Almanack Contributor Guest Contributor

Guest writer

The Adirondack Almanack publishes occasional guest essays from Adirondack residents, visitors, and those with an interest in the Adirondack Park. Submissions should be directed to Almanack editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com


Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Psychologist’s Question of Courage While Facing TB in ADKs Resonates amid COVID-19

Rollo May

 

By James Schlett

Eighty years ago, in 1942, a graduate student named Rollo May was diagnosed with Tuberculosis, the early twentieth century’s version of COVID-19. He later joined the thousands of people who retreated to the Adirondacks to help save them from the disease, which what was then known as “the captain of death.” At the time of his diagnosis, May was a former pastor who had recently enrolled in a psychology program at Columbia University Teachers College in New York. Tuberculosis had threatened to cut short this life that showed so much promise and later heralded the American existential psychology movement.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

The next generation of entrepreneurs

business transitions martins pretzel business grand opening

By Zach Hobbs, Center for Pandemic Response Outreach Coordinator

“For me and my family, the ability to do what we love and share it with others is a legacy we all want to be part of. Personally, it is very fulfilling to be back in operation and continue the family tradition for another generation.”

~ Josiah Martin, Martin’s Handmade Pretzels, Moira, N.Y.

This month, ANCA’s Center for Businesses in Transition (CBIT) announced the successful transitions of three Franklin County businesses to new ownership.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 30, 2022

Town to Town on the CATS trails

turnpike signBy Mary McGowan

I saw on the Champlain Area Trails (CATS) map that there is a town to town hike starting in Port Kent and ending in Ticonderoga. Well, Peter and I were game. Since we could not go to Spain and walk the Camino de Santiago, we decided to do el Camino de Ticontiago!

Looking over the map we pieced together the trails we would take and made a guess at the mileage. Choosing the number of days, we would walk lead us to what towns we would sleep in and where to eat along the way. Planning our meals to coincide with restaurants being open was a challenge.

Choosing a Tuesday as our start day, we drove to the Port Kent train station and parked the car there as I felt it would not be in the way since the train is not running. With a clear sky we started out with our trusty walking sticks, small backpacks of dry socks, toiletries, change of outfits, sweaters, light rain jackets, water and snacks.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Remembering Wendy Hall

ken rimany

Wendy Hall, founder of the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge, which she ran alongside her husband Stephen Hall (who also is a long-time Almanack contributor), passed away on Sunday.

Ken Rimany, a partner with Adirondack Wild, shared this recollection:

Incomparable champions of all wildlife, big and small, Wendy and Steve Hall have always been, and always will be to me. Wendy’s legacy of her passion and limitless love for taking care of and rehabilitating so many of God’s creatures over the past twenty years at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge & Rehabilitation Center – continues to still shine bright.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Adirondack Park Agency: Still Business as Usual!

white lake quarry

By Ralph A. Cossa

In his Jan. 11 commentary in the Adirondack Almanack, Peter Bauer asked the question “Will the new boss be the same as the old boss?” in questioning whether the Adirondack Park Agency Board, under new chairman John Ernst, would finally start holding adjudicatory hearings regarding contentious issues, or would it continue to avoid this process which allows citizens’ and experts’ views to be heard and questions answered. The issue in question was the White Lake Quarry Application (APA2021-0075) which called for extensive mining operations directly over the community’s aquifer and within 1000 feet of their pristine spring-fed lake, in the middle of a tourist-oriented residential community of some 400 homes and small businesses.

Adjudicatory hearings used to be a regular occurrence; between 1973-2008, there were 151, or roughly 4-5 per year. Since 2008, not a single adjudicatory hearing has been held as the APA has become more and more inclined, especially during the Cuomo era, to support business activities in the Park it is sworn to protect. Governor Hochul has pledged to change that mind-set. Obviously, the word has yet to trickle down to the APA.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 16, 2022

It’s Debatable: Infrastructure priorities

ohio bridge debatable infrastructure

 

Editor’s note: This commentary is in the Jan/Feb 2022 issue of Adirondack Explorer magazine, as part of our “It’s Debatable” feature. In this regular column, we invite organizations and/or individuals to address a particular issue. Click here to subscribe to the magazine, available in both print and digital formats: www.adirondackexplorer.org/subscribe.

