Carlucci Pushes for Holiday Decoration Warnings to Protect Children
State Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) announced legislation on Weds. Dec 14 that would put warning labels on holiday decorations containing lead. The New York Dept. of Health reported over 100 children in Rockland and Westchester counties were positive for elevated lead levels in 2012. Studies also showed that out of 69 holiday decorations, 13 percent contained lead at hazardous levels. Another study showed 85 percent of artificial Christmas trees are manufactured in China and contain PVC plastics, which are known to use lead that is harmful to children and pets.
Tillerson as Trump’s Sec. of State
President-elect Donald Trump chose CEO of Exxon Mobile Rex W. Tillerson as his secretary of state nominee. He has spent the last four decades at Exxon searching for gas and oil agreements throughout the world. Under his leadership Exxon has joint ventures with a Russian-backed oil company, which is a concern to many senators.
National Intelligence Office Still Undecided on Intention of Email Hacks
The Office of the Directors of National Intelligence (ODNI) agrees with the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations, but currently doesn’t support the CIA’s claims Moscow was trying to put President-elect Donald Trump in the White House. The ODNI oversees the U.S. intelligence community, and believes there isn’t enough evidence backing the CIA’s claim. President Obama ordered the CIA to investigate cyber hacks involved in the presidential election after the U.S. formally accused Russia of using cyber attacks on the campaigns.
Other CIA sources, however, told e-magazine True Pundit, that hacking operations were undergone all over the world and links to the Russian government may be overstated. Partisan Democrats, True Pundit reporter, were the source of articles playing up the Russia angle as posted in NY Times and the Washington Post.
Union Leaders and Bill DeBlasio Among those Backing Controversial DNC Chair
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka threw his support behind Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison to lead the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Anti-Defamation League recently voiced opposition to Ellison because of previous comments he made about Israel, but the Muslim politician is backed by many union leaders.
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is prepared to run against Ellison. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio was blasted by the NY GOP for backing Ellison, who they said is an anti-Semite.
Wife of Roger Ailes Sells Putnam County News and Recorder and Putnam County Courier
Elizabeth Ailes, the wife of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, has just sold the Putnam County News and Recorder and the Putnam County Courier. Elizabeth and Roger have been running the newspapers since 2008 and 2009, respectively. Elizabeth, who is 55 years old, was the owner and publisher of the weekly papers.
The Aileses, who reside in Garrison purchased the Putnam County News and Recorder in 2008 and the Putnam County Courier in 2009 after the former owner declared bankruptcy. The Putnam County News and Recorder (PNCR) was 150 years old and the Putnam County Courier (PCC) was 175 years old when it was purchased.
Elizabeth sold the papers to Editor-in-Chief Douglas Cunningham, who will now take over the job as editor and publisher of both papers. The headquarters of the papers at 144 Main Street in Cold Spring was also put up for sale. Roger resigned from Fox News this year after a high-profile sexual harassment suit
Zimi Bagel Customer Saves Store from Possible Damage
On Tuesday morning, a generator on the rooftop of Zimi Bagel Café in Pearl River caught fire. Employees were unaware until a customer notified them of the fire. “One customer came and told us there was fire on the roof,” store manager Spyros Loukakos said. “We got everybody out of the store, shut everything down and called the fire department.”
The Pearl River Fire Department had no trouble handling the fire. However, it could’ve gotten out of hand if not acted on as quickly as it was. The generator was bought after Hurricane Sandy to ensure that Zimi’s would not lose business during a future power outage.
“The generator is toast,” Loukakos said. “But otherwise, we’re back to normal and doing business.”
Candy Cane Making 101 Class in Haverstraw
Lucas Candie is hosting free traditional candy cane making demonstrations from now until December 18 at their store at 6 Main Street in Haverstraw. Fourth generation proprietor owner Nick Loucas and co-owner Debbie Bertrand decided to showcase the store’s tradition of authentic candy cane making using the original recipe from Loucas’ ancestors. Original candy canes date back to Germany in the 1600s. Now only they are all mass produced with only a few shops across the county making them the traditional way. “It’s such a cool thing to watch, especially for the kids,” said Loucas.
