Posts Tagged ‘Lake Placid’

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Four Nations Hockey Tournament Begins Nov 4

USA Hockey and the Olympic Regional Development Authority will host a pair of international tournaments simultaneously at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., from Nov. 4-9, 2008. The Women’s Four Nations Cup will feature the United States, Canada, Finland and Sweden, while the Men’s Under-18 Four Nations Cup will highlight the United States, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.

The majority of the games will take place in the 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena, the location of the historic “Miracle on Ice” victory. The remainder of the games will also take place in the Olympic Center, at the 1932 Arena.

Both tournaments will get underway Tues., November 4, with the men’s championship games set for Sat., November 8, and the women’s championship games to take place Sun., November 9.

On the men’s side, the U.S. National Under-18 Team will take part in the event, which is part of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. For the women, the U.S. Women’s Select Team will play in the tournament.


Friday, October 24, 2008

ORDA Olympic Facilities Job Fair November 5th

The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) and Centerplate, in conjunction with OneWorkSource Workforce New York, will host a Job Fair at the Whiteface Base Lodge on Wednesday, November 5 from 9 am – 2:30 pm. Full and part-time positions for 2008-09 winter season employment at the ORDA Olympic facilities are available.

The Olympic facilities include Whiteface Ski Center in Wilmington, the Olympic Center, the Olympic Sports Complex, the Olympic Jumping Complex, and the ORDA Store, all located in Lake Placid. Positions available for the upcoming winter season include events staff, photographers, nursery staff, guest services staff, ticket sales staff, lift operators, snowmakers, grooming staff, Snow Sports School Instructors, equipment operators, food and beverage staff, bar staff, catering staff, rental technicians, skate monitors, sports development coaches, maintenance assistants, laborers, and more.

The employment opportunities include limited benefit packages, resort restaurant and merchandise discounts, and employee access to ORDA sites – including complimentary skiing and riding at Whiteface and ice skating at the Olympic Center and speed skating oval.

All hiring departments will have a representative at the job fair. Applicants should bring a resume if possible, or be prepared to fill out a job application. Interviews and employment agreements may take place on the spot. ORDA is an equal opportunity employer.

For more information on ORDA venues and events and for web cams from five locations, please log on to www.whitefacelakeplacid.com.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Adirondack Military Mystery Solved ?

The Plattsburgh Press Republican is reporting today that this weekend meeting of top military brass included chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, Sir Graham Stirrup of Britain’s Royal Air Force, German Army Gen. Wolfgang Schneiderhan, French Army General Jean-Louis Georgelin and Italian Air Force General Vincenzo Camporini. According to the paper:

Defense Department officials wouldn’t comment this weekend, but the day after the planes had left, Capt. John Kirby, a special assistant to Mullen, confirmed that the top military leaders from five countries met in Lake Placid to discuss mutual security issues, including Afghanistan.

“I’m not at liberty to go into the details that was discussed, but they went through a wide range of security issues that are common to all five nations,” Kirby said.

“They discussed, in broad terms, progress in Afghanistan and where we’re heading with regard to Afghanistan, particularly the NATO mission there. And they discussed other mutual issues of security concerns.”

Security was tight at the Whiteface Lodge and Resort [and Spa] — the site where the military leaders were rumored to have stayed, though the resort would not confirm that.
He said the meeting is an annual event that is rotated amongst the countries.

The U.S. military picked Lake Placid because while it’s relatively close to Washington, D.C., it’s still fairly tranquil, Kirby said.

“They try to choose sites that are relatively quiet that allow these leaders to focus on the issues and not be distracted by other things.”

There you have it, apparently no hunting, just a meeting, held in a “relatively close to Washington” luxury resort and spa – sounds like a junket to me.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Flaming Leaves Festival Ski Jumping Results

For the seventh time in his last eight competitions in Lake Placid, Anders Johnson [video] of Park City, Utah, ski jumped to the head of the field Sunday in completing a sweep of the Flaming Leaves Festival. After taking Saturday’s national championship on the 90 meter hill, Johnson returned to the same Olympic Jumping Complex 24 hours later, under similar sunshine and 65 degree weather, and captured the NYSEF 90 Meter Super Tour event.

Not to be outdone, Lindsey Van [video], also of Park City, took both ends of the Lake Placid doubleheader by winning Sunday’s women’s 90 meter on the artificial surfaces. “I’ve jumped here many times and have always jumped well,” said the past Winter Olympian. “I feel every time I’m here, I can do well.”

For a struggling ski jumper, the six-foot-three-inch athlete appreciated the friendly confine of the 1980 Winter Olympic site. “The start of summer training wasn’t so good for me,” continued Johnson. “But I’ve jumped better since August.”

