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Issue Home December 29, 2010 Site Home

The Masters Honored
FCI Announces New Executive VP & COO

PA Motorists Believe They Are Safe Drivers

New Penalties For Wildlife Violators
Be Financially Fit In The New Year
Cabot Supports Local 4-H Club
Help Your Kids Re-focus On School
Engagement Announced Dayton - Duganier
Gow Reunion Held
A New Year’s Resolution To Schedule An Eye Exam
Indoor Activities For Children
Turnpike Terrace Update
County Farm Bureau Top Award Winner
Area Farmers Alerted To Government Surveys

The Masters Honored

Dick and Eloise Masters, Kingsley, were recently honored by the Susquehanna County Republican Committee for their more than 70 years of loyal and dedicated service to Susquehanna County and to the Republican Party. The couple, affectionately known for years as “Mr. and Mrs. Republican” attended the meeting of the Republican County Committee in the County Office Building on December 9. More than 55 committee people and office holders were present for the event.

Republican County Chairman John P. Kameen, in summarizing the honorees lives, used Mr. Masters’ own words to describe himself: “A political leader but not a politician.” In all his years with the Republican Party, Mr. Masters never ran for a public office, except he was elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1964.

The Masters business holdings in Susquehanna County spanned 65 years and covered ten different businesses including the family-owned Masters Concrete, as well as a feed mill, two motor freight companies, sand and gravel businesses, a contracting company and a farm. He also owned a truck stop employing 45 people, and had a part ownership of the O and W Railroad.

His business career actually began in a garage which was first the old D L & W railroad station in which his father, Alva Masters, was the station agent. Dick began working in the garage at age eight or nine, and bought it himself while a senior at Harford High School. His down payment for the garage was a slightly wrecked new coupe he had restored.

His association with his businesses led him into politics in the 1940’s since the contracting businesses were dependent on state government and he had to navigate the intricacies of various state agencies for permits, licenses and all those things necessary for successfully competing. Though he had only a high school education he was able to learn to do most of his own legal work and according to him, “had accounts in 21 different banks because I had contracts all over the State of Pennsylvania.” He even served as a bank director.

Dick eventually served as Republican County Chairman in the days when decisions about hiring people for state jobs were made at the local level by the political parties in power at the time. He recalls how qualified people from Susquehanna County were placed in good jobs in administrative posts in Harrisburg. That kind of power in hiring people has been taken over by Civil Service, he said.

“Of course you had to have friends like Bill Tiffany, Harold Wescott, Kenneth Lee, Doctor Cavender and especially Carmel Sirianni, to make contacts or introduce you to the right people,” said Mr. Masters.

Mr. Masters sums up his political philosophy by saying “I believe a government should enable individuals to meet their highest ideals.” He continued, “The national debt appalls me, and believe me I know what it is to be in debt. I was always just able to keep my head above water, but I was providing jobs for hundreds of people who were creating something useful like roads and homes and bridges.” He concluded, “To me that is good politics.”

Taking part in the honors bestowed on Dick and Eloise, in addition to members of the County Committee and Chairman Kameen, were Vice chair Lori Conarton, Secretary Carolyn Paccio and Treasurer Deborah Slater. Also C Club President Greg Myer, Republican Women’s President Staci Telnock, Young Republican Club Chairman Nick Welch and former County Republican Chairpersons Donna Cosmello and Ray Telnock. Also attending were Susq. County officeholders: Treasurer Cathy Benedict, Register Recorder Mary Evans, Prothonotary Sue Eddleston, District Attorney Jason Legg and Sheriff Lance Benedict.

The Masters were presented with a token of appreciation by the County Committee. Mr. Masters concluded by stating that he will continue to do whatever he can for the Republican Party.

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FCI Announces New Executive VP & COO
By Maureen P. Wilcox, President

I am proud and honored to announce Mr. John (Larry) Bronson has been selected and promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Femme Comp Incorporated (FCI), effective November 15, 2010. Mr. Bronson will provide executive management for Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Joint Staff, and Department of the Army services provided by FCI. Mr. Bronson will work with me in the coming weeks to restructure the company for efficiencies, to accommodate our business growth and prepare for expansion of corporate capabilities.

