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July 13, 2014
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TRR photos by Fritz Mayer

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The torrential rains came again to the Upper Delaware Valley, resulting in flooding, closed roads, evacuations and thousands of residents without power. But this time, there were no serious injuries.

News in brief

Life jackets to be required in cold weather

PENNSYLVANIA — At its quarterly business meeting on September 27, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) amended various boating regulations. As part of the regulation changes, boaters will be required, beginning November 1, 2012, to wear life jackets on boats less than 16 feet in length and on canoes and kayaks during the cold weather months from November 1 through April 30. The change is intended to protect boaters from the dangers of cold water shock if they fall into the water.  Read more

What did we learn from the two hurricanes?

Last Tuesday, October 4, Transition Honesdale called a meeting of local residents, and asked what was learned from the two hurricanes. One thing learned by the group gathered in the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Community Room was that hardly any of the cell towers in the area had generators and went dead with the loss of power.  Read more

Fewer grant dollars from Albany? Sullivan is ‘stepchild in the outhouse’

Signs of belt tightening and fear of more of it were on display at the government center on October 6. Luiz Aragon, the planning commissioner, asked lawmakers for a resolution to apply for state grant money through a new process called the Consolidation Funding Application.  Read more

Fewer grant dollars from Albany? Sullivan is ‘stepchild in the outhouse’

Signs of belt tightening and fear of more of it were on display at the government center on October 6. Luiz Aragon, the planning commissioner, asked lawmakers for a resolution to apply for state grant money through a new process called the Consolidation Funding Application.  Read more

Heating assistance dollars slashed; a cold wind from Washington

At a meeting of the Health and Family Services Committee at the government center on October 6, commissioner Chris Cunningham warned lawmakers that it may be an especially cold winter for low-wage residents in Sullivan County.  Read more

Tusten residents express support for Article 14; zoning update would ban gas drilling

The second of two public hearings on the proposed zoning rewrite for the Town of Tusten brought out more than 80 people with 49 of them stepping up to the microphone to weigh in on the matter. Of that number, about 45 spoke out in opposition to gas drilling, or in favor of retaining Article 14 in the proposed changes, which would prohibit high-impact industrial uses such as gas drilling in the town.  Read more

Evergreen School opens to wide acclaim One-of-a-kind environmental school offers unique lessons

There’s a brand new school that just opened that is green on the outside and green on the inside. It’s called the Evergreen Elementary School and it is the newest school in the Western Wayne school district. It is called Evergreen because it is a totally green school in construction and instruction. It will be attended by pre-Kindergarten to grade 5 students.  Read more

Banishing bullying; tackling the negatives with positive reinforcement

Teasing, while unpleasant, is the sort of activity that stops when the perpetrator realizes that the target is hurt. Bullying is something else altogether—done deliberately to hurt another’s feelings—and is very damaging.  Read more

DVAA celebrates 35 years

A large crowd filled the Tusten Theatre and the Delaware Arts Center for a gala celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) on October 9. The program included music and poetry from artists who have benefitted from the various programs, administered by the DVAA, as well as a short documentary on its history.  Read more

BOCES nursing program gets new digs

About 60 instructors, students, visitors and friends climbed up two flights of stairs from the Eugene Nesin Theatre to the new location of the BOCES Health Occupations/Nursing Program. There, on October 5, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was performed, and visitors toured the classrooms, checking out the medical mannequins and other teaching equipment.  Read more

Large majority opposes fracking in Sullivan;500 county residents polled

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY – A new poll conducted by Pulse Opinion Research shows that a large majority of residents in Sullivan County oppose hydraulic fracturing and favor the enactment of zoning regulations that would restrict it.  Read more

DRBC Postpones Vote on Draft of Natural Gas Regs, Special Meeting Rescheduled for November 21

WEST TRENTON, N.J. (Oct. 7) – The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) today announced that the previously scheduled October 21, 2011 special meeting for the commissioners to consider draft natural gas development regulations has been postponed.  Read more

News in brief

Grants awarded to improve forests

UPPER DELAWARE BASIN — Two dozen landowners across three states will share more than $175,000 in Common Waters Fund grants to develop forest management plans and implement sustainable management practices that protect water quality. The awards were distributed in September by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation.  Read more

Albany blinks on eye tests

The plan was to allow the 2.4 million drivers in New York State who seek to renew their driving licenses each year to “self-certify” that their vision is up to par; they would no longer need a vision test performed at the many Department of Motor Vehicle offices around the state, or a note from their eye-doctor, to get a driver license renewal.  Read more

Sullivan candidates endorse full disclosure

Legislators in Sullivan County are currently required to disclose the clients they receive money from. Under proposed new rules, legislators and others would be required to disclose not only those clients, but also all clients that have been referred to the firm by the official. So, for example, a legislator who works as a lawyer for a law firm would be required not only to disclose his own clients, but also those he has referred to other lawyers at the firm.
This rule was adopted by state officials earlier this year, and now a group of residents is urging Sullivan County legislators to adopt a similar rule.  Read more

Do conservation subdivisions make sense in Sullivan County? Builder questions proposed zoning changes

Charles Petersheim’s new offices in Eldred reflect a measure of success that is rare in this era of economic hardship. Through his company, Catskill Farms, Petersheim has built and sold 100 homes since 2004 in various towns in Sullivan County, mostly to weekenders from the city.  Read more

Highlights for Children creates new building

He calls it a barn but it’s a lot more than that.
It will be a center for the many workshops for writers and illustrators of children’s literature. Highlights for Children, which now has about two million subscribers, leads the industry of magazines produced for youngsters.  Read more

Gas at a glance

Steingraber to dedicate $100,000 Heinz Award to fight hydrofracking

Ecologist and author Sandra Steingraber has been named the recipient of a Heinz Award, which comes with a $100,000 unrestricted cash prize, in recognition of her research and writing on environmental health, as reported on Truthout ( Steingraber has announced her intent to devote the award to the fight against hydrofracking in upstate New York, where she lives with her husband and their two children.  Read more

Watching water quality: ‘Monitoring for Natural Gas Development’ underway

For 50 years, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has focused its work on protecting the waters of the Delaware River Basin (DRB). In addition to a decade-long biomonitoring program and other efforts detailed earlier in this series, the DRBC has focused lately on implementing its newest program, “Monitoring for Natural Gas Development (MNGD).”  Read more

Corbett unveils plan for gas fees

Tom Corbett has always been clear that he would not accept a tax on the soaring number of gas wells in Pennsylvania tapping into the Marcellus Shale. But he has now announced a plan that would allow counties to impose significant impact fees on gas wells.  Read more