Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Crowdfunding For The Adirondack Lakes Center for Arts

adk-gives-21The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake has announced a new campaign on Adirondack Gives, the crowdfunding site for Adirondack region nonprofits, to help fund the purchase of new tires for the organization’s van.

Traveling the 2,000 square miles of the Adirondacks takes a toll on the Center’s equipment. For the 2014 ADK Summer Playhouse season, the organization plans to travel five productions to 17 towns for a total of 31 performances. “The van is crucial piece of equipment, it helps fulfill our mission of bringing our programs to underserved communities in the Adirondacks,” Executive Director Alex Harris said in a statement announcing the fundraising drive.

The goal is to raise $800.00. You can give as much or as little as you like to toward that goal by heading over to the Adirondack Gives website. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wolf Delisting Commentary:
Adirondack Wildlife Refuge’s Steve Hall

Cree_HowlingThe recent proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) is almost entirely about politics. The American alligator and the bald eagle, to use two examples, were not delisted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service until they had repopulated their former ranges, while wolves have repopulated only a fraction of their former ranges, and are already under heavy hunting pressure by the state governments of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

How many Americans are aware of the fact that in 1915, the US Congress, acting, as usual, under pressure from special interests, in that case, the ranching and hunting lobbies, provided funds to the Interior Department, to eliminate wolves, mountain lions and other predators from the United States? The Interior Department set up their “Animal Damage Control Unit”, and spent millions of taxpayer dollars to shoot, trap and poison wolves over several decades, with the only survivors being in the Boundary Waters area of Northern Minnesota, one of the most inaccessible regions of the U.S., not to mention a paradise for kayakers, canoeists and fisherman. » Continue Reading.



Monday, March 31, 2014

Livin’ the Dream: Ticonderoga Native Whitney Armstrong

01WhArmstrongmoviedebutIf you’re just a regular Joe or Jane, you’ve probably at some point—say, while lying back in an office chair, or doing the dishes, perhaps mowing the grass—entertained a number of Walter Mitty-like fantasies. You know … stuff like, “What’s it like to be that guy or girl?” For men, that guy could be anything. What’s it like to be the smartest kid in school? The star center on a school basketball team? The ace pitcher on the baseball team? A great running back in football? Better yet, how about doing all that in college? Wow … BMOC, plenty of attention from the girls, the coolest among the guys. Might as well toss in a professional baseball contract … what sports-loving boy doesn’t dream of that?

If you’ve never been considered “chick bait,” daydreams might find you 6 foot 4 with a muscular build, and a face that others besides a mother could love. In place of your everyday job, reverie might find you a TV actor, or in movies. That would be cool—fraternizing and working with show-biz superstars. And hey, why not marry the world’s most famous model? She’ll need a great place to live … maybe the Hollywood Hills? And we’ll chum around with a top music superstar of the past century.

I’m going out on a limb, but here’s my guess: for the rest of our lives, most of us would relish having any one thing from that list. But all of them? » Continue Reading.



Monday, March 31, 2014

View of Gothics from Big Slide

13009654434_77e9462556_o(1)The view of Gothics from Big Slide is one of the best. It was a perfect day and the Great Range was shining with blue skies. My trip to Big Slide was made over the popular route over the Brothers. If you’re looking for great views, you’ll be rewarded with them after a very short distance.



Monday, March 31, 2014

Conservation Advocates React to State Budget Agreement

nycapitolAdvocates for New York’s clean water, clean air and open space are applauding a weekend agreement on the next New York State Budget which  includes $162 million in appropriations for the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).  This is a $9 million increase over the current funding level.

The EPF, which once stood at $255 million, suffered deep cuts in recent years during the recession, falling as low as $134 million two years ago.  Last year the EPF was increased to $153 million.  “This year’s dedication of additional funding to the EPF is a welcome use of the state’s budget surplus, and marks a continuation of the state’s reinvestment in environmental programs,” a statement issued to the press by the Adirondack Council said. “EPF programs create jobs, lower costs to taxpayers and protect clean water and other valuable community resources.” » Continue Reading.


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Monday, March 31, 2014

The Wrong Way to Ski Wright Peak

Ron ascending Wright Peak“We can’t go wrong with Wright” was Ron’s proposal for an early spring backcountry ski destination. At seven miles, round trip, a ski tour to the summit of Wright Peak is one of the shorter trips in the High Peaks. But shorter isn’t easier and, as we soon found out, things can go wrong.

Our plan would require a combination of skills: we would start by cross-country skiing on the rolling terrain of Algonquin Trail, a narrow hiking trail starting at the Adirondak Loj parking lot. When the pitch became too great, we would put climbing skins on our skis for awhile, then replace our skis with crampons for the final push to the summit. For the descent, we would ski down the newly-fallen powder on the Wright Peak Ski Trail using alpine techniques.

