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Nyack’s Kavesh reschedules “friend-raiser”

Hema Easley

Due to the threat of inclement weather on Saturday and the forecast of better weather on Sunday, the Richard Kavesh “friend-raiser” has been rescheduled to 2 p.m. Sunday.

It will be held at the Artopee Esplanade, right outside 100 Depew Avenue in Nyack Plaza in downtown Nyack.  It should last about two to three hours. Kavesh is running for Nyack mayor against fellow Village Trustee Denise Hogan

Posted by Hema Easley on Friday, October 2nd, 2009 at 10:11 am |
Category: Uncategorized
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Nyack mayoral candidate hosts a thank-you party

Akiko Matsuda

My colleague, Khurram Saeed, asked me to post the following information.

Richard Kavesh, the Democratic candidate in the Nyack mayoral race, will host a thank-you party for all village voters at 3 p.m. Saturday at Nyack Plaza. It will be held on the Artopee Esplanade right in front of the Depew Senior building at 100 Depew Ave. The rain date is 2 p.m. Sunday. Free food and beverages will be served at the party, which is expected to last about two to three hours. Kavesh, a village Trustee, is opposing fellow Trustee Denise Hogan, who is running on the Preserve Nyack and Independence lines in the Nov. 3 election.

Posted by Akiko Matsuda on Thursday, October 1st, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
Category: Uncategorized


9/11 Candle vigil, followed by Haverstraw’s free dancing event, rain or shine

Akiko Matsuda

The Dancing Under the Starts and International Food Walk will be held tomorrow in Haverstraw villages downtown.

The free dancing event will be from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in front of Haverstraw Village Hall at 40 New Main St., and the food event, where people can try samplers at participating Haverstraw restaurants starting at $5 will be held from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

In case of rain, the dancing event will be moved to the River Stone Antiques place at 37 W. Broad St.

Prior to the event, a candlelight vigil to remember those who died in the 9/11 tragedy will be organized from West Haverstraw to Haverstraw. The silent procession will start at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at Babe’s Bar & Grill at 73 Railroad Ave. in West Haverstraw.

Posted by Akiko Matsuda on Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
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SV Mayoral Candidate Gets His Signs Back

Steve Lieberman

Crazy season has begun as campaigns gear up for primary election in September and the November general election.

In Spring Valley, mayoral candidate Bernard Charles Jr. screamed foul with he said 80 of his campaign signs were removed from the streets.

Charles claimed Mayor George Darden, who is not seeking re-election, order the DPW to cherry-pick his signs, while leaving those for five others untouched. He said he confronted Darden on Thursday and  gave a vocal complaint to Officer Jorge Marciano on Friday.

“Darden told me he didn’t know what happened and didn’t know where my signs were,” Charles said. “He told me my signs were not put down legally. There was no real explaination why.”

Darden responded today that Charles paid his $100 sign permit fee late Wednesday afternoon and the deputy clerk didn’t add his name to the list until the next day.

The early list of permit-holders used by the DPW didn’t contain his name on Thursday morning and crews removed his signs.

Darden said an honest mistake was made and Charles was not singled out.

“He slipped through the cracks,” Darden said. “He came in here yelling and screaming. There was no way to reason with him. So I just told him I didn’t know. I looked into it later. This was nobody’s fault.”

Darden said the village regulations on signs are there to keep the streets clean and campaign signs off village property. He noted he helped another candidate get her signs off village property.

Most first-time candidate – like Charles – get angry when their signs are taken, Darden said, noting Deputy Mayor Norami Jasmin already has had close to 150 signs pilfered.

Darden said he will make all candidates live to the letter of the law when it comes to campaign signs.

Above, Bernard Charles with some of his campaign signs returned to him by the Spring Valley DPW.

Posted by Steve Lieberman on Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
Category: Rockland County, Uncategorized
| | 1 Comment »

Nyack primary surveys

Ben Rubin

With Nyack Mayor John Shields stepping down at the end of his term, four Democrats have sought to take his place, forcing a competitive primary.

To supplement a candidates forum held earlier this week, the Friends of the Nyacks posted questionnaire responses from all four Democratic candidates running for mayor. The primary is Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The questionnaire answers are available here.

