About James Odato

In a career rooted in watchdog reporting, Explorer editor James M. Odato has been cited as one of New York’s top journalists covering state government, gambling, and abuse and waste of public money. He has written thousands of articles, his byline has appeared in numerous national publications and his investigative stories have spurred reforms. As a staff reporter for five daily newspapers, including the Albany Times Union and Buffalo News, Odato has received more than 30 awards from the Associated Press, New York Publishers Association, the New York Legislative Correspondents Association and other media organizations. In 2007, Investigative Reporters and Editors recognized his reporting with the Freedom of Information Award Medal. In October 2021, the University of Massachusetts Press released his book, This Brain Had a Mouth, Lucy Gwin and the Voice of Disability Nation.

Reader Interactions


  1. Joan Grabe says

    I cannot believe this incredible article ! After all these years you can equate the word “blessing “ and the ACR in the same sentence. Disaster is more the reality. Such shady individuals, people who sell an asset and then take back a mortgage, intertwined entities ( acronyms, no names) suing each other, pie in the sky ideas but no money, bankruptcies galore in all their backgrounds and a County and a town left holding the bag. And a less than robust housing market especially for high end condos and luxury homes. Sounds like anything but a blessing to me ! I love Tupper Lake, am in Shaheens, Farm to Table, Stewart’s and Well Dressed Foods frequently and am thrilled to the improvements to the main business center but I know a bad deal when I see one and this has been suspicious from the get go.

  2. Timothy Dannenhoffer says

    I’ve been hoping for years that this development would never happen. They want to do this development right on the western edge of the most significant wilderness area in the state of New York and the northeast in general. I believe it would change this specific area for the worse if it happens. I really hope it fails altogether or they limit the development much closer to the highway and town. I do wish opportunity for the people of Tupper Lake…just not like this. This area is a natural treasure. They should develop in a way that keeps the area as wild as possible. I’m looking forward to exploring the Follensby Pond area some time in the future – I’m sure it will be like heaven…please don’t put roads and housing developments at it’s doorstep.

  3. Judson Witham says

    I wonder why New York State can sue IJC for paying reimbursements for PRIVATE PROPERTY DAMAGES on Lake Ontario BUT Clifford and Anita Witham were wiped out repeatedly by New York State’s Dam on Lake George and were not given a Cent for all the damages caused by the DEC Dam at Ticonderoga ? The repeated and intense damage caused the Withams to be forced into forclosure and They lost everything.

  4. Alexander Schwarz says

    I hope this project finally moves forward. Will be fantastic for the region and a huge boost to tourism and the local economy.

  5. John A. Hlavaty says

    The people of Tupper Lake have suffered the promised employment opportunities and the increased economic activity long enough. While I feel for the original developers, it seems fairly obvious that their business plan lacked a mass of foreseeable and unforeseeable contingencies. Absence the cash to weather these contingencies, is the primary reason that developments, especially developments of this size,fail.
    My hope is that the new principals have very deep pockets and top flight management, because an 5,800 acres development, within a protected state park, is similar to building mansions on an active mine field.
    I wish both the developers and people of Tupper Lake the best of luck.

    • Boreas says


      Couldn’t agree more. I have felt since inception that ACR was a great idea and would be an enormous boon to TL and surrounding area. From the beginning, Fox & Co. had great intentions, but the confidence felt by Tupper Lake, APA, and citizens in the area that the group would be able to carry out their plan to fruition was touch and go. Permitting issues and deadlines with APA dragged out the early planning/permitting process. Efforts by environmental groups to modify the plans and layout added to the slow progress and expense.

      These delays were critical because the development group did not have enormously deep pockets. The critical component of their ability to eventually complete the development depended upon early sales of large lots to infuse cash into the project. This became problematic because of the above delays, changes in the post-Great Recession markets, and simple cold feet. The money didn’t pour in, pockets were empty, and creditors came calling.

      At this stage, while a very unfortunate and disappointing outcome for the original developers, we may actually see an infusion of cash and confidence with the new owners. Hopefully they can put things back on track with renewed confidence, but there are no guarantees in life or real estate development. Many fingers are crossed.

  6. honk says

    One thing is so much better now — the road has been built and no economic development money was needed. Thank you Mr. Rumbough for not asking for handouts as Foxman planned to do. It is unfortunate the ski area is not open but I understand that some work has already been done up there. I would hope the ski area could be opened next year or very soon.

    The original scope of the project seems to big … but everyone in tupper would like the mountain to be reopened and all assume someone will want to build new homes on the property. (why else would you need such a road?)

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