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«River Currents Newsletter of the Lackawanna River Corridor Association Volume 15 Number 3 Summer 2008 LRCA Antique Market & Yard Sale We will be ...»

River Currents

Newsletter of the Lackawanna River Corridor Association

Volume 15 Number 3

Summer 2008

LRCA Antique Market & Yard Sale

We will be having the first LRCA Antique Market & Yard Sale on Saturday August 23, 2008 at 8 AM to 4 PM

on the grounds of the Silkman House. Everyone has stuff around the house gathering dust that we’ve been planning to

get rid of. Now we have an opportunity to do that and help the LRCA at the same time. By donating items that you no

longer want or need, we can recycle things that may be useful or desired by others. At the same time we can spend time together doing the sale and raise funds for the Silkman House Restoration Campaign.

Remember, just about everything has some value to it. Maybe the value of things are no longer very high in your eyes, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth something to someone else.

To have a successful fund raising event we need pro-active participation from our members, as many as possible.

We will need help as follows:

1) We need goods to sell. Nice, clean, quality merchandise - clothes, furniture, small working appliances, china, dishes, pottery, toys, lamps, knick knacks, books, records, costume jewelry, tools, etc., etc. Rid your cellars, attics, and closets - you’ll be surprised what you might find that’s been forgotten!

2) We need help selling at the sale. There will be a lot of merchandise to arrange and display, tables to set up, and customers to assist. Please arrive before start of sale. Even if you can’t stay the whole day, we could use part-time help. Donations of paper or plastic bags and tables and/or tarps are welcome.

3) We need help listing and pricing the goods. At a group yard sale, as opposed to one’s own individual sale, it is much better to have items “tagged” in order to be uniform and fair. Pricing and sorting need to be done before sale day.

4) We need lots of help setting up (6AM) and taking down on sale day (4PM).

Please consider how you can help make this an exciting and fun event! Donations of merchandise for the sale can be brought to the Silkman House, 2006 N. Main Avenue, 11 AM to 4:30 PM Monday thru Friday from now until August 20, 2008. Call either 347-6311 (Bernie or Barb) or 586-6366 (Mike).

Own a piece of working history....Silkman House, circa 1840.

We invite you to preserve a portion of the historic Silkman House. You now have a unique opportunity to join with the LRCA (Lackawanna River Corridor Association) and LVC (Lackawanna Valley Conservancy) to preserve and restore an irreplaceable part of our community’s heritage. Your pledge will grant you naming rights to one of the many rooms or features of the building and grounds. In addition a plaque recognizing your contribution will be placed in the room or feature of your selection. You will also receive a framed certificate documenting your participation in the Silkman House Restoration Campaign.

Stop by to view the rooms, architectural features and landscape elements that are available for your selection. A printed brochure is available with the history of the Silkman House and descriptions of the rooms and grounds that need your help to be restored in reference to its place in history. Silkman House, 2006 N. Main Ave., Scranton, PA 18508. 570.347.6311 Executive Director’s Notes The wings of an eagle pushed the heavy summer air as it worked to get skyward after diving for and snatching a fish from the rippling waters of the Susquehanna just at Coxton Point where the Lackawanna meets the big river on its way to the Chesapeake Bay. It was a muggy July 3rd afternoon and a special kayak sojourn was landing at Coxton Point to talk about some very interesting proposals to finally do something about the infamous Old Forge Bore Hole.

In case you haven’t seen the last three miles of the Lackawanna, The Old Forge Bore Hole is the source of a gusher of 80 million gallons of acid mine drainage every day. The mine water is loaded with 3000 pounds of dissolved iron.

That iron oxidizes as it mixes with the river’s waters. The oxide then coats the bottom of the river and anything else it touches with a slimy, orange, sulfurous smelling residue! AY- EEE-YUCK!!! That’s right, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for the past 46 years since the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania drilled it in September 1962; the borehole has been polluting the Lackawanna and the Susquehanna rivers and adding to the load of pollutants that drain to the Chesapeake Bay.

