Here’s a look at news from around the Adirondacks this week:
APA opens comment period for projects under review
The Adirondack Park Agency is accepting public comment on projects currently under review. The public is encouraged to go to the Agency’s website found at www.apa.ny.gov and click the Public Comment and Hearing Opportunities link in the News & Activities information box.
The link will direct the public to the Requests for Public Comment page where more information is located. In addition, the public will find an option to electronically submit a comment for the posted projects.
Presently, the Agency is accepting comments on the following proposed projects:
Early bird registration for North Country business conference ends Jan. 20
SARANAC LAKE, NY — A regional partnership focused on retaining small businesses in northern New York State will convene current business owners and potential buyers for a three-day educational and networking conference. The North Country Center for Businesses in Transition (CBIT) partnership invites aspiring business owners to attend its second Small Communities. Big Opportunities: Own a North Country Business Conference, which will be held in-person with a virtual option on February 12-14, 2023, in Saranac Lake, N.Y. on the heels of the Adirondack village’s ten-day Winter Carnival.
Money for infrastructure
Gov. Kathy Hochul in her State of the State policies promised $500 million in clean water infrastructure funding.
A book offering more details about the proposal, which will be fleshed out even more when Hochul presents her budget in the coming weeks, said she planned to establish “community assistance teams” to work with small municipalities on advancing projects.
Those teams “will provide proactive outreach to small, rural, and disadvantaged communities, and assist with accessing financial assistance to address their clean water infrastructure needs.” That assistance could be critical to many North Country communities, which often struggle to garner funding through key state water programs.
Rangers assist with water rescue on Glen Lake
Town of Queensbury
Water Rescue: On Jan. 10 at 10:15 a.m., Forest Rangers overheard radio traffic about an ice rescue on Glen Lake in Queensbury. Rangers Donegan, Kabrehl, and Quinn responded along with multiple fire departments, including Bay Ridge, Bolton, Lake George, North Queensbury, and Queensbury. Rangers helped get the 74-year-old from Queensbury out of the water to a waiting ambulance. The subject was taken to Glens Falls hospital. If he were not wearing a personal floatation device, the outcome may have been much different. Resources were clear at 11:28 a.m.
Paul Smith’s College Clean Energy Certificate Approved by NYS Education Dept.
PAUL SMITHS, NY – The New York State Education Department recently approved Paul Smith’s College’s certificate in Clean Energy. The new 30-credit certificate trains and educates students in the rapidly growing fields of conservation and sustainable development, green construction, green business practices, conservation design, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.
In preparation for careers in these sectors, students will be provided with a program of study that integrates the natural, social, and management sciences. The certificate is firmly rooted in the core principles experiential learning promoted at Paul Smith’s College, ensuring that students will not only develop the theoretical underpinning necessary for a successful career in this field, but will also have hands-on experience of the realities of managing resources sustainably. Courses include effective college writing, introduction to nature and culture, renewable energy, and conservation design: green communities. The Clean Energy Certificate could be completed in only two full-time semesters.
The State of the State
Tomorrow Gov. Kathy Hochul will present her State of the State address, a blueprint outlining some of her agenda items for the year. We’ll be listening for any Adirondack Park mentions and reading through her State of the State book, which delves into more details on proposed projects statewide. (Editor’s note: This column originally ran in Gwen’s newsletter on Jan. 9. The story is now live here.)
Adirondack Park lawmakers are already slated to have important roles on certain legislative committees. State Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, is the ranking minority member on both the environmental conservation and internet and technology committees. In a news release he said: “From protecting our unique natural resources to improving broadband access and other regionally specific issues, I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure state government takes action to improve our quality of life.” State Assemblyman Matthew Simpson, R-Horicon, was also appointed ranking minority member on the environmental conservation committee.
Discussion time: Gas ban?
Wondering where Almanack readers stand on the debate about phasing out gas in heating appliances and stoves. Are you on board with a “gas ban”? Or are you like “hands off my gas”?
