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March 2011

Backyard birding

The rewards of backyard bird feeding are many. While I frequently see chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, juncos, goldfinches and nuthatches just outside my kitchen door, a new visitor showed up sporadically this winter to take advantage of the black oil sunflower seeds offered there.
The female red-bellied woodpecker depicted here found the swampy hemlock grove next to my home to her liking. While more common to the south, this medium-sized round-headed bird has been increasing its breeding range northward over the past several decades.  Read more

Free speech or violation of town code?

The red, white and blue sign that says “Let’s get frackin,’ Just pass the GAS!” is an obvious reference to the gas drilling debate that has raged through the region for the past three years. According to comments made at the Tusten Town Board meeting on March 14, the owner of the building, Ned Lang, considers it a matter of free speech.  Read more

Gillibrand: dairy farms need help now

U. S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York doesn’t want to wait. She wants it now.

Gillibrand announced a comprehensive plan to provide immediate support for New York dairy farmers who are facing an imminent crisis, not next year, not tomorrow but today.  Read more

News Briefs

2010 census shows mix of growth, decline for Wayne and Pike
HONESDALE, PA — The 2010 Census data has been released in Pennsylvania, and Wayne County Director of Planning Ed Coar informed the Wayne County Commissioners commissioners of the results.  Read more

Phish fears in the land of peace and love

Many of the business and community leaders are welcoming the coming of Phish. The jam band is scheduled to perform three nights in a row over Memorial Day Weekend beginning on May 27 at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and camps in the area are being flooded with reservations, according to Roberta Byron Lockwood, president of the Sullivan County Visitors Association, and the concerts might well get the summer season started with a bang.  Read more

Un-paving paper highways

Sullivan County has long been thought of as a vacation spot for tourists from New York City. That was true way back in 1852, when a group of investors bought land now known as The Flats and Irish Hill in Narrowsburg with the idea that they would sell 200 lots, sized 50 feet by 100 feet, to city dwellers who could ride the Erie Railroad, which ran through the development, to reach their modest country properties.  Read more

Damascus zoning amendment unveiled

The draft of the amended zoning ordinance on gas drilling in Damascus Township was released last week. A public hearing will be held on Thursday, March 31 at 7:00 p.m. at the township office at 60 Conklin Hill Road.

The draft adds definitions, amends the schedule of regulations for the rural residential and industrial districts and adds a section on oil and gas wells and pads.

As to definitions, it clarifies the terms “oil and gas pads” and “oil and gas wells.” It defines further what is included in the term “mineral extraction.”  Read more

Special screening, special guests

Grammy-award-nominated singer songwriter/pianist and Pike County, PA native Vanessa Carlton may be focused on preparations for the June 21 release of her new album, “Rabbits on the Run.” But she’s not too busy to share what she does best at an upcoming event in Glen Spey, NY. Why? Because she cares about the issue and wants others to become informed.

That issue is natural gas drilling, and Carlton is hoping to increase awareness of the process and its impacts by performing at a special screening of the new documentary, “FRACK! The Movie.”  Read more

Gas news at a glance

Penn State Public Safety Webinar - March 17  Read more

Sullivan West sports fields

Voters who live in the Sullivan West School District will have the opportunity on March 22 to vote to approve or reject a $5 million spending plan for the construction and improvement of numerous projects, including baseball, football and soccer fields and tennis courts at the high school in Lake Huntington.  Read more