Posts Tagged ‘economics’

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rural Communities Broadband Roundtable Thursday

Broadband_Wired_PkCommunity leaders and elected officials have been invited to attend a Rural Communities Broadband Roundtable at The Wild Center on Thursday, Oct. 24.  It is co-hosted by AdkAction.org, which initiated the event; the New York State Broadband Program Office; the United States Department of Agriculture/Rural Development Agency, which provides extensive funding for broadband services in rural locales; and The Wild Center.

The objective of the event is to assist towns and communities in the North Country to better understand how broadband can revitalize their communities and how they can best pursue universal access to broadband. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Peter Bauer: Homage to the 1924 Sign Law

billboards-AAThe 1924 sign law that effectively banned billboards throughout the Adirondack Park shows how our forbearers were braver, wiser, and more prescient than we are today.

It was a bold decision that resulted, by some accounts, in the removal of over 1,400 billboards. In the Adirondack Park this law largely prevented an assault of rooftop and roadside billboards that dominate broad stretches of the U.S. – the cluttered strips of Anywhere USA. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Commentary:
Preserving and Promoting Adirondac and the Upper Works

Signage at Blast FurnaceToday I conclude my series on Adirondac the the McIntyre Mines.  The deserted village of and the remains of the operation at Upper Works make for an evocative Adirondack destination.  Though this abandoned settlement’s historically significant mining heritage is known among locals, history buffs, and High Peaks backpackers who use the Upper Works trailhead, it is by no means widely known, or even somewhat known.   There are great benefits to be had if this fact changes.

When the Open Space Institute purchased the Tahawus Tract from NL Industries they put a terrific plan in place to designate the area containing Adirondac and the 1854 blast furnace as a historic district.  Work began some years ago to stabilize and preserve the furnace, the one original village building, McMartin House (or MacNaughton Cottage)  and the cemetery.  However the work has taken years and  I hear through the grapevine that funding is an obstacle.  As a result the implementation of the historic district has been slow.  » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 9, 2013

North Country Prisons: Hard Times in ‘Siberia’

prison-mapIn May 1973, Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed two controversial laws that would change life in the Adirondacks. The Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan, which the governor pushed through the state legislature, established new zoning rules for private land that aimed to protect open space and limit residential development. The other law set minimum prison sentences for drug users and pushers.

“I have one goal and one objective, and that is to stop the pushing of drugs and to protect the innocent victim,” the governor insisted, promising that the harsh new penalties would stem the epidemic of cocaine and heroin addiction in New York City.

As it turned out, the Rockefeller drug laws—which also included tough penalties for marijuana use—would rival the land-use regulations in their impact on the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Adirondack Council’s Willie Janeway On His First 100 Days

Entering-Adirondack-ParkWhen I started as the Council’s executive director on May 1, friends in the Park said “welcome home.”  I had worked here for the Adirondack Mountain Club for close to 10 years after graduating from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Economics and Environmental studies back in 1985.

That led to work with The Nature Conservancy, the Hudson River Greenway Council and – for the past six years – as a Regional Director for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in the Hudson Valley/Catskills region. I continued to visit the park when time allowed and kept myself current on park issues, hoping that someday I would get a chance to return to this special place. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pete Nelson: An Open Letter to Governor Cuomo

Third Lake, Essex ChainDear Governor Cuomo:

I write today to urge you to support a Wilderness Classification for the former Finch Pruyn lands surrounding the Hudson River and the Essex Chain of Lakes.  After a comment period and series of public hearings that has given the citizens of New York an opportunity to voice their opinion, the decision lies in the hands of the Adirondack Park Agency.  But the final approval is yours alone.  More important, the chance to lead on an issue of national importance that lies at the heart of our journey into the future as New Yorkers and Americans is yours alone as well. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Public Meetings Planned On Future Of Historic RR Line

NYCRR-Adk-Div-MapThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) have announced that they will hold four public meetings in September about the management of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor, a 119-mile nineteenth-century rail line in the western Adirondacks.

A bitter debate has raged in the Adirondacks over the past several years after rail-trail advocates began pushing to have the historic railroad tracks torn-up. In 2011, an organization calling themselves Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates began calling for the outser of the tourist railroad operation and for conversion of the rail bed to a multi-use trail. More than 10,000 people have signed-on to a petition calling for the removal of the tracks. The trail advocates’ call for a reassessment of the corridor’s management plan has resulted in this round of public hearings. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Free Affordable Care Act Workshops Being Offered

affordable_care_act3zNew federal healthcare law will soon change the way businesses and employees obtain health insurance. To help farmers, small business owners and individuals learn about the Affordable Care Act, the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Associations of Northern New York will hold free workshops at six regional sites in September.

