Posts Tagged ‘NCPR’

Thursday, October 16, 2014

North Country Public Radio Changes Fundriaisng Approach

NCPRSince 1978, North Country Public Radio (NCPR) – along with virtually every other public radio and TV station across the country – has been holding intensive, on the air fundraising campaigns every fall. This year, the station is trying something very different.

“We think listeners and digital audiences understand that their contributions are what keep NCPR going. We decided to experiment using very brief messages that did not interrupt regular programs- at all,” June Peoples, Membership Director, said in a notice to the press.

According to Station Manager Ellen Rocco, it’s working. “For the past few weeks, we’ve given the phone number and web address once or twice an hour without breaking into programs and at this writing, we’ve raised about $225,000 toward a $325,000 goal.” » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Friday NCPR Call-In:
The Future of the North Country’s Prison Industry

prison-time_375-300x240Friday morning at 11 o’clock North Country Public Radio will host a live call-in show to talk about the future of the North Country’s prison industry.

With two more prisons set to close in our region this summer, in Franklin and Saratoga counties, people are asking new questions about America’s drug war and about the outlook for prison workers from Ogdenbsurg to Malone to Moriah and Saranac Lake. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Brian Mann On The Future Of Local Journalism

prison time media project banner largeSo here’s the sad truth about my life as a journalist working in the Adirondacks.  I wake up pretty much every day here in Saranac Lake wanting you – scratch that, needing you – to do three contradictory things at once.  First, I need you to care about what I do.  Whether I’m reporting on environmental issues, paddling down a river, or pulling together a year-long investigative series about America’s vast prison complex, I need you to share my conviction that these things matter.  In a world of Kardashians, infotainment and blink-and-you-missed it Twitter feeds, those of you who filter past this first step are already the rarest, purest gold.

The second thing I need you to do is put up with the fact that it’s part of my job to be kind of a jerk.  Not always, and not unnecessarily, at least I hope.  But kind of a lot of the time, it’s important for me to be pretty unlikable.  Ben Bradlee, the legendary editor at the Washington Post, was asked once about the backlash he faced for his reporters’ work on Watergate.  He said that their job wasn’t to be liked, but to scrap and dig and prod until they found the truth.  I’m not in Bradlee’s league, obviously.  I’m a small town reporter in rural Upstate New York.  » Continue Reading.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Journalism, Social Media, and Adirondack Marketing

Pew2013DigitalHave you altogether stopped watching, reading or listening to your go-to news source because it doesn’t provide the information you’re seeking? Well, you’re not alone.

The recently released Pew Research Center’s Annual Report on American Journalism, “The State of the News Media 2013”, finds that the power of journalism continues to shrink as the news industry continues to cut jobs and news coverage. In fact, estimates for the decline in newsroom employment – at newspapers – in 2012 is down 30 percent since its peak in 2000. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cabin Life: A Crank Radio Companion

Psychologically, I am ready for winter to be over.  I like the snow and the skiing and the trips to the Evening Entertainmentgym that I just can’t justify when it’s nice out, but I would really like some nice warm days to come our way.  Maybe I’m not ready for winter to be completely done, but I could use a February or early March thaw.

I was sitting here reading the other night, when the radio suddenly turned off.  This is a common occurrence, due to the fact that my radio is a “solar” radio.  I put solar in quotes because this is what the radio was advertised as, but it is, in fact a crank/rechargeable radio that happens to have a small solar panel on it.

This past summer I spent a little bit of money getting solar lights and this radio.  Last winter I had used an old digital alarm clock for my radio.  That clock was the same one that’s been waking me up since I was a freshman in high school.  It was a good, old-fashioned plug in clock radio that had a battery backup so that if the power went out, your alarm would still go off.  I went through a lot of nine-volt batteries listening to NCPR last winter, so many that I had to repair the wire harness a few times.  I took that clock radio to the campground last spring and decided to leave it there when I got my new solar radio. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Philosophy: Solitude And The New Age of Privacy

I wouldn’t call myself a “morning person” but I do like the way the day has a kind of endless feel when I get up with the sun.  This time of year the world around this little house is alive with the spring song of rushing brook water, birds, and that subtle sound of bloom rubbing against bloom that is quieted in winter.  So, I follow my cat’s lead and stretch into the day in response to the sounds of the outside waking up.  Click on NCPR, draw a dark roast, pour some granola, gather pen and paper, settle into a soft chair and begin.

It was on such a morning recently when a report came over NCPR that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had declared privacy was passé.  “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.” » Continue Reading.



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Will NCPR have its own Congressional District?

