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Holly Joan and Luke Foster Harvatine are very pleased to announce the birth of their baby sister, Kali Ann, who was born on October 27, 2010. Their proud parents are Will and Julie Stalter Harvatine of Kingsley. Maternal grandparents are the late Gordon and Joan Stalter of Kingsley. Paternal grandparents are Paul and Susan Harvatine of Herrick Township. Paternal great grandmother is Dorothy Foster of Union Dale.
The Pennsylvania Association of Retired State Employees met on November 9 at the Zion Lutheran Church, Dushore.
President Jesse Bacon reported briefly on the State PARSE convention at Camp Hill in September. He said that current members are now receiving membership renewal applications which are to be returned to the state office with dues. He explained the use of the Bio-Strip card which would be received with the membership card.
The present Chapter 15 officers were retained by the membership for the years 2011 and 2012. They are Jesse Bacon, President; Bradford County Vice President, Bernice Landmesser; Sullivan County Vice President, Paul St. Germaine; Susquehanna County Vice President, John Benio; Secretary, Cynthia Sims; and Treasurer, Alton Arnold.
The next meeting will be held at the Towanda American Legion on December 14. The issue on whether or not to continue to have monthly meetings will be decided. To make a reservation and/or learn more about the organization, contact President Jesse Bacon at 570-265-2988 or Susquehanna County Vice President John Benio at 570-278-2380.
Cabot Supports Sabers Football
When the Susquehanna High School Sabers Football Team advanced to the District 2 Class A semifinals, Coach Richard Bagnall instinctively knew that more practice on the field would be a major benefit to the team. He faced two challenges. First, the stadium is not equipped with lights for nighttime practice and secondly, daylight savings time had recently gone into effect.
Coach Bagnall couldn’t do anything about how much earlier it was getting dark, but he did reach out to Cabot Oil & Gas in a unique partnership for the good of the Sabers. Cabot Oil & Gas provided the resources to rent portable lights to illuminate the field and the players were able to focus on more nighttime practice right on their home field.
Bronson Stone (left), Superintendent of the Susquehanna Community School District and Coach Dick Bagnall (right), presented a framed picture of nighttime practice signed by the players and coaches of the Susquehanna High School Sabers Football Team as a token of appreciation to George Stark (center) of Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation.
“This was a big help,” Coach Bagnall stated. “Because of Cabot’s generosity, we were able to stay outdoors longer and concentrate more on strategy. If we didn’t have these lights, we would have had to move indoors and that’s just not as effective for the players.”
“The Sabers have played their hearts out all season long and supporting the players and coaches in this way is very gratifying for our company,” said George Stark, Director External Affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. “These student- athletes gave everything they had for the good of the school community. Cabot is very pleased to have helped the team out in this way. They are true champions.”
From The Earth
The autumn sky looms ominously across the sallow land. There are no signs of encouragement for the natural survivalists that live in the ever-changing forest. It is the fall of fall, nature’s way of going on vacation from another toiling season of making miracles. The creatures of the land instinctively know this and forage diligently before winters’ long silence arrives. Even the orphaned fawn detects something is amiss as it timidly nibbles the last berries that have fallen from a bush in the thicket. Wild geese flee southward towards safety and the leaves explode from the emptying trees with one final outburst of color only to descend to a melee of death below. Across the way lies a pumpkin patch long forgotten since All Hallow’s Eve.
A lonely pumpkin rests in solitude amongst the waste wondering what can possibly happen now. “I will freeze and be plowed under for sure.” He thought indignantly, ”If only I had been rounder, I would have been one of those glowing faces that glowered from the porch of the farmhouse up on the hill.” His fellow pumpkins were whisked away just days before and the sad pumpkin could not see justice in this situation, as it mournfully resided in the cold dirt of the barren garden. As he sat, staring at the stars one night he realized his fate was not so bad after all. “I have come from the earth and I will return to the earth, that is nature’s way.”
The next morning he watched the sun slowly paint the brightening sky. It was the most spectacular sky he has ever experienced. Something was changing inside of the pumpkin but he was not quite sure what it was. “Today will be different, I just know.” He sat and waited but he was not prepared for what would happen next. The pumpkin saw a shadow bouncing along from behind him and could feel the earth quaking from under where he lay. He felt a sudden jolt and heard a crack. Then it happened! Somebody was picking him up, breaking the pumpkin away from this place of spoil.
“Yep, this one here will do quite nicely.”
