Middletown

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Coming up: Irene anniversary events

It's a year to the day since flooding from Tropical Storm Irene pummelled upstate New York. While a lot of commemorative events have already happened over the past week, the next few weeks will see more (including a picnic in Maplecrest that is underway even as we blog).

One to mark on your calendars: On September 22, Schoharie is hosting the second annual Schoharie Valley Rock 'N Roll Flood Relief Concert, featuring a lineup of bands that includes Poor Dead Molly, FlashBack,Max Violet, Chicken Hearders, Shakey Ground, Crash Coarse, Von Rudder, and a special afternoon appearance by up and coming teen country sensation Chelsea Cavanaugh.

To find more, check out our calendar of upcoming Irene anniversary events.

A year since Irene: The Faces of the Flood Project

Today is August 28, the one-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene's arrival in the Catskills. To commemorate the anniversary of the flooding, we are publishing the Faces of the Flood Portrait Project, which tells stories of the flood through cinematic portraiture and journalism. See the twelve portraits and stories by clicking here.

Letter to the Editor: James Blake for State Senate

Dear Editor;

My name is James Blake and I am on the ballot for the Thursday, September 13 Republican Primary. I am a strict Constitutional Conservative, what I am not is a champion politician. I am a champion for the children.

It is simple; if our children succeed - our communities will succeed. If we set this as our goal and work together at the local levels, we can succeed at creating vital communities.

I am a fighter and we are in the trenches together. I have lived, worked and survived in a community just like yours and this gives me the unique perspective that a career politician does not have. I know what it takes to pay bills, what it costs to fill your tank with gas and what it takes to raise a family in New York State today. I have listened to people from around the district and what the people want is a chance at “bottom up” solutions. I am offering to take our voices and our ideas to Albany and fight for what is ours.  Read more

Catskills, meet your new slogan

"The Catskills: Always In Season."

Get ready to see it on bumper stickers, billboards, ad campaigns, and anything else a bunch of marketers can think of. That's the slogan that got Arkville's Jenn Nolan $1,500 from the Catskill Park Resource Foundation on Saturday, in a contest to come up with a new brand for the Catskills region.

According to a press release picked up by the Daily Freeman and the Daily Star, 733 people cast votes online in the contest -- which, if you figure that there were 3,714 slogans entered, probably means that not everybody who entered bothered to vote. But Nolan's emerged as the clear winner, with just over 44 percent of the vote.

The four runners-up:

"The Catskills: Time For An Altitude Adjustment"

"Find Yourself In The Catskills"

"The Catskills: So Near, Yet So Far Out"

"The Catskills: Peaks Of Perfection."  Read more

Photos from the Great Outdoor Experience Festival

I was onhand at the Central Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Festival in Margaretville yesterday, which organizers estimate attracted about 1,000 people. There were climbing walls, canoeing, balloon animals, and a pet pig in attendance. Some photos to prove it are above. Click on the photos to get a caption.

Today, the festival continues with activities and hikes around the region. Check the schedule for a full list of activities.

This Weekend: The Central Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Festival

Above: A photo by Diana Misner Watters, submitted to our Catskills Great Outdoor Experience photo contest. To see all the entrants, click here. The winner will be revealed at the festival on Saturday.

It's finally here: the Central Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Festival begins on Friday at 7:30pm with stargazing and fireside tales in Arkville, and then takes over the village of Margaretville on Saturday with scores of outdoorsy activities like kayaking and rock-climbing. Then on Sunday, guided hikes, paddles and ropes courses are happening in locations throughout the Catskills.  Read more

This Weekend: MMMFestival

See video

Above: Trailer for "Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope," a new film by Morgan Spurlock. Spurlock will screen the film and take questions tomorrow in Arkville at the MMMFestival.

Today and tomorrow, some big names in film and music are descending on the Arkville Cowdome in Delaware County for the first-annual Music, Movies and Mountains Festival. (For short, it's the MMMFestival -- no doubt pronounced "mmmm" Festival in homage to one of its sponsors, the Cha Cha Hut.)

Morgan Spurlock, the director of the fast-food takedown documentary "Supersize Me," will be screening his new film, "Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope." (It's a love letter to Comic-Con, the international fan convention held annually in San Diego. The movie follows everyday people pretending to be storm troopers and Batman and interviews fan darlings Joss Whedon (the creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Seth Rogen (star of many a Judd Apatow movie), Matt Groening (creator of "The Simpsons"), and many more. Check out the trailer above for a glimpse.)  Read more

Photos from the Delaware County Fair

Through this Saturday, August 18, the Delaware County Fair in Walton is going strong with rides, horse and livestock shows, bull riding, country music, and demolition derby.

Reader Ann Roberti visited the fair earlier in the week, and sent us some photos. Above, a team of draft horses in harness struts its stuff; below, fairgoers look on as a demolition derby event gets underway. For more photos from this year's fair, see our Flickr gallery.

Got photos from the Delaware County Fair? Send them to us at [email protected], or share them with the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool, and we'll add them to the gallery.

Shale gas drilling before Labor Day?

This week's must-read story for upstate New York: An editorial by Times Union columnist Fred LeBrun, titled "End of the anti-frack world is near." In it, LeBrun claims that a gubernatorial plan to greenlight hydraulic fracturing by the time the leaves start turning is a done deal:

For those desperately hoping against hope that high volume, horizontal hydraulic fracturing for natural gas will be blocked from coming into New York state, sorry. For you, the end of the world arrives before Labor Day.

Top state officials are in the process of briefing selected environmental groups on a plan to be publicly released in a couple of weeks. It's a plan that unsurprisingly endorses hydrofracking, initially on a limited basis, supposedly under the tightest regulatory and permitting requirements in the country.  Read more

Ends tonight: The “Catskills Great Outdoor Experience” Photo Contest, sponsored by Peekamoose Restaurant

Above: “The Huckleberry Brook Dancing Bear,” by David Barry, winner of the 2011 Watershed Post’s “Best-Kept Secret in the Catskills” photo contest. Submit your photo to the 2012 "Great Outdoors Experience" photo contest and win a dinner at Peekamoose.

To celebrate the Central Catskills Great Outdoors Experience Festival (coming on August 25), we're having a photo contest, sponsored by Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room. The deadline to submit your photo is tonight, August 7, at midnight.  Read more