Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010 Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest

It’s that time of year again, where all the world becomes, as Jack London would say, bald face. It’s time to shave down for this year’s Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest.

A Donegal Beard (also called a chin-curtain or Lincoln) is a particular style of Irish hirsute appendage (facial hair) that grows along the jaw line and covers the chin — no soul patch, no mustache.

In order to take part in the contest (and all are welcome) contestants must be clean shaven January 1st and grow a Donegal Beard by St. Patrick’s Day. On the day of the contest — which will be held at Black Mountain Inn at the corner of Peaceful Valley Road and Route 8 in Johnsburg (North Creek), 4 to 7 pm — all beards must conform to the Donegal standard.

Contestants are judged on the following criteria:

1. Length
2. Fullness
3. Style and Sophistication
4. General Manliness

To see pictures from last year’s contest, and to join the Facebook group, go here.

Photo: 2009 Adirondack Donegal Beard Contestants.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Adirondack Music Scene:Acoustic, Brass and a Musical New Years Eve

Wow, it’s been such a crazy busy week that I nearly forgot to find out what gigs are happening where. Anyway, I hope everyone has been having a great holiday season and for those celebrating Christmas, I hope your day is very merry, full of friends, good food, family and ,of course, great music!

On Wednesday I did get to hear and dance to a great show put on by The Pine Ridge Rounders. They played the Waterhole’s First Annual Santa’s Ball and it was a successful first in my book. The bluegrass was hot and even though more costumes would have been appreciated, those that did participate made the Christmas Sweater Contest funny and gives us a new reason to get excited (did we need more?) over those familial yarn creations. Overheard comment from a Virginian: “They’re good but where’s the fiddle? “

First Night In Saranac Lake is my personal “must-see” this week. With an almost overwhelming amount of acts to check out, it’d be wise to start planning now. Two tips: get your buttons soon, they sold out last year and make sure you get to your event early as the venues fill up fast.

Saturday, December 26th:

In North Creek, Dreaded Wheat is playing at Laura’s. The show starts at 9 pm and lasts until 1 am.

In Queensbury, the UU Church is hosting a last Saturday of the month Coffee House & Open Mic Night. You can call (518) 793-1468 for more information.

Tuesday, December 29th:

In North Creek at the Tannery Pond Community Center, The Potsdam Brass Quintet will be giving at concert at 7:30 pm.

Wednesday, December 30th:

In Saranac Lake at Saranac Village at Will Rogers , The Dogs of Jazz will play for their New Year’s Eve Party which is held between 7:00 and 9:30 pm.

Thursday, December 31st:

First Night in Saranac Lake at multiple venues. I’ll be checking out Big Slyde at BluSeed starting at 7 pm, Frankenpine at Pendragon Theater from 8 – 9 pm and performing with The Dust Bunnies from 10 – 11 pm and 11 pm – 12 am. There are plenty of other great acts to choose from, so check the First Night schedule for details.

In North Creek at barVino, the Tony Jenkins Jazz Trip plays from 9 pm to midnight.

In Saranac Lake at The Waterhole, Pie Boys Flat (an excellent band) opens at 8 pm for Hot Day at The Zoo starts at 10 pm.

Photo: Mike Packard from Dreaded Wheat


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Adirondack Music Scene: Songwriters and Holiday Concerts

Well, I’m back from my trip and I’m sorry to say the music scene I’d hoped to encounter didn’t emerge; even guitar strings were hard to come by. It is truly eye-opening to see how fortunate we are to have such an art-oriented community. I think it’s easy to forget , not in the least because we live in the same state as cultural mecca NYC, how many places in the world have only the radio and recordings to stimulate the ears. So, get out there and support our huge pool of talent, starting tonight with Open Minded Mic Night at BluSeed Studios. I’ll be there at 7 pm.
My other recommendation is to carol if the opportunity presents itself. You could create that opportunity by gathering up a posse of your own. I was encouraged last year for the first time in many to join a group and it was so much fun I’m doing it again without question. Yes, it’s cold and doesn’t always sound great but the camaraderie is warming and sometimes, if you sing really loud, you get invited in for treats.

