County Executive Ed Day has taken a side in the dispute between Clarkstown and Ramapo over the potential zone change of property called Pascack Ridge, which is right between Nanuet and Spring Valley. Day recently stated that the changes are inappropriate and overdevelopment is a problem that could lead to a lesser quality of life for all those around. The property owners are attempting to get the 28-acre site zoned for multi-family residential units, rather that the current zoning of medium density residential, which would allow 3 homes be built per acre. The new zoning would allow 12 units be built per acre. Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack, as well as the town’s Planning Board have stated that the 2,000 plus residents this would allow living there, will create traffic and environmental problems in the area. The Ramapo Town Board will be holding a meeting on December 10 where the request will be further discussed.
Firefighters responded to a call on Friday to a home in Montebello. Around 4:30 in the afternoon volunteers arrived at the address on Sycamore Lane to find the two-story family home was in flames, they believe began in the fireplace. The family was able to get out of the house and there were no reports of injuries, though the house was severely damaged. Firefighters were able to put out the blaze that quickly spread and investigators were looking into the official cause.
According to County Executive Ed Day the County Legislature is planning to vote on the 2015 budget proposal, and have discussed various options that may save county jobs. One proposal is to amend the Deficit Reduction Act so that instead of paying back $10 million a year, the county would repay a lower amount of $4 million. Day’s $772 million budget proposal calls for 111 job cuts, as well as cutting funding for nonprofit organizations, and though he has begun working with the Legislature to save jobs he stated on WRCR anout the decision to lower the reduction law “If we free up $6 million out of the 10 million, on an item that has been focused on in a key piece of our fiscal recovery, all that’s gonna tell the markets is one simple thing, when faced with the tough decisions Rockland County ran, Rockland changed the rules of the game to accommodate an approach that would not force those decisions.” Recently the New York State Comptroller’s Office approved the proposal, calling it good for the county’s bond rating. According to Day the county has the potential to have a rating upgrade in the spring as well, and not paying back a large amount of the deficit could hurt the county’s chances. The other approach was proposed by Legislator Cris Carey, and according to Day, would save 23 positions in the Sheriff’s Department and bring the county layoffs below 100, by lowering the Deficit Reduction Act to $7 million a year. Carey stated that the plan would also give nonprofits 75% of their funding and according to Day would allow county property taxes to remain under the 2% tax cap for the year. There will be a Budget and Finance meeting on Tuesday at 7:00 PM and a vote will be held on Thursday at 7:00 PM, both at the County Office Buildings in New City.
The town of Ramapo will be opening their ice rink at Provident Bank Park where the Rockland Boulders play baseball each year, and are making it available to the county as well as outside visitors. According to Supervisor Christopher St.Lawrence installation will begin on November 30, and opening Day will be December 5 costing $6 per skater, $4 for seniors and children, as well as a skate rental fee. The 50 by 70 foot rink will be open for about two months into February.
A lawsuit has been filed against Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe and Judge Charles Apotheker by a woman who claims she was denied her right to speak against a plea deal they offered her assailant in 2013. Patrizia Caruso of Airmont accused her coworker at Good Samaritan Hospital, Charles Edwards, of verbally harassing her and severely beating her in one incident in June of last year and now claims that she was forced to defend a misdemeanor charge of harassment when she slapped Edwards in defense of him calling her sexual names, and she was denied a say in the deal that gave Edwards probation for his felony charge of second-degree attempted assault. Caruso is asking federal court to step in and rethink the deal.
The case against an Orange County man who shot and killed Norris Acosta-Sanchez, who was accused of raping a girl in Ramapo, will go before a new grand jury in Westchester. The indictment on charges of second-degree murder, first and second-degree manslaughter, as well as criminally negligent homicide was dismissed earlier this month, the judge ruling that statements made by David Carlson defending himself in the 2013 shooting were withheld from the original grand jury, and so compromised their opinions. Westchester prosecutors stated that they will be choosing a new grand jury instead.
The East Ramapo School District finalized the sale of Hillcrest Elementary School to the Yeshiva Avir Yakov. The original sale in 2010 was annulled after the appraiser Avi Vardi was charged with fraud for taking bribes from the Yeshiva to falsify the report on the building. The building was reappraised four months ago and the sale went through for 4.9 million dollars.
On Tuesday night nearly 60 people met in Memorial Park in Spring Valley to participate in a peaceful protest organized by the Rockland Coalition to End the New Jim Crow to voice their disagreement against the jury’s recent decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson of Ferguson, Missouri for the fatal shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown. Protesters stated that they gathered to express their anger, many carrying signs urging justice be sought and that “black lives matter’, while chanting through the evening things such as “hands up, don’t shoot”. About 50 police officers, including members of the sheriff’s mounted patrol were brought in as a precaution, though they were not needed as the rally ended peacefully.
The Hudson Valley is expecting 3-6 inches of snow between 8 AM and Wednesday evening. Enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving from the WRCR team and safe travels to everyone!
The Rockland Co. Dept. of Health has cancelled all afternoon clinics for Wed, Nov 26 due to inclement weather. Please call ahead to all W.I.C. sites.
Pearl River SD- CLOSED
South Orangetown SD- CLOSED
Ramapo Central SD- CLOSED
Clarkstown Central SD- EARLY DISMISSAL
North Rockland SD- EARLY DISMISSAL VISIT WEBSITE FOR TIMES AND INFO- NO KINDERGARTEN OR BOSCES
Rockland Community College: All classes and activities are cancelled at Main Campus and Haverstraw beginning at NOON today, Wed., Nov. 26, and all offices will close at noon.
Meals on Wheels Senior Center Programs and Adult Daycare Programs at the Bobby Lewis Center- CLOSED
The mother of a Pomona resident who was believed to have died of an alleged suicide on November 2 when his body was found in a park in Stony Point, has reached out to the Journal News and other news sources to urge people and police to help find friends of her son who she says stole thousands of dollars in belongings from his room. Ellen Hansen, whose 27-year old son Daniel died earlier this month, stated to the Journal News that she invited friends of her son’s to her home to mourn and reported to police afterward that clothes, weights, snowboarding equipment, and headphones were among the items taken. Police stated that they have interviewed some of the visitors and the headphones were returned to the Hansen family, along with some clothing,but an official report has been filed and an investigation has been started.