The River Reporter may print submissions of up to 600 words as My Views on its editorial pages. They must be signed and include the correspondent’s phone number. My Views are printed on an as-space-permits basis only; we recommend that readers who want to be sure that their views are represented submit a 300-word letter. No more than one My View from any one author will be printed in any three-month period. The deadline is 1 p.m. on Monday.
The fraudsters behind a pyramid scheme go to great lengths to make the program look like a legitimate multi-level marketing program. Pyramid schemes don’t work unless somebody loses. Those at the bottom of the pyramid are essentially defrauded by those on top.” (www.sec.gov/answers/pyramid.htm) Read more
The derailment of the Metro North 5:54 a.m. from Poughkeepsie was tragic indeed. Derailments are rare, but they do occur more often than we hear about. Most of the derailments happen at low speeds and rarely involve injuries. The 5:54 wasn’t so lucky. As it rounded the curve after the Spuyten Duyvil station, it derailed, left the tracks, and the head car barely missed landing in the Harlem River. The engine and all 10 train cars crashed that morning, most landing on their sides or seriously listing. Read more
Regarding the small privately owned wind turbine electric generator proposed to be placed above Yaegerville Road in the Town of Denning, it should be obvious to everyone that energy produced from clean accessible renewable sustainable “green” resources is better for everyone than to burn coal, or gas, or nuclear fuel in a thermal electric generation facility. We should encourage the use of wind energy. Each project though small, though tall, will be an incremental improvement for our environment. Read more
The same factors that contribute to urban homelessness, that is, a lack of affordable housing and insufficient income, also lead to rural homelessness. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness Geography of Homeless report, there are approximately 14 homeless people on average for every 10,000 people in rural areas. Perhaps the most distinguishing factor of rural homelessness is the access to services. Many rural homeless assistance services lack the infrastructure to provide care to their homeless population. Limited modes of transportation and the tendency for federal programs to focus on urban areas are contributing reasons for the lack of adequate services for the rural homeless. Rural areas also tend to have higher rates of poverty. Read more
With the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change being released lately, scientists are as sure that we are causing the planet to warm by burning fossil fuels as they are that cigarettes kill. We can now see the negative effects of climate change right out of our windows. From extreme floods and mega-droughts affecting our food supplies to sea level rise and higher and more powerful storm surges devastating coastal communities, climate change is costing our economy dearly. Read more
Once again this election season, I received campaign literature with a bold headline: “This is OUR Town!” This time the candidates are Lang and Pierce for town council. I have tried to figure out just who belongs to “Our Town.” I wondered if I owned our town, seeing as how I was born and raised here. Then I thought maybe seniority had something to do with it. I would hope that these are not requirements in either case. Read more
It’s not easy to keep straight in your mind just what the controversial new zoning law in the Town of Delaware is all about. I find this a helpful trick: Draw a square on a piece of paper and then draw a line across it so you have two parts, the top one smaller than the bottom. In the top part, write “DR,” for Delaware River zoning district. In the bottom half, write “RU,” for Rural Use zoning district. Before the changes, there were many parcels of land in Delaware like this. Read more
On November 5, the people of Sullivan County and the entire state face a monumental decision. Do we vote to amend the New York State Constitution to allow class three gaming in New York State? The implications are enormous. What is at stake are the billions of tourism dollars that pass over our borders into New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Canada and now Massachusetts each year. Read more
We are head over heels for your personality
Our relationship with you is life-long
Time spent together is unforgettable
Amazing river, you need a tribute song
Need an artist who resonates with your tempo
Appreciates when the rhythm is slow
Responds to the natural crescendo
Write a chorus that speaks to your flow
A mix of rock for your bottom,
Some blues for your mountain skies
Country for the scenery
Inspired by love, as is seen through your eyes
You mirror the goodness in each of us
And mirror the goodness in the world
An unlimited source of intelligence Read more
Zoning is likely to be a campaign issue this year in the Town of Liberty, at least in part, because town officials are split about whether zoning should be changed to prohibit the expansion of summer camps in residential neighborhoods. What is clear, however, is that in some cases, officials don’t enforce the zoning that already exists. Read more
The “Town Law Manual” published by the New York State Association of Towns states: “When a town board member votes on a proposal before a town board, he or she is representing, through that vote, the views of all of the residents of the town. Thus, a high personal responsibility rests on individual town board members. It requires that they exercise careful consideration in making important decisions which will affect the lives of town residents and businesses.” Read more
Local school districts and sponsors should be commended for taking part in “Rachel’s Challenge” [see the story on page 16]. It is good that our children learn the values of kindness and compassion—a counter viewpoint to the “me first (and only?)” view so prevalent today.
