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.
[The following] statement [was] read into the minutes of this May 15, 2013 annual meeting [of the New York-Pennsylvania Joint Interstate Bridge Commission with] the below queries. They regard the reputed latest negotiation between the New York State and Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation regarding replacement of the Pond Eddy Bridge, based on the attached document as distributed at the official NYSDOT meeting held at the Sullivan County Government Center on April 26; and on verbal representations made at the meeting and subsequently to the press. Read more
We were very saddened to see the headline “Callicoon adopts frack-friendly comp plan” in your last issue and to read about the unscrupulous manner in which it seems to have occurred. We are New Yorkers who have been weekenders a few miles below Callicoon for close to 30 years. We recently closed a successful business in Midtown Manhattan and finally fulfilled our dream of becoming full time PA residents with the intention of starting a new venture in the beautiful Delaware River Valley that we love. Read more
[Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and State Representative John Bonacic.}
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has issued notification of Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 2700. NYSERDA is proposing to give $7.8 million to chosen retailers who successfully increase sales of Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) beyond a base-line level. Read more
[Editors Note: A version of this letter, which was written to the school board at the Livingston Manor Central School and sent to elected officials in Albany and Washington, DC, was shared with The River Reporter by the author.]
To the School Board,
As a concerned parent, taxpayer and citizen, I write these thoughts on the anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, April 20, 1999. I offer these suggestions with the desire for our children to be safe. Read more
In regards to passage of the local law known as the Sullivan County Ethics Law, the message is clear. We are committed to ensuring public trust in government by the people we serve. However, make no mistake, by passage of this Ethics Law, we are not attempting to discourage anyone from serving on county boards for the betterment of the residents of Sullivan County. Read more
As a professional historian and historiographer, I know how important our past is and how critical it is to preserve and promote it. Unfortunately, for generations many people in this area have taken our history and historic landmarks for granted. That casual attitude has contributed to the deterioration of monuments to our history. Furthermore, we no longer devote as much effort as we once did to teaching our children about the history of our country, let alone that of our region.
The time has come to reverse the tide. Read more
By GEORGE FLUHR SR.
[At the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) annual awards banquet on Sunday, April 28, keynote speaker George Fluhr Sr. put the 25-year history of the UDC in the context of the history of the river valley. This is an abbreviated version of his talk.] Read more
At a [Town of Delaware] planning board meeting last spring, Tom Shepstone, the town’s planning advisor, stated that compressor stations, unlike fracking, are open to town regulation. FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) is the federal agency designated to place compressor stations. Since the Millennium Pipeline goes through the Town of Delaware , the town could be selected. Shepstone said that regulations could be created, e.g., enclosure requirements, noise levels, which, FERC history suggested, would be honored. Read more
I’m sorry, you didn’t get the memo?
We, the loyal listenership of publicly and underwriter-funded WJFF are speaking loud and clear that our community radio voice is in serious trouble, with a long list of allegations of serious fiscal and personnel mismanagement. Read more
As reported in the April 5, 2013 Sullivan County Democrat, the county legislature met recently with local politicians, business people and members of the public to review the results of the legislature’s economic survey. Among the top priorities were maintaining tourism and continuing to market and enhance the sustainability of our communities through arts, culture and recreation. These conclusions should come as no surprise. Read more
In honor of National Crime Victims Rights Week, the Sullivan County Probation Department Crime Victims Program would like to gratefully acknowledge the following volunteers for their service during the past year: Charles Gramlich, Branka Monaco and Anne Solenski.
The Sullivan County Crime Victims Program was established during 1998 by the Sullivan County Legislature. The program is designed to help victims of crime within Sullivan County through a stressful period. Read more
Did you know that Pennsylvania has 20,025 deaths annually due to cigarette-related health problems and that this costs the state $9.4 billion in health care and lost productivity? On the other hand, PA receives $1.4 billion in tobacco revenue, but only spends 11% on tobacco prevention and cessation programs. Read more
With regard to your article, “Lang Digs Up Dirt against Tusten Community Garden” in The River Reporter issue of April 18-24, 2013 (page 5), I’d like to make a clarification for your readers.
