Top  picks from the October issue! 


Ribbon-cutting for Round Top Trails    

By Lisa Lyons

Imagine being able to walk a few blocks from the stop light at Main and Pearl Streets to a woodland trail with a lovely view of the town? Well, such a thing is now possible for residents and visitors alike. The story began when the Town of Rockland acquired 14 acres of wooded property on Round Top, the hill behind the Presbyterian Church, and Orchard Street Cemetery. The wooded property is criss-crossed by old woods roads, making it an ideal location for hiking trails accessible from Main Street. The Town engaged the NY/NJ Trail Conference to assist in laying out a short loop trail and a group of local residents formed to help the Town maintain and enhance the trail.

On a very warm Sunday, Sept. 24th, a ribbon cutting was held for the new “Round Top Trail”. At 1:00pm, supporters of this walkable community initiative met in the Municipal Parking Lot at the stoplight and walked over to the trailhead (see directions and upcoming trail walks on page 7). Town Supervisor Rob Eggleton and volunteers Ralph Bressler and Lisa Lyons were joined by Sullivan Renaissance’s Helen Budrock to cut the ceremonial ribbon. County Manager Josh Potosek was also in attendance.

The Town wanted a trailhead sign in place, describing the trail loops and rules of the trail, before announcing it was “open” and, in June, won a “Healthy Community Initiative” grant for the sign from Sullivan Renaissance. Local graphic designer, Stacy Wakefield, volunteered her time to design the sign and Kurt Knuth donated much of his time to frame and install it at the entrance to the woodland trail. The Norcross Foundation, a nonprofit organization, also donated funding for signage and trail maintenance.

The Round Top Trail’s lower loop is 6/10 of a mile long and includes an historic overlook with views of Willowemoc Creek, the school, and Main Street. The upper loop is a more strenuous 2/10 of a mile to Round Top’s summit. Both loops are well-marked with paint on neighboring trees. The elevation change is gradual but may be too strenuous for some.

A core group of supporters hold periodic meetings and would welcome anyone interested to join them in maintaining and developing uses of this trail and future trails. Interested parties should contact Lisa Lyons at 845-439-5507 to be added to the email list for updates and trail news.

Directions and Walks

The Round Top Trails are short loops that are easy to get to from any downtown location. Some of the people who enjoy the trail include downtown residents, the high school cross-country team, employees at downtown businesses on lunch break, and visitors off the highway who want to stretch their legs before getting back in the car. There is no designated parking lot, as this is a walkable community initiative.

Walking directions from the Municipal Parking lot – located at the hamlet’s only stoplight (at intersection of Main St. and Pearl St.) are:

Follow Pearl Street eastward to the blinking light at Rock Avenue.

Turn left onto Rock Avenue. Take the first right onto Orchard Street.

Follow Orchard Street to the back of the Presbyterian Church. Turn left onto a narrow access road to the cemetery. At the fork in the road bear to the right. Follow the access road across the middle of the cemetery, then left uphill to the Round Top Trails trailhead sign on right.

This route through the Orchard Street Cemetery evokes a sense of history and respect for the people who have come before us. Potential trail signage is being worked on with sensitivity.

A walking tour brochure is underway using existing grant funding. It will show the location of all of the Livingston Manor Renaissance historic plaques and history kiosk, along with the historic overlook on Round Top.


If you would enjoy a group walk to the Historic Overlook and Round Top Trails’ lower loop, join Ralph Bressler and Lisa Lyons on one of these dates:

Sunday, Nov. 5th:  Sunset walk at 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 8: After-school walk at 3:15pm

Monday, November 13:  Lunch break walk at 12 noon.

MEET at the Municipal Parking lot at the intersection of Main and Pearl Streets, next to Renaissance Park.

RSVP by calling Lisa at 845-439-5507 and wear good walking shoes!

“The trail is now open for use. It’s a nice easy trail for anyone, of any age.” – Town of Rockland Supervisor Rob Eggleton,

Letter from Iris

Dear Readers,
The third issue is here! And it’s jam packed with everything from fashion tips and firehouse updates to news about sports and book reviews.  

In early October I had the opportunity to speak on a panel at Bethel Woods called “Truth or Consciousness: Survival Tools in the Age of Fake News,” which talked about navigating lies in media and the news. The panelist included comedian Trae Crowder aka the “liberal redneck,” Eugene Kiely director of, and Patrick McCullough, a conservative writer and web developer at SUNY Sullivan. We had Dr. Michael Lennon, Norman Mailer’s official biographer, as moderator.

