letters to the editor
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; longer letters may not be printed, or may be edited down to the appropriate length. Deadline is 1 p.m. on Monday.
I write to clarify the situation that was the subject of your front page story “No Woodstock experience for Highland” (www.riverreporter.com/news/4302/2014/08/27/no-woodstock-experience-highland). All references to the property and the concern that the town had with events taking place on the property in August pertain to the new owner, 211 Mail Road LLC. The town would like to make clear that Sokol aka Sokol USA and Sokol Woodlands Inc. was a fine taxpaying entity for many decades and a good neighbor. Sokol sold the property in June, 2014. Read more
We wish to express our displeasure of reporting the property involved as “Sokol” property. Though the caption under the photo does indicate “former Sokol Woodlands,” the article contained statements that could be construed as Sokol still being involved in the operation or activities on the property. Read more
The backroom maneuvering of Ed Sykes’ Town of Delaware board is once more demonstrated by the continuing membership on the board of Harold Roeder, who has sold his Hortonville home and purchased a home in Pennsylvania. Legally, membership on the board requires residence in the town. Is Roeder residing with his son, whose residence is in Delaware Township? Certainly the sale of one home and the purchase of another imply intent to change residence. Read more
As governor, Zephyr Teachout would ban unconventional horizontal hydrofracking and fracking waste in New York State. She has been stating those commitments regularly. In contrast, Gov. Cuomo has not banned fracking and has accepted nearly $1 million in campaign contributions from pro-fracking interests. Read more
New York State Democrats have a clear choice for this year’s nominee for governor. They can run Andrew Cuomo, an “Albany Insider” who has cut spending for public schools, betrayed his earlier pledge to clean up the political corruption by disbanding the Moreland Commission, blocked proposed tax hikes for the rich, and represented Wall Street while ignoring Main Street. Or, they can vote for a breath of political fresh air, Zephyr Teachout, the “anti-Albany Insider” candidate. Read more
In regards to all the deadly crashes on 17B in the past year: Is the sheriff’s department even aware of what appears to be a new sick type of “chicken game” most likely for kids and those warped in the brain? I experienced this myself one Saturday night [in August] and it was traumatizing to see a row of six-plus cars coming from the other direction, with each car passing each other, squeezing in [before] the car in front of them (if they can), coming right into the oncoming traffic lane.
On behalf of the NACL Theatre board, staff and the many organizations, funders and individuals who participated in and sponsored the two-year Weather Project, I wish to thank the Town of Highland, the Yulan Fire Department and the Upper Delaware community for the support shown throughout the Weather Project and recent community play in Yulan, NY. Thanks, too, for the ongoing attention and interest devoted to the project by our regional media. Read more
With the steady disintegration into a multi-country Middle Eastern war, the only reason the United States is not hysterically running around with its hair on fire is because of the domestic shale gas and oil revolution. The only reason we are not planning to send hundreds of thousands of young men and women into an unwinnable war is because of the sacrifice of California, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, North Dakota and many other states that can easily understand the logic of locally producing the energy that we as a nation consume. Read more
In regards to the article about the 50 girls tubing down the Delaware River: why isn’t there some information on where these girls are from—living, camping, enjoying their community? When the newspaper reports on guys from New Jersey shooting game out of season, they reference their home town. Are we not to understand that these girls, all innocents, were from a camp and left to go unchaperoned down a dangerous river? Read more
I have watched and listened to the Sullivan West School Board justify the sale of the Narrowsburg campus for use as a facility that has no place in the center of our town as their fiduciary responsibility. I am wondering where that sense of fiduciary responsibility was when they raised the salary of our former superintendent, Ken Hilton, during his final year in that capacity by $53,826 or about 33%. This information is available through “See through New York,” an organization that gathers and reports on the salaries of personnel working in any public entity in our state. Read more
Our fellow citizens in Orange County will sue the state if any casino is passed in Orange County. We do not want a casino here. Sullivan County has been doomed for years and are dying for a casino there for decades. Put Empire Resorts there. We do not want any casino in Orange County!
Tuxedo Park, NY
Am I the only one who thinks the acronym NORSU sounds more like the missile defense system for Greenland than a community organization? One would think this talented group could come up with something a little more catchy.
Dear friends, supporters and neighbors,
We thank you all for your continued encouragement and support for our plan for the Narrowsburg School building. We share with you the information that a lawsuit has been filed in the matter of the sale of the Narrowsburg School building and the nearby 14-plus acres.
