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December 07, 2016
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Copyrighted photo by David B. Soete

RIVER VALLEY — As many people know by now, founding father Ben Franklin thought more highly of the American Turkey than the American Bald Eagle and wrote as much in a letter home from France in 1784.

Town of Callicoon meeting; Concerns about fracking remain

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — At the Callicoon town meeting on May 8, in a series of continuing presentations on the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, Shandelee resident and bio-chemist Linda Reik gave remarks highlighting the dangers of methane gas leakage. Most recently, in Harlem, methane leakage destroyed two buildings and killed two people. Methane is 100 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide. Natural gas is composed 90% of methane and, Reik said, natural gas pipelines have a terrible history of leakage. Last week in a report the U.S. government said, “the most direct way to significantly reduce the magnitude of future global warming is to reduce the emissions of heat-trapping gases.” Reik exceeded her three-minute time limit for a presentation and was asked to stop after four minutes.  Read more

Lumberland highway employees seek union

GLEN SPEY, NY — “This was quite a surprise,” Supervisor Nadia Rajsz said on May 14 in prefacing a proposed resolution seeking town certification of union representation for Lumberland’s highway employees.  Read more

New digs for Catskill Mountainkeeper

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The environmental advocacy group Catskill Mountainkeeper held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 16 in front of its new office in Livingston Manor. The organization, which started with two staff members in 2006, has grown to a staff of nine now, and needed more room to function effectively. The new office is located on Main Street, which is known for being submerged beneath floodwaters from time to time; therefore care has been taken to flood-proof the property as much as possible.  Read more

Causeway in the river’s future

POND EDDY, NY — Though the project to replace the Pond Eddy Bridge does not begin for another two years, at least one river activist is raising alarm bells about the possibility of a temporary causeway being created across the river. Pat Carullo created the image, and in his view any causeway will have a significant negative impact on the environment, wildlife and tourism near the Pond Eddy Bridge.  Read more

Replacement project for Pond Eddy Bridge to begin in two years

Press release from Upper Delaware Council

BINGHAMTON, NY — The contract to build a new bridge to connect the New York and Pennsylvania communities of Pond Eddy over the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River is expected to be awarded in April 2016, with construction taking place in 2017 and possibly extending into 2018, at a total estimated cost of $11.9 million.  Read more

Second PA hearing on medical marijuana

HARRISBURG, PA — Following a hearing in February regarding legislation to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, the senate Law and Justice Committee will hold a second public hearing on the issue on June 10.  Read more

Short Line service to Jeffersonville

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — The ShortLine Bus Company has initiated service from Jeffersonville to New York City on a daily basis. There are two departures each day, leaving at 9:30 am and 11:30 a.m., and two arrivals at 11:20 a.m. and 7 p.m. The bus departure point is across the street from the post office on Main Street.  Read more

State acquires 590 more acres in the Catskill Park

SHANDAKAN, NY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on May 20 that New York State has acquired 590 acres of land on the upper slopes of Balsam Mountain in the Catskill Park, which will help to preserve critical habitats and expand outdoor recreation opportunities for visitors. According to the governor’s office, this effort supports the goals of the governor’s 2014 Tourism Summit as well as the state’s weeklong celebration of the beginning of the summer travel season, which features various outdoor recreational opportunities.  Read more

Suspect identified in hit and run

BUCKINGHAM TOWNSHIP, PA — A suspect has been identified in a hit-and-run incident that killed 19-year-old Zachary Passemato of Hancock, NY. Television station WNEP reported that Jason Day is being investigated as being the driver of a pick-up truck that killed Passemato in the accident, which occurred on May 16 at about 8:30 p.m. at State Route 191 at Winterdale Road, in Buckingham Township, Wayne County.  Read more

Cochecton considers term changes

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Highway superintendent Kevin Esselman’s request to have his current two-year term extended to four years prompted discussion at the Cochecton Town Board’s May 14 meeting of term changes for other elected officials as well. Esselman’s request was made after he claimed that the demands of campaigning can interfere with an incumbent’s job performance, which in his case often requires round-the-clock work.  Read more

Memorial Day kicks off the season

REGION — Memorial Day was formerly known as Decoration Day and was started after the Civil War to honor the memories of more than 600,000 soldiers who died fighting for one or the other side of the Mason Dixon Line. Now, it’s a time to honor all the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the United States military throughout history.

It’s also a time that marks the unofficial beginning of the summer season, bringing lots of visitors to the region.  Read more

Two messages for Washington

MONTICELLO, NY — Among the 33 resolutions passed by the Sullivan County Legislature at their monthly meeting on May 15, two were meant to specifically address issues that can be most effectively addressed by lawmakers in Washington, DC. One is the direct-to-consumer advertising by pharmaceutical companies that became legal with legislation allowing it passed by Congress in 1997. The resolution requested that Congress move to ban such advertisements. It noted that only two countries, the United States and New Zealand, allow such advertising, and that the ads “may unduly influence the prescribing of prescription medication based on consumer demand when, in some cases, they may not be medically necessary.”  Read more

NYC man charged for producing child porography in Lumberland

On May 13, 2014 State Police at Liberty arrested Stephen P. Brown, age 62 of New York, NY for producing child pornography at a location in the Town of Lumberland. Brown was originally arrested by State Police on March 4th, 2014, after arriving at a predetermined location where at he had made plans to meet a boy who he knew to be 12 years of age for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct. He has been held in the Albany County Jail since that date. Further investigation revealed that Brown had produced child pornography in Sullivan County during 2012 and 2013.  Read more

Wayne County employees records breached

Press release from Wayne County Commissioners:
Wayne County has been notified by Paytime, Inc., the vendor that processes the county’s payroll, that they had an unauthorized access into their system on or about April 30, 2014.  Read more

Courthouse no longer before the commissioners

MILFORD, PA — Any alternate plans or concerns about county plans for an addition to the Pike County Courthouse should go to the borough’s architectural review board (ARB), Commissioner Karl Wagner said on May 7.  Read more

Heroin and opioid forum

MONTICELLO, NY — “We’re fooling ourselves if we think we can educate these kids, and at the same time pass laws that legalize marijuana. We cannot do that… It is a gateway drug. When we see people who are in trouble with the law, people who are in prison now, what do we see in their presentencing reports? They started with marijuana.”  Read more

First GALA Awards bestowed; Congressional hopeful attacks incumbent’s gay rights record

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA) of the Catskills handed out their first ever GALA Awards to “local GLBT leaders and allies” on May 3, at the Kraus Recital Hall above the home of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance in Narrowsburg.  Read more

WJFF penalized for 2011 deficiencies; New board and general manager establish compliance measures

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — One year after the resignations of its station manager and eight of nine trustees, public radio station Radio Catskill-WJFF faces a $15,000 penalty imposed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for failures of compliance in 2011. The new board of trustees this week posted notice of the penalty on the station website, wjffradio.org, and mailed a letter regarding this matter to supporters regarding the penalty and the ways the station is moving forward.  Read more

Is FERC biased in favor of gas companies? A central question in the Minisink case

WASHINGTON, DC — In case after case involving gas infrastructure projects, residents opposed to those projects say it appears that regulatory agencies, in this case the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), are too cozy with the industry they are regulating, and that those relationships create an unequal playing field for residents who try to influence projects.  Read more

Knotweed is sprouting and spreading

NARROWSBURG, NY — If you’ve been along the river’s shore lately, there is a good chance you’ve seen bright red sprouts pushing through the shoreline soil.  Read more