Posts Tagged ‘Warren County’

Friday, September 9, 2005

Boycott Nextel – Send Your Visitors to Climb Pilot Knob

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.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Adirondack Price Gouging – Pottersville Nice and Easy

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.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Adirondack and New York State Map Round-Up

Ever since Alan McLeod (host of A Good Beer Blog) turned us on to NYCO’s map of upstate bloggers, (and yeah, he likes maps too) and its recently inspired CNY ecoBlog’s local ecology news map, we’ve been wanting to do a really cool map round-up – so here goes:

If you don’t have Google Earth yet – you are missing out. Terra Server is great for a pay site that’s slow but provides nice printing capabilities, but Google Earth is just plain cool. The detail is amazing, just zoom in to Lake George and take a look at the sedimentation and you’ll see what we mean. Will this level of satellite photography and mapping eventually let us discover all those illegal camps and illicit dumps as well? We can only hope so – of course if we can see the world from space with a few clicks, can you imagine what big brother is doing?

It’s really something that Google Maps can give us a good idea of who dies first in a nuclear attack, but we’re more interested in the old stuff right? So here is:

And More Generally:

Yeah… maps are neat-o.



Suggested Reading

The Adirondack Atlas


Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Adirondack Almanack Demands: Glens Falls Post-Star Must Register As A PAC

Want to understand why we are where we are? Why increasingly it seems as though Americans are living in some sort of strange fantasyland? Look no further – it’s all right here at Letters to the Editor:

Maybe, if the Post Star got its head unstuck from deep within its own posterior and actually covered the other three candidates (even a little bit), it wouldn’t be a foregone conclusion that the next mayor will be yet another unimaginative, uninformed, two-party type with deep development connections and a love of the franchise and big-box concepts. Unfortunately, their heads do seem stuck pretty far up in there!

We couldn’t agree more. It seems clear that now that the Glens Falls Post-Star has used its pages to overwhelmingly support only candidates from the Republicrats, that they must, by law, register as a Political Action Committee.

Have any doubt that our local Democrats have even the slightest clue about how to combat the ignorance? Just check out their webpage, as hollow a shell as their ideas.

And speaking of the fantasyland o’ fantasy fuel and forever fights for the freedom of foreigners. James Howard Kunstler offers his latest and baloghblog offers commentary on it.

By the way, Kunstler will be at Rock Hill Bakery in Glens Falls tonight at 7 pm, thanks to the Adirondack Progressives.


Monday, August 8, 2005

Adirondack Pagan Pride On The March

The Almanack always assumed there must be at least some Pagans in our region – and not just these. But who knew that they’re throwing a party in Queensbury! Even for the deaf! With the support of local pagan businesses! Who knew they were organized! And had pictures!

We’ll be there, but first we have to stop by and ask one of our favorite nutcases and local substitute teacher, Roger “Evolution is a Lie” and “Condoms Don’t Stop AIDS!” Richards what he thinks about it. We’re sure he’ll think it’s cool too and want us to invite Lake Luzerne Crazy Councilpreacher Charlie Brown.


Wednesday, August 3, 2005

See Alice Run. Hear Alice Run. Esmond Who?

In case you missed it, Adirondack native and Green Party Albany mayoral candidate Alice Green was featured on WAMC. At the same time, the Glens Falls Post Star is hosting a “debate” with only the most conservative TWO of the FOUR people who are running for Mayor of Glens Falls (get it while you can since it looks like that’s the only place you’ll find it). I’ll bet Metroland wants to take that “Best of 2005” award back now. I know independent candidate Esmond Lyons wishes they would – he’s had what amounts to no coverage from the folks at the ComPost Star.

UPDATE: Matt reports by e-mail that:

Since May 1st , the number of stories in the Post-Star per candidate is as follows;

Bud Taylor 68
Pete McDevitt 39
Esmond Lyons 22
William Berg 20
Leroy Akins 20
This is the number of stories published since May 1st in which the candidate in question is mentioned (not to be confused withe being written about or covered). It should be noted that the Democrat and the two independents running are mentioned less than a third as often as Bud Taylor and half as often as his SAME-PARTY “opponent”. The truth, in total, is that most stories that mention Bud or Peter are actually ABOUT them, primarily. The mention of the the other three candidates is usually just a casual mention that they’re running as a tag line tacked on to the end of the story. They are denied voice and are often neither quoted nor consulted.

