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JUNE 2014

Making tracks Family fuels dirt track dreams

mix and match PLUS Southwest Daylilies for all Geothermal heat pumps


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FACTORY DIRECT SAVINGS How does Harbor Freight sell great quality tools at the lowest prices? We buy direct from the same factories who supply the expensive brands and pass the savings on to you. It’s just that simple! Come in and see for yourself why over 25 million satisfied customers and leading automotive and consumer magazines keep talking about our great quality and unbeatable prices. Visit one of our 500 Stores Nationwide and use this 20% Off Coupon on one of over 7,000 products*, plus pick up a Free 6 Piece Screwdriver Set, a $4.99 value. • We Will Beat Any Competitor’s Price Within 1 Year Of Purchase • No Hassle Return Policy • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed




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If You Buy Tools Anywhere Else, You're Throwing Your Money Away

JUNE Vol. 49 • No. 6 Peter A. Fitzgerald EDITOR

Katherine Hackleman S E N I OR E D I T O R / W R I T E R

James Dulley Janette Hess Barbara Martin Marcus Schneck


KEEPING CURRENT News items from across the Commonwealth


W. Douglas Shirk L AYOU T & DESI GN



Making tracks

Vonnie Kloss A D V E R T I S I N G & CI R C U L A T I O N

Family fuels dirt track dreams

Michelle M. Smith M E D I A & M A R K E T I N G S P E CI A L I S T

14 Penn Lines (USPS 929-700), the newsmagazine of Pennsylvania’s electric cooperatives, is published monthly by the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, 212 Locust Street, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1266. Penn Lines helps 165,800 households of co-op consumermembers understand issues that affect the electric cooperative program, their local coops, and their quality of life. Electric co-ops are not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed, and taxpaying electric utilities. Penn Lines is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. The opinions expressed in Penn Lines do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, or local electric distribution cooperatives. Subscriptions: Electric co-op members, $5.42 per year through their local electric distribution cooperative. Preferred Periodicals postage paid at Harrisburg, PA 17107 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes with mailing label to Penn Lines, 212 Locust Street, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1266. Advertising: Display ad deadline is six weeks prior to month of issue. Ad rates upon request. Acceptance of advertising by Penn Lines does not imply endorsement of the product or services by the publisher or any electric cooperative. If you encounter a problem with any product or service advertised in Penn Lines, please contact: Advertising, Penn Lines, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Penn Lines reserves the right to refuse any advertising.



Memories from our members

14A C O O P E R AT I V E



Information and advice from your local electric cooperative


TIME LINES Your newsmagazine through the years



Backyard power packs: the challenge of integrating solar energy into the grid 20


Southwest mix and match 21



Daylilies for all 22




Geothermal heat pumps provide heating, cooling advantages 25


A tale of two oaks, part one Board officers and staff, Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association: Chairman, Leroy Walls; Vice Chairman, Tim Burkett; Secretary, Lanny Rodgers; Treasurer, Rick Shope; President & CEO, Frank M. Betley


Thoughts from Earl Pitts– Uhmerikun!

© 2014 Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

Visit with us at Penn Lines Online, located at: pennlines.asp. Penn Lines Online provides an email link to Penn Lines editorial staff, information on advertising rates, and an archive of past issues.


Earl puts out the Gone Fishin’ sign





Beauty surrounds us

Dakota Foor, a Bedford Rural Electric Cooperative member, races No. 31D in the ‘pure stock’ division at Bedford Speedway. Photo by Jason Walls

JUNE 2014 • PENN



KEEPINGcurrent Greig seeks to expand markets for ag products Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary George Greig targeted emerging markets in Northeast China during a recent agricultural products trade mission. Undertaken in partnership with Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development’s Office of International Business Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, the trip included meetings with Chinese buyers and government leaders to establish connections and determine potential trade partnerships with Pennsylvania companies.


The 2014 Gettysburg Seminar includes discussions about the Soldiers’ National


Pennsylvania shipped $238 million in agricultural products to China in 2013, up 41 percent from 2012. China is the second-largest market for Pennsylvania hardwoods, importing $163.1 million in lumber, logs, furniture and paper products in 2013. The trade mission was privately funded by the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, a nonprofit that works with government to enhance Pennsylvania through business growth, education and workforce development, and government efficiency.

2014 Gettysburg Seminar to focus on unfinished work

TRADE MISSION: Pennsylvania

Agriculture Secretary George Greig, left, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Service Michael Scuse hold Snyder’s of Hanover cheddar cheese bites in a Chinese Sam’s Club. The manufacturing plant is located in York County. 4



The 2014 Gettysburg Seminar, “The Unfinished Work: Abraham Lincoln, David Wills and the Soldiers’ National Cemetery,” is scheduled for Sept. 12-14. Sponsors are the Gettysburg National Military Park, the Gettysburg Foundation and Harrisburg Area Community College - Gettysburg Campus.

The event will include a Friday evening panel discussion with Gettysburg historians. Civil war historians, National Park Service rangers, and battlefield guides will present a series of lectures on Saturday and Sunday at various locations in Gettysburg. Guided battlefield walks and horse tours will be offered. A light dinner on Saturday night will include music and a presentation by historian David Kincaid, best known as a consultant and performer in the movie, “God and Generals.” There is a fee to participate in the seminar, which is limited to 240 people. For more information or to register, go to the park’s website at or call 717-334-1124, extension 3251.

Projections show Pennsylvania’s population increasing The population of Pennsylvania is projected to increase between 2010 and 2040 with 48 counties projected to gain population and 19 counties projected to

lose population, according to a recent study by Penn State Harrisburg’s Institute of State and Regional Affairs for the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. By 2040, according to the projections, the state’s population will exceed 14 million. Rural counties are expected to experience a 4 percent population increase; while urban counties are projected to see a 14 percent increase. The increase is due in large part to in-migration (people moving into the state) with more than 85 percent of the in-migration coming from people moving to the state from other countries. For more information, visit the center’s website,

‘Kids in Nature’ program unveiled The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has unveiled a new program, “Kids in Nature,” that renews a focus on getting Pennsylvania’s families to spend more time enjoying the outdoors.

of the state’s natural resources. The program has a new website,, which is aimed at raising the awareness of existing opportunities in Pennsylvania’s parks and forests for connecting children to the wonders of nature, as well as getting them actively involved in recreation and educational programs.

Vehicle traffic on rural roads declining Vehicle traffic on rural county roadways declined 6 percent from 2008 to 2012, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In urban areas, the decline in the number of daily vehicle miles traveled was 8 percent. Pennsylvania ranked second among the 26 states with declines in annual vehicle miles traveled. The counties with the highest decrease in daily vehicle miles traveled were Allegheny (21 percent), Juniata (21 percent), and Erie (18 percent), while the counties with the highest increase in daily vehicle miles traveled were Bradford (22 percent), Sullivan (11 percent), and Tioga (8 percent). During the same time period, there has been a 2 percent increase in the number of rural licensed drivers and a 3 percent increase in the number of urban licensed drivers. The number of registered vehicles in the state has also increased (2 percent in rural counties and 1 percent in urban counties).

Record-low number of huntingrelated shooting incidents Child advocates are concerned that the lack of outdoor activities has a detrimental effect on children’s mental and physical health, and environmental stewards worry that the younger generation’s disconnect to the outdoors will mean that as adults they will be less likely to be personally committed to the protection

For the second consecutive year, hunters in Pennsylvania have rewritten history as it relates to safe hunting. The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) reports a record low 27 hunting-related shooting incidents in 2013. PGC officials have been tracking incidents since 1915, and before 2013, there

had never before been fewer than 33 incidents reported during a calendar year (there were 33 incidents reported in 2012). Officials say rules that require hunters to wear orange during many of the hunting seasons, plus ongoing hunter-education efforts, are behind the trend. Two of the incidents reported in 2013 were fatal, and nine of the 27 incidents with an identified offender resulted from individuals with 10 or fewer years of hunting experience. The leading causes of hunting-related shooting incidents in 2013 were unintentional discharge of a firearm and a victim being in the line of fire (each accounting for one-third of the total).

PSU students take top honors in national wind energy competition Student members of the Remote Wind Power Systems Unit from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) received top honors at the first Collegiate Wind Competition, held May 5-7, 2014, in Las Vegas. Held in conjunction with the American Wind Energy Association’s annual conference, the competition calls for the designing, testing, and building of a small wind turbine. The Penn State team competed against nine other collegiate teams to clinch the championship with the highest cumulative score. Teams put their wind turbines through rigorous performance testing, developed business plans, and delivered formal presentations on market opportunities for their designs. In addition to their overall win, the audience awarded the Penn State team with the People’s Choice Award for the best business pitch presentation. The winning turbine is displayed at the U.S. Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, D.C., this month. l JUNE 2014 • PENN






Ask Emily By Emily Thacker

Jane King Editor/Research

Dear Emily: I’m allergic to perfumes, chemical smells plus many other things. Cleaning has gotten to be a problem as manufactures seem to think everything has to have a fragrance in their product. Can you recommend to me a natural way to freshen my room and air? – B.A., Newport, PA

Dear B.A.: Vinegar is the cleaner of choice for those with allergies, asthma or a sensitivity to harsh chemicals. Cleaners you make yourself cost pennies, instead of the dollars supermarket cleaners cost. And, what is much more significant, the compounds you put together are safe, natural and easy on the environment. I will give you my natural Fresh Air freshener from page 134 of my latest book The Vinegar Anniversary Book. Put the following into a pump spray bottle: 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 2 cups of water. After the foaming stops, put on the lid and shake well. Spray this mixture into the air for instant freshness. Hello Emily: I have a situation that I need additional guidance on and am hoping you will be able to assist me. I have a natural limestone walled shower and a natural slate shower floor. I also have very hard water that leaves behind white powdery mineral deposits that stain the stone The mineral deposits do not come up with steam, scrubbing or with natural stone cleaner. I’ve read many very conflicting reports on the use of vinegar on natural stone. Any suggestions, resources or insights that you can offer would be very much appreciated. Thank You, – C. A., King of Prussia, PA Dear C.A.: Yes, vinegar could eventually etch the limestone and slate. And, yes it will do a very good job of removing the powdery mineral deposits in your shower. You will probably find that anything that will dissolve the mineral deposits will also dissolve the limestone, as they are both composed of the same material. You might find that a quick rinse with vinegar, followed by a thorough rinse with lots of cool water will minimize the damage it could do. You may also want to look into the benefits of a water softener to minimize the problem. Emily Thacker is the author of over 17 books. Her best-selling books about common household products have appeared in newspapers and publications across the U.S. including USA Today, USA Weekend, Parade Magazine, The History Channel Magazine and The Saturday Evening Post. Send Questions to: Emily Thacker C/O James Direct, Inc., 500 S. Prospect Ave., Box 980, Hartville, Ohio 44632. If interested in Emily’s latest book and a FREE Special Bonus please see the articles on the next two pages titled “Vinegar, Better than Prescription Drugs?” or “Why Diet? Try Vinegar!”

