HomeColumnists ( June 23, 2021 )

100 Years Ago

By Betty Smith, Susquehanna County Historical Society, Montrose, PA

Heart Lake – The Heart Lake Inn will open Sunday, June 26th, for the summer months. Sunday chicken dinner a specialty. Orders taken by 'phone for large parties.

Brookdale – Ferguson Wright and wife left Thursday for their new home in Michigan. We all hope they prosper and do well there.

Brooklyn – A son was presented to Stanley Crissell by his wife on Friday last. Mr. Crissell was one of the boys that was "over there" and in going "over the top" was captured by the Germans and officially reported killed. After being a prisoner for several weeks, he escaped from the Germans and returned home to carry out Roosevelt's precepts to young Americans. ALSO Flag Day was generally observed on June 14th. Nearly every residence was decorated and all of the business houses and hotels displayed the national colors. The event of the day was the surprise celebration given Mrs. Annie Palmer, widow of M. W. Palmer, the well-known stock and dairyman. It being the birthday of Mrs. Palmer, her friends conceived the thought to celebrate the event. At 3pm the line of march was formed at the home of her cousin Mrs. M. J. Kent, where between 20 and 30 lady friends of Mrs. Palmer formed in columns of two and with Mrs. J. R. Rittenhouse, of Scranton, as marshal, and Mrs. T. O. Williams, as aid, marched out Main Street to Maple Street, down Maple Street, and as they passed friends' homes each lady helped swell the procession. When the home of Mrs. Palmer was reached the line of march across the street was a fine display of woman's love for the flag. As each carried a flag in one hand and a basket in the other, the surprise was complete and the remainder of the day was spent in social enjoyment. An elaborate lunch was served on the lawn, consisting of sandwiches, potato salad, pickles, cake and ice cream, and coffee. In the evening the photo-play, "Down East," was given in the Universalist church.

South Gibson – Several from this place attended the funeral of James Keech, Tuesday. Mr. Keech was a veteran of the Civil War and served in Co. C, 151st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, with Morris and Richard Davis, who so far as is known, are the only surviving members of the company. All through the struggle the company held the center of the regiment and carried the regiment's flag. Messrs. Davis and Morris feel keenly the loss of their comrades.

Fairdale – Mr. and Mrs. Herman Olmstead and son, Robert, are spending the week at State College, attending farmers' week and visiting friends.

Auburn High School – The graduating class consisted of five boys and four girls: Rose Kernan, Margaret Tomery, Bina Galvin, Ana Malone, John Winans, Thomas Davis, Lee Baldwin, Irving Loomis and Joseph Winans. The valedictorian's address was given by the honor student, Rose Kernan. The salutatorian was Margaret Tomery. The rest of the class each gave an essay.

Gelatt – While George Woodard and George Milliken were returning from Susquehanna the other day in Mr. Woodward's car, he lost control of it and went over a stonewall, breaking two of Mr. Milliken's ribs and the windshield.

Middletown – Idwald Jones, a former graduate of Montrose High School, was returning from Rutgers College, where he had received his degree, and visited in Montrose. He was en route to his home in Middletown, where he expects to spend a portion of his vacation before entering active business.

Springville – The Chautauqua held here last week under the direction of the Radcliff Company proved a decided success. All the entertainments were of a high class and were very much enjoyed by the large crowds attending. Arrangements were made to have the Chautauqua another year and thirty-five guarantors were secured.

Clifford – Ira Barney and Herbert Reynolds, of Elmira, will open a garage here this week.

Dimock – Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Cope started for North Mountain, June 14, taking with them a number of girls and boys from the Bird Club, where they will enjoy camp life in the mountains for about three weeks. The camping trip has been a custom with Mr. Cope for several years, which is a rare treat indeed for the young people of this place – a privilege that is greatly appreciated. Freeman Tingley, who is just out of college and a resident of this place, is also spending this vacation with them.

Gelatt – We are glad to report Mrs. Fred Sparks on the gain. The piece of needle that was in her hand ten weeks, 1 ¾ inches long, has been removed. Her foot is also better.

Hickory Grove, Great Bend Township – Humphrey W. Hallstead, formerly of Hickory Grove, but for several years residing at Hiawatha, Kansas, died recently of cancer of the stomach, aged 78 years, 11 months and 6 days. Deceased was a Civil War veteran, serving in Co. K, New York Volunteers. He is survived by five children, Mrs. M. D. VanAntwerp, of Hickory Grove, Mrs. James Carnegie and Arthur Hallstead, of Chicago, Mrs. K. M. VanOrsdale, of Binghamton, and Herbert Hallstead, of Batavia.

