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.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Rangers return from Colorado firefighting

Fighting Wildfires: On Nov. 3, DEC welcomed back the State’s fourth team of volunteer wildland firefighters from the Divisions of Forest Protection, Lands and Forests, and Fish and Wildlife that were deployed to help battle and contain wildfires raging in western states.

The crew flew to Denver, Colorado, on Oct. 17 for deployment from the Rocky Mountain Coordination Center and were initially assigned to the Cameron Peak fire for nighttime operations, patrol, and structure defense. Their second assignment was at the East Troublesome fire for daytime operations.

The crew was reassigned to Cameron Peak due to sub-freezing temperatures and heavy snow.

The returning crew includes a DEC Forest Ranger crew boss and nine firefighters:

» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 2, 2020

Chefs unite against food waste, and help you get more from your meals

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR MEALS: From Adirondack Harvest, an article about a chef who combats food waste. Curtiss Hemm uses his skills to teach others how to get the most bang for their buck cooking with locally grown (and often more expensive) ingredients:

“Curtiss Hemm thinks about food in ways that others don’t. Along with being a chef, he is a food instructor, food economist and food anthropologist. The Rumplestiltsken of chicken, he can spin a single bird into $188 worth of saleable restaurant product, massaging the parts many of us would throw away into pates, consommés and brodos.”

Although a locally raised chicken make seem like a splurge, price-wise, with that chicken, a head of cabbage and a few other odds and ends, a family can enjoy three or more wholesome, delicious meals that cost less than dinner at McDonald’s. And the odds and ends can be used to make a wholesome broth for future meals.

READ MORE

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween! Stories from the Almanack archive

In honor of Halloween, I’ve dusted off some of these gems from the Almanack archive:

A real Adirondack ghost town

Witches brooms

And not for kids….“Naughty nurses and the cult of Halloween sex” 

Almanack archive photo


Monday, October 26, 2020

From the archive: John Brown

A new series on Showtime starring Ethan Hawke as abolitionist John Brown prompted me to dig into the Almanack archive for articles about Brown. (And don’t miss scholar/writer Amy Godine’s virtual Grange Hall talk tomorrow night about the historic statue of Brown at his Lake Placid farm.)

Here are a few gems:


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Readers speak out against hiker permits

Recent news releases and commentary have attempted to cast widespread support for a hiker permit, aka “limited entry” system in the High Peaks Wilderness (or at least in the popular Eastern side).

However, while there are many in favor of these ideas, readers are speaking out against them.

Here’s a sampling of comments made on recent commentary pieces on the Almanack:

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Green Power and more of the week’s top stories

 

GREEN POWER, GREEN PARK: All this week on Adirondack Explorer’s website we’ve been digging into renewable/clean energy issues, highlighting recent Explorer stories. Each day focused on a different topic:

Here’ a look a those and more of the week’s recent stories:

Note: A version of this post first appeared in my weekly “Adk News Briefing” email. Click here to sign up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

2021 Empire State Winter Games Cancelled

eswg rail jamRegarding the 2021 Empire State Winter Games, a statement from Molly Mayer, Executive Director of the event:

After careful consultation with our sponsors, sport coordinators, and local/state officials regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our athletes, coaches, volunteers, spectators, and our longtime partners – we have made the difficult decision to postpone the 41st annual Empire State Winter Games in the North Country. Empire State Winter Games events originally scheduled for January 28 – 31, 2021 will not take place. The challenges and uncertainty that COVID-19 has presented prevent the organization from appropriately planning, organizing, and producing events safely in 30+ different sports.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Green Power week of discussion around renewable/clean energy

Join a conversation about clean energy initiatives across the region.

The Explorer’s Policy Reporter Gwendolyn Craig will serve as moderator with the following panelists: Noah Shaw, partner and co-chair, Renewable Energy Practice, Hodgson Russ LLP; Conrad Karsten, project developer for Sunvestment Energy Group (Saranac Lake Community Solar); Emmett Smith, founder of Northern Power & Light.

The webinar is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, October 20 on ZoomClick here to register

All this week we’re digging into renewable/clean energy issues, highlighting recent Explorer stories. Each day will focus on a different topic:

  • Monday: Key takeaways from New York State’s groundbreaking climate legislation
  • Tuesday: Our live event and discussion
  • Wednesday: Recent park projects
  • Thursday: Renewables and the APA
  • Friday: Wood/biomass

Join us for ongoing conversations about the future of renewable energy in the park.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Paying tribute to what’s lost

Sacandaga art

This week’s story about the history of Great Sacandaga Lake and the communities that were lost in the creation of the reservoir/damming of the Sacandaga river struck a chord with readers. It was the most shared story of the week.

