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. David Gibson says

    It should go without saying that Mr. Bonacio does not require a $4.1 million state grant subsidy to make this redevelopment on Schroon Lake happen. He’s happy for it, of course. Gov. Hochul’s decision to subsidize Adirondack Park development already being undertaken by very, very well staked developers like Mr. Bonacio should not make anyone else happy. It is yet one more example of enriching the haves, when we all know that $4.1 million of state money would benefit many Adirondack communities and community benefit projects that have not.

    • Tina says

      My sentiments exactly! Why are the taxpayers of NYS subsidizing the project of a wealthy contractor? Let’s be real here, the lake and the village, are already too congested during the summer months!

  2. Boreas says

    I am not sure how this project justifies a significant taxpayer subsidy. What are the taxpayers receiving in return? Can someone explain it to me when we are in dire need of more Rangers and other infrastructure?

  3. Bill Keller says

    How does this happen, it’s called politics. Sonny Bonacio is a member of the Saratoga PAC that donates big bucks to support their picks for politicians. And the majority of Hochul’s funding comes from rich donors. This one pales in comparison to the Buffalo Bills stadium. Democrat or Republican it doesn’t matter, they’re bought and paid for.

  4. S says

    It saddened me that Word of life leadership was not able to sustain what an older generation of founders established. Having to sell the Lodge property. Our Adirondack park lands have strict rules for development. The clean up of the lake and protection of habitat would be fruitful. No one is fooled by thinking the new owners marketing concept of trying to draw in the same people to promote the Word of life Mission is their aim.

    Serving spirits and hiring bar tenders is not the same as the Word of life mission and purpose to focus on individuals and families being faithful stewards of God’s resources and strengthening family bonds through biblical teaching to grow spiritually.

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