Forest City – The Ruff and Tuff baseball team of the Melhinch Shoe company is out to defeat the champion B. M. team if possible. They claim they are more youthful than the B. M. aggregation and have got the pep to spell defeat to the champions. The initial game is to be played next Saturday afternoon at the local ballpark. The lineup: Anthony Poska, p; Wesley Budd, c; Steve Chicoskie, 1b; John Cherosic, 2b; Frank Pribula, ss; Wm Langendorfer, 3b; Charles Allen, rf; C. W. Augenstein, cf; Andy Berish, Herbert Horton, Carl Bartholomay and John Cackush will be held in reserve.

Ararat – Good music has been a great feature of the service in the church since Memorial Sunday. Solos, mixed and male quartets, with trombone and cornet accompaniments, add greatly to the interest of the services and the attendance is large and increasing. On Memorial Sunday at the afternoon service, Rev. D. M. Corkwell, of Thompson, delivered an eloquent sermon. Veterans of the Civil, Spanish-American and World War were in attendance. The church was beautifully decorated with flags and flowers and special music was rendered.

News Brief: Owing to the continued drought, many farmers in this vicinity are preparing to start their haying earlier this year. Some meadows are already beginning to prematurely ripen, and owing to lack of moisture there is very little growth. It is predicted that hay will be high in price the coming year.

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Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

Jack and Jill had a single child together, Jenn. As a result of domestic problems, Jack and Jill separated and Jill maintained custody of Jenn. But they did not live happily ever after – and Jill began experiencing some mental health difficulties. A few months later, Jill was arrested by the police for driving a stolen U-Haul Truck – together with 7-month-old Jenn riding shotgun restrained only with a seat belt – no car seat or child restraint system. Children and Youth Services (CYS) took protective custody of Jenn contending that Jill could not provide for the proper care of Jenn.

Thereafter, CYS tracked down Jack to see if he could care for Jenn. After inspecting his home and interviewing him, CYS determined that Jack was capable of safely caring for Jenn. Jill disagreed and objected to Jack having custody of Jenn. Jill contended that Jenn should remain in foster care – not with Jack.

At the hearing, the trial court listened to all of the evidence and decided: (1) Jack had an appropriate and safe home; (2) Jack had the ability to safely care for Jenn; and (3) Jill had serious mental health issues that required additional treatment. The trial court concluded that Jenn was not a dependent child because Jack was available to care for her – and the case was closed.

In the order, the court transferred custody of Jenn to Jack – and ordered that Jill was not entitled to receive any visitation unless she followed through with mental health treatment. Jill filed an appeal contending that the trial court erred in granting custody of Jenn to Jack.

A dependency proceeding involves a situation where the government comes in and takes protective custody of children from parents. If one of the parents is capable of providing adequate care for a child, then a dependency does not exist – unless that capable parent is not protecting the child from the problem parent. In this case, Jack was an appropriate caregiver – but Jill's mental health made it impossible for her to safely have custody of Jenn. Thus, the trial court determined that there was no basis for a dependency, i.e., there was no basis for the government to have custody of Jenn – Jack had it covered.

On appeal, the Superior Court affirmed the trial court's decision and noted that no basis for a dependency exists if one of the parents is capable of providing appropriate care for the child. As to Jill's complaint that the dependency resulted in something of a custody proceeding, the Superior Court noted that dependency actions are a form of custody proceedings – and that a trial court has the ability to transfer custody through a dependency proceeding. Likewise, the Superior Court affirmed the trial court's decision to condition Jill's visitation with Jenn on Jill engaging in mental health counseling and treatment. Because a dependency proceeding is a form of custody proceeding, the Superior Court likewise concluded that the trial court had the ability to condition Jill's visitation on mental health counseling. Thus, Jill's appeal was denied.

The difficulty with this ruling, however, is that the trial court determined that no dependency existed. CYS was no longer involved. The trial court itself was no longer involved once it determined that there was insufficient evidence for a finding of dependency. Thus, there was an order out there directing Jill to do mental health counseling – but there was no longer any underlying proceeding active to enforce the order itself. In these circumstances, Jack and Jill would need to file a custody complaint in order to enforce or modify the conditions imposed in the order dismissing the dependency action – or otherwise agree among themselves as to how to proceed without further court involvement.

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How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

Are all FDA-approved drugs safe and effective? Nope.

