Middleburgh

NYC’s watershed police sue their own union

Above: New Environmental Police Officers being sworn in to their jobs patrolling New York City’s upstate watershed, which spans a 2,000-square-mile area, much of it in the Catskills. Photo via the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s Flickr page. 

The police officers who patrol New York City’s 2,000-square-mile upstate watershed are suing their own union, accusing it of corruption and of scuttling a long-awaited contract with the city.

In a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in January on behalf of 200 officers, three police officers say that the union’s leadership has betrayed them.  Read more

The Kingfisher Project tells stories of heroin addiction in the Catskills

Above: A bag of heroin. Photo from a series of photographs shot by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio documenting heroin use.  

Heroin addiction is sweeping through the Catskills, taking lives with it. (Here at the Watershed Post, we write more crime stories about heroin than about any other drug.) 

In 2013, 89,269 people enrolled in heroin drug-treatment programs in New York state; in 2014, that number jumped to 118,000, according to data from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. Heroin abuse is growing the fastest among the young, among ages 18 to 34. Politicians are worried; the governor launched a statewide campaign to battle heroin abuse last fall. 

Locally, the toll is growing. A doctor at Catskill Regional Medical Center calls heroin a "public health crisis." Delaware County's undersheriff says that despite record heroin busts, "more people are using drugs, overdose deaths have accelerated and jails are crowded." Community forums on the topic are being held around the region. 

The Kingfisher Project, a collaborative storytelling and reporting initiative based at WJFF 90.5 FM in Jeffersonville, is digging deep into the heroin epidemic in the Catskills and beyond. 

  Read more

In visit to Roxbury, state officials vow faster Internet for rural NY

Above: New York State Broadband Program director David Salway, left, talks with Greg Henderson, middle, the owner of the Roxbury Motel, and Angela Liotta, right, the state's Broadband Outreach Director, on Wednesday, Feb. 25. Photo by Julia Reischel. 

In his draft budget for the 2015 - 2016 fiscal year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing an ambitious goal: high-speed internet for everyone, including in rural areas like the Catskills, by 2019. Greene County, in the Catskills, has the worst broadband access in the entire state, according to statistics released by the governor’s office.   Read more

Join Pure Catskills by March 27 to get in the Guide

Join by March 27 to be featured in the 2015- 2016 Pure Catskills Guide. Simply send a $35 payment by mail today: Make checks payable to “WAC” and mail to Watershed Agricultural Council, Attn: Pure Catskills, 44 West Street, Walton, NY 13856 OR pay online here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-2016-pure-catskills-guide-online-membership-ad-sales-payments-registration-15301903405.

Questions about membership? Contact Kristan Morley, Farm to Market Manager at [email protected] (link sends e-mail) or (607) 865‐7090.

Top 10 reasons to join:  Read more

Schoharie News to launch print weekly in Schoharie County

The Schoharie News, an online digital newspaper covering Schoharie County, is becoming a weekly print newspaper.

Left: Tim Knight. Photo by Erika Day. 

Tim Knight, the paper's 21-year-old owner, founded the Schoharie News as a digital-only online news outlet in June 2013. The site made a name for itself with Knight's careful reporting about the minutiae of county politics and his sharp-tongued, often fiery editorials about local government. 

Knight, who is graduating from SUNY Cobleskill with a degree in communications this spring, briefly sold the paper to another owner, Robert Panico, before buying it back last month. Now Knight plans to take the publication in a whole new direction.  Read more

Health and Safety - Post Week of 2/23/15

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This Weekend: Valentine's Day in the Catskills

Above: Snowmen in love in Roxbury promote Sunday's Hearts in the Hamlet event, via Facebook.

Just when we desperately need a celebration to take the edge off the cabin fever and the late-winter blahs, here it is Valentine’s Day. What could be lovelier? In the Catskills, love is something that’s celebrated year round, but this weekend it’s the star of the show. Come out and create and play and feast and dance. All events are happening on Valentine's Day itself -- Saturday, Feb. 14 -- unless otherwise indicated. 

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

The winners of the 2015 Catskills Food Guide Photo Contest

The 2015 Catskills Food Guide is out. Click here for more info. - Ed.

Each year, we ask readers of the Watershed Post and our Catskills Food Guide to send us their best photos of Catskills food and farms. This year, 32 photographers entered our 2015 Catskills Food Guide Photo Contest

Thanks to our contest sponsor, Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room in Big Indian, who generously awarded a $75 gift certificate to our grand prize winner. 

Thanks to everyone who entered. To see all of those great photos, click here

Grand Prize Winner   Read more

Snow day, again

Above: Icicles in Andes on Saturday, Feb. 7, by Mark Zilberman. Shared in the Watershed Post Flickr Pool. 

Schools and offices are closed around the Catskills on Monday, Feb. 9 as the National Weather Service predicts 8 to 14 in inches of snow for the region. All five Catskills counties -- Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster -- are under Winter Storm Warnings throughout the day on Monday. The snowfall is forecast to be heavier in the eastern parts of the Catskills. 

(What is is about snow and Mondays? This is the third Monday in a row we've had a big snowstorm in 2015.) 

We're tracking the storm below. Share your photos with us on InstagramFlickrFacebook or email and we'll add them.

  Read more

Catskill Park advocates step up their lobbying efforts in Albany

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Above: A promotional video for the Catskill Park, produced by Catskill Mountainkeeper. 

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, at least in Albany. And until recently, the Catskills were pretty quiet when it came to asking New York’s legislature and governor for money.

That changed in 2013, when a group of organizations working together as the Catskill Park Coalition began heading to the Capitol in person for a formal lobbying effort called Catskill Park Awareness Day. The idea is to knock on the doors of legislators and let them know, in person, that the Catskill Park exists, and that it needs support in the state’s budget.

“Our goal is to encourage Catskill stakeholders to become advocates for the resources needed to make the Catskill Park more accessible and to increase NYS's commitment to fund capital improvements and stewardship,” wrote Alan White, the executive director of the Catskill Center, one of the Coalition’s founding members, in an email to the Watershed Post.   Read more


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