The Pennsylvania Farm Show will open Saturday, January 7, with 6,000 animals and 250 events scrawled over 24 acres with an enormous assortment of things to see, touch and taste. If the past is a guide, expect bad weather.Taylor Remphrey is proud of the hole-in-one he made in Germany. Taylor's golfing days may be coming to an end. His wife is on her way to Germany following her tour of duty in Iraq. Sharon Remphrey moved from her Main Street house to an apartment. The new owners plan a bakery in the former beauty shop.
The Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center has a new website, www.N4Cs.org . The site is easy to navigate and contains information about The Center's programs, the people and much more. The new home page displays upcoming events and recent announcements. It also sports a new weekly program calendar that shows each activity with its scheduled day and time. A program section details every activity available at The Center from reading tutoring to basketball, yoga, Zumba, lectures, concerts, art exhibits, summer-youth activities and more. Under the "Center Information" tab, a brief video walks newcomers through the facility, and a concise history proudly tells the story of The Center from its inception. If you want to volunteer your time or make a donation, read about options under the Get Involved section. You can even “Like Us” on Facebook. There is a lot more, so stop by www.N4Cs.org .The "anti-frackers" hope that liquid propane and butane will dispel the environmental concerns of lethal chemicals and huge amounts of water used during natural-gas fracking. A Canadian company, Jadela Oil Corporation, is trying gas fracking as a substitute for traditional hydrofracking in its drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale. If successful, gas fracking will be of value in the dry climate of Texas and the freezing weather of Canada.Timothy H. Downs (September 4, 1950-December 31, 2011) died Saturday at the home of his father at 995 Elk Grove Road, Benton (Central). He was 61. Tim was born in Bloomsburg, the son of Harold L. Downs, Benton (Central) and Joanne (Lewis) Downs, Bloomsburg. Tim was a 1969 graduate of Bloomsburg High School and graduated from the former Wilkes-Barre Business College. He was employed as a project manager by Bloomsburg University for 25 years, retiring in 2007. He was a self-employed plumber in Bloomsburg and worked in his father's plumbing business. He lived in Bloomsburg for much of his lifetime.
Tim was a member of the Bloomsburg Archery Club and served as an onbudsman for the Columbia Montour Aging office.
Tim was preceded in death by a son, Timothy Michael Downs on September 24, 1985. Surviving in addition to his parents are children Katie A. Downs and Kyle T. Downs, (Tomara), all of Bloomsburg; Alli K. Downs, State College; Michael R. Downs, Bloomsburg; and brothers John Downs and Daniel Downs (Susan), Bloomsburg. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2 with friends received preceding in the Dean W. Kriner Funeral Home, 325 Market St., Bloomsburg. There will be no viewing. Interment in Elan Memorial Park, Lime Ridge. Flowers will be provided by the family. Friends may remember Tim with a gift to the Fishingcreek Cleanup Project , P. O. Box 498, Millville, PA 17846.
Washington College snapped Catholic University's nine-game winning streak December 31 with a 65-61 win over the Cardinals in the championship game of the Catholic University Holiday Tournament. Former Benton star and now Junior center Erin Kile scored 11 points and brought down 12 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive end. The Shorewomen finished their non-conference schedule with a perfect 5-0 record. They head to Franklin & Marshall for a 6 PM game Wednesday.
Please keep Donald P. Martini, Benton High School Class of 1950 and a 2009 Benton High School Hall of Fame Inductee, now a resident of Seattle, in your prayers. Don is in a care facility. Most readers won't remember Don. His father, Frank A. Martini, was a steam-shovel operator who worked for Lane Construction Company during the construction of the "dug."
Don joined the Air Force in January 1951 as a private. He wanted to enter cadet school, but didn't have the education, although a proviso in the regulations said that "or equivalent" could be substituted for a formal degree. Don sat for the GEDs for the first two years of college and passed them on the first try--all of which speaks highly for the education he received in the Benton schools. Donald eventually retired as a Major and Master Navigator in March 1971 after logging more than 6,000 hours of flying time and receiving several commendation medals as well as an Air Medal for his 50 missions in Vietnam. In 1980, he graduated cum laude from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, Structures. After graduation, he worked for Boeing. In his final 10 years with the company, he was a 747 Flight Instructor, teaching many crews at the Boeing facility and overseas.
Don was the only instructor for the space shuttle crews and the Air Force One 747 crew. He actually retired three times from the Boeing Company, but was called back for special assignments. He retired "for good" in 2003.
Don considered his contribution to the Vietnam War effort as the most important achievement of his career. It led to the ability to detect and interdict the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese on the Ho Chi Minh trail. "Teaching pilots how to operate the 747 rates second," Don recalls. He added, "Although not all of my Air Force career was fun, it was always interesting and challenging."
Dolores E. (Radick) Russell (July 26, 1944-December 29, 2011), died Thursday at her home on McHenry Street, Stillwater. She was 67 and had been in declining health for several years. She was a daughter of Joseph and Doris (Parker) Radick. She was born and educated in Philadelphia. Prior to moving to Stillwater. she lived in Slatington and Bunnell, Florida.
During her career, she worked as a heavy-equipment operator, a highway escort, a cook for the Flagler Beach (Florida) Pier Restaurant. She was an interior designer and the manager for the Levitz Furniture Store, Allentown, and had last been employed as a seamstress. She attended St. Gabriel's Church.
She and her husband, Ronald E. Russell, Sr., celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary on July 16. Surviving, in addition to her husband, are her children Thomas Joseph Sukalski (Yumiko), Okinawa; Kathryn M. Kocher (Todd), Elk Grove; Ronald E. Russell, Jr. and his fiancée, Shanon Fry, Bloomsburg; grandchildren Joseph H. Bradley (Eri), serving in the U. S. Navy at Yokohama, Japan; Scott and Andrew Sukalski, both of Okinawa; great grandchildren Mia and Azuki Russell Bradley.
Funeral services will be held at the McMichael Funeral Home Tuesday at 2 PM with a viewing from 1:30 to 2 PM, with Virginia Thomas, St. Gabriel's Church, officiating. Contributions may be given to the family in lieu of flowers to go toward expenses. For online condolences, please visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Sunbury Generation LP has filed a plan with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to convert its aging coal-burning Sunbury plant in Snyder County to natural gas, according to a newspaper article in The Daily Item.
According to Power Engineering magazine, the plant at Shamokin Dam (referred to as the "Sunbury plant") has four coal-fired units which came on-line between 1949 and 1953 and a total operating capacity of 388 MW. The plant operated by Sunbury Generation is owned by Corona Power LLC.
According to the newspaper article, Sunbury Generation wants to close most of the units at the plant and replace them with two natural gas-fired turbines.
Since the Clean Air Act of 1970, power plants have struggled with allocating the economic costs of meeting the nation's air-pollution reduction goals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is implementing strict new air regulations to control emissions of mercury and other air toxics.
In the first nine months of 2011, 399,352 tons of coal were delivered to the Sunbury plant, according to SNL Energy . A pipeline from the plant to the Williamsport area will be necessary in order to provide natural gas.
Click here and when it opens, drag your mouse across the picture for a message for the New Year. Since New Year's Eve isn't one of the times in my life when I get all fired up, that is all I intend to say about the subject.
Didja ever think that a programmer is someone
who solves a problem you don't understand
in a way you don't understand?
There are not many states where history is an integral part of the makeup of its residents as it is in Pennsylvania. Think the battle of Gettysburg, the Liberty Bell, the Quakers, the legacy of William Penn, colonization--the list goes on and on. For reasons unknown to me, the Commonwealth's 3,280 schools and 1.8 million students are generally history deficient.
The subject came up when Dr. Roy Davis, a part-time resident of Jamison City and newspaper columnist in Michigan, emailed about the teacher who asked a "real live veteran" to speak to her high-school class. When the veteran walked to the front of the class, the teacher introduced him by saying, “Students, today we are fortunate to have with us a real veteran FROM WORLD WAR ELEVEN!” The teacher had looked at his credentials and saw that his service was in World War II.
The teacher who introduced the veteran to her class as the guy from "World War Eleven" was not a local teacher and I certainly don't mean to imply that any local teachers would make a horrible mistake like that. But there is a point to be make here. We all need to spend time on history that is of importance to us. This isn't an "off-the-wall" discussion of an obscure subject. Using figures from Wikipedia, more than 16,000,000 military and 45,000,000 died in World War II who were aligned with the Allies. Put another way, between 1937 and 1945, more than 61,000,000 people on "our side" died in what this teacher refers to as World War Eleven.
