Olive

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New York Invasive Species Awareness Week

The mission of New York Invasive Species Awareness Week is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species to h elp stop their spread by engaging citizens in a wide range of activities across the state and encouraging them to take action. Please join in the fun and help out with the effort!  Activities of all kinds take place July 6th- July 12th. Check out nyis.info and click on the logo for more information!

Antique Farmhouse, Dead-end Road, long driveway, Olivebridge

Beautifully restored 19th-century farmhouse on almost eight acres of woods and meadow in Olivebrige, NY, within Catskills Park, two hours from Manhattan. Sited at the end of a long driveway on a quiet dead-end road (unusual for an old farmhouse). High Falls, Stone Ridge, and other small towns with charming shops, farm stands, antiquing, and good restaurants short drive away. Beamed ceilings, wide-board floors, two fireplaces, four bedrooms, two full baths, eat-in-kitchen. More:

http://catskillshome.wordpress.com/

$399,000. For sale by owner, no seller’s brokers please.

(212) 463-7664

  Read more

OBUMC Chicken BBQ

Olivebridge United Methodist Church will be hosting their Annual Chicken BBQ on Saturday, July 12th from 4:00pm until 6:30pm.  Pricing is $12 per person - $10 for Seniors and children under 12.  Meal includes, 1/2 chicken, baked potato, corn, salad, drink and homemade desserts.  To Go is available.  Location is 5147 State Route 213, Olivebridge, NY 12461.  Contact Diana for reservations/questions at 845-657-8775 or dilo527@hvc.rr.com

Poetry Reading and Art Exhibit, Sunday, February 2, 3:00 p.m.

A reading from two recently published books: Hands at Work: A Mother Daughter Creation. Poetry by Valerie Linet integrated with artwork by artist Lois Linet. Artwork from the book will be on exhibit for the reading.

Kasey Jueds will also read poems from her new prize-winning book of poetry titled, Keeper. Published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poem Claim from this book was recently featured on The Writer's Almanac and read by Garrison Keillor.

Olive Free Library is located at 4033 Route 28A, West Shokan, NY.

Holiday Fair at Olive Free Library

Saturday December 7th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday Fair. Children's story hour with author/illustrator Iza Trapani, crafts, piano music, caroling, local & handmade craft fair, lunch and bake sale!

Olive Free Library 4033 Route 28A West Shokan

Save the Date, 4th Annual Ashokan Watershed Conference, April 27th at the Ashokan Center

SAVE THE DATE

The Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program's 4th Annual Watershed Conference to be held at the Ashokan Center on Saturday April 27th.  

Registration material will soon be available at www.ashokanstreams.org

Olive First Aid is looking for your help

Registration open for Lifespring lifelong learning for adults age 55+

Planet Earth: Geology of the World, The Art of Memoir, and Geneology 101 are three of thirteen six-week courses offered by Lifespring, the Saugerties-based lifelong learning program for persons age 55 and over this spring. Registration is open now for current and new members. For a complete listing of courses and more information about Lifespring: Saugerties Adult Learning Community go to www.lifespringsaugerties.com or call 845 246-2800 ext. 452 to request a catalog. Registration forms must be postmarked by Feb. 28. Classes will run from Apr. 17 to May 22. Cost for this semester only is $40. Classes are held at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Glasco Turnpike in Saugerties. This facility is accessible to persons with disabilities.

Guide me a river: The art of Catskills wilderness guiding

Longtime Catskills wilderness guide Charles “Sonny” Somelofski has earned a few more gray hairs since this photo was taken — and caught countless more fish. Photo courtesy of Catskill Outdoor Adventures (catskilloutdooradventures.com).

Charles “Sonny” Somelofski of Catskill Outdoor Adventures in Margaretville (catskilloutdooradventures.com), remembers when the licensing process to become an outdoor guide in New York state was a simple paper questionnaire with a $2 fee that asked whether he could swim, handle a boat, and read a map and compass.

“That was it, back then,” Somelofski says. “Bang! I was able to take people out and do it all.”

