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October 24, 2014
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editorial

The right to bear missile launchers; Where do we draw the line?

As you might guess, there’s a lot of discussion on the Internet on each side of the gun rights/gun control showdown. Particularly revealing is talk about what the Second Amendment, which was adopted in 1791, means in the 21st century and how to apply it in our times.  Read more

The fight against cancer: Imagine a cancer-free tomorrow

Residents of Northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA) are being offered the opportunity to do something to help fight cancer by volunteering to join a new landmark study in which researchers will look at the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause, or prevent cancer. We at The River Reporter urge NEPA residents to consider enrolling.  Read more

Who can hear a silent majority? Should the will of the speaking majority be ignored?

The argument has been made that a “silent majority” of the residents of the Town of Callicoon favor opening the town to gas drilling, but who can hear a silent majority? Is listening to a silent majority like listening to the wind? We would argue that, by definition, a silent majority in this land of free speech cannot be heard, and that therefore their unknown and unknowable opinion should not be used as justification to determine an outcome particularly when important decisions are to be made.  Read more

Climate Smart Community Pledge—emphasis on ‘community’

An effort is currently underway to invite the boards of all Sullivan County’s towns to sign a Climate Smart Community Pledge, in keeping with a climate pledge the county itself signed in February of 2010. Enrolling them in the program is an essential step for the completion of any county-wide initiative, given that town governments not only set policies with regard to their own purchases and building standards, but also regulate land uses for the whole town via zoning, set an example for their citizens and serve as a point of contact with the households and businesses within their borders.  Read more

Infrastructure’s long economic shadow

The topic of our country’s aging infrastructure may seem far removed from our everyday lives, until some lifeline in our own backyard, like the Narrowsburg Bridge or the Skinners Falls Bridge, makes the list of decaying structures in need of emergency repair. In fact, emergency repair is only part of the story.  Read more

Fighting homelessness with a model that works

On Monday, January 28, Sullivan County conducted its annual count of homeless people—both those with some kind of shelter and those without. This “census” data is compiled with the help of local government agencies and charitable organizations that provide various services to the homeless.  Read more

How to fix county government?

The frayed relationship between Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau and the majority of county legislators has been on display in public in recent weeks, as press conferences and news reports made clear that a majority of legislators are working to terminate his employment.  Read more

Tax abatements: Fuel for local economies, or welfare for businesses?

Tax abatements are often granted by communities to lure business, or to retain business, in hope of building local economies and creating jobs. When a company receives property tax abatement, its taxes are reduced by a certain percentage for however long the agreement specifies. This kind of incentive for economic development comes with potential advantages, but can also come with accompanying risks for communities.  Read more

Rural America’s potential

Reading this week’s My View op-ed piece in The River Reporter [see page 7] by retired dairy farmer Nate Wilson of Sinclairville, NY got us thinking about the challenges facing rural Americans, including many of us who live here in the Upper Delaware Valley.  Read more

A little moral outrage, please

Severe weather events in 2012 apparently have swayed a lot of skeptics about climate change in the U.S. One poll completed a month ago indicates that 80% of Americans now believe in global warming, another poll shows a 75% response.

And there are more changes in perception about climate change. Young people and businesses are coming to the table to advance the conversation in a way they have not done before.  Read more