HomeColumnists ( December 1, 2021 )

100 Years Ago

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

Hopbottom – About 8:00pm on Thursday evening, while Mrs. James S. Pedrick and her son, Carlton, of Bacontown, were driving along the Lackawanna Trail, between here and Nicholson, two men appeared from the bushes and demanded that they stop. Mrs. Pedrick, who was driving the car, stepped on the gas, however, and the car sped down the trail. In an attempt to enforce their demands, the bandits fired several shots after the fleeing machine. One bullet passed through the top and both rear tires were punctured After proceeding some little distance another car, driven by Dr. A.J. Taylor, of Hopbottom, was stopped and with Dr. Taylor's assistance the two flat tires were removed and they continued into Nicholson on the rims. Although the incident was immediately reported, no trace of the highwaymen has been found.

Montrose – The bowling alleys at Patrick's new pool room will be opened on Saturday night. ALSO The interior of the Catholic church is being attractively re-decorated and, we are informed, a new pipe organ is soon to be installed. When this work is completed this will be one of the most handsome public buildings in this section. ALSO David Conklin and family have moved to the John Rutan house on Chenango Street. This house was formerly the colored church.

Uniondale – Howard Johns is drawing hemlock bark from Elk Hill and loading it on cars here. It harkens back to the days of yore, as it is the first seen in many years. ALSO For the first time since May of this year water is running over the dam. The drought has been the longest known in the history of the town. Business was slow on account of the lack of sufficient water to run the millwheels.

Rushville – A Thanksgiving chicken-pie supper was served in the Pine Glen church on Thursday last, about eighty being present. Proceeds, $29.

Kingsley – Born, to Mr. and Mrs. Archie Carpenter, of this place, Saturday, Nov. 26th, a son, Archie Jack. Mrs. Carpenter's mother, Mrs. H.J. Tingley, of Upper Lake, is with her. ALSO Born to Mr. and Mrs. Elwyn Ely, November 14th a daughter, Hazel Alberta.

West Lenox – Vincent McAloon and Alec. Hortman, who are attending the Montrose High School, spent the Thanksgiving vacation with their parents.

Forest Lake – The gentlemen's dinner, which was served in Creamery hall on Thanksgiving day, was well attended although it was a very bad day.  All report a nice time and that the dinner was fine.

Springville – Station Agent and Mrs. Kaufman are receiving congratulations on the birth of a daughter, Pauline Elizabeth, on Monday, November 21. ALSO Miss Marian Smith, a student in the teacher's training class at the Scranton Oral school, spent Thanksgiving at the home of her father, E.T. Smith, at Maple Heights Farm.

Dimock – The medicine show that was here last week has gone to Fairdale. ALSO P.W. Williams' now drives a fine covered wagon to meeting and the milk station. ALSO Katharine Warner received a postcard shower on her 97th birthday, Nov. 17th, for which she returns many thanks. Mrs. Emily Payne, of Kentucky, attended the 90th birthday of her grandmother, Mary Jane Harding, recently.

Gelatt – Mrs. Alpha Howell, widow of the late C.V. Howell, had a shock on Friday. There are slight hopes for her recovery, as she is about 85 years of age.

Little Meadows – Mrs. A. Graves has gone to spend the winter with her daughter, Mrs. E.E. Frutchey, in Elmira. ALSO Joseph Reardon and Dora Wakeman were married at the catholic church on Thanksgiving day.

Gibson – Rev. and Mrs. W.S. Germon and son, Niles, have returned home after spending some time in Washington, DC. They attended the Armistice day exercises at the Arlington National Cemetery and visited the grave of the unknown soldier. They also saw the delegates attending the Disarmament Conference, now in session in Washington. On the way home they stopped at Baltimore and Philadelphia to visit their parents.

Friendsville – On Saturday afternoon last the Friendsville school house was the scene of a most interesting letter-writing contest and a pretty entertainment, in which the Golden, Donnelly and McManus schools, as well as the Friendsville school, took part. Mrs. Woolsey Carmalt had offered two gold pieces as prizes for the best letters written by seventh and eighth grade pupils – one prize for the boys and one for the girls – and teachers and pupils were equally enthusiastic. To determine the eligibility of the many pupils who presented themselves, a written spelling test of twenty-five words was given. All who passed the spelling test above 75% were admitted to the letter-writing contest. Prizes were carried off by Master Edward Golden of Friendsville, and Miss Veronica Lynch of the Golden school at Choconut.

