Thursday, February 17, 2022

Medicare for All or Medicare At All?

medicare illustration

By 2030, traditional Medicare (TM) as we know it, particularly those of us who depend on it for our health care, just might cease to exist, marking the end point of fifty years of attempted privatization and the gradual transfer of Medicare’s Trust Funds and their management to private for-profit insurance companies. Lots of money is at stake – over $900 billion in benefits were paid in 2020 to almost 63 million subscribers. Wall Street private equity firms are salivating.

Backstory: How did this happen? Can it be stopped? It began soon after the Medicare program became law in 1965, enacted to ensure that older Americans would have ready access to good health care as they aged and became ill. By 1973, Medicare had proved so popular that Nixon identified rising health care costs as a serious budget problem and took the following steps to contain them:

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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Bones, Metals, and Medals: Figuring Out the History of Ice Skating

olympic oval ice skating rink The lighting of the torch in Beijing on February 4th signified the beginning of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games, where many of the athletes are wearing ice skates as they compete for medals in figure and speed skating and ice hockey. While many people will watch these talented athletes on television, others will brave the weather and go to the local pond or outdoor rink to pass the puck or to simply skate in the crisp winter air.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Snowmobiles fall through the ice in Long Lake

forest ranger reportTown of Long Lake
Hamilton County
Snowmobiler Rescue:
 On Feb. 9 at 3:03 p.m., the Long Lake Fire Chief requested Forest Ranger assistance after a report of two snowmobiles breaking through the ice on the south end of Long Lake. Before Ranger Milano’s arrival, the fire chief called with an update that one snowmobile and snowmobiler were out of the water. Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Pierce also responded from a nearby patrol. The remaining 76-year-old from Pennsylvania was not able to get out of the water. Career firefighters/EMTs from Gates were passing by and saw the subject in distress. They threw in a rope, pulled the subject out, and stripped off their wet clothing to begin the warming process. Ranger Milano provided more clothing and a blanket. Long Lake EMS arrived, but the subject refused further medical attention. ECO Pierce and the Long Lake Fire Department retrieved the snowmobile from the lake. ECO Pierce then transported the subject and his friend back to their camp in Indian Lake. Resources were clear at 4:12 p.m.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Winter Wonderland Week 2022: Events slated for Long Lake and Raquette Lake Feb. 18-25

Ice Golf at 2019 Raquette Lake Winter Carnival

There is a little something for everyone during Winter Wonderland Week in Raquette Lake and Long Lake beginning on Friday, February 18 to Friday, February 25. The festive week kicks off with day one of Raquette Lake’s annual Winter Carnival and an 80’s-themed skate and pizza party in Long Lake on Friday, Feb. 18. Raquette Lake’s Winter Carnival is set for Feb. 18 -20 and will feature an evening concert with the Jamcrackers at the Raquette Lake Chapel, a ladies’ frying pan toss, games for kids, ice golf, a cross-cut and chainsaw competition, a bonfire and fireworks, and much more.

The fun continues all week long with a slew of community-centered activities including skating and sledding races, a cross-country ski tour, a trivia night, tubing at Oak Mountain, an hors d’oeuvres tour in Long Lake, and the return of Long Lake/Raquette Lake Winter Bingo.

The Long Lake Hors D’Oeuvres Tour is set to return on Friday, February 25. The event is sponsored by the Town of Long Lake Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department. Participants will take a free shuttle service to area restaurants to enjoy an evening out in which they will have the opportunity to sample specialty appetizers created specifically for the event and vote for the best appetizer at each location. Participating restaurants are: The Long View Lodge, The Adirondack Hotel, and The Long Lake Diner. Reservations remain open until Monday, February 21. Those interested are encouraged to register for the event early as seats will be limited to 60 guests. Registration can be done online here: https://mylonglake.com/tour/. Call (518) 624-3077 for more information.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

A renewed interest in wetlands

DeNeale Property wetlands & woods

Conservationists across the state cheered loudly last month when Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed strengthening protections for wetlands.

