The Week: What caught our eye

September 14, 2019

BalloonFestival.jpgThe Adirondack Hot Air Balloon Festival lifts our spirits every fall. It’s scheduled for next weekend. And it’s never too late to take flight.

HOW WE GOT HERE: The fate of North America hung in the balance. The great powers of the old world were at war for control of the new. The lands and waters from Lake Champlain to New York City were pivotal. Across North America and Canada, French and Indian wars raged from 1754 to 1763. There were fierce battles at Fort William Henry and Fort Ticonderoga, and Fort Edward became the largest British military encampment in North America, behind only New York and Philadelphia. Among the soldiers there: Benedict Arnold and Paul Revere. Archeology magazine is just out with a compelling recap that puts the spotlight on our region and the work of the archeologist Dr. David Starbuck.

PETER DRUCKER AT BENNINGTON: Two Viennese intellectuals from opposite ends of the political spectrum ended up at leafy Bennington College during World War II. Given that improbable start, one went on to become the world’s most famous management thinker.

JACK HITS THE ROAD: Jack Ma, the founder of bigger-than-Amazon Alibaba and the richest man in China ($40 billion), is stepping down. That may give him more time to enjoy sugaring at his place in the Adirondacks.

9 /14/19: Hey, what day is today? Check the date. Run that past me again, backward.

MOGUL’S CHILLY RECEPTION: Hedge Fund Manager Nelson Obus works in Manhattan, lives in New Jersey and, on some winter weekends, escapes to his Adirondack camp in Northville for a little cross-country skiing, which is where he encountered the very long pole extended by the State of New York. Now, he’s in a bind and it’s all downhill.

SUNSHINE ON OUR SHOULDERS: Not to throw shade on the Empire State, but in a ranking of states with the highest overall tax burden — taking into account property taxes, individual income taxes and total sales and excise taxes — New York ranked the highest. Florida was third from the bottom with an overall tax burden about half of New York’s.

COME ONE, COME ALL: They’re moving to Boise and Austin and Portland, the consultants and head hunters, writers and analysts who work from home. They’re skipping out of crowded, expensive major cities and finding the coolest (and less expensive) small cities in America. Do any come to mind, Upstate New York? This might be the opportunity to lure people who would not otherwise consider the move.

AIRBNBITE: Airbnbs played host to 221,600 guests in the Capital Region this summer, including 60,000 guests in Saratoga Springs and 50,000 in Lake George. It’s a classic disrupter story: A wonderful alternative for guests seeking accommodations is putting heavily taxed and regulated traditional hotels and inns under even greater pressure.

BUST ‘EM, BOOK ‘EM! The Capital Region fields lots of big national talent, but nothing quite like the talented singers, dancers and musicians in the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department whose homemade music video caught the attention of CBS and landed them a spot on the nationally televised “Lip Sync to the Rescue.”

BowiePhoto_DRAFTONLY.jpgWisps of fog lift to reveal the arrival of fall at Cedar River Flow
in the Adirondacks. (Mark Bowie)

WINNERS’ WARMTH: Lake George is coming off a banner season, and now the warmth of the summer sun will keep moms and kids warm this winter. Reviving a tradition, the Lake George community is celebrating its success by raising money for women and families in Warren, Washington and Essex counties in need of food, clothing, shelter, fuel oil, transportation and other necessities.

GOOD NEIGHBORS: Canadian visitors and shoppers helped the Adirondack region to a particularly strong tourism season.

SMOOCH WITH A MOOSE: You don’t get to nuzzle a muzzle every day, even in the Adirondacks. So, this is special. Moosey, we’re ready for your closeup.

IT AIN’T HEAVY, IT’S MY ATV: New York’s Environmental Conservation Officers encounter amazing sights in the wild. Not all are pretty. From DEC’s official report: “ECO Lt. Mark Colesante stopped a vehicle on Aug. 31 that he observed transporting an ATV in an unusual way on Rt. 41A in the town of Homer. The driver had decided to transport the ATV by strapping it to the roof of his four-door sedan.”


GET OUT OF JAIL: Hasbro gets it. It’s out with a new game Ms. Monopoly. She invests not in real estate but in female entrepreneurs — and she makes more than her male counterparts.

LEAGUE OF HER OWN: Raquel Ferreira was already one of the highest-ranking women in baseball.  On Sunday, she was the vice president of major and minor league operations for the Boston Red Sox. On Monday, she became the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in a major league team’s baseball operations department during the regular season.


THE PRIME’S TIME: Our neighbors to the north are about to have an election that will determine which party forms Canada’s next government. It’s really a referendum on the performance of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he of the one-handed pushups and quantum computing soliloquies. The charismatic son of a former prime minister was on track to be a global progressive star. Then scandal struck.

ROOTS OF HIS SUCCESS: Glens Falls Ironman Nick Marcantonio, a former All-American collegiate track star, is coming off winning performances in Lake Placid this summer and heading to Hawaii to compete against the world’s most elite athletes in the Ironman World Championships. Common Roots Brewing — which itself knows how to bounce back — has brewed a beer in his honor, Recovery Roots, and is helping him raise money.

THEIR REPUTATION PRECEDES THEM: High school football season has only begun, but MaxPreps — the national high school sports website owned by CBS Sports — ranks Glens Falls at No. 8 and Queensbury at No. 10 in New York State.  The next highest ranked teams in the region are Shaker at 26 and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake at 30.

HAND IT TO THE VOLUNTEERS: At Altamonte Elementary School in Florida, it was College Colors Day, and one young University of Tennessee fan drew a UT logo and pinned it to his T-shirt. Other kids poked fun at that. That’s when the Volunteers showed what they’re made of.

GO HACK YOURSELF: New Bedford, Mass., has had its challenges, but it’s not one to shy from a fight, even with the hackers who tried to take down the city’s services.

MOWED DOWN: The Carolina Panthers and Lowes thought they had a cheap, sure-fire PR hit on their hands when they awarded a 12-year-old kid a lawnmower. Then they bragged about it. Nothing like being struck by your own blade.

MISSING IN LG: Shannon Blaine is a perfect wife and mother of two. On a sunny morning in late September, she drops off her kids at school and then goes for a jog alone at Lake George. She has not been seen since.  Is she hurt? Dead? The cops are all over this, as is Crime Beat writer Bailey Wiggins.

QUINN’S WORLD: What a wonderful, generous world that Quinn Waters sees through his window.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? The best way to know a volcano may be about to erupt is to listen for belches and rumbles. Japan, Iceland and Chile surround their volcanoes with information-gathering equipment. Not the U.S.

OUT OF THE SHADOWS: As Rod Serling once said, you unlock this door with the key of imagination. The Syracuse and Binghamton product did that in the CBS television program he created,  “The Twilight Zone.” Now, Serling himself is the subject of a new biopic.


As we observe the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks:

In those days, we finally chose to walk like giants and hold the world in arms grown strong with love. And there may be many things we forget in the days to come, but this will not be one of them.
― Brian Andreas, Traveling Light: Stories & Drawings for a Quiet Mind


ROLLERCOASTER CATCH: The Miami Dolphins could use this guy – if only they had someone to throw to him.

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, Matt Behan and Mark Bowie.

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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