Page 1

J A N UA RY 2 0 17


Rural united

Celebrating 75 years of serving members


Poking around Home energy audit Unquestionably good bread


january 2017 Vol. 52 • No. 1 Editor Peter A. Fitzgerald Senior Editor/Writer Katherine Hackleman Associate Editor Michael T. Crawford Layout & Design W. Douglas Shirk production coordinator Michelle M. Smith Contributing Columnists Patrick Keegan Janette Hess Marcus Schneck 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 166,000 households of co-op consumer-members understand issues that affect the electric cooperative program, their local co-ops, and their quality of life. Electric co-ops are notfor-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.


FIRST WORD Rural matters

6 Keeping Current News from across the Commonwealth



 over: Rural united c Celebrating 75 years of serving members

12 E nergy Matters New energy from water power 14 Time Lines Your newsmagazine through the years


14a Cooperative

Connection Information and advice from your local electric cooperative


Smart circuits What you can learn from a home energy audit

18 feature: Poking around  Latest smartphone craze has people searching for ‘monsters’



Unquestionably good bread


OUTDOOR ADVENTURES Workhorses of the wilderness




24 TECH TRENDS  Promising technology to survive ice storms

Board officers and staff, Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association: Chairman, Leroy Walls; Vice Chair­man, Tim Burkett; Secretary, Barbara Miller; Treas­urer, Rick Shope; President & CEO, Frank M. Betley © 2017 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.

25 Punch Lines  Earl reveals plan for his first 100 days as president 26 Rural Reflections Congratulations to the 2016 winners


Two-wire, single-phase electric lines are a symbol of the early rural electric cooperative program. This photo is reprinted from the book, “Miracle Blessing: Rural Electrification in Pennsylvania,” published in 1977 by the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association.

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7



Rural matters

On PREA’s 75th anniversary By Barry Denk


henever I’m asked why the Center for Rural Pennsylvania exists, my 30-second elevator response is, “Because rural matters.” Pennsylvania is home to 3.7 million rural residents — the third largest rural population in the nation — and rural Pennsylvania covers 75 percent of the state’s land area. Since the days of William Penn, the people and the land of rural Pennsylvania have provided food, fuel, and fiber for our Commonwealth. Our small towns and rural villages, farmlands, forest lands, and open landscapes are a large and meaningful part of Pennsylvania’s history, heritage, and culture. For so many reasons, rural matters. No group or organization knows that better than the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association (PREA) and its member cooperatives. Whether it’s a lineman working in freezing weather to restore service in Wysox, or a PREA employee speaking with state and federal officials on pending legislation and its potential rural impact, they know that rural matters. It’s the collective work of PREA and the member cooperatives that directly affects the quality of life for rural Pennsylvania communities and residents. In my 25 years of service with the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, I can attest to the commitment of PREA and its members to inform, educate, and advocate on behalf of Pennsylvania’s rural residents and communities. The issues may range from health care and tourism to broadband deployment and higher education. And the methods range from hosting meetings and conferences, to working directly with state


and federal legislators on policy issues, publishing a monthly magazine, and sponsoring rural youth on a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., to learn about government and their rightful roles in our democracy. I attribute PREA’s commitment to service because of its focus on people and communities. No matter the issue, things always boil down to how decisions at all levels of government affect our citizens and their daily lives. PREA and cooperative staff keep that thought first and foremost because they know it matters to the more than 600,000 consumers in over 230,000 rural households, businesses and industries in the territories they serve. It has been my experience that the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association and its 14 member cooperatives always step up to the plate providing support, service, their name, and, most importantly, their creditability and knowledge, to the causes that mat-

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

ter to their membership and to rural Pennsylvania. Congratulations to the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association for its three-quarters of a century of service and commitment to rural Pennsylvania. I trust that it will continue its successful work for another 75-plus years so that future generations throughout the Commonwealth can come to know that rural truly matters. l The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, based in Harrisburg, is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Barry Denk Director Center for Rural Pennsylvania



ITEM 61256 61889 60813 shown

Customer Rating



SAVE $453

29999 99 $

comp at


LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.


SOLAR ROPE LIGHT ITEM 62533/68353 shown

Customer Rating

SAVE 66%

• 16 ft. lit, 22 ft. long




$ 99

comp at 99 $29.97

LIMIT 8 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

20% OFF


Limit 1 coupon per customer per day. Save 20% on any 1 item purchased. *Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or any of the following items or brands: Inside Track Club membership, Extended Service Plan, gift card, open box item, 3 day Parking Lot Sale item, automotive lifts, compressors, floor jacks, saw mills, storage cabinets, chests or carts, trailers, trenchers, welders, Admiral, Badland, Bauer, Bremen, CoverPro, Creekstone, Daytona, Diablo, Doyle, Drummond, Earthquake, Franklin, Hercules, Holt, Jupiter, Lynxx, Maddox, Portland, Predator, Quinn, StormCat, Tailgator, Union, Viking, Vulcan. Not valid on prior purchases. Nontransferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17.


SAVE 228

ITEM 60706/62319 68056 shown

Customer Rating

We have invested millions of dollars in our own state-of-the-art quality test labs and millions more in our factories, so our tools will go toe-to-toe with the top professional brands. And we can sell them for a fraction of the price because we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to you. It’s just that simple! Come visit one of our 700+ Stores Nationwide.

ITEM 60363/69730 ITEM 68121/69727 shown CALIFORNIA ONLY




Customer Rating



ITEM 69269/97080 shown


$ • Weighs 105 lbs.

MOVER'S DOLLY ITEM 60497/93888 shown 61899/62399/63095/63096 63098/63097

7 $1099

SAVE 59%

comp at


LIMIT 6 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.


Customer Rating

ITEM 60625 shown 95578/69645

SAVE 50%


99 $9 99





$ 97 VALUE

ITEM 69031/69030 shown LIMIT 1 - Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or prior purchase. Coupon good at our stores, or by calling 800-423-2567. Offer good while supplies last. Shipping & Handling charges may apply if not picked up in-store. Nontransferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one FREE GIFT coupon per customer per day.




ITEM 61609/67831 shown

Customer Rating

comp at


om or by calling stores or HarborFreight.c LIMIT 6 - Good at ourused with other discount or coupon or prior 800-423-2567. Cannot be from original purchase with original receipt. purchases after 30 days last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be Offer good while supplies5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day. presented. Valid through

9999 $11999


SAVE $215




• Lift range: 5-1/4" to 17"

SAVE $65

ITEM 32879 60603 shown


comp at


LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.





19 $34.95

comp at

om or by calling our stores or HarborFreight.c t or coupon or prior LIMIT 6 - Good at used with other discoun 800-423-2567. Cannot be from original purchase with original receipt. days 30 coupon must be purchases after last. Non-transferable. Original Offer good while supplies5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day. presented. Valid through

• 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed • Over 30 Million Satisfied Customers • No Hassle Return Policy

ITEM 69995 shown 60536/61632


comp at

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R 3/8" x 14 FT. GRADE 43 PE ON • 5400 lb. capacity SU UP Not for overhead lifting. TOWING CHAIN CO

Customer Rating

99 $8999 comp at



Customer Rating ITEM 60658

97711 shown

$ $

SAVE 63%

99 21 99


comp at


LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.


R RETRACTABLE AIR HOSE REEL PE ON WITH 3/8" x 50 FT. HOSE SU UP ITEM 93897 shown O C Customer Rating 69265/62344


ITEM 42292 shown 69594/69955

ITEM 69626/63100 shown



comp at


Customer Rating

SAVE 71%


5999 $98.62

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.


• Pair of Arbor Plates Included

Customer Rating

SAVE $633

Customer Rating


comp at


99 154 $ 99

• 1060 lb. capacity • 14,600 cu. in. of storage


LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

$ $ 99

SAVE 59%


LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R • 1000 lb. capacity PE ON SU UP Customer Rating O C


ITEM 95275 shown 60637/61615

SAVE $80

comp at 99 $199 .99





How Does Harbor Freight Sell GREAT QUALITY Tools at the LOWEST Prices?





