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N OV E M B E R 20 1 2

Keeping posted U.S. Postal Service finds ways to hang on in rural communities

PLUS Window wizardry Stew about this! The mourning dove

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Indio, CA Waterbury, CT Medford, MA Lakewood, CO Hyannis, MA Pennsauken, NJ

NOVEMBER Vol. 47 • No. 11 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


News items from across the Commonwealth


W. Douglas Shirk L AYOU T & DESI GN

Vonnie Kloss


Michelle M. Smith

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.



Keeping posted

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

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.


Spotter’s guide to transmission poles and lines


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


U.S. Postal Service finds ways to hang on in rural communities


TIME LINES Your newsmagazine through the years

12A C O O P E R AT I V E


Information and advice from your local electric cooperative




Window wizardry Options available to improve the energy efficiency of old windows




Stew about this! 18


Mail-order history 19


The mourning dove: a study in species survival 20




Thoughts from Earl Pitts– Uhmerikun! Board officers and staff, Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association: Chairman, S. Eugene Herritt; Vice Chairman, Kevin Barrett; Secretary, Lanny Rodgers; Treasurer, Leroy Walls; President & CEO, Frank M. Betley © 2012 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, contributor’s guidelines, and an archive of past issues.

Earl’s toes don’t want to be singled out, they work as a team




Thank you for your entries O N T H E COV E R The Brooklyn, Pa., Post Office in Susquehanna County is one of 826 Pennsylvania post offices scheduled to have hours reduced. It is slated to go from being open six hours daily to two hours. (Photo Courtesy Susquehanna County Independent)





The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture reported in mid-October that the first positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the state’s deer population has been confirmed. The positive sample was taken from a white-tailed deer at a deer farm near New Oxford in Adams County. It was tested as

part of the state’s intensive CWD monitoring efforts. The state has quarantined the location where the diseased deer was found, plus two farms directly associated with the deer — one in Lycoming County and one in York County. CWD attacks the brains of infected deer, elk and moose, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. It is transmitted by direct animal-to-animal contact through saliva, feces and urine. Signs of the disease include weight loss, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, and abnormal behavior like

stumbling, trembling, and depression. The disease is fatal and there is no known treatment or vaccine. The disease was first recorded in 1967 in Colorado, and it has been spreading across the United States since then. Pennsylvania is the 23rd state to report it. “To date, CWD has not been found in Pennsylvania’s wild deer population,” said Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe in a news release issued by the department. “Concerns over CWD should not prevent anyone from enjoying deer hunting and consuming meat from healthy animals.” Roe said hunters should shoot only healthy-appearing animals, and take precautions like wearing rubber gloves when field-dressing their deer, and wash thoroughly when finished. “Though no human disease has been associated with CWD, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people or other animals do not eat any part of an animal diagnosed with or showing signs of CWD,” Acting Health Secretary Michael Wolf said in a news release.

Pennsylvania ranks high in digital survey Pennsylvania has retained its “Aminus” status in the 2012 survey by the Center for Digital Government, making it one of six states to receive that grade. Only Michigan and Utah earned a higher grade. Pennsylvania also earned an A-minus in the last survey, done in 2010.

The biennial survey reviews the information technology programs of all 50 states, delving into their use of digital technologies that serve their citizens, save money and achieve policy goals. The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state/local government.

Baby boomers returning to rural Pennsylvania According to Census Bureau information compiled by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, the number of baby boomers (anyone born between 1946 and 1964) living in rural Pennsylvania counties is up .4 percent between 2000 and 2010. That’s not a large increase, but it is a stark contrast to what’s happening in Pennsylvania’s urban counties, where there is a 4 percent decline in baby boomers during the same decade. The center reports the statewide trend is showing up across the United States as the nation’s rural areas reported a 2 percent increase in baby boomers while U.S. urban areas show a 3 percent decline. According to the report, six of Pennsylvania’s counties had increases of more than 11 percent in baby boomers in the decade studied. They are Carbon, Forest, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan and Wayne. The Pennsylvania counties with the largest declines in baby boomers are Allegheny, Greene, McKean and Philadelphia, each of which recorded a decline of more than 7 percent. l

The U.S. Transportation Department has awarded a $1.2 million grant to the National Park Service to complete work on the 1.2-mile road that provides access to the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville in rural Somerset County. The memorial honors the passengers and crew of the flight that crashed at the site during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.






First case of Chronic Wasting Disease found in Pennsylvania


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ENERGYmatters Spotter’s guide to transmission poles and lines COOPERATIVE RESEARCH NETWORK

B y M au r i c e M a rt i n

Cooperative Research Network

TRANSMISSION structures and towers are like interstate highways for electricity, carrying massive volumes of high-voltage current over large distances. These structures stand 55 feet tall or more and connect power plants to a series of substations and tie one bulk power region of the grid to another. The towering behemoths, surrounded by cleared land (called right-of-way), seem simple and unadorned. But a closer look reveals interesting details. With a little practice, you can identify devices attached to towers and even guess voltage levels.

Volts vary First step? Determine what you’re looking at. Higher voltages on power lines require more space between each other and other objects. Transmission towers usually stand 55 to 150 feet high. Most are made from steel, but some are concrete, wood, or even ductile iron. Wooden distribution poles, found in neighborhoods, are generally about 40 feet tall. Transmission voltages usually run between 23,000 volts and 765,000 volts. Compare that to the voltage of your home’s electrical sockets: 120 volts for most outlets, 240 volts for a clothes dryer or stove range. Transmission facilities carry power for long distances to substations, which reduce power for delivery on smaller lines to your electric cooperative. There, local substations step power down further, so it can be safely carried by distribution lines to communities. A trans6



ELECTRICITY HIGHWAY: Transmission towers may look like simple structures, but because of the extremely high voltages of electricity flowing through their wires, engineers take great care in their design.

former outside a home or business lowers the voltage to 120 volts or 240 volts. Transmission tower conductors — the energized lines — are made of steelreinforced aluminum cable and are always arranged in sets of three. This three-way grouping helps electricity travel efficiently. However, if you look at the top of a tower, you may see one or two smaller, solitary wires. They absorb or deflect lightning strikes, conveying excess electricity safely to the ground. Some overhead ground wires are grouped with fiber-optic cables. Or you may notice fiber optics running a few feet below transmission conductors. Adding telecommunication lines to utility poles gets the most out of the large investment in transmission systems.

