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September 27, 2016
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MILFORD, PA — At most writers’ festivals, there is no interaction between the writer and the people who read their words—the reader. No dialogue, just lecture. The first Milford Readers and Writers Festival wants to do it differently, to break the mold of the literary festival. When Milford mayor and owner of the Hotel Fauchere, Sean Strub, got together with friends for dinner one evening, they fantasized about creating a literary festival in Milford. Less than six months later, a group of 10 to 15 volunteers set out to make that dream a reality.

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else…” So said Emily Dickinson, the eminent poet of microcosm and wonder.

I think of this as I sort through the laundry, sweep up...

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The past few weeks have been challenging, not only personally, but for many I have come into contact with as well. Even though I tend to think of myself as the guy who reports on the good times...

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In a week or two, huge numbers of broad-winged hawks will fill the skies in some areas like Hawk Mountain in PA or Sunrise Mountain in New Jersey. That will be near-peak migration time for them as...

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Well… I’m not at all sure that I “oughta be,” but as it happens, I am this week. Usually, I’m pretty busy on the other side of the camera, attempting to capture all that is happening throughout...

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Myths and misunderstandings abound in nature and can lead to undesirable outcomes. Such is the case when it comes to two plants that flower at this time of year. One of them provokes an allergic...

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Next time you’re in your favorite local grocery store, take a little stroll down the breakfast cereal aisle. Plant yourself in front of the Cheerios section, and start counting. How many different...

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Liberty Free Theatre summer doubleheader: Poetry, jazz and 'Steve Jobs'

PARKSVILLE, NY — The Liberty Free Theatre presents a summer doubleheader of poetry, jazz and Steve Jobs in two different locations. American poet Barry Wallenstein, along with jazz guitarist Steve Carlin and bassist Tony Decicco, will present “An Evening of Poetry and Jazz” on Thursday, August 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the newly-revived Dead End Café, 6 Main St.  Read more

Arlon Bennett house concert

DAMASCUS, PA — RiverFolk Concerts will host the return of Arlon Bennett on Saturday, August 23 at 7:30 p.m., with a 6:30 p.m. pot luck at the home of Frank and Pat Salt in Damascus.

Bennett sings and play guitar to deliver songs that evoke a little Harry Chapin and maybe some vintage James Taylor. He writes songs with an eloquence, honesty, and wry sense of humor. He loves to communicate with music by creating songs from the sounds of life.  Read more

'Watch Your Step’ artwork by Ruth Hardinger and Lucienne Weinberger

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society (CAS) will present “Watch Your Step,” an exhibition of artwork by Ruth Hardinger and Lucienne Weinberger at the CAS Arts Center, 48 Main St. There will be an artist talk on Saturday, August 30 at 3 p.m., followed immediately by a free opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. The show runs through Sunday, October 5.  Read more

Vermin du jour

It has been a summer of pests.

In June, I inaugurated the season by contracting Lyme disease. I suspect this occurred on a seemingly innocent walk to check out the beaver lodge under construction at a nearby pond. It was my good luck, however, to discover the deer tick rooted in my leg. I yanked it out but not soon enough; I developed the telling “bulls-eye rash” of tick- borne Lyme disease a week later.  Read more

‘The best of times is now’

Those six words inspired legendary composer Jerry Herman to write a song with that theme for his smash-hit musical “La Cage aux Folles,” currently playing at the Forestburgh Playhouse. Based on the 1978 French-Italian film of the same name, “La Cage” began as a stage play, was transformed into a film (remade in English as “The Birdcage,” starring Robin Williams) and back to the stage again as a musical, with music and lyrics written by Herman, and the story penned by Harvey Fierstein.  Read more

Little Sparrow to play at popular BBQ & barn dance event

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — Back by popular demand, an Old-Fashioned BBQ and Barn Dance will be offered September 6 in celebration of Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County’s (CCESC) 100 year anniversary. The public is invited to attend this special event at Bridle Hill Farm and to support the CCESC Centennial Campaign for an evening of homemade food, starting at 6 p.m., and dancing from 7 to 9 p.m. Live music will be performed by Little Sparrow, a local Americana band.  Read more

Catskills Golden Age revue

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Bethel Theatre Works will present a new “Vaudeville in the Catskills Celebrates the Golden Age” on August 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. and August 24 at 2 p.m. at the Sullivan County Museum. Reminiscent of the 1950’s famous hotel era, the company has gathered an array of talent portraying legendary entertainers like Carmen Miranda, Steve Allen and Rosemary Clooney, as well as actual hotel entertainment staff who have worked in the Catskills resort industry over the years.  Read more

Kaahele and Friends to perform at The Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — Kaahele and Friends will perform at The Cooperage, 1030 Main St., on Sunday, August 24 at 7 p.m.

