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Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Pile of Dead Babies??????????

BL Ochman: Food Contamination Issues Move Through Human Food Chain and Still No Protests

Yesterday, April 27, 2007, 8:45:09 AM

What is it going to take to make the contamination of our pet and human food supply the number one story in America? A pile of dead babies who drank melamine-contaminated baby formula?

Where are the ads from Kraft, General Mills, McDonald's, and other huge manufacturers and sellers of foods that have been tainted, with their assurances that they are taking steps to test for poisons in the foods they sell?

Why are there still companies that imported melamine-laced wheat, corn, rice and vegetable glutens staying silent and not recalling the products? The FDA has refused to name two additional pet food companies whose products are contaminated and have not been recalled.

How many companies that are selling contaminated human foods are hiding?

At least a couple of Congress people are paying attention, because sure as hell the President, the Attorney General, the FDA, the MSM and the public are not.

House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, (D-CT), threatened Wednesday to slash Food and Drug Administration management salaries if agency leaders refuse to implement food safety measures she says are necessary, according to But that won't happen until October when their budget is up for renewal.

"Our food safety system is collapsing," DeLauro said, "and the very agency charged with fixing it is asleep." DeLauro told The Hartford Courant.
She also renewed her bid for a single agency to regulate and enforce food safety laws, a task now shared by 15 different agencies. But that could take years.

The FDA is responsible for about 80 percent of the food supply. Yet, US food safety laws are over 100 years old, according to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Something needs to be done now, today. Our pets were just the coal mine canaries. Things are going to get a lot worse very soon. Pigs and chickens are already quarantined in several states, vegetable and soy protein is in food ranging from baby formula to energy bars.

Doesn't that bother anyone just a little?

This article was borrowed from Marketing Profs Daily Fix blog.

Food and Drug Administration--Recalls

Food and Drug Administration--Recalls The Food and Drug Administration has issued several recalls of pet foods contaminated with melamine. Most of these have the ingredient rice protein. Click on the title for a complete list of these pet foods recalled this week.

Potter County Rated 11th Best Place to Live in Northeast

The secret is out!

Potter County, Pennsylvania
RANK: 11 Northeast
POPULATION DENSITY: 16.75 per square mile

Potter County, Pennsylvania was recently rated the 11th best place to live in the Northeast United States by Progressive Farmer Magazine. Warren County, Pa was No 1.

Click on the title to go to the story.

Road Work on Route 6 Near Galeton

reported on

"PennDot announces that work on Route 6 in Potter County will get underway early next week between Route 449 and the village of Galeton.

Daylight traffic control will be in place, with flaggers in place as alternates through the work zone. Work next week will include setting signs and saw cutting along existing concrete roadway.

Overall project work will include roadway rehabilitation, structure repair, bituminous overlay and shoulders, drainage improvements and guard rail.

Contractor for the $4.8 million job is A. L. Blades and Sons. PennDot expects the project to be completed in late September, weather permitting. "

How To Reduce The Price Of Gasoline

From our email this morning. This is good. Copy and paste this or use the email a friend feature on this site to send this to all on your mailing list. It might just work.

GAS WAR - an idea that WILL work This was originally sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. It ' s worth your consideration. Join the resistance!!!! I hear we are going to hit close to $4.00 a gallon by next summer and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea.

This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them.

BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read on and join wi th us! By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $2.79 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 - $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace..... not sellers.

With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit some one in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How?

Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war. Here's the idea: For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are o ne), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.

But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It's really simple to do! Now, don't wimp out at this point.... keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people . I am sending this note to 30 people. If each of us sends it to at least ten more (30 x 10 =3D 300) ... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 =3D 3,000)...and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth group of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers. If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!!

Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. That's all. (If you don't understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to do is send this to 10 people.... Well, let's face it, you just aren't a mathematician. But I am, so trust me on this one.) How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!!

I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you? Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Riding Thru Potter County for Burn Survivors

Mike will be riding cross country on his bicycle to benefit burn survivors. He will be staying in Coudersport on May 13, 2007, on his way to California.

My name is Mike Manning and I hope I can count on your support for Feel the Burn ‘07, a cross country bicycle ride from Boston to San Jose, California. I am a firefighter from Germantown, Ohio. Each year in the Unied States there are more than 1 million burn injuries. The survivors of these injuries suffer indescribable life changes after such a trauma and must recover from both physical and emotional wounds.

My ride will cover 3,100 miles to help raise awareness for the tremendous efforts that go into supporting burn survivors, from first responders and medical teams to aftercare resources and peer support groups. I am making this ride to help burn survivors recover, renew, and return to life.

My ride begins on May 8th in historic Boston where I was raised, and will end in San Jose on or about June 22nd. The kick-off will occur at the Shriners Hospitals for Children and my journey will end at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Regional Burn Center.

I have set a goal of raising $100,000. We are fortunate to already have support from the Boston Firefighters Burn Foundation, San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation, Denver Firefighters Burn Foundation, Provident Insurance Company, and forty local fire departments all along my route where I will stay to have free lodging. All the monies raised will benefit the work of The Phoenix-Society for Burn Survivors. Join us by offering your support! Click on the title to go to Mike's web site for his schedule.

For more information on sponsorship, click below:
Sponsorship Opportunities
Sponsorship Form

Join the journey
Remember, you can track my progress at: If you or someone you know wants to join me as I ride, please contact me via my Feel the Burn Blog site.

Area Students Participate in Economic Symposium at Clarion U.

