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April 21, 2014
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When you go to a Simple Gifts concert, you can expect to hear a variety of musical genres played on a variety of instruments. Karen Hirshon and Linda Littleton, two of the women in Simple Gifts, say audiences will learn and they will also laugh.

As if the Cornell Lab of Ornithology isn’t already fantastic enough, this leading authority on birds recently released a new in-depth website that explores many facets of feathers from scientific...

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A “fetid herb” is botanist Homer D. House’s perfect description in his 1934 book “Wild Flowers,” of our first wild plant to flower in spring.

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World events, no matter where, are no longer “remote,” and haven’t been for some time. Moment by moment, we can follow the search for a vanished jetliner over the Indian Ocean, or watch one...

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That was my thought process last week as I headed out the door to check in at the 2014 Green Tourism conference in Callicoon, NY (...

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The variables in fly fishing are considerable and perplexing to the beginner and experienced fisher alike. Deciding what to do in a given situation can be answered easily with about 10 years of...

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A week ago Thursday, the morning was chilly, but the forecast called for mild temperatures and sunny skies. I wanted to check out the Tusten trail and it promised to be a good day for a hike. Most...

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Ornament hunt in Central Park

HONESDALE, PA — On Saturday, December 10, the 17th annual Children’s Ornament Hunt will be held in Honesdale’s Central Park at 10 a.m. Children will have the opportunity to hunt for ornaments for a chance to win prizes donated by Honesdale businesses. There will be three age groups: K and younger; first and second grades; and third and fourth grades. The event is presented by the Greater Honesdale Partnership and co-sponsored by Apple Day Spa & Hair Restoration Salon and Connections Magazine.

Tri-State Chamber’s holiday event benefits local food pantries

PORT JERVIS, NY — The Tri-State Chamber of Commerce presents its Holiday Networking Event and Party on Tuesday, December 13 at UpFront Exhibition Space from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Everyone is invited. Members of the chamber pay $5 and non-members $10. All proceeds will be donated to local food pantries.  Read more

Santa’s coming to Books n Stuff 2

MILFORD, PA — Santa Claus will be making a special appearance at Books n Stuff 2, as he makes his annual visit to the Old Lumberyard Shops in Milford, on Saturday, December 10 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. There will be holiday singing, free goodies and pictures with Santa. Books n Stuff 2 is also holding a raffle. With every $25 purchase or more, you get a free ticket for the Cookie Jar Raffle. The winner will get a Jolly Holiday Cookie Jar, which holds secret surprises and a gift bag full of goodies. Call 570/409-6882.

Open house at The Columns

MILFORD, PA — The Pike County Historical Society will be hosting a holiday event on Sunday, December 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Columns Museum, shown here, located at 608 Broad St. There will be sweets and savories, mulled cider and a visit from some carolers. Admission to the museum and party are free.

RiverFolk presents Patrick Fitzsimmons

BETHEL, NY — RiverFolk Concerts and Catskill Distilling Company will present Patrick Fitzsimmons on Saturday, December 10 at 8 p.m. in the tasting room at the distilling company on Route 17B. Brent Hallenbeck of The Burlington Free Press wrote, “I’ve been reacquainting myself of late with Patrick Fitzsimmons’ live show (I caught him at First Night Burlington as well) and especially the amazing drumming the former percussionist for From Good Homes does on his guitar, often while strumming in between beats.  Read more

‘A Night in Bethlehem’

HONESDALE, PA — Honesdale’s First Prebyterian Church, located at 201 Tenth St., will present “A Night in Bethlehem” on Saturday, December 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. Bring your family and friends to the little town of Bethlehem and step back into the time of Jesus’ birth. There will be crafts, shops, snacks and fun.

Talaga speaks on Brownscombe

HONESDALE, PA — Sally Talaga, executive director of the Wayne County Historical Society (WCHS), will give a gallery talk on the art and career of Honesdale native Jennie Brownscombe (1850-1936) on Saturday, December 10, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the museum at 810 Main St. She will also lead a tour of the current WCHS Brownscombe exhibit, which will close at the end of December. Talaga was guest curator of a recent exhibit of Brownscombe’s works at the University of Scranton. The event is free to members, with a $5 fee to non-members. Email wchshop@ptd.net or call 570/253-3240.

