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October 31, 2014
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TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox

Over the years, witches have gotten a bad rap. For instance, Shakespeare’s infamous hags that appear in “Macbeth” are discovered in a dark cave lit by flickering flames while lightning strikes and thunder booms. “Double, double, toil and trouble,” they chant, while tossing disgusting ingredients into their cauldron to complete the spell… “Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and toe of dog.” The well-known incantation conjures up images designed to strike fear of the unknown into the hearts of man… and succeeds.

The great battle of our time will be over water—pure, fresh water in particular. All earthly life depends upon water for survival. The human population worldwide, now 7.3 billion, is projected to...

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The fast-flying days of flaming fall foliage have held us in thrall lately as the Upper Delaware Region advances toward the cold and inward months of winter. Watching the leaves turn through...

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By Margaret Dietrich and Marianne Ofenloch

Recently, a gathering of Pike County residents heard about the state of poverty in our area, when Todd Behr, professor of economics at East...

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One early morning last week Emily and I got up early and headed down to the city clerk’s office on Worth Street to get our marriage license. The office opens at 8:30, and we made it there by 8:45...

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…Well, maybe a little. After all, it’s my column. Even though I do share personal information in the pages of The River Reporter, it’s just an excuse to write about my observations of what all of...

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A couple of months back during August, a concerned Pennsylvania landowner contacted the National Park Service (NPS), Upper Delaware to report that an owl was on the ground in his yard and had been...

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‘The Year the War Came Home,’ by Richard Paterson

MILFORD, PA — Milford author Richard Paterson has self-published a novel, “The Year the War Came Home,” that spans seven months, November 1969 to July 1970. The story weaves in historic events of the period—including the Vietnam War, Kent State shootings, first draft lottery, Apollo 13 and the My-Lai massacre.  Read more

‘By the Grace of God,’ by Jean Potter

LORDS VALLEY, PA — “By the Grace of God” is Jean Potter’s story about the traumatic events of 9/11 and the extraordinary effect it had on her and her husband Dan. Jean was working in the North Tower at the time of the incident, and Dan served as a New York City firefighter and was a first responder to the scene. The book covers the impact of the event: having to cope with the effects of post traumatic stress disorder; moving because they could no longer live in a home haunted by three thousand ghosts; giving up their jobs and leaving the city they had grown to love.  Read more

A historical ornament

HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County Historical Society joins in the celebration of Honesdale National Bank’s 175th birthday with the release of this year’s ornament depicting the bank. The Honesdale Bank opened its doors in 1836, with Richard L. Seely as its first president, and although its name has been changed, it has provided 175 years of continuous service to the Wayne County community.  Read more

Holiday Shopping Bazaar benefits food pantries

CALLICOON, NY — The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the Catskills, in association with the Sullivan County Visitors Association, will present the second annual Holiday Shopping Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 10 at the enclosed tennis courts of the Villa Roma resort. Two of this year’s beneficiaries are the Ecumenical Food Pantry in Narrowsburg, NY (emilygrillo@yahoo.com; 570/729-4038) and the Federation for the Homeless, 9 Monticello Street, Monticello, NY 12701-1807, 845/794-2604.  Read more

Winter warmth for Cosor kids

WOODRIDGE, NY — Through the generosity of community members and the hard work of the Kiwanis Club of Woodridge, the club recently donated gloves, hats, underwear and socks to the Benjamin Cosor Elementary School (BCES). There is a real need for these items on the part of some of the youngsters of the Fallsburg Central School District. The clothing will be kept at the school and given to the children as the need arises throughout the winter and the balance of the school year.  Read more

Deck the Doors contest

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Sullivan First will hold its 15th annual Deck the Doors holiday decorating contest on Thursday, December 15. Winners of the contest will be awarded prizes provided by Hurleyville business owners. The group will tour every road in Hurleyville on the night of the contest and judge doors decorated for the holidays. All holiday-decorated doors in the hamlet, including residences and businesses, are eligible.  Read more

40th Annual Rick Drew Holiday Parade

PORT JERVIS, NY — The 40th Annual Rick Drew Holiday Parade will take place on Sunday, December 11. The parade will line up on Canal Street at 1:00 p.m. and begin at 2:00 p.m. The route travels Pike Street, over the Port/Matamoras Bridge, down Pennsylvania Avenue to Seventh Street and ends in the Matamoras Fire House Hall at Airport Park. At the firehouse there will be donuts, hot chocolate, the trophy ceremony and Santa. The event is sponsored by the Tri-State Chamber of Commerce.

‘Shorts & Sweets for the Holidays’

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Big Sky Productions and the Sullivan County Historical Society will present “Shorts & Sweets for the Holidays” on Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sullivan County Museum at 265 Main St. Admission costs $10, and benefits the historical society.  Read more

Ornament hunt in Central Park

HONESDALE, PA — On Saturday, December 10, the 17th annual Children’s Ornament Hunt will be held in Honesdale’s Central Park at 10 a.m. Children will have the opportunity to hunt for ornaments for a chance to win prizes donated by Honesdale businesses. There will be three age groups: K and younger; first and second grades; and third and fourth grades. The event is presented by the Greater Honesdale Partnership and co-sponsored by Apple Day Spa & Hair Restoration Salon and Connections Magazine.

