Today is the day residents head to the polls to vote on the 2015-2016 school budgets, trustees, and propositions. In Clarkstown those who live in the district will be voting to approve a $192 million budget, with a tax increase of 1.7%, and there are seven candidates up for board seats. In Nanuet the proposed budget is $68 million with a 1.4 percent tax increase, and four candidates up for the board. In Nyack the proposed budget is for $79 million with a tax increase of 1.7% and two candidates for positions on the board. In Pearl River voters will approve or vote down the budget of $64 million budget with a tax increase of 1.1 % and two candidates for the board. The South Orangetown proposed budget is for $86 million with a tax raise of 1.6% and two candidates for the board. In North Rockland the budget proposal is for $210 million with a tax increase of 1.3% and two candidates for the board. Possibly the most contested vote is for the East Ramapo budget of $218 million with a tax increase of 1.3% and eight candidates for seats on the board. And residents in the Ramapo Central School District will vote on a $132 million budget with a 1.5% tax increase and four candidates for the board.
As the weather warms and construction continues on the Hudson River, residents’ concerns that a repeat of last summer’s excessive noise coming from the new Tappan Zee Bridge site are being raised. Tappan Zee Constructors, the company responsible for putting up the new bridge, stated on Monday that as they begin pile driving and installing metal sheets to the structure once more they will be using a newly implemented noise mitigation system. First there will be a noise barrier placed over the sheets of metal that have already been installed to reduce vibration, as well as over the vibratory hammer, and a 40 by 30 foot temporary barrier will be put up to protect residents from both the loud processes. To ensure that residents get a break, pile driving will take place from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on weekdays only, for 30 minutes an hour.
Police have released the identity of an Orange County man that was killed in an accident between his pickup truck and a garbage truck on Monday morning. According to officials around 2:40 AM 40-year old Stefan Connolly was driving on Sterling Mine Road in Sloatsburg when his vehicle crossed the double yellow line and collided with an Interstate Waste Management truck, destroying the driver’s side of his white pickup truck. Police began investigating at the scene Monday morning, closing the road for several hours in both directions as they reconstructed the accident to determine the cause. Police stated that the driver of the garbage truck was taken for required testing, but there were no signs that drugs or alcohol were involved. Police are still trying to determine what caused Connolly to cross into the opposite lane.
If you are out driving anywhere in New York State this week, including Rockland County, you will likely see a higher number of police check points. This is because State Police are teaming up with local and county police departments to ensure drivers are using there seatbelts. This has become a yearly tradition during the week leading up to Memorial Day, as there is a higher volume of cars on the roadways. Law enforcement officials stress, that you should be wearing seatbelts year round, not just when police are out checking, it is proven that they save lives during car accidents. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that 12,174 lives were saved in 2012 due to the fact they were wearing a seatbelt. Statistics for the same time also show that 21,667 passenger vehicles were involved in deadly crashes. 51% of those accidents were deadly all because a seatbelt was not being worn. If you come upon a checkpoint this week and one of the occupants in your car is not wearing a seatbelt, you will be issued a ticket. This campaign runs from May 18th- May 31st.
If you are travelling southbound on the New York State Thruway anytime after 8pm this week, you should leave early and expect lane closures and traffic backups. The lane closures will take place at Exit 11 down to the Tappan Zee Bridge. According to officials, one lane will close at 8pm, followed by a second lane at 9pm and then the third lane at 10:30 pm. All lanes are expected to reopen by 6am the next morning. It is also important to note that there will be periodic traffic stops, lasting up to 10minutes at a time. These traffic stops will occur anytime between 8pm and 4am. Also note that the southbound on-ramp from Exit 10 in Nyack will be closed from 9pm Wednesday until 5am Thursday. Commuters will be directed to the Route 59 on-ramp in Nyack. This is all an effort to continue work on the new Tappan Zee Bridge, move the heavy equipment and to continue work on the temporary electronic toll system for the bridge. The work and closures will take place weather permitting and may be re-scheduled if necessary.
Par Pharmaceutical, a private pharmaceutical company with a research, development, and manufacturing location in Chestnut Ridge and a distribution center in Montebello, has been bought by Endo International for $8.05 billion dollars. Par posted a 2014 total revenue of $1.31 billion with 1,600 employees. In a statement released by Endo International, the resulting company will create a specialty pharmaceutical company that will be among the top five in the U.S. President and CEO of Endo, Rajiv De Silva expressed approval for the strategy for revenue growth in this acquision. “This transaction with Par builds upon our generics growth, adding a strong portfolio of high barrier-to-entry and attractive gross margin products while also transforming Endo, creating a powerful corporate platform for future growth and strategic M&A.” The transaction will close by the end of this year and awaits regulatory approval.
On Saturday evening Ramapo Police responded to an accident on Route 202 involving a vehicle and a bicyclist. Police stated that around 5:10 PM a 52-year old man was riding his bicycle westbound on the eastbound side of the road, and was struck by a car pulling out of a driveway at the intersection of Camp Hill Road and 202. It was not released whether the 46-year old driver received a summons, and the bicyclist was taken to Nyack Hospital by Spring Hill Ambulance, where he was treated for a head injury as well as injuries to his shoulder, leg, and ribs. Just last week 47-year old Alfred Zaldivar was killed from injuries he sustained after he was hit by a car while riding his bike on Route 304 on May 9. The driver fled the scene and now faces charges after being tracked down by police.
Residents in the Ramapo Central School District will vote to replace two artificial fields at the Suffern Middle School, used by physical education classes and sports teams. Some residents and board members have responded negatively to the proposal, which would provide $850,000 to replace the fields, but does not state a specific material to be used. Those in opposition have stated that there are links between certain rubber materials used for fields such as these and cancer, though not proven many say that the possibility should be enough to warrant the use of another material. On Tuesday voters will head to the polls to approve a $131 million dollar budget for the district and the board stated at a meeting last week that they will be looking into safer options for the field repairs.
On Saturday police released the identity of a 69-year old Suffern woman who was killed when she was hit by a car on Friday afternoon. Police stated that around 4:00 PM Claire Horskey was struck by a Pontiac Grand Am on Wayne Avenue, after she apparently ran into the street, possibly unable to see the car due to sunglare. Horskey was taken to Westchester Medical Center by Ramapo Valley Ambulance, where she was treated, and later pronounced dead due to her injuries. Police were investigating the accident, and stated that the 51-year old driver will not be charged.
County Executive Ed Day announced on Friday that Standard and Poor’s rating services upgraded the county’s bond rating from BBB- to BBB with a positive outlook. Day stated in a release from his office that the upgrade represents all the county has accomplished in stabilizing finances over the last year. The BBB rating means that the county has a good chance of meeting financial commitments. The rating from S&P is added to last year’s upgrade from Moody’s Investor’s Service from BAA-2 to BAA-3 with a positive change in the county’s original $138 million deficit, “We’ve made the tough decisions to cut government spending, improve management and tighten procurement processes. Our work isn’t done, and we will continue to make substantive, fiscally responsible reforms to improve the county’s finances.”