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July 30, 2014
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NARROWSBURG, NY — Music, art, and the environment take center stage at Riverfest on July 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street in Narrowsburg, overlooking the Upper Delaware River.
At 12:30 p.m., festival-goers will have an opportunity to bid live on about five dozen original works of art created especially for the occasion at the Riverfest poster auction. The posters can be previewed at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) gallery on Main Street and online at www.artsalliancesite.org.
For more information on Riverfest, turn to page 20.

Employing off the books; the art of getting around workers’ comp

Contractor Patrick Murtagh estimates that there are hundreds of construction employees who work off the books every season in Sullivan County.  Read more

Monticello Motor Club defended

Ari Straus, president and one of the owners of the Monticello Motor Club, turned out to the government center on August 11 to defend the facility and to spell out for lawmakers the benefits it provides to the community.  Read more

LEAF: life-changing nature internships

Preparing tomorrow’s environmental leaders is an effort underway today, in a special program with a 17-year history conducted by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) is a long-term initiative to empower future conservation leaders and equip them with the skills and knowledge to address pressing environmental challenges.  Read more

Illegal fishponds to be closed; no permits sought before construction

A blue heron was trapped in monofilament line that had been strung across the pond to prevent it and other birds from eating the teaming tilapia fish in the water below. Exhausted, the big bird struggled to lift its head out of the water to take a breath then let its head drop back below the surface.  Read more

Support sought for special memorial

As September nears, volunteers involved with the 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) Memorial Monument in the Town of Highland continue working to complete tasks and to raise the necessary funds to establish the community site. But can it be done?  Read more

Peace Vodka unveiled

The Dancing Cat Saloon, located on Route 17B, just a stone’s throw from Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, has been up and running for more than a year. But the Catskill Distilling side of the business is now offering its first locally distilled product called Peace Vodka.  Read more

Firefighting: a family affair

Residents of the Town of Lumberland and surrounding region can rest more soundly now that six young men from the area have completed the demanding Sullivan County Fire Training Center Firefighter One course and will shore up the ranks of their town’s firefighting team.  Read more

News in brief

Rally pushes jobs, not spending cuts

MONTICELLO, NY — Citizens led by local MoveOn members rally in front of the Monticello office of Congressman Maurice Hinchey on August 10. Among them were Kathie Aberman, who waved a sign that said, “Corporate America: Share your Wealth with the Workers! Create JOBS not higher profits!”  Read more

'Little Farm Show' performances postponed

BARRYVILLE AND CALLICOON, NY — The performances of "The Little Farm Show" originally scheduled for this week's Barryville and Callicoon farmers' markets have been postponed. The Barryville show has been postponed to Saturday, September 3 at 12 noon.

As of 2 p.m. on Friday, a new date for the Callicoon show on Sunday, September 4 was tentative but not confirmed. We will post the confirmation or an alternate date as soon as it is available.

Post offices face “right-sizing”

The United States Postal Service (USPS) can no longer service the current 32,000 retail offices, so some are going to go.
Seven local post offices appear on a “study list” of possible closures, which probably means that they, if not closed totally, will be “right-sized.”  Read more

Holbert defends bluestone quarry, lawyer ups the ante

“None of my detractors have ever been harmed in any way by me or my business; two of my biggest detractors are trying to sell their over-priced riverfront homes.” That was from Wayne Holbert who spoke at a meeting of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) on August 4, about the Holbert Bluestone Quarry in Lackawaxen, PA.  Read more

News in brief

Shots fired outside Monticello housing complex
MONTICELLO, NY — Monticello police are investigating a shots-fired incident that occurred at approximately 9:40 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2 at the Evergreen Drive housing complex in the village of Monticello. A 2005 Dodge caravan being operated by a 28-year-old Monticello woman was struck twice by gunfire as she was driving out of the complex. Also in the vehicle were the woman’s four children (two sets of twins ages two and eight).  Read more

Another referendum on Tusten bookkeeper coming; temporary position is created

An audio recording of the meeting of the town board on August 8 reveals a heated exchange of words and accusations that eventually led to the board voting in favor of another referendum of the bookkeeper position.  Read more

Voices from the Narrowsburg Food Pantry

The food pantry had only been open for 15 minutes on July 28, when there was a line out the door. Adults waited with their children to receive rationed food from the ecumenical food pantry in Narrowsburg.  Read more

Lumberland learns more about zoning rewrite

The Town of Lumberland recently conducted an informational meeting to answer questions on the proposed rewrite of its existing zoning law, a process prompted by the earlier update of the town’s Comprehensive Plan and performed by the Zoning Rewrite Committee over the past two years.  Read more

Callicoon takes the Golden Feather

The top award of the night went to the Callicoon Business Association for the project they pursued. The project included the installation of window boxes, planters and historic panels at the Callicoon Train Station, enhancement of the entrance to Callicoon with freshly painted murals and flowers, and the installation of a new nature and fitness trail at the Delaware Valley Youth Center. The group received the Golden Feather Award, which is worth $25,000.  Read more

Hawk’s Nest project plows along

Work is underway at the Hawk’s Nest area of Route 97, where drainage improvements and other masonry repairs, including restoration of mortar-laid stone along the cliff’s edge, is being completed by RVS Construction Corporation of Astoria.  Read more

Groups file lawsuit against DRBC, Damascus Citizens files separately

Three groups have filed a lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the issue of hydraulic fracturing. The groups are the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) the Delaware RiverKeeper Network and the Columbia Environmental Law Clinic.  Read more

Police chase ends in crash in Ellenville

On August 5, 2011, State Police in Wurtsboro attempted to pull over a vehicle in the Village of Wurtsboro for a Vehicle and Traffic Violation. The operator, Joseph Boraski, a 34 year old Port Chester resident, refused to pull over and led troopers in a pursuit that terminated in Ellenville when he struck a utility pole.  Read more

Delaware claims fifth drowning victim

SKINNERS FALLS, NY — The third person to drown in the Upper Delaware River in just over a week, and the fifth so far this season, was recovered by divers just before dusk on August 4.

Search and rescue crews located the body of 19-year-old Najee Powell from Ridgefield Park, NJ below the Skinners Falls Rapids where the young man had been swimming with a group of 11 friends between the ages of 17 and 21.

According to National Park Service Chief Ranger Joe Hinkes,the group attempted to swim across the river from the New York side. None were wearing lifejackets.  Read more