Vinegar, Better than Prescription Drugs?


housands of years ago ancient healers trusted apple cider vinegar, and modern research shows vinegar truly is a wonder cure! In fact, apple cider vinegar’s biggest fans believe this golden liquid can help solve the most troublesome of human afflictions. Since even the earliest of times a daily vinegar cocktail was used to help control appetite to lose weight and continue good health. And now after years of continued research all across the globe, over 1000 new vinegar super-remedies and tonics are available in the brand new 208-page Vinegar Anniversary Book by famed natural health author, Emily Thacker. From the Bible to Cleopatra to the fierce Samurai warriors of Japan, vinegar has been documented as a powerful tonic to ensure strength, power and long life. Today’s research studies and scientific reports continue to praise the healing powers of vinegar to maintain good health and well being. Even grandma knew that her old remedies worked even if she wasn’t able to explain why. And scientific research confirms this. For instance, grandma said putting diluted vinegar in the ears would ward off infections. The American Academy of Otolaryngology’s doctors – who specialize in treating infections like swimmer’s ear - now recommend using a vinegar mixture as a preventative. The Yale-New Haven hospital uses vinegar as a hospital disinfectant. When after-surgery eye infections became a problem, their Department of Bacteriology solved it with vinegar. Food poisoning? Some doctors suggest that regular vinegar use can prevent it! You’ll get easy recipes that mix vinegar with

other common household items to help: calm an upset stomach, ease leg cramps, soothe sprained muscles, control appetite to lose weight, relieve coughs, banish nausea, arthritis pain, make hiccups disappear, cool a sunburn, boost memory, reduce sore throat pain, relieve itchy skin, lower blood pressure & cholesterol, eliminate bladder infections, chase away a cold, treat burns, reduce infection, aid digestion, improve memory, soothe sore feet, treat blemishes & age spots, remove corns & calluses, replace many household cleaners. 50 years ago a daily dose of an apple cider vinegar and honey tonic was used to ease arthritis. During the last 30 years or so, many wonder drugs have replaced this timetested home remedy. Now vinegar, along with countless other old-time tonics, have new supporters including many medical professionals. The reason? Almost everybody has experienced the negative side of some of the powerful new drugs. Strep and Staph infections? Vinegar is a powerful antiseptic and kills even these dangerous bacteria on contact. Headaches will fade away with this simple vinegar concoction. Feel good and look good with these hair and skinfriendly vinegar remedies. You’ll learn when you should and should not use vinegar. Join readers like L.S. of Monroe, N.C. who says “Thanks, this book is wonderful. A real life saver for me!” Find different ways to combine vinegar with common foods like lemon juice, blueberries, onion, strawberries, garlic, honey, ginger and more to create recipes to help improve health and quality of life. All new ideas to put vinegar to work around

the home to clean, disinfect and eliminate mold and mildew. Great for those with allergies or asthma! Save money as you put Emily’s latest discoveries to the test! Yes that’s over 1000 tried-and-true remedies and recipes in this handsome collector’s edition and it’s yours to enjoy for 90-risk free days. That’s right, you can read and benefit from all 208pages without obligation to keep it. To get your copy of the Vinegar Anniversary Book direct from the publisher at the special introductory price of $12.95 plus 3.98 shipping and handling (total of $16.93, OH residents please add 6.5% sales tax) simply do this: Write “Vinegar Anniversary” on a piece of paper and mail it along with your check or money order payable to: James Direct Inc., Dept. VA2386, 500 S. Prospect Ave., Box 980, Hartville, Ohio 44632. You can charge to your VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express by mail. Be sure to include your card number, expiration date and signature. Want to save even more? Do a favor for a relative or friend and order 2 books for only $20 postpaid. It’s such a thoughtful gift. Remember: It’s not available in book stores at this time. And you’re protected by the publisher’s 90-Day Money Back Guarantee. SPECIAL BONUS Act promptly and you’ll also receive The Very Best Old-Time Remedies booklet absolutely FREE. It’s yours to keep just for previewing “The Vinegar Anniversary Book.” Supplies are limited. Order today. This was excerpted from an advertorial in USA Weekend.


Why Diet? Try Vinegar!

LETTERS Dentist Recommends Vinegar

Eat and lose pounds the healthy way. I I

f you want to lose weight and keep it off -- hate dieting and are tired of taking pills, buying costly diet foods or gimmick “fast loss” plans that don’t work-you’ll love the easy Vinegar way to lose all the pounds you want to lose. And keep them off! Today, the natural Vinegar weight loss plan is a reality after years of research by noted vinegar authority Emily Thacker. Her just published book “Vinegar Anniversary” will help you attain your ideal weight the healthiest and most enjoyable way ever. You’ll never again have to count calories. Or go hungry. Or go to expensive diet salons. Or buy pills, drugs. You’ll eat foods you like and get a trimmer, slimmer figure-- free of fat and flab-- as the pounds fade away. To prove that you can eat great and feel great while losing ugly, unhealthy pounds the natural Vinegar way, you’re invited to try the program for up to 3 months on a “You Must Be Satisfied Trial.” Let your bathroom scale decide if the plan works for you. You must be satisfied. You never risk one cent. Guaranteed. What’s the secret? Modern research combined with nature’s golden elixir. Since ancient times apple cider vinegar has been used in folk remedies to help control weight and speed-up the metabolism to burn fat. And to also aid overall good health. Now-- for the first time -Emily has combined the latest scientific findings and all the weight loss benefits of vinegar into a program with lifetime benefits-- to melt away pounds for health and beauty. If you like food and hate dieting, you’ll love losing pounds and inches the Vinegar way. Suddenly your body will be energized with new vigor and zest as you combine nature’s most powerful, nutritional foods with vinegar to trim away pounds while helping the body to heal itself. You’ll feel and look years younger shedding unhealthy

pounds that make one look older than their age. According to her findings, staying trim and fit the Vinegar way also provides preventive health care against the curses of mankind-- cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure and other maladies. In fact, the book’s program is so complete that it also helps you: s ,EARNSECRETSOFAGELESSBEAUTY and glowing skin s Help build the immune system, to fight arthritis and disease s 3PEED THE METABOLISM TO USE natural thermogenesis to burn fat PLUS so much more that you simply must use the book’s easy Vinegar way to lose all the weight you want to lose-and enjoy all its other benefits-before deciding if you want to keep it. To Lose Pounds and Enjoy a 90-Day No-Risk Trial... Do This Now To Get Your Personal Copy of the Book: Simply write “Vinegar Anniversary” on a piece of paper and send it with your check or money order of only $12.95 plus $3.98 shipping and handling (total of $16.93, OH residents please add 6.5% sales tax) to: James Direct, Inc. Dept. VA2386 500 S. Prospect Ave., Box 980 Hartville, Ohio 44632 You can charge to your VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express by mail. Be sure to include your card number, expiration date and signature. Remember: You’re protected by the publisher’s 90-Day Money Back Guarantee if you are not delighted. WANT TO SAVE MORE? Do a favor for a relative or friend and get 2 books for the low introductory price of $20 postpaid. You save $13.86. Special Bonus - Act promptly to also receive “The Very Best Old-Time Remedies” booklet absolutely FREE. Supplies are limited so order now.

have some useful advice that others may be interested in. When I got my Dentures several years ago, the Dentist told me use vinegar to get the plaque off them. So - about once a week I soak them in the wonder liquid and Presto - they sparkle. I have since gotten implants - Since I am not fond of the hygienist scraping the posts for cleaning - I clean them with Vinegar before going for my check-up. On my last visit to her, she couldn’t believe how clean they were and praised me for it! I then asked the Dentist that put the implants in if the vinegar would harm the metal posts and he informed me it is OK to use it. - D. L., New Braunfels, Tx.

Vinegar Heals Ear Ache in 2 days.


have been plagued with an itchy ear for several months. It then developed into an earache. I was able to cure both the itch and earache in two days. - J. D., Jacksonville, Fl.

Vinegar Diet helps mother of the Bride


his is kind of embarrassing, but here goes. My name is Sarah Pierce. I am 58 years old, and through the years (in my mind’s eye) I always thought I looked pretty decent. Especially so when our second daughter was married. I really considered myself a rather ‘smashing’ Mother of the Bride. That is, until the wedding pictures came back. I just couldn’t believe it. Here I am, definitely portly - not lean and svelte like I thought. Unfortunately the camera doesn’t lie. Since then, I heard about Emily Thacker’s Vinegar Diet and decided to give it a try. What surprised me most was how much I could eat yet I was losing weight and inches. It was like I was getting thin, thinner and thinner yet with the Vinegar Diet. I just thought you should know. - S. P., N. Canton, Oh.

NEWS & RESEARCH Simple Vinegar used to reduce cervical cancer deaths by 31%


he latest study about vinegar, shows it will prevent an estimated 72,600 deaths from cervical cancer each year. This according to a study released at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago, IL. The results were based over a 12 year period tracking 150,000 women in Mumbai, India, between the ages of 35-64 years. The conclusion, a simple vinegar test significantly reduces cervical cancer deaths. Immediate plans are to implement this simple and successful screening test in developing countries. The study had been planned for 16 years, but after the results were analyzed and found to be conclusive it was stopped at 12 years. Vinegar has always been used for its versatility in home remedies, cooking and cleaning. And now scientific and medical findings are showing its a simple, low cost, non-invasive and safe for the patient.

Scarlett Johansson confesses her apple cider vinegar beauty secret


hen celebrity beauty Scarlett Johansson needs to keep her skin looking beautiful and glowing one would think she would turn to high priced beauty creams. Not so, according to an article in the February 2013 issue of Elle UK. She uses simple apple cider vinegar and its natural pH balancing properties to keep her skin looking amazing. *Testimonials are atypical, your weight loss may be more or less.