SAVE 82% $ 99 Customer Rating



$ 99 $34.99

comp at

LIMIT 9 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

• 700+ Stores Nationwide • Lifetime Warranty On All Hand Tools

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

• • 800-423-2567

SAVE $129

$ $


8999 $189

comp at

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 5/15/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day. At Harbor Freight Tools, the "comp at" price means that the same item or a similar functioning item was advertised for sale at or above the "comp at" price by another retailer in the U.S. within the past 180 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of "comp at" should be implied. For more information, go to or see store associate.



News from across the Commonwealth

101st Pennsylvania Farm Show coming up The nation’s largest indoor agricultural exposition — the Pennsylvania Farm Show featuring nearly 6,000 animals,

10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits — is scheduled for Jan. 7-14 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. This year is the 101st show. Admission is free, but there is a fee to park in Farm Show lots. For more information about hours and an event schedule, go to www.

Hunters share harvest with those in need Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH), a statewide program that distributes donated venison to food banks and food assistance centers, celebrated the donation of its one-millionth pound of meat in the fall. The nonprofit charity coordinates the processing and distribution of donated deer meat throughout the state for

families at risk of hunger. “Hunters Sharing the Harvest makes the connection between hunters who want to give generously, processors who want to contribute their services, and the charitable food system that strives to provide meals for millions of Pennsylvanians,” said state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. In an average hunting season, the HSH program’s goal is to channel about 100,000 pounds of processed venison through the state’s 20 regional food banks, which then redistribute the meat to more than 5,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters. These donations help to provide the equivalent of more than 500,000 meals annually to feed the nearly 1.8 million Pennsylvanians who are considered to be food insecure. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Game Commission annually provide funding to help defray the costs of processing the donated venison.

Wanted: your memories In 2017, the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association (PREA), the statewide service arm of the 13 rural electric cooperatives in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey, is observing its 75th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, we plan to interview members who remember “when the lights came on.” If you remember when your family first had electricity, please send your name, address and phone number by email to or by mail to Penn Lines Editor, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1266.


| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

State’s nuclear power plants have positive impact on economy Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants have a significant impact on the state’s economy while helping to keep electricity prices low, according to a recently released report. “Pennsylvania Nuclear Power Plants’ Contributions to the State Economy” says the state’s five nuclear power plants generate more than one-third of the state’s electricity and nearly all of the state’s carbon-free power. The plants contribute nearly $2 billion annually to the state’s gross domestic product, account for about 16,000 full-time jobs, and pay nearly $70 million in annual tax revenues. The report also says the plants help keep electricity prices lower across the area (13 states plus Washington, D.C.) served by PJM Interconnection, saving consumers in the regional grid approximately $788 million a year. In terms of environmental impact, the report estimates the value of avoided pollutants at $260 million per year over the next decade. One of those nuclear power plants — the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Luzerne County — is the source of approximately 60 percent of the electricity used by the 13 rural electric cooperatives located in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey. Allegheny Electric Cooperative, Inc., the wholesale power supply cooperative formed by the Pennsylvania and New Jersey cooperatives, owns a 10 percent share of the nuclear plant. The 2,600-megawatt plant provides approximately 2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually for the cooperatives. l


wi RS O t M h th N ess e AL ag Na IZ eo m f Y es, ATI ou Da O r C te N ho or ice



Exclusive Diamonesk® Stones

Camo His and Hers

Bridal Ring Set is Over 4½ Carats

Wedding Rings

Genuine Platinum Plating Over Solid Sterling Silver

The hunt is over! You’ve found the person who makes you smile...The person who supports you... The person who shares your interests... Your perfect match. Now, celebrate with your choice of a unique and personal wedding ring for him and a bridal ring set for her. The “Camo” Diamonesk® His & Her Wedding Rings feature our exclusive Diamonesk® simulated diamonds that rival the sparkle and fire of the finest diamonds—at a fraction of the cost. Both the women’s ring set and the men’s ring are hand-crafted of solid sterling silver and gleam with genuine platinum plating. The engagementstyle ring features a spectacular Diamonesk® center stone of over 4½ carats, while the band features a classic camouflage pattern. The wedding ring sparkles with three Diamonesk® stones and has the same camouflage. His wedding ring is set with three Diamonesk® stones and features a camouflage band. These unique rings perfectly capture the lifestyle you share as a couple! Each ring in this exclusive collection can be personalized FREE with up to 20 characters of your choice. Engrave the rings with your two names, an important date or a message that has special meaning to the two of you.

A Remarkable Value ... for a Limited Time These rings are exceptional values and arrive in custom presentation cases along with Certificates of Authenticity. Plus, both the women’s bridal ring set and men’s wedding ring are backed by our 120-day guarantee. To reserve, send no money now; just mail the Priority Reservation. Don’t miss out—order today!

FREE personalization with the names, date or message of your choice! A F INE J EWELRY E XCLUSIVE



P.O. Box 806, Morton Grove, IL 60053-0806

Engagement Ring (Max of 20 characters)

names, date, or message as indicated to the right. Her Ring Size_______ His Ring Size_______

Her Wedding Ring

Select one: ❑ Her Ring Set & His Ring—$169 01-21988-001 ❑ His Wedding Ring—$89 01-22451-001 ❑ Her Ring Set—$99 01-22410-001

His Wedding Ring

Mrs. Mr. Ms. Name (Please Print Clearly)

Address City



Women’s Bridal Ring Set—$99*, payable in 4 installments of $24.75 each E-Mail (optional) Men’s Wedding Ring—$89*, payable in 4 installments of $22.25 each Or buy the bridal ring set and men’s ring and save 14%! E53101 SATISFACTION GUARANTEED. To assure a proper fit, a ring sizer will be sent to Women’s Bridal Set & Men’s Wedding Ring—$169**, payable in 5 installments of $33.80 each you after your reservation has been accepted. *Plus a total of $9.98 shipping and service. **Plus $11.98 shipping and service. Please allow 4-6 weeks after initial payment for delivery. All sales are subject to product availability and order acceptance. ©2016 The Bradford Exchange 01-21988-001-BIR

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7


Rural united

Celebrating 75 years of serving members By Kathy Hackleman


Senior Editor/Writer

s 1941 turned into 1942, the world was in turmoil. It had been only a few weeks since the Japanese attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor killed nearly 2,500 Americans, directly leading to the U.S. entry into World War II — a war that would require the unified effort of Allied forces.

Around the same time, Pennsylvania’s 14 electric cooperatives — many newly formed — were working to electrify rural areas of the state. They also recognized their patriotic duty to contribute to the war effort, and that would require electricity for their communities. To accomplish this, the cooperatives realized they also needed to present a united front. It was in this context that representatives from the state’s electric cooperatives met in Huntingdon in February 1942 to create the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association (PREA). Seventy-five years later, PREA, a statewide


organization based in Harrisburg, continues to represent the 13 electric cooperatives in Pennsylvania (two of the original ones merged) and one in New Jersey. “The mission hasn’t changed,” explains PREA/Allegheny President & CEO Frank Betley. “PREA exists to serve its member cooperatives. It’s still here today because cooperatives realized early on that they could do more by working together than they could do individually. Those early efforts to bring electricity to rural areas are indicative of the united front that continues to exist to this day.”

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

so it begins: The Gettysburg Substation for Adams Electric Cooperative is dedicated on May 31, 1941. The cooperative is one of 14 Pennsylvania and New Jersey cooperatives that are members of the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, a statewide service organization.

