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March 02, 2015
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FERNDALE, NY — Hudson Valley Foie Gras (HVFG), which is the largest producer of foie gras in the country and is located in Ferndale, was the subject of a story in the New York Times on February 22, and the central question of the piece was whether or not activist Amber Canavan stole two of the large ducks that produce the foie gras, or fatty liver.

Delaware holds off on one assessor vote, former board member voices strong opposition

Should the town have one assessor or three? That was the issue before the Town of Delaware Board on Wednesday evening September 21.  Read more

Candidates on Sullivan adult care facility

It’s a well-known political axiom that seniors vote in greater numbers than other segments of the population. Perhaps that’s one reason that all 17 candidates who are running for election or re-election to the Sullivan County Legislature showed up at a meeting of the Senior Legislative Action Committee at the government center on September 23 to make remarks about issues facing seniors.  Read more

Monticello Motor club hosts major auto event

Every September when carmakers from around the world are unveiling their new automotive creations, an event called the International Motor Press Association Test Days is held. That’s when hundreds of automotive journalists gather for a chance to take the new models on a test run.  Read more

Building expert talks about straw build houses

Remember the story of the three little pigs, and how the wolf took advantage of two of them but lost to the smart, third little pig? The second little pig who built his house with straw got blown down by the wolf. That reportedly can never happen with the new technology of building with straw bales, which is gaining popularity now with environmentalists in the building trades.  Read more

Builder questions Lumberland board

Known for the high-end cottage-style homes built by his company in Sullivan and Ulster counties, Catskill Farms developer Charles Petersheim has lately emerged as a vocal opponent of the Town of Lumberland’s current zoning re-write process, which has been underway for two years.  Read more

Tusten zoning changes hearing

Residents of the Town of Tusten turned out for a public hearing on September 26 to speak out about the proposed rewrite of the town’s zoning code. The part of the code that would limit or ban high impact industrial uses, such as gas drilling, which is article 14, received some attention.  Read more

Callicoon, towns and gas drilling

As a member of the Sullivan County Multi-Municipal Task Force (MMTF), officials in the Town of Callicoon are considering the adoption of a road-use agreement that would allow them to protect their roads if a high-impact industrial use, such as gas drilling, moved into town.  Read more

WCD assists in floodplain issues,mapping, management and insurance considered

New National Flood Insurance Rate Maps were presented to Wayne County municipalities by Federal Emergency Management Agency officials recently. The Pennsylvania Floodplain Management Act (Act 166 of 1978) requires that all municipalities enact and enforce an ordinance to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Floodplain Management Act and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Read more


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 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