Sidney

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New York Invasive Species Awareness Week

The mission of New York Invasive Species Awareness Week is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species to h elp stop their spread by engaging citizens in a wide range of activities across the state and encouraging them to take action. Please join in the fun and help out with the effort!  Activities of all kinds take place July 6th- July 12th. Check out nyis.info and click on the logo for more information!

This weekend: Shop local, shop the Catskills

Above: The Hudson Valley Hullabaloo features indie crafters and makers selling their wares in Kingston. One of the many vendors that will be there this weekend is Wishbone Letterpress, which is run by the Hullabaloo's founder and co-organizer Danielle Bliss and her husband Joe Venditti. They make snazzy cards like the one you see above. Photo via the Hullabaloo blog. 

Giving gifts to loved ones is great fun. Getting those gifts is great fun too, when you stay clear of the mass markets and head instead to the local merchants and makers. Supporting those folks makes our communities better all year long.

Here, then, is the first installment of our Catskills holiday season shopping guide to where and when you’ll find the good fresh local stuff among smiling faces. We'll be posting each week with events to check out around the region. Want even more things to do? Check out our ever-updating Catskills events calendar  Read more

A Catskills rhapsody: "To Be Forever Wild"

David Becker released "To Be Forever Wild," a documentary film about the Catskills, in the summer of 2014. The project has been four years in the making—we interviewed Becker back in 2012 about his plans for the film, which was shot and edited collaboratively with the help of a large crew of volunteers. This fall, Jenna Scherer, our arts correspondent, got to watch the finished product. Here's her review. - Ed. 

The Catskill Mountains are hundreds of millions of years old, formed by eons of sedimentary accumulation, continental collision, glacial erosion and deforestation. But for every new generation that claps eyes on the region, it’s something brand new.

That sense of novelty and aw-shucks wonder is the engine that fuels "To Be Forever Wild," filmmaker David Becker’s new documentary about the Catskills and the way they make people feel.

Left: Director David Becker, photographed at Dibble's Quarry in the Catskill Mountains.

The film covers 12 days in the lives of Becker his crew, a group of young artists, filmmakers and musicians—mostly from New York City—as they head north to do the mountain thing. Along the way, they rub elbows with knowledgeable locals versed in everything from geology to fly-fishing—and, of course, Sullivan County homeowner and movie star Mark Ruffalo.

As a director, Becker goes out of his way to capture a sense of motion and life, taking the camera on cliff jumps off the edge of waterfalls, on zip-line rides through the tree canopy, and careening down scenic sunlit highways.

The in-between moments in this movie are about the crew finding creative inspiration in their surroundings: folky jam sessions around a campfire, sketches at Artist Rock in Greene County, and antique-camera photos of swimmin’ holes.

This can all feel a little precious at times, but fortunately, that’s not the meat and potatoes of the film. That would be Becker’s motley mix of interview subjects, who all get jazzed about the Catskills in different ways.

Among them are natural historian Michael Kudish, who leads the film crew into the woods as he cores a bog; Ellen Kalish of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, who rehabilitates injured owls and hawks; and Lama Karma, a monk from Woodstock’s Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery, who emigrated to the region from Tibet. The diversity of perspectives gives you an appreciation of just how many different ways there are to look at a place like this.

Becker's muse is 19th-century naturalist John Burroughs, the Catskills’ own famous essayist and conservationist. But "Forever Wild’s" spirit is closer to that of a group of little kids who appear early in the film, waxing rhapsodic about sticks.

  Read more

Catskill Watershed Corporation bristles at Eldridge over comments

Former congressional hopeful Sean Eldridge has drawn the ire of the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) with his comments about economic development in the New York City watershed.

Eldridge, a Democrat, lost the race for New York State's 19th Congressional District to Republican incumbent Chris Gibson on Nov. 4. 

Before the election, Eldridge gave an interview to the Watershed Post where he discussed the importance of lending money to small businesses in the Catskills.  Read more

Gibson leads by large margins; Eldridge concedes

Republican Congressman Chris Gibson kept his seat in New York's 19th Congressional District with large leads over Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge on Tuesday, Nov. 4. 

In a statement emailed to the press at 10:42 p.m. on election night, Eldridge conceded the race to Gibson, saying that he was "proud of the issues we focused on in this race."

Gibson had a hefty lead over Eldridge in early election results: at 10:30 p.m., with fewer than half of the precincts in the 19th District reporting, Gibson had 62 percent of the vote overall, while Eldridge had 35 percent.

In the Catskills counties that reported unofficial results before 11 p.m., Gibson won by even larger margins: 61 precent of the vote in Sullivan County, 74 percent in Greene County, and 79 percent in Schoharie County.

