HomeColumnists ( May 25, 2022 )

100 Years Ago

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

Montrose – A few of the highlights of Memorial Day are as follows: The tolling of bells for five minutes, from 12 o'clock noon, during which time comrades remain standing, uncovered. Also, the casting of flowers on the waters of running streams whose fragrance a sweet incense shall be born towards the seas upon which our comrades of the navy rendered such immortal service. The band will give its services during the day as directed by the management of the exercises and an open air concert in the evening. The sons and Daughters of Veterans will make wreaths and bouquets next Monday afternoon and evening. Any contribution of flowers at the Firemen's Hall, Monday afternoon or early Tuesday morning, will be greatly appreciated.

Dimock – Mr. and Mrs. Percy Ballantine spent a few days this week at their Louden Hill home. Mr. Ballantine is driving a new Rolls-Royce sedan.

Brooklyn – Memorial Day will be observed as usual in this place. The members of the GAR will meet at the Post room at 10:00am and go to Mountain View Cemetery to decorate the graves of comrades. After disbanding for dinner at the hall the line, led by the Brooklyn band, will form and march to Evergreen cemetery, and thence to the M.E. church, where the address of the day will be delivered. Soldiers of the Spanish-American War and the World War, and Sons of Veterans are expected to take part.

Shannon Hill, Auburn Twp. – David Trowbridge has his new Overland car home and is practicing every evening.

New Milford – A truck, carrying students from New Milford, struck a rock, which had slid from the mountainside and onto the road, flopped upside down and landed in the ditch between the road and the side of the mountain. Some of the students were thrown clear of the machine, while Miss Eileen Johnson was held down by the overturned truck, as was the driver, George Crotty. Miss Johnson's leg was broken in two places and Miss Doris Norris and Miss Mary Hickey, sustained slight injuries. Others in the truck were Josephine Donley, Dorothy Snyder and Charles Powers. Commencement has been postponed until the last of June, owing to the accident.

Heart Lake – Tuesday, May 30th, is the opening of a new Heart Lake resort, under the management of D.J. Donovan. Dancing in the evening with music by Elks Orchestra, of Binghamton.

Susquehanna – J.J. Stockholm, aged 82 years, passed away Sunday morning, May 21, 1922, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Chas. Manson, of this place. He had been a resident here for many years. He is survived by his widow; two sons, J.J. Stockholm, Jr., of Susquehanna and Harris Stockholm, of Oneonta, NY; also one brother, George Stockholm, of Franklin Forks, one sister, Mrs. Ida Miller of Patterson, NJ and one daughter, Mrs. Chas. Manson.

Dimock – Will Fuller and son, Ray, went to Sayre last week, where Ray underwent an operation for the removal of tonsils and adenoids. Geo. Baker accompanied them in order to consult Dr. Guthrie for a serious stomach trouble.

Hallstead – Motorists should heed the 15-mile-an-hour limit in the borough. Offenders will be fined and the borough council gives timely warning.

Fair Hill, Forest Lake Township – Mrs. C.M. Brands broke through the floor of the church, Sunday, and escaped with a few bruises.

West Harford – The Odd Fellows held a bee for Hoyt Pease last Monday. Mr. Pease has been sick and his friends helped him out.

Ararat – The band was the guest of the D & H employees at the base ball game held at Carbondale, between the Generals of Oneonta and First Carbondale Team. A special train, good eats and drinks, made up a splendid time.

Great Bend – A young deer was seen Sunday morning on the farm of Henry Crisman, this place. The doe was discovered by Stephen Gleason, who says the animal was a most beautiful one and wandered around the pasture lot for nearly half an hour, finally going toward "Hogback" mountain. Deer are becoming quite numerous in this section, three having been seen near Smoky Hollow on several occasions of late. Sportsmen in this section are working to have the law protecting these animals continued for several seasons, in the hopes that Susquehanna county may become a fine hunting resort when the law protecting deer is finally removed.

Forest City – Hornbeck Bros. sold five Hupmobile autos the past week and two Chevrolets. The purchasers of the Hupmobile are Tony Finc, M. Brasso, Anthony Baber, John Ferdock and Wm. H. Jones. Harry Sparks and Raymond Lewis will drive the Chevrolets.

News Brief: The telegraph was first used on May 24, 1844. Wednesday, therefore, was the invention's 78th anniversary. Would anyone dare to predict the uses to which radio will have been put 78 years from today?

Bits of news from "200 Years Ago" from the Susquehanna County Herald, May 25, 1822

DIED, at Cooperstown, on the 6th inst. JUSTIN CLARK, lately editor and proprietor of the Montrose Gazette. As Mr. Clark had an extensive acquaintance in this county, those who knew him will generally be gratified on learning the state of his mind and feelings, when he was sensible, of the approach of his dissolution. This, we are pleased to inform them, was happy. He retained his mental faculties full and unimpaired till the last. Firm in the belief of a God of universal benevolence and love, he trembled not at the threshold of eternity – satisfied that the will of his Creator was the consummation of the happiness of all his creatures. Mr. Clark, immediately before his dissolution, called his relatives around him, and took an affectionate farewell of them all. He also expressed a wish to the physician, that the seat of his disease should be examined, in the hope that relief might be afforded to others similarly afflicted. He died without a struggle.

