A Weekly Roundup of News, Happenings & Events in Sullivan County, the Catskills & New York State 2018 Issue #35 | September 2, 2018
Crash Course in the Arts: Bethel art gallery owner reacts to truck crash into building

BETHEL - Two people are under arrest after a truck goes off Route 17B Friday, crashing into the Stray Cat Gallery in Bethel. A driver plowed into the gallery's porch Friday morning according to the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office. They say that driver was 50-year-old Ronald Martin, with passenger 41-year-old Jessica Rife, both from Iowa. Martin was on his way to a construction job in the area. They allegedly veered off the road and into the hilly grass area next to the gallery before crashing, and trying to leave. "The occupants got out and ran. The deputies who arrived at the scene shortly afterwards located them and also located a quantity of methanthetamine that they attempted to get rid of," said Sullivan County Undersheriff Eric Chaboty. Martin's charges include with Driving while Ability Impaired by Drugs and Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle accident. Both are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence. Bail for each was set at $50,000 and both have a court date set for next month.
Beauty & Environment vs. Limitless Energy & Wealth: Fishing And Fracking In The Catskills

SULLIVAN COUNTY - I fell in love with the Catskills region of New York the minute I laid eyes on it, some 25 years ago. The superb fly fishing for wild trout—particularly on the Upper Delaware River—is what pulled me up there. The beauty of the area is what gut-hooked me for life. The Rockies may have the Wagnerian majesty of a younger mountain chain. The allure of the Catskills is more subtle, the leafy hollows (Fitzgerald’s “green breast”) of a decaying mountain chain, something more akin to Yo-Yo Ma’s strings. Stephen Sautner, a New York Times outdoors columnist and the communications director for the Wildlife Conservation Society, took the Catskills hook a little deeper than I did. After years of doing what I do when I go up there—fishing, and then either camping or staying at a tatty motel and then driving home—he took the plunge and bought a cabin, a sort of weekend Walden. In his new book, A Cast In The Woods: A Story of Fly Fishing, Fracking, and Floods in the Heart of Trout Country (Lyons Press; $24.95), Sautner details how he and his wife find, and then buy and then painstakingly (and endlessly) work on a cabin on 14 acres of woods, hard by a pretty little stream that works its way down to the Upper Delaware River. He initially bought the cabin so he could fish. But he ends up “hopelessly intertwined with something much larger,” and takes the reader along for the journey. The book is congenial, well-written and soothing, a balm for our otherwise nasty national discourse.

Growing Segment in Sullivan County Agriculture: New York Today: A Maple Syrup Boom
MONTICELLO — Some delicious news to end the week: We’re in the midst of a maple syrup boom. The past five years have seen a nearly 50 percent increase in maple syrup production in New York State. We’ve produced more than 800,000 gallons of maple syrup this year, making New York the second largest maple syrup-producing state in the country (behind Vermont). Sweet. There are two reasons for this, according to Helen Thomas, executive director of the New York State Maple Producers Association. “One is that more landowners have joined the ranks of making maple syrup,” she said, with an estimated 2,000 producers across the state. “But the bigger reason is that techniques for producing syrup have gotten better, so that all of us who make syrup now make more syrup per tree than we did 10 or 15 years ago. We’ve also added taps.” Maple season is in the early spring — “that’s when the tree is taking the ‘food’ stored in its roots as starch and converting it into sugars,” Ms. Thomas explained — but this week included the inaugural Maple Day at the Great New York State Fair. Visitors in Syracuse watched cooking demonstrations and sampled syrup-soaked pancakes, maple sausage, maple milk, maple doughnuts and maple cotton candy.

A Very Nasty Debate: Cuomo, Nixon Spar Over Differing Visions For New York

ALBANY - IIn the end, the debate was about trying to get under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s skin — both on a policy level and a personal basis. The hour-long debate on WCBS on Wednesday between Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon featured extended discussions over the Tappan Zee Bridge and its replacement, how to fix the troubled New York City subway system, whether public employees should be able to strike without a penalty and the merits of single-payer health care. The sole Democratic primary debate did not feature much for upstate residents, nor did it touch on one area of contention separating both candidates, taxing the rich. But the debate also offered Nixon, down in the polls and behind on fundraising, a chance to appear alongside Cuomo and poke the bear, as it were — find ways of having him lose his cool and produce a moment for TV that can be reared and go viral online. There were strange moments, like Cuomo suggesting Nixon is actually a corporation because of the s-corp entity she uses for tax purposes — an apparent effort to highlight her wealth generated by her role in the hit franchise Sex and The City. Nixon, interjecting during Cuomo’s answers, began to visibly annoy the governor, who asked her to stop, producing an exchange worthy of a screwball comedy’s dialogue. “Can you stop interrupting?” Cuomo said. “Can you stop lying?” Nixon answered. “Yeah, as soon as you do,” the governor said.
No Bark, Big Bite in Mamakating: Mom turns over two pet alligators to DEC

WURTSBORO: Two three- to four-foot-long alligators are bound for new homes after a Mamakating woman turned them over to the State Department of Environmental Conservation. The woman called the DEC wishing to turn over the gators that she and her son had been raising as pets. When DEC Conservation Officers Tom Koepf and Mary Grose spoke with the woman at her home, she said she had caught one of the gators while fishing in Florida two years ago and that her son had purchased the other online from an unknown source. They wanted to give them away because they were getting too big and difficult to care for. Officers issued tickets to mother and son for illegally possessing live crocodilia. An animal rehabilitator took the gators off the woman’s hands and is now looking for a good home for the animals, possibly in a zoo or educational center.
Not Finger-Licking Good: New Yorker Dead from Chicken Salmonella Outbreak, 8 Hospitalized

