For the first time in its 105 year history, the Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake is cancelling its summer season.
Tony Kostecki and Darren K. Woods, the General and Artistic Directors of the Seagle Music Colony, made the decision for the health and safety of their artists, staff, patrons, and audience members. Seagle leadership did not make this decision lightly and had the following to say about it in an announcement sent this week:
The Adirondack Council awarded 10 micro-grants totaling over $32,000 to local farmers. According to a press release, the grants are an effort to address the greatest short-term and long-term threats to public health and the Adirondack Park: COVID-19 and climate change.
“COVID-19 and climate change each have the potential to devastate Adirondack communities,” says Adirondack Council Conservation Associate Jackie Bowen, the coordinator of the grant program alongside the Essex Farm Institute. In some cases, farms/food producers need to prepare more serve-at-home meals…others need equipment and funding to protect and sustain their employees who work in urban farmers markets.
New Yorkers give Gov. Andrew Cuomo record high job performance and favorability ratings. His favorability rating is 77-21 percent, up from 71-23 percent last month, matching his highest ever in February 2011. His job performance rating is 71-28 percent, up from 63-35 percent last month, his best ever.
By a 78-16 percent margin, voters say they trust Cuomo over President Donald Trump to make a determination about opening New York, according to a new Siena College Poll of registered New York State voters released today.
“Mired in middling poll numbers for the last two years, Cuomo is feeling the love from New Yorkers of all stripes in year three of his third term, and his first global pandemic. He is viewed favorably by 90 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans, his first time favorable with Republicans in more than six years,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
The old neighborhoods of Saranac Lake are lively these days, as people of all ages take a break from solitude to go out walking at all hours. Like the TB patients of the past, we are eager to stretch our legs, breathe some fresh air, and wave to a friendly face across the street.
Moderate exercise was a key part of the treatment in Saranac Lake. Doctors recognized that exercise could boost the immune system by strengthening the body and improving mental health. Not all TB patients were bedridden, and those who were well enough to get out of bed went walking on their doctors’ orders.
The Town of Keene is prohibiting spill-over hiking parking, in order to reduce health risks during the governor’s “New York State on PAUSE” directive. Access to the Garden, a jumping off point for all major trails into John’s Brook Valley and the Great Range, will remain open to local hikers and visitors, but once the 46-car lot is full, no more parking will be allowed. There will be signs and barricades to mark where it has been made illegal to park and violators of the new restrictions will have their vehicles towed.
On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, I think about my sister’s prescient and intentional decision to live a life that is marginally dependent on global systems, as locally sourced as possible, and with as light a carbon footprint as she can muster.
My sister lives on a high mesa in Utah. Her home sits 16 miles up Sand Flats Road, just outside of Moab. She has no power, no water, no cable or WiFi, or connections to the normal things that link most of the rest of us to greater dependence on global systems.
She built the house herself. Since she had no power and everything had to be sawed by hand, she designed the house using standard-sized lumber which required minimal sawing.
For the safety of all visitors and to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, DEC and State Parks are undertaking steps to reduce public density:
Closing all playgrounds;
Limiting access to athletic courts and sporting fields
Canceling all public programs and events at state parks, lands, forests and facilities until further notice;
Closing all indoor visitor facilities, such as nature centers, environmental education centers, visitor centers, and historic houses to the public until further notice;
State Parks has closed all State Parks golf courses;
DEC is closing access to DEC-controlled fire towers to the public. Trails and the summits to the towers remain open, but the towers themselves present a potential risk with multiple people climbing the stairs, in close quarters, unable to appropriately socially distance, and using the same handrails; and
Limiting parking. If the parking lot is full, visit a different location to recreate responsibly. For visitor safety and the safety of others, do not park on roadsides and only park in designated parking areas.
If you must “shelter in place”, the North Country is a good place to do so. Those of us fortunate to live in New York’s great Adirondack Park are already accustomed to “social distancing”, and generally have ample space to get fresh air and exercise – thanks to the good work of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and regional land trusts in protecting millions of acres of wild lands and waters. We are also fortunate to have thousands of brave neighbors continuing to go to work to provide us essentials, like groceries, heating fuel, and health care.
Still, even we lucky Adirondackers – nearly as much as our fellow New Yorkers down-state wishing they could be up here – likely have more time alone now than we usually have. Quiet time affords us chances to read. Here is a quick list of books of regional interest and/or environmental bent that I’d suggest to neighbors sheltered at home through this upsetting pandemic.
Now that face masks are deemed “essential,” (and required in public to help stop the spread of COVID-19), a group of volunteers in Indian Lake have been making cloth masks and distributing them free of charge. As of Friday, April 17, they are available for pick up at Pines Country Store in Indian Lake and in the vestibule of the Adirondack Lakes Center for The Arts in Blue Mountain Lake. The contributors ask people to only take one per person. Those willing to help out with the effort by donating masks can drop them off at the Pines Country Store.
The Lake Champlain – Lake George Regional Planning Board is helping the region’s small businesses by offering working capital micro-loans for enterprises within Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Warren, and Washington Counties. The loans will be available for businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The funds are not to be used to pay off existing debt, refinancing other loans, acquire a position in business, purchase of equipment, investments, expansion, or personal expenses. Other restrictions also apply and more information can be found here.
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. The museum will remain an outdoor experience through June and reopen on July 1.
“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,” said Hillarie Logan-Dechene, deputy director. 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.
We’ll be adding to this list as we go. Send announcements and updates to [email protected].
Great Escape Water Park/Lodge (Queensbury) https://www.sixflagsgreatescapelodge.com/ – The lazy river, Tak-It-Eesi-Creek & children’s activity pool, Tip-A-Kanu-Beach are now open Friday through Sunday. The remaining attractions in the indoor lodge opened up March 26, Monday through Friday from 9am to 9pm.
After days of back and forth about the closure of privately owned boat launches and marina and what that means for state-owned facilities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday an easing of restrictions that were put into effect last week.
In a news release sent over the weekend, Cuomo, in conjunction with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers will be allowed to open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed. Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at these sites must be limited to take-out or delivery only, like anywhere else in the three states.
Similarly, while only five percent have not suffered due to the virus and 35 percent think that their business will recover within six months, a quarter say by the end of 2020 and 35 percent don’t think their business will return to pre-virus levels until 2021.
Among the other findings:
Majority of Upstate CEOs Say Return to Pre-Virus Economy Will Take Longer than 6 Months
By 57-35%, CEOs Say NYS Should Focus on Public Health NOT Relaxing Restrictions for May 1
Nearly 90% Downgrading 2020 Revenue & Profit Expectations; 40% Have Laid off Workers; 58% Cutting Back on Buying Equipment
89% Say will be in Business a Year from Today; 61% Confident in Fed Response; 72% Plan on SBA Paycheck Program
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