New Paltz Judge Resigns Amid State Disciplinary Charges

A long-time New Paltz judge resigned last week while under two disciplinary charges by the state for a conflict of interest between his judgeship and his law practice in a criminal case. Judge Jonathan Katz, who has served as a New Paltz Town Justice since 1995, signed the arrest warrant of a man for allegedly…

Meet the Anti-Trump Brass Band Playing a Protest Near You

Only a handful of musicians from Tin Horn Uprising were visible as I strode up the sidewalk to Kingston City Hall. The musicians greeted each other warmly and chatted while preparing their instruments on the edge of the wide lawn as the clock ticked down to the start of their latest protest. The gaggle tooted…

The Cost of Saving a Minnewaska Park Lake Is in

Estimates for repairing the Tillson Lake Dam came back millions of dollars lower than originally predicted, bringing saving the lake significantly closer to reality. The Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) announced plans in March 2018 to deconstruct the worn dam and de-water the lake, which is part of the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, for safety…

Rent Stabilization is Coming Upstate. Will It Matter?

Rent Stabilization – long limited to New York City and certain communities in bordering counties – will be an option for Upstate New York municipalities after the democratic-led state legislature passed an omnibus bill dramatically changing how renting works throughout the state. Several Hudson Valley communities expressed interest in rent stabilization prior to the bill…

millbrook mountain

Accidentally Hiking Millbrook Mountain

I perused the nuts aisle in New Paltz’s Mobil On-The-Go while mentally flipping through potential titles for the adventure I was about to embark on. “Walking the Razor’s Edge” seemed a little bombastic, I thought while squinting at the nutrition facts on a bag of Planters. Plus it was too close to the W. Somerset…

Ashokan High Point at Winter’s Last Gasp

“Alright,” I muttered with deep concentration. “Everyone keep their eyes peeled.” It was the third time Morgan, Ellen and I had driven down Peekamoose Road in Olivebridge looking for the DEC trailhead sign for Ashokan High Point, slowly passing residences while staring out the car windows like we were devising a burglary. Oh, we had…

The World’s Largest Kaleidoscope

I had seen the building boasting the world’s largest kaleidoscope on many drives through the Catskills, cropping up along Route 28 in Mt. Tremper between the idiosyncratic motels and restaurants perched on cliff-faces. “WORLD’S LARGEST KALEIDOSCOPE,” the lettering bellowed, with an arrow helpfully pointing to a silo emerging from the structure. The building was asking…

Environmental Advocates Say 2050 Is Too Late

One theme resonated more heavily than others at the Climate and Community Protection Act hearing in New Paltz Friday: 2050 wasn’t soon enough. Many of the 38 activists, local elected officials and environmental advocates who spoke at the three-and-a-half-hour hearing said the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA), a state bill aiming to reduce greenhouse…

The End of Bail in New York?

The bail system in New York may soon end with Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposing a measure to end the practice and democrats controlling the state legislature. Advocates for ending the system argue bail, which by state law is only meant to assure a defendant shows up to court dates, ends up discriminating against the poor,…

Here’s Why the Hudson Valley and Catskills’ Population is Falling

The northern Hudson Valley and Catskills’ population has fallen faster than greater Upstate New York in recent years. Seven counties — Columbia, Greene, Ulster, Delaware, Putnam, Sullivan and Dutchess — saw a loss in population from 2010 to 2017, with Orange, Westchester and Rockland counties seeing an increase, according to an analysis of Census data.…

Dave Clegg Running for DA – Lays Out Positions in Exclusive Interview

Dave Clegg, the longtime Kingston attorney and former NY-19 congressional candidate, announced his candidacy for Ulster County’s criminal prosecutor in an exclusive interview Thursday. Over the 45-minute interview, Clegg talked about how he would recommend lower bail, work on rehabilitating drug addicts, engage the DA’s office with the local community, and laid out his stances…

New Paltz Takes on ICE

Kevin Halcott was friends with Matthew Rojas for a year-and-a-half before he got a call from Rojas’ roommate telling him the 23-year-old had been arrested by ICE agents outside the New Paltz Town Courthouse. Halcott tells me this at a back table in Mudd Puddle, a local coffee spot squatting among two rows of eclectic…