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Issue Home July 15, 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

RATTLESNAKES: A rattlesnake with nine rattlers was killed in the road near G. M. Carpenter’s house in Hallstead yesterday. The drought is believed to be causing the reptiles to crawl from the hills to the lower localities where there is water. ALSO In St. Joseph, James E. Kelly killed a rattlesnake over 4 feet in length.

SPRINGVILLE: No rain for over a month and saying it is dry is putting it mildly. ALSO Red raspberries are coming into market and selling for ten cents per quart.

DIMOCK: Liveryman W. A. Harrington, of Montrose, has sold a pair of fine matched horses, Tom and Jerry, to Mrs. Cope, an ardent admirer of well bred and carefully trained horses. Tom and Jerry are a handsome pair of young browns whose fine points and beauty have won for them the first premium at both the Montrose and Harford fairs.

WATROUS CORNERS, BRIDGEWATER TWP.: Charles Roberts, of East Bridgewater, has a fine new automobile. He passed through this place in it last Wednesday.

GREAT BEND: Joe Meehan shot a porcupine in his garden Saturday morning. It was exhibited during the day in the store window of Charles D. Lines. It is a rare animal in this section.

ELK LAKE: On Sunday evening nine boat loads of cottagers floated out to the center of the lake and sang hymns, and it was developed that material for a good choir could be found among the sojourners. Instrumental inspiration was given by Norman Steward and John V. P. Quackenbush on the guitar and octerina.

JESSUP TWP.: In the death of Jacob Andre, Jessup township lost one of its oldest and best known residents and a man of many sterling qualities and noble traits of character. His age was 71 years. The funeral was held Friday, July 2, from his late home at Fair Hill and later at the church, conducted by Rev. Unangst. The bearers were: Jefferson Green, Silas Jagger, Fred Lewis, Nelson Cool, Ackley Walker and John R. Raub. Besides his widow he is survived by one son Floyd, of Montrose, and one daughter, Miss Ethel.

MONTROSE: D. D. Lathrop, C. E., recently made surveys and maps for the Water Company, to indicate the locations of the several shut-off valves of the water mains of the borough. There are 29 shut-off valves and one blow-off gate. The valves being in the streets, many of them are covered up by repairing the streets, hence the importance of the maps which indicate distances from permanent objects to each valve.

FOREST CITY: The Farmer’s and Miners National Bank is to have new quarters. The directors have purchased the Wm. Sredenschek building, now occupied as a wholesale liquor store and will make needed improvements and move to the permanent location.

NEW MILFORD: Chicken thieves have been operating in the vicinity of S. New Milford for some time and many farmers have been robbed of much valuable poultry. One night last week one of these “poultry fanciers,” who visited the hen house of Emory Gleason, was seen prowling about and Mr. Gleason, who was prepared to meet all comers, seized his shot gun and “let fly” at the marauder. The shot evidently hit the mark, as the man cried out, and rapidly ran from the scene closely followed by a pull pup which was a partner in his midnight raid.

FRANKLIN TWP.: Two of our neighbor boys have left home, Perry Watterhouse and Percy Webster. Any news from them would be gladly received by their anxious parents or any of their friends in this place, Franklin Forks.

HARFORD: Mrs. Emeline Redfield is visiting friends in the east. She is the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. T. Farrar, deceased, and for many years teacher in the Soldiers’ Orphan school.

EAST RUSH: Mrs. Owen Daley was the guest of Mrs. Theo. Smith this week. Mrs. Daley is 87 and she walked from son Henry Daley’s over a mile. She also called upon Mrs. Lydia Risley who is slowly failing.

SOUTH GIBSON: Notwithstanding a careful investigation of the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Arthur Carpenter, of South Gibson, the young West Chester State Normal school student who so suddenly disappeared on June 19, by the police, teachers of the institution, friends and lastly his father, who went to West Chester last Thursday, not the slightest clue leading to his whereabouts has been unearthed.

