Environmental Advocates have released their annual voters guide and once again the representatives in the Adirondack region have some of the worst scores in the state. Our representatives Betty Little and Teresa Sayward definately need to go. Little is currently working to get all of the RV campgrounds in the Adirondacks put under the control of the Health Department after successfully spreading a large volume of mis-information regarding proposed APA rules for newly built campgrounds that would require them to undergo strict review of their often seriously underdesigned sewage systems. These campgrounds, which provide little by way of tourism dollars, are toxic wastelands waiting to be “discovered.” Full time residents of the park can only hope they are not the ones to discover them after its too late and their drinking water, swimming hole, or favorite fishing spot is contaminated.
The number of homes being built in the Adirondacks is getting out of control. The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is understaffed and the local economy is increasingly dependent on new construction. The Glens Falls Post Star recently reported that home sales in Warren County are up 38 percent from 2004. More alarming is the fact that the median selling price of those homes, jumped nearly 20 percent in just one month — from $165,500 in July 2005 to $197,900 in August 2005.
This month’s issue of Adirondack Life has a large feature piece devoted to housing prices and related issues. Unfortunately, their webpage has taken a turn for the worst and they have exactly no content.
It’s clear that in our parts of the park the only real opportunity for young people is to become a part of the housing boom and work as laborers building houses. Local companies have continuous ads for workers and we see more and more workers from out of state. This summer we saw home construction workers from Montana and Alabama among others.
A recent post over at Friends of Rural New York is just the ticket to replace the we are losing throughout the region. The Community, Food, and Agriculture Program (CFAP) at Cornell University will be submitting a proposal to the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NE SARE) to start community cooperative farm stores. In short:
Europeans have been successfully proliferating the concept of farmer-owned cooperative grocery stores for the last 15 years. The Rhône-Alpes region of Southwest France, with a population similar to the state of Indiana, has a network of 20 stores that are owned, supplied, and operated by farmers. Typically, 10 to 12 farm families own the store, each providing one or two specialties: meats, poultry, eggs, cheeses and other dairy products, wine, juices, canned goods, baked goods, fruits, and vegetables. The hallmark of the stores is real food that is sustainably produced, and one of the farmer-owners must be in the store at all times to answer customers’ questions about production and processing methods.
They need up to 5 farm organizations, businesses, or cooperatives in the Northeast if you know someone contact project coordinator Duncan Hilchey at email@example.com or (607) 255-4413.
NYCO offers the latest on this winter’s chances for a big, big, big, snow and Baloghblog is taking steps toward that end. And now “AccuWeather.com meteorologist Ken Reeves is predicts “a very cold winter” for New York – after average winter temperatures last year – contributing to an estimated 50% increase in winter heating oil charges.” Storm Digest has some not so friendly things to say about our coming weather situation. The Post Star, as usual, waffles.
We ordered a new exterior door, are closing up our drafts, and buying some extra socks.
It looks like it’s a good time to buy more Zone 4 Hardy Perennials.
Adirondack native Alice Green has been getting some good press lately. Capital News 9 reports that she is opposing a new corporate giveaway convention center and Times Union recently gave her good placement on her plan for a criminal justice center. The popular Albany political blog Democracy in Albany has been giving her generally good marks all around.
Closer to home – the Glens Falls Post Star, which we suggested should be required to register as a PAC, has been busy ignoring independent candidates. Matt, of Matt’s Angry Letters, has finally cancelled his subscription and Brian the Fairly Young Contrarian has been giving them hell as well. Meanwhile… the local Glens Falls Democrats have had a webpage since the campaigns began that offers NOTHING, that’s not a rhetorical nothing, that’s an absolute nothing – apparently that’s their plan for the city.
The question is – what will the independent candidates do about it? How about filing a complaint with election officials? Demonstrating at their offices? Something! Anything! Clearly the Post Star is out of control, undemocratic, and illegally promoting certain candidates.
Right-wingnuts from Long Island who have moved from immigrating to the Adirondacks to organizing vigilantes to keep others out are having a tough time of it. “The project’s co-founder recently said the project was having trouble recruiting residents near the Canadian border.” Gee, no kidding – downstaters are having trouble telling the locals what to do? Imagine that.
