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5 days ago · by · 0 comments

Longyear Hosts Two New Shows

Margaretville — Opening this week at Margaretville’s Longyear Gallery are Jennifer Jefferson’s “The Green Hour” and Helane Levine-Keating’s “Recent Work,” two solo shows displayed in separate spaces of the gallery accompanied by a group show of all Longyear Gallery member artists in a third area.

The exhibitions will run from Friday, May 18 through Monday, June 11, with the Artists’ Reception held at Longyear Gallery on Saturday, May 19 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Named for The National Wildlife Federation’s Green Hour program that encourages an hour per day for children to play and learn outdoors in nature, Jennifer Jefferson’s “The Green Hour” includes paintings inspired by the natural world, a fusion of scenes both remembered and imagined. According to the artist, “From the simplicity of a single wildflower to the complexity of the deep sea, I aim to give fresh insights and perspectives to my subjects. I am outside, observing, as much as possible, and study field guides and natural history books to learn more about what I see.” As Jefferson notes, “A connection to nature is vital to me, and The Green Hour seems a fitting title to this exhibit as the geography of childhood is within me still.” Her work “meanders the border that separates abstraction and realism,” for she hopes to “give the viewer something to hold onto–a hill, a pond, a wave– but then take them beyond that object into something deeper.” Though she is painting a visual image, she is also trying to “convey a sense of the scene, a feeling, to tap into the viewer’s memories and longings.”

Jennifer Jefferson studied art at Mills College in Oakland, California under Ralph Ducasse and Ron Nagle, among others. After painting sporadically in the following years, several years ago she began painting steadily and continued her studies at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum with Christie Scheele, Joerg Dressler and Mary Giammarino. Jefferson’s work has been exhibited at the Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell, Massachusetts; Longyear Gallery in Margaretville, New York; and the Hunting Tavern in Andes, New York, where she had a two-person show, On a Dark Ground, with the late Catskills artist John Hopkins.

Helane Levine-Keating’s “Recent Work” includes new photographs taken during September and March visits to Martha’s Vineyard as well as images taken in Delaware County. As in her earlier work, Levine-Keating continues to blur the lines between representation and abstraction, between photography and watercolor. One group of new color images conveys “the everchanging and ethereal nature of the sea” while another evokes “the mystery of nature’s thresholds.” As Levine-Keating notes, “I’ve also recently become more interested in including an occasional human being or sense of human presence in this work than in the past, be it someone contemplating the sea or someone’s window filled with dawn light, and I continue to be drawn to conveying landscapes and seascapes in black and white.” According to the artist, “I’m always challenged by translating what I see behind my camera’s lens into an image that evokes and invites a viewer into nature’s textures, tones, and shapes, which also means printing on different types of archival paper to achieve the desired effect, especially when some of the images may be black and white while some are in color.” For the first time Levine-Keating has included several three-dimensional “paper accordions” of linked images in this new exhibition.

Helane Levine-Keating has exhibited widely in solo and group shows. Since 1983 she has taught Comparative Literature and Creative Writing at Pace University New York, and her recent poetry chapbook, Lunar Eclipse, was published by Finishing Line Press this past January.

Longyear Gallery is located Downstairs in The Commons, 785 Main Street, Margaretville. Gallery hours are Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays 11:00 – 4:00 p.m., Saturdays 10:00 -5:00 p.m. and by appointment. For information, please see Longyear’s website,, or call 845.586.3270 during gallery hours.

5 days ago · by · 0 comments

MCS Wellness Fair Planned May 18

Margaretville — The Annual Wellness Fair at Margaretville Central School will be held on Friday, May 18 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. where students will be presented with demonstrations dealing with various aspects of wellbeing.

The event which is also open to the community will have plenty of organizations on hand to discuss wellness from not only a physical and mental perspective, but also from the view of social wellbeing. The Delaware County Drug and Alcohol Council will be on hand to teach students about the effects of alcohol. The state police will also be in attendance working with the local SADD chapter. Other activities include a bounce house provided by Belleayre Mountain, as well as spin demonstrations led by the Catskill Recreation Center. Summer camp information will be provided by Frost Valley YMCA and the Saratoga Tree Nursery will be providing information on trees and seedling which they will be giving away.

Perhaps the highlight of the event will be the demonstrations and informational tables put together by the MCS students themselves. The cheerleading and gymnastic squads will be in attendance to show off the hard work they have put throughout the year.

The Wellness Fair will be fol- lowed by the Annual MCS John Riedl Wellness Walk/Run at 1:30 p.m. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth will run from the front of the school up to the traffic light on Main Street and back, while high school students will do a 3K loop around town.

“The community really loves seeing the kids coming through town,” said Tracy Reither, one of the co-organizers of the event, adding that community members are welcome to cheer on participants. “If they finish it, whether they walk it or run it, they’ve accomplished a goal.”

The day will also include: homemade salsa by Mrs. Rose’s 2nd-grade class, how to make fruit-infused water, Mrs. Reither’s Health classes, the physical education department will host some fun games, MCS Science Research class and Science Club will demonstrate some exciting science experiments as well as the FCCLA class, CROP and much more.

