January 31, 2010. It is the birthday of Bill Fester, Allie Becker, Nancy Smith Shea, Ray Kisbach and Ron Salsman. Low overnight temperatures through mid-week will continue below 20°.
• Didja know that "Methuselah," an ancient Bristlecone tree living in California's White Mountains, is Earth's oldest living inhabitant? The tree is 46 centuries old. The estimated age of the tree is 4,767 years old, a full millennium older than any other tree. Learn more here.
• Findings from IHS Global Insight's House Prices in America were interesting. You can read the report here. The Treasure Coast of Florida has some of the best housing prices in the nation. Vero Beach ranked second in the nation behind Las Vegas in the percentage that houses are below value. Port Saint Lucie was sixth in the nation.
• Our burst of patriotic music for today is the National Anthem and comes the members of various United States Military Academies. Listen here.
• Upcoming events are always listed at www.bentonnews.net/events1.htm . Bookmark this page so you can participate in all the events of the area.
Benton wrestled Southern Columbia Saturday. The match started at 140 pounds. Benton won over Southern Columbia 55 to 24. Results, thanks to Brian Hart, are...
103 - Matt Welliver (B) won by forfeit
112 - Brandon Lontz (B) won by decision 4-1 over Justin Janovich (SC)
119 - Colt Cotten (B) won by major decision 14-1 over Brett Duell (SC)
125 - Michael Rhone (B) won by fall 0:40 over Thad Burke (SC)
130 - Kyle Doud (B) won by fall 1:46 over Karl Mhyre (SC)
135 - Coltin Fought (B) won by fall 1:40 over Michael Moore (SC)
140 - Logen Mensinger (SC) won by fall 1:55 over Derrian Metzinger (B)
145 - Zach Raup (SC) won by fall 5:30 over Jared Kline (B)
152 - Devon McMahon (B) won by fall 1:26 over Jamie Slotterback (SC)
160 - Eric Hess (B) won by fall 0:47 over Dylan Eck (SC)
171 - Jake Mankey (B) won by forfeit
189 - Hayden Reed (SC) won by forfeit
215 - Nick Diak (SC) won by forfeit
285 - Tyler DeMott (B) won by fall 1:18 over Ian VanWieren (SC)Benton will compete next in the District IV Duals.
Didja ever wonder how the water battle as part of the Benton Carnival got started? Didja ever know that even the National Geographic Magazine got so caught up in the event that a photo of the battle ran in the magazine? Well, let's get to the point and name some names! In 1953, David Bardo, Roy Colley, David Davenport, David Ward, Brooks Sutliff, Dan Stoneham, Robert Rabb, Linda Dildine, Bobby T. Vincent, Tom, Kay and Mike Knecht, and even some big kids like Jim Dildine and Don Rabb, went to Yost's Restaurant and Vincent's Market, traded in all the soda bottles they could muster up for $.02 each, then went to Buckley's Store and bought balloons. They then positioned themselves on the balcony of the Hotel Moses Van Campen and other stores on Main Street. When fire chief Gene Bardo came by, all hell broke loose! Sitting on his front porch, even Ray Knecht got soaked and got his water hose out to defend his home and honor. Balloons flew everywhere. Firemen threw open the valves and water started spraying the crowd. Everyone had such a great time that more elaborate plans were drawn up for 1954 and a tradition began.
Of the names in the preceding paragraph, Bobby T. is no longer with us, and the rest of the kids have grown up until they are gently nudging the senior circuit. For example, David Ward is 63 and lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He has had a long career with Pratt Whitney and is on the verge of receiving his PhD in engineering. Rick Ward, 62, lives in Prescott, Arizona. Donnie Ward, 58, lives in Indiantown, Florida, at the Indiantown marina, owned by David's daughter Rickelle and her husband, Scott Watson.
The Indiantown marina has a hoist- and mast-stepping facility, a 30-ton travel lift, a ramp for small boats, gas and diesel fuel, ice, laundry, showers and heads, a Captain's Lounge, ship's store and a shady picnic area on the canal. The marina is on the St. Lucie Canal, which is the only waterway in Florida that connects the Atlantic Ocean (at Stuart) to the Gulf of Mexico (at Fort Myers) via Lake Okeechobee and the Calloosahatchee River.
Betty Ward Brewington lives by herself in Martin County in a community of 560 mobile homes known as Indian Woods. Her address is 15940 SW Indianwood Circle, Indiantown, Florida 34956. Indiantown, an unincorporated community of about 6,300 people, is surrounded by large citrus groves.
January 30, 2010. It is the birthday of Dick McMichael, Georgia Bashline and George Holdren and of former vice-president Dick Cheney.
Former Mainstreeter and former president of Sutliff Chevrolet, Harrisburg, Joe "Brooks" Sutliff and his wife Kathy are on a two-month cruise, but were recently marooned by flood waters in Machu Pichu, Peru, when mudslides took out rail service back to the coast and they had to be brought out by helicopter. They flew yesterday by charter to rejoin their ship in Chili. Brooks said it got a "little dicey" when the helicopter first flew in to shuttle their 82 member group out as the locals swarmed the choppers thinking they were bringing in food. The choppers then had to ferry in the military to restore order and allow their group to board. In Lima Wednesday night with a charter flight scheduled to fly them to Chili Friday, Brooks said this "has been quite an experience. "The only downside," according to brother-in-law Sam Ganshaw, was "that the temporary hotel their guide put them in ran out of rum."
Sam Ganshaw had quite a scare Thursday. He received a call from a heavily-accented man identifying himself as being with the cruise line Brooks is on. He asked to speak to Sam's wife, Ann. Sam said that she was at work and that he was her husband. Sam asked what the call was about. The man said that Joseph Sutliff had listed Ann as next of kin. Sam came very close to having a heart attack. The man then got to the point. The cruise line simply wanted to let Ann know that everything was O.K. The rum was not mentioned. Friday night they were back on their ship and sailing out of Valparaiso.
• The Columbia County PAGenWeb address is now www.pagenweb.org/~columbia/ .
• The Orangeville Library is having its annual winter book sale on February 6 beginning at 9 and running until 1. The library always has lots of books at great prices. You get lots of books for very little money.
• The Center will host the Village Sampler and Fun Auction on April 25. Items are needed for the auction. If you have anything that you would like to donate, please drop it off at The Center with your name attached. This is a huge fundraiser for The Center and a great deal of fun for everyone who attends.
• Marcellus shale drilling could triple in the Commonwealth in 2010. The Department of Environmental Protection will hire 68 new oil and gas staffers this year to handle the workload according to a press release.
• Have you ever wondered how President Obama would sound with his voice set to music? Head here and find out.
• The Council of Churches will meet on February 1 at the Benton Methodist Church at 7 PM.
• Didja notice that more people are saying we look good--for our age.
• Didja know that Ernie Kovacs' wife, born Edith Elizabeth Enke in Kingston and known professionally as Edie Adams, had a local connection? Her grandmother was a Bonham from Bloomingdale and Linda Moss can trace that line back to her Moss line!
A reunion with someone out of our past can be daunting. Will we recognize the person? Will they recognize us? Have they aged gracefully? Will there be anything in common? These questions raced through my mind Wednesday when Nancy and Bill Fricke brought Betty Janette Sieg (Ward) Brewington for a visit. Betty's 85 years have been very kind to her. As Father used to say, "she hasn't changed an iota." Betty Brewington
Betty was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Sieg, Third Street, Benton. Her early years were spent with her parents in the house now owned by Beatrice Roberts.
She graduated from the Benton Schools in 1942 and later from the Empire Beauty College, Wilkes-Barre. She married Warren B. Ward, son of Rev. Harry S. Ward, a Benton Methodist Church pastor from 1931-1936. Rev. Ward later moved to the Catawissa Methodist Church. Warren Ward was a graduate of South Williamsport High School. He was discharged from the Army after 35 months of service after being stationed n the Pacific area for 27 months. Betty recalls that he came to Benton from Catawissa after he returned from the war. He knocked on her door one day--and the rest, as they say, was history. Warren and Betty were married at the Memorial Methodist Church, Mayo, Maryland. The couple lived in Edgewater, Maryland, after they married, then returned to Benton where he worked for the Atlantic Refining Company. The marriage ended in divorce, but three children--David, Rick and Donnie--came from the marriage.
In 1961, Betty married John NMN (no middle name) Brewington at the Benton Methodist Church. The Rev. Samuel Kissiel performed the service. Betty operated Betty's Beauty Shop and John was associated with the Argus. They lived on Church Street.Over the years, Betty lived in the house now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bernie Shultz, in the former residence of Dr. Ginter (now the Old Filling Station) which she purchased from Dr. Allen and where she occupied a beauty salon in the back of the building. She rented out the front room to a dentist from Hazleton. She also lived in the house which is now part of the annex of the Benton Christian Church, Church Street.
One well-known story about Donnie Ward took place in 1957 when he was six years old, a week before school started. Donnie went to the Kozy Korner for lunch during the time when Nina Wood ran the restaurant. According to a prearranged agreement, Nina called Betty when Donnie arrived for his lunch.
Donnie and a couple of little friends went from lunch at the Kozy Korner to the dam. He then walked across the dry creek and climbed up the bank on the East side of the creek. His feet slipped as he climbed on the bank and he slid on his back into the only water left in the creek. He was unconscious when he hit the water. He had abrasions down his spine.
His playmates scampered across the dry section of the creek and ran to the milk plant where Elery Hess was white washing walls. Elery ran to the dam. He saw Donnie's striped shirt in the water. A woman stationed at the Air Force base raced to Betty's house and brought Betty to the dam. They took Donnie in the ambulance and Betty remembers that he regained conscious as the ambulance rounded the rocks on the South side of the Borough as they headed for the hospital.When we come back tomorrow, we'll tell you about Betty's life today.Marion Jacob Cole (August 17, 1926-January 27, 2010), Sereno Hollow Road, Benton, died Wednesday at the Bloomsburg Health Care Center where he had been a resident since June 2009. He was 84. He was a son of Ray and Dora (Albertson) Cole. Mr. Cole lived in the family home his entire life and was a lifelong farmer who raised dairy cows, beef cows, grains, hay and corn. He had also been employed by the former Eyers Grove Mills as well as other local mills. He participated in the local farm association for many years. He was a member of the Jackson Cemetery Association Board for many years.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Althea (Trivelpiece) Cole in 1996. Surviving are his son, Walter J. Cole (Lori), Benton; a grandson, Jerrod W. Cole, Benton; a niece, Sharon Diehl, Brick, NJ; nephews Bob Diehl (Candace), Camarillo, CA and Lee Diehl (Pam), Sayre, PA; a cousin, Larry Fausey (Susan), Benton. Funeral services will be held Saturday morning at 11 with viewing preceding at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Jackson Cemetery, Derrs. For online condolences or to sign the register book: www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com
Thursday and Friday, January 28 and 29, 2010.
January 28, 2010, the birthday of Cathy Cole Hartman, Teo Grigas, Jo Marie Shaffer, Ellen Lenbergs and Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta. First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. will open their new Berwick office this morning at 8:30. The new office is located at 300 Market Street, Berwick. Today is the last of the days above the freezing mark through the weekend. January 29, 2010, the birthday of Kristine Karns, Argil Posey and Whittier Letteer.
• It is exciting news that Apple announced a new device the company has christened the "iPad," with a half-inch thick, 9.7-inch, full capacitive multi-touch IPS display that weighs only 1.5 pounds. The price ranges from $499 to $699--with an additional $130 for 3G capability. The device will begin shipping in March. Pick up any newspaper Thursday and read about it.
• The Commonwealth seems to be on track to approve legislation that will permit groups that sell commonly prepared baked goods to continue selling these products prepared outside of approved kitchens, thanks for action from the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. If passed, the measure permits the Department of Agriculture to overlook non-profit community groups--churches, booster organizations and volunteer fire companies--from selling home-baked food at fundraisers.
• Although you probably know it, it is worth repeating. Using a cell phone in almost any way while driving could soon be a thing of the past in the Commonwealth. There will soon be a ban on using hand-held cell phones while driving in the Commonwealth. The state House of Representatives' bill makes violating the ban a primary offense in Pennsylvania, which would permit a driver to be pulled over for committing that offense. The fine is more severe in a school zone, active-work zone, highway-safety corridor or emergency-response zone. Junior drivers--ages 16 to 18--will be prohibited from using wireless communications devices while driving. The bill now moves to the Senate.
• The Benton Fire Company thanks all the family and friends of Hilda Rhinard that attended Sunday's breakfast. The breakfast was in her memory for many years of volunteer service. Firemen served a crowd of 312 people. Rohrsburg resident and WWII veteran Joe Halderman had received a long overdue medal that he earned during the war. He was given the medal during a service at his church earlier in the day. Joe attended the breakfast. The hard-working firemen hope to see everybody at the next breakfast scheduled for February 28.
• The hope was that the benefit dinner for Butch Cerullo would attract 250-300 people. Organizer Kathy Ball and friends served over 375 spaghetti dinners including take outs! Some friends came from as far as Maryland and New York Butch was thrilled seeing friends that he hasn't seen since the onslaught of cancer. He has been in and out of the hospital many times.
A once-popular phrase was "What are you going to do about it?" At the time it became popular, everyone knew its origin. It was said that it came into existence during an interview between "Boss" Tweed and a reporter during a reform movement. The saying by Boss Tweed was picked up by the press and spread throughout the country.The phrase "taking the chair" or the word "chairman" comes from the time when the master of the house and his lady were the only ones who owned or occupied chairs. Everyone else, even when sharing a community-dining table, sat on stools or at a lower lever. A guest of consequence was honored by being invited to "take the chair."
Father was fond of using the expression "Chinaman's chance," especially when he was referring to anyone who played the Phillies, but little did I know back then that the saying didn't have anything to do with a Asiatic. The expression came from the 1820s when a writer in the London Weekly Dispatch referred to the light-hitting bare-knuckle fighter Tom Spring, whom he thought likely to break in a long fight, as a "china man" might if he were a porcelain man.
Here in "Dixie," there are varying versions of how that word came about. I always assumed that it came from the Mason-Dixon line, which was originally established in 1763 to settle a dispute between the lord proprietors Baltimore and Penn. I assumed that Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, when they marked the boundary between the free and slave states, were responsible for the word. I haven't a clue what the real answer is, but I was told locally that a bank in New Orleans issued notes in both French and English because there were so many people who could only read French. On the French ten-dollar note was printed the word "dix," which meant "tens." It was the most popular of these notes and in time was called a "dixie." The bank became known as the bank of the "dixies," and little by little the South was nicknamed the "land of the dixies."
And there is another version, this one involving a slave owner named Dixie who lived in New York but sold his slaves to a Southern cotton planter when he was forbidden to keep slaves in the North. His slaves talked so much about "Dixie's land" where they had been happy that the place came to be regarded as sort of a paradise. D. D. Emmett wrote the song Dixie and may not have known that "Dixie's land was in the north or may have thought that the song would play better if set "way down south in de land ob cotton."Whatever the real story, when we speak of Dixie we are referring to the South.
And who can forget these old phrases? "If you get a spanking in school and I find out about it, you'll get another one when you get home," "I'll wash your mouth out with soap!," "Eat those turnips, they'll make you big and strong like your daddy" and "Hush your mouth!"
On January 26, 2010, Benton wrestled Lewisburg here are the results provided by Brian Hart. Lewisburg won 39 to Benton's 33 points. The match started at 215
103 - Brandon Lontz (B) won by fall over Ben Price (L) 3:02
112 - Matt Welliver (B) won by major decision 10-1 over Steven Gingher (L)
119 - Colt Cotten (B) won by technical fall 18-3 over Jordan Danowsky (L)
125 - Michael Rhone (B) won by fall over Sean Klingman (L) 0:22
130 - Coltin Fought (B) won by fall over Brent Stolzfus (L) 0:23
135 - Andrew Fox (L) won by fall over Derrian Metzinger (B) 4:23
140 - Connor Kacin (L) won by forfeit
145 - Curtis Schneider (L) won by fall over Jared Kline (B) 4:36
152 - Erik Lawton (L) won by fall over Devon McMahon (B) 1:26
160 - Brian VanSickle (L) won by forfeit
171 - Nate Brown (L) won by decision 4-2 over Eric Hess (B)
189 - Jake Mankey (B) won by decision 3-2 over Brandon Smith (L)
215 - Shawn Charest (L) won by forfeit
285 - Tyler DeMott (B) won by decision 8-3 over Darrick Clarke (L)Benton is back in action today when they travel to Muncy. The match starts at 7 PM. Benton's record is now 7-4.
Nature was not kind Monday Back Home in Benton, PA. West Creek and Fishingcreek raged out of their banks and caused a great deal of flooding. We have pictures at http://picasaweb.google.com/bentonnews/Jan2010flood# if you want to copy, print or edit them. The pictures are viewable as a slideshow by going to http://tinyurl.com/yf4k7f3 . None of the pictures were taken by me. They were all donated to the Benton News by amateur photographers and immediately circulated through the Benton News Facebook page. The photos were taken as fast-rising flood waters hit the town.
Don Rabb did not have any water at his home, but most of the rest of the town had more than they could handle. The schools were surrounded by water and the students had to remain there until the waters receded enough to get the buses in to take them home. One photo shows the road along the Mill Race golf course a mile north of town.
