Hollywood vet Bill Pullman chairs the Catskill Mountains Film Festival

Top:  Bill Pullman with Jessica Vecchione, the founder of the Catskill Mountains Film Festival. Photo by Riikka Olson, via the CMFF Facebook pageAbove: Bill Pullman explains his relationship to the Catskills. Video shot by festival founder Jessica Veccchione. 

Bill Pullman, a Hollywood vet whose best-known role is a stalwart president facing down aliens in the 1997 blockbuster Independence Day, is the honorary chairman of the new Catskill Mountains Film Festival, which is launching this May. 

The festival, which was founded by local videographer and filmmaker Jessica Vecchione, is accepting submissions until March 21. (Pullman has an adorable call for submissions on the festival's website.)   Read more

New manager at the helm of WJFF

Above: WJFF's Adam Weinreich, recently promoted to station manager. Photo courtesy of WJFF. 

Public radio may sound genteel, but it can generate some fierce drama. Last year, WJFF, Jeffersonville's independent community FM radio station, was the epicenter of a painful controversy, when station volunteers and community members lashed out at WJFF management after the abrupt cancellation of a beloved local program

In the uproar, eight of the station's nine board members resigned last April, along with station manager Winston Clark. To keep things running, the station appointed assistant manager Adam Weinreich to serve as interim manager. Weinreich had been assistant manager at the station since 2009.  Read more

"Quick burst" of snow to hit Catskills this afternoon

See video

Above: Snow falling thick and fast at 11:40 a.m. in Margaretville at the WP HQ. 

This winter isn't over yet. The National Weather Service in Albany is predicting that a "quick burst" of 1 to 3 inches of snow will fall in the eastern Catskills this afternoon -- specifically in Greene, Schoharie and Ulster counties. The snowfall rate will be heavy -- about an inch per hour.

It has already started snowing that hard in Margaretville. See our video above.

The precipitation may become freezing rain as the temperatures rise just above 32 degrees, according to Hudson Valley Weather:  Read more

NYC mayor appoints Emily Lloyd as DEP commissioner

Above: New DEP commissioner Emily Lloyd and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday in the Blue Room at City Hall, where de Blasio announced the appointment of Lloyd and two other city administrators. Photo courtesy of Mayor de Blasio's office. 

Former New York City Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Emily Lloyd is getting her old job back, city mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday at City Hall. 

Lloyd headed the DEP from 2005 to 2008 under former mayor Michael Bloomberg. She resigned from the post in October of 2008, in a move that drew some speculation at the time about whether her departure was connected to controversy over the ballooning costs of the agency's Croton filtration plant  Read more

DEP police sign a new contract with de Blasio administration

Photo illustration. The reservoir in the background is the Pepacton in Delaware County; photo by Timothy Cox, shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

A union representing about 200 watershed police working for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently signed a contract with the city's new mayor, Bill de Blasio.

The DEP police contract -- the first labor contract signed under de Blasio's administration -- follows almost a decade of wrangling over the status of the DEP's officers, who have long performed many of the duties of police without the same level of benefits as other city police officers.  Read more

Heroin found in Fallsburg elementary school

Seven faculty members at Fallsburg's Benjamin Cosor Elementary School are being investigated after heroin and needles were found in a faculty men's room, the Times Herald-Record reports

According to Fallsburg police, drugs were found in the same bathroom on two separate occasions: On Friday, Dec. 20, heroin and several needles were found. More recently, on Feb. 11, a school staff member found a heroin baggie. 

Police have identified six teachers, an aide, and an occupational therapist who used the faculty men's room before the Feb. 11 discovery. The occupational therapist gave police a urine sample, but the other seven faculty members under investigation have hired lawyers and are not voluntarily cooperating with the investigation, Fallsburg police chief Simmie Williams told the Times Herald-Record:  Read more

Five ways to spend Valentine's Day in the Catskills

 

1. We heart art. 
On Valentine's Day, meet and mingle with the artists in permanent residence at the Woodstock Commons, a new affordable-housing center for artists, seniors and working families. "Share The Love," a gallery show featuring the artists' work along with artwork by children who live in the building, will open on Friday, Feb. 14, with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Work by Avigayil Landsman, Sasha Sun, Laura Katz and Mercedes Cecilia will be on display, and the evening will feature a special performance by resident musician Barry Garneau.

 

Above: Catskill Rose's handmade lobster marscapone ravioli. Delish.  Read more

Craft beer industry booming in the Catskills

Beers of the Catskills: There's plenty to choose from. Photo from the Facebook page of Cave Mountain Brewing Co. in Windham, whose proprietors are planning to expand into wholesale.

Craft beer drinkers of the greater Catskills region, rejoice: many new taps will flow this spring.

Between April and June, three new breweries are scheduled to debut, offering small-batch brews from the hands of two industry veterans and one newcomer.

Up first is Hunter Mountain Brewery, a microbrewery and restaurant created by longtime local brewmaster Nat Collins, co-founder of the annual TAP-NY Craft Beer & Fine Food Festival. Hunter Mountain Brewery, slated for late April, is now under construction in the former home of the Fireside Restaurant, along Route 23A between Hunter and Tannersville.  Read more

Trailways service cancelled in the Catskills for Thursday

With a snowstorm approaching the Catskills region, Trailways New York has cancelled all service on several routes that go through the area for Thursday, Feb. 12. Many other routes throughout upstate New York are also cancelled or are operating on a limited schedule. 

All service is suspended for Thursday along the Utica to Kingston line, which stops in Woodstock, Phoenicia, Pine Hill, Margaretville, Delhi, Oneonta and other intermediate stops. 

Also cancelled for Thursday: The line that runs between Kingston and New York City, which stops at New Paltz and Rosendale. 

A full list of the Trailways New York cancellations is posted on the bus company's website.

Snowstorm to hit Catskills on Thursday

Above: Graphic from the National Weather Service showing weather watches, warnings and advisories in upstate New York as of 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The area in pink, stretching across the southern Catskills and Hudson Valley, is under winter storm warning; counties in dark blue are under winter storm watch.

A nor'easter moving up the East Coast is expected to drop anywhere from 6 to 18 inches of snow on the Catskills on Thursday, with the heaviest accumulations in the southeastern part of the region. 

Snow will begin to fall Thursday morning, become heavier in the afternoon, and continue overnight. Forecasters expect travel conditions to be dangerous in the area from Thursday through Friday morning  Read more


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