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Photo by Rod Miller

Note:  Last names of members have been abbreviated to insure their privacy.

August 26, 2017 Annual Dinner Meeting at the Star Lake Haven

Call to Order

The meeting of the Star Lake Protective Association was called to order at 6:00 pm by President Vito T. after a “meet and greet” cocktail hour at The Haven of Star Lake’s main lodge.

Vito welcomed everyone and introduced the 2017 officers.  Guests/speakers were also introduced: Tom and Veronica Russell from the Trout Lake Assn.; Eric Paul, Derrick Towne and Karen Allen, from Paul Smith’s Adirondack Watershed Institute; and Arlene and Mark Davis, from Cranberry Lake.  54 members and guests attended.   

Available Literature for members included the latest New York State Boaters’ Guide and a number of brochures about invasive species.  Star Lake Handbooks were also available for sale.   

Approval of Minutes  Copies were available for members’ inspection.  Richard R. made a motion; seconded by Karen R., to approve the minutes of the June 24, 2017 Regular Meeting as presented.  With no discussion, the motion was carried.

Treasurer’s Report  Chris C. gave the Treasurer’s Report.  Beginning balance as of 6/24/17 was $7,987.94.  Revenues were $520 from dues; $60 in contributions; $15 from the sale of Star Lake Handbooks; and $269 from the Poker Run.  Revenues totaled $864.00.  Payments included $204.49 reimbursement to Bo R. including $62.60 for a gift for Tess G.; $18.60 for meeting costs; $28.74 for name labels; $20 for two gift certificates for the poker run;  and $74.55 for three ads in the Bargain Hunter.  Total expenses were $1,010.11.  $100 was paid to Joe R. to sponsor the SOS 5-K walk/run t-shirts; $500 was donated to the Wilderness HealthCare Foundation; $50 in dues was paid to the Adirondack Lake Alliance (ALA); $100 was paid in a memorial donation to honor Jack Leffert, former SLPA officer; and $55.62 was paid to Daphne H. for June meeting refreshments.  The ending balance, as of August 26th, 2017 is $7,841.83. 

There were 61 members and 2 associate members to date, not including those who paid at the meeting.  Motion was made by Mike B., seconded by Deb B. to approve the treasurer’s report.  The motion was carried.

Tribute to Tess G.  Vito introduced Tess G., treasurer for 25 years, to the group.  He read the text of a certificate of appreciation and presented a gift basket to Tess in thanks for her many years of dedicated service to the SLPA.  A standing ovation for a surprised Tess followed.

Old Business

Social Committee Report  Vito thanked the social committee for making the dinner arrangements for this meeting and for their contributions throughout the year. 

Poker Run  Steve G. reported that the 13th Annual Poker Run, held August 5th (“Cinco de August”), was a success in spite of windy, cold weather.  There were 110 hands yielding $269 for the treasury before expenses.  Pam T. won first place with a flush.  As the weather was not so pleasant, threatening rain, there wasn’t much of a party on the sandbar.  Since Deb B. won the prize for decoration again, she had to pick the theme for next year’s poker run.  Deb said that the theme next year is ‘80’s movies.  Vito thanked Steve G., Chris C., Tess G., Bo R., as well as Marty R., Lenny & Linda G., Rovie H., Pat & Carol S., and Joe & Margie R., who manned the five card stations. 

Lake Clean-ups  Vito thanked those who participated in the road cleanup and the shoreline cleanup.  One more road cleanup will occur on September 6th.

New Business

Invasive Species Committee Richard R. and Hank M. introduced our guest speakers from Paul Smith’s Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) from Saranac Lake.  Hank said that since 1901, the SLPA’s mission has been to take good care of the lake.  We need to be aware of how to keep the lake clean and the people from Paul Smith’s are here to help us with that.  A slide presentation and discussion about invasive species in the Adirondacks followed introductions.  Derrick Towne is Regional Supervisor of the Cranberry-Long Lake Region of the AWI; Karen Allen is a watershed steward of the same region; and Eric Paul started as a watershed steward in Cranberry Lake and in 2016, became a Regional Director for the Southwest Region which includes Star Lake.  Watershed stewards’ responsibilities are to educate the public about aquatic invasive species, interact with the public at boat launches and help perform watercraft inspections to prevent the spread of invasive species.  For more info, go to http://www.adkwatershed.org/.  Highlights of their presentation follow.

·         AWI goal is to test every B. of water within the Park—water monitoring 50 streams and 90 lakes; Aquatic invasive species (AIS) management and surveillance of 120 lakes and AIS spread prevention via 76 boat wash/inspection stations.

·         Surveillance and dive teams collect invasives.  Tom Russell asked if they help lakes outside the park—Derrick said “yes, sometimes.”

·         65,000 watercrafts were inspected at boat wash stations this year with 1,100 decontaminations, over 3,000 AIS interceptions. They described the wash procedure and showed slides of contaminated boats.

·         It’s the law: no watercraft can be launched in NY without inspection for AIS and cleaning.

·         Why bother?  To prevent spread of AIS, control allows time to develop new methods and to protect pristine waters.

·         Adirondacks are comparatively clean—70% of lakes are AIS-free; only 12 AIS established in Adirondack region.  98 known lakes have AIS.  Invasion progresses from introduction to establishment to expansion to naturalization. Hopes are to prevent introduction.

·         AIS plants found (#of waters): Eurasian watermilfoil (60), variableleaf milfoil (43 incl. Cran. Lake), Curlyleaf pondweed (15), European frogbit (5), fanwort (4) and waterchestnut (3).  AIS animals: spiny waterflea (8), zebra mussel (2), and Asian clam (1 Lake George only).

