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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

June, 2019

The Local Government Club at the Adirondack Park Agency


The State Senate gaveled-out its historic 2019 Legislative Session on June 21st without acting on any of the four people that Governor Cuomo had nominated for the Board of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). These were among dozens of nominees to various state boards that were left unconfirmed, but the message from the State Senate was clear: changes were needed in many of the individuals and slates of nominees submitted by the Governor. The Governor’s response to the rebuff by the State Senate on APA Board nominations was to go on the attack. Cuomo’s spokesman, Rich Azzopardi, tried to talk >>More


June, 2019

Adirondack Park Agency Nominations Delayed


Advocates for the Adirondack Park say they are disappointed at the close of the 2019 legislative session, because the Governor failed to nominate a diverse slate of six or seven nominees for the Adirondack Park Agency board that environmental and other advocates could support, and that the Senate would approve. The APA board has no chairman. Of the eight citizen members of the APA board, nominations are needed to fill seven: three vacant seats, three expired terms and one seat whose term expires Sunday. “This session was an unprecedented opportunity for Governor Cuomo and the Senate to appoint and confirm >>More


June, 2019

Climbers’ Coalition Pushes Back On High Peaks Parking Restrictions


Recreational use in the Adirondack Forest Preserve has been increasing at a noticeable rate for the last several years. Most notably, hiker traffic has exploded in the High Peaks Wilderness and gone beyond the current carrying capacity of many trails and parking areas. This explosion in hiker traffic has gained the attention of land managers and lawmakers, who this past summer proposed new trails and alternate parking solutions in the amendments for the High Peaks Wilderness Unit Management Plan (HPWUMP). The Adirondack Climbers’ Coalition (ACC) is very concerned about the potential impact of some of these » Continue Reading. View >>More


April, 2019

Gouverneur’s Rhoda Fox Graves, NYS Political Trailblazer (Conclusion)


The Ogdensburg Journal-Republican, forced to eat crow after rejecting Rhoda Graves’ claims of Warren Thayer’s corruption, applied twisted logic to justify their stance and the senator’s behavior. They opened with: “Senator Thayer has retired…. It was found that he was on the payroll of a utility corporation and, we feel, working against the interests of the average resident of this district who has been forced to pay unjust rates.” The words “we feel” simply did not apply. There was no question he had been putting the financial screws to his voters while protecting a power company and lining his own >>More


April, 2019

Rhoda Fox Graves, NYS Political Trailblazer (Part 4)


During Rhoda Fox’s efforts on behalf of the Republican Party from 1918 through 1923, there was plenty of praise for her in the media and no criticism, but she was a non-office holder. When she decided in 1924 to run for an Assembly seat, anti-woman resistance was evident, gently discouraging the idea by praising her activism but insisting the job was best done by a man. When she surprised most people and won, the anti-woman factions maintained their stance but were forced to grudgingly accepted her. Now, with the announcement of a run for the Senate, the kid gloves were >>More


March, 2019

Gouverneur’s Rhoda Fox Graves, NYS Political Trailblazer (Part 3)


After a year in office, Rhoda Graves won reelection to the New York State Assembly, while five other female GOP candidates elsewhere in the state lost. In January 1926, she sought the chairmanship of the social welfare committee, a position already held by a senior member (from Niagara) who was unwilling to surrender it. She was instead given charge of public institutions — not her preference, for sure — but chairing any committee was another historic first for New York women. Rhoda’s second year in office was an active one. She pushed a bill restricting the slaughter of tubercular cows >>More


March, 2019

1921: Rhoda Fox Graves Runs For Assembly


Rhoda Graves was active in Republican politics in 1917 when New York passed women’s suffrage. When it became the law of the land in 1920, it made the possibility of holding elective office an attractive option for some women. In 1921, Rhoda’s close friend, ten-year assemblyman Frank Seaker, retired from public office, and William Laidlaw, nominated to replace him, served for the next three years. It’s not clear what the machinations were behind Laidlaw’s decision not to run for another term, but there’s no doubt the big announcement that followed was the work of Rhoda, Perle (her husband), Frank Seaker, >>More


March, 2019

Gouverneur’s Rhoda Fox Graves, NYS Political Trailblazer


Bucking the odds is a common theme of Walter-Mitty-type fantasies — overcoming daunting obstacles to become a winner, or a hero at some level. Few of us actually live the dream, but sometimes it happens, and during Women’s History Month, an incredible North Country example comes to mind: Rhoda F. Graves of Gouverneur in St. Lawrence County. The extreme unlikelihood of her becoming a historic figure in state politics makes her story all the more compelling. And the details are amazing. Extreme unlikelihood? Well, consider that for the first two-thirds of her life, the groundbreaking events of the final third >>More


January, 2019

John W. Taylor: New York’s (Almost Only) Speaker of the House


The title Speaker of the House of Representatives has received lots of attention during the past few years. It’s hard to believe that the nation’s fourth-most-populous state (New York—nearly always number one, and in the top five since 1790) has only one native who served in that position. Well, technically, there are two, but one of them served 99.82 percent of the pair’s total time in office—to be explained later. If you’re from Northern New York and dislike the idea of people owning people, you’ll be pleased at his strong stance for freedom during one of our nation’s most turbulent >>More


January, 2019

Bill McKibbon to Discuss Climate Change in Plattsburgh


Last July I was fortunate enough to hear Bill McKibben speak about his latest book Radio Free Vermont at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. Though that particular talk was regarding a book of fiction, the conversation quickly turned to climate change. As the author of numerous books on the subject (notably The End of Nature), as well as founder of the international climate change organization 350.org, McKibben’s passion as an environmentalist and educator has seemed to come through with each word. I left the event wondering how I could help my children understand. My daughter recently came home after a >>More