Wednesday, September 28, 2005

RIP: Barbara McMartin

Long time Adirondack resident, advocate, historian, and guide-book writer Barbara McMartin has died (more). She will be missed. The Adirondack Almanack owes a great debt to her rigorus study and appreciation of our region.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rich and Famous in the Adirondacks?

The Adirondack Almanack was at the the Brass Ring in Bolton Landing (now closed thanks to the overzealous local [uh-hem] police) when Tupac came in and hung out. Another rapper, DMX, had been a frequent visitor there as well.

Shania Twain and her husband / record producer “Mutt” Lange [pdf- page 21], and George W. Bush both destroyed some of the park near Lake Placid a few years back.

Now there comes a report that Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie were spotted near Old Forge – if they’re trying to get away from the low-life attacks of the too much time in front of the TV crowd, we hope they make out better than current local celebrity Rachael Ray.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Glens Falls Mayoral Debate Tonight

In case you missed it, the Fairly Young Contrarian reports on the latest on the Glens Falls Post Star attempt to keep the right in power in the Southern Adirondacks. Enrolled Independents, Working Family Party members, Libertarians, Greens, and Democrats outnumber Republicans and Conservatives in Glens Falls [pdf]. Saratoga is on the verge of tipping to the left and the last two elections have only been won by right-wing operatives denying the vote to those in the traditionally left-leaning wards [second story down]. As more and more of the creative class move into Saratoga (and eventually Glens Falls only 15 minutes north) there will be a swing to the left – and there’s nothing those tight-asses at the Post Star and Saratogian can do about it. The question is – are they soul-less fools who will change their tune when the shift happens? Or do they have a backbone and will simply go out of business? Our guess – soul-less fools.


Friday, September 9, 2005

Boycott Nextel – Send Your Visitors to Climb Pilot Knob

The phone company Nextel has disregarded the spirit of the Adirondack Park by insisting, for their own profit only, that Lake George needs a cell tower that will be seen from the entire southern half of the lake.

We get lots of visitors here in our mountain paradise, but one ten year old we had just last week demonstrates how we got where we are and maybe where we’re going.

This ten-year-old, was complaining that she couldn’t get cell service while on vacation. Who did she need to call? Her friends. Did she have a good time at the lake? Well, no.

She cited the two things that tourists complain about the most – right after the question: What do you do in the winter? [Gee… duh… nothing… usually stay in bed and wait for spring to come and you louder-mouthed tourons and citidiots to get back]

The bugs are always a top annoyance for visitors who are so ensconced in their air-conditioned generic sterile vanilla McMansion homes in the south that they can’t even imagine that there are bugs outside, let alone that one might encounter a few.

The second annoyance is increasingly becoming the cell service. We’ve decided that when we suggest a hike for our cell phone packing tourists who ask next year – and few seem to actually bother to hike, most seem to be glad to stay in the house, pull down the shades and watch TV – but when they do, we’ll be sending them to Pilot Knob to see the really big pine.

And while we’re on the subject of immigration – those fascist Minutemen are headed our way in order to protect us from illegal immigrants. Too bad we can’t set up our own vigilante force at Warrensburg and keep them (and their neighbors) down where they belong.


Sunday, September 4, 2005

Bush and Cheney Should Be Impeached For The Crimes Against The People of New Orleans

I don’t think anyone could have predicted that these people [identified in a Presidential Daily Briefing] would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center. Condoleezza Rice – May 17, 2002

I don’t think anybody [who wasn’t paying a lick of attention to the facts] anticipated the breach of the levees. G.W. Bush – Sept 1, 2005

Although the Adirondack Almanack is usually only a regional blog, what happened this week is simply too criminal and disgraceful to ignore. We spent the week watching video direct from WWL in New Orleans and then being amazed at the lies, distortions and outright fabrications of the national news media and the Bush administration. The truth was recorded by New Orleans Mayor Nagin – four days after Katrina hit [audio].

The incompetent Bush Regime has lost all credibility (if it had any). Bush calls the greatest natural disaster in American history a “temporary disruption,” he continued his vacation for more than 48 hours before acting, Dick Cheney is still on vacation in Wyoming, and Condoleezza Rice was seen shopping for $7,000 shoes in Manhattan while New Orleans was filling with water.

Their Evangelical Theocrat partners are chiming in:

“Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city,” stated Repent America director Michael Marcavage. “From ‘Girls Gone Wild’ to ‘Southern Decadence,’ New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. From the devastation may a city full of righteousness emerge,” he continued.

The people the Bush Regime call their own believe this:

New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion — it’s free of all of those things now. God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there — and now we’re going to start over again.

