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  1. 3 points
    Before I submit to my readers the recent news taking place in our fair town these past couple weeks, I would like to update you on a matter discussed in a previous column. You’ll remember on 9 September I told you the story of Mooch Mitchell who, while having lunch with the McNaney boys, inadvertently found his burger contained not USDA Grade A beef but a Gaines-Burger. This prompted a hasty visit to the health clinic where staff assured him the scamps that prepared his sandwich hadn’t, in fact, poisoned him. The story takes an interesting turn however. A sharp eyed reader wrote to tell me that The General Foods Company had ended that line sometime in the 1990’s. With that knowledge, it’s a testament to the quality of the dog food’s packaging to have lasted, as well as the strength of Mssr. Mitchell’s intestinal tract. Sadly, it’s also a testament of the McNaney family’s pet care, but who am I to judge? Constable Smith would like to remind area grocers to please refrain from selling eggs to anyone under the age of 18 as Halloween approaches. However toilet paper is okay to sell. This is a slight change from last year’s policy after the clerk at Mary’s Mercantile and Tax Preparation refused to sell a roll to the constable’s daughter during a particularly rough bout with a GI bug. Speaking of Halloween, Constable Smith says the hours for “tricks or treats” will be 6-8pm. Residents are encouraged to leave their lights on to let the kids know where the treats are. The constable said if you choose not to partake, don’t call him to complain about “tricks”. Willie Johnson down at Willie’s Bait, Tackle, and Trapping Supply tells me he has a new venture he’s all kinds of fired up about. Despite America being great again, fur prices are still at rock bottom and Willie plans to make better use of his raccoon catch by selling what he calls a “Coon Pr*ck Toothpick.” Yes, you read that right, Willie plans on selling ‘coon willys to use as a toothpick. Willie assured me he hasn’t forgotten to take his medication; apparently it’s something his family in Virginia made for generations. According to him, back in the day people would save a raccoon's penis bone, boil it to render it truly clean, and sharpen one end to use as a toothpick. Skeptical, I went to the library on a trip to town and checked in the Foxfire Books. They truly used the whole animal back then. I reminded Willie we’re several states and at least one bloodline away from Old Dominion, but he’s sure it’ll be a hit, and asked me to let you all know you can get yours by sending $5.00 to: Willie’s Bait, Tackle & Trapping Supply RD 1 Wipjibber Mountain PA, 16000 Folks, skeptical as I am I haven’t seen Willie this excited since he come to town telling to show off the first bobcat he ever caught. Of course said bobcat was actually Marge Tillinghast’s cat, but in Willie's defense she always did over feed the feline. Well that’s about it for now, until next time. Drive safe and watch for deer.
  2. 2 points
    Stand by, I sent out questionnaires to all county candidates in contested races this year. I have received a response from Sheriff Moss and a couple legislative candidates so far. I asked them to have the responses to me by the 22nd so I can run a full slate of responses from all on Oct. 29 ( although I'll happily do so sooner if they're all in on time. )
  3. 2 points
    There’s truly something to be said about an educator and man like Mr. Pucci. I knew him as an outspoken English teacher. And when I say outspoken, I mean passionate and using the subject matter as a way to instill very real and true character values into his students. He and the staff at Notre Dame were one of the reasons I decided to volunteer for the US Army after 9/11. I served multiple tours in Iraq which included being in hot zones like Mosul, Fallujah, Baghdad, etc after the initial invasion. I served honorably and was medically retired in 2008. Being a combat veteran you quickly learn to discern who is genuine and who is not. Mr. Pucci is a man in which I place in the highest regard. He is a man of great character, honor, and integrity. He wouldn’t be running if there wasn’t a problem. Simply put, he cares and I know he can do better for Chemung County than his opponent seeking re election. John Ungvarsky Notre Dame Class of 1998 Elmira NY
  4. 2 points
    I sure do understand what you're saying Hal! Our sentiments exactly! Too many of our youth feel entitled and don't have a clue how to work from the bottom up to earn their way. They can't take loss and disappointment because they've never been taught. And if we disagree with them, it's called hate speech. I agree with you, ask our Good Lord for forgiveness and move forward. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Hal! Much appreciated
  5. 2 points
    Anthony Pucci was definitely one of my most influential teachers! Not only did he foster a love for reading, but also a passion for critical thinking, an imagination of possibilities, and standing up for what is right and just, particularly in times when others were quick to follow the herd. Mr. Pucci has integrity; which is something we need to see more of in the political arena. Mary Mosteller Horseheads, NY
  6. 2 points
    I thought this recent exchange on Facebook was priceless:
  7. 2 points
