Archives for March 2010 for the Benton News
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 29, 30 and 31, 2010. Liquid sunshine will linger through Tuesday, although the rain will not be as hard as Sunday night. We are not aware of any birthdays for March 29 or 30. The full moon falls on March 30. Dottie Ann Pollock has a birthday on the 31st.
• Benton's Garden Club, known as the Country Cultivators, will hold its annual open house on Thursday, April 8, at 7 PM in the Social Hall of Christ the King Church, Mendenhall Lane. The guest speaker will be Master Gardener Joella Socko. Her presentation will be entitled "Fairy Gardens!"
• Didja ever think that the entire House of Representatives, two-thirds of the Senate, and the president will be up for election before the most significant provisions of the health-care bill become fully active? Those concerned about spending, deficits, debt, taxes, and overactive government will get their day at the ballot box. We hope that the next round of politicians will concentrate on genuine health-care reform...
• Natural-gas wells in the Commonwealth are being permitted and drilled in floodplains. Two wells, one operated by Stone Energy along Wyalusing Creek in Rush Township, Susquehanna County, and one operated by XTO along Muncy Creek in Shrewsbury Township, Lycoming County, have experienced flooding.• The one person who seems to stir up the most interest in the history of Benton is Congressman John G. McHenry. John G. McHenry and Mary Wolfe married and they had sons DeArmand, an eye doctor, and John G., Jr., a graduate of the George Washington University law School in 1924. John G., Jr. and Naoma Nell Hess had a son Judson McHenry, Jr. Judson John Geiser McHenry, Jr. (May 13, 1925-March 26, 2010) passed away in the night Friday, March 26, 2010, sitting on his easy chair beside his wife, Ann Marie Slatky McHenry. The couple married February 11, 1950, in Calvary Baptist Church, Towson, Maryland. Judson and Ann moved to Cranberry Township, Butler County, near Evans City, about four years ago after living in Florida. They moved into an apartment built into their youngest son's house. Judson and Ann had two sons, John and Jud, and there are grandchildren. Ann is bedridden and Judson was her primary caregiver. An obituary will be provided when available.• Events from the past are often discussed on the pages of the Benton News, but photos to show those events are hard to find. What did it look like in a previous generation--a generation in which no one is alive today who can describe it. You can get a good clue at what life was like just after the turn of the century by taking the time to watch footage taken in 1906, shortly before the devastating San Francisco earthquake of that year. A few days after these scenes were shot, many buildings would no longer be standing. Some of the people would be victims of the quake. It is interesting to watch the lack of concern about traffic, the lack of traffic lights as a streetcar travels Market Street in San Francisco, days before the earthquake and subsequent fire destroyed the area. You can see the clock tower at the end of the street at the Embarcadero wharf. Take the time to go here and watch this.• We keep getting requests for dates when events in the local area will take place. Dates we know are listed at www.bentonnews.net/events1.htm . Please bookmark this page.
Didja ever think that the only difference
between a rut and a grave is the depth?We need to kick back more and evaluate our activities. For example, when was the last that you played solitaire with real cards? Do you actually know the phone numbers of all those who are significant to you--or do you use speed dial? Do you sometimes email your spouse rather than picking up the phone? How long has it been since your wrote a heartfelt letter to someone who does not have email? Do you sometimes return to your house when you forget to take your cell phone? Do you read the Benton News and newspapers on-line before you make your morning pot of coffee? Do you ignore the facts and believe that will change the facts? Do you regret that you failed to tell your mother or father that you loved them one more time before they passed away?The 2,178-mile footpath known as the Appalachian Trail takes on new significance in our Commonwealth on National Trails Day, June 5, when the Appalachian Trail Museum at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, located approximately at the trail's halfway point (near Gettysburg), will open in a 200-year-old grist mill. The trail will have explanatory displays, a children's area and a lounge for AT hikers to rest and share their stories with visitors.
The museum will hold a library of 12,779 images that will be accessible at the museum. The museum will house an original lean-to structure which was numbered log by log and hauled from the woods near Harrisburg. There is a children's display. The museum will feature the stories of the founding, construction, preservation, maintenance, protection and enjoyment of the trail. The museum will be open weekends in the spring and fall and daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For more information on the museum and opening day activities, go to http://atmuseum.org/ ..Didja know that the idea for the Appalachian trail came from Benton--
well, actually, a man by the name of Benton MacKaye--in 1921?
The trail opened in 1938.
Do you know of homeowners who are having their flood insurance coverage raised against their will? A report on www.ripoffreport.com/ (entitled "flood insurance") indicates that a Main Street residence will be required to carry $250,000 insurance on a $75,000 mortgage. According to published reports Wells Fargo is " arbitrarily raising basic coverage" on a house that has been around for 142 years. When the borough flooded, the house didn't take on any water, although "neighbors were pumping." The concern on the part of the homeowner is that he agreed to a mortgage which required $75,000 in Federal flood insurance. The mortgage was subsequently sold and the new mortgage holder wants the homeowner to carry $250,000 in insurance. Anyone with a mortgage and flood insurance is vulnerable to this.
Joseph S. Zebraski (September 28, 1918-March 26, 2010) died Friday afternoon at his Peterman Road home, Benton. He was 91. Joseph was born in Lower Merion Township, Conshohocken, Montgomery County. He was a son of Anthony and Josephine (Gawronska) Zebraski. He attended St. Mary's School, Conshohocken. Mr. Zebraski served his country in the U. S. Army during World War II. He was a mechanic by trade and had been employed by Marchesi Pontiac, Conshohocken, until his retirement in 1969 and previously worked for a Studebaker dealer in Wildwood, New Jersey.
In addition to his wife of 52 years, Gertrude M. (Danhart) Zebraski, are his 8 children: Joann Holton, Fairton, NJ; Joseph T. S. Zebraski (Brenda), Cedarville, NJ; Thomas S. Zebraski, Fairton, NJ; Karolyn Joan Benozich (John) Jupiter, FL; Patricia Bronzburg, Margate, FL; Paul Alan Zebraski (Sunyoun), South Korea; Donald S. Zebraski (Angel), Benson, NC; David Zebraski (Dawn), Birdsboro, PA. Also surviving are 19 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; 10 great great grandchildren and a brother, John Zebraski, Oak Island, NC. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a grandson and 10 siblings.
Funeral services will be Wednesday at 2 PM, with viewing preceding, at the McMichael Funeral Home. For online condolences or to sign the online register book, please visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Saturday and Sunday, March 27 and 28March 27, the birthday of Robert Sands, Jr., Shirley T. McHenry, Russell Whitenight and Jean Foust. There will be Easter fun and games at the Benton Park beginning at 10 this morning. It is an Easter scavenger hunt, then to the Benton United Methodist Church for scavenger-hunt awards and prizes. At the Church, there will be crafts and games and even more prizes. There will be lunch for the kids and a special guest. The rock that sealed the tomb of Jesus will be at the church. Enjoy the moonlight tonight.March 28, the birthday of Michael S. Milnarik, Chris Becker, Mary Ann Bankes, Peggy Follmer and Jeannie Walters and the 46th wedding anniversary of Richard and Sandy Lehet. The Benton Volunteer Fire Company monthly breakfast takes place Sunday from 7 AM until 1 PM. The Sunday Lenten service sponsored by the Benton Council of Churches is at the Benton Presbyterian Church at 7 PM.Quickies...• The First Columbia Bank & Trust Company, as of December 31, 2009, had approximately $602 million in total assets, $330 million in gross loans, $462 million in deposits and $65 million in stockholders’ equity. The Bank had 13 branch-banking offices which are located in Columbia, Luzerne and Northumberland counties with 180 employees on a full-time equivalent basis The annual meeting of the corporation will be held May 11, 2010.‹ The Center will offer a six-week writing workshop on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7 beginning April 21 and ending May 26. Register before April 16. The workshop is designed for people who want to express themselves through writing, but feel “stuck.” No one particular form of writing is pushed—rather all forms, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and autobiography/memoir are explored. The instructor, Leslie G. Mastroianni, M.Ed., has developed her teaching style to combat early negative influences that people may have experienced in school, work or elsewhere. The cost is $30 for members and $36 for non-members. There is a minimum of six participants to hold this workshop. Registration is required before April 16. For additional information, please call The Center at 925-0163.
• On Wednesday, April 7, at 7 PM The Center’s April concert will feature bluegrass and traditional music that is free and open to the public. Performing will be R.B Powell and Bridget Allen, a husband and wife duo from Lewistown. RB on banjo and Bridget on guitar will play and sing for the general public on Wednesday evening; the duo will also entertain pre-school students on Thursday, April 8, at 9:30AM and senior citizens at 10:30AM. If Bridget's name seems familiar to you, you may recall that she wrote a continuing series of articles for the Benton News last summer when the couple toured Alaska. She has also entered the Chris Austin songwriting contest at the MerleFest later in April.
• How's your TV reception if you don't use a cable or satellite provider? There is a map for over-the-air TV reception where you simply put in your zip code or address and click "Go." Click on the + sign on the map to zoom in and check your location. Move the "balloon" marker to the location of your house. A chart showing the stations you can receive is shown on the left side. Click on one or more station's call letters and a "beam" will show the direction to the station's signal. If you zoom way out the beam will point to the station location. Signal-strength calculations are based on the traditional TV reception model assuming an outdoor antenna 30 feet above ground level. Indoor reception may vary significantly.
• I suspect that the eventual outcome of the states challenging the newly passed health care reform bill will be the same as it was for previous social-progress legislation--the Social Security Act and the Voting Rights Act--when courts deferred to Congress. I don't see that there is substantial legal basis for the assertion that it is unconstitutional for the government to require citizens to buy health insurance. The Constitution's "commerce clause" gives Congress the ability to regulate interstate trade and provides Congress greater power in that area than most of us realize. This is, after all, the same federal government that federal courts consistently agree can compel people to join the military and pay federal taxes. If in the final analysis the suit cannot be won, is there justificaton for the public expense of doing battle?• "A Cast of Divas" take the stage Sunday, April 11, at 4 PM at the Forum, Harrisburg, featuring the magnificent voices of four sopranos: Alanna Bath, Elizabeth Colpo, Liz Shoenfelt, Cheryl Crider. The program includes solo and ensemble music by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Strauss and others plus musical theater selections. Tickets are available in advance at 717 234-4856 and at the door. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $8 for students, age 8 through college. Additional information is available from the Wednesday Club and by calling 717 234-4856.
The Wednesday Club for the Performing Arts, the oldest continuously operating music organization in the United States, was organized on May 17, 1882, and incorporated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes in 1915. In September, 2009, this unique organization will begin its 128th season of showcasing its performing members in recitals and its 123rd season of presenting renowned artists on a subscription series, a series presented at the Forum Auditorium in Harrisburg since 1931. Its mission has remained intact since 1882: to promote and support the performance of classical music and to make classical music accessible to people of all walks of life. The Wednesday Club has been especially vigilant in promoting and supporting young people in their musical pursuits.
