Wednesday, June 17, 2009

UPDATED: Constitutional Amendment for Power Line

One story has been lost in the drama coming out of the New York State Legislature lately: the Constitutional amendment. In May, before it became completely dysfunctional, the NYS Senate passed a bill that would give after-the-fact permission for a new power line from Stark Falls Reservoir to the Village of Tupper Lake. The Constitutional Amendment is necessary to provide an exception to the Forever Wild clause of the Constitution (Article 14, Section 1). The Forever Wild clause forbids logging or development on the Adirondack Forest Preserve, and that includes power lines. The Amendment requires passage by two separately elected legislatures, which is now complete, and then approval by voters on a statewide ballot this fall. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Farmers Market at The Wild Center, Thursdays

The Adirondack Farmers’ Market Cooperative (AFMC) is expanding with a new market for summer ’09 in Tupper Lake. Beginning June 25, The Wild Center will host a weekly Farmers Market where you can meet farmers and purchase local food grown in the Adirondack region. Market days will be held under a tent every Thursday from 11 am to 3 pm. The market is free and open to the public; museum admission is not required for market related events.

The market grows out of an initiative piloted by The Wild Center and the AFMC last summer, which featured several market days throughout the season. Positive responses by attendees encouraged both organizations to move forward with plans for a weekly market this season. Shoppers found a variety of products – from honey, herbs and veggies, to baked goods, prepared foods and meats – and the opportunity to talk with local farmers about farming in the Adirondacks.

Special activities and attractions are being planned for Opening Day June 25. Herbalist Jane Desotelle will lead a Wild Edibles walk at 1 pm. Addison Bickford and Steve Langdon will play blues and old timey music 11:30 – 2. Local food will be available for sale from the grill, and hands-on children’s activities will be available at a kid’s craft table.

More stories from the Adirondack Almanack about Adirondack food can be found here.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Analysis: Lake Colby Association and Adirondack Council


View Lake Colby in a larger map

News last week that the Adirondack Council plans to sue the Village of Saranac Lake marked an escalation in a long-simmering war of surrogates among numerous interests driven by local and regional motives. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Evan Lysacek, Sasha Cohen to Headline 2009 Skate America

The International Skating Union (ISU) and U.S. Figure Skating have announced the skater selections for the 2009 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, including Skate America. Skate America, which historically is the first competition in the ISU Grand Prix Series, occurs later in the calendar this year, as the fifth of six events. This year’s Skate America will take place Nov. 12-15 at the 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid. This marks the 30th anniversary of the event and the sixth time the state of New York has hosted the event and the fourth time it has been held in Lake Placid (1979, 1981-82).

Skate America will welcome 18 top U.S. athletes in addition to its international field. The Americans competing in Lake Placid include current World champion and two-time national champion Evan Lysacek and the five-time U.S. Championship ice dancing team of Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, also the 2009 World silver medalists and 2006 Olympic silver medalists. This year’s Skate America marks the return of 2006 U.S. Champion, 2006 Olympic silver medalist, and 2006 World bronze medalist Sasha Cohen to competitive skating.

Other U.S. athletes competing at Skate America are 2008 World Junior Champion Rachael Flatt, Ryan Bradley, Brandon Mroz, two-time defending U.S. Pairs Champions and 2007 World Junior Champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker, and the ice dancing teams of Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein – the 2009 World Junior Champions and U.S. Junior Champions – and Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre.

The international field is led by World champion Yu-Na Kim of Korea. Kim is the 2008 Skate America ladies gold medalist and 2008 Grand Prix Final champion. Kim will be joined by six-time French ice dancing champions and 2008 World ice dancing champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder. Three-time World pairs champions (2002-03, 2007) and two-time Olympic bronze medalists (2002, 06) Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao of China will make their competitive debut this season, following a two year absence. For the complete list of international skaters competing at 2009 Skate America, please visit the ISU web site at www.isu.org.

Tickets to Skate America are on sale now at the Olympic Center Box Office in person or by phone at (518) 523-3330. Tickets may also be purchased online through tickets.com. For a complete schedule of events, ticket prices and more information, please log on to skateamerica2009.com.

The ISU Grand Prix Series consists of the following six events: Trophée Eric Bompard Oct. 15-18 in Paris, France; Rostelecom Cup Oct. 22-25 in Moscow, Russia; Cup of China Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in Beijing; NHK Trophy Nov. 5-8 in Nagano, Japan; Skate America Nov. 12-15 in Lake Placid; and Skate Canada Nov. 19-22 in Kitchener, Ont. This is the 15th season for the series.

