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On January 28, the American Legion Riders from Post #86 made a special delivery to the Civil Air Patrol Broome-Tioga Composite Squadron (NY292). The Legion Riders’ generous donations are part of the growing partnership between the two organizations.
American Legion Riders Tom Gallagher, Jim Brewer and Terry Rockwell presented the donations, including four new parade rifles and a new casket flag for ceremonies. Cadets from NY292 will proudly use these items for practice and events. Perhaps the rifles may even be used in the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Binghamton on March 6.
For Emergency Services, NY292 also received a dozen hardhats and a used, but still working, stokes basket. As the squadron builds their Search and Rescue Team, no doubt their services will be requested more often. Thus, the Legion Riders’ donations were timely and most welcome.
This event has further strengthened the relationship as the squadron was reminded that one of the visiting Legion Riders, Jim Brewer, was instrumental in obtaining the Squadrons Headquarters Facility for CAP use on the Grater Binghamton Health Center Campus, ten years ago. The NY 292 squadron moved into the building in 2004, leaving their old home at the Tri-Cities Airport.
CAP NY292 and American Legion Riders Post 86 look forward to working together in the future.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 57,000 members nationwide. CAP performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 90 lives in fiscal year 2008. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 22,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 67 years. For more information, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com.
More local information on the Civil Air Patrol is available at the New York South Central Group website (http://ny084.org) or for the Broome-Tioga Composite Squadron by contacting LtCol Richard Bohman by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For many of us living in the northeast, cold months of winter confinement leave us longing for sunshine and fresh, new sprouts of green. An excellent project for beating those “winter blues” is starting plants indoors from seeds. Growing plants from seeds rewards us with greater variety along with the satisfaction you get while nourishing plants from seed to maturity. This will be especially appreciated when you save money at your favorite nursery come spring. Sound a bit daunting? Not to worry. Growing plants from seeds may surprise you at how easy it can be. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Start with browsing plant and seed catalogs along with your local garden supply stores. Choose plants that will benefit the most from starting early indoors when making your selections. When your seeds arrive read the packet carefully. It will list information for when to sow, depth to sow, days to germination, as well as days to harvest.
Containers are referred to as flats, trays and cell packs. The most common are plastic and pressed peat. Cottage cheese containers, yogurt cups and the bottom of milk cartons make great recycled pots with a few drainage holes punched into the bottom. Simply wash and then rinse in a fresh solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
A sterile seed starting “soil less” mix is recommended as it provides the desired qualities of a good germination media. Moisten the soil and fill containers to within 3/4” from the top. After sowing the seeds moisten the mix gently and thoroughly. A good way to do this is to water from the bottom. Place the container in a tray, add water and let it set until the soil is completely moist. Take care that the containers do not set in water for a prolonged period to avoid root rot. It is important to keep the soil moist, not wet, during germination. Once the seedlings have become established water when the top starts to dry. Your plants will benefit from misting several times daily. Fertilizer can be used when the plants are established. A soluble house plant fertilizer mixed at half strength applied every 2 weeks will meet the requirements.
Once planting is complete it’s important to provide a warm, draft free environment. Generally 65 to 80 degrees is the optimum temperature for germination. When the seeds have sprouted and become established move the flats to a light, cooler location at a 55-65 degree night and a 65-70 degree day temperature. This is the time to place them in a bright south facing window or, for best results, under lights. Cool, white fluorescent tube lighting works well. Hang the lights 2 to 4 inches above the plants and provide 14 to 16 hours of light per day. Raise the lights as the seedlings grow.
As you can see, winter need not be boring. Whether it’s growing a few herbs on a sunny windowsill to planning ahead for the summer garden, growing plants from seeds renews the gardener in all of us.
Students in fourth through sixth grade will get a chance to try snowshoeing this winter, thanks in part to The Choconut Valley Elementary Wellness Fund administered by The Community Foundation of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties.
