It was a big week for winter sports in Lake Placid, but the lead story on page A1 of this week's Lake Placid News has to do with a surprise visitor from the north.
The great gray is the largest of all owls, and it normally lives only in the boreal forests of northern Canada, but two of them have been hanging out in Keene. LPN correspondent Naj Wikoff happened upon the birders congregating there from all over North America while he was coming back from covering the cross-country skiing Junior National Championships, and he describes in detail the unique characteristics of these enthusiasts, as well as those of the owls. It's an unexpected and valuable kind of tourism.
While Lake Placid biathlete Lowell Bailey is on a hot streak, his longtime teammate and former roommate Tim Burke has been in a slump. He agreed to an interview as our Up Close profile this week, talking about how hard times are part of the game, too. While his team competes all over the world, he's home in Lake Placid, resting and trying to diagnose health issues that plagued him this season. He plans to be back in action next winter and compete in his fourth Olympics.
This week's Giving Back feature is about how Laura Coffin, reading specialist at Lake Placid Elementary School, got the idea to set up "Little Free Libraries" near low-income housing areas in town. While most students aren't quite ready to think about summer reading, Coffin is making sure they'll have easy access to books when they're not in class.
This week's issue also carries the news that the village of Lake Placid has formally applied to host the International Children's Games in 2019, that the village plans to use eminent domain to acquire the former Nazarene church site downtown and make it into a parking garage, that the governor committed Whiteface and the other state ski centers to using 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, that the Adirondack Mountain Club's High Peaks Information Center has reopened amid renovations, that Northwood School will demolish the former With Pipe and Book store as it establishes a downtown presence there, and that municipal and state leaders are meeting to discuss whether tree cutting on state land might be able to protect against repeating a recent blackout.
This week's Lake Placid News sports pages - and opinion pages as well - are overflowing with the accomplishments of skiers from Lake Placid.
Bailey, who in February became the first American to win a biathlon World Championship, was back in action at a World Cup event at the 2018 Olympic venue in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The longtime Lake Placid resident reached another career milestone in the 10-kilometer sprint, shooting clean and racing his way to the silver medal. He came back the next day with a ninth-place finish in the pursuit, and to top it all off, Bailey was awarded the Best of February honor for a male athlete by the United States Olympic Committee.
This week's editorial is an ode to Bailey, who is a marvelous example of perseverance.
Staying at the biathlon shooting range, Lake Placid High School graduate Nina Armstrong made her first major international appearance in Slovakia at the Junior World Biathlon Championships. The Harvard student registered several respectable finishes at the event.
Speaking of recent LPHS graduates, Karl Schulz, now a sophomore at University of Vermont, put on quite a show back on his home course at the Olympic Jumping Complex in the XC Junior National Championships. Schulz won the 10-kilometer skate-skiing event by a hair for his second-career national championship. Junior Nationals is scheduled to continue through the weekend.
Wikoff, a former nordic ski racer himself, immersed himself the Junior National Championships for his column this week. As per the column's name, he gives an "On the Scene" perspective as well as a behind-the-scenes view of shifting the race venue due to warm weather. He also interviews athletes, visiting and local, and compares their experience to his racing days.
Moving from skis to sleds, the Norton National Championship luge seeding races took place last week at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Local slider Sophie Kirkby was a big winner in the two-day event while Sean Hollander had to settle for a podium spot.
In other news, the Lake Placid Marathon and the Lake Placid News announced that the LPN will be the official newspaper of the annual race that was recently taken over by Greg Borzilleri.
On the Adirondack Expeditions page this week, Outdoors Writer Justin Levine describes the latest in a long line of recent hiking challenges that are springing up throughout the Adirondacks. This one is the Lake George 12ster program that requires a hiker to reach the top of a dozen mountains situated on each side of the lake. And, of course, a patch is awarded for the effort.
Outdoors columnist Joe Hackett takes a look at how the youth of today seem to be veering away from the outdoors in favor of indoor pursuits. He clearly sees this as a bad trend.
That is by no means all the good reading you'll find in this week's issue. Martha Allen's column is an amusing look at whether old dogs, such as President Trump and herself, can learn new tricks, and on a serious note, Frank Shatz's looks at the fallout from the 1990s Bosnian war in his World Focus column. And as always, you can also catch up on who was born, who died, who made the honor roll and what's going on about town. It's all here in the Lake Placid News for March 10-16, on newsstands now for just $1.25.
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