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July 29, 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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Santana and the Trout Parade One of these things is different from the other

With two such disparate events on my schedule last weekend, I was stymied on how to draw them together here. “What’s the hook?” I whispered to the pup (www.facebook.com/DharmaTheWonderDog) “What could the Livingston Manor Trout Parade and a world-class musical ensemble (www.santana.com) possibly have in common?” The fishy cavalcade, (www.facebook.com/troutparade) now in its 11th year, has snowballed into an event that is not to be missed, and judging by the huge crowd it attracted last Saturday, the word has spread.  Read more

The farmhand

CALLICOON CENTER, NY — Nadine Fattaleh is no shrinking violet. At 18, she left the security and familiarity of her home in Jordan to pursue an economics degree at Columbia University, decided when she got there to tack on a second major in sustainable development and now hopes to add a minor in visual arts as well. Knowing that there is a real-world gap between economic theory and practice, she signed on for an 18-day internship as a WWOOFer under the international program Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF).  Read more

Flag washing

It was a beautiful August day as we gathered in the town square. Two large tubs, one with soapy water and one with clean water, had been set up in front of the speakers’ podium. A good-sized flag hung from a clothesline behind it, its stars and stripes bright in the sunlight. Two more clotheslines hung on either side, plentifully supplied with clothespins. A table held the dishes that had been brought for what I guessed was a potluck to follow.

Everyone had flags. Small ones, large ones, flags hanging from flagpoles, flags stapled to sticks, flags draped across shoulders.  Read more

Reading aloud

Reading stories aloud to my children has been one of the most enjoyable perks of being a mother. Now that they are older, I miss the time spent with them reading—and rereading over and over—stories like “Flat Stanley” or picture books like “The Tomten,” or “A Chair for My Mother” (by our own river valley resident Vera Williams). All these books hold an esteemed and permanent place on our shelves.  Read more

Agatha Christie’s “A Murder is Announced” stumps the audience at The Forestburgh Playhouse

Spoiler alert: The butler did it. Calm down… just kidding! It would be unkind to give away the ending of the murder mystery now playing at the Forestburgh Playhouse, and since it’s a whodunit as only Agatha Christie can write, even the best amateur sleuth will have a hard time unraveling the labyrinth of clues doled out during this two-act frothy English confection that is presented with the style and verve that Christie deserves.  Read more

Tick-tock goes the dragonfly clock

Phenology, or the study of timing of seasonal events of plant and animal species from year to year, has been drawn more into the limelight in recent years due to concerns of climate change. Factors such as temperature, sun declination, seasonal change in cloud cover and precipitation are all thought to be factors in key events of a given species. Noting the time of the first call of a wood thrush, the sighting of the first painted turtle in a pond, or the occurrence of the first bald eagle egg in a nest can all be used to measure variances in timing of natural events.  Read more

How many, how big?

There are many renditions of the stages in a fishing life. Usually they go something like this: I want to catch my first fish. I want to catch a lot of fish. This is followed by: I want to catch the most fish and the biggest fish. Next, I want to catch the “hard” fish (the most challenging). Then some tempering comes in, often with age: I just like to have a lovely day on the stream and maybe catch a few fish. By the time the angler starts using words like lovely, we are probably talking about a grey-haired person.  Read more

Catfish: noun…

I remember learning about catfish from my grandmother. She lived on Route 97 between Narrowsburg and Callicoon and had a small pond in her backyard. When I was a boy, we would sit out by the pond and throw pieces of bread in for the catfish. I loved watching these strange prehistoric creatures nibble the bread up quickly.

“Those are catfish,” my grandmother explained while pointing out their whiskers.

Defined in the dictionary (a word since 1612) catfish are “any of an order (Siluriformes) of chiefly freshwater stout-bodied scaleless bony fishes having long tactile barbels.”  Read more

NACL Theatre opens its 2014 season

HIGHLAND LAKE, NY—NACL Theatre kicks off its 14th season of new and innovative performances on Saturday, June 21 at 3 p.m. with “Don’t Be Sad, Flying Ace!” a family show for all ages. Created by Superhero Clubhouse of New York City, this 55-minute play portrays a dog as he attempts to adapt after a hurricane that has washed him (and his house) out to sea.  Read more

Kids’ art classes at The Big Eddy Toy Co.

