The Legislature will be holding a meeting tonight, which they will open to the public to discuss a potential bill that would limit the use of drones in Rockland County. The legislation was proposed by Legislator Jay Hood after Sheriff Louis Falco spoke out about the risk surrounding the use of drones near the County Jail, including the possibility that inmates could receive items dropped from the air. The law would allow drones in Rockland County to be used in public parks, but without the consent of a property owner could not be used on private property. Law enforcement and emergency workers using the unmanned crafts, which range in size, would allow Federal and State regulations. Violations of the proposed bill would include a $250 fine the first time, $500 for the second, and more than a third in one year could result in one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. The meeting will take place tonight at 7:00 PM at the County Office Building in New City.
Rockland County Chairman of the Legislature Alden Wolfe recently spoke out about the controversy surrounding a video released in March titled “The Jew in Rockland”, which compares a local FaceBook page to Nazi propaganda in the early days of the holocaust in Germany. Wolfe stated on Monday that the FaceBook, called “Block the Block” shows “hostility toward the Orthodox community in Rockland County.” According to Wolfe the creator of the page, James Foley, is a county employee, working as a social worker in the Mental Health Department. Speaking with the Journal News Foley stated that he does not represent the county’s opinions and while he does not use the social media site at work he did not give up his right to free speech when he became employed by Rockland. Wolfe called on County Executive Ed Day to ensure that the county’s employees are using their work hours efficiently. Day stated in response, “While Chairman Wolfe focuses on FaceBook, I and other responsible leaders of all faiths are still wondering why, over two weeks later, he has yet to join us in condemning a video that compares his county to Nazi Germany. It is the view of many that is an abdication of his responsibility as an elected official. This particular matter was assessed weeks ago and it is shocking that he is unaware that existing county policy governs the use of social media. He can be assured that while he is away from his part time Legislative job, I am ensuring that all our employees are ‘performing their duties properly’.”
According to the Journal News the 263-year old Lent House in Orangetown that residents have been fighting to save was demolished on Saturday morning. Over the past year several groups of residents have started campaigns to raise $50,000 to have the house taken apart and moved up the road from it’s location on Greenbush Road. The property owners stated to the news source that they were asked to have the building removed last year as a part of a 75-year lease with RD Management, who have plans to build an 18,000 sq. ft. building as an extension of the Orangeburg Commons. The homeowners and their attorneys made the decision to demolish the house that was built in 1752, on Friday night, stating that they did not want to risk the deal with the developers. Orangetown officials andd proponents of saving the building were upset by the quick decision; many stating that they believed their plan to be a win-win for all those involved.
According to officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and U.S. Marshals they recovered they recovered and arrested a wanted Rockland fugitive who had been hiding in the attic of a residence in Georgia. 44-year old Lawrence Brown was on the most wanted list for the past year after he allegedly robbed a Hillcrest drugstore at gunpoint in December 2013, as well as being suspect in several other robberies in the Hudson Valley and the state of Georgia, and a gang related kidnapping in New Jersey. Brown was discovered barricaded inside the attic after an extensive investigation into evidence and officials are continuing to look into connections about who may have helped the man remain hidden.
Officials in the Pearl River School District announced that they are selling the condominium complex that it owns. The ten units have been under the district’s ownership since 2010 when a $4.9 million bond was approved to purchase the property from the Africa Land Mission for $4.6 million, in order to use the offices and cafeteria area that were already there as the district offices. The offices will remain in their current location and each condo is for sale from $159,000 to $231,000. Officials stated that residents in the district voted to sell last year in February and once half of the units are sold a homeowners association will take responsibility, allowing the district to step away from covering utilities and landlord duties. The sale will cover the repayment of the $4.9 million bond and enable the district to reissue a $3.3 million bond.
New York State officials have approved regulations for the medical marijuana program that is set to take affect next year. The law was signed last July and allows qualified patients access to liquid and oil forms of the drug, which can be added to edibles as well. According to regulations there will be only five businesses in New York that can apply with a $10,000 review fee and $200,000 registration fee that is good for two years. The business will be allowed to grow, process, and sell the drug legally, with four dispensaries each statewide. Recently patients who have been diagnosed with qualifying illnesses have expressed concern of cost and access to the treatment, though regulations state that while the prices are set for the product, the identification card fee can be waived if they qualify financially.
According to New York State Police, they worked with Clarkstown Police and various other departments to arrest two men in connection to robberies in Westchester, Rockland, and Connecticut. Police stated that 24-year old Nicholas Fiore of Yonkers was arrested on Monday for his role in the robbery of a Cortlandt gas station on March 24 when he was stopped for a traffic violation. On Thursday police began a search for and arrested 35-year old Yonkers resident Michael Caccavale in Washington Heights, New York for the same charges. Both men were held in Westchester County Jail, Caccavale with no bail, and Fiore on $50,000 bail, both on felony charges of second-degree robbery.
At a press conference on Thursday Rockland County Legislator Aaron Weider discussed a controversial video that was released online in late March. Rumors on the internet and throughout the county spread that Weider was the narrator in the video, which compares hateful and offensive comments on a social media page to the early days of Nazi Germany, though at the conference the Legislator stated that he was not involved in the production at all. When a resident asked if Weider thought the video should be taken down he said it should, stating that it would be for the best to remove the video, which contains harsh visual comparisons to Nazi propaganda released in Europe to describe the fear that the Orthodox Jewish Community feels in Rockland County. Weider stated that while he thinks the video was not done properly and it broadly describes issues in Rockland as anti-semitic, there is tensio that needs to be addressed, stating, “We must acknowledge that a major problem exists in our county and that regardless of political differences, debates about issues should never descend into hateful and destructive rhetoric aimed at any community.”
Welcome and thank you to our new sponsors HealthSav located at 7 Elmwood Drive in New City! (914)643-3663. They offer a wide-range of life-saving classes, from CPR certification to blood born pathogens, and first-aid! For more information you can visit www.healthsav.com.
Residents in Orangetown are teaming up to save a historic property from being destroyed. According to a group of residents the 263-year old Abram Lent House, which was built during the early days of Rockland by a Dutch settler, is at risk of being torn down when RD Management, the owners and developers of the Orangeburg Commons being construction on a planned 18,000 square foot building at the site of the home. In order to prevent the destruction of the building it would need to be listed as landmark status on the historic registry for New York State. Residents and historic groups are now attempting to raise $50,000 to take apart the house and have it moved and rebuilt half a mile up from its current location on Greenbush Road. The Planning Board is reviewing the property and RD Management proposals on April 8. Both town officials and the owner of the historic home have expressed the desire to see it saved.