Shandaken

Construction (finally) begins on the Catskill Interpretive Center

Above: Retired Congressman Maurice Hinchey, third from right, helps break ground at the site of the future Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper on Sept. 23, 2014. The center is named in his honor. Photo via the Town of Shandaken's Facebook page. 

Construction has begun on the long-awaited Catskill Interpretive Center, a $1.3 million, 1,700-square-foot project that has been in the works for decades.

At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23, representatives from local nonprofits and state agencies gathered in a field in Mount Tremper to celebrate the center's groundbreaking. The center is slated to open in the spring of 2015.

The plan to build a facility to welcome visitors to the Catskill Park has been 30 years in the making. Money and staffing have been pieced together from a large array of groups, according to a press release.  Read more

Community Needs Assessment Survey Available to Hudson Valley Residents

Kingston, N.Y. – September 22, 2014 – Residents of New York's Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster and Dutchess counties are invited to take a short survey about their health and the services they use. The goal of the survey is to learn more about the health care needs of the community to identify and plan localized healthcare delivery in the future.

The survey is anonymous, will take less than 10 minutes to complete and is available online. Participants are encouraged to share the survey link and information about the survey with friends, family and other residents of the Hudson Valley.  Read more

More review in store for the Belleayre Resort?

Above: Gary Gailes, a spokesman for Crossroads Ventures LLC, shows Watershed Post reporter Lissa Harris details of a scale model of the proposed Belleayre Resort in 2013. Photo by Julia Reischel.

For months, backers of the long-planned Belleayre Resort project have been eagerly anticipating the end of the state Department of Environmental Conservation's lengthy process of environmental review.

The developer, Crossroads Ventures LLC, is eager to break ground on the project, which has been in the planning process for almost 15 years.

Town planning boards in the towns of Shandaken and Middletown, which the resort will straddle, are anxious to begin their own review process. 

But before the state DEC can sign off on the project, clearing the way for permits to be issued, at least one more hurdle remains -- and it may not be a trivial one.

A legal process set in motion years ago to have an administrative law judge examine potential issues raised by the project is still open, and until it is officially dismissed or carried out, the Belleayre Resort cannot move forward.

Environmental groups that sought to downsize the project years ago will now have another chance to weigh in, and may seek to keep that process open in an effort to make further changes.  Read more

Primary elections today

Above: A voting booth in Margaretville in May 2013. Photo by Julia Reischel.

It's an election year, and today is the day to vote in the primaries. 

The biggest race in the primary is on the Democratic ticket, where underdog candidate Zephyr Teachout is challenging New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. Teachout is attacking Cuomo from the left by comparing his fiscal policies to those of Ronald Reagan.  Cuomo is doing his best to ignore Teachout's campaign entirely. (Literally. During a Labor Day parade in Manhattan, Cuomo managed to ignore Teachout as she stood directly in front of him.

Teachout's running mate, Tim Wu, is running for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor against Kathy Hochul, Cuomo's running mate. The race is its own separate primary, and if Wu wins, he could find himself in the odd position of being Cuomo's running mate in the general election.

As for local Catskills races, there are a few worth noting. 

Left: Bryan Babcock. Photo via Babcock's campaign. 

The Delaware County town of Franklin is holding a Republican primary for a town council seat. Bryan Babcock, the owner of Handsome Brook Farm and Bed & Breakfast who is also a professor at Hartwick College, is vying with Lisa Huyck and Donald Smith for one of two seats on the board. Babcock has criticized the town board for not implementing a comprehensive plan for Franklin.

"With several major infrastructure projects on the horizon in Delaware County," Babcock said in a press release. "it is essential that we protect our roads and utilities. To do this we need to be proactive as a Town Board. I feel that my experience as a business leader will help the Board be even more effective for Franklin residents."

In the Ulster county towns of Hardenburgh and Denning, the Sullivan County town of Neversink, and the Delaware County towns of Andes, Bovina, Davenport, Delhi, Hamden and Meredith, there is a Republican primary race for the 101st State Assembly District, which features a contest between Claudia Tenney and Chris Farber.  According to the Daily Star, the outcome of the primary doesn't matter -- both Tenny and Farber will make it to the ballot in November. 

  Read more

Meet Phoenicia's new outdoor store, the Catskill Mountain Storehouse

Tim Luby, Jess Fritscher and Muppet celebrate the opening of the Catskill Mountain Storehouse. Photos courtesy of Tim Luby.

For Tim Luby and Jess Fritscher, a pair of avid hikers with a longstanding love for the trails and hollows of the Catskills, visiting just wasn't enough. 

"We were driving back from one of our many trips to the Catskills," Luby said. "I kind of blurted out, 'They need an outdoor store here.'"

