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NewsShed: Troubled water, and a few bridges

Trailbuilders of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference spent their Saturday rebuilding a bridge on the Long Path in Platte Clove. For more photos of the rebuild -- and an idea of how badly the bridge needed an upgrade -- see the NY-NJTC's photo album of the rebuild.

Happy Monday, Catskills! We hope your sump pumps are working. 

So far, last week's rain has shown no sign of going away. It was a soggy weekend across the Catskills, with a few outbreaks of flash flooding around the region.

The Sullivan County village of Woodridge got some flooding on Sunday, and the Times Herald-Record got a dramatic photo of a telephone pole floating across Greenfield Road.  Read more

NewsShed: Soggy, soggy night

The future is here, cat sold separately. About 8,000 people were chosen by Google in a social media competition to get the chance to test-drive Glass, the company's much-hyped, face-mounted, picture-taking web gadget. One of them was the Daily Freeman's Ivan Lajara, who got his Glass on Wednesday, and has been Glassing up a storm all over town ever since. Tinfoil-hatters of Ulster County, beware.  

Good morning, Catskills -- and it is a drippy one.

The region is still under various flood watches that have been in effect since Thursday afternoon. Reports of overnight rainfall ranged from less than an inch in parts of Ulster and Schoharie counties to a whopping 3.91 inches in Hancock. But so far, the Catskills has escaped the brunt of the weather, which delivered some nasty flooding to the Mohawk Valley overnight

We wish we could report that it's going to let up soon, but local forecasts into next week are looking thoroughly infested with thunderstorms. Cross your fingers for a reprieve by fireworks time.

The Coxsackie Fire Department got some video evidence of flooding on Riverside Avenue and North Street during yesterday's rainstorm. 

Speaking of flooding. Schoharie County would love to move their first responders' offices out of the flood zone. Unfortunately, that's up to FEMA

  Read more

Catskills get a new map -- and a few park upgrades

North-South Lake Campground in Haines Falls, a state-run campground that's about to get a $400,000 upgrade. Photo by Flickr user Iain Hinchcliffe; published under Creative Commons license.

This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $17 million in new spending on New York's state parks and public lands. The Catskills region is getting its fair share, with upgrades planned at some of the region's popular state-run campgrounds.  Read more

NewsShed: Rain, trains and windsock campaigns

Andes's newest business is looking pretty green. Photo by "Story Laurie" McIntosh, who writes: "Morena of Grayson's Organics, selling fresh garlic scapes, salad greens and baby garlic to Annette, a happy customer. The farm store is at 27 Delaware Ave., Andes, NY (2 doors up from the blinking light). She'll be open Thur-Sat ~11-6 (except [today]. sorry), and will also have lots of herbs to sell...and soon Mexican food, good coffee...and more good stuff! Go meet Morena & buy some greens."

Good morning, Catskills! 

On tap for today: More rain. The weather geeks at Hudson Valley Weather are getting excited today about "orographic lift" -- a phenomenon that involves clouds cooling down and releasing rain as they are pushed up the sides of mountains. Guess which mountains they're talking about.  Read more

Runners and cyclists head for the hills in two new Catskills events

Some homegrown Catskills trail rocks. We've got a bunch more where they came from. Photo taken on the Escarpment Trail by Flickr user Kevin Kenny; published under Creative Commons license.

Summertime in the mountains got off to a promising start last weekend, with two new annual events that showcase some of the gnarliest terrain the Catskill Mountains have to offer. 

The winner for Most Masochistic New Race, hands-down, has got to be Manitou's Revenge: A 56-mile ultramarathon across the Black Dome Trail and Long Path whose inaugural event was held on Saturday, June 22. Race organizers didn't mince any words in describing the deep hurting involved  Read more

Coming soon to an NYC reservoir near you: Guided tours

Kayakers on the Pepacton Reservoir. Photo by Dennis Schvejda; shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

For decades, New York City's enormous reservoirs have been off-limits to all but a few dedicated anglers in rowboats. But when cautious city water officials decided to let kayaks and canoes onto the Cannonsville in 2008, the program proved that clean water and boaters could coexist happily. Since then, slowly but surely, the reservoirs have been opening up.

The latest in a series of recent moves to open the city's west-of-Hudson reservoirs to recreation is a new program to allow guided tours, announced by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection last week.  Read more

This weekend: U-Pick strawberries in the Catskills

A satisfied customer at Bohringer's Fruit Farm in Middleburgh. Photo by James McCracken; shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

June brings many things: Weddings. Graduations. A riot of greenery. And of course, strawberries. The brief, glorious Catskills strawberry season lasts for just a few weeks in June, starting earlier at the more low-lying valley farms and running a little later up in the mountains.

This year, June has also brought rain -- lots and lots of it. Lucky for us, the rain hasn't put a damper on the local strawberry season: All the U-Pick farms listed below will be open for strawberry picking at least through the weekend of June 21-23, and some through the following week or beyond.   Read more

Fatal accident in Catskill follows on the heels of a deadly week

It's been a perilous week on Greene County roads and trails.

On Wednesday morning, state police say, two Athens women walking along the shoulder of Cauterskill Road in Catskill were struck by a car that drifted off-course. One died; the other was injured.

The car, driven by 36-year-old Frank Savio of Cornwallville, was headed northbound on Cauterskill Road around 7:30am when it drifted onto the shoulder of the road and struck the two women. Patricia Petrianna, 69, was pronounced dead at the scene. Linda Valenchis, 65, was transported to the Albany Medical Center with head and arm injuries. 

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. No charges have yet been filed, and police say there has not been any indication that Savio was using drugs or alcohol at the time.  Read more

Deal struck in Albany on upstate casinos

Jack o' diamonds is a hard card to find. Photo by Flickr user Scott Namelrod; published under Creative Commons license.

The latest out of Albany: With just days left in the legislative session, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and key state legislators struck a late-night deal on Tuesday on a bill that would allow for four upstate casinos, according to several news reports. 

Two of the casinos would be in the Catskills, the Times Union reports:  Read more

Cairo-Durham school budget passes on re-vote

After a defeat at the polls in May, the Cairo-Durham Central School District passed a revised budget by 472-360 on Tuesday, the Daily Mail reports:

After the $27.7 million budget was voted down in May, the revised budget dropped the tax levy from $12,550,413 to $12,490,413, for an increase of 3.73 percent from last year, rather than the 4.23 percent increase in the original budget.

The reduction was made possible by moving $60,000 from the unappropriated fund balance to the upcoming year’s revenue stream.

The district's board of education has been embroiled in controversy throughout this year's budget process. A cost-saving "Princeton Plan" reconfiguration of the elementary grades, scheduled for this fall, drew fierce opposition from a group of community members who vowed to vote down any budget that included the plan.