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July 30, 2014
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TRI-STATE REGION — Hundreds of cyclists from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and as far away as LA, Miami, Montreal, England and Israel hope to raise more than $3 million on a two-day, up to 180-mile bike trip for a cause they believe in—sending hundreds of Jewish children with life-threatening or lifelong illnesses to summer camp. The event, Bike4Chai, now in its fifth year, is a project of Chai Lifeline, a Jewish charitable organization. This summer, Camp Simcha Special, located in Glen Spey, NY, will host 420 of these children for two-week camp sessions.

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...

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While walking at Shohola Recreation Area in Pike County, PA recently, I came upon an Eastern painted turtle crossing a dirt road. I bent down for a closer look and noticed that she was sporting a...

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She responds to me with, “Oh… Daddy,” when I tell her how cute she looks in her PJs with her pig tails swinging down the hall. She is doing a quick skip as she leads me to the kitchen and can’t...

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I don’t want to bum you out, but… summer is half over. Hard to believe, right? Around Memorial Day, I vowed to “stop and smell the roses” and take my time this season, relish the moment and drink...

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Since my last column, I’ve had the opportunity to fish two different lakes. Ordinarily I would be checking USGS sites on my laptop to find some cold, clear stream or river. However, the weather...

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With the arrival of warm mid-summer days, many of us are taking advantage of the swimming and fishing opportunities in nearby natural waterways, and many people encounter wildlife of all types...

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‘Inside Job’ in Manor

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — A screening of “Inside Job” will be presented by MoveOnSullivanNY on Sunday, February 12, at 4 p.m. at Morgan Outdoors, 46 Main St. The film examines the inner workings and questionable practices of the banking industry, which precipitated the disastrous housing crisis of 2008. Millions of people have lost their homes to foreclosure, and in Sullivan County alone, 7.7% of all mortgages have failed. This film attempts to look at what happened, and why, and who is responsible. Visit moveonsullivanny.wordpress.com.

Philharmonic, Doo Wop at Bethel Woods

BETHEL, NY — Tickets for two of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts’ most iconic performances are now on sale: the New York Philharmonic concert, scheduled this year for Saturday, July 7 featuring soloist Tracy Dahl; and the NY Doo Wop Extravaganza III, on Saturday, July 14. Tickets for both concerts can be purchased at BethelWoodsCenter.org or by phone at 800/745-3000.

Dahl will perform selections by Gershwin and Bernstein. Bramwell Tovey will conduct the Philharmonic in a performance that will also include pieces from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.”  Read more

I love the Catskills!

With Valentine’s Day swiftly approaching, I continue to recuperate at home and ponder. Is it possible, I wonder, to send a Valentine to a place? How would I address it? “Dear Upper Delaware Valley” sounds strange, but is all-encompassing. “To whom it may concern” is a little too formal. If I could, I’d hire a sky writer to spread my message high above in the clouds, for all to see.  Read more

A trip to Russia: Part II

So, Verotchka, how was Russia?

“Exciting,” I have answered and also, as any 85-year-old traveler can understand, “exhausting.” Just last week, at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance exhibit, glass of wine in hand, I surprised myself saying “maddening.”

“Russia was maddening!”

After all, it is frustrating for a big talker like myself to be unable to speak the language. And though the timbre of Russian was in my ears and heart in my father’s bass voice, I knew only a few words and had forgotten the Cyrillic alphabet I had learned as a child  Read more

Utopia or oblivion

“Ameritopia.”

That’s the title of a new book by conservative radio host and professional blowhard Mark Levin. Levin, in case you’re not familiar with the fellow, is a lawyer and best-selling author, whose on-air delivery can sometimes make notorious curmudgeon Bob Grant sound like Casey Kasem in comparison. He’s become one of the more successful members of that enormous gaggle of commentators and pundits who make scads of money by telling their mostly-quite-comfortable audiences how embattled and imperiled they are, and how our society has become inundated by “liberal media.”  Read more

Easy winter living

I have a terrarium of moss and ferns that we planted in a glass domed cake plate—the type of plate you see upon a diner counter with a carrot cake inside. My terrarium sits in the middle of my kitchen table like a green island of spring. I like to lift the lid off the pedestal and breathe in its moist, pungent woodland smell. It is a world unto itself. We planted it so as to have some green in the winter months, but without the contrast of winter whiteness it doesn’t have quite the same effect.  Read more

Kids who care

Readers of this column will not be surprised to learn I’m a big fan of the Lorax, the miniature mustachioed character created by Dr. Seuss and beloved for his impassioned environmental messages as put forth in the book of the same name.  Read more

Great Sullivan Foodraiser

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Stacy & Friends and Community Unity will present the Fourth annual Great Sullivan Foodraiser, a musicians’ gathering that takes place at venues around the county, on Saturday and Sunday, February 4 and 5. The event benefits the Federation for the Homeless and 15 local food pantries.  Read more

