New York State is turning out to grieve, rally, and rage over the recent massacre in Orlando, Florida. Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann ordered all flags at Town Hall and other town facilities be lowered to half-mast until Thursday to commemorate the victims. Rockland County Executive Ed Day has announced that the county will hold a candlelight vigil at 5 p.m., Wednesday on the lawn of the Rockland County Courthouse at One South Main St., New City organized by Rockland County Commissioner of Human Rights Dr. Penny Jennings. While, last night in New York City thousands turned out for a vigil at the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, shouting, “We are Orlando! We are Orlando!” They were joined by Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio who called for tougher gun control laws. Cuomo said, “Tonight with this emotion we feel, this is the day that the federal government must promise us that they will pass sensible gun control because enough is enough!” The names of the now confirmed 49 victims were read aloud and multiple organizations spoke including the Anti-violence Project, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and openly gay council member Rosie Mendez. Mayor de Blasio said, “We believe inclusion and tolerance and love and understanding are the way forward on this earth and we show it every day in New York.”
Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart applauds the announcement on Friday, by Assembly Member Ellen Jaffee and Senator David Carlucci, that the NY State Department of State is planning to schedule public hearings in July to explore whether real estate non-solicitation zones and Cease and Desist Orders for Pearl River, Chestnut Ridge, Spring Valley, Monsey and neighboring areas of Rockland County is warranted. Town Residents have been feeling pressure from realtors seeking to purchase homes that are not for sale. Orangetown took the lead by adopting a “Do Not Knock” law giving residents the ability to opt-out of door-to-door solicitations. Stewart and his staff continued to seek other options to give residents more recourse and they came across the Cease and Desist and No Solicitation Zones that previously existed in NYC through legislation and state regulations. Stewart says, “Those zones, which were created to address similar situations of so-called “blockbusting,” had expired, but were incredibly successful in those neighborhoods.” He reached out to Jaffee and Carlucci for support in pushing for public hearings on the matter and they stepped up. Stewart encourages residents to contact his office with any violations of “Do Not Knock” or attempts at “blockbusting” as he continues to coordinate the public hearings and works to assure they are well attended. For information visit: email@example.com
According to Lohud News, A Yonkers murder suspect pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony gun charge, but Kevin Wiltshire still faces several gang charges in federal court. Wiltshire, 21, pleaded guilty in Westchester County Court to criminal possession of a firearm for possessing a .38-caliber revolver in Yonkers on Nov. 11, 2014. Judge Barry Warhit sentenced him to time served after he spent more than 18 months in the Westchester County jail. Wiltshire is currently in jail, waiting trial for gang related crimes with alleged Yonkers gang Cruddy 650. According to Lohud Officials have accused Wiltshire and nine other Yonkers men, as well as one Florida man, of crimes stemming from the street gang that hails from different Yonkers neighborhoods, including Riverdale, Woodworth and Warburton avenues, and Cottage Place Gardens. Wiltshire, has been accused of murdering Andre Folsom during a dispute in a Walmart parking lot in Greenacres, Florida, on May 26, 2014, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office. According to Lohud news Wiltshire has been charged with racketeering conspiracy, using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and drug trafficking crime, murder in aid of racketeering, carrying and using firearms during and in relation to and possessing firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in the death of another, conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and bank robbery.
He is scheduled to appear in White Plains federal court on June 28.
According to Lohud news, a Larchmont police officer was taken to Westchester Medical Center, after suffering minor injuries in a car chase. The police officers car struck a stone wall. According to Lohud The Larchmont cruiser slammed into the barrier around the Cherry Lawn Farm parking garage at Weaver Street and Quaker Ridge Road, sending debris as far as 15 feet from the impact area. According to authorities The suspect’s car was a white BMW, and was stolen in New York City. The car has yet to be attained
Rockland County Legislators Alden H. Wolfe and Harriet Cornell are calling for the closure of Indian Point nuclear power plant after noting repeated safety concerns at the four-decade-old facility. On Wednesday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave the facility a passing grade on its annual safety assessment. Wolfe said, “The facts show that there should be NO future for this plant.” He noted that Indian Point was not built to withstand a catastrophe such as a terrorist attack, earthquake or a pipeline explosion, and that there is a long list of continued safety problems, most recently the missing and damaged bolts in the Unit 2 nuclear reactor – and that these were not just any bolts but the actual lynchpins that can mean the difference between a safe operating temperature and a nuclear melt-down. The Unit 2 reactor was shutdown when the damaged bolts were discovered. Entergy, who owns and operates the plant, intends to restart Unit 2 reactor this month. Cornell, chair of the Legislature’s Environmental committee, authored legislation in 1984 to create a Citizen’s commission to Close Indian Point. There is a growing history of problems at the plant – multiple unplanned or emergency shutdowns, spiked concentrations of radioactive tritium-contaminated water leaking into the groundwater, the spilling of 3,000 gallons of oil in the Hudson, leaking fuel pods, and more. Indian Point produces approximately 2,000 megawatts of power, providing about a quarter of New York City and Westchester’s power. The New York Power Authority no longer purchases electricity from Indian Point as it has found cheaper electricity elsewhere. Wolfe pointed out that Indian Point’s energy generation largely benefits residents of New England, not New York. For more information: rocklandgov.com
