October 5, 2011 —
Grants awarded to improve forests
UPPER DELAWARE BASIN — Two dozen landowners across three states will share more than $175,000 in Common Waters Fund grants to develop forest management plans and implement sustainable management practices that protect water quality. The awards were distributed in September by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation.
“The investments we make now to help landowners maintain their forest lands upstream will pay us back in clean water for years to come,” said Susan Beecher, executive director of the Pike County Conservation District and Upper Basin Coordinator for the Common Waters Fund.
“We need to strengthen our connections between the forests that provide much of the nation’s drinking water and the people who drink it,” said Carlton Owen, president and CEO of the endowment. “Now is the time to invest in the green infrastructure that provides us with clean water and other benefits such as flood protection.”
The Common Waters Fund offers resources for landowners who want to maintain their land as forest, allowing them to work with knowledgeable local foresters to improve the value of their forests and to help facilitate the forests’ inherent ability to filter drinking water for 15 million people downstream. The fund is now working to attract investors interested in sustaining the program beyond its initial two-year pilot phase.
The next application deadline for the Common Waters Fund is November 1. Visit www.commonwaters  fund.org and apply for grants through its local partner offices.
Deputies to take over at school
MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be assigned to fill the place of Village of Monticello Detective Luis Velasco at the Monticello School District.
Velasco had been removed from his position as school resource officer after the village and school had been unable to agree about how his compensation would be covered. The village wanted the school to virtually double the amount of compensation covered.
Sheriff’s office youth division officers will be stationed alternately at the high school and middle school, and will teach DARE classes in the elementary schools.
According to sheriff Mike Schiff, the officers will be provided to the schools free of charge.
Tusten sees first jury trial in over 15 years
NARROWSBURG, NY — Judge Carmine Rufrano presided over the first jury trial in Tusten in over 15 years on September 29 and 30, in the case of the People of the State of New York vs. Victor J. Chimura.
The defendant, 20-year-old Chimura, was found guilty in this two-day trial of driving while intoxicated, under Vehicle & Traffic Law 1192-3. Attorney Donna Maria Lasher appeared for the defendant, and the prosecutor was assistant district attorney Jared K. Hart.
Chimura was acquitted of seven other related charges.
Church collects for flooding victims
NARROWSBURG, NY — The Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) team at St. Francis Xavier will conduct a drive to collect items for victims of the recent flooding in the West Pittston, PA, area. The collection will receive new sheets of any size, blankets and towels; and new underwear and socks for children and adults. Drop off items at St. Francis Xavier at the 4:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday, October 15, or the 11:15 a.m. Mass on Sunday, October 16. Items will be donated to Corpus Christi Parish in West Pittston. Call 570/729-7626.
The JPIC team pursues St. Francis’s philosophy of “justice, peace, and caring for creation.” A “Care for Creation” program was conducted under JPIC last spring, and a website, stfranciscare4creation.org, has been launched.
SEEDS launches ‘Kick the Watt’
REGION — Sustainable Energy Education & Development Support (SEEDS) has announced a program to help families save electricity called “Kick the Watt, a SEEDS 350 Project.” It is the next generation of last year’s “350 Saved Project” that saw 36 families save 113,492 kilowatt hours and almost $16,000 on their electric bills.
Continuing through September of 2012, participants will receive a monthly e-mail with tips on how to save electricity and money. Participants simply report the amount of electricity they use each month. There will be monthly prizes based upon the percentage of savings comparing a month this year to the same month the previous year, with a year-end grand prize for the biggest saver. Participants must be PPL customers living in Wayne, Pike, Susquehanna or Lackawanna County. Visit Seedsgroup.net, click on “Kick the Watt” and scroll down or call 570/698-6173.