“Who said that?” The pumpkin did not care. He was in his glory swinging through the air like a child’s first ride at the county fair. When they stomped up the porch steps to go inside the old weathered farmhouse the farmer set him down next to the warm hearth, the pumpkin knew his destiny was well under way. Instinctively the pumpkin sacrificed his life for the old man but not his soul. As the transformed pumpkin slowly baked in the oven, he made sure his essence permeated the house with an aroma that only pumpkins could create.
Finally, his moment had arrived. The children’s eyes danced with delight when the farmer’s wife solemnly set her masterpiece down on the long dining table. “Well, what will it be old man? Apple, mince, or pumpkin?” she shouted, for the festivities of the day were well underway. “Woman you asked me that every year when you darn well know what’ll it be,” he chuckled. The farmer could not have been any more content or more proud to sit at the head of the crowded table trying to keep order, knowing all the while he was having far too great a time to actually want to stop the joyous chaos. “That was the best pumpkin pie ever!” he roared through the din. “Old man, you tell me that every year!” she said laughing. However, the little pumpkin knew differently and secretly savored his triumph.
Outside the weathered old farmhouse, the November sky is quietly beginning to cast its shadows into the forest once more. The bounty of the earth awaits the natural survivalists that fend from the silence of winter as it approaches even closer. The pumpkin does not feel the commotion of this impending collapse. He instinctively knows his course of transformation. It is the fall of fall and the pumpkin is thankful to be slowly melting into the soul of the kind-hearted man on a cold Thanksgiving evening.
Local Hunters May Be Surprised
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Pennsylvania hunters venturing out this fall may be surprised by the level of disturbance and activity on public lands in the north central, northeastern and southwestern regions of the state, according to a wildlife expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Natural-gas exploration and development associated with the Marcellus Shale formation have increased exponentially over the past year.
"As a hunter, you may be shocked by the level of natural-gas drilling and production activity associated with Marcellus Shale on public lands in Pennsylvania," said Margaret Brittingham, professor of wildlife resources and extension wildlife specialist.
"As of Oct. 1, there were 4,510 active Marcellus permits. Compare this with Oct. 1, 2009, when there were 1,970 permits."
Accompanying the drilling activity, hunters will find new or modified roads in many areas and may encounter large volumes of truck traffic in areas where active drilling is occurring.
To accommodate hunters and reduce conflicts, Brittingham noted, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has vowed to limit heavy-truck traffic associated with Marcellus activities in many areas on the opening two days of the statewide firearms deer-hunting season (Nov. 29 and 30) and the two Saturdays of deer season (Dec. 4 and 11).
"Hunters also may come upon large open areas that are cleared or being cleared as well-pad sites," she said. "The well pad is considered to be a restricted area that is not open to the public. The dividing line between the public forest and the restricted area is the native vegetation line."
Brittingham recommends that hunters avoid these sites. "Individuals standing in the native vegetation are considered to be on public ground; those standing on the well pad are in restricted areas and fall under the rules and regulations of the company doing the drilling and completion activities," she said.
Brittingham pointed out that most active drilling locations have a security-guard shack that houses individuals who greet, identify and limit people accessing the pad. This is mainly a safety feature, she explained, because in the case of a major accident or event on the pad, the gas companies want to keep members of the public from being injured.
"Individuals hunting within the pad boundaries may be asked for their names and purpose for being there," she said. "And the well-pad locations where drilling and hydraulic-fracturing activities are occurring will be posted with Safety Zone signs 150 yards from the edge of the pad.
"No hunting will be allowed within the safety zone. Where these activities are taking place, there are workers temporarily living on the site 24 hours a day. Pads not subject to drilling or production activities will not be posted."
Hunters should check out their favorite hunting sites ahead of time as access may be restricted in areas surrounding active drilling operations, Brittingham advised.
For more information - including an updated list of what roads are open for hunting season on state forest land, a map of current Marcellus permits and DCNR district forest office contacts - visit http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us.
Pennstar Discusses Cybercrime Prevention
On Tuesday, November 16, Pennstar Bank presented a seminar on cybercrime prevention at the Summit Tea Room in New Milford. The seminar featured the bank’s in-house experts discussing what cybercrime is, how it is being committed and how attendees can protect their organizations from this growing threat.
