An Olympic gold medalist, a top NCAA basketball official and the members of four national championship teams are among more than 130 people who will be inducted into North Country Community College’s new Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, September 22 at the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake.
The ceremony, part of the continuing celebration of the college’s 50th anniversary, kicks off a weekend of festivities including men’s and women’s soccer games, alumni soccer games, a cocktail reception and the unveiling of an athletic Wall of Fame on the college’s Saranac Lake campus. » Continue Reading.
Opponents of the state’s plan to remove 34 miles of tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake have questioned whether the state owns the rail corridor.
As it turns out, the state doesn’t own two parcels in the corridor: a half-mile stretch in Saranac Lake and a smaller parcel at the end of the line in Lake Placid. The state says it owns the rest of the corridor.
The Saranac Lake parcel is adjacent to North Country Community College and owned by Franklin and Essex counties. The Lake Placid parcel is owned by the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society, which operates a museum in the depot there. » Continue Reading.
A state judge says he needs more information before deciding whether the state should be blocked from removing thirty-four miles of railroad track between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid.
In a February 7 order, acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Main Jr. requested more information on the ownership of the rail corridor and on the state’s plans to comply with historic-preservation law.
Until the judge issues a ruling, the state is barred from removing the tracks. The state hopes to begin the work this year.
In the summer of 1981, in the High Peaks Wilderness, an organized outing consisting of kids and counselors went on a day hike. Twelve children and two adults went up Ampersand Mountain on July 24th to enjoy a summer day in the Adirondacks. Only eleven children returned. A 10-year-old girl, 4-foot-ten-inches tall, wearing blue shorts and a red #88 football jersey went missing, separated from the rest of the group.
It’s the type of unfortunate, yet often preventable incident that regularly happens during summers in the Adirondacks. Most separations like this are solved within hours – it would take four days to solve the mystery of what happened to young Kate Dekkers. » Continue Reading.
“This is my hope for the future,” said Karen Edwards of Paul Smith College, who in her spare times serves as the director of admissions for the Future Generations Graduate School. “When I work with these students I can truly be hopeful that we can work together to solve the challenges facing humanity and our world.”
In light of the loggerheads taking place in Congress, the societal challenges throughout the Middle East, the struggle between environmentalists and big oil advocates over such disputes as the proposed Keystone pipeline between the Canadian tar sands and the United States, the increasing economic disparity in between the 1 percent and everyone else, that is no small hope. » Continue Reading.
January 1, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, and students, educators, and general public across the North Country will have the opportunity to support a New Proclamation of Freedom for the 21st century.
On Friday 30 November and Saturday 1 December, modern-day abolitionists will gather with students, teachers and the general public concerned about human freedom and human trafficking at various venues in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Activities will include an art exhibition, a screening of the popular Civil War film Glory, workshops, lectures, and a closing reception following historian David Blight’s keynote address on Saturday night. (Full schedule follows.) » Continue Reading.
John Brown Lives! and North Country Community College have announced that Maine artist Robert Shetterly will be present for the unveiling of his portrait of abolitionist John Brown during Freedom Now, Freedom Then: The Long History of Emancipation, a two-day program designed for students, educators and the general public on November 30-December 1, 2012. The events will take place in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, New York.
Brown is one of the newest additions to the Americans Who Tell the Truth project that Shetterly began 10 years ago using portraits of contemporary and historical figures and their own words to offer a “link between a community of people who struggled for justice in our past and a community of people who are doing it now.”
With this portrait, Brown joins Shetterly’s pantheon of more than 180 Truth Tellers that includes Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth and Mark Twain from the nation’s past, and Bill McKibben, James Baldwin, Michelle Alexander, and Jonathan Kozol who are addressing some of humanity’s gravest concerns today. » Continue Reading.
Enrollment at the region’s educational institutions is growing. The number of new students at Paul Smith’s College gained for the second consecutive year toward a 30 year high set in 1981. SUNY ESF’s Ranger School in Wanakena saw a 50 percent enrollment increase, and Clarkson University welcomed the largest number of first-year students in the institution’s history this August, breaking a 1984 record. Plattsburgh State saw a rise this semester, especially among foreign students. Clinton County Community College enrollment went up almost 5 percent, 14 percent higher than 2008-09. SUNY Adirondack (formerly Adirondack Community College) saw a slight decrease in enrollment. Enrollment was expected to have risen slightly at North Country Community College. At Paul Smith’s College a new $8 million 93-bed residence hall designed to LEED standards is accommodating the growth. Enrollment at the Ranger School was given a boost by a new AAS-degree program in Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation, according to longtime professor and Almanack contributor Jamie Savage.
At Clarkson some of the rise is attributed to increased enrollment in pre-physical therapy and engineering programs, including environmental engineering which has seen growth of more than 100 percent.
Photo: Students walk by Bertrand H. Snell Hall at Clarkson University (Courtesy Clarkson University).