At the conclusion of the six events, athletes’ points are totaled, and the top six ladies, men, pairs and ice dancing teams are invited to compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final Dec. 3-6 in Tokyo, Japan.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Moose On The Loose At Saratoga Race Course

Saratoga Race Course employees arrived at work Monday morning to find a cow moose wandering on the sidewalk outside track property, New York Racing Association officials said. After NYRA security worked in support of the Saratoga Springs police department to bring the moose to safety inside the gates to Saratoga Race Course, Environmental Conservation officials tranquilized the moose with the intention of delivering it unharmed back to its natural environment. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 15, 2009

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Adirondack Park Regional Assesment Conclusions

A long awaited report sponsored by the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages (AATV) that profiles all the 103 municipalities that comprise the Adirondack Park was released on June 3rd. My copy was provided by Fred Monroe (Town of Chester Supervisor, Chair of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, Executive Director for the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, and an Executive Board Member of the Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages).

It’s quite a tome, about 125 pages, that compliments in many ways the 2004 Adirondack Atlas and the 1990 The Adirondack Park in The 21st Centuryreports. Suffice it to say the region has been studied over the last 20 years – probably more carefully than any other in the nation. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Andy Flynn, Chris Knight to Leave Their Jobs

Two local media tidbits to report this morning. The first is the announcement that Andy Flynn is no longer at the VIC. According to an e-mail sent by Flynn: “As of June 25, Andy Flynn will no longer be serving as the Senior Public Information Specialist at the NYS Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Centers.” The e-mail did not include details as to why Flynn was leaving. Adirondack Almanack reported here last month that Flynn, a resident of Saranac Lake would no longer be writing his weekly “Adirondack Attic.”

The second piece of media news also comes from Saranac Lake – Mountain Communications News Director and host of WNBZ’s “Talk of the Town” radio program Chris Knight will be leaving Mountain Communications. Chris Morris, Assistant News Director at Mountain Communications forwarded the following press release regarding Knight’s departure. I’m reprinting it here for the information of our readers:

SARANAC LAKE — In an announcement made during “The Morning News” on WNBZ and ROCK105 Thursday morning, News Director Chris Knight revealed to his audience that in just a few short weeks he will be leaving Mountain Communications. Knight joined the station’s news department in September of 2001, two days before the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Mountain Communications Owner and General Manager Ted Morgan said Chris will be missed. “Since the day he started, Chris immediately began to build himself a solid reputation as one of the leading news reporters in the region,” Morgan said. “I can say this because I regularly hear from people Chris reports on, as well as listeners, that his style of reporting tells a story so close to what actually happened that you could have been there. This attention to detail and dedication to his craft is what’s given Chris and our entire news department a reputation for quality and accurate news reporting.”

During his tenure as news director at WNBZ, “The Morning News” expanded from two to three hours and was added to ROCK105’s, giving Knight the opportunity to bring the news to a region of the Adirondacks stretching from Old Forge to Wilmington. “The Morning News” currently airs from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. weekdays on ROCK105 (WLPW 105.5 FM and WRGR 102.1 FM) WNBZ (920 AM and 1240 AM) and Time Warner Cable Channel 2.

Talk of the Town, a long-time staple of “The Morning News,” flourished under Knight’s tenure. He increased the program’s length and worked to foster a meaningful discussion of important community issues in a respectful manner.

“Chris was able to take the program to a new level, adding length to the discussion, re-formatting the Adirondack Regional Report and strengthening the overall value of the program for our listeners,” Morgan said. “Chris was able to make it his own. We have a fabulous news department and I’m sure the tradition will continue as we work hard to continue programs like Talk of the Town and to report the news that is relevant and valuable to the communities we serve.”

In addition to “The Morning News,” Knight hosted “The K & J Show,” predecessor to WNBZ’s current public affairs program “North Country Today.” For the last three years, Knight teamed up with Doug Haney to host “Control Alt Delete,” a two-hour alternative music program which currently airs on ROCK105 Thursday nights from 9 to 11 p.m.

An avid outdoorsman, Knight produced an historic documentary on the 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks in a series called “High Peaks Journal.” The program continues to be available online at WNBZ’s website www.wnbz.com.

Knight also helped to create the stations’ mission statement; “Mountain Communications is committed to working together as a team to deliver quality radio programming that excites, informs and serves our listeners while connecting our advertisers and their customers creatively, promoting economic development and quality of life in the communities we serve.”

Knight has also hosted telethons and fundraisers for High Peaks Hospice, Habitat for Humanity and First Night Saranac Lake.

Assistant News Director Chris Morris will replace Knight in July. He called his time working with Knight “invaluable.”

“He has hands-down been the best coworker I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” Morris said. “His work ethic and commitment to delivering the most accurate news to the Tri-Lakes region is unmatched. He leaves behind some pretty big shoes to fill – and I will do my best to fill them and carry on the legacy he leaves behind.”


