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February 07, 2016
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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.

February 4, 2016

Taxes the killer—but which taxes?  Read more

Does a $15 minimum wage make sense?

The fight to establish a $15 minimum wage for entry-level workers, specifically fast-food workers, has grown larger over the recent weeks. Organizations such as “Fight for $15” have tried to spread the word about the fight for an increase in the minimum wage established by the federal government. Supporters claim that people need more money to back themselves. The opposing side argues that people working entry-level jobs with little skill and education do not deserve a wage that high.  Read more

Same suits this time around?

Many years ago, my business manager said (after elections), “The suits will be the same, only the faces change.” Will the 2016 legislature alter that axiom?  Read more

Thanks for a successful outreach season

As the magic of the holiday season ends, our thoughts turn to our neighbors who were in need of assistance this holiday season. We wish to express our appreciation for all those special people who adopted families and to those who made generous donations to the St. Francis Xavier Outreach Program. We would also like to express gratitude to the members of the Outreach Program committee.

We also want to send a special thank you to The River Reporter staff for all the publicity during the holiday season. If it weren’t for them, these programs would not have been so successful.  Read more

Letters to the Editor November 24

Shame on you, Sullivan West School Board  Read more

Letters to the Editor November 24

Shame on you, Sullivan West School Board  Read more

Letters to the Editor November 19

Republicans resolve to address climate

U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson has authored, and eleven other Republicans have cosponsored, a resolution on climate change.

They have asked members of Congress to recognize that climate change is occurring and that we must cut carbon emissions. They have acknowledged the science and are leading their party in facing this threat to our economic and environmental health.  Read more

Letters to the Editor November 12

Worth the fight

Although we didn’t win our campaign to unseat incumbent Supervisor Fluhr, we in Shohola Township have accomplished something unheard of: 304 write-in votes. That’s 304 votes for transparency in government, for all residents to be treated with respect, and for responsible use of our tax dollars.

The voters of Shohola have sent a clear message that we will no longer stand silent for politics as usual, and I am truly encouraged, because it is now clear that change in leadership is not only wanted but, without a doubt, possible.  Read more

Dirty campaigning

I have been a resident of the Town of Highland for many, many years. Never have I seen such unethical dealings in election campaigning. I placed a sign at the bottom of my driveway endorsing Chuck Petersheim for supervisor. It was removed by an unknown source and replaced with a sign endorsing another candidate, without my permission or knowledge.  Read more

Election Letters: Part II

DA endorsements tell a story

District Attorney (DA) Tonkin has repeatedly boasted of a 97% conviction rate. However, statistics submitted by the Pike County Courts to the PA Unified Judicial System show that “his” conviction rate in 2013 (most recent year available) was 73%—right in the middle of all other like-sized Class VI counties. No bragging rights there.  Read more

Election Letters

Green Diebboll is about service

Service is what Isaac Green Diebboll is about. I am writing to add my voice to those supporting him in his run for election to the Sullivan County Legislature, serving District 5. Previous writers to this forum have acquainted readers with Isaac’s history of recording and posting town meetings, memberships in the Hortonville Fire Department and the Callicoon Business Association, and establishment and operation of the North School Studio.  Read more

Ruby, Guccini and Osterberg

As a lifelong resident of Pike County I feel it is time for leadership to take a fresh look at governance. Our county has gone through incredible change in the last decade, with continued commercial growth, changed population demographics, criminal activity and the need for additional services. As a business owner it is clear to me that Pike County will grow and prosper, but the management of these changes is a daunting task, which sometimes requires the attention of fresh eyes and ideas.  Read more

Lumberland is willing to share Rajsz

In 2015, Sullivan County is in the midst of electing county legislators. In District 2, we have a race between incumbent Kathy LaBuda and a challenger: Town of Lumberland Supervisor Nadia Rajsz.

