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December 29, 2014
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TRR photo by Isabel Braverman

REGION — They were so committed, active and numerous that a new name had to be created to describe them—fractivists, or activists opposed to high-volume hydraulic fracturing.


Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau has issued a Flash Flood Watch associated with Heavy Rain Potential through late Friday evening. Fanslau said, "The National Weather Service (NSW) has issued a Flash Flood Watch in Sullivan County. Rain, heavy at times will persist across the watch area through late this evening. Rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches are possible in the watch area through midnight. Brief heavy downpours would cause the most significant problems due to the very wet soil conditions.  Read more

Lawmakers vote to change insurance plans; union workers are ‘fearful’

“Self insurance, even with stop loss insurance, is wrought with so many uncertainties that it constitutes a risk of such grate magnitude that is irresponsible, if not potentially reckless.” Those words were written by Sullivan County treasurer Ira Cohen and read by lawmakers David Sager at a special meeting of the legislature on September 22.  Read more

Human Line of Hope raises funds and spirits

The Fourth Annual Human Line of Hope, organized by Eldred businessman Lou Monteleone in the Town of Highland, transpired on September 18 at the intersection of Route 55 and Proctor Road.  Read more

Taking action ‘For the Forest'; citizens urged to act locally for global change

Brisk breezes blowing inland from the lake at Camp Keowa within the Ten Mile River Scout Camp in Narrowsburg meshed magically with a performance of “Inuksuit,” featuring more than 30 musicians playing a variety of rhythm and sound instruments. The John Luther Adams piece is designed to be played outdoors to immerse listeners in a sensory experience of the natural world, combined with human-generated sounds.  Read more

County health insurance policy to change

(Update on September 22: County lawmakers voted seven to one to move forward with moving to a self-insured health-care plan.)

With health insurance costs spiking year after year with no let up in sight, officials in Sullivan County government have been studying the option of changing insurance plans. Currently, the county is enrolled in the New York State Insurance Program (NYSHIP). On September 15, two employees of a company called EBS-RMSCO gave a presentation at the government center in which the county would become self-insured as it was in the past, but this time using a third-party administrator to handle the details.  Read more

Pipeline problems persist;frustration mounts

Keeping up with inspections of two major pipeline projects in Pike County has consumed the limited resources of the small staff at the Pike County Conservation District (PCCD) since spring, when the 12-mile Columbia Gas Pipeline project kicked off, followed closely by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) expansion of its 300 Line. Both projects involve massive amounts of earth disturbance and multiple stream and wetlands crossings.  Read more

Monticello school and political leaders talk about this year’s budget challenges

Monticello Superintendent of Schools Daniel A. Teplesky and Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning Dr. Kenneth Newman met recently with NY State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther to discuss some of the important issues and challenges that will affect school funding and property taxes this year. Their conversations included the newly enacted 2 percent tax levy cap, the need for mandate relief and potential cuts to the district’s state aid monies.  Read more

Sullivan County Sheriff Mike Schiff advises that the back log of pistol permit applications has eased

In February, the Sheriff’s Office encountered a log jam of pistol permit applications when a state worker took the early retirement incentive at the State Office of Mental Health in Albany. The agency is required by law to check its records to determine if an applicant for a New York State Pistol Permit has been treated for mental illness. After the worker retired, no one was hired as a replacement.  Read more

News in brief

Tusten zoning plan to expand business district
NARROWSBURG, NY — The final draft of the proposed changes to the Tusten zoning code call for an expansion of the Downtown Business District in Narrowsburg. Specifically, the district would expand to include all of Erie Avenue on both sides of the street. Currently the district includes only the lot on which The River Reporter is located, the lot of the Yard Sale building and a small stretch of the street across the street from the Narrowsburg School.  Read more