The primary election coming up May 18 is preliminary to the November general election. Do you know who you will support for Governor and U.S. Senate? There are choices...
On the Democratic side for governor, there are Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, PA State Auditor General Jack Wagner, Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel and State Sen. Anthony Williams. On the Republican side are Attorney General Tom Corbett and State Rep. Sam Rohrer.
On the Democratic side in the US Senate, incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Arlen Specter and U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak are going at each other. The Republicans have congressman Pat Toomey.Learn more about these candidates:
Dan Onorato, www.alleghenycounty.us/welcome/onorato.aspx
Jack Wagner, www.auditorgen.state.pa.us/about/bioWagner.html
Joe Hoeffel , http://joehoeffel2010.com/meet-joe
Anthony H. Williams, www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_id=BS028350
Tom Corbett, www.attorneygeneral.gov/theoffice.aspx?id=42
Sam Rohrer, www.samrohrer.com/bio.aspx
Arlen Specter, http://tinyurl.com/ycxwalf
Pat Toomey, http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/lcwa/mrva0002.0347/default.html
Thursday and Friday, March 25 and 26, 2010. Don't pack away your raingear or your skivvies just yet! We'll get some rain today and the temperatures will drop to below 20° Friday night.March 25, the birthday of Sandra Kelsey Hess and Nancy Ribble and the wedding anniversary of Terry and Terri Adams.March 26, the birthday of Abra Bitler-Weaver, Ryan Farley and Barbie Demko and the wedding anniversary of Marilyn and Garth Strauch. Barbie Demko and her mother, Gisela, are the hard-working women at the Mountain View Barn Antique Shop on Route 118. The shop will celebrate its 19th anniversary in that location in June. Don't forget the gumbo dinner tonight at the high school cafeteria from 5 to 7. The fundraiser supports the Benton FFA's fifth trip to Louisiana to help repair homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Takeouts are available.
There are more Benton FFA fundraising activities that are happening in the upcoming months to support FFA members who are going to Louisiana to help rebuild hurricane-damaged homes. Last year, two vans made the trip and this year looks to be about the same number of people going. There will be a basket raffle at the Benton branch of the First Columbia bank on Friday, from 9 to about 2, with the drawing at the gumbo dinner. There will be a calf raffle with the drawing in late May. The calf is a Holstein cross bull (that will be a steer in May), and chances are a dollar each. On May 15, there is a pig roast at the Cultural Center to support the FFA.At this writing, Marcia Kay and I are heading North toward the Mason-Dixon line, where soon we will have to give up grits with breakfast. Our Florida trip was cut short after Kay's daughter, Marcia Worley, fell, fracturing her hip. Marcia faces surgery today, so prayers would be appreciated.Most think that the Mason-Dixon line separates the North from the South--an assumption largely made on the mistaken belief that in the Civil War it separated the Confederate states from the Union states.The Mason-Dixon line was drawn to end a colonial land dispute. It stretches East to West from Pennsylvania to Maryland, with a shorter branch extending southward between Maryland and Delaware. All three states aligned with the Union forces.The Mason-Dixon line was named for two English surveyors, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. They were invited to the American colonies in 1763 to mark the boundary finally agreed upon by long feuding proprietors and heirs of Maryland and Pennsylvania land grants.It might be wise to find someone like Mason and Dixon to step in and calm the waters between the two polarized sides in the health-care issue. We doubt that resolution--if any--would be peaceful.
• Jim Laubach muses that it is sad that "the Bloomsburg branch (of the Bloomsburg & Sullivan railroad) is gone. The Marcellus Shale boom would have saved the line." Jim was referring to the 35-mile short line Wellsboro & Corning Railroad which is profiting from the Marcellus Shale natural-gas boom. The railroad is busy carrying millions of pounds of special sand from the Midwest into Wellsboro to develop gas wells. From 849 railcars last year, the railroad expects to nearly double this year, to 1,600 railcars. The railroad also operates a summertime excursion line 1940s-style, including linen tablecloths in the dining cars.• Benton Weight Watchers lost 37 3/4 lbs this week!
• Help is needed each month at the Benton food bank at The Center. If you are available the third Tuesday of each month, please consider coming from 9–10:30 AM and helping recipients carry bags to their vehicles. All help is greatly appreciated. The food bank also needs plastic and paper bags. Donations can be dropped off at the front desk and they will get to the food bank for distribution.• The 2010 Vacation Bible School sponsored by the Benton Council of Churches and hosted by the Benton Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church will take place June 14–18 from 6 to 8:30 PM. There are needs, including...
Small wide-mouth jars
Large wide-mouth jars (peanut butter, instant coffee), clear 12-ounce water bottles with lids/caps, clear 20-ounce water bottles with lids/caps, clear 2-liter bottles with caps, clear 1-liter bottles with caps, soup and vegetable cans, preferably without sharp edges, shoe boxes, green 2-liter bottles with caps.
Please bring all donations of these items to the Benton Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church, Church Street, before the week of Vacation Bible School.
• The Orangeville Library annual bake sale will take place at the Orangeville branch of the First Columbia Bank on Good Friday, April 2, during bank hours. Donations will be accepted at the bank. This will be an excellent opportunity to get your baked goods for the Easter Holidays.
• Mill Race Golf Course will open on March 29, weather permitting. Think spring! Ted McHenry is waiting to take on all-comers at Mill Race this summer. He recently scored a hole-in-one at Ruskin, Florida.
• The annual old fashion buckwheat cakes and sausage supper will take place at St. James Church, Zaners Bridge Rd, Bendertown, Saturday April 10, from 2 PM. This is an all-you-can-eat event. The meal includes buckwheat cakes, sausage, sausage gravy, fried potatoes, pickled cabbage, homemade applesauce, drink, and homemade ice cream for dessert. Adults get all this for $8 while children pay $4.
• A reception for Ken Wilson took place at The Center last Sunday in honor of his paintings on exhibit. Ken's show is at The Center through March 31, so even if anyone missed the reception they could still stop in and see his work. There is no charge to view the exhibit.• Does anyone besides me think that that the current movie "Alice in Wonderland," the current queen of the box office, was a complete waste of time?
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 22, 23 and 24, 2010. Expect some rain Monday and drizzle Tuesday. Keep Louise Lewis in your prayers as she recovers from a fall following a cataract operation. Keep Kay Stanton and David Hampton in your prayers as they recover from a devastating fire at their upper Raven Creek property.March 22, the birthday of Roy Fisher, John Geffken, Patricia Petersen and Michael Bath. There will be twelve hours and fifteen minutes of daylight today in Benton. Sunrise will be at 7:05 AM and sunset at 7:20 PM. In Port St. Lucie, Florida, sunrise will be at 7:23 AM and sunset at 7:34 with four minutes less sunlight than in Benton.March 23, the birthday of Kim Huntington, Peg Krum, Jackie Pettigrew, Alice Strauch, Jim Edson and Bob Campbell. Happy anniversary to Alice and Gary Strauch. On this day in 1867, Christopher Latham Sholes, Mooresburg, Montour County, 32 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA, introduced the typewriter and opened many avenues for women to enter the workplace.
March 24, the birthday of Drew Bower, Shirley Laubach Kitchen and Bob Lewis. It is the wedding anniversary of Richard and Tracy Fritz, Mary and John Hopkins and Bob Sagar and Tanya Boston-Sagar.Quickies...• The Benton Area school board meeting agendas, briefs and minutes are located under the Benton Area School District flyout menu to make it easier for the public to locate. The latest updates to school board agendas and minutes are at www.bentonsd.k12.pa.us/Schoolboard/meetingagendas/index.htm .• Pennsylvania’s trout season opens April 17.
• Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) announced her satellite office schedule for the month of April. A member of Rep. Boback's staff will be available Friday, April 30, from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center, 42 Community Drive. Residents can also call toll-free at (800) 278-3930. Her satellite and full-time office schedule is available online at www.repboback.com .• The Columbia County Landowners Coalition will have an important meeting update on March 23 at the Benton High School auditorium for both Columbia and Luzerne Counties. Meeting times are as follows. Please use these times for your area.
6 to 6:45 PM. Columbia County north of Routes 254 and 239.
7:15 to 8 PM. Columbia County south of Routes 254 and 239.
8:30 to 9:15 PM. Luzerne County
• Politicians in their matter-of-fact, you-can-believe-me-since-I-never-lie tone of voice are telling the American people that it is acceptable to vote to spend more, borrow more and print more money than ever before. We are frankly living on borrowed time and stolen money--we aren't living within our means and politicians continue to create a mountain of debt that cannot ever be repaid and probably can't even be serviced. Our hard-earned money is going down the preverbal tubes! Our children’s money and our grandchildren’s financial futures seem to be going down the tubes.
Didja ever notice that anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about?
Saturday and Sunday, March 20-21, 2010.• March 20, the birthday of Eddie Davis, Edith Sterrett,Taylor Kogut and Eric Ackerman.
• March 21, the 80th day of the year and the birthday of George Houseweart, Kim Antanitis-Pauling and Doretha Mather. The official first day of spring for 2010 in the Northern Hemisphere (Vernal Equinox) takes place at 1:32 PM.
• We hear that Gahrad Harvey looks "ten years younger" now that he has shaved off his beard.
Thought for the Day:
"The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it."
-Harry Emerson Fosdick
Dan McGarigle was a Benton resident from May of 1994 to November of 1996 following a 36-year career as a computer programmer. Dan now lives in El Segundo, California, and contents himself with the building of fine furniture in his woodworking shop. Dan commented on the Toyota situation and feels that Toyota has a "programming error regarding a timing problem in one of the chips inside the computer control." Dan notes that "timing problems are a programmer's nightmare but they do occur when a chip is accepting multiple inputs at the same or relatively the same, time."
Dan is sure that all of the "routines" built into each chip in the computer have passed quality tests. The problem is that because of poor design "things that were never supposed to happen do happen." Then one chip processes something incorrectly and then passes on its bad results to another chip and so on until the accelerator circuit is improperly activated with bad data.
Dan said "Leave it to the Japanese to overcomplicate a design. Somebody at Toyota decided to put a small radio transmitter onto the end of the accelerator pedal, thus eliminating the need for a direct connection between the pedal and the butterfly valves in the carburetor." That radio readout is then passed to a small radio receiver in the "computer" system. Dan can only deduce what the problem is from the few facts he has and his experience.
Quote of the Day:
"The federal budget is on an unsustainable path, primarily because of the rising cost of health care and the aging of the U.S. population."
Congressional Budget Office, quoted on its web site .
Congressional Democrats hope that a healthcare overhaul will clear the House of Representatives Sunday as they follow a two-step process where the House approves the Senate-passed version of the bill including final changes. The Senate would then act on the changes before President Obama signs them into law. All of this is subject to change before Sunday!
The Congressional Budget Office says the Obama health care reform plan would cut the deficit by more than a trillion dollars over 20 years.
