This Weekend: Our guide to the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

Above: Sila, an Inuit throat singing duo, will perform at the festival on Aug. 1. Photo via the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice website. 

Over the past few summers, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice has traveled (musically, at least) all over the world. 2013’s fest focused on Italy and Germany with works by Verdi and Wagner, and last year’s covered the music of Spain. But this year the annual event, now in its sixth year, is bringing it all back home with a program devoted to American melodic traditions. And luckily, we’ve got a lot of ’em.  Read more

Phoenicia Voice Festival grows “five times bigger” for its sixth season

Above: Maria Todaro, center, at a choir rehearsal for the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, which opens today. Photo by Paula Ann Mitchell.

It takes luck, miracles and a hero or two to make a music festival happen. That’s how Maria Todaro sees the sequence of events leading up to the annual Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, which begins today, Wednesday, July 29.

In mid-July, the festival’s 28-piece orchestra suddenly lost its rehearsal space in New York City, and Todaro was frantic. She rallied the support of festival patron and fellow musician Mark Holland, who happened to call her about getting tickets.

“I said, ‘Can I ask you a favor? Can you go look at some rooms for me?’ He went to visit 20 churches in the city,” Todaro said. “He called me at midnight and said he found the Riverside Church. That was incredible. Every day, there’s a miracle like that.”

Todaro, the festival co-founder and executive director, is exhaling this week now that some of the last-minute problems of finding housing for 69 of the 132 guests artists and tapping the generosity of local restaurants and volunteers to feed them have been solved.

There have been other last-minute strokes of luck.  Read more

Delaware County Fair won't ban Confederate flags

Above: A tractor decorated with an American flag and a Confederate flag in Delaware County. Photo by Julia Reischel.

The New York State Fair has banned sales of merchandise bearing the Confederate battle flag, but the Delaware County Fair will not follow suit. 

The flag, the best-known symbol of the southern rebellion in the U.S. Civil War, became more divisive than at any time since the end of that war after nine African-American people were killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. on June 17.

The man charged with the crimes, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, was pictured on a website posing with the flag and other emblems associated with white supremacy. The ensuing controversy led to the removal of the flag from the South Carolina Statehouse on July 10. Many national retailers, including Wal-Mart and Sears, have stopped selling the flag. 

Above: The board of directors of the Delaware Valley Agricultural Society at the July 27 meeting. The board is wrapping up plans for the upcoming Delaware County Fair. A ban of Confederate flag merchandise is not part of those plans. Photo by Robert Cairns.

Last month, the New York State Fair announced that the Confederate battle flag would not be welcome at its fairgrounds.

Spokesman Dave Bullard issued a statement:

"The Great New York State Fair is a proud symbol of the heritage, diversity, and great promise of New York State. Our state and our Fair represent inclusion and respect for all. The Fair requests vendors to refrain from selling or displaying items that may offend or in cases of public health and safety. Our vendors have always complied with these requests. The Fair is aware of two vendors who have sold Confederate merchandise in the past. They have agreed not to sell such merchandise at the State Fair."

The Delaware Valley Agricultural Society is the governing body of the Delaware County Fair, which runs from August 17 to August 22 in the town of Walton.

Noting the state fair’s ban, Leslie Kauffman, a 4-H club leader and a co-superintendent of the rabbit barn at the Delaware County Fair, contacted Ed Rossley, the president of the society's board of directors, to request a similar ban.

Rossley brought the issue to a Monday, July 27 meeting of the board of directors, reading an email message from Kauffman.

“She wants to know what you think about Confederate flags at the fair,” he said.

“The more of them, the better,” replied Director Norm Kilpatrick.

