TIMELINES 3/9/17

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NYS Senate Passes Carlucci Graffiti Hate Crime Bill

New York State Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) passed legislation to create a special offense for graffiti making as a hate crime. This follows threats made against four new York Jewish Community Centers and anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim graffiti was found on mass transit. The bill adds this criminal offense to the hate crime statue when graffiti targets a person’s race, religion, gender, national origin, age, ancestry, religious practice, disability or sexual orientation. The punishment for this crime is up to four years in prison. The bill needs to pass in the State Assembly to be signed into law.

Rockland Lake Upgrades Pool

Rockland Lake State Park is getting a re-boot before the warm weather comes around. Park officials are adding a $7.3 million swimming pool replacement and a $5.9 million remodeling of the park’s office and boating bathhouse. The facilities were built in the 1960s and upgrades were necessary. The pool won’t be open until summer 2018. The addition will include a “spray ground” for children including water slides. The south pool will remain open until the new one is finished.

Almost 100 CVS Employees to Lose Jobs in May

Ninety-nine CVS employees in Rockland will lose their jobs in May. The company’s Chestnut Ridge plant located at 80 Red School House Road operates under the company’s Omnicare affiliate. The layoff is for economic reasons according to a notice filed within the Department of Labor. CVS Health is consolidating work currently done in Chestnut Ridge with work in other parts of the tristate area. Affected employees were notified last week and will receive severance benefits and outplacement services.

Fire on Route 306 in Monsey

A fire broke out a Monsey home on Route 306 on Monday night. Ramapo police responded to help evacuate residents. No injuries were reported. Firefights from across the county including the Monsey, Hillcrest, Spring Valley, Tallman and South Spring Valley Fire departments arrived to help. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Trump Makes Wiretapping Claims

President Trump claims President Barak Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. House Republicans want FBI Director James Comey to brief them on the subject and asked to be briefed on why sensitive information about government surveillance continues to be leaked to the public. Trump compared the wiretapping claim to the Watergate scandal of the Nixon era. The allegations were made in a series of four tweets on March 4.

 

RCC To Break Ground on Dorms This Spring

Rockland Community College is set to start building a proposed residence hall this spring to finally give students the opportunity to live on campus while studying. The hall would include classrooms, food service facilities and a fitness center. College officials claim to be in the final stages of securing building permits and others from the Town of Ramapo to build the $26.7 million building. The building will help stabilize the college where less than 20 percent of full-time students are from outside of Rockland County.

Tomkins Cove Woman, Four Others, Start Animal Rescue
Five women work together to volunteer their time and rescue local animals. Real Dog Rescue was founded last December, a dachshund from a high-kill shelter was the first to be placed in a loving home. The five women, one being Carol Chapman of Tomkins Cove, met through working at Oakland’s RBARI. The organization is foster-based and has already placed more than 20 dogs in new homes. The team emphasizing finding the perfect fit for families and dogs.

Indian Point Closure Won’t Affect Residents Finances

With Indian Point Nuclear Power Point set to close completely by 2021, state lawmakers are worried about the energy supply in the area.

NYS Senate Passes Carlucci Graffiti Hate Crime Bill

Legislation sponsored by New York State Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) passed the Senate week making it a hate crime to create bigoted graffiti. This follows threats made against four New York Jewish Community Centers and anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim graffiti was found on mass transit. The bill adds this criminal offense to the hate crime statute when graffiti targets a person’s race, religion, gender, national origin, age, ancestry, religious practice, disability or sexual orientation. The punishment for this crime is up to four years in prison. The bill needs to pass in the State Assembly to be signed into law.

Rockland Lake Upgrades Pool

Rockland Lake State Park is getting a re-boot before the warm weather comes around. Park officials are adding a $7.3 million swimming pool replacement and a $5.9 million remodeling of the park’s office and boating bathhouse. The facilities were built in the 1960s and upgrades were necessary. The pool won’t be open until summer 2018. The addition will include a “spray ground” for children including water slides. The south pool will remain open until the new one is finished.

Early Migration of Frogs and Salamanders; Watch Out on Roads

Because of the early warm weather in February, frogs and salamanders were emerging from their underground winter shelters and are hopping onto the road. The State Department of Environmental Conservation is asking drivers to keep an eye out for them. “As the State’s Wildlife Action Plan identifies road mortality as a significant threat to frogs, toads, and salamanders, I encourage all New Yorkers and visitors traveling through our state to keep an eye out for amphibians, and our committed community of volunteers helping them cross the road,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

In an effort to protect these critters, volunteers from the Hudson Valley will be out with rain gear and clipboards along the roadways. They call it the Amphibian Migrations and Road Crossings Project. Now in its ninth year, more than 300 volunteers have helped over 8,500 amphibians cross New York roads.

Almost 100 CVS Employees to Lose Jobs in May

Ninety-nine CVS employees in Rockland will lose their jobs in May. The company’s Chestnut Ridge plant located at 80 Red School House Road operates under the company’s Omnicare affiliate. The layoff is for economic reasons according to a notice filed within the Department of Labor. CVS Health is consolidating work currently done in Chestnut Ridge with work in other parts of the tristate area. Affected employees were notified last week and will receive severance benefits and outplacement services.

Trump Makes Wiretapping Claims

President Trump claims President Barak Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. House Republicans want FBI Director James Comey to brief them on the subject and asked to be briefed on why sensitive information about government surveillance continues to be leaked to the public. Trump compared the wiretapping claim to the Watergate scandal of the Nixon era. The allegations were made in a series of four tweets on March 4.