©2014 JDI VA180S04


Making tracks Family fuels dirt track dreams By K at h y H ac k l e m a n S e n i o r E d i t o r / Wr i t e r

IF ANYONE was destined to be a race car driver, it was 21-year-old Dakota Foor, who is in his second year of competing in the pure stock class at Bedford Speedway. “My mom tells me that she brought me home from the hospital, changed my clothes and we all went to the races,” Dakota says with a laugh. His earliest memories involve sitting on a pickup tailgate on the Bedford Speedway backstretch, watching his heroes fly around the dirt track. His childhood bedroom was decorated with photos of local racing great Jack Pencil. While it’s often said that people who are involved in dirt track racing are like a “family,” Dakota’s relatives actually do comprise one of south central Pennsylvania’s best-known racing families. He is the grandson of Darrel Chamberlain, the first of three racing Chamberlain brothers that include Gerald and Miles, son of Lori

JUST A BLUR: Drivers in the 410 Sprint class are moving fast at the April 5 race at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown. Lincoln Speedway is served by Adams Electric Cooperative.




Chamberlain Foor and former race car driver Jeff Foor, and cousin of current drivers Rick Chamberlain and Chris Chamberlain. Dakota’s race car was built by his great uncle, Miles Chamberlain, and his shop, as well as his cousin Chris’ shop, is located at his grandfather’s house. All of the Foors and Chamberlains live in the Everett-Bedford area and are members of Bedford Rural Electric Cooperative. “I grew up around the race track and I love racing,” Dakota says. “I still get chills every time we pull into the pits. It’s an exciting feeling, and I am happy to be here every single week. I dread the offseason, and I look forward to Fridaynight races all week.”

Family connections In addition to providing a shop location for Dakota’s car, Darrel Chamberlain also has provided much inspiration for

his grandson over the years. In addition to helpful tips, he also provided what has proven to be invaluable advice: “Go out and learn from your mistakes.” These days, Darrel Chamberlain, a cancer survivor, is always with Dakota in spirit even if he’s not at the track watching the race. The word “Pap,” a salute to the grandfather who has been instrumental in helping him live his dream, is written on Dakota’s roll bar where he sees it every time he enters or exits his race car. Family connections also live on in the number of Dakota’s race car: 31D. Several family members — starting back two generations ago — also ran under the number 31, and his older cousin Chris, who drives in the semi-late class, uses the number 31C.


Saying he does not take a moment of his dream for granted, Dakota nevertheless is already planning to expand his horizons. His short-term goal is to win a heat race, then a feature. Longer term, he wants to move beyond his hometown track in a semi-late, a step up from his pure stock class. When that happens, his 16-year-old sister, Delayne Foor, has her eye on the current red, white and blue No. 31D. The siblings’ brother, Dylan, 18, spends his time at the track helping the drivers. Dakota’s dad, Jeff, heads up his son’s behind-the-scenes team. In addition to working at the track on race days, Jeff also spearheads the work involved in getting team sponsors and setting up their advertising logos on Dakota’s car. He backs his son’s goals 100 percent, and feels confident that Dakota is on his way to achieving them. As a former race car driver himself, he knows the highs and lows that come with dirt track racing. But it also provides him with the background to understand that, while racing provides an adrenaline rush, the sport

actually is much safer than it might appear at first glance. “I know the cars are safe,” Jeff emphasizes. “Of course, there is a danger factor involved in racing, and that’s a choice we make. But from being around Miles (Chamberlain) when he builds the cars, I know the car is safe. Miles doesn’t build anything that isn’t safe.”

Staying focused Paul Kot, a United Electric Cooperative member from Brockway, is also from a

Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative member Chad Hollenbeck races at multiple tracks in Pennsylvania and Maryland, always driving car No. 4-D’s in honor of his four children (Devin, Dempsey, Dylan and Delaney).


racing family. The 32-year-old Kot races almost exclusively these days at Hummingbird Speedway in Reynoldsville. In his 10th year of racing, Kot usually runs a steel-block, late-model car, but this year he’s also racing a street stock car owned by his brother, Joe, as Joe is sidelined from

JUNE 2014 • PENN



PENNlines a shoulder injury. The siblings’ father, Mike, is a former race car driver who assists his sons in the pit. Kot began racing in the pure stock class back in 2003. He raced in that class for four years, then took a year off and returned in the late-model class. He says he found there is a significant difference in the classes in driving style, horsepower, wheel size, how the cars react and level of competition. “Initially, my dad was able to give me tips in the pure stock class because he had

Hitting pay dirt The business of dirt track racing By K at h y H ac k l e m a n S e n i o r E d i t o r / Wr i t e r

THERE’S NO question that dirt track racing is a popular weekend sport — it involves the drivers and the crowds who come to cheer them on at nearly 1,500 race tracks across the country, including dozens of tracks in Pennsylvania. But it’s also a business for the full-time, behind-the-scenes participants. Hummingbird Speedway owner Louis Caltagarone, a member of DuBois-based United Electric Cooperative, is a former race car driver, but he has spent two decades focusing on his role as track owner. Those two decades, however, were separated by 25 years. The speedway originally opened in 1964, then closed in 1975, and reopened in 2000. The 1/3-mile track in Reynoldsville hosts different combinations of late models, limited late models, steel-block late models, street stock, pure stock, front-wheel drives and 270 Sprint cars on Saturday nights from early April through September. Caltagarone says keeping the track in top-notch operating condition is a labor of love, but one that requires a lot of hours. “We work to keep a good clay surface (even though the term ‘dirt track’ racing is commonly used, most tracks feature a clay surface), and throughout the week, our work includes cutting the grass, cleaning the area and making sure the entire area is safe for spectators and drivers,” he says. But the key to keeping the business




been a driver,” Kot reports. “When I switched classes, I learned from watching other people, searching the internet and getting pointers from fellow racers who were willing to help.” He’s been lucky, he says, as he has wrecked, but not badly enough to be seriously injured or do serious damage to his car. He feels safe because of the way race cars are designed, although he says focus is critical to surviving — and thriving. “There’s a lot going on while you’re out on the track,” he says. “You’re thinking,

‘Stay smooth, stay focused on others so you don’t get caught up in a wreck, go as fast as you can.’ We don’t have spotters or mirrors in the cars, and there might be people beside you and behind you. You have to always keep an eye on them to keep them from passing you, while at the same time try to figure out how to pass the guy in front of you.” In his late-model, Kot gets up to 90 to 95 miles an hour at the entry to a corner, providing an adrenaline rush that he compares to making a high school football

afloat, he notes, is his time spent selling advertising, especially since he tries to keep admission costs low enough so it is affordable for families and senior citizens. He wants as many people as possible to be able to experience the world of dirt track racing that he first joined back in the 1960s as a driver. Even after he opened Hummingbird Speedway in 1964, he continued to work on cars, designing safer models. “I looked at some of the cars that were running at the track, and I thought I could build a better, safer car,” he recalls. “I made a model of a car and braced it up in different ways in case it

rolled over. I welded it all around and put gussets in the corners. I made a car that you could roll over 10 times in and you could stay in it without getting hurt.” Caltagarone has always stressed the importance of attention to detail and keeping people safe, first during his own racing career, then as a builder of race cars, and now as a speedway operator. “The key is keeping everyone safe,” he says, noting that he has upward of 20 members of the Falls Creek Fire Department onsite during a race to provide firefighting services and emergency care. Across the state, it’s a different race-

John Goshorn, a member of Valley Rural Electric Cooperative and the owner of Goshorn Racing Supplies, stands in his parts trailer. Goshorn takes the parts trailer and tire trailer (shown in the background) to Port Royal Speedway, Bedford Speedway and Hesston Speedway. BEHIND THE SCENES:

who have backgrounds in racing, Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative member Chad Hollenbeck is a first-generation race car driver. Despite that disadvantage, he has succeeded at community dirt tracks and usually races in the super late-model class twice a week now at the tracks in Selinsgrove and Port Royal in Pennsylvania, and Hagerstown, Md. “I have to say I was totally unaware of racing until I was about 29 years old,” he admits. “That has been a disadvantage for me. My crew knew very little about rac-

touchdown. “Everyone is standing up and cheering for you,” he says. “It makes you feel on top of the world.” Kot took one checkered flag for a firstplace finish in 2013. That place in the winner’s circle is one he wants to repeat in 2014.

Late start

track — Lincoln Speedway at Abbottstown — but the backgrounds of many of the people involved in the track are similar. Wayne Harper is the announcer and advertising salesman for Lincoln Speedway, a member of Gettysburg-based Adams Electric Cooperative, a 3/8thmile banked clay oval that has been continuously operating since 1953 offering weekly Sprint car racing. Harper has been involved in racing since he was a kid, hanging out at Williams Grove Speedway, a 1/2-mile oval track in Mechanicsburg where his dad worked as a security guard. Harper began his announcing career at Williams Grove back in 1980. An avid race fan himself, Harper for years worked three nights a week at area race tracks. He would call play-by-play for radio/internet at Williams Grove Speedway on Fridays, do public relations work at Lincoln Speedway on Saturdays and announce at what is now Susquehanna Speedway Park on Sundays. He now serves as communications director at Trail-Way Speedway near Hanover on Fridays and track announcer at Lincoln Speedway on Saturdays. He’s seen some changes through the years — the cars are faster now, he says, sometimes hitting 130 miles an hour down the stretch with 85-90 common in the turns — but there aren’t many other changes. “The sport itself stays pretty much the same,” Harper says. “This area of Pennsylvania is known as a hot bed of dirt track racing. All kinds of well-known drivers started at tracks like this. Jeff Gordon, Dave Blaney, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart. They all came out of Sprint cars, a lot of them out of this division.” Speaking of Kahne, the well-known


While many race car drivers — like Foor and Kot — grew up attending dirt track races and have family members

ing. We were just a group of guys who had a common interest who had to learn the hard way as we went along.” Hollenbeck credits — or blames, depending on his mood — former Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative employee Jamie Griffiths with getting him involved in racing. Hollenbeck, who began work in the early 1990s as a cooperative lineman working alongside Griffiths, says Griffiths would come to work every Monday morning describing his weekend of racing. “I would say to him, ‘Jamie, I don’t

CHECKERED FLAG: Paul Kot, a member of United Electric Cooperative, takes a victory lap around the track after winning in the late-model class at Hummingbird Speedway in Reynoldsville. The track is also served by the cooperative.

