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Issue Home July 29, 2009 Site Home

Artist Captures Hometown Scenes
Foster Grandparent Program Recognized
PASR Deserves All The Credit
Pennsylvanians Recognized For Conservation Successes
Revisiting The Bear Nuisance Problem

Kathy Whitney Named Deputy Grand Matron
Women’s Club Plans Celebration
Ornament Celebrates The Harford Fair
PASR Hosts Its Summer Meeting
PA Farm Bureau Sets New Record

Artist Captures Hometown Scenes

Artist Joyce Coons looked around New Milford, and decided she wanted to capture her vision of the town in the 21st century as part of the New Milford Centennial Celebration coming up on August 7-9.

Coons chose randomly from public buildings and private residences throughout the town, and created 60 original paintings of those edifices. Residents can stop at the Craft Barrel in New Milford, August 7 and 8, to see if their home is one of those showcased.

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Foster Grandparent Program Recognized
Submitted By Cindy G. Reynolds

Thunderous applause and cheering were heard during the end of the year assembly at the Mountain View Elementary School. Was it because it was the last day of school or the anticipation of summer? On the contrary, it came as the result of the introduction of the two most recently assigned foster grandparents, Jean Koons and Irene MacDonald, and the presentation of a perpetual plaque dedicated to the program.

Pictured above are Elementary School Principal, Mrs. Pipitone; Foster Grandparents, Jean Koons and Irene MacDonald; Retired Teacher, Miss Reynolds, holding the plaque; Foster Grandparent Program Director, Bonnie Austin; Program Coordinator, Mary Beth Bolt; and Second Grade Teacher, Mrs. Singer.

The first foster grandparent, fondly known as Oma, began volunteering at the school in 2002. Emma Rauschenberger, that initial volunteer, soon encouraged others and the number grew to six for several years. With the two most recently trained and assigned women, a total of eight have served the children at Mountain View. In addition to Emma, the other volunteers from the past include Margaret Hansen, Dorothy Gates, Florence Cottrell, Gladys Coon, and Marion Reese.

Most any day during the school year students, teachers and visitors to the school, walk down the halls and see individual and small groups of children receiving lovingly, personalized attention. The activities range from individual help learning colors, alphabet letters, and numbers, or practicing reading, spelling, or math skills to acting as mentors and providing emotional support. Participants undergo a background check and a telephone interview, as well as pre-service and on-going in-service training.

It is a “win win” situation where the students get the extra help, practice and attention they need. This is particularly important these days where children may not have grandparents nearby and they miss sharing that loving relationship with a senior citizen. Foster grandparents report how special they feel as they enter the classroom and a child’s face lights up and they are greeted with a hug. In addition to meals, travel expenses, and a tax-free stipend, foster grandparents receive the personal reward of building their own self-esteem when they see the impact they have on the children.

The idea of a perpetual plaque was initiated by second grade teacher, Cynthia Singer, who has utilized foster grandparents in her classroom regularly since the program began at the school. Along with retired Instructional Support Teacher, Cindy G. Reynolds, who coordinated the program at Mountain View for five years prior to her retirement, the two of them planned and designed the plaque. Miss Reynolds also coordinated the H.E.L.P. (Hands Enlisted by Loving Parents) Volunteer Program from 1990 when the building opened to her retirement in 2007.

If you or someone you know is 55 years of age or older and would like to earn some extra spending money while giving a child a little of your time and attention contact the Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-982-4346 (toll-free) for information on becoming a foster grandparent. Administrators or supervisors in schools, day cares, preschools, or Head Start programs who feel that their children can benefit from the loving relationships they can develop with a foster grandparent can contact the agency as well. The program is sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging for the counties of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga.

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PASR Deserves All The Credit
By Chuck Ficarro

The County Transcript was recently recognized by the Susquehanna County Chapter of Pennsylvania State Retirees (PASR) for community service in regard to announcing their news through our publication.

I was not all sure we deserved such recognition, for doing what we are in business to do willingly, but I handcuffed my wife, Rita and we attended their summer meeting for an award ceremony.

I, for some unknown reason, was expecting to be confronted by disgruntled state retirees complaining about the same things we all do: recession, taxes, cost of goods and services, etc.

What we discovered was a lively group of very up-beat, volunteer oriented intellectual neighbors who are extremely pro-active.

With a lot of help from PASR President Gary Parker, I found the local chapter (that’s “local” chapter) logged 42,448 hours of volunteer time during 2006 (the most recent survey conducted). That’s taking volunteerism to another level!

The group collects clothing to donate to Interfaith, items of need for the Women’s Resource Center, sponsors projects for area soldiers and families and supports homebound visitation of members with both a scheduled (yearly) project and monthly updates of members’ health.

In short, this group of former teachers, administrators, counselors, nurses, aides, secretaries, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and maintenance staff is giving back in a big way to our local communities and they deserve the credit.

If you are a retiree of one of the above mentioned professions, you might want to consider “handcuffing” your spouse and attending one of their meetings. You will be pleasantly surprised - we were. You can get information on the local chapter at

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Pennsylvanians Recognized For Conservation Successes

HARRISBURG - Four individuals and one county organization were recognized by a state agency for their work to improve Pennsylvania’s environment through sound and innovative conservation practices.