Judge rules against crematorium critics

Things look dark for the neighbors of a proposed crematorium on Route 6 outside of Milford. After a hearing last week, Pike County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph Kameen ruled that the case against the crematorium, presented by its neighbors, was “frivolous” and that they must post a bond in the amount of $232,500 if they wish to continue their case before a higher court.  Read more

Gas at a glance

October 21 meeting set on DRBC drilling regulations

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) announced it has scheduled a special meeting on October 21 to consider regulations covering Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations in the Delaware River Watershed. The DRBC has received more than 69,000 comments on the draft regulations and held six public hearings to collect comments. The meeting will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, N.J. The meeting will not include a public hearing. Visit www.state.nj.us/drbc/newsrel_naturalgas090611.htm for more information.  Read more

Thousands of comments expected on SGEIS; parties weigh in on comment period

The proposed rules regarding gas drilling in New York State have already triggered more than 13,000 comments from the public. With the release of the final draft of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on September 7, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is expecting thousands more in the next 90 days.  Read more

Hancock opposes Scenic Byway proposal;‘ a backdoor attempt… to ban natural gas development’

The board of the Town of Hancock is not happy with the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB). On August 22, the USDB passed a resolution urging all levels of government to adopt a ban regarding some truck uses on Route 97.  Read more

Watching water quality: part two ‘Sondes’ make continuous monitoring possible

Playing an increasingly important role in documenting water quality in the region is a device with an unusual name. Multi-probe datasondes (sondes) are high-tech monitoring devices placed in regional waterways, which will substantially enhance data gathered in the two-decade Scenic Rivers Monitoring Program (SRMP) detailed in last week’s issue of The River Reporter.  Read more

Economic council meets;‘ground up’ economic model sought

When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of 10 regional economic councils in July, he said that they would “redesign the relationship between the state government and businesses to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs statewide.” Further, he said that the councils represented a marked shift “from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes unique assets, harnesses local expertise and empowers each region to set plans and priorities.”  Read more

Empire Resorts donates $100,000 to flood victims

Businessman Tim Lies said, “I come here from Kansas, land of the Wizard of Oz, and we certainly are not strangers to tornados and damage, but I’ve never seen anything quite like what we saw, driving down from Albany, the rivers out of their banks, the flooding, the school closings.”  Read more

World Trade Center monument unveiled

Some 300 people turned out to see the unveiling of the World Trade Center monument in Eldred on September 10. In remarks prepared for the occasion, Town of Highland Supervisor Andy Boyar pointed to several connections between residents of the town, and the events of September 11, 2001, when hijackers reigned down terror from four jumbo jets on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.  Read more

Comments policy changing on The River Reporter website

Starting on September 16, The River Reporter online will accept only comments that are submitted under the user’s real name. If you have already registered under a pseudonym and would like to change your user name, send an email to editor@riverreporter.com with the words “real name” in the subject field and your current user name in the body of the email. Your account will be deleted and you may then reregister using your real name.  Read more

State Roads Closed Due to Flooding in Wayne, Pike – as of 10:00 a.m

Pike County

SR 1014 (Masthope Plank Road) is closed in both directions between St Vincents Point Road and SR 590 in Lackawaxen

SR 1015 (Old Milford/Mountain Ave) is closed in both directions between Blue Ridge Ave in Westfall and Tenth Street in Matamoras

SR 2001 (Bushkill Falls/Mill St) is closed in both directions between Federal Rd in Lehman and Harford/6thStreet in Milford

SR 2001 (Bushkill Falls/Milford/Mill St) is closed in both directions between Raccoon Ct and Pocono Mt. Lake Drive in Lehman  Read more

Assessing Delaware River conditions

UPPER DELAWARE REGION — Several sources of information are available to those interested in assessing current conditions on the Upper Delaware River.

The National Park Service (NPS) maintains a River Hotline at 845/252-7100 and a Visitor Information Line at 570-685-4871.

For information on closure of the Roebling Bridge due to potential flooding conditions, call the River Hotline or visit www.nps.gov/upde/index.htm .  Read more