Adirondacks of Hamilton County

Books, opinion and photos by Peter Klein


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Vampire book covers being updated

Posted by peteklein on April 17, 2014 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Pete Klein expects to publish a new vampire book either in late spring or early summer.

The novel will continue the story about Mary Hoffman, aka Eric, as she tries to solve the mistakes she made in her first year as a vampire.

In preparation for the new novel, Klein is updating the book covers for The Dancing Valkyrie and The Vampire Valkyrie.

The new covers will include the attached photo and make them more recognizable as vampire novels.

Also, as the publishing date nears, Klein will offer count down deals on Kindle.

For Amazon Prime customers, ebook editions may be borrowed

A new Adirondack Challenge to Governor Cuomo

Posted by peteklein on March 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Governor Andrew Cuomo,


What if there were a college, even just a two-year college, in Hamilton County?

This may sound absurd, but it was a possibility in 1990. What happened in 1990 was what didn't happen in 1990. To understand, look back to the mid-1980s.

Between 1982 and 1985 and, despite the restrictions in the Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan, sales of subdivided property tripled, and doubled again by 1988. This rapid growth (mostly of vacation homes), increased the price of real estate, encouraged the break-up of large land-holdings and the development of sensitive lakeshore areas, and threatened the region's distinctive open space and water quality.

This was the fear of many local environmental groups. In January of 1989, Gov. Mario Cuomo responded to these fears by establishing a Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century to examine problems growing out of the 1980s boom in Adirondack real estate.

The Commission was to report to the governor April 1, 1990. In the first months of that year the nation slid into a recession, and real estate values in the Northeast were particularly hard hit.

Release of the Commission's report was delayed through April and into May. Rumors of its contents surfaced in the press, and one commissioner, Robert Flack, sparked anxiety and anger among Adirondack Park residents by publishing a minority report emphasizing a handful of the report's most restrictive recommendations.

The release of the Commission's report May 5 was anti-climatic. People had made up their minds from the newspaper stories; few would take the time to actually read the report.

In May of 1992, the 100th Anniversary of the creation of the Adirondack Park, Cuomo proposed legislation based on the report. He recommended increased protection of undeveloped lakeshore and tax incentives to help preserve the backcountry.

He also included proposals to bolster the chronically depressed Adirondack economy and to make changes in the state's administration of the park. The Legislature, split between a Democratic Assembly and a Republican Senate, failed to agree on any of the proposals.

Such was and continues to be the nature of politics in New York State and the nation.


Two people who seldom agree about anything concerning the Adirondack Park do agree many things in the Commission's report would have been advantageous to those who opposed it.

Recent separate conversations with former Adirondack Park Agency Chairman John Collins and Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman William Farber saw them agreeing that while much of what local residents and governments objected to has come to pass, while little of what just about everyone would not have found objectionable has not materialized.

The main item local governments and many residents feared, and has been realized, is the growth in acreage owned by the state. In 1989, the state-owned forest preserve lands totaled about 2.3 million acres. Today, that figure stands at about 2.6 million acres and shows no signs of stopping.


So what was the baby thrown out back in 1992? A state college in Hamilton County.

The final report included the following recommendations.

"67. - An Agricultural and Technical College of the State University of New York should be established within the Park with a view to assuming the role of North Country Community College in order to provide the needed dormitories that are denied community colleges, to enrich the curricula beyond the means now available, and to more effectively support the work of the local schools and a parkwide BOCES.

"68. - the state should support creation of a college program focusing on the history, culture and economic resources of the Park, with emphasis on businesses compatible with the Park, such as forest management, tourism, Adirondack crafts, furniture making, etc. Such a program might be patterned after that conducted by Berea College in Kentucky."

Although the Commission's report did not specifically mention Hamilton County, John Sheehan of The Adirondack Council and Collins recollect talk at the time was suggesting the new college should be built in Hamilton County because it is the only county in the Adirondacks not directly serviced by either a two- or four-year college.

Students graduating high school in Hamilton County have no choice but to leave the county if they seek higher education. Even while in high school their school districts are pulled north, south, east and west if they want to take BOCES classes from one of the four BOCES districts with which local school districts are affiliated.

One might be forgiven for thinking Hamilton County, its residents and especially its students are the forgotten when it comes to the state educational system. This is now especially true while the local schools are under the gun when it comes to properly funding education.

The current situation would be a whole lot better if a college had been built and was now up and running.

A college in Hamilton County would spur growth beyond anything one can now hope for. If it had been built in Indian Lake, that town would still have a full service grocery store and, quite possibly, a drug store. Other possibilities are the county seat in Lake Pleasant and the hamlet of Raquette Lake, where SUNY Cortland already owns land.

