This weekend: Halloween in the Catskills, Part 1

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Above: A promo for Haunted Huguenot Street, New Paltz's annual spookfest, featuring "Mrs. Gertrude Deyo-Brodhead’s infamous Murder Mystery parties at the Deyo House." Tours, spirit readings and ghost stories all weekend.  

It’s the darkening evening of the year, and the veil between the worlds has thinned. Venture out into the mountains and valleys for some resonant Halloween fun, costumed or otherwise, beginning this weekend. There’s a little of everything going on, whether you’re looking for pumpkins and not-too-scary spirits for the little guys, contemplative historic ghost-walks, or smokin’ hot dance parties into the wheeee hours.

Here’s our guide to the fearsome and frolicsome times for Oct. 24 - Oct. 26. We'll have another one next week, to cover the many festivities scheduled across the Catskills for Halloween itself. 

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

Sharing school services is on the table again in western Catskills

Above: Andes Central School's tiny graduating class of 2014. Photo by Joe Damone of Joe Damone Photography

A long-stalled conversation about sharing school services is being revived at a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 22 in the Delaware County village of Margaretville, prompted by the departure of Margaretville Central School's superintendent this fall. 

The meeting, initially intended as a discussion about Margaretville's next superintendent, has become an impromptu regional summit on the painful issue of rising costs and declining enrollment in Catskills schools. Officials from four Catskills school systems in three counties will attend. 

No one in Margaretville has seriously considered sharing services since 2010, when a proposal to share sports teams with the neighboring Andes Central School caused an uproar.   Read more

New York Times' "Living City" explores NYC's water supply

Up here in the Catskills, in the heart of New York City's vast rural watershed, it's impossible to forget that one lives in the middle of the city's water supply. The city's huge reservoirs dominate the landscape. Watershed affairs dominate local politics. New York City's watershed police patrol along sleepy back roads a hundred miles from Manhattan.

For most downstate New Yorkers, though, water is just a thing that comes out of the tap. This week, the New York Times introduced its readers to their astonishing water system in "Living City," a video series that explores some of the wonders of urban engineering that make life in our nation's largest city possible.  Read more

DEC and volunteers clean up garbage, tires in Kaaterskill Clove

Above: Volunteers stand beside trash they picked up in Kaaterskill Clove during a clean-up event on Oct. 5. Photo by Georgette Weir.

Volunteers and New York State Department of Conservation staff picked up tires and filled over a dozen large garbage bags with trash during a litter clean-up event in Greene County's Kaaterskill Clove on Sunday, Oct. 5, according to a press release from the Catskill Conservation Corps, the event's organizer.

The clean-up effort targeted parking areas and trails near Kaaterskill Falls, which is one of the attractions along scenic Route 23A, a mountain road that has been plagued with trash this summer. (We wrote about local outrage over the trash last month.)

That outrage is being channeled into action. Along with DEC staff and a newly-appointed "backcountry steward," nine volunteers showed up on Sunday to pick up litter in Kaaterskill Clove, the press release stated:  Read more

Columbus Day Weekend in the Catskills: Fests, food, fiddlers and foliage

Can you flip a tractor tire? Test your mettle at the Farm Olympics, happening this weekend at the annual Taste of the Catskills festival in Delhi. Photo by Eamon Queeney.

Columbus Day Weekend is coming up, and the Catskills are making the most of summer's last hurrah.  

If you're a Catskills local, you've been living in a slow-mo fireworks display for a couple of weeks now, as maples, beeches, birches and oaks erupt in a dazzling riot of fall color. This weekend brings peak foliage to the lower elevations of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley -- and while the high-elevation slopes are just a little past peak, there is still plenty of brilliant color all around.

Lark in the Park, a ten-day, Catskills-wide celebration of the great outdoors, wraps up on Monday. Between now and then are dozens of guided hikes, paddles, outdoor volunteer opportunities and more, ranging from family-friendly woods walks to off-trail bushwhacks for experienced outdoorsfolk. Choose your own adventure from our special Lark in the Park calendar  Read more

RUPCO Adds Depth to Senior Leadership Team

Kingston, NY , September 22, 2014  –  The regional housing agency, RUPCO, Inc. based in Kingston, announced this week the appointment of Tara Collins to its senior staff as Director of Communication & Resource Development.  Collins comes to RUPCO after serving as Communications Director at the Watershed Agricultural Council (Walton, NY) where she touted the Council’s farm and forest clean water programs within the New York City Watershed and the buy local branding campaign, Pure Catskills. With nearly 25 years’ experience in communications, writing, and marketing, she has also worked with Ski Plattekill Mountain (Roxbury, NY), Robert A. Stanger & Co.  Read more

Community Lunch: supportive housing is the solution.

