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News stories tagged with "thousand-islands"

Seaway Opening Scrutinized, Again

The St. Lawrence Seaway is scheduled to open another shipping season on March 25th. Observers warn letting giant freighters into the St. Lawrence too early can damage riverside ecology and homes. They also worry about the nightmare scenario of an oil spill trapped under ice. As David Sommerstein reports, the Seaway has made compromises over how it chooses an opening date, but critics still fear economics trumps the environment.  Go to full article

State Releases Smoking Violation List

The state health department has fined half a dozen North Country businesses for violating the smoking ban that went into effect in July, according to recently released records. Some bar owners are meeting next week to plan a strategy to fight back. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Housing Privatization Protects Fort Drum's Future

Last week, the Army announced California-based housing developer, Actus Lend Lease, won a contract to build 1200 new homes around Fort Drum for the base's soldiers and their families. The construction is expected to cost more than $300 million over ten years. Decisions the company makes will affect the base itself, as well as towns in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties, where many soldier families live. The plan is a part of a massive nationwide project to privatize military housing, called the Residential Communities Initiative, or RCI. David Sommerstein spoke with John Deans, chairman of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, about the privatization plan. Deans has toured bases around the country to learn more about RCI. He says on many bases, soldiers live in aging homes.  Go to full article

Counties Survive Budget Crunch Until Next Year

This fall, county governments across the North Country faced what many called 'a perfect storm' of financial distress. Increased pension and health care costs and skyrocketing payments into New York's Medicaid system were sucking money out of county coffers. But budget cuts and property tax hikes weren't as bad as expected. As David Sommerstein reports, the real problem may be next year.  Go to full article

Preventing Flu at School: To Close or Not

Yesterday, Colton-Pierrepont schools closed due to a large number of students reporting flu-like symptoms. According to the Watertown Daily Times, Guardino Elementary School in Clayton stayed open despite 15% of the student body being home sick. David Sommerstein got two opinions on whether closing school for a day helps stall spreading the flu.  Go to full article
Retail storeowners brainstorm ways to boost winter business in Clayton
Retail storeowners brainstorm ways to boost winter business in Clayton

Clayton Tries to 'Extend the Season'

Every summer, the Thousand Islands bustles with tourists and seasonal residents, all boating, fishing, dining, shopping, and spending money. But the economic boom dries up after Labor Day, leaving local businesses to shut down or suffer through the long winter. The village of Clayton is trying to reverse that trend and keep downtown shops open longer. As David Sommerstein reports, the effort reflects a new political and demographic reality in town.  Go to full article

Seaway Season Extended

A mild fall and early winter is leading officials on both sides of the St. Lawrence Seaway to give shippers an extra two days to transport goods in and out of the Great Lakes. As David Sommerstein reports, officials hope the extension makes up for a slight slowdown in cargo traffic from last year.  Go to full article

Study Challenges Seaway Expansion Benefits

Shippers and politicians in the Midwest say opening the St. Lawrence Seaway to so-called 'container' ships, which carry cargo boxes that fit on trucks and trains, would add billions of dollars to the Great Lakes economy. In the past, expansion critics have opposed digging a deeper and wider channel for bigger freighters largely on environmental grounds. Now they point to a new study that says many of the economic promises may be empty ones. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Cycling For Trees

Arborists and tree care specialists began riding yesterday in the 12th annual Tour des Trees, sponsored by the International Society of Arboriculture. This year's route is 600 miles from Ottawa to Montreal, passing through the North Country from the Thousand Islands to Watertown across the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain to Vermont. David Sommerstein talks to two participants on the road.  Go to full article
John McCullough at his dock in the American Narrows.
John McCullough at his dock in the American Narrows.

Speed & Noise in the American Narrows

The waters, mountains, and forests of the North Country are where people go to relax and take in nature. They're also venues for occasional conflict. Snowmobiles and ATVs compete with skiers and hikers for trails and access in the Adirondacks. On the St. Lawrence River, boats cause the controversy - the faster and the louder they are, the more they draw criticism. A new generation of high-performance power boats are becoming increasingly popular. And for some, they've become a symbol of recklessness and noise in an area that makes placid waters big business. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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