Upcoming Events in Middletown

This Weekend: Spring on Main in Margaretville

Above: Flowers at Margaretville's 2012 spring festival. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

Celebrate the end of mud month and the beginning of spring in the Delaware County village of Margaretville this Saturday during the village's Spring on Main Festival. Organizers promise baby animals, music and storytelling and a rhubarb cooking contest, as well as historical tours, handmade confections, locally-made cheeses, a "hay bale garden" and vendors and crafts galore.

The rhubarb contest should be especially interesting. Rhubarb is an iconic spring plant, and it takes a good cook to turn its sour tartness into something that everybody enjoys. Cooks are invited to drop off their entries into the rhubarb contest at Home Goods of Margaretville at 784 Main Street by 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 9 for a 2 p.m. tasting and judging. 

Spring on Main. Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Various locations on Main Street Margaretville. mainstreetmargaretville.com.   Read more

Delaware County Judge Carl Becker will retire in July

Delaware County Court Judge Carl F. Becker will retire from his post as the county's top judicial officer on July 31, fewer than three years into his second ten-year term, according to a press release Becker sent to the Watershed Post on Monday, May 4.

Left: Judge Carl F. Becker. 

Becker announced his decision to retire to his court on Friday, May 1, according to the emailed statement.  Read more

The Catskills wedding boom

Above: At Handsome Hollow in Long Eddy, couples can say their vows in a fern-strewn clearing in the woods on the 93-acre property. Photo by JBM Photography.

Catskills weddings – especially those with an outdoorsy twist – are on the rise.

Getting hitched in hills is a booming business. Thanks to the wedding industry, there has been a recent uptick in tourism spending in the Catskills.

“We’ve noticed over the last couple years that there’s been quite an increase in country weddings in the area,” said Rick Remsnyder, Ulster County's tourism director.

“It’s a good location and the price is right. We’re 90 minutes from midtown Manhattan and the price is more affordable than the metro area.”

Cathy Ballone, a wedding planner in Greene County, owes her career to the increase in outdoor upstate weddings.

“I see a definite boom,” said Ballone, who runs Cathy’s Elegant Events out of the old Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, which she and her husband recently bought.  Read more

Where to eat on Fighting Hunger Friday

If you’re planning to eat out today — Friday, May 1 — think of dining at one of the 23 Catskills restaurants in Delaware and Ulster counties that are participating in Fighting Hunger Friday, a fundraiser for the Margaretville’s Community Food Pantry, based in Arkville.

The restaurants, listed below, are accepting cash donations from diners that they will pass on to the food pantry. Leave your donation in a brown paper bag on your table at any participating eatery.

Some of the eateries are offering special menus and matching donations. The Arkville Bread and Breakfast is serving fried chicken and waffles tonight from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with all proceeds going to benefit the food pantry. The owners of the Crazy River Café in Margaretville will match every donation to the pantry that is made in their restaurant today.  Read more

This Weekend: I Love My Park Day in the Catskills

Above: A poster for Cairo's Town Picnic, one of several events celebrating "I Love My Park Day" in the Catskills this Saturday, May 2.

Saturday, May 2 is the “I Love My Park Day,” a day of outdoor cleanup and volunteerism sponsored by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Parks and Trails of New York organization.

One of the woes of the Catskill Park is that it is not technically overseen by New York State’s parks office. Instead, the Catskill Park is a patchwork of wild forests, small state parks and wildernesses overseen by the New York State Department of Conservation.

This means that the Catskills themselves aren’t featured prominently in I Love My Park Day. But that’s not stopping towns and other organizations in the Catskills from celebrating it.  Read more

Man injured in Margaretville explosion dies

Forty-two days after he was badly burned in an explosion in his garage in the Delaware County village of Margaretville, 72-year-old Glenford "Sandy" Scudder died of his injuries on Sunday, April 26 at Westchester Medical Center, according to an obituary released by the Hynes Funeral Home in Margaretville.

Left: Sandy Scudder, pictured in a photo from a GoFundMe page, died on Sunday, April 26 of injuries sustained in an explosion on March 16. 