The students from Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s Economics 363 class will be holding an Economic Development Symposium, April 27, April 30, May 2, and May 4, in room 106 of Still Hall. Sixteen students in the class taught by Dr. Sandra Trejos, associate professor of economics, will present their research.

“The Economic Development Symposium is a collection of presentations put together by the students of Economics 363,” said Trejos. “It will be an educational and insightful experience for all in attendance.”

Presenters from the local area are:

May 2:
1 p.m. – Kyle Smith – Birth Control and Economic Development. Smith, a sophomore political science major, is a son of Monica Smith of Bolivar, N.Y., and is a graduate of Bolivar-Richburg Central High School.

May 4:
1:20 p.m. – Jamie Fry – The Economy of Indonesia. Fry, a junior international business major, is a daughter of Oliver Fry of Coudersport and is a graduate of Coudersport High School.

Spring Turkey Starts Saturday, April 28, 2007

Check out these hunting safety tips from the Pennsylvania Game Commission

Hunting regulations require all hunters to wear at least 100 square inches of fluorescent orange while moving through the woods. If hunters opt to remove their orange clothing after reaching their calling position, which, by law, they may, the Game Commission encourages them to display a fluorescent orange alert band near their hunting position, especially those who plan to call or use decoys. It may alert a hunter who is closing in on your call or decoys that a person is in the area. Hunters also are encouraged to place decoys in a way that will limit their susceptibility to in-the-line-of-fire shotgun discharges from approaching hunters.

Only bearded turkeys may be taken in the spring season. The beard is a grouping of hair-like feathers that protrude from the bird’s chest. Hunters are reminded to remove any red, white, blue or black clothing before heading afield because these colors are found on a turkey’s head or body. Remember, too, it’s illegal to stalk turkeys or turkey sounds.

To make sure your next turkey hunting experience is both safe and enjoyable, follow these turkey hunting safety tips:

• Positively identify your target. Be absolutely certain it’s a legal turkey before pulling the trigger. Confirm, then confirm again. Never shoot at sounds or movement.

• Never stalk a turkey or turkey sounds. Stalking during the spring season is illegal. Movement or sounds you think are a turkey may be another hunter. Be patient. Let the bird come to you. Assume every noise and movement is another hunter. If there is any doubt whatsoever — don’t shoot.

• Pre-select a zone of fire. Shoot at a turkey only in your predetermined zone of fire — and only when you’re certain it’s safe.

• Make your position known to other hunters — wear fluorescent orange. It is mandatory to wear orange when moving through the woods, particularly while carrying a bird. It is recommended that you display orange at your calling location by wrapping a fluorescent orange band around a tree to alert other hunters of your presence. Know and follow the law!

• Protect your back. Select a large tree, rock or other substantial natural barrier while calling and sit with your back against it. To improve your visibility, hunt in open woods.

• Shout “STOP” to alert approaching hunters. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert hunters of your position.

• Eliminate red, white, blue and black colors from your clothing. These colors are found on the head, neck and body of mature gobblers. You could be mistaken for a turkey if you wear these colors.

Governor Rendell Says Speeding OK--For Him

An article in the DuBois Courier Express quotes Governor Ed Rendell's comments about speeding in light of the New Jersey Governor's crash at 91 mph.

"Sometimes we adhere to the speed limit, sometimes we don't," Fast Eddie Rendell said Wednesday. "On many of Pennsylvania's highways, if you adhered to the speed limit, you'd be a safety hazard."

In March 2004, the Philadelphia Daily News reported that turnpike troopers had clocked Rendell's Cadillac at speeds of more than 100 mph nine times since November 2003.

As a result of that report, Rendell ordered his driver not to exceed 80 mph unless he had to pass.

Excuse me, but speed limits were set in the Commonwealth by the legislature who represent the people. If it were safe for everyone to drive 80 mph, then we wouldn't need speed limits.

All one has to do is travel the turnpike or interstate 80 and try to safely drive near the speed limit, with semi trucks, in a line, passing like a freight train going 90 mph or more.

Ohio enforces their speed limit, but when you get to Pennsylvania, you have to drive wide open to keep from getting run over. Only trouble is when one stops, 50 trucks run over each other.

If "Fast Eddie" thinks it's ok to do 80, it's obvious the 50 car-truck pileups on I-80 and the Turnpike will continue.

Click the title to read the article in the Courier Express.

Scarnati To Be Profiled on PCN Sunday

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati will talk about his life and achievements on the next edition of "PCN Profiles" set to air at 10 o'clock Sunday night on PCN.

"PCN Profiles" is an hour-long discussion with notable Pennsylvania residents that discusses the experiences of the guests and find out how those events and choices have shaped their lives.

PCN is carried on Channel 28 on Zito Media in Potter County.

Call 811 Before You Dig--PA One Call

On Tuesday, May 1, 2007, the new national 8-1-1 “Call before You Dig” number will launch in Washington, DC. The FCC-designated N-1-1 number helps eliminate confusion of multiple “Call before You Dig” numbers across the country. By dialing 8-1-1, a homeowner or professional excavator will immediately connect to the One Call Center in the state your phone service originates. In Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, the technology allows you to choose the correct center you would like to notify.

8-1-1 represents a significant milestone for our industry, and represents more than two years of hard work by the Common Ground Alliance and numerous underground excavation community stakeholders. 8-1-1 will be the first N-1-1 abbreviated dialing number to be fully implemented in the United States, and is designed to raise awareness for the “Call before you Dig” message.