Then came a month in Europe where he performed better in summer Continental Cups and World Cups. “That got my confidence back. The jumps here this weekend were some of my best of the season. Now I feel confident for this winter.”

While vendors offered their goods and live bands performed under the tent, Johnson had the two best jumps of the day at 100.5 and 102 meters. His distance and style points totaled 263.5 for an easy victory. Eric Camerota of Park City was second with 249.5 points on jumps of 99.5 and 93 meters. Third place went to Nick Alexander of Lebanon, N.H. after jumping 99 and 92.5 meters for 246 points. Lake Placid’s Andrew Bliss was fourth on the strength of his opening jump of 97 meters. A second attempt of 89.5 gave Bliss 240 points.

Bill Demong of Vermontville, N.Y., sponsored by the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), was eighth after placing third in the national championship ski jump and second in the Nordic combined nationals, both on Saturday. Demong is preparing to be inducted into the Saranac Lake High School Hall of Fame this week as part of the 1995 state high school championship cross country team.

The diminutive Van, trying to overcome a knee injury incurred last winter, posted jumps of 98.5 and 92 meters, picking up 249 points in the process. “I took myself totally out of the situation and told myself to worry about it (the injury) later,” said Van, who will now go west and seek the care of orthopedic specialist Dr. Richard Steadman. “This weekend was a lot better for me. I concentrated on my in-run position because the in-run here is a bit bumpy. Otherwise, I had stable conditions. It was a great weekend and I had lots of fun. Now I feel good about the winter and will try to stay healthy in the process.”

Jessica Jerome of Park City was next with 97 and 89.5 meter jumps for 237.5 points. Avery Ardovino, Park City, secured third by jumping 89 and 92.5 meters for 226.5 points. Sisters Nina and Danielle Lussi of Lake Placid finished 10th and 11th, respectively. Canadian jumpers came to the surface in the junior division as Calgary, Alberta’s Yukon De Leeuw grabbed the title ahead of teammate Matthew Rowley, also of Calgary. Brian Wallace of Woodbury, Minn. placed third, just a point from second place.

With the close of the Flaming Leaves Festival comes the start of a fall training camp in Lake Placid for many of these competitors. The winter version of this sport gets underway, on snow, next month.

For complete results, including event photos, please log on to www.orda.org.


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.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Route For Northville-Placid Trail

The Schenectady Gazzette is reporting some good news today – the rerouting of the ten mile hike along Route 30 from Northville to Upper Benson that starts the Northville-Placid Trail. In the process DEC is adding six miles to the trail.

Neil Woodworth, executive director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, said work could begin next year on the planned new southern section of the trail starting in Gifford’s Valley, closer to Northville.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Adirondack Museum Suspends Lake Placid Project

Just arrived from the Adirondack Museum:

Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y. The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York announced today that it has suspended work on its plan to erect a building on Main Street in Lake Placid, N.Y. to house a new branch of the museum and its existing store.

Museum Director Caroline Welsh said that the decision was made very reluctantly and only after detailed consideration of financial and other implications of the project for the museum. The decision was made at a special meeting of the museum’s Board of Trustees on June 23, 2008.

According to John Fritzinger, Chairman of the Board, the decision is the result of the cumulative impact of several key factors.

These include the extended period required to obtain the permits needed to proceed; continuing litigation over those permits that offers the prospect of even further delay and expense; escalation in costs related to the construction and operation of the museum; and the difficulty of raising the necessary capital in the face of deteriorating and uncertain financial markets, a strained economy, and the potential effects of high gas prices on museum visitation.

Ms. Welsh said the Board of Trustees is most appreciative of the strong support the Adirondack Museum has received for the Lake Placid branch from Mayor Jamie Rogers, Town of North Elba Supervisor Robi Politi, and many members of the community. She expressed the thanks of the museum to all for all their help and enthusiasm as the project moved forward.

Welsh also noted that the Board is particularly grateful for outstanding work by architects David Childs and Roger Duffy of Skidmore Owings & Merrill in creating an exciting design for the proposed new museum.

The Lake Placid project was part of the Adirondack Museum’s overall strategic plan that includes the goal of projecting the museum’s presence beyond Blue Mountain Lake. The Director emphasized that the goal remains in place. The museum recognizes the importance of Lake Placid as a cultural hub of the Adirondacks and a premier resort destination. Welsh said that the
museum will continue to deliver its programs and collections to the residents of and visitors to the Tri-Lakes area.