UNIONDALE: For fear our regular correspondent doesn’t have his pencil sharpened and ready to chronicle the beautiful exercises of Children’s day at the M. E. church, we will mention it, but as we do not know all the children that took part in the exercises, we will refrain from mentioning any names, but simply say each one certainly did finely and those who have seen many more years, can’t help but rejoice even to clapping of hands to see such bright little boys and girls go through their exercises so nicely. Although some do not approve of clapping hands in church, yet we can’t disapprove of it, if it isn’t carried too far, and we think it would encourage the little ones in well-doing, and then how it would sound if some little tot would go home and say, “Mamma, they didn’t clap for me at all.”

CHOCONUT VALLEY: Our creamery is doing finely under the management of Walter Clarke, son of our townsman, Frank Clarke. Our blacksmith shop is run by Grover Warfle, who is doing a fine business.

NEWS BRIEF: “The Hello Girl” The Telephone girl sits in her chair and listens to voices from everywhere. She hears all the gossip, she knows all the news, she knows who is happy and who has the blues; she knows all our sorrows, she knows all our joys, she knows every girl who is chasing the boys; she knows of our trouble, she knows of our strife, she knows every man who is mean to his wife; she knows when we are out with the boys, she hears the excuse each fellow employs. She knows every woman who has a dark past, she knows every man who is inclined to be “fast;” In fact there’s a secret beneath each saucy curl of that quiet, demure looking telephone girl. If the telephone girl told all that she knows it would turn half our friends into bitterest foes; she could sow a small wind that would soon be a gale, engulf us in trouble and land us in jail; she could let go a story which gaining in force, would cause half our wives to sue for divorce; she could get all our churches mixed up in a fight and turn all our days into sorrowing night; in fact she could keep the whole town in a stew if she’d tell a tenth part of the things that she knew. Oh, brother, now doesn’t it make your head whirl when you think what you owe to the telephone girl?

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

In 2008, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, which requires the registration of contractors with the Attorney General’s Office. The Act defines a “contractor” as “any person who owns or operates a home improvement business or who undertakes, offers to undertake or agrees to perform any home improvement.” Thus, the term “contractor” is defined broadly and includes subcontractors and independent contractors. The Act does exempt those contractors whose home improvement work amounts to less than $5,000 for the entire calendar year. Thus, the Act covers any contractor who performs more than $5,000 in home improvement work over the course of a 12 month period.

What constitutes home improvement work? This also has a very broad definition and includes any work done on a private residence or the land upon which the private residence sits provided the cost of the work exceeds $500. Thus, home improvement includes not only repairs and renovations to a private home, but it also includes demolition and removal. The Act applies not only to interior and exterior improvements (or demolitions) to the residence itself, but defines home improvements as including work on driveways, swimming pools, porches, patios, pool houses, fences, gazebos, sheds, cabanas, landscaping, and painting. In short, if you perform any type of work at a private residence, you are engaged in home improvement work, you are a contractor, and you will need to register provided you earn more than $5,000 from that work in a calendar year.

The Act provides that “no person shall hold himself out as a contractor, nor shall any person perform any home improvements without first registering.” The registration application carries a $50 fee, and requires disclosure of relatively routine identifying information. The registration process also requires proof of liability insurance in the amount of $50,000. Upon registration, the contractor is provided a registration number, which the law requires to be displayed on all advertisements, proposals, estimates or contracts.

The Act provides that no home improvement contract is enforceable against a home owner unless thirteen statutory requirements are satisfied. If you are a home contractor and you have not taken a look at this Act, you need to do so immediately. You also need to get yourself registered. The deadline for registration was July 1, 2009 - so you are already late if you have not yet registered. If you fail to register, you are prohibited from performing home improvement work and, if you do, you could face of fine of up to $1,000.

It would be impossible to outline the entire Act in the space of this column. As I have noted in the past, we deal with a lot of cases involving bad contractors, i.e., contractors who take money and never perform any work, take money and never buy the supplies and materials, or contractors who take a lot of money and perform little or no work. These are always difficult cases - and the defense attorneys routinely argue that it is a civil breach of contract case, not a criminal act. We have successfully prosecuted many cases against bad contractors, but they are always difficult cases.

This Act is aimed at addressing the problem that bad contractors create - it is intended to provide a registration process to assure that the public has information concerning a potential contractor to determine whether they are legitimate. The Act should not be seen as a substitute for good old fashioned common sense. It will not prevent you from being scammed - you still need to check references and ask around the community before committing to an expense home improvement project. The Act, however, will provide home owners with a good starting point.

