North Country News

Trailhead at the Adirondack Loj
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Adirondacks have been extremely popular for outdoor enthusiasts in the past few years, and overcrowding on some trails and the roads leading to them is a major concern.  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has outlined additional plans to deal with traffic flow during what’s expected to be a very busy Columbus Day holiday.

IntraPac in Plattsburgh, NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Last week, a plastic container manufacturer in Plattsburgh announced the company was consolidating and closing its plant in Plattsburgh.  Within hours of the announcement, IntraPac’s local managers say other manufacturers in the region “inundated” them with phone calls seeking to hire their workers.

Canada map over flag
Pixabay/Public Domain

National campaigns for Parliament and the leadership of Canada are now under way. And unlike U.S. elections, it’s a short campaign.  After 40 days, voters will go to the polls on October 21st.  There are several national parties in the mix but Conservatives and Liberals are expected to dominate the race.

Local and company officials surround New York state Senator Betty Little as she cuts the ribbon at the new Wabtec facility in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh North Country Chamber and local officials this morning celebrated the grand opening of an expanded manufacturing facility on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base.

State of the Park 2019-2020 cover
Photo by Nancie Battaglia / Adirondack Council

The Adirondack Council issues an annual report assessing the oversight by government agencies, localities and others of the 6 million acre Adirondack Park. This year’s just released State of the Park report, “Challenged By Success,” finds that the rising popularity of the region is also highlighting challenges.  Council Executive Director Willie Janeway and spokesman John Sheehan spoke about the report with WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.  Janeway says the surge in the Adirondack’s popularity caught many by surprise and is spotlighting the need to better manage the Forest Preserve.

Plattsburgh City Council meets on September 12, 2019
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In 2018, the city of Plattsburgh filed a lawsuit against the Town of Plattsburgh in a dispute over a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement. At Thursday evening’s Common Council meeting, the city’s mayor announced that he had offered a settlement to the town.

View of Crab Island (center) from Peru Boat Launch
Pat Bradley/WAMC

While most of the country today remembers the attack on the U.S. 18 years ago, memorials are also being held in New York’s North Country to commemorate the first attack on the U.S in 1814.  During the Battle of Plattsburgh, the British fought Americans for control of Lake Champlain. More than 100 British and American soldiers are buried in unmarked graves on an unpopulated island that served as a field hospital. Every year on September 11th the American Legion and others gather at the memorial to lay a wreath and pay tribute.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was on the island this morning.

Lake George attorney Matthew Fuller delivers letter to Plattsburgh Common Council
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In a precursor to a potential lawsuit, the attorney for a coalition opposed to the current plans for Plattsburgh’s downtown redevelopment delivered a letter to city leaders Thursday informing them they do not have the legal authority to enter an agreement with the developers.

Town of North Elba sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

At its meeting tonight, the Lake Placid/North Elba Joint Review Board plans to review a proposed plan to place a large propane tank near the village of Lake Placid. But opponents fear the board members are not taking safety and environmental concerns seriously.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read released his proposed budget on August 19th and residents had a chance to weigh in on the plan Friday morning. But no one commented.

Bees cluster outside their hive in Morrisonville NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer was in northern New York today to illustrate how a new USDA plan could hurt honey bee colonies.

Limestone mining pit at Upstone Materials
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The public had an opportunity recently to tour a local business that mines stone material. Upstone Materials showcased its operations and how it processes the limestone it extracts from its site in Plattsburgh. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was there.

The Plattsburgh Common Council meets on August 22, 2019
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Just before the new school year, the Plattsburgh Common Council debated the idea of putting police officers in local schools at its most recent meeting.

Livable Community Advisory Committee member Arthur DeGrandpre reports to the Plattsburgh City Council on code enforcement recommendations
Pat Bradley/WAMC

An advisory committee wants leaders in Plattsburgh, New York to control rowdy off-campus students and deal with their often absent landlords.

Durkee Street parking lot redevelopment site
Pat Bradley/WAMC

City officials in Plattsburgh held a public meeting Thursday to allow people to review and comment on the draft outline for the city’s Generic Environmental Impact Study for downtown redevelopment.  The few people who commented felt they were being rushed.

