WANAKENA WEEKLY #54 - 02/11/21 - 02/17/21

Happy Thursday! 

- This past weekend was COLD!!!! And wonderful! At the beginning of this week It warmed up a bit as we experienced less-than-forecasted snowfall. This minor-thaw in combination with fresh snowfall created an crusty layer on everything. Then it got COLD again! Down in the teens below zero at night. This winter has been OUTSTANDING! Cross-country trails heading out into Five Ponds are still spectacular. Snowmobile trails, too. Cranberry Lake still slushy! Chickadee and nuthatch at the feeder. Lots of critter-prints zig-zag though the snow. Deer nibble on lowhanging branches. Large, old mumps of snow remain on tree boughs here and there – old snow mumps in the sky, most of them even have icicles hanging off them. Wind gusts-up snow powder though crisp air like glitter. Trees crack and moan. Sunshine feels very warm, though! The consensus is: Wanakena has the MOST SNOW anywhere around. Wanakena out of towners and out-of-staters stopping by town all at once, like they had planned it, though the weekend! Some on vacation, some getting across-state Covid jabs. Ranger School students out and about moving their cars after being quarantined for a couple of weeks – all the cars started! Is it time to dump BTI in the water yet? Maybe we should try a year without it – see how it goes? Those footbridge barn swallows sure sounded cool. This time last year new car bridge work had just begun in the form of new telephone poles. Here’s a link to the most recent town board meeting minutes (02/10/21): HERE Also, here is a link to an obituary for Carol Ann (Brown) Narkewicz who loved this community very much: HERE

– You cannot hear the rapids while standing on the car bridge – totally frozen over! All the way out to Cranberry Lake! The first sign of open water is just about the state forest property line within eye-shot of the car bridge. Other subterranean gurgles here and there and open rapids up the river. Currently there is A LOT of ice/snow atop the frozen Oswegatchie. Lets just say, if there were an ice jam – it’d be BIG. Also, it will be the first ice jam doing the tango with the brand spanking new car bridge. Have you seen the large ICE CUTTER blade they put on the front of the middle pier? Currently the ICE JAM DANGER remains LOW. 

– Weather forecast says: Winter remains!!! Twenties by day teens or single digits by night though the rest of the week. A chance of a couple inches of snow though the weekend – nothing major. Next week the temperatures could get up in the 30s with snow forecast on most days though the week. Is there going to be a Spring Fling this year? This weather forecast is brought to you by Wanakena’s own PATTIJACKNAN weather team – a Wanakener garage-pole-mounted weather station and crew. THANKS, TEAM! This weather station can be found at: https://www.wunderground.com/weather/us/ny/wanakena/KNYWANAK8 Also, always beautiful photography at the Wanakena Tracks facebook page 

– Have you heard? Clifton-Fine Central School is looking to hire an ART TEACHER?! Did you also know Clifton-Fine Central School is looking to hire a MUSIC TEACHER!? Also, did you know… The Clifton Community is looking for members to join the board!? Tell a friend or few. There was a 30-something Cranberry Lake 50 hiker in Otto’s this past summer saying he wanted to teach music here. Somebody find him. Or someone else. Either way, great and important opportunities

– LAST WEEKEND WAS OUR FIFTH BIRTHDAY!!! Our birthday always falls on the Friday of Presidents Day Weekend. Presidents Day Weekend is also Clifton-Fine’s Whiteout Weekend (which was not held this year). So, in an effort to have some (safe) fun, we decided to throw ourselves an ICE JAM-BOREE. We lit a fire out in ZPARK Friday afternoon and kept it going though the whole, COLD weekend. The Croquet Court was primed and ready and music blasted on the boombox. Sorry to anyone who may have orange paint on their clothing. Cheers to FIVE YEARS!

