Rockland Legislature Unanimously Approves Proposed 2021 Budget

Call it an early holiday gift. Rockland legislators unanimously voted 16-0 last night to adopt an amended version of the 2021 County Budget. As approved the budget lowers property taxes to less than one percent next year, and has no sales tax rate increases, layoffs or program cuts. The budget included an amendment approved in a legislative committee the night before, covering final health insurance rates from New York State’s Empire Plan for next year, which Rockland County Executive Ed Day said came in much less than expected. Day says the rates are around $2 million less than what was included in the proposed 2021 budget…

The adopted budget now goes back to the County Executive for review, and he has five working days to issue any vetoes. The Legislature then has until December 20th to override any vetoes.

Area Lawmaker’s Bill to Help Front Line Workers Signed by NY Governor

Front line health care workers will be helped thanks to a bill signed recently by the governor and sponsored by an area state senator. David Carlucci says a “Front Line Workers Trauma Task Force” will be established to develop programs that will assist them when they need it most…

Carlucci believes the program could serve as a model for similar programs for other states or at the federal level.

NY Governor Questions Federal Vaccine Distribution Plans

Distributing a COVID vaccine is going to require a tremendous governmental undertaking that so far, doesn’t look like it’ll hit critical mass until September. That’s according to New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who said yesterday the states don’t have the money and the federal government hasn’t come up with the funding to distribute the vaccines coming from the nation’s pharmaceutical industry…

Pfizer, of course, has research facilities in Pearl River. Cuomo said he is also concerned the federal vaccination plan thus far wants states to share data with the feds about those who get the vaccination. The UK government has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for emergency use. The UK is the first country to approve the vaccine.

COVID-19 by the numbers now, here in Rockland, we lost three more to the virus, bringing the total to 702 since the pandemic began. We’ve got one in the hospital being examined, another 61 have been confirmed with coronavirus, and a total of 1,488 active cases. The state says since the crisis began, we’ve had a total of 21,845 reported cases, 213 more than Wednesday.

Tolls to Go Up on Thruway and TZ Bridge, but Some Area Residents to Get Temporary Reprieve on Bridge Rates

If you travel on the New York State Thruway and the Tappan Zee Bridge but don’t use an EZ-Pass get ready to dig deeper into your wallet. The good news is, if you’re a Rockland or Westchester resident, and an EZ-Pass user, your bridge rates will remain the same through 2022. The Thruway Authority Board of Directors yesterday passed its budget, and starting January first Thruway tolls will jump 30%, though only for those without an EZ-Pass. EZ-Pass users won’t pay a dime more. The same won’t apply to the TZB, however. The current $4.75 toll for EZ-Pass users who aren’t Rockland or Westchester residents will go up 50 cents to $5.25 in 2021 and up to $5.75 in 2022. Those paying by mail will see a 30 percent hike. The Authority says the additional revenue is needed to fulfill its system-wide operations, debt service and capital needs through the upcoming forecast period. Thruway tolls have not been changed since 2010.

Hasidic Congregation Looking to Build Rabbinical College in Pomona Loses Round in Court

A Hasidic congregation’s 13-year-old plan to build a rabbinical college with apartments for students and their families on 130 acres in Pomona has stalled. The Journal News says the U.S. Supreme Court declined Friday to hear an appeal by Congregation Rabbinical College of Tartikov, which for more than a decade has been trying to build the facility off Routes 202 and 306. The group could still seek a zone change and has yet another legal challenge in the wings. The latest legal action challenged Pomona’s zoning laws as discriminatory.

Spring Valley Trustee Launches Race for Village Mayor

A Spring Valley Trustee has thrown his hat into the ring to be the village’s mayor. Eudson Tyson Francois announced his plans yesterday. Should mayor Alan Simon run for a second 4-year term, there could be a primary in June.

NWS Forecast for Rockland / Lower Hudson Valley – Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

Today
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 44. West wind 7 to 14 mph.
Tonight
Mostly clear, with a low around 30. West wind 6 to 9 mph.
Thursday
Sunny, with a high near 50. Wind chill values between 25 and 35 early. West wind around 7 mph.
Thursday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 31. Southwest wind around 6 mph.
Friday
A 20 percent chance of rain after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 47. Southwest wind 5 to 7 mph.
Friday Night
A 30 percent chance of rain after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35.
Saturday
A 50 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 47.
Saturday Night
A 40 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33.
Sunday
A 30 percent chance of rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 46.
Sunday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32.
Monday
Partly sunny, with a high near 42.
Monday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 30.
Tuesday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 42.

WRCR Meteorologist Mark Hanok’s Long-Range Winter Weather Forecast 2020-2021

WRCR Meteorologist Mark Hanok

Click here to hear his long-range winter weather forecast for 2020-2021.

Click here for a printable PDF.

Area Girl Scouts Participate in National Convention

Three members of “Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson” were on hand at the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.’s 55th National Council Session held in October. Delegates from around the country participated in virtual council sessions to formulate the group’s agenda. Andrea Lamantia served as a National delegate, and says scouting is a first step toward becoming future leaders…

18 year-old Jolie Santiago was one of the participants, and says she attended various webinars and got national training so she can help future generations of Girl Scouts…

For more information about Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, which serves approximately 30,000 girls and adult members in Rockland, Westchester, Putnam, and the rest of the Hudson Valley, visit their website, www.GirlScoutsHH.org.

Rockland Loses Four More to COVID, Governor Launches New Strategy to Combat Case Surge

As New York launched a new strategic plan for combating what is expected to be a rough COVID-19 winter, Rockland lost four more to the pandemic, bringing the total to 699 fatalities. In his daily press briefing yesterday, governor Andrew Cuomo said the state’s new strategic plan has five components, including adding the number of hospitalizations and hospital capacity to the microcluster strategy…

The state’s COVID Task Force, working with global public health experts, local governments and others, devised the plan that also would increase testing resources, keep schools open safely, seek to prevent viral spread from small gatherings, and establish a safe vaccination program.

Snow Closings Updated Regularly

Please click on the image below to view all snow closings for Rockland County.