Tri-State Chamber’s holiday event benefits local food pantries

PORT JERVIS, NY — The Tri-State Chamber of Commerce presents its Holiday Networking Event and Party on Tuesday, December 13 at UpFront Exhibition Space from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Everyone is invited. Members of the chamber pay $5 and non-members $10. All proceeds will be donated to local food pantries.  Read more

Santa’s coming to Books n Stuff 2

MILFORD, PA — Santa Claus will be making a special appearance at Books n Stuff 2, as he makes his annual visit to the Old Lumberyard Shops in Milford, on Saturday, December 10 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. There will be holiday singing, free goodies and pictures with Santa. Books n Stuff 2 is also holding a raffle. With every $25 purchase or more, you get a free ticket for the Cookie Jar Raffle. The winner will get a Jolly Holiday Cookie Jar, which holds secret surprises and a gift bag full of goodies. Call 570/409-6882.

Open house at The Columns

MILFORD, PA — The Pike County Historical Society will be hosting a holiday event on Sunday, December 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Columns Museum, shown here, located at 608 Broad St. There will be sweets and savories, mulled cider and a visit from some carolers. Admission to the museum and party are free.

RiverFolk presents Patrick Fitzsimmons

BETHEL, NY — RiverFolk Concerts and Catskill Distilling Company will present Patrick Fitzsimmons on Saturday, December 10 at 8 p.m. in the tasting room at the distilling company on Route 17B. Brent Hallenbeck of The Burlington Free Press wrote, “I’ve been reacquainting myself of late with Patrick Fitzsimmons’ live show (I caught him at First Night Burlington as well) and especially the amazing drumming the former percussionist for From Good Homes does on his guitar, often while strumming in between beats.  Read more

‘A Night in Bethlehem’

HONESDALE, PA — Honesdale’s First Prebyterian Church, located at 201 Tenth St., will present “A Night in Bethlehem” on Saturday, December 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. Bring your family and friends to the little town of Bethlehem and step back into the time of Jesus’ birth. There will be crafts, shops, snacks and fun.

Talaga speaks on Brownscombe

HONESDALE, PA — Sally Talaga, executive director of the Wayne County Historical Society (WCHS), will give a gallery talk on the art and career of Honesdale native Jennie Brownscombe (1850-1936) on Saturday, December 10, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the museum at 810 Main St. She will also lead a tour of the current WCHS Brownscombe exhibit, which will close at the end of December. Talaga was guest curator of a recent exhibit of Brownscombe’s works at the University of Scranton. The event is free to members, with a $5 fee to non-members. Email wchshop@ptd.net or call 570/253-3240.

A winter art collection, displayed in a home environment

HONESDALE, PA — The Hanson Gallery & Decorium at 1037 Main St. will hold an “Artist & Santa Reception” from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 10 for its “Vignette Series – Winter Collection.” Refreshments will be served, and you will have an opportunity to meet Santa and pick an ornament from Hanson’s second annual Christmas art tree. The reception will be preceded by an open house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Read more

Port holds holiday lighting contest

PORT JERVIS, NY —Port Jervis residents and businesses are invited to enter the annual Port Jervis Holiday Lighting Contest. Categories are Traditional Lights (white) and Festive Lights (multi-colored), with separate judging for homes and businesses. You must apply by December 14, and judging will be on December 18, on which date your lights should be on by 5 p.m. Call 845/858-4017 to register.

The Fab Four of early music

MILFORD, PA — Kindred Spirits Arts Programs will present New York Polyphony in a holiday concert at the Milford Theatre on December 10 at 7 p.m. Dubbed “the Fab Four of early music,” the male quartet will perform a program that ranges from Lionel Power (1375-1445) to Andrew Smith (b. 1970), a composer with deep roots in Gregorian chant and other forms of early vocal music. The group will sing English medieval carols and other religious songs of the season.  Read more

Let's review

Way back in August 2007, members of the The River Reporter editorial staff asked me to write a sustainability column. I felt woefully unqualified. What did I know about environmental issues? But I plunged in, viewing it as an opportunity.

I have learned a great deal, and gradually made lifestyle changes, none of which have caused hardship or sacrifice. In fact, simplifying my life seems to have enhanced it.  Read more

Hark, our better angels sing

Writing here in 2006, I suggested this possible definition of “civilization:” “...we can be said to be more or less ‘civilized’ as a society, culture, or species to the extent that intentional acts of violence are unnecessary.”

Dr. Steven Pinker, I suspect, would not only agree with that definition, he would say that as a species, we have made significant progress towards its fulfillment. Pinker, a cognitive neuroscientist and Harvard professor, recently published (to near-universal praise, by the way) a book entitled “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined.”  Read more