USPS Operation Santa now open for letter adoption and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region December 2 to 8

Posted 11/30/21

What's new in the Upper Delaware region December 2 to 8

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USPS Operation Santa now open for letter adoption and more

What's new in the Upper Delaware region December 2 to 8


Gov. Kathy Hochul releases statement on Omicron varient

ALBANY, NY — On Friday, November 26, Gov. Kathy Hochul released a statement on New York’s response to the new omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

“We are closely monitoring the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.529, also known as the omicron variant. The Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory will continue to actively monitor COVID-19 virus samples selected from throughout New York State to compare sequences and identify circulating and new variants. While we have not yet identified any omicron cases, we are not surprised that new variants are emerging and may likely end up in New York. We will continue to monitor WHO actions and work with our partners at the CDC to keep a close eye on developments.

“I want to remind New Yorkers to continue taking the precautionary steps we know reduce the spread of this deadly virus: wear a mask in indoor public places, use proper hand hygiene, get tested, and stay home when sick. The vaccine also remains one of our greatest weapons in fighting the pandemic, and this news further emphasizes the need for each of us to get vaccinated and get the booster if you’re fully vaccinated.”

300-year-old farm protected by Open Space Institute

TOWN OF ROCHESTER, NY — On November 16, the Open Space Institute (OSI) announced the transfer of a nearly 300-year-old farm in the Ulster County Town of Rochester to the Hudson Valley Seed Company (HVSC). Located between the Catskill Mountains and the western side of the Shawangunk Ridge, the property is near several other OSI-protected farms and is part of the highly visible and historically significant agricultural lands in the center of the Rondout Valley.

The 107-acre property consists of productive farmland and woods, with almost two miles of the property running along Route 209, and Airport Road. The land will continue to be maintained as agricultural fields into the future and used by HVSC for certified-organic, locally sourced, and sustainably grown heirloom seed production.

Democratic candidates endorsed in Monticello

MONTICELLO, NY — The Town of Thompson Democratic Committee has endorsed three candidates for the Village of Monticello election coming up in March. The committee has endorsed former mayor and police chief Douglas Solomon to run for a four-year term as village justice; Judge Josephine Finn retired recently from that position. The committee has also endorsed Michael Greco to run for a four-year term as village trustee. Greco is a former Village of Monticello recreation director and former Monticello Central School District baseball coach. The committee has also endorsed incumbent Republican trustee Charles Sabatino, elected in March of 2019, to run for re-election. The endorsements were made at a meeting held on November 23. The village election will be held on Tuesday, March 15.

Alvarez joins board of NYS Association of Counties

LIBERTY, NY — Sullivan County District 6 Legislator Luis Alvarez has been appointed to the board of the NYS Association of Counties (NYSAC), one of the most influential advocates for the state’s 62 counties. Representing the state’s Third Judicial District, Alvarez joins 14 other board members, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in helping guide NYSAC forward.

NYSAC represents New York counties and their taxpayers before federal, state and local officials on matters germane to county governments, and informs its membership and the public at large on issues of importance to counties. The Albany-based organization educates, trains and provides research on public policy to federal, state and local officials and to the membership on a variety of issues and hosted its 2019 conference in Sullivan County.

USPS Operation Santa now open for letter adoption

PENNSYLVANIA — is live and ready to help make the 2021 holiday season special for kids and families in need. The Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa more than a century ago. In 1912, then-Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and customers to respond to them. This became what is now known as USPS Operation Santa, where letters to Santa from across the country are adopted and their requests are fulfilled by charitable donors.

Those who have already registered to adopt letters should visit, read through the letters and pick one or more wishes that they’d like to make come true. Letters can be adopted through Dec. 22. Packages can be shipped until Jan. 14.

For those who have not yet registered, there is still time to help make this holiday special for so many. Visit, click on the registration link and follow the prompts. For security reasons, all prospective adopters must be vetted through a short registration and ID verification process before they can participate. If someone has adopted letters in the past, they must still be verified each year.

Businesses and other organizations can also get into the spirit of the season by forming teams to adopt letters. Everyone participating on a team must also go through the verification process.

Veteran service hours

HARRISBURG, PA — Rep. Mike Peifer (R-Pike/Wayne) will be hosting in-person veteran service hours on Monday, Dec. 13, with American Legion Department Service Officer William McGovern at 10 a.m.; 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., at Peifer’s Hawley district office located at 2523 Route 6, Suite 2, Hawley.

Services to veterans and their dependents include assistance with compensation, pension and death benefits, education and health care, plus other benefits. Veterans do not need a membership with the American Legion to receive these services.

Those interested in scheduling an appointment can contact Peifer’s district office at 570/226-5959.

One fatality in Lumberland accident

LUMBERLAND, NY — On Saturday, November 27, at approximately 3 p.m., the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report of a one-car accident with entrapment on State Route 97 in the Town of Lumberland. The Lumberland Fire Department and Lumberland Ambulance Corps was on the scene when deputies arrived.

Witnesses said that a 2004 Chevrolet Corvette had been traveling southbound at a normal rate of speed when it suddenly crossed the double yellow line, spun around and struck a tree with the rear of the vehicle. The driver, Michael Haas, age 69, of Greeley, PA was pronounced dead at the scene by Sullivan County Coroner Alan Kesten. A small dog, which was uninjured in the crash, was recovered from the vehicle. The state police, Highland Lake and Sparrowbush fire departments assisted at the scene. The accident remains under investigation.

Dumas victory in court recount

HARRISBURG, PA —‚Äč Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid announced on November 24 that all 67 counties have completed the recount of the Commonwealth Court race and the recount results confirm the original unofficial election results, with Lori A. Dumas winning the second open seat on the court.

The recount results are as follows: Stacy Marie Wallace (R) – 1,355,445 (26.56 percent); Lori A. Dumas (D) – 1,297,253 (25.42 percent); Drew Crompton (R) – 1,274,899 (24.98 percent) and David Lee Spurgeon (D) – 1,175,974 (23.04 percent).

NY secures $2 million for opioid crisis

ALBANY, NY — New York State had secured $2 million in federal funding through the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program to aid addiction service providers in the fight against the opioid crisis. The funding will be used to establish mobile medication units to dispense medications to treat substance use disorder, including methadone and buprenorphine. Applications are due on December 6.

These mobile units can help people facing barriers to treatment, including geographic proximity to opioid treatment facilities and transportation issues, and increase the availability of medication-assisted treatment for addiction. The units will supplement already existing mobile services throughout New York State offered by other providers certified by the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, including assessment, counseling, medications other than methadone for addiction treatment, telepractice and transportation services.

Strategic Petroleum Reserve release to impact NYS heating costs

RHINEBECK, NY — On November 17, Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19) called on President Joe Biden to release inventory from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas and home heating prices for upstate New Yorkers. A week later, on November 23, the White House announced plans to release oil from the reserve.

Severe market disruptions caused by the pandemic have resulted in price spikes at the gas pump. Delgado’s letter made clear that upstate communities depend on heating oil, propane, and other gas sources to heat their homes.

COVID-19, omicron variant, Open Space Institute, Hudson Valley Seed Company, Village of Monticello election, Luis Alvarez, NYS Association of Counties, USPS Operation Santa, Rep. Mike Peifer, veteran service hours, Lumberland, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, Strategic Petroleum Reserve


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