Rachel’s Challenge is a self-described “non-profit, non-political, non-religious organization” that was created in memory of the first student killed at the Columbine High School shooting, Rachel Joy Scott.
Teaching children to be nice to others raises the question “why should we be nice to one another?” Read more
As I reflect on my 20th summer in Sullivan County, the beauty and talent that surrounds me and is activated within me continues to flourish, astound and inspire. Encounters from beginning to end have been an intimate and fulfilling journey. Read more
A growing number of residents in the Town of Delaware are wondering why the town spent about three years redrawing the boundary of the Delaware River (DR) zoning district. There must have been reasons for such a big investment of time and effort. But we still don’t know what they are. Read more
I am more than perturbed at what went on at last night’s Bethel Town Board meeting. You allowed a woman from our community to go on and on about the “dirty Chasidim” strewing garbage all over the lake. She made several defamatory, derogatory and anti-Semitic remarks about a community that has lived peacefully in Bethel for many generations. Read more
At a special meeting of the town board this past Wednesday, the Town of Delaware passed controversial zoning amendments that have attracted of a lot of news coverage and letters in this and other local newspapers. Despite the controversy and public concern, no public comment was allowed at the meeting. The residents in attendance, who have devoted so much time to the issues raised by these amendments, did not deserve this high-handedness. Read more
My grandparents escaped the pogroms of Russia and came to America with the hope that life for their children would be free of the anxiety and poverty that was their European history. And like the Germans, Italians and Irish who preceded them, they faced hostility that lasted a generation or more, but finally found their way, and managed to blend in. Read more
The secrets, the answers, the solutions are most often hidden within the simple basics. Complexity, bureaucracy and rhetoric are fertile breeding grounds for misinformation and untruths, not to mention great cover for those seeking to perpetrate ill will upon humanity. These conditions also provide for the proliferation of viruses, but offer little in the way of solutions. The reason I bring this up is that I believe humanity has been infected with numerous viruses. Not the biological type but rather the type that infects the entire being: the mind, body, and spirit. Read more
A recent Times Herald Record editorial declared that the ability of a “mere majority” of legislators to amend Sullivan County’s Charter was hasty, emotional and bad governance, and that only the public should have the power to amend the charter. It expressed concern that the amendment would deter qualified job applicants for the county manager position, and that it would further deter an appointee from acting boldly and with vision, due to perceived lack of job security. Read more
The current zoning regulations for the Town of Delaware’s properties within the designated Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Corridor are simple, clear, and straightforward.
The proposed zoning amendments for some properties within the river corridor are not. Read more
[This article, written by Indian artifact hunter Stephan R. Woll, is dedicated to the memory of John (Jack) B. Niflot, Town of Fremont Councilman and Basket Historical Society President who died at his home on June 2.] Read more
The zoning amendments currently before the town board in the Town of Delaware have had a bumpy ride.
Originally they included gas compressor stations as a special use. The board pretty quickly dropped that. Was that because of the public outcry? For the sake of an easier environmental review process? We were never told why.
The amendments also originally gutted the town’s noise law. When this was pointed out, there was denial that the amendments did not gut the noise law. But they did. Eventually that part was also dropped. Read more
“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
—John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Those words, spoken by President Kennedy during his inaugural address, resonated with the entire country. They told the world what freedom truly means: being able to choose what you want to do for your nation. Rather than the dictates of the state telling people what to do, it is the people stepping forward. It is the people asking what we can do for our great nation that gave us our liberty, to ensure the continued liberty of our children. Read more
A message from the publisher
By Laurie Stuart
The cicadas are on a 17-year cycle. I seem to be on one that is seven. For it was seven years ago that I packed up a few boxes and moved myself to Berkeley, CA for 10 months. That time it was for seminary; this time I am packing for a ministerial internship.
