Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Commentary: Governor Should Sign Aquatic Invasives Bill

Michael Abrahamson, LGA lake steward, inspects boat at Dunham’s Bay in 2011Legislation passed in June that bans the transport of aquatic invasive species (AIS) across New York has been sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign into law. Similar laws are on the books in a number of other states. This legislation will significantly improve New York’s focus and ability to control AIS.

Governor Cuomo has until September 6th to sign this legislation. He should sign it. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Farm 2 Fork Festival Set For Saturday

Farm2ForkA bounty of locally produced food and drink is on the menu for the fifth annual Farm 2 Fork Festival, scheduled for 9 am to 2 pm, on Saturday, August 30th at Saranac Lake’s Riverside Park.

New this year, local organizers have partnered with Taste NY, a program of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, to highlight the quality, diversity and economic impact of food and beverages produced in the Adirondack region. A collaboration of the Adirondack Green Circle and the AuSable Valley Grange, the festival’s mission is to expand the support of local foods and local farms and promote food awareness in the northern Adirondacks.

“What could be more fun than a festival that celebrates fresh food and local farm abundance? Not much, at least for me,” said Gail Brill, event coordinator for Farm 2 Fork in announcing this year’s event. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Adirondacks May Become A Conduit For Tar-Sands Oil

Rail accident in Lac Megantic, Quebec in 2013 (Wikimedia photo)Four environmental organizations are sponsoring a forum in Plattsburgh this week on the dangers of transporting Bakken crude oil on trains through the Champlain Valley, but trains may someday be moving another hazardous fuel through the region: oil from the Canadian tar sands.

Global Companies receives Bakken crude at the Port of Albany, much of which is transported on a rail line that runs along the shore of Lake Champlain. Bakken crude is a volatile fuel that caused massive explosions when a train derailed in Quebec last year, killing forty-seven people.

» Continue Reading.



Monday, August 25, 2014

Organizations Seek Alternatives to Road Salt

SnowplowSalt contamination of our streams, watersheds and aquifers from aggressive use of salt in winter road maintenance has become a major threat to the ecology of the Adirondacks, local advocates warn.

Finding ways to minimize or avoid that threat while keeping roads safe is the goal of the third annual Adirondack Winter Road Maintenance Conference, which will explore alternatives to current road salting and clearing policies at Paul Smith’s College on September 16, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. » Continue Reading.



Monday, August 25, 2014

Minerva’s Ella Lynch, Defender of Parental Rights

4aEFLynchTo the dismay of Minerva’s high-profile educator, Ella Lynch, the struggle for quality American schooling continued through the 1920s, seemingly based on that wonderful definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. The newest plan to fix an admittedly broken system? Add another grade: kindergarten.

Concerned educators were baffled by the suggestion. Despite Ella’s proven system and successful organizations, the solution to a terrible public-school system was expansion of that very system? More of the same would surely do the trick?

While officials agreed that Lynch was correct about the value of teaching very young children, they decided that the disastrous school system was a better choice than having parents do it at home. Behind that plan were powerful forces: companies that, with an extra grade mandated in schools across the country, could sell more materials and services.

From another perspective, the plan was a direct threat to parental rights. Should mandatory kindergarten become law, children would be forcibly removed from the home at an even younger age. » Continue Reading.


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Upper Saranac Lake Boat Launch Upgrades Planned

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that $475,000 in upgrades will be made to the Upper Saranac Lake Boat Launch.

The boat launch, located at the intersection of County Route 46 and Back Bay Road, is one of two public boat launches that provide access to Upper Saranac Lake.

The planned improvements include: » Continue Reading.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Technology Today: A Letter from Thacher Camp

Letter from Thacher Camp Alas, the best laid plans… I am finally here at Thacher Camp on Indian Point of Raquette Lake for two weeks.  I had grand ideas of endless writing and to prepare, I had copied a treasure trove of my research files onto a 32 gigabyte flash drive and borrowed an old laptop from a friend.  Then I discovered on my arrival that the flash drive is dead.

What to do?  I began to think back to the precious few letters that I have which were written by George Hornell Thacher while sitting in the 1878 cabin, somewhere not far from this cabin in which I sit today.  He probably wrote on paper with pen or pencil under the soft glow of an oil lamp, whereas I am here with pen and paper under the pulsating glow of the Humphrey three-mantel gas chandelier that hangs above our dining table. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Burying Beetles: Nature’s Undertakers

burying_beetleI don’t often shake down my cat for a dead mouse, but I did think it was fair, considering that he is always shaking me down for his cat food. I wasn’t going to eat his mouse. I needed it as bait, to see if I could catch a burying beetle.

Burying beetles, or sexton beetles, are nocturnal and they spend much of their lives underground. You’re most likely to find them under small dead animals, such as moles or mice, in a field, that is if you get there before the crows, raccoons, ants, worms, or bacteria do. » Continue Reading.



Friday, August 22, 2014

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights



Friday, August 22, 2014

Wanakena Footbridge Replacement Fundraising Underway

Wanakena Ice Jam BridgeSeveral nonprofits from across the Adirondack region have partnered to raise  funds to rebuild the historic and iconic Wanakena Footbridge in the Clifton-Fine community. The suspension bridge was destroyed in January, 2014 when an ice jam on the Oswegatchie River broke and slammed into its side.

Built in 1902 by the Rich Lumber Company, the footbridge provided pedestrian access to residential and commercial areas of Wanakena. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. Estimates put the full cost of construction at $250,000.

The Wanakena Historical Association has already raised nearly $38,000, but to extend the campaign’s, reach the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has partnered with other local nonprofits to establish an online Adirondack Gives crowdfunding effort.   The Wanakena Footbridge campaign can be found on the Adirondack Gives website. » Continue Reading.



