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March 02, 2015
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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

It’s called ‘investment’

At the pleasantly amicable organizational meeting of the Tusten Town Board on January 3, we noted only one topic that foreshadowed potential conflict: the projected esplanade project. The project would involve building a boardwalk behind the buildings on Main Street, overlooking the river and connecting to the existing memorial park, which would also provide backdoor basement access to Main Street establishments.  Read more

What’s really at stake

Although we have written a number of editorials criticizing the Holbert Quarry expansion, that does not mean that we think the quarry should be shut down, or even prevented from expanding.  Read more

If you want something done right…

As we reviewed the events of 2011 to draw up a list of the things we think deserve celebration or condemnation, we couldn’t help but note a theme emerging: if you want something done right, do it yourself. Although there are exceptions to this rule, it seems that by and large most of the sources of inspiration over the past year could be found in our own backyard. This is a theme we’ve noted before in our year-end editorial, but it seems like this year it was more true than ever.  Read more

Is that all there is?

This week, we gave the editorial space to a reflection titled by Mother Joan LaLiberte of St. James Episcopal Church in Callicoon, NY. Click here to read it.

Living downstream

An interesting interchange at last month’s Project Review Committee meeting of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) started us thinking about the importance of connections. The subject matter was a draft letter to be sent from the UDC to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding proposed natural gas drilling regulations. Some members argued that the letter, coming as it would from the UDC, should only refer to activities in the river corridor of the Scenic and Recreational River itself, not to anything that occurs elsewhere in the basin.  Read more


The final version of the natural gas drilling regulations of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), still awaiting approval by the commissioners after the postponement of a vote on November 21, contains one phrase that we were very happy to see: “Natural gas exploration and extraction activities are deemed incompatible land uses at locations in the UPDE Corridor [Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Corridor].” The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) is on record interpreting the River Management Plan (RMP) the same way, and to the extent that the DRBC is a member of the council, it is a  Read more


In a case decided in 2006, Colbert v. the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Middle Creek Quarry, a judge overturned a decision by the DEP to grant a major non-coal mining permit to quarry operator John Malti of Palmyra Township in Wayne County. Key to the rationale for vacating the permit was Section 3308 of the Surface Mining Act. That legislation says that the agency cannot grant a permit if:  Read more

A post-election thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches with its reminder of the merits of gratitude, the embers of a particularly vigorous election cycle are still fading. Emotions always run high during election season, stress is rampant, and there are many whose first thought may be that they are just grateful that it’s over. But we think there are some positive things to be grateful for as well, and would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to the participants and our gratitude for what we see as some heartening developments with regard to local political life.  Read more

Whenever one door closes…

As reported in last week’s newspaper, the board of the Sullivan West Central School District has returned developer Ilwon Kang’s deposit on the Narrowsburg and Delaware Valley school properties. That marks the end of one deal. But it should be remembered that the Kang offer—which would have involved the purchase of the properties by outside investors described as belonging to the entertainment and recreation industry—was one of two the board received back in November of 2010.  Read more