I have always believed that the initial step in addressing a deep and difficult issue – especially one that is controversial – is recognition: we must first understand that something matters; that it is real; that it affects people’s lives. Without recognition, without an embrace of the importance of an issue, we risk what will likely be at best a display of sturm und drang when we try to talk about it, signifying nothing but ego and personality. Yet despite the sometimes perfunctory dismalness of on-line comments, I am convinced by the experience of writing these columns that the issue of diversity in the park is headed for a substantive future, not just shouting and rhetoric. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘education’
A $1 million campaign to endow a position for an internationally recognized climate expert at Paul Smith’s College has been staked with a major matching gift according to an announcement made by the college Monday.
Caroline Lussi, a 1960 graduate of Paul Smith’s and a former college trustee, has offered a matching challenge of up to $500,000 to establish the college’s first Endowed Chair in Lake Ecology and Paleocology. The first recipient will be Curt Stager, a press release said.
Lussi has pledged $500,000 if the college can raise an additional $500,000. More than $250,000 has been contributed so far officials of the college said. Both Paul Smith’s College and the Adirondack Foundation are accepting donations. » Continue Reading.
We’re big supporters of our sons’ school, and I enjoy helping out and participating in most school events, probably more than my kids would actually like. But there’s one thing that has never been particularly appealing to me (and other parents, judging from the courtside conversations) and that’s class fundraisers in the form of products for sale.
Sure, some of them are fine and I do enjoy my Christmas wreath. But many of the other items seem cheaply made and sometimes totally useless. I’ve been known to skip the tchotchkes entirely and just send in money. » Continue Reading.
Recently, Pete Nelson opened a conversation on a social level many of us have been thinking about and working on a professional level. This conversation about the challenges facing a park whose population of residents and visitors does not reflect the shifting demographics of our larger society is keenly felt in the conservation, education and resource management professions. There is a famous quote, paraphrased, that says you will only commit yourself to what you know and love, and you will only come to know and love that which you feel is relevant to your life.
So the question Peter opened for conversation – and if you check out the comments on his January 11th post you will see he stimulated quite a conversation – is how do we make the Adirondacks more relevant in the lives of those who do not currently find it so. » Continue Reading.
The 4-H Adirondack Guide Program orientation meeting will be held on Thursday, February 6th, 2014, 6:30 p.m. at the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Education Center, 377 Schroon River Road in Warrensburg, NY.
The 4-H Adirondack Guide Program is a unique program open to boys and girls (12-18 years old) who would like to explore, in depth, natural resource related topics. The program gives teenagers an opportunity to gain knowledge in the biological sciences, and develop outdoor leadership skills. Activities include field trips and classes, canoe and camping trips, and community service projects. Topics taught include map and compass reading; canoeing; tree and wildlife identification; camping safety and survival skills; first aid training; and environmental career exploration. » Continue Reading.
“This was the best school day ever,” yelled dozens of Lake Placid Sixth Graders, waving their flags across the finish line for the day’s winners of the two-man bobsled World Cup Bobsled Competition out at Mt. Van Hoevenberg on Friday, December 13.
The bobsled coaches, athletes, and their families agreed.
“We have heard these kids out everywhere around the track,” said USA bobsled driver Cory Butner who ended the day in fourth place. “Coming up the home stretch, it felt great seeing all the kids ringing their cowbells. Hearing them scream makes us want to race harder, get better results.” » Continue Reading.
Thank you readers! The results of my little poll exceeded my expectations. I received nearly 150 responses, a great number.
Let me remind you that this poll was intended to be neither scientific nor comprehensive. It was designed by me to see if the results would highlight what I think is a hidden issue concerning the future of the Adirondack Park. It did that for sure, but it also provided other insights.
Here is how the issues fell out, ranked by weighted average:
When it comes to major issues that impact the future of the Adirondacks this year has been one of the most event-filled in decades. From the ongoing Adirondack Club and Resort debate and the orbiting cluster of questions related to private land use to the continuing economic wins for the North Country, the recent constitutional amendments and the classification of the Finch Pruyn lands, this has been a pivotal time.
My reading of recent events is that most of the news is good news for the park. It seems to me that stakeholders in the Adirondacks are responding to the challenges we face with concrete initiatives that are making a difference but also with a sense of intelligence: people are thinking a lot about matters in the park and there seems to be a higher level of general understanding of these challenges than in years past. » Continue Reading.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Northern Forest Institute is inviting submissions for its third annual symposium of interdisciplinary scholarship in land use and ethics to be held in Newcomb June 6 – 8, 2014.
Submissions from a range of disciplines and professional fields are encouraged. Topics include a variety of approaches to land use, the moral implications of these approaches, and their impacts on social and environmental justice. See the 2013 program on their website. Submission deadline is December 16, 2013. More information can be found on their website.
This past year Mary Grose of Herkimer County become a certified Sportsman Education instructor through the Department of Environmental Conservation. The Almanack asked her to relate her experience for our readers.
Hunting symbolizes tradition, family, and a fair chase. Growing up in rural New York State, I was surrounded by the sport of hunting. Friends and family would share hunting stories throughout the years and I wanted to become part of that tradition. As a young girl I was privileged to have a father and brother who taught me about hunting. Now that I am older and an educated hunter I want to share my love of the outdoors with others. » Continue Reading.
Get out your torches and pitchforks, kids. Here comes a nice fat target to shoot at. I’m going to propose an updated land use policy and permitting process for the Adirondack Park Agency. I’m not going to go into a detailed explanation of it since I imagine that I will have ample opportunity to do that in response to the numerous comments I hope to receive.
