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November 27, 2015
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TRR photo by Laura Silverman

Long before the Plymouth brethren sat down with the Wampanoag Tribe at the 1621 feast generally considered to be the first Thanksgiving, the Lenni Lenape occupied the Upper Delaware area, enjoying the bounty yielded by the land and the water, and holding ceremonies to thank the gods and spirits for it and to participate in its renewal. Unfortunately, the surviving information about many of these ceremonies is sparse. But we do know something about “Gamwing,” or the Big House Ceremony, a post-harvest festival that has some features similar to our own Thanksgiving.

According to Benjamin Franklin, both “stink after three days” (www.ushistory.org), and he very well may have been right. I tested...

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The natural world is endlessly interesting and many of us who are not scientists nevertheless devote careful attention to what we observe around us. That devotion is not wasted, and in fact, is...

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There are quite a few couples who commute regularly on the train. They have their routines like anyone else, and when they act as a team it is noticeable. Artie and Pat are one such couple. On any...

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With the big day looming, no doubt you’re giving some thought to what will grace your Thanksgiving table. Who am I kidding? You’re probably going to make the exact same menu as last year (and the...

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But, as Harper (“To Kill A Mockingbird”) Lee once famously said, “You can’t choose your family.” As Thanksgiving approaches, this ever-so-slightly paraphrased sentiment rings true for many of us,...

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On Friday, November 13, the sky at Sunrise Mountain at Stokes State Forest, NJ dawned red with broken clouds and a southwest wind of 10 to 15 mph. The wind wasn’t entirely favorable for migrating...

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Winter fun set for Prompton State Park

PROMPTON, PA — The Friends of Prompton State Park will host Winter Trail Days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 12 at the park, located on State Route 170 just north of its intersection with Route 6. Winter Trail Days is a national event that coincides with the grand re-opening of Prompton State Park after sections of it were closed for the last two years.  Read more

Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet at the Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — The Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet will perform at the Cooperage, 1030 Main St. on Saturday, January 19. The show starts at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Donations will be collected at the door.

The evening will feature a mix of jazz standards and original compositions performed by Jaxen on piano, Charley Krachy on tenor sax, Don Messina on bass and Bill Chattin on drums.

This is a BYOB event. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. In the event of inclement weather, visit www.thecooperageproject.org or call 570/253-2020.

Wurtsboro Winterfest

WURTSBORO, NY — The Wurtsboro Board of Trade will host Winterfest on Saturday, February 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a chili cook-off and an ice carving contest judged by local VIPs.

The Wurtsboro Art Alliance will showcase a Valentine’s Day show with local artists and their works. Sullivan Street will be bustling with events, like a mini indoor street fair, with vendors and kettle corn. The library will be hosting an inside craft area, with a book reader for the children, sponsored by the Mamakating Friends of the Library.

For more information, visit www.wurtsboro.org.

Kids say the darndest things

I woke up last Sunday feelin’ a little off. Winter, in all its splendor, can also cause a bit of depression for some folks and I was in the throes of doing research on Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) looking for antidotes, prepared to spend the day immersed in the moody blues. Checking online I discovered that “Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with S.A.D., your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.” (www.mayoclinic.com)  Read more

Sullivan County’s Cathy Paty really is a country girl!

BETHEL, NY — Born and raised in Sullivan County, Sullivan Chamber of Commerce VP Cathy Paty is most at home in the Catskills (www.catskills.com), but currently she’s expanding her horizons, with an eye on the home of country music—Nashville, TN. “Bethel, NY is, and always will be, my home,” Paty said in an interview with The River Reporter, “but I’ve been blessed with an amazing opportunity, and I’m going for it.” An active member of the community, Paty takes her job with the chamber “very seriously” but has outside interests as well, and music has always played a “huge part” in her life.  Read more

The reign of Wayne has driven us insane

“Aw, geez, now they’re really gonna try to take my guns...!”

As the news started to roll in from Newtown, CT, on December 14, I overheard that reaction. Maybe you overheard it, too, or maybe you said or thought it yourself. Let’s not rehash the heated discussions that followed the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary; those discussions, after all, have been repeated, practically word-for-word, so many times in recent years that we could probably repeat each side’s talking points in our sleep.  Read more

Close encounter

As I walked along the creek on a late autumn afternoon, I heard a rustling off to my left. I stopped to see if I could catch sight of a fox, or better yet a bear searching for a wintering spot. Instead I saw the fluorescent orange vest of a hunter.

A number of concurrent thoughts flashed through my mind. “Here I am in the woods alone, and there is a man with a gun. This must be why my mother (born and raised in the city) warned me, ‘Never, ever go outside. You could die.’”  Read more

Cottontails: appealing and plentiful

Many species of mammals abound throughout the Upper Delaware River region. One of the most abundant, and likely the most popular in terms of game animals, is the Eastern cottontail rabbit.

