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October 01, 2014
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NEW YORK CITY, NY — Of the 400,000 or so people participating in the People’s Climate March on September 21, quite a few were from the Upper Delaware Valley. There were representatives from the Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. There was also a contingent of about 20 residents from The Weather Project, which was created by the NACL Theater in Highland Lake.

Damascus baseline methane study completed; insurance against gas migration

A recurring question in the gas drilling debate is “does hydraulic fracturing lead to gas migration?” The answers are opposite of each other: Many residents who live near gas wells that have undergone hydraulic fracturing insist that it does, while drilling companies almost always insist that it does not, even when they agree to pay settlements.  Read more

Honesdale for the Holidays

Honesdale, the historic town that is the birthplace of the nation’s railroad system and the beginning point of the Delaware and Hudson Canal, will host several events on November 23 and 24 in preparation for the upcoming holiday celebrations.  Read more

Youth give back to community

Richard Lander and Drew Billard are two seniors from Sullivan West High School who went the extra mile in completing their mandatory school senior project. Each year, seniors at the high school must complete a minimum of 15 hours toward a community service project. The boys put in 32.5 hours and surpassed their fundraising goal by more than double.  Read more

Dinner with a mission; teen won’t face cancer alone

While many 13-year-olds are focused on school, extracurricular activities and social media, Christine Gorr has more serious matters on her mind. The granddaughter of former Town of Highland supervisor Allan Schadt, Christine has been diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer that is now threatening other organs in her body.  Read more

Sullivan dumpsters for storm debris

Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau issued the following statement: "Sullivan County has arranged to place dumpsters at the following locations, in conjunction with the Town governments to collect Storm Debris associated with Hurricane Sandy. FEMA will reimburse the County for these costs.  Read more

Storm named Athena heading this way; region may see two to four inches of snow

RIVER VALLEY — National media outlets have named it Athena. It is the nor’easter storm that’s heading up the coast causing evacuations in New York City and New Jersey. The Weather Channel gave the storm a name because it will blow through the same area that was clobbered by Hurricane Sandy, and other national media outlets followed suit.  Read more

Sullivan waives solid waste fees for hurricane debris

At an emergency meeting, the Sullivan County Legislature voted to waive the solid waste fees at the transfer stations to accept storm debris waste associated with Hurricane Sandy, effective Monday, November 5 through Sunday, November 11. The waiver does not include normal household waste.  Read more

DEP announces fuel waivers in response to Hurricane Sandy

HARRISBURG, PA — The Department of Environmental Protection announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given authorization to grant two kinds of temporary fuel waivers due to fuel shortages from Hurricane Sandy.  Read more

New York counties may see lower indigent defense costs

ALBANY, NY — A new ruling from the New York State Court of Appeals provides an alternative and potentially lower cost route for counties to provide legal services to those who can’t afford their own attorneys. With an annual cost of more than $300 million, the state’s Indigent Defense program is one of nine state mandates that consume 90% of the property tax levy statewide.  Read more

Fireworks in Texas Township; sign law remains a hot issue

TEXAS TOWNSHIP, PA - The former vice-chair of the Texas Township Planning Commission unloaded a barrage of criticism at the supervisors on November 5. John Bartron accused the supervisors of “stabbing the planning commission in the back” and “hanging it out to dry like a piñata.”  Read more

Sullivan officials call for utility roundtable; information dissemination about Sandy ‘was flawed’

The utility companies that provide electricity to Sullivan County have been busy repairing downed power lines and issuing press releases chronicling their progress. By the morning of November 5, NYSEG reported that there were about 4,800 costumers without power in Sullivan County, down from a high of 24,000. Orange and Rockland reported 1,900 customers in the county were still without power, down from a high of more than 6,500.  Read more

Lawmaker accuses DEP of ‘deceptive’ practices; Marcellus Shale water testing at issue

HARRISBURG, NY — A member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Jesse White, is accusing a government agency of deceptive practices in relation to testing for contamination, specifically the testing for possible well water contamination related to drilling in the Marcellus Shale.  Read more

Unofficial Election Results for the Upper Delaware Valley

New York

19th Congressional District
Chris Gibson, REP 134,996
Julian Schriebman, DEM 117,488
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UDC debates hurricanes, floodplains and wetlands

Many homes and businesses were still without power in some Upper Delaware River towns following Hurricane Sandy’s visit to the region last week when the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) met on November 1 after power was restored in Narrowsburg.  Read more

Riverkeeper hosts a pipeline tour; protester threatens to block gas company earthmovers

Forces are gathering to stop the controversial 7.1-mile loop that the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company is planning for the area north of Milford Borough.  Read more

An army of utility workers hustled to bring back power

Only a handful of Pennsylvania Power and Light (PP&L) customers remained without power in Wayne and Pike counties by Tuesday morning, a week after Hurricane Sandy blew through the region leaving 23,923 customers in Wayne and 19,665 in Pike in the dark. With power restored, repair crews from faraway states started home or headed off to other areas stricken by the storm where people were still waiting for power.  Read more

Promised Land loses 300 trees

This picnic table wasn’t the only thing to sustain damage when Hurricane Sandy visited Promised Land State Park in Greentown last week. The storm delivered dangerous 60 mph wind gusts and constant 25-mph wind, which proved too much for many of the trees that beautify the popular state park. Park staff estimate that there are at least 300 trees down. Power lines are littered with trees and snapped in some places.  Read more

100 trees toppled at Grey Towers

In a twist of irony, Hurricane Sandy was not kind to the trees at the former home of the founder and first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot. At Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, high winds took out more than 100 trees, mostly white pines and hemlocks on the west and north side of the mansion. No trees damaged the mansion or outbuildings, but more than 1,000 feet of protective deer fencing was demolished by the falling trees.  Read more

Sullivan County update, gas, transportation

Emergency Operations Center, Bethel, NY – Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau issued the following statement: “A limited State of Emergency remains in effect through 12:01 AM Thursday regarding the gasoline purchases. We are in the process of communicating with fuel suppliers to determine whether that will need to remain in effect, or could be rescinded. We had a conference call at 11:00 with NYSEG, and we have a call at 4:00 this afternoon with County and Town officials.  Read more

Cuomo explains gas shortage

Albany, NY - A minor gas scare reached as far north as Liberty on the evening of November 1, when cars backed up three or four deep at gas stations to stock up on gas. There is a temporary gas shortage in New York City and New Jersey, sending drivers to look for gas in Orange County, with a kind of snowball effect.
  Read more