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.



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.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Anthony Hall: When The Media Fail, The Public Loses

Article 14, Section 1 - croppedSince November 5, when voters approved an amendment to the state constitution to permit a mining company to mine 200 acres of Forest Preserve lands, we have learned much more about the proposition than we knew before the vote.  We always knew that the company proposed to mine the Forest Preserve, and everyone, proponents and opponents alike, thought it at least noteworthy that two environmental protection groups dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the constitutional clause that states that Forest Preserve lands will remain “Forever Wild,” supported the proposition.

But we did not know that the state officials who were lobbying the legislature to place the proposal on the ballot were unaware that the mining company already had access to a second mine on its own land, which it has not yet begun to utilize. We did not know that the company was spending at least half a million dollars to win passage of the proposition. And that’s not including the thousands of dollars it donated to the campaigns of Senator Betty Little, who sponsored the bill that put the proposition on the ballot. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lake George to Lake Champlain: The LaChute River Trail

Lachute River in Spring (Tony hall Photo)The hill that separates the outlet of Lake George from the creek that opens into Lake Champlain is among the oldest portages in continuous use in North America.

The Native Americans gave it a name: Ticonderoga, “the place between waters.”

Up and down its slope have passed explorers and naturalists such as Isaac Jogues and Peter Kalm, travelers such as Thomas Jefferson and, of course, the armies of the French, the British and the Americans as supremacy over North America and its strategic waterways shifted from one nation to another. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Lake George Historic Preservation Projects Recognized

Silver bay (Lake George Mirror Photo)A downtown commercial building, a YMCA conference center and a private home, all on or near Lake George, all received awards from Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) when the organization held its annual luncheon in Lake Clear on September 30.

Jim Major’s restored Heustis block in Ticonderoga, the Silver Bay YMCA and the Bixby family’s house in Bolton Landing were among the six properties to receive awards this year, said Susan Arena, AARCH’s program director. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Forgotten Lake George Photographers:
The J.S. Wooley Project

Wooley PhotographAn early 20th century Lake George photographer is about to receive the attention that many local collectors, historians and photographers believe he richly deserves.

The photographer is Jesse Sumner Wooley (1867-1943), and the J.S. Wooley Project,  a collaborative effort of photographer Richard Timberlake, Bolton Landing collector and resident Matt Finley and the Brookside Museum in Ballston Spa, has already produced standing-room only slide shows and lectures at the Brookside Museum and Silver Bay, where Wooley was the official photographer from 1908 to 1923.  Another presentation will be presented at the Crandall Library in Glens Falls on October 15. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard As Boat Historian

Stoddard, Lake George Canoe Meet (1880)The eccentric preacher and writer who became known as Adirondack Murray may have been the first to trumpet the region to tourists, but Seneca Ray Stoddard was not far behind.

In fact, Stoddard’s photographs, maps and guidebooks had a more lasting and more salutary influence than anything penned by Murray. Without his photographs and maps, for instance, it is unlikely that the Adirondack Park would have ever been created.

For Reuben Smith, the owner of Tumblehome Boatshop in Warrensburg (Warren County), Stoddard’s photographs are not merely of antiquarian or aesthetic interest. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In Bolton An Unparalleled Japanese Knotweed Infestation

23With aquatic invasive species attracting so much attention, it’s not surprising that terrestrial invasives have received comparatively little notice from Lake George residents.

But according to Bolton Landing resident Anne Green, “this town is ground zero for Japanese knotweed. Bolton has more dense beds per acre than any other town in the Adirondacks.”

Last year, Green began working with a program called the Regional Inlet Invasive Plant Program (RIIPP), which was started in Herkimer County in 2008, to combat Japanese Knotweed. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Living Tradition: Lake George’s Chris Shaw

For much of the past summer, Chris Shaw was busy organizing workshops and staging concerts of the region’s traditional music at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne. “It’s vital that we preserve these songs,” said Shaw. “Nothing gives you better access to the Adirondack experience than listening to the music.” But it’s not the mission of the Adirondack Folk School to display the region’s hand crafted products behind glass, nor to make craftsmen into re-enactors; it’s to ensure that the traditions will be continued, said Shaw.

“That’s what’s so cool about the Adirondack Folk School; you don’t just learn the history of Adirondack pack baskets, you make one. It’s the same with music. We want to maintain the musical traditions, but also, to see them live and evolve,” he said. Shaw, a native of Lake George, has made a career of singing Adirondack folk songs and telling Adirondack tales. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Origins of Adk Land Use Planning

After publishing “Robert Moses and the Lake George Park Commission” in this space a couple of months ago, several people asked me to explain a reference  I had made in that piece to a proposed  Adirondack Park-wide authority or commission modeled upon the original Lake George Park Commission.

It’s not surprising that few people remember it. After the legislative session of 1964, the enabling legislation was shelved, and by 1967, the public’s attention had shifted to  Laurence Rockefeller’s proposal for an Adirondack National Park and later, to Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s Temporary Study Commission on the Future of the Adirondacks and its most important recommendation, the formation of an Adirondack Park Agency.
» Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Remembering Warrensburg’s Movie House

“The movie theater and the church often existed side by side in a small town,” the late novelist John Updike once remarked in an interview. “The old Hollywood movies were very pious. Sins were punished in exact proportion to their seriousness. In many ways, the movies carried religious weight.”

Updike grew up in the 1940s, and by the 1960s, when I was growing up in Warrensburg, the movies may have played a smaller role in shaping moral habits, but they did help fire one’s own imagination, and, for that matter, the collective imagination. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Treme’s Donald Harrison Headlining LG Jazz Weekend

Fans of the HBO series “Treme” can turn off their television sets. The real thing is coming to Lake George.  Tenor saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr and his band, Congo Square Nation, will present a special Saturday night performance during this year’s Lake George Jazz Weekend, which opens on September 15.

“It’s tremendously exciting that Donald Harrison is coming to Lake George,” said jazz festival curator Paul Pines. “I’ve been doing the Jazz Weekend for 29 years, and to me, this is the full flowering of everything we’ve done.” » Continue Reading.