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September 25, 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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Old theatre, old-fashioned melodrama

SOUTH FALLSBURG, NY — The Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop will present “Stop Thief!” a mischievously fun, musically enhanced melodrama by D. Chapelle on Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 20 at 2 p.m. at the Rivoli Theatre.

Victoria V. Leighton directs this cast: Serena Gildersleeve, Ashlyn Nardi, Melissa McTague, Edward Berens, Dennis Grow, Paul Puerschner, Sally Gladden and Teri Paris. Technical director is Jim Schmidt. Harold Tighe is master carpenter and Fran Schiff is set designer. Pianist is Jeff Krolick.  Read more

LBJ took the IRT down to 4th St. USA

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 musical) written by James Rado, Jerome Ragni and Galt McDermot, and that particular tune is strung together by a collection of acronyms (a word formed from the initial letters of a compound term—think NATO, radar or laser). As I darted to and fro with the Wonder Dog in tow, I couldn’t help but notice them popping up.  Read more

Sidewalk Sales in Honesdale has Hollywood theme

HONESDALE, PA — Honesdale’s merchants will be going “Hollywood” at the 54th annual Sidewalk Sales on Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19, sponsored by The Dime Bank with support from Wayne County Tourism. Main Street will be filled with merchandise offered by its local stores, area vendors, artists and area non-profits.  Read more

Two openings at the DVAA this weekend

NARROWSBURG, NY — Two art shows will open this weekend at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance on Friday, July 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. One exhibit is “Tulips and Other Surprises from the Natural World,” drawings and paintings by Linda Bastian, and the other is “Paintings, Postcards,” an exhibit of paintings by Gary Abramson. They will both be on view until August 9.  Read more

Studies say pesticides are killing bees; Manufacturers call studies flawed

The volume of the debate surrounding the death of up to a third of all honey bees in the United States during the winter, in a phenomena known as colony collapse disorder (CCD), was increased a notch this year as the results of a new Harvard study were released in May.  Read more

Religious freedom, religious fairness

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 the outset intended to be a “Christian nation” (whatever that is supposed to mean—but that’s another column). I guess they were reveling in the heady feeling of victory, following the Supreme Court decision that recognized their right to apply their religious beliefs to the benefits package that they offered their employees. Many liberals and progressives were upset by the decision, but not me.  Read more

‘The Meteorite’

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 on the railroad tracks. I saved the pieces of coal I found in the path of the town plow. But best of all were the large, exotic boulders in the pastures and woods where we hiked and played.  Read more

Monarchs in a mess

One thing I do around this time of year is check for monarch butterflies, usually by just walking down some nearby roads; there are a few milkweed plants growing off the side of the roads that will support caterpillars. I check some of the plants for the tiny white eggs that will eventually result in a new generation of monarch butterflies late in the summer. This year, however, my hunt has been in vain.  Read more

In search of Goliath

My fishing partners and I are hooked in the quest for large fish. What constitutes a “large” fish is subjective. We all want trout of 20 inches plus. If you fish after dark, the gold standard is a two-footer.  Read more

Fun for the whole family at the Zane Grey Festival

LACKAWAXEN, PA — The National Park Service and the Zane Grey’s West Society will host the 10th annual Zane Grey Festival at the Zane Grey Museum, 135 Scenic Dr., on Saturday, July 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival is geared toward fun for the entire family with many activities and events for children and adults.

