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October 20, 2014
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — “Lake Huntington looks like pea soup. In my lifetime, I can’t recall a six-week algae bloom like this one. Most last only a few days, at most. The Department of Environmental Control (DEC) has taken water samples and we’re awaiting test results.” With those remarks at the October 8 Cochecton Town Board meeting, Supervisor Gary Maas introduced a topic familiar but unpleasant to all who live, work or play near the lake. Asked if the DEC might impose a ban on recreational activities for the duration of the bloom, Maas said, “We’ll just have to wait and see what the DEC says.”

Sparks fly at Tusten meeting; penalties for zoning violations discussed

“We have a conflict of interest now. Mr. Clemente is prosecuting me in two different courts. I’m going to be on the board. I would ask the board to either get alternative counsel, or I guess we have to write letters and talk to the state bar and others to see what’s right and wrong, because I certainly can’t go and talk to him about different issues… where I might find myself in trouble.”  Read more

Holbert Quarry dispute resolved; mining operations limited to four acres at a time

The issue of the proposed expansion of the Holbert Quarry in Lackawaxen has been resolved by the limitation of the amount of land that can be worked at any given time. According to a press release from the Upper Delaware Council (UDC), one of the organizations that had opposed the expansion, the permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will specify that only two acres of the 40 acres in question may be mined at one time, and another two-acre area may be used for supporting operations. Further, a mined parcel will be reclaimed and reseeded before operations may begin on a new parcel.  Read more

Minisink Compressor Station heading to court

TOWN OF MINISINK, NY — As Millennium Pipeline Company moves forward with plans to build a new compressor station in Hancock, the one currently under construction in Minisink, about 65 miles down the pipeline, is soon to become the subject of a lawsuit filed in the U.S Court of Appeals, brought by the community group Stop The Minisink Compression Station (StopMCS).  Read more

Tax breaks sought for compressor station

The Millennium Pipeline Company is seeking to build a $40 million compressor station on Hungry Hill Road, in the Town of Hancock. The facility will allow the company to move a much higher amount of gas through the pipeline to new customers.  Read more

Flashover fire training

It’s not the best place to be if you’re claustrophobic or afraid of fire. But for two weekends in a row, local firefighters were lining up to climb into a specially outfitted container to experience a flashover. The rig was temporarily located on Cold Spring Road in Monticello.   Read more

Film festival fraud; documentarians investigate the mystery of Marie Castaldo

Marie “Jocelyne” Castellano, best known to local residents for her role in the scandal-plagued Narrowsburg International Independent Film Festival and wife of Richard Castellano, is the subject of a documentary film presently in production. The film will tell the story not only of her time here, but also how she founded the Queens International Film Festival, which one New York newspaper called “The Flim-flam Film Festival.”  Read more

Honesdale council postpones traffic pattern decision

The Honesdale Borough Council wants more time to discuss the traffic patterns at the intersection of Main and Fourth Streets where the CVS Pharmacy plans to build a super-drugstore. The new store will replace the building that formerly housed DSFI, Inc.  Read more

Pike gets $30,100 to design greenway

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has awarded Pike County a $30,100 grant to prepare a greenway plan for the Lackawaxen and Upper Delaware rivers. According to a press release from the Pike County Office of Community Planning, the project will complement an existing waterfront revitalization program currently underway in Sullivan County, NY.  Read more

Christmas bird count seeks volunteers

NORTHEAST, PA — The Northeast PA Audubon Society is looking for volunteers to help with the 113th annual Christmas bird count on Sunday, December 15. The society says, “You don’t need a lot of experience, just a love for the birds who frequent our feeders and come to our region from the Canada for the winter months.”  Read more

Catskill Distilling earns high marks at independent tasting

The Catskill Distilling Company’s newest spirits won rave reviews in the December issue of the trade publication F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal. Both The Most Righteous Bourbon and The One & Only Buckwheat received a four-star, highly recommended rating.
“We’re proud of the spirits we’re producing at the Catskill Distilling Company,” said distiller Dr. Monte Sachs. “We couldn’t be more pleased to have them recognized by such a well-regarded publication.”  Read more

Charity funds stolen

Pennsylvania State Police at Honesdale are investigating the theft of funds intended for charity. According to a police press release, Betsy Arnold, 35, “stole $870 in funds that were intended to help a cancer victim and used the funds to go on a shopping spree for herself.” The release says Arnold also stole prescription medication from the same victim over the course of several weeks. Charges have been filed against Arnold.

Sullivan community wind forum

Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development (SASD) has issued an invitation to the general public for information about the final report of the two-year study of community-owned wind. The study was conducted in Sullivan County.  Read more

Proposed fracking rules issued; further changes likely coming

ALBANY, NY — When state environmental officials filed for a 90-day extension to the fracking rule-making process on November 29, by law they also had to issue the revised rules as they then existed for public review and comment. The revised rules for hydraulic fracturing were published on the website of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) (www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/77353.html) on November 30.  Read more

Elected officials mute on PA pipeline

Rick Caridi, chairman of the Pike County Commissioners, is disappointed. Efforts to get elected officials to ask two federal agencies to reopen hearings on a controversial gas pipeline project have proven futile. So far no officials have written letters.  Read more

PPL to lower its rates for customers that do not use other providers

ALLENTOWN, PA — PPL Electric Utilities will lower its generation service charge on December 1, based on the latest cost to supply to customers who have not chosen an alternative supplier in the competitive market.  Read more

Historic mining debris in Wurtsboro; tailings force closure of state land

Sullivan County residents may be forgiven if they didn’t know there was once a substantial mining operation in Wurtsboro. After all, it has not been in operation since 1920. But back in the day, the mine was reportedly a busy place.  Read more

Tax abatement program proposed for Hawley

It’s frequently argued that communities need some tax-incentive programs these days to attract new businesses or to expand existing ones, and that a by-product of such expansion is the creation of new jobs for the area.  Read more

Narrowsburg waterfront revitalization project unveiled; residents mostly express support

The proposed project meant to revitalize the waterfront in the hamlet is no longer called an esplanade. The project now includes what is called a river walk, which would be created within a “linear park.”  Read more

Two pot-growing operations halted

PHILLIPSPORT, NY — Officers from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office have halted two separate marijuana-growing operations in the small hamlet of Phillipsport, near Wurtsboro.  Read more

Compressor station foes hail new report; prominent engineer calls for project rejection

TOWN OF MINISINK, NY — Members of the community who are trying to put a halt to the construction of the compressor station in their town say a new report from a prominent pipeline engineer gives support to their position that the project is not safe.  Read more