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September 24, 2016
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MILFORD, PA — At most writers’ festivals, there is no interaction between the writer and the people who read their words—the reader. No dialogue, just lecture. The first Milford Readers and Writers Festival wants to do it differently, to break the mold of the literary festival. When Milford mayor and owner of the Hotel Fauchere, Sean Strub, got together with friends for dinner one evening, they fantasized about creating a literary festival in Milford. Less than six months later, a group of 10 to 15 volunteers set out to make that dream a reality.

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else…” So said Emily Dickinson, the eminent poet of microcosm and wonder.

I think of this as I sort through the laundry, sweep up...

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The past few weeks have been challenging, not only personally, but for many I have come into contact with as well. Even though I tend to think of myself as the guy who reports on the good times...

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In a week or two, huge numbers of broad-winged hawks will fill the skies in some areas like Hawk Mountain in PA or Sunrise Mountain in New Jersey. That will be near-peak migration time for them as...

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Well… I’m not at all sure that I “oughta be,” but as it happens, I am this week. Usually, I’m pretty busy on the other side of the camera, attempting to capture all that is happening throughout...

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Myths and misunderstandings abound in nature and can lead to undesirable outcomes. Such is the case when it comes to two plants that flower at this time of year. One of them provokes an allergic...

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Next time you’re in your favorite local grocery store, take a little stroll down the breakfast cereal aisle. Plant yourself in front of the Cheerios section, and start counting. How many different...

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Late bloomers and early adaptors

Years ago I came across some provocative comments by Kirk Vardenoe, the noted American art historian. I was struck by his observation that throughout the 19th century, Denmark and Sweden were considerably behind the curve in industrial development. Vardenoe’s insight was that this was actually an advantage, because the delay gave them time to observe, prepare and avoid some of the worst negative effects of industrialization.  Read more

Contests for fans of state lands

Experiencing the natural world through the eye of a camera lens is a satisfying activity that comes with plentiful rewards. For shutterbugs who enjoy spending time photographing on Pennsylvania public lands, two upcoming photo contests might be of interest.  Read more

Who am I anyway?

Even as a child it was evident that I was never going to look like Prince Charming. “Can’t skate by on your looks,” my mother would advise and, “stop making faces, or it’s going to freeze that way, and you have enough problems.” (Thanks, Mom.) Despite admonishments like this and my father’s discouraging my “artistic temperament,” I’ve always had a fairly strong sense of self.  Read more

Grey Towers hosts 9th annual Festival of Wood

MILFORD, PA — “Goods from the Woods” is the focus of the ninth annual Festival of Wood at Grey Towers National Historic Site on Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4. This family-friendly and free event offers a variety of activities and events that demonstrate the many ways we use and enjoy wood in our everyday lives.  Read more

‘Creative Vision’ at WAA

WURTSBORO, NY — “Creative Vision,” an exhibit of original art and crafts made by artists David and Susan Pendergast, will be on display at the Wurtsboro Art Alliance (WAA) hallery from August 3 though 31. There will be an artists’ reception on Saturday, August 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. The reception is free and refreshments will be served.  Read more

Play readings, poetry and jazz at the Beekman Pavilion

KAUNEONGA LAKE, NY — The Liberty Free Theatre will hold a Sullivan County tour with a series of events to be held at the Beekman Pavilion across from the Fat Lady Café throughout August and September.  Read more

Wayne County Fair ready to roll

HONESDALE, PA — The 151st annual Wayne County Fair kicks off this Friday, August 2 at 12 noon, promising a variety of country entertainment—from traditional fair favorites like the farm tractor pull and the woodsmen’s competition to precision stunt driving by Tonny Petersen’s Hell Drivers, a freestyle monster truck show and a bash-‘em, crash-‘em demolition derby. The musical headliner this year is Justin Moore, who has toured with the likes of Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley, Brooks and Dunn, Miranda Lambert and more.  Read more

Sundays at the Museum August programs

HONESDALE, PA — Every Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., The Wayne County Historical Society offers an hour-long presentation on a historical topic. The programs are free and open to all.  Read more

Historic Homes & Garden Tour

PORT JERVIS, NY — The Port Jervis Council for the Arts will present its second annual tour of local historic homes on Saturday, August 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. Refreshments and live music will be at each site. Tickets cost $15 in advance or $20 at door.