Early days In the mid-1930s, life in rural Pennsylvania was hard. Residents labored from dawn to dusk at back-breaking chores. They chopped wood because there was no electricity to power a furnace. They hauled buckets of water because they didn’t have electric motors to pump water into the house. They cooked on sooty wood stoves, washed clothes by hand in a washtub, studied by dim kerosene lamps and used outhouses. There was no air conditioning, no refrigeration, no hot water on tap and no electric lights. Fewer than 6 percent of rural Pennsylvanians had electricity because private power companies serving urban areas didn’t see a profit in extending electric lines into these sparsely populated areas of the state. Similar conditions existed across rural America. Recognizing this, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed

an executive order creating the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in 1935. The expectation was that the REA would offer low-interest loans to power companies so they could bring electricity to rural America. The power companies still weren’t interested, and it wasn’t long before Congress realized U.S. farmers and their rural neighbors were willing to take electrification into their own hands on a cooperative basis. Congress passed legislation making the REA a permanent government agency (it later became part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1939) and the rural electric cooperative movement was born. Across the U.S., dedicated local leaders fanned out to sign up potential cooperative members, apply for loans, obtain right-of-way easements, site and construct lines. The first Pennsylvania cooperative was the Steamburg Electric Cooperative Association (later renamed Northwestern Rural Electric CooperaYOUTH TOUR: Rural Electric Youth Tour students from Adams Electric Cooperative meet with U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-4th), second from right, during the 2016 Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. PREA coordinates the annual tour for approximately 90 Pennsylvania and New Jersey youth.

tive) in Crawford County. It received the first REA loan in the state on May 13, 1936. The loan was for $101,000, to be used to construct 138 miles of line. The first pole was set on Aug. 5 of that year. A year later — on May 9, 1937 — the cooperative’s initial 14 miles of line were energized, giving 92 Pennsylvania farm families their first electric service.

Power struggle

GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE: In 1975, Gov. Milton J. Shapp, center, signs the territorial protection act that guaranteed cooperatives would have exclusive territories. PREA and Pennsylvania cooperatives had been working to get the legislation approved for over a decade.

By the time the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, 14 electric cooperatives had been organized in Pennsylvania, bringing central station electric service to 125,000 people. And those cooperatives had recognized they needed a statewide organization to represent their interests with the state General Assembly and U.S. Congress, as well as to resist growing power company opposition to electric cooperatives. With the U.S. entrance into the war, construction on electric lines slowed

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

as materials such as copper wire were needed for the defense effort, but electric service was recognized as a necessity if rural areas were going to be able to produce enough food and materials such as lumber, coal, and oil to supply the increasing needs of a country at war. At the same time, private power companies continued attempts to block electric cooperatives, often relying on significant increases in the cost of power purchased by cooperatives to slow their spread across the Commonwealth. In looking to alleviate these high costs, the cooperatives determined they needed their own wholesale power supply organization. They set out to form Allegheny Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Allegheny), also based in Harrisburg, to focus on power supply issues. Private power companies attempted to block the formation of Allegheny through legislation and the court system. In 1946, the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the cooperatives, and Allegheny was granted its charter. Soon after, the private power companies agreed to


provide competitive wholesale rates for the cooperatives, and expansion of the cooperative systems continued. The next major legislative victory for PREA’s member cooperatives involved territorial integrity (the ability to retain cooperative consumer-members as private power companies began an effort to “pirate” away cooperative members). PREA worked with state legislators to introduce a territorial integrity bill in 1957, but it did not advance out of committee. Neither did subsequent legislation, but PREA continued the territorial integrity fight for many years. In 1975, the General Assembly finally approved a bill that guaranteed the cooperatives would have exclusive territories, a huge financial benefit for local cooperatives.

This was a key point in helping the officials understand the benefit of the Rural voice cooperatives’ load management initiaThrough the years, PREA has successtive. Launched in 1986, the Coordinatfully represented cooperatives on a numed Load Management System (CLMS) ber of fronts, protecting rural interests lets cooperative consumer-members beand saving cooperative consumer-memcome partners in controlling costs. The bers millions of dollars in the process. system works by shifting electricity use By managing programs like the Action of residential water heaters and other Committee for Rural Electrification equipment from times of peak demand and Co-Op Owners for Political Action, (when energy costs are highest) to times of lesser demand. Over the past PREA has helped nurture important 30 years, more than 46,000 cooperative legislative relationships and strengthconsumers have voluntarily participatened the rural voice in the legislative process. Through its advocacy, PREA ed in this program, resulting in savings has helped explain the member-owned, of more than $130 million in avoided not-for-profit business model of electric wholesale power purchase costs. cooperatives to elected officials. Initiatives like CLMS demonstrate that the cooperative business model is designed to encourage efficient use of energy — without the need for regulatory or legislative mandates. Today, CLMS is seen as the model for demand response and efficiency programs. So successful a measure, it allows cooperatives to meet the state’s renewable energy LOAD MANAGEMENT: Tim Cope, PREA/Allegheny Coordinated portfolio standards Load Management System operator, reviews data to determine if load without having to procontrol should be instituted.


| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS: A number of Pennsylvania cooperatives sponsor scholarships for members’ children, including Bedford REC, which named, from left, Joshua Evans, Jessica Shastay, Cassie Barkman, Dylan Downs, Mackenzie Livingston and Lydia Diehl, as 2016 scholarship recipients. The cooperatives fund scholarships with funds that were formerly escheated to the state. Thanks to PREA’s efforts, those unclaimed capital credits funds are now available for a limited number of uses by the cooperatives, including educational purposes.

cure additional renewable generation. PREA has also been successful in advocating for rural quality of life and safety issues. It has supported efforts to keep unclaimed capital credits in cooperative service territories. Instead of having these funds escheated to the state, the funds are now retained in cooperative communities — where they were generated. Cooperatives use these funds for low-income energy assistance, educational programs, and other civic and community purposes. In 2015, PREA helped pass legislation that designates electric utility lineworkers as emergency responders and provides them with greater protections when responding to emergencies. The law now requires vehicles to yield to line personnel actively engaged in emergency situations. “These line crews perform extraordinary duties to help deliver a safe and reliable flow of electricity,” says

50 YEARS AND GOING STRONG: Penn Lines magazine celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. The newsmagazine has a circulation of nearly 166,000.

Steve Brame, PREA/Allegheny vice president – public affairs & member services. “It only makes sense that we should afford them these added safety measures when they’re responding to emergencies.”

Beyond advocacy As PREA and its member systems have grown over the years, so has PREA’s services. Today, the organization is involved in many more activities beyond advocacy, and safety is one of the organization’s top priorities, notes Brame. That is the focus of PREA’s job training & safety (JT&S) program. Each year, PREA offers a number of lineman training schools and assists cooperatives in achieving safety goals. “Each cooperative is highly dedicated to its own safety program,” he explains. “The role of the JT&S program is to provide support for each cooperative’s culture of safety.” PREA also facilitates training for cooperative directors and leaders. Each year, PREA sponsors a series of training courses to help attendees stay on top of critical issues affecting the electric cooperative program and the day-today management of their individual businesses.