I attended Mr. Bronson’s retirement ceremony from the U.S. Army as a Signal Corps Officer eighteen (18) years ago. He started with FCI on September 1, 1992. Mr. Bronson has over 28 years of experience performing a myriad of communications, operations, planning, management, and engineering roles. He is highly respected by senior OSD, JS and Army leaders as I have personally been the recipient of numerous laudatory comments and letters from General/Flag Officers for his dedicated, loyal, innovative and tireless efforts to meet their demanding and critical needs. His reputation for aggressively pursuing, accomplishing, and completing tough Army Strategic Planning Board (ASPB) actions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) received acclaim and recognition from three- and four-star General Officers, as well as the Secretary of the Army.

Mr. Bronson applied his experiences as a leader at various levels of responsibility, his C4IT technical skills and his keen sense of business to very successfully grow FCI. As such he was made an FCI Program Manager in 1998. He has successfully continued to grow the company and expand business opportunities across the OSD, Joint Staff and Headquarters, Department of the Army sectors over many years. His latest accomplishment was simultaneously leading two proposal teams that won both the Army’s Enterprise Active Directory Implementation/Migration and Army’s NETOPS Toolset Implementation initiatives that will be installed world-wide in support of the Army’s Global Network Enterprise Construct (GNEC).

Mr. Bronson’s primary focus has always been on building the company with “A-player” professionals. I must admit one of his greatest leadership characteristics that I have observed and admired over the years is his actions to always put people first. Mr. Bronson is very dedicated to the company and extremely loyal to the staff he manages. He has greatly assisted me with organizing and building the company over the years and I am pleased to announce his much deserved promotion. Mr. Bronson will work out of the FCI’s Corporate Headquarters in Chantilly, Virginia and will continue to be very involved with the management of technical and contractual requirements as well as meet with current clients and develop business opportunities with potential clients and other corporations.

John is the son of John L. And Gertrude A. Bronson, Springville, PA. He now lives in Virginia, with his family.

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PA Motorists Believe They Are Safe Drivers

Harrisburg - More than 3,800 Pennsylvania drivers responded to PennDOT's Highway Safety Survey earlier this year, offering answers that showed most motorists believe they are safe drivers. But the survey also found that many motorists underestimate the risk of being ticketed for driving under the influence.

"We appreciate the insight that motorists were able to provide through this survey," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "We're pleased that most of their answers reflect safe driving behaviors, but we want to make sure that all drivers are making smart choices each time they get behind the wheel."

Nearly 80 percent of motorists reported that within the past 60 days they did not drive within two hours after drinking alcohol. Ninety-one percent of drivers also indicated they used a seat belt all or most of the time.

More than half of respondents said they rarely thought someone would be arrested or cited for impaired driving or not wearing a seatbelt.

However, the perceived risk of a ticket increased when related to speeding as 55 percent of drivers thought they would be cited most or half of the time. Despite the perceived risk, nearly half of respondents admitted to speeding, with 44 percent saying they drive faster than 70 miles per hour in a 65-mph zone most or half of the time.

On driving while distracted - one of the leading highway safety concerns - 81 percent indicated that they never or rarely talk on a handheld phone. Ninety-two percent said they do not text or e-mail while driving.

Seventy-seven percent of the 500 motorcycle riders who responded said they wore helmets or other protective gear always or most of the time. Ninety-two percent said they never drink and ride, while 72 percent said they never or rarely travel more than 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires states to conduct this survey annually. Survey respondents were 55 percent male and 45 percent female.

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New Penalties For Wildlife Violators

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe announced that, on January 1, Pennsylvania officially will become the 36th member state of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, under which the worst of convicted wildlife violators will stand to lose their hunting privileges in all states enrolled in the Compact.

“The coming new year will bring a whole new penalty for those who are convicted of some of the worst violations of our state’s hunting laws,” Roe said. “Pennsylvania will band together with 35 other states in a united front against convicted poachers, who steal from all citizens, most especially, law-abiding hunters.

