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March 2011

Call for photos of Grey Towers

MILFORD, PA — The Grey Towers Heritage Association (GTHA) is looking for photographs of Grey Towers National Historic Site for use in developing signature items for fundraising or as specialty items.

Novice, student and professional photographers are encouraged to submit photos that capture the beauty of the Grey Towers historic, natural and conservation essence of the grounds, landscape, buildings and outdoor artifacts and features. Photos from all seasons are being sought.  Read more

Cultural programming grants announced

NARROWSBURG, NY — Seventeen Sullivan County non-profit organizations have received $17,920 in Decentralization Grants (DEC) for 2011 cultural programming at a special awards ceremony held on Saturday, February 5 at the Delaware Arts Center in Narrowsburg. Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther was on hand to present the award checks.  Read more

The story of Purim—who knew?

We all know it’s just around the corner—but I’m still looking for signs of spring at every turn. There are so many celebrations and traditions connected to the change of seasons... some familiar and others that conjured up memories skewed by time, with a twist.  Read more

Habitat to build ‘Passive House'

FALLSBURG, NY — Planning is underway for an exciting building project believed to be one of the first of its kind in the realm of homes built through the Habitat for Humanity (HFH) program. This special home will be Sullivan County’s third HFH project and first home designed to Passive House standards and targeted to serve as a learning tool for the volunteer work force that will build it.  Read more

A cat on a leash

This morning on 61st and Madison I saw a man walking his cat. The cat had a harness wrapped tightly around its midsection, which was connected to the man’s hand by a very thin leash. The cat was huddled as far into the crevice between the sidewalk and the street that it could squeeze, completely freaked out by passing people and cars.

The man stood still, surprisingly patient. He did not pull or push the cat, almost as if it was Day 1 of a longer training plan. His end goal being that the cat would someday be able to walk down the street unafraid. The idea made me chuckle.  Read more

Environmental education, then and now

By Jamie Roche-Knecht
From the time I was very young, I remember my dad taking me out in the wilderness to teach me about the environment. We went fishing, hiking, camping and exploring as often as we could. He taught my older brother and me about trees, wildlife, water and respecting nature. That’s probably why we both went on to become natural resource professionals in our careers.  Read more

DEP oversight of the Marcellus Shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania

Out of curiosity, and because I had not seen any recent media reports about it, I recently contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and requested a list of violations and fines during 2010 regarding the gas industry in the Marcellus Shale area of Pennsylvania. It turns out there were a total of 729 violations and only 126 fines levied, totaling $2,537,368. I was somewhat disappointed that there was such disparity between the violations and the actual number of fines levied. I don’t know if this money is retained by the DEP, or if it goes into the general fund of the state coffers.  Read more

Land use rights

What are land use rights, and who has them? These days it is usually the landowner planning to sell the gas in the shale under his land who claims this right, and he is justified. The right to do with your property as you please, in conformity with zoning laws, has a long history in this country and wide and justified support in this county.  Read more

Time for a change in Shohola

For too many years I sat back and observed how small town governments made decisions. I chose to be on the sidelines because it was simpler—but no more can I idly stand by. I know now that, truly, ignorance is bliss, but there is no bliss in your life when you attend a supervisors’ meeting in the once peaceful township of Shohola.  Read more

We need those fields

On March 22, the voters in the Sullivan West School District have an extraordinary opportunity to finally give the students in our district what they so patiently have been waiting for: athletic fields at our high school. Without these, our school is second rate and we will have to continue to bus our kids daily to other locations for after-school sports practice.  Read more