Gov. Cuomo Defends Buffalo Beach Takeover

September 10, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s announcement last week that New York state is taking over Gallagher Beach and Buffalo’s Small Boat Harbor came within several years after some area parks were closed because of a budget crisis, the Buffalo News reported.

And two towns have taken over operations at two state parks, Woodlawn Beach in Hamburg and Joseph Davis in Lewiston. So how can the state take on a new park?

“It’s a question of priority. You don’t need to operate every park in the state,” Cuomo said Sunday morning in Orchard Park.

The governor was in town to mark the Buffalo Bills’ home opener, and the 10-year agreement keeping the Bills in town.

But he was asked about his announcement last week that the state will take over Gallagher Beach and the Small Boat Harbor, along with 130 acres on the outer harbor that the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has owned since the 1950s.

“Where our involvement is important, that’s where we want to be,” Cuomo said. “This outer harbor has sat undeveloped too long.”

Cuomo said other cities take advantage of their location on a waterfront, but Buffalo has not until recently. He said “we here in Buffalo” have been sitting next to the great asset of Lake Erie and doing nothing about it.

“I’ve driven by for years and just looked at the waterfront. Why don’t they develop the waterfront?” he said. “So we’re finally doing what we should have done years ago.”

N.Y. Delineates $17M Outdoor Rec Fundings

June 25, 2013 by · Comments Off on N.Y. Delineates $17M Outdoor Rec Fundings 

State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens visited the Wilson State Park campground in Woodstock, N.Y., Monday (June 24), spreading word that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced more than $17 million in outdoor recreation improvement projects this summer.

The projects, Martens said, will continue to improve state recreation areas on public lands, including campgrounds, day use areas, trails and boat launches, the Daily Freeman, Kingston, reported.

At Wilson State Park, state Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, and state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston, were on hand with local officials as Martens outlined plans to spend the $17 million from the state’s NY Works II and Environmental Protection funds.

“New York’s beautiful natural resources offer great outdoor experiences for individuals and families, whether it is a day trip, afternoon hike, swim, or overnight stay, “ said Martens. “Gov. Cuomo recognizes that outdoor recreation is a boon to local economies and improves the quality of life for New Yorkers. These projects will help to ensure that our outdoor recreation facilities are easily accessible and offer a multitude of activities for people of all ages.”

The state has earmarked $899,000 for the lower Hudson Valley Region, including $150,000 for improvements at Wilson State Park as well as other area campgrounds, like the Woodland Valley Campsite in Phoenicia ($40,000) and the North/South Lake Campground ($400,000) in the Greene County town of Hunter. Most of the work will focus on fixing roofs, parking lots and roads.

The rest of the money is spread out through eight other regions of the state, with the brunt — $11.3 million — going to the Eastern Adirondacks.

Click here to read the entire story.



Latest Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds

May 13, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds 


From NBC News, Columbus:

The dog park at Alum Creek State Park has been reopened for public use after being closed due to a report of the canine parvo virus.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), park personnel were alerted by a caller that a 7-week-old puppy brought to the park was diagnosed with the virus.

The virus can be life-threatening for puppies that have not received all of their shots.

ODNR says that adult dogs that have been properly vaccinated are at very low risk.

“We do not want to put any animal or person that comes to any of our Ohio State parks at danger, so the minute we found out about this, we took the necessary steps to make sure,” said Mark Bruce, of ODNR.

A veterinarian from the Ohio Department of Agriculture inspected the grounds and observed no indications that the park was contaminated with the virus.

The park area was thoroughly cleaned by park personnel, and as an extra precaution, was disinfected.

Anyone who visited the dog park in the last week is urged to contact their veterinarian with any concerns.

Symptoms to watch for include vomiting and diarrhea, experts said. Humans cannot contract the virus.


From the Asbury Park Press:

The federal Department of Interior has appropriated approximately $475 million to help repair damage from superstorm Sandy at national parks, refuges and historic places across the state.

The funding includes about $20 million for restoration projects at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Ocean County. The repairs will include reconstruction of roads, trail repairs and electrical improvements, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., announced May 10 in a news release.

“This specific funding through the Department of Interior will not only enable the restoration of public areas, facilities and roads, but it will also help re-energize local economies and reopen areas damaged by Sandy to visitors and recreational activities,” Smith said in the release. “This funding is another step toward a full recovery for our state. New Jersey is resilient and with a little help, we are rebuilding stronger.”

