BETHEL, NY — “We’ve unwalked ourselves as a species,” said the fast-talking, race-walking guy with the un-American ideas, biting wit and moustache from a previous century. Mark Fenton (www.markfenton.com), former host of the PBS television series “America’s Walking” and keynote speaker at the March 5 Sullivan Renaissance Conference & Expo at Bethel Woods, was explaining why Sullivan County is a model for all that is wrong with modern life.
According to Fenton, American life now revolves around cars and their operating requirements, not people and their needs. Read more
ALBANY, NY — All ice fishing shanties must be removed from ice on water bodies by March 15, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminded ice anglers on March 7. Due to the warm winter and the forecast early arrival of spring-like conditions, owners are advised to remove ice fishing shanties early. Read more
ALBANY, NY — Sen. John J. Bonacic issued the following statement on the passage of his legislation, S.1900, which would protect correctional employees by enhancing penalties when inmates intentionally expectorate on correction officers. The bill would provide that such behavior would be classified as aggravated harassment of an employee, a Class E felony. A previous version of this legislation passed the Senate in 2014 and 2015. Read more
HARRISBURG, PA — Eight months after the PA Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of his bill to stop corporations from filing lawsuits against people or groups just to quiet them, state Sen. Larry Farnese on March 4 said he is pleased to hear that Philadelphia City Council is supporting the idea and urging the legislature to finish the job. Read more
HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf seems to be taking a page out of New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s playbook. Wolf, like Cuomo, can’t convince his state’s legislative body to increase the minimum wage for workers across the board, so like Cuomo, Wolf has passed an executive order to increase the minimum wage for some workers in a move he can make unilaterally. Read more
HAWK’S NEST, NY — This section of Route 97 in Orange County is a familiar sight to most in the region, providing breathtaking views of the Delaware River. It also served as the foundation for a photograph by Tusten photographer Charlie Hoffman, who entered the picture in a contest sponsored by Corel Discovery Center.
The contest was called Matter of Time, and entries “captured special moments in time, or expressed the concept of time….” This entry showcasing Hawk’s Nest was called “Time Flies” and was one of about 20 finalists announced in February.
WASHINGTON, DC — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency that approves pipelines and other gas and oil infrastructure projects, is the the subject of a federal lawsuit filed on March 2 by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN.) Read more
People in Sullivan County have been paying more attention than usual to the Board of Elections (BOE) commissioners. In part, it's because of the unprecedented deal reached between a small block of Hasidic voters in the Village of Bloomingburg and the BOE. Many people in the village say the BOE caved to the demands of people who don’t live in the village and have no right to vote there. The lawsuit related to the deal is presumably why the current Democratic BOE commissioner is resigning effective March 11. Read more
HARRISBURG, PA — John Quigley, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Preservation (DEP), told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee on February 25 that his reduced budget has left the department with antiquated equipment, especially in the area of information technology (IT). Read more
ALBANY, NY — Sen. John J. Bonacic met on February 25 with representatives from the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) in his Albany office. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss funding for the arts in the fiscal year 2016-2017 state budget. DVAA was founded in 1976, and serves as arts council for Sullivan County. They present programs in the visual, performing, literary and media arts, and service a county and valley-wide constituency of artists, art groups, and the general public.
CALLICOON, NY — On the eve of the Oscars telecast, Callicoon Theater started showing the movie “Spotlight,” which went on to win the Best Picture Award. It features Sullivan County resident Mark Ruffalo in the role of an investigative reporter at the Boston Globe, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Ruffalo ended up not winning, but climbed on the stage with the rest of the crew to accept the Oscar, standing next to Michael Rezendes, one of the real-life investigative reporters who were instrumental in breaking the case of systematic cover-up of child molestation by priests within the Catholic Church. Read more
MONTICELLO, NY — The lawsuit against 137 voters who have been challenged and are the defendants in a lawsuit, is inching forward slowly, although it’s not known how many of the challenged voters are actually being represented by an attorney. Read more
PORT JERVIS, NY — A white pit bull terrier had been abandoned and left to die in Orange County, but was picked up by a passerby on February 24, and taken to the Humane Society of Port Jervis/Deerpark. Shelter staff named the dog Sweet Sally, because she behaved so good-naturedly to her caregivers despite her grave physical condition. Read more
OSSINING, NY — New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration on February 29 notified the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that state agencies will begin an independent safety risk analysis of Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) natural gas pipeline. The analysis specifically focuses on where the project would cross the 240-acre property of the Indian Point nuclear facility. Read more