TIMELINES — 2/16

New City’s Gittelman School will be purchased by Schrieber Academy (ASHAR) 

The Reuben Gittelman Hebrew Day School, a 61,000-square-foot building on New Hempstead Road, will be sold to Adolph H. Schrieber Hebrew Academy in Monsey. This will take place after the school shuts down operations at the end of the school year. Gittelman’s school board of directors voted at a closed-door meeting on Monday, deciding to sell the building to Schreiber Academy of Rockland County (ASHAR), according to Debbie Roth, vice chairwoman of Reuben Gittelman’s board. She did not say what the building was being sold for. The town of Clarkstown previously made an offer for the building as well, hoping to use the facility to replace the Street School community center that is in need of repairs. The decision of the board threw the Town out of the running. Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack, who was reportedly disappointed with the decision, said that the town would look at other options for renovating the community center, estimated to cost between $2 million and $6 million. Last month, Gittelman’s board announced that it would close at the end of this school year due to a decrease in enrollment and various financial problems. When the school closes, it will mark the end of a 40-year run, during which time the school catered to students from Ramapo, Clarkstown, and Nyack, as well as other areas in Rockland Orange counties.

 

EPA planners to assist Stony Point

After over a year of effort by Stony Point Councilwoman Luanne Konopko, the town has been granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. The announcement was made at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in San Diego, California. Building Blocks is a project of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which involves EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The interagency collaboration coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently. The partnership is helping communities reinforce existing investments and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses.

The program provides technical assistance from EPA-funded private sector experts to selected governments on the use of standardized tools that have been developed and tested over the past decade. Stony Point’s focus will be on “Using Smart Growth to Produce Fiscal and Economic Health.” The assistance will be delivered through a series of conference calls, a daylong community workshop, and a summary that will provide the town with a blueprint. EPA selected the 56 communities from 350 applicants across the country through a competitive process in consultation with EPA’s regional offices, HUD, DOT, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). More information on the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities can be found at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/buildingblocks.htm.

 

Outdoor fireplace believed to be cause of house fire

Early Tuesday morning, an outdoor fireplace at a Suffern residence reportedly caused a deck fire which led to extensive damage to half of the house. A young man was asleep in the house, and awoke to see flames coming from the outdoor living area. After calling 911 to report that the grill was on fire, he also discovered that the house was on fire as well. Police report that they are still not sure how the blaze was started, but say that the house had an outdoor stone fireplace on the deck area. The fire spread quickly from the deck to the rest of the house, and firefighters say that the young man, who was the son of homeowners, was lucky to have been sleeping on the couch where he was. Firefighters from Tallman, Suffern, and Monsey came to help at the scene which was on Route 59 in Suffern. It took approximately an hour to put out the fire. The family was reportedly staying with neighbors.

 

Drunk and drugged drivers charged in Rockland

Recently, troopers charged a total of 17 motorists with drunk or drugged driving at traffic stops in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam counties.

Twenty-four-year-old Xavier Alvarado, of Haverstraw, was charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated driving while intoxicated, both misdemeanors.

Raymond Noe, 43, of Chestnut Ridge, was charged on Route 304 in Clarkstown with a misdemeanor of driving while intoxicated.

Seventy-seven-year-old Grace Gordon, of Stony Point, was charged with the misdemeanor of driving while intoxicated on the Palisades Interstate Parkway in Haverstraw.

Edwige Loussaint, 53, of Garnerville, was charged with the misdemeanor of driving while intoxicated on the Palisades Parkway in Clarkstown.

Michael Li, 49, of Old Tappan, N.J., was charged with a misdemeanor of driving while intoxicated on the Palisades Parkway in Ramapo.

Twenty-two-year-old Jason Russio, of Chestnut Ridge, was charged with the misdemeanor of driving while intoxicated on Colleve Avenue in Clarkstown.

 

Fire in Chestnut Ridge home started by clothes dryer

A fire that was caused by a dryer caused minor damage and displaced a family on Lomond Avenue on Monday. There was one woman in the home at the time of the fire, and she was uninjured. About 12 firefighters from Spring Valley, Nanuet, and Pearl River helped out at the scene in southern Ramapo. The fire began in the upstairs laundry room, spread to a nearby bedroom, and then encompassed the attic and roof of the home. Firefighters cut holes in the roof in order to get the fire under control. The structure had both smoke and water damage, but is able to be repaired. Damage was considered minor. The cause could have been something as simple as built-up lint in the dryer, but is still under investigation. No injuries were reported at the scene.