NASCAR Sprint car driver who has raced often in central Pennsylvania is behind the creation of the “Dirt Classic Presented by Kasey Kahne” on Sept. 27 at Lincoln Speedway. The Sprint car race winner will receive $20,000, the largest single-race payout in the track’s 60-year history. The total purse will top $50,000. Two drivers — the winners of pre-qualifying races (June 1 at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in Markleysburg and June 8 at Bedford Speedway) — are guaranteed starting spots in the Dirt Classic. In addition to the tracks themselves, there are associated businesses. Valley Rural Electric Cooperative member John Goshorn, owner of Goshorn Racing Supplies in Blairs Mills, currently sells racing equipment, tires and fuel from parts trucks and trailers at Port Royal Speedway in Juniata County and Bedford Speedway in Bedford County

(and Hesston Speedway in Huntingdon County, which is closed due to the death of one of the owners, however it is expected to reopen at a future date). Goshorn also has stationary trailers full of equipment, where drivers or their crew members come during the week if they need supplies. A retired math and science teacher, Goshorn first was involved in racing as a driver back in the early 1960s. Eventually, he and all three of his sons — Matthew, Kevin and Mark — would race. Although he doesn’t have any immediate family currently racing (Matthew helps him out with his supply business), the tracks still call out to Goshorn. “I watch every race I can watch,” he says. “I even watch NASCAR, and I went to Daytona (Florida) this year. I love the sport, going fast, the competition, winning.” l

JUNE 2014 • PENN



PENNlines understand why you do this. You work so hard on this car, and put so much time and money into it. What drives you to do this?’” Hollenbeck recalls. “Years later, he finally said to me, ‘Come and run one of these cars in a race and see what it’s like.’ He gave me a car to run, so I hopped in, and I was hooked after the first race.” Hollenbeck now has two cars, seemingly identical, although he prefers one to the other for reasons he calls “superstitions,” both with 860-horsepower engines. He hauls the cars on a 38-foot trailer pulled behind a motor home outfitted with a dual rear axle. He calls himself an “amateur driver striving to become a professional.” Now 44, he decided about four years ago to get serious about his driving. The way to do that, he says, is to devote more time and money to the sport. Having a good crew is essential, and he has that in Charles Welch, Dan Stone and Curt Tunilo. The crew has a lot of responsibility, as there is maintenance of the engine, which includes pulling, inspecting, cleaning and replacing parts weekly due to the mud factor from running on a dirt track, as well as any body work that is needed. In his years of racing, Hollenbeck has found himself in the middle of some pretty serious accidents, but he’s been able to walk away from all of them. “I feel safer in my race car than I do in my pickup driving down the road,” he says. “That’s because of all of the built-in safety factors and the safety equipment we have. We have fire-retardant clothing, helmets, gloves, and the HANS (a head

Braxton Beckett, 3-yearold son of Bedford REC member Stephanie Fleegle of Fishertown, takes a look into a onehalf scale, cyclone late-model race car that was on display at the Bedford Speedway car show on April 6.





IT TAKES WORK: Pit crew members work to get Alan Krimes’ 410 Sprint car ready to race at the Lincoln Speedway on April 5. Krimes, a second-generation sprint car driver, is from Denver, Pa.

CAR WITH A HISTORY: Ray Smith, New Enterprise Rural Electric Cooperative (REC) member from Hopewell, displays a Ford Mustang he restored at the April 6 car show at the Bedford Speedway. The car was originally owned by Barry Hoenstine, father of current Bedford REC director Don Hoenstine, and was raced by Miles Chamberlain, also a Bedford REC member. Several years ago, Smith went looking for an original Chamberlain race car and found this one in Hollsopple. Smith and Chamberlain did all of the restoration work themselves.

and neck support device that goes over the driver’s shoulder and connects to the helmet to cut down on neck injuries). Plus, race cars are designed in such a way that they crumple before the energy gets to a driver. When the car strikes something, it will collapse and absorb the energy of the wreck.” Looking back on his career as a race driver, Hollenbeck says with a laugh, “I wasn’t an adrenaline junkie until Jamie (Griffiths) got ahold of me. There just isn’t a rush like being in a car with an 860horsepower engine, driving 120 miles an hour straight at a wall, and being able to make it turn at the right time.”

Even though Hollenbeck is a first-generation driver, he has plenty of family around him when he races. His car is numbered 4D’s (he and his wife, Shelly, have four children: Devin, 21; Dempsey, 15; Dylan, 12; and Delaney, 10, whose photos are plastered on Hollenbeck’s car right behind his seat), and a race weekend includes camping with the entire family. There may be at least one second-generation Hollenbeck racer in the wings as both Dempsey and Dylan have shown an interest in the sport. Dempsey is scheduled to drive in a parade lap later this year during a special fundraising race, and Dylan is already showing a keen interest in racing. l

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In honor of the nearly 114,000 lineworkers who work through inclement weather and other hazards to “keep the lights on,” Lineworker Appreciation Day extends gratitude and appreciation to the hardworking men and women who risk their lives daily to ensure reliable delivery of electric energy.

TIMEpassages m e m o r i e s

from our members

(EDITOR’S NOTE: In observance of 50 years of the electric cooperative Youth Tour program in Pennsylvania, throughout the year Penn Lines will feature personal accounts of former Youth Tour participants. To share your Youth Tour memories, write Stephanie Okuniewski at Penn Lines, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108 or email

Youth Tour memories Robert Carpenter participated in Youth Tour in 2012 as a representative from TriCounty Rural Electric Cooperative. While on Youth Tour, he collected pins from every participating state, left. Originally from Ulysses, Pa., he is currently a student at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., where he is studying early childhood education and special education. Penn Lines: How did your Youth Tour experience help with your career direction? Robert Carpenter: By the opportunity of meeting a diverse range of future friends from all around the United States, I was able to appreciate and observe how students act. Also, I was able to pick up leadership skills that I will need as a future teacher. Penn Lines: How did your Youth Tour experience influence your educational goals? Robert Carpenter: The Youth Tour gave me the courage to achieve the impossible, because nothing is impossible if you only believe. Penn Lines: What advice would you give to someone going on Youth Tour today? Robert Carpenter: Be open to all the possibilities the tour offers and appreciate every moment because it goes by way too fast. As much as we sometimes feel comfortable with just a certain few, open up to new people. Also try something new and be yourself. This Youth Tour gives you an opportunity to find out who you are! Penn Lines: In what ways has your Youth Tour experience helped you as a person? Robert Carpenter: Coming from a very rural area, this tour has helped me to appreciate and indulge myself in the world around me. It has also showed me that there are millions of people who all have a different story; listen and share yours. Penn Lines: What did it mean to you to have the opportunity to meet with your congressional representative? Robert Carpenter: Having the opportunity to meet Congressman Glenn Thompson was truly amazing. Not only was it very educational, we were also able to get to know our congressman. It made me feel like if I ever had an issue, he would greet it with open arms. And being able to go with him around where he works in Washington, D.C., being just a small kid Robert Carpenter in 2012




from Ulysses, Pa., I thought that would never be possible. Penn Lines: How has the opportunity to meet people from all over the country influenced you? Robert Carpenter: Being able to meet and greet people that were strangers and have the privilege to this day to call them fellow friends has been truly a blessing. It has opened my eyes to appreciate what I have been given, even if I like it or not. And also the different cultures and traditions and lifestyles are truly remarkable. I still remember to this day, on the Potomac Boat cruise, I was an Oklahoman for the night. Looking back, it truly gave me a different view on life. It also taught me to never close a door because I might just want to go back. A year later, I needed help with a school project and my friend in Oklahoma helped me out with it. Penn Lines: What did you learn on Youth Tour that surprised you? Robert Carpenter: That there are truly a lot more different people and cultures in this world to like and appreciate. And also coming from a very rural area, there is a lot more to life out there; it is all just waiting to be your adventure and for you to make the move. Penn Lines: How would your life be different today had you not gone on Youth Tour? Robert Carpenter: One, I would not have had the amazing privilege to have every state’s pin on my badge, because I would not have had the chance to meet anyone. Overall, I would not have had the privilege and pure blessing to make positive connections to last a lifetime. Penn Lines: What would you change about Youth Tour if you could? Robert Carpenter: I wish we could have had more time to interact with students from different areas because time went by too fast. This trip was also so joyous and gave you a deeper meaning into life that it would always be nice to have a chance to come back. Penn Lines: What is your favorite memory from Youth Tour and why? Robert Carpenter: There were too many favorite experiences; to choose and have only one would be taking away from the meaning of the trip. I would have to say the meaning behind my name tag truly is one of my most favorable and meaningful parts of the trip. With that, I not only was able to meet a wide variety of people, but with each state sticker or pin I gathered, I was able to have a life-changing memorable experience. Because of all the people who were involved in putting this trip together, I am truly thankful for the opportunity. l

EVERY MEMBER HAS A VOICE. EVEN THE ONES WHO CAN’T YET SPEAK. As an electric co-op member, your household has a say in how the co-op is run. Which helps you care for an even bigger family – your community. Learn more about the power of your co-op membership at


Yo u r N e w s m a g a z i n e T h r o u g h t h e Y e a r s

1984 OVER THE years, rural electric cooperatives have prided themselves on being more than just a utility. In the early days of rural electrification, staff from the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association spent a substantial amount of time conducting workshops for cooperative members. Many of those workshops focused on how to wire the members’ homes, their barns and other farm outbuildings. Others taught welding or how to brood chicks and pigs under heat lamps, a positive byproduct of electricity that substantially improved the survival rate of the farm animals. Through the years, electricity has played an increasingly important role in the success of farming operations. When the lines were first installed, many predicted that the typical farmer would only use a 40-watt lightbulb, a radio and a toaster, and that would be all. How surprised would those people be today to see the many inventions that run on electricity? Beyond simply providing electricity, rural electric cooperatives have participated in and encouraged activities that improve the livability and quality of life in rural areas. Decades after the lights first came on in rural America, the same community spirit that formed the cooperatives to improve everyone’s standard of living now helps to enrich life for cooperative members. This concern for cooperative consumer-members and the rural communities where they live extends to the legislative halls in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., for legislation can help — or harm — the chance of improving the quality of life for rural electric cooperative members.