Estimating volts The first rule of thumb for estimating volts: the higher the transmission tower, the greater the voltage. Transmission lines can’t touch the towers that support them — otherwise, the current flows to the ground. They’re separated from towers by bell-shaped insulators. The rule of separation works here, too — higher voltages require more sep-

aration between conductors and towers.

More uses for towers Towering transmission structures often double as weather data collectors. You may notice spinning cups of an anemometer measuring wind speed, or other meteorological equipment. Early tower designers discovered large birds like to build nests on the girders. Birds can cause an outage if excreted waste lands on an insulator and triggers a short circuit. Rather than have birds nest in random and potentially dangerous spots, some designers include platforms for nests.

The path of power This “spotter’s guide” helps you understand what you’re looking at and provides a better understanding of the electric cooperative network. But remember: k Do not climb utility structures. Stay a safe distance from all equipment. k These descriptions are common, but designs vary. l Maurice Martin is senior program manager for the Cooperative Research Network, a service of the Arlington, Va.-based National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

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posted U.S. Postal Service finds ways to hang on in rural communities 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

than their city counterparts. In the isolated hills and valleys of rural Pennsylvania, where high-speed internet, cellphone service or even FM radio is spotty or non-existent, these post offices are often the best, most reliable contact with the wider world. Especially for a growing elderly population. But major changes are coming to the post offices in 826 rural communities scattered across the Commonwealth (and some 13,000 post offices across the United States), thanks to a growing financial crisis in the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Determined to get its financial house in order, the USPS recently began scheduling community meetings in targeted areas to gather input on how residents of those communities prefer to receive and send their mail. “Customers in these communities are being notified that their post office has been designated to reduce hours,” reports Ray Daiutolo Sr., USPS spokesman for the Central District of Pennsylvania. “A survey will ask them for information and tell them about a public meeting that is being scheduled in their community.” The goal of the survey, he says, is to determine how each affected community sees the future of its post office. And, 8




RURAL post offices play a different role

even though the USPS is a massive organization, he says its officials will listen to residents who speak up. “Last year, we were looking at potentially closing many of the smaller offices, but based on national negative feedback, it was determined that we could accom-

HEART OF THE COMMUNITY: These examples of the décor of long-ago rural post offices are now enshrined in the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. These samples are from Dillsburg, Pa., taken from the office that operated from 1913 to 1971. Post offices around the country used the prefabricated panels so the offices would have a similar look.

plish some of the same goals by reducing hours,” Daiutolo notes. “So this is the latest strategy that the organization developed as a result of the feedback.” The USPS is offering customers of affected post offices several options to consider, including reduced hours. Those communities that opt for reduced hours will then be asked to determine the most convenient open hours. Rural residents can also consider discontinuing the post office and having curbside delivery, or establishing a “village” post office where the USPS pays someone to operate a post office out of his or her

own facility. “This is a pretty big endeavor,” Daiutolo notes. “There are 67 districts across the country, and this is happening all across the country, not just in Pennsylvania. Nationwide, there are 13,000 offices that are scheduled to have their hours reduced. They are feeling that to do this right, the process will take about two years to complete across the country. Some, of course, will be done sooner than others.” Because Pennsylvania’s 13 rural electric cooperatives serve the most rural areas of the Commonwealth, many of the 826 post offices slated to operate on reduced hours lie within cooperative service areas. Some will be affected greatly with hours that are significantly reduced; others will have much less significant changes.

County, the question of what will become of her village’s post office is very personal. For nearly 80 years, a member of Henderson’s family has served as Shunk postmaster. She says that in 1934, her grandparents, Lawrence and Caroline Baumunk, sold all they owned — 200 chickens — and used that money for a down payment on the general store in Family tradition Shunk. Two years later, Lawrence was named postmaster, beginning a family For Ann Henderson, postmaster of tradition of managing the general store the Shunk Post Office in Sullivan and the post office that is located in it. He served until 1953, followed by Caroline who served until 1978, to be replaced by their daughter-in-law — Ann’s mother — Lucy Baumunk, from 1978 to 1997. Henderson, a member of the Sullivan County Rural Electric Cooperative (REC) Board of Directors, has been postmaster since 1997. She also is the owner/manager of Baumunk’s General Store, where the USPS leases an office. The Shunk Post Office is open four hours a day, but according to the USPS guidelines, it is tabbed to be cut to two hours daily. “Customers are happy it looks like it will stay open, but they are concerned about how the reduction in hours will UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Ann Henderson, postmaster at the Shunk Post affect them because two Office in Sullivan County, scans the bar code on the mailbox at the hours a day isn’t a very post office. The USPS has scheduled the Shunk office hours to be reduced from four daily to two. long period,” Henderson

The New Enterprise Post Office is scheduled to reduce its operating hours from eight hours a day to six due to the declining amount of business there. NEW ENTERPRISE TO REDUCE HOURS:

reports. “We have a lot of older people who still write letters. Lots of people around here don’t have computers, and there’s no cellphone coverage. People still mail their bills.” The busiest times at the Shunk Post Office are the summer, when seasonal residents are at their cabins, and during the Christmas holiday season. “The post office provides a sense of identity for the community,” Henderson notes. “It provides a service, especially for the elderly. It’s very convenient, especially in these days when security is important. Some people have a (post office) box here so their mail that has bank or credit card information, or other forms of ID, isn’t sitting in a box along a back road that doesn’t get a lot of traffic.” The Shunk Post Office, which has 75 post office boxes available, also provides space for a community bulletin board, is the drop-off point for local food drives, and also serves as a branch location for the Sullivan County Library where library patrons can check out and return books. West of Shunk, in neighboring Lycoming County, the Slate Run Post Office is also a “one-man band,” with Brandi Yost serving as the officer in charge since July 30. Slate Run is similar to Shunk in that the post office is located in space leased by a general store — in this case, Wolfe’s General Store, operated by Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative members Tom and Debra Finkbiner. NOVEMBER 2012 • PENN



