Lake Placid at Sunrise

It’s time to renew your membership for 2022!

The most significant benefit of membership in the SOA is knowing that you are making a positive impact on the health of the Lake.

President’s Letter

I hope you’ve been having a great winter and are optimistic about the ice receding and giving us our lake back.

It has been a busy fall and winter for the board as we plan for the coming season. Our lake management plan is nearing completion and we are already submitting grant applications to help support the investments we expect to make to implement this plan. We have received a new grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program which helps offset SOA costs for the Lake Steward Program. The trained stewards who work at the public boat launches are essential to controlling invasive species.

While invasive species control continues to be a top priority, there are other issues that impact the well-being of the lake, including aging septic systems, runoff affecting overall water quality, shoreline erosion and increased boat traffic.

In light of this expanding scope of activity and to help responsibly manage these risks, the Board changed the name of the SOA’s tax-exempt fund managed by the Adirondack Foundation from the Invasive Species Prevention Fund of Placid Lake to Keep Placid Pure. This new name better reflects our holistic underlying mission, while giving it a catchy slogan. Donations to Keep Placid Pure are used exclusively for the health and safety of the lake and shoreline.

As always, we are greatly appreciative of the support from our fellow SOA members. I look forward to seeing you out on the water and to enjoying a great 2022 summer season.

Twilight on the Lake

Honoring Our Beloved Ladies of the Lake

A farewell to recently departed members of our Community.

Heather Paltz Ughetta of Camp Pine Cone passed away on December 16, 2021 at the age of 49. She leaves behind her husband, Ted Ughetta, and her teenaged children Teddy and Caroline. In her youth, she excelled at field hockey and academics with degrees from Cornell University. Heather had a successful career in marketing and communications at IBM and Accenture and enjoyed vacationing with family and friends in Lake Placid every year. Heather had a sharp wit, a bright and infectious smile, and a generous spirit. She loved to laugh, have fun and always sought to put others at ease. Above all, she was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, including to many on our lake.

Margaret (Peggy) Hubbell Beebe of Camp Sunnyside died on February 10th. She was 95 years old. After graduating from Pine Manor College, she volunteered as a nurse during World War II writing constantly to the love of her life, John Eldridge Beebe, serving as an Army officer in the Philippines. They married shortly after his return and throughout their 70 years together, they returned each summer to their home in Lake Placid where they were surrounded by friends, family, and the landscape they loved best. Peggy was an avid gardener who loved the hummingbirds that buzzed around her porch feeders and window boxes on the eastern shores of Lake Placid. John predeceased her in 2016, followed by her son, Jack Beebe in 2020. She is survived by her daughter Martha Knowles (Ken), four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. The family has asked friends to consider a donation to the Adirondack Foundation for “Keep Placid Pure,” PO Box 288, Lake Placid, NY 12946 .

Dr. Ora Louise Kingsley Smith of Camp Carolina, the Green Boathouse, and Four Corners on Whitney Road passed away on February 17th. She was a role model of intelligence and professional success for her family, medical students, and far beyond. She fell in love with Lake Placid while in college and passed on her passion for the area and winter sports to her family. Ora was a leader in land preservation, and the undeveloped sections along Mt. Whitney Road and Lake Placid Lake are the consequence of her foresight and determination. She was a dedicated and loving mother and grandmother and a kind, good friend to many people all over the world. She was fair, compassionate, insightful, and fun-loving (especially on the slopes in Austria and Lake Placid), and will be greatly missed. Her husband,
Dr. Howard W. Smith, died in 2020.

Norma Dalton Schoonover, known as Diddy to her friends and family, passed away on February 18th at the age of 81. Diddy moved to Lake Placid as a young girl with her family, the Divines. She spent her youth water skiing, swimming, and hiking from Camp St Armand. In 1981 she and her husband, Joe bought their own camp on Buck Island. Diddy was a true lady of the lake who loved it fiercely and was always kind with a quick smile. She served in 1983 as Commodore of the Clamato Regatta Labor Day sunfish race at its first boat access-only location. She will be dearly missed by so many, especially Joe and daughters Kim, Karen, and Kristin, along with 4 grandchildren.

Susan Hohmann Rickard, of the west shore of Lake Placid, passed away on February 25th. Originally from Connecticut, she loved hiking the high peaks starting in the late 1950s and, with her parents and siblings were the first nuclear family to become 46ers. She moved to Lake Placid in the late 1960s and married Matthew Hurley Devlin, Jr., worked at local businesses, and volunteered for the 1980 Olympic Committee. She married Johnny Rickard in 1987. He passed away in 2021. She is survived by her son, daughter, grandchildren, stepchildren and grand-stepchildren. Her stepson, John (Buzzy) Rickard serves as our Lake Constable.

