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, 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.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Bolton Acquires Wild Forest Lands To Protect Water Supply

lake georgeThe Town of Bolton has agreed to purchase two forested lots wrapped in a conservation easement near Edgecomb Pond, adding another layer of protection to the source of its drinking water.

“This is a $200,000 piece of property that we’re getting for a fraction of that price. Nothing is more important than our water supply, and we’re protecting it through a wonderful partnership between the town, the Lake George Land Conservancy and a local resident,” said Bolton Supervisor Ron Conover.

The Lake George Land Conservancy’s easement on the property, which protects it from any development, reduced the price to the town by more than $100,000, said Nancy Williams, the Conservancy’s executive director. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mudd Club Meets Bird Land At Lake George Jazz Weekend

Jazz RecordRaymond Scott, the electronic music pioneer, composer of film scores and classic cartoon music as well as jazz suites for big bands, and whose music will be performed at this year’s Lake George Jazz Weekend, is said to have been one of most lasting influences upon downtown, avant-garde rock composer John Zorn.

As it happens, some of the musicians who have played and recorded with Zorn and his shifting collective of jazz, rock and classical performers will also be at this year’s festival, which will be held September 13 and 14 in Shepard Park.

They include trumpeter Steve Bernstein, who has put together a combo called SexMob to play the music of Nino Rota, the composer who scored Fellini’s most famous films, and drummer Billy Martin, who replaced Anton Fier as the percussionist in the legendary Lounge Lizards. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lake George Village To Finally Tackle Wastewater Problem

lg, south basinSince the 1970s, scientists and officials have been aware that the Lake George Waste Water Treatment plant has been discharging unacceptably high levels of nitrates through ground water, into West Brook and ultimately, into Lake George.

“Nitrates are probably the single, biggest influence on the water quality in the West Brook watershed, and the treatment plant is the single largest source of nitrates,” says Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky.

According to Navitsky, excessive levels of nitrate stimulate the growth of weeds and algae and can endanger fish life, the quality of drinking water, recreation and even human health.  “Fortunately, we haven’t reached that level yet,” he said, adding that after Lake George Village completes the second phase of improvements to its waste water treatment plant, which it has committed itself to undertaking after being cited by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, we won’t. » Continue Reading.


Friday, June 13, 2014

New Darrin Fresh Water Institute Lab Planned

Tenee Rehm Cassacio's design for the new lab at the Darrin Fresh Water instituteConstruction of a new laboratory at RPI’s Darrin Fresh Water Institute will begin this summer and will be completed before autumn, said RPI president Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson.

According to Jackson, RPI will finance the construction of the new lab as part of its contribution to the Jefferson Project, the program created by IBM, The Fund for Lake George and RPI to bring high technology to the study and preservation of Lake George’s water quality. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Climate Change: Woolf Evasive On Keystone XL

Aaron Woolf and Bill Owns April 2014If the existential issue of our time is climate change, the Keystone XL pipeline project is the decisive political issue of the day. As Bill McKibben has said, “If we’re trying to do something about climate change, which theoretically all our governments are committed to doing, then (Keystone) is a very big deal. It’s the equivalent of adding six million new cars to the road.”

Other analysts say the impacts would be even greater over an extended period of time – the equivalent of 1 billion vehicles or 1,400 coal-fired power plants in greenhouse gas emissions. Legislators’ position on the Keystone project, which would extract oil from Canadian tar sands and pipe it through midwestern states to the Gulf Coast, is then, an indication of how seriously they take the threat of climate change to the communities they represent. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Forest Preserve History:
Apperson-Schaeffer Collection Going Online

Kelly Adirondack CenterGovernor Al Smith helped block the construction of a highway along the shore of Tongue Mountain, but it was Franklin D.  Roosevelt who was instrumental in protecting the east shore of Lake George, documents in the Apperson-Schaefer collection at the Kelly Adirondack Center at Union College in Schenectady suggest.

With funding from the bond acts of 1916 and 1926, much of Tongue Mountain and many of the islands in the Narrows were now protected, permanently, as parts of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

But by 1926, John Apperson, the General Electric engineer who dedicated much of his life to the protection of Lake George, had become concerned about the future of the east side. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Anthony Hall: Stefanik’s Weird Health Care Politics

healthcare-reformIn an interview with the Lake George Mirror, as well in interviews with other newspapers and in an op-ed piece published by the Watertown Daily Times in November, Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik stated that she favors the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

She added that she would replace it with, among other things, measures that allow people to purchase health insurance from out of state insurers, purportedly on the grounds that the costs of health care would thereby drop. But anyone familiar with the Affordable Care Act knows that it does permit people to purchase health insurance across state lines. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

$5 Million Lake George Redevelopment Announced

Adirondack Brewery DistilleryAdirondack Pub and Brewery owner John Carr has announced that he is purchasing the four-acre lot on Route 9 owned by the Off-Track Betting Corporation for $1.25 million.  Carr’s immediate plans for the property include expanding Adirondack’s brewing and bottling operations and building the first whiskey distillery in Lake George.   OTB will continue to operate a betting parlor at the site until it secures a new location, according to Carr.

With the construction of a new plant on the property, Carr expects his brewing and bottling capacities to triple. “We look forward to seeing our Adirondack beers being sold in every county of the state,” he said.  Once the expansion is complete, Adirondack Brewery is expected to produce 35,000 barrels of beer a year.   Carr said the project will take five years to complete and cost approximately $5 million. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Commentary: A Congressional Candidate No One Knows

Elise Stefanik watches herself on TVAddressing the concerns of the opponents of the proposed federal constitution, who worried that members of Congress would not be sufficiently representative of the interests and opinions of their districts, the authors of ‘The Federalist Papers’ pointed out that a candidate without local connections would be unlikely to get elected.

They could not win the esteem of their neighbors without having already demonstrated merit and sound judgement. They will be acquainted with local issues, because in all probability they will have served in the state legislature, “where all local information and interests of the state are assembled,” or in some other local office. » Continue Reading.


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