Guest Commentary

Billy Yank, Johnny Reb and the Godsend brew

In his classic work “The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union,” historian Bell Irvin Wiley states that soldiers “cherished” coffee during the Civil War (1861-65). According to Wiley, the effect this beverage had on troop morale was considerable. “And if it cannot be ...

A community of support

As we enter the winter months, I just want to bring greater awareness as to how important our daily interactions are with one another in our homes, as well as in our community. Saranac Lake has a strong community base. I’m always amazed at the warmth of perfect strangers in our town. It ...

New Adirondack Park popularity is an opportunity for needed changes

Leaders of Adirondack environmental and local government organizations are pleased that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has invested aggressively in the Adirondacks. The state’s efforts promoting tourism and protecting natural resources has been good for the nationally significant Adirondack Park and our ...

NCCC pool: A valuable community resource

When I moved to Saranac Lake in 1978 from the Washington, D.C. area, I was delighted to learn there was a pool in the village open to the public. My mid-Atlantic upbringing included swimming in the ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Upon entering fresh water lakes for the first time I found the ...

Where’s my Santa of Color?

With the holiday season slowly coming to an end, malls across America are quickly filling up with shopping procrastinators, storefronts selling last minute deals, and then of course, white men playing Santa Claus for cranky children--with black Santa getting left behind the curtain hidden from ...

The sham of government shutdowns

I’ve been thinking about government shutdowns. The most recent threat to stop public services is about funding the expansion of the border wall with Mexico. But shutting the government down is hardly a new idea. Just 11 months ago, there was a several day shutdown over childhood immigrants ...

Coroner to other coroners: Respond to calls … or leave the job

I haven’t felt compelled to respond to rebuttal commentary regarding the coroner issues because I said what needed to be said during interviews. I had the opportunity to make my comments off the record because it started out as an informal conversation. It was time to say something. Some ...

Why I teach in prison

The first time I taught in prison was 20 years ago. I was a naive, brazen and book-smart college student. I registered for Buzz Alexander’s “Society and Discourse” English 111 course, knowing only that I would co-facilitate a theater workshop with another college student at a nearby ...

Coroner insulted his colleagues

I have served as an Essex County coroner and licensed funeral director for the past 29 years. After much deliberation, I decided not to seek re-election this year. During my tenure as a coroner, I responded to thousands of calls all over the county, and even a few outside the county when ...

The handwritten letter

The passing of our 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush, is a solemn occasion, as we have not only lost a great American and a loyal, compassionate, kind, honorable and loving human being, but also a symbol of a bygone era marked by civility, ethics, grace, honor, manners and meticulous ...

St. Luke’s — embracing one another

Historically, Saranac Lake has been a community that embraces and cares for one another. While we have our differences, individuals from a broad spectrum of life have consistently banded together to build a healthy community. Together we enjoy many community-wide activities. Alternatively, ...

We have to address climate change

I no longer argue with people about the existence of climate change. The science showing the existence of climate change and its impact is irrefutable. Two recent meta-analyses, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United States’ congressional Fourth ...

Don’t close college pool

North Country Community College is considering closing the swimming pool and has asked the community for input. The board should be commended for seeking public comment, and I am commenting publicly. I think closing the swimming pool is a terrible idea! I am a local eye doctor who has ...

The future of the NCCC pool

As director of Cloudsplitter Foundation and a local mom to a very busy 7-year-old, I write this letter in response to the recent article regarding the future of the North Country Community College community pool. In 2016, Cloudsplitter was approached by NCCC Foundation with a request to ...

The other side of Airbnb

I am a short-term vacation rental owner in Lake Placid. Over the past couple of months I have seen many articles discussing Airbnb and the negative impact it is having in the region. Some of the written arguments against short-term rentals include: challenges for the local workforce due to the ...

Reporting on coroners was shoddy

It was disheartening to read the Adirondack Daily Enterprise’s article about the concerns of Essex County Coroner Frank Whitelaw for many reasons, the primary one being the paper’s choice to publish without doing the due diligence of contacting the other coroners before publishing a story ...

False economy

The stock market is not the economy, though they are related. So while the market is going through a period of volatility and correction, the economy remains fairly sound, as evidenced by the near-ideal 4 percent unemployment rate. However, the economy is not a level playing field and never ...

It’s all intoxicating

Yes, I tried smoking marijuana many years ago, which only resulted in a three-day headache and left me pondering: What is all the fuss about, and why would I invite this smoking habit into my life? Cannabis, as we now know, is legal in the country of Canada and many states in the USA. The ...

Bush-era education reforms faded

I listened attentively to the many tributes aired on television concerning the life and accomplishments of the late George H.W. Bush, our 41st president. Not once did I hear any reference to President Bush’s efforts in 1991 to become the “education president.” He was the driving force ...

Post midterms, Biden-Booker ticket looks like a winner in 2020

A few months before the midterms, I came across a survey on Democrats.com in which users were asked to pick their favorite potential candidate for president in 2020. Along with 14.8 percent of the participating online community who took the poll, I voted for Biden. In many ways, Joe Biden ...