Among the standards used by the US Department of Justice in determining the validity of newly redrawn political districts are that district maps be compact and contiguous and respect natural and artificial boundaries. In drawing up the new map for the 21st Congressional District, Special Master Roanne Mann strictly followed county borders (artificial boundaries), with the exceptions of Herkimer and Saratoga Counties whose southern population centers would have thrown off the numbers.

For an equally useful artificial boundary that validates the common interest of the proposed 21st Congressional District, consider the frequency and signal strength map of North Country Public Radio. Broadcasting out of studios at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NCPR operates 13 transmitting towers, all but two—the Bristol Vermont tower reaches west to the NY shore of Lake Champlain, and the Boonville tower—located within the proposed district lines. In fact, the maps are so closely aligned, one would be hard-pressed to find another Congressional district (not counting Vermont and other single district states) where a single broadcaster has such identical and unrivaled coverage.

If nothing else, this convergence of maps raises a clear question to Bill Owens, Matt Doheny and (potentially) Doug Hoffman: Is your membership paid up?

The post was amended to reflect the fact that NCPR’s Boonville transmitter is outside the proposed district line.



Sunday, October 16, 2011

WAMC goes on the air in Lake Placid (UPDATE)

WAMC, the National Public Radio affiliate based in Albany, this week switched on a new broadcast translator in Lake Placid. On Tuesday, W204CJ (FM frequency 88.7) became the latest nodule in AMC’s spreading network of stations. The move into the resort community was first attempted in 2007 when WAMC’s President and CEO Alan Chartock tried to take over the FCC license for a frequency that was being renewed by NPR’s Canton, New York affiliate North Country Public Radio.

WAMC operates twenty-four broadcast and translator towers that send its programming to parts of over 40 counties in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The broadcaster’s expansive vision occasionally runs up against its original mission. Earlier this year on the final day of the legislative session in Albany, with votes on New York’s same sex marriage and budget bills still up for grabs, WAMC devoted both hours of its premier news analysis program, the Roundtable, to promoting a music festival in western Massachusetts.

This week, WAMC’s new Lake Placid listeners tuned in to Dr. Chartock’s signature frenetic exhortations during one of the station’s periodic fundraising membership drives. While they say there’s no second chance to make a first impression, public radio devotees in the Olympic Village might yet find some advantage to the timing of their new suitor’s arrival. North Country Public Radio holds its fall pledge campaign this coming week.

UPDATE:The trail was cleared for WAMC to operate the Lake Placid translator as part of an agreement reached in December 2007 when NCPR was seeking to upgrade to a full power signal from the weaker translator signal. WAMC sought a license to operate the same full power signal, but settled for the weaker translator in the wake of negative publicity. A third party broadcaster, Northeast Gospel Radio, Inc. from Rensselaer County also sought the full power license.

(Disclosure: Mark Wilson is a member of NCPR and contributes cartoons to the NCPR.org)



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Philosophy: Protest Poems and Adirondack Light

The first thing I noticed was how the light fidgeting on the water moved, like jazz. Usually, autumn Adirondack mornings have more of a classical come-on, in a way that brings Walt Whitman to mind with his longing recollections of halcyon seasons enough to conjure this jigsaw of ochre and red around the pond and up the mountains; this deep and satisfying breeze whispering shhhhhh.

Yet, this morning something about the landscape looked like Carl Sandburg’s poems feel when read aloud. Sandburg, with his 1916 Chicago cadence was on the wind making oozing trombones of those same trees, going husha-husha-hush. A subtle difference sure, but still enough to make me wonder at it.

In a while I cracked on NCPR and let the world into my wood stove morning to shouts of “we are the 99 percent!” I listened, still looking out at the unsettled light and wondered at a world where a protest hundreds of miles away could change the rhythm of this morning, deep in the northern forest. Sandburg, indeed.

How many times have I read aloud in the voice of the “workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes?” With a soft slam down in emphasis right at the beginning as the subject reveals herself boldly, as if stepping out from the same morass of humanity now gathering on Wall Street “I am the people–the mob–the crowd–the mass.”

Further on gaining momentum in a kind of surrender with the repeated act of forgetting:

I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand
for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted.
I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and
makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red
drops for history to remember. Then–I forget.

Then beyond forgetting, lifting the emphasis and re-placing it on a new narrative of resistance:

When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
a fool–then there will be no speaker in all the world
say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a
sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob–the crowd–the mass–will arrive then.

In the lull between radio reports I realized that I had been quietly reciting this poem to the morning, keeping time with the rat-a-tat-tat of light off the pond and the staccato chanting of protesters. Sometime later, this morning’s tempo eased back into the familiar cadence of Whitman making sense of how each of these stories across hundreds of miles are one:

On solid land what is done in cities as the bells strike midnight together,
In primitive woods the sounds there also sounding

Photo of Carl Sandburg is in the public domain.

