Saturday, February 02, 2008

2008 Ice Palace

Ice Spiral & Ice Maze

Curling Exhibit

Paul Smith's College Woodsmen Exhibition

2008 Winter Carnival - Schedule


10:00 a.m. - Ice Palace Fun Run (4 mile)
*At the Ice Palace

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – 15th Annual Business & Professional Women Chocolate Festival *At the Harrietstown Town Hall ($)

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. - Lutheran Church Women's Craft Sale
*At the Harrietstown Town Hall ($)

10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. - Petrova Winter for kids
*At the Petrova Elementary School Cafeteria ($)

11:00 a.m. – The Adirondack Arc Curling Exhibition
*Near the State Boat Launch site on Lake Flower

11:00 a.m. - Woodsmen's Exhibition
*At Riverside Park

12:30 p.m. - Ladies Fry Pan Toss
*At Riverside Park

1:00 p.m. - White Stag Downhill Ski Races
*At Mt. Pisgah Ski Center ($)

4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. - 7th SL Figure Skating Spaghetti Dinner
*At the Methodist Church ($)

5:30 p.m. - Torchlight Skiing
*At Mt. Pisgah Ski Center

7:00 p.m. - Lighting Of Ice Palace
Guide Boat Realty Fireworks Display
*At the State Boat Launch

7:30 p.m. - Arts Council Concert w/ “The Zambonis”
*At the Harrietstown Town Hall
$8 Adults, $6 Seniors, $4 14 & under, $20/family; call 891-1990 for tickets

Find more here.

Friday, February 01, 2008

A new non-partisan group has made its appearance in the Adirondacks. It's called Exactly how non-partisan the group is will unfold in the future. Here are the goals of the organization:
· Serve as a non-partisan issue-based forum for both permanent and seasonal Adirondack Park residents

· Support candidates who will press for adoption of the key positions

· Oppose candidates who are against key positions

· Gain enough influence to affect larger statewide issues, e.g., tax policy

· Create a community of common interests and an open democratic process to prioritize issues
The list also contains things that will make some local residents see red. Like support for the Community Store and the Adirondack Carousel. Here is the list of current key issues the group considers important:
· Consolidation of overlapping village, town and county services

· Broadband access throughout the Adirondacks

· Improved state planning and oversight of water quality, control of invasive species, and management of road salt and its environmental impacts

· Fair and consistent property assessments for all residents, both local and seasonal

· Strengthened enforcement of existing land and water use codes

· Elimination of State-imposed and unfunded mandates

· Property tax reform, including seeking alternative means to funding education and caps on property tax increases until a property is sold

· More projects that generate jobs and attract visitors, like the Community Store, Adirondack Carousel, etc.

· Control of boats moving from lakes with invasive species

· State tax-equivalent support for State land, equal to private taxation levies

· Control of “sprawl” through better planning and land use regulations, plus retail building and plaza size limits throughout the Park

· Park-wide standards for personal watercraft use

A pdf file of survey results can also be seen on the same web page as the key issues by clicking on the appropriate link.

The majority of the steering committee members of the group live on Upper Saranac Lake, on Lake Placid, Kiwassa Lake or Lake Colby. In other words - shore owners who may have an agenda different from other property owners. Being shore owners also implies a degree of wealth that the average Adirondacker does not have.

Joining the organization is not a matter of just saying I want to join. You need to fill out a survey form and contribute $75 or more.

2008 Ice Palace - Finished

Now we just need a night shot with the palace lit up. Look forward to shots of the Paul Smith's Woodsmen exhibition, maybe the frying pan toss, and the parade.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bush Proposes Savings

Let's save money by cutting medicare reimbursements to hospitals. I'm sure that the Adirondack Medical Center is fine with that. Let's cut medicaid. Hell, the poor can just go to the emergency room in the hospital that isn't getting enough reimbursements.

But don't even think about saving money in Iraq. The Iraqis need health care more than people in the USA need it. Besides, what's 12 billion dollars a month for war in todays economy? At least now we are protected from Iraq.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Damn Liberals

Conservatives make me chuckle. Don't vote for "liberal" McCain, vote for "conservative" Romney.

What's This FISA Stuff All About?

Russ Feingold sums it up. Is this the kind of smaller, get out of our lives government that Republicans have left us?

Interesting ADK Poll

Question: Which presidential candidate do you favor for the Feb. 5 primary election?

Hillary Clinton 24.2%

John Edwards 7.1%

Rudy Giuliani 5.1%

Mike Huckabee 3.0%

Alan Keyes 1.9%

John McCain 14.5%

Barack Obama 27.5%

Ron Paul 1.9%

Mitt Romney 8.6%

Undecided 6.3%

Now everyone knows these kinds of polls are not scientific at all. But the Tri-Lakes area always comes across as a pretty conservative area. So where did all these votes for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama come from? Is it because more progressives read the ADE online and participate in the polls? Is it because of those commie liberals in Long Lake? Is it from votes from the America hating "outsiders"?

