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Issue Home January 27, 2010 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Rock Doc Break The Glass, Douse The Flames
What’s Bugging You?
Dear Dolly
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

NEW MILFORD: Two sleighloads of young people from Forest Lake came over Wednesday evening of last week and were entertained at Mr. Coy’s. ALSO In South New Milford wells, springs and brooks continue to get lower. Some have hard work to get water for the cattle.

DIMOCK: Judge R. B. Little rendered his decisions for liquor license applications and R. S. Wheeler, proprietor of the Dimock Hotel, was summoned to court and there agreed not to sell to certain named parties, to keep the bar closed on the Saturday camp meeting is held, and to personally conduct the hotel business. In Forest City licenses were refused to Jos. Narasovitz, Wm. Muchitz, P. F. Murray, E. J. O’Neill, and C. L. Carpenter.

RUSH: Much interest is taken in the literary society recently organized in the High school. A program is prepared each month which is conducted entirely by the members of the society. The object is to accustom the pupils to public speaking and for personal research in literary subjects. ALSO David Reynolds has sold his matched team of horses to the directors of the Auburn and Rush poor asylum. Consideration $430.

CLIFFORD: At the home of B. F. Bennett, Henry Dann, of Blackfoot, Idaho, and Miss Ella Maud Stewart, were united in marriage by the Rev. W. J. Seymour, Jan. 19. The happy couple started on Friday for their home in Idaho. Miss Stewart was very popular here and was known further than the circle of her home acquaintances. We wish the couple all the happiness and prosperity possible for them to attain. [Ella wrote the book, Majella, or Nameless and Blind: A Story of the Susquehanna. Printed by J. B. Lippencott Co., Philadelphia, 1892] ALSO While returning from church, Sunday, Mrs. C. H. Griffin was thrown from her cutter by its slewing around and overturning. No damage was done.

SPRINGVILLE: The meat boycott has not struck this here town yet, but we are looking for it every day. Gee, but won’t things just frizzle when she comes. [Boycott was started because of the high price of meat.]

HARFORD: Miss Mildred Forsyth met with an accident, which might have proved serious, in trying to cross the bridge near E. Flint’s, last Saturday morning. The stream was swollen and was much deeper than she expected. The sleigh was overturned and swung around by the ice and swift water, the horse plunged back the way it came, and by holding to the lines she was drawn out to safety. ALSO A number of the citizens of Harford and vicinity are talking of organizing a Game Protective Association and Gun Club, which will be for the purpose of preventing unlawful hunting and to protect the game from unsportsmanlike shooting. The Gun Club part of the organization is for those who enjoy trap shooting, which is not to be an expense to those who do not take part.

SHANNON HILL, AUBURN TWP.: Will Dougherty has sold his gray horse to parties from below. ALSO In Pleasant Valley, Glenn Linaberry had what might have been a serious runaway. He and A. L. Mericle spent the evening with Ernest Carlin, of South Auburn, when upon returning home and in turning a curve in the road near Andrew Carter’s, the cutter ran upon the bank, overturning the cutter and throwing out its occupants. Tearing the reins loose from Glenn’s hands, the horse started to run; it ran until it came to the hill near Richard Kinney’s, which it ran part way up then stopped. The horse was slightly bruised and the cutter slightly damaged. The men escaped uninjured, which was very fortunate.

SUSQUEHANNA: Much unfavorable comment has been heard regarding the increase of rates made by the physicians of Susquehanna. Formerly the price charged was fifty cents for an office call and a dollar for a house visit. Commencing with the New Year the price of an office call was raised to seventy five cents and a house visit to $1.50. If the house call is made after 6 p.m. the price is $2. For a call in the country the rate of $1 is charged with an additional rate of 50 cents for every mile the person lives outside the borough limits. There is no denying the fact that the raise in the price of the services of the physicians has been keenly felt in this place. Some people are so economical that they cannot afford to be sick, while others, after they have taken ill, wait as long as possible before calling in the family physician. The question of the raise is really working a hardship in some families, it is claimed.

JACKSON: Hugh Roberts has another alligator. ALSO The school has a fine circulating library from [the library] at Montrose.