That is precisely the reason the original Benton News began. In high school, I never had a Pennsylvania history course. I continue to attempt to make readers of this tiny publication more familiar with the history and culture of the Pennsylvania experience.
I personally don't give a hoot what the inclusive years were of the Greco-Persian Wars--or for that matter, a lot of the other events that others feel need to be memorized. In college history courses at Wilkes University, Dr. Mui oversimplified everything. The bad guys he always called the "chicken snatchers," so a discussion of the Japanese invasion of China, as an example, would have been described as the "chicken snatchers (the Japanese) invading the "hen house." (The problem comes about when there are "chicken snatchers" on both sides.
Life for most of us moves at warp speed. Dr. Davis put it way: "As we pile experience upon experience, we will finally have a history book so thick we cannot lift it. Well, so far some books have relegated 'our war' to just a couple of pages. For those of us still kicking around.....that just won’t do! How can we redress this woeful omission of what is perhaps the greatest war we ever fought.....the one that showed the world we could all pull together and win against great odds?"
Roy Davis said that if he were to design an American history and literature course, he would rely to a large part on films and discussion that illustrate the past. For those who want to know more about the "Great War," Roy suggests a short, samp1e list of films about World War II. Here is his list:Journey for Margaret . In war torn, bombed out England of 1942, a childless couple adopt a winsome war orphan. Very often war is hardest on the littlest people. Have you ever seen the heart rending picture of the Chinese baby sitting amidst the rubble of bombed out Shanghai? Often the people most affected by war are the civilians in the battle area. British people suffered under almost constant German bombing during the first part.
Battleground and Band of Brothers . Both movies are about the Battle of the Bulge....the forest at Ardennes in Europe. This is a famous battle and one which we almost lost. “The Bloody Bastards of Bastogne,” as our men were called, endured under horrible conditions. The first film is older, but it has a socko ending...one that sends shivers down my back. The second is a marvelous series first shown on HBO.
Sands of Iwo Jima is about the Marines and their hard fighting in the Pacific Islands. One of John Wayne’s best. See also Clint Eastwood’s, Letters from Iwo Jima .
From Here to Eternity . Army life before, during and after Pearl Harbor. Stars Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr. The plot may seem a little hokey.....a GI (excellent fighter, who accidentally killed an opponent in the ring) is determined never to box again. But the regimental team needs him. So they start applying pressure....until he breaks. Authentic scenes of army life, ending with the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor.
They Were Expendable . Torpedo boat squadrons in the Pacific. John Wayne and Robert Montgomery do an excellent job. These were the guys who went out to sink Japanese shipping in fast plywood boats. One of them carried Gen. McArthur and his family from the doomed Philippine Islands to Australia, just before the Japanese overran Corregidor.
The Caine Mutiny . Life on board a destroyer during the war. The crew watches helplessly as their Captain (Humphrey Bogart) goes berserk. One of Bogart’s best roles. Excellent study of the different kinds of leadership men endure in a war.
The Best Years of Our Lives . One of most ‘oscared’ and respected films of its time. Three veterans are returning from WWII. One is an infantry sergeant who was a banker in his previous life. Another is a Captain (bombardier) who worked in a drug store, and now has no future. The third is a sailor who lost both hands in a shipboard explosion. He wants to break his engagement to a darling girl who waited for him.......and now should not have to spend her life with a cripple. Resolution comes to all of them in an agonizing fashion......the banker finally adjusts to civilian life...but changes the structure of banking a little. The Captain sheds his floozy wife whom he married on an army base. The girl finally convinces her sailor she will love him....with or without hands.
Roy Davis suggests that the “World War Eleven” teacher sit through these movies and read the stories from which they were made. "Might be an 'Ahah!' moment for her," Roy muses. The lessons of the past can't be forgotten or we are doomed to repeat them.
Dennis ("Denny") William Dawson, Sr. (June 3, 1956-December 27, 2011) died Tuesday at his Colley Street home. Denny was born in Bloomsburg and lived in Espy until 1998. He was a son of Jack L. Dawson Sr. and Christine (Heckman) Dawson. Dennis was 55.
Dennis was a graduate of Central Columbia High School and was employed by the school district for 30 years, retiring in 2003. He won awards for his greenskeeping abilities at the school. He briefly worked at the Red Rock Job Corps Center in 2009. He and his wife, Christine, established The Old Filling Station restaurant on Main Street, Benton. Dennis was a member of the Benton Christian Church and a lifelong member of the Espy Fire Company.
Denny Dawson at one of his favorite tables in the Old Filling Station Restaurant.
Surviving are his wife, the former Christine Sherwood, whom he married September 1, 1996; a son, Dennis Dawson Jr.; a daughter, Heidi, and her companion, Matthew Zerbe; a stepson, Levi Ribble; brothers Jack L. Dawson Jr. (Marge); Larry Dawson Sr. (Kathy); Jeffrey A. Dawson Sr. (Mary); and Scott J. Dawson (Leslie); a sister, Linda Stotler (James); grandchildren Alexis, Jonathan and Samarra; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Dennis was an avid fisherman and enjoyed fishing the Susquehanna with his friends, Cory Hess and Andy Barnes. Dennis was a "jack of all trades" and worked on many carpentry projects. Dennis was respected and loved by all that met him. He held Stacey M. Taylor, his hospice nurse, in the highest regard. He had a special love for his dachshunds.
At Dennis' request, there will be no viewing or funeral service. A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held Sunday afternoon, January 8, 2012, starting at 4 at the Espy Fire Hall, 300 Tenny St., Scott Township. A meal will be provided after the services. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Denny's name to Columbia Montour Home Health & Hospice, 410 Glenn Ave., Suite 200, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. Arrangements are under the direction of the Mayo Funeral Home Inc., Shickshinny. For additional information, or to send condolences, please visit www.mayofh.comDennis ("Denny") William Dawson, Sr. (June 3, 1956-December 27, 2011) died in his Benton home Tuesday. Denny was born in Bloomsburg, a son of Jack and Christine Dawson. He attended Central High School and never strayed far from there. He retired after 30 years of working for the Central School District in grounds management, working almost entirely on the school's athletic fields where he won numerous awards for excellence in groundskeeping. When he retired in April 2003, he left with little idea of what lay ahead. He knew that he looked forward to being by a meandering stream as he fished and at night he could spend time with his wife and his four dachshung dogs.Denny and the former Christine Sherwood married in September 1996. Their dream of owning a eatery was the driving force behind the creation of the Old Filling Station Restaurant in the oldest house in the borough--the former office and residence of Dr. Isaac E. Patterson and the only house on the block that did not burn in the fire of July 4, 1910. Denny and Christine bought the building in April 2002 from Alice Davenport and by October finished a complete restoration. The restaurant opened for business March 11, 2003, following nine months of seven days a week renovation.
Denny first encountered cancer in mid-August 2004 while on a fishing vacation near the Gulf of Mexico with his friend, Ed Sheffield, Stillwater. There were tell-tale signs of a problem shortly after they arrived in Mississippi. The center of Denny's back began to throb, and in the middle of a seafood dinner with Ed's sister, Denny began feeling ill. Denny seemed in excellent health, although he had a bout with kidney stones five years earlier. Denny showered and eventually got to bed, but began the cycle over again shortly after midnight.
Doctors admitted Denny on August 16 to the Singing River Hospital System, Pascagoula, Mississippi, after an emergency room cat scan and a series of tests. At two in the morning, doctors called Chris in Benton with the unwelcome and jarring news of Denny’s pancreatic cancer.Doctors in Mississippi told Denny that an operation, known as Whipple Surgery, was necessary on the head of the pancreas and to the duodenum which connects the stomach to the pancreas. The doctors explained that after Whipple surgery, Denny would require chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Without Whipple, the survival rate for patients treated with chemotherapy alone drops to less than 5% at five years.
Denny listened intently and Back Home in Benton, PA, Christine did the same with friends. Denny mulled the situation over, then called Christine and told her to "Get me out of here." Denny spent two days in the hospital, then was flown from Mobile to Harrisburg on the condition that he would check in immediately at the emergency room of the Geisinger Hospital.Denny arrived in Harrisburg at 9:30 at night and Christine drove him to waiting hospital doctors in Danville. A doctor of pathology confirmed the elevated white blood count and following a biopsy and other tests confirmed that Dennis was in stage III cancer; i.e., the cancer had spread to more distant lymph nodes.
Denny was wheeled into surgery at Geisinger Hospital for an estimated seven-hour surgery, but at the end of three and a half hours, the surgery abruptly stopped. The tumor had grown to about the size of a fifty-cent piece and paper-thin close to the main artery feeding the aorta.