Welsh announced that the Adirondack Museum would partner with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts to offer annual exhibits at the Center’s facility. “Rustic Tomorrow” will be the first exhibition. A show of unique rustic furniture created through the collaboration of noteworthy architects, designers, and craftsmen, the exhibit premiered at the museum’s Blue Mountain Lake campus in May, and will travel to LPCA in late fall.

She also confirmed that museum outreach programs will continue in the village, including the popular Lake Placid “Cabin Fever Sunday” programs.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

39th Annual Lake Placid Horse Show

Lake Placid, NY – The 39th annual Lake Placid Horse Show opened on Tuesday at the North Elba Showgrounds in Lake Placid. The horse continues through Sunday and is followed at the same site by the 31st annual I Love New York Horse Show which runs July 1-6.

Heading the list of entries are the defending champions in the Lake Placid and I Love New York Horse Shows’ two Grandprix events-Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL and Christine McCrea of East Windsor, CT.

Minikus, the 2001 U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Horseman of the Year, will be looking for a second straight win in this week’s featured event, the $75,000 Budweiser Grandprix of Lake Placid Presented by RV Sales of Broward. McCrea will be looking to defend her title in the featured event of the I Love New York Horse Show, the $75,000 Hermès Grandprix, on Saturday, July 5.

Other past Grandprix winners entered this year include Laura Chapot, winner of the Budweiser Grandprix of Lake Placid in 1996 and 2004; Margie Engle, a ten-time American Grandprix Association Rider of the Year, who has been a Grandprix winner in Lake Placid six times; Kent Farrington, who won the Budweiser Grandprix of Lake Placid in 2005; and Molly Ashe-Cawley who won the Budweiser Grandprix of Lake Placid in 1999.

The 2008 Lake Placid Horse Show and I Love New York Horse Show sponsors includeA & M Beverages, A Placid Life, Adirondack Life, Adirondack Store, American Grandprix Association, Animal Planet, Anonymous, Bainbridge Farms LLC, Brandy Parfums, Ltd., The Brown Dog Café and Wine Bar, Budweiser, Carr-Hughes Productions, Chair 6, Champlain Valley Equipment, Charlie’s Restaurant, Charlotte Bobcats, Jane Forbes Clark, C.M. Hadfield’s Saddlery, Inc., The Cottage Café, The Country Saddler, Ltd., Crossroad’s Caterers, Crowne Plaza Resort & Golf Club, David R. Fowler Custom Tack Trunks, Deeridge Farms, Der Dau Custom Boots and Shoes, The Dutta Corp., Ecogold, Equifit, Farm and Ranch Magazine, Fox Run, Ltd., Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, Grill 211, Mr. James Harpel, Hermès, High Peaks Resort, The Hooker Family, Horse Watch, Intercat, Inc., J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Jake Placid Doghouse, Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC, Juliam Farm, Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau, The Leone Family, The Levy Family, Lonesome Landing Garden Center, Mirror Lake Inn, Mountain Horse, Mr. Mike’s Pizza & Pasta, Moss Communications, Bobby & Melissa Murphy, Nicola’s On Main, On a Fence Designs & Rentals, ORDA/Whiteface Mountain, The Pepsi Bottling Group, The Phillips Family, Price Chopper, Red-Kap Sales, Royal Reflections, Ruthie’s Run, RV Sales of Broward, Sam Edelman Shoes, Sand Castle Farm, Saratoga Living, Michael & Lora Schultz, Sidelines, Storm Ridge Capital LLC, Stretton Enterprises, Town of North Elba Park District, Turtle Lane Farm, The Weeks Family, The Whiteface Lodge, Woodlea Farms, WPTZ News Channel 5, and Y106.3 – Mountain Communications LLC.

Admission to the Lake Placid and I Love New York Horse Shows is $2.00 on weekdays and $5.00 on weekends. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free. Tickets are available at the gate. For more information and schedule details, please call the Lake Placid Horse Show Association at (518) 523-9625 or visit www.lakeplacidhorseshow.com.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Lake Placid Skating Summer Camp

Lake Placid Skater, the blog of a figure skater/speed skater living and training in Lake Placid, will be covering the Skating Summer Camp at the Olympic Center (OC). Here are some of her “bits of info about the coming week”:

* Lake Placid’s resident Olympic Champions, Ludmila and Oleg Protopopov, are back! The Pairs champions will be available for lessons. See their signs in the OC for more information.

* US National and International level ice dancers Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov will be hosting a seminar on Friday, from 6-7 pm in the 1980 rink. They are also available for private lessons. See their sign on the bulletin boards in the OC for more info.

* The first Freaky Friday of the summer will be held this Friday (of course). Check the schedule for exact time and location.

