April 30, the birthday of Elaine Laubach and the wedding anniversary of Rev. Howard and Nancy Leh. lean-up day at Katy's Church from 11 AM to 2 PM. Katy's Church is in Madison Township, outside Millville.will be available at The Center from 10 this morning to 1 PM to discuss a free Salvation Army summer camp June 15-20 in the Poconos for kids from 7-12 years of age. Families must meet certain income guidelines. There is an ice-cream social from 4:30 to 6:30 PM at Town Hill United Methodist Church, 417 Town Hill Road, Shickshinny; takeouts are available. A spring cleanup day at the borough building in Millville begins at 8 AM and continues to noon for borough residents and residential properties. There is also a c
State Route 118, 1/2 mile east of the Rickett's Glen State Park, from 8 AM at a price of $7 for adults and $4 for children. TheMoose Exchange, Bloomsburg, will host an appearance by Boston based contemporary and experimental music ensembleLoadbang at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $8 at the door.May 1, the birthday of Jay McHenry. There is an all-you-can eat breakfast at the Fairmount Volunteer Fire Company,
Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) will have a representative available at The Center on Thursday, May 12, from 9 AM to noon and on Wednesday, May 2 from 10 AM to 1 PM at the Shickshinny Senior Center, 19 West Vine St.
An email arrived today which shouted at us--not in words or intent, but in the way it was typed. The email was in all caps. The receipt of an email in all caps is generally received and ignored. "All caps" is generally rude! If you ever need to convert something into lowercase when someone else has incorrectly typed a document in all caps, simply open Microsoft Word, paste the offending words into a new document and change all caps to lowercase using the shortcut key combination Shift + F3. This will allow you to change a paragraph that is in ALL CAPS into lowercase.Kathy Arcuri's May article on gardening is entitled "Eat Your View."
"As farmers’ markets and farmstands return each spring, it seems a good time to celebrate the importance of locally-grown food for taste, freshness and nutrition. Also, the Brits, with their popular locavore campaign, remind us that “Eating your view” is an important conservation decision--protecting our beautiful rural landscapes from the sprawl of development, saving billions of fossil fuel miles and enhancing food security and safety.
"This country began as an agrarian economy. However, during the last century there has been a steady erosion of the family farm, as our food-production systems became increasingly industrialized and more recently globalized. Since the 1930’s, we have lost almost five million farms, along with millions of acres of finite and irreplaceable farmland. During this same time, genetic diversity of our food crops has declined by about 95%, such that now only a handful of corporate growers determine what we find at the supermarket.
"Also troubling, today our food travels to us from as far away as Argentina, Chile, China, and New Zealand. Even within the US, most of our produce comes from California, Florida or Washington State, spending up to two weeks in transit. And the US beef, poultry and pork industries are dominated by just four large corporations, necessitating industrial-style operations and long supply chains.
"Compare this to farm-fresh food, usually purchased within 24 hours of harvest. Day-old asparagus is sweet and clean-tasting, nothing like those acrid store-bought spears. The orange yolks of new-laid eggs stand up and salute their nutritional advantage. Ears of corn still dewy from early morning picking have tender-crisp kernels just begging for a dollop of creamery butter. Sun-kissed tomatoes, not grown for packing and shipping but for juicy flavor-bursts in sandwich or salad, come in an array of colors and shapes not found in supermarket chains. And ground-beef patties from pastured cows need no additional seasoning because their rich flavor speaks for itself.
"But if an appeal to your taste buds doesn’t convince you, let’s examine some wonkish statistics. In Maine, shifting just 1% of consumer spending to direct purchase of local-food products raised farmers’ incomes by 5%, helping to preserve family farms and contributing to an improved state economy. In Kansas City, a “Buy Fresh Buy Local” campaign increased regional food sales from $2.5 million to $7.5 million, benefiting the economy of the whole community. And what about all those fossil fuel miles? Well, number-crunchers tell us that if every US citizen ate just one meal a week of locally-raised meats and produce, we could reduce our oil consumption by 1.1 million barrels every week.
"So as an act of conservation--before you buy that hybrid car, or invest in geothermal heat, or drive miles to the local supermarket to buy organic food--consider visiting a farmers’ market or farm stand near you and see what’s on offer. Then take the challenge and “Eat Your View,” to help preserve the rural communities we all cherish."
If the music from last night is any indication, this will be a great MerleFest. We watched "Scythian," the Del McCoury Band, Randy Travis and the Zac Brown Band until midnight and it was about 1:30 this morning until we were able to get to bed. OK. So now we have the reasons out of the way that the Benton News isn't getting published with any regularity.
There were numerous errors in the Wednesday edition of the Benton News. In my defense, we were parked in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, high on a hill when I finally had the time to peck out a few lines. The motor home was almost out of control from the high winds and rain and we all expected that the sirens would go off any minute. Everyone I talked with Thursday said they slept in their clothes with their valuables close to them. It was a difficult night with high temperatures and humidity. Sleep came about 4 Thursday morning and electricity was lost about four hours previously. If you are worried about tornadoes, turn to http://kamala.cod.edu/spc/ for automatic updating of warnings
Dyer McHenry's name was incorrectly spelled in the last edition of the Benton News. There were numerous other mistakes that can easily happen when there is no time to proof what has been typed.Donovan Krantz was born on April 27, on the birthday of his great-grandfather, Jules McHenry, and grandfather, Dyer McHenry. Donovan Krantz is the third McHenry born on April 27, weighing in at 8 pounds, and 19".
Didja ever wonder what former Gov. Rendell is doing with his time now that he doesn't live on Second Street, Harrisburg? According to Greenlee Advisors, he is an operating partner in a venture capital firm, is "practicing law, writing a sports column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, political commentating on MSNBC, and sports commentating on Comcast."
Didja ever think that worrying is somewhat akin to praying for things that you don't want?
Driving from Florida to North Carolina made me think how things are different today. Here are some examples:
Remember when it took an hour to bake a potato? Remember when television sets only had thirteen channels and in Benton only channel 12 picked anything up? And you watched on a black-and-white television? Remember "rabbit ears?" And cords on phones? And what about rotary phones? Remember parquet? Or the last time you were able to park in your garage? Or who the people are in the "slides" you found in the attic. Or the original cost of the VHS tapes you have in all those boxes? Or how little those VHS tapes are worth today? Do you remember the word "Beta?"
Your family members seem to think that you will automatically pick up the check. People you meet refer to you as "Sir" or "Ma'am."
People once actually stored gloves in their glove departments. Why don't we now call it an "odds-and-ends" compartment?
Some of us still "Xerox" copies we want to keep.
Father was called a "mailman" instead of a letter carrier, "the stewardess" served drinks on a plane instead of a flight attendant, and the trash collector was a "garbage man."
Remember when we owned American cars that were not made by Ford, GM or Chrysler?
I now know the difference between unsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. And the difference between Mylanta and Maalox.
My medicine cabinet contains a tube of Ben-Gay and a bottle of baby aspirin. We have cupboards of cookbooks never opened and own a set of encyclopedias that includes an article on the Soviet Union.
We can't remember where our keys are, why we walked into a room or who is going to answer the call just placed. You have no idea why when you get dressed that your spouse is wearing the same color-coordinated outfit.
You head to Ed Cole's barber shop more as a social outing than a necessity.
There are parts of your body that you haven't seen in years without the aid of multiple mirrors.
You watched Princess Diana's wedding on television.
April 27, 2011, the 86th birthday of T. J. McHenry and the birthday of his son, Dyer McHenry. Jules is healthy and spending it with daughter Julie and son-in-law in Las Cruces, New Mexico. If things go right, Jule's great-grandson Donovan will be born today and if so, that will mean three generations born on April 27. It is also the birthday of Charles Wodrig, Barbara Fritz. Bob and Carla Lee celebrate their wedding anniversary.
Expect some strong thunder storms Thursday. Cooler Friday and back to the low 70s Saturday. But that is a far better weather forecast than Kay and I are experiencing. We have made it to North Carolina in our motor home, but are on standby from midnight until 7 AM Thursday for tornadoes. We have been told that a fire truck will sound a siren if we have to evacuate. We then will need to run about a quarter of mile to a block building where about 300 of us are to gather in the rest rooms. That simply isn't my idea of a vacation.
April 27, 1822, was the birthday of Hiram Ulysses Grant, born in Point Pleasant, Ohio. He changed his name (to Ulysses Simpson Grant) while he was a student at West Point to avoid the initials HUG. He ended up being the commander of the Union Armies at the end of the Civil War in spite of some unusual habits. For example, he would never go back. If he went past where he was supposed to be he would continue until he could work his way around to where he had been, but he never retraced his steps. As a general, it meant he would never retreat. Those who supported the general said he was tough. Those in the North and the South who were horrified by his brutality called him the Butcher.As a general, he sent thousands of men to their death, but he had a complete aversion to killing animals to the point that he would not eat fowl of any kind. Anything that walked on two legs was off limits to feed to the man. The sight of bloody meat at a table would send him from the table. Grant saw a mare being beaten once, and the general had the man doing the beating tied to a post for six hours.Grant became the 18th president of the United States, but within ten years of leaving the White House he was completely broke. He came down with throat cancer and was forced to write his military memoirs, a wildly successful book, in order to survive financially.
Speaking of books, one of our favorite places to look for used, rare and out-of-print hardbacks is in Enola, at 167 Enola Road. Owner Michelle Haring does everything in her power to be a gracious host when you are shopping in her store, and the web page that she has crafted shows the same degree of loving care. If you need a book, try www.cupboardmaker.com.
The Benton News hasn't been too dependable lately. Monday our planned departure from Port Saint Lucie at 9 AM didn't happen until 1 PM. Our first planned stop was to fill up with propane, which we did at a Flying J. The motor home then would not start and a replacement battery had to be found and installed. We then discovered that a right rear outside tire had developed a crack in the sidewall, which required us to get four replacement tires.
When you are parked along I-95 in Southern Florida, it just isn't the easiest to get four truck tires installed. It is nothing like the friendly atmosphere at Steve Shannon's Tire Store on Mill Street were Dan and Tom greet you with a smile and offer you a cup of coffee while you wait. The advice I get from these two guys is taken in, considered and followed. The same is hardly true with someone in South Florida who says, "Yes, we can bolt on four tires for you."
The word "bolt" used in this fashion is about as poorly chosen as when I say I am going to "build" a batch of cookies.
But a slash in a tire needs attention. So I mortgaged my house, refinanced my car and took out a second trust on my Schwinn and told the manager of the open-air garage to go ahead and install tires. It turned out that the manager was the only one who spoke English.
A baldheaded man by the name of Jose put the two tires on the left rear. Jose weighed 300 pounds if he weighed an ounce. Wrestling tires on and off the motor home was easy for him. Jose's mustache completely covered his upper lip, his tooth, and much of his lower lip. He is probably wanted in something like 13 or more states, but he got the round side down and we couldn't ask for much more than that.On the other side of the motor home, an elderly man who barely reached 95 pounds wrestled tires that probably weighed as much as he did. He constantly glanced sideways as he worked, as if he was looking for something.After what seemed like an eternity in the 95° heat and the full sunshine, the tires were installed, the mortgage papers signed and we headed up the road. What a ride. The bucking broncos at the Benton Rodeo had nothing on the motor home. It was all over the road and the Jeep I was towing swayed like apple blossoms in the spring. We made it two hours and quit. We spent the night at a friend's house. Our trusty tire gauge showed 100 pounds in the right rear tires and 94 pounds in the left rear tires. Jose and the thin man must not have talked much. The next morning, we headed to a tire dealer and put an even 100 in all six tires. The camper suddenly drove like a dream and we headed north for the next twelve hours to Mooresville, North Carolina.We spent Wednesday with son David as he recovers from femur and knee surgery and finally arrived in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, Wednesday night after dark, where we were greeted by firemen explaining that tornadoes could hit overnight.
Adult acting class will be held Wednesday evenings at 7 PM starting June 29 and ending August 3. This class is designed for beginners as well as seasoned actors and actresses and will focus on character representation, movement, developing stage presence and voice projection. Learn to be someone you're not--or would like to be! Participants will learn standard stage techniques, makeup and handling props. Cost is $40 for members of The Center, $60 for nonmembers. Register now at The Center.
The Center experienced a favorable response to its Veterans’ Memorial. A number of people asked to buy bricks for themselves and their family members and a new setting to honor their requests has been created. A landscape architect has designed a beautiful, new setting, which will create a brick walk to remember our friends, family, and loved ones. It will be located next to the creek on the southeast corner of The Center property. The setting will resemble a raised patio with gazebo (if enough bricks are sold). Landscaping will enhance the natural beauty of the setting--a place of beauty, calm and pride in which visitors can meditate or relax, where the creek "...continually flows and flows, always the same, yet ever new." The gazebo will also be a beautiful setting for small weddings by the creek.
The Center invites you to order your bricks now so they will be engraved in time for a summer or fall celebration. Order forms and instructions are available at The Center. Bricks are priced at $50 for a 4” x 8” brick, and $75 for an 8” x 8” brick. There is a 20% discount for orders of more than one brick. For more information, call Chuck or Kay Chapman at 925-6972.