In the process, we heard from Northville artist Linda Finch, who happens to be showing a exhibition of her Sacandaga Valley Folk Art. The work is on display at the Northville Public Library until Thursday Oct. 29th. It then moves to the Nigra Arts Center in Gloversville from Nov 12, 2020, to Jan. 21, 2021.

Finch says this about the series: “It’s a historic visual retrospective of the valley before, during and after flooding. All 14 paintings have been meticulously researched as to accuracy. Including the Boneyard Gang, who exhumed some of the 3,872 bodies that were relocated.”

Click here for an overview of this week’s top stories from Adirondack Explorer and the Almanack.

Note: I also run through the week’s top stories in my “Adk News Briefing” email newsletter. Click here to sign up.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

DEC: Be on the lookout for moose sightings this fall

Early fall is the breeding season for moose in northern New York and moose sightings are more common. During this time moose are wandering looking for mates, leading them to areas where they are not typically seen. While this improves the opportunities for people to enjoy sighting of a moose, it also increases the danger of colliding with one on the roadway.

Motorists should be alert for moose on roadways in the Adirondacks and surrounding areas at this time of year during peak moose activity, advises the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Moose are much larger and taller than deer. Their large body causes greater damage, and, when struck, their height often causes them to impact the windshield of a car or pickup truck, not just the front of the vehicle. New York has no recorded human fatalities resulting from a crash with a moose.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

High Peaks Wilderness trail update

Some recent Adirondack High Peaks trail news from the DEC:

  • PHELPS BROOK FOOTBRIDGE OUT: The high-water crossing footbridge over Phelps Brook on the Van Ho Trail to Mt. Marcy just above Marcy Dam came to the end of its service life and was removed by DEC. When Phelps Brook is running high and the low water crossing is unsafe, hikers can use the newly developed Phelps Brook Lean-to Trail between the South Meadow (aka Marcy Dam Truck) Trail (0.5 mile north of Marcy Dam) and the Van Ho Trail (above the crossing). The trail is marked with red Foot Trail markers.
  • ELK LAKE TRAILS: The two trails on the Elk Lake Conservation Easement Tract which provide access to the Dix Mountain, Marcy Mountain, and the Colvin Range will close to public use on October 16 and will remain closed through Northern Zone Big Game Hunting Season.

Click here for the full Adirondack Outdoor Conditions report for this week.Calling all hikers: We’re curious to know how this Columbus Day weekend is going to go, as it’s usually a busy one even in a “normal year.” Since we’re not able to be everywhere at once, hoping you can help!

Send us your pics from the trails  to [email protected]. What we’re seeing so far this weekend: Numbers of hikers are still strong, despite the closed Canadian border.

Scenes from Saturday
Click here to watch Explorer publisher Tracy Ormsbee look for a parking spot at Adirondak Loj at 5:20 a.m. today (Oct. 10).

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Busy High Peaks

Earlier in the summer, readers weighed in on “secret spots” and the ethics behind sharing or publicising them. As we gear up for what is often the pinnacle of fall weekends, it seems more apparent that the secret’s out about the Eastern High Peaks and like Pandora’s box, there’s no going back. The question remains: what path to take? Here’s a look at some of the week’s top news, on both AdirondackExplorer.org and AdirondackAlmanack.com. If you want to dig in deeper, take a look at our full slate of topical Explorer newsletters, and/or subscribe to receive our daily Almanack updates.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Adk News Briefing: A look at the week’s top stories

As some of you may know, I started putting together a weekly news round up that gets sent by email every Wednesday. Dubbed the “Adk News Briefing,” the newsletter is look at some of the week’s top Adirondack news stories, on both AdirondackExplorer.org and AdirondackAlmanack.com. We also dig into what people are finding interesting and/or talking about online.

In case you missed it, I’m going to start posting versions of this “week in review” each weekend on the Explorer. Click here for this week’s roundup.

If you want to dig in deeper, take a look at our full slate of topical Explorer newsletters, and/or subscribe to receive our daily Almanack updates.

Almanack contributor Jackie Woodcock took this photo of a bull moose recently alongside the road in Piercefield. Her story this past week has been shared almost 8,000 times on Facebook. Click here to read it.


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Weekend read: Fall and animals

We’ve had a lot of history stories this week from contributors, which has been great! But I realized we were short on nature/wildlife content so I pulled a few from the Almanack archive:


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Send us your story ideas

Feedback time

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know how you’re doing by giving some feedback. Send us your Adirondack story ideas: Topics you’d like to see covered, content suggestions, article ideas, and whatever’s on your mind. Comment below or send an email to [email protected].