Joe Biden attended nephew's woodsy wedding in Mount Tremper

Above: A screenshot of Jamie Biden and Amy Bracco from their wedding website. Vice President Joe Biden attended the ceremony on Saturday, August 30 in Mount Tremper.

Vice President Joe Biden was indeed at the Emerson Resort & Spa in Mount Tremper on Saturday, August 30, according to Tony Lanza, a spokesman for the resort. Biden was part of a wedding party that stayed at the resort and attended several events there.

"We were delighted to host the wedding party at the resort," Lanza said.

I previously reported erroneously that the wedding ceremony itself was held on the grounds of the Emerson. In fact, the ceremony was held at the private Mount Tremper home of the couple, according to an article by Jill Ribich, the wedding coordinator for the event, published in the Catskill Mountain News on Wednesday, September 3

Lanza confirmed the high-ranking visit, but said that he couldn't give any details. Calls to the Vice President's press liaison were not immediately returned. 

The secret has been out for days.   Read more

Boat the Pepacton in September, earn a badge

Above: A sailboat glides on the surface of the Pepacton Reservoir on May 26, 2012. Photo by Tina Schvejda; posted in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

This summer, the Catskills Outdoor Guide is partnering with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Catskill Watershed Corporation to bring you our new Catskill Reservoir Paddler embroidered badge, which you can only earn by paddling a specific reservoir each month.

In September, the spotlight is on the Pepacton Reservoir. Paddle the Pepacton anytime between September 1 and 30, send in your proof, and a Catskill Reservoir Paddler badge will be yours. Click here or scroll down for full redemption instructions. 

The Pepacton reservoir is the workhouse of the Catskill reservoirs, holding more water than any other reservoir in the NYC system. It holds 140 billion gallons, and contributes a quarter of the entire city's water supply.

The 15-mile-long lake is studded with coves and is straddled by the Shavertown bridge, which is a great viewpoint for a photo shoot or an impromptu race. (Real races have been held on the Pepacton: in 2012, it hosted the first leg of the 2012 Adventure Race National Championship.)

The Pepacton has four boat launches spread along its lengthy shoreline. For a detailed map of the Pepacton and its boat launches, click here.

For our five-step guide to boating NYC's Catskills reservoirs, click here. 

  Read more

This Weekend: 11 Catskills Labor Day events (and fireworks)

Above: A poster for the Windham Chamber Music Festival, just one of the events happening this Labor Day weekend in the Catskills.

Don't look now, but the leaves are already turning in the highest peaks of the Catskills. That and the arrival of Labor Day weekend confirms it: Summer is ending. Go out with a bang -- in some cases, a literal bang, with fireworks -- with these great events from around the region. 

ACROSS THE CATSKILLS: Lighting of the Fire Towers event. It's tonight! Details here

DELAWARE COUNTY

New trails open in Delhi. Saturday, August 30. 2 p.m. Volunteers have been working all summer to create a new set of hiking trails behind Delaware Academy school. Several of the trails are named for characters in the beloved children's novel My Side of the Mountain, which was set in Delhi. Delaware Academy, 2 Sheldon Dr., Delhi.

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New Hurley bridge is open for business

Above: Ulster County Executive Mike Hein with members of the Hurley Town Council, the Hurley Heritage Society and community members as he cut the ribbon at the Hurley Bridge on August 28, 2014. Photo via Hein's office.

The Wynkoop Road bridge over the Esopus Creek in the Ulster County town of Hurley, which has been closed since June for repairs, re-opened on Thursday, August 28.  County Executive Mike Hein was on hand at a ribbon cutting with a crowd of notables, according to a press release sent by Hein's office.

Hein was pleased to point out the bridge repairs were completed in just two months, "ahead of schedule, before school opens, and under budget."

The press release quoted John Gill, the owner of Gill Farms in Hurley:

"The entire County has done a tremendous job getting this project done in a timely manner," said John Gill owner of Gill Farms. "I want to thank the County Executive for making this project a priority and all of the members of the County's DPW for their hard work and dedication. This structure will be something the residents of Hurley will be proud of, I certainly already am."

WP Deal: Free tickets to Brooklyn@Belleayre featuring The Hold Steady, Aug. 30

This WP Deal has been claimed. Congratulations to our winners, and thanks for reading the Watershed Post.

On Saturday, Aug. 30, the Belleayre Music Festival wraps up its 2014 summer season with Brooklyn@Belleayre, a Labor Day Weekend showcase of Brooklyn bands featuring Big Data, Lily and the Parlour Tricks, Joni Fatora and headliner The Hold Steady.

We're giving away two pairs of tickets to the concert. The first two people to email lissa.harris@watershedpost.com win the tickets. 

