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December 10, 2016
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Copyrighted photo by David B. Soete

RIVER VALLEY — As many people know by now, founding father Ben Franklin thought more highly of the American Turkey than the American Bald Eagle and wrote as much in a letter home from France in 1784.

Marie Zelesky turns 106

On September 12, Marie Zelesky thought she was going to the regular meeting of the Jeffersonville Seniors Club at the Jeffersonville Town Hall. Little did she know that Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther had planned a surprise birthday party for Marie, who will turn 106 years old on September 20. There were balloons, cake, party hats and Marie’s closest friends for the celebration.  Read more

Sullivan strategic plan

In reiterating some of the pressing goals that should be addressed by Sullivan County officials if possible, legislator Kitty Vetter said one of her priorities was expanding broadband internet throughout the county.  Read more

Blooming Grove adopts emergency management plan

The Blooming Grove Township supervisors unanimously adopted an emergency management resolution at a brief business meeting on September 2.  Read more

No axes to grind in Honesdale

The Honesdale Borough Council spent a good part of its September 9 monthly meeting listening to the public second-guess it. Ed Kraus of Narrowsburg, NY, Earl Mohn of Beach Lake, Stan Pratt and Jerry Theobald of Honesdale, each witnessed multiple incidents occurring between June and August of this year in which serious vehicular accidents were narrowly averted. Because each incident involved a driver attempting to go the wrong way on one-way streets, all of the men were of the opinion that the one-way traffic pattern was responsible for those close calls.  Read more

Election dirty tricks suit in Orange

TOWN OF NEW WINDSOR, NY — Town of New Windsor Board member Bonnie C. Brennan has initiated a lawsuit arising from the conduct of her opponents during the 2012 elections. Brennan charges that her opponent, Jack D’Angelo, assisted by the chair of the Town of New Windsor Republican Committee, Carmen Dubaldi, obtained a photo from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and ran a series of advertisements in a local newspaper and sent a mailer falsely accusing Brennan of having a criminal record.  Read more

Grant for Sullivan airport

WASHINGTON, DC — Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced on September 9 that $63,810 in federal funding is being awarded to the Sullivan County International Airport to upgrade airport drainage in the terminal area and the Runway 33 safety area. The funding is allocated through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program.  Read more

Honesdale woman sentenced to six years for heroin

A Honesdale woman who failed to dim her bright lights to oncoming traffic was stopped, searched and eventually sentenced to up to six years in state prison. The sentence was handed down on September 9 in Pike County. When Jessica Cargill was initially stopped in Lackawaxen Township, officers became suspicious of her and a passenger and looked through the vehicle. They discovered a locked safe in the trunk of the car. The state troopers obtained a search warrant, opened the safe and discovered 430 bags of heroin valued at $8,600.  Read more

Fifty-five dogs taken from Waymart Home

The owner of 55 dogs that were removed from a house on Belmont Turnpike in Waymart will likely face charges for animal cruelty. Ten of the dogs in his care were dead or dying when officials entered the home; the owner, who was not named in news reports, could also be facing a charge of operating a kennel without a license.  Read more

Call center for Hancock?

A global company called Qualfon is considering the Village of Hancock as the site for a new call center. Qualfon serves the “business process outsourcing” for various businesses and also provides “interactive voice response” services. According to the company’s website (www.qualfon.com) Qualfon has facilities in the Philippines, Guyana, Mexico, Costa Rica, the United States and China.  Read more

Library competes for more county funding

Looking for a change in the way budget money is divided, a spokesman for the Hawley Library came before the Pike County Commissioners last Wednesday asking for a bigger piece of the county’s library funding.  Read more

Whither the visitor center?

An account in The River Reporter of Town of Lumberland Supervisor Nadia Rajsz’ effort to acquire property for a visitor center provoked a lengthy exchange at the September 5 meeting of the Upper Delaware Council.

The question of which entity—the National Park Service (NPS) or the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, or both—would be served by the center went unanswered, but decades of past failed visitor center efforts were part of the discussion.  Read more

9/11 remembered in Highland

Speaking at the Eldred Town Hall’s Heroes Park Tuesday evening Highland Supervisor Andrew Boyar addressed the audience at what he said was the first annual Highland Remembrance Service for those who died in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Boyar honored local police and emergency fire and medical services and called for a new national day of recognition. “Isn’t it time to honor the first responders who rise to the occasion every day?”

Primary results for Sullivan County, NY

Results are unofficial:

Town of Bethel, supervisor, vote for one
Daniel Sturm (DEM) 247
Judith Maidenbaum (DEM) 82  Read more

Wayne commissioners take the show on the road

In an effort to engage and educate the public the Wayne County Commissioners will make a series of “State of the County” road tours this month. The series of seven dates began September 10 in Damascus and will continue into the last week of the month.  Read more

Herons, blue and otherwise, spotted here

Herons are often seen in the Upper Delaware Valley. This great blue heron was snapped by Amanda Reed, the production manager for The River Reporter, on August 15. It had been stalking a meal in Little Lake Erie in Narrowsburg when it took flight and was caught on camera.
For more heron sightings in the region, see this week's River Talk.

Environmental groups target deepwater port again

REGION — Three environmental groups held a press conference to unveil what they said was more evidence that the proposed deepwater port off of New Jersey is actually intended to be used to export gas rather than import it.  Read more

ATVs: safety required

UPPER DELAWARE RIVER REGION — ATV riding can be a risky sport. Within a period of six weeks this summer, two young people died in ATV accidents in our area. An eight-year-old boy from Long Island, NY lost his life in an ATV accident in the Town of Callicoon, NY on August 24, and in July, a 24-year-old Narrowsburg woman died as a result of an accident in Beach Lake, PA.  Read more

Protecting bats, birds and fish; A legislative battle over endangered species

HARRISBURG, PA — Supporters say the proposed Endangered Species Coordination Act (ESCA) would merely standardize the state process for designating species of fish, wildlife or plants as threatened or endangered. Representative Jell Pyle, the prime sponsor of ESCA, has 67 co-sponsors in the house.  Read more

Reservoir plan irks Ulster residents; The issue is turbidity

UPSTATE, NY — In order to avoid paying up to $10 billion for a filtration system for the water that serves the residents of New York City (NYC), city officials must maintain a Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD)that has been worked out with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Health (DOH), and others groups.  Read more

Groups threaten suit over Act 41; Septic systems in Wayne/Pike watershed

NORTHEAST, PA — Elected officials at every level were supportive of Act 41, which Governor Tom Corbett signed on July 2. The act stipulated that properly designed septic systems are automatically in compliance with Pennsylvania’s anti-degradation requirements, which are mandated by federal law.  Read more