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fighting Colorado Potato Beetles in the Adirondacks

Last year it seems my yard was the staging ground for every potato beetle in Newcomb. No other gardeners I’ve spoken with seem to have had any, yet my potatoes were covered and defoliated faster than my patrols could keep up. This spring I resolved that I would not fall victim to these insects. I ordered an organic-certified insecticide, and read that by planting my ‘taters later (say, mid-June), I could avoid an infestation.

Well, I went out in the garden the other day (after planting my potatoes…I just couldn’t wait another week), and found a Colorado Potato Beetle on a potato plant that had just emerged, a sprout from an overlooked potato from 2008. I crushed it beneath my boot. Then I found another…and another. A couple days ago I went back out and found that not only did I have adult beetles grazing on these resurrected plants (they are sprouting up all over the place – I must work on my potato digging skills), but they were mating and laying eggs. I smooshed several clusters of the brilliant orange eggs before I went inside and mixed up a batch of spray. Thus armed, I commenced my attack. Then it rained. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

ORDA Celebrates Olympic Day June 20th

The United States Olympic Committee’s Lake Placid Olympic Training Center, and the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), are cosponsoring Olympic Day on June 20 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the Olympic Jumping Complex.

Olympic Day is an international event celebrating and promoting the participation in sport by men, women and children from around the world. It is a worldwide commemoration of Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s June 23, 1894, convening of the first International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting at the Sorbonne in Paris, and the founding of the Modern Olympic Games. National Olympic Committees (NOCs) throughout the world will also participate in the international celebration, with each Olympic Committee sending Olympic Day greetings to participating nations and to further the Olympic spirit and movement.

Local sports club and organizations will be on hand to promote their sports with informational displays, exhibits and interactive activities. The U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, the U.S. Luge Association, NYSEF Ski Jumping, Lake Placid Figure Skating, Lake Placid Speed Skating, U.S. Biathlon, and the Lake Placid Horse Show Association are among the groups that are participating in Olympic Day.

This free event features fun for the whole family. The first 1,000 people to enter the venue will receive a commemorative 2016 Chicago Olympic Bid bracelet that also provides free entry to the 1932 and 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. as well as free admission to the Citizens Bank Saturday Night Ice Show at 7:30 p.m. at the Olympic Center.

The activities begin at 1 p.m. with wheeled luge, hockey shot, biathlon, volleyball, and more. Freestyle athletes will be launching off the kickers in hopes of perfecting their twists, turns and flips before splashing down in the 750,000-gallon pool. Nordic athletes take to the ski jumps to see who can fly off the 90-meter jump and land the longest jump of the day. Visitors may take a chairlift and elevator ride to the Sky Deck high atop the 120-meter ski jump tower, listen to live music by 2006 Olympic biathlete Lowell Bailey, and get autographs from U.S. athletes. Athletes expected to be on hand include 2009 FIL World Luge Champion Erin Hamlin, three-time Olympians and 2009 FIL World Championship doubles bronze medalists Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin, 2009 FIS Freestyle Aerial World Champion and Olympian Ryan St. Onge, Olympic biathlete Tim Burke, and others, such as Olympic hopefuls John Napier (bobsled) and Haley Johnson (biathlon).

Guests will also get a chance to win great raffle prizes, including tickets for the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience, VIP dinner at the I Love BBQ Festival, Olympic clothing and much more from famed Whiteface Prize Cube.

The official ceremony is at 1:30 p.m. Village of Lake Placid mayor Craig Randall will read a proclamation supporting Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, followed by a presentation of a ceremonial Chicago flag to Lake Placid. Olympic athletes from the area, as well as those currently in town training at the OTC, will also be recognized.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Orange Rust – a Blight on Adirondack Berries

“What is this orange stuff?” I’ve asked this question myself, and I’ve been asked by many other people. Today when I saw it while doing an aquatic studies class, I finally decided to investigate, and this time I spared the good folks over at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office in Westport by looking it up on-line first. (I’ve developed a name for myself at the Coop. Ext. office, thanks to all the strange samples I send them for ID.)

When faced with a strange thing to identify, it helps to gather as much information as possible ahead of time. For instance, I’ve only ever seen this on raspberries growing along the roadside where I walk the dog. Today we found it along the outlet of Rich Lake. I suspected it was a fungus. So, I fired up the computer and did a search for orange fungus raspberry leaf. Here is what I discovered.

