The Rockland County Republican party sent out a release on Sunday stating that Chairman Vincent Reda will not be seeking reelection. Reda stated that he is comfortable leaving the committee, after County Executive Ed Day’s election in November. In the statement Day thanks Reda for his twenty-two years of leadership and both members of the party have voiced their support for Lawrence Garvey, an attorney at Garvey, Tirelli, and Cushner in White Plains and member of the Clarkstown Republican Committee, as his successor. Michael Lawler and Robert Zeiss will be serving as Vice Chairmen. Zeiss is the Director of Finance for the party and works as Vice President of Finance at HBO Sports. Lawler works as campaign manager for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s gubernatorial race and has served as the Executive Director of the New York State Republican Party.
A developer in Stony Point introduced a proposal to the town board to build 100-150 condominiums, a marina, and restaurants on 3 acres of land at Willow Cove Marina and Stony Point Bay Marina. 59-year old Wayne Corts, the owner of the marinas and developer first went before the board in 2007, but withdrew due to opposition. In 2012 Corts tried again, but was forced to withdraw to work on recovery from Superstorm Sandy, while also facing a cancer diagnosis. This time, Corts stated will be his last time attempting to obtain approval for his project. According to Supervisor Geoff Finn the town board is looking for ways to revise zoning to provide the opportunity to build up economic development on the waterfront, and the process should be done within six months. Corts would need to seek zone change for his property to build a mix of residential and commercial. Several residents have voiced their concern that the development will block views of the Hudson River, though Corts stated the waterfront would look cleaner and they will work around neighbors’ view corridor.
According to a prosecutor in the case against Diana Nadell, the daughter-in-law and accused murderer of 80-year old Valley Cottage resident Peggy Nadell, the Florida resident has been on suicide watch at the Ulster County Jail since earlier this summer. Prosecutor Richard Kennison Moran stated that authorities were monitoring Nadell’s communication after it was revealed that she was planning to have two of the witnesses to her alleged crime killed while she was in jail and learned through a letter to her children in Florida that she told them she wanted to kill herself. Since her January arrest Nadell was moved from Rikers Island to Orange County Jail, and now to Ulster County so that she can be kept separate from her associate in the crime, Andrea Benson of Washington DC, who agreed to testify against Nadell when she pleaded guilty. On Thursday Luis Penichet who is representing Nadell asked state Supreme Court Justice William Kelly to get his client off suicide watch because it is making it difficult to privately meet with her work on the defense. He also stated that Nadell has not had a mental health examination and she has refused her medication. Kelly ruled that if Penichet drafted an order to have private room set for attorneys to meet with Nadell, he would sign it.
The unofficial results for Tuesday’s Democratic Primary are in, statewide current Governor Andrew Cuomo won against opponents Zephyr Teachout and Randy Credico, with $301,011 votes. In Rockland County’s 96th Assembly District Ken Zebrowski won over P.T. Thomas with 3,772 votes to 1,240. For the 98th District Elisa Tutini with 1,141. Vilair Fonvil won with 710 votes to Chrispin Eugene’s 497 for Spring Valley Trustee and for Ramapo Town Justice David Stein beat Christine Theodore with 3,107 to 2,256. The General Election will take place November 4.
Spring Valley Police are investigating the discovery of a spray painted star of David with the words “Hail Hitler” and a swastika written inside. According to Police Chief Paul Modica the graffiti could potentially be investigated as a hate crime and police are taking it seriously at this time. According to Rabbi Yisroel kahan there were several witnesses who stated seeing two males writing on the sidewalk where the graffiti was found on Morris Road and the message is hurtful to the many Holocaust survivors in the area and their families, whether meant as a joke or not. Spring Valley Detectives are looking for witnesses and possible surveillance footage while the graffiti is being cleaned away by the Department of Public Works. Anyone with information should call 845-356-7400.