Specifically, in the last paragraph of Ms. Braverman’s article regarding the vote in which, I believe, Mr. Lang should have abstained due to the Town of Tusten’s Ethics Laws. These laws were approved in 1996 and are online at www.tusten.org. Read more
Our Delaware Valley School District is trying desperately to build an unnecessary $20 million primary school in Milford Township, PA in the “death zone” of a high-pressure gas pipeline, and not one of us in the community has been asked whether we want to do such an outrageous thing. Read more
Two months ago, Sullivan County Planning reminded the Town of Callicoon that “the purpose of a comprehensive plan is to set forth the desires of a community’s residents.” It recommend that the town edit those parts of its draft plan that seem “favorable to gas drilling” because there was no evidence that it was supported by the public. In fact, hundreds of residents have told the town they object to that language, while only a handful of people have indicated that they support it. Read more
WJFF’s Board of Trustees would like to assure everyone—our listeners, our volunteers and our staff—that we have heard fully and clearly the comments from those attending our meeting on Wednesday, March 20. Several issues were raised during the meeting and the board intends to address them all. Read more
Given the fact that Tom Shepstone is a paid spokesperson for the gas industry, it’s not surprising that he suggested that the Town of Delaware rewrite its zoning ordinances in such a way that it happens to make it easier for gas companies to build noisy, polluting, dangerous compressor stations in the town. What is surprising is that the town is paying him (by keeping him on the payroll as town planner) to advance the interests of his corporate masters. Read more
I am grateful to Cindy Gieger for pursuing the issue of homeless New York State parolees being released to Sullivan County when they are from other parts of the state. I have been employed in human services in the county. Here are some of the services that would be probably be required for each of these parolees: intensive case management, a psychiatrist, mental health and (possibly) substance abuse counselors, housing, a primary care physician, and other health care specialists as needed, Department of Social Services, and Workforce Development, Medicaid transportation to appointments. Read more
[I’m writing] concerning the silence coming from our nation’s executive branch concerning the apparent construction of one of the worse environmental disasters in the making—the Keystone XL pipeline. Its continued construction will only create additional pollution in the hydrological and geographic zones of its transgression. Scenic landscapes and natural resources such as rivers, streams and aquifers, all stand to be contaminated by this worst form of oil. Native Americans in Canada are already suffering health effects. Read more
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the recent rally in Washington, DC protesting the construction of the XL Pipeline, but my heart was with the over 40,000 who attended. We are truly at a crossroads when it comes to climate change. The message to President Obama and the State Department was “reject the XL Pipeline project” and not encourage production of dirty energy. Instead, let’s focus on producing clean energy sources to save the planet. Read more
We’ve all been seeing the wonderful promise of “development” coming soon to the Apollo Plaza in Monticello. But for all that I have seen of the coverage, what I seem to have missed, or has been omitted, is the addressing of the toxicity of that site prior to any development plans. Read more
For months now, Sullivan County Legislators Cora Edwards, Cindy Gieger, Kitty Vetter, Gene Benson, and Alan Sorensen have been criticized and vilified by some for trying to do what they were elected to do, namely fix county government and its related financial problems. Read more
Carol Roig’s excellent opening article (Mixed Greens—Seeking Sustainability, TRR March 14-20) exactly states the issue of sharing without greed the communal resources of the earth. The devil is in the details. I, like many, have wrestled with the difficult choices of how to reduce my footprint, while enjoying the comfortable lifestyle I have become accustomed to. Taken literally, we in the USA would have to reduce our standard of living drastically to leave enough for everyone else to share equally. We all end up feeling greedy and hypocritical, or destitute. Read more
The claim that fracking is safe should be backed up with protection for the community. A simple solution would be to have money set aside in a fund that would be drawn on in case someone’s property is damaged. This is similar to the practice of getting security for a house rental or having auto insurance to pay an accident victim. Read more
I truly enjoyed Chris Leser’s letter to the editor in The River Reporter; however, I think several facts need to be clarified.
Leser claims that ‘Ole Boy Politics’ was used when my newspaper, the Sullivan County Democrat, ran a story about a dog which was caught in a foot-hold trap.
Obviously, Leser is not a regular reader of the Sullivan County Democrat, or he would have realized that our newspaper routinely runs stories, usually on the front page, regarding animals that are neglected or abused. Read more
I am writing to encourage the citizens of the Town of Tusten to come out to the public hearing regarding a resolution put before the Tusten Town Board to oppose the enactment of any legislation that would infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Several towns in our area have already passed a similar resolution and sent it to Governor Cuomo and the New York State government without conducting a public hearing. Our wise council, however, decided to grant us a hearing. Read more
In response to Larry H. Richardson, member of the Town of Cochecton Board, the proposed resolution was on our town website for four days prior to our regular board meeting. Unlike laws, resolutions do not require the public’s comment, which in this case was trumped by a politically motivated governor. If we went down that road, nothing would ever get done in a town where we meet only once a month. That’s why we get elected, to make those decisions. Read more
Some noted person once said, “All politics is local,” an aphorism exemplified by a story about a political and stunning socialite’s ensnared pooch. On February 8, under the headline, “Illegal trap ensnares pooch by lake,” The Sullivan County Democrat published an in-depth article about Michelle Resnick’s missing and trapped dog. Two Sullivan County police officers were involved in bringing about the dog’s [Chloe] rescue, and a joyous reunion for the Resnick family with their very injured dog. Read more
Seeking ways to save money, the post office is soliciting ideas. Suspending Saturday mail delivery, it finds, is extremely unpopular. How about charging businesses, those who get the greatest use out of mail delivery, a fair amount for delivering their advertising?
