ALBANY, NY (December 18, 2014) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is inviting New Yorkers to an Open House at the Executive Mansion on Wednesday, December 31 to celebrate the New Year.

All adults over the age of 16 wishing to attend must have a ticket. Individuals who receive tickets will be allowed to bring one guest and any underage children from their household – children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets to the Open House are required and space is limited.

New Yorkers wishing to attend should visit the Governor’s website to register:https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/executive-mansion-open-house.

The registration period takes place through Friday, December 26 at 5 p.m.

Space is limited and tickets are non-transferable. In the event that the number of requests exceeds available space, attendees will be selected by lottery.

Guests will be notified of their selection via email on Monday, December 29.

The Executive Mansion Open House will be held from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on December 31, 2014.

Guests are reminded that weapons and controlled substances as well as bags, backpacks, luggage, parcels, briefcases and similar articles are strictly prohibited from the event.

Photography and videography devices will not be allowed on the premises. Guests with prohibited articles will be turned away. There will not be a storage or "check-in” area provided for such items.

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Story and photos by Carol Montana

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (December 16, 2014) – You could just melt from the cuteness.

IMG_0800 Around 50 adults and children came out to the Liberty Senior Center on North Main Street on Monday, December 8, to learn about the new Puppy Raising Region in Sullivan County.

The evening provided education about how to be a Puppy Raiser courtesy of  Guiding Eyes’ Puppy Raising Coordinator Nicole Guite, along with several volunteers IMG_0806who are raising their own puppies. But the event also allowed people to visit with several “teenager” dogs, as well as several adorable yellow lab puppies.

A Puppy Raising Region is a designated area where the dogs, who will hopefully change the life of a blind person, get their start. At eight weeks of age, puppies (usually Labradors and German Shepherds) are placed with people who will raise, socialize, IMG_0815feed, groom, teach basic obedience, and provide the future service dogs with love and a good home.

Somewhere around 12-18 months of age, the dogs will go to the Guiding Eyes facility for additional socialization and training.

Volunteers who wish to raise the puppies must IMG_0826fill out an application at www.guidingeyes.org/volunteer, and if they are accepted, they will take pre-placement classes. Once they are assigned a puppy, they must attend regularly scheduled classes.

While the puppy raisers pay forIMG_0829 O food and toys, Guiding Eyes pays for veterinary care.

In addition to training dogs for the visually impaired, Guiding Eyes also trains service dogs to assist those with autism.

Occasionally, there are dogs who are not chosen for the Guiding Eyes IMG_0847program. They may enter the breeding program, become law enforcement dogs or do some other kind of service dog work with those who are deaf or paralyzed or need some other kind of assistance.

One of the joys of being a puppy raiser, said Guite, is attending the graduation ceremony where the dog is paired with the person whose life will be forever changed.

Additionally, she said that volunteers are needed, not just to raise the puppies, but also to help socialize, play with, massage and foster puppies and dogs.

IMG_0874 Although each guide dog costs approximately $45,000 to breed, raise, train and match with a visually impaired handler, all the services are provided to the new owner free of charge.

As seen in the accompanying photos, it was obvious at the information session that “Snoopy” creator Charles Schultz had it right when he declared that “Happiness is a warm puppy.”

Guiding Eyes is a nonprofit guide dog school, operating since 1954. For more information, visit www.guidingeyes.org.

And for additional information on the Guiding Eyes’ Puppy Raising Program, call 1-866-GEB-LABS or visit www.guidingeyes.org/volunteer/puppy-raising/.

To see more photos from Guiding Eyes for the Blind Opens New Puppy Raising Region in Liberty, NY, visit The Catskill Chronicle on Zenfolio.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY (November 16, 2014) – The staff of the Catskill Chronicle: Untitled-1Mort Malkin (Gadfly columnist), Jude Waterston (Tales from the Scrawny Gourmet columnist), Barry Plaxen (Music and Theatre Critic), Grayce Goin (Twice Divorced and Elder Berries columnist), J.A. Di Bello (Theatre Critic), Lori Schneider (Theatre Critic), Janet Waterston (Elder Berries columnist), and Carol Montana (editor), would like to take this opportunity to wish our faithful friends and fans a happy, healthy and blessed Chanukah.

Thank you for reading, thank you for your contributions to our calendar. Thank you for your community involvement, and for making the stories that we cover.

We hope we continue to make you proud of us as your hometown online newspaper.

