A Weekly Roundup of News, Happenings & Events in Sullivan County, the Catskills & New York State 2018 Issue #28 | July 15, 2018
Singing the N-Word: Rapper Who Used Racially Charged Lyrics Running For Congressional District
CATSKILLS REGION - The Democratic candidate for the 19th Congressional District, Antonio Delgado, is a former rap singer who released a CD titled “Painfully Free” in 2006 in which he uses the N-word, is critical of the two-party political system calls the “dead” presidents “white su premacists” and blasts capitalism, the New York Post reported on Monday. Delgado, who defeated six other Democrats to capture his party’s nomination for the November election against incumbent Republican John Faso, has since earned a law degree. Back 12 years ago in his rap incarnation, Delgado was known as “AD The Voice.” The Post quoted some of his lyrics. “Dead presidents can’t represent me, not when most of them believe in white supremacy/like spittin’ on my ancestry.” Delgado defended his lyrics to the Post. “This is a willful and selective misreading of my work for political purposes,” he said. “My music defies the same stereotypical notions that led you and whoever chose to share this music with you to immediately hear certain words and think they are bad or scary. If you listen to the lyrics my mission is clear.”
Lack of Economic Opportunity a Killer: Study on opioid use in Sullivan County
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NYIt’s well-known that Sullivan County, like most other counties in the U.S., continues to suffer through an opioid addiction crisis. Researchers at the Rockefeller Institute of Government decided to focus a study on the county, to shed some light on the impacts that the national epidemic is having on rural communities. They called the report “Stories from Sullivan” ( tinyurl.com/ya2qtdw3.) While there is not a lot new for people who have studied the issue, there are interesting points...The report cites numerous studies, including one that suggests that the impacts on rural communities differ from those on urban communities. It says, “In a now-famous study, researchers Anne Case and Angus Deaton found a surprising increase in midlife mortality among non-Hispanic whites living in the United States due to drug overdoses, suicides and chronic liver diseases. In interpreting their data, Case and Deaton have argued that these so-called ‘deaths of despair’ may be linked to declining wages, limited job opportunities and fewer marriages.

Benefits Outweigh Risks: Legalizing marijuana in NYS backed up by state report
ALBANY: Legalizing marijuana across New York is an overall positive as long as cannabis is regulated as it is in other states, according to a new report from the state Department of Health. The report looks at health effects, public safety concerns such as incarceration rates, and economic impact of legalizing marijuana. Marijuana is easily purchased illegally, according to the report, but those buying are at a disadvantage for understanding its potency or safety. The report says that can be helped by regulations and labels, like with alcohol and tobacco. "Not understanding what may be in a substance when it's illicitly used is really significant as compared to a regulated process in which we know and have confidence in the product," says Johanne Morne, director of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute. The report notes that laws against marijuana have not curbed its use, but New York has the highest arrest rate for marijuana — nearly double the national average — and those arrests disproportionally affect communities of color. Economically, the report says the state could collect between an estimated $248.1 million and $677.7 million in one year from tax revenues and could potentially create thousands of jobs.
Research acknowledged neighboring states Vermont and Massachusetts allow both recreational and medical use, and examples showed out-of-state residents were willing to risk buying legal marijuana if they had easy access and a safe product.
Getting High & Wasted on NYS Politics: Courting small donors with happy hours and a bong
ALBANY - Drink all you want for five bucks. Donate for your chance to win a signed bong. Join the governor’s underage daughter for happy hour. Ahead of a Monday campaign finance reporting deadline, the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates are seeking to boost the number of small-dollar contributors to their campaign in unorthodox ways, as reliance on large donations becomes a progressive bugbear. Michaela Kennedy Cuomo, along with her older sister Mariah, is a headliner for a “special happy hour” this Saturday in the Hamptons in support of the reelection campaign of her father, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Michaela will not turn 21 until August.

Lives Are Being Lost: Solving Sullivan’s sparse cell service a never-ending battle
MONTICELLO: Summer is here and so are thousands visitors, who tend to flock to some areas of Sullivan County still mostly without cell coverage. County Legislator Nadia Rajsz, of Lumberland, told the legislature’s Public Safety Committee on Tuesday statistics make for a compelling case. “Two hundred and fifty-thousand visitors coming in and they can’t use their cellphone and we have river rescue,” Rajsz said. “We can lose lives very easily, and we have.” Deputy County Manager Dan Depew said they have had initial discussion with the Upper Delaware Council, which, he said, initially was not receptive to putting cell towers in certain specific locations. 
CELL SERVICE IN SULLIVAN COUNTY: Have you noticed that your cell service this summer in Sullivan County is terrible? This week, the Sullivan County eNews Roundup featured an article about how cell service in our area has not improved in years-and that it may cause deaths in emergency situations. These providers are given franchises and regulated by state and local officials. So here's the question for you to answer:
I Don't Care
Multi-Million Dollar Industry in Catskills:
Take-Out Popular During Summer

CATSKILLS REGION - T he popularity of kosher take-out foods continues to soar, particularly over the summer months in Brooklyn and the Catskills. At a time when home kosher cooking is at an all-time high, the popularity of take-out foods continues to soar, particularly over the summer months. In more than two handful of interviews, Kosher Today has learned that take-out has become so popular that it has turned into a multi-million dollar industry and a major profit center for many supermarkets. This development is extremely interesting at a time when there are a record number of kosher cookbooks on the market and almost every major Jewish publication has extensive coverage of gourmet home cooking. "As much as they like the home cooking for special occasions when they like to show-off, they dislike home cooking on an ordinary day," one kosher food maven said.
Poof! How NYS could eliminate 50% or more of your county tax bill

ALBANY - If New Yorkers want their county property taxes cut by 50 percent or more, there could be one quick way to do it. New York would just have to figure out a way to pick up the $8 billion tab. A new report this week said if the state paid for the counties' share of Medicaid costs, it would provide $8 billion in relief to county governments — an average of a 27 percent reduction in county taxes. For some counties, their share of the state's $70 billion Medicaid program takes up as much as 79 percent of their total property tax revenue. So if the state paid the full cost — as counties for years have lobbied for — it could provide direct property-tax relief to homeowners in a state with among the highest taxes in the nation, the report from the Empire Center, an Albany-based fiscally conservative think tank said. "This system puts a disproportionately high burden on localities with poorer residents and weaker tax bases," the report's author Bill Hammond wrote.
Sullivan County eNews Roundup | Steven Kurlander, Publisher