Quoting from Carl Sandburg’s I Am The People The Mob and Walt Whitman’s Our Old Feullage

Marianne is a philosopher living, writing and teaching in the Adirondack Park.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rearranging the Local Media Deck Chairs

Nathan Brown, reporter at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise (ADE), longtime friend of the Adirondack Almanack, and son of Almanack contributor Phil Brown, is headed to a new job at the Middletown Times-Herald-Record in Orange County. Nathan (shown at left) has been at the ADE just short of four years, most recently covering Lake Placid, Essex County, and politics. The ADE was his first journalism job after graduating form SUNY Albany in 2007.

Taking over Brown’s spot at the ADE will be Chris Morris, who has left his job as WNBZ‘s News Director. Morris will continue to contribute to North Country Public Radio. At the ADE he’ll be covering Lake Placid, North Elba, and Essex County, including the political scene.

Chris Morris was born and raised in Saranac Lake and got his start in journalism as a stringer for the ADE’s sports department. After graduating from St. Lawrence University he covered the Malone beat for the Malone Telegram. Morris later served as editor at the weekly Vermont Times Sentinel (Chittenden County). From there, he went on to take the news editor position at Denton Publications and later joined Chris Knight at Mountain Communications as assistant news director of WNBZ. When Chris Knight left WNBZ to join the ADE in June 2009, Morris took over as news director.

The latest media moves follow other recent local media changes. Also in June of 2009, Andy Flynn left his position as the Senior Public Information Specialist at the NYS Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Centers and has since taken the position of Assistant Managing Editor at Denton Publications. Another Denton and WNBZ alumni, Jon Alexander, now covers Northern Warren County for the Glens Falls Post-Star.

WNBZ is in transition according to a statement on their webpage. Bob LaRue, News Director at WMSA in Massena, who provides play by play for WNBZ‘s coverage of Saranac Lake Football, is providing regional news updates and the station is currently looking for a new News Director. Meanwhile, Josh Clement has been manning the studio every morning to keep the news on the air. Freelancer George Earl continues to contribute to WNBZ‘s Adirondack Regional Report.



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Major Grant Hoped to Improve NCPR

The Adirondack Community Trust (ACT) in partnership with North Country Public Radio (NCPR) has received a $300,000 challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to invest in the future of NCPR’s ability to expand regional broadcast and digital news and information services with a special emphasis on creating the next generation of public media professionals according to a statement issued to the press. With the required match, the project is expected to bring $650,000 to $700,000 into the work of these organizations over the next three years.



“The objective of the project, 21st Century Public Media on a Rural Map, is to make all NCPR platforms part of a single, integrated resource for the people of the Adirondack region – a resource that they can increasingly play a part in imagining and shaping. As part of the challenge, this grant has to be matched with local dollars from local residents,” the press statement said.

The funding is part of the Knight Community Information Challenge, which encourages community and place-based foundations to support news and information projects that inform and engage residents.

“The Adirondack Community Trust and others like it are part of a growing number of community foundations working to ensure residents have the information they need to make important decisions about their communities,” said Trabian Shorters, Knight Foundation’s vice president for engaging communities. “Ultimately, our democracy will thrive only if we have informed and engaged communities.”

The new funding is hoped to raise the level of NCPR services, by “expanding its work on existing and emerging platforms and by deepening the integration of community participation in public media.” “More residents will have access to information on a variety of platforms; they will participate in creating content and sharing information,” the statement said, “young people will have an opportunity to work under the guidance of proven professionals to learn the skills of public media; and more people will connect with other residents of the region.”

Ellen Rocco, Station Manager for NCPR said, “With this Knight Foundation grant, ACT is making it possible for NCPR to do leading-edge work for our community. And, as an active collaborator on the project, ACT brings expertise, access to and input from people across the region, and a great reputation—contributions that are essential to the project’s success.”



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nora Flaherty Debuts as Host of All Before 5

For listeners to NorthCountry Public Radio, today marks the return of the afternoon news broadcast, All Before Five, as well as the debut of its latest host, Nora Flaherty. All Before Five (which airs at 4:45 pm) has been off the air since the show’s last host Jonathan Brown moved on; previously the show was hosted by Gregory Warner.

According to her NCPR bio, Flaherty recently moved to the north country from downstate, where she has been a producer and host at Fordham University’s public radio station WFUV since 2005. She started her career in broadcasting while studying at the University of Michigan. For a radio personality, Flaherty has a very familiar face. You’d almost swear you’ve seen it somewhere before. . .




Monday, December 13, 2010

Commentary: The Truth About Property Rights

They’re at it again. A small number of so-called “property rights advocates” are spreading falsehoods about development in the Adirondack Park, the Adirondack Park Agency (APA), and our local economy to further their wider anti-conservation political agendas.