Thursday, December 17th:

In Saranac Lake, at BluSeed Studios, Open Minded Mic starts at 7:30 pm. Sign up is at 7 pm and there is a $3 cover.

In Glens Falls at the Charles R. Wood Theater, The Glens Falls Community Band is holding a Holiday Concert starting at 8 pm.

Saturday, December 19th:

In Upper Jay at The Recovery Lounge John Scarpulla will be passing a hat. This singer songwriter plays some lovely guitar to go with a sweet voice from what I’ve heard on line – the show starts at 8 pm.

In Lake Placid at LPCAthey are having their 9th annual Adirondack Christmas. The concert features Peggy Lynn, Dan Duggan , Roy Hurd and Frank Orsini. It starts at 7 pm, tickets are $12.

In Saranac Lake, Sven Curth is at the Waterhole. You can check out a video for his fun new song called “Jesus Loves Tractors” It’s a free show!

Sunday, December 20th:

In Saranac Lake at Will Rogers, the Madrigal Singers will being giving their Christmas Concert from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Call 891 -7117 with questions. It’s free!


Monday, December 21st:

In Saranac Lake at the High School Auditorium the Winter Concert will begin at 7 pm. This night features the Jazz Ensemble, Festival Chorus, Vocal Ensembles, Concert Choir and Concert Band. Phone 897 – 1473 with questions, it too is free!

Wednesday, December 23rd:

In Saranac Lake at The Waterhole The Pine Ridge Rounders, a local bluegrass band, are featured at Santa’s Ball. They hit the stage at 10 pm.

Photo: John Scarpulla


Saturday, December 12, 2009

APA Schedules Hearings on Boathouse Regulations

The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has scheduled four public hearings to encourage comments on the agency’s proposed revisions to its Boathouse regulations. Designed to protect ecologically sensitive shorelines, boathouse regulations, were first adopted in 1979 and revised in 2002. This newest proposed revision limits the overall footprint of boathouses to 900 square feet and the height to fifteen feet. This criteria revises the previous “single story” limitation, which was being violated with large “attics” and rooftop decks, according to the APA, and clarifies that boathouses are for boat storage only.

The proposed revisions would continue prohibitions on using boat houses for anything but boats, building’s constructed for other uses will be required to meet with APA shoreline setbeck regulations. According to the APA public hearing announcement, “other structures such as decks, guest cottages, and recreation rooms are prohibited on the shoreline if greater than 100 square feet in size. Under prior regulations, landowners attached these components as part of what would otherwise be a boat berthing structure, and argued these components were part of the “boathouse” because the previous definitions did not specifically exclude them.”

Here are the further details from the APA:

The 2002 definition limited boathouses to a “single story.” However, the definition fails to prohibit large “attics,” and extensive rooftop decks, resulting in some very large non-jurisdictional shoreline structures. The lack of clarity requires architect’s plans and time-consuming staff evaluation.

The 2009 proposal retains the 2002 provisions that define “boathouse” to mean “a covered structure with direct access to a navigable body of water which (1) is used only for the storage of boats and associated equipment; (2) does not contain bathroom facilities, sanitary plumbing, or sanitary drains of any kind; (3) does not contain kitchen facilities of any kind; (4) does not contain a heating system of any kind; (5) does not contain beds or sleeping quarters of any kind”.

The proposal adds: “(6) has a footprint of 900 square feet or less measured at exterior walls, a height of fifteen feet or less, and a minimum roof pitch of four on twelve for all rigid roof surfaces. Height shall be measured from the surface of the floor serving the boat berths to the highest point of the structure.”

The change is prospective only; lawful existing boathouse structures may be repaired or replaced pursuant to Section 811 of the APA Act within the existing building envelope. For those who wish to exceed the size parameters or expand a larger existing boathouse, a variance will be required. Standard shoreline cutting and wetland jurisdictional predicates still apply in all cases.

