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Local History by Jonathan Palmer: A Haunted Sloop

Written By Editor on 11/27/21 | 11/27/21

By Jonathan Palmer, Greene County Historian

The tradition of “witch doctoring” in the Catskills dates to the earliest days of European settlement in the unforgiving valleys and hollows of our celebrated mountains. Numerous sources, notably from Schoharie and Ulster Counties, detail the exploits of this peculiar regional flavor of supernatural healers — earnest folk endowed with remarkable powers which were always leveraged for the benefit of their far-flung neighbors. These so called “witch doctors,” as Alf Evers describes in his book The Catskills, were lauded as curious but valued members of the communities they ministered to. In essence, they were “good” witches. 

The abject oddness of this regional phenomenon cannot be understated. The exploits of several of the Catskills’ witch doctors in the years after the Revolution occurred a mere two hundred miles from the Massachusetts Bay region where a century prior a fit of mass hysteria led to the execution of nineteen people on suspicion of being witches. There are myriad reasons for the strange tolerance of Catskill Mountain communities towards the witches who lived alongside them, and the influence of Palatine German and Dutch cultural values cannot be understated, but at the end of the day the reality of this phenomenon still almost defies credulity.

The CLEARWATER, a modern North River Sloop of 70 tons, retains the traditional lines of this unique style of vessel. The MARTIN WYNKOOP, a sloop which sailed the Hudson in the 19th century, was plagued by hauntings most of its career and would have looked exactly like the CLEARWATER with larger dimensions. 

Dr. Jacob Brink, who wasn’t an actual MD by any stretch of the imagination, is perhaps the most famous of the witch doctors who practiced in the Catskills. Mr. Evers cites numerous stories and written accounts of the fantastical exploits of the “Old Doctor” — from “chasing the witches” out of butter churns that produced sour butter, to speaking and laying on hands to cure an illness, and even stopping a hemorrhage through incantations while miles away from the bleeding victim. These stories were all remarkable, but the one that takes the cake was Doctor Brink’s ministrations over the North River Sloop MARTIN WYNKOOP, a reviled hulk of a ship which was plagued for all its years by spirits and dark forces. That Doctor Brink’s storied career and the tale of the MARTIN WYNKOOP should overlap is a fascinating crossover which lends a certain degree of authenticity to an otherwise fantastical legend.

Folk tales like those which have grown over the last two centuries concerning Doctor Brink’s exploits and the tribulations of the MARTIN WYNKOOP are difficult things to grapple with. They are always furnished by tellers as the truth and have grown and transformed with the telling like a knotted old yellow birch on a mountainside. Like the birch these tales are lovely to witness, but their roots are sometimes obscure and far-reaching. At the archives of the old Senate House in Kingston one of the roots of this particular tale lay hidden in the pages of a diary from 1850. This diary, one of several kept by Mr. Nathaniel Booth of Twaalfskill, is in and of itself an absolutely astounding piece of writing, but within its pages appears one of the earliest written accounts of the MARTIN WYNKOOP, its haunting, and Doctor Brink’s attempts to cure the ship. 

The MARTIN WYNKOOP was an actual sloop. Constructed at Kingston in 1822, the 113-ton vessel was enrolled at New York in 1823 probably while under the ownership of Kingston businessman Abraham Hasbrouck. According to resources not directly involved in perpetuating the WYNKOOP’s legend, deckhand Zebre Simmons drowned while in service on board in the summer of 1826. He is the only verifiable human casualty of the MARTIN WYNKOOP

Hasbrouck, already a wizened veteran of the merchant’s line of business, decided to retire and divest himself of his buildings and wharf at Kingston Landing in 1829. The lengthy advertisement for his property ran in the New York Statesman in 1829 and 1830, the final paragraph reading: “The subscriber [Hasbrouck] also offers for sale, the sloop MARTIN WYNKOOP, in complete order. She is too well known on the river to need any particular description or recommendation.” It is difficult to discern if Hasbrouck’s advertisement is alluding to the eight year old sloop’s widely regarded fame or infamy. 

The MARTIN WYNKOOP falls out of the news for two decades following her sale, but reappears in 1850 following a collision with the schooner MARION which resulted in a lengthy and expensive court case among the respective owners. By many accounts the MARTIN WYNKOOP subsequently sank in New Jersey sometime in the 1880s, though even this is difficult to confirm.

Nathaniel Booth, finding himself on a wharf at Rondout on a deceptively springlike day in February of 1850, sat and listened to some of the boatmen gathered on the warm side of a warehouse trading stories. In his diary that night he related ten pages of what he heard regarding the MARTIN WYNKOOP, mostly furnished by one of the aged veterans of the river trade seated among his compatriots. Booth quoted the man: “she is haunted and there is no use talking about it. I have known her for thirty years and she has had ill luck all the time; she has never paid expenses, she has broke more legs and arms, ruined more freight and done more damage generally than any craft between Troy and New York. ‘You don’t believe this and you don’t believe that’ is all fudge — facts are stubborn things and what a man sees with his own eyes he is apt to believe in, and what he knows can’t be argued out of him; and I know she is both unlucky and haunted.”

More on the Hudson’s most famous haunted sloop and Doctor Brink’s efforts to cure her next week. Questions can be directed to Jon via

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SUNY Cobleskill Men's Basketball Team Falls in Overtime to Hunter College 130-128

Written By Editor on 11/26/21 | 11/26/21

In a game that resembled a NBA Western Division contest, the SUNY Cobleskill men’s basketball team returned to action on Saturday afternoon losing at the buzzer to the visiting Hawks of Hunter College in non-conference action by a 130-128 margin in overtime. With the overtime loss the Fighting Tigers are now 0-5 overall on the campaign while the Hawks improve to 2-3 overall on the year. 

