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December 18, 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.

Time for trenching

(This story has been updated below)

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGP), a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation, expects to begin excavating a trench across the Lackawaxen River this weekend in preparation for laying the length of 30-inch diameter steel natural gas transmission pipeline that will connect on either side of the river to existing pipeline sections.  Read more

Human Line of Hope headed for Highland, Conga Against Cancer, head shavings and more

They’ll be dancing in the streets, forming a line of humans linked by love and hope in the Town of Highland. They’ll be holding letters that spell the names of loved ones battling cancer, or lost to the increasingly common disease that has claimed far too many lives.  Read more

Helping a Honesdale youth

After coming across a poster describing the struggles of Peter Freshour, a 2009 graduate of Honesdale High School who has been diagnosed with Wilson Disease and cirrhosis of the liver, Vanessa DeGori decided she needed to help. “As the mother of three healthy boys, I am aware of how lucky and blessed my husband and I are,” she said.  Read more

A conservation leader reemerges; Delaware Highlands Conservancy earns esteemed accreditation

At a critical juncture in the dialogue and dynamics surrounding our region’s land use, the Delaware Highlands Conservancy (DHC) is prepared to be a significant voice in the conversation. The organization is now officially recognized by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance (LTA).  Read more

Humvee for Sullivan Sheriff’s Office

There was a hulking black vehicle sitting on the lawn outside the government center in Monticello on August 18. It was a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, better known as Humvee, which once belonged to the U.S. Army at Fort Drum.  Read more

Rural Heritage candidates advance despite Callicoon Republican surprise

Several candidates who are running on the recently announced Rural Heritage (RH) line in Sullivan County have also captured Democratic Party nominations, though not without a bit of a struggle.  Read more

Scenic Byway resolution urges ban of some truck traffic

The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway has passed a resolution that urges all levels of government to exercise their authority to prohibit heavy trucks involved in “new forms of heavy industrial use and mining” from New York State Route 97.  Read more

Rural Heritage Party unveiled;trumpeting agriculture, tourism, healthcare

About 30 candidates and their supporters turned out to the government center on August 16 to announce a new line that will appear on the ballot this fall—the Rural Heritage line.
The party has endorsed candidates in the towns of Fremont, Delaware, Callicoon, Cochecton and Tusten and they are running for the positions of supervisor, councilperson and highway superintendent. At the county level, there is one candidate, Cindy Geiger, who is running for the county legislator seat in District Five.  Read more

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