5 days ago · by · 0 comments

Fighting Hunger Friday Event May 25

Margaretville — The Community Food Pantry (CFP) is expected to get a big boost Memorial Day Weekend when Peggy Bellar and Meade Camp of the Catskill Dream Team put their fourth annual Fighting Hunger Friday program into overdrive.

The pair has already launched this year’s campaign with social media posts, a website and early donation requests. But the main event is scheduled to begin in earnest on Friday, May 25 when the annual “paper bag” push begins in local restaurants, shops and food related businesses.

Record number of sites

More sites than ever are involved this year with nearly 40 different spots to donate as nearly every local restaurant places lunch bags on the tables, inviting diners who are enjoying meals “out on the town” to donate cash to those who don’t eat so well. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to the food pantry. Retail shops are also getting on board this year opening more outlets for giving.

Poverty and hunger are no strangers to Delaware County and as federal cutbacks in food programs are implemented, the need for food distribution in the county could reach crisis proportion. In just the last seven years, the food pantry has grown to serve 530 households. While the community continues to be generous year ‘round in donating boxed and canned non-perishables, the CFP must also have cash reserves to cover rent and other expenses, and to supplement the food deliveries with produce, milk and meat when those are in short supply.

The increased need and the success of Fighting Hunger Friday have led to some changes in the 2018 effort, not the least of which is the weekend when it occurs. Recognizing that there are many more people in the region and out in the community on a holiday weekend, Bellar and Camp changed the date of the annual event from Mid-May to the holiday weekend. As was true last year, the event will span both Friday and Saturday for the in-person donations in the FHF bags.

Big fund-raiser

As in earlier years, the Catskill Mountain News has agreed to join Bellar and Camp in the fourth year of Fighting Hunger Friday (Saturday and Everyday)! The grass-roots fundraiser that benefits The Community Pantry has raised more than $11,000 for this incredibly important organization. Other original sponsors Agri- Foraging Food Safety, Inc. and Mod Media are also back this year, for the organization that is completely run by volunteers,

To celebrate year four, sponsors are reaching out to ask community members to consider opening hearts and wallets and give a little more. As Bellar puts it, “Give “4” your community! Give “4” your neighbors and friends! Give “4” a child in need!”

5 days ago · by · 0 comments

Traditional Square Dance May 20

Halcott Center — The Catskills Folk Connection will host its first square dance for the 2018 season on Sunday, May 20, from 2 -5 pm at the Halcott Grange. The Grange has been a traditional venue for square dances for nearly a century and continues to host many types of community gatherings. Its rural location is in Halcott Center, a beautiful agricultural valley north of the Village of Fleischmanns on Route 3.

John Jacobson and the Tremperskill Boys will offer music, dance calls and instruction in the tradition of the late legendary fiddler and caller, Hilt Kelly. Beginners are welcome and all dances will be taught. At the same time, for those who remember Hilt, his familiar calls will bring pleasure to the dance.

Join us for an afternoon of family fun! Admission for adults is $7; children 12 and under are free. Refreshments will be available. The CD “Tunes I Learned From My Dad” recorded by Hilt and Stella Kelly, will be available for sale. For more information contact Ginny Scheer, 607- 326-4206 or or visit CFC’s blog

Catskills Folk Connection’s mission is to preserve and celebrate the folkways of the Catskills. The organization will continue to offer monthly square dances through the fall in different parts of the Catskills, ending with the annual Fiddlers! event at Roxbury Arts Group in October. This summer Catskills Folk Connection will host a booth featuring Catskills foodways from farm and forest at the Meridale Dairy Fest in June and again at the Cauliflower Festival in Margaretville in September. Autumn will see the opening of CFC’s exhibit “Folk Art in Stone” to be shown at the Delaware County Historical Association in Delhi, followed by the Catskills Folk Lyceum with two presentations, one on bluestone quarrying in the Catskills and the other exploring the on-line archive created by two groups in Walton about the life and music of the late Grant Rogers, who was known as the ballad singer of the Catskills. Finally, in December Catskills Folk Connection will be documenting the Christmas Parade of Lights in Downsville, a unique community celebration.

2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Dems to honor Dave Truscott

Delhi – Delhi resident Dave Truscott will be honored as the Francis P. Kipp “Man of the Year” awardee at this year’s Delaware County Democratic Committee (DCDC) dinner. The dinner will be held at SUNY Delhi Alumni Hall Hospitality Center on Thursday, May 24th at 5 p.m.

This year’s speakers will include several of the Democratic candidates running for the NY House of Representatives District 19. The keynote will be delivered by Joyce St. George of New Kingston who is running for NY State Senate District 51. St. George is the first woman from Delaware County to run for state office. The DCDC will also recognize past Chair and State Committee member Tom Schimmerling for his many years of service and contributions to the committee and to many Democratic causes.