Shorelines are important to the Adirondack Park’s communities and environment. The dynamic ecosystems that edge Adirondack Park lakes, wetlands, rivers, and streams are critical to both terrestrial and aquatic species. Well-vegetated shorelines serve as buffer strips, protecting banks from erosion, safeguarding water quality, cooling streams, and providing some of the Park’s most productive wildlife habitat.

Large structures and intensive use at the shoreline causes unnecessary erosion and adverse impacts to critical habitat and aesthetics and raises questions of fair treatment of neighboring shoreline properties.

The Statutes and Regulations that the Agency is charged to administer strive to protect water quality and the scenic appeal of Adirondack shorelines by establishing structure setbacks, lot widths and cutting restrictions. However boathouses, docks and other structures less than 100 square feet are exempt from the shoreline setback requirements.

The four hearings are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

January 5, 2010, 6:00 p.m.
Adirondack Park Agency
Ray Brook, New York
This hearing will be webcast at the APA website.

January 6, 2010, 6:00 p.m.
Town of Webb Park Ave. Building
183 Park Ave.
Old Forge, New York

January 7, 2010, 11:00 a.m.
Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, Room 129B
Albany, New York

January 7, 2010, 6:00 p.m.
Lake George Town Hall
Lake George, New York

Written comments will be accepted until January, 17, 2009 and should be submitted to:

John S. Banta, Counsel
NYS Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, New York 12977
Fax (518) 891-3938


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Adirondack Music Scene: Duos, Jazz & Country

We went to barVino in North Creek last night to see Jamie Notarthomas. He plays a mix of originals, Dylan, Beatles, Springsteen and others. He occasionally plays an entire set of Dylan or The Beatles, but last night was the first time I saw him play all original music. Jamie has been writing songs and playing shows for over 20 years. He went chronologically through his albums from first to most recent. We have been seeing him play since 2000 and he is great. Keep your eyes open for him at Zig Zag’s in Lake Placid, on the patio at The Waterhole in the summer, at Slicker’s in Old Forge, or in North Creek, either at barVino or the Music by the River Concert Series. Learn more about Jamie at his website: http://www.jamienotarthomas.com

Thursday, December 10

Power-Duo Sirsy is at Gaffney’s in Saratoga Springs at 10pm.
http://www.sirsy.com/
http://www.gaffneysrestaurant.com/

Melvin Seals & JGB are at the Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs. Show starts at 9pm.
http://www.jgbband.com/
http://www.putnamden.com/

Friday, December 11

Josh Cramoy at Hot Shots in Glens Falls at 9pm.
http://www.joshcramoyband.com/
http://www.myspace.com/clubhotshots

Dreaded Wheat at The Blue Moose (formerly The Trading Post) in Queensbury at 9pm.
http://www.myspace.com/dreadedwheat
http://www.bluewatermanor.com/stone-manor-restaurant.htm

Saturday, December 12

David Allen Coe at Northern Lights in Clifton Park.
http://www.officialdavidallancoe.com/
http://www.northernlightslive.com/

Wednesday, December 16

Tony Jenkins Jazz Trip at barVino in North Creek. No Cover 8-10pm.
http://www.myspace.com/thetonyjenkinsjazztrip
http://www.barvino.net


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Scott Hamilton Returns To Lake Placid With A New Show

Figure skating icon Scott Hamilton is back, ready to thrill audiences with a new skating show, Scott Hamilton’s Holiday Concert on Ice, coming to the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 7:30 p.m.

For more than 20 years, the Olympic Champion and four-time World and U.S. National Champion wowed audiences with his annual Stars on Ice tour, which kicked off annually in Lake Placid. Several of those performers are set to join the skating legend again including Ekaterina Gordeeva and Steven Cousins. The show will also feature Kimmie Meissner, Jozef Sabovcik and Caryn Kadavy, all skating to music performed by a live band and American Idols Phil Stacey and Melinda Doolittle.

Tickets for the Dec. 29 performance of Scott Hamilton’s Holiday Concert on Ice range in price from $90-$30 and are on sale now at the Olympic Center Box Office 518.523-3330 or online at tickets.com or whitefacelakeplacid.com.

