News briefs June 6
Sullivan Chamber CEO resigns
MONTICELLO, NY — Cathy Paty will resign as president and CEO of the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce effective June 29, according to a press release from Brad Rutledge, chair of the chamber’s board of directors. “Since 2010, Cathy has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization, and while we will miss her and her inspiring leadership, we wish her the best of luck in her new endeavors. We want to thank her for the nearly five years of dedicated service as President/CEO and nearly nine years of loyal commitment to our organization.”
He further wrote, “Over the next few months, we will be conducting business as usual and determining the best action steps for the organization. During this transition period, it is our priority to find the best individual to lead, while still maintaining a stable and effective organization. We will share the job announcement soon and ask for your help in identifying candidates who can help the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc. continue along this successful trajectory.”
PA lawmaker: test more rape kits
HARRISBURG, PA —Victims of rape would be able to have their rape kits tested anonymously and without a police report, under legislation introduced by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg.
“Currently, a rape victim who is too traumatized to make an immediate report to law enforcement may decide to wait and begin the process of healing first. However, the rape kit taken at the hospital must sit untested for that entire time period. Under current law, the report and the testing are inextricably linked. While the kit goes untested, a serial rapist may be free to harm others,” Schlossberg said.
A recent audit by auditor general Eugene DePasquale revealed that Pennsylvania’s law has a serious flaw. While the law gives victims the right to take up to two years to make a report and preserves their rape kits for that time, it does not permit victims the right to submit the kit for testing without making a report. The bulk of untested kits remaining in Pennsylvania fall into this category.
“Victims of rape face enough struggle. We need to have compassion for them. We need to give law enforcement tools to go after rapists to prevent other people from becoming victims and my legislation would do just that by fixing the flaw that exists in state law,” Schlossberg said.
Meet Dem candidates in Liberty
LIBERTY, NY — Sullivan County voters are invited to a special one-on-one forum with the seven candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in the 19th Congressional District on Thursday June 7, at 7 p.m. at the Liberty Senior Center, 119 North Main St.
The event, sponsored by the Town of Liberty Democratic Committee, will feature Democratic congressional candidates Gareth Rhodes, Brian Flynn, Antonio Delgado, Erin Collier, David Clegg, Pat Ryan and Jeff Beals.
Town of Liberty Democratic Chairman Bill Liblick said, “If we are unhappy with Congress and our local representation, now is the time we can to do something about it. It is vital that voters come out and meet the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Congress and discuss the issues that affect all of us.”
Camp sewage an issue
GLEN SPEY, NY — The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) is awaiting a response to a January 2017 letter to state officials regarding their oversight of a historically problematic water treatment facility at Camp Simcha in the Town of Lumberland. UDC questioned the state’s testing of a newly expanded treatment plant during fall, a period when the summer camp was minimally occupied.
The facility operates under State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit most recently amended in 2015. The permit was issued for a commercial sewage upgrade from 17,500 gallons per day discharge to 45,000 gallons per day. The UDC exchanged letters with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in the fall of 2016.
In a November 2016 response, DEC noted that the camp “was placed under an Order on Consent #R3-20041220-179 on April 8, 2005. The facility has completed remediation requirements outlined in the order to address issues at the facility…” DEC reported that a 2016 final inspection of the facility on October 25 found it “is currently on schedule to meet the requirements outlined in the modified SPDES Permit.”
UDC responded in January 2017 questioning whether an October inspection would duplicate summer conditions when some 846 campers would be on hand, and asking whether testing had been done in summer. There has been no DEC response to the last UDC letter.
Neighbors have complained persistently for many years about smells coming from the sewage treatment facility at the camp.