Here are key provisions of the legislation, but please scan the bill yourself to know what is in this important piece of legislation. You have precious little time to do this. Go to http://docs.house.gov/edlabor/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf to read this bill...
• There would be insurance-market reforms that would bar insurers from excluding people for pre-existing conditions and prevent them from arbitrarily dropping policy holders.
• Small businesses and individuals without employer-sponsored coverage could shop insurance exchanges for coverage. Plans would have to meet minimum benefit requirements.
• Dependent children could remain on their parents' health policies until age 26.
• Insurers would have to spend at least 85¢ of every premium dollar on medical care in small-group markets and 80¢ in large-group markets. Medicare Advantage insurers would have to spend at least 85% of revenues on medical care.
• All individuals would have to purchase health insurance. Those who don't would face fines of up to 2.5% of income by 2016. Companies with more than 50 workers who do not offer medical coverage could face fines of $2,000 per full-time employee.
• Federal subsidies would be provided to help people with incomes up to 400% of the poverty level purchase coverage on the exchange. Those subsidies would be sweetened for lower incomes.
• Medicaid would be available to everyone with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level ($10,830 for an individual and $22,050) for a family of four.
• Nebraska gets its sweet deal deleted to pay for expanded coverage. Louisiana gets to keep its sweet deal.
• A 40% excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans would be delayed until 2018 instead of 2013. The tax would be on plans costing $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for family coverage.
• Payroll taxes for Medicare would be increased to 2.35% from the current 1.45% for individuals earning $200,000 or more and for couples earning $250,000 or more.
• Payments would be frozen to insurers that provide coverage to Medicare patients in 2011 and begin reducing the subsidy in 2012.
• The gap in drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries would be closed by 2020. This "doughnut hole" in 2010 will get a $250 rebate. In 2011, those in this situation would get a 50% discount on brand-name drugs.
The third annual antique show & appraisal at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center (The Center), Community Drive, takes place March 27 and 28. Call 864-9998 or 925-0163 for more information.
The show is known for having quality dealers who bring their finest merchandise. In addition...
John A.Shuman, III, a certified appraiser, will appraise all items except jewelry.
Susan Pembleton, Gemologist and award-winning jewelry designer, will appraise gem and jewelry.
There will be a lace-making demonstrations both days by guild members from Montoursville. Lace making is a dying art. Be sure to watch the demonstrations of making intricate, beautiful designs which are part of our heritage and included in most dressmaking in the past. Keep this art alive!
Demonstrations of chair caning by Jeff Cromis. Learn how with time and patience we can restore furniture to its original beauty with new caning. an old chair with its original cane seat, consider yourself lucky. Like most old pieces, it's a time capsule filled with the values
Player piano demonstration by Lyle Turner. For those of us who didn't have the talent for piano playing this was the answer to still be a part of making and playing music. Mr. Turner will be playing a variety of music--much of which will be familiar to us.
There will be plenty of good food available.
The local area received good news on repairs to the dike along Fishing Creek Thursday when the Federal Government stepped in to help financially.
In the mid-1930s, a Work Progress Administration labor force built a flood dike--a stone-fronted earth bank along the west side of Fishingcreek--inside the boundary of the borough. Before the construction of the dike, high water rushed through the Benton Athletic Field each spring, flooding the Benton Park and the area where Paul Shannon lived (later the home of Barbara and Frank Edson and now the home of Holly Green) in what was sometimes known as the (Harry) Bittenbender home. After flooding Main and part of Market Streets, the water eventually made its way back into Fishingcreek through a large pipe on the creek side of the Presbyterian Church. Once the dike was built, the town of Benton did not flood for many years.
Getting the dike built was not easy. The concept of a dike was largely ridiculed locally as not being a workable solution to the flooding problem.
A flood in March 1936 ripped out about 40 feet of the center of the dam. The dike was very nearly completed at the time. Water streamed through the dike at the northern end of the town park where work was still in progress. When the dike gave way, it dropped the level of the stream, but sent tons of water against the new dike just below the dam and washed out that section. Water immediately surrounded the homes of Lee and Sara Kline, John S. Baker, the Presbyterian Manse (now the home of Starlet Grassley) and the Presbyterian Church. The Benton school was closed for a week with a flooded basement and no furnace.
For 36 years, the dike held and the town did not flood. The dike got its next big test on Wednesday, June 21, and Thursday, June 22, 1972, when the borough again came under siege by the rushing waters of Fishing Creek.
In the June 28, 2006, "no-name storm," water streamed over the dike above the Benton dam and flooded the municipal parking lot. Water was over the sidewalks in front of the Columbia County Farmers National Bank, and gushed down Two and a Half Streets with the excess running down Third Street.
Damage to the Benton dike took place along with more minor breaches along the dike in an estimated ten locations upstream. Benton park was hard hit as was the Susquehanna which crested in the Wilkes-Barre area at 38 to 40 feet. The Susquehanna River at Bloomsburg crested Thursday nearly 7 feet above Hurricane Agnes levels, well above Bloomsburg's flood stage of 19 feet and the 1972 Agnes crest of 31.2 feet." This is the storm that caused much devastation to the twin bridges of Columbia County--the East Paden and the West Paden.Benton Mobile Concrete filled weak spots in the dike along Fishingcreek with aggregate material following the 2006 flood. Hard-working prisoners from the Columbia County lockup helped as Street Commission Joe Peters, Randy Karschner and others laid plastic and sand bags in an effort to contain flood waters.In January 2010, The Center was evacuated as water cascaded over the retaining wall and unfounded rumors started that the Benton dam had collapsed. Water came over the dike on the West side of Fishingcreek. The water severely damaged the dike in a number of places, several of which were the same places where the flood of 2006 did damage to the dike system. A portion of Park Street was damaged from overflowing water. The street was undermined by three to five feet in an area eight- to ten-feet wide. The street was barricaded and school busses could not travel this portion of the street.
Rep. Karen Boback (R-117) and Sen. John R. Gordner (R-27) announced Thursday, March 18, that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) awarded $60,000 to Benton Borough for repairs to the Fishing Creek retaining wall along Park Street.
In a statement, Rep. Boback said "I am pleased that Senator Gordner and I were able to assist the borough in obtaining state funding so quickly for this important public-safety project. Spring rains and snowpack melting could further damage the wall so it is vital that repair work begin as soon as possible.”
The retaining wall was compromised when flooding in January undermined the wall’s footing. Repairs to the retaining wall will consist of placing a reinforced-concrete footer under the retaining wall base, placing flowable fill in a cavern behind the wall, placing rip-rap in the channel in front of the wall base and installing a slope-protection system on the adjacent stone embankment.
Senator Gordner, in a press release, indicated, “These repairs are necessary to protect the lives and property of residents in the area.” “If the retaining wall was left untouched and another major flooding event occurred, the neighborhood could experience significant damage.”
Residents of the area appreciate the efforts of Sen. Gordner and Rep. Boback and everyone who worked on obtaining the grant.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 17, 18 and 19, 2010. Have you purchased your tickets for "Curtains" at the Benton middle/high auditorium March 19, March 20 and March 21? Expect the 60s through Sunday with mostly sunny skies.March 17, St. Patrick's Day, in honor of the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. It is the birthday of June Chapin, Megan Brewington, Ray Demko, Toby Nagle and Jo Laubach. It is the wedding anniversary of Ed and Jackie Davis and Albert and Elizabeth Donkin. At 5 PM, line Main Street to honor the boys of Benton wrestling. A parade in their honor begins and ends at Benton high school and will be followed by a reception in the Benton High School cafeteria.
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.
Y3.19a' 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 77th day of 2010, and the birthday of Hugh Shifer, Joyce Davis, Justin Ridall and Carter Nathaniel Heim.
March 19, just inches away from the official start of spring, and the birthday of Betty Lewis, Dan Stoneham and Linda Bronson. It is the second anniversary of Mike Geary making his first "Benton run" on the Columbia county bookmobile. It is opening night of "Curtains" at the high school.
The cast of "Curtains" which will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday.Quickies...
• Nothing is better than an old concept made better. The "Yike Bike" is an example. Take a look here.
• Congratulations to Emily Young who auditioned for State Chorus at the Regional Chorus Festival in Tunkhannock last Thursday. She placed for state chorus. She was one of four sopranos to advance to the PMEA All-State Festival April 21–24 in Pittsburgh. Her goal was to make it to the state level this year and her hard work paid off. Emily will join Jimmy Steigerwalt (state orchestra) with Jennifer DiLossi (music teacher) and Jennifer Welliver (band teacher) next month proudly representing the Benton High School music department. Emily is only the second graduate of the Benton Schools to go to state chorus. Alanna Bath was first.
Quote to Make Us Happy...
"You chose absolutely, 100 percent the right song. You sang the song within the limits of your vocals."
--Simon Cowell Tuesday night, praising Aaron Kelly, SonestownMay the wind at your backNot be the resultof the corned beef and cabbageYou had for lunch.
We'll mention an old concept that the women of the house are glad is gone. Wooden tubs were still in use a generation ago. I spotted one recently as Marcia Kay camped out in an antique store. For those who don't know, the tub was used for washing clothes and for bathing. Staves made by important members of the community known as "coopers" kept the wooden tubs firmly in place. The tubs needed to retain water, with white oak, red cedar and ash the woods of choice. The least expensive ones were made of pine and about 30" in diameter--a far cry from today's modern bathtubs. The ones I remember from when I was growing up had two elongated staves with holes in which the fingers would fit so that the tub could be carried. Mother considered it an "antique" sixty years ago. The tub I saw in the antique shop had split hickory hoops.Mother made and used lye soap, using wood ashes from the kitchen stove. Lye could be made either cold or hot using a formula of about 3/4 of a pound of clear grease to two gallons of lye. The general rule of thumb was that the lye should be strong enough to bear an egg to the surface--but not out or above it.The soap was used extensively when Mother decided it was time for spring house cleaning. Spring cleaning may still be a huge deal in people's homes today, but hardly as much as it was in Mother's house "back then." If it hung on the walls or over the windows, it came down. If it laid on the floor, it came out of the house. Rooms were essentially stripped and everything carried to the back yard. A huge iron kettle filled with boiling water hung from a tripod-contraption that straddled a roaring fire.Mother brought out a porcelain bucket from the smokehouse that was filled with lye soap. I don't remember Mother actually making the soap. Gloria Mincemoyer never saw her mother make it either, but remembers that as a young girl she was banished from the kitchen during the process. I do remember that all the bars were torn apart and were very irregular. Mother apparently saw no reason to wait until the soap dried to cut it uniformly. Each time the lye soap made an appearance, Mother reminded me that the soap was poison. The wooden tubs were filled with blankets and with bed covers. I was once told that some families actually took off their shoes and walked around in the water to agitate the wash in a similar fashion to the way the Italians give their wines its unique taste (OK, I am sorry if I offended anyone because I gave away the secret of where the flavor in Italian wine comes from). After the wash was finished, we would have a session where one twisted the blanket one way while someone else twisted in the other direction in order to get the water out before "hanging out to dry" on the clothes line.
