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December 11, 2017
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Legislature should keep an open mind about county executive

Every 10 years a commission is appointed to look at the charter of Sullivan County to see if the county could benefit with changes to the charter and to recommend any changes to the county legislature, which may then accept or reject them.  Read more

The Department of Health and the appearance of impropriety

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has ordered the closure of the public access area located within the gate of The Chapin Estate community because it has “no supervision, lifesaving equipment, potable water supply or emergency response communications.” It would be a little easier to believe this is really about public safety if DOH had also taken action at the two other public access spots on the Toronto and Swinging Bridge reservoirs, which have the exact same conditions.  Read more

No action on constitutional convention

The last time voters in New York State went to the polls to determine whether there should be a state constitutional convention was 1997. The voters ultimately said “no,” but even so, the state appointed a commission to study and prepare for a constitutional convention four years before that, in 1993.  Read more

Malick’s positions are on target

New York State Sen. John Bonacic nearly did not have an opponent in the coming election. No candidates had filed to run in the Democratic primary by the July 14 deadline. Pramilla Malick, however, petitioned successfully for an “opportunity to ballot,” which means that Democratic voters will have a chance to write in her name in a primary election on September 13. The “opportunity to ballot” apparently also triggers an opportunity for voters to write in other names. But Malick is the only one actively campaigning, and most likely she will be on the ballot in November challenging Bonacic.  Read more

DARK Act to be challenged

The campaign by various groups to have clear labels on food that include genetically modified organisms has been short-circuited by Congress and President Barack Obama. Congress passed and Obama signed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling (SAFE) Act, which is also known by opponents as the Deny Americans Right to Know (DARK) Act.  Read more

Earmarks and the vanishing visitors’ center funding

At the most recent meeting of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB) Glenn Pontier, who has served on the board for 10 years, discussed who might be responsible for the loss of the more than $500,000 federal grant to help pay for a visitors’ center at Fort Delaware.

Pontier said the responsibility rested with the Sullivan County Division of Planning, the UDSB itself and Congress. In our view, the congressional role in this matter played the principal role in scuttling the project.  Read more

Liberty library deserves support

There have been many changes in society since 1894 when the Liberty Library first opened its doors. But people still read books, although increasing numbers of them do so by downloading ebooks and reading articles in online publications.  Read more

Visitors’ center belongs along the river

It’s the project that wouldn’t die. Almost everyone thought it was dead, or nearly so, in 2013, which was the last time this newspaper reported on the new visitors’ center. At that time, it was proposed to be built at Fort Delaware in Narrowsburg, NY. But recently the idea of a visitors center has returned to life with about $510,000 secured by former Congressman Maurice Hinchey more than a decade ago. (Another $250,000 secured later by Sen. John Bonacic is apparently no longer available).  Read more

Money talks in the NY 19th Congressional District

With the primary behind us and the summer moving on, it won’t be long before the money being spent by the candidates makes itself felt in the form of political ads on television, radio, print, Internet and other sources.  Read more

Fallsburg’s building moratorium would likely be upheld by courts

On June 27, the board of the Town of Fallsburg adopted a one-year moratorium on the construction of new developments that would contain more than five units. Critics, including a prominent local construction company, complained that the moratorium was intended to slow the growth of the summer Hasidic community, which is driving an unprecedented construction boom in the town.

But a look at the issues, and a quick read about what the state has to say about building moratoria, suggest that should the matter end in litigation, the courts would uphold the moratorium.  Read more