Cairo

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Chris Gibson won't run again for Congress in 2016

As Republican Congressman Chris Gibson was sworn into his third term in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 6, he announced that it would be his last.

In a statement, Gibson said that he will step down from the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of his current two-year term:

"As I stated shortly after retiring from the US Army and first pursuing a seat in Congress in 2010, I planned to self-impose term limits. Accordingly, after much reflection and consultation with my family, this will be my third and final time taking the oath of office as a Representative in the US House. I thank the voters of Upstate NY for this privilege to serve and pledge to continue to work tirelessly on their behalf in this final term."  Read more

Winter is about to get serious

Above: Catskills icicles. Photo by Mark Zilberman, via the Watershed Post Flickr pool. 

Hello 2015! We're back after a holiday break, just in time for winter to really sink its teeth into the Catskills.

The National Weather Service is warning that high winds will batter Greene, Schoharie and Ulster counties throughout the day on Monday, Jan. 5, that downed power lines and outages are possible, and that "loose objects may be propelled:"  Read more

Will 2015 be the year of the Catskills?

Above: Barnes Hill on a sunny fall day in 2014. Photo by Dennis Schevjda, via Flickr

If the national travel press has anything to do with it, the Catskills will be flooded with tourists in 2015.

Two separate publications, Fodor's and Travel + Leisure, have put the region on their lists of the best places in the world (the world!) to visit next year.

Fodor's Go List 2015 lumps "The Hudson Valley and the Catskills" together, and lists them as #2, right after "The Arctic" and before Namibia and Guatemala:  Read more

A Christmas flood watch (and other weather warnings)

Above: A Flood Watch is in effect for the eastern Catskills until the day after Christmas. Image via the National Weather Service in Albany.

It's going to be a rainy Christmas in the Catskills. The National Weather Service has issued multiple weather warnings for the region, including a flood watch that goes into effect at 1 p.m on Wednesday, Dec. 24 for Greene, Schoharie and Ulster counties and lasts through Friday, Dec. 26:  Read more

Constitution Pipeline files 55 eminent domain lawsuits against Catskills landowners

Above: The proposed route of the Constitution Pipeline in 2013. Via the Constitution Pipeline's website.  

Since Dec. 12, the Constitution Pipeline has filed formal eminent domain proceedings against 55 landowners along the pipeline’s proposed 124-mile route through Schoharie, Delaware and Chenango counties, federal court records show.

The pipeline, which received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 2, has wasted no time in using the power of eminent domain to force people to allow the 30-inch natural gas pipeline to cross their land.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the pipeline’s law firm sent a letter to resistant landowners offering them a chance to accept compensation in exchange for an easement on their property. The letter gave the landowners until Dec. 11 to make up their minds.  Read more

Cuomo celebrates with anti-fracking activists

See video

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is basking in the celebratory mood of his constituents this week. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, his administration announced that New York State will ban hydraulic fracturing natural gas drilling and also gave a green light to a casino resort in the Catskills.

Cuomo has travelled the state to glad-hand with supporters of both moves. He gave a speech in Bethel on Thursday, Dec. 18 to a cheering pro-casino advocates in Sullivan County.  Read more

New York state bans fracking

 

A video posted by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on

At a cabinet meeting that was open to the public today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State Department of Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens and New York Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced that the practice of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be prohibited in New York State.   Read more

Greene County drug dragnet arrests 18 people

Eighteen people were arrested on drug charges after a 14-month investigation by Greene County and New York State police and officials on Friday, Dec. 12, according to a press release from the New York State Police.

The arrests spanned Greene County from Jewett and Lexington to New Baltimore. The lengthy investigation involved undercover operatives buying cocaine, crack, heroin and prescription drugs from suspects around the region. Sealed indictments were handed down throughout November and December, police say.

The list of the 18 people arrested is below:

Joey Rodriguez, age 34, of Catskill, N.Y.: Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance 2nd (2 counts) and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd (2 counts)

Gregory “Rebel” Bernard, age 37, of Catskill, N.Y.: Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance 2nd (2 counts) and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd (2 counts)

Brian Bridgham, age 31, of Catskill, N.Y.: Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance 3rd (1 count) and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd (1 count).  Read more

$15 million in grants go to Catskills organizations

Above: Americorps team members work on the storefront of Catskill Mountainkeeper in Livingston Manor in June 2014. Mountainkeeper received a $1.8 million grant from the state of New York on Dec. 11, 2014.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo handed out early Christmas presents on Thursday, Dec. 11 in the form of $709.2 million in economic and community development funding to hundreds of organizations across New York state. Several Catskills organizations, including MTC Cable, Catskill Mountainkeeper and the village of Sidney, received over a million dollars each. 

Through the program, called the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, New York State issues grants to businesses, community groups, nonprofits, and municipalities. The Catskills did well this year, picking up over $15 million overall, according to our back-of-the-envelope math.   Read more

This Weekend: Catskills holiday shopping guide

Above: A window display at Ragtime Clothing Exchange in Callicoon, which hosts its first Dickens on the Delaware event this weekend. Photo via the Dickens on the Delaware Facebook page. 

The snow is on the ground, just in time for the fourth installment of our holiday shopping guide. (Want even more things to do? Check out our ever-updating Catskills events calendar.) 

Here's what's happening over the weekend of Dec. 13 and 14: 

Delaware County

Santa comes to the town square in Delhi on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., along with horse and wagon rides and hot cocoa. The town's holiday lights contest ends the next day  Read more