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On the inside looking out. An image from the documentary film "The House I Live In." Photo: "The House I Live In," used by permission
On the inside looking out. An image from the documentary film "The House I Live In." Photo: "The House I Live In," used by permission

Why don't we talk more about North Country prisons?

Locking people up and keeping them behind bars is one of the North Country's biggest industries. There are more than twenty jails and prison facilities scattered across our rural region. Corrections and law enforcement agencies provide high-paying jobs from Ogdensburg to Glens Falls.

But the prison industry isn't something we talk about very often. The North Country's Regional Economic Development plan talks about renewable energy and trains and farms and government. But it doesn't even mention prisons -- not once.

Earlier this month, a student group at SUNY Plattsburgh invited community members, faculty and activists to meet and talk about mass incarceration and how it affects communities.  Go to full article
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver shares the podium with farmworker rights activist Kerry Kennedy. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Lawmakers carry on despite scandals

Lawmakers in Albany tried to carry on as usual in the wake of one of the worst scandals in recent decades. Recent corruption arrests have overshadowed most other news coming out of the Capitol. And much of this week's legislative session has been cancelled.

But politicians who were in town insisted that their agendas are not being derailed.  Go to full article
Thousand Islands border crossing. Photo: <a href="">Friscocali</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

US won't move forward with Canada border fee, North Country relieved

Leaders on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border are pleased that the U.S. isn't moving forward on a border crossing fee.

The Department of Homeland Security recently asked Congress to authorize a border fee study. The department wanted to charge everyone entering the U.S. by land from Canada and Mexico.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href-"">ragingwire</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

How NYS casino development could affect New Yorkers' health

Governor Andrew Cuomo has outlined plans to expand organized gaming in the state, arguing the addition of three casinos in upstate New York would bring substantial economic...  Go to full article
The Vermont State Capitol. Photo: <a href"">Adam Fagen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont lawmakers pass end-of life legislation

Vermont lawmakers passed end-of life legislation last night. The House approved the Senate's new version of the bill, 75-65. The bill would allow doctors to give terminally...  Go to full article

Book review: "Peak Experiences"

The mountains of the northeast attract hikers to their rocky summits. What happens, though, when something goes wrong? Carol Stone White collected over 50 essays in her new...  Go to full article
Illustration for "The Lion and the Mouse," Harrison Weir, from <em>Three Hundred Aesop's Fables</em> by George Fyler Townsend, 1867. Public domain.

Story Traveler: Aesop's Fables

Gioia Timpanelli tells "The Crow and the Pitcher, ""The Wolf and the Crane," a cautionary fable about gratitude and greed, and "The Lion and the Mouse," which tells you that...  Go to full article
The Northern Grape Project's test vines at Coyote Moon winery, Clayton. Photo: David Sommerstein

North Country wines survive the cold, please the palate

The New York wine industry is booming. According to the New York Wind and Grape Foundation, five million people visit New York wineries every year. The industry generates...  Go to full article
OK Slip Falls in summer. Photo: C. Heilman, courtesy Adirondack Nature Conservancy

Adirondack Park Agency will hear from public on how to use new lands

The Adirondack Park Agency has drafted seven options for classifying 47,000 acres of state land in the central Adirondacks, including the first phase of former Finch, Pruyn...  Go to full article
The day opened with drumming by the NAACP Albany Branch Student Theater Outreach Program (S.T.O.P.). Photo: Beehive Productions

At John Brown Day, what does freedom mean?

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. In a few months, it will be exactly fifty years since the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,...  Go to full article
Vito Lopez, speaking on a bill in New York's Assembly. Photo: <a href="">New York State Assembly</a>

Will the ethics report on the Lopez scandal be released this month?

The state ethics commission report on the Assemblyman Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal might finally be made public later this month.  Go to full article
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