Boiceville

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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Olive firewood dealer busted for selling logs infested with emerald ash borer

Above: An adult emerald ash borer. Photo by Jared Spokowsky, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org, via insectimages.org.

Firewood sold on Route 28 in the Ulster County town of Olive was infested with emerald ash borers, a destructive invasive species that is destroying ash trees in the Catskills, according to a press release issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

State environmental and agricultural officers destroyed 14 full cords of infested, cut and split ash firewood and 64 infested ash logs at the site of an unnamed Olive firewood dealer, according to the press release. The officers were alerted to the infested firewood by a tipster.

"If the infected materials were sold or transported off-site, it could have led to the further spread of this invasive species in the region," the press release stated.  Read more

Margaretville Health Foundation 2014 Golf Tournament...August 24th

Preregister to guarantee tee off for yourself and your team.

Call 845-586-2631 Ext 3181

 

Style....The music of your home.

2nd Annual Golf Tournament to Benefit Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center

Join your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to support our local healthcare facilities.

 

Guide me a river: The art of Catskills wilderness guiding

Longtime Catskills wilderness guide Charles “Sonny” Somelofski has earned a few more gray hairs since this photo was taken — and caught countless more fish. Photo courtesy of Catskill Outdoor Adventures (catskilloutdooradventures.com).

Charles “Sonny” Somelofski of Catskill Outdoor Adventures in Margaretville (catskilloutdooradventures.com), remembers when the licensing process to become an outdoor guide in New York state was a simple paper questionnaire with a $2 fee that asked whether he could swim, handle a boat, and read a map and compass.

“That was it, back then,” Somelofski says. “Bang! I was able to take people out and do it all.”

Today, being a state-licensed outdoor guide requires a bit more: taxable income disclosure forms, a physician’s statement, and certifications in first aid, CPR, and water safety. Those are the just the basics. Guides can be licensed in a number of different categories, ranging from camping and fishing to whitewater rafting and ice climbing, each with different licensing requirements.

The heart of guiding, however, has remained the same: proving to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that you can reliably take paying customers out into the great outdoors and bring them back again in one piece.  Read more

Here comes the rain again...and wind, too

Look out, Catskills: Yet another round of thunderstorms is taking aim at the region, with the possibility of high winds, damaging hail and even the chance of a tornado. 

As of late Tuesday afternoon, a line of storms is organizing in western New York and Pennsylvania, and moving steadily eastward across the region. A severe thunderstorm watch is currently in effect across Central New York, including Delaware County in the Catskills region, until 8 p.m.

Storm trackers at the National Weather Service caution that there is a slight chance the storms could spawn a tornado or two as they swirl across Central New York. 

The eastern Catskills are not yet under severe weather watch, but thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and evening. Locals should keep an eye on the weather as the storms move eastward.   Read more

The American flag business fades for a Catskills fixture

Above: A trench filled with gravel, left, marks the place where an embroidery machine once stood at Stucki Embroidery in Boiceville. On the right, another machine continues making star fields for American flags. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Stucki Embroidery, a small business in the Ulster County hamlet of Boiceville, has been sewing the stars onto American flags since 1973. A decade ago, Stucki stars decorated every flag sold in Wal-Marts across the United States.

But the stars no longer bring in the money that they once did. Stucki has shrunk from 65 employees in 2002 to 13 now. This year, Murray Fenwick, Stucki's owner, sold two of his mammoth embroidery machines. To make ends meet, the business is diversifying into non-star lines of business, such as making small-run embroidered patches and screenprinting.

Left: Fenwick, with the punch card system that powers one of his older embroidery machines. Photo by Julia Reischel.

In May, I wrote an article for Esquire Magazine online about why the American flag business can no longer support small manufacturers like Stucki. Fenwick gave me a tour of the Boiceville plant and a crash course in the economics of the increasingly-conglomerating business of American patriotism. 

When you're surrounded by red, white, and blue this Fourth of July weekend, think of supporting local Catskills businesses like Stucki. We used Stucki to embroider our Catskill Reservoir Paddler badges this year, instead of using an out-of-state embroiderer. They did a fantastic job, and we kept the dollars local. 

Here's an excerpt from the Esquire story. To read the whole thing, go to Esquire by clicking here.  Read more

Catskills under flash flood watch, but the Fourth should be sunny

Above: Forecast detail from the National Weather Service in Albany.

The forecast for Fourth of July weekend in the Catskills looks bright and clear -- but before Friday arrives with cooler temps and sunnier skies, another round of intense thunderstorms has the region under flash flood watch. 

All five of the Catskills counties in our coverage area -- Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster -- are currently under flash flood watches issued by the National Weather Service offices in Binghamton and Albany. In the western Catskills, Delaware and Sullivan counties, the flash flood watch will last until 9 p.m. The eastern Catskills, which will see storms later into the evening, are under flash flood watch until midnight  Read more


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