Here in Lumberland, we have been fortunate to have a supervisor who, despite inheriting a $2.2 million debt, has lowered it to under $600,000 in a few years and without choking the taxpayer by seriously raising taxes in order to stay solvent. At the same time, she has fully supported the youth program, the seniors, the environmental committee and so on.  Read more

Time for a change in Shohola

Shohola has an important election coming up on November 3 as write-in candidate Shirley Masuo attempts to unseat one-term Supervisor George Fluhr Jr. Ms. Masuo has presented a platform of ideas for change and stability in Shohola. Mr. Fluhr continues to say he will “keep taxes low” and “maintain roads” and “maintain a strong police presence,” but offers no platform of specific action plans as to how he will accomplish these goals.  Read more

Masuo an effective leader

I would like to voice my support for Shirley Masuo in her bid for township supervisor in Shohola, PA. As a former Black Bear Film Festival board member, I can attest to the integrity of Shirley Masuo, and her commitment to the growth and success of Shohola and all surrounding areas.  Read more

Former supervisor supports Masuo

I’ve always been a Democrat and have generally voted a straight Democratic ticket. But, this year, I’m making an exception, and it’s an easy choice. I’m voting for Shirley Masuo for Shohola Township Supervisor. Shirley is a registered Republican who is running as a write-in candidate to unseat incumbent George Fluhr Jr.

Shirley is an open and fair-minded individual who is dedicated to an inclusive government that welcomes all points of view—not just those with which she agrees. Shirley has presented an achievable, common-sense platform, while her opponent offers none.  Read more

Empty boasts

In Shohola, we have telling contrasts in the race for township supervisor. On the one hand, there is incumbent George Fluhr Jr., who is often confused with his father, George Sr., who chaired the township board of supervisors for years. On the other, we have Shirley Masuo who is running as a write-in candidate, and who, unlike her opponent, offers a solid platform of actionable plans.  Read more

Vote for Isaac Green Diebboll

On November 3, the voters of Legislative District 5 will have a chance to elect the best choice for Sullivan County Legislator: Isaac Green Diebboll. Isaac is clearly the right person for the job as a strong advocate for open government and one who has attended hundreds of meetings to stay informed. He is leaps and bounds ahead of his opponent in reaching out to constituents. He is diligently researching core issues with a plan for change. While there are many challenges in Sullivan County, Isaac will address them head on with a clear voice for change.  Read more

High water still a threat?

Several very dry months, that nevertheless triggered the dread words “flood watch.” Everybody knows that frequent flooding has caused millions of dollars of damage in western Sullivan County, but still no permanent solution has been put in place.

Extreme weather events aren’t new to our area, but frequent flooding is.  Read more

Chuck Petersheim for Highland Supervisor

While many of us have had a difference of opinion with Chuck at one time or another, as one would have with most anyone we interact with, the bottom line is he is the best choice to run the Town of Highland. I have worked with Chuck on another board and was impressed at his dedication and research into the picture. He accurately assessed in a short period of time the dire financial state the organization was in and what was needed to turn it around.  Read more

Petersheim the best choice

I support Chuck Petersheim for Town of Highland supervisor because he works hard, is a straight-shooter, and is able to solve problems. I believe that he is thoroughly qualified because he has a full understanding of finances, book-keeping, employee relations and taxes due to his profitable business. He benefits the town because of his grasp of social media and desire for strict code enforcement. He’s college-educated and a home-grown success story.

It’s exciting to think where he could lead our town.

Louis Fattorusso
Eldred, NY

An easy choice: Masuo

An article in last week’s Pike County Dispatch about the race for township supervisor in Shohola between write-in candidate Shirley Masuo and incumbent George Fluhr Jr. said he “has regularly presented his vision and platform for Shohola publicly.” I attend nearly every monthly supervisors meeting, and I haven’t a clue as to what Mr. Fluhr’s “vision” and “platform” constitute. He said that his platform is “to keep taxes low, improve roads as much as possible and maintain a strong police presence.” Those are noble goals, but they are not a platform.  Read more

Time for a change in Shohola

I’ve lived in Shohola for 40 years. Since Town Board Chairman George Fluhr, Jr. took office in 2010, he has shown continuing disrespect to Shohola citizens, a determination to keep government wrapped in secrecy, a closed mind to new ideas and a very troubling attitude, which too often looks like he is on a vendetta.  Read more

Someone who listens and acts

I am writing in support of Isaac Green Diebboll’s campaign for a seat on the Sullivan County Legislature. I had the pleasure of meeting Isaac in a local coffee shop where he was interested in listening to the concerns of the folks present. He took notes and gave a good deal of his time. He never asked for support for his campaign, but asked how he could be of service to the issues raised.  Read more