Featured properties include the Campbell Residence at 23 Sullivan Ave., the Smith Residence at 134 East Main St., the Quinn Residence at 138 West Main St. and the Onofry Residence at 144 East Main St.  Read more

Gospel music festival with a positive message

LIBERTY, NY — A gospel music festival with special emphasis on improving the quality of life and saving individuals from the clutches of addiction will be a major part of the Liberty To The Captives program to be held on Saturday, August 3 at LaPolt Park on North Main Street from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

This community event is sponsored and directed by pastors Rich and Cathy Ienuso of Lighthouse Ministries of Liberty, a non-denominational Christian ministry.  Read more

‘When You Live by a River’ book reading at the CAS Arts Center

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society will present a book reading “When You Live by a River,” a novel by local author Mermer Blakeslee, at the CAS Arts Center on Saturday, August 3 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person.

The book is the fictional story of a Catskill Mountains valley community soon to be flooded to create a reservoir for New York City. Blakeslee’s previous novels include “Same Blood” and “In Dark Water.” She is also a prize-winning poet and a professional skier. She lives in the Catskill Mountains with her husband.  Read more

‘Pathos Envisioned’ at the Stray Cat

BETHEL, NY — Three artists, Helen K. Garber, Todd C. Anderson and Ray Fiero, grapple with pathos and the past in the works on display at the Stray Cat Gallery on Route 17B in the exhibit “Pathos Envisioned.’ There will be an opening reception on Saturday, August 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. The show runs through August 14.  Read more

Camping and more at MazFest

ROSCOE, NY — MazFest Music Festival will be held in Fireman’s Field on Gulf Road from August 1 to 4. The festival features live music, food vendors, art, camping and more. The gates open at 6 p.m. on Thursday; the festival ends at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.  Read more

Old Stone Jail tour August 3

HONESDALE, PA — On Saturday, August 3 Wayne County’s Old Stone Jail will be open to the public for tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is free to get in (but donations are always appreciated) and the docents promise to leave the door open so everyone can get back out again.

Built in 1859, it remained in use until 1935. The Old Stone Jail is located between the Courthouse and 10th street. Email wchs@ptd.net, call 570/253-3240 or learn more about the history of the Old Stone Jail at www.waynehistorypa.org/exhibits/oldstonejail.php.

When bluegrass meets gospel: a musical adventure

HAWLEY, PA — Harmony Presents will host a concert on Friday, August 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Boiler Room at the Hawley Silk Mill with Bovine Social Club. Bovine Social Club is an Americana alt-country band produced by Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone, with a sound influenced by country, bluegrass, folk, rock, old time, Celtic, Juju and gospel vocabularies.  Read more

New novel tackles the story of Lucy Ann (aka Joseph) Lobdell; ‘The female hunter of Long Eddy’

Who was Lucy Ann Lobdell? Bill Klaber struggled with that question for years, and now he’s answered it in a richly imagined historical novel, “The Rebellion of Lucy Ann Lobdell.” It’s his take on a larger-than-life local character, who perplexed, scandalized and sometimes amused 19th century America. Lobdell’s rebellion, according to Klaber, “was taking off women’s clothes and putting on men’s clothes”—a simple act, but one with far-reaching and ultimately tragic consequences.  Read more

Lake Huntington News August 1

Summertime is so busy; this weekend was the Callicoon Street Fair in Callicoon and RiverFest in Narrowsburg.

I worked the St. Francis Xavier Church chicken barbeque selling 50/50 tickets, and then I went to work at RiverFest. Fr. Bill would like to thank everyone who worked to make the barbeque a success. Sunday when I was in church and the rain was coming down, I had a heart-to-heart talk with God. “Please God, stop the rain so RiverFest can go on and have a good turnout.” He does listen; the streets were packed and the food was flowing.  Read more

Change

I remember a time when death was an anomaly in my life. A grandparent’s passing celebrated with an Irish wake and a funeral mass. Now it seems to haunt the everyday, wagging its finger like a told-you-so teacher.  Read more

Gypsy Moths return in numbers

People in certain parts of the region may have noticed a familiar looking caterpillar early this summer. It seems that the gypsy moth is back. An egg mass survey done last February in Pennsylvania by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) indicated that egg mass density was light (40 to 200 egg masses/acre) at most sampling points in Pike County and isolated sampling points in Wayne County (see map at centrecountypa.gov/index.aspx?NID=217).  Read more

My wading raft

In my last column I had written that I was expecting a “new toy.” This was an inflatable raft that I hoped to use while wading in a stream having a depth of two or three feet. Once the raft arrived, I eagerly opened the carton and spread the raft on the floor. It weighs 19 pounds, about eight or 10 pounds more than a float tube. The material is not flimsy vinyl. This raft is made to withstand both abrasion and bumping into river boulders. For 15 years, I have owned the full-sized raft that this company produces, and it is as good as new.  Read more