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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Potter County Newsletter On Natural Gas Developments Now Available

Latest Local Natural Gas Newsletter Now Available

Potter County Today

gasflamejetsPotter County’s Natural Gas Task Force has released the September edition of its newsletter, Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Roundup. Copies are available through the county website here (click on Marcellus Shale/Natural Gas tab at top). Readers are encouraged to print the newsletter and share it with others. Copies may also be obtained by callin Cheri Potter at the Commissioners Office, 814-274-8290.

Contents of the latest edition include a chart detailing the number of permits issues and wells drilled in Potter County; a summary of the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission’s recommendations; reports on the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition; summaries of federal and state government issues related to shale gas, and other topics of interest.

Commissioners Call For $$$ FRom Drilling Impacts

Potter County Joins Call For Local Share Of ‘Impact Fee’

Potter County Today

shalegasThe Potter County Commissioners have joined with their counterparts across the region in calling for the revenue from any impact fee the state decides to impose on shale gas development to be shared with county and township governments where drilling is taking place. The commissioners this week sent the following letter to Governor Tom Corbett:

Like many other Pennsylvania counties, Potter County is beginning to experience some of the impacts from energy companies drilling, or preparing to drill, for natural gas is the Marcellus Shale. We have been following with interest the debate over proposals for an impact fee to help county and municipal governments reckon with increased expenses as the result of shale gas development.

Forecasting these impacts is a challenge, since drilling has barely begun in Potter County, but the lessons of other counties where more shale gas development has taken place are instructive. Industry representatives continually advise us that once the pipelines are in place, things will be much busier in Potter County. Here’s a brief summary of what we are already reckoning with:

Housing: The number of low-income individuals displaced by higher rents and greater demand for housing has tripled. Those with more limited means are finding it harder to obtain affordable mortgages. Our county housing director forecasts a greater burden being placed on the public sector to support the displaced and homeless.

Human Services. The gas industry is bringing into our county an element of society that is more likely to have behavioral issues that fall under county jurisdiction. Workers who arrive from outside the area do not have the community supports that local residents rely upon, such as extended families and faith-based groups, so in many cases they become wards of the county. Our Drug & Alcohol and Mental Health divisions are bracing for a heavier workload, at the same time the state has been cutting their funding.

Courts/Criminal Justice. We’ve seen an increase in civil litigation over mineral rights and a slight bump in our out-of-county jail inmate population. At the same time, we hear the drumbeat from the east. As recently as last week, Bradford County sounded the alarm that its county jail – which was expanded just four years ago – is full again and inmates are being housed, for a fee, in other counties. There is a ripple effect on the sheriff’s department, police agencies and probation officers.

Emergency Services. PEMA Director Glenn Cannon speaks eloquently of the burdens being placed on county departments of emergency services to train responders, map and locate gas well sites and characteristics, build and maintain radio communication networks in remote areas, update all-hazard plans and more. They’re exacerbated by the remote location of the gas wells in our rural county and the fact that the majority of our emergency responders are volunteers who are overstressed by training and fund-raising as fewer young recruits come aboard and funding sources are diminished.

Planning/County Services. Our county planning department tends to a growing list of county-based and regional planning initiatives such as land development, stormwater management, highway/bridge project advocacy, cataloging gas line stream crossings, road projects, compressor station construction, wetlands intrusions — and the list goes on. Our office is also relied upon as a resource by all of the townships and boroughs in Potter County. Our Conservation District is spread thinly. We’ve expanded our Recorder of Deeds and Tax Assessment offices, and we’ve carved out cubicle space for the title searchers and abstracters who practically climb over each other to access our records.

Tourism. One of our leading industries, tourism, is struggling due to a diminished deer herd, higher gas prices, effective marketing by competing tourist destinations, and other factors. We’ve changed our marketing slogan to “Potter County: Untouched, Unspoiled, Untamed.” We’ve also engaged in the regional tourist promotion strategy, the “Pennsylvania Wilds.” That obviously does not gibe with the growing reality that Potter County is also going to evolve into an industrial area for production and transportation of natural gas. We’re going to lose tourists as more forests are compromised, pipelines laid, compressor stations built, and motels filled with itinerant gas workers.

We have limited this impact summary to those that are being experienced or forecasted at the county level. Comments on roads and bridges, township/borough impacts, environmental issues and other aspects are best left to others. There are two other points that we would like to make.

1. County governments across Pennsylvania are going to shoulder more of the financial burden as the federal and state governments tighten their belts, so this is not the time to saddle our local governments with stringent regulations that remove our flexibility when it comes to spending. As we are forced to implement unfunded mandates and continually asked to do more with less, any insistence that a county government share of revenue from a natural gas impact fee would come with many strings attached is troubling. This is especially true in Potter County, where a whopping 46 percent of our total acreage is tax-exempt because it is state forests, game lands or parks, while a large proportion of the remaining 54 percent is taxed preferentially through Clean and Green. That narrow tax base places a disproportional burden on the backs of the homeowners for three separate tax bills — county, municipal and school district. If the county government has some flexibility in how the impact fee revenue is disbursed, we strongly believe that we can lessen the blow of federal and state budget cuts. All we have is a real estate tax right now, and it’s woefully inadequate – and some would argue unfair – to pay for everything a rural county is required to provide by hammering property owners with higher taxes. And we have no airport, no railroads and not much in the way of highways in Potter County. So the formula that predicts an economic “multiplier” from shale gas production may not apply so strongly in Potter County.

2. We respect and support the steps that your administration and the legislature are taking to make the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a more hospitable place to do business through tax reform and other measures. Government does have a role to play – whether it’s providing incentives when there’s clear accountability, or whether it’s getting out of the way of the private sector. But in our determination to make Pennsylvania more business-friendly, we should not ignore the plight of our local governments at a time when their burdens are growing. We do not favor a punitive tax that would be a disincentive to gas production. But we do believe that a carefully developed plan that captures a relatively tiny portion of the revenue produced from this economic juggernaut and shares it with local governments that are forced to reckon with the costs is something that merits your support.

We appreciate the diligence that your administration, the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission and the legislature have demonstrated to get this right. There’s too much at stake to settle for anything less.

Pipeline Construction To Affect Travel On A-Frame Road Sunday

Sweden Township Police Department has been advised by Anderson Construction that the pipeline crossing of A-Frame Road is scheduled for Sunday Sept.18th..The Crossing is East of Mnt. Top Ln...all local traffic is urged to use alternative routes.

PA Agriculture Secretary Invites Public to Attend All-American Dairy Show

PA Agriculture Secretary Invites Public to Attend All-American Dairy Show

Six-day Event Began Saturday, Sept. 17, in Harrisburg

Agriculture Secretary George Greig today invited the public to attend the 48th All-American Dairy Show, to be held Sept. 17-22 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.

"The All-American Dairy Show features the best dairy cows shown by the best exhibitors in the nation, and for 48 years, Pennsylvania has been proud to host this premier event," said Greig. "I invite the public to see first-hand the strength of Pennsylvania's $1.96 billion dairy industry and unparalleled dedication of our farm families at the many shows and events held during show week."

More than 2,400 animals will be shown by 935 exhibitors from 24 states and Canada during the six-day event.

Show week begins with the Pennsylvania Junior Dairy Show on Saturday, Sept. 17, where Pennsylvania 4-H and FFA members will exhibit their prize cattle.

