This weekend: Winter Hoot at the Ashokan Center

This Friday through Sunday, the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge comes alive with the twang of banjos, the stomp of feet, and the sweet sound of voices lifted in harmony. (And even a little "electrified Americana," in the form of a set by Saugerties' Conner Kennedy.)

The Ashokan Center's Hoot, now in its second year, is a biannual folkfest fundraiser for the center's environmental education activities. Hosted by local folk duo Mike + Ruthy, the son-in-law and daughter of Ashokan Center co-founder Jay Ungar, the fest is quickly earning a devoted following among folkies. The late Pete Seeger made an appearance at the first Summer Hoot last August -- and later sent a postcard to its hosts saying it was "one of the best song gatherings I've seen in all my 94 years."   Read more

Mohonk Mountain House closed after stomach bug hits guests and staff


Above: Mohonk's norovirus outbreak hits Twitter.

The Mohonk Mountain House closed its doors for a week on Friday, Feb. 7, after many guests and staff came down with a highly contagious norovirus that caused vomiting and diarrhea. 

The virus also caused another outbreak on social media: Attendees of a conference held at Mohonk began tweeting with the hashtag #MoChunk  Read more

SUNY New Paltz student found dead in dorm room

A first-year SUNY New Paltz student was found dead in his dorm room on Thursday night, Feb. 6. The cause of death is still unknown.

On Thursday evening, campus police responded to a 911 call and found 18-year-old Eric Vandelaar of Monroe, N.Y. not breathing. No foul play is suspected in Vandelaar's death, according to a university news release.

On Friday morning, university officials released Vandelaar's name, which they had withheld til his family could be notified.

Grief counselors are available on campus to students and staff, the release said:

Members of the residence life staff and the Psychological Counseling Center have been providing grief counseling and assistance to students. The Counseling Center staff is welcoming those students who may feel the need to talk to someone and work through their personal feelings of loss. The Counseling Center can be reached at 845-257-2920. For those employees who are interested in speaking with someone, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available at 845-257-2886.  Read more

Measles patient at Albany Medical Center may have exposed others

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced Thursday that a young child with measles had been admitted to Albany Medical Center, and that patients who were in certain parts of the hospital on Friday, Jan. 31 or Saturday, Feb. 1 may have been exposed. 

This case is the second confirmed in the Capital Region this week. On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the DOH reported that a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute had come down with the highly contagious disease.  Read more

Reese surrendered to DEP cop, sources say

The man charged with the recent shooting death of Aron Thomas turned himself in voluntarily to a DEP police officer before he was arrested, sources have told the Watershed Post. 

At 6:46 a.m. on Monday, police say, 53-year-old David Reese of Gilboa shot and killed a co-worker at the Kingston office of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, 33-year-old Aron Thomas of Olivebridge. 

Kingston city police announced that they had arrested Reese, and recovered a handgun, within hours of the shooting. Few details about the shooting have been released, and police have not offered a possible motive.

But according to sources close to the incident, immediately after the shooting, Reese surrendered to another fellow DEP co-worker, an officer with the DEP Police who was also at work in the Kingston building. Reese also handed over his gun to the officer, sources said.   Read more

New ice rink opens in Delhi

Above: Delhi firefighters filling the town's new ice rink last week. Photo from the Delhi Fire Department's Facebook page.

Rockefeller Center, eat your heart out. On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Delaware County town of Delhi will celebrate the opening of a new public ice rink.

The ice rink is on Sheldon Drive, near Delaware Academy, and skaters can park at the school. The grand opening will be at 11 a.m., with free refreshments and skates available to borrow, according to an announcement on the town's website. Skating at the ice rink will be free of charge.

The rink is a collaboration between the town and the village of Delhi, said village mayor Richard Maxey. Both the town and the village have chipped in for the portable ink, which according to Maxey cost about $5,000. The Delhi Fire Department helped out by filling the rink, and the school is doing its part by providing parking and benches for skaters to sit on.   Read more

Car rams into Hobart bookstore (again)

A car crashed into the Wm. H. Adams Antiquarian Books bookstore in Hobart on Wednesday, February 5 at 2:30 p.m. Photos courtesy of Diana and William Adams.

A car slid off State Route 10 and into the side of a bookstore in the village of Hobart this afternoon around 2:30 p.m., just after Delaware County re-opened roads following today's snowstorm.

The bookstore, Wm. H. Adams Antiquarian Books, was closed when the accident occurred, according to Diana Adams, one of its owners. No one at the bookstore was injured. There is no information available about the status of the driver of the vehicle.

The side of the Main Street building was damaged in the crash, and it was difficult to open the door to the building, Diana Adams said.

She added that she and her husband, shop co-owner William Adams, are concerned that the crash may have caused the building to shift on its foundation.  Read more

Tractor trailer blocks Route 30A in Esperance for two hours; road now cleared

A tractor-trailer driving on State Route 30A just north of U.S. Route 20 in the Schoharie County town of Esperance slipped off the road into a ditch around 2:15 p.m., according to a spokesman at the Schoharie County Emergency Management Office.

"He just slipped off the road and got stuck," the official said. "The tractor was in the ditch, the back of the trailer was in the road."

There were no injuries and the road was re-opened at 4pm. 

I-84 reopens

On Wednesday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared I-84 in New York State closed to all traffic due to snow and ice conditions

Around 2 p.m., Cuomo's office announced that the road had been reopened throughout New York State:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the reopening of Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders. This morning’s ban on commercial and passenger vehicles will be lifted effective immediately.

“State crews have been working diligently to clear snow and ice from roadways across the State,” Governor Cuomo said. “It is important to note that while the vehicle ban on I-84 has been lifted all motorists should proceed with caution as slippery road conditions may remain in certain areas.”

Motorists can also get real-time traffic information, including road closures and winter road conditions by calling 511 or visiting The phone and web services provide travelers with up-to-the-minute traffic conditions and links to information about air, rail and transit services.

The snowbound Catskills

Snow falling on cedars...and hemlocks, oaks, and maples. (Not to mention sidewalks, driveways and interstates.)

Below are few of the stunning photos taken by Watershed Post readers around the Catskills in the last few days. Got one to share? Add it to our Flickr group pool, or send it to us at, and we'll include it in this post.

Taken before the storm: A gorgeous mountain view from the Ashokan Dreams Bed & Breakfast in West Shokan. Photo by Chester Karwatowski. 


Catskills hoop dreams: Not a footprint on this snowed-in basketball court in rural Meredith. Photo by Fred Harris. 

   Read more