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Transition Catskills proposes 'Catskills dollars,' tool libraries, and farmers' markets

Above: A design for a local Catskills currency created by members of Transition Catskills.

About two dozen people attended the first public forum of Transition Catskills, a group dedicated to making the Catskills more economically resilient, on Wednesday night at the Open Eye Theater in Margaretville.

“This was our first effort to organize a conversation,” said Jeff Tomasi, a former partner at Goldman Sachs who helped found the group.

There will be another film screening and public forum for the Transition Catskills movement on Saturday, July 26, at 4 p.m. at the Roxbury Arts Center in Roxbury.

Tomasi, who owns a second home in the Delaware County town of Middletown, also lives in London, where he first got word of Transition, an initiative that began in England around 2006 and addressed issues of oil dependence and economic instability.

“I’m not a leader, I’m a facilitator,” Tomasi told the group. “I’m not here to tell people how to live. Just here to start the dialogue.”  Read more

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Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Catskills region

Above: A photo of the radar tracking the storm over Central and Western New York. Photo courtesy of the US National Weather Service Binghamton.

National Weather Service forecasters have issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Catskills and central New York, including Schoharie, Ulster, Delaware, Sullivan and Greene counties, lasting until 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

The following was posted on the US National Weather Service at Binghamton Facebook page at 2:30 p.m.:

Storms are starting to fire up in central NY. There is a Severe Thunderstorm Watch South and East of Rome, NY to Towanda, PA until 10 PM tonight. We are keeping a close eye on these storms. Be safe and remember, "When thunder roars, go indoors!"

Live radar tracking the storm's progress can be found here.

Wild boars escape in Bethel -- again

Above: Evidence of rooting by recently-escaped Eurasian boars in Bethel. Photo courtesy of the USDA's Justin Gansowski.

For the federal wildlife biologists tasked with keeping New York State boar-free, rounding up Zybysek Trunirz's escaped wild Eurasian boars has become something of a regular occurrence. 

A few weeks ago, it happened again: A group of boars escaped from Trunirz's Goldsmith Road property in the Sullivan County town of Bethel. A neighbor said the group included two "very pregnant" sows, according to a report from TWC News

Since early July, USDA wildlife officials have been in the field in Bethel, trapping and shooting the escaped animals. It took about three weeks, but USDA biologist Justin Gansowski said he believes the agents got them all.   Read more

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Monticello man stabbed dog who defended his girlfriend, police say

A 31-year-old Monticello man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend's pit bull to death after the dog bit him during a domestic dispute is facing animal cruelty and harassment charges, police say. 

The incident was reported to police on Saturday, July 12 by a veterinarian at the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County in Ferndale. According to a statement from the New York State Police, the couple brought the dog to the hospital, claiming that they had found him on the side of the road suffering from stab wounds. The veterinarian noticed a bite wound on the man's arm, and called state police to request that a trooper witness the euthanasia of the dog.

The dog, a two-year-old pit bull, died of his wounds, police say.   Read more

Boat the Neversink Reservoir in July, earn a badge

Above: The Neversink Reservoir. Photo courtesy of the Catskill Watershed Corporation.

This summer, the Catskills Outdoor Guide is partnering with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Catskill Watershed Corporation to bring you our new Catskill Reservoir Paddler embroidered badge, which you can only earn by paddling a specific reservoir each month.

In July, the spotlight is on the Neversink Reservoir. Paddle the Neversink anytime between July 1 and 31, send in your proof, and a Catskill Reservoir Paddler badge will be yours. Click here or scroll down for full redemption instructions. 

At five miles long, the Neversink reservoir is the smallest of the Catskills reservoirs supplying water to NYC. It's also the southernmost of the four Catskills reservoirs that are open to recreational boating, making it the most convenient one to drive from NYC -- just head up Route 17 in Sullivan County and turn right.

Beneath the waters of the Neversink are the ghost towns of Bittersweet and Aden, both of which were forced to relocate when the reservoir was built in the 1950s, displacing hundreds of residents. 

There are two boat launches that lead into the Neversink Reservoir: Chandlerss Cove and Kramers Cove, both on the west side of the reservoir off Aden Road.  For a detailed map of the Neversink and its boat launches, click here.

You can get your boat steam-cleaned for the Neversink at Cannie D’s Corner Corp. (845-985-2076, 4 Schumway Road, Neversink) or at the Eureka Market (845-985-5152, 7991 State Route 55, Grahamsville). And you can rent a boat at Bradley Boat Rentals (845-807-1145, 220 Lindholm Road, Hurleyville). 

For our five-step guide to boating NYC's Catskills reservoirs, click here. 

  Read more

NWS: Tornado touched down in Parksville on Sunday

Above: Damage to trees and a trailer near a house in Parksville, after a tornado blew through on Sunday, July 13. Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service in Binghamton.

A fierce storm that blew through the tiny Sullivan County hamlet of Parksville on Sunday, July 13 has been determined to be a tornado, National Weather Service meteorologists say.

A team from the NWS's Binghamton office, whose territory includes Sullivan County along with 23 other counties in central New York and northeastern Pennsylvania, visited the site of the storm in Parksville on Tuesday to survey the damage. The team found severe tree damage in a small area around two homes, although the homes themselves had only minor damage from the storm. No one was injured during the storm.

Winds from the Parksville tornado reached 90 miles per hour, making it an "EF-1" storm. The NWS's scale for rating tornadoes runs from EF-0 (winds of 65 to 85 miles per hour) to EF-5 (over 200 miles per hour).   Read more

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