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July 25, 2014
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editorial

Abolishing the plutocracy

If there’s one thing commentators across the political spectrum seem to agree on with regard to this year’s GOP presidential primary season, it’s the extent to which so-called “Super PACs” are dominating the course of the campaign. Super PACs are vehicles, created as the result of a long string of Supreme Court decisions with regard to the flow of money into political campaigns, that can accept unlimited contributions from companies, organizations or individuals and spend it in unlimited amounts.  Read more

Who shall guard the guardians?

It has been recently reported that Pennsylvania, one of five members of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), which are jointly responsible for the bulk of funding of the agency, has cut its payments to the commission by 40.7% this fiscal year.  Read more

Enriching the economic gene pool

A seemingly unrelated constellation of issues led us recently to a meditation on the value of diversity in human as well as ecological systems. The first, discussed in TRR’s February 23 article on Dairy Day, was the problem that, though growing switch grass as an energy crop seems like a good money-making idea for local farmers, high-quality switch grass may prove difficult to grow here. The second issue was the difficulty of managing manure, detailed in a recent series of TRR articles.  Read more

A tale of two states: now, what about the river corridor?

Recently there have been two important but very different legal developments on the two sides of the Delaware River. Both are related to the ability of municipalities to zone the location of natural gas drilling. Both have a significant potential to affect the health and welfare of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.  Read more

The calm before the storm

As domestic natural gas prices trend downward to new lows, and companies like Chesapeake Appalachia announce cutbacks in production, an increasingly common refrain with regard to natural gas drilling in our area is “what’s the hurry?” There’s obviously such a national glut of natural gas at existing production and consumption levels that it will be some time before new wells are needed—or indeed, become economic, with current gas prices well below the costs of production.  Read more

The little experiment that could

Some ideas presented at the last SkyDog Supper Club by architect and Pratt Institute adjunct associate professor Meta Brunzema provide an interesting framework within which to think about the possibilities for the Narrowsburg school property.  Read more

Thank you, Congressman Hinchey

The news we received two weeks ago that New York State Congressman Maurice Hinchey plans to retire at the end of his current term saddened us on two counts. It is, first, a loss for the 22nd District, which he represents. But second, and even more importantly, it is a loss for the nation.  Read more

The wrong approach to a worthwhile idea

On January 26, in one of its first actions, the new Sullivan County Legislature decided to issue requests for proposal (RFPs) for the county’s tourism promotion contract, which for some years has gone, without competition, to the Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA).  Read more

The framework keeps shifting

An idea that would have been unthinkable four years ago has been gaining public traction. It is the idea that maybe hydrofracking for natural gas should be banned entirely—and not just in a single municipality, but in an entire state.  Read more

Sharing the forests

It seems like a no-brainer. If there’s a place where people can be expected to walk with their pets and children, you try to make sure that there are no hazards on or near the path that could cause them injury. It’s partly a matter of ordinary human kindness and partly a matter of self-interest. In New York City, for instance, if you don’t shovel and de-ice the sidewalk in front of a building you own, and somebody falls down and injures themselves, they can sue you. So you shovel the sidewalk.  Read more