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Issue Home April 7, 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

SUSQUEHANNA: Monday afternoon Attorney H. A. Denney, Chairman of the Republican Committee, received a telegram from Gov. Stuart announcing the appointment of Hon. C. Fred Wright to the position of State Treasurer. Gov. Stuart has known Mr. Wright personally for a number of years and after the death of Jeremiah A. Stober, who was elected last November, the Governor was advised by the attorney general to appoint a successor.

OAKLAND: Fred D. Merrihew, aged 21, despondent over a love affair with a young lady of that town, killed himself last Saturday by putting a bullet from a 32-calibre revolver through his heart. He was found lying in the street, on Westfall avenue, and an inquest was held at 4 o’clock the next afternoon. The testimony of witnesses examined indicated that Merrihew had become enamored of an Oakland young woman. His affection, however, was not returned, she preferring another fellow. She was questioned by the district attorney and she testified that on several occasions the young man had accompanied her to church and escorted her home. That she had received a number of letters from him avowing his love, and that he expressed himself as wishing her to refuse the attention of another man. Merrihew’s mother, Cora, identified the revolver as one that had been about the house for a number of years. The district attorney said after the hearing that there was absolutely no evidence to show that the young man’s death was other than a case of suicide, the cause being temporary mental aberration, caused by disappointment in love.

SOUTH AUBURN: Our school closed on Friday last. Much credit is due the teacher, Miss Ella Crawford, for her faithful and earnest work among the children.

SPRINGVILLE: Gardening has begun - something rarely done so early in the spring. Several have planted peas, radishes and onions. ALSO J. H. Kelly is putting in a bow window and making other improvements to his hotel.

LITTLE MEADOWS: Businesses in Little Meadows that were listed in the 2010 Mercantile Appraisement for the County are: A. D. Brown, general merchandise; Thomas Fitzmartin, Cigars; Palmer & Son, Feed; William Purtell, Retail.

FOREST CITY: Cole & Johns have purchased from the Morss (or Morse) Estate, 224 acres of timberland. The tract is situated about two miles northwest of Forest City and is the only full growth timber in this section. They will erect a mill and saw the logs into lumber.

UNIONDALE: Commencement exercises in the M. E. church were well attended. Recitations, drills, etc., were creditably rendered by the pupils. Rev. Wm. Usher, Presbyterian pastor, gave a brief address urging co-operation between parents and teachers. Rev. H. J. Crane presented the diploma and suitably addressed Miss J. Fay Smith, the one graduate of the year.

BROOKLYN: Three large houses are going up and Brooklyn is just now enjoying a boom in the building trade.

NEW MILFORD: Mrs. Mary Tierney, a much esteemed lady, died at her home on April 2, at the great age of 100 years. Up to a few years ago when her health began to fail, she was a great worker and supported herself by housecleaning, washing, etc., and her services were in great demand on account of the neatness and thoroughness with which she did her work. Since the death of her husband, which occurred a number of years ago, she had lived alone. She was born in Ireland and with the exception of a niece in New Jersey, had no relatives in this country. The funeral was held from St. Lawrence church, Great Bend and burial was made in the Catholic cemetery in that place.

EAST ARARAT: Rumor has it that Silas Aldrich is about to sell his stage route to James McAlla, of Elkdale.

LAUREL LAKE: Chalmer Bramfitt has gone to Elmira and taken up the study of telegraphy.

CLIFFORD: We are of the opinion that the proposed route of the Scranton-Binghamton Trolley R.R. would find a much larger supply of milk to go by the way of Greenfield, Clifford, Gibson, &c., than they will by way of Benton, Nicholson, Glenwood or Hopbottom, &c.

FOWLER HILL: Frank Hill had his horse fall down Monday on the way to the creamery and upset the wagon, spilled part of his cream and broke some eggs, but did not hurt his son or himself seriously.

FLYNN, MIDDLETOWN TWP.: What is the matter with the bell on the St. John’s church when it can’t be used? ALSO The new addition to our graded school is to be named Mother of Sorrows.

MONTROSE: The A. B. Burns’ Son drug store has installed some very neat show case soda tables which gives their soda department a very metropolitan appearance. ALSO Dr. C. C. Halsey came to Montrose from Niagara county, N.Y., April 10, 1845, and four days afterward, just 65 years ago today, commenced teaching as principal of the Susquehanna Academy. He taught two years, and has survived most of his pupils. Of those now living are the two Jessup brothers in Syria, Hon. Frederick Mott, living in the west; Mrs. Endora Lathrop, Mrs. Ann Maria Cox and Miss Hetty Biddle, living in Montrose.

