What’s new in the Upper Delaware region April 1-7
MONTICELLO, NY — Isaac Kantrowitz, a retired Fallsburg town justice, has been sentenced for a 2019 car accident that claimed the lives of two teenagers in Sullivan County. Kantrowitz, 89, was indicted by a grand jury on the misdemeanor of reckless driving, a charge he pled guilty to on March 1, along with two traffic violations. While the former town justice will not face any jail time, New York State Supreme Court Judge Stephan Schick sentenced him to pay the maximum permissible fine and surcharge of nearly $400, have his driver’s license revoked and be prohibited from ever driving a motor vehicle again.
“The deaths of Devin and Justin will always be an unfathomable tragedy,” district attorney Meagan Galligan said in a statement. “Judge Schick ultimately determined that justice in this case does not call for incarceration. I recognize the anguish of these families and our community, and I continue to urge our legislators to enact the Vehicular Violence Act to fix the broken laws in our state as they relate to offenses like this.”
MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County will be conducting its annual 30-day window for accepting applications to include viable agricultural land into the county’s agricultural districts. At the same time, the county will also be conducting its eight-year review of Agricultural District 1.
Land included in a county agricultural district becomes eligible for protections through New York’s Right-to-Farm Law, prohibiting unreasonable restriction of sound agricultural practices. Since 1971, the creation of certified agricultural districts has been important to preserve and encourage the development of agricultural land for the production of food and other agricultural products.
Property owners who have questions about agricultural districts should contact Melinda Meddaugh at Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County, 845/292-6180 ext. 116 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on agricultural districts and to review maps, visit the Division of Planning and Community Development website at www.sullivanny.us.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently released a 10-year plan named “Delivering for America” to return the organization to “financial sustainability and achieve service excellence while maintaining universal six-day mail delivery and expanding seven-day package delivery.” Anyone with a subscription to River Reporter has likely experienced these delays firsthand. Many throughout Northeast PA has as well, according to an informal survey conducted through Rep. Matt Cartwright’s (PA-08) office, in which 94 percent of respondents reported slow or delayed mail.
Cartwright, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, questioned USPS Postmaster Louis Dejoy during a recent hearing, asking. “Why are you doubling down on moves that have led to service failures? How are you fixing the problems you created? And, after all these problems have occurred as a result of your leadership, why are you still qualified to be in charge of the USPS?”
The new 10-year plan promises to avoid $160 billion in projected losses and achieve 95 percent on-time delivery.
HARRISBURG, PA — Gov. Tom Wolf recently visited Scranton Primary Health Care Center, Lackawanna County’s only federally qualified health center, to tout progress the state is making toward vaccinating eligible Pennsylvanians.
“Pennsylvania is making great progress in our vaccine rollout,” Wolf said. “We are committed to getting everyone in Phase 1A vaccinated as soon as possible. We’ve nearly completed vaccinations of our teachers and school staff, and those living and working in long-term care facilities who want a vaccine are getting one.”
In the last three and a half months, the state has administered more than 4.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 1.6 million Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated. And another 1.4 million Pennsylvanians have received at least one dose.
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, Pennsylvania is ranked number 19 among all states for percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered. And for the past week, the state ranked number three for number of doses administered per 100,000 residents.
ALBANY, NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the launch of Excelsior Pass—a free, voluntary platform developed in partnership with IBM that can confirm an individual’s recent negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination to help fast-track the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines. Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Each pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination.
As part of this initial launch, participating New Yorkers may choose to use Excelsior Pass to verify their COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results as needed to gain entry to major stadiums and arenas, wedding receptions, or catered and other events above the social gathering limit.
MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County legislators on March 18 confirmed the appointment of two new members to the board of the Industrial Development Agency (IDA), a quasi-governmental agency focused on attracting and enhancing industrial and economic growth, facilitating private-sector investments, creating jobs and maintaining economic stability.
Sean Brooks and Craig Fleischman were unanimously approved to replace Joe Perrello and Sean Rieber on the IDA Board. Board chairman Ira Steingart is also departing, and legislature chairman Robert Doherty plans to nominate Fred Stabbert III to replace him. Current IDA Board Vice Chair Suzanne Loughlin will succeed Steingart as board chair.
LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Despite the death last year of Keep Cochecton Clean Chair Jerry Yavarkovsky, the Town of Cochecton will sponsor an annual roadside litter pluck. This year’s event will coincide with Sullivan County Roadside Litter Pluck, from Thursday, April 1 to Wednesday, June 30, and the Upper Delaware River Corridor Litter Sweep, from Saturday to Sunday, April 17 to 25.
Pluckers are needed. Each volunteer will be supplied with collection bags. Anyone interested should keep an eye out for information posted to the town’s website at www.townofcochectonny.org, or contact supervisor Gary Maas at 845/932-8360 ext. 15.