Under current state rules, wetlands are only protected if they are included on official wetland maps – even if the parcels otherwise meet protection standards – but Hochul proposes scrapping that approach and ensuring wetlands of 12.4 acres or greater are automatically protected.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Robert Rogers and his Rangers return to Fort Ticonderoga

battle on snowshoes rogersRobert Rogers and his Rangers return to Fort Ticonderoga Saturday, February 26, 2022 through the dramatic 1759 Battle on Snowshoes reenactment from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Battle on Snowshoes event vividly recreates the final winter battle between a scout of Mohawk warriors, British Regulars, and Rogers’ Rangers, versus the French garrison of soldiers, Canadians and Native American warriors at Fort Ticonderoga on March 7, 1759. This event is designed to be a rich experience for guests of all ages as they explore the final Battle on Snowshoes within the year 1759.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

2022 marks Adirondack Foundation’s 25th anniversary

The Adirondack Foundation’s President & CEO, Cali Brooks, shared the following message to the foundation’s supporters, partners and friends as foundation staff celebrate their 25th anniversary this year.
“2022 marks The Adirondack Foundation’s 25th anniversary,” Brooks said. “As we celebrate and reflect on a quarter century of enhancing the lives of people in the Adirondacks through philanthropy, we are thankful for all of you – our supporters, partners, and grantees who have helped to make our work possible. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating this milestone throughout the year. Stay tuned for more and be sure to hold Friday, August 12th for our summer celebration of community at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid. As we look back, we also look ahead to our next 25 years of working toward our vision for a thriving Adirondacks – one where communities are strong, just, and inclusive; family wellbeing is supported through quality healthcare and education; economic vitality is supported through workforce training and entrepreneurship; nature is protected and cared for; and arts and cultural opportunities are available to all. How can we set the stage for this next chapter in our history?
By working alongside our amazing partners to drive equitable prosperity in communities where our neighbors live, work, and raise their families. By constantly adapting to the evolving needs and opportunities of the region we serve. By being nimble and innovative day in and day out to ensure families have the tools and resources they need to overcome income, housing, and other barriers. And by bridging our knowledge, networks, and experience with the generosity of our neighbors to amplify community needs and accelerate change. As your community foundation, we play a unique role across the region. We hope you will join us in setting the stage for the years ahead.”

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Monday, February 14, 2022

Plan for a Better Spring: Selecting the right species of trees for your property

bur oak trees

Looking for a way to enhance property value, save energy costs, boost mental health, and help the planet in one simple, low-cost step? Yeah, me too. Let me know if you think of something. Seriously, though, a few well-placed trees in one’s yard typically add at least 5% to a property’s value. Having large older specimens (of trees, I mean) around the house can push that figure close to 20%. In terms of energy savings, deciduous trees on the southern and western sides of a house tend to slash cooling costs by roughly one-quarter.

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Monday, February 14, 2022

Be a ‘Snow Birder’ This Winter

grosbeaks

While the chilliest months of the year may seem like the hardest time to venture outdoors, it can be a great time to go birding. Layer up and head out to your backyard, local park, or other public space and observe some of the bird species that you may not normally see during warmer months. Winter raptors (PDF) including snowy owls (PDF)short-eared owls, barn owls, and hawks migrate south from the Canadian tundra and can be observed near open bodies of water and large grasslands. Some species of woodpeckers may be easier to hear or see in their winter homes. Black-capped chickadees remain in Northern climates due to their ability to survive the ultra-cold weather. Winter is also the best time to observe bald eagles!

Use a website like eBird to see what species have been detected near you. The free Merlin Bird ID app can help you identify unfamiliar birds and add even more new species to your lists.

If you do brave the cold and snow, properly preparing for winter conditions is essential for a more enjoyable and safe experience. Check out our latest YouTube video on layering for winter, and read up on some of our winter hiking safety tips that can be for any outdoor trip.