This time it’s a column by Karen Moreau, a Hudson Valley attorney who is president of the newly-formed Foundation for Land and Liberty. You remember them, the group Plattsburgh Press-Republican reporter Kim Smith-Dedam called “a new legal resource founded to protect one of the oldest American rights.”

It turns out that Karen Moreau, and apparently her Foundation for Land and Liberty, has no hesitation about misleading the public when it comes to the Adirondacks. Take a look at her commentary at the NY Post (surprise, surprise, Fred Monroe’s go-to tabloid). It’s full of lies, obfuscations, and what NCPR’s Brian Mann calls “goofy” accusations. Pull up a stool and let’s review a few:

Claim 1: There is a “de facto ban on development in the Adirondack Park.”

On what planet does one have to live on to make this claim? Most of the men I know have spent the last ten to fifteen working in the housing construction industry. Until the last year or so they were busy building thousands of first and second homes. NCPR’s Brian Mann, who called Moreau’s commentary “full out flat out errors,” offers a more accurate perspective: “Over the last decade, in-Park communities have seen a massive influx of private capital, investment and development to the tune of billions of dollars. Investors have built and bought their way to one of the most robust second-home markets in the US. Literally thousands of homes have been built, many with APA permits and many more in parts of the Park where no permits are required.”

Claim 2: “Approval for nearly any kind of land-based investment in the “park” lies chiefly with a single agency — the Adirondack Park Agency.”

As Brian Mann indicated in the quote above, the APA is responsible for oversight of a small portion of development in the Adirondack Park. The APA reviews applications on only about 20 percent of permit-requiring development activities in the park. Not to mention the fact that the APA overwhelming approves those projects, and by that I mean the APA approves nearly every single application it sees. In other words, the APA simply works to keep development activities in some general bounds of good environmental stewardship (and not very effectively at even that). The APA very rarely reject projects – almost never.

Claim 3: “APA enforcement actions, with the threat of millions of dollars in fines against ordinary citizens, has literally ruined lives and contributed to a stagnant and declining upstate economy.”

I challenge Moreau to provide the evidence that our economy is anymore stagnant or declining than any other rural area around the state. To the contrary, as Brain Mann noted, “the state of New York spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year in the Adirondacks — far more per capita than in any other part of the state.” The single case she uses to back her “threat of millions of dollars in fines against ordinary citizens” claim is the Sandy Lewis case. A millionaire financier who fought tooth and nail and won his case against the APA, including legal fees – no life ruined there. Civil penalties in 2009 ranged from $100 to $4,000 – that is the fact. Enforcement is down overall from 496 cases in 2008, to 467 in 2009, and just 392 cases as of the end of October this year. And by the way, the APA has won against more than 100 lawsuits, and has lost less than five.

Claim 4: An alliance of green groups, the DEC, and the APA “has delayed for seven years the approvals to develop the Adirondack Club and Resort [ACR] in Tupper Lake, which would create hundreds of jobs.”

Apparently our great defender of property rights doesn’t care to mention that the ACR developers have won the right to SEIZE the private property of others for their own profit. Forget for a minute the “hundreds of jobs” nonsense, according to Brian Mann: “A significant part of that delay (not all, to be sure) was caused by the developers, who asked repeatedly for the permitting process to be delayed, took long periods to respond to requests for information, and then asked that the process be diverted into alternative mediation.”

Claim 5: “The notorious bureaucracy has deterred anyone from even bidding on Camp Gabriels.”

This is an unbelievable assertion, and frankly, laughable. The APA has nothing to do with the sale of Camp Gabriels. This claim really makes me wonder just how woefully misinformed Moreau and the Foundation for Land and Liberty are about the Adirondacks.

Claim 6: “The state’s been fueling the APA’s power by buying up land and rewarding the wealthy and powerful Nature Conservancy with millions in profits for their role in facilitating the transactions.”

This has already be shown to be a baseless assertion, one that even the editorial board of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise (ADE) couldn’t accept. Repeating it shows Moreau to be dishonest and clearly not interested in the facts. As the ADE editorial put it, that assertion “smacks of gossip.” I second their call: “if it’s true, prove it with a credible source.” Moreau won’t because it’s not true. Just ask Fred Monroe, who told the ADE: “I don’t know if that’s true at all.”

All that aside, you’d think a “property rights” advocate would accept that people have the right to sell their land to whoever they like – including the state and the Nature Conservancy. If you think the state shouldn’t acquire more land, fine, but don’t make up lies to bolster your opinions.

We deserve more honesty from those who oppose outright, or seek to scale back, the Forest Preserve system and Adirondack Park conservation. Considering the track record lately, I don’t think we’ll get it.



