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

Body and Health Winners

Marilyn Donnelly, Nursing Director at Margaretville Hospital, selects winners of the Margaretville Health Foundation Valentines Day Raffle. Congratulations to winners Pete Curran (Emerson Spa massage), Mike O'Brien (Delhi Cardio Club membership), Debbie Troup (Bodyworx Life Coaching) and Dana Atkin (Catskill Recreation Center membership). Pictured l to r: Amy McCann, Foundation Board Member, Marilyn Donnelly, Iris Mead, Foundation Development Coordinator. Thank you to our partner businesses for donating Body and Health gift certificates.
Thank you to the community for supporting healthcare in the Central Catskills.

Catskill Game Farm struggles to raise funds for renovations

When Cathy and Ben Ballone bought the shuttered Catskill Game Farm in 2012, they hoped to breathe new life into the historic former private zoo.

Instead, they have spent four years unsuccessfully seeking millions of dollars from investors to rehabilitate the property as an RV park and camping destination.

In its heyday, the Catskill Game Farm housed thousands of animals, including monkeys, giraffes, rhinoceroses and an elephant, on its 206-acre campus in the Greene County town of Catskill. Founded in 1933 by Roland Lindemann, the zoo was a beloved local attraction for generations of Catskills tourists for 73 years. In 2006, the zoo was shuttered and the animals were sold off.

In 2012, the Ballones were looking to buy land in the Durham area, near where Cathy grew up. Cathy, an events planner, and Ben, a contractor from New Jersey, were captivated by the former Catskill Game Farm, which had sat vacant since 2006. They bought it for $100,000 and renamed it the Old Game Farm.  Read more

Flooding possible throughout Catskills

Rain falling on frozen ground may lead to flooding across the Catskills on Tuesday, Feb. 16, according to the National Weather Service in Albany and Binghamton. 

The western Catskills counties of Delaware and Sullivan are under a flood advisory until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, according to NWS Binghamton:

SEVERAL AREAS OF MINOR PONDING OF WATER...AND STREET FLOODING HAVE BEEN REPORTED TODAY ACROSS THE REGION DUE TO HEAVY RAIN AND MELTING SNOW. SLUSH CLOGGED DRAINS HAVE BEEN THE CAUSE OF MOST OF THE FLOODING.

SMALL STREAMS HAVE BEEN RISING RAPIDLY WITHIN THEIR BANKS OVER PARTS OF NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA AND THE SOUTHERN TIER OF NEW YORK.

ADDITIONAL RAINFALL THROUGH THE LATE AFTERNOON OF ONE HALF TO THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH IS LIKELY...WHICH WILL CAUSE ADDITIONAL MINOR FLOODING OF POOR DRAINAGE AND LOW LYING AREAS INTO THIS EVENING.  Read more

How to spend Valentine's Day in the Catskills

Above: Miss Kitty's Saloon, one of the suites at the Roxbury Motel. Image via the Roxbury Motel website. 

According to legend, Saint Valentine was a pretty wild character who was incarcerated and executed for performing illegal marriages back in the third century, so there’s more to celebrate this Sunday, Feb. 14 than the memory of excruciating grade school card swaps.

So reclaim Valentine’s day from the mass-market chocolatiers and minions of mediocrity and celebrate his legacy of radical love with dining, partying, music and fun in the Catskills. Make a weekend of it: we’ve listed a few local hotels and inns that are running lovefest specials.

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

Teachout to run for 19th district, putting political spotlight on Catskills

Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout ended weeks of speculation on Monday, Jan. 25 by announcing her candidacy for outgoing Republican Congressman Chris Gibson’s 19th congressional district seat, which represents the Catskills and the Hudson Valley in New York.

Left: Zephyr Teachout. Photo by Digital Media, via Wikimedia Commons. 

Teachout’s announcement puts the Catskills region, formerly a gerrymandered political backwater before a judicial redistricting effort in 2012, at the center of New York State politics.  Read more

"Not your grandfather's Catskills:" Forum crosses county lines to talk tourism

Above: Tom Joyce of Andes in Delaware County, Lisa Lyons of Livingston Manor in Sullivan County and Robert Eggleton of the town of Rockland in Sullivan County talk about a map of the Catskills at a Jan. 23 forum about tourism and economic development in the region. Photo by Rebecca Andre.

At a forum at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development in the Delaware County town of Arkville on Saturday, Jan. 23, officials from four Catskills counties agreed that tourism is key to the economic future of the Catskills region.

"This is not your grandfather's Catskills," said Geddy Sveikauskas, who led the discussion. Sveikauskas is the founder of the Woodstock Times newspaper and a member of the board of the Catskill Center.

In front of an audience of 23 people, representatives from the town of Andes in Delaware County, the town of Hunter in Greene County, the hamlet of Livingston Manor in Sullivan County and the town of Woodstock in Ulster County brainstormed ways to work together to attract more tourists to the Catskills.  Read more

Rangers rescue three hikers stranded on Bastion Falls

Above: Kaaterskill Falls in winter 2007. Photo by Jason, via Flickr. 

Editor's Note: The DEC's press release about this rescue reported erroneously that the incident occurred on Kaaterskill Falls, which has a notoriously dangerous unofficial trail that is currently closed to the public. In fact, according to DEC staffers who have followed up with the Watershed Post, the rescue did not happen on Kaaterskill Falls, but rather at nearby Bastion Falls, where the trails are open to the public. This story has been substantially edited to remove information about Kaaterskill Falls. The original, and erroneous, story we published is reproduced at the bottom of this post.

Edited story:  Read more

If You Build it, They Will Come: The Science of Nesting Birds (Part 1)

March 12, 2016 - 1:00pm

Presented by: Robyn Bailey and Chelsea Benson, Cornell Lab of Ornithology NestWatch Program

Location:  Agroforestry Resource Center & and the Siuslaw Model Forest, 6055 Route 23, Acra NY 12405

Spring is coming, and with it, nesting birds! Come and build a birdhouse (also called a nest box) with us and learn about local nesting birds (all materials will be provided).  After building boxes with the help of NestWatch program staff, we will head outside and install them in the Siuslaw Model Forest. Forest. Participants will also learn about what features make a nest box desirable to a bird, and how to select a target species for a given location and habitat. This is a free event for youth, ages 11+ and their parents. Space is limited so please register by March 2.

518-622-9820 x0

Zephyr Teachout greets Delaware Co. Democrats, mulls run for Congress

Above: Zephyr Teachout, right, a potential Democratic candidate for the 19th U.S. Congressional District seat, spoke with town of Andes Supervisor Bud Gladstone on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at a gathering in Delhi. Photo by Robert Cairns. 

Zephyr Teachout, the Fordham University professor who ran an unsuccessful primary campaign against Andrew Cuomo for governor of New York in 2014, is eyeing a run for the 19th U.S. Congressional District seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Chris Gibson.

Teachout, a Democrat, greeted about 50 supporters on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at the Shire Pub in Delhi. Despite a social media campaign by organizers of the event, Teachout said she had only expected to meet with Delaware County Democratic Committee Chairman Tom Schimmerling and “one or two other people.”

“I'm trying to decide whether I'm going to run for Congress,” she said.

She said, however, that she has not made that decision. “I have a timeline in my head which I'm not going to tell you, but I'll promise I'm going to decide within the next couple weeks.”  Read more


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