Upcoming Events in Middletown

Letter to the Editor: Belleayre Resort "likely to fail"

Our shorter, warmer winters make it unwise to spend a lot of taxpayer dollars on private luxury ski resorts that depend on snow to make a buck. Our wetter, stormier summers are not very good for expensive golf resorts, which are going bankrupt all over the country right now. The full-build 250 room hotel option for the Belleayre Resort is "marginally feasible" in the developer's consultant's own statements. That means "likely to fail" to generate the 18% profit necessary to pay for the huge construction. In a nutshell, "likely to fail". This is public comment time for the review process. Tell the State to choose the lower build option, and not to spend $5 million for the Highmount property that the developer bought a few years ago for $250,000. Don't gamble with taxpayer dollars on a slow horse.

Dave Channon

Middletown judge removed from bench for favoritism

Above: The Middletown Town Hall and court building. Photo via Google Street View.

Can a judge be fair in a town where everyone knows everyone else? The recent dismissal of a small-town judge by a state commission shows that even in the tiniest towns, judges have to be careful not to play favorites.

Glen R. George, a 74-year-old judge for the town of Middletown in Delaware County, was stripped of his position on May 1 by the State of New York Commission on Judicial Conduct for engaging in "serious misconduct."

The commission found George, who is not a lawyer, "unfit for judicial office," because of two incidents that "bear the unmistakable taint of favoritism."  Read more

Margaretville students medal at Olympics of the Visual Arts

Above: [From left to right] Lindsay Day, Issis Orrego, Alana Moskowitz, and Chelsea Shultis celebrate after taking a 3rd place ribbon at the 31st Olympics of the Visual Arts in Saratoga Springs, NY on April 23. All four are students at Margaretville Central School. Photo contributed by MCS art teacher Jennifer Wentland.

The arts practically are a varsity sport at Margaretville Central School these days.

Two weeks ago, MCS students took several prizes at the statewide "Olympics of the Visual Arts" in Albany, including 3rd place in the High School Drawing category and 3rd place in the Fashion Design at the Middle School level category, according to MCS art teacher Jennifer Wentland. 

And you can see student art all over Margaretville and Fleischmanns now through Memorial Day in local businesses that have become impromptu art galleries for the Youth Art Month Art Show, which is sponsored by the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce. A ceremony awarding prizes in the Youth Art Month Art Show will take place in June.

Margaretville's flooded-out CVS back in business

Photo by Julia Reischel.

The banner says it all: The CVS on Bridge Street in Margaretville is once again open for business. The pharmacy reopened on Friday, with a gloriously sunny May day to mark the occasion.

It's been almost two years after the Irene floods on August 28, 2011 destroyed the pharmacy, leaving little more than a pile of collapsed wreckage where it stood. The Freshtown grocery store next door, also heavily damaged in the floods, took almost nine months to repair, and reopened in May of 2012

Evidence of the flood's passage can still be seen in parts of downtown Margaretville, especially on Main Street just east of the Cheese Barrel. But most of the village's storefronts have reopened, and it's business as usual on most of Margaretville's Main Street. With the iconic Bridge Street CVS no longer under construction, the village is beginning to look like its old self again -- and just in time for summer.

Letter to the Editor: Taxpayers should not subsidize a private resort

Dear Editor:

Last week the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released documents for review of the proposed Crossroads resort and plans for expansion at the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center (http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/90370.html). 

The plans for the Ski Center include alternatives that do not tie it in to the proposed resort. These alternatives cost less and return greater benefits to the public than the Full Build Out Alternative, estimated to cost $74 million. The Catskill Heritage Alliance is petitioning the State of New York to save money for taxpayers by pursuing these better and less expensive alternatives.  Read more

Town gas bans can stand, appeals court rules

Two upstate New York towns that faced lawsuits over their gas drilling bans have won in appeals court, delivering a major victory to proponents of town "home rule." 

The towns of Dryden and Middlefield faced separate lawsuits seeking to overturn their drilling bans: Dryden from an out-of-state gas company, and Middlefield from a local dairy farmer seeking to lease her land. Both towns prevailed in lower court, but the cases were appealed by the plaintiffs. 

On Thursday, the state appellate division upheld both of the lower court's judgments. Gannett reporter Jon Campbell reports the news for Politics On The Hudson, and notes that the verdict is likely to stand:  Read more

Thanks for all the photos!

Above: "Fiddleheads", May 8, 2012, at Frost Valley YMCA, by Robin White. Just one of the 60-odd photos submitted to our photo contest. 

Wow, you Catskills folks take a lot of photos.

Submissions from across the Catskills poured in last night to our 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest. At midnight, when the contest ended, we had a total of sixty-something entries. (I'm not sure of the exact number because of duplicates.)