LITTLE MEADOWS: Laurence Kiley was badly hurt while putting up telephone wire on the branch between Nixon and Warrenham. His safety strap broke and he fell backward to the ground, injuring his left ear and head badly. Dr. J. C. Tripp was called and dressed the wounds and thinks no bones [were] broken.

MONTROSE: By an error last week we spoke of T. B. Dewees’ daughter being injured coasting. It should have been H. L. Holmes’ daughter. She is improving very nicely, we understand.

TUNKHANNOCK/SPRINGVILLE/GREAT BEND: Among the most prominent families in Springville some years ago, was that of William B. Handrick, there being a large family of sons and daughters, all of whom became well known citizens. Two of them were Col. Eugene Handrick, of Tunkhannock; another was his brother, next younger, Byron C. Handrick, who has resided at Great Bend, on his fine farm, for many years. Both had been in failing health for some time and on Friday, Jan. 21, occurred the death of Col. Handrick at his home in Tunkhannock, aged 69, and on the next day, Jan. 22, his brother Byron, died in Great Bend, aged 67 years, death coming unexpectedly while he was sitting in his chair and before he had heard of the death of his brother. Among the surviving brothers and sisters are: Mrs. Sherman, of New York; Mrs. J. K. Aldrich and Mrs. Stephen Tuttle, of Springville, and Julian Handrick, of Binghamton.

NEWS BRIEFS: John Argeyle, of Bradford county, is undoubtedly the largest man in Pennsylvania. He is six feet five inches tall, weighs 420 pounds, and there is not an ounce of fat on him. It requires ten yards of cloth to make him a shirt. He is 22 years of age, very intelligent, fond of books and is a devoted physical culturist. He is quite proficient at boxing and fond of all outdoor sports.

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

Wesley Busch was a 5-year old kindergartner in the Marple Newton School District when he became embroiled in a legal controversy. As part of an “All about Me” program, each student was provided their own time to share personal things with the rest of the class, including pictures, food and stories. As part of the program, Wesley’s mother was invited to the school to read from Wesley’s favorite book. At that time, the teacher was not aware that Wesley’s favorite book was the Bible. When Wesley’s mother appeared in the classroom with the Bible and indicated that she intended on reading a psalm to the class, the kindergarten teacher got nervous and contacted the administration to determine whether this could be permitted. The elementary principal indicated that it would not be permitted, but told Wesley’s mother that she could read from a secular book approved by the school district. Being given no other alternative, Wesley’s mother agreed. Later, Wesley’s mother instituted a federal civil action contending that Wesley’s First Amendment rights had been violated by the school policy that prohibited him from reading from the Bible.

The federal district court dismissed the case and concluded that Wesley’s rights had not been violated. The matter was appealed to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the dismissal of the action in a split 2-1 decision in Busch v. Marple Newton School District. The majority noted that kindergarteners were very young and, as such, more susceptible than older students. The potential susceptibility of the children was augmented by the fact that a parent would be reading the book - as opposed to another child. Thus, the majority concluded that the school district acted appropriately in restricting Wesley’s mother from reading the Bible to a group of kindergartners as this activity presented a risk of proselytizing a particular religious point of view to susceptible young minds.

In his dissent, Judge Hardiman concluded that the school district had opened the door to Wesley’s presentation by allowing him to tell the class about himself and his family. An important part of Wesley’s life involved his faith. When the school district invited each student to share these types of things with the rest of the class, the school district could not permissibly then discriminate against a student because he wanted to share religious, as opposed to secular, experiences. Given that the speech was plainly personal to the student and his family, and not an expression endorsed by the school in any manner, Judge Hardiman concluded that the school had impermissibly discriminated against Wesley based upon his religious beliefs. Wesley attempted to appeal to the United States Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

As I read this case, I thought about a similar case out of the First Circuit, Parker v. Hurley, where parents of kindergarten and first grade students attempted to stop a school district from reading books to their children promoting tolerance of homosexual marriage, i.e., the book was titled King and King. The parents contended that the school was violating their rights to raise their children in the Christian faith. The First Circuit admitted that the school district had selected the book King and King for the purpose of “influencing the listening children toward tolerance of gay marriage.” Despite this finding, the First Circuit was not willing to hold that this violated the rights of the parents to raise their children and direct their religious upbringing as the King and King was “not instruction in religion or religious beliefs.” While the First Circuit did express some concern over potential “indoctrination” of children to a lifestyle choice that was contrary to the parents’ religious beliefs, the court concluded that “the reading by a teacher of one book, or even three, and even if to a young and impressionable child, does not constitute ‘indoctrination.’”

