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A Year of Hard Choices

For one non-profit exec, a year of hard (and scary) choices

Non-profits make up one of the biggest chunks of the North Country economy, providing jobs and services to thousands of people. But NGOs have been slammed by the deepening recession, as foundations and governments closed the tap on grants and other funding. Today as part of our Year of Hard Choices series, Brian Mann talks with Michael Washburn. Washburn has led the Residents Committee to Protect the Adirondacks for the last year. But he's engineered a merger of the RCPA with another green group and plans to leave the organization by the end of the summer.  Go to full article

Dairy farmers hang on in lean times

Two year ago, the North Country was one of the most profitable regions in the country to milk cows. A new report in Farm Futures magazine ranks Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties in the top 20% of places to farm in 2007. Times have changed. The price farmers are paid for their milk has tumbled to half what it was last year. Like many people struggling in this economy, the boom-to-bust has put enormous stress on the region's dairy farmers. But few farms are selling out, says Molly Ames. She's a farm business management educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County. She told David Sommerstein it's not a sellers' market, so farmers are doing what they can to hang on.  Go to full article

Hard Choices: As lay-offs mount, government jobs could be next

The North Country relies on government jobs, from state prisons to local schools, for much of its vitality. In many towns, those public-sector workers and their paychecks anchor the entire economy. But state tax revenues are plummeting. Despite the Federal stimulus, many state and local agencies are already laying off workers or implementing hiring freezes. As part of our series A Year of Hard Choices, Brian Mann checked in with the region's lawmakers in Albany. They say the pressures on the region's economy are building fast.  Go to full article
Keith Peterson, Massena, behind the wheel of his rig.

Year of Hard Choices: Driving a Semi, Empty

If you want to put your finger on the pulse of the economy, talk to a trucker. Tomorrow's products are hauled in today's 18-wheelers. And many are nearly empty. In our...  Go to full article

Hard Choices: foundation focuses on "basic needs"

Our "A Year of Hard Choices" series continue today. Over the next several months, we'll track the effects of the recession though people and organizations in this region, and...  Go to full article

Planning giving in rural communities

Martha Foley talks with Jeff Yost, president and CEO of the Nebraska Community Foundation. He's in Canton today to speak to St. Lawrence County community leaders as keynote...  Go to full article
Ken and Katrina Hebb, owners of the Blackbird Cafe

A Year of Hard Choices: Bucking the trend, a business built to last

On Monday, SUNY Potsdam economics professor Greg Gardner described a theory of development that he believes may be a good fit for the North Country in today's economy. ...  Go to full article

A Year of Hard Choices: Keeping a small business going in the Adirondacks

Mark Bergman is a realtor with his own agency in North Creek. As part of our series A Year of Hard Choices, he gives us a perspective on the real estate industry and being...  Go to full article
Sandy Maine hopes to break into mass market retail with "Bug Off."

A Year of Hard Choices: SunFeather Soap - tough times, hope for the future

In our Year of Hard Choices series today, we go to a mainstay of the North Country's homegrown business community. You find the SunFeather Soap Company in a tidy, low...  Go to full article

A Year of Hard Choices: Graduating into a receding industry

It's hard for anyone to find a job in today's economy. Recent college graduates with little real-world experience are finding it especially tough. And then there's people...  Go to full article

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