Constitution Pipeline files 55 eminent domain lawsuits against Catskills landowners

Above: The proposed route of the Constitution Pipeline in 2013. Via the Constitution Pipeline's website.  

Since Dec. 12, the Constitution Pipeline has filed formal eminent domain proceedings against 55 landowners along the pipeline’s proposed 124-mile route through Schoharie, Delaware and Chenango counties, federal court records show.

The pipeline, which received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 2, has wasted no time in using the power of eminent domain to force people to allow the 30-inch natural gas pipeline to cross their land.

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the pipeline’s law firm sent a letter to resistant landowners offering them a chance to accept compensation in exchange for an easement on their property. The letter gave the landowners until Dec. 11 to make up their minds.  Read more

Cuomo celebrates with anti-fracking activists

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is basking in the celebratory mood of his constituents this week. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, his administration announced that New York State will ban hydraulic fracturing natural gas drilling and also gave a green light to a casino resort in the Catskills.

Cuomo has travelled the state to glad-hand with supporters of both moves. He gave a speech in Bethel on Thursday, Dec. 18 to a cheering pro-casino advocates in Sullivan County.  Read more

New York state bans fracking

 

A video posted by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on

At a cabinet meeting that was open to the public today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State Department of Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens and New York Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced that the practice of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be prohibited in New York State.   Read more

Man trapped by snow in remote Schoharie County cabin for three days

A man was trapped by snow in a remote cabin in the Schoharie town of Broome for three days last week, according to a press release from the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office. 

Sixty-year-old David Garrison lives in a cabin with no phone or electricity. On Friday, Dec. 12, one of his neighbors called the police to say that Garrison hadn't been seen since Tuesday, Dec. 9. Over 22 inches of snow fell between Tuesday and Friday in that part of Schoharie County, police say.

Sheriff's deputies riding on snowmobiles reached Garrison's house on Laura Lane on Friday afternoon and found Garrison alone with his dog. The snow had kept Garrison, who has some disabilities, from reaching his woodpile. He had kept warm by burning pieces of his house in his woodstove, his home's only source of heat, the press release says.

The Daily Star's Jessica Reynolds has more details about the rescue:  Read more

Healthy Holiday Eating

Over the holiday season, we all tend to slack on our healthy habits. We no longer worry about looking good in that bathing suit, so we trade fresh salads and fruit for holiday cookies and feasts, hiding behind sweaters and baggy clothes. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Following a few simple steps will keep you healthy and happy through the holidays and the winter months ahead!  

1. Get active in the morning.

During the fall and winter, days are shorter, and by the time you get home from work or school, it’s likely dark out. Take advantage of the morning sunlight by getting your workout done early. When nighttime hits, you won’t have to worry about forcing yourself to the gym. Plus the endorphins will keep you going throughout the day.

2. Hunger VS Cravings.   Read more

Naked man spent 14 hours outside in Summit, prompting helicopter search

Above: Photo via Flickr user rabiem22

A 28-year-old man wearing nothing but a pair of boots turned up on the porch of a residence in Summit after spending 14 hours naked outside on Sunday, Dec. 7, police say.

"You've never seen a guy shake that much in your whole life," said Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond, whose office helped with the search.

The man, who is not being identified, was reported missing by his family at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning, prompting a large search of an area near Charlotte Valley Road in Schoharie County, according to a press release from the New York State Police.  Read more

$15 million in grants go to Catskills organizations

Above: Americorps team members work on the storefront of Catskill Mountainkeeper in Livingston Manor in June 2014. Mountainkeeper received a $1.8 million grant from the state of New York on Dec. 11, 2014.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo handed out early Christmas presents on Thursday, Dec. 11 in the form of $709.2 million in economic and community development funding to hundreds of organizations across New York state. Several Catskills organizations, including MTC Cable, Catskill Mountainkeeper and the village of Sidney, received over a million dollars each. 

Through the program, called the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, New York State issues grants to businesses, community groups, nonprofits, and municipalities. The Catskills did well this year, picking up over $15 million overall, according to our back-of-the-envelope math.   Read more

This Weekend: Catskills holiday shopping guide

Above: A window display at Ragtime Clothing Exchange in Callicoon, which hosts its first Dickens on the Delaware event this weekend. Photo via the Dickens on the Delaware Facebook page. 

The snow is on the ground, just in time for the fourth installment of our holiday shopping guide. (Want even more things to do? Check out our ever-updating Catskills events calendar.) 

Here's what's happening over the weekend of Dec. 13 and 14: 

Delaware County

Santa comes to the town square in Delhi on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., along with horse and wagon rides and hot cocoa. The town's holiday lights contest ends the next day  Read more

During storm, power surge caused smoking electrical outlets in Middleburgh

Above: Photo by Flickr user grendelkhan

A power surge during a large snowstorm caused electical outlets to smoke and pop in six houses in the Schoharie County town of Middleburgh early on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Beginning at 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the Middleburgh Fire Department began receiving panicked 911 calls from residents on Huntersland Road, Possum Hill Road, Brooky Hollow Road and East Hill Road, said Middleburgh Fire Chief Michael Devlin.   Read more

Prattsville bridge over Schoharie Creek to be replaced

Above: The Route 23 bridge over the Schoharie Creek in Prattsville. Photo by Doug Kerr.

The steel truss bridge that carries Route 23 over the Schoharie Creek in the Greene County town of Prattsville is slated for replacement in 2016, according to the New York State Department of Transportation, which is holding a public meeting about the bridge on Thursday, Dec. 11 at the Prattsville Community Church at 6:30 p.m.

The bridge, which was built in 1949, has been repaired several times in the past decade, most recently in 2012 after workers found a crack in its steel, according to the Mountain Eagle.  Read more


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