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SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (October 20, 2014) – Hours of community input are coming to fruition as the next phase of the Sullivan County River Access Plan, an initiative which has engaged and activated the community, is now being initiated.

As Sue Currier, Executive Director for the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, explains, “The Conservancy is honored to be helping to implement a plan that Sullivan County and the community developed to revitalize river communities, enhance our economic vitality, and develop a coordinated, cohesive approach to branding the county’s river accesses. As a result, we’re coordinating a fundraising campaign to make this next phase happen, beginning with the Long Eddy river access.”

The purpose of the fundraising campaign is to purchase, protect, and improve the fishing and boat access site to the Delaware River located in Long Eddy, Sullivan County, NY.

At present, the Long Eddy access is popular with river guides and recreational users, but does not have a ramp or sufficient parking. The resulting crowded conditions reduce use by all but the most determined, and create conflicts over inappropriate parking with the nearby residents and businesses. The recently completed Sullivan County River Access Plan has identified the need to enhance access to the Delaware River for recreational enthusiasts and provide additional economic lift to our river towns, such as Long Eddy.

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy has signed a contract to acquire a piece of private property located along the Delaware River, adjacent to the existing road used as the boat launch. It will be conveyed to the NYS DEC, who will in turn improve the boat launch for all river users.

The purchase, holding, and subsequent transfer of the property will cost approximately $20,000, and the Conservancy is hosting a fundraising campaign to cover these costs. The campaign may be accessed via Indiegogo at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/improve-the-long-eddy-river-access/x/8658204 or more information is available on the Conservancy’s website athttp://www.DelawareHighlands.org. Every dollar donated goes directly to the project and, in turn, benefits the local community, its businesses, and all river users.

As Jeff Graff, an avid fly fisherman, explains, "The Delaware River is a truly amazing natural resource and a fly fisherman’s dream.  It’s clear, clean waters flow over cobble bottom long eddies and riffles that meander through the ancient, dark hills and hardwood forests of southern New York and northeastern Pennsylvania and hold abundant populations of healthy, wild rainbow and brown trout. Its prolific aquatic insect hatches of mayflies, caddis flies and stoneflies provide some of the best and most challenging fly fishing opportunities for fishermen in the United States.”

He continues, “Creating and maintaining access to the river is essential, not only to fishermen interested in ensuring that the fishery remains vital and accessible to drift boats and wade fishermen, but also to other recreational users of the river such as canoeists and kayakers."

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy works with landowners and communities to protect the healthy lands, clean waters, eagles and other wildlife, and sustainable economies of the Upper Delaware River region.  For more information, send an email to info@delawarehighlands.org or call 845-583-1010.

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NEW YORK STATE (October 16, 2014) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the formation of a Task Force that will work to implement the plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York.

File:Red Ribbon.svgThe Task Force – whose work will be supplemented by two advisory groups in the near future – will support the effort to reduce the number of new HIV infections to 750 per year by 2020. Together, all three groups will consist of experts and community advocates from across New York and will perform public outreach and awareness campaigns in line with the Governor’s plan.

“HIV/AIDS has plagued families across this State for too long, and together we are going to put an end to this epidemic,” Governor Cuomo said. “This disease can impact people from all walks of life, and the sooner society realizes that, the sooner we can end the stigma that keeps too many people from getting tested and treated. I want to thank all who have joined us to implement this plan so far – their contributions are helping to save lives in virtually every corner of our State.”

The three key groups charged with ending the epidemic are:

    1. A Task Force, which has been established in support of Governor Cuomo’s three-point plan and will develop and issue recommendations as well as draft New York’s blueprint to end the epidemic. Four subcommittees will focus specifically on prevention, care, data, and housing and supportive services (members are listed below);
    2. The Public Official Advisory Group, which will be made up of state and local public officials with significant interest and experience in HIV and AIDS who will be given the opportunity to provide feedback to the task force; and
    3. The Public Awareness Ambassadors will be active LGBT and AIDS awareness advocates that will help raise awareness, promote the Governor’s plan, and reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.

Members of the Public Official Advisory Group and the Public Awareness Ambassadors will be announced at a later date.

The end of the AIDS epidemic in New York will occur when the total number of new HIV infections has fallen below the number of HIV-related deaths. In June, Governor Cuomo announced a three-point plan to decrease new HIV infections to the point where the number of people living with HIV in New York State is reduced for the first time by:

    1. Identifying people with HIV who remain undiagnosed and linking them to health care;
    2. Linking and retaining people diagnosed with HIV to health care and getting them on anti-HIV therapy to maximize HIV virus suppression so they remain healthy and prevent further transmission; and
    3. Providing access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk people to keep them HIV negative.

“These efforts will maximize the availability of life-saving, transmission-interrupting treatment for HIV, saving lives and improving the health of New Yorkers,” said Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, M.D., J.D. “They will move us from a history of having the worst HIV epidemic in the country to one where new infections will be rare and those living with the disease will have normal lifespans with few complications.”