    Hiawatha Island… The name alone brings to mind a land of legends and visions from a long-ago era. Did the legendary Hiawatha ever frequent its shores? Not likely. But, it is believed the Iroquois nation once used the island as part of their homeland. Artifacts found in its soil from bygone eras have been donated to the collections at both Binghamton University and the Tioga County Historical Society museums. The Big or Great Island, as it’s been called, comprises 112 acres in a beautiful tranquil setting. A few miles east of Owego proper, it’s surrounded on all sides by the Susquehanna River flowing west. Once a bustling retreat for locals and tourists alike, it contained a beautiful three-story hotel and meandering sylvan paths with the island’s dock reached by steamboats throughout the summer months. Earliest records for the island note that Britain’s King George III issued a mandamus (a writ directing a lower court to perform a specific act) dated January 15, 1755, deeding land, including the island, to the Coxe family in exchange for their territory in Georgia, the Carolinas and the Bahama Islands. By 1821, the Coxe family had surveyed and divided the land into small farms with the Big Island designated as lot no.120. Moving to Lounsberry in 1969, I did not pay much, if any, attention to Hiawatha Island during my high school years in Owego, NY. However, about 15 years ago, I discovered a [supposed] ancestral tie that piqued my interest in the island’s history. My earliest genealogical research found a McNeill family paper filed at both the Tioga County Historical Society in Owego and the Schoharie County Historical Society at the Old Stone Church in Schoharie, NY. This paper claimed that a Ruth McNeil, b. 1782 in Weare, New Hampshire, was the daughter of my John C. and Hannah (Caldwell) McNeill of Weare, Londonderry and New Boston, New Hampshire. Ruth was noted to have married Matthew Lamont(e). (Note my specific use of one or two “L’s” in the McNeil versus McNeill name.) This is where due diligence pays off in checking all genealogy sources yourself. The person filing that family paper did not reply to my inquiry in 2002. Digging deeper, I found and purchased a McNeil family history from the Montgomery County Historical Society in Fonda, NY simply to see if that family held clues to my own. However, that historical writeup is about the family of John and Ruth McNeil of Vermont who lived in Fulton, NY, with that genealogy listing a daughter Ruth who the researcher was unable to trace further. From personal extensive research on my own McNeill family, it is proven that John C. McNeill and Hannah Caldwell married May 8, 1781, that their first daughter, Betsey, was born December 5, 1781, and that she was adopted by Hannah’s childless older sister, Elizabeth. In checking late 19th century census records for Matthew and Ruth LaMonte’s children, they note their mother was born in NY, not NH. With the above John and Ruth McNeil’s family history listing a child named Ruth of whom nothing more was known, I felt there was sufficient circumstantial evidence for Ruth (McNeil) Lamont to be their child rather than a daughter of my John C. and Hannah (Caldwell) McNeill. Furthermore, John C.’s family did not contain the name of Ruth in any older or younger generations as does the Vermont McNeil family. Of additional interest, my earliest ancestors and their descendants consistently spelled their name McNeill while John and Ruth’s descendants consistently used McNeil. Matthew and Ruth LaMonte removed from Schoharie County to Owego, Tioga County, NY in the early to mid 1820s. The second registered deed to the Big Island, dated June 23, 1830, is to Matthew and Marcus LaMonte. Matthew was the husband of Ruth above. Their son Marcus had at least three children: Abram H., b.1831 on the island, Susan Jane b. 1834 (as a teacher, one of her students at the Owego Academy was the young John D. Rockefeller), and Cyrenus M., b.1837. Cyrenus purchased the Big Island in 1872 just before its commercialization commenced in 1874 with picnics and summer events. The earliest known birth on the Big Island was that of Lucinda (Bates) Lillie, born August 16, 1800. It is also known that various squatters took up residence on the island, particularly when owners were absent, making good use of the fertile river-loam farmland. Another tie of note to the island is that of Ezra Seth Barden who was born in 1810 at Lee, Massachusetts. In 1833 he brought his young bride, Catherine Elizabeth Jackson, to Owego where they set up their home on the Big Island. She just happens to be a second cousin of U. S. President Andrew Jackson. The LaMonte family had their main farm directly north of the island where Rt. 17C runs near Campville. They retained a few acres on the island after selling the rest in 1831, selling that small balance of acreage in 1834. From my previous research, the LaMonte family operated a ferry across the river to the island. In 1840, with her five children, Mrs. William Avery Rockefeller (the former Eliza Davison) removed from Moravia, NY to Owego, renting a house on the LaMonte farm. One of her sons, John Davison Rockefeller, Sr., 11 years old at the time, often worked for pennies a day on the LaMonte farm. Born July 8, 1839 in Richford, NY, John D. Rockefeller, world-renowned founder of Standard Oil Company, went to the Court Street Owego Academy, was tutored by Susan Jane LaMonte at her home, and often kept in touch with her on his returns to Owego as an adult. Another student of renown who taught at the Owego Academy was Benjamin F. Tracy, Secretary of the Navy under President Benjamin Harrison. The former Owego Academy at 20 Court Street is an old brick building still very much in use, nicely remodeled, repainted, and well kept over the years. It was in this Federal style building (built in 1827-28) where I began my secretarial career in 1972 as a high school senior. I worked part time, then full time after graduating high school, for Lewis B. Parmerton, Esq., gaining valuable knowledge from his experienced secretary, Kathy. My desk was at the second window to the left of the front door on the first floor, looking out on two tall buttonwood (sycamore) trees which are now gone. The basement then housed the N.Y.S. Department of Motor Vehicles where I obtained my learner’s permit and driver’s license. I will also never forget the sale of a particular old building on Front Street along the river’s edge to Pat Hansen. After all paperwork had been completed and signed, and Ms. Hansen had left, Mr. Parmerton stood in the office with us two secretaries, shaking his head, “I don’t know what she wants that old building for.” Little did he, or Kathy and I, realize then, but Pat Hansen turned her building into the extremely successful store, “Hand of Man,” spurring on the revitalization and growth of Owego’s Front Street businesses which continues to this day! I love poking around in the “Hand of Man,” enjoying the delicate and gorgeous one-of-a-kind