Interestingly, I don’t plan these things. Read more
On June 20, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the House version of the 2013 Farm Bill. It received a solid trouncing, going down in defeat, 195 to 234. Obviously, the House leadership is challenged with a House majority that defies being led and with an inability to build consensus. A dose of cluelessness, too, as both Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, Collin Peterson, (D-MN) were convinced they had the necessary votes for passage until the vote was actually underway. Read more
Is there more plastic debris spread upon the American landscape than stars in the sky? I think so.
The spread of litter and trash may have reached the point of no return, as far as our ability as a people to turn back the clock and reverse this stain upon our nation, making the United States one of the dirtiest places in the world. The ever-present evidence shows clearly our loss of a “land ethic.” Read more
There you are, moving gracefully as a beauty queen. In breathtaking ways your margins turn this way, and sway that way, around the curves of earth’s body. Statuesque rocks on either side—standing holy as the pearly gates.
Creeks and streams full with energy and anticipation. Traveling from afar, driven—full of purpose, as they rush to join you, to generously donate whatever you need, to give their abundance, and assure your existence—eventually disappearing—becoming one with you. Read more
On May 15, 2013, Dr. David Sager was terminated from his position as the deputy commissioner of the Sullivan County Department of Family Services (DFS). He was given no warning or explanation—just a letter from DFS Commissioner Randy Parker telling him to collect his belongings and leave.
In recent months, news outlets, employees and taxpayers have cheered Sager and Parker for streamlined procedures, client support and cost-savings at DFS. Read more
The Town Board in Delaware will hold a public hearing on May 29 to discuss proposed zoning amendments. Originally the amendments included a provision allowing gas compressor stations as a permitted special use. That section was removed at the May town board meeting without much discussion.
But the board did not remove the section gutting Delaware’s noise law. A gas compressor station could obviously come to town without any special provision in the zoning law. The weaker the noise law, the more attractive the town. Is this the reason for gutting the noise law? Read more
It has been nearly a year and a half since I began my tenure serving as Wayne County’s coroner. Something that continues to impress me is the stunning reality that no two deaths are exactly the same. Certainly, details of one case may spark flashbacks to previous events investigated by the Coroner’s office; however, the specific and very personal circumstances of each death make my duties a very sensitive experience indeed. Read more
Dec. 14, 2012, was my wakeup call. I was woefully ignorant about the gun violence in this country prior to that day. When I heard of the senseless killings of those children and teachers in Newtown, CT, I was brought to my knees in my living room in horror and sadness. I know Newtown; I lived there. It is just like my current Hudson Valley home, a small town filled with great caring people. That day, I counted down the minutes until 3:05 p.m. when I could go pick up my son from Kindergarten. I ran all the way to the school, held him in my arms and did not want to let him go. Read more
Others have gone before us who protected Grandmother Earth and did not poison her land, air and waters.
Others have gone before us who respected Grandmother Earth and all of her birds, fish and animals, people who, to feed themselves, took these creatures’ lives with deepest reverence and a sense of gratitude for having food today.
Others have gone before us who treasured Grandmother Earth, not for her gold and silver or black diamond coal or oil that we plunder, but for her ability to sustain us. Knowing this, they humbly took only what they needed to sustain themselves. Read more
As you already know… WJFF is in crisis.
Just like anything painful, crisis can be a good thing if we are willing to find purpose in it.
In that regard, I would like to offer some thoughts and proposals to consider:
In the case of WJFF, what has been festering for quite a while has now erupted, which means we have an opportunity to re-form in a way that aligns us with our true purpose—that of a community radio station. For me, the way we do that is crucial to its success and healing. Read more
April is National Donate Life month and it serves as a powerful reminder that by simply checking “yes” on your driver’s license, someone’s life can be saved. This nearly effortless action allows you to give the most precious gift anyone could ever receive, the gift of life. Read more
Let’s talk about WJFF.
People who have been following the local news know that something is up at WJFF. They know that a big meeting—standing-room-only at the village meeting room in Jeffersonville—took place on March 20. They know that frustrated volunteers and listeners spoke passionately, eloquently and sometimes forcefully to the board and to the station manager about the substantial degradation of our once vibrant, responsive and community-centered radio station. Read more
Greetings—sitting on your bank, listening to the music of a forest that is waking up from a long winter’s nap.
Your borders, thick with green, songs of spring, and hungry whitetails filling their bellies.
Sentimental memories of assorted bungalows and tiny triangle-shaped houses peeking through the fields and woods.
Trips downstream never get tiring. Read more