Yet for eight years New York City has refused to include the agency's Environmental Protection Officers (EPOs) in the same category as the New York Police Department and other uniformed employees. That means that the officers aren’t entitled to benefits like increases to night-shift wages, allowance to buy required uniforms, and “line of duty” leave for injuries that happen on the job. And they haven’t seen a raise since 2005. Read more
A round of intense thunderstorms is headed east across upstate New York this afternoon. We're keeping track of fast-moving Catskills weather updates in the Storify post below. As we add new updates, the latest news will automatically appear at the bottom of the post.
Some local voters registered with a political party will have a chance to weigh in at the polls on Tuesday, September 10. The local races underway in the region may not be as headline-grabbing as others in the state -- New York City mayoral race, anyone? -- but there are some important races underway in Catskills towns and legislative districts.
A few of the jucier races underway this week: A heated battle is underway in the Prattsville GOP, with two slates of candidates dueling for seats on the county Republican Committee. Ulster County legislative chair Terry Bernardo, a Republican from Accord, is fighting a challenge from newcomer John Dawson of Kerhonkson. And a three-way race is afoot for the Democratic nod for town supervisor in Woodstock, with incumbent Jeremy Wilber facing challengers Terrie Rosenblum and Lorin Rose.
Once again, Schoharie County -- which had no primary elections in 2011 -- is holding no primaries this year. (Note to Schoharie County's aspiring local politicians: Might want to start thinking about 2015.) Read more
Cuts will likely be coming to the largely insulated Local Media Group papers. In an investor presentation, Newcastle says $10 million in cost reductions have already been identified at the group. The papers are described as “under-managed by News Corp.” with “expense reductions of only 6% since 2010.” Translation: We can take more out of the expenses than News Corp. did.
News outlets across the region -- and the nation -- have felt the squeeze of layoffs and shrinking revenues in recent years. We can only hope those "expenses" soon to be managed out of existence don't include too many Times Herald-Record newsroom jobs.
It's that time of year again: election season is upon us! Give your candidate a boost with an ad in the Watershed Post. Design is included in our low rates, and we're the best way to reach readers across the Catskills.
Meet Steve Heller's Cro-Magnum: The body of a 2006 Dodge Magnum, the tail fins of a 1957 DeSoto, the bumpers of a couple of mid-century Cadillacs, and 160 silver bullets welded to the front grille. With its modern body and its collage of parts from different makes and vintages, the Cro-Magnum isn't your standard vintage hot rod.
Happy Wednesday, Catskills. After a late-summer break, the NewsShed is back. So are the signs of the season: asters and goldenrods blooming their hearts out along every roadside, apple trees heavy with fruit, and foliage looking more autumnal with every passing day.
Above: Turbid water from the Lower Esopus mixes with clearer water in the Hudson River. Photo taken by Riverkeeper in November of 2011, when turbidity in New York City's Catskill watershed and the Lower Esopus Creek was still high as a result of the Irene and Lee floods.
But more important, critics say, is what's not in the document: $2 million for stream restoration programs in the Lower Esopus Creek that appeared in an early unofficial draft, and was cut from the document before it was made public. The document, a midterm review and revision of the city's ten-year Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD), is open to public comment until October 15.
"After the NYC DEP apparently pressured Albany, the Lower Esopus portion of this document was removed," Hein wrote. "This is Proof Positive that the NYC DEP routinely uses its grossly disproportionate influence in an attempt to manipulate the regulatory process."
Above: Our Catskill Fire Towers badge on a proud hiker's backpack. Photo by Lisa Lyons.
The Catskills fire towers are already pretty neat, but they're going to be especially awesome this weekend. For half an hour after dark on Saturday, the cabs of all five historic fire towers will be aglow with light.
Like huge fireflies dotting the Forest Preserve, the Catskill fire towers will be lit up at 9:00 PM on Saturday, August 31 for approximately 30 minutes (Raindate-Sunday, September 1) ... When you see a light, you are looking back in time almost 100 years – a time when large Catskill hotels known as mountain houses still existed where many famous people spent the hot summer months avoiding the heat and summer diseases of New York City. Read more
A flowing Catskills stream, photographed by James McCracken in Hunter. A newly-revised midterm draft of a ten-year plan for the management of New York City's unfiltered watershed calls for almost $40 million in new funding to keep the Catskills' many pretty little streams from flooding towns and villages, as they did in 2011 during Tropical Storms Irene and Lee.
A document recently released by the state Department of Health (DOH) is full of more alphabet soup than a Campbell's warehouse. But within the acronym-laden government jargon is some big news for the Catskills, the home of New York City's vast unfiltered west-of-Hudson watershed. Read more