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August 27, 2014
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"If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliche that must have been left behind in the '60s, that's a problem. Peace and love are eternal." — John Lennon

A few weeks after I proposed to Emily last August we set a date for our wedding: November 22, 2014. At the time this was 14 months away, which obviously felt like an eternity.
Emily came...

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Those six words inspired legendary composer Jerry Herman to write a song with that theme for his smash-hit musical “La Cage aux Folles,” currently playing at the Forestburgh Playhouse. Based on...

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It has been a summer of pests.

In June, I inaugurated the season by contracting Lyme disease. I suspect this occurred on a seemingly innocent walk to check out the beaver lodge under...

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Author’s note: I don’t know if Sullivan County is in the coverage area for Bob Beierly’s publication Our Town, but here on the PA side of the river you can’t swing a cat without hitting one of his...

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Earlier this year, I heartily enjoyed serving as an environmental educator at the Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center (LCEEC) in Covington Township, PA. Traipsing through the forest...

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A few years back, some friends and I went to a seafood restaurant in eastern Long Island for dinner. As we walked through the entrance, I noticed a rectangular planter in which were growing some...

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Frozen waterworks

As the first week of January winds to a close, we are finally getting some typical winter cold weather; overnight temperatures dipped below zero degrees in a few spots in the region. The cold was sufficient to freeze over most of the area lakes and some snow squalls moved through the area, a small contribution to this year’s below average snowfall to date.  Read more

Vega to perform at event gallery

BETHEL, NY — Tickets will be on sale starting on January 13 for a performance by Grammy® Award-winning songwriter Suzanne Vega at the Event Gallery at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Sunday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m.  Read more

Investigate evergreens with ethnobotany group

HONESDALE, PA — An ethnobotany group in Honesdale, facilitated by Nathaniel Whitmore, is focusing on evergreens this winter. Members of the group, which meets on Thursdays at 7 p.m., bring in twigs and cones from trees in their neighborhoods or that they gathered during walks in the woods. The specimens are studied in order to learn how to differentiate the various species of pine, spruce, fir etc. that can be found locally. Whitmore was surprised to find that the Western giant Douglas Fir grows (planted) just a couple of blocks from where the herbal group meets.  Read more

Learn secrets of Japanese swordsmanship

HAWLEY, PA —A level-one program designed to teach students the fundamentals of Japanese swordmanship will be held at the Elite Martial Arts Institute at the IGA Plaza on Route 6. It will begin with proper handling of the sword, starting with etiquette and continuing on with the techniques and strategies of the 12 Kata of the Omori Ryu. The Omori Ryu is the Shoden or first level of practice of Muso Shinden Ryu. Classes start on Monday, January 16 and will continue on Monday nights from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m.  Read more

CAG becomes ‘gallery without walls’

LIBERTY, NY — The Catskill Artists Gallery is becoming a gallery without walls. It is closing its “bricks-and-mortar” location at 38 South Main Street in Liberty at the end of January, but will still be selling its usual array of fine art and craft in other ways.

The gallery is revising its website to enable direct sales online, and will also participate in selected art exhibitions and craft shows throughout the year. These events will be publicized at www.catskillartistsgallery.com.  Read more

Outsider hosts a short-film festival

ROSCOE, NY — The Outsider Studio Collective will host a short-film festival on Saturday, January 21 at 5 p.m. at the Beaverkill Church on Craigie Clare Road. The one-hour event will feature short, portrait-like films by some of the Beaverkill Valley’s friends, as well as filmmakers from NYC and the surrounding Catskill area.  Read more

Yarnslingers: ‘The Latest Local Lore’

CALLICOON, NY — There will be a free performance by Yarnslingers at the Café Devine in Callicoon on Friday, January 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., telling funny and poignant accounts that have all happened in our area.

Local writers/storytellers include Ann Finneran, Ramona Jan, Patti Zins, Marion Kaselle, Maura Stone, Jason Rahm, June Donahue and Glenn Pontier.

A new roof at the Columns

MILFORD, PA — The new mansard roof on the Columns Museum of the Pike County Historical Society (PCHS) has been completed. A major contribution of $15,000 came from ESSA Savings and Trust. Other funding came from dedicated members of the society and through fundraising events throughout the year. G.D.H. Construction did the work, and plans are in place for them to replace the front porch flat roofs in the spring. Fundraising efforts continue to complete phase two of the roof plan. All donations are tax deductible. Inquiries or donations can be sent to PCHS, PO Box 915, Milford, PA 18337.  Read more

Call to artists

MILFORD, PA — The ARTery Gallery invites submissions to the “New Visions” regional juried exhibit and sale to be held in April of 2012. The exhibit will kick off the 2012 season with a showcase of the tri-state area’s best art and crafts.

