Snow day: Roads, schools and offices closed around Catskills

Above: Better put on those snow boots. Photo by Julia Reischel. Send your Catskills snow day photos to julia.reischel@watershedpost.com, share them on our Facebook page, or upload them to our Flickr pool. We'll share 'em. 

Between 8 and 10 inches of snow have fallen across the western Catskills region last night, according to the National Weather Service office in Binghamton. (The Binghamton weather folks are asking for photos of rulers in snow from the around the region this morning. So far, they've collected some good ones.)

This morning, county offices, schools and many major roads are closed.   Read more

Snowstorm could dump 10-18 inches on the Catskills overnight

That pink swath over most of the Northeast and Midwest? That's winter storm warnings, issued for a band of snow and sleet that's moving northeastward across the nation. Source: National Weather Service.

Skies over the Catskills are dazzling blue, but by tonight, the first flakes of a winter storm that could dump as much as 18 inches in the mountains will begin to fall. 

The storm is expected to begin around midnight, and continue through Wednesday. Hudson Valley Weather is forecasting 10 to 18 inches of heavy, wet snow for the Catskills, beginning in the west and spreading east.  Read more

Only 1 Week till Drawing February 10th

Ticket sales still going on. Visit the following retailers:

Auxiliary of Margartville Hospital

Bodyworx

Bed and Bath Shoppe

CatskilI Images - sold out

M Gerard Country Home - sold out

Foothills Shoe Store

Karen Neblung Salon

Margaretville Hospital - lobby reception desk

Mountainside Residential Care Center - lobby reception desk

Drawing February 10th

 

 

Fatal shooting at DEP office in Kingston

Left: David N. Reese, who was arrested and charged with murder in the 2nd degree after allegedly shooting a coworker at the DEP on February 3, 2014. Photo via the Kingston Police Department's Facebook page. 

A 33-year-old Olivebridge man was fatally shot by a coworker at the Kingston office of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection at 71 Smith Avenue around 6:45 a.m. on Monday morning. A suspect in the shooting was taken into custody at the scene shortly after the incident.  Read more

DEP touts increased access for boaters, hikers and hunters in 2013

Fishing on the Pepacton Reservoir: Has that umbrella been steam-cleaned? Photo taken July 17, 2013; from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection's Flickr page.

In the past few years, there's been a shift of attitude at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), where officials are increasingly rolling out a welcome mat for hikers, boaters, anglers and hunters who want to use city property. On lands near the city's west-of-Hudson reservoirs, where once hiking groups had trouble even getting permission to cross DEP property, the agency is now actively working with hiking groups to build trails.  Read more

Raffle Tickets Still Available

Win Valentine’s Dinner for 2 at Peekamoose Restaurant. LOVE BITES! ...and support quality healthcare in the Catskills.

Tickets may be purchased at the following local retailers

Auxiliary Thrift Shop in Margaretville

Bed and Bath Shoppe in Margaretville

Bodyworx in Margaretville

Catskill Images in Roxbury

Foothills Shoe Store in Margaretville

Karen Neblung's Salon in Roxbury

MGerard Country Home in Arkville

Shear Madness in Fleischmanns

Margaretville Hospital - Lobby Registration Desk

Mountainside Residential Care Center - Lobby Registration Desk

Bad news boars: Helicopter crew fights NY feral swine

Above: A trailcam captures a nighttime view of a wild boar in Delaware County. Photo taken in August of 2013; courtesy of Justin Gansowski of the USDA.

This week, federal wildlife agents armed with cameras and sniper rifles are patrolling New York State skies by helicopter, hoping for a glimpse of wild pigs. It's the latest mission in an ongoing battle to rid the state of feral swine, before most New Yorkers even realize the state has a pig problem.

It's far too late for Texas, whose $500-million-a-year feral pig problem has been dubbed the "aporkalypse." In Florida, the pestilential pigs are found in every county, and have even destroyed a $16 million F-16 fighter plane. Pigs are a moot point in Mississippi, where experts say it's "only a matter of time" before feral swine rut and root their way from rural Clay County to the far corners of the state

But it might not be too late for New York, according to the handful of state and federal regulators whose task it is to try to keep feral swine from getting established in the Empire State.

  Read more

Schoharie first responders take an icy plunge

Above: A couple of Cobleskill firefighters suited up for an ice rescue drill in the town of Summit on Saturday, Jan. 25. Photos by Sandra-Lynn White VanValkenburgh; reproduced with permission from Schoharie County Fire Wire & News

If you fell through thin ice, could your local first responders save you?

With weather like the Catskills has been having lately, it's not a bad idea for local firefighters and EMTs to have experience with ice rescues. Over the weekend, volunteers from several Schoharie County fire departments and other first-responder agencies got the chance to do some hands-on simulation of an ice rescue, hosted by the Summit Fire Department.

The weekend event was the first cold-water drill of its size in the area, said John Shaw, a firefighter at the Middleburgh Fire Department who helped set up the training session.   Read more

NYC mayor comes out swinging against fracking

New York City's newly-inaugurated mayor, Bill de Blasio, made it clear he's opposed to hydraulic fracturing in New York State in a speech to fellow mayors in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

De Blasio told the U.S. Conference of Mayors that "the one thing I am firm about is that I don't see any place for fracking," Capital New York reports. The mayor spoke in favor of a statewide moratorium: 

“The science simply isn’t reliable enough," de Blasio said on Thursday. "The technology isn’t reliable enough. And there’s too much danger to our water supply, to our environment in general. So my view is that there should be a moratorium on fracking in New York State until the day comes that we can actually prove it’s safe, and I don’t think that day is coming any time soon.”  Read more

Visit a Winter Farmers' Market

Local food is available all year round. Regional farmers are holding strong at indoor markets like:

Oneonta (alternate Saturdays),

Rhinebeck (alternate Sundays)

Rosendale (2nd Sundays)  Read more

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