DIED, on the 22d inst., WILLIAM WOODHOUSE, of Bridgewater. He has left a wife and seven children to mourn his loss.

Memorial Day, formerly Decoration Day, in the United States, holiday (last Monday in May) honoring those who have died in the nation's wars. It originated during the American Civil War when citizens placed flowers on the graves of those who had been killed in battle. After World War I, as the day came to be observed in honor of those who had died in all US wars, its name changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.

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Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

In March 2019, Hugh Lang was charged with several counts related to sexually abusing a child in June 2001. At the time, Lang was a priest and the victim was an 11-year-old altar server. After both parties agreed to waive the right to a jury trial, the matter proceeded to a non-jury trial. During the course of the non-jury trial, the prosecutor introduced evidence from an iPad seized from Lang's residence as a result of a search warrant.

What was the damning evidence? The prosecutor found internet search evidence on Lang's iPad where Lang was searching for defense attorneys. The internet search occurred one day after a grand jury reported had been released documenting sexual abuse of children by priests in the Diocese of Pittsburgh – though Lang himself was never identified in the grand jury report. The prosecutor argued that the internet searches for an attorney demonstrated a "consciousness of guilt," i.e., Lang knew that it was likely charges were imminent because of the grand jury report.

Lang's defense attorney objected to the admission of the internet search evidence contending that it was not relevant as there was no evidence that Lang was aware of any pending criminal investigation. In the absence of such knowledge, there was no way to link the internet search to the criminal conduct for which Lang was being tried. The trial judge admitted the internet search evidence.

The trial judge found Lang guilty of a number of offenses – and, in reaching the verdict, the trial judge specifically stated that the internet search evidence was "dispositive" to Lang's guilt. Prior to sentencing, a new judge was assigned to the case and sentenced Lang to a period of incarceration of 9 months to 2 years followed by 5 years of probation. At the time of his sentencing, Lang was in his late-80s and was no longer serving as a priest.

Thereafter, Lang's defense attorney filed a motion for a new trial based upon the improper admission of the evidence regarding the internet search. The new judge agreed that the internet search evidence was improperly admitted, vacated Lang's convictions and granted a new trial. The Commonwealth then filed an appeal.

The Commonwealth contended that the defense counsel had failed to lodge a proper and timely objection to the internet search evidence. The Superior Court rejected this claim and determined that a sufficient objection had been raised. The Superior Court further noted that a trial court has the inherent power to grant a new trial, on its own motion and accord, whenever "the interest of justice require it." A trial court is obligated to maintain the fairness of the proceedings and take whatever steps are necessary to assure that the rights of litigants are protected. The Superior Court determined that this case presented extraordinary circumstances where the trial court could have acted unilaterally, even in the absence of a proper objection, to grant a new trial.

In explaining the improper nature of this evidence, the Superior Court stated: "Thus, we conclude the post-trial court properly determined the admission of evidence of [Lang's] internet searches for criminal defense attorneys, before he was charged or implicated in any offense, violated his constitutional right to due process and a fair trial. Furthermore, we agree with the post-trial court's determination that the error was not harmless – and in fact, was prejudicial – based upon the trial court's (i.e., fact finder's) statement that this evidence was 'dispositive' in reaching the guilty verdict."

For this reason, the Superior Court affirmed the decision to grant Lang a new trial. Interestingly, if the trial judge had not stated that the internet search evidence was "dispositive" to the guilty verdict, it is possible that the conviction would not have been disturbed. Why? In judge trials, an appellate court assumes that judges do not consider improperly admitted evidence even where no objection is lodged. The reason is simple: judges are trained in the rules of evidence so the appellate courts presume that trial judges follow those rules. In this case, the trial judge negated that rule by specifically noting that the inadmissible evidence was exactly what was relied upon to reach the guilty verdict.

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How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

Advice for those who are dyeing

Kimmy is a pharmacy technician who works with this pharmacist. As a college freshman aspiring to become a pharmacist herself, she studies hard, gets good grades, and is excellent with the people who come into the store. Kimmy is steady, predictable, and punctual. So today, when she came into work looking very different, the pharmacist almost dropped his mortar and pestle. It's her hair, the pharmacist realized. Once a deep brown, her bangs were now a light turquoise, while the rest of her shoulder-length hair was a muted pink.

"Like it?" she asked the pharmacist. "It looks professionally done," he answered as diplomatically as he could. She laughed and said, "You know my mom owns a beauty shop, so I am pleased with how it came out." "Is it permanent?" he asked Kimmy, trying to be non-judgmental. "Ha! No, it's temporary," she said. "The colors will wash out after a couple shampoos. I'm going to a party this weekend and wanted something different."

