The Week: What Caught Our Eye

August 24, 2019

Tacitus081819_saratoga 14[1].jpgTacitus, the favorite in today’s 150th running of the $1.25 million
Travers Stakes at Saratoga, going off amid
existential challenges for racing.
FOX has the race at 5 p.m.  (
Skip Dickstein)

IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE WOODS? For your next camping trip, pack the burgers and bug spray, the tarp and the tent, the sleeping bags and flash light. And just in case, bring along one brave physician, too.

CAPITAL IDEAS: New York’s Capital Region is searching for the next billion-dollar breakthrough. Research and development is a quiet, steady driver of the local economy, powered by an investment of more than $1 billion annually. More than 6,000 people are employed in R&D, and in 2016 local inventors were issued more than 1,000 patents.

DAWN OF ANOTHER BIG TALENT: Apple TV+ is launching a likely blockbuster this fall, a broadcast news drama ripped from the headlines called “The Morning Show” with Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell. One of the program’s writers: Kristen Layden, daughter of Whitehall native Tim Layden and his wife Janet. Tim recently capped a sterling 25-year career at Sports Illustrated.  Kristen, like her Dad, is a Williams College graduate (Class of 2010). She traveled the globe as an Olympic researcher for NBC Sports and spent three years as a writer and co-producer on the NBC drama “Blindspot” before joining “The Morning Show” team.

SNIFFIN’ FOR KICKS: Here’s what’s not new: Your kicks communicate. They are the new mark of luxury, comfort and status. Sales of the premium originals are booming and consequently, so is the secondary market. Here’s what is new: There’s a career opportunity in being a Sneaker Sniffer, a reseller smeller, an authenticator whose job it is to make sure your kicks are not knock-offs.

NEW LIFE FROM TRAGEDY: The tragic national epidemic of fatal drug overdoses has produced an unexpected consequence: More organs are available for transplant. Yet, New Yorkers still have the fourth longest wait time in the country for a life-saving organ.

NICE CAN SAVE LIVES: Barre, Vt., has been nominated by the readers of Reader’s Digest (yes, it still exists) as one of the nicest places in America. Why? Because of the community’s comprehensive and compassionate response to the opioid crisis. Plus, Killington and Warren, Vt., make the list of 25 best places in the country to buy a vacation home for return on investment.

TRANSPORTING GIFT: Mevan Babakar was 5 when she and her family fled Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s brutal crackdown on the Kurdish population in the early 1990s. They went first to Turkey, then to Azerbaijan, then to Russia and eventually to a refugee camp in the Netherlands. That’s where she received the liberating gift of wheels.

DISHIN’ IT: Saratoga Springs and Lake George popped up on Page 6 and in the Hollywood tabloids columns this week with word that Gigi Hadid and Tyler Cameron of The Bachelorette were in town. In the end, it seems they got as close as a Starbucks in Malta.

DIVA AT THE QUEEN: Deborah – Call Me Debbie – Voight is widely acclaimed as one of the Opera world’s greatest sopranos and one of its most down-to-Earth divas, and she’s coming to Lake George, to the Sembrich’s spectacular lakeside studio.

SPEAKING OF QUEENS: Business Insider chortled a few years ago that Queen Elizabeth favors a proper nip during the day. “Queen Elizabeth II drinks four cocktails a day, including one before lunch. The queen celebrates mid-morning with a glass of gin and Dubonnet on the rocks with a slice of lemon. She follows it up with a glass of wine at lunch and then a dry martini.” Now, an expert on the royal family, Thomas J. Mace Archer Mills, Esq., nee Tommy Muscatello of Bolton, (yes, he of the phony royal commentator flap) is out with a House of Winsdor drinkology you can use at home. Here, here!

THE TWO-YEAR PROJECT: It took these Hudson Valley newlyweds 23 years to build their first home – but what a beauty! He didn’t live to see it finished. She’s spent the next 25 years welcoming guests. And now you, too, can visit the castle that love built.

RADICAL RISERS: Call us nuts: We were working on this week’s Facing Out at 4:52 a.m. Your grandmother might have called us “early birds.’’ The modern term is extreme larks. Do you, too, cherish the dark, silent, very early hours of the day?

GONE WITH THE WIND: Here’s a fun idea: How about an outdoor movie night? Put up the big screen. Invite the whole town. Bring out your air mattresses. Oh, no.

BE KIND TO YOUR WEB-FOOTED FRIENDS: The little boy dropped his flip-flop. You’ll never guess who returned it.

ALL DOGS GO TO THE MOVIES: Move over, Beethoven. Come on, Sassy and Chance. Old Yeller, Lady and the Tramp, My Dog Skip and I, we’re not Homeward Bound, we’re goin’ to the movies.

GIFT OF SERENITY: Robert Giordano owns about 70 acres of land in Northern New York. It’s a great place for hunting, fishing, and boating ­-- and he’s opening it free of charge to all veterans and their families.

CLASSIC CRAFT: Lake George has long had a love affair with beautiful antique boats. This weekend, the old boats are rockin’ the docks. It’s the 46th annual Lake George Rendezvous sponsored by the Antique and Classic Boat Society.

TWO FOUR SIX EIGHT, WHO SHALL WE EXCORIATE? First, bring in a generation of well-educated, tech-savvy, socially committed young people. Blend in some populism. Add a dash of daily outrage. Give them the tools to organize their co-workers and friends. In no time, they’ll be dining on their employer. Again.  

EAGER (BUT NOT ANNOYINGLY SO): Remember the old cover letter? You expressed your sunny career ambitions and pledged undying loyalty to the employer of your dreams. Now, employers are writing the letters, hoping to winnow the field of applicants to those truly qualified and prepared for the duties.

ANGRY ANGEL: Is there an angry angel at The Hyde Collection? Daily Art Magazine has been perusing a 1350 Italian painting and is wondering.


JUST FILLING IN:  Table Talk Pies – remember those delectable 4-inch apples and blueberry numbers in the red and white cartons -- is one of those great old-school companies that keeps on keepin’ on. It’s one of the sweetest things about Worcester, Mass. And it’s in the news for a very strange reason: Somebody they don’t know is running their Twitter account.


Not to get too political, but in a week in which the President of the United States offered to buy Greenland, Denmark’s Prime Minister mocked the idea, the President then canceled a state visit, and also declared himself “The Chosen One,” we honor a humble Tweet:

“I give up,” says every editor at The Onion.

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

 Let’s make it a conversation:

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