Do you need a friend? Few are better friends than the two shown in this video .
Today and tomorrow we have two very different stories to tell, both say something about youth and the things that people with get and go can do that those of us from an older generation know is not within our grasp. Tomorrow we'll tell you about a man from Rohrsburg who is now in Sendai, Japan, with seven teammates from Pennsylvania setting up a hospital for radiation burns and sickness, a man who just returned from Haiti last Monday where he served on disaster relief in that country. We'll introduce the story for today by asking you to watch a video of some of the luckiest people alive. This video is included in order for a little of it to rub off on son David, the subject of today's story in the Benton News. David and eight of his friends are heading to Baja on their motorcycles on what they are calling the "Salted Rim Tour 2011” wearing matching shirts so they stand out like Americans as they pass by banditos. They are riding what is roughly the equivalent of the Baja 1000.
They pick up rental bikes today in San Diego, cross the U.S./Mexico border in Tecate about 4 PM and stop for an early dinner before climbing the "Chuchuma" mountain to Rancho Ojai (where there are no restaurants.) They spend the night in Rancho Ojai in cabins with showers and beds, but towels, soap and sleeping bags are not furnished. It is back to nature, Mexico style.
Friday morning they are heading out early for 20 miles of slab, 76 miles of rolling fast graded dirt road with exposed granite boulders and pine forest, 63 miles of rolling fast graded dirt road turning into variable two track with whoops, rocks, and loamy banked turns, then 66 miles of slab, sandy wash, huge whoops, fast graded dirt road, dry lake bed and rocks. They will find a spot along the road to get some breakfast. A chase truck will head west and south through Ensenada. The bikes will turn south in la Rumerosa to ride through the national forest, and Laguna Hanson. They will head to Highway 3 and meet up with the chase truck about ten miles east of Ojos Negros where they will fuel, listen to some music, and refill camel baks. Bikes will head into the pine forest and head east on fast flowing granite roads, and smaller two tracks to the "goat trail," and eventually down into Valley De Trinidad. Here they will meet up with chase again, fuel, refill camel baks and have lunch.
They will then head south on dirt. This is the last time they will see chase until they hit San Felipe where they will fuel and take water. From the highway they will head south and then east on a combination of fast graded road, dry lake bed, and sandy whooped out trail and on into San Felipe. By the time they get to the Cortez hotel in San Felipe they should be beat and if they ride well still light out. It will be time for a beer, dinner and a good sleep.
On Saturday, they will have breakfast in San Felipe, then ride north more or less following the highway, and then west back to where they last saw chase on Friday. The day should bring 50 miles of rocks, whoops, huge whoops, sandy wash and graded road, 41 miles of rocky two track, graded road and just a bit of slab. From there they will head up through the canyon, until they meet chase, fuel all bikes and take water. From there, they will ride to Mike's Sky Ranch where they will stop for lunch, then head out “the back way” on rocky two track almost all the way to Meling. They will have dinner and a beer at Meling.
Sunday, they will have breakfast at Meling, and 80 miles of winding slab with incredible views, and knee-dragging turns, single track with ocean views, coastal two track, and flowing graded-dirt roads, and a bit of beach riding. They will be in sight of the Pacific Ocean almost the whole day. They will stop for fuel in Camalu and an early lunch at the Pirate bar. After lunch, the rest of the day will be on flowing two track and dirt roads heading up the Pacific coast to Erindira where they will stop for fuel from the chase truck and dinner and an overnight stay at Coyote Cal’s.
Following Monday's breakfast at Coyote Cal’s, they will be off for 71 miles of graded rocky dirt road with oncoming traffic, slab, rolling two track with rocky sections, and massive rain ruts. Once at Santo Tomas, they will top off fuel, and head north 63 miles on fast graded dirt road through high desert and pine forest to Urupan, then head East to Tres Hermanos and then north to Ojos Negros. They will gas up in Ojos, and find a taco stand open for lunch. From Ojos, it is a fast-flowing dirt road all the way back up to Rancho Ojai where they will load up and head home.
Sound like a piece of cake? Well, each rider will need to carry at least 100 oz. of water that can be easily accessed. Back-pack hydration works best. Headlights are essential. Full gear is required--helmet, boots, goggles, chest protector, gloves, knee/shin guards. A flashlight is essential if they get stuck in the desert after dark with a mechanical problem in the rain. They will carry a full set of tools, a radio, some food, first-aid kit, rain jacket, spare set of riding gloves, spare tubes, a headlamp, a stiff comb for removing Cholla, passport and some cash. No riding will be done after having a beer, I'm promised.
You can follow David's progress by Spot and GPS and on the Benton News Facebook page. I will breathe a lot easier when this ride is over. Darn, I wish I were a lot younger so I could have gone along...
If I had a boy, I would say to him, Son,Be fair and be square in the race you must run,Be brave if you lose and be meek if you win,Be better and nobler than I've ever been,Be honest and fearless in all that you do,And honor the name I have given to you.
--Frank Carleton Nelson
Rev. Vernon W. McDormand (May 4, 1922-March 30, 2011), a Lion of a man within the church, his civic life and his community, died Wednesday morning at his Everett Street home at the age of 88. A neighbor immediately commented, "He went straight to heaven." He was born in Westport, Nova Scotia, the youngest son of William and Fanny McDormand. At the age of 17, he moved to Toronto, Ontario, where he entered the College of Churches of Christ (Disciples of Christ). In 1940 at the age of 18 when he was a high school student he became the student pastor of the Winger Church of Christ, Wainfleet, Ontario. He was sent to this country church where they needed a minister. As Rev. McDormand once said, instead of a minister, "they got me." While serving this church, he finished high school and spent ten months in the Canadian Military and then graduated from the Ontario Bible College, Toronto, Ontario. He and his wife, Noreen, married in 1947 and in 1949 upon graduation they moved to Illinois, where he entered Eureka College, graduating in 1953 with a Bachelor Degree. While in Eureka College, he served two different student Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) in Ruland, and Flanagan, Illinois.Rev. McDormand later became the pastor of the First Christian Church in Gibson City, Illinois, resigning in 1960 to enter the Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, Kentucky, where he graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor of Divinity degree (currently a Master of Divinity degree). While in Seminary, he served as student pastor at Old Union Christian Church and Houstonville Christian Church. While in Seminary he worked at the State Mental Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.
Following graduation he and his wife pastored the First Christian Church of Mt. Sterling, Illinois, and then the First Christian Church in Gibson City, Illinois. While in Gibson City, he took four quarters of Clinical Pastoral Education at the Woodville State Hospital, Pittsburgh, and was endorsed by the Pennsylvania Council of Churches as an Institutional Chaplain. He then became Chaplain at the State Correctional Institution at Greensburg, PA, and later at Western Penitentiary, Pittsburgh.
Rev. McDormand and his wife, Noreen E. (Nickleson) McDormand, moved to Benton in 1983 to pastor the Benton Christian Church where he retired in 1998. He and his wife were also active with the Church Camp at Nordmont for many years. While pastoring the Benton Christian Church, he was recognized at a celebration for his 50 years of service in the ministry. Following his retirement, he pastored St. Peters United Church of Christ, Hobbie, for three years.
He has been in declining health for a number of years, but was seen daily in the community as he carefully balanced his walk by resting his arm on anything steady. He once recalled how nurse Joyce Keller and others got him "comfortable" on the floor of the church when he had a "spell." Rev. McDormand recalled lying on the floor, looking up at the concerned congregation looking down at him on the floor. Years later he jokingly speculated which lady of the church would want to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The minister remembered that he was very happy when the Benton Volunteer Fire Company arrived on the scene and EMT Barry Lewis knelt down and whisked him away to the hospital before "mouth to mouth" was necessary.
He carried the title of Minister Emeritus of the Benton Church. After retiring from the Benton church, Rev. McDormand spent the next three years filling in at the Hobbie United Church of Christ until that congregation selected a full-time minister. He recalled that he had a "spell" while at Hobbie. Nurses in the congregation laid him on his back on the floor, removed his tie and shirt and rubbed his chest. Vernon asked the Benton congregation, "Now I ask you, if you were having a spell, which church would you want it in?"
In his later years, the white haired Man of God wore a black tie and suit when he climbed behind the pulpit. His face would turn pink with the flow of adrenalin, his eyes tilted to peer through the bifocals in his large glasses at the written material he had collected on the podium. He didn't sing with the congregation, but stared intently at the material on his podium as a student might cram for an examination. His gaze led observers to think that his eyesight was not as good as it once was. He began reading slowly, thought about some sentences and then reread them as if either the words needed additional emphasis or he hadn't been able to accurately read them the first time..
When the actual sermon began, he planted his hands firmly on the pulpit for balance and reassurance and lifted his head toward the congregation. He delivered his Sunday messages clearly and without reference to a single note. Never smiling, his voice was filled with authority and knowledge. He spoke to his congregation much like an attentive grandfather might speak to an appreciative grandson. His eyesight might be failing him, but his memory and delivery were not.He was a member of Oriental Lodge No. 460, F. & A. M., Orangeville, and a 25 year member of the Benton Lions Club. He loved to travel with his close friends, Gary and Alice Strauch.
Surviving are his children Kenneth Henry McDormand (Lynn), Racine, Wisconsin; Rev. Dorothy Ann McDormand and her life partner, Rosemary Duffy, Pittsburgh; Frances McDormand (Joel Coen), Manhattan, NY; grandchildren Kenneth McDormand, Jr. (Cherie), Pontiac, IL; Sheri Dawn McDormand, Lincoln, Nebraska; Brian Lee McDormand, Bloomington, IL; Pedro McDormand Coen, Manhattan, NY; 10 great grandchildren and one great great grandson; a brother, Gerald McDormand (Frances), Vancouver, British Columbia; his close friends Gary and Alice Strauch, Waller, and his close friend and care-giver, Bert Getz. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by 3 sisters and a brother.
Funeral services will be held Monday at 11 AM at the Benton Christian Church, Third and Church Streets, Benton. The Rev. Dr. David Mansfield and the Rev. James Donahoo will officiate. Private burial will be in the Waller Cemetery, Jackson Township. There will be a viewing Sunday evening, from 6 to 8 PM at the Benton Christian Church and also Monday morning from 10 AM until the time of the service at the church. There will be a Masonic service Sunday evening at 8 at the church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Westport Church of Christ or the Westport Public Library, P. O. Box 1216, Westport, Nova Scotia, Canada B0V 1H0. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .They who goFeel not the pain of parting, it is theyWho stay behind that suffer.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Today's pop quiz is to test your reflexes. Go here and follow the instructions. Careful! It is addictive.
Didja ever think that we have enough youth? What we need is a Fountain of Smart.
Andy Borowitz writes that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has directed women in his country to wear more makeup so they will look like the Fox News anchorwomen in order to protect his countrymen from “the bias and distortions of the lamestream media.” He says he has established a “no-spin zone” over his country.
The world of internet browsers is changing very quickly. Three browsers were updated almost the same day. Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4 have accelerated speeds and advanced security features. Google Chrome, version 11 beta, has a voice-to-text feature for HTML 5 web apps with speech recognition that allows you to say "Hello, Hal!" to your computer. Learn more. For web pages that use this feature, click on an icon of a microphone and then speak into your computer’s microphone. The audio is typed out for you. To talk to your computer with Google Chrome 11 Beta, download Google Chrome 11 Beta and read more about Google Chrome 11 Beta here. Once you’ve downloaded and installed Chrome 11 Beta, test the functionality here. Expect that the next step will be to dictate your emails on Gmail and prepare reports on Google Docs using the speech-to-text now used on the Android operating system for smartphones.
Didja know that the Haynesville shale formation in northwest Louisiana is the nation's most productive gas field?
In these days of belt tightening, there are gazillions of things we don't need. Here, in my opinion, are some things that we should think about using less or not at all...• Olive oil. Well, yes, olive oil is one of our most healthful fats, but it has 119 calories per tablespoon. And don't reuse it. Mother always said that a couple slices of raw potato would clean oil so it could be reused. That is simply an "old wives tale."
• Desktop computer. If you aren't editing a lot of videos or playing certain games, stick with laptops and if necessary connect to a display and keyboard.
• Playback devices, including VCRs, laser discs and DVD players. (I never learned how to program my VCR.) BlueRay players are getting cheaper, but will eventually be replaced by a card within three months of your purchase. Everything you might want to listen to or watch is probably on the internet. Get an almost unlimited number of movies for less than $11 a month by subscribing to NetFlix. Throw away your cassette players and your CD players. Get rid of that old stereo system and speakers that take up half a wall. And why have a shortwave radio? And is that a typewriter under all that dust? For many, a landline telephone is no longer needed.
• CABLE TV. You do need a good broadband connection at home. Dial-up simply isn't adequate. Get a good internet connection at the most reasonable price you can find, then subscribe to a service like NetFlix or Hulu Plus . Many are using their smartphones via a Cradlepoint or MiFi connection for their internet connection. The local Verizon signal is strong enough to make that a satisfactory arrangement for most people.
