It's eagle season

Can you spot the bald eagle in the above photo? Flickr user Ted Kerwin took the picture in the Roundout Reservoir in 2003.

I Love New York wrote a blog post last week to remind likely Manhattan day-trippers that March is prime bald-eagle-watching season, especially in the Mongaup Valley in Sullivan County. According to the story, the number of bald eagles that migrate through New York nowadays is right back up to what it was a century ago:   Read more

Cairo man arrested after manhunt

Twenty-one-year-old Martin Morales, of Cairo, reportedly led multiple police departments from multiple counties on a day-long chase on Monday after he allegedly attempted to abduct and murder his former girlfriend in Vermont, according to the New York State Police and the Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail's story describes how Morales allegedly donned a ski mask and broke into his ex's apartment with a knife:

A sworn affidavit issued by the City of Winooski Police Department described how Rowlands was awoken by Morales banging on the front door of her apartment.

Rowlands told police she saw Morales smash the door window and reach through the broken glass to unlock the door. He was wearing a black ski mask, she told police.

After breaking his way into the apartment, Rowlands told police Morales began to punch her in the face and stab at her. She initially thought it was a drug dealer attempting to break into her apartment until she heard him speak:  Read more

Wallkill river floods

Wallkill at Gardiner

According to a hydrograph from the National Weather Service, the Wallkill River in Gardiner hit 15 feet this morning, two feet above flood stage. According to historical measurements, when the river hits 15 feet, Springtown Road, Libertyville Road, and Route 299 near New Paltz are under water, as is Bridge St. near State Route 17K. 

According to the Daily Freeman, the flooding has been caused by an ice jam. 

Fresh goat!

Stone & Thistle Farm in East Meredith is knee-deep in baby goats these days, as its latest blog post shows with lots of adorable pictures (including the one above). This means that, because many of the farm's goats aren't exactly the best mothers, the farm kitchen plays host to a rotating cast of kids:  Read more

Coping with February in verse

It's the last day of February, and we're all plenty sick of winter. Our contributor Kirby Olson, who teaches literature at Suny Delhi, sat down with a group of Andes residents last week at the Andes Round Table to express their feelings for February in poetry, drawing inspiration from poet William Carlos Williams.

In an email to the Watershed Post, Kirby explained how he turned the group's thoughts on February into verse:

"I had them come up with lists of things they saw around here that they didn't think were worthy of poetry. I had crowd-sourced a list of about two hundred things when we were done. This morning I spun it into a poem. If we're going to suffer in February in the Catskills, we might as well do it en masse!"

Here's the poetic result:

CATSKILLS IN FEBRUARY

Trail in the snow to a disintegrating trailer

Dying apple trees near the red barns

A harsh winter day with white outs

Some think it’s time to move on

 

There’s salt on the roads

A defective toilet flushing constantly

Old Scotch tape stuck on the window

Some think it’s time to move on

   Read more

Vintage plane crashes into Hudson, killing pilot

On Saturday, a 1969 vintage military jet flown by 38-year-old Michael Faraldi of Germantown inexplicably crashed into the Hudson River just north of the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, according to New York State Police and multiple press reports.

Faraldi was killed, and it took divers about a day to recover his body, which was removed from the river yesterday afternoon, according to the Daily Mail and the Daily Freeman.

Here's an account of the jet's last moments from a New York State Police press release:  Read more

The wettest heist ever

The Ulster County Sheriff's Office is reporting today that 21-year-old Matthew Fragner, of Kingston, has been arrested as part of a complicated, bizarre, and very damp robbery.

According to the press release, Fragner helped two other men, Shawn McCarthy and Nicoli Ninas, drag a stolen safe out of Sawkill Creek in the town of Ulster, where the pair had reportedly hidden it after stealing it from the Northen Lights concert venue in Clifton Park, New York.

After breaking into the safe and removing about $33,000 in wet bills, the group reportedly dumped the empty safe in the Hudson River. They attempted to dry the currency with hair dryers, to no avail, the release states. Then McCarthy, Nicoli, and McCarthy's girlfriend reportedly stuffed the damp cash into a Kingston cab bound for New Jersey. The cab was reportedly tracked and stopped along its route, and the three were detained, along with the wet loot.

Fragner was arrested yesterday and charged in the town of Ulster for posessing stolen property and tampering with physical evidence. The other three alleged robbers are being extradited from New Jersey to New York.

Judge: Town's treatment of pagans may be discrimination

A judge has found that a group of self-described witches may have gotten special treatment from the town of Catskill – and not in a good way.

In a strongly-worded decision issued on Tuesday, Judge George J. Pulver, Jr. of the Greene County Supreme Court ruled that the town's denial of a property tax exemption for the Maetreum of Cybele smacks of discrimination.

“Consistent with [the Matreum's] claim that it is being discriminated against, respondents' counsel attempts to hold petitioner to a higher standard than other religious organizations,” Pulver wrote in the decision, a copy of which was obtained by the Watershed Post.

Denying the town's request that he dismiss the case, Pulver wrote that Catskill, through its attorney, made “vague” and “subjective” arguments about the religious practices of the Maetreum in an attempt to justify its decision.  Read more

This land is your land (except when it's underwater)

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the Attorney General have struck a blow for paddlers and canoeists with a legal filing in a case that pits Adirondack landowners against the editor of the Adirondack Explorer, according to the Associated Press.

The DEC is siding with Phil Brown, the AE's editor, who was sued by the Brandreth Park Association for tresspassing after he canoed a waterway running over the Association's land (and, in true newspaperman fashion, wrote about it).

The AP story explains that the DEC's argument is simple:

Kayakers and canoeists have the right to paddle on any navigable waterway even if the shore is private[.]

The DEC is also asking that the landowners take down the security cameras, "No Tresspassing" signs, and other obstacles that they have installed on the waterway.  Read more