Mother's recipe for making "washing soap" was never written down in specific terms to the best of my knowledge. She used "sal-soda," which I think was Arm & Hammer, somewhat akin to the modern Fab and Tide. The sal-soda acted as a water softener when the water was hard to prevent bonding with other cleaning agents. Older readers may know what I am talking about by referring to "washing soda" or "soda crystals" as an aid in removing oil and grease.
The Toyota problem simply will not go away. I had the floor-mat problem taken care of, even though I knew that was not the problem with runaway Toyotas. Now I get a letter telling me to return to the dealer to fix an "accelerator-pedal mechanism that mechanically sticks in a partially-depressed position or returns slowly to the idle position." Why didn't Toyota take care of both issues when the car was at the dealer's shop? Why don't they acknowledge there is a software glitch. Why can't they find and correct this problem?The death and injuries attributed to Toyota automobiles because of the cars taking off at a high rate of speed and being involved in a subsequent splat are alarming, but are nothing new for the auto industry. Faulty automobile designs are as old as the hills.
The 1991 to 2001 Ford Explorer was top heavy and would roll over from time to time, especially when riding on Firestone tires that separated. More than 200 people lost their lives with this piece of engineering brilliance. Six out of ten cars turned in during the recent Cash for Clunkers program were Ford Explorers. And we can't forget the Ford Pinto during the vintage years from 1971 to 1976 that would explode when rear ended because of a fuel tank located behind the rear axle. This problem claimed 60 people before the problem was fixed.
The GM ‘X’ cars produced from 1980 to 1982--the Buick Skylark, Chevrolet Citation, Oldsmobile Omega and Pontiac Phoenix--had faulty-design errors which included bad fuel lines, a steering gear that would detach from its mount and front coil-suspension problems.
The 1982 to 1987 Audi 5000 was actually the first car with floor mats that pinned the gas pedal wide open. The Audi 5000 about did the car maker in for some 10 years until the public simply forgot that there was a problem.
The 1976-1977 Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare were recalled eight times in 1977 for various problems. These cars claim to fame were that they had more screw ups than any other models during the 70’s and beyond. Oh, and did we mention the Corvair?
As a Toyota driver, I hope that problems get worked out soon. Marcia Kay has lost driving privileges until Toyota fixes our car. I am finding that the places she likes to go are not necessarily the places I want to go. Antique shops included.
Polly A. (Williams) Pealer (August 28, 1929-March 15, 2010), Zion Church Road, Orangeville, a former tax assessor for Fishing Creek Township who also served on the township's election board, died Monday at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. She was 80. She was born in Roaring Creek Township. She was a daughter of Ambrose and Lena (Lindenmuth) Williams. She was a 1948 graduate of Benton High School and later worked as a seamstress at the former Ronnie Dress Factory, Shickshinny and had also baked pies for various local restaurants. She was an active member of St. James United Church of Christ where she was an officer for the Women's Guild, served on the church consistory, taught Sunday school and assisted with the church dinners and festivals.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Phillip Edward "Ted" Pealer, on February 5, 1997, a marital span of 48 years; and by a daughter, Wanda G. Pealer, on February 20, 1967; a grandson, Chad E. Swartz, on October 4, 1993, and by a brother, Sidney Williams. Surviving are her daughters Karen A. Swartz, Jane K. Young (Elvin) and Ellen L. Strausser (Dennis), all of rural Orangeville. There are five grandchildren: Denise Hill (Brian), Scott Young (Nora), Bryan Young (Jessie), Kira Heffernan (Charles) and Stacia Young. Other relatives include a great granddaughter, Madison Young; a sister, Marlene Hewlett, Bloomsburg; brothers Keith Williams, Berwick and Dennis Williams, Bloomsburg, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at St. James United Church of Christ, Zaners Bridge Road, Stillwater, Friday morning at 11 with viewing preceding. Burial will be in St. James cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home. For more information, to sign the online register book or for online condolences visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Monday and Tuesday, March 15 and 16, 2010.March 15, 2010, the Ides of March, and the birthday of Deb Shade, Duke Houseweart, Kay Chapman and Michelle Turner. Shirley Roberts is making a visit to Pennsylvania to celebrate her mother's birthday, and we wish her better luck this year than last when Shirley ended up in the hospital with kidney stones.Didja ever think that you would just like to get rid of all the people--rich or poor--who feel they have a sense of entitlement?
March 16, 2010, the birthday of Pamela Laubach Klinger, and the wedding anniversary of Ken and Lynn Sutton and Ted and Shirley McHenry.
• Want to watch something that will make your palms sweat? Go here.
• The music for today can be found here. You will be proud to listen to the music composed by a third-grade teacher and sung by her class from Tussing Elementary, Colonial Heights, Virginia. Get a free copy of the sheet music for this thank-you song to soldiers here.• Congratulations to the boys of the Benton Area Schools, named the state team champions in wrestling, well out in front of second and third-place teams from Schuylkill Haven and Shady Side Academy. This is the third time in the history of Benton wrestling that the team has won the title. This is the last time six seniors will wrestle locally. Three of the seniors made the finals at the state level: Mike Rhone, Eric Hess and Tyler DeMott.
• Eric Hess ended his high-school career when he beat two-time state champion Dirk Cowburn, Coudersport, 1-0 , thanks to a second-period escape in the Class AA finals. Eric received his second career gold medal. Eric helped Benton claim the team title with 93 points, and was voted the tournament's outstanding wrestler. Eric finished the season 41-2. He heads to Lehigh University in the fall.
• Congratulations to Benton coach Russ Hughes, named the PIAA Class AA Coach of the Year.
• Congratulations to Benton Assistant Coach Bryan Hart, named the AA Assistant Coach of the Year. Bryan is also responsible for the tabulation of scores which appear on the Benton News.
• Here are the results:
112 - Colt Cotten won by fall 1:45 over Shane Rankin (Union City). Cotten finished in 5th place!
285 - Tyler DeMott lost by decision 10-6 to Jeff Tarley (Beth-Center). DeMott finished in 4th place!
119 - Michael Rhone lost by decision 2-0 to Mason Beckman (Reynolds). Rhone finished in 2nd place!
125 - Coltin Fought lost by decision 10-4 to Tyler Small (Delone Catholic). Fought finished in 2nd place!
160 - Eric Hess won by decision 1-0 over Dirk Cowburn (Coudersport). Eric finished in 1st place and earned his second PIAA State Championship!
Please mark your calendars. Benton will celebrate its recent accomplishments Wednesday, March 17, at 5 PM. A parade will start at Benton High School and will be followed by a reception in the Benton High School cafeteria.
If you would like to see pictures or videos or want to know any other information about this weekend, please go to the team's website, www.bentontigerswrestling.com
As Snuffy Smith is credited with saying, "Time's a-wasting!" This portion of our Florida stay will be over in a matter of weeks and with it comes a move from one world into another. Here in Florida, for example...• People know the name of the Rolling Stone who drowned in a swimming pool, know the difference between Mylanta and Maalox, don't get offended when referred to as "Sir" or "Ma'am" and have parts of their body they haven't seen in fifteen years. About half have graduated from sonograms to mammograms and the other half own a pair of white dress shoes. Many of today's college graduates were born after these people graduated from college.
• Couples wear color-coordinated outfits, have used the same brand of soap and toothpaste for the past twenty years, only eat breakfast food with the word "bran" in the title, scan grocery shelves in hopes of finding aerosol cheese, drink their wine from boxes and get their hair cut as a social event rather than as a necessity. Many discuss watching Princess Diana's wedding on television.
• People join clubs like the Elks, Moose, Kiwanis--not retail outlets like Blockbuster, Sam's Club, B.J.'s or Gold's Gym. They actually park two cars in their two-car garages and many have fond memories of owning their first Volkswagen Beetle. Their bumper sticker often says "Honk if you like Conch."
• People drive motor homes with decals on the door from every state in the union and carry flares and a survival kit in the event their car breaks down on the way to the Publix.
• People have drawers of AC adapters that they refuse to throw out, glass jars of Vicks VapoRub, Noxzema and Tang, and never threw away their last-purchased leisure suit. They use a shoehorn, go to the dentist as a form of rest and relaxation, have a passport picture that looks better than they do, and still own the button "Don't blame me, I voted for McGovern."
Helen J. (Deiter) Harvey (June 4, 1918-March 12, 2010), Benton, died Friday at Emmanuel Nursing Center, Danville. She was 91. Helen was born in Laurel Run, Luzerne County. She was a daughter of George W. and Daisy Mae (Harrison) Deiter. She was a graduate of Johnson Vocational School, Wilkes-Barre, and later from Madam Fenwick Beauty School, Wilkes-Barre. Helen owned and operated two beauty shops on Main Street from 1935 to 1946 (in the houses owned by Jan Swan and a few houses South in the house now occupied by Dennis Mika). She was an active member of Stillwater Christian Church where she taught Sunday School and was a founding member of the Clothing-Give-Away project. She also was in charge of the children's birthday card ministry until very recently.
Helen was a member of the Laubach Literacy Board and was a Literacy tutor for the Laubach Literacy Program, "Each One-Teach One." She was also a former member of the Order of Eastern Star. Her hobbies included art and oil painting.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl S. Harvey, on September 26, 1990; and by two sisters and two brothers: Thelma Johnson, Doris Holford; Harold Deiter and Robert Deiter. Surviving are her children Diane E. Laubach, Benton, and Keith A. Harvey (Elaine), Williamsport. There are four grandchildren: Laurie, Hope, Robbie and Brian; one great granddaughter, Robin; a brother, George W. Deiter, Jr., Leesburg, Florida.
Services will be held May 30. Burial will be Monday in the Benton Cemetery under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Helen's memory to the Stillwater Christian Church, 42 Wesley Street, Stillwater, PA 17878. For more information, to sign the online register book or for online condolences, please go to www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com/.
Saturday and Sunday, March 13-14, 2010.March 13, the birthday of 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 on this day in 1733. Priestley's scientific works covered chemistry, physics, electricity, magnetism, and optics and contributed to advances in liberal political and religious thought and in experimental science. Today on this date in 1884, Standard Time was adopted throughout the United States. In 1868, the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson began in the U.S. Senate. In 1925, a law went into effect in Tennessee prohibiting the teaching of evolution.Turn your clocks ahead before you go to bed.March 14, the birthday of Bree Lillian Hess and Robert Rabb, II. It is Pi Day! (Pi, using a Greek letter I can't display on your monitor, is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926535 . Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14.)Well, it won't be popular, but we're having another pop quiz this morning. Name the state in which each of these activities take place...-------------- State In what state is a national park in which a river 50 miles wide is only six inches deep?-------------- State In what state was the first training center for Navy pilots?-------------- State In what state are fulgurites most prevalent?-------------- State In what state is the museum to honor the doctor who invented ice making?-------------- State In what state is one of the largest bird rookeries in the world, discovered in 1962?-------------- State In what state was the first drive-through fast-food restaurant?-------------- State In what state was the first all-black resident town to be incorporated?Quickies...• A study, "Energy Vision 2010: Towards a More Energy Efficient World," by IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates (IHS CERA) indicates that demand for oil in the developed world has peaked and the US energy sector is being transformed into a low-carbon infrastructure. Natural-gas shale in North America could "supply more than a century of consumption at current rates." The study forecast power demands in the next 20 years will likely cause natural-gas demand to double its current level of 19 billion cubic feet per day by 2030. The study did not foresee significant price increases over that period.
