Last week I pointed out that the only female candidate in next month’s presidential election, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, had been arrested and handcuffed to a chair for eight hours during the presidential debate, and then gagged by local media. The episode was indicative, I argued, of a general tendency among political reporters to parrot the two dominate parties. I pleaded for fairer coverage of the wider spectrum of American political thought. » Continue Reading.
Consider this a plea to our political reporters – do your job, please. As a class you continue to fail the American public, ignoring the issues and perpetrating the lies of machine candidates. American political reporters have become a tool in the criminal usurpation of American democratic principles.
Let me start with a quick story. In the nineteenth century when Tammany Hall Democrats dominated New York City politics, their single biggest weapon was their control of the Tammany Hall building. Time and time again, when faced with opposition from the rank and file the Tammany Society simply locked the doors to the hall, the keys of which they controlled. “The Society’s key power, which throughout its history it rarely hesitated to invoke,” Tammany historian Oliver Allen noted, was “the power to grant legitimacy to any political force in the city by controlling the place that symbolized authority. Time and time gain it would turn aside threats to its hegemony simply by padlocking the doors.” The result was plain to see – corrupt one-party control. You, dear political reporters, are now holding the keys to the hall. » Continue Reading.
It’s Harvest Time in the Adirondacks and events are planned across the region that feature locally-grown foods and local farms. The local food and farm economy is a growing part of Adirondack economic life as more residents and businesses choose local food first.
Over the past several years new farmers markets have sprung up in communities across the region. In Chestertown, a new weekly farmers market is bringing 500 people a week into the village. Local business people are praising the effort, the Grand Union has added staff for the Wednesday market, and local restaurants are seeing increased lunch business. “This is the biggest thing to hit Chestertown in 20 years,” one long-time businessman said at a recent town meeting. » Continue Reading.
Finch Paper’s future is secure, officials said last week during an interview session with the Adirondack Almanack. In a wide-ranging conversation that touched on Finch’s forestry programs, the market for paper, and the recent State Land purchase, company spokespeople stressed the need to protect forest lands, and the company’s commitment to playing a role in sustainably managing supplies of wood fiber for their plant in Glens Falls.
“I always stress keeping forest land forest land,” Finch Forest Management Manager Leonard Cronin said, adding that development is the biggest threat to forest lands. “Most paper mills have sold their lands and given up managing their forests,” he explained, saying that Finch chose a different approach. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program, created by the Lake Champlain Special Designation Act of 1990 to coordinate the implementation of the Lake Champlain management plan, has released its 2012 Lake Champlain “State of the Lake Report”. The report, which is issued every 3-4 years, concludes that the water should be treated before drinking or bathing, most of the lake is safe to swim in most of the time, and some fish may be eaten, if “consumed responsibly” according to fish consumption health advisories.
Phosphorus levels and the potential threat of toxic algae blooms remain elevated. Mercury and PCB contamination in fish is declining, but new chemical threats are on the rise. Invasive species remain a serious problem, especially to game fish and native mussels, but biodiversity projects such as fish ladders, and wetland and riparian habitat restoration or enhancement has made progress in protecting sensitive ecosystems in some areas. » Continue Reading.
Brian L. Houseal will be leaving his post as Executive Director of the Adirondack Council, after a decade leading the largest Adirondack-centered environmental conservation advocacy organization. Houseal is expected to be replaced at the end of October by Deputy Director Diane Fish of Lake Placid who will serve as Acting Executive Director while a new Executive Director is sought.
Reflecting on his tenure in a statement prepared for the press Houseal said, “I have had the honor of moving forward with a legacy endowed to us by some of the greatest conservationists in our country. Louis and Bob Marshall, Clarence Petty, the Council’s founders, and many other directors, staff and members over the years have all fought to uphold Article XIV – the Forever Wild Clause – of New York State’s Constitution, unique in the world as a people’s commitment to wilderness preservation. That vision and constellation of stars provides the compass bearing that guides our team every day.” » Continue Reading.
It’s probably safe to say most everyone who has ventured into Adirondack woods or waters in the last 50 years has at some time used a Coleman product. The company once sold Skiroule snowmobiles, Hobie Cat sailboats, and even its own pop-up trailers – but most recreationists are familiar with some of the smaller Coleman products: coolers, canoes and other small boats, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, and the ubiquitous camp stoves and Coleman lanterns.