Katy Rosenkrans, physical education teacher at Choconut, organized the program, scheduled for February 25, which will bring two professionals from Northeast Wilderness Experience, safety equipment, and 70 pairs of snowshoes to the school. Each grade will have a one and half hour lesson and experimentation with the snowshoes around the grounds of the school. Other school district members can also take the opportunity to experience snowshoeing, as the program will continue after school hours until 5:30.
Rosenkrans said the funding for the program comes from the Wellness Fund, administered by the Community Foundation, as well as the school box tops rewards money that the school has been collecting. She’s excited about offering the students this new experience, as well as looking forward to next year when she would like to offer kayaking.
“We hope to continue programs like this, through the Northeast Wilderness Experience, to encourage lifetime outdoor activities for students and their families,” she said.
The Choconut Valley Elementary Wellness Fund was established at the Foundation by Mike and Charm Giangrieco in 2007 to support student health and wellness initiatives at Choconut Elementary. Donations to the fund are tax deductible and can increase the size of the annual grant. Donations to this fund can be mailed to The Community Foundation, 36 Lake Ave. Montrose, PA 18801.
For more information on The Choconut Valley Elementary School Wellness Fund and other programs at The Community Foundation, please visit www.community-foundation.org.
Directors from the Harford Fair, office staff and the Harford Fair Queen joined 1,649 other fair personnel from across the state for the 98th Pennsylvania State Fair Association Convention in Hershey. The four days were filled with informational seminars, round table talks, trade show displays, communication competition, banquets, and the State Fair Queen coronation.
Harford Fair was awarded second place for its premium book and third place for its placemat. Nancy Tyler, Fair Secretary, proudly accepted the awards at the Communications Breakfast on Friday morning.
Pictured above, Nancy Tyler (far right) accepts the second place ribbon on behalf of the fair for their prize-winning premium book.
The 2009 Harford Fair Queen, Carol Small from Montrose, attended the convention with her parents, Linda and Loren Small. She competed for the State Fair Queen title with 59 other contestants from across the state. She participated in interviews, a speech competition, leadership seminars, and a personal presentation as a part of the competition. Carol represented Harford Fair proudly throughout the weekend. Casey Hall, 2009 Troy Fair Queen, was crowned PA State Fair Queen at the Saturday evening banquet.
In addition to these activities, there was a vast trade show which offered ideas for food, ribbons, entertainment, amusements, and anything else associated with a fair. The theme for the 2010 fairs was announced - “Remembering Our Heritage; Envisioning the Future.” Harford Fair will be using this State-wide theme for the premium book, the parade, and the commercial and vendor spaces.
Plans for next year’s convention, which will be the 20th one held at Hershey, are already underway. The 100th fair convention will be held in 2012 and planning is underway for that event as well.
Some of the information obtained at the convention will be utilized to make improvements for this year’s Harford Fair, August 16-21.
Karen Allen, Executive Director of Susquehanna County Housing/Redevelopment Authority has been notified of her appointment as President of Eastern Pennsylvania Association of Housing Authorities (EPAHA) as of January 1. This organization is comprised of 36 housing authorities on the eastern side of the state that meet monthly to discuss housing issues and to provide training to their membership. A member for over twenty years, Mrs. Allen first served as Training Chairperson from 2004 to date and Vice President in 2008 and 2009. Allen is also a member of the Board of Directors at the state level for the Pennsylvania Association of Housing and Redevelopment Agencies (PAHRA) serving on the Executive Committee and is co-chair of the PAHRA Civil Service Committee.
“I am honored to be chosen the first woman to serve in this capacity since the association’s inception back in the 1970’s and look forward to the challenges ahead as we strive to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing to our low income families and senior citizens.”
Mrs. Allen resides in Dundaff with her husband , Matt Allen and children, Caitlyn and Jon McBride.
Montrose, PA - Stone House Investment Management has donated $8,400 to EITC preschool scholarships to students in Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties. The program, which is administered by The Community Foundation of Susquehanna & Wyoming Counties, gives low to moderate income families in the area scholarships to send their children to qualified preschools in the two county service areas.
