Thursday, December 1, 2005

A Lake Champlain Invasive Turns Out To Be A Native

The Burlington Free Press (Vermont) is reporting that the dreaded Sea Lamprey is a species native to Lake Champlain, at the eastern edge of the Adirondacks:

A team of Michigan State University researchers has established that Lake Champlain lamprey are a genetically distinct population old enough to be defined as native. The eel-like fish probably swam up the St. Lawrence and Richelieu rivers from the Atlantic Ocean and became landlocked in Lake Champlain as long ago as 11,500 years, the researchers concluded.

And in other invasive species news, peak-bagger Ted Keizer (a.k.a. Cave Dog) is busy making a ridiculous sport out of wilderness experience. No doubt, he energies in this regard will encourage thousands more to further erode the trails in the High Peaks as they run through at top speed – thanks [a-hem] Cave Dog.

Finally today, one last item – the elimination of a non-native species that actually had a positive impact in the park and on the environment. The bus line Greyhound is eliminating its routes north from Syracuse and closes its stops in the North Country. Another regional public transportation system goes down. And speaking of going down, check out the Post Star’s special on the 1969 crash of a Mohawk Airlines regional flight on Pilot Knob near Lake George. And, if you haven’t seen our piece on Adirondack regional airlines, it’s here; our piece on that suspected airplane murder-sucide is here.


Friday, November 25, 2005

From the Lake George and the Adirondacks to the World – Rachael Ray

Announcing… AskMen.Com’s model of the month – Rachael Ray


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wal-Mart Inside The Adirondack Blue Line?

The great debate is on. Will Walmart be welcome if they come to Saranac Lake? The Adirondack Daily Enterprise is offering a chance to vote and the opposition has the advantage (so far). Adirondack Musing has put a couple of the key arguments up today. The Adirondack Live Journal also has a discussion going.

Balogh Blog has a nice rundown of the reasons why Wal-Mart sucks and CNY ecoBlog has recently put together some links to various reviews and pages related to the new movie. Screening locations are listed here.

As for Adirondack Almanack – you know where we stand on the big box.

The question is, just what is it in the water at Saranac Lake that brings out all this?


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The New York State Green Party Belongs Deserves Its Place in the "Two-Party System"

Reprinted from Metroland [original article here, at least until Thursday]. Green Party Members should get involved in the State Committee:

Time for a Two-Party System?

Though some in the suburbs of Saratoga County might disagree, I don’t think of Albany as a particular bastion of liberal politics. It does however, have an active, sordid political landscape, marked, of course, by its famously long Democratic Party dominance.

So it was interesting to realize that given the results of this year’s election, one wouldn’t be crazy to surmise that if Albany does break into a true multiparty give-and-take some time soon, it may not be the Republicans, the country’s presumed “second party,” who take us there.

Granted, if parties had to earn their ballot line separately in Albany, rather than just getting 50,000 votes for their gubernatorial candidate on your line—which in 2002 worked out to about 1.1 percent of the total votes cast—then Republicans, with 6.5 percent of the vote for mayor, would not be in immediate danger of going the way of the Liberals or the Right-to-Life Party. (Or, yes, the Greens, who lost their state ballot line in 2002; they just seem to have managed to stay active as a party despite that, which the other two have not.)

The Republicans also fielded some interesting and committed candidates this year. I suspect that in at least some races their poor showing had less to do with them, and more to do with the legacy of Democratic Party dominance—when you have one party for so long, it becomes a very large tent. There’s little to stop fairly conservatively leaning folks from ending up running on the Democratic line—that’s how one gets elected after all—and therefore getting used to voting on the Democratic line.

This is not an intractable problem, but it doesn’t seem like Albany’s Republicans—who also have been needing to spend some attention trying not to lose ground in the rapidly Democratizing Albany County suburbs—have yet hit on the formula to draw people back.

On the other hand, the results, not to mention the buzz and the attention, of this November’s election point to the fact that in the city of Albany, the Working Families Party and the Green Party are perhaps closer to that formula. They’ve both been working very hard to build their bases and be a presence on local and regional issues outside of elections.

The Working Families Party, of course, has the immense strategic advantage of retaining its ballot line and being willing, usually, to use it to support candidates also running on major party lines (though not in Albany, it should be noted that they have in fact cross-endorsed Republicans). The Greens have their own strength, however, because they are not afraid to stand completely independent, rather than aiming at mostly shifting the Democratic Party in one direction or another.

Especially after conflicts over last year’s district attorney primary, the WFP is careful not to be seen as trying to influence Democratic Party primaries. (The same cannot be said, for example, of the Conservative Party and its mailings about city treasurer Betty Barnette.) Still, the WFP does seem to have gained enough influence and respect that merely making its endorsements for its own line before the Democratic primary carries some weight with voters. Shawn Morris, the WFP candidate for Common Council president, sailed to victory despite her history of being willing to confront the mayor, and ended up getting more total votes in the general election than Jennings did.

And for its part, when the Green Party fields candidates like Alice Green and David Lussier who are willing to do the legwork, they can get impressive results. Alice Green got nearly 25 percent of the vote. She may still be an underdog, but that’s not a dismissible number.

WFP and the Greens endorsed two candidates in common this year—David Lussier in Ward 11 and Russell Ziemba (who also had the Democratic line) in Troy. Reportedly, if Alice Green hadn’t held back on her campaign announcement in order to not steal Archie Goodbee’s thunder, she may have had a chance at the WFP line for mayor as well—and we can all only wonder what might have happened then.

Karen Scharf, chair of the local WFP, and Mark Dunlea, state Green Party chair, both are interested in collaborating more in the future. The two parties are planning to meet and talk about how to follow up on some of the key issues locally. This sounds incredibly promising.