PENNlines Slate Run has 81 post office boxes. It now is open six hours a day, and is designated to be reduced to two hours a day. Even though she’s relatively new to the acting postmaster role in Slate Run, Yost is familiar with the operation as she has been substituting at the Slate Run office for more than five years. “We have a lot of retired people here,” she reports. “A lot of them come in and wait for the mail to get here every day. We also have quite a bit of business from seasonal cabins. You see all walks of life come through here. We get tourists who buy a postcard in the store and then buy a stamp from us and mail it before they leave.”

Concern for community She describes the setting of the post office within the general store as a “family setting” where the customers all know each other and her. Many of those people have expressed concern over the last few years that the post office might close. “I was just positive this office was one they were going to close,” Yost adds. “I am really impressed that the government listened to the people and the communities, and is reducing the hours instead of closing it.” However, Debra Finkbiner, the coowner of Wolfe’s General Store who retired in July after 37 years as postmaster, isn’t quite as optimistic about the long-term future of the local post office. “I believe this is a service for the community,” Finkbiner says. “People count on getting their mail. Up here, people don’t have internet or cellphone coverage. This is our community center where people meet and find out about what’s happening in the community. … I am concerned that when they cut this post office back to two hours a day, it won’t be worth anyone’s while to drive here to work at it. I’m afraid at that point they will just say, ‘We have to close it because there’s no one to operate it.’” In contrast to the Shunk and Slate Run post offices, the post office in Fairhope in Somerset County is in a stand-alone building owned by the 10



HARD AT WORK: Christian Gohn, left, a member of REA Energy Cooperative, and Dawn Drake, a member of Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative and employee at the Cross Fork Post Office, sort mail for delivery. The office is scheduled to have its hours of operation reduced in a cost-saving measure. Gohn is a contract carrier who delivers mail to many of central Pennsylvania’s smaller post offices.

USPS. A member of the Somerset Rural Electric Cooperative, the post office is scheduled to go from eight hours a day to two. Although the Fairhope area is small — with only 30 post office boxes — the area gets quite a few tourists, especially train aficionados who come from all over the world to photograph the scenic railroad crossings. The bulk of the post office business, though, comes from community residents. Postmaster Robert G. Platt has been the postmaster there since 2003; prior to that he worked at the Berlin Post Office for 15 years. He’s been in the business long enough that he’s seldom surprised at what people send through the mail. “I’ve probably seen just about everything and anything mailed,” he says. “What might sound unusual to you is just common to us.” Although being cut from eight to two hours is a difficult blow, Platt notes that community residents are pleased the USPS stepped back from its original intent to close the office. During his nearly quarter-century of service, he’s seen the writing on the wall — each year seems to bring fewer and

fewer letters, although special occasions like the 2012 general election can bring a flood of mail to be delivered.

Other services Similar to the Fairhope Post Office, the Cross Fork Post Office in southern Potter County is also located in a building owned by the USPS. Dawn Drake, a member of Tri-County REC, is one of two non-career employees there. Now open eight hours a day, the USPS is planning to reduce the office hours to four hours daily. In addition to offering all of the typical post office services, in Cross Fork, the employees also have a community bulletin board, library books from the Potter-Tioga Library, and a DVD borrowing program. “The books are changed every three months so that’s a great program for older people who don’t like to drive a lot,” Drake notes. “I started the DVD borrowing program, and people donate DVDs when they can. It gets a lot of use from people at the camps because a lot of the camps don’t have satellite. No money changes hands. It’s a good source of entertainment for people who are vacationing here without television.”

The Cross Fork Post Office also offers some unusual services — if local residents have more garden produce than they can use themselves, they bring it to the post office, where other residents who would like a serving of fresh vegetables can help themselves. And the apple tree in the post office yard provides enough apples for everyone who wants to bring a bucket and fill it. In exchange, the seasonal residents and hunters, as well as the year-round residents, make a special effort to support the local post office, Drake says. Their busiest times are the summer and bear hunting season, along with the traditional Christmas season. “They are very thoughtful about coming in here to buy supplies and to use the services here,” she says. “They want to make sure we stay open. There isn’t another post office for 20 miles around.”

many customers are paying over the phone or internet.” Other businesses and residents have made similar changes, ultimately leading to the USPS decision to cut the New Enterprise Post Office daily hours from eight to six. The plan to cut back on hours at small post offices is driven by finances, not the desire to cut services. “We had to look at the way things have been going,” Daiutolo says. “We have less foot traffic in our post offices because people are communicating in different ways. When you combine that with the fact that people can conduct postal transactions without going to a brick and mortar building, it puts us in Changes a position where we have to Daiutolo says the postal service looks look at all of our infrastrucat a number of factors in determining ture because we are strugwhich offices will have to reduce hours, gling with our finances. We including the number of transactions in are trying to balance cusANYONE WANT A STAMP? Brandi Yost, officer in charge of the an office and the revenue generated there. tomer expectations with Slate Run Post Office, operates the tiny post office located Brawna Sell, New Enterprise REC financial realities for us. … inside Wolfe’s General Store, a member of Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative. office manager, said changes in payment Hopefully, the upcoming options have reduced mail traffic at the community meetings will tinuing to expand and leverage relationcooperative’s office in Bedford County. allow us to do that.” ships with retail outlets to provide “The 28th of each month is our bill At the same time the USPS is workpostal products to customers at a time due date,” Sell reports. “It used to be ing to cut hours at some locations, it also that is convenient for them.” that we would be flooded with mail on is expanding some services that are As the USPS struggles to adapt to that date, but now we just get a small more cost-effective. stack of mail on the 28th because so “Customers in the last few years have society’s changing needs, some hope to hang on to the rural post office tradition. been telling us Tri-County REC member James that they want us McGuire is one of those dedicated custo be more contomers who does all he can to make venient,” Daiutolo sure there will always be a local post says. “They ask office in his Cross Fork community. us, ‘Can you come “I live up on the hill, and every day, I up with other come to check my mail,” McGuire says. ideas?’ So we now “I depend on the post office, and I have, appreciate having them here. This is my which we call the daily routine, walking down to the post post office that office every morning.” never closes. You Working at the Cross Fork Post can pretty much Office, Drake says she understands how do anything on her neighbors feel about their post office. our website that “Everybody calls this the hub of the you can do on-site community,” she says. “I think people at a post office. … DAILY HABIT: Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative customer James McGuire would be lost without it.” l checks for mail every morning at his Cross Fork Post Office box. Also, we are con-