Monday, October 18, 2010

Commentary: No Elections for APA Commissioners

North Country Public Radio‘s Adirondack Bureau Chief Brian Mann has apparently begun campaigning for the election of some Adirondack Park Agency (APA) commissioners. One of his first public forays into the debate came in August at the Adirondack Museum during a presentation he called “Adirondack 3.0″ – billed as a lecture on the “reinvention of the Adirondacks.” His latest came on the NCPR blog in a piece entitled “Yes, some Adirondack Park Agency commissioners should be elected“. Read the whole piece; but here’s the gist of Brian Mann’s argument:

“A far better way to choose in-Park commissioners would be to hold direct, Park-wide elections, allowing Adirondackers to cast their own ballots and make their own picks.

Imagine for a moment the kind of democratic debate that would ensue. Locals would have a chance to discuss openly their concerns, their desires, and their ambitions for the Agency.

Supporters of strict environmental protection inside the blue line would be forced to find electable candidates, who can engage communities directly, reaching out and making their arguments.

They would have the chance to do some educating, but they might learn a few things themselves about local attitudes toward conservation and the outdoors.

Opponents of the APA’s broad mission, meanwhile, would be forced to go beyond ad hominem attacks and zingers.”

It’s hard for local media to not be part of a story. Any reporter worth their weight in salt knows that they frame the discussion of their story from the start. For example, Brian Mann isn’t calling for an expanded role for the APA, or for requiring those towns who still have no serious zoning and planning in place to enact them. What he is calling for are elections to decide the future of the Adirondack Park, America’s most important state park.

I suspect Mann’s arguments are authentic and genuine, but I think it’s the worst idea to come up the pike since David Paterson tried to stop paying local taxes on state land. It’s no surprise they share the same flaw – they seem to forget that the Adirondack Park isn’t a political entity with competing constituencies, it’s a unique natural place with a statewide, regional, and even national historical and cultural significance. Despite the occasional angry bumpersticker to the contrary, the Adirondacks is a park, and an important one.

That park, the country’s largest National Historic Landmark, is all of our responsibility to manage and maintain. Offering an opportunity for one special interest group to use their media and financial friends to get their candidate elected in an attempt to dominate decision-making at the Adirondack Park Agency threatens to destroy an already weak institution; the only institution holding official responsibility to protect the Adirondack Park – our last public wilderness in the east – from over-development.

Perhaps advocates of elections for APA commissioners don’t appreciate the two great forces at play in these mountains. On one side, the constant march of development that has left this small part of the Eastern United States a virtual oasis of woods in a sea of a suburbia of 100 million people. On the other side is the natural world itself, which for millennia had staved off the harshest scars of development by being remote and rugged.

The battle began to shift after the Civil War as we abandoned our fear of the woods and came to revere them. Travelers, once forced to travel on foot or by rough road, were soon arriving by steamboat and rail, and by the 1950s, some roads were choked with cars.

In the 1960s, the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87) opened a pipeline for development to move north and the accompanying second home market spread a kind of dispersed suburbia into the heart of the Adirondacks.

It was in response to this turn in the long arc of Adirondack history that the Adirondack Park Agency was established in 1971. Its purpose was to limit the worst of the development excesses in the Adirondack Park – excesses that were just then beginning to take hold.

So by geography and history this place was marked-off and it now remains the only wilderness park there will ever be as the 100 million people that surround us continue to multiply.

It shouldn’t need to be said that we have a duty to the eastern half of America not to screw it up by turning it over to a regularly scheduled local media circus fueled by special interest money.

UPDATE: Brian Mann has a thoughtful response to this post over at The In Box.



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Andy Flynn’s Sixth Adirondack Attic Book

Hungry Bear Publishing recently released its sixth volume in the “Adirondack Attic” book series, highlighting dozens of artifacts from the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake.

Author Andy Flynn, of Saranac Lake, tells 53 more stories about the museum’s collection in New York State’s Mountain Heritage: Adirondack Attic, Volume 6, bringing the story count to more than 300 for the six-volume series that began in 2004. Stories, and artifacts, come from all over the Adirondack region.

“Each story is special unto itself; however, taken as a whole, this series gives us the big picture,” Flynn told the Almanack. “Thanks to these artifacts, we now have a unique perspective on the Adirondack experiment and a better understanding of the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park, its people and communities, and how life has changed here over the past 300 years.”

Stories from Adirondack Attic 6 come from the following communities: Au Sable Forks, Bangor, Blue Mountain Lake, Brantingham Lake, Canton, Chestertown, Cranberry Lake, Dickinson Center, Elizabethtown, Hague, Johnsburg, Lake George, Lake Placid, Long Lake, Loon Lake, Lyon Mountain, Mohawk, Newcomb, North River, Northville, Paul Smiths, Port Henry, Raquette Lake, Saranac Lake, Ticonderoga, Tupper Lake, Warrensburg and Wilmington.