No matter where it was built, the town it was built in and towns nearby would see the construction of hotels and motels to accommodate parents visiting their children. Housing would be built for teachers and staff. Because of the inevitable growth of year-round residents working at the college, enrollment in local school districts would grow. The tax base would grow.

Then was then and now is now, and now might be the time to initiate a new Adirondack Challenge to Albany legislators. Build a college in Hamilton County.

Maybe they would even send some of their children to college here, to experience the beauty of what they have so successfully preserved for future generations.



Peter Klein

Indian Lake, NY, 12842



Gun Control at Gun Shows

Posted by peteklein on March 15, 2013 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Stopping illegal gun sales

ALBANY--Following a statewide undercover investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced on Thursday, March 14, that his office has reached agreements with 23 gun show operators across the state to follow the "Model Gun Show Procedures" developed by the Attorney General's Office to promote uniform gun show operations across the state, including a rule that ensures all guns brought into the gun show by private sellers are tagged so that, upon exiting, the operator can determine if guns were sold and that a proper background check was performed.

These 23 operators oversee more than 50 currently scheduled shows and gun auctions in New York this year, which represents over 80% of the shows in the state. Five more operators are reviewing the procedures and are also expected to adopt them. The process is ongoing, with the goal of universal adoption of the procedures in the state by the end of this year.

“Gun violence is everyone's concern, and I’m proud that we’ve worked with gun show operators to create simple procedures to ensure that deadly weapons don't make it into the hands of felons, terrorists, the dangerously mentally ill, or anyone else who could not pass a background check,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “These procedures are unique to New York State and represent the first time law enforcement and gun show operators are working together to eliminate illegal gun sales. Since most people who operate and attend gun shows are law abiding citizens, my office has had nothing but positive responses to these new safety standards.”

The Model Procedures go beyond the requirements of the state’s Gun Show Law, including a process that ensures all guns brought into the gun show by private sellers are tagged so that, upon exiting, the operator can determine if guns were sold and that a proper background check was performed.

The development of the Model Procedures grew out of Attorney General Schneiderman’s 2011 investigation of gun shows around the state. This investigation uncovered the frequent occurrence of private sales without background checks. Following that discovery, the Attorney General's Office and several gun show operators worked together to develop the Model Procedures, which balance the rights of the sportsmen and gun collectors with the need to protect the public from the sale of guns to people who cannot pass a background check, also known as a "National Instant Criminal Background Check System" or "NICS.” The Model Procedures require operators to do the following:

- Post conspicuous signs throughout the shows, and give written notice to all dealers that New York State law requires that a National Instant Criminal Background Check be completed before the transfer of a gun at a gun show, including on the grounds of the show.

- Require that all guns brought into the gun show by private sellers are tagged so that, upon exiting, the operator can determine if the guns were sold and a NICS was performed.

- Provide access to a dealer who is authorized to conduct a NICS at cost.

- The dealer performing the NICS shall complete and file the ATF Form 4473 and maintain the forms for inspection by law enforcement agencies for ten years, per the Gun Show Law.

- Limit the number of access doors at the show so that sellers and buyers have to enter and exit through an area where the NICS procedures can be monitored.

- Use reasonable means to prevent illegal gun sales outside of the building, including the parking lot.

- Alert local law enforcement that a show will be held in their area, request periodic patrols in the parking lots to deter illegal sales, and call them if illegal sales are observed or suspected.

The 23 gun show operators are: Alabama Hunt Club, Inc., BLG Auction Services, Bontrager Real Estate and Auction Services, Clayton Rotary Club, Daniel A. Carter Auction Co., Inc., Empire State Arms Collectors Association, Inc., Goldfuss & Assoc., Hessney Auction Company, LTD, Mid Atlantic Arms Collectors, Mid-Hudson Promotions, Inc., Mid State Arms Collectors & Shooters Club, Inc., NEACA Inc., New York State Arms Collectors Association, Inc., Niagara Frontier Collectors, Inc, Niagara Frontier Gun Shows, Inc, Newmart Promotions, Inc., RG Mason Auction, Roy Teitsworth, Inc., TB Auction, Hunt Real Estate, York-Penn Shows, Inc., Westchester Collectors, Inc., West Potsdam Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. And Williston

Sexual Assault

Posted by peteklein on March 11, 2013 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)



There is a famous painting by Edvard Munch. You have probably seen it in a magazine or elsewhere. It is titled "The Scream" and shows a person with their hands covering their ears and their mouth wide open. Try to visualize this terrified person as you read ahead.

