Posts on Dec 2011

Winter Carnival Balloon Toss Winnner

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Spectacular Lights in Long Lake

The Long Lake Lights are an animated display of Christmas lights set to music and can be found at 46 Stone Lane in Long Lake, NY through the first week of January 2012. There are over 14,000 LED lights set to 40 minutes of Christmas music designed, implemented and produced by resident Long Laker and electrician Bill Ellick.

Bill started the show in 2008 because as he says “I wasn’t in debt deep enough and there were so many dark houses in Long Lake at the holidays, I felt I could do something to brighten things up.” He wanted to offer the people of the community something fun celebrating the season and he also admits he likes projects “so I started up with this.”

Long Lake Lights 2011 Photo by Bill Ellick

The lights are controlled by channel boxes purchased from Light-O-Rama in Glens Falls, NY. Each card has 16 channels and are managed through a software program to control the lights and music. To save a few dollars Bill purchases kits to build the controllers used for the show. Bill’s show airs on 87.9 on a legal FM transmitter and when the show isn’t running there is over 40 hours of Christmas music playing.

Bill programs the entire production himself and selects the music for the show. The first song he ever programmed is Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “Father Christmas” and it still remains one of his favorites. Bill works on each song to follow the music beat by beat. “I have to listen to each song about 400 times.” It takes a minimum of three to six hours to program one minute of music and Bill has 40 minutes of show time. He has also implemented two songs designed by another programmer.

To test the show Bill can control the show remotely through his laptop and wireless router right from his car. As the season progresses he adds new elements having just added candy cane spinners over the weekend. The show is constantly evolving depending on how much time he has and what treasures he unearths in the basement. A bargain hunter, Bill often takes advantage of the end of year Christmas sales to enrich his collection of decorations.

This project is continuous. Next season he hopes to showcase an animated sleigh with reindeer to fly across his house. This year he didn’t put out the choir, or “plastic people” as he calls them. He has plans to create a mountain top with a church, and set the “plastic people” throughout the trees to create a narrative winter scene set to music. At this point he’s looking at an investment of about $8000 for the props so that portion of the project is on standby. He has also considered lighting up trees behind his home to add some more depth to the production.

Bill uses high quality strings of LED lights. There are 120 strings of LED’s illuminating his Christmas tree and each string is about $20 to $25 and “knock on wood, they’ve lasted four years so far.” The electricity bill has been reasonable because the animation of the lights it isn’t drawing as much power as people think. The program and the radio station run off one computer. Everything is timed and all in all, he estimates he uses a total of about five minutes of full power for a 40 minute show.

He doesn’t mind the look of the LED’s either. “LED’s have a deep color, some people don’t care for the pure white of the LED’s and prefer the look of the incandescent glowing yellow colors, but only five percent of my show utilizes incandescent lights.” Bill wishes he had more lights, but he will only use the best quality to avoid the pitfalls of power outages and unpredictable weather. The lights have held their own through torrents of rain, ice and snowstorms.

Bill has been working with electronics all his life and he continues to make this project his focus because at this point “I’ve gotten so carried away and gone overboard with the investment I can’t turn back now.”

At night he keeps the lights off in the front of his house so he can see the cars out front. He gets about 1/2 dozen cars a night, he senses there are more visitors each year.

Bill starts installing the project in October and it runs nightly from 5pm to 10:30pm on weekends and nightly 5-9:30 during the week. Bill will have the show running on New Years Eve and through the first week of January.

Show runs rain, snow or mud!

Tune your FM radio to 87.9 FM to hear the music.

Visitors should not block the main road, keep your radios at a reasonable level, and please turn off your headlights so that everyone can enjoy the show.

Lights are running 6-9:30pm Monday-Friday and 6-10:30pm on Saturday and Sunday nights. Random Lights run from 5pm – 6pm. The lights will be up and running late night on New Years Eve so hop on the LIttle Bus and make a stop at the Long Lake Lights.

For more information about the Long Lake Lights or upcoming events call 518-624-3077.