Oneonta native

Born and raised in Oneonta, Truscott and his wife Nancy moved to Delhi in 1969, when both got jobs teaching math; he at SUNY Delhi, she at Delaware Academy. Truscott never anticipated becoming politically involved —- “never in my wildest imagination” —- but in the 1970s, Delaware County purchased the Youmans House on Main Street in Delhi, with the intention of tearing it down to build what is now the county office building.

“I was an admirer of old things, old buildings, and so I stood my foot firmly in the door and got my thousand dollars down as a retainer for a Binghamton law firm,” he said. Dave and a core group of supporters fought the county for about five years. Though they lost that battle, Dave learned: “I really could fight city hall.”

He went on to run city hall, serving as Delhi’s mayor from 2005-2011. The project he’s most proud of spearheading was establishing the Delhi Joint Fire District that now serves the entire town of Delhi, half of Hamden, and part of Meredith. Previously, these areas were covered by a patchwork of fire services sponsored by the village and rural fire districts.

Conservation pricing

Truscott also masterminded the idea of conservation pricing of village water. New York City regulations limit the amount that the sewer treatment plant can discharge, so Dave conceived a plan to limit the village’s water use, so less goes down the drain to the sewer plant. Large water users, such as the college and the hospital, pay more per gallon than small, residential users, like a graduated income tax.

Additionally, Truscott wrote the grant application that netted the village $714,000 to build sidewalks. These included the sidewalks connecting the senior apartments on Main Street to the Price Chopper plaza, the sidewalk along Route 10 out to Hamilton Trailer Park, and the sidewalk up Prospect Street hill. The activist joined the Delhi Democratic Committee 10 years ago, and has served as the Delaware County Democratic Committee treasurer for six years.

Keynote Speaker Joyce St. George earned her bachelor’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a master’s degree from NYU. In the 1970s she became the first female investigator to serve in the New York State Attorney General’s Special Prosecutor’s Office on Anti-Corruption. During her career in law enforcement in New York City, she fought corruption and trained others in crisis and conflict management.

St. George later founded an international training company, PACT Training, that taught workshops on crisis and conflict management to police agencies like the NYC Police Department, government agencies like the NYS Department of Corrections, and several private corporations.

St. George moved to the Catskill region of upstate New York where she has lived for the last 30 years with her husband Frank in New Kingston. She has served as chair of the board of Margaretville Hospital and as a trustee on the board of Health Alliance Hospital.

Works as an activist

St. George now works as an activist to fight corruption and help the poor and disenfranchised with a variety of local community programs, including The Community Pantry, a food pantry in the town of Middletown that serves about 500 local families. She is a court mediator for Delaware-Otsego Counties, and coordinates a multi-agency coalition to address addiction and substance abuse in the towns of Middletown, Andes and Roxbury.

There will be a pre-dinner reception period starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are by presale only, available from committee members until May 16th. Interested parties should contact their town committee chair or visit the county committee website at Seating is limited.

3 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Chamber members visit trains

Arkville — The Delaware & Ulster Railride will once again host the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce monthly First Friday eat & meet breakfast on Friday, May 4 in Arkville. The event provides opportunities to make new business connections, brush-up existing contacts, meet new and old friends, and keep current on what’s happening in the region.

All aboard the Delaware & Ulster Railroad in Arkville to be transported on a journey back to the sophisticated atmosphere of the early days of railroading where the best of the fleet of DURR, the Rip Van Winkle Flyer, harkens visitors to a period when life’s pace was more measured and good conversation was cherished entertainment

DURR General Manager Wes Coates will talk about the role the railroad continues to have in our local economy and plans for 2018. Weather permitting, there will be a short train ride.

Due to space considerations, the number of reservations is limited to 40 people. The breakfast is sponsored by the Get Out Delaware County 2018 program. The Get Out Delaware County program is a competition open to local chambers of commerce and business groups during the month of May. Groups will post images of residents using recreational facilities in their communities -depicting any outdoor location and participating in any active or passive recreation – on social media using the hashtag #getoutdelco. One point will be awarded to the respective chamber of commerce for each image posted to social media using the hashtag. Points will be tallied in June and the winner will receive a free half-page ad in the 2019 Delaware County travel guide.

In other Chamber of Commerce news, the group is seeking employers interested in a May 17 Job Fair in Margaretville.

TheChamber, in collaboration with the Business Association of Margaretville, is hosting a job fair at Margaretville Telephone Company’s new company headquarters located at 61 Academy Street in Margaretville on Thursday, May 17 from 4 – 7 p.m. Employers will be connected to a viable workforce consisting of recent high school and college graduates as well as adults who are eager to obtain employment. There will be opportunities for employers to present information about their companies and job openings, to interview applicants, accept resumes, and offer advice about how to prepare for employment.

Event promotion will be targeted to recent college and high school graduates, as well as job-seeking adults.

A table with two chairs will be provided. For more information about the Job Fair and for exhibitor registration visit

3 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Open Eye Plans Summer Classes

Margaretville – The Open Eye Theater announces the opening of registration for Summer 2018 classes and workshops. Three popular workshops for children and adults return and one new class, “Lights up on Plays,” has been added.

