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December 2012

Albert “Bucky” Schields

Albert “Bucky” Schields, a lifelong resident of Shohola, PA, passed away on Monday, December 17, 2012 at home with his family by his side. He was 77.

The son of the late Urban and Loretta Barth Schields, he was born on the family farm in Shohola on December 20, 1934.  Read more

December 13, 2012 - December 20, 2012

Carol W. Curry

Carol W. Curry of Grahamsville, NY passed away on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at Newton Hospital. She was 71.

A funeral service was on Friday, December 14, 2012 at Colonial Memorial Funeral Home, 396 State Route 52, Woodbourne, NY 12788. Rev. Bob Kersten officiated. Interment followed at Grahamsville Rural Cemetery.

John J. Dorney

John J. Dorney, a longtime resident of Shohola, PA, passed away at the age of 77, on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at home, in the arms of his loving wife.  Read more

The list-driven life

This is the season for lists—holiday gifts, cards and those letters to Santa, who is understood to be making a list of his own.

It can all get to be too much so that it seems that life itself has become winnowed down to a list of “to-dos” dictated by half-legible scraps of paper.

“I can take that off my list,” I hear people say, in a world-weary kind of way, whether it be, say, cleaning the fish tank or attending the kid’s holiday concert.  Read more

Not the end of the world, but…

December 21, the Friday before Christmas, marks the winter solstice, a date that also looms large for the so-called Mayan “end-of-the-world” prediction. Despite what you may have heard, the Maya did not predict the end of the world. What these ancient “astronomers” did do was produce highly accurate and complex astronomical calendars (and there were many) that predicted events such as solar eclipses, transits of the sun by Venus (a rare occurrence) and other celestial happenings.  Read more

A cut in county services is inevitable

One year ago, I stepped into the political arena, committed to enact change for the betterment of the residents of Sullivan County. I have learned much about the challenges of county government and remain determined, despite the obstacles, to continue to move forward.  Read more

Presidents and Christmas

Christmas became a national holiday in 1870. In 1889, the first indoor decorated Christmas tree was placed in the White House, and in 1895, electric lights were added. In 1923, the first National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony was held. In 1953, the first White House Christmas card was created by President Dwight Eisenhower who was also an artist/painter. President Kennedy’s 1963 Christmas card was the first to include an explicitly Christian aspect: the nativity.  Read more

Calling out a county executive

Orange County Executive Edward Diana’s cynical veto of funding for Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation in Goshen, NY represents politics at its worst and continued public deception. Orange County is legally obligated to operate and, obviously, fund the operation of Valley View until and unless the New York State Department of Health approves the closing or sale of the facility. As has been widely reported, this cannot happen for many months or more and, during that time, the county remains legally obligated to run the facility and must appropriate money for that purpose.  Read more

Say ‘no more’ to domestic violence

Because Jovan Belcher played professional football, he thrust domestic violence into the media spotlight and the national conversation when he murdered his girlfriend and then committed suicide on December 1.

This tragedy instantly orphaned their three-month-old daughter and shocked sports fans but, unfortunately, sounded eerily familiar to advocates for domestic violence victims.  Read more

Speaking against unfunded mandates

On December 6, I attended an informative meeting presented by the Sullivan County Legislature to present the budget for 2013. Many of the problems facing our legislators are problems not of their making; however, the tough choices that must be made now are in their hands. Residents of Sullivan County cannot afford any increase.  Read more

Peace on earth and goodwill to all

Christmas is a time when (if we can put aside the crazy commercialism of the season) we willingly and freely talk about such lofty ideals as peace on earth and good will to all people. We hear the Christmas message of hope and its promises of redemption, forgiveness and healing. Then the season is over. The Christmas star goes off on its merry way, orbiting around the galaxy, and we go back to the world as we know it.  Read more