Upcoming Events in Middletown

Storm preparedness: Middletown

Middletown, a Delaware County town whose villages of Fleischmanns and Margaretville were both hard-hit by Irene, is already laying plans for emergency communication during next week's expected storm. The town website will be posting emergency updates, and if a state of emergency is declared, recorded information will be available on a new emergency phone line.

A press release issued by the town of Middletown on Friday, October 26:

Margaretville, NY — The Town of Middletown has a section on its website and a dedicated hotline providing resident information in the event of an emergency.

The emergency link on the Town’s website is: http://middletowndelawarecountyny.org/index.php/emergency/

The emergency phone number is 845 586-1115; this phone will be operational only after an emergency declaration has been made; a Facebook page has also been created (Middletown Delaware County).  Read more

Gov. declares state of emergency to prepare for Hurricane Sandy (and nixes preparedness conference)

Governor Andrew Cuomo just declared a state of emergency in New York as the region braces for the impact of Hurricane Sandy early next week. The move allows Cuomo to coordinate the emergency response effort. 

In a long press release from Cuomo's office about storm preparations, some details about the Catskills stand out. The New York Power Authority has lowered its water level at its Blenheim-Gilboa reservoir to its minimum depth in an attempt to control flooding downstream. And the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are working together to coodinate an emergency drawdown of the Schoharie Reservoir and the Ashokan Reservoir in an attempt to ease pressure on the Gilboa Dam in Schoharie County.

Here's the info from Cuomo's press release:   Read more

Help us prepare for Hurricane Sandy

The forecast for Hurricane Sandy is still uncertain, but here at Watershed Post HQ we're preparing for the worst: A storm that dumps as much rain on us as Tropical Storm Irene did just over a year ago. Rainfall like that, coupled with the healthy levels of water in our streams and reservoirs already, could cause serious flooding. 

We'll be providing live coverage of the storm all weekend and next week on our Hurricane Sandy page. (You can stay posted on our Facebook page and our Twitter feed, too.) We'll be using a special hashtag for the Catskills: #SandyCatskills. You can also check for town-by-town Sandy updates on our town pages. Click on "Towns" in our site menu above and then select your county and then town. 

Our biggest resource here at the WP is you, our readers. During Irene, you came together to create an incredible up-to-the-minute resource of storm information that was a lifeline for tens of thousands.

Once again, we need you. 

Here are some ways you can help us prepare for the storm: 

  • Urge your local officials to talk to us. It's hard for us to get through to the powers that be in many places. (We're getting the brush-off from some officials as we call today.) Urge your local town or county official take our calls or, even better, to call us and use us to get the word out when the storm hits. The more they reach out, the more gets known, faster. 
  • Volunteer to be a liveblog moderator. We will be launching a live blog to follow the storm, and we'll need volunteers to moderate comments to the blog and provide information in 2-hour shifts throughout the week. The shifts will be 7am to 9am, 9am to 11am, 11am to 1pm, 1pm to 3pm, 3pm to 5pm, and 5pm to 7pm. Name a day and time that works for you. (To see how the live blog worked last time around, click here.) 

We will be working with a team of journalism students at SUNY New Paltz (and with their fearless leader, Adam Bosch) to make calls around the region on Monday night. All next week, if the storm hits, we'll need all hands on deck. Stay safe, and keep us posted. 

  Read more

Sandy churns toward the Northeast

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Above: The five-day forecast for Hurricane Sandy from the National Hurricane Center. The NHC has also posted an interactive Google map tracking the hurricane's progress as it moves northward.  Read more

Letter to the Editor: "Do Ourselves a Favor"

To the Editor:

On November 6, Delaware County voters will choose who will serve as our next County Court Judge. Our civil justice system is one based on the rule of law, and the aim of that system should always be to “do good, seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow's cause.” Hence, the role of judge is a high calling; he determines whether or not that system functions properly. He must be experienced in law and familiar with the community. He must be able to make impartial decisions. He must be eager to understand the unique situations of those who appear before him. And he must be creative, yet circumspect.  Read more

Constitution Pipeline hearing in Oneonta tonight

Tonight's federal scoping hearing for the proposed Constitution Pipeline, slated for 7pm to 10pm at the Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta, is expected to draw a crowd. The hearing was scheduled by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in response to local demand for a hearing close to Delaware and Otsego County residents who may be affected by the pipeline.