Kaahele is the Hawaiian word for “journey” and the professional name of singer/songwriter Kelly Hyde. Kaahele was born and raised in Callicoon, NY. Her affinity for music became apparent at a young age with her pursuit of both guitar and trumpet. As Kaahele grew up, she began to travel widely, eventually making her way to Hawaii.  Read more

Dear Bob

Author’s note: I don’t know if Sullivan County is in the coverage area for Bob Beierly’s publication Our Town, but here on the PA side of the river you can’t swing a cat without hitting one of his stands. A longtime feature of local life in Wayne and Pike counties, this free magazine, combining right-wing politics and sometimes salacious humor, has recently begun expanding its reach into Orange County, parts of New Jersey and other areas.  Read more

Time out (together)

Earlier this year, I heartily enjoyed serving as an environmental educator at the Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center (LCEEC) in Covington Township, PA. Traipsing through the forest, followed by children ranging in age from pre-school to fourth grade, peeking under rocks, poking along a stream bank, exploring a meadow, we focused on learning about habitats and the various species typically found in each.

It was wonderful to see the children absorbed in these outdoor experiences as their senses came alive. Often, we would hear one exclaim, “I wish I could do this EVERY day!”  Read more

August daydreams and reflections

ther than during the winter months, August may be the toughest one for anglers, especially trout anglers. To start with, it’s hard to find water with a temperature in the 60s. So we’re relegated to small-mouth bass in river riffles or large-mouth in lakes and ponds, but it can be slow—you know, “dog days of summer.”  Read more

Wedding update Part I

A few weeks after I proposed to Emily last August we set a date for our wedding: November 22, 2014. At the time this was 14 months away, which obviously felt like an eternity.
Emily came home with a wedding-planning book, which included a very helpful checklist of things to do based on how far away from the wedding we were—figure out the wedding venue, choose bridesmaids and groomsmen, pick an officiant, send out “save the dates,” design invites, shop for wedding rings. Gradually we began to check things off the list.  Read more

Encore! Encore!

You know what they say: “everyone has an opinion….” and while that is certainly true, not everyone has a public forum with which to express theirs. I often feel like the luckiest guy in the world, since the powers that be at The River Reporter have given me a wide berth to do just that—offer my “humble opinion” on the world of arts and leisure here in the Upper Delaware River region, but rest assured, I don’t take the responsibility lightly.  Read more

Liberty Free Theatre celebrates Woodstock

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Liberty Free Theatre, in association with the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA), will present “By the Time We Got to Woodstock,” by acclaimed novelist and playwright Rilla Askew, at the Tusten Theatre on Friday and Saturday, August 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 17 at 3 p.m. This special event will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the world-famous Woodstock Festival. The performance will begin with a multi-media presentation of the 1969 concert, followed by the play, after which the audience is invited to eat, drink and dance to the original music.  Read more

'Paint by Pixels' - an iPad and tablet art exhibit

NARROWSBURG, NY — “Paint by Pixels,” a group exhibit of digital paintings made on iPads and other tablets, opens with a reception on Friday, August 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Delaware Arts Center’s Alliance Gallery. The exhibit will be on view through September 6. This is exhibit is sponsored in part by Epson and ArtRage.

“We decided to have an iPad show, mainly, because it is a fun, immediate, and thoroughly democratic medium,” said Tom Bosket, the co-curator with Alexis Siroc of the “Paint by Pixels” exhibit.  Read more

Shandelee Music Festival presents two more concerts

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — On Saturday, August 16 at 3 p.m. the Shandelee Music Festival will present Anna Han, the first prize winner of the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation’s 2012 New York International Piano Competition. Han will perform a solo piano concert featuring the music of Bach and Siloti, Beethoven, Chopin, Dorman and Scriabin.  Read more

'Flotsam & Jetsam' photography by Karen Bell

NARROWSBURG, NY — “Flotsam & Jetsam,” an exhibit of photography by Karen Bell, opens with a reception on Friday, August 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Delaware Arts Center’s Alliance Gallery. The exhibit will be on view through September 6.

A resident of New York City, Bell spends a good deal of time in the Upper Delaware River region and in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, where she has re-discovered an intense attraction to nature and incorporated it into her creative process.  Read more

Grey Towers is setting for harp performance

MILFORD, PA — Duo Scorpio is a New York City-based harp duo that will perform in an outdoor performance at Grey Towers National Historic Site on Saturday, August 16 at 5:30 p.m. The concert is presented by Kindred Spirits Arts Programs.  Read more

Fremont Center history slideshow

FREMONT CENTER, NY — An interactive slideshow focusing on “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” will be presented by professional photographer Steve Strauss on Sunday, August 17, at 2 p.m. at the Fremont Center Community Church Social Hall located on County Road 94. The free program is open to the public and appropriate to all ages. Light refreshments will be served.  Read more