Green Diebboll a unifying force

We are writing to support Isaac Green Diebboll for the county legislature, representing District 5 (Delaware, Callicoon, Fremont, White Sulphur Springs, parts of Swan Lake). We have known Isaac and his family for years. He is a man of integrity and honesty, with a genuine concern for our community and the people who comprise it.  Read more

Clarification from Highland Republicans

This correspondence is an attempt to clarify the Republican endorsement and support of a candidate for supervisor of the Town of Highland. The Town of Highland Republican Party only endorses and supports one candidate, Donald “Jeff” Haas for the position of supervisor. As such, his name will appear on the Republican line in the November election.  Read more

He’s back

After spending last winter anonymously trashing Highland Supervisor Andy Boyer while hiding behind the acronym T.U.F.F., Charles Petersheim finally came out and admitted that T.U.F.F. is he and wants us to believe that he is tough.  Read more

Important to vote in Cochecton

This year’s contest for Cochecton Town Council is heating up early. There are four candidates for two available seats. I am supporting Joan Glase and Larry Richardson because they have fresh ideas for making Cochecton a little prettier, healthier and richer than it already is. They are eager to devote full energy and time to serving all their neighbors’ interests. The other candidates offer only part-time service and stagnation.  Read more

To a garbage dumper, in the spirit of Pope Francis...

I write this letter in the spirit of the recent visit of Pope Francis in which he caused us to reflect upon the passage in the Bible in which it is said, if you are told that someone wants your pants, offer your jacket as well.  Read more

In support of GeoTourism project

I commend you for your interest in this area’s exciting opportunity for a GeoTourism project in partnership with National Geographic. This letter is in response to the September 16 “National Geographic, Murdoch and the River” editorial.  Read more

Too much noise for a Sabbath

The Sabbath, be it Saturday or Sunday, is supposed to be a day of peace and rest. Not so for the citizens of the Town of Thompson. The Monticello Motor Club (MMC), with the express permission of our fat-pocketed politicians, has taken that privilege away from us.  Read more

Vote—but vote right!

At last we have a person who will save our town. Yeah, Mr. Glenn Pontier is one and the same who dragged us into the clutches of the federal government in the late 1970s while being the editor of The River Reporter newspaper; now he hopes to become a Highland councilman. His resume is long and plentiful, but stops short of telling the whole story. Mr. Pontier was (as he put it) a conscientious objector, better known as a draft dodger. I doubt if Glenn were a Highland councilman we would be better off.  Read more

Masuo for Shohola

I don’t usually write letters to the editor. But here I am writing a letter of support for Shirley Masuo, Shohola Supervisor write-in candidate. We need Ms. Masuo’s honest voice and level thinking in our government in Shohola. She will bring thoughtful judgment to the deliberations in running our township. She will have a sincere, honest and courteous attitude when dealing with our citizens. In my opinion, Shirley Masuo will be a vast improvement over the incumbent, as he has acted like a bully in conducting the business of government in Shohola. I think we deserve better!  Read more

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

As I go door to door campaigning, several Shohola residents have informed me that my opponent, George Fluhr, Jr., is spreading the rumor that I’m attempting to get an ordinance passed preventing rental properties in the township. I never have and never will advocate for such a restrictive ordinance that would infringe on the rights of property owners. How unfortunate that once again, Fluhr resorts to spreading untrue statements about me rather than offering Shohola voters his platform. I’m assuming this is because he doesn’t have one.  Read more

Firefighters for Green Diebboll

It’s been a privilege to get to know Isaac Green Diebboll. We are proud to count him in our number, not only as a fellow firefighter, but as an active member of our community. He is part of our family.  Read more

Bernie, The Donald and October 9

On the Republican side, the presidential race is wide open, and the chances that Hillary Clinton will coast to the Democratic nomination without a serious challenge diminish by the day. New York’s presidential primary could play an important role in selecting our next president but a third of all voters in the state won’t be eligible to participate.  Read more

Stop the compressor station

Early morning fog that settles over the Delaware River in Pike County hides our homes, businesses, professional offices, nursing homes, day-care centers, houses of worship, schools and places to enjoy the outdoors. Toxic chemicals will forever change what lies beneath the fog.  Read more