October 30, 2014 - 12:00pm

ach year, Community Lunch brings together friends, supporters and community leaders to hear from thought leaders about important issues in the area of housing and community development. This year, supportive housing is the solution.

Click here to purchase your Community Lunch ticket online.  Read more

845-331-2140 ext. 210

Unfiltered minerals in Catskills water are the key to NYC's bagels

Above: A bagel with lox from H&H Bagels Midtown East. Photo by Flickr user Kenneth Lu.

A story by the business news site Quartz on Oct. 7 confirmed what New Yorkers already know: The secret to NYC's bagels is in the water. 

Bagel entrepreneurs are so desperate to mimic NYC's water that they have spent years and lots of cash adding those minerals back into their own water in places like Denver and Florida, Quartz reports.

The site interviews Josh Pollack, a bagel maker in Denver, who has developed a secret formula to put NYC-style water into his bagels:

“It’s mainly New York’s watershed program that’s the difference,” he says of the initiative that protects the region’s natural water sources, enabling local utilities to minimally-process the city’s drinking water. “They don’t use a sediment filter for their water, so a lot of the minerals that come from the reservoirs, as a result of those watershed protections, are still in the water." ...  Read more

Stayin' Alive: Don't Get Burned

Gianna Muellerleile tries on firefighter gear at her preschool in 2013. Photo by Jake Millman at Beginnings Preschool in Boiceville.

Not only is this week Fire Prevention Week, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has just declared that today, Oct. 7, is Firefighter Appreciation Day. To mark the occasion, we've asked Rich Muellerleile, a firefighter, paramedic, and longtime Watershed Post columnist to give us a few fire safety tips. Read all installments of Rich's column, Stayin' Alive, by clicking here. - Ed. 

“In the first Place, as an Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure, I would advise 'em to take care how they suffer living Coals in a full Shovel, to be carried out of one Room into another, or up or down Stairs, unless in a Warmingpan shut; for Scraps of Fire may fall into Chinks and make no Appearance until Midnight; when your Stairs being in Flames, you may be forced, (as I once was) to leap out of your Windows, and hazard your Necks to avoid being oven-roasted.” – An old citizen

As incredible as it may seem, this quote, which begins with a familiar household adage and was published as an anonymous letter in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1735, was actually written by the newspaper's publisher, Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin's letter was a succinct and relevant fire safety message that, for the most part, does not apply to our present day – unless you routinely carry hot coals from room to room to keep comfortable. (After all, we are in the Catskills.)

It is without doubt, however, that the "Ounce of Prevention" axiom holds resoundingly true in many of the things we do from day-to-day. No matter what calamity you deal with, it is much more easily addressed by preventing it altogether than having to deal with its aftermath.

Enter the annual tradition of Fire Prevention Week, which falls on Oct. 5 - 11 this year.

National Fire Prevention Week is not just a local fire department showing up at your elementary school and conducting a fire drill. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.  Read more

The new hunter-gatherers: Foraging in the Catskills

Above: An Autumn Olive (Wildberry) Mojito. Photo courtesy of Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower. Make your own with the recipe at the bottom of this story.

Foraging for food that grows wild has long been a hobby for nature lovers out walking in the woods. But increasingly, more people are doing what their primitive ancestors did: picking up their spades and baskets and searching out edible flowers, leaves, roots, shoots, nuts and berries.

Left: Dina Falconi, a Catskills forager. 

Two upstate women—Dina Falconi and Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower—are leading the march into the forests and meadows. According to them, there’s plenty of free food out there for the picking; you just need to know what to look for.

Falconi, a Marbletown resident who grew up in New York City, has been steeped in the world of wild-plant identification, foraging and cooking for 30 years now. But growing up, she had no idea what was waiting out in the woods.  Read more


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