In contrast with natural gas industry claims that Marcellus Shale drilling brings jobs and revenue to th e localities in which it occurs, economist Jannette Barth, Ph.D., owner of J.M. Barth & Associates, Inc., asserted that local government costs associated with natural gas extraction have yet to be determined. At the invitation of the Town of Delaware Gas Drilling Commission, Barth addressed commission members and the invited public at the commission’s January 7 meeting in Hortonville. Read more
Things are going so well for Fins and Feathers Pet Supplies at 222 Willow Avenue that it is nearly doubling its space by 1,200 sq. ft to a maximum of 3,200 sq. ft.
It has taken over the space next door that was occupied by R3 Hardware, which has moved to larger space on Honesdale’s Main Street formerly occupied by the state liquor store.
“This industry is one of the top 10 businesses in the country,” said owner Brian Batten, 36, a life-long Wayne County resident.
“Even when business is bad, people want to keep their pets,” he said. Read more
Larry Richardson said his views on gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing have evolved over the years. He’s now convinced that the best way to protect the town against the possible harms of drilling is to follow the lead of four other Sullivan County towns, and adopt a ban on gas drilling. Read more
ALBANY, NY — According to a coalition of groups and individuals opposed to hydraulic fracturing, the more than 200,000 comments delivered regarding proposed new regulations constitute a record. During the last comment period regarding fracking, some 66,000 were submitted.
A six-hour power outage that affected the Town of Lumberland was caused by a breaker defect, supervisor Nadia Rajsz reported at the January 9 board meeting. “It was very unexpected,” Rajsz said of the January 4 outage.
The supervisor said she was told by a representative of Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. that the defect in the breaker caused it to blow. According to the Orange and Rockland website, the outage affected about 1,000 customers.
The outage lasted from about 7:20 a.m. until about 1:20 p.m., Rajsz said. Read more
The Sullivan County Legislature voted four to one in committee to revise the county charter to change the provision that requires a supermajority—or six of the nine legislators—to appoint a person to or remove him or her from the position of county manager.
In introducing it, legislator Alan Sorensen said, “This resolution will restore the original intent of the Sullivan County Charter bringing it back to a simple majority.” Read more
In the face of an aggressive flu season, Wayne Memorial Hospital is asking all visitors with flu or flu-like symptoms to “visit on another day” or “visit by phone,” a recommendation from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Over the three months of October, November and December 2012, the hospital confirmed 24 cases of influenza A. Between October of 2011 and March 2012—six months—the hospital confirmed only three cases of the same disease. Read more
ALBANY, NY — Senator John Bonacic released the following statement regarding the proposed gun law: “Calls to my offices have been overwhelmingly against more gun control. When my constituents are overwhelmingly against something, and the bill we are asked to vote on is rushed through without any public review, that is nearly always a good reason to vote ‘no.’ Read more
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The Towns of Delaware and Callicoon will be hosting a special meeting with a Delta engineer to answer questions on the proposed Multi-Municipal Task Force (MMTF) Road Preservation Law. The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 24 at 7 p.m. at the Town of Delaware Municipal Building, 104 Main Street, Hortonville. All interested persons are invited to attend. Read more
HARRISBURG, PA — With federal funds now available for emergency work, repair and rebuilding in Monroe, Pike, Wyoming and other hard-hit counties, our local, county and state agencies will be reimbursed for the steep costs of preparing for and responding to Hurricane Sandy, state Senator Lisa Baker said.
“The long-awaited assurance of federal disaster aid is welcome news for the communities and families hard hit by Hurricane Sandy in late October,” said Baker, chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. Read more
None of the missing funds with which former Eldred Central School District Business Administrator William Thornton allegedly absconded has been recovered to date. Superintendent Robert Dufour’s only reference to the matter at the school board meeting on January 10 was that he was grateful to the New York State Police for all that they did in bringing out the improprieties alleged against the embattled Thornton.
“In Eldred, it’s the state police that handle a matter of this kind,” said Doug Reiser, school board president. Read more
ALBANY, NY — Governor Andrew Cuomo has revived the possibility of a full Las Vegas-style casino or two coming to the Catskills with his State of the State address. Speaking on January 9, Cuomo proposed a total of seven such casinos, with phase one encompassing three facilities, which would be located somewhere “upstate,” but specifically not in New York City. Read more
Grass roots organization Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy began a drive the day after Christmas for people to submit comments critical of New York State’s draft fracking regulations. They have collected 23,924 written comments.
The organization doesn’t have paid staff members or an office. “This has been a team effort,” said Catskill Citizens member Jill Wiener. “Stop the Frack Attack, Frack Action, “Gasland” and many others were instrumental in expanding our reach by promoting our Action Alert.” Read more
The Sullivan County Legislature voted four to one in committee to revise the county charter to change the provision that requires a super majority—or six of the nine legislators—to appoint or remove a person to or from the position of county manager.
Construction is near completion on the new Tractor Supply Co. store in Honesdale, the company’s 66th Pennsylvania location.
Tractor Supply Co. is the largest retail farm and ranch supply store chain in the United States, and has been operating in Pennsylvania since 1965. The store will be located at 240 Willow Ave. and will employ 12 to 17 full- and part-time employees. The store will include a sales floor and support service space. A fenced exterior will be used for storage and displaying items such as fencing, sprayers and livestock equipment. Read more
A request by Michael Sullivan, the director of the Pike County Economic Development Authority for a reduction of the setback rule that applies at the Pike County Business Park from 150 feet to 10 feet was turned down by the Blooming Grove Township Board.
Sullivan was attempting to accommodate a new employer who wanted to park large buses at the site. The Davis Company has a fleet of 25 school buses that would need room for a garage and parking area. Read more
WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Senate and House voted to extend parts of the expired 2008 Farm Bill through September 2013, a move that would prevent milk prices from immediately surging.
The White House fact sheet on the big fiscal deal Congress passed, of which the extension was part, has exactly one sentence about the farm bill extension. It says it will avoid the doubling of milk prices that would have kicked in automatically in the absence of any farm bill. The action was being called avoiding the “dairy cliff.” Read more
There is a split in the Sullivan County Legislature, but it doesn’t run along party lines. Instead, it pits four legislators who want county manager David Fanslau to remain in office for at least the next two years, against five legislators who want him to leave.
At a news conference at the government center on January 3, legislator Jonathan Rouis, the former legislative chair, called for the establishment of a charter revision committee to study the notion of changing the county government to one that would have a county executive, as is the case in Orange and Ulster counties. Read more
TOWN OF NASSAU, NY — The New York State Appellate Court has affirmed that towns have the ability to limit activities in the town, even if a state agency has issued a license that allows the activity. The case was Troy Sand & Gravel versus the Town of Nassau and the decision was issued on December 27, 2012. Read more
HARRISBURG, PA — The state lottery is a cash cow for Pennsylvania, bringing in some $3.48 billion in the year ending June 2012. That represents an 8.5% increase over the previous year, which was also a year in which profits grew 10.4% to about $1.06 billion.
All that money is used to pay for programs that benefit the state’s senior citizens. According to the Pennsylvania Lottery Commission, the money pays for Pennsylvania’s low-cost prescription drug programs for older adults, home-delivered meals as well as property tax and rent rebates among other things. Read more