In addition to the parks, historic preserves and refuges, Smith said funding is also targeted specifically for the relocation and rebuilding of the department’s Ohmsett facility located on the installation’s land leading to Sandy Hook Bay and operated by Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.


From Your News Now, Albany:

Smokers will now have to put out their cigarettes in some locations if they want to enjoy the great outdoors in a New York state park.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state is expanding the number of smoke free areas at state parks, pools, historic sites and beaches.

The governor said residents should be able to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about pollution or secondhand smoke.

Since the new restrictions will vary from park to park, the state has posted a list of the new rules on its parks website.


From the Pueblo Chieftain:

School board members in Alamosa sold the former Polston Elementary School property Thursday (May 9) to an Alamosa man who hopes to develop the 38-acre site into an RV park and campgrounds.

In approving the $500,000 sale to David Russell, board members passed over a competing proposal to build a park and community produce garden that would have brought the district an extra $255,000 in sale price.

Board President Bill Van Gieson said after the meeting that the RV park proposal held the potential to return revenue to the district by increasing the tax base.

“In 10 years we’ll gain that back in just the property taxes,” he said.


From KFSN-TV, Fresno:

New emissions standards have now made many boats illegal to operate at state parks, and some boaters say it’s a bad move.

Starting Sunday, state park officials now have the power to cite boaters who violate the new emissions standards. The emissions standards mostly apply to 2-stroke outboard engines. Those engines burn a mixture of gasoline and oil, and if they are older than a 2001 model — they do not qualify.

A two-star sticker on the side of Xavier Torres’ boat engine means it is a low emissions engine — making it compliant with the bureau of reclamation’s new emissions standards. But Torres is still unhappy about the new rule. “I know a lot of people are trying to sell their jet skies, get rid off all that stuff. It’s really sad and unfortunate.”

Park rangers say the change is meant to have a positive impact on air quality across the state. “I think you’re going to see more lakes and parks going to these emissions standards. We’re trying to get clean air here in the Valley, we all know what that means for people with asthma and health problems,” said Sgt. Mark Deleon, California state parks.

“We do have enforcement options such as citations. However, we’re still trying to transition. This was enacted in the general plan back in 2010. We’re still trying to facilitate this process and let the public ease into this,” said Deleon.

Four-Stroke engines are not impacted by the new standards, and so far state park officials say no citations have been given out.


From The Associated Press:

South Carolina’s tourism industry has bounced back after the Great Recession with tourism spending reaching a record $16.5 billion, according to figures released last week by the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

“We’re pretty well back now,” said Duane Parrish, director of the state agency. The numbers released to the Associated Press show that, during 2011, tourism spending was up almost 10% and has surpassed the previous record $15 billion of 2008.

Click here to read the entire story.


Latest Briefs from RV Parks and Campgrounds

May 3, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs from RV Parks and Campgrounds 


From The Gadsen Times:

The Alabama legislature has paved the way for a new resort to be built on 29 acres of state-owned land at Gulf Shores State Park.

The bill allows Gov. Robert Bentley flexibility to work with a projects committee to decide the best way to build a major resort that would replace the state-owned lodge that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Before the bill was passed Thursday, the governor announced that $85.5 million of BP oil settlement funds will be used on the hotel development and other enhancements at Gulf State Park. Those funds are not part of the proposed BP oil spill lawsuit proceeds.

If the resort is built, the State Parks should realize an unspecified percentage of the income for their annual budget.


From WSYXTV, Columbus:

Authorities say a western Ohio man died after the riding mower he was operating apparently tipped over into a lake and trapped him. Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Chad Brown said 66-year-old David Swadener was pronounced dead at a Dayton hospital after the accident Wednesday(May 1) at a campground near Springfield.

Brown said no one knows how long Swadener was in the water. He was last seen at about 10 a.m. Wednesday on the Bass Lake Campground property. Three men discovered the mower, overturned in the water, just after 5 p.m. They hooked up a chain to a pick-up truck to flip the mower. Brown said Swadener lived at the 42-acre campground until recently and did odd jobs.


From WSYRTV, Syracuse:

Thousands of volunteers are expected to participate in this year’s “I Love My Park Day” on Saturday (May 4) — a day devoted to the clean up and beautification of state parks throughout New York.

This is the event’s second year, which has grown from just 40 participating parks and historic sites to 77.

1,000 volunteers have already pre-registered for the event, with more than 4,000 volunteers expected.


