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Columns

RLS at Manasquan, part II

“Wealth is only useful for two things, a yacht and a string quartette.” — Robert Louis Stevenson, Saranac Lake, October 1887 --- It happened one day in May of 1888, on the seashore near the mouth of the Manasquan River in New Jersey, that a telegram arrived for Robert Louis ...

It’s just coffee, right?

Coffee may very well be the world’s most widely traded tropical agricultural commodity. It’s certainly one of them. Twenty to twenty-five million families around the world make their living growing coffee. And by most estimates, more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed ...

Vaccine rollout ramps up

Over 5 million first doses and 2.7 million completed series have been administered in New York state since mid-December. In the North Country, 31.7% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine, statewide 26.7%, in the U.S. 24.9%. The state received 3.5 million doses in the ...

Super Activity

With spring on the way, my thoughts turned to clearing out my spare room. It could be an office, a workout room, both! As with every good project, things got messier right away. Full bookshelves needed to be moved. Stacks of books soon crowded the floor, spilling into other rooms. The vacuum ...

Signs of spring

When my children were young, no matter how much I tried to convince them otherwise, their first sign of spring was the hot dog guy on the corner by Paul Smith’s College. Neither a round of robins nor a patch of spring bulbs replaces the idea that a guy selling meat from a metal cart alongside ...

A majority disagrees

There are so many pronouncements to take issue with in Sally White’s March 19 Adirondack Daily Enterprise letter to the editor that it is hard to know which is the most important to start with. The article reads as if it is not the patient but doctors, family members and an uncaring society ...

IIHS is a powerful tool in traffic safety

If you read these weekly articles even occasionally, you will often find information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the agency that crash-tests vehicles just to see just how safe they are. IIHS assigns one of several safety ratings so buyers can see just how safe the vehicles ...

Follow the science on legalization of recreational marijuana

With the New York State Legislature seriously considering legislation to legalize marijuana for recreational, adult use in New York, I submit the following thoughts for readers’ consideration. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in people acknowledging more than ever the importance of ...

Serving up spring

It’s officially spring! And its signs are everywhere. Snow is disappearing fast and dandelion greens appear where it has melted. Warmer days and chilly nights mean that maple syrup season is in full swing. Again this year, most Maple Weekend activities will not take place due to the ...

History of Saranac Lake high schools

Well, I’d better qualify that title. This column will not cover the history of the present high school at 79 Canaras Ave. Freshmen students from the former high school at 141 Petrova Ave. entered the new high school in 1970. The last graduating class from the Petrova school was 1969. Now ...

Truths, half-truths and Saranac Lake truths

One of our most famous summer residents, Albert Einstein, came up with the groundbreaking physics’ theory of the relativity of time. Sadly, he did not win the Nobel Prize for it. Essentially, it means that time isn’t an absolute thing, but is relative to the people perceiving it. Or to ...

Trump’s trickle-down lie

“There are a lot of people who believe what comes out of the president’s mouth.” — Ohio State University professor Paul Beck - Using his presidential megaphone and social media platforms to spread his message, President Donald Trump duped millions of citizens into believing he ...

Full circle

Sing on, sing on you gray-brown bird, Sing from the swamps, the recesses, pour your chant from the bushes, Limitless out of the dusk, out of the cedars and pines. — Walt Whitman, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” - A whole year has gone by since we first ...

RLS at Manasquan, part I

“The doctor (E.L. Trudeau) is anxious that he (Robert Louis Stevenson) should return here (to Saranac Lake) in July and camp out in the woods.” That was the plan as the mother of RLS explained it to her sister by letter from Baker’s shortly before her departure for New York City in the ...

Powerful tale of Adirondack bootlegging

Christopher Shaw’s “The Power Line” is a complex novel set mostly in the Adirondacks during and soon after the Prohibition years. Lonnie Monroe and Francois Germaine work in the woods for Paul Smith, bringing electricity to his hotel. They are also bootleggers, transporting liquor from ...

Time for optimism?

6,699,848 vaccine doses have been administered in New York state since mid-December: 4.5 million first doses and 2.3 million completed series. Statewide, 23% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine. In the North Country, it’s 29%. Over 10 million people are eligible ...

Learning how government works

Americans learned a lot about government — especially that once-obscure process of impeachment — in the past year. But over time we’ve lost ground when it comes to understanding and embracing our democracy’s basic values. That loss goes a long way to explaining our political ...

New state entity for outdoor rec is good idea

The Final Report from the High Peaks Advisory Group has been released for public consumption, and if you haven’t read it through already, you should. The document reflects a year-long process of distilling and diagnosing some of the most pertinent issues we face here in the Adirondacks. ...

Partial automation has negative consequences

As with many improvements to automobiles along with driver benefits, there is often an unintended negative consequence. This is true for some of the automated systems now available on the newer vehicles, according to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the December ...

Minding your Ps and Qs

On a trip to England to the prerequisite pub visit, I learned one version regarding the history of the term “minding your Ps and Qs.” There are numerous theories, so let’s go with the 1700s pub version addressing the number of pints and quarts consumed. It is said that back in the ...