WANAKENA WEEKLY #60 – 03/25/21 - 03/31/21

Happy Thursday!

- The full moon brought us COLD and WIND!!!! Yes, it was forecasted to be quite windy – and it was. Luckily nothing too crazy. The ol’ Oswegatchie RIPS though town!!!! WOW! Had a light dusting of snow this past Friday – all gone now. Snow drops, crocus flower and daffodil shoots up from the earth!!!! Mergansers and geese along the Oswegatchie. Military fighter jets quite LOW and LOUD the other day, too. No shortage of war-play here in the skies above Wanakena, NY. NCPR had a photo of the Colton BTI crew hanging out in the back of a pick-up truck. I guess that means they are doing BTI around Clifton-Fine. DEC says take down your bird feeders – bears are waking up! SNOWMOBILE TRAILS ARE DONE-FOR. The Adirondack consensus is: DON’T GO HIKING DURING MUD SEASON. But, upon further research, more specifically: avoid hiking the High Peaks; these trails are more prone to erosion. Our local, flatter, less-used trails would be a better fit! Check out the HIKING THE TRAIL TO YESTERDAY blog for LOTS of local information and inspiration! New temporary spring hours at Blackwaters Café in Wanakena. Stone Manor Diner and Motel is BACK OPEN after a spring hiatus. Clifton Community Library has re-opened and expanded hours. Cranberry Lake Ice Out Contest entry ended a couple weeks ago – we’ll keep you posted, its melting fast! Golf Course is hiring. Paul Smiths College’s Adirondack Watershed Institute is hiring Watershed Stewards to check boats for invasive Species – get paid to hang out at the Cranberry Lake boat launch! Here’s a link to the most recent town board meeting minutes (03/10/21): HERE 

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY BURN BAN – A burn ban is in effect from March 16th through May 14th in St. Lawrence County and the rest of the state according to the DEC. Open burning is prohibited in NY, with several exceptions: Campfires less tham 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width and diameter are allowed; small cooking fires are allowed; fires cannot be left unattended and must be filly extinguished; only charcoal, or clean, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned; Ceremonial or celebratory bonfires are allowed. In towns with a total population less than 20,000 you may burn tree limbs with attached leaves. The limbs must be less than 6 inches in diameter and 8 feet in length (also refered to as brush). However, this is NOT allowed from March 16th – May 14th due to increased risk of wildfire.

- The river GUSHES on it’s way though; RIPPIN’! Snow gently flakes off hemlock branches above; blue sky beyond. There is NO ice along the shoreline; all washed away! THE ICE IS OUT ON THE OSWEGATCIE. The ICE JAM DANGER remains LOW. And it appears the danger of an Ice Jam have passed us by. This has been an ICE-JAM-LESS YEAR! ONE FOR THE BOOKS! There was A LOT of ice/snow up there too. Now the river RUSHES through the valley. One photograph below shows leaves clumped and affixed to standing sticks. When the water was high at some point (probably last week) it would have washed debris down with it and it was collected among these sticks like hair caught in comb, accumulated with snow. Also a photograph of a small rodent burrowing under the snow along the foot path. You can see it pushed the icy snow crust layer up from below.

– Trout Fishing in St. Lawrence County April 1st! Brook trout will be stocked in the Oswegatchie of Clifton and Fine the third week of May. Both the Hillside Diner AND Twin Lake Hotel will be reopening this upcoming week! SNOW!!!!!!!!! Yes, snow. Forecast keeps changing but it looks like wee-hours of Thursday morning into wee-hours of Friday morning we could get 6 inches or so. Could be more, could be less. 30s by day teens by night. Warming back up for a pleasant weekend lasting right through next week. 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 Speaking of rodents...

– South Shore Road, Wanakena. All that melt coming town from Skate Creek into The Mill Pond gurgled on the culvert a little too much and wound up causing some damage. Late last week the damage being caused by the blocked-up and overflowing culvert prompted action. The Town of Fine was on it! Old culvert dug out – new one put in. Run water, run!