“Cooperative leaders are highly engaged in training and education,” says Betley. “It’s a complex industry that requires a certain commitment to learn, but in terms of certifications earned, Pennsylvania’s cooperative directors far outpace national training numbers. This makes for strong cooperatives.” PREA also coordinates the Rural Electric Youth Tour for PREA member systems. The program recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of sending cooperative high school students to Washington, D.C., each year for a weeklong educational tour. Students gather with peers from all over the country to learn about cooperatives, government and history — all while taking in some sights of our nation’s capital. PREA has been involved in Youth Tour since the beginning, helping to coordinate this event for more than 4,100 students since 1964. “These students represent the best of our cooperative communities,” Betley says. “This program has helped develop future leaders, giving them an experience they take with them throughout their lives.” PREA also recently celebrated the

50th anniversary of another of its cornerstone activities — Penn Lines. Since its first issue rolled off the presses in October 1966, the monthly newsmagazine published by PREA has been an essential tool for communicating with cooperative consumer-members. Penn Lines was originally used to rally support during the long legislative battle for territorial integrity. Today, it keeps readers up to date on rural issues affecting their lives, such as health care, environmental concerns, education, as well as electrical use and safety information, news and commentary, and legislative matters affecting rural electrification. “PREA and its member cooperatives have seen many changes over the past 75 years,” Betley notes. “But looking back, it’s pretty clear that the cooperatives have not only survived, they’ve thrived — thanks to a united effort. Cooperatives throughout the state are integral members of their communities, strengthening rural areas and improving the quality of life. PREA is proud to be a part of this success story, and looks forward to working on behalf of the cooperatives for the next 75 years.” l

SAFETY TRAINING: Logan Booher, a lineman with Valley Rural Electric Cooperative (REC), left, and Adam Claycomb, a lineman with Bedford REC, push away an energized power line before beginning a simulated conductor change during an Advanced Hot Stick course offered through the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association.

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7



New energy from water power Promise, problems of renewable hydroelectricity By Paul Wesslund


ttention to energy and the environment has focused new light on one of the oldest sources of power: falling water. Pennsylvania cooperative consumer-members historically get between 2 and 3 percent of their electricity from the Raystown Hydroelectric Project in Huntingdon County, and another 6.5 percent from long-term contracts with the New York Power Authority, which operates a number of hydroelectric plants. “Hydropower was the first source of electrical energy used in the United States,” says a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) report issued last year. “Increasing hydropower can simultaneously deliver an array of benefits to the nation that address issues of national concern, including climate change, air quality, public health, economic development, energy diversity and water security.” The 395-page report, “Hydropower Vision — A New Chapter for America’s 1st Renewable Electricity Source,” says that in the next 35 years, the U.S. could increase hydropower production by half of what it generates today — from 101 gigawatts today to 150 gigawatts by 2050. However, achieving that entire 150gigawatt goal would only raise the share of electricity produced by hydropower from about 6 percent today to about 9 percent 35 years from now. And that forecast is a best-case scenario. Here’s what would have to happen: k Technical innovation to improve the effectiveness of equipment that converts flowing water into electricity, k Construction of new hydroelectric


PENNSYLVANIA WATER POWER: The Raystown Hydroelectric Project in Huntingdon County historically provides between 2 and 3 percent of the electricity used by Pennsylvania and New Jersey cooperatives.

dams and the conversion of existing, non-power-producing structures into electricity generators, and k Streamlining a complex web of regulations that affect construction on rivers and streams.

Long-term, cost-effective Tom Lovas understands the promise and the problems of hydropower. He’s worked with several hydroelectric projects as a technical liaison and consultant with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “Hydropower is a good, long-term, cost-effective resource for electric cooperatives,” says Lovas. But Lovas sees cost and regulation as limiting the DOE report’s lofty goals. “There’s been relatively little new

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

hydroelectric development in the country in a number of years in part because of the consideration of environmental aspects associated with the reservoir development,” he says. “It takes quite a bit of time and effort to get through the licensing phase of extensive feasibility studies and environmental reports, plus there’s the relatively high up-front construction cost.” Hydropower works by harnessing the energy of falling or flowing water. Whether it’s a centuries-old mill that grinds grain when a stream turns a water wheel or a modern dam that uses river flows to turn a high-tech turbine that generates electricity, the principle is the same. Lovas says the two most likely prospects for increasing hydro are to modernize existing (continues on page 23)

Morton_PennLines_1.17_Layout 1 11/22/16 10:31 AM Page 1

join us for building value days, our

biggest sales event

of the year and the best chance for you to get your Morton

for less!

January 1st–February 28th

2017 Sale Dates:

January 1st–February 28th

800-447-7436 •

©2017 Morton Buildings, Inc. A listing of GC licenses available at Certain restrictions apply. Ref Code 615




Marble size pellets. Works at any depth. Before


The Ultimate Wood Heat. Set the thermostat where you want for a more comfortable home. EPA-Certified Outdoor Wood Furnaces

Up to



Instant Rebate

Stainless models available ask about our Titanium Series

10 lb. bag treats up to 4,000 sq.ft. $86.00. 50 lb. bag treats up to 20,000 sq.ft. $327.00.

FREE SHIPPING! Certified and approved for use by state agencies. State permit may be required. Registered with the Federal E. P. A.


Order today online, or request free information.

Our 62nd year


PO Box 10748, DEPT 143 White Bear Lake, MN 55110-0748

• You’re in Control - Keep your house as warm as you want, and with wood being the ideal source for self-reliant heat, you’re protected from price changes and shortages associated with other types of energy. • Peace of Mind - Keeping the fire outside eliminates the dangers and mess associated with traditional indoor wood stoves. AVAILABLE FROM YOUR LOCAL CENTRAL BOILER DEALER It’s important that your outdoor furnace and system be properly sized and installed. See your local dealer for more information. *Instant rebate of $1,700 off of select in-stock Central Boiler outdoor furnace models, available at participating dealers only. Savings shown is on a Classic Edge 750 Titanium Series model. See dealer for details. ©2016 Central Boiler • ad7230 800-248-4681


Your Newsmagazine Through the Years


Penn Lines explores the issue of rural health care, and how having the same health insurance options as urban residents is still just a dream in rural Pennsylvania.

With the closure of area coal plants, Somerset County considers ways to attract new industries to revitalize the region’s economy.


ospital administrators across rural Pennsylvania hold similar job responsibilities, have the same commitment to their profession and face many comparable challenges. Changes in health care delivery and financing affect both urban and rural hospitals. However, rural hospitals seem to be especially vulnerable because they tend to be smaller in size, have a smaller patient base (with higher rates of underinsured or uninsured patients), serve a proportionally larger Medicare population, and have smaller operating budgets than their urban counterparts. The vast majority of Pennsylvania’s rural hospitals were built by local communities or religious organizations to meet vital needs, but their survival may depend on other sources. Access to capital is a major reason why local hospitals join larger medical groups, for example. Rural hospitals with their more limited resources and greater geographic isolation also find it challenging to recruit and retain medical staff. For many doctors, it’s a money issue. They often graduate from medical school deeply in debt, and rural populations that tend to have more self-pay, underinsured and uninsured residents are not favorable to high reimbursements.


| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

PREA President Dan Clark presents the “Man of the Year” award to T. Foley Treadway, president of Southern Engineering, at the 34th PREA/Allegheny Annual Meeting.

In observance of Farm Show month, Penn Lines highlights the previous year’s “Fabulous 50th” anniversary of the Pennsylvania tradition.





She saw her dad blow insulation into the attic to make the house more energy-efficient. Then, she got an idea. Find out how your local electric cooperative can help you lead by example at





What you can learn from a home energy audit By Patrick Keegan


ear Pat: I keep hearing about home energy audits. How do they work? — Lorena C.

