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Keep the ideas coming

This week, we heard about a radical idea that would change the layout of Main Street this summer if approved by the village of Lake Placid and the state Department of Transportation. Like it or not, we can all agree that the plan to shut down one side of Main Street to create a pedestrian space in July and August was a bold, out-of-the-box proposal designed to improve the community and support local businesses.

Keep those ideas coming. Some will stick, and some will not, but if they aren’t proposed, we’ll never be able to move on to bigger and better things once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

“When it wants to get something done, our community comes together, and they make it happen,” Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said Tuesday when talking about the re-imagined Main Street proposal for this summer.

That’s certainly true. What other group of small-town citizens have said — twice, mind you — “Yes, we can host the Winter Olympics,” and pull it off? Lake Placid did, in 1932 and 1980, surprising the entire world in the process. It’s this kind of can-do Adirondack spirit that makes this one of the best places to live on Earth.

Keep those ideas coming.

Faced with a closed business in mid-March, Fitness Revolution owner Jason McComber woke up one morning and couldn’t find anything positive in his Facebook feed, as the world was obsessed with the coronavirus pandemic. So he created the Lake Placid Unites Facebook group, hoping to get at least 50 members to offer some positivity. Now he has almost 1,200 members.

On Sunday evening, May 17, he and teacher Jessica Kelly hosted a live brainstorming session on the Lake Placid Unites Facebook page, and 30 people showed up to pitch ideas ranging from sidewalk sales to drive-in movies and concerts. They will host another session this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. If you are a member, log on and participate.

Keep those ideas coming.

Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism employees have no shortage of ideas to keep the Adirondack North Country safe and prosperous, and their recently launched “Politely Adirondack” campaign is a perfect example of the best this region has to offer. Their message of social distancing, hand washing and wearing face masks — coupled with attractively designed posters with cute animal characters — is eye catching. It’s a basic concept, really. It makes sense to do these things to keep ourselves and others healthy.

But the brilliance in ROOST’s Politely Adirondack campaign is in the name and the message it communicates. Let’s be nice to each other, even if we are outraged by someone not following the government’s COVID-19 health guidance – or common sense. When you see someone not wearing a mask, don’t attack them for it. When you see someone with out-of-state license plates, don’t say, “Go home!” Now, more than ever, we need to be calm and level-headed.

We’re in the hospitality business. Let’s be hospitable, even if we don’t feel like it.

Right now, to stop the spread of the coronavirus, we’re not asking travelers from outside the region to visit the Adirondacks, but they’re already coming, mostly to enjoy the great outdoors. Let’s show them that we can still be polite and welcoming, even in the darkest of times.