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January 31, 2015
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

MONTICELLO, NY — A visitor to the Sullivan County Legislature showed lawmakers a map of the world at a meeting of the agricultural and sustainability committee on January 15. The map showed which areas are likely to be most negatively affected by climate change. The impact on the Catskills is going to be much less than other areas.

Frost Valley YMCA clobbered; FEMA funds may be available to help

Hurricane Irene pounded Claryville and the Frost Valley YMCA when it blew through the area on August 28. According to a press release from the organization issued on September 2, there was no road access to Frost Valley and no estimated timeline on when one would become available.

The organization says entire roads and bridges were washed away, and one of its historic buildings, Pigeon Lodge, was shattered beyond repair.  Read more

River trenching delayed by storms

Plans to begin trenching activities in the Lackawaxen River related to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s (TGP) 300 Line Project in Pike County continue to be delayed following Hurricane Irene and a series of rain events that have beset the region.  Read more

Watching water quality; multiple efforts underway

Little known and rarely observed are several water quality initiatives underway in the region. The River Reporter takes a look at what’s being done and by whom in this series.  Read more

Frost Valley YMCA clobbered;FEMA funds may be available to help

Hurricane Irene pounded Claryville and the Frost Valley YMCA when it blew through the area on August 28. According to a press release from the organization issued on September 2, there was no road access to Frost Valley and no estimated timeline on when one would become available.  Read more

Feds soften harsh sign rule; Congress isn’t providing funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s a sign of the times. The Federal Highway Administration is caving in to a tsunami of complaints about its stringent sign law that had the potential to pressure local budgets to the breaking point.  Read more

News in brief

Tar sand protest arrest tally tops 1,200

WASHINGTON, DC — A civil disobedience demonstration in front of the White House, protesting the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that has been proposed to carry oil from Canada’s tar sands concluded last Friday after its planned two-week run. As of the last day, 1,250 people had been arrested.  Read more

Bethel Democrats rift healing? Party withholds backing of candidates

Three Democratic candidates for two seats on the town board will face off in a primary contest on September 13. Long-time incumbents Vicky Vassmer-Simpson and Bob Blais will be sharing the ballot with former highway superintendent Bernie Cohen.

The local Democratic Committee has decided not to back a candidate until after the primary, at which time it will presumably back the two winners. If Vassmer-Simpson wins and the committee supports her, it may signal the beginning of an end to a huge rift in the party that has defined it for the past couple of election cycles.  Read more

Flood Watch issued for Sullivan County

Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau has issued a Flash Flood Watch associated with Heavy Rain Potential into Monday evening.

Fanslau said, "The National Weather Service (NSW) has issued a Flash Flood Watch in Sullivan County for periodic heavy rain that will continue to affect the watch area through the day Monday (Labor Day) and into Monday evening. Additional rainfall amounts of one (1) two (2) inches are expected for most areas, with localized amounts of three (3) inches or greater likely in more persistent and heavier rain bands.  Read more

Wayne to collect hurricane damage information

On Tuesday September 6, 2011, Wayne County Emergency Management will begin to collect data from individuals and business owners concerning losses and damage from Hurricane Irene. Information will be gathered by telephone at 570-253-1622, by fax 570-253-2943 or by e-mail at  Read more

Bonacic Urges President Obama to Declare Orange and Sullivan Counties a Disaster Area

Between Sunday and Tuesday, State Senator John Bonacic has visited locations around the four counties of his Senate District to view flood damaged properties and put local officials in touch with officials from the State and FEMA.  Read more

Fanslau explains FEMA disaster declaration process

Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau issued the following statement: "There have been some news media this morning that left the impression that a determination was made that Sullivan County was rejected for inclusion in federal disaster aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). That conclusion would be an incorrect conclusion.  Read more

Protesting the tar sands pipeline

WASHINGTON DC — This August, well-known environmental writer and leader for action against climate change Bill McKibben, along with other leading environmentalists, environmental groups like the Indigenous Environmental Network and religious organizations organized the “Tar Sands Action,” a massive civil disobedience protest to encourage President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Read more

College to offer showers during power outage

Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau announced that the Sullivan County Community College will open the Paul Gerry Field House locker rooms shower facilities to county residents that remain without power on Thursday, September 1st, and Friday, September 2nd.  Read more

Judge bans Sabbath sewer talk; Bethel lawmaker’s lips are sealed

The battle between some residents in the Kauneonga Lake Sewer District and the organization Kollel Avreichim took a new turn at the Bethel Town Board meeting on August 27. The meeting took place on a Saturday, which meant that members of Kollel would not be able to attend or speak into the microphone because they are members of the Hasidic community, and Saturday is their Sabbath.  Read more

Crematorium case reaches county court

The two warring sides to the issue of a proposed crematorium finally had their day in court. It may be the first of many since there are at least two appeals on the docket of the Pike County Court of Common Pleas.  Read more

News in brief

Delaware to consider a sole assessor

HORTONVILLE, NY — Despite the fact that the idea was shot down by residents a number of years ago, the Town of Delaware board will consider changing the number of assessors from three to one. “We are one of the rare towns that have three assessors,” said Jim Scheutzow, board chairman. “Most, if not all, have only one.”  Read more

Court voids Tusten gas lease,property owner keeps the money

A Sullivan County Supreme Court judge has ruled that a gas-drilling lease in the Town of Tusten is void because restrictive covenants on the deed prohibit using the land for any kind of commercial activity.  Read more

Bethel looks at drilling and fracking; joins neighboring towns in zoning pursuit

As in other towns in Sullivan County, the issues of gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing have been percolating through the local political process in the Town of Bethel for the past couple of years. At a town meeting on August 27, the town board gave its clearest indication to date about the likely path the board will follow.  Read more

Did you feel the earthquake? What about fracking?

The 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Virginia on August 23 wreaked a bit of damage nearby: the tip of the Washington Monument was cracked. But its vibrations were felt as far away as Detroit and Canada. That’s according to information from the U.S. Geological Survey’s feature called “Did you feel it?” located at  Read more

Local woman arrested in Tar Sands protest

Virginia Kennedy of Dingmans Ferry, PA was arrested on August 20 in front of the White House during a peaceful sit-in organized by Tar Sands Action to stop the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline.  Read more