Posted by Ben Rubin on Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
Category: Uncategorized
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Nyack Sepemberfest

Ben Rubin

Septemberfest, a street fair hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of the Nyacks, will take place — rain or shine — on Sunday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A large portion of Main Street will be closed for the event to let an expected 25,000 pedestrians stroll around downtown.

The festival this year will include the local Amazing Grace CIRCUS! and a table providing information on the Hudson River Quadricentennial.

For more information, go to www.NyackChamber.com or call Briana Ryan at 845-353-2221.

Posted by Ben Rubin on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
Category: Nyack
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Rockland Lawmakers Urge Paterson to Keep Crime Lab Open

Steve Lieberman

Three members of Rockland’s state legislative delegation have urged Gov. David Paterson reconsider his decision to close the state police laboratory in Newburgh.

Law enforcement in Rockland, Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess and Sullivan counties depend on the laboratory for analysis on evidence for criminal cases and prosecutions. The lab has serviced the lower Hudson Valley for 31 years. Nearly 15 tro 20 years ago efforts by some to build a Rockland County forensic lab never got off the ground.

The Newburgh-based lab’s closure puts more work on the state police lab in Albany and would add another 90 minutes of travel if officers have to drive to the Albany to pick up or deliver evidence, instead of Newburgh, contend the trio of legislators – Sen. Thomas Morahan, R-New City, and Assembly members Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern, and Kenneth P. Zebrowski, D-New City.

They also emphasize how much work the crime lab does for the region and Rockland law enforcement. In 2008, the laboratory handled analysis for 2,414 drug cases and 765 toxicology cases.

Thomas Morahan          Ellen Jaffee             Ken Zebrowski

Below is a copy of the letter from the three lawmakers to Paterson, released to the public this week:

August 25, 2009
Governor David A. Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

State Legislators Protest Newburgh Lab Closure

Dear Governor Paterson,
We write today to ask you to reconsider the closure of the State Police Lab located in Newburgh, New York. While we recognize the financial situation the State is facing, closing this lab will, in the long-term, adversely affect residents of Rockland County and the Hudson Valley and greatly impair our county’s law enforcement agencies’ ability to protect those who live and work in Rockland County.
A study completed in 1972 found that more than one-third of drug evidence submissions to the New York State Police Laboratory System originated from the Mid-Hudson region. In response to the this demonstrated need, the Mid-Hudson Regional Crime Laboratory opened in 1978, and has, for the last 31 years, served law enforcement agencies in Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Westchester, Sullivan, and Putnam Counties, as well as New York State Parole and Corrections, and various federal government agencies.
The regional need for this laboratory has not diminished since its inception. In fact, we can expect the need to continue to rise due to increased arrests and prosecution for drug and alcohol related-incidents, most of which require the expertise of the Mid-Hudson Regional Crime Laboratory. In 2008, this translated to 2,414 drug cases and 765 toxicology cases.
In addition, further taxing police departments’ already stretched resources by forcing officers to travel to Albany, an additional 90 minutes each way from Rockland County, will take officers out of the communities where they do the most good and have them traveling on the New York State Thruway for nearly an entire shift. This will inevitably impact scheduling for police departments and result in additional overtime pay – a burden to the taxpayers.

Posted by Steve Lieberman on Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 8:58 am |
Category: Ellen Jaffee, Kenneth P. Zebrowski (Jr.), Uncategorized
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Rabies-infected stray cat found in Stony Point

Akiko Matsuda

Kenneth Byman, a veterinarian with the North Rockland Animal Hospital in Stony Point, wanted to remind people that rabies virus was real.

The veterinarian yesterday spotted a rabies-infected stray cat.

Byman said a Stony Point resident rescued a stray cat about two or three weeks ago because it was injured. She took the cat to another vet to be treated. And yesterday, she brought the cat to Byman’s office because the cat presented a central nervous system disease.

The cat was euthanized. The autopsy conducted by the county Health Department showed that it was infected with rabies virus.

Those residents who were exposed to the animal were also treated for a possible infection. Employees at the vet are in the process of confirming that their vaccination titles are adequate.

Byman said he wanted to remind people that a stray cat was no different from other wild animals — raccoons, bats, or skunks — that can be a carrier of rabies virus.

“From a public health stand point, I thought it would be nice to alert the general public that rabies virus is real,” Byman said.

