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July 24, 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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Otters on the rise

As people are riding up and down New York State Route 97 to look for eagles or check out the ever changing ice conditions, other sights are there to see, too. A close look at the water might reveal a dark brown mammal, one to two feet long with a square looking snout and a long muscular tail. It may be in the water, on the ice, or along the river bank. This sleek looking critter would be the North American river otter (Lontra canadensis). This aquatic mammal, although very elusive, is spotted frequently along area waterways, but this was not always the case.  Read more

One last cast

When I wrote my last column in August, I was very concerned about the wellbeing of my best fishing partner, Barbara Ann. It seems that while I was expecting a fastball, life was about to throw me a nasty curve. In the last six weeks, Barbara’s blood work has improved to the point where she takes her chronic myeloid leukemia medication just every other day. Meanwhile, my own physical condition has deteriorated so badly that I will not be doing any pitching in Clem’s Quiz, come the opening of baseball season.  Read more

A Penny for your thoughts

[Editor’s note: After the week’s issue of the newspaper went to press, Penny Carman Blume passed away on Tuesday afternoon, January 21, 2014.]  Read more

An opportunity for theatre creators

HIGHLAND LAKE, NY — NACL Theatre will offer the Deep Space Performance Residency program for artists and groups who make devised, original, or ensemble performance. NACL offers extended time in the company’s theatre and residence in Highland Lake from June through October for performances in their final stage of production. Each week-long residency will culminate in a public performance as part of the 2014 NACL presenting season. Resident companies must work with their own technicians, designers and performers.  Read more

Bus trip to the 184th Philadelphia Flower Show

LIBERTY, NY — Experience the combination of art and horticulture at the 184th Philadelphia Horticultural Society Flower Show by joining a bus trip with the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Sullivan County’s Master Gardener volunteers on Tuesday, March 4. Participants will board the chartered bus at 7:45 a.m. at the Gerald J. Skoda Extension Education Center.  Read more

Dinner/concert to benefit Literacy Volunteers of Sullivan County

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Jazz vocalist Donna Singer, a native and former resident of Sullivan County, will perform with The Doug Richards Trio at a dinner-concert event to benefit Literacy Volunteers of Sullivan County on Friday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Nadia’s Hungarian Buffet, 222 Main St.  Read more

Wurtsboro Board of Trade presents: Wurtsboro Winterfest 2014

WURTSBORO, NY — The Wurtsboro Board of Trade will host Wurtsboro Winterfest on Saturday, February 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day will feature an ice carving competition from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (judging at 2 p.m.), a chili cook-off contest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (award ceremony at 3 p.m.) and a treasure hunt at 11 a.m. (drawing for the winner 3 p.m.).  Read more

‘The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell’ book reading

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society (CAS) will present local author William Klaber for a reading from his latest novel, “The Rebellion of Lucy Ann Lobdell,” at the CAS Arts Center, 48 Main St., on Saturday, January 25 at 3 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, and small donations will be accepted at the door.  Read more

Reception in celebration of Sean Strub’s ‘Body Counts’

MILFORD, PA — The Upper Delaware GLBT Center (UDGLBT) will host a reception/book signing in celebration of Sean Strub’s new memoir “Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS and Survival” on Saturday, January 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Emerson House at the Hotel Fauchere, 403 Broad St. Book sales will benefit the UDLGBT. RSVP to events@hotelfauchere.com.  Read more

Three-time Mountain Stage finalist: Jason Myles Goss

HAWLEY, PA — Harmony Presents will host Jason Miles Goss, a three-time northeast finalist in the Mountain Stage New Song Contest and nationally touring artist, on Saturday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Boiler Room at the Hawley Silk Mill. Goss displays a broad range of influences, from Gillian Welch and A. A. Bondy, to Ryan Adams and The Wallflowers.  Read more

New York State Decentralization Grants awarded for cultural programming

NARROWSBURG, NY — Fifteen Sullivan County non-profit organizations have been awarded $16,300 in Decentralization Grants for cultural programming in 2014. An awards ceremony will be held later in the year at the Delaware Arts Center.  Read more