NEW YORK STATE: One New Yorker died and 8 were hospitalized after eating chicken contaminated with salmonella. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and Empire Kosher Poultry issued a public health alert after a number of salmonella-related illnesses were recently reported in the northeast. As of Monday, 17 salmonella-related illnesses were reported in four states, 11 are from New York. Eight were hospitalized including one New Yorker who died, according to the CDC. Information about the New Yorker who died hasn't been released. Sick people range in age from 76-years-old to less than a year. The CDC reports that every person they interviewed, all said they got sick after eating chicken. Nine gave the chicken brand, with seven reporting they got sick after consuming Empire Kosher brand chicken. The other brand wasn't released. Salmonella was found in samples of raw chicken collected by the CDC at two facilities, including one that processes Empire Kosher chicken. The other facilities name wasn't released.
No Discount Off The Bill Included Too?: Restaurateur honors combat vets with parking spot
LIBERTY -- Rich Hering, owner of Mister G’s Restaurant on Sullivan Avenue in Liberty, wanted to do something to honor the nation’s war veterans and he came up with an idea that he believes is one of a kind. We have all seen parking spots at shopping centers and restaurants for the handicapped, and even for senior citizens and expectant moms. But, as far as Hering knows, no one has a reserved spot for a combat veteran. With that in mind, he has created a spot prominently located in the parking lot of his popular eatery. “The irony is we could be full here at the restaurant and that spot will be empty and people are honoring it, not parking there and leaving it open for somebody who is combat wounded,” he told Mid-Hudson News. Hering reflects on one incident in which a man came into the restaurant recently and asked to speak with the owner. “He said, ‘I just want to tell you, I have never seen that before and what an honor it is,’ and he started crying because we would honor the combat veterans in that way,” Hering said. The restaurateur said he wanted to acknowledge and honor those who serve and are wounded and he suggested shopping centers and other retail and public establishments consider doing the same.

Should Religious Social Service Providers Get Continued Funding In Sullivan County If They Discriminate?:

Last Week, Catholic Charities, a major social services provider in Sullivan County, announced that it was closing down its adoption and foster care services in Upstate New York? The reason? Because a Gay couple had applied to adopt a child from the agency.
According to the Catholic Church, working with gay couples to facilitate the adoption of a child would go against Roman Catholic religious tenants. The passage of recent equal rights protections, some of which go against traditional religious teachings, and recent rulings by the Supreme Court affirming these laws have raised questions of whether public funds should be granted to such institutions tthat provide social services to communities like Sullivan County. So the question for you to answer this week is this: Whether it matters if Catholic Charities and other religious-based institutions are justified in refusing such services based on religious beliefs and if the funding is for all citizens-and if not, should you as a taxpayers support the work of such institutions. Please answer the Poll Question below:- SHK.

Don't Care Either Way
A Big Labor Day Problem: Unions face an uncertain future, even in labor-friendly New York
NEW YORK STATE- The labor union world was shaken in June when the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn a 41-year-old precedent and allow public employees to opt out of unions and stop paying dues. As Labor Day nears, the impact of the long-anticipated decision in New York, one of the nation's strongest union states, is not yet clear. But unions, and their critics, have been on high alert since Janus v. AFSCME was decided, overturning a 1977 decision that had allowed unions to charge dues to non-members for non-political purposes. Randolph McLaughlin, a professor at Pace Law School who teaches labor law, said that while the effects of the decision may not be immediately clear, there is good reason for unions to be worried. "This could spell the death knell to major unions," McLaughlin said. "Because now, the court has permitted free riders to ride on the backs of the union to get all the benefits the union is delivering their members and pay nothing for it."Here is a rundown of what this court decision means, and some of the lingering questions that could play out in the coming months or years.
Get Those Snow Shovels Ready: Farmers' Almanac predicts snowier-than-normal winter for Upstate NY
SYRACUSE - "With below-normal winter temperatures and above-normal precipitation forecast, the Great Lakes and Midwest, along with central and northern New England, will see above-normal snowfalls, particularly in January and February," the almanac said. That's at odds with the Climate Prediction Center, the long-range forecasting arm of the National Weather Service. The center says the best odds for the Northeast is a warmer-than-average winter, with about normal snowfall. That's largely due to the expected development of an El Nino, the warming of equatorial Pacific Ocean waters that an influence global climate. A year ago, Farmers' Almanac predicted a cold and snowy winter. With a big warm spell in February, the winter across much of the Northeast ended up slightly warmer than normal. It was snowy, though: Syracuse, American's snowiest major city, had 153 inches of snow, nearly 30 inches more than average. The almanac says it bases its predictions not on satellite data and the like, but a 200-year-old secret formula developed by the almanac's first editor. The only person who knows the formula, the almanac says, is an anonymous prognosticator "who goes by the pseudonym 'Caleb Weatherbee.'"
Fallsburg Lions
Rediscover the Mountains & River Valley: The Best Restaurants, Hotels, and Things to Do in the Catskills

CATSKILLS REGION - We love the Catskills for so many reasons. The area is easy to get to from New York City, whether you drive, take a train or hop on a bus (check out the Catskill Carriage, which serves drinks and snacks during the ride). It’s the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to hike, fish, check out a distillery or simply relax in the gorgeous new hotels that have been popping up these last few years. Before embarking on our latest trip up north, we were super familiar with the eastern Catskills and towns like Phoenicia, Hunter, and Tannersville. But after more than a few friends suggested we check out the western Catskills, we spent a lot of our time in the small, lovely towns that line the Delaware River. This guide covers the best of both worlds, whether you want to check out the big ski resort mountains of the east or the burgeoning small towns of the west, like Callicoon, Narrowsburg, and Livingston Manor. Here are the best bars, restaurants, hotels, shops, and things to do in the Catskills.
Sullivan County eNews Roundup | Steven Kurlander, Publisher