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Mountains & Valleys

September 3, 2011
Editorial by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise: Publisher Catherine Moore, Managing Editor Peter Crowley

MOUNTAIN - If you've been reading this newspaper for a while, there's a chance you might have gotten a bit miffed at the editor. You may have even wished you could do something to him to vent your anger (in a unharmful way, we hope.)

Or maybe you aren't mad at him but still think it would be funny to soak him in a dunk tank.

Either way, here's the chance you've been waiting for.

Enterprise Managing Editor Peter Crowley will be sitting in the dunk tank from 1:15 to 1:35 p.m. (UPDATED SUNDAY) Monday at the Labor Day Circus in Saranac Lake's Riverside Park. You're welcome to take your turn to try to sink him, but it'll cost you a little bit of money - for a good cause, though. The Saranac Lake Youth Center, which is putting on this circus as a fundraiser, is an excellent, safe place for teenagers to hang out after school and also trains some of them to be superior babysitters - a needed service for parents and needed cash for the teens.

Also taking shifts in the dunk booth will be a variety of local teachers and even the most recent Winter Carnival queen - the kind of folks it would, we admit, be fun to soak. So step right up and give it your best shot - and while you're at it, check out all the other good stuff at the Labor Day Circus.


MOUNTAIN - to the many and diverse efforts under way to clean up, make repairs and raise renewal funds after the catastrophic Tropical Storm Irene. People in our small towns and kind and generous to their neighbors. Most immediately this Labor Day weekend, we'd like to call attention to a call Gov. Andrew Cuomo made Friday: He asked New Yorkers to "Labor for your Neighbor" for a few hours on Sunday and Monday. Of course, you can do this on your own if you know where you can be of use, but if you don't, go online to, where you can either make monetary donations or sign up to volunteer: You fill out a form, and they tell you where you can help closest to your home. This seems like a good way to organize an entire state full of helpful people.


VALLEY - Another Empire State online effort has proven itself almost useless when it's most needed. The Department of Transportation is issuing press releases plugging its 511 website,, but the site is awkward to use and misleading in its map labeling - for instance, it puts road-closure icons on top of intersections on either side of the closure, making it look like those intersections are impassible when they aren't. Its special page dedicated to Irene is amazingly sparse; for roads statewide, here is the entirety of what the site says:

"11 miles of Route 73 in Essex County is closed from Rte 9 to Route 9N (just west of I-87).

"Numerous local highway and bridge closures exist. Check Traffic Conditions for more information."

Maybe we should be honored that one of our area's roads is the only one on the list statewide, but seriously ...

Essex County's website does a much, much better job. Try it at

Here's what you need to know to get to and from here, if you don't already: Forget I-87 Exit 30, since state Route 73 from there to Keene Valley is wiped out and so is U.S. Route 9 toward Elizabethtown. Instead, use Exit 31 through Elizabethtown and Keene. An alternate for points south is Exit 23 through Warrensburg, Blue Mountain Lake and Tupper Lake; for points north on I-87, try Exit 37 (Plattsburgh) and state Route 3 to Saranac Lake. Also, don't expect town roads to be open in Keene or Jay, and plan extra driving time since many roads are down to one lane at spots.


MOUNTAIN - Despite Irene, the resourceful and plucky merchants of the towns of Keene and Jay are open for business. Check them out; they're great in general and could especially use your patronage during these tough times.


VALLEY - Sadly, the exciting High Falls Gorge in Wilmington is closed until further notice due to serious damage from the Irene-swollen West Branch of the AuSable River. Owner Katherine Reiss can't borrow money to fix it because she maxed out her equity repairing from the spring flood. Her only recourse is to ask people for donations (which aren't tax-deductibe since they're to a business) via We encourage you to give to rescue this Adirondack landmark, which might otherwise go away. This is one of those small-town reversals in which customers must cater to businesses, if they want good ones.



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