The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 4, 2013

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Happy Birthday, Mr. Stevens

Daily Item

---- — “There can be no fanatics in the cause of genuine liberty.”— Thaddeus Stevens

Today is the 221st birthday of Thaddeus Stevens. Stevens was an abolitionist congressman from Lancaster County. Until the release of the Academy Award-winning movie “Lincoln” he was faintly remembered by most people but this movie has brought his writings and ideas much more into the modern-day consciousness.

Today’s “lovers of freedom” might do well to read what Stevens had to say about the issues of liberty and equality, for they are as applicable today as they were two centuries ago.

Earth month

The Merrill Linn Conservancy will hold several Earth Month events, starting Saturday at Ards Farm Market west of Lewisburg, involving a 9:30 a.m. tour of the conservation measures that are being taken on this farm. On Saturday afternoon there’s a canoe and kayak trip on the section of Buffalo Creek between Cowan and Mazeppa. You can register for this trip at

On Sunday, from 1 to 3 p.m., there will be a free double-feature film series at the Campus Theatre featuring “Save Our Land, Save Our Towns” and “Bag It.”Mountain biking basics

Go to the top of the hill and ride down. OK, the instruction won’t be quite that basic. However, if you think that you’re ready for some mountain biking but weren’t sure how to get started, a program scheduled for next Wednesday, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the R.B. Winter State Park might just be for you.

Equipment, safety and outdoor ethics will be discussed as well as there will be a chance to go for a ride on the park’s mountain bikes. As an added benefit, the participants will also learn for to use a GPS and then go on a short geocache. The program is for participants over the age of 12 and pre-registration is required by calling 966-1455 to enroll.

You can’t get there from here

Word has been passed on from the state Bureau of Forestry that the tunnel on the railroad grade leading from Cherry Run to Poe Paddy is now closed because of unstable rocks that have been falling from the tunnel’s ceiling. At this point, it appears the tunnel will be closed for the summer. Alternate routes are being investigated but, for now, if you’re heading to Ingleby: “you can’t get there from here.”3D shoots

The sport of 3D archery is a form of target shooting competition. This type of archery can be enjoyed by anyone at any age or skill level. Typically, the targets are set in the woods or fields. The goal is to identify where to aim your shot on a life-like target and then to achieve the highest possible score. Generally, various animal-shaped targets are used that are close to life size with the types of animals ranging from elk and deer to skunks and even snakes.

The North Montour Sportsmen Club that is located near the PPL Montour Preserve holds 3D archery shoots on the first Sunday of the month from April through September. This Sunday, shooter registration will run up to 2 p.m. and everyone is welcome to come and try out this great sport. For more information, please contact Matt Swartz at 490-2784.

Take a hike

This Sunday, you can join a moderate hike of the Black Forest Trail in Lycoming County. This 7-mile stroll will be on the plateau area just off the Coudersport Pike between Pine Creek and the West Branch of the Susquehanna. Plan to meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Fin, Fur and Feather shop on Route 44. The hike leader is Joanne Heimer and you may let her know that you want to hike along by touching base at:

Be careful out there

With the National Weather Service-issued red flag fire warning for the Susquehanna Valley we need to be really careful in the woods. The combination of recent gusty winds, low humidity levels and dry conditions has led to the forests becoming tinder-like. Until the leaves come out of the trees and we get some rain, we all need to double our efforts to make sure that wildfires don’t happen.

Trout stocking

We’re rolling up on the statewide opening of trout season next Saturday. This coming week you can watch and help out with stockings when the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission trucks deliver trout to the following Valley waters this week: Columbia County, Fishing Creek, April 8; Pine Creek, April 9; Huntington Creek and West Creek, April 11; Perry County, where trout season is now open, Buffalo Creek and Laurel Run, April 11; and Snyder County-Swift Run, April 11.