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December 18, 2014
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REGION — It’s one week before Christmas and you might still need to get gifts for loved ones on your list. A great gift idea is to purchase local art from one of the many galleries in our area. Many galleries are exhibiting special holiday shows, and they won’t be on display for much longer. So not only will you be shopping, but you can also take this time to view the exhibits, support local art, and have a good time. Buying art is a special and one-of-a-kind gift that people will appreciate. It also supports local artists and gives money back to the community.

It was the last week in November, a few days before Thanksgiving, when I was driving in the pre-dawn darkness on a quiet road. A steady rain was ushering in a couple of days of unseasonably mild...

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We had a Christmas tree all picked out in August. A perfect little white pine conveniently located on the incline of the road bank on the old farm. There would be no trudging through snow or...

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Quick! Name a bunch of famous silent film comedy stars! Charlie Chaplin, check… Buster Keaton, of course… You remembered Harold Lloyd? Good for you!

How about Roscoe Arbuckle?

Roscoe...

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I haven’t exactly been grumpy, but I wasn’t feeling the spirit move me either, until I got the Bah! Humbug! knocked out of me over the last week as I dashed through the snow, careening through the...

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I’ve heard it said that we have the concept of “time” so everything doesn’t happen all at once. Well that’s a handy explanation, especially for anglers without advanced degrees in physics. As far...

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When I was a child, my parents gave me a small plastic camera. Little did they know they were placing me on a path that continues to illuminate my life today as I shoot digital images throughout...

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Cottontails: appealing and plentiful

Many species of mammals abound throughout the Upper Delaware River region. One of the most abundant, and likely the most popular in terms of game animals, is the Eastern cottontail rabbit.

Ranging between 15 to 19 inches in length and weighing between two to four pounds, cottontails are so named for the white puffy tail that characterizes this appealing animal. Brown or grayish soft fur tapers to a lighter tan on top, with a white underbelly below.  Read more

‘Oh, the weather outside is frightful!’

Considering the events (or lack thereof) over the last few days, I can’t be the only one with those lyrics in mind. As a child, winter storms meant hot chocolate, waxing up the “Flying Saucer” and mom insisting on snow pants (always a good fashion statement) before we headed out the door, shrieking with glee (insert sigh here.)  Read more

Monticello Elks breakfast

MONTICELLO, NY — Monticello Elks Lodge #1544 is serving an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast on Sunday, January 13. Serving is from 7 a.m. to 12 noon at the Lodge on North St.

The menu includes pancakes, French toast, eggs, bacon, sausages and potatoes. Proceeds will be utilized for the beautification of the lodge.

Breakfast costs $8 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under and kids under five are admitted free. Eat in or take out.

For more information, call Lisa Muller at 845/807-2858.

Woodsongs Coffeehouse at Sullivan County Museum

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Singer/songwriter Rick Nestler, Van Manakas and the acoustic duo of Steve Schwartz and Antoine Magliano will play at the Woodsongs Coffeehouse at the Sullivan County Museum on Saturday, January 5 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Nestler’s reper-toire includes folk material, traditional songs, protest songs, love songs and country ballads. His “The River that Flows Both Ways” was recorded by Pete Seeger on his album “Pete Seeger’s Family Concert.” Visit Nestler’s website at www.ricknestler.com.  Read more

Surf lessons

I’m on the beach in Costa Rica right now. The waves crash big and beautiful. A dreadlocked, tan, fit American guy is explaining that falling is a big part of surfing. That I should embrace it. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the ocean, but I’ve never surfed before. I’m a little nervous.

There is a small group taking the lesson. The instructor teaches us how to stand up on the board. He draws a line in the sand, to represent a surfboard, and we practice popping up from lying to standing.

“Surfing is mental, right?” he says. “It’s all about going for it.”  Read more

Hinchey takes farewell tour; After 20 years in Congress, Hinchey says goodbye

TWENTY-SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, NY — After serving in Congress for 20 years, for the past couple of weeks, Congressman Maurice Hinchey has been engaged in a farewell tour of his far-flung district, which stretches from Ithaca to Kingston.

At multiple stops along the tour, the progressive lawmaker said farewell to officials and constituents that he has worked with and fought for over the years.  Read more

New Year’s resolutions

My son asked me what my New Year’s resolutions were. I told him I don’t make them anymore but I have some to offer the rest of you….  Read more

  • Stop assuming the worst of your fellow human beings. Maybe they are just deaf to your needs. Tell them what you want and ask how you can help them.
  • Speak softer, but clearly. Make eye contact.
  • Don’t forget to ask, no, really ask, how their day/week/life is going before ranting about your own. Don’t rant. Okay, maybe a little. Sometimes.
  • Stop watching Fox News.
  • Watch less MSNBC.

