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The riding every stride horse 4-H club went to “Horseloverz” on Sunday, December 7. We shopped and they gave us a saddle fitting demonstration. We are in the midst of our hoagie sale. The profits will help us pay for our trip to the horse expo in Harrisburg in February. We will have our Christmas party on December 26 at the Blue Ridge Cafeteria. Our first meeting of the new year will be January 17 at Austin Graham's house. Hopefully we will be sleigh riding. If you would like to attend, and join our 4-H group, contact the extension office for more details.
On November 20, a mural was mounted on the New Milford market with the help of faculty from Blue Ridge Middle/High School, students and New Milford Centennial Committee members.
Pictured (l-r): Alice Canfield, Mr. VanCott, Tommy Young, Mr. Allen, Robin and Gabe Waldowski, Ken Bondurant, Mr. Harvey, and Mr. Aronson.
The mural was part of the New Milford 150 year celebration that took place on August 7-9. It was set up as a free interactive event for young and old to paint and work cooperatively on a project that would be displayed in their community. Robin Waldowski, artistic director of PeaceTools, facilitated the project. PeaceTools is a national and international program that utilizes the arts and education to build and strengthen communities, with work in Philadelphia, N.Y.C., Soviet Union, Costa Rica, and Barbados.
For this project the New Milford Centennial Committee (through generous patrons in the town) paid for the mural supplies with Glezen’s lumber donating the wood for the frame. Artists and friends volunteered their time. Most of the painting at the celebration was done by elementary age children although adults up to age 82 enjoyed painting. This mural is child centered with all of the images and ideas coming from the children with assistance from adult artists.
With the support of Mr. Jeffrey, Blue Ridge High School Principal, and Mr. Harvey, MS/HS Art Teacher, the committee brought the mural to the Blue Ridge students. They were able to enhance the images and add architectural highlights of the buildings within New Milford. Mr. Allen and Mr. VanCott, HS technology instructors, and their students volunteered to build a 16 foot frame for the mural. Alice Canfield, owner of the New Milford Market, welcomed the mural on the wall of her market on Main Street in New Milford.
This has been a positive collaborative experience for students, teachers, volunteers, and members of the community. Hopefully it will brighten the neighborhood and remind everyone how all “worked together” to celebrate New Milford’s success.
Members of the Endless Mountains Children’s Choir, under the direction of Dr. Christine Plonski Sezer, presented a program of holiday music selections at the Pennsylvania State Capitol. They entertained in the east wing and main rotundas and were the guests of Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming). On December 22, the ensemble will head to Washington, D.C., to perform at the National Christmas Tree on the Mall. To view a portion of the performance, visit www.RepMajor.com.
The Friends of Susquehanna County, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting needs within Susquehanna County, recently dispersed $3,500 of funds raised by the group in 2009.
Amounts ranging from $250 to $1,000 were given, based on the organization's focus, size and immediate needs. An additional $1,500 will be kept in reserve for a Community Volunteerism Award in the amount of up to $250 to be given to a graduating senior, if they qualify, from each of the six county high schools in 2010.
Friends of Susquehanna County members gathered at the Colonial Brick Inn, Hallstead on November 30 to distribute funds to local organizations. Pictured (l-r): Suzanne Cobb, Beverly Updyke, Dr. Christine Plonski Sezer, Candy Brown, Barbara Hinkley, Donna Cosmello, Helene Shibley, Angie Houghton and Alice Deutsch.
Through its annual Harvest Fest and donations from area businesses and residents, the Friends of Susquehanna County were able to expand their number and amounts of donations in 2009. The Friends thank all who purchased goods or made monetary donations.
Friends of Susquehanna County also maintains a fund at the Community Foundation of Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties, to which donations may be made at anytime. For information, visit www.community-foundation.org.
For more information about the Friends of Susquehanna County, contact Chairman Alice Deutsch at 756-2044, Co-Chairman Carol McNamara at 756-2612, Treasurer Suzanne Cobb at 879-2929, Susan Gesford at 278-2908 or Colleen Wilkes at 853-3448.
Though Thanksgiving has passed, it’s never too late to give thanks. On Thanksgiving Day, there were many things to be grateful for: family, friends, and farmers. I am thankful for my family and friends for the reason that they have always cared for me and I can rely on them. Also, I am thankful for farmers because of all the hard work they do. Without farmers, a very big part of our holiday tradition would be missing: the holiday feast! Who would raise the poultry, grow the vegetables, or harvest the wheat? There would be no turkey, potatoes, beans, or stuffing, and let’s not forget about the appetizers and desserts. Without dairy farmers, many of our favorite treats would not exist since there would be no cheese, butter, or milk. In our home, a cheese and cracker platter has traditionally been a light appetizer before a heavy meal, and have you ever tried to make delicious cookies or pie crust without butter? What about that famous holiday cheesecake? No dairy means that there would be no before or after dinner delights.
This season, when you’re indulging on your favorite holiday treats, think about where it came from and how it got to you. More hard work went into that cheese platter than you would think. Dairy farmers are working hard every day to bring us fresh, great tasting, and wholesome milk products, and for that, I am very thankful.
