Wednesday, October 9, 2013

US Women’s Ski Jumping Documentary in Lake Placid

premiere-poster-websiteThe Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) will present the new documentary Ready to Fly which chronicles the US Women’s Ski Jumping Team’s fight to be recognized as an Olympic sport on Sunday, October 13 at 8:00 PM. Immediately following the film, members of the US Women’s Ski Jumping Team will take questions from the audience.

Ready to Fly follows 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van (not to be confused with apline skier Lindsey Vonn). Even though Van out-jumped the world’s best men at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic venue, the International Olympic Committee forbade women from competing in ski jumping, the only Winter Olympic discipline to do so. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Warrensburg Graveyard Walks, Dinner Planned

Cemetary GuideTwo Graveyard Walks are planned for Warrensburg Cemetery. Characters expected to put in appearances this year represent people from Warrensburg’s earliest  history, including the woman who hosted the first Town Board meeting and others.

The Graveyard Walks and Dinner have been sponsored by the Warrensburgh Historical Society since 2001, with sold-out audiences every year.  The public is encouraged to make their reservations early, as space is limited. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Commentary: Vote Yes on the Township 40 Amendment

Township 40 (Totten and Crossfield, 1900)On Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 New York State voters will have an opportunity to vote on several state-wide propositions.  Proposition #4 (Prop 4), is one of two Constitutional Amendments affecting the Adirondacks.  It’s the result of long-standing title disputes between the State of New York and property owners on Raquette Lake in the old Township 40 of the Totten and Crossfield Purchase.

A positive vote will correct an injustice that has been perpetuated for over 100 years.

I write as an interested party, but I’m not directly involved in any aspect of the controversy that gives rise to Prop 4.  I don’t own property on or near Raquette Lake.  I’m not one of the contested property holders.  But, for nearly 35 years I have paddled the waters of this lake starting with a group of high school students, canoeing, camping, and learning about the outdoors.  I’ve paddled the lake with my wife, with friends, and with clients as an Adirondack guide.  In 2005, I paddled Raquette Lake  recreating the 1883 paddle of George Washington Sears (a.k.a. Nessmuk) and many times since as a trail steward for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Adirondack Forests: Explaining Fall Color Change

DSCN4905As a very young lad I was told that the summer sun bleached pigment from clothes hung on the line, and saved up the colors to paint on autumn leaves. It occurs to me that solar dryers (a.k.a. laundry lines) and fall leaf colors are similar in that they operate free of charge, but their performance depends on the weather. The same clear-sky conditions that produce dry, good-smelling (and a teensy bit faded) laundry also make for the best leaf color. While the former process is well-understood, the latter is a story fraught with murder and intrigue, and requires some explanation.

Chlorophyll, the green molecule at the center of the photosynthesis miracle, is what makes the world go ‘round. Some say money is, but without chlorophyll the sole life on Earth would be bacteria, whereas without money we’d only have to barter. (Given that both items are green, it’s easy to understand the mistake.) Green gives way to fall colors, though, when trees start killing their own chlorophyll, revealing yellow xanthophylls and orange carotenenoids that were in the leaves all along.

How could a tree be so heartless as to slay its chlorophyll? » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Slide Climbing: Santanoni Mountain’s East (Twin) Slide

twin_headwall_chiarenzelli_NIK_5402Santanoni Mountain’s Twin Slide (aka East Slide per Drew Haas’ The Adirondack Slide Guide) is a fitting match to the Ermine Brook Slide on the opposite side of the ridge.

The nearly mile long track is filled with diverse and beautiful characteristics including open slab, boulders, overhanging outcrops, double-fall lines and cascades.

All good things come with a price. In this case challenging bushwhacks guard the slide at both the top and bottom. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Logging and Railroads:
John Dix’s Right of Way to Rondaxe

319px-John_Alden_Dix_LOCSources can be scarce when tracking down information for a region where precious few histories have been written.  We are fortunate that the few we have are wonderful works, even though too many need reprinting.  Such a work is David Beetle’s Up Old Forge Way.  Originally published in 1948, this book provided readers with a humorous, introductory history of Fulton Chain lakes, hamlets and people.  His sources were books, newspaper accounts and people’s recall of events in some cases fifty years after they occurred.

