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New York State awards flood recovery grants to towns and villages

Today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced the awarding of grants of roughly $50,000 each by the New York Department of State to 13 towns and villages in upstate New York, for rebuilding from the Irene and Lee floods.

The list of awardees includes the Delaware County town of Middletown, along with its two villages, Margaretville and Fleischmanns; the Delaware County village of Sidney; the Schoharie County town of Blenheim; and the Greene County town of Prattsville.

In the announcement, Cuomo's office said that towns can submit applications for another round of similar grants to the Department of State until March 1.

A press release from Cuomo's office:  Read more

DEP to open three more reservoirs to boating

Photo of Cannonsville Reservoir by Flickr user kmitschke. Published under Creative Commons license.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection plans to announce publicly that the recreational boating program that has been running on the Cannonsville Reservoir since 2009 will be opened up this year to three more reservoirs: the Pepacton, Neversink and Schoharie.

The announcement will be made at 1pm tomorrow, February 10, at the Catskill Watershed Corporation's headquarters at 905 Main Street in Margaretville.

From a DEP press release issued this afternoon:  Read more

$15,000 grants for Delaware County nonprofits damaged by flooding

Diane Brown, the director of the Community Foundation for South Central New York, called us this week to tell us that her organization has $100,000 to give away to flood-damaged nonprofits in Delaware, Broome, Chenango, Otsego and Tioga counties.

The grants are up to $15,000 per organization, and the application deadline is March 1. The full press release is below -- Brown asks that organizations call (607) 772-6773 to talk about the application as the first step to applying.

Community Foundation for South Central New York Announces $100,000 in Grant Funding Available for Spring 2012

The Community Foundation for South Central New York is currently accepting grant proposals for amounts up to $15,000 from qualified organizations in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Tioga counties that incurred damage to their property, programs, or operations due to the August/September 2011 floods.

See complete application guidelines in the “Forms & Guidelines” section of the Community Foundation’s web site www.donorswhocare.org for more details.  Read more

Two Dark Birds hearts the Catskills, big time

Above: Black Blessed Night, by Two Dark Birds. Music video shot by Scott Kawczynski.

Two Dark Birds, the Pakatakan Mountain-based band that released its latest CD this fall, makes no bones about how much nicer it is in the Catskills than it is in New York City. Front man Steve Koester told us in an interview in November that the whole new album, Songs for the New, is an ode to escaping from the metropolis to the woods.   Read more

History puzzle: The case of the missing thumb

The good folks at the Kingston Library are on Twitter -- and today, they tweeted about a cryptic little article found in the vaults of the Kingston Daily Freeman, circa 1912.

The headline: "An Odd Accident." The rest you can read above.

Shavertown, as longtime locals will no doubt know (or perhaps remember), was one of the little towns along the East Branch in Delaware County that were acquired by New York City in the 1940s and flooded to form the Pepacton Reservoir.

Even today, it would be a long drive from the Shavertown area to Kingston. The O'Connor Hospital in Delhi would have been closer -- except that it wouldn't be founded until a decade later, in 1922. The Margaretville Hospital wasn't founded until 1931.  Read more

CWC funds stream debris removal

A photo of a Catskills streambank post-Irene, from the Catskill Watershed Corporation website.

Five months after the Irene and Lee floods, streams all across the Catskills region are still clogged with downed trees, trash, pieces of trailers, and other miscellaneous debris. It's a sad spectacle for anyone driving along the banks of the Schoharie or the Esopus -- and more critically, the debris still scattered in the streams could become dangerous if the area floods again.

Funding for stream cleanup has been slow in coming, especially from state and federal sources that some local towns hoped would help. But in December, the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) stepped in to help, setting aside $2.5 million for debris clearing.  Read more

More bobcats could mean more bobcat hunting in New York State

Photo of bobcat by Flickr user ucumari. Published under Creative Commons license.

New York's bobcat population is growing, says the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The elusive cats, found mostly in the Catskill, Taconic and Adirondack mountains in the state, are increasingly moving into central and western New York.

The DEC thinks the state's growing bobcat population can sustain an expanded hunting season. The agency is considering allowing bobcat hunting in territory where it is currently off-limits, and in some places extending the season. The AP reports:

Trappers and hunters have killed about 400 to 500 bobcats a year in recent years. Some bobcats are stuffed by taxidermists, but most are killed for their pelts, which sell for $50 to $200.

DEC estimates that fewer than 100 additional bobcats a year will be killed if its plan takes effect.  Read more

Got flood damage? New grants available for businesses and municipalities are now taking applications

Above: Flood damage from Tropical Storm Irene in the Greene County town of Lexington. Photo taken on August 30, 2011, by Flickr user kimmcg. Posted in the Watershed Post Flickr pool.

Two big grant programs for storm-ravaged businesses, property-owners, farms, nonprofits, towns, and counties were unveiled yesterday by New York's Empire State Development agency and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The first program is a $21 million program aimed at businesses across the state and administered by Empire State Development. It will hand out grants of up to $20,000 each to farms, multi-dwelling property owners, small businesses, and NGOs that have "sustained direct, physical flood-related damage related to Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee." Business must apply by March 16.   Read more

Get your grants at the MARK Project

Peg Ellsworth, the director of the Roxbury-based MARK Project, asked us to get the word out this week about several new grant programs for small businesses and commercial properties in Delaware County. Two press releases about the new programs as well as existing ones are below.

A few noteworthy items: There will be a meeting at the Roxbury Motel Conference Room on February 1 at 3pm to discuss funding for Roxbury to discuss grants for Roxbury-based building owners.

Also, the MARK Project is working on a "large grant" program for Middletown business owners, and expects to launch it at the end of January. The press releases ask that interested business owners contact the MARK Project directly with questions. (845-586-3500.)

Here are the full press releases:

Rental, Business Funding Programs Announced by MARK Project  Read more

More winter on the way in

The National Weather Service has announced snow and winter weather advisories across much of the region for tonight and tomorrow.

Ulster County: Winter Weather Advisory from 1am through 3pm tomorrow, 3-6 inches of snow.

Delaware County: Winter Weather Advisory from 10pm tonight through 1pm tomorrow, 2-4 inches of snow.

Sullivan County: Winter Weather Advisory from 10pm tonight through 1pm tomorrow, 3-6 inches of snow.

Click each individual link for more details. And stay safe on the roads, Catskills drivers.