. UVC radiation is extremely hazardous to skin, but it is completely absorbed by the ozone layer.

Sunburn and suntan are signs of skin damage. Suntans appear after the sun's rays have already killed some cells and damaged others. UV rays do more harm than damaging skin. They can also cause cataracts, wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer.

Sunscreens are given SPF (Sun Protection Factor) ratings that tell you how well they protect you from damaging rays from the sun. The SPF ratings can be as low as 2 and as high as 100+.

Here’s how the ratings work: If you apply a sunscreen rated at SPF 2, you will double the time it takes for your skin to burn. A sunscreen rated at SPF 15 will multiply the burning time by 15.

Dermatologists strongly recommend using a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB protection) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater year-round for all skin types.

The SPF number indicates the screening ability for UVB rays only. Research is being to done to establish a system to measure UVA protection.

There is a point of diminishing returns with sunscreens. Here’s how it goes:

A sunscreen with an SPF of 2 screens 50 percent of UVB rays.

A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 screens 93 percent of UVB rays.

A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 screens 97 percent of UVB rays.

A sunscreen with an SPF of 50 blocks 98 percent of UVB rays.

A sunscreen with an SPF of 100+ blocks 99 percent of UVB rays.

Not applying enough sunscreen can seriously reduce your protection. You should use an ounce - about a palmful - on your body to gain the full protection indicated by the SPF on the product. Also, dermatologists advise reapplication every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

It seems logical that, if you use half the required sunscreen, you will get only half the protection, but that doesn’t seem to be true. A study in the British Journal of Dermatology found that you get the protection of only the square root of the SPF. So, in theory, if you use a half ounce of sunscreen rated at 64, you won’t get the protection of an SPF 32, but only the protection of an SPF 8.

In addition to applying a sunscreen, you should protect yourself by avoiding the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., wearing protective clothing and wraparound sunglasses, avoiding sunlamps and tanning beds, and checking your skin regularly for changes in the size, shape, color or feel of birthmarks, moles and spots.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

Right now our legislators in Harrisburg are working on the budget for the upcoming year. Cutbacks are the order of the day and one of the areas targeted is library funding. On May 6, the State Senate passed a budget bill that would cut the Public Library Subsidy by 50%. State funding is the largest source of income for our county library system.

The Senate drastic budget bill has proposed cuts in funding for the state library system as a whole that would result in the elimination or reduction of services upon which you depend. In turn, these reductions in state aid could result in a loss to Pennsylvania of as much as 4 million dollars in additional federal funding.

Tough economic times and the projected loss of revenue are the reasons for the proposed reductions. However, the downturn in the economy has resulted in an increased in use of public libraries. Balancing the budget to the detriment of libraries does not make sense. Please note that all of Pennsylvania’s library funding is only a tiny amount of the state budget.

The budget has not yet passed. Libraries throughout the state are asking legislators to revisit the issue of library funding and to reconsider level funding. We urge you to write your elected officials and voice your support for libraries. Stop by your local branch library. They can provide you with the names and addresses of your elected officials and flyer to assist you in drafting a letter.

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Veterans’ Corner

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

Snipe Flies: Golden Gems

Sometimes it isn’t the annoying actions of an insect, but their unusual or colorful appearance that catches our attention. Such is the case with the gold-backed snipe fly, Chrysopilus thoracicus. Often found resting head down on leaves in shady areas, this fly will often run or sidle to one side rather than flying away. Snipe flies are quite sluggish and are easily caught.

The adult female gold-backed snipe fly.

About one half inch in length, the gold-backed snipe fly has smoky gray wings with dark black veins. Its abdomen is long and pointed, with bands of silver hair alternating with velvety black patches. Their grayish legs are long and slender. The most noticeable feature is the dense patch of golden hair covering the thorax. It is believed that these markings are a form of protective mimicry, imitating more intimidating bees. The males, which are smaller than the females, have eyes that meet at the top of their head.

Found in damp areas, the adults are predatory, feeding on aphids and other small insects. Although few details are known about the life cycle, it is known that the females deposit their eggs in wet locations, such as moss and decaying wood, where the developing larvae feed on small insects. The mature larvae crawl into leaf litter, where they pupate. The following spring they emerge to mate. The mating adults, especially noticeable in late spring and early summer, are very short-lived.

The gold-backed snipe flies have some western cousins (family Rhagionidae) who are notorious pests. However, our snipe flies are not only attractive, but are also beneficial, since they consume such plant pests as aphids. 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

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From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that military sonar exercises actually kill marine wildlife?

Unfortunately for many whales, dolphins and other marine life, the use of underwater sonar (short for sound navigation and ranging) can lead to injury and even death. Sonar systems - first developed by the U.S. Navy to detect enemy submarines - generate slow-rolling sound waves topping out at around 235 decibels; the world’s loudest rock bands top out at only 130. These sound waves can travel for hundreds of miles under water, and can retain an intensity of 140 decibels as far as 300 miles from their source.

These rolling walls of noise are no doubt too much for some marine wildlife. While little is known about any direct physiological effects of sonar waves on marine species, evidence shows that whales will swim hundreds of miles, rapidly change their depth (sometime leading to bleeding from the eyes and ears), and even beach themselves to get away from the sounds of sonar.

In January 2005, 34 whales of three different species became stranded and died along North Carolina’s Outer Banks during nearby offshore Navy sonar training. Other sad examples around the coast of the U.S. and elsewhere abound, notably in recent years with more sonar testing going on than ever before. According to the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which has campaigned vigorously to ban use of the technology in waters rich in marine wildlife, recent cases of whale strandings likely represent a small fraction of sonar’s toll, given that severely injured animals rarely make it to shore.

