Daily Archives: April 7, 2011

Just Call me Mrs. Lucky by Jan from Woodgate

Mirror mirror on the wall, I am my mother afterall.

I actually purchased this wall hanging for my sister years ago – we all laughed hysterically at the time because that was actually considered a huge “burn” back then.  Mom was still with us at the time of said purchase and she wisely chuckled to herself.

Now, not so funny.  Not only because she’s been gone for eleven years, but because truer words were never spoken.

I am her.  I think like her.  I feel exactly like she did regarding so many issues.  Turns out this was not an insult afterall, and now I want that darn thing back.

Hey Mom, I’m here to tell ya and I can only hope you can see this:

YOU WERE RIGHT!!!!  About almost everything, and everyone.  The friends of mine you adored I still love with all my heart, those you weren’t so crazy about have fallen by the wayside (or gone to the Big House).  The rules you insisted on are my guide, the values you instilled in me are intact, and so far I like to think I have caused no harm (no blood letting harm anyway).  You definitely set the best of examples and I thank you and think of you every single day of my life.  I can only hope that some day Jamie Lynn will mouth these same words, even though  I’ll be floating on a big fat cloud of heavenly chardonnay when she makes the realization.

Mommy knows best.  Because I said so.  Do as I say, not as I do.

Who doesn’t remember these mommy-isms?  I can still picture my rebellious teen self scoffing at those words, despising them at the time, and then years later repeating them to my own kid, word for word.

Make good choices.  Pay the piper if you don’t.

Genius, I tell ya.  Bad/poor choices have wrecked many a life.  Sometimes a spur of the moment choice is required, other times planning ahead is imperative.  Either way one must use one’s head and often one’s heart to make the proper choice.  You can just feel “bad” deep in your bones, if in fact you were blessed with a conscience (got mine at Walmart, not always dependable).

This gal tends to lean a bit more towards solidarity as I age – yet another thing I never understood about Mom.  She didn’t seem to need so many folks later in her life and was quite content to spend hours each day quietly reading or sitting alone.  I thought she was boring.  Now, I absolutely crave “alone” time, and get downright cranky if it’s not available.  I know so many women my age who simply cannot be by themselves or without constant activity, and quite frankly I pity them.  They have no idea what they’re missing, or maybe they just don’t care for their own company.  As for me and my mom, quiet time is imperative to maintain our state of mental health and well being, and in my case, to enforce the no blood letting harm rule.  People bug me, a lot.

“All women become like their mothers, that is their tragedy.  No man does – that’s his!”  Oscar Wilde

Jamie actually made that plaque for me several years ago – actually wood burned it – so maybe, just maybe, she’s got an early start….I can only hope that she too will someday utter such “boring” mommy-isms to her own children which by the way have yet to be produced and I’m getting a little impatient here…….

Share Button

Growing up Adirondack by Mitch Lee

Patches of Grass

Like small islands yellow green patches of grass started to appear out on our lawn. There were still some giant snow banks frozen hard and very dirty looking near the edges of the driveway, but out in the center of the lawn spring was trying to poke its head out. That early April day in 1970 I was trying to jump from one grassy island to the next without touching the snow. I imagined that the snow was a volcanic lava flow and if it touched my boots it would just burn them up.

The full of the sun of that day felt good on my face and I could almost watch the snow disappear. The uncovered ground was spongy and wet and when I lifted my boot I could see water gather in my tracks as if I sucked it back up out of the ground. Placing my hand on the ground it felt cool almost cold and the grass seemed to be matted and asleep.

I watched as small birds flitted from one open grassy area to the next just as I was doing. They were picking away at something I could not see with there small beaks. Every movement they made was like a mechanical hop as if they were made of robot parts. Observing their movements I tried my best to replicate a bird hop and the head movement. I could now hear the wet ground under my boots and the sucking sound of the water.

My movements made most of the little birds just fly away and roost in a birch tree nearby. I searched on my knees pretty close to the ground with my face for anything they might be picking up in the bare spots but there was nothing I could find. The moist ground was now seeping through my toughskin jeans felt to cold to stay on the ground so I decided to try to stomp out the rest of the snow on the lawn so they could have more open lawn to pick away in.

While stomping the crisp snow it broke up into thin erratic flat shapes that were great to pick up and fling like a Frisbee into the road. Each one I tossed wobbled through the air and crashed on the pavement into millions of bits. This was cool and I spent over an hour whizzing shards of snow out onto the road until my shoulder started to burn and my hands were raw. The road was covered with snow chunks and with the full sun most were now melting so fast that the first few I tossed were nothing but dark wet spots.