Stone House co-founder, Bob Brown, who also serves on the Board of Directors of The Community Foundation, explained that his firm wished to make an investment in the communities it serves by sponsoring affordable and accessible preschool educations for local children.
The EITC program allows businesses to offset up to 100% of their state corporate income tax by donating the amount they would pay in taxes to fund scholarships for preschool through 12th grade. Tax money that would otherwise be sent to Harrisburg is instead kept local and finances the education of area children.
“Stone House has put its money where its mouth is, so to speak,” said Community Foundation President Peter Quigg. “They’ve counseled their clients to take advantage of this tax saving program, and to prove the worthiness of the endeavor they have made a substantial donation themselves.”
“With recent activity happening in our counties, both existing and new clients are asking for guidance with regard to their investments and tax planning. This program is one of many ways to do just that; as it provides both an investment into our community and a tax credit to the donor” said Scott Stone, co-founder of Stone House.
The EITC Preschool Scholarship Program at the Community Foundation has granted over 300 scholarships, totaling almost $275,000 to 17 local preschools since its inception.
Fore more information on this and other programs of The Community Foundation, please visit www.community-foundation.org.
Announcement is made of the engagement and upcoming wedding of Jessica Williams to Jon Rockwell.
Jessica & Jon
The bride-to-be is the daughter of Mark and Debra Williams of Thompson, PA. She is a graduate of Susquehanna Community High School, Susquehanna, PA and Misericordia University, Dallas, PA. She is employed by Lourdes Hospital, Binghamton, NY, as a registered nurse.
The groom-to-be is the son of Robin and Floyd Marvin of Hallstead, PA and Stan and Alice Rockwell of Lanesboro, PA. He is a graduate of Susquehanna Community High School, Susquehanna, PA. He is employed by the US Air Force, Sumter, SC, as a heavy equipment operator.
The wedding is set for August 22, 2010.
New members and a new slate of officers begins 2010 for the New Milford Area Rotary Club. Ryan Stalker will serve as president, with Bill Albrecht as vice president, Barb Hill as secretary and Bob Welch as treasurer. New Milford Attorney Luke Gorham was installed as a new member of the club at the January 7 meeting held at Green Gables Restaurant, New Milford. On January 20, Ray Telnock, a private investigator, also became a member. Pictured above, New Milford Area Rotary Club member Carol Masters welcomes Atty. Luke Gorham as a new member.
Pictured above, Ray Telnock is inducted as the New Milford Area Rotary Club's newest member by Carol Masters.
The club's two major fundraisers for the year are a golf tournament in early June and a chicken barbeque at a later date.
New Milford Rotary supports two scholarships at Blue Ridge High School, in honor of past members Agnes Jones and Robert Kerr. The club also distributes dictionaries to all third grade students at Blue Ridge, Susquehanna and Mountain View elementary schools. It also supports a Rotary Exchange student at Mountain View High School. The current exchange student, Javier Urrea is from Spain. New Milford Area Rotary is currently sponsoring two students studying abroad. Tiffany Davis, a junior at Mountain View Jr. Sr. High School, is in Mexico. Ryan Walsh, also a Mountain View junior, is studying in Italy.
The New Milford Area Rotary Club meets at 5 p.m., on the first Thursday of the month, and at noon on the remaining Wednesdays of the month, at Green Gables, New Milford. New members and guests are always welcome. For information, contact Barbara Hill at 756-2133 or John Reynolds at 465-7174.
Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is warning families that it’s the time of year when they may receive offers of assistance for securing money for their college-bound student’s education. For a cost, individuals and organizations may offer assistance in finding scholarship money or in completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Regardless of the offer, there are many free resources available that provide the best assistance.
“If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. ”These organizations can look legitimate but often produce little bang for the buck.”
