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October 23, 2014
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

MONTICELLO, NY — The last commission to examine the Sullivan County Charter was convened in 2005. It met twice a month for two years and ultimately recommended changes to the county.

This process is scheduled to occur every 10 years, so the county legislature is beginning the process of forming a new commission, and the co-chair of the previous commission, Robert Green, met with the legislature to give his input on how the process might play out.

Cuomo: ‘no pressure’ on fracking decision

ALBANY, NY — New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is reported as saying that there are no immediate plans for a decision on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in New York. He also noted that whatever is decided, he expects lawsuits will further delay the process. For the past few months there have been rumors circulating that final regulations from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) could be expected shortly after Labor Day. Cuomo’s latest comment casts some doubt on that speculation.  Read more

Nurse’s aide charged with stealing narcotic patches

The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office has concluded a two-month investigation into the theft of narcotic pain patches from patients at the Sullivan County Adult Care Center in Liberty.

Sheriff’s detectives have arrested 37-year-old Robin Nash of Neversink, a nurse’s aide, and charged her with larceny, criminal possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence. Supervisors at the county’s nursing home alerted deputies in late June when they noticed Fentanyl patches missing from several patients.  Read more

Primary switched to Thursday

NEW YORK STATE — The second Tuesday in November is traditionally election day for Primary Races in New York State, but this year the day would fall on September 11, the day the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked in 2001, and a third plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
Because of the timing, the New York State Senate and Assembly decided to move the voting day to Thursday this year. Voting will take place from noon until 9 p.m.

DEP to study aqueduct leak solutions

NEW YORK CITY — New York City Environmental Protection (NYDEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland has announced the start of a year-long pilot study to evaluate a new method of sealing cracks in concrete water pipes that could eventually help stop leaks and maintain the Delaware Aqueduct, an 85-mile water tunnel that conveys approximately half of the drinking water from four upstate reservoirs to more than eight million people in New York City, and one million people in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. A Syracuse University lab test, funded in part by DEP, demonstrated that introducing lime and other chemicals into water flowing through concrete pipes can effectively seal hairline cracks and reduce leaks.  Read more

Tusten Democrats hold caucus

The Tusten Democrats will hold a caucus on Monday, September 17 at the Lava Firehouse on Route 52. A candidate for the town board seat currently held by Andrea Reynosa will be nominated. Residents who are registered Democrats can participate and vote. Other members of the public can attend but not participate.

Nepotism in county government; visitors association in the crosshairs

The request for proposals for organizations interested in running the tourism promotion business in Sullivan County, which went out on August 31, seemed to be an attempt to disqualify the Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA), the organization that has been doing the job for the past decade. The RFP said that “no more than one member of the nuclear family unit” could work for the company that wins the contract.  Read more

UDC settles on five-year-plan

An impassioned and chaotic debate over the Upper Delaware Council’s (UDC) draft five-year plan consumed the bulk of the organization’s monthly meeting on September 6.  Read more

Ceremony planned for solar installation; Agriculture and Sustainability Committee meets

Sullivan County officials began discussing a proposed photovoltaic installation at the Robert B. Travis building about three years ago, the building in the Town of Liberty that houses the Sullivan County Department of Family Services.  Read more

Nepotism in county government; visitors association in the crosshairs

The request for proposals for organizations interested in running the tourism promotion business in Sullivan County, which went out on August 31, seemed to be an attempt to disqualify the Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA), the organization that has been doing the job for the past decade. The RFP said that “no more than one member of the nuclear family unit” could work for the company that wins the contract.  Read more

PA voter ID efforts prove inadequate; appeal to the State Supreme Court will be argued this week

If you have to get a photo ID in order to vote this November 8—only two months away— you’re not going to get much help from the PennDOT motor vehicle centers, one of the principal locations to obtain a photo ID.  Read more

NPS explores new stormwater solution; low cost, low maintenance key features

Water that used to flow across two parking lots and enter a stormwater drain that discharged into the Delaware River, carrying sediments and contaminants such as oil and grease, will now be cleaner due to installation of a new stormwater filtration system being tested by the National Park Service(NPS).  Read more

Tracking ticks: a lack of stats

PIKE AND WAYNE COUNTIES, PA — Despite increasing cases of confirmed Lyme disease that place Pennsylvania at the top of the heap in terms of health impacts from ticks, very little tracking of tick populations in the state is occurring.
Because ticks are vectors for diseases such as Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, growing tick populations could have serious public health implications.  Read more

Mother pleads guilty to third degree murder; neither parent now faces death penalty

Jennifer Barrise has pleaded guilty to murder in the third degree bringing a close to the prosecution of the couple that were accused of killing their newborn daughter on May 28, 2011. The father, Christopher Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty to murder in the first degree in March.  Read more

Political leaders remember 9/11

RIVER VALLEY — A number of political leaders who represent the Upper Delaware Valley issued statements on September 11, remembering the day 11 year earlier when terrorists took control of jet airplanes and wreaked havoc in the United States.  Read more

Town of Callicoon gas drilling survey results

The results of a survey on gas drilling were tallied on September 7, with respondents saying by a two to one margin that they were opposed to gas drilling with hydraulic fracturing in the town.  Read more

Tusten Dems caucus for board seat September 17

UPDATE -- location of caucus is Lava Firehouse

The Tusten Democratic Caucus will be held at the LAVA Firehouse on NYS Route 52 on Monday, September 17, at 7 p.m. The Democratic candidate for the town board seat currently held by Andrea Reynosa will be selected.

If you are a registered Democrat in the Town of Tusten, you must be present to participate. No absentee votes are allowed.

Rabid fox in Barryville no longer public threat

BARRYVILLE, NY — A rabid fox that attacked two people in the Town of Highland last weekend has been dispatched and tested positive for the rabies virus, according to animal control officer Fawn Schneider.

The encounters occurred in Barryville and are believed to be isolated incidents. One individual was able to fend off the fox. The other is being treated after receiving scratch or bite wounds.

Anyone observing unusual behavior in rabies vector species such as foxes, skunks, racoons, groundhogs, coyotes or bats should contact Schneider at 845/866-4137.

Grants available for value-added ag projects

WASHINGTON, DC — Grants are available from the USDA to allow agricultural producers to add value to their products, expanding their markets and customer base, with the Value Added Producer Grant program (VAPG). Applicants have until October 15 to apply.  Read more

Damascus gets extension

The chairman of the Damascus town supervisors, Jeff Dexter, has expressed concern that the township needed more time to revise it storm water management plan. Recently, it was given such an extension, as were other townships with the same problem.  Read more

Dairy petition seeks hearing on milk price relief

REGION — The Progressive Agricultural Association of Meshoppen, PA is circulating a petition .requesting a national federal milk order pricing hearing for dairy farmers, who are under record pressure from rising costs. It has been prepared by Pete Hardin, editor of the Milkweed.  Read more