From The Deseret News:

Chevron’s pipeline that runs adjacent to I-15 at Willard Bay State Park has once again been idled, this time for failing a pressurization test.

The failure happened between Bear River and Ogden in a stress test conducted Monday under the supervision of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration.

Gareth Johnstone, a Chevron spokesman, said the standard operating pressure of the pipeline is 1,870 pounds per square inch and it failed at 2,606 pounds per square inch — or within 2.3% of the range where the pipeline would be expected to fail.

Still, the failure means more investigation for Chevron and more scrutiny for the 760-mile pipeline that runs from Salt Lake City and ultimately ends in Spokane, Wash.

Federal investigators believe a failure of the seam in a section of the pipeline caused a March 18 spill of an estimated 600 barrels of diesel fuel. The diesel saturated some wetlands, contaminated nearby groundwater and some trickled into Willard Bay.

Since then, the northern half of the bay and the state park’s north marina and campground have been closed, creating frustration for the Utah State Division of Parks and Recreation.

“We are coming up on the busiest part of the season and this is the third most visited park in our system,” said spokeswoman Deena Loyal. “It is a huge impact to us, our revenues, to have this park closed.”

Loyal said the park will remain closed through the Memorial Day weekend and the division is just taking it day by day after that.

The park is accepting reservations for June, but that also remains a flexible situation as well.

The agency noted that removing the water from the treatment area has dried up the beaver ponds, where six beavers have been rescued. The animals continue to recover at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah.


From the West Virginia Record Law Journal:

A Belle woman is suing Burdette Camping Center Inc. near Winfield for injuries she sustained from a runaway camper.

On June 16, 2011, Mary Ann Pritt was a business invitee on the defendant’s property when she went inside a camper to have a look around, according to a complaint filed April 12 in Putnam Circuit Court.

Pritt claims while she was touring the camper it began to roll across the parking lot.

Fearing the camper would roll over a hillside, Pritt ran to the front of the camper and jumped out the door, which caused her to sustain injuries, according to the suit.

Pritt claims Burdette owed a duty to her and the general public to act with reasonable care, so as to prevent the camper from moving while customers were inside.

The defendant breached its duty by permitting a hazardous condition to exist, by failing to warn customers of the hazardous condition and by failing to employ appropriate measures to ensure than such hazardous conditions would be remediated and not permitted to exist, according to the suit.

Pritt claims Burdette had actual and/or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and the unreasonable risk of harm it posed to invitees.

As a result of Burdette’s actions, Pritt incurred medical expenses; suffered pain and suffering; physical limitations; a diminished capacity to enjoy life; annoyance and inconvenience; lost wages; permanent impairment; and other consequences and damages, according to the suit.

Pritt is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest.


Cops Chide Cuomo for ‘Toy Soldier’ Hiring

April 18, 2013 by · Comments Off on Cops Chide Cuomo for ‘Toy Soldier’ Hiring 

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo

A plan to hire several dozen junior-grade Park Forest Rangers to supplement State Park Police this summer has sparked a turf battle, with the police union charging the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo with trying to hire “toy soldiers” in place of experienced officers, the Albany Times Union reported.

The move to hire largely seasonal Park Forest Rangers as police officers “will result in decreased public safety and increased liability to the state,” according to a letter that leaders of the Park Police union, the PBA of New York State, handed out to lawmakers.

Noting that the ranks of full-fledged park police have fallen to 200 statewide from 300 over the past five years, the union says the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Recreation is pursuing a stopgap measure when it should instead beef up the ranks.

According to the union, parks wants to hire about 40 rangers, provide them with a basic four-week peace officer training course and put them in busy downstate parks in the New York City area and Long Island.

None of the rangers are supposed to be deployed as police upstate, according to the letter.

The union points out that Park Forest Rangers have traditionally worked maintaining trails, running education programs and controlling fires. They have historically gotten full law enforcement training, which would include crowd control, dealing with gangs, making arrests or driving emergency vehicles.

They would be placed in parks with more urban problems, including gang activity and large disturbances.

The parks office maintains that using the rangers is an efficient way to help police the sites. And they note that they are training new officers for the first time in several years.

“(Park) Forest Rangers are part of a multifaceted solution to ensure state parks remain safe,” Parks spokesman Randy Simons said in an email.

Photo courtesy of John O’Nolan

“This includes holding the first park police academy in five years, which will graduate a new class of officers in May, expanding the use of state park forest rangers to support public safety as well as the assistance of 100-plus seasonal Public Safety Rangers,” he said. “The rangers are an efficient way to provide support to the permanent park police force in the peak season, when park visitation is at its highest.”