Try to imagine the Subway system under Manhattan, multiply it 100 times and make it go down about 800 feet, then fill it with water. That’s what the Northern Anthracite mine pool might look like under the Lackawanna Valley. It is an incredible subterranean water resource perhaps approaching the size of one of the Finger Lakes in up state New York.

As the ground water flows through the system of flooded mine works, it dissolves iron, manganese, aluminum and other trace metals. When the mine water drains into the river the metals go with it. You can’t stick a cork in it either!

Twenty years ago, when the LRCA was just getting started, you probably wouldn’t see an eagle diving for a fish at Coxton Point. But, you would have seen the orange staining in the Lackawanna that some have called the “largest, visible point source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed”.

Back then, we crafted the Lackawanna River Citizens Master Plan. We identified cleaning up the Old Forge Bore Hole and the nearby Duryea mine out fall as major priorities. We partnered with the Corps of Engineers in 1993 and identified several alternatives for a treatment plant to clean up the mine water. A treatment plant for these mine drains would require multi millions of dollars to build and several million per year to operate.

The Corps of Engineers did define a federal interest and that could possibly offer a source for some construction funds to build a treatment system. However, no body at the federal, state or local government level wanted to take that responsibility on without some source of funding to pay for operating the treatment system. Over the past 15 years, the LRCA has looked at a number of additional opportunities to deal with the Bore Hole, all to no avail.

We are committed to getting this mess cleaned up and we now have a new proposal that seems to have a good deal of merit. We are now working to advance a new partnership to clean up the orange waters.

Chris Gillis, a local chemist and entrepreneur, is promoting a technology that would harvest the iron oxide out of the mine water before it goes into the river. The oxide would then be marketed as a raw material for the food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and metallurgical industries. He has formed a company, Solution Mining Inc. to advance the development of his proposals. He has obtained a grant from the state to begin some initial work. The Boroughs of Old Forge Cont. on page 3 LRCA Board of Directors Leonard Gorney, President; Michael Morin, 1st Vice President; Anita Lohin, 2nd Vice President; Angela Lambert, 3rd Vice President;

Kathleen O’Hara, Secretary; Ruthann Martin, Assistant Secretary; Michael Hanley, Treasurer; Bernard McGurl, Executive Director Patrick Cuff, Kathleen Cullinane, Dr. Josephine Dunn, Ned Fetcher, Jack Finnerty, John Gable, David Gromelski, Erin Hailstone, Douglas Heller, Brian Kaufman, Michelene Kennedy, Dr. Mary Beth Krogh-Jespersen, Kevin Leibold, Robert M. McLaine, Maggie O’Brien, Dr. Douglas Sheldon, Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Anthony Zaleski, Elizabeth Zygmunt

–  –  –

Relections in the Park by Kayleigh Cornell Sitting at Sarah Bratty Park in Archbald is one of those special places for me where nature seems to take away all my cares. As Emerson says, “In the woods we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life - no disgrace, no calamity leaving me my eyes, which nature cannot repair.” I find it truly a blessing to live in this beautiful valley where the spirit of nature is very much intact with winding streams graced by the shade of silver maples and river birch. As a sprinkle of sun warms my face, I think about all the people living in this valley who also care about the heart of its life, the Lackawanna River.

The river has come a long way, from the pristine waters of the past to the polluted waters during the industrial age and to the present time when we as a community realize the value of our watershed economically and spiritually. For twenty years, the LRCA has instilled in the communities a responsibility and appreciation for our river.

Several challenges face local, federal and citizen organizations to continue efforts to clean up AMD and CSO’s throughout our watershed. There are many creative solutions suggested, such as the harvesting of minerals being discharged from the Old Forge Bore Hole. I believe one thing we all can use is a little peaceful time by the river to reflect on what our role is in the community as caretakers of our watershed and our fellow citizens.

