Cuomo’s Proposed Investment in Stewart Airport Includes Name Change

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a large state investmet in Newburgh’s Stewart Airport. If he has his way, however, it won’t be known as Stewart for much longer. In a $34 million proposal, Cuomo wants to update the airport including changing the airport’s name to New York International at Stewart Field.

Cuomo claims the current name doesn’t provide travelers with any information about where it’s located. Stewart Int. has been experiencing growth following Norwegian Air’s launch of trans-Atlantic flights to Ireland and Scotland this past summer. Cuomo’s investment plan includes expanding the existing terminal by almost 20,000 square feet of space and should be completed by 2021.


First Rockland Baby of 2018

The first baby born in Rockland County in the New Year was born on Jan. 1 at 12:07 a.m. A little boy was born weighing 6 lbs., 9 oz. at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern. The parents, Sarah “Shuli” Fuchs and her husband Zack, will name him when he’s eight days old in accordance with Jewish tradition.

Construction continues on some Rockland roads

The weather isn’t the only reason to pay extra attention to the roads in Rockland this week. Commuters also should be aware construction is underway on several local road projects.

Work is scheduled on Route 17, the Palisades Interstate Parkway and the new TZ Bridge, according to 511ny.org. The area of Route 17 in Sloatsburg, NY will have alternate lanes in both directions closed between Post Rd. and the Rockland County line Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Various northbound lanes between Exit 13 in Haverstraw and Exit 18 in Highlands on the Palisades will be closed on Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Expect one Westchester-bound lane on the new TZ to be closed Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m – 3 p.m.

New York Begins Paid Family Leave

New York State announced a new paid family leave program that began on Jan. 1., which allows workers in the Hudson Valley and across the state to care for their families without losing financial stability. It will be phased in over the next few years. On Jan. 1, employees gained the right to take up to eight weeks of job-protected paid family leave at 50 percent of their weekly wage.

In 2019, it will increase to 10 weeks paid leave at 55 percent, and in 2020, it will increase benefits to 60 percent and in 2021 it will rise to 67 percent. This program is one of six in the U.S. and covers almost 100 percent of employees. It’s funded through approximately $1 per week deduction in employee payrolls.


New York Commits to Offshore Wind Power

On Jan. 2 a coalition of business, labor, environmental, grassroots organizations and elected officials announced New York’s commitment to making the state a national leader in offshore wind power. This is part of New York’s 2018 Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda.

The state will obtain at least 800 megawatts via offshore wind power by 2019, which is enough to power 400,000 homes. A key part of this proposal is a $15 million investment in training and infrastructure planning to keep New Yorkers in the industry. Other states in the Northeast are committing to offshore wind power as well.


Trump Plays Politics w/ Gateway Project Funding

President Donald Trump’s administration has reneged on President Obama’s promise to underwrite half the cost of the Gateway Project-a proposed multibillion-dollar Amtrak tunnel connecting New Jersey to Penn Station. The current tunnel is deteriorating, which threatens Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor route and commuters taking the NJ Transit.

A letter was sent to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie claiming “there is no such agreement” between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the two states to fund the project with federal dollars. Trump’s transition team had called the Gateway Project a national priority, but his administration has changed its tune, now referring to it as merely a project of local importance.

Some political observers believe Trump is posturing on funding for the Gateway Project in order to bring US Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) to the table for negotiations on other issues.

Fire at Clinton Property in Westchester

A fire broke out at former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton’s Westchester home on Wednesday Jan. 3. A wood fire began in a secret service facility on their property in Chappaqua. This building was not connected to the Clinton’s home. According to police, it was called in around 3 p.m. and no injuries were reported. The Clinton’s purchased the home in 1999 and were not home during the fire.

Proposed Tariff Could Strain Newspapers in the U.S.

A tariff decision on Canadian newsprint could severely impact the newspaper industry after a paper mill in Washington state asked the government for import duties on groundwood paper from Canada. The North Pacific Paper Company, or NORPAC, claims the Canadian government has subsidized paper companies, creating an unfair agreement that injured NORPAC’s business.

Groundwood paper is used to print and publish newspapers across the U.S., and an increase in paper cost would to drastically increase in an already stressed industry. The Commerce Department will make a preliminary decision on Jan. 8.