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.



Friday, March 13, 2015

Avoiding A Return To The Era Of Ill Feelings

Anti APA activist Anthony D'Elia, State Senator Ron Stafford and Governor Mario Cuomo in Essex County in the 1980s - mirror file photoAfter former Governor Mario Cuomo’s death on January 1, a former colleague reminded  us that when Cuomo signed the legislation authorizing the creation of an Environmental Protection Fund on Lake Champlain in 1993, much of the tension that had on occasion erupted into violence as a result of the  restrictive recommendations of the 1990 Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century, was defused.

A compromise had been reached. Funds were awarded for land acquisition, but there was also money for local governments in the form of grants for infrastructure and hamlet re-development. Of greater importance, the self-appointed leaders of the so-called Property Rights movement lost their constituencies and many of them left the area. Reasonable, responsible people on both sides of the issue reasserted control of the conversation. That’s how things have stood, more or less, until recently. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Lake George Group Presents Greenway Proposal

Cleverdale Lake Geroge Archival PhotoNot that long ago, or at least within living memory, Cleverdale on the east side of Lake George was home to fewer than five year-round families; the children attended a one-room school house on Ridge Road. A common footpath followed the shore, allowing residents to walk to church in summer.

Modern times, however, came quickly enough. Lakefront residents appropriated the sections of footpath that crossed their lawns. New York State acquired 28 acres on Sandy Bay and planned to build a public beach and picnic area there, a prospect so alarming to local residents, they sought to purchase the tract themselves. Eventually, the state reconsidered, perhaps as a result of pressure applied by some politically well-connected locals, and the land is still undeveloped. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Playhouses: Overlooked Adirondack Architecture

Pell playhouse at the Pavilion near Fort TiconderogaFor children traveling to the Adirondacks in the 19th century, it was not enough to have unregulated access to the woods and waters, much of which could be explored in their own, custom built boats.

They were built their own playhouses as well. According to Steven Engelhart, the executive director of Adirondack Architectural History, several great camps featured playhouses and childrens’ cabins, some in the rustic style, others suited to more eclectic tastes.

It’s not clear how many survive, but we know of at least two in the Lake George region. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cuomo Endorses A Park-Wide Invasive Species Plan

Andrew Cuomo in the AdirondacksThe Adirondack Park may become the first region in New York State to have its own, integrated program to halt the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the state legislature to appropriate $1 million  to develop the  Adirondack-wide strategy.

According to Morris Peters, a spokesman for the Division of the Budget, the money for the new initiative will come from an increase in appropriations to the Environmental Protection Fund. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Adirondack Masterpieces At The Hyde Collection

Homer Dodge Martin (1836-1897), Mountain View on the Saranac, 1868If The Hyde Collection had ever hoped to mount an exhibition of the art of the Adirondacks, the result could not have been more comprehensive than the show that the Glens Falls museum is presenting through April 12th.

“Wild Nature: Masterworks from the Adirondack Museum,” as the title signifies, is composed solely of works within the permanent collection of the Adirondack Museum.

For those who have never visited the museum in Blue Mountain Lake, “Wild Nature” is an introduction both to master works of American art depicting the landscape of the Adirondacks and to the museum itself, which is closed in the off-season. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lake George ‘Pinnacle’ Protection, Trails Planned

PinnacleThe Pinnacle, the Bolton landmark visible from Lake George and the Cat and Thomas Mountains Preserve, may be protected from development after all. More than five years after Ernest Oberer first proposed building houses on the ridgeline, the Lake George Land Conservancy intends to purchase the property, said Jamie Brown, the Conservancy’s new executive director. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lake George Land Conservancy’s New Director Jamie Brown

Jamie Brown LGLCAs the director of land protection for Ducks Unlimited, Jamie Brown worked throughout the United States to protect tens of thousands of acres of wetlands and waterfowl habitat.  “While I loved the scope of Ducks Unlimited’s work, I missed the opportunity to walk the lands that were being protected and to be a part of the community we were serving,” said Brown.

As the Lake George Land Conservancy’s new executive director, Brown will have the chance to do that. While his focus will be narrower in scope, confined largely to the Lake George watershed, his view will be more detailed, something he welcomes and one reason why he chose to apply for the position. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dave Wick Controversy: Basil Goes Fishing

Basil SeggosBy disposition, if not by design, Dave Wick is the local official least likely to become the center of a controversy. He directed Warren County’s Soil and Water Conservation program for almost twenty years and in 2012, he was recruited to succeed Mike White as the executive director of the Lake George Park Commission. Wick’s talent, a rare one, lies is combining practice with politics; engineering storm water controls, demonstrating the finer points of boat decontamination, while, at the same time, attracting and retaining the good will of elected officials and influential environmentalists. If he suffers from existential anxiety or self-doubt, cynicism or an ironic sense of humor, it’s not evident. The earnest, self-confident demeanor that he wears at public meetings, in conferences with officials and in interviews with the local press, never falters.

