Lake Irksome Issues

Loon Lake is meant to be enjoyed, however, we ask all residents and visitors to realize that a lot of residents live here every day, 365 days a year. Loon Lake is NOT a resort community like Cancun, Mexico! Residents have jobs, children, pets etc. and have to get up early for work, daycare, pet care, medical appointments…the list goes on. We are not all on vacation; we are living our DAILY LIVES.

If you rent your Loon Lake property or if you are a renter or guest to our area or if you are a cottage owner and resident of Loon Lake, please take the time to read the following list of Irksome Issues. The points listed below were contributed by Loon Lake residents.

  1. New York State requires a boater’s license for anyone 14 years old and up. Younger children should NOT be driving a boat or jet ski. https://parks.ny.gov/boating/education.aspx
  2. New York State requires boat registration. https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/register-boat Jet skis also require registration!
  3. Loon Lake has a no wake zone of 100 feet from shore. Jet skis should follow that distance as well! Jet skis have been seen flying into our various coves at high speeds very, very close to shore and swimmers. Jet skis have been seen playing tag/racing with each other. We have video! Many feel it is just a matter of time before someone gets injured or worse. Please review boater safety with your family members as well as your short term renters! Please keep an eye on your teen jet ski operators.
  4. Loon Lake has a proud history and culture of fishing. (The Loon Lake Association has had a well funded fish fund for years!) Please do not be rude to the fishermen by racing around their canoes or boats on jet skis.
  5. Bonfires or campfires are never to be left unattended. Our cottages are very close together in spots. One spark (even from a cigarette) can start a fire that will burn down one or more cottages. Drown your fire before leaving the property or retiring inside for the night; do not leave any live fire unattended.
  6. Keep the noise down! Late night parties and loud music interfere with residents’ daily lives and responsibilities. Again for those in the back: Loon Lake is NOT a resort community. We expect the July 4th holiday to be noisy with fireworks. (We even pay for a fireworks display on the 4th.) However, private fireworks on any other evening is disruptive and rude. Please be considerate.
  7. Please keep your speed down while driving. Many of us walk on our narrow, curvy roads. Children ride bikes and scooters. Dog walkers are numerous. Strollers abound. PLEASE keep your speed down.
  8. Please do not wash your dog(s) or shave your human legs and other body parts in the lake. Don’t empty your half filled beer or soda cans into the lake. Don’t dispose of your cigarettes in the lake. We can see you!
  9. Pick up after your dog(s). The Town of Wayland has a leash law as well.
  10. Please do not burn your garbage (plastic, etc.) in your fire pit or barrel. It is against New York State law.https://cceschuyler.org/resources/new-york-state-open-burning-laws We do not want to inhale toxic fumes. If you have renters, you should be providing garbage receptacles or the like. You can report polluters by calling the DEC hotline at 1-844-332-3267.
  11. Please inform your guests and/or short term renters where they should park their cars. Many residents report their own parking spots being used by others. If you are expecting a large crowd, make sure you consider where your guests will park. Blocking the road(s) is not an option.

The Loon Lake Association has no power to regulate what homeowners do. If you have a problem with a neighbor, please speak directly to them about it. Have a problem with a short term renter? Speak to the cottage owner about it. Do you have the phone numbers of your neighbors?

As listed in the Annual Loon Lake Association Directory, the New York State Police in Wayland can be reached at 585-728-2200. The Steuben County Sheriff in Bath, New York can be reached at 800-252-0820. 911 is the number for all immediate emergencies. The Town of Wayland website can be found at http://www.townofwayland.org You can find elected officials’ contact information there.

If you would like to add anything to the Irksome Issues list, please email loonlake14826@yahoo.com You just can’t make this stuff up.

~Maryalice Kilbourne 9/22

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Full article on Ticks

Tick Talk—It’s Just a Matter of Time

Lyme Disease is caused by the transmission of a bacteria called Borellia burgdorferi from a bite from an infected black legged tick, also known as a deer tick. Lyme can also be transmitted by the Western black legged tick, found predominantly in California, Oregon and Washington State. The tick must be attached for at least 24 hours before transmission can occur. While most cases of transmission occur after 36 hours of attachment, it can take up to 72 hours for a tick to transmit the bacteria responsible for Lyme Disease.

