How did it get to be this bad?
Pennsylvania has earned the nationwide distinction for having the largest number of bridges that have been left to fall into disrepair. Twenty-six percent of more than 31,000 bridges are deemed structurally deficient. While the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) hastens to point out that “structurally deficient” (SD) bridges are still safe to travel, the term nevertheless means there is deterioration to one or more of its major components. Read more
It’s one thing to read about the history of a place in a book or study it in a classroom. It’s another thing to directly experience something about a place’s historic past. This is why destinations like Jefferson’s home in Monticello, VA or the Alamo in Texas are so effective in telling a story that makes history come alive. Or take, for example, our own Fort Delaware Museum in Narrowsburg, NY, with its full-scale replica of an early Colonial fort and a settlement peopled with re-enactors depicting the daily life of the area’s original European settlers. Read more
There will always be those who cheat, and one of the problems with that is that it can cast a dark shadow over others who do not deserve the label. Such is the case with welfare recipients who try to get more than they are entitled to and the unfortunate ripple effect that extends to honest people who find themselves in need of the safety net that public assistance offers. Read more
Dialogue about climate change, once relegated to the arena of international conferences, chambers of government, and heated debates on TV and radio talk shows, has recently become a topic of ordinary conversation around the dinner table and the water cooler. People are talking about what they see around them: milder winters, earlier springs, the mounting frequency of extreme weather events in our own backyards or along washed-out roadways. The myth that climate change is not happening is increasingly impossible to believe. The evidence is in our faces. Read more
Fresh water is a precious natural resource that is likely to become even more precious as development pressures increase and competing demands for it grow. This will be so even in the Delaware River watershed, where at first blush you’d think there will always be enough clean, fresh water to go around, providing both drinking water and recreational opportunities for many millions of people. Read more
Electrifying rural America and bringing universal telephone access to its citizens were enormous undertakings in the past century. Now, we who live in rural America face the challenge of building a new telecommunications infrastructure that brings the potential to facilitate economic growth, job creation, and to enhance our way of life in the 21st century. Today, rural Americans including those of us who live in the Upper Delaware River Valley need to join the conversation about how we will get on the high-speed Internet highway via broadband technology or risk being left behind. Read more
Word came in that a nine-year-old boy had drowned on the Middle Delaware just as we were finishing up this editorial on water safety. The boy, who was fishing, slipped and fell into the water. His family and a boat passing by tried to rescue him. He was not wearing a lifejacket.
Who does, when they’re fishing from the river’s banks?
Well, hopefully more of us will, and we will help spread the word, especially as our region becomes more and more popular. Read more
Last weekend’s Upper Delaware BioBlitz on a 63.5-acre wildlife preserve near Starlight, PA got us thinking about the value of biodiversity. This bioblitz was an inventory of as many species—animals, plants, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, fungi and other life—as teams of biologists and volunteers could find and identify in 24 hours. [See Scott Rando’s feature article and photos on page 24.] Read more