Posted by Akiko Matsuda on Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
Category: Uncategorized
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Creole-only mayoral debate raises concerns

Suzan Clarke

People in the Spring Valley community are upset about a debate in which the only non-Haitian candidate in the Democratic primary race for mayor was not invited.

Bernard Charles Jr., who is African-American, believes organizers’ decision to hold the Thursday debate entirely in Creole and not invite him was exclusionary.

The five candidates who were invited are Haitian-American.

Cassandra Edwards, a village community activist, was disturbed by the whole thing.

“I think it clearly defines that people are not interested in working from a multicultural perspective. People are interested in working from their own agendas, which excludes the majority of the community … . It blows my mind,” she said yesterday.

Spring Valley — a village of about 25,000 people — is home to a significant number of Haitians.

Organizers haven’t responded to calls seeking comment, but some debaters said they didn’t believe any wrong had been done, pointing out that various ethnic groups have held discussions about politics or other issues in their native tongues.

To read my earlier story about the incident, click here.

Posted by Suzan Clarke on Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
Category: Uncategorized
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Hema Easley

Stephanie Hausner, who is running for Clarkstown Town Board, has been appointed the Democratic National Committee Woman for the Young Democrats of America (YDA) by Crystal Strait, the newly elected president of the YDA. Hausner will complete the remainder of of Strait’s DNC term, which expires in the summer of 2010.

Hausner, who was born and raised in New City, was appointed to the DNC after serving at the campaign chair of the YDA Works slate of candidates. She was also appointed to the Clarkstown Democratic Commitee slate in May by Rockland County Legislature Chair, Harriet Cornell. She faces a three-way primary on Sept. 15.

Posted by Hema Easley on Monday, August 24th, 2009 at 11:00 am |
Category: Uncategorized
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Ramapo Orthodox Jewish Cop Files Discrimination Claim

Steve Lieberman

Baile Glauber told The Journal News minutes after graduating from the Rockland Police Academy in June 2008 that she was “excited” about starting her career as a Ramapo police officer.

Glauber (pictured right) declined at the time to discuss her life even though she became a feel-good story because she grew up in the Satmar Hasidic Jewish community, where women are specifically sheltered from influence outside the community.

Times have changed since graduation.

Glauber, 31, a divorce mother with a son, has filed a discrimination complaint against the Ramapo Police Department and town, contending she has been mistreated because of her religious beliefs since her opening interview for the nomination in February 2008, before the Police Academy training.

Ramapo strongly disputes her allegations and will file a response by Sept. 3 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Town Attorney Michael Klein told me today.

Her EEOC complaint is the mandated percursor to a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Klein said he hopes Glauber can settle her issues out of court with the town. But he said Ramapo isn’t backing down that the department followed the laws and accommodated her religious beliefs, including Sabbath days off and an opportunity to get Jewish holidays off.

Glauber  contends her religious beliefs were the focus of discussions since she interviewed with police brass for a job in January 2008. She included Chief Peter Brower.
“I was interviewed for approximately one and one-half hours, during which time I was repeatedly questioned about little else other than how my religious background and my religious observance would affect my ability to perform my job as a police officer,” Glauber wrote in the complaint.

She said officers shunned her,  as part of a campaign of harassment and discrimination. One officer, she wrote, told her she’ll never be part of the police family. Another officer, she said, wished her good luck but didn’t think she could cut it as a cop.  She contends her colleagues didn’t think she could handle being an officer because of her cluster raising as a Satmar Hasidic Jew, and her lack of life experience outside the religious community.

Glauber has not done much police work as she has yet to complete her field training to ride solo as an officer and her probation – and future as an officer – comes up for review in February.

She injured her ankle in the Police Academy, took time off from the physical training and came back to pass the physical regiment.

She’s been on desk duty for months with an ankle and non-work-related injury, while she has seen doctors.

Posted by Steve Lieberman on Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
Category: Uncategorized
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Haverstraw village sets hearing for sober house expansion plan

Akiko Matsuda

Haverstraw village has scheduled a public hearing for a plan to expand a sober house on Hudson Avenue. The facility is operated by Open Arms, an agency that provides residential treatment services for newly recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.

If approved, the state Department of Mental Health would finance the renovation project. Advocates of the project say it’s a good thing for the community because the existing rundown building would be beautified as part of the project.

