Sing on, sing on you gray-brown bird, Sing from the swamps, the recesses, pour your chant from the bushes, Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines. Walt Whitman, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”
A whole year has gone by since we first heard the word “Covid.” We are coming full circle, and soon the hermit thrush will sing again.
For some time now I’ve been seeking that perfect niche job where my talents can be used to their fullest. In the news not long ago, a great possibility emerged: it turns out that Toronto’s York University has an actual Boredom Lab. I’d hoped they might want a research associate they could observe who’d kick back all day, drink coffee and play solitaire, but alas, they never returned my call. However, I discovered some pretty stimulating things about human boredom, as well as how it affects other animal species.
First off, boredom is not what most of us think it is. Dr. John Eastwood, who directs the aforementioned lab at Canada’s third-largest university, explained in a CBC “Quirks and Quarks” radio episode aired in January 2021 that boredom doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Many of us are occupied with plenty of stuff, but if we’re not invested, it’s naught but a dull pantomime – we’re reduced to going through the motions.
As we move closer to summer, many attractions that were closed last summer are looking ahead to reopening this year. Same goes with the many annual events that people have come to expect throughout the summer and fall months.
For example, The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. While they have been open, visitors have been limited to outdoor attractions such as the Wild Walk. The facility will close for maintenance in April and reopening in May. According to Hillarie Logan-Dechene, deputy director for The Wild Center, the museum will remain an outdoor experience throughout the summer, with the possibility of reopening the building to visitors in the fall.
“The summer is going to be chock-a-block full with outdoor activities, fishing experiences. We’ll have some surprises for people, but it will be another wonderful get-outside experience,” she said. For now, the Wild Center will continue to use its ticket reservation system for people to schedule their visits in advance, and masks will still be required.
Here’s a look at what’s in store for some other attractions and events around the region.
People across the North Country are experiencing higher levels of isolation and loneliness during the pandemic. This is a real challenge for all of us, but particularly for our family and friends who reside in nursing homes.
Therefore, North Country Center for Independence (NCCI) is partnering with Fesette Realty, organizations, and community members to share handmade letters and cards to nursing home residents across CLINTON, ESSEX and FRANKLIN counties.
They have set a goal to collect 1,500 letters by March 5.
Cards, drawings or letters can be delivered to one of the designated drop box locations:
Trudeau Institute’s efforts to combat COVID-19 and tick-borne illnesses have received a $150,000 boost from the Cloudsplitter Foundation.
The gift from Cloudsplitter, which supports organizations dedicated to improving the environment, economies and lives of people in the Adirondacks, will support a new lab established by Trudeau in 2020.
The Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) invites ski enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels to participate in the first-ever Jackrabbit Rally to celebrate ski touring, the 35th anniversary of the popular Jackrabbit Trail and founding of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, which now operates as BETA. Founded in 1986, the Jackrabbit Ski Trail traverses a variety of terrain through Keene, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Paul Smiths for a total of 42 miles.
I had hoped to get back to Canada sometime in the last year. I wanted to bring my family to Montreal and to some natural areas in Quebec and Ontario — maybe even visit the Maritimes for the first time. We got our son his first passport in preparation.
Oh well. I know that our continent and world have suffered much worse than I have in the last year. Canada will be there for us some other summer. No biggie.
“When I heard about the project from my teacher, I had a vision of the shot where I held up a bottle of cleaning spray, I just saw the vintage theme in my head and went with it,” Emily said. “I love the creative freedom that comes with making movies — it’s one of the best ways to express your art.”
Seeking some historical perspective on the current pandemic, Historic Saranac Lake recently hosted an imaginary panel discussion at St. John’s in the Wilderness Cemetery. Three generations of Doctors Trudeau shared their thoughts on change and continuity in science and public health.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
DOCTOR 1: Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau (1848-1915) Leader of the sanatorium movement in the U.S., founder of the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium and the Saranac Laboratory. (Pictured, left, in the Saranac Laboratory. HSL Collection.)
DOCTOR 2: Dr. Francis Berger Trudeau (1887-1956) Saranac Lake physician and leader of the sanatorium after his father’s death. (Pictured, center. Courtesy of the Saranac Free Library)
DOCTOR 3: Dr. Frank B. Trudeau (1919-1995) Prominent local physician and founder of the Trudeau Institute. (Pictured, right, opening the doors of the Trudeau Institute for the first time. HSL Collection.)