The Department of Homeland Security has proven to be the boondoggle many of said it would be and FEMA run by a lying loser. The shoot to kill order given Iraq War veterans is a criminal attack on American citizens – and now the Army News reports “Troops Begin Combat Operations in New Orleans.”

While most idiots who have few facts are focused on the media fantasies of anarchy and the so-called looting (at least when black folks are doing it) the truth is, the poor in New Orleans (28 percent of the population; 100,000 people making under $8,000 a year) have been the victims of looting by local, state, and federal governments and their criminal companions for hundreds of years – and all the while the looting of America by the oil companies continues.

If you are aware (given the state of our corporate media) that Halliburton, KBR, the armor makers and others are simply war-profiteers poorly outfitting and training the largest private Army in the world today to kill the poor in Iraq – wait until you see what’s going to happen in what used to be New Orleans.

It’s a crime – a lot bigger than getting a blowjob in the White House – and those responsible are criminal traitors from a dictatorial corporate cabal who should be punished. We can hope that they get what’s due.

We’ll get back to the issues of the Adirondacks later this week.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Adirondack Price Gouging – Pottersville Nice and Easy

The price of regular unleaded at the Nice and Easy convenience store at Northway Exit 26 in Pottersville jumped 10 cents in less than 24 hours today. Last night the price was $1.75 per gallon, tonight it is $1.85 – apparently the regional chain has seized the opportunity provided by Hurricane Katrina and today’s raise in price of a barrel of oil above $70. The Almanck recommends contacting Warren County District Attorney Kathleen Hogan at (518) 716-6405 and the NY State Attorney General’s Office at (518) 474-7330 and demand they charge those responsible with price gouging. Also, contact Nice and Easy Corporate Headquarters and John MacDougall, company president and owner, and let them know you’ll be filing a complaint.

According to the Attorney General‘s office:

The law specifically provides that, in order to prevent any party from taking unfair advantage of consumers during an abnormal disruption of the market, the charging of unconscionably excessive prices is outlawed.

This law protects consumer goods and services vital and necessary for the health, safety and welfare of consumers, and applies to all parties in the chain of distribution, including retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, and distributors.

UPDATE: The price tonight (9/1/05) is $3.29 per gallon.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Farms and Factory Farms, CAFOs, CSAs, HANNYS, and Co-ops

Friends of Rural New York have been following closely the recent Lewis County spill, larger that the Exxon Valdez, of cow sewage into the Black River. Big fines may be on the way, but the real crime is that the DEC and local officials permitted a 3 million gallon toxic dump so close to the river. The Adirondack Almanack supports local farms and agrees that its time we made a clear distinction between factory farms:

That is a giant factory where thousands of animals are permanently kept, never feeling the sun on their backs or munching a blade of grass. A CAFO (Contained Animal feeding Operation) can generate thousands of pounds of manure a day, suck up hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, and throw in various chemicals to “sanitize,” promote decay and boost milk production. What do they do with all that poop? Well, after it’s settled in nasty lagoons around the neighborhood, where it decays and festers for a while, they suck it up into these huge tankers and spew the putrid mix wherever they can, the closer to the CAFO the better, because it’s quite expensive to haul all that fetid effluent way. En route, the neighbors are blasted by the stench, the noise and the dust for days on end.

And local family operated traditional farms. To those ends – a list of local farmers markets from the USDA, and a regional map from the Farmers Market Federation of NY. Finally, we need to take responsibility for our own food choices – two of our favorite choices are the Honest Weight Food Co-op (when we get down to Albany) and a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) projects. HANNYS [pdf] (Hunger Action Network of New York State) has recently released two reports. The first “gives detailed stories of nine New York CSA’s that have reached out to include low-income members” and the second “is a report based on the results of Hunger Action’s statewide survey of CSA farmers. Findings include the fact that CSA’s keep $2.6 million in our state’s economy every year and protect over 1,100 acres of farmland” [pdf].


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Adirondack Tops Supermarket Update

Adirondack Almanack reported on the Tops issue early. The latest from Champlain has Price Chopper moving in, but apparently not in time.

The [Tops] Champlain grocery’s lease with Pomerleau Real Estate of Burlington expires Oct. 1.

“We’re trying to get them to stay a little longer,” said Champlain Village Mayor Jeffrey Moore, hoping to have that grocer remain until Price Chopper opens next spring.

