Posts Tagged ‘Lake Champlain-Champlain Valley’

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Biography Of John Stark: Roberts’ First Ranger

John Stark BiographyFew men contributed as much to the American victories of the French And Indian and Revolutionary War, yet have been as little recognized, as a New Hampshire farmer and lumberman by the name of John Stark. Although he is not well known outside of New Hampshire, a few words he wrote live on there today: Live Free or Die. A new biography by John F. Polhemus and Richard V. Polhemus, Stark, The Life and Wars of John Stark: French & Indian War Ranger, Revolutionary War General (Black Dome Press, 2014) should help bring this remarkable man’s life into appropriate perspective.

Stark served as a captain of rangers with Robert Rogers in the French and Indian War and as a colonel and general in the Revolution at Bunker Hill, Trenton, Princeton, Westchester, Springfield, Saratoga, Ticonderoga and West Point. His greatest achievement, however, was at the Battle of Bennington. The Battle of Saratoga and the surrender of Burgoyne on October 17, 1777 was the turning point of the American Revolution, but the Battle of Bennington on August 16th set the stage. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fort Ticonderoga Purchases Carillon Cruise Boat

carillon fall foliageFort Ticonderoga has announced that it has purchased the Carillon cruise boat, formerly located on the shores of Lake Champlain in Shoreham, Vermont.  Waterway tours are expected to be offered by Fort Ticonderoga beginning this spring.

The acquisition of the boat is part of a larger Fort Ticonderoga waterway recreation and transportation initiative. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DEC To Modify Dam For Spawning Salmon

Imperial DamBig changes are planned for the Imperial Dam on the Saranac River in Plattsburgh.

On Friday, the state Department of Conservation announced that it is taking comments on a plan to modify the dam, which is located a few miles upstream of Lake Champlain. The proposal calls for decreasing the height of the spillway by 8.5 feet and constructing a concrete fish ladder on the left bank, or northern side, of the dam, which the DEC owns. The other side is privately owned. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lake Champlain Inaugural International Film Festival

filmfestivalbannerThis isn’t the first time that Plattsburgh has held an international film fest, but after an 11-year absence, the city by the lake is bringing back the Lake Champlain International Film Festival November 15-16 to the recently renovated Strand Theatre.

According to The Strand Center for the Arts Executive Director Jessica Dulle, the festival producers were pleasantly surprised by the number of countries responding to the film festival as well as the quality of the films received. » Continue Reading.



Monday, October 27, 2014

The Samuel de Champlain History Center

SamDeChampHistoryCenter“You can’t go home again” is an adage based on the title of a Thomas Wolfe book, but with a different meaning from Wolfe’s original intent. The adage suggests we can’t relive our youth, and in a wider sense can’t recapture what once was. If that’s true, I recently came as close as one can by visiting my hometown for a book-related event. The result was a Mayberry-like evening with a roomful of nice people, and a close-up look at the accomplishments of a dedicated historian seeking to preserve our heritage.

I was raised in the northeast corner of New York State in the village of Champlain, representative of small-town America in the 1950s and 60s. The Champlain Literary Club recently asked me to speak about my books and the milestones our business has achieved during ten years in business as of October 2014. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lake Champlain Basin Program Seeks Grant Proposals

image004(1)The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) is seeking proposals for local grants to support the implementation of the long term management plan for Lake Champlain, Opportunities for Action (plan.lcbp.org).

The LCBP anticipates awarding more than 50 local grants totaling up to $650,000. Funding for these awards originates from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the National Park Service through agreements with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Report: Eradicating Spiny Water Flea Not Possible

Spiny Water Fleas (J. Gunderson photo)In a statement issued to the press, the Lake Champlain Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Task Force has said that “eradication of spiny water flea in Lake Champlain is not technically feasible” and urged instead that “spread prevention measures should be implemented as soon as possible” to keep the invasive from spreading to nearby water bodies.

Sampling has confirmed its presence at multiple lake stations in Champlain’s Main Lake region. In 2012, spiny water flea was discovered in both the Champlain Canal and Lake George.  Spiny water fleas have been detected in the southern Adirondacks in Great Sacandaga Lake (2008), Peck Lake (2009), and Stewarts Bridge Reservoir and Sacandaga Lake (2010).  This summer they were detected in Lakes Piseco and Pleasant (2014).

