The campaign by various groups to have clear labels on food that include genetically modified organisms has been short-circuited by Congress and President Barack Obama. Congress passed and Obama signed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling (SAFE) Act, which is also known by opponents as the Deny Americans Right to Know (DARK) Act. Read more
At the most recent meeting of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB) Glenn Pontier, who has served on the board for 10 years, discussed who might be responsible for the loss of the more than $500,000 federal grant to help pay for a visitors’ center at Fort Delaware.
Pontier said the responsibility rested with the Sullivan County Division of Planning, the UDSB itself and Congress. In our view, the congressional role in this matter played the principal role in scuttling the project. Read more
It’s the project that wouldn’t die. Almost everyone thought it was dead, or nearly so, in 2013, which was the last time this newspaper reported on the new visitors’ center. At that time, it was proposed to be built at Fort Delaware in Narrowsburg, NY. But recently the idea of a visitors center has returned to life with about $510,000 secured by former Congressman Maurice Hinchey more than a decade ago. (Another $250,000 secured later by Sen. John Bonacic is apparently no longer available). Read more
On June 27, the board of the Town of Fallsburg adopted a one-year moratorium on the construction of new developments that would contain more than five units. Critics, including a prominent local construction company, complained that the moratorium was intended to slow the growth of the summer Hasidic community, which is driving an unprecedented construction boom in the town.
But a look at the issues, and a quick read about what the state has to say about building moratoria, suggest that should the matter end in litigation, the courts would uphold the moratorium. Read more
The townspeople of the Town of Highland and the Sullivan County Legislature are to be lauded for their efforts to push for a study of the potential health impacts of the proposed Highland compressor station. Any addition to our body of knowledge about the impacts of natural gas infrastructure in a world in which natural gas is being promoted—mistakenly, in our view—as part of the solution to our energy needs rather than as part of the problem, is a step in the right direction. But we need to be clear about what we are hoping to accomplish with such a study, and what cannot be accomplished. Read more
For the past 10 years or so, the Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and others have been trying to launch what could be called a boutique slaughterhouse in Liberty, NY. But after a wild ride of ups and downs, the project has finally met its demise.
The red meat facility was first proposed by the Sullivan County Agricultural Local Development Corporation in 2004, but that agency made no real progress, and the IDA adopted the project four years later. Read more
The Tusten planning board in March approved a special-use permit that allowed developer Phillip Geras to move forward with his plan to convert a former seasonal hunting camp into a year-round apartment building with 10 units.
At the public hearing about the project, Wanda and Geoffrey Gangel, who live next to the building in question, brought up some points that they interpreted to mean that the project would be in violation of several aspects of the town’s zoning code. The planning board did not agree with their arguments and granted the special-use permit. Read more