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December 09, 2016
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Copyrighted photo by David B. Soete

RIVER VALLEY — As many people know by now, founding father Ben Franklin thought more highly of the American Turkey than the American Bald Eagle and wrote as much in a letter home from France in 1784.

Veterans seek Sullivan West tax break

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — At the November 20 meeting of the Sullivan West Central School District Board of Education, a contingent of 35 to 40 senior veterans, some with World War II service, presented an eloquent plea for adoption of the Alternative Veterans’ Tax Exemption (AVTE) law.  Read more

Sullivan commissioner said to be ‘cleared’

MONTICELLO, NY — Members of the Sullivan County Legislature on November 20 were briefed about the results of an investigation regarding complaints by and about Randy Parker, the commissioner of the Division of Health and Family Services (DFS).  Read more

The Confluence Project gets funding from SCVA

REGION — The dictionary definition of “confluence” is “1. a place where two rivers or streams join to become one or 2. a situation in which two things come together or happen at the same time.” So it’s fitting, then, that a group whose mission is to collect and share stories from local artisans to unite and promote tourism on both sides of the Delaware River would call itself the Confluence Project.  Read more

Funding change for in-home care: Interpreting the Fair Labor Standards Act

ALBANY, NY — Michael Mulhern, a blind veteran with other disabilities who lives in Glen Spey, has around-the-clock companionship through what is called Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA), and this assistance allows him to stay in his home rather than in a facility such as a nursing home. For decades, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had interpreted the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to say that people providing this sort of assistance or companionship are exempt from the FLSA.  Read more

Long Eddy access plan progresses; Fremont supervisor not pleased

LONG EDDY, NY — The plan for an expanded access area to the Upper Delaware River in Long Eddy is a hit with at least some of the public. Fishing enthusiasts and others pitched in with $5,381 on a crowd-source funding website (www.indiegogo.com/projects/improve-the-long-eddy-river-access) to help pay for the project. Then, on November 20, the Sullivan County Legislature unanimously agreed to give $5,000 towards the project.  Read more

Lumberland budget approved

GLEN SPEY, NY — As a large school bond issue vote looms next month, Lumberland taxpayers learned last Wednesday that town tax increases will not be adding much to their concerns next year.  Read more

Cooperative forms to bring clean energy to non-profits

HONESDALE, PA — Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support, or SEEDS, is a community-based organization in Northeastern Pennsylvania committed to developing local renewable energy infrastructure and promoting more sustainable living in our area. Out of SEEDS, the Clean Energy Co-operative was recently formed. Jack Barnett, the president of the co-op and a member of SEEDS, said one of the things they wanted to do was take what they are doing at SEEDS and increase its scale by expanding to commercial and bigger businesses. “We wanted to do it in a way that would benefit the community,” Barnett said, “especially all the non-profits and other community organizations that really make our place here in Northeast Pennsylvania what it is and why we love it.”  Read more

PA Welfare Department change

HARRISBERG, PA — Advocates and others associated with human services have been pushing for years to have the name of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) changed. They said the name has a stigma associated with it.  Read more

Pataki opposes Orange casino

STERLING FOREST, NY — Former New York State Gov. George Pataki said in a statement issued on November 21 that he is opposed to a plan for a casino to be constructed in Sterling Forest in Orange County, which is the proposal put forward by Genting Inc., and is the largest of the 16 projects seeking one of four casino licenses to be awarded soon.  Read more

Legislators put off decision on Bloomingburg sidewalk

MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County legislators, on November 20, put off a decision about what to do regarding a strip of county-owned land in Bloomingburg. Developer Shalom Lamm wants the county to give or sell the land to his organization, which would then build a sidewalk on it to connect the controversial 396-unit Villages at Chestnut Ridge to Bloomingburg. The sidewalk would be about 1,600 feet long.  Read more

PA Democratic leader slams suggestion of lame duck session

HARRISBURG, PA — Senate Majority Leader Republican Jake Corman has suggested the legislature might hold a lame duck session in early January, which would allow Gov. Tom Corbett to sign favored legislation before he leaves office.  Read more

Berlin disputes DRBC fine

BEACH LAKE, PA — With the proposed Berlin township 2015 budget ready for public viewing and highway department trucks already equipped with plows, chains, and spreaders, it appeared that the November 18 board of supervisors meeting would be strictly routine, and much of it was.  Read more

Wild turkey vs. bald eagle

RIVER VALLEY — Is the wild turkey more noble than the bald eagle? Ben Franklin thought so, or at least he expressed that view once in a letter to his daughter.  Read more

Shohola charitable donations, holiday celebrations

SHOHOLA, PA — December 5 will begin a new tradition for Shohola Township with a tree lighting ceremony set to begin at 5:30 p.m. in Rohman Park. Participants will have the opportunity to make their own ornaments for the tree, write and send letters to Santa, and make their own goodies for Santa and his reindeer. Cookies and hot chocolate will be provided for all attendees. There will be holiday music, and the lighting of the tree at 6:30.  Read more

Highland limps in with 8.8% budget final

ELDRED, NY — Town of Highland officials finalized the 2015 budget on November 13, voting approval for a $2,188,596 spending plan for the coming year.  Read more

Artist takes legal action on home; Fire truck turned up “lacking water”

PARKSVILLE, NY — When a fire truck turned up to a raging fire at Francszek Kulon’s house in the middle of the night last February, the truck that responded had no water on board, at least that’s according to court papers prepared by Kulon’s attorney, Michael Sussman.  Read more

Parents react to hazing press release

GLEN SPEY, NY — Although the investigation into hazing inside the Eldred High School football team has been closed, and those found guilty disciplined, parents of the team members crowded the usually empty board of education meeting on November 13 demanding apologies for the way they felt their sons—and families—had been tainted by the language that was used in the initial press release about the incident. Some angry parents demanded resignation of the person who drafted the letter, asking who authorized it before it was sent to the public and press.  Read more

Block grants still win favor in Wayne

HONESDALE, PA — Wayne County Human Services Director Andrea Whyte last week submitted the county’s human services block grant final report for the year.  Read more

Sullivan Sheriff welcomes public

MONTICELLO, NY — On November 15 the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office held an open house at the agency’s patrol division on Bushnell Avenue in Monticello. Citizens stopped by to visit with deputies, see their equipment and have some refreshments. Several dignitaries also visited. Sullivan County legislators Ira Steingardt, Kathy LaBuda and Cora Edwards were in attendance as well as former Town of Gardiner and Ulster County legislator Jack Hayes. Sheriff Mike Schiff was on hand to greet visitors and “swear in” several children, who had accompanied their parents, as junior deputy sheriffs.

Dessin Wins $2,000

HONESDALE, PA — Dessin Animal Shelter announced it will be the recipient of a $2,000 prize because of winning a contest called the Shelter Showdown. Dessin was automatically entered into a contest called the “Shelter Showdown” via the organization PAL (Pets Add Life), which had partnered with Petfinder, an online resource where Dessin lists all of the animals they have available for adoption.  Read more