Facing an up-tempo Hawk attack that featured a full-court trapping style of play with hockey style shift substitutions every 30 to 45 seconds, the Fighting Tigers found themselves trailing ny 18 points at 84-66 with 15:07 remaining to play in regulation before rallying to tie the score at 106-106 with 5:33 left to play on a lay-up by Shaun Johnson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Poughkeepsie High School.  

Down the stretch the teams traded the lead several times with Cobleskill trailing 117-115 with 20 seconds left when sophomore forward Naphtali Regilus, Roselle, N.J., Abraham Clark High School/Essex Community College, was fouled going to the basket. Reguilus then converted a pair of free throws to tie the contest at 117-117 which led to overtime.  

In a sea saw overtime period, the Fighting Tigers found themselves once again trailing 128-126 when first-year swingman Yandeel Vazquez, Amsterdam, N.Y., Amsterdam High School, converted a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining to tie the score for the ninth time at 128-128.  

However, a comeback victory for the home team was not in the cards as the Hawks pushed the ball up the floor with sophomore forward Cole Earley, Shanghai, China, Andrews Osborne Academy, hitting a fall-a-way jumper from 13 feet as the buzzer sounded to give the visitors the victory. 

Yandeel Vazquez turned in an impressive effort for the Fighting Tigers in defeat with a game high of 33 points to go with seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals with senior forward Juwan Malone, Brooklyn, N.Y., Brooklyn Collegiate High School/Fulton-Montgomery Community College, hitting for 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Shaun Johnson also played a major role in the game for the home team with 23 points, four rebounds and three steals. 

Cobleskill had several other notable efforts as Naphtali Regilus scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds, senior point guard Mike McKoy, Charlotte, N.C., Statesville Christian High School, posting his first career double/double with 11 points, 11 assists along with three steals and first-year guard Ja’Nyve Smith, Albany, N.Y., Bishop Maginn High School, hitting for 10 points, six rebounds and four assists.     

The Orange & Black will next be in action when they travel to Troy, N.Y. on Tuesday November 23 for a pre-Thanksgiving meeting with the Engineers of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with tip-off at 7:00 p.m.  

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Whittling Away

A Cup of Coffee
By Dick Brooks

 I was delighted the last time she was home when The Princess told me she was going to a coffee house to meet some friends.  I know about coffee and about houses so I figured this would be a good topic for a father-daughter conversation.  We had an enjoyable chat, pleasant, bubbly and all but went our separate ways wondering what the heck the other one was talking about.  My version of a coffee house, the kind I hung out in during the sixties and early seventies, were dark, dingy dives which bear little resemblance to the ambience of the modern version.  My coffee house had folk music, poetry, jazz and contemplative conversation.  It was a place to hang out, meet friends and listen to some usually local musicians and writers display their talents.  The Princess’s version had a lot of things in common with mine, the conversation and even the poetry is still there.  Music appears on occasion, the main difference is, her group actually drinks coffee.
     The choice of beverages in the old Eighth Step Coffee House, when I first started going there, was coffee (which almost nobody ever drank) and hot cider.  50 cents would buy you a cup of either, they comprised the entire menu of the establishment.  We went for the music.
     The coffee houses The Princess frequents don’t have as much music but a heck of a lot more goodies.  Today’s kids actually go there to drink coffee and teas.  They have menus listing all the specialty beverages that are available.  The Princess has no trouble ordering and loves lingering over her choice and chatting with her friends for hours so I guess it is a good thing.
     Coffee has come a long way since I first became aware of it.  My mother and father always started the day with a cup.  Becoming a coffee drinker was a rite of passage, when your parents asked you if you wanted a cup of coffee, you knew you were now officially a cup carrying adult.  Other than the ritualistic moving from the kids’ table to the adult table during the holidays, I can think of no other occasion that marked the end of childhood more distinctly than being handed that white mug at breakfast.
     Getting a cup of coffee was easier back then, you went into a diner or restaurant, and ordered a cup of coffee.  The waitress or the guy behind the counter plunked it in front of you, pushed the little silver pitcher of cream and the sugar shaker across the counter and you were good to go.
     I was traveling on the Thruway a month or so ago and started to get tired so I decided to stop at a rest area and get a cup of coffee to perk me up.  This particular rest stop even featured a nationally known coffee chain shop.  I had heard that their coffee was good so I decided to try it.  The first problem I had was the overhead menu, it was written in a foreign language, none of which seemed to indicate that coffee was sold there.  There were all sorts of machines puffing and squirting steam but I didn’t see a regular looking coffee machine anywhere.  I decided to go to McDonalds since I knew that they had coffee when I noticed another old guy who looked like he knew what was going on, so I asked him if they sold coffee there.  I told him what I wanted and he translated.  I walked out with a Grande Mocha Latte Cappuccino Columbian Frappe or something like that.  It tasted good, almost like coffee and I couldn’t sleep for three days so it worked well but I think next time I’m going to McDonalds where I can get a meal and a cup of regular coffee for about the same price I paid for the whatever it was I had.
     Thought for the week—Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.
     Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well. 