• Twitter and Facebook. Too much information is coming out of both. We were okay until we learned from the Benton News Facebook page that a local lady just acquired a new pair of panties from Victoria's Secret. TMI.
• Scratch removers. Simply remove scratches from furniture by rubbing the flesh of a nut--a pecan or a walnut will work--over the scratch, then rub your finger back and forth until the area is warm.
• Flash Drives. With cloud computing, you can use a (free to a certain point, then subscription) service like Dropbox to move or share files from one computer to another, or to give a copy of a file to a friend. I wish I could remember how many thumb drives I have misplaced. You can also send a file you want to keep forever to your Gmail account.
• Pancake syrup. Simply take a third of a cup of butter, a third of a cup of sugar and a half cup of frozen orange juice concentrate. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is syrupy. Jemima will never know.
• French Fries. Get rid of the cardboard ones that come from a box. Cut up real potatoes into whatever shape you want. Marylanders know that the secret of Thrasher's French Fries in Ocean City, Maryland, where the line is often a block long, is simply to cook the French fries through at a lower temperature, then at a higher temperature to make them crispy.
• Garman & Tom-Toms. An Android smartphone does the same thing as a GPS unit by simply opening voice search and say "Navigate to Columbia Mall." You're on your way.
• Expensive skin treatments. Baby oil will do the same job as fancy cleansing cream. Make your own liquid soap by grating one 4-ounce bar of soap with moisturizing cream into a bowl and add three cups of water. Microwave on high until dissolved, stirring every couple of minutes. Make sure it is perfectly cool before trying. Women might try dabbing a small amount of white vinegar on their fingernails. The fingernails will stay shiny longer. Reduce arthritis pain with oatmeal. Mix two cups of instant oatmeal with one cup of water and heat in the microwave for a minute or two. Cool slightly, then apply to the afflicted area. You don't have shoe polish? In a pinch, simply use lip balm and buff with a tissue.
• Wristwatches. They are hot in the summer, get in the way and, like me, their batteries run down.We regret not acknowledging the wedding anniversary of a former resident of Benton. March 18 was the 50th wedding anniversary of Jane (Halderman) Himel, class of 1961, and husband Kenneth of New Smyrna, Florida. Our omission is regretted.
The Northern Columbia Quilt Guild meets tonight at the Stillwater Christian Church Fellowship Hall, Wesley Street, Stillwater. Doors open at 6 PM for registration. Meetings begin at 6:30 and last until 8:30 PM. For further information, contact Joanne Riley, 925-2563 or Jackie Parks, 925-6498.
Google indicated last week that in the coming weeks it would start enforcing the requirement of Google accounts by all YouTube users. We often include a YouTube video on the Benton News, so if you don't have a Google Gmail account, you should head to www.google.com/ and sign up. It is free. Without a Gmail account, it won't be long before you will not be able to view a YouTube video. If you don't sign up, you'll miss things like the video of two dogs eating in a busy restaurant. If something funny isn't what you want, head for the latest on China's increasing military presence .
Avis McHenry will celebrate her 90th birthday April 2. How 'bout sending her a birthday card. Her address is Avis McHenry, Bonham Nursing Center, 477 Bonnieville Road, Stillwater, PA 17878.
Fishing Creek Sportsmen's Club, officially recognizes the outstanding work of one of the volunteers of the organization each year and presents him or her with a special award. This year's award went to John Sibly. The award is "not only for feeding the fish," Clair Harvey noted, it is for "all aspects of the operation" including "maintenance, mowing the grass, stock and fish, getting fish ready for the fishing derby--and it is seven days a week, 365 days a year, not a nine to five job." Clair summed John up by saying "he is always there."
The Fishing Creek Sportsmen's Club has about 12 people who are very active--and of those twelve, only two are native to Benton. There are about 25,000 fish to care for. Clair mentioned the contributions over the years from dedicated sportsmen: Stanley Temple, Bill Johnson, Bill Repko and others. Clair added that there is a renewed interest in the objectives of the club and it is getting a "lot of new faces," including Chuck Musitano, who just retired from teaching. Four others drive up from Bloomsburg to help.
The club from its headquarters adjacent to the VFW and the Mill Race Golf Course strives to keep land open for fishing. The club buys land adjacent to creeks and improves that land for fishing.
Becky Westover's book is through copy editing and conceptional editing. Illustrators will do their work starting about April 1, followed by completion of the cover and then the book will be ready for marketing. It is a long process, but completion is getting closer. We'll keep you posted as developments occur.
Didja ever think that of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important?
Laura and Michael Bobersky will open a Bed and Breakfast in a log home at 575 Old Tioga Turnpike April 15 in time for the opening of trout season. The Bed and Breakfast is five miles from Ricketts Glen State Park, near Mill Race Golf Course, prime fishing, the rodeo and the O.A.T.S. Bluegrass Festival, game lands and many more attractions. There are 3 to 4 bedrooms with private baths. The master quarters has a king-size bed, nice lounge chair where you can sit and look out the French doors into the Northwoods and watch the deer, turkey and other wildlife lurking around in the woods. The master bath has a two-person Jacuzzi and a two-person separate shower. This room is perfect for honeymooners or couples needing a quiet romantic getaway. The room is very private and away from every other room in the home. The room can also be combined with another bedroom to make it a master suite--which would be great for families.
The second bedroom in the Bed and Breakfast has a full-size bed and a junior daybed that can easily be turned into a crib if needed. The Sportsman's Paradise room has a full size feather bed that you melt into. This room has a built-in table and two chairs. You can choose to eat your homemade hot breakfast in your private room or in the "great room." The bathroom is right outside your bedroom door. There is both a tub and shower combination. The vanity has a lot of space for all of your needs.
The master loft bedroom and bath are the only two rooms in the upstairs. This is a large private area with a king-size bed and a pull-out couch bed. There are table and chairs for your convenience. You can choose to eat your breakfast in the privacy of your own room or in the great room. The bathroom has a nice stand-up shower with room to move around.
The Old Tioga Inn will open April 15. Pictures of the inn and its rooms are on Facebook (search The Old Tioga Inn) and here. Call 570 864-2887 or email theoldtiogainn AT hotmail.com for rates and availability.
Nothing pleases me more than to eat Italian food--especially if I cook it. I published one of my recipes for zucchini spaghetti on the Benton News and several readers wrote saying how good it was. I'll mention another of my favorite Italian recipes in a second, but first I have to say that it is hard to cook Italian here in Florida because of the lack of Pecorino Romano cheese. I brought a container with me from Pennsylvania, but it is nearly gone and I won't be able to get more until I get back to the Commonwealth. Romano cheese is always from Italy--just as Roquefort is always from France--and is from whole cow's, sheep's or goat's milk.
So here is a recipe for today. The dish is Spaghetti Alla Carbonara for four. You'll need a pound of spaghetti, four eggs, of which you'll use one whole egg and the yokes of three; some sea salt to your taste; 1¾ cups finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano; 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus a little more to taste; 4 ounces of thinly sliced guanciale or pancetta (both are unsmoked Italian bacon. Locally, we would call it jowl bacon) cut into ½" pieces; and 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat and throw in whatever pork, guanciale or pancetta you were able to find and cook it until lightly browned, about six to eight minutes. Add the pepper and continue to cook until the mixture becomes very fragrant--usually about two minutes. Put the mixture in a large bowl to cool slightly, stir in a cup and a half of the Parmesan or the Pecorino Romano, the egg and the three yokes and take a break.
When you see the whites of the eyes of your guests, bring a six-quart pot to boil with salted water. throw in the pasta and a little olive oil and cook until al dente following the directions on the box--probably 8 to 10 minutes. When the spaghetti tastes right to you, remove ¾ of a cup of water from the boiling spaghetti and save. Drain the pot. Toss the spaghetti with the hot guanciale mixture. Toss the mixture and add pasta water a little at a time to make a creamy sauce. Spice up the taste with salt and pepper to taste and serve with the remaining Parmesan or Pecorino Romano.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission prepares to review domestic nuclear safety following the continuing incidents at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Stricter regulation of a highly regulated industry will certainly cause operators to take another look at the advantages of natural gas while barbs get thrown at the nuclear industry world-wide and design changes are debated. Exelon, the largest nuclear operator in the U.S. and a major provider of energy services including electric and natural gas, quickly indicated that any new plants the company needs will be fueled by gas, wind or solar energy. Federal air-pollution standards will probably result in the retirement of some coal-powered generation plants.Mahlon began his working career as a young man in Benton, delivering milk for Grant Brink from the Sunny Hillside Dairy. He also worked for Magee Carpet, Bloomsburg. He began a highly respected nineteen-year teaching career in 1961 in the Business Department at Millville High School. After his years at Millville High School, he remained active as an administrator with two nursing-home facilities from 1981-1992. He continued teaching on a part-time basis from 1986 through 1994 as a business professor at Bloomsburg University. Mahlon was a licensed independent insurance agent from 1976 through the mid 1990s and was a founder of the Fritz Insurance Agency operating out of the original Rabb Drug Store, Main Street. He collected school-house clocks and miniature-model cars and was a member of the Cubs Nest Hunting Club, Red Rock. Mahlon attended the Faith Bible Church, Orangeville.He enjoyed traveling with his wife of 50 years--the love of his life--Donna (Hayman) Fritz, who died September 19, 2008. He is survived by his children: Mahlon L. Fritz, Jr. (Betty), Illinois; Carl A. Fritz, Sr. (Becky), Benton; and Robin S. Fritz (Martha), Orangeville. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, one great granddaughter and a brother, Jerry D. Fritz (Peggy), Benton. In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by siblings Norma A. Raski; Carl A. Fritz, Robert A. "Wiffle" Fritz and C. Larue Fritz.His funeral service will be Wednesday, March 30, at 11 AM at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. with his brothers-in-law, Rev. Franklin F. Hayman and Rev. Arthur Lee Hayman officiating. Interment will be in St. James Cemetery, Fishing Creek Township. An evening visitation will be held Tuesday, March 29, from 6-8 PM at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Geisinger Hospice, c/o Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA 17822. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .Brian was a former pastor of the Bible Baptist Church, Benton. He still loved and was devoted to his lord and savior, Jesus Christ. He studied his bible on a daily basis and attended services at the Shiloh Bible Church in Almedia. He worked with the prison ministry at the SCI Retreat, Hunlock Creek. He was the owner of Victor Metals LLC, Stillwater. He worked as a welder and metal fabricator for nearly twenty years. Brian served his country during the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Army from 1967-1970. He enjoyed working with his hands, whether it was for his business, or working in his yard, cutting trees or helping friends and neighbors. He also liked riding his motorcycle and serving as a member of the Stillwater Borough Council.
Brian is survived by his mother and his children: Nicole Miller (Gary), Wilmington, NC; Paul B. DuMond (Terri), Shickshinny; Stephen V. DuMond (Kelly), Berwick; Charles G. DuMond (Carissa), Knoxville, TN and Richard W. DuMond, Shickshinny. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and a sister, Mary Lou Grant, Unadilla, NY. He was preceded in death by his father and a sister, Sherrie Randall.
His memorial service will be Thursday, March 31, at 11 AM with visitation preceding at the Shiloh Bible Church, 123 Church St., Almedia. Interment will be in the Stillwater Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the missionary work supported by the Shiloh Bible Church. 123 Church St., Bloomsburg (Almedia) PA 17815. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.comAbra Bitler-Weaver, Ryan Farley, Erin Letteer and Barbie Demko and the wedding anniversary of Marilyn and Garth Strauch. It is also the 30th birthday of Joseph Cardone who just arrived at his duty destination of Gamberi in Laghman province. He is a mentor to the Regional Afghan National Police Headquarters which has oversight of 7 Provincial Police Headquarters. His role is to culturally strengthen the relationship with Afghan counterparts in order to sustain counter-insurgency and peace-keeping operations in their country without our help. The weather where Joseph is located is warmer than most places in country because of a lower elevation (most of Afghanistan is high, rough terrain). The mountain tops are snow covered while the plains where his base is located is infested with mosquitoes. Joseph has a wife and 4 children living in Arizona. He is a "lifer" in the military with 11 years already in.
Boy Scouts are picking up non-perishable food items in the borough from 10 AM to 11:30 AM. Please place the items on the front steps/porch/yard in boxes or bags. All food collected stays in Benton and is given to the Food Bank at the Community Center. The Pascal Rioult Dance Celebrity Artist Series is tonight at Bloomsburg University in There is an indoor yard sale from 8 AM to 2 PM with 100 tables of yard-sale goods to benefit the Espy Fire Company. Espy Fire Hall, Tenny Street. 275-223. First United Methodist Church, 228 South Street, are holding their annual all-you-can-eat ham and dandelion dinner from 4 to 7 PM.Benton Volunteer Firemen's Breakfast, from 7 AM. At the firehall, 150 Colley Street, Benton.Bloomsburg University's Mitrani Hall, 400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg. 389-4284.
