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NewsShed: Rain, trains and windsock campaigns

Andes's newest business is looking pretty green. Photo by "Story Laurie" McIntosh, who writes: "Morena of Grayson's Organics, selling fresh garlic scapes, salad greens and baby garlic to Annette, a happy customer. The farm store is at 27 Delaware Ave., Andes, NY (2 doors up from the blinking light). She'll be open Thur-Sat ~11-6 (except [today]. sorry), and will also have lots of herbs to sell...and soon Mexican food, good coffee...and more good stuff! Go meet Morena & buy some greens."

Good morning, Catskills! 

On tap for today: More rain. The weather geeks at Hudson Valley Weather are getting excited today about "orographic lift" -- a phenomenon that involves clouds cooling down and releasing rain as they are pushed up the sides of mountains. Guess which mountains they're talking about.  Read more

Runners and cyclists head for the hills in two new Catskills events

Some homegrown Catskills trail rocks. We've got a bunch more where they came from. Photo taken on the Escarpment Trail by Flickr user Kevin Kenny; published under Creative Commons license.

Summertime in the mountains got off to a promising start last weekend, with two new annual events that showcase some of the gnarliest terrain the Catskill Mountains have to offer. 

The winner for Most Masochistic New Race, hands-down, has got to be Manitou's Revenge: A 56-mile ultramarathon across the Black Dome Trail and Long Path whose inaugural event was held on Saturday, June 22. Race organizers didn't mince any words in describing the deep hurting involved  Read more

Coming soon to an NYC reservoir near you: Guided tours

Kayakers on the Pepacton Reservoir. Photo by Dennis Schvejda; shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

For decades, New York City's enormous reservoirs have been off-limits to all but a few dedicated anglers in rowboats. But when cautious city water officials decided to let kayaks and canoes onto the Cannonsville in 2008, the program proved that clean water and boaters could coexist happily. Since then, slowly but surely, the reservoirs have been opening up.

The latest in a series of recent moves to open the city's west-of-Hudson reservoirs to recreation is a new program to allow guided tours, announced by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection last week.  Read more

This weekend: U-Pick strawberries in the Catskills

A satisfied customer at Bohringer's Fruit Farm in Middleburgh. Photo by James McCracken; shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

June brings many things: Weddings. Graduations. A riot of greenery. And of course, strawberries. The brief, glorious Catskills strawberry season lasts for just a few weeks in June, starting earlier at the more low-lying valley farms and running a little later up in the mountains.

This year, June has also brought rain -- lots and lots of it. Lucky for us, the rain hasn't put a damper on the local strawberry season: All the U-Pick farms listed below will be open for strawberry picking at least through the weekend of June 21-23, and some through the following week or beyond.   Read more

Deal struck in Albany on upstate casinos

Jack o' diamonds is a hard card to find. Photo by Flickr user Scott Namelrod; published under Creative Commons license.

The latest out of Albany: With just days left in the legislative session, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and key state legislators struck a late-night deal on Tuesday on a bill that would allow for four upstate casinos, according to several news reports. 

Two of the casinos would be in the Catskills, the Times Union reports:  Read more

New study: Catskill Mountain Rail Trail a $3.1 million boon to Ulster County

Above: The old Ulster & Delaware rail tracks near Cathedral Glen on Highmount. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

A controversial plan to convert Ulster County's old rail corridor into a walking trail from Kingston to Highmount got a boost on Monday, with the release of a new study of the trail's potential economic impact.

If built, the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail would allow hikers and bikers to go all the way from downtown Kingston to the Belleayre Ski Center, with access to the old Ulster & Delaware right-of-way that runs alongside the Ashokan Reservoir, currently closed to foot traffic. For trail advocates, it would be the realization of a long-held vision for the future of tourism and outdoor recreation in the region.  Read more

Flooding, road closures in Catskills as new rainstorms move south

NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Above: A video report from News 10 of flooding in Middleburgh's Main Street on Friday afternoon. 

Just when it was clearing up: Rainstorms moving south through the Hudson Valley prompted a fresh round of flood advisories and a few flash floods on Friday afternoon, a day after an east-moving storm prompted widespread flood watches across the Catskills.  Read more

This weekend: A slew of upstate events for Father's Day

Lady Antebellum, appearing Saturday at the Taste of Country Festival at Hunter Mountain.

Father’s Day is upon us -- an opportunity to honor and enjoy the dad in your life. This weekend, the various venues and organizations of the Catskills region and beyond have a varied batch of opportunities on tap for celebratory good times.

Some of the events listed below aren’t specifically planned with Father’s Day in mind -- but hey, paternal units come in all sorts of flavors. If you and Pater decide something is a Father’s Day outing, we’re sure the organizers won’t mind. 

DELAWARE COUNTY

The Delaware County Fairgrounds in Walton will be taken over for the weekend by the Walton Regional Livestock Show -- more prize pigs, goats, cows and sheep than you can shake a dad at. Special this year: New bull show events, with a $100 prize for the champion. Friday, June 14 through Sunday, June 16.  Read more

Ulster County issues legal ultimatum to Catskill Mountain Railroad

On Wednesday, a simmering dispute over the future of the Ulster and Delaware rail corridor in Ulster County erupted in legal action: County executive Mike Hein has served the privately-operated Catskill Mountain Railroad with a legal "demand to cure" notice, alleging that the railroad has violated the terms of their 25-year lease with the county, signed in 1991.

In the letter (embedded below), Hein states that the railroad has defaulted on nine separate points of the lease, and demands that the railroad come into compliance within 30 days, or risk forfeiting their lease and having their property seized. 

Hein and county officials claim the railroad has committed the following lease violations:  Read more

Storm tracking south, but flood watches still in effect

A rainfall prediction issued by the National Weather Service in Binghamton early Thursday morning, calling for 2 to 3 inches of rain in the southwestern Catskills region.

The latest forecasts for a rainstorm sweeping through the area Thursday and into Friday are calling for slightly less rain than originally predicted in some areas, but flood watches remain in effect throughout the Catskills region. 

As the rainstorm has moved into the area from the southwest, it has tracked slightly more south than initially expected, Hudson Valley Weather reported late Wednesday night

Storm looks to be taking a more southerly track and also a bit weaker as well. While the HV is still under the gun for a 1-3 inch rainfall the 4-5 inches looks a bit less likely. While the 2-3 is still enough to cause some issues with flooding it is a better solution. If the storm trends any further south we may see another reduction is projected rainfall.  Read more