But a group of residents have been opposing the plan, saying that the expansion would be unfair to Haverstraw village residents because the community already has other drug rehabilitation facilities and group homes.
The hearing will be at 8 p.m. Sept. 21 at Haverstraw Village Hall at 40 New Main Street.

Posted by Akiko Matsuda on Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
Category: Haverstraw
| | 1 Comment »

Ramapo debateless?

James Walsh

So it seems that the Democratic primary for town supervisor will come and go without a debate between incumbent Christopher St. Lawrence and his challenger, Bruce Levine, the Spring Valley village attorney.

Levine said he has publicly challenged St. Lawrence to a debate, but the supervisor has not responded.

St. Lawrence told this writer on one occasion about a month ago that he wanted to debate Levine. But the supervisor has not responded to subsequent calls from this writer. So who knows? Maybe he changed his mind.

Posted by James Walsh on Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
Category: Uncategorized
| | 1 Comment »

Haverstraw Highway foreman escapes fallen tree branch

Akiko Matsuda

Joe Cannavaro, foreman of the Haverstraw town Highway Department, had a narrow escape from a major accident this morning when he was driving on Rosman Road as part of his routine patrol.

Following a thunderous cracking noise, a gigantic tree branch fell onto his foreman truck, ripping down electric wires.

The body of the truck was slightly damaged, but Cannavaro was uninjured.

“The whole thing came down on me,” said Cannavaro, pointing the 10-foot-long branch. “I jumped out. I called the police.”

Haverstraw highway foreman Joe Cannavaro clears the downed tree branch on Rosman Road. The branch fell onto his foreman truck as he patroled the area.

Haverstraw highway foreman Joe Cannavaro, right, clears the downed tree branch on Rosman Road. Earlier this morning, the branch fell onto his foreman truck as he patrolled the area.

The damaged electric wire caused a minor fire in the nearby house.
The Thiells Fire Department responded to the scene along with Haverstraw police.
Rosman Road was closed while the highway department’s staff, including Cannavaro, and Orange and Rockland Utilities restore the site. (Photo by Akiko Matsuda. Cannavaro, right, clears the fallen branch with his staff.)

Posted by Akiko Matsuda on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
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Haverstraw Affordable housing plan moves to Route 9W

Akiko Matsuda

The Haverstraw village board will hold a regular meeting at 8 p.m. Aug. 10 at Haverstraw Village Hall at 40 New Main St., and the board will open the scheduled public hearing for a proposed affordable housing development, to be known as Murphy Manor Apartments.
But no discussion will take place because the developer, Ginsburg Development Companies LLC, has changed the location for the plan and resubmitted its application.
The plan was originally proposed on the parcel that formerly housed Servco Lacquer Body Shop Supplies on Samsondale Avenue.
But after meeting oppositions from residents, the developer has changed the location to the vacant lots at 45 and 53 Route 9W.
The property is currently owned by Olori Brothers LLC.
A public hearing for the new plan will be scheduled for a later date.

Posted by Akiko Matsuda on Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
Category: Uncategorized
| | 1 Comment »

County Republicans to open HQ tomorrow

Laura Incalcaterra

The Rockland County Republican Committee will hold a rally and open its 2009 campaign headquarters at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in the Clarkstown Plaza shopping mall in New City.

State Sen. Thomas Morahan, R-New City; County Sheriff James Kralik; and County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef will speak. They will outline their vision of Rockland’s future and their plans for the campaign season, according to a party statement.

Vanderhoef is seeking re-election to a fifth four-year term. He is also running on the Conservative and Independence lines.

He is being challenged by Orangetown Town Supervisor Thom Kleiner on the Democratic line, and Andrew Spence on the Working Families line.

Election Day is Nov. 3.

Posted by Laura Incalcaterra on Friday, August 7th, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
Category: Andrew Spence, C. Scott Vanderhoef, Conservative, County executive, Democrat, Independence, James Kralik, Republican, Working Families
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County donates buses to Clarkstown

Laura Incalcaterra

Rockland County turned over four surplus TRIPS buses to Clarkstown today.

Each bus has about 150,000 miles, and are “beyond their useful life…due to the the tremendous number of miles TRIPS logs each day, County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef said.

The county has replaced the buses with new ones purchased using funding from the Federal Transit Administration.

Meanwhile, Clarkstown’s fleet has exceeded 300,000 miles per bus, Town Supervisor Alex Gromack said.

