The Week What Caught Our Eye

October 3, 2020

hosptal.jpgGood morning, Colleagues and Friends:

Forgive us as we start by flying our own flag. Today we introduce a documentary that it was our privilege to produce. Over the course of three days in June and July, 21 employees of Glens Falls Hospital recounted for the first time their experience working through the coronavirus pandemic. Moms and dads put their lives on hold. Grandparents, aunts and uncles walked into the unknown to confront a virus no one had seen before. They prepared to treat untold numbers of incoming patients, raced to find and secure innovative treatments, and saved lives. This is a story of heroism in a community hospital, the first glimpse the public has had of the extraordinary steps caregivers took to help very sick patients survive and to care for the families who could not comfort loved ones in their final hours. We’re pleased to present “Behind the Masks,” produced and directed by our colleague John Brodt with cinematographer Cameron Gallagher

THE IRISH ARE NEVER LAX: When the invitations went out for the 2022 World Lacrosse Games, there was a problem. The No. 3 Iroquois Nationals, a team that represents the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, were not invited. The Haudenosaunee are actually the originators of lacrosse — they called it the medicine game — but they do not hail from a single sovereign nation and thus were disqualified. That’s when the Irish stepped in … or actually stepped out.

MOVIN’ ON UP: The competition for lake properties with ski resorts nearby is red hot, especially in resort areas like Lake Placid and Lake George where property owners can count on spectacular summer, fall and winter seasons. The “billionaires are pushing the millionaires out,” one Realtor tells The Wall Street Journal.

HEADING FOR THE HILLS: Ayuh, what you been readin’ is true. Vermont is among the places where the landscape literally is being remade by the pandemic, with newcomers arriving in numbers not seen in decades. It’s made for some interesting interactions as communities adapt to seeing a slew of unfamiliar faces accustomed to entirely different day to day realities.

TAKE ME HOME: Zach Mack is the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in Manhattan’s swanky East Village, but he told a national audience of drinkers, eaters, travelers and doers this week what he really pines for is Lake George and the Adirondacks. “I learned how to bait a hook and caught my first fish in the waters of Lake George and made one of my first ski runs on the slopes of Gore Mountain. I took my first hike at Pilot Knob and learned to skate on the same frozen ponds as my grandmother did as a child in Lake Placid. Whether it’s summer or winter, the first hit I get of the uniquely fresh air makes me feel like I’ve gone home…”

AH, NATURE: The pandemic sent many people whose travel plans were scuttled scrambling for new experiences, often in the form of outdoor recreation like biking, boating and camping. It wasn’t hard to tell who the newcomers were, especially in campgrounds.

AN EYE ON INVASIVES: The war against invasive species around Lake George is taking to the air. Satellite imagery is now being used to detect changes that might be an early sign of the woody adelgid. The FUND for Lake George is teaming up with the New York State DEC and the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program on the “Save Our Lake George Hemlocks Initiative.’’ FUND Executive Director Eric Siy says the FUND hopes to show others how this can be done through “partnership, through science and through an unrelenting commitment to success.”

LOOKING FOR LOVE: You may spot moose in the Adirondacks this time of year. It’s mating season. You can tell because the males are said to produce a heavy grunting sound and the females a wail. No wonder. A typical moose weighs in at about 794 pounds. They’re herbivores, consuming as much as 70 pounds of terrestrial and aquatic vegetation a day. And they are not known to be good kissers, lacking their top front teeth and possessed of lips and tongue worn tough by a woody diet. Oh well, it works for them.

BITE AT THE BEACH: Lifeguards see it all, but this was a sight they had not encountered before. The spine of a Great White Shark washed up on a beach on Cape Cod last week.

FINDING SPICE IN NEW LIFE: John Trimble co-managed the legendary La Serre, a family-owned French restaurant in Albany whose owner, Trimble’s mother, announced plans to permanently close in June. Fortunately for Trimble, he used his pandemic downtime creatively; the result is Hot Crispy Oil, a condiment that is quickly earning a devoted following.

PBS GOLD: The network of Big Bird, Julia Child, William F. Buckley, Louis Rukeyser’s “Wall Street Week” and British dramas too numerous to count is turning 50. Public Broadcasting Service debuted Oct. 4, 1970, and its aim to use information and nuanced storytelling to unite rather than divide is needed now more than ever, The New York Times’ Margaret Renki writes.

ANOTHER LEGEND AT 50: The Tin & Lint Company might be just another comfortable neighborhood watering hole were it not for the legend that one of the most iconic songs in American history was written there. Truth or fiction, raise a glass to 50 years for a Saratoga Springs staple.

TIME TO TRANSFORM:  Saratoga Springs’ gorgeous Pavilion Grand Hotel is throwing in the hotel towel and making the transition to luxury apartments.

ADIRONACK SUCCESS: The new head of the State University of New York came to SUNY Adirondack to offer high praise for the college’s comprehensive approach to keeping its students, faculty, staff and community safe – while also meeting its critical academic mission.

GENDER IMBALANCE: The pandemic has erased years of economic gains for women and is poised to leave lasting economic scars, with some of the biggest impacts on women of color and those with young children. The jobs, income and promotions that women lose as a result of the coronavirus could hold back economic growth and sideline an entire generation of women.

