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Mountains & Valley

MOUNTAIN — to the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee for choosing the perfect theme for our frozen festivities in 2021 — “Mask-erade.” Remember, our Winter Carnival was started in the 1890s by tuberculosis patients. This one is going to be different, and it’s going to be fantastic — a real testament to the Saranac Lake spirit.

MOUNTAIN — to the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery for acknowledging on its Facebook page that one of its employees was among four Lake Placid hospitality workers who recently tested positive for the coronavirus. That was gutsy; none of the other local establishments did so. It builds trust with customers and potential customers.

MOUNTAIN — to the schools and colleges of the greater Tri-Lakes area, public and private, which so far are showing zero cases of COVID-19 among students and employees, according to a new state “Report Card” dashboard. While it’s possible there could be cases the state doesn’t know about, we think we would have heard about it by now; local officials and county health departments are pretty well on top of things. Of course, it makes sense that schools, being places of education, should be teaching intelligent practices and setting wise examples, so we are glad to see the results of that. Never has a zero on a report card looked so good.

MOUNTAIN — to the Saranac Lakers who worked hard for two years on earning for this village a bronze-level Climate Smart Community certification, which state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos awarded here in Riverside Park Thursday. This may not seem life-changing to all readers, but while the changes have been relatively small and quiet — things like LED light bulbs and bike marking on roads — they show a commitment by this village to do its part on energy efficiency, which benefits everyone on Earth. This commitment earns the state of New York’s trust, and now it will give us money to help pay for bigger, better energy efficiency projects such as generating electricity from a turbine on Mount Pisgah and capturing methane gas seeping from the sewage plant. Our climate really is changing, and while we can’t stop that, we could reduce the future damage if every community did things such as this. As Mayor Clyde Rabideau said Thursday, “Of course we’re not just going to stop at bronze.” Nor should any other community, but it’s a good starting point.

MOUNTAIN — to the quiet, caring, effective work done at Samaritan House, improving the lives of 253 homeless people in the three-and-a-half years since it opened. We played it up on Thursday’s page 1 because this is important. We, as a people, have to give those in need a place to go, care about them and help give them a hand up. Thanks to the Ecumenical Council of Saranac Lake and Lakeside House for doing that. When they proposed it, some village board members openly worried it would make Saranac Lake a magnet for some kind of bad element. We are glad to see those worries proven wrong. This good work has been nothing but good in results.

VALLEY — to movie theaters still not having even any state guidance on what needs to happen before they can reopen. It makes no sense that such guidance has come out — albiet later than we would have liked — for indoor restaurant dining, bowling alleys, malls and casinos, but not movie houses. And an extra boo to Hollywood for postponing the release of new movies, because the closure of cinemas in big states such as New York and California means they wouldn’t make as much money. Yes, movie theater capacity should be reduced big-time, seats should be wiped down in between shows, and people should have to sit 6 feet apart and maybe wear masks as well. Some cinemas, faced with those rules, may decide to stay closed, but if others can operate that way safely, why not give them a chance?

MOUNTAIN — to those who voluntarily beautify downtowns. The Enterprise reported this week on some of those who did so in Saranac Lake this summer, but there are far more we haven’t had time to report on yet, including those in Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and beyond. Thanks to you all for making our hometowns look good.

MOUNTAIN — to summit stewards, for being a leading force in educating the massive crush of rookie hikers the Adirondack High Peaks have seen this COVID summer. Also thanks to the others who share that educational burden, such as state forest rangers, assistant rangers and environmental conservations officers, volunteer frontcountry stewards, Adirondack Mountain Club employees, professional guides and customer service workers at various local businesses. You may never see the fruits of your labor, but it will come: In future years, the mass numbers of people who fell in love with the Adirondacks this summer will return smarter and more careful, and telling others how to behave.

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