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July 23, 2014
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NARROWSBURG, NY — Music, art, and the environment take center stage at Riverfest on July 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street in Narrowsburg, overlooking the Upper Delaware River.
At 12:30 p.m., festival-goers will have an opportunity to bid live on about five dozen original works of art created especially for the occasion at the Riverfest poster auction. The posters can be previewed at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) gallery on Main Street and online at www.artsalliancesite.org.
For more information on Riverfest, turn to page 20.

PA pheasants to be put down

WILLIAMSPORT, PA — About 2,400 pheasants placed under quarantine following detection of avian cholera at a Pennsylvania game farm will not be released for late-season hunting. According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Fish and Game Commission (PFGC), “arrangements are being made to humanely depopulate and dispose of the affected flock at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Loyalsock Game Farm.”  Read more

Shrinking Pennsylvania government

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted this week in favor of two measures that would reduce the numbers of elected state officials. One bill would reduce the number of representatives from 203 to 153. The other bill would reduce the number of senators from 50 to 38.

The senate, however, has not acted on the legislation, and in order for such a size reduction to take hold, it must be passed by both houses and signed by the governor in two consecutive legislatures, and then voted on by residents.  Read more

DV to market former elementary site

DINGMAN, PA — Following a 45-minute closed session meeting, the Delaware Valley Board of Education tentatively approved a for-sale listing of its controversial former site for a new elementary school on December 19.  Read more

Study to examine economic impacts of cold water fishing

UPPER DELAWARE VALLEY — The economic impact of recreational fishing in the cold waters of the Upper Delaware River and its tributaries is estimated to be at least $199.9 million. Believing there is potential to increase this economic contribution by as much as $66.6 million, two partners, the Delaware County Economic Development (DCED) agency and the non-profit organization Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR), are conducting a survey of businesses, ranging from fishing guide services and tackle shops to food markets and convenience stores and other local businesses.  Read more

Gordon's reaction to Monticello United

Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins expressed disappointment that the Democratic Committee in the Town of Thompson crossed party lines to endorse Republican Jill Weyer without interviewing three candidates who are Democrats and who wished to run on the party’s ticket. They are Rochelle Massey, who is Jenkins girlfriend and who was appointed to a trustee seat last summer; Aubrey Gittleman; and Buddy Alan.  Read more

Monticello parties united

Saying the parties were responding to an “outcry” from the public, Bill James, chairman of the Town of Thompson Democratic Committee, announced that his party and three others registered in the town—Republican, Independence and Conservative—were, for the first time ever, all backing the same candidates running for office in the Village of Monticello.  Read more

A push for immigration reform

LIBERTY, NY — A handful of residents turned out in front of the Liberty offices of Congressman Chris Gibson on December 12 to urge him to support immigration reform.  Read more

Cell towers approved for Damascus

DAMASCUS TOWNSHIP, PA — The Damascus supervisors voted unanimously on December 16 to approve conditional-use applications for a corporation looking to construct two broadband cellular towers in the township.  Read more

No tax increase for Damascus

DAMASCUS TOWNSHIP, PA — The Damascus Township supervisors approved a 2014 budget with no tax increase and also decided not to adopt a special tax for road and bridge improvements.
The balanced budget of $1,130,063 was approved unanimously December 23 with the millage rate set at 2.15, the same as 2013’s budget. A mill is a $1 tax for every $1,000 in assessed property value.  Read more

Update on ag projects

At the Town of Delaware meeting on December 11, Tom Kappner, who’s worked on United Nations Development Program and is a town resident, presented his update on the Sullivan County Economic Plan.  Read more

Green Tourism Working Group announces conference

The Green Tourism Conference at Villa Roma in April will be a first-of-its-kind opportunity to unite food service and lodging facilities, tourism agencies, “eco” product suppliers and recreational activity businesses from the Catskills to the Poconos around the common cause of promoting eco-tourism.  Read more

Catskill Art Society seeks color photos

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Photographers are encouraged to submit up to four color images for the Jeff Bank 2015 Calendar Photo Contest. Submissions will be accepted February 21 to April 18, 2014. Organized by the Catskill Art Society (CAS), the contest has the theme, “ Four Seasons of Nature and Landscapes in Sullivan County.”

Interested artists may submit up to four color photographs, preferably depicting each of the four seasons. Recognizable locations are preferred, but not mandatory.  Read more

Tusten bans use of fracking brine on roads

At its December meeting, the Tusten Town Board passed a resolution to ban the use of fracking brine on any town roads. The text of the resolution appears in the sidebar. All members of the board voted in favor of the resolution. Councilman Ned Lang was not in attendance.

The use of fracking brine on roads has been banned on county roads in Sullivan, and so far the Town of Tusten is the only town in the county to pass a ban. On June 21, 2012 the Sullivan County Legislature adopted Resolution 248-12, which is similar to Tusten’s resolution.  Read more

Pike confirms courthouse estimate

County officials on December 19 made another effort to end the criticism of the county’s plans to demolish a historic building on Broad Street and Peach Alley for the construction of an addition to the county courthouse.  Read more

Tourism opportunities increase in NEPA

Regional resort development is expected to provide jobs and additional visitors in the coming year, but increased promotion and activity in neighboring states will challenge the region, according to Carl Wilgus.

Wilgus, the executive director of the Pocono Mountain Vacation Bureau (PMVB) and Lake Wallenpaupack Visitor Center manager Keith Williams reported to the Wayne County Commissioners on December 19.

Overall, Wilgus described July 2012 through June of this year as a “record year” for the four-county region including Wayne, Pike, Carbon and Monroe counties.  Read more

Cell towers approved for Damascus

The Damascus supervisors voted unanimously on December 16 to approve conditional-use applications for a corporation looking to construct two broadband cellular towers in the township.
The next step for Cellco Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, is to file land-use development applications with Damascus. If those are approved, building permits would be sought by the company.  Read more

PA Supreme Court strikes down portions of Act 13; municipalities may control drilling through zoning

PITTSBURGH, PA — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has stuck down section of Act 13, the legislation that said in part that municipalities must allow gas drilling in all districts within their borders. The court determined that the legislation violates the Environmental Rights Amendment to the state constitution.  Read more

Update on ag projects

At the Town of Delaware meeting on December 11, Tom Kappner, who’s worked on United Nations Development Program and is a town resident, presented his update on the Sullivan County Economic Plan. He was invited to be a member of the Economic Development Steering Committee by the county legislature, and is working with one of its groups, the Agricultural Development Group.  Read more

Eagle celebration to return; update from the Delaware Highlands Conservancy

When the Sullivan West School District stopped heating the Narrowsburg school in 2011, it brought an end to EagleFest, which had been bringing hundreds and then thousands of visitors and their dollars into Narrowsburg in the middle of the winter since 2002. Without the school as a focal point of activity, the festival disappeared.  Read more

The arrival of 2014

UPPER DELAWARE VALLEY — The unseasonal blast of warm air that had temperatures rising enough to blanket many areas with fog is behind us, and more typical winter temperatures are upon us. What will the future bring regarding temperature and precipitation?  Read more