Too much noise for a Sabbath

The Sabbath, be it Saturday or Sunday, is supposed to be a day of peace and rest. Not so for the citizens of the Town of Thompson. The Monticello Motor Club (MMC), with the express permission of our fat-pocketed politicians, has taken that privilege away from us.  Read more

Vote on Issues, not longevity

A respected political commentator recently did a disservice to the cause of open government when he urged people to vote for an incumbent county legislator rather than her opponent, a woman with 13 years experience as an elected official of the Town of Lumberland. The commentator conjectured that being the longest-serving member of the county legislature made the incumbent the better candidate in this election. This argument is specious.  Read more

What happened to hometown pride?

While at the Hortonville firemen’s parade last Saturday, I was saddened—no, disappointed—to see how much times have changed.

Used to be that on the day of a parade—Memorial Day, firemen’s parades and the like—the people would be lined up rows deep from beginning to finish to show our respect for and our appreciation for these deserving men and women. In my family each year a different person would go early just to reserve a great spot. People of all ages from tiny children to senior residents would stand and cheer as these heroes past.  Read more

A state of disrepair

[The below letter was written to Leslie S. Richards, secretary of the PA Department of Transportation. See page 2 for related news brief.]  Read more

Great article on Skinners Falls

Thanks for the article you wrote about the trash at Skinners Falls. You did a great job and I really liked your survey. FYI, conditions have improved. The park service and volunteers cleared all the trash from the rocks. I took photos and put them on Skinners Falls River Pix on Facebook.  Read more

The complete facts on Luxton Lake

It’s seldom that I have read complete facts when it comes to articles in The River Reporter about Luxton Lake. Neither I, nor my immediate neighbor whose parents of the first generation built our Lucky Lake summer homes in 1962, have ever been interviewed by your media press. That is important for accuracy. I know of no one who was ever “forced out” as written in your current issue. If anything, it would be more appropriate to say that the many of the second generation who elected not to continue their parents’ pathway for summer recreation, as well those who had no successors and have passed away, has resulted in a number of abandoned properties.  Read more

Fighting for broadband

Last week, I joined NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and Sullivan County Legislators Kitty Vetter and Gene Benson at a Public Service Commission meeting in Poughkeepsie to a deliver a simple message—all the residents of Sullivan County must have access to broadband. In 2015, broadband can no longer be considered an optional service. It is an essential utility.  Read more

Soliciting letters (and other stuff) for our 40th anniversary

As you know—if you have been perusing our pages throughout the year—The River Reporter is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015! (It’s truly amazing!)

On September 3, we will have a double-barreled celebration: a special anniversary issue will hit the stands on that day, and we’ll be having a party at the Narrowsburg Inn on Bridge Street, starting at 5:30 p.m.  Read more

Sublime Shandelee does it again

I cannot find another word more appropriate to describe what is happening this summer at The Shandelee Music Festival, now in its 22nd season.

Starting with The Hermitage Piano Trio, I knew this would be another astounding season. But tonight, having just returned home from the second concert in the series, I felt compelled to write.  Read more

Preserving our watershed

I’ve been reading about the severe shortage of clean, usable water in California, a region that produces most of the fruits and vegetables consumed throughout the United States. In the Upper Delaware River watershed, we are blessed with abundant fresh water for our farms, homes and recreation.  Read more

Bravo to Ellenville Regional

Many of us seniors need to choose a rehabilitation hospital after a fall, joint replacement or other health issues. What you may not realize is that we have a real gem in our own backyard. I speak from experience, since I’ve spent several weeks at various rehabilitation units since 2007 including Field Home in Cortlandt Manor, Helen Hayes, Park Manor in Middletown, and Ellenville Regional Hospital.  Read more

A rogue festival

As a local small business owner, I felt it appropriate to address a situation that affects a significant portion of Sullivan County promoters and vendors. Our primary income opportunities are at the many seasonal festivals and specific town “days” that are produced each year. At such events, all licenses, fees and permits are obtained, and other necessary public safety measures are all followed as the state of New York dictates. These are family-oriented events that highlight some of the best our community has to offer.  Read more