Details are sketchy at this writing, and won't be fully sorted out until the light of day Tuesday. For reasons not fully understood, rain of about three inches Sunday night saturated the ground. Some of the ground was frozen, which kept the ground from getting saturated. Monday afternoon, the water suddenly erupted as if a dam upstream had let go. Mayor Swan had no water on North Street in front of her house and within two minutes had seven inches flowing by her residence. SR 487 in Sugarloaf Township between Saint Gabriel Hill Road and the Inn Under flooded. The Inn Under took water and the residence of Nina Baker was surrounded by water. Water started flooding in the borough at Mendenhall Lane.
Diane Laubach was able to get to her house by driving north along the rodeo grounds and then crossing the stream of water on Main Street carefully. The fish hatchery at the golf course took a severe beating, and members will convene there at 8 AM Tuesday to assess the damage. Reports circulated that the footbridge over the trout stream was destroyed, but could not be confirmed at press time.
Clair Harvey, president of the Sportsmen's Association, simply said it "doesn't look good." Water raced over borough streets in a torrent generally unseen in most people's lives. Main, Third, Colley, Park and Market Streets flooded. Ed Cole said that the water was only about a foot below the water that devastated Benton during Hurricane Eloise. The area around the Benton Volunteer Fire Company was flooded, with fire trucks moved to Christ the King Church. The Benton Area Schools were not immediately dismissed, since a route to get children home was not available. State police eventually assisted in getting the children away from the school. The Orangeville Fire Company helped to get Maple Grove residents evacuated.
The Center was evacuated and volunteer Nina Ford was forced to climb in Center Director's Rob Hutchison's Jeep to return home to Huntington Mills. Water raced West on Market Street as far as Dan and Mary's Hartman's home. A rumor started that the Benton dam had collapsed. There was no truth to the story, and many felt that it was reported because in fact it was impossible to see the dam for all the running water.
Water was coming over the dike on the West side of Fishingcreek. The water severely damaged the dike in a number of places, several of which were the same places where the flood of 2006 did damage to the dike system. A portion of Park Street was damaged from overflowing water. The street was undermined by three to five feet in an area eight- to ten-feet wide. The street has been barricaded and school busses will not be able to travel this portion of the street Tuesday morning. Flooding took place on SR 4041 (Rohrsburg Road) in Orange Township between Green Creek Road and Sportsman Club Road.
Nature won't be exactly easy on the area Tuesday and the rest of the week. Tuesday-morning temperatures will be below freezing, not a consolation for those who lost basement furnaces Monday. High temperatures Tuesday, with some rain and snow thrown into the mix, will be about 36° with a low of 26°. Nighttime temperatures will fall for the rest of the week--19° Thursday and 12° Friday.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, January 25, 26 and 27, 2010.
January 25, 2010, the birthday of Ruth Cavanaugh, Penny Fritz and Virginia Cole.January 27, 2010, the birthday of Tami Letteer, Megan DePoe and Dexter Ribble. Other birthdays on this date include composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Hyman George Rickover.
January 26, 2009, the birthdays of David Hilley, Allen Strauch, Marie Hornberger and Eugene Ribble.
• The Sullivan Review identified the location of the first natural-gas well in Sullivan County. It is in Cherry Township east of Dushore and Route 220 on the Bill Hunsinger and Gordon Durland farms.
• Google has a new search feature called "answer highlighting" which emphasizes answers to queries. Let's say you want to know the height of the Empire State Building. In Google, type "empire state height." The words used in the query will be returned and will be bold. It works in most but not all cases.
• Bob Kelsey and his oncology team have a plan for recovery using continuous chemotherapy and radiation therapy for five weeks (radiation five days a week for five weeks) beginning after February 6. Radiation will be focused on the area of his new esophagus and may mean that he will have problems swallowing (or wanting to swallow) and could be back on tube feedings during some of this time. The doctors told Bob that "the significant gains" in energy he made from surgery will be diminished. Because of the location of the cancer and his other chronic-health issues, the treatments and complicated therapy will take place in Philadelphia, rather than in a local hospital. Please keep Bob in your prayers.
• Take the time to watch Oliver North's inspirational tribute to American military by going here.
• Mozilla has come out with their new version of the Firefox web browser--version 3.6--and claim that it is 20% faster than version 3.5. I suggest that you download and use it. Upgrade existing versions by going here.
• Former Benton resident Bob McKelvey was stationed at the Benton Air Force Station. He now lives in Cape May, New Jersey, where his major occupation is to tell me when I get a day or a date wrong on the Benton News--a position which is almost a full-time job. Over the weekend, he saw a flock of birds taking a morning bath in a puddle. Many of the birds were robins. It will be interesting to see who sees the first "returning" robin of the spring in the local area.
Frederick Mitchell, Jr.'s Aunt Dee sent him some phrases that have fallen out of favor, ones she knew as a little girl. Here are some examples: "Watch for the mailman, I want to get this letter to Willie in the mail today," "Stop slamming the screen door when you go out," "Be sure to wind the clock (or wash your feet) before you go to bed," "You darsen't go outside with your school clothes on," "Pour the cream off the top of the Golden Guernsey when you open the bottle," "Let me know when Coy Remley comes by; I need to get a few things from him," "I don't have ten cents to waste on you going to the Ritz. Do you think money grows on trees?"Father always called these old phrases "chestnuts." (He also called old cars and old houses "chestnuts!) So where did these chestnuts come from? Shakespeare was probably the granddaddy of old sayings at one time--he furnished the world with quotations for hundreds of years. Most old sayings probably were never uttered by the person we commonly attribute them to, and most have little relationship to the way they were originally intended or uttered.Old phrases aren't new. Take the phrase, "Up, guards, and at them," supposedly yelled by the Duke at Waterloo. Well, the guard died, so who knows if he actually said it. It was repeated for years and you can find it today in references to the battle.
Some old phrases are wonderful. Some hand-me-downs should gracefully fall out of existence. Here are some examples that I see written, but rarely said. These can go away as far as I am concerned: "From the sublime to the ridiculous," "Noble in its simplicity," "Cut to the quick," "The beginning of the end," "No incident occurred to mar the solemnity of the occasion," "A grand old name," "Little did he anticipate." This list could go on forever depending on taste. These candidates for extinction are still used from time to time to make the world a duller place.The trite old saying, "Every dog has its day," certainly applies to popular phrases. They spring up suddenly, often when a politician makes a miscue. They play their part in our local or national vocabulary, achieve a degree of popularity, then quickly disappear. Often we don't know where the sayings came from, where they would take us if we understood them and we often don't even quote them as originally spoken or written.
Usually the phrases are not remarkable for their elegance. They are often highly expressive as they circulate from mouth to mouth and soon become everyone's property. We tend to love some phrases and use them all the time; other phrases we can't stand. A former postmistress of Beach Haven, at the former canal stop between Berwick and Shickshinny, a Mrs. Sealy, included in virtually every sentence and question the phrase "you know what I mean?" After a short talk with her, the conversation turned monotonous, if you know what I mean.
Whenever we introduce a subject such as this, we have a large reader input. This discussion will continue when we next get together. If you have an old phrase or old saying that you like (or dislike) tell us about it.
Nancy J. McMann (December 10, 1938-January 22, 2010) died at her 168 Shannon Hill Road home Friday after being seriously ill for a month. She was 71. Nancy was born in Raven Creek. She was a daughter of the late Alton P. and Pauline R. (Camp) Getz. Nancy was a 1956 graduate of Benton High School. She returned to Raven Creek in 1993 after living in Macedon, New York, for more than 30 years where she managed a diner. Surviving are sons Sherman C. McMann, Macedon, and Rodney McMann, (Jolene), Summerville, South Carolina; a granddaughter, Charlotte McMann, Summerville, SC; and siblings Charles P. Getz (Elsie Mae), Cheybogan, Michigan, Delores J. Myers, Shortsville, NY; Shelva Jean Foust (Ray), Benton, David B. Getz ( Blanche), Benton; Guy Nelson Getz (Terry), Shortsville, NY; and Betty M. Reimard, with whom she resided. She was preceded in death by brothers Arley D. Getz, Robert A. Getz, Carl T. Getz, Jack A. Getz, Timothy A. Getz, B. William Getz and Alton P. Getz, Jr. Services will be private. Friends may call on Wednesday from 6-8 PM at the Dean W. Kriner Funeral Home, Benton.
M. Olive Dieffenbach (September 19, 1914-September 19, 1914), 3336 Stone House Court, Bethlehem, died Thursday at the Old Orchard Manor Nursing Home, Easton. She was 95. Olive was born in Huntington Township. She was a daughter of the late Enoch A. and Rosa A. (Hoyt) Dohl. She was a 1931 graduate of the former Huntington Mills High School. She spent her early years in Cambra and later lived in Doylestown where she was employed by the Bucks County Association for Retarded Children for 11 years, retiring in 1969. She was employed as a secretary at Huntington Mills High School and later at Northwest High School for a total of eight years. She moved to rural Stillwater in 1971 and lived there until 1995 when she moved to Shickshinny. In 2006, she moved to Bethlehem to live with her granddaughter, Donna Cary, and her husband William.
She was preceded in death by her husband, H. Earl Dieffenbach, on November 7, 1994; by a daughter, Ruth O. Sutliff on April 26, 2006; by a sister, Ruth A. Dohl; and by brothers J. Paul Dohl; Rush Dohl; and Karl Dohl. Surviving are a son, Roy E. Dieffenbach (Magdalina), Stillwater; a son-in-law, W. Dana Sutliff, Hunlock Creek; four grandchildren, including Donna Cary; and eight great grandchildren. She was the last of her immediate family. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday morning at 11 in the Town Hill United Methodist Church, 417 Town Hill Road, Shickshinny. Friends will be received at the church preceding. Interment will be in the Cambra Cemetery. Arrangements are by the Dean W. Kriner, Inc. Funeral Home, Benton.
Kenneth E. Kile (July 6, 1924-Jan. 22, 2010), died Friday at the Bonham Nursing Center, Stillwater. He was 85. He was born in Sugarloaf Township. He was a son of Guy E. and Grace A. (Everett) Kile. He lived in Florida for 20 years, and returned to this area from Old Town, Florida, in April 2009. Ken was a former mechanic for Brown Chevrolet, Berwick, for more than 40 years, retiring in 1989.
Ken was preceded in death by his wife, the former Lena A. Kile, on March 28, 2009; by sons Gary Kile and Roger L. Kile; by a brother, Guy J. Kile; and by sisters Isabelle K. Long and Roselyn Fahringer. Surviving children are Richard E. Kile, Stillwater; Janet M. Zagata, Shickshinny; Gordon L. Kile (Lori), Bloomsburg; Terry A. Kile (Lorrenna), Stillwater; Herman L. Kile (Pamela), Orleans, Indiana; Rebecca (Mark) Altman, Irmo, SC; 17 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; a daughter-in-law, Debbie Kile, Berwick; a sister, Iris Johnson, Bloomsburg; and a brother, Ronald S. Kile (Mae), Pond Hill. Memorial services will be Monday evening at 6 in Bethany United Methodist Church, Pine Street at Summerhill Avenue, Berwick. There will be no viewing. Arrangements are by the Dean W. Kriner Inc., Bloomsburg. To sign the guest book or to send a message of condolence, go to www.krinerfuneralhomes.com.
Saturday and Sunday, January 23 and 24, 2010.
January 23, 2010, the birthday of Lea Litwhiler, Robert Lewis and David Shaffer. Other birthdays on this date included Ernie Kovacs and Princess Caroline of Monaco. Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo) and Johnny Carson died on this day. You don't remember Johnny? Take a look here and refresh your memory.
January 24, 2010, the birthday of Jeff Lynn and the 26th birthday of the Macintosh computer. Birthdays on this day include Ernest Borgnine, Ray Stevens, Aaron Neville, Sharon Tate, Neil Diamond and Oral Roberts. On this date in 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of '49.
• Bob's Keller's brother Stanley, and his wife Wilma, had a close call in Haiti when as members of a missionary group with Souderton Mennonite Church they got caught up in the 6.1 earthquake that rocked the island. The couple are now safely back in Souderton. • The Commonwealth's unemployment rate ticked up a bit in December from 8.5% to 8.9%. The national unemployment rate is 10%.
• Pennsylvania's Yuengling beer is no stranger to Florida--or to beer drinkers in general. The oldest brewery in the United States delivered more beer in 2009 than 2008, while most major breweries sustained sales losses in 2009.
• The century-old Luzerne County Courthouse will get a $5 million make-over this spring, mostly involving roof repairs and waterproofing. Restoration should be complete in time for a fresh shellacking by politicians.
• The Energizer Bunny of the kitchen, Kathy Ball, along with her friend, Annette, are having a spaghetti-dinner benefit for their good friend Butch Cerullo who has brain lymphoma. It takes place at the Berwick VFW, Saturday, January 23, from noon to 4 PM. Dinner includes spaghetti and homemade meatballs, salad and a dinner roll. There will be a bake sale, 50/50 drawling, raffle baskets and a Chinese auction. They hope to serve 300 people. This will be the next biggest dinner Kathy has under her belt since the Stake Holders Dinner at The Center. Interested in attending? Contact Kathy by calling 925-0163.
• Virginia Patterson Hensley, better known as Patsy Cline, died when she was 30 in a 1963 private-airplane crash. One of her best songs, sung with a twist, can be seen here.
• U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, is expected to make a decision soon on the Guv's proposal to toll Interstate 80 . Most residents of the state feel that it is no more than highway robbery.
• The New York Times Company announced that the newspaper will start charging visitors to its web site at the beginning of 2011.
• It appears that Exxon Mobil is coming under fire for its planned $30B purchase of XTO Energy because of reduced-competition issues and problems relating to hydraulic fracturing.
On January 21, Benton High School wrestled Columbia Montour Vo-Tech. The final score was Benton 57, Vo-Tech 12. The match started at 135. Here are the results
135 - Double Forfeit - No Bout
140 - Derrian Metzinger (B) won by forfeit
145 - Jared Kline (B) won by decision 9-5 over Trevor Patterson (V)
152 - Double Forfeit - No Bout
160 - Troy Patterson (V) won by fall 3:00 over Devon McMahon (B)
171 - Eric Hess (B) won by fall 1:10 over Jamie Strausser (V)
189 - Jake Mankey (B) won by fall 1:48 over Corey Reckla (V)
215 - Rodney Styer (V) won by forfeit
285 - Corey Davis (B) won by fall 2:31 over Dakota Brown (V)
103 - Brandon Lontz (B) won by fall 0:39 over John Miller (V)
112 - Matt Welliver (B) won by fall 3:34 over Rusty Crone (V)
119 - Colt Cotten (B) won by fall 2:12 over Ronny DIngle (V)
125 - Kyle Doud (B) won by fall 1:41 over Cody Roadarmel (V)
130 - Coltin Fought (B) won by fall 0:25 over Jordan Rainer (V)
Benton will travel Saturday to wrestle at the NHSCA Final Four in Easton. The Benton team will wrestle nationally ranked #1 Blair Academy, NJ, at 11 AM, #24 Long Branch, NJ, at 1 PM and #14 Collins Hill, GA, at 5 PM. The match can be seen at www.bentontigerswrestling.com. There will be a live streaming and results provided there. (These rankings are provided by National publisher W.I.N. Magazine, January 5, 2010.
Thursday and Friday, January 21 and 22, 2010.
January 21, 2010, the anniversary of Dick and Janet McHenry and the birthday of Louise McGarigle, Bellefonte. Ed Rendell was sworn in as Pennsylvania's governor on this day in 2003, surrounded by the polka band Stanky and the Coal Miners, Boy Scouts, the Towanda High School marching band and Columbia County Democrats Dana Creasy, Hap Schatz and Bloomsburg Mayor Chip Coffman.
January 22, 2010, the birthday of Jennifer DiLossi, Chris Vincent, and Sally Brewington; the wedding anniversary of Ed and Dorothy Kocher.Quickies...• The Guv apparently intends to reverse directions and go for a severance tax on natural-gas drilling in Pennsylvania when he presents his proposed 2010-11 state budget on February 9.
• What is the best way to store your favorite food or beverage and how long will it remain safe? Can you put hot foods directly into the refrigerator? Are eggs safe if not consumed by the expiration date? Thawed ground beef will stay safe how long? Betcha you never knew you had these questions before, but if you want to know about food quality and safety, head to www.stilltasty.com .
• For four years as a student at Wilkes University, I walked past 304 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, the Frederick Stegmaier mansion, but never saw the inside. In the February edition of Victorian Homes magazine is a 15-page spread on the wonderful old building, now a bed and breakfast. The building was built in 1870 by Victorian architect, Missouria B. Houpt, as his private residence. Frederick Stegmaier, president of the Stegmaier Brewery, purchased the mansion in 1906 where it remained in the Stegmaier family until the late 1940s. Learn more by going here.• Need to go somewhere cheaply? Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways announced three-day domestic fare sales and several other major network carriers have agreed to do the same. On Southwest, $99 each way will take you about 1,800 miles. Most, but not all, AirTran travel must be completed by March 10 and you have to buy the tickets by January 21. Lowest fares are valid for travel Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.• The ham supper that everyone loves is coming up Saturday, January 30, at the Benton United Methodist Church, Main Street, from 4 to 7 PM. The menu is ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, string bean casserole, pickled cabbage, jello salad, pie, cake, iced tea, lemonade, hot tea and coffee. The price for adults is $8, $4 from children 6-12. Five and under are free. Take-outs are available.
