Timelines 7/21/16


Fire in Haverstraw Leaves Families Homeless

A fire in Haverstraw left at least two families homeless on Monday, July 18. Firefighters controlled the fire that spread through several attached houses on Farley Drive.

The fire started in a shed around noon and began burning at 1 Farley Drive, then spread through the space into other attached houses according to one firefighter. “We had visible smoke in 1, 3, 5 and 7 Farely,” Rockland Deputy Fire Director John Kryger told lohud.

The firefighters used the trench out strategy, separating the flames between the buildings before focusing on ending the fire, to put it out. Haverstraw Ambulance Corps and Rockland Paramedics worked to keep the firefighters hydrated.

“We were fortunate only one guy went to the hospital for high blood pressure,” Kryger said.




Blocked Door at Monsey Apartment Building

Firefighters trying to put an end to a blaze at a large Calvert Drive apartment building in Monsey were blocked from using an entrance by dozens of boxes stored in the basement and one of the units.

The boxes were filled with stored items, causing firefighters wearing heavy gear in the heat to push their way into the building and basement where the fire was suspected to have ignited according to officials.

“This can get firemen killed,” Monsey Fire Chief Tony Layman told local media.

There were multiple violations in the building. Rockland Fire Coordinator Gordon Wren Jr. said the owner used the space as a warehouse.

Everything in the basement was blocked including escape windows with bars prohibiting easy escape.

“We placed an ‘Unsafe Structure’ violation and vacate order on all of the units until all work required to repair the water lines, electrical and gas is complete,” Ramapo Chief Building Inspector Anthony Mallia said.



Stabbing in Nanuet

On Saturday July 10, 2016, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Clarkstown Police responded to 97 Tennyson Drive in Nanuet, New York, for a report of a dispute that resulted in a stabbing. The police department is investigating the stabbing.

According to a press release from Clarkstown PD, the victim, a 50-year-old Nanuet resident and acquaintance of the assailant, was stabbed multiple times. He was transported to Nyack Hospital and is in critical condition.

The suspect, 48-year-old Frank Keogh, of Yonkers, New York, fled the scene before the police arrived. He was later apprehended in Wappinger Falls, New York by the New York State Police following a traffic stop. Keogh has been charged with Attempted Murder second degree, Assault first degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon second degree and Criminal Contempt.

He is in police custody and awaiting arraignment before the Clarkstown Justice Court.



Revamped Subway Cars

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new design features to 1,025 new and redesigned subway cars.

These changes include vital enhancements to the exterior and interior of regular cars, wider doors and the addition of up to 750 “Open Car End” cars.  These open car ends will reduce wait times and increase capacity on each train.  There will also be renovations to 31 subway stations throughout New York City.

The MTA is ensuring a short timeframe for project completion.  These improvements to the transit system are part of a $27 billion, five-year MTA Capital Program.



Housing Development Proposed for Old Rockland Drive-In Property

A 600-unit housing complex has been proposed for the location of the old Rockland Drive-In Theatre on Route 59.

Developer Jesse Brachfeld of Wesley Hills is the man behind the project.  He said the project, being referred as Town Square Residences, would be a mix of rentals, condominiums and brownstones.  Pricing for the units is yet to be determined.

Brachfeld called the area “the gateway to Monsey” and thinks his proposal will add much needed housing and will improve the property that has been vacant since 1987.

The area in question for the new development is currently zoned for commercial stores only but Brachfeld wants Ramapo to rezone the property.

The proposal includes:

A six-floor building with commercial space on the first floor topped by five floors with 140 one-and two-bedroom rental units.

Two six-floor apartment buildings with a total of 210 rental units.

Five condominium buildings with courtyards, each one with three floors, totaling 160 units.  Each condo would be three to four bedrooms.

30 four floor brownstones that would be individually owned and could be single family homes or contain one or two rental units.

The development will have 619 parking spaces.

Ramapo Deputy Supervisor Pat Withers said the property has been “a blight on our community for decades since the theater closed.”  Withers also said the plan is visually pleasing but thinks it could be larger than what can be accommodated.

There is also concern that this new development will add to Route 59 traffic.  Brachfeld’s planners claim the housing plan would have less impact on traffic than a commercial space taking the land. Brachfeld also said the housing would be available to anyone in the community and there are ongoing discussions about adding an affordable housing component.

Rockland Coach struggles

The company hired to build NJ Transit’s new buses, some set for service in Rockland, has been asked to shut down its work due to overspending from the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.

In February, NJ Transit approved the allocation of $100 million to buy 332 45-foot “cruiser” buses.  The buses were being made by Motor Coach Industries, from Illinois and were to be received over a seven-year period.

On July 1, after failing to find a way to fund the tapped out Transportation Trust Fund, Gov. Chris Christie ordered a halt on everything except “absolutely essential” projects. Motor Coach announced last week that they would no longer be working on the NJ Transit project going into its annual three-week summer shutdown.

The new buses are expected to have a lifetime of 12 years or 500,000 miles.



DB Cooper Case May Never be Solved

The only unresolved case of American skyjacking is over according to an FBI statement.

D.B. Cooper, whom the FBI has been searching for 45 years, was never found. Cooper is the notorious alleged criminal who stole $200,000 cash and jumped off flight 305 from Portland, Ore. for Seattle.

On the infamous flight, after ordering a bourbon and coke, Cooper told the stewardess he had a bomb and she did as she was told.  After writing a note to the captain of the plane and landing in Seattle, Cooper received the cash and four parachutes.  The plane took off again en route to Mexico City at Cooper’s instruction.

Before reaching Reno, Nev. Cooper jumped from the back of the plane with cash in hand.  No one has seen him since. There have been countless suspects in this case but the real D.B. Cooper has never been found despite very strong evidence.

At this point many investigators feel there is no way Cooper ever made it to the ground that fateful night.




Hudson tunnel project progresses

Projects to build two new Hudson River rail tunnels and a new Portal Bridge will be part of the same federal funding program that provided $3 billion.

The $3 billion was originally meant for the ARC tunnel project that has been canceled. This announcement doesn’t come with funds immediately but the funding could come in the future.  The construction of a new Portal Bridge north is estimated to cost $940 million.  The project is already designed and ready to start building.

Both the bridge and tunnel projects are part of the “New Starts” funding program.  Being part of the program can move these projects to the front of the queue of upcoming projects to commence. Environmental studies have begun for the tunnels and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are allowed to start funding the work.


Weapons in Turkey questioned

As chaos has taken over the country of Turkey after a coup took place last week one question has faced American military officials about the situation.

Is it time to take weapons out of Turkey?

The United States stores weapons in Turkey as part of a NATO agreement that was reached in the 1960s, at the height of the cold war.  This gave U.S. forces easy access to the Soviet Union. The United States provides the weapons, Turkey protects the weapons and other nations in the NATO alliance provide the transportation of these weapons of mass destruction.

People now fear with the political instability in Turkey it isn’t the best place to store nuclear weapons.  Others feel a united NATO still working together in this manner is the best bet for global safety. Turkey also provides a location for the United States to launch air strikes against the Islamic State.

As of now it doesn’t seem that the weapons will be removed from Turkey or that life in Turkey will return to normal any time soon.

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