We believe the issue at hand is the following: a town that has engaged in a lawful and thoughtful process to plan for its future has the right to have such processes and plans respected and upheld under the law. Read more
My family and I have been trout fishing the Lackawaxen River for three generations. The problem I and many other fishermen have is the opening of the tubes [that carry water from Lake Wallenpaupack to the hydro-powered generating facility at Kimbles]. In the last two years, PP&L has been operating the turbines all week long and many weekends. When they are open, fishing in the Lackawaxen is not only impossible but dangerous. They close the turbines for a few weekends in the springtime for trout fishing. However, starting in July, they operate all weekend whether or not there is heavy rain. Read more
The 14 acres of vacant land that has the playing field fronting Kirk Road and Bridge Street in Narrowsburg, which belongs to the Sullivan West School District (SWSD), was not listed on the Sullivan MLS, nor was it advertised to the general public that it was, in fact, for sale, as was the school building on two acres. Read more
The Black Bear Film Festival, a 501©3 not-for-profit cultural organization, urges the Pike County Commissioners to rethink their proposed plan for expansion of the court facilities. The certain degradation of Milford’s National Historic District that will result from the demolition of either three or four buildings in that district, as well as the very serious risk of damage to the viability of Milford’s central business district, property values and future investment in the borough is more than enough for responsible citizens to step back and reconsider the plan. Read more
For over 15 years, financial mismanagement in the Sullivan West School District has been the talk of New York State for numerous reasons: Sullivan West squandered $40 million building the Lake Huntington High School, which the New York State comptroller said was not needed. Additional millions were wasted on lawsuits and repairs to the high school due to its poorly supervised, shoddy construction. Read more
I attended the [school board] meeting on July 10 and have to say that you are all a very rude bunch. The people of Narrowsburg were there to express their concerns about the underhanded way you sold the school. The newly elected president of the board of education, Mary Scheutzow, was obnoxiously rude and disgraceful when a resident of Narrowsburg, Tony Staffieri, was expressing his concerns. Ms. Scheutzow would better serve the public working for Bulova Watch with the faces she was making. Do I need to remind the board that you are adults, not children, as she was acting? Read more
This wonderful rendition [of Mozart’s “The Impresario”] surprised and delighted me on a recent Sunday afternoon at the Gloria Krause recital hall in Narrowsburg. Again, the Delaware Valley Opera (DVO) troupe pulled through with an afternoon of pleasing sounds and impressive singing. The skillful singing and acting entailed singers poking fun of themselves posing as opera divas, filled with the bravura and the pomposity that leads us through their farcical and well sung auditions, yet oh so familiar to any singer who has been there. Steven Nanni sings a reverse pants role in drag. Read more
The letter from Tom Prendergast regarding how the Sullivan West School District plans to sell the Narrowsburg Central School building highlights a symptom too often seen in decisions by local governing bodies, and that is, a clumsy lack of transparency. That’s assuming there is nothing to hide. Read more
The Narrowsburg Beautification Group (NBG), established in 2001, wishes to express its extreme disappointment in the recent actions of the Sullivan West School Board. With the exceptions of Angela Daley and Joan Glase, the school board agreed to accept an offer to purchase the shuttered Narrowsburg School along with the 14-plus acres of non-contiguous property. Read more
I am deeply disturbed by the Sullivan West School board’s decision to sell our building to the firm from Florida that intends to turn that revered building into a alcohol/drug rehab center rather than to the local family with the intent to make it a community and business center that would have benefitted the entire town. Read more
It is now widely known that we were outbid in the competition for the Narrowsburg School Building. Our bid was $742,000 vs our competitors’ bid of $751,000; a difference of a mere 1.2%. Although the Sullivan West School District Administration and board consistently referred, throughout the bidding process, to their “fiduciary duty” as appointed and elected decision makers, it saddens us to learn that they apparently believe such a duty allows them to be deaf to the interests of the residents of Narrowsburg, and the Town of Tusten, for the price of $9,000. Read more
It is public. In the […] days since we announced that we were ending Green Door Magazine, there has been an outpouring of emotions and support. And also a lot of questions. This statement is an effort to bring some clarity and closure to us all.
We’ve done the magazine as a labor of love these past three years, and never knew just how beloved we were by the community. Sustaining the magazine sometimes happened in a vacuum and we weren’t always privy to its impact. Read more
I was struck by a glaring contradiction in your recent piece, “Raising wild gamebirds” (in TRR’s June 5 through 11 issue), specifically with respect to the sub-headline, “A lesson in caretaking.” The article describes the participation of young people in a program aimed at restoring the wild pheasant population in New York, partly to provide stock for hunters, whereby they nurture chicks hatched at a game farm until they are mature enough to be released into the wild. Read more
Too often does Lyme disease goes undiagnosed and untreated. With the warm weather of spring and summer, comes the risk of contact with ticks. Deer ticks can spread Lyme disease, and unfortunately our area has a high population of deer, thus creating a high concentration of deer ticks. Congressman Chris Gibson is currently sponsoring legislation in Congress that will help us with the burdens of Lyme disease. Read more
I was saddened to hear the news of the fire at Wayne County Commissioner Brian Smith’s farm. He was understandably emotional, but luckily, there was no loss of human life. Quick media coverage allowed us to be informed and learn that his barn had burned down and that he had lost some cattle and a dog. I hope it brings him some comfort to know that many who heard of his misfortune wish him the best. Read more