Roy Davis wrote telling from Naples, Florida, about the courtship of his bride many years ago in South Florida. His email was lost when my laptop bombed while balanced on my lap in the living room, but I am sure he said he courted his lovely wife even years before I was born. He wrote about the trip by automobile to Key West in 1935 and sent along a video of the experience, which you should take the time to read by going here.
Brother Dayne told similar stories about Florida courtship when he and Art Appleman would drive to Florida to see the women of their dreams. Much of the driving was done late at night, when people along the route were comfortably asleep, in order to make the best time. They had to drive via Route 1 in Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Virginia, a busy commercial route. They followed a trail of Spanish moss through the Carolinas, through Georgia and into Florida--which looked for all the world like the rest of South Carolina and Georgia.
Their trip took them into Jacksonville and across the St. John's River and through the swamps and still lakes that comprise the Ocklawaha River into St. Augustine, then diagonally across the state through the city of Tampa and finally into Saint Petersburg where their trip ended at approximately latitude 27 . From that point south, the boundary line of subtropical United States, one enters a new world. From time to time, we'll tell you about that part of Florida.
We'll tell you what it is like to receive three channels of television, none of them in the only language I understand. You'll learn what it is like to exceed the shelf life of some of Mother's fruit cake which I found a few months back. You'll learn what Cronkite actually said the last time that I watched the news, if I can remember. You'll learn what it is like to consume a drink from along the interstate from a cup the size of the bra that hangs in the women's room of the Sonestown Hotel. You'll learn what it is like to live above your socioeconomic status and shoot for the moon. You'll learn that it is best not to trust someone who has an advanced degree from a place called "Calvin's University." You'll learn that many men in this part of Florida wear pale green shirts. You'll learn that today is going to be a great day--or is that tomorrow?
For today, I'll tell you that being in Florida reminds me of the story about King George I when he stopped at a village in Holland for a rest. While fresh horses were being readied, the King asked for a breakfast of eggs. He was charged two hundred florins. The King remarked to the innkeeper that eggs must be in short supply since they were so expensive in Holland. The innkeeper wasted no time in saying that eggs were plenty enough; it was kings that were in short supply.
The News from Back Home in Benton, PA, for January 18-20, 2010, coming to you today from Florida--God's waiting room--where the Treasure Coast--from south of Hobe Sound in the south to north of Sebastian in the north, including all of the coastal counties of Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin--recovers from eight days of freezing or below freezing temperatures. There were reports of Florida snow in the Tampa area. The last time the Treasure Coast had a white winter was January 19, 1977, when the area received a trace of snow and temperatures dropped to 28°. Sunday, the temperature reached 82°. Snow is again likely in the Benton area Tuesday and Wednesday.
January 18, 2010. It is the birthday of Bill Boston. Chris Young is the speaker this morning at 9 AM at the Brass Pelican for the North Mountain Historical Society. The subject is covered bridges. The program is free and open to the public. Today is a federal holiday in observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil-rights leader dedicated to nonviolence. Dr. King is the only American besides George Washington to have his birthday designated a national holiday.January 20, 2010. It is the birthday of Doug Cole. It is the first anniversary of the inauguration of the 44th president, Barack Obama. Martha Coakley conceded the election for Teddy Kennedy's old Senate seat only a hundred minutes after the Massachusetts polls closed Tuesday. Republican State Senator Scott Brown heads to Washington, D.C. despite the 3 to 1 Democratic-voter registration edge in the state and a supportive visit on Sunday by President Barack Obama.We'll start today with a couple of stories.Bob Maynes shared a story about outhouses. "Anyone who was a director of a Boy Scout camp in the early 50s when that was the only kind of facilities available, could regail you for hours with tales and horror stories about outhouses," Bob told me. One of Bob's worst experiences took place when he directed Camp General Trexler, the Lehigh County Council camp at Kresgieville. The camp "had a modern up-to-date concrete 4 holer around a circular vault for both visitors and camper's use. It was housed inside a 20' x 20' building with a 6" vent between the walls and the floor. It looked like a Merry Go Round," and become known as "the merry."One day, in the middle of an eight-week camp season, the bacterial process slowed down and the odor became excessive. As a brand new first-time director, Bob remembered someone had once said that brewer's yeast was useful in the restarting process. Bob called Harvy Neweiler, who at that time was council president and owner of Neweiler's Brewery. Bob asked him to send some brewer's yeast.Later that evening, Bob took the "couple of pounds of brewer's yeast and dumped it in the merry, added a couple of buckets of water, closed the lid and padlocked the building's door." Bob put a sign on the door that the "merry was out of order and to use the privies in the campsites." Just as dawn was breaking the next morning, bob heard a frantic pounding on his cabin door and someone shouting that the merry was leaking a horrible brown ooze under the floor vents and out onto the ground. That was an understatement. The stinking stuff was everywhere around the building. It took a hired " honeywagon" and a three-man crew almost two days to clean and sanitize the building and the merry. Bob notes that the moral of the story could be "Don't try to fool Mother Nature."
Didja ever hear the story about the British merchant fleet learning from the Dutch back in 1635 to become a major naval power? The Brits, French and Spanish were fussing about things like the French declaring war on Spain, the Thirty Years' War and related subjects. The Dutch were busily trading while other nations were taxing, taking, shooting and sinking other folks. The Dutch kept on building ships for merchandise not munitions. English sailors brought about a spin on rules laid down by accountants. Their major compensation came at the end of each voyage and varied by the amount the cargo brought when sold. Sailors searched to find a way to match their efforts to their ships success.
Their food consisted mostly of beans and salt pork. The uneaten salt pork (i.e., fat or grease) from each plate would be rendered into tallow slosh or slush. The slush was then used to make candles to fuel lanterns, or to grease capstans, masts or blocks. Sailors found that some ports into which they sailed lacked animals and needed the slush to make their own candles, etc. The money that the crew received from the sale was used by the crew to provide special luxuries. This special account became known as the "slush fund" which today usually means a secret stockpile of money skimmed from an otherwise legal or secret source. It can also become the politician's or government's downfall when word leaks out and the slush funds are exposed. The phrase slush fund brings to mind corruption, illegal deals and illegally obtained sums of money.
Here are the results from the Benton vs. Montgomery and Benton vs. Central Columbia from January 16, 2010. The Benton vs. Montgomery dual meet started at 285. The outcome was Benton 47, Montgomery 27. Benton vs. Central Columbia began at 112. The score was Benton 41, Central Columbia 35.
Benton vs. Montgomery
103: Matt Welliver (B) won by fall 0:35 over Tucker Gordner (M)
112: Brandon Lontz (B) won by fall 2:40 over Matt Goetz (M)
119: Colt Cotten (B) won by major decision 13-0 over Jacob Kramer (M)
125: Michael Rhone (B) won by fall 4:53 over Troy Minier (M)
130: Coltin Fought (B) won by major decision 13-2 over Seth Bartlett (M)
135: Derrian Metzinger (B) won by forfeit
140: Joshua Galentine (M) won by forfeit
145: Dakkota Deem (M) won by fall 1:07 over Albert Gensel (B)
152: Harry Shuey (M) won by decision 10-5 over Jared Kline (B)
160: Eric Hess (B) won by fall 3:14 over Garrett Snyder (M)
171: Jake Mankey (B) won by decision 6-1 over Kyle Deisher (M)
189: John Goetz (M) won by forfeit
215: Brandon Prosock (M) won by fall 3:02 over Eric Bonk (B)
285: Tyler DeMott (B) won by fall 5:10 over Christopher Bartlow
Benton vs. Central Columbia
103: Matt Welliver (B) won by fall 0:34 over Robert Christiansen (CC)
112: Jesse Shannon (CC) won by decision 5-2 over Brandon Lontz (B)
119: Colt Cotten (B) won by fall 0:38 over Aaron Johnson (CC)
125: Coltin Fought (B) won by technical fall 16-0 over Herbie Shannon (CC)
130: Michael Rhone (B) won by fall 2:42 over Ben Burnett (CC)*
135: Ben Emmett (CC) won by fall 2:32 over Derrian Metzinger (B)
140: Kurt Meske (CC) won by forfeit
145: Michael Roosa (CC) won by fall 0:54 over Albert Gensel (B)
152: Demetrius Star (CC) won by decision 10-6 over Jared Kline (B)
160: Eric Hess (B) won by fall 0:53 over Jacob Coombe (CC)
171: Jake Mankey (B) won by fall 3:02 over Eric McCracken (CC)
189: Stephan Zosh (CC) won by forfeit
215: Lawrance Sampson (CC) won by fall 2:51 over Eric Bonk (B)
285: Tyler DeMott (B) won by forfeit
*1 team point deducted from Central ColumbiaQuickies...
• The Benton ambulance does not have the manpower to respond to every call, but the volunteers did respond to 327 ambulance emergencies in 2009. The top call-runners for the year were Cindy Matthews, Mike Poust, Andrew Funk, James Albertson, and Chris Sholley. The association continues to look for new volunteers!
Do you enjoy listening to or playing blue grass? If so, come to The Center the third Friday of each month. The sessions start at 6:30 PM. There is no charge for members or non-members. Joe Feola and Craig Merluzzi have organized the get-togethers and will be available to answer questions during the evening. Local musicians of any level are invited to come to The Center and join in the fun. Bring your acoustic guitar if you want to participate, or just come and listen. If you have questions call The Center at 925-0163.
Weekend Edition for...Saturday, January 16: it is the second anniversary of the McBride Memorial Library, 500 Market Street, Berwick. It's the birthday of poet Robert Service, born in England in 1874. Most know him for his poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew and The Cremation of Sam McGee and other works about life as he perceived it among the sourdoughs in the Yukon. He was a bank teller when he lived in Whitehorse and often recited poems at church socials. He sold a couple of poems to the local newspaper--and his career was off and running. Few poets are more fun reading.Sunday, January 17: It is the birthday of Glenda Watts Friend. It is also the 63rd wedding anniversary of Grant and Mary Conrad. Rain late this morning through the afternoon until it turns into snow and rain this evening.Quickies...• Coal used to produce electricity fell by nearly 10% in 2009 as many utilities switched to natural gas and electricity consumption dropped.
--Energy Information Administration
• Houses continue to be subject to break-ins in the areas of Fishing Creek, Stillwater and Greenwood. Take precautions.
• It is getting hard to find Nestlé refrigerated cookie doughs now that two samples of cookie dough from its Danville, VA, facility tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, which can cause severe illness (None was shipped to stores). Expect a temporary shortage of tubes of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar and specialty doughs. When production resumes, heat-treated flour will be used in its refrigerated doughs.Reps. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming), Garth Everett, (R-Lycoming) and David Millard (R-Columbia) will participate in three meetings hosted by the Columbia County Land Owners Coalition regarding drilling into the Marcellus shale.
"We only get one chance to do this right," said Rep. Boback. "While it can be an economic boon for our area, it cannot be done at the expense of the environment or the safety of our residents. Informational meetings such as this benefit everyone who has a vested interest in the environment and the economy, and I will continue to follow the progress of drilling in the 117th District."
"Residents in the Marcellus Shale region have many questions about how drilling is going to impact the environment, the economy and the quality of life in our communities," said Rep. Millard. "This meeting is about a continued exchange of information so people can make the most informed choices."
The meetings will take place on Thursday, January 28, in the Benton Area High School auditorium, 400 Park Street, Benton. The meeting times will be broken up by region as follows:
• 6 PM to 6:45 PM, Fairmount/Luzerne.
• 7:15 PM to 8 PM, Ross and Columbia north of Routes 254 and 239.
• 8:30 PM to 9:15 PM, Columbia south of Routes 254 and 239.
The event does not require an RSVP, but in the case of inclement weather, participants should visit www.columbiacoalition.org to check the status of the meeting. For more information about Marcellus shale, visit RepBoback.com, RepMillard.com or RepEverett.com.
The biomass heating system on North Street is perking along heating the Benton Area School District buildings. The system uses switchgrass for fuel and the supply for this year and next has been donated. According to the Wayne Independent, in its first month of use, the district has saved $17,640 by not burning oil. According to the article, the local school burns about 3.8 tons of switch grass a day. State and federal incentive programs help offset the cost of putting in a bio-mass system.The local school is the first in the Commonwealth to burn with switchgrass, although other bio-mass burners use wood chips. Switchgrass will grow on marginal land, which otherwise might not be in farm production. It will be interesting to see if farmers can get their farm machinery into the fields during these cold winter days in order to harvest the crop.
On the Subject of Earthquakes...Somewhere between 70,000 to 100,000 were killed in December 1908 by a magnitude 7.2 quake in Messina, Italy. In October 2005, a magnitude 7.6 quake killed 86,000 people in Pakistan. An estimated 3,000 people died in 1906 when the deadliest quake in American history registered at 7.8 in San Francisco, California. The deadliest earthquake since 1900, when quakes were first recorded, was a magnitude 8.0 which killed 255,000 people on July 27, 1976, in Tangshan, China.The International Red Cross estimates that between 40,000 and 50,000 people have been killed and three million people--a third of Haiti's population--have been affected by the earthquake. The bodies of about 7,000 who lost their lives had been buried by Friday morning in a mass grave.
With little or no help, no hospitals, no electricity, no food, no water, the toll keeps rising. Americans feel helpless to be of assistance. The best we can probably do is to open our hearts and wallets to respected charitable organizations. Texting HAITI to 90999: The U.S. Department of State's Web site suggests texting "HAITI" to "90999" to donate $10 to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts. The $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill. You can go online to organizations like the Red Cross and Mercy Corps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts. You can visit InterAction to contribute.
Haiti is so stranger to natural disasters, and the United States is no stranger to providing aid to that country. For decent recovery to occur this time, it will take a restructuring of its leaders, a stronger civil society, and more faith-based organizations to help build it into a better country.Ivan Bond spent many years in Haiti during the time he worked for Spout Waldron building feed/grain processing facilities. He loved to talk about the country. The discussion always came back to Jean-Claude "Bébé Doc" Duvalier who succeeded his father, François "Papa Doc" Duvalier, as the ruler of Haiti from his father's death in 1971 until his overthrow in 1986. The county has a long history of poverty with only a few at the other end of the spectrum. Times don't change much when dealing with poverty.
January 15, 2010. Derek Dietz of Fairmount Springs turns 5. Last year at this time we were experiencing temperature from -4° to -10°. Just after noon on this day in 1929, a son was born to the Reverend and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Sr., in Atlanta, Georgia. The son became the nation's most famous civil-rights leader and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Kathy Ball has long been a "volunteer behind the scene" at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. She now gets formal recognition for her continuing accomplishments at The Center by being named as the Volunteer of the Quarter for Oct-Dec. 2009. Kathy, an employee of the Press Enterprise, works in production at the newspaper from 5 PM until 1 AM. In her off hours, the dedication that Kathy has for The Center is reflected in the endless time she puts into the planning and coordinating of meals for almost every event. She organizes fundraisers, including making Easter candy, candles, soup, cookies and other food. Kathy is in charge of the kitchen for many events. Before the kitchen opened, she cleaned slate and painted wooden furniture in the foyer. Her two dogs--Baby and Calvin--and her many friends thank Kathy and all the dedicated volunteers that make the Center such a huge success.One of my bygone recollections, as I recall the days of yore is the little house, behind the house, with the crescent o'er the door.
'Twas a place to sit and ponder with your head bowed down so low, knowing that you wouldn't be there, if you didn't have to go.
Ours was a three-holer, with a size for every one. You left there feeling better after the job was done.
You had to make these frequent trips, whether snow, rain, sleet, or fog, to the little house where you sat and read the Sears Roebuck catalog.
Oft times in dead of winter the seat was covered with snow. 'Twas then with much reluctance to the little house you'd go.
With a swish you'd clear the seat, bend low and, with shivers in mind, you'd blink your eyes and grit your teeth as you sat on your behind.
I recall the day that Granddad, who stayed with us one summer, made a trip to the shanty which proved to be a hummer.
'Twas the same day my Dad finished painting the kitchen green. He'd just cleaned up the mess he'd made with rags and gasoline.
He tossed the rags in the shanty hole and went on his usual way, not knowing that by doing so he would eventually rue the day.
Now Granddad had an urgent call; I never will forget! This trip he made to the little house lingers in my memory yet.
He sat down on the shanty seat, with both feet on the floor, then filled his pipe with tobacco and struck a match on the outhouse door.
As he took a long puff on his pipe, he slowly raised his behind, tossed the flaming match in the open hole, with not a worry on his mind.
The blast that followed, I am sure was heard for miles around; and there was poor ol' Granddad just sitting on the ground.
The smoldering pipe was still in his mouth, his suspenders he held tight; the celebrated three-holer was blown clear out of sight.
When we asked him what had happened, his answer I'll never forget. He thought it must of been something he had et!
Next day we had a new one which my Dad built with ease. With a sign on the entrance door which read: No Smoking, Please!
Now that's the end of the story, with memories of long ago, of the little house, behind the house where we went cause we had to go.
~ Author Unknown
Outhouses have yielded many strange things from unlikely places for Robert Lee, Millville. Outhouses have coughed up a child's porcelain dentures, early breast pumps and beer and ale bottles, plus lice combs, marbles, inkwells, toothbrushes and plates. He also discovered a 1866 suspender buckle, a commemorative Revolutionary War belt buckle probably from 1876 and a ball for skeet shooting made of a round globe of glass. Outhouses become the repository of all sorts of things that get tossed out.
