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December 20, 2014
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ALBANY, NY — During a cabinet meeting in Albany on December 17, Howard Zucker M.D., the Acting New York State Commissioner of Health, said that he could not recommend that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) should be allowed to go forward.

Film festival moves to Middletown

The Hoboken International Film Festival (HIFF), which has grown in popularity over the past seven years of its existence, will be moving to Middletown this summer. An announcement about the move was made at a press conference with New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the head of the film festival Kenneth Del Vecchio on February 19. Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano was also on hand.  Read more

Plans for dog sledding and snowmobile business withdrawn

A property owner near Hawley has withdrawn plans for a proposed dog sledding and snowmobile plan that neighbors had expressed concerns about. The Lackawaxen board of supervisors held a conditional use hearing about the project on January 22, during which several members spoke about negative impacts from noise.  Read more

Wayne resignations and new employment

The focus of the February 14 commissioners meeting was the acceptance of resignation from three former employees and the taking on of new staff in Wayne County. The Prompton Borough Tax Collector, Shelia Collins, resigned from her post effective February 7.  Read more

PA Republicans bash lottery decision

HARRISBURG, PA — Leaders of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are speaking out against the decisions of the Democratic Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to disapprove the contract between Governor Tom Corbett and the company Camelot Global Services to operate the state’s lottery.  Read more

Hawley nixes revitalization act

After months of discussion, group meetings and input from residents and businesses, the Hawley Borough Council, with one dissenting voice, shot down th e Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act (LERTA) on February 13 at its monthly meeting. That is not to say, however, that the board will not entertain a hybrid version of the concept.  Read more

Cochecton opposes new gun control legislation

By a four-to-one vote at its February 13 monthly meeting, the Town of Cochecton board passed a resolution opposing new gun control legislation enacted by the New York State Assembly and Senate. Larry Richardson cast the dissenting vote, stating that as a longtime gun owner and hunter himself, he did not find the new legislation unduly restrictive to sportsmen; his statement was the only discussion by board members prior to the resolution vote.  Read more

Eldred School Business Official arrested on three felony charges

Former Eldred School Business Official William Thornton was arrested on Friday, February 15 and charged with three felony counts related to the theft of $20,000 from district funds in November. He was arraigned later in the day in the Town of Highland Court on the following charges: two counts of grand larceny in the third degree (both class D felonies); and one count of falsifying business records in the first degree, a class E felony.  Read more

Sustainable street lighting; Coming to a street near you?

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Three towns in Sullivan County have signed the Climate Smart Community Pledge, a partnership between local and state governments with a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are Town of Tusten, Town of Lumberland and Town of Delaware. The Climate Action Plan (CAP) Advisory Board is a citizens’ advisory group formed by a Sullivan County legislative resolution. Its purpose is to generate a greenhouse gas inventory for the county and to make specific recommendations in the form of a Climate Action Plan to assist the county in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.  Read more

Students seek alternative graduation space

A group of Sullivan West Secondary School seniors received a lesson in bureaucracy at the district board meeting on February 7.  Read more

Motor club seeks ambitious expansion; Some neighbors likely to oppose

Tony Cellini, the supervisor of the Town of Thompson, said, “We have a handful of naysayers; let’s not let the naysayers run our community.” He then urged the people in the crowded clubhouse to pack the public hearing of the Thompson Planning Board on February 13 and support the proposed expansion of the Monticello Motor Club (MMC).  Read more

Sullivan to upgrade emergency radio system; $11-million price tag for towers, frequencies

Legislators have not yet voted, but it seems likely that they will move forward with a plan to build nine new emergency communications towers and purchase new frequencies to aid in the communication among emergency responders.  Read more

Farmers will continue to receive newsprint; Old newspapers make for good livestock bedding

Legislator Cindy Gieger said that only three farmers regularly receive recycled newsprint from Sullivan County transfer stations, and a fourth receives it occasionally. The policy to allow farmers to receive recycled newsprint for no cost was established in 2003.  Read more

Fracking health study needs more time

ALBANY, NY — In a letter to Joe Martens, commissioner of the New York Department of Conservation (DEC), Dr. Nirav Shah, commissioner of the New York Department of Health (DOH), said his review of the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing would require a few more weeks to complete, which means that a deadline regarding the SGEIS will be pushed back.  Read more

Gun resolution draws pushback

Like other town boards across the state, the board of the Town of Callicoon considered and passed a resolution opposing the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (SAFE Act) passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in the wake of the killing of school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  Read more

Pennsylvania Attorney General closes Florida gun loophole

HARRISBRUG, PA — Pennsylvania residents who carry a concealed weapon using a non-resident concealed-carry permit from the state of Florida will have to apply to receive a permit from the Keystone State if they wish to continue to carry concealed weapons. Existing permits from Florida will become invalid on June 8.  Read more

Honesdale man killed in snowmobile accident

Kevin Mulligan, who was 45, was killed in a snowmobile accident while riding on Beach Lake on the evening of February 9. According to the Pennsylvania State Police, Mulligan was driving a 2005 Polaris snowmobile across the lake, when he possibly became disoriented and rode off the lake and into a stack of aluminum docks located along the shoreline. Upon impact, Mulligan was thrown from the snowmobile and into the docks.  Read more

Presentation on reservoir releases scheduled

A presentation on a proposal to relieve thermal stress on the cold-water fisheries of the Upper Delaware will be made at the Tuesday, February 19 meeting of the Upper Delaware Council’s (UDC) Water Use and Resource Management Committee (WURM), 7 p.m. at 211 Bridge St. The public is welcome.  Read more

Fracking health survey needs more time

In a letter to Joe Martens, commissioner of the NY Department of Conservation (DEC), Dr. Nirav Shah, commissioner of the NY Department of Health (DOH), said his review of the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing would require a few more weeks to complete, which means a deadline regarding the SGEIS will be pushed back.  Read more

Silent majority in Town of Callicoon? In rare move, Sullivan County denies approval of town plan

President Richard Nixon famously appealed to the “silent majority” in 1969 to support his efforts in waging the war in Vietnam, while the supposedly vocal minority took to the streets in opposition to the war.

The silent majority was invoked at a public hearing in Jeffersonville on February 6, as residents sounded off about the proposed comprehensive plan, which, in the eyes of critics, invites gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing into the town.  Read more

Local shop targeted in statewide search; Jamaica Junction in Port Jervis

A local smoke shop was targeted as New York State Police launched a series of statewide searches to determine if so-called bath salts or synthetic marijuana are being sold illegally. Clyde Beach, the owner of the Jamaica Junction Smoke and Gift Shop in Port Jervis, said that his store was searched, but he has not broken any laws because his establishment voluntarily stopped selling synthetic marijuana when the state outlawed it back in August 2012.  Read more