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Issue 51 — Thursday, July 19, 2018

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NPS Appoints New
Park Superintendent

By Chris Jones

BUSHKILL—National Park Service (NPS) Northeast Regional Director Gay Vietzke has named Sula Jacobs as the next superintendent of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. She succeeds John Donahue, who retired last year.
"Delaware Water Gap is a dynamic park with a number of significant challenges, including significant deferred maintenance and two damaging storms from this past winter," said Vietzke. "Sula Jacobs has the strong business experience to manage both the day to day concerns and the surprises that nature sometimes brings to a vast recreation area. She will be an asset to park operations and a friend to the community."
"Having grown up near the Delaware River," said Jacobs, "I have spent many happy days floating down the river – – enjoying the view, appreciating the time with family and friends. I am thrilled to join the talented team, partners, and community at Delaware Water Gap. I look forward to working with the team to protect the park and serve visitors."
Jacobs comes to Delaware Water Gap from Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in the states of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, where she has worked since 2014. Before that, she oversaw operations as deputy superintendent at Biscayne National Park in Florida. She holds a master's degree in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Jacobs earned her undergraduate degree at Washington and Lee University in economics and East Asian studies. She began her NPS career in 2005 as a management analyst in the Office of the Comptroller in Washington, D.C.

Official Paper More Than
Forty Years

MILFORD — Although it has been publishing much, much longer, the Pike County Dispatch has been the newspaper of record for the County of Pike for more than 40 years. That means the Dispatch is the place to go to find out about public meetings, estate notices, bids, public hearings, real estate sales and transactions, and Sheriff sales.

The Pike County Commissioners listed the Dispatch as an official newspaper for legal notices during their opening meeting of 2014, and once again, during their annual reorganization meetings on the first business day of the New Year, most of the other municipalities in Pike County followed suit. So far, Milford and Matamoras Boroughs, and Westfall, Dingman, Delaware, Shohola, Blooming Grove. Milford and Lehman Townships have made it their business to have the Dispatch as an official newspaper.

So make it your business to keep up with all the news in Pike to print, including official business and legal notices from your town.

To find out where to buy your copy of the county’s official newspaper or to subscribe for home mail delivery, click here.

The Voice Of Pike County
Since 1826

The Pike County Dispatch is not only Pike County's largest circulation weekly newspaper, it is also the oldest.

Founded as the Eagle of the North, it has been in continuous operation reporting news and covering local events since 1826. It is, and always has been, the mainstay in keeping the local citizenry informed. Today, subscribers are as far afield as California and Florida

The Dispatch has covered the historic events that have shaped Pike County for almost as long as that history has been in the making.

Over the years, hometown news has shared pages with national and world events, and world events were sometimes right here in Pike County, Pennsylvania.

Its pages carry news of joy and sorrow, homespun advice, births, deaths, marriages, spats, feuds, political controversy, scandals, murders, heists, social affairs, dedications--in short, all the news in Pike to print.

Look for the Pike County Dispatch at local news dealers, and read all about it!


DV Board Updates Progress Of CTE Hub


WESTFALL — Work began June 20 and continues steadily on the $11.4 million renovation of Delaware Valley High School's Career Technical Education (CTE) hub that will be completed by the end of 2019.
It's the highlight of the latest five-year capital improvements plan up for renewal at the end of 2020 and was discussed during the workshop that preceded the monthly meeting of the Delaware Valley school board meeting last week. It is the first major revamp of CTE since it opened 40 years ago.
"We're turning it from 1978 when it began – to state of the art," school district Superintendent John Bell said after the meeting as he further discussed the upgrades.
The project is bundled with capital expenditure projects that include replacing the original boilers from when the high school opened in 1970 and new generators and building new tennis courts at the Dingman Delaware campus. There are other smaller improvements included.
The total cost is more than $12 million, and district Financial Administrator Bill Hessling said bundling became necessary to keep costs down after separate bids for capital expenditure projects came in very high.
Also planned for a future date are new boilers for the Dingman Delaware campus, built in 1982. That may extend into the next five-year capital improvements plan starting in 2020.
"I see the boilers at the Delaware Valley Elementary School building (opened two years ago) that keeps 98 percent of the heat in the building, at Dingman heat goes 80 percent up the smokestack," school board President Jack O'Leary said. "The new boilers are so much better."
Details OF CTE Construction
As for the CTE project, most of that work takes place during the summer months when classes are not in session. Bell said the electrical program and the automotive section currently are being renovated and will be ready for the fall. Electrical will be ready when school begins and Automotive is taking over two art classrooms with added bays for work on vehicles. Art classrooms will be relocated. It is part of the shuffling going on as divisions are renovated and expanded.
Excavation has begun for a new wing to CTE in the parking and open areas in the back, which will connect with the high school and enhance the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiative. There will be new Computer Assisted Design (CAD) labs, which include a new engineering classroom and a new wood shop. Locker rooms will be added for students who change for their programs.
A new kitchen and dining room that can seat 60 people for an event will be built for the culinary program. A larger Health Occupations Students of America center will be built with additional space for medical equipment. Early Childhood Education will expand to a third space that has been the Engineering Room. All will be ready in the fall of 2019........For complete story, get this week's issue.

