Tuesday, February 2, 2021

When nature calls…Lake George defenders answer

Cotton Point postcardI dropped into the Lake George Park Commission’s Zoom meeting to check on the status of pending rules to curb runoff into the lake. Known as stormwater regulations, these rules are designed to try to reduce the amount of water that runs across roofs, roads and lots when it rains or snows. Unchecked, this water picks up pollution and sends it straight into the lake.

But the stormwater update was brief. A discussion of several new docks proposed to accompany four new homes in a subdivision was not brief at all. This issue, which affects some residents around Cotton Point, may end up attracting more intense attention for now than the stormwater regulations, which affect the whole lake. What caught my eye, though, was the concern about people going — yes, going — straight into the lake.

Here’s the story:

Turnout for a Zoom meeting made for the Park Commission’s biggest audience since the pandemic began. Before the meeting Tuesday morning, the commission had also received about 70 comments opposed to the dock project. By contrast, the latest version of the park commission’s years-long overhaul of stormwater regulations for the whole lake received about 20 public comments.

At least a handful of commenters wrote about their bathroom worries:

  • “Where will these people go to the bathroom?”
  • “Will they really walk the 1/4 – 1/2 mile to their homes? The more likely case is that they will use the lake and the wetlands as their bathroom. (We can’t imagine asking our 4 and 6 year old grandchildren to walk 10 – 15 minutes to use a bathroom!)”
  • “With no house nearby and no bathrooms at the docks, it would be inevitable that people would sit on the docks and drink and eat. With no bathrooms, they would urinate in the lake.”
  • “There are no public or private bathroom facilities available for the people who would be using these docks, unless they were to install Portable Toilets on the docks or on the Sundecks.”
  • “Boaters using the shallow sandy bottom of Basin Bay are already coming ashore to find a bush.”

Caruso’s attorney, Robert Gregor, argued the concerns were misplaced, in part because people are already misusing the lake and his client’s project hasn’t been built yet.

The new homes and docks will create more “socially responsible” activity in the area, he argued.

“It will protect the lake more than what we have right now,” Gregor said.

Image: A vintage postcard depicts Rainbow Beach and Cotton Point, Lake George, N.Y. 8 miles from Lake George Village. [ca. 1930–1945]
Courtesy of the The Tichnor Brothers Collection at the Boston Public Library.

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Ry’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Ry is a reporter who covered water-quality issues for the Explorer.

6 Responses

  1. Mary gilmore says:

    I would also be concerned about people that bring their boats to the place they are staying. Do you think those people wash their boats before launching them? I can tell you that they don’t. As a guest at one facility I saw the guest launch their boats without cleaning them. Some tourist that visit the lake don’t care.

  2. P. J. Treeh says:

    Go ashore to find a bush? Are you crazy? I just head to the bow to take a squirt.

  3. M.P. Heller says:

    Ironically, some of the same people complaining about the possibility that “someone might pee” in the lake are the people who need to have their own septic systems inspected for leakage.

    Living in the same house since the 70s has given me the opportunity to see many changes come to the lake. One thing that hasn’t changed is the organized opposition to holding people accountable for their own sewage. As Ry witnessed, disproportionate amounts of time gets spent debating ridiculous things like if folks are going to “pee in the bushes”, rather then addressing real problems like testing systems and figuring out how to get leaking ones fixed. I’ve seen systems installed in the 40s that are nothing more than a log crib in the ground. How identifying and repairing these deficient systems is not a priority is totally beyond my ability to comprehend. It should have been done decades ago. Its not like the offending systems have gotten any better as time has gone by either. They have gotten worse.

    • Drew P Weiner says:

      A lot of those camps constructed in the 40s and 50s ran piping directly to the lake! Any of those still in operation?

      • M.P. Heller says:

        Not that I’m aware of, most of that was taken care of in the 70, and there wasn’t as much of it as you might think. Mostly folks ran water pipes to the lake and at least they had the common sense to understand not to run their sewage outflow next to their water intake. Frankly there is very little left of what was built in the 40s and 50s, now having been mostly replaced with more modern structures from the 1980s onward.

  4. lee comeau says:

    When Nature Calls article was interesting but not as interesting as the following, “When China Calls”.

    China is NOT a democracy. The CCP govern China. That’s the Chinese COMMUNIST party. If you have not been keeping up with the activities of the CCP and China you should. China governs with little concern for the rights of those who live under their reign. Their global and military power grows every day. They plan to surpass America as the globally dominate force. They have been working on this for decades and they are getting closer and closer. Their military and economic power grows with unparalleled success. Unfortunately, American consumers have aided China in this power growth. When is the last time you purchased something “Made in China”? Every dollar you spend on Chinese goods, is in direct support of the CCP! The Chinese COMMUNIST Party. Understand how this party rules and dominates those living under its oppressive rules. Tell the retailers who sell Made in China goods that you are disappointed that they sell so many Chinese products. Demand that they up the ante to selling over 60% of products made elsewhere. Corporate America MUST stop supporting the CCP.

    Recently, I had the occasion to support an Adirondack Environmental group. I was enticed with the offer of a free gift for doing so. When my gift arrived it was beautiful and I was very pleased….until I looked at where it was manufactured. MADE IN CHINA!

    The irony was unbelievable. I cannot describe my shock in knowing that our environmental group, dedicated to the Adirondack environment was doing business with the worlds largest emitter of carbon emissions! I know this Adirondack group is dedicated to the Worlds environment, not just the Adirondacks. And the groups purchase of these goods Made in China is small when compared to the total goods purchased by all Americans.

    My point? We, all of us, need to stop financing the CCP. They are evil and have no respect of people’s rights! Stop purchasing items Made in China. It will be difficult. Make no mistake about it. Living under the CCP will be much more difficult. This is real. It IS happening. Look at the history of the Chinese government since WWII. Remember Tiananmen Square 1989?? Following what is happening in Hong Kong since the CCP took control?

    There are many reasons to stop doing business with China. While being the worlds leading polluter is a significant one, it is not the most important one! They are a nuclear power. They should do more with nuclear energy to significantly reduce their Co2 emissions! Make them unsuccessful in their goal of world dominance. STOP BUYING “MADE IN CHINA”.

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