Ticonderoga looks out of luck. Elizabethtown may not be so lucky either (if that’s what you call getting a mega-regional chain in the place of a mega-international chain). You’ve got to hand it to the Press-Republican for working this story, especially considering all the serious news they have to deal with. Even if they don’t quite get it:

If Grand Union couldn’t make local operations profitable and Tops is looking for a way out of town, what’s to offer hope that another chain would come in? And, if not a chain, what local merchant would want to take on the responsibility for just one community?

Who do they suppose supplied these towns before the mega-marts?

This is a great opportunity to point readers to Dead Malls online. Wouldn’t it be great if folks near some of these dying strip malls could post the photos and give some details?


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Michael Virtanen on Adirondack Rock Climbing

Here’s the latest from Associated Press writer Michael Virtanen reporting from Keene Valley on Adirondack rock climbing.


Friday, August 26, 2005

It’s Safe To Say: The Peak Oil Crisis Has Arrived – At Least In The Adirondacks

We’ve been keeping tabs on the Peak Oil issue and the impact of high gas prices in our region. The AP reports gas crime is up, way up. The Capital Region People blog chimes in on the coming winter and the expected spike in natural gas and now we have an article on the impact on local government from the Press-Republican. And hey, remember back in April when they said “High Gas Prices Force Changes in Americans’ Lives” including the startling fact that:

The survey found that 58 percent of respondents have reduced their driving, 57 percent have cut back on other expenses and 41 percent have changed vacation plans to stay closer to home.

Maybe we can apply to Chavez who has offered to sell poor communties in America gas cheaply. That is if Robertson’s Fatwah doesn’t get him first. So let’s get this straight:

Increased Crime
Higher Heating Costs
Gas Prices Keeping People Home
Higher Taxes

Will some local media outlet start seriously reporting on Peak Oil and it’s impact in our region?

As 50 Cent would say…. “commitment from me – ah – not likely.”


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Are the Adirondacks in for big snow this winter?

Apparently, according to recent studies: “The Great Lakes of North America, the planet’s largest concentration of fresh water, are thawing earlier each spring, according to an analysis of ice break-ups dating back to 1846.” Could it also mean a later freeze and more lake effect snow for our region? Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a local media to explore this trend?

The latest Lake George freezes according to the Warren County Department of Public Works (full data pdf):

February 29, 1966
February 10, 1983
February 8, 1950
February 7, 1988
February 5, 1953

Years that Lake George did not freeze:

1918-1919
1990-1991
1994-1995
1996-1997
1997-1998
1998-1999
2000-2001
2001-2002

Largest single snowfall (Warren County):

38″ January 25-27, 1986
22″ February 16, 1958
22″ February 14-15, 1950
22″ March 3, 1994
21″ March 5, 2001
20″ February 4, 1961
20″ March 13, 1993


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Big Brother on the March

We like to keep this blog local, but a recent post by baloghblog on events at Camp Crawford and Matt’s follow-up are worth repeating here.

And from the while we’re at it department we have this nauseating news from baloghblog who reports that in Utah, music loving children really are drug-addled criminals who need to be crushed with dogs, helicopters, assault weapons, and storm trooper gear. Wouldn’t it be nice if that hipster over at the PostStar had something to say about that? The folks at a local Indy Media Center did; and so did their bizarro world alter ego corporate media police state shills.

Kind of reminds us of police state attacks from some time ago.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Adirondack and Lake George Watershed Invasive Species

Take note Minutemen! The Top Five Terrestrial Invasive Plants for the Lake George Watershed as identified by the Lake George Land Conservancy “because of their ability to be especially detrimental to the health of our public lands roadsides waterways and backyards.” As reported in Adirondack Journal (August 20, 2005) (pdf):

Common Reed
Garlic Mustard
Japanese Knotweed
Purple Loosestrife
Shrubby Honeysuckle

A free training on invasive plants will be presented by the Lake George Land Conservancy on 9 to 1, September 24, 2005 at Pilot Knob Ridge Preserve in Fort Ann.

Ward Stone had an excellent discussion of invasive species on his WAMC program In Our Backyard this week. Here’s two links he offered:

New York State Invasive Plant Council
New York Flora Atlas

And why we’re at it:

New York Endangered Species
New York Protected Native Plants
New York Native Flora Association


Monday, August 22, 2005

Fun in Minerva

Sometimes camping can be fun, sometimes not.


Monday, August 22, 2005

Flickr: Fort Ticonderoga

The Adirondack Almanack is a big fan of Flickr. The possibilities of this kind of tool are endless.

Check out:

A Mohawk search

A recent trip to Fort Ticonderoga

Or a visit to Graceland

Or more locally: Tupper Lake

And while you’re at it, check out YouTube, the video Flickr


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