Dear Lorena: You are smart to be thinking about this. Spending a few hundred dollars now can save you thousands of dollars over time. A home energy audit is a detailed assessment of your home that can give you a roadmap for future energy-related investments. An energy audit can meet different needs: k What efficiency investments will be most effective in reducing your energy bills? k Are areas of your home too hot or too cold? An energy audit can identify problem areas and solutions. k Are you considering a new furnace, air conditioner or rooftop solar system? An energy audit will help you “right-size” these systems and identify measures to help these investments work most efficiently. Online audit tools can give you a basic understanding of how your home compares to similar ones. However, a qualified and professional home energy auditor can use their experience and high-tech tools to provide a thorough report of your home’s challenges and opportunities. A professional energy audit can range from a quick, visual walk-through of the home to a more comprehensive, more informative — but more expensive — assessment. Energy audits require an examination of the building envelope (attic, floor, and exterior walls) and the energy systems. Follow the auditor during the inspection, and ask questions so you can understand where the problems are, what you can address yourself and where you may need professional help. The auditor may analyze your recent 16

energy bills to determine what your energy is used for and if use has recently changed. Finally, the auditor will ask about the energy use behaviors for those who live in the home. For example, is someone home all day, or does everyone leave for work and school? An auditor may do some or all of the following tests: k Blower door test: Windows are often the suspected cause for air leaks in the home, but there are usually larger and less obvious sources; a blower door test identifies where the air leaks are. k Duct blaster: Ducts move the warm and cool air around your home; duct testing can measure for leaks. k Thermographic imaging: This is one way to identify where more insulation is needed. Infrared images show “cold” spots in a home’s envelope. k Health and safety testing: Energy auditors are also trained to spot safety problems, such as a missing smoke detector or an appliance that could cause carbon monoxide issues. | JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

Following the assessment of your home, the auditor will analyze the information and make recommendations on what systems could be upgraded or behavior changes you can make to reduce energy use and improve comfort. If you take action based on the recommendations, you could lower your energy bill 5 to 30 percent, and perhaps even more! Your electric cooperative may be able to help you get started with your energy audit. Some co-ops have energy auditors or it may have a list of qualified energy auditors in the area. Be sure whoever you hire is willing to answer questions, and plan to be home during the audit — it is a great opportunity to learn what makes your home tick and how you can make it even better. l This column was written by Pat Keegan and Amy Wheeless of Collaborative Efficiency. For more information on ensuring quality energy efficiency work, please visit: www.collaborativeefficiency. com/energytips or email Pat Keegan at

Attention High School Seniors At least five $1,000 Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association Scholarships in Memory of William F. Matson are available for the 2017-18 college year. fill out and mail this coupon

Who is eligible? The Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association Scholarship Trust Fund in Memory of William F. Matson is offering scholarships to sons and daughters of members and employees of electric cooperatives in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who belong to the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association. Applicants must currently be high school seniors and be able to furnish necessary aptitude test scores and financial need information. At least five $1,000, one-time scholarships will be awarded.

Important dates Ads to 1/04 remember NewScholarshipAds_Scholarship 12/17/15 9:02 AM Page 5

All applications and required information must be received no later than May 8, 2017. Finalists will be sent a follow-up questionnaire that must be returned by June 16, 2017. Scholarship awards will be announced at the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association Summer Meeting in July 2017.

How to apply To receive an application, simply fill out and mail the accompanying coupon or contact your local electric cooperative office. If you would like to receive the application via email, please include your email address or visit our website,, for more information.

Applicant: To request a scholarship application, mail coupon to: The Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association Scholarship Trust Fund in Memory of William F. Matson P. O. Box 1266 Harrisburg, Pa. 17108-1266 Or visit

Please send me an application for the 2017-18 Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association Scholarship Trust Fund in Memory of William F. Matson. I am a high school senior and the son or daughter of a member or employee of an electric cooperative in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who belongs to the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association. ___________________________________________ Name ___________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________ Town or City ___________________________________________ State Zip ___________________________________________ Email address ___________________________________________ Name of Electric Cooperative

Attention Past Rural Electric Youth Tour Students At least two $1,000 scholarships in memory of Jody Loudenslager are available through the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association Scholarship Trust Fund in Memory of William F. Matson for the 2017-18 college year. fill out and mail this coupon

Who is eligible? The scholarship is available to any college-bound or college student who participated in the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association (PREA) Youth Tour. Applicants need to furnish necessary aptitude test scores, GPA and financial need information.

Dates to remember All applications and required information must be received no later than May 8, 2017. Finalists will be sent a follow-up questionnaire that must be returned by June 16, 2017. Scholarship awards will be announced at the PREA Summer Meeting in July 2017.

How to apply To receive an application, simply fill out and mail the accompanying coupon to: Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1266. Or visit If you would like to receive the application via email, please include your email address or visit our website,, for more information.

Jody Loudenslager, a 1995 Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association Youth Tour student from Trout Run, Pa., was among the 230 passengers killed July 17, 1996, when TWA Flight 800 exploded shortly after take-off from New York. Since Jody was committed to higher education, the scholarship was created to honor her and help Youth Tour participants with college costs.

________________________________________ Name ________________________________________ Address ________________________________________ City ________________________________________ State Zip ________________________________________ Email address ________________________________________ Name of your electric cooperative ________________________________________ Year on Youth Tour

hit the gym: Bradley Kanagy, son of Adams Electric Cooperative Communications/ Community Services Manager Duane Kanagy, shows off a Pokémon in Gettysburg.

Poking around

Latest smartphone craze has people searching for ‘monsters’ By Michael T. Crawford Associate Editor


ou may have noticed more people than usual out and about over the past several months, glued to their phones and perhaps pausing abruptly to tap madly at the screen. You may have even heard the words Pokémon, Pokéball and PokéStop thrown around. If this is all Greek to you, you’re not alone. But don’t let the jargon fool you; today’s Pokémon are just the latest collection hobby. “I didn’t even know what Pokémon was,” says Phil Stern, manager of metering services for Somerset Rural Electric Cooperative (REC). “I relate it to when I was growing up; I always had baseball cards or football cards. You always want to try to get those rare cards. That’s exactly what I feel like.” “Pokémon Go,” launched July 2016


by Niantic, Inc. (Niantic), is a smartphone game about collecting cartoonish beasts ranging from simple birds to giant dragons and everything in between (Pokémon). If you’ve noticed people abruptly stopping and flicking their finger across their phone, there’s a good chance they are trying to “throw” a Pokéball and catch a Pokémon.

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

The game presently holds more than 150 such “pocket monsters,” which appear randomly while the game is on. The more densely populated an area is, the more frequently Pokémon will appear, which can make playing in a rural area tricky. “There aren’t a lot (of Pokémon) where I usually go, because I go through the outskirts of Gettysburg because that’s where my friends live,” says Bradley Kanagy, a former Adams Electric Cooperative (EC) Youth Tour participant who attended Kutztown University until transferring to Shippensburg University for the spring semester. “It’s a lot different (at Kutztown), because there’s more people using it, so … there’s a lot more Pokémon there. It’s easier to find rare Pokémon. There are also a lot more PokéStops.” PokéStops — virtual locations centered on real-world landmarks where people can collect Pokéballs and other items — are largely recycled from “Ingress,” another game by Niantic. While the developer took requests for locations, urban sites imported from “Ingress” made up most of the 15 million spots for “Pokémon Go,” making walking from PokéStop to PokéStop impractical in rural areas. “In the actual town (of Gettysburg), it’s very easy to walk down Baltimore Street and you’ll hit a lot of them … but it’s all centered in the town,” says Kanagy, son of Adams EC Communications/Community Services Manager Duane Kanagy. “It’s not spread out through the surrounding areas. I definitely don’t get enough Pokéballs from the amount of PokéStops that are in Gettysburg.” But it’s the 21st century; why walk to the PokéStop when you can order what you want with the touch of a button? Ranging from less than $1 to nearly $100, players can buy items they can’t find — or find enough of — in the game world.

