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December 2011

Hanukkah decoded

With so much information available on the Internet these days, I thought it might be interesting to explore the meaning of various terms and traditions associated with Hanukkah, which started on December 20 this year. Having been raised with a Jewish education, I was surprised to discover some unknown facts and a few rare insights, as well as historical tidbits, songs and poems that enliven homes as families gather all around the world to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights.

What is Hanukkah?  Read more

River love

The Delaware River is many things to many people, in addition to sustaining the abundant variety of flora and fauna that characterizes the Upper Delaware region. Named America’s Most Endangered River in 2010 by the American Rivers Organization and Pennsylvania’s River of the Year for 2011, the Delaware continues to elicit the passionate devotion of thousands who cherish its generous gifts. From sportsmen, recreationists and residents, to artists, writers and visitors, the Delaware has touched the spirits of people of all ages and from all walks of life.  Read more

Trout hunting

As a young boy, I always enjoyed taking exploratory hikes into forested hills and valleys far off the beaten path. My curiosity would urge me to seek whatever mysteries lay in the valley just over the next hill. When I am on a trout stream, the current pushes me along until I discover what lies around the next bend. Sometimes this curiosity leads to difficulties. My aging legs remind me that I am no youngster. Yet my curiosity suggests that the unknown and beautiful lies only a bit further on.  Read more

Court rules in DEC’s favor regarding superfund sites;return to ‘pre-disposal conditions’ valid

ALBANY, NY — The highest court in the state has said that compelling nearly total cleanups of contaminated sites is legal. On December 15, the NYS Court of Appeals ruled that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) may require companies that own sites listed in the state’s Superfund program to clean up the properties to “predisposal conditions, to the extent feasible.”  Read more

Damascus board approves fiber mill

The Damascus Township board approved the establishment of a fiber mill on Calkins Road for Adam and Elizabeth Thumann, scheduling a conditional use hearing for Monday, January 16 at 6:30 p.m.  Read more

UDC comments on DEC’s gas drilling plan

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Project Review Committee of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) on Tuesday unanimously approved a draft of a letter to be sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding its SGEIS on natural gas drilling in New York. A previous draft had failed to pass the council as a whole at its last meeting earlier in the month.  Read more

PA car charging stations get grant

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has announced a $1 million grant award to help develop electric vehicle infrastructure on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The grant recipient, Car Charging Group, Inc., will install charging stations at 17 turnpike service plazas.  Read more

Farmers can get flood relief

WALTON, NY — Flood relief funding is currently available for Catskill region farmers through the Raise the Roof Donation Fund. These are small grants available to farms that suffered flood damage or product loss during Hurricane Irene and/or Tropical Storm Lee. A first round of $15,000 in funding has been completed. The second round of funding is open between December 15 and January 15, 2012. Applications can be obtained from the Scholarships & Grants section of the Pure Catskills webpage online at www.purecatskills.com, or by contacting Challey Comer at ccomer@nycwatershed.org or 607/865-7090.  Read more

Delaware Basin Conservation Act passes committee

WASHINGTON, DC — The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2011, federal legislation to help protect the Delaware River Basin, has passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. A companion bill is still in committee in the House of Representatives.  Read more

Highland honors highway super

With expressions of mutual respect and gratitude, the Town of Highland honored its retiring highway superintendent, Norman Sutherland, at its monthly meeting on December 13. Town supervisor Andrew Boyar roasted Sutherland at the meeting’s end with a series of gag gifts and a humorous account of Sutherland’s history and successful service to the town.  Read more