Almanack Contributor Melissa Hart

Melissa Hart

Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor with the Burlington Free Press, Ithaca Journal and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. She worked as a communications specialist for the Adirondack North Country Association and runs her own New York State Women owned Business-Enterprise Bootstrap Communications, which includes digital marketing, strategy and design. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and a cat.


Friday, May 15, 2020

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (5/14): Beaches will open; campgrounds remain closed

Per NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily news briefing:

“As a region we have established a joint agreement on beaches in NY, NJ, CT and DE. State beaches will open Friday of Memorial Day weekend with strict precautions. Beaches will be at 50 percent capacity & masks will be required when social distance not possible. Staff will enforce.”

That re-opening applies to NYS-run beaches.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day

In honor of Mother’s Day, a few stories from the Almanack archive:

Ruffed GrouseThe Ruffed Grouse: Defender of young

In late spring many infants are emerging from the safety of their den or nest and most mothers try to provide some form of protection from potential danger to their babies. Perhaps the most remarkable display of parental courage for a creature of its size is seen in the hen ruffed grouse. This bird will aggressively confront and challenge any human that happens to come too close to its recently hatched chicks.

From Tom Kalinowski: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2018/05/adirondack-wildlife-ruffed-grouse.html

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 2, 2020

From the Archive: Infamous Murder Revisited

Murder in the Adirondacks bookFrom 2017: Betsy Kepes reviews an updated edition of Craig Brandon’s classic 1986 book “Murder in the Adirondacks.” Over 100 years ago, the Chester Gillette Grace Brown murder case was considered the trial of the century. The case became the basis for Theodore Dreiser’s classic novel “An American Tragedy” and the movie “A Place in the Sun,” starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. Brandon’s book revisits the tragedy at Big Moose Lake and the ensuing trial.

According to Kepes, when North Country Books asked Brandon if he’d be interested in writing a revised edition, he jumped at the chance.

Read more here: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2017/04/infamous-murder-in-adirondacks-revisited.html

 

One year ago: Peter Bauer looks at 40 Years of Household Income Trends in Rural America

Five years ago: Dan Crane discovers illegal trails in the Five Ponds, Pepperbox Wilderness Areas:  https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2015/05/illegal-trail-straddles-five-ponds-pepperbox-wilderness.html

 

Stay informed about news and information about the Adirondacks by signing up for the Almanack’s daily news digest: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/sign-email-updates

 


Friday, May 1, 2020

Quarantine reads: More recommended Adirondack reading

Thanks to all who responded to our call for recommended Adirondack, environmental and nature-themed reading to pass the time in COVID-19 quarantine.

Here’s the original post

We also reached out to a handful of Almanack contributors to ask for their input and here’s some additional suggestions to add to the list:

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Quarantine reads: Suggestions from Almanack readers

Anne LaBastille, author of the “Woodswoman” series.

Looking for new ways to pass the time indoors?

Here are some suggestions for Adirondack and/or environmental themed books offered up by Almanack readers, who responded to a post on our Facebook page.

A mix of fiction and non-fiction, old and new (in no particular order), feel free to share your favorites in the comments!

» Continue Reading.


Monday, April 20, 2020

NYS eases up on boat launch, marina restrictions

boat launch courtesy decAfter days of back and forth about the closure of privately owned boat launches and marina and what that means for state-owned facilities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday an easing of restrictions that were put into effect last week.

In a news release sent over the weekend, Cuomo, in conjunction with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers will be allowed to open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed. Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at these sites must be limited to take-out or delivery only, like anywhere else in the three states.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, April 13, 2020

NYS closes boat launches, marinas, golf courses

LGA Lake Steward Monika LaPlante inspects a boat in 2010 at the Norowal MarinaAdditional clarification of the “NY PAUSE” definition of “non-essential” businesses has resulted in the shuttering of boat launches, marinas and golf courses across the state.

In an update on April 9, Empire State Development issued the following:

  • Parks and other open public spaces, except playgrounds and other areas of congregation where social distancing cannot be abided
  • However, golf courses are not essential
  • However, use of boat launches and marinas for recreational vessels is not considered essential

NYSDEC and State Parks, too

To limit the community spread of COVID-19, use of all DEC, Canal Corp., and State Parks-owned boat launches is temporarily suspended for recreational boaters.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Lake George delays start of boat inspections

Lake George Park Commission has announced a delay the opening of the Mandatory Boat Inspection Program until June 1, a decision that has full support of the Lake George Association Board of Directors and members.

“At this time of year, we understand there is little risk of transporting and/or introducing viable invasive species to Lake George,” said Kristen Wilde, LGA Director of Education. “That fact doesn’t preclude boaters from ensuring they are following the state’s ‘Clean, Drained, Dry’ directives until the inspectors are present.”

“We want everyone to stay safe and stay healthy,” said LGA Executive Director Walt Lender. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Park Commission now and the inspectors later in the season.”

The Lake George Association is the oldest and most experienced lake protection organization in the country, whose members support water quality protection, water quality monitoring, education and lake-friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.

All the money raised by the Lake George Association goes to projects and programs that benefit the Lake and the watershed, protecting Lake George water quality now and in the future.

