Posts Tagged ‘crime and justice’

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lawrence Gooley:
Amazon, Collusion, and Local Book Stores

Book House imageSix months ago, I wrote about a major court decision and the negative impact it could have on many regional Adirondack businesses, especially booksellers. The next phase has arrived in a convoluted, “if-you-can’t-beat-’em, join-’em” story, challenged by one of upstate New York’s top independent bookstores. The defendants in the earlier case included several of the nation’s largest publishers―Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster. Their e-book titles were being deeply discounted by Amazon, and to fight back, the group signed an exclusive agreement with Apple to sell the same e-books at artificially inflated prices.

The government called it anti-trust collusion, and when the courts approved a settlement in favor of Amazon last September, the Justice Department lauded the agreement as “in the public interest, and consumers will start to benefit from the restored competition in this important industry.” » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hudson River Guide Gets Jail In Rafting Fatality

Hudson River (John Warren Photo)A rafting guide whose client drowned in the Indian River last September has been sentenced to a year in jail and five years of probation.

Rory Fay, 37, of North Creek admitted he was drunk when he and the client, Tamara Blake, 53, of Columbus, Ohio, fell out of the raft on the morning of September 27. Blake’s boyfriend stayed in the raft and paddled to shore. Fay also managed to get to shore. Blake’s body was found five miles downstream in the Hudson River.

Fay, who worked for Hudson River Rafting Company, pleaded guilty in November to criminally negligent homicide, a felony, as well as two misdemeanors, driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cunningham Acquitted In Rafting Case

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA rafting outfitter who sent a father and daughter down the Indian River without a guide was acquitted of reckless endangerment today after a three-day trial in Hamilton County Court.

Pat Cunningham, the owner of Hudson River Rafting Company, had been indicted on two misdemeanor reckless-endangerment charges stemming from separate incidents in August 2010. One of the charges was dismissed because the witnesses did not want to testify, according to Marsha Purdue, the county’s district attorney. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

State Takes Action On Lake George Invasive Species

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) have announced they will take actions to prevent the spread and threat of aquatic invasive species in preparation for the summer 2013 Lake George boating season.  In addition, an environmental review of a long-term plan to address invasive species is expected to begin shortly.

The announcement is the latest state and local action designed to reduce the spread of invasive species, particularly aquatic invasives. In 2011 Warren County passed a law making the introduction and transport of aquatic invasive species into Warren County waterbodies illegal. The state’s first county law of its kind imposes a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 15 days in jail for violators. In July 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Invasive Species Prevention Act  into law, directing DEC and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop by September 2013 a proposed list of invasive species to be regulated and prohibited.
» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cunningham Trial: Rafting Customer Tells Of Scary Trip

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen Robert Carson asked his daughter Savannah how she wanted to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, she told him she wanted to take a whitewater rafting trip. Carson did some research on the Internet and booked a trip with the Hudson River Rafting Company in August 2010.

Initially, the father and daughter planned to ride in a guided raft with other customers down the Indian and Hudson rivers, but as things turned out, they would start their trip in an inflatable kayak, a two-person vessel with no room for a guide. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hudson River Rafting: Pat Cunningham’s Rocky Ride

On March 30, 2012, Hamilton County Court gave Patrick Cunningham a second chance. It came with conditions and a warning.

Judge S. Peter Feldstein told the defendant: “My goal in this matter, as I said at the beginning, was to affect how you do business. Now, I understand, Mr. Cunningham, through your attorney, that you do not feel that you’ve committed any crimes and you’re perfectly within your rights and you’re innocent before this court, but I want to be sure you understand that if you engaged in the behavior alleged in the indictment, I have no doubt that you committed crimes.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Writing: Avoiding Book Publishing Frauds

With so many successful self-published books in the Adirondack region, it was disturbing to hear the recent news so close to home that police in Hinesburg, Vermont (south of Burlington), discovered what they have termed a Ponzi-style publishing scheme. The case first came to light in June 2011 when it was reported that Peter Campbell-Copp, former president of the Manchester Historical Society, had allegedly defrauded individuals and businesses to the tune of $170,000.

According to media reports, Campbell-Copp contracted to handle the editing, printing, and marketing of clients’ books as a publisher. Apparently, some of the printing was done by at least two firms, and Campbell-Copp was known to have served at least fifteen authors. Except that the allegations are he served them nothing but bitterness.

According to police, taking the biggest hit of all was Print Tech, a Burlington company for more than three decades. Around January 2010, they began producing print jobs for Campbell-Copp, receiving several scheduled payments. The work continued, but the payments stopped, and the work eventually stopped as well, by which time the company was owed about $100,000. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Conversation About Guns

I was going to write about ski centers and getting ready for Christmas, but this morning my nine-year-old didn’t want to go to school. She sat on the floor with her lunch box in her hand and started to cry. When I asked her what was wrong, she described a story she heard at school, about children escaping from Sandy Hook Elementary.

