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Adirondack Explorer

Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

December, 2013

Poll Results: What Almanack Readers Are Thinking About


Thank you readers!  The results of my little poll exceeded my expectations.  I received nearly 150 responses, a great number. Let me remind you that this poll was intended to be neither scientific nor comprehensive.  It was designed by me to see if the results would highlight what I think is a hidden issue concerning the future of the Adirondack Park.  It did that for sure, but it also provided other insights. Here is how the issues fell out, ranked by weighted average:   Rank   Issue or Factor Weighted Average 1 Land Use Law, » Continue Reading. The post >>More


December, 2013

Take a Poll: Is There a Hidden Issue in Adirondacks?


When it comes to major issues that impact the future of the Adirondacks this year has been one of the most event-filled in decades.  From the ongoing Adirondack Club and Resort debate and the orbiting cluster of questions related to private land use to the continuing economic wins for the North Country, the recent constitutional amendments and the classification of the Finch Pruyn lands, this has been a pivotal time. My reading of recent events is that most of the news is good news for the park.  It seems to me that stakeholders in the Adirondacks are responding to the >>More


December, 2013

William Almon Wheeler: North Country Political Star


A new biography is shedding light on an overshadowed North Country political figure, the Nineteenth Vice President of the United States. In William Almon Wheeler: Political Star of the North Country (2013, SUNY Press), author Herbert C. Hallas leaves no doubt that Wheeler was a more significant political figure than the existing literature may lead one to believe. The book is the first and only complete biography of Wheeler, a man referred to as “the New York Lincoln,” who helped to found the Republican Party and build it into a formidable political force during the Gilded Age. Wheeler’s life is >>More


December, 2013

NYCO Mining Amendment: Fact And Fiction


Last month, voters in New York State approved Proposition 5, which amends Article 14 of the New York Constitution to potentially allow exploratory drilling and mining by a private mining company, NYCO, on two hundred acres of Forest Preserve lands (Lot 8) in the Jay Mountain Wilderness Area.  The amendment authorizes a potential land swap from NYCO that, in theory, will compensate the people of the state for the loss of two hundred wilderness acres, and further requires that Lot 8 ultimately be “remediated” and returned to state ownership. In the months leading up to the vote and in the >>More


November, 2013

Commentary: Implementing a New APA Land Use Policy


My last column in this APA series was a proposed new land use policy organized around a consensus-driven process with a development plan and ecological assessment as the primary inputs and a design that maximizes both ecological protection and the profitability of the project as the desired output.  I expected a number of less-than-receptive comments but instead I received a lot of good ones including some questions and challenges that I hope are at least partly answered this week.  I did get one flame-throwing contribution from a Tupper Lake Realtor (I did a little Googling on his name) who was >>More


November, 2013

Anthony Hall: When The Media Fails, The Public Loses


Since November 5, when voters approved an amendment to the state constitution to permit a mining company to mine 200 acres of Forest Preserve lands, we have learned much more about the proposition than we knew before the vote.  We always knew that the company proposed to mine the Forest Preserve, and everyone, proponents and opponents alike, thought it at least noteworthy that two environmental protection groups dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the constitutional clause that states that Forest Preserve lands will remain “Forever Wild,” supported the proposition. But we did not know that the state officials who were >>More


November, 2013

Peter Bauer: State Land Classification Decisions Moved To A Smokeless Backroom


The current Forest Preserve classification process underway at the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) for the new lands around the Essex Chain Lakes and the Hudson River is likely go down as the worst administered process in the 40-year history of the APA. Since the close of the public hearing in mid-July, the APA leadership has openly subverted state law and moved decision making from an open and transparent public forum to a smokeless backroom. The process has gone awry. The train has run off the tracks. This is evidenced by four recent events: 1. APA has subverted its laws and >>More


November, 2013

Commentary: A Proposal for an Updated APA Land Use Policy


Get out your torches and pitchforks, kids.  Here comes a nice fat target to shoot at.  I’m going to propose an updated land use policy and permitting process for the Adirondack Park Agency.  I’m not going to go into a detailed explanation of it since I imagine that I will have ample opportunity to do that in response to the numerous comments I hope to receive. Consider this a straw man that you can light on fire or eviscerate as desired.  I don’t suggest for a moment that I have the one best answer or anything remotely definitive.  But I >>More


November, 2013

Commentary: Compromise, Consensus and a New Land Use Paradigm for the APA


As I began to think about my series on the Adirondack Park Agency, my discussions with people elicited a wide variety of comments.  My topic over the next two weeks, land use policy, generated some skepticism from people who have been around the proverbial block on this issue.  “If you want to be buried in angry commentary, write about zoning,” went one.  “Private land use is the third rail of Adirondack politics,” went another.  These sentiments are not news to anyone. But there are other comments I have heard over the last month. Here’s one: “I’m not opposed to development; >>More


November, 2013

Peter Bauer: Reflections on the Vote to Sell 200 Acres of Forest Preserve


Much is already being made about the great victory in passing Proposition 5 – the controversial Constitutional Amendment known as Proposition 5 that was approved by New Yorkers on November 5, 2013 to sell 200 acres of forever wild Forest Preserve in the Jay Mountain Wilderness to NYCO Minerals, Inc., a mining company that plans to incorporate it into its adjacent open pit mine. I believe that some who are jubilant now will come to rue this day. If Forever Wild can’t be saved from the jaws of a mining company to be clearcut, blasted and mined, then when can >>More