1974 During June, dozens of outstanding young men and women from Pennsylvania represent their local cooperatives during a visit to the nation’s capital as part of the Rural Electric Youth Tour. 16



1994 Due to legislation, one-third of Pennsylvania’s public schools must begin implementing outcomebased education reforms in 1994, with another onethird by 1995, and the final third by 1996.

2004 Valley Rural Electric Cooperative member John Goshorn is the owner of one of nearly 1,000 deer farms in operation throughout Pennsylvania. His farm is located in Huntingdon County.

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Clogged, Backed—up Septic System…Can anything Restore It? Dear Darryl

DEAR DARRYL: My home is about 10 years old, and so is my septic system. I have always taken pride in keeping my home and property in top shape. In fact, my neighbors and I are always kidding each other about who keeps their home and yard nicest. Lately, however, I have had a horrible smell in my yard, and also in one of my bathrooms, coming from the shower drain. My grass is muddy and all the drains in my home are very slow.

My wife is on my back to make the bathroom stop smelling and as you can imagine, my neighbors are having a field day, kidding me about the mud pit and sewage stench in my yard. It’s humiliating. I called a plumber buddy of mine, who recommended pumping (and maybe even replacing) my septic system. But at the potential cost of thousands of dollars, I hate to explore that option. I tried the store bought, so called, Septic treatments out there, and they did Nothing to clear up my problem. Is there anything on the market I can pour or flush into my system that will restore it to normal, and keep it maintained? Clogged and Smelly – Scranton, PA

DEAR CLOGGED AND SMELLY: As a reader of my column, I am sure you are aware that I have a great deal of experience in this particular field. You will be glad to know that there IS a septic solution that will solve your back-up and effectively restore your entire system from interior piping throughout the septic system and even unclog the drain field as well. SeptiCleanse® Shock and Maintenance Programs deliver your system the fast active bacteria and enzymes needed to liquefy solid waste and free the clogs causing your back-up. This fast-acting bacteria multiplies within minutes of application and is specifically designed to withstand many of today’s anti-bacterial cleaners, soaps and detergents. It comes in dissolvable plastic packs, that you just flush down your toilets. It’s so cool. Plus, they actually Guarantee that it restores ANY system, no matter how bad the problem is. SeptiCleanse® Shock and Maintenance Programs are designed to work on any septic system regardless of design or age. From modern day systems to sand mounds, and systems installed generations ago, I have personally seen SeptiCleanse unclog and restore these systems in a matter of weeks. I highly recommend that you try it before spending any money on repairs. SeptiCleanse products are available online at or you can order or learn more by calling toll free at 1-888-899-8345. If you use the promo code “PASEP5”, you can get a free shock treatment, added to your order, which normally costs $169. So, make sure you use that code when you call or buy online.



Backyard power packs: the challenge of integrating solar energy into the grid By Reed Karaim

THE IDEA of getting your power from the sun is appealing on many different levels. It’s clean energy — it seems simple (no moving parts!), and, important to many, it promises freedom — you’re generating your own electricity, and seemingly not as dependent on the grid. But the truth is, residential solar power isn’t as simple as it seems, and unless you’re willing to invest in an expensive battery system and backup generation, the average household can’t sever its cord from the nation’s grid. After all, the sun only shines part of the day, and yet modern life demands electricity 24/7. For this reason alone, most homes with roof-top solar arrays need to remain connected to their local power lines. But as solar and, to a lesser degree, other renewable forms of energy grow in popularity, they are changing the relationship between the grid and many residential electrical users. Once, power flowed just one way: down your electric co-op’s lines and

As the research and development arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, CRN pursues innovative solutions that helQ1FOOTZM WBOJBelectric cooperatives deliver safe, reliable, and affordable power to their consumer-members.




into homes. But today, for a home or small business with solar panels, it can flow in different directions at different times of day. When the sun is shining, a residence with solar panels can provide power for itself and direct any excess power onto the grid. Residential solar is a piece of what the utility industry calls “distributed generation,� that is, smaller, embedded sources of power generation separate from central power plants. The rules governing distributed generation and, in particular, payments for excess power that will flow onto the grid vary from state to state and utilityto-utility. Consumers who are interested in residential solar installation should always contact their local electric cooperative first. No matter how it’s handled, this new direction for power flow is changing a fundamental part of the power business. Apart from states’ specific legal regulations, cooperatives across the country are working with their members to find ways to accommodate the new sources of power generation, including residential solar, while preserving the safety and reliability of the system and ensuring fair rates for all members.

HARNESSING THE SUN: Adams Electric Cooperative

works closely with Hundredfold Farms near Cashtown in Adams County as it has evolved into a photovoltaic-based housing development tied to the cooperative’s distribution system. The houses get most of their heating and electrical power from the sun. The development, which operates under the motto, “An old-fashioned community with a green future,� also includes a community garden and a central wastewater treatment facility.

“The co-ops that have had to deal with increasing amounts of residential solar have found the technical challenges aren’t any greater than other challenges they’ve faced,� says Andrew Cotter, a program manager for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Cooperative Research Network (CRN). “When members coordinate with their co-op, the co-op has the skill set to maintain a safe, reliable grid. It’s something they’re very good at.� So, how are cooperatives meeting this new challenge? The beautiful Hawaiian island of Kaua’i feels far removed from many of the problems of today’s world, but when it comes to distributed generation, the island provides a glimpse into a more complicated future. On Kaua’i there is no national power grid, just the island’s small, self-con-

tained grid. Diesel fuel for generation has to be shipped in across the Pacific. That makes energy costs high and means Kaua’i has a lot of people with solar panels on their roof. As a result, Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), the local power supplier and distributor, deals with a higher percentage of renewable distributed generation than any other electric co-op in the nation. Roughly 2,000 members have photovoltaic (solar) arrays that can send power back into the co-op’s self-contained grid, amounting to about 20 percent of the co-op’s daytime electrical load. “It’s a technical challenge,” says Mike Yamane, KIUC chief of operations. To provide high-quality reliable power, electrical utilities control the frequency and voltage of the current moving down their lines. But as more distributed generation comes on line, says Yamane, this process becomes more difficult. “Photovoltaic systems aren’t really meant to regulate frequency or voltage,” he explains. As the amount of distributed generation on a line rises, another potential

danger is called “islanding.” This can occur when an outage brings down the local grid, but a line continues to be live because power keeps feeding in from distributed generation. Islanding can be a safety hazard for linemen working to get the power back on and can cause problems when the grid does power back up. These and other aspects of distributed, renewable generation can impact a power system’s overall stability if the right measures aren’t taken. KIUC, for example, has operating parameters its members must follow with their power inverters, which convert direct current from a solar cell into alternating current used on the grid, and with the relays that connect solar panels to the network. Another challenge of distributed generation is that solar power is highly variable. The energy generated regularly rises and falls during the day and can plummet or climb hour by hour depending on the weather. For cooperatives and other utilities, integrating this variable supply into the overall power requirements of a local system takes planning and experience. Craig Kieny is the senior power resource planner for Vermont Electric Cooperative, based in Johnson, Vt. Vermont Electric has about 350 members with solar panels that can feed into the co-op’s system, and that number is growing. When Kieny is planning how much power his co-op will need from its suppliers, he uses models that look at CONNECTED: This 5-kilowatt solar array in Claverack Rural Electric solar generation patterns Cooperative's service territory is the 100th consumer-owned renewalong with data on how able energy project interconnected with a Pennsylvania or New Jersey much is on, or soon to rural electric cooperative. The first consumer-owned renewable energy come on, his own system. project interconnected to cooperative lines was in 2006. Today there “It can be hard to do,” are more than 300 interconnected projects.

he says, “but we do it.” That attitude describes the co-op approach toward distributed generation in general. From 2009 to 2013, the percentage of cooperatives that purchase excess power generated by members grew from 20 to 45 percent, according to an NRECA survey. About two-thirds of all co-ops now interconnect with member-generated power. “It’s going to be a major force in the industry in our lifetimes,” says Cotter. And as backyard generation grows in popularity, electric cooperatives are also taking extra steps to make sure their members’ needs are truly being served. There were 140,000 new solar installations in the United States last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a 41 percent jump from 2012. Not all those installations are household systems, but as the cost of solar panels keeps falling, and more states are providing generous incentives for solar, more consumers are considering this option. CRN has researched various ways to safely integrate new excess power into the grid, including the potential for battery storage to smooth out the peaks and valleys that come with renewable generation. Cooperatives are also working to make sure their members have good information when making decisions about their power. For consumers, a home solar array can be an expensive proposition, costing thousands of dollars to install. Vendors sometimes provide plans that lower the up-front costs, but not all vendors are forthright in helping consumers assess the costs and benefits of a system. l Reed Karaim writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-forprofit electric cooperatives. JUNE 2014 • PENN




by Janette He ss

Southwest mix and match AN EXCELLENT marinade can add depth of flavor to a wide variety of foods, so there’s no reason for pork or other meats to always “hog” its savory capabilities. Originally concocted as a flavor-enhancer for a pork roast, this month’s Basic Southwest Marinade makes an excellent addition to Baked Refried Beans. It also serves as a tasty presoak for Southwest Oven Potatoes. Although they are prepared separately, the pork, refried beans and potatoes “mix and match” splendidly for a delicious Southwest-style meal. All may be offered buffet-style with tortillas and sauces, or they may be combined in a single casserole for ease of serving. Delicioso! l A trained journalist, JANETTE HESS focuses her writing on interesting people and interesting foods. She is a Master Food Volunteer with her local extension service and enjoys collecting, testing and sharing recipes.

BASIC SOUTHWEST MARIN ADE Juice of 1 lime 1/4 cup canola or other vegetabl e oil 1/4 cup water 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon liquid smoke 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon onion powder Combine all ingredients. Use in desi red recipes. Whisk before measurin g for recipes, as ingredients will separate upon standing. Makes approximatel y 3/4 cup (6 ounces) marinade.

