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October 24, 2016
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Restore historic protections to waters of the United States

One would expect that, living close to the land, farmers would embrace environmental conservation and stewardship. And while many farmers deserve praise for doing so, regrettably, this is not always the case. One need only look at the controversy surrounding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule to clarify what Waters of the United States they protect and do not protect as defined in the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972, and the act’s subsequent amendments. The proposal, which has come to be called the WOTUS rule, is in our opinion modest and balanced, yet critics, including powerful farming and ranching organizations, have engaged in wild exaggeration and have based their objections on a number of points that are just not true.  Read more

The arts, serving the public good

More than 500 people turned out to see The Weather Project performance on Saturday evening at the Yulan ball field. In doing so, each one of these audience members cast a vote (witting or not) in support of the arts in the Upper Delaware River region. In addition, 73 area residents acted, sang, danced or otherwise performed, including many adults and children who had never participated in a play before.  Read more

Comprehensive plans, zoning and the proposed drug rehab

The comprehensive plan for the Town of Tusten was adopted in 2007. A vision statement created for the plan at a community outreach event says, “We see our community growing in a balanced, diverse manner that protects its rural character by building on our strengths and historic roots.”  Read more

How two states support renewable energy (or not)

Solar power is turning into a growth industry. The total installed solar capacity in the U.S. has doubled in the last several years, and there has been a rapid drop in the average price per watt of solar-generated electricity. Some experts now predict a doubling of solar PV panels on homes and small businesses every two years, creating a growth industry with the potential to become a significant job-creator. Yet, Pennsylvania seems to be missing the message and, if it is not careful, the burgeoning solar energy economy will simply pass it by.  Read more

Redistricting and transparency

When Sullivan County’s legislature redrew the border lines of the county’s legislative districts last week, it was over the objections of the supervisors of the towns of Highland and Lumberland, and one presumes many of their constituents. Other members of the public also spoke against the process.  Read more


Sustainability has become a watchword for development in the 21st century. The simplest definition is: that which can be maintained over time. Another widely accepted definition is found in the Brundtland Report, published by the United Nations in 1987 ( “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  Read more

The essential middle class

Among the lessons that political science students once learned in Poli-Sci 101 was that a broad middle class underpins both the success and the strength of a democracy and helps support a vibrant economy. With its extensive, wide-ranging middle class, the United States was held up as the perfect model for peace and prosperity.  Read more

Greatest Generation

On the very last day of spring, just a few days ago, John Rooney of Yulan, NY passed from this earth. He was one of the Greatest Generation. He was hardened in battle, having fought in the Battle of the Bulge, but lived kindly and gently in civilian life until his final breath.

Today there is a new call for boots on the ground in Iraq and greater military involvement in the region. This call is being made unimaginably by the very people who urged us into Iraq in 2003.  Read more

Coal, jobs and politics in Pennsylvania

On Sunday the Republican former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson wrote in the New York Times that man-made climate change is “the challenge of our time,” and called for a federal tax on carbon emissions, and last week on Capitol Hill four former administrators of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Republicans all, told the Senate that the U.S. must take action on climate change. The four were Christine Todd Whitman (EPA secretary under George W. Bush), William Reilly, (for George H.W.  Read more

Seeking stability, continuity and a better vision

Honesdale Borough government needs some stability. Since the beginning of this year alone, three borough council members and a mayor have resigned. Yes, the borough normally has its share of turnover of elected officials who ran and lost in various elections, but in the past three-and-a-half years there have been an unusual number of resignations as well as sitting council members declining to seek reelection because of problems arising either from conflict on the council or from how the town does its business.  Read more