A comparison of the two cases speaks volumes about the regulation of speech in public education in America. Even when invited by a teacher to share his favorite book with the class, a child (or his parent) may not read a short passage from the Book of Psalms. On the other hand, a school teacher, over the sincere religious objection of a parent, may read material to an impressionable child promoting a lifestyle that violates the tenants of the parent’s faith. In the one case (the passage from Psalms), the potential for indoctrination cannot be tolerated despite clear implications that it is personal message from the student, not the school. In the other case (King and King), the school’s representative can actively attempt to indoctrinate an impressionable child for the specific purpose of influencing the child in a manner that runs counter to his religious faith. There is only one similarity in both cases - the parent is powerless.

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

[This is the second of two columns on shoulder problems.]

The shoulder is made up of three bones: the collarbone, the shoulder blade and the upper arm bone. The shoulder is the body’s most movable joint. It is also unstable because the ball of the upper arm is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it. The unstable shoulder is held in place by soft tissue: muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Common shoulder problems include dislocation, separation, torn rotator-cuff, frozen shoulder, fracture, arthritis, tendonitis and bursitis. The rotator cuff is defined as the set of muscles and tendons that secures the arm to the shoulder joint and permits the arm to rotate.

Doctors diagnose shoulder problems by studying your medical history, giving you a physical examination and performing tests such as x-rays, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Shoulder problems are most often first treated with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation):

* Rest the shoulder for two days.

* Ice the injured area for twenty minutes, four to eight times per day.

* Compress the painful area to reduce swelling.

* Elevate the injured area with a pillow to keep it above the level of the heart.

Other treatments:

* Slings are used often to keep an injured shoulder in place.

* After rest, stretching and exercise can improve range of motion, strengthen muscles, and prevent injury.

* Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are used to reduce pain and swelling.

* Ultrasound is used to warm deep tissues and improve blood flow.

* An injection of a corticosteroid drug into the shoulder is often recommended if the injury does not improve in the first few weeks.

* Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) with a small battery-operated unit may be used to reduce pain by blocking nerve impulses.

* When tears are severe, surgery may be required. Seniors often can be treated without surgery for a complete rotator-cuff tear.

Here are some easy exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles and prevent injuries:

* Attach elastic tubing to a doorknob. Pull the elastic tubing slowly toward your body. Hold for a count of five. Repeat five times with each arm. Perform twice a day.

* Lean forward and place your hands on a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly perform a push-up. Hold for a count of five. Repeat five times. Perform twice a day.

* Sit upright in a chair with armrests. With your feet touching the floor, use your arms to rise slowly. Hold for a count of five. Repeat five times. Perform twice a day.

An aerobic exercise program will help improve the blood flow to a tendon or bursa. This helps reduce soreness. Smokers should quit smoking so more oxygen reaches the injured tendon. This will help the injury heal faster.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

Every penny counts. How often have you heard this expression in your lifetime? Well, it’s true. As I pointed out in a previous column, the accumulation of many pennies can make a sizeable difference. Thanks to the Community Rewards program of our county’s two Shursave Markets (Rob’s Market in both Great Bend and Montrose), the Susquehanna County Library received more than $5,300 in 2009.

The Community Rewards program allows a greater number of people to support the Library on a regular basis. While other markets in our county sell Shurfine products, I wondered why this program only applied to these two stores. It is because they are the only stores in our county that are part of the Shursave Markets group.

If you have not already signed up to participate in this program, we would like to request that you consider doing so. It is simple. Fill out a form available at the Montrose and Hallstead-Great Bend Libraries or on line and make regular purchases of Shurfine and Western Family products at the two Shursave Markets in Susquehanna County.

A Gold Card is necessary to participate in this program, but there is no other cost to the customer. The Community Rewards program will donate three cents from every purchase of Shurfine and Western Family products to the Susquehanna County Library.