“I want to always be sure, when I’m near a rare Pokémon, that I have Pokéballs,” says Stern, who has spent more than $50 in his quest to catch exotic Pokémon. For 99 cents, a player can buy 20 Pokéballs. Micro transactions like these earned Niantic more than $600 million in the first 90 days of its launch alone. If spending real money on play money doesn’t sound appealing, players can acquire it by competing at a “gym” — a virtual location similar to a PokéStop — where players can have their Pokémon fight other Pokémon. Like PokéStops, gyms — not to be confused with actual gymnasiums — can be hard to find in rural areas, but that’s not necessarily bad news. “In (uptown) Somerset, we only have two gyms,” Stern says. “It’s cool, in a way. When you go there on the

CATCH ‘EM ALL: Phil Stern, manager of metering services for Somerset Rural Electric Cooperative, looks for Pokémon to catch at Ankeny Square in Somerset.

weekends, it is packed. There will be 20 people sitting there playing ‘Pokémon Go’ at the gym. In cities, you don’t see that; there aren’t as many people (in one place) because there’s always a gym the next block down.” Gathering players in one spot has been a boon to local businesses, which in some cases saw up to 30 percent spikes in their profits over the summer. Many took advantage of the game’s popularity, activating lures or even hosting events to bring in more customers. “When we saw that ‘Pokémon Go’ was on the rise … it made sense to put on a Pokémon party at our main office,” says Jessica Onstead, assistant marketing officer at Somerset Trust Company in Somerset. “We easily had more than 150 people show up. People were lining the streets playing the game.” For a time, people (and their wallets) were outside in record numbers, visiting local businesses, parks, and places of worship, stopping crimes they witnessed and even saving lives along the way to completing their pocket monster collection. But as the cold closed in, the game’s popularity seemed to be dwindling. December brought new Pokémon and new features, but players ultimately still had to brave the outdoors to play, a feat that was much easier at the game’s summertime launch. If “Pokémon Go” can survive the winter months, a better experience may be on the horizon for rural players. In an early-October interview, Niantic CEO John Hanke said his company intends to reopen submissions for new in-game locations, which has since been followed up by partnerships with other companies such as Starbucks and Sprint to add thousands of gyms and PokéStops. With Niantic updating the game on an almost weekly basis, the journey for new Pokémon continues to expand, much like any collection obsession. If the quest to “catch ‘em all” can make it to another summer, communities may see another surge of activity. l | JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

Pocket guide to pocket monsters If you find yourself interested in playing “Pokémon Go,” you have the advantage of other people’s mistakes and social blunders to guide you on what’s appropriate and what’s not. As the game’s loading screen points out, always be aware of your surroundings. Driving while playing, for example, is no less dangerous than texting while driving. More than just being aware of dangers, be aware of your setting. Solemn or sacred sites such as cemeteries are not the place to be playing games — in some places, like the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Ninatic has even blocked Pokémon from appearing. Last, but not least, be aware of whether or not you’re allowed to be somewhere in the first place. Entering locations such as electric substations or even someone’s backyard is trespassing; hunting a rare and illusive Pokémon doesn’t change that.

Glossary of terms: Gym — Virtual location at a realworld landmark where players can fight other players’ Pokémon Lure — An item attached to a PokéStop to increase the chances of Pokémon appearing nearby Niantic, Inc. — Game developer responsible for “Pokémon Go” Pokéball — Spherical device used to capture Pokémon Pokémon — Literally, pocket monster(s) PokéStop — Virtual location at a real-world landmark used to collect in-game items such as Pokéballs



Unquestionably good bread By Janette Hess

What’s baked in a loaf pan but requires no baker’s yeast or rising time? A trained journalist, Janette Hess If you answered “quick bread,” you are correct! Unlike yeast bread, quick bread focuses her writing on interesting people and interesting foods. rises as it bakes, thanks to the leavening properties of baking soda or baking powShe is a Master Food Volunteer der. This month, try a savory quick bread featuring Swiss cheese or a sweet quick with her local extension service bread packed with bananas or dried apricots. and enjoys collecting, testing and sharing recipes. Swiss and Onion Beer Bread gets its “oomph” from the baking powder in self-rising flour. Its flavor comes from an intermingling of cheese, onions, butter, caraway and, of course, beer! Try it warm from the oven or serve it with a steaming bowl of soup for a perfect January meal. “The Works” Banana Bread is packed with multiple flavor boosters — applesauce, sour cream, molasses, extracts and pecans. Who knew that banana bread could be so decadent? Apricot Pecan Bread also is a sweet treat that could double as a dessert. Unquestionably, these quick breads are great for any meal, including breakfast.

“The Works” Banana Bread 1 3/4 cups flour 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup ripe, mashed bananas (approximately 2 large) 2 large eggs

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil 1/4 cup applesauce 1/4 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon molasses 1 teaspoon butter extract 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Swiss and Onion Beer Bread 3 cups self-rising flour 3 tablespoons sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 1 1/2 cups (1 12-ounce can) beer at room temperature

1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese 1 to 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, if desired

Apricot Pecan Bread 4 ounces dried apricots (approximately 3/4 cup finely chopped apricots) 1 1/2 cups boiling water 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 2 1/2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt


1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest 3/4 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup apricot preserves

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat together bananas, eggs, oil, applesauce, sour cream, molasses and extracts. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Fold in nuts. Divide batter between 2 sprayed or greased small loaf pans, 8 by 3 7/8 inches. This size pan most commonly is found as a foil pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until pick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean.

Melt butter in medium pan over very low heat. Add onions and simmer until onions are soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside 2 heaping tablespoons of cooked onion. Pour half of butter/onion mixture into medium loaf pan, approximately 9 by 5 inches; tilt pan to coat. In mixing bowl, combine self-rising flour and sugar. Add beer and stir gently to create soft batter. Fold in grated cheese, reserved onions and, if desired, caraway seeds. Spoon batter into pan. Pour remaining butter/onion mixture over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until top of loaf is browned. Loosen edges with sharp knife, if needed, to remove loaf from pan. Cool on rack. Finely chop apricots and place in large, heat-proof mixing bowl. Pour boiling water over apricots. Add 2 tablespoons butter; set aside for 10 minutes. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; set aside. In small, separate bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Alternately beat dry ingredients and egg mixture into apricot/water mixture. When well combined, fold in orange zest and pecans. Spoon batter into 2 sprayed or greased small loaf pans, 8 by 3 7/8 inches. This size pan most commonly is found as a foil pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes or until a pick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean. Cool loaves slightly and then remove from pans. In microwave, heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter with apricot preserves. Brush mixture over tops of warm loaves.

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7


Workhorses of the wilderness By Marcus Schneck


n one wall of our shed hang two pack baskets woven from strips of hardwood. Each measures about 30 inches tall, 24 inches wide and 18 inches deep. Gnarled, worn, and mended canvass straps wind around the baskets and form into shoulder straps. One is almost like new, with just a few mud and water stains, and some scuffs. The other is best described as battered. I would no longer place any heavy objects inside of it, for fear of their bursting out the bottom. That second pack basket, handed down to me when I started trapping decades ago, was beat up when I received it. I lugged it through swamp and stream and forest and field, ice and water and mud, for more than 20 years. It hangs in the shed as a place of respect. No real trapper’s pack basket should ever be coddled and kept anywhere but the wall of a shed. A third, smaller pack basket clings to that same wall — the basket I bought for my son when he began trapping. Nothing signifies an outdoorsman’s connection to trapping like the pack basket. It’s a signature piece of equipment. It’s essential to carrying gear, traps, lures, and baits into often inhospitable locations, and transporting everything from weasels and muskrats to coyotes and beavers back out from those same locations. Artistic depictions of trapping, from how-to book covers to catalog covers to paintings, regularly features the pack basket. Although some modern replicas of the pack basket are made of various plastics or mass-produced by low-wage workers in third-world countries, real trapper’s pack baskets are handmade of strips of ash, often by well-known makers for a regional market. Sometimes

the pack baskets and their makers share the latter’s name among the members of those communities. I’ve always known the pack baskets as Adirondacks. Most of the names for the essential piece of gear seem to come from points north of Pennsylvania. Maine and New York have produced many well-known makers of pack baskets. According to a 1921 article in the Hunter-Trader-Trapper magazine, “The pack basket is peculiar to the Adirondacks being in evidence everywhere and for all purposes. Does the native mountaineer start for town to buy a little flour and sow belly? He takes his pack basket lovingly by the strap and saunters forth. Does the Missus want to go after berries for the summer camp table? She totes her little pack basket.” L.L. Bean calls its version the Allagash and says it’s really an ice-fisherman’s pack. That’s a regional difference, but the catalog retailer of top-tier outdoor gear adds a more universal note: “Some gear doesn’t need improvement.” I would agree on the lack of need for improvement, but addition is a different thing entirely. Around the back of every pack basket I’ve ever used, I have strapped a stained, and smelly canvass World War II surplus medic’s bag. Its many compartments have proven perfect for packing with the many lures, scents, wires, and hinges essential to trapping, and keeping them handy for a trapper bent down on a knee to prepare

