The Adirondack Almanack Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:29:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 My Day On Lot 8: A Dan Crane NYCO Commentary Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:00:20 +0000 Towering White Ash on Lot 8When the results for Proposition 5 came in last November, I decided I must visit Lot 8 in the Jay Mountain Wilderness. Since the voters of New York State made this area yet another sacrificial lamb at the altar of greed and profitability, I knew it would only be a matter of time before the chainsaws, bulldozers and explosives moved in and converted a living and breathing forest into something akin to a war zone.

It soon became evident this juggernaut of “progress” was unstoppable, as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) relinquished their roles of » Continue Reading.

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Bicycling Coalition Happy With Rail-Trail Decision Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:00:31 +0000 Adirondack Tourist Train (Susan Bibeau)The New York Bicycling Coalition has kept a low profile in the debate over the future of the Adirondack rail corridor, but its proposal for the 119-mile corridor is similar to the one set forth by the state.

Last September, the coalition’s executive director, Josh Wilson, wrote the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to call for removing the tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake to create a trail for biking and other non-motorized activities.

“NYBC believes that such a trail would be unparalleled in New York State and the Northeast,” Wilson wrote Raymond Hessinger, director of DOT’s Freight and Passenger Rail Bureau. “A trail on » Continue Reading.

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Race To Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling Event Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:00:50 +0000 Race-to-incarcerate-poster-horiz.1000px[10]The public is invited to a special presentation by acclaimed cartoonist Sabrina Jones brought to you by John Brown Lives! and BluSeed Studios: “Race to Incarcerate: Creating Comics for Social Justice” on Thursday, July 31st at 7:30 pm at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake.

Jones will discuss her recent book, Race To Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling and using comics to confront social issues. Jones’ 2013 book is a graphic adaptation of Marc Mauer’s 1999 Race to Incarcerate, a classic examination of the cultural and political history of prisons in the United States. (Mauer is Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, a criminal justice reform organization in Washington.) This presentation is part of The Correction, a John » Continue Reading.

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A Family Hike Up Debar Mountain Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:00:08 +0000 MeachamSome days I need to go hiking. I don’t want an epic outing, just some time in the woods to clear my head, enough of a climb to exercise my body, and a decent view at the top to rejuvenate my spirit.

After five particularly soggy days, cooped up inside our smallish house on Chateaugay Lake with four antsy kids—Micah, age eighteen; Dominic and Parker, both sixteen; and Zoe, eleven—and my outdoorsy sweetheart Jack, I needed to climb a mountain before I climbed the walls. The whole family did! The weather forecast was still far from perfect, but when the deluge abated, I ordered everyone to put away Monopoly and put on their hiking boots. We » Continue Reading.

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The Skinny on Snake Skins Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:00:00 +0000 TOS_Black_Rat_SnakeIf you have a wood pile, you may have come across a shed snake skin ― a translucent, onion skin-like wrapper imprinted with the snake’s scale pattern. Or perhaps you’ve seen one along a foundation or stone wall. Why do snakes shed their skin?

Most animals, including humans, shed skin cells, explained herpetologist Jim Andrews, who coordinates the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas. “The difference is that humans are continually shedding skin. Snakes shed only periodically; hence they shed the entire skin at once.”

A snake’s skin is dry and covered with scales. The scales are made of keratin, the same protein that’s found in your fingernails. Larger scales on the belly help a snake move » Continue Reading.

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State Opens Trail To OK Slip Falls Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:42:21 +0000 OKSlip-600x719The state has opened a three-mile hiking trail to OK Slip Falls in the recently established Hudson Gorge Wilderness.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the opening of the trail today in news release in which he also touted funding for equestrian trails in the central Adirondacks and for the repair of the Lake Abanakee Dam in Indian Lake.

The state acquired OK Slip Falls—one of the tallest cascades in the Adirondack Park—from the Nature Conservancy in 2013. Since then, people have been hiking to the falls along informal trails or bushwhacking.

The official trail starts on the north side of Route 28, at the same trailhead for a pre-existing trail that leads to Ross, Whortleberry, and Big » Continue Reading.

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Charles M. Dickinson: Lowville Poet and Diplomat Mon, 21 Jul 2014 17:00:49 +0000 CMDickinson02Among the foreign issues America has dealt with many times is hostage taking. Kidnappers claimed many reasons for the action, but it was frequently done to extort money in support of a cause. Extortion kidnappings have often involved seizing of American missionaries and threatening to kill them unless ransom was paid. More than a hundred years ago, there occurred what is referred to as “America’s First Modern Hostage Crisis,” which is actually the subtitle of a 2003 book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Teresa Carpenter.

The Miss Stone Affair is the title, referring to Protestant missionary Ellen Maria Stone. A North Country man was a key player in her story, which riveted the nation for » Continue Reading.

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$75k Granted To Cranberry Lake Communities Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:00:31 +0000 Adirondack GivesCommunity organizations in the Clifton-Fine area have been awarded $75,000 in grants from the Damoth Fund at Adirondack Foundation.

The Damoth Fund was established in 2012 with a bequest from Robert Damoth, who had a strong attachment to the Cranberry Lake region. Every year, a portion of Damoth’s bequest is awarded to community organizations with the support of the Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corporation. Additionally, the fund annually awards $15,000 to each of these organizations: Clifton-Fine Central School, Clifton Community Library, Cranberry Lake Fire & Rescue, and Clifton-Fine Hospital.

“Mr. Damoth’s generosity continues to inspire us,”  executive director of Adirondack Foundation Cali Brooks said » Continue Reading.

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Paddling Case Advances To Appellate Court Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Map by Nancy BernsteinA state appeals court is expected to hear arguments this fall in a trespassing lawsuit filed against Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown after he paddled through private land on a remote waterway that connects two tracts of state land in the William C. Whitney Wilderness.

The landowners—the Brandreth Park Association and Friends of Thayer Lake—sued Brown in the fall of 2010, more than a year after he wrote about the paddling trip for the Adirondack Explorer.

Last year, State Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi dismissed the suit, but the landowners have appealed to the court’s Appellate Division in Albany.

John Caffry, Brown’s attorney, said the five-member court probably will hear arguments in October or November. A decision » Continue Reading.

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2 New Maps From St. Regis Canoe Outfitters Sun, 20 Jul 2014 16:00:00 +0000 Two mapsSt. Regis Canoe Outfitters has published two new waterproof maps for paddlers, one covering the three Saranac Lakes, the other covering the St. Regis Canoe Area.

The color maps cover some of the same territory as the Adirondack Paddler’s Map, also published by St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, but the new maps are more detailed and, being smaller, easier to handle.

They’re also less expensive: $9.95 versus $19.95 for the Adirondack Paddler’s Map (which is four times as large).

“Many first-time visitors are going to grab a $10 map before they grab a $20 map,” said Dave Cilley, owner of St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, which has stores in Saranac » Continue Reading.

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