Carbondale – The Carbondale Vulcanizing Works, J.A. Brink, Prop. advertises for sale Indian and Harley Davidson Motorcycles and also a full line of Standard Bicycles and parts.

Forest City – This is community inspection week at the Melhinch Shoe factory. The public has been extended a cordial invitation to visit the factory and see the various processes employed to manufacture shoes. Many have availed themselves of the invitation. The school children of Forest City, Vandling and Bowndale, numbering probably fifteen hundred, have visited the plant during the week and given it a thorough inspection in all departments. ALSO The First National Bank is excavating for an addition to go on the rear of their banking room and when completed it is expected that more room will be provided for the patrons and bank employees.

For back issues of "100 Years Ago" go to our website, You also might want check out our Facebook page to see what is happening at the Historical Society.

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Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

Ronald and Linda Morgan owned a residential property on Label Lane in Troy Borough, Bradford County. The Morgans purchased the property in August 1995. Within a year, the Morgans discovered problems with water runoff when very heavy rain occurred. To address this issue, the Morgans expanded their sluice pipes from 12-inches to 15-inches to provide more capacity. The Morgans also created a gravel berm in front of their driveway to keep rainwater from running off Label Lane and down the driveway into their garage area. The Morgans received some additional help when Label Lane was repaved and "crowned" to encouraged the rainwater on the roadway to run in a different direction.

These efforts were largely successful for a number of years. During the same time period, Millstone Resources, LTD, purchased a property across the street from the Morgans' residential property. Millstone's property was also at a higher elevation, i.e., the Morgans were downhill from the Millstone property. When Millstone built a warehouse on the property in 2005, Millstone used asphalt paving for a parking area and created a new stormwater drainage system. As part of that process, Millstone installed a sluice pipe to run underneath Label Lane, which dumped the stormwater just uphill from the Morgan property. Predictably, Millstone's collection and redirection of its stormwater resurrected the Morgans' water problem.

As a result, the Morgans began to experience incidents of their gravel berm repeatedly washing out after heavy rainstorms. The Morgans remained good neighbors, took it on the chin, and simply made their repairs after each particular storm. Then, in August 2018, there was a particularly heavy rainstorm that resulted not only in the gravel berm being washed out but the Morgans' garage itself accumulated 4 inches of stormwater. The Morgans spent two months making repairs to their garage after that heavy storm as well as installing a new 18-inch sluice pipe on their property.

At this point, it was apparent that Millstone's stormwater drainage plan was creating problems for the Morgans whenever there was a heavy rainstorm. The Morgans initiated a civil action against Millstone seeking reimbursement for the monies spent making repairs to their property as well as an injunction to prevent Millstone from redirecting its stormwater through the sluice pipe that had been installed underneath Label Lane. The Morgans were successful, the trial court awarded them $12,360 in monetary damages and entered an injunction enjoining Millstone from utilizing its installed sluice pipe to dump its stormwater on opposite side of Label Lane. Millstone appealed.

In reviewing the case, the Superior Court observed that the common law was clear as it relates to stormwater cases. A property owner generally has no duty as to how stormwater naturally runs off his or her real property. If a landowner artificially redirects stormwater, however, such actions not only create the potential for liability for damages but likewise may be enjoined by a court. Whenever you install any kind of drainage on your property – regardless of how sophisticated or rudimentary – you have to be aware of where you are redirecting the water flow and consider whether it could damage adjoining properties.

Millstone had installed a fairly sophisticated stormwater gathering system that collected and redirected all of its stormwater to one location, which happened to be not only close to the Morgans' residential property but likewise at a higher location than the Morgans' property. The Superior Court affirmed the trial court's decision. Thus, Millstone was not only liable for monetary damages that the Morgans suffered as a result of the redirection of Millstone's stormwater – but they were ordered to stop redirecting the stormwater to that location. It is likely that this injunction will be far more expensive and difficult for Millstone than simply paying a monetary judgment. Millstone must destroy its existing stormwater drainage system and install a new one that avoids a stormwater drainage threat to not only the Morgans but to all the surrounding properties.

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How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

When is it OK to let kids taste alcohol?

