Pearl River High School students are reportedly at it again. For the second time in less than four months, Pearl River students have been accused of racist behavior towards Nyack High School students at a track event earlier this week. Rockland County Executive Ed Day condemned the behavior by Pearl River students. “As a former youth coach, I’m very disappointed to learn that more racist taunts were made during a school track meet, and I strongly condemn this appalling behavior which has no place in our community. The actions of a few does not define the mindset of the many but we all have a responsibility to speak out against any, and all, acts of intolerance.”
by Michael Weiss
The School budget vote took place this past Tuesday in Rockland and left many residents of the county surprised. Shocking turnouts and almost every school budget being passed within the county has left many pleased. School districts across the board saw voter turnouts double that of 2021, although the district of Nanuet saw a 10 percent decrease in voters. East Ramapo saw nearly triple the amount of voters and is also the only notable district for being the only one to not pass the vote with 72 percent of voters voting NO according to News 12. Clarkstown saw 74% to YES, Nanuet saw 79% to YES, North Rockland saw 80% to YES, Nyack saw 79% to YES, Pearl River voted 76% to YES, South Orangetown voted 67% to YES, and Suffern voted 78% to YES. Certain factors like increased polling centers across the county allowing for easier access and widespread reach, a more rigorous campaign, and loosening of COVID restrictions could be potential attributes to this increase in voter turnout.
For the second time in only a few months a racist incident has occurred between the schools of Pearl River and Nyack. This time the incident occurred during a track meet, although the exact verbiage used during the recent event is unknown, the students have been identified and have been reprimanded. Last February students from Pearl River were according to News 12 videotaped making monkey noises towards a black player during a basketball game. Pearl River school officials have stated they are forming an Equity Task Force to address the repeating issue.
Dominican College announced in a press release yesterday May 18th, that it is now Dominican University of New York, making it the first educational establishment to reach University status in Rockland County. This milestone coincides with the University’s 70th anniversary and brings formal recognition, prestige, and opportunities and developments for both programs and students alike. This news also follows recent news of the now University receiving two federal grants, one from the DoE and the other from the Department of Health and Human Resources. According to the press release, “Dominican was granted University Status by the New York State Board of Regents based on the fact that Dominican offers graduate programs in at least three of the following discipline areas: agriculture, biological sciences, business, education, engineering, fine arts, health professions, humanities, physical sciences, and social sciences.”
by Michael Weiss
Last month the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled the district maps to be unconstitutional and violate the anti-gerrymandering process approved by voters. The maps were then to be redrawn by a panel of equal counts democrat and republican but they were unable to come to a decision. The draft version of the New York State district lines was released on Monday by Special Master Jonothan Cervas. The County court that is housing Cervas during this process will take feedback on the current draft before releasing a final version along with the final legislative maps for the state senate on the 24th of May. The new maps according to LOHUD are a major blow to Democrats and their plan to draw district maps to increase democratic seats in the house. The new proposed draft of the district lines will have a major effect on not only Rockland County and New York City but the state as a whole. Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, who is currently an assemblyman for Stony Point and running for Congress, has had his state district lines completely redrawn and Stony Point would no longer be represented in the new district.
Schmitt running for the 18th Congressional district which includes all of Orange County, most of Dutchess County and the Southern half of Ulster County. The New District lines draft would put Rockland County, Putnam, North Westchester and South Dutchess county into the 17th district under either the current Congressman Mondaire Jones or Sean Patrick Mahoney, who is running against Schmitt.
In other news, “Erasing the Stigma” is an information event on May 20th that seeks to inform people about cannabis and cannabis cultivation. This is a free event hosted by Green Kulture: a cannabis cultivation company, and cannabis lifestyle brand Two Chicks and Flowers, alongside New York small farma. The information presented in the event according to the Rockland County Business Journal was carefully constructed with help from Rockland County local government officials, cannabis advocates, attorneys, business owners, and community leaders. The event will be from 5-8pm at the Rockland Community College Cultural Arts Center Theater on May 20th. Registration is first come first served limited to the 500 seat theater. To register, search for the RSVP app Eventbrite and use keywords “Erasing the Stigma” and “Rockland Community College.”
by Michael Weiss
According to News 12, a shooting in Mount Vernon this past Sunday night on the corner of South Second Avenue and East Third Street has left two people injured. They were promptly transported to a hospital by Emergency Medical Services and are said to be recovering. Police are still investigating the shooting although no words have been given yet on what caused the event.
Updating a story from the past week, baby formula producer Abbott stated via Twitter that they have reached an agreement with the FDA for their Michigan plant. This will be a major step towards restarting production and ending the nationwide shortage tied to their shutdown earlier in the year. Through the Consent Decree which the FDA and Abbott agreed on, the FDA has been investigating safety problems at the Michigan facility. According to News 12 Abbott also mentioned that once production resumes it will take at least 8 weeks for new products to be shipped to stores and consumers. A recent LOHUD.com article reported the length at which parents have had to go in order to find usable baby formula for their children. Including desperate searches online which results in scams from online price gougers. Stores across the state have also put limits on the amount of baby formula one can purchase such as Target, CVS, and Walmart according to LOHUD. Current state aid can be reached by going to a range of WIC programs which will assist families in receiving formula partly depending on income levels. For more information you can go to www.health.ny.gov /prevention /nutrition /wic or go to nys wic vendors.com to search for WIC stores and ask questions about formula supplies.
The mother of Spring Valley Firefighter, Jared Lloyd, received a presidential medal of valor in her son’s honor yesterday morning. This was one of 15 medals President Biden has presented to public safety officers for the first time in two years, according to News 12. Lloyd received his posthumously for his courageous acts during the Evergreen Court Home for Adults fire in March 2021. This is the highest award the President can give to a public safety officer.
by Michael Weiss
A recent study released from the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and LeapFrog, a Washington D.C based non-profit, noted New York Hospitals as having mixed safety grades in relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic, placing New York among the lowest rated states nationally. With only 19 Hospitals receiving the highest grade of A, making up only %13 of total New York Hospitals. According to LOHUD 34 Hospitals in New York received the second lowest grade of D, while none received an F. The review looked at a variety of health related issues from infectious disease prevention to surgical errors. New York ranked 44th compared to all states which although disappointing was actually an improvement from the previous 47th place that New York held in the Fall. The Hudson Valley had 20 Hospitals rated with an overall C Median, although we had 4 A ranked and 4 D Ranked Hospitals.
Recently numerous fires relating to both brush fires and building fires have been spreading throughout the county and the state. In response to the dry weather patterns the state issued a no burn ban last week and it is planned to be over starting tomorrow May 14th. This has some rightfully worried as it doesn’t seem like the fires will be slowing down. We reported on a fire this past Wednesday in which an old home had erupted in flames in Wesley Hills causing 8 separate fire companies to assist Hillcrest Fire Company in dispersing the flames. The BCI unit of the Rockland County Sheriff was to continue the investigation.
Another reason fires have been spreading in the state is because of faulty space heaters. News 12 reported on Wednesday of a Bronx fire in January that killed 17 people in which officials stated the cause to have been a faulty space heater. On Monday, the state senate unanimously voted to pass new legislation to further prevent fires caused by space heaters in the future. The new legislation would require electric portable heaters to have a thermostat, automatic shut-off features, and to be certified. Other legislation is expected to pass that would propose more oversight and enforcement, specifically more frequent building code updates, increased violation fines, and more frequent fire hydrant tests.