DIMOCK: Mr. Longwell has accepted a position in the milk station here. He has moved into L. J. Coleman’s tenant house near the camp ground. Thomas Dolan also started work at the milk station.

THOMPSON: G. F. Spencer has raised the walk in front of his residence and filled in the lawn and reseeded. Several along Jackson street have re-laid their walks and the street commissioner is putting our streets in good shape, all of which adds to our good looks.

HERRICK CENTER: Saturday the section men on the O. & W. struck for $1.50 per day. This morning most of them have gone back to work for $1.40.

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

I checked the national debt clock this morning and discovered that the national debt was nearly $13 trillion. In 1971, the year I was born, the national debt was only $75 million. To put this in perspective, the current national debt increases $75 million nearly every hour. It took us nearly 200 years to get a debt of $75 million - now we incur that much debt every hour!

In 2009, the federal deficit (the amount spent that exceeded revenues) was around $1.42 trillion. This amount represented the largest deficit in terms of a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) since World War II. All the estimates for 2010 indicate that the federal deficit will again exceed $1 trillion, thereby increasing the national debt even further.

While the debt itself is problematic, the real elephant in the room is the entitlement programs that have inadequate funding such as Social Security and Medicare. The primary reason that these programs are no longer sustainable can be attributed to the long history of lawmakers raiding these “trust” funds to use the monies for unrelated purposes. In the business world, the use of restricted funds contained in pension and retirement accounts for impermissible purposes would be criminal. When pressed on this issue, your Congressman or Senator will tell you that the Social Security money has been wisely invested in treasury notes, i.e., when they stole the money they stuck an IOU saying it will be repaid at a later date. Of course, when the notes come due, there is no money to pay it back. The estimates on the federal unfunded entitlements range from anywhere between $50 and $100 trillion.

I read yesterday that nearly 50 percent of the entire population pays no federal income tax whatsoever. To make it even more interesting, approximately 40% of the population makes a profit when they file their tax returns. In other words, not only do they not owe any federal income tax, but they actually get more money back from the federal government than they pay into the system. As such, we have a situation where only 50% of the population is actually paying federal income taxes, and another 40% are actually receiving more from the federal government than they are paying into the system in income taxes, and the federal government itself is sinking in debt.

On the way to work this morning, I heard on the radio that the Governor Rendell is convening a special session of the Legislature to close a $472 million hole in the transportation budget resulting from the decision to not create tolls on Interstate 80. Before this news, one legislator had predicted that Pennsylvania’s budget deficit would reach $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year on June 30. The Commonwealth’s financial picture is actually a little worse if one considers that Pennsylvania is relying on billions of dollars of federal “stimulus” money as a means to reduce its deficit. There are two problems with this approach: (1) the federal government really does not have this money as demonstrated by the debt and deficit; and (2) this money is only a temporary fix and will not be reproduced each year. There is some good news - Pennsylvania is no where near the financial wreck that some states, like New York and California, have become. The key to avoid financial ruin is addressing these issues quickly and appropriately.

The Tea Party movement has grown quickly in opposition to the continued expansion of government spending and growth. There can be little dispute that the movement is making a substantial impact - and demonstrates the importance of public participation and demonstration as a political instrument. If you hare interested in participating in a Tea Party, come to the Green in Montrose on April 15 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. (or whenever it ends). The organizers have assembled a large group of speakers - and I have the honor of giving some remarks on the Constitution itself. If you can find the time, join us on the Green and make a difference.

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. Are there different kinds of angina?

Yes, there is stable angina, unstable angina and variant angina.

Angina - the full name is angina pectoris - is the medical term for chest pain or discomfort usually caused by coronary artery disease.

Angina (pronounced an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh) hits when the heart doesn't get enough blood. This usually happens when there is a narrowing or blockage in one or more of the vessels that supply blood to the heart.

Angina can come from exertion. It may make you sweat or lose your breath. The pain can strike your arm or neck, too.

Stable angina comes on with exertion and then goes away easily. You can have this kind of angina for a long time.

When the pattern of angina changes a lot, it's called unstable angina. This is a danger sign. Unstable angina may be the first sign of a heart attack.

Variant angina usually occurs spontaneously and almost always occurs when a person is at rest. Variant angina is caused by a transient coronary artery spasm.

Q. How can I tell if I’m seriously depressed or just blue?

The following are common signs of depression. If you have several of these, and they last for more than two weeks, get treatment:

Anxiety, fatigue, loss of interest or pleasure, sleep problems, eating too much or too little, abnormal crying, aches that can’t be treated successfully, diminished concentration or memory, irritability, thoughts of death or suicide, and feelings of despair, guilt and being worthless.

