NYC's Cannonsville hydropower plan is bittersweet news for local co-op

Above: The spillway at the Cannonsville Reservoir, where the New York City Department of Environmental Protection plans to build a 14-megawatt hydroelectric facility.

For half a century, a valuable source of local energy has gone untapped: the billions of gallons of water that pour each year through the release works at New York City's Cannonsville Reservoir and flow into the West Branch of the Delaware River. 

The Cannonsville will soon start to generate clean electric power -- and more tax revenue for the town of Deposit, where the plant will be located. But for a local electric co-op that once hoped to develop hydropower on city reservoirs, the news that the city is moving forward with the project is bittersweet. 

On Monday, Sept. 15, the New York Times broke the news that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was planning to build a 14-megawatt, $72 million hydropower facility on the Cannonsville; the DEP officially announced the building project the next day  Read more

Fleischmanns Theater may be reborn as historic dinner theater

Above: The Fleischmanns Theater, which may soon re-open as The Maxbilt dinner theater. Photos courtesy of Erik Johanson.

A Brooklyn couple who moved to the Catskills full-time in April has convinced the state of New York to nominate the derelict Fleischmanns Theater to the state and national registers of historic places.

It's the first step in Erik Johanson and Fernando Delgado's plan to re-open the property as The Maxbilt, a dinner theater featuring local food and independent film. 

"We're really interested in supporting what's already here," Johanson said. "We came upon it with fresh eyes as newcomers here, saw it as a gem, and want to bring it back to everybody."

On Friday, Sept. 19, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the theater is one of 22 properties across New York State that is being nominated for the historic designation. 

Left: Delgado and Johanson.

The theater's nomination to the State Register of Historic Places must be approved by the New York State historic preservation officer, who will then nominate the building to the National Register.

Official listing in historic registers would make the theater eligible for matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits, which would in turn open the door to outside investment, Johanson says.

  Read more

More than 50 pot plants seized in Hancock; Colchester man arrested

Above: Lieutenant Timothy Buckley posing with one of the seized plants in Hancock on September 17, 2014.

Delaware County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 58-year-old Colchester man on Wednesday, September 17 in connection with a raid on a large marijuana grow operation in the town of Hancock, according to a press release.

After receiving a tip, officers found more than 50 marijuana plants in the raid along with a quantity of dried, processed weed.

James R. Nelson was arrested and charged with felony criminal possession of marijuana and misdemeanor unlawful cultivation of marijuana. The criminal possession in the third degree charge, a class E felony, may be upgraded to a more serious charge once the exact amount marijuana recovered is established by a crime lab, the press release stated. 

Nelson will appear in court in the Town of Hancock on September 29. 

Undersheriff Craig DuMond asked tipsters to continue to use the Sheriff’s Office toll free tip-line, (888) 914-9111. "Tips definitely make a difference," DuMond stated in the press release. 

This Weekend: Big Eddy Film Festival

Above: "Dig," a short film about a man who digs hole while his neighborhood watches, will screen at the Big Eddy Film Festival in Narrowsburg this weekend. 

The third annual Big Eddy Film Festival kicks off Friday night and runs all weekend long in a 1930s-era Art Deco movie theater in the Sullivan County hamlet of Narrowsburg.

Twenty-seven new indie films will be screened at the festival, including a documentary about Jewish comedians, a short film about digging a hole, several documentaries about dementia and memory loss, and whimsical Japanese feature about a recluse who is obsessed with the movie "Fargo."   Read more

More review in store for the Belleayre Resort?

Above: Gary Gailes, a spokesman for Crossroads Ventures LLC, shows Watershed Post reporter Lissa Harris details of a scale model of the proposed Belleayre Resort in 2013. Photo by Julia Reischel.

For months, backers of the long-planned Belleayre Resort project have been eagerly anticipating the end of the state Department of Environmental Conservation's lengthy process of environmental review.

The developer, Crossroads Ventures LLC, is eager to break ground on the project, which has been in the planning process for almost 15 years.

Town planning boards in the towns of Shandaken and Middletown, which the resort will straddle, are anxious to begin their own review process. 

