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MONTICELLO, NY (October 30, 2014) – Five individuals will be honored at the Monticello Central School District’s Second Annual Hall of Distinction ceremony, which will be held on Sunday, November 2 at 11:00 a.m. in the Arnold Packer Hughs Auditorium in Monticello High School. The event is open to the public.

The 2014 inductees are: Dr. Gene Block, Joan Rhulen Farrow, Hon. Josephine Finn, Eugene David Nesin and Jacob “Jack” Sharoff.

The individuals will join 10 distinguished individuals who were inducted during the inaugural Hall of Distinction ceremony held last November. The ceremony will include musical performances by current students and Monticello alumni.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block_4x6The 2014 Hall of Distinction Inductees are:

Dr. Gene D. Block – Class of 1966 – Esteemed biologist, academic and inventor, Dr. Block currently serves as chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles. Well known in the scientific community, Dr. Block is the Farrow_4x6recipient of many scientific honors and awards.

Joan Rhulen Farrow – Class of 1946 – Successful businesswoman, philanthropist and benefactor, Mrs. Farrow has dedicated her life to the betterment of Sullivan County. She is a long time Board Member of Catskill Regional Medical Center, Trustee of Sullivan County Community College and a Founder of Catskill Hudson Bank.

Hon. Josephine Victoria Finn – Class of 1968 – Jfinn_4x6udge Josephine Finn was elected to the New York State Board of Regents in March 2014 and serves as village judge. A tireless advocate for children and education, Judge Finn spearheaded Creative Think Tank, Inc., a youth organization designed to help keep at-risk youth out of the criminal justice system.

nesin_4x6 Eugene David Nesin -Board of Education Member, 1976 – 2009 – For more than 33 years, Mr. Nesin served on the Board of Education with distinction. He worked tirelessly to address the needs of our children and the local community. His legacy continues through the work of Nesin sharoff_4x6Cultural Arts and a scholarship established in his name.

Jacob “Jack” Sharoff – Class of 1931 – Remembered as a humble, principled, dedicated man, Mr. Sharoff served as Monticello Chief of Police from 1938-1968. He was a constant presence on the streets of his beloved Monticello. Mr. Sharoff was devoted to the Boy Scouts and he served in numerous leadership roles, as well as a Village Trustee.

The Hall of Distinction was established in 2012 by the Monticello Board of Education to honor highly successful graduates, former students, Board of Education members and former employees who have achieved distinction, outstanding accomplishment, or have made a significant contribution within their school, family, career, community and/or personal lives. Inductees are selected by a committee consisting of community stakeholders, Board of Education members, faculty and alumni. The Hall of Distinction is located in the lobby of the Arnold Packer Hughs Auditorium in Monticello High School. Application forms for the 2015 Hall of Distinction will be available in early 2015.

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (October 28, 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.

Photos by Carol Montana

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY – Ira Cohen, Sullivan County Treasurer for the past eight years has passed away at the age of 69.

DSCN9836A Ira was a dedicated leader who served the people of Sullivan County over 24 years. First, in1970, serving as the Assistant Public Defender and in 1972 as the Public Defender.

Ira was also the County Attorney serving from 1992 to 2003 and then on to be the elected County Treasurer from 2006 to present.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Ira over the past seven years and even more closely the past few years as the Sullivan County Manager. Ira’s extraordinary knowledge of government and his devotion and leadership to Sullivan County will always be admired. On behalf of Sullivan County I want to extend my deepest sympathy and prayers to Ira’s family.” said Joshua Potosek, Sullivan County Manager.

“Although not unexpected, the news of Ira Cohen’s passing is both shocking and very sad. He was an extraordinary man. His legacy will surely be his love, commitment, and service for and to Sullivan County. Ira served in so many capacities over the years and always with complete dedication. He will be missed.” said Scott Samuelson, Chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature.

