Earth Day Events

There are a bunch of events in and around the county to celebrate Earth Day tomorrow. One of those is being hosted by WRCR alum, Kerry Potter, who recently opened a natural burial boutique in Nyack, “Dying to Bloom,” specializing in green products including coffins, urns and more. She’ll be showing a ½ hour documentary called “Dying Green” three times Saturday at 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30…

Audio clip: Kerry  Potter

Other Earth Day events include:

  • The New Jersey Botanical Garden in Ringwood has a free 1’o-clock “Early Spring Wildflower Walk” – visit www.NJBG.org for more information.
  • Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland will be unveiling a greenhouse to provide fresh produce for its food pantry. The greenhouse will teach kids and adults the value of growing their own food. The site, located at 78 Hudson Avenue in Haverstraw, also features a new meditation-inspiration garden. The event features lots of kid-friendly activities and runs from noon to – 3PM. For more information visit ccsrockland.org.
  • Rockland County Legislator Aney Paul and a volunteer crew will be cleaning a two-mile stretch of County Route 35A that runs between New Clarkstown Road in Nanuet and Route 59 in Spring Valley. If you’d like to help out you can also take part in her Great American Cleanup, which runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Volunteers are meeting at the Pascack Community Center at 87 New Clarkstown Road in Nanuet. You can call Legislator Paul at 638-5100 for more information or visit keeprocklandbeautiful.org.

Jury Selecton, Day 2, in St. Lawrence Fraud Case

The Chris St. Lawrence trial got underway yesterday in U.S. District Court in White Plains. Not a single juror was selected yesterday to sit in judgement of Ramapo’s Supervisor, who is charged in a 22-count federal indictment with wire and securities fraud, and conspiracy. The Journal News reported 75 people from New York’s Southern District, including Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Sullivan and the Bronx — were all called in as potential jurors. 35 or so were asked about 50-questions during the screening process. Jury selection continues today. Presiding Judge Cathy Seibel said opening arguments would begin later today once a jury has been selected. Court will not be in session tomorrow.

Belton Lee Brims Returns (Briefly) to Rockland

One of the men at the center of one of Rockland’s most notorious murder cases was back briefly in Rockland County earlier this week. Belton Lee Brims, convicted in the brutal 1980 slayings of Monsey’s Arnold and Elaine Sohn, recently completed a 36-year sentence for armed robbery in New Jersey and was returned to New York to begin his two 25-to-life terms for the Sohn murders. Brims and an accomplice carried out the murders under direction of the couple’s daughter, Sheryl Sohn, who was paroled in 2008 after serving a 28-year sentence. Brims escaped from the old county jail while awaiting his trial in 1981 and was located about three weeks later in Selma, Alabama. Rockland officers brought Brims to the New York Downstate Correctional facility in Fishkill to serve the two sentences from the Sohn case.

Police: No Texting and Driving

If you’re like the majority of Americans, but not Steve, you probably enjoy using your mobile phone to send text messages. But if you text when you aren’t supposed to be, say, when you’re behind the wheel of a car, you not only run a greater risk of getting into an accident, now you’ll find yourself at a greater risk of getting caught and fined. That’s according to Sheriff Lou Falco, who was a guest on yesterday’s Morning Show. Falco said the focus is not only on illegal cell usage but failure to follow proper laws when it comes to school buses…

Audio clip: Lou Falco    

Falco said extra attention this week in particular is going to center on assisting the Ramapo and Spring Valley police departments in the East Ramapo school district.

Area Earth Day Celebrations

This Saturday marks the 48th annual Earth Day celebration, and many area residents take the day to do something special for the planet or their small area of the world. In Orangetown, supervisor Andy Stewart says local volunteers from Keep America Beautiful will be cleaning up public areas around town as part of the Great American Cleanup. Some from the group will be meeting at 9AM at the gazebo on Main Street in Nyack to clean up around the village…

Audio clip: Andy Stewart        

To find out about cleanups in your area and how you can help, visit www.KeepRocklandBeautiful.org.

Jury Selection Begins in CSL Fraud Trial

Jury selection begins today in White Plains for Ramapo Supervisor Chris St. Lawrence’s federal corruption trial. U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel will be presiding over the case and expects to seat 12 jurors and four alternates. The case is expected to last about six weeks. St. Lawrence was charged in a 22-count federal indictment with wire and securities fraud, and conspiracy.

Jaffee: Families Need More Funds for Childcare Services

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee is pleased with some of the items in the new state budget…raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, for example, and the concept of the free college tuition plan for state schools, though she acknowledged the plan still needs work. Jaffee was a guest on The Morning Show yesterday, and said she was disappointed the budget didn’t restore funds for child care assistance to those families living below the poverty line…

Audio Clip: Ellen Jaffee   

Jaffee said she would be holding hearings to talk about the child care needs of the state. Besides being a benefit to working families, Jaffee said increased subsidies would help the economy and create jobs.

Seniors Urged to Consider EPIC Program

The fastest growing demographic in Rockland: senior citizens. That’s according to Senator David Carlucci, also a guest on the Morning show yesterday. Carlucci urged seniors to be aware of the Elderly Pharmaceutical and Insurance Coverage program, also known as EPIC, which helps defray costs of prescription drugs. The income eligibility for participation in EPIC used to be under $35,000 a year, but, Carlucci said…

Audio Clip: David Carlucci  

Carlucci said under the program, drug co-pays could be as little as two dollars. Call his office at 845-623-3627 for more information or assistance in signing up.

Top Suburbs in Rockland (according to Niche.com)

Several communities in Rockland County made the Top 100 list of the top suburbs in New York State, though none made the Top 100 for the nation. The ones from Rockland that made Niche.com’s top state list include Bardonia at #49, Suffern at #54, South Nyack came in at #55 and Piermont 60th. New City finished 63rd, Upper Nyack at 75th and Tappan came in 96th. The #1 suburb in New York was Kensington, out on Long Island. Tops in New Jersey was Short Hills at #1, followed by Ridgewood at #3 and Tenafly at #6. Some others of note, Alpine came in 33rd, Ramsey 45th and Woodcliff Lake, 47th. Niche.com ranks areas based on various data available on U.S. schools and neighborhoods.

Earth Day Event @ NJ Botanical Garden

The New Jersey Botanical Garden in Ringwood is celebrating Earth Day Saturday April 22 with a series of events. There’s a free 1’o-clock “Early Spring Wildflower Walk” followed by a jazz-pop concert in the Carriage House Visitor Center. The concert isn’t free – tickets are $25 at the door, unless you buy ahead of time. For more information visit NJBG.org.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

Please click on the image below to view all snow closings for Rockland County.