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Issue Home October 21, 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

FRANKLIN TWP.: E. F. Palmer raised a potato on his farm that weighed 4 lbs. and 3 ounces. It is of the Prolific variety, smooth skinned and said to be excellent for table use. Eight potatoes dug by Mr. Palmer weighed 21 pounds. The potato exhibited was a monster in size.

AUBURN TWP.: Invitations have been issued for the approaching wedding of Mr. Glenn Voss, formerly of Auburn, clerk in the Farmer’s National Bank in Montrose, to Miss Pearl Pepper, of Auburn. The marriage is to take place tomorrow. Both are known in Montrose, Miss Pepper being a high school graduate. They will reside in the Harrower house on Scenery Hill, lately purchased by Mr. Voss. AND In Pleasant Valley the children are roaming o’er the hills and through the fields in search of chestnuts.

HEART LAKE: Proprietor Frank T. Mack has closed the summer resort for the season and returned to Montrose. The season out in that neck o’ woods was very successful and Mr. Mack feels most grateful indeed to patrons and friends who helped in making it such a success in every way.

MONTROSE: The library books most called for are: “The Girl of the Limberlost,” “Anne of Avonlea,” “Poppea of the Postoffice,” “Old Rose and Silver,” and “The Handsome Gentleman.” AND - Eddie Gooden, a colored boy, who has been in the Montrose jail for some time, charged with pilfering from the Montrose Postoffice some weeks ago, was taken to Scranton last Friday night by a U.S. Deputy Marshall, where he will be tried in the United State court this week. Postmaster Burns and Ray Merrill went down as witnesses from the Postoffice and Cashier Pross and Miss Wrighter from the Farmers’ Bank. Gooden pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to two years imprisonment in the federal prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

FRIENDSVILLE: In a Scranton paper of last week, Mary Rose, a former Susquehanna county poetess, speaks of her memories of “The Old Friendsville Church,” in eight pretty stanzas. The writer in the poem, tenderly referred to the late Poet [Gerald] Griffin’s parents, who sleep beneath a hawthorn tree, with moss-covered markers, in the old cemetery in Friendsville.

HALLSTEAD: Uncle Tom’s Cabin troupe went from Rush to Hallstead Sunday morning, their next stopping place. The company is quite a large one to travel about the country in wagons and created quite a commotion among the residents as the long train of vehicles and droves of ponies and donkeys passed quietly along the main streets. AND Patrick Butler, who went to Ireland in the early spring to visit his native land, came very near being deported as an alien when he arrived at Ellis Island on his return. Mr. Butler could not prove his citizenship, not having his naturalization papers with him and as he failed to have the necessary amount of money on his person, required for Immigrants to land, the commissioner had directed that he be returned on the next vessel. He protested that he had lived in this country nearly all his life, but too no avail. He corresponded with M. J. Murray, of Hallstead, and before the next vessel left Mr. Murray had received and forwarded copies of the naturalization papers to Mr. Butler and this evidence made it possible for Mr. Butler to land.

SPRINGVILLE: Several years ago Springville people were informed that the county had decided to build a bridge over Meshoppen creek near James T. Baker’s. As no bridge is yet visible, it is to be inferred that the commissioners are going to build further up stream and float it down when high water comes. AND Dr. Diller and family are nearly settled in their new home and have a finely equipped little drug store and seems to be having a considerable business for a new store.

ARARAT: Orlo Wood of this place, who works as signalman in a tower near Carbondale, was injured quite badly near Burnwood. He flagged a pusher so as to ride to his work, and by the sudden starting of the engine just as he was getting on, he was thrown against it, injuring his side. He was taken to the home of relatives near by and his wife and children were summoned to his bed side. We are glad to learn he is better at this writing.

ALFORD: Fred Moore filled his two large silos last week, doing the work in two days, Hebert Tingley using his steam power, which kept eight teams and 25 men busy.

LAWTON: The little two-year old soon of M. H. Juser, was kicked in his face by a colt. The boy’s nose was broken and his face badly bruised. Dr. Fry was called to attend the boy.

HARFORD: Elmer Whitney recently purchased 38 pounds of ginsing of Hila Estabrook, of Gibson.

HOPBOTTOM: Foster [Hopbottom] has some new street lamps that make a very nice light. J. E. Gardner, of South Gibson, is agent for this new light.