You can still call 1-800-242-1776 to contact Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc. Beginning May 1, you can reach us by dialing 1-800-242-1776 (from anywhere in North America) or 8-1-1 in Pennsylvania.

Take Your Child to Work

HARRISBURG - Many Pennsylvania children joined the workforce this
week as they participated in "Take Your Child to Work Day" with their
parents - a celebration of the importance of helping children and their
families recognize and achieve self-sufficiency through employment,
announced Secretary of Public Welfare Estelle B. Richman.

"By taking their children to work this week, parents are teaching
the importance of employment and are helping their children learn to
believe in the power of work, said Richman.

As a result of Pennsylvania's strong focus on employment and
training, over 10,000 individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families, or TANF, will move into the workforce by June, with 90
percent of those being women - a 60 percent increase since 2002-03.

Pennsylvania's TANF program provides short-term assistance to
families when the support of one or both parents is interrupted, or
provides supplemental support when family income from employment does
not meet basic needs. Adults undergo skills and employment assessments
and are required to engage in activities that enhance self-sufficiency
and ensure the well-being of their children.

Pennsylvania is continuing to retool the welfare-to-work system
and maintain its focus on promoting work as a means to an end to
dependence on public assistance. By working closely with adults who
were receiving cash assistance but participating fewer than the required
hours, redesigning the enrollment process and investing in needed
supports like child care, DPW has enhanced its focus on helping
recipients develop the skills they need to secure long-term employment.

For more information on Pennsylvania's welfare to work efforts,
visit .

Rendell Fighting For Uninsured Pennsylvanians

by Governor Edward Rendell

Although "Cover the Uninsured Week" is drawing to a close, my efforts to help the 767,000 Pennsylvanians who lack health insurance are gaining momentum.

This week, I visited Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia to hear how the health care crisis is affecting the lives of hardworking families. I spoke with the owners of small businesses who want to offer health coverage to their employees, but say they simply cannot afford to do so. This problem is real, and no one in Washington is addressing it.

During my visits, I talked about our opportunity to make history by providing access to health coverage for all Pennsylvanians through my Prescription for Pennsylvania reform initiative. I believe the time for action is now.

My plan calls for the creation of Cover All Pennsylvanians, or CAP, a program offering access to affordable basic health coverage to small businesses without insurance and the uninsured through the private insurance market. In addition to expanding access to affordable health care coverage, my plan includes new proposals to improve the quality of care and bring health care costs under control for employers and employees.

My plan makes good economic sense. The burden of paying for health care provided to the uninsured is carried by tax payers, businesses that provide insurance to their employees and individuals who purchase health coverage. In 2005, the cost of health care for uninsured and underinsured Pennsylvanians was more than $1.4 billion - and that number will only continue to rise.

Aggressive efforts to expand the availability of health insurance are a hallmark of my administration. With bipartisan support, our "Cover All Kids" initiative was adopted in 2006, making health coverage available to all uninsured children through Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The program is celebrating its 14th month of unprecedented enrollment with more than 156,000 children enrolled.

We're off to a great start by ensuring access to health care to all uninsured children, but I believe the General Assembly can and should finish the job by enacting my Prescription for Pennsylvania. Let's make Pennsylvania a national leader in solving this mounting crisis.

Blackwater mercenaries, West Point graduates & other contractors' tales

by Jane Stillwater, first published in op-ed news

When I was in Iraq, I brushed my teeth with the non-potable water. Having survived brushing my teeth with the tap water in Afghanistan and Mexico (with the help of some Cipro), I was thinking, "Who's afraid of a little bacteria?" Well, since I've been back, my mouth just hasn't felt right. OMG! Maybe the water was non-potable because it was filled with depleted uranium? Then I started getting really paranoid. "I'm gonna die of mouth cancer!" Me and Sigmund Freud. Yuck!

Then I got a phone call from a man who used to work as a trucker for KBR in Iraq and I realized that he had a LOT more to worry about than me. "I was only over there for four months but already my body has aged 30 years and my muscle mass is just melting away." KBR paid him $8,000 a month to drive the big rigs all over central Iraq. "And I'd give every cent of it back in a heartbeat if I could get my health back." Fat chance of that happening.

"After four months living in a tent pitched over an old bombed-out bunker, blood and pus started coming out of my eyes. It really scared me and I tried to get back to the states to get treated. But the moment I left Iraq, KBR canceled my health insurance. I used to be able to hang 160 sheets of drywall a day. Now I can hardly help the neighbors move their front room couch."

The contractor was very unhappy with KBR. "They promised me that I was going to get COBRA but it never came through. I need an operation, I have severe nerve damage in my arms. I don't sleep because my hands and arms are so sore. I can take a lot of pain but this is constant. This is too much.

If I ever get my hands on the KBR employee who canceled my insurance, they'd have to put me on four-way restraints!" The contractor has lost three inches off of his biceps. What happened over there? Depleted uranium? "I wouldn't be surprised. Iraq is the most polluted country in the world. It scares the hell out of me."

Then he added, "I think part of my nerve damage comes from wearing 56 pounds worth of body armor for 12 or15 hours at a time because rather than up-armor the trucks, they up-armored the drivers."He thought that the KBR operation was a circus run by buffoons. "They were only in it for the money."

"Do you think you will ever go back to Iraq?" I asked him. "I can't go back. I'd never pass the physical." He then gave me the names and numbers of several friends who had suffered the same experience. Scary.

