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Issue Home May 19, 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

BRACKNEY: Many people who were out looking for the comet Wednesday night were startled at the unusually brilliant meteor which dropped from the sky. They will be still further surprised when they learn that the meteor really struck the earth, landing on the Dusenberry farm at Brackney. Mr. Dusenberry was awake at the time, watching for the comet. He surely thought the end of the earth was at hand when he heard a swish and whirr like a ricocheting shell and saw a huge ball of fire strike near his home, making it as light as day during its passage through the air. With his household and the hired man, Mr. Dusenberry rushed to the spot where it struck, which was in a field not a rod from the main road. Hissing and sputtering in the ground was the meteor. For some minutes the gasses it emitted were so suffocating that it was impossible to get near it. After throwing several pails of water on it to cool it, the men excitedly began to dig it out. It was under the surface a distance of five feet, where it had struck a rock preventing further progress. The meteor is about a foot square, of mottled appearance, and is largely mineral. Mr. Dusenberry drove to Binghamton yesterday morning with his find and took it to the Barkman drug store, where it was chemically analyzed, proving it to be beyond question a meteor. The object is now on exhibition in a window of the store, where it is gazed upon by gaping crowds.

AUBURN: The Grand Army Post and Odd Fellows are to hold Memorial Day services at the Jersey Hill cemetery, May 30.

MONTROSE: Liveryman W. A. Harrington is in the West buying a carload of horses. ALSO H. E. Cooley has taken the agency for the Hupp automobile. Mr. Cooley is running a 12 horsepower runabout of the Hupp make and its ease of operation and good running qualities make it noticeable as one of the best machines of its kind. Allyn M. Ayars purchased a 20 horsepower Hupp runabout, having recently disposed of his White steamer to Benj. McKeage, of Chicago.

NEW MILFORD: Stanley Stone, aged 72, died at his home here, Sunday morning, and interment was made in the New Milford cemetery, the Masons having charge of the services. Deceased was one of the best known men of this section. He was a veteran of the Civil War and active in the G. A. R. He enlisted in Co. B, 17th Pa. Cavalry, Sept. 18, 1862, and served until the end of the war. He was under command of Generals Stoneman and Sheridan and saw considerable service, until his capture and confinement in Libby Prison [and released] after Lee’s surrender. Besides a widow he leaves two sons - Hugh and Stanley of New Milford.

UNIONDALE: The wagon shop of Ira Churchill was completely destroyed by fire last week. The owner lost all his tools and a large stock of hard lumber. By the efficient work of a bucket brigade the fire was prevented from spreading. Ira received $700 in insurance but the Uniondale band lost about $25 worth of music and racks. ALSO The people of this village should make use of the new morning train, which will run once a week, commencing the 29th, and maybe the Erie company will be disposed to run it every day.

MIDDLETOWN TWP.: Jerome Keough, a native of Susquehanna county, whose birthplace is at Middletown, is now the champion pool player of the world. ALSO The young people are having a comet party once a week and they are enjoyed by all.

LAWSVILLE: A new organization has been formed, known as the Lawsville Center Cemetery society, for the maintenance of the cemetery. Any person may become a member of the society by paying into the treasury a membership fee of 50 cents. Annual dues 25 cents.

SPRINGVILLE: If the young men who go home along toward midnight would make less noise, their neighbors would get more sleep.

HARFORD: We need not watch the comet, they tell us any more. But we surely need a padlock for our chickencoop door.

SUSQUEHANNA: Susquehanna citizens are going to experiment with oil in the streets to prevent the dust. This method has been tried in many places and is reported to work satisfactorily.

SOUTH GIBSON: Samuel A. Jackling, an enthusiastic old Vet, being a member of Co. G., 73rd Volunteers, was over to the county seat last week, doing the town and making numerous calls among the business places. Mr. Jackling recently removed to South Gibson from Scranton, and has opened a barber shop for the accommodation of the citizens.

HOPBOTTOM: An unknown man was killed by the cars a short distance below here last Thursday. Undertaker Terry, of Nicholson, was notified and he took the remains to his morgue. The body was that of an Italian, abut 30 years of age. There was nothing about him by which he could be identified and the Lathrop poormasters buried the body.

