According to Nyack officials the viewing site for the new Tappan Zee bridge could be finished by June. The village began construction on the fishing pier that will overlook construction of the new bridge last year, but needed assistance from Tappan Zee Constructors when they came across problems with the pile driving process for the structure being put up at Memorial Park. The viewing area will include telescopes and information plaques about the history of the Tappan Zee Bridge and the new one being put up. The village received $150,000 from the state and $50,000 from a community fund to build the 90 by 30 foot pier and officials stated that the remaining construction should be completed by early summer.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a list of fiscally stressed villages for the year of 2014 this week. The list reviews 539 villages and listed them varying levels of stress based on their balances for the end of the year. For Rockland County New Square and Pomona both made the list, both labeled as susceptible to fiscal stress. Pomona Mayor Bret Yagel stated that unforeseen legal costs played a role in the final balance. The Comptroller’s Office is still completing evaluations for ten New York State villages with fiscal years beginning in January.
According to Ramapo Police two people were struck by vehicles Thursday night in separate, unrelated incidents. Police stated that around 8:25 PM a 14-year old boy was struck on Route 59 near Besen Parkway, by a 34-year old woman driving a Dodge Durango. The Airmont boy was taken to Westchester Medical Center for serious injuries following the accident. Then around 9:30 PM a 27-year old Monsey man was struck by a Dodge minivan while walking in the yellow middle section of Route 306. The 42-year old driver from Monsey was issued a ticket for driving in a safety zone and improper passing, and the pedestrian was taken to Westchester Medical Center for an injury to his leg. In the fall Ramapo Police began a new safety initiative to help prevent the more than fifty vehicle and pedestrian or bicycle related accidents that occur in the town yearly. The program placed plain clothed officers at cross walks and intersections in an attempt to catch drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians. Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence stated on WRCR Friday morning that while the community grows the town is working to build sidewalks and educate pedestrians on the dangers of being on the side of the road in the dark, as well as continuing to educate drivers.
Rockland County Legislator Frank Sparaco was seen in court on Thursday was seen in court on Thursday where he was set to receive his sentence for charges of election fraud for allegedly submitting forged petitions to the Board of Elections. Instead, Clarkstown Judge Howard Gerber was forced to delay the sentencing until April 23 due to the fact that Sparaco has yet to resign from his position within the Legislature, was a part of his plea deal with the Rockland District Attorney’s Office. The deal required that he serve eight weekends in County Jail, and remain uninvolved in politics for the length of a three year probation, as well as resign from the legislature one day before his sentencing. Reluctantly Gerber recognized Sparaco’s choice to hire a new attorney, Kevin Conway of Spring Valley, and allowed the change in court ate due to the transition to the case. After threatening the maximum sentence of one-year in jail for breaking a court order by not giving up his position in the county, Gerber also ordered that Sparaco must resign by Wednesday April 22.
According to Clarkstown Police a banner at an Upper Nyack synagogue honoring victims of the Holocaust was vandalized on Wednesday night. Representatives of Congregation Sons of Israel stated that on Wednesday night a candlelight ceremony was held for Holocaust Memorial Day in honor of the millions of people killed by the Nazis, and a banner was hung that listed numbers of victims from the many groups of people that were targeted during the Holocaust. On Thursday morning the synagogue reported that between 10:00 PM when the security guard for the property left and 9:00 AM the banner had been torn and ripped up. The banner has been repaired and police are investigating, and seeking witnesses or surveillance footage.
The NAACP is reaching out to local yeshivas to educate students on cultural diversity. According to the Journal News, Wilbur Aldridge, the Regional Director of the MidHudson/Westchester chapter of the NAACP, spoke out against a recent action by a yeshiva during the holiday of Purim, during which classes hung a doll with a painted black face out of the window by the neck. The Rabbi of the yeshiva, Asher Scwab, stated to the newspaper that the doll is meant to represent “Haman” from the Book of Esther and traditionally how the Jewish people overcame him when attempted to kill them. Schwab stated that the act was not meant to be offensive in any way, but according to Aldridge many members of the African-American community were offended by the incident and stated that during a meeting between the yeshiva and the NAACP, the school officials lacked any knowledge of African-American history. The yeshiva issued an official apology at the meeting and Schwab stated that the doll was immediately removed and the school will make more effort in teaching the students to be “culturally sensitive”.
The East Ramapo School District officials have released a preview of the 2015-2016 budget, allowing parents to take a further look at what will be provided to students in the coming school year. The district was awarded a two percent increase in funding by New York State recently, giving them a proposed budget of $218 million. Officials stated that the increase will allow programs of art and music in the elementary school, as well as the implementation of full-day kindergarten. Officials stated that though the extra funding helps immensely to bring back programs, East Ramapo is still not receiving enough aid to make up for the 24,000 private school students in the district. The school board will vote to approve the proposal at next week’s meeting and all Rockland County School District budgets will be voted on by residents on Tuesday May 19.
According to a statement released by the Rockland County Legislature, Chairman Alden Wolfe and Legislator Jay Hood sponsored a resolution that was recently adopted by the Budget and Finance and Planning and Public Works Committees. The resolution would provide Hi Tor Animal Care Center with $500,000 as a part of the county’s Capital Project Budget to go toward the $1 million building proposal for the new shelter. In March Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski obtained $500,000 grant from New York State, to be applied to the project’s $300,000 funds raised in private donations over the years. About his decision to sponsor the resolution Wolfe stated, “There is no doubt that this organization has operated in the best interest of the animals entrusted to its care, however, the building is no longer adequate to house the revolving and growing population of lost or abandoned animals.” While the resolution was approved at Tuesday’s Planning and Public Works meeting it still needs to be passed by the remainder of the Legislature at the upcoming meeting. As well as by the County Executive. The proposal states that the new shelter would be owned by the county and leased to Hi Tor.
Thank you to our sponsor HealthSav located at 7 Elmwood Drive in New City! You can contact them at (914)643-3663 or visit their website at www.healthsav.com.
For more information in adopting, donating, or volunteering contact Hi Tor Animal Care Center, 65 Fireman’s Memorial Drive in Pomona at (845)354-7900 or visit www.hitor.org.
Former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin was seen in court on Monday, the first day of her non-jury trial. Jasmin is charged with allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for her political influence, including approving a catering hall on village property for 50% of the business, and faces charges of extortion and wire fraud. On Monday the defense portrayed their client as a victim, claiming that she was enticed into situations by FBI cooperating witness Moses Stern, who was working with the agency after being arrested for his own extortion charges. Prosecution called an undercover FBI agent who posed as a developer seeking a bid from the village to the stand, where he testified that the former mayor met with him during the investigation to tell him what to say before the board of trustees. The trial continues before Judge Colleen McMahon Tuesday morning.