Posts Tagged ‘Hamilton County’

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.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Invasive Insects: Checking The Trees for Invaders

Surveying trees for signs and symptoms of invasive insects.Back in November, Tom Colarusso of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service asked me if I would like to join forces to organize and host an invasive insect forest survey workshop.

I thought this was an excellent idea. I whipped-up some posters and sent some promotional emails.  Fourteen concerned land owners and agency professionals came from as far away as Albany and Ray Brook for the workshop held at the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s office in Lake Pleasant.
» 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.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

OSI Acquires Historic Marion River Carry Property

For more than a century, paddlers traveling between Utowana and Raquette lakes have used a trail known as the Marion River Carry — a portage around rapids in the Marion River. In recent years that access has been threatened after the owner announced plans to build several homes along Utowana Lake.

A fierce opposition to development near the carry was raised by local residents and outdoor enthusiasts and today the Open Space Institute (OSI) has announced that it has acquired 295 acres surrounding the Marion Carry. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Adirondack Family Activities: Long Lake Ice Carving

Ice Sculptor Stan Kolonko will be in Long Lake for the second year as part of the Long Lake/Raquette Lake Ice Fest January 11-12 and bringing a special brand of art to area businesses.

According to Long Lake Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Alexandra Roalsvig, Stan Kolonko is providing just one part to the many activities over the course of the two-day event. » 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.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities:
‘Zip Code Meets Date’ in Blue Mt Lake

I have been part of two recent Adirondack events where one of the most popular activities was the commemorative pictorial post office cancellation. During the Lake Clear Depot Centennial and Adirondack Kids Day, people were lined up to have a piece of mail with first class postage canceled by means of a special rubber stamp.  I’ve always been interested in stamp collecting, but had never heard about this phenomenon.

Special hand-stamped postal cancellations are created about 60 days before a specific event. The original artwork varies and usually honors a specific event such as the Great Camp Sagamore Centennial in 1997.

According to Blue Mountain Lake Postmaster Liz Forsell the possibility of having a “Zip Code meets Date” pictorial cancellation is quite rare. She was able to create two events for her post office, January 28, 2012 and the upcoming December 8, 2012, where the two dates both match Blue Mountain Lake’s zip code of 12812.
» 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.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities:
Christmas in the Central Adirondacks

If I wasn’t already being inundated by Christmas songs and flashing holiday decorations, I would find it difficult to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I usually have all my holiday shopping finished by now. This year I will be hitting the stores with the masses, looking for those perfect gifts. Though my children are just as partial to video games as the next group of kids, I do try to encourage a handmade Christmas. Around various areas of the Adirondacks local stores and businesses have their own version of Black Friday with a handmade touch.

Indian Lake is celebrating their 15th annual Country Christmas Tour while Inlet and Old Forge hosts an Adirondack Christmas on Main Street. These local businesses support local artisans and make gift giving unique and easy. Each location is also hosting holiday workshops for children to be able to take time and make a homemade craft. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Invasives: An Asian Longhorned Beetle Scare

I remember sifting through my work emails on a morning in June when my eyes popped to the subject, “Possible invasive Asian longhorned beetle spotted.”

The email was sent from Kavya Pradhan, the summer intern at the Irondequoit Inn in Piseco, NY who I had the pleasure of meeting earlier that week.  As a college student, Kavya is interested in invasive species, and scheduled a meeting with Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District staff to discuss partnership opportunities.  I assembled a packet of invasive species educational materials for her. » Continue Reading.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Judge Rules Against Rafting Company

Blue Ledge on Hudson River GorgeA State Supreme Court judge ruled today that Hudson River Rafting Company cannot operate until a final decision is made in a lawsuit filed against the company by the state attorney general’s office.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Hudson River Rafting and its owner, Patrick Cunningham, a few weeks after one of its clients drowned in the Indian River. He accuses the company of running unsafe whitewater excursions, sometimes sending customers on trips without licensed guides or with no guides at all. Click here to read the account of one unhappy customer. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Man’s Experience with Hudson River Rafting Company

Tomorrow there will be a hearing in Hamilton County Supreme Court (convening in Fulton County, in Johnstown) as the New York State Attorney General’s Office seeks a formal court order requiring Hudson River Rafting Company to cease operations until a list of safety concerns can be addressed.

As one of the company’s guides remains jailed on a charge of criminally negligent homicide in the death of a customer who drowned last month, Hudson River Rafting Company and its owner Patrick Cunningham also face a Hamilton County District Attorney motion to reinstate two 2010 charges of reckless endangerment. The DA argues that Cunningham violated the terms of a dismissal agreement by sending passengers down the wilderness whitewater of the upper Hudson River this summer in unguided boats.

Following are verbatim excerpts from one affidavit, an account by Richard Belson, from Pennsylvania, who says Hudson River Rafting Company launched him and a friend in an unguided inflatable kayak even though they had no paddling experience. To read the full affidavit, click here.
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DA Seeks To Reinstate Charges Against Cunningham

The owner of a rafting company in the spotlight after a drowning last week is accused of violating a court agreement stemming from criminal charges lodged two years ago, according to court papers.

Patrick J. Cunningham, the owner of the Hudson River Rafting Company, was indicted in November 2010 on misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment.

In one count, Cunningham was accused of sending two customers downriver in an inflatable kayak even though they lacked kayak and whitewater experience. Free-lance writer Mary Thill reported last year that the customers capsized in the second rapid and then hitched a ride in an overloaded raft, which also flipped. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Adirondack Kids Day in Inlet

There are a lot of events and activities around the Adirondack Park, but The Adirondack Kids father and son co-authors Gary and Justin VanRiper wanted to make one event a family affair. Along with wife, mother and The Adirondack Kids’ book illustrator Carol VanRiper, the family worked together to plan the first annual Adirondack Kids Day for Saturday, October 6, 2012 as a celebration of children’s authors, illustrators and activities. This event will take place in Inlet from 10 am – 5 pm with over 20 authors and illustrators as well as workshops with a focus on family-friendly experiences.

“The idea for an Adirondack Kids Day evolved from conversations with Reggie Chambers at the Adirondack Reader, the Inlet Information Center, Kiwanis of the Central Adirondacks   and many other area businesses,” says Gary. “We choose Inlet for the event because this is where the Adirondack Kids characters were born. We always receive so much feedback from readers that either want to visit the settings for our books or have followed the places in the books to create their own adventures. Having the event in Inlet seems a natural place to help children, parents or grandparents discover more about the Adirondack Park.” » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Rafting Guide Arrested in Drowning

A woman drowned on a rafting trip in the Adirondacks yesterday morning, and State Police say her guide was intoxicated.

Rory F. Fay of North Creek, a guide for Hudson River Rafting Company, faces a charge of criminally negligent homicide, a felony, according to state troopers.

Fay was guiding two clients from Columbus, Ohio—Richard J. Clar, 53, and Tamara F. Blake, also 53—on a trip down the Indian and Hudson rivers. Before they made it to the Hudson, Blake and Fay were ejected from the raft, police say. Clar stayed in the raft and steered it to shore. » Continue Reading.