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December 20, 2014
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ALBANY, NY — During a cabinet meeting in Albany on December 17, Howard Zucker M.D., the Acting New York State Commissioner of Health, said that he could not recommend that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) should be allowed to go forward.

Herding cats in Bethel

Every municipality in New York State that issues dog licenses must also appoint an animal control officer to control the dog population, whether domestic or feral.

Municipalities that don’t issue dog licenses have the option of appointing an animal control officer. But there is nothing in the law about the control of domestic cats, and the feral cat populations can get rather high in many municipalities.

The Town of Bethel has developed a plan to help cat owners spay or neuter their cats and, at the same time, help tamp down the feral cat population.  Read more

Sullivan West School budget vote scheduled

The vote for the Sullivan West School District 2012-2013 budget will be held May 15 at each of the Sullivan West election districts between the hours of 12 noon and 9 p.m. The voting locations are the Delaware Youth Center, the Jeffersonville school building and the Tusten-Cochecton Library.

Poor correlation between job growth, IDA exemptions

ALBANY, NY — According to an annual performance report released by state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli on New York’s Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs), there appears to be limited correlation between higher IDA tax exemptions and job creation.  Read more

DVAA accepting grant applications

Administered by Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA), the Sullivan County Arts & Heritage Grants Program (SCAHGP) is accepting applications for 2012 funding for nonprofits to present or produce cultural programming in Sullivan County.  Read more

Advisory members sought for UDC water committee

The Upper Delaware Council’s Water Use/Resource Management (WURM) Committee seeks to recruit non-voting, advisory members to provide guidance on issues that regularly come before it.  Read more

Western Sullivan Library gets budget approved, new director and trustees

The Western Sullivan Public Library’s 2012-2013 budget has been approved by the voters. Also on the ballot were three board of trustees positions. All three candidates were approved. They are returning board member Pam Reinhardt and two new members, Sui-Ling Ruiz and Barbara Winfield. All three will serve five-year terms.  Read more

Pike does not adopt impact fee legislation; Commissioners will wait for a well to appear

At the commissioners’ meeting on May 2, Pike County Commissioner Karl Wagner clarified the county’s decision not to sign the drilling impact fee legislation, called Act 13.

When he attended the recent convention of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), he spoke to Pamela Witmer, a member of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC), asking if the county should approve the impact fee legislation, even though there are no drilled gas wells in the county.

It’s the PUC’s job to implement aspects of the Impact Fee Legislation, he said.  Read more

After you frack, tell us what you used; banned in Vermont; can frack fluid migrate?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government has proposed a new rule related to hydraulic fracturing that would require the disclosure of the ingredients of fracking fluids used on public and Indian lands. The rule has raised criticism from some because the disclosure would come after the fracking has already taken place.  Read more

Making history in Wayne County; three-way collaboration on

For the first time in recent memory, three neighboring Wayne County municipalities are making plans together to improve parks and recreation programs in the region.  Read more

Farm youth work directive reversed; opponents say decision is bad for young migrant workers

CAMP HILL, PA — The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) joined other state farm bureaus in a campaign that successfully reversed a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) directive that would have placed limits on the ability of youth to work on family farms. The DOL regulation would have also jeopardized the role of parents in teaching their children the value of on-the-farm work, PFB officials said.  Read more

Leeward workers begin repairs to the Honesdale municipal pool

Workers from the Leeward Company are doing repair work at the Honesdale pool free of charge. “We want to see the pool open for the community so we are donating all the concrete work at the site,” said Eric Linde, owner of the company. Some other businesses have joined the effort and Linde encourages more to come on board.

No going to the YMCA in Monticello, for now; Carbon Harvest project at closed landfill is still a go

Ira Besdanski, CEO of YMCA Middletown, which includes facilities in Monroe and Monticello, made an appearance at the Sullivan County Government Center on May 3 to help lawmakers get a clearer picture of the nature of the organization.  Read more

Barbara Yeaman garners statewide award; Conservancy founder honored for lifetime achievement

POCONO MANOR, PA — “She’s the stealth bomber of conservation causes,” declared Delaware Highlands Conservancy (DHC) board president Greg Belcamino as he invited DHC founder Barbara Yeaman to the podium at the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association’s (PALTA) annual conference on May 4. Before a large crowd, Yeaman was presented with the organization’s Lifetime Conservation Leadership Award.  Read more

Foreclosure mobile visits Monticello

Four years into the Great Recession, the outlook for homeowners facing foreclosure has not improved. In fact, according to a report from the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP), “In 2011, more than 345,000 mortgages were in default or delinquent in New York State. This staggering number is based on 90-day pre-foreclosure notices that New York now requires servicers to send to homeowners.”  Read more

Foodstock a hit for WJFF

There were a total of 62 vendors at Foodstock this year, offering a wide array of locally produced culinary delights ranging from cheeses to produce to locally made wine and spirits. The offerings drew a crowd of over 500 people to the Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center in the Beechwoods.  Read more

‘Wayne Mountain Men’ win Envirothon

For 26 years, a local educational competition has been held which tests student knowledge, skills and problem-solving capabilities related to the earth’s natural resources. This year, the top prize for the Pike/Wayne Envirothon went to the Wayne Mountain Men from Western Wayne High School.  Read more

Live webcast of peregrine banding on May 9

Two peregrine chicks that hatched in a nest on the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg, PA will be banded during a live webcast of the event at 1 p.m. on May 9, according to the PA Department of Environmental Protection, which hosts the webcam with which the nest has been monitored.

The nestlings will be weighed, examined and the sex will be determined before leg bands are attached. The bands will provide for an individual signature that identifies the birds when they fledge, disperse and seek out their own nesting territories.  Read more

Sentiment at Highland hearing favors anti-fracking law

ELDRED, NY - Public comments leaned almost three to one in favor of the Town of Highland's Local Law#3, a zoning amendment that would ban high-impact industrial uses including horizontal hydrofracking in the town, at a public hearing held at the Eldred Junior/Senior High School on Friday, May 4.  Read more

Illegal dumping of drilling mud in Bradford County State Game Lands

WILLIAMSPORT — The Department of Environmental Protection has fined RW Products LLC of Wheeling, WV, $21,029 for the illegal disposal of a reported 800 gallons of waste drilling mud on State Game Lands 219 in Warren Township, Bradford County, in December 2011.

“A driver for RW Products admitted that he intentionally dumped a load of oil-based waste drilling mud onto the ground,” North-central Waste Management Program Manager Patrick Brennan said. “This violated the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act and the department’s penalty reflects this blatant disregard for the environment.”  Read more

Volunteer for Liberty zoning committees

The Town of Liberty is looking for volunteers for a variety of zoning-related committees. In January of 2008, the Town and Village of Liberty adopted a joint comprehensive plan (www.townoflib erty.org), a roadmap for community development.  Read more