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Tuesday headlines

Aug 23, 2011 12:50 am
Hurricane Irene may affect New York
Several computer forecast models predict that Hurricane Irene, now a category two storm bearing down on the Bahamas, might bring wind and rain to our area this weekend. The Albany National Weather Service forecast for this Sunday and Monday includes the possibility of a lot of rain for our region. Hurricane behavior is difficult to predict this far in advance, but Irene is expected to strengthen o a category three storm and skirt the Southeastern U.S. In the next few days.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="Hogweed, from DEC website."][/caption]Hogweed invades Woodstock
Julia Reischel in the Watershed Post reports that CRISP -- the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership -- says the giant hogweed plant has been discovered in Woodstock. "The invasive weed can grow up to 15 feet tall and its sap causes caustic burns on human skin. It's been advancing across the Catskills, but hadn't been found in Ulster County until now," Reischel writes. From the CRISP press release:
"Giant hogweed, a non-native, noxious weed has been discovered in the Town of Woodstock -- the first finding in Ulster County to date. This weed should be taken very seriously because the sap contains toxins that can cause severe skin burns and can even cause blindness. This plant is also very successful at colonizing new areas and crowding out native species. The Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Giant Hogweed Control Program to manage giant hogweed in the Catskills. The Giant Hogweed Control Program has crews throughout the state that are dedicated to removing the plant from public and private property free of charge. The goal is to eradicate giant hogweed from the region and eventually from the state and they are asking the public to help locate all of the plants. If you suspect you have seen this plant use extreme caution, keep children away from it, and report it."
Visit the NYSDEC Giant Hogweed website http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/72766.html to learn how to distinguish giant hogweed from other look-alike plants. To report a giant hogweed sighting or for more information, contact CRISP at mtaylor@catskillcenter.org or 845-586-2611.

Commissioner announces grant to promote local foods
Two local industries -- bed and breakfast inns and agriculture -- should benefit from a new federal matching grant encouraging bed and breakfast operators to feature locally produced food and agricultural products. $73,824 will be awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). Steve Miller of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County said, "This is a great opportunity for New York producers to have visitors from outside the State, as well as New Yorkers, to be able to taste the high quality foods we have to offer and to be able to bring some of these back home with them. The project stands to benefit both the tourism and agriculture industries." All producer organizations and B&B owners are encouraged to participate in the project which will begin this Fall. For more information on how to participate: contact Steve Miller at sgm6@cornell.edu 315 684-3001 x127 or Jonathan Thomson at jonathan.thomson@agmkt.state.ny.us.

Greenport boil water advisory lifted
The Register-Star reports the boil water advisory issued Saturday for Greenport was lifted Monday morning, Aug. 22, after a water main break on Healy Blvd. Saturday made drinking water dangerous.

Route 143 upgrade in Coeymans
The New York Department of Transportation began work on repaving Route 143 in Coeymans Monday, Aug. 22, according to a press release from Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose), who has been clamoring for something to be done about the four-mile stretch of road there. “Route 143 in Coeymans was, without a doubt, one of the most dangerous roads in this part of the state,” said McLaughlin in a press release. “Drivers were forced to cross into oncoming traffic to avoid obstacles, and children were getting tossed around on school buses because the road had literally crumbled in places.”

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