For the contractors out there, if you need to register, visit the Attorney General’s website: After you have registered, you should also take the time to read the Act itself, and you may have to significantly change the way that you run your business.

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. They’re starting a tai chi class at our senior center. Do you think this is worth taking?

Tai chi (tie-chee) has helped many people feel better. However, you should check with your doctor first to see if this form of exercise is okay for you.

Tai chi is practiced all across China, where it was developed in the 12th century. It’s common in Chinese hospitals and clinics. In Asia, tai chi is considered to be the most beneficial exercise for older people, because it is gentle and can be modified easily if a person has health limitations.

Tai chi began as a martial art and evolved into a series of fluid movements that relax and stimulate the body and mind. Tai chi is based on chi (or qi), vital energy that is believed to flow throughout the body and regulate a person's physical, spiritual, emotional and mental balance.

Advocates of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), say chi is affected by yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). When the flow of chi is disrupted and yin and yang are unbalanced, the condition leads to pain and disease, according to TCM.

A person doing tai chi progresses slowly and gracefully through a series of movements while breathing deeply and meditating. Tai chi has been called moving meditation. The entire body is always in motion during tai chi. All the movements are performed at one speed.

Tai chi can include dozens of movements. The simplest style of tai chi is limited to 12 movements. These include such colorful names such as grasp bird’s tail, carry tiger to the mountain and step back to repulse monkey.

Research suggests that tai chi may offer many benefits that include: reduced stress, anxiety and depression; improved flexibility, strength, balance and coordination that lead to fewer falls; improved sleep; reduced bone loss in women after menopause; lower blood pressure; better cardiovascular fitness; relief of chronic pain and stiffness, and higher immunity to shingles.

Reducing the number of falls is especially important to seniors because falls in older people can be serious. We heal more slowly as we age. And, osteoporosis, arthritis, and weak cardiopulmonary systems can delay rehabilitation and prevent full recovery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 33 percent of Americans age 65 or older have at least one serious fall each year. About 60 percent of falls occur at home during normal daily activities. With seniors leading increasingly active lifestyles, hip fractures have steadily increased.

Tai chi is generally a safe activity, but you can hurt yourself if you don’t do it properly. It's possible you could strain yourself or overdo it when first learning. The best way to learn tai chi is from a qualified tai chi instructor. Tai chi class are offered at not only senior centers, but at the Ys, health clubs, and community centers.

If you want to learn at home, you can get tai chi instructional videos. You can also learn online at:

This is a website operated by the Stanford Health Promotion Resource Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California. This website includes film clips and text to teach tai chi. I’m studying tai chi online myself.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

Rainy days. Yes, we certainly have a corner on the market on rainy days this year. Some people have even questioned whether or not we are going to have any summer at all. Wait! It is not yet August.

Rainy days are a good time to curl up with a good book. Rainy days are also the perfect time to check out what is new to you at the library. May I suggest that you try a different section of the library - the biography section?

Some people assume that biographies are dry tomes designed to cure insomnia. While it is true that many biographies are scholarly studies, this is not the case for all. In our collections are biographies of movie stars and sports figures, as well as biographies of presidents, founding fathers, and history makers. Biographies are the stories of real life people and their real life problems and experiences.

I especially like a biography that I picked up during one soggy summer a few years ago. It is called “Presidential Wives” by Paul F. Boller, Jr. It is good beginning book for novice biography readers and is available in our library. The book contains more than 40 snapshot views of the wives of our presidents and many of the anecdotes are fascinating and amusing.

Stop in today at your local library in Montrose, Hallstead-Great Bend, Susquehanna or Forest City and check out a fascinating biography today. Remember the Susquehanna County Library is your resource for lifetime learning.

