Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Adirondack Museum Receives $1.3 Million Bequest

Forwarded from the Adirondack Museum for your information:

Caroline M. Welsh, Director of the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York announced today the receipt of a $1.3 million bequest to the museum from the estate of the Mr. and Mrs. Horace N. Holbrook of Schenectady, N.Y.

The gift has been added to the museum’s endowment, helping to ensure a solid financial foundation in support of collections, exhibitions, and programs for years to come.

The generosity of the Holbrook bequest came as a surprise, although indications of the Holbrook’s enduring interest in the Adirondack Museum have been visible for more than twenty years.

Horace Holbrook and his wife Marion visited the Adirondack Museum in the summer of 1984 bearing gifts – original paintings by the artists Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait and Jonathan Bradley Morse. The 1882 work by Morse depicts the Holbrook’s summer residence, Camp Lawrence, on Fourth Lake. The couple became museum members in 1989.

Holbrook, a retired economist for the State of New York, passed away in 1992 and left the bulk of his estate to the museum in trust, receivable upon the death of his wife. The bequest was made in memory of Holbrook’s great aunt, Elizabeth Norton Lawrence of Utica, N.Y.

With the exceptions of a “montage of photos of Camp Lawrence” and the couple’s modest home in Schenectady, there was no sense of the true value of the bequest. Marion Holbrook died in April 2007.

According to the Adirondack Museum’s Director of Institutional Advancement Sarah Lewin, estate planning is sometimes difficult for people to consider. She says that the story of the Holbrook’s forethought and immense generosity shines a light on the impact of planned giving on not-for-profit institutions such as museums.

Donors can realize substantial tax and estate benefits through planned giving. Gifts can take the form of bequests, charitable remainder or lead trusts, retirement plan assets, life insurance policies and tangible personal or real property. To discuss any of these options with the Adirondack Museum, please call (518) 352-7311, ext. 125.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Welcome to The New Millionaires’ Row at Lake George

The Albany Times Union ran a story this week that is one of the few looks at the really wealthy in our area:

” ‘It boggles my mind when I give a client a monthly bill for $500,000 and they just open their checkbook and write me a check without flinching,’ said Dean Howland. He’s been building high-end custom homes on Lake George for two decades and recalls only a few buyers who took out a mortgage…”

Today’s buyers typically come from the New York metropolitan area and often own their own business or amassed wealth as CEOs and money managers.

They generally refuse to be identified publicly (fear? humility? shame?) but they include this family:

Howland is building the Assembly Point complex for a Westchester County family in the construction business downstate. The owners, who asked that their names not be used, paid more than $1 million for an undistinguished house on a waterfront lot just south of Diamond Point on the lake’s west side. They tore down the old house and paid $500,000 to blast 10 feet into bedrock for a foundation, terrace the steep slope to the lake and truck in tons of gravel for a storm water management system. An adjoining parcel came up for sale. They bought that, too.

The couple’s 21-year-old daughter desired privacy, so they built a cottage with a loft, deck, gourmet kitchen and bath with Italian glass tile.

A partial tally of their lakefront compound reveals: 15 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 6 kitchens, 18 plasma TVs, eight security cameras, one infinity edge pool, one sauna, one steam room, one boccie ball court, one Hummer, one Corvette, one Harley, two horseshoe pits, five kayaks, three Jet-Skis, two canoes, three golf carts and a boathouse with four motorboats.

Among those actually named in the piece include Robert J. Higgins (Trans World Entertainment Corp.); Lewis Golub (Price Chopper); John Breyo (Ayco); George Hearst (Times Union); Bob Bailey (Racemark International); and Vincent Riggi (Turbine Services Ltd.).

Stephen Serlin, Glens Falls obstetrician / gynecologist is owner of the 1895 Tudor revival Wikiosco, built for Royal C. Peabody in 1895 (that’s it at left). Peabody was founder of the Brooklyn Edison Co. – one of the country’s oldest electric companies and one that was charged with bilking its customers in 1920. It’s 11,000 sq-ft located just south of the Hearthstone Point, has “seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, seven fireplaces, staff quarters, a guest cottage and a 20-car garage. The asking price is $17.9 million.”

Phillip H. Morse, vice chairman of the Boston Red Sox, who got rich developing cardiac catheters, owns a newly built compound on the northern tip of Assembly Point estimated to be worth more than $20 million. The main house is over 10,000 sq-ft.

