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Issue Home July 8, 2009 Site Home

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

100 Years Ago

MONTROSE: Montrose was visited by prominent men in the Consumers’ Water Co., Scranton, which supplies Montrose. They came in a handsome touring car and made a hasty inspection of the lake and reservoir. They stated that it would be useless to run the water direct from the lake into the reservoir and did not propose to do it. They are also credited with saying that even if the consumers would pay for a filtering plant by increasing the rates, it is doubtful if they would even then establish one. The directors assert that they are furnishing the “best water” in the lake and as that is all the charter provides for there is no reason for attempting to improve it. They might at least turn the wash from the highways so it wouldn’t pollute the water and also prevent horses and cows from feeding on the shore of the lake.

SUSQUEHANNA: Stephen Carpenter, whose son, Arthur, mysteriously disappeared while attending the West Chester Normal school, has deposited $25 in the First National Bank here, as a reward to the person first giving evidence during the next 30 days that will lead to the discovery of the whereabouts of his son. AND Two crippled hoboes were locked in a box car loaded with automobiles, for 36 hours, when it reached Susquehanna. At a hearing for trespassing, the men were released, the justice being sympathetic toward their plight. They had no food or water during that time.

DIMOCK: D. A. Titsworth was at Dimock on Friday where he adjusted a loss at the Baptist church. The damage was done by the explosion of a film in a moving picture machine on the evening of June 24. W. H. Palmer, one of the spectators at the entertainment, was badly burned about the face in carrying the machine from the building and but for his bravery the church might have been badly damaged.

EAST RUSH: Marshall Linaberry thought while the opportunity offered, he would train his horses around Mr. Cronk’s auto and one of them, a horse advanced in years, became so frightened it dropped dead. Mr. Cronk drove right on and did not hear of the accident until after he reached home.

KINGSLEY: Eva, the little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Payne, was seriously burned, her clothing catching fire from playing with matches unknown to her parents. Her right leg and side were blistered.

SOUTH GIBSON: Little Arthur McNamara, aged three years, and his sister, Helen, aged 1 1/2 , were out playing on Friday last when the little boy came to the store and seeming to be in distress, pulled his mother’s dress and said as best he could, “Sister, water.” His mother went with him and he led the way to the pond, where Mrs. McNamara was horrified to see her baby face downward in the pond. Fred Pickering, who was in the mill, went in and brought the child out, just in time to save its life. Had it not been for the remarkable forethought of such a small child, South Gibson would have had another drowning accident to chronicle. The children had been accustomed to play around the mill, of which their father, G. G. McNamara, is proprietor, but wandered above the mill, where the bank is steep, and it is supposed the little one got too near the edge and fell in.

HOPBOTTOM: The residence of Marshall McVicar caught fire from Skyrockets falling upon the roof, which were sent up by Fourth of July celebrators, and was burned to the ground. Flames were not discovered until they were well started, so that the entire upper part of the building burst into flames. A large crowd congregated to assist in the removal of household goods, which was largely accomplished, but they were unable to save the structure, with the limited fire-fighting apparatus at hand and the Hallstead fire co. arriving too late. The building was one of the handsomest in the town. Mr. McVicar plans to rebuild.

GREAT BEND: Edward Barnum and Miss Ella Peck were married June 30, at her home. After a short wedding trip they will reside in Hallstead, Mr. Barnum being assistant secretary of the Railroad Y.M.C.A. ALSO L. J. Hicks, of Bath, is in town preparing to start a moving picture show in a tent.

BROOKLYN: The fifth was a quiet day in our town. The band boys went to Hopbottom to play, several of the young people went to Heart Lake, and other parties picnicked at Elk Lake and North Pond. In the evening fireworks were displayed.

AUBURN FOUR CORNERS: Hotel McAvoy has been undergoing repairs. The ballroom has been made into bedrooms and closets, so that more guests can be accommodated.

EAST ARARAT: People hereabouts and at Burnwood celebrated Independence Day, July 5. A new flag was on the Burnwood schoolhouse. Many people celebrated the day fishing.

FOREST CITY: The management of the Family theatre showed views of the flights of the Wright brothers in their aeroplanes in their recent demonstrations in France. The pictures were good, showing clearly the fleeting landscape as the great bird-like machine soared gracefully overhead, rising, circling and descending. One reads of these things and passes them by without much thought for they seem impracticable. But when we see, almost the actual flights of these two American boys, we are impressed and wonder at and feel proud of the great thing they have accomplished.