We who live in or visit Hamilton County like to think of the place as someplace far removed from many of the horrors of the world. That old Blue Line defining the borders of the Adirondack Park is often viewed as a wall that keeps economic development out but is often also seen as a wall that filters out much of the crime we see reported in newspapers and on TV. But think of this. Bad things do happen here and some of these bad things go unreported and never make the news.


Believe it or not, sexual assault, sexually bullying, sexual violence, call it what you will, does happen right here in Hamilton County.

Broadly speaking, Sexual Violence (SV) refers to sexual activity where consent is not obtained or freely given. Any man, woman or child can experience SV The perpetrators are usually someone known to the victim such as a friend, acquaintance, coworker, neighbor, caretaker, or family member.

SV may involve activities that don’t include physical contact between the victim and the perpetrator to those that are brutally violent. SV usually involves some kind of power differential, coercion, threat and/or outright force.

Some examples of the range of SV without physical contact are a sexual form of bullying and include verbal or visual sexual harassment, threats, intimidation and peeping to name only a few. These may occur in school, at work, in the street and online.

SV with physical contact can include unwanted touching, physical force, threat of death by a weapon, drugging, restraints, rape, torture and even murder.

Sexual Harassment is any repeated, unwelcome physical or verbal advance that is sexual in nature. It is a series of on-going, often daily, events that create a hostile environment for the victim. It can also be a one-time event that makes the victim feel threatened or demeaned sexually.

Any of the following behavior may be sexual harassment: leering, wedgies, pressure for dates, pressing or rubbing against a person, obscene phone calls, bra or towel snapping, wolf whistles, lip-smacking, indecent exposure, calling someone "gay" or "lezzie", displaying sexual materials, sexually explicit gestures, animal noises, sexist jokes, grabbing breasts or buttocks, comments about a person's body, flipping skirts or "pantsing" and soliciting sexual services.

Sexual harassment is not flirting. Flirting makes the recipient feel attractive, happy and flattered. Sexual Harassment makes the victim feel unattractive, demeaned, and scared. It is unwanted, one-sided, and illegal.

These are some of the hard, cold facts. Sexual violence and sexual harassment can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone at home, at work and at the beach. The opportunities to become a victim or become a perpetrator are endless.


All forms of sexual assault and violence can be seen as the silent scream for both the victim and the perpetrator. Silent for both because neither really wants to talk about it.

For the victim, they are embarrassed. They are afraid of what people might say about them. They are afraid they might have done something wrong. Maybe they might fear they will get someone in trouble, someone they don’t want to hurt.

If you think you or anyone can simply suck it up or laugh it off after becoming a victim of sexual abuse, you are only kidding yourself. This is what the perpetrator probably tried to do when they were the victim. Many perpetrators were victims one or more times themselves before they became a perpetrator.


Sexual harassment can be confusing. It helps to talk to someone. If you are being sexually harassed or you want to help someone who is experiencing sexual harassment, contact the Sexual Assault Support Services in your county.

In Hamilton County you can go to Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson (PPMH) at PPMH offers free and confidential help for sexual assault victims and their families. The Hotline number in Hamilton County is 1.866.307.4086.

Another source of online information is the Greater Adirondack Perinital Network at They provide links to Relationship/Partner Violence web pages such as the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault at

Whatever you do, don’t silently scream! Call someone. Talk. You are not alone.




Snowmobile crash takes two

Posted by peteklein on March 4, 2013 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Snowmobile crash takes two


INDIAN LAKE–Two snowmobilers were killed in a head-on collision on Indian Lake.

According to the NYS Police, the accident took place on Saturday, March 2, at approximately 7 p.m.

State Police members, New York State Forest Rangers, and members of the Indian Lake Volunteer Fire Department & Ambulance Corps responded to the scene on the lake approximately two miles south of the Indian Lake Marina located on Lake Shore Road (CR 9) in the town of Indian Lake.

Investigation revealed that Thomas R. Dykstra, age 59, of Suffern, was operating his 2009 Arctic Cat snowmobile on the frozen lake in a northerly direction and entered the path of a second snowmobile, a 2002 Polaris, operated by Paul A. Prill IV, age 51, of Schenectady, which was traveling in a southerly direction. A front end collision ensued and both men were ejected from their respective snowmobiles. Dykstra and Prill IV were transported to Nathan Littauer Hospital where Hamilton County Coroner Virginia Jennings pronounced both men deceased.

On March 3, autopsies were performed by Dr. Jung Lee and the cause of death for Dykstra and Prill IV was determined to be severe blunt force trauma. The manner of death was ruled to be accidental. The cause of the accident is under investigation. Alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor.

State police also reported a 47-year-old Herkimer County man was killed after his snowmobile went off a trail and crashed in the town of Ohio, about 60 miles northeast of Syracuse. Authorities said Scott Streeter was thrown from the sled and hit a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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