Stay tuned for future announcements on the New York State Birding Trail to find locations across the state to go birding.

Photo of grosbeaks by Randy Fredlund.


Monday, February 14, 2022

Virtual business matchmaking event on Feb. 15

ward lumber

North Country Businesses for Sale is a free virtual matchmaking event to empower successful business transitions in the region.

The Center for Businesses in Transition (CBIT) is bringing together owners currently offering their North Country business for sale with entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. From 4-6 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Adirondack Outlaw romance: A Trail of Broken Hearts

valentines day

An Adirondack Outlaw: Wandering Lost in Love’s Wilderness

There’s a mystic trail in these mountains. Myths, tragedies, and harrowing rescue tales surround it. It’s not marked on any map. Old timers who’ve survived its trek issue stern warnings to those yearning to follow.  Legends say it reaches skyward beyond Marcy’s peak to the clouds.

It’s well known, yet elusive. It begins near heart’s lake. It is rugged, treacherous, and steep. Many outlaw souls have attempted its route.

Most brave harts who sought never found it. Of those who somehow did, most quickly got lost in the woods, others got dizzy and disoriented, many broke down in tears, some found themselves mired waist deep in a swamp, quite a few just plain quit.

Most who survived the journey bore scars for life.

Legends say it’s a trail littered with broken hearts.

More than a few are my own.  » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 13, 2022

Join the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Winter Mapping Challenge

hwa invasive mappingDid you know that winter is the best time to check for hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA)? We need your help monitoring this invasive species, particularly along the “leading edge” of the distribution that runs across the state.

Now through March 12, NY iMapInvasives and the NYS Hemlock Initiative are hosting NY’s first statewide Winter Mapping Challenge. Join the challenge to help monitor this invasive species and compete to win a prize!

To participate: Get outside, find some hemlock trees, check for white “fuzz balls” on the undersides of twigs, and report your findings to NY iMapInvasives – earning the coveted champion title could be that easy! The top reporter of presence and not-detected records for HWA from February 12 through March 12 will win the challenge.

Visit iMap’s website to learn more about the challenge and connect with HWA mapping efforts in your area.

Photo submitted to iMapInvasives by Observer #22202

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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Weekly news round up

A collection of interesting reads:

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Saturday, February 12, 2022

Finding fun after winter storm by snowshoeing, skiing, and analyzing animal tracks

The cold temperatures are back after a short day when they got above freezing just before the massive storm that crossed the country and hit us. Freezing rain and rain were predicted, but all I had here was twelve inches of snow which the snowblower ate for about three hours in order to clear the 950 feet of driveway. I cleared the bird feeders with the scoop first to get them something to eat and they flocked right in as the temperatures were dropping.

My feeding flock of birds hasn’t changed much in the last couple of weeks. I put some bands on a few of them, mostly blue jays caught in the potter trap. The most I’ve counted has been 14 to 16 jays at one time. However, I’ve banded over twenty of them in the last couple of weeks so some new ones may have moved into the feeders. I had a high count of 32 purple finches and 22 slate-colored juncos. I believe all the juncos are wearing bands, but only about ten of the purple finches have bands.

I know the birds went through forty pounds of sunflower seeds in less than two weeks. While much of that has been stored by the jays and the chickadees, the finches and juncos eat every seed they are able to get a hold of. The pair of tufted titmice have been regulars but only one of them is banded. Only a couple of American goldfinches have been hanging around and one common redpoll has been battling for places on the platform with the finches and jays. The sharp-shinned hawk came through early this morning and nailed another junco for a snack. In answer to someone who commented on my last column asking if I caught the hawk and banded it. I didn’t catch it, as I would have had to have the net up in order to catch this bird as it flies through.

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Saturday, February 12, 2022

MAKE IT: Cajun cauliflower

cajun cauliflower

Here is a recipe for cajun cauliflower, from Eastern Michigan University dietetic intern, Kristina (it is really good – my son, who detests cauliflower, actually not only tried it but liked it).

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