Monthly Archives: February 2011

Sled dog races return to Inlet this weekend

The Town of Inlet will host the Adirondack Bank NYS Championship Sled Dog Races on Saturday and Sunday, February 19 and 20.

The start/finish line and spectator areas are located behind Murdock Trucking, just one-half mile down Limekiln Road.

Plenty of on-site parking will be available.

Racing begins at 9 a.m. both days.

A warming tent and trackside bonfire for spectators will be available courtesy of Adirondack Bank and Levi Lumber.

The Ole Barn Restaurant will provide a food concession.

Volunteers from the Inlet Area Business Association, the Town of Inlet, and the Inlet Barnstormers Snowmobile Club have spent weeks grooming and fencing the race course in preparation of the popular event that Inlet will host for the fourth time.

Many other individuals and organizations contribute to the cause each year, including the Inlet Highway Department who plow the parking lots and the Central Adirondack Search and Rescue Team who provide the orange vests and radios for spotters.

The course features one of the most technical tracks in the Northeast for racing sprint sled dog teams.

The races are sanctioned by International Sled Dog Racing Association (ISDRA) and the New England Sled Dog Club (NESDC) who help the community host the event.

Many of the race teams competed in the Laconia World Championship two weeks ago, and are on pace for North American points standings.

“They are coming to Inlet to race on good snow in front of thousands of frenzied wintertime fans. They are pleased with our weather and trails that are tailor-made for sled-dog racing,” said Mitch Lee, one of co-ordinators of the event.

A sponsorship-donated purse of $7,000 will be at stake for drivers in several categories, from single dog skijoring to 4-, 6-, and 8-dog sleds racing over distances ranging from a four-mile to eight- mile course.

This year’s sponsors include Adirondack Bank, Brad and Gail Damon, the Central Adirondack Association, the IABA, the Adirondack Express, Homes and Lands of the Adirondacks, and the Tamarack Café. Site host is Murdock Trucking.

Organizers are requesting a $1 donation from spectators over the age of 12 to assist with the costs of the race.

Volunteers are still needed at the start/finish line to help collect visitors fees. Also, needed are dog holders and a couple of snowmobile drivers to ferry spotters onto the course.

Anyone interested in helping out can stop by the Inlet Volunteer Emergency Services building at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 18.

To volunteer, or for more information call (315) 357-5501, or visit: or call 1-866- GOINLET.


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Corey Down & Hunter Lawrence advance to NYS Championships

Corey Down and Hunter Lawrence, J3 members of the Polar Bear Alpine Ski Team, are among the 24 male athletes who have qualified for the NYS Eastern States Team.

Representing the Adirondack Council, as well as Polar Bears, and competing with the rest of the Eastern team, Corey and Hunter will compete against the top J3 skiers in the state at Bristol Mountain from February 19 to 22.

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Local community and Legion Post #893 honor visiting 10th Mtn. Division troops

Troops of 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum were special guests at this year’s Winter Carnival in Old Forge.

A 10th Mountain Division theme was adapted by the Winter Carnival committee in honor of the late Maurice Dennis, a World War II and 10th Mountain Division Alpine Troops veteran.

The soldiers marched in the Friday evening parade, and following were guests of honor at a steak dinner hosted by American Legion Post #893.

Their Friday and Saturday night accommodations were provided free of charge by Enchanted Forest/ Water Safari.

The troops enjoyed skiing and snowboarding at McCauley Mountain hosted by Steve Uzdavinis and Ted Christodaro of the McCauley Ski Shop who equipped them with ski gear. Meals at McCauley were provided by The Last Run Café.

According to Town of Webb Publicity Director Mike Farmer, several of the soldiers said they were eager to return to Old Forge with their families—especially after discovering how close we are to Fort Drum.

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Speculator artist wins ‘One Square Mile of Hope’ logo contest

Brian Bledsoe of Speculator created the winning logo design to be used on promotional materials related to the One Square Mile of Hope breast cancer awareness fundraiser that will be held in Inlet on September 24.

Bledsoe’s design was selected from a field of 31 entries in the contest that was jointly sponsored by the Arts Center/Old Forge and the One Square Mile of Hope committee.

A reception was held Wednesday, February 16 at the Arts Center to acknowledge all who submitted entries.

One Square Mile of Hope is a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation that hopes to attract paddling enthusiasts to break the unofficial Guinness Book of World Records for the largest free-floating raft.

Inlet holds the official record following its 2009 effort, however it was unofficially topped by a Pittsburgh event in June 2010 where it has been claimed that 1,800 paddlers gathered.

Bledsoe said his singular inspiration for his design was the oar.

“A couple of years ago I noted how the oar signified the unity of the event, so I used it in my design to make it simple and to stand out,” he said.

