Neighbors may sue DEC over Belleayre Resort

Above: An interactive timeline of 15 years of Belleayre Resort review.

The staff of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation say that they have thoroughly vetted the environmental impact of the proposed Belleayre Resort on a Catskills mountaintop. But two families who weren’t part of the project’s marathon 15-year review process may sue the DEC if the agency allows the resort to go forward.

The Gould family, prominent Catskills philanthropists who are descendants of the 19th-century Catskills developer Jay Gould, own large amounts of land in Ulster and Delaware counties.

Ben Korman, a New York City real estate developer, and his wife have owned the Galli-Curci mansion, a historic property on Route 49A, since 2002.  Read more

Cuomo congratulates Sullivan County on casino win

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo attended a celebratory rally at Bethel Woods in Sullivan County on Thursday, Dec. 1 to kvell about the state Gaming Facility Location Board's decision to allow a casino to be built on the site of the former Concord Resort Hotel.

"A whole generation of people can be reintroduced to upstate New York. And they're going to come to the Catskills, and they're going to see the Catskills, and they're going to love them," he said. "This is the magnet to do it." 

The governor directed his remarks to the people of Sullivan County, who faced fierce competition from other developers in other counties.

"You came up with the best product and you deserve to win, and you made that happen," he said.

Watch the whole video of the Governor's remarks above.  

Driver hits pedestrian as both leave the same holiday party

A man driving away from a holiday party on Arrowhead Road in the Ulster County town of Wawarsing last night hit a pedestrian walking home the same party, leaving him in critical condition, according to a press release from the Ulster County Sheriff's Office.

Nicholas P. Bach, a 28-year-old from New Paltz, was leaving the party after midnight on Thursday, Dec. 18 when he allegedly crashed his Toyota Camry into 29-year-old William Johnson of Kerhonkson, who was leaving the same party on foot, police say.

When sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene at 12:16 a.m., they found "one pedestrian lying in the roadway with serious physical injury," according to the press release.  Read more

This Weekend: Holiday Pop-Up Farmers' Market

Above: Vendors set up at a Stamford holiday market in 2013. Photo via the Greater Stamford Area Chamber of Commerce's Facebook page.

Farmers and artisans will give you one last chance to buy Catskills-made local gifts this weekend in Stamford at a Holiday Pop-Up Farmers' Market hosted by the Greater Stamford Area Chamber of Commerce.

Local meats, cheeses, maple products, honey and jam and herbal teas will be available, as will pottery and sewing crafts. The Ate.O.Ate Food Truck will dispense holiday snacks as you shop.   Read more

This weekend: Light up the Dark in Callicoon

A mother and son make a homemade lantern in preparation for the the Light up the Dark Lantern Walk in Callicoon. A lantern-making workshop will be held on Friday, Dec. 19, and the walk is on Sunday, December 21. Photo by Laura Moran.

The winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, is this Sunday, Dec. 21. In Callicoon, a group of local artists are leading a community lantern walk to light up the longest night. Walkers will hear stories and carry lanterns through a 30-foot labyrinth to honor the souls of the dead. From organizer Laura Moran:   Read more

Montreign Resort Casino in Monticello wins the Catskills jackpot

Above: A rendering of the Montreign casino.

The New York State Gaming Facility Location Board has chosen to allow one developer to build a casino in the Catskills: the Montreign Resort Casino in the Sullivan County town of Thompson. The board also granted two other casino licenses in two other regions in the state in its selection report, which it released today. (Read the full report by clicking here.)

Montreign, a division of Empire Resorts, will be built on the site of the former Concord Resort Hotel in Monticello. The casino will be part of a larger destination resort called the Adelaar.  Read more

New York state bans fracking

 

A video posted by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on

At a cabinet meeting that was open to the public today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State Department of Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens and New York Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced that the practice of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be prohibited in New York State.   Read more

Tonight: Forum on safety at Kaaterskill Falls

Above: After two people fell to their deaths while hiking Kaaterskill Falls in 2014, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation installed a new fence and signage at the top and bottom of the waterfall. Photo via NY DEC. 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is drafting an amended management plan for Kaaterskill Falls, a spectacular Greene County waterfall where two hikers died in 2014.

After lobbying by state and town officials, the DEC installed new fences and signage at the waterfall in October, according to the Daily Mail.  Read more

BAM! New Margaretville business association forms

Above: Jess Olenych (with Joey, Jess's dog) and Karen Fairbairn at the inaugural meeting of the Margaretville Business Association. Photos by Julia Reischel.

Fifteen business people and one small dog gathered to form the Business Association of Margaretville--BAM! for short--at the Molnar Financial Building (the former Margaretville e-Center) on Main Street on Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Karen Fairbairn, owner of the Lazy Crazy Acres gelato company in Arkville, was elected to be president of the group, and Jess Olenych, the owner of Home Goods in Margaretville, was voted Vice President. 

Below: More photos from the meeting.  Read more

New robotic buoys measure water quality from under Ashokan ice

Above: New York City Department of Environmental Protection staffers install a new "under-ice water quality monitoring buoy" on the Ashokan Reservoir on Thursday, Dec. 11. Photo via the NYC DEP's Flickr page

Before this year, scientists at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection had to spend the winter taking an airboat into the icy waters of the Ashokan Reservoir to sample the quality of the water destined for the city's taps by hand.

Now a robotic sensor designed to spend the winter under the ice will take over the job. 

Robots mounted on large rafts already sample the water on the city's Catskills reservoirs in warmer months, but they are too large and fragile to handle ice and snow. Every winter, they are hauled out.

  Read more