The Week: What Caught Our Eye

June 13, 2020

Photo of a lake with mountains in the background during sunrise.When you’re in the hospitality business, you take care of the whole family. Welcome to a sunrise over Dog Beach in Lake George. (Kathy Flacke Muncil)

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

We hope you’ve had a productive and healthy week and that you’re adjusting well to the reopening economy. 

If you’re looking for something to take your mind off the crush of current events, check out “Summer Rush” on the Food Network, a promotional feast for Lake George.

Summer Rush” is a docuseries – the Food Network calls it a docusoap — about Bolton’s Foy family and their three very different restaurants. The national exposure is helping to position the Lake George region as a foodie destination.

Step into the Foy kitchens at The Château on the LakeCate’s Italian Garden and the Diamond Point Grille. They’re loud, hot, funny, contentious, overworked and full of family drama. “Don’t be afraid to sell the lasagna!’’ yells patriarch Buddy Foy Sr., who with his wife, Cate, runs Cate’s Italian Garden. The documentary follows three husband and wife teams (Buddy Sr. and Cate, Buddy Jr. and Jennifer and Jesse and Jessica) as they struggle to create distinctive dishes and make money for the entire year in the short season between July 4 and Labor Day. The food looks delicious, and the shots of Lake George are dessert to die for. “People say, ‘Buddy, why is the food so good? It’s the sweat off my brow, and it’s all from my heart.’” 

STILL COACHING: Gene Keady was a highly successful college basketball coach who seldom is mentioned among the greats of the game because his Purdue teams played in the shadow of Indiana University — coached by the legendary and controversial Bob Knight — and never won a national championship. Turns out he’s still demonstrating outstanding leadership, showing others what a great retirement looks like.

BEAUTY IN THE WILDERNESS: Dan and Krystyna Hauser’s Adirondack escape is a 17-minute trip down a rambling driveway, and with each passing minute they feel the pressures and tension of life in the city rise and dissipate through the treetops. Home for the summer is a main lodge, a guest cottage, and a boathouse on Saranac Lake. If you like Adirondack architecture, style and history, you’ll love this place.

HOME IN THE VALLEY: Chuck Petersheim was among the New Yorkers who relocated from the city to the Hudson Valley after 9/11, and he’s witnessing what feels like another mass exodus to the north in the wake of the pandemic. He describes the real estate scene in the Hudson Valley as a “blown-off-the-hinges, super-robust seller’s market. Whatever word you’re using doesn’t quite describe the amount of people looking to buy homes in the Hudson Valley right now, all from the metropolitan area.” Real estate agents in the Adirondacks are seeing a surge in interest as well.


BULMER’S BEST: We feature here frequently the work of John Bulmer, a photo and video journalist, owner of Nor’easter Films, weather chaser, environmental advocate, Adirondack Mountain Rescue leader, and gifted storyteller. Last week John covered the peaceful protest in his hometown of Troy, N.Y. This is how we will remember Sunday, June 7, 2020.

COMPASSION AND CARE: St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Queens, which cares for about 130 of New York’s sickest children, was getting ready to bar visitors in compliance with a state mandate aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. But before it closed the doors, it invited some of the parents to move in, so long as they not move out. As Benjamin Weiser reports in The New York Times, “Ultimately, 20 mothers and two fathers moved into St. Mary’s, in the Bayside neighborhood, bringing pajamas, sweatpants, toiletries, vitamins and laptops. Most now have been there for nearly three months, sleeping on recliners in their children’s rooms and becoming immersed in their care — and sharing just one shower.”

2020 FORESIGHT: It was a tumultuous time in 2012 when scientist Peter Turchin said, in essence, you think this is something, wait till you see what 2020 has in store. His research suggested that peaks of violence in the U.S. work on a 50-year cycle, with the next state of upheaval set to hit humanity in 2020.

OLYMPIC SPIRIT: Lake Placid is about to make history again as the 2021 host of the first international bobsleigh and skeleton championships that include both able-bodied competitors and people with disabilities. Para-bobsledders have spinal cord injuries, amputations and other disabilities that make it impossible to push their sleds, so they pilot special monobobs that are started by a mechanical launcher. The Para Bobsleigh World Championships will be part of the 2021 IBSF Bobsled and Skeleton World Championships in February at Mount Van Hoevenberg.

CAREFUL OUT THERE: In this year of murder hornets and the coronavirus comes anaplasmosis, a potentially fatal tick-borne illness whose symptoms mimic those of COVID-19. It’s on the rise in Upstate New York and the Adirondacks.