The protest is the first of its kind for the relatively new PBA of NYS, which comprises Park and SUNY campus police as well as Park Rangers and Department of Environmental Conservation police.

The new organization broke away from Council 82 in 2011, expressing unhappiness over contract talks with the governor’s office.


Latest Briefs from RV Parks & Campgrounds

April 10, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs from RV Parks & Campgrounds 


From The Boston Globe:

Supporters of a bill to require senior citizens to pay admission at New Hampshire state parks say the new fees could generate $300,000 a year, enough to operate four or five mid-sized parks.

But opponents contend it will drive low-income seniors away. The House Resources, Recreation, and Development Committee held a hearing Tuesday (April 9) on a bill that would require those age 65 and older to pay the same day-use fees as other adults, usually $4 or $5, or buy a season’s pass for $20.

Sen. Nancy Stiles, the bill’s sponsor, said that if New Hampshire is going to continue to require parks to operate on fees alone, it does not make sense to offer free admission to large groups.


From The Facts, Clute:

RV parks may be sprouting up around West Columbia  south of Houston like wildflowers due to the anticipated influx of workers for future industrial projects, but West Columbia officials won’t be allowing any new ones in city limits until they have an ordinance in place to regulate them.

“The city wants to look at what happens after the construction is over,” City Manager Debbie Sutherland said.



All Long Island state parks and beaches are expected to open by Memorial Day weekend.

Due to Superstorm Sandy, many of the parks suffered extensive damage to roads, landscaping and infrastructure while beaches experienced significant dune and beach erosion including the loss of natural and native vegetation.

More than 20 emergency contracts are currently in progress across Long Island on state park land as hundreds of workers are repairing, replanting and restoring the damage left by Sandy in an effort to meet the public’s needs in time for Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff to the summer season.

In 2012, more than 18 million people visited State Parks and beaches on Long Island. Last year, four state parks on Long Island ranked in the top 10 most visited in the entire 179 New York State Parks system (No. 2 Jones Beach State Park, No. 4 Robert Moses State Park, No. 6 Sunken Meadow State Park and No. 10 Heckscher State Park).

From The Buffalo News:

The court order that has halted work on the Maid of the Mist’s new storage facility in the Niagara Gorge was met with approval Tuesday (April 9) by a local preservation leader, who cited the historical significance of the old Schoellkopf Power Station.

“It was the first site for power generation in Niagara Falls,” said Tom Yots, executive director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. “It’s where we started generating electricity as a commodity in the community.”

U.S. operators of the Maid of the Mist boat tours want to use the site of the former Schoellkopf plant as its new docking and boat storage site, but its work has been halted by a temporary restraining order. Yots stopped short of endorsing the project pending further review of the site.

“As long as we first accommodate the Schoellkopf site, and if the project is determined to be a compatible use, then I think it’s good for everybody,” said Yots, former city historian for Niagara Falls and former chairman of the Niagara Falls Historic Preservation Commission.

The parcel is just north of the Rainbow Bridge in the lower Niagara River. It contains the ruins of the Schoellkopf hydroelectric plant, whose thunderous collapse in 1956 led to the construction of the Niagara Power Project. It has become the focus of a court battle between Maid of the Mist Corp. and the Niagara Preservation Coalition, which sought the court order.

Click here to read the entire story.




Report: College Cops to Patrol N.Y. State Parks

February 5, 2013 by · Comments Off on Report: College Cops to Patrol N.Y. State Parks 

A state efficiency commission will suggest considering the deployment of State University of New York police officers to state parks in the summer, according to a commission member.

The Schenectady Daily Gazette reported that Democratic Assemblyman Steve Englebright, who serves on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Spending and Government Efficiency Commission (SAGE), said in budget hearing on Monday (Feb. 4) that the commission will release a report this week proposing SUNY officers be redeployed in the summer. He said the shift of resources, which he supports, makes sense considering the policing needs of the state parks and the state colleges make the timing fit.

There is no information on the SAGE website about this proposal.

Englebright also said he was pleased with the commission’s recommendation not to merge the state’s parks department with the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.


New York State Parks Close for Winter Storm

November 8, 2012 by · Comments Off on New York State Parks Close for Winter Storm 

All state parks on Long Island were closed on Wednesday (Nov. 7) and again today due to a strong winter storm, according to a New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation advisory.