“Now that we are an official member of the Compact, someone who loses his or her hunting license privileges in Pennsylvania for certain poaching offenses, on or after January 1, will lose those hunting license privileges in all states that are members of the compact. By the same token, those who lose their hunting privileges in other Compact member states, on or after January 1, will no longer be able to come to Pennsylvania and lawfully hunt.”

Under the new law, the Game Commission must report to other Compact states those convicted of the following offenses under Title 34 (Game and Wildlife Code): hunting or furtaking while on revocation; unlawful use of lights to take wildlife; buying and selling game; hunting or furtaking under the influence; shooting at or causing injury to a human; counterfeit, alter or forge a license or tag; threatened or endangered species violations; assault/interference or bodily injury to a wildlife conservation officer; illegal taking or possession of big game in closed season; and accumulated wildlife violations for which the penalty provided by Title 34 is no less than a summary offense of the fourth degree and the violation is not the only violation in a 24-month period.

The law also requires that the Pennsylvania Game Commission only recognize the revocation of an individual’s hunting privileges in other Compact states for offenses that have the same elements of the offenses listed above.

On average, about 1,000 individuals are added to Pennsylvania’s revocation list for hunting and trapping license privileges annually. Of that, only about 25 percent would be submitted to the Compact.

“Coupled with the recent increase in fines and penalties for certain poaching offenses, Pennsylvania has finally slammed shut the door previously left open to convicted poachers who would willingly go from state to state and flaunt laws and regulations designed to conserve wildlife resources for current and future generations,” Roe said. “It is important to note that these efforts could not have been possible without the overwhelming support from the majority of law-abiding hunters and trappers in Pennsylvania, who have long been on the vanguard of wildlife conservation.”

Pennsylvania’s enrollment in the Compact was made possible by the enactment of Senate Bill 1200, sponsored by Senate Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Richard L. Alloway II (R-33). The bill unanimously passed the Senate on March 23, and was approved by the House, on Sept. 13, by a vote of 178 to 15. Gov. Rendell signed the bill into law on Sept. 24, making it Act 60 of 2010.

Those states that are a member of the IWVC are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The law to increase fines and penalties for poaching was made possible by House Bill 1859, which was sponsored by House Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Edward G. Staback. The bill was approved by the House on July 21, 2009, by a vote of 196-3. The Senate, after making minor adjustments to the bill, approved the measure unanimously on July 3, 2010, followed by a 189-6 concurrence vote in the House also on July 3, which sent the bill onto Gov. Rendell, who signed it on July 9, making it Act 54 of 2010.

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Be Financially Fit In The New Year

(StatePoint) The New Year is a time for resolutions, reflection and planning, especially regarding your financial health.

Staying financially fit in tough times can feel like a grueling workout. But like exercise, the benefits of financial fitness are clear and achievable with some foresight and discipline. And some free help from the Internet.

"Sometimes taking the first step toward money management is daunting, with all the books and resources out there. But there are really just three rules to follow," says Aaron Patzer, vice president and general manager of Intuit’s personal finance group. "Spend less than you earn, make your money work for you, and avoid the downside."

Spend Less Than You Earn

This is the cardinal rule of personal finance, but one of the hardest to implement. Fortunately, there are free tools to assist even the most undisciplined when it comes to budgeting. For example, allows users to see all their financial accounts in one place, makes it easy to set and stick to budgets, and helps find ways to save money.

If you don't want to manage money online, try desktop personal finance tools, such as Quicken, which allows you to take control of your daily finances so you can worry less and lead a more balanced financial life. And if you're a complete technophobe, a simple notebook or check register can suffice.

Make Money Work For You

Investing lets your money grow while you sleep. Nowadays, many Americans are dependent on 401k plans for retirement, but not everyone understands what they are, how they work, or if they're a good deal. Web sites such as rate 401k plans and give participants tools to make their plans better.