North Country Community College and the Adirondack Center for Writing are presenting WordSpring!, a night of performance by three spoken word poets: Liza Jessie Peterson, Jon Sands, and Jeanann Verlee. “These three are to poetry what hip hop is to music: cutting edge, full of rhythm and style and bound to smash stereotypes,” according to a press announcement issued last week.
The trio, will take the stage at 7:00 P.m. on Thursday, April 29th at the David W. Petty Lecture Hall on the North Country Community College Campus in Saranac Lake. The event is free and open to the public. For five years, the Adirondack Center for Writing has been bringing performance poets to the Adirondacks and every time they pack the house. “We are so excited to bring these three new poets to North Country Community College.” says Adirondack Center for Writing director Nathalie Thill, “For years we have brought various spoken word poets to the area to lead writing workshops for high school students and they have developed quite a following locally. This will be the first time these particular poets have performed in the Adirondacks, and I am certain the audience will be blown away.”
Liza Jessie Peterson is a classically trained actress and alumnus of the renowned National Shakespeare Conservatory and has been a student of the legendary coach to the stars, Susan Batson, since 1994. Liza has performed her poetry on HBO’s Def Poetry. Known most for her exceptional poetic skills, Liza began her poetry career at the famed Nuyorican Poets Café in 1995 and was a vital member of the enclave of notable poets who were part of the “underground slam poetry” movement before it attracted television cameras and national obsession. It was this electric group of artists that inspired Russell Simmons to bring “slam poetry” to HBO.
Liza has also appeared in several feature films and has written several plays. Liza has taught creative writing and poetry to youth at Rikers Island and in high risk communities for over a decade.
Jon Sands has been a full-time independent teaching & performing artist since 2007. He’s a recipient of the 2009 New York City-LouderARTS fellowship grant, and has represented New York City multiple times at the National Poetry Slam, subsequently becoming an NPS finalist. Jon has performed and facilitated workshops with university and arts organizations throughout North America, and is currently the Director of Poetry and Arts Education Programming at the Positive Health Project, a syringe exchange center located in Midtown Manhattan, as well as a Youth Mentor with Urban Word-NYC. Jon’s poems have appeared in decomP magazinE, Suss, The Literary Bohemian, Spindle Magazine, The November 3rd Club, and others. He is also one-fourth of the nationally acclaimed electricity-fest, The SpillJoy Ensemble. Jon lives in New York City, where he makes better tuna salad than anyone you know.
Jeanann Verlee is an author, performance poet, editor, activist, and former punk rocker who collects tattoos and winks at boys. Her work has appeared and been accepted in numerous publications, including The New York Quarterly, PANK, FRiGG, decomP, Danse Macabre, and “Not A Muse,” among others. Her first book of poetry, “Racing Hummingbirds,” will be published by Write Bloody Press in March 2010. Verlee was the highest-scoring individual poet at the 2008 National Poetry Slam Finals, is the 2009 NYC-Urbana iWPS Champion, and has represented New York City multiple times at the National Poetry Slam as both competitor and team coach. She proudly serves as co-curator for the Urbana Poetry Slam reading series at the Bowery Poetry Club. Verlee has performed and facilitated workshops at schools, theatres, bookstores, dive bars and poetry venues across North America. She shares an apartment with her dog and a pair of origami lovebirds. She believes in you.
Photo: John Sands, Performance Poet (Photo Provided).
I do a fair amount of skiing in the backcountry, often solo, and I’ve thought a lot about what I would do if something went wrong and I had to bivouac overnight. What would I do for shelter?
Snow shelters commonly covered in outdoors books include the igloo, quinzee hut, and snow cave. But all of these take considerable time and effort to build. I figure if I can build an igloo, I probably can get out of the woods—in which case I don’t need an igloo. Moreover, the snow conditions in the Adirondacks are not ideal for building igloos and snow caves. For igloos, you want wind-packed snow that can be cut into blocks. For snow caves, you want drifts that are at least six feet deep. You might be able to find appropriate snow in some places in the Adirondacks, but the chances are slim that one of them will be the place where you break an ankle.
A quinzee hut, in contrast, can be built just about anywhere there’s snow. Basically, you shovel snow into a large mound, wait a few hours for the snow to set, and then dig a room inside the mound. In an emergency, though, you want something that’s quicker and easier to construct.
Like a snow trench.
“In the Adirondacks, if you’re in an emergency situation, most of the time a trench is the most practical shelter,” says Jack Drury, an outdoors author who founded the Wilderness Recreation Leadership Program at North Country Community College in Saranac Lake.
For a trench, you’d like the snow to be at least three feet deep. If it’s not, however, you can use excavated snow to build up the walls.
A one-person trench should be dug three or four feet wide and six or seven feet long. Drury recommends leaving at least five or six inches of snow at the bottom as insulation against the cold ground.