Today, being a state-licensed outdoor guide requires a bit more: taxable income disclosure forms, a physician’s statement, and certifications in first aid, CPR, and water safety. Those are the just the basics. Guides can be licensed in a number of different categories, ranging from camping and fishing to whitewater rafting and ice climbing, each with different licensing requirements.

The heart of guiding, however, has remained the same: proving to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that you can reliably take paying customers out into the great outdoors and bring them back again in one piece.  Read more

Here comes the rain again...and wind, too

Look out, Catskills: Yet another round of thunderstorms is taking aim at the region, with the possibility of high winds, damaging hail and even the chance of a tornado. 

As of late Tuesday afternoon, a line of storms is organizing in western New York and Pennsylvania, and moving steadily eastward across the region. A severe thunderstorm watch is currently in effect across Central New York, including Delaware County in the Catskills region, until 8 p.m.

Storm trackers at the National Weather Service caution that there is a slight chance the storms could spawn a tornado or two as they swirl across Central New York. 

The eastern Catskills are not yet under severe weather watch, but thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and evening. Locals should keep an eye on the weather as the storms move eastward.   Read more

Hanover Farms plans a move to Shokan

Above: A sign on the shuttered site of Hanover Farms announces the farmstand's plans to reopen in a new location. Photo by Lissa Harris.

Hanover Farms, a Route 28 farmstand that has been embroiled in legal battle with the town of Shandaken since 2012, is looking for a fresh start -- a new town, and a new name.

Outside the shuttered farmstand, a new sign has appeared, announcing that the farmstand is re-opening at the "old bank" in Shokan. Eight miles east on Route 28, at the Shokan bank building that formerly housed a Bank of America branch, another sign has sprouted up: "Opening Soon: Greenheart Farmstand."

But the farmstand's announcement is unnerving officials in the town of Olive, who are hoping the business's father-and-son owners Al and Alfie Higley do things by the book this time.

"[Al] Higley was in yesterday to put in an application for a site plan. But there's no permission from the town of Olive for him to do anything at all," said Sylvia Rozzelle, supervisor of the town of Olive. "If he opens without a permit, that's not a good thing."  Read more

The American flag business fades for a Catskills fixture

Above: A trench filled with gravel, left, marks the place where an embroidery machine once stood at Stucki Embroidery in Boiceville. On the right, another machine continues making star fields for American flags. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Stucki Embroidery, a small business in the Ulster County hamlet of Boiceville, has been sewing the stars onto American flags since 1973. A decade ago, Stucki stars decorated every flag sold in Wal-Marts across the United States.

But the stars no longer bring in the money that they once did. Stucki has shrunk from 65 employees in 2002 to 13 now. This year, Murray Fenwick, Stucki's owner, sold two of his mammoth embroidery machines. To make ends meet, the business is diversifying into non-star lines of business, such as making small-run embroidered patches and screenprinting.

Left: Fenwick, with the punch card system that powers one of his older embroidery machines. Photo by Julia Reischel.

In May, I wrote an article for Esquire Magazine online about why the American flag business can no longer support small manufacturers like Stucki. Fenwick gave me a tour of the Boiceville plant and a crash course in the economics of the increasingly-conglomerating business of American patriotism. 

When you're surrounded by red, white, and blue this Fourth of July weekend, think of supporting local Catskills businesses like Stucki. We used Stucki to embroider our Catskill Reservoir Paddler badges this year, instead of using an out-of-state embroiderer. They did a fantastic job, and we kept the dollars local. 

Here's an excerpt from the Esquire story. To read the whole thing, go to Esquire by clicking here.  Read more

Catskills under flash flood watch, but the Fourth should be sunny

Above: Forecast detail from the National Weather Service in Albany.

The forecast for Fourth of July weekend in the Catskills looks bright and clear -- but before Friday arrives with cooler temps and sunnier skies, another round of intense thunderstorms has the region under flash flood watch. 

All five of the Catskills counties in our coverage area -- Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster -- are currently under flash flood watches issued by the National Weather Service offices in Binghamton and Albany. In the western Catskills, Delaware and Sullivan counties, the flash flood watch will last until 9 p.m. The eastern Catskills, which will see storms later into the evening, are under flash flood watch until midnight  Read more

Storm floods Jeffersonville, knocks out power to thousands in Catskills

Main Street/Route 52 in Jeffersonville at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2. Photo by Tiffany Karen Denier.

