The CSEA, which represents workers throughout Rockland, has filed a suit against the county in an attempt to block the closure of Summit Park Hospital and Nursing Home. The suite claims that County Executive Ed Day violated the County Charter by not working with the Legislature to make the decision, also stating the County Charter would have to be amended before the Legislature can move forward on the closure. In late September the sale of Summit Park to a private company was terminated by the buyer, who cited a failure by the county to maintain the property and previous lawsuits from the CSEA, as reasons for ended negotiations. The deadline to close the facility is the end of December, before the 2016 budget takes effect, since Day stated there is no room in the proposal for the $800,000 it costs per day to run the hospital and care center. A spokesman for the CSEA stated they are acting on behalf of the employees and residents that will be affected. About 61 residents remain in the nursing care center and the hospital has already been shut down. The County Executive will be hosting a town hall style forum regarding his proposed budget and other important issues tonight at 7:00 PM, at the Valley Cottage Library.
According to state officials Entergy Corp., the operator of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, has not been awarded a Coastal Zone Certificate, which is required for the facility to continue operating on the Hudson River. Secretary of State Cesar Perales sent a letter to Entergy, officially declining their request for the certificate, stating that the plant’s location has been draining resources from the Hudson River for forty years, as well as being in a close proximity to New York City and residential areas and two seismic faults. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a hearing to make a decision on the certificate and relicensing the plant. Entergy officials stated they don’t need the certificate to continue operating, though Perales stated in his letter if changes are not made to the facility the negative impact on the environment will continue. Governor Andrew Cuomo and various state officials have been fighting the relicensing of the plant in an attempt to eventually shut it down completely.
The Village of Nyack will be opening the newly finished skatepark next week, after years of planning and construction. In 2010 residents began a petition for a park, which was later approved by Village Trustees and received grants from the Tony Hawk Foundation and New York State New York State totaling $125,000. Construction on the 5,000 square foot project in Misano Skateparks. There is going to be an opening day celebration on November 21 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM with contests, music, and food.
The New York State Comptroller released a report on Tuesday, which pointed out the pros and cons of Rockland County Executive Ed Day’s proposed 2016 budget. In the report Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli stated that the budget is a reasonable attempt to solve the fiscal issues the county is faced with, though the revenues listed are overly optimistic for the $723 million plan. DiNapoli called the sale of the Summit Park Nursing Home and the Sain Building “one-shot revenues” that likely won’t do enough to bring down the $29.5 million deficit. Ed Day’s office stated that the deficit will be reduced by the minimum of 10% saying, “The County Executive will accomplish this via budgetary practices and running government more efficiently, which has already yielded impressive savings during the first two years of his administration.” The Legislature agrees with the Comptroller’s reports that the budget will do little to keep costs down, the property tax levy will increase by 5% for homeowners. There will be a public forum on November 17 at the Allison Paris County Office Building at 7:00 PM where residents can hear further discussion on the spending plan.
According to an audit filed by O’Connor Davies on the East Ramapo School District budget for this year, there’s over $1 million extra. At Monday night’s board meeting, which was the first for interim Superintendent Deborah Wortham, the company told members that they found $2.4, though $1 million is being used for payments, leaving the district with $1.4 million. Scott Oling, a partner with O’Connor Davies spoke to the board, stating that while the extra money is a good change from last year’s deficit of about $8 million, they are still spending about 99.7% of this year’s budget and the district has yet to implement changes for recommendations made last year regarding bidding on contracts, and the discovery that a former employee who hasn’t worked since 2013 is still authorized to sign checks.
The Rockland Police Benevolent Association recently joined multiple other police organizations and supporters in a call to boycott director Quentin Tarantino’s new film “Hateful Eight”, which is set to be released Christmas day. In October Tarantino upset many during a rally against police brutality in New York City, when he said that the killing of an unarmed black man was murder. Phillip Fantasia, the president of the Rockland PBA stated in a press release that the director “used his celebrity to promote a hateful message that unjustly mischaracterized police officers.” Fantasia asked that in support of law enforcement nationwide people don’t go to see the new film as well as future projects. Tarantino stated to the Los Angeles Times that he was misinterpreted, and he does not all cops are murderers. The national boycott asks officers not to provide security, technical advice, or traffic control for any more of the director’s work.
According to Ramapo Building Inspector Tony Mallia, who spoke with the Journal News about a house fire in Pomona on Wednesday, the owners did not have illegal apartments in the basement. Mallia stated that following the investigation into the suspected violations officials found that the basement apartment and five bedrooms in the two story home were up to code and despite facing violations two years ago, the owners paid a fine and corrected the issues. Five family members were living in the home along with two individuals that were legally renting rooms. The building was deemed uninhabitable and only one person was home at the time of the 3:00 PM fire but they were not injured.
Hillcrest firefighters responded to a home on Route 45 in Pomona around 3:00 on Wednesday afternoon to find the building in flames. According to Rockland County’s Emergency Services Director Gordon Wren the home was divided into illegal apartments, and had faced previous violations for being illegally altered. Wren stated that the home had apartments in the basement as well as work done to create five bedrooms upstairs and several electrical boxes that had been installed without permits. Officials are investigating the cause of the fire, which they believe began in the kitchen and spread through the two-story home to the attic. Volunteers from Hillcrest, Stony Point, New City, and West Haverstraw managed to put out the flames, though the house was seriously damaged. Only one person was home at the time and they were not injured in the incident. Wren stated they are now looking for the contractors who did the work without the proper permits.
Results are in from Tuesday’s General Election. In the Rockland County Sheriff race, incumbent Democrat Louis Falco beat Richard Vasquez with 35,588 votes to 25,590. For County Legislature seats in District 2 Michael Grant won, in District 3 Jay Hood, in District 5 Lon Hofstein. In District 8 Toney Earl, in District 9 Chris Carey won, in District 11 Laurie Santulli, District Aron Wieder, and in District 17 Nancy Low-Hogan won. For the Supervisor race in Clarkstown, newcomer Frank Dizenzo beat Robert Milone and Wayne Ballard with 9,156 votes. In Ramapo incumbent Tony Sharan beat Robert Romanowski. Also on the ballot in Clarkstown was the proposed ward system, which passed with 8,922 votes yes to 8,267 votes no, as well as the proposal to expand the town board from four to six members which was shot down with 8,714 votes no to 8,294 votes yes.