After I got done talking with the contractor, I biked downtown to get a copy of the Berkeley Daily Planet, featuring an article about the Blackwater mercenaries. Even MORE scary! According to reporter Jeremy Scahill, "In February 2006 Donald Rumsfeld issued the Pentagon's quadrennial review which lays out the Pentagon's vision for years to come. There he classified Blackwater and other contractors as a legitimate part of the total force making up the U.S. war machine." So. The the neo-cons are hopefully anticipating the day when they can contract out our entire Army -- not just the quartermaster department and the KP.

I wonder if the troops know about this?"This was legitimacy that they could not have dreamed of," continued Scahill. "Now Blackwater has taken that designation and used it in two wrongful death suits filed against it -- one for the incident in Fallujah and one for a plane crash in Afghanistan. They have said they should be immune from civilian legislation inside the United States because they are essentially part of the U.S. national security apparatus.

At the same time it lobbies against placing its men under the US court-martial system." Oh boy. What will happen to our soldiers, our sailors, our Marines? If I was a career West Pointer and read that, I'd be DEFINITELY worried about job security!"The Democrats' plan for withdrawal from Iraq doesn't mention private contractors," says Scahill. "The congressional initiatives are all aimed at oversight and transparency.

No one with the exception of Congressman Dennis Kucinich is framing this in concept as the radical privatization of war."Now our troops not only have to worry about losing their jobs because of the withdrawal from Iraq and because of Bush's highly successful attempts to stretch the military to its breaking point. Now our troops also have to worry about losing their jobs to scab labor. Sucks to be you!

PS: I just talked with my contractor friend again. He said that he doesn't have an e-mail address "because I don't see very well any more," and needs an operation -- but he still doesn't have any health insurance except for Medicaid. Plus he is now fully disabled and living on Social Security. In other words, the American taxpayer is now taking up the "benefits" slack for KBR -- just like we do for Wal-Mart.

PPS: Another contractor just called me -- I guess my 15 minutes of fame isn't quite over yet -- and this one started telling me some really scary stories about a mysterious place called "Area 51" where trained-killer special-ops forces hunkered down in between "jobs". And he REALLY scared me as he described soul-less men with glazed-eyed who lived like those hordes of evil bad guys from The Lord of the Rings -- just waiting to be let out of their cages. But what he said spooked me so much that let's not talk about that.

PPPS: Holy cow! I just received an e-mail from my friend Stewart who just missed getting blown up by a truck bomb. "There are body parts all over the place here." Listen up, all you psychotic bombers -- be you Iraqi extremists or George W. Bush. Don't make me go over there and give you a stern talking-to. I will, you know. You had better freaking APOLOGIZE to my friend this instant -- and to the people of Iraq. And DON'T DON'T IT AGAIN. Blowing up people is the height of barbarism. Get a grip
Stillwater is a freelance writer who hates injustice and corruption in any form but especially injustice and corruption paid for by American taxpayers. She can be reached at or 510-843-0581

Leek Dinners This Weekend

Austin-Costello Sportsman's Club Leek Dinner and Turkey Shoot Saturday, April 28, 2007 at 1:00 pm at the clubhouse serving till all is gone.

Women's Outreach Breakfast at Gospel Tabernacle

The monthly Women's Outreach Breakfast is Saturday, April 28, 2007, at 9:00 am at the Coudersport Gospel Tabernacle. For more information contact the Tabernacle at 274-7573.

New Pet Food Recall

from the Elmira Star Gazette:

SHERBURNE -- Chenango Valley Pet Foods has begun voluntarily recalling pet foods manufactured with a certain shipment of rice protein concentrate, the company said Thursday.

The company, working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was informed by Wilbur-Ellis that rice protein concentrate shipped to Chenango Valley Pet Foods may be contaminated with melamine. Melamine, an industrial chemical used to make plastics and fertilizers, may lead to illness or fatalities in animals if consumed.

The pet foods were sold to customers in Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, who in turn sold the products to their customers through catalog mail orders or retail outlets.

The following dry pet foods are involved in the recall:* Doctors Foster & Smith Chicken & Brown Rice Formula Adult Lite Dog Food. It was sold in containers with net weights of 5, 12.5 and 25 pounds with code dates best used by Jan. 24, 2009; Feb. 8, 2009; Feb. 26, 2009; April 10, 2009; and April 17, 2009.*

Doctors Foster & Smith Chicken & Brown Rice Formula Adult Lite Cat Food. It was sold in containers with net weights of 3 and 7 pounds with a code date of best used by March 13, 2009.*

Lick Your Chops Lamb Meal, Rice & Egg Cat Food in packages with a net weight of 4 pounds and a code date best used by April 29, 2008.*

Bulk Chicken & Brown Rice Formula Adult Lite Dog Food sold to one consignee, SmartPak, in a 2,000-pound tote with a ship date of Feb. 9, 2007

.No illnesses or injuries have been reported to date. Pet owners who purchased the products should immediately discontinue using them and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund, company officials said.

Pet owners also are advised to consult with a veterinarian if any health concerns with their pets arise.Consumers with questions may contact the company at (610) 821-0608.

Overall, pet food companies have recalled more than 100 brands of cat and dog food since the first reports of animal deaths a little more than a month ago.Investigators have found melamine in at least two imported Chinese vegetable proteins used to make pet foods.