ACTION TO HEAL: On matters of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, “today’s challenges reach far beyond marginalization,” and organizations and their leaders cannot ignore the pain being felt by so many minority colleagues. “We now see and hear Black people who are suffering from the weight of dehumanizing injustice and the open wound of racism that has been festering for centuries,” the authors write. “Leaders at every level must use their power, platforms, and resources to help employees and communities overcome these challenges and build a better world for us all.”

ELUSIVE EQUALITY: In 1968, a commission appointed by President Johnson to assess conditions among poor black Americans produced a report that civil rights leader Jesse Jackson recently called "the last attempt to address honestly and seriously the structural inequalities that plague African Americans." NPR examines conditions today and finds that many of the commission’s conclusions remain unaddressed.

A VOICE THAT RESONATES: Maya Moore is one of the best women’s basketball players in the world, a five-time all-WNBA selection and winner of four league championships. She’s also an all-world activist who sat out the 2019 WNBA season to focus on what was the successful appeal of a family friend’s criminal conviction. She spoke with Time about the death of George Floyd and the evolving tone of conversations about race in America.

ASK THE EXPERTS: The coronavirus seems to be subsiding in some places only to be roaring back in others. The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they expect to feel comfortable resuming a host of formerly routine tasks. The news isn’t good for live entertainment and sporting events or airlines.

DICKENS OF A LIFE: Dead 150 years now, Charles Dickens lives still in the memorable characters he created — Tiny Tim, Scrooge, Little Nel and the Artful Dodger, among them — and his unsparing depiction of poverty, injustice, hypocrisy and pomposity. No writer of the age was more beloved. He chronicled “the events of our lives,” The New York Times said. When he died at just 58, the world mourned for months.

SHE’S HAD HER UPS AND DOWNS: Kathy Sullivan is the first American woman to walk in space and been a part of three Space Shuttle missions, but not long ago she took a voyage in the complete opposite direction — specifically, to the deepest known part of the Earth, the bottom of the Pacific Ocean at the Challenger Deep.

HELPING HANDS: When Michelle Larkin started Rebuilding Together Saratoga County in 2003, she had no money and no one understood what the organization did. Now they know:  The organization has repaired 1,252 homes and 100 community spaces and has replaced a dozen mobile homes.

EXPLORING GLENS FALLS: Capital Region Living has a few recommendations on where to stay, where to play and where to eat in the Glens Falls area.

TROY STANDS IN: The New York Post wanted to tell its readers what to expect when New York City restaurants open again, so it sent a reporter to the venerable DeFazio’s Wood Fired Pizzeria in Troy to get a sense.

WE NEED YOU, DOCTOR: Communities in the Adirondacks used to be able to count on the allure of outdoor adventure when recruiting young doctors, but with medical school debt pushing doctors to the prospect of higher-paying jobs in cities and older doctors retiring, the region is facing a dilemma.

BLUE SPOTLIGHT: The pups of Paw Patrol are lovable little cartoon creatures: Marshall, the firefighting Dalmatian; Rubble, the construction bulldog; and Chase, the canine cop who rescues kittens.  The protests against police brutality have reached these fictional characters. Some are calling for defunding the cops of pop culture.

OUR TOP PHOTO: Kathryn Flacke Muncil is the chair of the Board of Directors of the Fort William Henry Corp. which operates the flagship Fort William Henry Hotel, one of the oldest and largest resorts on Lake George. Kathy was captain of the women’s basketball team at The College of the Holy Cross, trained as a CPA, served as CFO of Spaulding Investment Co., a leading real estate and property investment group, and was a supervisor at the national accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Then, in 1993, she came home to the family business to serve as Fort William Henry’s CFO. She was elected chair of the board in 2019 after the death of her dad, Robert F. Flacke Sr., who led the company for more than 60 years. Kathy inherited more than the mantle of leadership at Fort William Henry; she also inherited her dad’s talent for photography. Today, we’re proud to showcase her photo “Dog Beach at Dawn.”

DOG BEACH? Yes, it’s a place for your pup to take a dip in Lake George, and it’s sponsored by the Dog Cabin. Dog Beach is not open at the moment, but let’s hope it’s welcoming panting pups soon. Why should the humans have all the fun?

WOULD YOU SHARE? We would love to share with our readers your best summertime shots. Please send them to


“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before — more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
— Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


A MAD GENIUS: Al Jaffee is a legend to generations of adolescents who sharpened their own sarcasm with help from his Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions and carefully folded the back cover just as instructed to see the irreverent sendoff Jaffee had crafted for the readers of that edition of Mad. The 99-year-old Jaffee has just published his final fold-in.

THANK YOU to our contributors: Bill Callen, Bill Richmond, John Brodt, Lisa Fenwick, Tina Suhocki, John Bulmer, Sarah Parker Ward, John Behan, 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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