F. Charles Petrillo, Esq. will speak at the Back Mountain Historical Association on “The History of Ricketts Glen State Park,’’Tuesday in Huntzinger and Alden Trust rooms of Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall of Misercordia University beginning at 7 PM. The meeting and presentation are open and free to the public. A light reception will follow. Register by calling 674-621. R. Bruce Ricketts (1839-1918) once owned more than 65,000 acres in Luzerne, Sullivan and Wyoming counties. His summer home was at Lake Ganoga. State Game Lands No. 57 and 13, adjacent to the park, were once held by Ricketts. The 13,050-acre park was approved by former Pennsylvania Gov. Arthur James of Plymouth in 1941. The centerpiece of the park is its numerous waterfalls, which provide the name Ricketts Glen to the park. In 1969, the waterfalls trail was named by the National Park Service as a National Natural Landmark. Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas, and founder of the non-profit organization known as Shale Test, will speak at the Hughesville Fire Hall, Railroad and Water Streets, at 7 PM. The talk is titled, "Fracturing Our Future?” Admission is free and open to all.There will be a spring fling at the Benton Airport Saturday, April 30. The menu is roasted chicken with all the fixins, and yes, pies and deserts. Lunch begins about 11 AM. It is a rain or shine event, even if the weather is bad like it was for the Ski Plane Fly In. The food will be on anyway. There will be classic cars and hot rods attending, just in case airplanes are not enough to get your adrenaline going. Put April 30 on your must do list at the Benton Airport, temporary home of "Lady Satan." If anybody does not who she is by now, they just are not paying attention. That old girl will be on display for anybody who could not make it for the arrival of her to honor Bob Vincent. Donations will support the Benton Airport. Airplane rides will be available after lunch. There will be children's activities and fun for the whole family throughout the day. The airport is located at the west end of Everett Street. For runway conditions contact airport manager, Monty Hittle, 570 317-7073.Didja ever wonder why so many want life without difficultieswithout considering that oaks grow strong in strong windsand diamonds are formed under pressure?
Donald and Dottie Rabb were guided around Miami by their daughter Dottie Ann on the celebration of their 68th wedding anniversary. The couple married in 1943 on Easter eve. It has been 68 years since the two occasions fell on the same day. Don took his basic training in the Air Force on Miami Beach in February and March 1943. Don didn't find any of the hotels the troops stayed in when they got back there in 1953, but they did pass through the area of Miami Beach taken over by the Air Force in the 1940s.On May 16, the History Buffs will meet at the Brass Pelican Restaurant. The group Water's Edge will play songs from their new album. Caleb Fritz says he "isn't sure how this relates to history, other than the fact that the group hopes to make history as the first band from Benton to ever make it 'big'."
Water's Edge is a three-man pop-rock group from Bloomsburg. The group took third place at a national songwriting competition in Nashville sponsored by the Gospel Music Association. They then went on to record their first professional album with the help of Jeromy Deibler--frontman for award winning national recording artist FFH. Their new album, UpsideDown, is available on iTunes, Amazon, Napster, and Rhapsody and other digital distribution sites. Their first single should hit radio by May. The group is on tour this Spring and Summer with shows across Pennsylvania and surrounding states, and will be opening for FFH for two dates in mid-July. The group is also playing at Knoebels Grove in August as part of WGRC Radio's "Music in the Park" event.
Water's Edge music combines chilled-out melodies with thought provoking-lyrics that speak about living life the way it was meant to be lived in a modern, pop culture. The group will have its new album available that morning for anyone who would like to pick up a copy!
Didja ever notice that you're never too old to learn something stupid?
Lance O. Diehl, president and CEO of First Columbia Bank and Trust Co., will be honored tonight at the Danville Elks by the Columbia-Montour Council of Boy Scouts as the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Citizen Award. Dr. Dale Neiderheiser, president of the Boy Scout Council, a chiropractor with offices in Benton, will make the presentation. Lance graduated from Millville High School, magna cum laude from Bloomsburg University and received an MBA from Lehigh University He is a graduate of the Stonier School of Banking. Lance and wife, Aimee, have a daughter, Allison. He is a son of Leroy and Nancy Diehl.
The Hawk nest at Franklin Institute is up and running. Two eggs have hatched. It is an improved site this year.Access it at www.sunnydixie.blogspot.com
Many read Tom Austin's column in the Sunday Press Enterprise. The names of friends and family in the Upper Fishing Creek valley are often seen in his column as Tom stops to visit with people north from the Brass Pelican south through Benton and Orangeville.
Sunday's column was no different as Tom chatted with Bill Johnson, nursery manager of the Fishing Creek Sportsmen;'s Club, and Chad Eckroth, owner of the Benton Sports Store.
Tom included a reminder that the "Granddaddy of all Fishing Derbies" will be held June 5 adjacent to the Mill Race Golf course North of Benton. The event will be sponsored by the Fishing Creek Sportsmen's Club and is for kids up to 12 years. It begins at 1 PM.
Merlefest is almost here and we can hear the good music and jamming and look forward to seeing old friends. Wilkes Acoustic Folk Society will host the jamming tents on the lawn of Wilkes Community College. On both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, jamming will begin about 5 PM. This is all free, no charge for entrance or parking. Starting on Thursday you will have to have a ticket to Merlefest to get in. We leave Florida this morning heading for the Merlefest. We hope to see you there.Wayne McMichael and Tom Yeager are both in the Air Force and currently deployed together. A picture taken on their base in front of Lt. Col. (select) Yeager's fighter jet showed both men looking healthy.
Lt. Col. Yeager and Airman First Class Wayne B. McMichael, III, both Columbia County natives are serving together in the 389th Fighter Squadron based out of Mountain Home AFB Idaho. They are deployed at a remote base in Southeast Asia. McMichael, an Intelligence Specialist, provides key information to fighter pilots like Yeager flying Close Air Support Missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. McMichael is in his first term of service with the Air Force and Yeager has served 18 years and on this deployment will go over 2,000 F-15E hours to include 750+ combat hours.
Make them realize that they are nor forgotten as they serve our country abroad. Their addresses are the same: Tom Yeager / Wayne McMichael, 455 EOG / 389 EFS, Bagram Air Base, APO AE 09352.The sun may pop out on Tuesday.
April 24, the birthday of David Laubach and Caleb Lahey and the wedding anniversary of Donald and Dottie Rabb. It is Easter.
Please check out www.stillwatergeneralstore.com for monthly advertising and co-op specials. Whispering Pines Camping Estates has opened the store to provide state and local products at reasonable prices.
facility in October 2007. It didn't take long for The Center's Board of Directors and the Center Director Robert D. Hutchison, a man most in the upper Fishingcreek Valley know as "Rob," to realize that volunteers at the center would and could provide invaluable service to the community and its residents and visitors. What wasn't expected was the reaction the Center received from the volunteers themselves as to the benefits they received for their efforts.
"I am proud to say I have met so many, many wonderful people, and that I still continue to call them all my friends." said Nina Ford, a recent recipient of The Center's Volunteer of the Quarter award.
Now 105 volunteers strong and growing, The Center's volunteers have contributed thousands hours of service in the constantly expanding program, according to Rob Hutchison, its only salaried employee.
Ellen Hall is the Volunteer Coordinator for The Center. Ellen is constantly looking for additional volunteers to help set up the stage for the Fishing Creek Players, or arrange chairs for a speaker program put on by the Library/Museum Committee, or to answer calls at the front desk or to do any of the hundreds of other jobs that must be done. Volunteers for the front desk are needed 70-82 hours a week, every week of the year.
Ellen is always trying to figure out a way of showing the volunteers that The Center deeply cares about them. Volunteers were recently treated to a gift certificate from Strevig's Restaurant for all the hard work they turn out. More and more, the local business community recognizes the worth of these volunteers. Each fall, the volunteers head in a group to a mountain retreat where they share wonderful food and conversation.
One of the enticements of being a volunteer is to be named as Volunteer of the Quarter. Choosing the Volunteer of the Quarter builds friendships and growth among the members. Those who have been chosen to be Volunteer of the Quarter are Gary Elliot, Jackie Malhoyt, Kathy Ball, Larry Paul, Nina Ford, Bob Parks, Diane Laubach and Katie Knorr.
As the events calendar at The Center continues to enlarge, the friendships among the volunteers continues to grow as well as the need for additional volunteers.
Rob Hutchison, when he was hired as the Center Director, had his doubts that the volunteer program would work. Chuck Chapman continued to push for more and more volunteer help and when the first few volunteers showed up to help a small cheer went up. It was soon obvious that even more help was needed. Robert Parks stepped up and took on the task of Grounds and Building Chairman. Russ Seward initially took on the job of heading the Library/Museum Committee, and has recently passed that job to Diane Laubach. The Santa Claus of The Center, Chandlee Stowe, opens the building twice a week and helps out on the weekend.
Ellen Hall encourages anyone who is interested in volunteering to stop at The Center for a visit and see what everyone is talking about. It all becomes perfectly clear when you see the eyes light up on the faces of the small kids who come to the nursery or ballet class or a story is read by a grandmother with substantial experience. Volunteers when they get home are thankful for the experience of the day. There are many times when two volunteers work together. There are the hours the board puts in, extra functions that requires 8-10 volunteers to set up and tear down, passing out flyers, advertising, cooking, maintaining The Center and the gardens, washing towels, the added activities (bus trips, plays, special presentations, auction, Heritage Days, summer program, tax services and soup sales. As the Center “matures,” more and more activities are added--requiring more volunteers.
One of the most dedicated volunteers is Nina Ford, who drives from Huntington Mills two days a week to sit at the front desk where she checks people in and out, "makes the schedules try and work for everyone," responds to numerous questions in person and over the phone and spreads her "people skills." Nina became a volunteer the year the Center opened. She "saw an article and wondered--so hubby and I drove down. I signed on ASAP!" Nina volunteers eight hours of her week to The Center. She trains all new volunteers who sign on, taking over Jackie Malhoyt's position in that regard.
You might wonder why people volunteer. Larry and Judy Paul truly "believe the community center was just what the area needed." The couple have eight grandchildren in the area--and know that it was a "wonderful opportunity for them and for members of all ages." The library was also a big plus for avid reader Larry. With the Laubach "each one teach one" heritage he always felt that it was shame not to have a library in Benton.
To learn more about becoming a volunteer, call Ellen Hall at 925-0163 or visit her at The Center on Community Drive, Benton.
His devoted mother, and Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth. Jesus was born in a stable in the city of Bethlehem, Judea. He is survived by His mother, His faithful Apostles, numerous disciples and many other followers.
Jesus was self-educated and spent most of his adult life working as a teacher. Jesus also occasional worked as a medical doctor and it is reported that he healed many patients. Up until the time of His death, Jesus was teaching and sharing the Good News, healing the sick, touching the lonely, feeding the hungry and helping the poor.
Jesus was most noted for telling parables about His Father's Kingdom and performing miracles, such as feeding more than 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, and healing a man who was born blind. On the day before His death, He held a Last Supper celebrating the Passover Feast, at which He foretold His death.
The body was quickly buried in a stone grave which was donated by Joseph of Armathea, a loyal friend of the family. By order of Pontius Pilate, a boulder was rolled in front of the tomb and Roman soldiers stood guard.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that everyone try to live as Jesus did. Donations may be made to anyone in need.
April 21 & 22, 2011. Chances for thunderstorms or rain pick up Friday through the weekend.
April 22, the birthday of Jeff Kelsey, Shelby Holdren and Theresa Hilley, and the wedding anniversary of Frank and Barbara Edson and the 16th such event for David and Amy Rhinard, Orangeville. Stoney Acres Nursery is celebrating Arbor Day today. Stop in and receive a free seedling. It is the 41st anniversary of Earth Day.
Bradford County has its share of problems today as thousands of gallons of fracking fluids spilled in LeRoy Township near Canton beginning about 11:45 AM Tuesday contaminating farm land and Towanda creek which flows into the nearby Susquehanna. Initial indications were that a piece of Chesapeake Energy's equipment on a well pad failed. The accident comes exactly one year after the explosion of an oil well operated by BP and at a sensitive time for residents of New York state who tend not to be cozy with the concept of fracking. Chesapeake has suspended all drilling operations in the Commonwealth pending a determination of the cause of the accident. Video from WNEP-TV here.
United States Constitution. Even that document is not without controversy. One side claims that something is authorized by the Constitution when it clearly isn't. The other side says that something is not authorized by the Constitution when it is authorized. Many times over coffee I'll hear someone thunder, "That's unconstitutional!" or "The Constitution lets me do that!" A Constitutional scholar would write volumes on this subject, but the interpretation of the Constitution seems to boil down to (1) what the Constitution actually says, (2) the intentions of those who drafted it, or those who voted to propose or ratify it; (3) judicial precedents; (4) consequences of decisions made contrary to what the Constitution says; and (5) natural law (as opposed to man-made law).
Let's look at the Constitution from the standpoint of the signers.
The Constitution requires that the minimum age to be President is thirty-five years. Ever wonder why? Possibly because the Founders didn't want the sitting or ex-president to run an eligible heir for the office. John Quincy Adams, in his fifties at the time, was the first Presidential son elected to the office. Founders were very concerned that the executive branch would come under the control of a single family.
