Almanack Contributor Anthony F. Hall

Anthony F. Hall

Anthony F. Hall is the editor and publisher of the Lake George Mirror.

Anthony grew up in Warrensburg and after an education that included studying with beat poet Gregory Corso on an island in the Aegean, crewing a schooner in Hawaii, traveling through Greece and Turkey studying Byzantine art and archeology, and a stint at Lehman Brothers, he returned to the Adirondacks and took a job with legendary state senator Ron Stafford.

In 1998, Anthony and his wife Lisa acquired the Lake George Mirror, once part of a chain of weekly newspapers owned by his father Rob Hall.

Established in the 1880s, the Mirror is America’s oldest resort newspaper.

Monday, March 12, 2018

LGLC Rejects State’s Bid for Anthony’s Nose

anthonys nose The Lake George Land Conservancy has rejected the Department of Environmental Conservation’s offer to purchase Anthony’s Nose for $325,000.

At a meeting of the Board of Directors, held in February, it was agreed that the Conservancy would maintain the Lake George icon as a preserve unless or until the state agency produces a better offer. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Resistance: Ron Stafford’s Gift to Local Governments

Senator Ron Stafford with a former Town of Bolton Supervisor, Frank Leonbruno, in Bolton Landing, July 2001Having spent more than a decade as an aide to an upstate New York senator, the late Ron Stafford, I retain some residual habits, one of which is flipping through the Governor’s budget proposals as soon as they’re released, alert, I would hope, to anything that might have an impact on our region, positive or negative.

That’s how I happened to become aware of a proposal in this year’s budget to remove Forest Preserve lands from the real property tax standard and authorize New York State to send Adirondack communities “payments in lieu of taxes.”

I gave it more than a cursory glance because in 1989, when I worked for Senator Stafford, the current governor’s father, Mario Cuomo, proposed something very similar. » Continue Reading.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Lake George Plan: Halve Road Salt Use By 2020

The road over Tongue Mountain 50 years ago“Salt Reduction by 50% by 2020” – among local governments, highway superintendents and environmental protection groups on Lake George, that’s the buzz phrase of the season.

“30,000 metric tons of salt are deposited every year within the Lake George basin,” said Eric Siy, the executive director of The Fund for Lake George. “But we know we can reduce its use. We can apply salt smarter and make our roads safer.” » Continue Reading.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Budget Proposal Challenges NYS Tax Payments On Forest Preserve Lands

adk atlas state landsA barely-noticed provision in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget could have lasting consequences for the finances of Adirondack towns and school districts, or so some fear.

“I believe local governments will see this proposal as the cap on payments to their jurisdictions, something they have long feared as the state continues to acquire private land in the Adirondacks,” says Fred Monroe, the executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board. » Continue Reading.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Stoddard As Art Photographer

stoddard photography“Water and Light,” a selection of images from Seneca Ray Stoddard’s Lake George portfolio exhibited at the Chapman Historical Museum last summer, has been reimagined as a new, ground-breaking book on Stoddard’s photography.

The 160-page volume, featuring 150 images selected and reproduced by Chapman director Tim Weidner, includes interpretive and biographical essays by Joseph Cutshall-King, the historian who led the Chapman when the Museum acquired its Stoddard collection from Maitland De Sormo in 1977. » Continue Reading.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Rail Or Trail: Warren County Weighs Options

The North Creek Station when D&H still operated the railroadThe time may have come for Warren County to retire from the railroad business, says Ron Conover, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

In his annual message to the board, Conover broached the possibility of replacing the rail line between Stony Creek and North River, which the County owns and currently leases to Iowa-Pacific’s tourist train, with a multi-use recreational trail.

“I think the prudent thing at this stage is to begin to investigate whether a recreational trail should be created, by whom, at what cost, for which users; we should also ask how to pay for its creation and maintenance,” Conover said in his message, delivered at the municipal center on January 4. » Continue Reading.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Lake George Marine Patrol Now Authorized to Carry Firearms

Lake George Park Commission’s Marine Patrol with Sheriff’s officers at Log BayThe Lake George Park Commission’s Marine Patrol officers are now allowed to carry firearms while on duty, according to a resolution adopted by the Commission at its November meeting.

Until now, a patrol officer was equipped only with handcuffs, a pocket knife, rubber gloves and a small flashlight.

“Without having the proper equipment to protect the officer and the public, the officer and the public are in harm’s way should the patrol encounter someone aggressive (and bearing) a firearm or knife,” Lt. Joe Johns, the Commission’s director of Law Enforcement, stated in a memo to the Commissioners. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

NYS Loses Its Historical Association; Long Had Ties Locally

fenimore art museum

We recently learned that the New York State Historical Association, which has played a key role in protecting New York’s historic sites and artifacts for more than a century, is now defunct, having officially been absorbed by the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown. It is safe to assume that the museum will not retain the Association’s mission, that of promoting and preserving history throughout New York State.

