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October 07, 2015
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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.

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

Controlling the deer population

According a 2013 article in the Times Union (Albany) titled “Save state forestland from deer,” “Today, deer overpopulation poses a greater threat to New York’s forests than anything except bulldozers. There are more than 1 million deer in New York, an average of more than 30 deer per square mile of forest. In some areas, particularly in the southeast including Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley and the southern Catskills, you can find more than twice that density. Yet, studies tell us that forest damage is evident above 20 deer per square mile.”  Read more

Why the outrage over purchasing inquiries?

I want to thank the editors for printing my recent letter regarding my legislator daughter, Cindy Gieger. I have had so much response and support.

People are outraged at the lack of explanation after Mrs. LaBuda pressed ethics charges. As you know, my daughter approached the county purchasing department with regard to county contracts. This unleashed a wild shudder among various people at the county offices.  Read more

PennDot meets with residents

On July 29 at 6 p.m., consultants and engineers from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will be at the Tusten Town Hall to meet with everyone concerned about the work to be done on the Narrowsburg Bridge.  Read more

Lumberland: horses, bridge and park

At last week’s town board meeting, Supervisor Nadia Rajsz intended to change our zoning by permitting horses in all districts. This would allow anyone two horses on as little as one acre with no review or permit. At the public hearing for this topic, residents protested, and Supervisor Rajsz tabled the resolution, I believe, with the hope that a little re-wording would get it passed instead of putting it to a vote.  Read more

Thanks to Boyar

I agree with, and I am grateful to Andy Boyar and our town board for keeping us so well informed over the years. I remain ready and vigilant to protect the health and safety of our current and future generations.

“Fracking is not appropriate for the state at this time....”

Dorothy L. Crowe
Highland Lake, NY

Dirty politics are not for me

In a recent Letter to the Editor, my opponent in the race for Shohola Township Supervisor, George C. Fluhr, alleged that “my repackaged agenda is the former administration [sic] elitist, high tax and intolerant policies that would destroy the wonderful Shohola we know.”  Read more

Gieger: on to greater things

Cindy Gieger has been my friend for a number of years. She is genuine, and her heart is in the right place. She is also smart, caring and honest.  Read more

Why is Beechwood Road the step-child?

I guess all the town’s [Bethel] funding went to widen and re-pave Naylor Road. It is almost double the width it was last summer, with new crushed stone/cement all the way up to the Homestead community.  Read more

Good fit with the neighborhood?

One third of the historic Narrowsburg Central School will be converted into an ice cream factory. Just because the tenant will be manufacturing specialty ice cream does not change the fact that they are creating a factory with 65-foot industrial tractor trailers going in and out of the center of town. I do not think this is a good fit for Narrowsburg, because it is not an industrial town. It is a historic river town that has become more of an arts and cultural center.  Read more

Exposed again

To the voters of Shohola Township: I would like to thank you for awarding me both the Democratic and Republican supervisor nominations in the May 10 primaries. As has been reported [see page x], Shirley Masuo challenged the Republican nomination, as was her right. However, if she was going to challenge the integrity of the vote, she had an obligation to provide testimony and evidence to prove her point. At the June 16 court hearing, other than debating what my name is, she provided the court with no witnesses or evidence to back up her claims. Even Ms.  Read more

Why is this being allowed?

I am the mother of Cindy Kurpil Gieger. As anyone who knows Cindy can testify that she went to her job as a county legislator totally believing that she could a positive difference. She researched every issue that concerned her constituents and, of course, tried to do her best in spite of being told early on from the top, “You can’t do that.” Humble, smart, honest and hard-working—that is my daughter.  Read more

Outlawing guns?

How tragic another shooting; this time, nine people praying. They gave their lives as martyrs. I ask this question: will taking handguns away from “we, the people” make us safer, and is it worth trashing the Second Amendment? The fact is our politicians should be more concerned with the spiritual state of the USA and our poor morals and bad behavior. More or fewer people armed with guns will not stop hate and evil. We the people of the United States should have at least a healthy respect for and knowledge of God.  Read more

Scleroderma awareness month

Ever stop to think about what it would be like to walk in another’s shoes? Imagine living the life of someone rich and famous, someone that seems to have it all? It’s our nature to think that if we could be someone else, things would be better. Working with people living with a chronic disease however, can soon put things into perspective.  Read more

Thanks to Gieger and Edwards

It is easy to understand why Cindy Gieger and Cora Edwards are not running for the Sullivan County Legislature. If you did not join the “good old boys’ club” you were not informed, left out of little private political gatherings and lunches for a certain few. Also, caring about all residents of Sullivan County and being honest, you were harassed and threatened because of your hard work and knowledge.  Read more

Remembering Jack Terry

In Cochecton
Remembering Jack Terry

By S.R. Lavin

a westpoint man
transformed in battle
who became a hero
helping those
who needed more
than a handout —
which is to say
all he had become
and who he was

those who fought the war

and us, who stood in the gates
singing give peace a chance

what ever became of us?

we, who changed the world

a trail of bread crumbs
left for those
who came after

[S. R. Lavin is a resident of Damascus, PA.]