O Tannenbaum

“O Tannenbaum” is the German version of the song “O Christmas Tree” that we hear so often during this holiday season. Tannenbaum is also the German translation for a fir tree, a very popular conifer to have indoors as the traditional Christmas tree. There are a number of varieties of conifers and evergreens in our region, some of which make suitable Christmas trees, but all have some impact on nature and wildlife.

Here are a few of our most common conifers:  Read more

The patient survived

As I write this column, I find myself housebound. My right knee is sore and aching. This is the result of having knee surgery to correct the severe arthritis in that joint. While the nurses at both Baylor Hospital and the Continuum Rehabilitation Hospital took excellent care of me, I am glad to be sleeping in my own bed once again. On the 12th of December, my surgeon, Dr. Pat Peters, removed the staples from the wound. He assured me that I appeared to be on the road to full recovery. It will take weeks of rehabilitation before I reach that goal.  Read more

Out with the old...

How we, as individuals, perceive the world around us is as varied as the snowflakes. Everyone has an opinion (humble or otherwise) and I am (clearly!) no exception. At this time of year, conversation invariably turns to the passage of time and often, how quickly the year has flown by. For me (and I suspect many of you) it’s been a long and winding road. Some of you might recall that on New Years Eve last year, I found myself in the hospital, undergoing emergency surgery.  Read more

Good luck in 2013

My sister-in-law is not a superstitious person, but on New Year’s Day, she insists on serving black-eyed peas with her holiday dinner. This is supposed to bring good luck for the New Year for everyone who sits down at her table. Mind you, she’s not from the South, where this tradition comes from in the U.S., and she’s not Jewish either. (I bet you didn’t know that eating black-eyed peas at Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, also is considered lucky.)  Read more

Representative Hinchey sees positive potential in our future

By Rep. Maurice Hinchey

Serving Sullivan County in the United States House of Representatives has been the greatest privilege of my life. As I prepare to leave office, I want to sincerely thank the people of Sullivan County who put their trust in me to serve their interests in Washington. In the most basic sense, that is what I have worked to do over the past 20 years.  Read more

‘Squirreling away’ for a winter’s day

Acrobatic artists of the treetops, gray squirrels navigate their habitats with skill and grace, leaping from branch to limb in an aerial circuit that is both impressive and entertaining. Technically a rodent, the gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is Pennsylvania and New York’s most common squirrel. Other native squirrels are the fox, red and nocturnal flying squirrels.  Read more

Thoughts on the holidays

The trees near my office are wrapped tightly in blue lights. It’s surprisingly impressive and despite the fact that they went up just after Halloween (too early in my opinion), I am struck often by their beautiful simplicity.

The carolers on the subway are good and plentiful. It seems that all the best subway performers come out this time of year. It’s actually enjoyable when they enter the train, and I notice that even the toughest looking folks crack smiles.  Read more

Live music memorial for Millie Traviss

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Friends of Millie Traviss, who passed away earlier this month, will hold a celebration of her life on Saturday, December 22 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hurleyville Historical Building, 265 Main St. Two local bands will provide live music and an open mic performance will be emceed by Traviss’ son Richard. A vegetarian potluck will be served. If you wish to bring baked goods or vegetarian dishes, or need directions, call Kevin at 845/434 1815.  Read more

Aztec Two-Step: bridge to the Beat Generation performs

HONESDALE, PA — Harmony Presents will host the folk/rock duo Aztec Two-Step at the Cooperage, 1030 Main St. on December 29 at 7:30 p.m. To commemorate its 40th anniversary, Aztec Two-step, which has been acclaimed for the intelligent lyricism and etheral tunes of members Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman, has released a brand new album, “Cause and Effect.”

Anyone who purchases a ticket to the performance will automatically be entered to win an autographed vintage poster, or an autographed original vinyl LP of Aztec Two-Step’s “Living in America.”  Read more

A new age dawning?

CALLICOON, NY — Perhaps you’ve seen a small, glossy flyer floating around places in the Upper Delaware Valley, or you noticed an ad in the local newspaper inviting people to attend ReBirth 2012, or what the event’s organizers are calling a “global ‘Birth Day’ party” to celebrate “day one” of the Age of Aquarius. The afternoon of free presentations and visioning activities will be held on Saturday, December 22 at the Delaware Youth Center, 8 Creamery Rd. from 1 to 6 p.m.  Read more

There’s got to be a morning after...

Well, it’s finally here. If the Mayans were right, this will be my last column. Ever. I’ve been on planet Earth long enough to have seen several “end-of-the-world” dates come and go, but this one, the so-called “Mayan Prophecy,” has really taken the world by storm. While hardly an alarmist, I have been keenly interested in the subject for well over a year. In fact, I wrote about this subject last spring (www.riverreporter.com/feature/16/2012/03/20/2012-prophesies-fact-or-fantasy) exploring the issue in some detail.  Read more

Wed., Nov. 12 Open mic night at The Cooperage
Thu., Nov. 13 Popular Google Apps
Thu., Nov. 13 Fall Foliage Mixer
Sat., Nov. 15 Fall square dance