One wonders large a house it would take to cover the 2.6 million people in New York State without health insurance.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adirondack Museum Goes to the Dogs

The Adirondack Museum will once again offer the “Dog Days of Summer” on August 2, 2008 featuring canine demonstrations, programs, and activities. One highlight is demonstrations of Skijoring dry land training, but there will also be a pooch parade and history presentations reflecting the role of dogs in the Adirondacks. Here are the details from the Museum’s press office:

The event will include a few simple rules and regulations for doggies and their people: dogs must be leashed at all times; owners must clean up after their pets – special bags will be available; dogs will only be allowed on the grounds – not in the exhibit buildings; Doggie Day Care will be available throughout the day at no charge, with the understanding that dogs cannot be left for more than an hour; poorly behaved or aggressive dogs will be asked to leave the museum grounds with their owners.

Curator Hallie Bond will offer a richly illustrated program, “Dog Days in the Adirondacks” in the museum’s Auditorium at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Bond will share the adventures and exploits of Scotty, Gardie, Dandy, Fritz, Jack and Lucy – historic Adirondack characters whose stories have never been told – because they were dogs.

“Dog Days” demonstrations will include “Agility” at 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon featuring a variety of dogs going through their paces on an agility/obstacle course featuring hurdles, weave poles, and tunnels. “Dry Land Training for Skijoring” will be demonstrated at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Skijoring is a winter dog- or horse-powered sport popularized in North America and derived from the Scandinavian sport of pulka. It involves a horse or from one to three dogs hitched directly to a human being on skis. Skijoring was a demonstration sport in the 1928 Winter Olympics.

While skijoring behind a dog, the person wears a hip harness with a clip for attaching a lead, which is attached to the harness worn by the animal. The dog provides extra power to the skier who uses either a classic cross-country technique, or the faster skate skiing technique.

Any dog over the age of one year and in general good health can pull a skijorer, assuming they are physically able to do so. The classic northern breeds, such as Siberian and Alaskan Huskies, Malamutes, or Inuit dogs take to skijoring with glee. However, any pet dog is capable of enjoying this and many cross-breeds are seen in harness.

The dogs are taught the classic “mushing” commands to start running (hike), turn (gee and haw), and stop. Training is best done on foot, before the person straps on their skis, to avoid being pulled into objects, like trees or half-frozen creeks!

The “Dog Days” dry-land demonstrations will include: Bikejoring – dogs and a bicyclist working together; Canicross – dogs and a runner working together; and Cart or Scooter – dogs pulling a two or three-wheeled rig. Betsy McGettigan, Grace McDonnell, and Amelia and Royal McDonnell (two up-and-coming young skijorers) will be the presenters.

Museum visitors and their pets are invited to participate in the Rustic Agility Course from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and join the gala narrated Pooch Parade at 2:00 p.m. The 2007 parade featured a who’s who of dog breeds. Not to be missed!

For information call (518) 352-7311, or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fort Ticonderoga Facing Financial Ruin

Fort Ticonderoga President Peter S. Paine Jr. has suggested in a memo forwarded to the Plattsburgh Press Republican that the historic site (a veteran of the French and Indian and American Revolutionary wars as well as the War of 1812) has seven options to avoid permanent closure, none of them good.

Paine wrote in the memo that “the fort is running through its available endowment funds to pay the Mars Education Center bills, and, in the absence of a major infusion of funds, the fort will be essentially broke by the end of 2008.” » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Funding For New York – Canada Border

An interesting story over at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that reports a recent windfall of $3.7 million public money for four local counties from “homeland security funding under the Operation Stonegarden program.”

Operation Stonegarden, a program run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, provides funding for localities to secure U.S. borders from terrorism threats. Jefferson, Clinton, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties all received funding under the program.

The amount is split between the four counties with Jefferson County receiving $1.63 million, Franklin County with $1.47 million, Clinton County with $330,000 and St. Lawrence County with $280,000.

Operation Stonegarden focuses on enhancing law enforcement preparedness and operational readiness along U.S. land borders by providing grants to designated localities to enhance cooperation and coordination among federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies.

