MOUNTAIN - Saranac Lake's Daffest was postponed until this coming weekend because too many people were busy dealing with the flood on April 30 and May 1. Now that the water is receding, don't let your enthusiasm be dampened. The daffodils are holding up nicely, and late bloomers are taking the place of the ones in need of dead-heading. But even if they weren't, so what? We still celebrate Winter Carnival when thaws melt our ice palace. That's because it's not so much about winter as the need for a winter festival. Likewise, Daffest isn't so much about daffodils as the need for a spring fling. An incredible amount of work has been put into this; it should be a lot of fun.
We also hope it will be an opportunity for those who suffered from the flood, those who helped fight it and others from all over the region to relax and share a laugh, tightening bonds and building community further. All are welcome.
VALLEY - It's sad that no one wanted to invest in buying the former Camp Gabriels prison. The state's minimum bid of $750,000 is still too high, especially given the remote location - Gabriels is lovely, but far from village amenities - and the condition of the buildings. Any buyer probably would have to tear them down. On the bright side, maybe this will be a deterrent to the state closing any more prisons in the North Country. Downstate, prison property would certainly sell much more quickly.
VALLEY - By now, at least, state Department of Transportation officials are aware of the bitter irony they created by blocking state Route 86 between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid - a road that's in horrendous shape - to painstakingly repair a railroad crossing for a tourist train. The Sara-Placid highway is, arguably, the Adirondacks' busiest road outside of I-87, yet the DOT has repeatedly insisted it has no money for desperately needed repaving. The railroad's very existence, meanwhile, is questionable.
There is a good explanation - railroad money comes from one fund, road money from another - but it looks bad, weakening people's already frail faith in the DOT.
MOUNTAIN - Check out 10-year-old Colton Clement and his father Josh, of Saranac Lake, around 8:30 p.m. Thursday on Mountain Lakes PBS. It looks like the fourth-grader is going to be an ambassador for the station's "Mountain Lakes Moves" kids' fitness campaign, a connection made after Josh Clement sent the station a 7-minute video he and Colton made of a recent hike up Mount Baker.
Colton has a natural talent for onscreen hosting, but beyond that, "Exploring the Adirondacks with Colton Clement - Episode 1 - Mount Baker" is a good piece of work: funny, informative, honest and well filmed by Josh. Josh says the video was a spur-of-the-moment project. They didn't prepare anything, and while Josh gave Colton ideas for things to say in between shots, the best parts were when Colton was improvising.
The video can be seen anytime on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=22IV6sXGVcs.
Josh said Colton has no problem with a little limelight.
"He's raring to go; he's ready to do the next one already," Josh said. "Wait till you see the (PBS) episode; he actually talked more than I did."