“Artful Ages Acting” for ages 55 and up begins on Thursday, May 17. In five Thursday evenings from 6:00 – 8:30, participants will read, explore, rehearse, and stage scenes and monologues from Broadway and off- Broadway hits and world classics, and practice the craft of improvisation. Instructor is Open Eye producing artistic director Amie Brockway. The fee is $85 (or pay what you can).

“Teens on Stage,” for ages 10-14, meets four Saturday afternoons in June, from 2:00-5:00, beginning June 9. Playwright, director, and teaching artist Sharone Stacy guides students through the writing of their own original plays, and staging them for an invited audience. The fee is $75 (or pay what you can).

“Lights up on Plays” is new this year. Adults and older teens may register for this class which meets on the first Tuesday evening of each month from June 5 to November 6, from 6-9 pm. Producing artistic director Amie Brockway leads the class through table readings and discussions of six award-winning contemporary plays. Scripts are provided. Fee is $110 (or pay what you can).

“Summer Youth Theater Workshop,” a one-week camp for ages 7-11, meets from Monday, July 23-Friday, July 27, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. Students participate in a story theater exploration and staging of Bear Tales—old and new— led by Open Eye Arts Education teaching artist Jill Olesker. The experience includes creating live sound effects, as for a radio play. All classes and workshops meet at The Open Eye Theater, 960 Main Street, Margaretville. For further information, or to request fees and registration forms, e-mail openeye@catskill.neton these programs.

4 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

New shows set at Longyear

Margaretville – Upcoming Longyear Gallery shows include a two solo exhibitions featuring the works of Helane Levine-Keating and of Jennifer Jefferson from May 18th to June 11th, with the Artist’s Reception on Saturday, May 19th from 3-6 p.m.; and two solo exhibitions featuring the work of Robert Axelrod and David Leveson from June 15th to July 9th with the Artist’s Reception on Saturday, June 16th from 3-6 p.m.

David Leveson’s solo exhibition of fine art photography will also serve as a tribute to the beloved photographer, founding Longyear member, and late Longyear Gallery director who passed away on March 15th after a short illness.

“Something Fishy and Other Currents” will be open Friday, April 20 through Monday, May 14. Longyear Gallery is located Downstairs at the Commons, 758 Main Street, Margaretville. Gallery hours for “Something Fishy and Other Currents” are Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and by appointment. For information, please call 845.586.3270 during gallery hours or Gerda van Leeuwen at 607.326.4402 for appointments.

1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Catskill Conquest traces 1903 Auto Run

Mt. Tremper — The second annual Catskill Conquest Pilot Rally, which retraces th 1903 Automobile Endurance Run is set for September 22.

All vintages are welcome! If you love your car come and drive it on this route.

Follow the historic 1903 route over the Catskill Mountains to the Susquehanna River along a 75 mile course with six hosts/checkpoints, festivals and attractions. We travel from the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper to Unadilla, following one of the most beautiful drives in New York State. The start will be at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center, 5069 State 28 Mt. Tremper.

The route follows the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway along the historic Ulster and Delaware Turnpike and then finishes along the Catskill and Susquehanna Turnpike.

The road crests four hills over 2000 feet elevation along the way. Your car should have good brakes and good power to run the Catskill Conquest.

For info, visit:, e-mail: or call 845.657.6982.

1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Magda Biernat show at Roxbury

Roxbury – “Adrift,” a solo exhibition of the works of photographer Magda Biernat, opens in the Walt Meade Gallery of the Roxbury Arts Center on Saturday, April 21 and will run through May 26.

“Adrift” is a project that uses a visual language as a means of polar comparison,” says Magda Biernat of her project and upcoming exhibit. “By pairing photographs of Antarctic icebergs and empty Iñupiat Eskimo hunting cabins, it offers a restrained commentary on the parallel effects of global climate change at opposite ends of the Earth. Average temperatures in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are rising twice as fast as they are elsewhere in the world. The rising temperatures are causing more icebergs to break off from glacial floes; polar ice is getting thinner, melting and rupturing. Near the opposite pole in the Arctic, the melting of once permanent ice is already affecting native flora, fauna and the frozen ground on which they live. Global warming is threatening the cultural identity of native people. The hunting cabins of the Iñupiat are mirrors of the lone ice mountains in the south, singular polar structures under pressure by a changing ecosystem. Silent and static witnesses to change.”

“Biernat’s work marries art with social concerns in a way that can truly touch the viewer,” says Annie Schwed, Gallery Coordinator of the Roxbury Arts Group. “Sharing this exhibit with the public gives us the opportunity to highlight this fantastic photographer as well as the issue of climate change.”

Magda Biernat, a native of Poland currently based in NYC, is a contemporary art photographer specializing in architecture and interiors and is the former photo editor of Metropolis Magazine. She received her MFA in New Media from Transart Institute in Berlin and New York. Her photographs have been published in, among others, the New Yorker, the New York Times, National Geographic, Interior Design, Wallpaper, Metropolis, Dwell and Afar.