No word when the wall goes up.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Adirondack Artist Tour Includes 12 Jay Studios Saturday

This press release regarding the upcoming Jay Studio Tour is forwarded for your information:

The village of Jay, with its picturesque New England style village green and quaint covered bridge, transforms itself Saturday, July 26th into a town wide artist’s colony open to the public. Over the years, this very unique community has become a haven for the creative spirit. With it’s astonishing views, good studio spaces, and welcoming and tolerant philosophy, artists and crafts people have found a nurturing and supportive home in this village among the High Peaks.

For one day, July 26th from 10 to 6 PM, 12 of Jay’s studios will be open to the public. The tour is organized to follow a map that winds from village to farmland and mountaintop and showcases Jay’s physical beauty as well as the talents of her residents.

At Young’s Gallery, Sue Young will be demonstrating raku at 11 and 3 o’clock. Raku is a Japanese firing technique that was “Americanized” in the 1950s to produce glazes with a lustrous appearance. Terry Young will be making paper using plant materials from his garden and cotton linters. Terry will also be hand binding his book “Twenty Ways to See Whiteface” in the afternoon. There will be ample opportunity to engage both artists in a discussion of their work and technique. The gallery also features work by both Sue (traditional pottery) and Terry (paintings and clay sculpture) as well as many other North Country artists.

The newest addition to the Village Green in Jay is The Amos and Julie Ward Theater. The building will be open; Holly Carey’s quilts will be hanging in the theater space and there will be a gallery of work from the JEMS Saturday Artists’ Series. Holly’s Carey does primarily bed quilts, machine pieced and quilted. Her affinity for color and texture inspires her traditional patterns

Next door to the theater is the Village Green Gallery, a one-day collaborative Gallery effort by photographer Nadine McLaughlin, Philadelphia ceramicist Joan Marie Turbeck and painter Joan Turbek. Nadine’s sensitive photos of local landscapes and animals are currently the featured exhibit in the Amos and Julia Ward Theatre next to the Gallery. She will be showcasing her books of original poetry, cards, and prints in both venues. Joan Turbek’s illustrative watercolors will be shown and Joan Marie Turbek will contribute several pieces of clay sculpture highlighting her whimsical and provocative take on vegetables.

The Jay Craft Center, home, studio and craft shop of Lee Kazanis and Cheri Cross, will introduce guest potter Julia Geronski. Julia will be demonstrating wheel throwing and press molding techniques.

Opening his studio for the second year will be Bill Evans. Located on Rt 9, the building which houses both Bill’s gallery space and living area has been in renovation since 2006. Bill’s landscapes of the Adirondacks are well known and highly respected; he has work hanging at The Birch Store and Skylight Gallery in Keene Valley. Bill will be showing primarily oil landscapes-many of local scenes. This is a unique opportunity for a once a year look into the creative process.

Buttons Buttons is a working design studio producing pillows and decorative items made from vintage and antique textiles and buttons. Designer Barbara Smith will be introducing her line of evening bags created from a special collection of rare and unusual antique materials. This year, the studio tour will feature the grand opening of “Ben Lacy’s Cabin”-a handmade one room 1920’s cabin. Moved from Lacy Road in Keene and reconstructed in Jay, it houses the Buttons Buttons showroom for the Adirondack Collection of pillows.

Grace Pothast at Gallery in the Glen will be demonstrating watercolor and egg tempera in the converted milk house of the dairy farm she shares with her family. Grace will also feature a special children’s studio where the youngsters can create their own work of art.

Nearly at the top of the Jay Mt. Road you will find W.P. ‘Pete’ Jennerjahn’s studio. Pete will discuss and illustrate the differences and similarities between the various mediums: graphite, watercolor, pastels, oils and acrylic. It is a breath-taking location and a chance to see a large body of work representing a lifetime of experience.

Located on the Trumbull’s Corner Road in one of Jay’s most interesting homes is Swallowtail Studio where Wayne Ignatuck designs and builds furniture. Wayne recently completed a collaboration with architect David Childs. The child’s desk they built is being shown at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. Recently, Wayne has been expanding the definition of rustic furniture. Work presently in the studio will include furniture custom designed for the newly rebuilt Lake Placid Lodge.

Paul’s Café at Standard Falls Iris Garden will feature a special day of baker Nancy Garrand’s Chocolate Extravaganza: every and anything chocolate. The café has become the home of the Land of Makebelieve artifacts and mementoes.

