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GRAHAMSVILLE, NY (Septmber 29, 2014) – A talk and book signing by Town of Woodstock Historian Richard Heppner on “Women in the Catskills: Womenofthe CatskillsCover Stories of Struggles, Sacrifice and Hope” will be held on Sunday October 19 at 2:00 p.m., at the Time and the Valleys Museum on 332 Main Street (St. Rt. 55), Grahamsville.

Heppner will give an overview of this often overlooked part of Catskill Mountain history, and detail several inspiring stories of women who overcame the physical challenges of mountain life and obstacles because of their gender to accomplish amazing things.

This is a free program, and refreshments will be available. The Book, “Women in the Catskills: Stories of Struggles, Sacrifice and Hope” published by the History Press, will be available for sale during the program and afterwards in the Museum shop. Admission to the Museum’s exhibits are included.

For more information call 845 985-7700 or go to our website: www.timeandthevalleysmuseum.org.

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (September 28, 2014) – Each year, the Sullivan County Historical Society presents deserving individuals or groups with the honor of “History Maker” and “History Preserver” awards. The honorees for these awards symbolize the stated mission of the Society: the preservation of Sullivan County history for the enlightenment of future generations. 

The presentation of these awards will be at the Society’s Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on Saturday, October 18 at the Rockland House in Roscoe. 

The 2014 History Maker and History Preserver recipients are:

logolongbeards-2 History Maker Award – 2014: Sullivan County Long Beards – Since the very earliest days of Sullivan County history, the county’s forests and streams have provided both sport and subsistence to outdoor enthusiasts.  Over the years, the exploits of these sportsmen have been well chronicled, from the early writings of James Quinlan to the current essays of Sullivan County Historian, John Conway.  Among the numerous sportsmen’s clubs throughout the county that share in this heritage, the Sullivan County Long Beards are true representatives.  Chartered with the National Wild Turkey Federation, the local chapter has promoted, over the years, the involvement of outdoor activity through education and conservation.  The sponsors of numerous programs, the Sullivan County Long Beards are committed to passing on this heritage, as well as the preservation and improvement of habitat, for future generations.

History Preserver Award – 2014: Patricia and William Burns – The stated mission of the Sullivan County Historical Society has been no better exemplified than through the endeavors of “Pat” and “Bill” Burns.  Through their historical knowledge and organizational skills, the Society has developed an excellence in the preservation of Sullivan County history, from the management of archival material to the day-to-day tasks of operating the County Museum.  Because of their stewardship, the Society continues to remain viable, even in these days of economical and technological challenges.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (September 26, 2014) – Senior safety is an ongoing theme for the Sullivan County TRIAD collaboration with a continued effort to prevent elder abuse and maintain the quality and integrity of senior life.

TRIAD, a partnership between senior citizens, law enforcement, and senior support agencies, announces that Dr. Mark Nathanson from Columbia University will be the guest speaker on Elder Abuse and Neglect during the Fifth Annual Senior Safety Day on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

This free event will occur from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Ted Stroeble Recreation Center on 2 Jefferson Street in Monticello. Sullivan County Cornell Cooperative Extension and Office for the Aging (OFA) are working together through the Caregiver Resource Center to offer this opportunity. The public can attend the Office for the Aging’s annual public hearing to be held prior to the class, from 9:00 to10:00 a.m. A light lunch will be available and door prizes awarded at the conclusion of the day. Pre-registration for this program is strongly encouraged by calling OFA at 845-807-0241.

Dr. Nathanson is dedicated to maintaining and enriching the autonomy and successful aging of all seniors while encouraging efforts to improve their urban and rural quality of life issues. His presentation on elder abuse will help the audience understand elder victimization, the patterns of mistreatment, the conflict of dependency between the victim and perpetrator, and finally how and when to report elder abuse. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Nathanson has affiliations at several NYC hospitals including New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, City Hospital Center Elmhurst and Queens Hospital Center.