As we approached the top, the towering trees of the lower elevations were replaced by the dwarfs of the Krumholtz zone, where the stunted and deformed trees looked like a bonsai garden.

At tree line, we met a couple of Canadian skiers who warned us of the treacherous winds and ice-covered rocks above. Rather than hike over the top of the mountain, Ron suggested that we follow the contour around the peak, traversing between the Lilliputian trees until we intersected the ski trail on the other side. » Continue Reading.



Monday, March 31, 2014

Peter Bauer:
Considering Three Hotel Projects in the Adirondacks

hotel-saranacThree major hotel projects are moving through the state and local regulatory processes here in the Adirondacks.

These projects include a top-to-bottom renovation and restoration of Saranac Lake’s iconic Hotel Saranac, a new 120-room Marriot Hotel and convention center in downtown Lake George, and the new 90-room Lake Flower Inn on the shores of Lake Flower in Saranac Lake.

As a package this marks one of the biggest investments in tourism facilities in the Adirondacks since the expansion of the Sagamore Resort in the 1980s or the expansion of the Crowne Plaza in Lake Placid in 2004.

Two of the projects are in line for significant state funding. The Hotel Saranac is approved for $5 million in grants and tax abatements and the Lake Flower Inn is scheduled for a $2 million state grant. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Big Push Before Mud Season

The Big PushOut of all the months in the year March is the busiest time for the timber harvesting industry – what many call “the big push.” This is our last chance to produce as much product as possible before the end of winter.

This year winter seems to be lasting longer than usual, and that has given us a few more weeks of production until the spring thaw. The big push is everything you can imagine it would be. Chaotic, stressful, and tiring to say the least. It’s what we have planned for all season long. At its end is mud season, which brings a nice break from a daily routine and some much needed time off. Mud season usually lasts until the hardwood trees start to bud, somewhere around the middle of May. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cabin Life: The Owl’s Meal

owl crop2The sun is shining later and later each day, and some of the snow is melting and dripping off of the roof in front of the big window.  It’s officially been spring for almost a week now, but don’t bother telling Mother Nature that.  The forecast of thirteen degrees below zero tonight isn’t as bad as the negative twenty-three we got a couple of nights ago, so I guess, in a way we are getting more spring-like temperatures.  But again, temperatures in the negative teens aren’t that spring-like to me.

I’ve been back at the cabin full time, and having a few weeks off from living out here was definitely nice.  After three winters having to haul in water and use an outhouse no matter what the temperature, the shine of living off grid has worn off.  I still enjoy many, many aspects of it, but this winter has definitely been a mood killer for me.  I was able to tap a few of the maple trees the other day and start collecting sap, but it’s been slow going with the cold returning.  And the hike up the driveway isn’t any easier than it was in February. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Babe in the Woods:
Kate Field And Adirondack Preservation

kate profileAt the height of her career in mid-1873, Kate Field was said to be “a more prominent journalist than Clemens [Mark Twain].” The Washington Post said she was “one of the foremost women of America,” and the Chicago Tribune called her the “most unique woman the present century has produced.” Yet in her tales of adventure in the Adirondacks, she called herself “a babe in the woods.”

She wrote, “To be a babe in the woods watched over by a human robin redbreast, is as near an approach to Eden before the fall as comes within the ken of woman.” » Continue Reading.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Eureka Tent Chronicles: Blown Away

Harris_LakeI’ve been writing about the central role our Eureka Wind River 4 tent played in our family’s life.  One reason for its prominence in our stories is its longevity.  That sucker was the most resilient tent I’ve ever owned.  I mean we beat the hell out of it for more than twenty years and it never failed us.  It survived every extreme of Adirondack weather you can imagine plus a couple of doozy storms out west.  It survived five people (sometimes six), a dog and various gear crowded in, often sardined up against the walls.  It survived inexperienced winter campers learning the hard way that you bivouac tents, not pitch them directly on snow. Even during that vicious final foray on Marble Mountain, it held together.  But there was one night in July of 1993 that it survived only by the narrowest of luck. » Continue Reading.



Friday, March 28, 2014

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights


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Friday, March 28, 2014

Minerva, My Hometown:
Dan Berggren and A Fourth Grade Class

Minerva NYOn a tour of the Transylvania region of Romania in 2005, Dan Berggren and his friends sang in small towns and big cities, orphanages, schools, hospitals and churches. One night in the little village of Almas, after their last song they asked the audience to sing something for them. They sang, in Hungarian, a song hundreds of years old about their town. That experience inspired Berggren to want to write a song about his hometown, Minerva.

