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Community Announcements

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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!

Shandaken Community Gardens (SCG) plots available now for 2014

Contact: 

Juliet Greenwood, Membership Coordinator 845-202-1117

shandakencommunitygardens@gmail.com

http://shandakencommunitygardens.org/

https://www.facebook.com/ShandakenCommunityGarden

Shandaken Community Gardens volunteer steering committee and members spent the 2013 season building a 26-plot garden from the ground up, growing a bountiful harvest, enjoying and donating that harvest, hosting arts and gardening events, and preparing the way for future seasons.  Now is the time for you to get involved and claim one of the beautifully prepared plots for your 2014 garden!  Read more

Shandaken Community Gardens Seeks Gardeners

Would you like to grow your own food, flowers and herbs?

Cultivate community?

Share knowledge about sustainable gardening?

Collaborate in the creation of an exciting, new project?  Read more

Obituary: Leila Ruth Ellison, Phoenicia centenarian

The following is a reader-submitted obituary.

Leila Ruth Ellison,100, in recent years a resident of Phoenicia, NY, died Monday, December 24, 2012, at Northern Dutchess Residential Care Facility (Thompson House), in Rhinebeck, NY.

Born in Perth Amboy, NJ, she was the daughter of Theodore and Leila Jones Degenring. She was a graduate of Beaver College, Jenkintown, PA, and Newark State Teacher’s College, and for many years was an elementary school teacher in Elizabeth, NJ and Summit, NJ. She was married in 1936 to Harry C. Ellison, Jr., an engineer, who predeceased her. She was an avid reader, and enjoyed playing the piano and travel. For many years, she directed a children’s choir at the First Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, NJ.

She is survived by her daughter, Patricia L. Ellison, Esq., of Phoenicia, NY, as well as cousins in New Jersey, Georgia, and Florida.

A memorial service will be held at Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, at a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association.

Simpson-Gaus Funeral Home, 411 Albany Ave. is in charge of arrangements  Read more

Lonnie Gale: "The single most accurate historical reference of the Catskills"

The following is a user-submitted obituary.

Alonzo " Lonnie " Gale of Waterwork Road died Wednesday October 10, 2012 at the Benedictine Hospital. Lonnie, as he was known to all, was born in Tannersville on January 22, 1927 son of the late Lemuel Chichester Gale and Hazel Wright Gale. He was a graduate of Hunter-Tannersville H.S., and he then joined the Merchant Marines, where he was stationed in Alaska. In 1945 he was aboard the Sueja III (Q137US), a supply ship in World War II. Upon returning home, Lonnie married Peggy ( Ruth ) Every and they raised their family in Phoenicia.  Read more

Shandaken Democrats Annual Thai Feast

Sat. Sept 29th, 6:30PM 

The Arts Upstairs, 60 Main Street, Phoenicia

Only $10 with reservation.  Our entree offerings will include many  favorites from the past as well as some exciting new Thai dishes that include vegetarian and vegan options.  Thai iced tea, beer and wine will be among the available beverages.
We are keeping the price down because we want a great turnout, and we want to make sure that there's plenty of food for everyone, so we are requesting you RSVP your reservation to receive this $10 offer.  Please email nick-alba@earthlink.net with the number of guests in your party, and please advise us of any changes prior to the event.  Guests without reservations will be asked for $15 at the door. 
 
We hope to hear from you soon, and look forward to an evening of great food, fun and comradery.

 

Better with Trout

Once again, leaping trout are on display throughout the community of Woodstock, Olive and Shandaken! Get a map at local businesses or online and follow the Art Trail. The Leaping Trout Art Project is a community art initiative sponsored by The Ashokan-Pepacton Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited to raise awareness of the importance or our coldwater resources. This year, the project involves 35 artists. More information and to bid on a trout, including the one above, visit http://www.theleapingtrout.com.

Ninth Annual SHANDAKEN DAY in Pine Hill

Shandaken Day is a free annual event for the family providing Live Music, Arts and Crafts Booths, Kids Games and great Catskill Mountain Fare. This year's event is being hosted by the Hamlet of Pine Hill on Main Street from 10am until 6pm. This year's event, aside from the usual celebration of all the organizations that make Shandaken a great place to live, work and visit, will be higlighting the recent designation of the Hamlet of Pine Hill as a State Historic Site. There is a kids day-long scavenger hunt where they can hunt for several unique buildings and historic features of the Hamlet.

