Hamden

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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!

Early Detection, Rapid Response

Preventing the introduction of invasive plant species is the first line of defense against new invasions.  The Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership announces a special workshop on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM at the Cornell Cooperative Extension meeting room at 34570 State Rt 10, Hamden, NY.  The event is free but registration is requested by calling 607-865-6531 or emailing Janet Aldrich at [email protected]

After audits, Delaware supervisors tighten up procurement, vehicle policies

Above: Jim Eisel, the chairman of the Delaware County board of supervisors, at the Aug. 26 meeting of the board. Photo by Robert Cairns.

In the aftermath of two state audits that criticized Delaware County's procurement and surplus property disposal policies, the county's board of supervisors adopted an update of those policies at its meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

A procurement policy was adopted in 1992 and updated in 2008. A policy for the disposal of surplus property was adopted in 1995. Both are superseded by the new policy.

There was little discussion on the resolution to adopt a new policy at the meeting. It passed, unanimously.

The resolution states that “it is appropriate that from time to time the board revisit, update and clarify its policies and procedures so that county agencies may function efficiently while simultaneously providing safeguards to protect county taxpayers.”  Read more

Scattered power outages across Catskills

Above: Power outages in Schoharie County, according to National Grid's outage map

Power outages are dotted across five Catskills counties on Friday, Aug. 21, with thousands of households in the dark in Schoharie County and hundreds without power in Ulster County as of 11 a.m.

Earlier this morning, thousands of people in Sullivan County were without power, according to the Times Herald-Record, but most of those outages appear to have been fixed, according to NYSEG's outage map

In Schoharie County, 1,726 people are currently without power, according to National Grid's outage map. Power is expected to be restored there around 12:30 p.m.  Read more

The market for Catskills real estate returns–on the low end

Image by Dan Moyle, via Flickr. 

Real estate sales are up all over the Catskills, according to realtors across the region who say that rustic, country and move-in-ready homes are attracting buyers.

But while the number of sales are up, the price of what’s selling is going down.

Realtors say that is because the most interest is coming from savvy bargain hunters from New York City who are searching for an upstate escape where they can relax and maybe even earn a few bucks.

“Finding that special, unique property is what the buyer is looking for now,” said Jennifer Grimes, the owner-broker of Country House Realty in the Sullivan County hamlet of Grahamsville.   Read more

13 places to rent bicycles in the Catskills

Above: Bike rentals at the Roxbury General Store in Roxbury. Photo via the Roxbury General Store's Facebook page

The Catskills are a bicycler’s paradise with hundreds of miles of trails and roads perfect for bikers of all skill levels. Whether you’re into off-road mountain biking, pedaling the pavement on the scenic byways or taking a relaxing ride with your family, it doesn’t take long to find an adventure that suits your needs.

Luckily, you don’t have to haul your bike up the mountains or make a pricey gear investment for occasional use. Outfitters, bike shops and other establishments offer mountain and road bicycle rentals across the Catskills. Here are 13 places to rent bikes.

DELAWARE COUNTY   Read more

Accessible Catskills hiking, camping and outdoors

Recreation and the outdoors are not just for able-bodied people. Adults and children with physical challenges benefit from exercise and the balance that comes from nature and fitness. Here are some opportunities that allow everyone equal access to the Catskills.

TRAILS FOR ALL

With their gentle grades, rail trails — former railroad beds turned into trails — are accessible to everyone. Try the 26-mile CATSKILL SCENIC TRAIL (Bloomville to Roxbury, catskillscenictrail.org) or the 22-mile WALLKILL VALLEY RAIL TRAIL (Wallkill to Kingston, wvrta.org), which boasts the Rosendale Trestle, a soaring bridge that crosses the Rondout Creek. A .75-mile paved loop and a paved trail to the Esopus Creek surrounds the CATSKILL INTERPRETIVE CENTER (Mount Tremper, catskilliinterpretivecenter.org) which just opened last month.  Read more

Broadband partnership targets rural areas in three Catskills counties

Above: This map, from the Delaware County Electric Cooperative website, shows areas targeted for construction of fiber-optic data lines.

Just as the Rural Electrification Administration brought electric power to remote areas of the nation in the 1930s, a partnership between local utility companies is working to bring broadband internet access to outlying areas of Delaware County and adjacent towns.

