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July 24, 2016
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Photos by Isaac Green Diebboll

BETHEL, NY — Sometimes we may forget that Sullivan County is a diverse county. It’s so easy to stay in your town, your community, your corner of the county, and not break barriers and venture out. However, that’s not to say that such barrier-breaking is impossible. Proof of that was visible at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Saturday, when the most diverse crowd in Sullivan County came together as part of Dialogue2Change, an initiative of the Sullivan County Human Rights Commission and Everyday Democracy.

In recent River Talk columns, we’ve been sharing images of species identified during the third Upper Delaware BioBlitz held at the Ten Mile River Scout Camp in the Town of Tusten, NY. The photos...

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In which I give myself a softball interview…

Q: So, Skip, how was that “CommonBound” conference (www.commonbound....

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My son, Sam, graduated from high school in June—ending his last, restless weeks of 12th grade and beginning his final summer vacation—that nebulous time between high school graduation and the...

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“The man who only lives for making money, lives a life that isn’t necessarily sunny,” wrote Ira Gershwin back in the day. “Likewise the man who works for fame—there’s no guarantee that time won’t...

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So far this year fish reports are mixed. What a surprise! We have received reports that the fishing has been great and reports that it has been the worst year yet. Maybe it is a little of both.

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On July 12, during its quarterly business meeting, the PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) voted to delist the timber rattlesnake from candidate status. With this vote, this species is no longer a...

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A Cat Country Christmas party

BETHEL, NY — The Catskill Distilling Company on Route 17B will host a Cat Country Christmas Party, featuring the Somerville Brothers with band, starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 21.

Across the street, you can browse for holiday gifts all weekend long at the Stray Cat Gallery and Store Next Door, featuring antiques, hand-crafted ceramics, books, handcrafted jewelry by artisans including Isha Elafi and Ayala Barr, furniture, a collection of photographs by famous Woodstock photographers Elliott Landy and Jason Laure, and more.  Read more

The Temptations and The Four Tops to play Bethel Woods

BETHEL, NY — The first announcement for the Bethel Woods 2014 concert season is in. Two of the most iconic Motown groups, The Temptations and The Four Tops, will perform at the Center for the Arts in a special, pavilion-only concert on Friday, August 1, 2014. Tickets go on sale on Friday, December 20 at 10 a.m. at, Ticketmaster, or by phone at 800/745-3000.  Read more

Singers invited to join Delaware Valley Choral Society

MILFORD, PA — The Delaware Valley Choral Society invites anyone who loves to sing to join them for their next concert, titled “Feelin’ Good.” Rehearsals begin January 5 at 2 p.m. at the Milford United Methodist Church, 206 East Ann St. American composers Stephen Foster and George Gerswhin will be featured, and the concert will be performed at the Dingman Delaware Middle School in Dingmans Ferry on Sunday, May 18, 2014.  Read more

Holiday music with The Noah Barker Trio

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — The Noah Barker Trio will perform holiday music at The Janice Center on Sunday, December 22 at 3 and 7 p.m. Noah Barker and his jazz trio will play the holiday-themed music of Vince Guaraldi (of Peanuts fame), Leroy Anderson, Mel Torme and others.

Tickets cost $10, and $7 for Janice Center holiday performance ticketholders. Seating is limited, and reservations are recommended. Call 845/482-3324.

Soulful, Rock-Americana next in Hawley

HAWLEY, PA — MiZ (Mike Mizwinski) will perform at The Boiler Room in the Hawley Silk Mill on December 21 at 7:30 p.m. The Northeast Pennsylvania singer-songwriter and guitarist, MiZ takes the stage at Harmony Presents combining his soulful, rock-Americana originals and a few of his favorite holiday tunes. MiZ has a sound directly influenced by the coal-mining region of Pennsylvania, evoking the rustic tones and imagery of its deep cultural heritage and foundation in genres such as folk, rock, bluegrass and blues.  Read more

Fowl mood: Hickory’s revenge, Part 2

[Editor’s note: Part 1 of this story, which appeared in The River Reporter issue of December 5, 2013, continued the tale of the Turkey Bandit and how he freed 50 turkeys, ruining Farmer Hickory’s Thanksgiving. In Part 1, the Bandit awakes to find that his family, Hen and Junior, have been kidnapped. As we pick up the story, the Turkey Bandit is trying to attempt a rescue of his family from the farmhouse….]  Read more

Musical notes and quotes

It’s that time of year again, when snow days crop up from time to time, which in turn, gives me a little extra time. Never at a loss, the desire to shovel is pretty low on my list, but there’s plenty to do around the house and my desk is piled with work that I’ve put off for months, waiting for an opportunity such as this. I have a desk at The River Reporter’s office as well, and once in a while I even get mail. Ripping into an envelope the other day, I scanned the note inside: “Hi, Jonathan,” it read. “Enclosed, please find my latest CD.  Read more

The cold, hard face of power

The recent passing of Nelson Mandela brought my mind back to 1978, and (well, let’s tell it how it was) I was pretty clueless.  Read more

‘Tis the season

I’ve been out buying drill bit sets and bottles of wine, Godiva truffles and a gingerbread man cookie mix that comes complete with cookie cutters shaped in ninja poses. And let’s not forget the pink duct tape with the Scottie dog pattern for my great niece.  Read more