·         Derrick passed around samples of waterfleas and waterchestnut. He discussed classification of species:  Native (indigenous), non-native (accidental intro from outside), invasive (non-native rapidly reproduces, displaces native species, causes ecological and economic damage), and nuisance (interferes with human activity).

·         Invasives lack predators, disease and parasites; are prolific reproducers by both seed and vegetative growth; colonize wide areas and can dominate area depriving light/nutrients. A question was raised:  where do they come from? —Boats, trailors, gear.  Problems follow the roadways—there is very little impact on deep woods areas of the Adirondacks.

·         Slides of invasive plants and animals were shown along with pictures of site contaminations.

·         Economic impact is great: $120 billion nationwide per year; $3.56 million spent by 88 organizations in the Adirondacks in 2014; reduces property values; and negatively impacts tourism.

·         Described Upper Chateaugay Lake’s cost of doing nothing.  Went from manageable but un-noticed infestation ($10,000/yr.) in 2002 to 30% reduction in usable area in 2006 ($2 million/yr.).

·         Star Lake decontamination station inspected 167 and washed 122 vessels. 50 came from Cranberry Lake, 12 from the Oswegatchie River, 7 from Fish Creek Ponds, 6 from the St. Lawrence River, 4 from the Erie Canal, and 1 from Cayuga Lake (29 from ?).  AIS found were: 1 curly-leaf pondweed, 9 Eurasian milfoil, 1 variable-leaf milfoil, 1 waterchestnut and 2 zebra mussels—these all were kept from introduction into our waters.  Chris W. asked about personal watercrafts—yes, they can spread AIS and are easy to launch.  Hank M. asked if they were stopping for inspections—not so much.  A question was raised about problems with the DEC carry-on launch site—we should contact the DEC directly.  Lake Bonaparte AIS problems were mentioned—there has been some progress there.  A question was raised about AIS’s effect on fishing—yes, fish population can be reduced by AIS spread.

·         A 2016 shoreline survey of Star Lake revealed no AIS, which is very good news for us.

·         Eric suggested things we can do for Star Lake:  Volunteer and collect baseline data for Star Lake (they will train us and provide volunteer uniforms, a tablet to collect data and will help us to analyze the data and assess our risk).  Eric suggested contacting land owners where boats can be launched to inform them of risks and suggest steps to take to minimize AIS exposure.  He suggested that we establish a “lake steward” to interact with the public.

·         Karen Allen spoke of her experiences as a lake steward at the Cranberry Lake boat launch. As a steward, she was able to have quick conversations with boaters and suggested that the boats be inspected for AIS.  She perceived her job as listening to boaters and being open with them in providing information about invasive species and how they are introduced.

Guest Speaker Arlene Davis  Richard R. introduced Arlene by stating that our interest in Star Lake is to educate and inform people around the lake.  He told the group of an instance where owners of the Haven restricted a non-inspected boat from launching at their property, as they had not had their boat inspected at the boat wash site.  Unfortunately, there was no one at the boat wash site; so, the guests did not launch at all.  It’s good that word is getting out and that the Haven owners are good “lake stewards.”

Arlene has represented the CLBC’s (Cranberry Lake Boat Club) Invasive Species Committee for 18 years.  She has done water sampling with ALAP (Adirondack Lake Assessment Program) in Cranberry Lake and has participated in shoreline surveys assisted and trained by APIPP (Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program).  Important points of Arlene’s presentation follow:

·         Arlene said that variable leaf milfoil, once considered native, has been found in Cranberry Lake, but has not posed much of a problem.

·         The prevention route is very important.  We are fortunate to have stewards at the boat launch and a boat wash station nearby.  The rapid response team is very good.

·         Cranberry Lake Boat Club’s goals include conducting shoreline surveys; but, with 79 miles of shoreline, it makes it difficult.  They have received grants (Damoth Foundation) for survey equipment and have purchased scopes and weed rakes.  They have made plant guides and maps available.  An annual survey of the lake’s shoreline is a goal, in order to stay ahead of the problem.  Getting people to embrace the AIS problem is important.

·         The CLBC is associated with the APIPP for training and support.  Arlene said that they are able to collect samples of suspicious plants in baggies and send them to APIPP for identification.  (note: The SLPA’s Pete and Margie Kress received training from the APIPP years ago and we conducted our own shoreline survey—no invasives found)

·         Arlene said that ALA (Adirondack Lake Associations) membership is important (note: SLPA is also a member)

·         Arlene has done ALAP water sampling for 18 years and coordinates with Mike and Marylou M. (who do Star Lake ALAP testing) to get samples to Saranac Lake for analysis.

Vito thanked Arlene for her important information.

Canadian Geese Problem  This nuisance has been discussed in past meetings.  Vito asked the group for a simple vote as to whether the SLPA should pursue legal solutions to ease the problem in the future.  The vast majority of the group supported further action.

2018 Proposed Calendar  Bo R. directed the group’s attention to the back of the agenda which contained suggested dates for next year.  He suggested that there are probably many people who are not in town the week before the 4th of July and Labor Day and are therefore not able to attend the two meetings.  Also, many members are not available during the week for cleanups.  Overwhelming input was in favor of keeping the meetings the week before the holidays and for having the cleanups during the week.  (Note: members coming to Star Lake for Labor Day weekend were not here to vote...)  Officers will review and set the dates.   

2018 Membership Dues  Chris C. indicated that the current level of dues at $20 for regular membership and $10 for associate membership is adequate and need not be changed.  A question was raised as to what the difference was between a regular member and an associate member.  Chris said that an associate member has no voting rights.  Bo R. commented that the by-laws define the two members: A regular member owns property on the lake and that there can be only one regular member per property, regardless of multiple tax numbers.  An associate member is anyone who does not own property on the lake; but has a special interest in the lake.  Associate members have all the rights of a regular member except voting rights.  Tom Russell said that on Trout Lake, they charge the same dues for regular and associate members.  A motion by Chris C., seconded by Marty R. to not change member dues was passed and dues shall remain at current levels.

