Happy Earth Day, Catskills

Nature's always close at hand in the Catskills, on Earth Day and every day. Photo by Kellsey Buerge; submitted to our 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest

Earth Day turns 44 this year. In cities across America, environmentally-minded citizens are celebrating the holiday with big green-themed fests, parties and exhibit fairs. 

Not so in the Catskills, where Earth Day celebrations tend to be more low-key. Here, Mother Nature isn't an occasional guest to fête; she's a full-time resident. But this week, the local area holds a few special events in honor of the planet. 

Today, the Arkville-based Catskill Center for Conservation and Development and the MARK Project are setting up shop outside a few local stores to give away reusable shopping bags: The Freshtown and the Dollar Store in Margaretville, and the Great American in Prattsville. Stop by to get a grocery bag that won't end up in a landfill -- or, better yet, bring your own. 

Sullivan County's digital library of maps for hiking trails and public lands, Trailkeeper.org, is celebrating today with a family scavenger hunt at Turtle Spring Nature Trail, at 64 Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty. Treasure hunters of all ages will get a chance to try geocaching, in which hikers hunt for hidden capsules with the help of GPS receivers. The scavenger hunt runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m. To pre-register for the event, call the Sullivan County Cornell Cooperative Extension at 845-292-6180, or email Nicole Slevin at nas96@cornell.edu. 

  Read more

New York's top court to hear Palenville Pagan tax case

Above: A goddess on an altar at the Maetreum of Cybele in 2010. Photo by Julia Reischel.

The question of whether a tiny Pagan group's Palenville headquarters qualifies for a religious tax exemption will be heard by the highest court in New York State this year, according to lawyers on both sides of the case.

Left: The Maetreum of Cybele. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

The New York State Court of Appeals has granted the town of Catskill's motion for leave to appeal in its case against the Maetreum of Cybele, a three-story former inn in the Catskill hamlet of Palenville that is the worldwide headquarters of the Cybeline Revival, a monastic branch of Paganism founded by Cathryn Platine in the 1990s.

Platine, whose religious title is Reverend Mother Battakes, lives at the Maetreum, along with a small group of the religion's followers.  Read more

Cairo woman arrested after hotel knife fight

A South Cairo woman faces assault charges after a fight at the New Baltimore Best Western, in which police say she cut someone with a utility knife. 

The suspect is 26-year-old Paula Werenczak, who has been charged with second-degree assault, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and possessing a controlled substance not in the original container.

Police say Werenczak got into a dispute at the Best Western on Route 9W on Wednesday, April 14 in which she injured another person with the knife, then fled the scene. 

State troopers found and arrested Werenczak on Friday, April 16. She was arraigned in Athens town court and remanded to the Greene County Jail on $15,000 cash bail or $30,000 bond.   Read more

Winter's last hurrah (we hope)

People across the Catskills awoke this morning to find April's first green shoots covered in snow. Above: A row of icicles that sprouted overnight from a Margaretville roof gleams under a dazzling blue sky. Photo by Lissa Harris.

According to snow reports from the National Weather Service in Albany and Binghamton, some areas in the Catskills -- like Claryville in Ulster County, Livingston Manor in Sullivan County, and the Greene County mountaintop region -- got over three inches of snow Tuesday night. 

Tuesday's bout of winter weather came just a little too late to extend the ski season, which lasted well into April this year. Over the past week or two, the four major ski centers of the Catskills -- Belleayre, Hunter, Plattekill and Windham -- all put an end to this year's blockbuster season.

Above: No BBQs on this Margaretville porch til the snow melts. Photo by Lissa Harris.  Read more

Cold front sweeps through area, bringing rain, sleet and snow

Above: Temperatures around upstate New York around 8 a.m. this morning, showing a cold front moving east across the region. The National Weather Service in Albany writes: "Current 8 a.m. temperature in Albany is 63 degrees while behind the cold front in Buffalo, NY, it is 33 degrees with a rain/snow mix."