Ensemble Concert with Stephen Clickard conducting tonight, with guests of the Clickard Consortium.Didja ever think that a sharp tongue can cut your own throat?
Many eyes are on Lakeland, Florida, as a small plane crosses Texas on its way to the Sun-N-Fun Air Show in Lakeland next week. This is the same plane that once flew spotter missions on Iwo Jima in the company in which Bob Vincent once served. Lakeland has been in the spotlight before with aviation news. Many will have forgotten, but back in 1927, six weeks after Charles Lindbergh made his flight from New York to Paris, an obscure dental assistant in Lakeland was dreaming of being the first woman to cross the Atlantic.
Crossing the Atlantic by airplane was risky business. Both men and women had lost their lives before and after Lindbergh. But 23-year-old girls have a lot of spunk and Ruth Elder had just completed flying lessons and thought that she had the world by its tail. Ruth kept after her flight instructor, George Haldeman, until he agreed that the two would try to cross the Atlantic. Haldeman, 29, a fellow Lakelander, and Elder took off from Drew Air Base in Tampa for Roosevelt Field, New York in mid-September 1927.
Ruth rolled sex and glamour into a neat package and the national press glommed onto her like flies to the jelly. Just as Lindbergh was the All-American Boy, Ruth was the “All-American Girl.” The bandanna she wore on her head became the rage in the United States. People called them “Ruth ribbons.” Ruth claimed to be unmarried, but alas there was a skeleton in the closet. After she got thinking about it, she realized that she did have a husband at one time. She termed her two-year marriage as a “misunderstanding.” If your life has been dull lately, you can read the details we leave out by going here . An act of forgetfulness won’t keep a good pilot down and a little after 5 PM on October 11 she and her co-pilot and 520 gallons of fuel took off in a new Stinson Detroiter airplane, a single-engine, high-wing monoplane, bound for Portugal, a full 18% further than Lindberg's flight. The flight was scheduled over the Azores along the way. They were not far into the flight when they flew into a violent storm.
For 28 hours, they were unable to be in contact with the rest of the world. The oil pressure suddenly dropped significantly as the plane slowed to 70 miles per hour. An oil line had ruptured. The two kept the plane flying toward east as the oil pressure dropped to five pounds. Finally a ship was spotted, which they circled, dropped a message asking which direction was Portugal. Sailors quickly painted the deck of the ship saying they were 350 miles north of the Azores. They had the fuel to make it but the engine would give out any minute. They had to try to bring the Stinson-Detroiter airplane to a crash landing on the water.
The landing was flawless--if a crash landing is ever "flawless." The craft stayed afloat and a lifeboat reached them within a few minutes. The crew tried to get the plane aboard, but a heavy wave smashed the plane against the side of the ship causing a massive explosion. The plane was cut loose and soon disappeared below the water.
Elder and Haldeman had been in the air for 36 hours and had travelled a record 2,632 miles. Ruth was not the first woman to fly the Atlantic, but was the first woman to be plucked out of its frigid waters. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly the Atlantic and she did it in 1932.
Haldeman became a U.S. test pilot and set many records during his career. He remained a resident of Lakeland. Elder was paid $100,000 to go on a nationwide speaking tour and later starred in a Ziegfield film entitled "Glorifying the American Girl." Ruth Elder inspired a new generation of women pilots. It was also the beginning of a long history of aviation in the city of Lakeland, Florida.
In the meantime, continue to track "Lady Satin" as she flies from her location in Texas to Lakeland, Florida, by going to http://www.victorygirl.com/blog/ .
Have a hoot of a weekend.
Didja ever think that there is good in everybody? If so, you haven't met everybody!
The article about Bob Vincent, originally included at this location, has been moved to the FEATURES section. You can find the article by going here.
We'll turn our attention for a moment to another Vincent. This past weekend Lee and Carolyn Remley attended the Eagle Court of Honor for their grandson Jacob A. Vincent, son of Chris and Amy Vincent, Odenton, Maryland. In addition to receiving his Eagle Badge, Jacob was awarded his first Bronze Eagle Palm. To help celebrate Jacob’s accomplishment, the ceremony was also attended by Paul and Kerry Vincent, Stillwater and Jeffrey Remley and Cindy Williams, Benton.Jacob is a member of Troop 755 and has been in Scouting since becoming a Tiger Cub in September 2002. This past summer Jacob and his brother Joshua, also an Eagle Scout, attended the 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. For his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project, Jacob constructed two meditation benches for the cemetery at the Church of God at Gambrills, the troop’s charter organization. This project totaled more than 200 hours.Jacob is currently serving as the Troop Guide and has served as a Scribe, Patrol Leader, Instructor, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader. He has earned 39 merit badges and has received the Arrow of Light, the God & Church Award, the World Conservation Award, the Mile Swim BSA and Kayaking BSA and is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow.Jacob is a freshman honors student at Arundel High School and is on both the Arundel Track & Field and Cross Country teams; He is also an active member of the Nicholas-Bethel United Methodist Youth Group. This summer both Jacob and Joshua will be going with the troop for a week to the Florida Sea Base in Key West.State police in the Commonwealth removed from service 131 trucks (of 731 commercial trucks inspected) hauling waste water from Marcellus shale drilling sites during a two-day crackdown last week. Fourteen drivers were taken out of service, 421 traffic citations were issued and 824 warnings were issued. Faulty brakes were a common problem.How 'bout them Phillies! Forbes Magazine says the team is now worth $609 million, the sixth most valuable team in baseball. You can determine the estimate worth of all the major league teams by going here.There is a good deal at Stoney Acres Nursery, route 487. You can get a free Cooke Tavern Soup from them when you spend $50 at the nursery through the end of March.
There is a lot of activity at The Center in preparation for the production of The Curious Savage which will be performed April 1, 2 and 3. If you have some free time, they could use some help. This afternoon at 2, Brandon Hartman and others will begin to assemble scenery and seating risers and bring them to The Center. Two trucks are ready to roll, but they need four people to help load and unload. As soon as the set is delivered, two people are needed to roll a base coat of paint. Saturday beginning at 10 AM, they need lots of people to paint the set and all the seating platforms. Director M. R. Daniels has all the materials, but needs some warm bodies to help. Four people would work. More would be better. This is easy work and you quit when you get tired.
Sunday at 10 AM is when everything will get set up and carpenters and helpers are needed. If you own a screw gun, you're a carpenter! Otherwise, you're a helper who holds things in place while the carpenters screw it together! The production needs eight people---less strain on everyone if there are more bodies, and it goes much faster. They'll start at 10 and if they have eight people they'll be finished by 2; otherwise it will take longer. Monday, two to four people are needed to hang lights and focus them. If you've never done it before, it will take you two minutes to learn, and the only requirement is that you can climb a 12 foot stepladder carrying 20-pound lighting gear. A couple more ushers are needed for the performances.Please call M.R. Daniels at 925-2080 or Brandon Hartman at 204-6953 and let them know when you can help!
Door hangers were placed on houses in the borough last night by the Boy Scouts to indicate the upcoming food collection. The Scouting for Food collection will be this Saturday, March 26. The Scouts will be collecting non-perishable food items starting at 10 AM until 11:30 AM. Non-perishable items may be placed on the front steps/porch/yard in boxes or bags. All food collected stays in Benton and is given to the Food Bank at the Community Center. Thanks to all who support the collection.
The Benton and Berwick school districts have achieved federal Energy Star status with several buildings. The L.R. Appleman Elementary Middle/Senior High School received the awards for Benton. Nescopeck Elementary and 14th Street elementary schools received the award from PPL Electric Utilities for Berwick. The corporation, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (PPL), provides electric delivery service to 1.4 million customers in 29 counties of eastern and central Pennsylvania. The program is in furtherance of the federal Environmental Protection Agency program outlined here.
James M. Geffken, a 1992 Benton Area Schools graduate, is the Director of Buildings and Grounds for Berwick Area School District. James is "proud of what we accomplished through a combination of mechanical upgrades and cultural change. A particular point of pride comes from the fact that we achieved Energy Star recognition for buildings that were constructed in 1924 and 1953." Benton went with its biomass plant. The construction of this centralized alternative-fuel heating plant and the associated energy savings are at the root of Benton Area School District's PPL Energy Star Award. The District's willingness to embrace a "mechanically sound, efficient, and environmentally responsible heating technology" made Jim Geffken proud to be a Benton graduate.
Benton Council of Churches News...• the annual Vacation Bible School will be June 27-July 1 at the Benton United Methodist Church from 8:45 AM until noon. All area children up to and including 6th grade are invited.
• Joe Feola spoke to the council about starting a soup kitchen in Benton for any resident in town, the Saturday following the Food Bank Day, As plans progress, more will be included. Place for this is uncertain as of now. Start date would be September 2011.
• The Benton Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church's Fund raiser of roast beef carry out dinner, hoagie and soup sale were very successful to help with the fuel fund.• The Council of Churches will take part in the annual Benton Yard Sale Day, May 28, from 8 AM in the parking lot of the Benton Christian Church, Third Street. All donations of good reusable-prepriced items will be accepted at the Benton Christian Church on Saturday, May 21, Wednesday, May 25, and Friday, May 27, from 9 AM until noon.• The Lenten services are going well with good attendance, although the March 27Collections from the Lenten services benefit the Vacation Bible School. The George Peterman Walk to benefit the vacation bible school is now by donations in George's memory rather than a walk as it was getting harder and harder to find walkers and the weather didn't always co-operate. There will be vesper service in the park the Sunday evening before the Benton Fireman's Carnival.
• The Council still has Cook Books for sale; these will be at the yard sale as well. If you haven't purchased one yet, you are missing out on some great recipes. The books are only $7 each and make great gifts for brides and college students. Buy two and keep one for yourself!
The article about Bob Vincent, originally included at this location, has been moved to the FEATURES section. You can find the article by going here.
The Museum/Library Committee of The Center will present a talk tonight at 7 by Colonel Eileen Chapman, U.S. Marine Corp (Retired), who will tell stories about her 30-year career as the first woman JAG Officer to serve in the United States Marines. She served from 1966-1996 at a time when women were seldom seen in any profession, yet alone the legal profession and the Marine Corps. She was the first female lawyer in the Marine Corps.
Mozilla has released Firefox 4, the newest version of the popular, free and open-source web browser. The new Firefox has a streamlined user interface, fun new features, a boost in speed and support for modern Web technologies. Download Firefox 4 from www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/new/ .
The Guv wants higher-education funding for 18 colleges and universities cut in half as part of a plan to balance the budget without raising taxes. The schools that would be impacted have/will say the proposed cuts would lead to tuition hikes, scaled-back courses and other changes. Do you know what tuition costs at colleges and universities in the United States? If not, head here , enter the name of the university and the state in which it is located.
Penn State University President, Graham Spanier, whose total compensation last year was $642,760, issued a warning that the proposed cuts would make the university face the realities that we ordinary citizens face in our lives when we have to cut back, use available time and money more efficiently and make do with less. Perhaps a pay freeze would be in order. Certainly many in the Commonwealth who don't have a job and have bleak prospects for getting a job would be happy to have their pay frozen at a high level.
Didja ever think that it isn't necessary to worry about our health? It will just go away anyhow.Today's politically incorrect song was recorded at a Las Vegas Diamond Rio concert where the band got a standing ovation. As Father used to say, listen here:
The article about Bob Vincent, originally included at this location, has been moved to the FEATURES section. You can find the article by going here.
March 22, the birthday of Roy Fisher, John Geffken, Patricia Petersen and Michael Bath.
Sullivan County does not have fire hydrants, full-time fire and rescue personnel, and no equipment to handle a major chemical, gas, oil or industrial fire. On Monday, March 28, at 6:30 PM, the Sullivan County Energy Task Force will meet at the Sullivan County Court House. The subject of the meeting is "Are We Prepared in Sullivan County?" The public is invited, and your questions are welcome regarding the county's ability to meet emergency situations related to gas drilling.
Didja ever think that people who let themselves get run down usually wind up in a hospital?
March 20, the birthday of Eddie Davis, Bob Wenner, Edith Sterrett,Taylor Kogut and Eric Ackerman. Can you feel Spring right around the corner? It arrives at 7:21 tonight.
Congratulations to Sean Christian, in his winter junior semester in England. He as had a 4.0 in 3 of his 5 semesters?
The Centre Daily Times recently published a list of terms applicable to the Marcellus Shale. You can refresh your memory of these terms by going here.
A reader commented that the Benton News currently contains too much information about Florida and not enough information about the local area. The woman who wrote was from the local area, but didn't know much about life on a farm. She indicated that she loved reading about farm life and meanings of different words.
A combination of these two things come together with the term "com, boss." It isn't "com, Bossie!" It is "com, boss."