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Gardening Tip of the Week: 2021 Garden Part 2

By Bob Beyfuss

  I returned to the Sunshine State a few days ago, just before an early snowstorm deposited an inch of the white stuff on my driveway in Conesville. I was not at all unhappy to have missed that first dusting. I had just put a three inch layer of straw on my asparagus, carrots and beets, hoping they will overwinter for an early harvest next April. The wet snow will hopefully hold the straw in place. I also mixed a full bale of peat moss with the soil in one of my raised beds and added about 20 pounds of rabbit manure on top, for good measure. All vegetable gardens will benefit by the addition of organic matter such as peat moss or compost. Tilling a three, to four inch layer, into the topsoil each fall, is perhaps the most important step you can take to maintain or improve your garden soil.

     The 1438 mile drive to Bradenton, Florida was mostly uneventful, but a bit more expensive than last year, with gas prices ranging from $3.59 in NY, to just about $3 in South Carolina and Georgia. Florida is about $3.20 right now. That works out to about 40 gallons for my thrifty Subaru, costing me about $130 for the drive. The fall foliage in the mountains of VA and NC was peak, making the drive more enjoyable. It is cool here, by Florida standards, with morning temperatures in the low 50’s, but 70’s in the afternoon. 

    I brought down some of the onions that I grew from transplants, set in the ground on May 21. I prefer growing transplants to onion “sets” since they seem to perform much better for me.  Most seasons the onion tops start to topple over by early August, signaling harvest time, but this year some of them continued to grow right up until November. These “Sweet Sandwich” onions grew very well for me, as usual.  Some of the bulbs weighed a half pound! I also stuck a half dozen scallions, purchased at the supermarket, into my window box in mid-May. I harvested fresh scallions all season long from these six plants, since cutting the tops back just allowed them to grow new tops. 

    I planted Yukon Gold and Norland potatoes also on May 21 and they also grew very well. By August, I noticed that critters had made tunnels in many of my raised beds, including the potato bed. I saw chipmunks and moles going in and out of the holes, but I did not give them much thought. Moles are carnivores, eating worms and grubs and not plant roots. Chipmunks will eat almost anything and everything in the garden, including insects, but they are generally not considered a major pest of root crops. 

     I was dismayed to spot a vole using the tunnels though in late August and when I finally got around to digging the potatoes, in October, 90% of them were partially eaten. I should have harvested in August, before the voles moved in! I had hoped to bring 30 pounds of spuds down here with me, but I ended up with only about 2 pounds! 

     My next planting was on June 6, when I transplanted 4 more “Big Beef” tomatoes and also direct seeded zucchini and winter squash from seed I harvested from last year’s winter squash crop. A few days later I set out my “Marketmore”, slicing and pickling cucumbers at the bases of my six foot tall, tomato cages, made out of sturdy, steel, re-wire. I have used the same tomato cages from more than 40 years now and they should last forever, although “forever” for me is not likely another 40 years. The cucumber vines climb the tomato cages allowing me to “double crop” the same space each year. This system works well for me, but occasionally, I will miss seeing a hanging cucumber amongst the tomato foliage in inside the cages until it is 1 foot long. . The cucumbers did well with the first harvest on July 28 and they pretty much continued to grow right up until October. I know some readers have problems with cucumber plants succumbing to disease or insect pests which transmit disease each year. The trick to getting a good cucumber harvest is to spray them as soon as set out and keep spraying them weekly, with a fungicide, until they start to set fruit. I do the same for my tomatoes with excellent results. 

    My first tomato harvest was on August 7, for both the early transplanted ones (May 21) and those I set out on June 5. The two week planting delay did not delay the first harvest at all, once more, demonstrating that there is little point in setting out tomato plants before the soil has warmed to 70 degrees or higher.

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Bassett Healthcare Network Gives Gratitude Bonuses to Employees

Bassett Healthcare Network announced today that full- and part-time employees across the health system will receive substantial gratitude bonuses, made possible in large part through a generous donation from the Scriven Foundation. Bassett Medical Center board chair Jane Forbes Clark was instrumental in advocating for the funding.


The bonus comes as a thank you to Bassett Healthcare Network’s nearly 5,000 caregivers and practitioners for their dedication and hard work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our caregivers and practitioners have worked tirelessly through this deadly pandemic,” says Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, President and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network. “They continue to exhibit amazing courage in the face of unthinkable hardship with lasting pandemic response efforts and nationwide staffing shortages. Further, for nearly a year, Bassett’s caregivers and practitioners have been committed to vaccinating our communities, working day and night. The work they are doing for our patients, community, and each other is truly lifesaving.


“We are incredibly grateful to the Scriven Foundation and Jane Forbes Clark for their ongoing support of our caregivers, practitioners, health system, and community.”

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The SUNY Cobleskill women’s swimming & diving team posted a team score of 99 points to place fifth overall in a seven-team field at the 2021 Herkimer Community College Invitational hosted by the Generals on Saturday at their campus Cristman Pool. 

Senior Katherine Noncarrow, Allendale, N.J., Northern High Land Regional High School, was the team’s top individual finisher winning the 1000-Yard Freestyle in a time of 12:39.19 while finishing in second place in the 100-Yard Backstroke in 1:13.73 and third in the 100-Yard Breaststroke in 1:27.46.  

The Fighting Tigers will next be in action after the Thanksgiving holiday when they host SUNY Delhi at the Bouck Hall Natatorium beginning at 6:00 p.m.  

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The SUNY Cobleskill men’s swimming & diving team posted a team score of 143 points to place third overall in a seven-team field at the 2021 Herkimer Community College Invitational hosted by the Generals on Saturday at their campus Cristman Pool. 

