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Christmas Special December 23rd

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Issue Home November 25, 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

The snow of Wednesday and Thursday was very timely to give the regulation Thanksgiving atmosphere and spirit. Many sleighs were out, and while the sleighing was not the best, it was much enjoyed. "Happy Thanksgiving to one and all" from the staff of the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association.

TUNKHANNOCK: The Montrose branch of the Lehigh Valley seems hoodooed. Last Friday afternoon it met with another accident, the culmination of a series for that week. Two milk cars, as a result of a rail breaking, rolled over the steep bank a short distance out of Tunkhannock as the afternoon train was coming up the mountain. They crashed through the timber, uprooting trees fifteen inches through, and clearing a path for themselves down the side of the ravine. One went as far as the wagon road, a distance of nearly 200 feet, turning over a half dozen times in the descent. The passengers were considerably scared to see the cars leave the track and expected their coach to follow, but although the breaking of the coupling and the air brakes saved them, the front wheel of the track nearly left the track. The rattling of milk cans and crashing of bottles as the cars plunged downward added to the excitement, and after the damage had been repaired they were thankful to arrive in Montrose with no worse discomfiture than being 5 hours late.

EAST ARARAT: A surprise party was tendered Dave Rogers last Saturday night. There were 65 present, and a rocking chair was presented to him, also other presents. ALSO Many farmers in this vicinity have sulky plows and are turning over the soil quite lively.

MONTROSE: Messrs. Morris Catlin and Floyd Andre have taken the contract to erect a new smokestack on the electric light plant, which has been awarded them by manager A.M. Ayars. ALSO Master David Stilson has accepted a position at the Cnic theatre.

HEART LAKE: Frank T. Mack, proprietor of Heart Lake, having closed the pleasure resort until next season, has accepted a fine position in the new D.L. &W. lunch rooms, at Scranton, for the winter.

JESSUP TWP.: The executrix of the estate of Hollis Parks will hold a public sale on the premises near Fairdale, on Saturday, Dec. 4, commencing at 10 o'clock a.m. Among the articles enumerated to be sold are: Two cows, a gray mare, hens, wagons, sleighs, mowing machine, harnesses, potatoes and apples, and a lot of household goods. A farm of 50 acres will also be sold on the aforesaid date. W.W. Cox is the auctioneer.

FOREST CITY: Wm. Myers, while out hunting in the vicinity of Vandling last Saturday afternoon, shot himself in the left forearm and it is feared amputation of the injured member may be necessary. Myers dropped the rifle he was carrying from his hand, the gun in some unknown way discharging from the fall, and the bullet lodged in his arm. He was taken to the Emergency Hospital at Carbondale and an operation was performed for the removal of the lead. His condition for several days has been quite serious.

HALLSTEAD: Last Wednesday night, as Dana Inman, his father and Will Overfield were coming from Mrs. Ella Dougherty's, where they had been threshing, the horses took fright when near the barn of Will White and ran away throwing the men out. They ran into a wire fence near William Dougherty's, but luckily no one was hurt.

HALLSTEAD: H. C. Soden has closed his stone quarry in this place for the winter and accepted a position in the roundhouse.

HARFORD: Information has been recently made by Pure Food Agent Hutchinson against five farmers of Susquehanna county, charging them with furnishing watered milk to seven creameries which supply milk to New York and Philadelphia. Mr. Hutchinson, who was aided by State Chemist, C. B. Cochrane, of West Chester, spent nine days in investigating the condition following complaints in the State Department, and as a result he discovered that some of the milk was adulterated with from 20 to 30 per cent of water.

BROOKLYN: The water in the village reservoir gave out on Sunday last and little washing was done on Monday, but there is plenty to supply the town now.

SOUTH GIBSON: Our pastor, Rev. B. R. Hanton, met with a genuine surprise on Sunday, after church, to find his horse hitched to a fine new carriage, with a new whip and nice new robe and a paper containing the names of the donors.

GREAT BEND: Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Scoville, of Mankato, Minn., have been visiting at the home of Mrs. Ettie Vance. This is Mr. Scoville's first visit east in 46 years.

SOUTH NEW MILFORD: We hear that Clarence Brush was waylaid by some men and robbed of $25. His head was injured and his side hurt badly. He is now at the home of his father, Rev. O. J. Brush, but as soon as he recovers will return to his work in central New York. ALSO Miss Eliza Foot closed a very successful term of school at the Brooks district and Friday afternoon was devoted to songs, recitations and dialogues by the school, which were well rendered and quite a number of visitors were present.

UNIONDALE: Frank Westgate has started a new feed store in town. Frank is a hustler.

CLIFFORD: Will Bennett's shooting match here last Saturday, to shoot for ducks and geese, was well patronized and quite amusing. A good many fine shots were made, but most of the ducks and geese won and went in the direction of Royal.