What would potential solutions be on each side of the debate?
Business bootcamp geared toward artists
The St. Lawrence County Arts Council (SLC Arts) will offer a six-week entrepreneurship bootcamp, specifically designed for artists. The class will run Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 – 8 pm, from February 14 to March 23, 2022. Class location is the St. Lawrence County IDA, 19 Commerce Lane, Canton.
The purpose of the program is to equip artists with the knowledge and skills to turn their passion for art into a successful business. It will feature numerous guest instructors, as well as critique and Q & A sessions.
Poem: What I Learned From Butterflies
AdkAction: Adirondack area plow drivers take part in road salt reduction workshop
Plow drivers from Peru, Ausable, Plattsburgh and Hague gathered recently in Peru for a workshop to reduce road salt. Thank you to these communities and individuals for going the extra mile to keep winter roads safe and water clean.
Snow Days at Great Camp Sagamore set for Jan. 21, Feb. 25
Raquette Lake, NY – All are invited to join in for a day full of sledding, ice skating, snow croquet and campfires at upcoming Snow Days at Great Camp Sagamore on January 21, 2023 and February 25, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided cross-country skiing sessions will also be available at 10 a.m. as well as guided snow shoe hikes at 1 p.m. Chili, coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be served starting at noon and will continue as long as supply lasts. Year-round Raquette Lake Residents, Great Camp Sagamore members, and children under five are free; General Admission is $5.
DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program announces free virtual Women in Science winter speaker series
All are welcome to join the DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program’s free virtual Women in Science winter speaker series. Participants will have the opportunity to meet and learn from scientists, community leaders, and environmental educators who work at the intersection of research, education, and environmental and social justice. Guests will also have a chance to engage in discussions about data literacy, sea level rise and sediment accumulation, wetland restoration, oysters, and field-based research.
Interested parties can choose to attend one or more of the following sessions: January 19, January 26, February 2, or February 9. All sessions run from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
To register for the winter speaker series, click here.
New York’s The Hub on the Hill to Become First Food Hub in the Nation to Accept SNAP EBT Payments Online
Essex-based Hub On the Hill (the Hub) is now the first food hub in the nation to accept EBT SNAP payments through their online grocery store, thanks to a collaboration including local and national organizations and businesses.
Food hubs connect local farms and producers with community members, to make sure everyone has access to the highest quality local food. The cost is often subsidized by local non-profit organizations. The Hub joins a list of just 30 SNAP Online vendors in New York State, a group almost exclusively composed of large businesses, such as Walmart and Amazon.
“The Hub is very focused on increasing food access and building a regional food system in Northern New York, and already has an active e-commerce presence. We wanted to extend that to our customers receiving SNAP EBT benefits,” said Jori Wekin, Co-Founder of the Hub on the Hill. “Navigating the USDA approval process to accept EBT online would have been difficult without the help of Forage, which guided us through preparation and testing. The Hub’s ability to accept SNAP EBT online will make an enormous difference for the thousands of customers we serve, many of whom rely on government programs to purchase food.”
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Turn Moriah Shock into Adirondack conservation hub
By Aaron Mair, NYS Sen. Dan Stec and NYS Assemblyman Matt Simpson
The Adirondack Park and its “forever wild” Forest Preserve are the heart and lungs of New York, taking in the carbon that causes climate change and exhaling fresh, clean air to reinvigorate our atmosphere. New York needs more personnel in the Adirondacks to manage the forests it already owns, as well as forests it hopes to protect in the future.
The closure of the Moriah Shock Incarceration Facility in the tiny Adirondack hamlet of Mineville is an opportunity: Several state conservation initiatives would benefit from an additional state building in the Adirondacks. Leaders of Adirondack environmental organizations joined with local elected officials in Mineville last month to urge Gov. Kathy Hochul not to mothball the Moriah facility but instead to reuse it to bolster conservation, social justice and employment in the North Country.
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