Fleischmanns

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Governor declares state of emergency because of snowstorm

During a press conference this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency due to the winter storm and asked New York State residents to stay off the roads. Cuomo's office issued a press release soon afterwards. 

Here's the full text of the press release, below. 

Governor Cuomo Declares Statewide State of Emergency

Full Vehicle Ban in Effect for I-84 as Large Winter Storm Impacts All Regions of the State
State Replenishing Supplies of Road Salt for Downstate Localities

Albany, NY (February 5, 2014)

Governor Cuomo today declared a state of emergency for all of New York State, effective immediately as a winter storm continues to bring heavy snow, ice, and freezing rain to communities in both the upstate and downstate regions.  Read more

Snow day: Roads, schools and offices closed around Catskills

Above: Better put on those snow boots. Photo by Julia Reischel. Send your Catskills snow day photos to julia.reischel@watershedpost.com, share them on our Facebook page, or upload them to our Flickr pool. We'll share 'em. 

Between 8 and 10 inches of snow have fallen across the western Catskills region last night, according to the National Weather Service office in Binghamton. (The Binghamton weather folks are asking for photos of rulers in snow from the around the region this morning. So far, they've collected some good ones.)

This morning, county offices, schools and many major roads are closed.   Read more

All Delaware County roads closed

All roads in Delaware County are closed today, according to a an order issued by Delaware County Sheriff Tom Mills via email at 6:25am:

By Order of Delaware County Sheriff Tom Mills - All roads in Delaware County are officially closed due to current and expected weather related road conditions. No travel is permitted except for emergency travel and mandated services.

Community biomass heating: Creating a "market for crummy trees"

The plan to heat the village of Fleischmanns with a communal wood boiler will live or die on community buy-in, according to Jim Waters, the director of the Catskill Forest Association (CFA), which is spearheading the proposed project. 

Waters gave a presentation about the village's plan to switch from oil heat to a community wood-fired boiler on Saturday, February 1. Videographer Jessica Vecchione was onhand, and put together a short video about the meeting, above. 

"If you have a hundred different businesses and family homes that feed into this and buy into this, then it will work," said Waters at the meeting. "So it's up to the community whether they want this project to work or not."   Read more

Snowstorm could dump 10-18 inches on the Catskills overnight

That pink swath over most of the Northeast and Midwest? That's winter storm warnings, issued for a band of snow and sleet that's moving northeastward across the nation. Source: National Weather Service.

Skies over the Catskills are dazzling blue, but by tonight, the first flakes of a winter storm that could dump as much as 18 inches in the mountains will begin to fall. 

The storm is expected to begin around midnight, and continue through Wednesday. Hudson Valley Weather is forecasting 10 to 18 inches of heavy, wet snow for the Catskills, beginning in the west and spreading east.  Read more

Fatal shooting at DEP office in Kingston

Left: David N. Reese, who was arrested and charged with murder in the 2nd degree after allegedly shooting a coworker at the DEP on February 3, 2014. Photo via the Kingston Police Department's Facebook page. 

A 33-year-old Olivebridge man was fatally shot by a coworker at the Kingston office of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection at 71 Smith Avenue around 6:45 a.m. on Monday morning. A suspect in the shooting was taken into custody at the scene shortly after the incident.  Read more

DEP touts increased access for boaters, hikers and hunters in 2013

Fishing on the Pepacton Reservoir: Has that umbrella been steam-cleaned? Photo taken July 17, 2013; from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection's Flickr page.

In the past few years, there's been a shift of attitude at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), where officials are increasingly rolling out a welcome mat for hikers, boaters, anglers and hunters who want to use city property. On lands near the city's west-of-Hudson reservoirs, where once hiking groups had trouble even getting permission to cross DEP property, the agency is now actively working with hiking groups to build trails.  Read more

This weekend: Can you heat a village with wood?

Above: Jim Waters, the executive director of the Catskill Forest Association. Photo courtesy of the Catskill Forest Association.

Does it make sense to heat the village of Fleischmanns with wood? Hear what the experts think at a public forum this Saturday.

For two years, a consulting firm called Biomass Energy Resource Center has been studying the feasibility of creating a woodchip-fired central heating plant for the village that would pipe heat underground into 170 homes and businesses.

The proposed project is being coordinated by the Catskill Forest Association, with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Department of Energy footing the bill. Transitions Catskills and the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry (ESF) are also pitching in.  Read more

Bad news boars: Helicopter crew fights NY feral swine

Above: A trailcam captures a nighttime view of a wild boar in Delaware County. Photo taken in August of 2013; courtesy of Justin Gansowski of the USDA.

This week, federal wildlife agents armed with cameras and sniper rifles are patrolling New York State skies by helicopter, hoping for a glimpse of wild pigs. It's the latest mission in an ongoing battle to rid the state of feral swine, before most New Yorkers even realize the state has a pig problem.

It's far too late for Texas, whose $500-million-a-year feral pig problem has been dubbed the "aporkalypse." In Florida, the pestilential pigs are found in every county, and have even destroyed a $16 million F-16 fighter plane. Pigs are a moot point in Mississippi, where experts say it's "only a matter of time" before feral swine rut and root their way from rural Clay County to the far corners of the state

But it might not be too late for New York, according to the handful of state and federal regulators whose task it is to try to keep feral swine from getting established in the Empire State.

  Read more

NYC mayor comes out swinging against fracking

New York City's newly-inaugurated mayor, Bill de Blasio, made it clear he's opposed to hydraulic fracturing in New York State in a speech to fellow mayors in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

De Blasio told the U.S. Conference of Mayors that "the one thing I am firm about is that I don't see any place for fracking," Capital New York reports. The mayor spoke in favor of a statewide moratorium: 

“The science simply isn’t reliable enough," de Blasio said on Thursday. "The technology isn’t reliable enough. And there’s too much danger to our water supply, to our environment in general. So my view is that there should be a moratorium on fracking in New York State until the day comes that we can actually prove it’s safe, and I don’t think that day is coming any time soon.”  Read more