Olivebridge

DEP police sign a new contract with de Blasio administration

Photo illustration. The reservoir in the background is the Pepacton in Delaware County; photo by Timothy Cox, shared in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

A union representing about 200 watershed police working for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently signed a contract with the city's new mayor, Bill de Blasio.

The DEP police contract -- the first labor contract signed under de Blasio's administration -- follows almost a decade of wrangling over the status of the DEP's officers, who have long performed many of the duties of police without the same level of benefits as other city police officers.  Read more

Five ways to spend Valentine's Day in the Catskills

 

1. We heart art. 
On Valentine's Day, meet and mingle with the artists in permanent residence at the Woodstock Commons, a new affordable-housing center for artists, seniors and working families. "Share The Love," a gallery show featuring the artists' work along with artwork by children who live in the building, will open on Friday, Feb. 14, with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Work by Avigayil Landsman, Sasha Sun, Laura Katz and Mercedes Cecilia will be on display, and the evening will feature a special performance by resident musician Barry Garneau.

 

Above: Catskill Rose's handmade lobster marscapone ravioli. Delish.  Read more

Craft beer industry booming in the Catskills

Beers of the Catskills: There's plenty to choose from. Photo from the Facebook page of Cave Mountain Brewing Co. in Windham, whose proprietors are planning to expand into wholesale.

Craft beer drinkers of the greater Catskills region, rejoice: many new taps will flow this spring.

Between April and June, three new breweries are scheduled to debut, offering small-batch brews from the hands of two industry veterans and one newcomer.

Up first is Hunter Mountain Brewery, a microbrewery and restaurant created by longtime local brewmaster Nat Collins, co-founder of the annual TAP-NY Craft Beer & Fine Food Festival. Hunter Mountain Brewery, slated for late April, is now under construction in the former home of the Fireside Restaurant, along Route 23A between Hunter and Tannersville.  Read more

Trailways service cancelled in the Catskills for Thursday

With a snowstorm approaching the Catskills region, Trailways New York has cancelled all service on several routes that go through the area for Thursday, Feb. 12. Many other routes throughout upstate New York are also cancelled or are operating on a limited schedule. 

All service is suspended for Thursday along the Utica to Kingston line, which stops in Woodstock, Phoenicia, Pine Hill, Margaretville, Delhi, Oneonta and other intermediate stops. 

Also cancelled for Thursday: The line that runs between Kingston and New York City, which stops at New Paltz and Rosendale. 

A full list of the Trailways New York cancellations is posted on the bus company's website.

Snowstorm to hit Catskills on Thursday

Above: Graphic from the National Weather Service showing weather watches, warnings and advisories in upstate New York as of 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The area in pink, stretching across the southern Catskills and Hudson Valley, is under winter storm warning; counties in dark blue are under winter storm watch.

A nor'easter moving up the East Coast is expected to drop anywhere from 6 to 18 inches of snow on the Catskills on Thursday, with the heaviest accumulations in the southeastern part of the region. 

Snow will begin to fall Thursday morning, become heavier in the afternoon, and continue overnight. Forecasters expect travel conditions to be dangerous in the area from Thursday through Friday morning  Read more

How will you spend $3 million in flood money?

Above: A house near Schoharie, NY after Irene in 2011. Photo by fixBuffalo, via the Watershed Post Flickr pool

Communities across the Catskills have a shot at $3 million each to help them rebuild after the ravages of Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. This month, they are all holding public meetings to ask their residents how they should spend it. (See below for dates and times.) 

The funding comes from the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013. The progam earmarks $750 million in state and federal disaster funds for 102 "severely damaged" communities across the state. 

The severely damaged Catskills communities, according to the governor's list, are:  Read more

DEP cop says Reese told him: "I shot Aron twice"

David Reese, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of DEP employee Aron Thomas, admitted to the act after the crime, a DEP police officer told a Kingston court judge on Monday.

At a preliminary hearing in Kingston city court on Monday, Feb. 10, Lieutenant Justin Kight of the DEP Police gave testimony about the events that unfolded on the morning of Monday, Feb. 3 at the DEP's Kingston office.

Reporter James Nani of the Times Herald-Record has an account of Kight's testimony, in which Kight told the courtroom that immediately after the shooting, Reese knocked on his door and allowed him to take a Glock pistol from Reese's jacket pocket.

Kight testified that as he was escorting Reese out of the building, Reese admitted to shooting Thomas, and alluded to some ongoing workplace dispute:

Kight said Reese told him "you know Aron's been stalking me," that "I shot Aron twice" and "you know they've been breaking into my office."  Read more

This weekend: Winter Hoot at the Ashokan Center

This Friday through Sunday, the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge comes alive with the twang of banjos, the stomp of feet, and the sweet sound of voices lifted in harmony. (And even a little "electrified Americana," in the form of a set by Saugerties' Conner Kennedy.)

The Ashokan Center's Hoot, now in its second year, is a biannual folkfest fundraiser for the center's environmental education activities. Hosted by local folk duo Mike + Ruthy, the son-in-law and daughter of Ashokan Center co-founder Jay Ungar, the fest is quickly earning a devoted following among folkies. The late Pete Seeger made an appearance at the first Summer Hoot last August -- and later sent a postcard to its hosts saying it was "one of the best song gatherings I've seen in all my 94 years."   Read more

Measles patient at Albany Medical Center may have exposed others

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced Thursday that a young child with measles had been admitted to Albany Medical Center, and that patients who were in certain parts of the hospital on Friday, Jan. 31 or Saturday, Feb. 1 may have been exposed. 

This case is the second confirmed in the Capital Region this week. On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the DOH reported that a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute had come down with the highly contagious disease.  Read more

Reese surrendered to DEP cop, sources say

The man charged with the recent shooting death of Aron Thomas turned himself in voluntarily to a DEP police officer before he was arrested, sources have told the Watershed Post. 

At 6:46 a.m. on Monday, police say, 53-year-old David Reese of Gilboa shot and killed a co-worker at the Kingston office of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, 33-year-old Aron Thomas of Olivebridge. 

Kingston city police announced that they had arrested Reese, and recovered a handgun, within hours of the shooting. Few details about the shooting have been released, and police have not offered a possible motive.

But according to sources close to the incident, immediately after the shooting, Reese surrendered to another fellow DEP co-worker, an officer with the DEP Police who was also at work in the Kingston building. Reese also handed over his gun to the officer, sources said.   Read more


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