Friday, August 22, 2014

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Landmark Study Of Lake George Water Quality Released

the state of the lakeA major new report – The State of the Lake: Thirty Years of Water Quality Monitoring on Lake George - has been released by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Darrin Fresh Water Institute (DFWI) and The FUND for Lake George.

The 72-page report is the result of 30 years of continuous monitoring that found Lake George to be in “remarkably good condition.” However, the report also outlines specific ecological factors that now threaten water quality.  Over the 30-year period of the study, researchers found that “while some of the threats to Lake George water quality have receded since 1980, others are worsening.”

The report finds that some of the greatest threats to Lake George water quality include: rising concentrations of salt from continued applications to control winter road ice; the high sensitivity of the lake’s ecological health to even modest increases of nutrient loading (from storm water runoff, septic and sewage systems, fertilizers, and more); and changes in the lake’s food web and fish community in response to invasive species and other influences. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Aug 21)

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This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

Get The Weekly Outdoor Conditions Podcast

Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio. A narrative version of this report can be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ermina Pincombe: When Music (Like Food) Was Local

Ermina PincombeI’ve learned so much about the history and culture of my state (NY) and local communities in which I reside (Buffalo NY and Piercefield NY in the Adirondack Mountains) through the traditional music of these places.

Similarly, my interest in local and state history has informed my understanding and appreciation of the music of our forebears. Before mass media came into the home, you got your music as you got your food – from someplace local, mostly. The newspaper, perhaps. Travelling shows, yes. But also from people in your community. Family members, neighbors, coworkers. What did they sing about? And what can those long-forgotten songs tell us about a community? » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bauer: APA Must Lead State Land Master Plan Revision

Adirondack State Land Master PlanThe Common Ground Alliance (CGA) recently met in Long Lake. One of the break-out sessions focused on reform of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP), which is the policy document for management of the Forest Preserve. The Common Ground Alliance effort is one of a handful of organizing efforts around the Adirondacks where ideas are being collected to detail potential changes to the SLMP.

In its December 2013 resolution classifying the Essex Chain Lakes/Pine Lake Primitive areas and Hudson Gorge Wilderness area, the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) committed to examine several items for possible SLMP revision. Since then, there has been no action by the APA or release of a public memo detailing a schedule for the APA to follow up the December 2013 resolution. In this void, various APA Commissioners have made comments at APA meetings, as has the representative from the Local Government Review Board, that express the desire that the APA undertake a revision of the SLMP well beyond the scope of the December 2013 resolution.

The SLMP has worked effectively for 40 years. As a frequent user of the SLMP, I’m continually impressed by the durability and prescience of this regulatory document. Though it was written long before wildlands management developed as a professional field, it has served the Adirondack Forest Preserve exceedingly well. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Plein Air Paint Out, Auction Planned At View In Old Forge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeginning on Thursday, August 28th, artists will be found creating their works at View’s Plein Air Paint Out along the Fulton Chain, the Moose River, at the Farmer’s Market or in Old Forge.  Visitors to View during regular hours on Saturday, August 30th can see the Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors, preview the Annual Art Auction items and peruse the consignments works on sale.

At 5:30pm on August 30th, the View will hold its annual art auction. Over eighty original works of art, by the likes of Judy Soprano, Martha Deming, Catherine O’Neill, Stephen Fletcher and more, will be available. In addition to the auction there will be a raffle of a basket filled with over $1,400 worth of prizes, including an original painting by Joyce Hanson. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Diane Chase: Introducing Adirondack Architecture

IMG_5418My family has spent the last month showing off the Adirondacks to a young friend visiting from Holland. In a week he’ll be off to study architecture in Prague. We’ve hiked, canoed and camped as well visited Olympic sites, outdoor concerts and museums.

He has been fascinated by the amount of green space we have, off-grid living and sustainable landscapes. The last segment of his whirlwind Adirondack tour will be White Pine Camp in Paul Smiths and Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Newcomb Plans Biggest TR Weekend Yet Sept 5-7

TR Weekend 2The Town of Newcomb will celebrate its annual TR Weekend on September 5-7, 2014 with more events than you can shake a big stick at.  TR Weekend celebrates the town’s connection with Theodore Roosevelt, a naturalist, explorer, and historian from New York City who served as the 33rd Governor of New York State the 26th President of the United States.

TR was a leader of the Republican Party before helping to  found the Progressive Party. He is known for his energetic personality and his leadership of the Progressive Movement’s efforts to break corporate monopolies, regulate businesses (notably the food and drug industries), foster conservation, and expand public lands. His slogan “speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far,” is still widely quoted. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Paul Smith’s, SUNY Reach Recreation, Hospitality Agreement

paulsmiths_sliderPaul Smith’s College and SUNY Adirondack have signed a dual admissions agreement, making it easier for students in the Southeastern Adirondacks to earn a bachelor’s degree in recreation or hospitality.

Students who opt into the program will simultaneously enroll in both colleges. Upon completion of their associate degree from SUNY Adirondack, they can transfer into one of two bachelor’s degree programs at Paul Smith’s: hotel, resort and tourism management or recreation, adventure education and leisure management. » Continue Reading.



Monday, August 18, 2014

DEC To Remove Grace Peak Summit Sign

Grace.Lisa_GodfreyLess than two months after hikers placed a commemorative sign on top of Grace Peak, state officials have decided it must come down.

On June 21, a large group of hikers gathered on the summit to celebrate—with champagne and cake—the renaming of the 4,012-foot mountain from East Dix to Grace Peak in honor of the late Grace Hudowalski, the longtime historian of the Adirondack Forty-Sixers.

» Continue Reading.



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