Article II, Section I of the United States constitution states that "no person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States." The phrase "at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution" was added to protect the rights of would-be presidents born outside the United States who had proven their loyalty during the Revolution.
Seven of the 39 signers of the Constitution were foreign born: Alexander Hamilton, in the West Indies; Robert Morris, England; James Wilson, Scotland; and Pierce Butler, Thomas Fitzsimmons, William Paterson and James McHenry, Ireland. Nearly 25% of the signers were not yet 35 years old. Read more on this subject by going to "Observations
By the end of the 18th century, deism had become a dominant religious attitude among upper-class Americans, and the first three presidents of the United States held this conviction. Framers did not use the words "God," or "Creator," "Jesus" or "Lord" in a religious way in the Constitution. The Founders felt that the new government should not involve itself in matters of religion. The original Constitution bars any religious test to hold any federal office in the United States.
Our "Thinking Out of the Box" video for today deals with possible future highways.Some of the Founding Fathers felt a strong alliance with France and some with France's arch-enemy, England. Thomas Jefferson argued in his 1801 inaugural address for "peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations--entangling alliances with none." Some felt that America should intervene in the affairs of others as needed to the extent of saving the world. Perhaps it is time for us to revisit our thinking on this subject.
Thanks to some very hard-working people, the Angel Food program of the Community Outreach Ministry of Benton has served the upper Fishing Creek valley very well. A number of people get credit for the program, but Janet English, Tiffany Kester and Deb Ross deserve special mention. Deb Ross said that "We struggled and prayed about this decision and decided that this ministry is no longer effective for meeting people's needs." Pick-up for the last order is Saturday, April 23, from 7:30-9 AM.
Frank Robbins shared a story about O. B. Savage. Frank moved with his parents to Benton in 1959 when he was 14. Franklin had a large paper route in the city, but needed to make some spending money when the family relocated. O. B. needed help picking corn that was missed by the corn picker. Frank went to see O. B. who offered him 50 cents per burlap bag to pick up the missed corn. Frank started at daybreak in the fields across the road from his house and worked all morning until it began raining about 1 PM. " Believe me, that picker did not miss much corn," Frank remembers. Frank drug two and a half bags across the road in the rain and deposited them in the corn crib. O.B. surveyed his work and handed Frank a dollar bill. Frank asked about the 25 cents for the half bag. O.B. told him to "come back tomorrow and fill it and I will give you the 50 cents." Frank never went back.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will bring in more than $18 million from natural-gas companies drilling beneath portions of State Game Lands 114 in Lycoming County and 172 in Bradford County. The deals with Anadarko E&P Co., EXCO Resources Inc. and Chesapeake Appalachia prohibit surface disturbance on that land. Endless Mountain Energy will drill under part of State Game Lands 268 in Tioga County. For more information, read the April 19 edition of the Patriot News.
With all the rain in the area, it is time to kick up your heels and bring some sunshine into your lives. No one can do that better than the number 1 jive and swing band from the United Kingdom--the Jive Aces. Click here and they will bring you some sunshine.an annual weeklong festival commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt and slavery. Family and friends gather together on the first and second nights of the holiday for the Seder. During the Seder, which means "order" in Hebrew, the experience of the Exodus is told in story, song, prayer and the tasting of symbolic foods. Today is Deb Frye Ross, Brie Marie, Jim Kelsey, Melissa Doucette and Don Foote. On this day in 2005, theologian Joseph Ratzinger was chosen to succeed his friend and close ally Pope John Paul II. Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, the 265th leader of the world's largest Christian institution.Richard Sutliff, Guy G. Roberts, Richard Lehet (S. Comstock Road), Savannah Geffken, Mark Barrett, Frank Rehm, Chuck Musitano, John Kitchen, Mark Barrett, Guy Roberts and Fred Baker.
Today's edition is mostly a "catch-up" edition, where some recent topics get kicked around again. A (probable youthful) reader asked where Burma Shave signs were posted back in the day. Dick McHenry remembers when south of the "curve and before the Pied Piper sign going toward Maple Grove" there was a group of Burma Shave signs that read "“Saw a train and tried to duck it, kicked the gas and then the bucket. Burma Save.” Dick said "that was special" as the B & S train crossed the highway beside Bubb Laubach's farm.
Dick has a good memory. He can recall, for example, when tickets at the Ritz Theater were 15 cents and the management sold pop corn, candy and drinks--that is, if you had any money. You couldn't drink too much, however, because the theater didn't have any restrooms. On Saturdays, they had serials that continued each week and left you in suspense. Richard remembers seeing the "Tarzan” series, plus Jungle Jim, Lash Larue, “The Scarlet Horseman”, “ Zorro,” “The Lone Ranger” and others. A news reel followed showing the headline news, sports, entertainment, etc. Then the cartoons appeared on the screen with Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Popeye, Heckle and Jeckel, Mickey Mouse, etc. Finally the main show came on the screen. Dick especially liked John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Audie Murphy, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Gabby Hayes, Chill Wills, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck and Clark Gable. The "boys in town" liked the war movies and a lot of the actors that played in Westerns also played in war movies. There were scary movies such as Frankenstein, Dracula, The Thing, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Zombies, etc. There were funny movies with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, etc. Then the special movies like Leo Gorcey and the Bowery Boys, The Little Rascals, Ma and Pa Kettle, and all of this for a 15-cent ticket. Plus you got to see the pretty girls from Benton High who were at the movies. Then maybe a burger and cherry coke after at Joe Dalto’s Main Street Restaurant or a vanilla Coke or VMP or CMP (vanilla or chocolate ice cream with marshmallow and peanuts) at "Cozeys" or a burger at the counter at the Pied Piper or some Dolly Madison ice cream at Yosts and if you really pressed your luck and saved a nickel you could play a game on the pin ball machine if you could get it away from experts like Franklin Knouse. As Archie Bunker would say “Those were the days.”August 1890. The high winds left a path 500 yards wide as it hurled itself in an easterly direction across the townships of Benton, Huntington, Union, Hunlock and Lehman. By the time the tornado reached Wilkes-Barre, a total of 16 died, 15 were seriously injured and at least 30 slightly injured. It wrecked at least 260 buildings, residences, stores, lumber yards, school houses, churches, factories, breweries, public and railroad structures and two breakers. The destruction was estimated at one million dollars computed in 1890 dollars.
here.. The antics of O. B. Savage will bring a smile to your face. You can read about O. B. by going
The lovely red barn south of the borough line was "in its day" known as the "Hulme barn." The barn lost its roof, and all the sheds and out buildings blown down, much of the brick house blown in and the roof torn off. Mrs. Hulme was caught by one of the falling buildings and had one of her ribs broken and the other badly crushed. The B & S work train was nearby and railroad men released Mrs. Hulme and dug the cattle and horses from the debris. The Hulme loss was estimated at $2,000. The storm missed Cambra by a matter of feet but slammed head on into Harveyville.
Wouldn't it have been a hoot to have been alive 330 years ago when William Penn advertised for people to settle in our new nation. Penn began some of his advertisements for new settlers by writing, "Since (by the good providence of God) a Country in America is fallen to my lot..." Few in history have had the good fortune to acquire and govern their own country--in this case, 45,000 thousand square miles. Penn actually owned thousands of acres in Ireland and England. He married well and acquired more. He had the good fortune of having a father who was a good friend of the King of England--Charles II.
Incomplete and misleading information is being widely circulated about a 3.8% tax on all home sales in the future. If you sell your home and have a capital gain in excess of $250,000 per person or $500,000 per couple you will have to pay an additional 3.8% tax on any gain over these amounts. Don't worry about the tax if you don't meet these thresholds--and few do! Consult your tax accountant if you have questions
Today is Patriots Day, when we commemorate the events of April 19, 1775, that marked the start of the American Revolutionary War—especially the midnight rides of Paul Revere and others to warn of the approach of British troops, and the battles of Lexington and Concord. Massachusetts and Maine celebrate the day as a legal holiday on the third Monday in April.
If you would like to have a big smile today, check out a delightful Polish version of some music you'll recognize by going here.
In late November 2010, Encana Oil & Gas USA Inc. announced that the company would end all exploratory Marcellus drilling in Luzerne and Columbia counties. The company immediately ended operations in its only Marcellus shale assets in the Commonwealth--a few acres in Columbia and approximately 25,000 acres and 1,156 leases in Luzerne County. The action was widely felt to define the eastern boundary of the Marcellus shale. The action shifted Encana's focus of operations.
Encana is now proposing to drill as many as 3,500 gas wells in the next ten years on 220 square miles--an area the size of Singapore--in the Upper Green River Basin in Wyoming where there are approximately 1,500 wells in the Jonah Field, ranked seventh in the U.S. for gas reserves, and 1,400 wells nearby in the Pinedale Anticline field. Two sides to the issue immediately formed, one promising drilling and production jobs and billions in tax revenue and royalties. On the other side, people worried about air and water pollution and protection for wildlife such as antelope and sage grouse in the previously undisturbed habitat. Sound familiar?
The Jonah Natural Gas Field is 94% federally owned. Its gas reserves are estimated at more than 14 trillion cubic feet. The Upper Green River Valley is known for its pronghorn antelope, mule deer and sage grouse. In the Jonah Field, there are about 500 wells drilled at an average of 16 wells per square mile. The latest call for development would add another 3,100 wells in Jonah to reach a density of 64 gas wells per square mile. One industry projection is that more than 3,000 wells would be drilled with an average profit in excess of $4 million per well. Is the picture on why Encarna moved from Luzerne and Columbia counties any clearer now?Environmental concerns in Wyoming are also shared in our Commonwealth. Many--but certainly not all--gas wells are tucked away where prying eyes of the general public can't act as an overseer. In these heavily forested woodlands the canopy protection for black-throated blue warblers, northern goshawks, salamanders and many woodland flowers is losing its shade, humidity and protection. Migratory pathways for birds and bats are being disrupted.Some estimates are that by 2030, something more than 30,000 and less than 82,000 acres of Marcellus gas development could take place. With this development could come invasive species. Our once popular native eastern brook trout are now largely concentrated in small mountain watersheds which could very well be disturbed in the next twenty years by Marcellus development. Some of the Commonwealth's best natural habitats are directly in the path of energy development.
The PA Nature Conservancy's Pennsylvania Energy Impacts Assessment Report 1: Marcelllus Shale Natural Gas and Wind is a report on environmental impacts that could accompany natural-gas and wind-energy development in Pennsylvania. The report is based on data that focuses on the effects on forest, fresh water, rare species and habitat. It does not address water issues or air quality. The report indicates that an average of 9 acres is consumed by each Marcellus Shale well pad. Adjacent lands were also affected through fragmentation and the creation of the “edge” effect, where forest at the perimeter of a clearing becomes less functional as wildlife habitat. There are currently 1000 Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania. TNC’s report projects that by 2030 there will be 7,000 to 16,000 well pads in the state, supporting as many as 60,000 new wells.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will vote today to designate 98 streams statewide as Naturally Reproducing Wild Trout Waters, which could lead to issuance of land use restrictions that could limit drilling and other development. Related actions by the Fish and Boat Commission and Trout Unlimited will provide data on "45,513 streams statewide." Trout can thrive in cold water around 54° and trout reproducing in mountain streams is a good indication of clean water. The outcome of these two action will influence future backwoods development in the Commonwealth for the Marcellus.
In the local area, Doug Gross would be an excellent person to speak to the impact on our winged wildlife.
April 17, the birthday of Mary Rundle and Jessica Hittle and the wedding anniversary of Charity and Ron Robbins. There is a buckwheat cake and sausage breakfast from 7 AM to 1 PM at the Benton Fire Hall. You can get chicken and waffles from 12-3 at Valley Grange 52, Millville. There is Zen Meditation from 9-11 AM at Endless Mountain Zendo, 104 Hollow Road, Stillwater.
The Benton Women's Club had such a good response to its recent AARP Drivers’ Safety course that anyone interested in an 8-hour AARP Driver’s Safety Course or a 4-hour Driver’s Safety Refresher Course can call Barbara King at 925-6242 to get on the list for the next one.
The following is not a political statement. President Obama is clearly going to run for president for a second term. On the Republican side, a host of governors or formers governors are testing the waters: Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. But heavens to murgatroyd, look who the national polling by CNN/Opinion Research has leading the pack for the Republicans. It is "the Donald" playing the Trump card, the Republican candidate currently in the top-dog position--at least until May 15 season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice when he will announce via his reality show if he is officially running for president. For the record, Sarah Palin in currently in third place behind the former governor of Arkansas. Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney were fourth, followed by Rep. Ron Paul and Rep. Michele Bachmann.
I don't exactly announce my political leanings, but I don't tilt toward Mr. Trump who will be here in Boca Raton today speaking to the South Florida Tea Party. Trump's name and hair recognition are his main claim to fame followed by his dogged determination to convince people that the President was not born in Hawaii. (See www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html ).
