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October 25, 2014
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THE CATSKILLS — Martin (Marty) Podskoch is afraid of heights, but that didn’t stop him from writing “Fire Towers of the Catskills: Their History and Lore.” Fascinated with these relics of our past, he visited all of the fire towers in the Catskills region and talked to the fire tower observers and their families. So how does he get to the top of a fire tower? “I just close my eyes and hold on to someone’s shoulders and follow them up,” Podskoch said.

A few weeks back, a neighbor told me he was finding what looked like berries on the ground, even though he said no berry trees were anywhere in the area. I asked him about the size and color, and...

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Fall brings the changing of the foliage to the Upper Delaware Valley. Along with the falling leaves come the “slippery rail” excuse for train delays. It seems, according to New Jersey Transit (NJT...

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Apparently there is no evidence whatsoever that Marie Antoinette actually uttered such a callous statement in response to her subjects’ bemoaning their lack of bread. But it has stuck to her shoe...

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I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Wikipedia defines it as “an old adage, typically stated as: ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.’” Ain’t that the truth. At the risk of sounding like a total nut...

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The great battle of our time will be over water—pure, fresh water in particular. All earthly life depends upon water for survival. The human population worldwide, now 7.3 billion, is projected to...

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The fast-flying days of flaming fall foliage have held us in thrall lately as the Upper Delaware Region advances toward the cold and inward months of winter. Watching the leaves turn through...

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Tri-State Chamber of Commerce presents Arts Walk

PORT JERVIS, NY — The Tri-State Chamber of Commerce will present the 16th annual Arts Walk Summer Street Fair to be held on Saturday, July 19, (rain date July 20) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a movie at 9 p.m. on historic Front Street.

The event is free to the public, offering a combination of fine artists, crafters, musicians, dancers, performers as well as businesses in the tri-state area the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work. This event draws thousands of people and is a favorite of visitors to the region.  Read more

Returning to the Playhouse

As I drove through Eldred on my way to the Forestburgh Playhouse, I wondered if I would remember how to get there. It’s a drive I have done close to a hundred times, but not in many years. In high school, I spent three summers working in the kitchen and acting in bit parts at the playhouse, but I’ve been back only a handful of times since.  Read more

Liberty Free Theatre presents Mamet play

PARKSVILLE, NY — The Liberty Free Theatre continues its tenth anniversary season with the second of its Beekman Pavilion Performance Reading Series on Thursday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. with David Mamet’s “Reunion,” the story of a father and daughter trying to reconnect. Admission is free. The featured performers are Michael Frizalone and Courtney Roche. The Beekman Pavilion is across the street from the Fat Lady Café on the Square in Kauneonga Lake. The audience is invited to enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar at the Fat Lady Café after the performance.  Read more

‘Yarnslingers: Memoirs’ monthly storytelling series

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society will present the storytelling group Yarnslingers for their partnership series “Yarnslingers: Memoirs” at the CAS Arts Center at 48 Main St., on Saturday, July 19 at 7 p.m.  Read more

The true story of New York’s first murder for hire

PORT JERVIS, NY — The Hub at The Port Jervis Free Library will host local author and police detective Michael Worden for a new program elaborating on the facts in his recently published book, “The Murder of Richard Jennings.” The program will be held Thursday, July 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the library’s reference room. Worden will explore the complexity of this incident in an entertaining yet historically accurate manner. He examines the case from the origins of the dispute to the plot, murder and aftermath.  Read more

Free family film and craft program at Grey Towers

MILFORD, PA — A free outdoor film showing of “Happy Feet Two” will be shown on Saturday, July 19 on the lawn of Grey Towers National Historic Site at dusk. A related craft activity for kids will begin at 7 p.m.

The animated film features a tap dancing penguin, and was selected as part of the Grey Towers’ Screen on the Green environmental film series by co-sponsor Gifford Pinchot Audubon Society because it illustrates some of the environmental challenges that the species is facing today, especially in light of climate change.  Read more

Christmas in July benefit concert

NEWFOUNDLAND, PA — Elektrix Studio.com and Renegade’s Saloon will host the eighth annual Rock For Tots holiday benefit concert featuring the bands 30 Pack Lite Trio, Jay Luke, The Mess, Right Side Up, UMan ERA, Sucker and DJ Elektrix from 4 p.m. to close on July 19 at Renegade’s Saloon, 1058 Main St.  Read more

Movies in Monticello

MONTICELLO, NY — For the benefit of Monticello youth and community members, the Youth Committee of the Monticello Interfaith Council is holding an ongoing series of free movies in Monticello. The group holds a Friday evening showing and a Sunday afternoon showing each month at the Ted Stroebele Recreation Center at 10 Jefferson St. Snacks will be available for 50 cents.  Read more