About the Skaters: Together with her late partner and husband, Sergei Grinkov, Ekaterina Gordeeva was the 1988 and 1994 Olympic Champion. She also began touring with Stars on Ice in 1991.

Steven Cousins is an eight-time British National Champion; he competed in eight World Figure Skating Championships and three Olympic Winter Games and toured with Stars on Ice until 2007, while Kimmie Meissner won both the 2007 World Championship crown and the 2007 U.S. National Championship title. Ms. Meissner was also the youngest American athlete to compete in the 2006 Torino, Italy Olympic Winter Games.

Jozef Sabovcik claimed the 1984 Olympic bronze medal and won both the 1985 and 1986 European Championship titles, while Caryn Kadavy, a 1988 Olympian, is a three-time U.S. National Championship medalist.

NOTE: THIS POST COMES DIRECTLY FROM AN ORDA PRESS RELEASE


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Adirondack Music Scene : Phish Review, Reggae, Blues & Bluegrass

Before we get into this week’s events, I’d like to follow up on this past weekend. Phish played two shows at the Times Union Center (formerly The Knick/Pepsi Arena). I’d seen Phish once or twice a year from 1992 to 1998, but the last time was 11-25-98 at The Knick. I really didn’t know what was in store, but they turned out to be two great shows. The first night was mostly short concise songs and reminded me of one long first set. The second night the band really let loose and it was one of the best shows I have ever seen by any band.

It was hard to tell which songs I knew and which ones I didn’t because they all sounded so good. The band was on fire and it was hard to believe they are just getting over a 5-year hiatus. The sound was as good as it gets for an indoor venue. The security was laid-back to non-existent and the light show was the best I’ve ever seen, hands down. Turns out they have the most expensive light rig on the road. Check out the pics on Phish’s “From the Road” website, or the videos on YouTube.

Got to spend the second set with all my long lost college friends and it was just an all-around great night. I highly encourage anyone on the fence to go see Phish the next chance you get. These guys really put 110% into every aspect of the show. I can only imagine what their festivals are like these days. If you take music and shows seriously, you need to go see how Phish does it. Phish is currently the Greatest Show on Earth.

Thursday, December 3

Sirsy will be playing Satatoga’s Victorian Street Walk at the Downtown Saratoga Marketplace from 8-10pm. This is an all-ages show and admission is free. Under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
http://www.sirsy.com
http://www.saratoga.com/news/victorian-streetwalk.cfm

Friday, December 4

Jsan & The Analogue Sons will be playing an “End of Semester Rager” at McDuff’s Tavern in Potsdam. Jsan is a reggae band from Ithaca, NY. Friday is also Ladies Night at McDuff’s Tavern.
I am familiar with them from the GrassRoots Festival in Trumansburg. The GrassRoots Festival is the best music festival on Earth and tickets just went on sale for the July 2010 weekend. Early bird tickets are available through 2/14, $75 for a 4-day Adult Ticket. This coming year will be my 10th year attending the festival.
http://www.myspace.com/jsanandtheanaloguesons
http://www.myspace.com/mcduffsbar

Zip City Blues will be playing a JEMS fundraiser show at the Amos and Julia Ward Theater in Jay. Zip City is a blues and swing band from Plattsburgh. They will play two sets beginning at 8pm. There will also be an opening set at 7:30pm by Dogs of Jazz. Tickets are $10 and include cider and donuts from Rulf’s Orchard.
http://www.zipcityblues.com/
http://www.jemsgroup.com/events/events.htm

Saturday, December 5

North Country favorites Lucid will be at the Waterhole Saturday night.
Roots of Creation were scheduled to play, but looks like they’re playing a festival by NYC instead.
http://www.rulucid.com/
http://www.myspace.com/saranacwaterhole

Dan Melon is at Laura’s Tavern in North Creek. Solo act playing all your favorites. He takes requests.
http://www.laurastavern.com

Sunday, December 6

The Stony Creek Band will be playing the “Close-Up Party” at the Stony Creek Inn at 6pm. Last chance to party at The Inn until Spring.
http://www.stonycreekband.com
http://www.stonycreekinn.net