- In honor of out FIFTH BIRTHDAY we released a brand-new book ("zine")! This publication - debuting on Otto's Abode's fifth anniversary - seeks to provide a glimpse into the nuts and bolts of our process. Packed with writing, photography, illustration, mission statements, art exhibitions and descriptions, local information and more! Black and white, 34 pages, 5.5"x8.5". LET US KNOW IF YOU WANT ONE AND WE’LL MAIL ONE TO YOU!!!!! Or, c’mon down to the shop and pick one up for $5. Also, don’t forget to check out our grocery section! You may go home with breakfast lunch and/or dinner.

– In previous years Presidents Day Weekend has been PEAK croquet court condition. This is in part because we want it to be PRIME for Whiteout Weekend. Although there was no Whiteout Weekend we made sure to have the course in tip-top shape for a fun-filled Ice Jam-Boree anyway. The course plays very well, banked turns are hardend-up enough to make some magic curves happen. When enough folks complain about the poor visibility (and when someone falls down from tripping over a wicket iced into the earth!!!) we must bust out the spray paint.

- IS OPEN AND HAS ANNOUNCED: Due to C19 and warm winter trends, we will have 2 separate schedules. #1 IF THE SNOWMOBILE TRAILS ARE DECENTLY RIDABLE: we will be open regular days and hours (T, W, Th 8am-3pm. Fri & Sat 8am-7pm. Closed Sunday & Monday). #2 IF THE TRAILS ARE NOT DECENTLY RIDABLE, we will only be open Th 8am-3pm. Fri & Sat 8am-7pm. ***Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we encourage take-out - and WILL NOT let in more than we are allowed. If the door is locked, we are at capacity. But if you’d still like a meal to go, order online and it will be prepared in the order received - or - think ahead and schedule a pickup time. Come in smaller groups. CHECK OUT THEIR TRAIL CAM: https://www.gotsnowcams.com/gotsnowcams.htm 

WANAKENA HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION – The Wanakena Walking Tour is “closed” for the winter… but deep in the bowels somewhere, some folks are hard at work actualizing the WANAKENA HISTORY CENTER. Here is a message from their website: Five equal partners (made up of groups of families and friends) are forming an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) each pledging $25,000 for a total of $125,000 to own, renovate and restore one of the original Rich Lumber Company houses at 21 Second Street to its original facade. Their dream and intent are to provide a location for a Wanakena History Center where the WHA can continue its mission to encourage greater knowledge of the history and to display and make available for study: artifacts, relics, books, manuscripts, papers, photographs, and other records and materials relating to the history of the State of New York and particularly of Wanakena and the surrounding area. 

RANGER SCHOOL - RANGER SCHOOL IS IN SESSION FOR THE 2020/21 SCHOOLYEAR, BUT THE CAMPUS IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC!!! Here’s a message from the Ranger School: The Ranger School's James F. Dubuar Memorial Forest will be closed to the public for an indefinite amount of time beginning Saturday, August 15, 2020. The Cranberry Lake 50 trail, which passes in front of the school, will remain open. This action is necessary to protect students and staff as they begin a new academic year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but it is a critical precaution as we work to ensure the health and success of the Class of 2021. Thank you for your cooperation. Here’s a story about it all: https://www.nny360.com/news/stlawrencecounty/property-sales/article_eeec3094-901a-531a-8a18-ab1b991b3a79.html CHECK OUT THEIR TRAIL CAM: https://www.esf.edu/rangerschool/webcam.htm 

WANAKENA CHURCH - CLOSED FOR WINTER! WESTERN ADIRONDACK PRESBATYRIAN CHUCH zoom-zooms every Sunday at 10:45 using meeting #6663654813 and every morning at 9am for a Morning Prayer. WANAKENA CEMETERY ASSOCIATION announced that Cremation Remains burial has gone up from $150 to $250. Also, there is no longer a backhoe charge for cremation burial because they don’t use a backhoe for cremation burials any longer. 

