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November 28, 2014
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editorial

Of frogs and men

At the two most recent Upper Delaware Council (UDC) meetings, some new wetlands mapping that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has done in the Wallkill watershed—mostly in Orange County, but some in Sullivan—has come under fire. The mapping would increase the amount of designated New York State wetland, subject to DEC jurisdiction, by about 16,000 acres in that watershed.  Read more

It’s the law

Recently we listened to an interview by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joseph Martens that troubled us for reasons that may not be immediately obvious (tinyurl.com/bp4we88). Martens said that local land-use rules regarding gas drilling will “continue to be a consideration” in permitting for gas drilling.  Read more

We were here. Where were you?

In last week’s article “Highland to hold hearing on proposed law,” it was reported that some landowners are complaining that the Town of Highland, NY is moving too swiftly to pass Local Law #3-2012, a zoning amendment that would ban high-impact industrial uses like horizontal hydrofracking throughout the town.  Read more

The miracle of the Upper Delaware

[Below is a written version of the remarks delivered by River Reporter assistant editor Anne Willard on the occasion of receiving a Special Recognition Award from the Upper Delaware Council on Sunday, April 22, for her editorials related to river corridor issues.]

The first time I saw the Upper Delaware River, to the best of my memory, was about 20 years ago. I came up through Port Jervis and drove up along Route 97; and as I was driving the thought that kept on going through my head as I looked around was: “How the heck did this happen?”  Read more

Restoring equity in education

Americans like to think of the United States as a land of opportunity. Everybody, regardless of birth or circumstance, ought to have an equal chance to make a good life for themselves. The record inequality of wealth and income that now exists in this country, however, suggests that this is not currently the case. And while a number of factors are responsible, our increasing failure to deliver equal access to a quality education is an important piece of the puzzle. One reason for that failure lies in the fact that we finance our public schools largely with property taxes.  Read more

About that lodging problem

Perhaps the most frequently cited obstacle to promoting the tourist economy in Sullivan County is the lack of lodging. Developer Ilwon Kang’s plans to turn the erstwhile Narrowsburg school building into a boutique hotel came to nothing; the few large, vacant leftovers from an earlier era, like the Stevensville Hotel in Swan Lake, are moldering into decay; and the only proposals for new large-scale hotels are linked to casino complexes that would most likely capture most of their guests within the facility, rather than providing a base for them to radiate into the county.  Read more

Sustainability: more than one kind of green

One of the many interesting things that struck us in Chris Fowler’s keynote speech for the Pure Catskills-sponsored Farm to Market Conference in Liberty on March 25 was the phrase “sustainable economy.” Fowler is founder and executive director of Syracuse First, an organization dedicated to the promotion of local businesses and products. The idea of localization vs. globalization is not new to us; indeed, we have argued for it on this page. But somehow “sustainable” is a concept we had always thought about mostly with regard to the environment. How does it relate to an economy?  Read more

Beyond zero sum

Community gardens seem to be one of the up-and-coming trends in our readership area. Transition Honesdale started one last year in Honesdale, PA, and last week, we printed an article about one being started this year in Hawley, PA. In Tusten, NY, there is a proposal to start a community garden in Narrowsburg, on the Fort Delaware property and the 14-acre field on Kirk Road that currently belongs to the school district (as of press time, it had not yet been confirmed whether the venues will be available).  Read more

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