Town mechanics will refurbish the donated buses for use by the town’s Mini Trans service, Gromack said, a move that will help save the town about $300,000 by avoiding the need to buy new buses for the next two to three years.

Above, Gromack, left, and Vanderhoef, right. Photo provided by Vanderhoef’s office.

Posted by Laura Incalcaterra on Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
Category: Alexander Gromack, C. Scott Vanderhoef, County executive
| | 1 Comment »

Peeking at the Ramapo petitions

James Walsh

It can be interesting to leaf through petitions filed to get prospective candidates on the ballot.

Petitions for a Republican ticket, which includes Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and town Justice Rhoda Schoenberger – both Democrats – on the GOP primary ballot were collected by a variety of local political veterans.

They included Michael Dolan, the town’s Republican chairman, John Layne, the former Airmont mayor, Allan Thompson, the former Spring Valley mayor, and Sloatsburg village Trustees Barbara Berntsen and J. Mark Reimer.

One non-office holder, Golde Kaff of New Square, appeared particularly energetic. She witnessed 396 signatures, according to a petition filed with the Rockland Board of Elections.

Posted by James Walsh on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
Category: Uncategorized

Sherwood to announce his run for Stony Point Supervisor

Akiko Matsuda

William Sherwood, a retired state Supreme Court Justice, will announce his candidacy for Stony Point Town Supervisor at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow at Republican Campaign Headquarters at Colonial Plaza on South Liberty Drive, just north of Hogan’s Diner. Democratic Town Supervisor Phil Marino, whose term is ending this year, is not seeking reelection this fall. Sherwood, a Republican, will face off against Peter Muller, a Democratic candidate running for Marino’s position.

Posted by Akiko Matsuda on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 11:18 am |
Category: Uncategorized
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Alden Wolfe is ‘unsurprised’

Laura Incalcaterra

County Legislator Alden Wolfe, D-Suffern, has issued a press release noting he is “unsurprised” by the findings of a cancer study in the medical journal “Lancet Oncology.”

He said the study confirmed the dangers of tanning beds and their ultraviolet radiation. It pointed out that the risk of skin melanoma was increased 75 percent when people started using tanning beds before age 30, Wolfe said.

Why does he care so much about the topic?

Because back in 2006, Wolfe authored a bill to ban tanning for anyone under 16 and to require parental consent for those 16 and 17. The Legislature passed it, County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef vetoed it, then legislators overrode the veto and made it law.

Wolfe says as a result of the study’s findings, the French-based International Agency for Cancer Research, part of the World Health Organization, has designated ultraviolet tanning beds as “carcinogenic to humans,” meaning they cause cancer.

“Hopefully this latest study will encourage people to make smarter health decisions, and encourage our young adults not to engage in a practice that could have devastating impact on their health,” Wolfe said.

Next up: Wolfe and the other 16 legislators will eventually consider, again, whether to pass a calorie-posting law to require chain restaurants to put the number of calories on their menu boards. Supporters hope such a law will encourage people to make smarter health decisions and to not engage in a practice that could devastate their health.

Posted by Laura Incalcaterra on Monday, August 3rd, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
Category: Alden Wolfe, C. Scott Vanderhoef, COUNTY LEGISLATURE
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Traffic light allows easy left turns

Laura Incalcaterra

Most mornings, I need to make a left turn from Viola Road onto New Hempstead Road in Ramapo.

This has proven to be a dance with danger and frustration as drivers are forced to cut off approaching cars or drive through the traffic light as it turns red. Drivers can easily sit at the intersection for three or four lights as they wait to make the turn.

I can flat out say, trying to make that left is the most stressful part of my daily driving.

They’ve been studying this intersection for years. Passing drivers have frequently seen the car counters – people who watch the traffic flow and appear to be literally noting the number of vehicles and the efficiency of movement on clipboards.

The worst part about it? Left-turn arrows are in place at the other three turning points, so, yeah, it’s just the left I – and scores of other drivers – need to make that’s messed up.

But finally, the problem has been solved.

I was pretty happy the other day when I approached the light and saw a bright green left-turn arrow that was going my way.

Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said the light was upgraded by the state after he requested the Department of Transportation to study the intersection.

“The modification to the signal greatly impacts upon driver safety,” St. Lawrence said. “The improved conditions are already noticeable for motorists making left turns.”