One of my talking points was about how we help to feed the cycles of fake news, and how important it is in today’s day and age to bring everyone to the table and base our stories off of fact. If you weren’t able to join us at the panel you can find recorded parts on the WJFF Making Waves archive.
It has been hard juggling college, work, Manor Ink and all of the activities I am involved in, but I feel so lucky to have this opportunity to learn skills that I will use throughout my life, and to have had amazing experiences like speaking on the recent panel at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.
I also have some EXCITING NEWS! If you haven’t heard Manor Ink is now meeting at the Livingston Manor School at 2:45 on Tuesdays. We used the beautiful high school art room to plan this very issue. By meeting at the school, it allows our staff to take the late bus home and allows students who otherwise couldn’t participate to join us.  I want to say thank you to LMCS for allowing us to use their facilities and send an invitation to any young people who are interested in joining. And you don’t have to attend Livingston Manor Central School to write for Manor Ink. We want to help you share your voice and bring youth-driven news to our community, regardless of what school you attend.

The “Fake” Editor-In-Chief Iris

8th Graders Guid to DC

By Osei Helper / Manor Ink

On October 1st, eighth graders from LMCS left for their field trip to Washington D.C. They stayed for four days and three nights. In June, some of the 7th graders (now 8th graders) went to the Board of Education to get the trip approved. After the trip was approved, the students had to attend meetings and stay out of trouble in order to go. The students sold Gertrude Hawk Candy Bars in February to help raise money for the trip.

The class stayed in The National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The bus ride there is about five and a half hours long. They saw monuments like the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and Jefferson Memorial. They toured places like The White House, the Capitol Building, and Mount Vernon. The class even went to a dinner theater at night to see the show “Dream Girls”. They had to dress up to go to the show. The kids had 15 minutes to go into their rooms, change, and be back on the bus. On the way home they stopped at Kalahari, a water park in Pennsylvania, and got to enjoy it for three hours before going the rest of the way home.

At the 4-H Center, the kids were given name tags and cards before they entered their rooms. The tags allowed the students to get breakfast and dinner. The cards allowed students to enter their room by putting them in the slots next to the door handle. The students had food vouchers for the places they went, so they could eat what they chose. This aspect of the trip taught the students responsibility, and simulated a college-dorm like environment to help them prepare for higher education.

The trip is a good learning experience for the kids, and encourages closer bonds between the students. It shows them what it’s like to be away from home and family. The eighth grade had so much fun!


Solarize our County, with Community Shared Solar


By Samantha Skinger

Recently, I attended a meeting at Catskill Mountainkeeper to learn more about their program, “Solarize Sullivan.” New to Solarize this year is Community Shared Solar, aimed at helping those who cannot install solar on their home or business.

At an early age, we sold our family home, and began renting houses. Paying rent can become expensive, and when the home is owned by somebody else, it is difficult to make renovations and upgrades to help decrease our monthly bills, specifically electricity. People who own their home can decide to install solar panels on their roof if the site is appropriate. Often, people with solar panels will not have to pay their utility company anything except the connection fee to be connected to the grid after their payback period. It sounds great, but what if you don’t own your home, or your site is not appropriate?

Solarize Sullivan is a campaign with the goal to make going solar easy and more affordable. In the past Solarize Sullivan was focused on onsite solar. Because of this, they ran into the frequent issue of renters, homeowners, and business owners who wanted to do their part in helping the environment, but did not have a site proper for solar. Solarize Sullivan decided to launch a Community Shared Solar Program (CSS), aimed at solving these issues. With a CSS farm, you can purchase solar panels that will be installed in a field fit for the maximum solar capture, and the investment will work the same way—you buy the solar panels, receive tax credits and incentives, and in a few years, receive all the same benefits as onsite solar. If purchasing solar panels is not in your budget, you can subscribe to energy produced by the community shared solar array and still save money! While the savings aren’t as lucrative as purchasing panels, subscribers see about a 10% discount month to month.

Going solar is not just about saving money, but also helping the environment. We, as Sullivan County residents, can do this by supporting a renewable energy source. If as a community of renters, business owners, non-profits, and other institutions we can come together and work towards a more sustainable future, while supporting a renewable energy source, and we will be lighting the way towards a better brighter future. I also feel that participating in CSS will help educate people on the benefits and ease of going solar, bring jobs to the area, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Solarize Sullivan, a program of the nonprofit ‘Catskill Mountainkeeper’ would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding Community Shared Solar. Feel free to reach out to the program Coordinator, Hailley Delisle at or 518-578-8670.  If you are interested in enrolling in a Community Shared Solar Farm near you, visit and sign up today!

