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Groundhog snow day

Above: A sheepdog guards its flock during a Catskills snowstorm on Monday, Jan. 2. Photo by Mark Zilberman, via Flickr

After the fakeout from last week's snowstorm-that-wasn't, a foot of snow is falling across the Catskills today, Monday, Feb. 2. Many schools and offices around the region are closed. We're tracking the storm below. Share your photos with us on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook or via email and we'll add them.

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The Catskills: The "locally cured bacon" vacation destination

Above: Locally cured bacon from Fleisher's, the artisanal Catskills butcher shop that has outposts in Kingston and Park Slope, Brooklyn. Photo via the Fleisher's Facebook page

Another downstate media outlet is tackling our question: Is 2015 the year of the Catskills? According to a thoughtful article in the Daily Beast today, the answer is a great big yes.   Read more

Spinning skaters at the ice carnival

John of Catskills Photography went to the Livingston Manor Ice Carnival on Sunday, Jan. 25 and took some great photos, which he shared with us in the Watershed Post Flickr pool.

Above are figure skaters Valerie Levine (left) and Victoria Calderone (right) spinning in tamden during their performance at the carnival. This is a detail of a larger photo -- to see the whole thing, click here. 

January 2015 snowstorm updates

9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27: The travel ban in Ulster County (and in most other New York counties) has been lifted, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this morning announced that the travel ban in the Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, Westchester counties), Nassau County, and New York City is lifted effective at 7:30 a.m. I-84 as well as the Thruway have been reopened. Drivers should use extreme caution and prepare properly as driving conditions remain poor and other states still may have travel bans in effect.

7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27: Snow much for that. Overnight, the storm tracked farther east than forecasters expected, and now the National Weather Service, Hudson Valley Weather and other forecasters have lowered their snowfall predictions for the Catskills and New York City. It'll be just another normal winter storm from here on out, with up to 6 inches possible in most parts of the Catskills. 

From the National Weather Service in Albany

This storm was east far enough by 50-100 miles to drastically alter the snowfall accumulations in the Albany forecast area. Some snow is still expected...but much lesser amounts at this time.

The team at Hudson Valley Weather has been up all night for this nailbiter:

While we are still under advisories and warnings for up to 6-12 inches of snow by the NWS, we fill that if the moisture does actually push west this morning into the afternoon, it will only produce light to possibly moderate snowfall totals. A general 2-6 inch snow fall with maybe a few higher spots seems much more logical at this point. No reason to believe this storm will discontinue its efforts to underperform the forecast.

HVW adds that it's been getting flack from irate readers: 

As a side note, attacks against HVW and forecasters alike will not bring the snow back, it would be much more productive for you to tackle your degree in meteorology. We realize that this was a major blow to the science and to forecasting in general and it will likely open the floodgates of criticism against what forecasters do. Kinda reminds me of the movie "The Weatherman" when Nicholas Cage is walking down the street and he gets hit with a milkshake, with that said, I prefer a chocolate frosty from Wendy's.

8:20 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26: There's some confusion about whether Gov. Cuomo's travel ban includes Sullivan County. The governor named Sullivan County as one of the counties with a travel ban in both press conferences he gave on Jan. 26, but his office's official list of 13 counties with travel bans does not include Sullivan County: 

For all local and state roads, a travel ban will go into effect at 11 p.m until further notice in the following 13 counties: Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster, and Westchester.

Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potosek issued a statement at 7:15 p.m. saying that there is no travel ban in effect in Sullivan County: 

County Manger Joshua Potosek has announced that there are no current travel restrictions for Sullivan County ... County Manager Potosek urges all County residents during the storm to remain indoors and off roadways whenever possible. If residents must drive, they are advised to exercise extreme caution when driving through this storm.

It looks like the only Catskills county included in the travel ban is Ulster, where drivers have been ordered to stay off the roads after 11 p.m tonight.  

5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26: A travel ban on all roads will be in effect in Ulster and Sullivan counties, as well in more southern New York counties, beginning at 11 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26.

"It is a total travel restriction ban," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a 4:45 p.m. press conference. "If you are in your car, and you are on any road after 11 p.m., you will technically be committing a crime." 

"State roads, local roads, city roads, town roads except for emergency personnel," Cuomo said. "If you violate this state order it’s a possible misdemeanor, with fines up to $300."

12 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26: Ulster and Sullivan county are under a state of emergency due to the looming snowstorm that is forecasted to bring up to 18 inches of snow to the eastern Catskills tonight, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference at noon on Monday, Jan. 26.

