Phoenicia Festival of the Voice returns

Phoenicia Festival of the Voice returns

The logistics are daunting. In the five days from July 30 to August 3, roughly 5000 people are expected to flow through the hamlet of Phoenicia (population: 309, as of 2010) for the fifth annual Phoenicia International Festival of the...
83rd Library Fair continues Woodstock tradition

83rd Library Fair continues Woodstock tradition

The year was 1931 and the Woodstock Library needed some funds to keep things going in a small barn behind what is now the Center for Photography on Tinker Street. So, the small association that governed the library decided to...
Woodstock moves ahead with Community Center renovation

Woodstock moves ahead with Community Center renovation

The Woodstock Town Board achieved a milestone nearly a decade in the making, approving financing for a $1.55 million renovation to the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center. “This is a pleasure. We’ve been working on this building the past 10 years,...
Kingston absorbs Onteora football, Field Hockey needs coaches

Kingston absorbs Onteora football, Field Hockey needs coaches

In the wake of an arrangement that would allow Onteora football players to try out for the Kingston High School varsity, some have started wondering about field hockey and other athletic opportunities at the Boiceville campus. But according to Onteora...
Songs of life

Songs of life

Imagine you’re living in a nursing home or hospice, and a singer-songwriter comes to you and asks you who you really are. Together, over time, you write a song about something essential about your life. Then one day, you go...
Woodstock Jewish Congregation has a new rabbi and a new endeavor

Woodstock Jewish Congregation has a new rabbi and a new endeavor

The Woodstock Jewish Congregation, whose Hebrew name is Kehillat Lev Shalem (“Congregation of a Full Heart”) appears to have an equally full agenda these days. On Friday evening, June 27, the group held a special Shabbat service to celebrate the...
‘Incremental’ change afoot at Bearsville

‘Incremental’ change afoot at Bearsville

  In 1988, two native Woodstockers, Eric Mann and Peter Cantine, began operating and breathed new life into The Bear Café. It was two years after the death of Albert Grossman, the legendary music manager and epicurean, whose presence dominated...
Olive concerned about herbicide spraying around Ashokan Reservoir

Olive concerned about herbicide spraying around Ashokan Reservoir

Disturbed by the sight of herbicide spraying on roadways around the Ashokan Reservoir in Olive last June, West Shokan resident, Jim Sofranko, called New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) to express his displeasure with implications of the...
Answering the problems of the human condition

Answering the problems of the human condition

“We have a phenomenal facility with a great history,” said David Robertson, a member of the Woodstock Christian Science church, located in the building that was once the summer school of the Art Students League. With a north-facing wall of...
Library discussion yields alternative ideas

Library discussion yields alternative ideas

A forum on the embattled Woodstock Library annex plan was mostly civil and resulted in constructive criticism and some well-received alternate plans for expansion. During a World Cafe discussion format at the Town Hall on June 8, about 100 people...
Nature Walk: A bunting we will go

Nature Walk: A bunting we will go

Our kitchen window faces south. Washing dishes at the sink, we can look into the back yard at an east-facing wooded slope. Nearly touching the eave of the kitchen roof is a persistent volunteer catalpa tree that keeps growing back...
Lowell Miller’s double life

Lowell Miller’s double life

As a local I was long ago acquainted with a) struggling artists, b) cottage industry artists, c) weekend artists, and d) “the ruination of Woodstock” as represented by families attached to businessmen working at Rotron, IBM and eventually imported from...
Cupcaker Hardgrove scores on Food Network

Cupcaker Hardgrove scores on Food Network

You have to hand it to Food Network — they know how to dramatize cooking. One, they’ve made it a competitive sport. Two, they give contestants a time limit for preparing dishes, building suspense and ensuring that something will go...
Woodstock Rescue named EMS Agency of the Year

Woodstock Rescue named EMS Agency of the Year

We can do incredible things nowadays. Every ambulance is a mobile emergency room,” said Richard Muellerleile, president of the Ulster County Emergency Medical Services Council, which held its annual Award and Recognition dinner on May 16, honoring a number of...
New Capacity Zone brings still higher electric bills