The Premier National Junior Events – four full days dedicated to youth shows, contest and programs – is themed "Little Stars – Big Dreams." This year's event will feature seven national shows culminating with the selection of Supreme Champion on Monday, Sept. 19, at 3 p.m.

The 14th All-Dairy Antiques and Collectibles Show is dedicated to the Holstein breed this year, and will feature antique collections from farm families. For the third year, a consignment auction for antique pieces is set for Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m., and show hours are Friday, Sept. 16, from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 17, through Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

New to this year's show is the "All-American Milkshake Madness," a celebrity contest that will feature teams mixing inventive, flavorful milkshakes using PA Preferred products. The event is set for Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 11 a.m., in the Dairy Activities Center.

Other show week attractions include the ice cream social hosted by Agriculture Secretary George Greig, "Come Snack with the Vendors" trade show event and the Eastern Elite Holstein Sale.

The show's most prestigious awards, the Obie Snider Award and the Image Award, will be presented at the All-American Dairy Show "got milk?" banquet Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Show week also boasts 23 dairy shows in six days with premiums for all exhibitors. The week caps off with the 55th Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Pageant, Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Camp Hill Radisson Hotel.

For more information about the All-American Dairy Show and the Premier National Junior Events, visit

State Parks Seeking Partners at Allegany State Park

Partners sought to develop, enhance largest NYS park
by New York State Office of Parks & Recreation
As posted on the 390.c0m

ALBANY, NY (09/16/2011)(readMedia)– The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has released a request for proposals (RFP) for two new endeavors at Allegany State Park, the largest park in the state system.

There are two separate RFP’s currently available. The first seeks a partner to assist in the construction and management of year-round cottage and cabin rentals, snowmobile rentals and a ropes course and zip line facility. The second partner would provide year-round operation of a restaurant and gift shop as well as seasonal snack stands, camp stores, equipment rentals and related services.

With 65,000 acres of wilderness and nearly 1.3 million visitors a year, Allegany State Park is a year-round playground for campers and day users from Western New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and beyond. The park boasts two beaches, picnic areas, miles of hiking trails, educational programming, horseback trails, snowmobiling and mountain bike trails and 424 campsites, 375 cabins and three group camps currently available for rental.

Interested parties may request more information or a copy of the RFP by contacting Harold Hagemann at (518) 486-2932 or by emailing him at

Thompson Reiterates Dire Need for Tax Reform, Regulatory Relief

Thompson Reiterates Dire Need for Tax Reform, Regulatory Relief

Agrees President’s Jobs Bill is “poor substitute for the pro-growth policies that are needed to remove barriers to job creation”

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today responded to House Speaker John Boehner’s speech before the Economic Club of Washington, where the Speaker stated that the President’s proposed American Jobs Act is a “poor substitute for the pro-growth policies needed to remove barriers to job creation in America.” Following the speech, Thompson issued the following statement:

“While some of the President’s proposals merit consideration, the Speaker is right to point out that the bill in its entirety is no substitute for the targeted, long-term policies needed to remove barriers to job creation, provide certainty to employers and allow the private sector to expand,” said Thompson. “With two years of unemployment at 8 percent or higher, both parties need to recognize the pressing need for real tax relief and aggressive regulatory reform.”

Speaker Boehner also discussed tax reform and the newly created Joint Select Committee, stating the “Committee can tackle tax reform, and it should.” The Committee should “develop principles for broad-based tax reform that will lower rates for individuals and corporations while closing deductions, credits, and special carveouts in our tax code. And I hope it will,” he added.

“We can’t afford more government spending, like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed by the Democrat-controlled Congress in 2009. Two years later and unemployment remains at staggering levels, despite billions of dollars still sitting in government coffers,” stated Thompson. “The President has stated that ‘shovel-ready’ projects were just not ‘as shovel-ready’ as he anticipated, an admission of the very real bureaucratic burden and delay in federal attempts at economic stimulus. A legitimate recovery plan will empower private sector investment by facilitating an economic climate where businesses have the confidence to hire workers and take on new endeavors.”

Since the beginning of the 112th Congress, Thompson has continued to call for regulatory relief and broad tax reform. “We’re not talking about real, pro-growth tax reform and regulatory relief because it sounds good, it’s what our economy needs, and badly.” The U.S. House has put forth numerous regulatory reforms to incentivize private sector growth, all of which have stalled in the Senate and been ignored by the President.

Pennsylvania State Police, PennDOT Mark National Child Passenger Safety Week Police, Safety Groups to Offer Child Safety Seat Checkpoints Statewide

Pennsylvania State Police, PennDOT Mark National Child Passenger Safety Week
Police, Safety Groups to Offer Child Safety Seat Checkpoints Statewide--Nearly eight of every 10 child safety seats is installed incorrectly

State Police and PennDOT are encouraging parents and guardians to participate in free child passenger safety seat checkups throughout Pennsylvania as the agencies kick off National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 18-24.

“Ensuring the safety of our most precious cargo must be our first priority every time we get behind the wheel,” said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. “So anytime you have a child in your car, I urge you to take a few extra moments to make sure they are restrained properly. If anyone has any doubts about whether they are using a child safety seat properly, now is the time to visit a safety inspection location.” Each of the department’s regional troops will conduct at least one checkup during the week.

PennDOT funds resources such as training and educational materials for 142 fitting stations across Pennsylvania, which checked more than 5,000 car seats last year. The checkups are designed to teach parents the proper installation and use of child safety seats.

“We work with our law enforcement and safety organization partners to have these checks available year-round because our children should always be safe in our vehicles,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch, P.E., said. “Nearly eight of every 10 child safety seats is installed incorrectly, so we strongly encourage parents and guardians to take advantage of these free opportunities.”

In 2010, nine children, from newborns to age eight, lost their lives in vehicle crashes in the state and more than 2,086 were injured.

Pennsylvania law requires that children under the age of 4 ride in a federally-approved car seat that is appropriate for the child's age, height and weight. Children between the ages of 4 and 8 must use a booster seat if they are no longer in a car seat. State law also requires children between the ages of 8 and 18 must use a seat belt. Because of the potential dangers associated with air bag deployment, the state police also recommend that children ages 12 and under always ride in a vehicle’s back seat.

The department’s Bureau of Patrol offered the following tips:

• Use the car’s seat belt to anchor the seat to the car unless you are using a child safety seat with the LATCH system;
• Read and follow the car seat manufacturer's instructions;
• Fill out and return the registration card for your seat so you'll know if it is recalled because of a problem;
• Make sure the seat’s harness fits snugly; and
• Use a tether strap if the seat requires it.

For more information on car seat safety and to get a list of state police car seat safety inspection locations and dates, click on the "Public Services" link at To view a list of PennDOT-supported car seat checks and see how PennDOT promotes child passenger safety, visit, then "Traffic Safety Information Center" and "Child Passenger Safety."

Child Passenger Seat Checks in PennDOT District 2:

Cameron County:
Cool’s Auto Repair
615 Sizerville Road
Emporium, PA 15834

Monday, Sept. 19
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Centre County:
275A Lowe’s Blvd.
State College, PA 16801
(Event is a CPS check and a Senior CarFit event)

Friday, Sept. 23
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Clearfield County:
Sandy Township Police Department
1094 Chestnut Ave.
DuBois, PA 15801

Sunday, Sept. 18
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Clearfield County:
Sandy Township Police Department
1094 Chestnut Ave.
DuBois, PA 15801

Saturday, Sept. 24 (Seat Check Saturday)
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Clinton County:
Clinton County Fairgrounds
97 Racetrack Road
Mill Hall, PA 17751

Saturday, Sept. 24 (Seat Check Saturday)
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Elk County:
PennDOT Elk County Maintenance Building
32 Saint Leo Ave.
Ridgway, PA 15853

Thursday, Sept. 22
3-7 p.m.