NORTH JACKSON: Aden Bennett Larrabee was born in Dummerston, Vermont, August 9, 1817 and died here Sept. 24, 1909. He moved to Jackson in 1831 with his parents, upon the farm now forming part of the farms of Frank Whitney and O. E. Barrett. He cast his first presidential vote for Wm. H. Harrison and has voted at every presidential since, a period of 68 years. In 1841 he married Harriet E. Dougherty of Gibson. Mr. Larrabee was a sawyer in the mill of James Comfort, in Harmony Twp., and at this mill a great deal of the timber used in the construction of the false work of the Starrucca Viaduct was manufactured. At this same mill, in later years, Mr. Larrabee sawed the famous pine tree that furnished so much lumber for the inside work of the North Jackson church. He was an ardent Republican and a great lover of music - for many years he taught singing schools both in Susquehanna and Wayne counties. During the last year of his life, he told the writer of this sketch of one winter in the “Forties” when he drove a horse and cutter 150 consecutive days engaged in this work. During the war of the Rebellion, he received a commission as Captain of the Jackson Light Artillery and at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg, he was called and served 60 days on the staff of General Couch. He was borne to his long rest by members of Co. B, 17th Pa. Cavalry and at the time of his death was perhaps the oldest member of the I.O.O.F. in Pennsylvania. Mr. Larrabee was tenderly cared for by his only son, George V. Larrabee, Manager of the Susquehanna Transcript and Ledger and his wife, Viola.

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

There is little mystery as to my general ideological philosophies. At this point, we are approaching nearly 300 columns that have been written and published in the local papers. As a result, I have created a written record that includes personal musings and reflections on a variety of issues. It has always been my intention that this column provide the readers with not only educational information and perhaps some enjoyment, but also the opportunity to get to know me in some small way. As a result of the column, I have had many conversations, both in person and through correspondence, with people that I otherwise would have never met, including some heated, but cordial, disagreements with some readers. From this perspective, I believe the column has served an important purpose of allowing readers to understand my perspective, philosophy and ideology.

There is a darker side to such public exposure and inherent risks that are attendant to it. A public record can be used by anyone for any purpose whatsoever to further some agenda. Personally, I have had this happen to me on the internet. We started a blog to allow readers to respond to the column, seek clarification on an issue, or simply discuss a relevant topic. A few months ago, there was a question regarding intoxicated defendants and how they enter guilty pleas. In response, I pointed out that an intoxicated defendant cannot enter a guilty plea because a person must know what they are doing when a plea is entered, i.e., a plea must be knowing and voluntary. In the same response, I noted that a large percentage of defendants are on prescribed controlled substances (such as antidepressants) that have no effect on (or may even assist them in understanding) the guilty plea proceeding. An internet site took the response to this blog out of context to suggest that I was bragging about drugging defendants in order to induce guilty pleas, and attempted to make Susquehanna County look like some kangaroo court. Despite my protestations to the internet site, no correction has ever been made. This is but one example where a group for its own reasons can twist facts to serve its agenda.

I was thinking of this as I watched the fiasco surrounding Rush Limbaugh and his participation in a group seeking to buy the St. Louis Rams NFL team. Limbaugh has been on the air for 20 years and there is an amazing pubic collection of commentary from which to draw for those seeking to promote their own agenda. While it seems that a decision to purchase a business would be a private one, the participation of Limbaugh as a minority partner in large group of investors became public headlines - and a cause for protestation for the media elite. The gist of the protest contended that Limbaugh was a racist - and, as such, he was not entitled to be involved in any fashion with the NFL. Limbaugh was apparently too controversial for the NFL - the same NFL that determined that Michael Vick could return to the league despite admitting to and being convicted of torturing and executing helpless dogs. You can plainly see how Limbaugh’s participation in as a minority investor in a group would irreparably destroy the NFL’s pristine image.

Despite 2 decades of public material from which to draw, there was little evidence proffered to support the racism claim, and some of that presented was demonstrated to be false. But for some, truth no longer matters so much as results. Ironically, Limbaugh was gunned down by the same group that he had previously and prophetically labeled the “drive-by media.”

In the end, there is great value in public discourse and debate over serious issues. It should be encouraged - not discouraged through guerilla-media tactics aimed at personally destroying a person with contrary views. While there are numerous “liberal” actors whose views I find silly, idiotic or even distasteful, I would never contend that they do not have the right to express themselves - or that by expressing themselves they had forfeited their ability to invest their money in a lawful private enterprise as they deemed appropriate. It is their business, not mine, and America is great because of the freedoms that it provides to every citizen - liberal, conservative or whatever. At least, that is what I was taught to believe.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I think I need a hearing aid. Any recommendations?

