Middletown

Catskills sugarhouses open for Maple Weekend

Above: Maple syrup from the Catskill Mountain Sugar House in Grahamsville. Photo by Richard A. Smith

New York state produces almost a fifth of the nation’s maple syrup, and much of that comes from the Catskills. The mountains are home to many sugarhouses, from large operations with state-of-the-art evaporators that use reverse osmosis to little shacks that still use the old-fashioned boiling method.

Maple syrup is available all year long, but the tapping season lasts for just a few weeks in March, when frosty nights and sunny days get the sap moving.

The best way to watch a sugarhouse in action is to visit one. The sights, sounds and smells of sap boiling in the sugarhouse mean that sweetness, like springtime, is just around the corner. Shake off the late-winter blahs and come celebrate Maple Weekend -- actually two weekends of open houses -- in the sugar shacks of the Catskills. Listed below are events that are within the Watershed Post's coverage area; a statewide list of all 160 locations can be found at mapleweekend.com.  Read more

Election results: Villagers dump incumbents, vote for newcomers

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Above: Aaron Rabiner, a candidate for village trustee in the Sullivan County village of Bloomingburg, in a campaign interview. Rabiner has a two-vote lead on incumbent trustee Katherine Roemer in a tight race that won't be resolved until next week. 

It was a throw-out-the-bums kind of year in village elections across the Catskills, which were held yesterday, March 18. In the few village races in the region that were contested, most incumbents fared badly against upstarts and challengers.

Many of the races are nailbiters. Some results are preliminary due to razor-thin margins in races where affidavit and absentee ballots have yet to be counted. In a few races, a single vote separated the winners from the losers.  Read more

American Foursquare

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Built circa 1924, this handsome American Foursquare home has what many home buyers are looking for - location, function, beauty, and value. In addition to 4 bedrooms, 1.5 bath, this home has a formal dining room, a living room and a gracious entry way - it is a rare find with a facinating history. Many of the homes original details remain intack - surely something that will interest the old home enthusiast. Hardwood floors, wood moldings, window seats, pocket doors, built in cabinetry, period lighting fixtures and high ceilings are some of the features that are sure to delight the discriminating buyer.

While the home has deep roots in the past, it features modern conveniences for today's active lifestyles including an upgraded kitchen with a blend of original & new cabinetry, a tastefully remodeled bathroom, upgraded electric, a full basement and a roomy two car garage. A large , open attic could be additional living space, an art studio or used to store personal belongings. The front porch and rear deck are perfect venues for relaxation and enjoyment of the beautiful natural surroundings.  Read more

"Obsessed" vegan cheesemaker found calling after career in restoration

Cheezehound's Barneveld variety, named for the upstate New York town, is a sharp, aged, semi-soft nut cheese. Photos courtesy of Lori Robin.

Lori Robin didn’t set out to start a vegan cheese company. A gilder and stone carver by trade, she had planned to teach restoration workshops for antiques lovers in a studio in the Delaware County village of Fleischmanns.

“Take people out shopping, buy something from one of the antique shops, bring it back to the studio, restore it, and go home with a finished product. That was the plan,” Robin said. “But I was…” she paused, searching for a word.

“Derailed by cheese?” I offered.

“That’s exactly right!”

Now Robin’s space is a commercial kitchen, where she handcrafts an increasing variety of organic, cultured vegan nut cheese alternatives for sale in the Catskills, New York City, and — thanks to a new distributor — beyond.

Robin has no doubt that there’s a market for her cheese.  Read more

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

Wednesday Night’s Show: Catskill Trees with Gary Mead – People & Trees

CFA-On-The-Air: From the Forest
Wednesdays 6PM – 7PM
WIOX ROXBURY 91.3FM or www.wioxradio.org

Every 3rd Wednesday we talk to Gary Mead about a different tree found in or near the Catskill Mountains. Every tree is different, and there is always something unique & special we find out about it. However, this time around we’ll be straying from the path a little bit by discussing the overall tree-to-human relationship – People & Trees. Gary Mead is the owner of Fruitful Furnishings. Fruitful Furnishings began in 1979 as a custom furniture shop. Within ten years, a sawmill was added for producing dimension parts and providing custom sawing, planing, and kiln drying services to customers wishing to furnish their homes with wood from their own trees. More recently, Gary has added Gary Mead Gallery – located at the mill-site – which showcases one-of-a-kind pieces made from wood. Tune in at 91.3 FM or stream online @ www.wioxradio.org to learn more.  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

Neighbors risk lives to help man burned in Margaretville explosion

Above: A large explosion set a garage on fire just outside the village of Margaretville on Monday, March 16, 2015. Photos by Julia Reischel.

A man was badly burned in a series of explosions in a garage on Route 30 just outside of the village of Margaretville in Delaware County on Monday, March 16. In between blasts, two of the man’s neighbors, Allen Misner and Cody Ackerly, helped drag him to safely as the garage burned. 

The man was severely injured, Misner, Ackerly and other witnesses at the scene report.

On Tuesday, March 17, the staff of Westchester Medical Center's burn unit said that the man's medical condition is stable.

The man is still not being identified by the New York State Police, according to spokesman Nathan Riegal. But because his condition is stable, his next of kin have been notified and his name has been widely publicized by other newspapers, we are identifying him as Sandy Scudder, a Margaretville resident. 

The first explosion happened around 12:15 p.m. on Monday at 42463 Route 30, and blew the door off the garage into the street.  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

Fundraiser to support Family Fun Nights at the Catskill Recreation Center needs your help

Above: (Left to right) Patty Rudge and Taylor Diepold, both from Shandaken, Jason Stanton from Bovina, and Jo Bernhardt from Margaretville, on March 6, before begining their combined 25-mile swim. Photo by Beth Waterman.

On Friday, March 6, five intrepid swimmers swam 25 miles in the Arkville-based Catskill Recreation Center's pool in just five hours. Now they're hoping to raise $100 for every mile they swam, for a total of $2,500, by March 31.

The funds will benefit the Catskill Recreation Center's Family Fun Night program, a monthy event where community members will get to use the center's pool at a reduced rate.

Beth Waterman was onhand at the pool on Friday to watch the swimmers set out:

It was pretty inspiring watching them start their 5-hour swim this morning to the beats of 'Highway to Hell'. They hope to raise $2500 by March 31. Patty, Jo and Jason swam 5 miles each. Taylor swam 8 miles. Peter Manning swam 2 miles for a total of 25.

From the Catskill Recreation Center's director, Rebecca Manning:  Read more


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