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Entries from January 30th, 2009

Dear Everybody

January 30th, 2009 · No Comments · Destination Marketing

New York DollarsI got this suggested letter today which is being pushed as the “unified” New York State tourism message. We already know this is not the best way to fund things; it’s not even a lot of money. I’m not even defending how these dollars are actually being spent, but it’s the only mechanism we have. Decisions do actually have to be made, and time is running out.

Dear (*See Below):

I am writing on behalf of ANY COUNTY NEW YORK Tourism, the official tourism promotion agency for ANY COUNTY NEW YORK, just one of the statewide network of tourism promotion agencies designated to promote the New York State vacation product.

Our marketing efforts rely heavily upon the funding obtained through the legislatively created Tourism Matching Funds program.  And, while the legislature appropriated the funds in the 2008-09 State budget, the county tourism agencies have not been notified of their matching funds awards. The time is now for making commitments for prime spring/summer marketing efforts and each agency cannot move forward until these funds are released from the budget office.

Advertising plans are being canceled in fear that the money will not be released.  Contracts with local printers for travel guides are being held for the same reason.  Website development and improvements are being delayed, or canceled outright.

I am asking your assistance in requesting those monies be released quickly so the counties can voucher the state for them and proceed with their 2009 travel marketing efforts.  Please understand, for each dollar in Matching Funds, the average county spends an additional two local dollars.  Thus, the $4.1 million in Matching Funds is a $12.3 million marketing effort.

Now is not the time to slow, or halt, tourism marketing efforts.  In calendar 2007, the last year for which data is available, tourism generated more than $51 billion in visitor spending and roughly $8 billion in state and local taxes – tax revenue that went into health care, schools, roads and law enforcement efforts. In addition, many of those marketing dollars were invested in the local economy – with printers and commercial artists, with stationers and communication companies, and with website developers.

Final decisions about marketing plans need to be made now.  With each passing day deadlines are not met.  Opportunities are lost.  Neighboring states are enticing travelers to visit areas other than New York.  We encourage the NYS Budget office to release funds so we can best allocate our remaining resources to salvage our local tourism economies.  I have enclosed some examples of our marketing efforts.  We are proud of them and hope we can continue to spread the message about what a great place this is to visit and live.  Thank you for your time and assistance.  If you would like to discuss this further, I can be reached at Contact Me,



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Boy Scouts – Conservation or Profit?

January 30th, 2009 · 3 Comments · Adirondack Life

Boy ScoutI never was either a “Cub” or “Boy”, but I did read the handbook and completed all of the merit tasks for fun.  Punk and clubs, at least clubs for boys, don’t mix.  Anyhoo, I ran across an article this morning which lead to a whole series of stories investigating the commercial forestry practices of the Boy Scouts.

Cedarlands, a 5,000-acre Boy Scout reservation in the Adirondack Mountains, is one of several camps the Boy Scouts of America have logged in the northeastern states.

Timber harvesting of 250 acres at Cedarlands generated more than $80,000 in revenues in 2007 — as well as shock and dismay among Scout volunteers. The Scout council says it was a strategy to generate a healthy forest.

Most regular readers know that the balance between conservation and economic development is a major force in Adirondack life.  We try to live and play in one of the last areas of wild land in the Northeast.  Add a Blue Line to make things really interesting.

My past and recent experiences with Boy Scouts indicates to me that their “wilderness ethic” is more about Man over Nature, rather than harmonic interaction which “leaves no trace“.  Most Boy Scout skills are more about human infrastructure and survival.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But what about this?

Logging Cedarlands

The cutting — and its extent — was necessary, the council said, because the forest’s poor health posed risks with old or diseased trees poised to possibly fall on a Scout.

Nathan Gibb, the forester who wrote the management plan, said logging was driven by campsite and forest management concerns. But, he added, the cutting would not have been quite as extensive if the council “had no income goals.”

The financial gains are obvious. The forest management plan estimates the council will net a little more than $600,000 over 10 years.

The subjective interpretation of that photo is the crux of the issue.  According to one Scoutmaster, “It looks like this site had a bomb go off.”  I’d like to see more photos of the 4 Adirondack camps in question.

Local Scouts React To Clear-Cutting

New York camp a virtual parking lot

Beloved land in N.Y. sold for profits

Chain Saw Scouting: Map

Issue Overview Slideshow

Official Boy Scout ResponseDetailed Response (PDF)

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The Parker Virus

January 28th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Miscellania

Paul Martin - The other AdScam(er)Uh, thanks Tribble for spreading the George Parker Virus.

The rules are simple – 7 Facts about yourself and then spread the bug to 7 others.

  1. Both my Foreign Service and Central Intelligence applications failed because I couldn’t remember the names of all the people I lived with for the previous 5 years.  In retrospect, the background investigation would have likely gotten me arrested.
  2. My acting career began as an extra in “A Crime of Innocence” and has reached the top (5:45, not my wife or dog).
  3. During a fire, I’d wake the wife and kids and then rush to save my bikes.
  4. According to The Family Book, I am the 53rd recorded generation and still reigning champion as the largest member of my family that ever existed.  If that isn’t enough, as a descendant of the famous Concubine Yu,  I believe Parker owes me a drink or two.

    I deny any responsibility for this stuff:

    Suqian Concubine Yu God liquor Ltd.

    Company tax revenue in recent years to achieve ultra-thousand million annually Yang Mu is the large taxpayer, has a rational structure of the engineering and technical personnel and high-quality workforce, advanced production technology, well-equipped, strong technical force, comprehensive means test , Relying on a comprehensive quality management system, adhere to the code of conduct ahead with innovation, continuous improvement and quality of enterprise products of technology. God’s Concubine Yu production company because of the history of liquor named after the famous Concubine Yu. For thousands of years, civil pao reputation of this wine: elegant delicate alcohol fullness and color-flavor are cellar Xiangnong, air and three nights in the Cup Liuxiang, Miantianganlie memorable long. It is – God Concubine Yu sprinkling of God reputation.

    Suzhou Concubine Yu tomb

    Concubine Yu Song stop, Bajian since tick; Xiang Yu breakthrough, the panic left, the way to build burial mound this.

  5. My in-laws all call me “Daguito”.  I was supposed to be “Wendy”, but when the truth was revealed my Dad used the first name that came to mind.
  6. I was once the President of the Monterey Institute’s International Brewing Club.  Our mission was to promote international cultural exchange through the science and appreciation of zymurgy.  Our biggest fan was the President of the Institute at the time, Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard, Jr. (retired).  He played an interesting role in the affair known as The Pentagon Papers and got a regular share of the malted beverage production.
  7. I was a classically trained pianist for 12 years until the day of my high school graduation.  I haven’t played one since.

And so it goes….have at it folks:

  1. You know the Mouse has some weird stuff “in the shed” – City Mouse, Country House
  2. I think Ed needs to write this post –Adirondack Lifestyle Blog
  3. And what I really want to know from Andrew, “What kind of lube do you use?” – Good Bye Blue Mondays
  4. Jim Tedisco probably has some interesting stuff to say.  Now that he’s gone “Big Time”, I hope he won’t stop with the videos.
  5. And my fellow Amy Gaucho who does for NYC what I wish I could do for the Adirondacks – Amy’s New York Notebook
  6. It’s hard to imagine what Jody could come up with – that which rolls
  7. This last one is for you, my dear reader.  I know you’re there.  Use the comments, ping me, or just tag it “Adirondacks”.