Columns

Why did RLS leave Saranac Lake?

“Wealth is only useful for two things — a yacht and a string quartet.” — Robert Louis Stevenson, Saranac Lake, October 1887 --- Sam McClure, American businessman, had his own news syndicate in New York City. He, too, found his way to Baker’s in the fall of 1887. His intentions were ...

Debt bomb

In “The Pink Panther,” clueless Inspector Clouseau says, “There’s a bum in my rum.” We have a bum, err bomb, in our room folks. At the start of 2008, our national debt stood a little over $9 trillion. Then to counter the Great Recession, Congress authorized stimulus spending, and ...

Don’t redefine travel corridors

This is an open letter to the Adirondack Park Agency: Changing the transportation corridor definition is, in my opinion, spot zoning. The intent of the change is to favor the use of the land for a subset of the public, and it reduces the number of citizens able to actually travel along the ...

Moles and voles and yards with holes

It’s spring. Days are getting longer. The weather’s getting warmer. The sun is sitting higher in the sky. And, as I write this, the persistent snow in my yard is finally giving way to bare ground. This is the time of year when the consumer horticulture season really begins in earnest at ...

Following Jesus, or Trump?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24) The verse refers to money, but in light of today’s debate about the unaccountable devotion many Christian leaders have for President ...

Barbara Bush touched the nation

She was born into comfort in Manhattan and raised in Rye, a leafy, exclusive suburb in New York’s Westchester County. She would leave college before graduating to marry. She never had a career beyond wife, mother and citizen. But her death, in her 10th decade, evoked an almost spontaneous ...

Navigating to the stars using stars

In past columns we have talked about using the stars to navigate upon the Earth and we have also discussed how some stars become pulsars which emit periodic bursts of radiation in the form of radio, optical, and X-ray emission. Surprisingly, a new NASA mission ties together these two seemingly ...

DOT to close stretch of Route 30 between Long Lake, Tupper Lake

By the time you read this article, the New York State Department of Transportation will have closed a four-mile stretch of Route 30 at its midpoint between Long Lake and Tupper Lake. On April 25, DOT contractors will have begun digging a 200-foot-long by 30-foot-deep ditch across the two lanes ...

Teen drivers need more driving, not instruction, part 2

Last week’s article was the first of a two-part series on teen drivers, based on a February New York Times article by Dr. Perri Klass, and what we as parents need to do to keep them safe while they learn the finer points of safe driving. Lack of experience was the greatest factor for poor ...

The Republican high-water mark

If Republicans aren’t losing their congressional majority this coming fall, they are doing a good job of acting like it. Dozens of Republicans are leaving the House, and last week Paul Ryan said he is resigning as House speaker at the end of this Congress, and will not even run for his ...

Why the authoritarian right is rising

A fortnight ago, Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party won enough seats in the Hungarian parliament to rewrite his country’s constitution. To progressives across the West, this was disturbing news. For the bete noire of Orban’s campaign was uber-globalist George Soros. And Orban’s ...

DEC and the coal tar cleanup, part 2

This column will layout more detail of the work ahead for DEC reiterating some information from last week about the cleanup which also covered the history of the old gas manufacturing plant on Payeville Lane that created the pollution. The New York state Department of Environmental ...

International intrigue with a touch of Irish luck

During my college career I was fortunate to have an opportunity to study abroad on an exchange program through Plattsburgh State. The year was 1976 and the cooperating school was Chester College, a small institution known for its School of Outdoor Pursuits and Physical Education. The ...

Fixing the deficit, billions at a time

On April 12, 233 members of the House of Representatives, including Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, passed a Balanced Budget Amendment. This bit of political grandstanding will go no further than this vote and will do nothing to even slightly reduce the projected $1 trillion deficit. In my view, ...

Hijinks jinxed

It was late April 1967, after a very long, very hard Old Time Winter. Now a note of enlightenment: I’ve been hearing all around town about what a long hard winter we just had. Hate to be the one to tell ya, but we didn’t. First, it wasn’t hard. We didn’t have a lot ...

Pulitzer journalists’ work is inspirational and amazing

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are newspaper reporters who both have daughters under the age of 2. Their reporting last year was the catalyst for the #MeToo movement. I’m betting you never heard of Kantor or Twohey, or how the #MeToo movement even came about. It was dogged reporting by ...

‘The Master of Ballantrae — A Winter’s Tale’

“I was walking one night in the verandah of a small house in which I lived, outside the hamlet of Saranac. It was winter; the night was very dark; the air extraordinary clear and cold, and sweet with the purity of forests. From a good way below, the river was to be heard contending with ice ...

For black people, white fear is an ever-present danger

In the aftermath of the Starbucks incident in Philadelphia, during which two black men who were waiting for a friend were asked to leave, because they hadn’t bought anything yet, I’m going to retell a story from my family’s life. When the men in Starbucks refused to leave, the store ...

Let every day be Earth Day

Celebrating Earth Day once a year is like giving your mother a thank you card on your birthday and letting her know that you really appreciate the 22 hours of labor she went through. I’m sure she knows, but a bit of gratitude doesn’t go unnoticed. So, yearly, on April 22, I ask my family ...