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 is currently digital editor for Adirondack Explorer, overseeing both the Explorer's website and its community forum the Adirondack Almanack. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and two cats.
“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.”
In honor of Mother’s Day, a few stories from the Almanack archive:
The 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 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.
After 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.
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.
“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.”
While 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.
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.
Thinking 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.
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.
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
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
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