* There will be two Skating Shows on Saturday. The first will be the Adult Skating Exhibition, where the adult skaters get a chance to perform. Come support them! Check schedule for exact time and location!

* The second show is the famous Saturday Night Ice Show, in the 1932 rink! Almost every Saturday night in the summer there is a show in which campers can perform, along with a different guest skater every week. The Show is at 7:30 pm.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

African American History – Essex County Expulsions?

It’s February and that means a post on some aspect of African American history in the Adirondacks.
Here is last year’s popular list of stories.

I recently discovered that one of the Almanack‘s posts, The Ku Klux Klan in the Adirondacks, had been used for the companion website of the new PBS documentary film Banished: American Ethnic Cleansings. As a result of the attention, I thought I’d dig a little deeper on the issue of racial cleansing and the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Seven Human Made Wonders of the Adirondacks

In no particular order, Adirondack Almanack’s list of Seven Human Made Wonders of the Adirondacks. Our list of the Seven Natural Wonders can be found here. Feel free to add your comments and suggestions.

Whiteface Memorial Highway
Although Lake George’s Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway deserves honorable mention, the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway deserves a spot on our list of wonders. Considered a test case for both the New Deal Works Progress Administration and the constitutional protection of the Forest Preserve, construction began in 1929 (after passage of the necessary amendment) and eventually cost 1.2 million dollars. The completed road, an eight-mile climb (at 8 percent average grade) from the crossroads in Wilmington, comes within 400 feet of the summit of the fifth highest mountain in the Adirondacks. New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt announced at the groundbreaking that a “distinguished French engineer” had driven the road and told him, “I, of course, know all of the great mountain highways of Europe. There is no highway in all of Europe which can compare for its engineering skill, for its perfection of detail, with the White Face Mountain Highway of the State of New York.” When the road was completed, F.D.R. (by then President of the United States) officially opened the route on July 20, 1935 and dedicated it to the “veterans of the Great War.” In his closing remarks F.D.R. said “I wish very much that it were possible for me to walk up the few remaining feet to the actual top of the mountain. Some day they are going to make it possible for people who cannot make the little climb to go up there in a comfortable and easy elevator.” The result of F.D.R’s desire is the 424-foot tunnel into the core of the mountain that ends in a elevator which rises 276 feet (about 27 stories) to the summit.

Fort Ticonderoga
Although the earliest archeological evidence of Indian settlement dates to 8,000 B.C. (and Native Americans were planting crops there as early as 1,000 B.C.), the first fort built there by Europeans was Fort Carillon constructed by the French in 1755-1758 during the French and Indian War. It’s location at the narrow strip of land between Lake Champlain and Lake George meant that the fort, called the “key to the continent,” controlled the northern portion of America‘s most important north-south travel route through the earl 19th century. Its impressive placement atop the cliffs and its European design kept it from being taken by an overwhelming British force under General Abercromby in 1758. It was taken the following year under General Amherst and again on May 10, 1775, when Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, and the Green Mountain Boys surprised the sleeping British garrison. It was retaken by the British in July 1777 by General Burgoyne who managed to place cannon on Mount Defiance overlooking the fort. In 1820, William Ferris Pell bought the ruins and in 1908 Stephen and Sarah Gibbs Thompson Pell began restoration. The following year it was opened to the public (President Taft was on hand) and in 1931 Fort Ticonderoga was designated a not-for-profit educational historic site managed by the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

The Adirondack Museum
Some day the Wild Center in Tupper Lake may make this list, but until then the Aidirondack Museum owns the title Adirondack wonder. The brainchild of mining baron Harold Hochschild, the museum has recently reached its 50th year preserving the heritage of the Adirondacks. Although it began as a small endeavor it has become a must see attraction of 32 acres and 22 buildings. Nearly 3 million visitors have seen the exhibits on mining, logging, boating, recreation, and the environment and culture of the Adirondacks. It is the single largest collection of Adirondack artifacts, including thousands of books (60 published by the museum), periodicals, manuscripts, maps and government documents, over 2,500 original works of art, 70,000 photographs, 300 boats and wheeled vehicles, and a large collection of rustic furniture, art, and architecture. Highlights include the Marion River Carry Railroad engine passenger car and the carriage that brought Vice President Theodore Roosevelt to North Creek the night President William McKinley was assassinated.

