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Columns

It’s all Johnson-Smith

My 11th and 12th years were a magical time, but not like I was afloat on a cloud of joyous delight like some hick version of Peter Pan. Au contraire, in fact. By fall 1958 I’d been cast out of my grade school cocoon and herded smack-dab in the middle of junior high. I was caught completely ...

Adirondack Diary

June 28 Met mayor walking around Moody Pond. Arm in sling from rotator cuff repair. Went to Tom Oddy’s funeral and burial. Was a 94-year old World War II vet whose eyesight was limited by war shrapnel. Some sons wore clan tartan ties. Tom Jr. gave moving eulogy. Bagpiped into church ...

Adirondacks aren’t a getaway from racism

Two years ago, I moved out of the city to start fresh up here in the tranquility of the mountains. I had spent most of my life stretched thin between school and part-time jobs. It was late November when I arrived, and I remember the sheer stillness of everything compared to the life I had ...

Hunting for health

In the past months, scientists have speculated that the coronavirus may have jumped for bats to humans, and the virus has spread quickly around the globe. The world suddenly seems much smaller. The situation reminds us of our connectedness to the animal world and to each other. Such an ...

Putting law in order, part 2 of 2

To demonize all law enforcement officers as violence-prone racists is both wrong and absurd. The police have a difficult job made all the more dangerous in a society awash with guns, when every encounter with civilians is a potentially life-threatening situation. While teaching at Florida ...

R.L.S. in Newport

On the afternoon of Sept. 7, 1887, Robert Louis Stevenson stepped onto American soil for the first time in seven years, which made it his “second coming” in the words of his friend Will Low, an artist living in New York. The scene was a pier on the Hudson River in lower Manhattan. Low ...

Guide goes extra mile for you and your dog

In full disclosure, I do not own a dog. But as a guide and erstwhile trail worker, I hike for a living and spend a lot of time with guidebooks. Canine companion or not, Alan Via’s new guidebook from SUNY Press is a phenomenal addition to any trail dog’s bookshelf. Via is an ...

Putting law in order, part 1 of 2

After the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and the ensuing protests that swept the country, President Donald Trump repeatedly mentioned the need for “law and order,” using the well-worn phrase as if it were one word with a single, self-evident ...

Your dog isn’t superhuman

While heading back down Giant Mountain last Thursday, I came across a family struggling with their ascent. They were about a mile-and-a-quarter into their hike and were definitely having second thoughts about their trail choice. The mother of the family was the first one I encountered. She ...

In defense of history

The attempt to record objective accounts of the past is an important and noble pursuit. That said, it’s a fact that countries typically promote, either explicitly or implicitly, a national mythology that is selective — one that disproportionately emphasizes its positive attributes and is ...

Valedictorian shows there is hope

At the Saranac Lake High School commencement ceremony last week, Francine Newman, valedictorian, surprised her parents and just about everyone else by speaking about her own experiences with racism while growing up and going to school in the community. Francine’s maternal grandmother was ...

Two summer superfoods: beets and chard

Once upon a time, beets were lonely outcasts, humble and reviled. Swiss chard was unknown. But times have changed. Today, these two veggies are considered superfoods. The number of beet and chard dishes on restaurant menus keeps rising. Chard and beet greens are botanical cousins — and ...

Continue to question your behavior

I find I can dig in deep when I'm trying to prove a point to my children. I can hold on to what I believe to be true (from stupid things like a coaster prevents water rings on a table to more serious infractions like name-calling is never a good option.) I've been guilty of both and other ...

IIHS recommends having safeguards for automated driving systems

Most new cars today have some partially automated systems that assist the driver in a variety of ways, but these systems still need the driver to be involved at all times. “Unfortunately, the more sophisticated and reliable automation becomes, the more difficult it is for drivers to stay ...

‘Will Rogers Hospital is closing; 140 workers told of jobs lost’

Lucky for our readers and for local history archives, it was reporter Evelyn Outcalt who covered the story. Evelyn was the best of the best in our old newsroom when the Enterprise was located at 76 Main St. We were all pounding out stories on our now-vintage typewriters: Remingtons, Royals ...

All the way with JFK, part 3: When three’s not a charm

James F. Krueger, petty officer first class, first-class conman, and our putative leader, called us together. “OK,” he said, ‘here’s how we’ll approach it.” “It” was the world’s largest folks march in Nijmegen, Holland. “We” were the self-anointed Navy Long ...

On this Independence Day, recalling the Founders’ views of a free press

America’s Founders regarded a free press as so vital to the new nation that they took care to include that right in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Founders spoke glowingly about the press as a pillar of democracy and guarantor of liberty. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, famously ...

Love and cousins

“The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love.” — W. Somerset Maugham - Before antibiotics, one of the most powerful medicines against tuberculosis was love. Happy patients tended to be more successful in overcoming the disease, so health care ...

‘The Second Coming of R.L.S.’

Sept. 7, 1887, for Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, was a day befitting the popular phrase, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” It started aboard the cargo steamer Ludgate Hill, about to complete her 12-day trans-Atlantic haul from London to New York via Le Havre, ...

Protecting berry crops

The spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, is a vinegar or fruit fly native to Southeast Asia. It’s been in Hawaii since the 1980s and was first detected in North America in 2008, in California. In 2010, it was discovered in Florida, the Carolinas, Michigan, and Utah; eventually turning ...