Flamenco rock, cello and guitar fusion with Montana Skies

HAWLEY, PA — Flamenco-rock cello and guitar duo Montana Skies returns to Harmony Presents on Saturday, July 19 for two shows at 7 p.m. and at 9:30 p.m. at the Silk Mill. The act combines elements of classical technique, flamenco, jazz improv and rock n’ roll.  Read more

The Matt Hoffmann Quintet to perform at The Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — On Saturday, July 19, The Matt Hoffmann Quintet will be at The Cooperage, located at 1030 Main St. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the show will start at 7:30 p.m. The concert is to celebrate the release of the group’s new album, “Communion,” which features original compositions as well as improvised jazz.  Read more

Old theatre, old-fashioned melodrama

SOUTH FALLSBURG, NY — The Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop will present “Stop Thief!” a mischievously fun, musically enhanced melodrama by D. Chapelle on Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 20 at 2 p.m. at the Rivoli Theatre.

Victoria V. Leighton directs this cast: Serena Gildersleeve, Ashlyn Nardi, Melissa McTague, Edward Berens, Dennis Grow, Paul Puerschner, Sally Gladden and Teri Paris. Technical director is Jim Schmidt. Harold Tighe is master carpenter and Fran Schiff is set designer. Pianist is Jeff Krolick.  Read more

LBJ took the IRT down to 4th St. USA

While these words strung together might seem esoteric, they are ringing in my ears as I review where I’ve been over the last few days. The reference is to a song from “HAIR” (the tribal love-rock musical) written by James Rado, Jerome Ragni and Galt McDermot, and that particular tune is strung together by a collection of acronyms (a word formed from the initial letters of a compound term—think NATO, radar or laser). As I darted to and fro with the Wonder Dog in tow, I couldn’t help but notice them popping up.  Read more

Sidewalk Sales in Honesdale has Hollywood theme

HONESDALE, PA — Honesdale’s merchants will be going “Hollywood” at the 54th annual Sidewalk Sales on Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19, sponsored by The Dime Bank with support from Wayne County Tourism. Main Street will be filled with merchandise offered by its local stores, area vendors, artists and area non-profits.  Read more

Two openings at the DVAA this weekend

NARROWSBURG, NY — Two art shows will open this weekend at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance on Friday, July 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. One exhibit is “Tulips and Other Surprises from the Natural World,” drawings and paintings by Linda Bastian, and the other is “Paintings, Postcards,” an exhibit of paintings by Gary Abramson. They will both be on view until August 9.  Read more

Studies say pesticides are killing bees; Manufacturers call studies flawed

The volume of the debate surrounding the death of up to a third of all honey bees in the United States during the winter, in a phenomena known as colony collapse disorder (CCD), was increased a notch this year as the results of a new Harvard study were released in May.  Read more

Religious freedom, religious fairness

The folks at Hobby Lobby (which apparently is an evangelical ministry disguised as a craft store) took out a full-page ad in the papers recently, touting the notion that the United States was from the outset intended to be a “Christian nation” (whatever that is supposed to mean—but that’s another column). I guess they were reveling in the heady feeling of victory, following the Supreme Court decision that recognized their right to apply their religious beliefs to the benefits package that they offered their employees. Many liberals and progressives were upset by the decision, but not me.  Read more

‘The Meteorite’

Few things captured my childhood imagination more than rocks. I spent hours searching the roadsides for quartz pebbles. I collected ripple marks and treasured the small, imperfect fossils I found on the railroad tracks. I saved the pieces of coal I found in the path of the town plow. But best of all were the large, exotic boulders in the pastures and woods where we hiked and played.  Read more

Monarchs in a mess

One thing I do around this time of year is check for monarch butterflies, usually by just walking down some nearby roads; there are a few milkweed plants growing off the side of the roads that will support caterpillars. I check some of the plants for the tiny white eggs that will eventually result in a new generation of monarch butterflies late in the summer. This year, however, my hunt has been in vain.  Read more

In search of Goliath

My fishing partners and I are hooked in the quest for large fish. What constitutes a “large” fish is subjective. We all want trout of 20 inches plus. If you fish after dark, the gold standard is a two-footer.  Read more

Fun for the whole family at the Zane Grey Festival

LACKAWAXEN, PA — The National Park Service and the Zane Grey’s West Society will host the 10th annual Zane Grey Festival at the Zane Grey Museum, 135 Scenic Dr., on Saturday, July 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival is geared toward fun for the entire family with many activities and events for children and adults.

Craft activities will be available for children of all ages. Kids can also take part in a scavenger hunt to receive a free book by visiting exhibitors and learning about the area’s natural and cultural history.  Read more