A section of a "landman's handbook," published by John Trallo in the Susquehanna County Gas Forum is available at http://frackmountain.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/oil_talkingpoints1_2.pdf .Douglas A. Gross, a Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Biologist, the Endangered and Nongame Bird-Section Supervisor, has lived near Rohrsburg since the early 1980s and has studied birds in the Commonwealth for about 30 years. Doug will speak about the northern forest birds of North Mountain (Red Rock) and the Poconos at the North Branch Bird Club's annual banquet Saturday, April 23. The program is entitled: "Pennsylvania Boreal Conifer Birds – Challenges and Opportunities by Doug Gross, PGC Ornithologist." There will be a 5:30 cash bar with a family-style dinner served at 6 PM, followed by the program. It will take place at the Morris Family Restaurant, 6305 Columbia Boulevard (Rte 11 off I-80), Bloomsburg. The dinner includes chicken cordon bleu, baked ham with pineapple glaze, roast beef with mashed potatoes, green beans and cole slaw. The price of $15 includes non-alcoholic drink and gratuity. The North Branch Bird Club will provide the desert. Contact Nancy Dennis, 759-1590, nancyldennisATverizon.net for reservations by April 17.If this talk is of interest to you, you might also be interested in the ecology and management of high-elevation forests in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains available here.April 15, 2011, the birthday of Jennifer Malhoyt, Melody Rhodes, Tiffany Sitler Bogart, Brian Steadman, Ken Bond and Jeff Andrysick. Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald's chain restaurant on this day in 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois. Pick up your fishing license today for opening day of trout season tomorrow. Today from 5:30 to 7 PM at the Energy Information Center of the Susquehanna Energy Information Center is a demonstration of an Enviroscape™ where you can find out how our actions on land affect the quality and quantity of water in our local streams. Grab some nets and search for aquatic animals, including frogs, tadpoles, newts, aquatic insects and fish. Animals will be held temporarily so participants get a close-up look at their unique features and adaptations as well as learn about their place in the food web. This program is most appropriate for children ages 5-12. Preregistration is requested. For more information, please call 866 832-3312 or email email@example.com
The Benton News included two very different articles on March 31 and April 1. One article was about Michael S. Mastroianni and his efforts to help earthquake, tsunami and radiation victims in Japan and the other was about a motorcycle ride in Mexico by my son David Kline, Mooresville, North Carolina, that ended in an accident. Here is an update on both.
Michael is back in the United States after being surrounded by people whose homes and lives have been thrown into chaos, whose loved ones just vanished from the face of the earth or whose death could be attributed to drowning, suffocation, respiratory ailments or a combination of causes. Michael worked until there were "chore ijo kono chi de shinde iru" ("no more dead on this ground") and the pallets of emergency rations known as MREs (Meals Ready to Eat)--which Michael knew as "Meals Refused by Ethiopians"--were gone. Michael's days of smelling of kerosene and the powder that comes off high-energy biscuits, of the blanket of salt and rotting biotic material, of the wind off the cold Pacific, of living "in the dominion of destruction," are over for now. Take the time to read Michael's journal of his time in Japan by going here, but be armed with a Kleenex by the time you get to the end.
David Kline, as you may remember, was in a motorcycle accident in Baja California and broke his femur. He lay on the ground for an hour and a half, then transported to a clinic in Mexico, taken by ambulance to the United States border where he was met by an American ambulance for transport to an American hospital for surgery. Following surgery, he was flown back to his home in Mooresville, North Carolina. David again faces surgery next Wednesday when doctors will insert a plate that is formed to his femur. He has a fracture running through the femur and some splintering of bones around the break. Doctors will then hook him up to a machine that slowly moves his lower leg to get the knee moving again. The current plan is that he can start weight bearing in about three weeks and possibly be mobile enough to get to the office. Flying, an integral part of his job, will take a little longer, because of the danger of blood clotting. In case you were wondering what the terrain was like where he was riding, go here.
Saturday will be the "Remembering Benton" celebration with entertainment, seminars and a movie. Tables in the gym will have lots of information about the 1910 fire, old churches, covered bridges and much more. Food will be available. It takes place at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, 42 Community Drive. Call 925-0163 for additional information.
Congratulations to Pam Simpson, the new librarian at the Orangeville Public Library. Incidentally, the library will hold a bake sale on Friday, April 22, beginning at 8:30 at the First Columbia Bank, Orangeville. All proceeds will benefit the Orangeville Public Library.
Hats off to State Representative Karen Boback of the117th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, who took a stand whenMichael Krancer, acting secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), changed the process of issuing Notices of Violations for drillers in the Marcellus Shale. Rep. Boback noted that "This policy shift requires inspectors to have such notices reviewed by the department before they can be issued to natural-gas drilling companies." In a letter to Mr. Krancer, she stated her position that "We cannot allow critical violations to go unaddressed while paperwork is reviewed through the department’s central office in Harrisburg. This will certainly bog down the regulatory process in red tape and could slow any necessary remediation." A copy of her letter is available on her website .
Rep. Boback has also reintroduced legislation to give the county conservation districts some oversight into the drilling process. County conservation districts were the primary local government unit responsible for the review of erosion and sediment control plans until DEP assumed these responsibilities in 2009. Rep. Boback brought House Bill 1263 to the attention of the secretary to return some controls to the local area.
Benton High School's Odyssey of the Mind team competed at the state finals tournament and placed second. This achievement earned them a chance to compete at the World Finals at the University of Maryland on May 27-30.
Each year, Odyssey of the Mind teams have five long-term problem options from which to choose. This year, the Benton Area Schools team chose to solve a technical problem which involved creating a device that completes a simple task in a complicated way. The name of this long-term problem was called "As Good as Gold...berg." It required them to build a type of Goldberg machine and also to create a skit that involved an inventor character who comes up with the "new and improved" way of performing the task. The students chose the task of unlocking a door without keys. They also had to include a marketing campaign in the skit that would convince people to buy their product. The solution to the problem which includes the skit, had to be performed within 8 minutes. During the competition, they were scored on their spontaneous performance which involved going into a room and solving a problem without having any previous knowledge of the problem.
Two Odyssey of the Mind fundraisers are planned in order for the local team to compete in the World Competition. The first is a booth at the Renaissance Jamboree at the end of April and the second is a spaghetti dinner and raffle in May. Any donations from local businesses are also welcome and appreciated. Contributions to support the effort can be sent to the local school at 600 Green Acres Drive, Benton, PA 17814. Clearly mark your contribution for Odyssey of the Mind.
The first bill to reach the Guv's desk will alter the state’s uniform construction code and the process used to change it. Provisions of House Bill 377 would repeal the state’s current mandate that all new home construction includes sprinkler systems. The Senate Tuesday evening voted to approve the amended legislation. Wednesday, the House of Representatives concurred in the changes made to the bill by the Senate. The bill now heads to the Guv for his consideration and signature.
April 13, the birthday of Brian Stedman, Ellen Bard-Everling, Jody Kacyon and United States Senator Bob Casey. Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, was born on this day. The Hoboken Sub Shop marks its 32nd anniversary today. The Sub Shop opened on a Friday the Thirteenth in 1979, just in time for the onslaught of fishermen who descended on the town for the opening of fishing season. You can read the history of the restaurant by going here. There will be presentation tonight at the Columbia County Agricultural Center, 702 Sawmill Road, Bloomsburg, from 5 to 7:30 PM to provide information about establishing and managing our native grasses. The session will also foster the sharing of experiences and knowledge about these native grasses and how individual farms and homeowners can grow, process, sell and utilize prairie grasses as a crop. A demonstration of the “mobile pelletizer” will show how these grasses may be processed into pellet fuel on the farm. For more information contact the Natural Resources Conservation Service at 784-4401, ext. 126.April 14, the birthday of Pat Truskoloski, Catherine Russel Lovett, Shauna Minnier Rooker, Allen Chapman, James "Ken" Bonham, Jr. and Judith Scavone. On this date in 1865, actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth and President Abraham Lincoln both attended a performance at Ford's theater and in 1912, on the fifth night of its maiden voyage, the Titanic struck an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. About 1,500 people lost their lives. Do you have your income taxes finished? The Country Cultivators will meet tonight at 7 in the social hall of Christ the King Church for its annual open house. Mary Hopkins will give a slide presentation of the "Garden Gems of Germany."
We often open our mouths on the Benton News simply to change feet. Using words to the best of our ability is a rare art. Take a look at the video here to get an example.
Benton High School's Odyssey of the Mind team competed Saturday at the state finals tournament in Williamsport and placed second. This achievement earned them a chance to compete at the World Finals at the University of Maryland on May 27-30. That is an accomplishment for a school the size of Benton. The cost for the "Worlds final" is quite substantial, so the kids will need to raise a great deal of money in a short amount of time. Beth Schultz, 683-5684 or 204-4746, is spearheading the project as the Benton High Odyssey of the Mind Coach. Beth's email address is pgtipster8ATyahoo.com.There are benefits to growing up in small community, but it is difficult to accomplish great things because of its size. Our high school wrestling team proved that the local students can "Get-R-Done." The accomplishments of Benton's Odyssey of the Mind team is a similar David vs. Goliath story that we should be proud of and that people should know about. Our high school is one of the smallest in the state (about 230 students), but finished second in this state tournament. Contrast that with the winning school--with an enrollment of 1,280. There was only one other team in the same ballpark with us--and that school had an enrollment of 510. The remaining nine high schools (of the total 12 in the competition in this division and problem) had enrollments ranging from 1,500 to 3,591 (the largest high school in the state). At both the regional tournament (where the local students finished first overall) and the state tournament the local team was ranked first in the most significant component of the OM competition, the long-term problem.
Coach Beth Schultz says that "What is most gratifying for me as coach is that these kids are just ordinary students, only a couple of them rank close to the top of their class. What sets them apart and what has led to their success is their work ethic, their working together and their collectively going the extra distance."
The cost of going to the World tournament is substantial and the team is looking to get any kind of support from the community that is forthcoming. Pennsylvania has one of the strongest Odyssey of the Mind programs around (this program also has teams from other countries) and has a good track record for doing well at worlds. Beth reminds us that "Pennsylvania teams have often finished in the top five of up to 80 teams. We have in fact passed probably the stiffest test by qualifying for Worlds. Having come close to first this time, we are optimistic about how we will do at Worlds. Now wouldn't that be a great David and Goliath story?"
Please dig into your pockets and come up with a contribution to do your part to help finance the local team. Send your contributions to the local school at 600 Green Acres Drive, Benton, PA 17814. Clearly mark your contribution for Odyssey of the Mind.
A new event for the upper Fishing Creek valley will take place April 16 from 9 AM to 8 PM at The Center. It is something that everyone will enjoy. We'll start by telling you what programs you can expect..
9-11 AM Look at photos of Benton11 AM to noon Jim Weiss, folk singernoon to 12:30 PM Northern Columbia Ballet School12:30 to 1:30 PM Tom Morris, chalk talk1:30 to 2:30 Dale Payne, Civil War talk2:30 to 3:30 PM Waters Edge, music4 to 5 PM, John & Sandy Kogut5 to 6 PM Video on the 1910 Benton Fire6 to 7 PM Bill Yanchick, Benton Bank Notes Talk7 to 8 PM Dr. Bob Laubach, son of Dr. Frank Laubach
In the gymnasium, there will be a book on the 1910 fire and photos of the fire, information on Dr. Frank C. Laubach, "World Missionary," and on McHenry Whiskey, the Fishing Creek Historical Club, "County Bread," the B & S Railroad, photos from before the 1910 fire, one-room schoolhouse photos, Columbia County covered bridges, Benton United Methodist Church, Benton Christian Church and other churches of the area, Waller 4-H, Hoboken Sub Shop and Yost Restaurant, sports from the past, Fishing Creek Players, Black Bear Pottery, Stillwater, The Center, Pam Thomas, Benton Rodeo Association, Gladys Kile, Diane Derr, Argus Newspaper and more.
There will be food available.
The Center has a number of other interesting events that will take place over the coming month. There will be a movie "Harvey," on May 6 from 7 to 9 PM, an indoor flea market May 7, a lecture on ACAPE by Eileen Chapman on May 11 from 7 to 8 PM, and a lecture on one-room schoolhouses May 25 from 7 to 8 PM by Rev. Brad Spangenberg.
April 11, the birthday of Barbara Beam, Taylor Remphrey, Bud Allegar and Dorothy Kocher and the wedding anniversary of Ronnie & Sheila Thompson.
April 12, the birthday of Debbie Smith Kreishcher, Ron Kelsey, Susan Kluck Ridall, Nancy Fricke, Deborah Hess and talk-show host David Letterman.
Two people with their roots in the upper Fishing Creek valley are running in the May 17 primary election. Deanna Pealer, a native of Benton and a graduate of the Benton Area Junior-Senior High School, Mansfield University and Penn State-Dickinson School of Law is a candidate for the office of Common Pleas Judge for the 26th Judicial District - Columbia and Montour Counties. Deanna is self-funding her campaign and will not accept any monetary contributions.Michael Seward, a native of the Red Rock area, attended Northwest Area School District. He is running for the office of Commissioner. Michael is an attorney, practicing in Northumberland County. He and his wife and family live in Berwick.Meg Geffken is hosting a "Meet the candidates" afternoon on April 17 from 3-5 PM at The Center. It will be an "old fashioned coffee klatch" where people from the upper Fishing Creek Valley will have the opportunity to sit down with Deanna and Michael and listen to their goals. Deanna is the first woman to run for the office of Judge in Columbia County. She is cross filed on both the Republican and Democrat tickets; Michael is a Republican. Contact Meg at 925-6264 or meggefATepix.net if you need additional information.
