Who needs an Oscar? The first place winners at the Catskill Mountains Film Festival take home a home-grown version of the iconic golden statuette: the "Catty," a cat hand-carved by a Catskills woodworker out of foraged mountain birch.
Left: A "Catty," the official award of the Catskill Mountains Film Festival. Contributed photo.
One hundred films hand-picked films from New York State and beyond will screen at three local venues during the 2014 festival, which runs from Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4.
Adult, high school and college-aged filmmakers will vie to win the coveted Catty in each of six categories, from narrative and documentary features and shorts to music videos and animation. Read more
Above: A trailcam in Delaware County catches a nocturnal glimpse of an elusive wild boar. Photo taken in August 2013; courtesy of USDA APHIS.
A statewide ban on the hunting and trapping of feral swine -- also known as wild boars or Eurasian boars -- went into effect on Monday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced in a press release.
Many other states have encouraged the hunting of wild boars in an effort to control their populations, but without much success. Banning the hunting of an animal that state officials want to rid the landscape of seems paradoxical. But scientists who study the animals say that allowing private hunting can interfere with state-sanctioned efforts to bait and trap boars, and has even encouraged hunters to release more of the animals into the wild for sport.
Above: Business owners discuss a proposed bed tax for Delaware County at a public meeting in Arkville on March 25, 2014. Photo by Julia Reischel.
The Delaware County Board of Supervisors took the first step towards levying a two percent tax on room and hotel rentals in Delaware County at a meeting on Wednesday, April 23.
Seventeen of 19 town supervisors voted to approve a resolution requesting authorization from the New York State Legislature to impose the tax, known as a bed tax or an occupancy tax. The tax, according to the text of the resolution, would "provide a dedicated funding stream to promote and develop the tourism industry in Delaware County." (The resolution is embedded at the bottom of this story.) Read more
Earth Day turns 44 this year. In cities across America, environmentally-minded citizens are celebrating the holiday with big green-themed fests, parties and exhibit fairs.
Not so in the Catskills, where Earth Day celebrations tend to be more low-key. Here, Mother Nature isn't an occasional guest to fête; she's a full-time resident. But this week, the local area holds a few special events in honor of the planet.
Sullivan County's digital library of maps for hiking trails and public lands, Trailkeeper.org, is celebrating today with a family scavenger hunt at Turtle Spring Nature Trail, at 64 Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty. Treasure hunters of all ages will get a chance to try geocaching, in which hikers hunt for hidden capsules with the help of GPS receivers. The scavenger hunt runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m. To pre-register for the event, call the Sullivan County Cornell Cooperative Extension at 845-292-6180, or email Nicole Slevin at [email protected]
People across the Catskills awoke this morning to find April's first green shoots covered in snow. Above: A row of icicles that sprouted overnight from a Margaretville roof gleams under a dazzling blue sky. Photo by Lissa Harris.
Tuesday's bout of winter weather came just a little too late to extend the ski season, which lasted well into April this year. Over the past week or two, the four major ski centers of the Catskills -- Belleayre, Hunter, Plattekill and Windham -- all put an end to this year's blockbuster season.
Above: No BBQs on this Margaretville porch til the snow melts. Photo by Lissa Harris. Read more
Above: Temperatures around upstate New York around 8 a.m. this morning, showing a cold front moving east across the region. The National Weather Service in Albany writes: "Current 8 a.m. temperature in Albany is 63 degrees while behind the cold front in Buffalo, NY, it is 33 degrees with a rain/snow mix."
Watch out for April showers -- and a few bouts of sleet and snow. After a few days of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, the Catskills region is now bracing for the return of wintry weather as a cold front moves in from the west. Read more
It's a familiar story in small-town America: Little community bank strikes a deal with a giant national corporation, and suddenly there's a new logo on your local bank branch.
Only this time it's the other way around. NBDC Bank -- also known as the National Bank of Delaware County, a small chain of community banks based in Walton -- announced recently that the company is acquiring six Bank of America branches in Sullivan County.
The deal, which has yet to receive regulatory approval, is expected to go through by fall, according to a press release issued by NBDC Bank. Under the terms of the deal, NBDC will operate former Bank of America branches in Callicoon, Liberty, Monticello, Narrowsburg, Roscoe and Wurtsboro.
The acquisition of the six Sullivan County branches will double the number of offices run by NBDC Bank, which currently runs branches in Walton, Andes, Franklin, Hamden, Stamford and Roxbury. Read more