So it must have come as a surprise to Wick when, on November 14, he was summoned to the State Capitol and told that he was to submit his resignation, immediately. His inquisitor, Basil Seggos, must have been equally surprised when Wick replied, in so many words, that he’d rather not. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

1935 Gold Cup Boat Races Being Recreated

Lake george 1935 speedboat raceIf all goes as planned, in September of 2015 a fleet of vintage race boats will take to the waters of Lake George in a nostalgic tribute to a bygone era in power boating’s classic past. For the first time in over 80 years the shoreline in Bolton Landing will echo the roar of the exhausts from a fleet of Gold Cup replicas and vintage boats.

Norm Dasher, Teri Hoffman, Bob Phillips and Buzz Lamb are the founding members of The Gold Cup Committee of Lake George and they aim to re-create what was then power boating’s most prestigious race. » Continue Reading.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Sagamore’s Popular Ice Bar Returning This Winter

Bolton Landing Ice BarFar from a deterrent, last winter’s bone-chilling weather helped make the Sagamore’s inaugural Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge one of the most popular attractions on Lake George.  According to Tom Guay, the ice bar was so successful that the bar will not only be enlarged to accommodate more people, but will be open three days a week rather than two.

According to the Sagamore’s owners, preparations will begin right after New Year’s Eve, when a team of ice sculptors and designers will assemble in Bolton Landing. Using chisels and chainsaws, the craftsmen will carve and assemble the bar, seats, tables, ice Luges, couches and sculptures from 300-pound blocks of ice. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Monroe, Siy Push Mandatory Park-wide Boat Inspections

5a4Local governments, lake and landowners associations, sportsmen and environmental protection organizations want to see Lake George’s program of mandatory inspections of trailered boats adopted throughout the Adirondack Park.

According to Fred Monroe, a Warren County Supervisor, and Eric Siy, the executive director of The Fund for Lake George, who convened a meeting of Adirondack Park stakeholders in Chestertown earlier this month, prevention is the only way to protect Adirondack lakes from invasive species and preserve an economy based on recreation.

“What were once the mainstays of the Adirondack economy, such as forestry and mining, are either gone or disappearing,” said Monroe.  “What’s left is tourism, which is so clearly tied to the health of the waters. If we lose the waters, we have nothing.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Restored Lake George Boathouse Gets Preservation Award

Lake George Historic BoathouseThe Lake George Kayak Company has been awarded a Preservation Award by Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) for its restoration of an 1880s boathouse on Green Island.

The boathouse now serves as the Lake George Kayak Company’s retail store, selling kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and boating-related gear. The restoration was completed in 2013.

According to Kate Ritter, AARCH’s program director, the awards are presented annually to those who have “undertaken sensitive restorations or rehabilitations and demonstrated long-term stewardship.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Harry McDougal: Back When Politics Was Truly Local

Lt Gov Malcolm Wilson, Harry McDougal, NYS Senator Ron Stafford (Lake George Mirror file photo)It may seem hard to believe, but politics were once truly local. A Congressional candidate was nominated by his party only after he had already served his community, usually in local and state offices, where his character and his abilities had been given a chance to reveal themselves.

The erosion of locally-rooted politics has been attributed to the nationalization of congressional races by Newt Gingrich’s Republicans in 1994, to the proliferation of politicized and polarizing radio shows and television networks and to the tides of money from lobbyists and corporations flowing into local races.

Once, even national elections were local, as Harry McDougal, the Republican leader of Essex County for decades, recalled in an interview in the 1960s. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Re-imagining Lake George for Millenials

22Communities throughout the Adirondack Park, upstate New York and much of rural America are confronting aging and declining populations, a lack of year-round jobs, limited affordable housing and shrinking school enrollments.

The Town of Lake George faces many if not all of those challenges. Unlike most communities, though, it’s developing a strategy to address them.

At the end of September, the Town’s Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee and its consultant, the Chazen Companies, held a four-day community-wide charrette at the Fort William Henry Conference Center and the Town Hall. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lake George’s Native Mussels Get Attention

lg1Zebra Mussels and Asian clams receive so much attention that little is left for Lake George’s native mussels, which are as beneficial to the lake as the invasives are destructive.

Increasing awareness of the natives’ value and the potential threats to their survival is a mission of  Dr. Dan Marelli, a Florida biologist whose expertise has made him a valued collaborator of the Darrin Fresh Water Institute whenever mollusks enter the picture.

In August 2010, for example, the first Asian clams discovered in the lake were immediately sent to him. He confirmed their identity, and the multi-million dollar effort to eradicate the invasive, or at least to contain its spread, began.  When Zebra mussels were discovered in 1999, Marelli was among those who participated in a successful hand-harvesting eradication effort. » Continue Reading.


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