Phoenicia Library rises triumphant from the ashes

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CUTTING THE RIBBON — Zara Dershowitz, 11, and her brother Mars, 9, got a kick out being the ribbon cutters to officially open the Marilyn Dershowitz Memorial Building, also known as the new Phoenicia Library, on Saturday. Their grandmother, Marilyn, a long time fan of the library, was killed in a bicycle accident in 2012, the year after the original library building burned. The new structure, which is located on the Main Street spot where the old one stood, was made possible by a sizeable donation made by the Dershowitz family in Marilyn’s name. Library Board President Bernard Handzel is at center, holding the ribbon. — Photo by Jay Braman, Jr.

"You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" on stage at Andes this week

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Andes — The Peanuts Gang, characters from Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip, will invade the Andes Central School (ACS) stage on Friday and Saturday nights, May 21 and 22.  ACS students will perform “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown,” a musical production based on Schulz’s famous comic strip.  Show times both evenings are scheduled for 7 p.m.


Farmers' market 19th year gets underway this Saturday

Halcottsville — The Pakatakan Farmers’ Market at the historic Round Barn in Halcottsville will open for its 19th season on Saturday, May 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market is open each Saturday through Columbus Day Weekend and admission is free. Approximately 35 to 40 vendors will be on hand each week providing a shopping smorgasbord of goods either grown or handmade in the region.


Margaretville graduate will spend a year in Thailand as Fulbright Teaching Assistant

By Julia Green
Roughly 230 miles north of Bangkok in lower northern Thailand sits a city called Phitsanulok. The capital of Phitsanulok Province, which stretches to the Laotian border, the name of the city means “Vishnu’s Heaven.”
It is here that Fleischmanns native Claire Cella will spend the next year as a teaching assistant, thanks to an English Teaching Assistantship Award from The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.


"Demon on Wheels" documentary focuses on racing passion

By Brian Sweeney
A documentary film tracing the longtime car racing experiences — past and future — of a Catskill Mountain native will continue filming this week in Margaretville and Andes. The 80-minute film explores Mike Ondish’s decades-long fascination with the Mustang GT 500 KR, “the vanguard of performance in the muscle car era.”


Phoenicia sewer decision stalled by attorney's illness

By Jay Braman Jr.
With their attorney stricken by pneumonia, it remains unclear whether the Catskill Watershed Corporation’s (CWC) Board of Directors will have a Phoenicia sewer resolution to consider at their next meeting, set for June 1.
Tim Cox, who is not only CWC’s chief counsel but is also a town justice in the Town of Olive, has been in the hospital undergoing treatment.


Proposed Esopus "no kill" fishing zone opens can of worms with anglers, Trout Unlimited

By Jay Braman Jr.
A proposal to make it against the law to catch and kill trout from the Esopus Creek has drawn a rise from local fishermen and caused some disagreement within the ranks of Trout Unlimited.
Trout Unlimited is a national organization with more than 150,000 volunteer members organized into about 400 chapters from Maine to Montana to Alaska.


McDevitt pleads guilty to pair of charges in abuse case

By Julia Green
Father James J. McDevitt pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of forcible touching that took place during his tenure as a priest at Sacred Heart Parish in Margaretville.
The guilty pleas came in conjunction with a plea deal with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office that was originally offered to McDevitt as early as February.


Honeybee population decline linked to environmental factors

By Brian Sweeney
In recent years, scientists have noted an alarming reduction in the nation’s honeybee population. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, the loss of honeybees could have a devastating impact on our food supply.In addition to producing honey, these bees are relied upon to pollinate the fruit, nut and vegetable crops that make up a large part of the country’s food supply.


Catholic Diocese denies responsibility for overseeing priest charged with sex abuse

By Julia Green
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has filed an affidavit in answer to a civil suit filed on behalf of alleged victims of sex abuse and their families, claiming the Diocese is not responsible for overseeing Father James J. McDevitt in his role as priest at the Sacred Heart Parish in Margaretville.


Comptroller blocking purchase of 1,200 acres from Crossroads

By Jay Braman Jr.
Last month no one thought it was so.
The New York Post reported Friday that State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli was poised to torpedo the land sale of 1,200 acres of Crossroads Ventures land in Big Indian to New York State to be converted to forever-wild status. The New York Comptroller’s office has rejected the state’s planned purchase of 1,220 acres in the Ulster County Town of Shandaken, calling the price too high.


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