McKean County:
CARE for Children
20 Russell Blvd.
Bradford, PA 16701

Monday, Sept. 19
2–6 p.m.

Potter County:
Pennsylvania State Police Coudersport Barracks
3140 East Second St.
Coudersport, PA 16915

Thursday, Sept. 22
2-6 p.m.

DEP Announces Emergency Mosquito Control Operations in Counties Affected by Flooding

DEP Announces Emergency Mosquito Control Operations in Counties Affected by Flooding

The Department of Environmental Protection announced today it will begin conducting emergency mosquito control operations in 18 counties affected by flooding.

The department will conduct truck-mounted and aerial sprayings, targeting both larvae and adult mosquitoes. Floodwaters and heavy rains have created breeding grounds for the insects, leading to a dramatic rise in mosquito populations across the north-central, north-east and south-central regions of the state.

“DEP is responding quickly and aggressively to abate the mosquitoes,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “In addition to being a nuisance, some species of adult mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus. These operations will help protect public health as Pennsylvanians recover from this disaster.”

DEP is surveying counties to identify concentrated areas of adult mosquitoes and their larvae, which are laid in standing water. Truck-mounted sprayings are happening in areas where high populations of mosquitoes have been detected. DEP is conducting targeted larvacide operations in areas with standing water.

Beginning next week, DEP will spray Columbia and Luzerne counties by airplane. Areas of high concentrations of larvae in Dauphin, Columbia and Luzerne counties will also be sprayed by helicopter.

DEP tests samples of mosquitoes captured in traps for West Nile virus, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis. Four human cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed so far this year.

DEP will announce truck-mounted sprayings via news releases.
For more information, visit and click “Flood-related information.”

Editor’s Note: The 18 counties are Adams, Bradford, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wyoming and York.

Science Lags As Health Problems Emerge Near Gas Fields

Science Lags As Health Problems Emerge Near Gas Fields

by Abrahm Lustgarten and Nicholas Kusnetz, ProPublica, Sep. 16, 2011, 5:35 p.m.

On a summer evening in June 2005, Susan Wallace-Babb went out into a neighbor's field near her ranch in Western Colorado to close an irrigation ditch. She parked down the rutted double-track, stepped out of her truck into the low-slung sun, took a deep breath, and collapsed, unconscious.

A natural gas well and a pair of fuel storage tanks sat less than a half-mile away. Later, after Wallace-Babb came to and sought answers, a sheriff's deputy told her that a tank full of gas condensate -- liquid hydrocarbons gathered from the production process -- had overflowed into another tank. The fumes must have drifted toward the field where she was working, he suggested.

The next morning Wallace-Babb was so sick she could barely move. She vomited uncontrollably and suffered explosive diarrhea. A searing pain shot up her thigh. Within days she developed burning rashes that covered her exposed skin, then lesions. As weeks passed, any time she went outdoors, her symptoms worsened. Wallace-Babb's doctor began to suspect she had been poisoned.

"I took to wearing a respirator and swim goggles outside to tend to my animals," Wallace-Babb said. "I closed up my house and got an air conditioner that would just recycle the air and not let any fresh air in."

Wallace-Babb's symptoms mirror those reported by a handful of others living near her ranch in Parachute, Colo., and by dozens of residents of communities across the country that have seen the most extensive natural gas drilling. Hydraulic fracturing [1], along with other processes used to drill wells, generates emissions and millions of gallons of hazardous waste that are dumped into open-air pits. The pits have been shown to leak into groundwater and also give off chemical emissions as the fluids evaporate. Residents' most common complaints are respiratory infections, headaches, neurological impairment, nausea and skin rashes. More rarely, they have reported more serious effects, from miscarriages and tumors to benzene poisoning and cancer.

ProPublica examined government environmental reports and private lawsuits, and interviewed scores of residents, physicians and toxicologists in four states -- Colorado, Texas, Wyoming and Pennsylvania -- that are drilling hot spots. Our review showed that cases like Wallace-Babb's go back a decade in parts of Colorado and Wyoming, where drilling has taken place for years. They are just beginning to emerge in Pennsylvania, where the Marcellus Shale drilling boom began in earnest in 2008.

Concern about such health complaints is longstanding -- Congress held hearings on them in 2007 at which Wallace-Babb testified. But the extent and cause of the problems remains unknown. Neither states nor the federal government have systematically tracked reports from people like Wallace-Babb, or comprehensively investigated how drilling affects human health.

"In some communities it has been a disaster," said Christopher Portier, director of the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Center for Environmental Health. "We do not have enough information on hand to be able to draw good solid conclusions about whether this is a public health risk as a whole."

Exemptions from federal environmental rules won by the drilling companies have complicated efforts to gather pollution data and to understand the root of health complaints. Current law allows oil and gas companies not to report toxic emissions and hazardous waste released by all but their largest facilities, excluding hundreds of thousands of wells and small plants. Many of the chemicals used in fracking and drilling remain secret [2], hobbling investigators trying to determine the source of contamination. The gas industry itself has been less than enthusiastic [3] about health studies. Drillers declined to cooperate with a long-term study of the health effects of gas drilling near Wallace-Babb's town this summer, prompting state officials to drop their plans and start over.

These factors make a difficult epidemiological challenge even tougher. Doctors and toxicologists say symptoms reported by people working or living near the gas fields are often transient and irregular. They say they need precise data on the prevalence and onset of medical conditions, as well as from air and water sampling, to properly assess the hazards of drilling.

"There are considerable issues about health effects," said John Deutch, former director of the CIA and a professor of chemistry at MIT, who heads a Department of Energy panel examining the environmental effects of shale gas drilling, with an emphasis on hydraulic fracturing. "Frankly, I'm not even sure ... what serious public health work has been done in making a connection."

The health questions are intensifying at a moment when communities and states are already weighing the benefits and costs of drilling for natural gas. Drilling has brought much-needed jobs and cash infusions to some of the nation's poorer regions; bullish estimates of U.S. gas reserves promise plenty of drilling development in the future. At the same time, fracking's lasting environmental toll -- particularly the threat it may pose to water supplies -- has become the subject of intense debate. Since 2008, ProPublica has reported [4] about hundreds of cases of water contamination [5] in more than six states where drilling and fracking are taking place as well as the difficulties of handling the vast quantities of waste [6] the drilling processes produce.

Medical and government groups are beginning to sound alarms about drilling's potential to damage health.

In May, Sen. Robert Casey Jr., D-Pa., wrote to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state officials, asking them to investigate illness clusters in Pennsylvania. "Despite being above the normal rate, these disease groupings are often dismissed as statistically insignificant," Casey wrote.

In July, when the EPA proposed new emissions [7] rules for the drilling industry, it warned that without them, there could be an unacceptably high risk of cancer for people living close to major facilities. In August, a national association of childrens' doctors published a fact sheet detailing concerns [8] about fracking and warning that children are more susceptible to chemical exposure. The group called for more epidemiological research and disclosure of chemicals used in drilling.

