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Columns

‘Every village needs a junkyard’

That was the title of a column I wrote 50 years ago, substituting for Enterprise columnist Bill McLaughlin, who was on vacation. Now, before we get to that, I want to say a few words about my friend, the late Orville Paye. If any town or village residents remember Orville at all, it was ...

Fall colors getting brighter every day

The best thing that happened to me on Thursday was finding the long-lost hex wrench I use to raise and lower the seat on my bicycle. After riding all summer long with my seat a little too low, I brought it up a couple inches, and on Friday, I took off on a three-hour ride on crisp, sunny ...

Social Emotional Learning is a priority at St. Bernard’s this year

Due to the sudden shutdown in March, almost six months passed before children returned to school. Let’s keep in mind the critical socio-emotional supports that schools provide. Some children experience high levels of strife at home. Some are in families struggling with illness. Some parents ...

Lens craft

Even as a little kid, I couldn’t relate to formal ceremonies. And it didn’t matter what they were: religious, civic, school, Cub Scouts — you name it, I couldn’t relate to it. In all fairness, my alienation was probably due less to the ceremonies themselves than to my universal ...

Pete Tanzini, Will o’ the Wisp — Part 2

Last week, local historian Phil “Bunk” Griffin introduced the tale of Pete Tanzini, one of Saranac Lake’s notorious rum runners. What follows is the second part of this story. --- As prohibition continued and bootlegging took hold in the North Country, organized gangs soon demanded ...

The Scribners series of 12 essays

Living on a farm in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state, on the outskirts of a backwoods hamlet, in the house of an Adirondack guide and his family that overlooked a river that reminded her of Scotland, was the new normal for Margaret Stevenson, age 58, formerly of 17 Heriot Row in the ...

‘Great Camps’ book made greater

When I first moved back to the Adirondacks, my wife and I attended a three-day workshop on great camps at Sagamore Institute on Raquette Lake. We were immediately hooked on both the history and the architectural aspects. Over time, and with the help of such groups as Adirondack Architectural ...

Education isn’t enough; permits needed for High Peaks Wilderness

Saturday’s editorial “Permit? No, do these things for the High Peaks” makes some excellent points, particularly regarding enforcement and trail maintenance. However, I believe it misses the mark regarding education and parking. As a longtime wilderness educator active at the local, ...

My humble opinion

With all the tragic unrest stemming from interactions between law enforcement and individual citizens, between differing ideologies and political factions, and between protesters (peaceful and violent) over racial conflicts and inequalities, I’m saddened to conclude there is little chance of ...

Arsonist who will extinguish the flames

In an interesting turn of events, the Republican Party has chosen to approach the November election without a policy platform. Although these documents historically have been of minor interest to voters in their entirety, they have contained statements of positions on specific issues that ...

Trumped-up history 

A disturbing thought crossed my mind recently — happens a lot in these troubling times. What if Donald Trump had been born and was politically active in bygone years? What might he have said and done? Here are four scenarios, each with a brief introduction.  The Tea Act of May 1773, ...

Consider the injustice of forced union dues

This Labor Day we should celebrate America’s hard working men and women, especially the nurses, supermarket clerks, and other frontline workers who have faced unprecedented challenges this year. But as we recognize and honor them, consider that many in your state can be legally forced to pay ...

The fine line between sadness and tragedy

This may be a vastly unpopular stance, but here I go again. Please stop telling my high school senior how sorry you are for her. She completely understands how her senior and junior years are different from the ones her older brother experienced. Believe me, she gets it. I know it may be ...

Happy new year!

Have you made your new year’s resolutions yet? Too early, you say? True, the Western new year is still months away. But later this week, Rosh Hashanah marks the Jewish new year 5781, which begins at sundown on Friday, Sept. 18. The celebration and feasting concludes at sundown on ...

Pedestrian safety is no accident

Pedestrian safety is a two-way street: Drivers must be aware of pedestrians and what they might do, and pedestrians must be aware of drivers and what they might do. If both driver and pedestrian are aware of the other and obey the basics of vehicle and traffic law, vehicle-pedestrians crashes ...

Off the rails again

Boy, I wish I was going to be around 50 years from now to overhear a conversation with a group dedicated to solving the transportation problem in the Adirondacks. So many cars, so many people, a toll booth at Exit 30 of the Northway. Two hundred dollars for two days, and don’t violate the ...

The weighting game … and the waiting game

Since I retired, the biggest change in my life is my lack of attention to detail. Routinely, I find I’ve run out of butter or milk or bread. With laundry, it suddenly seems clean skivs have become either a faint hope or a distant memory. As for appointments? Well, I missed my last oil ...

How to make soup from wild rose hips

SARANAC LAKE — The first time I saw the tiny red berries, loading an enormous bush high above the Saranac River, I thought they had to be poisonous. The size of shooter marbles, with spiky tops like a sorceress’s cowl, they looked more like little bombs than fruit. No, said a friend ...

Pete Tanzini, Will o’ the Wisp (Part 1)

On Jan. 29, 1919, the government enacted the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages. This act created a lucrative, new and illegal enterprise for the North Country. Saranac Lake, with its maze of back roads and its close proximity to the Canadian ...

The hunter home from the hill

Oct. 27, 1887, was partly spent by Margaret Stevenson writing another letter to her sister Jane Balfour in Scotland, keeping her up on the latest adventures in her new life of traveling with her celebrity son Robert Louis Stevenson, along with his wife Fanny plus her son Lloyd Osbourne and ...