Long Lake Receives Funds to Develop Nature Trail

The Town of Long Lake has announced it has been awarded a matching grant of $18,000 from the Department of State to complete the Nature Trail connecting two business districts in the town of Long Lake. The Nature Trail is designed to increase pedestrian traffic around Jennings Park Pond and to offer a quiet, natural alternative to visitors and residents in the center of town. It’s a great spot to watch birds, including herons, bald eagles and plenty of geese. It is a popular fishing spot stocked with trout in the spring. The Nature Trail is a widening of trail connecting the Long Lake Town Ball Field around the pond leading to the Long Lake Beach Area, Helms Seaplane Base and the Adirondack Hotel.

Projects to improve the nature trail include adding pedestrian viewing, adding safety measures, widening the trails, and to identify the flora and fauna along the route. Long term plans include expanding to the Long Lake Diner, across route 30 along the brook to Hoss’s Country Corner. Eventually the goal is to increase the length up to one mile. Also key areas will be identified at the Long Lake Town Beach to repair retaining walls and to help offset the cost of maintaining the garden area.

90 Miler Launch Day Two Long Lake

The Town of Long Lake is one of the main stops on the 90 Miler Route, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and the Raquette River Corridor. It’s a paddlers paradise offering amenities for paddlers to stop and rejuvenate before continuing on their journey.

CAP-21, in collaboration with the Town of Webb, will be distributing project funds as part of the 90 Miler Blueway Trail Strategy. The intent of the Blueway Trail initiative is for those communities located along the waterway route of the Adirondack Canoe Classic (known as the 90 Miler) to cooperatively develop a regional strategy for community revitalization, sustainable economic development and enhanced public access to waterways in the corridor between Old Forge and Saranac Lake. These projects follow an extensive process of working with the townships, community groups and paddle-sport based businesses to identify priority waterway linked priorities. The Blueway Trail projects are being funded through the NYS Department of State, Division of Coastal Resources, with funds provided under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund, and is being coordinated through CAP-21.

Priority project allocations include the following:
Town of Webb – $24,000 for development of a master plan and design for the municipal waterfront;
Town of Inlet – $24,000 for carry and launch site improvements at Fifth and Sixth Lake landings;
Town of Long Lake – $18,000 for development of the Long Lake Nature Trail and waterfront improvements;
Town/Village of Tupper Lake – $24,000 for establishing/enhancing connections between the Wild Center and the Raquette River, including interpretive signage and dockage improvements; and
Town of Harrietstown/Village of Saranac Lake – $20,000 for improvements on launch areas at Baldwin and Beaver Parks.

CAP-21 also hopes to work with the Adirondack Watershed Alliance on marketing and promotion of the Blueway as a regional recreational destination. Other community groups involved in developing this Blueway Strategy were the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the Adirondack Park Invasive Species Program. Altogether more than $1.3 million in economic revitalization projects were identified for the region. The Blueway Trail Strategy will provide a foundation and basis for potential future project funding through a number of funding sources including: NYS Department of State, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation, the Adirondack Smart Growth grant program and the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Councils.

Nick Rose, CAP-21 Executive Director, stated that “We believe that these Blueway grants will help the townships to promote regional eco-tourism, build local business and employment opportunities and reinforce the 90 Miler route as a premier statewide, national and international paddling destination.” For more information please contact CAP-21 at 315-369-3353 or at .

North Country Garners Economic Development Award

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council was awarded $103.2 million for its Strategic Development Plan in Albany on December 8, 2011. The plan was chosen as one of four Best Plan Award winners for New York State’s new Open For Business efforts to reinvigorate economic development from the bottom up, a competitive economic strategy announced by Governor Cuomo earlier in the summer. Other Best Plan Awardee’s included Western New York, Central New York and Long Island.

Who is in the North Country Region? The seven counties in the North Country are Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton Jefferson Lewis, St. Lawrence

There are over 70 projects in the North Country Economic Development plan and the final proposal included 16 priority projects selected from 178 that were proposed in recent months.