The gas drilling industry says it supports such research and that health concerns should be taken seriously, but that the public should be careful of jumping to conclusions. "Sound science does exist on these issues," wrote Chris Tucker, a spokesman for the industry group Energy in Depth, in an email. Tucker pointed to a case in Pennsylvania where a woman alleged drilling had contaminated her water and made her sick. A state investigation found that her water was indeed foul, but that it had been that way long before drilling began. "Eventually, pretty firm conclusions can be made with respect to potential causes and effects. Unfortunately, it takes time to do all that in a rigorous, data-driven way."

No such research is underway on a significant scale, however.

Portier, whose agency is a sister agency of the CDC and charged with determining the toxicity of industrial chemicals and preventing exposure to them, says the anecdotal evidence of environmental illness is sufficient to warrant a more serious and systematic approach to studying it. His agency, in conjunction with the EPA, is performing at least five health consultations for communities concerned about health impacts, including two in Pennsylvania. These smaller-scale studies assess health risks based on data already collected, giving a snapshot of a community at a particular moment. But what's needed is a nationwide study that tracks people living close to drilling over time, Portier said. That could cost upward of $100 million. "We can't do everything yet," Portier said. "We only have so much money available."

* * *

The number of new natural gas wells drilled each year in the United States has skyrocketed, from 17,500 in 2000 to a peak of more than 33,000 in 2008. Fracking technology, once used in just a small percentage of wells, has made it possible to get gas out of deeply buried reserves and has become an essential part of drilling almost every new well. At the same time, fracking has opened up vast new reserves in the eastern United States. The wells are now being drilled in heavily populated parts of Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Colorado, and even into urban neighborhoods of Fort Worth.

Alongside the growth in drilling, reports of fouled water, bad odors and health complaints also have increased. In the few places where basic environmental sampling has been done, the results confirm that water and air pollution is present in the same regions where residents say they are getting sick. Last spring, the EPA doubled its estimates [9] of methane gas leaked from drilling equipment, and said the amount of methane pollution that billows from fracking operations was 9,000 times higher than researchers had previously thought.

In Colorado, the ATSDR sampled air for pollutants at 14 sites for a 2008 report [10], including on Susan Wallace-Babb's property. Fifteen contaminants were detected at levels the federal government considers above normal. Among them were the carcinogens benzene, tetrachloroethene and 1,4-dichlorobenzene. The contamination fell below the thresholds for unacceptable cancer risk, but the agency called it cause for concern and suggested that as drilling continued, it could present a possible cancer risk in the future. Even at the time of the sampling, the agency reported, residents could be exposed to large doses of contaminants for brief "peak" periods.

"Since residents may be repeatedly exposed to these peak concentrations of benzene," the ATSDR report said, "the concentrations... warrant careful monitoring and exposure evaluation."

In Pavillion, Wyo. [11], where residents have complained of nerve damage, and loss of sense of taste and smell, EPA superfund investigators found benzene and other hydrocarbons in well water samples, as well as methane gas, metals, and an unusual chemical variant of a compound used in hydraulic fracturing. A health survey conducted there by an environmental group [12] in late 2010 found that 94 percent of respondents complained of health issues they thought were new or connected to the drilling, and 81 percent reported respiratory troubles. The ATSDR, in consultation with the EPA, advised at least 19 families in Pavillion not to drink their water and to ventilate bathrooms when they bathed, in part because volatile organic compounds can become airborne in a shower. But the government stopped short of saying that drilling caused the contamination or their symptoms.

In 2009, an environmental sciences firm also found widespread air contaminants in Dish, Texas [13], a small town in the heart of the Barnett Shale just north of Fort Worth. Wolf Eagle Environmental, hired by the town's mayor and local residents, collected readings from seven monitoring stations [14] and detected 16 chemicals, including benzene and other known and suspected carcinogens. Benzene exceeded Texas' exposure standards at three of the stations.

Wilma Subra, the environmental consultant who ran the survey in Pavillion, also surveyed Dish residents about their health. About 60 percent of respondents reported symptoms that would be expected in people exposed to high levels of the chemicals found in the air samples, Subra said.

Texas' Commission on Environmental Quality reviewed Wolf Eagle's work and agreed that the contaminants could pose [15] a long-term health risk to residents. This year, it followed up with air monitoring of its own in nearby Fort Worth. While the agency determined that contamination levels did not present a public health risk, emissions at five test sites violated state regulatory guidelines. The state documented high levels of benzene and formaldehyde -- both carcinogens -- in those spots.

"Evidence like that really gives our agency a bit of urgency in its work," said Al Armendariz, the EPA's regional administrator for south central states, based in Texas.

* * *

One of the byproducts of the natural gas boom has been that environmental agencies set up to handle issues of permitting and waste disposal are grappling with questions of health and epidemiology, subjects for which they have little training or experience.

In Pennsylvania and Colorado, regulators are still taking the first awkward steps toward developing processes to track and investigate reports of illness related to drilling.

Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection [16] has received 1,306 drilling-related complaints since 2009 -- 45 percent of which alleged water pollution -- but officials acknowledged they couldn't separate out how many involved health issues. Officials with the state Department of Health said they coordinated with the DEP on drilling-related health complaints, but would not respond to questions for this story and denied ProPublica's request for complaint records, citing privacy concerns.

Pennsylvania's secretary of health has urged the creation of a registry to track health complaints in the state's drilling areas -- at an annual cost of about $2 million -- but so far, the governor has not acted upon the recommendation.

Records show Colorado's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission received 496 complaints between mid-2006 and the end of 2008. But officials there, much like their Pennsylvania counterparts, have no way to separate those related to health -- even the ones passed on by the state Department of Public Health and Environment -- from those concerning spills, or noise, or other disruptions.

In an internal government report, the commission separated out complaints related to odors for this period. There were 121. But there are limited public records reflecting what state officials did in response to these reports. Often, records show state officials pursued or fixed the source of an odor, but not whether they tracked any possible health effects connected to the odors.

"Those are allegations, they're complaints, they may or may not be valid complaints," said Debbie Baldwin, the commission's environmental manager. "Given the number of people in the state, the number of wells in the state and the amount of activity associated with oil and gas ... that's a small number."

It is unclear from available records whether the commission ever independently evaluated Susan Wallace-Babb's assertion that toxic emissions harmed her health. The agency's report shows that inspectors confirmed her story about an overflow and fumes and asked Williams, the company drilling near her home, whether dangerous pollutants had been emitted. The company said no, assuring inspectors "this is a non-incident," records show. In the segment of the incident report labeled "resolution," the agency also noted that the company suspected Wallace-Babb "may have been influenced by others annoyed with local gas-field operators."

In response to a request for comment, Williams referred ProPublica to a letter it submitted to the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform committee after Wallace-Babb testified in 2007. In the letter, the company says that it placed a cap on an open tank near Wallace-Babb's home and conducted its own air monitoring for pollutants that would post a health risk, finding none. State and federal air monitoring also did not find levels of emissions that would clearly pose a health risk, the company said. "We had employees or contractors at the well site on a regular basis and none of them ever complained about feeling sick as a result of being near the tank," Williams2019 letter states.

Colorado's health department responded to questions by e-mail about how the state tracks health complaints from people in drilling areas. The department's spokesman said the state had insufficient data to show a relationship between drilling and health issues. "There continues to be much interest in the potential health effects of gas production activities," wrote Mark Salley. "This department will continue to work with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to protect the public's health."

