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October 06, 2015
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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

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