According to police reports the pools recently built for a religious summer camp were vandalized over the weekend. Ryan Karben, the lawyer representing Camp Shalom based out of New Jersey, one of four pools, which are located at the CHestnut Ridge Middle School which the camp is renting for $125,000, was slashed in seven different places. Karben is asking that the police investigate the vandalism as a hate crime, especially when the camp claims harassment towards its workers and on social media sites. According to Detective Sargent John Lynch with the Ramapo Police they are questioning neighbors in search of potential witnesses and information and looking for security footage that could identify the person or persons involved. Last month the camp faced out-lash from community members when the allegedly began construction on the above ground pools without the proper permits. Last week the County Health Department stated that they would allow the camp to build and now they are just waiting to complete a full inspection of the finished pools so that campers can swim. According to Catherine Quinn, Associate Public Health Engineer for Rockland County, the department received emails with complaints of food and garbage littering the property, though when inspected nothing was found. Ramapo Police ask anyone with information on the incident call 845-357-2400.
The Boulders lost their first home game against the New Jersey Jackals on Friday, with neither team scoring for the first three innings. In the fourth inning the Jackals gained a 3-0 lead and in the fifth inning they added five more runs, and the Boulders were able to bring in three runs making the final score 8-4. On Saturday things started looking up for Rockland, in the fourth inning taking a 2-1 lead against the Trois River Aigles. Continuing the lead with a score of 5-3 in the sixth inning the Boulders ended the game winning 8-6. On Sunday the Boulders continued their away series against the Aigles, scoring six runs in the first inning alone. The Aigles got in one run in the seventh inning and the final score of 15-1 put the Boulders into first place in the Can-Am League. The two teams continue tonight at 7:05 and the Boulders will return home to Provident Bank Park on July 11.
According to Skip Vezzetti, the Rockland Highway Superintendent, the construction on New Hempstead Road will be finished this month, the contractor has until July 31 to finish. Officials stated that the work was supposed to be done last month, but rain and utility issues held up the date. The $42 million project began in 2011 and reconstructed two miles from Main Street in New City to the Palisades Parkway Interchange and, according to Vezzetti, is a complete rebuilding, widening, straightening, and installation of a new bridge, sidewalks, crosswalks, and landscaping that could make the road last 80 to 100 years. Once the work is completed it will be the first time in three years that the road is construction free for travelers, and the installation of turning lanes will help cut down on traffic as well. Vezzetti stated that much of the $33 million spent on construction will be reimbursed by utilities and the federal government repairs and final numbers are not yet known.
The town of Clarkstown Highway Department has hired a new full time confidential secretary for Superintendent Wayne Ballard. On Tuesday Ballard announced that Legislator Frank Sparaco was awarded the position, which pays $103,600 a year, after the former secreatary of 16 years, Nancy Willen, unexpectedly made the decision to retire. Sparaco is facing criticism for the position, many stating that Willen earned her salary over a period of time, and the Legislator should be started at a lower salary. The job offers health care as well as contributes to his pension, though Sparaco stated that he will not be joining the town’s plan because he already receives health care with the Legislature. Sparaco previously worked as consultant services representative for the Highway Department, earning $78,000 a year with no benefits. At a meeting on June 10 the board approved Republican Councilman George Hoehmann’s proposal to cut the position, stating that due to the town’s budget problems cuts are necessary. A recent projection by Comptroller Edward Duer and Deputy Comptroller Mary Maloney for 2015-2018 has shown Clarkstown is facing a $6 million shortfall, which will not be prevented by property taxes and other forms of revenue will not keep up with spending on services.
Rocklan Community College is going to have to rely on taxpayers and enrolled students more than ever for the 2014-15 year, since the state has cut about $1 million in aid. According to the college’s president Cliff Wood the state is meant to cover 40%, but only covers 25% of funding for the school, while the county pays about one-third. The college is expecting an enrollment of $5,921 full-time students and to spend $66.3 million, one million less than last year, the county will be paying 16.7 million and the state will be paying 15.72 million, 6% less than last year. In 2013 and 14 the state paid $2,827 for each student and this year they will be contributing $2,791, the county will be paying $2,965 per student, almost $200 more than last year. Tuition is also set to rise by $125 per student. The county will be participating in a program that will allow union workers to go to school for free to help fill seats and potentially get grants.