* * *

In September 2009, Range Resources began drilling a natural gas well near the home of Beth Voyles in one of the most heavily drilled counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. The following spring, Range began filling a giant waste impoundment near Voyles' home, and wastewater accumulated in puddles on the dirt roads, where the water was sprayed to hold down the dust, according to a lawsuit Voyles filed against the state and interviews with ProPublica. The family immediately noticed a stench, and its dog, which lapped the fluid from the puddles, got sick.

A veterinarian determined that the dog had been exposed to ethylene glycol, a component of antifreeze that is also used in hydraulic fracturing. The dog's organs began to crystalize, and ultimately failed, the vet told Voyles, and the family had to euthanize the dog. A short time later the family had to euthanize a horse after it exhibited similar symptoms, Voyles told ProPublica. "If it's crystalizing their organs," Voyles said of her animals, "just how long before it's going to do that to us?" Then the whole family started getting rashes, aches and blisters in their noses and throats. Her doctors couldn't pinpoint what was causing their symptoms.

"You feel like you're drugged because your brain's not thinking," she said. "We want our life back."

When Voyles began to suspect drilling might be the cause, she had her doctors run blood tests for chemicals known to be used in the processes. The results came back showing high levels of benzene, toluene and arsenic.

In August 2010, after several complaints from the area, according to Voyles' lawsuit, the state Department of Environmental Protection asked Range to treat the impoundment pond for hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas that can be fatal at high levels and cause nausea, vomiting and headaches in lower amounts. The impoundment was briefly emptied in June, Voyles said, but then filled again in August. Now the rashes are back, she's lost much of her sense of smell and she says everything tastes like metal.

Voyles is suing the DEP, which she says ignored her concerns that the chemicals in her blood could be from the waste in the impoundment nearby, never advised her that its tests showed her well water was also contaminated with an industrial solvent and never issued any violations to Range. Among the clear violations that DEP overlooked, she alleges, was that the waste impoundment did not meet minimum state regulatory requirements. Her lawsuit does not seek compensation, but asks that the agency investigate her complaints according to state regulations. The DEP did not respond to calls requesting comment.

Range Resources did not respond to a call from ProPublica about Voyles' case either. In an earlier report, the company denied there were problems with the impoundment near her home.

After seeing several medical specialists and epidemiologists, Voyles still doesn't know what to do about her family's health.

"They don't know how to treat us," she said.

* * *

In assessing Voyles' case and others like it, environmental epidemiologists warn that proximity and correlation don't add up to proof. Even when symptoms and contamination occur in the same place, they say, it doesn't necessarily mean the contamination caused the symptoms.

"You have a community where there is a putative exposure, and a community with putative illness," said Daniel Teitelbaum, a toxicologist who has spent years examining health issues around drilling and helped frame some of the early research in Colorado. "But you can't say whether the people exposed are the people who are ill."

In the Pennsylvania case pointed out by industry spokesman Chris Tucker, for example, a woman complained for years of symptoms similar to Wallace-Babb's. She alleged that drilling activities had contaminated her water with barium. She spoke at anti-drilling rallies and environmental groups used her case. But when Pennsylvania officials investigated, they found her intense exposure to barium hadn't come from drilling 2013--it was a natural seepage into her well.

Teitelbaum says that collecting measurements of contaminants in the air and water is an essential first step. But he said epidemiologists then set out to track an "exposure pathway," comparing people exposed to pollutants to people not exposed, and then identifying how the exposure occurred. No such scientific protocol has been developed to examine the gas fields. Without one, the more common respiratory and skin ailments are increasingly accepted as being related to pollution, Teitelbaum said. But whether the more serious symptoms have anything to do with drilling is a complete unknown. "You hear and see everything you can possibly imagine, from miscarriages to multiple sclerosis to brain tumors," he said. "There is no way to document whether those things are real or not real."

That's why a health registry -- a database to cross reference patterns of symptoms and locations where they occur with water and air tests -- is so important, he said. Without this context, complaints from residents may not be taken seriously by doctors or environment officials, partly because people respond to chemical exposures differently. Their symptoms can vary widely and can be difficult to recognize.

"If someone comes in and just says I can't think straight, or I'm really tired or I have headaches, that's not measureable," said Dr. Kendall Gerdes, a Denver-based physician who specializes in ecological exposure cases and has seen a number of patients complaining about the gas patch. "Therefore it's considered psychosomatic by most doctors' training."

Gerdes said many of the symptoms roughly fit what ecological-disorder specialists in ecological disorders call multiple chemical sensitivity. It's a sort of catch-all to explain intense reactions to chemical compounds ranging from skin maladies to nerve damage.

According to Gerdes, those predisposed to chemical sensitivity are likely to have the most pronounced reactions to chemical exposures in drilling areas. "Characteristically that person will know they can't be around fresh paint, or can't wear perfume," he said. "So to me, it is an unrecognized vulnerability that, when put together with significant exposures, is enough to cause troubles."

The more people with chemical sensitivity are exposed, the more sensitized they get, Gerdes said. Before Susan Wallace-Babb passed out in the field by her truck, she had felt wooziness and headaches. In the weeks after, she couldn't bear the slightest exposure in places where she had previously felt safe.

"I would wake up in the middle of the night in pain and vomiting and so sick I could barely make it to the bathroom," she said. "And that was with the house closed."

Gerdes and others experts say that whatever affected Susan Wallace-Babb likely also affected others in her community, but they may not have exhibited the same symptoms or reacted as quickly.

For all the mysteries surrounding Wallace-Babb's condition, one thing was clear: When she was away from home, she felt better. When she returned, her symptoms worsened. "That's probably the clearest association you can make," Gerdes said. "When it happens several different times there is a correlation."

Wallace-Babb reluctantly decided to move.

"My body could not rid itself of the toxins," Wallace-Babb said. Her doctor warned her that if she didn't leave, she would never get better. "I thought gosh, there is my dream house. There is my dream all gone and what am I going to do?"

* * *

By late 2009, stories like Wallace-Babb's had become common in Garfield County, Colo., where she had lived and the natural gas production had jumped eight-fold in the previous eight years.

Rick Roles, whose ranch is dotted with gas wells and used to be near a set of large open-air waste pits, complained of intense fatigue. His eyes and throat burned relentlessly, he told ProPublica during a visit in 2008. Light work made his heart race, and, like Voyles, doctors detected benzene in his blood. Roles was a smoker, which could explain the Benzene. But he also raised goats with prized bucks, and after the wells were drilled, many of the kids were stillborn or deformed.

A few miles away another woman, Laura Amos, was diagnosed with a rare adrenal tumor she believed was caused by drilling chemicals that are used in fracking. In 2001, her water well exploded with methane and gray sediment the same day drillers pumped fluids underground to frack a well nearby. By 2003 she was sick. After her lawyers obtained documents from the drilling company, EnCana, showing that the suspected chemical was used in nearby wells, Amos accepted a multi-million-dollar settlement. The terms remain confidential, except for the fact that Amos is no longer allowed to talk about her case. Colorado fined EnCana for failing to contain its drilling waste properly. EnCana has said it disagreed with the state action and that there was no proof that fracking caused Amos' well problems.