Three years later the inspiration became reality, thanks to a project with Kathy Halloran’s fourth graders at Minerva Central School, and their music teacher Sabrina LaPointe. The children interviewed their grandparents and older neighbors about what had changed in their hometown, and what had remained the same and the verses grew from what they brought back. The song’s chorus came from a list they generated, letter by letter, of all the things in their town that were meaningful to them. » Continue Reading.



Friday, March 28, 2014

An Informal Tribute to Lake George’s Winnie LaRose

Winnie LaroseEditor’s Note:  This tribute to Lake George’s Winnie LaRose was written by the late Robert F. Hall and republished in his 1992 collection of essays, Pages from Adirondack History. He included this piece in the collection because, he wrote, “Winifred S. LaRose, who died on December 6, 1979, was the very embodiment of the environmentalist – a person whose love of her own native place and whose determination that its beauty would not be spoiled led her to the forefront of the environmental movement, not only in Lake George, but throughout New York State.”

Governor Hugh Carey proclaimed August 21, 1980, as Winnie LaRose Day, but any day would have served because that lady was busy every day of the year for the past 30 years in battling for the environment.

The governor chose that date because it coincided with a memorial service to the late Mrs. LaRose at the Fort George Battleground Park on the Beach Road at Lake George. This was an appropriate site for the service because Winnie, more than anyone else, was responsible for turning this swampy piece of ground into a park for people to enjoy. But it was done not only for people. As Victor Glider, a good friend and now retired as director of Environmental Conservation Field Services, told the gathering, Winnie insisted on clearing away the brush so that the statue of the martyred Father Jogues would have a good view of the lake where he served his mission in the 17th century. » Continue Reading.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Adirondacks Celebrating Maple Weekend

sugarhouseAdirondack maple producers and businesses are celebrating spring’s sweetest product with special events, tours and tastings during Maple Weekend, March 29-30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day which coincides with Thurman Maple Weekend.

Every March since the mid-1990’s, the New York State Maple Producers Association has presented Maple Weekends, during which maple producers from throughout the state host open houses to showcase how maple products are produced, from tree to table, and provide a chance to taste and purchase products.  This year, the Tri-Lakes / High Peaks region of the Adirondacks will also host a series of special “sweet” events this weekend.  » Continue Reading.



Friday, March 28, 2014

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Mar 27)

adk0122093
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. The report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.

 

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Skiing Round Pond from Sharp Bridge Campground

Top_roundPond-600x388It was a nearly perfect day for a ski tour. The sun was out, and fresh powder covered the trail and coated the branches of evergreens along the way. Kim Martineau was especially happy to be here.

“This is one of my favorite trails. It’s just beautiful,” she remarked as we headed into the woods next to the Schroon River. “And you never see people.”

Kim and her husband, Ethan Rouen, joined me in early January for an eight-mile round trip from the Sharp Bridge State Campground to Round Pond in the Hammond Pond Wild Forest. Although she and Ethan had hiked the trail in other seasons, neither of them had skied it, and both were curious to see if it would be as satisfying in winter. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Depot Theatre Announces 2014 Main Stage Season

depot_theaterOld Blue Eyes takes the stage, a singing duo from the 50’s reunites, and humor ensues in a small Texas town for the Depot Theatre’s lively 2014 Season lineup. “It’s a terrific season of fun and laughter at the great quality our audiences have come to expect,” says Depot 2012 Volunteer of the Year Karen Lewis, who has guided the season planning process.

The season opens with “My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra”, a musical that distills the nearly 1,400 songs that Sinatra recorded down to 56 selections. The show promises to be a fresh, entertaining evening of great music, beautifully and brightly delivered by a cast of four.  Old Blue Eyes is followed by the fast-paced, costume-changing hilarity of “Greater Tuna”, a send-up of small town morals and mores in which two actors portray an entire group of upstanding citizens in the small town of Tuna, Texas.

The musical comedy “Pete ‘N’ Keely” caps the season. Pete and Keely are a now-bitterly-divorced chart-topping singing duo from the 50’s and 60’s who reunite for a 1968 television special celebrating their careers. This bright and happy show features a nostalgic and clever mix of golden oldies sure to have audiences laughing and tapping their toes. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Whiteface Mountain’s Newest Trail Officially Opens

03_25 Rands Last Stand Opens Jay RandWhiteface Mountain officially opened its 87th trail for skiing and riding when the ribbon was cut on Tuesday for “Rand’s Last Stand.”

Whiteface Mountain enthusiasts James Hunter, Jeff Tompkins, Brian Winfield and Jack Yanchitis each helped to name the glade when the mountain held a Facebook trail naming contest last August. The 4.7 acre and 1,500 foot long expert glade, named for former Whiteface Mountain general manager and 1968 Olympic ski jumper Jay Rand Jr., is located half-way down Hoyt’s High and connects skiers and riders to both the Summit Chair lift and Lookout Mountain chair lift. » Continue Reading.



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