Given enough time, you can create an A-frame roof from slabs of snow, but in an emergency, you can just lay branches and evergreen boughs across the trench and then place snow over the boughs for insulation. If you have a tarp or a waterproof shell, lay it over the boughs before piling on snow. Once inside, stop up the entrance with your pack to keep warm air from escaping.
Drury recommends that winter travelers keep a piece of closed-cell foam in their packs to use as a sleeping pad. It should be long enough to stretch from your shoulders to your butt. If it’s an emergency and you don’t have a pad, place evergreen boughs on the bottom of the trench for insulation. He also recommends carrying a lightweight sleeping bag or heavily insulated pants and jacket for emergencies.
“You might not be comfortable, but you’ll survive the night,” he said.
Drury said the temperature in a properly constructed snow trench should stay in the twenties even if it’s colder outside.
Please join me in welcoming North Country Community College (NCCC) as a sponsor for Adirondack Almanack. Support from advertisers like NCCC helps make the Almanack possible. If you are interested in supporting Adirondack Almanack through advertising, let us know.
The people of Essex and Franklin Counties of New York founded North Country Community College in 1967. The College’s mission is to provide the highest quality public, post secondary education to area residents, as well as those outside the region, who desire to live, learn and grow in a unique educational setting. NCCC maintains a strong reputation for progressive academic curriculum that is anchored in the liberal arts tradition. College programs are ideal for those students who plan on attaining a 2 or 4 year degree, as well as those seeking a career change.
Begun in the spring of 2005, the Almanack has grown to be the region’s most popular online journal of news and opinion, covering local politics, culture, history, regional development, outdoor recreation, the environment and other issues. Adirondack Almanack has become a go-to regional news resource for Adirondackers and for those outside the park who want to stay current on Adirondack news and events.
If you like real Irish music, the northern Adirondacks is a good place to be this St. Patrick’s Day. Michael Cooney, an All-Ireland champion piper many times over, is playing in several venues.
Cooney was born in Tipperary, where he learned tunes from local fiddle and accordion players. In the 1980s he came to the United States, recently moving to Lake Placid.
With the band Aiseiri, Cooney will be playing today at P2s Pub in Tupper Lake 4-6 p.m. and at Kyna’s Pub in Malone 8-11 p.m. Wednesday Aisieri will play 12:10-1:10 p.m. at North Country Community College’s Saranac Lake campus, in the Connector (cafeteria). A lot of bands play Irish music, but it’s rare to find musicians so dedicated to the old-country style. Aiseiri also features a singer, bodhrán (drum) and banjo player as well as another uilleann (elbow) pipes player who complement each other beautifully.
Aiseiri is organizing the second annual Festival of Ireland in Lake Placid, to be held Labor Day weekend.
The slowdown in the economy is affecting the Adirondack Park’s two colleges in different ways.
At least twenty students have left Paul Smith’s College this year for financial reasons, president John Mills told The New York Times this week. “Their parents are losing their jobs, or they’re afraid of taking on any debt, even student loans,” Mills said to the Times. “It’s a fear of the unknown.”
Enrollment at the private two- and four-year college is 834 right now, low for a spring semester, college spokesman Kenneth Aaron explained Wednesday. Faculty and staff have taken a voluntary pay cut (from 1 to 2.5 percent) to help make ends meet, he added. The story is different at North Country Community College (NCCC), which has campuses in Saranac Lake, Ticonderoga and Malone. While hard times are hurting four-year colleges across the United States, they are boosting enrollment at career-oriented community colleges.
NCCC numbers are up 8 percent (103 students) over last spring, reported Ed Trathen, vice president for enrollment and student services. Some 2,200 students attend NCCC, more than double the number 10 years ago.
“For us, it definitely has to do with people departing voluntarily or involuntarily from the workforce and looking to retrain themselves,” Trathen said. The college focuses on programs that can lead to local jobs; for example, nursing, radiologic technology, massage therapy, sports events management, and business for sole proprietors. NCCC also established a 2-year pre-teaching program that’s transferrable to SUNY Potsdam and Plattsburgh.
Affordability is another factor. Tuition at NCCC, which has no student housing, is $3,490 a year. At Paul Smith’s it’s $18,460, plus $8,350 for room and board.
Nurses are in demand, and NCCC received 350 applications this year for the 70 slots in its Registered Nursing program, Trathen said. In 2007 Paul Smith’s College explored launching a nursing curriculum, but no action has been taken.
Kenneth Aaron said Paul Smith’s endowment is down, just like all investment portfolios. “The silver lining is we’re not as reliant on our endowment as other institutions,” he added.
Paul Smith’s is under a hiring freeze, and NCCC is bracing for a reduction in state aid (some funding also comes from Essex and Franklin Counties). Both institutions are trying to cut costs without having to lay off faculty or trim education programs, Aaron and Trathen said.
Photograph of Paul Smiths College in the 1950s courtesy of campawful.com