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October 25, 2014
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THE CATSKILLS — Martin (Marty) Podskoch is afraid of heights, but that didn’t stop him from writing “Fire Towers of the Catskills: Their History and Lore.” Fascinated with these relics of our past, he visited all of the fire towers in the Catskills region and talked to the fire tower observers and their families. So how does he get to the top of a fire tower? “I just close my eyes and hold on to someone’s shoulders and follow them up,” Podskoch said.

A few weeks back, a neighbor told me he was finding what looked like berries on the ground, even though he said no berry trees were anywhere in the area. I asked him about the size and color, and...

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Fall brings the changing of the foliage to the Upper Delaware Valley. Along with the falling leaves come the “slippery rail” excuse for train delays. It seems, according to New Jersey Transit (NJT...

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Apparently there is no evidence whatsoever that Marie Antoinette actually uttered such a callous statement in response to her subjects’ bemoaning their lack of bread. But it has stuck to her shoe...

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I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Wikipedia defines it as “an old adage, typically stated as: ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.’” Ain’t that the truth. At the risk of sounding like a total nut...

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The great battle of our time will be over water—pure, fresh water in particular. All earthly life depends upon water for survival. The human population worldwide, now 7.3 billion, is projected to...

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The fast-flying days of flaming fall foliage have held us in thrall lately as the Upper Delaware Region advances toward the cold and inward months of winter. Watching the leaves turn through...

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Civil War letters published; Local Union soldier Ira Austin wrote to Minerva Drake

SHOHOLA, PA and BARRYVILLE, NY — The Shohola Railroad and Historical Society has just published a book of letters from a young Barryville soldier to the young woman whom he would eventually marry. The book, titled “Civil War Letters of Ira Austin to Minerva Drake of Barryville, New York,” reveals letters that are not love letters but rather the simple attempts by the unlettered youth to express his awakening interest in young Minerva, whom he calls Nervia.  Read more

So vote, already

Even though I think this presidential election is clearly between two opposing points of world-view, I find it hard to get caught up in the drama of it, as I have in the past. Maybe it’s my age. My generation has seen its share of pivotal elections—Stevenson v. Ike, Nixon v. Kennedy, Bush, Sr. v. Clinton, Gore v. Bush, Jr. Each time the zealots on both sides have predicted doom should the other side win. And if it were true, we are living in it. Maybe we are.  Read more

Quality healthcare—for all

When Wayne Memorial Hospital’s administrative team plans ahead, quality healthcare for everyone in our region is always at the heart of our long-range vision. But negotiating the road is not easy, especially in today’s climate. The economy is sluggish. The federal government—think “Obama-care”—has mandated dramatic changes in reimbursement formulas for Medicare patients. State budget cutbacks are always an issue. Insurance companies routinely change the rules for payment.

For some hospitals, the mix has been toxic.  Read more

It’s now over

On October 2, Jim Graham and I took one last trip to the Willowemoc Creek in Sullivan County. We fished the “Finkelstein” water. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has done a fine job of rehabilitating this access that had been slowly eroding into the river. The right-hand bank is now armored with large boulders that will protect it in periods of high water. Unfortunately, the DEC seems to have used heavy equipment to create a very wide, shallow area right at the access. Hopefully the Willowemoc will rearrange this area as it pleases during the next high-water flows.  Read more

Studying American shad

UPPER DELAWARE REGION — A low fog settles over the Delaware River as dusk begins its descent on October 15. Humans clad in waders and sporting headlamps arrange equipment along the shoreline as others board a boat. A long heavy net stretches between them. As the light fades, the seining begins, with representatives of several agencies working to determine the current health of American shad populations in the non-tidal Delaware River.  Read more

Puffballs and jelly fungi

The fall forests are full of fanciful fungi right now. Two common but interesting mushrooms that are easily encountered in the Upper Delaware region are puffballs and jelly fungi.

Puffballs are part of a class of fungi known as Gasteromycetes (stomach fungi) that produce spores inside their fruit bodies. They are most often spherical or pear-shaped with rough outer walls and smooth inner walls that act as pouches for the powdery spore masses contained within.  Read more

But enough about me...

There are those who would argue that I never tire of my favorite subject: me. But after this last week, even I have had enough. It all began months ago, when I (foolishly?) agreed to make some public appearances around the Upper Delaware valley. Truth be told, these requests for my presence were, as always, actually invitations for Dharma the wonder dog to participate in local events.  Read more

Stolen

At the end of the meal, my phone is gone. I look around the table. I pat my pockets. Check my bag. No way! I hadn’t even gotten up from dinner and someone had swiped my phone from right under my nose. Everyone in the restaurant is sympathetic. My friends help me make one final search around the table. No luck.

It had all started with a bit of iPhone 5 envy. Emily got one the day they came out a few weeks ago and it was light and fast, sharp and cool. Unfortunately, I am not due for an upgrade for six months so I wasn’t getting a new iPhone without paying some crazy exorbitant fee.  Read more

85th annual Rotary Club dinner

HONESDALE, PA —The Honesdale Rotary’s annual International Flavors, a gourmet feast of local and international dishes prepared by area restaurants and Rotarians will be held at Honesdale High School on Saturday, November 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Local Boys will provide entertainment. Proceeds benefit Honesdale Rotary charities, including the international student exchange program.  Read more

Annual dinner for Cornell Extension

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Sullivan County will hold its annual Chicken BBQ and Recognition Dinner on Friday, October 26 at the Jeffersonville Fire Hall at 6:30 p.m.

