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September 26, 2016
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MILFORD, PA — At most writers’ festivals, there is no interaction between the writer and the people who read their words—the reader. No dialogue, just lecture. The first Milford Readers and Writers Festival wants to do it differently, to break the mold of the literary festival. When Milford mayor and owner of the Hotel Fauchere, Sean Strub, got together with friends for dinner one evening, they fantasized about creating a literary festival in Milford. Less than six months later, a group of 10 to 15 volunteers set out to make that dream a reality.

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else…” So said Emily Dickinson, the eminent poet of microcosm and wonder.

I think of this as I sort through the laundry, sweep up...

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The past few weeks have been challenging, not only personally, but for many I have come into contact with as well. Even though I tend to think of myself as the guy who reports on the good times...

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In a week or two, huge numbers of broad-winged hawks will fill the skies in some areas like Hawk Mountain in PA or Sunrise Mountain in New Jersey. That will be near-peak migration time for them as...

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Well… I’m not at all sure that I “oughta be,” but as it happens, I am this week. Usually, I’m pretty busy on the other side of the camera, attempting to capture all that is happening throughout...

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Myths and misunderstandings abound in nature and can lead to undesirable outcomes. Such is the case when it comes to two plants that flower at this time of year. One of them provokes an allergic...

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Next time you’re in your favorite local grocery store, take a little stroll down the breakfast cereal aisle. Plant yourself in front of the Cheerios section, and start counting. How many different...

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Music to my ears

Having survived the flu and determined to join the real world once again, I had a spring in my step when Skytop Farm (www.skytopfarmny.com) manager Jen Franklin called to inform me that there were new foals to visit, so I slipped a CD in the player, put pedal to the metal and drove myself to the sprawling acreage that is home to the thoroughbred horses that call Skytop home. The breeding farm that boasts “around the clock care for your mare during and after her pregnancy” is a bucolic setting nestled in the hills above Roscoe, NY, and the two new colts were as precious as possible.  Read more

Every drop counts Students study water conservation, paint rain barrels

PIKE AND WAYNE COUNTIES — Linda Lohner teaches biology at the Wallenpaupack Area High School in Pike County, where she and her fellow science teachers are currently developing a new curriculum.Every Wednesday, after the final bell rings, Lohner and a group of students who are passionate about the environment and outdoor activities meet in her classroom to learn about and experience the natural world outside of school.  Read more

Green light: The transition to spring

Despite the cold front predicted for next week, I know that spring is on its way. A couple of hellebores (gardening.about.com/od/plantprofile1/p/Hellebore_Pro.htm) have managed to poke up through the snow, determined and perhaps just a bit reckless. I’m looking forward to tramping into the wet woods in search of vernal pools and the salamanders and frogs that inhabit them.  Read more

Meeting Annie

Lately, I realize I take a lot for granted: everyday things such as the warmth of a sunny day, the laughter of children and the first bloom of the forsythia indicating the birth of another spring. When I first met Annie, I was moving into the last car of the train and noticed she was the only one in the car. Strange for the car to be empty, I thought, I would have passed without a second notice except she spoke to me saying hello and asking if Harriman was next. She had a pleasant voice and was looking right at me, hard to ignore and just walk on.  Read more

Give critters a brake

A couple of weeks back, I took a trip up and down the river, and up and around Lackawaxen and Shohola townships. There was lots of wildlife present on the river and above. What was more significant was the wildlife tally observed on the roadway on this trip of 30 or so miles. The critter road tally was nine turkey, seven deer (four different locations), a couple of crows feeding on road kill, and one opossum calmly walking along the shoulder.  Read more

Roots and Rhythm Festival announced

HONESDALE, PA — The Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music and Arts Festival began nine years ago as an endeavor to bring music art to Honesdale’s Central Park. Over the course of the last nine years, visitors to Roots & Rhythm have increased exponentially: last year’s event drawing approximately 7,000 attendees. This year’s festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 21. Plans are well underway, and there is a need for sponsors and volunteers. For more information on how you can help, contact info@honesdalerootsandrhythm.com.