The 40-foot tour boat Ethan Allen has capsized on Lake George. It happened at 3 pm; 49 passengers were on board.
Update: The Associated Press is reporting 20 were killed, making it the deadliest such tragedy in the history of Lake George and the Adirondack Region. We’ve been told that the emergency room at Glens Falls Hospital was overwhelmed and forced to send patients to Saratoga Hospital. The AlbanyEye is reporting on the reporting. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Almanack was at the the Brass Ring in Bolton Landing (now closed thanks to the overzealous local [uh-hem] police) when Tupac came in and hung out. Another rapper, DMX, had been a frequent visitor there as well.
Now there comes a report that Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie were spotted near Old Forge – if they’re trying to get away from the low-life attacks of the too much time in front of the TV crowd, we hope they make out better than current local celebrity Rachael Ray.
In case you missed it, the Fairly Young Contrarian reports on the latest on the Glens Falls Post Star attempt to keep the right in power in the Southern Adirondacks. Enrolled Independents, Working Family Party members, Libertarians, Greens, and Democrats outnumber Republicans and Conservatives in Glens Falls [pdf]. Saratoga is on the verge of tipping to the left and the last two elections have only been won by right-wing operatives denying the vote to those in the traditionally left-leaning wards [second story down]. As more and more of the creative class move into Saratoga (and eventually Glens Falls only 15 minutes north) there will be a swing to the left – and there’s nothing those tight-asses at the Post Star and Saratogian can do about it. The question is – are they soul-less fools who will change their tune when the shift happens? Or do they have a backbone and will simply go out of business? Our guess – soul-less fools.
The phone company Nextel has disregarded the spirit of the Adirondack Park by insisting, for their own profit only, that Lake George needs a cell tower that will be seen from the entire southern half of the lake.
We get lots of visitors here in our mountain paradise, but one ten year old we had just last week demonstrates how we got where we are and maybe where we’re going.
This ten-year-old, was complaining that she couldn’t get cell service while on vacation. Who did she need to call? Her friends. Did she have a good time at the lake? Well, no.
She cited the two things that tourists complain about the most – right after the question: What do you do in the winter? [Gee… duh… nothing… usually stay in bed and wait for spring to come and you louder-mouthed tourons and citidiots to get back]
The bugs are always a top annoyance for visitors who are so ensconced in their air-conditioned generic sterile vanilla McMansion homes in the south that they can’t even imagine that there are bugs outside, let alone that one might encounter a few.
The second annoyance is increasingly becoming the cell service. We’ve decided that when we suggest a hike for our cell phone packing tourists who ask next year – and few seem to actually bother to hike, most seem to be glad to stay in the house, pull down the shades and watch TV – but when they do, we’ll be sending them to Pilot Knob to see the really big pine.
And while we’re on the subject of immigration – those fascist Minutemen are headed our way in order to protect us from illegal immigrants. Too bad we can’t set up our own vigilante force at Warrensburg and keep them (and their neighbors) down where they belong.
I don’t think anyone could have predicted that these people [identified in a Presidential Daily Briefing] would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center. Condoleezza Rice – May 17, 2002
I don’t think anybody [who wasn’t paying a lick of attention to the facts] anticipated the breach of the levees. G.W. Bush – Sept 1, 2005
Although the Adirondack Almanack is usually only a regional blog, what happened this week is simply too criminal and disgraceful to ignore. We spent the week watching video direct from WWL in New Orleans and then being amazed at the lies, distortions and outright fabrications of the national news media and the Bush administration. The truth was recorded by New Orleans Mayor Nagin – four days after Katrina hit [audio].
The incompetent Bush Regime has lost all credibility (if it had any). Bush calls the greatest natural disaster in American history a “temporary disruption,” he continued his vacation for more than 48 hours before acting, Dick Cheney is still on vacation in Wyoming, and Condoleezza Rice was seen shopping for $7,000 shoes in Manhattan while New Orleans was filling with water.