Posted by Laura Incalcaterra on Monday, August 3rd, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
Category: Christopher St. Lawrence, RAMAPO, Route 306
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Sloatsburg loves trees

James Walsh

There’s no argument that Sloatsburg is among the most bucolic of Rockland communities, sitting as does at the doorstep of Harriman State Park.

And so a recent interview with Mayor Carl Wright led this reporter to pine for the days when The Journal News ran a daily “quote of the day,” on the tail of the local Briefs column.

Wright was discussing the loss of several sycamore trees that stood in the way of the county sewer project.

“We love trees,” Wright said, “and trees love Sloatsburg.”

Now that would have been a nice quote of the day.

Posted by James Walsh on Friday, July 31st, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
Category: Uncategorized
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Ramapo Democrat attacks GOP Slate

James Walsh

Nathan Oberman, a Ramapo Democratic Committee official and the town’s Receiver of Taxes, is contesting Republican Robert Romanowski’s petition to run against Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence in a GOP primary.

In an election law dispute filed in state Supreme Court in New City, Oberman also names the county’s two commissioners of elections. The Board of Elections had upheld the propriety of Romanowski’s petitions.

St. Lawrence, a Democrat, got the GOP endorsement over the objection of some Republicans who thought their party ought to come up with its own candidate. Feelings like that led Romanowski, a Monsey resident, to get more than 400 signatures supporting his candidacy.

Posted by James Walsh on Thursday, July 30th, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
Category: Uncategorized
| | 1 Comment »

Revenge of the Panther

Ben Rubin

In recognition of the renewed interest in the black panther(s) roving around Orangetown (and the inevitable sightings it will bring), I wanted to post a real photo Piermont Mayor Chris Sanders sent me a while ago, back when the panther was on the lip of every tongue and apparently lurking in every driveway. Most recently, The New York Times picked up the panther story over the weekend and The New Yorker wrote about it last month.

I’d also like to take a moment to ask the cartoonishly evil plutocrat from New Jersey who released this panther into the wilds of Snedens Landing (that’s the new rumor I’m hearing) to come forward and end the madness.

If you’ve got photos of your panther sighting, send them to my e-mail box, bfrubin@lohud.com.

Okay, here’s the photo:

Posted by Ben Rubin on Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 8:00 am |
Category: Uncategorized
| | 1 Comment »

New park dedicated in Spring Valley

Suzan Clarke

Officials from Spring Valley and the wider community this morning dedicated the new Jay Street park, located at the intersection of Jay and Division streets in Spring Valley.

Among officials in attendance from Spring Valley were: Mayor George Darden, Village Attorney Bruce Levine, Deputy Village Attorney Ryan Karben, Community Development Director Rita Grayson, Trustee Anthony Leon, Deputy Section 8 Director Brendel Logan, Acting Department of Public Works Head Neil Vitiello and Zoning Board of Appeals member Moshe Hopstein.

Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef, Orangetown Supervisor Thom Kleiner, Clarkstown Town Clerk David Carlucci, County Legislator William Darden and Rockland’s Community Development Director Joe Abate also were present, along with other local leaders and area residents.

Sitting on about ¼ of a acre of land that the village acquired from Rockland County, the park — designed for children aged 2 to 5 years old — was constructed for about $220,000.

The money was furnished through a grant from Rockland County, Grayson said.

“There was nothing on that side of the village for young children, so we saw a need and sought the funding for it,” she said, speaking in an interview on Friday. “I think it’s a win-win for everyone.”

(In the photos below, Mayor George Darden addresses those gathered for the dedication, and children enjoy the new park.)

Swings, slides, a see-saw and other colorful playground equipment dominate the park. Flowers, grass and trees are part of the surrounding landscaping. Benches are situated at several spots around the facility.

Merle George, a Spring Valley activist who attended the dedication, especially liked that soft, spongy flooring designed to cushion falls covered much of the grounds.

“I think it’s beautiful,” she said of the park.

Concepcion Huerta of Chestnut Ridge was in the area visiting friends. She took her own two children, along with a friend’s two children, to the park and watched as they played happily.

“It’s very nice, beautiful for the kids,” she said.

The park is open from dawn until dusk.

Posted by Suzan Clarke on Monday, July 27th, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
Category: Uncategorized
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