Wednesday, December 9

Jamie Notarthomas will be playing at barVino downtown North Creek from 8-10pm. No cover.
http://www.jamienotarthomas.com
http://www.barvino.net

Photo: Phish’s “From the Road” website (Albany 11-28-09)


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Adirondack Family Activities: Champlain Valley Film Society

The Champlain Valley Film Society will be celebrating its 100th film with a free showing of classic Katharine Hepburn/Humphrey Bogart film The African Queen. In 1952, this film won Humphrey Bogart his only Oscar though he had been nominated for Casablanca and The Caine Mutiny.

This movie is based on the classic novel by C.S. Forester of the same name. Set during World War I, disgruntled trader Charlie Allnutt and an English missionary Rose Sayer find themselves thrown together aboard the steamboat, The African Queen, in the heart of the African jungle. As in the book, the audience will find themselves immersed in suspense, military maneuvers, and narrow escapes.

One of the CVF Society’s Founding Member David Reuther, says, “The Society started with a group of four friends coming up with the same idea at the same time. We were not able to see the type of movies that we wanted to see.”

So in 2003, Larry Barns, Thurston Clarke, Bill James and David Reuther pooled resources to pull together a showing of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind at the Willsboro School theatre. They attempted to show the films in summer and outside but really hit their mark in the winter of 2006. By showing critically acclaimed films indoors the crowds grew in size. With the support of a developing and enthusiastic audience the group was able to garner such films as the Oscar-winning Capote and the classic foreign thriller Z.

Reuther says, “This started because we felt there is something quite different about seeing a movie on a big screen and seeing it with an audience. It is like seeing a concert rather than listening to a CD or the radio. Movies are made for the big screen. We wanted to create that opportunity for people to have a conversation about film.”

The Champlain Valley film Society now has a working board of 15 people and a 30-member advisory board that helps select the films. The organization shows films year-round with an average audience of 100 people a show. With a diverse schedule so far the 2010 schedule includes Julie & Julia, District 9, (500) Days of Summer, the Hurt Locker, the Cove and An Education. The spring shows are still being arranged.

In addition to showing films the CVF Society looks for guest speakers to sometimes introduce the films. In 2008, author Russell Banks introduced the movie Affliction based on his book by the same name and writer/director Courtney Hunt was on hand to answer questions and introduce her Oscar nominated film, Frozen River. This January 16th retired chef John ferry will open up about his long-standing friendship with Julia Child as he presents the film Julie and Julia.

There is no membership available for the Champlain Valley Film Society. Each film is $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children. Consider the free showing of The African Queen as an early gift!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Warren County 4-H Shooting Sports Program Announced

FROM A WARREN COUNTY 4-H PRESS RELEASE:

Ever wonder what 4-H Shooting Sports is all about? Do you want to find out? Then mark your calendars! 4-H Shooting Sports will be hosting a general interest meeting on Thursday, December 3rd at the Dunham’s Bay Fish and Game Club. The meeting will start at 6pm and cover the basics of 4-H Shooting Sports as well as offer Laser Shot and Archery activities that evening. Any interested youth over the age of nine is welcome.

4-H Shooting Sports fosters responsibility and helps youth acquire knowledge, skills, abilities related to firearms safety, and sound decision making. Shooting sports helps develop social skills, leadership techniques, and provides opportunities for community service.

There are, however, some limitations to participation due to New York State policy. They are as follows: youth age 12 and up can participate in all disciplines which include archery, air rifle, and conventional firearms. Ages 10-12 can participate in archery, living history, and air rifle only. Ages 9-10 can participate in archery and living history only. All youth are able and encouraged to participate in the different projects that enhance 4-H Shooting Sports. These policies are in line with the NYS 4-H Shooting Sports guidelines and are designated based on the “Ages and Stages” curriculum outline.

All participants must be fully enrolled in 4-H prior to participation in any shooting activities. Enrollment will be available the night of the event. Registration is required and can be done by calling Cornell Cooperative Extension at 668-4881 or 623-3291.

