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September 03, 2015
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editorial

Opting out of Common Core

There are some highly respected educators locally and across the country who believe that the Common Core Education Standards that have been adopted by New York and many other states are good for the future of the students. The standards were created with the goal of improving critical thinking among students, more fully preparing students for college and helping students compete against other students on the international stage.  Read more

Voting in Bloomingburg

The turmoil in Bloomingburg continues, with developer Shalom Lamm and his supporters going to court and fighting local officials over seemingly every issue that arises. Most recently the courts decided that even though Lamm’s property was annexed into the village illegally, it was done too long ago for residents to do anything about it. The Town of Mamakating plans to appeal.  Read more

FERC and regulatory capture

Cheryl A. LaFleur, the chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), told an audience at a National Press Club gathering at the end of January that the public is intolerant of pipelines and associated technologies.  Read more

A language is not a belief

Recently, Pine Bush High School sparked controversy after the Pledge of Allegiance was recited in Arabic at a school assembly during National Foreign Language Week. Students quickly became divided as they posted angry Tweets about the incident. When the news broke, it sparked further furor. Chief among the criticisms seems to be that the reading is conceived as an insidious piece of Muslim propaganda. Amidst the storm, the school issued an apology.  Read more

Preventing overdose deaths in Honesdale

Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards recently requested that the Honesdale Borough Council allow Honesdale police officers to be trained in the use of Narcan™, which is the brand name of naloxone, a prescription drug that can almost immediately reverse the effects of an overdose brought on by heroin or other opioid drugs such as oxycodone or morphine.  Read more

The Supreme Court and language

Arguments about whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare as it has affectionately or derisively come to be known (depending on which side of the argument one backs) were presented before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on March 4.  Read more

Net neutrality and the public good

On February 26, the five members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted three to two, along party lines, to adopt net neutrality rules. The intent of the rules is to prevent Internet service providers (ISP) such as Comcast and Verizon from charging some content providers more money to get their content to consumers more quickly, while leaving others to languish in the slow lane of the Internet. Or, to put it another way, under net neutrality, all Internet traffic must be treated equally.  Read more

TPP: A gift to multinational corporations?

As perhaps one of his last truly significant actions while in office, President Barack Obama would very much like Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, which officials and multinational corporate representatives have been working on since 2008. The agreement would cover the United States, Australia, Japan and nine other Pacific Rim countries.  Read more

Reining in nonconforming uses

Spring is once again approaching, and that means construction season is just around the corner. If the past is any guide, in some towns in Sullivan County some of those construction projects will mean the expansion of nonconforming uses.

What is a nonconforming use? It’s one that was allowed to exist in an area in the past, for instance at a time before local zoning was established, but would no longer be permitted to be established. In Sullivan County, examples of nonconforming uses would be racetracks, junkyards, summer camps or hospitals located in residential neighborhoods.  Read more

Your ginseng contains no ginseng

Before the turn of the 20th century, there was very little regulation of food and drugs in this country, and residents were free to buy worthless or even dangerous elixirs, diet remedies that contained live tapeworms, cocaine and many other questionable substances.

Then in 1906, under President Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. Congress passed the Pure Food and Drugs Act, which according to the present-day U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is “a law a quarter-century in the making that prohibited interstate commerce in adulterated and misbranded food and drugs.”  Read more