Another local couple, the Mobaldis, experienced symptoms similar to those of Wallace-Babb and Voyles, but worse. Steve Mobaldi testified about his wife's condition at a 2007 congressional hearing. "Chris began to experience fatigue, headaches, hand numbness, bloody stools, rashes, and welts on her skin," he said. "Tiny blisters covered her entire body. The blisters would weep, then her skin would peel ... Canker-type sores appeared in her mouth and down her throat, and they would disappear the next day... The racking pain was unbearable."

Chris Mobaldi developed a pituitary tumor and died in 2010 from a complication in her treatment.

In response to these cases and others, state and county health officials conducted a series of monitoring projects that found gas drilling was the area's largest source of several hazardous air pollutants, including benzene and ozone-forming emissions. For several years, with the cooperation of federal health officials, Colorado monitored air quality in Garfield County, determining repeatedly that while pollution in the area did not exceed health standards, it probably meant there was a slightly elevated risk of cancer and other health effects. But none of those steps were sufficient to help officials determine the precise risk level. They didn't have a way to systematically record health complaints or to track which residents might have been exposed to which pollutants and when -- the essential link in completing an epidemiological study.

Still, the incremental studies underscored concern among residents.

When Antero Resources announced plans in the spring of 2009 to drill 200 more wells in Battlement Mesa, a golf-course community almost within sight of Wallace-Babb's old home, about 400 residents petitioned the county to study the potential health impacts before they permitted the drilling.

In February 2010, the Garfield County board of commissioners hired researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health to conduct another health impact assessment [17], analyzing air samples collected by federal and state officials over the years to gauge the dangers of new drilling and how best to mitigate them. Whereas previous research had analyzed samples of emissions from sites across the county, this time researchers focused on the risk to one small, well-defined area, trying to assess the potential of risk increasing over time. The researchers also were tasked with designing a long-term plan to collect data on the drilling once it began, tracing how emissions affected residents. The two-pronged effort promised to be one of the most in-depth analyses so far of gas field health effects in the nation.

In a draft of the health impact assessment released in February 2011, the School of Public Health researchers concluded that without pollution control measures, emissions from drilling would likely be high enough to cause disease in Battlement Mesa, including respiratory and neurological problems, birth defects and cancer. The report said that air pollution was a greater risk than water pollution, and pointed to fracking as the stage of drilling that released some of the most toxic emissions. The conclusion was starkly different from past government assessments, which were limited to determining whether pollution was dangerous at the time the samples were taken. The School of Public Health's view was that the drilling was clearly emitting carcinogens and that sooner or later, this would lead to problems, according to Roxana Witter, an assistant research professor at the Colorado School of Public Health and the lead author of the study.

The authors stressed that data from the long-term monitoring phase of their research were needed to fill crucial gaps in evaluating the risks from drilling emissions, but the project wouldn't get that far.

The draft findings were immediately controversial.

"It got political," said John Martin, one of the Garfield County commissioners who oversaw the study. Martin said environmental groups wanted to use the study to stop drilling. "It got blown completely out of proportion and they took advantage of that issue to further their agenda."

The drilling industry was highly critical of the draft and its authors and pressed county officials to delay issuing its final report by extending the period for public comments. Money from outside interest groups had been flowing into elections for Garfield County commission seats and, in November 2010, a commissioner seen as a supporter of more health research was defeated.

In May, the commission decided not to extend the researchers' contract, and a final draft of the report was never produced, limiting the impact of its conclusions.

"The study wasn't finalized," said David Neslin, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. "We always have to be careful about using draft documents which haven't been finalized."

Martin, one of the commissioners who voted against paying to finish the project, said the commissioners had already gotten what they were looking for: general recommendations for how to mitigate potential health effects. If there are larger uncertainties about how drilling can affect public health, Martin said, that's for state and federal agencies to study.

"We have limitations and this is beyond the scope of what we need to be doing," he said.

For the next phase of the study -- the long-term monitoring project -- the county and the School of Public Health sought the help of Colorado's health department. The department had planned to apply to the EPA for funding to measure drilling emissions and track their movement as drilling progressed.

But in August, local gas drilling companies informed government officials they would not cooperate with the study unless Garfield County and the state agreed to replace Witter's team with other academic researchers and start over.

"GarCO operators have collectively decided a Garfield County air study, conducted by the Colorado Public School of Health [sic], is unworkable and one they are unable to participate in moving forward," wrote David Ludlam, executive director of the West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association, in an Aug. 3 email that was forwarded to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Antero did not respond to requests for comment. In an email to ProPublica, Ludlam explained the industry wanted to see a scientific organization like Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science do the work, rather than Witter. "It is less about a tangible bias and more about an overall environment of distrust in Garfield County resulting from their previous work product being politicized by outside parties," he wrote.

The state health department abandoned, for the time being, its plans for the research one week after receiving Ludlam's e-mail, withdrawing its application for federal funding.

The project's demise has left the state's leading environmental doctors discouraged. "It is tragic," said Teitelbaum. "We are going lickety split ahead with the drilling along the East Coast and nobody knows what the hell is going on. And nobody wants to spend any money on it."

While Teitelbaum and others wait for answers, Wallace-Babb continues to grapple with the ailments that drove her from Colorado.

In 2006, she moved to Winnsboro, Texas, a small town two hours east of Dallas. For three years her symptoms gradually improved, until she could work in her garden and go about her normal daily routine. Then, early last year, Exxon launched a project in an old oil field 14 miles away and began fracking wells to get them to produce more oil. Within months, Wallace-Babb's symptoms returned. Again, she wears a respirator to visit the grocery store. Again, she is looking to move.

"It's one thing if you choose to work for that industry and you get damaged from that exposure," Wallace-Babb said. "At least they made money. But if you are just living and minding your own business and your life gets torn asunder, it's different.

"I made nothing. I got all the damage."

Natuaral Gas Leak On Kansas Branch Road

Smell of Natural Gas In Basement
At 3:53 pm on Saturday, Otto Township Fire Dept. has been dispatched to 28 Kansas Branch Road for a natural gas leak.

Roulette Ambulance To Port Allegany

At 12:55 pm on Saturday, Roulette Ambulance has been dispatched to Port Allegany.

House Fire Reported In Bradford

House Fire In Bradford
At 11:43 am on Saturday, Bradford City Fire Department has been dispatched to 38 Lorana Avenue for a house fire.

Station 1 & 11 due to respond

Sunday Football Specials At Mosch's Tavern

Shinglehouse Ambulance To Coon Crossing Road

At 9:10 am on Saturday, Shnglehouse Ambulance & Medic 10 were dispatched to the Coon Crossing Road for a medical emergency.

Vehicle Crashed Into House On Looker Mountain Trail

Vehicle Crashed Into House
At 6:26 am on Saturday, Otto Township Fire Rescue and Ambulance responded to a report of a vehicle into a house crash at 1236 Looker Mountain Trail near the intersection of Moody Hollow Road. One person was reported to be entrapped.

The person was transported to the Eldred Township Fire Dept. landing zone to meet a Stat 9 Medevac helicopter.

Yard Sale Today & Sunday--Rt. 6 West Of Port Allegany

Yard Sale Today & Sunday--9-17 & 18
DON'T MISS THIS ONE. The Lookout at 21607 Rt 6, One Mile west of Port. Look for the signs. If you have been in our store you know what we have. We have a HUGE selection of items.

Lots of guy stuff, ladies goodies and we are discounting as much as 50% on a lot our store stock. Tools , Wood Stove, Trains, Guns, Ammo, NICE clothing, books, doo dads, Crystal Glassware, Vintage pocket watch, fishing poles, Great 17" laptop, It's a MAC G4 with warranty, Electrical wire and stuff, gold coins, DVD Movies and CDs, Jewelry, Endless Cook Books, Antique China Closet, LOTS OF FABRIC too much stuff and we need to gain some space.

