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October 24, 2016
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Hiking the minimum wage in PA

On January 1, the minimum wage was increased in 20 states—but Pennsylvania was not one of them. The minimum wage in Pennsylvania is still the same as the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $7.25 an hour since 2009.  Read more

Health, the environment, and fracking

Too often, products or processes that can generate billions of dollars for an industry are allowed to go forward even when there are concerns that those products or processes may have negative impacts on human health and the environment.  Read more

With community, anything is possible

I remember when I first heard about fracking. I’m sure you do, too. It was many years ago, I’m not sure of the exact date, when I was at a fundraiser for Damascus Citizens for Sustainability and a guy named Josh Fox was there to show clips from his upcoming documentary “Gasland.”  Read more

Green ideology is spreading

The concept that it’s a good idea for municipalities to move toward sustainability is spreading. In Sullivan County, as the chairman of the county legislature, Scott Samuelson, writes in the county’s Climate Action Plan, the process “began in 2005 with the creation of the Sullivan 2020 initiative and continued in 2007 with the County’s Green Vision Statement,” and led to a number of achievements such as the installation of an impressive solar array behind the Robert B. Travis Building in Liberty.  Read more

Create fair funding for Pennsylvania Charter Schools

Many educators agree that the formula for funding charter schools and cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania is broken. The Basic Education Funding Commission is currently holding hearings with the goal of creating a new formula for funding all schools in the state, and that may well involve the creation of a new scheme for funding charter schools.  Read more

The proposed expanded fishing access: Reinventing Long Eddy

Local residents and officials in Sullivan County have long complained about property being taken off the tax rolls, regardless of the reason, because when it happens it often makes the job of balancing the town’s books just a little more difficult. So it’s understandable that the supervisor of the Town of Fremont, George Conklin, and other officials are not particularly pleased that a half-acre parcel of riverfront property may ultimately be taken off the tax rolls as part of a plan to expand the public river access in Long Eddy.  Read more

Sustaining local agriculture: Supporting young and beginning farmers

Probably you’ve seen the American Farmland Trust bumper sticker with the warning, “No Farms/No Food,” or its corollary, “Yes Farms/Yes Food,” which puts a more positive and constructive spin on the idea.  Read more

Power to the people: Who will control the Internet?

“The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to link several billion devices worldwide.”—Wikipedia  Read more

Economically speaking: Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

A majority of Americans appear to be gripped by a sense of economic anxiety. While many indicators show an improved economy (the unemployment rate is down to 5.8% and growth is up by 3%), average Americans feel left behind in the recovery. Exit polls in last week’s election show that 78% of voters are worried about the direction of the economy. Forty-eight percent said the economy was not good, and another 22% said it is poor. With this as the backdrop, Americans turned to the Republican Party last Tuesday in search of a different solution.  Read more

Chicken controversy Food for thought

With more Americans changing their conceptions about eating healthier food and living more sustainable lifestyles, it’s time for local officials to take these matters into consideration, too. The trend to eat food that is grown close to where you live is not going away any time soon—whether that’s buying from local farmers or growing, raising, or producing some of one’s own food.  Read more