Denny came home a few days later. The first time he had red meat and chocolate, Denny became violently ill. His surgeon handed Denny off to an oncologist, and Denny fell into a six-week wait for an appointment.
It was in March 2005 when Denny's pancreatic cancer was deemed inoperable.
Denny chose an alternative approach to his doctor-recommended healing process. Glenda VanSock Mausteller told Denny about a blended drink known as Montana Yew Tips. She also told of Canadian nurse Rene M. Caisse who for years had advocated the cancer-cure recipe of an old Indian medicine man. Caisse called her herbal remedy "Essiac," a backward spelling of her last name. Rene Caisse espoused the use of Essiac tea and a diet consisting of chicken and fish.
Chris and Denny went to Bellefonte to meet registered nurse Janis Holzman Betz, president of an organization known as Healthy Journey. Betz had published a book on the subject called The Journey to Ultimate Health.
Janis made some dietary recommendations including the use of almonds. Four times a day Denny was given a concoction blended from the juice of a red beet, two carrots, two stalks of celery, broccoli and two Granny Smith apples. He drank lots of water, but never with chlorine. He didn't use sugar or the "blue-pack" or the "pink-pack" sweetener. Denny sweetened his food with a noncaloric "dietary supplement" herb, native to Paraguay, known as stevia.
Geisinger Hospital released Dennis as a patient in January 2004. His Geisinger doctor told Denny, "I don't know what you are doing, but keep doing it!" He had a cancer count of .09% and his tumor has shrunk to the size of a nickel. Twice a month he got a blood test to monitor activity in his body. His early tests showed remarkable progress. Denny told his friends that "half of the battle is knowing that you are going to beat the cancer."
Dennis never completely got out of the woods and he was never completely "cancer-free," but he is a living example of the power of prayer, positive thinking and a discipline of eating and drinking correctly. This fall, Dennis joined the Benton Christian Church and remained an active Sunday participant until he became too weak to attend.
Denny Dawson can teach us all a great deal about living!
There will be no viewing and no public funeral. A memorial service will be held in the future. Mayo Funeral Home, Shickshinny, is in charge of arrangements. Donations may be sent to the Columbia County Hospice, 784-1733, or 800 34-4702. An obituary will be provided when available.The year is going, let him go,
ring out the false, ring in the true.
--Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Christian Church, Church Street, Benton
Christmas Eve, 2011
Picture courtesy of Richard Kriebel
Margaret "Marge" (Kubasek) Barchik (January 1, 1932-December 19, 2011), Benton, died Monday afternoon at the Bonham Nursing Center where she had been a resident for a few months. She was 79. Margaret was born in Mocanaqua, a daughter of Anthony and Anna (Vavrasek) Kubasek. She was a graduate of the former Shickshinny High School and attended a beauty school in Wilkes-Barre.Margaret was preceded in death by her husband of 43 years, Stanley C. Barchik, who died April 26, 1999. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by sisters Anna Biacchi, Helen Jacubcak and Mary Bratosz. Surviving are her sons Carl S. Barchik (Susan), Stillwater and Kenneth A. Barchik, Shickshinny Lake. There are two granddaughters: Brittany and Rhayanin Barchik; a sister, Rosalie Sponenberg (Sam), Hillsborough, New Jersey, and a number of nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, December 23, 201, at noon at Christ The King Roman Catholic Church, Mendenhall Lane, Benton. Burial will be in St. Martha's Cemetery, Fairmount Township. A viewing will be held Friday from 10 AM until 11:45 AM at the McMichael Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the American Heart Association, 1704 Warren Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701. For online condolences, please visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Gladys E. Seltzer, on July 15, 2001; by brothers Leroy Klinger and William Klinger; and by sisters Loretta, Pauline and Harriet. Surviving are sons T. Eugene Klinger, (F. Arlene), Bernville; Boots Klinger, and his friend Linda Eisaman, Bloomsburg; a daughter, Joyce Hartzel Harold), New Windsor, Maryland; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and brothers Robert Klinger, Danville, and Doyle H. Klinger (Gloria), Benton.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, December 28, 2011, in the Dean W. Kriner Funeral Home, Bloomsburg, with his nephew, Rev. Doyle H. Klinger, Jr. officiating. Entombment will be in Elan Memorial Park, Lime Ridge. Friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 from 6-8 PM.Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long...
The "buckle surgery" on my retina apparently went well Monday. And, no, this is not a Halloween mask I am wearing. Bob Wenner is home from the hospital. Please continue to keep Dennis Dawson in your prayers.
This is the time of the year when portions of the house are off limits and strangely shaped bundles are smuggled into the bedroom. It is the time of the year when younger members don't have a clue about the question "Is there really a Santa Claus?" It is the time of the year when we spend our waking hours making others happy.
The greatest season for celebration in the Christian world is just days away. English-speaking people gather around what Mother and Father called the "home circle" with members of their family from as far away as practicable to unite the ties of affection which bind a family together. My thoughts go out to those families who cannot rally with their loved ones because of family strife, the duty of being at war or the simple cost or inconvenience of getting together.
There is a deep meaning behind the observance of Christmas. Ecclesiastical history is divided into two periods--the Old and the New Testament history. The Nativity of Christ is the overriding fact of the New Testament history. The child, Christ Jesus, is the central figure of Christmas. The babe in the cradle interests us today as much as it fascinated the shepherds from centuries ago. Our Christmas represents the birth of the Redeemer, the greatest event in the history of mankind.
So in this Christmas season, may your sad hearts be happier, your friendships more binding, your hopes brighter and your faith stronger. May you have more prosperity than disaster, more success than failure, more sunshine than clouds, more smiles than tears and more joy than sorrow. Good always outweighs sin and evil. The children in your life have looked forward to this day with happy anticipation, but they should not forget the "reason for the season," they should not overlook the fact that Christmas presents are our indebtedness to the bountiful Father who is the author of all gifts.
An especially Merry Christmas to those in the service and to those who have put away the uniforms of their country. To their valor we are indebted this Christmas season. And we offer a prayer to those who will never return. To these soldiers, we owe our freedom.
May we all have joy of heart, generosity of soul, faith in God and trust in man as a result of blessings born with Christ on Christmas Day.
The Columbia County Traveling Library Bookmobile will be at Rainbow Hill Preschool Tuesday afternoon from 12:45-1:15, the parking lot of the Central Hotel from 2:30-3:30; Country Fresh Market from 4-7. On Wednesday, the bookmobile will be at the Benton Senior Center from 10-10:15 AM and the Northern Columbia County and Cultural Center from 10:15-10:30 AM. It will then swing south to the Stillwater Township Building from 10:45-11:45 AM.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, Sherry, are his daughter, Alyssa L. Killian, a student in Winchester, Virginia; his siblings Pamela Scott (Rickey), Reyburn; James Killian (Lisa), Hunlock Creek; Timothy Killian (Shannon), Columbia, TN; Lisa Beach (Mark), Cambra, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be held Wednesday, December 21, at 2 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home. There will not be a viewing. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .Russell was an avid hunter, trapper and outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting with his friends both locally and on out-of-state trips. He worked as a carpenter with Kirk Hess and for PP&L during a recent outage. He was a member of the Jonestown United Methodist Church, VFW Post 8317 and the Laurel Ridge Hunting Club.
Surviving, in addition to his parents, Randy and Denise, are his brother, Alan Hack (Danielle), Stillwater; maternal grandparents Clifford J. and Martha J. (Remphrey) Kline, Shickshinny; paternal grandmother, Ethel Hack and her friend, Henry Schenck, Berwick and Florida; his girlfriend, Sarah Harvey, Benton, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Russell was the godfather of Peyten Hack, daughter of Dean and Robyn Hack. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather , Frederick C. "Ted" Hack.
Memorial services will be held Thursday, December 22, 2011, at 11 AM at the McMichael Funeral Home. A visitation will be held Thursday from 9:30 AM until the time of the service at 11. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Jonestown United Methodist Church, c/o Shirley Good, 214 Winding Road, Orangeville, PA 17859. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc., Benton. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .1.3 billion Chinese compared to 313 million Americans? Didja know that an hour of U.S. manpower yields seven and a half times as much as an hour of cheaper, but less skilled, Chinese labor? Only about a fifth of the Chinese people have toilets that flush. When you see wind turbines, equipment for shale-gas exploration and solar panels, the stuff probably came from China. Inexpensive Chinese solar panels could prompt the U.S. to curb imports. Why not! Chinese officials are slapping import duties on cars made in the U.S. Expect politicians at the presidential and congressional levels to begin China bashing in earnest. China isn't just a pain on the domestic front. The country now has a reported 60 submarines with six of them zipping along under nuclear power. The country has dozens of warships and a second aircraft carrier is nearly complete.