NEW CAR BRIDGE - AS OF 11/25/20 THE NEW WANAKENA CAR BRIDGE IS OPEN FOR PUBLIC USE!!!! AS OF 12/22/20 THE TEMPORARY BRIDGE IS FULLY DISMANTLED!!! And as they’ve been saying around Wanakena: WE’LL BE DRIVING OVER THAT NEW BRIDGE IN NO TIME!!!!! And ALAS! WE DO! Now that the bridge is WIDE OPEN, watch out for speedsters!!! 


: Stone Manor Diner and Motel is OPEN! The Clifton Community Library will return to curbside service on WEDNESDAY'S ONLY. Tooley Pond Duck Decoy Showroom in Cranberry Lake is OPEN (call first)!!!!!!! John Dragun NEON ARTWORK and MORE down in Windfall… OPEN! Check out the Cranberry Lake Boat Club and The North Shore Hub on Facebook. The Cranberry Lake Fire Department will NOT be checking and facebook-reporting the ice thickness as in years prior: FISH AT YOUR OWN RISK! LAKESIDE GENERAL STORE IN CRANBERRY LAKE IS CLOSED FOR THE LONG WINTER SEASON. 

OUT WEST: LOTS OF Clifton Fine GOLF CLUB INFORMATION IN THIS WEEK'S BARGAIN HUNTER!!!! AMERICAN LEGION has been WIDE OPEN! Todd Hardware, Adirondack Pharmacy and Circle K in Star Lake are OPEN! Though we heard Circle K no longer sells beer! YIKES! UB’s, and Adirondack Rustics in Oswegatchie are OPEN! Community Bank in Star Lake re-covid-closed-up the lobby for in-person banking; ATM or night depots ONLY! Mountain Gate Redemption near Benson Mines is open FOR PORCH SERVICE ONLY. There will be NO ICE SKATING AT THE AREANA this winter – cause, ya know: covid. Bargain Hunter says The Town of Fine Offices are CLOSED to the public ‘cause of COVID-19. Coffee Fever IS COVID-CLOSED. Both Twin Lakes and SOS in Star Lake got a fresh paint job but remain temporarily closed since March 2020. The following is copy-pasted from the Fine Town Board Meeting hours from Wednesday 11/11/2020: Jeremy wanted the board to be aware that the Dollar General is looking into putting a store at the former Great American site. This would not be required to go to site plan review since it is not a change of use. 

NEWTON FALLS – News Channel 7 out of Watertown ran a story about Clifton-Fine’s Newton Falls and some plans in the works! Here it is in a nutshell: More than 100 acres of what once was the Newton Falls Paper Mill will become something new. The mill was a major employer for Newton Falls, Star Lake, and other communities before it shut down in 2010. Andy Leroux, who used to work there as a papermaker and later was a vice president with Newton Falls Fine Paper, bought land behind the mill buildings that was used for wastewater treatment. Leroux cleaned up the property with help from a $22,300 grant from National Grid’s Brownfield Redevelopment Program. The cleanup, which cost a total of $89,500, was completed this fall. Leroux plans on building a Christmas tree farm, a maple syrup retail outlet, a fishing and hunting lodge and a campground. “The additional funding allowed me to complete the demolition and remediation in a shorter amount of time and plant my first Christmas tree seedlings for next spring,” said Leroux in a prepared statement. https://www.wwnytv.com/2020/12/10/land-behind-newton-falls-mill-cleaned-up-tree-farm-campground-planned/ 

KIM AND THOMS LOST DOG REPORT - As of today, there are NO lost dogs in Wanakena. 

ALL FOR NOW!!!!!! 

Any questions, comments, concerns, trail condition inquiries, legends, jokes, animal sightings, cartoons, etc… Feel free to email otto@ottosabode.org or call 3158483008 or pop-in the shop! Wanakena Weekly archive here: http://www.ottosabode.org/p/wanakena-weekly.html Also, we probably wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to publish your submission! 

"Went up to Alexandria to the celebration of my birthday. Many maneuvers were preformed by the Uniform Corps, and an elegant Ball and Supper at night." George Washington (1799)