Arkville

St. Patrick’s Day in the Catskills

Above: The full Irish treatment awaits at Gavin's Irish Country Inn this weekend in East Durham. Image via the Gavin's Irish Country Inn Facebook page.

The Irish love affair with the rocky, rolling green of the Catskills spans generations. In the Greene County hamlet of East Durham, especially, immigrants with roots in Ireland have made the region a second home.

So it’s only natural that our communities celebrate the season of St. Patrick in fine style. Here’s our five-county guide to celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day (Thursday, March 17) that are happening this weekend.

Want an introduction to the long history of the Irish in the Catskills? A new documentary that premiered last week, "The Irish Catskills: Dancing at the Crossroads," tells the story of the inns, hotels and bungalows that have catered to Irish Americans throughout history--you can buy the DVD or watch it at Narrowbackfilms.com. 

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

Pair stole thousands of pain pills from Margaretville pharmacy, police say

Two Margaretville residents have been arrested for allegedly breaking into Miller's Drug Store in Margaretville and stealing thousands of pain pills last month, police say.

Twenty-four-year-old Lucas M. Labumbard and 20-year-old Anna Christina Bubko were arrested at their Hubbell Hill home on Monday, March 14 and charged with felony drug possession and tampering with evidence, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

While searching their home on Monday, police found stolen hydrocodone and oxycodone tablets and more than $1,400 cash, the press release states.

Left: Lucas Labumbard. Photo via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.   Read more

John Burroughs Spring Lecture: Author Stephen Silverman

April 2, 2016 - 4:00pm

Stephen Silverman, author of The Catskills: Its History and How it Changed America, will give a talk on John Burroughs' role in the region and his relationship with another famous Roxbury native son, Jay Gould.

Co-sponsored by John Burroughs' Woodchuck Lodge and Catskill Center for Conservation & Development.

Free! Refreshments, including cake to celebrate John's 179th Birthday April 3!

Catskill Center, 43355 State Highway 28, Arkville, 12455

845-586-4973

Fire at Hubbell homestead destroys pole barn; injures two

Above: Firefighters battled a blaze that destroyed a pole barn at the Hubbell Family Farm on Wednesday, March 9. Photo by Rebecca Andre, Mountain Girl Photography and Design. 


An afternoon fire destroyed a pole barn and injured two firefighters at the Hubbell Family Farm on Route 30 outside the Delaware County village of Margaretville on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

Although officials at the scene were unwilling to state the cause of the blaze, John Hubbell said that it likely began when round hay bales sitting outside the pole barn caught fire.

On Wednesday night, Margaretville Fire Chief Gene Rosa confirmed that the cause of the fire was accidental.

Above: An excavator housed in the pole barn was destroyed by the fire. Photo by Rebecca Andre.   Read more

Maple sugar season comes early to the Catskills

Above: Sap buckets in the sun. Photo by Rebecca Andre of Mountain Girl Photography and Design

“A sap-run is the sweet good-bye of winter. It is the fruit of the equal marriage of the sun and frost.” - John Burroughs, “Signs and Seasons," 1886

Commercial sugarhouses, mom and pop sugar shacks, homesteaders and hobbyists alike are busy catching up to the flowing maple syrup during this year’s early—and prolific—sugar season.

Most years, maple tapping does not begin in the Catskills until late February, with the highest syrup production happening towards the end of March or early April, according to Andrew Campbell, who managed the Hubbell Family Farm in the Delaware County village of Margaretville.

But this year, an unseasonably warm week early in February gave a head start to local maple production.

“We tapped the first week in February,” said Toby Hubbell.  Read more

Delaware County to form emergency response team

Above: Gary Ramsey, a BOCES law enforcement instructor, pitched the advantages of a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to the Delaware County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Photo by Robert Cairns.

Delaware County is looking to form a team of volunteers to supplement the emergency services provided by fire departments and emergency medical personnel.

Gary Ramsey, a law enforcement instructor at DCMO BOCES in Masonville, gave a presentation on Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) at the Feb. 24 meeting of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors.

The county's emergency services director, Steve Hood, said he expects that a resolution to form a CERT will be on the agenda at the board's next meeting.

Ramsey explained that a CERT would not replace the services provided by police or volunteer fire and emergency medical departments, but would provide less skilled services. A CERT in neighboring Broome County, he said, is often called upon for traffic control and search-and-rescue operations.

