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July 23, 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.

Few things captured my childhood imagination more than rocks. I spent hours searching the roadsides for quartz pebbles. I collected ripple marks and treasured the small, imperfect fossils I found...

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The folks at Hobby Lobby (which apparently is an evangelical ministry disguised as a craft store) took out a full-page ad in the papers recently, touting the notion that the United States was from...

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While these words strung together might seem esoteric, they are ringing in my ears as I review where I’ve been over the last few days. The reference is to a song from “HAIR” (the tribal love-rock...

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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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Root Out Ur Rhythm Tour hits Narrowsburg

NARROWSBURG, NY — Join the Root Out Ur Rhythm Tour at Narrowsburg Inn on Bridge St. on Friday, March 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. for an open mic event. The Narrowsburg Inn will donate $1 per bottled beer sold between 7 and 8 p.m. Admission is free. The event benefits Honesdale’s Roots & Rhythm festival. Calll 570/352-4768 or email kellykoch@paupackhills.com.

Self-guided maple tour

WAYNE COUNTY, PA — Wayne Conservation District has partnered with the Wayne County Cooperative Extension and the Northeastern Maple Producers Association to organize a self-guided maple tour of producers in and around Wayne County. The tour is scheduled for March 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A list of area maple producers, along with directions and map, is available at wayne conservation.org. Those without internet access can call Paul Reining at 570/253-0930 or Ed Pruss at 253-5970 to have information mailed to them. Fliers are also available at local Agway stores.

Potluck and music by Rupert Wates

NARROWSBURG, NY — RiverFolk will present Rupert Wates in concert at Jill & Mike’s at 78 Kirk Road on Wednesday, March 23. A potluck dinner will start at 6:30 p.m., and music will start at 7:15.

Mark Tucker of the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange wrote, “We have a new and unique songwriter-musician already in the first rank… Rupert Wates is an exceedingly rare talent.” Tickets cost $10 and reservations are required. There is a limit of 15 guests. BYOB. Call 845/252-6783.

Casino Royale fundraiser

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce is planning a Casino Royale fundraiser on Saturday, April 9 at the Monticello Motor Club, and is currently seeking sponsors.  Read more

‘There but for Fortune’

NARROWSBURG, NY — RiverFolk, with the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, will present “There But for Fortune,” a documentary on Phil Ochs, followed by a question-and-answer session with Sonny Ochs, at the Tusten Theater on Bridge Street on Saturday, March 26 at 7 p.m.

After the screening, there will be a reception downstairs with the songs of Phil Ochs, featuring Mike Jung, Gil Anderson and John Weber. Admission costs $15 at the door, $13 for members in advance. Call 845/252-7576.

Forelli’s photographs featured at the Dime

HAWLEY, PA — The Wayne County Arts Alliance and The Dime Bank have partnered to exhibit photography. In March, the bank is exhibiting the photography of Chip Forelli. Forelli is a local artist whose work is exhibited in New York at the Mercedes Benz Gallery, at the Hoopers Gallery in London and at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. His photography career has spanned 25 years and his art has been included in advertising campaigns for BMW, Land Rover, AT&T and Eastman Kodak.  Read more

Local organic farmers the focus in ‘The Greenhorns’

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — There will be a screening of a new film, “The Greenhorns,” preceded by a “Farmer’s Market” event of food and wine tastings by local growers, restaurants and shops, at the Catskill Art Society (CAS) Center on Saturday, March 25 starting at 6:30 p.m.  Read more

Call for photos of Grey Towers

MILFORD, PA — The Grey Towers Heritage Association (GTHA) is looking for photographs of Grey Towers National Historic Site for use in developing signature items for fundraising or as specialty items.

Novice, student and professional photographers are encouraged to submit photos that capture the beauty of the Grey Towers historic, natural and conservation essence of the grounds, landscape, buildings and outdoor artifacts and features. Photos from all seasons are being sought.  Read more

Cultural programming grants announced

NARROWSBURG, NY — Seventeen Sullivan County non-profit organizations have received $17,920 in Decentralization Grants (DEC) for 2011 cultural programming at a special awards ceremony held on Saturday, February 5 at the Delaware Arts Center in Narrowsburg. Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther was on hand to present the award checks.  Read more

The story of Purim—who knew?

We all know it’s just around the corner—but I’m still looking for signs of spring at every turn. There are so many celebrations and traditions connected to the change of seasons... some familiar and others that conjured up memories skewed by time, with a twist.  Read more

Habitat to build ‘Passive House'

FALLSBURG, NY — Planning is underway for an exciting building project believed to be one of the first of its kind in the realm of homes built through the Habitat for Humanity (HFH) program. This special home will be Sullivan County’s third HFH project and first home designed to Passive House standards and targeted to serve as a learning tool for the volunteer work force that will build it.  Read more

A cat on a leash

This morning on 61st and Madison I saw a man walking his cat. The cat had a harness wrapped tightly around its midsection, which was connected to the man’s hand by a very thin leash. The cat was huddled as far into the crevice between the sidewalk and the street that it could squeeze, completely freaked out by passing people and cars.

The man stood still, surprisingly patient. He did not pull or push the cat, almost as if it was Day 1 of a longer training plan. His end goal being that the cat would someday be able to walk down the street unafraid. The idea made me chuckle.  Read more

Environmental education, then and now

By Jamie Roche-Knecht
From the time I was very young, I remember my dad taking me out in the wilderness to teach me about the environment. We went fishing, hiking, camping and exploring as often as we could. He taught my older brother and me about trees, wildlife, water and respecting nature. That’s probably why we both went on to become natural resource professionals in our careers.  Read more

Is it a crow? Is it a raven?

Those of us who live in the Upper Delaware River valley are familiar with the flocks of large black birds that caw noisily from the forest, alight in ones and twos and (in lean times) peck the earth under the bird feeders. But most of us would have a difficult time discerning whether what we are looking at is a flock of crows or ravens.  Read more

Mystery Role

“You have to come over.”

“What’s going on?”

“I’m at my wit’s end.”

“Oh Murray, it’s snowing outside.”

“Tom, it’s an emergency.”

Tom stepped out into the snow. He pulled at his hat and scarf. What had Murray gotten himself into? He was curious and usually when folks came to see him for advice that wasn’t the case. Still, he tried to help them all just the same.  Read more

Reading, writing and a rhythm stick

I was stunned this week to hear one of my pals exclaim that there was “nothing to do around here.” I know that most of us have grown weary of winter, and the weather tends to keep us inside—but nothing to do? Hardly.

I scanned my schedule and made several suggestions, but while she had to admit that there were events of interest on my list, when push came to shove, she simply did not want to go out. “Fine,” I replied, “but I’m hitting the road.”  Read more

Camp Emily

The faces are tan and smiling. A beautiful beach stretches out behind them. The moon is reflected in the waves that crash against the shore. The young faces are lit by the blue green light of a pool. They are smiling, laughing. It’s New Years Day, 2011, just after midnight.

The moment is frozen in time. A group portrait.

To go from working all the time to being on vacation is a strange thing. It’s a shift that is so drastic it shakes my core and makes me feel like a completely different person. My work self and my vacation self are two sides that never meet.  Read more

Sundance

I don’t realize how nervous I am until after the screening at the packed, 1300-seat, Eccles Theater in Park City, UT when the anxiety fades. And it isn’t until the last frame of the film hard cuts to black and the credits roll that I know for sure it’s gone off without a hitch.

The film plays well, with laughs and gasps in all the right places. I’m at the Sundance Film Festival with a movie I edited called “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and I breathe a massive sigh of relief.  Read more

By the light of the silvery moon

I love astronomy, and Moonlight Drive is just around the corner from the house, but a blurb I read in The River Reporter calendar had me curious enough to venture a little farther from home to observe the heavens with other like-minded folks.

The Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC), located in Dingmans Ferry, PA, offered me (and a few unsuspecting friends) the opportunity to join forces with a group of nature lovers on what was described as a “short hike to a scenic overlook to watch the full moon rise.”  Read more

A rose by any other name

I’m pretty sure that it’s not just the dry weather that has me scratching my head. As I dug out the truck and headed off to the Alliance Gallery ( ArtsAllianceSite.org ) in Narrowsburg, NY, I was struck by how quickly another year has elapsed. Once again, love is in the air—but not for me. “Be Mine Also,” a group show celebrating love, kicked off a three-week exhibit, curated by Mary Greene and Rocky Pinciotti, with poetry, “found art” and enough romance to easily last me another 12 months.  Read more