Ms. Van was in the pharmacy getting her cough syrup refilled. The pharmacist asked her if she also wanted her 7-year-old daughter's cough medicine refilled as well, since both still had hacking coughs. "No," Ms. Van said. "I've been giving Amy some of my cough medicine." "But your medicine has alcohol in it!" the pharmacist exclaimed. "She doesn't like the taste of hers," the parent responded. "In fact, she likes the medicine in one of my small cordial glasses. So, we each sip it like a cocktail. I even drop a bit of my sherry into each of our glasses. She sleeps all night and doesn't cough at all." Upon hearing this story, if the pharmacist did not have most of his shift to finish, he would have fainted dead away.

Why the extreme reaction to giving this youngster an alcoholic beverage? There are at least several. First, children do not metabolize alcohol the same way adults do. Unlike healthy adults who imbibe alcohol, the levels of blood glucose (sugar in the blood) plummet dangerously in a youngster. When the brain cannot get enough glucose to keep it running smoothly, seizures and coma can occur. However, despite the age of the drinker, alcohol affects the central nervous system. Staggering when they walk, talking incoherently, appearing to be sleepy can be signs of a drunk child. Judgment may be impaired while standing at the top of a staircase or chasing a ball across the street. Whether the adult feels the beverage is innocuous – for instance, beer is not as potent as vodka – the child's reaction will depend on their current age and brain development.

Second, researchers have thumb-wrestled for years as to whether alcoholism runs in families. Is there a provable genetic basis? Or is it environmental in that there is always booze in the house or that there are a half-dozen liquor stores on one's block? In the mix and match of some 20,500 genes that make up any one of the possible 4 trillion human personalities, sure, there is a remote possibility a formula for alcoholism exists. More likely, alcohol abuse is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A child may observe that a cup or two of wine at the Purim feast is happily appropriate. Or a kid may see that her mother passes out at her birthday party, causing her embarrassment. Without getting into the psychobabble of 5-syllable forgettable terms, let's just say that one child may remember that alcohol was an escape from an uncomfortable experience. Whether or not the child picks up that association and transfers it to her own habits, may be a matter of heredity. Or it may be a warning that it is something that should not be imitated.

Third, is Mrs. Van crazy? While the pharmacist is not labeling Ms. Van an alcoholic, her actions seem to indicate that she does not respect alcohol as the "controlled substance" it can be. No, one does not need a prescription to acquire it. The official age for drinking alcohol in the US is 21, although the age can vary from state to state. Keeping alcohol away from teens is difficult enough without willingly offering it to them in a tea-party setting. According to the Cleveland Clinic, underage drinking is a significant public health problem. In recent years, researchers have discovered that among high school students: approximately 1 in 3 drink alcohol, almost 1 in 5 have ridden in a car with a driver who has been drinking alcohol – and sadly, that can include the parent of a child who has been drinking – and 1 in 20 have driven after drinking alcohol. According to the CDC, drinking under age 21 contributes to death from alcohol poisoning, unintentional injuries, such as car crashes, drowning, as well as violence and sexual assault.

So, as cute as it may be to serve Amy's cough syrup in one of Mommy's cordial glasses, the practice sets a bad precedent. Kids will find booze if they want it. The idea is for them to respect its potency and the consequences that go with this it. And doesn't this start with the parents?

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

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The Signs of Growth

By Valerie Senese

When a new baby is born, a considerable amount of attention is focused on the outward signs of growth. Is the child gaining weight, growing in length, as well as various measurements of muscles and bones? From there, a child is expected to meet growth milestones to continue to monitor, for the signs of growth. Mental, emotional, physical… all of it matters, and because of this, it is the job of the caregivers to track these points of growth.

The same goes for community and economic development for towns. Growth has to be constantly measured and milestones need to be met. Like raising a child, not all milestones are pleasant to go through. Example number one: potty training. What can seem like a daunting, miserable and "crappy" situation (pun definitely intended), is necessary for the continued well-being of the child.

Similarly, there are areas of growth that can be so uncomfortable it can leave entrepreneurs frustrated, exhausted and ready to throw in the towel. However, while these growing pains are not the goal of growth, they are a symptom of it. What becomes important is how the frustrations are handled. This can look like customers communicating effectively with business owners about their experiences and business owners receiving constructive information from their customers and other business owners in a positive way. If these situations are not pursued as measures of growth, then the resulting actions may actually hinder it.

This season, may community members remember what an empty main street looked and felt like: commercial spaces, empty parking lots and no growth. With this in mind, I would like to challenge customers and other businesses to support one another, even when communication and growth may seem the most uncomfortable. While it's not the goal of cultivating a healthy community, it's a part of the growing process.

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