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

2002 IN NOVEMBER 2002, Penn Lines examined the five levels of adult literacy and the effects of rural illiteracy. The levels are: Illiterate — Extremely limited reading and writing skills. Illiterate individuals might not be able to sign their names or recite the alphabet. Functionally illiterate — Reading skills fall below the sixth-grade level. Functionally illiterate adults need help with reading for routine daily tasks like grocery shopping and riding public transportation. Marginally illiterate — Those in this category likely graduated from high school, but had a rough time getting through. A job application from them, for example, might have multiple spelling errors. Alliterate — People who can read, but have children at risk for illiteracy because they are not engaged with books. Literate — Easily can read and write, and are able to find information they need. Barriers to fighting illiteracy in rural areas include: transportation to get to tutoring sessions, lack of affordable child care, and potential lack of tutors. Programs that fight illiteracy address the following components: continuing education and GED assistance for adults; parenting workshops; early childhood learning programs; and interaction between parents and children with an emphasis on reading.

1972 November brings Thanksgiving, the fall harvest and hunting season, and this edition of Penn Lines discusses the background and meaning of each. 12



1982 The Area Transportation Authority of

1992 Rural merchants band together to develop

Northcentral Pennsylvania is one of the first of the rural transportation systems in Pennsylvania.

strategies for co-existing in an environment that is becoming more likely to include a Wal-Mart.


In 1935, this was more than a pole. It was a symbol of determination. It spurred hope, cooperation and growth. And today, you can keep that spirit alive in your co-op by saving energy. Find out how at



by James Dulley

Window wizardry Options available to improve the energy efficiency of old windows YOU PROBABLY feel chilly near old single-pane windows on a cold day — they typically have huge heat loss because of poor caulking and weather stripping (if there is any). You probably also feel hot near them during the summer. The most significant heat loss occurs on a clear winter night. The R-value — a higher-the-better number that shows the ability of insulation to resist the transfer of heat — of a single pane of glass is only R-1, as compared to an insulated wall at R-20. There are many things you can do on a limited budget to improve the year-round efficiency of your windows. First, check the caulking and weather stripping on the windows and ensure the framing is not deteriorated. Fix problems before you attempt any improvements, or your hard work won’t be worth much. Adding storm windows, either interior or exterior, can more than double the energy efficiency of your windows. Custom-made, multi-track storm windows can cost almost as much as new windows, so make your own using clear acrylic sheets. An advantage of using acrylic instead of glass is that acrylic blocks most of the sun’s fading ultraviolet rays. Exterior storm windows can be made with 1-by-2-inch lumber, acrylic sheet, and foam weather stripping. If you size them to fit inside the wall opening and paint them to match your existing window frames, they will look like part of your windows. The compressible foam weather stripping should hold them in place in the opening. Push them in as far as possible to minimize the air gap. To install interior storm windows, use 14



a kit with magnetic seals. The magnetic section of the seal attaches to the acrylic sheet with an adhesive backing, and the steel strip attaches to the window frame. This allows you to easily remove them during the summer, but if you use air conditioning, just leave them up year-round. Another option is to install insulating window shades or curtains to increase the insulation level of the window opening and to block the radiant heat loss from your skin through the window. Something as simple as a pull-down pleated shade can help. Some of the most efficient window shades can add R-6 insulation to your windows. These are multilayer roll-up shades with a heat-reflecting, airproof inner film layer to reduce radiant heat loss (or gain during summer). These shades are particularly effective because the side edges slide in channel tracks, which reduces the amount of air that circulates against the cold (or hot) glass. The newest energy-saving permanent window films are also effective for reducing wintertime heat loss. These films have a very slight tint so they can’t be detected and use the same type of microscopically thin, low-emissivity metallic coating as

expensive replacement windows. Simple vinyl static-cling film will also help. Before installing anything on double-pane windows, check the window manufacturer’s warranty regarding film application. Do-it-yourself, energy-saving film installation kits are available at most home improvement stores. Depending on your climate, you may want to select a darker tint if summertime heat gain is your most significant concern. Because the sun is higher in the sky during summer, installing window awnings for shade and a lighter film on south-facing windows will allow for passive solar heating from the wintertime sun. A final option is to install a tilt-in double-pane, sash-only replacement kit. If your existing frames are in good condition, this will convert your old windows into very efficient ones. This option also provides ease of cleaning both sides of the window glass from indoors. l Have a question for Jim? Send inquiries to JAMES DULLEY , Penn Lines, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit


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The Cyclone Rake does a job that would take a whole landscape crew, or days of hard work any other way. It hitches to nearly any riding mower or ZTR. With its own engine powered vacuum-mulcher and huge hauling capacity, you can clear the heaviest leaf cover with sitting-down ease. Backed by a full year risk-free return policy and a 3-year warranty, it’s the homeowner’s answer to easy fall cleanup!

Plus, it folds up flat, just 8 inches thick. It even hangs on the wall!