The online banking bill pay system for First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. will not be available from approximately 2 this afternoon through 8 AM Wednesday, April 13, 2011. Tomorrow, the bank will update its online banking bill pay system. If you have questions or concerns, please call the Deposit Operations Department at 570 387-7144.
The success of the Village Sampler and auction at The Center last night was due in large measure to its chairperson, Katie Knorr, The Center's Volunteer of the Quarter. Katie has been an active participant at the Center since its inception. She is currently on the The Center's Board of Director and is a member of the Building and Grounds Committee.
Katie graduated from the University of Maryland with a teaching degree, and taught Alternative and Special Education in elementary and middle school for 33 years in Prince Georges County, Maryland. She spent her teaching career helping kids who were turned off to education.After retiring in 2003, she and her husband, Ken, moved to Elk Grove, where Ken’s family had land. Katie and Ken share three children and four grandchildren, whom they try to see as much as possible.
It was after relocating to the Benton area that she learned about The Center and began a new career for herself as an active volunteer at the Center. Katie fervently believes in the concept of a Community Center as bringing multiple generations together. She likes knowing that kids have a safe place to hang out, and immensely enjoys the many friends she has made.
It is thanks to Katie and to all of the other volunteers at The Center that it has become has become a critical piece of the fabric of Northern Columbia County. With only one full-time paid employee, the Center must rely on its dedicated volunteers to keep it running smoothly.
April 9, the birthday of Lou Kwasny and Pam Webster Dilmore. Today is Benton Recognition Day. The Spring Outdoor Expo is today at the Appalachian Ski & Outdoors, 123 South Allen Street, State College. "My Fair Lady" is being presented by Danville Area HS Drama Club at the Danville Area Middle School at 7 PM. An old-fashion buckwheat cakes and sausage supper is today at St. James Church, Zaners Bridge Road, Bendertown, from 2 PM.Something new is coming to the upper Fishingcreek Valley. It is the "Benton Community" Soup Bowl sponsored by the Benton Council of Churches. It will be held once a month, starting in September. If your group, club, organization, business or church would like to volunteer for a month, please call 925-5201. We'll have much more on this in the coming weeks.April 10 , the birthday of David DePoe, Audie Hittle, and Bridget Andrezee Miller. The Lenten Services are tonight at the Assembly of God Church. The speaker will be provided by St. Gabriel's church with music by the Waller Methodist Church. The local group, Water's Edge, is in concert at 9 AM at Trinity Espy UMC for a free concert and worship. Tonight is the eighth annual Village Sampler & Fun Auction. Tickets are available at the door. You can see some of the items that will be available tonight by going here.
It isn't hard to see how the debate began. We have long memories in the upper Fishing Creek Valley, especially as relates to our neighbors who provided the fuel to stimulate the nation's industrial growth a century ago. We see the effects of the "coal barons" today from "back then." These men financed the coal mining and built mansions in which to live in places like Carbondale and Nanticoke. As time marched on and our generation came along, we saw the abandoned coal breakers and strip mines, we saw the tainted water leaching into our streams and our fish die off, we saw a town in our own county turn gray from smoke leaching through cracks in the ground.
We are now in the 21st century and visions of what happened to our environment with coal mines are fresh in our minds. We don't want history repeating itself with the extraction of the underground gas from Marcellus shale. The area in danger covers something like 95,000 square miles with an amount of natural gas that is more than our minds can comprehend--some scientists claim the figure is 2.4 quadrillion cubic feet. A yardstick commonly quoted is that there is enough gas from the Marcellus under our Commonwealth to heat every house in New Jersey for 20 years.
Getting it safely out of the ground is the issue. One side says there will not be any environmental issues. The other side worries about fracking and its potential for ecological damage or disaster. Let there be no question--organic matter converted into methane gas and is trapped in pockets of Marcellus shale about a mile beneath where we live. To get to the gas, the shale must be broken horizontally along the "partings" or weaknesses in the shale. A vertical well is drilled, then a horizontal branch extends for a thousand or so feet in search of gas pockets. Water forced into the shale at high pressure opens the layers and sand injected into the opened pores keep the layers of sand open. We all know the story. but as simple as this sounds, there are problems.
High pressure, sand and water can't fracture the earth a mile underground without help. A lubrication is needed to overcome friction, microscopic life needs to be exterminated so it never makes it to the surface, high levels of salt and some heavy metals unrelated to the music our children love have to be handled. It is the wastewater that worries people.
As long as the well is under pressure, things go pretty well. But when the pressure is released, the liquids far below the earth tend to "flowback" up the well. Flowback would not be a problem if it could all be captured and contained and treated, but wells for drinking water and storage tanks that leak can cause problems. High pressure of fracking can force the liquids into aquifers surrounding drinking water wells and release methane previously trapped near the ground surface. During the original drilling of the Martin well a few miles north of Benton, small amounts of methane were released when the drilling reached the 100-foot level. Problems with methane could range from gas bubbles in streams to vile-tasting drinking water to a spark setting off a fire from water coming from the spigot. Residents of the upper Fishing Creek Valley impacted by the potential of natural-gas drilling have generally had their water tested and have not yet reported any problems.
Just when some of us thought that things were getting better with environmental issues, a proclamation comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection that its enforcement personnel are not to issue Notices of Violations (NOVs) to gas-drilling companies when inspectors find someone breaking the rules. All enforcement actions now must be sent to Harrisburg for appropriate bureaucratic oversight before a violation notice can be issued. DEP has essentially called their local DEP inspectors "non-essential personnel" requiring higher-level review before a wrist can be slapped.
What happened at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan will certainly boost drilling in our Commonwealth during our lifetimes to the detriment of nuclear energy. The Guv goes so far as calling the Commonwealth "the Texas of the natural-gas boom" and House Republicans unveiled bills Wednesday to perk up demand for natural gas through the building of a natural-gas vehicle infrastructure. Like it or not, drilling will be with us for a good long time.
Alex Chamberlain and his wife, Karmen Kincaid, a school teacher for the Department of Defense, and their eight-year old son, Rohr McHenry Chamberlain, live in northern Japan in Misawa. Alex is the son of Julie McHenry and her husband Steve Chamberlain. Steve is formerly from Orangeville, son of Leon and Lillian Chamberlain. Alex is the grandson of Thomas Jules McHenry and Vera Bowman, Orangeville.
Steve and Julie were visiting Alex and Karmen at the time of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11. Of the people mentioned so far, none was hurt. They were "outside when it happened and the ground undulated and the trees swayed for almost 5 minutes." Julie could not stand and had to hold onto Alex. Alex has been helping with the volunteers from Misawa to help clean up after the tsunami. Julie wrote that "the devastation was more horrible than imaginable." It is reassuring to the people of Benton and Orangeville to know that their “sons and daughters” are helping out so far away. Julie sent a picture of Alex taken from the front page of the "Stars and Stripes," but I do not have newspaper permission to publish it.
Carl A. Lynn (December 29, 1934-March 31, 2011) Zephyrhills, Florida, and formerly of Stoney Brook Circle, Orangeville, died Thursday at the Florida Hospital at Zephyrhills. He was 76. Carl was born in Saxton, Bedford County. He was a son of Chester and Maxine (Foore) Lynn. He was a 1952 graduate of the Saxton-Liberty High School, Saxton, PA. He had computer training at EPCI, Trenton, New Jersey. He was the transportation supervisor for the Columbia Montour Area on Aging for six years. He also worked for K-Cab, Milco Industries and the Municipal Authority of Bloomsburg. He retired January 1, 2002
Carl was an active member of the Stillwater Christian Church where he served as a deacon, an elder and Sunday School Superintendent. He also had chaired the building committee for the new sanctuary in the late 1970s. While living in Yardley, he was Scoutmaster for Troop #407 and was a former member of the Fairless Hills Masonic Lodge. He enjoyed camping and traveling.
He and his wife, Jacqueline E. "Jackie" (Lindaman) Lynn would have celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary on November 28. Surviving, in addition to his wife, are his sons Scott A. Lynn (Faith), Dunnellon, Florida; Jeffrey E. Lynn (Lenora), Benton, and Douglas K. Lynn (Brenda), Berwick. Also surviving are his 12 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and a brother, David Chester Lynn, Medford, New Jersey.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, April 23, at 11 AM at the Stillwater Christian Church. Burial will be in the Stillwater Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Building Fund of the Stillwater Christian Church, 42 Wesley Street, Stillwater, PA 17878. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com
April 8, the birthday of Charlotte Sibly, John McHenr, Brian Bower, Ben Payton and Ken Dressler.
The Benton News is taking a detour. The subject announced for today will be put on hold to summarize comments from the crew of the tiny Stinson aircraft that visited the Benton area Sunday to honor Bob Vincent. The crew arrived back in California Tuesday night after skirting snow in Pennsylvania. The pilot and co-pilot found out the hard way that Stinson designed that airplane for the desert--not 10 degree Celsius in Northern Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The crew flew back to California on a commercial flight from Philadelphia and left their plane in the "safe hands of all the Benton Airport crew staying warm in Monte Hittle's hangar." Monte "didn't want the old girl to feel lonely so they all wanted to make sure the crew knew they would 'sacrifice' and exercise her legs if needed." The Benton folks certainly are givers aren't they!
Rather than writing anything on the subject, I am going to simply let Chris LeFave give you his impressions of his visit to Pennsylvania, with only minor additions or clarifications on my part.
April"About 2-3 years ago, Mike Polley, Bob Cable and Chris Bergen purchased OY-1 02766 knowing she had a WWII history on Iwo Jima. Not much had been verified. One morning over coffee at Maniac Mikes at Cable Airport (in California), Mike Polley showed Chris the combat diary for VMO-4 that came with the airplane. It showed that this airplane was delivered to VMO-4 with other airplanes all out of the same construction-block numbers. We started to see the same names over and over again. Names like Lt. Thomas Rozga, Lt. K. E. Kelley, Pfc Asher Banning and Pfc Robert Guss. As we read on, we wondered if we could find these guys still alive. We didn't have a grand plan like what has come out of this, we just wanted to hear their story.
"When you read the diary and realize what these fine men did, you realize that not much we can do will repay what they did. Knowing that, this trip and bringing them their airplane was all we could come up with. It just had to be done and that was that. None of us questioned bringing them their airplane. It is a tremendous honor to be allowed to do this. I suspect that anyone would do the same thing and not take a second thought."
"The plane owners "first found Tom Rozga, Robert Guss, Asher Banning, Grover Pickell and Virgil Herring. We visited Grover Pickell last year near his home in San Marcos. When I started to talk with these guys, they gave me the names of other crew members and Robert Guss sent me a picture of the VMO-4 logo with the signatures of all the members. That is how we found Robert "Bob" Vincent. Robert Guss told me that Bob lived in Benton. More names came up and I found families of guys who had passed (Kelley, Hutchins, Bergeron, Sutkus, Drabot, Hull, Tomes, Eckler). But to this day I can only find 5 living members. The sons of Lt. John Sutkus found their dad's logbook and he logged 6 hours of combat missions on Iwo Jima flying OY-1 #02766. Amazing. We hope that when the word spreads, more members will be found. I would like to feel that this trip closed the journey but until I can find all the members, living or dead, we will just keep searching.
"On Sunday, Mike and Chris saw a break in the storm that was just west of us and left Advance, North Carolina, for Pennsylvania. We decided that we would push all the way north then attempt Virginia and Maryland if the weather held later. We started early from Twin Lakes Airport and were escorted north by Larry Melton and Bill Englert in Larry's L-5G. What a beautiful start to a day that will stay with me forever. Thanks for flying our wing, gents! They broke off after about 50 miles and we made our first stop at Falwell Airport in Virginia. Some of the locals at Advance had warned me not to go in there at night if not familiar. That had gone in one ear out the other right up until the time I turned base leg to land and I saw the up hill 5 degree slope on the side of a mountain. 'So that's why he warned me not to go there at night.' The old girl handled it fine and was stopped in about 200 feet. After the owner of the field came out and fueled us, Mike flew the next leg into Maryland--head winds all the way, of course.
"Let me back up. The day before, I had called the airport manager of Joe Zerbey Airport, Bill Willard. I explained for about 30 seconds what we were doing and he was very appreciative and said the weather looked good there. He told us that anything we needed he would get for us. Robert Guss and his brother in law agreed to drive from Pottstown to Lavelle where we were headed and Asher and Marlene Banning were meeting us. Asher doesn't drive anymore and Marlene agreed to drive him there. When we arrived, Bill had about 30 people on the ramp waiting for us including reporters and locals. Upon parking, Mike and I were met by two of the most genuine men around, Asher Banning and Robert Guss. Both were very excited to see their plane from 66 years ago. The two of them had not seen each other since 1981 at the VMO-4 reunion. After talking with them by phone for two years, it was amazing to finally meet them this far away from home. Both of them told us about their experiences and I hope they can stay in touch with each other after we leave.