A "Let's Move" ZUMBA dance will take place for all ages from 11am until 2pm at the Pine Hill Community Center.

Live Music to be performed by the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, Ben Rounds Band and Earl Pardini and the Slide Mountain String Band.  Read more

Phoenicia Young Writers' Creative Writing Contest

Phoenicia Library's first-ever creative writing contest for young writers! Open to ages 5-24. Click here (http://phoenicia.lib.ny.us/2012/06/29/phoenicia-young-writers-creative-writing-contest/) to receive an entry form to submit your writing! Contest closes July 27th at 5pm.

Rita Schwab at the Shandaken Art Studio Tour 2012

Rita Schwab will open her Irene ravaged art studio in Mt. Tremper for the upcoming tour on July 21-22. A heroic effort! Just off the intersection of Rte 28 and Rte 212.   Also- tune in to The Roundtable on WAMC July 19 at 11:30 AM. Tour organizers Judith Singer and Dave Channon will do an interview on The Shandaken Art Studio Tour.

Chichester Yoga is headed to Rwanda!

See video

At the end of the month, I'll be heading to Rwanda to lead a yoga teacher training at The Ubushobozi Project.  In the evenings, I'll be teaching the National Rwandan Cycling Team. When I leave, if all goes well, the girls will take over my job and be the first local teachers to the team.

This trip is possible because my students donated the money for me to go. Without this incredible community this training would not be happening. So thank you so much for all of your generosity!

When I return I'll be offering the same training here in Chichester. If you want to go deeper into your practice or you want to learn how to teach, email me as we still have room. I also have one partial scholarship available if you are local and one barter available for someone who is tech and marketing savy.  I look forward to serving the community when I return!  And if you would like to donate, it's not too late.  Donations can made on Paypal (Chichester Yoga at yahoo) or via mail.  PO Box 126 Chichester, NY 12416.

Morton Memorial Library Book Club

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after. --Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Come join the book club at the Morton Memorial Library in Pine Hill!

Our next discussion is on November 30th at 6:30pm. We will be talking about the first part of J.R. Moehringer's "The Tender Bar."

Please call 845-254-4222 or email us at Pihlibrary@gmail.com with any questions!

 

You can also find us on Facebook

Holiday Book Sale

                                                         Holiday Book Sale!

"The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbors, kindle it at home, communicate it to others and it becomes the property of all." Voltaire

Come down to the Morton Memorial Library in Pine Hill and find a great book to treasure for yourself or give to someone you love.

Non fiction, fiction, childrens and some movies

Great prices and all proceeds go to buying new books.

We are open Tuesday through Friday 2-6 

                         Saturday 10-2

 

845-254-4222

Pihlibrary@gmail.com  Read more

Morton Memorial Library New Hours

Morton Memorial Library in Pine Hill NY would like to announce our new hours effective November 1st 2011. The new hours will be: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 2-6. Saturday 10-2.

'Like' us on Facebook- Just search Morton Memorial Library

Come join our book group! We will select our next book this Wednesday (October 26th) call or email for details.

845-254-4222 or Pihlibrary@gmail.com

FREE Hurricane Irene Holistic Outreach Clinic

The Hurricane Irene Holistic Outreach Clinic will take place for the next 2 Sundays (9/26 and 10/2) from 3-6 pm at Parish Hall in Phoenicia. There is no fee for treatments. No appointments required.   There will be a mix of different practitioners each Sunday including but not limited to massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, EFT, reiki, matrix energetics, Shambala energy healing, and more.

Thank you Shandaken, from Douglas Cordo

Douglas Anthony Cordo, the father of Private First Class Douglas Cordo, a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan last week, called us today. After reading about the decision to dedicate Shandaken Day to the legacy of his son, he wanted to share his gratitude with the town of Shandaken. Here's his message:

"I would just like to say thank you to Mr. Rob Stanley and all the people of Shandaken for the support. My son would be proud that they have done so. I'd like to thank them from my whole family. Little Doug was a great kid. He was my hero."

TMI Project: Voices in Action plays Rosendale

Above: TMI Project stage manager Erica Pivko, left, talks with founder Julie Novak. Photo courtesey of the TMI Project. 