Samantha Skinger is 19 years old and is a graduate from Sullivan West High School. She is currently a student at SUNY Sullivan and is passionate about learning new skills.

Get Plunky!

By Jenson Skalda / Manor Ink


Claire Coleman owns the Plunk shop, which was relocated to “the flats” in 2016. Claire lived in NYC until 1993 when she moved to Livingston Manor in 2004. “We would come up here camping at Alder Lake,” says Claire. She moved here permanently to raise her children in a more stable environment than Queens.  

When asked about her work, Claire explains, “I was always a vendor, making handbags and accessories. I don’t just sew. I have a line of artsy greeting and gift cards.  I make paintings and collages that can be purchased for less than $30.”  Most of the things in her shop are hand-made. “I’m the anti-Walmart. It’s a throwaway culture. There is a lot to find with ‘made in America’ labels. The things in my shop with that label are the first things to sell.”

The shop is an eclectic boutique and gift shop.  She has a range of items, including vintage clothing and books.  She also sells other local artists’ work. And if you hand make halloween costumes you could find many materials for them as well.

“I like to work with vintage fabric and found objects”.   Her favorites are her tote bags.  They were inspired because she hated the ugly diaper bags she had to use when her kids were young.  Now she also makes cosmetic bags and change purses.

Sometimes millennials come in and say “A real book! Awesome.” Like me, they may like the satisfying feel and sound of turning a book’s page; or even the smell of the paper.  More atypical items in the shop include pulp fiction.

It’s called the Plunk Shop because it’s a word that represents a sound.  “I made a list of words.  My family agreed on ‘Plunk.’ It rhymes with junk, funk, punk,and trunk.” It’s a fun word; “K” words are fun.” Claire also likes being purposely ambiguous about what’s in the shop.

You can always find hand-made tutus and a dish of candy in the Plunk Shop. There is a cross-section of mostly handmade jewelry. There are also fun accessories—headbands for girls, fans, plaid flannel shirts, and sunglasses— things campers forget to bring with them, or don’t know they will need.  

The shop is located at 372 Old Rte 17, Livingston Manor. It is a newly built red barn past the long row of pine trees. The Plunk shop is open Fri-Sun from 11 to 5;  Wed-Sun during holiday seasons. It is not open in Jan/Feb because there would be no heat.

Jenson Skalda is Claire Coleman’s nephew


Fall Fashion 2017

By Jolie Pagan / Manor Ink

As the season changes, so does our fashion. The bright colors, shorts and crop tops are put away and out come the warm colors, the jeans, sweaters, and jackets. This Fall, there are many new styles starting from shoes down to accessories.  In style this year, are short rain booties and a pair of mules, whether flat or stacked heels. Both of these shoes can be paired with a pair of denim, rolled cuff jeans. Popular denim of this Fall are ripped jeans with or without fishnet paneling, or just regular denim with floral embroidery. Whether ripped or embroidered, these jeans can be paired with two very cute popular tops of this year. As displayed, you can style your ripped jeans with fishnet paneling with a babydoll style shirt. These kind of shirts are simple and gives a girly look to something bleak, like the fishnet. To pair with the floral denim, a simple flare sleeved shirt like the one shown is a good match. This fall season, it is essential to have a go-to jacket and or vest. A utility jacket with embroidery, like in the picture, can be worn with many colors and styles. Utility jackets are light for the warm but windy days of Fall. Puffer vests are also great for fall days, as they can be worn over thin long sleeves on the warmer days, or over sweaters for the cooler days. Finally, a must have accessory of multiple seasons is a watch. Simple watches not only leave you with a chic look, but also come in handy while counting the seconds until that last bell at school rings!

The Rundown

By Connor Manell / Manor Ink


The team to watch this year in the National Football League has to be the Kansas City Chiefs. Just look at their amazing 3rd round pick out of the draft, Kareem Hunt, a running back out of Toledo. On top of this rookie running back, the consistent coaching of Andy Reid over the past four years has landed them a playoff spot and a defense 7th amongst 32 NFL teams. This may just make for the perfect Super Bowl recipe.