BRIDGEWATER: Alf. J. Stephens died at White Sulphur Springs, in the west [Montana], recently. He was a native of Pennsylvania 72 years ago and spent his boyhood on a farm near Williams Pond. When the Civil War broke out he enlisted in Co. D, 50th Penna. Volunteers. He participated in the second battle of Bull Run and went through the struggle at Antietam. He served under Grant before Vicksburg and was at the siege of Knoxville and then took part in the Wilderness campaign. He was also with Sherman in the expedition into South Carolina. He went west in 1869 and settled in Meagher County, Montana. “Uncle Alf,” as he was known, never married and probably did not have a single enemy in the world. He was a big-hearted man, quiet, unassuming and gentle, yet he never shirked a duty. His brothers were Oscar and Joseph Stephens of White Sulphur Springs.

NEWS BRIEFS: There were light frosts on the lowlands Sunday night, July 4. One could hardly believe it possible when “old residenters” told of frost on former Fourths, but it happened, nevertheless, in 1909. Montrose enjoyed the coolest Fourth since 1852. ALSO The latest popular songs are: Just Because it’s You; I Promise You; Beautiful Eyes; and I Love, I Love, I love My Wife, But Oh! You Kid!

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

Congress is currently considering “Hate Crime” legislation, and there is a big push from President Obama and Attorney General Holder to get a federal Hate Crimes Act passed quickly. If successful, the legislation would create a new class of federal criminal offenses for physical assaults where the motivation for the assault was the victim’s “race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.” There are a number of legitimate concerns being about such legislation.

First, the federal government is creating different classes of assault victims - those where the motivation was a recognized federal hate classification, and the other victims who were victimized for apparently less offensive motivations. If I am assaulted because I am a Catholic, then a federal offense has been committed. In other words, religious bigotry motivated the attack. If I am assaulted because of my political views, then no federal offense has occurred. This creates a strange dichotomy where the federal government itself discriminates against crime victims.

Second, the proposed legislation is wholly unnecessary and intrudes into an area historically, constitutionally and prudently left to the individual states. Every state already has criminal statutes that prohibit criminal assaults. Forty-five of those states, including Pennsylvania, also have some form of legislation resembling the proposed federal hate crime legislation. In Pennsylvania, it is known as Ethnic Intimidation and it prohibits the commission of certain acts with “malicious intention,” which is defined as certain criminal acts “motivated by hatred toward race, color, religion or national origin of another individual or group of individuals.” In ten years and approximately 5,000 adult cases, I have only had two cases that involved ethnic intimidation, and both defendants were prosecuted. Thus, the proposed federal hate crime legislation is redundant to existing state laws, and unnecessary to combat hate crimes. Local prosecutors have the tools and the ability to deal with this problem.

Third, and most significantly, Congress does not have the constitutional authority to enact such criminal legislation. The United States Constitution carefully defines and limits the authority of Congress, though the way Congress now acts, I suspect few of the members understand that there is a limit to what Congress is permitted to do. The proponents of the Hate Crime legislation contend that it is authorized under the Interstate Commerce Clause, which permits Congress to enact legislation to regulate the commerce between the individual states. Without getting into a deep Constitutional analysis, in order to uphold the constitutionality of this legislation, a court would have to determine that a racially motivated fight at a local bar somehow effected interstate commercial activities. How would a prosecutor prove that interstate commerce was affected by a local criminal assault in order to support federal jurisdiction and authority? What type of evidence could possibly be offered to prove this element beyond a reasonable doubt?

For instance, in a federal prosecution for sexual assault of a child, there needs to be proof that the child was taken across state lines, i.e., interstate activity. In drug cases, it is easy relatively easy to prove that drugs are passing across state borders for distribution across the nation. In a federal hate crime prosecution, the only meaningful way to argue that a local bigot is involved in interstate commerce would be to get into his personal affairs, i.e., the things he reads, the websites he visits, the magazines he gets, and, based upon his personal activities, to then argue that those personal activities support the argument that the subsequent physical assault somehow impacted on interstate commerce.

This raises the next question as to how to get the information needed to prove the defendant’s involvement in interstate commerce - you would need a search warrant to get into the defendant’s home and computer. And how would you get the probable cause to support such a search? Merely stating that the defendant made a bigoted statement in the context of the assault does not demonstrate that there is likely evidence of bigotry within his home. Even if you had probable cause to support the search warrant, the police would have to comb through a defendant’s private affairs for some evidence to support not only bigotry, but evidence that the defendant’s bigotry was not merely local in nature, but interstate bigotry.

