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Catskills ski mountains get creative during no-snow December

Above: The slopes at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in Highmount on Dec. 16. Photo by Rebecca Andre. 

Snow guns are blazing at all four Catskills ski resorts as unusually warm weather—and a distinct lack of snowfall—puts a damper on the start of the ski season.

This year’s December has been unseasonably warm, thanks to a strong El Nino effect.

The weather is upending normal activities during beginning of winter in the Catskills, which started on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Skiers aren’t flocking to the mountains as they normally do right after Thanksgiving.

Instead, flocks of geese are floating peacefully on the unfrozen waters of the East Branch. Daffodils are sprouting, golfers are playing on snowless greens and salt piles remain untouched in Delaware County as the Highway Department concentrates on getting ahead of 2016’s tree program.

“It’s been a bleak beginning to December,” said Jesse Tolz, the communications manager for Windham Mountain in Greene County.  Read more

Catskills ski mountains get creative during no-snow December

Above: The slopes at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in Highmount on Dec. 16. Photo by Rebecca Andre. 

Snow guns are blazing at all four Catskills ski resorts as unusually warm weather—and a distinct lack of snowfall—puts a damper on the start of the ski season.

This year’s December has been unseasonably warm, thanks to a strong El Nino effect.

The weather is upending normal activities during beginning of winter in the Catskills, which started on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Skiers aren’t flocking to the mountains as they normally do right after Thanksgiving.

Instead, flocks of geese are floating peacefully on the unfrozen waters of the East Branch. Daffodils are sprouting, golfers are playing on snowless greens and salt piles remain untouched in Delaware County as the Highway Department concentrates on getting ahead of 2016’s tree program.

“It’s been a bleak beginning to December,” said Jesse Tolz, the communications manager for Windham Mountain in Greene County.  Read more

A 12 Days of Christmas Catskills Gift Guide

Gifting is so much fun. But the classic ideas can always stand an update. After all, a partridge in a pear tree takes up the entire living room, shipments of milkmaids and drummers need to be housed (to say nothing of a gymnasium space for all those leaping lords), and calling birds just keep calling...and calling...and calling.

But you, you lucky soul, have the Catskills at your disposal. And these hills are packed with delicious foods, life-enhancing objects, fantastic fashion, life-changing experiences and mouthwatering edibles. So we’re hoping you’ll do your shopping locally, among the small independent merchants where your dollar makes a big difference.

Here are 12 local Catskills gift ideas for this holiday season.

On the first day of Christmas the Catskills gave to me:

A massage with aromatherapy

  Read more

A 12 Days of Christmas Catskills Gift Guide

Gifting is so much fun. But the classic ideas can always stand an update. After all, a partridge in a pear tree takes up the entire living room, shipments of milkmaids and drummers need to be housed (to say nothing of a gymnasium space for all those leaping lords), and calling birds just keep calling...and calling...and calling.

But you, you lucky soul, have the Catskills at your disposal. And these hills are packed with delicious foods, life-enhancing objects, fantastic fashion, life-changing experiences and mouthwatering edibles. So we’re hoping you’ll do your shopping locally, among the small independent merchants where your dollar makes a big difference.

Here are 12 local Catskills gift ideas for this holiday season.

On the first day of Christmas the Catskills gave to me:

A massage with aromatherapy

  Read more

Four years after the flood, Schoharie officers still stuck in FEMA trailer

Above: The FEMA trailer that has housed the Schoharie County Corrections Office since Tropical Storm Irene flooded the Catskills in August 2011. FEMA trailers are intended to serve as temporary housing for up to 18 months. Photo by Timothy Knight.

It’s been over four years since Hurricane Irene inundated communities across Schoharie County, and many of the flood-damaged businesses and homes have been rebuilt.

But the Schoharie County Corrections Office is still housed in a dilapidated FEMA trailer with a portable outhouse for a bathroom.

During the August 2011 hurricane, the county's Public Safety Facility, located in the village of Schoharie, was ravaged by raging floodwaters. The county jail in the first floor of the complex was completely destroyed.

Most of the staff of the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office was moved to the relatively undamaged second floor, but the corrections department were put in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailer in the parking lot.  Read more

Four years after the flood, Schoharie officers still stuck in FEMA trailer

Above: The FEMA trailer that has housed the Schoharie County Corrections Office since Tropical Storm Irene flooded the Catskills in August 2011. FEMA trailers are intended to serve as temporary housing for up to 18 months. Photo by Timothy Knight.

It’s been over four years since Hurricane Irene inundated communities across Schoharie County, and many of the flood-damaged businesses and homes have been rebuilt.

But the Schoharie County Corrections Office is still housed in a dilapidated FEMA trailer with a portable outhouse for a bathroom.

During the August 2011 hurricane, the county's Public Safety Facility, located in the village of Schoharie, was ravaged by raging floodwaters. The county jail in the first floor of the complex was completely destroyed.

Most of the staff of the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office was moved to the relatively undamaged second floor, but the corrections department were put in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailer in the parking lot.  Read more

This weekend: Christmas season in the Catskills

Above: Photo by Nannette Turner, via Flickr

Ring those bells and light those lights: It’s Christmastime in the Catskills. Public festivities abound. Come out and revel with your neighbors this weekend. Here’s our five-county guide to what’s doing.

DELAWARE COUNTY

On Friday, Dec. 11, there is a free holiday wine tasting at Roxbury Wine & Spirits—try four different holiday wines.   Read more

This weekend: Christmas season in the Catskills

Above: Photo by Nannette Turner, via Flickr

Ring those bells and light those lights: It’s Christmastime in the Catskills. Public festivities abound. Come out and revel with your neighbors this weekend. Here’s our five-county guide to what’s doing.

DELAWARE COUNTY

On Friday, Dec. 11, there is a free holiday wine tasting at Roxbury Wine & Spirits—try four different holiday wines.   Read more

Catskills organizations awarded $26 million in state grants

Above: The Ulster County town of Shandaken will receive $415,000 in state funds to fix broken pipes in Phoenicia, part of $26 million in state grants won by Catskills organizations and municipalities today. Photo via PhoeniciaNY.com

The winners of the annual battle royal for New York State’s grant funds were revealed on Thursday, Dec. 10 at a press conference by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the Catskills took home about $26 million, according to our quick and dirty calculations. (See the state's list of grant winners here.)  Read more

Catskills organizations awarded $26 million in state grants

Above: The Ulster County town of Shandaken will receive $415,000 in state funds to fix broken pipes in Phoenicia, part of $26 million in state grants won by Catskills organizations and municipalities today. Photo via PhoeniciaNY.com

The winners of the annual battle royal for New York State’s grant funds were revealed on Thursday, Dec. 10 at a press conference by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the Catskills took home about $26 million, according to our quick and dirty calculations. (See the state's list of grant winners here.)  Read more