"Robert Guss told us that Bob Vincent held the squadron speed record for time it took to run from the hut to his foxhole (couple hundred feet) in 7 seconds. They both spoke very highly of the other men in their squadron and Bob Vincent. Apparently in 1981 when the guys got together for the reunion, Bob Vincent told all the members of the squadron "you guys don't pay for a thing. It's all on me." Two years later Bob Vincent passed away. I'm sorry we did not meet Bob. I hope he knows.
"Asher said that he joined the Marines a month after high-school graduation and went to Paris Island, South Carolina, for boot camp as did Robert Guss. He said he was 118 pounds at the time and was just at the weight limit. Robert Guss said he was also about 125 pounds and just squeaked by. Both of them were fabric repairmen on VMO-4 aircraft and patched bullet holes after returning flights. They said that however many bullet holes you see when the plane lands, you always double it. What goes in one side goes right through the other. They stayed busy. Both of them were injured on Saipan after a Japanese air raid according to the combat diary but when asked if they got the purple heart they said they refused it. It was during that raid that Mtsgt. William King, Cpl Frank "Fili" Fedele and Cpl. Cyril D. Kass were killed.
"After spending a hour or so with them at the airport, the Bannings treated us to lunch in Cressona, PA., the heart of 'Coalcracker Country.' It was very nice and much appreciated. I offered both of them a flight in the plane but they both thought they got enough of it back in 1945.
About that time, Mike Evans and Monte Hittle flew to meet us from Benton and escort us back by air. The weather and darkness were approaching fast so we had to cut the meeting short with the Bannings and Robert Guss. I could have spent weeks with both of them. If you met them, you would just want to give them a big hug. That's just the type of guys they are. I hope we meet again.
"On to Benton. Boy were we surprised. A more fitting end to the journey could not have been imagined. When we followed Monte and Mike on the upwind, we were able to see about 100+ people lined up along the runway. I couldn't help but give one more pass before landing. It's the law anyway. FAR 91.02766 reads: 'When flying a cool airplane from WWII and completing a 30-hour flight, the pilot in command must complete a photo flyby. Don't want to break any laws.'
"After making the best landing I could on the grass strip (no pressure), we parked and were greeted by what seemed to be the whole town. We met Bob Vincent's son, Doug, and Bob's granddaughter, Shannon Hartkorn. Esther Vincent was still in Florida as was Rodney Vincent. Everyone was excited to see it and Mike and I were able to toast the squadron with ice cold Yuengling Beer, given to us by Bill Willard at Joe Zerbey Airport.
"The feeling that came over me when we arrived was overwhelming. We were so honored to have the town come out. What a fitting tribute to these men. The media was there also via www.bentonnews.net , the Pottstown Republican and The Press Enterprise. After spending the next hour or so talking with those who came out to see the plane, we put her in the hangar and were treated to dinner by the our new Benton family. We went to the Sub Shop on the river (sic) for a killer 'Cheeseburger Sub' with peppers. We then were adopted by the Farwell family who lives in the hills above town and run a crop-dusting business. The Farwells have taken an area that is hard for traditional fixed-wing dusters and made it possible by using a Bell 47 helicopter. The whole family is involved. I don't think I have come across a family so devoted to "Faith, Family and Flying." The hospitality they showed us was something I can't do justice by writing about it in just one paragraph. Needless to say Mike and I got along fine with them. They run their operation out of their home and the hangar is filled with project airplanes and helicopters because they can't see aircraft parts just get thrown away. We got fed 3-4 times a day while we watched weather to fly out. We stayed at Joe and Becky Farwell's house for two nights and felt very welcome. Joe Farwell is a former Army helicopter pilot and served two tours in Iraq. Rick Farwell took Mike and I on a simulated spray run in the helicopter and we both decided we are in the wrong business. What a blast. On our last night we were treated to a great home-cooked meal at the home of Joanne and Dick Kirchner who live next to the Farwells. I will start the diet tomorrow--and this time I mean it. The Farwells and Monte Hittle shuttled us around for two days waiting for good weather. We can't thank you guys enough for all you have done for us. I measured the distance to Cable Airport and it's only 1,988 miles away. See you next week?
"This quest covered about 3,000 miles, 31 hours of flying, a case of oil, 350 gallons of fuel, 23 glasses of sweet tea and lots of fried okra and 2 cop cars. We gained 100s of new friends, saw America the way it should be seen--from 500-1000 feet--and hopefully showed the heroes of VMO-4 that the real America loves them and treasures every day of freedom they gave to us. Every place we stopped and were taken care of was good for the soul. I still believe I cannot write in a way that really explains what this trip was. But please ask us when you see us and we will try and tell you.
"Pass the word to all the Marines you know and maybe we can find the rest of VMO-4."
The entire story of the flight to Benton in honor of Bob Vincent, including his wartime effort on Iwo Jima, is now in one location at www.bentonnews.net/Features/vincent.htm .
The German Heritage Society of the Susquehanna Valley will hold its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, April 7, at 7 PM at the Degenstein Library, Sunbury. Members and guests will hear a presentation entitled "Hex Signs and Himmelsbrief: PA Germans and the Paranormal." Paula Purnell, a Commonwealth Speaker funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, will provide the presentation. The practical Pennsylvania Germans were seemingly tied to their work, land and family. But the supernatural often bumped up against their quiet and industrious lives. In Hex Signs and Himmelsbriefs, the facts of the use of pow-wowers for healing and finding lost items will be examined as well as the significance of hex signs. You will be introduced to the himmelsbrief, or letter from heaven, that hung on walls in Pennsylvania German homes. You may meet a few schpuks (spirits) along the way. Participants are invited to come prepared to discuss their personal stories—an important part of any folklore presentation. Refreshments will be provided. Contact GHSSV President Jeff Sheaffer at 374-7730 or jsheaffer AT sse-llc.com for more information.
Donna Laubach suggested that we try to remember what it was like at a night at the Ritz Theater in Benton. We'll do that the next time we gather with our coffee cups. We would love to read your memories of the theater on Market Street.
Following the Great Depression, there wasn't much to smile about. Well, yes, we do remember a poster "from the day" of a chubby, golden-ringleted female girl busy holding her ice cream cone above the leaps of a frisky puppy with her defective suspenders threatening to offer her infant buttocks for all the world to see.
The humorous signs that dotted our country roads in our past are very much missed today. Many readers of today don't know anything about the light-hearted humor that we looked for from Burma Shave. We loved the white on red highway signs so much that we devoted an entire article to it on the Benton News, which you can read here.
What a wonderful change from the heavy-handed advertising of companies like Listerine and Lifebuoy which essentially said none of us smelled very good, or the pitch that women had cracked toes as Absorbine Jr. did, or that we all had infrequent bowel movements as did Feenamint and Fleischmann's Yeast.
It was suddenly a pleasure to drive on an unfamiliar road looking for a series of some 7,000 signs scattered across the United States. We would read the signs as they zipped by our moving cars and we tried to remember all the verses when we got home. How could you not love reading
His face was smoothAnd cool as iceAnd Oh LouiseHe smelledSo nice.
The answer toA maiden's prayerIs not a chinof stubby hair.
The signs were usually six in number placed 100 paces apart. At 35 miles an hour, it took three seconds to go from one sign to the next--eighteen seconds if there were six of them. It was harder not to read each part of the Burma Shave signs than eat just one of Planter's peanuts.
The bearded ladyTried a jarShe's nowA famous movie star.
Pennsylvania is known for another type of sign along our roads and we have several in Columbia County, including one in Benton. Can you guess what these signs are?
One of our fondest memories was of a grandfather and his grandson holding hands on Mill Street in front of the historical marker made possible by the efforts of The Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. The grandfather was reading the 76-word monument to his eager grandson. For those of you who don't know the words, they are:
"Alarmed about draft resistance, the federal government in Aug. 1864 deployed 800 troops to the Fishing Creek Valley to suppress the opposition. Peace Democrats suspected of Confederate sympathies were questioned at the Christian church near this site; 44 were arrested and imprisoned at Ft. Mifflin without access to civil courts. While most supported the Union, they disagreed with Pres. Lincoln’s wartime policies. In 1866, the US Supreme Court declared military arrest & trial of civilians unconstitutional."
The Center will hold its 8th Annual Village Sampler and Fun Auction on April 10. The silent auction and sampling of local food begins at 4 PM; the auction begins at 6 PM. Admission price is $10; tickets can be purchased at the front desk of The Center. Music will be provided by Raven Creek. The auction brings a large variety of fine hand-made crafts, vacation rentals, antique furniture, home-baked goods, garden tools and much more. The food is provided by area restaurants eager to share their tastiest treats.
Want a quick tour of the other roadside highway markers in Columbia Country? Hold on while we drive slowly by...
Marker Name: Catawissa Friends Meeting
Date Dedicated: 5/8/48
Location: Junction US 11 & PA 42, .7 mile SW of Bloomsburg
Marker Text: At Catawissa, three miles distant, is the Friends meetinghouse built about 1790. The log structure is still standing and is a fine example of a pioneer place of worship.
Marker Name: Catawissa Friends Meeting
Date Dedicated: 5/1/48
Location: South St. between 3rd & 4th Streets., Catawissa
Marker Text: The nearby Friends meetinghouse, built about 1790, was the place of worship for early Quaker settlers among the pioneers of this region. Catawissa itself was laid out by William Hughs, a Berks County Quaker.
Marker Name: Columbia County
Date Dedicated: 7/11/83
Location: County Courthouse, Main St., Bloomsburg
Marker Text: Formed March 22, 1813 out of Northumberland County. Named in honor of America. County seat, Bloomsburg, became this State's only incorporated town in 1870. A Friends meetinghouse was built at Catawissa about 1789. "Twin covered bridges" at Forks are a unique site.
Marker Name: Fort Jenkins
Date Dedicated: 5/8/48
Location: Old US 11, 6.5 miles NE of Bloomsburg
Marker Text: A stockaded house used as a settler's refuge was situated here on the bank overlooking the river, 1778-80, when it was destroyed by the Indians. The land was later owned by James Wilson, an author of the Constitution.
Marker Name: Fort McClure
Date Dedicated: 5/8/48
Location: US 11 at Fairgrounds, Bloomsburg
Marker Text: Early in 1781 the McClure house was stockaded by the noted Indian fighter, Moses Van Campen, to protect settlers in this region after destruction of Fort Jenkins in 1780. Site on the north bank of the Susquehanna in present Bloomsburg.
Marker Name: Fort Wheeler
Date Dedicated: 5/10/48
Location: PA 487, 1.2 miles NE of Bloomsburg
Marker Text: A stockade-type fort was built here in 1778 along Fishing Creek by Moses Van Campen. It served during the Revolution as a refuge against the Indians, by whom it was once attacked. Van Campen was the noted Indian scout of this region.
Marker Name: Wyoming Path
Date Dedicated: 5/3/49
Location: US 11 at Fairgrounds, Bloomsburg
Marker Text: Important path linking the many Indian settlements in the Wyoming Valley with Shamokin, now Sunbury. In 1742 Count Zinzendorf, organizer of Moravian missions, came this way after visiting the Shawnees at Wyoming.
With regret, the list does not include Dr. Frank C. Laubach!
It is a sure sign of spring when the Mill Race Golf and Camping Resort opens for the season. Mill Race Golf Course opened on April 2 and the campground opened April 1, the first time for the campground to be open before the golfing. Head for the driving range and then enjoy the course as the spring brings the beauty back to it.
Florida this winter has truly been the "Land of Flowers and Sunshine." But there is another part of Florida with beautiful springs and blue, mirror-like lakes as well. There are some of both that over the years have thought to be "bottomless," as the clear sulphorous waters rise and fall with the tides of the Atlantic. As you get closer to these tourist traps, the more likely it is that you'll hear exaggerated claims that these waters were the bathing holes of Ponce De Leon when he supposedly searched for the fabled fountain of youth.
A few miles east of Ocala, water clear as crystal boils and bubbles from eighty or so feet in the earth into a natural basin and forms a miniature lake. Over their lifetime, most Florida visitors from Benton have made at least one stop at Silver Springs. Some may remember looking into the water from the middle of the lake to see the two huge rocks which almost touch and give the impression that there is a cave deep beneath the water. Touristy spots need a good story to increase interest and one of the ones frequently told is how during the afternoon sun flowers seem to appear over the rocks and some claim that a shadowy white hand reaches through the crevice, waves and disappears. A woman trying to make a small income told a story that was interesting to anyone who would listen in the hopes that a collection box would be enriched by a deposit of the tourist's money. No one knows if the story is true or not, but Hilda from Des Moines turned to Harold, her husband, and blurted out, "didja hear that?" Hilda apparently did believe the story.
You might as well hear it too. As I understand the story, it took place sometime before the Civil War.