For more information, call (518) 668-3558 or go to http://www.LakeGeorgeAssociation.org

File photo courtesy of Carl Heilman


Saturday, April 11, 2020

From the archive: Ruminations on Mud Season

From the Almanack archive, here are some classic features for a few suggested “weekend reads”:

Adirondack High Peaks Trail Mud SeasonFrom 2011: Mud Season: Sloshing Through Wet Trails by Dan Crane:

“There are many challenges for the backcountry explorer during this messy time of the year. These challenges require additional planning, preparation and in some cases caution. But there are a few benefits to being in the backcountry this time of the year as well. In addition, there are some important environmental impacts of hiking in mud season that need identification and management so as to ameliorate their negative impacts.”

 

From 2014Pete Nelson’s “Lost Brook Tract in April: Adirondack Rite of Spring

From 2017: Dave Gibson on the North Hudson “Gateway”: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2017/04/one-world-class-park.html

HOT TOPIC: Dave Gibson’s piece about Boreas Ponds from 2016 generated 96 comments: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2016/04/boreas-ponds-reacting-to-its-acquisition.html

 

 


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Tri-Lakes crafters mobilize around COVID-19 masks

gail brillWhile it can be easy to feel helpless when shut inside during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of crafters in the Tri-lakes area of the Adirondacks have sprung into action, sewing and distributing cloth masks to essential workers around the area.

The project started with Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake and has quickly grown to include other “frontline” workers, said Gail Brill, who along with two other women, is helping to organize the project.

“I touched base with a friend who works at the hospital, asking what they need,” she said. They adapted a pattern for fabric masks to create one designed to fit over N-95 masks to extend their use.

From there, word spread and requests started coming in from other places. Brill said the group is currently working with places that care for and house vulnerable populations, such as Sunmount and Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake, St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment Centers, and Will Rogers retirement community in Saranac Lake. 

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

From the archive: Fort William Henry’s well

Every weekend, we’ll dig into the Almanack archive and revisit some classic features for some suggested “weekend reads”:

From 10 years ago: 

“From Lake George, Layers of History from Fort’s Well,” by Anthony F. Hall:

“In the two centuries that followed the French destruction of Fort William Henry in 1757, the only visible reminder of the fort was the old well on the grounds of the hotel.”

From five years ago: Steve Hall’s “Appreciating Bears through the Seasons”

HOT TOPIC: This story from three years ago “DEC Releases Draft Adirondack Rail Trail Plan” generated 131 comments: https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2017/04/dec-releases-draft-adirondack-rail-trail-plan.html

 

 


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Note to readers: Adirondack Almanack is here to stay

lake harris

Melissa Hart and her family on Lake Harris in Newcomb. Photo by Nancie Battalgia.

Hello, Adirondack Almanack community!

One thing that has been impressed upon me in the events unfolding these last few weeks is that the only constant is change. 

As of today, I’m stepping into my new role as online editor overseeing the Adirondack Almanack and Adirondack Explorer websites. These two local news sites are owned and run by the nonprofit news organization Getting the Word Out, which has operated out of Saranac Lake since 1998. The Explorer purchased the Almanack in 2014.

When it comes to the Almanack, I don’t see myself as much as an editor but more of a traffic controller and coordinator of the information, because the Adirondack Almanack belongs to you: the readers, contributors, commenters, and community thought-leaders.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Virtual Adirondacks: Be an armchair traveler

Long LakeMissing the lakes and mountains and your favorite towns in between?

Why not kick it like it’s 1999 and take a tour of web cams posted throughout the Park!

Here’s a random sampling of various locations across the Adirondacks. Let us know which ones we left out by posting a comment below.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Saranac Lake Farmers’ ‘Park-it’ provides curbside service

farmers park-itThinking fast on your feet comes with the territory of being a small business owner/farmer. So the folks behind the Saranac Lake Farmers Market were able to quickly pivot into a format that allows for social distancing and ensures customers have access to fresh, locally made food.

The “Farmers’ Park-it” takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the Hotel Saranac. Shoppers place their orders using this form by 9 p.m. Thursday night and drive up during the market hours for curbside delivery.

More info and order form: https://tinyurl.com/FarmersParkIt.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Skidmore College students seek input on Saratoga County trails

skidmore senior capstone

Three seniors from Skidmore College’s Environmental Studies and Sciences Program are working with Saratoga PLAN, Open Space Institute, and a group of regional partners to develop a trail from Moreau Lake State Park to the Saratoga Greenbelt Trail in order to promote outdoor recreation, sustainable economic development, and environmental conservation.

They developed a survey to better understand the value of the current trails and recreational pathways in Saratoga County, and the ways the trails are currently being used. They are looking for input from area residents. Particpants will be entered to win one of three $10 Apple gift cards.

Follow this link to the survey: https://tinyurl.com/saratogatrails 

Photo provided: Abby Grayburn left) and Alana Pogostin are seniors in the Skidmore Environmental Studies and Science Department conducting a survey for their capstone project. They are looking for input as they seek to evaluate the economic value of outdoor recreation, specifically a trail network through Saratoga County and connecting various established outdoor recreational hubs