Amazing.

UPDATE AGAIN: baloghblog has endorsed Independent and Green minded Jacob Roberts for Mayor of Syracuse. Who says there aren’t choices? Now if we could only get the local media to recognize them.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Fellowship and Followship

The Almanack realizes that some places in our region are languishing in rural poverty. But a story about a New Hampshire church group launching a mission to help Pottersville is just plain strange – but hey, they “definitely needed their help.” Even if they sit less than 200 yards from Word of Life Fellowship on Schroon Lake whose recent speakers (to thousands of fans) have included such fantastic representations of followship as guns and drugs runner Ollie North.

The Word of Life Standard of Conduct

Certain principles of conduct are a necessary part of the effort to establish an atmosphere within which the goals of Word of Life can be realized. For this reason, Word of Life requires associates of the organization to refrain from the possession or use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, illicit drugs, from gambling and the use of traditional playing cards, from the participation in oath-bound secret organizations (societies), from social dancing of any type, from attendance at the motion picture theater, and commercial stage productions. Christian discretion and restraint will be exercised in all choices of entertainment, including radio, television, audio and visual recordings, and various forms of literature. Also, Christian discretion will be exercised in observance of the Lord’s day. Furthermore, it is expected that associates will actively support a local Bible-believing church through service, giving, and allegiance.

So much for that last line.

By The Way:

In New York City more than one-fifth of people (recent estimates put it at one-quarter) live under the poverty line. If the poor of NYC they were their own city (of about 1.7 million), they would be the fifth largest city in America [pdf].

Warren County is one of the fastest growing counties in New York – it’s ranked 11th in the state (out of 62). According to 2000 census data, the median household income in Warren County is $39,198. The national median household income in 2000 was $41,994. Warren County’s per capita income is about $28,020 (in 2002, an increase of 19.4% from 1997).

In Mexico – “a free market economy that recently entered the trillion dollar class” according to the CIA factbook – 40% of the population lives under the poverty line (that’s Mexico’s poverty line!).


Monday, July 25, 2005

Big Box Tops and Adirondack Blight

In the Adirondacks, Tops Supermarkets are ubiquitous to say the least. Many communities depend on Tops as the only supermarket of any size in town. Much of the fresh produce brought into the region is sold in Tops – in a number of places – North Creek, Schroon Lake, Chestertown, Indian Lake and others – the local Tops is the only game in town. Most had been Grand Unions until they were purchased in 2001. Some are still run-down and most offer a limited selection of fresh meat, fish and produce so it doesn’t bode well for a whole lot of us that Ahold, the multinational corporation that now owns Tops has abandoned it for greener pastures.

Tops is just a trade name, the real name of the company was the Niagara Frontier Services, begun in 1960 by Savino Nanula, Armand Castellani (the owner of Great Bear Market) and Thomas Buscaglia (a grocery equipment salesman) near Buffalo / Niagara (the later two are now dead). Tops along with it’s subsidy Sugercreek / Wilson Farms convenience stores were purchased by Ahold in 1991 in their bid to control America’s groceries [pdf].

Ahold just sold Sugercreek / Wilson Farms to “WFI Acquisition, Inc.,” – a corporate shield for Savino Nanula’s “The Nanula Group,” which is actually a corporation formed by Nanco Enterprises, Inc. and the New York City investment firm Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co is a coporation formed by former senior executives of Citicorp Venture Capital (who doesn’t even have a website they care so little about who knows about them) and, well, they are, you know.

But who knows what Nanco Enterprises is, though we do suspect the “Nan” in “Nanco” and the “Nan” in “Nanula” are one in the same – another shield from personal responsibility for what your corporate identity does, it wouldn’t surprise us it if was some kind of tax shelter as well.

Anyway… the question is, will Nanula and his good ole boys buy back the Tops in our midst now that Ahold has had its way with them? Or will they simply go the way many Grand Unions have – to abandoned blight. Its just another reason that the Big Box sucks… imagine what our towns and villages would have looked like had these “Super” Markets not replaced the locally owned corner grocery.