The bankruptcy of Enron, the Houston-based energy company, was mentioned in a conversation recently. Didja know that when Enron filed for court protection in December 2001 it was the largest bankruptcy filing at the time ($66 billion) in US history. Ten years later, the Enron bankruptcy has dropped to the sixth largest in US history. Additional information is available at www.bankruptcydata.com
Didja ever think that adolescence and snoware the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough?
We have watched over the years as politicians pontificated profusely proving precious little intelligence. We listened when Senator Ted Stevens described the internet as a "series of tubes." We smiled when George W. Bush first referred to it as "the internets." Dan Quayle exhibited no ability to understand the internet and its potential. But someone in the wings always got the politicians off center stage at the last minute and let them "save face." But, alas, come mid-December 2011 no one seems to be protecting the idiots who write our legislation. And if these policy makers are not kept in check, what is going to happen to the American people?
I am specifically talking about the Congressional mark-up of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) scheduled for Wednesday, December 21. The bill is likely to be approved and sent on to the House.
Lamar Smith (R-Texas), was quoted as saying, "I am pleased that the unfounded claims of critics of the Stop Online Piracy Act have overwhelmingly been rejected by a majority of House Judiciary Committee members. The criticism of this bill is completely hypothetical; none of it is based in reality. Not one of the critics was able to point to any language in the bill that would in any way harm the internet. Their accusations are simply not supported by any facts."
What the politician is really saying is that expert testimony of engineers, technologists and lawyers intimately familiar with the inner functioning of the internet will not be heard by the Congress. Congress has chosen to listen to media lobbyists. The politicians ignore the techno-jargon and pretend it is cute to not know anything about a subject, but pass legislation that seeks to fundamentally change how the internet works.
SOPA is generally condemned by engineers, techies and lawyers familiar with the internet. The bill under consideration will stifle free speech and hurt legitimate businesses by giving corporations censorial powers. Filtering to block "infringing sites" opens up enormous security holes that threaten the stability of the internet.
The House Judiciary Committee doesn't seem to give a hoot about how the internet works. Take Rep. Mel Watt, North Carolina, who announced “I’m not a nerd,” then dismissed without facts or justification the very evidence he didn’t understand and then downplayed the need for expert testimony. Rep. Maxine Waters, California, said that any discussion of security concerns is “wasting time” and that the bill should move forward. So much for integrity in Congress. You'll hear more on this subject.Questions abound about the gifting of a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I have no first-hand experience, but Larry Paul helped out with answers about the Nook and the Kindle Fire. He suggested that the best place to review all the ebook readers is http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com . The Kindle Fire is not in the same league with an Apple iPad, but neither is the $499 plus for an iPad compared with the Kindle $199. The Kindle seems to be reliable and will work fine for the amount of money you'll pay for it. A book for the Kindle is usually $9.99 and there are also free books--mostly classics or collections.
The first Christmas song was sung, we are told, by angels: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The words were recorded in the Gospel according to St. Luke, but unfortunately not the music.
Many composers since those historic times have set the words "Gloria in excelsis Deo" to music. And from these words sprang many other songs of Christmas, plus carols, hymns, noels and wassails.
Succeeding generations have set their Christmas thoughts to music, from the religious exaltation of Bach's Christmas Oratoria to the notice that "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."
We all love to listen to Christmas music, although there have been a few "Bah Humbugs" over the years from curmudgeons with a different opinion. George Bernard Shaw once served as a music critic in his youthful days. He threatened to leave London because he claimed the only music he could hear during the Christmas season was "Venite Adoremus," which he said meant "Ow, cam let Hus adore Im."
One of my Christmas favorites over the years has been the "Nutcracker," a ballet originally composed by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky in St. Petersburg in 1892. I remember sitting first row center section at the Kennedy Center at this time of the year in 1976 with brother Dayne for the holiday production of the Nutcracker. Dayne, to the best of my knowledge, had never seen a ballet before and had never attended a performance at the Kennedy Center. In that production, he got to see a snowstorm take place on the stage, a battle between mice and toy soldiers, and a Christmas tree that grew to an enormous size. Local children filled the stage. But what impressed Dayne the most with the production by the American Ballet Theatre was the final curtain call when Soviet defector Mikhail Baryshnikov, the choreographer, walked onto the stage.
It was at that time that I shared a story with Dayne about the first time I took a date to the ballet. At the end of the performance, I asked her what she liked most about the performance. She thought and thought. Then, as if she hated to mention it, responded, "The men had muscles in the strangest places."
There is always something about the music of Christmas that impresses the child in all of us. We will probably never see the Nutcracker performed inside the borough limits, but Sunday morning at 10:15 at the Raven Creek Presbyterian Church and Sunday evening at 7 in the Benton Presbyterian Church we will come as close to perfection in Christmas music as is possible. The event is the annual Christmas music service featuring the group known as the Susquehanna String Theory.”
The lineup is Al Lumpkin playing the guitar, mandolin, autoharp and bouzouki. Jean Lumpkin will bring music to life on the guitar, banjo and Celtic harp. Ann Fisher knows how to bring music out of mountain dulcimers and autoharps. Warren Fisher takes control of the mandolin, autoharp, guitar, Judy Ellis will be on the hammered dulcimer, and Jeremy Lumpkin will be on bass.
We usually don't take things very seriously on the Benton News Blog, but we do when it comes to this free performance. Please make an effort to come out for one of these two delightful performances.
Thursday December 15, Benton wrestlers travelled to Muncy and suffered its first loss of the season 43 to 27. The match started at 106.
106 - Jacob Dgien (M) fall 1:23 Ricky Kryzwicki (B)
113 - Alex Krah (M) won by FF
120 - Mike Pega (M) fall 0:50 Lenny Hazlak (B)
126 - Matt Welliver (B) fall 0:14 Alex Shull(M)
132 - Colt Cotten (B) fall 1:17 Andy Aguilar (M)
138 - Brandon Lontz (B) won FF
145 - Health Strickland (M) fall 0:44 Brad Miccio (B)
152 - Jeric Kasunic (B) dec. 4-2 Isaih Bobotis (M) 160 - Troy Hemburg (M) major dec. 10-1 Logan Womelsdorf (B) 170 - Moyle (M) fall 1:21 Matt Zawatski (B)
182 - Marcus Welliver (B) dec. Jake Colburn (M) 4-2
195 - Jake Mankey (B) dec. Sylar Ebner (M) 14-7 220 - Chris Secules (M) fall 1:12 Blake Bogart (B)
285 - Nick Roberts (M) dec. Anthony Davis (B) 7-5 sv
Benton travels to Line Mountain on December20 at 7 PM.There is a full-time position available in the Benton Area Schools as of July 1, 2012. The requirements are a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, and at least five years of school business-accounting experience. The applicant must provide leadership for all business services and operations of the district and be responsible for financial planning, fiscal management, facilities, maintenance and operations, food services, purchasing, payroll/benefits, transportation, safety, student attendance, risk management and management of all benefit and insurance plans, knowledge of strategic planning and budgeting, capital assets and debt accounting, and financial analysis. Experience with PIMS a plus. Send application, letter of interest, resume, three reference letters, and Acts 34, 114, 151 and 24 clearances to Penny Lenig-Zerby, Supt., Benton Area SD, 600 Green Acres Rd., Benton, PA 17814. The deadline for submission is January 6, 2012. EOE
Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to provide 250,000 dekatherms per day (The current system capacity is approximately 9.6 million dekatherms per day) of incremental, year-round firm natural gas transportation capacity via its Transco pipeline to serve the Northeast by November 2013. The Northeast Supply Link project will expand segments of the existing 10,000 mile Transco pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to transport domestic supplies of natural gas to markets in the Northeast. The proposed expansion is new pipe at various locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, a new 25,000 horsepower compressor facility in New Jersey along with other facility modifications. The capital cost of the project is estimated to be $341 million. Most of the new pipe will be installed either entirely within or parallel to existing pipeline and utility rights-of-way. If approved, compressor station construction would begin in November 2012 with pipeline construction following in the spring of 2013.
For residents of Benton Borough.
The public is invited to sit in on the borough council meeting Friday night, December 16, at 7 at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. This meeting was moved to Friday night because of the mandatory days between when a budget is first approved and when it can be finalized. At a special meeting at the end of November, council approved by a 4-3 vote a tax increase of 5 mills, which will generate approximately $40,000 which will be applied to the cost of having a full-time officer working 40 hours a week). The borough will have an addition 13 hours a week of part-time coverage. The borough currently averages about 15.25 a week in part-time coverage with a budget of 35 hours a week. The majority of council felt that acquisition of a full-time policeman would help the borough with police coverage and cut down on some or many problems!
