The Week: What Caught Our Eye

March 21, 2020

In the midst of a terrible week, some good news caught our eye:

A woman standing with her dog in the doorway of a1970s silver recreational vehicleFASHION RV-LUTION: By day, she’s a phenom of finance. On weekends, Glens Falls native turned Floridian Mary Kate Radloff is doing business in her vintage 1970s Airstream. She’s taking fashion to the streets with a rolling pop-up women’s clothing and accessories boutique that has Sunshine State fashionistas taking note.

JULIA TAKES HOLLYWOOD: Singer/songwriter and College of Saint Rose senior Julia Gargano advances on American Idol. You remember Julia blew away the judges with her original, “Growing Pains,” during the auditions. Katy Perry predicts she could “win this.” She already has.

THE PUBLIC LIFE OF PRIVATE JENKINS: F. Scott Fitzgerald said there were no second acts in American life. He never had the pleasure of meeting Darren O’Connor, the former “M*A*S*H” star, law clerk to New York’s chief judge, litigator and counsel to the New York State Police. These days, he’s starring as supervisor of the Town of Malta in Saratoga County.

BOB’S COMING BACK: Bob Dylan was just starting out when he played Saratoga Springs on the intimate stage of Caffè Lena in July 1961, then returned for an encore in January 1962. He played SPAC in 1986, with Tom Petty, and six times after that. Now 38 albums and a Nobel Prize later, he’ll be back on the SPAC stage this summer.

CREATING A NEW HAUNT: Restaurants, bookstores and inns carved out of beautiful old homes  filled with antiques transformed the City of Hudson into a hip weekend destination for tourists and, in recent years, the adopted home of many creatives: Close enough to New York City to still make their mark by day, far enough away to have a comfortable life at night. Now, there’s a new boutique hotel, a home-away-from-home for creatives, that combines an 1890s Georgian mansion and carriage house and an 1840s Greek Revival. Step inside.

ADIRONDACK OPPORTUNITY: The coronavirus crisis is another good reason to make your way to rural communities and create the future. The Global Center for Rural Communities at Paul Smith’s College and the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation are teaming up to launch an “Idea Lab” to help entrepreneurs create businesses in the Adirondack region. It will provide students and the community with professional feedback on new business ideas and technical assistance to start a business or grow an existing company.


A view of an empty main street (Glen Street) in downtown Glens FallsEmpty streets, the ironic symbol of communities pulling together
to protect each other. (Eric Potter)

THE HOME FRONT: COVID-19 is changing the landscape of our lives. It’s cleared our streets, our schools, our theaters and our playgrounds. It’s emptied our restaurants, grocery shelves and offices. It created local scenes unimaginable only two weeks ago Our photographer friends Eric Potter, John Bulmer and Skip Dickstein have been documenting these unsettling moments. See the images here.

REGENERON’S WORK: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals this week started test trials of an arthritis drug as a potential remedy for the worst symptoms of COVID-19. The company is working with New York State and the federal government to fast-track the program.

ADIRONDACK FARMERS ALL IN: Adirondack veggie growers and dairy farmers are teaming up to offer greens, root vegetables and dairy products to neighbors in need at wholesale prices.

PROOF OF NEIGHBORLINESS: Albany distiller Douglas Estadt takes pride in making some of the best spirits on Earth. And now he’s turning leftover vodka into hand sanitizer with 75 percent alcohol by volume. So, too, a Pennsylvania distiller who grew angry watching the skyrocketing price of hand sanitizer and began pumping out hand wash from homemade hooch.

OUT OF SIGHT, NOT OUT OF MIND:  Students in many schools are learning remotely now, but the teachers in the Niskayuna School District want their young students to know they aren’t remote from their thoughts.

GOVS TAKE CONTROL: Not since 9/11 have America’s governors played a leading role in managing a national crisis unfolding in each of their states. From coast to coast, Andrew Cuomo to Gavin Newsom, Charlie Baker to Mike DeWine, governors have stepped up in effective and coordinated fashion to protect public health, their economies and even Democracy itself.

WHILE YOU’RE COOPED UP: Elon Musk learned to build rockets by reading books. Warren Buffet spends most of his day not investing but reading. And what’s on Bill Gates’ nightstand? Fiction. You might assume that reading for knowledge is the best reason to pick up a book. Research suggests that reading fiction may be far more valuable.

WORKING, NOT SHIRKING, FROM HOME: You’re working from home. We’re working from home. And we can’t even meet for lunch. How to get the hang of doing business within reach of the family cookie jar: Do you dress up only to sit at your kitchen table? Are your hours the same? And is it OK to be cooking a gourmet dinner while on an important conference call?

 LIGHT UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD: While you’re hunkering down at home, why not a little holiday cheer? Twitter is alight with this cheerful message: Put the Christmas lights back up!

A MOST EXCELLENT ADVENTURE: Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is closed to the public right now. So, Wellington the resident rockhopper penguin (who, we think you’ll agree, has mayoral future written all over his tux), had a chance to visit his zoomies.

AT OUR BEST IN ADVERSITY: Amazing, isn’t it, how tough times often bring out the best in people?

MAKING KINDNESS VIRAL: Fred Rogers said in any crisis look for the helpers. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’’’ Everywhere around us, people are seeking ways to help their neighbors.

SHAKE UP IN RACING: That staple of spring, the Kentucky Derby is moving its weeklong Run for the Roses celebration from May to September. The June 5 Belmont stakes may move as well. And NYRA has suspended all live racing at Aqueduct. What’s it mean for Saratoga’s Travers and Jim Dandy?

IT JUST MIGHT WORK: Why didn’t McGruff think of this? Police in one Upstate New York community “banned’ crime for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. Good call.


Be safe. Be careful. Be kind. Stay home. 


AND THIS DOOZY: USA Today has compiled 100 cool things you can do while quarantined. Master Old English or beatboxing. Assemble your Ikea furniture. Or text all your exes and get one final thing off your chest.

PLEASE SHARE: Feel free to pass this along to your friends and colleagues.

THANK YOU to our contributors: John Brodt, Bill Richmond, Bill Callen, Lisa Fenwick, Colleen Potter, Tina Suhocki, Tara Hutchins, Matt Behan 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 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. 

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