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Big Eddy Toy Co. will offer art classes for kids this summer. Most classes are limited to 10 students, last 2 to 2.5 hours and target kids ages five to 12, unless otherwise noted. Average cost is $35. All Friday classes are taught by The Homestead’s Montessori art teacher, Linda Coss.  Read more

Four-hand music of Mozart

MILFORD, PA — Four-hand piano team Dongsok Shin and Gwendolyn Toth, aka Duo Appassionata, will perform Saturday, June 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at Grey Towers National Historic Site, and Friday, June 20 at 8 p.m. at the Hawley Silk Mill. They will be playing a reproduction of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s fortepiano, which was made in the 1770s or 1780s.  Read more

Harmony Presents now offering two concerts in one night

HAWLEY, PA — To accommodate the swelling population during the summer, Harmony Presents will feature two concerts showcasing the same performers in one night. The first show will begin at 7 p.m. and the second show will begin at 9:30 p.m. or 10 p.m., depending on the performance.  Read more

Acoustic Eidolon returns

HONESDALE, PA — RiverFolk Concerts welcomes back Acoustic Eidolon on June 14 at 7:30 p.m. They have played the area at the Tusten Theatre and a house concert, and will now perform at The Cooperage.

Consummate instrumentalists Joe Scott and Hannah Alkire have been captivating audiences in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia for well over a decade.  Read more

Jam band plays Hawley, PA

HAWLEY, PA — Jam band Rogue Chimp will play Harmony Presents in the Boiler Room at the Silk Mill on Saturday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. Rogue Chimp combines jazz fusion, dance and world music, and consists of brothers Jacob and Zach Cole, along with Mark Woodyatt and Jon Ventre.  Read more

Pike Chamber hosts Comedy Night at The Riverview Inn

Matamoras, PA — The Pike County Chamber of Commerce will host a comedy night featuring Brian Cichocki and Sandy Marks at the Riverview Inn on Friday, July 18. Doors open at 7 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m. and laughs begin at 9 p.m. The comedians have performed on HBO and in Caroline’s, Dangerfield’s, Comix, Jester’s, Vegas, Atlantic City, Paris and Amsterdam.

Dinner and show costs $45 per person or if you just want to see the show it’s $25 per person. Reservations must be made by July 15. Call 570/296-8700.

Weather Project seeking teen and child performers

REGION — NACL Theatre is seeking children and teens for The Weather Project Community Play taking place this August 9 in the town of Yulan, NY. The Weather Project is a massive community arts and science project designed to bring citizens, artists and scientists together around the subject of the weather and climate science.

NACL is looking for children ages nine to 12 to play The Solar Munchkins in The Weather Project Play. The rehearsals will take place on Saturdays from 3 to 4 p.m. at NACL Theatre. Rehearsals begin July 5.  Read more

Free Day of Yoga

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society will present yoga instructor Jane Mann for a “Free Day of Yoga” at the CAS Arts Center on Tuesday, June 17 with multiple sessions for beginners and intermediates between 4:45 and 7:30 p.m. This open house-style event is free and open to the public.  Read more

Summer art classes

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Laurie Kilgore will teach art classes for kids and adults this summer at the Sullivan County Museum. Children’s art classes for ages eight to 12 will be Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 15 to August 7 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost for four sessions is $80. Adult art classes, Drawing from Observation, are on Tuesday and Thursdays, July 15 to August 7 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The cost for four sessions is $100. Tuesday evening painting classes are from July 15 to August 19 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The cost for six sessions is $200.  Read more

Trout Parade to bring festive, fishy fun to Main Street

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The 11th annual Trout Parade will be held on Saturday, June 14 in Livingston Manor, rain or shine. Attendees can expect to find lots of fishy fun along Main Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including an arts-and-crafts fair, children’s activities, and specialty foods from local vendors. Entertainment will begin at 11 a.m. on Main Street, including a musical performance by Karen Hudson, face painting by Miss Sunshine the Clown, and stilt walking by Brett Keyser and Tannis Kowalchuk of the NACL Theatre.  Read more

Before the parade passes by

Wow. June is already slipping by. It fascinates me that while the winter months seem to drag on forever, the warmer weeks fly by at a breakneck pace that is dizzying. Granted, there is more to see and do between spring and fall than at other times, but still... wow.  Read more