In addition to a 401K, consider other investments. The Internet can help here, too. For example, helps novice and seasoned investors grow their savings by investing in stocks and bonds. There's no minimum balance, and transfers and trades are free.

Also, optimize all your accounts to maximize money saving opportunities. Make sure you have the best mortgage or loan through services like, or use to find the best interest rates on credit cards, CDs, and savings accounts. And make sure you're taking advantage of your credit cards' special rewards. Try a service like, which highlights these deals when you're shopping or searching online.

Avoid The Downside

Even the most disciplined can be thrown by unexpected events, like a serious illness, job loss or natural disaster. While these can dent your wallet, you can minimize damage by being properly insured.

Everyone should have a minimum level of health insurance, even if it's just catastrophic coverage. Homeowners and motorists should make sure their property is covered, and parents should consider life insurance.

Keep these three rules of financial fitness in mind, and 2011 can become a year of personal growth!

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Cabot Supports Local 4-H Club
Submitted By LouAnn Kiefer

On Saturday, December 4 the D.E.S. 4-H Club concluded 2010 with a special meeting. Over the years they have done numerous different things to wrap-up their 4-H year and celebrate the coming holiday season. In the past, they have gone bowling, swimming and most recently held a pot-luck dinner in which the 4-H member and their family is invited and everyone has a great time.

Pictured (l-r) above: first row - Kiara Mooney, John Tyler, Cade Mooney, Trent Finch, Trever Graham, Jarrett Tyler, Brooke Arnold; second row - Austin Graham, Patrick Curley, Brandon Curley, Kyle Vanderfeltz, Vicki Clark, Cassidy Greenwood, Korena Kraynak, Kayleen Kraynak, T.J. Greenwood, Devon Greenwood; third row - Mazie Tyler, Kaitlyn Depew, Lydia Watkins, Cassie Clark, Jenna Sprout, Andrew Jenner, Charles Jenner, Morgan Updyke, Jacob Curley; back row - Allison Kiefer, Sabrina Clark, Callie Curley, Mike Greenwood, Jonathan Small, Jared Updyke, Ryan Depew, Austin Bennett and LouAnn Kiefer.

This year was a bit different due to the generosity of Cabot Oil & Gas. Before the Harford Fair, 4-H members Andrew and Charles Jenner approached Cabot representative David Moore (Rig 154) to ask if Cabot would be interested in bidding on one of their 4-H project pigs that would be sold at the Livestock Auction at the fair. They were interested and placed a bid price with the Jenner’s. At the auction both of their pigs sold for more than the bid price that Cabot had placed. Consequently, the Jenner brothers went back to Mr. Moore and told them that he didn’t get either of their pigs at auction. One would think the story would end there, but Mr. Moore decided to instead donate what the price of one of the pigs would have been at auction had they purchased it. Mr. Moore said “take it and give it to your 4-H club.”

At a fall meeting of the D.E.S 4-H Club the Jenner Family presented this check to 4-H Leader, LouAnn Kiefer, who in turn asked the Jenner Family and the club what they should do with it. It was decided unanimously by the club to use this money to have the annual wrap-up meeting and to have a dinner catered. 4-H Leader Misty Finch made arrangements with the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary in Elk Lake to have the dinner and meeting at the Legion Hall on December 4.

4-H members and their families, totaling about 75 people, gathered and had a delicious chicken & biscuit dinner with all the trimmings. 4-H members were also presented completion certificates for the 2010 4-H year, and all first year 4-H members received a 4-H Club sweatshirt. Senior 4-H members were recognized and presented with a special little gift to remember their years in 4-H. Members were then reminded that the 2011 year would start up again in the end of February and that everyone is welcome to bring new members!

D.E.S. 4-H Club would like to thank Mr. Moore of Cabot Oil & Gas Company and the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary for making this night possible.

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Help Your Kids Re-focus On School

(NewsUSA) - As the school year passes the halfway point, some kids may get distracted from their studies. If you and your kids want to re-focus on school success, here are some suggestions for kick-starting learning:

Commit to learning. With your children, come up with one or two major goals that you want to accomplish for the remainder of this school year. Raising that algebra grade? Getting homework done on time and turning it in the next day? Organizing a study area at home? Using a planner regularly and efficiently? Agree on some age-appropriate rewards and consequences. Commit to a family-centered goal that education is important to all of you, and work together to support, encourage and help each other.