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with exhibitions in Poland, Belgium, France, Canada, The Philippines, Taiwan and the United States. She is a recipient of awards such as the Center 2016 Director’s Choice Award, LensCulture 2015 Emerging Talents Award, TMC/Kodak Grant, Lucie Foundation Awards and Magenta Foundation Flash Forward. Her work is represented by Robert Klein Gallery in Boston and Clic Gallery in New York City. “Adrift” will be hanging through May 26 and will close with an Artist Talk at 2 p.m. For more information, visit or call 607.326.7908.

1 month ago · by · 0 comments

HSM announces 2018 programs

Margaretville — The Historical Society of Middletown has a busy schedule of talks, tours and special activities planned for 2018.

The season will start with a friendly battle of wits when HSM sponsors its first Trivia Challenge Saturday, May 5 at 7 p.m. at its hall, 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville. Teams of two and four will compete for awards. Door prizes and libations will be offered. Register your team ($25 per person) at 845-586-4689.

The Second Annual Underground History weekend for metal detectors will be held June 2-3. This ‘relic hunt’ will happen at select sites throughout Middletown. To participate (there is a fee) contact

On Saturday, June 9, a free, illustrated talk, “Trees, Skis and the Triple Cs,” will discuss the lasting contributions made by the New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps camps in the Catskills. The talk, by Diane Galusha, begins at 10 a.m. at the HSM hall, and will be followed by a walk through a local CCC plantation.

The 6th Living History Cemetery Tour will be held at Halcottsville Cemetery Saturday, July 7. One of HSM’s most anticipated events, the tour introduces visitors to former community residents who share their stories of life, love and loss. Reserve a tour time at 845.586.4736.

Celebrated photographer Art Kane will be the subject of a free, illustrated talk, “Marking Time,” by his son, Jonathan Kane, on Saturday, July 21, at 7 p.m. Kane, who lived in Margaretville in the 1960s and ’70s, was noted for his fashion, celebrity and editorial photographs and was considered among the most influential visual artists of the 20th century.

Autumn events include a Family History Afternoon Sept. 8 at the Margaretville Cauliflower Festival Sept. 22, the Annual Meeting and Luncheon Oct. 20 and, on Nov. 3, an observance of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. “Middletown in the Great War” will feature a slide show with photos of many local veterans, and readings of soldier letters, by members of Open Eye Theater. This program will take place at Middletown American Legion Hall 216.

For more information on these programs, and to become a member, visit, or email

1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Historian to showcase Wyer photos

Bovina – “The Photographs of Bob Wyer: Bovina People and Places” will be the topic of Ray LaFever’s fourth annual Bovina Historian’s program at the Bovina Community Hall on April 28 at 7:00 p.m.

During a 40-year career, Wyer took more than 150,000 images of people, places and events in and around Delhi. He was well known for producing most of the post cards sold in the region for decades. The focus of this program will be on photographs he took in Bovina, including aerials of some Bovina farms in 1946, as well as wedding, family group and passport and chauffeur license pictures of people from Bovina.

A free will donation to benefit the Bovina Historical Society will be collected at the door. For more information on this program, contact Ray LaFever at 607-832-4609 or at

3 months ago · by · 0 comments

New W. Kortright Director

East Meredith – Amy Helfand will take the reins of the West Kortright Centre this month according to an announcement from the nonprofit arts and community center in East Meredith. Helfand comes to the WKC from Brooklyn, with a background in studio art, performing arts administration, and community building. In 2012, she founded the House of Love house concert series in Red Hook, and has nurtured it into a thriving venue for local, national, and international musicians.

Helfand was also deeply involved with Miles of Music Camp, serving on its Advisory Board and managing a weekend camp in Brooklyn. Her own art practice has evolved into a decade-long collaboration with weavers in Nepal, who translate her designs into handmade rugs. Amy has a BA in American Studies from Hampshire College and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Helfand will replace retiring director Martha Van Burek who over the past 35 years, has developed The West Kortright Centre into a model of high quality programming and institutional stability. She will be retiring after booking the 2018 performance season.

3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Outdoor Expo May 5 in Walton

Walton — Complimenting a vast array of outdoor enthusiast and sportsmen-focused vendors at the Walton Chamber of Commerce, the inaugural All-Seasons Sportsmen’s Expo to be held on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Walton, there will be a full day of free demonstrations, workshops, educational seminars and hands-on learning opportunities. Those include:

• FREE Fishing for All. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is sponsoring a FREE day of fishing on the West Branch of the Delaware River at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. License requirements are waived and DEC staff will be on hand, with fishing tackle, to teach anglers of all ages how to fish.

• Creepy Crawlers, Stealthy Slitherers and Rascally Reptiles. SUNY Cobleskill Fisheries and Wildlife staff will have native reptiles and aquatic insects on display and talk about their habits and habitats as predator and prey and what their presence means to ecological health and balance.