• Researchers in Texas are attributing eleven small earthquakes (the largest was measured at a 3.3) in that state to the operation of a saltwater injection disposal well operating in Barnett Shale in the area. A study suggests that the earthquakes do not appear to be directly connected to the drilling, hydraulic fracturing or gas production, but to the re-injection of waste fluids into a zone below the Barnett Shale at the nearby saltwater disposal well. The study, http://smu.edu/newsinfo/pdf-files/earthquake-study-10march2010.pdf , did not explain the reason for earthquakes in some parts of the drilling area, while other areas were unaffected.
• Who were all those screaming Benton women at the Cinema Center, Bloomsburg, Friday night at the opening of Krysten Ritter's new movie?
• Do you plan a trip out of the United States? Americans are required to present a passport (or other US government travel document) when returning from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda by land, seaport or by airplane. The State Department will charge anyone 16 and older $135 for a first-time passport. The State Department will hold “Passport Day in the USA” on March 27 at all regional-passport agencies and about 2,000 “passport acceptance facilities,” which include some post offices. For those under 16, the cost of a passport is $105. Passport renewal jumps to $110.
• A "White Moose Sale" will take place at the Moose Exchange, 203 West Main Street, Bloomsburg, March 19-20. Hours are from 4-8 PM and Saturday from 8 AM to 1 PM. This is your chance to bring home a piece of Bloomsburg history. There is a variety of more than 500 plates and glassware, chairs, round tables, rectangular tables, cafe tables, serving trays, chafing dishes, coffee cups and saucers, pitchers, miscellaneous kitchen items and furniture and much more. This is a BYOB event--bring your own box or bag! Admission is free. For more information, call Oren Helbok, 951-9718.• The Orangeville library is having a St. Patricks Day kid night. There will be crafts and snacks. Everyone is welcome Wednesday night, March 17, at 6:30. The library has a kids night every Wednesday, with crafts, snacks and reading.
• We all have a special place in our hearts for covered bridges and so when we read about a driver of a box truck who damaged a historic covered bridge in southern Lancaster County and then left without reporting the crash to police, our ears perk up. It happened March 1 at the Pine Grove Covered Bridge over Octoraro Creek in Little Britain Township in Chester County. The driver cracked an overhead beam when he entered the bridge and an overhead beam when he exited, breaking and cracking wood beams. The 1884 bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of covered bridges of Lancaster County. The state spent $3.7 million for a major rehabilitation of the bridge in 2008.
• The Center has candy Easter eggs for sale in peanut butter, coconut and cherry cream. The eggs are 80 cents each and 9.50 a dozen.
Here are Facebook tips. If you are not a Facebook user, please skip this paragraph.
This is for all the Facebook users who do not use Farmville and do not want to see the posts on that subject. Hide Farmville posts from the default page when you sign on Facebook. The next time you get a Farmville update in your stream, float your mouse over the right corn of the post and click on "Hide." You have the choice of hiding the Username, Farmville and Cancel. If you hide the username, then nothing from that user will ever appear in your news stream, although comments can be posted on your wall.
If you hide Farmville, you will no longer see updates from any other user playing Farmville, as well as from any posting that comes from third-party applications; causes, birthday cards, etc.
If you want to globally block Farmville as an application to your profile so that you no longer get Farmville invitations, go to www.facebook.com/farmville and click on the "Block Application" link below the Farmville logo on the left side.
You can repeat this for any Facebook application by simply putting the name of the app in the Search bar and finding the page associated with the application.
Control what others can share about you by clicking on Account (in the upper right corner), then click Privacy Settings/Applications and Web sites then on the Edit Setting button for "What your friends can share about you."
Remove the checkmark for any of your profile information that you do not want shared via your friends to applications. Anything that is available via your public profile can be readily accessed by third-party applications at any time.
If you want to see what information is available via your public profile, go back to the Privacy Settings screen, then click on Profile Information. You will see a list of items that are contained in your profile with buttons to the right with four options: Everyone, Friends of Friends, Only Friends, and Customize. The "Customize" option allows you to manually hide the item from specific people.
Click on the Preview My Profile button at the top right to double-check what the general Facebook public (and third-party applications) can see on your profile without being your friend first.
The answer to the pop quiz was of course Florida. The Everglades was the first question. The U.S. Naval Air Station was established at Pensacola in 1914. Fulgurites are made when a bolt of lightning strikes a sandy beach and creates glass. The Forrie Museum at Apalachicola honors the Florida doctor who invented ice making. One of the largest bird rookeries in the world is at Myakka River State Park. In Kissimmee, cowboys were able to ride their horses right to the bar. Eatonville, Florida, was the first town to be incorporated as an all black resident town--in 1886.
On March 11, Benton wrestlers completed at the first day of the PIAA AA state tournament. Here are the results:
103 - Matt Welliver won by dec. 5-4 over Nick Hough (Mount Pleasant)
112 - Colt Cotten won by fall 1:01 over Matt Spragale (Mercer)
119 - Michael Rhone won by fall 0:47 over Ty Dively (Claysburg-Kimmel)
125 - Coltin Fought won by technical fall 16-0 over Taylor Boyd (Juniata Valley)
160 - Eric Hess won by technical fall 15-0 over Dylan Demain (Bentworth)
285 - Tyler DeMott won by major decision 10-2 over Dan Fultz (Juniata)
All the Benton wrestlers will take part in the state quarterfinals Friday morning starting at 8. Results can be found at www.bentontigerswrestling.com. Brian Hart will update the Benton boys' Twitter account with the results throughout the day. Pictures of the matches, available for downloading and printing, are available at http://wvcd2wrestling.shutterfly.com/13944 .
Shady Side Acad.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 10, 11 and 12, 2010. Precipitation should lightly begin late Thursday, and turn into rain Friday and Saturday.March 10, the birthday of Pam Hartman, Lisa English and David DePoe.
March 11, the birthday of Jerry Newhart, Mary Ruth Daniels, Linda Sharek, Judy Search, John McMichael, Andrew Vincent and the anniversary of the opening of the Old Filling Station. Keep Phil Malhoyt in your prayers following late night chest pains and an ambulance ride to the Geisinger Hospital. Phil came home Thursday afternoon, but the pains remain.
March 12, the birthday of Lydia Becker, Jean Stackhouse, Jerry Zevney, Esther Little and Miles Little. Keep Ken McDormand in your prayers as he faces surgery today.Quickies...• The 2010 Benton Firemen's Carnival will be held June 24, 25,and 26. The water battle will take place Saturday, June 26.• Does anyone really think that a football player who completed 6 of 13 passes for 86 yards and one touchdown and ran for 95 yards and two scores is worth the Eagles paying him a $1.5 million roster bonus with the rest of his $5.25 million 2010 salary paid by either Philadelphia or another NFL franchise? Vick was a star quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons, but was convicted in 2007 for his role in a dogfighting ring and served 18 months in federal prison.• The size 13 cowboy boots needed for the high school play, "Curtains," have been located.• This week, the Weight Watchers who meet at The Center had 30 paying members--two of them new. The group lost a total of 28½ pounds. One member celebrated a five-pound loss, and one a ten-pound loss. Two people have lost 5% of their starting weight.
This past weekend, the Benton wrestlers competed at the Northeast Regional Tournament. The tournament was held on Friday, March 5, and Saturday, March 6. All seven of the Benton wrestlers placed at the tournament, with six continuing to Hershey for "states" this weekend. Benton wrestling also won the title championship. This is the third time Benton won the NE Regional Championship. During the weekend competition, Benton added another member to the "100 wins club." Coltin Fought received his 100th win against Bryan Brown (Wyalusing) by a technical fall 15-0. Congratulations to Coltin!
**Top 3 move onto States**
103 - Matt Welliver - 3rd Place
112- Colt Cotten - 3rd Place
119 - Michael Rhone - 1st Place
125 - Coltin Fought - 1st Place
160 - Eric Hess - 1st Place
171 - Jake Mankey - 4th Place
285 - Tyler DeMott - 2nd Place
More information can be found about Regionals and States at www.bentontigerswrestling.com. Schedules can be found at www.bentontigerswrestling.com/states10/states10.html .
If there is anyone who needs or could use tickets for Thursday, please contact Bryan Hart as soon as possible. Brian has two free tickets for the Thursday session. If anyone wants to sell or give away tickets for either AA or AAA please let Brian know.
Have you ever stopped to think how much like the European continent in the 1600s resembled modern-day Afghanistan? For the sake of argument, lets assume there are about 28 million people in Afghanistan (2010 is a census year there). These people are not ruled by the central government which has almost no power beyond the limits of the capital, but are ruled by independent (war)lords everywhere beyond the capital.
The European continent until the seventeenth century was carved up into small political units with vague borders. Kings were titular leaders with little power outside a capital city and had little contact or impact on the people they called their subjects. Religious leaders or popular muckety-muicks were the real power based on factors of religion, locality or community. Christian clergy carried out responsibilities today associated with the social, cultural, and political functions of states. They ran the schools and hospitals and cared for the poor. The nobility assumed responsibility for security and built fortresses, arsenals and the modern equivalent of militias. You would not have bad-mouthed politicians without experiencing brutality in the form of warfare, banditry or conflict in some form. When death came, it often was violent.
Change didn't come easily back then for the continent--and it won't come easily now in Afghanistan as the U.S. attempts to bring poppy production to its knees and as coalition forces rout the Taliban and establish security for the general population in Kandahar and the districts that surround it.
March 9, 2010. Prospects of rain toward the end of the week are ominous.Quickies...
• There will be karaoke Saturday night at the Jamison City Hotel from 9:30 PM to 1:30 AM to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
• The local service for Albert J. McCann Sr. (June 25, 1925-March 3, 2010), will be Saturday, March 20, at 11 AM at the Benton Presbyterian Church, followed by light refreshments at 23 Westover Road, Benton. Rev Al Lumpkin will be officiating. There is a second service on April 10 in Glenolden, where the McCann family lived until they moved to Benton in 2004.• Tickets for the upcoming play "Curtains" are now on sale at the high school office from 8-3 Monday through Friday. Tickets are $10 for preferred seating, $7 for adults and $4.50 for students.• Borough residents can now put up mailboxes and not have to pay an application fee for doing it.