Senior Daniel Mullen, Oswego, N.Y., Mexico High School, was the team’s top performer at the event winning the 100-Yard Freestyle in a time of 51.48 seconds while placing second in the 50-Yard Freestyle in 23.43 seconds.  

The Fighting Tigers will next be in action after the Thanksgiving holiday when they host SUNY Delhi at the Bouck Hall Natatorium beginning at 6:00 p.m.  

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The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) announced today that SUNY Cobleskill first-year men’s basketball team member Yandeel Vazquez, Amsterdam, N.Y., Amsterdam High School, has been named NAC Men’s Basketball Rookie-of-the-Week for the week ending on November 21, 2021. Vazquez becomes the first Fighting Tiger men’s basketball player to earn NAC Basketball Rookie-of-the-Week honors since the program’s move to the conference in 2020. 

In games versus Bryant & Stratton College-Albany and Hunter College the talented swingman averaged 23.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game while connecting on 19-of-33 shots from the field, 57.6%, for the week highlighted by a 33-point, seven rebound, seven assist and four steal effort versus Hunter College on Saturday.  

For the season the Amsterdam, N.Y. native is averaging 12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.0 assist and 1.2 steals per game in five appearances while shooting 46.3% from the field and 66.7% from the free throw line. 

According to Fighting Tiger Head Coach Justin Maxwell the former Amsterdam High School Ram is well on his way to playing a major role in the program’s post-pandemic rebuilding.  

"Yandeel is a very exciting player to watch, he is a big part of our team right now and is going to play a major role in our program’s future." 

The Fighting Tigers will next be in action on Tuesday November 23 when they travel to Troy, N.Y. for a non-conference contest versus Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.   

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The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) announced today that SUNY Cobleskill first-year men’s swimming & diving team member Jason Halasy, Brooklyn, N.Y., Midwood High School, has been named NAC Men’s Swimming & Diving Rookie-of-the-Week for the week ending on November 21, 2021. Halasy becomes the first Fighting Tiger men’s swimmer to earn NAC Men’s Swimming & Diving Rookie-of-the-Week honors since the program’s move to the conference in 2020. 

On Saturday November 13 in the teams 71-31 victory over Herkimer Community College Halasy swam legs of the Fighting Tigers winning 200-Yard Medley Relay, 2:05.34, and 200-Yard Freestyle Relay, 1:42.88, then in the team’s third place finish at the Herkimer Invitational on Saturday November 20 the talented first-year swam the anchor led on the teams third place finishing 200-Yard Medley Relay, 2:00.33, while posting a win in the 100-Yard Butterfly in 1:03.45 to go with a fourth place finish in the 50-Yard Freestyle.  

The Fighting Tigers will return to action after the Thanksgiving holiday when they host the Broncos of SUNY Delhi in head-to-head competition at the Bouck Hall Natatorium beginning at 6:00 p.m.  

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The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) announced today that for the second time this season that SUNY Cobleskill senior Daniel Mullen, Oswego, N.Y., Mexico High School, has been named the league’s Men’s Swimmer-of-the-Week for the week ending Sunday November 21, 2021.  


The Oswego, N.Y. native led the Fighting Tiger men’s swimming & diving team to a third-place finish in a seven-team field at the Herkimer Invitational hosted by Herkimer Community College in Herkimer, N.Y. on Saturday November 20. 


Mullen was the team’s top performer at the event winning the 100-Yard Freestyle in a time of 51.48 seconds then placing second in the 50-Yard Freestyle in 23.43 seconds. The Cobleskill captain also swam legs of the team’s second place 400-Yard Freestyle Relay, 3:53.58, and third place 200-Yard Medley Relay, 2:00.33.  


The Fighting Tigers will return to action after the Thanksgiving holiday when they host the Broncos of SUNY Delhi in head-to-head competition at the Bouck Hall Natatorium beginning at 6:00 p.m.  

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Upcoming Delaware and Otsego County Blood Drives

Delaware County

12/9/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Delhi Alliance Church, 16178 NY 28
12/16/2021: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Downsville Fire Department, 15166 State Highway 30
12/14/2021: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Franklin Fire Department, 351 Main Street
11/30/2021: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Sidney Elks Lodge, 104 River St
12/10/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Stamford Baptist Church, 40 Lake Street

Otsego County 

11/26/2021: 12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Bassett Hall, 1 Atwell Rd
11/30/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Garrattsville Fire Department, 4413 State Route 51
12/13/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Christ Episcopal Church, Marion Ave/State Hwy 51
11/26/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Elm Park Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St.
12/8/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., AO Fox Memorial Hospital Levine Center, One Norton Ave
Richfield Springs
12/13/2021: 2:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Richfield Springs Community Center, Walnut Street
12/6/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Worcester Municipal Building, 19 Katie Lane

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Upcoming Blood Drive Opportunities

12/4/2021: 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Gallupville Lutheran Church, 890 NY 443
11/27/2021: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Middleburgh Shelter, 139 Cotton Hill Rd
12/14/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Schoharie Reformed Church, 258 Main St
Sharon Springs
11/30/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Sharon Springs High School, 514 Route 20