A lot of people, including Chief fans were skeptical about choosing Hunt as a top pick, even more so after he was made the Chiefs starting running-back for the week one game against the defending superbowl champions, the New England Patriots. The Patriots have the 4th best defense in the league according to The first drive of the game for the Chiefs was a simple handoff to Hunt, which he fumbled and was recovered by the Patriots. As doubt began to sink in further about Hunt’s abilities, his second drive led to a touchdown and the start of the mayhem Hunt would release on the Patriots. Hunt ended that game with 148 rushing yards on 17 carries, along with a rushing touchdown. He also finished with 98 yards receiving off of 5 receptions, and had 2 receiving touchdowns. Although many attributed his stellar performance to “beginners luck,” he struck again on week two when the Chiefs played the Philadelphia Eagles. He had 81 rushing yards on 13 carries along with 2 rushing touchdowns, and had another 28 yards off receiving and 3 receptions. In the first two games in his NFL debut year, Hunt has recorded the most yards from scrimmage since the 1970 merger.

Playing defense against the defending Superbowl champions (the Patriots) has never proven to be an easy task, and yet the Kansas City Chiefs were able to hold off Tom Brady and his Patriot offense to put a win on the books. In game two of the NFL season, the Chiefs defense met the Philadelphia Eagles and once again collected a win.

The Chiefs are not unfamiliar with the playoffs, as they have only missed the playoffs once during the four years they’ve been coached by Andy Reid. Reid is one of only two coaches in the NFL right now (aside from Bill Belichick of the Pats) to become an innovator of football, and change the game from just the basics. The Chiefs also have a good quarterback in Alex Smith who averages 6.8 yards per pass and completes 62% of his passes. They also have an all-star wide receiver with Tyreek Hill, one of the fastest wide receivers in the NFL year after year.

If you have yet to watch this team in action, I highly recommend catching a game as they are not to be missed. For a complete schedule of all regular season play, please visit

DIY Mermaid Halloween Costume

By Marlee Madison / Manor Ink

Mem's Gems

      Materials :

      – green, blue, purple, or pink fabric

      – hot glue gun

      – ribbon (should be the color that you choose)

      – flesh colored shirt



Completed Costume

1.Cut out fabric into the shape of a mermaid tail

2.Cut fabric into scalloped strips

3.Overlap the scalloped strips and hot glue them onto the tail shaped fabric

4.Hot glue ribbon onto the sides of the mermaid tail to create an apron ( the ribbons need to be long enough to tie around your back)

5.Put cardboard inside of shirt to flatten it out

6.Hot glue sequins onto chest in the shape of shells


Confidence is the Key to Beauty

By Marlow Baines

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Youth Voices is a new column that highlights young people from across the country who are creating positive change in their community.

My vision for The Confidence Projects was a way for people to shine no matter what they looked like. In all of history, there has always been a mold that defines “beauty”; I believe that, in the next generation, it should not be defined by physical traits but rather from within. What makes a model on a walkway so prominently beautiful, or an athlete on the field? If you looked past physical traits- skinny legs, flawless makeup, sculpted bodies, etc.- you will be met with the images of shoulders pushed back, backs straight, and someone who seems confident and belonging. That is what The Confidence Projects is about, bringing awareness to the things that make a person beautiful regardless of their physicality, because no matter what, everyone is beautiful and can shine, you just have to determine if you will accept it.

I launched The Confidence Projects with a campaign called #GirlsWearConfidence2k17; we asked everyone to make signs, or use ours, and take photos with them and post them with the hashtag above. We wanted to bring awareness to the issue of dress codes and how wrong it is to tell girls they are distracting teachers and boys because of their clothes. The Confidence Projects is not targeted just for girls only, but we knew that girl power is strong, and if the girls would follow, the boys might come too. When I shared it for the first time I was amazed at the flood of support I got from the people around me. Girls I barely talked to or didn’t think even know my name told me how amazing this was and asked how they could get involved. I could not have asked for a better turn out. People were taking photos, sending them to me, and sharing them. Overall, #GirlsWearConfidence2k17 was a success, because everyone agreed with the message!

In the upcoming months, I will be working with my newly found team to come up with the piece that we believe is crucial and is our tagline, “I Know Myself.”  In knowing oneself, you realize your weaknesses, your strengths, and all together you can love and observe in fascination how it makes you such an unique person. We hope to get over a thousand shares and posts with a quick video or photo about how beautiful and hard it is to accept ourselves. I’m a six foot one white girl who has been told all her life is beautiful, but it wasn’t till I decided to use my strength and fully accept the individual that I am, did I begin to believe in myself. I hope you can resonate with some piece of this and share your story soon. We are all human and to begin this process in remaking a definition of beauty we must begin breaking down the barrier of what prevents us to see everyone as an amazing human being. I hope you will follow our pages @theconfidenceprojects on Instagram and Facebook for live updates. We hope to see your support soon!