Election of Officers for 2018  Steve G., our nominating committee, suggested a 2018 slate comprised of current 2017 officers of Vito T. for president; Daphne H. for vice president; Chris C. for treasurer and Bo R. for secretary.  He asked if there were any other nominations from the floor.  There were none, so Steve made the motion, seconded by Marty R., for the secretary to cast one ballot to elect the proposed slate of officers for 2018.  Motion to accept the slate as presented was carried.

Other Business  There was no further business.

Adjournment  Motion was made, seconded and carried to adjourn at 7:15 pm. 

The group enjoyed a great meal consisting of a tossed salad, beef brisket, garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables, followed by a delicious apple crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert.  After dinner, Vito thanked the staff of the Haven for their great service.  The group applauded the staff and left full of information and good food.

 

Respectfully submitted by Bo R., Secretary

Star Lake Protective Association.

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June 24, 2017 Regular Meeting at the Adirondack Exhibit Center

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order 10:10 am by Vito T., president.  President Vito thanked the social committee for the refreshments, supplied by Coffee Fever.  The officers were introduced.  Current officers are:  Vito T., president; Daphne H., vice-president; Chris C., treasurer; and Bo R., secretary.  Attendees introduced themselves. 21 were in attendance.

Good/Bad Wildlife Sightings:  Feets S. said that a loon had hatched eight days ago.  Vito said he saw a pair of common mergansers with four babies— a rarity as no one had recalled mergansers nesting on Star Lake. Deb B. spoke of bald eagle sightings; Jan M. saw a woodchuck; Mike S. said he saw seven loons on June 1st; Pam T. saw a monarch butterfly; and Daphne told the group about a black and white rabbit that had been frequenting the Scott’s Point area.

Literature Available:  Vito told members that copies of the current New York Boaters’ Guide and the Federal Requirements & Safety Tips for Recreational Boats were available for the taking. Literature from the APIPP (Adirondack Park Invasive Plants Program) and invasive species information were also on the table for the taking.      

Approval of Minutes:  Minutes to the August 27, 2016 meeting were available for discussion.  Mike M. suggested a minor change in the number of loons noted in the loon survey.  A motion was made by Debby B., seconded by John V., to approve the minutes as amended.  Motion was carried.  

Treasurer’s Report:  Chris C. gave the Treasurer’s Report:  Beginning balance was $8,456.75.  Receipts totaled $1,330.00, including $700 from dues, a $5 contribution and $625 from members for dinner at last August’s meeting.  Expenses totaled $1,798.81, including $1,072.64 to the Haven at Star Lake for dinners at last August’s meeting; $275 to Mary Lou M. to reimburse water testing costs; $150 ($75 each) to the Wilderness Health Foundation and the SOS in memory of member George Persson; School taxes paid were $74.03, land taxes were $107.14. $120.00 was paid to Bo R. for secretary’s meeting expenses ($15), spring mailing costs ($97.05) and the annual fee for anonymous domain registration ($7.95).  The ending balance was $7,987.94, which didn’t include dues received at the meeting.  Prior to June 24th, there were 31 paid members. 

Social Committee Report—Daphne thanked the social committee members (Pam T., Marty R., and Karen R.) for their efforts in planning and organizing the dinner and other events.  Daphne discussed 2017 SLPA events:

Dinner Meeting  Plans for the annual dinner meeting are almost finalized at the Haven at Star Lake once again this year on August 26th.  Watch the Bargain Hunter for details.   

Poker Run  On August 5th, people will register at the sandbar from noon to 1 pm as in the past.  They will travel by watercraft to all five designated stations and their hands will be determined later at the sandbar.  “Cinco de Agosto” will be this year’s theme.

Lake Road Cleanups Daphne passed around a sign-up sheet for the two cleanups which will be held on Wednesday, July 12th and Wednesday, September 6th.  Dates were changed to Wednesdays to avoid weekend conflicts.  Karen R. asked if we could change to another day of the week, as she cannot make it on Wednesdays.  Karen agreed to make calls to volunteers to set a different date for each cleanup.  We will meet at the school parking lot at 9 am sharp.  Daphne thanked those who signed up in the past. 

Lake Shore Cleanup  The shoreline cleanup last year yielded many cans, bottles, other debris and a tire.  This year, we will hold another lake shore cleanup, to be held Wednesday, August 16th.  Volunteers will meet at the sandbar at 1 pm where we will decide what shoreline areas each will cover.  A signup sheet was circulated.

Old Business

SLPA Website Update – Bo R. said that the SLPA web site at www.slpa.info has been up for over ten years, since March, 2007.  Bo reported that the 2017 username and password for the members’ area are in the agenda. The same username/password is used to view the web cam live.

Problems with DEC Carry-on Access  People are using the DEC site as their own private beach for swimming and partying.  Garbage, kids and foul language have been reported by neighbors to the DEC; offenders were gone before DEC officers arrived.  Discussion followed.  Mike M. spoke of garbage that they have picked up regularly and suggested that a “carry it in; carry it out” sign be placed at the sight.  Jan M. suggested that adjacent property lines be marked to set beach boundaries for the carry-on site.  Bo said he observed kids trespassing--jumping off a neighbor’s raft (told them to leave).  Dick R. wondered if placing signs would be construed as condoning improper usage.  Bo wondered if we even had a legal right to place signs, property owner and/or DEC permission should be sought.  Vito suggested that signage should include suggested use of the free boat wash, prior to launching carry-ons.  The best approach is for neighbors to continue to report abuse as it happens to the DEC or State Police (phone numbers are included on the agenda).  A motion was made by Mike M., seconded by Feets S., to place a homemade sign per discussion above, contingent upon DEC/Owner approval.  Motion was carried.