There will be a tractor-trailer ban on the New York Thruway beginning at 4 p.m., and Cuomo's administration is considering issuing a total travel ban on all traffic on all main roads tonight. 

"I'm declaring a state of emergency effective immediately from Sullivan and Ulster counties south," Cuomo said.

The governor also said that there will be a tractor trailer ban on the New York Thruway beginning at 4 p.m. 

"We are considering at this time a travel ban on all main roads starting at 11 p.m. tonight," Cuomo said.

That decision on the travel ban will be made after 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26, Cuomo said. 

"The closing of the roads is a safety precaution," he said. "It's never an easy decision." 

"This is not a storm to take lightly," he said. 

More updates below:

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Up to two feet of snow expected in Catskills during storm

Above: Projected snowfall totals in the Catskills and Hudson Valley by Hudson Valley Weather

Update, 1/26: We are tracking live updates on the progress of the storm through the Catskills and Hudson Valley. Click here to follow along.

The forecasters at the National Weather Service and Hudson Valley Weather say that up to 24 inches of snow could hit the Catskills during Winter Storm Juno (yes, it has a name) on Monday, Jan. 26 and Tuesday, Jan. 27. 

We're getting off easy. The predictions for New York City are dire.  Read more

Job Posting: Watershed Maintainer

Watershed Maintainer
Job ID: 180000
Civil Service Title: WATERSHED MAINTAINER (2 Positions)
Title Code No: 91011
Job Category: Maintenance & Operations
Career Level: Entry-Level
Proposed Salary Range: $ 36,181.00 - $ 52,920.00 (Annual)
Work Location: 7870 State Rd 42 Grahamsville, NY
Hours/Shift: 40 hours per week/Day/Night Shift. Weekends/Holidays included

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) protects public health and the environment by supplying clean drinking water, collecting and treating wastewater, and reducing air, noise and hazardous materials pollution. DEP is the largest combined municipal water and wastewater utility in the country, with nearly 6,000 employees. We deliver 1.1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water per day to 8.3 million New York City residents and more than 1 million people Upstate New York, and we collect and treat an average of 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater per day.  Read more

The Heron: A Chef's Tale

Ohio native Marla Puccetti, who co-owns The Heron in Narrowsburg, NY with her chef/partner, Paul Nanni, grew up in the restaurant industry – her uncle ran a steakhouse and her father owned an Italian restaurant – but it was not the career path her family envisioned for her.

“I begged my dad to let me work for him, but he wanted me to go to college and get a nice office job,” she recalls. “This is tough work, it’s a tough business and he wanted something different for me.”

Marla earned her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and moved to New York to attend New School University for her graduate degree. She embarked on a successful television production career, working for the Oxygen Network, Hornet Inc. and City Lights Media Group as well as MTV, VH1, Discovery, TLC, and the Cooking Channel.  Read more

This weekend: The Livingston Manor Ice Carnival

Above: The royal court at the 2011 Livingston Manor Rotary Ice Carnival. Photo via the Livingston Manor Rotary Ice Carnival's Facebook page.

For 56 years, Livingston Manor's Rotary has thrown a huge party in the depths of January. The annual Livingston Manor Ice Carnival is held for a full three days at venues around the Sullivan County hamlet.

On Friday, the Ice Carnival King and Queen will be crowned at the annual dance at the Livingston Manor Central School Gym. On Saturday, snow sculptors of all expertise levels are invited to compete in a "New York Landmarks" snow sculpture contest, held in the Rotary Park on Pleasant Street. (Organizers promise that "prominent VIPs" will be the judges, so bring your "A" game.)

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Family of burglars caught by trail camera in Wurtsboro

Above: Rameek Alston and Teresa Wintermeyer. Photos via the New York State Police. 

A hidden trail camera caught a Wurtsboro couple red-handed as they burglarized an apartment with their 18-month-old child in tow, according to a New York State Police press release issued on Jan. 16.

A contractor who was renovating an apartment in Sullivan County began to suspect that the apartment was being burglarized when he noticed that tools and other items seemed to be disappearing, the press release states. So he installed a trail camera in the apartment to catch the burglar.

A whole family got caught in the act, police say. Thirty-year-old Rameek D. Alston, 31-year-old Teresa M. Wintermeyer and their 18-month-old child were all caught on tape breaking into the apartment and stealing property.  Read more


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