The words were always uttered in a special way, sort of sliding into the "com" and then dragging the rest out with emphasis. It took a special skill to yell these words as loudly as possible.
Brother Dayne and his new bride Ruth owned a farm just "below the rocks" south of the Benton Borough line. The house and the barn were on the east side of route 487 and the pastures were on the west side of route 487. The only way to get cows across the road was to walk the cows West in the morning after milking and East in the late afternoon after milking. Traffic came to a complete stop while Bossie and her buddies would get to the middle of the two-lane road, toss their heads back and forth as defiantly as they could, and then deposit a trail marker in the vicinity of the center line. Herding cows in bare feet was a challenge!Who says a farmer is supposed to be tall and lean,Good lookin' to be sure with tight fittn' jeans,A thin wind-whipped frame with legs slightly bowed,with his pants tucked inside his Muck boots to be showed?
Just after milking in the morning and just before suppertime, the cows would make their pilgrimage across the road to or from the "bottom," about half a mile from the barn, where shade and water was abundant. My job was to wave a white cloth from the edge of the road while yelling at the top of my voice, "Com, boss." Slowly the Golden Guernseys meandered across the well-worn paths in the field and made their way through the "gap" in the fence, across the railroad tracks, up the bank, across the road, and into the barnyard. It frequently meant that we would have short conversations with "regulars" on the road, and occasionally we had abbreviated conversations with tourists who were just genuinely insulted that they had to wait for a 900-pound animal to cross. Cars didn't seem to have the right-of-way, but the railroad did, and we always hurried in case the train rumbled up the tracks.
There was one close call. In the 1940s, Muretta Hess, who "clerked" at the Pennington Store on Main Street, was driving south in her 1925 Chevrolet Roadster. The car had two-wheel brakes and the brakes were applied by pulling on a lever. Muretta was always a concern. Although she didn't drive fast, she didn't stop fast, either! One afternoon, she rounded the bend and saw the slowly moving cows crossing the road. We could tell she was trying to stop as she slowly slowed from 25 miles an hour to 20 miles an hour and to 15 and so forth. The car finally stopped rolling when it came to rest against a confused Guernsey. No damage was done and we listened as she told us that she needed to have her brakes tended to, then she slowly drove down the highway toward her brother Roy's farm. Later, we heard that Muretta rolled the car over later that day when she tried turning into Roy's driveway--her brakes completely gone.
Herding animals is a way of life in some parts of the country. In the 1860s, for example, flocks of up to 500 turkeys would be herded along the South Platte to the boom town of Denver. First would come six horses, then the wagon loaded with corn, then two boys who walked the 600 miles or so yelling all the while at the temperamental birds. The turkeys lived mostly on grasshoppers with side helpings of corn during their trip to market where only pork, beans and coffee were otherwise available. A thousand drumsticks for Denver was a mightily appetizing thought and the birds fetched $5 each. One flock on their way from Vermont to Boston chose to sleep on a schoolhouse roof one night and caved it in.
There is a story about herding turkeys and ducks at the same time. It happened when a herder of ducks challenged the herder of turnkeys to a 60-mile race from Denver, Arkansas, to a poultry market in Springfield, MO. Turkeys can outrun a pony for short distances, while ducks slowly waddle. It was a "tortoise vs. the hare" kind of race. The turkeys were way out in front, but as soon as darkness settled in they took to the trees. The ducks continued to waddle all night and arrived in Springfield before the turkey herder could get his birds out of the trees the next morning.
Jim Babb told us once about herding cattle from Lopez in Sullivan County to Benton via the then-abandoned Susquehanna & Tioga Turnpike. We suspect that once the cattle got used to the road and got a little leg weary, it wasn't a bad job. The animals stopped wherever they found water and during the rainy season progress was not as rapid as during the dry season. The cows liked to graze at noontime and insisted on calling it quits before the sun went down. Come to think of it, in my advancing age I am getting a lot like those cows.
Today is the day fer the wearin' o' the green.
Today is the day when the little people are seen.
Today is St. Patrick's Day, so if ye'r Irish me lad,
Join the celebratin' fer the grandest time ta' be had.
Ya' put yer hand up in the air, the other hand on your hip.
Ya' tap yer toe, ya' tap yer heel, ya' bounce yer knee a wee bit.
Ya' prance 'n dance around the room, n' circle one two three.
The saints be praised, I must admit, ya' all look Irish ta' me.March 18, the birthday of Hugh Shiffer, Joyce Davis, Christina Verbyla, Justin Ridall and Carter Nathaniel Heim and
We'll soon be planting our vegetable gardens. When you plant, please don’t forget the Benton Food Bank and the fresh-food program that local gardeners have so generously made successful. Every first and third Tuesday morning, starting mid-June, your contributions will be welcome at the rear of The Center. Vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers and eggs are all very much appreciated.
F. Charles Petrillo, Esq. will speak at the Back Mountain Historical Association on “The History of Ricketts Glen State Park,’’ on Tuesday, April 26, in Huntzinger and Alden Trust rooms of Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall of Misercordia University beginning at 7 PM. The meeting and presentation are open and free to the public. A light reception will follow the meeting. Please register by calling 674-621.
R. Bruce Ricketts (1839-1918) once owned more than 65,000 acres in Luzerne, Sullivan and Wyoming counties. His summer home was at Lake Ganoga. State Game Lands No. 57 and 13, adjacent to the park, were once held by Ricketts. The 13,050-acre park was approved by former Pennsylvania Gov. Arthur James of Plymouth in 1941. The centerpiece of the park is its numerous waterfalls, which provide the name Ricketts Glen to the park. In 1969, the waterfalls trail was named by the National Park Service as a National Natural Landmark.
Garrison Keillor, 68, plans to retire in the spring of 2013 according to an AARP bulletin . Keillor broadcasts on 590 public radio stations across the country and is heard by over 4 million people each week. Keillor chooses radio where he says the "lighting is right."
Peanuts are an example, as is chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, a cup of French fries at the carnival or getting up late on a rainy Saturday morning. Some things you want to do over and over, even if you don't exactly like them. Watching the "Celebrity Apprentice" is an example. While I don't exactly like the show and haven't liked most of the people on the show the last two times, I still turn on the DVR and watch sans commercials. The person I like the least on the current series is reality TV star Richard Hatch who now is both behind bars and trying to be the next Celebrity Apprentice. He is behind bars because he didn't pay the taxes on the first million he made on the show Survivor. He has served three years for that little episode, was released and promised the government that he would cough up the back taxes. He didn't even refile his taxes let alone pay up. The government wasn't impressed. They arrested him before he could become the newest apprentice for "the Don." Mr. Trump, in rehearsals for a political run for the U.S. presidency, while forgetting that leading a nation by following the rules apples equally in his personal life and on his television show, didn't much see the arrest as a problem. He released the statement, "If he makes it to the finals--and I'm not saying he is--I'm sure we can get him time off for good behavior." OOPS. I think I've found a new person to least like on that show...Range Resources plans to sell their natural gas holdings in less profitable areas to concentrate on the Marcellus shale play. While we watch companies jerk landowners around in signing leases and inserting clauses that are definitely one sided, take a look at how Range sees the profit potential in the Marcellus by going here.
MetroCast Channel 10 has created a video that provides a historical look at the devastating Benton Fire of 1910. The fire wiped out third of the town. Find out how it started, how it was fought and the immediate devastating and long-standing positive effects it had on the borough. Retired Bloomsburg University History professor, George Turner, takes us through the event and shows us some vintage photographs of the fire. (During the story, look for video taken from almost the exact same spot fire photos were taken in 1910 so you can see what Benton looked like a hundred years ago and what it looks like today). MetroCast Channel 10 will show the video through March 25 on the following schedule:Sundays and Thursdays: Noon and 6 PMMondays and Fridays: 11 AM and 7 PMTuesdays and Saturdays: 10 AM and 10 PMWednesdays: 9 AM and 9 PM
On a driving trip from Florida to Pennsylvania late last year, I got 32.9 miles per gallon on my Toyota based on a Georgia fill-up using ethanol-free gasoline. The drive was on I-95 with cruise control on. The only push on the gas pedal was when I started and when I went up a slight incline over an overpass. I had one stop for something to eat. Otherwise, I maintained a constant 75 miles per hour. Using ethanol-laced gasoline, I get about 28 miles per gallon in the same driving conditions. I am not pleased with ethanol in gasoline. My experience is that corn-produced ethanol is about 20% less efficient than straight gasoline. The shelf life of ethanol is about 30 days before it begins to absorb moisture from the air. Outboard engines in boats and potentially your car setting for a month or so will begin running watery gas.
I don't know the full story behind ethanol in our gasoline, but I betcha it has something to do with politicians getting rich by backing a concept at the expense of the taxpayer or it has to do with rustling in votes from one constituent group over another.
There is always a danger in using figures that come from others. They are always slanted in their favor and that could be the case here, but I am going to use them anyway.
A Cornell University study shows that it takes 450 pounds of corn--which would easily feed a human for a year--to produce 17 gallons of ethanol. To make that ethanol also takes a gallon of fossil fuel and about 20 gallons of water. That doesn't count the fertilizer needed to grow the crops, etc. The University of Missouri reports that 1 acre of corn harvested in 2012 is expected to produce 158.6 bushels of corn per acre. The ethanol per bushel of corn is said to be 2.77 gallons, yielding 439 gallons of ethanol per acre.
A Cornell University agricultural expert calculated that powering the average U.S. automobile for one year on ethanol derived from corn and blended with gasoline would require 11 acres of farmland, the same space needed to grow a year's supply of food for seven people. That reports claims that 131,000 BTUs are needed to make one gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of 77,000 BTUs. Seventy percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in it. Every time a gallon of ethanol is produced, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTUs. Does this sound like a government program or what!
Ever wonder why Kellogg charges so much for its corn flakes? One reason is the amount of corn that goes to the ethanol producers. They in turn get a subsidy of between $1.05 and $1.38 to produce a gallon of ethanol. The ethanol producers borrow from the Chinese to build the ethanol plants. So now we come to "is the product good for your engine." Here in Florida there is a class-action suit against several ethanol manufacturers on behalf of outboard-engine owners. Owners of BMW automobiles will tell you that a BMW dealer always checks ethanol content in the tank of the car before work begins on the car. If the content of ethanol is greater than 10%, the car is not covered under warranty.
There is a significant amount of oil in the 200,000 square miles of the Bakken oil fields in the Williston Basin in parts of Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan, although an article frequently circulated on the internet overstates its importance. For the record, go here and read the true potential of this oil field. Malcolm Forbes claims that the United States has more oil than all of the Middle East put together. And there is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
A significant number of groups have now challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to allow refiners to increase ethanol use to 15% in vehicles manufactured between 2001 and 2006, according to the Washington Examiner. The EPA has ruled that E15 can be used in vehicles manufactured after 2007. Many users feel that there are potential compatibility issues with E15 fuel, including the ability for engines to accommodate the higher ethanol mixture and the ability of station pumps and underground storage tanks to handle it.
Alternatives to ethanol include the natural gas-powered Honda Civic GX, the all-electric Nissan Leaf, the hybrid Toyota Prius and the hybrid electric Chevrolet Volt. Wouldn't it be nice if our country had a bigger push for natural-gas powered cars...A celebration of life service will be at 11 AM Friday, March 18, at Beaver-Urich Funeral Home, 305 W. Front St., Lewisberry, with Pastor Linda Leiser officiating. A visitation will be from 10-11 AM at the funeral home prior to the service. Burial will be held at Gate of the Heaven Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the SPCA, 3159 N. Susquehanna Trail, York, PA 17406.
March 15, the birthday ofKay Chapman and Michelle Turner. It is the Ides of March.
March 16, the birthday of Pamela Laubach Klinger, Megan Brewington and June Walford Chapin. It is the wedding anniversary of Ken and Lynn Sutton and Ted and Shirley McHenry. Red Hats will meet at 2 at the Sub Shop. Geraldine Laubach will preside with her broken right hand in a cast. Come out to Main Street Benton tonight at 6 for a parade to celebrate and recognize our newest State Champion Coltin Fought! Fought was a winner by decision 8-6 over Laike Gardner (Biglerville) on Saturday afternoon at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA.
The destruction caused by Japan's massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake, the subsequent tsunami and its devastating floods and fires is more than most of us can comprehend, but the savage tremors that will hit poorer countries may be even worse. Since 2008, Japan has either been in recession, or on the brink of it. This earthquake adds to the problems of an ultra-weak economy. But that is a problem that will be dealt with after the horrors taking place to so many millions of people are resolved. Photos from NASA's Earth-watching Terra and Aqua satellites show the damage in Japan's northern region. Take the time to look at the devastation and pray that nothing of this magnitude ever hits the shores of the United States. Go here.