The question: What are the top priorities in the park for billions coming to NY in federal infrastructure money?

The $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill means $170 billion is slated for New York.

Working with the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, we asked 100 municipalities what they see as the top project in their communities. (Stay tuned for a full report.)

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

White Lake Quarry: Business as Usual for the APA?

By Louanne Cossawhite lake quarry

In announcing the appointment of John Ernst as the new chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) in late October, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul referred to the Park as “a unique asset” and a “natural gem,” while further noting that “we must preserve its natural beauty for future generations to enjoy, while also boosting tourism and small businesses across the region.”  Unfortunately, the word has yet to filter down to the APA staff, whose primary mission is “to protect the public and private resources of the Park.”
Under the previous Cuomo administration, the APA had been very pro-development in the supposedly protected Park. That mind-set regrettably continues, one case in point being the application to begin extensive mining operations in close proximity to White Lake in the Forestport/Woodgate area inside the Park. Local affected residents in this small largely tourist community have submitted hundreds of letters and a petition with over a thousand signatures requesting an adjudicatory hearing to address the many deficiencies they have documented in the Red Rock Quarry Associates application to begin extensive granite mining operations – an initial excavation area of 5.2 acres within a 26.6 acre life of mine zone involving up to 3-6,000 cubic yards of dimensional stone and 10,000 cubic yards of aggregate annually hauled out by up to 20 tractor-trailers daily during an April-October 5 1/2 days/week operation.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

A tribute to Fred Monroe

fred monroe

By E. Wilbur Rice

The people of the Adirondack Park have lost a great leader.

I was introduced to Fred Monroe around 8 to 10 years ago at a meeting of the Adirondack Landowners Association. 

My first impression was that Fred was a nice, somewhat reserved individual who seemed to know a lot of people in the room. 

As I began to know Fred better and learned what other leaders in the Park said about Fred, I came to appreciate what a strong force he was in the Park.  Fred knew everyone and knew all about the issues confronting both the people of the Adirondacks and Albany.  I realized when one needed advice about an issue Fred was the guy to call. 

We have lost a much respected leader. Thank you, Fred, for your sound counsel and your unwavering commitment.  You will be missed.

E. Wilbur Rice is President of the Adirondack Landowners Association

Photo: Fred Monroe of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board speaks at the public hearing for Adirondack land classifications held in Ray Brook NY, Nov 2016. Photo by Nancie Battaglia

 


Monday, December 20, 2021

2021 Last-minute “Support Local” Holiday Gift Guide

By Audrey Schwartzberg, ANCA Communications Officer

buy local graphic
Nothing says true love like a year’s worth of garbage pickup.

This may end up being my favorite gift this year. The rest are sitting wrapped, tidy and pretty, under the tree.

My garage, on the other hand, is neither tidy nor pretty. It is bursting with trash bags, busted gear and crammed recycling bins — quietly waiting (and waiting) for us to make a trip (or two) to the transfer station. Our cars, in the meantime, are relegated to the cold and snow just outside the garage doors.

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Thursday, December 16, 2021

A blown deadline

Billy Jones salt bill

By the Times Union editorial board

Nonexistent task forces have a 100 percent track record of not issuing reports by deadline. So in that sense, the state’s road salt panel is doing exactly what New Yorkers expected of it.

Under the 2020 legislation establishing it, the task force was supposed to study the impact of road salt in the Adirondacks and come up with a pilot plan for reducing it, reporting to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2021 – as in, weeks ago.

What’s at stake here? Oh, only public health, the environment, and the Adirondack economy. Excess road salt poisons the wells that North Country residents drink from. It degrades farmland, fouls lakes, desiccates trees.

