James McGrath receives Spirit of the Catskills Award

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LONG SERVICE — James “Jimmy” McGrath, right, was honored with the Spirit of the Catskills Award on Saturday evening at the Belleayre Conservatory’s annual Snowball held Saturday evening at The Emerson in Mt. Tremper. The award is presented annually to someone who has performed extraordinary service to benefit the region. Jimmy was instrumental in growing the Shandaken Police Department and recently retired as police chief. Making the presentation is Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. A packed house enjoyed the dinner-dance. Proceeds benefit the Belleayre Music Festival. — Photo by Franz Edlinger, eOneMedia.com

Gas drilling forum planned in Andes

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Andes —  “What you need to know about gas drilling in the Catskills,” an issue that generates strong feelings both for and against, will be presented by Wes Gillingham, of Catskill Mountainkeeper, and writer/researcher Anne Saxon-Hersh at the Andes Public Library on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 2 p.m.


RUPCO's latest award means $1.6 million in direct spending for Ulster County housing

Kingston — A $500,000 grant announced by Governor David Paterson’s office last week brings total home buying and home repair resources currently available in Ulster County to $1.6 million in direct spending for the purchase and post purchase re-habilitation of Ulster County homes.
Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO) officials believe that the latest grant announcement plus other resources in-house will help them top last year’s total investments of $1.8 million spent for 34 new homeowners and 75 rehabilitated homes.


Margaretville Street Fair Saturday

The 23rd annual Street Fair will be held on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. along Main Street in Margaretville. Sponsored by the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce, this event is free and family-friendly.


Two Independent candidates file for Andes town races

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By Brian Sweeney
Two Independent candidates in the Town of Andes filed petitions with the Delaware County Board of Elections by last Tuesday’s deadline to have their names added to the ballot for November’s election.
Denise Norris will be running on the Independent line for a seat on the Andes Town Board. She will be running against Republican incumbents Martin Liddle and Daniel Grommeck. The top two vote recipients will win election.


Village Street Fair is Saturday

Margaretville – The 23rd annual Street Fair will be held on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Main Street in Margaretville. This popular summertime event features vendors offering quilted crafts and fabric items lovingly made, designer sterling silver jewelry, hard to find antiques and collectibles, ever popular country lawn decorations, wooden crafts, and much more.


OCS secretary is charged with taking fund-raiser money

By Jay Braman Jr.
State police have arrested an Onteora High School employee and charged her with felony grand larceny and related charges, alleging that she stole over $9,000 that school groups accumulated by holding fund-raisers.
Elizabeth Sopata, 45, of Kingston was charged on Aug. 4.


Shandaken, NYC settle tax dispute

By Jay Braman Jr.
Following the advice of Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) officials, the Shandaken Town Board agreed Monday to a settlement of a dispute with New York City over the assessed value of the Pine Hill waste treatment plant.


Roadside weed control spraying questioned; DEP uses chemicals near reservoirs it protects

By Brian Sweeney
Days after a citizen complained to the Middletown Board about potential contamination from municipal pesticide use, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection applied pesticides adjacent to the Pepacton Reservoir.


Patriotic Tournament benefits Parkinson's fight

The Second Parkinson’s Patriotic Tournament, a golf tournament to benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Shephard Hills Golf Course in Roxbury. The red-white-blue scramble tournament will be played with a four-person captain and crew format, and six holes each will be played from the red, white and blue tees; mulligans and skins will also be featured.


Tomato blight a growing problem in northeast

By Julia Green
JR Lawrence’s vegetable garden in the back yard of his Swart Street, Margaretville home is a source of a variety of summer vegetables. Cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, beans, carrots, beets, peppers and squash all line the perimeter of his yard, interspersed with floral plants like dahlias and black-eyed Susans.
There is one crop that will be noticeably missing from his late-summer produce, however: tomatoes.
About a month ago, Lawrence’s six tomato plants fell victim to late blight, a disease of which plant pathologists have reported an outburst in the region this summer.


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