RCC To Break Ground on Dorms This Spring

Rockland Community College is set to start building a proposed residence hall this spring to finally give students the opportunity to live on campus while studying. The hall would include classrooms, food service facilities and a fitness center. College officials claim to be in the final stages of securing building permits and others from the Town of Ramapo to build the $26.7 million building. The building will help stabilize the college where less than 20 percent of full-time students are from outside of Rockland County.

Tomkins Cove Woman, Four Others, Start Animal Rescue

Five women work together to volunteer their time and rescue local animals. Real Dog Rescue was founded last December, a dachshund from a high-kill shelter was the first to be placed in a loving home. The five women, one being Carol Chapman of Tomkins Cove, met through working at Oakland’s RBARI. The organization is foster-based and has already placed more than 20 dogs in new homes. The team emphasizes finding the perfect fit for families and dogs.

Indian Point Closure Won’t Affect Residents Finances

With Indian Point Nuclear Power Point set to close completely by 2021, state lawmakers are worried about the energy supply in the area. State Democrats and Republicans voiced their concerns on Tuesday Feb. 28 regarding local community impact. Lawmakers on both sides want to ensure their communities are not being financially strained when the reactors stop operating in 2020. According to a New York Times report, one local legislator, Republican state Sen. Terrence Murphy questioned Entergy, Indian Point’s owner, about helping over 1,000 people find new jobs.

Catholic Church to Mortgage Property for Sexual Abuse Reconciliation Funds

The Catholic Church is working to raise funds for sexual abuse survivors. This reconciliation fund was announced in October by Cardinal Timothy Dolan who explained the money would go to people who accused priests of abusing them as children. Early last week a petition was filed in New York State Supreme Court to seek approval for a one-year mortgage from JP Morgan Chase on the land the Church owns behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The petition for mortgage is on multiple properties the archdiocese owns in New York and was necessary under New York law according to a church spokesman. The archdiocese is accepting applications from victims who have not previously come forward.

Fire on Route 306

in Monsey

A fire broke out in a Monsey home on Route 306 on Monday night. Ramapo police responded to help evacuate residents. No injuries were reported. Firefighters from across the county including the Monsey, Hillcrest, Spring Valley, Tallman and South Spring Valley Fire departments arrived to help. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Upstate Judge Pleads Guilty to Soliciting Sexual Favors for Favorable Rulings

On March 3 State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, along with the St. Lawrence Sheriff’s Office announced the guilty plea of a former judge who used his position to benefit defendant rulings when receiving sexual favors. Paul M. Lamson, former judge of the Town of Fowler in St. Lawrence County pleaded guilty and is expected to be sentenced to two years in state prison. “Judges who exploit their positions in exchange for sexual favors show blatant disregard for the victims, the trust of the general public, and the judicial system as a whole,” Schneiderman said. A joint investigation by the two aforementioned parties and the New York State Police revealed he solicited defendants with criminal cases before him to perform sexual favors for favorable rulings.

New Stores Opening at Rockland Center

Construction is on track for the new TJ Maxx and Sierra Trading Post at the Rockland Center in Nanuet. The new stores plan to be open early this fall. TJ Maxx will take over part of the Pathmark Supermarket, occupying 25,000 square-feet and Sierra Trading will occupy 19,500 square-feet.

“I feel these two retailers will do tremendous business in Nanuet due to the location of Rockland Center,” said David Landes of Royal Property Inc. “Both stores were drawn to the market because of the high traffic counts and co-tenancy of the other retailers in Rockland Center.”

With the addition of the two new stores, the entire shopping center will undergo a transformation. HomeGoods, PetSmart, AC Moore, Party City, Big Lots, AutoZone, Five Guys, Chili’s Restaurant and other stores currently sit there.

“We believe that with a population of over 215,000 people in a five-mile radius and traffic counts in excess of 31,000 cars per day along Route 59, Rockland Center is the ideal place to expand the TJX concepts,” said Landes.

Parents Demand Frozen School Funds To

Be Released

New York parents of students at three public schools are asking a New York appeals court to release more than $37 million in improvement grant funds frozen by Governor Andrew Cuomo. In December, an Albany judge found Cuomo’s budget director, Robert Mujica, exceeded his authority in withholding the grants and ordered the funds to be immediately released to the NY State Education Department. Cuomo appealed the judge’s ruling. The Education Law Center is representing the schools and students involved. The three schools currently battling the state are Hackett Middle School in Albany, Roosevelt High School in Yonkers and JHS 80 Mosholu Parkway Middle School in the Bronx.

Skoufis Urges County Officials to appeal Kiryas Joel Annexation Lawsuit

Assemblyman James Skoufis is pushing Orange County officials to appeal an October 2016 court decision to allow the annexation of 164 acres of land to the Village of Kiryas Joel. “I’m calling on residents to join me in urging our county government to appeal this unprecedented and ill-advised court decision,” said Skoufis. “We can’t afford more politics as usual. The county needs to step up and continue our legal fight.”

Skoufis strongly encourages residents to sign the petition to the county, which can be found on his website: nyassembly.gov/skoufis. “I’ve opposed Kiryas Joel’s annexation since day one because of its detrimental repercussions to neighboring communities,” Skoufis continued. “We need to tell Orange County to do the right thing: do not drop the lawsuit!”

Astoria Financial To Merge With Sterling Bancorp

Sterling Bancorp announced yesterday that they have agreed to a merger with Astoria Financial. Customers will be receiving a letter from CEO Jack Kopinsky in the next few days regarding this matter. The new company will operate as Sterling National Bank with Kopinsky serving as chief executive. The leadership teams of both companies will combine for the new company.

This announcement has no immediate effect on its customers. The day-to-day operations have not changed and they will continue to conduct business as usual. Customers can continue using all of the bank’s services. The new partnership will provide clients of both organizations with a stronger bank, a broader range of services and a larger team of experienced managers.

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