Some of these organizations are legitimate while others are not. The Federal Trade Commission warns that unscrupulous companies “guarantee” or “promise” scholarships for students. This “guarantee” should be a warning sign. Families can avoid scholarship scams by looking for these types of misleading sales pitches.
1. For a fee, the company will provide a list of scholarship opportunities. If the student receives no awards and attempts to get a refund, they soon realize that conditions are attached to the agreement that makes it impossible to get the refund. Therefore, the request for a refund is denied and the student is out the money.
2. Some companies claim that their information is not available anywhere else. However, they typically use the same scholarship databases that students can access for free, including one of the largest, free scholarship databases available at PHEAA’s career and college planning website, EducationPlanner.org.
3. Some organizations try to persuade students and their families to send them money to “hold” an award by claiming that “you are a finalist in a scholarship contest.” But scholarships are not like sweepstakes - if students haven’t applied for an award, they’re not likely to be a “finalist” for it.
4. Some questionable organizations have official sounding names, a fancy seal on their letterhead, and a Washington, DC mailing address. This gives unsuspecting families the impression that the organization is somehow affiliated with or endorsed by the federal government, when, in fact, no such relationship exists.
5. Free scholarship or “financial planning” seminars often end with a sales pitch to “act now or lose out on this opportunity” for a fee. Legitimate organizations do not use pressure tactics.
Students interested in applying for scholarships should contact their school counselor for assistance in identifying local awards and visit EducationPlanner.org’s free online scholarship database. Many community, civic and religious groups, as well as businesses, labor unions or postsecondary schools offer scholarships. Merit, scholastic, and special talent scholarships are also available.
Financial aid consultants often charge a fee for a variety of services, including preparing the FAFSA for families. However, paying for assistance is unnecessary considering the many free resources that are available.
“With so many families struggling financially, it just doesn’t make sense to pay for something you can do for free,” said Senator Sean Logan, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman. “There are plenty of free options available to help families through the process, including PHEAA, the federal government, and the financial aid office at the schools they are interested in attending.”
Families can review a detailed explanation of the FAFSA application process, obtain a list of documents needed to complete the application, access practice worksheets and link to the online FAFSA at www.PHEAA.org/FAFSA or www.www.fafsa.ed.gov. Additionally, PHEAA, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (PASFAA), offers free FAFSA Completion Events across the Commonwealth from January through April where families can receive individual guidance with questions they may have. Event schedules can be found at PHEAA.org under Fill Out the FAFSA.
Families are encouraged to report suspected scams by contacting the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.
The American Legion Riders (ALR) are members of the American Legion who are also motorcycle enthusiasts. They can be found participating in parades, partaking in motorcycling events, and supporting the communities in which they live, work, and play. Members of the ALR come from the Legion, the Legion Auxiliary, and the Sons of the American Legion. The American Legion Riders were formed to participate in parades and other ceremonies that are in keeping with the aims and purposes of the American Legion, to promote motorcycle safety programs and to provide a social atmosphere for American Legion members who share the same interest and to use the Association to promote and support programs of the American Legion. The American Legion Riders is family-oriented, just as is its parent organization, the American Legion.
ALR Chapter 86 in Susquehanna finished out 2009 with approximately 50 members, all of which volunteered their time in various fundraising activities to support local veterans as well as members of the community and local organizations.
In 2009 the ALR Chapter 86 donated $1370 to veterans through dinners and holiday baskets. In addition, Chapter 86 donated $1567 in supplies to local veterans currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rick Yarosh, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran is a native to Windsor, NY who was wounded in 2008. Chapter 86 has made him an honorary member of the group and presented him with an ALR jacket in December.
Along with supporting local veterans, ALR Chapter 86 also supported the community through various donations totaling $1850. Donations were made to the Susquehanna Community Development Association (SCDA), Boy Scouts Troop 81 and community benefits held throughout the year. In addition, a donation of $100 was made to the SOS Shelter in support of one of our very own members, Carol Rockwell, who participated in a sky-diving event to raise money for that organization. ALR Chapter 86 also donated $525 to local families in need during the 2009 holiday season.