gifts. But, among the antiques in the Parmerton office was an oil painting of the Owego Academy, with two young sycamore/buttonwood saplings which stood in front of our office windows. I cannot find a copy of this painting in an online search. The building’s tin ceilings were high and ornate. There were beautiful fireplaces, an old Seth Thomas pendulum clock, an 1850 map designating every road and building in Tioga County, and Mr. Parmerton’s office/library was lined with bookshelves filled to the high ceiling, rolling ladders needed to reach the upper shelves. The floors were wooden, uneven and squeaky in places, with a beautiful dark wood banister going up the stairs to the second level. In fact, taking the stairs to the upper floor, I had occasion to enter the office of two elderly attorneys, the Beck sisters. I remember Rowena Beck, the first woman lawyer in Tioga County. The sisters’ grandfather was Professor Joseph Raff who, in 1875, composed the Blue Tassel Quadrille for the start of a new season on the Great Island. Of further interest, Sedore notes that Raff was the brother of Joachim Raff, an accomplished orchestral composer, who just happened to be “a personal friend of Franz Liszt and Hans von Bulow.” (Sedore, p.23) Small world indeed! Little did I then know the history I was working amongst! When speaking of the island’s early years, one must also include reference to Joseph Shaw DeWitt, or “Old Joe” as he was otherwise known. Coming from Binghamton to Owego about 1841, he was an actor, fireman, businessman and restaurateur. On the side, he made and sold cough drops in a box which looked much like the Smith Brothers box, along with cream candies, and beer. He owned a restaurant on Lake Street, but it was at his hotel on Front Street in Owego which began the greatest period of Hiawatha Island’s history. Here, on August 5, 1873, a number of businessmen met to form a stock company with the purpose of building a steamboat intended for trips on the Susquehanna River between Binghamton, NY and Towanda, PA. They approached Cyrenus McNeil LaMonte, who had purchased the Great Island in 1872, and thus began the island’s “most flamboyant years.” (Sedore p.5) The Owego Steamboat Company had its first boat ready by the end of February 1874. The “Owego” was 75 feet long, 26 feet wide, capable of carrying 200 passengers. Unfortunately, she did not have the most auspicious start to her career. Putting the “Owego” into the river with 20 men aboard on April 6th was the easy part. All too soon, however, they realized her paddlewheels were too light and frequently simply stopped moving. But, that was easy enough to rectify – a man lay down on top of each wheel house, pushing the paddle wheels with his hands to keep them working! What a job that must’ve been! Having finally gotten the “Owego” into deeper water, things only went downhill from there. As they tried to bring her back to shore, someone misjudged and she stopped with a sudden thud on hitting the embankment. This sent several of the men sprawling flat out on the deck. Deciding to take the flatboat to shore (towed behind for emergency situations), the men got safely onto this small boat – only to find it couldn’t handle their weight, and it promptly sank. With chagrin, their only option left was swimming to shore, likely glad it was the middle of the night with few fans around to observe the indignity of it all. Sixteen days later, though, the “Owego” was steaming to Binghamton and back, and the Big Island was being cleared of brush where a dance hall and restaurant were to be built. “Old Joe,” the first caterer, fed all picnickers who came to the island for its opening day on Wednesday, June 10, 1874. Professor Raff’s cornet band provided entertainment on the “Owego”. Ever the entrepreneur and entertainer, “Old Joe” was ready for customers wearing Indian feathers and war paint on his face, and dubbed his restaurant “Hiawatha’s Wigwam.” Hiawatha Grove was the name for the eastern end of the island and of the train station on the opposite north shore (off Rt. 17C near Campville). Soon, though, the Big Island began to be known by the name of Hiawatha Island thanks to the showmanship of everyone’s favorite businessman, “Old Joe.” Over the ensuing nearly 20 years, the Hiawatha House hotel was built and eventually expanded to three stories with a dance hall, restaurant, and honeymoon suites, with its front balconies overlooking the river. Gravel strolling paths were made, with small “arbors” built along the paths to sell confections, cigars and lemonade. Games were played on the lawns of the island, and scull races were held on the river. Clam bakes were also quite popular, as was the dancing held until the early morning hours, keeping the steamboat busy at the dock. Many businesses and churches from local and numerous outlying communities soon found it a popular picnic destination spot over the years. In 1875, a new and better dock was built. It was 75 feet long with thirteen 16-foot-long piles driven to a depth of 10-1/2 feet. Sedore comments that nine of these original piles are still visible when the river level is down. This was another boom year for the island. In September, the “Owego” was sold with plans in the works for a new steamboat, the “Lyman Truman,” bigger and better at 120 feet long. She was launched March 9, 1876 from the riverbank just west of the Owego bridge, taking far longer to do so than expected. She broke the ropes as she lurched forward, gliding about a mile downstream before being stopped and held in place. Her engine and boiler were not yet completed; sadly, these, too, met with misfortune. The day before the “Lyman Truman’s” launching, the boiler exploded while being tested in a machine shop on Hawley Street in Binghamton. Parts flew upward and outward, some landing 500 feet away, another part embedded itself into the roadway, severing a gas pipe with noxious fumes filling the air. Two people were killed instantly, a third soon died from his injuries, and ten others received various light to severe injuries. By mid May, the “Lyman Truman” had a new boiler in place, just in time for the island’s full season. This was 1876, our nation’s centennial