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July 28, 2015
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NARROWSBURG, NY — Riverfest celebrates 25 years of existence this year, and as in years gone by, a centerpiece will be the auction of Riverfest posters. The one above is a painting of a great blue heron and its reflection, painted by Sullivan County artist Philip Jostrom. It’s one of 42 posters that will be up for auction at the event, which will be held in Narrowsburg on Sunday, July 26.
For more on the festivities and a look at some of the Riverfest celebrations of the past, turn to page 20.

Arrest in Honesdale bank robbery; Officer follows footprints in the snow

A Honesdale resident has been arrested in connection with the robbery of the Citizens Bank of Honesdale on Willow Avenue on February 20. According to the affidavit of probable cause, Steven French was arrested on March 1 after an investigation by the Honesdale Borough police and Pennsylvania State Police departments.  Read more

Woodstock Triathlon coming; Bethel Woods seeks zoning change

A new sporting event will unfold in the Town of Bethel and surrounding areas this year. At the Bethel town meeting on February 27, an event organizer named Doug Rice went before the town board to explain the Woodstock Triathlon Festival, which will be held on May 4.  Read more

Environmental groups target Cuomo

In a full-page ad in Albany’s Legislative Gazette, the grassroots organization Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy and the environmental law firm Community Environmental Defense Council (CEDC) call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to demonstrate leadership on hydraulic fracturing. The question of whether New York should permit high volume fracking has been debated for years, but the state still has not developed a coherent approach to the issue.  Read more

Cuomo’s fracking health concern; Compulsory integration may be challenged

ALBANY, NY — According to a report from the Associated Press, Governor Andrew Cuomo came close to approving up to 40 gas wells targeting the Marcellus Shale recently, but changed direction after talking to environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cuomo’s former brother-in-law.  Read more

NY Assembly: aging judges OK

ALBANY, NY — The New York Assembly on February 28 voted to change the state constitution to allow judges to serve up until the age of 80. This is the second time that the measure has passed the assembly and, in order for it to become law, it needs to be approved by the senate and then by the voters.

Currently, the mandatory retirement age for judges is 70. After that age, Supreme Court and Appellate Court Judges can be certified every two years to serve until age 76. Judges on the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, can’t serve beyond age 70.  Read more

Searching for the Second Amendment

REGION — “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

That’s it. The entire Second Amendment. A single sentence, just 27 words. Despite its brevity and apparent simplicity, the Second Amendment has been subjected to radical reinterpretation over the years. The meaning we assign to it today might have perplexed our founding fathers.  Read more

Gun law protests continue; Cuomo considers amendment

ALBANY, NY — Senator John Bonacic was one of several lawmakers to address protesters outside the capital building on February 28 to show their opposition to the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (NY SAFE), which bans the sale of assault weapons.

Many counties and towns in New York have passed resolutions opposing the law, and buses from all over the state brought gun enthusiasts to the rally. Assemblyman Marc Butler, who serves Herkimer and Fulton counties, said he recently held an informational session about the new law that drew about 1,000 residents.  Read more

Greentown man investigated

A Greentown man is under investigation for alleged animal abuse. A Pennsylvania Humane Society Police Officer, a dog warden and Pennsylvania State Police are continuing to gather evidence. The dog was found with her limbs and muzzle duct taped last Friday in an outbuilding at the dog owner’s residence.

Anyone with any information about this is asked to contact Humane Society Police Officer Marlene Metzger employed by Dessin Animal Shelter 570/647-0239.

Pipeline protestors arrested

Three men were arrested on trespass charges for trying to block progress in the development of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline loop around Milford. Members of the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department made the arrest. Police believe that Newburg, NY resident Stephen Olympia, 23, was perched in a tree high above the path of the pipeline for three days, blocking attempts of tree-clearing in the area. Along with the trespass count, he was also charged with resisting arrest.  Read more

Narrowsburg St. Patrick’s Parade

The first annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will march down the streets of Narrowsburg on March 17 at 1 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Narrowsburg Inn, Roto-Rooter Plumbing, Enviroventures and VIP Restroom Trailers. The Grand Marshal will be Lou “Big Al” Ferriger.  Read more

Liberty to consider rolling back zoning

In a rare meeting of three Liberty boards—the town board, the planning board and the zoning board—members are expected to discuss rolling back zoning changes. The zoning review committee spent several years working on the zoning changes that were adopted by the town board in 2011.  Read more

Sequestration cuts take hold

REGION — With sequestration, or across-the-board spending cuts now the law of the land, at least for the time being, federal entities of all stripes are being asked to make due with less. For the National Park Service (NPS), that means cutting the budget by 5%. For the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, that works out to about $164,000 for the remainder of this year.  Read more

Nearly $142 million tax break sought; Concord project applies to IDA

The destination resort project being planned for the site of the old Concord Hotel is ambitious. According to documents on the project’s website (www.eptconcordresort.com), “When complete, the EPT Concord Resort will include an 18-hole golf course, a casino resort, harness horse race track, grandstand/showroom, simulcast facility, hotels, a recreational vehicle park and an entertainment village with supporting retail stores. In addition, there will be a residential village with a mix of housing, including condos, apartments, townhouses and detached single-family homes.  Read more

Livingston Manor trio busted

Responding to complaints by citizens of “open air” drug dealing on the streets of Livingston Manor, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office conducted a six-month investigation which has led to three arrests. Flavio Lugo, 19, of Livingston Manor was arrested on January 2; John M. Bryant, Sr., 63, of Livingston Manor was arrested January 17; and Curtis Kennedy, 25, of Monticello was arrested February 6.  Read more

Berlin Township buys truck

Berlin Township has bought a 2012 Ford 550 truck for $69,658. The purchase was made through Pennsylvania’s piggyback program, which allows municipalities to benefit from cooperative purchasing through the Commonwealth’s Department of General Services’ commodity contracts. Utilization of state-awarded contracts by local governments fulfills local bidding requirements and increases savings to the municipalities.  Read more

Police ID persons linked to series of home burglaries; Hunt is on in Town of Highland

Thanks to a vigilant resident, Town of Highland constables are hot on the heels of the person or persons responsible for a series of home break-ins. It was noted at the town board meeting on February 12 that there have been in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 break-ins reported in recent months. Because of that, the board unanimously voted to add $10,000 to the constabulary budget to beef up patrols.  Read more

Sheriff to residents: ‘calm down’; No one is going to confiscate your guns

Sheriff Philip Bueki said that the reaction to the massacre of children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT is the opposite of what might be expected. He said, “Instead of people talking about controlling high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, the sales have gone through the roof, and people that normally didn’t think about buying high-capacity magazines or assault weapons are now going out and buying them by the droves.”  Read more

Sullivan moves forward with $8.8 million bond; State early voting opposed by legislature

Several lawmakers expressed reservations about committing the county to spend some $8.8 million on a new emergency radio system for the county, but in the end, the vote was unanimous to move forward with it.  Read more

PA cocaine ring busted

Members of a major drug ring have been arrested, according to PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane, and two of them live in Honesdale. A press release from Kane said that 20 people were arrested on February 22, as part of a two-and-a-half year investigation into the operation.  Read more

Damascus road workers retained

The Damascus Township Board of Supervisors on February 18 voted unanimously to extend the employment of two township road workers who were appointed last month as foremen for 30 days. Supervisor chairman Jeffrey R. Dexter was absent from the meeting.  Read more