• Krysten Ritter asked that we remind you that she has a movie coming out this weekend (March 12) called She's Out of My League. Krysten says "it's very funny." We'll let you know if we agree.• If you talk with Matt or Robert Rabb, ask them how their snowmobiling trip to Canada went and what they think of the Canadian health-care system.As we take a break from planting palm trees this early March, the actions of professionals in Washington, D.C. amaze us. The train track these "seasoned" politicians are traveling should take our nation to a destination of being the most respected, most prosperous nation in the world. But there is a problem. Engineers don't always run their trains like that!
In the pre-dawn cold of March 1944, during World War II, a steam-powered freight train pulled out of Balvano, in southern Italy, partly to get away from Allies who had landed in Anzio and were busy killing Italians in an effort to get them to surrender. The Nazis were busy killing Italians to prevent them from surrendering. It wasn't a pleasant time for these people--or for anyone in those war-torn days.
As the freight train left the Balvano station, several hundred locals jumped on the slowly moving train hoping that the train would eventually arrive at a destination which would be a better place to live. The double engines labored to pull the Southern Italian hills as the low-grade bituminous failed to deliver all the horsepower the train needed.
The train slowly came to a stop inside a long tunnel on a steep incline. Aboard the train, people slept dreaming of a new life where trouble was not the major event of the day. As the stowaways slept, the locomotives belched carbon monoxide into the tunnel. The passengers and crew were slowly overcome by smoke and fumes. Within an hour, the crew and 420+ passengers of the freight train lay dead from carbon-monoxide poisoning in one of the worst train calamities in history. There was no derailment, nothing fell on the track, no crash took place. There was only a 45-minute delay while professionals decided how to move the train up the hill. We have to think of the professionals who are guiding the train in Washington. Is the light they see in the tunnel the end of the road or an oncoming train?
If there is a "hot button" for me, it is anything to do with satellites, based on years of service in specialized sectors of that field. So when China developed the capability to knock our satellites out of orbit, my concern moved to the eventuality that in the event of war our country could lose its communication's capability. No--it wouldn't be by the endless workers who turn out wheelbarrows to export to our country, or the people who sent the drywall that caused our eyes to tear, or the folks who are exporting tainted fish or the pillywiggers who turn out copper pipes that fail five years after being encapsulated inside our walls. If launched to knock out our communication satellites, that decision would be make at a very high level. Nevertheless, our country has to start thinking about what would happen if we lost our eyes and ears in space because of Chinese satellites.
Well--yes--the administration is asking for 13% more unclassified funding for "space protection" (which on closer examination means "climate control") and the Air Force plans to award a contract in the summer of 2011 for a "Space Fence" to aid in monitoring satellites.Google is still feeling repercussions from recent, alleged Chinese attacks in cyberspace on its intellectual property and that of more than 20 other companies in finance, technology, media and chemicals.The Chinese continue to be upset with the U.S. because of arms sales to Taiwan. U.S.-China ties cranked down another notch last week by Beijing's anger at proposed arms sales to Taiwan which Beijing equates as interference in its internal affairs.
And then there is the matter of contracting with Russia to send our astronauts and cargo into space. So you think a flight on an airplane is expensive? Try contracting with Russia for a flight into space. Russia was going to charge us $22 million per fight, but based on administration decisions to scrap all future manned flights, Russia raised the price to $50 million with the understanding that prices could continue to escalate. How will America be a leader in space exploration with this Russian and China dominance?
Does the United States have the capability to knock satellites out of orbit? Yes. The United States has an anti-satellite capability using a specially modified Raytheon Co standard missile-3. For a discussion of this capability, go here. For more reading on this subject, turn here.
March 8, 2010. It is the birthday of Mark McGarigle. It's International Women's Day, National Nasty Day and Mark's birthday. Mark is only mildly amused at the coincidence. On this day in 1817, the New York stock exchange was founded. Please continue to keep Linda Bronson on your prayer list, although she returned home from the Bloomsburg Hospital ICU Sunday afternoon and says she is feeling much better. This week will be characterized by high temperatures in the 50s.Quickies...
• The people responsible for the success of the upcoming play, "Curtains," are looking for size 13 cowboy boots for one of the cast members. About all options have been tried to find a pair. Can a reader help?
• The numbing truth is that the Treasure Coast of Florida's average temperatures in the last two months were within a degree of setting an all-time record. The cold is soon expected to moderate, again reaching 80°.
• The Robinson Group gas lease meeting will take place at the Benton Area High School auditorium on Monday, March 22, at 7 PM. Doors open at 6 PM and representatives of the group will be there at that time. All group members are invited to attend this meeting. Read www.homelandenergyventures.com/ and your email for announcements concerning this meeting. We welcome any new landowners interested in joining the group.
• Readers of the Benton News who are members of its Facebook page know about the following, but for others you should know about an email message that included a link to a web page to join a protest against an upcoming fee. The protest page was actually a trap. Facebook users who clicked on parts of that page found their computer hijacked, disturbing pictures appeared on their screen and malware could have been installed on their computer. As with all information you read on the internet, check out the truth of rumors before you take the advice or forward them to others. A good place to check out rumors you hear is to go to www.snopes.com . For the Facebook hoax, go here.
Four graduates of the Benton Area Schools will be inducted at this year’s Hall of Fame program: Unora Mendenhall, Rodney Pennington, Carole Zeisloft and David Laubach.
Unora Mendenhall, a deceased member of the Class of 1931, had a 40-year career in the Benton schools in the field of mathematics. She formed a history club for the students, was an accomplished pianist and organist and served on the Bloomsburg (University) Alumni Board. Miss Mendenhall is remembered for her consistency and steadiness of her service, her devotion to her career, her church, her social organizations and her music.
Rodney Pennington, a 1964 graduate of the Benton schools, now lives in Orlando, Florida. He is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Engineering Science. Rodney is an accomplished author and speaker on air-pollution control and capture techniques, has more than 20 patents in the field of regenerative technology, and has extensive sales and marketing experience of capital-equipment systems as part of energy conservation and clean-up of the environment.
Carole Zeisloft, one of two honorees from the Class of 1956, lives in Newark, Delaware, but her roots are firmly in Elk Grove. She is a graduate of the former Bloomsburg State College, holds master's degrees in both reading and guidance and holds post-graduate credits from a number of universities. Carole is president of a family-owned construction business specializing in environmental services. She has been honored for her contributions to the Delaware educational system, named four times as the Delaware business woman of the year and is a member of the Presidential Who's Who Among Business & Professional People.
David Laubach, a member of the Class of 1956 now living in Stony Run, Pennsylvania, formed the Grassmere Little League team when he was 15. For the first two years, the team was the "bad news bears." The next two years, the team was in first place--endearing him forever in the hearts of local nine-year old boys. He taught for fifty years after receiving his undergraduate and master's degrees from Bloomsburg University and his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. He has delivered more than 50 addresses and papers over the years. He wrote a novel, a long play and a short play for the Kutztown Folk Festival. He is the author of Growing Up Amish and his Introduction to Folklore is in its second printing. He wrote a column for 20 years on movies and has been interviewed extensively because of his knowledge of the subject of folklore. He is an inspiration to countless numbers of both students and teachers.
These four outstanding graduates of the Benton Area Schools will be inducted into the 2010 Hall of Fame May 29, 2010, as part of the Alumni Banquet and Hall of Fame induction for the Benton Area Middle/High School.
Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7, 2010. Temperatures should slowly rise through Monday.
March 6, the birthday of Nettie Lunger, Buddy Johnson, Christine Yorks McKim, and Wendy Kriebel. There is a Spring craft show from 9 AM to 3 PM today with more than a hundred crafters invited to display home decor, seasonal gift items, wood crafts, and jewelry. Food will be available. It takes place at the Columbia-Montour Area Vo-Tech, 5050 Sweppenheiser Drive, Bloomsburg. There is a spaghetti dinner at the Benton UMC from 4 to 7 PM. The menu is spaghetti, meatballs, salad, bread, cake, iced tea, and coffee. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children 6-12, and free for those under 6. Take-outs are available. The 65-member Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre presents "Sleeping Beauty" Saturday night at Bloomsburg University, Haas Center, Bloomsburg. Call 389-4409 for tickets.
March 7, the birthday of Richard Fritz and Robyn Bierbach. This Sunday before Worship will be the monthly Fellowship Breakfast at the Benton United Methodist Church, beginning at 8. All from our community are invited to attend and a freewill offering will be accepted to support ongoing missions.
It is the first Sunday of March and time for the monthly gardening column by Kathy Arcuri. This month's article is entitled, "A WMD Maya Be Lurking in Your Garden."
Last summer, many gardeners encountered a lethal enemy in the vegetable patch--Phytophthora infestans or late blight. So consider this a message from “homeland security,” and let’s try and protect ourselves against another such stealth attack.Late blight is a fungus-like pathogen that primarily infects potato and tomato plants. The spores require live tissue to overwinter, hosted almost always in the cold Northeast by unharvested potatoes and stored seed potatoes, or introduced in spring by diseased tomato seedlings purchased from careless commercial growers. Once the blight spores infiltrate a growing region, they multiply rampantly and spread rapidly. Symptoms include blackened areas on stems; greasy-looking irregularly-shaped gray spots on leaves, sometimes surrounded by a ring of white mold; and large, irregularly-shaped greasy gray spots on tubers and fruit. Sporadic attacks, often in August and September, have generally been manageable with careful surveillance and the use of fungicides. But in the early 1990’s, several much more aggressive strains of late blight were introduced from Mexico, literally sleeper cells waiting for ideal conditions to launch an invasion. And just such conditions materialized in 2009, causing a virulent and unusually early disease outbreak. First, June’s cool wet weather provided an ideal habitat. In addition, big box stores created a distribution network for infected tomato seedlings. And finally, many amateur gardeners unwittingly purchased and planted these diseased plants.So to prevent a recurrence, here are some guidelines:
- Undertake search and destroy missions early, before the disease has a chance to establish a base camp; look for any potato tubers left in the garden from last season (also volunteer potato plants), and dispose of these in a sealed plastic bag (DO NOT COMPOST!).
- Plant only certified healthy seed potatoes; as an extra precaution, try late blight-resistant strains, like ‘Defender’ or ‘Elba.’Buy tomato seedlings from local reputable growers, and inspect carefully for any sign of disease.
- Or start your own tomato seedlings; and for extra insurance, plant one of the few late blight-resistant varieties, like ‘Legend,’ or the soon-to-be-released ‘Plum Regal’ and ‘Mountain Magic.’
- Train tomato vines up stakes or onto a trellis; keep well pruned by pinching out suckers for good air circulation (spores die when exposed to several hours of hot sunlight)
- .Conduct frequent reconnaissance, especially during wet weather, to identify the first signs of trouble. Remove any infected leaves immediately, or better yet, pull out the whole plant especially when there are stem lesions; discard in a sealed plastic bag (DO NOT COMPOST!).
- Organic copper-based fungicides can be used prophylactically to deter rampant spread; but this is no cure and has not been highly successful with the more aggressive strains of the disease.