New Business

Nominating Committee  Vito asked Steve G. if he would seek nominations for the election of 2017 officers, to be held at the annual dinner meeting.  Steve agreed if the present officers agreed to run again for another year.  All agreed.  Others, of course, can seek nomination.

Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP)  Dick R., of the Invasive Species committee, said that they had not spent any of the approved 2016 budget and did not need additional funding.  Dick asked if there had been any feedback regarding the letter he and Hank M. had sent to lakefront owners in June.  Daphne H. pointed out that there were many watercrafts being launched by people using the lake and inspection and washing should be addressed.  Bo said that the logical follow-up to the letter should be contacting owners of properties where launching is possible and asking them to insist that boats be washed and clean prior to launch.  Chris C. said that the DEC should add to the signage at the carry-on site requiring the use of the free boat wash prior to launch.  

Adirondack Lake Alliance Membership  Dues are $50 per year.  Motion was made by Deb B.; seconded by Steve G. to continue our membership in the ALA.  Bo mentioned that they held a symposium once a year, in case anyone wished to attend and represent the SLPA.  There was no interest expressed.  Mike M. asked if we had considered membership in the Federation of Lake Associations, as they are headquartered in Lafayette where he lives.  We once were members, but severed our ties when we asked for some support several years ago and received none.

Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) Water Testing Results  Members were referred to Star Lake water quality test results summarized on the back of the agenda.  The full ALAP report can be found at on the ALAP site at http://www.adkwatershed.org/files/alap_2016_report_.pdf  (pp. 141-142). According to the report, the lake is in very good shape.  John V. questioned the level of salinity (salt from road runoff) reported.  Mike S. told the group that the levels reported were not concerning.  Mike M. gave a short presentation about procedures used to collect water samples three times per summer season.  The M.s have partnered with Arlene Davis, ALAP person from Cranberry Lake, to alternate taking samples to Paul Smith’s for analysis.  Mike said that Arlene might be a good guest speaker for the group, as an invasive species resource.  If interested, he would ask her to attend the August dinner meeting.  Karen R. suggested the group would pay for dinner for two, as was customary in the past.   

2017 Coliform Testing  In addition to ALAP testing, the M.s have, for the past four years, tested several sites around the lake for fecal coliform.  Mike said that they would test once again if the group was interested.  Bo noted that costs for testing have gone down; but the M.s’ travel expenses should be reimbursed.  A question was raised about results of past testing.  Bo said that he was remiss in not summarizing results and that he would put that info together for the August meeting.  Raised levels of coliforms were reported at the carry-on site (near the water pump house) and on the sandbar, where Canada geese collected in great numbers in the fall.  Retesting was done at the pump house and test results were not duplicated (a good thing).  Mike S. referred to the “240 standard” (240 coliforms per 100 ml sample) used to determine dangerous levels of coliforms in water.  Geese and coliforms led to a discussion about the goose problem.  Bo gave background info, how Sue Westbrook, former Town of Fine supervisor, suggested we enlist the aid of the DEC.  Bo said that even if we just located the nests in the springtime, we could oil the eggs and eliminate the families that stay on the lake all summer.  Joe R. and Daphne H. said they would help locate nests next spring.  Since testing is an annual program, John V. made a motion, seconded by Steve G. to approve up to $200 per year for future coliform testing to cover lab costs and sampling expenses delivering the samples to the lab.  This is in addition to ALAP testing expenses already approved.  The group agreed that this should be an annual expenditure as an on-going commitment and approved the motion. 

Wilderness Healthcare Foundation Steve G. requested the use of the SLPA database to help with the WHF fundraising efforts for the hospital, as it contained names and addresses of all those around the lake.  Bo suggested that names, addresses and tax map data were public information; but, e-mail addresses are more confidential in nature and should not be provided.  Motion was made by Steve G., seconded by Mike S. for the SLPA to approve the use of its data for the purpose of developing a databank for WHF fundraising efforts.  Motion was carried.  Feets S., seconded by Steve G., then made a motion for the SLPA to make a donation of $500 to the Wilderness Healthcare Foundation.  Pam T. spoke of the many activities of the WHF.  Motion was carried.

Trout Lake Association Collaboration  Vito said that he was contacted by an officer of the Trout Lake Association about possible interest in SLPA members going with them on a bus trip to Tupper Lake to tour their two local breweries, followed by a meal.  The trip is tentatively August 11th and more information with be forthcoming.  There seemed to be little interest in the trip.

Adirondack Exhibit Center Funding Request  Joe R. made a motion for the SLPA to once again support their 5K shirts with a $100 donation.  He said that individuals and camps can also get their name on the shirts for $25.  The SOS will donate $1 for each race entry to the Wilderness Healthcare Foundation.  The motion was seconded by Karen R., to donate $100 to the SOS to sponsor t-shirts for this year’s 5-K event.  Motion was carried.

Boating Safety Course  Joe R. reported that he and Chuck Yartz will again offer the course locally if there is interest.  No date has been established yet.  If interested, people should contact him at 315-848-5326.  Joe reviewed the laws pertaining to operation of motorized water craft in New York.  All jet ski operators must take the course.  Children must be at least 10 to operate a boat by themselves and at least 14 to operate a jet ski, assuming they have the boater safety certificate. Mike M. asked if the course included jet ski safety; Joe said “yes”.  The course can also now be taken on-line.  Information can be obtained from the SLPA web site (slpa.info) or you can go to the NYS boater safety site (https://www.boaterexam.com/usa/newyork/). 

