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Rosalie Fontana of Bloomingdale voices her thoughts to DEC Forester Sean Reynolds, who was taking notes at the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor meeting at the DEC office in Ray Brook. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Rosalie Fontana of Bloomingdale voices her thoughts to DEC Forester Sean Reynolds, who was taking notes at the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor meeting at the DEC office in Ray Brook. Photo: Mark Kurtz

One fiercely disputed Adirondack rail line, two cool visions

For more than thirty years, most of the historic rail line between Old Forge and Lake Placid has seen little use. A tourism train operates on two different stretches of track, around Old Forge and Saranac Lake.

But despite a state plan that calls for the entire 119-mile route to reopen, much of the line has fallen into disrepair. Now state officials are asking new questions about how the train corridor should be used. They've begun a series of meetings to gather input and to try to channel a public debate that has grown increasingly rancorous.

There are now two starkly different visions for the rail corridor. Train boosters are calling for the state to invest millions of dollars refurbishing the tracks, while supporters of a new mult-iuse trail say the tracks should be torn up.  Go to full article
Dairy farmer Mike Kiechle of Philadelphia, NY, spreads manure from his tractor. He's the kind of small farmer the new rules are trying to target, but he says he doubts he'll grow his herd bigger. Photo: David Sommerstein
Dairy farmer Mike Kiechle of Philadelphia, NY, spreads manure from his tractor. He's the kind of small farmer the new rules are trying to target, but he says he doubts he'll grow his herd bigger. Photo: David Sommerstein

Will easing dairy manure rules do much at all?

Last month, Governor Cuomo carried through on a promise he made to dairy farmers, loosening environmental regulations for small farms.

Right now, a farm with 200 cows or more has to prepare detailed and costly manure management plans. Starting this week, that threshold will be bumped up to 300 cows.

Speaking at last summer's Yogurt Summit, Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine said the change would help boost milk production to meet demand fueled by Greek yogurt's popularity. "Simply put," said Aubertine, "this will make it much easier for small farms to grow."

North Country lawmakers and the state Farm Bureau praised the rule change. But environmental groups say more unregulated manure means more farm runoff in rivers and streams. It remains a big question whether the change will do much of anything at all - to the environment or for the economy.  Go to full article
Kristen Rohne, an educator with the Lake George Association, sieves for Asian clams during a lakewide survey completed in September 2012. Photo: Emily DeBolt, Lake George Association
Kristen Rohne, an educator with the Lake George Association, sieves for Asian clams during a lakewide survey completed in September 2012. Photo: Emily DeBolt, Lake George Association

NY commmits new money to stop Lake George invasives

State Environment Commissioner Joe Martens was in in the North Country on Friday, unveiling $250,000 in new funds to help stop invasive species from reaching Lake George.

The money will go to help a local coalition pay for boat washing and inspection stations around the lake.

"We were able to tease out $250,000 extra for Lake George," Martens said.

"Depending on what the outcome is of this last fall's and next spring's program on the lake, we'll go back and see if we can't dedicate more funds to it."  Go to full article
Drilling rig in the Marcellus Shale region. Photo: Laurie Barr
Drilling rig in the Marcellus Shale region. Photo: Laurie Barr

NYS DEC cuts complicate fracking picture

Proponents and opponents of hydrofracking in New York state read Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget closely for clues about fracking's future in the state.

They didn't see much. A decision on whether fracking will be allowed is expected after a health study is complete in February.

The agency overseeing the review, and in charge of permitting should fracking get the go-ahead, is New York's Department of Environmental Conservation. And it's in for a cut of five and a half percent in Cuomo's new budget.  Go to full article
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail

Fracking opponents prep for comments fight

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation released a draft set of regulations for hydraulic fracturing in November. Those proposed rules are open for public comment until Jan. 11, 2013.

Fracking opponents are preparing to make the most of the opportunity.  Go to full article
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail

NYS will miss fracking deadline

New York State will miss the November 29th regulatory deadline to complete a review of the health impacts of high volume hydraulic fracturing, Governor Cuomo confirmed yesterday.

The missed deadline means that March 1st next year is the earliest the final version of the regulations to govern fracking in the state will be released.  Go to full article
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail

DEC: still questions about hydrofracking

New York Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner commented in-depth for the first time about a new health review that has once again delayed a decision on hydraulic fracturing in New York.

Joe Martens says the internal study by the Department of Health is turning up more questions. His comments Friday came as some landowners, and politicians, in the Marcellus Shale region are growing impatient for a final decision on hydrofracking.  Go to full article

Search for Seth Kilburn continues

The search for 34-year-old Seth A. Kilburn picked up steam on Wednesday, with volunteers and law enforcement officials joining forces to check big swaths of land and water in and around Lake Placid.

Kilburn was last seen leaving Wiseguys bar in Lake Placid early Sunday morning. Village police have since received word that he was seen shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday on Sentinel Road near Lisa G's restaurant, walking in the direction of the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex.

Kilburn was reported missing by his parents early Monday morning.  Go to full article

Search Continues for Seth Kilburn, missing from Lake Placid since Sunday

A search is underway for a Lake Placid man who was last seen early Sunday morning.

Lake Placid village police are seeking the public's help as they look for 34-year-old Seth A. Kilburn. He was last seen leaving Wiseguys bar on School Street in the village of Lake Placid between 12:30 and 1 a.m. Sunday.  Go to full article

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