Consider this a straw man that you can light on fire or eviscerate as desired. I don’t suggest for a moment that I have the one best answer or anything remotely definitive. But I aim to have something to talk about which I can defend on the basis laid out in the two previous commentaries in this series: common ground exists to a far greater extent than the usual rhetoric would have you believe and we waste time, effort and good will by playing politics when reasoned discussion and a rational process can get us to consensus far more often than not. So be ready, because I’m going to come back at any and all objections with direct challenges. » Continue Reading.
Cornell Cooperative Extension in Warren County is now accepting applications for the new 2014 Master Gardener Training Program. Space is limited, so contact the office soon for more information and an application.
After enrolling in the course, the participants are provided with a binder of information that supplements the weekly presentations from Cornell University faculty, Cooperative Extension staff, and local experts on a wide range of horticultural topics. The topics include basic botany, entomology, soils, home lawn care, vegetable and fruit gardening, composting, organic gardening and other practical and interesting subject matter. » Continue Reading.
Paul Smith’s College President John W. Mills announced Monday that he will retire on June 30, 2014, after serving in the office for more than a decade. Mills was the ninth president of Paul Smith’s and the second longest serving president of the college.
“This is the best job I ever had,” Mills, 66, said in a statement to the press issued today. “I’m making this decision, though, at a time when higher education is facing great change. This is an opportune moment for a new leader to help Paul Smith’s execute that transition.” Mills has been president since 2004.
Mills also announced his retirement to the campus community in an email. “It will be through a combined effort of all at Paul Smith’s College – trustees, administration, staff, faculty and alumni – that we successfully meet those challenges, overcome them and realize our potential. And that potential will be reached if we all work toward that goal together, and accept the fact that ‘business as usual’ will not be sufficient,” he wrote. » Continue Reading.
Watching The Wild Center live telecast of the Wired Education teacher training day October 25th, I felt excited, inspired, amazed — and oh, so dumb.
I sat at my computer for five hours mesmerized by internationally respected educational consultant Alan November. His keynote address and two workshops were presented to almost 200 Adirondack teachers participating in person at The Wild Center and virtually at three remote sites. » Continue Reading.
“This is my hope for the future,” said Karen Edwards of Paul Smith College, who in her spare times serves as the director of admissions for the Future Generations Graduate School. “When I work with these students I can truly be hopeful that we can work together to solve the challenges facing humanity and our world.”
In light of the loggerheads taking place in Congress, the societal challenges throughout the Middle East, the struggle between environmentalists and big oil advocates over such disputes as the proposed Keystone pipeline between the Canadian tar sands and the United States, the increasing economic disparity in between the 1 percent and everyone else, that is no small hope. » Continue Reading.
Community leaders and elected officials have been invited to attend a Rural Communities Broadband Roundtable at The Wild Center on Thursday, Oct. 24. It is co-hosted by AdkAction.org, which initiated the event; the New York State Broadband Program Office; the United States Department of Agriculture/Rural Development Agency, which provides extensive funding for broadband services in rural locales; and The Wild Center.
The objective of the event is to assist towns and communities in the North Country to better understand how broadband can revitalize their communities and how they can best pursue universal access to broadband. » Continue Reading.
Joe Hackett has spent time in prison. Yes, the well known local guide, columnist, and scout for Seventh Avenue has spent years in jail, not as a inmate, but as a recreation coordinator at Camp Gabriels, a former New York State Minimum Security prison shuttered a few years ago by the state.
Once a tuberculosis sanatorium, the 92-acre facility was sold to the state in 1982, which operated it as a 336 bed-prison until 2009. There many of the prisoners worked on forestry and community service-related, projects, yet not-withstanding, it was prison far, far from home and family for the men housed there. For them the “Dacks” was a cold, hostile and distant place.
The prison was built, as were most in the North Country, as an outcome of the ‘War of Drugs’ and in particular Rockefeller Drugs laws that resulted in mass incarceration and a resultant building boom here because most urban and suburban voters did not want prisons located in ‘their back yards.’ Under the leadership of the late Senator Ron Stafford, such projects were welcomed for the many solid salaries they offered and, as a result, New York Corrections is the largest employer in the North Country.
Worms, WORMS, WORMS! Sad but true—those lowly, wriggling saints of the natural world, hailed as creators and saviors of the soil since the days of Charles Darwin, are now known to represent an Evil Empire.
Well, maybe not evil. But it turns out that most North American earthworms were introduced from other continents, and the new arrivals, while doing some good in gardens, actually disrupt the ecology of forests, diminish the rich fabric of life in the soil, and even contribute to global warming. » Continue Reading.
Just a few months after applying, Lewis County’s Ottilia Beha was accepted, and in 1903 she began teaching in the big city. By 1909, she had taught at several public schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, and served as assistant principal at two facilities, gaining valuable experience.
In fall of that year, she was among 258 teachers to take the licensing exam for elementary school principal. Ottilia finished at the top of the group, leading to a promotion as principal of a Brooklyn school with 800 students and a staff of 19 employees. » Continue Reading.
For most of us, there are one or more teachers who made a difference in how our lives turned out. It might have been their kindness, teaching ability, understanding, or enthusiasm that inspired or affected us deeply. Whether you’re young or old, they remain “Mr.” or “Mrs.” to you throughout life, even if your ages differ by only a decade. It’s partly force of habit, but the special ones merit a lifetime of respect for one compelling reason: they made a difference.
For a great many folks attending school in Lewis County in the years on both sides of 1900, and an even larger group in a distant city, that person was Ottilia Beha. Such an unusual name was fitting for an unusually dedicated teacher. » Continue Reading.