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August 28, 2016
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Fine tuning Mysteryland

The tone of the town meeting following the Mysteryland Music Festival this year could not have been more different than the one last year.

In 2014, several people got up to complain about the excessive noise forcing them to keep their windows closed, and loud bass, thumping with such force that it knocked pictures off the walls of nearby homes.  Read more

The Cochecton voter question

The interpretation of voting law by the courts in New York State has lead to some interesting situations. There have been several cases involving different towns, for instance, where a board member has not lived in the town, but has owned a house or building in the town, and has therefore been allowed to serve as an elected official.  Read more

A Narrowsburg Bridge update

To all of the hundreds of concerned citizens in both New York and PA who signed letters to George Roberts, Dist. 4, PennDOT, and those who signed petitions sent to the governors, legislators and commissioners of both states, our voices have been heard and our efforts have generated positive results!

The legitimate concerns about the closing of the Narrowsburg Bridge and the potential dangers to the health, safety and economic welfare of our communities have been seriously addressed.  Read more

Developments in the GMO labeling wars

The fight over whether to require the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the food supply has moved a step further in the direction of those who favor labeling, but before we get to that, a bit of review.

GMO labeling is already required in 60 countries, but not in the United States, where large companies that produce GMO seeds, such as Monsanto, have spent substantial sums of money to prevent labeling laws from being adopted. The argument is that GMO foods are as safe as their non-GMO counterparts, so there is no need to label.  Read more

Not an Ideal employer

Ideal Snacks, which is based in Liberty and had over 450 employees, last week laid off a large number of those employees because of what company officials said were defects in the employees’ I-9 documentation. I-9 forms are used by the federal government to show whether or not residents are legally allowed to hold a job in the United States.  Read more

Mysteryland 2015: What’s in it for us?

Sometimes, the clichés are true. “What goes around, comes around,” echoed in my head as I made my way to Bethel Woods last year to check out the music festival known as Mysteryland. I’d never heard of it, but learned that it was part of a series of electronic music festivals held by the Netherlands-based promoter ID&T.  Read more

Movement on the bee pesticide front

Recent developments regarding neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics)—which are being blamed as partly responsible for billions of dead honeybees lost over the past decade or so—have been announced on a number of fronts.

The first is that the city of Portland, OR earlier this month banned the use of the pesticides on all city-owned parks and properties. That makes at least eight municipalities in the U.S. that have banned neonics.  Read more

Earth Day and the EPA

There is a succinct summation of the origins of Earth Day and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the agency’s website (  Read more

Opting out of Common Core

There are some highly respected educators locally and across the country who believe that the Common Core Education Standards that have been adopted by New York and many other states are good for the future of the students. The standards were created with the goal of improving critical thinking among students, more fully preparing students for college and helping students compete against other students on the international stage.  Read more

Voting in Bloomingburg

The turmoil in Bloomingburg continues, with developer Shalom Lamm and his supporters going to court and fighting local officials over seemingly every issue that arises. Most recently the courts decided that even though Lamm’s property was annexed into the village illegally, it was done too long ago for residents to do anything about it. The Town of Mamakating plans to appeal.  Read more