Tell your kids about Zumbatomic, meaning Zumba for Kids ages 7-12, which will be offered at The Center April 12 to June 14. The class will then follow the school calendar from September 2011 to June 2012 on Tuesdays from 5-6 PM. Call The Center at 925-0163 or the instructor at 925-2438 for information.
Let's get back to Webb's City, which we began in yesterday's edition. Doc Webb didn't have any degrees to warrant the implied meaning of his name, but he had a history of concocting ingredients which either cured or seemed to cure problems. He was a "patent-medicine man." He was fond of leaping onto a store counter to show how great his vitamin pills worked. His "Sorbo-Rub" was a muscle liniment. If you needed a laxative, he had a solution--his mixture of Epsom salts, herbs and water, which he attributed to the Indians by naming it "Indian Wahoo Bitters."
Webb began selling more than drugs during the hard times of the Great Depression. To lure people into the drug store, he offered breakfast for two cents--a strip of bacon, an egg, grits, toast and coffee. He sold selected men's shirts for 68 cents, cigarettes for a nickel a pack. In the late 1960s, a chicken or fish dinner in the cafeteria was about a dollar. An estimated 60,000 customers a day visited his store at the height of business. His was the first store known to use a "ten item or less" checkout line.
Gene Crossley, writing from Crystal Beach, Florida, recalls that in 1960 he and his brother Alan traveled downtown to Webb's City to buy real silver dollars for 79 cents each. The next week at Webb's City, "you could buy a dollar and a half's worth of groceries for a silver dollar!" Webb once sold 2,000 $1 bills for 95 cents each. He sold 2,500 more the next day for 89 cents. On the third day, customers could sell their dollars back to Webb for $1.35, but serial numbers had to match the dollar bills that Webb had sold the previous two days. Few collected, since most had spent their money the day before.
When McDonald's came on the scene with its 15-cent hamburgers, Doc immediately offered 9-cent burgers at his "snack bar" on the fourth floor. This was also the floor with all the toys as well as the dancing chicken, and kissing bunny--real animals trained to dance and kiss once you put your dime in the coin box and the door opened to let them out to do their thing. Animal Rights activists today would have had a coronary! Since I was from a farm, the dancing chicken was a hit with me. A nickel had to be inserted into a gizzie and then a small amount of chicken feed fell into a pan. The half-starved chicken scratched around for the feed resulting in a "dancing chicken." This was probably a big deal to those who didn't grow up on a farm. Webb had lots of other gimmicks. He came up roosters that walked across a tightrope, mini-circuses in his parking lots, dancing ducks, and what impressed me the most, the talking mermaids.
Ruth Kline--or "Babe" as I always called her--along with her sister Audrey and her husband Earl Crossley (brother of Ethel Kelsey) took me to Webb's City and from that visit I have my first recollection of the store, specifically the talking mermaids. I had never seen a mermaid in Fishing Creek, and they were of great interest to me. Audrey slipped a note describing me to the lady at the beginning of the line. When I was able to get close to the mermaid by sticking my head through a round hole in the wall, a female voice said in about the sexiest voice I had ever heard, "Hello, David, I hear you are from Benton." Holy, smoley! She not only was beautiful, she talked and she knew me. I thought that I had died and gone to heaven--or at least I was in a poor man's country club!
I stuck close to that hole when the next person stuck his head through and the mermaid talked to him. The mermaid said something embarrassing to that fellow. That didn't happen to me and I was very proud that she had been nice to me. Father was right! You do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar...
Payroll checks could be cashed on Friday night in a special bank-like section of the store for a flat 59 cents no matter the amount of the check. Groceries were sold in an adjoining building across a closed-off alley which became a pedestrian walk-through. Web sold boats and cars in another building. Doc sold about everything imaginable in his drugstore. Passenger trains arrived across the street on the south side at the main depot. When the depot was torn down, Ruth Kline's brother, Harry, scavenged the overhead lights from it and hung them in his cabin on the Withlacoochee.
Webb's City hung in there for a long time but the rise of the shopping centers and malls was the demise of the store and the downtown shopping district of St. Petersburg. In 1974, Webb sold his store to a syndicate from Texas. The store closed in August 1979. The city went into mourning. Webb died three years later at the age of 85.The area which comprised Webb's City was torn down to create the 1.1 million square feet Tropicana Field, home of major league baseball's Tampa Bay Rays. The stadium is the home of full seasons of professional baseball, football, hockey, college basketball and college football. The talking mermaids are now only a dim memory.
For additional reading about Webb's City, go here and here. For a video of St. Petersburg circa 1962, go here.--thanks for Janice Dietrich and Earl Crossley for their contributions to this articleGoogle has integrated its click-to-call technology with Gmail. If someone sends an email with a phone number to your Gmail account, simply have Google’s voice and video plug-in installed, plus a microphone/telephone attachment to transmit your voice, and you can call that number free. The phone number will appear as a hyperlink. Just click the number, and Gmail’s dialpad will pop up, with the number you’re trying to call. Try it. Send an email to yourself on your gmail account with a phone number in the body of the email that you want to call. When the email arrives, double click the hyperlink with the phone number. If you don't have the plug-in installed, Google will ask permission to download and install it. It is all free, including unlimited phone calls.
The New York Times had a recent series of articles dealing with environmental concerns of chemical pollution during the fracking process in the Marcellus shale. Of particular interest was the article about radioactive materials ending up in streams and rivers in the Commonwealth as a result of wastewater from drilling. Pennsylvania DEP acting Secretary Michael Krancer responded to the Times articles basing his comments on test results showing that radiation levels in seven streams near drilling sites were normal or below normal: "All samples were at or below background levels of radioactivity. And all samples showed levels below federal drinking-water standard." Most readers take a "wait and see" approach to environmental concerns, although many have predetermined opinions about local drilling. For additional reading on this subject, see what the state of Texas has to say about its experience with Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) in the Barnett Shale and Eagle Ford Shale. Although geologically different shales than Pennsylvania Marcellus shale, the fracking process is similar. Information about the Texas finding is here . For additional discussion on this subject, go here.
Once in a while I like to dreamAnd those thoughts last and last.
Once in a while I reminisce,With old friends and by chanceA burst of memories come to lifeHelping others to get a glance.
Once in a while I decide to roamDown almost-forgotten paths once more
To those days of my childhoodBy unlocking memory's door.
It is so good to relive those daysAnd in these hard times to return a smileAnd know that we can shift our gazeTo the past once in a while.I was able to go along during one of these trips south when I was six or seven. What a thrill. I was going to Florida. I was going to stay in the lovely Florida home that the Dietrich family had. I could pick my own oranges each morning, play under the huge banyan tree in the side yard and best of all could eat kumquats to my heart's content. But the memory that will live with me the longest was my visit to a shopping mall decades before anyone "up north" thought of the concept. It was the personal drugstore of James Earl "Doc" Webb, or as he called it "the World's Most Unusual Drugstore." Most knew the drugstore as Webb's City.1951, Webb's City had 85,000 square feet of retail space.Surviving are her daughter, Judy E. McHenry (Dennis), Benton; grandchildren Dennis McHenry (Alicia), Orangeville; Kathleen Johnson (David), Millville; great grandson, Colten McHenry; a niece, Helen Gummo (Albert); niece, Kathy Stephens; nephew, James Dearmitt, all of Bellwood, PA. She was preceded in death by her husband, Edgar Clair Grassmyer, on September 29, 1982, and by a brother, James Dearmitt.
Private services will be held at the convenience of the family with burial in Logan Valley Cemetery in Bellwood, Blair County, PA. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Wesley United Methodist Church, Market and Third Streets, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
March 13, the birthday of Joshuha D. Miller, Sean Christian, John McMichael, Heather Strauch (Sobolesky), Tom Hartman and Bob Brewington, Jr. These fine folks celebrate their birthdays with former Northumberland neighbor, chemist and clergyman Joseph Priestley, born March 13, 1733. It was on March 13, 1884, that Standard Time was adopted throughout the United States. The Lenten Service tonight is at Christ the King Church. The speaker will be provided by Benton Christian Church with music by the Assembly of God Church. Turn your clocks ahead.
Please keep the following in your thoughts and prayers...• Sally Meyer's ALS has moved to her throat and she is unable to talk. The Alzheimer has taken over most of her memory. When she does recognize things, she just smiles. According to the nurses, she "is in her own little world." She loves to spend time around the nurse's station where there is a lot of activity. Sally was in the graduating class of 1962 of the Benton Schools. Her birthday is on March 20 when she will be 67. She and her husband, Marv, just celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary this week. Sister Peggy is setting up a card shower for Sally's birthday. Anyone sending a card should send a little note of explanation as to who they are. The nurses or her husband reads all her mail to her. Mail can be sent to Mrs. Sally Meyer, Ozark River View Manor, 1200 W. Hall St., P.O. Box 157, Ozark, MO 65721
•Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Christopher T. Cleaver is home from Afghanistan and undergoing treatments at Hershey Medical Center for a prostate infection, sinus infections, heart and dehydrated condition which resulted in him being medevaced to a hospital in Germany (Landstuhl) from Afghanistan. JoAnn Walk thanks everyone for their calls and prayers on behalf of her son.
• Mahlon Fritz had surgery for a perforated bowel and has sepsis that has placed him in the ICU. Doctors are having a hard time controlling the infection and his existing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
We must mention the terrible disasters which took place in Japan--first with the series of earthquakes which ruined a huge amount of property and damaged a nuclear reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. We have to remember that we are neighbors of a nuclear-power plant "over the mountain" from the Benton area. Japanese authorities are venting radioactive steam into the air. Japan encountered devastation along its northeastern coast as floating fires raged and parts of some cities were under water following a series of tsunamis that will long be remembered in the record books. One person is missing near the mouth of the Klamath River and one of the docks and a number of boats at the Santa Cruz harbor were destroyed yesterday as tsunami waves hit Northern California.
Tickets are now on sale for the Fishing Creek Players' production of The Curious Savage, a comedy by John Patrick, directed by M.R. Daniels. This show about family, money and greed is suitable for the whole family and will be presented at the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center on April 1 and 2 at 7 PM, and April 3 at 2 PM. Seating is limited. Tickets will be sold at the door, but don't risk a performance being sold out! Stop at the center and get tickets for the performance of your choice, or call 570 925-0163 and reserve tickets (credit cards accepted). All tickets are $10, seating is on a first-come basis.
Doug Farley of Berwick Metrocast, Channel 10, has put together a video of the 1910 Benton Fire using the story compiled by George Turner. It will be airing next week for several days on Channel 10. He has taken the photos from the book The Center printed and did a photo shoot last week of what Benton looks like today. If you have access to Metrocast channel 10, be sure to look for it.
Didja ever hear of "phonesia?"It is the affliction for dialing a phone number
and forgetting who you were calling until they answer.
Didja know that wholesale-spot natural-gas prices rose across the country in 2010? Average spot natural gas prices at the Henry Hub rose about 12% in 2010?
Didja wonder why the 30-member Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission created to advise the Guv on policies relating to Marcellus Shale drilling lacks any representation from Northeast Pennsylvania? (Northcentral Pennsylvania is represented) Wilkes University's water-quality testing program and Penn State Hazleton's environmental engineering program are at the forefront of the Marcellus program. Who will speak for the local area for the consequences of fracking on the environment and public health?
It is always interesting to see the results of what the census produced for the Commonwealth. The Census Bureau released data on population counts by race, Hispanic origin, voting age and housing unit data from the 2010 Census. The population of Pennsylvania increased about 3.4% to about 12,702,329, making the state sixth in population in the U.S. The U.S. population is 308 million. California is the largest state, with a population of 37.2 million. Pittsburgh's population decreased by about 8.9%, while Philadelphia grew in size. The Latino and Hispanic population increased 82.6% from the last Census, but is only 5.7% of the population. The official 2010 Census will be used to redraw federal, state and local legislative districts under Public Law 94-171 which will result in the Commonwealth losing one seat in the US House of Representatives, from 19 to 18. Sullivan, Northumberland, Lycoming and Bradford Counties lost population, although most of the counties losing population were in the western part of the state. In the state, 15.4% are at least 65 year of age or older. For more on how the Commonwealth made out in the Census, go here.
Martin Site, near St. Gabriels Church on Route 487 Bear Well, on Route 118 Although it is not easy to see in these pictures, there is a difference in the drilling philosophies of the two drilling companies. A protective mat has been placed on the ground at the one site, but not at the other.
A number of people are waiting for a nice day to take a bicycle ride. How 'bout one through the mountains of Spain? Especially if it is one you'll never forget? Go here and join in the fun.
First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. concluded a pet-supply collection campaign in January and February. The donations were distributed to PA Pets, SPCA, Animal Resource Center, Mostly Mutts, Greyhound Rescue, Purrfect Love, Fabulous Felines and Purrs and Paws. Cash donations of $438 and hundreds of canned and dry foods, treats, leashes, litter and toys were collected. The bank’s goal was to provide help to organizations that depend solely on donations and volunteers to replenish their stock after the long winter months.