New Capacity Zone brings still higher electric bills

Hudson Valley residents got killed with skyrocketing utility bills following the brutally cold winter. But now, with the coming of spring, rates are going up again — and that’s despite opposition by elected officials, Central Hudson itself and even state...
Library board plans more public outreach, input on Annex plan

Library board plans more public outreach, input on Annex plan

Faced with growing opposition and legal threats over a proposed $1.5 million library annex project, the library board president told the town board it plans to spend more time over the summer engaging the public. “I know that there are...
Woodstock’s music is enshrined in Utopia

Woodstock’s music is enshrined in Utopia

If not for that single, tantalizing word on the windowless white wall — six black capital letters, spaced wide, like a line on an eye chart: U T O P I A — a passerby might conclude that this is...
Latest turn in high-stakes casino struggle topples former Nevele CEO

Latest turn in high-stakes casino struggle topples former Nevele CEO

The phones started ringing around the county early last Thursday morning, May 1. The New York Post had run a story about the man behind Ellenville’s big casino push at the old Nevele Resort, Michael Treanor, who, they said, was...
The school that wouldn’t die

The school that wouldn’t die

Back in 1972, Ian Bernstein and his then-wife Alice Goodman came from Newark New Jersey to Woodstock with a plan; to provide progressive early childhood education to a new generation of town residents who wanted something more than traditional sit-up-straight-and-look-at-the-blackboard...
I’m In The Jailhouse Now

I’m In The Jailhouse Now

Part one   The team’s owner was a sweet man named Jay Polan, who owned and operated a bus company in nearby Chicago. Too bad JP was in jail for trying to obtain a max contract for a prime school...
Phoenicia Pharmacy on the block, hopes for independent takeover

Phoenicia Pharmacy on the block, hopes for independent takeover

A Phoenicia icon has been on the market since early April, with pharmacist Marty Millman contemplating retirement after 34 years in business at the Phoenicia Pharmacy. Millman, about to turn 78, is selling both the building, with an asking price...
Woodstock Writers Fest provides plenty to chew on

Woodstock Writers Fest provides plenty to chew on

“Napping is a crucial part of being a writer. A good nap is like an oasis. When sinking into a nap, I get my best ideas.” — Abigail Thomas “I’m more of a walker. I walk four to five miles...
Clear water portends a good fishing season

Clear water portends a good fishing season

On the curve where Phoenicia’s Main Street turns into the Old Plank Road, there’s a dilapidated silvery structure, overgrown with vines, that was once Elmer’s Diner. It’s said that on the opening day of fishing season, reported Chichester photographer and...
Former Olive Supervisor Leifeld gets his due

Former Olive Supervisor Leifeld gets his due

Berndt Leifeld — who gets roasted and toasted, and possibly honored as well, for his 38 years as Olive town supervisor and councilman on Sunday, March 30 — laughs when he recalls how he started inching his way towards a...
Woodstock Writers Festival to cover a wide span of ideas

Woodstock Writers Festival to cover a wide span of ideas

The keynote speaker for the fifth annual Woodstock Writers Festival, April 3-6, will be actor, writer, and raconteur Stephen Tobolowsky, heading up an array of readers, speakers, panels, and workshops. Tobolowsky was cited by USA Today as the ninth most...
Paul Green, new owners talk about plans for former Zena Elementary

Paul Green, new owners talk about plans for former Zena Elementary

Speculation about the plans for the former Zena Elementary School has run rampant ever since the Kingston City School District’s Board of Education voted to accept a $926,000 bid for the property from Zena 4 Corners two months ago. But...
Polar Express to the rescue?

Polar Express to the rescue?