Ranging between 15 to 19 inches in length and weighing between two to four pounds, cottontails are so named for the white puffy tail that characterizes this appealing animal. Brown or grayish soft fur tapers to a lighter tan on top, with a white underbelly below.  Read more

‘Oh, the weather outside is frightful!’

Considering the events (or lack thereof) over the last few days, I can’t be the only one with those lyrics in mind. As a child, winter storms meant hot chocolate, waxing up the “Flying Saucer” and mom insisting on snow pants (always a good fashion statement) before we headed out the door, shrieking with glee (insert sigh here.)  Read more

Monticello Elks breakfast

MONTICELLO, NY — Monticello Elks Lodge #1544 is serving an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast on Sunday, January 13. Serving is from 7 a.m. to 12 noon at the Lodge on North St.

The menu includes pancakes, French toast, eggs, bacon, sausages and potatoes. Proceeds will be utilized for the beautification of the lodge.

Breakfast costs $8 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under and kids under five are admitted free. Eat in or take out.

For more information, call Lisa Muller at 845/807-2858.

Woodsongs Coffeehouse at Sullivan County Museum

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Singer/songwriter Rick Nestler, Van Manakas and the acoustic duo of Steve Schwartz and Antoine Magliano will play at the Woodsongs Coffeehouse at the Sullivan County Museum on Saturday, January 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Nestler’s reper-toire includes folk material, traditional songs, protest songs, love songs and country ballads. His “The River that Flows Both Ways” was recorded by Pete Seeger on his album “Pete Seeger’s Family Concert.” Visit Nestler’s website at www.ricknestler.com.  Read more

Surf lessons

I’m on the beach in Costa Rica right now. The waves crash big and beautiful. A dreadlocked, tan, fit American guy is explaining that falling is a big part of surfing. That I should embrace it. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the ocean, but I’ve never surfed before. I’m a little nervous.

There is a small group taking the lesson. The instructor teaches us how to stand up on the board. He draws a line in the sand, to represent a surfboard, and we practice popping up from lying to standing.

“Surfing is mental, right?” he says. “It’s all about going for it.”  Read more

Hinchey takes farewell tour; After 20 years in Congress, Hinchey says goodbye

TWENTY-SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, NY — After serving in Congress for 20 years, for the past couple of weeks, Congressman Maurice Hinchey has been engaged in a farewell tour of his far-flung district, which stretches from Ithaca to Kingston.

At multiple stops along the tour, the progressive lawmaker said farewell to officials and constituents that he has worked with and fought for over the years.  Read more

New Year’s resolutions

My son asked me what my New Year’s resolutions were. I told him I don’t make them anymore but I have some to offer the rest of you….  Read more

  • Stop assuming the worst of your fellow human beings. Maybe they are just deaf to your needs. Tell them what you want and ask how you can help them.
  • Speak softer, but clearly. Make eye contact.
  • Don’t forget to ask, no, really ask, how their day/week/life is going before ranting about your own. Don’t rant. Okay, maybe a little. Sometimes.
  • Stop watching Fox News.
  • Watch less MSNBC.

O Tannenbaum

“O Tannenbaum” is the German version of the song “O Christmas Tree” that we hear so often during this holiday season. Tannenbaum is also the German translation for a fir tree, a very popular conifer to have indoors as the traditional Christmas tree. There are a number of varieties of conifers and evergreens in our region, some of which make suitable Christmas trees, but all have some impact on nature and wildlife.

Here are a few of our most common conifers:  Read more

The patient survived

As I write this column, I find myself housebound. My right knee is sore and aching. This is the result of having knee surgery to correct the severe arthritis in that joint. While the nurses at both Baylor Hospital and the Continuum Rehabilitation Hospital took excellent care of me, I am glad to be sleeping in my own bed once again. On the 12th of December, my surgeon, Dr. Pat Peters, removed the staples from the wound. He assured me that I appeared to be on the road to full recovery. It will take weeks of rehabilitation before I reach that goal.  Read more

Out with the old...

How we, as individuals, perceive the world around us is as varied as the snowflakes. Everyone has an opinion (humble or otherwise) and I am (clearly!) no exception. At this time of year, conversation invariably turns to the passage of time and often, how quickly the year has flown by. For me (and I suspect many of you) it’s been a long and winding road. Some of you might recall that on New Years Eve last year, I found myself in the hospital, undergoing emergency surgery.  Read more

Good luck in 2013

My sister-in-law is not a superstitious person, but on New Year’s Day, she insists on serving black-eyed peas with her holiday dinner. This is supposed to bring good luck for the New Year for everyone who sits down at her table. Mind you, she’s not from the South, where this tradition comes from in the U.S., and she’s not Jewish either. (I bet you didn’t know that eating black-eyed peas at Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, also is considered lucky.)  Read more

Thu., Nov. 13 Popular Google Apps
Thu., Nov. 13 Fall Foliage Mixer
Sat., Nov. 15 Fall square dance
Sat., Mar. 14 St. Patrick's Day Parade