Here’s what I would love to see—I’d love to see the Green Party get their ballot line back in next year’s gubernatorial election, and then locally I’d like to see the two parties more frequently cross-endorse candidates, pooling their strengths and similar commitments to democratic process and reform. But I’d also like to see them maintain their independence, each sometimes taking risks or making commitments to candidates when the other won’t, and generally providing an opportunity for the voters to indicate their support for specific agendas and priorities.

That could bring Albany the power of a viable second party, with the variety and protection against calcification provided by active third parties. Who knows, it might even provide the climate for the Republicans to get back in the game.

—Miriam Axel-Lute

maxel-lute@metroland.net


Monday, November 21, 2005

Adirondack Representative John [S]weeney in a Bar Fight?

Even if he wasn’t actually involved in full-blown fist-a-cuffs, this story says something about the kind of man representing [a-hem] us in Washington.

A gossip column in Thursday’s New York Daily News reported Sweeney, R-Clifton Park, took a blow from a Red Sox fan who’d had enough of Sweeney’s pro-Yankees banter one evening earlier this month at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse in Washington, D.C. Sweeney spokeswoman Melissa Carlson flatly denied the report, saying the alleged incident was nothing more than a “heated discussion about Yankees vs. Red Sox.”

Sweeney has been criticized for failing to meet with any of his constituents, and refusing to discuss his (and his party’s) plans for Social Security. Apparently he’s been too busy over the past five years with the much more important “heated discussion about Yankees vs. Red Sox.”

I know one local newspaper editor who no doubt finds it an important and timely debate at a critical time for America.


Monday, November 14, 2005

SUNY System See Big Growth in Adirondacks; Even Without Basic Support From New York Governments

The Plattsburgh Press Republican is reporting that enrollment is up for Adirondack region SUNY schools. Unfortunately, they didn’t bother to report on the recent attacks on SUNY, one of the best public education systems in the country. Nor did they mention the nonsense Adirondack Community College has been going through with Warren and Washington county officials.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

At Gore and Tupper: Two New Adirondack Ski Resorts?

In North Creek the Gore Mountain – Little Gore Ski Bowl connection is moving forward and there are big plans afoot for the ski area in Tupper Lake as well.

Also in Sunday’s Adirondack news: The APA is cracking down on a rich guy in the Town of Webb who apparently doesn’t think he has to follow the same rules as the rest of us – and the search for the Adirondack League Club arsonist continues.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

In the Adirondacks Even Dead guys Can Win, So Long As They Are Republican

The mainstream media is apparently ignoring the big setbacks Republicans faced in the Adirondacks , New York, and elsewhere, and some are reporting instead on the area’s low voter turnout – then from Chester we get this report of a dead guy winning – “Robert Stetson, who was having lunch at the Deer Crossing restaurant, [said] “They must have voted straight Republican.” Ahh… yeah… they sure must have.

Does it make you wonder how smartly affairs are run in our region? Wonder no more, the Adirondack Council‘s 20th Annual State of the Park Report has been released – enjoy.


Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Adirondack Election Returns and Results

Warren, Washington, and Saratoga Counties are available at the Times Union and from Capital News 9
Essex , Clinton and Franklin Counties from the Plattsburgh Press Republican
St. Lawrence County from the St. Lawrence County BOE
Clinton County from the Clinton County BOE

National Election Wire


Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Adirondack Region Elections


Sunday, November 6, 2005

Adirondack Natural History at Home and In Space

Two new developments in Adirondack Natural History. The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks has announced they will open this July and an Adirondack Public Observatory is planned for Tupper Lake.


Thursday, November 3, 2005

At Your Fingertips: Great Adirondack History Search Tools

Google Print is finally here. It joins the Listing of Oldest and Rarest [Adirondack] Books, the Adirondack Chronology [pdf], Northern New York Historical Newspapers, the Southern Adirondack Library System’s access to Heritage Quest, Making of America, and the Harper’s Magazine Search in the really cool free Adirondack historic resources department.

A few of the gems from Google Print:

Charles Zinser’s The Economic Impact of the Adirondack Park Private Land Use and Development Plan

White and Beal, Acid Rain: The Relationship between Sources and Receptors (Excerpt)

Benson Lossing’s The Empire State: A Compendious History of the Commonwealth of New York

Jacob A. Riis’s Theodore Roosevelt the Citizen

From Lifehacker:

To search books that mention the printing press in the public domain in the U.S., search for: "printing press" date:1500-1923

International books in the public domain can be searched like so:

"printing press" date:1500-1846


Suggested Reading

The Adirondacks: A History of America’s First Wilderness


Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Rafil Dhafir, a miscarriage of justice in Syracuse NY

A miscarriage of justice in Syracuse. Is he the only person convicted of breaking the sanctions against Iraq? Shouldn’t this guy have been convicted first? Or how about the dictator wanna-bes responsible for this?


Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Adirondack Community College Woes

Already suffering from increased attendance, insufficient funding, and low-paid staff and teachers, Adirondack Community College (ACC) now has to deal with Washington and Warren county governments acting like children. Washington County behavior in particular is frankly disgusting. While pushing a tax break that in some towns reduces taxes by nearly 30 percent, they are refusing to adequately support their only local college… it’s no wonder Whitehall, Fort Edward, and Fort Anne look the way they do.

New York’s Community College system has been the neglected workhorse of the state’s higher education system, which is, as always, under great strain from inattention and being terrorized by political hacks.


Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween / Samhain

Happy Halloween, the old Celtic Pagan holiday Samhain and the anniversary of the day Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation. The old holiday was taken over by Pope Gregory IV in 840.

Also, the anniversary of the death of Houdini in 1926 and of River Pheonix in 1993.

For your scary enjoyment:

Halloween Night 1952
America’s Electric Chair
The Scariest Place in the Adirondacks


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