A few State Parks in the Hudson Valley will be receiving a facelift to hiking trails and bridges as part of the NY Parks 2020 Plan. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $1.3 million in funding for 17 projects of which 6 are right here in our own backyard. Clarence Fahnstock – will receive $5,000 to replace worn out School Mountain Road bridges with structures suitable for equestrian use. FDR State Park will also receive $5,000 to improve parking to the pool area trail and install a bridge over Crom Pond Inlet stream. Goosepond Mount will receive $100,000 to improve parking and signage in the undeveloped areas of the park. Hudson Highlands will receive $40,000 to restore popular Washburn trail leading up to Bull Hill in the Preserve. Rockland Lake will see $150,000 to replace 1,300-foot boardwalk trail at the Rockland Lake Nature Center. And finally, Taconic and Palisades Region will get $172,000 for the Backcounty Trails Program. Along with these improvements Connect Kids to Parks received funding to promote parks and historic places in every corner of the state.
Six new community and outreach centers across the state will receive funding for much needed recovery services. In Hudson Valley, Independent Living, Inc. located in Newburgh will receive $1.75M as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Heroin Task Force. The new centers, funded by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, will provide health, wellness and other critical support for individuals and families who are recovering from a substance use disorder or are seeking recovery services. For information visit/call: 845-565-1162 and http://www.myindependentliving.org/EN-Services/RecoveryCenterServices-ReachOne
Lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York State highways will be suspended from 6 a.m. on Friday, July 1, to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5th, in order to accommodate travelers during the busy Independence Day holiday weekend. Some work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs.
Legal action has been taken by Rockland County against the Public Service Commission of the state of New York, New York State Department of Public Service and Suez Water of New York, Inc. The class action suit is intended to protect Suez New York water ratepayers having to pay for the ill-fated Haverstraw desalination plant on the Hudson River. The suit claims that the state Department of Public Services didn’t verify all of Suez’s expenditures totaling near $40M but instead relied on a sample audit of the invoices. Suez is seeking a rate increase to recoup $54M they claim they spent pursing the plant. The increase would raise the average monthly bill for Suez customers to a little over $8. Rockland County Executive Ed Day said that Rockland residents are “being asked to pay millions for a desalination plant that will never be built.”
The state is cracking down on vacant and abandoned properties known as “zombie” properties in neighborhoods. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law Tuesday legislation allowing the state to set up a hotline where one can reach the state Department of Financial Services and add a property to an electronic registry. Once on the registry Financial Services has the ability to contact the mortgage holder and require property maintenance. The law takes effect in approximately 180 days. $100 million has also been included to help income-eligible homeowners receive grants and loans to repair properties. Cuomo said in a statement that the law allows New Yorkers to, “take back their neighborhoods and ensure that these properties are renovated, restored, and occupied.” The registry number to call: (800) 342-3736.
Bronxville Superintendent, David Quattrone has announced he is retiring at the end of this coming school year. He has been superintendent of the 1,700-student district since 2005. The Bronxville Board of Education has announced the search has begun for his replacement and they want the community’s help. The district has a record for high performance with students repeatedly testing above the state average. 99 percent of their 2015 class graduated. School Board President, Denise Tormey has written a letter to the community that a search committee is in place and community involvement is important in developing a profile for the ideal candidate. Public meetings concerning the search will begin September 20 and 21. Times and locations TBD.
According to the Associated Press, “Law & Order” director 52-year-old Jace Alexander was sentenced yesterday to 10 years probation on child pornography charges in a New York courtroom. His computer held digital files showing children under 16 engaging in sex acts. The director, pleaded guilty in January to promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing an obscene performance by a child. A resident of Dobbs Ferry, married, with three children, Alexander is the son of Emmy and Tony award-winning actress Jane Alexander. Jace Alexander must now register as a sex offender in New York.
Applications are now being accepted for the Civil Service exam for Westchester County police officers. The exam will be administered on November 19th. You must apply by July 25th with the Department of Human Resources. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said, “Westchester is served best when its police ranks are filled with the best, brightest and most dedicated men and women from all our communities across the county.” If you or someone you know is interested the exam is the place to start. The application link:
humanresources.westchestergov.com or call: 914-995-2123
Entergy, the owner and operator of Indian Point Nuclear Power plant in Buchannan, says that Indian Point 2 was returned to service Monday. The reactor had been taken offline on Thursday due to a leaking water pipe. Over the weekend they did weld repairs and according to Lohud gave Con Edison time to “test a breaker in a nearby switchyard”.
Monday afternoon a four-story apartment building located at 29 Jefferson Avenue in New Square caught fire. The owner of the building has been to court for lacking a certificate of occupancy and other safety violations. Hillcrest firefighters Chris Kear and Building Inspector Manny Carmona had the fire under control within 15-20 minutes. It is alleged that it may have started in an attic closet. Due to the scale of the building Hillcrest Fire Chief Frank Youngman called for mutual aid from Spring Valley Fire Department. No injuries were reported. The incident remains under investigation by Sheriff’s Office fire unit detective Douglas Lerner.