Last night in Tarrytown, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission held their annual meeting on Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. At a press conference held before the meeting, Rockland County Legislature Chairman, Alden H. Wolfe stated, “We don’t exaggerate when we refer to Indian Point as a ticking time bomb.” Supporters of Indian Point, including elected officials, labor groups and those who are pro-business, held their own press conference before the meeting to remind supporters that the plant generates approximately $75 and $100 million in taxes for local governments. Once inside the room the lines were clearly drawn with workers representing Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, filling the back of the hall wearing T-shirts with the tag line, “Indian Point Powers New York.” Those against the power plant held placards with “Stop the Algonquin Pipeline” voicing their opposition to the federal safety regulators decision to approve a plan by Spectra Energy to expand a natural gas pipeline running from Pennsylvania north to New England, and adjoining several communities near Indian Point. Stepping up to the microphone in favor of the plant was Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas who noted that clean energy is good for minority and impoverished communities who are typically located near pollution generating fossil fuel power plants. On Monday in Poughkeepsie Governor Andrew M. Cuomo told reporters “Indian Point is the nuclear power plant that is the closest to the most densely populated area on the globe,” he added “it has had a series of mishaps. We know we can find replacement power. Why you would allow Indian Point to continue to operate defies common sense, planning and basic sanity.” At the end, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Indian Point Power Plant a passing grade in its annual safety assessment.
Rockland County Executive, Ed Day has announced that certain private schools in Ramapo and Spring Valley have scheduled an appointment to be inspected on Wednesday at 9 a.m. by county fire inspectors. In a letter on Friday, Rockland County attorney, Thomas Humbach, had informed the schools they would be inspecting on Monday. Monday arrived and the inspectors were refused entry in 13 of the schools they visited. Dennis Lynch, an attorney representing the School Religious Freedom Coalition an association of schools in Ramapo, had appealed to New York State Department of Education Commissioner, MaryEllen Elia for a meeting because the coalition wanted the county to work with school supervisors in planning the inspection dates. Lynch wrote they were prepared to go to court over violation of their civil rights. By Monday afternoon, lawyers for Rockland County were prepared to go to court to get warrants to enter the schools. Late Monday afternoon, Lynch informed the county that the coalition had changed their mind and would move forward with inspections. Again, those inspections and the 36 other schools scheduled to be inspected (and/or re-inspected) will continue and the county will follow up to make sure any violations discovered are corrected. Day stated, “The real winners here are the children who will now be going to schools that are safe.”
A Boil Water order has been issued for Upper Grandview & Piermont due to a water main break that happened just before 2pm Friday, according to a statement from Suez Water. Crews are working to make repairs. If you have questions call: Suez 845-623-1500, ext. 1500 or the Rockland county Department of Health at 845-364-2608
Approximately 40,000 striking Verizon employees, who walked out in mid-April, are returning to work on Wednesday as a tentative contract agreement has been reached. The new deal includes 1,300 new call center jobs and an approximately 11 percent raise over four years with changes to the health care plan that will save the company money according to Verizon and union leadership. The Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers unions consider the new deal a victory for American workers. In a statement the IBEW said the deal protects American jobs amid concern about work moving overseas. Verizon Communications Inc. believes it is a good deal for workers, customers, and the company. In a statement Chief Administrative Officer Marc Reed said, “This will allow our business to be more flexible and competitive.” The agreement still needs approval from the union membership but for now employees will be returning to work.
County Health Commissioner, Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert has sent out an alert to residents that an Air Quality Advisory for the Metropolitan New York City region, including Rockland County, has been issued for today. Air Quality Health Advisories are issued by the New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation when levels of outdoor pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter, are expected to exceed national air quality standards, and be unhealthy for sensitive groups. The pollutant of concern today is ozone. Rockland County Department of Health recommends that residents limit strenuous outdoor physical activity, such as jogging, ball-playing and running during the afternoon and early evening hours when ozone levels are highest. The most common symptoms of overexposure to ozone is a feeling of irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; effects of “feeling tired” or “lacking energy”. Some people may also experience respiratory or heart symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and wheezing and should seek medical attention immediately. Some symptoms may last for several days before returning to normal. For more information you can call the hotline: 800-535-1345 or visit: www.health.state.ny.us/environmental/outdoors/air/ozone.htm