Kayleigh Cornell, a sophmore at the University of Pittsburgh, is interning with the LRCA this summer.


The Lackawanna River Corridor Association (LRCA) hosted RiverFest 2008 on Saturday May 10, 2008. It was a full day of fun and excitement along the Lackawanna River with the 36th fun paddle and white water Canoe-A-Thon, the Fabulous River Regatta, the ever popular Duck-A-Thon, and an afternoon of nostalgic music.

Canoe and kayak paddlers enjoyed a very challenging and exciting trip down the Lackawanna River from the Archbald and Blakely locations. Many participants had spills and thrills! Congratulations!

We had three very creative entries in the Regatta this year. The chill in the air did not hinder the spirit of those sailing or those who just were spectators.

Congrats to the Duck-A-Thon winners! Many thanks to all who purchased tickets to help the LRCA in continuing its work for the preservation of the River.

Attendance was great and all seemed to enjoy this family fun event!

Are You Prepared For The Retirement Red Zone(R)?

If a secure retirement is a primary financial goal for you, understanding the potential pitfalls should be one of your greatest concerns. Retirement planning is an emotional subject. Many people fear they are not saving enough. Others are confused about their investment options or unsure if their savings are invested aggressively enough. Still others may be saving and investing wisely, but are concerned they simply started too late. But for everyone, there is a 10-year period of time, “ the five years before and the five years after retirement,” that is especially critical. Prudential Financial has dubbed this time period The Retirement Red Zone(R). However, consideration and planning can help you have a

successful journey through The Red Zone. A few ways to begin preparing:

Seek advice. Whether you are just starting out in the work force or halfway to retirement, one of the most productive things you can do is seek professional advice.

Create a cash reserve. Cash reserves are sometimes an overlooked component in the retirement plan. It is a good idea to set aside cash that can carry you for several years, while investing the remainder in your growth portfolio.

Investigate Annuities. An annuity with a guaranteed lifetime annual payout may help protect you against the risk of outliving your assets. All guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

Insure Your Future Security. Carefully review your life and disability insurance needs, especially if you are the primary breadwinner. Life insurance can help protect a family from the devastating loss of a wage earner and help you protect your retirement funds. Be sure to ask your financial professional if long-term care insurance is right for you.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for retirement planning.

Meeting with a qualified financial professional now can help you map out your intentions and safely navigate the Retirement Red Zone when the time comes. For more information contact Kevin at one of the numbers listed below.

Kevin P. Leibold is a Financial Advisor and runs his business through Prudential Financial. For any questions regarding this article please contact Kevin at 570-347-4184 x 7287 or 570-504-6782. Mr. Leibold has provided support to help underwrite the production costs of this issue of River Currents.

HWA Control at the Silkman House On Monday June 16, 2008 the LRCA staff released over 3000 ladybird beetles, pseudoscymnus tsugae, into the hemlock trees located on the Silkman House property. We are hopeful the voracious tiny beetles, that only feed on Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), will help in the preservation of our hemlock trees, the Pennsylvania state tree.

In 1951 HWA was observed in Virginia. It is now present in seventeen states (Maine to Georgia and west to Kentucky) causing decline and mortality of hemlocks. Locally the ladybird beetles have been released in Nay Aug Park, Bushkill Falls and now the Silkman House.

Our thanks to Emmett Kearney for his generous contribution to help the hemlocks along the Providence Reach section of the Lackawanna River.

Emmett is currently looking for enthusiastic people to work in the lab rearing the beetle.

Volunteer with the LRCA The LRCA is continuing its search for volunteers for the many different services that we provide to our Lackawanna River community. We need people with diverse skills, professions, interests and physical abilities. Our needs are multifaceted: office help, trail caretakers, property maintenance, river monitoring, river clean-up, conducting educational programs, marketing the LRCA & LVC partnership, and much more. All are welcome to stop by our office at the Silkman House, 2006 N. Main Avenue, one block north of Providence Square, to discuss these volunteer activities with the LRCA staff.

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