The impact on a senior’s ability to remain active, mobile, and safe as their hearing and vision declines will be addressed by Mrs. Karin Pantel, RN, CNE-NLN Certified Nurse Educator, Ed.D. Mrs. Pantel, a long-time resident of Sullivan County with experience in many fields of nursing, will present an engaging presentation on staying safe despite hearing or vision loss.

Caregiver Resource Center educational programs are provided under funding from the NYS Office for the Aging as an essential service to informal family caregivers.

LIBERTY, NY (September 25, 2014) – Senator John Bonacic (R/C/I – Mt. Hope) has announced that the Town of Liberty has been awarded $50,000 in funding from the State & Municipal Facilities Capital Program.

The project details call for continued improvements to the front porch of Town Hall including the architectural pillars, guard rail and new roof of the front porch in order to preserve the building’s historic value.

“We have asked for funds for this beautiful old building which has served the town well since the 1970’s,” said Supervisor Charles Barbuti. “Restoring the front porch would help preserve our bit of history, and allow the building to be used for years to come. We are thankful to Senator Bonacic for the monies to continue this important maintenance project.”

“I am pleased to be able to secure these funds for the Town of Liberty,” said Senator Bonacic. “This project will enable the town workers to keep the building safe for residents and visitors, and allow the building to continue functioning without coming to the taxpayers for help.”

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (September 23, 2014) – The Sullivan County Prescription Drug Task Force, (a subcommittee of the Rural Health Network lead by Public Health Services), the US Department of Justice, and the Recovery Center are again partnering to announce another Drug Take Back Day to be held Saturday, September 27, 2014 at various locations throughout the County from 10 am – 2 pm, with a new location (this day only) in Wurtsboro at the New York State Police station on Rt. 209, from 10-2 pm that day.

Well over 500 pounds of unwanted prescription medications have been collected over the past year as a result of numerous sponsored Take Back Days and the 24/7 availability of Drug Drop Boxes placed throughout the county. Sullivan County Public Health Director, Nancy McGraw, would like to thank the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, local police departments, Recovery Center, and members of the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force for making this a successful public health initiative. “It is because of the efforts of caring, concerned public officials and community leaders working together that we have been able to make a difference for our communities. We have not only reduced the likelihood of prescription drugs falling into the wrong hands and being abused or sold, but have improved access for residents for safe disposal sites; we are also protecting the environment at the same time because people are not flushing them or throwing them in the garbage which ends up in a landfill.” These medications are safely disposed of through a partnership with the Sheriff’s office on county sponsored Take Back Days, and by the DEA on national Take Back Days – who transport the medications for incineration.

The New York State Police Station (Troop F, Zone 1) at 6509 State Route 97, Narrowsburg, NY is the home of a fourth permanent Prescription Drug Drop Box purchased by Sullivan County Public Health Services with Rural Health Network grant funds. Residents must call ahead to the Narrowsburg location to make arrangements for drop off times to ensure an officer is on duty in Narrowsburg (252-3212 or 292-6600). Three other permanent drop boxes are located and available 24/7 at the Fallsburg Police Station, the Liberty Police Station, and the Monticello Police Station. The Sullivan County Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, a subcommittee of the Rural Health Network, meets at Sullivan County Public Health Services to discuss ideas for prevention strategies and outreach events. For more information please call Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845 292-5910 x2222.

Photo by Carol Montana

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY – September. 22, 2014 – The Sullivan County Visitors Association has announced its first ever Fall Foliage Photo Contest, where visitors and residents are encouraged to submit their very best, most autumn-centric photos of the Sullivan County Catskills. Submissions are being accepted through SCVA.net and the SCVA’s Facebook page.

“The contest allows our own residents and visitors to showcase their own view of the Sullivan County Catskills’ amazing fall colors,” said SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “The images are meant to represent everyone’s individual experience and creative vision, whether they are pumpkin-picking, hiking, shopping, or flying across a zip line. We can’t wait to see what folks come up with.”