From Beetle’s book, we read that John Dix, a former governor, needed to float his company’s piled logs from the north branch of the Moose River (Township 8) through deCamp lands (Townships 1 & 7) to the company’s McKeever mill.  Beetle wrote that Dix did not want to pay deCamps’ tolls for this river use, so Dix took them to court and repeatedly lost.  Consequently, he needed to build a logging railroad from Clearwater to Rondaxe Lake.  Dix got attorney Charles Snyder to get “Railroader” Thomas C. Durant to buy the right of way from deCamp with Dix’s money.  W. S. deCamp would later wonder how Dix received this right of way in 1897.

Let’s correct two errors.  Two later books also include this story and mention that this John Dix was governor before and after this episode.  John Adams Dix was governor 1873-1874, died in 1879, and John Alden Dix, the one above, was governor 1911-1912.   Also, Thomas C. Durant, William West’s father, had died in 1885, dead for twelve years by the time of the event described.  What follows is what I have learned about the events, the people involved and the transaction itself. » Continue Reading.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Wildlife and People: The Bear Facts

Bear Warning SignIn the Adirondacks, all forms of wildlife have a natural fear of humans. This is the primary reason why hikers, campers, and individuals sitting on their back porch don’t generally see many creatures, despite being outside for long periods of time.

Should a healthy animal detect the presence of a person, it inevitably hides or immediately flees in order to avoid being seen. » Continue Reading.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Lake George Historic Preservation Projects Recognized

Silver bay (Lake George Mirror Photo)A downtown commercial building, a YMCA conference center and a private home, all on or near Lake George, all received awards from Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) when the organization held its annual luncheon in Lake Clear on September 30.

Jim Major’s restored Heustis block in Ticonderoga, the Silver Bay YMCA and the Bixby family’s house in Bolton Landing were among the six properties to receive awards this year, said Susan Arena, AARCH’s program director. » Continue Reading.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Tornado Watch – Hazardous Weather Warning Issued

Hazardous Weather Oct 7, 2013A surface level cold front with severe thunderstorms, heavy winds and rain is moving through the Adirondack region. The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for Warren, Washington, Saratoga and Fulton counties, and Wind Advisories and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings elsewhere in the region.

Severe thunderstorms are expected with winds in some areas exceeding 58 mph and the potential for small tornadoes through 5 pm tonight.

The storms affects are already being felt locally. Take shelter as the line of severe storms passes. Remember, there is NO safe place outside in storms like these. Hikers should not be above the treeline. Boaters should return to shore now. » Continue Reading.


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Monday, October 7, 2013

Lawrence Gooley: Books, Libraries, and Mass Digitization

Adirondack BooksIt’s that time of year again, when advertisers tout the latest e-readers while reviving the mantra that printed books are so close to obsolete, it’s only a matter of time before everything is digital.

Which means, of course, all brick-and-mortar bookstores will fold, as will a huge number of libraries. But after thousands of e-readers and millions of e-books have been sold, Christmas will finally arrive. Within a few weeks, the ads will stop and all will return to normal until next holiday season. » Continue Reading.


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Monday, October 7, 2013

More Access For Sable Highlands Easement Lands

sablelmapA number of new facilities and access opportunities on the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands in Franklin and Clinton counties (former Domtar Industries lands near Lyon Mountain) are now available for public use, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. DEC and its partners have constructed new parking lots, opened some roads for motorized use, and installed informational kiosks. Roads and trails have been opened through private lease areas to provide access under sporting leases to areas open to public use.

The Sable Highlands easement lands include more than 28,000 acres of lands distributed over 14 public use areas, all of which are open and available for public access and recreation in accordance with the April 2009 Interim Recreation Management Plan. More than 56,000 acres of the Sable Highlands easement lands are leased by the landowner to hunting, fishing and recreation clubs for their exclusive private use. » Continue Reading.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Commentary: Stop Using Big Tupper As A Pawn

Big-Tupper-Trail-Map-792x1024ARISE (Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving their Economy), the volunteer group that ran Big Tupper Ski Area for the winters of 2010-11 and 2011-12, recently announced that Big Tupper will be open for the 2013-14 season. The ski area did not operate last winter due to a shortfall of funds and volunteer burnout.

Keeping any ski area open and running is great for the sport. Small, local hills like Big Tupper are vitally important because they provide a lower-cost alternative and they introduce people to skiing. Kudos to the volunteers at Big Tupper for all their efforts over the past few years.  But it’s not all good news. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, October 6, 2013

Gardening: Food Grown Right, in Your Backyard

Food Grown RightAs the founders behind the Seattle Urban Farm Company, Colin McCrate and Brad Halm have heard it all: My backyard is too small; how can I make space for a garden? Do I really need to buy fertilizer? What on earth is that creature crawling on the tomatoes? My crops took off and the zucchini is out of control — who has time to harvest it all!