Suggested Projects, Speakers, Topics  Deb B. suggested that we invite Arlene Davis to the August meeting to discuss invasives.  Mike M. suggested that we invite members of the Trout Lake Association to our meetings and perhaps we could send some members to attend one of theirs to collaborate.  Karen R. suggested that while not interested in beer, perhaps an alternative activity with the TLA might be to tour local wineries.  Pam T. said that the wellness committee is looking for members.  There will be a meeting in late July.  Contact Pam for more info at 315-848-3476.    

Other Business Steve G. spoke of the 13th annual poker run on August 5th.  He is looking for volunteers to shadow the planning and operation of the poker run this year so that eventually they will plan and run future poker runs.  Bo said that this is indicative of perhaps a larger problem in the SLPA.  A couple years ago, Mike and Mary Lou M. indicated that they would like to find replacement volunteers to do the water sampling.  Fortunately, they are still willing to do what they do.  Now, Steve is looking for help.  Bo said that people have no idea how much time and energy it takes to put on the poker run, and that Chris, Steve and Tess have done this tirelessly every year since the beginning, with no complaints.  Bo also commended Tess G. for her 25 years of service as treasurer (the group agreed and gave her a round of applauds).  Of 175 lake owners, only about 70 join the Association; only around 30 come to meetings; and only a very few members actually help to organize and run the Association.  We need many more people to do a little more so that a few people can do a little less—a problem in many groups.  Deb B. said that she would be willing to help with the Poker Run.

Another suggestion was made by Mike S.—he suggested that we create a tri-fold brochure that describes the SLPA, its purpose, activities, events, etc. for public relations purposes. 

Daphne H. noted that people drive too fast on Scott’s Point Road and need to slow down. 

Adjournment Motion was made to adjourn by Tess G.; seconded by Feets S.  Motion was carried and the meeting was adjourned at 11:38 am.

Respectfully submitted by Bo R., SLPA Secretary

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August 27, 2016 Annual Dinner Meeting at the Star Lake Haven

Call to Order

The meeting of the Star Lake Protective Association was called to order at 6:00 pm by President Vito T. after a cocktail hour at The Haven of Star Lake’s main lodge.

Vito welcomed members and guests.  Officers introduced themselves to the group.  40 members and guests attended.

Available Literature  Available for members was the latest New York State Boaters’ Guide.  A number of brochures about invasive species were available.  Star Lake Handbooks were also available for sale. 

Wildlife Sightings  Chris C. has seen prickly lettuce plants on Scott’s Point, had pictures and said that the weeds could be pulled before flowering to stop further infestation.  Mary Lou M. has researched the Canadian Geese problem; said that the DEC could be asked for help if the B. of water is used for drinking or for beach activities, which Star Lake is both.  She said that the Water District person and/or town supervisor could be asked to contact the DEC.  A (premature) discussion followed regarding the geese situation and what could be done about it. 

Approval of Minutes  Copies were available for member inspection.  Vito entertained a motion to approve the minutes.  John V. G. made a motion; seconded by Karen R., to approve the minutes of the June 25, 2016 Regular Meeting as presented.  There was no discussion; the motion was carried.

Treasurer’s Report  Tess G. gave the Treasurer’s Report.  Beginning balance as of 6/25/16 was $7,655.21.  Revenues were $790 from dues; $35 in donations from Denise B. (she donated her 3rd place poker run winnings); $5 from the sale of a Star Lake Handbook; and $354 from the Poker Run.  Revenues totaled $1,184.00.  Payments included $178.10 reimbursement to Bo R. including $12.95 for latex gloves for road cleanups; $48.60 for a gift for the M.s; $24.45 for meeting costs and $92.10 for four ads in the Bargain Hunter.  $100 was paid to Joe R. to sponsor the SOS 5-K walk/run t-shirts; and $104.36 was paid for June meeting refreshments.  Total expenses were $382.46.  The ending balance as of August 27th, 2016 is $8,456.75. 

John V. G. asked what we were doing with this money.  Mike M. pointed out that if, in the future, we need to deal with an invasive species situation, our balance would be a drop in the bucket.  Steve G. reminded the group of the tent caterpillar invasion a few years ago, when we hired experts for an egg population study.  We need to be prepared for problems larger than the ones we deal with now.  There were 69 members to date not including those who paid at the meeting.  Motion was made by Steve G., seconded by Karen R. to approve the treasurer’s report.  The motion was carried.

Old Business

Social Committee Report  Daphne H., SLPA vice president and co-chair of the social committee, commented on this year’s social events. Daphne thanked Marty R. for her efforts in making the dinner arrangements for this meeting.  She also thanked Steve G., Tess G. and Chris C. for their efforts each year organizing and running the poker run.

  • Lake Clean-ups  Daphne said we had one of two Lake Road cleanups.  She thanked the five other participants and said that more help was needed.  No one attended breakfast.

  • Lake Shore Cleanup  Steve G. and Chris C. were the only ones to show up on the sandbar.  They covered a large amount of shoreline looking for cans, bottles, and other debris.  Hopefully we can get more people involved in this worthy activity next year. 

  • Poker Run  Steve G. reported that the 12th Annual Poker Run, held August 6th, was a great success.  There were 121 hands (32 less than last year’s record high) yielding $354 for the treasury after $45 in expenses.  Steve S. won first place with a full house.  Third place winner Denise B. donated her $35 prize back to the SLPA.  A great party followed!  Marty R. pointed out that since Deb B. won the prize for raft decoration, she had to pick the theme for next year’s poker run.  Deb said that the theme next year is “Cinco de August”. Vito thanked Steve G., Chris C., Tess G., Bo R., and everyone else who helped to organize and run the poker run this year and in the past. 

