Water, doves and bees in Narrowsburg

Posted 1/16/19

NARROWSBURG, NY — The board of the Town of Tusten at its meeting on January 8 considered a motion that would end the practice of the town selling municipal water to businesses. Under an …

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Water, doves and bees in Narrowsburg


NARROWSBURG, NY — The board of the Town of Tusten at its meeting on January 8 considered a motion that would end the practice of the town selling municipal water to businesses.

Under an arrangement that council member Brandi Merolla estimated dated back 10 years, the town had been selling water to a company called Aqua Duck Water Transport with a facility in Preston, PA. The company’s website promises to deliver “crystal clear water straight from a municipal water supply to your swimming pool — fast.” 

Once Merolla was alerted to the issue, she looked into the arrangement, and found there was no way to tell how much water the company was taking. Further, she found that some of the water was also being bottled and some sold to hydraulic fracturing operations. The town attorney advised the town to get out of the business of selling water.

The board unanimously voted to terminate selling town water as a commercial venture and to inform Aqua Duck Water Transport that the arrangement has ended.

Another dove for Narrowsburg

The Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA) is going to be stationing doves around the county as part of a promotion for the 50th anniversary of Woodstock at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. The Town of Tusten will get one dove for free. Supervisor Carol Wingert looked into the possibility of securing a second dove and was informed that would cost the town $1,400.  There was general agreement among the board members that one dove would be sufficient for the town.

The town will choose an artist to paint the dove, which must be done within the parameters set out by SCVA.

The dove will be set on a concrete base and will remain standing after the anniversary has passed, which prompted council member Jane Luchsinger to say, “I don’t’ really get it, you’re building on a gimmick.”

Wingert said as a means of promoting tourism, there is value in the dove and its connection to Woodstock.

“That was one weekend,” Luchsinger responded. She questioned the wisdom of having the town eternally connected to a dove.

Bees on the town hall?

There was a lively discussion about a mural artist named Matthew Willey who is in the midst of a project that involved painting 50,000 bees—the number estimated to be in a hive—on 40 to 50 buildings in the United States. Narrowsburg, which has in recent years been hosting the Honeybee Festival, has been suggested as a location for one of the murals, with the idea that the bees will be on the side of the town hall or library.

It was not clear of there would be a fee involved with this, or if Willey would paint the mural for free. Willey’s first bee mural was painted on the side of a building that housed a honey company in Labelle, FL. 

In a YouTube video (tinyurl.com/y82dcfsj), Willey says that people in Labelle told him he would never get funding for his project there. But he said, the local people made it happen. “A family let me stay in their RV for free, a restaurant offered me free food, a coffee shop gave me free breakfast for 10 weeks and people started donating bits of money,” he said. “In the end, the mural raised over $10,000.”

Willey said he became obsessed with bees when one of them flew into his New York City apartment and died on his floor. This prompted him to research bees and he found out about “altruistic suicide.”

“The immune system of the bee is not based on the health of the individual bee, but it is rather based on the health of the hive. When a bee feels sick it will fly off into the abyss for the good of the hive.” Willey’s website is www.thegoodofthehive.com.

The board determined to explore the matter further.

Narrowsburg, woodstock festival, bethel woods, peace doves


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