You can see all of the final entries on our Facebook page, on the Central Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Festival's Facebook page, and on our Flickr page. If you see a missing or duplicate photo, let me know!   Read more

Last day to submit your photos to the 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest!

Above: Just some of the entries in this year's Catskills Outdoor Guide photo contest, as pictured on our contest Flickr group

The contest is now closed. Winners will be announced on May 28, 2013. Thanks!   Read more

Swarmageddon: Northeast braces for 17-year cicadas

Photo by Dan Century of cicadamania.com. Published under Creative Commons license.

Brood II: It sounds like a low-budget horror movie. But it's real, and it's poised to engulf the East Coast from Georgia to Connecticut, an onslaught of giant bugs that have lain dormant underground for the last 17 years.

The periodical cicada is the Methuselah of insects, spending long years underground in larval form before emerging en masse in tremendous numbers. Groups of 13-year or 17-year periodical cicadas that emerge together are known as 'broods,' and New York State is home to several of them, along with several species of annual cicadas that emerge every year. The last mass cicada emergence in New York, of the 17-year Brood XIV, happened in 2008.   Read more

Get those seeds in the ground: Garden projects across the Catskills

Above: We're giving away these seeds and a gift membership to the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Details for how to get them at the bottom of this post. 

The sun is shining, the birds are signing, and gardeners across the Catskills are itching to get their fingers in the dirt. 

Want to know where you can get your knees dirty this spring? We're tracking public garden events and projects across the Catskills. Help us list them all by posting a comment on this post via Facebook or by emailing [email protected] with your garden project's info. We're also giving away some gardener goodies from the Hudson Valley Seed Library, so read on.


Today at 1pm, the Andes Community Garden opens with tours and seed sales, and an invitation to community members to sign up for a 4-x-8-foot plot this summer. The Daily Star wrote a whole article about the planned festivities. 

This Saturday, April 27, in Hobart is the Hobart Annual Seed Sale & Spring Gardening Event at the Hobart Community Center from 10am to 3pm. The seeds are Non-GMO & Organic with proceeds benefiting Project Independence. According to Nicole Day Gray, who is helping organize the event, there will be "lots of kids activities, a garden book swap (so bring books to trade), a mini farmers' market, gardening advice, garden tools for sale, the Ate O Ate Food Truck, and goats, chevre and milk from Dirty Girl Farm." For more info, email [email protected]

This Sunday, April 28, the new Shandaken Community Gardens group is hosting a groundbreaking, and all weekend long a Shokan art studio will be donating partial proceeds from a sale to support the garden

Also this Sunday, April 28, the Seeds to Supper workshop series continues at the Pine Hill Community Center Community Garden. Veteran farmers Madalyn Warren and Andrew Messinger help gardeners plant in the center's community garden. 

The village of Fleischmanns is building a community garden next to the park and across from the Village Pool. Raised beds are in the words and plots will be assigned in May, according to the Fleischmanns NY Facebook page

The town of Lexington, which is celebrating its 200th birthday this year, is building a Bicentennial Community Garden

On May 7, Roxbury Central School will introduce its community garden to the world, according to Farm Catskills

On May 11, the village of Margaretville is hosting a day-long GardenFest from 10am to 3pm on Main Street, with vendors and farmers showcasing everything from seeds to adorable baby animals. The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown will have it own booth, where you can drop off contributions of perennial herbs, flowers and foliage plants for new gardens to be established at their pond-side property this summer. You can also drop plants off at the HSM Hall, 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville, on Saturday, May 25 between 9 a.m. and noon, or earlier in the week – just leave them in the shade near the door. If you can spare some time to help plant them May 25, that would be wonderful! Call Diane at 586-4973 to make other drop-off arrangements.

On May 18th at 9am, the Common Ground Garden Club is going to erect a beautiful gate and arbor entryway for the Andes Rail Trail. They will follow that with native plantings later in May. This is a community project of the club and they are donating most of the funds for the structure and plantings.

The Halcott Community Garden's "A Natural Selection" sale fundraiser of is happening on Sunday, May 26th, 11 am  to 3 pm at the Halcott  Grange. The Halcott Community Garden is now sponsored by The Hudson Valley Seed Project, which donates 10% of online sales by supporters to the garen. To contribute to the garden, use the code "Halcott Community Garden" on the seed library website while you shop. 

The 15th Annual Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s Master Gardeners Great Plant Swap and Sale is Saturday, June 1 at the CCEUC Education Center located at 232 Plaza Road in Kingston. Plants to swap can be dropped off that Saturday morning between 9:00am and 10:00am. Swappers return at 11:00am to swap vouchers for plants! At 11:30 the swap will open to the public for sale. 


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