The Daily Star reports that pipeline opponents are mustering for tonight's hearing:

An organizer of a grassroots group battling the proposed Constitution Pipeline said Tuesday that landowners opposed to the natural gas transmission system are expected to turn out en masse tonight for a hearing federal regulators are holding on the $750 million project...  Read more

Meet the Candidates: Rosa and Becker vie for Delaware County judge's seat

In Delaware County, the chance to elect the county's highest judge only comes around once every ten years. (Just as cicadas burst from the ground every decade or so, so do county judicial candidates. Both spend their brief time in the sun making as much noise as possible.)

Delaware County is small enough to have only one county judge. It's a big position. If you get charged with a felony, need to settle an inheritance issue, or have a custody dispute, you're in the county judge's court.

For the last decade, Judge Carl F. Becker has occupied the job, presiding over a growing caseload of thousands of cases every year. Becker, who lives in Stamford, is running for a second term, and has been campaigning as a Republican with a record of establishing drug treatment court and handling complex cases in family court. Before becoming county judge, he spent 28 years working as an attorney in the Delaware County Department of Social Services, representing the county in family court cases.  Read more

Flood advisory in effect for Sullivan and Delaware Counties

The National Weather Service in Binghamton has declared a flood advisory through around 3:45pm today for Sullivan and Delaware Counties. From an alert posted on NY-Alert:

At 945 AM EDT...Doppler Radar Indicated Heavy Rain Was Falling... And Will Result In Minor Flooding. * Locations In The Advisory Include But Are Not Limited To Hancock...Walton...Livingston Manor...Montrose... Harveys Lake...Hazleton...Wilkes-Barre...Meshoppen... Tunkhannock...Carbondale...Scranton...Hawley...Honesdale... Pleasant Mount And Waymart.

Rainfall So Far Has Been 1 To Just Over 2 Inches. Another 1 To 2 Inches Is Possible As Rain And Possibly Some Thunderstorms Continue Over The Area Into The Afternoon. This Rain Has Caused Rises On Streams And Creeks...As Well As Ponding Of Water On Roads And Low Lying Areas.

Readers, do you see flood conditions near you? Leave us a comment here, or email us at [email protected].

Schreibman and Gibson debate tonight

Tonight, the candidates for New York's 19th Congressional District, Julian Schreibman (Democrat) and Chris Gibson (Republican incumbent), will hold their second debate at 8pm at WMHT-TV in Troy. The station will be broadcasting the debate live on television, as will WSKG-TV in Binghamton.

The first debate between Gibson and Schreibman, held last week at the M. Clifford Miller Middle School in Kingston, was videotaped and livestreamed by the Freeman. (Click the link for a video replay of the debate, as well as the Freeman's news account.)

A third debate will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, October 24 at SUNY Oneonta.  Read more

Craft cider rises from the ashes

Above: Tuthilltown's microdistilled gin and vodka made with New York State apples, on display at a recent cider tasting for the media at the Stockade Tavern in Kingston. Photo by Lissa Harris.

The spirit of Johnny Appleseed is alive and well in New York's orchards. (And if you think Johnny Appleseed was all about pie and juice, think again.)

The hard cider industry in the United States has been a shadow of its former self since Prohibition, when apple orchards were razed to put a stop to cidermaking. But with the recent rise of interest in microbreweries and small-batch distilling, hard cider is once again ascendent. And in New York State, where legal reform has helped the wine and spirits industry undergo a dramatic renaissance in recent years, advocates are hoping to put hard cider on the map once more.  Read more