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September 04, 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.

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


Pennsylvania lawyers are bound by a Professional Code of Conduct. The code specifically prohibits a district attorney from “making an extrajudicial statement that a lawyer knows… will be disseminated by public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.”(Rule 3.6) In other words, don’t say anything that might lead potential jurors to prejudge a defendant.  Read more

Re-Elect Jamie Burns

As someone who’s deeply involved with the Eldred Central School School District as a parent, taxpayer, coach, philanthropist and businessman, I’ve seen firsthand the commitment, ideas, leadership and openness of current school board member Jamie Burns.  Read more

Siegel: ‘Be the change you seek’

Next Tuesday’s election is your rare opportunity to be the change you seek. With most Eldred School Board elections uncontested, it may be several more years before someone has the courage to stand up and fight against the status quo. Give me a seat on the school board, and I’ll save that seat for you.

Polls are open next Tuesday, May 19 from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the Eldred High School. You need not be registered with the school. If you are a registered voter living in the district, this change can be yours!  Read more

Siegel for Eldred school board

I would like to express my support for Brian Siegel for the Eldred School Board. In the brief time I have known Brian, I have found that he is not only young, ambitious, passionate and committed, but he is willing to ask the tough questions and, perhaps most importantly, to listen for the answer.

With three young children, Brian has a personal stake in the success of our school system and, if he is given the opportunity, he can make a positive difference for many years to come.

John Conway
Barryville, NY

Smart voting at ECS

The current Eldred Central School District (ECS) board candidate running for re-election is attempting to promote his financial responsibility. I say, if anyone has shown financial responsibility over the past five years, it has been the voters. The people voted down Proposition 3 (repair reserve) in May 2010, and a second time at a December vote the same year. My interest was piqued. Even the “student concert” strategy did not overcome the wisdom of the people.  Read more

School as community center

If there was ever a place where a small school can thrive, it’s right here in our own wonderful community. Blessed with talented, generous, hardworking people, we can accomplish so much if we join our hearts and minds.  Read more

Supporting Ruby and Guccini

It is time for leadership in Pike County, and we support Dave Ruby and Steve Guccini.

Reading the news and letters to the editors, one would assume that most of us are divided along political party lines. However, many may actually be like us: we vote for people, especially in local elections, not parties. We have been registered at one time or another in both parties. We have an opportunity for fresh faces and change in our county government. We want to take it.  Read more

Ruby and Guccini will make Pike more prosperous

Having known Dave Ruby and Steve Guccini for 20-plus years, I know their commitment to the people of Pike County. With Dave and Steve working as one team, these two leaders will bring new and long lasting businesses to Pike County as commissioners.  Read more

Support NY Health, real affordable care

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) envisioned an expanded, improved Medicare-type system, offering high-quality, low-cost comprehensive health coverage, without regard to age, income, employment status or existing health conditions, using providers you want. But as happened with Medicare D, the for-profit health insurance industry hijacked ACA, ensuring that outrageous executive salaries, excessive bonuses, inflated administrative costs and profit-driven policies/operations would continue to make healthcare unaffordable and unattainable for millions of Americans.  Read more

Against fast track for the TPP

At a time when Americans are looking for Congressional leadership, we can’t afford to tie the hands of Congress on the most important trade issues of the day. Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 replicates the old failed model of fast track that enables the President to send already signed trade pacts to Congress for limited floor debate, no amendments, and a straight up-or-down vote. With fast track, Congress loses its ability to ensure that trade pacts protect communities and the environment.  Read more