While the nation as a whole has seen no decrease in the number of HIV diagnoses, over the last decade, New York State has achieved a 40 percent reduction in new HIV cases and significant decreases in HIV incidence across almost all categories of race, ethnicity, gender, age and risk. Although the number of new HIV infections has been declining for a number of years, the total number of New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS has continued to increase. This is because people with HIV can now live a normal life span and the number of HIV/AIDS deaths is also decreasing.

The Governor’s task force will meet on five occasions. All meetings will be made public and viewable via webcast on the governor’s website at http://www.governor.ny.gov/. The first meeting was held from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at the Troy Hilton Garden Inn; subsequent meetings will alternate between the Capital Region and New York City.

Sir Elton John, Founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation said, "Governor Cuomo understands that HIV/AIDS is an issue of justice and equality, and to end AIDS we need to end the stigma. With the establishment of this task force, Governor Cuomo continues to lead the way towards an end of AIDS, and position the State of New York as a global leader in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment."

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (October 15, 2014) – Members of the Sullivan County Visitors Association are encouraged to reserve their ad space in the 2014-side-travelGuide 2015 Sullivan County Catskills Travel Guide as soon as possible.

The Travel Guide is placed in information centers inside and outside the county and state, and is made available (ads included) in a digital format via www.SCVA.net.

The website enjoys more than 300,000 page views each year, or more than 25,000 page views per month. The SCVA Travel Guides are also sent overseas to whet the appetites of international travelers.

“The guide has been enormously popular, and we expect 2015 to be no different,” said SCVA President Roberta Byron-Lockwood. “It has proved to be an invaluable promotional tool for our member businesses and our entire region each year.”

Member businesses interested in placing an advertisement inside the Travel Guide will receive an additional 10% off their ad cost if paid in full by the Oct. 30 deadline. Member advertisers will also receive an enhanced listing banner ad ($100 value) on www.SCVA.net.

For more information about advertising, please contact Phyllis Andrews by calling 845.747.4449 or emailing pla@scva.net.

Non-member businesses who are interested in advertising within the Travel Guide are asked to become an SCVA member before gaining access to members-only advantages.

The 2014 Travel Guide, designed by FisherMears Associates of Liberty, NY, is still available. To explore the current guidebook online, visit www.SCVA.net/guidebooks/2014_TravelGuide. To receive a copy, visit www.SCVA.net/brochure, call the SCVA at 800-882-2287, or visit the SCVA office at 100 Sullivan Ave., Suite 2 in Ferndale, NY

SULLIVAN COUNTY AND SURROUNDING AREAS (October 15, 2014) – Issued By: NWS Binghamton (South Central New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania)

Affected Jurisdictions:  Delaware, Sullivan Counties

The National Weather Service In Binghamton Has Issued An Urban And Small Stream Flood Advisory For…Delaware County…Northern Sullivan County…Northern Wayne County…* Until 130 AM EDT.*

At 734 PM EDT…Doppler Radar Showed Heavy Rain Moving Into Delaware And Northern Sullivan Counties In New York And Northern Wayne County In Pennsylvania Area.

2 To 3 Inches Of Rain is Expected To Fall For The Remainder Of The Evening Into The overnight Hours. Expect Flooding To Begin Shortly After The Rain begins.*

Locations In The Advisory Include But Are Not Limited To Delhi…Walton And Liberty.

Rain Heavy At Times Will Spread Across All Of Delaware And Northern Sullivan Counties In New York And Northern Wayne County In Pennsylvania.

This Rainfall Will Cause Urban And Poor Drainage, flooding And Road Washouts.

Excessive Runoff From Heavy Rainfall Will Cause Elevated Levels On small Creeks And Streams…And Ponding Of Water In Urban Areas…Highways…Streets And Underpasses As Well As Other Poor Drainage areas And Low Lying Spots.

NEW YORK STATE (October 14, 2014) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced several initiatives to assist new and early-stage farmers, and encourage the continued growth of agribusiness across New York. The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund, which will support beginning farmers and encourage farming as a career, launched today and is now taking applications. The $614,000 Fund, enacted in the 2014-2015 New York State Budget and signed into law by Governor Cuomo, will be used to provide grants for beginning farmers who will substantially participate in the production of an agriculture product, and employ the use of innovative agricultural techniques at commercial farm operations throughout the State.

“New York’s farmers play a central role in New York’s economy, and today we’re taking another step forward in supporting them and their industry,” Governor Cuomo said. “By funding as much as 50 percent of the start-up costs for young farmers, we are creating new opportunities for young farmers across the State and planting the seeds for their long-term success. I am proud to be supporting the next generation of farmers in New York, and I look forward to seeing our agricultural economy flourish for seasons and generations to come.”