Formed in 2002, The Hold Steady released their sixth LP, Teeth Dreams, earlier this year. From the Belleayre Music Festival's release:  Read more

After a fiery crash in the Catskills, bystanders save lives of four Bronx women

Above: A screenshot from a brief video clip showing the aftermath of an accident on Cat Hollow Road on Thursday, August 21. The clip was posted to Facebook by John Natoli, one of about a dozen witnesses who helped rescue four women from the car on the left before it burst into flames.

For Bud Holden and Ken Henderson, two old friends who have been fishing the Beaverkill for 40 years, it was supposed to be just another day on the river. But fate had other plans.

On the morning of Thursday, August 21, Holden and Henderson were among a dozen untrained civilians who carried out a heroic rescue, after a horrific accident on a remote country road in Colchester that left one man dead and four women injured.

Holden, a 70-year-old resident of Stockholm, New Jersey, was visiting Henderson, 65. The two set out from Henderson's home in Andes that morning, headed south towards the Beaverkill Valley.

Around 10 a.m., Holden and Henderson were driving down Cat Hollow Road, just outside of Roscoe, when the car in front of them began to slow down.

The accident had happened moments before. A black Isuzu Amigo lay twisted and wrecked in the road. Nearby, a Jeep Grand Cherokee had come to rest on the shoulder, heavy black smoke pouring from its hood. 

They were miles away from town, with no cell service and no officials in sight.  Read more

Three years since Irene

Above: Bill Lonecke with his wife, Barbara (left), and daughter, Cindy (right), standing where their Maplecrest house used to be. It was washed away during Tropical Storm Irene by the Batavia Kill, which is 50 yards away to the right. Photo by Christopher Auger-Domínguez. Read their story in our Faces of the Flood Project, here. 

If you're anything like us here at the Watershed Post, anniversaries sneak up on you.

Three years ago today, Tropical Storm Irene blasted the Catskills with intense flooding, killing several local people and washing away homes and businesses in towns across our region.   Read more

This Weekend: See the lighting of the fire towers and earn your badge

Above: The lit-up Berry Hill fire tower in Chenango County near Norwich during the 2013 lighting of the fire towers event. (The Berry Hill tower isn't one of the five Catskill fire towers that will earn you a badge, but it sure is pretty.) Photo by Warren Johnsen.

There's no weekend like this weekend to hike up a Catskills fire tower. Not only can you earn one of our coveted Catskill Fire Towers badges if you do (see details here or below), but you'll also get a rare treat: the sight of a fire tower cab glowing from within.

Once a year, the volunteers who maintain the Catskills fire towers hike lights into the cabs at the top of the towers, making them visible for miles around.

The event is meant to commemorate the time when fire towers were staffed by lonely and intrepid fire tower watchers who stood vigil night and day, scanning for signs of fire.

From the event's organizers:   Read more

Historic Sidney roller rink burns to the ground

Above: A photo of the Hill Cest Roller Rink in the village of Sidney, New York, on fire late on Tuesday, August 26. Photo via the Delaware County NY Fire Wire & Emergency News Facebook page.

The Hill Crest Roller Rink, a nightlife institution for generations of Delaware County residents, burned to the ground in the village of Sidney on Tuesday, August 26. 

The building, a "very, very old" wooden structure located at 2181 County Highway 4, caught fire late in the evening, and was fully engaged quickly, according to Delaware County Undersheriff Craig DuMond.

"The fire burned very hot," he said. "It burned right to the ground almost immediately."

The fire was called in at 11:30 p.m., said the building's owner, Tracey Chapman. 

Chapman was out of town on Tuesday night when he got the call that his business was in flames. He raced back to Sidney, and when he arrived it was clear that the roller rink had been destroyed.   Read more

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On the brink of a buyout, junkyard burns in Fleischmanns

Above: The VW Parts junkyard on fire in Fleischmanns. Photos by Julia Reischel.

The VW Parts building owned by infamous Fleischmanns junkyard operator William Hrazanek caught fire around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26. The former junkyard, located at 717 Wagner Avenue, is in the process of being purchased with federal disaster funds as part of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) buyout program. 

"FEMA is going to tear it down anyway," said Hrazanek as he stood watching the flames. "It's less work for them."

The fire was in full swing at 5:30 p.m. A tall column of smoke loomed over a crowd of students who were watching the fire from the grounds of a yeshiva next door. Multiple fire departments were on the scene.  

Hrazanek said that he has no idea what started the fire, and that he was in the process of selling the contents of the building, mostly auto parts, to Euro Nutz Inc. in Saugerties.  He said that he believed that workers from Euro Nutz had been inside the building earlier today, but that when he arrived at the scene, the door was locked and the fire was in progress.   Read more