A cooperative, member owned and operated gallery in the heart of Milford, the ARTery will be sharing its space with non-members for the month of April.

The deadline for submissions is March 10. A prospectus can be downloaded from www.ateryonline.com, or have one mailed by calling 570/409-1234.

Sullivan County ‘strangers’ help launch documentary

ROSCOE, NY — What would you do if two total strangers came into your town, approached you on the street, began asking questions about the place where you live and then said they were looking for a night’s lodging?

That’s what Sarah Sellman, now 22, and Greg Grano, 21, did when they embarked on a journey in June 2010 to explore trust, fear and hospitality across America and between Americans. The initiative provided the basic framework for the film which they are now trying to finalize, “American Bear: An Adventure in the Kindness of Strangers.”  Read more

Worlds end

“Why do the birds go on singing?
Why do the stars glow above?
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when I lost your love.”
– Sylvia Dee, “End of the World”

Worlds end all the time, you know.  Read more

Games children play

Most of the games children play seem to be “chase” games. Tag, of course, and capture the flag are standards. But then there are all kinds of animal-themed chase games like the self explanatory “bear,” or a game in which one kid pretends to be the shark from “Jaws” attacking “swimmers” on the lawn. “Spy zombie brain hunter” sounds more like a popular video game than the classic playground girl vs. boy runaround that it really is. They are all variations on the same timeless theme of “chase” and “catch.”  Read more

Planting with wildlife in mind

Two helpful tools from the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) are now available to guide landowners and gardeners in developing “backyard habitats” beneficial to wildlife.  Read more

Scenes of Sullivan at CineArt

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — Sean Durkin, left, Zac Stuart-Pontier and Jody Lee Lipes, the director, editor and director of photography of “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” chat on the set of a farm on Beaverkill Road in Livingston Manor in the summer of 2010, when the film was being shot. The movie is the CineArt feature at the Callicoon Theatre in Callicoon, NY starting on Friday, January 6. Stuart-Pontier will lead a Q&A session at the Saturday, January 7 screening.  Read more

Martha at the Callicoon Theater

The first time I remember going to the Callicoon Theater was to see a print of “A River Runs Through It” that the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) was showing. I was probably 12. Since then, I’ve been back a half a dozen times. I’ve always liked it. I had my mind blown by “Being John Malkovich” and snapped a photo of Richard Castellano adjusting the marquee for “Analyze This.” The idea that a movie I am closely involved in would show there is a dream.  Read more

Sign-up to be held for beauty pageant

LIBERTY, NY — The Sullivan County International Pageant (SCIP) will hold two contestant sign-up events, with a dress exchange on Sundays, January 15 and 29, from 2 to 2:45 p.m. at the Liberty Fitness Center.  Read more

Award-winning filmmaker screens film at PCHS

MILFORD, PA — On Sunday January 29, at 3 p.m., the Pike County Historical Society (PCHS), 608 Broad St., will present a look into the world of Leland Faulkner. Recipient of Kennedy Center accolades for directing “Shadowplay,” and multiple awards for his original films, Leland also consulted on the popular film “The Polar Express.” Faulkner will perform some of his illusions and show his Big Apple Award-winning short film, “The King O’ Cats” in the society’s Foundation Room.  Read more

Woodsongs Coffeehouse

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Carol Smith and the Little Sparrow band will be at the Woodsongs Coffeehouse at the Sullivan County Museum on Saturday, January 7 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be for sale. The Woodsongs Coffeehouse will be repeated on the first Saturday in February and March. There is a suggested donation of $5. Visit www.sullivancoutyhistory.org.

Institute offers year-long group meditation

HONESDALE, PA —Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, the spiritual leader of the world-wide Himalayan Institute, has spent years studying and living with diverse spiritual masters from the East. He is fluent in both Vedic and classical Sanskit and has two doctorates, one in Sanskit from the University of Allahabad and another in Oriental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. The author of 14 books, he has practiced yoga and tantra for more than 30 years. We recently interviewed him about the year-long meditation planned by the Himalayan Institute for 2012.  Read more

Happy Winter?

Count me among the odd for (at least) two reasons. First, I like winter. I like the cold and the snow and the way the trees sparkle with ice like stars in the night sky. I like the briskness and the brilliance of it.

Second, I like reading books that would send shivers down other people’s spines. Not horror stories, but nonfiction that delineates with excruciating details all the ways in which our planet is doomed. Books so upsetting that I can sometimes read only a few pages of agonizing truths before I have to run for cover in more pleasant pursuits like poetry or a walk in the woods.  Read more