Radio drama in Roxbury

A Roxbury police car plays 91.3FM on its speakers outside the WIOX FM headquarters during the radio station's grand opening last August. Photo by Julia Reischel.

In the 10 months since it launched, WIOX 91.3 FM, a full-power radio station, has been the pride and joy of the little town of Roxbury. But although the town owns the station, houses its equipment, and fronts it money for its operating costs, the town’s leaders don't have much say in how it is run.

According to a Catskill Mountain News article, town councilor Allen Hinkley raised concerns about oversight of the radio station at a Roxbury town board meeting on Monday:  Read more

Sweet Sue's to reopen, with a little help from the CWC

A closed-for-business sign at Sweet Sue's. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Rejoice, O pancake-starved Phoenicians: Sweet Sue's, closed since March due to a flood-related septic system failure, is slated to open again by next weekend, owner Suzanne Taylor told the Watershed Post yesterday.

"The latest we should be open is the 21st. That's what we're shooting for," she said.

Over the next week, the building that houses the restaurant and a few upstairs apartments will be getting a new septic system, thanks to a grant of about $18,000 from the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC). The CWC has agreed to cover 60 percent of the cost of the new system, which engineer Rex Sanford has estimated will cost $29,870.

Taylor said that the CWC funding was an unexpected bit of good news for her beleaguered business.

"The way things have been going for me lately, I was expecting nothing," she said. "I'm so grateful to the CWC."

The planned system has already been reviewed and approved by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Read more

A Saturday night in the Catskills

Isaac Marsiglio, Elena Meckel, and Lucia Marsiglio eating pizza at Stony Creek Farm in Walton on Saturday night. Photo by Christopher Auger-Dominguez.

Franklin second-homeowners Christopher Auger-Dominguez and his wife, Daisy Auger-Dominguez, attended a pizza party thrown by a group of friends at Stony Creek Farm in Walton on Saturday (as did this Watershed Post editor). Auger-Dominguez, who is a professional photographer, shared a few of his photos of the evening with us. He and Daisy, who are relative newcomers to the Catskills, also described their evening on the farm in the essay that appears below. -- Julia Reischel

We pulled up to our new friends' farm unprepared for the weather.

It had just begun to rain and was getting cold.  We were out in the country: No subway or store to duck into. City mouse, meet country mouse. Spring was slowly taking over in the Catskill region and we were celebrating its arrival with a pizza party with our new friends at Stony Creek Farm in Walton, NY.  Read more

DRBC postpones decision on XTO water withdrawal permit

Yesterday, we reported that the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) was considering granting a permit to ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy to withdraw water for hydraulic fracturing from a trout stream in Broome County. According to a press release from Delaware Riverkeeper, the DRBC has tabled the decision for a future meeting.

XTO's permit application was on the docket for today's meeting. According to the draft docket from the DRBC describing the application, the company is seeking to withdraw up to 250,000 gallons a day from the Oquaga Creek, most of which would be used to stimulate horizontal and/or vertical natural gas wells by hydraulic fracturing in Delaware and Broome Counties.  Read more

Mama bears: Not so fierce after all

The roar of a mother black bear protecting her cub might strike terror into the heart of any hiker, but it's usually a bluff, says Stephen Herrero, a biologist at the University of Calgary and the author of an enlightening new study on aggression in black bears.

The bear to worry about, Herrero says in the New York Times today, is the one you don't see:

“Mother bears, whenever they feel threatened or a person is too close, they act very aggressively,” said Stephen Herrero, the study’s lead author. “They make noise, they swat the ground with their paws and they run at people. They want to make you think that they’ll eat you alive, but they almost always stop.”

By contrast, “the kind of bear you need to be afraid of is not feeling threatened by you — it’s testing you out as a possible prey item,” said Dr. Herrero, a professor emeritus at the University of Calgary. “It’s quiet. It stalks you just like a lion might stalk you.”  Read more

Levon, Arlo and local beer protest gas drilling

This week's Friday the 13th is going to be unlucky for gas companies if Brewery Ommegang has any say in the matter. The brewery, which announced last year that is opposed hydraulic fracturing development in New York, is throwing a "Concert to Fight Fracking" starring folk legends Levon Helm and Arlo Guthrie Friday night.

Ommegang's opposition to fracking is personal. In its January statement about gas drilling, it explained that hydraulic fracturing could ruin its beer and business:  Read more

The Blackthorne Resort rises from the ashes

Constructing the resurrected Blackthorne. Photo via the Blackthorne Resort website.

The Blackthorne Resort in East Durham, which was destroyed in a fire during a motorcycle rally last fall, has risen from the ashes. The resort is hosting a grand re-opening party on May 20 and 21, where it will show off its newly-rebuilt building, according to its website.

WTEN 10 interviewed the Blackthorne's owners last week about what it took to rebuild:

 

Cannonsville Reservoir triathlon cancelled

The Cannonsville Adventure Triathlon, a bike/run/kayak event planned for the first weekend in June on the Cannonsville Reservoir, has been cancelled. From an announcement on the CAT race's official blog:

We are sorry to announce, but the organizing committee for the inaugural Cannonsville Adventure Triathlon has decided to cancel the event due to low registration numbers.

We will be posting a joint press release here shortly to explain the reasons and future possibilities. Thank you for your interest.  Read more

Will a Broome County trout stream be used for hydraulic fracturing?

We'll find out tomorrow whether the Delaware River Basin Commission will allow water from the Oquaga Creek, a trout stream that drains into the West Branch of the Delaware River, to be used in hydraulic fracturing projects in Delaware and Broome counties.

The DRBC will meet at 1:30pm in West Trenton, New Jersey for a public hearing where it will vote on a slew of applications for various uses of water within the Delaware River Basin.

One of those applications, XTO Energy, Inc., D-2010-022-1, caught the attention of the environmental community last week for its request to withdraw water to use for "natural gas exploration and production activities in Broome and Delaware Counties in the State of New York."  Read more

Casino dreams: They never die

Governor Andrew Cuomo burying Sullivan County casino dreams. Illustration by Gary Mayer.

After an ambitious plan to put a casino in town of Thompson in Sullivan County crashed and burned earlier this year (see image above), a new casino dream is rising in its place, according to YNN and the Daily Freeman.

This time, the Indian tribe involved is the Connecticut-based Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, and the destination is the former Concord Hotel in, yes, the town of Thompson, according to YNN:  Read more