Lee started as a way to recover pottery pieces for his wood-fire pottery and re-enactments. He started making pottery while at Danville High School and continued his studies at Kutztown University.
His digging tools range from a regular shovel, a digging bar, scrapers, screwdrivers and short-handled shovels. He normally digs down about ten feet.
Mr. Lee will be the guest speaker for the February meeting of the North Mountain Historical Society on Monday, February 15. We'll tell you more about the talk in a future edition.
Any substance that alters normal bodily function is a drug. There isn't any reason to think that the use of drugs is an isolated instance. If we go back in history, a drug known as laudanum, an alcoholic solution of opium used as a painkiller, was used to treat injured soldiers. It was a common item in the homes of families during the Victorian era. Laudanum was said to alleviate the symptoms of gout and rheumatic pain. It was often fatal to children when fed to them by their nurses. The mixture cost about the same as beer and for many years was not considered any more harmful than beer. A primary ingredient was opium, also the chief ingredient of many patent medicines like "Mother Bailey's Quieting Syrup" and "Venice Treacle."
Father told me that when he was growing up shortly after 1900 that men and women would occasionally walk "to town," buy some laudanum and drink it as they walked home. By the time they reached the house on their walk home south of Benton where Father lived, they would pass out. Their groceries and undrunk laudanum would spill by the dirt road and they would vegetate on the ground, their bodies resting on one side with a leg crossed over the other, arms folded in a somewhat unnatural position. In The Life and Times of Robert Bruce Ricketts, Peter Tomasak described the "health club" in the town of Ricketts which dispensed "widely used and popular" laudanum.
When the dangers of laudanum began to become apparent, it became necessary for a doctor to prescribe laudanum in order to obtain it. The problem for users of the drug was taken care of by going to the pharmacist and ordering "one-third of a bottle of sweet oil (which we now know as olive oil) and two-thirds of a bottle of laudanum." Pharmacists knew that the buyers would pour the oil off--since the two did not mix in the bottle--and would drink the laudanum. Doctors still prescribed the mixture for what many called "laudanum drunkards," many of whom were themselves doctors. The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader of April 28, 1914, described a Delaware County doctor who had the habit of taking a small dose of laudanum "to give him relief." One night he simply got out of bed and went to the medicine chest, where he found the drug and drank it. He died later that night in the Chester hospital. The familiar sign of swollen mucus membrane of the mouth and swollen lips made determining the cause of death easy.
The Philadelphia Inquirer of January 15, 1891, described a 14-year-old girl who in "face and form and precocity was seventeen or eighteen." Her father and mother had her in "domestic service, the restraints of which did not suit her taste." She resorted to the use of laudanum. You can guess her outcome...
The story was always the same, only the headlines of old newspapers changed. Here are some representative headlines: "Gave Laudanum to Little Sister, Plains Child Dies as Result of Drinking Quantity of Laudanum," Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 1909 . "She Swallowed Laudanum: Pretty Little Renkle Quarrels with Her Lover and Attempts Suicide," Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 1889. "Took Laudanum to End Troubles: Woman Found Dead on Parlor Floor," Philadelphia Inquirer, April 21, 1907. "Took Laudanum While Despondent," Philadelphia Inquirer," May 8, 1902 . "Begged for Laudanum, Being Refused, a Woman Threatens to Drown Herself," Philadelphia Inquirer, August 10, 1897. "Marriage and Suicide: Drinks Laudanum at His Niece's Wedding," Philadelphia Inquirer June 3, 1895. The bottom line was always the same. The continued use of the drug resulted in a very unhappy end to the story.
Many a person apparently acknowledged that the drug had the potential to be "poison," then walked out the door of the drug store saying they had the medicine "for what ailed" them.
The use of the drug was not confined to this country. Some of the best writers in the world were said to use the drug, including Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Lewis Carroll (think of Alice in Wonderland), Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe. Mary Todd Lincoln was eventually committed to an asylum for continued use of laudanum. Even our first President of the United States was said to use it. Its use was shown in an episode of the Little House on the Prairie when children suffered from hypothermia. The kindly old Doc Adams on Gunsmoke gave injured people laudanum to drink to alleviate the pain of gunshot wounds in 1870s Kansas. Patients on Dilaudid (Hydromorphone hydrochloride) to relieve the excruciating pain of spinal stenosis are taking a distant cousin of laudanum.
"She peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large blue caterpillar, that was sitting on the top, with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else."
Emma Lu Savage (October 28, 1935-January 13, 2010), 490 Third Street, Benton, the former food director for the Benton Area School District and an employee in that cafeteria for 23 years, died Wednesday at the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, where she was a patient for 11 days. She was in failing health for two months. She was 74.
Emma Lou was born in Benton. She was a daughter of Herman W. and Pearl D. (Shadle) Funk. She was a 1953 graduate of Benton Area High School. She was a graduate of the Empire Beauty School, Wilkes-Barre. Emma Lu retired from food services from the Benton Area Schools in January, 2001. She previously ran the cafeteria at the Benton Shirt Factory and also at Milco Industries, Benton. For many years she operated a beauty shop from her parents home on Third Street in Benton. She was an active member of the Benton Christian Church where she served as the treasurer for many years. She also was in charge of the arts and crafts for the Bible school for many years and helped to organize a soap box derby. Emma Lu loved her grandchildren deeply and also considered many children at school her adopted grandchildren. She served as a mentor in the Benton Schools.
She and her husband, Joseph G. Savage, celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary on March 31, 2009. Also surviving is a daughter, Kimberly A. Notestine, Benton; a daughter-in-law, Lori L. Savage, Benton; eight grandchildren; one great granddaughter; a sister, Catherine Kingsbury, Bloomsburg; and a brother John W. Funk ( Gladys), Reading. Emma Lu was preceded in death by a son, David J. Savage, on November 3, 1990; a granddaughter, Leann Janine Savage, on June 27, 1984; a son-in-law, R. Gregory Notestine, on June 27, 2004; and a sister, Florence A. Kelchner, on July 22, 2004.
Funeral services will be held Monday at 11 AM in the Dean W. Kriner, Inc., Funeral Home, Benton. Friends may pay their respects at the funeral home on Sunday from 6-8 PM. Interment will be in the Benton cemetery.
January 14, 2010. There will be a workday for the Benton Rodeo Association this morning at 10.Prayer requests...• Keep the citizens of the island of Hispaniola from the Republic of Haiti and to a lesser degree the Dominican Republic in your prayers following the massive, unbelievably severe 7.0-magnitude earthquake which hit Haiti on Tuesday at 4:53 PM EST. Allen and Laura Kocher left Hispaniola about 3 PM that day to fly back to the United States following a vacation. A third of all Haitians--3 million people--need emergency aid.
On this day in 1964, the first "hootenanny" was held at the White House when the New Christy Minstrels came to call on Lady Bird and the Prez, as well as Italy's President. We know we have to define "hootenanny" since we used it. Well--it is a thingumadoodle involving an informal musical performance with audience participation in somewhat of a sing-along. Or maybe it is more like a whatchamacallit--a performance of folk music by a number of artists with a degree of audience participation.
The New Christy Minstrels were named after a minstrel group started in 1844 when Edwin "Pop" Christy, a minstrel writer responsible for Goodnight Ladies, formed the Christy Minstrels. The musical director for the New Christy Minstrels, Mike Settle, left in the mid-60's and took Kenny Rogers and other with him. Together they formed the group the First Edition.The New York harbor froze over completely and was sealed for five weeks beginning on this date in 1780. Temperatures in Loma, Montana, set a record on this date in 1972 for the greatest change in a 24-hour period. Temperatures went from 54° below zero F on January 14 to 49° F on January 15.Quickies...• The Commonwealth is feeling better financially following bids totaling $128.5 million to develop nearly 32,000 acres of Pennsylvania state forest land. The amount is twice revenue estimates the state thought that it would get for drilling in the Marcellus Shale. The high bid was $5,250 an acre in Clearfield County (EXCO Resources, Inc.)• Have you bought your dog license for 2010? Remember that all dogs three months or older must be licensed.• Here are the results from the Benton vs. Loyalsock wrestling match from January 13 as supplied by Bryan Hart, Asst. Wrestling Coach Benton High School. The dual meet started at 130. The final score was Benton 53, Loyalsock 24.
103: Matt Welliver (BE) won by Forfeit
112: Brandon Lontz (BE) won by Forfeit
119: Colt Cotten (BE) won by technical fall 17-2 over Tanner Boyer (L)
125: Michael Rhone (BE) won by fall over Mario Henriquez (L) 0:12
130: Coltin Fought (BE) won Forfeit
135: Derrian Metzinger (BE) won by decision 8-4 over Giacomo DiNicola (L)
140: Alec Eggerton (L) won by fall over Brett Musselmen (BE) 1:00
145: Michael Dougherty (L) won by fall over Albert Gensel (BE) 1:45
152: Jared Kline (BE) won by fall over Aaron Hepburn (L) 5:43
160: Eric Hess (BE) won by fall over Aaron Dabback (L) 0:30
171: Jake Mankey (BE) won by decision 1-0 over Brad Bailey (L)
189: Darren Ulmer (L) won by forfeit
215: Heith Hicks (L) won by fall over Eric Bonk 1:00
285: Tyler DeMott (BE) won by fall over Andy Engler (L)
Most readers know that pressing the CTRL key plus x cuts an item, CTRL+ c copies and CTRL + v pastes. Remember to "unload" the clipboard after copying a large graphic or hitting "Print Screen." Just copy something small, like a word, to replace that large load or it will tie up valuable memory. Here are some other shortcuts...
CTRL+ A: Highlights all text in a document
CTRL+ Z is an unlimited undo
Windows: Displays the "start" menu
Windows + D: Minimizes or restores all windows
Windows + E: Displays Windows Explorer
Windows + F: Displays search for files
Windows + Ctrl + F: Display search for computer
Windows + F1: Display help and support center
Windows + R: Display run dialog box
Windows + break: Display System Properties dialog box
Windows + shift + M: Undo minimize all windows
Windows + tab: move through taskbar buttons
Windows + U: Open Utility Manager
Pennsylvania has always been on the forefront of agricultural. The rise of agricultural societies like the Grange and gatherings like county fairs led to improvements in farm methods and machinery. The number of farms in the Commonwealth has declined since 1900, but farm production has increased.In 1874, a dairymen's association was formed in our state. In 1876, a State Board of Agriculture was created and was made a department in 1895. In 1887, the federal government established an agricultural-experiment station at the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania (the predecessor of the Pennsylvania State University). In 1895, a state veterinarian was appointed. The first statewide farm products show was held in Harrisburg in January, 1907.
As a result of this record agricultural involvement, the state takes the final assembly of its food products very seriously. Virtually every time you buy a package of food, you'll spot the cryptic words "Reg. Penna. Dept. of Agr," and that is true in every state of the union, Canada or most other overseas markets.
Back in 1933, Pennsylvania enacted the "Pennsylvania Bakery law" to ensure that baked goods coming across our borders met the same high standards for cleanliness and honest weight as those produced in the state. The law required that any bakery sending baked goods into our state must hold a Pennsylvania bakery license. To get a license, a bakery must pass an annual inspection for cleanliness and labeling accuracy and its employees must undergo yearly medical examinations. Bakeries are "Reg" or "registered with," not "regulated by" the state of Pennsylvania.
It is true that a state inspector does not personally visit every bakery out of the state. The officials of agriculture departments of other states provide annual inspections of bakeries under their jurisdiction and submit their findings to Pennsylvania. The notation "Reg. Penn. Dept. of Agr" is proof that the product has met required standards and is licensed to be sold in Pennsylvania. Most bakeries find it easier and less costly to include the notation on all packaging rather than specially printing just what is destined to wind up on grocery store shelves in the state. Every state in the union now requires inspection and licensing of bakeries, but only our state requires an inspection notation. Because of a similar law in Connecticut, many packages also bear a license number from that state. Since standards still vary from state to state, the mark continues to ensure the quality of baked goods sold in the state. Besides, it has been good advertising since 1933.
People by the thousands travel to the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg this week to see the 1,000-pound butter sculpture, the cows, horses and sheep--and the people. The main topics of discussion--the economy, the plight of the farmers and the low-milk prices--are on the lips of everyone. The State Farm Show became an annual event beginning in 1917, and the Farm Show building was completed in 1931, although it was later modified and expanded.
January 13, 2010. We don't have any birthdays or anniversaries to mention today. Temperatures overnight are expected to be in the mid-teens, but beginning later in the day, we should start seeing temperatures above freezing. By Friday, forecasters say the thermometer could reach 43°.Care and Concern...• The Mayor of Iklertown, Joyce Keller, is home following recovery time at Balanced Care Rehabilitation Center. Home Health continues to prod her along toward complete recovery.
Here are the results from the Benton vs. Bloomsburg wrestling match of January 12, 2010. The dual meet started at 152. The outcomes? Benton 50, Bloomsburg 28...
103: Matt Welliver (BE) won by Forfeit
112: Brandon Lontz (BE) won by forfeit
119: Colt Cotten (BE) won by fall over Jared Hahn (BL) 0:37
125: Michael Rhone (BE) won by fall over Alan Evans (BL) 1:06
130: Coltin Fought (BE) won by technical fall over Garrett Graham (BL) 18-2
135: Derrian Metzinger (BE) won by fall over Dan Wood (BL) 1:51
140: Eddie Emery (BL) won by major decision 11-2 over Brett Musselmen (BE)
145: Austin Hack (BL) won by fall over Albert Gensel (BE) 0:56
152: Garrett Curland (BL) won by fall over Jared Kline (BE) 1:20
160: Eric Hess (BE) won by fall over Tony Tarlecky (BL) 3:28
171: Jake Mankey (BE) won by decision 6-2 over Remmington Weigle (BL)
189: Chris Thomas (BL) won by forfeit
215: Ryan Longenberger (BL) won by forfeit
285: Tyler DeMott (BE) won by injury default over Tyler Lunger (BL)
• The January issue of a special health-related edition of Inside Pennsylvania magazine includes an article on Foxglove written by Kathy Arcuri. When you buy the magazine, read the article entitled "Sprechen sie Pennsylvaniaish?"
• A reader asked if former Vice Admiral Joe Sestak, once Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs, was the same Joe Sestak who is taking on Arlen Spector in a bid for his senate seat. They are one and the same. Former Navy people will remember that Admiral Mike Mullen when he was promoted to the job of Chief of Naval Operations sacked Sestak within 24 hours. Sestak is now a Pennsylvania congressman and is challenging Sen. Arlen Specter.• Many are ticked that Publix Food Stores' free calendar lists the Islamic New Year which this year, because of the shift in dates (Islamic holidays are on a lunar religious calendar), falls on December 7--which most Americans remember and honor because it is the anniversary of the day which launched the United States into World War II. It is Pearl Harbor Day. The fact that it is a day of significance for Americans is not mentioned in the Publix calendar. All that it is mentioned is that it is the Islamic New Year. Publix has withdrawn its calendars.
• Countless children have ridden Radio Flyer wagons to places that an adult's imagination would never venture. Sixteen year old Antonio Pasin came to America after his family sold their mule in Venice, Italy, to pay for his voyage to America. Pasin ended up in Chicago and looked for work as a cabinet-maker but had to settle for being a water boy for a sewer-digging crew and other jobs to save enough money to buy used wood-working equipment. From his rented one-room workshop, he made wagons by night and sold them by day. By 1923, Pasin's business became known as the Liberty Coaster Company, named after the Statue of Liberty.
Their first wagon was the Liberty Coaster, handcrafted in wood and sold directly to stores by Pasin. American manufacturing of its famous red metal wagons ended when company moved its manufacturing activities to China. Radio Flyer's tricycles, scooters and most of its other products are now made in China, a country that makes 80% of the world's toys, according to industry estimates.• The "hero of the Hudson" was in control of his aircraft as it was outbound from LaGuardia airport, surrounded by Teterboro, Kennedy, and Newark airports--one of the busiest flight patterns in the United States. The aircraft climbed at an angle with its nose high at about 200 mph. This look angle is far from ideal for spotting birds in your flight pattern! Birds struck the engines on both sides of Capt. Sullenberger's plane. As his first officer went through the engine-restart procedures, the aircraft began losing airspeed and soon made a forced landing in the waters of the Hudson River. You can relive that experience by watching a flight simulation of that day while listening to the audio between the pilot and flight controllers. Go here for an excellent video.• For the past 31 years, when a good meal for a special occasion was called for, a drive to Picketts Charge Restaurant, Dallas, for their prime rib was in order. Owner Tom Pickett is retiring and the restaurant has been sold. The restaurant is expected to reopen as an Italian restaurant.• The First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. will open its second community banking office in Berwick on Thursday, January 28, at 300 Market Street. The bank also has a banking facility at 1919 West Front Street, Berwick. The bank now operates in 13 locations. The bank has assets exceeding $595 million. The branch offices are in the communities of Benton, Berwick, Bloomsburg, Buckhorn, Catawissa, Elysburg, Lightstreet, Orangeville, Millville, Scott Township and West Hazleton.
The balance of the minutes of the Benton Borough Council meeting of December 14, 2009, as recorded by Borough Secretary Kay Yankovich, follows:
Jeff Remley was named a board member of the Benton Municipal Water & Sewer Authority, replacing Joseph LaBonte (Philip Edson was appointed at the October meeting; Philip did not accept the appointment).