1-800-605-0146 or visit Mention the Discount Code PL1112 when you call, or enter it on our web site for a special discount on any Cyclone Rake model. (Expires 12/28/2012) ŠWoodland Power Products, Inc., 72 Acton St., West Haven, CT 06516


by Janette He ss


Stew about this! “STEW” is a catch-all term for any number of thick, meaty entrees — ragouts, burgoos, cioppinos and goulashes, to name a few. The bottom line is that the tender meats and deep flavors of stew are the result of a long cooking process. Some stews contain chunks of potato while other stews need to be served as a topping over potatoes, rice, noodles or even grits. Of course, calorie or carb watchers usually choose to skip all of the above and simply add an extra side of vegetables to soak up all the savory sauce. Either way, stews bring well-developed flavors and winter heartiness to the table. This month’s recipes explore three stewing methods: stovetop, oven and slow cooker. All have a place in your cold-weather cooking repertoire! 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.

CHICKEN RAGOUT 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup peeled pearl onions 1 cup sliced celery 1 cup sliced carrots 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken brot h Freshly ground pepper 1 package chicken gravy mix 1/2 cup light cream (“half and half ”) or milk 1 cup green peas (if frozen, thaw before adding ) Trim chicken and cut into 1-inch cube s. Melt butter in large, non-stick skillet. Add chicken; sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, or until all surfaces of chicken have turned white. Stir in paprika, thyme and salt. Transfer chicken, including any pan juices, to slow cooker. Stir in all vegetables and broth. Sprinkle with pepp er. Cook at least 6 hours on low setting. Whisk gravy mix into light cream or milk; add to slow cooker. Carefully stir in peas. Increase heat to high setting and cook 30 minutes longer. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Serve over mashed pota toes or rice, if desired.




2 or 3 bacon slices, diced 1 large onion, chopped 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 teaspoons paprika 2 pounds pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes 1/2 cup beef broth 1 can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seed Water as needed Sour cream for garnish, if desired

In large pot (preferably non-stick), fry diced bacon until crisp. Drain bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pot. Set bacon aside. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to bacon drippings in pot. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until onion is soft. Stir in paprika and pork. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding beef broth, sauerkraut, garlic powder and salt. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, adding water 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time as needed to keep mixtur e from drying out. After 1 hour, add caraway seeds and bacon. Contin ue simmering until pork is very tender, approximately 1/2 hour longer. Makes 6 generous servings. Garnish with sour cream, if desired.

MEATBALL STEW 1 pound lean ground beef 1 cup soft bread crumbs 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese 1 egg, well beaten 1/2 cup milk 1 package dried onion soup, divided 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 5 cups raw vegetables of choice (Cubed potatoes, baby carrots, mushrooms, green beans, roughly chopped onion) 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce 1 14 1/2-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth Generous 1/4 cup finely grated raw potato 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (plus more for serving, if desired) Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, cheese, egg, milk, 1/2 of soup mix and pepper. Form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Using non-stick skillet lightly coated with cooking spray, carefully brown meatballs on all sides over medium to medium-high heat. Once meatballs have browned, continue cooking over medium heat for at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer meatballs to 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Add vegetables of choice. Whisk together remaining soup mix, tomato sauce, broth, grated potato and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over meatballs and vegetables. Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours, or until vegetables are tender. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation required by 39 USC 3685 TITLE OF PUBLICATION: Penn Lines PUBLICATION NUMBER: 929-700 FILING DATE: September 10, 2012 Issued monthly, 12 times annually. Subscription price is $5.42 for members of electric distribution cooperatives in Pennsylvania. Mailing address of office is 212 Locust Street, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA 17108-1266. Publisher is Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA 17108-1266. Editor/Director of Communications & Member Services is Peter A. Fitzgerald, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA 17108-1266. Owner is Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1266. There are no other owners or bondholders. The purpose, function, and non-profit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes have not changed during the preceding 12 months. TOTAL NUMBER OF COPIES:: Average number of copies each issue during the preceding 12 months, 166,415. Actual number of copies of single issue (September 2012) published nearest to filing date, (September 166,239). PAID CIRCULATION: Average Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions, 165,021 (September 164,808). Average Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions, 0 (September 0). Average Paid Distribution Outside the Mails including Sales through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and other Paid Distribution Outside USPS, 752 (September 700). Average Paid Distribution by other Classes of Mail through the USPS, 46 (September 45). TOTAL PAID DISTRIBUTION: Average, 165,819 (September 165,553). FREE OR NOMINAL RATE DISTRIBUTION: Average Outside-County Copies, 273 (September 271). Average In-County, 0 (September 0). Average Copies mailed at Other Classes through the USPS, 0 (September 0). Average Distribution Outside the Mail by carriers or other means, 165 (September 165). TOTAL FREE OR NOMINAL RATE DISTRIBUTION: Average, 437 (September 436). TOTAL DISTRIBUTION: Average, 166,256 (September 165,989). COPIES NOT DISTRIBUTED: Average, 159 (September 250). TOTAL: Average number of copies each issue during preceding 12 months, 166,415 (September 166,239). PERCENT PAID CIRCULATION: Average percentage during preceding 12 months, 99.74 percent (September 99.74 percent). PUBLICATION OF STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP: Publication required. Will be printed in the November 2012 issue of this publication. SIGNATURE AND TITLE OF EDITOR, PUBLISHER, BUSINESS MANAGER, OR OWNER: DATE: 9-10-12 Editor and Director of Communications and Member Services I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties).

