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September 26, 2016
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MILFORD, PA — At most writers’ festivals, there is no interaction between the writer and the people who read their words—the reader. No dialogue, just lecture. The first Milford Readers and Writers Festival wants to do it differently, to break the mold of the literary festival. When Milford mayor and owner of the Hotel Fauchere, Sean Strub, got together with friends for dinner one evening, they fantasized about creating a literary festival in Milford. Less than six months later, a group of 10 to 15 volunteers set out to make that dream a reality.

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else…” So said Emily Dickinson, the eminent poet of microcosm and wonder.

I think of this as I sort through the laundry, sweep up...

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The past few weeks have been challenging, not only personally, but for many I have come into contact with as well. Even though I tend to think of myself as the guy who reports on the good times...

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In a week or two, huge numbers of broad-winged hawks will fill the skies in some areas like Hawk Mountain in PA or Sunrise Mountain in New Jersey. That will be near-peak migration time for them as...

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Well… I’m not at all sure that I “oughta be,” but as it happens, I am this week. Usually, I’m pretty busy on the other side of the camera, attempting to capture all that is happening throughout...

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Myths and misunderstandings abound in nature and can lead to undesirable outcomes. Such is the case when it comes to two plants that flower at this time of year. One of them provokes an allergic...

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Next time you’re in your favorite local grocery store, take a little stroll down the breakfast cereal aisle. Plant yourself in front of the Cheerios section, and start counting. How many different...

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Tabletop game day at The Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — The Cooperage Project will participate in the fourth annual International TableTop Day on Sunday, May 1. The fun will kick off at 11 a.m. and will run to 8 p.m. The event is a worldwide celebration of board games that takes place at locations across the globe.  Read more

‘Elektra’ at SUNY

LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — SUNY Sullivan’s 2015-16 Metropolitan Opera HD Live Series will conclude on Saturday, April 30 at 12:55 p.m. with the presentation of “Elektra,” Strauss’s fiery tragedy about an ancient Greek princess hell-bent on revenge.  Read more

Caggiano at Lords Valley Gallery

LORDS VALLEY, PA — From May 1 to June 26, the Gallery at Chant Realtors in Lords Valley will showcase paintings by artist Mike Caggiano. Caggiano has studied at the Art Students League, the Omega Institute and at the University of Scranton.

He works in oil, acrylic and lately has been concentrating more on water mediums with particular interest in Chinese watercolor techniques. A prolific painter, Caggiano is always open to new ideas. He says, “There is so much art to love, I love to experiment and discover.”  Read more

Trailer Choir headlines ThunderBash

MONTICELLO, NY — Thunder 102 (102.1 FM), Monticello Casino and Raceway, The Sullivan County Visitors Association and the Sullivan County Partnership will hold the 11th annual ThunderBash at the Monticello Casino and Raceway on Saturday, May 7. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.  Read more

‘Best emerging band’ returns to Hawley

HAWLEY, PA — Harmony Presents will showcase Addi and Jacq for a return performance on Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m. The duo recently was crowned “best emerging band in NYC” when they won 2015 NPR-WNYC Battle of the Boroughs.

Addi McDaniel has been called “a dynamo with a brass plated voice” by the Los Angeles Times, and Jacqueline Kerrod an “exceptionally virtuosic and sensitive harpist” by Classical Source. Addi and Jacq’s musical influences include everyone from Mozart to Radiohead, Rufus Wainwright to Paul Simon.  Read more

They wave, I wave back: What drives a community activist?

If you go to the Tusten Town Board meetings, one of the faces that will become most familiar to you is that of Iris Helfeld. She is someone who is so passionate and so involved with community she should win an award. Oh wait—she did.  Read more

On ramps

The growing interest in eating local has earned wild edibles a well deserved new popularity. Few foods better represent terroir, that characteristic flavor of the region, than something plucked directly from the forests and fields. This goes a long way to explain the near hysteria that erupts every year when ramps emerge from the earth. Suddenly, no foodie’s Instagram feed is complete without several shots of these highly seasonal native plants.  Read more

Puppy power

Many of my fellow commuters are pet people; they would prefer talking about what their pets did over the weekend to talking about their kids or significant other. Everyone has great stories of the weekend adventures, and with the current turkey-mating season in full swing, some of the stories are quite funny—especially to dog people. We were raising two Corgis who just love to herd these big birds, or squirrels, or just about anything that moves. Our dogs have plenty of area to run on our 10 acres and have been trained over the years not to wander too far from home.  Read more

Seizing spring

Spring has sprung, and along with it, a host of fun and informative opportunities to get out of the house and into the world of nature and its endless wonders. Make plans now to seize every chance to connect with this rejuvenating season.