• Casting 101. NYS Licensed Adventure Guide Brian Foster of Reel Catskills will give introductory hands-on fly fishing casting lessons throughout the day.

• All Tyed Up. NYS Licensed Adventure Guide Jeff Foster of Reel Catskills will give hands-on fly-tying demonstrations. Jeff will also discuss typical hatches on the Upper West Branch of the Delaware River and its tributaries.

Climate change effects

• Vital Signs: Climate Change and Global Warming. Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District staff will discuss cyclical climate change, trends in global warming, what that means to the health and balance of the ecosystem and how it effects outdoor enthusiasts and sportsmen.

• Spanning a Lifetime. Industry experts will be on hand to talk about the lifespan of a deer and how to determine a deer’s age and health.

• Dirty Rock and Roll. Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District staff will discuss weather event impacts, restoration projects and why dredging streams is no longer preferred as a means of flood prevention. Stream health and connectivity will be discussed using the West Branch of the Delaware River and its tributaries as examples.

Wild critters

• Catskill Critters: Foxes and Squirrels and Bears, Oh My! Walton resident and local author Leslie Sharpe will host a book signing, reading and discussion of The Quarry Fox and other critters of the Wild Catskills, published in 2017, based upon her observations from her secluded, hilltop homestead.

• KidFit – Wild, Whimsical, Wondering and Wandering. NYS Licensed Adventure Guide Lillian Browne of Catskills Unleashed will lead kids of all ages on an introductory nature hike where they will learn plant and tree identification and learn how to use their imaginations to immerse themselves in and connect with nature.

• Chasing Rainbows. Heralding from the Lake Ontario region, expert angler John Giovenco will provide a glimpse into the exciting and challenging world of steelhead trout and salmon fishing. Necessary tackle and equipment will be on display.

Admission is $5 for adults and anyone under aged 17 is admitted free. Vendor space available. Raffles and door prizes. For more information, sponsorship opportunities or to reserve vendor space visit All-Seasons Sportsmens Expo on Facebook, email or call 607.761.2670.

3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Events Calendar

Wednesday, May 16

Bag Ali will present its Fabulous Spring Collection of Handbags and Accessories in the Margaretville Hospital lobby on Wednesday May 16 from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Bag Ali Collection includes the hottest handbag styles. Sponsored by the Auxiliary of Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center. Information: 845.586.4028

Thursday, May 17

Margaretville Telephone company hosts a Job and Resource Fair from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at it’s community space on 61 Academy St. in Margaretville. The event is co-sponsored by the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, the Business Association of Margaretville, and the Greater Roxbury Business Association. Employers present will be prepared to meet job applicants of all ages.

Friday, May 18

“Moon Over Buffalo” shows at the Phoenicia Playhouse Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. through May 20. Tickets are available at the box-office at 845.688.2279. More information is at the website

Saturday, May 19

Middletown Republicans will honor former Assemblyman Pete Lopez at their 6th Annual Dinner starting at 6:00 p.m. at the American Legion Hall on Main St., in Margaretville. Other guests expected include Congressman John Faso, State Senator Jim Seward, Chris Tague and County Chair Maria Kelso. County level elected officials will also attend the dinner, prepared by Mary’s Cookin’ Again. Tickets are available by contacting Eleanor Mager at 845.586.4745.

Sunday, May 20

Catskill Folk Connection presents Old-Time Square Dance featuring John Jacobson and the Tremperskill Boys from 2pm-5pm at the Halcott Grange located at 246 Route 3, Halcott Center. Beginners welcome – All dances will be taught. Refreshments available. For more info contact or call 607.326.4206.

Wednesday, May 23

DCMO BOCES Harrold Campus in Masonville hosts a job and resource fair from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Employers will be connected to a viable workforce eager to obtain employment. Employers should be prepared to interview applicants, accept resumes, and offer advice. Lunch is provided.’ Registration is required. To register and reserve a table visit or call 607.746.2281 for details.

4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Literary journal to make debut

Fleischmanns — A new literary journal, the brainchild of Shandaken native Paula Dutcher and Fleischmanns resident Dr. Bill Birns will be published late spring 2018.

The publication will feature various styles of poetry, prose, creative non-fiction, and even some digitally-formatted art, created by those who call these mountains home, or, perhaps wish they did. Theme of the premiere issue is “Home.”

“This area is deep and diverse and challenging, and so magical that Dr. Birns and I want to use our combined literary passions to help collect and deliver the myriad voices of the Catskills spiritual children,” says the journal’s editor,

Paula Dutcher, a Summa Cum Laude English-major graduate of SUNY New Paltz, now running her own, woman-owned, contracting and remodeling business.

Birns, the journal’s Publisher, is a retired Margaretville Central and Onteora High School English teacher, a local author and regional historian, who has lived in the mountains since 1971.

“Nobody knows the mountains like the people who are making our lives here,” Birns said. “The power of telling one’s story has gained nationwide attention lately. Paula and I hope that Mountain Arts Reviewoffers an opportunity and a spur for mountain folks to express stories in our own voices.”

