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Columns

All the way with JFK (Part One)

On Tuesday’s so-called speed walk my left knee started hurting before I was half-way through it and it caught my attention. My rule of running and walking and pain is if the pain either goes away or stays the same, I’m fine. But if it gets worse, I stop immediately, walk back, and take ...

Are you a Trotty Veck?

“Are you a Trotty Veck?” This was the question posed to readers of the first Trotty Veck Messages pamphlet, “Good Cheer.” These small booklets contained quotes, poetry, jokes, local sayings and more, intended to boost the spirits of their readers. Trotty Veck Messengers were ...

To America

In his address, read by proxy at the unveiling ceremony of the Borglum plaque at Baker’s in Saranac Lake in 1915, Lloyd Osbourne said: “Once in this house Stevenson lay down a copy of ‘Don Quixote’ he was reading and said, with a curious poignancy that lingers still in my ears: ...

Composting: good for trash, good for garden

America’s municipal solid waste by the numbers --- According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of municipal solid waste generated in this country in 2017 (the most recent information available) was 267.8 million tons. That’s the equivalent of just over 4.5 pounds ...

Pride movement keeps pushing

June is traditionally celebrated as LGBTQ Pride Month. LGBTQI+ Pride Month is normally associated with joy, happiness, colorful parades and marches, people dressed in rainbow colored costumes, speeches by local, regional and national celebrities and leaders. Out of all the months in the ...

Supporting the local food process

Listen, I like my avocado toast just like the next overprivileged person. I could eat an avocado a day. If there was a reason for me to move to a warmer climate, it would be to have avocado trees and perhaps mangos, but mostly avocados. Though I do buy local food and grow a few ...

Fighting exclusion, part II

It has been 22 days since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers. Since then, as protests and demonstrations have erupted in every state in the country over police violence and systemic racism, many who had never paused to consider these daunting issues are now confronting them ...

A national discussion of race

It seemed improbable that any event would eclipse the combined effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact. Yet the brutal, recorded and replayed killing of George Floyd has precipitated events that did precisely that. Once again, and more loudly than ever, it has raised the volume ...

Now is the time to explore New York’s great outdoors

For travelers, the COVID-19 pandemic has offered challenges like never before. Around the world, the travel industry is expected to shrink by 50% — and New York is not immune. However, the “new normal” also offers us the opportunity to stop, pause and take stock. This includes ...

Create quick, easy meals with asparagus, ham and potatoes

Sunday morning it was 36 degrees. Is it spring? Summer? Or winter? This year the weather has been playing havoc —with snow in May for Mother’s Day, then really hot weather … It seems like it is either 40 or 90. Our poor asparagus came up in June rather than May. We thought we had lost ...

UTVs cannot be legally operated on public roads

I recently had an email from a farm family that asked for clarification on whether Utility Task Vehicles, also known as Cargo All-Terrain Vehicles, could be operated on a town road if used exclusively for farm purposes. The last time I addressed the issue of UTVs was in November 2016, so it’s ...

Tear slavery’s defenders from our public squares and from our hearts

I like to read speeches, and a few months ago, I was reading Vol. 9 in a 10-volume set of little books called “The World’s Famous Orations,” published early in the 20th century, with William Jennings Bryan as editor in chief. The volume includes speeches from an 1830 speech by Robert ...

1943: Detroit race riots and World War II

These awful headlines in the Plattsburgh Press-Republican were staring readers in the eye on Wednesday morning June 23, 1943, in the middle of World War II. I could salvage only about one-third of the Press, but the brief stories, cut off after a couple of paragraphs, will give you an idea ...

We need more leadership, less rhetoric

Dear Gov. Cuomo: During times of chaos and division, uncertainty and unrest, tension and suffering, we look to our leaders to help guide the ship. We look to our leaders to bring clarity, solutions, resolve, action and healing. At the same time, we trust that our leaders will stoically ...

Thinking outside the box

To city dwellers, the country bumpkin has long been a figure of ridicule. We’ve all seen the cartoons and skits where he’s a gooch-eyed dimwit, loveable perhaps, but dumber than a bucket of bolts. Millions of laughs were had at the rube’s expense, and still are. Because let’s face ...

Dangerous omissions in COVID-19 prevention advice from Stefanik

On June 5, Elise Stefanik sent an email to her constituents that included information on the prevention of COVID-19 that was outdated and incomplete. The newsletter reproduced a flyer from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dated February 2020 that listed steps the public ...

People and porches

Long after people die, the buildings where they made their lives often remain. Many visitors to the museum follow the footsteps of a family member who came to Saranac Lake with tuberculosis. Often the only trace that remains is the address of a cure cottage and a porch where their relative ...

The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

“One day Louis came down to luncheon in a very pre-occupied frame of mind, hurried through his meal—an unheard of thing for him to do—and on leaving said that he was working with extraordinary success on a new story that had come to him in a dream, and that he was not to be interrupted ...

Local history of disasters

This is not a book to be read cover to cover, too awful are the circumstances, the losses. But it is undeniably interesting to peek back in history to see what has befallen North Country communities and families, and how people rose together to help. Communities face a variety of ...

SL weekly Fun Run series canceled

We have all experienced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in great and small ways. At this time, it seems like things are beginning to “look up” while the state and country begin to reopen and our summer is slowly and cautiously regaining the shape we so quickly lost in March of this ...