"I had constructed these pants when I was in one of my nuthouses," Joanee Tarshis says in a video produced by the TMI Project. "I had been refusing to make a wallet in occupational therapy. Only crazy people make wallets."

Stories like this, from mental health patients, at-risk teens, and domestic violence survivors, are the heart of "Voices in Action," a monologue show produced by the TMI Project that comes to the Rosendale Theatre on Tuesday, July 29.  Read more

See video

Transition Catskills proposes 'Catskills dollars,' tool libraries, and farmers' markets

Above: A design for a local Catskills currency created by members of Transition Catskills.

About two dozen people attended the first public forum of Transition Catskills, a group dedicated to making the Catskills more economically resilient, on Wednesday night at the Open Eye Theater in Margaretville.

“This was our first effort to organize a conversation,” said Jeff Tomasi, a former partner at Goldman Sachs who helped found the group.

There will be another film screening and public forum for the Transition Catskills movement on Saturday, July 26, at 4 p.m. at the Roxbury Arts Center in Roxbury.

Tomasi, who owns a second home in the Delaware County town of Middletown, also lives in London, where he first got word of Transition, an initiative that began in England around 2006 and addressed issues of oil dependence and economic instability.

“I’m not a leader, I’m a facilitator,” Tomasi told the group. “I’m not here to tell people how to live. Just here to start the dialogue.”  Read more

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice celebrates Spain

Above: The tent housing the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice mainstage goes up in Phoenicia's Parish Field. Photo via the festival's Facebook page.

See video

Above: Camille Zamora performs zarzuela. 

Each year, Phoenicia’s International Festival of the Voice kicks off with something akin to a barn raising. Volunteers unload a massive 5,000-square-foot stage with large white tents flanking from its roost in a local barn and put it together in Parish Park in the tiny hamlet of Phoenicia in Ulster County. 

The tent is already up and ready for this year's festival, which kicks off next Wednesday, July 30, with a theme of “Celebrating Spain.” The five days of vocal events and lectures spread across eight local venues offer a wealth of flamenco and salsa-inspired numbers along with gospel, Jewish liturgical music, shape note singing, and the centerpiece performance of "The Barber of Seville."   Read more

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

State audit finds ORDA in the red

Sign at the entrance of Belleayre Mountain, a state-owned ski center in Highmount that has been run by ORDA since 2012. Photo source: Belleayre's Facebook page.

The regional authority that runs Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in the Catskills, along with Gore and Whiteface in the Adirondacks, has some troubling financial problems, according to a new audit released Wednesday by the New York State Comptroller's Office. 

The audit has been in the works since March of 2013, when state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced that his office would be taking a closer look at the authority's finances.

In the audit report (embedded below), DiNapoli found that the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) has racked up $45 million in losses in a three-year period from 2010 to 2013.

The authority took over management of Belleayre in 2012. The mountain was previously run by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. 

The audit found fault with several aspects of ORDA's management of Belleayre. In one instance, auditors wrote, ORDA awarded a contract for ski rental equipment concessions at Belleayre to an outside company without seeking competitive bids. The authority should open up the process to competition, the audit report stated:  Read more

On the ropes: Sundance Rappel Tower

Photo by Lissa Harris.

Tom Crucet built a 65-foot-tall rappelling tower in Phoenicia because he knew it would be fun. Thirty years later, it still is.

“It’s one of the joys of my life,” says Crucet, who is a lawyer by trade and has been a town justice for 17 years. “I loved doing it when I was in the military.”

Rappelling was just one of the skills Crucet mastered during his tenure as a Green Beret with the U.S. Army’s Special Forces: He also parachutes and scuba dives.

Crucet uses his Sundance Rappel Tower to teach skills to groups of Boy and Girl Scouts, firefighters and other rescue workers, rock climbers and anyone else who wants to learn how to descend a vertical obstacle using ropes.

Open year-round on weekends by appointment only, the tower offers four levels of training to groups of eight to 22 people. The sessions cost $25 per person and last about a half-day. The first part is about 40 minutes of classroom training, and the remainder of the instruction is devoted to practicing skills on the tower.

Some students come for one lesson. Others camp out nearby for a weekend and spend several days honing their skills, Crucet said.  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

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

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