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August 25, 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.

Letters to the Editor August 25

Non-GMO vs. organic

Your editorial, “DARK Act to be challenged,” (Aug. 11-17) reminded me of an NPR report broadcast on WJFF just a few days earlier. The story explored how, given a choice between products labeled non-GMO and those labeled USDA certified organic, consumers are more likely to buy non-GMO products, which tend to be less expensive.

However, the report pointed out, products labeled “non-GMO” may be farmed or processed with pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, other chemical additives and without regard for animal welfare.  Read more

Letters to the Editor August 18

Walking the walk in Mamakating

This letter is in response to Chuck Petersheim’s letter to The River Reporter in the August 11 edition. It appears that Chuck has spewed unsubstantiated accusations without knowing the facts. In his letter, he identified a modest real estate investment of mine (G-Mart) in the Town of Mamakating, stating that it “utilizes not one alternative energy or truly energy efficient product.”  Read more

Letters to the Editor August 4

Honor your obligations

1. The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. (UDSB) receives a $510,000 federal grant for an Upper Delaware River visitors’ center in 2005 through Rep. Maurice Hinchey,
2. Then a few years later, Sullivan County government advises the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway to relocate the site from the Town of Cochecton to the Town of Tusten at Fort Delaware after UDSB receives an additional $250,000 from New York State.
3. Then, two years later, the Sullivan County pulls the plug on the whole concept.  Read more

Letters to the Editor July 28

We need another revival

Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, will be in Albany on August 25 at 12 noon for a prayer service (Decisionamerica tour.com).  Read more

Letters to the Editor July 21

Take a look at both sides

When I read the first paragraph of Eileen Hennessy’s Lake Huntington News, I was taken aback. She said “what a sad and sick world we live in” because of the ambush in Dallas. There is no doubt the killing of the innocent police of Dallas was a heinous act, carried out by a maniac. And then she stated, “all lives matter.”  Read more

Letters to the Editor July 14

Thanks for the fireworks

A giant thanks to Ned Lang, Rick Lander and the folks at The Central House for putting together and funding Narrowsburg’s amazing July 4th fireworks display. People of every age, race and nationality lined Main Street and the Narrowsburg bridge for a clear view of the colorful, nonstop display full of booms and sparkles. Thanks for a great Fourth!

Jan London
Narrowsburg, NY

Status quo not good enough

After a great deal of soul-searching, I write this editorial concerning the Eldred Central School District (ECS).  Read more

June 30, 2016 - July 7, 2016

Missing the point on Highland

Your editorial regarding the value of conducting a health study of the impact of the natural gas compressor station proposed for the Town of Highland by Millennium Pipeline Company makes a few good points, but it completely misses the most significant point of all.  Read more

Letters to the Editor June 30

Statement of solidarity

In the wake of the horrific attack on the LGBT community in Florida , the Sullivan County Human Rights Commission wishes to express our solidarity with all those who were touched by this tragedy.

We must recognize the humanity that we all share. Members of the LGBT, Latino and Muslim communities, have been directly affected by this tragedy and continue to be the targets of hatred.  Read more

Letters to the Editor June 16

Vote for Teachout on June 28

I’m a Democrat committeeman in a very Republican town. It’s a lonely outpost. I do what I can. And what I can do right now is encourage my fellow Democrats to come out on June 28 and vote for Zephyr Teachout, who is running for Congress in the 19th District.  Read more

Letters to the Editor June 2

June 28 and the November election

Rep. Chris Gibson’s decision to quit politics has created something very rare—an open congressional seat in a swing district.

The Republicans have endorsed John Faso, a lobbyist and Albany insider. He’s already amassed a huge campaign war chest, and he can count on the national party to pour money into the race.  Read more

Letters to the Editor May 26

A commonsense conclusion

As a taxpayer and builder who has generated hundreds of thousands of new tax dollars for the Town of Tusten, I was happy to see the $300,000 taxpayer-financed Main Street deck-to-nowhere firmly rejected by the contracting community who refused to bid on it. The invisible hand of the free market works in wonderful and mysterious ways.  Read more

Letters to the Editor May 19

To Schneiderman on fantasy sports

Dear NYS Attorney General Schneiderman:

Thank you for not acquiescing in the face of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) companies seeking to profit by misinforming New Yorkers.

That DFS promoters continue arguing their product isn’t gambling is an indication of the success they’ve enjoyed in shifting debate—away from false-hope schemes designed to separate people from their money, if they just keep separating themselves from more of it.

