“Living in paradise:” The economics of Catskills outdoor recreation

Above: Aaron Bennett speaks about the East Branch of the Delaware River at a lively forum about outdoor recreation and economic development in the Catskills on Saturday, Feb. 27. Photos by Rebecca Andre.

Dozens of Catskills residents attended the second of a four-part series of economic growth forums took place on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development in the Delaware County hamlet of Arkville.

Fifty-two people attended the forum—more than double the attendance at January’s event—to discuss outdoor recreation being key to economic development in the Catskills.

Geddy Sveikauskas, the founder of the Woodstock Times newspaper and a member of the board of the Catskill Center, moderated the lively two-and-a-half hour discussion.

Local outdoor guides, chamber of commerce members, hotel employees and a representative from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection all spoke about the importance of outdoor recreation in the region.  Read more

Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole in Concert Wed. March 9th in Phoenicia

March 9, 2016 - 7:30pm
See video

On Wednesday, March 9, Flying Cat Music presents Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole in concert in Phoenicia at the Empire State Railway Museum located at 70 Lower High Street. This unique musical experience embraces the traditional French creole music of the Ozark foothills. The doors open at 7:00 p.m. with the show beginning at 7:30 prompt. Admission is $16 or $14 with RSVP to [email protected] or by calling 845-688-9453.

Dirty Linen Magazine says Dennis Stroughmatt is “a jaw dropping fiddler” while Off Beat Magazine describes him as akin to “a driving demon.” Sing Out Magazine calls Stroughmatt’s fiddling style “an energetic and driving combination of Celtic, Canadian and Old-Time styles.”

Dennis Stroughmatt has performed his infectious traditional creole music with various ensembles around the world, appearing on NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keilor,” on CNN’s “World Beat” on Mardi Gras, and on many stages including the Illinois State Fair, “The Louisiana Folklife Festival,” “The Cajun French Music Awards” in Lafayette, LA, and at “Mardi Gras World” in New Orleans.  Read more

845 688 9453

Inn or Family Compound for Sale or Lease

The Belleayre Lodge & Spa (www.belleayrelodge.com) is a fine facility with modern, incredible infrastructure and a successful business. Perfect opportunity for couple looking to settle down live rent free while they hold outside job or work from home.

Only one mile from Belleayre Mountain (www.belleayre.com) the inn is full during ski season. Through recent digital marketing summers have been booked! The area has a new buzz going, with new development the expansion of the ski area, new restaurants and energy.  Read more

Smokin Boars BBQ burns in Phoenicia

Above: Local fire companies stationed at Smokin Boars BBQ on Route 28 in Phoenicia on Thursday evening, Feb. 25. Photo by Lissa Harris.

Smokin Boars BBQ, a new barbecue restaurant that opened three months ago in the Ulster County hamlet of Phoenicia, caught on fire on Thursday, Feb. 25, police and witnesses say.

The fire began around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, according to Chad Storey, the chief of the Shandaken Police.

Storey said that someone driving by the plaza on Route 28 where Smokin Boars is located noticed "a huge columm of smoke" rising up from behind the building.

The driver stopped and informed one of the neighboring business owners in the plaza, who called 911, Storey said.

The Phoenicia Fire Department was on the scene until 10 p.m., Storey said. The fire was put out relatively quickly, and the rest of the businesses in the plaza were spared any major damage, he said. 

"There is some smoke damage to the other business, but no other damage," he said.

Phoenicia Fire Chief Gary Carr did not immediately return a call for comment on the fire.  Read more

Heavy rains cause minor flooding across Catskills


There is minimal flooding at the West Branch of the Delaware River at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Walton this morning. This is a view facing Kraft.

Posted by The Walton Reporter on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Above: The Walton fairgrounds flooded on Thursday, Feb. 25. Photo via the Walton Reporter's Facebook page.

The heavy rains that fell across the Catskills on Wednesday, Feb. 24 and through the night into Thursday, Feb. 25 have caused minor, localized flooding across the region.

The West Branch of the Delaware River is flooding several towns along its banks on Thursday morning, including the towns of Hamden and Walton, according to hydrographs and eyewitness reports. 

In Hamden, Basin Clove Road in is closed from Route 10 to the intersection of Back River Road due to water across the roadway, according to the Delaware County Department of Emergency Services.