Ramsey noted that Delaware County's history of floods and said emergency responders could use the help.  Read more

“Living in paradise:” The economics of Catskills outdoor recreation

Above: Aaron Bennett speaks about the East Branch of the Delaware River at a lively forum about outdoor recreation and economic development in the Catskills on Saturday, Feb. 27. Photos by Rebecca Andre.

Dozens of Catskills residents attended the second of a four-part series of economic growth forums took place on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development in the Delaware County hamlet of Arkville.

Fifty-two people attended the forum—more than double the attendance at January’s event—to discuss outdoor recreation being key to economic development in the Catskills.

Geddy Sveikauskas, the founder of the Woodstock Times newspaper and a member of the board of the Catskill Center, moderated the lively two-and-a-half hour discussion.

Local outdoor guides, chamber of commerce members, hotel employees and a representative from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection all spoke about the importance of outdoor recreation in the region.  Read more

Heavy rains cause minor flooding across Catskills

 

There is minimal flooding at the West Branch of the Delaware River at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Walton this morning. This is a view facing Kraft.

Posted by The Walton Reporter on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Above: The Walton fairgrounds flooded on Thursday, Feb. 25. Photo via the Walton Reporter's Facebook page.

The heavy rains that fell across the Catskills on Wednesday, Feb. 24 and through the night into Thursday, Feb. 25 have caused minor, localized flooding across the region.

The West Branch of the Delaware River is flooding several towns along its banks on Thursday morning, including the towns of Hamden and Walton, according to hydrographs and eyewitness reports. 

In Hamden, Basin Clove Road in is closed from Route 10 to the intersection of Back River Road due to water across the roadway, according to the Delaware County Department of Emergency Services.

In Walton, muddy floodwaters have covered the county fairgrounds, according to the Walton Reporter. Flooding in Walton was predicted to peak around 11 a.m. at 10 feet, according to Walton's hydrograph. Flood stage for the West Branch of the Delaware River in Walton is 9.5 feet, according to a flood warning alert issued by the National Weather Service in Binghamton

Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties are under a hazardous weather outlook warning for flooding through Thursday evening, according to NWS Binghamton and NWS Albany. The weather service reports that "widespread river flooding is not expected" in those counties. 

There was minor flooding of the Schoharie Creek in the town of Prattsville on Wednesday evening, according to the river's hydrograph, but waters have already fallen well below flood stage on Thursday morning. 

The Esopus Creek in Ulster County was under a flood warning on Wenesday and Thursday issued by NWS Albany. The Esopus overspilled its banks at 20.51 feet on Wednesday evening in Mount Marion, according to the Mount Marion hydrograph, and had dropped back to 19 feet by 11 a.m. on Thursday morning.

In Cold Brook, the Esopus crested 12.39 feet on Wednesday night, a level where water overflows the creek's banks above the Ashokan's Reservoir but causes little damage, according to the Cold Brook hydrograph. The water level at Cold Brook has also dropped down quickly on Thursday morning. 

NYNJTC Is Hiring: Catskills Summit Stewards

In this seasonal, part-time, position on weekends from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, Summit Stewards are responsible for patrolling the Catskill Park summit areas of Slide, Wittenberg and Cornell Mountains as well as other locations throughout the region. Summit Stewards provide the public with educational information that will ensure the safe and responsible use of hiking trails in the area. The Stewards have no enforcement responsibility.

The Summit Stewards work to encourage the best behavior on the part of hikers and campers, to facilitate a positive trail experience (particularly for those who are poorly prepared). They discourage and mitigate misuse of the trails, illegal camping and the surrounding lands by performing educational and public- relations functions and work to educate the public on fragile mountaintop ecosystems.  Read more

As wave of heroin arrests sweeps Catskills, opioids get political

Above: A poster from New York State's campaign to raise awareness about heroin addiction. New York State passed legislation to fund a heroin addiction awareness and treatment campaign in 2014. Photo via combatheroin.ny.gov. 

As a heroin epidemic spreads across the the Catskills, the topic of opioid addiction is driving politics in the region.

In the last two weeks, 13 people have been arrested in six major heroin busts in the Catskills. Two of the people arrested were teachers in Sullivan County schools.

Politicians and local officials are responding to heroin’s growing presence in the Catskills with task forces, hearing and calls for funding. They are also making opioids a central issue in the race for New York’s 19th congressional district seat, which covers the Catskills and the Hudson Valley in New York.

Cheap and widespread  Read more


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