EPA safeguards against carbon pollution from existing power plants are essential for the war against pollution and the quest for sustainable green-energy solutions. Big oil and gas are spending money hand over fist to mislead us into thinking that we cannot solve the climate crises. I urge you to discuss alternatives to gas and oil as much as possible and with as many as possible. There seems to be a general understanding about this in our younger generations, but even so there are many local venues to share the good work. Read more
Your recent coverage of the New York-Pennsylvania Joint Bridge Commission’s (JBC) proposal to replace the Pond Eddy Bridge (May 22-28) provides an interesting contrast between the continuing fantasy of highway and bridge engineers and the hard reality that their project will not only result in the loss of a National Historic Landmark, but will also have drastic environmental consequences for the Upper Delaware Wild and Scenic River. Read more
In response to Bill Duncan’s temper-filled response to the review his play received in the paper last week, I am compelled to ask him to search for restraint and professional behavior. If we are to develop as an artistic community, we must embrace both the work of artists and critics. Instead of complaining because Mr. Fox didn’t like your play as much as other audience members did, enjoy the dialogue, think about it and be open to criticism—even if it stings. Yes, everyone has an opinion, and thank God our newspaper embraces those differences of viewpoint. Read more
I want to give my own view, in contrast to that of Jonathan Fox, of “Holy, Holy, Holy” by Bill Duncan. I saw the play May 3rd with a few of my ex-priests friends. I kidded with Bill after the play that it “had answered all my questions.” Of course it didn’t, but it did raise the right questions to be reflected upon by the audience. I praise Bill’s “decision” when he wrote the play to just tell a story and let the audience come to its own conclusions. Read more
I had the great fortune of experiencing the direct benefit of shopping local and supporting our area’s small, family-owned businesses. I was having some difficulties with my car and returned to Narrowsburg Motor Sales (NMS), where I bought it four years ago. NMS has done all of the routine maintenance, so they know the car well. Little time was lost as the issues were diagnosed, parts ordered and repairs completed. Read more
Playwrights are cautioned to avoid commenting on bad newspaper reviews since the rule is not to challenge people who order their ink in 55-gallon drums. But there are exceptions and this is one of them. I refer to Jonathan Fox’s review of my play “HolyHolyHoly,” recently presented at the Rivoli Theatre in South Fallsburg, NY. Read more
I found the letter to the editor in the April 17-23 issue interesting, and I agree that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. No fallen, sinful person should have a gun. However that includes the police and the military. They, too, are sinful and in a fallen state. It says in Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 (speaking of the days when the Messiah, Jesus Christ comes back), “They shall beat their swords into plowshares.” This means the sinful violence related to war and murder will be stopped only when Jesus comes back. Read more
It’s easy to forget that Ned Lang’s successful entry into politics began because the current town board singled him out for a zoning infraction, attempted to fine him $90,000 for a sign, and tried to charge him with felonies for infractions far less than other examples all over town. He fought back, the town residents respected it and have now elected him twice to the town board. Bravo, Ned Lang—that’s exactly what America is about. Read more
There seems to be general agreement that the time has come for the creation of a Sullivan County food hub. There are unresolved logistical questions, but the question of where to situate it has become political. Legislators Kathy LaBuda, Jonathan Rouis, Ira Steingart and chair Scott Samuelson want to move ahead with the IDA proposed location in Glenwild, with the purchase of property owned by Butch Resnick. Legislators Cindy Gieger, Alan Sorensen, Cora Edwards, Kitty Vetter and Gene Benson have reservations about both the location and whether the cost of the property is justified. Read more
In keeping with his reputation for saying incredible things, Shalom Lamm has done it again. On the heels of being publicly exposed in court for taking part in what the Sullivan County Board of Elections called a voter registration “sham,” and what Judge Schick tactfully characterized as an attempt to “stuff the ballot box,” Lamm had the gall to release a long-winded, post-election tract offering an olive branch to the people of Bloomingburg. Read more
Sullivan County Legislators Alan Sorensen, Cora Edwards, Cindy Gieger, Kitty Vetter and Gene Benson were honoring their election promises to ensure the best deals and services for taxpayers when they tabled an IDA request for $110,000 until costing and other information on the food hub project was made available for review. Instead of providing the information, people with interests in keeping the status quo on this deal unleashed a storm of criticism, dismissing costing concerns as being invalid and politically motivated, needlessly jeopardizing both the project and the county’s economic recovery. Read more
Thank you for your important and powerful editorial piece “Mired in Fossil Fuel” dated March 26. Fossil fuels are damaging to us all and at all phases: during extraction, transportation, processing and finally, in burning. The dangers of fracking waste, toxic oil spills from trains and pipelines in our neighborhoods and spills in our oceans destroying our food are only just the beginning. We also face the overwhelming buildup of greenhouse gases that are causing extreme weather events, ocean acidification and sea level rise. Read more
As public concern about extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy ramps up, New York is proving that we can win the fight against global warming. The statements that Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand made at an all-night event on the floor of the Senate this week served as a clear sign that they understand the need for climate action. Read more
About a year ago I was listening to an emergency medical services podcast from Albany Medical Center, as I normally have done in the past. I was shocked to find out that the speaker was a lawyer rather than a resident MD as the teacher, and this lawyer arrogantly brought forth the case that guns kill and gun violence is an epidemic. Read more