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On November 10, 2021, Schoharie Economic Enterprise
Corporation (SEEC) launched the Farm and Food Advisory Council as part of an initiative to create a Regional Independent Food Processing Business Plan. This project has been funded, in part, by the Appalachian Regional Commission and coordinated by SEEC alliance, Southern Tier 8.
The project has been allocated public and private funds totaling $56,500, allowing a third-party consultant to be hired to develop the business plan. To guide the consultant and ensure the plan meets the needs of the local food production and distribution network, SEEC has invited representatives with expertise ranging throughout the food supply chain.
“We all witnessed the dairy and protein processing challenges that were exasperated during COVID,” remarked Julie Pacatte, SEEC Executive Director. “We understand many factors play a part and we do not expect to find a silver bullet but, together, we will come out with a plan that supports the farms of our region.” 
SEEC has been recruiting council volunteers since the summer. The volunteer Farm and Food Advisory Council members who met earlier November represent agricultural pillars in the community and region such as multi-generational and new Independent Farmers, SUNY Cobleskill’s Institute for Rural Vitality, the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship, local Future Farmers of America Advisors, New York and Schoharie County Farm Bureau, New York State Vegetable Growers Association, Hudson Valley Food System Coalition, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Community Planning & Environmental Associates, Southern Tier 8, and farmland protection plan representatives of Schoharie, Delaware and Otsego Counties.
The kick-off meeting encouraged each volunteer to express their interest in the project. One member expressed his interest to organize so the region may secure a share of the USDA $500 Million for Expanded Meat & Poultry Processing, while another identified cold storage needs, and yet, others were explicit about immediate dairy
farm transitions redirecting available milk supplies to local consumers. Members also raised awareness of a long-term Vision 2050 strategic plan for New York State food systems and the newly adopted “Nourish New York” program. Recently signed into law by Governor Hochul, Nourish New York is intended to broaden markets for local agriculture producers and processors by purchasing surplus agriculture goods for New York food banks.
“We will learn from each member as we approach the process as a for-profit model based on market realities,” added Pacatte. The impact of the Farm and Food Advisory Council’s efforts should result in the stabilization of the agricultural economic market of the region, ensuring that local farmers are supported and given opportunities to expand in production and distribution.

The kick-off meeting further acknowledged this is as a narrowly focused and timely effort. The fundamental premise is a response to the COVID crisis, which created more urgency to look at past plans and emphasized market opportunities. The project is expected to be expedited due to the resources on hand and the assistance of a business planning expert that will conduct interviews, prepare a market analysis, identify value propositions, management, and funding needs. A request for proposal from business planning consultants will be issued by year-end.

Members of the Farm and Food Advisory Council include Jim Barber, Taylor Bogardus, Seth Browe, Ann Diefendorf, Scott Ferguson, Deb Fletcher, Todd Heyn, Shelly Johnson-Bennett, Desiree Keever, Bill Kuhl, Dorothy Richter, Sarah Salem, Phoebe Schreiner, Duane Spaulding, Nan Stolzenburg, Alicia Terry, Myron Thurston III, John VanDerwerken, and Marilyn Wyman.
SEEC welcomes other Project Contributors to share their expertise via questionnaires, surveys, interviews, and/or focus groups to shape a viable Regional Independent Food Processing initiative. Project Contributors are invited to sign-up online HERE or email and will be called upon as the project progresses.

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Bassett Healthcare Network Offering COVID-19 Vaccines to Everyone Aged 5 and Older

Bassett Healthcare Network is now offering COVID-19 vaccines to everyone aged 5 and older. Vaccines are available for children ages 5 to 11 in pediatric clinics and school-based health centers across the region. Make an appointment by calling your child’s practitioner.

What Parents Should Know

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for kids. On October 28, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for patients ages 5 to 11. Many months of research and clinical trials have shown excellent results in thousands of children. The vaccine has been found to be 90.7 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 in kids and no serious side effects have been recorded.


Patients ages 5 to 11 will receive the Pfizer vaccine in two doses, three weeks apart, just like older kids and adults. However, the vaccine dose is lower – 10 micrograms instead of the 30 micrograms given to patients 12 and older.


“We’ve been waiting for this moment,” says Dr. Monica BranĂ©, chief of Pediatrics at Bassett Healthcare Network. “Finally, our children have a safe and effective vaccine to help protect them and their loved ones against COVID-19. As a mother, as a doctor, and as a community member, I know that getting our kids vaccinated is one of the most important things we can do right now to take another major step towards beating this pandemic. Please make an appointment with your child’s practitioner today – as soon as possible – to get their COVID-19 shot. It’s one of the most incredible gifts we could ever hope for ahead of the holiday season.”

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Concentrate on Personal Change

By Sister Chirya

Personal change has many hidden benefits.  When I do not get upset thinking about how others must change and instead concentrate on my own change, good things start to happen  

1st  I feel better about myself.   

2nd I start to have positive feelings towards others and begin to understand them.

3rd  Others start having a more positive attitude towards me.

Remember people are often like books. Some deceive you with their cover, and others surprise you with their content.  Who am I to judge? Be so busy improving the self that you have no time to criticize others.

 When my inner landscape is full of beautiful thoughts, everything I do is a pleasure.  I feel internally happy.  Work becomes like a game and I'm just having fun!   Otherwise, work without happiness is like a burden we have to endure.  The only difference between a good day (game) and a bad day (burden) is our attitude.  It is the quality of  thoughts that creates our attitude. Make your thoughts peaceful, positive and pure. When we begin to think positively, we accumulate power and our self-confidence and effectiveness increases. We can change our circumstances and ultimately our future by changing our attitude!  


Whilst you’re sanitizing and wiping everything down, be sure to wipe negative thoughts and feelings out of your mind and heart. That's a virus, too!   When I allow negative thoughts to come, it is as if a leak develops in the vessel of the soul.  This viral growth of negative thoughts disturbs our inner peace.  Inner peace is needed to be able to draw energy and accumulate power from God.  Meditation is the best wireless connection of the soul to God.  Most of the problems in life come from: We forget to remember God and make the connection, we act without thinking and we keep thinking without acting.  Thinking too much, worrying, does not take away tomorrow’s trouble; it takes away today’s peace.  