Scudder was a well-known figure in Margaretville, the village where he was born and lived all his life. According to his obituary, Scudder was passionate about hunting, classic cars, his two dogs and watercross, a sport where snowmobilers hydroplane their vehicles across lakes and rivers.  Read more

Delaware County's proposed bed tax rises again

Above: Marge Miller, the supervisor of the town of Middletown, Glenn Nealis, Delaware County's Director of Economic Development, and Jim Thomson, then Delaware County's tourism director, discuss the benefits of a county bed tax at a meeting with skeptical hotel owners in March 2014. Photo by Julia Reischel.

A year ago, on April 23, 2014, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors voted to ask the New York State Legislature to impose a 2 percent occupancy tax on room and hotel rentals in Delaware County.

But despite broad support for the so-called bed tax among the county leaders -- 17 out of 19 supervisors voted in favor of the tax last year -- the plan fizzled in at the state level, dying ignominiously in committee. (That may have had something to do with a groundswell of opposition among Delaware County hotel owners against the plan.)

Now the bed tax plan is back. On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors once again voted to approve a resolution asking the state legislature to approve a 2 percent bed tax in Delaware County.  Read more

Early season leads to record bear hunt in southern New York

Above: The 580-pound bear Greene County hunter Tim Meservey shot during the early season in September 2014. Photo courtesy of Tim Meservey.

Bear hunters in New York's Southern Zone killed a record 1,110 bears in 2014, according to harvest figures that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released on Monday, April 13. That's 12 percent more than the previous record of 983 bears taken in the Southern Zone in 2011.

The record harvest is likely due to a new early bear hunting season that ran from Sept. 6 to Sept. 21 in portions of the Catskills and the western Hudson Valley, DEC officials say.

Catskills hunters in in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties killed 893 bears in 2014, according to an analysis of the DEC's hunt data by the Watershed Post. In the Catskills, hunters killed 294 bears during the new early season and 599 during the bow hunting, muzzleloading and regular seasons, which occur later in the fall.

The Catskills towns with the highest bear harvests are Hancock, with 34 bears killed; Wawarsing, with 32; Tusten, with 31; Rochester, with 27; and Mamakating, with 24.  Read more

Two arrested in cocaine bust in Delaware County town of Middletown

A New Jersey man and a Delaware County, New York woman were arrested on Friday, April 10 after New York State Police narcotics investigators found cocaine in the man's car during a traffic stop and raided the woman's Arkville residence, police say.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jose Ozuna was driving on Route 28 in Delaware County on Friday night at 10 p.m. when Southern Tier State Police drug investigators and uniformed state police personnel pulled him over and searched his vehicle, according to a State Police press release. The officers reported that they found five ounces of cocaine, a digital scale, a switchblade and $580 in cash in Ozuna's vehicle.

Left: Dawn Hayden (top) and Jose Ozuna. Via the New York State Police. 

After Ozuna was arrested, narcotics investigators executed a search warrant at the home of 26-year-old Dawn Hayden, on Elliot Hills Road in Arkville in the Delaware County town of Middletown. Police say that they found a loaded .32 caliber revolver, a "Savage Model 30E" 12-gauge shotgun, a switchblade knife, a digital scale, a small amount of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia and four cell phones in Hayden's home.  Read more

Vermont couple crashes small airplane in Catskills field, walks away unscathed

Above: Julian Joffe's Beech A36 airplane crash-landed in a farmer's field in South Kortright on Thursday, April 2. Photo by Julian Joffe, taken after the crash.

A Vermont couple flying a small fixed-wing single-engine airplane crashed into a farmer's field in South Kortright on Thursday, April 2, and walked away from the wreck unscathed.

Julian Joffe, the pilot, and his wife, Kerry Joffe, were the two occupants of the airplane, according to Bob Cavanaugh, the chief financial officer of Pad Print Machinery of Vermont. Julian Joffe is the CEO of the company. 

Left: A Beech A36 aircraft. Photo by Alan Radecki via Wikimedia Commons. 

"They landed in a farmer's field," Cavanaugh said. "They skidded for about a quarter mile. The farmer has been in the process of helping them get out of the field and closer to town where they can work with the authorities and get holed up for the night."

Cavanaugh said that both Joffes were unharmed, and contacted him soon after the crash to say they were OK.

  Read more