The solution to societal problems

I saw in the news about the multi-million dollar heroin drug bust that had its roots in Livingston Manor. I can’t help but pray. I know the solution to all our societal problems: Jesus Christ the Messiah. The Bible says we are all sinners, since the choice in the Garden of Eden was given and Adam and Eve chose sin rather than love and fellowship with God our Creator. Today each person has that same choice of love and fellowship with God or rebel and do this short life on Earth on his or her own, living in unrepentant sin.  Read more

Some history on the deck

It’s nice to see the deck is going to be rebuilt. The deck was the idea of Dorthy Orsini Hinck. Our mom is no longer with us, but she would be thrilled. She actually got the idea from the Hawks’ Nest rest stop, where we would sit on the deck having a bite to eat overlooking the Delaware River.

Bob Orsini
Elma, NY

A health insurance mystery in Mamakating

Over six months ago at a Mamakating Town Board meeting, the question was raised, “Why is the Town of Mamakating paying health insurance premiums for former town attorney Richard Stoloff and family?”  Read more

Scenic Byway a powerful attraction

The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB) is a non-profit organization, which advocates for the maintenance, enhancement and promotion of New York State Route 97. UDSB appreciates The River Reporter’s publication of the “Explore the Scenic Byway” glossy booklet, which was an insert in the May 7 issue.  Read more

Voting where our interests lie

Many folks of varied means divide their time between two homes, perhaps working at one so they can play at another. Some fly south in winter, others drive north in summer. New York law recognizes that it is hard to make an outside judgment about which home means more for voting purposes. It is left to the voter to decide.  Read more

Zero tolerance for animal abuse

Man am I proud to be an Orange County resident. On Thursday, May 7, the Orange County Legislature voted unanimously to pass Rocky’s Law, the toughest animal abuse registry in the country. Under this law, one convicted of animal abuse is precluded from owning another animal for 15 years. A second conviction earns you a lifetime ban on pet ownership. Oh, and if anyone sells you an animal, they get in trouble, too.  Read more

Why the levy increase in Eldred?

In this Sunday’s Times-Herald Record it was reported that Eldred Central School District’s budget increased .8%, as had also been reported by the district in its newsletter. What the newsletter did not report was that the tax levy has increased by 2.9%, which is the highest increase in Sullivan County. Eldred is also the only district in the county where the increase in the levy was greater than the increase in the overall budget. In an earlier report in the Times-Herald Record, Superintendent Dufour had acknowledged that the district’s level of state aid had decreased, but did not know why.  Read more

Kudos to Patrick Harrison

Last fall I stopped at a rural cemetery in upstate New York to check on some ancestral graves. Finding one of them badly tilted, I later called a local funeral home, which arranged with a monument company to straighten and stabilize the stone, a service for which I, as requested, sent a check upon reported completion. A few weeks ago, again being in the area, I bethought myself of the injunction to “trust but verify” and stopped to see the stone. Unfortunately, I found it flat on its face.  Read more

Too many deer, or too few?

I enjoyed your article “What to do about too many deer;” however, the problem for many hunters is not enough deer (and turkeys) or too few “shooter bucks” that meet the antler restrictions. I own property in Milanville, PA, and live in Livingston Manor (LM) and I can tell you we must have at least 30 deer in several different herds within about a two-mile radius of town in LM, but that is not the case near the state land in the Parksville, Debruce, Lew Beach and Willowemoc areas.  Read more

Novick’s important contribution

I certainly enjoyed reading the article about Mr. Harold Novick in the March 23 issue of The River Reporter. His articles in The River Reporter were always interesting and informative. However, he left behind a far more lasting legacy than mere fishing columns.  Read more

Help available for disadvantaged students

Tuition at the University of Pennsylvania for the upcoming (2015-16) term will be $43,838, as announced in the Pennsylvania Gazette, May/June 2015, p. 25. For that term, the average grant—not loan—from Penn will be $43,800, with 47% of undergrads expected to receive needs-based grants. Other Ivy League and highly selective schools will be in lockstep with this schedule, as they always have been.  Read more

Remembering Richard Castellano

Richard Castaldo Castellano passed away at home over Easter weekend. As a close friend of 15 years, I’d like to memorialize Richard, the superhero/supervillain of Narrowburg, NY.

Richard will always hold a place in local history. A guy you loved to hate and hated to love. Before he fell from grace, he held an endearing place in the hearts of many people.

I would just like to ask those of you who had an experience with him, good or bad, to take a moment to remember what we loved about Richard.

Sharlene Kall
Damascus, PA

Novick’s important contribution

I certainly enjoyed reading the article about Mr. Harold Novick in the March 23 issue of The River Reporter. His articles in The River Reporter were always interesting and informative. However, he left behind a far more lasting legacy than mere fishing columns.  Read more

Time for a new DA

I am a Democrat and a Pike County resident. Regardless of party affiliation, I think we all want a district attorney who will prosecute all crimes, including child abuse. We want a district attorney who will not sit back and allow our crime rate to continue to increase. We want a district attorney who will try new ways to stop the growing drug epidemic. We want a district attorney who has respect for our law enforcement and veterans. Aside from a conviction rate, which I believe he has manipulated, the current district attorney has nothing to show for his seven years in office.  Read more

Gaughan the best for DA

Kelly Gaughan is well qualified, my friend, and an excellent Pike County District Attorney candidate. I have no doubt, after knowing her for many years, that she will win this election. My old Jeep proudly displays her campaign signs, as well as my entire corner and street. I have had numerous occasions to speak up for her, relevant to her qualifications—as well as my concerns about Raymond Tonkin—and not one person could refute my arguments. It’s only a question of time before the informed voters of Pike County will proudly welcome her as our new district attorney.

Dr. Bob DeYoung  Read more