 

Head-on crash in New City closes road, injures two

A West Nyack teenager has been accused of driving a Toyota across the double yellow line on Route 304 in New City on Tuesday, and crashing into a car in oncoming traffic. According to Clarkstown police, 19-year-old John Tricario was driving the Toyota. Both he, and the driver of the 2011 BMW that he hit were taken by ambulance to Nyack Hospital for treatment. Their injuries were not serious. Tricario suffered a possible broken leg and a cut across his right hand. New City volunteer firefighters had to pry his car door open in order to remove him. The driver of the BMW, a woman from New Jersey, said that she had neck, head, and back pains after collision, according to police. The teen was issued a summons for failure to drive on the right side of the road.

 

Senator Scott Brown believes Irish E3 visa bill could pass this week

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown said that the Irish E3 visa bill that he filed is “about to pop” on Capitol Hill. He believes it could possibly pass as early as this week. The Republican senator told Boston Herald, “It really addresses something that’s been wrong and provides a legal path for citizenship.” The proposed bill would allow 10,000 Irish to come on two-year work visas every year. These could be renewed every two years. The bill is actually an amendment which is attached to a wider bill that deals with visas for Indians and Chinese as well as shortening time restrictions on Hispanic groups. Brown said, “In Massachusetts we have a strong demand for this because of our family and cultural ties. This is kind of a no brainer.”

 

Man from Suffern drives into building in Airmont

Alexander Delfini, 66, of Suffern, lost control of his car and drove into an office building window in Airmont this week. According to police, the man said he was driving south in the parking lot of Applebee’s, on Route 59, when his car hit a curb and accelerated. In his 2001 Mitsubishi, the man proceeded to drive out of the parking lot, struck several trees and an embankment, and finally hit a 4×6-foot window in the Suffern Professional Park office building. Delfini was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital by the Ramapo Valley Ambulance Corps and treated for minor injuries. The building did not sustain any structural damage.

 

Spring Valley man kills 4 geese with BB Gun

Marbel Israel, 22, was arrested earlier this week by the Ramapo police when they responded to reports that the Spring Valley man had killed four Canadian geese with a BB gun. According to police, the incident occurred near Lake Suzanne. Reportedly, Israel did not give any reason for his actions. He was charged with a misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals. Israel was charged by State Department of Environmental Conservation police with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a residence, a misdemeanor, and taking game out of season and hunting without a small game license, all violations. Israel was released on $200 bail and is set to appear in Ramapo Town Court on March 6.

 

State wants $2 billion federal loan for TZ Bridge Project

The New York State Thruway Authority filed paperwork back in December, applying for a $2 billion federal load to help fund the new Tappan Zee Bridge project. A letter of interest was sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation, and if approved, the load would cover a large portion of the cost for the project, which is estimated to be $5.2 billion. The state said that the letter was just the first step in finding potential ways for the new bridge, but many wonder why the letter was not made public until Tuesday, nearly two months after it was filed. Governor Cuomo told press who asked how the bridge would be funded, “We’ll have a financing plan as part of the bridge project. Part of it is going to be state. We’re looking at a number of other financing vehicles.” The 11-page application explains many of the problems with the current bridge. It says that the TZ Bridge has accidents rates twice as high as that of comparable highways, and the vehicles that utilize the bridge on a daily basis is 40 percent higher than the bridge’s original capacity.

 

Mother of two hit by car in Nanuet, dies

Dansi Nolasco-Jimenez, a 34-year-old mother of two, died on Tuesday after she was hit by a car while trying to cross Route 59 Monday evening on her way home from work. The woman was struck by a Toyota Camry when she stepped off the curb on Route 59, just west of College Avenue in Nanuet. It was dark, and she was dressed all in black. Nolasco-Jiminez was trying to cross the busy road, and did not attempt to use a crosswalk. The collision occurred between two traffic lights along a section of Route 59 where there is no crosswalk for hundreds of feed in either direction. The driver of the Camry, a 17-year-old Valley Cottage resident, told police that she did not see Nolasco-Jiminez. She had a male passenger, who told police that he saw the pedestrian at the last minute and shouted for the car to stop, but by then it was too late. The driver was not injured but was extremely upset about hitting Nolasco-Jiminez. No charges or summonses will be filed against her, and her name is not being released due to her age. A friend of Nolasco-Jiminez said that she was the mother of an 8-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy. She had been walking home from her job at The Dog House restaurant on Middletown Road.