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October 27, 2016
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Cutting the safety net; Who will help in hard times?

Job losses in the U.S. were unprecedented during the Great Recession, which began in December 2007 and technically ended in June 2009. Since then, the economy has been growing, but the recovery continues to pass many people by. As December 2013 ended, there were still 1.2 million fewer jobs than at the start of the recession. For many of the long-term unemployed (in December, 37.7% of the 10.4 million unemployed had been looking for work for 27 weeks or longer) the prospect of finding a job remains discouraging.  Read more

Short changing (students) us all

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $137 billion budget plan for 2014-2015 includes an $807 million increase for education (up 3.8% over last fiscal year), with $608 earmarked as school aid for the state’s 709 school districts and $100 million to fund pre-Kindergarten programs, as part of a five-year, $1.5 billion initiative to establish universal, full-day pre-Kindergarten statewide. The increase in the governor’s proposed budget, however, does not compensate for the cuts of previous years that began during the 2007-2009 recession. Many of the state’s beleaguered school districts and education advocates are calling the governor’s budget numbers woefully inadequate to stave off more rounds of cuts to staff, student programs, courses and other resources.  Read more

The gravy train; Agricultural subsidies need reform

With any luck, the United States may get a new farm bill this year. Already a year overdue, however, the bill is facing some 11th-hour obstacles as a committee of congressional negotiators wrestles to reconcile the differences between the two versions passed by the House and Senate in 2013.  Read more

Job well done, Sean McGuinness

Sean McGuinness, the superintendent of the National Park Service’s Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, is retiring this month, setting off on an adventure that many retirees take—to discover what other wonderful things life has to offer. We at The River Reporter shall miss him.  Read more

River valley counties by the number

Recently we at The River Reporter were curious to compare three of our local counties in the Upper Delaware River Valley to see how they stack up against each other for demographics, housing and income, and so we took another look at the results of the 2010 U.S. census and some of the interim estimates (through 2012) of how we’re doing.

Here are some of the statistics we found to be interesting:
Pike, PA Wayne, PA Sullivan, NY
(576sq/mi) (763sq/mi) (997sq/mi)
56,899 51,955 76,793
Population loss from 4/1/10 to 7/1/12
-0.8% -1.6% -1.0%
Persons under 18 in 2012  Read more

Preserving a community’s assets

In the face of some well-organized and passionate opposition, Pike County Pennsylvania commissioners have a tough decision to make about where to build a much needed new courthouse annex in the heart of historic Milford. As the county’s population has grown (it increased 65% in the 1990s and another 24% between 2000 and 2010), the ability to conduct the county’s business undeniably requires more courtroom and office space.  Read more

Dragnet: spying in the digital age

It seems the time has come to reread George Orwell’s 65-year-old dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-four.” The questions it raises, about a fictional world in which each person is subjected to 24-hour surveillance in an authoritarian state, seem timelier now than ever, given what we have learned about the magnitude of electronic spying by our government’s National Security Agency (NSA), not only on foreign targets, but also, as it turns out, on Americans here at home. (If you think the bulk collection of data about our telephone calls is not spying, we beg to differ.)  Read more

Reflections on 2013 and some wishes for the year ahead

Reviewing a year’s worth of editorials this week provided opportunity to reflect on some of the issues we at The River Reporter thought were important enough to take a position on and to share with our readers for their own consideration in 2013.  Read more

Poverty wages

Recently, more than 100 U.S. cities have seen protests by fast food workers demanding a living wage. They are among the poorest paid workers in the country. Almost 60% of U.S. minimum-wage workers are in food service or sales. Farm workers and homecare aides also join the ranks of the lowest paid.  Read more

Threatening endangered species

Here in the Upper Delaware River Valley, living close to nature, we realize its great value to our lives; we understand the importance of preserving our pristine rivers and streams, our healthy forests and nature’s critical diversity of species. In the language of science, we value our region’s amazing biodiversity and the essential ecosystems on which the river valley’s species depend.  Read more