But before the state DEC can sign off on the project, clearing the way for permits to be issued, at least one more hurdle remains -- and it may not be a trivial one.

A legal process set in motion years ago to have an administrative law judge examine potential issues raised by the project is still open, and until it is officially dismissed or carried out, the Belleayre Resort cannot move forward.

Environmental groups that sought to downsize the project years ago will now have another chance to weigh in, and may seek to keep that process open in an effort to make further changes.  Read more

The 2015 Catskills Food Guide Photo Contest

Above: Amy’s Take-Away Ensalada Mixta from 4 local farms — Story’s, RSK, Migliorelli, and Foxcroft, by Robert Sink, one of the entries so far in the 2015 Catskills Food Guide Photo Contest. 

The contest is closed. Check out all great entries on the Catskills Food Guide Facebook page, or on our Flickr page. Winners will be notified in late November. Thanks to everyone who entered! - Ed

As part of our 2015 Catskills Food Guide, which we're working on now, we're hosting a Catskills Food Guide Photo Contest, sponsored by the Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room in Big Indian.

Photos of Catskills foods, farms, or food-related subjects are all eligible. The idea is to showcase the incredible bounty of our region.  Read more

Ulster's County's most wanted fugitive nabbed while playing Ultimate Frisbee in Oregon

Above: Jahson A. Marryshow in a 2007 Ulster County mugshot (left), and in a 2014 Eugene Police Department mugshot (right) .

A man who has topped Ulster County's most wanted list for years was arrested on Sunday, September 14 while playing an Ultimate Frisbee game in Oregon.

Jahson A. Marryshow has been on the lam since 2010, when he allegedly went on a day-long crime spree in Woodstock.

Authorities say that on June 30, 2010, Marryshow stole a car, set a barn on the edge of town on fire as a diversion, and then robbed a Bank of America on Mill Hill Road with a semiautomatic handgun. 

Marryshow has confounded Ulster County authorities for years. (He goes by several aliases and his exact age -- somewhere in his early 30s -- is reported differently by different police organizations.)   Read more

Accused Schoharie County flasher arrested

A 61-year-old man was arrested on Friday, September 5 for allegedly exposing himself to dozens of drivers on Route 20 in the Schoharie County town of Carlisle this summer.

Left: Douglas A. Spaulding. Photo courtsey of the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office. 

Douglas A. Spaulding, who lives in Cobleskill, was charged with 32 counts of public lewdness for flashing motorists "during early morning hours" between May and August 2014, according to a Schoharie County Sheriff's Office press release.

Spaulding was held on $2,500 bail and appeared in Carlisle Town Court on Wednesday, September 10.

The Schoharie County sheriff's office suspects that many of Spaulding's unwilling audience members have not come forward, and are asking victims to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 518-295-8114 or the State Police at 518-234-3131.

Developer files $25 million lawsuit against Bloomingburg for "conspiracy" against Hasidic Jews

Above: A 20-foot-tall wooden cross next to a housing development in the Sullivan County village of Bloomingburg in 2014. In a federal lawsuit filed on September 8, lawyers for the developer write that the cross was installed to "demonstrate that Jewish persons are not welcome in Bloomingburg." Image from court documents.

On Monday, September 8, a group of plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit accusing the town of Mamakating and the village of Bloomingburg of engaging in "pervasive, government-sponsored religious discrimination" against Hasidic Jews.

The plaintiffs ask the US District Court's Southern District of New York to prevent the village of Bloomingburg from voting to dissolve itself on September 30. They also ask for $25 million in damages.   Read more

Hunter man admits to robbing two Ulster County banks

Collin Lambert, a 49-year-old from Hunter, pled guilty in Ulster County Court on Tuesday, September 9 to robbing banks in New Paltz and Saugerties in 2013, according to a press release from Holley Carnright, the Ulster County District Attorney. 

Left: Collin Lambert. Photo via the Ulster County DA's office. 

Lambert admitted to robbing Key Bank on Market Street in Saugerties on January 11, 2013, and to robbing Chase Bank on Plattekill Avenue in New Paltz on April 2, 2013.

Lambert robbed both banks by displaying a note saying that he had a gun, according to an article in the Saugerties Times last year.   Read more