Bledsoe is employed by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and operates a graphic design and photography business.

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Old Forge Hardware gives MAC’s Safe Ride boost

The Old Forge Hardware staff presented board representatives of MAC’s Safe Ride with a check for the amount of $1,034 on Wednesday, February 16.

The Hardware Store recently conducted a fundraising effort to support the operations of MAC’s Safe Ride, a late night transportation service available in the Old Forge area.

MAC’s provides a safe late night driving experience for area residents or visitors, no matter what the circumstances. Volunteer drivers team up with co-pilots to pick up passengers in need.

Currently the service is running weekends only, and according to board member Beth Tickner, the organization is in need of more volunteer drivers, or folks to ride along with the drivers for passenger pick-up.

Anyone who would like to help in any way can contact Gisele Kress at (315) 369-5383.

The board of MAC’s Safe Ride is conducting a fundraising contest to guess the date, hour and minute of the ice going out on the Old Forge Pond.

An orange pylon equipped with a clock is in place on the pond.

When the ice goes out, the pylon will drop in the water and stop the clock, determining the official ice-out time.

Chances are $1 each and are available at the Town of Webb Information Center, Van Auken’s Inne, the Old Mill, Sister’s Bistro, TOW Bar, Tony Harper’s, Slickers, Last Run Café at McCauley Mountain, the Old Forge Camping Resort, and Daiker’s Inn.

Whoever guesses the closest time to the ice-out will win $500.

To take advantage of MAC’s Safe Ride, call (315) 369-8121.

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Niccolls church women to host Victorian Tea on February 26th

The members of the Women’s Fellowship group of Niccolls Memorial Presbyterian Church are planning their annual “Victorian Tea Room” benefit luncheon for Saturday, February 26 from noon to 2 p.m. at the church.

Members of the church’s youth group will be servers for the luncheon which will include a choice of homemade soups, salads, and pastries, plus tea, coffee and soda.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will be available for children.

All proceeds from the event will help pay for youth from Niccolls Church to go to Campeche Mexico on a work mission trip later this month with the Latin American Mission Partnership (LAMP) group based in Syracuse.

“The teenagers who’ve gone on similar trips with LAMP have come back forever changed and humbled by their experiences working side by side with people from such different cultures and lifestyles. We are so happy to be able to help pay their expenses for this trip!” said Ruth Brussel, co-moderator of the luncheon.

The church is located at 228 Crosby Blvd. next to the Old Forge Library. Transportation is available by calling the Community Transportation Service (C.T.S.) at least a day in advance at (315) 369-2830 or Al Brussel at 369-6679.

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Assemblyman Marc Butler updates residents on current state budget at Webb town hall meeting

Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R,C,I – Newport) hosted a town hall public meeting at the Town of Webb meeting room on Wednesday, February 16 to hear the concerns of his northern Herkimer County constituents and to explain some of the cuts being proposed to the state budget.

Assemblyman Butler said he and other members of the legislature are in agreement with new Governor Andrew Cuomo’s perception that the state has “reached a point where it’s going to need some pretty strong medicine to turn it around.”

Much of that medicine will come by way of proposed cuts to state departments, which have been requested to pare 10% from their existing budgets, Medicaid, and education.

“We’re number one (in the U.S.) in terms of per capita taxes, property taxes, and the amount of money we spend on Medicaid and education—categories where we prefer not to be number one,” Butler said.

While Butler recognizes that the proposed cuts will be unpopular with many, they are necessary to get the state back on track.

For example, Governor Cuomo has appointed a commission to come up with recommendations on how to cut $2.8 billion from the present $50 billion Medicaid budget.

“Medicaid is a huge drain on the state’s resources. We are the only state in the nation that carves it up the way we do—50% reimbursement fom the Federal Government, the state pays 25% and the local counties are charged 25%. It is the mother of all unfunded mandates,” Butler said.

Butler said the governor has also created a commission to make recommendations to cut unfunded mandates which ultimately hurt small communities by forcing them to raise taxes to meet the demands.

He said a current popular political notion is the tax cap of either 2% or the rate of inflation (currently at about 1.8%), whichever is lowest. Though Butler supports the concept, he’s not convinced it will work.

“I was told by the county administrator that the projected increase to Medicaid costs alone would account for more than 2%, so it would put the county behind the 8-ball.

And school districts, villages and towns would be facing the same kinds of problems without coorresponding mandate relief,” he said.

In short, Butler recognized that there was a whole lot of work to be done prior to the April 1 budget deadline.

From the audience, Fred Trimbach offered support to Assemblyman Butler and other state politicians who have to take a tough stand to get the state back where it belongs.

“We need you to take the lead, and as citizens we need to get together and make some sacrifices,” Trimbach said.

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