Nationally recognized photographer Nathan Farb rounds out the Studio Tour this year. Nathan’s books include “The Adirondacks”, “100 Years of the Adirondacks”, and “Adirondack Wilderness”. He will be previewing another book entitled “Summer of Love’, and showing excerpts from a video project from Arkansas that he has been working on. The studio is handicapped accessible and will be American Sign Language interpreted. Nathan will be available to sign his books and discuss his photography.

The Tour Map is available at all of the tour locations, many businesses in the area and for download at the tour website: Jaystudiotour.com.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our Endangered Adirondack Amphibians

This weekend The Wild Center in Tupper Lake is hosting a special symposium that will look at the global and local health of amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, etc) and what it means for the Adirondacks and our planet (details below, along with a full list of Adirondack amphibians).

Probably because they lived in two polluted worlds – they are cold-blooded animals that metamorphose from a water-breathing juvenile to an air-breathing adult – amphibian populations around the globe are threatened or extinct. Some scientists believe it’s related to environmental pollutants, development that reduces their habitat, and global warming (which exacerbates pathogen outbreaks) are to blame.

This brings up the DEC’s Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project (known as the Herp Atlas), a ten year survey (1990-1999) documenting the distribution of New York State’s herpetofauna. Using more than 1,200 volunteers, the project hoped to count 20 species in each survey block (based on 7.5′ topographic quadrangles) – that number was lowered by the end of the project to 15 species in each block – the data is lame, and hasn’t been exploited as far as I can see.

What data there has been made available is here, although I’m not sure why it hasn’t been included in the USGS North American Amphibian Monitoring Program.
Records prior to 1989 were also supposed to be compiled for a historic database, but the online data doesn’t even include 1999’s findings, let alone any historic data or analysis. So all the public really has to work with is a simple map and a series of fact sheets on the state’s amphibians and reptiles.

We have to wonder (no we don’t, we already know) why the Whitetail-deer management effort is so comprehensive, when the the herps are given short-shrift. The fact is that amphibians are experiencing an obvious and serious decline that suggests they may be “toads in the coal mine.” How about at least a Landowner’s Guide for Managing Amphibians?

Here are the details for the Wild Center’s Amphibian Weekend, which is free for members or with paid admission:

July 26 – 11am-12pm: “Amphibians of New York State” in the Flammer Theater with Dr. Glenn Johnson, Professor Biology at SUNY Potsdam and co-author of Reptiles and Amphibians of New York State 12pm-12:30pm: Amphibian encounter with a Wild Center naturalists in the Great Hall. 1pm-2pm: Lecture in Flammer Theater Why Amphibians Matter with Dr. Kevin Zippel, Program Director of Amphibian Ark, a scientific initiative sponsored by the Chicago Zoological Society . The Chicago Zoological Society is leading zoos worldwide in the globally coordinated public awareness campaign entitled “2008 The Year of the Frog.” 2-2:30pm: Amphibian encounter with a Wild Center naturalists in The Great Hall. 3pm-4pm: Children’s Program in The Great Hall with Wild Center naturalists called “Cyclin’ Around the Pond: The Life Cycles of Amphibians in Blue Pond”.

July 27 – 11am-12pm: Get “Up Close with Wild Center Amphibians” in the Flammer Theater with our own amphibian biologist, Frank Panaro. This program will cover the biology of Adirondack amphibians with special glimpses of them under the camera. 12-12:30pm: Amphibian encounter with a Wild Center naturalists in the Great Hall 1pm-2pm: Lecture in Flammer Theater entitled “Conservation of Kihansi Spray Toad” with Dr. Jennifer Pramuk, Curator of Herpetology at The Bronx Zoo. Other topics covered will be global amphibian health and zoo initiatives to protect and conserve amphibians worldwide. 2pm-2:30pm: Amphibian Encounter with a Wild Center naturalists in the Great Hall 3pm-4pm: Family Art Program- “Flippin’ Frogs and Slithery Salamanders”- Origami frogs and salamanders (the frogs can actually flip!).

