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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]

Cuomo: State is "prepared to close I-84" on Wednesday morning

Image: New York State Governor's Office.

Update, 10:00 p.m.: According to a statement issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office late Tuesday evening, commercial traffic will be banned from I-84 in New York State as of 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Long tandem vehicles will also be banned from parts of the New York State Thruway (I-90 and I-87) starting Wednesday at 7 a.m.

New York State may shut down I-84 in the Hudson Valley as early as 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning if an impending snowstorm makes travel dangerous, according to a statement released Tuesday, Nov. 25 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.   Read more

The snowstorm looms

Above: Snowfall predictions for the Catskills, via the National Weather Service's Binghamton office

The forecasts for a whammy of a winter storm are getting more serious: Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties are all under a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service.

The NWS predicts eight to 14 inches of snow in the eastern Catskills and five to 12 inches in the western Catskills. The white stuff will pile up in earnest throughout the day beginning at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26, with accumulation rates of one to two inches per hour.    Read more

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 new snow

Above: Snow-covered Hamden in Delaware County, looking toward Franklin, shot from the air at 7:50 a.m. on Nov. 14 by Jessica Vecchione of Vecc Videography.

It snowed throughout the night in the Catskills, according to Hudson Valley Weather's Facebook page. Authorities are warning of black ice and slickness on the roads this morning.

Yep, winter has arrived. 

What does it look like where you are? Send your best snow shots to [email protected], share them on our Facebook page, or upload them to our Flickr page

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

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