The following Long Island parks will remain closed Friday and until further notice due to health and safety issues from Hurricane Sandy, including dangerous storm debris, downed trees and power lines and loss of utilities:

  • Jones Beach
  • Robert Moses
  • Sunken Meadow
  • Captree
  • Caumsett
  • Connetquot
  • Planting Fields
  • Orient Beach
  • Valley Stream
  • Wildwood

Elsewhere in the state, Clay Pit Ponds were closed due to the winter storm.

The following facilities are closed until further notice due to Hurricane Sandy:

  • Riverbank, West Harlem — athletic field and track closed
  • Nyack Beach, Upper Nyack
  • Stony Point Battlefield Historic Site, Stony Point
  • Rockland Lake State Park Championship Golf Course, Congers

Additionally, visitors should also expect that services may be limited and roadways/trails impassable, bathrooms closed or certain areas off-limits due to cleanup and remaining dangerous conditions at all state parks in regions affected by Hurricane Sandy.


Western N.Y. State Parks Had ‘Banner Year’

October 16, 2012 by · Comments Off on Western N.Y. State Parks Had ‘Banner Year’ 

Early returns suggest the 2012 summer season was a busy one for recreational outlets operated by the state in Western New York, the Niagara Gazette reported.

During Monday’s (Oct. 15) meeting of the board of commissioners for the state parks western region, officials reported increases in attendance at area state parks, campgrounds and the golf course at Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island.

While the specific numbers are still being confirmed as part of the preparation of a final report, state parks deputy general manager Ron Peters said the initial figures show “across the board” increases, including what’s expected to be about a 3% jump in revenue and attendance at Niagara Falls State Park.

“We had an outstanding summer,” said Mark Thomas, director for the state parks Western Region.

Peters told commissioners the initial attendance numbers show increases of 7% in both visitation to the Cave of the Winds and use of the Niagara Scenic Trolley system. He said all three area campgrounds operated by the state in Western New York – Golden Hill near Albion, Four-Mile Creek in Youngstown and Evangola in Irving – were at or near 100% capacity most weekends this summer. He also reported what was described as an “uptick” in use of the Beaver Island golf course.

“It’s very, very good news,” Peters said.

State parks also experienced what marketing and media specialist Angela Berti described as a “banner year” in terms of Niagara Discovery Pass sales. The pass allows visitors to take in the Cave of the Winds, Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, Aquarium of Niagara, Niagara Adventure Theater and ride the Maid of the Mist for one price. Officials said state parks sold 160,000 Niagara Discovery Passes this year, which Peters said represents an increase in sales of about 15% from 2011.

Berti said more encouraging for state parks was the increase in online sales of the passes, which came in at a “record” high 32,000 in 2012.

Berti said western region state parks recently received word from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office that there will be no need to increase the cost of Niagara Discovery passes next year so they will remain $33 for adults and $26 for youth in 2013.

“People are buying a pass that more or less requires them to stay longer and that benefits the community,” Berti said.


The Latest RV Park and Campground Briefs

September 17, 2012 by · Comments Off on The Latest RV Park and Campground Briefs 



Santa Fe, New Mexico-based AllStays LLC will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the launch of their free “Camp and RV” military campground app. Designed to locate U.S. military campgrounds, FamCamps and RV Parks across the United States, even when you don’t have an Internet connection, the app has built a popular following even though it’s aimed at a fairly limited market. According to its creator Adam Longfellow, a passionate camper and RVer, the app “has had streaks where it has gotten hundreds of downloads a day.”

With a list of over 200 military campgrounds and extensive map filters that let you view only what you want to see – campgrounds, showers, playgrounds, laundries, etc. – the app (which is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad) provides users with a vast array of campground information from phone numbers, directions and rates to dump stations and available internet access. Longfellow – who provided the app as a thank you to current and former military personnel – used a subset of the data from his popular AllStays Camp and RV program to create the military app.

The free Camp and RV military campground app is designed to locate U.S. military campgrounds, FamCamps and RV parks across the United States.


From the Idaho Statesman, Boise:

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation says that reservations for 2013 stays in Idaho state parks will be accepted beginning 8 a.m., Oct. 3.

Those interested in utilizing the rolling nine-month reservation window need to be aware of fee changes affecting overnight stays within state parks beginning in 2013, and the savings options available, prior to making reservations.