Invasive Species Committee  Dick R. gave some background regarding the committee (of 2) that was formed as a result of the June, 2016 meeting.  He referred to a letter that he and Hank M. had composed with the intent to send it along with the spring mailing to all lakefront owners.  He asked for SLPA approval to send the letter and informed the group that there have been no sightings of invasive water plant species yet; but, the letter was to inform owners of the potential threat to the lake and to ask their cooperation regarding the launching of watercrafts in the lake.  Hank said that the letter is only a first step in an on-going effort to protect the lake environment.  Many lakes have become infested with Milfoil and other weeds and we need to stop it before it starts.  We need to educate/inform land owners of the threat. 

A discussion followed about the use of the word “require” in the letter.  Vito and Lenny G. felt that many in the community would not be open to our “requiring” that those who use their property to launch watercraft wash and inspect their vessel before launch.  Bo R. pointed out that that is the new law; that it is illegal to launch without inspecting (and cleaning) the boat, trailer, motor, gear, etc.  Daphne said that there were many boats from other lakes launched by her property with no inspection.  It was suggested that signage be placed where boats might be launched, including perhaps the Nice-n-Easy parking lot, where many boats gas up before launching.  Other suggestions included talking to people who rent their camps out, to ask for their cooperation.  Steve G. made a motion, seconded by Karen R., to authorize that the letter be sent, as is.  Motion was carried.

New Business

Guest Speaker Sue Westbrook, Town of Fine Supervisor  Sue said that things were generally “fine” in Fine.  She spoke highly of three new council members who have added their talents to the Board.  She said that the Town Board had unanimously agreed to accept the merger plans with the Town of Clifton. She commended the planning committee and DANC for doing a great job researching the proposed merger’s impact on the two towns.  The Clifton Board recently rejected the plan, effectively putting an end to the process for now.  The foot bridge project in Wanakena is going well, with its private funding campaign.  Sue praised the highway department with its three new employees and its supervisor, Tracy Typher, who was elected from within.  Regarding the Star Lake Water District project, Sue said that they are still looking for a viable water source, perhaps at the gravel pit on Lawrence Rd, owned by the Town.  The construction of water mains should begin in the spring of 2017.  She explained that water charges had to increase, in order to be eligible for various grants that support the project.  Vito thanked Sue for speaking to our group. 

National Loon Survey  Mike and Mary Lou M. have participated in a national loon survey coordinated by the Wilderness Society for the past several years. 

Mary Lou said that before she spoke of the survey, she wanted to share results so far of the State boat cleaning sites, per the discussion above regarding invasive species.  She said that from May 27 to August 14, 36,349 boats had been inspected State-wide; and 1,235 were found to harbor invasives which were detected and removed from boats, prior to launch.  715 boats carried Eurasian milfoil; 250 carried Curly-leaf pondweed; Zebra mussels hitch-hiked on 140 of the boats and 109 carried variable leaf Milfoil (recently found in Cranberry Lake).  Clearly, the boat wash sites are helping to protect our waters.

Since 2001, the Wilderness Society saw a need for a loon survey.  Now, 440 volunteers count loons on their waterways between 8 and 9 am on the specified date.  Data is collected and given to researchers.  There are over 2000 loons in the Adirondacks.  Mike said that they counted on Star Lake four adults and one chick in 2016 and three adults and two chicks in 2015.  For the year 2013, 85% of loons were adults; 13% were chicks and 2% were “immatures” or juveniles. Mike, at the end of the presentation, noted also that most recent sechi disk samples indicated water clarity to 21 feet—very clear, best results yet. 

Mike and Mary Lou have been sampling and testing Star Lake water in conjunction with ALAP (Adirondack Lake Assessment Program) since 2010.  In appreciation for their continued efforts and dedication, Vito presented a certificate of appreciation to the M.s and a framed Jeanne Lampson print of a loon and chick.  A hearty round of thankful applauds followed.

Canada Geese Problem  This discussion was a result of member Bob M.’s 8/20/16 e-mail to the SLPA:  “I bring to your attention that a large family of Canadian Geese in excess of 50 are migrating on the sandbar after dusk for several hours.  Please ask members and other boaters to not feed them or leave any food behind.  Perhaps DEC should be consulted on ways to eradicate these birds before we have a problem.  I bring to your attention that a Lake George beach is currently closed because of coliform bacteria, which is typically associated with fecal contamination that exceeds state health guidelines.  The source of the bacteria could be a combination of any birds and mammals that frequent the area, including but not limited to ducks, gulls, dogs, humans and other sources like septic tanks.  Another beach on Saratoga Lake was closed for two weeks in July because of E. coli, another bacteria associated with fecal contamination.  I bring this to your attention in hopes SLPA could take the matter under consideration and take steps now to eradicate these birds off the lake.” 

This problem is becoming more of a priority to the SLPA, not only from a health standpoint; but also, geese are a great nuisance, defecating on lawns around the lake, the school and the golf course and destroying vegetable gardens and blueberries.  Prior to five years ago, geese used to just pass through the area in the spring and fall.  Now, they are reproducing on the lake, causing far more damage to property and to the lake itself.  The SLPA tests for coliforms and will specifically test the sandbar again this year.  Sue Westbrook said that she would discuss the problem with Mark Hall, Water District Supervisor, who also has good connections with the Area 6 DEC people.  Geese, while federally protected, have outgrown their target population and are causing problems everywhere.  We will continue to monitor the problem and seek legal solutions.

2017 Proposed Calendar  No objections to the proposed dates were made, so, by motion of Pam T.; second by Mike B., the proposed dates listed on the agenda will stand for 2017.   