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

WOODEN WORKHORSE: A wooden basket is an essential piece of equipment for a real trapper.

a set. Amazingly enough, the canvass has held together over many decades of hard, winter use, and the metal snap closures continue to do their job. Many of the pack baskets being produced today find their home as part of a high-end, high-priced, rustic décor, never to see actual use in the outdoors. Mine have always been hard-working, heck-or-high-water functioning parts of any wilderness experience I’ve had. They’ve defined a portion of my life that I would not trade for any amount of anything. l Marcus Schneck is outdoor editor for and The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., and the author of more than two dozen books on nature, the outdoors and travel. You can follow him at


Classified Advertisements

ISSUE MONTH AD DEADLINE March 2017 April 2017 May 2017

January 19 February 17 March 21

Penn Lines classified advertisements reach nearly 166,000 rural Pennsylvania households! Please note ads must be received by the due date to be included in the requested issue month. Ads 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 by phone, fax or email. For more information please contact Michelle M. Smith at 717-233-5704.

Please submit a clearly written or typed sheet with the following required information: o Cooperative members should please submit the mailing label from Penn Lines as proof of membership. o Non-members should submit name, address, phone number, and email address, if applicable. o Month(s) in which the ad is to run. o Ad copy as it is to appear in the publication. o Heading ad should appear under, or name of special heading (additional fee). See below for FREE heading options. FREE Headings: • Around the House • Business Opportunities • Employment Opportunities • Gift & Craft Ideas • Livestock & Pets • Miscellaneous

• Motor Vehicles & Boats • Nursery & Garden • Real Estate • Recipes & Food • Tools & Equipment • Vacations & Campsites • Wanted to Buy


EXPERTS IN HARD-TO-FIND LEAKS! Roof repairs – all types. House-barn roofs painted. Slate work – chimney repairs. Southwestern PA for over 40 years. Speedy service! 814-4454400. AROUND THE HOUSE

SPECIAL OFFER – BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $12. “Country Cooking” – $5, including postage. “Recipes Remembered” – $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. 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.

ANTIQUE MCCRAY COMMERCIAL Frigidaire Refrigerator, oak, finished in medium stain, 1925-1930 era, 6 glass/mirror doors, 85.5” x 76.5” x 31.5”. Beautiful condition. Would make neat display case, liquor cabinet. Pictures available. 814664-0835. BUILDING SUPPLIES

STEEL ROOFING AND SIDING. Over 25 years in business. Several profiles cut to length. 29and 26-gauge best quality residential roofing – 40-year warranty. Also, seconds, heavy gauges, accessories, etc. Installation available. Located northwestern Pennsylvania. 814-398-4052.

FACTORY SECONDS of insulation, 4 x 8 sheets, foil back. R-Value 6.5 per inch. Great for pole buildings, garages, etc. Many thicknesses available. Also blue board insulation sheets. 814-442-6032.


CLASSIFIED AD SUBMISSION/RATES 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. SPECIAL Headings: $5 for co-op members, $10 for non-members. Fee applies to any heading not listed under “FREE Headings”, even if the heading is already appearing in Penn Lines. For ads running a special heading in consecutive months, the fee is a onetime fee of either $5 or $10 for all consecutive insertions. PAYMENT: Please make CHECK/MONEY ORDER payable to: PREA/Penn Lines. Insertion of classified ad serves as proof of publication; no proofs supplied. SEND COMPLETED AD COPY AND PAYMENT TO: Penn Lines Classifieds • P.O. Box 1266 • Harrisburg, PA 17108


BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY – Equipped restaurant for rent in Lewistown. Great opportunity for the right person. Attractive, cozy atmosphere. $495/month. Security deposit and references required. 570-640-7336.

CERAMIC SHOP. Large amount of molds, two kilns, three pouring tables, mixing machine. Lots of bisque, many other supplies and shelving. $35,000. 814-765-8598. 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. 724746-0992 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. Forest Management Services, Wildlife Habitat Management, Timber Sales, Appraisals. College-educated, professional, ethical foresters working for you. FREE Timber Consultation. 814-571-7130. CRANE SERVICE

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


SPECIAL OFFER – BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $12. “Country Cooking” – $5, including postage. “Recipes Remembered” – $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. 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 firsttime orders or call me 724-454-5586. www. HEALTH INSURANCE

DO YOU HAVE THE BLUES regarding your health insurance? We cater to rural America’s health insurance needs. For more information, call 844-591-2797 (PA). Call us regarding Medicare supplements, too. LAWN AND GARDEN EQUIPMENT

HARRINGTONS EQUIPMENT COMPANY, 475 Orchard Rd., Fairfield, PA 17320. 717642-6001 or 410-756-2506. Lawn & Garden equipment, Sales – Service – Parts. www. 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.” 814587-3449.

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

Classified Advertisements Classified Advertisements SAWDUST DELIVERED IN NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA: Dry sawdust available in 32-yard walking floor. Call Charlie at 814-7200288. Green sawdust 100-yard walking floor. Call David at 814-425-2500, ext. 221.

NEW HORSESHOES – St. Croix – #00 - #3 steel, some aluminum. $1 pr take all. $2 pr otherwise. 717-642-5315. LOG AND TIMBER HOMES

LOG CABINS AND HOMES. Let us help make your log home dream become your dream log home! BBB accredited. For more information, visit or call us at 814-967-2206. MISCELLANEOUS

275-GALLON FOOD GRADE PLASTIC TANKS. Used only once, great condition. Have metal cage and a metal or plastic pallet. Great for livestock, sugar water, gardens, etc. $75 each. 814-289-5365. PENNSYLVANIA HUNTING LAND WANTED

OUR HUNTERS WILL PAY TOP $$$ to hunt your land. Call for a free base camp leasing info packet and quote. 866-309-1507. www. RECIPES AND FOOD

SPECIAL OFFER – BOTH COOKBOOKS FOR $12. “Country Cooking” – $5, including postage. “Recipes Remembered” – $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.

SPRING IS COMING! Raystown Vacation House Rental. Sleeps 11, fireplace, 4 bedrooms, table for 12, 2 flat-screen satellite TVs, 2 flbaths, 2 hfbaths, linens/towels provided. Minimum two nights. Visit Call Dianne at 814-931-6562. WANTED TO BUY

OLD MUZZLELOADING GUNS – parts, old powder horns, bullet molds, large handmade traps, early gun maker tools or photos. Tim 610799-4843.



USED PORTABLE sawmills and commercial sawmill equipment. Buy/Sell. USA and Canada. Call Sawmill Exchange 800-459-2148. 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 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 www. VACATIONS AND CAMPSITES

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida condo rental. Two bedrooms, two baths, pool. 200 yards from beach. Not available February and March. No pets. $500 weekly, $1,800 monthly. Call 814635-4020.

We put up the poles, connect miles of wire and flip a few switches of our own. All to make sure your life is always powered. Learn more about the power of your co-op membership at

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

Energy Matters (continued from page 12) facilities and to add generation to dams and waterways that do not currently provide electricity. The DOE report says there are about 50,000 dams in the country that don’t have hydroelectric equipment. The potential of those 50,000 dams, as well as upgrades to existing plants, could provide about a fourth of the ambitious projection of 150 gigawatts by 2050.

