Youth Court Grads in Clarkstown

BY MARIA MIRAKAJ BROWNSELL

photoOn Tuesday evening at the town board meeting for Clarkstown, Detective Eileen Malloy announced the graduates of this year’s Youth Court. Malloy is the director of Youth Court in Clarkstown. This group is the 45th class to graduate since starting up in 1981. The 550 members that have graduated in all those years worked on about 3,000 cases.

Thanks to the Youth Court, non-violent first offenders have a chance to be tried by their peers instead of the harsh adult judicial system. To become a member, each student goes through a ten week program where they ultimately take roles in the court room such as defendant and even judge.

“These students are perfect examples of what is good about the youth of today,” said Malloy. “They are stepping up and volunteering their time to help.” Police Chief Sullivan and town board members support their program however they can.

“This is a great way to give back to the community. You’re going to give other youth a second chance,” said Councilman George Hoehmann.

“This is a great milestone,” added Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner. “It sets you apart from your peers and shows you want to give back to your community. Your parents are good examples for you.”

After the students received their awards and shook hands, JT’s Forty Something softball league received congratulations for being 2012 champions.

There was a public hearing about a local law entitled: “Amendment to the town zoning map and chapter 290 (zoning) of the code of the Town of Clarkstown with respect to major regional shopping and regional shopping.” The area being looked at is at the intersection of Route 303 and Route 59 near the Palisades Center Mall. Joe Simoes, town planner, explained that they were going on the recommendation of a study by Cambridge Systematics. They want to snap the zoning lines to the proper boundaries. Adding addition buffering between shopping and private residences was also recommended.

The planning board provided positive recommendation and the county planning board approved with the condition of increasing the buffering. Many residents were concerned with changing the zoning with regards to the Palisades Center Mall.

Steven Levine of Congers asked, “What’s to stop the mall from building mini malls when changing the zoning. These are bad actors. They don’t pay their taxes. They built an entire floor without approval.”

Simoes assured Levine that they looked into everything ahead of time and the mall will not be allowed to overstep any boundaries. The mall hasn’t met its maximum capacity for what can be on each floor, so they still have wiggle room.

The law was agreed upon and adopted by the town board.