Local candidates vie in primary election today

Photo by Kristin Ausk, via Flickr.

Today--Thursday, Sept. 10--is primary election day in New York, and voters who are registered with political parties across the Catskills can go to the polls to vote for town and county candidates running in primary races from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Usually, primary day is a Tuesday, but the late Labor Day holiday this year has pushed it back to a Thursday, which will likely have an impact on voter turnout.

New York State has a closed-primary system, meaning that to vote in a primary at any level of government in New York State, voters must be registered members of the party holding the primary. 

The winners of today’s primaries will appear on the ballot in the general election in November. But due to multiple political parties supporting a single candidate, candidates who lose their party's primary may still appear on the November ballot on a different line.

Not every town and legislative district has a primary race today. No towns in Schoharie County have primaries this year, for example. Here’s a look at the hot primary races in the Catskills.


In Delaware County, Gary Rosa and Porter Kirkwood will face off in Conservative and Independence primaries in a heated race for the new position of Family Court Judge

This past week, their race has gotten ugly, with accusations flying between the candidates about ethics violations.

Rosa has used a campaign slogan criticizing Kirkwood of “representing just one client, the county’s Department of Social Services,” in his appearances in Family Court.

  Read more

Olive gets $150K in grants, just in time for Olive Day

Above: Arm of the Sea Theater performs at Olive Day. Photo courtesy of Mary Ann Shephard.

The Ulster County town of Olive has a lot to celebrate this week.

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, State Senator James L. Seward announced that the town will receive $150,000 in grants to buy new police equipment and to replace the roof of the town highway garage. The grants will help the town make improvements without raising property taxes, Seward said in a press release.

This Saturday, Olive celebrates its 42nd annual Olive Day at Davis Park in West Shokan with a "food and farms" theme. There will be food vendors, dancing and games, and Ben Rounds, The Pontiacs and the Spillway Band will play live. The highlight of the day is a puppet show performance of “The Rejuvenary River Circus” by Arm of the Sea Theater, sponsored by the Olive Free Library.

Olive Day. Saturday, Sept. 12, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Davis Park, West Shokan, Olive.

Labor Day events in the Catskills

Above: Throwing a rock into Cooper Lake in Woodstock. Photo by Flickr user Panda Snaps, shared in the Watershed Post Flickr pool. 

Labor Day is upon us in all its bittersweet glory, and the Catskills are rising to the occasion with festivities celebrating the harvest, family, baroque opera, women’s jazz, Iroquois Indians, Irish heritage, improv, toilets and more.

Yes, we said toilets. Read on to find out more in our county-by-county round-up of Labor Day events across the Catskills.


Gather the bounty of the harvest for your personal feasting pleasure at the pre-Labor Day Holiday Pop Up Farmers’ Market, taking place rain or shine at the Stamford Railroad Station on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. You’ll find a splendid selection of baked goods, preserves, meats, produce and wonderful handmade Catskills things.  Read more

Truckloads of trash choke Catskills swimming holes

Above: Underwear left behind as trash at Peekamoose Blue Hole in August 2015. Photo by Gene Nicolato.

Peggy Brueckner lives near the Peekamoose Blue Hole, an icy Catskills pool that is recognized as one of the best swimming holes in the country. Her family has visited the hidden spot for 50 years. But this summer, due to hordes of tourists and the tons of garbage they leave behind, Brueckner has been avoiding it.

"The locals here along Watson Hollow Road and beyond are heartbroken," Brueckner said. "There is litter all over the place. There are no laws being enforced and it a total mess up there. Campers are off the designated sites, people are in the middle of the road and it is a free for all! It's not even a family friendly place any more."

Above: Peekamoose Blue Hole on a recent summer day. Photo via the NYS DEC.   Read more

Jeff Senterman named new director of Catskill Center

Above: Jeff Senterman accepts his new post as the executive director of the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development on Saturday, Aug. 29. Photo via the Catskill Center's Instagram feed

Jeff Senterman, the former Catskills program director of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, was appointed the new executive director of the Catskills Center for Conservation and Development after the departure of former director Alan White. White completed his term earlier this month.

Senterman accepted his new position at a gathering of the CCCD's members on Saturday, Aug. 29. (A Senterman is still at the helm of the NYNJTC, though -- Jeff's brother, Doug, is the new Catskill program director at the NYNTC, after getting the job earlier this year.)  Read more

Driver seriously injured in three-motorcycle crash in West Shokan

Above: A motorcyclist was seriously injured on Sunday in a chain-reaction crash in front of the driveway to Snyder's Tavern in West Shokan. Image via Google Street View.

Three motorcycles were involved in a crash near Snyder's Tavern on Route 28A in West Shokan on Sunday, Aug. 23 that seriously injured one driver, police say.

That driver was in stable condition as of Wednesday, Aug. 26, according to State Police Lieutenant Jared Duffy. 

The crash is one of many that occurred in the towns Shandaken and Olive this week -- four crashes, one fatal, happened on nearby Route 28 on Tuesday and Wednesday  Read more

Tonight's Show: Forest Talk with Mike Porter

CFA-On-The-Air: From the Forest

Wednesday’s 6PM – 7PM


Wednesday’s Show: Forest Talk with Mike Porter

This Wednesday we’ll be talking to Mike Porter again about this & that. Mike Porter is a local maple producer, and quite the forest enthusiast. He’s been known to make a few rustic furniture items as well as a log cabin from trees found on his land. We’ll see what Mike has been up to most recently. Tune in at 91.3 FM or stream online at to learn more.


Mountain Hunting: Headed for the Hills

By Ryan Trapani, Education Forester at the Catskill Forest Association

“I’m going hunting in the mountains.” It just sounds right, doesn’t it? For years people from the Hudson Valley left their homes, packed a bag and a gun, and headed for the hills of northern Ulster County to hunt. The mountains offered an opportunity for hunters to pursue their game unencumbered over thousands of wooded acres. Each hollow or clove felt as his own to discover, explore, and pursue deer wherever they might go; after all the Hudson Valley had few deer back then. Say what!  Read more

Scattered power outages across Catskills

Above: Power outages in Schoharie County, according to National Grid's outage map

Power outages are dotted across five Catskills counties on Friday, Aug. 21, with thousands of households in the dark in Schoharie County and hundreds without power in Ulster County as of 11 a.m.

Earlier this morning, thousands of people in Sullivan County were without power, according to the Times Herald-Record, but most of those outages appear to have been fixed, according to NYSEG's outage map

In Schoharie County, 1,726 people are currently without power, according to National Grid's outage map. Power is expected to be restored there around 12:30 p.m.  Read more

The market for Catskills real estate returns–on the low end

Image by Dan Moyle, via Flickr. 

Real estate sales are up all over the Catskills, according to realtors across the region who say that rustic, country and move-in-ready homes are attracting buyers.

But while the number of sales are up, the price of what’s selling is going down.

Realtors say that is because the most interest is coming from savvy bargain hunters from New York City who are searching for an upstate escape where they can relax and maybe even earn a few bucks.

“Finding that special, unique property is what the buyer is looking for now,” said Jennifer Grimes, the owner-broker of Country House Realty in the Sullivan County hamlet of Grahamsville.   Read more

Syndicate content