Dale B. Ruckle, formerly of Millville and now living in Plano, Texas, is a happy granddaddy today. Dale's grandson,
Kevin Stout, was commissioned into the Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. Kevin graduated from the University of Texas in Aerospace Engineering with a 3.99 GPA. He now goes to MIT for his Masters and PhD, with a fighter-pilot slot reserved when he graduates from MIT. The MIT scholarship was arranged for Kevin by the Air Force and the Lincoln Lab at MIT. Kevin had a three-star general, a colonel and several captains in attendance. Kevin invited former president George Bush to give the message, but he declined saying that he was on a quail-hunting trip.
Marcia Kay and I are thinking the "F" word. We can't agree with the sentiment that there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. We believe that the sun is shining in the Sunshine State! I should be getting around to start my Christmas shopping, addressing Christmas cards and writing to friends and relatives and watching my diet, but I am thinking more and more about hitting the high road...
I don't want to end up like the man who went to Florida and unfortunately died there. When his body was shipped home, someone said to his widow that he looked wonderful. His widow nodded approvingly and said something to the effect that his two weeks in Florida had done him a world of good.
After two postponements, Monday will be surgery day for me, this time in Wilkes-Barre for a problem with the back of one of my eyes. The frequency of future editions of the Benton News Blog will be dependent on the outcome of the procedure.
A Pennsylvania kitchen during the years that I was a mere pup was the conductor for the symphony that was the home. Doors from the living room, the dining room, the pantry, the back hall and the back door all met in the kitchen.
The old Pennsylvania kitchens from my youth had a wood or coal stove with a curved stove pipe that kept the family warm in winter and hot in summer. The stove was constantly in use for making homemade bread and pies, and for cooking vegetables and meat. It was at this time of the year that Mother will busy herself making Christmas clear hard candy, which she would then wrap in something called pilofilm, a transparent wrapping paper she heat-sealed, then packed the multi-colored candy in cookie tins for giving as presents.
Zane Unbewust and I were hot to trot about getting some of the old fashioned candy, and I finally found it for sale in Weaver's Amish Market along Route 11 about ten miles south of Shamokin Dam. I brought a load of it to Benton and friends sat around having Christmas hard-candy eating binges. Not much was said at these crunching sessions. It is really hard to talk with that sweet concoction in your mouth.
It took awhile, but I found Mother's recipe and now I conclude that anyone who can boil water can make homemade hard candy so long as they take a little time and pay attention. The little kids in your family would love to help. Just remember that this candy ranks as a solid "7" on the "snap-a-tooth-off meter."
Making the candy involves chemical changes in two kinds of sugar which are combined with water and heated well above the boiling point of that water. The water is boiled off leaving a thick hot syrup which turns to crystallized sugar when it cools to room temperature. In the meantime, add some coloring and flavoring and if you have any molds shape it as you want.
Here is the recipe:
Three and a half cups white sugar
One and a half cups light corn syrup
One cup of water
You'll need a few accessories for your candy making. You need a heavy saucepan, a thermometer that measures temperature above 300° and a pizza cutter.
Put the sugar, syrup and water in a saucepan, stir over medium heat until it dissolves. Then put the thermometer in the mixture and leave it along while it begins boiling and the temperature begins to rise. The temperature will stay at 212° (the temperature of boiling water) for what seems an eternity--actually only until the water boils away from the mixture. The water is gone when the temperature begins to rise.
You aren't done yet! The temperature needs to go above 310° to make sure that the candy will be hard. Take it off the stove when it hits the 310° mark, but be mindful of the serious burns that liquid this hot can cause.
Now you have to move quickly. Switch off "General Hospital." Add the flavoring, then the food coloring, then pour the mixture onto aluminum foil. If your candy is grape flavored, use purple coloring. If you are making orange candy, use yellow. Just dump the oils and the coloring into the hot mixture and stir it thoroughly. The steam that comes off peppermints and other mint candy will knock you for a loop, so be careful of them. Take yesterday's newspaper and put under the aluminum foil so you don't ruin your counter from the heat, then turn up the edges of the foil so the mixture doesn't run all over. Sprinkle powdered sugar liberally on the oil. Cooling begins immediately when the hot liquid hits the foil. At first, it looks like water, then it begins to look like syrup again and finally it looks like thick cold molasses.
Mother made her candy into figures, but heck why not just sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the cooling mixture and cut it into quarter-inch squares. You probably won't be able to cut completely through the mixture, but even a hairline dent will eventually break clean along that line.
You will be able to store the candy in plastic bags or rigid plastic freezing containers for months in a cool, dry place.
The kitchen was the best smelling part of the house and I betcha right now some readers are thinking of the smell of their mothers' hard candy or her homemade bread, or her rice pudding or thinking of her turkey and "fixins." At this time of the year, food destined for the kitchen and the dining room stayed in queue in the unheated pantry or back room. A white refrigerator (sometimes called a "figeator") was usually the ugliest appliance in the room, although the black telephone and the white porcelain sink were not far behind in the lack of beauty. The kitchens of some of the great Pennsylvania kitchens I can remember didn't even have cabinets. Cabinets were reserved for the pantry where cookware and food were kept at the ambient temperature. The most battle-worn pots and pans were shielded from view under the sink by a cotton curtain hanging from a rod. A wind-up wall clock known as a "Regulator" hung on the kitchen wall, timing the minutes until the men came "in from the fields" at noon. A white porcelain table provided the same surface as kitchen islands do today. In the ceiling was a small opening to let heat rise to the bedrooms above and to issue a "come hither" communication with those lingering on the second floor.
There were some kitchens that included a wooden stool used when the kids helped peel the potatoes or make pies. Some kitchens had a daybed and many had a rocking chair for when Grandma got tired and need to "rest a spell." Mother liked to weave her braided carpets in the kitchen, occasionally getting up to stir the lima beans or check the pot roast. This is the room in which we bundled up before we braved the winter weather when we went ice skating on Paul's pond,
The kitchen was where the endless baking of Christmas cookies took place, where the scattered family would reunite at the "piled-high" table at Christmas time and where the gaily wrapped presents would be exchanged in front of a small Christmas tree. Coming from somewhere outside the house were sounds of church bells. Although usually associated with the New Year, many families ate sauerkraut and turkey on Christmas Day. A Carlisle Spirit of the Times article from January 19, 1819, noted "With him and de qwack toctor Mealy kame back from eating roast durkies and sourkrout on krismas dey made a bargin."
I have been in many homes with "great rooms," but few matched the great kitchens I have known over the years, decorated as from a by-gone era, colorful as feed-sack material could make them, under the firm control of the lady of the house. Ah, yes, a childhood without Christmas in the kitchen would be as empty as a sky without stars or--well, as empty as a world without a Savior!
Sometimes it doesn't pay to fool around with someone bigger than you are. Here is an example:
Barbara A. (Young) Derr (December 6, 1941-December 11, 2011) died Sunday at her Orangeville home on Winding Road. She was 70.
Barbara was born in Bloomsburg. She was a daughter of Owen H. "Tony" Young and Ethel Anna (Hess) Young. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Larue "Butch" Derr, on December 10, 1994.In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by siblings Harry L. Young, Donald R. Young, Wayne Owen Young, Joseph Young (died in infancy) and Marie Young.Surviving are her children Carol Anne Sherman (Clayton), Louisa, KY; Bill L. Ribble (Deborah), Chateaugay, NY; Barry E. Ribble (Nancy), Tacoma, WA; Marilee Wagner, Bloomsburg; and Amy J. Kile (Bradley), Orangeville (with whom she made her home). Surviving are grandchildren; great grandchildren and sisters Helen Beishline (Roy), Bendertown; Phyllis Harrison, Fairmount Springs; Nancy Laubach (Kenneth), Benton, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 11 AM at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in St. James Cemetery, Fishing Creek Township. A viewing will be held Thursday evening from 6 to 8 at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the American Heart Association, 1704 Warren Ave., Williamsport, PA 17701. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
James W. "Jim" Gordon (September 18, 1949-December 11, 2011), died Sunday at his home on O'Brian Hill Road, Benton. He was 62. Jim was born in Wilkes-Barre. He was a 1967 graduate of Benton High School and earned his Associate Degree in Business from Penn State University in 1973. He enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps in October 1969 and proudly served his country during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in October 1971.
He was employed by U. S. Steel in Berwick. He later owned and operated Gordon Insurance Agency and enjoyed being a farmer for most of his life.
