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August 23, 2014
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It’s not unusual to see large numbers of people floating down the Upper Delaware River on a summer’s day, but some in the group that were floating through Skinner’s Falls on August 14 were clearly distressed.

Community garden planned for Hawley

Kyle Hannel would like to build a community garden in Riverside Park. And to move forward with his intention, Hannel, a student at Lackawanna College Lake Region Center, approached the Hawley Borough Council on March 14. He said he is working on the project with his friend, Sean Brown, also of Hawley.  Read more

Lumberland to clamp down on amplified sound; another public hearing set for zoning rewrite

The Town of Lumberland Town Board began discussing the need to address noise levels at its monthly meeting on March 14. The move came in response to a letter of complaint filed by the Loch Ada Taxpayers Association (LATA) as well as the first permit request of the upcoming camp season, which seeks a “noise permit” allowing sound to be generated until 11:30 p.m. on most weekends through the summer, as well as some weekdays.  Read more

WCD to launch county-wide committee on biomass

The Wayne Conservation District (WCD) held its monthly meeting on March 14. Among the topics discussed, the board of directors approved establishment of a county-wide committee on the development of biomass as part of an effort to “keep county farmland in farmland,” according to WCD director Robert Mueller.  Read more

New precious metals law passed;DA rebuts gold dealers’ claims

The Sullivan County Legislature on March 15 held a public hearing on a new law that regulates the second-hand sale of jewelry, gold and other precious metals. With the price of gold soaring and the recession still hurting, thefts of jewelry from private homes have spiked in recent months.  Read more

Commissioners and judge approve bond for new courthouse annex; new bond sale consolidates old debt

The action by the Pike County Commissioners—with the absence of Judge Joseph Kameen, who is a party to the bond sale—approved the issuance of a $12 million bond to pay for a new annex to the ancient courthouse.  Read more

Hunter returns to Nutshell; R&B artist launches U.S. tour in Lake Huntington

James Hunter appeared at the Nutshell Arts Center in 2006 and, according to a press release about his next performance there, scheduled for March 23, that first performance boosted his profile in the United States because of a favorable review in The New York Times.  Read more

Bethel public hearing on drilling ban; one more time, with passion

Four years into it, the voices raised in the public debate about gas drilling and fracking can bring just as much passion to their arguments as they did at the outset. Four years into it, new voices continue to join the debate on both sides of the issue.  Read more

Gathering to protest one more time; whose responsibility is the rock wall?

Update as of March 21: According to Friends of Toronto co-chair Mary Ann Burke, a judge has dismissed a requiest for an injunction to keep the public off of The Chapin Estate easement that leads to the reservoir, and Alliance has promised to remove the rock wall as sooon as possible.  Read more

Apple tree pruning workshop scheduled

Expert orchardist Roger Hill will lead a hands-on workshop about the fine art of pruning apple trees on March 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. at O’Neill’s Orchard, 417 Upper Woods Road, Honesdale, PA.

Hill has been transitioning the orchard from traditional growing practices to organic. Participants will also be able to tour a geodesic greenhouse. Learn more about Hill’s work at the O’Neill orchard at www.riverreporteronline.com/feature/16/2011/06/02/going-organic-roger-hi....  Read more

Legislators agree to Apollo plan; new conditions in the deal

The Sullivan County legislators voted unanimously on March 15 to pass a resolution that transfers parcels at and around the Apollo Plaza to the Sullivan County Funding Corporation for the purpose of attracting a big box store and other retail outlets.  Read more

Cappelli sues EPT, Empire

Developer Louis Cappelli’s Concord Associates has filed a federal lawsuit against Empire Resorts and Entertainment Properties Trust (EPT), alleging that the latter broke anti-trust laws in collaborating to block his racino plans for the site of the old Concord Hotel. The suit seeks $1.5 billion in damages.

Cappelli still owns about 116 acres of the hotel site, but Empire Resorts and Entertainment Properties Trust now own the balance of the 1600 acres once belonging to the hotel. The transfer of property was part of a 2010 settlement of a legal dispute, in which both sides sued each other.  Read more

Pike buses will carry ads on sides

MILFORD, PA — The Pike County Transportation Department’s fleet of buses will soon carry ads on the vehicles’ sides, which will add some new revenue to the county’s coffers.
There are between 18 and 20 vehicles in the fleet. The ads will be marketed by KKPP Company, which does a similar service for other counties, including Monroe.  Read more

Continued access block spurs demonstration at Toronto

There will be a demonstration on Saturday, March 17 at 12:30 p.m. at the entrance to the Toronto Reservoir at Pine Grove Rd. and Town Rd. 62 to demand that the developer of Chapin Estates, Steve Dubrovsky, obey the recent Supreme Court decision to open the access immediately.

In his January 3 ruling, Judge Michael H. Melkonian of the State of New York Supreme Court admonished The Chapin Estate for interfering with public access, and affirmed the public’s right to free access to the property.

As of press time, a stone wall still blocked access.

Neversink open to recreation craft

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) will open the Neversink Reservoir to canoes, kayaks and sailboats beginning Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend this year for the first time. This program is the result of a similar pilot program conducted at the Cannonsville Reservoir in Delaware County for the past three years.  Read more

UDC award nominations due

Nominations for the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) annual awards are due by March 19. The ceremony will be held on April 22 at The Carriage House in Barryville.
Nine award categories are available, in addition to the Oaken Gavel Award traditionally given by the Council to the past year’s chairperson. Nomination forms are available at www.upperdelawarecouncil.org or by calling 845/252-3022.  Read more

Apollo plaza project moves forward; bed tax also considered

The Sullivan county Legislature on March 13 decided to move forward with the project at the Apollo Mall, and will eventually sell the land to Chancelor Livingston who will try to work out a deal to lure a big-box store to the site.  Read more

Pike, Wayne undecided about impact fees; some communities may sue

MILFORD & HONESDALE, PA — County commissioners in both Wayne and Pike counties have not decided if they will participate in the enactment of the recently adopted Gas Drilling Impact Fee Law, which has been passed by the PA Legislature and signed by Governor Tom Corbett.  Read more

Earley dismissed by Honesdale; Borough investigation is ended

Wayne Earley, the Honesdale Borough zoning officer whose licensure has been under the scrutiny of The Wayne Independent for weeks, was dismissed by the borough council with a vote of six in favor and one abstention. No member voted against it.  Read more

ECS presents final budget

Following many months of ruthless cuts aimed at creating an austere budget, Eldred Central School District (ECS) officials presented highlights of the near-final proposed 2012-13 budget. Despite a substantial increase of 5% in health insurance and a 30% rise in employee retirement, the proposed budget represents a decrease from the 2011-12 budget of 4.55%, resulting in a total budget of $15,778,153.  Read more

Sullivan Renaissance kicks off season

The Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference & Expo was held at the CVI Building on March 10 and unofficially kicked off the gardening and beautification season.

The new Sullivan County Legislative Chairman Scott Samuelson started the program with an a cappella rendition of America the Beautiful. Can he sing? Senator John Bonacic thought so, and said Samuelson was in the wrong business, meaning he should be a professional singer.  Read more