I could smell the sap in the many spruce trees coming back to life and I liked the lawn I couldn’t wait for all of it to be uncovered but I was to tired to get rid of the rest. I just hopped the lava spots back to the porch where I waited for all the little birds to come back to the open ground. I yelled back to them “ see!.. now ya got more lawn”.

Share Button

A Poem by Ken Thibado

“News” “Poetry”

Speed is not accuracy.

If it bleeds; it leads…

stab at the story crazy

and watch the frenzy it feeds.


Why check a fact,

when you can cash a check?

Here’s a word from our sponsor,

we’ll be right back.


Lies dipped in rancid honey.

Served up by salivators.

Dripping corporate money.

Were those boots alligators?


Near news networks;

never near the news.

Quota filling wonks,

who hire only jerks.


Corporate greed, government fraud

disguised in dimwits,

while idiots applaud.


It the American Dream!

(Only achieved during sleep.)

Now here’s a money making scheme!

(You lazy sheep.)


Protected by none

and projected by many.

Fear for your gun,

while you earn your penny.


“We The People”

need to wake up.

Nobody’s threatening your steeple,

So shut the Hell up.


To form your opinions

simply gather your thoughts.

Avoid the news minions,

and use the brain you’ve got.


There is no conclusion,

it’s an ongoing battle.

If you suffer from confusion,

at least you aren’t cattle.

Ken Thibado is not a poet, and you can tell him so at HalfStache@me.com

Share Button

Nourished Living by Dietician Kelly Hamlin, MA, RD, CDN

Raw food diet. Is it really healthy or another extreme food movement? Just like everything else, there are arguments for both sides. Many of you probably have not heard of this so I’d like to share some information about it.

The fundamental principle behind raw foodism, also sometimes called rawism (doesn’t that sound attractive?!?!), is that plant foods in their most natural state – uncooked and unprocessed – are also the most wholesome for the body. There are different ways that people follow a raw food diet. Some follow a raw vegan diet while others consume raw animal products, such as raw milk, cheese made from raw milk, sashimi or ceviche (raw fish), or carpaccio (raw meat). Some people eat only raw foods, while others include cooked food for variety. The proportion of raw food can be anywhere from 50% of the diet to a diet that is all raw. The raw food diet is a lifestyle choice. It is not a weight loss plan.  This is a really important point. Yes, odds are you would lose weight if you decided to take up this kind of eating pattern, but if you then added the “other” foods back into your eating pattern you would most likely see your weight increase. After looking into this type of eating, I believe the weight loss is due in part to how much WORK it takes to eat like this!!!

Sticking to a raw food diet isn’t easy. Most raw foodists spend a lot of time in the kitchen peeling, chopping, straining, blending, and dehydrating. That’s because the diet is typically made up of 75% fruits and vegetables. Staples of the raw food diet include: seaweed, sprouts, sprouted seeds, whole grains, beans, dried fruits and nuts. Alcohol, refined sugars, and caffeine are taboo. In the raw food diet, specific methods can be used to make foods more digestible and to add variety to the diet:

Sprouting – Grains, seeds and small beans and legumes are soaked and sprouted.

Soaking – Nuts and seeds are often soaked.

Juicing – Fruits and vegetables can be juiced.

Dehydrated – Foods can be heated, never above 116 F, using a piece of equipment called a dehydrator.


Blending – Foods can be blended or chopped using a food processor or blender, to make recipes for pesto, soup, hummus.

So they don’t cook anything? No, sort of….they do not cook using a traditional stove or oven. They use food dehydrators that lend crunch to vegetables and cookies. Food dehydrators also dry out fruits for fruit leather and other raw food recipes.

The dehydrator works with heat, but temperatures cannot be higher than 115 to 118 degrees. People who follow this diet believe high heat leaches enzymes and vitamins critical for proper digestion. According to the American Dietetic Association it is the body — not what goes in it – that produces the enzymes necessary for digestion. The ADA also says cooking food below 118 degrees may not kill harmful, food-borne bacteria. And let’s face it, in todays day and age of every-other-day recalls of fruits and vegetables, this is a concern. Some foods that are not safe to consume raw are: kidney beans, soy beans, and fava beans, Buckwheat greens, Mushrooms, Peas, Potatoes, Rhubarb leaves, Taro, Cassava and cassava flour and Parsnips.

