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Morning Spew

Say Goodbye to Winter Activities

Will this reporter ever get to go ice fishing? And more news for your Wednesday.

An ice fisher on a frozen lake, next to a red tent.

(Mike Cox / Unsplash)

This reporter was supposed to go ice fishing this past weekend, and take part in a longstanding ice fishing competition slash fundraiser held in the Catskills. 

But the event, like so many winter activities that depend on cold temperatures this year, was canceled. "Due to current unsafe ice conditions, and further unseasonably warm weather in the forecast, this year's King of the Ice has been canceled," the organizers wrote, destroying my vision of chilling on the ice, ideally in a heated tent and with a bottle of Jameson in one hand and a fish in the other. 

The New York Times took stock of our unseasonably warm winter and its impact on activities from skiing to, yes, ice fishing:

In New York City, the nearly yearlong "snow drought" is over—barely—but the paucity of frozen precipitation still inspires everything from sulky T-shirts to sad memes. Elsewhere, ice fishing derbies are canceling angling and toboggan chutes are screeching to a halt.

Overall, the mild temperatures are threatening or shattering records, with New York recording its second warmest January on record and neighboring states like New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut setting new highs for the month.

The unseasonable readings have been blamed for several deaths in recent weeks, including those of snowmobilers and fishermen who fell through thin ice on upstate lakes and in neighboring Vermont.

Is this our new normal? Probably. "Meteorologists said there was no single explanation for the warm winter in the Northeast thus far this year," the Times writes, "though climate change is a likely culprit."

Not all New Yorkers feel like they live in Miami now—our friends in the North Country (where we should probably have a satellite office?) are poised to see another foot of snow in the coming days. And yes, it will get cold again this weekend. But this lack of seasonal division in our lives (not to mention the historically significant absence of snow!) is messing with our souls. No, we will not shut up about it!

And more unseasonably warm links for your Wednesday: 

  • Speaking of the Times, some of the biggest weenies at the NYT signed a different letter addressed to Susan DeCarava, the president of the NewsGuild of New York. The writers of this latest letter are upset that DeCarava had written her own letter "affirming journalists' right to criticize the paper in order to address workplace conditions," itself a response to the open letter by Times contributors criticizing the paper's coverage of trans people and issues. "We are journalists, not activists. That line should be clear," this group of dweebs intoned seriously in a letter that could possibly be defined as a form of activism. 
  • Eric Adams is very concerned about gummies: "Children are getting high on their way to school. Children are taking these gummy bears. I must be old-fashioned. People don't realize what's happening in our country and in our city. We have to start refocusing!"
  • A Board of Correction report has found that "Correction Department staffing breakdowns may have contributed to the death" of 65-year-old Marvin Pines, the first person to die at Rikers Island in 2023. According to the Daily News, five correction officers have been suspended over Pines's death.
  • Let's check in on Local Law 97, the ambitious City law that is the centerpiece of local efforts to reduce carbon emissions: ​​"[E]nvironmentalists say the current rules are too lenient because they allow landlords, especially office property owners, to purchase a certificate known as a Renewable Energy Credit (REC) and simply buy their way out of complying."
  • We're about to learn more about the death of Malcolm X. Via Gothamist: "Malcolm X's family is claiming that federal, state and New York City officials conspired to kill the civil rights leader and then covered it up with a botched investigation. They filed court papers on Tuesday, the 58th anniversary of the assassination, alerting the government agencies about their intent to file a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit."
  • *Eyes emoji* is right.
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