While our body is made up of five physical elements, it is the consciousness, the soul, that keeps the body alive and looking beautiful!   In meditation when we go behind the eyes,  we become aware of what spirituality is.  Turning our mind within allows us to discover this deep undisturbed part of well being beneath the many emotions of everyday life.   It comes into my inner awareness, 'I  am a soul, a peaceful spiritual being In a physical body'.  Experience going to this silent still space again and again.  This exercise automatically refreshes the soul and fills it with peace and power.   

Contact: Chirya Yvonne Risely,

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Finch Named SUNY Fighting Tiger of the Week

The SUNY Cobleskill Athletic Department announced today that junior Jordan Finch, East Meredith, N.Y., South Kortright High School, a member of the women’s basketball team has been named the athletic program’s Fighting Tiger Athlete-of-the-Week for the week ending on November 21, 2021. 

The 6’1” center/forward averaged 11.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocked shots and 1.0 steals per game converting on 11-for-23, 47.8%, from the field in games versus SUNY Oneonta and Baruch College. 

For the season the South Kortright High School alumnus is averaging 5.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.4 blocked shots, 1.0 assists and 0.8 steals per game while shooting 40.5% from the field and 66.7% from the free throw line.  

The Fighting Tigers are currently 2-3 overall on the season and will host the Trailblazers of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) on Tuesday November 23 at the Iorio Gymnasium beginning at 6:00 p.m.    
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Ulster BOCES Adult Career Education Center Releases New Course Catalog

PORT EWEN—A new catalog outlining the selection of affordable and interesting winter/spring courses being offered at the Ulster BOCES Adult Career Education Center has been released and is available on the Ulster BOCES website at 
There are many exciting offerings to choose from in both career and personal development. Career Track classes include Welding, HVAC, Cosmetology, Healthcare Occupations, and more. Also, many interesting Community Education classes are included, such as the “Chef du Jour” cooking series, which are taught by Culinary Institute of America-trained chefs, and Health & Wellness classes designed to promote stress reduction. The popular course, “Basic Computer Series” is back to help community members develop computer literacy, and those who wish to learn the skills of angling may sign up for “Beginner Striper Fishing” in the spring.
With the holiday season fast approaching, gift certificates can also be purchased for cooking classes (such as “Mexican Delights,” “European Desserts,” “Ooo-la-la! French Macarons”), “Introduction to Knitting Series,” “Introduction to Pranayama, Meditation, & Yoga,” a Supervised Welding Lab, a weekly Cosmetology Clinic, and more! 
Those interested may register online, or by calling (845) 331-5050. In addition, Adult Education staff are available for phone or in-person registration at the following times: Mondays through Thursdays, from 9 AM to 8 PM, and Fridays from 9 AM to 3 PM. To purchase a gift certificate, call Hannah Long at (845) 331-5050, ext. 2243. 

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Coming Up at the Mountain Top Library

Through Monday, November 29th: "Story Walk in the Woodland at the Mountain Top Library." Visit the Arboretum, located at 4 Maude Adams Rd., Tannersville, and follow the story: "A Little Thanksgiving Spot," by Diane Alber. Remember to pick up your FREE craft kit at the visitor center. 

Thursday, December 2nd, 2 pm - 4 pm: Notary Services at the Mountain Top Library. No appointment necessary - please bring photo ID. Please note, this service will be available every other Thursday.

Tuesday, December 7th, 2 pm - 4 pm: "Get Started with the Library's Free E-Resources." We want to help you with Hoopla & Overdrive. No appointment necessary, just bring your phone, laptop, or tablet, and you will be on your way to FREE e-books, streaming audiobooks, movies, magazines, music, and more!

Wednesday, December 8th,  1 pm - 6 pm: "Senator Michelle Hinchey's Staff Mobile Office Hours": Meet one-on-one with Senator Hinchey's constituent services team, where local residents can get assistance with a problem or share their perspectives on issues facing our district. 

Weekly / Ongoing

Tuesdays @ 10 am: "Yoga for Athletes & Injuries" Both beginners and advanced yogis are  welcome to participate in this rejuvenating & restorative series. Taught by Mary Jude Cohen.
Fridays @ 11 am: "Chair Yoga" at the Library, with instructors Jeanne Licurse & Mary Jude Cohen. ***Please note, there will be no chair yoga on Friday, November 26th

The Great Giveback is BACK! The Mountain Top Library Is Collecting Non-Perishable & Personal Care Products for the Tannersville Food Pantry! Bring Your Donations To the Library During Our Hours of Operation. If You Have Any Questions, Please Call Us @ 518-589-5707

The "Book & Tote Bag Sale" Continues! While supplies last - Fill a Stewart's Shops Tote Bag with books from the Mountain Top Library Book Sale for ONLY $8. 

Mountain Top Library LetsFit Fall Fitness Challenge! Stop in our library now through Thanksgiving, and every time you check out a fitness or nutrition related material, or attend one of our yoga classes, you get a chance to win a LetsFit Fitness watch! Winner to be announced after Thanksgiving Weekend. 