Our New York State Legislature, hoping to have DFS prosper here, is now wrestling with how to do so.  Read more

Letters to the Editor May 12

Eldred School Board election

Allyson Wagner, Eldred Central School board candidate, you had us at “include local history in the curriculum.”

John and Debra Conway
Barryville, NY

Send in the clowns  Read more

Letter to the Editor April 21

Support Bernie in PA

Bernie Sanders, Independent U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate, has fought for working families his entire career. From protecting American jobs to ensuring tuition-free public college, from believing healthcare is a basic right to raising the minimum wage, Sen. Sanders has been an outspoken advocate for Americans’ rights. He also breaks through governmental gridlock, having passed more amendments than any other Congressional Member during 10 years of a Republican-controlled U.S. House.  Read more

Letters to the Editor April 14

Bernie understands the system’s not working

“Nobody who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.” Bernie Sanders said that. He understands that business as usual isn’t working for millions of hardworking Americans who remain cut off from affordable education, a decent job, a secure retirement.  Read more

Letters to the Editor April 7

A big “yes” on the ECS budget

Let me be perfectly clear. I anticipate being fully in favor of the Eldred Central School District (ECS) budget when it is released at the April board meeting. I am aware of the surpluses that will be generated by the 2015-16 budget. I am familiar with the governor’s state aid proposal as it stands awaiting action by the legislature. As a homeowner I am happy to vote for a 1% tax increase (allowable under the tax cap) because the state will reimburse me in the fall. It is a good thing.  Read more

Letters to the Editor March 31

Who are the outside agitators?

As I walked today in the woods near my home in Eldred I thought about the rumor that those of us opposing Millennium’s compressor station are a small group of outside agitators with limited attachment to the area and no right to speak. Since I have lived, run a business, raised a family and enjoyed the outdoors here for more than 30 years, and I oppose the station, this rumor bothers me deeply.  Read more

Letters to the Editor March 24

Haas recusal raises questions

Questions remain about Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas’ recusal last week. I’d like to know what relative was hired, when that relative was hired, and whether Haas had any conversations with Millennium about said hiring. While the local papers positioned his recusal as an act of precaution and fair governance, I think some people are wondering if there isn’t more to the story.

Chuck Petersheim
Eldred, NY

How about ‘swap shacks’ at the transfer stations?  Read more

Letters to the Editor March 17

Broadband should be classified as public service

“In today’s world, internet connectivity is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity. Broadband is as vital a resource as running water and electricity to New York’s communities and is absolutely critical to the future of our economy, education, and safety.... Millions of New Yorkers are either limited to target broadband speeds or have no access to broadband at all, creating a gap in the ability of some communities to participate in the global economy.” — the NYS Broadband for All website: https://www.ny.gov/programs/broadband-all  Read more

Letters to the Editor March 10

Scare tactics

You don’t have to be for a gas compressor station to be against the fear-based tactics of SCRAM (Sullivan County Residents Against Milennium).

Such tactics include weak science, un-credentialed experts, phony pictures of children with bloody noses, and an attempt to link the hazards and fear of the fracking process to this compressor station like they have any relation other than the word “gas.”

Educating a community is admirable. Unnecessarily frightening them is despicable.

Chuck Petersheim
Eldred, NY

FERC action and inaction
  Read more

What the country needs

I definitely don’t agree with most of the views of Bernie or Hillary, and I still hope for a conservative Democrat to appear in the race for presidency. The email issues and Benghazi should have already disqualified Hillary. And Bernie wanting to change us to be more like European or Scandinavian countries or like Australia is just foolish. The United States of America is special, unique; let’s not vote that away.  Read more

Letters to the Editor February 25

Country retreats near a compressor station?

Once again Chuck Petersheim seems to feel he is the sole bearer of truth about the natural gas industry. He backs up his assertions with few facts, but with a combination of personal smear, industry spokesman mimicry and name calling. Astoundingly, he seems to have a blind trust that we will be protected by the gas companies. He seems to believe that an industry that cares all about profits, and little else, will magically be concerned with our health and economic welfare.  Read more

Letters to the Editor February 18

Fear tactics, again

Déjà vu all over again. Another economic development story, another “say no” crusade armed with fear, armageddon, and end-of-the-world health impacts.  Read more

Letters to the Editor February 11

While we are sleeping

The recent presentation by PennDOT in Shohola, PA on the proposed Pond Eddy Bridge replacement is an example of how much community involvement has impacted the latest bridge design project, which is now less expensive, mimics the look of the historic bridge, and is a one-lane structure.  Read more

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