Telling stories, preserving traditions

[Laura Moran is a librarian at the Western Sullivan Public Library, where she oversees the library’s oral history project and offers training to people interested in learning how to conduct oral-history interviews. The next training session will be held on Wednesday, December 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the Jeffersonville Branch at 19 Center St., Jeffersonville. For Moran, recorded oral histories are collaborations among the interviewer, the interviewee and a third, yet-to-be-determined person of the future who will one day listen to the recording.  Read more

Snowy owls make an appearance

The Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus), made famous by “Hedwig” the snowy owl that was a gift to Harry Potter in the popular book series, is not an owl normally seen in this region. They spend their summers breeding at the northernmost tundra regions of Canada and Alaska. Unlike most owls, snowy owls feed diurnally, or during the daytime. They have no choice in the arctic, where it’s daylight everyday most the summer. Feather-covered feet and nostrils shielded by feathers are a few of many adaptations that this owl possesses.  Read more

Narrowsburg’s Vera B. Williams honored

NARROWSBURG, NY — Narrowsburg author Vera B. Williams’ book, “A Chair for My Mother,” has been chosen as one of the 100 Greatest Children’s Books of the Last Century by the New York Public Library. “A Chair for My Mother” (1982) stands alongside 99 other classics such as Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” (1962), E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” (1952), Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” (1963) and J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (1998).  Read more

CAS presents ‘Animal Avatars’ reading

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society will present local author Patricia Eakins and poet Bertha Rogers for “Animal Avatars: Real and Imaged Beasts,” a public reading of fiction and poetry at the CAS Arts Center at 48 Main Street, on Saturday, December 14 from 3 to 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, and small donations will be accepted at the door.  Read more

WJFF Radio’s Holiday Show featuring local musicians

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — WJFF Radio’s Holiday Show will make its return this year at the Delaware Youth Center, 8 Creamery Rd. in Callicoon at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 14 (with a snow date of Saturday, December 21). The show will feature live performances by Little Sparrow, The Human Lard Dog, Kathy Geary, Elizabeth Rose & Brewster Smith, Doug Rogers and the Hoy Polloy, Jeff Lackey, Dr. C and Janet Burgan. The show is produced by Maureen Neville, a WJFF volunteer and the acts will be introduced by a selection of WJFF on-air hosts.  Read more

Merriment at Hawley Winterfest

HAWLEY, PA — Hawley hosted a weekend full of activities for young and old alike at its annual Winterfest celebration December 6 through 8. From breakfast with Santa at the Boathouse Restaurant to caroling and lighting a Christmas tree in Bingham Park, from horse-drawn carriage rides to a living Nativity at Hawley Methodist Church in town, from soup at the library to cider and sweets at Teeters Furniture, a good time was had by all.

Lea DeLaria’s holiday comedy and music special

MILFORD, PA — The Lea DeLaria Holiday Comedy and Music Special will be held on Friday, December 13 at 8 p.m. at the Historic Milford Theatre, 114 E. Catharine St. Tickets cost $30 per person.

DeLaria is featured in the new hit Netflix series “Orange Is The New Black” and starred on Broadway in “On The Town.” She was also the first lesbian performer to come out on live television on the “Arsenio Hall Show” in 1995. DeLaria was also the star of producer Scott Robbe’s Comedy Central special “Out There,” the first all-gay television show.  Read more

‘Schwartz and Magliano Unplugged,’ and more

BETHEL, NY — On Friday, December 13, the Dancing Cat Saloon will present Steven Schwartz and Antoine Magliano Unplugged. The two are seen weekly at the Saloon’s Thursday night Musicians’ Gatherings on elec-tric instruments, but this Friday they’ll switch to an acoustic-only performance at 8 p.m.  Read more

Holiday show brings cheer to audience

NARROWSBURG, NY — Dave McCracken and Karen Case Cook (first photo) sing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in “Once Upon A Time: The Best Holiday Show Ever—Even If You’ve Seen Them All!” by DJM Productions Inc. at the Tusten Theatre on Saturday, December 7. The show was like nothing you’ve seen and featured singing, acting bits and dancing (with a few audience sing-alongs thrown in). It featured performers Melanie Boland, Dale Church, Karen Case Cook, Dave McCracken and Doug Spagnola, and special guest star dancers Paige Bodnar and Drake Eshleman (second photo).  Read more

The iceman cometh

With winter breathing down our necks, Mother Nature (in her infinite wisdom) has decided to get a jump on things. Clearly, she and Jack Frost are in cahoots, since the iceman has been busy creating magical designs on windows across the Upper Delaware Valley. I suppose those with triple-insulated thermal panes have been spared, but my place (and I suspect many of yours’) could use a little extra insulation, so when the temperature dips, oh-so-pretty designs appear on my glass, courtesy of the imp with the icy paintbrush.  Read more

Local school holiday concerts on-air at WJFF

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — Local radio station WJFF 90.5 will air a special holiday program of highlights from area schools holiday concerts on Sunday, December 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. and again Sunday, December 29 at the same time. The program will also be available live by webstream or for later download online at

The holiday concert programs will feature selections from upcoming holiday concerts by the choirs and bands of schools across WJFF’s listening area, as well as interviews with some of the students and staff involved, and a few other special treats.  Read more