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July 25, 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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‘Got a Minute? Let Me Tell You’

The two pieces below are from the Western Sullivan Public Library’s “Got a Minute? Let Me Tell You” community storytelling project.

Loving books

By Sui-Ling Ruiz

“You love books because you are a teacher,” she said.

“Is that what you think?” I replied.  Read more

Facing the floods

By Mari-Beth DeLucia

As I write this column, many of us in the Delaware River region are experiencing a situation that everyone prefers did not exist. We are in the middle of the second major flood event in two weeks, the first from Irene and now the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. At times like this, it is understandable how we may not be thinking about the positive benefits rivers bring to our local economy.  Read more

Super spiders

As autumn approaches and temperatures begin to drop, it is increasingly common to see spiders in our homes, where they occasionally seek refuge at this time of year. One of the largest, and therefore potentially alarming, is the fishing spider.

Dolomedes is a genus of spiders of the family Pisauridae. There are over a hundred species of Dolomedes throughout the world, with nine species in North America. Also known as raft spiders, dock spiders or wharf spiders, most are semi-aquatic.  Read more

New rooms

This summer we rearranged our house from top to bottom so that our daughter, Lily, could have her own bedroom. It involved a lot of sorting and throwing out—along with many trips to the Salvation Army and the town dump. My old poem notebooks, the napkin rings and the snow cone maker, all those little Batman toys and even some stuffed animals got the heave-ho. We had the vintage speakers from the record player appraised and gave away a lot of old photographs.  Read more

Fall foliage by rail

HONESDALE, PA — The Stourbridge Railway will offer fall foliage rides along the 25 miles of railroad tracks from Honesdale to Lackawaxen along the Lackawaxen River.

The first excursion, the Bavarian Festival, will take place on September 24. The five-hour, round-trip excursion from Honesdale to Lackawaxen features a hearty German fest complemented by the German musicians. A delicious feast prepared by the famous Alpine Wurst & Meat House is included.  Read more

“Favorite Places” at the Wurtsboro Art Alliance

WURTSBORO, NY — An art exhibit with the theme “Favorite Places” will be presented at the Wurtsboro Art Alliance, 73 Sullivan Street, from October 1 through November 6. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, October 1 from 2 to 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served, featuring locally produced wine from Basha Kill Vineyards. Music will be provided by Bill Leuszler on guitar. The reception is free and open to the public.

The gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. Email info@waagallery.org or visit www.waagallery.org.

Agrarian Acts

HIGHLAND LAKE, NY — Agrarian Acts, a contemporary county fair and production celebrating the ideas, enterprise and creative work of a new generation of farmers, will be held on Sunday, September 25 from 12 noon to 5 p.m., at NACL Theatre, 110 Highland Lake Rd.  Read more

Marathon softball game to celebrate Smoky Joe

MILFORD, PA — The Pike County Historical Society (PCHS) will once again host “23 for History,” a marathon softball game in honor of Shohola’s Smoky Joe Wood. The game will be held on September 24 at the Little League Field on the east side of Milford. The event will benefit PCHS, with funds raised going toward a new roof. Players will be provided food and beverages courtesy of Jorgenson’s at the Dimmick, not only a sponsor of the event, but also provider of many willing participants in the game over the years.  Read more

Guys and Dolls

MATAMORAS, PA — Try-City Stage will present the musical “Guys and Dolls” at The Riverview Inn, 400 Shay Lane, from Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2. On Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, dinner will be served. Tickets range from $22 for the show only to $45 for dinner and the show. Bill Thomas directs and Melissa Thomas is the choreographer.

For specific show times and reservations, visit www.try-citystage.org or call 845/858-7925.

The Yarnslingers tackle ghosts

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Yarnslingers is looking for talespinners, age 18 and up, who have a personal story to tell about ghosts. The tales will be told from 4 to 6 p.m. on October 29 at the Catskill Art Society (CAS).

