Almanack Contributor Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

Stories under the Almanack's Editorial Staff byline come from press releases and other notices.

Send news updates and story ideas to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at [email protected]


Friday, October 24, 2008

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


Friday, October 24, 2008

ORDA Olympic Facilities Job Fair November 5th

The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) and Centerplate, in conjunction with OneWorkSource Workforce New York, will host a Job Fair at the Whiteface Base Lodge on Wednesday, November 5 from 9 am – 2:30 pm. Full and part-time positions for 2008-09 winter season employment at the ORDA Olympic facilities are available.

The Olympic facilities include Whiteface Ski Center in Wilmington, the Olympic Center, the Olympic Sports Complex, the Olympic Jumping Complex, and the ORDA Store, all located in Lake Placid. Positions available for the upcoming winter season include events staff, photographers, nursery staff, guest services staff, ticket sales staff, lift operators, snowmakers, grooming staff, Snow Sports School Instructors, equipment operators, food and beverage staff, bar staff, catering staff, rental technicians, skate monitors, sports development coaches, maintenance assistants, laborers, and more.

The employment opportunities include limited benefit packages, resort restaurant and merchandise discounts, and employee access to ORDA sites – including complimentary skiing and riding at Whiteface and ice skating at the Olympic Center and speed skating oval.

All hiring departments will have a representative at the job fair. Applicants should bring a resume if possible, or be prepared to fill out a job application. Interviews and employment agreements may take place on the spot. ORDA is an equal opportunity employer.

For more information on ORDA venues and events and for web cams from five locations, please log on to www.whitefacelakeplacid.com.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Adirondack History Center Museum Supernatural Tour

On Saturday, October 25 at 4:00pm the Adirondack History Center Museum will host a Supernatural Tour. The tour begins at the museum with cider and donuts. The audience will be introduced to haunted stories surrounding murderer Henry Debosnys, the last man to be hung in Essex County (that is not him at left – I could not find any images of the hanging, that one is from about the same time).

The tour will continue to Riverside Cemetery greeted by revelations of prominent citizens. It will then proceed through the woods and into the drawing room of the Hand House where the audience will be treated to theatrical portraits of ghostly characters.

Admission for the tour is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Wear warm clothing, walking shoes and bring umbrellas in case of rain. A Victorian dinner to benefit the museum will follow the tour at 6:00pm at an additional cost. The Adirondack History Center Museum is located at 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY 12932. For more information contact 518-873-6466.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Missle Silo Open House in Lewis, NY Sunday

The Australian Architect and Designer Alexander Michael is conducting tours of his restored Atlas Missile Silo (video) in Lewis, Essex County, NY this Sunday October 26th from 11:00AM to 2:00 PM. This is the first (and perhaps the only) time the silo will be open to the public. The Lewis site is the only known restored missile silo in the United States (and perhaps the world). After over 11 years of restoration the restored command control center is an amazing sight.

The silo is Boquett 556-5, an Atlas-F ICBM silo designated by the US Air Force in 1960 (local report) and also known as Lewis Missile Base.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Volunteer: Cornell Orinthology Lab Bird Feeder Watch

­The 2008-09 season of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch gets underway November 8 and runs through April 3. For more then 20 years participants have been counting the numbers and kinds of birds at their feeders each week and sending the information to the Ornithology Lab. Participants submitted more than 115,000 checklists during the 2007-08 FeederWatch season, documenting unusual bird sightings, winter movements, and shifting ranges-­a treasure-trove of information that scientists use to monitor the health of the birds and of the environment.

“Being a FeederWatcher is easy and fun, and at the same time helps generate the world’s largest database on feeder-bird populations,” says project leader David Bonter. “We are grateful for the contributions our participants have made for the birds and are proud of the joy they say it brings to their busy lives. Since we started in 1987, more than 40,000 people have submitted observations, engaging with the wildlife beyond their windows.”

Scientists learn something new from the data each year, too, whether it’s about the movements of common backyard birds or unusual sightings of rarely-seen species. Highlights of the most recent season include the largest southward movement of Red-breasted Nuthatches in the history of the project­-part of an expected influx of northern birds that fly farther south when their food supplies run short.

Other northern species showing up in record numbers included Common Repolls and Pine Siskins. Among the rare birds reported was a Streak-backed Oriole in Loveland, Colorado-­the state’s first report of this bird, native to Mexico. A December nor’easter deposited a Dovekie in Newton, Massachusetts, the first time this North Atlantic seabird has ever been reported to Project FeederWatch.