Food Grown Right, in Your Backyard (Slipstone, 2012) is a primer for these questions and more. In response to the rising interest in homegrown foods, the Seattle Urban Farm Co. builds vegetable gardens for everyone from busy families to restaurants. Along the way, Colin and Brad teach beginner growers from all walks of life the techniques of organic food production. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cabin Life: A Fox On The Road And A Fire In The Stove

The Lower FieldGrowing up, I lived in only two houses.   Both had fireplaces, so fall was always special to me.  From eating roasted pumpkin seeds in front of the fire to cuddling under a blanket and watching a movie while the snow fell outside, we usually had a fire going if we were home for the night.  I miss those days, but I have taken a big step towards making the cabin more like the home of my childhood.

Last week, my new (new to me) stove was delivered and installed.  There’s a shiny new chimney poking up above the peak of the cabin, and gone is the huge black box that was my old woodstove.  Of course, on the day the stove was delivered, it was close to seventy degrees out, so I could not get a fire going right away.  That did not stop me from sitting and staring at the new stove with its nice glass doors, just beckoning me to get a fire going and sit there enjoying the flames for the first time in years. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, October 5, 2013

Adirondack Wildlife: Wood Turtles

turtleSince as far back as I can remember, the sight of a group of turtles basking on a log has made me pause to enjoy their prehistoric appearance. Most summer days during my early childhood were spent wading in neighborhood ponds to stalk painted turtles and spotted turtles with a long-handled net, while avoiding the larger snapping turtles that were lurking beneath the surface. Stumbling upon an eastern box turtle or a musk turtle, something that has happened far too infrequently, was often the natural history highlight of my year.

This summer, I had what may be my best turtle day ever when I stopped my car to help a turtle cross the road. It turned out to be a rare wood turtle, the first I had ever seen, and an animal that is unmistakable for its striking appearance. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, October 5, 2013

Commentary: The Adirondack Park Agency

APA officeAt the end of September I attended the “Strengthening the APA” conference organized by our sister publication the Adirondack Explorer and held at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center.  The day’s events, the roles and reactions of the various players in attendance have spurred me to write a series on various aspects of the Adirondack Park Agency and its ongoing role in the Adirondacks.

I invite Almanack readers to read the series of articles on the APA which have been published in the Adirondack Explorer over the last year (this one, by Phil Terrie, is the last in that initial series).  This is important work and part of a larger process – of which the conference was a part – that will culminate in a detailed proposal to revise the Agency and the Act which defines it.  Nothing I have to say is part of that process, nor will it overlap it.  For my purposes writing in the Almanack I consider myself an outside advocate. » Continue Reading.



Friday, October 4, 2013

This Week’s Adirondack Web Highlights


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Friday, October 4, 2013

Local Athletes, Sports Programs Receive Funds

UISF ceremonyEleven organizations and four aspiring athletes from the Lake Placid region were awarded a combined total of $41,500 in grants from the Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund at an awards ceremony at Heaven Hill Farm last Sunday.

The Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund of Lake Placid makes awards to local athletes competing at the regional, national, and international levels. Grants are also awarded to nonprofit organizations that promote participation in life-long summer and winter sports for local kids, promoting a healthy lifestyle and athletic excellence. » Continue Reading.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Adirondack Events This Weekend (Oct 4)

Visit the Adirondack Almanack each Friday to find out what’s happening around the Adirondacks.

Featured Adirondack Events – chosen by Adirondack Almanack contributors.

Outdoor Conditions in the Adirondacks – for those headed into the woods or onto the waters this weekend.

We’ve also gathered the best links to regional events calendars all in one place:

» Continue Reading.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Ed Kanze: Confessions Of A Cereal Killer

field_sparrowMurder? You bet it is. When we think of predators, we generally think of animals that kill other animals. But plant-eaters are killers, too. Listen here to a cereal killer confess to its heartless crimes.
My goal each week for the “All Things Natural” podcast  is to throw in a kitchen sink’s worth of topical matter. One week I might write about how your beloved pet dog is really a wolf (the DNA doesn’t lie), and the next contemplate the sex lives of trees or the lonely life of the bobcat.
I write the pieces not just for nature lovers, but also with the idea of attracting even those readers and listeners who wouldn’t  touch an American toad, slime mold, or magnificent bear dropping with a ten-foot pole. » Continue Reading.


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