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September 2011

Facing the floods

By Mari-Beth DeLucia

As I write this column, many of us in the Delaware River region are experiencing a situation that everyone prefers did not exist. We are in the middle of the second major flood event in two weeks, the first from Irene and now the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. At times like this, it is understandable how we may not be thinking about the positive benefits rivers bring to our local economy.  Read more

Humane society needs help

We are the owners of Books & Prints at Pear Alley in Milford, PA. Recently, a Pike County Humane Society (PCHS) volunteer stopped in for a donation for their Tricky Tray fundraiser on October 1. We are always willing to help the shelter whenever we can. We have a donation jar in the store and hold an annual Christmas drive. Most people know we adopted our black standard poodle Grace through them. Knowing donations for them have been down, we inquired how things were for them financially.  Read more

Disclose conflicts of interest

In an effort to curb abuses, the New York State Senate and Assembly have enacted a client disclosure law. This law applies to 48 professions in medical, engineering, law and accounting, to name a few.

The Sullivan County Legislature has been discussing the question, “Should county officials be required to publicly disclose their outside clients?” This measure would enable voters to decide for themselves whether legislators, their appointees or candidates in the upcoming election are engaged in any inappropriate conflicts of interest.  Read more

Who are those ‘Friends of Natural Gas?’

As one drives around this area, one sees a number of road signs proclaiming “Friends of Natural Gas.”

What is this organization and who are its friends? A quick search reveals that the organization is “A project of America’s Natural Gas Alliance.” According to the Wall Street Journal of February 25, 2009, that group was “founded by industry heavyweights as Newfield Exploration Co., Devon Energy Corp. and Chesapeake Energy Corp.”

Are they your friends? Not mine.

Alvin Shoop
Callicoon Center, NY

Thank you, Bethel

I have sent this message to all members of the Town Board of Bethel: I just want to thank you for all you are doing to help prohibit hydraulic fracturing from coming into the Bethel area. I am a weekend resident in Smallwood, and am completely opposed to it. I believe that it would change the air, water and beauty of the countryside that makes this area so appealing.

Mary Lyon
New York and Smallwood, NY

Interdisciplinary and cross-media huh?

Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sent out a press release touting a new reorganization initiative. Also last week, the Pike County Conservation District (PCCD) discussed the problems related to the oversight and enforcement of natural gas pipeline construction. These two events, in two very different ways, cast light on what is becoming an increasingly critical question in our area: are the bodies charged with ensuring the viability of our habitat willing and able to do what is necessary to see that it is protected from degradation?  Read more

Super spiders

As autumn approaches and temperatures begin to drop, it is increasingly common to see spiders in our homes, where they occasionally seek refuge at this time of year. One of the largest, and therefore potentially alarming, is the fishing spider.

Dolomedes is a genus of spiders of the family Pisauridae. There are over a hundred species of Dolomedes throughout the world, with nine species in North America. Also known as raft spiders, dock spiders or wharf spiders, most are semi-aquatic.  Read more

Assistance with trail development

NEW YORK STATE — Parks & Trails New York, a statewide parks and trails advocacy organization, is offering assistance to communities wishing to develop a new multi-use trail or increase usage of an existing trail as part of its Healthy Trails, Healthy People Program. Communities will receive help with technical issues, planning, public outreach, grant writing, fundraising, programming, organizational development and other activities critical to the long-term success of trail projects.  Read more

A walk in the woods

THOMPSON, PA — There will be a walk at the Florence Shelly Wetlands Preserve on Sunday, October 2 at 2 p.m., led by Hank Hartman, a retired forester with the U.S. Forest Service.
The 400-acre preserve features many species of trees that tell a unique tale about this particular area and its human and natural history. Hartman will help identify some of these trees, discuss their special qualities and describe some of the modern environmental challenges they are under.  Read more

Pride abides

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The Bible admonishes us to be wary of pride in excess: “Pride goeth before a fall” warns of the consequences of arrogance. But taking pride in the giving of one’s best efforts is, by contrast, well justified and well earned, especially when it is done with humility and grace. For Liberty and Eldred, this past week’s accomplishments were indeed something to be quite proud of.  Read more