Didja know that First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. has assets in excess of $614 million and operates fourteen branch offices in Benton, Berwick, Bloomsburg, Buckhorn, Catawissa, Elysburg, Hazle Township, Lightstreet, Orangeville and Millville?
A reader asked if she should come to Florida now that spring is rapidly approaching. Ah, spring! This is the time of the year that Father always said made the boys feel gallant and the girls began to feel buoyant. Adverse weather in Pennsylvania is far from over simply because our weather is transitioning from winter to summer. Yesterday and today are good examples of that. The spring season essentially is March, April and May. If you want to escape the blues, if you want weather more like summer, come to Florida. But there are some precautions you should take.
If you come south, the adjustment from cabin fever to pure blue skies and warm weather will begin to take effect in the Carolinas where daytime temperatures often reach 70° this time of the year. Florida is the place to come for an inexpensive vacation, but you do need to consider the gas factor. You can fly non-stop from Harrisburg to Orlando or Ft. Lauderdale for $99, but you can't drive that distance for that amount of money.
There is much to see and do in Florida. Farmers can visit the huge dairy-farming operations. The stately live-oak trees covered in Spanish moss are wonderful. The spaceship Discovery is back in Florida after spending a million miles and total elapsed time of a year in space. Discovery has ended its 30-year career. After its three main engines and plumbing with hazardous fuels are removed it will be strapped to the top of a jumbo jet and flown to Washington, D.C. where it will be on display at the Smithsonian Institution beginning this fall. It is available now for distance viewing at the Kennedy Space Center.
There are alligators in Florida and walking Chloe and Buster beside a body of water requires keeping one eye trained on the water at all times. Some Indians and Cubans don't know a word of English here in Florida, but there are enough people around you from Rochester and Wilkes-Barre and Quebec that it won't be a problem. There is great fishing in both backwater and offshore. There are coupons available for almost every meal so the concept of paying retail is long gone. There is a full complement of sun every day and card games every night. There are Mickey and Minnie for the younger kids and spring break for the older kids and it is God's waiting room for the senior set. It is a mecca for those over 50.
Foreclosure filings in Florida are about a fourth of what they were a year ago. St. Lucie County, for example, had foreclosure notices on 298 properties in February compared with 1,411 in February 2010. At the other end of the economic spectrum on the Treasure Coast, we have Tiger Woods moving to his new home on Jupiter Island overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. His bachelor pad is worth an estimated $60 million and includes a running track and four-hole golf course.
The weather and the sun are the big draws. In St. Petersburg, there is a radio station that began in 1925 and which for many years has been known as WSUN--meaning "Why Stay Up North." WSUN today is part of Cox Radio, broadcasting alternative rock music on 97.1 FM from studios in St. Petersburg using towers in Holiday, Florida.
The climate is especially healthy for those who are fighting cancer, heart disease, arteriosclerosis and diabetes. There is an old story about a Pennsylvania woman who escorted her recently deceased husband back to the Keystone State. When questioned about whether the couple should have stayed in Pennsylvania rather than going to Florida for the winter, the wife explained that his color was much better than when he went south. "Besides," she said, "his vacation did him a world of good."
The weather takes up a great deal of time on local Florida television--the weather up north, that is. Florida stations were preoccupied with weather in the northern states during the recent tornadoes in central North Carolina. Hurricanes heading toward the Sunshine State are "pending tropical depressions" until such time as the hurricane shutters need to be attached. Then and only then is the word "hurricane" used. Owners of houses in the hurricane belt and in low-lying areas keep coming back for more.
Florida speculators have historically had no problem selling submerged property. Underground is good here. My neighbor is drilling a well for his lawn-sprinkling system and he plans to go down 1,020 in order to get below the sulfur. American Petroleum, drilling near Lake Okeechobee, was down 9,000 feet when it came upon a turtle shell from the Cretaceous geological period of one hundred and twenty million years ago.
Susan Dzoch is looking for information on a 1941 fire in Pleasant Valley, about a mile from Patterson Grove campground. The fire took place at the home of Willard and Ruth Goss and their 5 children. If a reader can offer a suggestion to find information about this fire, email me and I'll put you in touch with Susan.
With our eyes focused on gasoline prices, the state's $27.3 billion budget, inclement weather and the Arab world self-destructing, it was easy to overlook the China announcement that it was upping its military and defense budget by 12.7% to an estimated $91.5 billion. Is it possible that China needs to have a heavier fist when it comes to claims to the oil-producing areas of the South China Sea? According to Uncommon Wisdom, China has completed its first flight of the J-20 stealth fighter which can evade detection by enemy radar, will launch the first of two aircraft carriers this year, has a nuclear arsenal of 100 to 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles, its People’s Liberation Army has about 2.3 million soldiers, the largest standing army in the world, and the Pentagon says China has the most active land-based ballistic and cruise missile program in the world.
When you look at a map of the United States, one thing stands out more than most--the huge appendage of land that points south toward the Caribbean further than any other part of the mainland of the United States. This is the strip of land that keeps the aquamarine waters from the Gulf of Mexico apart from the deep-blue water of the Atlantic Ocean.
From the north to the south of Florida, a little more than half way south is the largest body of water of fresh water inside the United States. It almost looks as though a giant meteorite landed and left a gigantic hole--some 730 or so square miles--in the earth. The lake is Okeechobee, meaning "big water," the name given to it by the Indians.
South of the lake are the Everglades. The Everglades are bounded on the west by the Big Cypress swamp, on the south by the impassable Big Mangrove swamp where the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp drain to the Gulf of Mexico and on the east by a narrow strip of pine land along the Atlantic Ocean.
There are not many people who could adequately describe what the Everglades look like or what good they are or what they could ever be used for. If you've seen the Everglades, you know they are endless and inhospitable swamps, lagoons that you would frankly want to steer clear of, dead trees clinging to the banks of ancient waterways covered with Spanish moss and snakes rolled around limbs of trees. Mostly it is water and saw grass--and it is all higher than the ocean and the gulf which border it on the east and the west. There is little to write home about. You can take an air boat through the foot-deep water for hours in a straight line and see absolutely nothing new. You can get out of your boat in places thinking that the water is a foot deep and sink to your neck.
The name conjures up a vision of a tangled tropical swamp, a jungle concealing alligators and poisonous reptiles, a breeding place for insects, an immense stagnant pool. When you get into the Everglades, the appearance is like a western plain with a liberal sprinkling of clumps of trees. The saw grass looks like a ripening August field of Pennsylvania wheat in the sunlight. In places, the saw grass reaches ten feet high. It is all part of a fresh-water lake with a million islands varying in size from a yard in diameter to several hundred acres in size. The Everglades are 139 miles long, from north to south, and 79 miles wide from east to west. That is one big river!
A slowly moving river filled with saw grass--actually the largest concentration of saw grass on earth--makes up the Everglades. The grass has a central fold and the edges are like fine saw teeth. The plant thrives on itself along with the water it needs and the sunlight which keeps it healthy. As the plant dies and decays, new shoots spring to life fed by all this rotting . The river bottom won't hold your weight in many places. It is difficult to slog you way through the mud on the bottom and the saw grass above the water line. Flooding and fire are natural enemies. Under the water, it is not unusual to run into the ashes from a fire that took place during the drought season. It is also not unusual to find the Everglades flooded.
The land mass around the Everglades have been studied since the early days of the Spanish. Many explorers have tried to explore the Everglades to solve its mysteries. Not much is known about the interior of the Everglades to this day. Try buying a map of the Everglades! Men have crossed it from north to south, east to west, yet before GPS it was probably not possible to retrace these men's water routes.
The Indians of the region knew the Everglades simply as Grassy Water." In their language, the Everglades were known as "Pa-hay-okee." Spanish explorers called it Laguna del Espíritu Santo, "Lake of the Holy Spirit." The Indians and the white man have explored the Everglades many times, but there aren't any footprints, no evidence left behind that anyone visited. To paraphrase an age-old question, you have to wonder if the blue herons and the ibis and the egrets make a sound and no one hears it, did a sound actually exist.
A land boom took place in the 1920s in the Everglades when thousands of acres of "farmland" were peddled in the Midwest by hucksters with "a gift of gab," as Father used to say. A federal grand jury sifted it all out. One Iowa purchaser swore "I have bought land by the acre, I have bought land by the foot; but, by God, I have never bought land by the gallon." Read more about Everglades land sales here.
The bluegrass festival known as MerleFest is rapidly approaching. The festival, scheduled for April 28 through May 1, was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College Endowment Corporation and a celebration of "traditional plus" music. The event is held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission estimates that 316,240 deer were killed in the state’s 2010-11 seasons, up from 308,920 the previous year. Hunters took 122,930 antlered deer in the 2010-11 seasons, up 13% from the previous year.
Didja know that Emma is in full swing at the Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble? There are two more weeks left with shows on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 3, through March 20. Go to http://www.bte.org/ and learn more.The L. R. Appleman Elementary School is looking for a DJ for its April 1 talent show at the elementary school. The hours would be 6-8 PM with a practice time of 1 PM that afternoon. Anyone interested can contact Stefanie Hart, 925-6193.
The state House of Representatives came to its senses Monday as the body voted 154-39 to approve House Bill 377 repealing the section of Pennsylvania’s state building code requiring the addition of sprinkler systems in all new home construction. The sprinkler requirement came from the Universal Construction Code, the Commonwealth's statewide-building code. Similar legislation passed both chambers last session, but in different forms. The legislative session ended before the House could consider a revised version of the bill sent to it by the Senate. House Bill 377 now heads to the state Senate.
The old-fashion buckwheat cakes and sausage supper will take place at St. James Church, Saturday, April 9, from 2 PM. There will be all-you-can-eat buckwheat cakes, sausage, sausage gravy, fried potatoes, pickled cabbage, homemade applesauce, drink and homemade ice cream for dessert. Adults $8.50 children $4.00 Take outs available.Didja know that since 2007 there has been a law on the books which requires manufacturers to make light bulbs that use less energy--25% less energy as a matter of fact--to maintain the same degree of brightness? The incandescent bulbs dating back to Thomas Edison's days can't do that, so to comply with the law they will have to go. You can use and you can hoard incandescents, but eventually you won't be able to buy one unless it is some kind of specialty bulb.
All this leads to a "fine kettle of fish," as Father used to say. The 100-watt bulbs phase out in January--which means that when people find that out there will be a stampede for the light-bulb shelves at your neighborhood store, even though energy-efficient bulbs--CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps), halogen incandescents and light-emitting diodes are available and in the long run may be easier on your wallet.
The traditional 100-watt incandescent bulbs will be phased out first, followed by 75-watt bulbs in 2013 and 60- and 40-watt bulbs in 2014. The non-traditional decorative, appliance and other specialty bulbs will remain available.
The CFL, recognizable because of its swirl design and its ability to fit into a standard light socket, will probably be the most widely used replacement bulb. There are also halogen and LED lights--fully dimmable, snap instantly to full brightness and contain no mercury. Cost is a limiting factor.
As it is with most things these days, there are several schools of thought on the bulbs. CFL bulbs score well on both initial cost and energy cost over its lifetime. CFL bulbs cost more than an incandescent, but last up to 10 times longer--assuming you don't break them when you remove them from its packaging, as I have done twice. The party line is that ten incandescent bulbs will bite the dust before one CFL dies. A CFL uses 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb. Each CFL can save you about $40 over its lifetime, according to Energy Star. Those struggling with high electricity costs save more.
CFLs don't burn hot--you will potentially keep your house cooler in hot weather. The first CFLs were not as good as they are now, but they are cheaper today and act more like the incandescent bulbs. They reach full brightness slowly. They don't always perform correctly outdoors in cold weather. CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury and could present a health hazard if several of the bulbs break. Used unbroken bulbs can be dropped off at any Home Depot.
The cost of LED bulbs can be as high as $40, although they should last 25 years. Halogen bulb save more than traditional incandescents but less than CFLs. They can be dimmed and give good light. They cost $4 to $5 a bulb. Neither LEDs nor halogens contain mercury.
Oh, wait. I didn't mention the other side of the argument--the one against the use of CFLs. I'll let you listen to it for yourself here.
A reader concluded that now that beer is cheaper than gas, it is better to drink than to driveHere is a quiz for Monday morning.
1. As you plan your summer garden, do you remember, recall, or recollect last year's flowers?
2. Does a seed packet hold or contain seeds?
3. If your spade can finally penetrate the earth, can you surmise or infer that spring has arrived?
4. Is new growth every year a mystery or a puzzle to humans?5. Do your flower beds have borders or edges?
--Answers at the end of this email.
Tracy Fritz had a run-in with a bobcat and her car over the weekend. The car won. Hugh Shiffer and Maralee Yost reported seeing a bald eagle near L & K Mills. Drilling activity is ready to begin at the Martin well near St. Gabriels church. All that is needed are the drillers! Is your water tested?
