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November 25, 2015
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“Sarah Hale portrait” painted by James Reid Lambdin (1807-1889) — Richard’s Free Library, Newport, NH

REGION — Most Americans know that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims in the fall of 1621, with a feast that was shared with many members of the Wampanoag Tribe of Native Americans. What’s not as well known is that it did not become a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November until many years later.

Fire at Milford compressor; Arson or accident?

MILFORD, PA — A fire that began near midnight on August 8 at the Milford Compressor Station is being investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police as a suspected arson. The fire resulted in an estimated $80,000 in damage to a turbine motor skid, but no one was injured.

The construction of the large compressor, owned by Columbia Pipeline Group, has been actively opposed by residents in the area and also by the group, Stop the Milford Compressor Station.  Read more

Grace Johansen departed

NARROWSBURG, NY — Grace Johansen, who had a long relationship with The River Reporter as an employee and columnist, passed away on August 8 at the age of 86.  Read more

Wrecking ball for Blue Victorian? Jeff residents speak out

The owner asked how many people in the audience would be willing to help save her building known as the Blue Victorian. About 35 of the 50 people in the room raised their hands.  Read more

Tom Kane passes

Tom Kane, a long-time reporter at The River Reporter and an author, has passed away according to sources familiar with the situation. Kane’s body was found in the Upper Delaware River on the afternoon of August 9, about 50 feet south of the Narrowsburg Bridge.  Read more

Farmers’ market directory available

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — A free, educational publication on local farmers’ market information is now available to the public. The Sullivan County Catskills Farmers’ Market Directory offers a listing of area markets that includes dates and times, location, contact information, and a description of what to expect. The directory highlights the importance of, and offers guidance for, supporting agriculture in our community, and eating fresh, healthy foods with your family.  Read more

Antique dealers donate to historical society

MILFORD AND HAWLEY, PA — Thanks to a successful annual antique show and sale last year, representatives from the Wayne, Pike (PA) and Sullivan County (NY) Antiques Dealer Association (WPSADA) recently presented a $500 donation to Lori Strelecki, the executive director of the Pike County Historical Society, to further its mission. The presentation took place at the society’s museum, the Columns. WPSADA President Lynn Valashinas said, “The Pike County organization was one of several selected to benefit from WPSADA’s 2014 event.  Read more

Monticello Elks hold golf tournament

LIBERTY, NY — Monticello Elks Lodge #1544 will hold its annual golf tournament at Grossingers Country Club on Sunday, August 16, with a shotgun start at 12 noon. It’s a scramble format, with dirty water dawgs and refreshments on the course. The cost of $100 includes refreshments, prizes and a steak dinner at the Lodge on North Street. The tournament benefits the Monticello Elks scholarship fund. Call Rich Hugel at 845/856-5341 or Paul Manz at 845/794-7907.

Tourism up in Sullivan

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — According to the board of the Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA), tourist spending for 2014 was up 2.5% over 2013, with the total reaching about $372 million.

Spending was increased across all sectors, including second homes, food and lodging. According to a press release from SCVA, “In Sullivan County alone, spending on second homes totaled $125.8 million, while spending on lodging totaled $143.4 million, up $4 million from 2013.”  Read more

Volunteers to the rescue

POND EDDY, NY — A tree fell across the road on State Route 97 on August 1, temporarily stopping the heavy weekend visitor traffic on the very hot afternoon. Locals Mark Arundel and Ron Schneider also stopped, and Arundel attached a metal chain from his truck to the tree, and pulled it off with the truck. Passersby helped push the tree to the side so traffic could pass on one side before police or fire department arrived.    Read more

Public airs concerns over Narrowsburg bridge

NARROWSBURG, NY — Strongly encouraged by some 400 petition signatures and local agency letters requesting an update on the fate of the Narrowsburg bridge, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) responded by holding a public meeting July 29 to field all questions.

