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Issue Home August 18, 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

DIMOCK: A large attendance at Dimock camp meeting is reported. All the cottages are filled.

SUSQUEHANNA: The increased rates on the Jefferson branch [of the Erie R.R.] makes the fare from Carbondale $1.00. The increase is one-half cent per mile and is now enforced on practically all the roads in Pennsylvania. ALSO Ray Ball, age 17, son of Engineer George Ball, was almost instantly killed shortly before noon Tuesday, while working on an electric light pole at the intersection of Franklin avenue and Prospect street.

BRIDGEWATER TWP.: As Mr. Ruben Torry and a lady friend were out driving Tuesday afternoon, they met a three-in hand load. The wheel caught, throwing them both out, and luckily Mr. Torry had control of his horse, as it might have been a serious affair. Only the harness was broken and a whiffletree was cracked. Assistance was at hand as it was near the Angle blacksmith shop.

SPRINGVILLE: A. S. Button is one of those successful farmers who believes in diversified interests and combines dairying, sheep raising and poultry, so as to realize well from his acres.

MONTROSE: Montrose has many stretches of fine side walks. But she is unfortunate in that some of her worst walks are in the most prominent places. Some of them are on Public Avenue. Another place where there are bad places that a few hours’ work would repair is on Mill street, between the D. L. & W. station and Maple Street, which is the “gate-way” to Montrose for all persons coming in on the trains and they have to stub their toes over these unnecessarily uneven places, and it cannot help but give them the first minute they have in town a bad impression as to Montrose’s side walks. Better fix ‘em.

BIRCHARDVILLE: The Oregon Indian Medicine Co. will present the play, “Ten Nights in [a] Bar Room,” in a tent in this place, every night this week.

LAKESIDE: The Lake is getting quite low, water being drawn for power purposes.

THOMPSON: Last Wednesday it rained very graciously nearly all day, but two or three full loads drove over to North Jackson to attend the Hall-Lamb reunion. James Elmer DeWitt, of Gibson, got himself over the stream into the edge of New Milford and got Miss Lena B. Chamberlain, and from thence they drove to the Jefferson House at Thompson, and after dinner they called on Rev. P. R. Tower who said a few words pronouncing them man and wife and they were back to his home in time for the evening chores. ALSO Camp meeting on the Free Methodist grounds opened under favorable conditions Sunday; the weather, attendance and preaching being good.

UNIONDALE: M. D. Daniels and wife were on the mountain after huckleberries one day last week. The scenery was fine and beautiful, the berries small and scarce; but they picked 22 quarts with the long green. ALSO Miss Gertrude Hayden, one of Philadelphia’s most celebrated song birds, visited F. M. Davies and wife for several days last week. Miss Hayden lived here when a small girl and has many friends here.

FRANKLIN FORKS: There will be a neighborhood picnic at Salts Springs on Friday, August 19. Everyone come and help the children have a good time. ALSO James Peck, of Kokomo, Indiana, is spending his vacation with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Peck.

HOP BOTTOM: There will be a harvest dance at the Valley View House on August 26, to which a general invitation is extended. The Purvis Orchestra has been engaged to furnish music and H. C. Carpenter, the proprietor, will spare no pains, as usual, to the end that all attendants may have a good time

HARFORD: The Osman-Tingley reunion was well attended; though a rainy day nobody was cross. Wilbur Richardson offered the use of his large barn, where dinner was served; and after dinner some good recitations, among them “Uncle Josh Playing Baseball,” by Williston Oakley, was much enjoyed by all.

ARARAT: The section laborers strike is ended, and the old track hands have returned to work at a wage scale we understand of $1.50 per day. They began work on Tuesday morning, August 16.

BROOKLYN: The demand upon carpenters and builders B. A. Oakley and P. Burbank is urgent in the community where they reside, having two fine residences under construction at the present time, and which will occupy them the remainder of the season. They have just got Everett Ely’s house on Maple enclosed, and early this week began raising for a handsome new home for L. S. Ely on Main Street.

BROOKDALE: Mrs. Delia Roy is the guest of her daughter, Mrs. Perley Shelp, at Brookdale Orphanage. [We are looking for information on this orphanage. The 1910 census has Perley L. Shelp and his wife, as overseers of the mission farm. Please contact the Susquehanna County Historical Society if you have any information. Thank you.]

FOREST CITY: Miss Nellie Miskall and Joseph Miskall, who have been suffering with typhoid fever, are now on the road to recovery, much to the gratification of their relatives and friends.

NEWS BRIEF: Estimates of the damage done by the fire at the World’s Fair at Brussels, Belgium, vary from $100,000,000 to $200,000,000. A spark falling into inflammable material in the telegraph building kindled flames which driven by a high wind, swept rapidly in all directions. Firemen and soldiers called to the scene found themselves baffled by the veritable gale, which carried burning embers to all parts of the grounds. The crowds became panic stricken. Men, women and children fought madly to escape. The exits became choked with the struggling masses and men used their fists to clear the pathway. Many were trampled under foot and badly injured. Only two lives were lost in the disaster, but hundreds were injured. ALSO A western doctor advertises by circular: "I will pay one half the funeral expenses where I am not successful.” ALSO Florence Nightingale, the famous nurse of the Crimean War, died of heart failure in her London home. She was born in 1820.