Fortunately, we live in a small community of experienced gardeners, so if everyone follows these suggestions, and if Mother Nature smiles on us with a hot dry summer, we should all be able to outwit this enemy and enjoy a bounty of good eating.
Albert J. McCann Sr. (June 25, 1925-March 3, 2010), 23 Westover Road, Benton, an Army veteran of World War II where he participated in campaigns in the Rhineland, Northern France and Central Europe, died Wednesday at the Geisinger Medical Center with his loving children and grandson by his side. He was 84. He lived in the Maple Grove area since 2004, and previously resided in Glenolden, Delaware County. Albert was born in Philadelphia. He was a son of the late Raymond J. and Florence (White) McCann. He was employed by the Sun Ship Co. at their shipyard in Chester for 28 years, retiring in 1981 as a supervisor. He was then employed by the DuPont Company Research Facility in Glenolden as a guard, retiring again in 1990. He was a member of the Benton United Presbyterian Church.
Surviving are his wife, the former Elizabeth J. Davis, with whom he would have celebrated his 62nd wedding anniversary on March 29, 2010; children Albert J. McCann Jr. (Jeanette), Glenolden Elizabeth Laura (Dean) Christian, with whom he resided; Dorothy A. (Michael) Martino, Blackwood, NJ; Ian T. McCann (Lori Anne), Prospect Park; 11 grandchildren; one great-grandson; and two sisters: Florence Mills, Swedesboro, NJ; and Margaret McLaughlin, Darby.Memorial services will be held in the First Presbyterian Church, Glenolden, at a time to be announced. Interment will be in the Knowles Cemetery, Glenolden. There will be no viewing. Arrangements have been made with the Kriner Funeral Home, Benton. To sign the guest book or to send a message of condolence, please go to www.krinerfuneralhomes.com.
• The Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center (The Center) will host a presentation on hospice volunteering on Tuesday, March 9, at 7 PM. Jane Brockman, Volunteer Coordinator for Geisinger Hospice, will speak at the Center on how volunteers are important members of the hospice team and how hospice volunteers help individuals live their life with dignity, comfort and peace while facing terminal illness. The presentation will discuss training opportunities and requirements for volunteers and ongoing education and support for volunteers. Hospice volunteers typically say they get more than they give. Hospice volunteering is an opportunity to serve others and helps strengthen community. The presentation is free and is open to the public. For further information, please call The Center at 925-0163.
• The Monday edition of the Benton News will discuss the 2010 inductees into the Benton Area Schools Hall of Fame.
• On the third Monday of each month, the group Betty Ruckle liked to call the "History Buffs" meets at the Brass Pelican restaurant, Elk Grove. Others call it the North Mountain Historical Society. Upcoming speakers include in March, Pastor Doug Lyon; in April, Charles Petrilla; May, Bill Baillie; June, Dani Crossley; July, George Turner; August, Wilson Ferguson; September, Robert Webster; October, Judy Adamic; November, Ginger Hock; December, Mrs. Wilson Ferguson.
• William Davis Ryan was born to Scott and Marni Ryan, Elgin, South Carolina, on Friday, February 26. Paternal grandparents are Ron and Ginny Ryan, Stillwater. The paternal great-grandmother is Thelma Hileman, Bloomsburg. Paternal grandparents are Kathy and Marty Davis, Elgin, South Carolina. William joins a sister, Penny, 4. Scott is a 1966 graduate of Benton Area Schools and is currently employed as a morning meteorologist at WLTX Columbia, South Carolina.
• The Benton Women’s Club will hold their first meeting of 2010 on Thursday, March 11, at 7 PM at the LR Appleman school library. Nora McDaniel will speak on St. Patrick and Ireland as well as provide her traditional, homemade Irish treats for refreshments. Guests are welcome. Call 925-6242 for information.
• The Benton News as of April 1, 2010, will no longer accommodate Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, Mozilla FireFox 2.0 and any previous versions of these two browsers. If you are using any of the above browsers, you will lose functionality access. Upgrading will make browsing the web easier and more secure. Below is a list of several of the most popular free browsers. Just click on the links and learn about which will best suit your needs.
Benton High School Drama Club will present a "very funny" musical comedy in mid-March, a whodunit from the creators of “Cabaret,” "New York, New York" and “Chicago.” The play is set backstage at Boston’s Colonial Theatre in 1959. A new musical could be a Broadway smash, except for the lack of talent on the part of the leading lady. As the curtain falls on opening night, the actors bow, the lead singer proudly looks on, when suddenly the leading lady drops her bouquet, clutches her stomach, then collapses and later in the hospital dies of poisoning. It is "curtains" for the leading lady as murder takes place on the stage of the theater. Any of the cast members could be the murderer. A tough police lieutenant who loves musical comedy, Frank Cioffi, arrives on the scene to conduct an investigation. But the lure of the theatre proves irresistible and after an unexpected romance blooms for the stage-struck detective, he finds himself just as drawn toward making the show a hit as he is in solving the murder. "Curtains" will be presented Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 at 7 PM, and Sunday, March 21, at 2 PM.There are extremely talented students involved in this year's production. The main cast of "Curtain" includes...
Lieutenant Frank Cioffi Logan Zeitler
Niki Harris Adrianna Stahl
Georgia Hendricks Jeanne Masich
Carmen Bernstein Emily Young
Aaron Fox John Schultz
Sidney Bernstein Sam Pawelski
Christopher Belling Brandon Ball
Bambi Bernet Hunter Charles
Daryl Grady Sam Futcher
Johnny Harmon Ethan Fritz
Oscar Shapiro Ryan Scardigli
Bobby Pepper Dimi Marinos
Jessica Cranshaw Becca Hughes
The men's ensemble includes Dave Root, Jacob Snieselhauer and Chris McElwee. The women's ensemble includes Laura Posey, Alyssa Vandall, Alyssa Lockard, Brianne Keller, Andrea Turner, Olivia McGrath, Elizabeth Hamersley, Anabelle Huntington, Sadie Huntington and Cecelia Huntington.
Adrianna Stahl, Dimi Marinos, Emily Young and Logan Zeitler, all leads in the show, were all in district chorus this year. Emily and Logan will be attending region chorus in a few days. Rebekah Mosley and Jimmy Steigerwalt went to district band. Rebekah also went to district and region chorus. Jimmy Steigerwalt also went to district, region and state orchestra and region band.
David Kline and Bill Hiscox, former high-school classmates, enjoy a birthday meal in Stuart, Florida.
Thursday and Friday, March 4-5, 2010. Keep John and Sally Bergstrom, Waller, in your prayers.March 4, 2010, the birthday of Calvin Peterman, the 63rd day of the year with 302 days remaining until the end of the year.March 5, 2010, the birthday of Carol Laubach, Kendall LeValley and Elizabeth Brianne Stewart.Quickies...
• Twenty-nine attended this week's Weight Watchers meeting and those attending lost a total of 32 1/4 lbs for the week. Celebrations for weight loss were given for 5, 30 and 45 lbs! The next meeting is Tuesday night. Call 925-0163 for more information.
• The Center will exhibit watercolor paintings through Sunday, March 21. The public is invited to meet artist Ken Wilson at a reception March 21 from 2-4 PM.Madeline C. (Karns) Stevens (May 8, 1915-March 1, 2010), Fifth Street, Benton, died Monday at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, where she had been a patient since Thursday. She was 94. She was born in Huntington Township, Luzerne County. She was a daughter of Byron and Myrtle (Harvey) Karns. She attended the Welliver School and later Benton High School.
Mrs. Stevens was a waitress for the former Yost Restaurant (now the Hoboken Sub Shop), Benton, for 12 years. She and her husband, Paul, operated the Stevens Willow Trailer Park, Benton, for 14 years. Mrs. Stevens was a member of Benton Christian Church. Surviving are her children Gerald D. Stevens, Benton and Marilyn S. Fritz, Stillwater. There are five grandchildren: Shane S. Fritz, Melanie J. Gordon, Courtney L. Fritz, Scott A. Stevens and Eric D. Stevens; seven great grandchildren: Brandon, Shanna, Ashley, Brian, Taylor, Karla and Cole; two step great grandchildren: Michael and Nicole and two great great grandchildren: Callie and Bree.She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul S. Stevens, who died May 6, 1997, with whom she celebrated 65 years of marriage. She was also preceded in death by granddaughter Kimberly Stevens in 1974 and by brothers Robert and Russell Karns and by sisters Josephine and Geraldine Karns.Private funeral services will be held Friday at 2 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will follow in the Benton Cemetery. There will be no public viewing. For online condolences or to sign the register book, please go to www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Roy M. Davis writes a column in the Tri-City Record, Watervliet, MI, called the "Paw Paw River Journal." Roy is wintering in Ft. Myers. He recently wrote an article published Back Home in Watervliet and gave us permission to publish it on the Benton News. The article is entitled "Water Balloon Fight!"
"We have this place out in Pennsylvania that is enshrined in our hearts. It is a small town up in the mountains of the east central part of the state (Jamison City). Our Aunt Hope Merrill lived there, and back in the day she gave us many summer vacations. Of course, we were a young family struggling to make ends meet. We had but little money for traveling. Aunt Hope always welcomed our visits. Marion helped her with canning and freezing vegetables. And we took her to all of the local fish fries, strawberry festivals, ice cream socials, etc.
"Out there they do have a bunch of them too. There are little country villages, cross-roads communities and churches all over the place. People gather there when the ladies’ groups put on whatever money-making project--and it always involves the most delicious home cooking. There will be a notice in all the local papers. Then on the planned date, people converge on the place in droves. Sometimes cars are parked down the road in every direction. Whenever we attended one, we always tried to have Aunt Hope and our kids all gathered up and in the car, so we could get there early.
"They still do it to this day. I know because we get an almost daily local online newspaper that tells about important gatherings. David Kline, editor and publisher of “The Benton News,” keeps us well informed. He must enjoy those get-togethers just as we have. He always tells about them.
"Last summer we visited the area, as I mentioned in a previous column. We stayed in a marvelous place, "Mattress and Muffin Inn," 240 Main Street, Benton. This small town is becoming quite well known for its antique shops and malls.
"Just recently in his Benton News, David Kline mentioned one of the quaint customs there--a firemen's parade. Fire trucks come from all over the state. I don’t know who is minding the shop back home, because they are there in bunches.
"We saw the parade just once back in the day. Aunt Hope wanted us to get there early and park in The Methodist church lot right on Main Street. She kept saying, “Just wait--you’re going to see something unusual.” We waited. Then came time for the parade--bands, Boy Scouts, fire trucks, all in a long line with sirens wailing. A nice parade, but we’ve seen them before. Aunt Hope again said, “Just wait--it’s not over!”
"After the noise died down, out came hundreds of citizens. They were dressed in raincoats, had water hoses at the ready, water-filled balloons, and were obviously in an agitated state of expectation. We heard sirens wailing again, and Aunt Hope said, “Now we are going to see the next parade--better make sure the car windows are rolled up tight!”