The pretty young daughter of the house and a man fell in love. The man whose wealthy parents did not approve of the relationship shipped the young man off to Europe to complete his education and separate the two lovers. Months passed after he left for Europe, but she didn't hear a single word from him. She suspected that letters to her were being intercepted, but she could not be sure of that. She grew pale, thin and listless and spent most of her time sitting by the lake at Silver Springs gazing into the water.
She asked an old black woman, a slave of a poor orange grower who lived in the house, to promise something in the event of her death. She wanted her body dropped in the lake at Silver Springs where the two rocks met and she made the elderly woman promise not to remove her bracelet from her wrist. It was the last present from her boyfriend and she had promised to wear it forever. She said that she would be by the lake when he returned.
"I can't chile--I'se feerd of you' pa," the old woman said.
"I will haunt you always, Mammy, if you do not carry out my wish," the very much in love girl said.
The old woman was afraid of her master, but she feared ghosts more. She promised. The girl soon died, heartbroken. The old woman was put in charge of the burial. She rigged up some weights to put in the coffin, then rowed out in the night to the middle of the lake and gently lowered the lifeless body into the water. The coffin was buried the next day without the deception being discovered.
Yes, you guessed it! Shortly after, the rich man's son returned from Europe to a warm welcome from his parents and an introduction to a woman the parents had chosen for his bride. The parents simply said his old girlfriend want away.
At the parents' insistence, the young man took the woman his parents had chosen to be his bride for a boat ride on the lake. The old woman watched from the shore, then realized that her mistress former lover was in danger. The old woman jumped in a rowboat and paddled to the center of the lake waving her arms frantically and pointed downward.
The young man seemed attracted by something near or on the huge rocks. The water stopped bubbling up and some great force seemed to part the rocks. A white hand and arm, on which was a glittering bracelet, appeared in the opening and beckoned. Realizing that it was his lost love, he leaped into the water. Down-down-down he swam toward the rocks until the hand reached up and grabbed him. Then the man and the mystic hand disappeared. No trace was ever found of the rich man's son or the poor man's daughter.
Beautiful white flowers, resembling orange blossoms, made their appearance after the tragic death. This is today known as the Bridal Chamber. At times, a white hand is said to clip through the crevice between the rocks and wave. Do you suppose that it is to call for other lovers to make a similar leap or if it is a warning to other despairing young men and women? Or perhaps it is only a story to promote the legendary romantic history of Silver Springs.
But, wait! Here is someone else telling a Silver Springs story about Weenonah, a beautiful daughter of King Okahumkee, who fell in love with a rival young chieftain, Chuleotah, who lived at the springs. Enraged, the king killed her lover, whereupon the princess, hoping to follow her beloved to "the flowery land," went to the crystal pool one night and dove to its bottom, drowning herself The long grassy filaments swaying on the spring's floor were said by Indians to be the loosened braids of Weenonah's long silken hair.
You can learn the real truth about Silver Springs by going here. Silver Springs and Wild Waters Water Park are located east of Ocala on state route 40, 90 miles northwest of Orlando. Take exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95. The park is open 10 to 5 daily and Buster and Chloe remind you that a kennel is available for daily use.
Speaking of local productions, "My Fair Lady" being presented by Danville Area HS Drama Club at the Danville Area Middle School April 8 and 9 at 7 PM. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.
Monte was so into the events of the day that, as he described it, "we did a low pass fly by, I was so surprised to see so many people there that I forgot to check the windsock to see the wind direction, which Monte termed "not cool." There were very favorable comments on the fly by and everyone seemed to appreciate the historical importance of this visit.
Chris and Mike are looking at a possible departure this morning when the weather clears.Photos are available here , thanks to Bob Maynes. Pictures will be available for viewing until July 2, 2011.
We love stories about good friendship, and few stories are as touching as "A Goose Named Maria," which you can see by going here.
The Sullivan County Roving Theater project this spring will be "Diamonds and Coal," which will be set in the Ber-Mil area of Sullivan County. Performances are set for June 4, 5 and 10. "More local residents have shown up for parts in this year's play than in previous years and the audience has grown as well," according to Connie Hatch.You make money if the mutual fund in which you have invested does well. The fund manager makes money the more he can sign up to invest in his fund. His income comes from getting a slice of the pie from each person who signs up--whether the fund does well or not.
The rumors about the takeover of the Bloomsburg Hospital System are getting stronger every day.
Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE: BHI), www.bakerhughes.com/company , publishes that 102 drill rigs were operating in the Marcellus shale last month in Pennsylvania, up from 27 two years ago. Eighty percent of the Marcellus came from Bradford, Tioga, Susquehanna, Washington and Greene counties. There were 1,386 Marcellus wells drilled last year in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia and the current total of Marcellus wells is more than 2,300, of which 1,237 are currently producing with many of the balance waiting to be fracked or awaiting feeder pipelines to get the gas to market. Price tags are hitting $4 million to $6 million per well.
I remember when David Dodson told me "the facts of life." Somehow, Father had missed that step! And Mother always said, "Talk to your father about that." So when David told me the facts of life, I mulled things over in my mind, and after thinking about the subject for a minute or two, said to David, "No, I don't think you're right." I figured that if Father didn't know the facts of life to tell me, how in the world would David know what he was talking about... If only Father had Minnesota Public Radio back then I would have learned all I needed to know about the birds and the bees--and frogs.
The aircraft left Leesburg heading north thanks to a break in the weather in order to arrive in Pennsylvania to see Robert Guss and Asher Banning in Lavelle--guys who worked on the airplane on Iwo Jima.. The plane is expected to arrive there at 11:30 this morning. The plane will be on the ground for a few hours, then will head a half hour away to the Benton Airport that Bob Vincent used to call home as well as the veterans who will turn out for the event when the plane lands in Benton.
The crew has been treated royally on their trip north. In Waycross, Georgia, their airport stop featured free BBQ and sweet tea. The two-man crew fueled, ate and continued north. They stopped next in Barnwell, South Carolina, at an old WWII army field. A check of weather over North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania showed a color that the California pilots were not familiar with--snow.
A pilot from Advance, North Carolina, insisted that the crew fly to his private airstrip and keep the plane in his hangar with his L-5. He told the crew that the airport was on the map but "all we had to do was take off from Twin Lakes, turn 030 degrees and go 3 miles." He said that "when we get there make sure you come in over the river and watch out for the trees, then taxi up the road to his house." The crew searched for the airport in the fly-in community for 15 minutes without finding it. The North Carolina pilot finally took off in his L-5 and met the crew in the air to guide them in. This is the same airfield where Pier Holcombe lives and parks his plane; in fact, Pier lives 500 yards from where the plane was parked overnight. The North Carolina pilot, Larry Melton, and the crew of the plane bound for Benton plan a “dawn patrol” in the North Carolina countryside Sunday morning before heading 400 miles north to Benton.
Pilot Chris LeFave and owner Mike Polley, Upland, California, plan to fly north Sunday morning departing about 6:30. The plane will arrive at the Benton airport Sunday night about 5 PM. You can track the progress of the plane by going here . The plane will be escorted from Lavelle by pilots from the local area and will be met by an honor guard of veterans from the area when the plane touches down in Benton. It would be a great honor if you turned out to see the arrival of the plane and to meet the pilot and owner of the plane. The plane and the crew will spend Sunday night in Benton thanks to the hospitality of some "crop dusters."
Monday morning they will either fly to Tennessee or if weather is bad will leave the plane in Benton at the airport until later in the spring, then fly it back to California. Pilot Chris pointed out that "we are still playing it by ear because of the 50 mile per hour winds in North Carolina.
Enjoy meeting the crew and seeing the plane today about 5 PM. The plane may arrive before 5.
George P. Mitchell, 91, isn't well known in our Commonwealth and he isn't a United States Senator, but he does have a huge deal to do with Marcellus shale drilling. He is the one responsible for drilling and penetrating the sealed rock deep underground. Mitchell is the person who discovered that he could split open gas shale with water and keep the pores of the shale open long enough with sand to extract natural gas. Mitchell came up with the technique we know as "fracking." You can read more about Mr. Mitchell and the history of the development of fracking by going here.
PPL announced that it has completed acquisition of the Central Networks electricity distribution business, the second-largest such business in the United Kingdom. PPL indicated that the acquisition will significantly add to earnings and cash flow for 2011 and beyond. Because of the closing of the transaction, PPL increased its 2011 earnings forecast to $2.50 to $2.75 per share, up from the prior forecast of $2.40 to $2.60 per share, excluding transaction-related costs associated with the acquisition of Central Networks. The company forecasts that the dividend will remain unchanged. PPL Corporation owns or controls about 19,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity and natural gas to about 10 million customers in the United States and the United Kingdom.As those of you know who read the March 31 edition of the Benton News, son David donned his Evel Knievel outfit and headed to Baja California to ride a motorcycle in the equivalent of the Baja 1000. Late Friday night, his motorcycle crashed when he hit soft sand and he landed on a large rock breaking his femur in his left leg. The femur is the bone in your leg that goes from the knee to the hip, the largest and strongest bone in the body. The accident occurred 15 miles from stop number 3 on the first day's ride. The chase crew was able to get the chase vehicle to the crash site and transported him to a clinic in San Felipe. He was then transported by ambulance to the American border where an ambulance from the United States picked him up and took him to El Centro Hospital in the Imperial Valley of California where he underwent surgery at 3:30 PM local time Saturday. After his discharge from the California hospital, he will be flown to his home in North Carolina where a second surgery is planned.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
totally worn out and loudly proclaiming--WOW! What a ride!--Author Unknown
The Kathy Arcuri April article on gardening is entitled "Guerrilla Gardening."
"We’re not talking eco-warfare here. Rather, I want to recommend an international movement that espouses peace, not war, by bringing flowers to the bleakest of urban environments, through stealth planting forays.
Although the concept of guerrilla gardening has been around since the 1970’s, 2007 marked the first International Sunflower Guerilla Gardening Day. Started in Brussels, thousands of gardeners around the world now celebrate the movement on May 1 of each year by planting sunflowers in their neighborhoods, typically in neglected public places. Just identify a sunny patch of dirt around your town that could use a little beautification, take a garden trowel and a packet of sunflower seeds, and commit perhaps your first subversive act. Bury the seeds a half-inch deep and a foot or two apart; add a little compost for insurance; periodically weed and water (covertly, if possible); and wait for magic."The annual sunflower (Helianthus annus) is a very appropriate choice for American guerrilla gardeners – a cheerful native often associated with the smiley face icon. Over three thousand years ago, Native Americans began hybridizing the much smaller parent plants found in the western United States and Mexico, gradually increasing seed size by 1000 percent, and introducing these changelings throughout North America long before the colonists arrived. Spanish explorers then brought the sunflower to Europe, whence it spread around the world.
"It is primarily used as a food crop, with its seeds eaten roasted, raw, or ground into flour or as a coffee substitute; its extracted oil a very popular cooking product; and its flower buds boiled as a vegetable. It has also been used medicinally, as a source of fiber for textiles, and for dyes. Recently, the oil has even served as diesel fuel; and scientists are now experimenting with sunflower oil as a source of hydrogen for cars.
"In the animal kingdom, the endangered honeybee and other long-tongued bees are attracted to its nectar. Small mammals and birds devour the seeds. Herbivorous mammals like deer, rabbits, and groundhogs (and from personal experience, goats and donkeys) browse on the tender young leaves. And beavers use the stalks for lodge and dam building.
"The huge, daisy-like flowers are most typically yellow, but with an amazing variety now available for gardeners, with single and double flowers in shades of white, red, orange, bronze, and even bi-colors. Plant size ranges from one to fifteen feet, with three-to-six-foot branching types most popular due to their manageable garden presence and long bloom-time from mid-summer into fall. Also popular are pollen-free hybrids, to avoid the inevitable mess from cut flowers dropping yellow-staining pollen everywhere.
"But whatever your guerrilla mission’s goals --for beautification and cut flowers, to support honey bees, as a food crop for birds or humans, or simply for the fun of a little innocuous prank – remember the words of Helen Keller: “Like sunflowers, keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.” Now get out there and reconnoiter your neighborhood for possible planting sites come May 1."
Saturday and Sunday, April 2 & 3, 2011. There is a light at the end of the tunnel--temperatures could hit 72° on Tuesday. So much for a quiet ride through the hills of Mexico. Son David was thrown from his motorcycle late Friday night in Mexico and was treated in a clinic in San Felipe for a broken leg above the knee. He is now in El Centro Hospital in the Imperial Valley of California awaiting surgery at 1:30 PM.
A bus from The Center will take 55 excited people to see the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. today. There is a chicken barbecue from 4 PM at the Orangeville Fire Company. The Fishing Creek Players will present the play “The Curious Savage” at The Center at 7 PM. Tickets, 925-0163 or at the door, but tickets are limited. The play is a tender comedy the whole family will enjoy. It is about a woman, Mrs. Savage, whose children commit her to a sanitarium to gain control of her inherited $10 million. At the sanitarium we meet charming “inmates” who are quite the contrast to Mrs. Savage’s manipulative children. The characters play off each other while the drama unfolds to a poignant conclusion. Call the Community Center at 925-0163 for additional details..There is a free sneak preview at BTE's Mitrani Production Center, Strawberry & Pine Avenue, Bloomsburg.