Every Third Friday of the Month - "Get Assistance with Healthcare": A Representative from the Healthcare Consortium will be available to meet at The Mountain Top Library from 1 -4 pm. Please call to arrange an appointment at 518-822-9600 ext. 300

Community Recovery Group:  Fill up your empowerment tool box &  inquire about this opportunity for recovery, growth, and support, presented by the Mountain Top Cares Coalition. Contact Mary Ellen @ 518-410-4175 or Email

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Cobleskill Women Top MCLA

The SUNY Cobleskill women’s basketball team returned to the friendly confines of the Iorio Gymnasium on Tuesday evening to post an 82-35 pre-Thanksgiving victory over the visiting Trailblazers of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) in non-conference action. With the victory the Fighting Tigers improve to 3-4 overall on the season while MCLA falls to 0-6 on the year.  

The Fighting Tigers feasted on the Trailblazer defense throughout the contest as 11 different players found their way to the scoring column as the home team connected on 36-of-68, 52.9%, of their field goal attempts while holding the visitors to 12-for-56, 21.4%, shooting on the night including only 1-of-17, 5.9%, from three-point range.  

Cobleskill put the game away early racing out to a 22-2 first quarter lead and never looked back holding a 52-30 advantage on the glass and forcing the Trailblazers into 23 turnovers. 

The balanced Fighting Tiger attack was spearheaded by senior guard TyLysa Martinez, Coram, N.Y., Longwood High School, who scored 14 points to go with four rebounds, three assists and three steals and by first-year forward Hannah Cater, Schoharie, N.Y., Schoharie High School, who tossed in 14 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked four shots. 

The home team also received strong outings from junior center Sierra Delaney, Ballston Spa, N.Y., Ballston Spa High School, with 12 points, eight rebounds and a blocked shot, from first-year guard Annie Canales, North Adams, Mass., Hoosac Valley High School, who tossed in 12 points and passed out two assists and from junior guard Megan Hughes, Warrensburg, N.Y., Warrensburg High School, who scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds in the victory.  

The Orange & Black will return to action after the Thanksgiving holiday when they travel to Troy, N.Y. for a non-conference meeting with the Gators of Russell Sage College with tip-off at 5:30 p.m.  

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Cobleskill Men Fall to RPI

The SUNY Cobleskill men’s basketball team took to the road on Tuesday to lose a 101-48 decision to the host Engineers of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in a non-league pre-Thanksgiving match-up. With the loss the Fighting Tigers fall to 0-6 overall on the season while RPI improves to 4-0 overall on the season to date.  

The Fighting Tigers lack of inside muscle was exploited by the Engineers throughout the contest as RPI held a 49-28 advantage on the glass while outscoring Cobleskill in the paint by a 48-24 margin.  

Senior forward Juwan Malone, Brooklyn, N.Y., Brooklyn Collegiate High School/Fulton-Montgomery Community College, led the team in scoring with 11 points to go with five rebounds and a blocked shot while sophomore forward Naphtaili Regilus, Roselle, N.J., Abraham Clark High School/Essex Community College, turned in an eight-point, seven rebound, two steal effort.  

Cobleskill will next be in action after the holiday when they host they return to Troy, N.Y. on Thursday December 2 for a non-league meeting with the Gators of Sage College beginning at 7:30 p.m.  

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Auto Racing News

By Tom Coughlin

 Here are a few more items to put on your holiday gift list. Fonda Speedway and Utica-Rome Speedway have announced their season ticket packages for 2022. Fonda Speedway is offering grandstand season passes for $270 for adults, $250 for seniors. Pit season passes are $575. Pit license fee is $75 before April 1, 2022. The applications are available from the track website at
 Utica-Rome grandstand season passes are $185 for adults, $165 for seniors. Pit season passes are $475. Pit license fee is $75 before May 1, 2022. The applications are available from the track website at
  Here are a few more dates to fill in your calendar of 2022 racing. 
 Indoor Auto Racing will take place January 7 & 8 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. January 28 & 29 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and March 11 & 12 at the New York State fairgrounds in Syracuse. 
 The Short Track Super Series will open with the Sunshine Swing at the All-Tech Raceway in Lake City, Florida. Tuesday, February 8 will kickoff with open practice. Wednesday, February 9 through Saturday, February 12 will offer STSS modifieds and STSS crate 602 sportsman racing each night.
  Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida will host the DIRTcar Nationals beginning on Monday, February 7 through Saturday, February 19. The Super DIRTcar Series modifieds will be on the schedule Monday, February 14 through Saturday, February 19. Other divisions in competition throughout the two week schedule include World of Outlaw sprints and World of Outlaw late models.
 The Elite Series Event number 1 will kickoff at the Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina on Thursday, February 24 with an open practice, qualifying on Friday for STSS modifieds & STSS crate 602 sportsman, and Saturday the STSS modifieds will compete in a 50 lap feature for $25,000 and the STSS crate 602 sportsman 25 laps for $2,500.
 The northeast modified season will start on Saturday, March 12 with the Melvin L. Joseph Memorial at the Georgetown Speedway in Georgetown, Delaware. STSS modifieds will race 49 laps for $10,049 to win and the STSS crate 602 sportsman will compete in a 25 lap feature for $1,549 to win.
Saturday, March 19 the Selinsgrove Speedway in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania will host the Icebreaker with a $5,000 to win 40 lap STSS modified feature and 25 lap STSS crate 602 sportsman $1,500 feature.
Sunday, March 20 Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, Pa. will host the Spring Speed Showcase. STSS modifieds will race in a 40 lap feature for $5,000 and the ULMS Super Late Models will be the other division for the program.
 Saturday, August 20 the All-Star 410 sprints will return to Utica-Rome.
 Sunday, September 4 the New Yorker will be held at Utica-Rome. The STSS modifieds will race in a 50 lap feature for $25,000.
 Fonda's annual 200 weekend will be Thursday through Saturday, September 15-17
 The Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, Pennsylavania will host the Speed Showcase 200 Thursday through Saturday, October 13-15. STSS modifieds, 410 sprints, STSS crate 602 sportsman, and pro stocks are on the schedule.
For some added racing family news  
  JaMike Sowle, driver of the Palmer's Service Center number 76 and Frankilyn Greco were recently united in marriage.
 Bobby Hackel IV is one area driver that put more effort into the STSS in 2021 and has already stated that he will be upping his program in 2022 to include more STSS shows.
 A little information on a couple of racers. Clayton DuMond who competed in the Limited sportsman division in 2021 is looking to move up to the modified division in 2022. A possible schedule will include Utica-Rome Speedway on Friday's and Fonda Speedway on Saturday's.
 A familiar last name, but new driver will make a debut in 2022. Keep your eyes open for Isabele Pangman as she has shown the desire to give slingshot racing a try. 
 Drivers and fans will be happy to know that both Fonda and Utica-Rome will be installing new L.E.D. lighting in 2022.
 The annual Gobbler brought racers down to the Accord Speedway last Saturday. Jeff Strunk earned the modified victory over Danny Creeden, Bobby Hackel IV, Randy Green, Shane Jablonka, and Dannny Johnson. John Lutes Jr. finished 23, while Alissa Cody and Jim Introne Jr. did not qualify for the feature. Justin Comes earned the sportsman feature over Josh Allen and Doug Smith. Bill August finished 13th. and Brock Pinkerous 14th.
 Don't forget Saturday, November 27 is the annual Lost Speedway's presentation at the Saratoga Automobile Museum, with an 11:00 start time.

