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

With fanfare, WGXC goes live tomorrow

For the second time in the past year, a brand-new full-power community FM station is launching in the Catskills.

Last summer saw the debut of WIOX 91.3 FM, which serves Delaware and Schoharie counties out of the town of Roxbury. Now tomorrow, it's WGXC 90.7 FM's turn to flip the switch, at an afternoon event in Catskill that is packed with performances and activities.

WGXC, which will serve Greene and Columbia counties with its brand of "hands-on radio," has been working toward this moment for years. From the station's invitation to tomorrow's "Turn Your Radio On!" event:

Our antenna has been hung, our transmitter is near-completion, and the wheels are in-motion for our studio to transmitter link. We are working on periodic broadcasts to test our FM-signal, but starting on February 26 WGXC will be officially on your FM-dial.  Read more

Delaware County Sheriff issues travel advisory

This just in, via a Delaware County Sheriff's Office press release:

February 25, 2011

TRAVEL ADVISORY

The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a travel advisory for February 25th, 2011.

Overnight snowfall is expected to continue throughout the day and may make travel on the state, county and local roadways throughout Delaware
County very hazardous.

Persons needing to travel are asked to take the roadway conditions into
consideration and to use caution when traveling.

A ski resort's dream

With over a foot of snow forecast for the "higher elevations" in the Catskills today, according to the Times-Union and National Weather Service, our local ski resorts are delighted. Windham Mountain, Hunter Mountain, Plattekill Mountain, and Belleayre Ski Center are all posting gleeful photos of the snow on Facebook and exhorting you to take a personal day and hit the slopes.

Windham Mountain posted this video on its Facebook page this morning:

Windham also had this status update earlier:

One of our weather sources is saying "all snow" above 1500 feet (that'd be us) and 7-11' today. Yeeehaaaa!!! It is dumpin' snow here. Come out and play!!  Read more

Burning the forest for the trees

Last week, the Millbrook-based Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies issued a report about the forests of the northeast United States and whether they could ever replace fossil fuels as our main source of energy.

According to a press release issued along with the report, the outcome of trees vs. fuels doesn't look so good for the trees:

Under best-case scenarios, however, the energy generated sustainably from forest biomass in the Northeast could replace only 1.4% of the region’s total fossil fuel energy.

The Times-Union ran an article about the report that quoted one of its co-authors, Charles D. Canham about how easily our appetite for energy could destroy our forests:  Read more