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

I had someone email me a few weeks ago asking for my opinion regarding the ongoing questions raised by some people as to whether President Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve as President. This phenomenon has become more widely known as the “birther” movement - it relates to contentions that President Obama has not produced his actual birth certificate verifying that he was born in the United States of America, and, as such, is not a “naturally born citizen.” During the presidential campaign, President Obama did post a Certificate of Live Birth from the State of Hawaii on his website, but critics continue to contend that this certificate is not the equivalent of a birth certificate, and that his parents could have obtained a Certificate of Live Birth even if he had been born outside the country. For most people, the “birthers” are viewed as a strange lot of seething, right wing nut jobs, but the truth is that the initial “birther” movement and legal challenge was initiated by a registered Democrat and Pennsylvania attorney Philip Berg.

Let me start by saying that I generally try to avoid conspiracy theories - they are a little like weeds and they can spring up anywhere. When I was an undergraduate student, my political science teacher wanted to make this point so he challenged any student to compose a factual paper on the “conspiracy” to assassinate Ronald Reagan. I decided that this would be a fun project, so I agreed to give it a try. After spending hours and hours reading news reports on Hinkley and the assassination attempt, I was able to compose quite a paper that was filled with factual references and lots of fun conspiracy stuff. My professor told me that he actually checked every citation because he did not believe it - but they all checked out.

There were simply some strange factual coincidences. There were oil connections between the Hinkley family and the Bush family, there were secret service agents that misidentified the number of shots fired, there were questions on how Hinkley got into the press area so close to the president (and actually appeared to shot Reagan’s Press Secretary first), and there was the “magic bullet” that struck Reagan in the heart which ricocheted off the side of the bulletproof car through the area between the car and the opened door before striking Reagan in the chest. These are just some of the things I remember now 20 years later from that little paper.

When I undertook the project, I anticipated that crafting a conspiracy theory for the assassination attempt would be incredibly difficult. I was shocked to find just how easy it was to do - and a valuable lesson was learned. So, I always take conspiracy theories with a heavy grain of salt and recall just how easily they can be crafted out of just a few facts.

With this background, I have an extremely skeptical view of the “birther” movement. There are certainly plenty of facts and circumstances that have provided fertile ground for the “birther” movement - and the weeds are growing rampant. In reality, there is probably little that the President can do to eliminate the speculation surrounding his birth. Given my experiences with writing a conspiracy theory, I can sympathize with the President’s position.

On the other hand, it seems that the best defense to conspiracy theorists is to simply be transparent. Rather then spend millions of dollars on attorneys to litigate the standing of various persons to challenge eligibility, the better defense would be to simply sign a medical release and allow the hospital in Hawaii to release the records of President’s birth - this would even be better than a birth certificate and would really put the proverbial stake into the heart of the “birther” movement. And the refusal to release this information has the exact opposite effect - it breathes continued life into the “birther” movement.

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. What foods are good for keeping your cholesterol down?

Oatmeal contains soluble fiber that reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol that can increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes. This type of fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, brussels sprouts, apples, pears, barley and prunes.

There are other foods that work against cholesterol. These include soy protein, walnuts and fatty fish.

Soy protein is found in tofu, soy nuts, soy milk and soy burgers.

Walnuts can significantly reduce cholesterol and may also help keep blood vessels more healthy and elastic.

Omega-3 fatty acids in fish are noted for lowering triglycerides, another form of fat in your blood. The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon. Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil and soybean oil.

Of course, if you’re a geezer and you plan to make a change in your habits that could affect your health, it is recommended that you consult your doctor first.

Q. What is the most popular drug in the USA?

Caffeine. About 90 percent of Americans consume caffeine daily. More than half of all American adults consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine every day.

Caffeine occurs naturally in many plants, including coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa nuts. It is therefore found in a wide range of food products. Caffeine is added artificially to many others, including a variety of beverages. The most common sources of caffeine for Americans are coffee, tea, colas, chocolate and some over-the-counter medications.

Here are some useful numbers to help you determine how much caffeine you take in: a 6-ounce cup of coffee, 100 mg; a 6-ounce cup of tea, 70 mg; a 12-ounce can of cola, 50 mg; an ounce of chocolate, 6 mg; one tablet of Extra Strength Excedrin, 65 mg; one tablet of Anacin, 32 mg; one tablet of Maximum Strength NoDoz, 200 mg.

For most people, 200 to 300 milligrams a day aren't harmful. But, if you are sensitive to caffeine, you may want to cut down or eliminate caffeine from your diet.