SOUTHWEST OVEN POTATOES Approximately 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled 1/2 cup marinade Freshly ground pepper Cooking spray

Cut peeled potatoes into dice-sized cubes and place in large, shallow bowl. Add marinade and stir. Allow flavors to blend at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir frequently. Prepare rimmed bakin g sheet with cooking spray and, using slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to baking sheet. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minut es, stirring at least once during baking.

BAKED REFRIED BEANS 2 16-ounce cans refried beans 1/4 cup marinade 1 cup shredded Monterrey jack or Mexican-style cheese 2 green onions, diced Cooking spray

dish with cookCombine beans and marinade. Prepare 8- or 9-inch baking . Bake at 350 cheese with le Sprink dish. baking in beans Spread ing spray. h. Top with throug heated are beans until degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or . onions diced green




MARINATED PORK ROAST 1 3- to 4-pound boneless pork shoulder roast 1 recipe marinade Place pork roast in sturdy zip-lock bag. Add marinade. Seal and store several hours or overnight in refrigerator. After marinating, place roast in slow cooker and pour marinade from bag over roast. Cover and cook for 8 to 9 hours, or until roast is very tender. Transfer roast to large cutting board. When roast and chop pork. is cool enough to handle, remove and discard fat. Shred 1/4 cup broth. with pork ed Strain broth and skim off fat. Moisten chopp Makes 8 to 10 ess. moistn in mainta to d neede as added More broth may be servings. s, refried beans, Serving suggestions: Serve shredded pork with soft tortilla sauce. da enchila chili green d warme or verde oven potatoes, salsa Prepare a 9- by 13Ingredients also may be served as a layered casserole. refried beans on of recipe 1 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread beans, layer Over g. toppin for onions and cheese ing bottom of pan, reserv can green ce 10-oun 1 pork, ed 1 recipe oven potatoes, 3 to 4 cups shredd jack rrey Monte ed shredd s) ounce (8 cups 2 and chili enchilada sauce y imatel approx h, throug cheese. Bake in 350-degree oven until heated with ole casser a as Serve . onions green diced 4 with Top 25 to 30 minutes. chips. soft tortillas or as a hearty dip with corn


by Barbara Martin

Daylilies for all FOR GARDENERS who think of daylilies (Hemerocallis) with disdain — that common and rampant orange ditch lily — it’s time to reconsider. There is now an eye-popping catalog of terrific-named daylilies. Easy to grow, daylilies are the backbone of many a perennial garden thanks to their lush, grassy, green foliage; flowering heights from tall to mid to short; and exciting selection of flower colors and forms. Perhaps best of all, daylilies now offer a blooming season spanning from spring right through to frost. Daylilies are reputed to be survivor plants, easy and relatively low maintenance. Although true, please do not interpret this as a license for neglect and still expect abundant blooms and generous clumps of foliage. Your plants will perform better with good care, decent soil, adequate water and a sunny spot. Average soil is fine, but poor soil will hold them back somewhat. Compost dug in at planting time and subseBARBARA MARTIN ,

who says she began gardening as a hobby “too many years ago to count,” currently works for the National Gardening Association as a horticulturist. A former member of Gettysburg-based Adams Electric Cooperative, her articles appear in magazines and on the internet.

quently applied as a top dressing, and routine use of an organic mulch are good ways to augment the soil. Mulching also reduces the need for watering during dry spells. Water is important, especially in the period before flowering. Although technically drought-tolerant, these plants definitely respond well to supplemental water if the season is a dry one. Some daylilies are actually fussy keepers, while others are stolid garden performers in that the clumps are generally healthy and increase at a good pace, and the blooming is reliable from year to year. The best way to identify locally good performers is to visit daylily gardens and talk to enthusiasts. The American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) is a great source for regional information. Daylilies may be sold as potted plants or as bare-rooted fans. Starts of at least three vigorous fans (or a hefty division dug from a friend’s garden) can bloom the first year with good care. Prices can literally top $250 per fan, but older and perfectly gardenworthy varieties can be had for a few dollars. Selecting daylilies for your home garden is simple. You might shop the plant nursery in late June and pick out “a pretty one” blooming in a pot. Or tour a nearby AHS display garden and find a favorite. Or notice a superb daylily flowering next door. Tune in to daylilies for one summer, and

suddenly you’re obsessing over a dozen gorgeous “must have” varieties. Beyond the awesome colors, gardeners can select by bloom season, bloom height and size, fragrance, remontancy (re-blooming), diploid or tetraploid, and dormant, evergreen, or semi-evergreen foliage. The mind spins. As you observe and begin to distinguish between the types, you might become enamored of the diminutive and dainty forms, or you might fall in love with the currently resurging squiggly, fingery, “spider”-form flowers. Perhaps you’ll take a liking to the “veined” or the “eyed” or the “ruffled” or the “doubled” types. Perhaps bi-tones or crystallines will be your thing, or maybe “near whites” or “reds” or the newest in “patterns.” And so a collector is born. I admit I covet them all. How to choose? I prefer dormant foliage, for its tidiness in the spring garden. I like fragrant flowers. Tetraploids seem more robust, but many

With just a little planning, gardeners can ensure blooming daylilies each spring through late fall.


diploids and older introductions tend to have the more delicate appeal I appreciate in heirloom flowers. I’m on the fence about the rebloomers. And so many beautiful flowers! I try to select one (or two) early, early-mid, mid, mid-late, late and very late bloomers and include different colors and forms representing a cross section of what is available. And include some pinks, and some very tall ones, and some spiders. And then a few oldtime favorites. … You can guess where this is going. I still adore “Autumn Minaret” — the 6-foot memento of the day I realized daylilies could be truly out-ofthis-world spectacular. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, every garden should include a favorite daylily. (And just like a good potato chip or chocolate chip cookie, I bet you can’t stop at just one!) l

JUNE 2014 • PENN



PENNLINESclassified ISSUE MONTH: AD DEADLINE: Penn Lines classified advertisements reach more than 165,800 rural Pennsylvania households! August 2014 . . . . . . . . . June 17 Please note ads must be received by the due date to be included in the requested issue month. Ads September 2014. . . . . . . July 18 received beyond the due date will run in the next available issue. Written notice of changes and cancellations must be received 30 days prior to the issue month. Classified ads will not be accepted October 2014. . . . . . . August 18 by phone, fax or email. For more information please contact Vonnie Kloss at 717$233-5704. CLASSIFIED AD SUBMISSION/RATES: Please use the form below or submit a separate sheet with required information. Electric co-op members: $20 per month for 30 words or less, plus 50¢ for each additional word. Non-members: $70 per month for 30 words or less, plus $1.50 for each additional word. Ad in all CAPITAL letters: Add 20 percent to total cost. ‰ Please print my ad in all CAPITAL letters. PLACE AD IN THE MONTHS OF: . WORD COUNT: ‰ I am an electric co-op member. Attached is my Penn Lines mailing label. Name/Address or Mailing Label Here: Enclosed is payment in the amount of $ . ‰ I am a non-member. Address is noted or attached at right. Enclosed is payment in the amount of $ . 1































Additional words; attach separate sheet if needed.

FREE Headings (Select One): ‰ Around the House ‰ Business Opportunities ‰ Employment Opportunities ‰ Gift and Craft Ideas ‰ Livestock and Pets ‰ Miscellaneous ‰ Motor Vehicles and Boats ‰ Nursery and Garden ‰ Real Estate ‰ Recipes and Food ‰ Tools and Equipment ‰ Vacations and Campsites ‰ Wanted to Buy SPECIAL HEADING: . SPECIAL HEADING FEE: $5 for co-op members, $10 for non-members. Applies even if heading is already appearing in Penn Lines. Insertion of classified ad serves as proof of publication; no proofs supplied. SEND FORM TO: Penn Lines Classifieds, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Please make CHECK/MONEY ORDER payable to: PREA/Penn Lines. AMWAY© ©

We are entrepreneurs and dreams. We are Amway . Exclusive Products, low start-up cost. 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Start your own business today. Call 814-3332577. Email:



STEEL ROOFING AND SIDING. Over 25 years in business. Several profiles - cut to length. Residential roofing $2.20/lineal foot. Seconds, heavy gauges, accessories, etc. Installation available. Located - northwestern Pennsylvania. 814-398-4052.

NEED A LIFT? Crane service for all your lifting needs. Experienced, fully insured, Owner-Operated and OSHA Certified. Precision Crane, Linesville, PA 814-282-9133.

FACTORY SECONDS of insulation, 4 x 8 sheets, foil back. RValue 6.5 per inch. Great for pole buildings, garages, etc. Also prime grade A foil bubble wrap insulation. 814-4426032.

HYDRAULIC POST DRIVER FOR RENT. Easy hookup and transportation. Safe, simple operation. Convenient, costeffective alternative for setting wood posts by hand. $200 for first day, $175/additional day. 1-800-KENCOVE.



PIANO TUNING PAYS — Learn at home with American School of Piano Tuning home-study course in piano tuning and repair. Tools included. Diploma granted. Call for free brochure 800-497-9793.

SPECIAL OFFER — BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $12. “Country Cooking,” Volume 2 — $5, including postage. “Recipes Remembered,” Volume 3 — $7, including postage. Both of these cookbooks are a collection of recipes from men and women of the electric co-ops of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Payable to: Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, P. O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Write Attention: Cookbooks. Volume 1 of “Country Cooking” is SOLD OUT.

AROUND THE HOUSE SPECIAL OFFER — BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $12. “Country Cooking,” Volume 2 — $5, including postage. “Recipes Remembered,” Volume 3 — $7, including postage. Both of these cookbooks are a collection of recipes from men and women of the electric co-ops of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Payable to: Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, P. O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Write Attention: Cookbooks. Volume 1 of “Country Cooking” is SOLD OUT. OPEN HOUSE SHOP — Brookville, PA. Country and farm custom-made tables. Buying and selling. Unusual Home Décor. 814-541-1484. View on web: CARPENTER BEES BE GONE!!! Naturally trap them then easily dispose of dead bees. No chemicals. Traps fool bees into thinking their nest is already made. Go in – can’t get out. Trapped bees are visible. Traps stop them from boring into nearby wood. Device can trap dozens of bees. Hang traps in areas where bees look for nest sites. Little assembly required. Wood construction. $25 each. Buy 4+ receive free shipping. For more information/order call: 814333-1225 or email: ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR HIGH COUNTRY Arts and Crafts Fair. S. B. Elliott State Park. Vendors, food, entertainment. 1/2 mile off I-80, Exit 111 (old 18). 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on July 13. More info 814-765-5667.