Orange rust is indeed a fungus. Originally labeled Gymnoconia peckiana (although I did find one source that calls it Gymnoconia interstitialis), this fungus has now been subdivided into two forms, based on morphological differences. These differences depend on the species of berry affected (black raspberry vs blackberry). So, now we have Gymnoconia nitens, which is common on blackberries, and Arthuriomyces pekianus, which occurs on black raspberries. While one source I found claimed that orange rust isn’t really a problem for the overall plant, most other sources state that it is a serious disease in the Northeast, affecting wild and even cultivated brambles. So far, red raspberries seem to be resistant.

The good news is that orange rust has no alternative hosts. In other words, its entire lifecycle is dependent on the blackberries and black raspberries. In the winter, the fungus hides out on the new roots underground, just waiting to reappear and spread the following year. You will know your plants have it when in late May and throughout June you find the undersides of your berry leaves coated with bright orange “stuff.” The cure: destroy the infected plants. Rip (dig) them up in the early spring (before the pustules erupt), get thier roots, and destroy them.

UM…pustules? Yes – if you look at the plants in early spring, before the leaves have completely unfolded, you may find glandular bodies on the leaves. These are the pustules (actually, they are called sori, which is the scientific name for a spore-containing structure; ferns reproduce with spores and you can often find their sori on the underside of their fronds). When they mature, they look like black specks and the surrounding tissue is yellowish. After maturing, they erupt, sending their spores out to populate the world; this is the orange “stuff” you see on the underside of your leaf.

The next question that comes to mind is “how” – just how are you supposed to destroy the infected plants. There you are with your pile of dug up infected berries – what are you supposed to do with them? Do you burn them? Bag them up and take them to the dump? I couldn’t find an answer on-line, so I broke down and called Cooperative Extension (I could hear the cringe on the other end of the line). The official word is don’t burn them (it could spread the spores on the smoke); either bag and take them to the dump, or take them to some far away part of your property where there are no berries, put them on the ground and cover with plastic. Anchor the plastic well. The plants will die and compost. With no wind to spread the spores, and no nearby berries to infect, the fungus should die out.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Adirondack Bloggers, Twitterers, & Friends Event

Adirondack Bloggers, Twitterers, and Friends are welcome to join Small Pines, Adirondack Base Camp, and at least some of the staff of Adirondack Almanack at what’s being called “The Great Adirondack Meet-up/Tweet-up” on Thursday, July 16, 5 to 7 pm at High Peaks Resort, 2384 Saranac Ave (at the corner of Main Street) in Lake Placid.

We’ll be meeting on the deck at Reflections overlooking Mirror Lake. The bar will be available and food can be ordered from the menu.

Hope to see you there!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Adirondack Weekly Blogging Round-Up


Friday, June 12, 2009

This Week’s Top Adirondack News Stories


Thursday, June 11, 2009

ADK Music Scene: Rich Ortiz, Colin DeHond, Pulse Prophets

Tonight in Lake George: Rich Ortiz is at Christie’s On The Lake. I heard a bit online and he sounds like he’s a very good guitarist whose lyrics come from the heart. He’s popular in southern Warren County.

On Friday at Maxfields, 15 Market St, Potsdam, (315) 265-3796, the band Thanks but No Thanks is starting between 9 and 10 pm. A four-piece rock and roll band, they perform a collection of material from the 70s until present day. I’m a huge fan of the bass player Colin DeHond – his other gig is as a Long Hare in the Dust Bunnies. If you miss Thanks but No Thanks Friday you can catch them Saturday at La Casbah, also in Potsdam starting, at 9 pm. Both venues offer dinner menus.

It’s a jam-packed Saturday with a bunch of very good things to choose from in one night:

In Edwards at The Edwards Opera House, the duo Paul And Storm perform their original comedy songs starting at 7 pm.

In Saranac Lake at BluSeed there is going to be a songwriter’s concert starting at 7:30 pm. Mother Banjo is the headliner with a minimalist style and haunting voice she’s bound to please. Sharing the stage with her are local musicians The Dust Bunnies, Teresa Hartford and Sarah Curtis. It’s looking to be a round-robin concert where all the musicians take turns sharing songs and probably includes some discussion about what was going on at the time they were written.

In Upper Jay at the Recovery Lounge Big Slyde (Formally Slyde) will be playing from 8 to 10 pm. Hannah is back for the summer along with her beautiful voice and bouzuki – you know they are going to sound fabulous. Big Slyde gets into such good grooves it’s easy to move when listening to them. I’d be there if I wasn’t otherwise engaged!

Late night, Saranac Lake at the Waterhole. The Pulse Prophets will rock and reggae you in to the night starting at 9 pm.

On Sunday in Tupper Lake at P2’s, they are continuing their Super Sunday Music Series with Steve Signall from 7- 9 pm. Steve is an excellent mandolin player and singer, and he often brings talented friends along with him.

Photo: Pulse Prophets