Depression is a serious illness. It can lead to suicide. Don’t waste time; find help.

Start with your family doctor. After a complete exam, your doctor may suggest you talk to a social worker, mental health counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

Antidepressant drugs can help. These medications can improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and concentration.

Q. What are antioxidants and how do they contribute to good health?

As you process food, you make substances called “free radicals,” which are believed to contribute to aging and certain diseases. To neutralize free radicals, your body uses antioxidants that come from your food. Proponents believe that antioxidants can prevent chronic diseases.

The following are some antioxidants: vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, folic acid and selenium.

The best way to give your body the antioxidants it needs is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. There's no proof that antioxidants in pill form can improve your general health or extend your life.

Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement. Ingredients in supplements can cause harmful interactions with your medications and serious side effects.

In addition to eating a varied diet, try the following for attaining good health: maintain a healthy weight; exercise daily; go to the doctor when you’re sick; go to the doctor when you’re well to get screened for disease; don’t smoke; use sunscreen; stay close to your friends and family.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

I cannot imagine a community without a library. Libraries have been at the core of communities for centuries. Libraries are just one of things that identify us as a civilized society. I believe there are many people in our county that think just as I do. However, community support is vital to the continued operations of the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library.

April marks the beginning of a busy season of functions that we hope will generate some of the funds that we need to operate this year. On April 17 at the VFW in Montrose, we will have our 12th annual Library Auction. Doors open at 4 p.m. and for a small fee you can have an Italian dinner and get the opportunity to bid on many one-of-kind items. All proceeds from this fun-filled event benefit the Library and Historical Society.

Upcoming on August 6 and 7, we will have our 31st annual Blueberry Festival on the Green, a mammoth event that requires many helpers. If you are new to the community and would like to become a volunteer, you can call the main library at (570)278-1881 and leave your name and number. These events could not be accomplished without the assistance of many loyal volunteers and we thank them.

Remember the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library will continue to be here to serve you. However, we need your continued support, both in regular giving and in volunteering your time or goods to support our fund-raising efforts.

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Fuel Cells On The Horizon

What scientists call the “First Law” tells us that energy in our daily lives is neither created nor destroyed - only transformed. It’s the chemical energy bound up in natural gas and oxygen that makes heat in your furnace, or electrical energy in my toaster that burns my bagels each morning.

But although energy is never destroyed, it certainly can be “wasted” or put to purposes we people just don’t appreciate. My favorite example of that is an overheating pickup engine’s radiator, boiling over vigorously on a mountain grade in the summer time.

My four cylinder “little rig,” as we say in the rural West, gets about 31 mpg on the highway. I like them apples! But wouldn’t it be grand if that figure could be doubled? We would not be defeating the First Law, just using energy transformations more efficiently. And I’m glad to say I’ve seen a prototype of a device I think could do that - and economically, too. The little engine that could is called a fuel cell. There are several types of them; I’ll just concentrate on two, first the one that’s simpler but expensive, then the more complex but practical one that may revolutionize our world.

I’ve taught freshmen college students about the first one. It runs like a battery, you could say, but one that never needs charging because it uses fuel. Fuel cells have advantages over batteries. Batteries are very heavy (come to my house and carry in the boat battery in the fall or back out in the spring if you doubt this statement). And batteries, for what they weigh, don’t put out much oomph.

The simple kind of fuel cell draws in pure hydrogen gas to an anode (negative) plate, with oxygen fed at the same time along the cathode (positive) plate of the device. There has to be a membrane and a chemical “soup” in the middle of the cell, but what matters for our purposes is that if you connect the negative to the positive parts you get an electrical current. You can run a light bulb, power a fan, or do any other form of work you care to with the resulting electricity. And the great thing about the fuel cell just described is that its only waste product is pure water.

But fuel cells like this are expensive. The catalyst inside them is made of platinum. And the hydrogen gas fuel is pretty scary stuff - hydrogen burns explosively with even the smallest spark. That’s one reason why, although engineers have long been able to make desktop fuel cells for special applications (or showing students the principles of how they work), your car isn’t running on one today.

But what if there were a second-generation fuel cell that ran not on hydrogen, but on mundane fuel like gasoline, diesel - or even coal or processed plant matter? All those materials could supply hydrogen to the fuel cell, even though not in pure form. And if they were consumed in the controlled manner fuel cells use to oxidize fuel, they would produce electricity, again like a battery.