– Junk Drawer! Blobs! Beer! C’mon down! It’s not too late to get some tasty candy treats to tuck in an Easter basket! Pop-up exhibition “BLOBS” on view by the coffee bar. Sculpture by Katie Westmoreland, Map by NYS, Photography by Michael Mandolfo. All: BLOBS. JUNK DRAWER SUBMISSIONS on view too!!!! Walk-in cooler is stocked with packaged beer to go. Coffee, groceries, ice cream, books, music, maps, supplies, gifts and more!!!! Purchases made here in the store keep us afloat! Purchases here in the store keeps our lights on so we’re able to create and showcase community-based art/Interest exhibitions like JUNK DRAWER… and so much more (including Wanakena Weekly) If there isn't anything you want/need to purchase here in the shop and you'd like to support the work we do, we certainly wouldn't turn down a donation in the form of cash in the tip jar, check in the mail, etc... Thanks for supporting our family-owned, independent business.

– We’ll call it our JUNK DRAWER. Sometimes you need a place to put things. Uncategorical things. Things you don’t want to put in the trash. Important knickknacks you might need. They don’t really have a place, but now you know where to find them – usually. Five years ago, when Otto’s Abode first opened its doors to the public, we came into possession of some beautiful, old, glass & wood cases that had been used to display merchandise here in the store, some of which for nearly one hundred years. In a world where billion-dollar mega-media corporations hire folks like Marie Condo to tell you to get rid of everything, behold: a small “best-of” selection of GLORIOUS JUNK that has been collected and displayed in the (now) empty case behind you over the past five years. Well, we’ve emptied-out our JUNK DRAWER and are looking to fill this now empty, beautiful, wooden and glass case with YOUR submission. OTTO’S ABODE, an Adirondack Art-centric Inconvenience Store and Travel Agency, invites YOU to participate in a summer-long exhibition we’re calling THE JUNK DRAWER SHOW. What’s in your junk DRAWER? We invite you to practice your own form of junkology and nudge you to examine THE JUNK DRAWER as a content-rich cultural biome. We encourage you to share your findings with us! We’re looking for JUNK DRAWER goodies such as photographs, tools, oddities, hand-drawn diagrams, dust, poems, treasure, etc… this is just a small list of what we hope you’ll submit to be included in THE JUNK DRAWER SHOW. Please include a written description of WHY you submitted this object; its significance, its story. If the object came from your JUNK DRAWER it most likely fits in the beautiful, glass & wooden case we will exhibit the objects within. We’ve got a photograph of the empty case available for viewing at www.ottosabode.org. You may drop your submission off to us directly or slap a stamp on it and mail it to: OTTO’S ABODE, PO Box 1, Wanakena, NY 13695. Please include your name, phone number, a brief project description, and any other supportive material. We ask all submissions to be received by us on or before Sunday, March 28th 2021 (will still accept applications). If applicable, please include compensation for return postage. Submissions will be mailed out or picked-back up by Labor Day Weekend. If you are able, we kindly ask participants to include a suggested $10 donation fee with each submission – thanks! No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Email (ottosabode@gmail.com) or phone us (315-848-3008) with any questions. Otto’s Abode reserves the right to refuse any submission we deem inappropriate or too vulgar. Through we promise to take great care, Otto’s Abode is not responsible for reimbursement of any form for any lost, stolen, or damaged submissions. JOIN US at OTTO’S ABODE, 6 Hamele street, Wanakena, ALL SUMMER-LONG for THE JUNK DRAWER SHOW!

– Depending on how much snow we get, there could be some snow croquet in the near future. Most likely though, the snow will not stick around and instead being an enjoyable and useful material, the snow will simply be a hindrance on any croquet playing at all. We’ll see. Here’s the dusting we got the other day. 

– NEW ABBREVIATED APRIL HOURS ANNOUNCED! B-Dubbs will be OPEN THURS 8-3pm and FRI + SAT 8-7PM. Café menu, baked goods, basic groceries, gifts and artwork, unique teas and coffee alternatives down on Ranger School Road! BACON WEEK begins MAY 4th. ***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!!! Town of Fine Board meeting from 3/10/21 says RT 61 will be replaced later this summer!

