On Monday the East Ramapo school board held its first meeting since the State Education Department appointed a team of three monitors to the district. More than 200 parents, students, and teachers attended the meeting to express their frustration and concerns for the coming school year, many stating that there is a need to bring back programs such as art and music to the public schools. Newly appointed monitor Dennis Walcott, the former commissioner of New York City Schools has visited a few schools in the district since his position was announced nearly a week ago and last night’s meeting was the first for him and Dr. Monica Georgefield who will be assisting her expertise in school turnaround. Parents are still calling for the resignation of Superintendent Joel Klein and the board, stating that the large Hispanic and African American population of students are being mistreated in public schools while the district favors religious private school students. Walcott stated to the Journal News that what he witnessed at the meeting is understandable, including the loud attendees saying they are naturally passionate about the education of their children, but he believes the situation is manageable. E
The New York State Police has released information regarding a fatal 2-car accident which took place just before 1 a.m. Saturday morning in Woodbury. Abel Molina, 74, of Blauvelt was driving eastbound on Route 6 when he crossed the double yellow line and struck an oncoming car, driven by Ricardo Diaz, 55, of Port Jervis. Both men were alone in their cars and were pronounced dead at the scene. Anyone with information regarding the accident is encourage to call the State Police at (845) 782-8311.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert are alerting residents of an air quality health advisory for today for the pollutant, ozone. Ozone levels are expected to exceed national air quality standards and may cause symptoms for sensitive groups such as young children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing lung or heart conditions. These individuals should reduce their outdoor exposure including physical activity until air quality conditions improve. Peak hours for ozone levels are between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Officials are recommending residents stay indoors at already air-conditioned buildings to reduce the demand for electricity consumption. Orange & Rockland has issued a Heat Watch for today projecting air-conditioning usage to rise beyond 1,300 megawatts. Engineers will be on hand to monitor distribution circuits and transformer banks in the system to address any heat-related issues that may arise. O & R will be sending out a brief survey to residents via e-mail to assess how and when customers use electricity on hot summer days. To combat the heat, it is recommended that a fan is used to cool your home as up to 90% less energy is consumed than using an air conditioner. For more tips visit the O&R website at oru.com.
77 year-old Edward Brophy of Congers died in Nyack Hospital from injuries sustained when a Tappan ZEExpress bus struck him on Sunday afternoon, as it was making a turn onto Route 303 in West Nyack. The bus did not have any passengers at the time and the driver was not injured from the incident. Route 303 was closed for approximately 6 hours following the accident to investigate the cause, reopening at 9 p.m. Ian Diamond of the Rockland Bicycling Club was a guest on Friday’s “Lunchtime Talk with Jeff and Kerry” on WRCR. Diamond stated that while there are plenty of bicyclists who don’t follow the rules, drivers have the upper hand and must try to mitigate potential dangers and share the road. “Lunchtime Talk with Jeff and Kerry” can be heard every Friday afternoon after the 12 o’clock news.
According to Mahwah Police the Treasurer of the Bergen County Fire Prevention and Protection Association was arrested last week for allegedly stealing money from the group. 54-year old James LeClercq of Dumont, an Englewood Fire Inspector and volunteer firefighter, was accused of embezzling $6,500 by writing himself checks ranging from $20-$500. LeClercq would make partial payments to the organization to cover the thefts from donations, leaving the Association with $10 in their accounts. The man was charged with theft and was released from jail, and has been suspended without pay from his position with the city of Englewood.
According to State Police three people were killed in a Saturday crash on the taconic State Parkway. Police stated that around 3:00 PM in Yorktown 33-year old Nerim Sinanovic of the Bronx was driving a BMW SUV, when his car went airborn off the road and landed in Southbound traffic, colliding with two vehicles, causing a four car pile up. One of the cars struck by Sinanovic was carrying 63-year old Donald Mulvaney, who is in critical condition at Westchester Medical Center and 61-year old Ledell Mulvaney and her daughter 31-year old Katherine Mulvaney who were both killed. Sinanovic’s two-year old old daughter Leona was also killed in the crash and his one-year old daughter and wife both suffered minor injuries. Police are still investigating what caused the BMW to veer into oncoming traffic, and are asking for witnesses to call the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 914-769-2600.
According to Rockland officials the county will be taking on a $12.5 million project to rebuild Forshay Road in Ramapo, between Viola and Willow Tree Roads. The federal government is paying for 8% of the cost, the state for 15% and the county is responsible for 5%. Legislator Ilan Schoenberger stated last week, that the plan has been in discussion for nearly ten years and construction will finally be started on the crumbling street that leads to College Road. Forshay Road has faced traffic problems in recent years, and according to Highway Superintendent Skip Vezzetti crews will add a left hand turn lane onto Viola Road, as well as a roundabout at Willow Tree and Forshay Roads. Officials stated that they will also be repairing drainage systems and will add signs, sidewalks, and new traffic lights. A vote for more money for the project will take place in the Legislature on August 4.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new public health law today which requires body piercing and tattoo studios to use single-use ink and needles at all New York State establishments. The single-use products comes in sterile, sealed packaging which the Governor hopes will reduce health risks attributed to diseases spread through reused materials. “This new law is an important step toward preventing the spread of infectious diseases and in holding accountable those who don’t take the proper precautions.” The law will be further affirmed by a consent form to be signed by both parties which states that the specialist presented and opened single-use materials before the receiver. The legislation first introduced in January by Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski and State Senator David Carlucci, saw unanimous approval on the floor which should begin dialogue to standardize regulations in the realm of body modification.
54 year-old James LeClercq of Dumont was arrested Thursday and charged with theft, taking funds from the Bergen County Fire Prevention Association while serving as treasurer. LeClercq was accused of writing checks for himself for amounts between $20-500 since last October, totaling about $6,500 in all embezzled. Association President Richard Silvia alleged that LeClercq left mere dollars in the account and that up to $10,000 may have gone missing. During a telephone interview conducted by a North New Jersey News source, LeClercq stated, “I’m very sorry for the mistake that I made and I intend to follow through and correct this problem. I have violated the trust of the members of the Bergen County Fire Prevention Association and I violated the trust of a bunch of men who I was friends with. I made a big mistake.” LeClercq was released after being seen in municipal court.
A small earthquake hit parts of central New Jersey this morning. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake, which hit at 3:41 AM was a magnitude 2.5 and occurred 2 miles north of Bernardsville at a depth of 3 and a half miles. There were no immediate reports of any damage. According to the Associated Press, Zachary Reeves, a geophysicist with the USGS said about 78 people felt the shaking from the quake, and that earthquakes of this magnitude usually doesn’t cause much damage. This region usually sees smaller earthquakes every two or three years.