Photo: Archery program participant Caroline Lomnitzer of Indian Lake.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hyde Exhibition of Modern Art to Open Today

FROM A HYDE COLLECTION PRESS RELEASE:

On Saturday, November 28, The Hyde Collection will open Divided by a common language? British and American Works from The Murray Collection. The exhibition of approximately twenty works of Modern art from the twentieth century are part of a larger collection donated to the Museum by the late Jane Murray.

Between 1991 and 1996, Murray gave nearly sixty works of Modern art to the Museum, the first significant donation of twentieth-century art received by The Hyde. An additional group of works was bequeathed by Murray upon her death earlier this year. This donation helped to form the foundation of the Museum’s Modernist holdings.

The exhibit, curated by The Hyde’s Executive Director David F. Setford, celebrates the works donated by Murray and reflects the breadth of her collection, while looking at differences and similarities between British and American Modernism. Artists represented in the exhibition include Britain’s Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, John Piper, Howard Hodgkin, and Paul Mount. American artists include Gregory Amenoff, Betty Parsons, Stuart Davis, and Ellsworth Kelly.

“This exhibition was organized as a tribute to Jane Murray’s legacy,” said Setford, “Her generosity to our Museum is only surpassed by the attention she paid in selecting works for her impressive Modern art collection.“

According to Setford, the exhibition pieces were selected to help visitors examine the similarities and differences between American and British works of the period, as both are areas of particular strength in the Murray Collection.

The exhibition in Hoopes Gallery will be open through Sunday, February 28, 2010. Admission to the Museum complex is free for members. Voluntary suggested donation for non-members is five dollars. For more information, contact The Hyde Collection at 518-792-1761 or visit www.hydecollection.org.

Photo: Betty Parsons, American, 1900-1982, Guardian, 1980.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Adirondack Music Scene: Phish, Bluegrass and Jazz

The big event this weekend will be in Albany where Phish is playing two shows at the Knickerbocker Arena (Times Union Center). I’ll be attending at least Friday night. Raisinhead is playing a post-Phish show at Jillian’s downtown Saturday night. Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 27

Phish at the Knickerbocker Arena (Times Union Center) in Albany. Doors at 7pm.
http://www.phish.com
http://www.timesunioncenter-albany.com

The Stony Creek Band will be playing at the Stony Creek Inn at 5pm. Mexican Menu starts at 4pm. One month left at The Inn until they close for the winter.
http://www.stonycreekband.com
http://www.stonycreekinn.net

Saturday, November 28

Phish at the Knickerbocker Arena (Times Union Center) in Albany. Doors at 7pm.
http://www.phish.com
http://www.timesunioncenter-albany.com

Dreaded Wheat is at Laura’s Tavern downtown North Creek at 9pm.
http://www.myspace.com/dreadedwheat
http://www.laurastavern.com

Wednesday, December 2

Tony Jenkins Jazz Trip plays barVino in North Creek from 8-10pm.
http://www.myspace.com/thetonyjenkinsjazztrip
http://www.barvino.net


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Adk Museum Announces 2010 Cabin Fever Sunday Programs

The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake has announced its 2010 Cabin Fever Sunday schedule. Complete information about all of the Cabin Fever Sunday programs can be found on the Adirondack Museum’s web site at www.adirondackmuseum.org
.
In addition to the cabin fever programs, the museum will introduce a program in North Creek, on January 10th, entitled “North Creek Songs and Stories – Working for the Man.” The special presentation will feature folktales and music from the region’s mining and logging industries with Lee Knight and Christine Campeau.