BIRCHARDVILLE: The Loyal Temperance legion met at the home of Mattie Birchard last Friday evening and organized the society fully. The following officers were elected: pres., Ralph Griffis; vice pres., Byron Griffis; second vice pres., Lena Ball; corresponding sec’y, Belle Ely; treas., Nathan Cobb; director of music, Ray Birchard.

CHOCONUT VALLEY: Joseph Clarke, son of Frank Clarke, who has been employed in the State Hospital at Binghamton, for some time, has obtained a position on the police force. ALSO E. J. Stanley has commenced taking calves every Monday through this place, stopping at Hotel Mooney for dinner. Judging from the amount he is taking, calves must be plenty.

FOREST CITY: Two men, who came to this country on the German ship of the Hamburg line, are known to be in Forest City, and as this vessel had small pox on board, the local health authorities are keeping a watch on them and will until all danger of the disease breaking out is over. ALSO William Pentecost, of Prompton, is one of those who saw Halley’s comet when it passed through the heavens in 1835.

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

“I’m not sympathetic.” Those were the words that law clerk Elena Kagan wrote in a 1987 memo to her boss, United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, in connection with an appeal challenging the constitutionality of a D.C. firearms law. In that case, the defendant had been convicted of carrying a firearm in D.C. and he was challenging the constitutionality of the law as a means to overturn his conviction. Kagan was writing the legal memo to Justice Marshall to assist him in determining whether to vote to allow the appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court. She was “not sympathetic” to the argument that Second Amendment conferred a private right to individual citizens to possess and own firearms. In the end, the court refused to hear the case and the conviction stood.

Over two decades later, the United States Supreme Court would strike down the D.C. firearm statute in the Heller decision and finally conclude that the Second Amendment conferred a fundamental right upon the individual citizen to possess firearms. Kagan now indicates that she accepts the Heller decision though she has not indicated whether her “sympathies” have changed.

The interesting part of this 1987 legal memo has nothing to do with the legal analysis. Even in the Heller decision, there were 4 dissenting justices who dissented from the holding and would have limited the breadth and application of the Second Amendment. Kagan will likely replace one of those dissenting justices, John Paul Stevens. No, the legal arguments suggesting that the Second Amendment was limited to state militias, as opposed to individuals, has been out there for a long, long time and was accepted by many courts and scholars. The legal memo would have reflected these views.

Moreover, it is not all that interesting that Kagan was unsympathetic toward the recognition of a fundamental right to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment. I expected President Obama to nominate someone with generally limited views toward the Second Amendment.

No, the interesting part of the legal memo is the willingness to openly and boldly recommend denial of review of an important constitutional claim not based upon the legal arguments, but on personal sympathies. Whether or not Kagan was sympathetic to the litigants Second Amendment claims should have had nothing to do with whether the constitutional issues were important enough for review by the highest court. In preparing a memo for Justice Marshall, I would expect that she would lay out the legal issues, set forth the applicable law and then apply the applicable law to the facts of the case. While she may have engaged in this exercise, she actually injected her personal “sympathies.” During her previous confirmation hearings, she conceded that she was instructed to look at the cases from Justice Marshall’s perspective and decide which cases provided opportunities to do “good things” and those that failed to provide such opportunities. There is a certain level of unabashed activism in such an approach to jurisprudence. This style of judging would be governed by the personal whims and caprices of a particular judge - and neither Kagan nor Justice Marshall was sympathetic to the rights protected in the Second Amendment.

On the other hand, I am sympathetic toward Kagan herself. I cannot say how many memos and draft opinions that I wrote over the course of three years as a law clerk - but I know that the number would be in the hundreds. I never really considered that those memos might still be floating about in federal cyberspace, but I suspect that they are there somewhere. I cannot even begin to recall what I wrote in those memos and drafts, but I know that I made mistakes - some had so much red ink on them when I got them back it looked like the judge had been cut while reading it. I am certain that those memos and drafts would provide tons of fun material for any critic several decades later to intellectually slice and dice me. For that matter, they would not even have to go that far, the hundreds of columns that I have written would provide more than enough ammunition.

In the end, it is only important to know that Kagan is now committed to applying the law to the facts without being swayed by prejudice, bias, impartiality or ever her sympathies. That is all that we can really ask of any judge.

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. Is there a magic bullet for back pain. I could use one.