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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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Dear Dolly,

Dear Dolly,

I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with my neighbors. They know I am a handyman and have a good collection of well maintained tools. I don't mind lending out my stuff, I'm happy to help out. My problem is they don't return my tools - so the next time I need one, I don't have it to use. What can I do to get them to return the borrowed item? -Art

Dear Art,

A friend with an extensive collection of tools that he is willing to share, is an important friend to have! You are asking how to change your neighbors behavior. First, let's work on your behavior. With a permanent marker, write "Return to ___________" and your phone number on each and every tool you own. Next get a spiral notebook and put it on a clip board hanging on a nail next to your tools. Nothing leaves your property until the date, name of the tool, name of the neighbor with phone number, and "due date" are recorded in the notebook. For hard core offenders have an empty screw top jar on the workbench marked "Charity." Collect a $5.00 deposit when a tool is borrowed. If the tool is returned by the due date, the deposit is returned. If not, the deposit is sent to charity and the next time the deposit doubles!

With these few simple steps, you have established that your tools are valuable and important. Now the neighbors know the rules. It will still be up to you to follow through on the occasional dead beat borrower, but at least you know who to call!

Dear Dolly,

My uncle came to visit us for 3 weeks. He's pretty cool and everything except he and I have to share my room.. At first things were fine, but then he started to invade my space. When I come home, he'll be using my computer and my TV, which both are my main sources of entertainment. We just moved and my friends don't live close. Today I invited a friend over and we were going to upload videos but my Uncle was taking a nap. We went and watched TV upstairs for 2 1/2 hours and he was still asleep. My grandma came home and woke him up. He called me a liar and a dumb###. I know he's a guest and everything, but that doesn't give him the right to take over my room and keep me from doing my regular activities. So who has the right here? -Jack

Dear Jack,

Wow! Three weeks is a very long time to share your space with your best friend, let alone an Uncle. I think what you are looking for is appreciation, respect and protection.

You need to talk with your Mom or Dad about negotiating a peace agreement. There needs to be some very clear ground rules that will make the next couple of weeks easier:

Your bedroom is available to your Uncle for night time sleeping only. He needs to hang out and nap in the living room.

Personal electronics are not to be used without permission.

No personal attacks or threats are allowed.

Do one thing each day for your Uncle that will show him that your mother has raised a fine son. Play a board game or take him on a walk around town or introduce him to your coach. This will make him feel important and welcome.

Visiting relatives can be a blessing eventually. Your uncle is obligated to offer you the same accommodations in his home. Hopefully he lives somewhere you would like to visit!

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 Juvenile Arthritis Week

July 12 - 18

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National Juvenile Arthritis Week, July 12 through 18.

The word “arthritis” literally means joint inflammation, which is exactly what arthritis it. By definition, it is “an inflammation of the joints that is characterized by swelling, heat, and pain.” Juvenile arthritis (JRA), is a form of arthritis that effect’s individuals between the age of six months and 16 years. Approximately 300,000 children in the United States alone are effected by this sort of arthritis. Arthritis can be short-term, it can last for just a few weeks or months and then go away forever. Or it can be chronic and last for months or years. In rare cases however, it can last a lifetime.

The first signs of JRA often are joint pain or swelling and reddened or warm joints. Other signs may include limping or a sore wrist, finger, or knee. Joints may suddenly swell and they can remain enlarged. Rashes may suddenly appear and disappear, developing in one area and then another. High fevers that tend to spike in the evenings and suddenly disappear are noted as a characteristic of JRA.

There are three types of Juvenile Arthritis, Oligoarticular JRA, Polyarticular arthritisandSystemic JRA. Oligoarticular affects the least amount of joints, and can cause an inflammation of the iris in the eye. Polyarticular affects five or more joints, and is often more prevalent in girls than in boys. In addition, a fever may be present when pain flares up. Systemic JRA affects the entire body. It is the most sever form of Juvenile Arthritis. Symptoms usually include high fevers that persist at night that may suddenly disappear. During the fever, a child may look ill, pale or develop a rash which can appear or disappear suddenly. Lymph nodes and the spleen may become enlarged. Eventually, the joints of the entire body become painful and stiff.

Thankfully, there are a few different forms of successful treatments for treating JRA. Most commonly, children with JRA are treated with a combination of medication, physical therapy, and exercise. In some more extreme cases however, injections at the site of swelling joints are used. In some other cases surgery may be required.

Barnes-Kasson Hospital would like to help raise awareness about Juvenile Arthritis, and remind you to keep up with your child’s regular doctor appointments and check-ups.

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