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NewsShed: Above the law in Delaware County

Chop wood, carry weeds: Practitioners at work at the garden of the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, which grows food for the monastery's kitchen and flowers for the altar. For more photos of the monastery garden at the peak of the summer season, see this recent album on the Zen Mountain Monastery's website

Happy Monday, Catskills. Enjoying the weather? For once, it's worse elsewhere: The Steuben County town of Troupsburg had a tornado touch down over the weekend  Read more

July 26-28: A festival-packed Catskills weekend

Above: A scene from Tannersville's Crazy Race, an annual Main Street tradition gearing up for its sixth run this weekend.

The trout are running, the weather is glorious, and the last weekend in July is packed from one end to the other with Catskills festivities of all stripes, most of them free. Whether it's an old-timey fair, a bash for the local library, or an excuse to throw a big Main Street block party, odds are this weekend has something in store for you.



"Dancers," by Halcottsville artist Alix H. Travis, one of 25 artists in eastern Delaware County who will be opening their studios to the public for the Andes/Margaretville/Roxbury Open Studios and public art tour this weekend.

Delhi's Fair on the Square
Every Friday in July, Delhi's village square comes alive for Fair On The Square, with vendors, crafts and games, live music, and a color guard presentation. If you haven't caught one yet, Friday's your last chance til the fair rolls back around in 2014.
Friday, July 26, 5pm-9:30pm. Delhi Village Square. Free admission.

Hobart Horseshoe Festival
Horseshoes are the main event at this annual shindig, which draws dedicated pitchers from miles around. But there's plenty to do for non-horseshoe-enthusiasts: Vendors, children's games, live music by the Whiskey Cross Band, and fireworks after dark.  
Saturday, July 27, 10am-4pm. Hobart Community Center Park. Free admission; $15 registration for players.

  Read more

Cairo man fined for bear poaching

A Cairo man was recently charged with off-season poaching for shooting a 150-pound black bear near his house on May 29, according to officials from the Department of Environmental Conservation. 

Joseph Budz, 40, admitted to shooting the bear, and agreed to pay $752.50 to the Cairo Town Court to settle the misdemeanor charge in a civil compromise.

According to DEC officials, a necropsy showed that the bear was killed while moving away from the shooter, and died from a single gunshot wound. The bear was reportedly not acting in an aggressive or destructive manner.

NewsShed: Swimming holes draw tourist hordes

Above: Taking the plunge at Fawn's Leap, a popular swimming hole on Kaaterskill Creek. It's not uncommon for a few of those who brave the 24-foot drop from the cliff each summer to end up with serious injuries -- so if you must leap, leap with care. Photo taken in June by Timothy Schubert; published under Creative Commons license.

The weather's been acting more properly Catskillian lately. Nighttime lows in the 40s? Welcome to July in the mountains.  Read more

NewsShed: When lightning strikes twice

Above: Detail from a map showing the route of the proposed Constitution Pipeline, a 122-mile, 30-inch natural gas pipeline that will connect gas from hydrofracked wells in Pennsylvania to a larger network of pipelines serving New York and New England. From an application filed by pipeline developers with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 13, published in the Federal Register on July 2. The entire application is available from FERC's eLibrary; follow the instructions in the Federal Register notice linked above to find the documents. Anyone who wants to comment on the application -- or file to be considered as an "intervenor," a status that allows more input on the process to parties affected by it -- can do so until July 17.

It's official: The weather cannot possibly get any weirder. Across the river in Columbia County, two people were struck by lightning at Lake Taghkanic Park on Sunday. What are the odds? 

Hot: Local speed dating

Hotter: The battle over Windham's patriotic windsocks, which promises to rage on long past the Fourth of July

Hottest: Olive's Democratic caucus this Thursday. Rawr. 

  Read more

Flash flood watch in effect for eastern Catskills

Early Monday morning, the National Weather Service in Albany issued a flash flood watch for eastern New York and western New England, including Greene, Schoharie and Ulster counties.

The watch is in effect from 11am to midnight, and warns that a combination of saturated ground and slow-moving thunderstorms could yield localized flash flooding and rising creek waters. 

If you see flooding in your area, or have local road closings to report, let us know at A few good local weather resources to keep an eye on: NWS Albany, NWS Binghamton, local river forecasts from the NWS, and Hudson Valley Weather.

Fireworks and festivities: A Catskills guide to the Fourth of July

Above: Photo by Flickr user Jeff Golden.

Planning to spend Independence Day in the Catskills? You'll have your pick of festivals, parades, and demonstrations of explosive exuberance. (We've updated these listings -- thanks for the suggestions! -- Ed.)

Events featuring fireworks are listed first -- read on, and you’ll find other celebrations of all sorts. Unless otherwise specified, fireworks happen at dusk.


Fireworks  Read more

NewsShed: Cats and dogs

Ed Potokar, instrument-maker and consummate sonic tinkerer from Accord, shows off the Peg Leg, named in honor of Peg Leg Bates. (He was a Catskills local, too.) Potokar and friends will be making gorgeous electro-percussive noise at Roxbury's Orphic Gallery on Friday, July 5 at 6pm, when the gallery hosts an eclectic lineup of musicians to kick off "Potophonics," a two-month gallery show of Potokar's musical sculptures. On hand for Friday's show: Alice Molloy, Frank Coelho, Michael Suchorsky, Chris Butler, Mark Schaaf, Paul Badger, and of course Potokar himself.  Read more

NewsShed: Water, water everywhere

The newly-restored front porch of Spillian, an upscale "camp for grownups" opening soon in the former Fleischmanns family estate near the eponymous village. Spillian has been forced to postpone some of their planned July programming due to construction delays on their sewer extension, but they're still throwing a big birthday bash for the MARK Project on Friday, July 5. Photo by Reed Clark.

News flash: It's still raining. Flash flood watches are still in effect. Everybody's hoping for a break by the Fourth, but no promises on that front.  Read more

Flood watches continue in the Catskills

Above: A briefing issued by the National Weather Service in Albany on Tuesday morning

Across the Catskills, flood watches are still in effect Tuesday, after almost a week's worth of sporadic rainstorms that have caused much anxiety but little damage in the region. 

A flash flood watch issued by the National Weather Service in Binghamton remains in effect through Tuesday evening, covering Delaware and Sullivan counties along with a large portion of Central New York. In a briefing issued this morning, NWS Binghamton meteorologist David Nicosia said that the Susquehanna River Basin was hardest-hit by overnight rainstorms, and would have the greatest potential for flash flooding today in NWS Binghamton's region.  Read more