Gibson emailed a victory statement at 11:01 p.m., thanking voters and citing broad support for his campaign "across party lines." Gibson said that his first act will be to shepherd a Lyme Disease bill into law. 

Here are the statements from the two candidates in full:   Read more

Election 2014: Gibson and Eldridge talk Catskills issues

Above: Chris Gibson, the Republican incumbent (left) and Sean Eldridge, the Democratic challenger (right).

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, voters go to the polls to decide who will win the race for New York's 19th Congressional District: incumbent Republican Congressman Chris Gibson or Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge.

Gibson, who was first elected in 2010, once represented a territory that was solidly Republican. But after New York's congressional lines were redrawn in 2012, his district shifted to include some of the left-leaning Hudson Valley lowlands once represented by former Congressman Maurice Hinchey.

The new 19th District is now a swing district. Democrat Barack Obama won it in the 2012 presidential race, but Republican Gibson beat Democrat Julian Schreibman for its congressional seat that same year.  Read more

Halloween in the Catskills: Part 2

Above: A ghoulish performance of dancing skeletons, ghouls and pumpkins is slated for 6 p.m. at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock on Friday, Oct. 31.

Halloween is a whole week of festivities this year. The fearsome fun began last weekend and continues through the big day itself on Friday, Oct. 31 and beyond.

Here's our guide to Catskills Halloween events for Oct. 30 - Nov. 2.

DELAWARE COUNTY

Left: A demon wolf is ready to scare visitors to a haunted house in Hancock. 

On Friday, Oct. 31, come out to Walton for the 3rd Annual Knight in the Castle Halloween Party and Dance at the Castle on the Delaware. It’s an atmospheric night of dancing to Blues Maneuver, and there’s a buffet.  Read more

New charges in Sidney drug raid; Bonacci's wife arrested

Left: Brittany M. Bonacci. Via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. 

Delaware County Sheriff's Officers have arrested the 24-year-old wife of a 43-year-old man accused of dealing drugs in Sidney, and have charged him, his wife and his mother with additional felonies, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

Police raided the Sidney home of Gabriel V. Bonacci on Friday, Oct. 17 and arrested him, his mother, Donna M. Bonacci, and four other people on charged related to drug dealing.

On Wednesday, Oct. 22, police arrested Gabriel's wife, 24-year-old Brittany M. Bonacci of Sidney, and charged her with felony possession of cocaine with intent to sell. They also charged her with felony possession of a stun gun.

Police have also charged Gabriel Bonacci with three more felonies, two for drug possession and one for possession of a stun gun.  Read more

This weekend: Halloween in the Catskills, Part 1

See video

Above: A promo for Haunted Huguenot Street, New Paltz's annual spookfest, featuring "Mrs. Gertrude Deyo-Brodhead’s infamous Murder Mystery parties at the Deyo House." Tours, spirit readings and ghost stories all weekend.  

It’s the darkening evening of the year, and the veil between the worlds has thinned. Venture out into the mountains and valleys for some resonant Halloween fun, costumed or otherwise, beginning this weekend. There’s a little of everything going on, whether you’re looking for pumpkins and not-too-scary spirits for the little guys, contemplative historic ghost-walks, or smokin’ hot dance parties into the wheeee hours.

Here’s our guide to the fearsome and frolicsome times for Oct. 24 - Oct. 26. We'll have another one next week, to cover the many festivities scheduled across the Catskills for Halloween itself. 

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

Cops arrest six in Sidney narcotics bust; find drugs, cash and $7,000 in pure silver

Photos via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

A months-long investigation into heroin, cocaine and prescription drug dealing in the Delaware County town of Sidney led to six arrests and the recovery of a trove of cash, drugs and $7,000 in pure silver on Friday, Oct. 17, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

Police obtained grand jury indictments for five people in the Sidney area, charging them with selling controlled substances in the town and village of Sidney between June and Oct. 2014.

On Friday afternoon, armed with a search warrant and an indictment charging Gabriel V. Bonacci with selling heroin in Sidney on two occasions in July, police raided Bonacci's house on County Highway 23 in the town of Sidney. Bonacci has a prior drug conviction from 1998, according to the press release.  Read more

New York Times' "Living City" explores NYC's water supply

Up here in the Catskills, in the heart of New York City's vast rural watershed, it's impossible to forget that one lives in the middle of the city's water supply. The city's huge reservoirs dominate the landscape. Watershed affairs dominate local politics. New York City's watershed police patrol along sleepy back roads a hundred miles from Manhattan.

For most downstate New Yorkers, though, water is just a thing that comes out of the tap. This week, the New York Times introduced its readers to their astonishing water system in "Living City," a video series that explores some of the wonders of urban engineering that make life in our nation's largest city possible.  Read more