Is it really healthier to eat raw foods? There is not a lot of medical literature with regard to the. Research tends to focus vegetarianism/veganism and the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Research does show a plant-based diet is a healthy way to eat. (note – try implementing a meat-free day once per week)

A few studies have shown that cooking may destroy some nutrients, it has also been shown that cooking vegetables such as tomatoes (yes, I know it’s technically a fruit) and carrots helps the bodies to utilize them more efficiently.

One showed that eating raw, cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale) may reduce the risk of bladder cancer. Researchers noted that cooking cruciferous vegetables robs them of their isothiocyanates, agents that alter proteins in cancer cells. They found that even a few helpings a month of raw crucifers seems to lower the risk.

Another study that reviewed findings of about 50 medical studies on the raw versus cooked debate showed that eating raw vegetables helps reduce the risk of oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, esophageal, and gastric cancers.


Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast….researchers who studied the impact of a raw food diet found that study participants had low cholesterol and triglycerides. They also had a vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 is found naturally only in animal products. It is critical to nerve and red blood cell development and deficiencies can lead to anemia and neurological impairment.

A German study of long-term raw foodists showed that they had healthy levels of vitamin A and dietary carotenoids, which comes from vegetables, fruits and nuts and protect against chronic disease. This would be expected. Yet the study participants had lower than average plasma lycopene levels, which are thought to play a role in disease prevention. They are found in deep-red fruits like tomatoes. Lycopene content is highest, however, when tomatoes are cooked (see, I told you!).

I’m running out of room here, so next week we’ll review the American Dietetic Association’s recommendations for people who decide that the eating raw lifestyle is for them. Have a great week!







Raw Food part 2

Kelly E. Hamlin, MA, RD, CDN


Last week I introduced the Raw Food Diet. Remember, the basic premise behind the raw food movement is that plant foods in their most natural state – uncooked and unprocessed – are also the most wholesome for the body. Last week I reviewed the “cooking” methods that can be used and still be considered raw as well as some of the results of research that had been done with regard to the health benefits of eating raw. This week, I want to review the American Dietetic Associations recommendations, how to start eating raw and some recipe resources.

There is no doubt that raw food diet is rich in nutrients. It’s full of fiber and it’s low in fat and sugars. However, people who follow the raw food diet, as well as vegans, need to make sure they’re getting enough vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, most of which are found naturally in animal products.

The American Dietetic Association recommends:

Eat almost twice the iron as nonvegetarians. Good sources of iron are tofu, legumes, almonds and cashews.

Eat at least eight servings a day of calcium-rich foods like bok choy, cabbage, soybeans, tempeh, and figs. This is more than recommendations for nonvegetarians, but the raw/vegetarian/vegan diet can be high in sulfur-containing amino acids which can increase bone calcium loss.

Eat fortified breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast, and fortified soy milk for B12. Supplement are a good idea.

Eat flaxseed and walnuts. Use canola, flaxseed, walnut, and soybean oil. These are all sources of omega-3 fatty acids. You may also want to take an omega-3 supplement.

Eat plenty of soy and bean products. There are plant based proteins, but the protein is less digestible than animal proteins.

Eat Vitamin D fortified foods, including certain brands of soy milk and rice milk, some breakfast cereals and margarines. You may also want to check with your physician about taking a Vitamin D supplement. People who don’t eat meat or dairy products need to be more aware of their Vitamin D intake.


If getting into the raw food movement sounds like a good idea, there are ways to transition from a “typical” diet into a raw food diet.


Ease into the diet. Start with 50 percent raw and go from there. Don’t be focused on going 100 percent raw. Instead, find the balance that works best with your lifestyle and consider it an evolving process.

If you are going to try the diet, you’ll need to find recipes and make meal plans, especially as you begin. Don’t allow yourself to go hungry.

Make sure to eat a variety of foods.


Recipe sources include:





Whether or not you chose to go to a raw foods diet is a choice and a big commitment. But, for those of us carnivores who like our foods cooked, think about easy ways to add raw, fresh foods to your diet. There is no doubt that we CAN benefit from not only a plant-based diet, but one that does contain some raw foods. And how convenient! In just a few months, there will be a plethora of farm fresh fruits and vegetables for you to enjoy! Yes, raw food has its place but I must admit, I have a thing for grilled strawberries…..yummo!


Share Button

A Column of News & Comment by Senator James L. Seward

Over the past several years families have been looking for ways to curtail their spending. The cost of groceries, gasoline, health care, and just about everything else included in the family budget has increased sharply while income has failed to keep pace. In order to balance the books many households have turned to creative solutions and have simply found ways to make do with less. Now, state government is following suit.