"Here came the fire trucks back down Main Street. No bands or Boy Scouts this time. Firemen all dressed in slickers, fire hats, etc. And they had their water hoses turned on. They hosed down anyone on the streets. And the citizenry hosed them right back! Water balloons flying, and one kid knocked the hat right off a fireman. He promptly got hosed down. "An attractive blonde girl dressed in yellow and with an umbrella, was trying to get off the street. She made it to the front doors of the Methodist Church--sanctuary! But it was locked! Drat! She jumped up and down, holding the umbrella in front of her, as the fire hoses drenched her. She looked pretty bedraggled after that.
"Some wise guys had dragged a hose up the stairs in the hotel. They were waiting on the front balcony, but THEY FORGOT TO SHUT THE DOOR BEHIND THEM! They drenched the firemen, but in return, every truck sprayed them with huge hoses. We heard water ran right down the hallway and into rooms on each side. They had to be cleaned and dried out later.
"David Kline says one year The National Geographic Magazine got so caught up in the event that a photo of the battle ran in the magazine! He said it started in 1953, when some big kids went to Yost's Restaurant and Vincent's Market, traded in all the soda bottles they could muster up for $.02 each, then went to Buckley's Store and bought balloons."They then positioned themselves on the balcony of the Hotel Moses Van Campen and other stores on Main Street. When fire Chief Gene Bardo came by, all hell broke loose! Sitting on his front porch, even Ray Knecht got soaked and got his water hose out to defend his home and honor. Balloons flew everywhere. Firemen threw open the valves, and water started spraying the crowd. Everyone had such a great time. More elaborate plans were drawn up for 1954; and a tradition began."We were there that day--one of the first years. It was in the 1950s, and Aunt Hope was surely right. We have seen nothing like it before or since. It is just one of those watershed (if I may put it that way) memories. It will live on--the battle of the water balloons, happening every year, even to this day. One of the cherished traditions as people in the North Mountain area continue to weave golden threads into the tapestry of life in small town Pennsylvania.
You can view pictures of the 2009 Firemen's Parade by going here. The dates for the 2010 firemen's parade and carnival have not been established at this writing.
Aaron Kelly, Sonestown, made it through another round of "American Idol" Tuesday night when the ten male semifinalists performed. Aaron sang "My Girl," the first #1 hit of The Temptations and he was quite good doing it, although he didn't exactly have a big finish. Kelly and nine other male contestants performed in the second semifinal round. Two men and two women will be eliminated Thursday.
Tuesday and Wednesday, March 2-3, 2010. It is the birthday of Steve Zeveney and Herr Klink and John Lewis on the third.Quickies...
• The Fishing Creek Watershed Association will hold a public meeting March 8 at 7 PM at the Columbia County Conservation District (lower level meeting room). Join the conservation district for a short presentation from Bloomsburg Christian Students entitled “Let Us Be Leadless.” The students have been researching lead in local streams and are promoting alternatives to lead-fishing weights to anglers and tackle shops. Questions can be directed to Environmental Education Specialist Stephanie Singer at 784-1310, ext. 123.
• The 2010 Census could cost Pennsylvania a seat in Congress as the estimated population of the commonwealth falls behind growth of other states. The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports the census could shift as many as two seats to central Pennsylvania because of population movement in the commonwealth--which could result in a reshuffling in our part of the state.
• We hate to lose a case of Yuengling to anyone, and especially to Canada after the battle our fellows put up Sunday afternoon on the ice. President Obama bet a case of beer--Yuengling vs. Molson--with the Canadian prime minister on the outcome. At least the President recognizes good beer!
• Happy first anniversary (of being open full-time) to Haymart Furniture, 225 Center Street, Benton.Everywhere we go, people meet and like our two Bichon dogs, Buster and Chloe. They get fan mail, asking them to write about what is happening to them here in Florida, but they are a little ashamed from an episode that happened in 2002. The incident happened at Tropical Palms RV Park, Kissimmee.
It all happened when Kay and the two dogs returned from a walk. Kay accidentally walked near a squirrel, which the dogs call "mousies." The dogs immediately broke the hold Kay had on the retractable leashes. Off they ran in full pursuit, leash handles flailing about, plants flying, sand spraying behind them like a flume. Closer and closer they came to their prey, over electric lines and water lines, until the handle on Buster's leash wrapped itself around a one-inch water line that stuck vertically out of the ground, just below the cut-off valve.I was inside the motor home while all this happened. I remember electricity going off, everything outside going white, a loud whistling sound, Kay screaming my name. I leaped outside in what seemed like a strange, unusual rain storm in this dry state. By the time I got to the back of the motor home, past the satellite antenna now laying prone on the ground, I saw a column of water at least twenty feet high drenching the motor home in back of us and ponding water at an alarming rate. Buster, in the meantime, was wrapped around the exhaust pipe of another motor home, his leash still pulling a one-foot section of PVC with a cut-off valve.I immediately reported it to maintenance, but apparently lots of others did too, since so many were without water. The last I remember, just before we decided to "take a ride," two maintenance men with very puzzled expressions were digging a huge hole in the sand, while the flume of water continued to soak them and everything within twenty feet.
"If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. If March comes in like a lamb, it will go out like a lion."
-------------------------------------------------------------------Sonestown is only 20 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA, and depending on the amount of deer crossing the highway and the mounds of snow lining route 239, it is an easy drive into Sullivan County in 30 minutes. The newspapers have been mentioning Sonestown a great deal lately. One newspaper report late last week said that Sonestown "boasts a population of just over 900." Whoever made that count obviously counted bear and deer and possibly a couple dozen cherry trees, but failed to nail down the numbers of living folks as accurately as the 2010 Census will demand. The reason for the fuss is Aaron Kelly, 16, a songwriter who is currently appearing and singing on Hollywood’s American Idol. Aaron came from here in Florida, the youngest of three brothers in a struggling family. Aaron's biological aunt and uncle lived in Sonestown. They adopted the young boy at the age of six and he soon called Sullivan County and Sonestown his home. Aaron began singing when the family gathered and has gone on to county, state and national events, talent competitions, social and charity events, national and local television and radio. Aaron tugs on the hearts of young girls wherever he performs.
Aaron, a Pennsylvania’s cyber-school student, appeared in 2008 at the Troy Fair and at the Bloomsburg Fair for two of the past three years. He has opened for or played with Loretta Lynn, Charlie Daniels, Marshall Tucker Band and Martina McBride. Obviously, county music is his love.
Tune in American Idol Tuesday night and see what the fuss is all about.
March 1, 2010. 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. Today's Pennsylvania weather can be found here.
• Benton is no longer on the closure list for "Weight Watcher" participation at The Center. The group will continue with business as usual with the national organization monitoring the numbers as it does for all meetings. It meets every Tuesday at 6:30 PM at The Center. Want to know more? Call 925-0163.
• Amanda Letteer-Savage rode out the tsunami in Hawaii safe and sound at 1200 feet above sea level.
• Didja ever wonder what you would find if you exited the George Washington Memorial Parkway at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia? Go here for a tour. Place your cursor over the icons at the top of the page to proceed.
Barry Godusky recently asked if the area has a webcam so he can see the local weather when he is away from home. Readers provided the following:
Members of the Fort McClure Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), will travel by bus April 24 to Smithsonian Institution (History Museum) in Washington D.C. with a short stop at the DAR National headquarters. The cost of the trip is $45, including gratuity. The bus will pick up at the Staples store parking lot on Route 11 and the Giant parking lot, Danville. On the way home, the bus will stop for a buffet-style dinner at Mountain Gate Restaurant, Thurmont, Maryland (not included in price). For information, contact: Vinnie Hippensteel, 752-1761; Wanda Sanders, 759-5887, or Linda Ivey, 275-4613.
Mother's Term of the Day:
A rhyming phrase, much like "beat a retreat," "loosey-goosey," "built to the hilt" or "helter-skelter," used to show disdain for the pretentious. Mother often combined this term with "highfalutin'" in the same sentence and to make sure the listener fully understand she would often add a short sentence as a finishing comment, often containing the word "snooty."
A reader asked if I would write something about Port St. Lucie, Florida. The city is located in Florida's Treasure Coast in St. Lucie County. The county is between Martin and Palm Beach County on the south and Indian River County on the north. St. Lucie County extends from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Okeechobee which forms part of its western boundary. The county seat is the city of Fort Pierce.
What is now St. Lucie County (The U.S. Census Bureau 2005 estimate for the county population was 241,305) was created in 1905 from the southern part of Brevard County--which was called St. Lucie County from 1844 until 1855 when it was renamed Brevard County. In 1925, Indian River County was created out of the northern part of St Lucie County, while Martin County was created from a small part of southeastern St. Lucie County and the northern part of Palm Beach County. Much of western St Lucie County had gone in 1917 to form Okeechobee County. The city of Port St. Lucie has a total area of 688 square miles of which 116 square miles (16.80%) is water. (The U.S. Census Bureau 2000 estimate for the population of the city was 88,769) The New York Mets conduct "Spring Training" in Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. The PGA Golf Club is located in Port St. Lucie In the 1950s, what is now Port Saint Lucie was largely an undeveloped and uninhabited tract of land consisting of a fishing camp, a few farms and businesses near US route 1.
The General Development Corporation bought 40,000 acres along the North Fork of the St. Lucie River and a year later opened its first bridge over the St. Lucie River which allowed automobile access to Port St. Lucie. Port St. Lucie became a city on April 27, 1961.
The adjacent community of St. Lucie West came along in the 1990s followed by the community of Tradition in 2006. The Florida housing market began to collapse in 2007 and by 2008 nearly 11,000 homes were in foreclosure. The Treasure Coast had 13,000 foreclosure filings in 2009, with 8,324 in St. Lucie County. Florida is currently experiencing a "tsunami" of mortgage-foreclosure filings--amounting to a statewide backlog of 456,000 foreclosures.
Summers in Port St. Lucie are hot, with temperatures averaging in the low 90s. Winters are mild to warm, with average temperatures around 70°F. During the 2010 season, we did not turn the heat on and the lowest overnight temperature we experienced inside the house was 68°. The average yearly precipitation is around 53.5 inches.The city is not immune to hurricanes. Port St. Lucie took a head-on hit by category-2 Hurricane Frances on September 4, 2004, by category-3 hurricane Jeanne on September 25, 2004, and by category-3 hurricane Wilma on October 24, 2005.
St. Lucie County is the northernmost place in Florida where the turnpike and Interstate 95 run close to each other. The turnpike has an exit in Port St. Lucie's city limits at Port St. Lucie Boulevard (SR 716) and at Becker Road. Through most of St. Lucie County, the Turnpike is east of I-95. I-95 runs north and south, 6 lanes wide, on the west side of the city with five exits within city limits. If you get off at any of these exits, stop at our house. The coffee pot is on and the welcome mat is out.