Here is a complete list of amphibians from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry:

Salamanders (Order Caudata)

Mole Salamanders (Family Ambystomidae)
Blue-spotted salamander ~ Ambystoma laterale
Spotter salamander ~ Ambystoma maculatum

Lungless Salamanders (Family Plethodontidae)
Spring salamander ~ Gyrinophilus porphyriticus
Four-toed salamander ~ Hemidactylium scutatum
Red-backed salamander ~ Plethodon cinereus
Two-lined salamander ~ Eurycea bislineata
Mountain dusky salamander ~ Desmognathus ochrophaeus
Northern dusky salamander ~ Desmognathus fuscus

Newts (Family Salamandridae)
Red-spotted newt ~ Notophthalmus viridescens

Mudpuppies (Family Proteidae)
Mud puppy ~ Necturus maculosus

Frogs and Toad (Order Anura)

True Toads (Family Bufonidae)
American toad ~ Bufo americanus

Treefrogs (Family Hylidae)

Spring peeper ~ Hyla crucifer
Gray tree frog ~ Hyla versicolor

True Frogs (Family Ranidae)

Bullfrog ~ Rana catesbeiana
Green frog ~ Rana clamitans
Mink frog ~ Rana septentrionalis
Wood frog ~ Rana sylvatica
Leopard frog ~ Rana pipiens
Pickerel frog ~ Rana palustris


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bluegrass Benefit at Lake Placid August 1

The Lake Placid Center for the Arts and the Adirondack Museum have organized an evening of bluegrass headlined by the Larry Stephenson Band at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 1st at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. The concert will open with the Albany Region’s Dyer Switch Band. Tickets are $15 and proceeds will benefit the Adirondack Museum and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

Here’s more from a recent press release:

Performing for over a decade, and still on fire, bluegrass fans everywhere have enjoyed hearing the Larry Stephenson Band on the circuit’s top festivals. Youthful professionalism, material choice and high- energy concerts have propelled this group to the top of their field. Bluegrass Canada raves, “A true treasure is the singing of Larry Stephenson. This guy is one of the Bluegrass has ever seen.”

Beginning his musical career in his early teens, Larry Stephenson honed his talents playing mandolin and singing high lead and tenor while residing in his home state of Virginia. In the early 1990’s, when increasing opportunities for appearances on national television made it advantageous to relocate to the epicenter of the country and bluegrass music industries, he relocated to Nashville. From this base he now continues to make guest appearances at the legendary Grand Ole Opry as well as on Nashville-based TV productions.

Contrary to the norm on ‘music row’ in Nashville, where artists’ record label affiliations are often notoriously short-lived, Larry continues to record for one of the country’s preeminent independent record companies. 2008 marks his 19th anniversary of making records for the highly respected Pinecastle label.

Stephenson’s distinctive, crystal clear voice towers over the band vocals, delivering a strong message, whether in an old folk song, a ‘brush arbor’ gospel quartet or one of his many top ten trios that have graced the national bluegrass song charts.

Larry Stephenson remains one of the few artists whose solidly tradition-based, contemporary interpretations of the music keeps him on the cutting edge of the bluegrass charts. This multi-award winning group has gained the respect over the years of first generation legends such as, Jimmy Martin, Mac Wiseman, Jim & Jesse, The Osborne Brothers and others.

Stephenson is an inductee in the Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, and a four-time winner of the “Contemporary Male Vocalist Award” at the prestigious SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America) Convention. In 2004 the band clinched the “Song of the Year Award” at the same convention, with the title track “Clinch Mountain Mystery.” The same CD stayed on the bluegrass charts for one solid year, debuting at #18 and staying in the top 5 for seven months, then hitting #1 in December 2004.

Bluegrass Now Magazine quotes, “One of the best and most influential of high lead/tenor singers in recent years.” While Bluegrass Unlimited claims Stephenson is, “One of the finest voices in Bluegrass today.” The evening will open with a performance by members of the International Bluegrass Music Association, Dyer Switch Band. The Band plays hard-driving traditional, original, and unique bluegrass and acoustic music. Performing since 1992, Dyer Switch was inducted into the New York State Country Music Hall of Fame and nominated for five consecutive years as Bluegrass Band of the Year by the Northeast Country Music Association. In 1998, “Gotta Feelin’,” from the band’s third recording, “American Airwaves,” was
nominated for “Song of the Year” by the Northeast CMA. Dyer Switch has received considerable air play in North America and Europe, and a song that band member JoAnn Sifo wrote was number one on the European country charts. The band has been has been featured on Northeast Public Radio, and in 1997 opened for Ralph Stanley at a concert in upstate New York.

This versatile and engaging band with dynamic stage presence has captivated audiences throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and South at festivals, clubs, coffeehouses, fairs and live radio shows. The band brings together hard-driving renditions of traditional tunes from first-generation bluegrass giants like Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley, their own powerful originals and fresh and innovative versions of songs from other genres.

