Letters to the Editor

EDITOR'S NOTE: The River Reporter welcomes letters on all subjects from its readers. They must be signed and include the correspondent's phone number. The correspondent's name and town will appear at the bottom of each letter; titles and affiliations will not, unless the correspondent is writing on behalf of a group.

Letters are printed at the discretion of the editor. It is requested they be limited to 300 words; correspondents may be asked to cut longer letters. Deadline is 1:00 p.m. on Monday.

Letters can be sent by e-mail to editor@riverreporter.com


The Hobbits have the answer

To the editor:

Locally, there’s a down-to-earth example of money-saving fuel conservation. The Hobbits “got it right” where energy efficiency is concerned. The basic laws of physics come into play for even partial subterranean structures in a way that conserves energy.

There’s a time-tested (quarter-century) example in the Delaware River Valley. Owned by Jim and Cindee Miller, this 1,200-plus square-foot residence is tucked into a small hill along Route 434 in Shohola, PA.

About 15 years ago, my curiosity led me out to ask Cindee Miller about her Hobbit-like abode. I was told of a time when the Millers were unable to get home due to a snowstorm and near-zero temperatures. Not having left their backup electric heat on, they were relieved to find their subterranean home’s interior temperature well above freezing and no broken pipes.

Recently, I spoke to Cindee Miller and was once again impressed by her reported rock-bottom fuel cost: $500 annually, give or take, including wood.

Sometimes answers to difficult problems have down-to-earth solutions. To combat escalating home energy costs, we in the Delaware River Valley would do well to consider the Miller’s successful Hobbit house as a model for a future construction.


M.M. Sacket Schroeder
Callicoon, NY

Say “no” to youth fishing license

To the editor:

On August 7, Representative Bruce Smith introduced legislation that would create a Youth Fishing License for persons 12 to 15 years old. This bill is supported by the Fish and Boat Commission (F&BC), which claims in its press release that “Pennsylvania would join 13 states that require some form of license or permit for their youth anglers.”

In reality, among the “other states” the F&BC is so eager to emulate, seven have youth licenses that are valid through age 17, and in one instance it is valid through age 18. In many of the states the definition of a youth is age 15 to 17, not the 12-year-olds. Pennsylvania wants to charge money so they can go chase frogs and catch sunfish at the local pond.

Also, one of the states with a youth license requirement only charges $5 for an adult resident license, not the $27 Pennsylvania charges its residents.

The following link to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s web page on success stories of several other states’ fishing license sales promotions, can be found at several locations on the F&BC website.

The success stories regarding license sales and increased revenue are all in states whose licenses differ significantly from the youth fishing license proposed by the FB&C. The closest is one state (Oklahoma) that has a youth license requirement for 16- and 17-year-olds, which is an age for which Pennsylvania requires an adult license. It appears that the FB&C should spend some time browsing through its own website.

Please take a stand against a youth fishing license in Pennsylvania.


Joe Demalderis
Milford, PA

The great turning

To the editor:

Even though our times look very dark, know that we are in a great turning toward cooperation rather than competition; community rather than isolation, fear, and lack of support; humanity and compassion rather than violence.

If you look for actions supporting the great turning, you find them popping up here and there all over our county and our nation. Community supported agriculture, renewable energy both in private homes and in the planning stages for local electricity from local wind farms, attempts to preserve the natural beauty of the Upper Delaware valley, community-friendly banking, and the many events in September celebrating and honoring peace and nonviolence in Sullivan County.

Keep tuned and come alive with us in the “great turning.”

Tim Shera


Liberty, NY

Verizon threatens scenic values

To the editor:

Visitors to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area have been dismayed to learn of a new threat posed by the communications industry to the amenities of the park. Verizon Wireless has submitted applications to construct two 180-foot cell-phone towers within the New Jersey section of the park, one in Sandyston and one in Walpack. Concerned citizens point out the steadily tightening noose of cell towers in nearby Montague, Sandyston, Frelinghuysen and Knowlton, NJ as well as others in Middle Smithfield and Milford Township, PA, which already threaten to choke what remains of the park’s fragile view shed. The opposition of park superintendent John J. Donahue to a public hearing on the Verizon application only increases their concerns. Most park visitors we meet are eager to petition their elected representatives for remedies. We agree.


Mr. and Mrs. Thomas L. Hoffman
Branchville, NJ
Contributed photo
This house in Shohola, built partially underground, demonstrates one way in which energy can be conserved without fancy technology by taking advantage of simple laws of physics. (Click for larger version)