CHURCH LIFT SYSTEMS Make your church, business or home wheelchair accessible. We offer platform lifting systems, stair lifts, porch lifts and ramps. References. Free estimates. Get Up & Go Mobility Inc. 724-746-0992 or 814-926-3622. CONSULTING FORESTRY SERVICES NOLL’S FORESTRY SERVICES, INC. performs Timber Marketing, Timber Appraisals, Forest Management Planning, and Forest Improvement Work. FREE Timber Land Recommendations. 30 years experience. Call 814-472-8560. CENTRE FOREST RESOURCES. Maximizing present and future timber values, Forest Management Services, Managing Timber Taxation, Timber Sales, Quality Deer Management. FREE Timber Consultation. College educated, professional, ethical. 814-867-7052.


HEALTH AND NUTRITION Tired of all those medicines — Still not feeling better? Do you want to feel better, have more energy, better digestion, less joint stiffness, healthier heart/circulation and cholesterol levels? Find out how to empower your own immune system — start I-26 today! It’s safe, affordable, and it works. Call 800-557-8477: ID#528390. 90-day money back on first time orders or call me 724-454-5586. HEALTH INSURANCE DO YOU HAVE THE BLUES regarding your Health Insurance? We cater to rural America's health insurance needs. For more information, call 800-628-7804 (PA). Call us regarding Medicare supplements, too.




CUSTOM HAND MADE to order or in-stock wooden turkey calls of various woods and sizes. 814-267-5489 leave message for Precision Unlimited Inc., Berlin, PA.

BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER — Correspondence Study. The harvest truly is great, the laborers are few, Luke 10:2. Free information. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7558 West Thunderbird Rd., Ste. 1 - #114, Peoria, Arizona 85381.

WINDY RIDGE TREE CARE – Honest recommendations and proper up-to-date practices for all stages of tree care from selection and planting to removal. Serving Somerset County. 814-634-0761.

“GROWING UP WITH GUNS” — The book about the critical role hunters and guns play that makes sure wildlife thrives. ($19.07 includes tax, Free Shipping.) For mailing address: 814-688-2044 or order at INFRARED SAUNAS Removes toxins, burns calories, relieves joint pain, relaxes muscles, increases flexibility, strengthens immune system. Many more HEALTH BENEFITS with infrared radiant heat saunas. Economical to operate. Barron’s Furniture, Somerset, PA. 814-443-3115.

VACATIONS AND CAMPSITES MOTORCYCLE-SNOWMOBILE INSURANCE For the best INSURANCE RATES call R & R Insurance Associates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 800-442-6832 (PA). MOTOR VEHICLES AND BOATS Two 1966 PONTIAC TEMPESTS — Two-door coupe and hardtop, V-8 auto. Many extra parts, engines, transmission, wheels – 14”, 15”, PMD wheel. $2,000 must take all. 814-848-5023 after 5 p.m.

LAWN AND GARDEN EQUIPMENT NURSERY AND GARDEN HARRINGTONS EQUIPMENT COMPANY, 475 Orchard Rd., Fairfield, PA 17320. 717-642-6001 or 410-756-2506. Lawn & Garden equipment, Sales – Service - Parts.

RAYSTOWN VACATION House Rental. Sleeps 11, four bedrooms, large dining table, central A/C, two full baths, two half baths, linens/towels provided, large parking area, near boat launch. Call 814-931-6562. Visit

LIVE EVERGREEN TREES beautify yards, block ugly gas wells and “colorful” neighbors! 4’ to 30’, installed or you do the work. Reasonable prices. Jeffers Tree Farm – Kingsley, PA. Since 1929. Call 888-880-4512 today.


NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida condo. Two bedrooms, two baths. Heated pool. Lovely small historical town. 200 yards from beach. $500 weekly, $1,800 monthly. Call 814-6354020. The camping/cabin season is here! Come and discover the wonders in these beautiful mountains and flowing rivers. Check out this free LAUREL HIGHLANDS Package. FOR SALE: Membership in Travel Resorts Gettysburg – Camping and Condos. Only those interested or for more information call 717-285-5731.

PROBLEM WATER WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: Injured and want to know your rights? Call us at 877-291-9675 for FREE advice or visit our website for your FREE book at

VIDEO PRODUCTION HARD WATER, High Iron, Bacteria or Slow Producing Wells? We have fixed water problems since 1974. Daniel J. Carney Inc. Water Treatment. Call 800-498-0777.

LIVESTOCK AND PETS REAL ESTATE PEMBROKE WELSH CORGI Puppies — AKC, adorable, intelligent, highly trainable. Excellent family choice. Reputable licensed breeder guaranteed “Last breed you’ll ever own.” 814-587-3449. FARRIER — 10 years experience, looking for new clients in York County and surrounding areas. Just moved from Lancaster. Experienced with hunters, jumpers, eventers, reiners, western and trail horses. Call Brent Talbot 717-7259150. COLLIE AKC registered sable and white puppies. Beautifully marked, shots, dewormed. Our collies are raised and socialized with children and adults. Bedford County. Call 814-793-3938.

10 ACRE Level Lot. Perfect for farmette. Next to horse farm. Septic and well installed. Mifflin County between State College and Raystown Lake. Enrolled Clean & Green low taxes. 814-669-4612. HOME or CAMP, Clearfield County. Home on 2.309 acres. Living room, two bedrooms, two baths, craft room, large garage, full attic could be used for bunk room. Asking $110,000. Call 814-277-6176 or 814-771-7412. RECIPES AND FOOD

TOTAL Equine Horse Feed as seen on RFDTV. Call Meadville Farm and Garden 814-724-1083.

SPECIAL OFFER — BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $12. “Country Cooking,” Volume 2 — $5, including postage. “Recipes Remembered,” Volume 3 — $7, including postage. Both of these cookbooks are a collection of recipes from men and women of the electric co-ops of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Payable to: Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, P. O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108. Write Attention: Cookbooks. Volume 1 of “Country Cooking” is SOLD OUT.



PATCH, King of Pymatuning Lake, is a tale for all ages about the seasons of life as told through a few precious dogs at Pymatuning Lake. Written by Millie Buza Gronek, it is available locally at Ray’s Marketplace in Linesville, Pennsylvania. Autographed paperback copies are sold on ebay and the paperback book and the e-book are online at and

USED PORTABLE Sawmills and COMMERCIAL Sawmill Equipment! Buy/Sell. Call Sawmill Exchange 800-459-2148. USA and Canada.

WHITETAIL Fawns and Yearlings. Call for availability – bucks or does. Located in 814 area code. Call 814-696-9050 anytime and leave message.

LOG CABIN RESTORATIONS VILLAGE RESTORATIONS & CONSULTING specializes in 17th and 18th century log, stone and timber structures. We dismantle, move, re-erect, restore, construct and consult all over the country. Period building materials available. Chestnut boards, hardware, etc. Thirty years experience, fully insured. Call 814-696-1379. MEDICARE INSURANCE Medicare insurance does not have to be confusing! And one plan does not fit all! Going on Medicare soon? Already on Medicare and confused? We have the answers. CATHERINE BURNS INSURANCE SERVICES offering Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans, Pre-Paid Burial, Life and Final Expense Insurance, Annuities, assistance qualifying for Pace/Pacenet. No charge, no obligation, no pressure! Call 877-327-1598 or email:

SHAKLEE FREE SAMPLE Shaklee’s Energy Tea. Combination red, green and white teas that are natural, delicious, refreshing, safe. For sample or more information on tea or other Shaklee Nutrition/Weight Loss Products: 800-403-3381 or

VIDEO for websites, programs and special events. Videotaping and Editing/Post Production Services. Anywhere in Eastern PA. 215-435-0707. Email: Web: WANTED TO BUY CARBIDE – Paying cash/lb. – Some examples of items that have carbide pieces at their tips for cutting or drilling are: coal mining machinery – roof bits – road bits – gas/oil/water well drill bits – machining inserts as well as many others. We will pick up your materials containing carbide pieces. We will extract the carbide item from the part in which it is held in most cases. 814-395-0415. WILLYS ARMY JEEP for restoration. Any rusty condition. Could use a parts vehicle too. 570-395-4127. Email:



1 H 201

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Flight of


ig The no-d ing gardenat e iv rn alte

Birdwatcher s find Penns ylvan home to many feathered friendia s APRIL 2013



Classic tractors tell early story of American agriculture

PLUS Insulate Layers of flavor The blue jay

PLUSng efficiency & comfort Buildi songs Birds’ spring tropics the Tastes of


TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT WANTED: Older riding garden tractors, running condition or not. Examples: Case Ingersoll 444, 446, Gravely 816, 8122, Power King 1618, John Deere 300, 317. Paying top prices, Jefferson County. 814-939-7694. TRACTOR PARTS – REPAIR/RESTORATION ARTHURS TRACTORS, specializing in vintage Ford tractors, 30-years experience, online parts catalog/prices, Indiana, PA 15701. Contact us at 877-254-FORD (3673) or

Flexible Tex-Mex Impatiens How did I ever survive?