Residents seek information during DRI Open House in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh officials and partners working on the city’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative project held an open house Wednesday evening to allow the public to review current plans and talk directly with developers.

Henderson Lake, Adirondacks  (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Open Space Institute has announced that it will invest a million dollars in its property at the southern edge of the Adirondack High Peaks. The goal is to provide an alternative entry point and ease overcrowding on other popular trails.

rail tanker cars
Protect the Adirondacks

An environmental group is supporting the New York Attorney General’s office effort to reopen a petition asking that a rail line in the Adirondacks be declared abandoned.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read and Councilor Jeff Moore prepare to release 2020 budget plan
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read released his proposed 2020 budget on Monday, saying the plan stays below the tax cap and lowers property taxes.

Henderson Lake, Adirondacks  (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A land preservation group plans to invest $1 million in its property near the Adirondack High Peaks to provide a southern access point for hikers.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read and Councilor Jeff Moore prepare to release 2020 budget plan
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read has released his proposed 2020 budget.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The city of Plattsburgh won $10 million in the first round of New York Downtown Revitalization Initiative grants.  A major part of the redevelopment will occur at the Durkee Street parking lot in the city center.  An advisory committee has been working on recommendations to deal with the loss, shuffling and management changes of the nearly 300 spaces expected to be impacted. The Plattsburgh Common Council accepted their recommendations at its Thursday meeting.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In early July, the New York Appellate Court issued a split decision on a lawsuit filed by Protect the Adirondacks in 2013 challenging the state’s plan to cut trees in the Forest Preserve in order to establish nearly 27 miles of snowmobile trails. Now, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Park Agency have announced that the state is appealing the ruling.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York is appealing a court decision that has halted trail work in the Adirondacks.

Adirondack Loj trailhead register
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A new effort has been launched to educate hikers about overcrowding and how it impacts the Adirondacks. The Adirondack Mountain Club, the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Colorado-based Center for Outdoor Ethics are partnering to educate hikers about “Leave No Trace” principles to help address overcrowding in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks.  WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at the launch of the initiative.

Nine-year-old Elena Recor wins first place in Battle of Plattsburgh poster contest
Pat Bradley/WAMC

On September 11, 1814 a critical battle of the War of 1812 was fought. The land and naval Battle of Plattsburgh led to the Treaty of Ghent that ended one of the few wars fought on United States soil.  Wednesday afternoon, Plattsburgh officials outlined plans for this year’s annual commemoration.

Olympic Center exterior concept rendering
Olympic Regional Development Authority

The Olympic Regional Development Authority Board of Directors has approved initial steps to upgrade both the Olympic Center and the adjacent speed skating oval in Lake Placid.

Farmacy Project Coordinator Kiana French in front of a Farmacy cooler at the Keeseville Pharmacy
Pat Bradley/WAMC

There are many rural areas across the region where residents must travel significant distances to shop at supermarkets.  Keeseville, New York is about 25 miles south of Plattsburgh and its only supermarket closed several years ago.  In 2017, a project to bring fresh locally produced food to underserved areas opened the first “Farmacy” – spelled with an “F” — in the state inside the Keeseville Pharmacy.  This week the program will expand to a second village in rural Essex County.

Larry and Liz McNamara are co-owners of the Strand movie theater in Schroon Lake, NY
Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Film Society

About four years ago, movie theatres across the country had to convert from analog to digital projection.  It was costly and small community movie theatres were faced with the possibility of closing their doors.  In the Adirondacks, a “Go Digital or Go Dark” campaign raised funds to help local movie houses, and many like the Strand Theatre in Schroon Lake have continued as centers of community entertainment and engagement.  The Strand is now known for its summer classics series that this year features Buster Keaton silent films and “Casablanca.”  Theatre co-owner Larry McNamara tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he partnered with the Adirondack Film Society to be able to offer something in addition, and different, to modern Hollywood blockbusters.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

In April, Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read issued a plan to address energy and the environment that included the creation of a sustainability committee. The new group met for the first time this week and outlined intentions to obtain a grant to review and inventory the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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