MOUNTAIN - to the Hannaford Brothers company of Maine for opening a supermarket today in Lake Placid's Cold Brook Plaza, in space that has been vacant for far too long, since Tops closed in 2005. Hannaford is adding 80 to 100 jobs to the community, about 80 percent of which were hired locally, and can be expected to enliven business at the plaza's other stores. The company also has already donated $3,000 to the Lake Placid Central School District, another display of community investment. The double-draw of two excellent supermarkets, Hannaford and Price Chopper, makes Lake Placid even more of a regional retail hub. We're happy to have them here.
MOUNTAIN - to the International Olympic Committee for adding women's ski jumping as an Olympic sport. People here can look forward to watching local female jumpers take advantage of that, starting in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. It's deeply deserved and thrilling to think about.
MOUNTAIN - to the amount of work that an amazing number of private individuals are putting into preparing for Daffest, which will debut in two weeks in Saranac Lake. The village already has two top-notch winter festivals - Winter Carnival and First Night - and an array of summer fetes highlighted by the Block Party. Daffest looks to become our spring festival, comparable to the Tulip Festival of Ottawa or Albany, or the Cherry Blossom Festival of Washington, D.C., except on a small-town scale and with the boost of a small town's energetic spirit. So far, that spirit is buzzing in people all over town, led by visionary and head honcho Cherie Sayles. We're very excited.
MOUNTAIN - to dozens of Tupper Lake Middle/High School students for organizing into a group that stands up against bullying in a positive, constructive way. Stop H8 is a group of seventh- through 12th-graders who have been working on campaigns that prompt kids to think twice about bullying, especially cyber-bullying. Getting so many students to apply positive peer pressure can really make some headway in tilting teenagers away from bullying, a mob-type behavior that's always been with us but needs to be much better controlled, especially now as high-tech social media have taken it to a new level of cruelty.
MOUNTAIN - that spring has finally arrived (despite relapses of winter chill). It's been a long winter.
VALLEY and MOUNTAIN - that snowmelt revealed Gary Sklaryk's body in a Saranac Lake backyard, three months after he walked away from his home. It's sad and disturbing, but it's good he was found.
(Look for more Mountains & Valleys in this space Monday.)