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May 22, 2015
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TRR photo by Amanda Reed

REGION — The River Reporter’s editorial assistant Isabel Braverman and office dog Abby get the scoop on the best ice cream around. Summer in the Upper Delaware River Valley means river excursions, hiking, festivals, and of course, ice cream. To kick off Memorial Day weekend, go to page 22 for a list of ice cream places. To all of our readers, have a great summer!

Schumer calls for broadband funds

ALBANY, NY — U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to relax current standards so that Hudson Valley telecommunications companies can access over $485 million in available funds aimed at deploying broadband across the country.  Read more

NY Assembly introduces DREAM Act to aid immigrant youth

ALBANY, NY — Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on January 16 introduced a comprehensive state Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would support the education of immigrant youth. The bill would also, for the first time, allow immigrant students to apply for state financial aid, as well as to create a DREAM Fund that would provide private scholarships.  Read more

Baker committee assignments

HARRISBURG, PA — Senator Lisa Baker retained her position as chair of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and is planning a busy schedule.

“There is a lot of important work to be done for our veterans, for emergency responders, and for community protection. The issues this committee handles involve concerns I hear about constantly, from families, from local officials and from service providers,” Baker said.  Read more

Hawley council considers eight miles of trails; Courting outdoor recreation

The Hawley Borough Council voted on January 9 to assume the role of applicant and grant writer for three trails that would wind through the town and into the Lake Wallenpaupack area.

An extensive presentation was made by Sue Currier, executive director of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, who explained the long-range plan, currently in the development stage, which would include trails covering an eight-mile expanse.  Read more

Sullivan chair takes the blame for auditing firm controversy

“I screwed the process up, guilty.” Those were the words of Scott Samuelson, chair of the Sullivan County Legislature, at a meeting on January 17, regarding a resolution about an agreement with a firm named PKF O’Conner Davies, which has audited the county’s books for the past few years.  Read more

Local drilling costs unknown; Delaware drilling commission explores economics

In contrast with natural gas industry claims that Marcellus Shale drilling brings jobs and revenue to th e localities in which it occurs, economist Jannette Barth, Ph.D., owner of J.M. Barth & Associates, Inc., asserted that local government costs associated with natural gas extraction have yet to be determined. At the invitation of the Town of Delaware Gas Drilling Commission, Barth addressed commission members and the invited public at the commission’s January 7 meeting in Hortonville.  Read more

Fins and Feathers doubles space

Things are going so well for Fins and Feathers Pet Supplies at 222 Willow Avenue that it is nearly doubling its space by 1,200 sq. ft to a maximum of 3,200 sq. ft.

It has taken over the space next door that was occupied by R3 Hardware, which has moved to larger space on Honesdale’s Main Street formerly occupied by the state liquor store.

“This industry is one of the top 10 businesses in the country,” said owner Brian Batten, 36, a life-long Wayne County resident.

“Even when business is bad, people want to keep their pets,” he said.  Read more

Cochecton councilman proposes drilling ban; Fellow lawmakers not interested

Larry Richardson said his views on gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing have evolved over the years. He’s now convinced that the best way to protect the town against the possible harms of drilling is to follow the lead of four other Sullivan County towns, and adopt a ban on gas drilling.  Read more

Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono deliver comments; Groups submit over 200,000 comments on fracking

ALBANY, NY — According to a coalition of groups and individuals opposed to hydraulic fracturing, the more than 200,000 comments delivered regarding proposed new regulations constitute a record. During the last comment period regarding fracking, some 66,000 were submitted.
  Read more

Lumberland power outage discussed; Town fire department lauded for deer rescue

A six-hour power outage that affected the Town of Lumberland was caused by a breaker defect, supervisor Nadia Rajsz reported at the January 9 board meeting. “It was very unexpected,” Rajsz said of the January 4 outage.

The supervisor said she was told by a representative of Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. that the defect in the breaker caused it to blow. According to the Orange and Rockland website, the outage affected about 1,000 customers.

