Shandaken

Upcoming Events in Shandaken

Village elections are mostly quiet, with a few hot races

Photo by Flickr user Vox Efx. 

Today, Wednesday, March 18, is Election Day for most New York villages. Village elections in many Catskills villages are sleepy, uncontested affairs, but a few are real contests with full slates of candidates from multiple parties.  Read more

Luck of the Irish: More St. Patrick's Day events

Above: Delhi's St. Patrick's Day parade. Photo via the parade's organizers. 

It’s a gray and drizzly St. Patrick’s Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Festivities celebrating the Irish continue all this week in the Catskills. 

A few St. Pat’s events take place today: 

Gavin’s Irish Country Inn in East Durham in Greene County will be celebrating all day long on St. Patrick’s Day itself, Tuesday, March 17, with a Irish pub fare and a three-course dinner with their own homemade Irish bread, leading up to a fine evening shindig with the Brothers Flynn Band and the Farrell School of Irish Dancing from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Read more

Coming soon: The 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide

With spring just around the corner, it's time once more for our annual Catskills Outdoor Guide -- a glossy, full-color magazine showcasing the best of what the Catskills great outdoors has to offer. 

Once again, the 2015 Catskills Outdoor Guide will feature pull-out maps of local hiking trails and outdoor recreation spots, articles about how to have fun in the Catskills landscape in all four seasons, and beautiful photography of our stunning region from Watershed Post readers and contributors.

We're currently signing up advertisers for the upcoming Catskills Outdoor Guide. The deadline for reserving space is April 1. For more information, including ad sizes and pricing, see our detailed rate sheet here. If you have a Catskills business or local resource to promote in the Guide, contact us at [email protected] or call 845-481-0155

This weekend: St. Patrick's events around the Catskills

Above: A shamrock on the slopes at Plattekill Mountain. 

Why do so many turn part Irish in the season of St. Patrick? Perhaps because there is something primal about celebrating the end of winter by slathering swathes of green everywhere. Perhaps because Irish Americans have a fine sense of humor and the festivities and feastings in their honor, replete with bagpipes and corned beef, hit a spot emotionally that nothing else quite reaches. Perhaps because nothing sticks a fork in cabin fever like getting outside to take in a parade or run in a 5K. 

Here’s our multi-county guide to the Irish goings-on this St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Catskills.

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

NYC’s watershed police sue their own union

Above: New Environmental Police Officers being sworn in to their jobs patrolling New York City’s upstate watershed, which spans a 2,000-square-mile area, much of it in the Catskills. Photo via the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s Flickr page. 

The police officers who patrol New York City’s 2,000-square-mile upstate watershed are suing their own union, accusing it of corruption and of scuttling a long-awaited contract with the city.

In a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in January on behalf of 200 officers, three police officers say that the union’s leadership has betrayed them.  Read more

The Kingfisher Project tells stories of heroin addiction in the Catskills

Above: A bag of heroin. Photo from a series of photographs shot by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio documenting heroin use.  

Heroin addiction is sweeping through the Catskills, taking lives with it. (Here at the Watershed Post, we write more crime stories about heroin than about any other drug.) 

In 2013, 89,269 people enrolled in heroin drug-treatment programs in New York state; in 2014, that number jumped to 118,000, according to data from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. Heroin abuse is growing the fastest among the young, among ages 18 to 34. Politicians are worried; the governor launched a statewide campaign to battle heroin abuse last fall. 

Locally, the toll is growing. A doctor at Catskill Regional Medical Center calls heroin a "public health crisis." Delaware County's undersheriff says that despite record heroin busts, "more people are using drugs, overdose deaths have accelerated and jails are crowded." Community forums on the topic are being held around the region. 

The Kingfisher Project, a collaborative storytelling and reporting initiative based at WJFF 90.5 FM in Jeffersonville, is digging deep into the heroin epidemic in the Catskills and beyond. 

  Read more

Drunk driver repeatedly backed into cop car, police say

A 49-year-old man who didn’t have a driver’s license repeatedly backed into a police car when Shandaken police tried to stop him from driving drunk in Phoenicia on Monday, March 2, police say.

Kenneth A. Jackson was attempting to drive in an “intoxicated condition” on Route 214 in Phoenicia when police were called to the scene, according to a press release from the town of Shandaken police department.

When a marked Shandaken police car blocked Jackson in, Jackson reportedly drove into it, “causing damage while police were trying to remove him from the vehicle.”

Jackson was arrested on Wednesday, March 4 and charged with misdemeanor second degree reckless endangerment, driving while intoxicated, criminal mischief, endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. He was also charged with unsafe backing and unlicensed operator violations.

Jackson was arraigned in Shandaken Town Court and is being held in the Ulster County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.

Serial Brooklyn entrepreneurs open Glass Mountain Inn in Phoenicia

Above: Brooke Baxter Bailey and Jeff Bailey at the Woodstok Flea Market. Photo by Alexandra Marvar. 

Before leaving Williamsburg for the Catskills, Brooke Baxter Bailey and Jeff Bailey were involved in a series of Broooklyn-based experimental spaces: an alt-performance-art space called Glasslands (described by Gothamist magazine as “one of the city’s best down-and-dirty performance spaces”), a piano bar in Greenpoint and Whirlybird, which Brooklyn Magazine called “Williamsburg’s premiere Austin-style breakfast taco joint.”

In 2014, the couple closed their Brooklyn businesses and moved upstate full-time with a young daughter in tow. They bought a property in the Ulster County hamlet of Phoenicia, a five-minute walk up Route 214 from Main Street.   Read more

In visit to Roxbury, state officials vow faster Internet for rural NY

Above: New York State Broadband Program director David Salway, left, talks with Greg Henderson, middle, the owner of the Roxbury Motel, and Angela Liotta, right, the state's Broadband Outreach Director, on Wednesday, Feb. 25. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

In his draft budget for the 2015 - 2016 fiscal year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing an ambitious goal: high-speed internet for everyone, including in rural areas like the Catskills, by 2019. Greene County, in the Catskills, has the worst broadband access in the entire state, according to statistics released by the governor’s office.   Read more

Garage burns in Shandaken, adding to toll on local volunteers

Above: Firefighters on the scene of a fire on Route 28 in Mount Tremper on Friday morning, Feb. 20. Photo by Sara Loughlin.

A Mount Tremper resident's garage caught fire on Friday morning, in a two-alarm blaze that drew upwards of 50 firefighters from several local volunteer fire departments to the scene. 

The garage fire, near a home at 5283 Route 28, was reported at 9:39 a.m. on Friday. By the time firefighters arrived a few minutes later, the building had already collapsed, according to Phoenicia Assistant Fire Chief Teddy Byron. No one was injured in the fire.

"When we pulled up, it was fully involved," Byron said. 

With temperatures hovering around five degrees and a raw wind blowing, firefighters struggled with freezing trucks and equipment to fight the blaze. 

"All our trucks are freezing," Byron said.

The collapse of the garage made it difficult for the water to penetrate the structure, Byron said. Firefighters had to use foam to smother the fire and help water reach the interior of the blaze.

Responding to the incident were fire companies from the towns of Shandaken, Olive and Hurley, along with the Shandaken Ambulance Service, Shandaken and Ulster County police, and Ulster County fire investigators.  Read more

Shandaken Letters