A donation of $500 was made to the Rolling Thunder organization. Incorporated in 1995, Rolling Thunder, Inc. is a non-profit organization with over 88 chartered chapters throughout the United States and members abroad. While many members of Rolling Thunder are veterans, and many ride motorcycles, neither qualification is a prerequisite. Rolling Thunder members are old and young, men and women, veterans and non-veterans. All are united in the cause to bring full accountability for POWs and MIAs of all wars, reminding the government, the media and the public by their watchwords: “We Will Not Forget.”
ALR Chapter 86’s biggest fundraiser of the year is their annual Fallen Heroes Run. This run is held on the second Saturday in August and includes a scenic ride through the Endless Mountains, chicken barbecue, raffles and entertainment. In 2009 ALR Chapter 86 awarded a $500 scholarship to local Susquehanna Community High School Senior, Kaylin Lindquist for her winning T-shirt design. ALR Chapter 86 is once again soliciting artwork from Susquehanna County juniors and seniors for their 2010 design and will again be offering a scholarship of the same denomination.
ALR Chapter 86 has several other fundraisers planned for the upcoming year and would like to thank the community for their continued support. Without it, ALR Chapter 86 could not be successful in helping so many that appreciate and deserve it. Membership is always open for American Legion, Sons of the American Legion (SAL) and Legion Auxiliary members. Additional membership criteria can be obtained at the American Legion, Post 86 in Susquehanna.
HARRISBURG - Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) said that Gov. Ed Rendell's 2010-11 fiscal year budget proposal, which calls for $29 billion in spending, along with a plan to increase taxes to cover the future loss of federal stimulus funding, will have a negative impact on many residents in the 111th Legislative District.
"At a time when the economy continues to struggle and the state is facing a $525 million shortfall, the governor is proposing $1.2 billion in new spending," Major said.
Included in the budget proposal are several significant tax increases to create a Stimulus Transition Reserve Fund, which would be used to offset the state's loss of federal stimulus funds after the 2010-11 fiscal year. Specifically, the state sales tax would be lowered to 4 percent and expanded to 74 different items or services currently exempt from the tax, including non-prescription drugs, personal hygiene products and death care services.
"This sales tax expansion will have a significant impact on Pennsylvania families who are still struggling with unemployment and a lagging economy," said Major. "Although the sales tax would be lowered, people would be paying tax on many additional items and services, such as coal, firewood, home heating fuel, water and sewage services, basic television and textbooks. This is a tax increase that will affect every resident and business in the state."
Major said she is also concerned about how a proposed 5 percent severance tax on the extraction of natural gas will be used. "This is a burgeoning industry that will have a huge impact on our region, and I think part of any tax that is imposed should be returned to county and municipal governments for local programs."
Additional new taxes proposed by the governor include: Eliminating a vendor discount provided to businesses that remit sales taxes to the state. A new tax on smokeless tobacco and cigars. Business tax adjustments that would move toward combined reporting.
The spending plan, Major said, is balanced by using existing state dollars, stimulus funds and the assumption that the state will receive about $800 million in new federal funds. Without these new monies, the spending plan cannot be balanced.
Major said she is pleased that funding for basic education is proposed to increase by $354 million, but is discouraged at cuts or eliminations in some programs that are important to agriculture, Pennsylvania's number one industry.
Under Rendell's proposal, the Department of Agriculture would receive $62.4 million, which is $5.4 million less than last year. Funding for programs such as agriculture research, payments to Pennsylvania fairs and hardwoods research and promotion are eliminated.
"The budget that is eventually passed may not resemble the document that the governor presented," Major said. "I will make every effort during the next several weeks of budget debate and negotiations to make sure the voices of rural Pennsylvanians are heard and treated fairly in this budget.
"I am hopeful, for the good of all Pennsylvanians that a budget is passed by June 30."
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