The chemical may have been used to skew analyses that measured the protein content of the ingredients, wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate.The FDA also is sampling for melamine and related compounds in all wheat gluten, rice protein and corn gluten coming into the United States from China.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Annual Roulette Community Yard Sales May 12

The Roulette Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Yard Sale is scheduled for May 12 from 9:00 am until ? For information call 544-9967 or 544-7359. Sign up now.

Chicken Barbeque Saturday at Roulette

The West End Trailblazers snowmobile association will sponsor a Chicken Barbeque on Saturday, April 28, 2007, Serving starts at 11:30 am just off Route 6 on Fishing Creek Extension in Roulette. Dinners are $6.00 and halves are $4.00. This barbeque is highly recommended. They are experienced cooks and their food tastes great.

Governor Wants to Tax Gas and Heating Bills to Fund Mass Transit

Governor Rendell recently proposed a 6.17% gas and oil tax. This tax was intended to be levied on oil companies that do business in Pennsylvania to fund transportation and mass transit such as the Philadelphia bus and rail systems.

The governor's own acting revenue secretary, Tom Wolfe, admitted that constitutionally, the state cannot tax just a few big oil companies, confirming that consumers will end up bearing the burden.

This governor is also proposing to borrow $850 million (which will ultimately cost $1.4 BILLION) to fund a slate of new state energy programs under his Energy Independence Strategy. To support the borrowing, a new tax called a "systems benefit" charge would be applied to all residential and commercial electric bills.

These taxes will mean even higher prices at the gas pump, for home heating oil and for electricity.

What Are Your Thoughts?
Would you support a tax increase on energy sources to borrow money for the implementation of the governor's plan?

Click on the title to go to Rep. Martin Causer's website where you can vote on this issue.

Causer and Rapp Participate in Right to Keep and Bear Arms Rally

Reps. Marty Causer (R-Turtlepoint) and Kathy Rapp (R-Warren) participated in a State Capitol rally on Tuesday to offer their support for a landmark package of Second Amendment Rights protection legislation. Causer represents Potter & McKean Counties in Harrisburg.

“In order to protect public safety, we must be proactive in protecting people’s Second Amendment rights,” Causer said. “Stricter gun control laws will not stop people who don’t abide by the law from misusing guns. What we need are laws that ensure law-abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves, and ensure criminals who obtain or use guns illegally will be prosecuted.”

With the additional constituent backup of more than 6,000 online and written petitions they continue to receive against several extreme, House Democrat-sponsored gun control measures, both Northwestern Pennsylvania lawmakers have agreed to co-sponsor the following pro-Second Amendment legislation:

House Bill 641: Commonly referred to as the Castle Doctrine, this legislation would strengthen existing laws dealing with the use of lethal force for the purposes of self defense. Successfully advanced for future House consideration during last year’s Committee of the Whole on Violent Crime, House Bill 641 is based on similar legislation enacted in Florida that would eliminate the duty to retreat before using lethal force outside of one’s home, business, vehicle or state park. The measure would also offer specific protection against civil liability for the lawful use of force in self-defense.

House Bill 1092: This legislation would allow individuals with a valid Pennsylvania license to carry a firearm to purchase additional guns without the cumbersome, expensive and redundant requirements of subsequent background checks through the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS).

House Bill 1160: Also successfully advanced for future House consideration during last year’s Committee of the Whole on Violent Crime, under this legislation any individual who can demonstrate evidence of imminent danger to themselves or a member of their family would be entitled to a temporary emergency license to carry a firearm after passing a computerized background check of criminal history, juvenile delinquency and mental health records. The temporary license would be good for 90 days to allow sufficient time to apply for a regular license to carry a firearm and undergo the potential 45-day waiting period for a license to carry under current state law.

House Bill 1161: This legislation calls for Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies, specifically the state police, to discontinue its database of legal handgun purchases. Those records include personal information about gun owners, such as mailing addresses and Social Security numbers. House Bill 1161 sets a third-degree felony penalty and a fine up to $5 million for maintaining an illegal gun registry or database.

“I rely heavily on the input of my constituents whenever issues involving sportsmen and the Second Amendment come before the General Assembly,” said Rapp. “No matter how well-intended, gun control activists and their supporters in the State House have the wrong ideas about how to go about reducing violent crimes committed by those who obtain their weapons illegally. Pennsylvanians must never allow the social and legal status of law abiding gun owners to be reduced to silent, second class citizens.”

For the latest Second Amendment legislative updates or to sign the “No New Gun Controls” petition visit or

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Events At Cherry Springs State Park

April 28, 2007
Take a Closer Look at the Moon-- Cherry Springs, 814-435-5010Email: Cherry SpringsContact: Liz

Time: 9 p.m. to 9:45p.m. You’ve seen the moon before, but have you seen its features up close? Our planet’s only natural satellite has an amazing (and violent) history, and it’s been the subject of poems and songs for centuries.

Come to Cherry Springs to hear an informative talk about how our moon was formed then take a look at its seas and craters through our telescope or binoculars. You may bring your own or borrow a pair of ours. You can also help the park naturalist demonstrate the moon’s phases and the phenomenon called “blue shift.” Park in the public parking lot and follow the lights to the observation area.

May 4 and 5, 2007
Take a Closer Look at the Sun-- Cherry Springs, 814-435-5010Email: Cherry SpringsContact: Liz Helms-eescherrysprings@yahoo.comTime: Both days during festival time
Is the Sun really just a bright disk in the sky? Have you ever wondered how hot it is? Join the staff of Cherry Springs State Park at the Potter-Tioga Maple Festival in Coudersport and you can learn this and so much more about our star, the Sun.