Mayor Swan brought up the necessity for posting and bonding the Borough streets. Heavy-truck traffic will occur with the onset of gas drilling in the area. The subject was tabled until the January 2010 meeting. Grant Little stated that any gas lease signed on property within the Borough would have to be a “no-drill lease”. Further discussion on this matter was tabled until the January meeting.
The 2010 budget as presented at the November meeting, and advertised according to Borough Code, was approved.
An additional police officer is needed to provide additional coverage. Mayor Swan will start this procedure.
The Borough Master Site Plan was received by DeP on November 25, 2009. The Plan has been conditionally approved; comments have been addressed by Kris Keiser, Larson Design Group. The final closeout date is February 3, 2010.
The mailbox ordinance remains under review.
Council discussed the three-foot setback for fence placement. It was agreed that three feet is excessive. It was moved to strike the three-foot setback requirement from the fence ordinance. Attorney Leipold will be contacted to change the wording in the ordinance, and advertise accordingly.
A "disaster siren" is in place and will be tested. A letter to the public has been prepared to be sent with the 2010 tax notices.
Didja ever think that if you speak when you are angry,
you'll make the best speech you will ever regret!
January 12, 2010. It is the birthday of Bert Ritter, Sheila Malenovitch, Ray Kishbach, Walt Lysk, Janet McHenry, and radio-talk host Rush Limbaugh.It was on this day in 1942 when a faithful border collie known as "Shep" ended a vigil of more than five years. He was killed by a train at Fort Benton, Montana. Shep's master, a "railroad man," had died five years before in 1936. No one quite explained to Shep what had happened to the man who was his best friend. The man passed away and his casket was taken to the train depot--followed by his faithful companion--where the lifeless body was taken by train to his family far away. For the next five and a half years in rain and snow, summer and winter, Shep waited at the Great Northern railroad yard for his master. At the sound of a train whistle, he climbed from beneath the train platform where he had made a home. He watched trains pull in and out of the station. With tail wagging, he personally inspected every passenger in anticipation of finding his master. His loyalty to his former master brought him nationwide fame and he eventually had to have his own secretary because of the huge amounts of mail he received. Shep's age finally caught up with him. He laid down on the tracks to rest on this day in 1942 and his aging ears never heard the sound of the oncoming train. Nearly everyone in Fort Benton attended his funeral, which was complete with minister who delivered a sermon at the graveside. He was buried on a bluff overlooking the station. Go here to see the bronze monument erected to this faithful and true dog, or read (a slightly fictionalized version in) the book "Shep Forever Faithful" by Stewart H Beveridge and Lee Nelson.Didja ever hear the train story about President Taft? When he was a young lawyer, he visited a small town on business. When he finished, he found out that it would be hours until the next train was due. He learned that a fast train would be speeding through in an hour, but it did not stop at the small town. Taft had an inspiration. Mindful of his 300 or so pounds, he sent a note to the division superintendent, "will No. 7 stop here for a large party?" When the train stopped, Taft climbed aboard and told the astonished conductor, "You can go ahead. I am the large party."Robert Kelsey thanks his many friends for their prayers, best thoughts and best wishes. After some unwanted delay, he was able last night to have his first real food. The tube feedings will continue as a supplement to the real--though soft and bland--food he is now able to eat. Bob feels he is "progressing every day…but still have a long ways to go. I will also have to follow up with chemo/radiation therapy…details of extent and timing are yet to be worked out." He credits his wife, Sandra, as being "the best nurse in the world." Cards of encouragement can be sent to Robert E. Kelsey, 424 Long Avenue, Langhorne, PA 19047.
The minutes of the Benton Borough Council meeting of December 14, 2009, as recorded by Borough Secretary Kay Yankovich, follow in abbreviated format. The meeting was called to order at 7 PM by President Grant Little. Attending were Mayor Jan Swan, and council members O. Grant Little, Ed Hartman, Dan Jankowski and Jan Jankowski. Brian Getz, Ed Kocher, J. Robert Sands and Lachelle Fulmer also attended.
Bob Sands brought up the ordinance which requires a three-foot setback for fences. He would like to put a fence on his property, but with this requirement will make it impossible. Council agreed to review/discuss the fence ordinance to determine if changes should be made.
Bryan Getz brought up the subject of getting another truck. Council agreed that, although the budget does not allow for the purchase of another truck, it may be necessary to look into purchasing a new one in 2010 due to the excessive maintenance on the current truck.
Mayor Swan stated that the trees donated by the Girl Scouts have been planted in the Park.
The "Save The Benton Dam" fund raised $38,500 through donations to the fund. The concrete pad has been poured. Bids for the riprap and epoxy injections at the Dam will be submitted in January.
The bids for the North Park Street paving project will be opened at the January Council meeting. R.C. Young Inc. has not yet replaced the skid plates, which came loose last winter during snow removal. The plates were glued into place (part of southern Park Street construction project). Mr. Young has been notified on two occasions that the plates need to be fixed. If he should receive the bid to do the North Park Street construction project, this matter must be addressed.
Larson Design Group was advised that on the North Park Street project, the Borough has hired another engineering firm.
The minutes will be continued in the Wednesday edition.
January 11, 2010. This is the first Monday after Epiphany, the day menfolk returned to work--but didn't do any work--after the holidays. Men dressed in white smocks pulled a plow (plough) through the villages collecting money for the "plow light" that burned in the church all year. The men sang and danced their way from village to village. Farmers that night provided a Plough Monday supper complete with beef and ale for their workers.Julie Parr will require knee surgery after a fall at her Orangeville home. Julie's mother, Nina Ford, Huntington Mills, fell at the conclusion of the "Rumors" play Sunday as she was heading for her car. Nina described it as having a "red, bruised area on the knee with all the skin left behind~!~ouch!" Keep Emma Lou Savage in your prayers. Emma Lou is a patient at Geisinger Hospital.
On January 10, 1901, in Beaumont, Texas, locals were snickering about some fellows trying to drill for oil on a small hill south of town. The subject was funny to them, since at least four other teams of men had unsuccessfully tried the same thing. This team had penetrated about a thousand feet of earth when the drill froze up.
The drill was pulled from the earth, when suddenly a noise that sounded like a freight train came out of the drill pipe. The noise was followed by mud, then water, then rock fragments and then oil. A geyser of oil shot into the air for about a hundred feet. It didn't stop. Over the next ten days, the new oil field produced more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day from the hill known as Spindletop. The huge amount of oil drove oil prices to a record three cents a barrel and the pollution drove drinking water prices so high that two years later it took 200 barrels of oil to buy a single barrel of water. The Texas Oil Boom was underway.
It was what a South Florida newspaper called "white rain," otherwise known to the rest of the free world as snow. Frozen iguanas fell from trees, shallow water fish like snook went belly-up in droves and rare sea turtles faced hypothermia in true reptile fashion. It was the 17th time in modern history that such an event hit the Southern part of Florida. A blast of Arctic air drove temperatures below the freezing mark in Florida and to zero in Benton. Cheer up! By Thursday, temperatures could hit 42°.
Two uninvited species in Florida--the green iguana and the Burmese python--are feeling the weather. The Burmese python in and around Everglades National Park plys the swamps and threatens the ecosystem and even humans. The state last summer introduced a python-bounty hunt, a "python posse," to rid the state of an estimated 150,000 snakes. The cold weather brought out the snakes this weekend to anyplace where the sun heated the snake.The Robinson Oil/Gas Group will meet on January 19 at 7 PM at the Benton Area High School. All group members are welcome, and urged to attend.
I said good-bye to some friends Sunday and want to quickly reflect on the wonderful language we have in northeastern Pennsylvania. This conversation didn't exactly happen as I write it, but it does reflect many of the colorful local words I have heard over years.
The conversation would probably have begun with a Hi'Ya!, which is short for "Hi, how are you?" The person speaking might be Grammy or Gram. She would not beat around the bush. She would get right to the point by saying something like "so you hafta go to where it's warmer, do you?" Gawd Love Ya! Well, don't forget to take your baden suit. And you daresn't go to where any of those iguanas are. You gotnee sun-tan lotion? I'd give you my bottle, but there is only about a cuppa lotion left.
The real conversation that I had Sunday did cover the subject of eating. The woman told me how much she liked to eat dippy eggs and grits, which I would be sure to get in the south. She talked about eggie bread (she probably meant French toast).As I walked out the door, she "hollored" at me to leave my "long johns" in Pennsylvania and play the "lot-ree" one last time before I go, but to take certain things "downda line"--a "dishrag," some "asspurn," "acourt" of Yuengling to "cure what ails ya." She disappeared into the "batroom" to wipe her eyes, telling me through the closed door that "honestagod" she would miss me, yelled "jahafta" go and said she would be "int-ristid" if I would "bring" her along.I have "lurnt" to love our way of speaking since "lasjeer" when I started taking notes on the words, "expecially" when I hear "annerrr" word not heard anywhere else in the United States.We use words like "dear" to mean expensive, "dincha" to mean didn't you, "ketch" to mean apprehend a criminal, "lectric" to mean electric and "Ben-on" to mean Benton. It is a wonderful place!
Eileen L. (Kitchen) Benjamin (April 23, 1918-January 10, 2010), S. R. 239, Benton, died Sunday at the Bonham Nursing Center where she had been a resident for several years. She was 91. She was born in Sugarloaf Township. Eileen was the only surviving child of John R. and Mertie (Kile) Kitchen. She attended the Jackson Township School and graduated from Benton High School, Class of 1930. She assisted her husband with the operation of the family farm in Jackson Township and had worked at her son's grocery store, the former "Harold's Market" in Maple Grove, for many years. She was an active member of the Divide Union Church and served as church pianist at one time.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Lester H. Benjamin, on April 4, 1986. Surviving, are her daughter, Mary L. Phillips, Divide; grandchildren Cindy Hittle, Tina Posey, Debbie Benjamin, David Benjamin and Scott Phillips; a step granddaughter, Wendy J. Knouse; nine great grandchildren; five step great grandchildren and her daughter-in-law, Dorothy "Dottie" Benjamin, Stillwater. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by sons Harold L. Benjamin on December 30, 2005; John Benjamin in September of 1960; her son-in-law, Sheldon Carl Phillips, on February 23, 2008; a step grandson, R. Gregory Notestine, on June 27, 2004; and by a baby brother in infancy.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 PM with viewing preceding at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Benton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to Divide Union Church, c/o Cindy Hittle, 235 Shultz Hollow Road, Benton, PA 17814. For online condolences or to sign the register book, go to www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Robert Perry, a native of Elk Grove who lived in Pomeroy, a small settlement south of Coatsville, passed away at the Neighborhood Hospice Center of West Chester on Thursday, January 7, 2010. He was 89.
Bob was the son of Anthony "Tome" and Roxanna Harvey Perry, formerly of Elk Grove, the former owners of the Perry Hotel. The couple had the following children: Elizabeth, Marguerite, Bill, Libby, Robert, Lola, Frances, Anthony, Jeanne, Donald, Ruth Glenora, Frank and Ben. Bob served honorably in the U.S. Army during World War II with the 28th Infantry Division and was a veteran of the battle of Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge. Bob was awarded five battle stars and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was employed as a foreman in the Gas Division of Philadelphia Electric, retiring in 1981. He was a life member of the Pomeroy Fire Co., a member of the Benton V.F.W. Post 8317, and the American Legion 422 of Honey Brook. Bob was a member of the Hephzibah Baptist Church of East Fallowfield.
He is survived by his widow, Nancy R. Ellis Perry with whom he shared 59 years of marriage, and by children Pamela P. Stevens (John), Winchester; Robert E. Perry (Donna), Wagontown; and Maryann B. Perry, Pomeroy; five grandchildren; and siblings Anthony Perry, Parkesburg; Benjamin Perry, Manheim; Elizabeth "Libby" Lewis, Benton; Lola Jordan, Wagontown; and Jeannie Waters, Elk Grove. He was predeceased by three brothers and three sisters.
The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, at 11 AM at the Hephzibah Baptist Church, 2237 Strasburg Road, East Fallowfield, followed by interment in the adjoining cemetery. Family and friends are invited to attend the viewing, which take place at the church from 10 until 11 AM. Funeral arrangements are by the Wilde Funeral Home, Parkesburg. Online condolences can be respectfully posted at www.wildefuneralhome.com.
Unlike the winters of our youth, single-digit temperatures in the local area happen only a few times a winter season. This was one of those weekends. Last year at this time--plus about a week--temperatures locally dipped below -10°. While I think "Florida," temperatures Friday hit 73° in the part of the state where I spend my time, but Sunday only got to about 53°, with overnight temperatures slightly below freezing. Citrus growers are forced to keep microjeting their groves to prevent freezing. Because a grove’s root system needs oxygen to thrive, too much water or irrigating trees for long periods of time can be hazardous. Florida Gov. Crist signed an executive order easing height, weight, length and width restrictions for commercial vehicles transporting crops to processing sites as a way to help save the crops. The order is in effect for 14 days. Look for possible short-term "buys" on citrus, especially honeybells which are now ripe and need to be picked. If the cold spell is too severe, there may not be "buys" later in the season.
Weekend Edition, January 9 and 10, 2010. Birthdays and anniversaries include...• January 9, birthdays: Tom Fought, Jr. Jack and June (Boudman) Gulliver celebrate their wedding anniversary. Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born on this day. The 2010 Pennsylvania State Farm Show at the state Farm Show Complex on North Cameron and Maclay streets, Harrisburg, begins today and runs through January 16. Commercial exhibit and food court hours are from 9 AM to 9 PM Saturday through Jan. 15 and 9 AM to 5 PM January 16. Admission is free. Parking is $10 a vehicle.• January 10, birthday: Alecia Schechter.Didja ever think that if the income tax is the price we have to pay
for keeping the government on its feet,
alimony is the price we have to pay
for sweeping a woman off her feet.Quickies...• NBC is reported to be considering moving "The Jay Leno Show" out of the 10 PM slot on NBC. Many readers of my age understand, since we don't perform well at 10 PM either!
• Berwick Area United Way is sponsoring a free state- and federal-income tax filing program for tax filers making less than $50,000 per year. Tax preparation will start February 1 on a by-appointment basis only. Call 759-1005 for more information or to make an appointment. Taxes are prepared by IRS-certified tax preparers. Appointments are at the McBride Memorial Library, Berwick, and at the Northern Columbia Cultural Center, Benton. The program is supported by a grant from the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation. The focus is on working families to help them file for the Earned Income Tax Credit and bring more tax dollars back to our residents. Last year, the site brought $330,000 into this community in tax refunds and saved tax-preparation fees.
• Natural gas spot prices rose in the new year at nearly all market locations in the lower 48 States, with increases of more than 10% on the week. The arrival of true winter temperatures throughout most of the lower 48 states, rising crude oil prices and restraining supply to distributors appear to have contributed to rising natural-gas prices. Prices are now trading above year-ago levels.• Terry Griffith updated us on what is happening with the Griffith family. Terry is very happy about his grandson, Jeremy, a Staff Sergeant stationed in England and his wife Whitney who helped make Terry a grandfather again with the birth of Lucas Hunter Griffith on January 5. Jeremy will be heading to Afghanistan for his third tour in a worn-torn county. Terry plans to give Lucas his father's 100 year-old banjo which belonged to Terry's father, Joe, proprietor of the former Elk Grove Hotel. Terry remembers that Jeremy led the Berwick Bull Dogs to victories in wrestling as Terry helped propel the Benton wrestling team.
Neil Simon's comedy "Rumors" opened Friday evening at the local high school in front of an enthusiastic audience who fell in love with the set design, the flawless delivery by the actors, the excellent directing, the quality of the sound system and many other aspects of the performance. It would be hard to pick out one person who was better than the rest--all the performers were that good.
The comedy is about the hilarious antics of four couples at a party for the 10th wedding anniversary of the deputy mayor of New York. The host of the party shoots himself in the earlobe, his wife can't be found and confusion is everywhere when the guests--not sure if the shooting was an accident--try to cover his possible suicide in this delightful show. When the first couple arrives and discovers the disaster, they decide to cover-up for their well-connected friends. As the next three couples arrive, the rumors grow into laughter. Getting the police involved could make matters worse--and the police do arrive, which forces the couples to improvise a hilarious illusion of normalcy.
Liane Hayman and Teri Chadd, playing the roles of Chris Gorman and kookie Cookie Cusack stood out because of their excellent stage voices and the ease with which they played their parts. Oren Helbok and Bob Ridall, playing roles of the victims lawyer and best friend who are trying to cover up the shooting, carried their male parts with perfection. Jennifer Welliver, in her first stage performance, showed great promise for future performances. Brandon Hartman, wearing many different hats for this show, had his delivery down to a science. Larry Paul and Geraldine Laubach, playing an aging couple with matrimonial difficulties, were excellent. The suspicious policeman, played by Christopher Diltz, and the gum-smacking policewoman, played by Jillian Christie, rounded out the cast.
The production continues Saturday night and Sunday at the high school, Park Street. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at The Center, 42 Community Drive, Benton. For more information, call 570 925-0163. All money collected from ticket sales will benefit the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center.
Pictures of the play "Rumors" are available for viewing at http://tinyurl.com/y9vebem as a slideshow. I recommend you first take a look at them in this way. When the pictures begin, hit F11 if you want a full screen. After you have seen the pictures, hit ESC in the upper left corner of your keyboard to stop the slideshow. One is a video of the dance sequence in the performance. If you do not have a high-speed connection, this may labor down.
