Mountains & Valleys

MOUNTAIN to one of the most vivid public hearings ever, in Lake Placid Monday evening on short-term rental rules. Roughly 200 people attended, 48 spoke — roughly half for, half against — and their statements were heartfelt and real. The village and town board members, who sat silently like judges at a tribunal, have a decision of massive importance ahead of them. We are glad they have such strong input from the community to go on.

MOUNTAIN to an election to determine the name of Tupper Lake’s much-anticipated minor league baseball team. People are passionate about this naming, and factions are forming behind some of the seven names in the running. It will all go down Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. at the Municpal Park ball field. American democracy — we love it.

MOUNTAIN to Pendragon Theatre for closing on the purchase of its new home — the former Newman and Holmes home-improvement store (and former A&P supermarket) at the corner of Woodruff and Church streets in Saranac Lake. The Tri-Lakes area is blessed to have a community theater of such quality, such quantity of output, such thrifty survival and such endurance — 40 years and counting. This moment has been earned.

MOUNTAIN to Lake Placid’s Van Ledger, who was nominated to the U.S. biathlon team that will compete in 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland. This is quite a feat.

MOUNTAIN to former President Jimmy Carter, who at age 94 plans to resume volunteer construction work building houses with Habitat for Humanity this fall in Nashville, alongside his wife Rosalynn. This comes after he fell at his Georgia home and underwent a successful hip replacement surgery in May. Last year the couple took part in a home-building project their Carter Work Project staged in Mishawaka, Indiana. The Carters’ physical endurance and commitment to hands-on service of people in need (at no expense to taxpayers) is admirable, no matter what one’s political preferences.

VALLEY to fires raging through the Amazon, and to a less-than-admirable response by national leaders in that region. These are not the worst fires the Amazon has ever seen, but they are nevertheless serious. Bolivia’s president has been widely accused of being slow to respond, and Brazil’s president is resisting other nations’ efforts to help fight the blazes and replant afterward. President Jair Bolsonaro has suggested the Group of Seven nations’ $20 million offer masks a plot to exploit the Amazon’s resources and “buy” part of Brazil’s sovereignty over Amazon land within its borders. We suppose that’s possible, but also consider that everyone in the world has reason to want the Amazon rain forest to be healthy and large. This jungle is often call the “lungs” of our planet since it is arguably the world’s largest absorber of carbon dioxide and producer of oxygen, and thus a critical buffer against climate change. Now, the lungs of many South American people are suffering as they inhale the smoke.