North Country Public Radio
Founded at St. Lawrence University and now celebrating their 40th year, today’s North Country Public Radio is a network of stations broadcast from 30 fm transmitters and translators from the Canadian frontier to Western Vermont and south into Hudson Valley. Its regional and national news, public affairs, and music programs have become a part of Adirondack culture in a way that gives NCPR a place on our list of Adirondack wonders. Whether its a ham dinner in Placid, a lost dog in the Keene Valley, a fire in Pottersville, or a political event in Saranac or Tupper, NCPR reaches over, around, and seemingly through the mountains and into our homes in ways nothing else in the North Country does. That’s a wonder in itself.

Keeseville Stone Arch Bridge
Workers building the historic Stone Arch Bridge over the AuSable River on Main Street in Keeseville had a close call in 1842. The bridge of native stone, believed at the time to be the largest such bridge in the country, was being built to replace the original wooden structure erected in 1805. The men had completed the first course of stone including the keystones and had nearly finished the second course when a violent storm blew in. Just as more then 30 men fled the storm’s heavy rain to a wooden shed on the bank of the river, the entire bridge collapsed into the AuSable with a thunderous crash said to have shaken buildings as far away as Port Kent. Since then it’s done quiet service. Rehabilitated in 2000 and now carrying more than 5,500 vehicles a day, the bridge still stands as a testament to Adirondack engineering. Its total length is over one hundred feet with 90 foot stone arch span.

Santa’s Workshop
Each year more and more of the region’s theme parks fade into oblivion. Those that have been lost include Old McDonald’s Farm (Lake Placid), The Land of Make Believe (Upper Jay), Frontier Town (North Hudson), Storytown (now the corporate Great Escape), Gaslight Village (Lake George), and Time Town (Bolton Landing). Santa’s Workshop in North Pole, NY seems the last of a breed and some of the remaining (and still operational in its original context) handiwork of Arto Monaco. Monaco was the local artist who designed sets for MGM and Warner Brothers, a fake German village in the Arizona desert to train World War II soldiers, and later his own Land of Make Believe (as well as parts of Storytown, Gaslight Village, and Frontier Town). Lake Placid businessman Julian Reiss’s Santa’s workshop opened July 1, 1949 and included a very early prototype petty zoo; it received its own zip code (12946) in 1953. A record daily attendance occurred in 1951 when 14,000 people walked through the gates. Julian’s son Bob Reiss took over the operation in the early 1970s, but the number of visitors has continued to drop with the park closing in 2001 only to reopen, hopefully for good.

Lake Placid Sports Complex

From the early competitions at the Lake Placid Club to the modern Olympic Training Facility, the sports complexes in and around Lake Placid have been bringing the sports world to our doorsteps for over a hundred years. Most are familiar with the stats: 12 awards in each the 1932 and 1980 games; Jack’s Shea two gold medals (the first American to win two gold medals at the same Olympics); figure skater-turned movie star Sonja Henie’s second of three consecutive Olympic gold medals, speed skater Eric Heiden’s five medal sweep (including one world record); “The Miracle” of 1980. After the 1980 Games, the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) combined under one management Whiteface, the bobsled, luge, cross-country ski and biathlon facilities at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, the Olympic Center, the speed skating oval, and the jumping complex. Since then ORDA has hosted hundreds of major national and international events, including world championships and world cup competitions in bobsled, luge, skeleton, alpine racing, ski jumping, speed skating, freestyle skiing and snowboarding. The Olympic Training facility opened in 1988 (one of only three in the country) and includes a 96-room dormitory that meets the needs of more than 6,000 athletes a year. The Lake Placid facilities are in one of only three communities in the world to have hosted two Winter Olympics, and that alone makes them an Adirondack wonder.

What do you think?

Fire away – let us know which Adirondack human and natural constructed things/places are the most significant, must-see attractions, marvels of engineering, historically important, or have other significance that makes them one of your top seven?

Remember – two lists – one for the human-made wonders, one for natural wonders.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

WAMC Withdraws FCC Application

The Times Union business blog, The Buzz, is reporting that WAMC has withdrawn it’s FCC application and ended its attempt to take over NCPR’s 91.7 Lake Placid frequency.

WAMC and North County Public Radio today said they have negotiated an agreement that should help keep NCPR on the 91.7 frequency in Lake Placid…

Under the agreement announced today, North Country’s existing translator license would be transferred to WAMC, which will run it at a different frequency. But that can only happen if the FCC awards the station to North Country rather than Northeast Gospel Radio…

“The agreement (announced today) is a win-win for both stations,” said North Country station manager Ellen Rocco in a written statement. “The simple action of withdrawing this application demonstrates responsiveness and leadership on the part of WAMC and provides the best outcome for both stations.”

