NewsShed, Friday, Dec. 23: Who's naughty, who's nice


-Former Delaware County Department of Social Services commissioner Bill Moon -- who's now deputy commissioner in Sullivan County's Health and Family Services, and who may be under investigation by the FBI, according to a brief yet tantalizing report in the Catskill Mountain News. An employee of Moon's, DSS caseworker Carolyn Massey, stepped down last year after being charged with ethics violations. [CMN, Daily Star]

-The NYC Department of Environmental Protection, who accidentally sank a tugboat in the Schoharie Reservoir this week. [WP]

-The US EPA, who botched the cleanup of PCBs in the Hudson River, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. [NYS DEC]

-An unnamed hunter in Sullivan County, who illegally shot a mama bear with her cubs. (The DEC apparently isn't big on releasing the names of hunters charged with illegal bear shooting.) [NYS DEC, Freeman]


-Friends and neighbors of Callicoon dairy farmer Ross Wahl, who are collecting funds to feed his animals in the wake of a stroke that laid him low last summer. [River Reporter]

-Nostalgic fans of a recently-shuttered McDonald's in Saugerties, who gave some oddly touching quotes to the Saugerties Times about their fast food memories. [ST]

-Frost Valley YMCA, who's currently delivering 105 meals a week to local families. [Frost Valley]

-The Delaware County Sheriff's Office, whose deputies have been issuing wayward drivers gift certificates instead of minor traffic violations recently, as part of their Random Acts of Kindness initiative. [WBNG]

-SUNY Cobleskill student Alexis Halstead, a timber sports professional (yeah, that's a thing), who helped teach Harry Connick Jr. throw an axe on daytime talk television. [SUNY Cobleskill]

Who got presents: 

-The Delaware River Basin, which got a shiny new piece of federal conservation legislation last week. It didn't come with any funding, though -- which is a little like getting the cool remote control helicopter without the batteries. [WP]

-The village of Tannersville, which is getting $500,000 in matching funds from the Hunter Foundation in addition to a state economic development grant. [Daily Mail]

-The site of the original Woodstock festival in Bethel, which was nominated for inclusion in state and federal Registers of Historic Places this week. [WP]

-The Delaware Inn in Stamford, whose quixotic $3 million renovation by the Catskill Watershed Corporation once had our editorial team musing on the merits of writing an article entitled "Biggest Boondoggles of the Catskills." The now-gleaming yet still-empty former hotel is apparently being adopted by the Delaware County Veterans Services Agency. [Mountain Eagle]

Text of the week: 

"I'm not dodging anyone." -Bloomingburg mayor Russell Wood, shortly before ceasing to answer any more of a Times Herald-Record reporter's questions about the voter fraud charges that are roiling his little Sullivan County village. [THR, The Forward]

Better watch out: 

Outgoing Congressman Chris Gibson (R-19) has been making the rounds as he prepares to leave office. In a public talk at SUNY New Paltz this week, he spoke about how Republican party officials tried to keep him in line during his tenure in Congress [Freeman]:

“I got called down to the principal’s office, it was very uncomfortable,” he said. “But here’s the good news, ... when you withstand that they eventually have to find that vote so they walk past you. So the next time there was a big issue coming up ... they left me alone because I said ‘no’ and I meant it and so they went to the person who said ‘no’ and changed their mind.”

Good will to all mankind?

-A few local governments are thinking about passing resolutions urging tolerance and inclusiveness in response to Trump's recent election. Schoharie County supervisors took up discussion on a "respect for all" resolution at a recent meeting, but remain on the fence about it. Kingston mayor Steve Noble has proposed a "sanctuary city" resolution. [Schoharie News, Freeman]

Christmas past:

-Atlas Obscura ran a terrific history piece on the last Christmas in Pepacton, Union Grove, Shavertown and Arena -- last seen in 1955, now under billions of gallons of water at the bottom of the Pepacton Reservoir. [AO]

Click here for more of NewsShed, our recently-revived roundup of what's new, what's hot, and what's just plain weird in local news. (Got a news tip for us? Let us know at

Update, 12.24.16: We're on the naughty list too -- for an error in an earlier version of this post. It's the Hunter Foundation that's matching a $500,000 grant to the village of Tannersville, not the Catskill Mountain Foundation. Lumps of coal should be addressed to L. Harris, P.O. Box 115, Margaretville, NY, 12455.