New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico resigns

State Trooper Superintendent Joseph D’Amico resigned from his position abruptly on Friday, April 8. D’Amico served the NYPD and Albany for over 30 years. In his time as superintendent, D’Amico added 2,500 new employees, bringing staff up to 5,700, including 4,700 officers. A scandal circulated around D’Amico in January of this year pertaining to his allegedly helping to void a traffic ticket issued by a trooper to an NYPD officer who had struck a marked state police van in Yonkers, according to the NY Post. The Post said a feud between Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio contributed to D’Amico’s decision to resign, as he was tired of being used as a “pawn” in their rift.


Spring Valley Fire Department fails, state blames village trustees

The state Department of Labor’s Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau cited the Village of Spring Valley for insufficiencies within its fire department. The violations included: damaged bunker/turnout gear should’ve been removed and replaced, a written risk assessment should have been developed to identify the types and heights of multi-story buildings and structures in the area where firefighters may be expected to work, escape ropes and system components should have been provided to the department and firefighters should have received instruction on how to use escape ropes and system components equipment, according to recent reports. Due to a pending bond that must be rewritten and reapproved for the department, many of the deadlines will not be met. The village will be forced to pay $200 per day after missing a deadline for each serious violation.


Bergen Loop added to Gateway Tunnel project

Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board of Commissioners announced at their meeting last Thursday a joint commitment of $70 million to speed up the permitting process for the Gateway Tunnel Project. The ‘Bergen Loop’ would also be added to the plan, which consists of the Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines traveling directly to Manhattan with no transfers. “Last week’s Port Authority Board decision to include the Bergen Loop in the Gateway Tunnel project is tremendous news.  Inclusion of the Bergen Loop will provide Rockland residents with a much-deserved and long-awaited one-seat-ride to Manhattan,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said.


Court dismisses yeshiva lawsuit

A federal appeals court ruled last week that a Ramapo yeshiva that accused several villages of anti-Hasidic bias did not provide evidence to support its accusation. The specific accusations were that the communities were “incorporating as villages” to limit the development of Hasidic neighborhoods through ‘restrictive zoning.’ The yeshivas also claimed the board attempted to use environmental laws to block the construction of housing and a study center on Grandview Avenue. Now that the case has closed this will most likely conclude the yeshiva’s legal battle with Pomona, Chestnut Ridge, Wesley Hills and Montebello and their officials, said attorney Greg Saracino, representing Pomona.


Ramapo structure fire

On Monday morning the Ramapo Police Department responded to a report of a structure fire on 4 Stark Court in Ramapo. The occupants of the home were found safe and outside of the house with one resident having suffering minor injuries, who was then taken to Good Samaritan Hospital. The Hillcrest Fire Department responded, as well as Spring Valley, Suffern, New City, Nanuet, Orangeburg, and Haverstraw. The cause of the fire is under currently investigation.


Chasidic woman runs for office

A Brooklyn Chasidic woman is running for the position of Brooklyn Civil Court justice. Ruchie Freier worked as a lawyer and advocate for an all female ambulance corp to help get them started. In the Democratic primary on September 13, Freier will face Mordechai Avigdor for the judicial seat. Freier said, ““People ask me why I want to do this, but there is no why. This is how I was created and if you ask my sisters, they will tell you that even as a kid I was always sticking up for everyone else, speaking up when I felt something had to be corrected.” There are scant examples of Chasidic women holding high office or positions of authority as the Chasidic society is strongly patriarchal.


O’Donaghue’s reopens

Nyack’s beloved tavern O’Donaghue’s is officially back in business as of Tuesday. O’Donaghue’s returns with a revamped menu catering to organic, vegetarian-friendly and GMO-free food. Chef Brian Birch is working with local farmers to provide farm to table ingredients for the pub menu which will include burgers, fish and chips, salads, soups and many offerings for gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian restaurant-goers. The wine on the menu would follow the same organic path as the new food at O’Donahuges, “Clean food, clean drinks,” says Birch.


Zugibe praised by feds

The Rockland District Attorney’s Office is being praised by the feds for a crime fighting and prevention program. The program takes a new spin on crime fighting including community policing, intelligence gathering and community prosecution. The Rockland County-based program has gained fame and become a standard for similar programs across the country including Mesa, Arizona; Newport News, Virginia; and Saint Paul, Minnesota. “But, while we always appreciate formal acknowledgement, it is the gratitude and positive reactions we receive from local residents and law enforcement that serve as the true inspiration,” Zugibe said.


Rockland housing sales go up

The Rockland housing market is growing. First quarter home sales in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties went up by 14.5 percent over the same period last year. A report recently issued by Douglas Elliman showed market conditions in Westchester and Putnam as strong and stable. Rosemarie Pelatti, a real estate broker and owner at Keller Williams Realty Hudson Valley in New City said, “I think we’re not having any huge increase in demand…a lot of people are still looking to get into the market while interest rates are very low. But we have certain factors — taxes and things like that — that do hinder people from coming into our market.”


Man tried to lure boy in Pearl River

A 12-year-old Orangetown boy was waiting outside of his home Thursady morning, April 7 when a car pulled into his driveway at 7:20 a.m. The car was a small, silver, four-door sedan. The driver of the car motioned to the boy but the boy did not approach. The mother of the boy saw the incident and walked towards the car. After seeing the mother the man fled. Witnesses say that the car may have been a sudan and had a small white dog in the passenger’s seat. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Orangetown PD at 845-359-3700


Orangetown considers Do-Not-Knock registry to combat real estate solicitation

The people of Orangetown have had enough of door to door solicitation. A ‘Do Not Knock’ registry is one of the main points to be discussed at the Orangetown Town Board meeting. If the amendment were to pass it would establish a registry in which Residents can sign up for free with town clerk and any name/residence on the list would be off limits for solicitors. The punishment would be $1,500 for a first offense; up to $3,500 for a second offense within 24 months; and up to $10,000 for a third offense or up to 30 days in jail.


Cheaper stamps

No, it’s not an April Fool’s gag. Stamp prices are going down this year, from 49 cents to 47 cents. According to USPS the price cut, mandated by an independent regulatory agency, could result in a $2 billion annual loss. Since 2008 the Postal Service has cut $15 billion but also seen an increase in shipping and package revenue. The increases have helped to offset a continued decline in first class mail and other services. The Postal Service is also cutting the cost of letters to international destinations from $1.20 to $1.15 and postcards from 35 cents to 34 cents. The increase to 49 cents per piece of mail had been instituted as a temporary fee, not a true blue hike in postal rates.  Some consumers have pointed out that lowering the price of a stamp makes them seem foolish for investing in FOREVER stamps under the presumption that postal rates always go up. Stamp prices had not been lowered in 90 years, mainstream media reported.

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