There is no magic bullet for everyone. However, like millions of people who suffer back pain, I rely on the methods developed by Robin McKenzie, a physiotherapist in New Zealand. Because back problems are almost universal, I’m going to do two columns on McKenzie.

When I was 30 years old, I strained my lower back carrying bundles of newspapers. With a week of bed rest, I got better. A few years later, I reached for a backhand on the tennis court and ended up in bed again.

Subsequently, a series of injuries gave me stiffness and localized pain. Then the sciatica kicked in; a toothache-like pain started running down my left buttock to my ankle. This was a sign that my injuries had earned me a bulging lumbar disc.

I went to a chiropractor and his treatments seemed to work, but I suspect that rest had more to do with my recovery than the treatments.

After additional sieges of pain, I went to a physiatrist and several physical therapists. Again, after many sessions, I got better but wasn’t sure why. Then, a therapist loaned me a copy of a book: Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie. Since then, I have not been to any type of healthcare professional for help.

The best way to explain McKenzie’s system is to let you hear it in his own words. Below is an eye-opening excerpt from his book:

In about 1956, in my clinic in Wellington, New Zealand, I observed by chance a remarkable event which has changed worldwide the nature of treatment administered for the alleviation of back pain. This serendipitous event led to the development of the theories and practice that have now become the hallmark of the McKenzie methods for the diagnosis and treatment of common painful back problems.

The chance observation arose from a sudden change in the condition of a patient whom we will call Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith had pain to the right of his low back, extending into the buttock and thigh as far as his knee. He had undergone the conventional treatment considered suitable for back pain in that era. After three weeks of heat and ultrasound his condition had not improved. He had difficulty standing upright, he could bend forward, but could not bend backward.

I told him to undress and lie face down on the treatment table, the end of which had been raised for a previous patient. Without adjusting the table, and unnoticed by any of the clinical staff, he lay face down with his back arched and overstretched for some five minutes.

When I returned in order to commence his treatment, I was extremely concerned to find him lying in what, at the time, was considered to be a most damaging position. On enquiring as to his welfare, I was astounded to hear him say that this was the best he had been in three weeks. All pain had disappeared from his leg. Furthermore, the pain in the back had moved from the right side to the centre. In addition, he found he could now bend backward without having severe pain.

When Mr. Smith arose from the treatment table, he could stand upright and he remained improved with no recurrence of leg pain. I placed him in the same position the following day, and this resulted in complete resolution of the remaining symptoms.

The important point to remember about all this is that as Mr. Smith lay in this position, his pain changed location and moved from the leg and right side of his back to the centre point just at the waistline. The movement of pain from the leg or buttocks to the middle of the back is now known worldwide as the “centralization phenomenon.”

We now know that when pain moves, as it did in the case of Mr. Smith, our chances of helping you with the methods described in this book are very good indeed.

Thanks to the chance observation with Mr. Smith, the McKenzie system is now provided worldwide by thousands of physiotherapists, doctors and chiropractors treating patients with back pain.

For more information, go to:

In my next column, we’ll discuss the McKenzie techniques.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

Now is the time to consider getting your children involved in the Susquehanna County Library’s Summer Reading program - a program designed for children from infancy to 18. I have learned that this year will be somewhat “wet and wild.”

The 2010 Summer Reading Program has two levels: a program for younger children called “Make a Splash at Your Library” and a program for teens called “Make Waves at Your Library.” What young person can resist programs with a water theme? In fact, I understand that the agenda for the Summer Reading program includes a fishing trip and an end of summer event at the New Milford pool.

Summer Reading programs are available at the Library’s three branches (Susquehanna, Hallstead-Great Bend, and Forest City) and at the main library in Montrose. Contact your local librarian soon to find out when the programs start and how you can be involved. Remember studies show that children can experience a learning loss of as much as 22% during their time out of the classroom. Regular reading during the summer can help to mitigate this loss.

As I have suggested in the past, making visits to the library part of your summer activities can benefit both you and your children. Taking time to select a book and to read or re-read and discuss it together is a good experience for the whole family. Of course, you, too, might find just the perfect book for yourself as well. Remember the Susquehanna County Library is your resource for lifetime learning.

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

No Rock Doc This Week

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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,

No Dear Dolly This Week

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From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

No Earth Talk This Week

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

No Barnes-Kasson Corner This Week

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