Ask Betsy! July 2013

Dear Betsy,

Now that the heat and humidity have set in, my doors are sticking shut.  Do you know of any helpful hints to eliminate this problem?

Stuckin Side

Dear Stuckin,

A belt sander is always a help in this situation, but you don’t want to take too much off the edges.  If too much is sanded off you will have cold breezes coming through this winter.  A little trick that I use is rubbing a candle or a bar of soap on the offending edge and also on the door frame to help things slide a bit easier.  Hope this helps!



Dear Betsy,

Some of my friends have been telling me about these “GMO” foods and to be wary of them. What’s this all about?

A Local Consumer

Dear Local Consumer,

GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organisms,” a reference to foods that have been altered by scientists at the level of their own genetic code. This is a much more invasive approach than cross-breeding, or, “hybridization,” and permits, for example, the inclusion of insect DNA in a plant or animal. Yummy!

GMO labeling is currently a hot issue, with all industrialized nations except the US and Canada requiring such labeling by law. Austria, Hungary, Greece, and Bulgaria have outlawed the production and sale of genetically modified crops altogether.

Now, besides researching particular products, one can identify organic (versus genetically modified) produce right on the grocery shelves by means of a four- or five-digit PLU code affixed to the produce.  A five-digit code beginning with a “9” indicates an organic product, whereas an initial digit of “8” identifies a genetically modified one. A four-digit code signals conventionally grown produce containing pesticides.

Feel free to write in to the Gazette to let us know how you made out.


  • Betsy Summers
  • Betsy Summers is a long-time resident of Wilkes-Barre who holds an associate’s degree from Centenary College and advanced degrees from the School of Hard Knocks. She’s also a self-taught carpenter, electrician, gardener, and Jane of all trades. Betsy currently works in veterinary sales, has served on the subcommittee for Luzerne County ethics, and has run for a number of political offices, most recently, PA State Auditor General in 2012.If you’d like a question answered, contact Betsy at or call us at 570-266-8086.

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