It's taken seven years, but Route 28 in Ulster and Delaware counties has finally received legislative approval to become the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway, according to a press release from New York State Senator James Seward.
Seward made the announcement on Tuesday, June 23, in what officials hoped was the last day of the legislative session, which has run close to a week over its normal schedule this year.
The 65-mile byway runs along Route 28 from the Ulster County town of Olive to the Delaware County town of Andes, with short jogs along Route 212 and Route 42, through Shandaken, Middletown and Andes. It still must receive Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature to become law.
State approval means that the byway will be designated on maps and will be eligible for federal grant money. It also means that someday soon you'll see the byway's signature logo, which features a bobcat paw print (above), along the roadway from Olive to Andes. Read more
It's unusual for New York City-based media outlets to pay much attention to the Catskills, and even more unusual for them to examine the long, often painful history of how exactly New Yorkers get their water, more than a billions gallons a day of it, from the Catskills watershed.
But this week, WNYC radio and a news website called CityLimits.org are diving deep into the story of the Catskills watershed in their week-long The Cost of Our Watercollaborative investigative series. They're airing thoughtful radio pieces and publishing long articles about the sometimes fraught relationship between the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which runs the vast system of reservoirs that dominates the Catskills, and upstate residents. Read more
Sean Eldridge, a young political upstart who lost the election for New York's 19th Congressional District from Republican Chris Gibson last year, has finally made it public: He won't be running for election again.
That's because Eldridge is one half of a prominent gay power couple. His husband is Chris Hughes, a multi-millionaire who helped Mark Zuckerberg found Facebook.
Right after the election, Eldridge refused to answer questions from the Watershed Post about whether or not he would run again in the 19th District, which covers much of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley. Read more
Above: A storm system looms to the west of the Catskills at 2:20 pm. on Monday, June 8.
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has issued a sweeping tornado watch for much of New York and New England this afternoon.
The tornado watch includes Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties in the Catskills from 1:40 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Monday, June 8. A large storm system will march through the region, bringing winds, possible hail and a chance of flash flooding.
Above: Murphy works on a new mural in Margaretville on Tuesday, June 2. She plans to finish it next week.
Joanna Murphy, an artist and muralist based in the Catskills, is putting the finishing touches on a mural at the eastern edge of the Delaware County village of Margaretville that depicts a vintage cauliflower label featuring Rip Van Winkle.
Cauliflower used to be one of the central Catskills' biggest exports, and cauliflower farmers decorated their crates with colorful labels that depicted pastoral scenes and happy country women.
Above: Eight Catskills towns, villages and nonprofits received grant money from the DEC this week. From left: Hunter Town Councilman David Kukle, Neversink Town Supervisor Mark McCarthy, CWC planner Peter Manning, Lexington Town Supervisor Dixie Baldrey, Windham Town Councilman Robert Pelham, MARK Project Deputy Director Kent Brown, Andes Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly, Cairo Town Supervisor Ted Banta and DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens. In front is Dylan Walrath, the contracts coordinator for the Division of Lands and Forests at the DEC, who coordinated the grants. Photo by Julia Reischel.
Elected officials from communities across the Catskills gathered in the Delaware County village of Margaretville to accept grant funds and accolades from Joseph Martens, the head of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, on Tuesday, June 2. Read more
Above: The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center, which is scheduled to open in July, features a a .75-mile paved trail that leads to an additional .25 to .5-mile paved trail towards the Esopus Creek. Photo by Julia Reischel.
We're celebrating Catskills outdoors and trails this week as we ramp up for National Trails Day, which is Saturday, June 6. Here's a roundup of new trails and attractions that have opened in the past year or will soon open in the Catskills.
CATSKILL CONSERVATION CORPS June 2014 Funded by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and managed by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the Catskill Conservation Corps formed in 2014. Volunteers with the Corps build and maintain trails, conduct research, pick up litter, root out invasive species and generally keep an eye on things in the Catskill Park. Workshops teach Corps members how to plan a trail, swing a mattock and identify nasty plants. catskillconservationcorps.org. Read more
Above: Delaware County Family Court candidate Gary Rosa delivered a fiery speech attacking his opponent, Delaware County Attorney Porter Kirkwood, on Saturday at the annual dinner of the Delaware County Democratic Committee. Photo by Robert Cairns.
The race for a new family court judgeship in Delaware County heated up on Saturday, May 30 when Democratic Party candidate and town of Middletown Justice Gary Rosa delivered a strong critique of the qualifications and actions of his opponent, Delaware County Attorney Porter Kirkwood.
Left: Delaware County Attorney Porter Kirkwood, in a photo posted on his campaign's Facebook page.
Kirkwood is endorsed by the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties for the new judicial position, which was created by the New York State Legislature last year. Read more