In contrast to Lyme, another tick-borne disease, Powassan virus (POWV) which causes encephalitis and meningitis, can be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes. Although rare, cases have been increasing in northeastern states, including New York, and those in the Great Lakes region. It is not within the scope of this article to discuss POWV. More information can be obtained at https://www.cdc.gov/powassan/faqs.html#what-is.

The incidence of Lyme Disease in the United States has more than doubled over the last two decades and continues to rise as ticks spread throughout New York State and migrate further west. Ninety five percent of U.S. cases are reported from fifteen states in the Northeast and the District of Columbia, New York among them. Although Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the U.S., Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, Tularemia, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis are also carried by ticks.

The size of the tick depends upon their life stage and varies accordingly, from the size of a grain of sand (larva) to the size of an apple seed (adult). The nymph and the adult female are the usual culprits of spreading disease. Whereas transmission can occur anytime during the year, the months of June and July are the most threatening months for disease transmission by the nymph. The adult tick is more likely to infect during the cooler months and is more easily detected on the human body due to its larger size.

From left to right: larva, nymph, adult male, adult female placed on a dime for reference of relative size

Ticks do not fall from trees, they do not fly or jump. Ticks possess eight legs that they use for “questing”. Strategically positioning themselves on commonly used paths, ticks sense body heat, moisture and odors and simply climb onto the body and latch on.

Its back legs attach to the tips of grasses or shrubs and lie in wait, while the front legs extend outward waiting for an animal or human to brush up against them.

Ticks usually wander from the site of attachment up higher on the body where wild or domesticated animals find it difficult to swat them off. In humans, they settle in several common locations where the skin is thinner which facilitates puncture. In and around the hair and ears, under the arms, inside the belly button, around the waist, between the legs and in back of the knees are favorite hideouts where ticks can remain unnoticed, especially if they are in the smaller nymph stage of development—the size of a poppy seed or the tip of a new crayon. After puncturing the skin, they insert a feeding tube from their mouths. Barbs on the feeding tube and secretions of saliva which contain a cement-like substance assures a firm attachment. The saliva also contains an anesthetic which prevents the host from feeling the presence of the tick. Typically, tick bites do not itch or cause pain.

The tick requires a new host from which to acquire a blood meal during each of the four stages of its lives in order to survive. As the tick feeds and becomes engorged on the blood of the host, small amounts of the tick’s saliva enter the host and pass on a pathogen if the tick is infected. Estimates vary on the percentage of ticks that are reported to be infected. Some sources state that only 33% of ticks are infected, while other estimates range from less than 1% to up to 50%, depending on the geographic location of the tick.

Awareness and timeliness is the key. Ticks can be found in your own backyard and hang out in dead leaves, tall grass, shrubs, wooded trees and shaded vegetation. They don’t like short grass in open sun. There are many reasons for the annual increase of tick bites and Lyme Disease, including range expansion and increasing numbers of ticks. With climate change causing mild winters and early springs, we’ve given ticks the gift of time. Take it back! Do a thorough body check after you’ve been outside. Rather than wait to see a medical professional for removal, immediately remove the tick yourself and then seek medical care.

To remove a tick, use a fine tipped tweezers and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull straight upward with steady even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick. Wash the area with soap and water or alcohol. Then wash your hands. Safely bring the tick with you to the Emergency Department or to your medical provider’s office so that it can be identified. Your provider will ask you a number of questions including where the tick bite occurred, when it was removed, and whether the tick was flat or engorged with blood. Determination will be made as to whether the bite was from a black legged tick and whether doxycycline is appropriate and safe for you to take. There are a number of considerations to be made before a decision is made to treat prophylactically.

Prophylaxis after exposure to a tick bite and treatment for a diagnosed infection of Lyme Disease are two separate processes.

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) with preventative antibiotics has only been shown to be effective against Lyme Disease and only if administered shortly after removal. Since most tick bites are not infectious, routine PEP is not recommended. Current clinical guidelines recommend preventing Lyme with a one time dose of doxycycline.