The Task Force’s Spread Prevention Recommendations were also issued, as follows: » Continue Reading.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11th: A Day Of Remembrance, Pride

Battle-of-Plattburgh-300x210As Americans pause today to mark the terrible events of 2001, it would be fitting to also mark a bicentennial of which few Americans are aware, but of which the North Country should be justly proud: the 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh.

These two momentous days, from across a span of nearly two centuries, share an importance that will forever be marked by historians.

Both are absolutely critical to the shape of the America we live in today. Both are fulcra, balancing a more innocent and vulnerable America of the past with a changed nation that confronted a vastly different future world. » Continue Reading.



Monday, September 8, 2014

Remembering The Battle of Plattsburgh: September 11, 1814

1816 BaltimoreBOPDisplay“The naval battle of Lake Champlain was probably the greatest feat of arms that our navy achieved in the War of 1812,” said Franklin D. Roosevelt.

From Secretary of Navy William Jones on Oct. 3, 1814: “To view it in abstract, it is not surpassed by any naval victory on record. To appreciate its result, it is perhaps one of the most important events in the history of our country.”

According to Penn University historian John B. McMaster, it was “the greatest naval battle of the war,” and Thomas Macdonough was “the ablest sea-captain our country has produced.”

Like McMaster, author and historian Teddy Roosevelt called it “the greatest naval battle of the war,” and praised Commodore Thomas Macdonough thusly: “Down to the time of the Civil War, he is the greatest figure in our naval history. … he was skillful and brave. One of the greatest of our sea captains, he has left a stainless name behind him.” And one more: looking back, Sir Winston Churchill said it “was a decisive battle of the war.” » Continue Reading.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Spiny Water Flea Confirmed in Lake Champlain

spiny water flea lake champlainThe spiny water flea is the first aquatic invasive zooplankton to be confirmed in Lake Champlain, bringing the known number of nonnative and aquatic invasive species in Lake Champlain to 50.

Specimens were collected this August in the Main Lake segment of Lake Champlain as part of the Lake Champlain Long-term Biological Monitoring Program supported by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

Sample analysis by the Lake Champlain Research Institute at SUNY Plattsburgh confirms multiple specimens from two different monitoring stations. Additional samples are being examined. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Adirondacks May Become A Conduit For Tar-Sands Oil

Rail accident in Lac Megantic, Quebec in 2013 (Wikimedia photo)Four environmental organizations are sponsoring a forum in Plattsburgh this week on the dangers of transporting Bakken crude oil on trains through the Champlain Valley, but trains may someday be moving another hazardous fuel through the region: oil from the Canadian tar sands.

Global Companies receives Bakken crude at the Port of Albany, much of which is transported on a rail line that runs along the shore of Lake Champlain. Bakken crude is a volatile fuel that caused massive explosions when a train derailed in Quebec last year, killing forty-seven people.

» Continue Reading.



Saturday, August 9, 2014

President of Plattsburgh: The Story of Smith Weed

Smith Weed BiographyRouses Point businessman Mark L. Barie has written the first biography of North Country politician Smith Weed. In The President of Plattsburgh, The Story of Smith Weed (Crossborder Publishing, 2014), Barie paints a portrait of Weed – six feet tall, with piercing black eyes – a man who was said to smoke nine cigars a day.

Smith Weed was instrumental in the establishment of the Champlain Valley Hospital, the YMCA, the Plattsburgh Library, and the Hotel Champlain, but was perhaps best known nationally for his central role in “The Cipher Dispatches” voter fraud controversy during the fiercely disputed presidential election of 1876.

Weed was President (Mayor) of Plattsburgh in the mid-19th century and served six terms in the New York State Assembly. The Plattsburgh attorney was also a successful businessman and philanthropist. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Demonstration Planned Against Champlain Oil Trains

Oil Train ExplosionOn Saturday, July 5, North Country residents will bear witness to the one-year anniversary of the deadly oil train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec that killed 47 people and to raise public awareness of crude-by-rail transport in the Lake Champlain region.

Participants will gather near the mouth of the Saranac River at 3 pm, walking out on a pedestrian bridge about 50 feet from the Canadian Pacific railroad bridge, and gathering in canoes and kayaks below the bridges.

The demonstration is part of a week-long action by citizens and groups across North America opposing the escalation of crude-by-rail shipping. The Plattsburgh event is being spearheaded by Center for Biological Diversity and People for Positive Action. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Invasive Spiny Water Flea Headed To Lake Champlain

unnamed(21)Spiny water flea, an invasive species that is believed will be impossible to eradicate once established, is poised to enter Lake Champlain.