Flynn created the Adirondack Attic History Project to “promote the heritage of the Adirondack Park to residents and visitors through publications and programs.” As the owner/operator of Hungry Bear Publishing, he works with curators at the Adirondack Museum and other historical associations and museums in the region to tell human-interest stories about their artifact collections.

Flynn’s “Adirondack Attic” column ran weekly in several northern New York newspapers from 2003 to 2009. The stories in Adirondack Attic 6 represent the columns from 2008. Each volume includes columns from a specific year; for example, Adirondack Attic 1 featured columns from 2003, the first year of the Adirondack Attic History Project.

In April 2010, North Country Public Radio began running Flynn’s new Adirondack Attic Radio Series, sponsored by the Adirondack Museum and singer/songwriter Dan Berggren. It airs the first Tuesday of the month during the Eight O’Clock Hour with Todd Moe. For each program, Flynn features a different artifact from the collection of a museum in the Adirondack North Country Region. He uses the Adirondack Museum as his “History Headquarters” but also visits other museums to track down the objects people have made, used and left behind.

In 2008, Andy Flynn was awarded a Certificate of Commendation from the Upstate History Alliance for the Adirondack Attic History Project. He has since presented programs on his work with the Adirondack Museum to scholars at the New York State Archives Conference (2008), Association of Public Historians of New York State (2008) and Conference on New York State History (2009).

Flynn also publishes the Meet the Town community guide series with booklets for Saranac Lake, Lake Placid/Wilmington, Canton, Potsdam, Tupper Lake/Long Lake/Newcomb and the Au Sable Valley. From 2001 to 2009, he was employed as the Senior Public Information Specialist at the Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths.

Flynn is an award-winning journalist, garnering merits of excellence from the National Newspaper Association, New York Newspaper Publishers Association and the New York Press Association. While the staff writer at the Lake Placid News, he was named the 1996 NYPA Writer of the Year for weekly New York state newspapers with circulations under 10,000. Before joining the VIC staff, he was a writer and editor for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake and the Lake Placid News, a correspondent for the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, an announcer for WNBZ 1240-AM in Saranac Lake, and a general assignment news reporter and radio documentary producer for North Country Public Radio in Canton. He is a graduate of the SUNY College at Fredonia (1991) and the Tupper Lake High School (1987).

For more information about the Adirondack Attic book series and radio program, call (518) 891-5559 or visit online at www.hungrybearpublishing.com.

ADIRONDACK ATTIC 6 TABLE OF CONTENTS

1: Delaware & Hudson Railroad guides

2: Camp Santanoni Gate Lodge rendering (Newcomb)

3: Long Lake fire truck

4: Snowbug and Luvbug snow machines

5: Lake Placid bobsledding cassette tape (Saranac Lake, Lake Placid)

6: Mystery of Ironshoes, the bobsled (Lake Placid, Port Henry, Lyon Mountain, Elizabethtown)

7: Nehasane Park wagon (Long Lake)

8: Republic Steel miner’s helmet (Port Henry)

9: J. & J. Rogers Company safe (Au Sable Forks)

10: Paul Smith’s hotel stagecoach photo

11: Willcox & Gibbs sewing machine (Mohawk)

12: Bonnie Belle Farm ensilage cutter (Chestertown)

13: Maple sugaring sledge (Dickinson enter, North River)

14: Acme Leader cooking stove (Warrensburg)

15: Steamer Vermont III menu (Lake Champlain, Lake Placid, Loon Lake)

16: Au Sable Forks archery set

17: Bear Pond Preserve posted sign (Raquette Lake)

18: Fire tower string map (Warrensburg, Lake George)

19: Whiteface Mt. Ski Center brochures

20: Hendrik Van Loon’s Wide World Game

21: “Uncle Mart” Moody pocket watch (Tupper Lake)

22: Civil War memorial poster (Warrensburg)

23: “Assaulted by Mosquitoes” photo

24: Bug dope in the Adirondack woods

25: Sunset Cottage (Forked Lake)

26: Frederic Remington painting (Canton, Cranberry Lake)

27: A Pleasant Day at Lake George painting

28: Picturesque America book

29: Swizzle sticks (Ticonderoga, Port Henry, Hague)

30: E.R. Wallace guidebooks

31: Long Lake church souvenir tray

32: In Nature’s Laboratory book

33: Clock Golf lawn game

34: Altamont Milk Company cooler (Tupper Lake)

35: Blue Mountain House artist’s cottage

36: North River crazy quilt

37: 18th century clay pipe fragment (Blue Mountain Lake)

38: Raquette Lake sectional rowboat

39: Ticonderoga Indian Pageant booklet

40: Lake George souvenir china

41: Sacandaga Park souvenir china (Northville)

42: O.W.D. Corporation 5-cent token (Tupper Lake)

43: 1833 needlepoint sampler (Johnsburg)

44: Warrensburg hearse

45: Lake Placid violin

46: Mystery of the postal hand stamp (Bangor)

47: Dwight P. Church’s aerial camera (Canton)

48: Civilian Conservation Corps ring (Glens Falls/Hudson Falls)

49: Tupper Lake baby shoes

50: 1929 firemen’s convention ribbon (Saranac Lake)

51: Dr. William Seward Webb mailbag

52: Brantingham Lake rustic chair

53: Newcomb Snow Plow

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers.



Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chris Morris: Election 2010 Update

Hey all — just checking in with a quick update on the 2010 primary and general elections.

John Warren and some of his colleagues here at the Adirondack Almanack have long lamented the mainstream medias’ disdain for covering third party candidates (I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been more than guilty of this myself). [See John Warren, Brian Farenell]

I’ve put a more sincere focus on those third party candidates in my coverage of this year’s elections, and I wanted to share an interesting article published Sept. 8.

The Associated Press reports that at least two third parties are in danger of losing their future spots on the ballot. The Working Families Party and the state’s Conservative Party need to carry the names of two gubernatorial candidates on Nov. 2 if they wish to retain their ballot positions without going through future petitioning.

New York State Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Cuomo has been courted by the WFP for some time. But Cuomo has been hesitant — if not outright opposed — to accepting their nomination and appearing on their party’s line.

In June, a Cuomo spokesman said an ongoing federal investigation into the WFP had to be cleared up before the candidate would jump on board.

Now, Cuomo says the party needs to accept his agenda before he welcomes their endorsement.

Another third party is also crossing its fingers ahead of next week’s GOP primary.

Rick Lazio says party unity is key if the Republicans are to beat Cuomo in November (a long shot no matter who wins the primary). According to political experts, that could mean Lazio will abandon his spot on the Conservative Party line if he loses to Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino.

Yesterday’s AP report notes that minor parties need at least 50,000 votes on their respective lines to secure future ballots.

On another note, I firmly believe third parties are going to gain momentum rapidly in the coming years.

The tea party movement — which is exactly that, a movement — could potentially see the establishment of an actual “Tea Party” line on the ballot. Paladino has already created the Taxpayer Party in New York (which, technically, would include everyone who pays taxes regardless of political beliefs).

And how long before we see a similar split in the Democratic Party? The Blue Dog Caucus, which consists of moderate and conservative Democrats, has been picking up steam in recent years. It’s only a matter of time before Dems like Congressman Scott Murphy decide that it’s no longer politically expedient to be attached to their more liberal counterparts.

Finally, a few quick links to check out:

North Country Public Radio Adirondack Bureau Chief Brian Mann has been a blogging animal as of late. Here’s a few choice cuts: Republicans need to get specific on abortion; the GOP as the party of no sacrifices; and my personal favorite, Scott Murphy is not a kitten killer.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise Staff Writer Nathan Brown blogged on Doug Hoffman’s FEC fine.

Jude Seymour of the Watertown Daily Times is rolling out some talking points.

And some shameless self promotion:

Jon Alexander blogged on Hoffman’s primary strategy, wondering whether it is childish or brilliant. I commented on Scott Murphy’s recent Lake Placid visit — and a few people seemed to think I was endorsing him. I was absolutely not, for the record.

Finally, if you missed Tuesday night’s debate between Doug Hoffman and Matt Doheny, you can listen to it here.



Sunday, August 1, 2010

NCPR’s Brain Mann to Discuss Adirondack Park 3.0

The past decade has been one of rapid transformation in the Adirondack Park according to North Country Public Radio’s Brian Mann, who will discuss this phenomenon and its implications for the future in a program entitled “Adirondack Park 3.0″ on Monday, August 2, 2010 at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake.

Part of the museum’s Monday Evening Lecture series, the presentation will be held in the Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for museum members. Admission is $5.00 for non-members.

NCPR’s Adirondack Bureau Chief, Mann has been on the front lines during ten years of change in the Park. He will lead a discussion of how environmental stewardship and community sustainability are being changed by new technology, new ecological threats, and a new political landscape.

Brian Mann has covered rural America for twenty years, working for public radio stations and networks from Alaska to New York. His award winning stories appear regularly on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. In 2005 and 2006, Mann won four separate Edward R. Murrow Awards.

In addition to his work for NCPR, Mann is a commentator for Mountain Lake Public Television. He is the author of Welcome to the Homeland: A Journey to the Rural Heart of America’s Conservative Revolution. He lives in Saranac Lake, N.Y. with his wife and son.



