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July 03, 2015
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TRR photo by Amanda Reed

REGION — Fireworks were seen as a fitting way of celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence even before the famous document was signed in 1776. As the document was being created, John Adams, who would go on to become the second President of the United States, wrote to his wife Abigail that the signing would live on in history.

Burning bans

Burn bans currently in effect in our area are:

New York State
March 16 through May 14, statewide
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.

Until further notice
Blooming Grove Township, PA has lifted its burning ban effective May 3. Updates are available at the town office at 570/775-6461 Ext. 10.

Health director calls for Sullivan health forum

a meeting of the Sullivan County Legislature’s Health and Family Services Committee, public health director Carol Ryan proposed the idea of a health forum to discuss the county’s low health ranking in the recently released national report, “County Health Rankings.” (See “Sullivan County nearly most unhealthy” in last week’s River Reporter.)  Read more

DV school plans on public view; hearing scheduled

Plans for the Delaware Valley (DV) School District’s planned $23 million elementary school are now available online at dvsd.schoolwires. They may also be viewed at the district administration building.  Read more

Callicoon holds comp plan workshop

There will be a workshop on the Town of Callicoon’s draft comprehensive plan on Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at the town hall in Jeffersonville.  Read more

Lumberland second Upper Delaware town to ban fracking

The Town of Lumberland has joined many other New York municipalities to ban the process of hydrofracking for natural gas with zoning restrictions targeting heavy industrial uses. The action took place at the town board meeting on April 11 when the board unanimously voted to approve the new zoning following a lengthy zoning rewrite process. Several of the bans have survived legal challenges, while one is under appeal. The towns of Highland and Bethel are pursuing similar bans.

Jennings calls for forensic audit of records

Borough of Honesdale board member Bob Jennings offered a motion on April 9 for the borough to order a forensic audit of all the records of the recently deposed zoning officer Wayne Earley. The motion was questioned by two members.  Read more

Delaware officials: hands off drilling

As the question of the authority that local governments have relative to gas drilling plays out in the state court, officials of the Town of Delaware have concluded that they do not have the authority to make any zoning regulation related to drilling.  Read more

Cochecton residents want stand on drilling

In a conversation that has been held frequently over the past several months, residents of the Town of Cochecton urged members of the board to take a stand on gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The board has maintained strict neutrality on the matter, and members have said they will be guided by the new rules being developed by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).  Read more

Looking for a liquor bottle litterer

Multiple empty pint bottles of Smirnoff’s Vodka are being discarded at regular intervals along Route 390 in Greentown. Pennsylvania State Police and park officials want the illegal dumping to stop and are asking the public for information related to the activity.  Read more

Highland to hold hearing on proposed law

Alarmed at a process they perceive to be moving too swiftly, representatives of several hunting and fishing clubs in the Town of Highland turned out to raise concerns about a proposed zoning rewrite targeting industrial uses such as gas drilling at the town’s monthly meeting on April 10. The board listened to many of the remarks, but reminded speakers that the session was not a public hearing where comments are received. That hearing has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 4 in the Junior/Senior High School in Eldred.  Read more

Condominium that burned had multiple violations; many residents lost everything

As many as 100 residents of Grandview Palace in Loch Sheldrake were made homeless when a blaze broke out on April 14 and raced through the aging campus. According to Michael De Vulpillieres, a spokesman for the Red Cross, about 80 of those people took temporary shelter at the Paul Gerry Field house at Sullivan County Community College.  Read more

DRBC faces serious funding shortfall

“We are pulling out drought management plans,” Carol Collier, executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) told members of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) at their meeting on April 5. “We’ve received six inches of precipitation across the basin this year, which is about 4 inches below what it should be at this time.”  Read more

Large subdivision approved for dairy farmers; site of former farmland village that never was

Lawrence O’Reilly, a retired dairy farmer from St. Joseph, and his son Thomas, received approval for a large subdivision of 1030 acres in Tyler Hill. Lawrence appeared before the supervisors on April 16, without his son, who is a dairy farmer, and could not attend due to farming duties.  Read more

Brush fire burns at Ten Mile River Scout Camps

When the call went out at approximately 1:50 p.m. on April 16, the Lava and the Narrowsburg fire departments were directed to 351 Grassy Swamp Road, seven miles south of Narrowsburg on the river side of Route 97. The fire, according to Narrowsburg chief Dave Casey, who was the first to drive down the steep one-lane dirt road, had been spotted from Pennsylvania and the coordinates were not confirmed.  Read more

Peregrine eggs begin to hatch

Updated on April 18
PA DEP announces: "Yesterday afternoon, two of the chicks began to pip out of their egg shells. By early this morning, two hatchlings appeared from under the brooding female. They have been fed and appear to be active and healthy. From this point on, the adults will no longer be bored, incubating 24-7. Instead, they will be actively hunting most of the day to provide for the rapidly growing eyases."

Original story:  Read more

From CSA to CSArts; NACL deepens its roots by reaching out

A tried and true practice that has sustained many farms and the communities they serve is being creatively applied to a respected regional theatre. Having experienced the transformative power of community through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at Willow Wisp Farm in Damascus, PA, Tannis Kowalchuk, who assists husband Greg Swartz in operating the farm, began to see possibilities for a similar initiative at NACL Theatre in Highland Lake, where co-founder Kowalchuk is artistic director.  Read more

DEP to discuss Lathrop Compressor Station explosion

WILKES-BARRE -- The Department of Environmental Protection announced today that it will hold a public briefing on Tuesday April 17 to discuss the circumstances surrounding the Lathrop compressor station explosion that occurred March 29 in Springville Township, Susquehanna County.

The 6-8 pm briefing is at Montrose High School, 75 Meteor Way, in Montrose. Representatives from DEP and Williams Partners, LLC, the owners of Lathrop, will be on hand.  Read more

PA court rules local fracking bans can stand for now

HARRISBURG, PA – Today, a Pennsylvania court issued a preliminary injunction (PDF) <earthjustice.org/documents/legal-document/pdf/act-13-challenge-order> against a portion of a controversial state law – Act 13 – that sought to override local zoning laws related to the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The court ruled these local laws can remain on the books and in effect until they are challenged and found invalid.  Read more

Chamber honors 19 at Pride awards

CALLICOON, NY — The Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce will present its 21st annual Pride Awards Gala on Sunday, May 6 at the Villa Roma Resort, honoring 19 individuals throughout Sullivan County. Town Pride Award winners this year are Carol Malek, Malek Properties (Bethel); Joseph and Mary Nosek, Community Service (Callicoon); Eileen Hennessy, writer (Cochecton); Tom Freda, Freda Real Estate (Delaware); Sally J.  Read more