year, and celebrations were being held everywhere, with the island no exception. A great loss, however, was the passing of “Old Joe” in April, but the island’s summer calendar moved forward. The Hiawatha House hotel had just had its third floor added and was ready for the grand opening on June 7th of Hiawatha Grove on the Big Island. About 2000 people came for the July 4th centennial celebrations on the island. Even with a brief heavy shower, everyone was in high spirits. The Declaration of Independence was read along with prayer, a song, and a lengthy speech. Croquet and various lawn games were played, and bands provided music for dancing couples, along with a great deal of delicious food being consumed by those enjoying the day’s events. Every year, travel to the island was enjoyed by thousands. There were other steamers like “Helen,” “Welles,” “Glen Mary,” “Dora” and “Clara,” with the “Marshland” in use for the 1884 season after the “Truman” had been sold. In 1883, the crowds virtually disappeared with the “Lyman Truman” having been sold, as complaints began surfacing of island/hotel mismanagement in 1882. Now, with the “Marshland” operating in 1884, business picked up again with its 4th of July celebrations reportedly being better than ever with 3000 tickets sold for the day! People were coming from as far away as Elmira, Carbondale, PA, Auburn, NY, Waverly, Candor, Cortland, and, of course, Binghamton, Owego and Nichols. The Grand Army Association held its annual reunion of Civil War veterans with tremendous crowds attending. In fact, by the end of the 1884 season, “the Hiawatha House hotel register [showed] that…people had come to the island from twenty-six states and nine foreign countries.” (Sedore, p.85) In August 1887, Cyrenus LaMonte sold the Big Island, now known as Hiawatha Island, to Dr. S. Andral Kilmer and Company of Binghamton who later sold his half to his brother, Jonas M. Kilmer, in 1892. Apparently, Kilmer had stated he hoped to build a sanitarium on the island. Though the 1888 season was a great success, the island was never again used as a summer resort. The Big Island’s greatest days were unexpectedly silenced forever. The Kilmers made no announcements or promises for opening the 1889 season. The steamboats were leased or sold. Boats were not allowed to dock at the island by the Kilmers, and no one was allowed entrance to the island to observe how their work was coming on the new sanitarium. “The 1889 season came and went without the usual excursions to Hiawatha House and the grove. There was no dancing, bowling or billiards. Hiawatha was closed to the public.” (Sedore, p.111) Though small groups were occasionally allowed entrance to the hotel, the demise of the island’s success was obvious. Instead, the Kilmer family used it as their private family retreat. Sedore includes an 1890 photo of the Hiawatha House (Sedore, p.121, fig.32). Near the dock at the river’s edge, she stood tall, an elegant lady in white, an impressive four stories, with first and second floor balconies, and fourth floor dormers. In 1900, the island was sold by Jonas Kilmer, and a succession of various owners filed through the property in the ensuing decades. Hiawatha House was taken down in 1932 after falling into disrepair as other outbuildings either burned or collapsed with age. Aerial photos from 1900, 1937, and 1955 show how few trees remained on the island. From the highways today, it’s hard to tell what the interior of the island looks like beyond its border of trees along the river’s edge. It has been used during the 20th century for private family retreats and camping to dairy farming. I also recall that Hiawatha Island went on the auction block on August 20, 1988 following financial difficulties by its then current owner. Inquiries about purchasing the island came from Japan and the Arab countries, with an ad in the Boston Globe bringing ten phone calls in two days. Having heard a local land developer intended to purchase the island to strip-mine it, the Historic Owego Marketplace, Inc., also known as the Hiawatha Purchase Committee (a non-profit group of Owego business people), decided to purchase the island to protect it. They barely managed the successful bid at $351,000; yet, with a 10% buyer’s premium, the total purchase price was $386,100. Ultimately, the final cost was over $700,000 with interest payments and other expenses. Numerous people, volunteers, and businesses came together to help raise funds to pay off the purchase price, an accomplishment many thought impossible. A good number of fundraisers were held, with Noel “Paul” Stokey (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) coming to town to give a concert. After four years, the fundraising group was able to pay back those who had kindly loaned money to the purchase committee. An annual “Walk Through Time” was held on the island along with a Native American Pow-wow. When the Hiawatha Purchase Committee paid off their debt for the purchase in 1993, they turned their ownership over to the Waterman Conservation Education Center in Apalachin for perpetual conservation. The purchase committee insisted on restrictions to keep the island in a natural state forever, and that the name would always be Hiawatha Island. Waterman Center’s director, Scott MacDonald, has said, “From a naturalist’s standpoint, we preserved a very unique piece of land for the community. It truly is the ‘jewel’ of the river.” (Life in the Finger Lakes.com) “The Waterman Center plans to use the island for education classes on Native American civilizations, conservation, wildlife, and perhaps archeology.” (Sedore, p.220) In 2006, a family of bald eagles was actually spotted living on this now-protected island! And, I’m sure that many more eagles have made the island their home since then. What a legacy the Hiawatha Purchase Committee has left us for the future. In allowing the island to rest without commercial traffic, its use strictly limited under conservation guidelines, this gem of the Susquehanna once again shines in its natural state. BOOK SOURCE: Hiawatha Island: Jewel of the Susquehanna by Emma M. Sedore, pub. Tioga County Historical Society, March 1, 1994.