Craft activities will be available for children of all ages. Kids can also take part in a scavenger hunt to receive a free book by visiting exhibitors and learning about the area’s natural and cultural history.  Read more

Wurtsboro Founder’s Day Street Fair

WURTSBORO, NY — The Wurtsboro Board of Trade will hold the return of the Founder’s Day Street Fair on Saturday, July 19 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. The street fair is back to the full length of Sullivan Street for the second year, where it all began over 20 years ago. This is an entire day full of family fun with two live music stages; don’t forget to bring a blanket for the concert in the lawn. There are lots of local venders selling arts and crafts and much more. Enjoy a full block of rides, kid’s activities, auctions, Glider discovery and flight simulator, and more.  Read more

Weekend of Chamber Music and The Cooperage team up

HONESDALE, PA — Weekend of Chamber Music’s (WCM) summer music festival Crossings brings a preview to The Cooperage on Saturday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. The concert marks WCM’s debut at The Cooperage, and offers music for wind instruments.  Read more

The return of Marc Black

CALLICOON, NY — RiverFolk Concerts will welcome back Marc Black for a house concert on Saturday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Jeff and Maggie Moore. There will be a potluck at 6:30 p.m. Marc has visited Sullivan County many times and will perform another evening of eclectic folk-rock that deals with life, and all its social and political challenges one song at a time.  Read more

Jordan Rock headlines at Harmony Presents

HAWLEY, PA — Harmony Presents will showcase another comedy night inside the Hawley Silk Mill on Friday, July 11 at 8:30 p.m. Jordan Rock will be the headliner.  Read more

The Slipper Room, adult variety, is back at NACL

HIGHLAND LAKE, NY — Back by popular demand, after a sellout show last summer, NACL presents The Slipper Room, New York City’s Palace of Variety, in a weather-themed extravaganza, “Mr. Choade’s Perfect Storm.” The Slipper Room is blowing through Highland Lake for an exclusive one-night performance on Saturday, July 12.  Read more

Liberty Free Theatre has premiere at CAS

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — After postponing its original July 3 opening of “A Reluctant Tragic Hero” and “The Hipter’s Ballad of the Nazarene,” in Kauneonga Lake, because of severe weather due to Hurricane Arthur, the Liberty Free Theatre will open its season at the Catskill Arts Society on Friday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. with a premiere performance reading of “By the Sea—Anna’s Story,” a new play by the Canadian writer Sheldon Currie. The performers are Kate Warren, Janna Comando and Paul Austin. (The July 3 double bill has been rescheduled in Kauneonga Lake for Thursday, July 17.)  Read more

Nostalgia

It’s a noun, and has but one meaning: “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period, place or thing with happy personal associations” (www.merriamwebster.com). I often wax nostalgic; perhaps it comes with being of a certain age, but I think my day-to-day encourages it on occasion. Last week brought torrential rains, felled trees, power outages and cancellations cascading across my calendar, but the sun came out for Crosby Stills and Nash, and they drew an enormous crowd of nostalgic music lovers to Sullivan County (www.bethelwoodscenter.org).  Read more

Wade Preston returns for two shows in one night

HAWLEY, PA — Wade Preston, Billy Joel’s back-up, returns for two shows in one night at Harmony Presents in the underground theater of the Hawley Silk Mill on Saturday, July 12 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.  Read more

Children’s puppet-making workshop

HIGHLAND LAKE, NY — On Sunday, July 13, from 1 to 4 p.m., NACL will host a puppet theatre workshop for children ages four and up. Children and parents are invited to come to NACL and build dove marionette and hand puppets with master puppeteer Ramon Jan. The dove puppets will be a part of the Weather Project Community play on August 9, and the children are invited to perform their puppets in the show. The Sunday workshop is free and takes place at NACL Theatre, 110 Highland Lake Rd. Call 845/557-0694 for more information. All puppet supplies will be provided.  Read more

Bluegrass and folk fiesta

CUDDEBACKVILLE, NY — The Neversink Valley Museum will present an afternoon of Americana and Bluegrass music, served up with a Tex-Mex lunch, featuring Annie and Mike Baglione, plus special guests John Henry’s Hammer and Broke Down & Busted, on Saturday, July 12, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Leura Murray Center, 26 Hoag Rd. Admission costs $15, $12 for museum members and includes lunch. All proceeds benefit the Neversink Valley Museum of History and Innovation.  Read more