Treatment for Lyme Disease can be prescribed if a positive diagnosis is determined. Regardless of prophylaxis or treatment, return to your provider if fever, rash or malaise (discomfort, unease) occurs within days or a month after a bite. The most common manifestation of a tick bite is a rash (sometimes in the form of a “bull’s eye”) in the first month after a bite, but about half of those with early disseminated Lyme Disease do not have a rash or don’t recall being bitten.

Perhaps it should be noted that there is controversy regarding the prophylaxis and treatment of Lyme Disease. Some “Lyme literate” physicians contend that the 2020 Clinical Practice Guidelines adopted by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, American Academy of Neurology, and American College of Rheumatology for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Lyme Disease may be inadequate. It should also be noted that the decision to provide unnecessary prophylaxis has much to do with antibiotic resistance, adverse drug reactions and an increase in healthcare costs.

Furthermore, despite treatment with a 2-4 week course of antibiotics for an infection which cures most cases of Lyme disease, some patients can develop Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome which can cause pain, fatigue or difficulty thinking that lasts more than 6 months. Neurological and arthritic complications can also occur. Continued antibiotic treatment is not indicated and poses serious health risks in these cases.

A vaccine for Lyme Disease is not currently available. In 2002, LYMERix®, a previous vaccine for Lyme disease, was taken off the market by the manufacturer due to a lack of consumer interest. A new vaccine, VLA15, is in Phase 3 clinical (human) trials of study. In addition, a monoclonal antibody injection is scheduled to begin human trials soon which would provide seasonal prophylaxis annually against Lyme disease.

Avoiding tick habitat, staying on a central mowed path, performing daily tick checks, bathing within two hours of being outdoors, washing clothes after coming indoors in hot water or drying them on high heat for ten minutes, using EPA recommended insect repellants and managing one’s yard will serve you well to prevent tick bites.

Identifying an insect repellant that is appropriate for your needs is easy with a tool provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), available at https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you. In addition, permethrin-factory treated clothing is available on-line which is ideal for camping. Permethrin spray is also available for treating clothing and shoes but should never be used on the body. DEET in a concentration of no greater than 25%, Picardin, IR 3535 and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus are safe alternatives for topical application. Consult the EPA tool for products available under proprietary names for purchase at stores or on-line.

There are a number of helpful images available on the CDC website regarding how to remove ticks, where to conduct tick checks on the body, an image of ticks on a poppy seed muffin for size comparison, as well as many others available at https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/gallery/.

In summary, if you have encountered a tick, don’t panic! Simply being aware of the facts buys you plenty of time to prevent an infection of Lyme Disease. Be informed. Know how to prevent and take action if you get bit. Be prepared. Have a fine tipped tweezers available in a first aid kit in your cottage. Above all, continue to safely enjoy the outdoors and the multitude gifts nature has to offer!

Karen Spinelli Davidson, PharmD

References Available Upon Request

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July 4 Boat Parade

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Updated 8/13/22 Wind Turbine site bike trip

On 7/27 I met up with a guy over at the gravel pit who drives the pick-up at the back of the trailer carrying the blade or other component for the wind turbines. He was a wealth of information. He actually steers the back wheels of the trailer to make the turns. He said there are 4 tower sections and that the blades attach to the nacelle which attaches to the hub. From the numbers he gave me, whole assembly weighs about 350 tons. Whoops, forgot to add the weight of 3 blades which is an additional 200 + tons, bringing the total to over 550 tons!

I decided to check out the wind turbine construction off New Galen road today.  Two turbines are planned at the top of a new road they built off of New Galen.  I biked up that new road which was very bumpy and difficult to bike.   It looks as if they have all of the parts for the two turbines at the site.  I took a few photos showing everything.  I thought it would be too dangerous to bike down the gravel road, so I walked the bike down.  I had to zig-zag down because my bike is very heavy and it wanted to charge down the hill by itself!

I also checked the construction site off Wager road. The only progress there is the base – no parts are on site. I got a report that the base is the top of a large cone of concrete set deep in the earth. I don’t have a photo of that – got there too late – they had already filled in around the cone.

Here is a map of Phase I of the turbine installations: You can see the towers for the two units off New Galen road easily from Rte. 121.