Their Evangelical Theocrat partners are chiming in:
“Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city,” stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. “From ‘Girls Gone Wild’ to ‘Southern Decadence,’ New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. From the devastation may a city full of righteousness emerge,” he continued.
The people the Bush Regime call their own believe this:
New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion — it’s free of all of those things now. God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there — and now we’re going to start over again.
The Department of Homeland Security has proven to be the boondoggle many of said it would be and FEMA run by a lying loser. The shoot to kill order given Iraq War veterans is a criminal attack on American citizens – and now the Army News reports “Troops Begin Combat Operations in New Orleans.”
While most idiots who have few facts are focused on the media fantasies of anarchy and the so-called looting (at least when black folks are doing it) – the truth is, the poor in New Orleans (28 percent of the population; 100,000 people making under $8,000 a year) have been the victims of looting by local, state, and federal governments and their criminal companions for hundreds of years – and all the while the looting of America by the oil companies continues.
If you are aware (given the state of our corporate media) that Halliburton, KBR, the armor makers and others are simply war-profiteers poorly outfitting and training the largest private Army in the world today to kill the poor in Iraq – wait until you see what’s going to happen in what used to be New Orleans.
It’s a crime – a lot bigger than getting a blowjob in the White House – and those responsible are criminal traitors from a dictatorial corporate cabal who should be punished. We can hope that they get what’s due.
We’ll get back to the issues of the Adirondacks later this week.
The price of regular unleaded at the Nice and Easy convenience store at Northway Exit 26 in Pottersville jumped 10 cents in less than 24 hours today. Last night the price was $1.75 per gallon, tonight it is $1.85 – apparently the regional chain has seized the opportunity provided by Hurricane Katrina and today’s raise in price of a barrel of oil above $70. The Almanck recommends contacting Warren County District Attorney Kathleen Hogan at (518) 716-6405 and the NY State Attorney General’s Office at (518) 474-7330 and demand they charge those responsible with price gouging. Also, contact Nice and Easy Corporate Headquarters and John MacDougall, company president and owner, and let them know you’ll be filing a complaint.
According to the Attorney General‘s office:
The law specifically provides that, in order to prevent any party from taking unfair advantage of consumers during an abnormal disruption of the market, the charging of unconscionably excessive prices is outlawed.
This law protects consumer goods and services vital and necessary for the health, safety and welfare of consumers, and applies to all parties in the chain of distribution, including retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, and distributors.
UPDATE: The price tonight (9/1/05) is $3.29 per gallon.
Friends of Rural New York have been following closely the recent Lewis County spill, larger that the Exxon Valdez, of cow sewage into the Black River. Big fines may be on the way, but the real crime is that the DEC and local officials permitted a 3 million gallon toxic dump so close to the river. The Adirondack Almanack supports local farms and agrees that its time we made a clear distinction between factory farms:
That is a giant factory where thousands of animals are permanently kept, never feeling the sun on their backs or munching a blade of grass. A CAFO (Contained Animal feeding Operation) can generate thousands of pounds of manure a day, suck up hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, and throw in various chemicals to “sanitize,” promote decay and boost milk production. What do they do with all that poop? Well, after it’s settled in nasty lagoons around the neighborhood, where it decays and festers for a while, they suck it up into these huge tankers and spew the putrid mix wherever they can, the closer to the CAFO the better, because it’s quite expensive to haul all that fetid effluent way. En route, the neighbors are blasted by the stench, the noise and the dust for days on end.
And local family operated traditional farms. To those ends – a list of local farmers markets from the USDA, and a regional map from the Farmers Market Federation of NY. Finally, we need to take responsibility for our own food choices – two of our favorite choices are the Honest Weight Food Co-op (when we get down to Albany) and a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) projects. HANNYS [pdf] (Hunger Action Network of New York State) has recently released two reports. The first “gives detailed stories of nine New York CSA’s that have reached out to include low-income members” and the second “is a report based on the results of Hunger Action’s statewide survey of CSA farmers. Findings include the fact that CSA’s keep $2.6 million in our state’s economy every year and protect over 1,100 acres of farmland” [pdf].