“It is with deepest sorrow that I say these words. Ira Cohen was a man of integrity that has served our county in many ways. I first had the privilege to know Ira when I became a Legislator. He was a person who would listen to concerns and mentored many. I found his honesty and integrity very important. Ira was resilient and never gave up he always offered his help while never pushing a personal agenda. I am deeply sorrowed by this loss and extend my prayer and sympathies to his family. Ira served us all and his loss is deeply felt.” said Kitty Vetter, Vice Chair of the Sullivan County Legislature.

“I have had the opportunity to work with Ira over the past 15 years, first as County Attorney and then as County Treasurer. While we didn’t always agree, I can assure you that he always had the County’s best interest at heart.” said Kathleen LaBuda, Majority Leader and District 2 Legislator.

demstock1181 “Ira was one of those rare public officials that you could go to for advice who would give you a straight answer, while offering his take on the situation. I will sorely miss the opportunity to seek his counsel.” said Alan Sorensen, Minority Leader and District 9 Legislator.

“It’s truly a sad day for our County. Ira was a dedicated public servant and our county was lucky to have had him dedicate so many years of service. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” said Jonathan Rouis, Legislator District 4.

“As County Treasurer, Ira freely imparted his knowledge and was an outspoken advocate for responsible spending. He believed in Sullivan County, truly loved people and dedicated his life to improving government. My loss is more personal as he was not only my mentor and best supporter but also my friend. My prayers are with his family.” said Cindy Kurpil Gieger, Legislator District 5.

“I dropped by Ira’s office many times to seek valued advice as a novice legislator, and Ira always made time to answer my questions. Apparently I was not alone in seeking his counsel, as he once showed me a pile of letters and phone messages that had come from public servants all over New York State asking his opinion on a wide range of matters. His legacy is a deep abiding love of helping others and wishing only the best for Sullivan County. We will always remember him with great love and deep respect.” said Cora Edwards, Legislator District 6.

“It is with a heavy heart that I heard of Ira’s passing, not only is it a great loss to County Government but a great loss to the entire county.” said Gene Benson, Legislator District 7.

“The County of Sullivan has lost an advocate for the taxpayer with the passing of Ira Cohen. A brilliant and dedicated County Treasurer he was always looking for ways to save the county money and make sure that we did not over spend. Under his guidance the financial rating of the county has remained strong despite the tough economy. I will miss his wit and insight.” said Ira Steingart, Legislator District 8.

NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY (October 25, 2014) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Governor Chris Christie have announced additional screening protocols for 17868658 Ebola at both JFK and Newark Liberty International Airports:

    · There will be real-time access to on-the-ground screening at JFK and Newark Liberty International Airports by New York and New Jersey Departments of Health staff;
    · Each State Department of Health at JFK and Newark Liberty International Airports will, as permitted under applicable law, make its own determination as to hospitalization, quarantine, and other public health interventions for up to 21 days. There will also be a mandatory quarantine for any individual who had direct contact with an individual infected with the Ebola virus while in one of the three West African nations (Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea), including any medical personnel having performed medical services to individuals infected with the Ebola virus. Additionally, all individuals with travel history to the affected regions of West Africa, with no direct contact with an infected person, will be actively monitored by public health officials and, if necessary, quarantined, depending on the facts and circumstances of their particular situation.
    · New York and New Jersey are establishing enhanced communication protocols between their respective state health departments to coordinate on matters pertaining to New York and New Jersey resident travelers who fly into Newark and JFK;
    · The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and Customs Border Patrol (CBP) will provide information to New York and New Jersey’s respective State Departments of Health on all screening on a real-time basis and provide a daily recap as to the status of that day’s screening and CDC determinations

"Since taking office, I have erred on the side of caution when it comes to the safety and protection of New Yorkers, and the current situation regarding Ebola will be no different,” said Governor Cuomo. “The steps New York and New Jersey are taking today will strengthen our safeguards to protect our residents against this disease and help ensure those that may be infected by Ebola are treated with the highest precautions. I want to thank Governor Christie and his team for their spirit of partnership. This is an evolving situation but one that tests the ability of government to perform and as we have done in the past when facing similar challenges, we will do whatever is needed to put the health and safety of the people first."

