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December 22, 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.

Sullivan residents protest Supreme Court decision; is a constitutional amendment against corporate personhood possible?

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Members of the group MoveOnSullivanNY travelled in a caravan around the county on January 22 spreading the word about their opposition to the Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  Read more

New York & Pennsylvania officials react to the State of the Union Address

Below are statements issued by Congressman Tom Marino, Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Senator Pat Toomey, Senator Bob Casey and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.  Read more

Congressman Hinchey Will Retire From Congress at End of Current Term

Kingston, NY -- With profound gratitude to the people of New York's 22nd Congressional District and the former 26th Congressional District who he's had the honor of serving, Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today announced that he will not seek reelection and instead will retire from Congress at the end of his current term. The congressman made the announcement at the Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston, New York, which was where he announced his first campaign for Congress in 1992. Hinchey has spent the past 38 years of his life in public service, including 18 years in the New York State Assembly and 20 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Read more

More municipal documents going online in New York

ALBANY, NY — Beginning on February 2, all governments in New York State that have regularly updated websites will be required to post on those sites any documents that are going to be discussed by municipal officials during the regular course of an open meeting. For instance, plans for a new shopping mall would be posted when the developer is seeking permits from a planning board or zoning board.  Read more

Pike training facility completion delayed; lack of communication blamed

The opening of the Pike County Emergency Service Training Facility will probably be delayed for four or more weeks due to two pieces of equipment that have yet to be received from a manufacturer in the nation of Jordan in the Middle East.

The two units, called air handlers, are an essential part of the geo-thermal HVAC heating and cooling system in the new facility.  Read more

Compressor station considered for Deerpark

DEERPARK, NY — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is considering a site in the Town of Deerpark, the Wagoner Meter Station, as a possible location for a compressor station proposed by the Millenium Pipeline.  Read more

Leases seen as conflict of interest at NYS towns training

ALBANY, NY — The consensus of opinion at an ethics course at the recent NYS Association of Towns training for newly elected officials was that it is a conflict of interest for town officials who have signed natural gas leases to make land-use decisions related to natural gas drilling in their towns.  Read more

Day of Action challenges corporate personhood

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The MoveOn Sullivan NY Council is organizing a Day of Action on Saturday, January 21 to seek the community’s support for an amendment to the United States Constitution. It invites those who wish to participate to contact moveon sullivanny@gmail.com.  Read more

Corbett administration fires conservation official

HARRISBURG, PA — Kurt Leitholf, the longtime head of the Citizens Advisory Council that has oversight of the state’s parks and forests, was fired on January 13 by PA Governor Tom Corbett’s administration, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Read more

No funds for frack inspectors in Cuomo budget

ALBANY, NY — Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget provides no funding for the estimated 140 positions deemed necessary for enforcement of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposed natural gas regulations. Cuomo explained the decision by saying, “You would not be hiring staff to regulate hydrofracking unless you believed you were going ahead with hydrofracking, and we haven’t made that determination. So the budget won’t anticipate hydrofracking approval.”

Gas at a glance

Wrongful death suit filed against drilling company and driver

Southeast Directional Drilling of Casa Grande, AZ and company employee James R. Hoffpauir of Montgomery, TX are facing a federal lawsuit filed by the wife of John T. Jones III and his 18-year-old daughter, Allison Jones. The suit claims an overweight truck loaded with drilling mud and driven recklessly, overturned onto a Subaru Legacy driven by John Jones who died despite attempts by his injured daughter to save him. The accident occurred on July 29, 2011 in Susquehanna County.  Read more

Conservation subdivision law considered; Lumberland law would make them mandatory

Most of the attention to the proposed new zoning code for the Town of Lumberland so far has gone to Article 10, which would ban some high-impact industrial uses in the town such as gas drilling. But there is another element of the law that will also represent a significant change: the adoption of mandatory conservation subdivisions in some areas.  Read more

The Heron Restaurant opens in Narrowsburg

The storefront that until recently was the home of the Main Street Café in Narrowsburg has a new restaurant and new proprietors. Marla Puccetti and Paul Nanni opened the doors of The Heron with a soft opening on January 14, and are now open for business. Nanni said that initially the restaurant will be open for breakfast and lunch on the weekdays, and brunch and dinners on the weekend.  Read more

Entrepreneur developing Wayne broadband, empty storefront in Honesdale gets new life

Mike Morris of Beach Lake has a vision. He and his partner Stephen Smith of New York City are developing a broadband data system that will be housed at the former Sullum’s department store at 525 Main Street in Honesdale. When fully operational, the center will employ 20 technicians.  Read more

Samuelson is county chairman

The newly installed Sullivan County Legislature voted to make Scott Samuelson the chairman after the swearing in ceremony at the government center on January 11.  Read more

Hawley solicitor says Herzog is a resident

“Yes, indeed Elaine Herzog is a resident,” Robert Bernathy, solicitor for the Borough of Hawley said during the council meeting on January 11.

“We are not obligated to fill a vacated seat to the candidate who received the next highest vote. We are following the law which falls under Section 901 of the Borough Code,” Bernathy said.  Read more

Catskill Citizens mails 10,300 letters, DEC receives more than 40,000 in total

January 11 was the last day letters to the DEC could be postmarked and still be considered by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the proposed new gas drilling rules. On that day, Bruce Ferguson, a member of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, along with members Carolyn Duke, Jill Wiener, Ann Finneran, Laurie McFadden and Roy Tedoff delivered boxes stuffed with about 10,300 letters to the US Post Office In Callicoon Center.  Read more

Hinchey urges withdrawal of dSGEIS

WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) has urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to withdraw the revised draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS) on high-volume horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale.  Read more

Reward offered for return of Torah

MONTICELLO, NY — The Landfield Avenue Synagogue has put out a reward for the return of a valuable Torah scroll that was stolen from it on December 31. The scroll was obtained in 1997, using funds raised by the congregation over the course of a year, to replace a 100-year-old Torah in battered condition. It was hand-written by a special scribe known as a sefer with the tip of a goose feather, and its estimated worth is $35,000.  Read more

Chef Ramsay to visit River Rock for reality TV show

MILFORD, PA — Chef Gordon Ramsey will be visiting Milford’s River Rock Inn (formerly the Laurel Villa) from January 16 through 20 to make an episode of his new hotel makeover show, “Hotel Hell.”
In the new reality TV show, to be aired on Fox, Ramsay will tour the country to perform makeovers of hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts, similar to his restaurant makeovers on “Kitchen Nightmares.”  Read more