Set up helpful routines. Give your kids the consistency of fairly regular routines (weekends and holidays can be breaks). Bedtime, wake-up, study, homework, play, family time - kids rely on these routines, and the structure helps them to feel safe, know what's expected of them and be successful.

Help them organize. Organized kids do better in school than haphazard kids. Help them to set up their planners (written or electronic), to keep their notebooks and backpacks neat and orderly, to break up large assignments into smaller ones so they don't seem overwhelming, to maintain a work space at home that's actually workable and not a disaster area, and to stick to the goals you've set together.

Maintain healthy habits. Healthy kids are better learners. Help your children by monitoring their screen time (TV, video games, cell phones, etc.), making sure they're getting enough sleep, insisting on their good eating habits, making sure they're involved in regular and aerobic exercise, and sticking to the goals and routines you've established.

Be a good role model. Kids learn from their parents. If they see that you're organized, focused on what's important to you and your family, staying healthy and being true to your values, they'll pick up some pretty important life lessons.

Don't give up. Let your kids know that you're serious about these goals and that their school success is as critical to you as it is to them.

Get help early if you need it. When your kids show that they're having trouble despite your best efforts, get help early. Ask a teacher or guidance counselor for help. Get a tutor. Find a "study buddy" for your kid. Just get help before the little problem grows into a big one.

Ask other parents. You're not the only one trying to keep your kids on track. Learn from parents who've been through this, teachers who've guided hundreds of kids and others whose opinions you respect. No one has all the answers, but all of us have a lot of ideas.

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Engagement Announced Dayton - Duganier

Tom and Janet Dayton of Great Bend, PA announce the engagement of their son, Michael Dayton, to Amanda Duganier, daughter of John and Teri Duganier of Jacksonville, FL.

Amanda and Michael

The bride-to-be is currently attending the University of North Florida and will graduate in the spring with a Journalism degree.

The groom-to-be is working toward a Mechanical Engineering degree at the Pennsylvania State University and will graduate in the spring of 2010.

The couple is planning a fall wedding for 2012.

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Gow Reunion Held

The 112th annual Gow reunion was held August 14, 2010 at the Mountain View Restaurant, Clifford, PA.

Intertwined with local relatives are family from New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Colorado.

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A New Year’s Resolution To Schedule An Eye Exam

CHICAGO - As 2011 nears, many will be making New Year’s resolutions to improve their health. However, many may not be aware that an eye exam cannot only help to protect vision, it can uncover evidence of other diseases including diabetes or hypertension.

And, for eye diseases such as glaucoma, the damaging effects may be detected through an eye exam before a patient notices any symptoms. In fact, patients in the early stages of glaucoma usually have no symptoms, no noticeable vision loss and no pain, which is why it is called the “sneak thief of sight.” By the time symptoms start to appear, some permanent damage to the eye has usually occurred.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world and the leading cause of blindness in African American and Hispanic populations in America. According to the study “Vision Problems in the U.S.” by Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute (NEI), there are nearly 2.3 million Americans ages 40 and older who have glaucoma.

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of sight by damaging a part of the eye called the optic nerve. This nerve sends information from the eyes to the brain. When the optic nerve is damaged, peripheral vision begins to diminish. If left untreated, over time, glaucoma may also damage central vision. Unfortunately, once vision is lost to glaucoma, it cannot be restored. Vision loss can be lessened, however, if glaucoma is detected and treated early.

Prevent Blindness America has joined other leading eye care groups to build awareness during January’s National Glaucoma Awareness Month to educate the public on what they can do to help save their vision.

“Our key message is that, unfortunately, there is no cure for glaucoma. But the good news is that if detected and treated early, the effects of vision loss can be diminished,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. “We hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2011 and that it includes a visit to the eye doctor.”