“I have been clear that we will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the public health of the people of New Jersey which is exactly what these joint efforts with Governor Cuomo will do with additional screening and heightened standards for quarantine,” said Governor Christie. “By demanding these enhance measures, we are ensuring that any suspected cases are identified quickly and effectively, and that proper safeguards are executed.”

Governor Cuomo also announced the launch of a new State information line to answer public health questions from New Yorkers about Ebola. The info line is free and trained operators are available to answer the public’s questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number of the info line is 1-800-861-2280. It is important to note that this line is set up for public health information purposes only. If an individual requires medical attention, they should call their health care provider or 9-1-1 immediately.

NEW YORK STATE (October 23, 2014) – (Editor’s note: the Governor’s address was made earlier today, before the announcement that a doctor who had contracted Ebola was a patient in New York City.

Governor Cuomo at the 10/23/14 education session:

“And when we first learned about Ebola we had to come together and inform ourselves. Well that’s what today is all about. This is a training. This is a session to inform you, to educate you. What’s going to kill this disease is knowledge and training and preparation. Having the right protocols, having the right knowledge, having the right equipment, and doing it right and making sure we make no mistakes. In truth, unfortunately, we have an advantage from watching what happened in Dallas. Because Dallas didn’t have a chance to prepare the way we have a chance to prepare. And Dallas didn’t have the time to work through all these issues. Dallas didn’t have the opportunity to come together like we’re coming together today to learn to be trained in how to deal with it.

“We have been spending weeks getting ready for today. I’ve been Governor for four years – this has been the most coordinated, most serious effort that we have undertaken of its kind. We’re working with every city in the State. We’re working with the federal government. We’re working with Secretary Jeh Johnson, we’re working with the CDC – everybody has been comparing notes. Coordinated on every level, from transportation workers in the MTA to airport workers at JFK and La Guardia to the healthcare system which is where we are today.

“We’re taking this as seriously as we are taking anything because it is a matter of protecting people’s health and protecting people’s health on the front lines.”

NEW YORK STATE (October 22, 2014) U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have announced the release of $343 million in heating and home energy assistance funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The two Senators had joined a bipartisan group of 46 Senators in urging HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell to release Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding as quickly as possible, to ensure more families can access the resources they need to heat their homes this winter.

Without these federal resources, households nationwide may have been subject to cuts in federal heating aid during this year’s winter months. Now, New York State is set to receive over $343 million as part of initial LIHEAP funding provided under the Continuing Appropriations Resolution of 2015. New York State has received over $300 million in LIHEAP funding each fiscal year for the last seven years.

“No one should ever have to choose between putting food on the table and heating their homes. With winter’s cold and high energy prices right around the corner, families and seniors across Upstate New York need help paying their heating costs,” said Senator Schumer. “This massive infusion of federal funding right to the pockets of New Yorkers who need it most will provide critical relief to those residents facing the tough choice between food and heat this winter season. This funding will help keep more than a million New Yorkers out of the freezing cold this winter, and I will always fight for as much support as possible for this vital program.”

“This necessary funding will help keep more than a million New Yorkers warm this winter,” said Senator Gillibrand. “No family in our state should ever be left behind and literally in the cold in their home. I commend Secretary Burwell for responding quickly and making this funding a top priority.”
LIHEAP is the main federal program that helps low-income households and seniors with their energy bills, providing vital assistance during both the cold winter and hot summer months. Even though the number of households eligible for the program continues to exceed those receiving assistance, this funding has been a lifeline during the economic downturn and rising energy costs, helping to ensure that people do not have to choose between paying their energy bills and paying for food or medicine. New York State is the largest beneficiary of LIHEAP funds in the nation and more than 1 million New Yorkers rely on LIHEAP to heat their homes during the winter.

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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