Q. How long has marijuana been used medicinally?

Marijuana refers to the parts of the Cannabis sativa plant, which has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 4,800 years. Doctors in ancient China, Greece and Persia used it as a pain reliever and for gastrointestinal disorders and insomnia.

Cannabis as a medicine was common throughout most of the world in the 1800s. It was used as the primary pain reliever until the invention of aspirin. The United States, in effect, made prescriptions for Cannabis illegal through the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

One of marijuana's medical uses is for the treatment of nausea. It can improve mild to moderate nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy and help reduce nausea and weight loss in people with AIDS.

Glaucoma increases pressure in the eyeball, which can lead to vision loss. Smoking marijuana reduces pressure in the eyes. Your doctor can prescribe other medications to treat glaucoma, but these can lose their effectiveness over time.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

It’s not too late to participate in this year’s Library Lottery drawing. This is the second year that the Library has sponsored this event. It presents an opportunity for community members to help the Susquehanna Historical Society and Free Library Association reach its goal of building a new main library building to service the needs of the residents of Susquehanna County.

The Library Lottery drawing is scheduled for Saturday, August 14 at the Forest Lake Fireman’s Field Grounds. Again this year, only 2,000 tickets are being sold. If all the tickets are sold, $148,000 in prizes will be distributed. Monies raised by the Library Lottery go directly to our capital campaign.

Tickets are still available and will be sold up until 2 p.m. the day of the drawing. More information is available on our website at Remember, time is now of the essence for your chance to win up to $50,000.

On another note, we thank all those who are regular shoppers at Rob’s Shurfine Markets in Montrose and Great Bend and who have signed up their Gold Card to benefit the Library. Thousands of dollars, one penny at a time, have aided the library’s operating budget through this program.

Community support is vital to maintain your library. We appreciate your support.

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Rock Doc Riches In The Midst Of War

Some geologists are heroes.

That was the thought that came to my mind when I read of what Afghan geologists had done during the long and difficult time the Taliban had run their country.

Even without real hope they might ever do geology again, but with fears about what might happen at any time to the reports of previous geological mapping work, the Afghan geologists took the records home to preserve them. When the dust of the American invasion had settled and the Afghan government had been restored, the local geologists brought back the reports.

The records were the starting point for the effort in recent years to explore Afghanistan for mineral resources using fully modern methods. The results have astonished geologists because the riches of the war-torn country are so great.

As the New York Times reported this summer, many geologists now working in Afghanistan feel they are “in the midst of one of the great discoveries of their careers.”

From estimates of what’s under the ground, both at depth and near the surface, Afghanistan may contain nearly $1 trillion worth of minerals. Along the Pashtun area in the south there is gold; in western Afghanistan there is apparently abundant lithium; and elsewhere there are major deposits of copper, iron, cobalt and rare metals like niobium.

As a student, I studied mineral resources intensively. The richest of those here in the U.S. were mined out in the 1800s and early 1900s. There is a cycle in such matters, and the richest deposits are - at least generally - the first discovered and mined. But Afghanistan stands today where the U.S. did long ago, so it’s no surprise that Afghan mineral wealth is likely quite high.

But a $1 trillion bonanza is greater than this geologist would have guessed.

In short, it looks like there is enough mineral wealth in Afghanistan it could alter both the war and the way of life in the impoverished nation where the gross domestic product is only about $12 billion. If investment materializes to exploit the mineral wealth, jobs in mining could employ many men currently involved in the war, U.S. officials speculate.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus said to the New York Times. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think the potential is hugely significant.”

The ore was discovered because the U.S. Geological Survey and some others went to work in 2006 using modern methods of exploration throughout the country. In the old days, geologists used to travel by Jeep (or even on foot and horseback) to outcrops. The accepted technique was to knock off pieces of rock with a hammer and inspect what you had in your hand. The approach still works, but it’s obviously labor intensive and slow.

If you want to rapidly explore a whole country these days, the way to do it is by air. So the Americans flew over Afghanistan with sophisticated gravity measurement devices. The results were highly encouraging. In 2007, the geologists again flew over the country, this time with devices that offer three-dimensional information about mineral concentrations.

The results were “astonishing” to the geologists who saw the data. The story even recently merited a piece in the prestigious journal Science, so impressive is the tale of mineral exploration and discovery.

There seems little doubt that Afghanistan is sitting on wealth that could dwarf the opium trade and what money reaches the war torn country from outside aid. But it remains to be seen how the wealth from the Earth is exploited and used.

Afghanistan is not a developed country with infrastructure or environmental controls. Mining can ruin countryside and destroy water resources if it’s unregulated. And, to complicate matters, the government in the country has had trouble with corruption. Indeed, last year the minister of mines stood accused of accepting a $30 million bribe in connection with giving rights to China to develop a copper mine. (The good news is that the official is no longer in office.)

But still, the challenges of wealth rather than chronic poverty could be a fine change of pace of a nation in need of some good news.

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 Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource 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,

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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