After you see the slideshow, go to http://tinyurl.com/ykl6wd9 where all pictures are displayed. At this location, you can download pictures, copy them, print them, etc.
The PPL Corporation is helping financially, in cooperation with the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, to complete a concession stand and restroom facility on the soccer field for the Benton school district. Construction of the building will be completed by the Benton Tiger Athletic Association using the PPL funds.
These facilities will serve residents, community events and various organizations that utilize the school fields and the nearby public park. The Center provided the conduit for the public-works project brought to Benton by PPL.
Faith Schlichter, secretary of the Benton Tiger Athletic Association is at the top left; Teri J. MacBride, Regional Community Relations Director for PPL Services Corp.; Chuck Chapman, member of the Board of Directors for The Center; and Craig Merluzzi, President of the Board of Directors of The Center.
At a ceremony Friday afternoon at The Center, PPL Corporation contributed $3,000 for the building. The first check for $3,000 was presented to school officials ; the second installment of $3,000 will be paid in 2011. All money will be used for the construction of the 20' by 50' building adjacent to the Benton elementary school. The building will house bathrooms, storage space and a vending area where students, parents and friends can gather outside during games.
The building will house bathrooms, storage space and a vending area where students, parents and friends can gather outside during games.
Chuck Chapman and Craig Merluzzi from The Center; Robert Rydell, President of the Benton Area School Board; and Penny Lenig-Zerby, Superintendent of the Benton Schools. Former superintendent Gary Powlus also attended and participated.
January 8, 2010. It is the birthday of Sherry Hess Farver. The prediction by the National Weather Service is for 1 to 2 inches of snow by Friday morning, continuing with another half-inch before stopping in early afternoon. Temperatures tonight should drop to around 14° and reach 8° Sunday. Tomorrow will feel colder, however, thanks to winds that could gust as high as 25 mph. There's no snow in the forecast for the weekend, but it is expected to be sunny and cold.
The play Rumors begins tonight at the Benton Area School's auditorium. The admission is only $6 and every indication is that the play will be a booming success. We'll attend tonight and after the play is over, we'll show you some pictures of the cast, the marvelous set and whatever else we can find that might be of interest. Please put the play on your schedule for this weekend--tonight, Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.
On this day in...
• 1872 , a patent was issued to inventor Thomas Elkins for a piece of furniture which he described as a Chamber Commode, a combination of "a bureau, mirror, book-rack, washstand, table, easy-chair, and earth-closet or chamber-stool." Two years earlier, Elkins obtained a patent for a "Dining, Ironing Table and Quilting Frame Combined." In 1879, Elkins obtained a patent for a "Refrigerating Apparatus" for "food or corpses," which provided a convenient container and method of chilling using the evaporation of water. These inventions rank slightly higher than the "Device to prevent insanity, imbecility and feeblemindedness," which later became known as the male-chastity belt.
• 1884 , the first U.S. patents for tanning hides and skins through the action of a metallic salt were issued. Tanning is the process by which skins and hides are converted into leather. The invention of a chrome-tanning process enabled leather to be tanned thinner, stronger and quicker than by vegetable tanning that dated from 3000 B.C.
• 1920 , Walter Cain, Berwick, claimed a gourmandizing record in Columbia County through a feat which he accomplished when he ate 120 buckwheat cakes. There were two witnesses to the feat, one of whom was Cain's wife. Both declared the cakes were of "ordinary size." The Philadelphia Inquirer cast suspicion on Mrs. Cain, saying she "lays herself open to suspicion of homicidal intent, as when the 120 cakes were eaten she was still at the stove, ready to bake more."
• 2004, Max Hartman and I were traveling from Kingman, Arizona, to Las Vegas, via the Hoover Dam.
•2007 , eleven hunters fired off thirteen shots on one drive during muzzleloader season. When the smoke cleared and the hunters could see again, Budd Fritz cupped his hand to his forehead to see how many deer had been killed. When he finished his survey, he remarked, "if those deer had been Indians, we would all be dead now."
• The Benton Lions Club will hold a blood drive Wednesday, January 13, at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, 42 Community Drive, Benton. The hours are 2 to 7 PM.
• Didja ever think that if you keep something for seven years, you'll find a use for it?
• Bob Maynes set me straight on my use of the word "skivvies" in Thursday's edition. Bob said that "skivvies won't keep you very warm. In the Navy that's what we called 'T' shirts and shorts. The heavy-weather underwear, we called 'gotchies.'"
• Kay and I have to take a driving test to get our driver's license. To prepare for it, we took the driving test at www.autoinsurance.org/driving_test/ . I only got a 72, barely passing. Take it and see how you make out.
• Go here to see if improvements to your house--windows, doors, and roofs--can result in a tax credit. If you purchase an energy-efficient product or renewable energy system for your home, you may be eligible for a federal-tax credit.
• Krystan Ritter's new movie is a comedy, "She’s Out of My League." In the movie, an average Joe by the name of Kirk can’t believe his luck. He is stuck in a dead-end job as an airport-security agent, but meets Molly, a successful and gorgeous chippie, who falls for him. Kirk has to figure out how to make the relationship work, even though he’d be the first to admit she’s totally out of his league. Krystan said, "I'm excited about this one. It's very fun and funny." The movie comes out March 12. Take a look at the trailer for the movie. The movie is rated R for language and sexual content.
• The Fox News report on natural-gas drilling broadcast Tuesday from Hughesville can be viewed here.
What a bad influence I am. After falling on the ice and landing on my tailbone, the emails started arriving about others who were having the same thing happen to them. One of the best (or worst, depending on your perspective) came from Sullivan County, where Connie Hatch had a mishap or three. It started when the water in the dog's water bucket needed replacing and Connie took a fresh pail of water to the dog and to the chickens. She "grabbed up the chicken water bucket" and "skied" up the path, hit an icy spot, slipped, sending the bucket of water one way, her right foot and her body another way, while the left foot stayed put. Connie landed on her left side.
The chickens came running, "as if they could assist me up." They lost interest after a few seconds when they didn't find any scratch. Connie rolled to her left, then to her right, slapping her legs to see if anything was broken. She overturned the water bucket and used it to get up. The chickens came running again. Nope. No food.
Connie slowly got to her feet, hobbled to the garage, and started for the house. She reached the porch corner, but missed it when she reached for support. Her hand "punched right through that window with all the gray duck tape on it from the last time" that she put her hand through it. She didn't fall or cut herself. She got some duck tape from the house, taped the broken glass on the inside, knocked over some stuff piled there, managed to get outside and slipped again.
This time she grabbed the corner of the porch and didn't punch the glass. She eventually got the glass taped. She was suddenly too sore to even care what the taping process looked like. "I hobbled back inside, tripped over the bucket of eggs--none broke--got the tape to the table, ripped off my coat, then sat down to relax." The rest of the day was normal--but we understand that she stayed inside and that may be the reason.
Didja ever notice that a greedy person and a pauper
are practically one and the same?
Pennsylvania is gaining national attention by the noise, air and water pollution brought about by Marcellus-shale drilling. Texans are waking up to wastewater being hauled into their state from the Louisiana shale fields. The residents of that state suddenly realize they are becoming a toxic-waste dump and wonder how much waste water can be pumped back into the earth before the earth begins to regurgite the mess. New Mexico attempted to regulate contaminated water supplies injected into waste pits, but later relaxed the rules when the lobbying by the gas industry turned up the heat on politicians.
Some politicians are trying to maximize the use of natural gas. Other politicians are trying to force public identification of fracking compounds in order to know what is being injected into the ground. The middle ground seems deserted with politicians not bothering to jack up the environmental issues of lowering risk to the property owners and users. We read where, when pressured, the drillers threaten to take their drilling to other states and other shale plays. We realize that they are using the same tactics in other states in an effort to keep environmental standards low as they use two to five million gallons per well of used fracking fluid laced with heavy metals, chemicals and hydrocarbons.
Didja ever think that our English language contains perhaps one word in fifty which actually originated on that little island? In the question I just asked, didja know that the word language worked itself into English via France, but its real origin was in the Latin word "lingua," meaning "tongue," which is the basis of the word "linguist?" In the same question, the words "actually" and "originated" are Latin derivatives. Words we consider as old English words often come from Western Germanic dialects that the Angles and the Saxons and the Jutes carried with them from the continent. And so we conclude that even those of you who are not well versed in a foreign language, when you use your native English you are speaking a bunch of strange tongues.
Let's say that you looked at the firemen's parade as it came down the street before the Benton Carnival. The word "carnival" is Italian, "parade" is French" and "street" is Latin.
If you drink "coffee," you are, in a fashion, speaking Turkish. But if you drink tea, that word comes from the Chinese. If you smoke a cigar, you are using a Spanish word, but if you smoke a cigarette you switched to a French word.
The class of 1960 of the Benton Schools met earlier this week at the Old Filling Station Restaurant. The members of the class who attended included (from L to R in the back row) Mary Myers, Rohrsburg; Don and Kate Dixon, Dallas. In the front row were Mary Ann Baker, McEwensville; Judy Fausey, Danville; and Diane Harvey Laubach, Benton. The class had 49 members.
January 7, 2010. It is the birthday of Douglas Grabowski, Dr. Dean Christian, Danielle Deitrick and Clifton "Kip" Watts. In 2008 at this time it was 60°, but in 2002 we had 14" of new snow on the ground. Expect some snow today and Friday. Warm weather? Get your skivvies out and keep them out into next week.Quickies...• Planning a trip? Plan to eat good on the trip. Take a look at http://roadfood.com/ before you start.Restaurants of merit are reviewed with descriptions about the taste and presentation of the food. All reviews for a new restaurant have an approved photo of the food.• Today's edition is very short, following a fall on ice which doesn't permit me to sit with any degree of comfort.I am going to sit long enough to congratulate the cast and crew of the Fishing Creek Players of the Northern Columbia community for their production of Neil Simon's Rumors. It will be presented on the stage of the Benton High/Middle School Friday and Saturday, January 8 and 9, and Sunday, January 10. The times are 8 PM on Friday and Saturday nights and 3 PM Sunday.Let's start with the huge behind-the-scenes effort of set construction in which Bob Ridall, Brandon Hartman, Jennifer Welliver, Jillian Christie, Kerri Christie, Meme Christie, Ken and Katie Knorr, M. R. Daniels and Scott Roper were so important. Judy Paul and M. R. Daniels were responsible for the costumes. Props came from the hands and minds of Gladys Kile, Chuck and Kay Chapman, Oren Helbok and Jem Baker. Meme and Kerri Christie handled the lights and sound. Gladys Kile (who has a small speaking part at the end of the performance) and Jerry Arcuri were responsible for the advertising, and Sean Christian and family provided the barn and workshop.The very fine lineup of actors include Liane Hayman as Chris Gorman, Oren B. Helbok plays Ken Gorman. Bob Ridall is Lenny Ganz and the instrumental director of the local school, Jennifer Welliver, plays Claire Ganz. Teri Chadd plays Cookie Cusack. Her husband is played by Brandon Hartman, who also doubles as Assistant Director and Technical Director. A fine lady with five children, six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, Geraldine Yost Laubach, is perfectly cast as Cassie Cooper. Glenn Cooper is played by Larry Paul, the father of two children and eight grandchildren. The show is rounded out with the performance of Officer Welch played by Chris Diltz of Brass Pelican fame and Officer Pudney, played by Jillian Christie.You'll love the performance, the set design, the costumes, the timing of the players and the storyline. After seeing the play, consider joining the Fishing Creek Players in some capacity. Call 925-2080 and speak to M. R. about this exciting community group.A number of comments came in following the article on Chinese drywall in Wednesday's edition. To answer one question, dogs are being trained to sniff out the sulfur compounds in Chinese drywall. Shadow, a German Shepard living in Myakka City, Florida, has been trained to detect the sulfur compounds that are found only in Chinese drywall. Thousands of homes in Florida and other states have been determined to contain the toxic drywall, suspected of causing pipe corrosion and health problems, which flooded the market in the rebuilding effort after the hurricanes that devastated the South in the past several years.
Shadow is the first certified Chinese drywall detection dog in the nation. The fee charged for his services is $395 to inspect a home as large as 3,000 square feet. Shadow was trained by buying sulphur components that make up Chinese drywall. When Shadow picked up special toys coated with sulphur compounds, he got to take a break and play. With the others, he did not. Shadow quickly associated Chinese drywall with play time.Pictures of the Channel 16 tour Wednesday of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center are available for viewing at
January 6, 2010. This is Epiphany, the day on which the Magi, the three wise men or kings, arrived in Bethlehem bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. Epiphany was once the traditional end of the Christmas holiday and the date the tree and decorations were taken down. Bad luck would follow for the rest of the year if decorations came down sooner. From the middle ages until the mid-nineteenth century, what some call "Twelfth Night" was more popular than Christmas day, and even today some countries celebrate Epiphany as the most important day of the Christmas season. It is also the birthday of Patti LaBonte.Bitter cold and snow squalls swept into the eastern U.S and will last at least the rest of the week. Don't expect warming before Monday. Regular, unleaded gasoline costs a penny more than it did a year ago today in Benton. Both stations are selling gas for $2.759.The Wednesday edition of the Benton News is sent early because of the filming at The Center Wednesday morning beginning at 5 AM. Sit 'n Fit, normally conducted at the relaxing hour of !0 AM will be in full swing by 8:25 when it will be shown live on Channel 16. Pool, pin ball and arcade games will be free during the broadcast of the TV show. Why watch television when you could be on television. Come out and be part of the show. If you can't watch live, you can always watch the shots on the Benton News here.
Didja ever think that things don't just turn up, they must be turned up?When the coffee pot is tilted and Americans sit down to discuss the problems of the world, China and its disregard for "pride in workmanship" through its counterfeit industry becomes a popular subject. Whether the item under discussion is counterfeiters selling fake pens, batteries, cosmetics, live-saving drugs across Africa, or exported toxic drywall building products, Americans are united on the subject of Chinese quality.
Toxic drywall from China has contaminated thousands of homes and caused disgruntled home owners to complain of nosebleeds, headaches, respiratory problems, dizziness, and other health issues. We should point out that there has not yet been an established link to Chinese drywall sulfur emissions to the metal corrosions and health problems. Most, however, feel there is a “strong association” between Chinese drywall and rotten egg-smelling gas. Some feel that Chinese drywall is most affected in high heat and humidity. Gas which causes air conditioning coil failures, creates metal deterioration, copper that turns black, upper respiratory issues, nose bleeds, headaches, and potential fire hazards.
Defective Chinese drywall has not been reported as a problem locally, but in Florida thousands of homeowners have it and now can’t get insurance. The problem has now spread to small builders and distributors. Some are losing their insurance or facing lawsuits; others have seen their business dry up. The list of claims keep piling up at drywall contractors who installed drywall bought from suppliers which imported Chinese drywall during the housing boom.
Homeowners who have Chinese drywall receive reductions in their property’s appraised values, but families affected by the problem say lower property taxes won’t make up for the financial losses and medical issues they have sustained as a result of having the building materials in their homes. The drywall is estimated to have been used in 60,000 to 100,000 homes between 2004 to 2006, although a good estimate of the questionable drywall is not available. States with reported cases of Chinese drywall, including Florida, Louisiana and Virginia, could see a tax deduction in the form of a casualty loss.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has looked into the problem, but many unanswered questions remain about how imported drywall is believed to have sickened thousands.
Complaints about Chinese drywall should be made to the Chinese Drywall Complaint Center, http://chinesedrywallcomplaintcenter.com/.
• In the southern part of Florida, the frigid weather is making growers shiver with delight because of the ideal-citrus weather. Citrus trees don’t get damage until the temperature drops below 28° for at least four to six hours. The cold snap forces citrus trees to put their energy into ripening and sweetening fruit rather than “flushing” new leaves. It also rids the trees of pests.
• The 94th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, the nation’s largest indoor agricultural showcase, begins Saturday and continues through January 16 at the Farm Show Complex. The show has more than 16 acres of exhibits, food and entertainment. The show is expected to include nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 270 commercial exhibitors. The food court, located in the Expo Hall and Main Hall of the complex, features Pennsylvania products, including honey ice cream, honey waffles, baked potatoes, potato donuts, lamb stew, chicken chili and pork barbecue, ham and cheese, chicken Parmesan and turkey-meatball sandwiches. For dessert, there are apple dumplings with ice cream, caramel apples on a stick and apple or peach sundaes. There will be a gas-drilling rig on display. There are exhibits on solar, wind and biofuels energy. The complex is located on Cameron and Maclay streets in Harrisburg. Admission is free to all farm show events. Parking is available on the 60-acre site and costs $10 per vehicle. A free shuttle buses runs from off-site lots to the complex entrance.”
• The first annual Road Knights bluegrass festival will take place August 13 and 14 at 365 Haleeka Road, Cogan Station, PA. There will be two days of music, from noon until midnight each day. Headliners are Rhonda Vincent & the Rage on Friday and Kenny & Amanda Smith Band on Saturday. Along with these two bands will be Likens Valley Bluegrass Boys, Chris Shank & the Wonder Boys, Louis Setzer, Thunder Creek Bluegrass Band, Lonesome Road Ramblers and Stained Grass Windows. Ticket prices are $65 for a weekend pass or $35 for a day pass for either day. Advanced tickets are $50 for the weekend or $30 for day passes until July 1. Camping is free with a weekend pass. Electricity is on a first-come, first-served basis. Early-bird camping begins August 12 at noon. More information will be announced at www.roadknightsmc.org/ . Cogan Station is 50 miles west of Benton, off Route 15 shortly after that route begins its dog-leg north from Williamsport.
