Friday, February 10, 2006

Last Year and This Years Ice Palace

Last years larger Ice Palace but they have built palaces much larger than this one.
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Ta Da! This years Ice Palace ready for the King and Queen. The 'wing' structure at the left side is likely a maze.


The 'Thrones'.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ice Palace Today


So here is where we stand today with the Ice Palace. I suspect it will be finished late this afternoon or by noon tomorrow at the latest. 'Thrones' for the King and Queen still need to be built in the center of the structure. When I drove by at noon the electricians were at work getting ready to string the lights. It's one of the smallest Ice Palaces ever but that's ok, the tourist will settle for it hopefully.

Wal-Mart in Saranac Lake - Evil Rears Its Ugly Head

So the 'rumors' turned out to be true. Wal-Mart just announced it wants to build a 121,000 square foot supercenter in Saranac Lake, NY. Happy days are here again - NOT. This is a done deal. A majority of Saranac Lake village residents are in favor of a giant Wal-Mart, so it will happen. The village will sell its 10 acre sandpit lot to Wal-Mart. What used to be Stanley Chevrolet will definitely sell; it's an odd coincidence that they gave up their Chevy dealership just a few months ago. Burger King 'closed' for the season in November; any bets that it will re-open as a MacDonald's since MacDonald's will be looking for a new location? Carcuzzi - well what can I say about Carcuzzi. A couple months ago I asked one of the partners if they would sell out to Wal-Mart. To paraphrase - nope, we are a brand new business and they would have to pay way too much to buy us out. Well, I guess the largest retailer in the universe can afford to buy out a little car repair business afterall. What really bothers me are the Village officials. They have claimed for months that they knew nothing about Wal-Mart wanting to purchase the village sandlot. Well, the Carcuzzi owner said he knew last summer that Wal-Mart was interested in buying his property, so I find it hard to believe that the Village officials didn't know. One can understand why a private business might not want to be upfront about their future plans, but there is no excuse for misdirection by public officials.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Finally An Ice Palace

After the warmest January in the USA ever, 8.8 degrees above average, work on the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace began yesterday. It will be much smaller than usual, probably only about 600-800 blocks of ice vs the normal 2000 blocks. The ice blocks are only about 10 inches thick which will result in a small castle. Normally the ice blocks would be about 15-18 inches thick.

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The blocks of ice are cut from Pontiac Bay on Lake Flower using a special saw that was designed decades ago. The ice blocks are guided to shore and scooped up by a tractor and delivered to the building site. The space where the ice has been cut can be seen in the lower left corner of the photo.

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The ice palace as of early this morning, about 7 courses high. This was done in a single day with the help of inmates from Camp Gabriels and some very experienced local 'architects' and 'engineers'.

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Once the walls get high, the ice blocks are hoisted into place using a crane. This one belongs to the Paul Smiths College forestry department.

NOTE: They added another half dozen courses of ice blocks today. Of course I'll post a picture of the finished Ice Palace. One taken at night as well.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006