Reach nearly 166,000 rural Pennsylvania households! Advertise in Penn Lines. For more information, please visit our website at pennlines.asp or call 717.233.5704

JUNE 2014 • PENN




by James Dulley

Geothermal heat pumps provide heating, cooling advantages WITH ALL the problems last winter with propane shortages and the price uncertainty of natural gas, many people are considering geothermal heat pumps. In fact, I just installed a variable-speed, WaterFurnace 7-Series geothermal heat pump in my own home. In addition to extremely efficient and comfortable heating, a geothermal heat pump also is the most efficient central airconditioning system available. During summer, when in the cooling mode, it provides free water heating for additional savings. Even though the overall geothermal heat pump installed cost is higher than other heat pump systems because of the ground loop, it will pay back its higher cost in savings. Also, if one is installed by 2016, there is a 30 percent federal tax credit on the total cost. The difference between a standard and a geothermal heat pump is that the geothermal unit uses liquid-filled (water/antifreeze mix) piping in the ground instead of the outdoor condenser unit. Since the ground stays at a fairly constant temperature, it is extremely efficient year-round. Most people install deep vertical loops, but I have a large backyard, so I installed a 5-foot-deep horizontal loop. The big advantage during winter is the heating output of a geothermal system does not drop as it gets colder outdoors. This is when your house also needs the most heat. For this reason, the expensive backup electric resistance heating very seldom comes on with a geothermal heat pump. I chose the WaterFurnace model because, with its variable-speed compres24



sor, it has the highest heating and cooling efficiencies. The heating COP (coefficient of performance) is 5.3. Using the free heat from underground, it produces more than $5 worth of heat for each $1 on my utility bill. When cooling during the summer, the EER (energy efficiency ratio) is as high as 41. This is more than twice as efficient as the best new standard heat pumps and central air conditioners. Instead of the heat from the house being exhausted outdoors and wasted, it goes into the water heater for free heat. For extra savings, I also installed an optional hot water assist unit. During winter, excess heat being produced by the geothermal heat pump goes into the standard electric water heater. This heats the water using just one-fifth as much electricity as the water heater elements. The variable-speed compressor in my 7-Series model is connected to its matching thermostat to fine tune its heating and cooling output to the instantaneous needs of my house. This provides excellent comfort and maintains even room temperatures and lower noise levels. By constantly varying the output, it runs in more efficient, slower, quieter and longer cycles. This is coupled with a vari-

able-speed blower that matches the air flow from the registers to the compressor output. This is why the comfort is so good. Another significant advantage of the variable-speed compressor is humidity control during summer. Set the desired humidity on the thermostat. When it is humid, but not very hot outdoors, the blower slows down and the compressor runs fast to provide more dehumidification with less cooling. This type of compressor also provides a 120 percent instant supercool mode. The next step down in comfort and efficiency is a model with a two-stage compressor. Most of the time, it runs at the loweroutput speed. When it cannot heat or cool your house to the thermostat setting, it automatically switches to the higher speed for more output. Its EER is as high as 30. The simplest design is a single-stage compressor which either is on or off. This still provides much better comfort and savings over a standard heat pump. l Have a question for Jim? Send inquiries to JAMES DULLEY , Penn Lines, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit


A tale of two oaks, part one AT THE BASE of a small, round mountain in a small, thin valley at the southwestern tip of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, for about a decade of my early-teen-into-early-20s’ life, the bark-stripped, weather-beaten trunk of an ancient oak was a landmark for my outdoor-centric life. Apparently missed by the several clear-cut logging operations that had restarted the forest of that mountain multiple times since the coming of Europeans to North America, the tree had lost its limbs and branches to the vagaries of age and storm. But its massive trunk — at least 5 feet in diameter — still jutted upward 20 or 30 feet, maybe more. It was less than a stone’s throw from the spot where I missed my first buck with a bow and arrow, doing everything wrong and nothing right, from setting up on the ground right along the deer trail to drawing the bow many minutes before is is outdoor and nature writer at, the website of The Harrisburg, Pa., PatriotNews. He also writes for a range of magazines and websites, and has written more than two dozen books. For more of his writing, visit MARCUS SCHNECK

by Marcus Schneck

attempting the shot to staring into the eyes of the little sixpointer at a dozen paces for far too long before sending the arrow thudding into the ground 100 feet or more over the deer’s shoulder. It was the dominant force on the landscape I overlooked for a tree stand I later constructed in a pine at the edge of a stand of pines, where a flock of turkeys once roosted in the branches all around me. The oak remnant, which always brought to mind the tree trunk home adopted by the runaway Sam Gribley, hero in the 1959 Jean Craighead George work, “My Side of the Mountain,” was the marker for the spot where my family gathered the vining crowsfoot for home décor every Christmas. For the knowing eye, it marked the turning spot for leaving the old dirt road that circled the base of the mountain 30 or 40 yards away from the oak. There a turn to the southeast would put the woodsman on a well-worn deer trail that could lead to dozens of other trails that together formed a forest highway of foot-traffic (animal and human) throughout the forests of that Schuylkill County valley. Practically in the shadow of that old tree trunk was the spot where a small spotted skunk — the species of skunks that most people don’t even know exists — began following me almost daily on my regular rounds of checking my line of fox

traps. The little mustelid was so persistent in its unwanted, but nevertheless, interesting and intriguing, advances that eventually I had only water sets in that area, the type of trapping set that would most likely not attract a skunk, unlike the more common and more productive dirt-hole and scent-post sets. The old tree trunk slipped from my active memory as I moved into the early-adult stage of my life, which took me to new stomping grounds in other parts of Pennsylva-

OAK TALES: An old oak tree conjures up memories of days gone by, acting as a landmark for past adventures.

nia. By the time I revisited that forest landscape a couple of decades later, the ancient guardian was gone, reduced to a decomposing mound of former-wood, almost soil, but still clinging to its memories of cellulose greatness. A distant — very distant — relative of that oak would become a landmark of my later life, but that’s a tale for next month’s column. l

JUNE 2014 • PENN




Thoughts from Earl Pitts, UHMERIKUN! Earl puts out the Gone Fishin’ sign

Social commentary from Earl Pitts —— a.k.a. GARY BUR BANK , a nationally syndicated radio personality —— can be heard on the following radio stations that cover electric cooperative service territories in Pennsylvania: WANB-FM 103.1 Pittsburgh; WARM-AM 590 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton; WIOO-AM 1000 Carlisle; WEEO-AM 1480 Shippensburg; WMTZ-FM 96.5 Johnstown; WQBR-FM 99.9/92.7 McElhattan; WLMI-FM 103.9 Kane; and WVNW-FM 96.7 Burnham-Lewistown. You can also find him at




I ain’t got nothin’ to complain about today. No belly-achin’, no futzin’ over nothin’. Today I am a happy man. That’s because I spent all last night settin’ up my tackle box to go fishin’ tomorrow. You know, you can tell a lot about a man by his tackle box. You can tell his attention to detail and his commitment to success. You can tell his ability to prepare for all sorts a’ possibilities. Your tackle box is your winder into a man’s soul. An’ No. 1, I don’t got me a normal tackle box. No sir. Those would be for your beginners an’ your amateurs. And I made it myself. I took me a Craftsman stand-up tool chest, 4-foot-high with 14 drawers and I turned it into a travelin’ bass-master pro shop. Then I welded that sucker onto a hand-truck I snuck outta work. ‘Cause for your fisherman of today, it’s all about your mobility. And that, ladies an’ gentlemen, is the Cadillac of your fishin’ sports. It’s like when your surgeon is doin’ complex brain surgery, an’ he’s got all them fancy gizmos, tools an’ doo-dads laid out for him. I kind a’ got the same set up for fishin’ ‘cept none a’ my stuff is sterilized. An’ my whole tackle box kind a’ smells like lake. Yes sir, them fish see me rollin’ up to Mudd Lake with that bad boy, and sometimes they’ll just throw up their fins and surrender. A’ course every spring, you got to clean that tackle box out an’ restock for the new season. An’ for somethin’ this big, we’re talkin’ a major financial commitment. You got to restock your hooks, bobbers, sinkers an’ your swivels. You got to evaluate your poppers, jigs, an’ spoons, an’ see if any of them got to be cut from the team this year. ‘Cause you don’t ride with Earl if you’re not pullin’ your weight. Wake up, America. You got to be ready for any possibility. For example, I got one hook in there that’s so big that if we ever run into a great white shark in

Mudd Lake — or need to scale a castle wall — we’re ready. Happy fishin,’ folks.

This is springtime y’all, and you know what that means. Besides the flowers buddin’, an’ the trees turnin’ green, an’ everything bein’ fresh an’ new again, I was thinkin’, that means it’s also road-kill season again. Let’s face it — this is the time a’ year when God’s little creatures pop their little heads out of their little burrows, smile at the warmth of the sun and celebrate the grace to survive the winter, and then step in front of your car. Yeah, there’s something ironic about survivin’ the harshest winter in decades only to get took out two weeks later by an F-150. Generally speakin’, you hit your deer in the late fall or early winter. Everything else, you hit in late spring and early summer. Now out where we live, we got so many dead animals on the road right now, it’s like the county came through and carpeted. ‘Cause out in the country sendin’ critters to their maker comes second nature. I personally have hit skunks, possums, raccoons, an’ more rabbits an’ cats than you can shake a stick at. I have hit turtles, snakes, groundhogs, squirrels, chipmunks. I have hit a couple things I didn’t even know what they was. One may have been a Chubacabra. One thing my daddy taught me is to never swerve to miss an animal on the road. That’s dangerous. But never swerve to HIT an animal neither. That’s mean. Plus, you’ll hit more than your share through pure, dumb luck anyways. Wake up, America. Thank the good Lord I only hit one dog in my whole life. ‘Cause that’s one that gets to you. Plus, the blind lady he was walkin’ wadn’t too happy neither. I’m Earl Pitts, Uhmerikun. Like me on Facebook. And you can catch my new blog at l

RURALreflections Beauty surrounds us AS LATE spring fades to early summer, take time to enjoy the beauty that Pennsylvania offers at this time of year. Choosing to spend the day watching the animals in your own back yard or going for a walk in the woods is time well spent as the number of daylight hours peaks this month. Be sure to take your camera along on your summer adventures, and plan to share those photographs with “Rural Reflections” readers. At the end of the year, five lucky amateur photographers will receive a $75 prize in the categories of: most artistic, best landscape, best human subject, best animal subject and editor’s choice. To be eligible for the 2014 contest prizes, send your photos (no digital files, please) to: Penn Lines Photos, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg PA 17108-1266. On the back of each photo, include your name, address, phone number and the name of the electric cooperative that serves your home, business or seasonal residence. (The best way to include this information is by affixing an address label to the back of the photo. Please do not use ink gel or roller pens to write on the photo as they bleed onto other photos.) Remember, our publication deadlines require that we work ahead, so send your seasonal photos in early. We need fall photos before mid-July and winter photos before mid-September (keep your spring and summer photos to enter in the 2015 contest). Photos that don’t reflect a season may be sent at any time. Please note: photos will be returned at the end of the year if you include a self-addressed, self-stamped envelope. l

Diana Rudd Warren EC

Mark Condon United EC Paul Fedornak REA Energy

Harry Bumbaugh Tri-County REC JUNE 2014 • PENN



Penn Lines June 2014  
Penn Lines June 2014  

Penn Lines June 2014