[I’ve received this question from more than a few readers. It’s a subject of great interest to seniors, so I’m going to write two columns on hearing aids.]

About one in three Americans over 60 suffers from loss of hearing, which can range from the inability to hear certain voices to deafness. However, only about one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid uses one.

It’s important to explain that a hearing aid will not restore your normal hearing. With practice, however, a hearing aid will increase your awareness of sounds and what made them.

If you think you have a hearing problem, get checked by your personal doctor. If your hearing is diminished, the doctor will probably refer you to an otolaryngologist or audiologist.

An otolaryngologist is a physician who specializes in treating the ear, nose, and throat. An audiologist is a health professional who conducts hearing tests to define your loss. Many otolaryngologists have audiologist associates in their offices.

Presbycusis, one form of hearing loss, occurs with age. Presbycusis can be caused by changes in the inner ear, auditory nerve, middle ear, or outer ear. Some of its causes are aging, loud noise, heredity, head injury, infection, illness, certain prescription drugs, and circulation problems such as high blood pressure. It seems to be inherited.

Tinnitus, also common in older people, is the ringing, hissing, or roaring sound in the ears frequently caused by exposure to loud noise or certain medicines. Tinnitus is a symptom that can come with any type of hearing loss.

Hearing loss can by caused by "ototoxic" medicines that damage the inner ear. Some antibiotics are ototoxic. Aspirin can cause temporary problems. If you’re having a hearing problem, ask your doctor about any medications you’re taking.

Hearing aids have a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. Sound is received by the microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier boosts the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.

Hearing aids are primarily useful to people who have suffered sensorineural hearing loss from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear known as hair cells. The damage can be caused by disease, aging, or injury from noise or drugs.

A hearing aid magnifies sound vibrations. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into signals that are sent to the brain.

There are limits to the amplification a hearing aid can provide. In addition, if the inner ear is too damaged, even large vibrations will not be converted into signals to the brain.

[In the next column, we’ll discuss getting a hearing aid.]

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

“You’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania” used to adorn our license plates. Friends are important in peoples’ lives and friends are also important to libraries.

Susquehanna County Library has many friends that copartner with it to reach its goals. It also has one special group called the Library Friends. This group is made up of community residents who are deeply committed to providing continuing support.

On October 14, the Library Friends sponsored their first local author’s luncheon at the Inn at Montrose. Speaker for the event was writer and poet Karen Blomain. She told those gathered about the tremendous influence that libraries had upon her life as a young girl growing up in Archbald, PA. She is a strong advocate for libraries, a strong friend of libraries.

Library Friends are an adjunct group who are involved in each of Susquehanna County Library’s fundraising activities and who also volunteer their services as needed for routine tasks. This year, in the face of a significant budget appropriation shortfall, the Library Friends have sought out new avenues to raise funds for the Library’s operating expenses, such as the local author luncheon.

If you too would like to become a friend of the Library, we invite you to attend a meeting. Library Friends meetings are on the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. (except for the months of December and January) at the Main Library in Montrose. Help us to reach the Susquehanna County Library’s goal to become 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 a child in grade school and one in junior high. It's been a tradition in our family to get a present for their teachers around Christmas and sometimes at the end of the school year. We've always bought a nice "teacher" gift in the past - an ornament, candle, or a pin. Do you have any gift suggestions that would be nice but a bit more practical? -Colette

Dear Colette,

Teachers all over the county are holding their breath right now, with the hope that I get this right.

I am so glad you are raising you children to show appreciation for their teachers. After Mom and Dad, the teacher in your kids lives is the one who has the most influence on their daily happiness as well as future success.

I did some research on this question. Every teacher I asked answered the same. The best present is... a GIFT CERTIFICATE! The smallest gift certificate is more appreciated than any other "teacher" gift.

It doesn't need to be a large amount of money. Fast food and chain restaurants all have small amount gift cards available. Local eateries and pizzerias do as well. Book stores, hardware stores, and movie theaters all have gift cards. It's one size fits all, no matter where it is purchased. It will not need to be displayed, dusted or disposed of and it's guaranteed to put an authentic smile on the teacher’s face.

All Transcript readers 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

No Barnes-Kasson Corner This Week

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