He was an avid outdoorsman as well as a woodworker and had the ability to fix anything. He was an avid sports fan and followed the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Yankees.
Survivors include his wife and best friend, Lori E. (Ross) Gordon; his children Jeremy W. Gordon (Jamie), Benton; Kristy J. Bardua (Todd), Benton; Kerry Y. Fidler (Aaron), Danville; stepchildren Jennifer Steinruck (Jay), Benton; Bryon Wilhite, Scranton. There are seven grandchildren: Abby Wise, Isabelle Bardua, Teaghan Bardua, Nolan Bardua, Jaxon Bardua, Luke Fidler and Lillie Fidler. Also surviving are sisters Nancy Seltzer and Carol Chapin, Benton, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Walter Gordon, who died April 7, 2002.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 1 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Benton Cemetery with military honors accorded by a combined veterans group. A visitation will be held Wednesday from noon until the time of the service at 1 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the American Cancer Society, Columbia County Unit, Selinsgrove, PA 17870. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Francis J. "Frank" Mika (July 1, 1943-December 11, 2011), Waller Road, Benton, died Sunday at the Bonham Nursing Center, Register, where he had been a guest for two days. He had been in failing health for several months. He was 68. Frank was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, a son of Clara Mika, Nescopeck and the late Gaza J. Mika.
He was a member of the Benton United Methodist Church, Bloomsburg Elks and a social member of the VFW and American Legion. He was an avid card player and enjoyed going to the track. He spent time lounging in his chair in the sun. His biggest joy was his role as "Pap" to his grandson and best bud, Collin.
Surviving, in addition to his mother, Clara Mika, Nescopeck, are his daughter, Monica L. Mika-Machamer (George Morin), Benton; a grandson, Collin J. Machamer, Benton; sisters Mary Ann Douthat (Jesse), ["Pete"], Nescopeck; Lorraine Marshall (Donald), Bloomsburg; brother, Dennis Mika (Debbie), Benton; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A viewing will be held Wednesday evening at the McMichael Funeral Home from 6 to 8 PM with a second viewing at the funeral home Thursday at noon until time of the funeral at 1 PM. Burial will be in the Benton Cemetery. The family will provide flowers. Contributions may be made in his memory to the Kathy LaBar Charitable Foundation, PO Box 316, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. For online condolences, visit website www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .There are a lot of things that money can't buy. None of them are on my son's list!Krysten Ritter cuts a striking pose on the cover of the current issue of Natural Health magazine. Watch a video of the making of the cover of the magazine by going here in which Krysten discusses her good eating habits. Krysten turns 30 on December 16.Benton Borough is going through one of those tying times again. A number of unlocked cars were recently looted overnight. Please lock your cars and your houses.
D.R.'s QuickMart has scheduled its grand opening on the Bendertown/Jonestown road for the first week in January 2012. Dean and Beverly Ribble have created a beautiful building.
It often comes as a shock to learn that the Puritans didn't celebrate Christmas and perhaps more of a shock to find out that in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries most Pennsylvanians didn't celebrate the holiday either. During that period, the Puritan spirit carried over to the Amish, the Quakers, Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists and plain groups such as the Mennonites.The cafeteria and auditorium of the Benton Area Schools were busy places Sunday as the rapidly approaching Christmas celebration moved into full swing. The Puritans might not have celebrated Christmas, but the food served in the high school Sunday would have made the Puritans proud. Joan Hess-Bogart supervised the food preparation and serving and did an excellent job. The staff and family of the Benton Area Schools did the cooking, place setting and art arranging. The free holiday meal was made possible by the generosity of local businesses, community and staff members of the Benton Area School District and surrounding areas.Special thanks go to the art students, the Banyar Green House, Benton Area District Office Staff, Brass Pelican Restaurant, Brewington Transportation, C.A. Fritz & Sons Lawn Care, Cody Fronk, County Fresh Market, Dollar General, Donna Rentschler, Doug McCracken, Dunkin Donuts, First Columbia Bank, Food & Consumer Science students, Forever Green, Giant Markets, Glen Rhinard Transportation, Hayden & Randy Karschner, Jason & Randy Laubach, Joan and Bob Bogart, Justine Seely, Keyco Food Distributors, McMichael Funeral Home, Penny Lenig-Zerby, FFA students, Pocono Mountain Dairy, Rhinehart Food Service. Stacy Wingfield, staff and students of the Benton Area School District, Steve Shannon Tires, Stoney Acres Nursery, Strevigs Restaurant, Stroehman Bread, Susan Kinney, The Hoboken Sub Shop, UniMart, Valley Pizza, Walmart/Sam's Club, Weis Markets and Whitenight Produce.The very capable serving staff consisted of the school cheer leaders, Beverly Ribble, Julie Lyons, Jill Houseweart, Judy Parsons, Bill Pasukanis, Joe Goode, Jim Matthews, Holly Lamoreaux, Ron Kelsey, Brett Musselman, Larry Stanton, Abby Merluzzi, Emerson Noss, Morgan Borger and Teaston Singly.Pictures of those who attended the 2011 Senior Luncheon December 11 are available to view as a slideshow here and can be viewed here for downloading, copying and printing.
Didja ever think that today's Christmas presents are tomorrow's garage sale items?There is a lot of interest in the vital records bill now awaiting the Guv's signature in Harrisburg. Senate Bill 361 makes open records of Pennsylvania death certificates more than 50 years old and birth certificates more than 105 years old. It transfers the certificates once they become open records to the Pennsylvania State Archives.ExxonMobil published an "The Outlook for Energy," a long-term view of the world’s energy future to the year 2040. What will happen over the next 30 years depends on the region of the country you are in and will be influenced by technology and government policies. Energy remains the driving force even as new technologies and sources emerge. The ExxonMobil predictions include:
• Global energy demand will be about 30% higher in 2040 compared to 2010, as prosperity expands across a world whose population will grow to nearly 9 billion people.
• Those of us in North America and Europe will continue with energy use remaining essentially flat through times of economic growth and high living standards. Energy demand elsewhere will grow by close to 60%. China’s energy demand will continue for about two more decades then gradually flatten as its economy and population mature. As living standards in other parts of the planet improve, billions of people will be working to advance their living standards and will consume more energy.
• Energy to make electricity by 2040 will account for more than 40% of global energy consumption. The use of coal will begin a gradual decline, while renewable energies and nuclear power will grow significantly. Oil, gas and coal will continue to be the most widely used fuels and will make up about 80% of total energy consumption in 2040.
• Natural gas will overtake coal for the number-two position behind oil--rising more than 60% through 2040--much of it coming from unconventional sources such as our shale formations of Marcellus and Utica.
• Energy-saving practices and technologies--hybrid vehicles and high- efficiency natural gas power plants--will temper demand growth and curb emissions. Global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will level off around 2030.
Bill Fullmer, Donald Baker and Pier Holcombe are setting up a 60th high-school reunion in Benton May 2012. The present concept is to synchronize the reunion with the Benton Alumni Association Meeting on the Memorial Day weekend Saturday night, May 26, 2012.
Craig Ferguson summed up the 14-year prison sentence for the former governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich. Craig gave more insight into the 14 years: "To give you an idea how long that is, take Kim Kardashian's marriage and add 14 years."
Bob Sagar, a Benton resident and former biology professor at Bloomsburg University, started the Bloomsburg area Christmas bird count many years ago. More participants are needed. Doug Gross, a PGC biologist living in Greenwood Township, 570 458-4564, can provide details. Two blog entries are available on the Benton News Blog Bulletin Board, www.bentonnews.net/BentonBB.htm , with additional information about this subject. The 2011 bird count will take place Sunday, December 18, when the North Branch Bird Club will hold its 41th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) in the Bloomsburg area, sponsored by Ken’s Cattails.
If you think this would be of interest to you, please join them. The North Branch Bird Club is in special need of participants this year. The more observers and feeder watchers, the more birds and bird species are likely to be counted. The National Audubon Society requests a $5 donation from field participants to offset costs of compiling and printing the results. Feeder watchers can participate for free. If you would like more information, please visit Ken’s Cattails, near the Columbia Mall, or contact Cathy Haffner (570-271-1244), Bloomsburg CBC Compiler.
