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Guest Commentary

Listen to those affected by racism

I have always condemned any racist expression. I was not contacted by the media about the racist bridge graffiti when it happened, but if I was, I would have expressed condemnation. Notwithstanding, I should have issued a statement afterward, and I regret not doing so. Saranac Lake is a ...

Once there was …

Once there was a lake. One of “those” lakes. Where the water was every adjective for clear And the air was every adjective for healthy. Few knew of its location (#HikeUpAfterTheSecondHugeBoulderWith “I Love LOVE” SprayPaintedOnIt), And for those who did, They kept ...

Adirondacks aren’t a getaway from racism

Two years ago, I moved out of the city to start fresh up here in the tranquility of the mountains. I had spent most of my life stretched thin between school and part-time jobs. It was late November when I arrived, and I remember the sheer stillness of everything compared to the life I had ...

Putting law in order, part 2 of 2

To demonize all law enforcement officers as violence-prone racists is both wrong and absurd. The police have a difficult job made all the more dangerous in a society awash with guns, when every encounter with civilians is a potentially life-threatening situation. While teaching at Florida ...

Putting law in order, part 1 of 2

After the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and the ensuing protests that swept the country, President Donald Trump repeatedly mentioned the need for “law and order,” using the well-worn phrase as if it were one word with a single, self-evident ...

In defense of history

The attempt to record objective accounts of the past is an important and noble pursuit. That said, it’s a fact that countries typically promote, either explicitly or implicitly, a national mythology that is selective — one that disproportionately emphasizes its positive attributes and is ...

Statue-tory madness

It is way past time to call a halt to the de-statue-ing of America. Over the past couple months, while most of us were preoccupied with lost jobs, a killer virus and a terrible case of police abuse of power, we have somehow stumbled into the middle of a raging stream of nihilistic destruction. ...

On this Independence Day, recalling the Founders’ views of a free press

America’s Founders regarded a free press as so vital to the new nation that they took care to include that right in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Founders spoke glowingly about the press as a pillar of democracy and guarantor of liberty. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, famously ...

Courage and cowardice

I begin this commentary stating three facts: Black lives matter; systemic racism is real and deeply woven into every fabric of this country; and it is not safe for Black, African American and persons of color to navigate daily life in the Adirondacks and North Country. Whether it’s the very ...

Police self-care is part of the solution

After Ferguson six years ago, police departments all over the country implemented several reforms to make officers more aware of their implicit biases and to embrace conflict deescalation as one of their duties. But in light of George Floyd’s brazen daylight murder by four Minneapolis police ...

Village board bows to ROOST

Monday the 22nd was my first Saranac Lake village board meeting. It was an exciting event, with an unusually large number of attendees calling in via Zoom. The topic that drew the crowd was $12,500 in the village budget proposed for “tourism destination marketing” by the non-profit ...

The harsh reality of anxiety meds

Millions of Americans are worried about the coronavirus and are now increasing the rate at which they use anxiety medication. The Wall Street Journal reported that prescriptions for anti-anxiety medication have risen during the pandemic. In March of 2020, prescriptions for Klonopin or Ativan ...

Separating fact from fiction

Fake news. Those two words have likely created more confusion and distrust of the news media than any other. While it is easy to understand why those of us who work in the news media despise the term, it should also be apparent that the general public has a vested interest in discerning facts ...

How to heal the wounds of racism

When I became a medic for the Army National Guard, I gained a new and unfamiliar perspective; I’m now trained to zero in on imminent, life-threatening trauma. Our country is hemorrhaging right now, including the Adirondacks. We have a big bleed, folks, one which, long disguised as ...

Gifts for summer reading

I am writing to say thank you to the Lake Placid Rotary Club for funding the Lake Placid Elementary School summer reading program, and to Marc and Sarah Galvin at The Bookstore Plus for ordering all of the books and delivering them on time. Book Shopping Day has become a cherished day ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...