In Walton, muddy floodwaters have covered the county fairgrounds, according to the Walton Reporter. Flooding in Walton was predicted to peak around 11 a.m. at 10 feet, according to Walton's hydrograph. Flood stage for the West Branch of the Delaware River in Walton is 9.5 feet, according to a flood warning alert issued by the National Weather Service in Binghamton

Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties are under a hazardous weather outlook warning for flooding through Thursday evening, according to NWS Binghamton and NWS Albany. The weather service reports that "widespread river flooding is not expected" in those counties. 

There was minor flooding of the Schoharie Creek in the town of Prattsville on Wednesday evening, according to the river's hydrograph, but waters have already fallen well below flood stage on Thursday morning. 

The Esopus Creek in Ulster County was under a flood warning on Wenesday and Thursday issued by NWS Albany. The Esopus overspilled its banks at 20.51 feet on Wednesday evening in Mount Marion, according to the Mount Marion hydrograph, and had dropped back to 19 feet by 11 a.m. on Thursday morning.

In Cold Brook, the Esopus crested 12.39 feet on Wednesday night, a level where water overflows the creek's banks above the Ashokan's Reservoir but causes little damage, according to the Cold Brook hydrograph. The water level at Cold Brook has also dropped down quickly on Thursday morning. 

NYNJTC Is Hiring: Catskills Summit Stewards

In this seasonal, part-time, position on weekends from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, Summit Stewards are responsible for patrolling the Catskill Park summit areas of Slide, Wittenberg and Cornell Mountains as well as other locations throughout the region. Summit Stewards provide the public with educational information that will ensure the safe and responsible use of hiking trails in the area. The Stewards have no enforcement responsibility.

The Summit Stewards work to encourage the best behavior on the part of hikers and campers, to facilitate a positive trail experience (particularly for those who are poorly prepared). They discourage and mitigate misuse of the trails, illegal camping and the surrounding lands by performing educational and public- relations functions and work to educate the public on fragile mountaintop ecosystems.  Read more

Snow Moon in Pine Hill

Lyza Herman took this shot of last night's full moon, also known as the February "Snow Moon," in the Ulster County hamlet of Pine Hill on Monday, Feb. 22.

As wave of heroin arrests sweeps Catskills, opioids get political

Above: A poster from New York State's campaign to raise awareness about heroin addiction. New York State passed legislation to fund a heroin addiction awareness and treatment campaign in 2014. Photo via combatheroin.ny.gov. 

As a heroin epidemic spreads across the the Catskills, the topic of opioid addiction is driving politics in the region.

In the last two weeks, 13 people have been arrested in six major heroin busts in the Catskills. Two of the people arrested were teachers in Sullivan County schools.

Politicians and local officials are responding to heroin’s growing presence in the Catskills with task forces, hearing and calls for funding. They are also making opioids a central issue in the race for New York’s 19th congressional district seat, which covers the Catskills and the Hudson Valley in New York.

Cheap and widespread  Read more

Learn to Fly Fish with Trout Unlimited!

March 15, 2016 - 7:00pm

Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited has been teaching fly fishing for over 40 years. Our classes include instruction in fly fishing equipment, techniques, fly selection, stream reading, and casting. Learn everything you need to start fishing this season!

No previous experience necessary. If you have your own fly rod, please bring it. If you don’t own a fly rod yet, rods will be available for casting.  

When? 2-hour classes meet Tuesday evenings from March 15 through April 12, 7:00-9:00.

Where? Ulster County Community College, Senate Gymnasium

Cost?     Adult: $90    Youth (16 and under): $50.     

Veterans receive a 20% discount as thanks for their service ($72).

To reserve a spot, contact Andrew Higgins at 845-802-3861 or [email protected]  Read more


Body and Health Winners

Marilyn Donnelly, Nursing Director at Margaretville Hospital, selects winners of the Margaretville Health Foundation Valentines Day Raffle. Congratulations to winners Pete Curran (Emerson Spa massage), Mike O'Brien (Delhi Cardio Club membership), Debbie Troup (Bodyworx Life Coaching) and Dana Atkin (Catskill Recreation Center membership). Pictured l to r: Amy McCann, Foundation Board Member, Marilyn Donnelly, Iris Mead, Foundation Development Coordinator. Thank you to our partner businesses for donating Body and Health gift certificates.
Thank you to the community for supporting healthcare in the Central Catskills.

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