• Small game hunting (rabbit/squirrel) is still in season for Columbia county until February 2. Trapping for coyotes, foxes, skunks, opossums, raccoons, weasels and beavers is in season until February 21. To help provide information on the activities for the outdoor sportsmen, the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau has begun an "Ask Tom" blog. Tom Austin is helping to get the word out about all of the hunting and fishing opportunities in the local area via the blog. Ask Tom via www.itourcolumbiamontour.com/asktom/ or email questions to him (asktom AT cmvb.com).
• Religion can be a touchy subject. If you Google the words "Christianity is," the second result asks “Is Christianity Absurd?,” while a few results down, you’ll see a proclamation of “Christianity is Stupid.” The same thing happens with other religions when you Google the same types of phrases, but not when you search for things related to Islam. Google is apparently blocking all search suggestions like this for Islam. Search results are apparently filtered to preclude a backlash in an attempt to keep peace in the world.
Didja ever think that we should not do all that we can, spend all that we have,
believe all that we hear or tell all that we know?
Ricketts Glen is so "close to home," we sometimes take the wonderful park for granted. But didja know that Colonel Ricketts named a number of falls for friends and relatives? Other falls were named by William R. Ricketts, the Colonel’s son and a student of Indian lore, for various Indian tribes which roamed the Susquehanna River Basin. Here are some examples...
Lakes Jean, Rose, and Leigh
These lakes were built by Colonel Ricketts and named for his daughters Jean and Frances Leigh. Rose was a family name associated with the Ricketts Family.
Formerly known as Pond Branch because it flowed from Long Pond which Colonel Ricketts acquired in 1850. Because it was the highest natural lake east of the Rockies, he changed the name to Ganoga Lake. Ganoga means “Water on the Mountain” in the Seneca Indian language.
This branch was named when Lake Leigh was built at the headwaters in 1907.
The highest of the falls, at 94 feet, is the fourth falls down Ganoga Glen from which it gets its name.
Harrison Wright Fails
The first falls below Waters Meet, 27 feet high. The falls were named for Wilkes-Barre native and archeologist, Harrison Wright, who spent many summers at Colonel Ricketts’ stone house. Harrison Wright (1850–1885) was a lawyer with a doctorate in mineralogy , and an interest in archeology. He was active in the Wyoming County Historical and Geological Society with R. Bruce Ricketts. Harrison Wright Falls is a very photogenic falls in the park. It is 1.6 miles north of PA 118 and 0.2 miles south and downstream of Waters Meet.
Sheldon Reynolds Falls
The second falls below Waters Meet, 36 feet high, is another beautiful falls in the glen. Sheldon Reynolds (1845–1895) was a lawyer, banker, historian, and a brother of Elizabeth Reynolds Ricketts, wife of R. Bruce Ricketts. Sheldon Reynolds Falls is 1.5 miles north of PA 118 and 0.3 miles south of Waters Meet. As hikers approach Sheldon Reynolds Falls, Harrison Wright Falls is visible above it in the distance.
Murray Reynolds Falls
The third falls below Waters Meet, 16 feet high, was originally known as the pulpit falls from the pulpit like pedestal at the top of the falls.
Benjamin Reynolds Falls
The second falls above Waters Meet in Glen Leigh are 40 feet high. The Reynolds falls were named for brothers-in-law of Colonel Ricketts.
The double falls below Route 118. Named for Adam Kale, stream watchman for the North Mountain Fishing Club for many years.
The pool below Adams Falls is named for Frank Leavenworth, a Wilkes-Barre coal operator and member of the North Mountain Fishing Club at Colonel Ricketts’ North Mountain house.
Robert Bruce Ricketts falls
The third falls above Waters Meet in Glen Leigh, 36 feet high, is named for the Colonel himself.
The fifth falls from the top of Glen Leigh is named for a Wilkes-Barre hiking club which used the stone house as a base for hikes extending throughout the mountain.
Frank L. Ricketts Falls
The second from the top of Glen Leigh is named for the Colonel’s brother and proprietor of the North Mountain House from 1873-1898.
January 5, 2010. It is the birthday of George Remphrey, John Kogut, Adam Worley, Joe (Brooks) Sutliff, Pennsylvania State Senator John Gordner of the 27th Senatorial District and Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell. Please keep Emma Lou Savage in your prayers (a patient in Geisinger Hospital) as well as Bob Perry, Coatsville, brother of Jeanne Walters and Libby Lewis.Members of the Gould family have delivered the Morning Press ( 1902-1983) and the Press Enterprise since early in the 1980s. Donald Gould started delivering the Bloomsburg paper and Laura later helped. After Donald passed away, Laura continued the 50-mile route and prided herself on never missing a delivery during those rough times. She was later joined by son Frank. The route continues thanks to Frank, who now delivers 133 daily copies of the newspaper. Frank carries on the family tradition with pride. Brother Dayne never had to go farther than his back porch early in the morning to retrieve his paper, even though Frank had to drive off Green Acres Drive, up the driveway, then walk to the house. Frank has taken a job with Denny's as a dishwasher to supplement his income from the paper route. He works from noon until 8 PM each day before he goes home to catch a little "shut-eye" until his new day delivering the newspaper begins again.
A few years ago, Lee and Carolyn Remley had a problem with the delivery of their newspaper. They called Frank and he said he had put it on the front porch. The next week it was gone again and several days later again no paper. They decided that someone must be taking the paper after Frank delivered it. Since that day, without being asked, he walks around the house and puts the Remley's paper on the back porch. That's the kind of service he provides his customers.
Lee looked for the Press Enterprise one morning last week. The paper is usually on their porch before 5AM. It had not been delivered by the time Lee left for Bloomsburg about 6:30. He saw Frank sitting in his car in front of his house. Lee stopped and Frank told him the papers had not arrived from Bloomsburg and he had been sitting there waiting for them since 4 AM. Only a handful of people actually knew the reason their paper was late that morning. Our hat is off to Frank and to each member of the family who preceded him.Quickies...
• U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-Dimock, will hold a "Listening Tour Town Hall" meeting at 4 PM Wednesday, January 6, at Lycoming College in the Mary Welch Honors Hall at Basin and East Fourth streets. One of the discussion items will relate to voting for the "Frack Act," which would remove the hydraulic fracturing's exemption from the Clean Drinking Water Act. It is important that the process used to access and produce natural gas from shale--hydraulic fracturing--is safe, reliable, well-regulated and environmentally sensible. Rep. Carney's hometown of Dimock was adversely affected by gas drilling which polluted a number of home water wells resulting in a federal lawsuit against Cabot, the gas-exploration company.
• "Newswatch 16 This Morning" with Tom Williams, Mindi Ramsey, Joe Snedeker and Ryan Leckey is a television favorite weekday mornings from 7 to 9 on WNEP-TV, Channel 16. Local news begins at 5 AM. Ryan Leckey covers the northeast Pennsylvania news weekday mornings, noon, and weekends in a segment he calls "Leckey Live." Ryan and the Channel 16 news crew will be at The Center Wednesday to broadcast segments of the show from 5 AM to 8:30 AM. Watch live at www.wnep.com/news/ beginning at 5 AM or stop at The Center during the filming.
• The next public meeting of the Fishing Creek Watershed Association will take place January 11 at 7 PM. The speaker will be Carl Kirby, Professor of Geology at Bucknell University. He will speak on “The Feasibility of Monitoring Streams for Marcellus Shale Issues.” The meeting will take place in the office building of the Columbia County Conservation District in the large conference room (lower level). Questions should be directed to Stephanie Singer at 784-1310, ext. 123. With multiple sites in our watershed ready for drilling in 2010, this is an important subject for the association.Didja ever think that every family needs two cars?
Ask the family that owns one.
A reader asked about the location of the former movie theater in Benton. The Universal Theatre and later the Ritz Theatre were adjacent to the former Grange hall, now the location of dentist Dr. Thomas Kowalski. The theatre was at the corner of Two and a Half Street and Market Street.
The theatre operated during the 1920s and 1930s under the management of Harry Chapin. Ruth Appleman Pealer was pianist for much of the silent picture days. It was generally open on the weekends and was also used by the school for plays and other activities until the construction of the new school building in 1928. As the Ritz Theatre, it became part of the Magazzu chain and was managed for a few years by a Mr. Zerby and then by Martin Appleman until it was closed in the 1950s. Popcorn was a dime. The seats were hard. On Saturdays you could see a Lone Ranger or Superman serial in addition to the regular movie. Show times for the movies were advertised in the Argus.Here are some of my favorite movie titles which became plagued by the words and or with... The shows are not necessarily from the Ritz Theater,• "The Bride Wore Boots" and "Selected Shorts."• "George Washington Slept Here," with "Ann Sheridan."• " The Time of Your Life" with "The Weaker Sex."When grandmama had suitors, they wooed with bashful heart,And when they sat together, they sat this far apart.Granddaughter now has boyfriends who greet her with a kiss,And when they sit together, they sit realcloselikethis.On these cold winter days when we bundle and huddle to stay warm, we should think of the men and women on the International Space Station. Go here and see how they get through the night 150 miles about the earth's surface. Speaking of the ISS, NASA will have a tough time pursuing research projects in the future because of next year's scheduled retirement of the shuttle. The United States and its 14 international partners have spent more than a decade building the $100 billion station, which is the size of a football field. And with the station nearing completion, attention is turning toward expanding science research on the orbiting outpost. U.S. funding and operational support for the station is uncertain beyond 2015. Congress has directed NASA to use the station until at least 2020.We ran into Sam and Ann Ganshaw Sunday night at the movie It's Complicated, and Sam asked if Buster, our male Bichon Frize, would write something for the Benton News. I immediately agreed, but Buster tried to pawn the job off on his girlfriend, Chloe. She declined, saying something about not being able to teach her new tricks. Buster finally obliged. Here is his contribution for today..Leader started running the brush through my hair early this morning, just after we returned from our early morning walk. I had tried to run about smelling where the mousies had been, but Leader kept calling me back. I don't like the brush, I know what will happen. Leader kept patting my back as if we were saying goodbye. I heard the awful truth when a voice on the recording machine said, "Have him here by 1 o'clock.The lady who cuts my hair wants to see me. She is a very nice lady and she treats me good, but I always begin to shake at the thought of her sticking me in the tub and sudsing me up. The next thing that she does is to cut my beautiful wolf hair.
Leader tells me that we are going to travel very soon, back to the place he calls "Florida." Mother says Leader likes Florida because he only has to look half as long to see twice as much. I am not very happy about the trip. I heard Leader tell Mother about a man and his wife who took their two dogs to a place called Japan. "What kind of dogs, please?" the man in the uniform asked."Boston Bull," was the reply.Leader laughed when he told the story. He said something called a "customs declaration" later showed that "two dogs" had been changed to read, "1 Boston Bull, 1 Boston Cow."I don't want to be called anything that I am not. But going to Florida is better than a mamma dachshund who had puppies. Her Leader advertised them so they would go to a good home. His sign read, "Git a long little doggie."Mother told Leader a short poem which I liked. It was about cats and dogs. It went...While one adores youThe other ignores you.
The house is having a communications crisis at the moment. I am not sure exactly what Leader said, but it was something about feeling like a head with his chicken cut off. Leader did laugh when he said it, and then said something about having his sheek in his tongue. My instructions are not always clear and consistent. I know my hair is going to get cut, but Leader won't tell me that. When I am not ready to go when he is, it will be me who gets in trouble. I think that Leader wants me to read his mind. I want to follow his instructions, since it often follows with a biscuit, but sometimes I have a lot on my mind and I forget what his words mean. This morning he introduced a new term, "calm down," which I thought meant scratch with my front paws. Last night, Leader was dressed better than he usually is and laid down on the floor beside me to explain that he was going out of the house with Mother and that I was not to try to climb on the dining-room table. I made the mistake of licking both sides of his glasses. Big mistake. He is such a shouter. A dog needs more certainty in his life!You can't beat the weather:Spring is too rainy and summer too hot;Fall is soon overAnd winter is not.
January 4, 2010. It is the birthday of Nick Chabra, Amy Remphrey and Kelsey Lee McGarigle.Didja ever think that Congress is a legislative body
whose members are duty bound to meet but not to get together?The cold weather of the past week and the forecast for the coming week reminds me of growing up before central heating and electric blankets. As it is today, it was cold in those days--from early fall, through the winter and into spring. Our ancestors loved comforts just as much as we do today, but they had to use their ingenuity to get through the winter months.They invented devices to warm their beds before climbing into them. Similar gizzies were needed to keep their feet warm while riding in open sleighs or closed carriages, in church pews, and to be honest in every room in the house with the exception of the kitchen. The kitchen was kept warm from morning until night with the heat from a wood-burning stove. As the fire slowly died out overnight, blowing of some air would get the fire back to a blaze to make breakfast for the family. The kitchen was usually too hot, but rarely too cold. The kitchen was always the warmest room in the house, except on those occasions--such as Sunday when the preacher would come for dinner--when the parlor stove would be lit.There were a number of styles of bedwarmers, many made from soapstone, cut into blocks and fitted with detachable handles to carry the stone from the hearth to the bed. A wooden frame, slatted at the top, held the hot soapstone and prevented chipping or cracking. The slatted device was also used in sleighs and carriages and on Sunday mornings joined the family in church.A hot-water warming pan brings to mind a brass brazier with a long handle to hold hot coals. You might think of the present-day usefulness of this as a cornpopper.A bedwarmer was not without problems. The Rev. Dr. R. H. Adams, Wilmington, Delaware, ran into a problem in February 1902 when he was unable to leave his home or to officiate at his church services because of a mishap when he took some hot irons to bed in order to keep his feet warm. He accidentally burned his feet so that he could not walk without great pain. The eternal gospel missed out on the everlasting sermon that Sunday!In most parts of America a hundred years ago, the bedwarmer was considered an antique, while English merchants carried a full line of many patterns and styles. England was caught up in 1902 with copper, or as the English called it, "galvanized iron." The English bedwarmers were filled with a special heat-retaining material which did not deteriorate appreciably with use. The warmer was heated in a kitchen stove, then slipped into a flannel bag. The English placed a previously heated warmer under the bed clothes to form a tent, so that the heat would radiate in every direction and thoroughly warm the whole bed.Containers of hot water were used before the invention of rubber that could withstand heat. These early hot water containers were made of a variety of materials and wrapped in a soft cloth bag. With the introduction of rubber, along came the hot-water bottle. The hot water bottle was not without its problems.A device known as "Glo-Pax" took over about 1921 for use on the sleeping-porch bed or for use as an all-night bed warmer. The Glo-Pax heat regulator allowed its user to keep a uniform temperature in three degrees--high, medium or low. Glo-Pax was made of aluminum, had a handle and a soft fleece cover. The warmer was advertised for relief of "neuralgia, earache, toothache, congestion, stiff neck or muscles, stomach pains, lame back--any place where even heat quickly applied meant relief." The device, complete with ten-foot cord, regulator dial, plug, fleece, cover and case sold for $7.50.
In the late 20th century, electric blankets and the electric bed warmer came along to fulfill the same need.
We should also point out that in the United Kingdom and Australia, "bed warmer" is a term used for a temporary sexual partner, or for a relationship of necessity. But that is a story for another day.Didja ever think that character is what you get; reputation is what you get caught at?Quickies...• There are administrative details to be worked out, but construction of the area's cell towers could begin this month with local cell service available in June 2010.
• State Representative Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) will run for a third term in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives serving the people of the 117th Legislative District. Dr. Boback serves on the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, which oversees all aspects of agriculture, ranked as Pennsylvania’s highest revenue-generating industry. She serves on the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee. She is a member of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee which focuses on laws relating to veteran services and benefits, as well as programs for Pennsylvania’s fire and ambulance volunteers and disaster relief. For more information and ongoing updates throughout the campaign, go to www.karenboback.com .
• The German Heritage Society of the Susquehanna Valley will learn about ethnic German dance with instructor Natasha Holt at the GHSSV regular monthly meeting on Thursday evening, January 7, at 7. Ms. Holt will present various ethnic German dances and provide participants the opportunity to learn and perform these dances. This meeting will be held at Ms. Holt’s studio at 1 West Front Street in Freeburg. From Selinsgrove, take Route 35 South to Freeburg and turn left at the Empire Hotel. Refreshments will be provided by the Geise family and Patty Gaugler. Members and guests are invited to attend. Contact GHSSV President Jeff Sheaffer at 374-7730 for more information.An open letter from Dave Albertson, Benton Fire Co. President Elect...
On January 1, Hilda Rhinard passed away at the age of 79. It is safe to say that most of her life was spent volunteering countless hours of her time helping others.
With her passing, the Benton Volunteer Fire Company lost two people--Hilda our friend and Hilda the volunteer we could always count on to help at our monthly breakfast and dinners.
In today's world, volunteers are becoming harder to come by, but Hilda enjoyed helping us as much as we enjoyed having her around. We did not have to ask her to help, because you always knew she was going to be there. When Hilda started to weaken from her illness she was still there to help, even if it was only for an hour. Hilda never worried about the politics of our company. She did not care who the fire chief was or who was president at the time, she truly was there to help our company grow and to serve the community, and we thank her for that.
