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April 19, 2014
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TRR photo by Amanda Reed

REGION — According to the website www.project snowstorm.org, which is concerned with snowy owls, every few years, “for reasons that are not entirely understood,” a number of the raptors leave their winter ranges in southern Canada, and migrate down into the United States in an event known as an “irruption.”

New game commission positions announced

HARRISBURG, PA — Recently, the sale of firearms and ammunition in the U.S. has reached an all-time high, and because of a tax on firearms, this has resulted in significant increases in funding available to wildlife agencies.  Read more

Callicoon signs stolen

TOWN OF CALLICOON, NY — There has been a rash of theft of election signs in the Town of Callicoon in advance of the election in November. Two large wooden signs promoting the candidacy of Nancy Lee, a Democrat who is running for supervisor, were stolen between the evening of October 10 and the morning of October 11.  Read more

Fending off tax certiorari; Ya gotta spend money to save money

There are a number of property owners in Sullivan County who think that their tax assessments are higher than they should be and therefore they are paying more than their fair share of property taxes. Among those are the owners of Kohls Distribution Center in Wurtsboro; Walmart and Kutshers Resort in the Town of Thompson; and Eagle Creek Companies, which owns the system of reservoirs in Bethel, Lumberland and Forestburgh.  Read more

Pumpkin sunset

Dramatic autumnal sunset colors last week provided additional marketing impact to Route 97 highway banners heralding this past weekend’s Pumpkin Fest in Barryville. For more on the Pumpkin Fest doings turn to Jonathan Fox’s In My Humble Opinion column on page 22.

Turmoil in Honesdale over top cop; Council names police commissioner

At an emotionally charged October 14 meeting, the Honesdale Borough Council appointed Rick Southerton to a conditional one-year term as commissioner of police/police chief. Passage of the resolution by a partial council (Scott J. Smith and Sam B. Mikulak were absent) was greeted with angry dissent by the public contingent present to support Sergeant Ron Kominski’s candidacy for that office. Kominski, who has been performing the duties of the chief since Joseph LoBasso resigned that position on July 31, had previously filled in for LoBasso whenever he was unavailable.  Read more

Good crowd for registration drive; ‘Vote where it counts’ effort in Sullivan

There was a festive atmosphere at the barn in Jeffersonville where full-time residents and weekenders gathered for a voter registration drive on October 6. Posters for the drive urged residents to “vote where it counts,” and was aimed at, among others, people who own second homes in Sullivan County, and who are, according to various court decisions, therefore eligible to vote in Sullivan County, even if the residents spend more time at a home elsewhere.  Read more

UDC sets shutdown date

Following a brief executive session at their October 3 meeting, members of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) set an October 25 date to shut down the panel.  Read more

Wading into the weeds; Addressing the Flexible Flow Management Plan

Only about a dozen people turned out to the “listening session” convened at the request of the five representatives of the “decree parties” to hear comments about the Flexible Flow Management Plan (FFMP).  Read more

Postal workers sue post office; Healthcare remains an issue

WASHINGTON, DC — Readers of The River Reporter know that their papers are not being delivered through the mail on time, and the paper has reported this is mostly attributable to consolidation of United States Postal Service (USPS) mail sorting facilities, which has been taking place across the country.  Read more

Pike honors Safe Haven, supports March of Dimes

“Where else would these women go? Thank you for doing what you do, for opening your hearts to complete strangers,” Pike County Commissioners Chair Rich Caridi said in presenting a proclamation commending the domestic violence intervention work of Safe Haven of Pike County (SHPC).  Read more

Common Cause gaming report

ALBANY, NY — According to a report issued on October 7 by Common Cause NY, since 2011, gambling interests have paid out over $3.2 million to New York politicians and committees. During that period the legislature voted twice to approve casino-style gambling.  Read more

Lacawac receives $390,000 grant

The Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation has received a $390,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for the construction of a state-of-the-art library. According to a press release from the organization, “The addition of the library will enable Lacawac to continue with its vital studies, while helping to attract scientists from around the country to come and conduct climate and water quality research.”  Read more

Court rules against Cappelli

Empire Resorts, Inc. and EPR Properties announced that on October 2, the New York Supreme Court in Sullivan County denied in its entirety the Article 78 petition filed by Louis Cappelli’s Concord Associates, LP on or about May 14. The petition named the Town of Thompson and its Town Board and Planning Board and EPR’s wholly owned subsidiary, EPT Concord II, LLC (“EPT”), as respondents. Monticello Raceway Management, Inc. (MRMI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire, asked and received intervener status in the proceeding in light of its interest in the outcome of the matter.  Read more

Corbett’s request for aid granted

HARRISBURG, PA — Governor Tom Corbett announced on October 2 that President Barack Obama has approved his request for a federal disaster declaration for those Pennsylvanians severely impacted by storms and flooding from June 26 to July 11.  Read more

PA marriage equality act

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Against the backdrop of Philadelphia’s Love Park, Democratic state representatives Brian Simms and Steve McCarter introduced the Pennsylvania Marriage Equality Act on October 3.  Read more

Fleeting leaf-peeper season

REGION — The picture above was taken at Crystal Lake in the Town of Rockland last week. The fall leaf viewing season is quickly passing with some areas of the region already past peak with most leaves on the ground. There are, however, many areas in the region providing 100% color change in the leaves and, according to the Sullivan County Visitors Association, the weekend of October 11, 12 and 13, the foliage in Sullivan will be at its peak, “with bright bouquets of butterscotch and burnt oranges, caramel and russet reds with a touch of green.”  Read more

Honesdale council members found guilty; subpoena for judge quashed

Attorneys for both sides objected to the fact that the subpoena for Judge Ted Mikulak had been quashed, and that the judge would not be testifying during the proceeding. But testimony regarding a complaint lodged by the judge against the acting police chief of Honesdale, Ronald Kominski, was among the most interesting of the proceeding.  Read more

Upper Delaware Council sets shutdown date

Following a brief executive session at their Thursday evening meeting, members of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) set an October 25 date to shutdown the panel.  Read more

Gibson joins bipartisan group with proposal to shutdown

Press release from Congressman Chris Gibson:

Washington, DC - Congressman Gibson joined with a bipartisan group of Members today to express support for a solution that would reopen the federal government. The legislation would fund the government and repeal the medical device tax, a proposal that has significant support in the House and Senate. A medical device tax repeal passed the House 270-146 last year and a symbolic vote in the Senate passed 79-20 earlier this year.  Read more

The Sullivan County WIC program Is open

Sullivan County Public Health Services announced that although the Federal Government has shut down, the Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in New York State is able to continue to serve WIC participants until further notice.  Read more