Olivebridge

Bad news boars: Helicopter crew fights NY feral swine

Above: A trailcam captures a nighttime view of a wild boar in Delaware County. Photo taken in August of 2013; courtesy of Justin Gansowski of the USDA.

This week, federal wildlife agents armed with cameras and sniper rifles are patrolling New York State skies by helicopter, hoping for a glimpse of wild pigs. It's the latest mission in an ongoing battle to rid the state of feral swine, before most New Yorkers even realize the state has a pig problem.

It's far too late for Texas, whose $500-million-a-year feral pig problem has been dubbed the "aporkalypse." In Florida, the pestilential pigs are found in every county, and have even destroyed a $16 million F-16 fighter plane. Pigs are a moot point in Mississippi, where experts say it's "only a matter of time" before feral swine rut and root their way from rural Clay County to the far corners of the state

But it might not be too late for New York, according to the handful of state and federal regulators whose task it is to try to keep feral swine from getting established in the Empire State.

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NYC mayor comes out swinging against fracking

New York City's newly-inaugurated mayor, Bill de Blasio, made it clear he's opposed to hydraulic fracturing in New York State in a speech to fellow mayors in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

De Blasio told the U.S. Conference of Mayors that "the one thing I am firm about is that I don't see any place for fracking," Capital New York reports. The mayor spoke in favor of a statewide moratorium: 

“The science simply isn’t reliable enough," de Blasio said on Thursday. "The technology isn’t reliable enough. And there’s too much danger to our water supply, to our environment in general. So my view is that there should be a moratorium on fracking in New York State until the day comes that we can actually prove it’s safe, and I don’t think that day is coming any time soon.”  Read more

Visit a Winter Farmers' Market

Local food is available all year round. Regional farmers are holding strong at indoor markets like:

Oneonta (alternate Saturdays),

Rhinebeck (alternate Sundays)

Rosendale (2nd Sundays)  Read more

Author/Illustrator Iza Trapani at Olive Free Library

February 11, 2014 - 10:00am

Children's book author and illustrator, Iza Trapani, will come and sing her book, Froggie Went A Courtin' to celebrate Valentines Day. We will also do a craft activity. Free admission!

8450657-2482

Scenes from a Catskills cold snap

Above: Even in subzero weather, Roxbury looks picture-perfect. Photo taken Wednesday at sunset by Greg Henderson of the Roxbury Motel.

Above: It's a nippy 4.1 degrees right now on Belleayre Mountain, but the freshly-groomed corduroy looks pretty inviting. Photo posted today on Belleayre's Facebook page

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Cold enough for ice circles

See video

Meet the elusive ice circle: An unusual ice formation that occurs on slow-moving water during intense cold weather. In the video above, posted today by the folks at the Woodstock Inn On The Millstream, a broad ice circle rotates slowly in the Millstream's gentle flow.

Another ice circle was spotted recently on the Esopus Creek by John Crews, who shared the photo with Hudson Valley Weather.

A couple of years ago, Gary Lane, a river guide on Idaho's Salmon River, snapped a beautiful photo of an ice circle that went viral on the internet. Since then, he's become something of an expert on the phenomenon. In a news article about his famous photo, Lane explains  Read more

NY doubles down on high-tech weather forecasting

Meteorologist Mitch Gilt of the National Weather Service measures snowfall in Binghamton after a recent storm. Photo from NWS Binghamton's Facebook page.

After three major storms in three years, New Yorkers are investing heavily in high-tech weather forecasting. 

In his proposed budget for 2014-2015, released on Tuesday, Jan. 21, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to set aside $15 million of federal aid earmarked for Hurricane Sandy to build a "state-of-the-art weather detection system" that will create scores of new weather stations throughout the state. From the governor's budget proposal:

The system will provide real-time warnings of local extreme weather and flood conditions, and identify threats to communities, roads, bridges and the electric system. Data will be available for use in predictive modeling and early warnings to prevent loss of life and property. The number of weather stations will be increased from the current 27 to over 100, creating a highly sophisticated real-time weather reporting network that will accelerate and improve information sharing, thereby assisting emergency responders in responding to extreme weather events. 

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the city's upstate reservoirs, has also been investing heavily in weather technology lately. The DEP needs accurate weather data -- especially streamflow data -- to manage more than a billion gallons a day flowing through the city's water system. 

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The commissioner grew carrots

Above: New York State Agricultural Society President Diane Held congratulates Schoharie County farmer Richard Ball, recently appointed as New York State's new Commissioner of Agriculture, at the group's 2014 forum on New York agriculture. Photo from the New York State Agricultural Society's Facebook page.

Look through the roster of New York State's top agricultural officials, and you might notice they've got something in common: Cows.   Read more

Win Valentine’s Dinner for 2

Win Valentine’s Dinner for 2 at Peekamoose Restaurant. LOVE BITES!

...and support quality healthcare in the Catskills

Presented by: Margaretville Health Foundation.

Your donation will help strengthen Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center

Drawing date: February 10th, 2014.  Ticket holders need not be present to win.

Tickets at $5.00 for 1 or $10.00 for 3 Value at $100.00 exclusive of alcohol and gratuities

Tickets sold at various local retailers. Look for the Love Bites posters or check back at the Watershed Post.  Read more

Return of the polar vortex

Don't go out there, kitty. Photo taken in Andes over the weekend by Mark Zilberman; shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

It's baaa-aaaaack: The polar vortex, a whirling mass of low-pressure frigid air that usually has the decency to stay far north of us, is dipping down south again this week to pay the Northeast and Midwest another visit.   Read more


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