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August 29, 2016
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Photos by Michael Roberto

CALLICOON, NY — It was first built in 1852, a few years after the first train ran through what was then Callicoon Depot, part of the railroad-related boom that turned a single house into a bustling community. Originally, it was built in the Greek revival style, but sometime around the turn of the 20th century, the roof was raised and two stories and a mansard roof were added to create the iconic structure that dominates Upper Main Street in Callicoon today. For well over 100 years, it was a vibrant part of the hamlet’s commercial life. Then, for some years, it lay dormant.

Actually, it was 47 years ago, and it happened on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, NY. But life on this planet was so different back then, it might as well have been in another galaxy altogether...

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Walk near almost any patch of forest, or even your backyard now, and you will either see or hear one or more chipmunks. As they dart around foraging for seeds or nuts and chattering, and perhaps...

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There was a tradition in many homes growing up, including mine, of setting up the Lionel Trains and tracks in some part of the house for the Christmas holidays. I am sure if my dad had his way...

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Spoiler alert! This one’s a little maudlin. While I did attend an actual fair last week, (www.delawarecountyfair.com...

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Many of us were lucky enough to have some early fishing experiences. Yet, as Robert Frost reminded us, “knowing how way leads on to way” we get sidetracked with “little things.” Little things like...

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Were you aware that Pennsylvania has a Wildlife Action Plan that guides how the state strives to conserve its most threatened wildlife species? First published in 2005, the 2015-2025 plan has...

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O Tannenbaum

“O Tannenbaum” is the German version of the song “O Christmas Tree” that we hear so often during this holiday season. Tannenbaum is also the German translation for a fir tree, a very popular conifer to have indoors as the traditional Christmas tree. There are a number of varieties of conifers and evergreens in our region, some of which make suitable Christmas trees, but all have some impact on nature and wildlife.

Here are a few of our most common conifers:  Read more

The patient survived

As I write this column, I find myself housebound. My right knee is sore and aching. This is the result of having knee surgery to correct the severe arthritis in that joint. While the nurses at both Baylor Hospital and the Continuum Rehabilitation Hospital took excellent care of me, I am glad to be sleeping in my own bed once again. On the 12th of December, my surgeon, Dr. Pat Peters, removed the staples from the wound. He assured me that I appeared to be on the road to full recovery. It will take weeks of rehabilitation before I reach that goal.  Read more

Out with the old...

How we, as individuals, perceive the world around us is as varied as the snowflakes. Everyone has an opinion (humble or otherwise) and I am (clearly!) no exception. At this time of year, conversation invariably turns to the passage of time and often, how quickly the year has flown by. For me (and I suspect many of you) it’s been a long and winding road. Some of you might recall that on New Years Eve last year, I found myself in the hospital, undergoing emergency surgery.  Read more

Good luck in 2013

My sister-in-law is not a superstitious person, but on New Year’s Day, she insists on serving black-eyed peas with her holiday dinner. This is supposed to bring good luck for the New Year for everyone who sits down at her table. Mind you, she’s not from the South, where this tradition comes from in the U.S., and she’s not Jewish either. (I bet you didn’t know that eating black-eyed peas at Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, also is considered lucky.)  Read more

Representative Hinchey sees positive potential in our future

By Rep. Maurice Hinchey

Serving Sullivan County in the United States House of Representatives has been the greatest privilege of my life. As I prepare to leave office, I want to sincerely thank the people of Sullivan County who put their trust in me to serve their interests in Washington. In the most basic sense, that is what I have worked to do over the past 20 years.  Read more

‘Squirreling away’ for a winter’s day

Acrobatic artists of the treetops, gray squirrels navigate their habitats with skill and grace, leaping from branch to limb in an aerial circuit that is both impressive and entertaining. Technically a rodent, the gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is Pennsylvania and New York’s most common squirrel. Other native squirrels are the fox, red and nocturnal flying squirrels.  Read more

Thoughts on the holidays

The trees near my office are wrapped tightly in blue lights. It’s surprisingly impressive and despite the fact that they went up just after Halloween (too early in my opinion), I am struck often by their beautiful simplicity.

