Mountains & Valleys

MOUNTAINS of welcome go to people visiting our communities for big waterskiing, rugby and lacrosse tournaments. We’re delighted to have you here, and we hope you find the people here friendly and helpful in answering any questions you might have.

MOUNTAINS of amazement go to all 2,500 triathletes in the 16th annual Ironman Lake Placid, but holy cow, especially to Mac Rand of Lake Placid. After spending close to 13 hours completing the grueling event Sunday – a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile marathon run – Rand woke up the next morning and did it again – in a cold, all-day downpour, no less. The 60-year-old finished the rare Ironman double after midnight on Monday and raised more than $29,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the process. Simply astounding!

Speaking of Ironman, MOUNTAINS of appreciation outweigh Valleys of frustration in making us say it was a good thing triathlon officials evacuated roughly 700 swimmers from Mirror Lake amid thunderstorms Sunday morning. That screwed up finish times in a huge way, since many competitors never finished the swim portion of the race, but as substantial as that hassle is, it’s nothing compared to the agony that would have been felt if lightning had struck the lake. It was a tough call, and the right one.

MOUNTAINS of hope go to Paul Smith’s College and its newly hired president, Cathy Dove, who will come from Cornell Tech’s under-construction campus in New York City. It seems like she has good credentials for the job, and we offer her our congratulations and best wishes.

VALLEYS of nervousness are being felt throughout Saranac Lake due to news of too much lead leaching from old pipes and solder into the water supply. We hope the village’s corrosion control chemical works, and we encourage water users to avoid drinking or cooking with hot water, and to run the tap for a bit before drinking when it has been left off for six hours at a time.

More VALLEYS of sympathy go out to the five children Jim and Kim Barney left behind when they were killed in a collision in Ray Brook last week. Further investigation is under way, but it seems like Trevor Sisto killed them with his reckless driving. We hope justice prevails for him and that the Barneys’ children get whatever help they need.

VALLEYS of disappointment go to a disagreement that has hobbled Tri-Town Packing of Winthrop, one of the only slaughterhouses and meat-packing plants in the North Country. The local food movement has led to a wonderful revival of family farms raising livestock for food, farmers markets giving consumers more options and restaurants offering local meat on the menu. But all of that bottlenecks at the scarcity of slaughterhouses. We’re not against regulation – it’s necessary for safety – and we don’t know enough to say for sure what’s behind this slowdown, but we reinforce that slaughterhouses are essential. We need more of them.

MOUNTAINS of excitement will be felt in downtown Saranac Lake at seeing restoration of the Hotel Saranac progress from the inside to the outside, removing paint from the white limestone. Plus, it’s in time for Can-Am Rugby weekend, a significant time for co-owner Fred Roedel III, who’s a member of the Saranac Lake Mountaineers rugby team.