“Our seminar contains information that is beneficial to anyone who uses a computer,” said Robert Welch, manager of Pennstar Bank’s Susquehanna County Region. “We have specially tailored our discussion to businesses, not-for-profits, school districts and governmental agencies. We are taking the initiative to ensure the public is informed of this threat and what defense measures can be taken proactively.”
During the presentation, Senior Vice President and Director of Operational Risk and Financial Crime Management James Terry explained the types of viruses that are most prevalent, how the infection occurs and how criminals utilize the infections to take over your computer and identity. Attendees were provided with nine points of protection to aid them in detecting, deterring and defending against cybercrime. For more information on cybercrime prevention, contact your local Pennstar Bank.
Canned Venison A Better Alternative
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Deer hunting is an old tradition worth preserving. And when it comes to preserving venison, according to a food scientist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, an old traditional method for preserving meat might be best.
Too often, successful hunters will take their deer carcasses to the butcher and have all but the steaks ground, noted Martin Bucknavage, senior extension associate in food science. "For all the effort put into hunting the deer, it's a shame that all we can show for it is hamburger patties that probably were blended with beef or pork," he said.
"One way to better utilize parts of the deer you would normally grind is by canning them. With little effort, you can take the shoulder or the hind quarter and convert it into a product that can be used in many meat dishes."
Canning has a number of advantages, Bucknavage pointed out. For one, the canning process will make the tougher cuts of meat more tender. This process also serves to neutralize some of the strong, gamey flavor that can be associated with deer. Once canned, this venison is ready to be added to most any meat dish.
"You can add it to stew, chili or a meat casserole with little or no preparation of the meat," he said. "Having it in a canning jar also means that less of your freezer will be filled with packaged venison."
When canning venison, it is better to cut the meat into chunks or cubes, Bucknavage explained. Meat first should be trimmed to remove fat and connective tissue and then cut into 1-inch cubes. "There are two basic ways to can - hot pack or cold pack," he said. "In hot pack, the chunks of meat are seared in a frying pan and then ladled into a jar along with boiling meat juices or broth.
"In the cold pack method, the chunks are packed loosely into a jar and the jar is sealed without adding any extra broth."
A pressure canner is a must if you are canning venison or any other meat, Bucknavage stressed. Once the jars are prepared, they are placed into the pressure canner, and following established processing procedures, the jars are heated under pressure for a given amount of time.
"Once complete, and the pressure canner is cooled, the jars are removed and stored for future use," he said. "Then, whenever you have a hankering for venison, it is on the shelf and ready to go. There are no worries about thawing out the meat, freezer burn or the venison being too tough to enjoy."
The National Center for Home Food Preservation website lists all of the processing times and temperatures for cubed meat or any other product you wish to preserve. It is important to follow these established processing times to prevent foodborne illness, Bucknavage noted.
Bucknavage suggested contacting your county Penn State Cooperative Extension office if you have questions about home canning. A series of online publications, titled "Let's Preserve," also is available for download. To access the publications, go to http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/Publications.asp and type "canning" into the title/description search field.
Tools To Estimate Deer Age, Weight
HARRISBURG - Two questions many hunters want to know about a deer they harvest is how old is it and much does it weigh. The Pennsylvania Game Commission, through its website, is offering some free tools to guide hunters in determining the answer to these two questions.
To help hunters learn how Game Commission biologists determine the age of a white-tailed deer, the agency has posted a link to a seven-minute and 38-second video on its website demonstrating the technique used to identify deer that are six months old, 18 months old and 30 months old or older.
To view the video, go to the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the “White-Tailed Deer” icon in the center of the homepage and select “Deer Aging” in the “Deer Hunting” section.
“Looking at the teeth is the best method of aging a white-tailed deer,” said Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, Game Commission Deer and Elk Management Section supervisor. “Antler points and amount of gray on the muzzle are not reliable methods of aging deer.”
In partnership with the Pennsylvania State University Department of Dairy and Animal Science, the Game Commission has posted a deer weight estimating chart in its “White-Tailed Deer” section. To find this chart, go to the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on the “White-Tailed Deer” icon in the center of the homepage and select “Deer Weight Chart” in the “Deer Hunting” section.
By knowing the girth of the deer’s chest, which is measured in inches just behind the front legs, the chart will help hunters estimate a deer’s live weight and field dressed weight, as well as the weight of edible boneless meat. For example, a deer with a girth of 35 inches at the chest would have an estimated live weight of 126 pounds, an estimated field-dressed weight of 99 pounds and yield around 57 pounds of edible venison.
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