Milford actor meets Zane Grey; Helps celebrate his birthday

LACKAWAXEN, PA — Seventy-four years after his death, the popular Western novelist Zane Grey is still a local celebrity in the Upper Delaware River Valley. He was born on January 31, 1872, and on that date this year and for the following two days, his birthday will be celebrated at his Delaware River home in Lackawaxen (now the Zane Grey Museum, operated by the National Park Service). In addition, Zane Grey himself (portrayed by actor Darren Fouse) will visit his own birthday party at The Columns, the museum of the Pike County Historical Society, to share some of his own story.  Read more

The snow globe

Winter snow storms, like the one right after this past New Year, can turn the train ride into a snow globe. They were still cleaning the station platform when I pulled up for a late “snow day” train. Rather than take the day off, I wait for the plows to do my road and go in late. We prepare to leave the station when Conductor Eddy yells out his signature, “All aboard!” I get goosebumps of excitement as the doors close and we take off. The 6:55 is perfect on days like this and mainly for the ride alone; the sun won’t come up until around 7:30, so it’s still dawn’s early light.  Read more

Drug-free fish

While the medications we consume are meant to help us, when it comes to their potential impact on other species, the news is not good. In the past, we have been instructed to flush unwanted medications down the toilet. That strategy is no longer advised in Pennsylvania, where a better alternative is being put into place. According to Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Executive Director John Arway, even low doses of pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs can ultimately harm fish.  Read more

Green Door Magazine seeking musicians

LIBERTY, NY — Green Door magazine, a quarterly arts and culture publication in the Catskills and Hudson Valley, will produce a Sullivan County Music Compilation Album with Josh Druckman, a local music producer. Green Door is seeking Sullivan County-based musicians to record an original song for the album.

The compilation album hopes to capture the eclectic music scene happening in the Sullivan County Catskills today. The album will be distributed in an upcoming issue of Green Door magazine and other venues.  Read more

‘Natural Selection[s]’ at Alliance Gallery

NARROWSBURG, NY — “Natural Selection[s],” a curated group exhibition featuring art works inspired by the natural world, will open at the Delaware Arts Center’s Alliance Gallery on Saturday, January 25, with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. The exhibit will be on view through February 15.

From a photograph of reflections in water by Beth Baylin, to an oil painting of candy-colored “Fantastic Flowers” by Charles Farless, to a winged sculpture made of animal bones by Denis Yanashot, this exhibition includes a wide variety of artworks all influenced by nature.  Read more

The Magic of Science at The Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — Dr. Bob Friedhoffer, professional magician and educator (a.k.a. the “Madman of Science”) will be at The Cooperage on Saturday, January 25 at 3 p.m. performing magic tricks to teach children (and adults) about science.  Read more

A songwriter for Lucinda Williams fans

HAWLEY, PA — Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin and Gillian Welch fans will delight in the dark Americana and Western influenced songwriting of Caitlin Canty, who will perform at the Hawley Silk Mill on Saturday, January 18 at 7:30 p.m., hosted by Harmony Presents.

Having gained widespread attention from folk-lovers and story-tellers everywhere, this vocalist and songwriter will share songs from her new album “Golden Hour” as well as unreleased tunes and covers from her duo Down Like Silver. She will be accompanied by guitarist Anthony da Costa from New Country Rehab.  Read more

RiverFolk Concerts hosts Brother Sun

HONESDALE, PA — RiverFolk Concerts will present Brother Sun at The Cooperage on Sunday, January 26 at 5 p.m. Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun features three rich voices blending on a foundation of guitar, slide guitar, piano, ukulele and bouzouki.  Read more

Alliance Gallery exhibitions call for submissions, 2015

NARROWSBURG, NY — Alliance Gallery is calling for submissions for solo, group, or curated shows in 2015. The Alliance Gallery program priority is to exhibit high quality work by professional and emerging artists who live part-time or full-time in the Mid-Hudson, Catskill, or Upper Delaware River regions. All media and styles are considered, as are installations and proposals by curators. There is no submission fee.

The deadline for submissions is Saturday, January 25. For submission guidelines, see artsalliancesite.org/programs/gallery.html.  Read more