This past year, many people here in the Adirondacks and around the country have experienced what has been termed as a “Life Storm.”
This storm is culminated by circumstances that test our strength, devour our peace and steal our joy. The truth is there may have been many storms in your life, not just in the past year but sporadically throughout your life. Like weather storms, life storms can come in slowly and leave quickly or roll in quickly and linger for some time. No matter the substance, life storms can feel personally aimed and centered on us. It can be lonely when the darkness creeps in and there seems to be no shelter.
New York State has begun the process of opening up COVID-19 vaccination centers over many parts of the state. ECOs, Forest Rangers, and other DEC experts are on the front lines assisting federal, state, local and non-government entities build and support vaccination sites at multiple locations, filling various key positions in the incident command structure up to the highest level of incident commander and working closely with other DEC staff and partners in this important mission.
SUNY Albany New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Center: On Jan. 9, two Forest Rangers were deployed to assist the State’s efforts to stand up a mass vaccination site at the SUNY Albany Campus. Forest Rangers fill critical roles in the Incident Command System (ICS) structure that are crucial in the success of the mission, including serving as Operation and Planning Section Chiefs. On Jan. 15, the mass vaccination site was established, capable of handling more than 1,000 patients a day. At this site and others across the state, Rangers are joined by other DEC staff from more than a dozen divisions, as well as representatives from multiple state agencies.
Operation Back Road – Statewide DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement released the results of “Operation Back Road,” a recent statewide detail targeting illegal hunting from roads. During the 2020 hunting season, ECOs used technology, local intelligence, and 147 robotic decoy deer over 300 hours to catch poachers hunting from vehicles or along roadways, putting communities in danger. During the detail, ECOs apprehended 19 suspects for shooting at the decoys from roadways and issued tickets for 37 misdemeanors, 29 additional violations of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), and seven charges outside the ECL. Officers conducted the Operation Back Road detail during the last two weeks of the Northern Zone and last three weeks of the Southern Zone hunting seasons. During the 2020 fall hunting season, ECOs statewide issued more than 244 tickets for road hunting-related offenses.
Forest Ranger Gullen at the SUNY Albany Mass Vaccination Site/DEC photo
On Saturday, January 16, the Long Lake 19th Annual Winter Carnival saw major changes to the line-up and was able to host a modified version renamed Winter Carnival “Lite.”
The only coordinated event was the Cardboard Sled Races which were held with Covid-19 protocols in place. All participants and spectators had to register in advance for a maximum of 50 and there was no on-site registration. Everyone wore masks and kept a minimum of six feet between racers and families.
By a 55-31 percent margin, New Yorkers say the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is still to come. Seven percent of New Yorkers say they have already been vaccinated and among those who have not, 69 percent say they plan to get vaccinated and 27 percent say they do not, according to a new Siena College Poll of New York State voters released today.
Fifty-four percent of voters say the incoming Biden Administration will have a positive impact on New York, compared to 23 percent who say it will have a negative impact and 16 percent who say it will have no real impact.
The Lake Placid Center for the Arts has announced the winners of their Zoom Play Festival. The contest was held in late August for theatre artists to create and share a play over Zoom. LPCA plans to present a showcase of the winning pieces, as well as the honorable mentions on February 19.
Collaboration with Directors and Theatres has begun in order to produce the works, with LPCA having plans to produce several of the plays they received in-house. They received over 135 short plays that were submitted from all over the world, from New Zealand to Canada. The great number of submissions required help from several playwrights and artists around the country to help evaluate the plays, which were scored in areas like plot development, character voice, and adherence to the submission criteria.
In order to help support small business during the COVID-19 pandemic, up to $3,000,000 in reimbursement grants at $5,000 per business is being offered to eligible applicants. This program, lead by “Raising the NYS Bar Restaurant Recovery Fund” was created in support of full-service restaurants, arguably the industry hit the hardest by the pandemic, during the winter months where temperature and weather prevents outdoor dining.
To qualify for the program, an establishment must:
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