The newly approved state budget reduces year to year spending for the first time in fifteen years. Finally, some real belt-tightening from Albany, an idea I have endorsed for some time. On its face, it is a concept that is easy to embrace, but putting it into practice is nowhere near as simple.

The approximately $132 billion spending plan pares state operating expenses by ten percent and eliminates a $10 billion deficit without raising taxes or resorting to new borrowing. In order to accomplish the savings many state agencies and departments are being forced to cut back and change the way they do business. Over the long haul this will translate to a more streamlined, efficient state government; in the short term, however, there will be some pain and a few bumps in the road. I fully believe that the pain will be quickly extinguished.

By bringing state spending in line with the fiscal realities facing our state and our nation we send a very important message to the business world – New York recognizes the need to take a new economic approach and is taking the steps necessary to foster financial recovery. Business leaders are already taking notice.

Here’s what Heather Briccetti, acting-president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State had to say about the budget: “By reaching a bi-partisan budget agreement that cuts spending, avoids significant new taxes or increased borrowing the state’s leaders are sending a powerful message to the state’s business community. For decades New York has spent too much and taxed too much. The result has been the loss of people and jobs and stagnant economic growth. It will take time to make New York fully competitive again, but this budget agreement shows that New York’s leaders are serious about changing its direction to create jobs and opportunity.”

Along with bringing state spending in line, the budget also includes important economic development tools which will help generate new private sector jobs that we so desperately need. A retooled Power for Jobs program, now called Recharge NY, will provide low cost power to businesses, especially manufacturers, helping lower the state’s notoriously high energy costs. The Excelsior Jobs program includes expanded tax credits to encourage new job creation. The budget also restores funding for important agriculture programs that mean a great deal to our upstate farmers struggling to make ends meet.

The economic measures send a clear, unmistakable message – New York is open for business. By remaking the state’s image we can attract new employers, put people back to work, and build the overall tax base. This state budget is a step toward accomplishing that makeover we so desperately need.

I also want to applaud all involved in the budget-making process. Unlike the last two years, when state government was ruled by one political party, a renewed air of bipartisanship paved the way for an on-time budget. Both the senate and assembly closely followed the Budget Reform Law of 2007, meeting deadlines, convening public conference committees, and working closely with the governor to negotiate a final spending plan.

The budget is a building block, but there is still work to be done in Albany. A property tax cap and substantial mandate relief for our schools and local governments must be enacted in short order. Pension reform is also needed to help bring down property taxes. These are priorities of mine and I am confident my colleagues at the Capitol are focused on these issues as well.

Share Button

Gary Lee’s Daybreak to Twilight

April snow showers will hopefully bring May flowers as it seems that’s all we are going to get this year. The snow is going slowly, which is a good thing, and the ice around the shoreline of the lakes is punky. However, as of yesterday(4/3) there was still 18 to 24 inches out in the middle of Limekiln Lake

The birds evidently haven’t looked at the weather map as they are returning right on schedule.

I saw several Robins on my trip to Alder Creek yesterday, with twenty Grackles and Redwing blackbirds at the feeder.

I heard a Brown Tree Creeper calling as I walked up the Sump Trail from Limekiln yesterday. I also flushed a couple Ruffed Grouse and a Red-tailed Hawk.

I’ve had a light phase Red-tailed Hawk feeding on a carcass here for more than a week now. The Turkey Vultures have moved back into the Old Forge area as I saw twelve in one towering flight last week.

Finding the car of Kerry Young, the woman reported missing from the Syracuses area last week, was not what I was expecting when I checked my trap line on March 26. At the time the car didn’t seem out of place, but when it sat there for three days it was time to report it.

You never know what people are going to do today—park here and go there. But when the car is in the same place past the weekend it’s best to do a check on the vehicle.

The search brought back so many memories, but this one did not end well. It did bring closure for the family when her body was found. Thanks to all who helped locally and from far away to bring this search to a conclusion.

I thought I had lost my ice chisel the other day. When I stopped at Third Lake Creek Trailhead it wasn’t in the back of my truck. I had just gone to Old Forge and hit a few of those big bumps.

I thought for sure it must have bounced out or I left it in back of the Limekiln Campsite where I had pulled traps the day before. I took a six-mile ski trip back to the site but didn’t find it.

I thought I must be losing my mind for sure, but remembered I had made one stop before I went to Third Lake Creek. I went back and found it stuck in the snow nearby a place where I had picked up a bunch of baby diapers. So I didn’t lose it after all, just misplaced it.

