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News stories tagged with "clayton"

Save the River's expansion plans
Save the River's expansion plans

River watchdog close to fundraising goal

The St. Lawrence River watchdog group Save the River has announced the final push in a two-and-a-half-year fundraising campaign.

The organization hopes to raise $700,000 to expand its office space and its programs. Joanna Richards reports.  Go to full article
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson (left) poses with other industry leaders as the first freighter of the season enters the St. Lambert lock.
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson (left) poses with other industry leaders as the first freighter of the season enters the St. Lambert lock.

Seaway burnishes "green" profile

Last week, the first freighter of the year rumbled up the St. Lawrence River. That marked the 53rd season of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a man-made channel linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

The Seaway's billion dollars of commerce is mostly an economic conversation between Canada's southern coast, America's Midwest, and the far-flung ports of the world.

But it's caused vast environmental damage in the North Country and across the Great Lakes, largely via invasive species.

David Sommerstein went to the Seaway's opening ceremony last week in Montreal. He sends this report on the Seaway's delicate balance between the economy and the environment.  Go to full article
Windfall poster
Windfall poster

New doc gives voice to wind power critics

The North Country has the largest industrial wind farm East of the Mississippi, on the Tug Hill Plateau. There are also several in various stages of planning from Cape Vincent to Plattsburgh.

Many have been held up for years by battles over the pros- and cons- of wind power.

A new documentary sets out to warn about the potential negatives - aggressive power corporations, conflicts of interest for lawmakers, the noise, height, and setbacks of the turbines, and more.

Windfall tells the story of the little town of Meredith, near Oneonta, and how wind power divided the place. It's shown at the Toronto Film Festival and several other major festivals around the country.

Director Laura Israel brings Windfall to the Clayton Opera House this Saturday. She told David Sommerstein she bumped into the issue when she moved into a cabin in Meredith.  Go to full article
Jonathan Kuniholm
Jonathan Kuniholm

Preview: North Country Access 2010 in Clayton

The North Country Access 2010 event gets underway at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton tomorrow. It's an all-abilities water sports event for those with impaired mobility, sensory limitations and other disabilities. The featured speakers include paralympic skier and track racer Christopher Waddell, who was paralyzed in a 1988 skiing accident, and Jon Kuniholm, a retired Marine who lost part of his right arm to an IED while a soldier in Iraq. Kuniholm is leading research into engineering devices to help disabled people, and a partner in the Open Prosthetics Project, which works to share advances in prosthetics design. He is both a researcher and an end user in developing prosthetic robotic hands. Kuniholm told Todd Moe that prosthetic technology is a field that hasn't changed much in 20 years because of its smaller consumer market.  Go to full article

Preview: "Great Lake Swimmers" in Clayton

Todd Moe talks with Tony Dekker, the lead singer in the Canadian folk/rock group "Great Lake Swimmers." They'll be in Clayton for a concert Saturday night at 7:30 that features music from their latest cd, "Lost Channels." The album was recorded in historic locations in the Thousand Islands and along the St. Lawrence River. The concert will also feature an audio/visual presentation by the best-selling author and photographer Ian Coristine, who will present his fifth book of photography, The Very Best of Ian Coristine's 1000 Islands.  Go to full article
(photo: Brad Miller)
(photo: Brad Miller)

Schmitt to take the helm at boat museum

The Antique Boat Museum in Clayton will have a new leader later this spring. John MacLean, the museum's executive director for the last 8 years, is retiring in May and the Board of Trustees has named Fred Schmitt as the new director. Schmitt will oversee the museum's campus along the St. Lawrence, eight buildings, more than 270 antique boats and 40 full and part-time employees. He told Todd Moe that he has an academic background in history and museum studies, nearly 30 years of management and consulting experience with businesses and organizations worldwide -- and a love of boats.  Go to full article
Photo by Janet Sullins/Save the River.
Photo by Janet Sullins/Save the River.

Save The River prods Seaway for transparency

Save the River, based in the Thousand Islands, wants the St. Lawrence Seaway to make public how it decides when to open the waterway every spring. The environmental group has filed a legal petition with the federal government. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
DEC chief Pete Grannis, left, with Clayton town supervisor, Justin Taylor.
DEC chief Pete Grannis, left, with Clayton town supervisor, Justin Taylor.

New York pushes for better water levels management

Friday, the community of Clayton celebrated the completion of a $2.5 million clean-up of prime waterfront on the St. Lawrence River. Frink America's former snowplow plant polluted eight acres of riverside property in the heart of the Thousand Islands. Town supervisor Justin Taylor says the clean-up took almost ten years. The redeveloped property may include a hotel, multi-family residences, businesses, and a riverwalk. The head of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, Pete Grannis, came to Clayton to deliver the official certificate of completion in person. Grannis stayed in Clayton Saturday for Save the River's Winter Weekend. He updated the members of the environmental group on the stalled study to control water levels on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. In 2008, the International Joint Commission finished a 5-year, $20 million review of water levels and issued a new plan for controlling them. But then the IJC rescinded that plan, put the whole project on hold, and went back to the bargaining table. Grannis told David Sommerstein that was due to strong opposition from New York.  Go to full article

Jeff Alexander: invasive species "a slow-motion wildfire"

Invasive species - from zebra mussels and round gobies to the bloody red shrimp discovered three years ago - are one of the top threats to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. They've done billions of dollars in damage to the region's economy and environment. Most entered the Great Lakes through the ballast water of foreign ships on the St. Lawrence Seaway. Jeff Alexander has reported on invasive species for 25 years. He's also written a book about how most of those critters got here - hidden in the ballast of foreign ships on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The book is called Pandora's Locks: The Opening of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway. Alexander is the keynote speaker at the Save the River Winter Weekend, Saturday, February 6 at the Clayton Opera House. Alexander told David Sommerstein he first training his reporting in invasive species in 1989, when zebra mussels shut down the municipal water system in Munroe, Michigan.  Go to full article

River advocates stay vigilant against Seaway expansion

Yesterday, we heard St. Lawrence Seaway Chief Terry Johnson say that expanding the locks and channels of the St. Lawrence Seaway is "off the table". He also said this in person this week to the St. Lawrence River's biggest environmental advocate, Save The River. It was Johnson's first visit to the group's Clayton offices since being appointed three years ago. Jennifer Caddick is Save the River's executive director. She told David Sommerstein the Seaway chief made a new distinction in their hour and a half meeting on Monday.  Go to full article

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