We thank those who have already signed up. Remember it is not necessary to fill out a new form each year. Keep those pennies coming. Every penny does count!

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Improving On Tradition

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Have you got the last ones up from the carpet under the sofa? How about those two behind the rear leg of the coffee table?

If you had a real Christmas tree in your living room from shortly after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, I think you know what I’m talking about. The annual game of finding-yet-more-conifer needles around your house is still in full swing.

You could, of course, switch your tactics next year and get an artificial tree. The young folks tell me the man-made trees even come “pre-lit,” a concept I think I’ll pass over without remark.

For me, the aroma and ambiance of any manufactured tree is just not quite the same as one harvested from nature. Here in the boondocks of the Northwest - a million miles it often seems from where most Americans live - we can still venture forth with a permit in early December to National Forests. There we stomp through the snow and look at the scraggly trees growing around us. The trees are what I call “more air than tree,” the opposite of the dense Christmas tree most people want.

The upside of such a tree is being able to actually see your Christmas ornaments once you get it home and set up. From every angle there’s plenty of display space to admire the historical family ornament of 1982.

But forest work, with freezing-cold feet and only the reward of scraggly trees is just not everyone’s cup of tea. So, thick and dense Christmas trees are grown on Christmas tree farms. The trees are produced by judicious pruning, so they have more branches per foot of height. That change in tactics, plus a switch in the tree species used as Christmas trees in the last 50 years, accounts for why our grandparents’ Christmas tree was quite a different item from what we see on commercial lots in cities each December.

But there’s something else that’s become quite different, and that brings me back to you, vacuuming up needles under the sofa.

In our grandparents’ day, people brought Christmas trees into their homes shortly before Christmas Day. Sometimes, in fact, the tree arrived and was decorated after the children had gone to bed on Christmas Eve, a treat for them on Christmas morning. (Imagine! Now nothing less than 50 presents seems to suffice.)

Today many American homes have a tree in them for 4-5 weeks. But our modern custom of keeping the Christmas tree with us for many weeks gives the dear ol’ Tannenbaum plenty of time to, shall we say, go downhill a bit. And dropping needles all over creation is part of that process if you, like me, let the water in the little bucket evaporate.

Enter at this point Gary Chastagner, a plant pathologist at Washington State University, who researches a number of issues about conifers. One of his many projects is working on breeding Christmas trees that hang onto their needles longer (even after we rather impolitely cut them down).

“This isn’t genetically modified work, just pretty much traditional genetic selection and horticulture,” he explained to me recently.

Chastagner and his colleagues cut branches from hundreds of different conifers each fall and test them for needle retention. They note the small percentage of the trees that have the best ability to retain their needles. The work is repeated for several years for consistency’s sake. Cuttings from the “winning” trees then are then grafted onto rootstock using traditional horticultural methods to establish seed orchards.

“We just use the natural variation within the trees in this regard,” Chastagner said to me. “In the past, this type of genetic selection has been done for growth, size, shape, density of branches and the like. Now we are doing it to improve post-harvest characteristics.”

The power of selective breeding is one known in horticulture and animal husbandry alike. It was well understood by Charles Darwin as he cogitated on his theory of Mother Nature’s parallel efforts in the wilder world as well. And when you are on your hands and arthritic old knees peering under the sofa, you have to wish plant researchers like Chastagner well in their varied work.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters is a native of the rural Northwest, but was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. A library of past Rock Doc columns is available at This column is a service of the College of Sciences at Washington State University.

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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,

How can a very unmotivated, very lazy person change to be a very productive and hardworking person? -Fred

Dear Fred,

The first step to lasting change is to identify and fine tune your goal. You know having a goal will focus your energy and give you a specific target to aim for. Becoming productive, motivated and hardworking is a lot easier when you are doing something that is interesting and important to you.

Find your strengths. There are web sites that can help you with that. One is This will help you find your areas of interest and give you a place to start.

Do something everyday toward your goal. You've heard "Rome wasn't built in a day" - change is a journey and not meant to happen overnight. Learning to be a productive member of society started on the day you were born and continues until your last breath.

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


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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

No Barnes-Kasson Corner This Week

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