The company was founded in 1900 by William Coffin Coleman, known as “W. C.”, and a former school principal working as a typewriter salesman who founded the company while earning money for law school. Coleman’s obsession with a lantern that burned a bright white light is matched by legions of Coleman collectors, who pour over the company’s American made designs (Coleman was born in Columbia County, NY and moved to the mid-west) and trade stories and knowledge. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) have dropped their appeal of a state Supreme Court decision that confirmed the classification of Lows Lake as Wilderness.
In August 2011, Supreme Court Justice Michael C. Lynch ruled on a lawsuit brought by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and Protect the Adirondacks! (PROTECT), that the lake was and should be managed as Wilderness. Lynch also noted that Lows Lake was included in a 1987 Wilderness classification of about 9,100 acres that was signed by then-Governor Mario Cuomo. The APA and DEC appealed, but this week the state Attorney General’s Office, representing the APA and DEC, withdrew its appeal of Lynch’s decision. » Continue Reading.
Please join us in welcoming our newest contributor here at the Almanack, Shannon Houlihan. Shannon’s family was among the first settlers of a wide stretch of the Adirondacks from Warrensburg through Brant Lake and Bolton, and across Lake George to Hulett’s Landing. Shannon grew-up a city girl in Schenectady, but over the past 20 years she’s been exploring foods from all over the world. Her return to the Adirondacks 10 years ago sparked a new interest in raising and eating local foods from local gardens, forests, and waters.
Anyone who knows Shannon will tell you she’s an amazing kitchen raconteur and culinarian. I will tell you, (and I should know, Shannon and I have been together for 18 years) that she’s also an inventive cook without the pretense so common in today’s foodies. Her stock and trade is locally sourced foods using fresh ingredients, made from scratch. She makes the kind of food we all eat, but with an astoundingly fresh creativity, and an abiding interest in easily found local foods. Shannon is also a Warren County long-term care visiting nurse whose work brings her into contact with the food traditions of the old-timers she cares for – she’ll also be sharing some of those.
We’re going to see some long-awaited changes here at the Almanack! A minor redesign planned for this weekend is the very first step in implementing a lot of the ideas that have been in the hopper for the past few years. I say minor, because the site will look and feel pretty much the same on the front side. There will be some exciting changes however, including new ‘departments’ to feature our bigger coverage areas and provide readers easier access to the stories you’re interested in most. There may be some brief outages while we make the change.
We’re going to begin this evening (Friday) and should be done by Monday. Except for a short time this evening when the actual transfer happens, the site should be up and running. There will likely be a delay for some readers, depending on how quickly some ISPs update their DNS entries, but everything should be back to normal for everyone by Sunday night. E-mail subscriptions, RSS, Facebook, and Twitter feeds should continue as usual.
This is a great time to say thanks to all our readers and contributors over the past seven years. The Almanack wouldn’t exist without the hard work of our nearly 30 contributors and the generous attention of our readers.
Thanks to all of you the Almanack is an outstanding example of community journalism – and there’s more to come!
Enjoy this fall – er, spring – weather, and we’ll see you on the other side of the mountain.
Editor, Adirondack Almanack
The Adirondacks are home to the largest known contiguous tract of unlogged forest in the Northeast. Located in the Southern part of Five Ponds Wilderness Area (Herkimer and Hamilton Counties), estimates of this patch of ancient forest range from 42,000 to 50,000 acres.
According to researcher Mary Byrd Davis, “The state bought the tract to settle a claim for damages brought by a land owner who charged that construction of a dam had prevented his shipping and therefore selling the timber on his land.” » Continue Reading.
North Country Public Radio‘s Ellen Rocco recently posted a discussion item on their station’s blog pointing to a Slate.com story by David Sirota that “makes the case that we are on the verge of having journalism-free news and media industries.” Sirota writes that “the real crisis presented by journalism-free news media is the now-imminent potential for a total information vacuum devoid of any authentic journalism outlet. If that happens, we will be deprived of an ability to make informed, preemptive decisions about our world.” To be fair, he lays much of the blame on the corporate news media.
Regular readers probably already know I’m a believer in the idea that journalists are mostly people who get between what actually happened or what someone actually said, and the person who wasn’t there to see or hear it. One problem is reporters pretend to be unbiased observers, which anyone who has studied psychology, sociology, anthropology or history knows is nonsense. » Continue Reading.