Heavy rains and thunderstorms on Wednesday afternoon caused major flash flooding in the Sullivan County village of Jeffersonville, and widespread power outages across the region.

The flooding in Jeffersonville was intense enough to bring swift-water rescue teams to the village. Eyewitnesses in Jeffersonville reported about two feet of water on Main Street, and deeper water in some areas.

Above: Main Street/Route 52 in Jeffersonville at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2. Photo by Tiffany Karen Denier.

Above: Main Street/Route 52 in Jeffersonville at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2. Photo by Tiffany Karen Denier.  Read more

Cycling the Catskills: From steep trails to smooth sails

A cyclist takes a break for the panoramic view from Castle Point on the Shawangunk Ridge, at the southeastern edge of the Catskills. Photo courtesy of Riding the Catskills (ridingthecatskills.com).

Climb up and over the rocky Shawangunk Ridge to a spectacular vista overlooking the Hudson Valley. Meander along hundreds of miles of carriage lanes and trails through the Mohonk Preserve. Ride through rolling pastureland on 19th- century dirt roads, lined by mossy stone walls and shaded by tunnels of overarching trees. Travel winding country roads for hours without seeing more cars than you can count on your fingers.

The Catskill Mountains were made for cycling. And if you’re not here already, they’re easier to get to than you might think. From New York City, in less than two hours by car, you can leave urban sprawl far behind and discover a cycling utopia. You don’t even need a car to get here: Bring your bike on a scenic 90-minute Metro-North train up the majestic Hudson River to Poughkeepsie, cycle across the Walkway Over the Hudson, and you’re practically in the Catskills.  Read more

Horseback riding in the Catskills

Riders head out on the trail. Photo courtesy of Bridle Hill Farm.

Strapping on your hiking shoes isn’t the only way to see the Catskills: You can also hit the trail on horseback. Trail-riding companies operate throughout the region, and they offer an alternative way to enjoy the spectacular views and fresh mountain air that make the Catskills a paradise for hikers.

Novice and experienced riders alike should have a pre-ride safety check with the trail ride leader, says Laura Phoenix, a riding coach and equestrian specialist at Country Meadows Equine in Delaware County. Before embarking, beginning riders should be shown how make their mount turn left or right — and most importantly, how to stop.

As you ride, the group should set the pace at the comfort level of the most inexperienced rider, in order to ensure a successful ride for everyone in the group.

After horse and rider have gotten acquainted, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the views.

Spring is a great time to take a trail ride, Phoenix says.  Read more

Green Door closes

Green Door, a Liberty-based quarterly magazine about Catskills life and culture, is shutting down.

It's been a good run; in their three years and 13 issues, Green Door's founders have launched a multi-use art space on Liberty's Main Street, popularized the word "hickster," gotten a nod from the New York Times for their "Narrowsburg Not Williamsburg" T-shirts, and earned plenty of love from the local arts and business community. But, as the sage says, sometimes love just ain't enough.

Founders Ellie and Akira Ohiso announced the news on the magazine's website and Facebook page on Tuesday:  Read more

A few good Catskills paddles

Photo by Courtney Ross; submitted to the Watershed Post's 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest.

Water is everywhere in the Catskill Mountains, even their name: The “kill” in “Catskills” is a Dutch word for “creek.” There’s plenty of open water to go around for kayakers, canoers, sailors and rowers — especially now that four of New York City’s vast reservoirs have been opened to recreational boating, a development in the past few years. (See our guide to boating the reservoirs.)

Another aspect of the Catskills great outdoors that’s improving: our bald eagle population. If you spend time on our rivers and creeks, you’re likely to have a close encounter with one of these fish-eating eagles, who have been brought back from the verge of extirpation over the past few decades and are now a common sight near Catskills waterways.

Catskills creeks have a tendency to be broad and shallow, and water levels can vary a lot depending on recent rainfall and reservoir releases. When preparing to go boating on running water, check out the water level, or ask a local boat rental company, to make sure there’s enough water to keep you from running aground.  Read more