LAWTON: E. Wood, of Birchardville, is furnishing the wood for the McNulty school.

NIVEN: A number from this place have attended the Salvation Army meetings at Lake Side and Hop Bottom, and were well pleased with the meetings. The singing and music were excellent.

SUSQUEHANNA: Sunday was Anti-saloon league day in Susquehanna and Lanesboro churches. The aim is to prevent the granting of licenses. The league has evidently concluded that this town is unable to properly look after its own affairs and they have delegated themselves as the ones especially adapted for that work. That a house cleaning is needed in Susquehanna no one will dispute, but the people of the town resent having outsiders come in to do the work. They think the work can be best done by those who understand the conditions and not by those who are simply seeking notoriety or venting personal spite.

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

On October 14, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation for a day of general thanksgiving to be held on Thursday, November 26, 1789 - the first Thanksgiving Day for the United States of America. This year, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving exactly 220 years after President Washington’s initial proclamation. It is fascinating to review that initial proclamation to understand our history (and perhaps how much has changed since those first days of the Republic).

Washington noted that both houses of Congress had requested the President “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

President Washington followed the Congressional recommendation and directed the American people to spend the day “to the service of the great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks for his kind care and protection of the people of this country.” President Washington also indicated that the American people needed to give God thanks for His protection and providence from the time of the very formation of the colonies through the Revolutionary War up to the new Constitutional Government that began in 1789.

President Washington also made clear that thanksgiving was not enough - but that the American people should also seek forgiveness and guidance: “that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed.”

This Thanksgiving Day listen to President Washington’s words calling to us across those 220 years. This country has a strong spiritual foundation - not identified with a specific religious denomination - but concretely solidified in the national conscience that providence (God’s hand) played a roll not only in the creation of this Nation, but also in sustaining its good governance. Thanksgiving Day must remain a day of collective worship and prayer - a powerful outpouring of gratitude to God for not only our personal blessings, but also for protecting this Nation over the past two centuries.

Thanksgiving Day is not a day for partisanship or ideological debate. No, Thanksgiving Day transcends parties and polls - it goes to something engrained deep within every one of us. Our celebration unites us not only as a family, not only as a Nation, but also unites us historically with so many previous generations who gave thanks and praise for our blessings such as independence, liberty, equality, justice and freedom. As a nation, we have always trusted in God’s providence and protection and we have always rightly given collective thanks for the bounty of God’s blessings.

I wish you and your family a very wonderful and happy Thanksgiving Day.

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. Have you ever heard of sarcopenia?

This one made me go to the dictionary. Sarcopenia, a Greek word that means loss of flesh, is the decrease in muscle tissue that comes with age.

Sarcopenia (pronounced sar-ko-PEEN-ya) begins early in life. Studies show that after age 40, most people lose about 1 percent of their muscle mass each year.

However, strength exercises - also called resistance training, weight training and weightlifting - can rebuild your muscles and provide many health benefits. Research funded by the National Institutes of Aging (NIA) shows that even people in their nineties get a lot out of weightlifting.

In one study at Tufts University in Massachusetts, nine women and men, ages 87 to 101, strengthened their arms and legs by exercising with weights. In eight weeks, they increased the strength in their front thigh muscles by an average of almost 175 percent.

Some studies have shown that, of all age groups, seniors benefit most from weightlifting.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults age 50 and older work out with weights two to three times a week. The National Institute on Aging also recommends weight lifting for older adults.

Weightlifting can do the following for seniors:

* Prevent bone fractures. The exercises boost your strength, balance, and agility, making falls less likely. And, weightlifting can also build bone mass in the spine and the hip, so it's especially important for people with bone-thinning osteoporosis.

* Help you lose weight.

* Control blood sugar. In one study of adults with diabetes, 16 weeks of strength training provided dramatic improvements, comparable to improvements from taking medication.

* Relieve depression and improve sleep.

* Increase stamina. A University of Vermont study of healthy seniors ages 65 to 79 found that subjects could walk almost 40 percent farther without a rest after 12 weeks of weight training.

* Relieve arthritis joint pain. Weightlifting can cut down on pain by strengthening the muscles around the arthritic joint. Stronger muscles reduce stress on the joint.

You should always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Weightlifting can be done at home with household items, but many health organizations recommend working out in a professional setting for maximum benefits. The number of facilities that cater to older adults is increasing.

Here’s a brief guide to exercise for seniors:

Start out slowly with a pound weight, or no weight at all. You should feel challenged, but not close to your limits. You may feel some normal muscle soreness at first. You should not experience exhaustion or pain.

Do strength exercises for your shoulders, arms, back, stomach, hips, legs at least twice a week.

Avoid jerking or thrusting movements. Don’t lock the joints of your arms and legs into a strained position.