Facebook Page Flare-Up About
Noise Ordinance 'Not A Threat'

LACKAWAXEN — At Monday's regular and workshop meetings held at the township building, Lackawaxen Township supervisors discussed whether to shut down the township's page after a resident flagged an inflammatory comment that he thought might be a public threat.
Supervisors Mike Mancino and Jeff Shook (Supervisor John Beisel was unable to attend) fielded the question raised by resident Alan Engvaldsen during Public Comments.
Engvaldsen presented a recently posted Facebook comment by another resident that suggested that those that call for township enforcement of noise violations deserve to be shot.
Shook initially said that if necessary, he could favor shutting down the township site, and Mancino asked township Solicitor Tom Farley for a legal opinion on whether such a statement might constitute a public threat and whether supervisors should shut down the township's Facebook site.
After reading the comment, "eventually someone will blow the other neighbor's head off with buckshot," Farley said, "I don't think that this is a public threat. If the resident said, "I would shoot," and he named a [target] person, then that would be a public threat."
Mancino noted that the person making the post was speaking generically and referencing another township resident's complaint about excessive noise and other nuisances.
Mancino said in an interview after the meeting that the township recognizes that the Facebook post was just a resident venting and that it was not a public threat.
Mancino also said, "Lackawaxen is probably the least restrictive township [on quality of life issues] in Pike County.
"We do have the mechanism to enforce noise violations, but it does not cover 99 percent of the incidents relating to residents."
Mancino explained that the township typically would not enforce excessive noise complaints, such as those involving party music, fireworks, using a lawn mower or chainsaw, and target shooting.
Only if the noise were 24/7, regular and persistent, would the township intervene.
The township's Nuisance Ordinance mostly targets excessive commercial noise by machines that exceed a certain decibel level.
Farley said that supervisors might dispatch the township Code Enforcement officer with a decibel-measuring instrument to measure sound at the property line of a parcel on which a company or utility might be using the offending machine.
Mancino noted that another supervisor board about 10 years ago adopted the Nuisance Ordinance after a public hearing.
At the hearing, some residents vehemently complained about the potential intrusion of government on property rights.
So supervisors subsequently restricted enforcement to very specific situations, mostly involving commercial uses.
For extreme nuisances, the ordinance directed the public to call state police. State police would determine if incidents might be criminal, harmful, or threatening to neighbors.
Meanwhile, Mancino said, "We are not shutting down the township's official Facebook site." He said that the site is useful as a forum to post information on upcoming events and to get feedback from residents.. ,..For complete story, get this week's issue.

Blooming Grove Topics Include Ambulances, Guns
By Jessica Cohen

LORDS VALLEY — Township supervisors around Pike County addressed the ambulance shortage earnestly as a group, Blooming Grove Township Supervisors Tammy Gillette and Chair Nick Mazza said at the Blooming Grove Township meeting on Monday. They said they attended a meeting of supervisors about the need for both more basic life support and advanced life support ambulance service.
"It was pretty well attended, and most towns were represented," said Mazza." An analysis of current ambulance service in the towns and county was discussed. They talked about possible solutions and future meetings to work on the problem. At the end of the meeting, representatives of several towns discussed having their own meetings to discuss ideas. Dingman and Delaware Township representatives said they need to handle the ALS issue soon."
"Townships were finally taking the issue seriously," said Gillette. "They talked about the obstacles for volunteers."
The lack of ambulance service has been attributed to the shortage of volunteers, as people work more hours and also need more training to be qualified for ambulance duty.
Blooming Grove supervisors previously discussed the increasing dependence of other townships on the paid ambulance service that Blooming Grove maintains with town taxes. Although towns have a mutual aid agreement for ambulance and fire calls, supervisors had expressed concern that Blooming Grove taxpayers provided ambulance service to towns that did not contribute taxes.
Key Meetings Coming Up
Meanwhile, other long simmering issues will soon be decided. At the Aug. 6 township meeting, Blooming Grove supervisors will announce a decision on the Kahr Arms conditional use application to put a shooting range in their business park. Then at the planning board meeting on Aug. 15, the board will address Joe Korycki's conditional use application to make use of the historic Lord House property for his business across the street, Lords Valley Towing. Korycki has a contract to buy the property, and the sale depends on the outcome of the conditional use hearing, said Mazza.



House Speaker Votes Against
State College Tuition Increase

HARRISBURG — Board Member and Speaker of the House Mike Turzai voted against a 2.99 percent increase in tuition for in-state students at Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) schools, along with three other PASSHE board members. Speaker Turzai said the increased appropriation of state tax dollars should have prevented the $112 per semester tuition increase.
"To help Pennsylvania students better afford college, this year's state budget increased PASSHE's funding by more than 3.3 percent over last year," said Turzai. "We had hoped that, given four straight increases in appropriations to the state system, that the board would see fit this year to not increase Pennsylvania students' tuition.
The governor and legislature increased state funding by $15 million, to $468 million, for the state system for the 2018-19 fiscal year, while projected enrollment is expected to decline by 2.2 percent from last year. State investment in PASSHE has increased 13.4 percent over the last four years. Further, over the last three years, the board raised tuition by 3.5 percent in 2015-16, by 2.5 percent in 2016-17 and 3.5 percent in 2017-18.
Despite the increased funds, personnel costs – salaries and benefits – increased from $1.232 billion to $1.268 billion for this upcoming year, an increase of $35.5 million dollars. Salaries and benefits account for 75 percent of PASSHE's expenditures.



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