Purchase your tickets today for an Evening of Bluegrass at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts by calling 518.523.2512. Tickets are $15, and we do anticipate that this show will sell-out. For additional information visit online at www.LakePlacidArts.org or http://www.adirondackmuseum.org. To learn more about the artists, visit: www.larrystephensonband.com or www.dyerswitch.com.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ADK Calls For Expansion of St. Regis Canoe AreaDispels Quiet Waters Myths

In a recent press release – “Quiet Waters Would Enhance Adirondack Experience” – the Adirondack Mountain Club countered some of the critics of the newly formed Quiet Waters Working Group and at the same time called on the working group to make use of what it called “an excellent opportunity to expand one of the Adirondack Park’s greatest attractions, the St. Regis Canoe Area.”

Adirondack Mountain Club officials called on the working group to expand the St. Regis Canoe Area (recently named one of Adirondack Almanack’s 7 Natural Wonders of the Adirondacks) to include 13 interconnecting ponds directly south of the St. Regis and west of Upper Saranac Lake. These would include Follensby Clear, Rollins, Floodwood, Polliwog, Little Square and Whey ponds. They also supported an Adirondack Explorer proposal that the area should remain open to boats with electric motors, with a 5 mph speed limit. Explorer’s proposal also states that “Pre-existing landowners would be exempted,” which wasn’t mentioned in the ADK plan. All told, the 13 ponds have a total surface area of 3 square miles.

Last month, state Department Environmental Conservation Commissioner Grannis and Adirondack Park Agency (APA) Chairman Curt Stiles announced the formation of an interagency “Quiet Waters Working Group for the Adirondack Park.” The working group will evaluate lakes, ponds and rivers in the Park for potential designation as “quiet water,” meaning that motorized craft would be prohibited.

This new proposal is a compromise by paddlers that would allow anglers to navigate the ponds in boats equipped with electric motors and enjoy quiet fishing undisturbed by the noise and wakes of gas-powered motorboats. It’s still to be seen if that will alleviate opponents of Quiet Waters like this one last week by Robert E. Brown in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

There has been a decade of new quiet water access purchased by the state with constant loss of motor boating waters. Now we hear of a committee being formed because ‘there are too few paddling opportunities.’ The state, now running out of lands to buy and reclassify as wilderness, intends to regulate motors off waters used by residents and sportsmen for generations.

The ADK supports the creation of the Working Group, saying that it “does not advocate any wide-reaching ban on motorboats on Adirondack waters.”

“Motorboats have been allowed for decades on most larger Adirondacks lakes, and ADK believes that this traditional use should continue,” executive director Neil Woodworth was quoted. “But there also should be more opportunities in the Adirondacks for canoeing and kayaking in peace and quiet. We believe this can be accomplished in ways that has little impact on other users.”

The ADK also called on the Quiet Waters Working Group to study the economic impacts of any Quiet Waters initiatives. Woodworth said the Working Group should also study possible motor restrictions or speed limits on Adirondack rivers, such as the Raquette, Jordan and Osgood. High-speed boats operating close to shore create wakes that disrupt nesting loons and inhibit their ability to reproduce. The Working Group should also consider economic incentives to encourage motorboat owners to switch from loud, dirty two-stroke engines to four-stroke engines.

The ADK also argues that the argument that there are thousands of lakes and ponds, covering hundreds of square miles, that are open to quiet paddling and that many lakes and ponds are inaccessible because they have been “locked up” in wilderness areas., is false.

They argue instead that

The DEC has cataloged more than 3,600 lakes and ponds in the park, but nearly half are less than 5 acres and three-quarters have less than a mile of shoreline. When private and public water bodies are taken into account, about 90 percent of the park’s lake surface area is open to motorboats. Although wilderness accounts for 17.5 percent of the total area of the Adirondack Park, wilderness ponds cover only about 12,000 acres, less than 4 percent of the park’s total.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Home Needed for Anne LaBastille’s Cats

UPDATE: Anne LaBastille died July 1, 2011 at a nursing home in Plattsburgh. You can read a full obituary and review of her life as an important environmentalist in Central America and in the Adirondacks here.

From the Jay Community News comes a note that Woodswoman author Anne LaBastille can no longer care for her animals. Her dog Krispy is living happily with a friend, but her two cats Chunita and Winston are being held in the Adirondack Veterinary Hospital.

