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June 01, 2016
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

BINGHAMTON,NY — The New York-Pennsylvania Joint Interstate Bridge Commission approved $37.5 million worth of replacement and repair costs targeting five Upper Delaware River bridges at its May 18 annual meeting, while agreeing to hold a public meeting locally to discuss the overall coordination of bridge projects.

Smoking gun in Bloomingburg? Documents lay out plan for Hasidic community

Documents unsealed by a federal judge and obtained by The River Reporter on April 19, indicate that Shalom Lamm, the developer of the controversial project called Villages at Chestnut Ridge, knew at least from 2006 that the project was intended to house a Hasidic community. Further, the document shows that the tiny Village of Bloomingburg was an attractive place to build the development because the local government could be taken over by newcomers.  Read more

Keeping lunch nonprofit

MONTICELLO, NY — Larry Houman, who has been operating the lunch place at the Sullivan County Government Center, will soon be retiring for the second time. Houman, who was not in his usual place on this particular day, has been operating the breakfast and lunch food place for nearly 20 years.  Read more

Penny-farthing stolen from Lumberland porch

GLEN SPEY, NY — A custom-made old-fashioned bicycle called a penny-farthing, belonging to the late Bill Schneider Sr., had been happily sitting on a porch in Glen Spey for 22 years, since Schneider’s passing, Then sometime on or around March 28, a thief or thieves made off with the bike when no one was home.  Read more

Herbicides in Lake Simcha again

GLEN SPEY, NY — The owners of Camp Simcha are once again applying to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for a permit to allow them to put the herbicide Sonar SRP (Slow Release Pellets) into a five-acre area of Camp Simcha Lake to control the growth of aquatic vegetation in the lake.  Read more

Dental costs for county jail: $35,000

MONTICELLO, NY — Due to the fact that six of the nine Sullivan County legislators are still rather new to the task, sometimes questions arise because county obligations and the relationship between the county and the state may come as a surprise to some legislators.  Read more

Budget brings big change to STAR Rebate program

ALBANY, NY — As part of the budget deal passed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature on April 2, the School Tax Relief (STAR) Rebate Program will undergo a significant change this year. For new homeowners or for homeowners moving from one house to another, instead of getting the rebate up front when paying property taxes, residents will instead receive a tax credit to deduct from their state income tax payments.  Read more

Pike Job Fair gets the word out

Michael Sullivan, executive director of the Pike County Economic Development Authority (EDA) and Cindy DeFebo, director of Pike County Workforce Development, appeared at the county commissioners’ April 6 meeting to announce that the 65 slots available for employers at the upcoming April 15 “Working Pike” job fair have been filled.

“We have concentrated on getting employers and now we have to concentrate on getting the word out to the unemployed and under-employed,” Sullivan said.  Read more

Pike seeks heroin solutions; How to search your kid’s room

MILFORD, PA — Catholic Social Services last week reported that of 244 drug and alcohol treatment episodes it dealt with in Pike County last year, the largest segment, 87 (36%) of them, were related to heroin use. Incidents involving beer (23%) and marijuana (20%) ranked second and third.  Read more

River panel okays NYC hydro support

NARROWSBURG, NY — Fred Peckham offered grudging support on April 7 as the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) approved a letter of support to Congress, backing New York City’s effort to extend its permit to build a hydroelectric generator at the Cannonsville Dam.  Read more

Decree Party Principals listen, but audience questions comprehension

HAWLEY, PA — When the next document to govern flows from New York City’s Delaware Basin Reservoir System is unveiled on June 1, “expect it to look much the same as 2015,” Delaware River Master Robert Mason Jr. told a crowd of 130 who had largely turned out to advocate for meaningful changes.  Read more

Bill would prohibit pay for officials serving on boards

HARRISBURG, PA — State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro introduced legislation on April 11 that would remove perceived conflicts of interest for public officials and employees serving on corporate or non-profit boards outside of government service, by prohibiting them from receiving any salary or compensation for serving on such boards. The official or employee still would be permitted to receive reimbursement for actual expenses that are provided to other board members.  Read more

Sullivan Pride Awards announced

MONTICELLO, NY — The Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating 25 years of honoring individuals as the pride of their community. The 25th Anniversary Pride Awards Gala, to be held on Sunday, May 15 at the Villa Roma Resort, will honor five individuals from throughout Sullivan County for their community involvement and their contributions to the economic development in the county.  Read more

Delaware Water Gap gets trail grant

BUSHKILL, PA — The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWG) was awarded $20,625 from the 2016 Active Trails grant program. The grant will be used to conduct the “Active Adventures: Find your Path to Wellness” program in 2016. The program will be carried out by the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in Dingmans Ferry.  Read more

Gunther cosponsors GMO law

MONTICELLO, NY — Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther has cosponsored legislation that would require labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in New York State. “Assembly member Gunther showed real leadership by standing up for the right of New Yorkers to know whether the food we feed our families is genetically engineered,” said Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region director at Food & Water Watch (FWW) on April 8. “It’s time for her colleagues in the Assembly and the Senate to follow suit and pass GMO labeling into law now.”  Read more

Another push for single payer

MONTICELLO, NY — It’s been widely reported that Sullivan County has the second least healthy population in the state, and part of the cause is a lack of access to affordable healthcare. While Obamacare has improved the situation somewhat, there are still too many people who can’t afford premiums or co-pays.  Read more

Beauty and the Beast and more

MONTICELLO, NY — Austin-Michael Komat (The Beast) wasn’t concerned about frightening seven-month-old Cheyenne during a “Beauty and the Beast” pre-show meet and greet because “she’s my niece,” he explained to the crowd.

They were part of the scene at a Monticello High School student performance of the musical on April 10. For Jonathan Fox’s take on the show, and more goings on in the region, turn to page 16.

Honesdale police: hires and fires

HONESDALE, PA — It was former mayor Jack Bishop who introduced the topic that must not be discussed. Speaking during the citizen input segment of the April 11 Honesdale borough council meeting, he urged swift action by the council to make final the dismissal of a police officer suspended from duty without pay since the December incident when he allegedly failed to respond to a call for backup.  Read more

New York budget reaction

ALBANY, NY — The most trumpeted feature of the newly passed New York State budget is the hike in the minimum wage to $15 per hour. But that might not necessarily take effect in the entire state.  Read more

Catching up on recognition

HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Commissioners have been sporadically, as they’ve described it, making up for years of oversights by honoring senior county employees for their length of service.  Read more

Flood prevention for Livingston Manor? The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a plan

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — Livingston Manor, which sits at the confluence of the Willowemoc Creek, the Little Beaver Kill River and Cattail Creek, has regularly been hit with flooding since the end of the 19th Century. In the early part of the 21st century, the town was hit hard multiple times, especially in 2004, 2005 and 2006, when it seemed that flooding was going to be an annual occurrence.  Read more