Storing energy from other renewable sources Lovas also sees another area of promise for hydropower that would make solar and wind power more useful. It’s called pumped storage. Forty-two existing pumped storage plants in the U.S. basically allow the utilities that operate them to time-shift electricity use. When people aren’t using much electricity, like in the middle of the night, the utility uses relatively low-cost available generation capacity to pump water from a nearby reservoir to one located at a higher elevation. Then, when the utility needs extra capacity, it draws water from the upper reservoir to run a power turbine. The DOE report projects pumped storage as potentially providing 36 gigawatts toward its 49-gigawatt goal. Lovas says more use of pumped storage could help improve the economics of other renewable resources. For example, pumped storage could provide electricity when a wind farm can’t, like in calm weather, or for a bank of photovoltaic solar energy cells at night. The problems might outweigh the promise of generating more hydropower, but utilities will continue exploring viable options for more renewable energy sources. l Paul Wesslund writes on cooperative issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.



Promising technology to survive ice storms By Brian Sloboda


Traditionally, chemists have referred to water-repelling molecules as “hydrophobic.” A new generation of materials that repel water especially well has been dubbed “superhydrophobic.” Three different research groups in North America are investigating the development of superhydrophobic materials, and their work holds great promise for utilities that lose millions of dollars in damages caused by ice or (in coastal areas) seawater. The potential applications for this new material are numerous. Primary beneficial applications are to power lines, insulators, and other equipment, including high-tension power lines and pylons. Other applications may include conductors and exposed electrical equipment at substations. The coating could also be applied to other power grid surfaces and structures where ice accumulation due to normal or supercooled water contact with subfreezing surfaces occurs. The invention could even prove beneficial for renewable energy applications, such as wind turbines and solar panels. Every winter, ice and freezing rain cause power lines to snap and equip-



alk into any sporting goods or camping store and you will be faced with several types of water repellents that can be applied to boots, tents, and other types of gear to keep it dry. What if you could apply a similar substance to power lines that would prevent them from accumulating ice and falling down? This technology could be here sooner than you think.

NEW TECHNOLOGY: Electric cooperatives are currently testing superhydrophobic materials to help prevent damage to power lines, whether from accumulating ice, above, or damage from seawater. Every year, electric utilities lose millions of dollars from damage caused by ice and corrosion.

ment to short out. In coastal areas, sea spray coats distribution and transmission equipment with corrosive salt. These harsh conditions cost electric utilities –– and consequently, consumers –– millions of dollars every year in equipment damage. A superhydrophobic coating could prevent these problems and improve service reliability. Through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), electric cooperatives have funded the testing of a superhydrophobic coating in cooperation with the National Electric Energy Testing, Research

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

& Applications Center at Georgia Tech. NRECA and electric co-ops are actively involved in other trials to further the development of these materials. The materials need further testing and additional field trials, but one can only imagine the savings superhydrophobic materials will offer in preventing ice storm and seawater damage to utility equipment. l Brian Sloboda is a program manager specializing in energy efficiency for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.


Earl reveals plan for his first 100 days as president By Earl Pitts, American


t’s January — we got a new year and a new president. And here’s the dumbest thing in American politics yet. Everybody is talkin’ about Donald Trump’s first 100 days. What’s he gonna do in his first 100 days? What are the Democrats gonna do to stop him in his first 100 days? What are we gonna think of him after the first 100 days? I think it’s a little odd that you run for this job for two years. Then you win it, and you got four years in office. And everybody judges you on the first 100 days. Heck, if I moved into the White House, it would probably take me two or three days to figure out where the toilet was. I hope that wouldn’t count against my first 100 days. So I know a lot of you are thinkin’ — “Well, Earl, what would you do in your first 100 days in the White House?” And I honestly say that knowin’ NONE of you were probably thinkin’ that, but I’m tryin’ to set up a commentary here, so just go with me. Earl Pitts’ first 100 days in the White House. First off, I have heard they have a fully-functional, regulation-size bowlin’ alley in the basement there. So for at least the first week to 10 days, I am free bowlin’ until my thumb falls off. Then, due to a poorly scheduled inauguration date that butts us right up against the Super Bowl, me and the First Better Half would probably be plannin’ our White House Super Bowl party. If we was smart, we’d probably invite the Queen of England and turn it into a State Super Bowl Party so y’all could pay for it. And that would take us up to the Daytona 500 where yours truly would be singin’ the national anthem and sayin’, “Gentlemen, start your engines.” I’ve always wanted to say that. And if you’re president, who would stop you? I believe between the Super Bowl

and the Daytona 500, I’m gonna have at least a week to a week and a half to save the country and make a special guest appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. So I realize there is work involved. The trick is makin’ sure it’s not too much. Wake up, America! I figure if you don’t like the job I’m doin’ in the White House, you got four years and then you can kick me out. But you know what, my four years as president would be epic. I’m Earl Pitts, American.


heard this story the other day that said your average, red-blooded, regular American spends 23 minutes a day lookin’ for somethin’ to watch on the TV. Now, that don’t sound too bad until you expand it out. Over your lifetime, you will spend 1.3 years of your life flippin’ channels and lookin’ at the on-screen guide on your TV. This study just goes to prove my point — TV sucks, and there’s too much on there. And I’ll give you a good example — your college football. Saturday college football — used to be, you had two choices. You had your ABC or your ESPN. Now there are 15 different ESPN channels. Plus there’s college football channels — channels just for college football. You got your SEC channel, your ACC channel, your Big 10 channel, your PAC 12 channel. I was flippin’ around last Saturday — there was 27 games on there. That will take an hour and a half alone just

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7

to figure out what game you wanna watch. Then 15 minutes into the game — it’s a blowout, and you got to go searching through 27 channels again to find another game. There are Saturdays that it just ain’t worth it. I’ll give you another example — your cable news channels. There used to be one news channel. Now you got your right-wing news channel, your leftwing news channel, your tin-foil-hatwhack-job news channel. They even got a 24-hour headline news channel for idiots that want to watch news 24/7, but they only want the headlines. What the heck is up with that? They got the food channel. The food channel is pretty simple — they’re either eatin’ food on there or cookin’ it. And some programmin’ guru says, “Oh, that’s too broad of appeal. Let’s add just the cookin’ channel. Where they cook, but don’t eat.” Well, thank goodness. I was tired of watchin’ people eat. Wake up, America! Thank goodness there ain’t 500 genius radio commentaries you gotta choose from. Not that I couldn’t crush the competition, you understand. I’m Earl Pitts, American. l Social commentary from Earl Pitts — a.k.a. Gary Bur­bank, 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 BurnhamLewistown. You can also find him at



Congratulations to the 2016 winners


undreds of Penn Lines readers submitted photos for the 2016 Rural Reflections contest, and a panel of 25 independent judges selected the year’s winning entries. Each winner in the categories of most artistic, best landscape, best human subject, best animal subject and editor’s choice will receive a $75 prize, but all of the readers who submitted photos during the past year deserve our thanks. In February, Penn Lines will publish the judges’ other favorite photos. Runner-up winners will each receive $25. In March, we will begin publishing 2017 photos. To be eligible for the 2017 contest prizes, send your snapshots (no professional photos, please) to: Penn Lines Photos, P.O. Box 1266, Harrisburg, PA 17108-1266. Include your name, address, phone number and the name of the electric cooperative that serves your residence, business or seasonal home. Remember, our publication deadlines require that we work ahead, so send your seasonal photos in early. We need spring photos before mid-February; summer photos before mid-May; fall photos before mid-July and winter photos before mid-September. Please note: 2016 photos that were accompanied by self-addressed, stamped envelopes will be returned in early February. l


Lisé Miller Adams EC


Laura Corwin Northwestern REC BEST LANDSCAPE

Thomas Cagle Northwestern REC


| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7



Carolyn Bledsoe Adams EC


zgar Tonikay Met y g er n E REA

| JA N UA RY 2 0 1 7


Penn Lines January 2017  

Penn Lines January 2017

Penn Lines January 2017  

Penn Lines January 2017