Both cats have been indoor/outdoor cats. They were adopted by Anne as strays so their exact ages are not known, but they are believed to be 6 or 7 for Chunita, female, and 4 or 5 for Winston, male.

Don’t contact me – but if you have a home for these two cats – contact the Adirondack Veterinary Hospital in Westport at (518) 962-4311.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Bill McKibben Named Conservationist of the Year

The 2008 Conservationist of the Year award was Presented at by the Adirondack Council at the Silver Bay Association in Hague on Saturday. McKibben is the 24th annual winner of the honor, which includes the gift of a hand-carved loon.

Recent winners of the award have included The Wildlife Conservation Society (2007), Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (2006), Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky (2005), and the Open Space Institute (2004). Past winners include NY Governors Pataki and Cuomo, and NY Times editor John Oakes. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Adirondack Murray Lecture at the Adirondack Museum

From a recent Adirondack Museum Press release:

On July 5, 1870, the New York Daily Tribune reported that “nature tourists” were flooding to the Adirondack Mountains. “Last summer, Mr. Murray’s book drew a throng of pleasure-seekers into the lake region,” the paper noted.

“Mr. Murray” was the Reverend William H.H. Murray, a New England clergyman, author of Adventures in the Wilderness: or Camp-life in the Adirondacks, and one of the all-time most passionate boosters of the outdoor life in the North Country.

On Monday, July 21, 2008, Dr. Terrance Young will offer an illustrated program entitled “Into the Wild: William H.H. Murray and the Beginning of Camping in America” at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York.

Part of the museum’s Monday Evening Lecture series, the illustrated presentation will be held in the museum’s auditorium at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge for museum members. Admission is $4.00 for non-members.

Dr. Young will explain how Reverend Murray’s book was the first to present Adirondack camping as a form of pilgrimage to wild nature. Every tourist and would-be camper who came to the Adirondacks in the summers of 1869 and 1870 had a copy of Adventures in the Wilderness tucked into his carpetbag, rucksack, or bundle. The result was the transformation of this previously remote and quiet region into an accessible, bustling destination.

Young is an Associate Professor of Geography at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, Ca. He teaches and writes about the historical geography of American recreation, and its relationship to the natural environment. He is the author of Building San Francisco’s Parks, 1850 – 1930, a book about the city’s municipal park system.

Dr. Young is currently working on a book about the history and meaning of American recreational camping entitled Heading Out: American Camping Since 1869.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Best Bets – Adirondack County Fairs Guide

Local fairs start this week, so here is a full list of Adirondack County Fairs, listed according to opening date. I’ve included a few of the most important regional fairs as well. Enjoy!

Lewis County Fair
7/15 through 7/19; Lowville, NY
http://www.lewiscountyfair.org/

Saratoga County Fair
7/15 through 7/20; Prospect Street, Ballston Spa, NY
http://www.saratogacountyfair.org/

Jefferson County Fair
7/15 through 7/20; Coffeen Street, Watertown, NY
http://www.jeffcofair.org/

Booneville-Oneida County Fair
7/21 through 7/27; Adirondack High School, Booneville, NY
http://www.frontiernet.net/~boonvillefair/index.htm

Clinton County Fair
7/22 through 7/27; Morrisonville, NY
http://www.clintoncountyfair.com/

Warren County Youth Fair
8/2 (only); Schroon River Road, Warrensburg, NY
http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/warren/

Franklin County Fair
08/02 through 08/10; East Main St., Malone, NY
http://www.frcofair.com

St. Lawrence County Fair
8/4 through 8/10; East Barney St., Gouverneur, NY
http://www.gouverneurfair.com/

Herkimer County Fair
8/12 through 8/17; Frankfort, NY
http://www.herkimercountyfair.org/

Essex County Fair
8/13 through 8/17; Main St., Westport, NY
http://www.essexcountyfair.org

Washington County Fair
8/18 through 8/24; Route 29, Greenwich, NY
http://www.washingtoncountyfair.com/

New York State Fair
8/21 through 9/1; State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY
http://www.nysfair.org/fair/

Champlain Valley Exposition
8/23 through 9/1; Pearl St., Essex Junction, VT
http://cvexpo.org/

Vermont State Fair
8/29 through 9/7; S Main St., Rutland, VT
http://www.vermontstatefair.net/


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Court Guts Acid Rain Clean Air Rules

Forwarded from the Adirondack Council fyi:

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [Friday] struck down a crucial component of the federal government’s rules that were designed to curb the Midwestern air pollution that damages Northeastern forests and lakes and causes lung disease.

