Field Trip: The Rail Trail Cafe

Above: The Rail Trail Cafe. Photo by Charlene Martoni.

A nook off the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, a 24-mile hiking and biking path through Ulster County, is the last place you’d expect to find a food truck. But that’s just where to look for the Rail Trail Cafe, a non-motorized food cart with a decidedly rustic take on mobile dining.

The kitchen is housed inside a 96-square-foot cabin made of reclaimed wood; a hand-built clay oven sits nearby, and the dining area opens to the lush green canopy overhead.

Husband-and-wife proprietors Brian Farmer and Tara Johannessen have been serving freshly made pizzas, dumplings and baked goods out of the cafe since May. Most of their menu items are made using local products, including microgreens sourced from their own farm, the Farmer’s Table, located a quarter of a mile away. Farmer, who has experience as a professional chef, says that using produce that they grow themselves makes the distance from farm to table even smaller.

Plus, according to Johannessen, it’s just good business practice.  Read more

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

Scottish Icon Archie Fisher Performs Sunday Sept. 28th in Phoenicia

September 28, 2014 - 7:30pm
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Flying Cat Music is proud to present Scottish folk icon Archie Fisher in concert in Phoenicia on Sunday, September 28, at the Empire State Railway Museum located at 70 Lower High Street. The show begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7:00. Admission is $18 or $15 with RSVP to [email protected] or by calling 845-688-9453.

“Archie Fisher is one of the most influential folk artists of his time, called everything from a folk father figure to both the James Dean and Frank Sinatra of folk music.” according to wearefolk.net, while Scotlandmusic.com calls Archie Fisher “a household name in Scotland.” In fact, his old friend Ireland's Christie Moore once told Archie, “You’ll never be famous because everybody knows you.” So it came as no surprise when The Boston Globe ran a story about Archie Fisher titled “It just seems like he invented Scottish folk” in February 2010.
  Read more

845 688 9453

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

HealthAlliance Foundation Brings Back Cruisin’ for the Cure

Kingston, NY – September 8, 2014 – It’s been five years since the last Cruisin’ for the Cure was held to support Kingston cancer services. But thanks to the HealthAlliance Foundation, this 3-hour ride on the Hudson River is back on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

According to Steffen Kraehmer, Executive Director of the HealthAlliance Foundation, Cruisin’ for the Cure “was always a very popular event. Everyone knows someone who has struggled with cancer, and the Cruise is an enjoyable way to raise awareness and show support for friends and loved ones.”

The Cruise is also a way to raise money. Now that the Foundation is involved, all proceeds will be used to fund cancer programs at HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway and Mary’s Avenue campuses. These include: breast cancer screening, navigation, and treatment; inpatient, medical, radiation, and surgical oncology; and support for patients and families.  Read more

Ulster's County's most wanted fugitive nabbed while playing Ultimate Frisbee in Oregon

Above: Jahson A. Marryshow in a 2007 Ulster County mugshot (left), and in a 2014 Eugene Police Department mugshot (right) .

A man who has topped Ulster County's most wanted list for years was arrested on Sunday, September 14 while playing an Ultimate Frisbee game in Oregon.

Jahson A. Marryshow has been on the lam since 2010, when he allegedly went on a day-long crime spree in Woodstock.

Authorities say that on June 30, 2010, Marryshow stole a car, set a barn on the edge of town on fire as a diversion, and then robbed a Bank of America on Mill Hill Road with a semiautomatic handgun. 

Marryshow has confounded Ulster County authorities for years. (He goes by several aliases and his exact age -- somewhere in his early 30s -- is reported differently by different police organizations.)   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

Dynamic Welsh Singer Songwriter Martyn Joseph Plays Phoenicia Saturday September 13th

September 13, 2014 - 7:30pm
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Flying Cat Music is proud to present Martyn Joseph in concert in Phoenicia on Saturday, September 13, at the Empire State Railway Museum located at 70 Lower High Street. The show begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7:00. Admission is $20 or $17 with RSVP to [email protected] or by calling 845-688-9453.  Read more

845 688 9453

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


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