If one has the desire to express through writing (or even art) and feels a connection to this geographic region send submissions to the email address listed below.

Mountain Arts Review, a brand new Catskill-centered literary journal, seeks submissions of poetry and short prose from locals and others who care about the Catskills and mountain life.

Please send submissions by February 1 to

4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Creative Nonfiction classes planned by WIM

Pine Hill — Writers in the Mountains (WIM) has announced its spring Creative Nonfiction workshop with Anique Taylor, February 1 to May 3. The class will be held Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pine Hill Community Center, Main Street, Pine Hill.

In a college-like semester packed with excitement and growth, this extended class will offer writers possibilities for deepening their craft, group support and continuing work on long projects. With a preference for exploring memory, risk, danger, dreams, different versions of reality and deeper connection with self, the class will explore personal essay, memoir, journal work, writing for ourselves and for publication.

Class exercises will familiarize students with techniques of poetry, fiction, playwriting to provide tools to hone their work.

The topics

Classes will include freewriting, exploratory exercises, supportive feedback on students’ writing, along with discussions on short works by famous authors (nonfiction essays, stories and memoir, along with essays on craft and the writer’s life). Between classes, reading and work suggestions will be offered for those interested.

All welcome, students with long projects, short projects or those who want to take it week by week. All levels welcome.

Anique Taylor has co-authored works for HBO, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The World (St. Mark’s Poetry Project), Rattle, Common Ground Review, Adanna, Earth’s Daughters, Stillwater Review, and e-Bibliotekos’ Pain and Memory. She’s given featured NYC readings at St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Dixon Place, the Speakeasy, Cedar Tavern. Her chapbook Poems is published by Unimproved Editions Inc. Her chapbook Where Space Bends was chosen Finalist for both Minerva Rising and Blue Light Press’ 2014 Poetry Chapbook Competitions and Under the Ice Moon was Finalist in Blue Light Press’ 2015 Competition. She holds a Poetry MFA from Drew University, a Drawing MFA from Pratt Institute and a Diplome in French Literature from the Sorbonne. She has taught Creative Writing for Benedictine’s Oncology Support Program, Bard LLI, Artworks and Phoenicia Poetry Workshop.

To register, call Jean Stone at 607.326.4802, or e-mail her at To register online, visit

5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Bowling alley owner rolls with major changes

By Brian Sweeney
Reprinted from Catskill Mountain News

The former Margaretville Bowl has a new owner and is undergoing an extensive transformation that will keep the retro 1960s feel of the building while adding a modern spin and amenities.

Somerville, MA native Paul W. Collyer closed on the purchase in late October and has been working steadily to transform the building constructed in 1960 as a bowling center into a multi-faceted event space — complete with a restaurant and bar, live music, movies and, of course, bowling.

Extensive work has already been undertaken, including installation of new drainage, addition of an 800-square-foot storage area and clearing of landscaping plantings in preparation of adding decks on the front and one side of the building.

Paul, assisted by an array of area contractors, has been working steadily to transform the bowling alley into a space that will be attractive to visitors on multiple levels.

New name

Renamed The Ark Bowl and BBQ (the property is technically part of Arkville), Paul’s vision includes installation of expanded kitchen and bar area, adding windows, new entryways, dining/entertainment decks, creating a small space for live music, recreating the indoor spaces for bowlers and installing all new synthetic lanes.

It’s a large-scale project, but Paul feels the changes he’s implementing are necessary to create a facility that offers a variety of reasons to visit. Most of the changes have been on the exterior so far and Paul has been able to keep the alleys open for his league bowlers, but the business won’t be open to the general public until June or July when he expects the renovations to be complete.

Having spent more than three decades promoting music and other types of events in Massachusetts, Paul said he was ready for a change and last year began exploring business opportunities. He’s been coming to the Catskills on a regular basis for about 15 years and noted that his love of the region was actually kindled during childhood after reading the classic tale My Side of the Mountain.

“Last spring, as I started to seriously consider a ‘semi-retirement’ career, I sent out notes to brokers in the Catskills to see what kind of commercial properties were available,” Paul recalled.

Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties agent Esther de Jong was one of the respondents and provided him with information about her listing for the Margaretville Bowl, which had been owned for about 25 years by Michael Finberg.

Checking the choices

Intrigued by this prospect, Paul traveled here to check out the property and then began extensive research into the bowling business — a sport he had never tried. In a bit of irony, Paul found that the popularity of bowling had been in decline for decades and numerous establishments had gone out of business.

On the other hand, he discovered that many bowling center were enjoying resurgence thanks to makeovers that incorporated more entertainment offerings into the facilities. That model made sense to Paul and it’s the vision he’s pursuing for what he feels will be a good fit for the economic turnaround happening in the Catskills during the past few years.

“Bowling alleys are actually coming back with added flair, live music, refreshments and good food,” Paul commented. That’s the balance he’s looking to strike with his new venture.

Paul explained that there will be separate entrances for bowlers and patrons who are simply coming in for drinks or a meal. Naturally, customers will be welcome to participate in all the offerings, if they wish.