Stories must be a maximum of 550 words. Submit a summary of your story to yarnslingers@yahoo.com. Finished stories will be due by email by October 15. Editing assistance is available.  Read more

‘Patriots’ Weekend’

NARROWSBURG, NY — To celebrate the final weekend of its 2011 season, Fort Delaware Museum of Colonial History will hold a “Patriots’ Weekend.” It will include presentations by historian Peter Osborne on the Battle of Minisink on Saturday, September 24 at 2 p.m. and a presentation on genealogy by Gloria McCullough and Ann O’Hara of the Wayne County Historical Society on Sunday, September 25, at 2 p.m.  Read more

‘Dad Doesn’t Dance’

NARROWSBURG, NY — Fresh from a run at the Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF) in New York City, Nora Brown’s “Dad Doesn’t Dance” will be performed at the Delaware Arts Center at 27 Main St. on Saturday, September 24 at 8 p.m. The show has been nominated for Outstanding Solo Show Production in the MITF 2011.

Brown crosses the continent from Winnipeg to Hollywood as she encounters five mysterious men and the clues they reveal. An infidelity causes her to look at her life, leading to the revelation of the existence of a biological father.  Read more

Black Bear Film Festival tickets

MILFORD, PA —Tickets and passes for the 12th annual Black Bear Film Festival are now on sale. The festival will be held at the historic Milford Theatre from October 14 to 16. This year’s opening night film will be the Oscar-winning “Cinema Paradiso,” which will be shown at 9 p.m. immediately following the Friday night red carpet Gala. Two hundred Gold Passes, which include admission to all films and the Friday night Gala, are available for $200 on a first-come, first-served basis.  Read more

An apology

On the 9th, 10th and 11th of September, Barb and I enjoyed the opportunity to attend the annual Bamboo Rod Makers Gathering at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center. Rod makers from 24 states plus Japan and Canada came to the gathering. A total of 134 men and women were in attendance. Seminars ranged from a talk on “George Halstead and his rods and ferrules,” by Jed Dempsey and John Feldenzer, to Tim Abbott on bamboo fly rod tapers and how to develop them, to the advantages and disadvantages of various glues used in the making of bamboo rods by a panel of Jed Dempsey, Tim Abbott and John Zimny.  Read more

Milkweed microhabitat

Anyone who has walked in a field or a roadside has probably at one time or another picked a leaf of a milkweed plant and observed its milky sap start to flow from the plant; hence its name. Like all plants, the milkweed contains a myriad of chemical compounds that are used by the plant in various ways.  Read more

Shine on, harvest moon

I am by no means the only guy with an opinion. In fact, I’ve been told that “everyone has one.” Go figure. Of course, if we all felt the same way about any of a myriad of subjects, life would be just plain dull. Pausing to breathe once in a while, I sometimes hear snippets of conversation that apparently take place all around me, while I am not talking. Or the center of attention. Hmm.  Read more

Learning from one another: Transition Honesdale builds community through sharing skills

HONESDALE, PA — When Hurricane Irene hit the area, even though it put people in the dark for a while, it also woke up a lot of people.

What are we going to do without electricity? Without refrigeration? Without water for washing and flushing toilets? Without food from the supermarket?

These are some of the questions asked during the storm. Were any of them answered?

Answering questions like this is the concern of a local group called Transition Honesdale which is initiating a major new program called “SkillShare.”  Read more

‘Singing’ for their supper

The first few months of life present many challenges for wild creatures, not the least of which is receiving adequate sustenance to survive. Baby birds are particularly fetching as they gape with beaks open wide in anticipation of a meal. Where that meal comes from depends on circumstances.  Read more

The greatest love of all

At the risk of sounding cliché, “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” These sage words (written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed) reverberated all week as I made my way through the Catskills, observing young people and sensing “all the beauty they possess inside.”  Read more

Zen Buddhist center opens in Honesdale

A wonderfully funny cartoon appeared in The New Yorker magazine a few years ago. It showed two monks fully clothed in their habits, sitting in a cross-legged position of meditation. One monk was an old man, prune-faced and annoyed, and the other was a puzzled callow youth. Under the cartoon was the following caption: “What do you mean ‘what happens next!’ This is it.”  Read more