Upcoming Events in Middletown

Delaware County board to vote on anti-gun-control resolution

This week, Delaware County is likely to join a growing contingent of upstate New York counties declaring opposition to the SAFE Act, New York State's new gun control law.

Among a slate of resolutions to be taken up at the Delaware County Board of Supervisors' next meeting on Wednesday, February 27 is a four-page declaration of opposition to the SAFE Act. The resolution was brought forward by Tom Axtell, the Republican supervisor of Deposit.

Board chairman Jim Eisel, the Republican supervisor of Harpersfield, told the Watershed Post recently that he believes the resolution will pass.

"[Gov. Andrew] Cuomo did it in the dead of night and got it through. I think it's an abuse of power, and it certainly isn't democracy," he said. "I don't think we can change it, but we are going to oppose it."  Read more

Snow and sleet in the Catskills forecast

Watch out on the roads tonight, drivers: Winter weather advisories are in effect this evening across the Catskills region, and forecasters are calling for freezing rain changing over to snow overnight.

The National Weather Service in Albany has issued a winter weather advisory for Greene, Ulster, Columbia and Dutchess Counties, from 6pm tonight til 7am Sunday morning:  Read more

Catskills county governments take aim at SAFE Act

Photo of L1A1 SLR semi-automatic rifle by Flickr user Keary O. Published under Creative Commons license.

County governments across upstate New York are weighing in against New York State's new gun control law, the SAFE Act. By the time the dust settles on a spate of pending resolutions, the list of anti-SAFE Act counties is likely to include most or all of the Catskills region. 

On Friday, the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors voted 15-1 to pass a resolution opposing the SAFE Act. News 10 reports:

The resolution calls for repealing the new law; explaining the it infringes on people's rights and describes it as unnecessary.

The resolution opposes the process of the enactment and certain provisions, including the ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.  Read more

Southern Tier: The new North Pennsylvania?

Currently making the rounds of Change.org: A petition by pro-drilling Southern Tier residents to allow Broome, Chenango, Chemung, Delaware, Steuben and Tioga Counties to secede from New York State and join Pennsylvania

The signers, frustrated by New York State's long delay in issuing natural gas drilling regulations, are apparently mad as hell, and they're not gonna take it anymore:

The Southern Tier of New York State has been treated as a sacrifice zone by those other New Yorkers who would restrict us from developing our natural gas resources and revitalizing our economy. Those resources are ours and we are entitled to use them to save our farms, our families and our future. We, therefore, as residents of Broome, Chenango, Chemung, Delaware, Steuben and Tioga Counties, petition the legislature for the rights of Southern Tier counties to secede from the State of New York and join with the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania to be part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Read more

Seven ways to spend Valentine's Day in the Catskills

St. Valentine, it might be remembered, got into a heap of trouble for marrying couples in defiance of the government, which had decreed that young men remain single so that they’d make better soldiers for the state. No matter your feelings about Hallmark-card consumerism, that’s a dude worth commemorating, and hey, doing something sweet for or with your honey is hardly a burden.

So celebrate some romance, y’all. We've put together seven ideas for making sure your Valentine's Day in the Catskills is a great one.

1. Stay In.

Is anything cozier than a night in the mountains in front of the woodstove? Photo by Flickr user Amy; published under Creative Commons license.  Read more

To drill or not to drill: New York gas regs delayed again

New York State is slated to miss a key Wednesday deadline in the long march toward issuing regulations on hydrofracking.

State health commissioner Nirav Shah announced Tuesday, in a letter to Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner Joseph Martens, that his agency's ongoing review of the effects of hydrofracking on human health would not be finished by its Wednesday due date. Several large-scale studies, including a progress report from an ongoing EPA study of hydrofracking's effects on drinking water, have been released recently, and Shah told Martens that his agency needed time to incorporate them into the review.

In the letter, Shah urged Martens to put the brakes on fracking regulations until the Department of Health (DOH) finishes its review:

The time to ensure the impacts on public health are properly considered is before a state permits drilling. Other states began serious health reviews only after proceeding with widespread HVHF [high volume hydraulic fracturing].  Read more

The music man: Terry Doyle, 1966 - 2013

Above: A photo of Doyle at WIOX 91.3FM's studio in 2011. Photo by Simona David, via the WIOX Facebook page.

Terry Doyle, a Catskills reporter and radio show host who was a widely-known fixture of the local music community, died last week.

Doyle died unexpectedly of complications from a heart attack on Wednesday, February 6 at his parents' house in Middleburgh. He was 46 years old.

Doyle, who seemed destined for broadcasting with a smooth, low-pitched voice and an encyclopedic memory for local music and people, began his radio career in the early 1990s. Doyle started out in local radio at a time when commercial stations in the Catskills could support local news reporters and larger staffs. A decade later, he moved to volunteer community radio, as the industry consolidated and local stations were bought by ever-more-distant corporate owners who pared down staffing and local content.  Read more

Could New York's Cardinal Dolan be Pope?

Photo of New York Cardinal-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, circa 2009. Via Wikimedia Commons.

On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by announcing that he would resign on February 28. As the New York Times noted in a front-page story, he will be the first Pope to step down since 1415, when Gregory XII resigned to put an end to a schism in the Church.

Catholics everywhere are wondering: Who's next?

There's no clear front-runner at the moment, writes the New York Times:  Read more

Sleet on the roads -- and school closings -- across the Catskills

Weather advisories are in effect across the Catskills this morning, as snow and freezing rain make for a slick commute on local roads. The slippery stuff is expected to shift over to rain by noon. 

The National Weather Service in Binghamton has issued a freezing rain advisory this morning for an area that includes Delaware and Sullivan Counties. A winter weather advisory is also in effect across eastern New York, including Greene, Schoharie and Ulster County.

Many local school districts are closed or operating on delays this morning. 


Onteora Central School District

New Paltz Central School District

Sullivan West Central School District  Read more

What's a little snow?

Above: A Buddha looking serene this morning in Olivebridge under a new 6-inch cap of snow. Thanks to Dona Marie for the photo.

This morning, people around the Catskills were asking: Where's Nemo? The wrath of Friday's snowstorm spared us, for the most part. While drivers abandoned their cars on the snowbound Long Island Expressway, a statewide ban on driving kept Massachusetts residents off the roads, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a downstate weather emergency, the Catskills region got off lightly, with just a few inches of snow in some areas, and no major road accidents.  Read more