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October 23, 2014
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

MONTICELLO, NY — The last commission to examine the Sullivan County Charter was convened in 2005. It met twice a month for two years and ultimately recommended changes to the county.

This process is scheduled to occur every 10 years, so the county legislature is beginning the process of forming a new commission, and the co-chair of the previous commission, Robert Green, met with the legislature to give his input on how the process might play out.

Connecting farms and markets, building community

Attendees from Sullivan and surrounding counties congregate at the trade show for the Farm to Market Connection conference held at the CVI building on March 25. The conference, organized by the Pure Catskills Buy Local Campaign, featured keynote speaker Chris Fowler of Syracuse First, who discussed the importance of localization vs. globalization with regard to small businesses in general and agriculture in particular, and a “transformational, not transactional” paradigm of economic development that targets community building as well as economic growth.  Read more

New lead in 1996 North Branch murder;‘I think he just wanted to kill somebody’

In 1996, the body of 48-year-old Demetrius Carter was found in a basement of a North Branch residence. Carter had been shot, tied up with duct tape and rolled up into a rug. The residence at the time was called Loyalty Lodge and was a home for adult AIDS patients. It was owned by the parents of a man named Besham “Brian” Sugrim.  Read more

The wall comes tumbling down; barrier to Toronto Reservoir public access cleared

In perhaps one of the final acts of the long-running Toronto Reservoir saga, workers on March 27 began disassembling the wall that had blocked the road to the public access area by the dam at the reservoir.  Read more

DEC: State Ban on Residential Brush Burning Began March 16 during High Fire-Risk Season

All residential brush burning is prohibited in smaller communities during the state's historically high fire-risk period from March 16 through May 14, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens reminded New Yorkers today.  Read more

Hinchey: Pond Eddy Bridge Replacement Plan Wastes Taxpayer Dollars

WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today wrote New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald to request that plans to replace the Pond Eddy Bridge in Sullivan County be changed to preserve and improve the current historic bridge. According to the Federal Highway Administration, NYSDOT plans to spend more than $5 million in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for the construction of a new bridge, which has an estimated total price tag of $12 million.  Read more

Ground to be broken for fly fishing museum addition

Ground will be broken for a two-story 5000-square-foot addition to the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum (CFFCM) Paul Dahlie Education Building at the opening day ceremonies at the museum on April 1. The addition will house the Catskill Rodmakers Workshop and Heritage Craft Center on the lower level and on the upper, the Wulff Gallery.  Read more

Residential brush burning ban in effect

NEW YORK STATE — All residential brush burning is prohibited during the state’s historically high fire risk period beginning March 16 through May 14. The risk is especially high this year due to the lack of snow cover and meltoff.  Read more

Nominations open for ‘Women of Distinction’

NEW YORK STATE — State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) invites local residents from the 42nd Senate District to nominate friends, coworkers and neighborhood leaders whose outstanding work on behalf of their communities make them deserving of a special recognition by the State Senate as a New York “Woman of Distinction.”  Read more

Highland adopts comprehensive plan

The Town of Highland Town Board voted unanimously to adopt its 2012 Comprehensive Plan following a lengthy process that involved hundreds of volunteer “person hours,” workshops and two public hearings. Copies of the plan are available at the town hall in Eldred. A zoning rewrite process is now underway. The Phase One Zoning review, focused on heavy industrial uses, has already begun. Volunteers are still needed to participate in Phase Two. Call supervisor Andrew Boyar at 845/557-8901 for more information.

Community garden planned for Hawley

Kyle Hannel would like to build a community garden in Riverside Park. And to move forward with his intention, Hannel, a student at Lackawanna College Lake Region Center, approached the Hawley Borough Council on March 14. He said he is working on the project with his friend, Sean Brown, also of Hawley.  Read more

Lumberland to clamp down on amplified sound; another public hearing set for zoning rewrite

The Town of Lumberland Town Board began discussing the need to address noise levels at its monthly meeting on March 14. The move came in response to a letter of complaint filed by the Loch Ada Taxpayers Association (LATA) as well as the first permit request of the upcoming camp season, which seeks a “noise permit” allowing sound to be generated until 11:30 p.m. on most weekends through the summer, as well as some weekdays.  Read more

WCD to launch county-wide committee on biomass

The Wayne Conservation District (WCD) held its monthly meeting on March 14. Among the topics discussed, the board of directors approved establishment of a county-wide committee on the development of biomass as part of an effort to “keep county farmland in farmland,” according to WCD director Robert Mueller.  Read more

New precious metals law passed;DA rebuts gold dealers’ claims

The Sullivan County Legislature on March 15 held a public hearing on a new law that regulates the second-hand sale of jewelry, gold and other precious metals. With the price of gold soaring and the recession still hurting, thefts of jewelry from private homes have spiked in recent months.  Read more

Commissioners and judge approve bond for new courthouse annex; new bond sale consolidates old debt

The action by the Pike County Commissioners—with the absence of Judge Joseph Kameen, who is a party to the bond sale—approved the issuance of a $12 million bond to pay for a new annex to the ancient courthouse.  Read more

Hunter returns to Nutshell; R&B artist launches U.S. tour in Lake Huntington

James Hunter appeared at the Nutshell Arts Center in 2006 and, according to a press release about his next performance there, scheduled for March 23, that first performance boosted his profile in the United States because of a favorable review in The New York Times.  Read more

Bethel public hearing on drilling ban; one more time, with passion

Four years into it, the voices raised in the public debate about gas drilling and fracking can bring just as much passion to their arguments as they did at the outset. Four years into it, new voices continue to join the debate on both sides of the issue.  Read more

Gathering to protest one more time; whose responsibility is the rock wall?

Update as of March 21: According to Friends of Toronto co-chair Mary Ann Burke, a judge has dismissed a requiest for an injunction to keep the public off of The Chapin Estate easement that leads to the reservoir, and Alliance has promised to remove the rock wall as sooon as possible.  Read more

Apple tree pruning workshop scheduled

Expert orchardist Roger Hill will lead a hands-on workshop about the fine art of pruning apple trees on March 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. at O’Neill’s Orchard, 417 Upper Woods Road, Honesdale, PA.

Hill has been transitioning the orchard from traditional growing practices to organic. Participants will also be able to tour a geodesic greenhouse. Learn more about Hill’s work at the O’Neill orchard at www.riverreporteronline.com/feature/16/2011/06/02/going-organic-roger-hi....  Read more

Legislators agree to Apollo plan; new conditions in the deal

The Sullivan County legislators voted unanimously on March 15 to pass a resolution that transfers parcels at and around the Apollo Plaza to the Sullivan County Funding Corporation for the purpose of attracting a big box store and other retail outlets.  Read more

Cappelli sues EPT, Empire

Developer Louis Cappelli’s Concord Associates has filed a federal lawsuit against Empire Resorts and Entertainment Properties Trust (EPT), alleging that the latter broke anti-trust laws in collaborating to block his racino plans for the site of the old Concord Hotel. The suit seeks $1.5 billion in damages.

Cappelli still owns about 116 acres of the hotel site, but Empire Resorts and Entertainment Properties Trust now own the balance of the 1600 acres once belonging to the hotel. The transfer of property was part of a 2010 settlement of a legal dispute, in which both sides sued each other.  Read more