In 2003, NRDC spearheaded a successful lawsuit against the Navy to restrict the use of low-frequency sonar off the coast of California. Two years later a coalition of green groups led by NRDC and including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the League for Coastal Protection, Cetacean Society International, and Ocean Futures Society upped the ante, asking the federal courts to also restrict testing of more intense, harmful and far ranging mid-frequency types of sonar off Southern California’s coastline.

In filing their brief, the groups cited Navy documents which estimated that such testing would kill some 170,000 marine mammals and cause permanent injury to more than 500 whales, not to mention temporary deafness for at least 8,000 others. Coalition lawyers argued that the Navy’s testing was in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Two lower courts upheld NRDC’s claims, but the Supreme Court ruled that the Navy should be allowed to continue the use of some mid-frequency sonar testing for the sake of national security. “The decision places marine mammals at greater risk of serious and needless harm,” says NRDC’s Joel Reynolds.

Environmental groups are still fighting the battle against the sonar, lobbying the government to curtail testing, at least during peacetime, or to at least ramp up testing gradually to give marine wildlife a better chance to flee affected areas. “The U.S. Navy could use a number of proven methods to avoid harming whales when testing mid-frequency sonar,” reports IFAW’s Fred O'Regan. “Protecting whales and preserving national security are not mutually exclusive.”


Dear EarthTalk: How does the microwave compare in energy use, say, to using a gas or electric stove burner to heat water for a cup of tea?

The short answer is that it depends upon several variables, including the price of electricity versus gas, and the relative efficiency of the appliances involved. Typically, though, a microwave would be slightly more efficient at heating water than the flame on a gas stove, and should use up a little less energy. The reason: The microwave’s heat waves are focused on the liquid (or food) inside, not on heating the air or container around it, meaning that most if not all of the energy generated is used to make your water ready.

Given this logic, it is hard to believe that a burner element on an electric stovetop would be any better, but an analysis by Home Energy Magazine found otherwise. The magazine’s researchers discovered that an electric burner uses about 25 percent less electricity than a microwave in boiling a cup of water.

That said, the difference in energy saved by using one method over another is negligible: Choosing the most efficient process might save a heavy tea drinker a dollar or so a year. “You’d save more energy over the year by replacing one light bulb with a CFL [compact fluorescent lightbulb] or turning off the air conditioner for an hour - not an hour a day, one hour at some point over the whole year,” says consumer advocate Michael Bluejay.

Although a microwave may not save much energy or money over a stove burner when heating water, it can be much more energy-efficient than a traditional full-size oven when it comes to cooking food. For starters, because their heat waves are concentrated on the food, microwaves cook and heat much faster than traditional ovens. According to the federal government’s Energy Star program, which rates appliances based on their energy-efficiency, cooking or re-heating small portions of food in the microwave can save as much as 80 percent of the energy used to cook or warm them up in the oven.

The website reports that there are other things you can do to optimize your energy efficiency around the kitchen when cooking. For starters, make sure to keep the inside surfaces of your microwave oven clean so as to maximize the amount of energy reflected toward your food. On a gas stovetop, make sure the flame is fully below the cookware; likewise, on an electric stovetop, make sure the pan or kettle completely covers the heating element to minimize wasted heat. Also, use the appropriate size pan for the job at hand, as smaller pans are cheaper and more energy-efficient to heat up.

Despite these tips for cooking greener, Bluejay reiterates that most of us will hardly put a dent in our overall energy use just by choosing one appliance over another. According to his analysis, for someone who bakes three hours a week the cheapest cooking method saves only an estimated $2.06/month compared to the most expensive method.

“Focusing on cooking methods is not the way to save electricity [at home],” says Bluejay. “You should look at heating, cooling, lighting and laundry instead.”

CONTACTS: Home Energy Magazine,; Treehugger,; Michael Bluejay,

Send Your Environmental Questions To: EarthTalk, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; Read past columns at:

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

National Aphasia Awareness Week

June 21 - 27

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing NationalAphasia AwarenessWeek, June 21 through 27. Aphasia is an acquired communication disorderthat impairs a person's ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others, and most people with aphasia experience difficulty with reading and writing. Some individuals who suffer from Aphasia may be able to write, but not speak, or vice-versa. Others may be able to sing but not talk.

Aphasia almost always is caused by lesions in the brain. These lesions are usually discovered in the left hemisphere, where the ability to produce and comprehend language is found. The damage in the language comprehension areas are usually caused by a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other brain injury. Aphasia may also develop slowly, from a brain tumor or progressive neurological disease, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

There are many different types of Aphasia. Each type is marked by how the individual uses, or doesn’t use their language ability. In some types, people make up words and speak in long sentences with no meaning. In another type, called Broca's aphasia, people can speak normally, but cannot repeat anything that is asked of them. In another type, affected individuals are aware of how others speak, and are usually heavily frustrated with the fact that they cannot communicate the same way. People with Broca’s Aphasia frequently speak short, meaningful phrases that are produced with great effort. For example “go out” could mean that they would like to go out. The same sentence could mean that they already went out, or they would like you to go out.

In short, Aphasia is a disorder that makes those affected by it have minor to major problems with communication. Although Aphasia patients may not be able to communicate their intelligence to us, aphasia dose not affect intelligence at all, meaning that those with aphasia are just as smart as the average person.

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