There are many risk factors for glaucoma including:

Age: Those that are 40 and older are more likely to develop glaucoma. The older you are, the greater your risk.

Race: Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African American and Hispanic populations in America.

Family History: If you have a parent or sibling who has glaucoma, you are more likely to develop the disease.

Diabetes: People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

Nearsightedness: People who are very nearsighted are at greater risk.

Eye Injury or Surgery: Those who have had eye surgery or eye injuries may develop secondary glaucoma.

Steroid Medication: Steroids may increase the risk of glaucoma when used for extended periods of time.

Prevent Blindness America offers a dedicated website for free information on glaucoma at Additional information may also be obtained in English or Spanish by calling (800) 331-2020.

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Indoor Activities For Children

(StatePoint) Outdoor play is great for kids, but what do you do on those cold, rainy or blustery days when Mother Nature seems to be conspiring against you?

"Most parents aren't comfortable with the television or video game console acting as babysitter," says Emily Kilpatrick, Vice President of the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL), "but they also struggle to find indoor activities that really nurture their children's minds."

Parents can encourage their children's natural curiosity by finding fun indoor activities that spark their imaginations while they're away from the classroom.

To help, here are some of the most popular indoor activities from the NCFL's new educational website,, which features a novel "Wonder of the Day" daily for parents to explore with children:

* Let It Snow: Whether you live in a warm or cold climate, almost all children are fascinated by snow. With the help of some pipe cleaners and a few other simple supplies, you and your kids can learn how to make your own ice crystals in a jar.

* Do-It-Yourself Aromatherapy: Recycling takes on a fun twist when you help your kids turn old wax crayons and empty soup cans into homemade candles. Add some scented oil or a few drops of vanilla extract to create a calming atmosphere in your home. Just make sure to never leave a lit candle unattended or in reach of small children.

* Create Virtual Biographies: Are your kids fascinated with a historical legend like King Tut or a children's author like J.K. Rowling? If so, have them create a modern-day biography by researching them online. Then have some real fun by asking your children to imagine what it would be like to be Facebook friends with that person. What would his profile look like? What would she talk about? Would Jacques Cousteau like "Jaws" or "Titanic"?

* Go Stargazing: Not many people live far enough north to view the beauty of the northern lights. Even if you do, artificial light and inclement weather can make stargazing difficult. But the AuroraMAX Observatory in Yellowknife, Canada, conveniently broadcasts live video via Webcam every night, allowing viewers all over the world to experience the beauty of aurora borealis firsthand.

* Plan a Staycation: Is the economy putting a crimp in your normal travel plans this year? Check out the Wonder of the Day titled "What Would You Do on a Staycation?" to get ideas on how to get your kids excited about not going away for vacation. A basement camping trip can be just as fun as an authentic camping trip, while still enjoying the luxuries of home.

For more fun indoor activities to explore with your kids, visit Remember, you can make learning fun for your kids and explore the world without ever leaving your family room.

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Turnpike Terrace Update
Submitted By Mary Heesh

Hello from Turnpike Terrace. It’s been a busy month up here.

The doors are decorated; most of us have our apartments all decorated.

We had a Christmas bazaar which everyone seemed to enjoy. It was a lot of fun. We had about ten tables and it got quite busy for a while. Thanks to all that set up their tables and to all of you that came.

We had our volunteer dinner and tenant Christmas dinner, both with good food and music. The annual Mason senior dinner was also held at the Methodist Church in Susquehanna. We all look forward to that one - they do good by us. Then the old guy in the sleigh came. So, like I said, we were busy in December.

We also made things to hand out at the Christmas breakfast for the kids that went to see Santa.

Harriet is back home. Spin Battisti fell and is in the hospital. We hope he is back soon.

We had some messy weather for a few days. But we all knew it was coming.

Alonna Haley made everyone on our street (end of hall) a cute little wreath which she hung on our doors. It was a very nice surprise. Thank you, Alonna.

We have gotten a little snow. They plowed and shoveled and the snow fairy cleaned some of the cars off.

We had our peppy exercise with Kay Pacifica.