Here are the changes:

  • All overnight guests will be required to pay the $5 per day, per vehicle state park motor vehicle entrance fee (MVEF) in addition to camping, cabin and yurt rental fees for stays beginning in January.
  • Idahoans can avoid this fee by purchasing the new Idaho State Parks Passport. Out of state visitors can avoid this fee by purchasing an MVEF Annual sticker.
  • The Idaho State Parks Passport is the new $10 annual sticker for Idahoans that will be available for purchase beginning Oct. 1 at the time you register your recreational vehicle (RV) or passenger vehicle, online, by mail-in renewal or at any county DMV office. The Idaho State Parks Passport is valid for either one or two years, and will expire concurrently with your vehicle registration. The Passport will save you the MVEF fee of $5 per day.
  • If you’ve already purchased your vehicle registration for this year, you can purchase an Idaho State Parks Passport by visiting your county DMV office.


From Vermont State Parks website:

Note: The following except is from a report from Maidstone State Park about the season’s activities:

It was definitely a summer to remember. A summer filled with ups and down, joys and frustrations and a whole lot of campground misadventures. Of the top of my head we had:

  • A camper drive a hatchet into his foot
  • Feces smeared all over the mirrors at our Day Use restroom.
  • Six police cruisers make their way into the park to expel a group of unruly and disrespectful campers.
  • 10-15 car batteries die.
  • and a bear steals steaks and a gallon of milk from a camper’s cooler.

On the upside, there were most certainly more positives than negatives. Except for a few minor snafus and set backs along the way, it was a great season. We had a great staff and overall, great park guests. We were paid many compliments in regards to how much the park has improved over the years. And new guests loved the park as well.


From the Saugerties Post Star:

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation has partnered with American Park Network to launch the official Oh, Ranger! NY State Parks, a free iPhone application (app) that gives visitors on-the-go the ability to access valuable park information.

This new app includes more than 200 state parks, historic sites, golf courses, campgrounds and nature centers with amenities, directions and links to important numbers and services.

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “This tool is a great use of technology and the perfect customer service enhancement. More and more of our 58 million visitors each year are utilizing smart phones, and this new app will provide accurate, up to date data to explore the outdoors. We are grateful to our partners atAmerican Park Network who developed this resource — at no cost to the taxpayers and free to the public to download.”

The Oh Ranger! NY State Parks app is designed to provide everything a visitor would need to become familiar with a property, including contact information, directions, amenities, maps and events. Information is updated regularly in partnership with state park officials. Users can search by zip code and desired activity to find locations near them to go hiking, camping, boating, birding, and discover historic sites, nature centers and more.

The app is initially available for iPhone and iPod touch (it works on an iPad too), with an Android version soon to follow. To download the Oh, Ranger! NY State Parks app, visit the iTunes App store at!-ny-state-parks/id548664594?mt=8, scan the QR code or go to

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call (518) 474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.



On Sept. 13, Disney Parks Blog announced that Be Our Guest Restaurant, scheduled to open in New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom Park this fall, will serve alcohol at dinner.

The new Walt Disney World restaurant will offer table service at dinner, which is the only time alcoholic beverages will be available. Guests may enjoy beer or wine with their dinner, but may not take beverages into the rest of Magic Kingdom.

The decision marks the first time alcohol will be available in Magic Kingdom during the park’s regular operating hours. The park has been dry since opening in 1971, a policy believed to reflect Walt Disney’s decision to keep Disneyland mostly alcohol-free. (The exclusive Club 33 is an exception.)

Disney Parks Blog emphasized that Be Our Guest Restaurants’s drink menu is part of the restaurant’s storytelling. It reflects the theme of the restaurant and its New Fantasyland location, both of which are inspired by Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” animated movie.


From a news release:

Real estate investment trust Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) stated on Sept. 14 that all shareholders of its 8.034 percent series A cumulative redeemable perpetual preferred stock will receive a redemption notice on Sept. 18 for all of those outstanding shares on Oct. 18.

The shares will be redeemed at $25 per share plus $.094846 in accumulated and unpaid distributions per share even if not declared, up to but not including the redemption date (aggregated redemption price) and thereafter distributions will cease to accrue.

Further, from and after the redemption date the only remaining rights of the shareholders will be to receive payment of the aggregate redemption price, the company said.

All of the Series A Preferred Stock being called for redemption are held of record by nominee of the Depositary Trust Company, Cede & Co., and accordingly those will be redeemed under the applicable procedures of DTC and queries relating to the notice of redemption and related materials should be directed to American Stock Transfer & Trust Company LLC, the company’s transfer agent and the paying agent.


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