Here is a photo of a hub component being transported on Rte. 21 – Courtesy of Penny Gray

Another view of a hub making the turn from South Church to Dye Road

The new road off New Galen

This photo and the next are not from the current construction site, but they show a typical foundation for the round pad shown below.

This is the base. My bike is about 5 1/2 feet long with the front tire angled – gives a perspective on the size.

Part of the tower – again the bike is for size perspective

This is the top nacelle that the blades attach to. The nacelle attaches to the hub, which attaches to the tower.

This is the hub which the nacelle attaches to and which attaches at the top of the tower

Two photos of the blades. Note the elaborate tie-downs so that the wind doesn’t move them before they are put up. The blades are 57 meters or 187 feet long and are made in Andover NY (south of Hornell on Rte. 417)

I’m still amazed that they can put these things high up in the air and attach them with bolts. Riggers have a rare expertise!

Hub-Nacelle Assembly with my SIL JP for size comparison

This photo is also not from the current construction site, but this and the next one show how the top sections are attached.

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Joint Water Quality Study

Joint Water Quality Committee Beginning Year Two of Study

    Committee members, in alliance with Dr. Michael Chislock and the limnology team from SUNY Brockport, are currently reviewing data from year one of the pilot study.  The committee is a step closer to meeting our goals; determining the status of internal loading in the deepest waters, and the effectiveness of diffused-aeration to tamp shoreline blooms and decrease loose sediment.

    During year one, deep water samples were analyzed for water quality and nutrient analysis.  As with many lakes, there is significant phosphorus trapped in the deepest level. Under certain conditions, this phosphorus is released from the bottom sediments and adds to the production of unhealthy lake conditions, including harmful algae blooms.  The team also monitored our population of large-bodied zooplankton, Daphnia. These herbivores play an important role in reducing the risk of algae blooms.

    Year two of the study will include further research on the impact of Daphnia in our waters, the protection of the species, and the relationship of their health to further lake management options.

    The Brockport Team collected four rounds of samples from the aeration site (Serenity Cove) as well as the control sites in Antlers Inn and Laf-a-Lot coves. The two-year pilot design allows for collection of data over a longer period. Although diffused-aeration has been a technique used in ponds for many years, our application of diffused-aeration in lake coves is a bit understudied.  The diffusers were turned off in October to assure appropriate ice coverage. They will be turned on in May.

    Thank you to all involved, and especially to the two lake associations for funding this project.  The more we study our lake and its unique conditions, the more proactive we can be to maintain the beauty of Loon Lake.

    Committee Members:

Joseph Carlson, Alice Publow, Doris Gross, Maureen Maus, Joe Harrington, Paula Thoma

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Loon Lake Sewer Engineering Study begins

HUNT-EAS is a multi-discipline design firm with offices in Rochester and Horseheads, NY  and Towanda, PA.  We support private and public sector clients with engineering, architectural, and survey services. 

Overview: Along with our Town partners, we are about to execute a sewer study for the Loon Lake area that will evaluate alternative methods of supplying sewer service to property owners on and contiguous to Loon Lake. 

There are two primary objectives: 1) to improve the water quality in Loon Lake, and 2) to protect the drinking water supply to residents.  By creating a sewer service, the Town would eliminate the need for septic systems or holding tanks.  The study will develop sewer alternatives with a focus on compliance and affordability.  Property owners will be engaged, and a series of public meetings will be held.

This type of planning grant, and acceptance by property owners, are necessary steps towards grant funding application and construction.  Acceptance of the preferred alternative by property owners, via a referendum, and approval of the Town of Wayland would be required to move forward.

The study does not bind the property owners. 

Background: HUNT-EAS applied on behalf of the Town to a jointly operated NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation program.  The study will cost $36,000, with a $30,000 grant from NYS and $6,000 matching grant courtesy of the Loon Lake Watershed Improvement Alliance and the Loon Lake Association.  HUNT-EAS has done many of these over the years.

Next Steps: HUNT-EAS is planning on attending a group meeting at the Loon Lake Community Chapel on Memorial Day weekend.  This will be an opportunity to discuss the study and receive comments from property owners.