Beatrice Cocuzzi Wolford, Bea, of Rochester and Lake Placid, died in August at the age of 78, leaving her husband of 55 years, Michael R. Wolford, a daughter, two sons, grandchildren and step grandchildren. She was a biology teacher and adjunct professor, a watercolor artist, and a beloved community volunteer, especially in retirement. Bea’s family and friends will miss her kindness, sage advice, keen intellect, and selfless devotion to others.

Septic Pump Out

Malfunctioning septic systems can be extremely harmful to the lake. Pollutants found in household wastewater systems include nitrogen, phosphorus, and disease-causing bacteria and viruses. If these pollutants seep underground into the lake, water contamination and algae blooms are likely consequences.

Many lakefront septic systems are due for repair. The SOA works with the Town of North Elba to help shore owners keep their septic systems safe. SOA volunteers schedule the pump outs and provide the barge at no expense to SOA members. The Town is responsible for reporting violations. Town Supervisor, Derek Doty, serves as Septic Inspector and enforces the Town Septic Law put in place to protect our drinking water.

The SOA maintains a list of camps pumped since 2013. Many camps are due to be pumped. Please contact Lendy Barnard to schedule your pump out this summer at (203) 912-3058 or

Reminder: Are You Still a Legal Driver?

New York State’s phasing in of Brianna’s Law is ongoing. The law currently requires a boating safety course and certificate for anyone born on or after January 1, 1988. This includes many young adults who once drove boats legally without a certificate as teenagers. Boating Safety Class information:

Lake Friendly Living

Lake-Friendly Living

The health of the Lake is in our hands. Living lake-friendly is about taking action that will help protect the Lake for years to come.

  1. Have your septic tank inspected and schedule a pump out.
  2. Install vegetative buffers.
  3. Pick up after your pet. Pet waste contains harmful bacteria.
  4. Refrain from fertilizing your lawn.
  5. Control soil erosion by covering exposed soil with vegetation or mulch.
  6. Do not dispose of household hazardous wastes in sinks or toilets.
  7. Inspect your boat’s engine for gas or oil leaks.
  8. Use water efficiently. The less you use, the less enters your septic system and the lake.
John Rosenthal

Spotlight on Your Lake Neighbors

SOA members contribute their time, skills and talents to our mission. We honor their commitment.

In 1967, at the age of 16, John Rosenthal was dragged by his dad to his first SOA meeting. He was hooked. He has not missed a meeting since. In 1984 John was voted as Trustee. He served as Vice President in 1988 and President in 1992. He has served for many years as Chairman of the Navigation Committee. John is one of so many dedicated members, devoting a lifetime to the lake.

Peaceful Lake Placid


Lake Placid is blanketed in white, more beautiful than ever. We are already thinking about ice out, spring, and then summer, when camps come alive again and SOA members will gather for our annual meeting. Please mark your calendars for Saturday July 30th, 9:00 a.m. at the High Peaks Resort. More information to follow in June.

The SOA accomplishes all of its important work thanks to you. Your membership dues cover our annual operating budget, allowing us to monitor water quality, promote boating safety, maintain accurate mapping for the Lake Placid Fire Department, and so much more.

We have been working harder than ever as activity on the lake increases. You are integral to this effort. Please join us again this year as valued members of the SOA family. Renew your membership for 2022 by sending your dues in the enclosed remittance envelope, or pay online:

Your $225 dues payment is an investment in the future of the lake.

We are grateful for our pristine lake, and so grateful for you.

Reduce Goose Use

Photo: Josiah Weiss

Make your yard less attractive to geese by maintaining a 6-foot wide shoreline buffer of natural vegetation. Not only will your property be less attractive to geese, it will naturally curb the runoff of nitrates.

Be Mindful of Your Wake

Be Mindful of Your Wake

Shoreline erosion occurs naturally over time as a result of wind, precipitation and wave action. However, wake surfing and wake boarding can also increase erosion, threatening wildlife, water quality, and property values. Wakes from power boats can uproot vegetation, cause banks to collapse, increase sedimentation, and degrade the aquatic ecosystems.

These sports can be enjoyed responsibly while mitigating their impact
along the shore:

  1. Reduce speed and wakes within 500 feet of shore.
  2. Do not add ballast to your boat, as it artificially enhances wakes above safe heights.
  3. Use areas of the lake adjacent to undeveloped shorelines.
  4. Avoid boating in tight circles.