Congratulations NCPR and good luck getting the full FCC approval over a Rensselaer County religious broadcaster.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Imperialist Radio Follow-Up

Here is an update on the ongoing attempt by WAMC (an Albany NPR Station) to take over North Country Public Radio’s frequency in Lake Placid which the Adirondack Almanack blogged about over the weekend.

There will be two community forums this Thursday:

Saranac Lake at 3:30 (Adirondack Artists Guild)

Lake Placid at 5:30 (Adirondack Community Church)

This morning there was an on air Question and Answer session – you can listen to the audio here.

NCPR’s website on the conflict now also includes a link to provide NCPR with your e-mail address in order for them to contact you if and when they need more and/or louder voices.

Dale Hobson, NCPR’s tech guy who blogs at Brain Clouds reports in a post on Monday that the station is being very careful how they cover the story (WAMC isn’t covering it at all):

The news was first aired in the region this morning on Saranac Lake station WNBZ, in a feature story by Chris Knight who, in addition to his duties at WNBZ, is a frequent freelance reporter for NCPR on Adirondack issues. While NCPR is committed to retaining the frequency on which it has served Lake Placid for over twenty years, we needed to find a way to cover the story in a fair and balanced way that would place the public interest ahead of the institutional interests of the station. Toward that end, the station manager and the news director sought advice from the Poynter Institute, an organization that provides training in journalistic ethics. They recommended that we use an outside editor with no connection to either of the parties to the dispute to oversee NCPR’s coverage. Suzanna Capelouto, news director of Georgia Public Broadcasting, agreed to fill that role. The reporting by Chris Knight that you will hear on NCPR tonight and tomorrow was edited by her.

An Albany Business Review story picked up by the Boston Business Journal noted that NCPR is not alone in being bullied by WAMC – apparently Vermont Public Radio (VPR) is also being driven from a frequency in its own region. All total WAMC is trying to supplant locally originated radio in eight communities:

The eight communities are Brewster; Cooperstown; Lake Placid; Norwich and Stamford in New York; Vergennes, Vt.; Manchester, Conn., and West Swanzey, N.H. There are rivals for all but the Stamford and West Swanzey frequencies.

WAMC will face its toughest battle in Vergennes. St. Lawrence also wants to serve that city, as do Vermont Public Radio and a company called Wilbur Gospel Communications.

[Alan] Chartock said the FCC will award licenses to the applicant whose signal would reach the most people, based on such factors as the location and height of the proposed tower.

“So it comes down to whose engineer did the best job,” he said. “This will take months or even years to work out.”

Apparently, according to Chartock, that’s good enough for us – it’s a single engineer who gets to decide whether we have a locally originated station or we get homogenized radio.

WAMC’s Wikipedia page notes that the current conflict is part of an ongoing assult on local radio stations:

Though the original expansion of the WAMC network starting in the mid 1980s was done to serve areas that had previously lacked NPR service, many of the station’s expansions since then have been into areas that either had service from a WAMC signal or where an established NPR network was already on the air. Two examples of this were WAMC’s purchase of WAMQ (then WBBS), a signal whose coverage area is near enveloped by other WAMC signals, and in 1992 WAMC outbid SUNY Plattsburgh for the then-WCFE-FM in 1995 to serve an area with two established NPR stations.

A number of local bloggers have stepped up with their own comments including Adirondack Musing whose post title WAMC – The North Country Doesn’t Need You, pretty much says it all.

Brian over at MoFYC calls the whole affair a “terrible decision by WAMC.” He also takes the Albany station to task for their existing deeper problem in attempting to cover such an enormous area with such disparate interests:

WAMC’s news coverage is decent but cursory. It’s a mile wide and an inch deep. This isn’t surprising because WAMC’s gargantuan coverage area means it must provide local news for people in central and southern Vermont, the Berkshires (western Massachussetts), northern Connecticut, the Hudson Valley (southeastern NY), the Mohawk Valley (Central NY) and New York’s Capital District.. WAMC also reports on state politics for those four states.

By contrast, NCPR is focused almost exclusively on the region in and around the Adirondacks. The station often runs stories that are 5-9 minutes in length and thus offer significantly more depth than WAMC’s typically brief pieces.

WAMC almost never reports on issues in Glens Falls or the Adirondacks, simply because there’s not enough time. NCPR had extensive coverage of the 2001 Finch Pruyn strike in Glens Falls, even though the station’s main headquarters is three times more distant than WAMC’s.

There’s a lot more to what Brian has to say (including a follow-up to his original post) but he concludes with:

I used to be a member of WAMC but am not anymore. I simply found that WAMC just didn’t cover news stories that were relevant to my community or nearby ones. When NCPR added transmitters in Glens Falls and Lake George, I found a station that did. I now send money to Canton.

