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May 25, 2015
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What’s in your wallet?

One concept that comes up frequently in discussions about localization is the idea of a local currency: money that is issued by a local authority and used in a small area where a significant number of businesses and professionals have agreed to accept it. It was the feature topic at the most recent Upper Delaware Roundtable discussion, at which Alice Maggio of the New Economics Institute gave a Skyped-in presentation about one of the more successful local currencies, Berkshares, currently in use in the western portion of Massachusetts.  Read more

You are the public

One theme that recurs constantly with regard to various issues of local concern is the balance between private rights and public good. It is apparent especially with regard to zoning, in which individual property owners are required to restrict what they do on their land by public ordinances.  Read more

They’ve all come to look for America

Every year in June, not long after Memorial Day has opened the summer season, Sullivan County is treated to a weekend duo of small-town American delights: the Tractor Parade in Callicoon and the Trout Parade in Livingston Manor, which will be held on Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10 this year respectively (see pages 13 and 14).  Read more

Enough with the Park Foundation nonsense already

In the dispute as to whether hydro-fracking for natural gas is desirable in this area (or anywhere), there are a number of legitimate bones of contention. Take jobs, which all agree are important: one valid topic of discussion is the question as to whether the number, quality and sustainability of jobs provided to local residents by gas drilling would outweigh the practice’s economic, environmental, health and social costs.  Read more

Summer heats in Tusten

This year is a big year in national elections, but for local offices, most voters may feel they can take a breather when it comes to political organizing. But there are generally a few exceptions, and they can make a big difference. One of them this year is in Tusten.  Read more

The myth of the inexorable

Up until last week, the replacement of the Pond Eddy Bridge seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut, regardless of the absurdity of replacing a historic landmark connecting a tiny rural hamlet to a settlement of a couple of dozen people with a $10-12 million, 40-ton structure suitable for an urban artery.  Read more

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 ( 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