April 3, the birthday of Jesse Fritz, Shane Hess, Jamie Poust, Jill Houseweart, Jamie Westover, Helen Raski and Kim Fantanarosa. Charlotte (Hubler) Kingsbury has a birthday today, as do her twin brother and sister, Jeff and Jennifer Hubler. Tomorrow, Fawn (Hubler) Jolly and Guy Hubler will celebrate their birthday. That makes three Hublers on the third and two on the fourth.
Tickets, 925-0163 or at the door. The Lenten services tonight will be at the Waller United Methodist Church. The speaker will be provided by Benton Presbyterian Church with music by the Benton Christian Church. The League of Ukrainian Catholics, North Anthracite Council PA, is having its annual Cultural Exhibit and Craft Sale from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM at SS Peter and Paul Parish Hall, 20 Nottingham St., Plymouth. Lunch will be served in a variety of ethnic food and baked goods.The Fishing Creek Players will present the play “The Curious Savage” at The Center at 2 PM.
Are you interested in a private bluegrass cruise? Get in touch with Danny Stwart . The price is $499 for the early birds and includes food and cruise and bluegrass. This price will only be held until April 28.
The Benton Boy Scout Troop has a dilemma. When the Scouts gathered the non-perishable food last Saturday, they inadvertently picked up a bag of frozen perishables from a porch in the borough. The Scouts do not know which house it was. The contents and the note inside from “Tami" were not found until the bags were unpacked. Do you know a borough resident missing a bag of frozen meat which had been placed on a porch last Saturday morning with a note from Tami? The lost bag and contents can be claimed at the Community Center from the freezer of the food-bank area. The claiming party can inquire at the desk. If there are any questions, the person at the desk can call food bank coordinator Peg Krum. Actually, the pickup was better than it was a few years ago when the Scouts accidentally picked up garbage and dirty diapers from a front porch.
April 1, 2011, the birthday of Cinda Hartman, Courtney Lyons, Caleb and Joshua Fritz and Dorothy Passamonte. Happy wedding anniversary to Phil and Jackie Malhoyt. This is not an April Fools' joke: snow is in the forecast for today.It is time for me to go on a rant. Mother decided that I should be a gentleman. I decided that I could do without being a gentleman. Neither of us won, but I am beginning to think that Mother was more nearly correct than I was.Growing up on a farm, a hat was necessary. There always seemed to be cobwebs in the barn, the hot sun baked an uncovered head, strange objects fell into my hair and the grease that I applied to my high school "duck-tail" attracted no girls but lots of foreign objects. But when I entered the house, a church or an eating establishment, it was a different world. Mother required the hat to be removed. That was not a subject for discussion.But times were different then. Restaurants had hat-check rooms, or they had posts beside restaurant booths with little hooks so that hats could be hung as well as coats and outer coverings. But we grew up different back then. I didn't have much cause to enter elevators, but if I did the woman always entered first and I don't ever remember seeing a hat in an elevator. The women always entered rooms first and the doors were always held open by the men.Architects must be much younger today, because there are few hat-checks rooms and rarely hat racks. I don't know if it is out of disrespect for women, or forgetfulness or the lack of manors, but even in better dining rooms today we see men wearing baseball caps--some pointed south as the person walks north. It doesn't matter how strong the air conditioning or if the winter wind is blowing, there is no place for a hat on a man in a restaurant. Well, yes, maybe I am old fashioned, but wouldn't it be nice in today's society if all men removed their hats under similar situations?Most readers won't remember him, but Doyle Pennington was a gentleman in my book and so was Uncle Ben McHenry, two of Benton's finest in years gone by. Doyle and Ben always tipped their hats to women they passed on the streets. They always raised their hats when presented to a woman and when leaving the company of a woman. As I remember these two fine men, removing their hats was only one mark of their true character--but of all the good I remember of these two men, removing their hats stands out the most vividly.A man in Minnesota in December 1920 was jailed for two weeks "for failure to remove his hat" when a religious procession passed him on the street. The man pleaded that he was a "free thinker" and "furthermore," he said, "that was a bitter day." He told the judge that he was a sufferer from an affliction of the head that made it dangerous to be uncovered. He served his two-week jail time nevertheless.
A Quaker living in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1912 was hauled into court because he did not remove his hat for reasons of "Quaker scruples." He didn't remove his hat in the court room either, and apologized to the presiding judge, explaining that "his religious teachings would not permit" him to take off the hat. He then walked from the courtroom, still wearing the cover. The befuddled judge watched as he walked from the room and that was that.
Severe weather Thursday afternoon damaged Lake Linder Airport in Lakeland, Florida, as four confirmed tornado sightings resulted in damages and power outages. Early reports were that the roof of a tent collapsed with 70 people inside and that six people from the tent were transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center for treatment. Dozens of small planes flipped during the storm. The planes were parked at the 37th Sun n' Fun Fly-in and Expo being held at the airport. Damage at the Sun 'n Fun air show may be in the millions. For video of the airport damage, go here.
Esther and Rod Vincent were to be at theSun n' Fun Fly-in, but the Stinson aircraft which flew to Florida from California on its way to Benton stopped in Leesburg, Florida, for storm-related reasons. The OY-1 was parked in a hanger in Leesburg during the storm. The activities planned in Benton April 1 or 2 regarding the Stinson aircraft written about in the story about VMO-4 have been postponed until early June.
Here is a joke told by Diane Hartman Neary. A Phillies fan, a Mets fan and a Yankees fan were climbing a mountain and started arguing about who loves their team more. The Yankees fan insisted he is the most loyal. "This is for the Yankees!," he yelled and jumped off the mountain. Not to be outdone, the Phillies fan is next to profess his love for his team. He yells "This is for the Phillies!" and pushes the Mets fan off the mountain.Janice Wyatt is President of the Benton Elementary Wrestling Booster Club, the organization that is the backbone of the Benton elementary wrestlers, also known as the "slaughterhouse wrestlers." The booster club is holding a prize bingo at the Huntington Mills Firehall April 10 to benefit the Benton wrestlers. Doors open at 1 PM, bingo starts at 2. Food and beverages will be available throughout the afternoon. Proceeds benefit the post season Benton wrestlers and the volunteer fireman of Huntington Mills. The organization is working on a Benton Community cookbook for an upcoming fundraiser and would like to include as many recipes as possible from residents in and around Benton. Recipes can be emailed to Janice at janice.wyatt08 AT gmail.com. or mailed to P.O. Box 20, Benton. Include your name so the recipes may be recognized in the book. We will be collecting recipes until May 1.The idea of becoming an EMT first dawned on Michael S. Mastroianni while a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh. He and a group of fellow students drove out to a field near Somerset, Pennsylvania, where they intended to help out after the crash of an airplane on September 11, 2001. Since then he has worked on every continent including Antarctica either working as an EMT or training advanced paramedical techniques. He has completed a BA in English at Pitt and has earned an MA in Political Science and an MS in Psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City. He flew to Haiti within days of its devastating earthquake and between other assignments has spent the intervening time going back there to help save lives during the cholera epidemic and to help create Haiti's first school for EMTs.Within days of the Japanese earthquake, and its subsequent damage to multiple nuclear reactors, Michael was recruited by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to join a team of fellow Pennsylvanians in Japan. Their assignment was to go into a "hot" area close to the crippled reactors and set up a treatment center for radiation-related injuries. Only he and his commander are fluent in Japanese so part of his job is translating for the other team members.He did get to spend a few days between Haiti and Japan at his family home, Six Pines Farm, on the Austin Trail, near Rohrsburg. One of those days was spent at an NRC training facility near Harrisburg. There he met the team and was brought up to speed on the mission. On Monday, March 28, his father drove him back to New York so he could catch his flight.Michael flew to Anchorage, Alaska, then by C-130 to Japan on a plane filled with medical supplies. He was taken inside the evacuation zone around Fukushima--he spent 36 hours in Shirakawa--but yesterday was evacuated taking with him everything he brought with him. He is now moving to Shiro-ishi. "I just go where I'm told," Michael wrote in an email to his parents, Peter and Leslie Mastroianni. You probably recognize Peter as chairman of the Water Dogs and president of the Fishing Creek Watershed Association. Leslie is a writer and has conducted workshops on writing around the area. Both of Michael's parents have gotten used to a certain amount of fear but are always proud of their only son.
Michael is familiar with the northern part of Japan. He was there four years ago when the area was quiet and dusted with snow. He "looked at the barren cherry trees and tried to imagine their branches laden with delicate pink blossoms like they are every March. He vowed then "that I would return sometime to see that for myself." He didn't expect to fulfill that promise while coated in protective gear, lugging relief supplies across the country and smelling of kerosene. "Things don't always go the way we think they will," Michael realizes.
The camp where Michael was first taken was "overwhelmed with needs that we could not provide." The Japanese government has not asked for much help from the United States, but yesterday the US military deployed a Marine unit from the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force specializing in emergency nuclear response to Japan to assist local authorities.
Supplies on the incoming flight from Alaska were unloaded behind a medical tent in order to use the truck to pick up pallets of food and clothing from the airport. Nurses yanked Michael into service as temperatures hovered near the freezing mark. As he checked vital signs and administered medication, he heard people coughing loudly in the outside air. They were taken inside near heaters for two hours, then rotated with colder people after two hours. Patients did not complain when Michael rotated them out into the cold. They abandoned their warm beds in deference to those who were coming inside from the bone-chilling temperatures without Michael so much as asking twice. The unguarded supplies were not looted by the hungry people. Food and medicine kept arriving via the U.S. Air Force. The 5th Brigade of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force aided in the loading and unloading.
Michael brought kerosene to fuel the heaters, but the 5th Brigade needed it for something more pressing. Michael and the kerosene were taken to another camp and into a tent in which at least 200 bodies were neatly stacked in rows. The kerosene was for a funeral pyre for the cremation of these and many other casualties. The bodies could not be afforded a dignified Buddhist cremation ceremony, and priests gave carte blanche approval to dispose of bodies as needed in the interest of public health. The men did what they had to do with the available 200 gallons of kerosene.
Michael headed south towards Shirakawa, not a popular direction to take in Japan, toward the mandatory evacuation zone in force around the damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Generating Station. Shirakawa did not look like a disaster zone. There were no signs of danger or discord. The ground was solid, the buildings sound, the sky clear and the sakura (cherry blossoms) in full blossom on every tree. Michael said that "It is a gorgeous village and there is nothing visibly wrong with it. What is invisibly wrong is too terrifying to contemplate."
Shirakawa General Hospital is on the edge of the evacuation zone where tens of thousands of people were rendered homeless by either the earthquake or the nuclear reactor leaking radioactivity into the environment. Very few people are visibly ill or exhibiting symptoms of radiation sickness. The anti-radiation medications which Michael brought makes him feel "a little nauseous and he salivates "like a mad dog" as a result of them. "Everyone takes it and swallows it as if we were handing out samples of a new candy. The calm is eerie." One American noted, "People are more freaked out in Harrisburg about this than they are here."
In the third week of a nuclear emergency twenty miles away, people in the camps and the hospital calmly eat what remains of the local food supply and drink water tainted with radioactivity trucked in from the south.
Michael found a large stuffed pink elephant in a bag of clothing from the Salvation Army. He used the toy to tell a story to several children who seemed to be in a state of panic. "Nothing is quite as rewarding as making children laugh in a refugee camp," he said. The story that he told can be seen here.
Outside the hospital it was necessary to wear sixty pounds of gear, including the jacket and helmet. There is a complete absence of people, streets are deserted, a table in a ramen bar had a bowl of soup sitting on it, spoon and chopsticks ready to be used. It was a scene right out of a Hollywood disaster movie in which Japanese cherry blossoms play a major role.
Please keep Michael in your prayers for a safe return from a very dangerous part of the planet. You can read more about Michael by turning to www.thehawkhaslanded.com/ .
Virginia P. (Rank) Hess (September 25, 1920-March 30, 2011), Grassmere Park, Benton, died Wednesday at a the Bonham Nursing Center, Register, where she had been a resident for the past two and a half years. She was 90. Virginia was born in Detroit, Michigan. She was a daughter of Riley and Pearl Rank. She was a member of the former Brandon United Methodist Church and currently a member of Christ United Methodist Church, Central.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years and the love of her life , Budd D. "Pappy" Hess, on February 9, 2007. Surviving are her children Dwane S. Hess (Cindy), Fort Mill, SC; Barbara J. Politano, Wheatridge, Colorado; Fred D. Hess, Grassmere Park, Benton; 7 grandchildren: Troy Hess, Rhonda Hess, Michael Politano, Jill Boerner, Amie Pietro, Stacey Geffken and Wendy Gable; 12 great grandchildren and her sister-in-laws June Sones, Bette Gray, Kay Mausteller and Shirley Fulmer. Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11 AM at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Waller Cemetery. There will be a viewing,Friday from 4 to 6 PM at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to Bonham Nursing Center, 477 Bonnieville Road, Stillwater, PA 17878; the Alzheimer's Association, 57 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701; or Columbia Montour Home Hospice, 410 Glenn Ave., Bloomsburg, PA 17815. For online condolences, please visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .