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July 26, 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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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

Dancers of the Dawn

Something beautiful and affirming has been happening at Grace Episcopal Church in Honesdale. It involves a group of women, each very different from the other, and a master teacher who is able not only to skillfully execute and teach an exotic and captivating form of dance, but to bring out each woman’s unique ability to experience self-transformation through the process.  Read more

Mystery dinner

“Can I get you something to drink?” A mop of dark hair in his face, white towel tucked into his waistline.

“I’ll have a Jameson on the rocks,” the girl says.

“Two,” the guy says.

The waiter nods and leaves. The room is full of couples, hints of red on most of their clothing. Bottles of wine. Two glasses. Valentines Day.  Read more

Winterfest: have an ice day

February 17 - Just before the white stuff begins to thaw, with Valentine’s Day nipping at my nose, I seek refuge from the blustery winds by celebrating a few of the things that make my blood run cold—snow, ice and love everlasting...

Admittedly a bit depressed over the severe temperatures and missing the elusive sting of Cupid’s arrow, I was determined, over the weekend, to overcome my ennui and search the countryside for respite from the bitter winds. What better way, then, to spend time outdoors, bundled up and feeling sorry for myself!  Read more

Valuing nature’s services: priceless

By Susan Beecher

I recently read an interesting report titled “Valuing New Jersey’s Natural Capital: An Assessment of the Economic Value of the State’s Natural Resources.” The concept behind the study is that various naturally occurring systems provide economic value over an extended period, and the benefits include both goods (commodities such as timber or mineral deposits) and services (ecological functions such as flood protection, soil erosion control and wastewater treatment). As it turns out, New Jersey’s natural assets are worth big bucks.  Read more

Solar in the Snow

“If I were a parent with school-aged kids and wanted them to learn science, I would start them out with this.” So said Ed Wesely, who is fascinated with the technology related to the 24 solar panels that were installed on Barbara Yeaman’s house in Milanville, where Wesely also resides. Initially, Wesely said that he was completely indifferent to solar, but once the panels started generating power on October 7, 2010, he quickly became a convert.  Read more