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December 21, 2014
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ALBANY, NY — During a cabinet meeting in Albany on December 17, Howard Zucker M.D., the Acting New York State Commissioner of Health, said that he could not recommend that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) should be allowed to go forward.

Community reserve may not be pierced; court sides with Beechwood over developer

Judge Mark Meddaugh was straightforward in his decision. He wrote, “The Boymelgreens are completely mistaken when they assert that they have an express easement to cross over Beechwood’s lands. The Boymelgreens have failed to present either express language or circumstances supporting their claims to unfettered access to and through Beechwood. The Boymelgreens are also mistaken in claiming that there is any ambiguity in the descriptions of the property and/or the rights of way that were transferred to them that would work in favor of their claims of greater access to Beechwood.”  Read more

Motion to renew in Middlefield case denied

WAMPSFIELD, NY -- The Supreme Court of the State of New York in the County of Otsego has denied a motion to renew by the plaintiff in the Middlefield home rule case, in which the town's zoning, banning natural gas drilling, is being challenged by Cooperstown Holstein Corporation. In its first ruling, the court affirmed the right of the town to zone drilling. The denial leaves that finding standing.

The motion to renew is separate from the appeal of the original ruling, and will not affect the progress of the appeal.  Read more

Lawmakers feel the squeeze; move to override tax cap

There are a couple of figures that sum up the reality facing Sullivan County lawmakers. One figure is $900,000; that’s the amount of tax revenue increase that will be generated by the Albany-mandated 2% property tax increase.  Read more

Veterans program correction

WAYNE COUNTY, PA - In the news brief "Veterans get discount program" in the June 7 paper, describing a program allowing veterans to obtain ID cards from the Veterans Affairs office to obtain discounts from participating merchants, the address of the office was incorrect. The correct address is 314 10th St., Honesdale, PA.

Is Monticello Wal-Mart the worst?

When it became known that the Wal-Mart located on Anawana Lake Road in Kiamesha Lake had, on June 8, failed its fifth inspection since September of 2011, Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau become involved and wrote a letter to an executive at Wal-Mart Realty Management, urging that someone with the appropriate authority immediately take action to remedy the situation.  Read more

Extension offers water testing

PENNSYLVANIA — Penn State Extension in Pike County is partnering with Prosser Labs, a state certified water testing lab, to provide a local pick-up/drop-off site for drinking water samples. You should test your water annually for coliform bacteria and every three years for pH and total dissolved solids. If you are concerned about potential pollutants, more extensive testing is warranted.  Read more

Attempted murder charged in Beach Lake stabbing

A Beach Lake woman has been charged with attempted murder of her estranged husband, and as of press time was awaiting a hearing on Wednesday.

Carolyn Verderber, 54, who previously resided for some years in Callicoon, NY, was sent to the Wayne County Jail without bail in connection with an incident with Joe Verderber, 47, on Thursday, June 7.  Read more

New environmental partnership formed

SULLIVAN AND DELAWARE COUNTIES, NY – Catskill Mountainkeeper and Delaware Highlands Conservancy have formed the Sullivan Delaware Environmental Partnership. It will mutually support the member organizations’ environmental goals and missions and present a cooperative front of conservation groups that has a bigger and more productive impact with local, state and federal legislative representatives than either can present individually.  Read more

Emergency alert coming to Wayne

An electronic emergency system soon will be available to Wayne County residents through a grant from the Homeland Security Administration.  Read more

Homeland security vehicles on hold

Sheriff Mike Schiff would like to be able to purchase three more all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) with a grant of $40,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He needs the approval of the Sullivan County Legislature, but at a meeting on June 7, lawmakers put the matter on hold while they looked into whether or not there would be unforeseen expenses related to the acceptance of the grant.  Read more

Reaction to Hungry Hill compressor station; are other sites more suitable?

The 10.8-acre site on Hungry Hill Road, on which the Millennium Pipeline Company would like to build a compressor station, reportedly came into the company’s possession after the company caused serious damage to the home on the property.  Read more

Upper Delaware Council hires Ramie as executive director

The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. (UDC) promoted Laurie Ramie of Hortonville as executive director of the non-profit conservation organization, effective June 9.  Read more

Trout or tractors: take your pick!

LIVINGSTON MANOR AND CALLICOON, NY — This past weekend was a perfect example of why life is so rich in the Upper Delaware River region. In addition to endless opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation, the full slate of entertainment offerings makes it difficult to plan the day. The variety of people who visit or live here, as well as the spectrum of lifestyles and interests they represent, leads to the kind of cultural array that occurred last weekend.  Read more

Hot off the press: youth-led Manor Ink

Anyone who thinks that today’s young people are apathetic hasn’t met the pack that recently produced the inaugural issue of Manor Ink. In fact, covering issues that youth care about is precisely the point of the new publication, according to Tyler Young, 17, one of several young editors involved in the effort.  Read more

FERC approves pipeline loop around Milford;indignation is expressed toward NPS superintendent Donahue

There were a lot of angry, concerned people who gathered at the meeting of the Pike County Commissioners on June 6. At issue was the recent approval by the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) to allow the Tennessee Pipeline Company (TPC) to construct a 6.5-mile loop around Milford in order to avoid the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area (DWGNRA), a nearly 70,000-acre expanse along the Delaware River that is operated by the National Park Service (NPS).  Read more

New Chapin development lauded; emergency services a concern

About 50 people turned out to a public hearing for a new development in The Chapin Estate; unlike the previous ones created in the Town of Bethel, this one would be located in the Town of Lumberland.  Read more

Police halt fracking demonstration

MIDDLETOWN, NY — May 30 was a perfect day for a protest: sunny and bright with a light breeze. Among the first to show up was Tannis Kowalchuk, who came dressed in a doctor’s uniform with an oversized stethoscope and who stood tall on stilts. The outfit dovetailed nicely with the message of the day, which was to call for a health impact assessment regarding hydraulic fracturing.  Read more

For natural gas drilling, most NYS residents say risk outweighs revenue

The below is a press release from Cornell University

ITHACA, N.Y. — More than half of New York state residents believe that the environmental risks of natural gas drilling outweigh the revenues produced by such activity, according to the latest Empire State Poll conducted by Cornell’s Survey Research Institute.  Read more

Transit of Venus from Shohola

Our River Talk columnist Scott Rando sent us this photograph the morning of Wednesday, June 6, along with the following note:

“I gave up on seeing the transit of Venus due to the cloud cover and went to run errands and go to a meeting in NY. The meeting ended and as I reached home around sunset, there was a sliver of sun... just a sliver!  Read more

Gunther gets new chief of staff

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther’s chief of staff/legislative director, Steven Wilkinson, will leave her office at the end of June. Wilkinson will move to the New York State Department of Labor, serving as Deputy Director of Business Services in the Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions.  Read more