Ramona Sunderwirth is an emergency pediatric physician who splits her time between New York City and a home in the Delaware County town of Bovina. She is spending her holiday season in Sierra Leone, the heart of the global Ebola virus epidemic. Part one of a series.
For Ramona Sunderwirth, Thanksgiving had to wait.
The Ebola treatment center in the town of Lunsar in Sierra Leone was supposed to open just before the holiday. But then the running water and electricity gave out.
"We don't have water," Sunderwirth said on Wednesday, Nov. 26. "We can't even put chlorine in water. All this is getting worked out, but it's just a big challenge." Read more
Above: Sparky the Fire Dog, Santa and Frosty the Snowman will be guests at the Tannersville Annual Holiday Craft Fair and Spirits of the Holidays on Saturday, Nov. 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Photo via the Great Northern Catskills website.
It's holiday shopping season in earnest, now that Thanksgiving is over. You can spend all your gift-giving dollars this year with Catskills merchants and businesses, and maybe see a few Christmas trees and even Santa himself while you're at it. To help you shop local, here's the second installment of our holiday shopping guide.
Here's what's happening over the weekend of Nov. 28 to 30:
Margaretville hosts its annual holiday celebration on Saturday, Nov. 29. Shops will be decked to the nines, lots of kids’ activities will distract your little ones, and Santa will show up late in the afternoon on a fire truck. Hot cocoa and doughnuts will keep you fortified, and you can grab a hayride when your feet get tired. Read more
Ah, gratitude. We all know it’s the right spirit to maintain, there’s a science supporting its benefits, and yet it can be so easy to lose track of in everyday life. How nice it is that we’ve got a holiday devoted to turning our thoughts in that general direction.
And most surely we have plenty to be thankful for around here. Besides the beauty of early winter in the mountains, we have neighbors busy organizing feasts like the ones that follow. If you don’t feel like organizing your own this year, here are the folks who’ve got you covered. Happy Thanksgiving; here at the Watershed Post, we’re grateful for you. Read more
New York State may shut down I-84 in the Hudson Valley as early as 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning if an impending snowstorm makes travel dangerous, according to a statement released Tuesday, Nov. 25 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. Read more
The forecasts for a whammy of a winter storm are getting more serious: Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties are all under a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service.
The NWS predicts eight to 14 inches of snow in the eastern Catskills and five to 12 inches in the western Catskills. The white stuff will pile up in earnest throughout the day beginning at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26, with accumulation rates of one to two inches per hour. Read more
Giving gifts to loved ones is great fun. Getting those gifts is great fun too, when you stay clear of the mass markets and head instead to the local merchants and makers. Supporting those folks makes our communities better all year long.
Here, then, is the first installment of our Catskills holiday season shopping guide to where and when you’ll find the good fresh local stuff among smiling faces. We'll be posting each week with events to check out around the region. Want even more things to do? Check out our ever-updating Catskills events calendar. Read more
David Becker released "To Be Forever Wild," a documentary film about the Catskills, in the summer of 2014. The project has been four years in the making—we interviewed Becker back in 2012 about his plans for the film, which was shot and edited collaboratively with the help of a large crew of volunteers. This fall, Jenna Scherer, our arts correspondent, got to watch the finished product. Here's her review. - Ed.
The Catskill Mountains are hundreds of millions of years old, formed by eons of sedimentary accumulation, continental collision, glacial erosion and deforestation. But for every new generation that claps eyes on the region, it’s something brand new.
That sense of novelty and aw-shucks wonder is the engine that fuels "To Be Forever Wild," filmmaker David Becker’s new documentary about the Catskills and the way they make people feel.
Left: Director David Becker, photographed at Dibble's Quarry in the Catskill Mountains.
The film covers 12 days in the lives of Becker his crew, a group of young artists, filmmakers and musicians—mostly from New York City—as they head north to do the mountain thing. Along the way, they rub elbows with knowledgeable locals versed in everything from geology to fly-fishing—and, of course, Sullivan County homeowner and movie star Mark Ruffalo.
As a director, Becker goes out of his way to capture a sense of motion and life, taking the camera on cliff jumps off the edge of waterfalls, on zip-line rides through the tree canopy, and careening down scenic sunlit highways.
The in-between moments in this movie are about the crew finding creative inspiration in their surroundings: folky jam sessions around a campfire, sketches at Artist Rock in Greene County, and antique-camera photos of swimmin’ holes.
This can all feel a little precious at times, but fortunately, that’s not the meat and potatoes of the film. That would be Becker’s motley mix of interview subjects, who all get jazzed about the Catskills in different ways.
Among them are natural historian Michael Kudish, who leads the film crew into the woods as he cores a bog; Ellen Kalish of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, who rehabilitates injured owls and hawks; and Lama Karma, a monk from Woodstock’s Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery, who emigrated to the region from Tibet. The diversity of perspectives gives you an appreciation of just how many different ways there are to look at a place like this.
Becker's muse is 19th-century naturalist John Burroughs, the Catskills’ own famous essayist and conservationist. But "Forever Wild’s" spirit is closer to that of a group of little kids who appear early in the film, waxing rhapsodic about sticks.
Republican Congressman Chris Gibson kept his seat in New York's 19th Congressional District with large leads over Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
In a statement emailed to the press at 10:42 p.m. on election night, Eldridge conceded the race to Gibson, saying that he was "proud of the issues we focused on in this race."
Gibson had a hefty lead over Eldridge in early election results: at 10:30 p.m., with fewer than half of the precincts in the 19th District reporting, Gibson had 62 percent of the vote overall, while Eldridge had 35 percent.
In the Catskills counties that reported unofficial results before 11 p.m., Gibson won by even larger margins: 61 precent of the vote in Sullivan County, 74 percent in Greene County, and 79 percent in Schoharie County.
Gibson emailed a victory statement at 11:01 p.m., thanking voters and citing broad support for his campaign "across party lines." Gibson said that his first act will be to shepherd a Lyme Disease bill into law.
Here are the statements from the two candidates in full: Read more