Marlow Baines is a 15 year old who currently lives in Boulder, Colorado. She enjoys spending time outside running, spending time with friends, and playing basketball.

Not That Kind Of Smoke House 

By Jackson Wolcott / Manor Ink


The Livingston Manor Fire Department did an amazing thing for the community of Sullivan County by rescuing its beautiful educating machine – the smoke house. But don’t let the house part confuse you, the smokehouse is actually a medium sized trailer used to teach children what to do in case of a fire. It consisted of a bench for the children to sit on, a stove to represent the cause of a fire, and then a fire alarm would ring and the children had to get on their knees and crawl through the backdoor to pass the test. In the trailer, a fireman would talk to them through what to do besides just getting out, such as feeling handles to know if there’s a fire on the other side and calling 911 when you first see smoke.

The county said that it wasn’t necessary, so they wanted to get rid of it, but the department came in and saved the smokehouse. Because the fire company is generous, they allowed the rest of the county to use it at other schools to educate all of the other children so they would know what to do in the case of a fire. Due to how they saved the smokehouse, they were allowed permission from the county to put the Livingston Manor Fire Department logo on the trailer. This shows that our fire department did indeed save the day.

The smokehouse was at LMCS on Monday October 23rd for Fire Prevention week.


Fall best-sellers are being released by publishers and are on the shelf at the library! We are also looking forward to several events and the continuation of our regular programming – and new programming – throughout the fall and winter months!

Come see what’s new on the shelf by Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Clive Cussler, and more of your favorites. Check out the Turkey Trot Murder by New York Times best-selling author Leslie Meier. From Booklist’s review: “Meier continues to exploit the charm factor in her small-town setting, while keeping the murder plots as realistic as possible in such a cozy world.” The review is a perfect segway to an upcoming library sponsored event  in OUR charming, small-town setting — our 2nd ANNUAL 5K TURKEY TROT!

On Sunday, November 5th, the library will host the 2nd Annual 5K Turkey Trot!

Registration forms can be found at the library (92 Main Street – Livingston Manor), on our website, via our Facebook page, various retailers/non-profits in Livingston Manor or by phone/email request (845.439.5440 – You may also register day of the race. Race day registration will take place at the “green space” 43 Main Street (next to the Chinese restaurant). Big thanks to Melissa Holden, Global Natural Foods, running enthusiast, and heritage breed sponsor for lending us the green and her support. Special thanks to our other heritage breed sponsor, Catskill Mountainkeeper for their support of the race and commitment to protecting the Catskills natural environment. Thank you as well to all of the local businesses that are supporting this race. we couldn’t do it without you!

Prior to the trot, the Kaatskeller will very generously host its 2nd Annual Community Halloween Party, which is co-hosted by the library, on Saturday, October 28th from 12.00 PM – 3.00 PM. This is a party for pre-K through 6th grade. Kids in grades higher than 6th are encouraged to call Kristin, Library Director, to volunteer before the event, after the event, and/or at the event. We’ll be making decorations prior to the party and always need additional help. Plus we’ll have FUN – and possibly pizza! Please call for details (845.439.5440).

As we move further into fall then into the winter months, don’t forget to come see us at 92 Main Street. We offer Pre-K storytime each week on Tuesday at 11.15 AM – 11.45 AM. Antoinette Schmidt, library trustee and long time volunteer, leads storytime with enthusiasm, stories, songs, ring-around-the rosey, and more. Antoinette delighted the kids this past summer by bringing in a chick from her flock for them to see. Henry will also continue Lego night the fall and winter months on the third Friday of each month. Look out for additional programming as well to keep our spirits up during the cold months!

Heartfelt Thanks to Walk4Rides

AMAZING – only one of the words that can describe Livingston Manor’s

First Walk4Rides. With heartfelt thanks for a job well done to all the hardworking ladies who spearheaded this event. Happily, Walk4Rides raised well over $8,000. to date – way beyond our wildest dreams.

Thanks also belong to so many others – Town of Rockland for sponsorship, Jen and Paul at Bold Gold Media Group, Café 43, Morgan Outdoors, Ken Fisk for banner help, Catskill Regional Medical Center for information booth, N.Y.S. Police and S.C. Sheriff’s Dept. for keeping us safe,

Carolyn Bivins and the Ride 2 Survive crew – plus the over 200 walkers and runners who came, helping to make this event such a success.  All proceeds will be donated to Ride 2 Survive – Sullivan County, where 100% of the funds will go towards helping your family, friends and neighbors.

Thanks again and see you all next year!

Submitted by Kathy Bose Werlau


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