Yes, things have been a bit … chaotic in the Executive Chamber this year. But in the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, long appointment delays and other forms of foot-dragging were a feature, not a bug. Skeptics might speculate that for Mr. Cuomo, the announcement of a plan of action was more important than its implementation.

All of the panel’s members have now been recommended, state officials say, and appointments are in the process of being finalized. We know Gov. Kathy Hochul is catching up on a backlog on empty positions. Prioritizing this process will be a significant way her administration can differentiate itself from its predecessor. State government needs to get moving on this important issue, collecting data transparently and thoroughly, and – at the most basic level – doing what it said it was going to do.

Editor’s note: This originally ran Dec. 13 in the (Albany) Times Union. Used by permission.

Photo: NYS Assemblyman Billy Jones speaks Dec. 4, 2020, at a commemoration of the signing of the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act. More than 10 months later, the task force created by the bill is still without members. Mike Lynch photo

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Stillman’s Historic Painting and the Future of Follensby Pond

stillman painting from follensby pond

William James Stillman’s painting “The Philosophers’ Camp in the Adirondacks.” Courtesy of Concord Free Public Library

By Philip Kokotailo

Will recently reported discussions about the future of Follensby Pond (between representatives of the Nature Conservancy and New York State) acknowledge the powerful themes of art as well as the enduring lessons of history?  Let’s hope so.  It was Follensby Pond, after all, that provided the setting for William James Stillman’s 1858 painting, The Philosophers’ Camp in the Adirondacks.  It has become, in the 163 years that followed, the most frequently reproduced image of a much-celebrated event.  The past two summers in particular reveal why.  

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Mobile Market grateful for another successful season

 mobile marketBy Heart Network staff

Here in the North Country, our communities exist in vast, rural areas, where access to life’s basic necessities is limited. Healthy, nutritious food can be hard to come by for those who live in less populated towns and villages, and it often takes creative solutions to overcome these obstacles.

The Joint Council for Economic Opportunity’s Mobile Market provides access to seasonal produce, baked goods and a salad bar; the market made its debut in 2018 in a partnership with JCEO and the Heart Network, with funding from the New York State Department of Health’s Creating Healthy Schools & Communities grant. One bus started with 12 stops and has since expanded, adding more communities and offerings. The Mobile Market accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits with the additional bonus of the Double Up Food Bucks Program (DUFB), which doubles the amount of produce SNAP recipients can purchase; customers can also use Office for the Aging farmers market vouchers.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 22, 2021

No farmland, no food

Holly Rippon-Butler photo by Meqo Sam Cecil
Holly Rippon-Butler is Land Campaign Director for the National Young Farmers Coalition, owner of Farmers Cone Creamery, and an Adirondack Land Trust board member. Following are her remarks from the Adirondack Land Trust’s 2021 annual meeting on the relationship between farmland and the unique Adirondack food system.

I grew up on my family’s dairy farm in Schuylerville, NY, just outside of the Adirondack Park. My first experiences with the Adirondacks were hiking in the mountains and exploring lakes and streams. It wasn’t until I was older and living in the Champlain Valley that I began to appreciate the rich agricultural landscape that is woven into the fabric of the Park as well.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Formality Will Not Generate the Planning Needed in the Adirondacks

By Lee Nellis

Thanks to Peter Bauer for once again providing us with useful facts and commentary in his “Team Cuomo” editorial. I have no argument with what he says, so far as it goes, but fear that he creates the impression that the more frequent use of formal adjudicatory hearings will restore sound land-use planning to the Adirondacks.

It will not.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 15, 2021

A remembrance from growing up near Akwesasne

david fadden, photo by linda Friedman Ramirez

Editor’s note: In recognition of November being Native American Heritage Month, reader Joel Rosenbaum shared this story:

By Joel Rosenbaum

The grandfather of David Fadden (see here for a recent profile on David Fadden), Ray Fadden, was always talked about with a great deal of respect in my family, where I grew up in Massena, N. Y., not far from the Native American reservation (Akwesasne) in Hogansburg, N. Y.

» Continue Reading.



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