And frankly I’m glad I’m not a member of WAMC anymore. I wouldn’t want my membership monies to making the media less local and more homogeneous.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise called it “dirty pool” and said:

Chartock suggested that NCPR just move to a different frequency so both stations can serve Lake Placid. That’s like demanding someone’s house and suggesting they camp out in the woods out back. Sure, we’d like to have the option of listening to WAMC, but not at a better, more local station’s expense.

We hope the FCC recognizes this injustice and puts a stop to it.

So do we.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Imperialist Radio: A Hostile Takeover of NCPR?

By now you may have heard. Albany based WAMC is attempting to take over North Country Public Radio’s 91.7 fm frequency in Lake Placid. The whole thing stems from the exceedingly rare decision according to NCPR’s page on the subject (apparently WAMC could care less about answering questions we in the Adirondacks might have about the situation – they have nothing about it on their page):

After 10 years of refusing to accept new applications for transmitters in the non-commercial section of the FM radio band, the FCC opened a brief ‘window’ in October.

WAMC applied for a the frequency that is being used by NCPR. You should also know that there are no other full-power frequencies available in Lake Placid,there may not be another opportunity for another frequency for years to come, if ever, and NCPR has been serving this community for a long, long time:

NCPR has used a translator (a low power transmitter) in Lake Placid for 20 years. Translators are NOT protected by the FCC under the rules of the current application period. Therefore, we applied for a full-power transmitter at the same frequency we’ve used for two decades, 91.7 FM.

It is Imperialist Radio, plain and simple, and here’s why:

WAMC does not cover the Adirondacks in any significant way. Go to their webpage and search for Adirondacks – you’ll find nothing about the important issues that face the Adirondacks – their coverage is limited to the “big” southern oriented stories – nearly all based on press releases from politicians and advocacy groups. Have they seriously covered North Creek’s recent boom and bust in development? How about border issues? How about Potsdam food-coop story? The recent property tax decision? How about the increasingly vibrant blogging community? Local elections? NCPR is an important part of the Adirondacks – does “NCPR” ever show up on their webpage? No. Does “WAMC” ever show up on NCPR’s – sure does.

WAMC has hundreds of thousands of people of color in their backyard and yet not a single program oriented to their community needs. Until WAMC hires some people of color (or even offers relevant programming) to cover the neighborhoods (some of which are literally a block or two away from the offices) they have no business marketing to the wealthy in Lake Placid. It’s no accident that WAMC broadcast outside it’s natural environmental and cultural region into the wealthy lower Hudson Valley and the Berkshires – now they want the wealthiest community in the Adirondacks too. Look at their supposed coverage area – do they really think they can serve Worcester, MA, Sussex, NJ and Lake Placid equally?

WAMC is obviously attempting to take the economic resources from our region to their offices in Albany without returning services to our community. In fact, they will be reducing local news coverage in Lake Placid. They’ve already done this in Plattsburgh and Ticonderoga. Search for Ticonderoga on the WAMC website – in all of 2007 they’ve reported just twice about Ticonderoga -both stories about International Paper. Take a look at their events calendar – not a single event in either Plattsburgh or Ticonderoga, or anywhere in the Adirondacks for that matter. Now take a look at NCPR’s events calendar.

What should we do? Here is what NCPR says we should do:

We know that NCPR listeners are concerned about this conflict and want to help the station. We appreciate your support and encouragement. At this time, the best thing for you to do is stay informed about the issue–read the information provided here and follow the story as it develops. Share accurate information with others you know.

Here is what I think we should do:

1 – Be informed and inform others. Write about this issue: blog about it, write to local newspapers and media outlets.

2 – Contact WAMC (if you can, they only have one all-encompassing e-mail) and tell them that you know what they’re doing and it’s wrong – plain and simple. Tell them that you value NCPR and do not want WAMC to damage your LOCAL NPR station. Ask them to withdraw their attempt to take over NCPR’s frequency in Lake Placid.

3 – If you have a business from the Mohawk River to the Canadian border, or from the Vermont line to the St. Lawrence / Great Lakes and you advertise with WAMC – contact Dona Frank at 518-465-5233 ext. 167 and ask her to pull your advertisements and start supporting your local NPR station instead. Remember to tell WAMC why.

4 – If you live in the NCPR region now is the time to send some support their way – advertise your business by becoming an underwriter or become a member of the station.

5 – Leave a comment here to let NCPR know that you’re thinking about them and wishing them well. When your supposed allies turn on you, hearing form your friends and community makes a difference.