Farms are part of our electric cooperative.


by Barbara Martin

Mail-order history GARDENERS have long understood the allure of plants from faraway places. For example, Thomas Jefferson was a passionate plant enthusiast and collector. He sent Lewis and Clark off on a long expedition to our nation’s western ocean in part so they could bring back useful and interesting plants. Jefferson often shared his new discoveries by sending specimens off to gardeners as far away as Pennsylvania and even to Europe. Imagine wrapping your bare root plants in moss and sending them off by horsedrawn conveyance or across the Atlantic. Here in Pennsylvania, we still have a great distance-gardening tradition. Certainly, we’ve all heard of our local Burpee — a company nearly synonymous with mail-order gardening for generations and still going strong — and many other fine companies. My earliest memories of mail-order plants go back decades. An enthusiastic BARBARA 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.



new gardener, I ordered some spring flowering bulbs. One day in October, three big cardboard boxes landed on my front porch. “The Bulbs,” as they came to be known, had arrived! I opened the boxes, remembering the colorful catalog photos of flowers here, there and everywhere bursting alive in spring glory. What I had somehow glossed over in my ordering frenzy was the need to plant the bulbs, at a ratio of approximately one bulb per bloom. Planting a bulb is a cinch, but digging the hole for it is time-consuming and back-breaking. My husband delighted in telling anyone who would listen that I had somehow lost my mind and ordered over 800 bulbs. To be fair, many of them were the so-called minor bulbs, the ones that can be planted a half dozen to a single wide hole, and he sweetly helped me get them in the ground. Another mail-order episode involved trees. Someone who shall remain unnamed thought it would be a good idea to plant a row of pines, a long, triple-staggered line of pines, and sent away for some little liners. Liners are not really trees yet. A liner is more like a six-inch twig with a root on it. Liners are planted using a special long-handled tool. Cut a slit in the soil, pry it open just a tad and slide in the liner, then stomp the soil back into place to firm it on the roots.


It was a dry year so we watered each one by hand using a coffee can to dip water out of a bucket. Decades later, eight of those trees survive, having dodged all manner of peril from deer to drought to runaway horses dragging a fence behind them. My favorite mail-order plant memory dates to the winter our daughter was born. A box arrived addressed to me from a prestigious nursery. I ripped it open thinking surely a mistake? But to my delight, there SPRING WILL COME: Mail-order gardening can was a gift card ensure spring will arrive early at your house. enclosed with three of the largest sheer magic of mail-order amaryllis bulbs I have ever gardening. You could wait seen. These were no ordiuntil the dark days of Februnary bulbs. These were the ary to tally up your orders, size of overgrown grapeor you could start now and fruits. And they grew: over get a jump on the early-order several months’ time they bonuses. And if you are each threw out stem after looking to check items off stem after stem, blooming your gift list, well, hop to it nonstop. Never before or since have I had an amaryllis while there’s still time for delivery before the holidays. bulb send up not one, not And if Santa’s elves way up two, but three bloom stems at the North Pole need a little fully loaded with top-size blooms! Thanks again, Mom! help with what to tuck into your own stocking, well, you I share these stories know what to do! l because I do believe in the


by Marcus Schneck

The mourning dove: a study in species survival WHEN THE Pennsylvania Game Commission captured and banded more than 1,000 mourning doves across the state earlier this year, one of the 21 recaptures stood out. It was a male captured at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area on the Lancaster-Lebanon county line, and commission records showed it to be at least 7 years old. In terms of potential lifespan for a dove, seven years doesn’t even approach the record. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology lists the longest known life for the species as a captive bird that died after passing the 34-year mark. But seven years for a dove in the wild is noteworthy. No one will ever know for sure, but I’d wager that the bird rarely traveled outside the protected, no-hunting propagation areas at Middle Creek. Hunting takes a heavy toll on mourning doves that freMARCUS SCHNECK is outdoor editor for The (Harrisburg, Pa.) PatriotNews and a contributor to many outdoor publications and websites, and author of more than two dozen books.. An ongoing guide to his writing and photography appears at

quent areas open to hunting. Making it to even a year is a challenge. Hunters claim more than 20 million of the birds every year. Most hunters will be surprised by that annual harvest tally for a species often measured by how many shotgun shells were spent to harvest one dove. The bird is a tiny, zigzagging dervish of a target, unpredictable to a fault and with speed to burn. Individuals have been clocked at more than 50 miles per hour. Bagging a meal of the 6-ounce birds — at least three per person — for most of us, is no inexpensive proposition. And, despite all that, hunting is not the primary cause of dove mortality. Things like predators, weather and disease are thought to kill four or five

times the number of doves each year as is taken by hunters. It’s estimated that as much as 65 percent of the dove population is lost every year. Regardless of such heavy losses, the mourning dove remains one of the most abundant birds across the continent. The North American population is estimated to be about 350 million. Its breeding cycle, which can include six clutches per year, is the most frequent of any North American bird and helps to account for the species’ ability to remain ahead of all that annual mortality. That’s the reason there always seems to be a ready supply of mourning doves to roam the ground beneath nearly every bird feeder we

The mourning dove is one of the most abundant North American birds, despite its position as a favorite for hunters.


want to hang. The spilled seed, including much that the other common feeder birds do not want, is a feast for the mourning dove. They seem to spend the entire day under the feeder. Each dove has a relatively large crop to fill — more than 17,000 grass seeds were found in one crop — but then the bird is ready to find a protected perch somewhere and lounge through hours of digestion. As a species, the mourning dove is a survival machine that might warrant a place on the list of species that will be here long after humans. l




PENNLINESclassified ISSUE MONTH: AD DEADLINE: Penn Lines classified advertisements reach more than 165,800 rural Pennsylvania households! January 2013. . . . November 16 Please note ads must be received by the due date to be included in the requested issue month. Ads February 2013 . . . December 14 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 March 2013 . . . . . . . January 15 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. AROUND THE HOUSE



“COUNTRY COOKING,” Volume 2 — $8, including postage. “RECIPES REMEMBERED,” Volume 3 — $12, 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. *HOLIDAY SPECIAL — BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $15.*

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. 724-7460992 or 814-926-3622.

