The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has ordered the closure of the public access area located within the gate of The Chapin Estate community because it has “no supervision, lifesaving equipment, potable water supply or emergency response communications.” It would be a little easier to believe this is really about public safety if DOH had also taken action at the two other public access spots on the Toronto and Swinging Bridge reservoirs, which have the exact same conditions. Read more
The last time voters in New York State went to the polls to determine whether there should be a state constitutional convention was 1997. The voters ultimately said “no,” but even so, the state appointed a commission to study and prepare for a constitutional convention four years before that, in 1993. Read more
New York State Sen. John Bonacic nearly did not have an opponent in the coming election. No candidates had filed to run in the Democratic primary by the July 14 deadline. Pramilla Malick, however, petitioned successfully for an “opportunity to ballot,” which means that Democratic voters will have a chance to write in her name in a primary election on September 13. The “opportunity to ballot” apparently also triggers an opportunity for voters to write in other names. But Malick is the only one actively campaigning, and most likely she will be on the ballot in November challenging Bonacic. Read more
The campaign by various groups to have clear labels on food that include genetically modified organisms has been short-circuited by Congress and President Barack Obama. Congress passed and Obama signed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling (SAFE) Act, which is also known by opponents as the Deny Americans Right to Know (DARK) Act. Read more
At the most recent meeting of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB) Glenn Pontier, who has served on the board for 10 years, discussed who might be responsible for the loss of the more than $500,000 federal grant to help pay for a visitors’ center at Fort Delaware.
Pontier said the responsibility rested with the Sullivan County Division of Planning, the UDSB itself and Congress. In our view, the congressional role in this matter played the principal role in scuttling the project. Read more
It’s the project that wouldn’t die. Almost everyone thought it was dead, or nearly so, in 2013, which was the last time this newspaper reported on the new visitors’ center. At that time, it was proposed to be built at Fort Delaware in Narrowsburg, NY. But recently the idea of a visitors center has returned to life with about $510,000 secured by former Congressman Maurice Hinchey more than a decade ago. (Another $250,000 secured later by Sen. John Bonacic is apparently no longer available). Read more
On June 27, the board of the Town of Fallsburg adopted a one-year moratorium on the construction of new developments that would contain more than five units. Critics, including a prominent local construction company, complained that the moratorium was intended to slow the growth of the summer Hasidic community, which is driving an unprecedented construction boom in the town.
But a look at the issues, and a quick read about what the state has to say about building moratoria, suggest that should the matter end in litigation, the courts would uphold the moratorium. Read more
The townspeople of the Town of Highland and the Sullivan County Legislature are to be lauded for their efforts to push for a study of the potential health impacts of the proposed Highland compressor station. Any addition to our body of knowledge about the impacts of natural gas infrastructure in a world in which natural gas is being promoted—mistakenly, in our view—as part of the solution to our energy needs rather than as part of the problem, is a step in the right direction. But we need to be clear about what we are hoping to accomplish with such a study, and what cannot be accomplished. Read more