The Lake Champlain Research Institute (LCRI) has confirmed massive numbers of spiny water fleas in the Glens Falls Feeder Canal, at the junction basin where the feeder canal branches off the Hudson River at Glens Falls. The feeder canal flows toward the Champlain Canal which serves as a route for boats into Lake Champlain.

Dr. Tim Mihuc, Director of the LCRI, reports that recent sampling indicates that the numbers of spiny water flea this year have increased dramatically.  “They are on their way into the lake, if not already there,” Dr. Mihuc said.  Lake Champlain is considered a source for the spread of invasive species to other water-bodies in the Adirondacks, including nearby Lake George. » Continue Reading.



Friday, June 27, 2014

Earthjustice Seeks Info On Routes Of Oil Trains

Rail accident in Lac Megantic, Quebec in 2013 (Wikimedia photo)The environmental organization Earthjustice is asking authorities to disclose the routes of trains that transport Bakken crude oil through New York State.

Earthjustice attorney Christopher Amato filed the freedom-of-information request Thursday with the state Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Management on behalf of several environmental groups, including Adirondack Wild and the Sierra Club.

Amato is seeking all records submitted by rail carriers regarding the oil-transport routes as well as any requests by the carriers to keep such records secret.

» Continue Reading.



Monday, June 16, 2014

Giant Swallowtail Butterflies Moving North

Giant_SwallowtailIt’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a …? In September of 2012, I spied something fluttering wildly on the lavender phlox in front of my house. At first I thought it was a hummingbird, but as I moved closer I discovered it was a huge butterfly – the largest I’d ever seen, with a wingspan of about six inches. I rushed into the house to get my camera.

The butterfly was a challenge to photograph, its wings a blur as it hovered and darted from flower to flower, sipping nectar with its long tongue. The upper side of its wings were black, with a band of yellow spots from wingtip to wingtip. Another yellow band led diagonally from each wingtip to each wing “tail.” The tails were long, with yellow spots edged in black. On the underside, the coloration was similar to a tiger swallowtail – pale yellow with thin black stripes. I consulted my butterfly guides and determined the fabulous creature was a giant swallowtail, a cousin to our common Canadian tiger swallowtail. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Westport Community Concert Series Announced

Soundwaves WestportSoundwaves: The 19th Annual Westport Community Concert Series on the shores of Lake Champlain at Ballard Park in Westport, NY, will be held on Thursday evenings at 7:30 from July 3rd to August 27th, 2014.

North Country resident and veteran Jazz trumpeter Taylor Haskins is serving as curator and organizer for this year’s event, taking over after the community lost state funding for the events. » Continue Reading.



Friday, May 23, 2014

The Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island

bluff point collageThe Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island in Lake Champlain will be open most Sunday afternoons from 1 to 3 pm through the summer. Dedicated volunteers look after and interpret the lighthouse and island for visitors under the sponsorship of the Clinton County Historical Association.

The lighthouse, once the home of the lighthouse keepers, now is filled with themed rooms containing interpretive materials. The gallery around the light at the top of the building, is at the same level as the osprey nest at the top of the tower next to the building.

In recent years, the island has become a popular day trip for kayakers and canoeists as there is no public transportation to the island. There will be docents there this Sunday, barring heavy rain or lightning. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

David Sommerstein: Trains Carry Oil And Risk

Rail accident in Lac Megantic, Quebec in 2013 (Wikimedia photo)On a summer night last July, the charming French-Canadian town of Lac Megantic literally exploded. A tanker train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire, incinerating much of the downtown and killing forty-seven people.

Other train explosions followed in Alabama and North Dakota. Now people are wondering if it could happen here in the Adirondacks.

Since the disaster in Lac Megantic—located 180 miles northeast of the Adirondack Park, in Quebec—officials in northern New York have taken notice that similar trains, up to a hundred tankers long and filled with eighty-five thousand barrels of oil, roar regularly through the Champlain Valley. Most of the oil is in tankers that federal regulators have deemed unsafe. » Continue Reading.



Monday, March 24, 2014

Lake Champlain Climate Change Adaptation Workshops

image004(1)The Lake Champlain Basin Program will host two workshops focused on climate change adaptation on March 25-26, 2014 in Burlington, VT. The March 25th workshop will focus on stormwater management.

The March 26th workshop, held concurrently with the New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAEB) Annual Meeting, will focus on ecosystem impacts and aquatic invasive species threats to Lake Champlain. » Continue Reading.



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