Dramatic high-speed chase in Fallsburg last night

The Times Herald-Record has the details on a 30-year-old Forestburgh woman who fled state troopers on Route 42 last night. Thankfully, the chase ended in an arrest rather than in violence:

[Maryanne] Silverstrim refused to get out of the car and when approached, she brandished a knife at troopers and then tried to get out of the car while holding a knife to her throat. A trooper tazered her. She dropped the knife, and was arrested without more struggle.

Wanted, dead or alive: The brown marmorated stink bug

As if the emerald ash borer and the Asian longhorned beetle weren't enough: In the last few years, a small, brown, smelly invader has moved into the Hudson Valley. It's Halyomorpha halys, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, and it's after your apple trees.

The Daily Freeman reports that Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County is trying to document the spread of the insect, and they're encouraging folks to catch these bugs and mail them in.  Read more

Vote (if there's a contest, anyway)

Today's the day for village elections, and while many races across the Catskills have candidates for various village boards and mayors who are running unopposed, there are a few real contests out there. Here's a list of the heated challenges:

Sullivan County


According to the Times Herald-Record, Liberty has a pretty hopping ballot this year:

Liberty voters will go to the polls ... to elect either Republican incumbent Richard Winters or Democrat Clarence Barber as mayor.

They will also decide whether to keep the Village Court or send all its cases to the Town Court.

They'll vote too for village justice; incumbent Harold Bauman is running unopposed.

Two Liberty trustee seats are up for grabs: Republicans Shirley Lindsley and Corinne McGuire are being challenged by Democrats Nick Piatek and Dan Ratner Jr. and Independence candidate Steven Green.

All those candidates will be listed on an old-fashioned paper ballot, which the village is using to save the cost of transporting voting machines. It's charmingly old school. The Liberty Independent, which is run by Piatek, who is running for village trustee, has a quick guide to how to use it (see image above).

Greene County


  Read more

Catskill resident is America's new baseball historian

The Woodstock Times and WGXC have neat sports news his week: John Thorn, a Catskill resident and baseball history guru, has been appointed to the post of Major League Baseball's historian.

John Thorn's new bookJohn Thorn's new bookThorn has experience pontificating about the history of America's pastime -- the Woodstock Times, which publishes his columns, counts up his credentials: multiple books, including a new one due out today, screen time in a Ken Burns documentary, and a vast memory for baseball trivia.

Here's Thorn telling the WT about his new job:

I will be a resource for all the departments. I will be there for them when they have historical conundrums. The legal department might have a question about the trademark of the Worcester Brown Stockings, so I can help them. I already do a lot of talking head stuff on the Major League Baseball network. There may be writing assignments for the all star game, or MLB.com.

Sweet Sue's forced to close due to septic problems

When a predicted flood last week didn't reach Biblical proportions, Phoenicia residents breathed a sigh of relief. The tiny hamlet in Shandaken has borne the brunt of much of the region's flood damage over the fall and winter, with back-to-back floods in October and December inundating Main Street.

But the recent rains have caused disaster for one local business: Sweet Sue's, a popular Phoenicia restaurant whose decadent pancakes have earned it a devoted following.

Last Friday afternoon, in the middle of lunch service, inspectors from the Ulster County Health Department ordered Sweet Sue's to close on the spot. According to the department, the restaurant's septic system had failed, a casualty of the heavy rains and waterlogged ground.

Kevin DuMond, director of environmental services for the health department, said that because of all the recent flooding in the hamlet, he decided to take a close look at Phoenicia's Main Street businesses while the waters were high.  Read more

Nineteen-year-old man charged with rape of underage girl in Schoharie Co.

According to a press release issued by the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office this morning, 19-year-old Timothy M. Clemons, from Fort Plain, was arrested on March 8 for allegedly raping an underage girl. The press release is skimpy on the details, but reports that Clemons was being investigated for having "inappropriate relations with an underage girl." The release reports that he was arraigned in the Town of Sharon and charged with rape in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child. He is due back in court on March 16.

Life in the leaky zone: Video of flooded Wawarsing homeowners

When it rains in Wawarsing, it pours -- from both above and below, thanks to the leaky Delaware Aqueduct, which has been flooding the basements of a few dozen local houses with depressing regularity for years.

During the most recent floods last week, when the New York City Department of Environmental Protection was funnelling over 800 gallons a day through the Aqueduct, Wawarsing homeowners were once again living in "a neighborhood of hoses," with perpetually-flooded basements and powerful sump pumps running 24/7.

Yesterday, Ulster County legislator Terry Bernardo posted a video of the recent floods on YouTube. In it, you can see jets of New York City drinking water actually shooting through cracks in the basements of the homes.

A nice touch: The video closes to the disco strains of Donna Summers' "Enough Is Enough." Indeed.  Read more

DEP gives Lexington a tough choice

For years now, the Greene County town of Lexington has had an uncomfortable offer on the table from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection: Build a wastewater treatment plant with city money, or don't and face the consequences..

The town will receive $9.1 million in grant money administered by the Catskill Watershed Corporation to build some kind of sewage treatment system, but the plan has been hung up for years on a big problem -- there's no place to put it, thanks to two recalcitrant property owners who don't want to sell their land.

The Daily Mail has been following the story, which began to heat up last month when the dreaded phrase "eminent domain" came up as a way of solving the problem:  Read more

SUNY Delhi's ice carvers come to Margaretville

The SUNY Delhi ice sculpting team, with coach Thomas Recinella on the left. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Margaretville's Main Street was transformed into a festive frozen gallery yesterday, thanks to the talents of the SUNY Delhi ice sculpting team. Ice swans, eagles, fish, and the various logos of local businesses were stationed along Main Street to slowly melt in the March afternoon. The event, Ice on Main, was sponsored by the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce (a Watershed Post advertiser).

I stopped by with my daughter, Ruby, to see the evanescent sculptures before they disappeared down the village's storm drains. Ruby particularly enjoyed the art:

A closeup of the wings on an ice eagle:  Read more