Here’s what’s on the Cabin Fever Sunday schedule:

Jan. 17, “19th Century Magic and Beyond,” a magic show featuring Tom Verner

Feb. 14, “Passion in the Park,” Valentine’s Day presentation with Curator Hallie Bond

Feb. 28, “Rosin & Rhyme” with Bill Smith and Don Woodcock, at Saranac Village at Will Rogers

Mar. 14, “Epic Stories of the Iroquois,” by Darren Bonaparte

Mar. 28, “Moose on the Loose in the Adirondacks,” with Ed Reed

Apr. 11, “An Armchair Paddlers’ Guide to the Schroon River” by Mike Prescott

Photo: A vintage valentine from the collection of the Adirondack Museum.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

John Brown 150th Commemoration Event

Margaret Gibbs, Director of the Essex County Historical Society / Adirondack History Center Museum in Elizabethtown has sent along the following notice of the 150th Commemoration of John Brown scheduled for December 6th. Regular Adirondack Almanack readers know that I have been writing a series of posts on John Brown, his anti-slavery raid on Harpers Ferry Virginia, subsequent capture, trial, and execution. You can read the entire series here.

Here is the press release outlining the commemoration events:

On Sunday, December 6, 2009 the Adirondack History Center Museum is commemorating John Brown on the 150th anniversary of his death and the return of his body to Essex County. Events are scheduled in Westport and Elizabethtown in recognition of the role Essex County citizens played at the time of the return of John Brown’s body to his final resting place in North Elba. In the cause of abolition, John Brown raided the U. S. arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia on the night of October 16, 1859. The raid resulted in the capture of John Brown and the deaths of his sons Oliver & Watson and his sons-in-law William and Dauphin Watson. John Brown was tried in Charles Town, Virginia on charges of treason and inciting slaves to rebellion and murder. He was found guilty and hanged on December 2, 1859.

John Brown’s body was transported from Harper’s Ferry to Vergennes, VT, accompanied by his widow, Mary Brown. From Vermont the body was taken across Lake Champlain by sail ferry to Barber’s Point in Westport, and the journey continued through the Town of Westport and on to Elizabethtown. The funeral cortege arrived in Elizabethtown at 6 o’clock on the evening of December 6th 1859. The body of John Brown was taken to the Essex County Court House and “watched” through the night by four local young men. Mary Brown and her companions spent the night across the street at the Mansion House, now known as the Deer’s Head Inn. On the morning of December 7th the party continued on to North Elba. The burial of John Brown was on December 8th attended by many residents of Essex County.

The commemorative program on December 6th begins at 1:00 pm at the Westport Heritage House with award-winning author Russell Banks reading from his national bestselling novel, Cloudsplitter, about John Brown, his character and his part in the abolitionist movement. The program continues with a lecture by Don Papson, John Brown and the Underground Railroad, on whether or not Brown sheltered runaway slaves at his North Elba farm. Don Papson is the founding President of the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association. The program continues in Elizabethtown at 3:30 pm at the United Church of Christ with The Language that Shaped the World, a tapestry of sounds, stories and characters portraying the human spirit and the fight for freedom. At 4:30 pm a procession follows John Brown’s coffin from the United Church of Christ to the Old Essex County Courthouse. At 5:00 pm the public may pay their respects at the Old Essex County Courthouse with the coffin lying in state. The program concludes at 5:30 PM with a reception held at the Deer’s Head Inn.

The cost for all events of the day including the Deer’s Head Inn reception is $40 ticket, or a $15 donation covers the programs at the Westport Heritage House and The Language that Shaped the World only. Reservations are requested. The procession and Courthouse are free and open to the public. The Westport Heritage House is located at 6459 Main Street, Westport, NY. The United Church of Christ, is located beside the museum on Court Street, Elizabethtown, NY. For more information, please contact the museum at 518-873-6466 or email echs@adkhistorycenter.org.

The December 6th program is part of a series of events from December 4-8, 2009 presented for the John Brown Coming Home Commemoration through the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau. For a complete schedule of events go to www.johnbrowncominghome.com.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

No Adirondack Park Agency Meeting in December

The Adirondack Park Agency will not hold its December 10-11, 2009 regularly scheduled board meeting. According to an APA press release, “No agency proceedings requiring Board action are necessary before the regularly scheduled January 2010 meeting.” APA Chairman Curtis F. Stiles stated (in the release) that “Due to a lack of actionable content for our December meeting, it is in the best economic interest of the Agency and New York State to cancel our meeting originally scheduled for December 10 and 11, 2009.”