Watch out for April showers -- and a few bouts of sleet and snow. After a few days of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, the Catskills region is now bracing for the return of wintry weather as a cold front moves in from the west.   Read more

Senior-ize or Sell - Informative Seminar

For most people their home is one of their most valuable assets. Therefore, it is a good idea to carefully consider options regarding this asset when reaching retirement age and beyond.  Many people prefer to "age in place", while others are ready to downsize and each scenario raises many questions.

Gerry Murphy of M Gerard Country Home and Margaret "Peggy" Bellar, licensed real estate salesperson, of Keller Williams Upstate New York Properties will explore "senior-izing" your home and tips on preparing for selling your home in an informative seminar to be held at M Gerard Country Home store on Saturday, April 26th from 11AM until Noon. Also joining them will be professionals to answer legal and tax questions.
 
 




 

High art: Balloon sculptures made for the Guggenheim soar in Catskill

Above: Jason Hackenwerth's Aviary in its original form, as a one-night installation made for a gala at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. Photo by Kristopher McKay.

Latex balloons are generally considered to be more the stuff of children’s birthday parties than of high art, but one sculptor is out to put a pin in that idea. Jason Hackenwerth’s buoyant works, which are touching down in Catskill this weekend, look past the common balloon’s reputation to its transcendent power as an artistic medium.

Sinuous and colorful, Hackenwerth's sculptures can call to mind anything from exotic sea flora to alien life forms. Now, as part of Catskill’s Masters on Main Street program, three of his creations are touching down in locations throughout the town in a free exhibition called Aviary: Reimagined.

“The commonality of that material is so accessible and so easy to understand,” says Hackenwerth of his chosen medium. “Instead of people being frightened of the work, as a lot of people are for contemporary art, they seem to be joyous and happy.”  Read more

TAP New York celebrates the state's thriving craft beer industry

At the annual TAP New York fest, New York State craft brewers showcase a wide variety of local beers, from crisp lagers and hearty ales to rich, malty stouts and porters. Photo courtesy of Hunter Mountain.

There are lots of reasons to celebrate craft beer in the Catskills right now. Several new breweries and brew pubs are opening this year, and the growing market for crops such as hops and small grains offer new opportunities for local farmers.

Luckily for Catskills beer-lovers, the state’s biggest celebration of small-batch beer takes place right in the heart of Greene County’s mountaintop region every year, and this year it’s bigger than ever.

On Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27, nearly 100 breweries from Buffalo to Brooklyn will set up shop at the base of Hunter Mountain for the annual TAP New York festival. Offering about 300 beers and a wide variety of “beer-friendly” food, the festival was founded by veteran brewmaster Nat Collins and Bill Woodring 17 years ago. It has since grown from a few dozen beer-lovers geeking out over a handful of local brews into a two-day affair of tasting and competition for coveted awards. Judges anoint the best regional and statewide breweries, as well as the best individual beer in the state.

  Read more

Stabbed in the backside: Windham woman arrested for knifing boyfriend

Should you write "butt" in a newspaper? Mid-Hudson News is doing it. Help us, AP Stylebook.

A 20-year-old Windham woman has been jailed on charges that she stabbed her live-in boyfriend in the aforementioned bit of his anatomy -- the right buttock, to be precise -- with a large survival knife. 

State police say they responded to a report of a domestic dispute at a Main Street apartment in Windham. Upon investigation, they recovered a knife from the scene, and arrested 20-year-old Erin Ratel, who is charged with second-degree assault (a felony) and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon (a misdemeanor). 

The victim was transported to Columbia Medical Center and treated for a puncture wound.   Read more

Give us your best shot: The 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest

Above: “Two Boys and a Dog in East Meredith” by Cindy Dunne, the second-place winner of last year's Catskills Outdoor Guide photo contest.

Update: The contest is now closed. Winners will be announced on May 27, when the 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide hits the streets. Thanks for all the great shots. To see all the entries this year, click here. -- Julia Reischel

As part of our 2014 Catskills Outdoor Guide, we're hosting a 2014 edition of our "Catskills Outdoor Experience" photo contest, once again sponsored by the Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room in Big Indian.  Read more

Syndicate content