Here at Washington State University Dr. Jeongmin Ahn and his students are developing these “solid oxide fuel cells.” One of the great things about this next generation fuel cell is that is doesn’t require platinum as a catalyst, using much cheaper nickel instead. Another feature of the fuel cells that knocks my socks off is that one model can run on waste heat. That’s important, and here’s why.

A standard car is about 25 percent efficient, meaning it uses 25 percent of the gas you put into it to get you from Point A to Point B, but it wastes 75 percent of the gas as heat! If a good measure of that waste can be fed into a fuel cell, it can help to power the car using an electrical motor - a new sort of hybrid vehicle.

“We can double the miles per gallon of cars using that technology,” Ahn said to me. “Easily.”

I surely like the sound of that.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. Follow her on the web at and on Twitter @RockDocWSU. 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,

This morning when I went through check out at a store, the cashier was taking a personal call on a cell phone and ringing me out at the same time. I find this so annoying. I hate feeling cranky over what on the surface seams like a minor thing. I can't help feeling that management would be just as unhappy if they knew the employee was not paying attention while handling money. Would it be alright to ask the clerk to put down the phone while she is waiting on me? -Nadine

Dear Nadine,

Chatting on the phone, texting, or visiting with a fellow employee while waiting on a customer, are all behaviors that a competent cashier shouldn't be doing. I would get her attention by sweetly offering to wait until she is finished with her personal business and then follow up with a letter to management. I know taking the time to follow up with a letter is work. If it were your business, wouldn't you want to know? A written consumer complaint is often rewarded with an apology in the form of a one time discount coupon or a gift certificate, so yes, it is worth your time.

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: I’ve often cooked canned foods in their own can, things like condensed milk and mushroom soup. I put the can without opening it in the pressure cooker, cover it with water and let it cook for 30 minutes. The results are amazing. Is it safe to do that? Can metals leach into my food? -Mercedes Kupres, via e-mail

For starters, can makers don’t recommend using their products for anything but storing food unopened until it’s ready to eat. “Cans are reliable, recyclable, durable packages that keep beverages and foods fresh and allow them to be transported safely for thousands of miles, even into remote regions - but they were not made to be used as cooking containers,” says Scott McCarty of Colorado-based Ball Corporation, a leading U.S. food and beverage packaging maker.

Proponents of can-cooking cite the fact that many canned goods are already heated up in their cans to kill bacteria during the canning process, so what harm could a little more heating do? McCarty concedes that some cans are indeed heated during the packing process. “But that isn't all cans or all foods, and it is a carefully controlled and monitored process done in an environment that is made to do it.”

As for what metals may be leaching into your canned food, it depends. In the U.S., most food cans are made of steel while beverage cans are usually made out of aluminum. Chromium and nickel can find their way out of steel, but the amounts would be miniscule to nil. Slightly more troubling is the fact that aluminum - large amounts of which have been linked to nervous system disorders and other health problems - could in theory leach out of cans into their food or drink contents.

In order to prevent any such leaching - which is bad for the food and eater but also for the can (as it can cause corrosion) - the insides of most cans on grocery shelves today are coated with food-grade epoxy. But these liners have been shown to contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) and other potentially harmful chemicals. BPA is a synthetic plastic hardener that has been linked to human reproductive problems and an increased risk of cancer and diabetes. A 2009 analysis of common canned foods by the non-profit Consumers Union found measurable levels of BPA in a wide range of items including some bearing a “BPA Free” label.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing whether or not to allow BPA to come into contact with food items at all. In the meantime, some forward-thinking companies aren’t waiting around for an FDA ruling. Eden Foods, which prides itself on the wholesomeness of its products, worked with its packaging manufacturer, Ball Corporation, back in 1999 to switch out traditional epoxy-based liners with a baked-on, BPA-free enamel lining derived from plant oils and resins.

This technology is nothing new; in fact, Eden stumbled upon it by asking Ball what it used before epoxy liners became standard some three decades earlier. While the custom-made cans cost 14 percent more than industry-standard cans would, Eden maintains it’s worth the extra expense (which amounts to some $300,000 extra per year). “It was the right thing to do,” says Michael Potter, Eden’s president. “I didn't want BPA in food I was serving to my kids, my grandkids or my customers.”

CONTACTS: Ball Corporation,; Consumers Union,; U.S. Food and Drug Administration,; Eden Foods,

SEND YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS TO: EarthTalk®, c/o E - The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881;

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

No Barnes-Kasson Corner This Week

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