My mailbox is stuffed every week with fliers from stores where I have never shopped and have no intention of ever doing so. Christmas shops? Bed Bath & Beyond? Weis Markets? (I’m going to drive from Milford to Stroudsburg to save $.04 per pound on bananas?) Read more
As was reported in your publication recently, the Cochecton town board saw fit to hastily pass a copycat resolution opposing new gun legislation passed by the New York State Assembly and Senate. I find it interesting that many local legislative bodies are using the very tactic that the state is being criticized for—rushing legislation through before the public has time to react.
Larry H. Richardson
Town of Cochecton, NY
Concerning the Monticello Motor Club: It seems like a simple solution would be for the club to buy the homes of these people who are so upset with the noise. Surely when they are then owned by the MMC, they can be resold to those club followers who would love to live there in the glow of all the activity.
It is with regret that I read Marcia Nehemiah’s final column in the February 14th issue of The River Reporter, as I found many of her eco-minded ideas and suggestions interesting and sometimes unorthodox. Although I was able to incorporate only a few of them into my daily routine, I believe even small changes can be significant to make a difference.
I also want to add that I read Marcia’s book, “Crone Age,” and gifted it to a number of my relatives. Her writing has encouraged me to finally find my own voice by starting a blog for our bakery.
Good luck and best wishes, Marcia. Read more
[Editor’s note: This letter to the Lackawaxen Township, PA supervisors was offered to The River Reporter as a letter to the editor by the owners of Vanderbeek Farm. It concerns their request to open a dog sled and snowmobiling business on part of their property. We are happy to print the letter.]
To: Lackawaxen Township Supervisors Read more
My treasured friend and forgiving soul. So generously overflowing with spiritual guidance. Resolution awaits everyone who lifts the veil.
Even you—a loving, living body, full of natural beauty, full of God and glory, full of excitement and pleasure—face difficulties.
I love and appreciate how nature resolves and safeguards itself and earth from harm. When betrayed by man, mighty river, you strive to protect life—and all that you stand for, and all that you love. The ancient spirits work together as they have done since your birth, millions of years ago. Read more
Since Congress is to blame for the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) fiscal problems, Congress can fix it without too much difficulty. There is no taxpayer money involved. As we know, Congress in 2006 passed a law requiring the USPS to pre-fund 75 years of retiree benefits in a 10-year time span. It means that the postal service must set aside $5.5 billion each year. No other private or public institution labors under this burden. Absent this burden, the post office can run a profit even with competition from the Internet. Read more
I wonder what Roy would say
If he could hear this song
Something sweet sardonic
Something true and strong.
If courage was a tapestry
Then Roy would truly be
A cloth of golden lightning weaves
Tall radiant and free.
Tonight I hear a guitar
Screaming through the trees
He rides the riff of courage
His rhythm in the breeze.
As he rides upon the guitar
Clutching Woodstock’s hand
He will turn to look upon us
From Roy’s rock ‘n roll band.
Woodstock was a friend of mine
And I know he loved it so
I cry as they both ride away
A distant hollowed glow. Read more
There once was a Gubernator* named Cuomo
Who tested his political savvy at home-oh!
But the people won’t back
His ploy that it’s safe to frack,
Nor his warped visions of energy independence.
Don’t let him suck out the gas
By drilling under your fence,
And ship it by slow boat to Chi-nah!
*The title of Gubernator comes to you courtesy of our friend James Barth.
Beach Lake, PA
The New York State Constitution gives towns the power to restrict all sorts of development, including gas drilling, but you’d never know it from reading the Town of Callicoon’s Draft Comprehensive Plan. More than 40 towns in New York State (including five right here in Sullivan County) have already passed local ordinances that prohibit fracking, but you wouldn’t know this either if you relied on the guidance in the Callicoon plan. It simply says the town “could experience natural gas drilling in the future” as if it has no more control over allowing fracking than it does over the weather. Read more
Sullivan County is moving toward new goals of fiscal accountability and oversight of our tax dollars based on the people’s 2011 mandate for change. I, along with several of my colleagues, have been researching, questioning and overcoming hurdles of the “status quo” to move our county forward. Read more
I wanted to take a few minutes to thank Mr. Mayer of The River Reporter for recording and reporting my comments at a recent town board meeting concerning the actions of the Town of Tusten attorney Jeffrey Clemente and the Town of Tusten itself. You were dead on in recording the statements concerning Clemente and the Town of Tusten and as usual, Clemente is dead wrong. Read more
Our Milanville post office may look small, but it is really bigger than we can measure. Its place in our community as an independent post office is a vital connection to our federal public services as mandated in the Constitution. The closing of our post office in Milanville will be a contradiction and violation of the U.S. Postal Service Mission Statement in Section 101(a) of Title 39 of the U.S. Code, known as the “Postal Reorganization Act.” Read more