Long-term data show some species increasing in number, such as the Lesser Goldfinch in the Southwest. Other populations continue a downward trend, such as the Evening Grosbeak throughout their range. Once one of the most common species seen at feeders in the northern half of the continent, the grosbeaks are declining for unknown reasons.

Beyond the benefits to birds and science, however, is the benefit to participants. “Nature is not merely an amenity; it is critical to healthy human development and functioning,” says Nancy Wells, Cornell University assistant professor of design and environmental analysis. Her studies find that a view of nature through the window or access to the environment in any way improves a child’s cognitive functioning and reduces the negative effects of stress on the child’s psychological well-being. Wells also notes that when children spent time with nature early in life it carries over to their adult attitudes and behavior toward the environment.

Project FeederWatch welcomes participants of all ages and skill levels, from scout troops and retirees to classrooms and nature center visitors. To learn more and to sign up, visit www.feederwatch.org or call the Lab toll-free at (800) 843-2473. In return for the $15 fee ($12 for Lab members) participants receive the FeederWatcher’s Handbook, an identification poster of the most common feeder birds in their area, a calendar, complete instructions, and the FeederWatch annual report, Winter Bird Highlights.

You can visit the “Explore Data” section of the www.feederwatch.org to find the top 25 birds reported in your region, rare bird sightings, and bird summaries by state or province.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Essex Co Historical Society Wins Archives Award

The Board of Regents and the New York State Archives have selected the Essex County Historical Society | Adirondack History Center Museum in Elizabethtown to receive the 2008 Annual Archives Award for Program Excellence in a Historical Records Repository. The award will be presented to Essex County Historical Society Director Margaret Gibbs, Assistant Director Jenifer Kuba, and Museum Educator Lindsay Pontius at a luncheon ceremony at the State Education Building in Albany on October 20, 2008.

The award commends Essex County Historical Society for its outstanding archival program that contributes significantly to understanding the region’s history. The award recognizes the historical society for its well organized and managed archives and for its efforts to provide access to the county’s documentary heritage through interesting exhibitions and excellent educational programs for school children.

Previous award winners include Schenectady County Historical Society (2007), Huguenot Historical Society in New Paltz (2006), M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives at the University at Albany (2005), Onondaga Historical Association (2004), Canajoharie Library and Art Gallery (2003), and Hofstra University (2002)


Friday, October 17, 2008

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


Friday, October 17, 2008

Adirondack Museum Celebrates Indian Lake

The Adirondack Museum set aside tomorrow (Saturday, October 18, 2008) for a day dedicated to the Town of Indian Lake, celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. The Adirondack Museum offers free admission to year-round residents of the Adirondack Park in the month of October, and is open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

The special day will begin with a presentation by Curator Hallie Bond at 11:00 a.m. entitled “The Armchair Canoeist’s Guide to Blue Mountain Lake.” Enjoy the warmth and comfort of dry land as Bond leads a “virtual” canoe trip to some of the historic sites on the shores of the lake.

Known as the “Koh-i-noor of the smaller wilderness gems” in the 1880s, Blue Mountain Lake was the most fashionable highland resort in the northeast. The presentation will include “then” and “now” photographs of landmarks such as the Prospect House, Holland’s Blue Mountain House, the town library, the Episcopal Church, and the mighty steamboat Tuscarora.

Bond will ask the audience to reflect on the meaning of “progress” and the ups and downs of a tourist economy. She will also ask Blue Mountain Lake old-timers to help in the identification of mystery photos in the museum collection, and reminisce about days gone by.

At 1:00 p.m., Dr. Marge Bruchac will offer a program called “The Indians of Indian Lake.” The presentation will include historic anecdotes, photographs, and family histories of some of the Indians who have made their homes in the village.

Native peoples such as Sabael Benedict, Emma Meade, and the Tahamont family were involved in growing the Adirondack tourism industry, promoting and preserving herbal medicine, and even in developing the image of the Hollywood Indian. According to Bruchac, these highly visible families were not the “last of the Indians” in Indian Lake.