“By striking down the Clean Air Interstate Rule, the US Court of Appeals has left all of the Northeastern states vulnerable to acid rain and fine particles of smoke that damage people’s lungs,” said Scott Lorey, Director of Government Relations for the Adirondack Council, a national leader in the fight against acid rain. “CAIR was our only hope that significant reductions would be made over the next decade in the Midwestern smokestack pollution that has killed our forests and fish, tainted our drinking water and poisoned our food and wildlife with mercury. Now the rule is gone – struck from the books. We need quick action from the US Environmental Protection Agency to reissue the rule. Failing that, Congress must act right away to pass a bill that would require similar, or deeper, cuts in smokestack pollution. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 14, 2008

OPINION: Local Anti-Enviros Hate-Monger Too Much

When some folks prattle on about conservation and environmentalist ideas being forced on us from outside the Adirondack region, they simply get it wrong. Take this quote from blogger Dave Scranton, calling himself Adirondack Citizen:

The fact is that the NON-Residents Committee to “Protect” the Adirondacks and the Adirondack Council do not speak for all New Yorkers and in fact, they speak for damn few real Adirondackers (those of us that live and work here.) Elitist such as Sheehan, Beamish and Bauer are nothing more than professional lobbyists who peddle misinformation to advance their extremist Enviro-Nazi agendas at the cost of our Adirondack communities. Their claims of supporting “healthy Adirondack communities” are hypocritical beyond belief and APA & DEC need to stop giving their whines so much weight.

From the Keene Valley the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Adirondack Land Trust have recently announced the hiring of summer intern Meghan Johnstone of Saranac Lake.

An Adirondack native, Johnstone graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 2006. She just finished her sophomore year at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry where she majors in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Communication and Culture.

“Growing up in the Adirondacks has given me a deep appreciation for the environment. Now I’m working with a highly respected organization helping to protect the place that I know and love,” Johnstone recently said (that’s her at top left on a visit to recently purchased OK Slip Falls). It’s statements like those that show local anti-environmentalist like Dave Scranton for what they really are – hate mongers with a political agenda. The internship Johnstone is pursuing this summer was established in part by Clarence Petty (now there’s an “enviro-nazi” for ya!) – who probably has a few more years of “real” Adirondack living than the so-called Adirondack Citizen does.

And what is Meghan Johnstone’s primary goal this summer? It’s to work with the Conservancy’s director of communications starting with improving the pages relating to the recent purchases of ecologically and economically significant lands in the heart of the Adirondacks.

Nature Conservancy interns like Johnstone – raised in our own backyard – are gaining the practical skills to help equip them to address environmental challenges and public threats from folks like Adirodnack Citizen.

Money is being raised for an endowment to ensure funds are available well into the future to keep this program going. Everyone who deplores the divisive and hate-filled attitudes of some of our neighbors should contribute.

It’s time some of the folks around us stop trying to turn the rest of us into public enemies – donating to the fund is an appropriate way to send a message that those of us who live here are determined to protect our way of life, which includes protections for our surroundings and the economic opportunities our environment affords us.

For More Information

“Friends in Conservation,” a ten-minute video about the Adirondack Conservation Internship Program, featuring Barbara Glaser and Clarence Petty, is available by contacting Connie Prickett at 518-576-2082 x162 or cprickett@tnc.org.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, non-profit organization working to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Since 1971, the Adirondack Chapter has been working with a variety of partners in the Adirondacks to achieve a broad range of conservation results. The Chapter is a founding partner of the High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program, dedicated to the protection of alpine habitat, as well as the award-winning Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, which works regionally to prevent the introduction and spread of non-native invasive plants.

The Adirondack Land Trust, established in 1984, protects open space, working farms and forests, undeveloped shoreline, scenic vistas, and other lands contributing to the quality of life of Adirondack residents. The Land Trust holds 45 conservation easements on 11,174 acres of privately-owned lands throughout the Adirondack Park, including 15 working farms in the Champlain Valley.

Together, these partners in Adirondack conservation have protected 556,572 acres, one out of every six protected acres park-wide. On the Web at nature.org/adirondacks.