He added, “More people now go to bowling alleys for the social aspects – to enjoy a meal or a drink, even if they may not want to bowl.”

To ensure there a multitude of appeal, Paul is a planning a 10- foot-by 56-foot deck and awning across the front and an outdoor café off the western side of the building. As the name implies, BBQ will be a staple offering in the food department and he’s also planning many other menu choices with an eye on simple, quality meals. The new addition that’s in place will also include space for a smoker preparation of BBQ products. Paul has cooking experience, but says he’s planning to hire a chef among the 10-15 workers he’ll need when fully staffed.

60-year history

He is also planning a number of cosmetic changes to the building, including a new paint scheme and lighting to reinforce the retro appeal of the building that traces its origins back nearly 60 years when it was started by Bob and Betty Veit as Evergreen Lanes.

In addition to long days spent working on renovations to the business, Paul is in the process of purchasing a home in the area. The two projects leave the new bowling proprietor with little “spare” time. That’s OK with Paul as he puts down real life roots in the place he’s been fascinated with since reading about a fictional escape to the Catskills.

5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Gondola up & running at Belleayre

By Victoria Levy
Reprinted from Catskill Mountain News

The long awaited Catskill Thunder Gondola opened last weekend, just in time for the holiday season. The gondola took it’s maiden voyage on Saturday December 30, 2017 at 9:37 a.m.

The gondola is a major asset for Highmount and surrounding towns as it boosts tourism, creates jobs, and gives locals and tourists an incredible experience of viewing all the beauty and nature that Belleayre offers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been committed to growing New York’s tourism industry in the Catskill region since taking office. Last year, Cuomo joined by Robert De Niro, hosted the first-ever Catskill Summer Challenge to focus on attractions and activities in the Catskills with hopes of driving tourism and boosting the area’s economy.

Cuomo calls Belleayre Mountain one of New York’s “crown jewels.” He said “The opening of this gondola is an investment which will not only boost the region’s growing tourism economy, but it will also allow New Yorkers to experience some of the best views and attractions in the world year-round.”

The Catskill Thunder Gondola opened just nine months after Cuomo added it to the 2017-2018 budget.

New experience

The Catskill Thunder Gondola begins from the lower mountain’s Discovery Lodge to the summit next to Tomahawk in seven minutes. The gondola holds up to eight people per cabin and can accompany up to 2,000 people per hour at a maximum speed of 1,000 feet per minute.

The gondola required 16 lift towers to be installed to enable transportation from the resort’s base to the mountain’s summit covering, 6,272 feet horizontally and 1,354 feet vertically.

In addition to the gondola install, the resort’s entire electrical service was modernized and expanded. A new trail was cut and a skier bridge was installed to connect the west side of the mountain and the lower base Discovery Lodge. Many locals are thrilled to have upgrades to the mountain. As the coldest of temperatures have hit the region in recent weeks, the gondola gives skiers a break from the cold wind while enjoying the sights.

Tourism employs many

Tim Maxwell, general manager of Belleayre Ski Resort, said “This had been an all hands on deck project. It’s exciting to see all of this hard work come together today. We’ve taken a tremendous amount of pride in this project and this will be a tremendous asset to not only Belleayre but to the entire Catskill region.

In 2015 the total economic impact of tourist industry in the region reached $1.83 billion. This is an increase of more then 13 percent since 2010. Tourism represents more then 15 percent of the region’s employment creating over 17,000 jobs. Making it through the winter months is vital to many businesses in the area and locals are thrilled at the expansion and traffic coming into our area.

Belleayre has made history throughout its long run. It holds a prominent place in the history of New York, as it was the first lift-assisted ski resort in the Catskills, a Roebling single chair installed in 1949. Major expansions were made in the 1960s and 1970s and eventually Life 6, a Hall double chair replaced the Roebling. The 1980s saw some expansion with lifts 1 & 2 receiving side-by-side double chairs to service lower mountain beginner terrain.

ORDA operation

In recent years Belleayre is run by the Olympic Regional Development Association (ORDA), which also operates Gore and Whiteface Mountain Ski Resorts.

Belleayre offers 55 trails (including moguls) and eight lifts open to skiers and snowboarders. With the recent renovations and innovations like the gondola, electrical modernization, new trails, and the skier bridge connecting the west side and lower base of the mountain, Belleayre continues to be one of the most innovative and loved mountains of New York State.

1 year ago · by · Comments Off on Village Spruce Up

Village Spruce Up

HEAVY LIFTING — Matt Sluiter, above, hauls brush away as part of volunteer cleanup in the Village of Margaretville on April 23. Sluiter Agency, Inc. was well represented in the project, with Peter Sluiter, below, also lending helping hands with some raking duties to spruce up the village. — Photos courtesy of Diane Galusha

Sluiter Agency, Inc.

P.O. Box 170, 761 Main Street
Margaretville, NY 12455-0170

(845) 586-2641

Fax: 845 586-3809