Firefighters responded to a call at 162 Main Street in Nyack Wednesday Wednesday evening. The bottom floor of the four story building is a bakery, the top three are residential, and according to tenants there was a massive lightning strike around 7:30 PM, which appeared to be the cause of a fire starting on the third floor. Police report that everyone made it out of the smoke filled building without injuries and by 8:30 the situation was under control. Workers from Orange and Rockland Utilities began work to restore power to a reported $3,300 homes that were out, most in the Haverstraw area. More storms are expected this afternoon and evening due to Hurricane Arthur traveling up the East Coast.
The Boulders played their first game in a three-game series against the Quebec Capitales last night at Provident Bank Park. Quebec started the first inning with an early lead of 2-0, but didn’t hold it for long with Rockland scoring three runs in the second inning. In the fourth inning Rockland hit back-to-back singles giving them a 4-2 lead. In the sixth inning the Capitales scored two runs, tying the game 4-4, but Rockland scored another run in time to win the game 5-4. Both teams play again tonight at Provident Bank Park at 7:00 PM. Listen live at WRCR 1300 AM or online at wrcr.com.
Spring Valley Village Trustee Vilair Fonvil announced that he is calling for a special meeting to discuss bringing the summer camp back under village command. The day camp program was at risk of being cancelled because the County Health Department did not receive paper work in time, after Youth Director Sonia Burton was suspended from her position. Mayor Demeza Delhomme stated last month that the camp would move from the usual location at the Louis Kurtz Center to be run by the staff at the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center and the board recently approved a $20,000 contract with the center. Fonvil stated that Burton was recently reinstated and he is looking to have her take up her old position of running the summer camp for the fifty or so children that have no camp to attend. According to Fonvil there is money in the budget so that fifty children can attend camp for free. Fonvil has called for a meeting at 6:00 PM tonight, though Delhomme stated that it isn’t necessary since the kids are going to the Martin Luther King Center, saying, “He can open up a camp on the street, but not in my village. We have a summer camp.”
The East Ramapo School Board voted 7-2 on Tuesday night to rehire the law firm Minerva and D’Agostino. Last year a lawyer for the firm, Christopher Kirby, verbally attacked a parent at a meeting, going on a profanity filled rant. Part of the incident was filmed and released over the internet, leading to backlash for the firm, and a promise from the board that they would fire them and look for new representation. Board President Yehuda Weissmandl stated after the incident, almost a full year ago, that they would retain the law firm during a transition period. The board stated at the meeting that they had a difficult time finding a qualified replacement. The district has a budget of $600,000 for legal representation, though fees have risen as high as $3 million in the past. Following the controversy surrounding the district, County Executive Ed Day released a statement that he is calling for the resignation of board President Weissmandl. Day stated on Wednesday morning that without trust Weissmandl has created a bigger divide between the board and the community. The statement reads, “He cannot reasonably expect to manage a school district when each and every word he utters going forward will be measured by the word he did not keep. In short, his leadership position is now untenable, and his resignation is clearly indicated.”
Orange Avenue Assoiciates, LLC, the developer set to build a complex in Suffern with 91 apartments will be speaking with the Ramapo central School Board to make a deal on taxes. The developer is seeking a 35-year, in-liue of taxes plan that would allow them to pay the same $77,400 in school taxes for the first five-years, after that it will increase four percent every five-years. The final five-years the developer will pay $97,936. The village board voted in May to approve a tax deal for the renewal and development of the area on Orange County Avenue, and if the school board approves it as well, the Ramapo Town Board will then vote on the proposal. The meeting will take place tonight at the school administrative building at 45 Mountain Ave, at 5:00 PM. Craig Long, President of the school board stated that they are giving the developer a thirty-minute slot to present and a decision will be made after the board has made time to discuss. joshua Goldstein with Orange Avenue Associates stated that the project will financially improve the downtown area and the small size of apartments will mean not many children moving in and putting stress on the district.