Discussion on pop culture at the library

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Western Sullivan Public Library will hold the ongoing program “Pop Matters with Kevin McDonough: A Conversation where Media, Culture, and Entertainment Meet.” Pop Matters will be a conversation about popular culture with a new topic every month.  Read more

CAS Public Tour Series returns

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society will continue its Public Tour Series, a deeper look at the themes and subjects of its juried exhibitions in an interactive guided tour. The upcoming tour will focus on Christopher Vernale’s solo photography show, featuring his series “Child’s Play” and “Wherever You Go,” at the CAS Arts Center on Saturday, March 22 at 2 p.m. This event is free, and small donations will be accepted at the door.  Read more

Salon Series features Jazzmosis

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Delaware Valley Arts Alliance Salon Series presents Jazzmosis on Sunday, March 23 at 2 p.m. The rock/jazz fusion quartet, founded in 2011, is made up of musicians who come together from varied musical backgrounds. Their sound combines the energy of rock with the improvisational brilliance of jazz.  Read more

Writers’ Circle presents book reading and signing with local authors

HONESDALE, PA — The Writers’ Circle of Wayne County invites the public to join them at The Cooperage on Sunday, March 23, from 2 to 6 p.m. for a reading and book sale. Come and discover several local authors you may not have heard from before. Share wine, cheese and conversation with us, then relax and let us entertain you with selections from our latest works: “Power in the Blood” by Bernard LoPinto; “Counting the Days-366 Days in Prison” by Leslie Rutkin; “Birds on a Wire,” by Will Wyckoff; and “Zookeeper” by Dawn McIntyre. The presentation, moderated by Aleta Kahn, will begin at 3 p.m.  Read more

Dave Matthews Band opener returns to the Hawley Silk Mill

HAWLEY, PA — On Saturday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m., Harmony Presents welcomes back the Nat Osborn Band. They were last in Hawley this past November and played to a sold out crowd in the Boiler Room of the Hawley Silk Mill.  Read more

‘Vintage Pain,’ an installation by Sally Rowe

NARROWSBURG, NY — “Vintage Pain,” an installation by Sally Rowe, opens with a reception on Saturday, March 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Delaware Arts Center’s Alliance Gallery. The exhibit will be on view through April 19.  Read more

Hope springs eternal

It’s no secret that I’ve had a bad attitude over the weather for the past few months. I’ve moaned, complained and whined incessantly about the cold, the snow and ice. Like many of you, I had come to the conclusion that it just wouldn’t end and that spring would never arrive at all. According to the calendar, as of today, spring is officially in the air. Hmm. Oh sure, there are signs of life. Yesterday, from my sick bed, I saw my first robin and quietly rejoiced.  Read more

Holistic help for animals; Aid through acupressure and aromatherapy

SHOHOLA, PA — Folks gathered at a recent seminar on animal acupressure and aromatherapy, given by certified holistic animal practitioner Kristy Boki. All were there because they care—deeply—about the well-being of their dogs.  Read more

My enemy (in the abstract)

“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world.

It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”

― L.R. Knost

Every once in a while (as I may have observed here before), something comes across the Internet, amongst all the kitty-cat videos and trivial “Mmmm, nice lunch!” status updates, that make a reader stop dead for a moment.  Read more

First Jobs

What was your first job?

My first job was as a reporter at the Sullivan County Democrat in Callicoon, where I worked during the summers when I was home from college. It was an interesting time in our river valley—the National Park Service was holding public hearings on the Upper Delaware wild and scenic park plan, and there was lots of fist shaking and yelling going on. It was exciting, and eventually I even learned how to operate the 35mm camera so that my photos of those wild crowds came out in focus.  Read more

Double trouble

The first time Emily asked me what I thought about getting another dog I deflected the question.

Faithful readers will know that Emily and I have a French bulldog named Madeline. She’s getting on in years, and Emily had been reading that adding a young dog into the mix is known to extend an old dog’s life.  Read more

Spring Fling Party to welcome Catskill Mountainkeeper to Livingston Manor

Livingston Manor, NY — The Catskill Art Society (CAS) will join the town in welcoming Catskill Mountainkeeper to Livingston Manor with a Spring Fling Party at the CAS Arts Center on Saturday, March 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. All are welcome to attend for this casual seasonal bash.  Read more

Community center wins grant for Music Night

PHILLIPSPORT, NY — The Phillipsport Community Center (PCC) recently announced that the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) has awarded the group $1,500 to pay for Music Night performances. President Matthew Migliaccio will receive the award by the end of March at a presentation made by the DVAA in Narrowsburg.  Read more

Music scholarship opportunity for Sullivan West seniors

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Bodenstein Music Scholarship is offered to seniors at Sullivan West Central School who wish to pursue music education in college or with a master teacher. The scholarship is open to both vocal and instrumental students. One Music Advancement scholarship in the amount of $500 is awarded annually, given a suitable candidate. At the discretion of the jury, a $100 Music Achievement prize may also be awarded.  Read more