The idea is to "buy low, sell high," but like many of life's twists and turns, it doesn't always work out that way. Both seasoned citizens and baby boomers are downsizing as a result of the poor economy and aging population. As with all advice involving taxes, you should consult a tax attorney or CPA when tax consequences are involved. Most of us who sell an asset won't have big tax bills because Uncle Sam is only owed if you make money on the transaction. Most of our possessions haven't gone up in value.If you sell something at a loss, you can't claim a deduction, but if you have a gain, capital-gains taxes are due at various rates, and take into consideration what the item is and how long you owned it. Profit on the sale of an item you purchased more than a year ago results in taxation at the long-term capital-gains rate up to 15%, unless you owned the item for a year or less and owed up to 35%. For art, antiques, gems, stamps and coins, the long-term capital-gains tax rate is 28%.It is tough to figure out how much you made on an item unless you know the price you paid for the item. Gifts can be difficult. What you inherit will take on the purchase price equal to what you would have paid to buy the item on the day you inherited it. Sales tax is only required if you sell through a business, but don't sell too many times in a year or the taxing authority may declare you a business.
What you give to charity can be itemized on tax returns for the item's fair market value. A photograph of your donation, substantiating information relating to the value of the deduction and an acknowledgement from the charity of the gift are pretty-much essential. For items worth more than $5,000, you need an appraisal. Cars donated to charity can be claimed for the fair market value if the charity keeps and uses the car, but if it sells the car, you can only claim what the charity receives for the car.An amazing look at the artwork of Michelangelo Buonarroti, the Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet, is possible if you have a high-definition screen to view the more than 5,000 square feet of frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. A video shows the scenes from the Book of Genesis, from the Creation, to the Fall, to shortly after Noah's deluge. The chapel shows immense portraits of prophets who foretold the coming of the Messiah, the ancestors of Jesus and stories of tragedy in ancient Israel. There are more than 300 painted figures on the ceiling. Marvel at the beautiful work by going here.
Rotate the image in all directions and enlarge the image to see the amazing scenes. To view every part of the Michelangelo’s masterpiece, just click and drag your arrow in the direction you wish to see. In the lower left, click on the plus (+) to move closer, on the minus (-) to move away.
The painting took four years, from July 1508 to October 1512. Learn more about Michelangelo by going here."Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving."
--Johann Wolfgang Goethe in 1787On Saturday, December 17, from 10 AM to 5 PM, the Endless Mountains War Memorial Museum in Sonestown will remember those who fought in the famous European winter "Battle Of The Bulge" in 1944-45.
The surprise counter attack by the Germans was a vital test for the Allies and proved to be the last large offensive for the Germans, culminating in the surrender in May 1945.
The Endless Mountains War Memorial Museum tribute will feature memorabilia and weapons from both sides and anyone who would like to bring an artifact for show and tell and/or share their experiences is most welcome to do so. A Sullivan County First Division veteran who was wounded and went through some of the hardships of the winter warfare will be at the museum to share experiences with visitors. There is no admission fee, but the museum will accept tax-deductible donations. Additional information can be had by calling 570 482-2610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The museum thanks all those who turned out to its Pearl Harbor tribute and thanks WBRE-TV for its coverage.
The man who threatens to run as an independent if the right Republican candidate isn't nominated got taken down a notch Thursday when Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s campaign announced that the Texas governor would not participate in the Donald Trump-moderated debate December 27 in Des Moines. Perry, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman have declined the Donald’s self-aggrandizing internet debate.Didja ever think that "danger" is just one step from "anger?"Harrisburg's mayor, Linda Thompson, faces foreclosure of a house she owns in the state capital. The property was the headquarters of a non-profit to counsel city residents on mortgages that Thompson ran until being elected mayor.The annual Christmas music at the Presbyterian Church as performed by the "Susquehanna String Theory" will strike up the music on December 18 at 10:15 AM at the worship service of the Raven Creek Church, and at 7 PM at the Benton Presbyterian Church on Market Street. The group consists of Jeanie Lumpkin on harp, guitar, and banjo, Rev. Al Lumpkin on mandolin, bouzouki, guitar and autoharp, Ann Fisher on mountain dulcimer and autoharp, Warren Fisher on bass, mandolin, guitar, and autoharp). Jeremy Lumpkin will join the group for these two performances.The young musicians of the Commonwealth will strut their stuff Sunday, January 8, during the 96th Pennsylvania Farm Show as part of the Farm Show's "Got Talent" contest for musicians between the age of 8 and 18. The event will be held in the Small Arena of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, Harrisburg. The musicians are eligible for competition in junior, intermediate and senior divisions. Each division includes four categories: vocal solo, vocal group, instrumental solo and instrumental group. Musical numbers will be three to five minutes long.
Contestants may enter one individual and one group act and will perform before a panel of impartial judges. Premiums will be awarded to first- through fourth-places; rosettes will be given to other places.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs January 7-14 from 8 AM to 9 PM. Admission is free and parking is $10. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is easily accessed from the Upper Fishing Creek valley by driving into Harrisburg on the East Shore from Amity Hall. For a complete schedule of Farm Show events, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us .
I scored a major act of deception recently. A visitor took my lack of pep as an act of patience...Europe struggled in 1930--just as it is struggling in 2011 with the sovereign debt crisis. European Union members, including Germany and France, are meeting in Belgium to try to find a solution to the current problem. The debt crisis has spilled over from Greece with its huge fiscal deficit to Italy and continues to spread to Spain and France. Standard & Poor's is considering a downgrade on the credit ratings of long-term sovereign bonds issued by 15 eurozone countries, including Germany and France.A worldwide great depression ensued 81 years ago which John Maynard Keynes referred to as "The Great Slump of 1930 ." Debt problems in that depression began in Austria--about tenth the size of Germany-- and swept through Europe and eventually the world economy and became one of the major causes of the Great Depression. What initially appeared to be minor events out of the mainstream of world affairs set off a chain reaction that brought down a world order. For more on the past problems so similar to Europe's problems of today, read "Lords of Finance" by Liaquat Ahamed, available from The Penguin Press.
So much for that promise of "no new taxes..." The Guv and 34 state legislators signed the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," (Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge) a project of Americans for Tax Reform, which promised the residents of Pennsylvania in writing that there would be no tax increases during the Guv's tenure and that he would "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes." The Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out December 8 that residents of the Commonwealth will begin paying sales taxes on everything they buy online. How do Commonwealth residents reconcile this? I can't make it more understandable, so you'll have to rely on the Guv's solution. He redefined the internet tax as an internet fee. Isn't that slick!
She was preceded in death by her husband, Alphonso C. Avallone, in August 1993, and by sisters Grace Ryan and Marge Kennedy. Survivors include her children Carol Chiusano (Angelo), Phoenix, AZ; Charles Avallone (Eileen), Hawley, PA; Kenneth Avallone (Judy), Port St. Lucie, FL; Roger Avallone (Denise), Howell, NJ; Elinor J. Lindenmuth (William), Boynton Beach, FL; Loreen Finley, Lancaster. There are 13 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; sister, Joan Meyer, Benton; brother, Henry Wolfe, White Haven; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be held Saturday, December 10, 2011, at the McMichael Funeral Home from 11 AM followed by funeral services at the funeral home at 1:30 PM. Burial will be in St. James Cemetery, Fishing Creek Township. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Matt was preceded in death by his wife, Norma A. (Fritz) Raski, who died December 31, 2000, after 50 years of marriage; and by three brothers and a sister: Tom Raski, Alfonso Raski, Tony Raski and Florence Sands.
Surviving are his children Rev. Cynthia Raski-Fuller (Jerry), Aiken, SC; M. Paige Raski (Dee), Millville; grandchildren Eric, Justin, Aaron and Corissa Raski; two great grandchildren, Brynn Raski and Mason Oberholtzer. Also surviving are his sisters Agnes Hess (William), Stillwater; Pauline Brewington (Percy), Oak Ridge, TN; Barbara Hess (Gary), York; Anna Baker, Glen Burnie, MD; and a sister, Dorothy Biggers, San Diego, CA.