  8. 1 point
    With the election just a few weeks away I realized I have seen very little from the three candidates on the ballot. What are their platforms? What would they do differently, if anything, from the way the county has been run under the last administration? I know nothing about Emanuel. I have yet to see even a yard sign. The political field sheet here is the only reason I know he is on the ballot. I know Krusen worked under Santulli, but nothing else. I know quite a bit of about Moss and his resume, not sure what he is proposing for the future. Any comments which would help me build knowledge to make an informed decision, from either readers here or the candidates themselves, would greatly appreciated.
  9. 1 point
    Fellow citizens of Veteran and Catlin, the 1st District of Chemung county: who is your district legislator? Don’t know? Haven’t ever seen or talked with him? You are not alone. I haven’t had contact or received a questionnaire once in 16 years since his election and he lives not 500 yards from me. By contrast, Anthony Pucci, who is running against him has already been up to see me twice in the last 4 months , has called me once and has laid out an agenda that includes something I would love to see: getting high speed Internet up our way. If you are frustrated as I am with being in the electronic 3rd world, vote for Anthony. A former English teacher at Notre Dame for 40 years, he is a long-time resident, has past experience in local government, is fiscally conservative but progressive in his desire to improve the District. Best of all, Anthony Pucci is out there talking with folks about what they want to see in our neck of the woods. If it were possible, I’d love to see a debate between Anthony and his opponent. The English teacher in him would say we could then: “compare and contrast.” Jerry Fong Beaver Dams NY
  10. 1 point
    I am writing in support of Christina Sonsire for the Seventh District Seat for the Chemung County Legislature. I know her as a tireless advocate for the people she represents in her work, as a dedicated and fun soccer coach, and as an excellent mother and friend. Her blog, Chemung County Matters, investigates in-depth the challenges this county faces and she's not afraid of asking questions and proposing new ideas. She has been both a Republican and a Democrat and nurtures satisfying and respectful relationships with her friends in both parties. Her grasp of the law, her firsthand knowledge of the county, and her skill in bringing people to work together as teams are unparalleled. We in Chemung County are lucky to have her as a candidate who wants to serve her district and her county. Our district needs to send their best candidate to the county to work for what is best for us all. I ask that you vote for Christina Sonsire for Chemung County. Sincerely, Maggie Young Town of Elmira
  11. 1 point
    Hazlett Building: "The current plan is working, the current plan is working, the cu- whoops, election time. Change of plans."
  12. 1 point
    So , I Stopped by HQ to get a few yard signs this morning , talked to Rodney for a minute . One other young man already there followed me out giving me his rather colorful opinion of a couple candidates he obviously doesn’t care for . Race and sexual orientation were his biggest hang ups it seems . I stopped him mid rant explaining that he had every right to his opinion no matter how much I might disagree with his criteria for our Leaders thinking he might get the idea . Then while giving him my views and opinions on his rant he kept wanting to cut me off with his clearly bigoted ideals , or rather his lack of ideals . I know his type ... if standing in front of the very people he was belittling he would not , could not form an intelligent comment or thought . I left him with (again ) my thoughts as to his criteria for a good or bad Candidate and with me making mention that he might be better served to consider what that Candidate can do once in Office , no matter he viewed them !
  13. 1 point
    Thank you Linda ! I miss what we once were , when we knew where we stood ! I find I don’t like where we as a Country are headed . I have tried to be tolerant but I will not be bullied , I grew up being bullied and belittled , no , those days are over for me now ! I’ve earned my right to my opinion , I have , like many others given years of my life to uphold someone else’s Right to thier opinion . I too would rather agree to disagree , I like a spirited discussion from time to time ( ask my kids lol ) . But now in the face of some who refuse to try to be civil I find my survival instinct kicking in to defend my own ideals and sometimes I feel ashamed that I let them do that to me ! But as that is what we have been forced become all we can do is ask the Maker for Forgiveness and move through this World being the best person we can be . I hope you can find my point in all that mess as I’m not all that articulate . I leave that to Ann and others like Yourself . 😉
  14. 1 point
    As September fades into October, we’ve finished many outside tasks, though there are quite a few remaining undone. Those left-over things may begin my “To Do” list for 2019 (it’s good to have goals! ). There are gardeners who create cold frames and mulch their vegetables to extend the season. I did this myself once or twice. But at this stage in my life, I prefer to spend November and December with garden plans and seed catalogs inside the house. October allows me a short extension in which to plant some bulbs, a few perennials, and pull some weeds. However, the end of the gardening season is nigh. September has been challenging. I mentioned at the end of August that my sister, Betty, was in Hospice. She died the very day after sending that article out. While I feel a recurring emptiness at losing my sister, I am glad that she will no longer be in pain or be frustrated by growing weaker and less able. Betty was twelve years older than I ---- quite a gap when you are a kid. I remember her taking me to school once; I was probably three. I think I was her “show and tell” for her high-school classmates. After high school and RBI, when she was working, she bought me things that were probably outside the family budget at the time --- a white eyelet dress for a third or fourth-grade play and patent leather shoes for Easter. However, we didn’t become really well-acquainted as adults or close that generational gap until about three decades ago. We had lived miles apart so our contact was basically on holidays, with a few letters and cards here and there. When I came back to the Finger Lakes, it was easier for us to spend more time together. Betty was a very private person who didn’t open up easily. She liked good jazz, books, books and more books, and until