The entire North Country Regional Economic Development Plan can be found online at Link to North Country Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan

For residents in Hamilton County, specifically Long Lake and Raquette Lake, priority projects identified include: Broadband Construction of 25 miles of fiber optic cable from Tupper Lake, Franklin County to Long Lake, Hamilton County. $596,000.

Hamilton County Microenterprise Assistance Program. $200,000

(What’s a microenterprise? Translation – Entrepreneurs. Let’s make the North Country the place to live and work and do business – FYI – we are angling to see this movement take hold in Long Lake!)

Vision: Attract and nurture entrepreneurial pioneers to cultivate innovative clusters in our rural communities, and catalyze the highest per capita rate of small business start-ups in the state.

Strategy: Foster development of small businesses and entrepreneurial activities that add value to local resources.

What does that even mean. As outlined by the NCREDC the Microenterprise Assistance Program is broken out into phases including:

Year 1:
• Establish a regional microenterprise grants and loans program that complements state resources;
• Foster entrepreneur-friendly communities by providing user-friendly information and resources on navigating local regulations in a variety of mediums (e.g., website); and
• Expand the Business Incubator program located in Potsdam to better support the entire region. (so it’s not just hiding up north!)

Implementing the Adirondack Economic Development Strategy. Hamilton County and the Adirondack Partnership will advance park-wide revitalization efforts and allow local communities to develop revitalization strategies in keeping with their community vision and goals. $250,000

What does that mean? From the NCEDC Strategic Plan… “Community Development. Vibrant communities are key assets in economic development and, therefore, assisting and encouraging North Country community development efforts is a vital component of the North Country Regional Council’s Strategic Plan. The extensive and inclusive process the Council has used to develop this Strategic Plan has already begun to forge the relationships and alliances that will be needed to ensure that North Country communities will be able to provide the services, infrastructure, and amenities that are essential to creating an appealing destination for tourists and site selectors as well as a high quality of life for its residents. There are many long term vital strategies that may not have projects associated with them at this time, but are key to supporting the economic growth of the North Country. As such these vital strategies each support many of our vision statements and goals.

Strategy 1. Recognize the importance of community planning in achieving the NCREDC’s Vision of tourism, housing, arts, culture and infrastructure improvements.

There’s a lot more where this came from. It’s only the beginning.

What does it say to Long Laker’s? We’re here and open for business and we can’t wait to see what’s around the corner!


Long Lake, NY – Copies of Sutton family photographs have been added to the Long Lake Archives Collection, thanks to Patty Sutton Tokarz. Her father, Duane Sutton, who died in 2005, was an inveterate photographer throughout his life. He served on the USS Springfield at the end of World War II and Sutton photographed the ship at sea from all angles reminiscent of Charles Sheeler’s paintings (see below). He also photographed the crew at work at their various jobs mopping the deck and getting a haircut.

USS Springfield - photo by Duane Sutton

He photographed everyday occurrences in the Adirondacks such as shoveling snow off roofs in the winter, lumbering operations, driving the school bus. Also part of the collection are Sutton ancestors including the picture of his mother Angeline.

Angeline Sutton

Photos of his grandfather, Willard Sutton, a guide and his father, Clint, who was also a guide, contractor and a lumberman are present. There is also an account of a fishing trip on the Raquette River with Clint Sutton as guide. 1000 images is a rough estimate of the number of photographs.

Sutton took many pictures of his various trucks, his cars and in his younger days, his girl friends. A few have been identified . . . Nellie Staves and Mary Wilson as young women.

Sutton also photographed unique occurrences as the arduous journey by road (not railroad track) of the Belmont private Pullman car, the “Oriental”, to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake.

The photos have been copied onto discs by Hilary LeBlanc who has been instrumental in preserving most of the photographs on discs for the Archive’s collection. As soon as the photos are cataloged, it is planned that some will be featured in the Historical Showcase in the summer at the Long Lake Town Hall. All in all, the Sutton Collection is a wonderful addition to the Long Lake archives and thanks are due both Patty Tokarz and Hilary LeBlanc for making this project possible.

Long Lake