The 1953 bridge has been reduced to a single lane controlled by traffic signals since emergency repairs were completed two years ago to address advanced deterioration of the deck, which had caused a weight limit down-posting to 15 tons on January 8, 2013.  Read more

Bonacic attends Sullivan firefighters parade

LIBERTY, NY — Sen. John J. Bonacic joined Sullivan County fire companies at the 87th annual Sullivan County Volunteer Firefighters Association Parade on August 1 in Liberty. The parade this year celebrated Liberty Fire Department’s 145 years of service to the community. Bonacic presented a Senate Proclamation to the Liberty Fire Company, honoring them for their distinguished service to the people of Liberty and the surrounding area.

The parade features fire departments from all over Sullivan County, and different towns take turns hosting it each year.  Read more

So many reasons to read

MILFORD, PA — How much is it worth to help a grandmother learn to read stories to her grandchild; to help a man, who never expected to work at anything but the family farm, get his GED and a new living; or to help a new citizen candidate read a ShopRite sale flyer or open a bank account?  Read more

Petition opposes Long Eddy expansion; Neighbors organize opposition

LONG EDDY, NY — Sullivan County legislators in November 2014 voted unanimously to pledge $5,000 to help the Delaware Highlands Conservancy purchase a river-front property in Long Eddy next to the existing fishing access there. Now a group of neighbors say they are seeking legal representation in an effort to halt the proposed project.  Read more

Baker Statement on budget impasse

HARRISBURG, PA — Sen. Lisa Baker has issued a statement on the budget standoff in Harrisburg. She said, “The General Assembly approved, before the constitutional deadline, a state budget that would have been the largest in our history. It was not a surprise that Gov. Wolf was dissatisfied with it, but there are ways to resolve such differences without plunging our state into a full-fledged budget crisis.  Read more

Environmental groups laud EPA’s Clean Power Plan

HARRISBURG, PA — Elected officials, labor organizations, health experts, faith leaders, clean energy businesspeople and environmental advocates from across Pennsylvania said there will be myriad benefits from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) newly-released Clean Power Plan (CPP) in a telephone press conference hosted by PennFuture, a statewide environmental advocacy organization. The EPA’s CPP is the first-ever standard to cut carbon emissions from power plants, which environmentalists say are the nation’s single largest source of climate-disrupting carbon pollution.  Read more

Wawayanda plant must address new concerns

WAWAYANDA, NY — An Orange County supreme court judge has ruled that CPV Valley, the company that wants to build a large natural gas power plant in Wawayanda, must address concerns raised in a lawsuit filed by attorney Michael Sussman. The company performed an environmental study in 2010, and was granted a permit by the Town of Wawayanda Planning Board in 2013.  Read more

Giving away Port Jervis bluestone?

PORT JERVIS, NY — At a recent Common Council meeting, many residents spoke about the fate of the city’s old bluestone sidewalks, mostly protesting against a proposed change. Mayor Kelly Decker had reported on Facebook before the meeting he’d been approached by Peter Hill of New England Architectural Center, whose company has been replacing bluestone sidewalks with concrete in other towns in exchange for the bluestone. Hill had offered to replace sidewalks in Port Jervis next to three city parks free of charge, if allowed to take the bluestone.  Read more

Proposed demolition in Jeffersonville; Making way for a better bridge

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — Like the bridge in the neighboring hamlet of Youngsville, the bridge over Laundry Creek in Jeffersonville has been damaged by flooding numerous times over recent years. Also, as with the bridge in Youngsville, the bridge is on a special state list, and every time it rains, the state must pre-position heavy equipment near the bridge and have the bridge monitored by state personnel.  Read more

Normal operations resumed at Cannonsville Reservoir

NYCDEP PRESS RELEASE - The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that drinking water diversions and downstream releases from Cannonsville Reservoir will be reduced to normal levels beginning Sunday due to repair work that has successfully halted the turbid discharge below Cannonsville Dam.  Read more

Neighbors oppose Wawayanda gas plant; Health concerns top the list

WAWAYANDA, NY — Community fears about toxic emissions from the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) gas power plant planned for Wawayanda, NY, have not troubled town supervisor John Razzano. He expressed skepticism about reports of adverse health effects among residents near the Minisink gas compressor seven miles away.

The compressor releases just a fraction of the same emissions the plant would produce. One Minisink family, unable to sell their house, abandoned it. Others sold at a loss, fearing the health implications of symptoms that appeared when the compressor began operation.  Read more