she sold her home a few years ago, she had amazing gardens. She sewed when necessary, made yummy red raspberry and pecan pies and, when I was first married, gave me her recipe for one-egg white cake. She loved family gatherings, was generous with her home and her time in addition to enduring four sons who were motor cycle enthusiasts (she was not!!). Betty’s passing leaves me with no siblings. It is strange to now be the eldest of the family, but a situation to be expected, I guess, when one starts out so much the youngest. Fortunately, I have warm friends and wonderful nieces and nephews who will partially fill that relationship hole, though I suppose it never will be filled it in quite the same way. In addition to Betty’s sons, the whole clan, scattered as they are, will miss this woman who quietly provided good counsel, a welcoming house, cared deeply for family and made us all glad that she was one of us. Speaking of death is uncomfortable for many, but quite a few of us (writer and readers) are of the age when death becomes an unbidden intruder popping in and out of our thoughts. And for every person on this earth, of any age, it is not IF, but WHEN. In the event that one does not believe in any sort of life after death, I can understand the reluctance to think about it. But for those whose hearts and intuition are convinced that we simply move into another phase of life, we can look death squarely in the face ---- not perhaps with gladness ---- but certainly with a calm assurance that we will still be who we are. Two of the books that I’ve read recently treat death with humor and imagination, making the conversation a bit easier. They are Fannie Flagg’s “Can’t Wait To Get To Heaven” and “I Still Dream Of You.” They are not theological treatises but delightful and fantastic stories about people; imaginative stories about the hereafter. Here in the Spencer area, we’ve just experienced some seminars that dealt with issues around both aging and death, beginning with a “Death Café” and progressing to legal issues, palliative care and funerals. Participating has been both freeing and informative, and there were goodies to ease the conversation. We have two grandchildren, and having grandchildren makes one think --- of many things ---- one of them being how to talk of difficult issues like violence, war and death; how to explain a world that is far from their experience but is as close as the next newscast. Explaining death is easier than finding words for the hatred, anger and gnashing of teeth that are quite visible no matter what TV channel one watches. These are hard to justify to a clear-eyed child who lives in a loving family and a caring community. I think that even we adults have trouble comprehending it if we have always lived in a secure world, unexposed to violence, war, injustice or indoctrination. World and local situations now make us both fearful and irate, but at the same time, we haven’t a clue what to do with our fear or anger. We have been taught to stifle it, ignore it ---- neither of which works, long-term. Holding in distress makes us feel helpless, which makes us even angrier, and puts us in a place where we are apt to follow anyone who appears like a Superman or Wonder Woman. One of the fun things I remember receiving from an older friend was a “Dammit Doll”. I’ve seen them since in catalogs, but at the time I thought they were her personal invention. There’s a certain charm in having a sturdy stuffed doll that one can beat against the table as a venting tool. Most angry individuals are currently venting on other people. There seems to be no one cause for this viral, negative energy. It is coming from all sides, and ranges from persnickety discontent, to malice, to frothing at the mouth, to flaming, fanatical rage. It is scary because when rage takes over the mind, there’s no room left for thought. We’ve seen this in mass shootings, in road rage incidents, in individuals attacking other individuals over some small slight, of virulent postings on social media and in the thoughtless, spoken words of people in positions of authority, who should be more responsible and certainly more articulate. It is as though everyone’s mental filters have become dysfunctional. I’m not sure what the solution is --- perhaps there is no one solution. And admittedly, there are many things in this world to incite anger. But we need to learn how to channel that anger constructively. A few possibilities are: 1) anger-management classes, from first grade on up; practice in putting anger to work and solving problems in non-violent ways. Anger takes energy and surely that energy could be re-directed into something useful, 2) responsible examples from people in positions of leadership, 3) Remembering that “A soft answer turneth away wrath”,* and 4) ----- Hey ---- maybe making and sharing more “Dammit Dolls”!! Learning how to manage, express and use our anger constructively will surely lead to less fear, more empathy and clearer thinking. One of the things that brings happiness and keeps me balanced is staying in frequent contact with family and friends (often they are the same☺). Recently we had a family party here; we barbecued chicken, people brought food, and we spent a fine afternoon chatting, looking at old family photos and catching up on each other’s lives. The house rang with laughter. That filled up my happiness jar for several days. We can choose our attitudes; we have the option every day to choose calmness and beauty as our daily bread instead of allowing negativity to be our soup du jour. As September exits, I wish you days of good hours, enough quiet time for pondering, an inner feeling of completeness and ease and, no matter what your circumstances, a vision of all the things that bring you joy and peace. *The Book of Proverbs from The Bible
  15. 1 point
    At a ceremony held on Friday, Trooper Craig Foglia officially entered into retirement. Trooper Foglia was seriously injured May 17th, 2017, while conducting a traffic stop on St-86, in the town of Campbell when his vehicle was struck from behind by 78 year old Kenneth Aukett of New Jersey. Auckett was charged with several traffic violations including reckless driving. He later plead guilty to those charges. Foglia was seriously injured and hospitalized at Strong Memorial Hospital for nearly two months. There, he was surrounded by his wife, Kristina, mother and father, sister Lanette, medical staff from Strong Hospital and his entire State Police family. he was released from the hospital on July 12 2017 but faced months of rehabilitation and recovery. At the time of the crash, Foglia was a 14 year veteran of the State Police. Troop Commander, Major Eric Laughton presented Craig his retirement shield before dozens of troopers and family members.
