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Essex Column

The film society’s last film of the season will be shown this Saturday night at 8 p.m. at the Whallonsburg Grange. “Fort Apache” is the work of Addison Mehr, currently a senior at New York University and a recent graduate of Westport Central School. Filmed in Westport, Moriah and Lake Placid, this is a coming of age story and Mr. Mehr, the director, will be on hand to discuss the film and answer questions. “Fort Apache” is also the name of a famous John Ford western from 1948 starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda. The film society will take a well deserved rest over the summer and then come back this fall with a new lineup of high quality movies.

The Grange hosts a concert this Friday evening with a group called the Wadhams Waddlers, an old time sort of string band. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are only $5, with all proceeds going to benefit the Grange itself.

If you’re looking for a summer project, you might want to consider becoming a volunteer lake monitor for the Lake Champlain Committee. They are seeking people to scout for blue-green algae, which is a commonly recurring type of bacteria that produces toxins which poison both people and pets. Go to lakechamplaincommitte.org for details. Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, live in fresh and salt water, in moist soil, on rocks in Antarctica and saline pools and is thought to be the photosynthesizing organism which created the oxygen atmosphere we enjoy today. Volunteers are needed from mid-June to Labor Day.

There’s a new insect pest starting to appear that greatly concerns fruit growers. Called the spotted wing drosophila, this relative of the common fruit fly originated in Asia and was first seen in California five years ago. Since then, it’s been steadily working its way across the country. The females lay eggs in soft summer fruit, like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, leaving only a small sting mark that’s hard to spot. The larvae growing inside the fruit chomp away, ruining it. With the female’s ability to lay 300 eggs per life-time, and up to 13 generations a summer, this may be a significant threat to local farmers.

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