Sunday, June 13, 2010

Adirondack Almanack Welcomes Chris Morris

I’m happy to announce that local journalist and WNBZ news director Chris Morris will be the newest contributor here at Adirondack Almanack.

Chris was born and raised in Saranac Lake and got his start in journalism as a stringer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise’s sports department. He graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2006 with a degree in English writing and religious studies and covered the Malone beat for the Malone Telegram.

Chris then moved to Vermont and took the editor’s position at the Vermont Times Sentinel, a weekly paper distributed throughout Chittenden County. From there, he went on to take the news editor position at Denton Publications and later joined Chris Knight at Mountain Communications as assistant news director of WNBZ radio.

When Chris Knight left WNBZ to join the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Chris took over as news director – a position he currently holds. At WNBZ, Chris reports on Tri-Lakes and Adirondack region news and occasionally contributes at North Country Public Radio and for other upstate publications.

If the Morris name sounds familiar to regular readers, it should. Chris’s dad Don Morris has been a contributor on Adirondack paddling here at the Almanack for some time.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Commentary: Surprising Adirondack Economy Numbers

On Sunday an interesting op-ed by John Sheehan appeared in The Times-Union in which the Adirondack Council Director of Communications argues that the Adirondack Park “is one of the most robust rural areas in the Northeastern United States.”

This may not be a surprising contention coming from the head of a green group. But Sheehan noted that “a survey published last year by local officials — the Adirondack Park Regional Assessment Project — reinforces this. Their own data shows that the economy and quality of life are better inside the Adirondack Park than in any other rural area of the state…”

“What the report did find was that the average household income in the Adirondacks had risen 28 percent faster than the rate of inflation between 1980 and 2000. That means increased buying power that far outpaced inflation and far outpaced other rural areas of the state.”

Sheehan does try to address the elephant in the room.

“Still, most Adirondackers (33 percent) work for local and state government. That includes towns, villages, counties, school districts and state agencies. While such jobs don’t lead to riches, they do have their perks. The jobs rarely go away. Towns and counties don’t stop providing services, regardless of economic conditions.”

As someone with backgrounds in both math and language, I find ‘most’ a strange adjective to describe ‘one-third’, but Sheehan’s contention that these public sector jobs ‘rarely go away’ seems more than a bit out of touch in the midst of this state budget crisis. Perhaps he missed headlines of the governor proposing to shut down three of the Park’s major prisons as well as slashing aid to education, to health care and to counties and municipalities.

Still, when you visit other rural areas of New York and New England, areas which lack the outdoor tourism revenue Adirondack residents and businesses depend on, it’s hard to argue with Sheehan’s contention that the “being a park is helping, not harming, the Adirondacks.”

A NCPR blog post has some hard numbers about the Park as compared to other non-metropolitan areas of the state. Some of the conclusions may surprise readers.

Among the observations:

-The North Country is very diverse.

-The North Country’s least-urban counties may have a higher standard of living, based on select indicators, when compared to the more urbanized areas [of the state].

-Poverty is no higher in the North Country than elsewhere in non-metropolitan New York State.

-With the exception of Lewis County, the North Country does not have particularly high civilian employment in agriculture and/or manufacturing. The North Country’s level of dependence on these industries is similar to the level elsewhere in rural New York.

I’ve said before that for all the complaining about the Adirondack Park Agency’s existence (not necessarily its sometimes opaque and unaccountable workings, which can deserve scorn), the fact remains that a pristine natural environment is the single biggest economic advantage the Park has. Threaten that and you lose the outdoor tourism revenue so central to the region’s economy.



Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Almanack Welcomes Christopher Shaw

Please join those of us at the Adirondack Almanack (all 15 of us now) in welcoming our newest contributor, Christopher Shaw. In the 1970s and 80s Shaw worked as a ski lift operator, the caretaker of a fishing club, a whitewater guide, an innkeeper and as editor of Adirondack Life. His stories and articles have appeared in Outside, the New England Review, the New York Times and many other publications, and he has received Bread Loaf and New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships. Northern Voices, his program on NCPR in the 1990s, profiled writers of the Adirondacks and northern New York, and his book, Sacred Monkey River: A Canoe Trip with the Gods, about paddling in the Usumacinta River watershed of Chiapas and Guatemala, appeared in 2000. The Washington Post called it “a magnificent achievement.”

Shaw teaches writing at Middlebury College, where he also co-administers the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism. He and his wife Sue Kavanagh salve the wounds of exile by spending as many weeks a year as they can at their one-room cabin on a remote northern lake.

Chris will be offering monthly installments of what he calls “a series of snapshots from my fifty or more years of Adirondack experience.” This first, which takes us back to Bushnell Falls in 1969, will appear this Saturday.



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