  16. 1 point
    Cornell Cooperative Extension Of Broome County 840 Upper Front St, Binghamton NY https://www.facebook.com/events/2095403790681372/ Join Ginseng Expert Bob Beyfuss for a classroom presentation followed by woods walk. This program is designed to teach participant how to get started growing American ginseng on forested land in the Southern Tier. This class will begin by teaching you how to assess a forested site for suitability for growing wild simulated ginseng.The cost for the class is $25/person and you must pre-register as space is limited. Participants will receive a copy of The Practical Guide to Growing Ginseng by Bob Beyfuss.About our speaker: Bob Beyfuss retired from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County in 2009 where he served as the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leader and also as the NY State specialist for American Ginseng Production for CCE. Bob received his Bachelor's degree from Rutgers University in 1973, majoring in Botany and his Master's degree in Agriculture from Cornell University in 1987. His Master’s project was “The History, Use and Culti-vation of American Ginseng”. He is the author of "American Ginseng Production in NY State", "The Practical Guide to Growing Ginseng" (a 65 page grower’s guide), "Ginseng Production in Woodlots" "The Economics of Woodland Ginseng Production", (both published by the USDA National Agroforestry Center) “Growing Gourmet Mushrooms from A to Z” “Companion Planting” and several other fact sheets regarding ginseng, organic gardening and mushroom growing in forested environments. Bob is also an Internationally Certified Arborist. Priority is given to active service members or veterans in NYS.
  17. 1 point
    Meh ... not even interesting news anymore ! Same old “ din’t See’s nuttin “ .
  18. 1 point
    If someone told you that you could go back in time to a day of your choice and change it, would you? I asked one of my sisters that question and she immediately answered "No, I have no regrets". "I'm not talking about regrets" I said, "Is there any one day or incident that you would change if you could"? Her answer remained a firm "no". For me one moment in particular came to mind, a snowy day in January, 1978. "I would have left the laundry soap in the car" I told her. "Regret is a waste of time" she said. I didn't see it that way at the time but Sis was right, I was talking about regret. January, 1978, was a very snowy month and another storm had hit the area two or three days prior to that day so there was still a foot plus of snow on the ground. I was unloading the car after shopping for our second son's first birthday celebration. Maintainence for the apartment complex where we living had still not cleared the sidewalks so I was being careful. All bags were in the house except for the laundry soap. "Leave it" my husband said, "I'll bring it up later". I should have listened. While carrying that single bottle back to the apartment I slipped and fell. I don't know what happened because I didn't feel anything. There was enough snow to cushion my fall and all I was aware of was the loud pop I heard echo through the apartment buildings. Evidently, that was the sound of breaking bones. When I tried to get up I found I couldn't move. I tried a couple of times but I just couldn't move and I didn't know why. Luckily someone saw me fall and my struggle to move and the next thing I know Hubby's kneeling by me telling me not to move. My ankle was shattered and the two bones above the ankle were broke. I can still see the faces of my two little boys watching from the bedroom window as I was loaded into the ambulance. Their tears broke my heart. In the operating room they told me my toes were where my heel should have been. I was in a cast up to my hip from January until July and then a cast from the knee down until September. That was nothing compared to the fact that I missed my son's first birthday. To add further insult to injury, two weeks prior to the accident I had interviewed for a position as a nurse at the Elmira Psych Center. The call that the position was mine came while I was in the hospital so I had to decline the offer. Thinking about the four surgeries, bone grafts, many, many casts and knowing I have not had a pain free day in 40 years because of that accident I was positive. "Yep, the laundry soap would have stayed in the car that day", that's the moment I would have changed. But then I started thinking about how my life and that of my family's might have been different if I changed that moment all those years ago. Working at the Psych Center meant I wouldn't have taken the various jobs through the years working with several different lawyers, which in turn eventually led me to my last position as a Court Clerk. I would have met and worked with different people. I wouldn't have met my youngest son's wife who also worked at the same municipality. If I hadn't met her my son wouldn't have either and we wouldn't have the two wonderful grandchildren they gave us including our only granddaughter. So many little things that would have changed that I couldn't even realize or the effects those changes would cause. If I had been able to accept that position at the Psych Center I believe that eventually the home we bought would have been a different home. Our boys would have grown up in a different neighborhood, met different friends, probably worked at different jobs. It's also possible my other sons may not have met the wonderful women they would eventually marry. So many things probably would have changed, some minor but some could have been major and definitely life altering, possibly not at all positive. Changes that could have been much worse than a few broken bones. The difficulties we have dealt with through the years resulting from that snowy January day have made us the family we are now. My sons grew up seeing their father cooking, cleaning, doing dishes and laundry every time I was recovering from another surgery or was in a cast. He has always been and continues to be my helpmate. To this day he's always concerned about me falling. I'd like to believe that in some small way my sons are the caring, loving, hands on husbands and fathers they are because of the example set by their Dad through the years. I will admit to having many "why me" moments through the years and will probably have more of them in the years to come. I try to keep to myself during those moments because I will admit to sometimes being a bit irritable. Hubby always knows when I'm having a bad day. On the plus side I always know when it's going to rain or snow and that can come in handy. I have often joked that in a past life I was a very mean, unpleasant diva ballet dancer who is paying for her actions in this lifetime. Was that day just a random accident or did things happen exactly the way they were supposed to happen? A long time ago someone once told me that everything happens for a reason and I've come to believe that is true. I was wrong when I told my sister I wasn't talking about regrets because that's exactly what I was feeling. Regret for a choice I made on that long ago day and the consequences of that decision. I will admit Sis had more wisdon than I did at that time. Regrets are a waste of time and I now try not to let that emotion into my life. Despite the daily aching joints and difficulty walking most days, I wouldn't change that day or any other. All those days, moments and choices through the years have led me to where and who I am right this moment. It may not be a perfect life but it has been and continues to be a good life shared with those I love most. If offered the opportunity to go back in time and change any one day or moment of my choice my answer would also be a firm "no thank you". Have you ever had one of those moments? What would you do? All rights reserved.