“Pennsylvanians are committed to protecting and restoring the natural environment by using natural resources wisely,” said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff. “Thanks to the people and groups who lead the charge on these conservation efforts, we’re securing a sustainable future for Pennsylvania.”

Noah Wenger, a former state senator, and Clifford Tinklepaugh earned the State Conservation Commission’s Distinguished Service Award for demonstrating consistent service and leadership in conservation.

Wenger’s 30 years of service in the General Assembly included a strong commitment to helping farmers to secure the tools needed to improve stewardship of the land. He worked with the Department of Agriculture to establish Pennsylvania’s nation-leading farmland preservation program in 1989, and in 2007, introduced the Resource Enhancement and Protection Program, which provides tax credits to farmers for implementing best management practices that enhance farm production and protect natural resources.

Wenger formerly was chairman of the Majority Caucus and the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee. He also served on the Chesapeake Bay Commission and is currently a senior consultant for Versant Strategies.

Clifford Tinklepaugh, a pioneer of Pennsylvania’s conservation district movement, began his first term as a director with the Susquehanna Conservation District in 1962 and went on to serve as president of the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts in 1971-72. He brought together governmental and other organizations to establish a comprehensive statewide soil and water conservation program.

Tinklepaugh served as a grange officer for 16 years, an officer for Dairylea for 25 years, is a longtime member of the Farm Bureau and Susquehanna County Township Officials Association, and serves as the tax collector for Ararat Township.

Chester County’s Dan Greig received one of two individual Leadership Excellence Awards. Since joining the Chester County Conservation District in 1978, he has helped build the county district from three employees to a staff of 19 full-time, three contracted, and one part-time employee with a budget of more than $1 million. Greig works closely with the county’s mushroom and compost producers to create a positive environment with local communities relating to odor management and water quality issues.

The second leadership award went to Victor Cappucci of Wyoming County who served as president of the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts from 2005-2007, as regional director for 10 northeast counties, and a county director for many years. He is a former Northeast Farm Credit branch manager, beef and dairy producer, and currently raises hay and pasture on his farm.

The Crawford County Conservation District was awarded the board Leadership Excellence Award because its members consistently find innovative ways to serve their constituents by planning and executing conservation objectives and goals. Each year, the board, staff and all cooperating agencies engage in a planning meeting to set projects, goals and outreach opportunities.

The District Director Attendance Awards recognize the local efforts of Pennsylvania’s 66 conservation districts whose nearly 500 directors volunteer their time to help plan, direct and assist with programs to preserve their county’s resources. First place awards went to the conservation districts in Cameron and Sullivan counties, each with nearly 90 percent attendance. Juniata County Conservation District was second place with nearly 89 percent attendance, and Mifflin County Conservation District was third with 88 percent attendance.

The Pennsylvania departments of Agriculture and Environmental Protection oversee the State Conservation Commission, which is a 14-member panel that provides oversight and supports the state’s 66 county conservation districts.

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Revisiting The Bear Nuisance Problem
Submitted By Fran Worden, Sportsman, Susquehanna County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs

Recently, the PA Game Commission captured and tranquilized a beautiful bear with her four cubs near the Susquehanna Barnes-Kasson County Hospital area. They safely found a new home for them in some foreign game lands. Logic says this creates a lot of stress on a family of bears. The bears scare the wits out of people, but the expense of live trapping them is a frequent ongoing problem this time of year.

Numerous people all around Susquehanna County tell me they had bear in their yard last year and they are back again this year. John Ord, Susquehanna, called the PA Game Commission to trap and relocate bear appearing in his front yard.

Successful Susquehanna County Bear hunting missed its mark the last few hunting seasons. In 2008, even with a nine-day season, hunters killed only 177 bears, 69 in 2007, 35 in 2006, and 245 in 2005. For the 2009 bear-hunting season, it is again limited to only three days. In our northern area, referred to as area 3C, the bear season opens late November. By then heavy snow and cold weather is a prime factor with bears going to their dens early. Hunters can easily diminish the bear nuisance problem, but by not seeing them, miss their chances to manage bear numbers properly.

Bears are attracted to human residences by bird feeders, garbage, and food left outside for domestic pets. People may be tempted to feed them in order to watch or photograph them, but doing so undoubtedly leads to problems. Keep in mind bears can be very dangerous and have killed people in the past. They are opportunistic feeders and unpredictable creatures of the wild - unlike our life style; they must accumulate layers of fat in order to survive cold winter months. The solution is not live trapping, but removing the food source that has attracted the bear to the home. Wildlife conservation officers can issue written notice to halt the activity for intentional feeding of bears.

The Game Commission is responsible for managing the black bear population in Pennsylvania. The appropriate officials should consider that our area continues to have heavy numbers of bear nuisance problems. The Pennsylvania Game Commission website outlines tips on avoiding bear conflicts. A good size can of bear spray is handy to have for a deterrent.