Today's comedy sequence comes from Jack Webb & Johnny Carson, the "Claude Cooper Clapper Caper." Watch it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpVjW30I-YU .
You may have tangible wealth untold;Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.Richer than I you can never be --I had a mother who read to me.--Strickland Gillilan
The eastern cougar has been an endangered species since 1973 and many who prop their feet up on their desks in Harrisburg and Washington maintain that the critter doesn't exist and cited as a primary reason for this reasoning that no one has produced a local picture of a live mountain lion. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ended a study of the subject and concluded that the eastern cougar--at one time America's largest cat--is extinct and recommends that the subspecies be taken off the endangered species list. If removed from the list, we assume that the Federal $10,000 fine for shooting the "animal that doesn't exit" would be removed. The Service maintains that the mountain lions that a number of reputable local people have seen are not eastern cougars. If the fine folks who saw the critters are to be believed, the cougars must be former pets from South American or perhaps from the western United States released in the wild. Perhaps these animals started their lives as pet-store purchases and grew too large to keep in the owner's houses and apartments. Make no mistake about it, the Florida panther, with a breeding population between 120 and 160 in southwestern Florida, does exist and remains on the endangered species list. The western cougar, with virtually the same DNA as the eastern cougar, is also alive and well.
The Catawissa First United Methodist Church, 228 South Street, Catawissa, will hold their annual all-you-can-eat ham and dandelion dinner Saturday, March 26, from 4 to 7 PM. The meal will consist of ham, dandelion with hot-bacon dressing, boiled potatoes, vegetables, applesauce, bread, cake and beverages. Lettuce with hot-bacon dressing is available upon request for those who do not eat dandelions. The price of the meal is $10 for adults, five to nine years eat for $5 and four and younger eat free. Meals are served by advance tickets sales only. Call the church office at 356-2152 or Linda at 356-7057 to purchase tickets. The deadline to order tickets is March 18. Takes-outs are available.
(1) We can "remember" last season rather easily. To "recall" something suggests an effort, and to "recollect" implies even more effort to bring back what is lost.
(2) A seed packet "holds" seeds, but both "hold" and "contain" imply the presence of a substance within something. "Hold" suggests a permanent keeping function. Think of the slight difference between a can that "contains" a quart and one that "holds" a quart.
(3) You can "infer," which implies arriving at a conclusion by reasoning based on evidence. If the evidence is slight and suggests the influence of imagination or suspicion, then you'd "surmise." Loose earth is hard evidence of a change of season.
(4) The phenomenon of new life every spring is a "mystery" to humans, meaning that it cannot be fully understood by reason. A "puzzle" applies to an enigma or problem that challenges ingenuity for its solution.
(5) They have "borders" that mark its boundary line, similar to a magazine cover that has a colorful border. A flower garden may have a ground cover that acts as a border to separate garden and lawn. An "edge" is the terminal line made by two converging surfaces, as you'd have on the edge of a table.
Dale was an active member of the First English Baptist Church, Bloomsburg, where he had served as a trustee, deacon, treasurer, was a member of the church choir and the Baptist movers. He was a lifetime member of the Bloomsburg Fire Department and an original member of the Liberty Fire Company. He was active in delivering Meals on Wheels and was a member of the Geisinger Chapter of the American Parkinson Association. Dale was a faithful blood donor, donating nearly 10 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross during his lifetime. Dale belonged to the Bloomsburg American Legion, Post # 273; Washington Lodge # 265 F&AM; Caldwell Consistory, Valley of Bloomsburg; and the NRA. He was a 50 year member of the Bee Cellar Hunting Cabin, Stillwater.
Along with his wife, he is survived by son, Arthur D. Franklin, Jr. (Kristin), Bloomsburg; daughter, Sandra K. Yule (David), Bloomsburg; grandson, Corey Yule (Christina), Bloomsburg; granddaughter, Katie Yule, Pittsburgh; brother, A. Paul Franklin (Joan), Benton.
The funeral service will begin at noon Wednesday, March 9, with visitation preceding, at the First English Baptist Church, 700 Millville Rd., Bloomsburg. Burial with military honors will be held at the Stillwater Cemetery. Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the First English Baptist Church, Bloomsburg. The McMichael Funeral Home is assisting with the service arrangements.
March 6, the birthday of Harold Fritz (his 80th), Nettie Lunger, Sherry A. Weaver, Buddy Johnson, Christine Yorks McKim and Wendy Kriebel. The monthly fellowship breakfast is at 8 AM at the Benton United Methodist church. Buddy Johnson, Christine Yorks McKim, Sherry A. Weaver
In the coming months, please support your local ambulance associations. Didja know the North Mountain Ambulance Group had expenditures of $40,175 in 2010 and received $1,000 from the township. The rest of the operating money for the association was made up from hard work and dedicated volunteers.
So you think that you have problems balancing your checkbook? Didja notice that we continue to face a possible government shutdown, unrest like we have never seen in the Arab world, spending is out of control, unions losing their grip in a number of states, a recession, and gasoline prices that are simply climbing to levels that many will not be able to tolerate.
Easter comes late this year, but we know it is around the corner when the folks at the Christ United Methodist Church dust off their peanut butter Easter egg recipes and meet at the schoolhouse to start making candy. This year, they will make the eggs April 15 and 16.
Those who want to eat food that is locally produced and not hauled long distances to market are called "locavores." Kathy Arcuri writes about locavores in today's column entitled "Go Wild for Greens."
"Yes, I know, this is really nothing new at all. From time immemorial, humans have been gathering greens in the spring. As recently as 1962, Euell Gibbons’ classic, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, inspired many of us to venture beyond the grocery store. But important topics often need to be revisited and updated. So here are some contemporary resources for those of you who may want to go stalking your own dinner.
“'Wildman' Steve Brill, America’s best known forager, organizes foraging outings in New York City parks and writes about his experiences at www.wildmanstevebrill.com. The “Wild Foods Forum” (Box 61413, Virginia Beach, VA 23466), a popular quarterly newsletter, explores nature’s huge storehouse of nutritious and delicious edibles. And a new book by Hank Shaw, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast (Rodale Books, May 2011), features many wild delicacies, from snow shoe hares to leafy greens.
Speaking of greens, Shaw describes dandelions as the “gateway drugs” to serious foraging, because everyone knows what they look like, and they can usually be found even in the most carefully manicured lawn. Picked young, they make great salad fixings and are excellent stewed or sautéed. Most of us know that the newly unfurled flowers can also be used to make dandelion wine, a spring tonic favored by many old-timers. And the roots of both dandelions and their cousins the chicories, when roasted and ground, provide an interesting substitute for coffee.
Shaw goes on to praise what he calls the “money” greens: lamb’s-quarter, amaranth, and orach. All three start off in spring with tender foliage, delicious tossed into salads, and eventually grow into tall bushy plants with course leaves that can be cooked like spinach. The USDA in fact rates lamb’s quarters the most nutritious leafy green they’ve tested. All three “money” plants end their life cycle with a profusion of tiny seeds which can be baked into breads and muffins for a wallop of nutrition. Of course, some adventurous cooks already use amino-rich quinoa, a domesticated form of amaranth seed.
Dozens of other wild greens have also contributed to foragers’ menu-planning, including purslane, mallow, chickweed, plantain, burdock, chicory, wild onions and leaks, stinging nettles, wild mustard, and of course wild asparagus. However, before using any foraged food, make sure that it has not been sprayed, and make sure that you properly identify it (“when in doubt, check it out” in guidebooks such as Peterson’s Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants).
"To sample your newfound riches, Shaw offers a recipe for “Wild Greens Risotto,” at www.organicgardening.com. Or simply rinse a fresh-picked bunch of greens, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan, then cook quickly until wilted, adding a little salt and pepper and maybe some minced garlic. Serve with scrambled eggs and crusty whole-grain bread; and drink a toast to Mother Nature!"
For those who have never tried dandelions, here is a recipe for the dressing to go over the greens:
You will need 1 tablespoon flour, sour cream or buttermilk (optional), a cup of water, two hard-cooked eggs, 1 tablespoon sugar, greens and salt. Place dandelions or endive in tepid water and soak for 15 minutes after cleaning. Cover with damp cloth and keep in refrigerator for an hour or more. Cut up a few strips of bacon into a pan and fry. Add ham, if you wish. Use part of the drippings to make a pan gravy with the flour. When brown, stir in the water and let it boil before adding the sugar, salt and vinegar to taste. Sour cream or buttermik may be added. Fold in the hard-cooked eggs. Stir constantly until thick. Cook 5 minutes. Add the greens just before serving and immediately serve once dressing is added. This dressing is good with dandelions, lettuce, endive and other greens.
We can expect a slight warm-up for the next couple of days and that brings to mind fishing. Today’s comedy segment is about fishing. You can watch the video here.The Benton Area School district is seeking applications for a part-time special education director. Must hold a PA certificate in supervision of special education, master's degree in special education, prior administrative experience required (minimum five years), knowledge of special-education law, disabilities, programmatic needs of students, and current trends and techniques in field necessary. Send cover letter, PA standard-teaching application, resume, three letters of reference, transcripts, copy of PA certificate, and current Acts 34, 114 and 151 clearances to Penny S. Lenig-Zerby, Superintendent, Benton Area School District Administration Building, 600 Green Acres Road, Benton, PA 17814 on or before March 18, 2011. Incomplete applications will not be considered.Didja ever notice that money talks as much as ever,
but what it says nowadays makes less sense?
Didja know that in China all the boys born during the year have their birthdays celebrated on the same day, no matter what date the real birthdays are? That is the way that I would like to celebrate my birthday--just blend in with everyone else. But, alas, this year with the advent of Facebook, the secret of my birthday leaked out and tons of very nice Facebook messages and emails arrived. One of the nicest was from the daughter of an old friend from Arlington and Benton who referred to me as "Mr. David," the term Wayne Baker always had her use when talking with me forty or so years ago. Actually, Lisa celebrates her birthday today.
The huge number of birthday wishes are appreciated even though I can't acknowledge all of them personally. There was dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and a birthday cake that looked more like a torchlight procession than a group of candles. My birthday celebration was different from the last one I attended, a celebration for a woman who wanted her past forgotten and her present remembered.
Birthdays are wonderful--for the young. When one reaches the age I have become birthdays lose their appeal and many my age would just as soon they pass unnoticed. Birthdays are for the young who are jubilant over their recurrence. Children count the coming years with pride, and are only too happy to proclaim to their world of little people and family that they are six or eight or ten because each added year is in their mind a step nearer to being an adult. For kids, sex doesn't make much difference. Little sister or little brother get about the same number of presents, both get birthday cake, parties and attention in general.
The little birthday girl is anxious to be a woman so she can have more freedom and importance and prove to the world that she is attractive. Her teens are delightful to her, filled with happiness, a point in time through which she doesn't care to pass. There comes a time when she decides to move from a girl to a woman. The change comes about gradually. What a wonderful creature she will be, what miracles she will accomplish as she enters the age of womanhood. Suddenly, the novelty of birthdays don't seem to bring what she hoped they would. Suddenly, faced with cares and responsibility, illusions gone awry, the little girl passes into womanhood.
The little boy on the other hand is so restless to become a man that he would use all his strength to drag the slow years forward. Each birthday brings him closer to his wishes. "Only four more years, three, two, one more" he waits patiently until he is allowed to date, drive a car, own his own car, have a cell phone and become a man. As the years pass, society sets in and his passion for becoming a man cools. He finds that birthdays have less and less meaning.
Some of us actually grow irritated at the thought that birthdays come so darn often. A look back at the things I said last year at this time that I would accomplish in the coming year are largely unfinished.
I have reached the point where birthdays can pass unrecognized. Birthdays make me remember past birthdays, it sorts my career into periods, it rolls back my life and makes me look at life as it really existed. I think how little I have accomplished in life.
When another years comes around, I have to reconsider the difficulties and obstacles that got in my way during the past year and am forced to think how they can be removed in the coming year. I need to get my "git up and go" kick-started. I'll do better this year, I'll have a better chance to succeed, be less burdened by the obstacles of life. I won't slide into the old grove. I have kicked in the high test by now, made more promises, more renewals of pledges. But, wait--I am getting New Year resolutions mixed up with birthday wishes…
Didja ever notice how concerns about inflation become self-fulfilling? When we conclude that prices will rise, we tend to buy more goods for the short term, increasing demand and triggering higher prices. A little of that accounts for the current gas-price situation.
A reader told us that getting married is a tad like getting into a bath tub.After you get used to it, it ain’t so hot…
Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced a completely new iPad 2 yesterday with the 3G version available on Verizon and AT&T from day one. Launch day is March 11 in the US. Highlights include:
• 33% thinner than the first iPad, 8.8mm thick, down from 13.4 mm.
• Comes in both black and white.