Lake George residents have a special interest in the former Association, in part because it was founded on Lake George in 1899, met annually at the Fort William Henry Hotel and counted residents like John Boulton Simpson among its first trustees. It also had its first permanent headquarters in Ticonderoga’s Hancock House, built specifically for that purpose by Horace A. Moses in 1926.  » Continue Reading.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Lake George Park Could See Long Sought Visitor Center

LG Park Commission Headquarters illustrationFor more than twenty years, archaeologist David Starbuck, historian Russ Bellico and leaders of the Lake George Battlefield (Fort George) Alliance and the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce have argued that ground as historically rich as the head of Lake George deserves a visitors’ interpretive center.

They, along with the rest of us, residents and visitors alike, may now get one. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Conservation History: Northwest Bay, Lake George

loines preserveLands above Northwest Bay acquired by Stephen and Mary Loines between 1898 and 1908 – in part to protect them from the same destructive forces that threatened the Adirondacks – and which were sold to private landowners over the ensuing decades, are now largely protected again, this time permanently, thanks to land conservancies and New York State.

That’s something Tim Barnett recognized last spring, when the Lake George Land Conservancy announced that it had purchased a 159 acre parcel that includes Wing Pond “This would appear to complete a four decade- long project to protect the Loines holdings,” remarked Barnett, the first director of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy and a founder of the Lake George Land Conservancy. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Opinion: Clean Power Plan’s End Will Mean Littered Landscape

Railroad train of tanker cars transporting crude oil on the tracks earth justice photoFew places would have benefited more  from the 2015 Clean Power Plan than the Adirondack Park. Had the plan been enacted, it would have abated mercury poisoning, cleared the air above the High Peaks of smog and checked acid rain, while, of course, slowing climate change. (It committed the US to cut greenhouse gas emissions by one third before 2030.)

Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has repealed the plan, not only will our air, water and wildlife suffer. Our landscape will too. Thirty miles of railroad tracks deep within the Adirondack Forest Preserve are more likely than ever to become a warehouse for surplus coal cars. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Cooper’s Cave: America’s First Roadside Attraction

19th century tourists visiting Cooper’s CaveJames Fenimore Cooper’s knowledge of the French and Indian War may have been sketchy, but he was interested enough in its history to contemplate a visit to Lake George, which he finally did with a party of Englishmen in August, 1824.

Lord Edward Stanley,  who would later become the 14th Earl of Derby and  Great Britain’s Prime Minister during the reign of Queen Victoria, was a member of the party. As they crossed the Hudson River at Glens Falls on the return trip to Saratoga, Stanley noted in his journal, “Cooper… was much struck with the scenery which he had not before seen; and exclaimed, ‘I must place one of my old Indians here.” » Continue Reading.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Lake George and the Invention of the Auto-Boat

The Winnish, owned by LeGrand Cramer, one of Lake George’s first Auto-BoatsThe fusion of automobile and boat reached its apotheosis in 1959, when Chris Craft released its Silver Arrow in the same shade of metallic blue that Chevrolet applied to its Corvette and added a flared fin copied from a Buick.

That’s what boat builder Everett Smith told an audience last summer when discussing the evolution of the Auto-boat at the Tumblehome Boatshop in Warrensburg, which hosts evening talks about boats and boating throughout the year. » Continue Reading.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Origin and Impact of the Adirondack Northway

i87When my parents came to the Adirondacks in 1956, they believed they were moving to a place far removed – culturally and politically as well as geographically – from the cities in which they had worked as left-wing journalists.

Beyond the Adirondacks lay “the big world,” as our neighbor Peggy Hamilton called it. (It was a world she was familiar with, having been the companion of Vida Mulholland and, like Vida and her more famous sister Inez, an early advocate of women’s rights.) » Continue Reading.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Smooth Sailing on Adirondack Ice

john apperson skate sailing near dollar islandSkating out into Bolton Bay, Ted Caldwell stops to lift a custom-made, kite-shaped canvas sail rigged to ash spars jointed where the mast and boom cross. He hoists it above his head, then brings it down so that the boom rests on his shoulder. Tilting the sail into the wind, he moves off with a steady glide. Within minutes, Caldwell himself is barely visible, a swiftly moving swatch of white canvas against Dome Island.

This is what we observed a few years ago, when a long, hard freeze and little snow produced 2 ½ weeks of black ice, the ideal conditions for skating, ice boating and skate sailing. » Continue Reading.

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