Goodbye, and good riddance to 2020.  You have cost us much economically, socially, and personally.  Most of us lost or knew of someone we loved or knew fondly during your 365 days. Those we lost may not have died directly because of the virus unleashed around our tiny planet, but our ability… Read More ⇒

This article presents a brief overview of how the economy is reportedly doing in this uncertain “recovery” from COVID, and how national trends are echoed in our north country area. As of time of this writing, the first week in October, the economy is starting to grow again, slowly, with a lo… Read More ⇒

You may hear new terms applied to agriculture and farming, “regenerative” or “restorative” agriculture. These terms are cropping up, describing new thought processes on farming methods that have been around many decades and the importance of soil to our environment. It is important to think … Read More ⇒

It is always important to have estate planning documents in place to face the unknown that the future holds. During a pandemic like the one the world is facing now, it is even more important, one may argue essential, to have the proper estate planning documents in place. Generally speaking, … Read More ⇒

Each year, the United Way throughout the world runs a fundraising campaign to highlight problems and inequities in communities and proposes programs and plans to address the challenges that we face. This year is much different. The circumstances that have brought us to this point in time hav… Read More ⇒

Environmental law matters frequently involve an overlap and interplay between legal, scientific, and business concerns. Translating science into policy and policy into law and the resulting enforcement or interpretation of the law by government agencies and the courts can leave people and bu… Read More ⇒

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” — John Steinbeck  As I grow older and raise my two children, I become increasingly aware of the gratitude I feel for having experienced […] Read More ⇒

When our area entered Phase 2, the real estate market heated up. In some portions of the market, there have been multiple offers and some properties have had offers within a day or two of being put on the market. What do you need to know to be successful when making an offer?      First […] Read More ⇒

Things are slowly, at least in New York state, starting to get back to “normal” or at least semi-functional. However, what I am hearing over and over again from my business clients is, “How do I plan for the future when I don’t know what it will bring?” This is especially a question in commu… Read More ⇒

Whether along a trail, on the water, or sitting at a local park, New Yorkers can’t help but notice that participation in outdoor activities is surging this year. Hunting, trapping, and fishing are following this trend, as perhaps more New Yorkers than ever before are looking for opportunitie… Read More ⇒

My clients often are aware of what a Last Will and Testament is and its purpose of providing for the distribution of their assets when they pass away. They also know that trusts exist but are not sure what they are or what a trust does. The focus of this article will be on Living […] Read More ⇒

I remember, as a young kid, thumbing through a binder full of old family photos. I came across a photo that was labeled, “Lyman” and had a face circled on the photo. It was from the early 1940s and a sign on the wall behind this group of students read Future Farmers of America. “Lyman” […] Read More ⇒

As I write this, we are in the fifth month of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses in the North Country region have gradually been reopening through the four phases under specific guidelines and with many restrictions.      However, for businesses that deal with health and wellness, many are st… Read More ⇒

In spite of the seemingly cataclysmic budget pressures New York State is under in light of additional expenses and crimped revenue related to the pandemic response, its long-term commitment to achieving its renewable energy goals, as articulated in the Climate Leadership and Community Protec… Read More ⇒

For too many years, fewer and fewer Americans were drinking milk. There were many more choices for consumers to quench their thirst than ever before and honestly, the dairy industry had not done a good job of keeping up with marketing their product in a modern, exciting manner. The old white… Read More ⇒

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  — Nelson Mandela  The Class of 2020 will forever hold a chapter in the book of COVID-19. Students have been deprived of the experiences and joys of many things a complete senior year brings: awards ceremonies, sp… Read More ⇒

I am proud of all the work that you and all of our North Country business owners have done to make it through this difficult time. We may have a long road ahead, but you have worked hard to get here and have held on through many challenges. One way to be stronger for the […] Read More ⇒

Over the past five months, our nation and communities have experienced an unprecedented health and economic crisis, and the repercussions continue to ripple through our towns, neighborhoods, homes, businesses, places of worship and schools. As challenging as the past five months have been, t… Read More ⇒

My February column dealt with businesses that are dependent on the weather and how important it is to have a plan to deal with the uncertainty that comes when the weather doesn’t cooperate. I wrote quite a bit about the extremely high water levels last summer that affected businesses along t… Read More ⇒

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines courage as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.” Synonyms for courage include bravery, fearlessness, gallantry, guts, heart, heroism, intrepidity, valor and virtue.        In the first 54 years o… Read More ⇒

When you think about creating an initial estate plan, you likely focus entirely on the need to create a roadmap for the distribution of your estate assets in the event of your death. While that certainly will always remain an important estate planning goal, you will undoubtedly include addit… Read More ⇒

Dairy cattle are much larger than the typical companion animals, and they are more technically savvy. I am not saying that cows carry around smartphones, but they do interact with technology in their day to day lives. Technology in dairy barns is not necessary to keep the cows in touch with … Read More ⇒

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller  The value of partnerships become even more apparent during challenging times. Amid a crisis, when friends and neighbors are frightened, hurting and vulnerable, every possible resource must be deployed to help ensure hea… Read More ⇒

Over and over again we hear that our people are our greatest asset, the communities are so strong and the people make it a very warm place, even in the depths of winter. However, locals, visitors and new residents will often comment on the contradictory nature of North Country people when it… Read More ⇒

After being slightly down in 2018, overall property sales (including residential, land, multi-family and commercial properties) in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties were generally higher in 2019. The median price followed this pattern also and days on the market continued to drop. … Read More ⇒

If you are interested in fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, whitewater canoeing, rafting, or rock and ice climbing, but unfamiliar with how to get started, there is a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) licensed guide willing to make sure your experience is less str… Read More ⇒

Winter has arrived and the holidays have come and gone for another year, which means its “meeting season”. This term is fondly used by farmers and agribusiness professionals in reference to a time of year, January-April, in which there’s plentiful opportunities for travel, networking, learni… Read More ⇒

Al Roker, the weatherman on the Today Show for the past 40 years, was once quoted as saying, “I don’t make plans, because life is short and unpredictable – much like the weather.” While that might work for Al, it’s not a good general principle for enterprises that depend on the weather to ve… Read More ⇒

If you are buying or selling real estate you may need to hire an environmental lawyer.       If the answer is yes then you may need environmental counsel when any of the following arise:   You want to obtain “bona fide prospective purchaser protection” for your property acquisition but are n… Read More ⇒

As we start with 2020 it’s a great time to think about how you can freshen up your business to grow and have a greater impact this year. There are a few simple things that you can do to start your business off right: Tip 1: Take Care of Yourself Small business owners are some […] Read More ⇒

The people who’ve made Northern New York home have come from all over America. The vast majority have generational connections to the north country. However, some arrived on orders from the Army. Others journeyed north to raise their family. A few came to be part of something special.      T… Read More ⇒

Special Needs Trusts (“SNTs”) are an essential tool both when a person with disabilities has assets to protect and when that person’s parents are considering their estate plan. Whether the person with the disability has funds, receives funds from a personal injury settlement, or receives fun… Read More ⇒