Do read the comments on this poll. You find very few comments explaining suppor for republican candidates. Why is that? Are they just too embarassing to talk about?

2008 Ice Palace - VI

The Ice Palace is finished. It's raining today but that might not be too bad because when it gets colder this afternoon it will give the Palace a really nice smooth sheen. The pyramid is finished and the Egyptians could not have done a better job. It looks perfect. What I thought was going to be a maze is not a maze at all but rather a "community spiral". I have some pictures and will post them later today.

As promised, here are the pictures of the Ice Palace taken about 9 AM this morning. It was raining.

And a few hours later after a quick one inch snowfall.

Currently it's partly sunny and windy with snow flurries.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Saranac Lake Community Store Update

The Saranac Lake Community Store has raised $220,400 from 300 investors thus far. Their goal is $500,000 which must be raised by June 17th. A big push is going to start soon to raise the rest of the money. Shares in the store are $100 each and can be purchased by any resident of the State of New York. The Community Store has gotten some press recently in the Times Union.

No, I haven't purchased my shares yet, but I will soon. In fact, at I will be at the next "Buddy Party" where a current investor brings a friend who is hopefully a potential investor. I want to meet some of the 300 civic-minded people who have already invested.

Save Camp Gabriels Website

A website called Save Gabriels can be found by clicking on the link. The State of NY has proposed closing four minimum security "camps" due to a lower prison population. Camp Gabriels is one of them. Closing Camp Gabriels would be a significant blow to the area because a couple hundred well paying jobs would be lost.

The website has a couple of areas worth visiting. The "history" of Camp Gabriels is very interesting. Also, if you want to keep up with news coverage of the proposed closing, clicking on the "Archive" will provide the necessary links.

The closing of Camp Gabriels and other prisons is good news. It means fewer people are being sentenced to prison and I don't see how anyone cannot be happy with that. It's very expensive to keep a person in jail or prison. Unfortunately our area has come to count on the prison industry for well paying jobs. This is in no way good news for the local economy. I understand what it means to lose a job that pays a good salary.

However, at least one area person was willing to risk a letter to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise which more or less supports closing of the prison. Here is the letter:
The crime rate is down in New York state. As a result, there are fewer prisoners and lots of vacant space in correction facilities, meaning some of the facilities need closing. This kind of news is welcomed in most areas of the world and thought very good.

In addition, the state faces a huge financial deficit, and according to its politicians and most of its citizens, it needs to curb unnecessary spending.

In response, the governor of New York, the most heavily taxed state in the nation* and the state with the most state employees per capita in the nation*, intends to close down four minimum-security prisons that are half-full, one of which is a few miles from Saranac Lake, that being Camp Gabriels, which would all sound logical to most anyone.

The current employees at this facility — all unionized — have either “bumping” rights into seven other correction facilities within an hour’s drive from Camp Gabriels or will be given preference for openings in “non-competitive” categories of employment, which still sounds good to anyone with a heart for working people.

Yet, with all of the good news, we hear: 1. griping from a recently “retired” CO in Vermontville, with a wife working at Camp Gabriels (already “vested” in the retirement system), that she may have to travel a few more miles for some more state employment; 2. an impotent state senator (majority member) and an even more impotent assemblyperson (minority member) “calling for reconsideration”; 3. petitions at local convenience stores demanding a decision-reversal by the governor without saying why Gabriels should stay, other than saying it’s somehow “vital.”

These responses do not make any sense. The facilities should be closed and should have been closed long ago. (Just ask any CO for their honest opinion on that subject.)

And anyone who says Franklin County is somehow “short-changed” in the decision-making just doesn’t have their facts straight, as the state built three other correctional facilities in the county in the last 20 years: Bare Hill, Franklin and Chateaugay — far beyond what our population and/or voting power deserved.

Further, jobs come and go all the time in the private sector. A state employee commuting a few more miles to keep their nose in the trough doesn’t bring a tear to my eye.

Our politicians and community leaders should quit whining, as it will not and should not do any good, and do something worthwhile such as seizing this opportunity, just as the leaders in Plattsburgh did when its air base closed, and go after — with a vengeance — a host of private-sector jobs that fit with the community and may make use of the Gabriels facility. Any effort less than that and without the necessary logical foundation deserves just what it will obtain: nothing.
It's pretty hard to disagree with the logic of this letter. Everyday you hear local people complaining about taxes. Taxes are too high, taxes need to be cut. But when it comes time to actually cut taxes you often hear a different tune - especially when it directly affects you. One thing I notice is that often times the people complaining the loudest about high taxes are retired State employees.

Monday, January 28, 2008

2008 Ice Palace V

A bit warmer weather is coming this week but not warm enough to affect the Ice Palace.