According to officials an accident on Sunday night closed Willow Grove Road in Haverstraw until Monday morning while the police, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and Medical Examiner’s office investigated the scene. Paramedics stated the car was being driven by a man who was pronounced dead at the scene and a woman, who was a passenger in the car, received injuries when thrown from the vehicle and was taken to Nyack Hospital. The names of both involved in the single car accident have not been released, and investigations are continuing into what caused the car to roll down the 20-foot embankment on the side of the road while traveling East before being stopped by a tree. Also on Sunday Ramapo Police responded to reports around 9:50 AM of an unrelated accident in Sloatsburg and found a Honda Civic had crashed into a store front on Orange Turnpike. Police stated that 28-year old Abraham Andrade of Ramsey, New Jersey, was charged with a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated and the business at the address was closed at the time, but sustained about $30,000.
On Thursday County Executive Ed Day announced that he would be vetoing a resolution proposed by the Legislature to spend nearly $800,000 a year to wash the county buses daily. In February a small fire in the right rear wheel well destroyed a TOR bus and the resulting proposal was announced by Legislator Patrick Moroney in early August as a preventive measure. Day stated in his veto that in the existing $70 million contract the county holds with Brega Transport Inc., the buses are required to be washed as often as is necessary for performance without additional costs on the county. The reasons stated for the veto are unanticipated costs of over $3 million through October 2018 for extra washing not included in the resolution, which would take effect thirty days after approval, the pricing with the existing contract is fixed and the proposal is vague, not stating exactly which buses in the fleet would be included in the washing. The veto states that the contract should be reopened to bidders if it is to be amended.
A lawsuit has been filed against Ramapo by Town Supervisor of Fiscal Services, Melissa Reimer, who was suspended from the position on June 2013. The suit states that in 2013 Reimer told Supervisor Christopher St.Lawrence and Receiver of Taxes Nathan Oberman about financial discrepancies she had been noticing since 2009, such as low balances, understating expenses, and transferring funds without the board’s approval. According to Reimer’s lawyer, Fred Lichtmacher, the statements made in the law suit are true and will be documented. The complaint was officially filed to pursue $2 million in damages, such as lost wages, benefits, and money spent on legal fees and names St.Lawrence and Oberman, as well as Town Attorney Michael Klein, Assistant Town Attorney Beth Finklestein, and Personnel Director Linda Condon. Steven Stern, who is representing those named, stated the claims against the town are not true and Reimer’s suspension is not related to her statements about Ramapo’s finances. Reimer stated in the suit that she was accused of involving the New York Comptroller’s office of the activity by sending them false information, which was later determined by the office to be correct information and because of this faced a hostile work environment. Records also state she had been in contact with the FBI a year before they raided the town hall in May 2013 and the materials are being reviewed.
On Tuesday night students and residents of the East Ramapo School District came together in Spring Valley to voice their disapproval of recent statements made by Superintendent Joel Klein. According to video from an August 19 school board meeting, Klein stated that the dropout rates in East Ramapo are largely due to the immigrant children that join the schools each year, last year nearly 350 registered. In the video , which is available on YouTube, Klein stated that the students know they will not obtain a diploma, but register for school to obtain language skills and advantages that come with school days, such as lunches. At the meeting it was discussed that East Ramapo is planning a program that will move immigrant students away from obtaining a regents diploma, and teach them English and vocational skills that will help them join the workforce, especially if they have a higher chance of dropping out. About the meeting Klein stated that his comments were taken out of context and the program will be announced with a full presentation designed for the benefit of every student in mind. The district is hoping to receive money from the state as part of Title III which is specifically for immigrant education. At last night’s rally about eighty people met to provide support for the families and students, many holding signs saying “Education Not Discrimination”, and speaking out about personal experiences with education and some asking the district to seek Klein’s resignation.
According to the Clarkstown Town Board they will be holding a public hearing on September 9 to discuss term limits for elected members. The limits would mean 8 consecutive years for all officials except town justices, and would allow members to run for a new position after their eight years are up. Democratic Chairwoman Stephanie Hausner stated she supports term limits and due to the voter support believes that it will pass unanimously, and bring new opportunities to the board. Recently Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack voiced his support for limits as well, stating that his earlier belief that elections act as a form of accountability for officials, will still be present but now having a time limit will be a positive addition. Another supporter, Republican Councilman George Hoehmann stated, “Term limits are a way of insuring that periodically, the people have the playing field leveled with a guarantee of turnover.” With the three members of the board showing support, the term limits will be able to be passed.