“COUNTRY COOKING,” Volume 2 — $8, including postage. “RECIPES REMEMBERED,” Volume 3 — $12, 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. *HOLIDAY SPECIAL — BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $15.*

CLOCK REPAIR: If you have an antique grandfather clock, mantel clock or old pocket watch that needs restored, we can fix any timepiece. Macks Clock Repair: 814-421-7992. BUILDING SUPPLIES STEEL ROOFING AND SIDING. Corrugated sheets (cut to length). Our best residential roofing $2.25/lineal foot. Also seconds, heavy gauges, odd lots, etc. Located in northwestern Pennsylvania. 814-398-4052. FACTORY SECONDS of insulation, 4 x 8 sheets, foil back. Also reflective foil bubble wrap. 814-442-6032. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES 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 800497-9793. DON’T GIVE UP your current job…yet! Work this booming business part-time from home. Anyone can do it!! Review noobligation information and follow the simple steps at and www.destination




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.

100% GRASS FED BEEF. Our holistic management produces the highest quality meat. Animals graze on a natural diet, are never fed grain, growth hormones, antibiotics or pesticides. McCormick Farm, LLC 814-472-7259.


COUNTRY CRAFTED bentwood oak/hickory rockers. Swings, gliders, double rockers, coffee/end tables, bar stools, kitchen sets, cedar log outdoor furniture, log bedrooms, SPECIAL queen log bed, $599. 814-733-9116.

EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY for motivated cosmetologists in beautiful setting. Busy year-round resort area spa seeking hair and nail techs, estheticians, and massage therapists. Contact Jackie or Tina: 301-387-4477 or FENCING Building a fence? Find hydraulic post drivers, high-tensile wire, electric fence, electric netting, rotational grazing supplies, tools and more from Kencove Farm Fence Supplies. FREE Fence Guide/Catalog – Call 800-536-2683!


HARDWARE/LUMBER RETAIL LEE’S Hardware — CRESSON 814-886-2377. Plumbing, electrical, hardware, paint, tools, wood pellets. PATTON 814-674-5122. Lumber, roofing, plywood, windows, doors, shale, sand, blocks, delivery, boom lift trucks, estimates. Full service hometown stores. 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 800-5578477: ID#528390. 90-day money back on first time orders or call me 724-454-5586.

PENNLINESclassified TWO ACRE CAMP for sale. Electric, septic tank. Adjacent to State Game Land/Forest. Fully furnished, wood stove, screened porch. Off of Route 337 Tidioute/Hearts Content. $60,000. 412-734-9595.

PENN OAKS CAMPGROUND — Now accepting reservations for next year’s camping season. Seasonal six-month sites, $750 plus electric. All utilities. Close to Cook Forest and Allegheny National Forest. $100 holds your spot. 800-634-2495.


LAKE STONYCREEK, Somerset County — Three bedrooms, three baths, .9 acre, family room, spacious kitchen, living and dining room. Lakefront – must see. $399,900. 814-242-3406.

BLUE KNOB SKI area house rental. Sleeps two to six. One bedroom plus loft. Two baths, satellite TV, complete kitchen with large counter. Minimum two nights. 814-599-1605.

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. 814443-3115.

128 ACRE FARM — Six bedroom house, outbuildings. Currently rented and farmed. Mixture of woods, fields, beaver pond, borders State Forest. Lots of road frontage! Beautiful views. OGM rights don’t transfer. Almond, NY 14804. $269,900. 610-656-9700.


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.



Think GLOBAL, Give LOCAL. For more information on volunteering or donating call 570-433-0777. Stop by at 23 Green Hollow Road, Montoursville, PA 17754 or visit at

“COUNTRY COOKING,” Volume 2 — $8, including postage. “RECIPES REMEMBERED,” Volume 3 — $12, 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. *HOLIDAY SPECIAL — BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $15.*

LANDOWNER INCOME OPPORTUNITY EARN TOP $$$ Leasing Hunting Rights. Call Base Camp Leasing for free quote & info packet. Hunting Leases done right since 1999. 866-309-1507. LAWN AND GARDEN EQUIPMENT HARRINGTONS EQUIPMENT COMPANY, 475 Orchard Rd., Fairfield, PA 17320. 717-642-6001 or 410-756-2506. Lawn & Garden equipment, Sales – Service - Parts. LEGAL SERVICES 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 LIVESTOCK AND PETS 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. LLAMAS – closeout sale – bred females, females with crias, male and female weanlings. All registered. 23 years experience. 814735-4736 or 941-587-8986. AKC Registered IRISH WOLFHOUND puppies — comes with first shots, dewormed and health guarantee. Phone 814-634-9203. 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 814696-1379.

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

FARM LAND for local grass fed beef grazing operation. Holistic approach and active grazing plan proven to enhance soil, wildlife, and land quality. Cambria and surrounding counties. McCormick Farm LLC. 814-472-7259.


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 TIMBER FRAME HOMES SETTLEMENT POST & BEAM BUILDING COMPANY uses timehonored mortise, tenon and peg construction paired with modern engineering standards. Master Craftsman and owner, Greg Sickler, brings over two decades of timber-framing experience to helping you create your dream. We use highquality timbers harvested from sustainable forests for all of our projects. Visit our model home, located on Historic Route 6, Sylvania, in North Central Pennsylvania. For more information phone 570-297-0164 or go to or contact us at TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

Saving money on my electric

COMPRESSOR — Ingersoll Rand 185/CFM Diesel Engine, towable unit, 1500 hours, excellent condition $4,500 or best offer. 717235-5137.

bill seemed like a good enough


Find out what you can do at

ARTHURS TRACTORS, specializing in vintage Ford tractors, 30years experience, on-line parts catalog/prices, shipped via UPS. Contact us at 877-254-FORD (3673) or

reason to update my closet.

MISCELLANEOUS TREE TRIMMING/REMOVAL BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER, Correspondence study. The harvest truly is great, the laborers are few, Luke 10:2. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 6630 West Cactus #B107-767, Glendale, AZ 85304.

TOM’S TREE SERVICE – Tree Trimming/Removal – Storm Cleanup – Stump Grinding – Land Clearing – Bucket Truck and Chipper – Fully Insured – Free Estimates – Call 24/7 – 814-448-3052 – 814-627-0550 – 26 Years Experience.