The carolers on the subway are good and plentiful. It seems that all the best subway performers come out this time of year. It’s actually enjoyable when they enter the train, and I notice that even the toughest looking folks crack smiles.  Read more

Live music memorial for Millie Traviss

HURLEYVILLE, NY — Friends of Millie Traviss, who passed away earlier this month, will hold a celebration of her life on Saturday, December 22 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hurleyville Historical Building, 265 Main St. Two local bands will provide live music and an open mic performance will be emceed by Traviss’ son Richard. A vegetarian potluck will be served. If you wish to bring baked goods or vegetarian dishes, or need directions, call Kevin at 845/434 1815.  Read more

Aztec Two-Step: bridge to the Beat Generation performs

HONESDALE, PA — Harmony Presents will host the folk/rock duo Aztec Two-Step at the Cooperage, 1030 Main St. on December 29 at 7:30 p.m. To commemorate its 40th anniversary, Aztec Two-step, which has been acclaimed for the intelligent lyricism and etheral tunes of members Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman, has released a brand new album, “Cause and Effect.”

Anyone who purchases a ticket to the performance will automatically be entered to win an autographed vintage poster, or an autographed original vinyl LP of Aztec Two-Step’s “Living in America.”  Read more

A new age dawning?

CALLICOON, NY — Perhaps you’ve seen a small, glossy flyer floating around places in the Upper Delaware Valley, or you noticed an ad in the local newspaper inviting people to attend ReBirth 2012, or what the event’s organizers are calling a “global ‘Birth Day’ party” to celebrate “day one” of the Age of Aquarius. The afternoon of free presentations and visioning activities will be held on Saturday, December 22 at the Delaware Youth Center, 8 Creamery Rd. from 1 to 6 p.m.  Read more

There’s got to be a morning after...

Well, it’s finally here. If the Mayans were right, this will be my last column. Ever. I’ve been on planet Earth long enough to have seen several “end-of-the-world” dates come and go, but this one, the so-called “Mayan Prophecy,” has really taken the world by storm. While hardly an alarmist, I have been keenly interested in the subject for well over a year. In fact, I wrote about this subject last spring (www.riverreporter.com/feature/16/2012/03/20/2012-prophesies-fact-or-fantasy) exploring the issue in some detail.  Read more

How Santa Claus makes a difference

KAUNEONGA LAKE, NY — When Al Frangipane puts on his red Santa suit and goes to meet a bunch of children, he is transformed. “When I walk into that room, I’m Santa,” he said, “I’m not Al Frangipane. For an hour to two, I’m only Santa.” Ho, ho, ho!  Read more

Lake Huntington News

This is such a busy time of the year, with the food pantry and Toys for Tots, how does Santa do it all? I guess it’s all his little elves! We are helping over 60 families with Christmas dinners and toys for their kids.  Read more

The list-driven life

This is the season for lists—holiday gifts, cards and those letters to Santa, who is understood to be making a list of his own.

It can all get to be too much so that it seems that life itself has become winnowed down to a list of “to-dos” dictated by half-legible scraps of paper.

“I can take that off my list,” I hear people say, in a world-weary kind of way, whether it be, say, cleaning the fish tank or attending the kid’s holiday concert.  Read more

Lake Huntington News

I write this column with such a heavy heart: my friend Frances was buried last Thursday.

Then, when I came home from Queens, Tommy told me to sit down, he had to tell me something. “Pete passed,” he said.

So many things ran through my head. First one was, he did not suffer long; then, how are his kids doing?

There are a lot of very sad people in Sullivan County with Pete’s passing. I was listening to everything people were saying—what a great person he was, a real friend, a fabulous father, a true Marine, a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 37 years.  Read more

Happy Hanukkah — Let there be light!

Hanukkah, the “Festival of Lights,” is widely considered a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish year. In the United States, however, its closeness to Christmas has brought greater attention to Hanukkah and its gift-giving tradition. Amid the ever-growing flood of Christmas advertising, it may seem especially fitting that the Hanukkah story tells of Jewish culture surviving in a non-Jewish world (www.factmonster.com)  Read more

Dancing into the New Year at the Hotel Fauchère

MILFORD, PA — The Hotel Fauchère will usher in the New Year with John Curtin and his five-piece party band, The Curtones, performing at the Emerson House at the Hotel Fauchére from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. For the first time, the hotel’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration is open to the public with no cover charge.

A cash bar will be available. The Hotel Fauchère also offers special New Year’s Eve menus in Bar Louis and the Delmonico Room. Visit www.hotelfauchere.com or call 570/409-1212.

New Year’s Eve dinner at Gerard’s

NARROWSBURG, NY — There will be a New Year’s Eve dinner on December 31 at Gerard’s River Grill. The early seating is at 6 p.m. and includes a four-course pris fixe chef’s tasting menu with live jazz by Bob Keller and Kevin Vertrees. The late seating is at 8:30 p.m. and includes a five-course pris fixe chef’s tasting menu with live music by the RKQ Jazz Quintet. Hats, noisemakers and a glass of champagne are included.

Reserve seats early. Call 845/252-6562.