So, there are significant and legitimate reasons supporting the opposition to a federal Hate Crime Act. In the end, the more prudent (and constitutionally proper) course would be to trust the local prosecutors to do their jobs. Trust me, we can do it.

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

[Today we’ll go into the mailbag and answer three questions, instead of the usual one .]

Q. Is there such a thing as a painless migraine?

Sometimes we see light flashes that appear to be little lightning bolts or waves. This type of flash is usually caused by a blood-vessel spasm in the brain, which is called a migraine. These flashes can happen without a headache and they are called ophthalmic migraines or ocular migraines.

An ophthalmic migraine may end in only a few minutes, but usually lasts as long as a half hour. This type of migraine is considered harmless. Usually, they cause no permanent visual or brain damage, and do not require treatment.

However, if you experience what seem to be ophthalmic migraine symptoms, you should get to a doctor immediately because what you think is harmless may be a retinal detachment.

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position. If not promptly treated, retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss.

Q. Is there some way to prevent getting shingles?

Shingles is a painful skin disease caused by the chickenpox virus awakening from a dormant state to attack your body again. Anyone who has had chicken-pox can get shingles.

Some people report fever and weakness when the disease starts. Within two to three days, a red, blotchy rash develops. The rash erupts into small blisters that look like chickenpox.

The pain of shingles can be severe. If it is strong and lasts for months or years, it is called postherpetic neuralgia.

There is a vaccine for shingles called Zostavax. The vaccine is approved for use in people 60 years old and older to prevent shingles. Zostavax does not treat shingles or post-herpetic neuralgia once it develops.

In a clinical trial involving thousands of adults 60 years old or older, Zostavax prevented shingles in about half of the people and post-herpetic neuralgia in 67% of the study participants. While the vaccine was most effective in people 60-69 years old, it also provided some protection for older groups.

Once you reach age 60, the sooner you get vaccinated, the better your chances of protecting yourself from shingles.

Q. Do you have any tips for avoiding colds?

There are two ways you can catch a cold: inhaling drops of mucus full of cold germs from the air, and touching a surface that has cold germs and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

So, for starters, avoid close facial contact with people who have colds. Also, if you can, try to avoid touching your face after you have been around someone with a cold.

Washing your hands thoroughly and often is important. Washing with soap and water doesn't kill the cold virus, but removes it. The scrubbing is more important than the soap.

Cleaning environmental surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant might help prevent spread of infection. The worst room in the house for germs is the kitchen. And the greatest concentration is found in sponges and dishcloths.

Laundering a dishcloth doesn’t eliminate germs. And putting a sponge through the dishwasher makes it look clean but doesn’t remove the infection. Instead, moisten the sponge or dishcloth and microwave it for two minutes. Then you'll have safe, germ-free tools to use.

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

Milbert’s Tortoiseshell: Nettle Muncher

Although the larger and showier butterflies, such as swallowtails, more often attract our attention, there are many other equally attractive and colorful native species. Among those is the Milbert’s tortoiseshell, Nymphalis milberti. A member of the “brush-footed” family, Nymphalidae, this colorful butterfly is closely related to the Admirals, Fritillaries, Checkerspots, Mourning Cloaks and Painted Ladies. The family’s common name, “brushfoot”, refers to the fact that their front legs are greatly reduced, lack claws and are covered with tiny hairs. Only their middle and hind legs are functional for walking.

Milbert’s tortoiseshell butterfly.

The adults are about 2” across. Their upper wings are black to dark brown, with submarginal bands of bright orange that fade to yellow at their interior edges. The ragged dark wing edges are marked with deep blue dashes. “Cat’s eye” spots mark the front areas of the wings. The underwings, visible when the Milbert tortoiseshell is at rest, are dark brown with a wide tan submarginal band along each side.

Although common in the western United States, this butterfly is restricted to the higher elevations and cooler areas of the northeast. They can be observed from late spring through the fall, feeding on blossoms of golden rod, thistle, dogbane, Joe Pye weed, common hawkweed, black-eyed susan, red clover and dandelion. They also often feed on rotting fruit.

Larvae feeding on stinging nettles.