A private memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. Funeral arrangements will be handled by the McMichael Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Geisinger Hospice, 100 N. Academy Lane, Danville, PA 17822. For online condolences, please visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
If you see a 30-foot-long, tow-behind snowplow coming your way, you are either on the Pennsylvania Turnpike or on a major interstate in the Commonwealth. It is the latest weapon for combating winter weather.The United States Postal Service will close 252 mail-processing centers (including 11 in the Commonwealth and one in Scranton), close processing and distribution operations in Williamsport, cut 28,000 jobs and eliminate next-day deliveries next spring in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. The effect on local operations is currently unclear.Didja ever think that the reason congressmen try so hard to get re-elected is that they can't make a living under the laws they've passed?Stay tuned for information on the new production by the Fishing Creek Players of the Hans Christian Andersen play The Snow Queen. This is a family show with a large cast (adults and some kids), outrageous costumes and extraordinary special effects. The performance date is not yet set, but auditions will be held during the Christmas holidays. The show will required a large staff--lighting, effects, magical props and a lot of scenery movement.Breath of Heaven, a live nativity pageant, will take place Friday and Saturday evenings at 7, December 9 and 10, on the carnival grounds of the North Mountain Fire Company. This Christian production is presented in the village of Central at 991 Elk Grove Road by the entire North Mountain community. The production features live animals, music, rustic sets, original costumes and your friends and neighbors playing the parts of village people, dancing angels, shepherds, Magi Roman guards, the Holy Family and government officials. The production is free with complimentary hot chocolate, cookies and a roaring bonfire.A number of people have vented about increasing problems with student loans. A recent graduate told me she was in debt $73,000 from student loans--not counting money owed to her parents--and although she feels that the job market is improving, the unemployment rate for kids in the 20 to 24-year range hovers about 14%. She is without a job but required to make payments on her student loan. Some in college lament that college tuition costs keep rising. Some who can't find a job return to college for advanced degrees in an effort to hold off the day when they have to find employment. The debt load keeps the kids from buying new clothes, renting apartments and buying houses and causes a long, hard look at the current usefulness of getting a college degree.Universities that are making out surprisingly well in this environment are the 14 state universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Look at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (which we generally shorten to simply Bloomsburg University) where Pennsylvania residents who are full-time students pay $3,120 per semester. Non-residents who are full-time shell out $7,800 per semester. Source: www.bloomu.edu/fees ). The tuition is considerably less than say Franklin and Marshall (the tuition, services and activities fee is currently $42,510 per year, plus standard-room fee for a double or triple of $7,330 per year. Source: www.fandm.edu/businessoffice/tuition-and-fees ). Wouldn't Motel 6 love to bring in $21,000 per semester per room!So what happens if the college grad doesn't pay? Wages can be garnished and the debt from student loans may not be forgiven in bankruptcy. Goodness! Can you imagine a college graduate forced to submit to bankruptcy a year after graduation?Marcia Kay and I are back in Pennsylvania from Florida and are no longer required to just eat health foods. We decided that we need all the preservatives we can get. It seems that French fries are on every local menu. We no longer see as well as we once did. When we lose our glasses, it is almost impossible to find them. My joints buckle and my buckles won't! Slip-on shoes are welcome! We eat a banana a day. The term "no taste" has taken on new meaning. In Mother's time, it meant a blue mohair overstuffed sofa in the parlor; now it means too much garlic in the spaghetti. We used to find fiber in the carpet--not in the cereal bowl. The days of dreading getting older are over. I always thought that when I got older I wouldn't be able to do the things I wanted to do, but now that I am older, I have no desire to do them. I feel a lot like the way Gypsy Rose Lee once described life. She said something to the effect that she had everything that she had 20 years before--only it was a little lower. So we're back from Florida where we are looking forward to driving slow and not seeing cars with a right turn signal on turning left.
Here are some definitions that we brought back from Florida...
Tangent. A man just back from Florida.
Buccaneer. What they charge for sweet corn in Florida.
Castanet. What a fisherman in Florida does to catch fish.
Playsuit. A garment that has more play than suit.
Mugwump. An animal that sits on the fence with its mug on one side and its wump on the other.
Borrower. A person who always wants to be left a loan.
Atoll. A body of coral surrounded by water that isn't an island at all.
Ferryboat. A boat that makes every passenger cross.Playboy. A man who winters in Florida, summers in Canada and springs at blondes.
Indorse. Where Pennsylvania people stay in nasty weather.
Barium. What is done to the dead.
Software. Cotton undies.
Modem: What you did to the weeds in your back yard.
Roy Davis, the "Paw Paw River Muskrat," is an infrequent visitor to Jamison City and a columnist for the Tri-City Record. Roy's December 6 column in the Waterviet, MI, Record is titled "Doggie Wisdom from a Bichon Frise" and is reprinted, in part, in the following paragraphs:"Up until the time I became acquainted with Pennsylvania friend, David Kline, I had not heard much about a smallish dog, sort of a French fuzz ball known as a Bichon Frise. David and his lifelong companion own two of them. Pronounced ‘bee-shone-freez-ae,’ according to my Webster’s, these dogs are cheerful and good natured. They make good family pets, love humans......and if you have one, will demand a lot of your time."Theirs is also the first case I heard of a dog who can write. We once knew a cat who could pen letters....owned by Hartford friend, John McLellan. During his lifetime, Handsome J. Cat wrote and sent out an annual Christmas note, which we all enjoyed hugely. Another talking cat.......our daughter, Becky, and her Jim owned an elderly spinster cat named ‘Whiskers,’ who could not write, but she could swear like a trooper! Jim used to translate her remarks, which would make a longshoreman blush!"A popular characteristic of the Bichon Frise is the “Bichon Buzz,” also commonly referred to as the “Bichon Blitz.” These terms describe the sudden bursts of energy that a Bichon Frise will sometimes exhibit. Once in buzz mode, the Bichon will start running frantically at full speed throughout your home or yard. This is almost always accompanied by constant growling and barking."The buzz can last anywhere from 30 seconds up to 5 minutes. The buzz, or blitz, sudden bursts of energy are usually not predictable and can happen at any moment throughout the day. In addition, the Bichon Frise's path is unknown, as he will go from one room to the next, jumping on and off couches, beds or chairs. Once the Bichon has spent his energy, he will lie down and collapse from exhaustion."Out in Benton, Pennsylvania, friends David Kline and Marcia Kay own two of these beautiful little dogs. And one is able to write letters......Oh, come on, David.....really? He tells about it in his online publication, The Benton News."You can read what Buster wrote by turning to the September 22, 2011, edition of the Benton News..So you think others don't know where you live? Think again. Go to http://showmystreet.com/
Didja realize that we only have a little more than three weeks until Christmas?
Max Hartman has a new "bionic ear," implanted November 29 at the University of North Carolina. Other than pains in the ear lobe and jaw, he came through the operation with only a pain in the neck--no, no, not Lorraine! Jerry Laubach had a similar operation recently and can hear quite well. Most of us have little conception of what it would be like to hear from an ear that has been inoperative for a long time. Max first heard someone "sending Morse code in the background plus a train blew its whistle off in the distance a couple of times" and then for a few hours later he heard some "water dripping/running/flushing." Max will get "turned on" by a very cute audiologist on December 12, "when the 'puter is connected" to his electric ear. If you need more information about the "new ear" Max is getting, read more here.Speaking of Max Hartman, an older version of one of my laptop computers slowed to a crawl and I reloaded Windoze XP on it while I was in Florida, but didn't have my file of CDs to load programs back on the computer. There I was with a Firebelch 500 computer and nothing much on it. Max came to the rescue and suggested a few programs that he either felt necessary or that he used a lot. Since Max can't use a phone for another couple of weeks, I can't call and ask his permission to share his list, but I'll share it and a couple of others...First though, the crap on a freshly loaded computer is overwhelming. Take the time to read this articleHere is a list of free programs...• Skype is a free Voice over IP (VoIP) program. With the Skype software, a computer with a camera and a broadband internet connection, you can video conference free with other Skype users, plus you can do instant messaging, file transfers and videoconferencing. Without a camera, it operates like a phone computer to computer. Skype also offers paid services that enable communication with any cellular or landline phones. MagicJack and Tango are other VOIP services.
WordWebWinPatrolWindows Live MailCaptureWizCCleanerFoxit ReaderReal PlayerRevo Uninstaller
Internet Explorer 8
Microsoft Security Essentials
Lynn was employed by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit 13 at its Montandon office from 1992 until her retirement in 2005. Prior employment was with the Benton Area School District and the former Bloomsburg State Teachers College. She was a member of the Benton United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School for 37 years. She was a member of the P.E.O. sisterhood.
Lynn spent her summers and served on the board of the Patterson Grove Camp Ground in the capacity of secretary-treasurer. She enjoyed missionary work, and had made trips to Haiti, Mexico and New Orleans following hurricane Katrina.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas G. Shaw, on August 12, 2002. Surviving are daughters Dena M. R., wife of David P. Snyder, Sunbury; Rebecca L., wife of Aaron R. Wandell, Benton; grandchildren Isaac, Sabre, Rachel and Lillian Whitenight; Ryan Bond and Kelly Hartnett; great-grandchildren Riley, Tyler, Evelyn, Autumn and Joslyn; her brother, Marc A. Strauch, (Ida), Benton; nephews Marc Strauch and Aric Strauch; and a great-niece, Holden Strauch.
Friends may call on Sunday from 4-6 PM at the Dean W. Kriner Funeral Home, Benton. Funeral services will be held on Monday morning at 11 in the Benton United Methodist Church, Main Street. Interment will be in the Benton Cemetery.