Opens at 9:00AM even if it's cold.
Early birds will be put to work.

Coudersport Dept. 48 To Assist Coudersport Police

At 12:05 am on Saturday, Coudersport Dept. 48 has been dispatched to the Westgate Inn to assist Coudersport Police.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ulysses Fall Festival Saturday

7:00 AM to 8:30 AM Pancake Breakfast at First Baptist Church
9:00 AM Opening Ceremony
9:15 AM Children's Parade Registration with parade to follow -- Main Street
10:00 AM Queen and Her Court Announced
10:15 AM Pet Parade Registration with parade to follow -- Main Street
10:30 AM Cake Walk
10:45 AM Home Grown Vegetable Contest Registration with judging to follow
11:00 AM Home Made Lemon Meringue Pie Contest Registration with judging to follow -- Borough Office
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Donut Eating Contest -- Main Street
11:30 AM
12:00 PM Bicycle Parade Registration with parade to follow -- Free Methodist Church parking lot
1:00 PM Winners of Motto Contest Announced Previous Citizens of the Year Announced with Announcement of 2011 Citizen of the Year to follow.
1:30 PM Winners of Morning Events Announced
2:00 PM Main Parade with Car Show to follow -- Main Street
3:30 PM Wheel Barrow Race -- Main Street
4:00 PM Lawn Mower Race -- Main Street

Rollover Crash Near Highland Hotel

Address: TIMBERLINE ATV TRAILHEAD Rt. 948 near Highland Hotel
Cross Streets: SACKETT RD * ROUTE 66
Pickup Truck Rollover Crash
Agency: ELK COMPANY 8 FD, Kane Ambulance
9/16/2011 10:43:24 PM


RIDGWAY -- A Ridgway man escaped injury over the weekend when his truck rolled over after he swerved to miss a bear crossing the road.

State police at Ridgway said Joshua James Kustra, 30, wasn't hurt in the crash Friday at 10:30 p.m. on Route 948 in Highland Township, Elk County.

Police said that after Kustra avoided the bear, the Ford F-150 went onto an embankment and rolled.

Bob Heisse To Head National Editors Group

Man Charged After Police Chase

Man Charged After Police Chase

State Police arrested a New Jersey man Wednesday morning after a police chase along Route 120 in Cameron County. Troopers found a vehicle stopped in the roadway with it's engine running and tried to offer there assistance to 34 year-old Paul Kircher, But, Kircher backed into the patrol car and left the scene. After a pursuit, in which Kircher allegedly tried to run Troopers off the road, he was pinned against an embankment and forcibly removed from his car. Kircher is facing numerous charges, including fleeing from police and assault.

Chesapeake Uses It's Resources To Help Flooded Athens, PA Flood Cleanup

Chesapeake Energy pitches in to help with Valley flood reliefLink
Star Gazette

One by one, dump trucks, front-end loaders, skid steers and dozens of volunteers from Chesapeake Energy and its subsidiaries rolled into Athens.

They were there Wednesday to lend a hand to their neighbors in need.

By noon, there were 50 dump trucks, as many loaders, and several water trucks combing the flood-ravaged neighborhoods near South Main Street.

Chesapeake employees dressed in blue T-shirts, mud boots, safety goggles, rubber gloves and masks, were ready to take on the messy task of cleaning up the debris. More...

Lost Min Pin Black and Tan

My dog is missing and I was wondering if you could post a message on Solomon words. He is a black and tan miniature pinscher. He is about 12 pounds. He has slight gray around his face. Contact numbers are 610-533-1070, 610-533-0047, and 815-274-7316. Thank you very much. He just went missing last night around 10 pm He was missing near prosser hollow rd in Coudersport. By dr Backes's house.



BRADFORD, Pa. – Dr. Helene Lawson, professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, presented a paper on “The Hobby Farm” at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Having grown up in an apartment in Chicago, Lawson said that when she came to Pitt-Bradford, she was intrigued by rural life, including farming.

A few years ago, she met a student, Jennifer Sanders, who came from and was marrying into a farm family. The young couple decided to continue farming near their home in Edinboro, Pa., but could not afford to do so full time.

Sanders served as Lawson’s guide as she visited farms and former farms in Erie, McKean and Cattaraugus (N.Y.) counties, interviewing farmers and former farmers.

Lawson said that she found family farms still operated at some level often because of the romance of the farm and how it fulfilled owners’ desires to live a simpler life closer to land and animals.

Lawson found that hobby farmers, or those who have their primary jobs off the farm, have found success providing products to niche markets that satisfy consumers’ desire for healthier food.

The reasons that people leave farming, she found, include economic hardship and exhaustion.

The paper will be archived with the conference proceedings at and will be available for public access.

Lawson is the director of the sociology program at Pitt-Bradford and earned her doctorate in sociology from Loyola University in Chicago. She holds Master of Arts degrees in gerontology and early childhood education from Roosevelt University, where she also earned a Bachelor of Arts in education.

She teaches Introduction to Sociology; Gender, Race and Ethnicity; Images of Men and Women in the Media; Sociology of Work and Society; Global Society; and Inequality.

She lives in Bradford with her husband, Dr. Larry Lawson.

Composition by Pitt-Bradford professor performed in Massachusetts


BRADFORD, Pa. – An original composition by Dr. John Levey, assistant professor of music at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, was performed this summer in Jamaica Plain, Mass., by the Boston New Music Initiative.

The piece, “The Rain was Ending,” was part of an all-vocal concert presented by the non-profit group dedicated to the music of young composers.

Soprano Sonja Tengblad sang the text, a poem by early 20th century writer Lawrence Binyon, accompanied by pianist Leah Kosch.

Levey said he chose the poem because “it’s a very visual poem, and it’s not very long.”

The poem describes a sick boy looking out of his window and watching his friends playing.

Levey joined the faculty at Pitt-Bradford two years ago after earning his doctoral degree in composition and music theory from the University of Michigan, where he also earned a master of music in composition. He also earned a bachelor of music degree in composition.

At Pitt-Bradford, he teaches courses in music literature, music theory and musicology, directs and accompanies the Vocal Arts Ensemble, and is the director of the Interdisciplinary Arts program.

He lives in Salamanca, N.Y.

Closure/Detour on Route 2002, Cherry Springs to Germania Station, Starts Monday

Closure/Detour on Route 2002, Cherry Springs to Germania Station, Starts Monday In West Branch Township

Potter County – A closure and detour for Route 2002 (Branch Road) will begin on Monday, as crews pave the roadway from the village of Cherry Springs to the village of Germania Station. The 5 mile-long paving work zone is in West Branch Township.

Paving is expected to take about a month and the closure of Route 2002 will be in effect around the clock. All through traffic must follow the official detour, which uses Route 44 and Route 6. All work is weather dependent.

This work is part of a $4.8 million resurfacing contract covering eleven routes in Cameron and Potter counties. IA Construction is the contractor on this roadway improvement project.

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C&N Presents Check To Red Cross

WELLSBORO, PA – Monetary donations are desperately needed by the American Red Cross to deal with flooding in the region. Valerie Whyman, director of donor relations for the Northcentral PA Chapter of the American Red Cross, said funds are needed to provide temporary shelter for victims, food, cleaning supplies, disaster kits and other necessities.

