News

City wants ban on gas drilling

By Matthew J. Perry
After months of silence, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) made an opening demand last week for harsh restrictions on natural gas drilling in the city’s vast watershed. The agency is also seeking a central role in the review of leases near its holdings, and has called for public hearings to be held for every proposed drilling site.
DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd circulated a letter to state officials that spoke to grave concerns about the environmental impacts of gas drilling and the threat it poses to the water that fills upstate reservoirs.


Phoenicia Hotel site cleanup put on hold by state officials

By Jay Braman Jr.
The mountain of rubble that was once the historic Phoenicia Hotel will remain the most prominent feature on the Phoenicia Business district, at least for now, but at least it’s not an asbestos hazard. That’s the latest word from town officials and the property owner who responded to complaints that the unsightly debris has been sitting for too long.


Riverkeeper echoes call for drilling ban

Environmental watchdog group Riverkeeper called on Governor Paterson on Friday to designate the New York City Watershed permanently “off-limits” for natural gas drilling. 
“Riverkeeper agrees with the state’s decision to update its outdated environmental review for gas drilling in New York’s portion of the vast Marcellus Shale formation. The state must take the logical next step and enact a ban on gas drilling in the NYC Watershed,” said Phillip Musegaas, Riverkeeper Policy Director.


Shandaken seeks status as Greenway Community

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Shandaken Town Council voted to become a Greenway Community at this month’s board meeting. The vote was unanimous in favor although Councilman Vince Bernstein was absent.
There was little discussion about the measure among board members, but some in the audience needed reassurance that property rights would not be stepped on.


Work by countless volunteers made 40th a success

Rain didn’t put a damper on the 40th anniversary Antique, Craft & Flea Market sponsored by the Auxiliary of Margaretville Memorial Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center.
Despite the intermittent showers, Auxiliary President Sue Adams said this was another banner year with many vendors participating and a steady flow of patrons coming through the gates, particularly after the skies cleared.


Business funding available from county

The Delaware County Department of Economic Development announced Friday that it will begin accepting applications from local businesses and entrepreneurs for funding through the Micro Enterprise Start-up and Expansion grant program. Through the start-up and expansion grant, new or expanding micro enterprise businesses are eligible to apply for a working capital grant of up to a maximum of $5,000.


Open Eye gearing up for "Summertree"

For its second summer production, The Open Eye Theater presents the play “Summertree” by Ron Cowen, which opens on August 21 and runs through August 31. Although the play was written in 1967, the underlying story is still relevant today. Director David Turan says the universal messages in the play are timeless. The play won immediate acclaim for the playwright, who like the main character, was in his twenties when he wrote the play.


"Two Jazz Diamonds" celebrated at Catskill Mountain Jazz Series

The Belleayre Music Festival celebrates “Two Jazz Diamonds,” a 75th birthday celebration for David “Fathead” Newman and Curtis Fuller, with Cedar Walton, Rufus Reid, Jimmy Cobb and special guests will be held Saturday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. in Highmount. The second weekend of the festival’s Catskill Mountain Jazz Series gets underway on Friday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. when Ken Peplowski plays the Belleayre Jazz Club.


DEP mum on plans for local gas drilling

By Matthew J. Perry
While natural gas thousands of feet below the surface has residents preparing for land men and dreaming of dollar signs, water still creates a great deal of concern in the Catskills, if not conversation. Natural gas is extracted from shale formations, such as the Marcellus Shale running across the southern tier of New York, by way of hydraulic ‘fracing’: hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, are pumped into the earth and later return to the surface as wastewater.
The reality of such potential demand would seem to be of paramount interest to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which, under agreement mandated by the federal government, is tasked to protect the quality and supply of drinking water for millions of people.


Property owner files lawsuit over Fleischmanns water tower

By Jay Braman Jr.
Following months of battling a proposed 360,000 gallon, 50-foot-tall water tower next door to her home, a Flieschmanns woman and her husband have filed a lawsuit against the village and the Town of Middletown to stop it. Co-plaintiff Anita Rubin, who lives on Paradise Camp Road, directed press inquiries to her attorney on Tuesday.
The village has been mulling the water tower plan for over two years, working with Delaware Engineering, the firm that built the village’s sewer system.


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