The $614,000 Fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 for eligible farmers who participate in the production of an agricultural product on a commercial farm operation within New York. Funds can be used for up to 50 percent of project costs including, but not limited to: lease or purchase of farm machinery and equipment; construction or expansion of farm buildings or systems; and purchase of supplies such as root stock, seed or fertilizer. Empire State Development, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Markets, will administer the Fund.

The application for the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund is available HERE; the deadline for submission is January 28, 2015.

In addition, at the Governor’s direction, State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball will be convening a working group to examine the barriers to establishing an agricultural operation and the assistance that is available. Partnering with Empire State Development, the working group will consist of agency representatives, lenders and financial institutions, land resource specialists, and select groups or individuals that represent the “new, beginning” farmer. Members are in the process of being finalized. The first meeting of the group is scheduled for October 30, 2014 from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. at the Department of Agriculture and Markets in Albany.

To help encourage recent college graduates to pursue careers in farming in New York State, the New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program, also passed in this year’s budget, is now taking applications. The program provides loan forgiveness awards to individuals who obtain an undergraduate degree from an approved New York State college or university and agree to operate a farm in New York State, on a full-time basis, for five years.

The application for the New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Program is available HERE; the deadline for submission is December 15.

Agriculture is one of the most important economic drivers in New York State. According to a 2014 study published by Professor Todd Schmit of Cornell University, when agriculture is incorporated with agricultural production, support services, and manufacturing, it represents a $53.7 billion industry in New York and accounts for more than 200,000 jobs.

"GET $ET” Energy Symposium Teaches Public, Home Owners and Businesses How to Save Energy Together

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY (October 14, 2014) – Vendors are now being sought for the Sullivan County “GET $ET” Energy Symposium to be held Wednesday Oct 22 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on the SUNY Sullivan campus, Loch Sheldrake.

Organized by RUPCO, an independent contractor for the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), partners for the event include a host of county-wide organizations: SUNY Sullivan, Sullivan County Planning, Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development, Cornell Cooperative of Sullivan County, NYSERDA’s Mid-Hudson Economic Development Growth Extension (EDGE), and others. Symposium topics will include residential and commercial energy programs, renewable energy resources as well as programs that allow homeowners, renters, landlords, not-for-profits and small businesses, and municipalities to more easily participate in energy efficiency programs offered by NYSERDA.

Organizers have invited more than a dozen vendors to exhibit their “energy smart” businesses, products and services. Speakers have been invited to discuss three separate topic tracks throughout the course of the day. Each topic track will host a maximum of three speakers and end with a panel discussion consisting of five experts in their various fields. The three topics will be on residential energy programs, commercial energy programs, and renewable energy resources and programs.

Speakers will include New York State Senator John J. Bonacic, New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, members of the Sullivan County Legislature, SUNY Sullivan faculty and staff members, Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development, Cornell Cooperative of Sullivan County, Mid-Hudson EDGE – NYSERDA, as well as Mike D’Arcy, RUPCO Outreach Coordinator for NYSERDA and BPI Regional Energy Coach.

The vendors invited to attend the symposium are local Sullivan county businesses that have products or services related to energy efficiency, sustainable construction, or alternative energy.

Registration is Now Open

Please note that space is limited and registration is required.  To register, visit:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sullivan-county-get-et-save-energy-together-energy-symposium-tickets-13126875839

Additional information can be found online at the following address:http://www.gjgnyhudsonvalley.net/RUPCO/sullivan-county-get-et-save-energy-together-energy-symposium/

The final schedule of speakers, event details, and the list of vendors and sponsors will be posted to the website listed above.

The symposium will be held at SUNY Sullivan Building E 112 College Road, Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759. (845) 434-5750 or (800) 577-5243, contact: Mike D’Arcy | 845-331-2140 Ext:261 | mdarcy@rupco.org

http://www.gjgnyhudsonvalley.net/RUPCO/sullivan-county-get-et-save-energy-together-energy-symposium/

TOWN OF LUMBERLAND, NY (October 13, 2014) – Senator John Bonacic (R/C/I – Mt. Hope) recently announced that the Town of Lumberland has Lumberland been awarded $50,000 in funding from the State & Municipal Facilities Capital Program.

Monies will go towards the purchase of energy efficient windows and doors at the Lumberland Senior Center and Thomas F. Hill Municipal Building as well as repairs to the floor at the Lumberland Town Hall.

“Our immediate needs include making Municipal Building and senior center energy efficient to save on heating costs, and to repair and restore the floor of our Town Hall,” said Supervisor Nadia Rajsz. “Thanks to the Senator for this funding which allows us to take care of these projects without going back to our already burdened taxpayers. We are very grateful to all of the support he has given us.”

“We need to maintain these municipal buildings and senior centers to keep them in good shape for years to come,” said Senator Bonacic. “I’m pleased to be able to help the Town of Lumberland take care of their town buildings, so they can reduce their bills, and keep the buildings safe for all those who use them.”

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