Hundreds of pale green eggs are laid in masses beneath the leaves located at the tops of nettle plants. The only plant upon which the larvae feed is the stinging nettle! The young larvae remain together in a silken nest at the top of the nettle plant. As the dense mass of young caterpillars feed, they work their way downward, leaving behind only the skeletal remains of devoured leaves. This distinctive feeding pattern is indicative of their presence. The caterpillars within a single mass vary in appearance, but are blackish, with yellow dorsal and greenish lateral stripes. They are often covered in black spines. As they mature, the larvae become more solitary and wander apart. After 3 weeks of continual feeding, the larvae attach to the underside of a leaf and form a chrysalis. The chrysalis is greenish gray with numerous thorny protrusions. The adult butterflies emerge from the pupa in about 2 weeks. There can be several broods per year. The earliest emerge in late June to early July. Some second broods emerge in September and fly about until cold weather forces them into hibernation. Other late broods pupate in the fall and emerge the following spring, sometimes as early as March.

Parasitic wasps and other predators seriously affect the larvae. Only a small percentage actually survives to become butterflies. In personal observations, I saw a massive aggregation of several hundred caterpillars totally disappear overnight

Milbert’s tortoiseshells are beautiful butterflies that are not very wary and therefore easy to observe. Unfortunately, because of their small population, they are only occasionally observed. In addition to the adults’ aesthetic value, the caterpillars’ appetite for stinging nettles makes them a valuable asset to our lawns and gardens.

Questions, comments and suggestions regarding this article, identifications or any other insect-related matters are welcome. Please email them to

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Dear Dolly,

We were invited to a wedding that we are unable to attend. We have sent our regrets. Do we have to send a gift? My husband says "no way," but I'm not sure. This is a relative in another state whom we haven't heard from in a couple of years. -Marla

Dear Marla,

The fact that you were invited says to me, you are a valued friend. Good manners suggest that a gift should be sent. A modest gift of money with a nice card and a hand written note is all that is necessary. If you have more time than cash, why not go through your family photos and put together a small photo album of family pictures. Include past generations - be sure to identify the subjects. Look for photos of the bride or groom when they were growing up. Any bit of history that is a part of his or her past. You can photo copy any originals that you don't want to part with. This is a gift that will bless their new home for years to come.

Dear Dolly,

How do you break up with a very nice person, with a great personality, that has only liked you and done nothing bad? The reason I want to breakup with her is because I can't afford to be in a relationship and just want time off. It's just me. -Brad

Dear Brad,

Be up front. Don't make any lame excuses. Tell her you're not ready for a relationship at this point in your life, and that you have a lot of growing up to do before you could be the type of man she deserves.

All Transcript subscribers are welcome to submit their questions to Dear Dolly at

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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 UV Awareness Week July 5 - 11

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National UV Awareness Week, July 5 July 11. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Most people associate UV rays with sunburn, but these rays can burn eyes and hair as well. An individual will burn more if these parts of the body are not properly protected, or if they undergo too much exposure to the sun. Nevertheless, UV rays are very useful in our ecosystem and when given in the right amount, are very useful to our bodies.

Ultraviolet Ray’s assist the body in making vitamin D, which is necessary for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also helps create a stronger and healthier immune system. UV rays are also used in the treatment for psoriasis, a chronic skin disease.

In spite of all the positive uses that UV ray’s offer, if someone is excessively exposed to them, or is unprotected, the results can be harmful. The most common effect of exposure to UV rays is sunburn. Sunburn, by definition, is “the damage caused to skin cells when they have absorbed too much energy from UV rays.” When this happens, blood rushes to the affected area as the body tries to cool the burn, and the damaged skin eventually peels away. In addition to the burning pain on the skin, sunburn can ultimately cause skin cancer. Skin cancer is most commonly caused by overexposure to UV rays, and it can occur even when there is no evidence of sunburn. Skin cancer can effect anyone of any skin type or color.

Besides damage to the skin, UV ray’s can also damage the eyes. Usually, the damage first presents itself as a pain in the eye itself, or as blurred vision, both of which usually fade away. Over time though, to much exposure to the sun’s harmful ray’s can cause cataracts and a loss of vision.

The best way to prevent damage to your skin is to avoid UV rays by using the proper protection. Use sunscreen and protective sunglasses. Barnes-Kasson hospital would like to remind you to keep yourself safe this summer, and have fun in the sun!

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