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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

Study finds deadly strain of encephalitis in Hudson Valley ticks

Above: The black-legged or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. Photo by Scott Bauer of the USDA; published under Creative Commons license. Source: InsectImages.org.

In the Hudson Valley and across the nation, tick-borne disease is on the rise. The deer ticks common in the area are vectors for several diseases whose infection rates have ballooned over the last decade -- from Lyme disease, which infects several thousand New York State residents every year, to rarer ailments like babesiosis and anaplasmosis.

According to a new study, locals now have another tick-borne disease to worry about: A strain of a rare but deadly form of encephalitis known as Powassan virus. Named for the Canadian town where it was discovered in 1958, Powassan virus has historically been rare, with only a handful of cases reported in the United States each year. But the disease is life-threatening, and often leaves those who contract it with long-term neurological problems.

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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. 

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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 [email protected]. 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.

DELAWARE COUNTY

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

NewsShed: Troubled water, and a few bridges

Trailbuilders of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference spent their Saturday rebuilding a bridge on the Long Path in Platte Clove. For more photos of the rebuild -- and an idea of how badly the bridge needed an upgrade -- see the NY-NJTC's photo album of the rebuild.

Happy Monday, Catskills! We hope your sump pumps are working. 

So far, last week's rain has shown no sign of going away. It was a soggy weekend across the Catskills, with a few outbreaks of flash flooding around the region.

The Sullivan County village of Woodridge got some flooding on Sunday, and the Times Herald-Record got a dramatic photo of a telephone pole floating across Greenfield Road.  Read more

Rosendale Trestle reopens Saturday after a $1.5 million makeover

Above: A Poughkeepsie Journal video about the re-opening of the newly restored Rosendale Trestle.

Rail trail lovers, rejoice: On Saturday, June 29, the Rosendale Trestle, a 118-year-old span over the Rondout Creek, will be reopened to public walking access, thanks to the restoration efforts of the Wallkill Valley Land Trust and the Open Space Institute.

Trail fans will be celebrating the reopening of the bridge at Willow Kiln Park on Saturday, with live bluegrass, a silent auction, a yard sale, and tie-dyeing "Track The Trestle" T-shirts. Or, if you like, you can join the throngs on the bridge, marveling at the views of Joppenburgh Mountain and the Shawangunk Ridge and basking in the cool 55-degree air rising up from the Rondout Creek, 150 feet below your feet.

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