2017 Membership Dues  Tess G. indicated that the current level of dues at $20 for regular membership and $10 for associate membership is adequate for maintaining a healthy balance in the treasury and that they need not be changed.  A motion by Tess G., seconded by Steve G. to not change member dues was passed and dues shall remain at current levels.

Election of Officers for 2017  Steve G., as our de facto nominating committee of one, suggested a 2017 slate comprised of current 2016 officers of Vito T. for president; Daphne H. for vice president; and Bo R. for secretary.  Steve said that Tess G. had been treasurer since 1993 and would like to retire this year.  Steve spoke of Chris C.’s qualifications and nominated her for the position of treasurer.  He asked if there were any nominations from the floor.  There were none, so Steve made the motion, seconded by Karen R., for the secretary to cast one ballot to elect the proposed slate of officers for 2017.  Motion to accept the slate as presented was carried.  The group gave Tess a standing ovation for a job well-done and well-appreciated.

Other Business  There was no further business.

Adjournment  Motion was made and seconded to adjourn.  The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 pm.  Another great meal followed.  After dinner, Vito thanked the staff of the Haven for their great service.  The group applauded the staff.

Respectfully submitted by Bo R., Secretary, Star Lake Protective Association.

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June 25, 2016 Regular Meeting at the Adirondack Exhibit Center

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order 10:05 am by Vito T., president.  President Vito thanked the social committee for refreshments, supplied by Coffee Fever.  The officers were introduced.  Current officers are:  Vito T., president; Daphne H., vice-president; Tess G., treasurer; and Bo R., secretary.  Attendees introduced themselves.  21 were in attendance.

Good/Bad Wildlife Sightings:  Feets S. said there was a loon nest on a nearby island. Vito said he thought he saw a single baby loon off the nest, riding on a parent’s back.  Raymond C. said he taped 8 loons’ calls; and they respond to playbacks. 

Literature Available:  Vito told members that copies of the current New York Boaters’ Guide and the Federal Requirements & Safety Tips for Recreational Boats were available for the taking. Bo R. pointed out that he had acquired literature from the APIPP (Adirondack Park Invasive Plants Program); and invasive species information was also on the table for the taking.  Bo encouraged members to read and share the literature with other lake users.  Hank M. spoke of a lake he had recently visited that was invaded by milfoil—said it was a horrendous problem getting through the weeds with a boat.  A (premature) discussion followed about invasives and what can be done.  Bo said that it is a very important mission of the SLPA to protect the lake and its environment and suggested a standing Water Quality committee be created to oversee water testing and invasive species education and vigilance.  Richard R. and Hank M. volunteered.  It was suggested that the committee should have a budget to operate with, to reimburse members for travel expenses, etc.  Richard R. made a motion to authorize $300 for the committee.  Steve G. amended the motion, seconded by John B., to authorize up to $500 to reimburse committee expenses.  The motion was carried.  Discussion followed about what could be done about invasives.  Suggestions were made, such as Bargain Hunter ads seeking lake owner and public cooperation and signage at potential boat launch sites including the public carry-on site.  Vito brought the meeting back to the agenda and said that there was room for further discussion later in the agenda.    

Approval of Minutes:  Minutes to the August 29, 2015 meeting were available for discussion.  A motion was made by Debby B., seconded by Karen R., to approve the minutes of the August 29, 2015 annual meeting as presented.  Motion was carried.  

Treasurer’s Report:  Tess G. gave the Treasurer’s Report:  Beginning balance was $7,830.21.  Receipts totaled $1,440.00, including $670 from dues and $770 from members for dinner at last August’s meeting.  Expenses totaled $1,615.00, including $1,200.19 to the Haven at Star Lake for dinners at last August’s meeting; $131.75 to Mary A. to reimburse costs for the Regatta booklet; school taxes of $74.33, land taxes of $107.89; and $100.84 for secretary’s expenses ($15), spring mailing expenses ($77.89) and web site cost for anonymous domain registration ($7.95).  The ending balance was $7,655.21.  As of June 25th, there were 36 paid members. 

Social Committee Report—Vito thanked the social committee for their efforts in planning and organizing the dinner and other events.  The committee is comprised of Daphne H., Trudy C., Mary R., Pam T. and Karen R..  Daphne discussed 2016 SLPA events:

Dinner Meeting  Plans for the annual dinner meeting are almost finalized.  Daphne passed around pre-registration cards for the dinner, which will be at the Haven at Star Lake once again this year on August 27th.  Watch the Bargain Hunter for details.   

Poker Run August 6th   There was some discussion about changing the date; but, it was decided that changing it would cause more conflicts than leaving it the 6th.  People will register at the sandbar as in the past; their registration (per hand) will be verified by the stations and the hand will be determined later at the sandbar. 

Lake Road Cleanups Daphne passed around a sign-up sheet for the two cleanups which will be held on Wednesday, July 13th and Wednesday, September 7th.  Dates were changed to Wednesdays to avoid weekend conflicts.  We will meet at the school parking lot at 9 am sharp.  Vito thanked those who signed up in the past and noted that the SLPA bought breakfast after the cleanup for the volunteers. 

Lake Shore Cleanup  The shoreline cleanup last year yielded many cans, bottles, other debris and a tire.  Only four crafts divided up the shoreline—a rather small group of volunteers.  This year, we will hold another lake shore cleanup, to be held Wednesday, August 17th.  Volunteers will meet at the sandbar at 1 pm where we will decide what shoreline areas each will cover.  A signup sheet was circulated. (Secretary’s note: the same few people signed up again this year!)