As a continuing response to the cut in state aid and the effect of the economic downturn on other sources of income, the Board of Directors of the Susquehanna County Historical Society & Free Library Association is taking further steps to address the serious budget shortfall for 2010.
Starting on January 1, there will be a $1 maintenance fee charged for each DVD borrowed or renewed. This is like the old $1 fee on videos that was eliminated a number of years ago. Videos are still free to borrow - the charge only applies to DVDs.
Also on January 1, the fine for most overdue items will be 20 cents per day. There is no charge for days closed. The fine on videos and DVDs will stay at $1/day.
Because fines are calculated when the item is returned, an item due in 2009 but returned after the fine goes up would be charged 20 cents a day. In order to ease the transition, all four library locations will hold another Food for Fines drive from January 1 to 10. During that period, you can return any overdue items with an item of non-perishable food and owe no fines on those items. (Fines already accrued cannot be paid off with food during this drive.)
Once again, please be aware that grant funds and capital campaign donations must still be spent on the specific purposes for which they were awarded - the Association is not legally able to use that money for operating expenses.
The Board thanks the residents of Susquehanna County for their understanding during this difficult time. Donating to the annual Support Drive is especially important. If you did not receive a support card in the mail, you can get one at any county library or by visiting www.susqcolibrary.org/support.
Living close to nature can actually help us live longer and many people find that gardening helps them lower their stress. It’s not surprising that when our time outdoors is limited, we experience more stress symptoms: headaches, digestive problems, respiratory symptoms, decreased energy, mood swings, irritability, poor sleep, etc.
According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors and during the winter months we spend more time indoors than other times of the year. Unfortunately, EPA studies have shown that the air inside our homes and offices can be even more polluted than the air outside. Polluted air causes serious health risks to all body systems: lungs, heart, liver, brain and other organs. A study published in March 2005 in “Occupational and Environmental Medicine,” found that air pollution increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and makes respiratory problems worse.
Some of the primary pollutants inside our homes include both biological and chemical toxins: bacteria, viruses, fungi, pollen, dust, animal dander, mold, mites, carpeting, paints, furniture, cleaning agents, smoke, etc. Even common activities like cooking, cleaning, redecorating, heating and cooling can release and spread indoor pollutants, causing allergic reactions, infectious diseases and toxic reactions.
There is research indicating that these air toxicity problems in the home and office can be significantly reduced by houseplants. A classic NASA study found that common houseplants could improve air quality and remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours. One 6” houseplant per 100 square feet of indoor area acts as a decent filter of the air. NASA recommendation is to use 15 to 18 “good-sized” houseplants in 6-8”diameter containers for an 1,800 square foot house.
An article in “The Daily Green” in September, 2009 reported on a list of the ten best pollution-busting houseplants. The list was compiled by the blog “The New Ecologist” and they are: feston rose, devil’s ivy, phalaenopsis, English ivy, parlor ivy, African violets, Christmas cactus, yellow goddess, garlic vine, and peace lily. In addition, the following plants are particularly effective for air purification: palms, ferns (especially mother fern), spider plant, chrysanthemums, dracaena, sansevieria, golden pothos and money plant. Water loving plants, such as schefflera, bamboo and hemp, help raise humidity levels. Bromeliads, orchids and succulents exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide at night which makes them perfect bedroom plants to refresh the air we breathe during sleep.
By improving air quality, increasing humidity, reducing dust and increasing available oxygen, plants help reduce fatigue, coughs, sore throats and other cold-related illnesses. House plants make people feel calmer and more optimistic, speeding up healing and recovery. In the office, plants do wonders for employee health and morale. One study found that plants indoors enhanced creativity and employee productivity. There is evidence that plants reduce the negative effects of electromagnetic fields - a cactus in front of your computer can offer protection.
Any way you look at it, plants in the house and office make people happier and healthier. They improve general wellbeing physically and psychologically. If you are interested in more detail about using plants to clean indoor air, there is a book published in 1997, by B. C. Wolverton, titled, “How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office,” by Anna D’Andrea, Master Gardener and Wellness Practitioner.
The 2009 Susquehanna County 4-H Pumpkin Roundup was held in conjunction with the “Day on a Dairy Farm” celebration. Participants included: Isis, Piper, and Sage Gauthier; Brandon and Emma Loch; and Zebulun and Geovanni Swartley. The 4-Her’s entered several different categories including largest, smallest, best pair, best carved, painted, pumpkin recipe and pumpkin people. For all their hard work Brandon received the Senior Grand Award, Emma the Junior Grand Award, and Zebulun the Reserve Junior Grand Award. Pictured above is Brandon Loch’s entry in the pumpkin people category.
This holiday season will be a little warmer thanks to the staff at Peoples National Bank in Susquehanna. Rather then exchanging Christmas gifts, the staff at PNB got together to purchase and donate hats and gloves of all sizes to the Oakland Food Bank. Generosity like this helps to warm the holidays in more ways than one. Pictured above (l-r): Darlene Slocum and Lois Rice, PNB; Aletha Monahan and Joan Hanrahan, Oakland Food Bank.
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