Foliage-related selfies are welcomed, as are pictures that highlight Sullivan County businesses or landmarks in a creative way. The Fall Foliage Photo Contest runs through Oct. 27, and the photos with the most online votes will win one of several tourism-related prizes donated through SCVA’s membership. The winners will be announced on Oct. 28.

Photos must be taken in Sullivan County during autumn 2014, and include the location, date, and photographer’s name.

Visit SCVA.net/Fall-Foliage to learn more about the contest, the region’s journey toward full foliage color, and other Foliage Fun that is happening in the Sullivan County Catskills, where foliage is exhibiting strong green colors, sprinkled with yellow and rust highlights, and the occasional spot of orange.

The SCVA is also on the hunt for residents who would like to join the SC Peep Squad and submit regular foliage reports to facebook.com/SullivanCountyCatskills.

NEW YORK STATE (September 21, 2014) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has designated the week of September 22-28 as Climate Week in order to encourage New Yorkers to think forward about the challenges of a changing climate, as well as to highlight the progress being made to prepare New York State for the new reality of extreme weather. After a number of major storms and weather events, New York has been among the first states to proactively research and implement climate initiatives such as clean energy technology and storm resiliency improvements. Administration officials will participate in a number of events throughout New York City over the course of the week to raise awareness of this initiative.

“The new reality of extreme weather means that we must re-imagine our state and nation to be cleaner and more resilient than ever before,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York has experienced firsthand the devastating effects of a changing climate, but today I am proud to say that we are building back better and stronger, and doing so with the next major storm in mind. As visitors from across the globe gather in New York City to discuss strategies to meet this unique challenge, I encourage all New Yorkers to join in by observing Climate Week and learning more about how they too can help protect our state and the environment."

Transformational Clean Energy Accomplishments

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: This year, New York joined partner states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce the carbon emission cap by 45 percent. New York’s reinvestment of $400 million in the initiative’s auction proceeds is expected to reduce carbon pollution by 2.9 million tons, while promoting greater energy efficiency, ultimately providing $1.3 billion energy bill savings and creating thousands of jobs across the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative partner states.

NY-Sun: This year, a commitment of $1 billion to NY-Sun was made to significantly expand the statewide deployment of solar power and to transform New York’s solar industry into a self-sustaining sector. NY-Sun has helped spur more than 300 megawatts of solar electric power across the state – more than in the entire previous decade.

NY Green Bank: In February, New York opened the $1 billion NY Green Bank, a state-sponsored, specialized financial entity working in partnership with the private sector to increase investments into New York’s clean energy markets to create a more efficient, reliable and sustainable energy system. The largest initiative of its kind in the nation, NY Green Bank represents an innovative business model that is increasing private investment while achieving clean energy outcomes that contribute to greater energy choices, reduced environmental impacts and more green energy advantages per public dollar spent for the benefit of all New Yorkers.

Charge NY: Since Charge NY was launched in 2013, 500 new public electric vehicle charging stations have been installed in New York, bringing the total number to 1,000 with a goal to develop and install 3,000 public electric vehicle charging stations by 2018. New York announced its participation in the Multi-State Zero-Emission Vehicles Action Plan to have 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on U.S. roads by 2025.

BuildSmart NY: Since 2013, New York has achieved 5 percent energy savings in state facilities, leading to an estimated $25 million in cost savings and avoiding as much as 130,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. It is targeted to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent in State government facilities by 2020.

ClimAID: In 2014 the state updated its 2011 ClimAID report with refined projections for the seven regions based on additional and newer models, updated methods and science, and new emissions scenarios through 2100. (www.nyserda.ny.gov/ClimAID)

Reforming the Energy Vision: Launched in 2014, the groundbreaking Reforming the Energy Vision initiative will change the way electricity is distributed and used in New York, and will lead to regulatory changes that promote more efficient use of energy, deeper penetration of renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, and wider deployment of “distributed” energy resources. This initiative will create market-based, sustainable products and services that will drive an increasingly clean, reliable, affordable and consumer-oriented industry.

