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August 22, 2014
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editorial

‘Let them eat cake’

Food stamps, now called SNAP (short for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), are in the news because the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to slash nearly $40 billion from the program, which provides some measure of food security for nearly 48 million low-income Americans.  Read more

‘Untreatable;’ A call for change

In a report titled “Untreatable,” the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last week warned about serious health threats from infections that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics and pointed to the unnecessary use of antibiotics in contributing to the rising risk that one day “our medicine cabinet will be empty and we won’t have the antibiotics we need to save lives,” in the words of CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD.  Read more

Lost

Narrowsburg lost a little gem this month, with the closing of the National Park Service’s (NPS) information center and bookstore on Main Street. It was a fixture in the hamlet for more than 30 years. Opening in June 1981, the Narrowsburg site was chosen for its central location along the 73.5-mile stretch of river in the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Its closure is a casualty of sequestration, the federal government’s across-the-board, automatic spending cuts totaling $1.2 trillion nationwide over 10 years.  Read more

Shortchanging postal customers; Closing regional sorting centers harms small businesses and postal patrons

Last week not a single New York State subscriber to The River Reporter who receives his or her newspaper through the mail got it on time, courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and the U.S. Congress. Our phones rang off the hook with unhappy readers.

To our readers: we don’t blame you for being unhappy. The newspaper that you routinely expect to receive on Thursday was not delivered until Saturday or in some cases not until Monday.

So, first off, we would like to apologize to each and every subscriber who was disappointed and/or inconvenienced by this unwelcome situation.  Read more

Wasted

If you Google “drunken concert fans,” you’ll find that the problem of obnoxious drunks is not uncommon at large concert venues. From the U.S. to the U.K. to Australia and beyond, you’ll find YouTube videos posted of drunken fan behavior along with written postings by sober (or less inebriated?) concert goers, telling how their evening was ruined by the alcohol-fueled misconduct of someone seated or standing nearby.  Read more

Building bridges

How did it get to be this bad?

Pennsylvania has earned the nationwide distinction for having the largest number of bridges that have been left to fall into disrepair. Twenty-six percent of more than 31,000 bridges are deemed structurally deficient. While the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) hastens to point out that “structurally deficient” (SD) bridges are still safe to travel, the term nevertheless means there is deterioration to one or more of its major components.  Read more

History matters; A canal park is born

It’s one thing to read about the history of a place in a book or study it in a classroom. It’s another thing to directly experience something about a place’s historic past. This is why destinations like Jefferson’s home in Monticello, VA or the Alamo in Texas are so effective in telling a story that makes history come alive. Or take, for example, our own Fort Delaware Museum in Narrowsburg, NY, with its full-scale replica of an early Colonial fort and a settlement peopled with re-enactors depicting the daily life of the area’s original European settlers.  Read more

Defrauding us all

There will always be those who cheat, and one of the problems with that is that it can cast a dark shadow over others who do not deserve the label. Such is the case with welfare recipients who try to get more than they are entitled to and the unfortunate ripple effect that extends to honest people who find themselves in need of the safety net that public assistance offers.  Read more

And now, for our local weather report

Dialogue about climate change, once relegated to the arena of international conferences, chambers of government, and heated debates on TV and radio talk shows, has recently become a topic of ordinary conversation around the dinner table and the water cooler. People are talking about what they see around them: milder winters, earlier springs, the mounting frequency of extreme weather events in our own backyards or along washed-out roadways. The myth that climate change is not happening is increasingly impossible to believe. The evidence is in our faces.  Read more

Feds need to pay their promised share; Help keep our river clean

Fresh water is a precious natural resource that is likely to become even more precious as development pressures increase and competing demands for it grow. This will be so even in the Delaware River watershed, where at first blush you’d think there will always be enough clean, fresh water to go around, providing both drinking water and recreational opportunities for many millions of people.  Read more