We thank everyone that donated to our tenant party, also for the help setting it up and putting things together afterwards. We want to have one each Christmas season. Thank you to the accordion player also.

Happy New Year.

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County Farm Bureau Top Award Winner

The Susquehanna County Farm Bureau was recently awarded at Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s 60th annual meeting. “The Susquehanna County Farm Bureau demonstrated the highest level of excellence in a wide variety of program areas, resulting in major accomplishments over the past year. Their achievements collectively benefited farmers and strengthened ties with consumers and the local community,” said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer. The “Cash in with Farm Bureau” award goes to the cream of the crop among Pennsylvania’s 54 county Farm Bureaus. Susquehanna County Farm Bureau also won the 2010 President’s Award (in the up to 400 Regular member’s category) for County Board Organization, Leadership Development, Media Relations and Member Communications. 1st Place honors were also received with the 2010 Overall Achievement Award (up to 400 regular members) and 2010 County Level Program Award for excellent performance in County Board Organization, Leadership Development, Policy Development and Implementation, Outreach/Education, Media Relations/Member Communications, Services and Membership Goal.

Pictured (l-r) above: Ted Place, Becky Place, Cheryl Matulevich, Kathie Shelly, Tom Wooden, Pauline Fallon, Thom Helmacy, Carl Shaffer, PFB Pres., Tootie Helmacy, Janice Webster and Donna Williams.

As a grass roots organization, 196 policy resolutions, developed at the county level, were brought to the delegate body for consideration. Resolutions addressed were Dairy, Manure/Nutrient Management, Farmland Assessment, Ag Land Preservation, Equine, Eminent Domain, State Government, Taxes, Air Quality, Bio-solids, Energy, Road/Bridge Funding, Ag Vehicle Code, Gas/Oil Wells, plus many others. Hundreds of Farm Bureau members, from across the state attended, to set policy on issues affecting farm and rural families. Kathie Shelly, Pauline Fallon, Tom and Tootie Helmacy, Tom Wooden, Janice Webster, Cheryl Matulevich and Donna Williams represented Susquehanna County as voting delegates.

Ted Place was honored with the PFB Distinguished Local Affairs Leader Award. Harold Ely and Alton Arnold were recognized for their many years of dedicated service to Farm Bureau. Bob Klim attended Young Farmer/Rancher activities.

The informative seminars presented included The Changing Perceptions of Animal Agriculture, Internet Marketing of your Enterprise, Estate Planning/Oil & Gas Interests, Marcellus Impacts on Agriculture, Agritourism, Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, Lyme Disease Forum, plus others.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, with a volunteer membership of more than 50,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.

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Area Farmers Alerted To Government Surveys

TOWANDA - Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) encourages farmers who may be contacted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the near future to participate in a national survey that will help provide accurate, real-time data for the agriculture industry.

Beginning in January, more than 600 farmers in Pennsylvania will be randomly selected to participate in the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). The study is being conducted by both the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

"Policies, programs and issues that shape agriculture on both the state and national levels are based on important information gathered by the USDA," Pickett said. "To ensure that the federal and state governments have the best information available, I encourage area farmers who are contacted by the department's National Agricultural Statistics Service to complete the information."

Among the information farmers will be asked to provide include data on their operating expenditures, production costs and household characteristics. The survey will be conducted through April 14, and will reach 35,000 farmers nationwide.

In addition, the Pennsylvania Field Office of the NASS will be surveying cattle farmers for its largest cattle survey from Dec. 30 through Jan. 11. Estimates will include the total number of cattle and calves as of Jan. 1, as well as the total number of heifers, steers, milk cows and beef cows.

Under federal law, Pickett noted, the data provided by the farming community must be kept confidential. That includes the confidentiality of names, addresses and information about individual operations. This information is considered private information and is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Results of the cattle survey will be made available on Jan. 28, and the data gathered in ARMS will be published on Aug. 2. Both reports will be accessible by visiting the NASS website at

For questions or concerns regarding both surveys, farmers may contact NASS by calling 1-800-727-9540.

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