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Kathy Whitney Named Deputy Grand Matron

On June 24, in the York Expo Center, York, PA, Kathy L. Whitney of Great Bend received the prestigious and distinguished appointment as Deputy Grand Matron, Order of the Eastern Star. The Grand Chapter of Pennsylvania, Order of the Eastern Star, Worthy Grand Matron Shirley B. Capo chose Kathy for 2009-2010. Among many duties, she will visit chapters, organize special meetings, and supervise in ritualistic work for Region 11B, OES. There are six OES Chapters in our region. They are: Arbutus Chapter No. 29, Nicholson; Gill Chapter No. 12, Hallstead; Montrose Chapter No. 151; Prosperity Chapter No. 83, Hop Bottom; Sunshine Chapter No. 258, Thompson; Tunkhannock Chapter No. 74.

The purpose of the Order of the Eastern Star is to promote the practice of charity, educational and fraternal relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives that make us near and dear to each other. The personal welfare of our members is vital, and it is a privilege to help one another whenever we can.

Kathy is a Past Worthy Matron of Gill Chapter No. 12, Hallstead. The promoting theme for this year’s Grand Chapter is “All Thing’s Bright and Beautiful.”

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Women’s Club Plans Celebration

Sixty-five years ago, an eager, ambitions group of women from the New Milford, Hallstead, Great Bend, Jackson and Harford areas formed the Louise Bache Business and Professional Women’s Club. The club has recently changed to the Louise Bache Women’s Club.

One of the most important activities of the club is the issuance of scholarships each year. The 2009 awards were presented to Carissa Stonier and Megan Lewis of Blue Ridge High School and Shelby Twining of Mt. View High School.

The club is making plans for an evening celebration of past, present and future members. The club is inviting all interested women to watch for further information about the May 2010 celebration.

Monthly meetings (except July and August) are held at 6:30 p.m. at Green Gables, New Milford. Reservations may be called to 465-3186.

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Ornament Celebrates The Harford Fair

What would any trip, vacation or celebration be without having something to take home to remember the event? In the past, the Harford Fair has sold T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, tote bags, license plates, note cards, and hats. This year a very special item has been designed and is for sale at the fair. It is a gold Christmas tree ornament. Each ornament comes in a navy blue lined box with a certificate of authenticity. The certificate states that the ornament was the original design of the pewter pin produced for the 125th anniversary celebration of the Harford Fair in 1982. The limited number of ornaments are issued exclusively by Desmark Industries Inc. in Cranston, Rhode Island.

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PASR Hosts Its Summer Meeting
Submitted by Gary Parker, President

The Susquehanna Chapter of PASR (Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees) held its summer meeting at Gracious Living Estates, South Montrose on Tuesday, June 23. There were 40 members and guests in attendance.

Two special award presentations were made.

Mary Ketterer (above left), Past President, was honored with a framed plaque by PASR President Gary Parker (above right) with the John Dillon Award, for her service and contributions to the organization.

The Outstanding Media Award was presented to Mr. Charles Ficarro (above left), editor of the Susquehanna County Transcript, also with a framed plaque by PASR President, Gary Parker (above right).

As part of PASR Community Service, 171 pairs of socks were collected to be given to Interfaith’s “Socks for Tots and Teens” program. PASR Social Services Committee honored ten members with visits, cards and flowers during May’s Month of Caring.

A Fall luncheon meeting will be held Tuesday, September 15 at Dreyer Hall, Montrose Bible Conference, starting at 10 a.m.

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PA Farm Bureau Sets New Record

CAMP HILL - Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) has achieved a new membership record with total membership topping the 46,000 plateau for the first time in the 59-year history of the state’s largest farm organization. PFB increased its overall membership by 2,395 members (or 5.4%) since July 1, 2008, with total membership reaching 46,697.

“With so many critical issues impacting agriculture and the food supply, farmers believe it’s more important than ever to be involved in Farm Bureau. Not only do our members set the policies by which Farm Bureau operates, they also work directly with decision-makers to advance our industry and strive to better inform consumers about where their food comes from, farming practices and food safety issues,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.

PFB’s successful recruiting efforts are spearheaded by farmers who tell other farmers about the many benefits of joining the grassroots organization. “Our farmers know that the challenges they face continue to mount and that in order to accomplish their goals they must consolidate efforts to bring a unified voice to lawmakers in Harrisburg and Washington D.C.,” added Shaffer.

Farm Bureau addressed numerous key issues identified by its members over the past year. Some of those accomplishments include: winning passage of new Farm Bill with more benefits for Pennsylvania farmers; successfully fighting a proposal to place tolls on Interstate 80 that would have significantly increased costs for farmers and agribusinesses across the Commonwealth; helping restore Pennsylvania’s fledgling biodiesel industry with an incentive program that also creates additional markets for Pennsylvania-produced soybeans; and launching a carbon credit trading program with new farm income opportunities and environmental benefits.

Aside from the many recent accomplishments, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau aggressively represents agriculture as a member of nearly 30 government advisory boards and industry groups. “Whether the issues involve food safety, agricultural practices or survival of the family farm, our members count on us to represent their interests and concerns,” concluded Shaffer.

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