DOCK AND PUBLIC RESTROOM - CLOSED FOR THE SEASON MID NOVEMBER… REASON: FREEZIN’! Almost unburied! Almost floating! Check this out! When you get off your boat this summer at the public dock, you’ll be able to see if we’re open or not! SEE:

: WELCOME BACK!!!!! THE LIBRARY IS OPENING FOR IN PERSON BROWSING 2 DAYS A WEEK IN APRIL & OUR HOURS ARE CHANGING BACK TO 10-2 TO BETTER SERVE YOU!!! Starting Monday, April 5th the library will be open every Monday & Wednesday 10:00-2:00 by appointment or, when available, by dropping in. A sign on the window will let patrons know “open” for drop ins or “busy” with patrons. Time slots are 20 minutes. Two patrons at a time may visit the library, in addition to the one staff member. If patrons live in one household the library may allow more than two patrons, at their discretion. Browsing and checking items in/out is the only available service at this time. (No computers, sitting area). All patrons must adhere to signing in, masking, social distancing and all other COVID regulations. PPE/Sanitizer & a sign in sheet will be available on the shelves outside the library. Books should not be re-shelved after browsing them. The library will be cleaned by library staff in between patron visits. Curbside service at the community center or at coffee fever for pick up is still available!!!
Order books, DVDs, Audiobooks, and many more items by visiting our on-line catalog at http://www.ncls.org or call us at 315-848-3256 (please leave a message). You will be notified to pick up reserved items at our weekly curbside pick-up on Wednesdays 10:00-2:00 & 6:00-7:00. You may also request pickup at Coffee Fever in Star Lake. You will be contacted directly when your curbside pickup is ready for you. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING OUR LOCAL LIBRARY! STAY SAFE!


Stone Manor Diner and Motel is OPEN! Tooley Pond Duck Decoy Showroom in Cranberry Lake is OPEN (call first)!!!!!!! John Dragun NEON ARTWORK and MORE down in Windfall… OPEN! Cranberry Lake Boat Club’s ICE OUT contest is in full swing. Entry closed, waiting for ice to melt! Check out the Cranberry Lake Boat Club and The North Shore Hub on Facebook.

NEWTON FALLS: Recent article about NF development HERE. Robust discussion of Newton Falls on Facebook HERE 

OUT WEST: Twin Lakes Hotel and Hillside Dinner re-open this week! Twin Lakes April 1st and Hillside April 9th. Mountain Gate Redemption near Benson Mines is open. Coffee Fever is back open after a covid/winter hiatus. AMERICAN LEGION is OPEN! Todd Hardware, Adirondack Pharmacy, Community Bank and Circle K in Star Lake are OPEN! Alcoholics Anonymous Friday nights at 7pm in the SOS Building – The cool looking old schoolhouse with the fresh paint job. UB’s, and Adirondack Rustics in Oswegatchie are OPEN! 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. HERE IS A RECENT ADIRONDACK ENTERPRISE ARTICLE ABOUT A DOLLAR GENERAL IN WILLMINGTON, NY (NEAR WHITEFACE MOUNTAIN) https://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2021/02/plans-submitted-for-wilmington-dollar-general/ HERE’S ANOTHER STORY ABOUT ONE OPENING IN BLOOMINGDALE: https://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2021/03/dollar-general-planned-for-bloomingdale/ 

KIM AND THOMS LOST DOG REPORT: As of today, there are NO lost dogs in Wanakena. Found this hat up along the Moore Trail. It says LLBean on the other side. It’s still up there hanging on a tall stump – c’mon!!! It was soaking wet!!!!


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! This service is brought to you by the folks at Otto's Abode.

“I liked the title of this article in AARP & thought I’d submit it for the end of one of your weekly newsletters-
“When your world gets small, nature lets you live large”. Just a thought” – Jean S.