More details about the Chapel kick-off are forthcoming.  Your participation will be of an enormous value.

Below is the photo of the kick-off ceremony.

Presentation at the Chapel on May 28, 2022

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Preserve creek clean out

It turns out that the creek on the Preserve property needs to be cleaned out of debris periodically. This helps water flow freely into the flood plain on the property and also prevents water from building up behind debris dams and flooding over onto the Davis Road properties. One can contact Eric Busch at ebusch@columbus.rr.com. to volunteer to be part of a work team to do this clean out.

See the photos below to see what the creek bed looked like before and after the cleanout which was done recently mostly by Mark Kokanovich.

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Brockport Class visits Loon Lake

On Thursday afternoon, November 4, 2021, Michael Chislock, Ecology Professor for SUNY Brockport, brought a class of 17 students to collect samples and take recordings on Loon Lake. The students will, in the lab, compare the biology and chemistry with samples they took at other near by lakes such as Conesus and Silver Lakes. Groups had different assignments and gave a quick report before they left. Loon Lake faired well in comparison in water clarity, and in amount, verity and size of zooplancton (beneficial critters). Thanks to neighbors who loaned watercraft and Allums for use of their shoreline for launching.

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Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive pest

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New Septic System

Newer Septic Field Product Uses 1/3 the Space

This summer was decision time for our aging septic system on the lake side of Laf-a-Lot Road.  The septic field was failing from tree roots and other issues.  Any re-working of the septic field would be too close to the lake to be permitted.

Fortunately we had been able to purchase land across the road 20 years ago.  This allowed us to go under the road to a new septic field with gray water effluent from a two-part septic tank pumped uphill to where the new field would be installed.

Here’s where a newer product was helpful.  By using Eljen Company filters underground we were able to install 64 feet of trenching versus 200 feet of traditional trenching.  This allowed us to preserve trees and most of a parking area.  These super-absorbent filters quickly absorb the liquid then release it slowly into surrounding sand.  The installation is completely level and fine for foot traffic and field sports.

At least one local excavation contractor installs this product, which was recommended and approved by the environmental engineer on contract with the Town of Wayland.  There was additional cost for the filters, partially offset by lower excavation costs.

I believe this is a good space-saving solution that will work well for us and will be better for the lake.  The installation is at 117 Laf-A-Lot Rd.  I am willing to share technical and cost information with folks via cell phone 614-330-1219. [See photo below]

    -Eric Busch

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Grand Opening

The Grand Opening was a big success with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Rob Hughes cutting the ribbon. The Sterling Brass Quintet provided some very nice music. Dede Ranger organized the whole event and made sure there was some delicious snacks to be had.

The event finished with a silent auction of hand-painted items by Alice Publow which brought in some much needed funds to the Alliance coffers. Alice actually won the 50/50 drawing and generously donated her winnings back to the Alliance coffers as well.

Here are a couple of photos of the event:

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Knotweed Project

Japanese Knotweed is called the Godzilla weed because it is so hard to defeat. This non-native bamboo is creeping its way around Loon Lake’s waterfront, destroying the precious natural habitat. Loon Lake Watershed Improvement Alliance (LLWIA) and Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) have joined in a pilot project designed to halt the progress.

Volunteer have removed dry growth and emerging buds on a large pilot patch at Serenity Cove. The area was than covered with metal mesh and any green material carefully destroyed. The shoots will grow through the ½’ holes and be strangled. This prevents nourishment from getting to the rhizome root system ‘starving’ the plant while killing the shoots. The mesh will need to be in place for a few years to eliminate the plant. Volunteers will monitor, taking pictures and observing the results.

In the past two years, LLWIA volunteers treated a knotweed patch on Loon Lake Wetland Preserve by covering it with heavy mil plastic and tarps. This experiment has had some success but there are issues with degeneration of plastic materials. Results from both forms of remediation will be compared You can help by checking your property for this invasive plant and notifying Alice Publow 710alice@gmail.com. with any discoveries or questions. Donations made to LLWIA at PO Box 372 Wayland NY 14572 will support projects like this one and others that benefit the Loon Lake environment.

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