From April 22 to 24, Hawley EarthFest takes place in and around the town of Hawley, PA. Activities for all ages are planned, including an Environmental Expo in Bingham Park and the ever-popular Species Parade. See the full schedule of events at  Read more

Spring has sprung!

April is usually a fine month and especially so this year. The soil is thawed, there are buds everywhere and grass is greening. Wild turkeys are cackling and gobbling—their mating season is on. The brooks, streams and rivers of our watershed are all open. How terrific!

The fisher’s clock is now set to prime time. Caddis and early mayflies are hatching, and the trout are feeding on them greedily. Local chapters of Trout Unlimited have already scheduled events and meetings. River shoreline clean-ups are on the drawing board. Hope you will participate.  Read more

The ‘it’ factor

By its very definition, the “it” factor is indefinable. Often referred to as someone with je ne sais quoi, the term is frequently applied to entertainers who are brimming with appeal, even though it may be difficult to explain why, exactly. People who exude “it” might not be the most attractive in the room, or even the most adept at their chosen profession, but their connection with an audience is undeniable and often accompanied by an air of mystery.  Read more

High School Art Show at CAS

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society (CAS), in partnership with Sullivan County BOCES, will present the annual CAS Sullivan County High School Art Show, an exhibition of work by Sullivan County public high school students, at the CAS Arts Center at 48 Main St. from April 23 to May 15. There will be an opening reception on April 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This exhibit will present the work of high school students from all eight of the county’s districts (Eldred, Fallsburg, Liberty, Livingston Manor, Monticello, Roscoe, Sullivan West and Tri-Valley) plus student work from BOCES.  Read more

Fiddling phenoms to play at The Cooperage

HONESDALE, PA — Irish fiddling sensation Haley Richardson and her brother Dylan, a young duo of traditional Irish musicians who are making their mark in the Irish music world, will perform on Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. at The Cooperage, 1030 Main St.  Read more

Painting and bluegrass at Harmony

HAWLEY, PA — There will be a painting party and a bluegrass concert at the Silk Mill this week, sponsored by Harmony Presents.

On Friday, April 22, there will be a Paint Your Pet paint party at 7 p.m. Attendees select their pet photo about a week prior to the event. They will be shown different painting techniques and have ample one-on-one attention. The cost is $55 in advance and $58 at the door.  Read more

Maple Syrup Festival in Jeffersonville

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — Jeffersonville will hold a Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday, April 23. Learn about local maple syrup, maple syrup products and how it’s all made.  Read more

‘Doors through Life’

WOODBOURNE, NY — Local fiber artist Buff McAllister will show a series of fabric collage works featuring doors at the International Center for a Culture of Compassion, located at 2299 Ulster Heights Rd., from April 23 through May 15, on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be an opening reception on April 23 from 4 to 7 p.m., and a closing reception on May 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. The 19 pieces in the series use doors and their many symbolic meanings to tell a story of the human journey.  Read more

Hawley celebrates EarthFest

HAWLEY, PA — From April 22 to 24, the Downtown Hawley Partnership and co-sponsors invite you to Hawley EarthFest, a weekend-long celebration of love for planet Earth, now in its third year.

Saturday highlights include the Environmental Expo from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Bingham Park, with live animals, demonstrations and exhibits, the #WildHawley Species Parade at 2 p.m. and a bluegrass concert that evening at Harmony Presents at the Silk Mill. On Sunday morning, participate in Birding and Breakfast with the NEPA Audubon Society—a one-hour walk followed by breakfast at The Settlers Inn.  Read more

Luxury meets functionality; The Velvet Maple opens in Honesdale

Alessandra Iavarone’s new favorite word is “juxtaposition.” Her store, The Velvet Maple, on Main Street in Honesdale, PA, is a study in contrast—chandelier versus industrial, trendy but functional, cutting edge meets classic. In the shop you’ll find clothing, accessories, home décor, textiles and more.  Read more

SEEDS Swapapalooza

HONESDALE, PA — SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support) invites all to attend its annual fundraiser, featuring a silent auction and Swapapalooza, in its office on the second floor of The Cooperage, 1030 Main St. on Thursday, April 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.  Read more

Last school bus ride…

The school bus stops outside my front door each morning at about 7:30 to pick up my daughter. She emerges from the warmth of the house, usually with her coat slung over her arm and sometimes walking on the heels of her sneakers, which are not quite on her feet. “I’ll tie them on the bus,” she tells me. “Right,” I say, remembering the great catch-up time for homework and hair braiding that was the bus ride to school each morning.  Read more