Dr. Marge Bruchac is a preeminent Abenaki historian. She is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Coordinator of Native American Studies at the University of Connecticut at Avery Point. A scholar, performer, and historical consultant on the Abenaki and other Northeastern Native peoples, Bruchac lectures and performs widely for schools, museums, and historical societies. Her 2006 book for children about the French and Indian War, Malian’s Song, was selected as an Editor’s Choice by The New York Times and was the winner of the American Folklore Society’s Aesop Award.

At 2:30 p.m. a reception will be held for all in the museum’s Visitor Center. Caroline M. Welsh, Director of the Adirondack Museum, and Barry Hutchins, Supervisor of the Town of Indian Lake, N.Y., will offer remarks. Cake, tea, and coffee will be served.

Artwork created by students at Indian Lake Central School will be displayed in the Visitor Center throughout the day.

The Adirondack Museum tells the story of the Adirondacks through exhibits, special events, classes for schools, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. The museum closes for the season on Sunday (October 19).


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Volunteers Needed for Adirondack Fall Trails Day

On Saturday, Oct. 18, the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) Trails Program will hold its 16th annual Fall Trails Day in the High Peaks Wilderness of the Adirondack Park.

Volunteers, working with trained leaders, will use hand tools to clean drainage, trim overgrown sections of trail and remove downed trees. This maintenance work will help prepare the trails and their existing erosion-control structures for spring. Once debris is cleared from drainage ditches, the trails will be better suited to withstand rainwater and spring snowmelt runoff. All maintenance work is in cooperation with the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

“Numerous projects are scheduled for participants of all abilities, including half- and full-day trips,” said Wes Lampman, ADK’s director of field programs. “Cleaning all of the existing drainage may be one of the most important things we can do to help the trails. It’s a great way for hikers to give back to the trails they enjoyed all year.”

The day will commence with a simple breakfast at the High Peaks Information Center near the Adirondak Loj. Participants will receive a Volunteer Trail Program T-shirt upon completion of the project. Most volunteers pre-register, but walk-in participants will be welcomed. Participants can stay at ADK’s Wilderness Campground for free on both Friday and Saturday nights.

For more information on volunteering and registering for Adirondack Fall Trails Day, contact the ADK Trails Program, P.O. Box 867, Lake Placid, NY 12946, (518) 523-3441 or visit our Web site at www.adk.org .

ADK is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection and responsible recreational use of New York state’s Forest Preserve, parks and other wild lands and waters. The Club has over 30,000 members and 26 chapters across the state and region. ADK operates two wilderness lodges and conducts conservation, education and natural history programs.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Flaming Leaves Festival Ski Jumping Results

For the seventh time in his last eight competitions in Lake Placid, Anders Johnson [video] of Park City, Utah, ski jumped to the head of the field Sunday in completing a sweep of the Flaming Leaves Festival. After taking Saturday’s national championship on the 90 meter hill, Johnson returned to the same Olympic Jumping Complex 24 hours later, under similar sunshine and 65 degree weather, and captured the NYSEF 90 Meter Super Tour event.

Not to be outdone, Lindsey Van , also of Park City, took both ends of the Lake Placid doubleheader by winning Sunday’s women’s 90 meter on the artificial surfaces. “I’ve jumped here many times and have always jumped well,” said the past Winter Olympian. “I feel every time I’m here, I can do well.”

For a struggling ski jumper, the six-foot-three-inch athlete appreciated the friendly confine of the 1980 Winter Olympic site. “The start of summer training wasn’t so good for me,” continued Johnson. “But I’ve jumped better since August.”

Then came a month in Europe where he performed better in summer Continental Cups and World Cups. “That got my confidence back. The jumps here this weekend were some of my best of the season. Now I feel confident for this winter.”

While vendors offered their goods and live bands performed under the tent, Johnson had the two best jumps of the day at 100.5 and 102 meters. His distance and style points totaled 263.5 for an easy victory. Eric Camerota of Park City was second with 249.5 points on jumps of 99.5 and 93 meters. Third place went to Nick Alexander of Lebanon, N.H. after jumping 99 and 92.5 meters for 246 points. Lake Placid’s Andrew Bliss was fourth on the strength of his opening jump of 97 meters. A second attempt of 89.5 gave Bliss 240 points.

Bill Demong of Vermontville, N.Y., sponsored by the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), was eighth after placing third in the national championship ski jump and second in the Nordic combined nationals, both on Saturday. Demong is preparing to be inducted into the Saranac Lake High School Hall of Fame this week as part of the 1995 state high school championship cross country team.