Benson Mines Tour – Our “thanks” to George P., who will once again offer a tour of the old Benson Mines property and its recent commercial venture into crushed granite production.  Feets S. said he took the tour with George and it was very interesting. He recommends it to all.  The tour will begin at George’s gravel pit on Route 3, across from the post office at 10:00 am on July 16th (rain date July 17th).  A sign-up sheet was circulated.  Joe R. added that the Adirondack Exhibit Center is hosting a Railroad Open House at 1:30 on July 2nd.  George P. will be there to discuss the granite operation and the role the newly-renovated rail service will play in transporting crushed granite. 

Old Business

SLPA Website Update – Bo R. said that the SLPA web site at www.slpa.info has been up for over nine years, since March, 2007.  Bo reported that the 2016 username and password for the members’ area are in the agenda.  There was a question about when the username/password was needed.  Bo explained that it is only for the “members’ area” of the web site, in order to protect the privacy of members who had originally expressed concern.  There is a great deal of content available to those who go to the public area of the site.  Some members said that they access the site frequently, particularly during the winter months and like the pictures. 

Problems with DEC Carry-on Access  People are still abusing the DEC site.  Garbage, partying, and swimming have been observed by lake neighbors.  Sara W., owner of the old Lakeview property (which adjoins the carry-on site), said that they have had several padlocks cut off their gate and there has been considerable public use of their property and the boat launch site property as well.  Bo said that people should report abuse as it happens to the DEC or State Police (phone numbers are included on the agenda).

New Business

Nominating Committee  Vito asked Steve G. if he would seek nominations for the election of 2017 officers, to be held at the annual dinner meeting.  Steve agreed.

Need for Water Quality Committee  Bo R. pointed out (again) the need for our Association to be proactive and get involved with water testing and invasive species monitoring to “preserve and protect the lake” (see discussion above).

Water Testing Results  Bo spoke, in the absence of Mike and Mary Lou M., of Star Lake water quality test results summarized on the back of the agenda.  The full ALAP report can be found at on the ALAP site  http://www.protectadks.org/programs/lake-assessment-alap/ (follow link to “what lakes are assessed” and select “Star Lake”).  According to the report, the lake is in very good shape.

Bo reminded the group of the tireless, on-going contributions made by members Mike and Mary Lou, who have conducted water sampling for the Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) since 2010.  Water samples were taken three times each summer with sampling equipment reimbursed by the SLPA.  Samples were then taken to the lab at Paul S.’s in Saranac Lake for analysis.  In addition to ALAP testing, the M.s have also, for the past three years, tested for fecal coliform.  Bo noted that this is particularly of merit since the coliform water samples had to be transported to a lab within hours after the samples were taken.  While the SLPA has reimbursed the Mike and Mary Lou for ALAP and Coliform lab costs, traveling expenses have not been asked for or reimbursed and the time they donated is immeasurable.  Bo said that they had indicated that perhaps this summer might be the last year that they would do the water testing/sampling.  Bo asked who in the group would be willing to contribute so thanklessly.  Much discussion followed and the group commented with great appreciation for the M.s’ contribution to the lake.  A motion was made by Richard R., seconded by John B., for the secretary to send a note of appreciation to Mike and Mary Lou for their efforts, along with a $50 gift certificate.  Motion was carried.  Deb B. made a motion, seconded by John B., to add the $200 cost of coliform testing to the Water Quality committee budget as an on-going commitment.  Motion was carried, bringing the budget to $700 per year. 

Adirondack Exhibit Center Funding Request  Joe R. thanked the SLPA for having our meeting at the Adirondack Exhibit Center.  Joe asked that the SLPA once again support their 5K shirts with a $100 donation.  He said that individuals and camps can also get their name on the shirts for $25.  The SOS will donate part of the proceeds of the race to the local food pantry.  The SOS committee is funded by contributions and revenues from the 5K walk/run race, and the pie social, raffle and auction that follow the race.  Steve G. made a motion, seconded by Deb B., to donate $100 to the SOS to sponsor t-shirts for this year’s 5-K event.  Motion was carried.

Boating Safety Course  Joe R. reported that two people had signed up for the Boating Safety Course this year.  The course can now be taken on-line.  Information can be obtained from the SLPA web site or you can go to the NYS boater safety site.  Joe reviewed the laws pertaining to operation of motorized water craft in New York.  Joe said that New York State passed a new law whereby those born after May 1, 1996 (20 and younger) must have the 8-hour boaters’ safety course certificate in order to operate any motorized boat.  Those born before that date are grandfathered.  ALL jet ski operators must take the course.  Children must be at least 10 to operate a boat by themselves and at least 14 to operate a jet ski, assuming they have the boater safety certificate.

Suggested Projects, Speakers, Topics  Discussion followed.  Jan M. asked about the progress of the water district project.  Chris C. had gone to the Town meeting; said that test wells near the golf course have been unproductive so far.  Town officials said we are in an “invisible period” where there is a lot being accomplished behind the scenes.  It was agreed by the group to invite Mark Hall, former Town Supervisor and Water District supervisor, to the August meeting to speak of the progress of the project.  It was also suggested that Sue Westbrook, current Town of Fine Supervisor, and the C-F Hospital administrator might be good guest speakers in the future. 

Other Business - Raymond C. suggested Poker Run tee shirts.  Pam T. reminded the group of the C-F Hospital celebration on August 20th.  John B. told the group about the Hospital’s Weight Watchers program.  No action was taken.

Adjournment Motion was made to adjourn by Feets S.; seconded by Steve G..  Motion was carried and the meeting was adjourned at 11:27 am.

Respectfully submitted by Bo R., SLPA Secretary

June 1, 2016 Letter to Lake Owners Here is a link to the 2016 Spring Mailing letter to all Star Lake property owners.

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