Representatives of the Delaware County Electric Cooperative (DCEC), the Delhi Telephone Company (DTC) and the Margaretville Telephone Company (MTC) began a series of visits to town council meetings on Wednesday, Aug. 5 in

Hamden to talk about the first phase of the Delaware County Broadband Initiative – a joint effort to provide fiber-optic broadband service within the area served by the electric cooperative.

While most of the expansion is within Delaware County, it spills over into the Sullivan County town of Rockland, the Ulster County town of Hardenburgh and the Schoharie County towns of Jefferson and Gilboa.  Read more

Five kid-friendly Catskills hikes

Above: Kids hiking in the Catskills. Photo by Tim Luby.

While the Catskills have a reputation for rugged, steep terrain, the region also offers plenty of short, exciting jaunts with amazing views that kids can scale.

1. VROMAN’S NOSE. 1.5 miles round trip. A mostly gentle climb, with some steep sections, that leads to sweeping views of surrounding farmland. The large, flat summit is known as “The Dance Floor.” Park on Mill Valley Road in Middleburgh.

2. TROUT POND. 3 miles round trip. A pleasant walk on an old woods road up to a scenic lake. A side trail on the way overlooks a waterfall. Great fishing and camping opportunities. Park on Russell Brook Road near Roscoe.

3. FRICK POND. 2.2 miles round trip. A level hike through forests, swamps and meadows along the shoreline of Frick Pond. Can be muddy. Park on Beech Mountain Road, Livingston Manor.

4. TANBARK TRAIL. 2 miles round trip. A climb up to impressive views of Phoenicia, the Esopus Creek and surrounding high peaks. Trailhead at Parish Field, Phoenicia.  Read more

Blueberry and raspberry picking in the Catskills

Above: Picking blueberries at Blue Sky Farm & Winery in Stamford. Photo by Jane Margolies.

Strawberry season has come and gone, but not to worry if you didn’t get your fill of luscious, locally grown berries. Blueberry season is upon us, and, thanks to the late spring rains, growers at U-Pick farms around the Catskills are reporting bumper crops of berries that are bigger and plumper than usual. Raspberries are also ripe for the picking at some farms. So grab a pail and get out your pie and cobbler recipes—and stay tuned for more updates on U-Pick offerings throughout the summer and fall.

DELAWARE COUNTY

Blue Sky Farm & Winery
779 Charcoal Road, Stamford
607-652-4712; blueskyfarmwinery.com

Blue Sky Farm & Winery had its first U-Pick day July 18, and owner Russ Betz says he’ll have blueberries for the next three or four weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The berries are $3 per pound—and you can pick up a bottle of blueberry wine while you’re at it.  Read more

The Catskills comes to Queens

Above: Joseph DiStefano (left) and Chef David Noeth of NY Epicurean Events at M. Wells Steakhouse, Long Island City, Queens. Photo by Stanford Chiou.

Catskills-made cider, craft beers, cheeses and meats are coming to the Flushing Town Hall in Queens this Saturday at a new tasting event that aims to bring mountain foodies and city dwellers together.

The Catskills Comes to Queens” is the brainchild of David Noeth, a Catskills-born chef who has logged time at The Four Seasons and the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and at the Catskill Mountain Lodge in Palenville, and Joseph DiStefano, a Queens-based food writer for the New York Times, Gourmet and his own website, Chopsticks and Marrow

The two have founded a new business, New York Epicurean Events, which is based in the Delaware County hamlet of Delancey, Noeth's hometown. The Queens event is the first of many farm-to-table festivals the pair plan to produce with the goal of boosting “culinary and agricultural and culinary tourism in the Catskill-Delaware New York City watershed.”   Read more

Delaware County adds dedicated drunk-driving prosecutor

Above: A police officer making a drunk driving arrest. Photo by Flickr user Jeffrey Smith.

Delaware County will have a full-time prosecutor for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) cases following action of the county's board of supervisors on Wednesday, July 22.

The board adopted a resolution creating a new position in the couny district attorney's office.

The resolution states that the county “recognizes that effective and efficient prosecution of DWI offenses in the local criminal courts is needed, but is time consuming and requires specialized training and experience.” It notes that the current assistant district attorneys “have extensive caseloads relating to non-DWI offenses” and says a full-time DWI prosecutor “is necessary.”  Read more