MOTORCYCLE-SNOWMOBILE INSURANCE VACATIONS AND CAMPSITES For the best INSURANCE RATES call R & R Insurance Associates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 800-442-6832 (PA). OLD BARN BEAMS 4 SALE BARN BEAMS for sale. Five hand hewn 19 feet plus solid barn beams. Make offer 814-674-8803. REAL ESTATE FLORIDA Retirement/Vacation — 2006 manufactured home. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two-car detached garage, concrete driveway. 1/8 mile from Suwannee River, 15 miles to Gulf. Landscaped, almost new condition. 610-681-4088. $79,900.

LAKE RAYSTOWN Vacation House Rental. Sleeps 11, fireplace, four bedrooms, dining table for 12, central A/C, two Satellite TVs, two full baths, two half baths, linens/towels provided, large recreation room. Minimum two nights. Call 814-931-6562. Visit DAYTONA BEACH Condo on the river, five minutes from beach. Third floor, two bedrooms, two baths. Beautiful view. Threemonth minimum rental. Discounts for more months. Call Belkis at 954-629-6966. Email






Thoughts from Earl Pitts, UHMERIKUN! Earl’s toes don’t want to be singled out, they work as a team

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.




Somethin’ happened to me down at the high school football practice the other night. But first, let me tell you something — our team is lookin’ better than their one an’ four record. I’m thinking they could win maybe three games this year. Keep your fingers crossed. Anyways, this other father was there on the sidelines with me, an’ I swear I am not makin’ this up. He was wearing sneakers with toes in’ em. It looked like he was wearin’ gloves on his feet. That was about the most curious thing I have ever seen. An’ by “curious” I mean “stupid-lookin’.” I mean if maybe you was just a little bit drunk an’ you only seen this dude from the knees down, you’d a swore he was upside down an’ walkin’ around on his hands! I’m not gonna lie to you — it freaked me out a little bit. I don’t know about you, but my toes don’t like bein’ singled out. They like to work as a team. An’ everybody knows — there’s no “I” in toes. So I says to the guy, “Them feet there are about the dangdest thing I ever saw.” Well, he smiles an’ he goes, “This is a more natural feel for your feet.” Then he says, “You get a better feel for the ground.” (Pause) Uh huh. Well, excuse me, but ain’t the idea behind wearin’ shoes so you don’t have to feel the ground? As far as I can figger, ’bout the only people that need to walk around in shoegloves might be monkeys. I mean, if you ain’t plannin’ to hang from a tree or eat a samich with your feet, regular human shoes should be just fine. Wake up, America. Plus at my age, I got 10 toes pointed in eight different directions, so I don’t think they’d fit in the shoe-gloves anyhow. An’ if they did — they’d just freak people out. Another good reason to keep’ em in regular shoes. I heard this story the other day that said the average American family throws

out 80 pounds a food a month. Yeah, we’re wasteful. That’s bad for the planet, an’ every family loses almost three thousand bucks a year throwin’ stuff out. I was kind a’ shocked by them numbers — until I done me some research in my kitchen. Here’s what I figgered out. Food we throw out can be divided into three categories. Number 1 — stuff we never got around to finishin’. Like that bag a’ potato chip shrapnel an’ dust on the kitchen counter. It’s at this weird stage where there ain’t enough in there to eat, but there’s too much in there to throw out. So it sets there until your better half buys a new bag an’ somebody goes, “We’re never gonna finish this one,” an’ throws it out. I bet you right now in your cupboard that you got a twisted-up sleeve with six crackers in it. Right next to the box with half a bowl a Cocoa Pebbles still in it. They been in there so long they turned into real pebbles. Sooner or later, you’re gonna have to throw them out, or break your teeth tryin’ to eat’ em. Next category — stuff that went bad. This is mostly in your bread an’ your milk families. For the life a’ me, I do not understand how you can buy a Twinkie, put it in the cupboard, an’ it’s fresh for up to seven years. You buy a loaf a’ bread, an’ you got to race to eat it. Then your biggest category a’ food to throw out is your leftovers. This is food you don’t throw out right away. You put it in a bowl, put it in the refrigerator for a couple months, an’ then throw it away. Next time you’re puttin’ a half-cup a baked beans in a Tupperware bowl, ask yourself, “Who am I kidding?” Wake up, America. Goodness, we got stuff in the ‘frigerator that I don’t even know what it was when we put it in there. Like last night in the crisper drawer I found somethin’ that looked like pond algae. I think it might’a once been a head a’ lettuce. I threw it out. I’m Earl Pitts, Uhmerikun. l

RURALreflections Thank you for your entries NOVEMBER is the traditional time to give thanks, so we want to join in by thanking all of the amateur photographers who submitted photos for our 2012 “Rural Reflections” contest, which is now closed. Winning photos, chosen by an independent panel of judges, will be printed in the January and February issues of Penn Lines. You can now begin submitting your photos for the 2013 contest. If your photo wins top honors, you could receive a $75 prize in one of our five contest categories: most artistic, best landscape, best human subject, best animal and editor’s choice. Send 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 that information is by affixing an address label to the back of the photo. Remember, our publication deadlines require that we work ahead, so send your seasonal photos in early. We need spring photos before mid-January, summer photos before mid-April, fall photos before mid-July and winter photos before mid-September. Photos that do not reflect any specific season may be sent at any time. Please note: photos will be returned if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is included. l

Dori Stone Northwestern REC

Betty Wickham Somerset REC

Greg Bechtold Tri-County REC

Sandi Smith REA Energy




Forethought Life Insurance Company

ATTENTION ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE MEMBERS Medicare Supplement Rates Reduced for 2012 Compare our rates with other companies’ policies/certificates. You could pay less with a Medicare supplement from Forethought Life Insurance Company.

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Penn Lines November 2012  
Penn Lines November 2012  

Penn Lines November 2012