SOLITARY PURSUIT: Philip Carcia is no stranger to challenging physical extremes. Last year, for instance, he hiked all 48 of New Hampshire’s peaks above 4,000 feet once a month for the entire year. He’s hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. This year: the 650 trails in a guidebook of the White Mountains.

TIME HEALS: If you’ve ever daydreamed about going back in time and changing something, relax: Even if you could, according to researchers at a university in Australia, whatever you did, time would self-correct. The math is way over our heads, so we’ll let Popular Mechanics explain.

THE EYES HAVE IT: A lot of what we communicate with facial expressions is hidden behind masks these days, but there are steps you can take to build rapport while keeping yourself and others safe.

A SOBERING ASSESSMENT: Howard Bryant is a powerful voice in sports journalism, and he expresses it from a mega-platform at In a poignant and lengthy essay, he takes stock of the issues we’re confronting and concludes that the 9/11 era, and its atmosphere of unity and cooperation, is over.

IMG_4684[2].JPG“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” — David McCullough Jr. (Photo by Rick Suhocki of Mount Utsayantha, Stamford, N.Y)


A LIGHT TOUCH: Brian Cashman is the longest-tenured general manager in baseball, which is remarkable to anyone who remembers the Yankees under the volatile ownership of the late George Steinbrenner. Just as remarkable for anyone who looks at the Yankees and sees only pinstripes and polish is that Cashman, behind the scenes, is an accomplished and dedicated prankster. Sadly, Jay Johnstone, another noted prankster with Yankees roots, has been lost to the coronavirus.

SUSTAINED GREATNESS: Baseball just completed its truncated 60-game regular season, which begged the question: What did the greatest 60-game stretch in the modern baseball era look like? Prepare to be blown away by what Ichiro Suzuki accomplished over one sizzling stretch in 2004.

A CUT ABOVE: Kudos to Laborers Local 190 and Patsy’s Barbershop in Albany, which are combining to offer free haircuts to any Capital Region child in kindergarten through 8th grade. It’s all about spreading a little love.

HELPING HANDS: Our friends at Rueckert Advertising have started a Go Fund Me campaign to help Nicole Somma rebuild from the September 17 fire that destroyed her Lakeside Lodge and Grille, a landmark restaurant popular since 1945 with both tourists and local people in Bolton Landing.  

FUTURE ORIENTED: It’s been said that blessed is the man who can see the present from the perspective of the future. In other words, how will what I do right now be viewed, by me and others, at some future point? Here are some tips for considering the future you and how you might want to adjust in the present.

TEACHING MOMENTS: A corrections program in Connecticut is pairing younger prison inmates with older mentors, as well as providing counseling, classes and addiction help, and trains officers to talk with the women about their traumas and vulnerabilities, all part of an intensive effort to help inmates plan for a crime-free life after they are released.

INSTAGRAM LEGEND: David Attenborough, the beloved 94-year-old British naturalist and climate crusader, reached 1 million Instagram followers less than five hours after joining the platform, breaking the previous record for fastest to a million by 32 minutes. (Nothing says modern competition like measuring how long it takes to snare a million Instagram followers).


SON OF HIS FATHER: Rumors of an epidemic began circulating in 1981. Eventually, 675,000 Americans would die. At first, the federal response was slow and disjointed. Then a New York governor took control.


HELEN REDDY recorded three songs that went to No. 1, and even if you’re not familiar with her sound, you almost certainly know her anthem to women’s empowerment: “I Am Woman.” That one earned her a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1973.

MAC DAVIS’ dad gave him his first guitar when he was 9, but Mac wasn’t interested in music. He liked sports and fighting. He went on to write hits for stars from Elvis Presley to Bruno Mars and won broad public attention with the 1970s classic “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me.”

LILLIAN BROWN held in her hands the faces of nine U.S. presidents, applying makeup for televised appearances and counseling them on how best to present themselves to the audience. Her quick thinking and sense of humor helped focus President Nixon on the task of delivering his resignation address.


RBG GOT AROUND: Last week we brought you the Lake George Mirror’s story about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s joyful waterskiing days on Lake George. Turns out Justice Ginsburg spent more time in the Adirondack-Saratoga region than we knew.


“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.’’
— Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank 


A group of potty-mouthed parrots had to be separated at a British zoo because they wouldn’t keep their language G-rated.

A dad in Cincinnati has come up with a way to keep Halloween socially distant but still fun — a candy chute.

A forest ranger sees some interesting things.

THANK YOU to our contributors: Bill Callen, Troy Burns, Matt Behan, Rick Suhocki, Bill Richmond, Kelly Donahue, John Brodt, Lisa Fenwick, Tina Suhocki, Tara Hutchins, and Claire P. Tuttle.

FACING OUT is what we do. We help companies, organizations and individuals work effectively with their most important external audiences – their customers, their shareholders, their communities, the government and the news media.

Facing Out features news and other nuggets that caught our eye, and that we thought might be of value or interest to you, our friends and business associates. Some items are good news about our clients and friends, others are stories that we hope will leave you a bit more informed or entertained than you were five minutes ago. As always, we welcome your ideas and feedback. 

Let’s make it a conversation:

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