I have had that chisel for over twenty years. It has saved me from dunking through the ice several times. It’s like an old friend and I sure would hate to lose it.

Some people collect maple sap in the spring, but I trap beaver. If you don’t catch them in spring you will get calls during the summer that someone’s trees are being eaten along the shoreline of the lake or their property is being flooded.

I take care of them before this happens, and their pelts are prime. It’s also good exercise. Walking six to seven miles each day on snowshoes will keep you fit and trim.

With the frozen crust the last couple of weeks you didn’t even need snowshoes, but I carry them just in case it softens up during the day.

I do a lot of skinning up in the woods and just bring back the hides. Carrying a thirty or forty pound Beaver is not handy.

As I’m clean-skinning a Beaver I remember my former partners Ed Schell, who I trapped with for several years, and Gary McChesney who instructed me on the skinning process.

Many who skin out in the woods use the quick method of leaving most of the fat on the hide and flesh it when they get back home. I clean-skin at home and out in the bush.

It takes about twenty-five minutes to clean-skin a big Beaver but only ten minutes when you get back home and put them on a board. If they are rough skinned it will take you a half hour or more to flesh when you get home.

Gary would say start right at the edge of the hide, leave no fat at the edge, and get all the jaw muscles as they are tough to get later. Ed would say watch out right in the thin spot in the middle of the back.

When we first started trapping together in the late sixties there were only twenty-five colonies in the Moose River Area. Now there are probably double that as there aren’t many big Beaver trappers anymore. On the trail to Brooktrout Lake the beavers have flooded the trail in four places.

Probably more Beavers are taken out of season as nuisances as are taken during the open season. Another season has ended with a few flat tails on the boards.

Deer and Bear take up some last fall, but that’s another story. See ya.

Share Button

Jack Graham: Retired law enforcement officer seeking election to local bench

John (Jack) Graham has announced that he will be a candidate for Town of Webb Justice and will challenge incumbent Patrick Venetz in the November election.

Graham, a 40-year resident of Old Forge, moved to the area from Whitesboro shortly after returning from Vietnam.

He and his wife, Sharon (Tyler) have two children, Kristy Rubyor of Woodgate and Timothy Graham of Old Forge, two granddaughters and one great grandson.

He is a retired New York State Police Senior Investigator, last stationed in Marcy as the BCI Unit Supervisor.

He served 37 years as a police officer, getting his start as a part-time patrolman for the Town of Inlet.

In 1974, he joined the Town of Webb Police Department as a full-time patrolman and in 1979, he joined the NYS Police starting as a road trooper.

In 1986, Graham was appointed as a Criminal Investigator and later that year was promoted to Sergeant.

In 1994, he was promoted to Senior Investigator in charge of the Marcy Criminal Investigation Unit until his retirement in 2008.

Graham said his longtime working knowledge of the numerous statutes of New York State law, including the Vehicle and Traffic laws, the Criminal Procedure laws, Penal law, along with the Navigation and the Public Health laws gives him an understanding of the numerous cases that would come before him as judge.

“The laws seem to be etched in stone and just black and white—though they are far from that. You need to understand the ‘spirit of the law’ and have knowledge of the numerous interpretations of many of the statues made by our NY State higher courts or in our Federal Courts,” Graham said.

He said he has the basic knowledge of case laws and has experience studying the case laws of any particular statute.

He also feels that he has the very basic knowledge of the civil laws that he would hear, and would look forward to pursuing further educational requirements should he be elected.

Graham said he has solid managerial skills following his past experience as a supervisor of an active investigative unit responsible for investigating over 1200 criminal cases a year.

He has also been cited for his leadership skills in many high profile criminal and murder investigations throughout Oneida County.

But Graham feels his greatest asset in law enforcement is the experience he gained from dealing with people from all walks of life.

“I believe I have the ability to understand their values and morals and can remain open-minded about each individual and case. I feel my first-hand experience would be a great asset to the Town of Webb Courts and to the residents and visitors of this great township,” he said.

In his retirement, Graham continues to work and serve this community. He is currently a member of the Old Forge Fire Department, and is a Captain and driver for the Old Forge Volunteer Ambulance Corp.

He is also an elected Fire Commissioner for the Town of Webb Fire District, a position he said he would have to regrettably resign from if elected Town Justice.

“If elected, I pledge that I will work very hard to insure that everyone coming into our town court will be treated fairly, with an open-mind, and with understanding and respect. In each individual case, there is a very important balance of equality for both the victims and the defendants. And I have the ability to give that attention to every case,” Graham said.

Share Button