The CCE workshops will address a wide range of questions including those about the Individual Exchange for sole proprietors and individuals and the Small Business Health Options Exchange. Employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees will be mandated to provide workers with health insurance by 2015. Before the end of 2013, employers of all sizes must explain how to obtain health insurance to their employees. Every individual in the U.S. will be required to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Local Farms, Local Food:
The Price of Homegrown Eggs

EggsEggs vary in price and nutrition, but are a delicious locally grown food across Northern New York. I’m fairly passionate about eggs. On our small family farm, we raise our own. Our hens feed on plenty of grass, seeds, and other herbaceous material around the farm, plus insects and kitchen scraps.  We supplement with some commercial feed.  The coop is enclosed in a spacious fenced-in yard that’s half grassy, half forested, but our clever birds regularly escape and truly free-range around the farm.

We are addicted to our fresh eggs, rich with flavor and yolks so deeply orange the hue is startling to the uninitiated.  I am a firm believer in the benefits of consuming eggs from true free-range laying hens.  Take note: commercial claims of “free-range” do not guarantee access to the natural smorgasbord listed above (although the hens likely have more space and your conscience can relax about the “humane” treatment). » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Economic Value of Protected Land

Ashokan Reservoir, Catskill MountainsThe Catskill Park and Forest Preserve may be smaller in size than our Adirondack Park but, like Avis in relation to Hertz, Catskill residents may feel the need to try harder.

One senses some good energy in the Catskill Mountains these days, and interesting initiatives are underway there, including an attempt to quantify visitation to the Catskill’s protected public and private lands and waters, and resulting economic value added to the Catskill economy.

It would make sense if the same evaluation study method were applied to the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 29, 2013

New State Lands: The Nature Conservancy’s $500,000

IMG_9702What follows is a guest essay by Connie Prickett, Director of Communications for The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter. The Nature Conservancy is using $500,000 to create a new grant opportunity for recreation-based development in local communities.

When The Nature Conservancy in 2007 took on its largest single land conservation project in the Adirondacks, we knew success was only going to happen through collaboration. Recent steps by the Conservancy to establish a $500,000 grant opportunity ensures that community involvement continues to be an integral part of the conservation equation and a key element to the project’s overall success. The aim is to help communities position themselves to capitalize on new outdoor recreation opportunities being created through this project. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Adirondack Farmers’ Markets and Low Income Consumers

Chestertown farmers Market 2012Each year, millions of dollars are wasted in uncashed food assistance program checks  representing dollars that could be benefiting low-income consumers, local farmers and the physical and economic health of our communities. These lost opportunities make it very important to effectively communicate information about these programs to consumers and farmers.

Four government programs offer payment options beyond the usual cash, check or credit card to eligible low-income consumers at farmers’ markets. Those options are: » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tourism Tips: Marketing Your Adirondack Business

colortvIs retention the new customer acquisition?

It costs 6 times as much to find a new customer as it does to retain an existing customer (Understanding Customers by Ruby Newell-Legner). And according to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, but the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.

I’ve written previously about the ongoing efforts of tourism marketing professionals to promote the Adirondack region as a destination. From the I Love New York program to the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council to each County’s designated Tourism Promotion Agent (TPA), there are ongoing, comprehensive marketing strategies being implemented, with measurable results that are utilized to inform future efforts.

I’m sure it’s consistent in the other Adirondack counties, but as the accredited destination marketing organization for Essex County, we hear from individual businesses asking us to help them with marketing all of the time. And we do. Of course, we also develop programs and mechanisms for individual businesses to promote themselves within the framework of our overall regional marketing strategies. » Continue Reading.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Lyon Mountain and Ausable Forks: Company Towns

1890 Headline NY WorldRemember the hit song, “Sixteen Tons,” recorded by several artists and taken to #1 by Tennessee Ernie Ford many decades ago?  Whether or not you’re a fan of that type of music, most people are familiar with the famous line, “St. Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the Company Store,” meaning, “Hey, I can’t die … I’ve got bills to pay.”

The line referred to Company Towns of the coal-mining industry, where the company owned everything: coal, land, and houses. Workers were paid with scrip―coupons redeemable only at the Company Store, where prices were artificially inflated. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Valley Kitchen: Connecting Producers to Consumers

Members of the Valley Kitchen Board of Directors  gather at the old Upper Jay Schoolhouse in June. From left are Rob Farkus, Heather Morgan, and Natalie Woods.Volunteers in Upper Jay are working to establish a community kitchen in hopes of invigorating the local economy, promoting local food and connecting farmers to consumers.

It’s called the Valley Kitchen, and it’s an idea cooked up by a group of energetic volunteers from the Upper Jay area. I had a chance to meet with three of them – Heather Morgan, Natalie Woods and Rob Farkas – on a hot, sunny day back in June. (Yes, the sun was really out. I have photographic evidence.)

Standing outside the Upper Jay Schoolhouse, located on state Route 9N, Farkas – who is secretary of the Valley Kitchen Board of Directors – recalled that Trudy Rosenblum, who curates the Jay Community News with her husband Seth, urged her neighbors to think about coming together to work on a community project. » Continue Reading.