Yep, it’s a star! We’ll even let you view it safely through our specially designed telescope. You might see objects called sunspots. This program goes on both days of the festival. If it’s cloudy the show will go on but without the solar observation. **Remember, never look at the sun without proper eye protection!**

May 4, 2007
Ecology of the Night-- Cherry Springs, 814-435-5010Email: Cherry SpringsContact: Liz Helms-eescherrysprings@yahoo.comTime: 8:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

The stars aren’t all that come out at night! When the sun goes down the “night shift” begins. Come to Cherry Springs and find out who (and what) comes out to play at night. You can help the park naturalist call owls and search for frogs. You might even see bats fly overhead or deer search for food. Dress warmly and wear shoes that can get wet. Bring a cover for your flashlight. Meet at the pavilion.

May 5, 2007
Naked Eye Astronomy-- Cherry Springs, 814-435-5010Email: Cherry SpringsContact: Liz Helms-eescherrysprings@yahoo.comTime: 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Does the night sky have you confused? Do you wonder why some stars are much brighter than others? If you would like to get into the hobby of astronomy, this is the program for you. Our naturalist will show you how to use a night sky map then give you the opportunity to find some constellations on your own. After a laser-guided sky tour you will be well on your way to being an amateur astronomer! Park in the public parking lot and follow the lights to the observation area.

May 5, 2007
Binocular Astronomy== Cherry Springs, 814-435-5010Email: Cherry SpringsContact: Liz Helms-eescherrysprings@yahoo.comTime: 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

You don’t need to buy an expensive and complicated telescope to enjoy the beauty of the night sky. If you are impressed with naked-eye viewing, you’ll be amazed at what you can see through binoculars! Our naturalist will give a brief background description of binoculars, what makes a great pair for astronomy, and tips on buying the right pair for you.

After a laser-guided tour of the night sky, take an in-depth look at some stunning celestial objects through binoculars of differing power and magnification, from small and compact to “giant.” You may bring your own or borrow a pair of ours. Dress in layers and bring a filter for your flashlight. Park in the public parking area and follow the lights to the observation field.
Click on title to go to Cherry Springs State Park website.

Janet Kreis To Speak At Knoxville Church On Thursday

Nationally acclaimed speaker and Coudersport Gospel Tabernacle pastor and counselor Janet Kreis will be speaking at the Abundant Life Church in Knoxville, PA on Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bicycling Across USA, Riding Through Potter County in June

Editor's note: Jackie Soo is bicycling from Providence ,Rhode Island to Seattle, Washington to raise money for affordable housing. She will come through Potter County on June 19, 2007. Click on the title for her complete itinerary.

Bike & Build:
Friday, April 20, 2007

Hi!Some of you know me; for those that don't, my name is Jackie Soo, and this summer I will be bicycling across the United States to raise money for affordable housing.I will be doing this with a program called Bike & Build.

Along the way, we will be talking with local communities about the issue, as well as working with local housing organizations on the actual construction of simple, affordable houses for local individuals or families in need.

Money that Bike & Build has raised has mostly gone to fund Habitat for Humanity projects, and has also played a significant part in the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

This is a great cause, and I'm asking for your support as I pursue this crazy, crazy goal. I would like to get people, or groups, to sponsor parts of my trip. As in, I will be cycling about 3700 miles total, so I'm asking for $1 per mile that I cycle.

You can see my itinerary here: Click the title to read the rest of her post. Solomon's Words has established a link on the lower right to keep up with Jackie's progress.

Potter County Leek Diggers Read This!

By Bob Batz Jr., Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Related articles Ramp love is rampant at festivals Cock-A-Rampy Soup More ramp recipes

Ramps are wild leeks that taste sort of like a cross between onion and garlic, make people's breath and bodies stink, and cause eccentric behavior.
Folks dig ramps so much, they hike out into the still-snowy woods to, well, dig them up.

Some make chocolate chip cookies with ramps, and eat them.

They'll be relishing ramp relish, ramp burgers, ramp cornbread and beans, beer-battered ramps, grilled ramps, ramp shishkabobs, raw ramps, even ramp wine and ramp cheese this Saturday and Sunday at the 17th annual Ramp Festival, held by the Mason-Dixon Historical Society at its private park in Mt. Morris, Greene County. This is just off Interstate 79, between Waynesburg and Morgantown, about 65 miles south of Pittsburgh (details at

You may be able to follow your nose to the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes crafters and live music.

But the real star of the show is the ramp, which is just coming into season, and is celebrated a many such festivals. These include the granddaddy "Feast of the Ramson," also Saturday, in Richwood, W.Va., which bills itself "The Ramp Capital of the World."

These wild things range from the Carolinas to Canada. West Virginia's love affair with them is well documented. But they're also dear to Pennsylvanians in remote places such as Potter County, where they call 'em wild leeks and where church and firehall "ham and leek suppers" soon sprout along with the wide lily-like leaves of the plant.

Digging this spring tonic "is a generational tradition in many local families," notes Donald Gilliland, managing editor of the Potter Leader-Enterprise in Coudersport. Last spring he wrote a delightful ode to Allium tricoccum. Natives referred to it by the same word they used for skunk, "chicagoua," for which the Illinois city is named.

Think they can't be so strong? Years ago, before school, he wrote, "Boys would gorge themselves on leeks, get themselves sent home, and then happily go turkey hunting."