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Bassett Medical Center Holding Candle Lighting Service of Remembrance for COVID-19 Victims – December 2

The caregivers of Bassett Medical Center will be holding a candle lighting service of remembrance in honor of patients who have died due to COVID-19 on Thursday, December 2, 2021, at 7 p.m. Family members of patients who have passed are invited to attend in-person; the general public is invited to attend the virtual event using Zoom.


The in-person event will be held at the United Methodist Church, 852 County Road 26, Fly Creek, NY. Family members of patients who died of COVID-19 at Bassett Medical Center interested in attending should contact Chaplain Gerry Paciello at 607-547-3626. In-person participants will be required to wear a mask and socially distance.


The virtual event will be held via Zoom. Visit for the link and more information.


This will be a time to pay tribute and seek healing and fellowship. The names of those who have passed will be read aloud.

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Windham Mountain Announces Opening Day for the 2021/2022 Season

Windham Mountain announces it will be celebrating its 2021-2022 season opening day on November 26, 2021.  After weeks of warmer weather, temperatures finally dropped low enough for the exceptional snowmaking team to start making snow.


Advanced and expert terrain only will be available, with openings on Upper/Lower Whistler, a blue square trail from the summit, Upper/Lower Wolverine, a combination double-black diamond and blue square trail, Warpath Chute, a blue square connecting trail, and The Wall, a double-black diamond connection.  Terrain will be serviced by one lift, the Westside Six (F Lift), a high-speed six-passenger chair.  Grooming will occur Friday morning prior to opening, and skiers and riders should note that early-season conditions will be present.  Mountain Express in the Base Lodge will be open with a limited menu, along with the Umbrella Bar, located on the mountain’s patio.


“The snowmaking team did an incredible job,” said Chip Seamans, President and General Manager of Windham Mountain .  “In a 36-hour window of cold they were able to put enough snow on the ground to open for the season.  We are excited to open the Friday after Thanksgiving and will expand terrain as quickly as possible.  We are looking forward to a great season,” said Seamans.


Lifts will be open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Friday, November 26, and from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28, 2021.  Windham Mountain will remain open for operation seven days a week following the weekend.  Opening day through December 3 will be designated as “green days” and tickets will be available for purchase at the mountain.  Advanced online purchase is still recommended at, and additional information about our red/green day capacity calendar can also be found on our website.  Due to COVID-19, masks are required in Windham Mountain Sports and the 3500 Club. Guests are encouraged to reference the Mountain Report for the latest conditions and operating updates beyond the weekend.


Skiers and riders can look forward to enjoying over $4 million in capital investments for the 2021/2022 season at Windham Mountain, including an extension of automated snowmaking technology on community favorite trails Wraparound, Wonderama and Warpath Chute, as well as the grand opening and redevelopment of  Windham Kids Base Camp into a reengineered and modern space for kids to learn how to ski and ride.  Windham Mountain has been wholly focused on providing an “Above & Beyond” elevated experience for guests. As the premier destination in the Catskills of New York, Windham Mountain creates a welcoming community for families and friends seeking a fun, recreational, or peaceful escape to the mountains.


Windham Mountain is the premier year-round mountain resort destination within two and a half hours of New York City.   Boasting 285 skiable acres across 54 trails serviced by 11 lifts, the Resort offers six terrain parks, an award-winning and revamped snowsports school, lodging, on-mountain dining, an Adventure Park, a full-service spa, and much more.   Summer brings a range of activities including simple mountain getaways, events and festivals, extraordinary weddings, and energizing corporate gatherings.  Windham Mountain Bike Park is famous for its World Cup course and also features a three-mile-long signature beginner trail. Windham Country Club is an 18-hole public golf course with a private club atmosphere.  Visit for details on these activities and more, as well as information on upcoming events.

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