  19. 1 point
    My former employer had a rule on just this thing . State of Emergency , no unnecessary travel not a excuse for calling in ... The County had to be Shut down or you were penalized with unauthorized absence. You could be butt deep in snow or water , make your way halfway to work , get turned around by Law Enforcement but if your County wasn’t shut down you were in for trouble . Might be why not all schools were closed ?
  20. 1 point
    I'm glad to know this meant alot to you, Hal and I appreciate your service (Navy? my brother is a 20-yr Navy vet, incl during the Gulf War). I totally agree with you re: MASH and The Waltons being shows with a message - awesome to know how much those shows meant to you and your friends in the service! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Hal
  21. 1 point
    Chemung County has a historic opportunity ahead of us. With nearly every county legislative district contested including the Executive position, the future of the county, sink or swim, rests largely in the hands of the voters. We have the choice of three candidates this year, all of them fine people I’m sure, but there is one I think will deliver the results that Chemung County not only wants, but needs: Sheriff Chris Moss. From Day One, Moss was the first candidate to propose a plan to redistribute sales tax monies back to municipalities throughout Chemung County. This includes the City of Elmira, whose financial woes have made up a large part of the news over the past couple years. Speaking of the City of Elmira, Chris has the ability to work with the city government, unencumbered by the current friction between county and city. He also has the managerial experience to oversee county affairs, and an established relationship with many within the city, town, and county governments. He is the sole candidate with both of those qualifications, I believe. For nearly 20 years the leadership of Chemung County has remained the same. That’s longer than any in the County Executive in the past, and frankly, far too long. Public service shouldn’t be a decades long career. Moss’s platform includes term limits: 2 consecutive 4 year terms for the County Executive, and 3 consecutive 4 year terms for County Legislators. Term limits are long overdue in all forms of government, and finally there’s a candidate who wants to make them happen, if only on the local level. It’s time for a fresh start in Chemung County, someone with not only vision but a track record of getting things done. I fully support Sheriff Chris Moss for Chemung County Executive. Chris Sherwood, Lowman
  22. 0 points
    Farmland Animal Park, located on Wynkoop Creek Road in the Town of Chemung, sustained heavy damages due to flooding from last week's rainfall, including the loss of several animals. Photo courtesy Farmland Animal Park Facebook page. The 18 acre park which offers a chance for visitors to visit and feed farm animals as well as tractor rides and other activities, sits next to the Wynkoop Creek. When the creek overflowed early last Tuesday morning, the park's owners immediately responded and began rescuing animals in danger, including a litter of pigs. They weren't able to get to all the animals however, losing a half dozen goats and several chickens to the floodwaters. Park owner Dave Mazzarese says the park will rebuild and hopes that people will come, spend some money, and enable him to build the park up better than it was before. In the meantime, the park has put out the call for help cleaning up the debris left behind from the flooding. A clean up day is scheduled for September 29th starting at 9am. For more information about the clean up efforts go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1892270464187660/.
  23. 0 points
    Horseheads School District went on "lockout" mode this morning after police say a man robbed a nearby Rite Aid store. According to Horseheads Police Chief Thomas Stickler, at approximately 10 a.m. a man entered the Rite Aid Store located at 2144 Grand Central Ave in Horseheads. He is described as a black male, tall – 6’3”, thin build, facial hair, wearing a blue hoodie, blue jeans, blue baseball cap with an American flag on the front, white t shirt and black sneakers. Police say after a few minutes in the store, the subject jumped over the pharmacy counter, grabbed a small amount of a liquid controlled substance and fled out the front door on foot, last seen running westbound on Grand Central Avenue. No one was injured or threatened and no weapon was displayed, Stickler says. The Horseheads High School and Center Street Elementary school were briefly placed on “Lockout” as a precautionary measure due to the proximity of the event. "Lockout" means the inside of the school is safe, but no one is allowed to enter or leave the school. The lockout was lifted shortly before noon. The Horseheads Police Department was assisted at the scene by Elmira Heights Police, New York State Police and the Chemung County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone with any information is requested to contact the Horseheads Police Department at 607.739.5669.
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