That was just six months ago. Since then, Luby and Fritscher, a couple of young Rockland County residents with day jobs in Manhattan, have wasted no time making their vision a reality. On Friday, August 29 the pair officially launched the Catskill Mountain Storehouse, a lovingly-curated little outdoor store in the heart of Phoenicia's Main Street. 

The couple (they're engaged to be married) has been coming to the Catskills almost every weekend since they met, Luby said.

"I feel like the Catskills is the backdrop of our relationship, and how we've grown together," he said. 

What that glorious backdrop needed was a few more props, Luby decided. Specifically, a place in the central Catskills where a weekend hiker could pick up a few extra tent poles.  Read more

Joe Biden attended nephew's woodsy wedding in Mount Tremper

Above: A screenshot of Jamie Biden and Amy Bracco from their wedding website. Vice President Joe Biden attended the ceremony on Saturday, August 30 in Mount Tremper.

Vice President Joe Biden was indeed at the Emerson Resort & Spa in Mount Tremper on Saturday, August 30, according to Tony Lanza, a spokesman for the resort. Biden was part of a wedding party that stayed at the resort and attended several events there.

"We were delighted to host the wedding party at the resort," Lanza said.

I previously reported erroneously that the wedding ceremony itself was held on the grounds of the Emerson. In fact, the ceremony was held at the private Mount Tremper home of the couple, according to an article by Jill Ribich, the wedding coordinator for the event, published in the Catskill Mountain News on Wednesday, September 3

Lanza confirmed the high-ranking visit, but said that he couldn't give any details. Calls to the Vice President's press liaison were not immediately returned. 

The secret has been out for days.   Read more

Boat the Pepacton in September, earn a badge

Above: A sailboat glides on the surface of the Pepacton Reservoir on May 26, 2012. Photo by Tina Schvejda; posted in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

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 September, the spotlight is on the Pepacton Reservoir. Paddle the Pepacton anytime between September 1 and 30, send in your proof, and a Catskill Reservoir Paddler badge will be yours. Click here or scroll down for full redemption instructions. 

The Pepacton reservoir is the workhouse of the Catskill reservoirs, holding more water than any other reservoir in the NYC system. It holds 140 billion gallons, and contributes a quarter of the entire city's water supply.

The 15-mile-long lake is studded with coves and is straddled by the Shavertown bridge, which is a great viewpoint for a photo shoot or an impromptu race. (Real races have been held on the Pepacton: in 2012, it hosted the first leg of the 2012 Adventure Race National Championship.)

The Pepacton has four boat launches spread along its lengthy shoreline. For a detailed map of the Pepacton and its boat launches, click here.

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

  Read more

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

An especially sincere thank you to the community businesses sponsoring the 2nd Annual Golf Tournament.  The golf tournament serves to benefit Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center. 

First Place Winners

Tim and Teresa Hynes, David and Bea Hull

Second Place Winners

Tom and Ralph Ackerly, Bill Blish, George Griffin

Longest Drive Women

Margo Pinkos

Longest Drive Men

Tim Hynes

 

This Weekend: 11 Catskills Labor Day events (and fireworks)

Above: A poster for the Windham Chamber Music Festival, just one of the events happening this Labor Day weekend in the Catskills.

Don't look now, but the leaves are already turning in the highest peaks of the Catskills. That and the arrival of Labor Day weekend confirms it: Summer is ending. Go out with a bang -- in some cases, a literal bang, with fireworks -- with these great events from around the region. 

ACROSS THE CATSKILLS: Lighting of the Fire Towers event. It's tonight! Details here

DELAWARE COUNTY

New trails open in Delhi. Saturday, August 30. 2 p.m. Volunteers have been working all summer to create a new set of hiking trails behind Delaware Academy school. Several of the trails are named for characters in the beloved children's novel My Side of the Mountain, which was set in Delhi. Delaware Academy, 2 Sheldon Dr., Delhi.

  Read more

WP Deal: Free tickets to Brooklyn@Belleayre featuring The Hold Steady, Aug. 30

This WP Deal has been claimed. Congratulations to our winners, and thanks for reading the Watershed Post.

On Saturday, Aug. 30, the Belleayre Music Festival wraps up its 2014 summer season with Brooklyn@Belleayre, a Labor Day Weekend showcase of Brooklyn bands featuring Big Data, Lily and the Parlour Tricks, Joni Fatora and headliner The Hold Steady.

We're giving away two pairs of tickets to the concert. The first two people to email lissa.harris@watershedpost.com win the tickets. 

Formed in 2002, The Hold Steady released their sixth LP, Teeth Dreams, earlier this year. From the Belleayre Music Festival's release:  Read more


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