SULLIVAN COUNTY AND SURROUNDING AREAS (December 15, 2014) – Catskill Mountainkeeper has been awarded a grant of $1.8 million from the State of New York to lead a collaborative project to increase energy IMG_0493.jpgconservation and solar penetration in the Southern Tier and Mid-Hudson regions. Lead partners in this project are the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, Sustainable Hudson Valley, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, each of which brings extensive experience in conservation, renewable energy promotion and sustainable community development. The funding will come from Phase II of the Cleaner, Greener Communities (CGC) Program, within the New STSW_Facebook.pngYork State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and is being awarded through Round IV of Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative.

In 2013 Catskill Mountainkeeper launched Renewable NY to tackle the increasingly urgent need for communities to shift their energy consumption towards sources that are clean, efficient, and renewable.  In early 2014 we launched RenewableNY.com, a central resource for information and actions that can be taken to advance renewable energy in New York State. The statewide program also facilitates partnerships between local non-profit organizations and community leaders to advance community-based projects, including solar bulk-purchasing campaigns that encourage the brsc_hor_cropped.jpgpurchase of residential and small business solar installations. These educational and action-oriented campaigns have been proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create economic growth in the renewable energy sector.

"Renewable NY Southeast" is a three-year, multifaceted, flagship project and bi-regional partnership between the four anchor community organizations, and is intended to raise public awareness about the benefits of and opportunities for solar, as well as to remove market barriers to increased solar installation. By aggregating hundreds of sign-ups for of solar installations in a short time-frame, a campaign of this sort can bring the cost per installation down from $20,000 to $4,000. 

present-shv-logo.jpgThe project’s main components will include an education and awareness campaign, a group purchasing program, and a work force development partnership with local educational and training institutions. Each of these initiatives is envisioned as a scalable and replicable model that can be implemented in other regions of New York going forward.

Catskill Mountainkeeper will administer and manage the project, and will collaborate on marketing and community-based outreach with the two regional teams in the Mid-Hudson and Southern Tier. Sustainable Hudson Valley will implement the outreach plan in the Mid-Hudson counties of Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Rockland, Putnam and Sullivan. BRSC and Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County will lead outreach efforts in Broome, Delaware, Tioga, Chenango, Tompkins, Steuben, Chemung and CCE-Tompkins_Logo_-_color_reduced.jpgSchuyler counties.  All four organizations will work with partnering educational institutions in the development of a Clean Energy Technology Training Consortium to increase opportunities for solar and other renewable energy-related job training in both target regions. Additional partners at the county and local levels will be engaged where possible and appropriate.

For additional information contact:

Catskill Mountainkeeper – Renewable NY,  Betta Broad, Program Manager Energy & Climate, betta@catskillmountainkeeper.org, 607-222-3678

Southern Tier Solar Works, Adam Flint, Southern Tier Solar Works Program Manger at the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, flint@igc.org, 607-761-8337

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, Sharon K. Anderson, Environment Team Leader, ska2@cornell.edu, 607-272-2292

Sustainable Hudson Valley, Melissa Everett, Executive Director, everett@sustainhv.org, 845-514-8567

NEW YORK STATE (December 14, 2014) – The New York State Police will deploy additional troopers on the roads in an effort to crack down on drunk New York State Police Vehiclesdriving during the holiday season.

Similar law enforcement initiatives will be taking place across the country due to records indicating an increase in drunk-driving related fatalities that occur around the holidays.

The New York State Police will again participate in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, from Friday, December 12, 2014 through Thursday, January 1, 2015. Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints along with more troopers on major highways during the campaign. Unmarked State Police patrol vehicles will also be on the roads.

“With the holiday season approaching, State Troopers will be out in force to monitor our roadways and crack down on dangerous driving habits,” Governor Cuomo said. “This stepped up enforcement – combined with a national campaign against drunk driving – will keep New Yorkers safe and help prevent needless tragedies from ever occurring.”
Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, “Safety comes first for the New York State Police for our troopers and the drivers and passengers we serve on New York State’s roadways. We want everyone to have a happy holiday – but we also want you to have a safe one. Impaired drivers cause needless deaths and injuries. Have a plan and you could save a life – maybe even your own.”

In addition to the DWI checkpoints and patrols, Troopers will be watching for distracted or impaired drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled up and drivers violating the “Move Over Law,” which requires motorists to exercise extreme caution when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped in or on the side of the road.

During last year’s campaign, State Police issued more than 38,000 tickets. More than 630 people were charged with DWIs, more than 11,000 drivers were ticketed for speeding and 1,500 drivers were caught for distracted driving.

