2006-04-15 / News

Endeavor's Neat Numbers

91

The violent windstorm that swept through the region in July 2003 took a huge toll on black cherry stands.

According to results of a comprehensive study released last week, 91 percent of the region's cherry trees did not show a leaf flush last summer, and more than 40 percent had dead tops.

Forestry experts say northcentral Pennsylvania remains the "black cherry capital of the world," as worldwide demand for hardwood products continues to rise.

3 Volunteers are being recruited for a return trip to the Gulf Coast by Kane-area residents who are committed to helping Hurricane Katrina victims.

The April 23-30 trip to Long Beach, Mississippi, is the group's third, according to the Rev. Nancy Curtis, pastor of the Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church. Her church and the St. Callistus Catholic Church are coordinating the trips. Any interested in additional information should call 8376920 or 837-6694.

7

Seven students from St. Marys Catholic Elementary School won second place at Odyssey of the Mind state competition in Altoona, earning a trip to the World Finals May 24-27 in Iowa. The international educational program encourages and rewards creative problem solving for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

12

Politics has become such a high-stakes financial chess game that candidates for the U.S. Senate no longer even pretend to be delegates and advocates for their home states. Sen. Rick Santorum will visit 12 states to raise money for his re-election battle. His Democratic challenger, Bob Casey Jr., will visit seven.

Indeed, monied interests in Michigan, Florida and Virginia will do whatever they can to influence the voting in Pennsylvania. Experts predict Santorum and Casey will spend at least $40 million on advertising this year.

94

If a McKean County company has its way, a 94-acre parcel between Port Allegany and Emporium could be the site of a major commercial and recreational development. Portage Development Group is looking to expand its successful recycling operation into a larger development in Liberty Township.

As part of the plan, the company is requesting extension of a sewage treatment system line out Rt. 155. The business, an outgrowth of the RecyclAll Company, has designated about 42 acres for light industrial development and envisions a lodge, restaurant and cabins to cater to tourists on a nearby 52-acre tract.

ReCyclAll started in 1998 as a recycling operation, mainly of glass. The company now has a staff of 14 full-time and seven part-time employees.

30

A town meeting on alcohol abuse by teenagers was recently held in Smethport.

Parents joined with leaders in government, religion, and community agencies to brainstorm about an issue that everyone in attendance considers a major problem. National statistics show that 30 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 20 drink regularly. Those who begin drinking under the age of 15 are five times more likely to become alcoholics.

A local clergyman spoke of the success of the "hangouts" his church regularly holds for young people. Other effective programs cited were parenting education classes and PROSPER, an innovative program offered through the Penn State Cooperative Extension Service.

50

Fifty is a special number for Ron "Fezz" Linden of Potter County. In 2004, he was surfing the Internet, looking for a small food stand to add to his Valley Hardware business near Sweden Valley.

He happened upon an ad for an abandoned 1954 Silk City diner. "The diner was born the same year I was," Linden said. "I decided it must be fate." So he bought it, sight unseen, had it trucked to Potter County and restored it. Two years later, Fezz's Diner is serving customers seven days a week. The eatery combines 1950s nostalgia with a big-city diner experience.

30,000

Who buys encyclopedias for their kids these days? Probably nobody. Discovery Communications is pushing an enhanced home version of the video encyclopedia network already used by thousands of schools. It has launched a site, called Cosmeo, giving students access to more than 30,000 video clips, interactive educational games and other tools.

The company, whose television networks include Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel, says it already provides a similar product to about 70,000 public schools that have broadband Internet service. Cosmeo will cost parents $12.95 per month after an introductory period.

5.5M

Since its founding in July, PACleanSweep has turned public anger over the legislative pay raise into a statewide movement calling for change. In nine months, the nonpartisan group helped overturn the pay raise, contributed to the ouster of Supreme Court Justice Russell M. Nigro, and drafted 96 candidates for state office. It began as an Internet website developed for $200. It has since has logged 5.5 million "hits."

70

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last weekend for the Elk County Humane Society's new shelter on East Eschbach Road. The shelter will include pens for 70 pets, including 20 dogs and 50 cats. It should be open by September.

Society President Veronica Conrad thanked those who have supported the society. She said a humane shelter is more than a home for unwanted, abused and neglected animals. "A shelter can be an important tool in the job of educating both children and adults about being a responsible pet owner and, therefore, better citizens," Conrad told the gathering.

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