• Dual-core processor — that’s twice as fast as the first.
• Graphics are nine times faster.
• Both front and rear-facing cameras.
• Six different versions: 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB that come with and without 3G support.
• Same battery life as the original iPad.
• HDMI compatible
Williams Production Appalachia is very close-mouthed about the results from the drilling of the vertical test well on the Martin property adjacent to the historic Saint Gabriels church on Route 487 North of the borough. On the Monday morning in mid-September 2010 when the drillers entered the Marcellus, there was a lot of optimism from everyone at the site. Drilling reached the Marcellus shale level at about the 5,790 foot level.
At the point where the Marcellus was penetrated, work paused and core samples were extracted. Site Manager Tommy Bell said in his thick Mississippi accent, "We'll circulate up a sample." The vertical drilling rig, Pinpoint Rig 17, seemed to breathe a sigh of relief as the diesel engines slowed after entering the organic shale, but after a pause of a couple of hours the drilling continued.
The Martin Well near St. Gabriels Church was drilled as a "test well," vertically drilled only. The well was not fracked. A vertical well drilled in the Marcellus Shale Zone is estimated to cost in excess of $800,00. Had the well been drilled originally as a horizontal well the cost could have been in the range of 3-5 million dollars--although actual figures may never be known by the public.
The vertical drilling at the Martin Site under the direction of Tommy Bell was well-managed and professional. Observed levels of prevention, preparedness and contingency planning were excellent. People living downstream of the Martin site hope that the drilling of the horizontal well will go as smoothly when the drilling rigs return to Sugarloaf Township this month. Williams Production Appalachia has the necessary permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection to dig its horizontal portion of the well.
The pro-drilling forces and the anti-drilling forces were both holding their breath about the future of the well because the Martin well is only about five miles from the Buda well in Fairmount township that was recently abandoned by Encana Oil & Gas USA. Citrus Energy Corporation had planned to drill the Martin well, but sold its approximately 10,000 acres of leases in Columbia and Luzerne counties to Williams in April 2010.
Exco now owns some of Chief Oil & Gas' assets in Lycoming and Sullivan counties and 3,300 acres of leases in Columbia County. Chief planned to drill the “Bear” well site on the Niedzwicki property on Route 118 in Sugarloaf Township. The Bear well site has been permitted to Chief by DEP since Sept 22, 2010 (permit number 037-20005, identified as Niedzwiecki Unit IH OG well). Pad preparation was stopped around Christmas 2010 because Chief did not have local permits. Exco had not applied for necessary local permits to drill as of the last Columbia County Planning Commission meeting. The next planning commission meeting will be on the third Tuesday of March at 6:30 PM.
March 2, 2011 , the birthday of Steve Zeveney and former Congressman Chris Carney.
Legislation sponsored by Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) would make the practice of “spoofing” illegal. Spoofing is the practice of altering caller identification information displayed on caller ID on a telephone call. The tactic is a form of identity theft and is used to deceive the recipient of the call into believing the phone conversation is coming from a legitimate business. House Bill 529 would ban spoofing by defining the offense as a misdemeanor, which could carry a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in prison for a first offense. House Bill 529 received unanimous support in the House Judiciary Committee and will now go before the full House for consideration. To view a short video about Rep. Boback’s spoofing proposal, visit RepBoback.com .
The German Heritage Society of the Susquehanna Valley will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, March 3, at 7 PM at the Degenstein Library, Sunbury. Members and guests will hear a presentation by Michael "Tibbs" McWilliams, Sr. covering the topic of the Pennsylvania Canals. In the character of ‘Captain Mick’, Mr. McWilliams will relate the history and interesting stories of the canal days in the Susquehanna Valley. Mr. McWilliams, who has been sharing this presentation since 1990, is a former co-chair of Northumberland History Days, 2006 Pineknotter of the Year, and a 28 year member of the Northumberland Kiwanis. Contact GHSSV President Jeff Sheaffer at 374-7730 for more information.
Monday's Diane Rehm Show on NPR featured a discussion with a diverse panel of experts on the risks and rewards of drilling for natural gas. The panelists included:
John Quigley - former secretary Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Ian Urbina - reporter, NY Times
Tony Ingraffea - Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering, Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow, Cornell University
Kathryn Klaber - president, Marcellus Shale Coalition
Amy Mall - policy analyst, Natural Resources Defense Council
John Hanger - former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
You can listen to this podcast at http://thedianerehmshow.org/audio-player?nid=13809
Fred Mahlon Harvey sent an email to tell about his days of delivering the "Grit" and the "Times-Leader." He started his delivery route with the philosophy that "since you are a 'good neighbor' and one known to be “trustworthy,” I wil l let you get a couple of weeks worth before collecting." Fred had to pay for papers weekly and hoped that the customers paid on time and in full. One family stuck him for more than $5 for the Grit--and that hurt! It took a lot of 4 cents to make up that much money! The customer never did pay Fred although he kept promising to do so. It was one of the ones that he dropped off weekly at the Harveyville Store and they would then pick up the paper when they were at the store. They lived a few miles away and it would have been a real effort to make the ride for the one delivery. He learned a hard lesson at the age of 16 that all people cannot be trusted--and that it can be costly. It cost Fred nearly a month's commission to make up the loss.
Fred remembers that nearly all paid him on time and only a few had to be carried--but not for long. Fred had a handful who even gave him a small tip. "It really felt nice to get the little bit of extra money and recognition," Fred remembers. "I felt that I had done something good to deserve it." Fred made sure all papers were securely delivered and never lost or damaged. It was part of learning to do a job well.
Fred rode a heavy English bike, a 1950s Monarch, over the Luzerne County hills on his route. He bought the bike from a boy in Benton who "graduated and I got it in about 1958 or so." [Fred thinks it was Jared Ketner] It was an expensive model with dual spring shocks, lights and horn--truly high quality engineering. "But, man, was it heavy. No speeds except the one. And up hills with papers in the racks as well as my carrier bag made it a real test of will at times. I wish I still had it--bet it would be worth a lot to the American Pickers. I put it out in the yard a few years ago and let it go for free--a real regret now!"
In June of '61, Fred got his driver's license and his father let him drive the '40 Special DeLuxe Chevy--the same one that Fred owns to this day--to deliver papers. In early 1962, Fred bought a BSA Bantam motorcycle for delivering papers and for fun. The motorcycle was a vintage burgundy color with custom saddle bags, special chrome treatments, etc.Surviving, in addition to his parents are his siblings Neki Martz, Cassidy Martz, Tylee Evans, Johnathan Starr, Sheena Martz, Samatha Estremerra, Brett Seibert and Gage Mick; his room-mates who were his best friends: Kyle Walters and Jesse Anderson; his grandparents Judy Evans, Patricia Sitler and Helen Chest; his Aunt Sue Hess as well as numerous additional aunts, uncles and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by grandparents June Hopper, Stephen Sitler and Lafayette Martz.
Memorial services will be held Thursday, March 10, at the McMichael Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the funeral home to help defray the funeral expenses. To sign the online register book or for online condolences, please visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
March 1, 2011. It is St. David's Day, commemorating the patron saint of Wales who was born in the sixth century at Henfynw, Cardigan. True and loyal Welshmen wear yellow on St David's Day and eat leeks and faggots (Traditional Welsh Liver Cakes or Croquets) . We associate the leek with St. David, which is said to have protected him in combat and was worn by his countrymen to distinguish them from their Saxon enemies during battle. In honor of the dude by the name of David, plant some leek or onions as soon as the ground can be worked. The events of note on this day in history are found here.
Please keep Dale Franklin in your prayers. Dale is in Geisinger Medical Center in critical condition. Prayers are desperately needed. Dale is married to Esther McMichael, the sister of Wayne McMichael and the uncle of Bruce McMichael. Dale is the brother of Paul Franklin.
Didja breathe a sigh of relief when the national unemployment increased by two and a half men? And didja know that Charlie Sheen's body will no longer be donated to a medical facility when he dies? The current thinking is that it should go to a mental institution for evaluation.
Didja ever wonder why it is so darn difficult to learn the truth about natural-gas drilling? We read the stuff put out by the pro-drilling groups and we read the stuff put out by the anti-drilling groups. Using the same set of basic data, the two sides end up 180° out of phase with each other. Compare this article with what you have been hearing.
Seven members of the class of 1957 of Benton Area Schools met in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, to celebrate old times and plan for new adventures. The group was together (in varying stages) from Wednesday of last week through Monday of this week. Much of the time was taken up with the domino game "Chicken Foot." There were lots of stories told and an inordinate amount of food consumed. A free-standing swing was set up by the male members of the class, but the swing was pointed toward the house three feet away. When Kay saw that her view would be of the side of the house and that the swing had been installed with the look angle 180° out of phase, she soon told her male classmates "in no uncertain terms," as Father used to say, to get the problem solved.
A reader was impressed by the actions of President Obama in attempting to cut $100 million from the $3.5 trillion federal budget and has decided to do the same with his personal budget. After careful calculation, he concluded that he spent about $2,000 a month on groceries, household expenses, medicine and utilities, but now with budget chopping in full swing, he has gone through his expenses and cut back. He is cutting at the same ratio; i.e., 1/35,000 of his total budget. After doing the math, instead of spending $2,000 a month, he will cut that amount by six cents. He plans to "get by" spending $1,999.94 a month. If the government decides to cut further, he will amend his budget accordingly.
The next membership meeting of the Fishing Creek Watershed Association will be March 14 at 7 PM in the large conference room at Columbia County Conservation District. The speaker will be
Columbia County Master Gardener Mary Jo Gibson. She will be speaking on “Gardening for Pollinators with Native Plants.” She will discuss the importance of pollinators and native plants highlighting how you can help the watershed with a pollinator garden.
A program on "Testing the Waters" with Brian Oram from Wilkes University will discuss water-quality issues of our region March 17 at 6 PM at 702 Sawmill Road, Bloomsburg.
The Columbia County Conservation District native-plant sale is underway. Go to www.columbiaccd.org to get an order form and plant descriptions .
Didja know that you can become Facebook friends with the Columbia County Conservation District to receive updates about upcoming conservation events?
An interesting commentary on ownership of land in Sullivan County adjacent to natural-gas pipelines and drilling sites was published Monday in the Patriot News. Read the article here.
One of the pleasures of growing up in a previous generation was to have the very occasional meal that didn't involve meat and potatoes. A favorite was tender and sweet fried clams from a HoJo--short for Howard Johnsons--the restaurant with the orange roof and golden arches. HoJo's seemed to specialize, if my failing memory is correct, in macaroni and cheese, saltwater taffy, baked beans, turkey dinners with mashed potatoes, chicken pies, clam chowder, toastees and 28 flavors of ice cream.
I remember a long trip from Benton to Mount Morris, New York, years ago when brother Dayne said that he needed a break from driving and wanted to stop at Howard Johnson's for lunch. His youthful daughter Susan was unfamiliar with the orange-roofed restaurant and asked, " Is he a friend of yours, Daddy?"
The closest HoJo restaurant to Benton was in Danville, and the restaurants appeared at one time all along the Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey turnpikes. A popular HoJo was on "the bypass" in Camp Hill in front of the former E.J. Korvette store.
Howard Johnson borrowed $2,000 in 1925 to buy a small corner drugstore in Wollaston, Massachusetts. The store sold candy, newspapers and patent medicine but the real interest of customers was at the old marble soda fountain. Howard created a sensation using his mother's recipe for ice cream with natural ingredients and a heavy hit of butterfat content. He soon opened a beachfront ice-cream stand, and sold $60,000 worth of ice cream cones, a nickel a cone, the first summer.
By 1928 he was selling $240,000 worth of ice cream cones and he kept adding flavors until he reached 28 varieties. He added more beachfront stands and sold lots of hot dogs clipped at both ends, notched lengthwise, cooked in creamery butter and inserted in a lightly toasted, buttered fresh roll.
In the middle of the Depression, 17 Howard Johnson's restaurants opened. One restaurant owner invested $10,000 as one-third the cost, the remainder to be financed over three years. The owner hoped he would gross $60,000 a year, but he actually grossed $200,000 during the first twelve months. The bright orange roof and the Simple Simon and the Pie Man road signs appeared on 107 Howard Johnson restaurants by 1939. The restaurant became the "Host of the Highway." By 1954 there were 400 Howard Johnson restaurants in 32 states. The Howard Johnson Co. went public in 1961 with 88 franchised Howard Johnson's Motor Lodges and 605 restaurants. Ahead, however, lay obstacles in the road, known as the energy crisis and the Big Mac.
Howard Johnson's became yesterday's news. Holiday Inn®, Ramada Inn® and Marriott® hotels and McDonalds and Burger Kings and--well you get the picture. The Howard Johnson chain suddenly didn't look so modern any more. Imperial Group PLC of Great Britain bought the chain in September 1979, and started selling off many of the pieces of the pie.