For more information visit their website www.lucascandies.com or call 845-847-1220. The store is open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Suffern Star, Grace VanderWaal Debuts Top 10 on Billboard
Local 12-year old singing sensation, Grace VanderWaal of Suffern continues her successful year in music by having her new EP release “Perfectly Imperfect” appear number 9 on the US Billboard 200 chart this week. She has also made the top 10 for iTunes music, reaching number 6 for the album.
After winning the one million dollar grand prize on “America’s Got Talent” on September 14, she signed with Syco Records and was starting in the studio by early October. She had her first concert at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas and sung in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. VanderWaal is scheduled to perform on the “America’s Got Talent Holiday Spectacular” on December 19, airing on NBC. She will also sing the national anthem on January 19 at the Rockland County Executive Bail.
Canada Tries to Increase Clean Energy with Trudeau’s Proposal
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau imposed an escalating floor price on carbon beginning at $10 in 2018 and ending with $50 in 2022, creating a broad-cap-and-trade system. British Columbia Premier Christy Clark left a meeting with Trudeau with a compromise, that the carbon price would pause at B.C.’s existing $30 level in 2020. Trudeau’s historic agreement now includes 11 provinces and territories as well as three indigenous groups. In a video announcing the framework, Trudeau explained the goal is for Canada to be powered by 90 percent clean energy by 2030.
John Glenn Dies at 95
John Glenn, known for his space adventures and service to the U.S. during WWII and the Korean War, died on Dec. 8. He was 95-years-old. Glenn was a Marine Corp test pilot and one of the original seven U.S. astronauts. He later one went to serve in politics and became the oldest man to enter space at age 77. Before becoming famous for his space missions, Glenn signed up for the Naval Aviation cadet program after Pearl Harbor and then joined the Marines. He flew 59 combat missions in the Pacific. During the Korean War he flew 90 combat missions and was paired with Ted Williams, who left the Boston Red Sox to serve during WWII.
No-Knock Ordinances Working But Residents Want More Action
Rockland residents have most of 2016 protecting their homes and property from being sold to solicitors. Residents in Ramapo and surrounding communities including Clarkstown and Orangetown began organizing over social media and at public spaces to express frustrations over being targeted by real estate solicitors trying to purchase homes directly from homeowners. This activity has been called “blockbusting,” a term originally used in the 1950s referring to real estate agents’ tactics convincing homeowners to sell property fast fearing racial minorities were moving in. Several municipalities established “no-knock” registry for homeowners declaring their homes off limits to solicitors.
Since April, more than 2,000 Orangetown homeowners signed up for the registry and received orange “do-not-knock” decals for their doors. Clarkstown’s no-knock ordinance went into effect in June, and almost 3,500 residents have signed up since. Chestnut Ridge opted against a no-knock registry but Rockland County Legislator Laurie Santulli, R-Congers, is working on a countywide no-knock ordinance. Some grassroots groups have contacted the state Secretary of State to create a “cease and desist zone.” Currently there aren’t any active zones in New York, but some exist in New Jersey to counter similar ultra-Orthodox expansion into other towns such as Tom’s River.
Spring Valley Businessman Connected to Walter Booker Case
Spring Valley businessman Jacob Goldman, 48, pleaded guilty to stealing more than $30,000 from Ramapo through a tax-exemption scam that’s been tied to an ongoing prosecution of Spring Valley’s chief building inspector Walter Booker. Goldman will repay the money to Ramapo and faces three years probation. The charges stem from certificates of occupancy issued by Booker. The certificate changed Goldman’s house from a single-family residence to a two-family residence. The two-family home occupancy enabled Goldman to qualify for state subsidies between 2011 and 2015.