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August 31, 2015
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CALLICOON CENTER, NY — Bryan Kent is a show-me kind of guy. Now, having been won over by the performance of his electric vehicle, a 2013 Nisson Leaf, he is driving it on an epic road trip covering more than 26,000 miles in about 100 days. Along the way, he plans to visit the capitals of the 48 contiguous U.S. states and plant 100 trees.

Sullivan Renaissance conference and expo

The annual winter conference of Sullivan Renaissance was held at the CVI building in Ferndale on March 9, and was once again a magnet for the movers and shakers of the county and the region. Mingling among the crowd before the opening keynote speech were State Senator John Bonacic, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Congressman Chris Gibson and a host of elected officials from Sullivan County.  Read more

First-place winners at Sullivan West; BOE continues to hear about plans for graduation

The Odyssey of the Mind team at Sullivan West Elementary School was recognized at the March 7 school board meeting for taking first place in its division at a recent regional competition in Goshen. The team advances to the state contest on March 23 in Binghamton.  Read more

Pike county bans smoking; County-owned facilities smoke-free

“Pike County is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace and campus to promote the health and well being of its employees and constituents and visitors,” and that was one of the reasons that, at the meeting on March 7, the Pike County Commissioners voted to ban smoking and the use of all tobacco products in all county-owned facilities effective immediately.  Read more

Health study outlined in fracking moratorium; Proposed senate legislation also highlights health

ALBANY, NY — The two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing that was passed by the New York State Assembly on March 7 calls for a health study of the process to be undertaken by a school of public health within the State University of New York following a model recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.  Read more

Callicoon will not adopt comprehensive plan as written

There was tension and restraint about how to proceed regarding the town’s proposed comprehensive plan during the public comment period of the Town of Callicoon meeting on March 11. There was anxiety about language in the plan that suggests the town board is preparing for and inviting hydraulic fracturing.  Read more

Sheriff and DA to run again

Sullivan County Sheriff Mike Schiff and District Attorney Jim Farrell announced that they will again run for office this year. It will be the third term for Schiff and the second for Farrell.  Read more

Death called suspicious; New Jersey woman found at bottom of ravine

SHOHOLA FALLS, PA — Pennsylvania State Police at Blooming Grove have labeled the death of a New Jersey woman “suspicious,” and are seeking information from the public about it.  Read more

Legislature to vote on condemning gun law; Opposition in Sullivan is strong

Legislator Gene Benson said he has received 300 emails opposing the New York Secure Ammunitions and Firearms Enforcement Act (NY SAFE), which puts limits on the sale of assault weapons and the size of magazine clips. Legislator Kathy LaBuda said she received about 200 emails and only one was in favor of the law.  Read more

Fanslau meets with village officials

The former Sullivan County manager, David Fanslau, has reportedly met with the board of trustees of the Village of Monticello to discuss the possibility of serving temporarily as the manager of the village.  Read more

Bill would prevent leasing in state forests

HARRISBURG, PA — Representative Greg Vitali, the minority chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, on March 8 introduced a law that would permanently ban the leasing of additional state forest land for Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.  Read more

Man accused of killing prison guard identified

CANAAN, PA — The man accused of killing corrections officer Eric Williams at the U.S. Penitentiary at Canaan in Wayne County on February 25 has been identified. Officials say the suspect is Jessie Con-ui, who had previously been convicted of killing a rival gang member in Arizona.  Read more

Minisink compressor court battle continues

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on March 8 denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Millennium Pipeline regarding the construction of the controversial compressor station in the Town of Minisink. The lawsuit was brought by the group Stop the Minisink Compression Station (StopMCS) whose members live in the suburban community surrounding the site of the proposed station.  Read more

Protestors disrupt DRBC meeting

WEST TRENTON, NJ — A meeting of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) was disrupted by a large group of protestors who sang and chanted and refused for a time to let the regular business of the commission take place. The protestors represented various environmental groups and said their number at the meeting was about 140.  Read more

Legislator drills down into prisoner releases; Is Sullivan a homeless destination?

There are state regulations regarding where state prisoners go when they are released from prison and have no home to go to. If the prisoner is prosecuted in Sullivan County and is homeless upon release, then the prisoner enters the county’s Department of Community Services system.  Read more

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