The hugely popular Polar Express will come roaring down reconstructed tracks of the old Ulster and Delaware Railroad from Kingston to Route 209 for the month of December. Exactly who hosts that show may be determined by a state appeals...
Woodstock unveils medication disposal box

Woodstock unveils medication disposal box

A January 31 ribbon-cutting ceremony at Town Hall marked the addition of Woodstock to a growing list of Ulster County locations that offer specially designed MedReturn boxes for the permanent, secure, and anonymous disposal of excess prescription and over-the-counter medications....
Pete’s Rainbow Quest

Pete’s Rainbow Quest

Oh, had I a golden thread And a needle so fine I would weave a magic strand Of rainbow design, of rainbow design So Pete Seeger would sing at the beginning of his early 1960s television show, Rainbow Quest, on...
Bolton Brown and the making of modern Woodstock

Bolton Brown and the making of modern Woodstock

Woodstock as we know it begins with Bolton Brown (1866-1934), a prodigy whose gifts brought him fame, before ego accompanying these ripped them away again. He was an art instructor at 19, arguably the first great mountain climber in America...
New York City agrees to spend $2.5 million on Ashokan Reservoir rail-trail

New York City agrees to spend $2.5 million on Ashokan Reservoir rail-trail

Ulster County and New York City announced last week that the city will pitch in $2.5 million to build an 11.5-mile rail-trail along the north bank of the city-owned Ashokan Reservoir. The move appears to fundamentally change the rules of...
Ohio luthier moves to Bearsville’s Rebekah Lodge

Ohio luthier moves to Bearsville’s Rebekah Lodge

Dave Schneider’s in the midst of a major move. A master luthier with a specialty in sitars and harmoniums, he’s been working day and night getting the old Rebekah Lodge in Bearsville up to par as his new home. He...
Jerry Wapner hangs up his shingle

Jerry Wapner hangs up his shingle

On his eightieth birthday on 27th day of November, Jerry Wapner — longstanding dean of Woodstock lawyers — will retire from the law practice he created not very long after arriving here with his family some 50 years ago. The...
Life at the Death Café

Life at the Death Café

“My father died when I was nineteen. No one told me he had cancer — I had to find out by overhearing a conversation,” said Woodstocker Laurie Schwartz. “Everyone was protecting each other, so we lived a lie. Other people...
Attendance, circulation way up at Olive Free Library

Attendance, circulation way up at Olive Free Library

Katie Scott-Childress has been director at the Olive Free Library for little over a year…and says that yes, she’s starting to notice some changes in the 61 year old institution’s character alongside its daily challenges. She points out how, during...
CWC likes FAD revisions

CWC likes FAD revisions

In Ulster County, all the talk around the state’s current recommendations regarding the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing Filtration Avoidance Determinations, made every ten years and currently under half-term review, has focused on the New York City Department of Environmental...
In other news
Onteora board review ends without superintendent extension

Onteora board review ends without superintendent extension

Onteora Central School District Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Spiegel-McGill’s contract expires June 30, 2016, leaving approximately two years left on a four-year contract. As required in McGill’s contract, the Board of Education in June met in executive session to review it, but no action was taken to renew or extend. According to McGill’s contract agreement, the...
Nature Walk: Writing the rails

Nature Walk: Writing the rails

On a nature drive last week we passed a place where a marsh and a roadside meet. Along some of this interface, tall stands of common reed (Phragmites australis) towered over our heads, and along other stretches bushy roses and willows hid the inner marsh from view. Between these dark, obfuscating patches of vegetation we found...
Olive planners begin review of Higley farmstand

Olive planners begin review of Higley farmstand

Al Higley, the embattled grocer seeking to find a new site for the farmstand business he’d been running as Hanover farms in Shandaken until shut down by court order last year, went before the Olive Planning Board July 15 for his latest plans to open a new produce business at the site of a former...
Meeting, by Will

Meeting, by Will

To see more of Will’s work go to www.thorneatercomics.com
WEC recommends that hunting be approved at Yankeetown Pond

WEC recommends that hunting be approved at Yankeetown Pond

Despite objections from numerous neighbors, the Woodstock Environmental Commission (WEC) voted to recommend to the town board that hunting be allowed on a majority of an 828-acre New York City-owned parcel surrounding Yankeetown Pond. Accepting no further comment, the commission cited a growing deer population that it said is destroying low forest growth as the...