6 – Begin advocating for the removal of Alan Chartock as head of WAMC. He’s been unaccountable for far too long.

Good luck NCPR and let us know when and if there is anything we can do to support our best local radio station.


Friday, October 5, 2007

Adirondack Snowmobile History, Part Three

In Parts One and Two we traced the emergence of snow vehicles from their earlier cousins, the automobile, the tractor, and motorcycle, and the development of the smaller more versatile nowmobiles popular today. That development led to some forty snowmobile manufacturers in the late 1960s and, eventually, an explosion in interest.

To help build a customer base, sled makers began traveling to winter events and showing their machines. Beginning in January of 1964, snowmobilers in Lake Placid organized one of the first annual “power sled meets.” The event was followed by Artic Cat’s first snowmobile derby in February 1964 in Eagle River, Wisconsin. The company invited all known snowmobile makers, and held dozens of races in front of a couple thousand attendees.

Snowmobile historian Leonard Reich noted:

Drag races, obstacle courses, and hill climbs provided thrills, and a “marathon” event of 22 miles demonstrated the reliability of the machines over long distances and difficult terrain. Soon, race derbies organized by towns, manufacturers, and distributors were taking place all over the winter landscape. Like its automotive precursors, the snowmobile industry used racing and other organized events to generate excitement, attract attention, and demonstrate the capability and reliability of its product. As the early automakers had said, “Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday.”

The first International Diamond Trophy Snowmobile Championship held on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid in January 1967 was one of the first major snowmobile meets at a time when, as the Essex County Republican, reported: “At least three major power sled meets are scheduled for the Adirondack Park area, and a dozen or so lesser meets, although no sanctioning unit has yet organized the sport, and there is no official record keeping or planning.” Nonetheless, the Mirror Lake meet offered $1,000 in cash prizes and included a hill climb and downhill slalom. By the 1969-1970 season major races around the country could see purses as high as $25,000.

Other area meets in 1966-1967 included the Eastern New York Races at Lake George (about 125 registered sleds and a new Schaefer Cup trophy race), and another at Boonville where the New York State Snowmobile Championship was held (more than 100 sleds and the emblematic Adirondack Cup). Lesser races were held at Malone, Tupper Lake, Speculator, Schroon Lake, Chazy Lake, and Old Forge.

For the 1966-1967 season 100,000 copies of Johnson Motors’ “Fun Guide to Snowmobiling” were distributed to various dealers around the country which included facts about the sport and sources for trail information. By the end of the 1966-67 season there were about 200,000 snowmobiles in America and even the first magazine devoted to the new sport – Sno Goer, was published by an advocate for snowmobiling on public lands named Susie Scholwin. According to industry sources, the snowmobile industry rose from $3 million in sales in 1965 to $30 million in 1967.

With the boon in snowmobilers, came a local boon in snowmobile clubs. The Central Adirondack Association was organized before the 1966-67 season. By 1973, the Essex County Association of Snowmobile Clubs (ECASCO) included nine clubs from the county’s twelve towns: the “Keeseville Trail Riders,” “Bouquet Valley Snow-Drifters” of Essex Willsboro, “Crown Point RR&R Snowmobile Club,” “Lake Placid Snowmobile Club,” “Moriah Snowmobile Club,” Schroon-North Hudson Snowmobilie Club,” the “Adirondack Snowmobile Club” of Ticonderoga, “Mt. Valley Snogoers,” the Wesport area “Bessboro Ski-ters” and the “Lewis-E’Town Snow Machine Club.” Even “North Country Squares,” a dance group, was getting into the action by organizing weekly races at the Clinton County Fairgrounds in Plattsburgh.

Snowmobile dealers were spreading throughout the region by 1970 when the Essex County Republican newspaper saw fit to publish a special snowmobiling section. In Peru, auto dealer Truman Davis sold Ski Doos based at the Stanley-Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Plattsburgh. Also in Plattsburgh, Jim Manley’s Welding and Repairs sold Skiroule; in Jarvis Falls, Jarvis Auto Parts sold Polaris; Ray’s Mobile Service in Keeseville usually sold chainsaws, but now also sold Allouette sleds; in Elizabethtown Dick Burpee’s Outdoor Power Equipment sold Artic Cat, Elizabethtown Builders sold Sno Jet and Artic Cat, and Norton Insurance Agency advertised snowmobile insurance.

Along with the spread of snowmobiles in the late 1960s there also emerged the first rumblings of those concerned that the noise, new trails, and detrimental effects to the environment were something to be concerned about. But as we’ll see in Part Four, just as it appeared that snowmobiles would conquer the Adirondack environment the bottom fell out.

Read the entire series here.



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