The Agency will resume its monthly meeting schedule January 14 and 15, 2010.

For informtaion about the agency’s meetings, public hearings and other activities visit http://www.apa.state.ny.us/.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adirondack Music Scene:Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and More

Saturday night I will be checking out Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad at The Red Square in downtown Albany. I never considered myself a big reggae fan until I met these guys. It was at The Red Square in 2005. A band called Mountain Mojo Authority was playing and the percussionist (Buddy Honeycutt) and keyboard player (Aaron Lipp) were in both bands, both reggae bands from Rochester. Mountain Mojo broke up soon after, and Giant Panda’s lineup swelled to seven members. In 2007, Honeycutt left the band leaving two guitars, bass, drums, and two keyboard players.

The band recently downsized to just 4 players. Vocalist / Guitar Player Matt O’Brian and Keyboardist Rachel Orke (a couple) have moved on to pursue other interests. While this would appear to leave a gaping hole in the sound, I have complete faith that these guys have already filled the void and that this will open new possibilities. Giant Panda now consists of James Searl on bass and vocals, Chris O’Brian (Matt’s brother) on drums, Dylan Savage on guitar and vocals, and Aaron Lipp on keyboards.
Giant Panda has played several shows in the Adirondacks. They played the Songs at the lake Concert Series in Lake Placid in 2008, The Music by the River Concert Series in North Creek in 2008 and 2009, a few shows at the Waterhole in 2008 and 2009, and I think they played in 2006 and 2007 at ‘the other place’ in Saranac Lake. The first time I saw them live, I hired them for our annual raft guide party in North Creek in 2007.

The Red Square is on Broadway in Albany, 2 blocks closer to the river than the Knick (Times Union Center). Doors are at 8pm, but they don’t usually take the stage until after 10pm.

Thursday, November 19

Power Duo Sirsy is at Gaffney’s in Saratoga at 10pm. Looks interesting with a female drummer/vocalist and a guitar player.
Band: http://www.sirsy.com
Venue: http://www.gaffneysrestaurant.com

Friday, November 20

The Rubblebucket Orchestra is at The Putnam Den in Saratoga at 10pm. I first saw these guys open for Giant Panda in Rochester. They are a wild collection of percussion and horns.
Band: http://www.rubblebucket.com
Venue: http://www.putnamden.com

Saturday, November 21

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad will be playing The Red Square in Albany at 10pm.
Official Band Site: http://www.giantpandadub.com
Band MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/giantpandadub
Live Music Archive: http://www.archive.org/details/GiantPandaGuerillaDubSquad
Venue: http://www.redsquarealbany.com

Plattsburgh area band Lucid will be playing the Putnam Den on Saturday night. Opening the show will be a band called Dirty Little Boogie Band. Lucid headlined this year’s Backwoods Pondfest in Peru, NY.
Band: http://www.myspace.com/rulucid
Venue: http://www.putnamden.com

Capital Zen is at LaCasbah in Potsdam. It looks like they have great Mediterranean menu and live music every Friday night at 9pm.
Band: http://www.myspace.com/capitalzenmusic
Venue: http://www.lacasbahny.com

Sunday, November 22

Two Kribs (John & Orion) will be playing the Stony Creek Inn at 5pm and their weekly Mexican Night starts at 4pm. Only a couple weeks left until these guys close down for the winter.
Venue: http://www.stonycreek.net

Wednesday, November 25

The Blonde Roots at barVino in North Creek from 8-10pm. No Cover.
Venue: http://www.barvino.net

Grateful Dead cover band Half Step will be playing a mid-week show at The Putnam Den in Saratoga at 10pm. These guys have been playing shows since 1991, one memorable one being 12-31-99 at The Glens Falls Civic Center with The South Catherine Street Jug Band.
Band: http://www.halfstep.org
Venue: http://www.putnamden.com

Photo: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad playing at The Music by the River Concert Series in North Creek, 08-15-09, photo by Nate Pelton