Cooking demo at the farm market

CALLICOON, NY — There will be a farm market tour and cooking demonstration by NaturalContents.com at the Callicoon indoor farmers’ market on Sunday, February 5 at the Delaware Youth Center, 8 Creamery Rd.. The farmers' market runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the cooking demo starts at 12 noon.  Read more

Liberty school holds jazz festival

LIBERTY, NY — The Liberty Central School Department of Music will host the 16th Annual Liberty Jazz Festival on Saturday, February 4, at 7 p.m. in the middle school gymnasium. The festival will feature high school and middle school jazz ensembles from Liberty and Monticello. The students will also have the opportunity to participate in an afternoon clinic (beginning at 3 p.m.) with a renowned jazz artist and educator, said festival co-chairman and director of music Gary Siegel.  Read more

‘Experiential Expressions’ at Chant

LORDS VALLEY, PA — “Two Quills,” shown here, will be one of the works at a new show opening at The Gallery at Chant Realtors Lords Valley, “Experiential Expressions,” featuring the collected works of artist Ka-Son Reeves. Meet the award-winning artist at the wine and cheese opening reception on Saturday, February 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. The gallery is located at 631 Rte 739. Call 570/775-7337.

Valentine movie is fundraiser for the Bethany Public Library

BETHANY, PA — Parents and children are invited to the Bethany Public Library on Friday, February 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. to snuggle in with their favorite blanket and wear their pajamas while watching a movie and enjoying popcorn and juice. Suggested age for children is two to six years old (accompanied by an adult). Donations are appreciated. Reservations are required. Call 570/253-4349 or stop by the Bethany Public Library.

A trip to Russia: Part 1

[Recently, Milanville, PA resident Sheila Dugan and Narrowsburg, NY resident Vera Williams took a trip to Russia. This week we print excerpts from Dugan’s extensive journal on the trip; next week we will print Williams’ account.]

Moscow, December 31, 2011
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Rescue 911: No guts, no glory!

First order of business today is to set the record straight.

Paraphrasing Mark Twain, let it be known that the rumors of my death have been mildly exaggerated. I have, however, recently experienced an N.D.E. (near death experience).  Read more

Sundance

I arrive in Park City with Sean late on Wednesday evening for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. We accidentally discovered we were on the same flight the day before so we arranged to meet and travel together.

My nerves are buzzing but I have a certain confidence. It’s my third year in a row here and I’m getting to know my way around. This year, travel wise, it’s an easy trip; last year I got caught in Atlanta for six hours because of a snowstorm.  Read more

Fleeced

I was encouraged when in I read Susan Freinkel’s book, “Plastics: A Toxic Love Story,” that manufacturers of polar fleece garments, such as Patagonia, REI and The North Face, are hungry for recycled PET plastic bottles. They prefer to make fleece from cheaper recycled bottles rather than using more expensive virgin polyester made from our dwindling supply of petroleum. It takes about 25 recycled bottles, otherwise whisked away to a landfill, to make one garment. (If the label doesn’t say the garment is made from recycled fleece, it’s not.)  Read more

Winter eagles arrive--after a slight delay

One thing that can be counted on in the region is the arrival of hundreds of wintering bald eagles to the Delaware River and other waterways. Typically starting in late December or early January, eagles arrive from Canada as they seek open water to forage for their favorite food: fish.

With the milder than normal winter so far, the eagles have been slow to migrate to the upper Delaware. Many of the northern rivers where eagles forage were still open as of the New Year, so that eliminated the need for them to migrate all the way to the wintering ground of our region for a few weeks.  Read more

A long day’s journey into paradise

The uppermost wellspring of this river of time burst from the ground in 1948. I had borrowed a book from the Kingsbridge branch of the New York public library system titled “Trout,” by Ray Bergman. To a plug-casting bass fisherman, the hundreds of delicate flies shown in this book, painted by Dr. Edgar Burke, seemed too pretty to possibly catch fish. These flies came in every shade and color imaginable. Also, they had wonderful, magical names, such as the Queen of the Waters, Rio Grande King, Parmachenie Belle, Kingfisher, Light Edson Tiger and the Black Ghost.  Read more

Narrowsburg is for lovers

NARROWSBURG, NY — “Be Mine Always,” the fourth annual exhibition of photographs and poetry celebrating love, opens on Saturday, January 28, with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Alliance Gallery, 37 Main St.  Read more

DVO presents ‘Rigoletto’ highlights

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Delaware Valley Opera (DVO) will present a program of highlights from Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto,’ at a special Season Opening Fundraiser at the DVAA, 37 Main St. The event will be held on Saturday, February 4, at 7 p.m., and will feature Francisco Perez-Abreu, Evelyn Thatcher, Alexander Caraballo, Jeremy Griffin and Caroline Tye, with pianist Violetta Zabbi. A reception will follow the performance. The cost of tickets is $25.