The facts are grim: During the 2012 holiday period, 1,698 people nationwide were killed on the road, with almost a third of the fatalities related to drunk-driving. On Christmas Day that year, 26 people were killed by drunk drivers.
To keep our roads safer this holiday season, the New York State Police and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offer these tips:

    · Plan a safe way home before the celebrating begins;
    · Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
    · If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
    · Use your community’s sober ride program;
    · If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement;
    · If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

Also, as part of the enhanced enforcement holiday initiative, the New York State Police today will participate in a “Safety Without Borders” campaign in partnership with bordering U.S. and Canadian law enforcement agencies.

“Safety Without Borders" is a highly visible traffic safety enforcement initiative that emphasizes the shared goal of safe roadways regardless of jurisdictions. The following law enforcement agencies will be participating in this year’s campaign; Vermont State Police, Maine State Police, New Hampshire State Police, Ontario Provincial Police and Sûreté du Québec. Law enforcement officials will be concentrating on offenses that result in the greatest contribution to serious and sometimes fatal collisions, with particular attention to impaired driving, aggressive driving, distracted driving, Move-Over Law violations and improper seat belt use.

This is the third “Safety Without Borders” program conducted during 2014 – previous campaigns took place in April and June, during which participating agencies issued nearly 3,000 tickets. There were no fatal accident investigations that took place during the programs, showing that this partnership is successful in decreasing fatalities throughout the multi-state and Canadian border region. New York has participated in the program since 1994.
MEDIA NOTE: Members of the media should contact their local troop and/or the State Police press office with inquiries and interview requests regarding this subject.

BETHEL, NY (December 10, 2014) – Tickets are on sale this week for the highly anticipated 2015 Mormon527_1Mormon Tabernacle Choir Atlantic Coast tour, which will include a stop at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on June 27, 2015.

The tour will feature the 360-voice world-renowned choir and 68 members of the Orchestra at Temple Square. The Choir’s repertoire will cover everything from Bach and Broadway to American folk hymns and spirituals.

Since its first tour outside of Utah in 1893, the Choir has toured extensively across the United States and abroad. It has performed throughout Europe and in music capitals from Israel and Russia to Japan and Australia. Its travels have also included performances at the inaugurations of six U.S. presidents. A full complement of the Orchestra  has traveled on tour with the Choir since 2005. The all-volunteer Choir and Orchestra usually tour every other year since all of the performers must take vacation time from their jobs and leave their families to undertake the travel.Mormon527_2

The 360-voice choir, accompanied frequently by the 150-member orchestra, can also be heard weekly as part of the “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast. This 30-minute program is the world’s longest continuing network broadcast and currently airs on over 2,000 radio, TV, cable and satellite stations worldwide. The Choir and Orchestra are active recording artists with their own recording label, Mormon Tabernacle Choir®.

For more information, please visit www.mormontabernaclechoir.org/tour.

For ticket information: at Bethel Woods, click here.

(December 9, 201) – Affected Jurisdictions: Sullivan County

Issued By:  NWS Binghamton (South Central New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania)

…Winter Weather Advisory In Effect Until 7 AM EST Thursday……Winter Storm Warning Is Cancelled…The National Weather Service In Binghamton Has Issued A Winter weather Advisory For Freezing Rain, Snow And Sleet…Which Is In effect Until 7 AM EST Thursday. The Winter Storm Warning Has Been cancelled.

* Locations…Poconos…Wyoming And Lackawanna Valleys In northeast Pennsylvania And Sullivan County New York.

* Hazards…Wintry Mix And Snow.

* Accumulations…4 To 8 Inches Of Snow With The Highest accumulations In The Higher Terrain. Ice Accumulations Around one Tenth Of An Inch Of Ice Mainly Over The Highest Elevations.

* Timing…A Light Wintry Mix Of Freezing Rain, Sleet And Snow will Continue Into This Evening. Precipitation Will Transition To Snow tonight And Persist Through Early Thursday Morning.

* Temperatures…Around 30 Tonight And Tomorrow Dropping Into The mid 20s Wednesday Night.

* Winds…Northwest 10 To 20 Mph With Gusts Up To 25 Mph.

* Impacts…Hazardous Travel Today From Light Ice, Especially higher Elevations. Travel Will Become Dangerous This Evening from Snow. Slippery Travel Can Be Expected Through Early Thursday Morning.

A Winter Weather Advisory Means That Periods Of Snow…Sleet…Or freezing Rain Will Cause Travel Difficulties. Be Prepared For slippery Roads And Limited Visibilities…And Use Caution While driving.

Please Report Snowfall And/Or Ice Amounts To The National Weather service By Calling Toll Free At 1-888-603-1402…Or By Email Atbgm.Stormreport@Noaa.Gov.

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