Over the weekend, Queen Elizabeth II named a resident of Peekskill an honorary member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. For the past 15 years, 47-year-old, Glenn Guzi, routinely hosted the British royal family at the World Trade Center site. Established in 1917 by King George V, the honor rewards individuals for contributions to the art and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organizations, and public service outside the Civil Service. According to sources, in 1990 Guzi had been studying abroad when he met Prince Charles and Lady Diana. Years later, after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, wanted to visit the site and Guzi was working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey became her guide. As the years went by whenever the royals visited the US Guzi would be their tour guide. The British consul general to New York, Danny Lopez, said in a statement that the World Trade Center site has been “both a place of pilgrimage and a symbol of the UK-US special relationship.” Guzi told the Journal News that the royals visit the site “because of a sense of duty and a sense, every today, that no one should really forget.”
Saturday afternoon, 84-year-old Mary Haggerty of Poughquag was killed in a two-car crash. Police say 43-year-old Andrew Jenkins and his 7-year-old son of Mahopac, were traveling northbound on I-84 near exit 13 in Fishkill. Jenkins was preparing to exit the highway when Haggerty, also traveling north in the left lane, suddenly cut across all lanes and struck the rear of Jenkins car. Both cars flipped over. Haggerty was transported to Saint Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh and was pronounced dead. Jenkins and his son were also transported to the hospital with with non-life threatening injuries. The crash remains under investigation. If you witnessed the crash you can call State Police at 845-677-7300.
Push back has begun on the Legoland NY Project in Goshen. A grassroots effort called “Stop Legoland Goshen” has formed to halt the theme park from moving ahead. Debra Corr, a spokeswoman for the group said they are concerned about “the serious impact that a 170-acre amusement park will have on our community.” Merlin Entertainment, the parent company to Legoland Amusement Parks, presented the plan to the Goshen Town Board and residents of the community on Tuesday night. It is projected that over 2M visitors each year will use the park. One of the main concerns is the traffic problem. Those visitors would be using the NY Thruway, Route 17 and local roads. Stop Legoland Goshen is concerned about traffic congestion, noise and air pollution. Another issue brought up at the meeting by Goshen Town Supervisor Douglas Bloomfield who is also the commissioner of water and sewer was that the lands Merlin is considering operate with well water and that would not be enough for the venue. Bloomfield said an outside water source would be needed. Corr noted that the group is concerned about tapping limited water resources and adding stress to Goshen’s sewer system that would threaten their way of life. Other issues concern elderly at Glen Arden Assisted Living and students at BOCES who would have trouble moving around such a crowded area and finally they feel property values would decrease with such a large venue nearby. Corr said the group hopes to convince the Goshen Town board “to oppose this harmful development proposal and ask Legoland to leave Orange County and go elsewhere.” Corr said that if the project moves forward into the permitting phase the group would consider legal action. This is not the first time a community has asked Legoland to look elsewhere. Originally, the first choice was Haverstraw, but community push back caused the company to look for another location.
In Spring Valley a HUD subsidized housing complex, already under investigation for discriminatory renting practices, is now charged with violations for allegedly building a school and a place of worship in the facility. Park View Condominiums, at Main Street and Maple Avenue, were part of a downtown urban renewal project. According to Spring Valley Chief Building Inspector Walter Booker, another inspector who was suspended at the time approved two religious baths called mikvahs in May 2015. Booker had originally rejected the baths because their religious uses violated federal guidelines for such public projects. Booker learned about the baths existence when someone from the development came to renew the permit for them. On Thursday, Booker and a village police officer inspected the buildings. Booker told the Journal News, “The site is in violation of site-plan approval, building-permit statues, certificate-of-occupancy statutes, zoning statutes and the conditions of the Urban Renewal Board that qualified it for approval through land-use boards.” Violations are now being submitted to Village Court for prosecution.
Hear ye, hear ye! The City of White Plains in cooperation with the The White Plains Historical Society is hosting “A Day in the Life of Colonial White Plains”. Take a trip back to the Colonial White Plains of 1776 at the start of the Revolution and the birth of New York State. The event is Saturday in Tibbits Park (South Broadway). Colonial Town will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be costumed Revolutionary War soldiers and townsfolk doing cooking and craft demonstrations. The event is free and will include a dramatic reading a noon of the Declaration of Independence by Jonathan Kruk, a master storyteller, who will read the Declaration as it was read by Judge John Thomas in July 1776. The event is part of an ongoing series of activities celebrating the 100th anniversary of White Plains’ incorporation as a city.
Merlin Entertainments, the parent company of Legoland Amusement Parks, met with the Goshen Town Board and residents of the community at the Orange County Emergency Services Center on Tuesday night to hear the plans for ‘Legoland New York. Representatives for the theme park presented the site plans, an analysis of jobs creation, community involvement and their projections for the park potentially opening in 2019. On the resident side, the biggest concern is potential traffic problems on Route 17 and water and sewer access. Goshen Town Supervisor Douglas Bloomfield who is also the commissioner of water and sewer noted that well water would not be enough to meet the needs at the venue and water would need to come from an outside source. More public hearings are scheduled for the coming months.
The DMVs Operation Prevent is now taking action. State agencies are partnering with law enforcement to prevent the use of fake IDs to obtain alcohol by announcing the launch of coordinated sweeps during the summer concert season and at other underage hotspots as part of the ongoing effort to deter underage drinking and prevent the use of fake IDs. These sweeps will be unannounced at various concert venues and places where young adults congregate across the state, and will be carried out by the DMV in partnership with State Liquor Authority, New York State Park Police and New York State Police, and local law enforcement agencies. Patrons under the age of 21 found to be using fake IDs or false documents with the intent of purchasing alcohol can be arrested and have their license revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year. “Too often, innocent victims and young lives are lost and families’ dreams are shattered because of underage drinking,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. She added, “Let’s enjoy world-class entertainment and all that this State has to offer and get home safely.”
Newburgh now has four candidates for city police chief. Civil Service Commission Member, Thomas Murphy told the commission on Wednesday that six people took the civil service exam in March and four passed. According to regulations three people must have passed for the list of candidates to be established and the selection process to move forward. The four candidates will now be interviewed to determine their interest in the position. One of the requirements is that they agree to move into the city. Sources say, Interim Chief Daniel Cameron refused the test because he believed that with 20 years on the Newburgh force, he deserved to be given a promotional exam. It is now up to the city manager to select one of the passing candidates and then a background check will be performed and salary negotiated.
It just got easier to fly south, enjoy a round of golf or body surf the ocean – Allegiant Travel Company as of this evening will depart Stewart International Airport to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina two days per week on Thursday and Sunday. The flight scheduled is designed for weekend getaways through September. For more information visit: www.allegiantair.com