A winter art collection, displayed in a home environment

HONESDALE, PA — The Hanson Gallery & Decorium at 1037 Main St. will hold an “Artist & Santa Reception” from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 10 for its “Vignette Series – Winter Collection.” Refreshments will be served, and you will have an opportunity to meet Santa and pick an ornament from Hanson’s second annual Christmas art tree. The reception will be preceded by an open house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Read more

Port holds holiday lighting contest

PORT JERVIS, NY —Port Jervis residents and businesses are invited to enter the annual Port Jervis Holiday Lighting Contest. Categories are Traditional Lights (white) and Festive Lights (multi-colored), with separate judging for homes and businesses. You must apply by December 14, and judging will be on December 18, on which date your lights should be on by 5 p.m. Call 845/858-4017 to register.

The Fab Four of early music

MILFORD, PA — Kindred Spirits Arts Programs will present New York Polyphony in a holiday concert at the Milford Theatre on December 10 at 7 p.m. Dubbed “the Fab Four of early music,” the male quartet will perform a program that ranges from Lionel Power (1375-1445) to Andrew Smith (b. 1970), a composer with deep roots in Gregorian chant and other forms of early vocal music. The group will sing English medieval carols and other religious songs of the season.  Read more

Let's review

Way back in August 2007, members of the The River Reporter editorial staff asked me to write a sustainability column. I felt woefully unqualified. What did I know about environmental issues? But I plunged in, viewing it as an opportunity.

I have learned a great deal, and gradually made lifestyle changes, none of which have caused hardship or sacrifice. In fact, simplifying my life seems to have enhanced it.  Read more

Hark, our better angels sing

Writing here in 2006, I suggested this possible definition of “civilization:” “...we can be said to be more or less ‘civilized’ as a society, culture, or species to the extent that intentional acts of violence are unnecessary.”

Dr. Steven Pinker, I suspect, would not only agree with that definition, he would say that as a species, we have made significant progress towards its fulfillment. Pinker, a cognitive neuroscientist and Harvard professor, recently published (to near-universal praise, by the way) a book entitled “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined.”  Read more

Coffee Shop

Our Hero comes upon the roadblock with disappointment but not surprise.

“Just keep going through,” he says to his female companion, ”I’ll meet you on the other side.”

And with that, he rolls out of the car in one quick motion, popping up on his feet behind an SUV.  Read more

Here comes Santa Claus!

Every year at this time, I read statistics regarding how folks from all walks of life fall prey to depression and sadness during the holidays, and I felt as if I was about to join the ranks this week. Being constantly bombarded by the commercialism of the season doesn’t help, since I know in my heart that the celebrations of different faiths really have little to do with money and that millions of people around the globe are rejoicing from a spiritual point of view.  Read more

The schools are alive,with the sound of music!

REGION — Elementary, middle and high schools in the region are gearing up for the holidays and sharing the gift of music with fellow students, parents and visitors alike as a variety of seasonal concerts are scheduled across the area. These musical presentations are designed to appeal and present a perfect opportunity for both children and adults to gather, celebrate and ring in the holidays, with programs that will inspire and entertain...Catskills-style.

Sullivan West celebrates the season  Read more

Tick tips

Without doubt, one of the least appealing residents of the Upper Delaware River region is the tick. These blood-sucking parasites have proliferated along both sides of the river, increasing the risk of exposure to certain infections for humans and for animals.  Read more

Dinner diving

Fall always brings some feathered visitors to the region that are not full time residents here. From golden eagles and loons to snow buntings, they all provide a great variety of wildlife viewing during migration season. One species that is commonly seen around starting in October is interesting in that it has to dive for its dinner.  Read more

You've got to have friends

Before I drove to Pittsburgh, PA to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends, I thought about all of the songs that have been written on the subject and selected my CDs for the ride with that in mind. Nostalgic to a fault, I prepared myself for the eight-hour drive by choosing the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Road Trippin’” to begin my journey, and headed out in the pouring rain—which stayed with me throughout the 400 miles, door to door.  Read more

Tours, art exhibit at Grey Towers

MILFORD, PA — As part of its holiday schedule, Grey Towers National Historic Landmark will host special holiday tours from Monday through Friday, December 5 through 9 and 12 through 16 at 1 and 3 p.m. The mansion has been decorated for the holidays by the Milford Garden Club. The cost of the tour is $4 per person.  Read more

Celebrate Christmas with the Wayne Choralaires

HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne Choralaires’ holiday program this year, “Forever Christmas,” is a mix of popular sacred and secular songs including a medley of traditional hymns, Meredith Willson’s “It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas,” the gospel-inspired “Whisper! Whisper!” Randall Thompson’s “The Last Words of David” and Handel’s “Hallelujah, Amen” from “Judas Maccabaeus.” The concert, under the direction of Patricia Spoor, will be at 7 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church, 11th and Church streets, Honesdale.  Read more