Posts Tagged ‘Arts’

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Flag or Egret Question

Stopped into the local Post Office to pick up a new roll of stamps. “Would you like flags or egrets?” the postmaster asked. The Almanack is fine with egrets or flags (they’re only stamps after all), but the question struck us as funny… was the postmaster checking our loyalty?

“At least you have a choice now,” he says, noting that until recently they only carried flags. We scanned the lobby wondering if someone was watching by video – and decided they probably weren’t – then noted that probably, flag stamps didn’t exist before the Civil War, and they couldn’t have been offering no stamps before that so…

It turns out the first flag stamp was apparently issued in 1869. Big brother discovered the power of “The Flag or Egret Question” somewhat later.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

We like beer…

Especially good local beer. Lake Placid Pub and Brewery’s UBU (as in “sit Ubu sit”) is an extra special favorite. We’ve always been a fan of the Saranac Brewery, though we were terribly distressed when regional favorite Utica Club left the shelves in droves. Sure Saranac is keeping the old F. X. Matt / Utica brewery operating, but Utica Club was a classic! So it’s with great hopes and anticipation that we look forward to the return of the old greats in a retro beer revival.

We’re glad Yuengling is back, but we still fear for Genny, and the now lamented 12 Horse Ale.


Friday, June 3, 2005

On The Road With Chicken Little

The Almanack doesn’t like to fall into the Chicken Little trap – even if occasionally, it does seem as the sky really is falling – or at least growing very, very dark [flash animation].

But lately we’ve been considering the raising price of gas, oil, and propane. There’s been a lot of talk lately about peak oil – the term used for the theory, backed by nearly all scientists in the field, that the world’s oil supply is limited and that the limit (the peak) is about to be reached. It’s all laid out here in this Vermont Guardian piece. It’s not a question of whether it will happen, but when; some say it will be in 2005-2006.

Like most Adirondackers we at the Almanack drive a lot – the nearest grocery is a nearly 15 minute drive, and we’re lucky – some have to travel more than an hour. Daily commutes to work alone can cost an Adirondack family 3, 4, 5, 6, hundred dollars a month or more. So is it any wonder that one Warrensburg man has made national news by being arrested twice in two weeks for stealing gas? [Just for media fun – read this version, and see how twisted others report (actually copied) this story – here, and here]

We all know the price of gas has skyrocketed since the beginning of the Iraq War – right? Well, not all of us. According to the Federal Energy Information Administration – a mouthpiece of big oil – there is “some good news.” According to EIA, the price of gas has fallen to the level of a year ago! Hurray! Adirondack Guardian has duly “reported” the good news – we’ll bet verbatim from the EIA press release. A better place to gauge the impact on our suburban consumer driven fossil fuel economy and its coming impact on us all is to check in with Jim Kunstler’s Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle – the author of Geography of Nowhere is really somewhere.

The cable station FX (in true Fox form) is simply prodding at our greatest fears, but riots and robberies over scarce and expensive gas are as sure to arrive as the yearly increase in the number of drive-offs at local gas stations – our man in Warrensburg appears to be the harbinger of things to come.


Monday, May 16, 2005

Real Reporting and the Saratogian

Recently ADK Almanack reported on the offensive, ignorant, undemocratic and slanderous reporting of local sex offenders by the right wing-nuts at the Saratogian. Last week the alternative weekly Metroland chimed in with an intelligent and fact-based look at the issue. Unfortunately, for reasons we simply don’t understand, Metroland doesn’t have a proper archive for their site (only this strangeness) so the story is here only until Thursday. Highlights of the article include the following facts drawn from the US Justice Department’s Center of Sex Offender Management:

  • Strangers rarely commit sexual assaults. Ninety percent of adult victims of sexual assault had a prior relationship (family member, intimate or acquaintance) with the offender.

  • Not all sex offenders reoffend. In fact, sex offenders are less likely to reoffend than other criminals.

  • Fewer sexual-offense crimes are happening each year. According to statistics from the FBI, the arrest rate for all sexual offenses dropped 16 percent between 1993 and 1998.
  • 30 percent of adult sex offenders were sexually abused as children. However, approximately 40 to 80 percent of all juvenile sex offenders, who commit for 20 percent of all rapes and 50 percent of all child molestations, were sexually abused.

  • It’s not cheaper to keep sex offenders in prison. A single year of high-level supervision and treatment in the community costs between $5,000 and $15,000 for each offender. A single year of incarceration, without treatment, costs approximately $22,000 for a single prisoner.