Whyman was in Wellsboro Friday to accept a $50,000 donation from Citizens & Northern Bank. The funds will be shared by the Lycoming and Bradford/Sullivan chapters and will stay in the communities under their umbrellas, as requested by the bank. The donation was announced earlier this week. Communities in those counties were especially hard hit by flooding.

“These counties encompass a large area of our market. People impacted by this disaster are our customers, employees, family members, neighbors and friends. We are pleased to make this contribution and hope it will provide some relief for those affected,” said Charles H. Updegraff, Jr., C&N chairman, president and CEO.

Whyman said the Red Cross has spent more than $15 million on East Coast disasters since the beginning of September. Local chapters in Williamsport and Towanda are serving some of the communities most devastated by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee.

A number of organizations and businesses are collecting funds for the Red Cross, including Citizens & Northern Bank, which is accepting donations at all 25 of its open offices. The Athens office was severely damaged by flooding and remains closed. Funds collected at the C&N branches will be divided between the Lycoming and Bradford/Sullivan Chapters.

Donations are also being accepted directly by the Red Cross at Ten dollar donations are being accepted via text at 90999.

Citizens & Northern Bank is a local, independent community bank providing complete financial, investment and insurance services through 26 full service offices throughout Cameron, Potter, McKean, Tioga, Bradford, Sullivan and Lycoming counties in Pennsylvania and in Canisteo and Hornell, NY in Steuben County. C&N can be found on the worldwide web at The Company’s stock is listed on NASDAQ Capital Market Securities under the symbol CZNC.

CAPTION: Valerie Whyman, director of donor relations for the Northcentral PA Chapter of the American Red Cross, accepts the check for $50,000 from Charles H. Updegraff, Jr., C&N chairman, president and CEO.

Frances C. Harten, 92, of 403 Derrick Road Derrick City, PA

Frances C. Harten, 92, of 403 Derrick Road Derrick City, passed away Friday, September 16th, 2011 at her residence, after a lengthy illness, surrounded by her loving family.

Born April 26, 1919, in Tarpon Springs, Florida, she was a daughter of the late Claude M. and Nellie (Kaber) Coulter.

On February 12, 1946 at the Church of Ascension in Bradford she married John F. Harten who died on September 18, 1996.

Mrs. Harten was a 1938 graduate of Bradford High School and attended Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA. For many years she worked for the District Pennsylvania Oil Producers Association, Bradford District and later was the supervisor of the Park-A-Tot Day Care for approximately 12 years.

She was a member of Church of the Ascension, former member of the Orakettes of the Orak Gratto, the Ball & Chain Group and the Valley Hunt Club

She is survived by two children, a daughter, Linda C. Harten of Southampton, and a son, Dean (Amy) Harten of Bradford, 2 grandchildren, Zachary (Rachel) Harten of Fort Drum, NY and Emily Harten of Bradford, a nephew Gary (Linda) Shoemaker of Palm Harbor, FL, and "Captain" her faithful companion. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, a sister Rhea Shoemaker and a brother Jack Coulter

At the family's request there will be no visitation. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Burial will be in Willow Dale Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the McKean County SPCA, PO Box 113, Bradford, PA 16701 or a charity of the donor's choice.

Online condolences may be made at

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Dedications

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Dedications

The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum Associates Annual Meeting is Sunday, September 25th. Two new exhibits will be dedicated at the meeting.

At 11:00 AM they will dedicate the new life size bronze Civilian Conservation Corps Worker Statue. The statue will be the 57th statue dedicated in the country -the 6th in Pennsylvania. It is part of the national CCC Legacy Statue Program. The CCC Worker Statue is a monument to the builders of modern forestry conservation. They tell a story and are long term exhibits that can be meaningful to many generations. One facet of the national interpretive campaign is the goal to have one bronze Statue in each state. To date, members and their supporters have purchased 60 statues across America. These statues stand as a testament to the pride, hard work, and desire to teach the meaning of the CCC in America. The statue was funded in part by the Lumber Museum Associates, the Lumber Heritage Region, the Dominion Foundation, Galeton Rotary, and private donations. There will be an opportunity to make donations in memory of alumni of the Corps at the event.

At 11:30 the Museum Associates will dedicate the new Birch Still built by volunteers from the Department of Forestry and others under the direction of Skip Cavanaugh. It is typical of stills used to distill birch oil from birch bark and is used to make birch beer and other products.

At 1:00 a presentation by Jim Caulfield on the progress of the Museum's expansion.

The public is welcome.

Refreshments will be served

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania Off-Campus Extended Learning

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania Off-Campus Extended Learning at the Potter County Education Council in Coudersport

Reality Therapy in the Classroom – this workshop is designed to increase proficiency in the use of Reality Therapy in the classroom. (The course presumes an understanding of philosophy and basic steps.) Emphasis will be placed on acquiring the skills in the implementation of the Reality Therapy approach in the educational environment.

Classes will be held on Friday, 5 – 10 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. on October 7th & 8th, November 18th & 19th and December 9th & 10th. For more information or to register, call ESU at 570-422-2872. Note: you must register two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Senator Scarnati Receives Leadership Award for Environmental Vision, Advocacy

PA Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati R-Brockway is presented with the 2011 Legislator Award by McKean County Conservation District Directors (l to r) Cliff Lane, Kerry Fetter and Commissioner Al Pingie along with District Manager Sandy Thompson.

Senator Scarnati Receives Leadership Award for Environmental Vision, Advocacy

Senate President Pro Tempore, Joseph Scarnati, R-Brockway was presented with the 2011 Legislator Recognition Award for his environmental foresight and advocacy on behalf of The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts Inc. (PACD) by Kerry Fetter, Chairman of the McKean County Conservation District.

“Senator Scarnati has not only been an advocate for the conservation districts and the vital work they do every day, but has also served as a partner with the conservation districts to ensure that Pennsylvania’s natural resources are protected in every corner of the commonwealth,” said MaryAnn Warren, President of PACD. “The Senator’s dedication and commitment to the environment have not gone unnoticed. By making the protection of our environment a top priority, Senator Scarnati has empowered our communities to invest, preserve and safeguard our natural resources for future generations.”

Each year, PACD selects exemplary individuals to receive recognition for their ongoing commitment to protecting Text Box: Senate President Pro Tempore, Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway is presented with the 2011 Legislator Award by McKean County Conservation District Directors (l-r) Cliff Lane, Kerry Fetter and Commissioner Al Pingie along with District Manager Sandy Thompson. Pennsylvania’s environment and this year, Senator Scarnati was among the elite group of deserving individuals.

Senator Scarnati has taken on many important issues related to the protection of our environment and natural resources, as well as a champion for the conservation districts. The senator’s bold proposal earlier this spring of a local impact fee on Marcellus Shale will ensure that Pennsylvania’s environment is protected both now and in the future by providing a dedicated funding stream to local governments, as well as the conservation districts. As the development of natural gas continues, our districts and communities must have the resources and tools needed locally to protect our waterways and land.

“As a legislator, former businessman, father and active community member, Senator Scarnati understands how important our natural resources are for not just our recreational enjoyment, but for the economic well-being and quality of our communities,” said Robert B. Maiden, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts. “We congratulate the Senator and look forward to working closely with him as we continue to make great strides in our mission to protect Pennsylvania’s environment and natural resources.”