A great opportunity to mention that local baker Matt Funiciello, owner of Rock Hill Bakehouse, is hosting James Kunstler on Tuesday, August9th.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Remembering Veterans

There’s always plenty of loud-mouths who demand respect for veterans. The question is, where are they when something actually needs to be done to show respect for people who have served American causes. Certainly not in Schuyler Falls where the grave of a veteran from one of America’s most important wars, the American Revolution, was recently [re]discovered. How long before the graves of Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and Iraq War veterans are forgotten – apparently not too long if a recent [re]discovery of a graveyard abandoned in the 1880s in Rutland County VT is any indicator.

A question for readers: From what other wars are their abandoned memorials in the region?

The grave of Ephraim Williams (who died at 42 at the Battle of Lake George on September 8, 1755) was only recently resurrected by a group of Williams College students. Williams left money in his will – made out just before he left for battle – to Williamstown for the establishment of a school, now Williams College.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Kill your car – before it kills you

When the next oil crises hits… our region will suffer. First, as we’ve discussed before at the Almanack – there’s the miles we have to drive. Then, there’s the complete lack of public transportation. The high percentage of income that Adirondackers spend on fuel. The failure of automakers to make fuel efficient and alternative fuel cars. Housing prices that are driving people farther out and into rural poverty. The list goes on.

But some people still don’t get it. Over in Middlebury Vermont blogger Greg Dennis wants to bypass town to make a ten minute crawl through town a five minute drive around town… apparently he’s never been to Warrensburg, Pottersville, Schroon Lake, or any of the other small Adirondack towns that have were destroyed in the 1960s with the completion of the Northway. So great, now you can get from Albany to Montreal in three hours… and you don’t have to see a single small town or local business along the way. Take the Wells House for example, if someone else hadn’t recently it would probably be rubble by now – the turn and intersection it’s on needs widening after all.

James Howard Kunstler stopped by the New York International Auto Show to see first hand what kind of fools are leading our most significant (in terms of impact) transportation issue – what we drive. The results were amazing and with the reactions he got, you’d think he was at an Adirondack pub, not one of the premiere auto shows in the country.

It’s kind of strange… oil and water both come out of a hole in the ground, and both are finite. Yet they’re only just now getting around to privatizing water. Here’s a strange phenomenon – one Leche Roja, drives to Lake George from Queens to learn about “biodiversity conservation and protecting people’s rights from threats to their livelihoods and environment by centralized systems of monoculture” in the Third World! If gas isn’t a “centralized system of monoculture” that is going to threaten “livelihoods and environment” of the Adirondacks… I’ll kill my car.

In related news:

Steve Balogh argues that Syracuse will be the place to be when the peak oil crisis happens.

The Post-Star fosters the big lie. Thanks to higher gas prices there will be higher tax revenues. They want to know what should “we” spend it on?

Even as they make commuting by train more miserable, Republican State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno carries on a fantasy (or is it a lie) about high-speed rail.

It’s been said that there are forty roads that enter the Adirondack Park. So when the oil hits the fan they’ll be plenty of room for walking to walking trails. We’ll see you there.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Why bother?

The recent storms that washed nearly all access to Bolton Landing by road have brought into focus the failure of our local media. Sure, they told us who, what, and where, but failing to meet even the most basic level of journalism, they have simply avoided the why. TV8‘s Eye on Lake George is the only outlet to consistently ask the most important questions related to Lake George – what impact does the now excessive over-development, much of it upland from the lake, have on water quality. Of course Eye on Lake George is driven by advocates, not journalists. Today, News Channel 9 reports not on the source of the poisonous runoff into the lake – but that someone else is investigating it!

Hey, but don’t worry… if it bleeds… it leads – and fast.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Another Attack on Local Indy Media

Federal agents raided the downtown office of Brattleboro Vermont’s low-power community radio (10-watt) station Radio Free Brattleboro (107.9 rfb) yesterday morning seizing (ahem… stealing) thousands of dollars worth of equipment and leaving a warrant on the unmanned console [full story].