A band of local musicians, “Nothin’ New,” will play throughout the night.

Following dinner, an awards presentation honoring several of CCE’s supporters will be held. Raffles and a silent auction will be held with prizes awarded. The CCE 2013 fundraiser calendar will debut with its photo contest winners.  Read more

Annual conservation dinner celebrates “Silent Spring”

HAWLEY, PA — The Pike County Conservation District board will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” at their annual dinner on November 8 at Ehrhardt’s Waterfront Conference Center at 6 p.m. This event is open to the public.

Attendees will see a film about Rachel Carson’s life and listen to readings from “Silent Spring.”

Tickets cost $35 per person, payable to the Pike County Conservation District. RSVP before November 5 at 570/26-8220 or email cspizuoco@pikepa.org.

Used-clothing/jewelry sale at CAS Arts Center

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY —The Catskill Art Society (CAS) is hosting its second “Glitz & Glamour” used clothing and jewelry sale on Saturday, November 3 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, November 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the CAS Arts Center. Prices begin as low as $1 with many items priced at $5 and $10. The sale also includes 14 vintage wedding gowns donated by Alice Lindholm of Right to the Moon Alice. All proceeds benefit CAS.  Read more

‘You Be the Judge’ program at Port Jervis library

PORT JERVIS, NY — The Hub at The Port Jervis Free Library will host Michael Worden for a new program called “You Be the Judge” on Thursday, October 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Worden has been investigating historical crimes to determine if the evidence supported the verdict, or if not, “who done it?” Worden, using his extensive investigative skills, will present his findings. Following each presentation of the evidence, the audience will be the judge.  Read more

Neversink Valley Museum breakfast and flea market

CUDDEBACKVILLE, NY — The Neversink Valley Area Museum will hold its annual apple pancake and French toast breakfast on Sunday, October 28 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Canal Park Visitor’s Center, 58 Hoag Road. Breakfast is $6.50 for non-member adults, $5 for member adults, and $3 for children under 12. There will be a flea market under the pavilion.

“Doc” Frank Simpson, one of the museum’s founders, will be on hand with a cider press to demonstrate how to make apple cider.

Email nvam@frontiernet.net, or call 845/754-8870, or visit www.neversinkmuseum.org.

Sullivan West students raise funds for food pantry

NARROWSBURG, NY — Two Sullivan West students, Richard Lander and Drew Billard, are working with the local food pantry in Narrowsburg to provide food baskets for families in need this holiday season.

They are sponsoring an adult dance to be held on Saturday, November 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Tusten Town Hall. Dancin’ Dan will provide music. Desserts and coffee will be served, but all guests may bring any other beverages they like. A donation of $10 per person is requested.  Read more

Jazz concert for United Way of Sullivan County

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Donna Singer and The Doug Richards Trio will perform a benefit jazz concert for the United Way of Sullivan County at Nadia’s Hungarian Buffet, 222 Main St. on October 27 at 5:30 p.m. with a second performance at 8 p.m.

All funds raised will be used for programs and services that support health and wellness, children and youth, emergency care, adult achievement and the needs of the senior population. United Way of Sullivan County operates entirely on donations.  Read more

Historic view of Milford Columns owner

MILFORD, PA — Dallas Grove will present a talk about the life and times of Dennis McLaughlin in the Foundation Room of the Columns Museum on Friday, November 2 at 7 p.m.

McLaughlin was the original inhabitant of what is now known as the Columns Museum. Built in 1904, the house was originally used as his summer home. McLaughlin was a prominent citizen of Hudson County NJ, and he dabbled in many pursuits. He was known as one of “the Big Four” because of his ownership in the Guttenberg Race Track, which was a place to bet on “the ponies” in the late 1800s.  Read more

Student productions of ‘WASP’ and ‘4.48 Psychosis’ at the Orange Hall Theatre

MIDDLETOWN, NY — SUNY Orange’s Apprentice Players will perform “WASP” and “4.48 Psychosis,” a pair of one-act plays, at the Orange Hall Theatre for the weekends of November 2-4 and 9-11 on the college’s Middletown campus.

Evening performances on Friday and Saturday are at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 3 p.m.

“4.48 Psychosis,” written by Sarah Kane, is a darkly disturbing drama about depression and suicide. “WASP,” written by Steve Martin, is a one-act play depicting the traditional W.A.S.P. values of the 1950s in the U.S., the time period in which he grew up.  Read more

Acoustic performance by Anne Loeb and Mike Baglione

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Now in its fourth year, the Woodsongs Coffeehouse will re-open on Saturday, November 3 at 6 p.m. for the first in a series of acoustic music concerts held at the Sullivan County Museum. The event is hosted by the Sullivan County Historical Society and produced by members of the Americana band Little Sparrow.  Read more

RiverFolk Concert: Joe Crookston and Amy Speace

HONESDALE, PA — The RiverFolk Concert series welcomes back Joe Crookston, a New York songwriter and Album of the Year winner, and Wildflower recording artist Amy Speace to The Cooperage on Sunday, November 4 at 4 p.m.

Light fare will be available from the Willow River Café. Suggested donation is $15 or pay what you can. BYOB. Visit www.riverfolkconcerts.vpweb.com or www.thecooperageproject.org. For reservations call 845/252-6783.