I know I am not the only parent that is struggling with a conversation to explain the unexplainable to our children. Sadly, my children are not strangers to death. They were given a dose of reality when they lost their eight-year-old cousin to cancer and both grandfathers in the course of a year. My daughter questions why some people die while others live. I am not able to provide her with answers. Thankfully she does not yet seem obsessed with her safety. She plays with her friends and wanders the woods around our house, but obviously somewhere buried deep the stories matter.
» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Rescuing A Lean-to Before The Damage Is Done

What follows is an e-mail recently sent by Paul Delucia, of Lean2Rescue, one of several volunteer organizations who work to build and maintain facilities in the Adirondack Park’s backcountry.

Rarely do we get a chance to rescue a lean-to before the damage is done.

On Thanksgiving, Hilary Moynihan (ADK lean-to adopter coordinator) and I were notified that somebody had chopped down a tree at the Gull Lake lean-to (Black River Wild Forest). Sadly, it was live spruce tree (about 60 ft tall) left hanging precariously in a smaller cherry tree. It threatened both the lean-to and anybody that might visit it. I sent out a broadcast to all that might be in the Woodgate / Old Forge Area on a moment’s notice. By Saturday, a crew of eight from Lean2Rescue arrived with nearly 150 lbs of equipment (ropes, climbing gear, saws), and a tree climber (me). After about an hour, the tree was safely down and the lean-to standing unharmed.
» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Emancipation Weekend in the Adirondacks

January 1, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, and students, educators, and general public across the North Country will have the opportunity to support a New Proclamation of Freedom for the 21st century.

On Friday 30 November and Saturday 1 December, modern-day abolitionists will gather with students, teachers and the general public concerned about human freedom and human trafficking at various venues in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Activities will include an art exhibition, a screening of the popular Civil War film Glory, workshops, lectures, and a closing reception following historian David Blight’s keynote address on Saturday night. (Full schedule follows.)
» Continue Reading.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Rafting Guide Admits Negligent Homicide Charge

A whitewater rafting guide pleaded guilty today to criminally negligent homicide and two other charges arising from the accidental drowning of a client in the Indian River this fall.

Rory Fay of North Creek, 37, admitted in Hamilton County Court that he was intoxicated on the morning he and a client were thrown from their raft.

The body of the victim—Tamara F. Blake, 53, of Columbus, Ohio—was found five miles downstream in the Hudson River. Blake’s boyfriend, Richard J. Clar, 53, also of Columbus, managed to stay in the raft and steer it to shore. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Private Property:
Oliver’s War, Brandon Park and Paddling Rights

If New York State’s highest court issued a ruling tomorrow that said, “We are mindful that this interpretation deprives the public at large … of the pleasure and profit of fishing and hunting in a very large portion of the Adirondack forest, and gives to men of great wealth, who can buy vast tracts of land, great protection in the enjoyment of their private privileges,” what would your reaction be? Indignation? Outrage? Rebellion? Would you march on Albany? (Or here’s a novel solution … secede!)

Well, relax, there’s nothing to worry about. That ruling was issued 109 years ago and has been in place ever since. The story comes to mind for two reasons: the recent offer for sale of Brandon Park, and the lawsuit against Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown for trespassing. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Paddling-Rights Arguments This Friday

State Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi is scheduled to hear arguments in a navigation-rights lawsuit at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the Fulton County Courthouse.

The suit was filed after I paddled through private property owned by the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association in 2009. I wrote about the trip for the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine. » Continue Reading.


Monday, November 5, 2012

19th Century Elections: Clinton County Vote Fraud

Election fraud! It makes headlines, and it has many faces. When I was a young boy growing up in Clinton County near the Canadian border, I overheard stories from adults talking about election fraud in nearby towns. With a wink, it was mentioned that so-and-so, an annual candidate, would once again be standing by the door at the polls all day long to greet the electorate―that’s just how dedicated he was to representing the interests of locals. He was, it was said, “greeting” them with $5 bills.

I never forgot the image that placed in my head―votes for sale at five bucks a pop. Years later, when I neared voting age, I assumed those stories were exaggerations, but as it turned out, they were right on the money (an excellent choice of terms, as we’ll see). » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Shingle Shanty Paddling Suit Advances

The landowners suing Adirondack Explorer Editor Phil Brown for trespass say he’s just the latest in a long line of people who have tried to pry open closed waters for public use, and if he succeeds, they argue, he will weaken traditional standards of property rights.

In a legal memorandum filed in late September, Dennis Phillips, the attorney for the Friends of Thayer Lake and the Brandreth Park Association, asserts that Brown is carrying the flag for a small band of paddling fanatics, including members of the Sierra Club, who would open just about every stream in New York State to canoes and kayaks.
» Continue Reading.



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