Long ago in the history of radio federal officials gave away the public airwaves to their corporate buddies. rfb is “a non-commercial and commercial free all access independent community radio station” and that simply won’t do. Here’s a nice profile. Here’s A Big List of Low-Power FM Stations

Adirondack Almanack encourages readers to join with their neighbors to seize back the airwaves – some local broadcast opportunities:

Grassroots Radio Conference and Radio Barnraising
Florence, MA Aug 4-7.

Saratoga Media Center
Get involved with demanding the Public Access we’re due!

WRPI – 91.5 FM Troy
Get Involved in one of the countries oldest community radio stations.

WGFR – ACC Radio
Adirondack Community College students – seize control of your radio station!

Prometheus Radio
A Great Resource

Berkshire Community Radio Alliance (97.7 WBCR)
The Latest and Greatest Local Effort


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

On the same page…

We’re happy to hear that Fairly Young Contrarian Brian has seconded our endorsement of Esmond Lyons for Glens Falls Mayor. Citizens of Glens Falls! Volunteer! Mark you calendar! November 8!

The campaign has announced a few initiatives:

Campaign Announcement and Meet the Candidate Event: Saturday, July 2nd – 11 am to 4 pm: City Park (next to the Crandall Public Library). Features live music by the Mathematicians (Metroland’s 2004 Best New Band!) and other local bands.

Sunday Flea Markets (Noon to 4 pm) to raise money for the campaign. Call Danielle Lyons at 792-0943 for info.

Create your own lawn sign – bringing out the artist in all of us for a good cause.


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Progressives offer candidate for Glens Falls Mayor

A recent posting from local baker and progressive activist Matt Funicello reports that activist artist Esmond Lyons (who we wrote about back in March) will run as a independent for Mayor of Glens Falls. He already has the support Adirondack Progressives, a group of area Green, Republican, Democrat, and politically Independent activists that has been very active over the past year organizing a surrogate Presidential Debate, a Molly Ivins read-in, Martin Luther King Day activities, the recent Ralph Nader appearance and other events. “It is long overdue that someone with his vision, quick wit and common sense, redefines the way in which this vital post is filled,” Funicello wrote in an e-mail to Adirondack Almanack, adding:

During the next mayoral term, some very crucial issues will be decided which should concern all of us in the area. Issues like our unsteady “partnership” with Queensbury and its sprawl, the upgrading of city infrastructure, the proposed changes to assessments that are undoubtedly going to accompany massive growth and our city’s continued trend of privatizing services.

Our cable franchise contract will also expire during this term and a mayor who understands the importance of re-negotiating this contract properly will be an invaluable ally for those of us who would like to see real community access television, a free community media center and possibly citywide wireless Internet service [ed… yeah! take a look at this].

Perhaps, the most important thing that will happen, though, is a continued influx of developers to “Hometown USA”. This can be a blessing and a curse. We need a mayor who will work WITH, and not for, these developers who are buying up downtown Glens Falls and proposing that they use our own tax money to improve it. We need to avoid the building of parking garages and make sure that new residents of the city are made to find their own answers to the parking problems they may well create.

We need to fix, shore up and make beautiful what we already have. We then need to work very carefully with the pro-development forces to ensure that they make provisions for affordable housing, green space and a pedestrian-friendly downtown. Esmond has many items in his agenda that he wishes to tell us about but he is equally excited about the opportunity to talk to you about things that are near and dear to you. This is going to be a citizen-driven campaign.

The first benchmark and biggest hurdle for independent candidates is the petitioning period (July 12 to August 23 – Calendar PDF) – it will require large numbers of supporters to hit the streets. Section 6-142 of New York State Election Law (Law PDF) lays out the enormous obstacles independent candidates face (see the recent Green Party lawsuit –Word Doc) – it’s expected that local Democrats and Republicans will challenge Lyons petitions (as they most always do with candidates outside the State Parties).

At 6 pm tonight (Sunday) Adirondack Progressives will host a meet the candiate dinner at Rock Hill Bakehouse Cafe (19 Exchange Street; corner of Elm and Hudson). Food will be served and music will be provided by Post-Star On-line Maven Carrianne Skidmore, Carol Strasser, and John Lawrence. It looks like there will soon be a website up as well.


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