The outage lasted from about 7:20 a.m. until about 1:20 p.m., Rajsz said.  Read more

Sullivan legislature votes to change charter; Majority seeks new county manager

The Sullivan County Legislature voted four to one in committee to revise the county charter to change the provision that requires a supermajority—or six of the nine legislators—to appoint a person to or remove him or her from the position of county manager.

In introducing it, legislator Alan Sorensen said, “This resolution will restore the original intent of the Sullivan County Charter bringing it back to a simple majority.”  Read more

Wayne Memorial warns about flu

In the face of an aggressive flu season, Wayne Memorial Hospital is asking all visitors with flu or flu-like symptoms to “visit on another day” or “visit by phone,” a recommendation from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Over the three months of October, November and December 2012, the hospital confirmed 24 cases of influenza A. Between October of 2011 and March 2012—six months—the hospital confirmed only three cases of the same disease.  Read more

Bonacic on proposed gun law

ALBANY, NY — Senator John Bonacic released the following statement regarding the proposed gun law: “Calls to my offices have been overwhelmingly against more gun control. When my constituents are overwhelmingly against something, and the bill we are asked to vote on is rushed through without any public review, that is nearly always a good reason to vote ‘no.’  Read more

Meeting on road preservation law

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The Towns of Delaware and Callicoon will be hosting a special meeting with a Delta engineer to answer questions on the proposed Multi-Municipal Task Force (MMTF) Road Preservation Law. The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 24 at 7 p.m. at the Town of Delaware Municipal Building, 104 Main Street, Hortonville. All interested persons are invited to attend.  Read more

Baker responds to federal disaster declaration for Sandy

HARRISBURG, PA — With federal funds now available for emergency work, repair and rebuilding in Monroe, Pike, Wyoming and other hard-hit counties, our local, county and state agencies will be reimbursed for the steep costs of preparing for and responding to Hurricane Sandy, state Senator Lisa Baker said.

“The long-awaited assurance of federal disaster aid is welcome news for the communities and families hard hit by Hurricane Sandy in late October,” said Baker, chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.  Read more

Amount of Eldred embezzlement still a mystery; Teachers offered buy-outs

None of the missing funds with which former Eldred Central School District Business Administrator William Thornton allegedly absconded has been recovered to date. Superintendent Robert Dufour’s only reference to the matter at the school board meeting on January 10 was that he was grateful to the New York State Police for all that they did in bringing out the improprieties alleged against the embattled Thornton.

“In Eldred, it’s the state police that handle a matter of this kind,” said Doug Reiser, school board president.  Read more

Seven casinos proposed for upstate NY

ALBANY, NY — Governor Andrew Cuomo has revived the possibility of a full Las Vegas-style casino or two coming to the Catskills with his State of the State address. Speaking on January 9, Cuomo proposed a total of seven such casinos, with phase one encompassing three facilities, which would be located somewhere “upstate,” but specifically not in New York City.  Read more

Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy sends over 20,000 comments opposed to fracking to the DEC

Grass roots organization Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy began a drive the day after Christmas for people to submit comments critical of New York State’s draft fracking regulations. They have collected 23,924 written comments.

The organization doesn’t have paid staff members or an office. “This has been a team effort,” said Catskill Citizens member Jill Wiener. “Stop the Frack Attack, Frack Action, “Gasland” and many others were instrumental in expanding our reach by promoting our Action Alert.”  Read more

Sullivan legislature votes to change charter; majority seeks new county manager

The Sullivan County Legislature voted four to one in committee to revise the county charter to change the provision that requires a super majority—or six of the nine legislators—to appoint or remove a person to or from the position of county manager.
  Read more

Tractor Supply Co. nears completion

Construction is near completion on the new Tractor Supply Co. store in Honesdale, the company’s 66th Pennsylvania location.

Tractor Supply Co. is the largest retail farm and ranch supply store chain in the United States, and has been operating in Pennsylvania since 1965. The store will be located at 240 Willow Ave. and will employ 12 to 17 full- and part-time employees. The store will include a sales floor and support service space. A fenced exterior will be used for storage and displaying items such as fencing, sprayers and livestock equipment.  Read more