On and Off The Mountain/Stephanie Grubert

Memorial Day Weekend is the official kick off of summer for me. The harsh winter has encouraged the most lush and gorgeous burst of spring this week. Trees are full of tender green leaves, azaleas and rhododendron are blooming weeks before their due and even the grass has punched it way through the earth to welcome us for the new season.

My little plot of earth that I call my “garden” was tilled and fluffed on Sunday by my good friend George Albright III. George and his father George II operate Glen Summit Green House and Landscaping. George III is the landscaper, which for me is the tiller.

I lovingly approached my newly tilled plot Sunday afternoon and sowed the first seeds of the season. I planted green and yellow beans, cucumber, and summer and winter squash. The afternoon was warm and I will be planting the rest of my seeds this week in the cooler morning hours. I will shop for bedding plants—tomatoes, peppers, and broccoli for sure and maybe an herb or two.

I love to sit on my front porch after a day of vigorous gardening and a walk up into the Gamelands to listen to the birds before dusk and plan the next day’s activities. A pesky mosquito or two have tried to bite so I have the Cutter insect repellent at close hand. It is so much better than trying to stay warm through the cold days of a Mountaintop winter.

13th Relay for Life The 13th Annual Mountaintop Relay for Life enjoyed cool temperatures and the enthusiasm of 15 teams in their cancer awareness and fundraiser at Crestwood High School last weekend. Survivors and caregivers are honored at the Relay and there is no family that has been untouched by this devastating disease. Treatments and survival rates have soared since the 1950’s, when the diagnosis of “cancer” drew a long sigh of defeat.

Many cancers are very treatable if they are discovered at an early stage. Medicine is an ongoing science and we can help ourselves with regular screenings. The Relay’s message of awareness is more important than the money that is generated. Screenings, especially as we get older, are the key to treatment and cure.

Pink & Blue Tournament On the theme of cancer

awareness and financial support, the Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club is holding their Fifth Annual Pink & Blue Golf Tournament on Saturday June 20. Pink is for breast cancer and blue is for prostate cancer, two of the most feared cancers we face as we get older.

Our committee has a special connection to the Pink & Blue Tournament. Cancer awareness and financial support has always been our goal and our Co-Chairman Alison Kryger is now a breast cancer survivor. Alison was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer earlier this year and made the difficult and highly emotional decision to remove both of her breasts. She is now cancer free and the Pink & Blue event has an even deeper meaning for her now.

We need sponsors and golfers to get to our goal of $10,000 for our donation to Medical Oncology Associates in Kingston, PA. . Last year the Pink & Blue had 108 golfers and raised $9500. We are so close. Just a few more sponsors and a goal of filling the field will put us over the top. Please call Tony Barletta at Blue Ridge Golf Club, 570-868-4653 (GOLF) to join the Pink & Blue effort. Donate and play and we all win. There are lots of great prizes too.

Rice Township The Rice Township Board of

Supervisors had a work session this month to discuss priorities for paving projects. Rice and just about every municipality in Pennsylvania is facing decaying roads year after year thanks to our Pennsylvania winter weather. Rice hired their township engineer to go out and make a list of problem roads including descriptions and estimates for repair.

The list was long, 15 roads and 4 others needing overlay paving for a total of $944,000. Rice will prioritize their road construction 5-year plan in the next month or two. Having a plan is a great start to getting the job done.

There is another issue in Rice Township that is newsworthy. Mountain Top Area Ambulance Association has denied the use of their ambulance building on Rice Township property as a election polling place.

The request was denied for the following reasons:

• The building is not handicapped accessible.

• The meeting room area is not large enough to accommodate voting machines and registration tables.

• There is only 1 bathroom and it is not handicapped accessible.

• The bay area is only big enough to house an ambulance, which it current does, is only heated by a small wall mounted heater.

• There are no appliances i. e. microwave, refrigerator etc. for the poll workers to use. In addition there is only 1 table in the building.

I have peeked in the windows of the Mountaintop Ambulance garage, located at the western end of the Rice Township Park parking lot and it is a small building for anything except storage of an ambulance. The Ambulance Association has some valid points for denial.

On the other hand, 91-year-old Nicholas Hollock, who is the sole survivor of the original Mountaintop Ambulance Founders, is very disappointed at the denial. Nick stopped by the Eagle office last week to voice his displeasure. His take on it is that Rice Township gave the Ambulance Association the use of their land to erect the ambulance garage and now Rice is being denied access. Nick’s letter is published on this page.

I really don’t see the problem with continuing to use the Rice municipal building as a polling place. It is clean, can accommodate at least 6 or more voting machines and has ample parking including the area next to the park. The Rice Township secretary is unavailable on the two voting days of the year but then she probably has other days she works overtime so the time issue can be negotiated.

Voting, except for Presidential Elections has low turnout. The voters and the township can easily be accommodated.