On Sunday, January 24, the Benton Fire Company will serve their monthly breakfast. In her honor we are asking the friends and family of Hilda to donate an hour or two of their time to help us cook and serve breakfast. If you are able to help us, please call 925-6185 and leave a message.
January 3, 2010. It is the birthday of Rayellen Kishbach Gilles, Joyce Hosking and J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.Our Yearly Reminders...
• The Benton News is represented on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bentonnews as a discussion group about topics of interest to those from Back Home in Benton, PA. All Facebook members are welcome. I also have a personal page which I rarely check.
• The Benton News is a free service and is copywrited 2002-2010.• Upcoming events are listed at www.bentonnews.net/events1.htm .Quickies...• We had our "Cash for Clunkers," which led to a gain in market share for Japanese and Korean manufacturers at the expense of American car makers. The UK had the Scrappage Scheme, while the Germans had their "Verschrottungsprämie" (scrappage). The U.S. Department of Energy's State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, otherwise known as cash for clunkers for appliances, will soon be implemented as a mail-in rebate program to help residents replace older, inefficient appliances with Energy Star® qualified and ultra-efficient appliances. The program is tentatively scheduled to begin in April 2010 and will end when funds are depleted. In the Commonwealth, eligible products include gas storage-water heaters, gas tankless-water heaters, oil- and gas furnaces, and oil- and gas boilers.• We love to read what the snollygosters are cooking up next. Congress recently sent the president a gigundous spending bill that funded dozens of federal departments. Included were safety requirements for AMTRAK customers who carry firearms on board the train system. The bill Congress passed mandated that passengers with firearms declare in advance that they have weapons with them and stow them in locked boxes while on the train. The bill text was correct when the House and Senate approved the legislation. Somewhere in between, thanks to a typing error during the printing of the bill, the language that referred to putting the guns in locked boxes got changed into stuffing "passengers" into locked boxes. The President signed the bill into law. Another bill needs to be passed to amend the wording, but until later this year the clerical error is the law of the land.• Oh, you ask what a snollygoster is? President Truman liked to use the term. It can mean what you want it to mean, but a "shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician," is an accepted definition.• A guide to outdoor recreation in Pennsylvania can be found here.• A reader asked how to find stock symbols when the name of the company is known. There are as many ways as there are Sundays in a year, but a method I use is here. As an example, let's say you want to know the stock symbol for Frontier Communications. Go to the web site I mentioned and type in the name of the company.
Let's take a minute to look at the things that you don't want to buy in 2010.• To start, you'll want to get rid of your dial-up connection to the internet. You need a fast connection. Home telephone landlines could become as archaic as the rotary phone. About one in five U.S. homes have cellphones without landlines. Skype, free when you communicate with other Skype users, takes place over the internet to make phone calls, hold video conferences and send instant messages.
• Netflix charges as little as $8.99 a month to rent one DVD at a time of an almost unlimited supply of movies (with no limit to the number of monthly rentals). Verizon Fios cable service charges $5.99 a month to download "16,000 movies." Your HBO, Showtime and Starz packages are expensive luxuries. Blockbuster plans to close roughly 22% of its stores by the end of 2010.
• External hard drives. If you plan to keep your computer for years and you upload songs, videos, movies and photos, you'll need more space than your hard drive permits. External hard drives are available, but an alternative could save you problems down the road. Online backup services, like Carbonite.com (a one-year subscription starts at $54.95) or http://mozy.com/ , (a monthly subscription costs $54.45) may end up being cheaper over the long term.
• There are smartphones and there are smartphones, but none rise to the level of iPhone and BlackBerry. Few developers are going to create applications and other products that cater to phones other than these two. BlackBerry has a 40% market share, followed by the iPhone with 25%. The Google Android could become a major player late in the year. BlackBerry and Android are available on the Verizon system. Google will officially unveil its Nexus One smartphone Tuesday, but at the moment it will only work with T-Mobile.
• About 360 magazines folded in 2009 and newspaper-advertising revenue continues to fall. The Amazon Kindle, the "original wireless reading device," and other eBook readers are coming closer to becoming one-stop sources to access newspapers, magazines and books. The price tags are about $250 for new and $180 for used. The Kindle Store has more than 390,000 electronic books.
•CDs soon will go the way of the 8-track tape.
• New college textbooks. Check out web sites like CheapestTextbooks.com, Booksprice.com or Amazon.com. Many college bookstores now sell used text books and it is also possible to download books online. Sites like Coursesmart.com sell subscriptions to digital copies of more than 7,000 textbooks. TextbookMedia.com allows students to download textbooks for free. Textbooks can be rented on Chegg.com.
• Gas-guzzling cars. Some claim gas will be more than $81 a barrel by the end of 2010. The most efficient cars include the Honda Civic Hybrid (40/45 mpg), the Volkswagen Jetta and Golf (30/41 mpg), and the Toyota Prius hybrid (51/48 mpg). The Ford Fusion is supposed to get 22 mpg city and 31 MPG highway; the Chevrolet Cobalt is supposed to get 37 mpg highway.
• Energy-inefficient homes and appliances. New federal environmental standards, including Energy Star certified, are priced higher than competitors, but lower heating and cooling bills. The government is offering a federal tax credit of up to $1,500 on energy-efficient home upgrades including certain insulation, roofs, windows and doors.
The first Sunday of each month Kathy Arcuri provides a gardening column. Today's version is entitled "An Old Familiar Friend."
When the weather outside is frightful,” what’s a gardener to do?
Grow houseplants, of course. There are lots of choices at florists and big-box stores. But one of my favorites is rarely seen for sale. And yet it is quite common in homes, often inherited from a great-aunt or grandmother, or gifted by a friend in the form of a cutting.
Hoya carnosa or wax plant, also known as porcelain plant, was named after Thomas Hoy, an eighteenth century British gardener to the Duke of Northumberland. This native of southern China has been gracing homes for centuries, scenting the air with tiny starburst flowers, and according to a recent study from the University of Georgia, also purifying polluted indoor air.
The hoya family boasts over 200 varieties, but by far the most frequently-grown species in northern climes, and the very best of all the hoyas, is wax plant--with 10-foot trailing stems, succulent green silver-flecked leaves, and clustered sweet-scented florets in white and cameo pink. The floral umbels in fact hint at an extended family member of the hoya, the common milkweed of North American fields, both of whose nectars attract warring hummingbirds.
In its native climate, wax plant tends to bloom in summer, but in our heated homes, and given indirect or curtain-filtered light, it has been known to flower year round. Leafless spurs or stubs, that often tendril or vine, bear the delicate flowers, so make sure not to remove these unruly shoots as they emerge. The flowers are quite fragrant and can perfume an entire room, particularly at night. Sticky, maple syrup-like nectar oozes from each flower and is easiest to wipe up if the plant sits on a washable surface such as a window sill, with wood or tile flooring beneath--and do remove the sweetish sap before a foraging ant colony takes up residence.
Propagate wax plant by rooting stem cuttings in water or damp sand, then potting in soil, allowing lots of time to establish an ample root system--indeed, pot-bound is its favorite living arrangement. Manage pests like aphids, mealy bugs, or red spider mites with a mist of diluted rubbing alcohol. Then just sit back and enjoy this green household heirloom.
--Kathleen Arcuri. For more of Kathy's garden writing, go here.
Hilda J. (Johnson) Rhinard (November 26, 1930-January 1, 2010), Hill Road, Orangeville, died Friday at the Bonham Nursing Center where she had been a resident since October 2. She was 79. She was born in Huntington Township. She attended the Huntington Mills School. She was a daughter of John and Esther (Bilby) Johnson. Mrs. Rhinard assisted her husband with the operation of the family farm and worked as a seamstress for Luzerne Outerwear. Later, she assisted her son Glen as a school and van driver for Rhinard Transportation. Mrs. Rhinard was a member of the Jonestown United Methodist Church. She was an active volunteer for the Benton Volunteer Fire Company and enjoyed helping with their breakfasts, dinners and carnivals.
She was preceded in death by her husband, H. Kenneth Rhinard on September 28, 2003, and by brothers Floyd and Larry Johnson. Surviving are her children Glen H. Rhinard (Louise), Jonestown; Edwin W. Rhinard, Tunkhannock, and Rebecca J. Rhinard, Jonestown. Also surviving are a grandson, Christopher Rhinard, Shamokin; her siblings: Robert Johnson, Eagle River, AK; Miriam Rice, State College; Betty Good (Carlos), Towanda; Ruth Wandell, Haines City, FL; Louise Laubach, Nashville, TN; John Johnson, Jr., Berwick; Eleanor Thorne, Huntington Mills; Kenneth Johnson (Ruth), Newark, DE; Barbara Saxe (Art), Sweet Valley; Arthur Johnson (Irma), Nescopeck, and Cora Trumpore (Walter), Lawton, NY.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 11 AM at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in St. James Cemetery. A viewing will be held Monday evening from 6 to 8 at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Benton Volunteer Fire Company. For online condolences or to sign the register book, go towww.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com/ .
January 2, 2010. It is the birthday of Sandra Kelsey and Ruth Frey. There are 77 days until the official start of spring.
President Jimmy Carter asked the Senate to recall the U.S. ambassador to Moscow on this day in 1980. Economic relations between the United States and the Soviet Union ended. Carter feared that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by an estimated 30,000 combat troops would threaten the stability of strategic neighboring countries such as Iran and Pakistan and could lead to the USSR gaining control over much of the world's oil supplies. The Soviets refused to withdraw from Afghanistan and America began to covertly subsidize anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan. During Ronald Reagan's presidency in the 1980s, the CIA secretly sent billions of dollars to Afghanistan to arm and train the mujahedeen rebel forces that were battling the Soviets. This tactic helped drive out the Soviets, but it gave rise to the oppressive Taliban regime and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist organization.
How did we get here so fast? The last I thought about it, we were in July and complaining about the heat. But here it is January, the month dedicated by the Romans to Janus, the deity they believed kept the gate of Heaven. Janus was represented with two faces, one in front and one behind, so that he could look back to the year past and forward on the current year.
The Dutch called this month "frosty-month." The Saxons, perplexed by the lack of food because of a high wolf population, called the month "Wulfmonath.' The designation of the month changed after the introduction of Christianity to an unpronounceable name which meant "after-yule." It was sometimes known as "first month."If you're blestWith strength to diet,Be my guest
But diet quiet!
Diet is the triumph of mind over platter. It is what we keep putting off while we keep putting it on. Have you ever noticed that some of the girls we once knew with the million-dollar figures have let inflation set in?Quickies...• The landscape of Columbia and Luzerne counties will change this year as preparation for natural-gas drilling moves from the site-preparation phase to the many stages required to extract what could be our nation's supply of cleaner-burning fuel for the next century. It is a move away from dependence on foreign energy. With all the good, comes concern. An article, "Natural Gas Drilling in America" published by ProPublica, deals with hydraulic fracturing and state oversight of the drilling industry. Read it here. The lack of state manpower and funding for oversight is a matter of concern.
• Didja know that Pennsylvania has the second highest number of producing gas wells in the United States? Texas is number one. West Virginia, New Mexico and Oklahoma round out the top five. (Head here for additional information.)Didja ever think that a widow
is a woman who no longer finds fault
with her husband?
We don't advocate this kind of action, mind you, but we smiled when we heard the story about the man who, after 17 years of marriage, dumped his wife for another woman. As we understand the story, the man's new girlfriend demanded to live in the couple's very nice home. He agreed, and gave his now ex-wife three days to move out. The wife spent the first day packing her belongings. On the second day, movers come and collected her things. On the third day, she sat in their beautiful dining room, put on some soft music and feasted on a bottle of Merlot, along with some shrimp and caviar. When she finished, she went into each room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp shells, dipped in caviar, into the hollow of the curtain rods. She then left her home.
Later that day, the husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss and romance for the first few days. Then slowly, the house began to smell. They tried cleaning and mopping and airing the place out. Vents were checked for dead mice, carpets were steam cleaned and air fresheners were put out. Exterminators set off gas canisters, and the expensive carpeting was replaced. Repairmen refused to work in the house. and even the cleaning woman quit. Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and they decided to move. A month later with the price of the house cut in half, they couldn't find a buyer for their smelly house and even the local realtors refused to return their calls. They finally borrowed money to buy a new place.
The ex-wife called the man, and asked how things were going and he told her about the rotting house. She listened politely, then said she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back. Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was, he agreed on price that was about ¼ of what the house had been worth--but only if she were to sign the papers the same day. She agreed, and within the hour, his lawyers delivered the paperwork. A week later, the man and his new girlfriend stood smirking as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home--including the curtain rods.
January 1, 2010. It is the birthday of Robert Antanitis and William Kreisher and the wedding anniversary of Frank and Brenda Conrad, Lebanon. After our two or so inches of snow Thursday morning and the snow that fell overnight, get used to snow in some form through Sunday. Hey, this is Winter!Happy New Year to all readers of the Benton News. Thanks for joining us today while the rest of the nation watches parades or football games or eats traditional pork and sauerkraut or catches up on sleep lost last night.
Pork and sauerkraut are the order of the day, but didja know that at one time new year's cookies were the thing to eat on this day. Both Christmas and New Year have long called for special foods and the Dutch New Year's koekjes, traditionally baked in molds that produced the design of an eagle or the name of a famous person, such as Washington, were once among the most ornate. In 1808, Washington Irving's satirical essays and poems entitled Salmagundi; Or, The Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq. And Others, claimed: "These notable cakes, hight (called ) new year cookies originally were impressed on one side with the burly countenance of the illustrious Rip Van Winkle." You can read the essays and learn more about eating on this day by going here.I lifted up my spiritsand had some fruit of the vineAnd kissed me a loved oneand sang Auld Lange SyneCountry singer Hank Williams Sr., died of a drug and alcohol overdose on this day in 1953. During the early morning hours on New Year's day, while traveling through West Virginia on the way to a show in Canton, Ohio, Hank Williams died in his sleep in the back seat of his Cadillac limousine at the age of 29. In 1966 on this day, all US cigarette packages began carrying the health warning, "Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health."A reader told us about some resolutions that he intends to keep. He says he is going to read less, put on at least thirty pounds, watch more television, procrastinate more, spend more time at work, start buying lottery tickets at a luckier store and will read more, and hopes to learn what the word "resolution" means.We used to go to nightclubsand drink a little booze.Now we stay at home at nightAnd watch the evening news.Our hats off to 2009, the year in which...• Steve Jobs survived pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant to take Apple into the status of one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the world. Apple's stock price appreciated nearly 150% in 2009.
• The price of gold in the year 2009 rose 25.3%, from $881.10 to $1,105. The Nasdaq 100 rose 54.3%, and the S&P 500 rose 24.7% in the same period of time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to its lowest level in 12 years during a panic in March before rallying through the 10,000 level to finish the year with a 20% gain.
• American Express was the best-performing component on the Dow as it rose nearly 120% for the year. Microsoft rose 59% after early in the year cutting 5,000 jobs before releasing Windows 7--a big hit after Windoze Vista. IBM rose 56.1% for the year. Cisco was up 48% for the year. 3M had a 44.5% gain for the year.
• The stock market had its share of losers, too. Exxon Mobil fell short of revenue targets and in December bet on the U.S. natural-gas sector, paying a 25% premium to acquire XTO Energy for $41 billion in stock. GE tumbled 5% for the year, much of it attributed to GE Capital and its shortfall in capital before relinquishing control of NBC Universal to Comcast for $6.5 billion in cash. Old standby Walmart was down 3% while rival Target gained 41% for the year. Verizon and ATT did not do well financially for the year.
• Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal funds totaling $200 million has been awarded to assist organizations dedicated to feeding, sheltering, and providing critical resources to our nation's hungry and homeless.
• The new owners of the Uni-Mart gas station pumped gas slowly Thursday morning when the truck delivering their fuel would not start after making its deposit.
• The Fishing Creek Players are in final countdown for their performance in Neil Simon's comedy, "Rumors," at the high-school auditorium from January 8-10. Shows are 8 PM Friday, January 8, and Saturday, January 9; and 3 PM Sunday, January 10. Four couples gathered for the 10th wedding anniversary of the deputy mayor of New York get more than they bargain for when the deputy mayor shoots himself, his wife goes missing and the confusions pile up. M.R. Daniels directs and we hear that her iron fist is down! Rehearsals will take place every day until the performance. Tickets are available at the door. Reserved seats are available by calling 925-0163 or at The Center.
• Didja ever wonder why the wrong number on a phone is never busy? Or before money was invented, what did women see in men? Or which came first, the caterpillar or the butterfly? Or where a man goes when he wants to get away from himself? Didja ever wonder what a lifetime warranty meant? Well--a lifetime warranty has no legal definition. One brand of floodlight, a lifetime warranty in the small print meant "defects for a year." Didja ever wonder why your cell phone bill was so large? It may be because a teenager is part of your family plan. But if you use Verizon Wireless, sign up for the unlimited free minutes to designated calling-list phone numbers which you provide via Verizon Friends & Family. Register your five to 10 most-called numbers.
• Join the congregation of the Benton United Methodist Church Sunday between 8 and 9 AM for their monthly breakfast. A freewill offering is available.
• You can read the new year predictions from the column of Roy Davis in the Tri-City Journal by going here. Look under the column title of the Paw-Paw River Journal. You'll notice something vaguely familiar about the column.