Do 8-15 repetitions in a row of each exercise. Use smooth and steady movements. Once you can easily lift the weight 15 times, increase the amount of weight .

Take 3 seconds to lift or push a weight. Hold the position for 1 second, and then take another 3-5 seconds to lower the weight.

Exhale as you lift or push the weight, and inhale as you relax or lower the weight. Don't hold your breath during the exercises.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

The Susquehanna County Library is not just a library. You may forget that the full name of our organization is the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association. While we have a main library and three branches, there is only one location in our county for Historical Society - the second floor of the main building in Montrose.

In fact, the Historical Society pre-dates the formation of the library. A group of 25, including Emily Blackman, had their initial organizational meeting in 1890 and, by 1905, was in the process of breaking ground for the building to the rear of our current courthouse. However, before construction actually began, the Cope family of Philadelphia advised the Historical Society of its desire to build a memorial library in Montrose. Through the combination of the Historical Society’s funds and the Cope donation, the present library building was erected and dedicated on November 8, 1907, the same year that the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association was chartered.

Visitors to the Historical Society, even local residents, are often surprised with the depth of the society’s collection. Many visitors come regularly to do genealogy research. The Historical Society has Susquehanna County cemetery lists with entries of 69,662 people and so much more interesting information.

The Historical Society’s annual Christmas Open House will be held on Saturday, December 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. Santa will be paying a visit. It’s free. Please stop in and take a peek at some of the treasures on display.

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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,

My husband and I have been married for 6 years and we have a healthy one year old son. We live a 4 hour drive from my parents and need to fly to visit my in-laws. Every year we spend Christmas with one and New Years with the other and switch the following year. With the new baby, last year my in-laws flew to us and spent Christmas here. This year they said they would be flying in for New Years.

My father-in-law visited us last week. He said they were excited about seeing us for Christmas and hoped the baby and his father could come a couple of days early. (I have to work Christmas Eve day, so can't leave till late.) Out of respect, I didn't correct him or speak up. I thought, oh well, we can spend New Years with my folks. Then he said they had an early flight on New Years Eve day and would need to be picked up at the airport.

What should I do? I want to spend at least one of the holidays with my family. My sister lives in Switzerland and will be visiting my parents for Christmas and of course she wants to see our son. I need to get this straightened out soon. -Carmen

Dear Carmen,

Family holidays are always a negotiation. You and your husband have weathered the storm and have a system worked out that is fair to you both. You and he need to agree on this year’s rotation and then it will be up to your husband to call his parents with the details. Both sets of grandparents want to see the holidays through their new grandson's eyes. Your in-laws will understand.

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

National Children’s Eye Health Awareness Week

November 22 - 28

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National Children’s Eye Health Awareness Week, November 22 through 28.

More than 600,000 eye injuries related to sports and recreation occur each yea. Approximately 6,400 Americans go to the hospital for injuries to the eye from fireworks. Half of all these injuries happen to children under the age of 15, and 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented.

During the summer months eye injuries escalate in children. Each year, thousands of children under age 5 experience eye accidents. Doctors encourage parents to keep a close watch over their children to prevent eye injury. The most common causes of eye injuries in children are misuse of toys, fireworks and everyday objects. Contact with harmful products, such as paints, glues or detergents can infect the eye and lead to blindness. Falls from beds, couches or stairs that create blows to the eye can damage the cornea.

Besides the cornea, other parts of the human eye can easily be broken. If something causes the delicate sections of the eye to break, a child might not be able to see well or at all. Vision problems affect one in 20 preschoolers and one in four children by age 6. If an eye problem remains untreated, the issue can worsen and eventually lead to other very serious problems. These problems range from distortion of a child’s personality and learning ability to blindness.

Most preventable eye injuries occur in sports. For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports. Prevent Blindness America recommends that athletes wear protective goggles for racquet sports or basketball, and wear batting helmets with face shields for baseball. According to the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, 84.6% of children do not utilize protective eyewear in situations that present a risk of eye injury, even though more than 90% of all eye injuries could be prevented with the use of appropriate protective eyewear.

One survey conducted in Michigan, concluded that 97% of high schools do not have a Sports Vision Program, even though 98% of High School coaches would be interested in a program. Such a program would help aid in the prevention of eye injury, by educating and showing students how to protect their eyes and the risks that are at hand. The main cause for a lack of vision programs in schools is that 99% of schools have not been approached with the idea of establishing a Sports Vision Program.

The national Institute of Health is making a goal for 2010 to increase the use of eye protection in sports. Everyone who is active in sports can help meet this goal by helping themselves and getting the right protective eye wear. Almost all eye injuries in sports can be prevented. However, if you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing an eye injury, don’t risk blindness and go to the closest emergency room.

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