The diminutive Van, trying to overcome a knee injury incurred last winter, posted jumps of 98.5 and 92 meters, picking up 249 points in the process. “I took myself totally out of the situation and told myself to worry about it (the injury) later,” said Van, who will now go west and seek the care of orthopedic specialist Dr. Richard Steadman. “This weekend was a lot better for me. I concentrated on my in-run position because the in-run here is a bit bumpy. Otherwise, I had stable conditions. It was a great weekend and I had lots of fun. Now I feel good about the winter and will try to stay healthy in the process.”

Jessica Jerome of Park City was next with 97 and 89.5 meter jumps for 237.5 points. Avery Ardovino, Park City, secured third by jumping 89 and 92.5 meters for 226.5 points. Sisters Nina and Danielle Lussi of Lake Placid finished 10th and 11th, respectively. Canadian jumpers came to the surface in the junior division as Calgary, Alberta’s Yukon De Leeuw grabbed the title ahead of teammate Matthew Rowley, also of Calgary. Brian Wallace of Woodbury, Minn. placed third, just a point from second place.

With the close of the Flaming Leaves Festival comes the start of a fall training camp in Lake Placid for many of these competitors. The winter version of this sport gets underway, on snow, next month.

For complete results, including event photos, please log on to www.orda.org.


Friday, October 10, 2008

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories

  • » APA Sets Energy Policy
  • » Northway Cell Towers Going Online
  • » Energy Policy on APA agenda
  • » Adk Named High Drug Area
  • » Lake Placid Airport Gets $1M-plus
  • » Fort Montgomery Needs Saving
  • » Champlain Sea-Lamprey Plan Goes on
  • » Officials Applaud Youth Curfews
  • » McHugh Votes Yes on Bailout
  • » Will ORDA Be Privately Leased?

Friday, October 3, 2008

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


Friday, October 3, 2008

Adirondack Museum Harvest Festival 2008

Don’t miss the Adirondack Museum‘s annual Harvest Festival at Blue Mountain Lake, New York on October 4 and 5, 2008.

Each day will feature activities for the whole family from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The Adirondack Museum offers free admission to year-round residents of the Adirondack Park in the month of October – making Harvest Festival the
perfect fall outing for Adirondackers!

Dean, Dick, and Mary Merrill will return to the museum once again to demonstrate apple pressing with an authentic steam powered cider press from the 1800s. Visitors can grind apples and press cider themselves using a hand-cranked fruit press. Everyone is invited to taste freshly made cider!

The Circle B Ranch of Chestertown, N.Y. will offer leisurely rides through the museum’s beautiful grounds in a rustic wagon. Youngsters can enjoy pony rides as well, providing a wonderful photo opportunity for parents!

John Scarlett of Little Tree Forge, Rossie, N.Y. will demonstrate traditional blacksmithing techniques throughout the day. Scarlett is known for both decorative and useful iron pieces, created using a coal-fired forge and time-honored tools.

Inspired by the glorious foliage and fruits of fall, the museum will offer pumpkin painting, apple printmaking, and the creation of one-of-kind works of art from natural materials. Join Adirondack Museum staff for creativity
and fun!

On Saturday, October 4 only, the Siver Family Bluegrass Band from Crown Point, N.Y., will play two sets of hand-clapping, toe-tapping music from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. The Siver Family band features eleven-year-old Dorothy Jane Siver, the 2007 Lake Champlain Young Fiddler of the Year.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Adirondack Hacks

Randomly organized links to ideas for making life in the Adirondacks just a little bit easier – technology tools and tips, do-it-yourself projects, and anything else that offers a more interesting, more convenient, or healthier way of life in our region.

How to Build a Cider Press
Top 10 YouTube Hacks
Make A Simple Cardboard Pie Box
Retro Recycled Teacup Lights
A Skunk Odor Cure

Adirondack Hacks is an occasional feature of Adirondack Almanack. Take a look at our Adirondack Hacks archive here.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Week of Death and Disaster 3 Years Ago at Adirondack Almanack

Three years ago this week the Adirondack Almanack was mourning the death of one of the regions great historians and cultural and environmental advocates, Barbara McMartin; we were also reporting on one of the region’s deadliest disasters – the sinking of the 40-foot Lake George cruise boat Ethan Allen.



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