TIMELINES 11/17/16

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Two Fires in Harriman State Park

Two fires broke out in Harriman State Park on Sunday blanketing parts of the county in smoke on Monday. The first fire began around 2:30 p.m. in the Pine Meadow section of the park and the second broke out at 11:45 p.m. on Tom Jones Mountain. Rockland County Fire Director Gordon Wren Jr., said the county released tips for residents affected by smoke and the State Department of Environmental Conservation and state park rangers fought to contain the flames. Wren explained last month the county suffered from a “severe drought watch” which could have fueled the fires.

Tuesday night the rain helped control two fires that had been burning for more than 48 hours in Harriman State Park according to Rockland County Fire Director Gordon Wren Jr. The National Weather Service reported the area saw about 1.4 inches of rainfall. Jay Engel, a meteorologist from the NWS, said no more showers are in the forecast and they are expecting warmer drier temperatures for the next few days.  Approximately 35 crew members are still working on extinguishing the fire that began in the Pine Meadow and Tom Jones Mountain sections of the park on Sunday. The Rockland Department of Health issued advice for residents to limit their smoke exposure. Some of these measures include restricting outdoor activity, keeping indoor air clean by closing windows and doors, using the re-circulate mode on the air conditioner and seeking medical attention if you have asthma or another lung disease.

Victims of Hate Crime Graffiti Create Positive Messages

Words of hatred were sprayed onto for-sale signs on Carteret Drive in Pomona. But one young mother, Ivey Mackle, is turning the negative words into a loving message by spray-painting hearts. She didn’t want the older kids in the neighborhood to see and understand the cruel words. One 41-year resident of Carteret Drive said he chose the neighborhood to raise his kids there because of the diversity. County Executive Ed Day said there’s always going to be someone doing stupid and hurtful things but it’s important to remain together.

Zebrowski Wants to Close Sex Offender Registry Act Loophole

New York Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, D-New City, wants to close a loophole in the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act. This loophole, discovered by The Journal News, has local law enforcement agencies collecting change of address forms from registered offenders but doesn’t require the agencies to send them into the state Sex Offender Registry. Zebrowski wants to propose legislation in January to require local enforcement agencies to submit a form to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services within three days of receiving a new address from registered sex offenders.

People “Check-In” at Standing Rock

People around the country were “checking-in” to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Cannon Ball, N.D., online in early November. Intense protests have been occurring at Standing Rock between police and activists against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. This pipeline crosses sacred cultural lands and local water supplies. Checking-in was meant to show solidarity with protestors and confuse law enforcement. Rumors circulated around the Internet claiming the police in North Dakota were using Facebook to track protestors and activist pages claimed “…Water Protectors are calling on EVERYONE to check in at SR to overwhelm and confuse them.” But according to authorities the Morton County Sheriff’s Department is not using Facebook check-ins.

Russia Leaves ICC

On Wednesday November 16, President Vladimir Putin of Russia is withdrawing the country from the treaty that created the International Criminal Court. He views the tribunal as “ineffective and one-sided” according to The New York Times. Putin’s decision was primarily symbolic as Russia wasn’t a part of the court’s jurisdiction. Several African nations recently moved to withdraw from the court, claiming it is biased because those convicted so far have been Africans. Russia claims its withdrawal from the treaty stemmed from the court failing to live up to expectations as an impartial and authoritative arbiter of international law.

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