At his age, nothing should surprise the pharmacist. Indeed, people dyeing their hair is not new. What is new is that hair dyes are not only more temporary than in the past, but they are also safer. Note: "safer" does not automatically mean "safe." The early 1980s appears to be the pivotal period when certain dyes, specifically those containing coal-tar, were scrutinized for safety. Why? Animal studies revealed that some dyes included cancer-causing chemicals such as lead acetate. Based on those findings, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly advised removing these chemicals from future formulations. However, the cosmetic industry rebelled, asking for more time to research their products. Hence, all the FDA could do was put a warning label on the dyes' packaging. Exactly 42 years later, in 2022, the risky chemicals in hair dyes were banned. Yet, the industry still had 12 months to "deplete the existing stock." This meant that the consumer still had to follow the label, which would absolve the manufacturer from any litigation should the user suffer damages.

The results of the research were inconsistent and, thus, inconclusive. For example, dyeing your hair may or may not slightly increase the risk of breast, bladder, leukemia, lymphoma, and/or prostate cancers. So why not shut down the hair dye industry just in case? Obviously, consumer pressure would be intense. According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 33% of women over 18 and 10% of men over 40 use hair dye. But also, the FDA's ability to take legal action against coal tar hair dyes associated with safety concerns is limited by law. So, it's not like they can throw Lady Clairol in the slammer. Therefore, the user must follow the label's directions and know the risks.

Is Kimmy at risk for hair dye-related disease? Not likely. She used a temporary dye, which covers the hair's surface but does not penetrate the hair shaft. There are also semi-permanent dyes, which do seep into the hair shaft. They usually last for 5 to 10 washings. Permanent hair dyes produce long-term chemical changes in the hair shaft. They are the most popular hair dyes because the color changes last until the hair is replaced by new growth.

More research and using better coloring agents will answer the safety question of hair dyeing. For now, the two biggest risk factors are for those who work with hair dyes, such as hairstylists and barbers, who have more exposure than those who get their hair dyed. Also, frequency could be a concern. The more often your hair is dyed, the more often you are exposed to its chemicals. The pharmacist wished Kimmy a "Happy Party." But he could not wait until Monday when she would not get so much attention from the customers because of her new, albeit temporary, look.

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

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Bearing With Bears

By Shannon Madden

A few summers ago I read a delightful book called A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. The author annals his hike on the Appalachian Trail with a childhood friend. Some of his stories are a real hoot, like when his friend was disappointed that their packs couldn't hold the boxes of Little Debbies he had brought for snacks.

Bryson shared that his greatest fear about hiking the AT was the potential of encountering a bear. I must admit that I share his bear-o-phobia, or whatever the scientific term would be. As much as I envision myself enjoying a thru-hike in the wild beauty of Pennsylvania, I am really, really, really afraid of meeting up with Smoky's ornery cousins.

There are approximately 20,000 bears in the commonwealth, making that meeting less likely than my imagination would have me believe. But, it's not impossible. So, what do you do if you meet a bear while hiking?

Try Not To Meet a Bear

The best way to stay safe from close encounters of the furry kind is to make noise while hiking. Talking, whistling, singing, clapping, and generally making a racket announces your presence. Bears don't want to encounter you either. So, if they know you're coming, they will avoid you.

Hiking with kids makes noise-making a cinch. We love to have lively conversations, make observations about the scenery, and sing songs while we walk. I'm confident that the bears will hear us coming.

Bear Encounter Strategies

If you meet a bear, there are a few strategies for coming away from the situation unscathed.

Back away slowly. I must emphasize the word slowly. Running is a sure-fire way to entice the bear to chase you. One reason bears engage with humans is when they feel threatened. Slowly backing away shows the bear that you are not a threat.

While there are a few reasons that you may make contact with a bear, crossing paths is the most likely reason when you are on a family hike. Vacating the area gets you out of the bear's way and lets it go about its business.

Carry bear spray. Making noise and backing away may not be enough to put off a bear. If you have to defend yourself, have a good-quality bear spray handy.

Don't play dead. This is the age-old advice that just won't die. But if you follow it, you might! I've looked over many authoritative websites and guides. They all say the same thing. Do not play dead.

Practice Bear Encounters

In the same way you have a fire drill with your kids, have a bear encounter drill. Practice walking in a close group as if you are in an area where bears might be present. Yell, "Bear!" Kids should freeze for a second and then slowly back up until they are behind you. Then back up slowly as a group. Practice often enough that it comes naturally.

Final Thoughts

Admittedly, you have to force yourself to overcome every instinct your brain will try to employ. You'll want to run away, screaming at high pitch after looking the bear straight in the eye! I know that if I ever meet a bear in the wild, "calm" will not be the adjective to describe my feelings about it.

I found lots of great information at For more detailed explanations of different bear encounters, check out this website.

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