  Read more

MHF Golf Tournament August 6th Registration Form

On Thursday, August 6th, the Margaretville Health Foundation will be holding its 3rd Annual Golf Tournament at the College Golf Course in Delhi to benefit Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center. Our foundation ensures that many of the significant improvements made at the hospital and residential care center are possible through the support of residents and community leaders like you. We want our supporters to know that their contributions are sent directly to the funding of that mission. The cost for participating in the tournament is $85.00 per person which includes range, golf, cart, snack and barbecue lunch. There will be limited lunch only seating available. Please call us to reserve. Liz Warren 845-586-2131 Ext 3181 or email [email protected]

Job Posting: Stationary Engineer (Electric)

Job ID: 199281
Number of Positions: 2
Title Code No: 91645
Level: 00
Job Category: Maintenance & Operations
Career Level: Experienced (non-manager)
Proposed Salary Range: $363.92 - $363.92 (Daily)
Work Location: 2398 State Rt 28A, Olivebridge, NY 12461
Division/Work Unit: Catskill Div Off (Source Div)
Hours/Shift: 40 Hours per week / Day shift  Read more

Job Posting: Mechanical Engineering Intern

Job ID: 199426
Title Code No: 20403
Level: 00
Job Category: Engineering, Architecture, & Planning
Career Level: Entry-Level
Proposed Salary Range: $ 45,333.00 - $ 54,898.00 (Annual)
Work Location: 2389 Route 28A, Olivebridge, NY
Division/Work Unit: Catskill Div Off (Source Div)
Hours/Shift: 35 Hours per week / Day shift

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) protects public health and the environment by supplying clean drinking water, collecting and treating wastewater, and reducing air, noise and hazardous materials pollution. DEP is the largest combined municipal water and wastewater utility in the country, with nearly 6,000 employees. We deliver 1.1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water per day to 8.3 million New York City residents and more than 1 million people in Upstate New York, and we collect and treat an average of 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater per day.  Read more

Pedal mettle: Mountain biking and road cycling in the Catskills

Above: A mountain biker races in Hurley in 2013. Photo by Tim Kleeger of Fats in the Cats.

The Catskill Mountains were made for road cycling and mountain biking, with miles of paved, lightly trafficked roads and rugged mountain trails. For those who love to shred shale, the region is a mountain biker’s paradise.

The FATS IN THE CATS BICYCLE CLUB ( has over 150 members and has been around since 1994, with rides for bikers of all abilities, including a weekly “newbie” rider group.  Read more

BBQ in the Catskills

Above: Brisket, pulled pork, chicken and ribs at Catskill Mtn. BBQ in Grand Gorge. Photo by Julia Reischel.

Barbecue fans will drive long distances for their fix of smoked pork belly and brisket. Here’s where to get barbecue in the Catskills. 

The Tannersville version of AMERICAN GLORY BBQ (6033 Main St., Tannersville. 518-822-1234. opened in August 2014, serving North Carolina-style pulled pork, brisket (chopped or sliced Texas style) and St. Louis-style ribs, all smoked over maple wood for hours.

Above: Ribs at American Glory BBQ in Tannersville. Photo courtesy of American Glory BBQ.   Read more

Let us play matchmaker, for Golfing that is!

Join a team at the Margaretville Health Foundation Golf Tournament. We can match you up with a 2 or 3 person team that has registered for the August 6th Golf Tournament at the College Golf Course in Delhi, to play as a 4 person team. Call us right away before these slots are filled. Please see application below or call us for registering.

Steve Earle hosts Catskills songwriting camp

Above: Steve Earle at the 2014 season of Camp Copperhead at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian. Photo by Michael Bloom via the Camp Copperhead website.

Steve Earle fans are eagerly awaiting the second edition of Camp Copperhead, a four-day songwriting intensive led by the renaissance man and songwriter’s songwriter at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian next week.

Ever since his “Guitar Town” hit the top of the country charts in 1986, Earle’s been writing protest tunes and love songs, transcending genre and medium; along the way he’s become an actor and a novelist.

Camp Copperhead, according to a video interview Earle with American Songwriter magazine, will feature morning master classes with Earle followed by small group poetry and guitar workshops with guest artists.

“We’ll have an open mic every night, and we won’t rest until everybody’s played a song,” he says.   Read more

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