"What do you mean my medication has been recalled?" Mr. Jackson asked the pharmacist. "I've been taking it for years!" The pharmacist explained to his patient that recalls can occur at any time after a drug has entered the open market. "Before the FDA approves a drug, the number of people tested during clinical trials may be only hundreds, maybe thousands," the pharmacist said. "Once doctors start writing for it, a million people may be taking it. That's when unusual side effects begin to pop up. If these side effects are considered dangerous, the manufacturers of safety agencies have no choice but to pull it off the shelf." "Why can't these drug companies get it right the first time?" Mr. Jackson lamented.

The pharmacist clarified that drug and medical device recalls are not as uncommon as the average person thinks. Each year, roughly 4,500 drugs and devices are removed from pharmacy and hospital shelves, even though the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved these products. In fact, not only were the items released to the market, but they were also, in many cases, widely ingested, injected, or implanted before being recalled. The FDA classifies each recall based on the seriousness of the injury that the product may cause. A Class 1 Recall is the most urgent type of recall because there is a real possibility that the product will cause serious side effects or death. Products such as pacemakers, heart devices, and certain drugs fall into this category. The lesser Class 3 recalls apply to minor product defects that are not likely to inflict harm on someone's health. Most recalls fall into this class.

In 2019, the FDA pulled from the market the stomach drug ranitidine (Zantac®). This recall was because the drug disintegrated over time into a potential cancer-causing agent known as NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine). The agency decided that the impurity in some ranitidine products increased when stored at higher than room temperatures (like your kitchen window shelf?). Hence, consumers were in danger of being exposed to the carcinogenic agent. Zantac was first marketed in the US in 1983 and was enormously popular as a stomach acid and heartburn reducer for 36 years. Arguably, millions were saved from ulcer surgery by this medication. As of June 2021, 7,526 cancer cases are pending in that litigation, according to Drugwatch, a consumer advocacy group.

What can you do if you are the victim of a drug injury? The drug manufacturer bears a great deal of responsibility, particularly if the drug has been financially successful over a long period. Another typical defendant is the doctor who prescribed the medication, a claim based on a medical malpractice theory. Similarly, you might sue a hospital or clinic if it provided you with the drug. Patients also sue a pharmacy if they failed to receive proper counsel when obtaining a prescription.

Can you minimize the chances of having your drug recalled? (Can you stop an asteroid from slamming into Earth?). However, a few guidelines can be helpful. Avoid new drugs if you can. Indeed, if you have been prescribed various medications for your condition in the past, and they are not working, the brand-new one might help. However, if you are newly diagnosed with a condition that will require consistent control, such as high blood pressure, then ask for a tried-and-true generic. Minimize the number of prescriptions you take. If you are taking 9 or 10 prescription drugs, perhaps it is time for you to contact the pharmacist for a drug review. Even though his drug recall inconvenienced Mr. Jackson, he understood the consequences. The pharmacist made sure that he was prescribed another medication that would control his condition safely.

Ron Gasbarro, PharmD, is a recovering pharmacist and writer-in-residence at Rx-Press.

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Profits vs. Losses

By Valerie Senese

Susquehanna Depot and its neighboring communities have gone through the pendulum of affluency and poverty. With each side there are opportunities to be explored. The goal is to create opportunities for a vibrant, and healthy community. Sadly, there are those who do not share those same goals and they use opportunity for exclusive gains. Slum lords, property goblins, and out of state property owners find great incentive in our current situation. Houses can be purchased for less than 20K, rented out with hardly any improvements, and all but forgotten besides the monthly rent check. This leaves people living in substandard conditions, neighborhoods with decreased property values and a standstill in community progression.

Currently, Susquehanna has employed an extensive codes program to create obstacles, consequences and purposeful change to bring the community back from its blighted, victimized state. More than that, they are working to close loopholes at the prosecution level, a daunting task, that many choose not to tackle.

I would like to introduce an additional component to the continued efforts of Susquehanna. What would happen if we created strict regulations on property owners who take advantage of the long-loved community homes and businesses our region offers, and even better, resources and abatements to those who invest in our at-risk properties and neighborhoods? We should not only be seriously deterring what we don't like, we should be looking for ways our community can reward actions that we do like.

In short, it's high time to make it nearly impossible for those who would keep our community blighted, full of trash, with occupied unsafe structures and making gains. Simultaneously, we should be incentivizing investment and progression. This is a well-rounded approach to blight remediation, one that turns the tables on the current profits vs. losses.

Have some ideas on how to reward property owners who are contributing to the forward progression of the community? Send them to or share them on Facebook in the Susquehanna PA Happenings group.

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