But to many, that taste is a gourmet, if gamey, treat. An unabashed "leek-and-Limburger" lover, Mr. Gilliland grew up eating them on sandwiches with butter and salt. But at Germania Fire Co.'s annual leek dinner, he's also "been treated to the exquisite combination of raw leek eaten out of hand alternately with freshly shucked raw oysters."

He describes the singular taste and "odoriferous wallop" as "hotter than garlic, but not as sharp" and "redolent of the deep woods, with a musky, grasslike tang that brings to mind a big handful of rich, black forest dirt."

Never heard of ramps? Neither had Lewis J. Matt III, who moved from his native Pennsylvania Dutch Country to Greene County to work at a state prison.

In 2001, he went to the local Ramp Festival, tried a ramp burger and loved it. "I was introduced to a whole new taste." Before he knew it, he was munching ramps whole. "Of course it makes your breath smell terrible."

This from someone who, since he retired from corrections, works as a state sewage enforcement officer.

He's also an organic farmer, cook and food editor for "The Greene Saver" newspaper who has collected ramp recipes into a cookbook.

As he notes, cooking makes ramps' flavor more subtle. "You can add just a few ramps to something like potato soup, and ... all of a sudden it takes on a whole new excitement."
That's why city chefs can't wait to get their hands on ramps. Especially those who treasure local ingredients such as Bonna Terra's Douglass Dick. Lots of city folk aren't familiar with the ramp, but, "Once somebody tries it, they go nuts." He loves the "intense onion-chive flavor, not bitter at all," that the leaves sweetly impart to ramp butter, with which he bastes slow-roasted beef. "Ramps are what kick off the spring for me."

Any trendiness tickles longtime fans. You'll find a recipe for pickled ramps in the March issue of Martha Stewart Living.

From now until early May, you may be able find them at upscale markets and roadside stands. But, living in this region, you may be able to find them in your own backyard, in the wooded ravines and creek bottoms that criss-cross even urban neighborhoods. Don't try to pull; you'll need to dig them up.

Just treat them carefully, and we mean that beyond the "Dig one, leave one" conservation advice that Walt Danna gives.

Mr. Danna, aka the Ramp Man, is as colorful a character as you'll meet at the Mason-Dixon Historical Society Ramp Festival.
There, he'll be serving his trademark ramp victuals, including his ramp kielbasa, ramp toast (like garlic toast), ramp deviled eggs, even ramp cookies, all of which you can get on his infamous sampler platter.

"Eat 'til you sweat," is one of his many ramp aphorisms. But that powerful -- he'll tell you, medicinal -- effect is the reason to revel in stink. "You either love to hate them," he says, "or you hate to love them."

(Bob Batz Jr. can be reached at or 412-263-1930. )
Click title to go to the Post-Gazette story

Living The Sweet Life

Artful Homes April 2007;

Lynne Barnes and Roger Dale

by Amy Shuman

Behind a gigantic pussy willow tree, at the base of Dan's Mountain in Cresaptown, nestles the beautiful cedar home of Lynne Barnes and Roger Dale.

Two years ago, Roger married Lynne Barnes. Roger's spouse, Suzanne, had died and, having been friends for many years, Lynne and Roger decided they then had much in common. They both loved antique furniture, collaborated in their love of cooking and most importantly, perhaps, they had shared a passion for sharing their music for 18 years and had become known throughout our area and beyond as "Scotch Mist," with Lynne playing light classical and Celtic music on the harp and Roger playing the Flauto Dolce, an alto recorder. Their professional vita is available at

Lynne's Dad, Bill Roberts of Coudersport, Pa., at age 92, still enjoys his fully operational wood and metal shop and continues to make wonderful furniture for Lynne and Roger. The butler-style coffee table is marvelous, made from special cherry wood that Roger moved from the East coast to California and back. In addition to making Lynne's first harp and a myriad of clocks, Bill also replicated a cherry miniature of a child's bed, complete with slats.

Click on the title of this article to read the entire story in the Cumberland Times-News. Photo by John Shuman

Maple Festival in CowDeerSport

May 4-5: Potter-Tioga Maple Festival, Coudersport. Maple producers will have their products on display and there will be crafters, vendors and the annual Maple Fest parade. , 814-274-9793.

Susquehannock Trail Club Schedules Hikes May 5th & 6th

CowDeerSport — The Susquehannock Trail Club will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a series of weekend hikes.

A two-day hike on May 5 and 6 will lead participants from the fire tower to Ole Bull State Park on the first day. On May 6, hikers will go from the park through Spook Hollow and down Morgan Hollow to the bridge over Young Womans Creek at Twelve Mile Road.

On June 2 and 3, the first day’s leg will go from Twelve Mile Road to Cross Fork and the second day hike, from Cross Fork to McConnell Road.

All hike legs will be about 10 to 14 miles. Hikers 12 years and older in good physical condition should be able to complete them.

For more information, call (814) 848-7944.

Contaminated Food Imports Not Checked by Inspectors

A disturbing article in this morning's Elmira Star Gazette portrays how food ingredients imported into the United States are seldom inspected, leaving food ingredients vulnerable to contamination or terrorism. This Associated Press Copyrighted article should be a must read. Talk about a hole in our national security, as has been recently showcased by the recall of two different ingredients from China used in pet food , that caused many pet deaths nationwide. These pet deaths could just as well been human deaths or illnesses.

