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December 26, 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.

County offices to leave Port Jervis

PORT JERVIS, NY — At the November 24 council meeting, Raymond Zukowski, a member of Empowering Port Jervis, a volunteer organization that aims to help the most vulnerable citizens of the city, stood up and made a surprising connection between two events. He tied the announcement of the arrest of Dennis McBee, who is accused of killing the beloved shopkeeper Joseph Kutcher, with the recent city decision to move the county offices that provided social services, public health and probation service, to Middletown. City officials have described the moves as being mandated by the state in response to serious budget deficit issues.  Read more

DV taking on cyber-charter funding drain

WESTFALL, PA — Delaware Valley Schools Superintendent John Bell is hoping to convince state lawmakers to take a different tack in considering funding for the state’s cyber charter schools.  Read more

Fundraiser for fire victim; New Pond Eddy restaurant to host

POND EDDY, NY — When Ana Arvela, the owner of the newly opened 97 Bar and Grill, heard that one of her customers had lost his house in a fire on November 14, she wanted to do something to help. She said, “I want to thank all the locals for coming in my restaurant. It’s been wonderful meeting my neighbors, a great experience, I really enjoy it. I’ve established new friendships.” Among those is Kenneth Van Tuyl of Van Tuyl Road, Pond Eddy who narrowly escaped the fire with only the clothes on his back, and without shoes—a big deal for the almost seven-foot-tall man whose shoes have to be replaced by special order because of the unusual size.  Read more

Deadline for young farmers approaches; College loans may be forgiven

ALBANY, NY — College students seeking to become farmers may be able to avoid paying back up to $50,000 for college loans under the New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program, which is intended to bring more young people into the farming business. Applications for the program must be made by December 15.

The program is available to individuals who obtain an undergraduate degree from an approved New York State college or university and agree to operate a farm in New York State, on a full- time basis, for five years.

Applicants must:  Read more

PA well water contains gas; Methane appears without fracking

PIKE & WAYNE COUNTIES — Well-water tested in Pike and Wayne counties contains low-to-moderate concentrations of naturally occurring methane, according to new studies by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).  Read more

Father, son assault each other over marijuana dispute

CHERRY RIDGE, PA — Brian and Ryan Wayne (father and son) were arrested for fighting with each other. Brian, the father, told police that Ryan and his wife wanted him to sell his rifles to buy marijuana, which he refused to do.  Read more

Casino decision expected on December 17

ALBANY, NY — The New York Gaming Facility Location Board is expected to make a decision about which four proposed casino projects in the state will get licenses to operate. The board has received 16 applications, with one license allocated to the Catskills/Hudson Valley Region, one to the Capital Region, and one to the Eastern Southern Tier Region. The fourth license may go to any of the three regions, although the prevailing view has been that it will go to the Catskills/Hudson Valley Region; it is possible, however, that only three licenses could be awarded.  Read more

Teens identified in Honesdale vandalism spree

HONESDALE, PA — Three teens, ranging in age from 15 to 17, have been identified as the individuals involved in a window-breaking and vandalism spree in Honesdale and the surrounding area.  Read more

State police add email tip to Warrant Wednesday

ALBANY, NY — The New York State Police (NYSP) have added an email address to which members of the public can submit tips on wanted individuals. The email address is crimetip@troopers.ny.gov.  Read more

NPS superintendent visits Lackawaxen

LACKAWAXEN, PA — The Lackawaxen Board of Supervisors welcomed a special guest at their meeting on November 17.  Read more

Santa’s season

REGION — Santa is going to be ubiquitous over the next several weeks, showing up at stores and in towns all over the country. The modern Santa Claus has a connection to the real-life Saint Nicholas, who lived in the third and fourth centuries in what is now Turkey, and whose reputation was repeatedly enhanced over the centuries. Eventually, Nicholas was credited with performing all kinds of miracles, such as bringing new life to children who had been murdered. He also, of course, gave gifts to children.  Read more

Veterans seek Sullivan West tax break

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — At the November 20 meeting of the Sullivan West Central School District Board of Education, a contingent of 35 to 40 senior veterans, some with World War II service, presented an eloquent plea for adoption of the Alternative Veterans’ Tax Exemption (AVTE) law.  Read more

Sullivan commissioner said to be ‘cleared’

MONTICELLO, NY — Members of the Sullivan County Legislature on November 20 were briefed about the results of an investigation regarding complaints by and about Randy Parker, the commissioner of the Division of Health and Family Services (DFS).  Read more

The Confluence Project gets funding from SCVA

REGION — The dictionary definition of “confluence” is “1. a place where two rivers or streams join to become one or 2. a situation in which two things come together or happen at the same time.” So it’s fitting, then, that a group whose mission is to collect and share stories from local artisans to unite and promote tourism on both sides of the Delaware River would call itself the Confluence Project.  Read more

Funding change for in-home care: Interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act

ALBANY, NY — Michael Mulhern, a blind veteran with other disabilities who lives in Glen Spey, has around-the-clock companionship through what is called Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA), and this assistance allows him to stay in his home rather than in a facility such as a nursing home. For decades, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had interpreted the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to say that people providing this sort of assistance or companionship are exempt from the FLSA.  Read more

Long Eddy access plan progresses; Fremont supervisor not pleased

LONG EDDY, NY — The plan for an expanded access area to the Upper Delaware River in Long Eddy is a hit with at least some of the public. Fishing enthusiasts and others pitched in with $5,381 on a crowd-source funding website (www.indiegogo.com/projects/improve-the-long-eddy-river-access) to help pay for the project. Then, on November 20, the Sullivan County Legislature unanimously agreed to give $5,000 towards the project.  Read more

Lumberland budget approved

GLEN SPEY, NY — As a large school bond issue vote looms next month, Lumberland taxpayers learned last Wednesday that town tax increases will not be adding much to their concerns next year.  Read more

Cooperative forms to bring clean energy to non-profits

HONESDALE, PA — Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support, or SEEDS, is a community-based organization in Northeastern Pennsylvania committed to developing local renewable energy infrastructure and promoting more sustainable living in our area. Out of SEEDS, the Clean Energy Co-operative was recently formed. Jack Barnett, the president of the co-op and a member of SEEDS, said one of the things they wanted to do was take what they are doing at SEEDS and increase its scale by expanding to commercial and bigger businesses. “We wanted to do it in a way that would benefit the community,” Barnett said, “especially all the non-profits and other community organizations that really make our place here in Northeast Pennsylvania what it is and why we love it.”  Read more

PA Welfare Department change

HARRISBERG, PA — Advocates and others associated with human services have been pushing for years to have the name of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) changed. They said the name has a stigma associated with it.  Read more

Pataki opposes Orange casino

STERLING FOREST, NY — Former New York State Gov. George Pataki said in a statement issued on November 21 that he is opposed to a plan for a casino to be constructed in Sterling Forest in Orange County, which is the proposal put forward by Genting Inc., and is the largest of the 16 projects seeking one of four casino licenses to be awarded soon.  Read more