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September 25, 2016
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One of our Upper Delaware Valley’s most beloved institutions, WJFF, appears to be in crisis. In case you did not know, all but one of Radio Catskill’s Board of Trustees (BOT) resigned last Friday. The week before, the station manager of the past four years resigned. These very personal decisions came after a number of public, standing-room-only BOT meetings where vigorous, even harsh, criticism boiled over concerning the management and governance of the station.  Read more

Celebrate Earth Day….; But then get down to work

For many people, Earth Day is for celebrating the beauty and diversity and everything else we love about our planet, and perhaps that is the way it should be. But on this Earth Day, we also know that the planet is in trouble and that far too little is being done to effectively address its many problems.  Read more

It’s a balancing act

Under regulations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, streams and rivers (and their watersheds) require “special protection” when they are so clean that they carry the official label of high quality (HQ) or exceptional value (EV) waters. Wayne County (hardly one of the state’s largest counties) has so many HQ and EV waters that 425,474 acres—more acres than any other PA county—are designated as needing special protection. This is 93% of the county’s land mass. Pike County ranks fifth with 241,442 acres so protected.  Read more

Helping New York’s farms helps us all

Last week the New York State (NYS) Senate approved two legislative bills to help farmers. The first concerns electricity generation and net-metering on farms (net metering is a policy for consumers with renewable energy producing devices, allowing them to receive credit for at least a portion of the electricity they generate). The second bill concerns the authority of industrial development agencies (IDAs) to allow technical and financial assistance to farmers.

The River Reporter urges the state assembly to pass companion bills and make this proposed legislation the law.  Read more

Canaries in the coal mine

The news two weeks ago about the declining numbers of monarch butterflies at a key butterfly preserve in Mexico gives one pause for concern. Reports from the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site, indicate that these beautiful creatures occupied 59% less land in December 2012 than the previous year, their colonies covering the smallest area recorded in 20 years. The area covered by monarch colonies has dwindled from 44.9 acres in 1997 to a mere 2.9 acres this winter.  Read more

It’s time for a raise

In Albany, the New York State (NYS) Assembly has approved a bill to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour, the same figure President Obama recommended in his January State of the Union address when he talked about the need to help America’s working poor. In his own budget address, Governor Cuomo also called for an increase to $8.75 in New York.  Read more

Gaming the Electoral College

Once again Pennsylvania Republicans are proposing to change how their state allocates Electoral College votes in presidential elections.  Read more

The right to bear missile launchers; Where do we draw the line?

As you might guess, there’s a lot of discussion on the Internet on each side of the gun rights/gun control showdown. Particularly revealing is talk about what the Second Amendment, which was adopted in 1791, means in the 21st century and how to apply it in our times.  Read more

The fight against cancer: Imagine a cancer-free tomorrow

Residents of Northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA) are being offered the opportunity to do something to help fight cancer by volunteering to join a new landmark study in which researchers will look at the lifestyle, behavioral, environmental and genetic factors that cause, or prevent cancer. We at The River Reporter urge NEPA residents to consider enrolling.  Read more

Who can hear a silent majority? Should the will of the speaking majority be ignored?

The argument has been made that a “silent majority” of the residents of the Town of Callicoon favor opening the town to gas drilling, but who can hear a silent majority? Is listening to a silent majority like listening to the wind? We would argue that, by definition, a silent majority in this land of free speech cannot be heard, and that therefore their unknown and unknowable opinion should not be used as justification to determine an outcome particularly when important decisions are to be made.  Read more