Click on the title of this article to see the complete story from the Star Gazette.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Contract Workers Dead In Iraq

Editor's note: Jane Stillwater has just returned from Iraq, where she has reported the news from inside Baghdad. Here is her latest article first published at Op-Ed

Contracting the troop death tolls out: Why more US soldiers died in Nam than Iraq
by Jane Stillwater

On my plane flight back from Iraq, I was cogitating on what I had learned while I was there and, in between the inflight movie and the rubber chicken, I started remembering what one female Parliamentarian I had interviewed kept saying to me. "The number of American troops that have died over here is much higher than reported because they do not count the contractors."Counting contractors' deaths? Was she talking about including the deaths of mercenary soldiers into the U.S. troop death count? I guess she was. But their deaths, although tragic, wouldn't have made the troop death toll all that much higher. Or would it?

Then, as my plane was cruising at 35,000 feet somewhere over Greenland, it finally hit me what she was talking about. "Contractors!" She wasn't talking about the handful of mercenaries out doing battle on the front lines. She was talking about the 130,000 contractors (according to Defense News) doing battle on the chow lines, the truck lines, the supply lines and PX lines in Iraq. Everywhere you go in the Green Zone and on all the military bases in Iraq, you see "Contractors" doing jobs that were formerly done by soldiers. In Vietnam, the soldiers themselves did all these jobs. The supply clerks were soldiers. The janitors were soldiers. The sentries were soldiers. There were soldiers on KP, in the motor pool, in the offices, on guard duty, manning checkpoints, on the road. Now all that work is being done by contractors. Yet, to paraphrase Shakespeare, "When you cut them, do they not also bleed?"

"The reason there are significantly lower numbers of troop deaths in Iraq now than there were in Vietnam is because of our more efficient body armor," everyone tells me. Hell, no. The reason there is a significantly lower number of troop deaths in Iraq now is because nobody counts the contractors' deaths. 600 contractors are dead and 4,000 are wounded? But now we can't count them because of semantics? Whatever. One contractor I met in Iraq said to me recently, "A friend of mine in the supply office got killed by a mortar last week." And then she cried.

Whether we officially count them or not, the price that "Contractors" pay for our country is the same. And the costs of this "war" are just as enormous to THEIR families and friends. By using contractors instead of soldiers and not counting their deaths and fiddling with the numbers, the Department of Defense tries to make this "war" a little bit more palatable.

But guess what? I find this peekaboo game that the DoD is playing with dead people to be in "grave" error.PS: Contractors do not like to get killed. But our troops don't particularly like getting killed either! PPS: Every time I talked with a soldier and he or she found out that I was a journalist, they would always say the same thing. "When you go back home, PLEASE tell people that our tours of duty have just been extended to 15 months and we are not happy campers about that!"

You know, serving in Iraq isn't all that bad -- because of the work ethic, the comradeship and the can-do attitude of our troops and, yes, of our contractors too. Plus it's a steady job. But still and all. It's HOT over there in the summer and people SHOOT at you! And despite help from the "Contractors," our troops are really stretched thin (and that idiot in the White House is talking about starting a war with Iran? With WHAT troops?) Thus yet another extended tour of duty far away from spouses and family does NOT sit well with the troops.

PPPS: Bush and Cheney's failure of leadership have gotten us bogged down in disaster after disaster, including the World Trade Center, Katrina, Afghanistan, Lebanon, the Israel/Palestine tragedy and Iraq. Bad concepts, bad planning and bad execution are their stock in trade. Let's ditch these bums before they can think up something else to foul up!Iraqi citizens in the neighborhoods are truly sick of all this violence and they appear to be organizing at the neighborhood level to protect their own from the warring factions that rage above them -- at their expense.

Listen up, guys. This is hopeful. I just got an e-mail from reporter Stewart Nusbaumer. He said, "you would love to be where i am now. the Col. here is damn sensitive, and is doing the right way. let the iraqis sort it out, help them. don't impose. let them have their neighborhood watches, make them professionals slowly." "i'm in town now, it looks like a nuke was dropped here. Hit, the town, was a major insurgents stronghold, they ran the town. then the people, evidently, said enough. now the big thing is for the US to help them create a police from local people.

"Now, that is simplified, and things are not black/white, and the commander is taking a chance here in trusting locals, helping them out a little at a time. but the Col knows he is leaving, that it is up to them...."

So. If Americans throw Bush and Cheney in jail, then average Iraqis who are struggling so hard to bring order to their poor shredded country will see by example that Americans don't tolerate gangsta behavior either. Throwing Bush and Cheney in jail just might be the exact token gesture to start bringing peace to Iraq!

PPPPS: I met the most wonderful surgical tech at the Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. "I was trained by the Army for this job," she told me. You shoulda seen her in action, stepping up to the plate and helping to save lives. The most important thing in the world one can possibly do is to save a human life. I envied her. I wanna save human lives too! And if you are just out of high school and jobless and are afraid to leave your sleazy boyfriend because he's so needy and cute, here's a recommendation from me: Join the Army and become a surgical tech. You will be helping out people far more needy than the cute boyfriend -- plus the guys over here are all far more cute.And, like that wonderful surgical tech in Baghdad, let's concentrate on helping to save lives in Iraq, not to destroy them. Iraq needs a Marshall Plan, not a "surge".

Exxon doesn't need all that extra oil money. But Iraq does. 3,000 Iraqi citizens meet violent deaths every month. Imagine the Virginia Tech tragedy times 100 every single month. That's a hecka lot of post-traumatic stress.
Stillwater is a freelance writer who hates injustice and corruption in any form but especially injustice and corruption paid for by American taxpayers. She can be reached at or 510-843-0581