Clean Energy Fund: The Clean Energy Fund, which complements Reforming the Energy Vision, will help New York arrive at a modern energy system by growing the total investment in the clean energy economy, catalyzing new business opportunities and enabling markets for new products and services that customers value. The Fund will provide long-term funding certainty and flexibility by allocating funding among initiatives in direct response to market conditions and new innovations thereby transforming the State’s energy economy.

Renewable Heat NY: Launched in 2014, Renewable Heat NY is a $27 million initiative aimed at building a sustainable, high-efficiency, low-emissions wood heating sector in New York. The program will help develop more clean technology manufacturing based in New York, a skilled installer base, and sustainably harvested wood fuels from state forests—supporting economic development while preserving the environment.

Key Accomplishments to Prepare State for Impacts of Climate Change
Reimagining New York for a New Reality: Launched in 2013 and based in part on recommendations made by the Governor’s 2100 Commission, Reimagining New York for a New Reality is a $17 billion strategy to transform New York’s infrastructure, transportation networks, energy supply, coastal protection, weather warning system and emergency management to pave the way for a stronger and more resilient future. This includes using approximately $4.4 billion in flexible federal funding to enable homeowners, small businesses and entire communities to build back stronger and more resilient than before.

Shore Protection & Flood Mitigation: Since Superstorm Sandy, New York continues to support approximately $1.5 billion in coastal hazard reduction projects along New York’s Atlantic Ocean coast that are under design and development. This includes the completion of 10 separate coastal repair projects involving dune re-nourishment and the reconstruction of 146 acres of wave dampening marsh islands within Jamaica Bay. The state’s $66 million Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee Grant Program funded 207 flood mitigation and stream restoration projects across 23 counties.

NY Prize: A first-in-the nation $40 million competition, NY Prize engages communities in advancing plans for local power infrastructure to reduce costs, promote clean energy, reliability and resiliency by challenging New York communities, businesses, entrepreneurs, and electric utilities to design and implement community-based microgrids. Microgrids, which are able to fully separate from the larger electrical grid during extreme weather events and emergencies, provide vital public services and power to residential customers and critical operators such as hospitals, first responders and water treatment facilities.

PowerUp Long Island: Launched in August, PowerUp Long Island is a partnership between state energy agencies and local utilities to support further development and deployment of clean and renewable energy sources in the region. This new initiative, which brings a number of innovative clean-energy and energy-efficiency programs under one umbrella to service the Long Island area, is designed to advance the region’s significant progress in integrating clean energy.

Fuel NY: To prepare for future emergencies and severe weather events, New York State is implementing a 21st century fuel infrastructure protection strategy from the pipeline to the pump. Working to ensure that critical gas stations have back-up power capacity, the State launched two major Fuel NY initiatives this year to combat the risk of fuel shortages after major storms. The Portable Emergency Generator Program provides rental generators to gas stations in downstate areas for power back-up in case of an outage. In addition, the State Strategic Gasoline Reserve became operational and provides a reservoir of nearly 3 million gallons of fuel that can be used to meet emergency needs.

NY-Best: A consortium of more than 130 industry, academic and government partners, New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology promotes the growth of the energy storage industry in the state. Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo announced the opening of the NY Battery and Energy Storage Technology Test and Commercialization Center at Eastman Business Park in Rochester. The $23 million center provides unique testing and validation services needed to bring new battery and energy storage technologies to the commercial market.

Strengthened Oversight of Utilities: The 2013-14 State Budget included reforms to strengthen the Public Service Commission’s oversight and enforcement mechanisms of the major electric and gas utility companies. These reforms include a new utility ‘scorecard’ to hold utilities accountable for power restorations after a significant outage using a quantitative assessment of electric utility performance and an amended utility electric emergency plan designed for the prompt restoration of service in an emergency event involving widespread outages due to storms or other major events.

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