West Nyack Man Accused of Stealing of Chestnut Ridge Homeowner

On Nov. 17 Rockland District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe charged 42-year-old Markeen Cousrar of West Nyack, New York with one count of fourth-degree grand larceny. Coursar, a licensed contractor working under his business C&M Paving, allegedly stole $2,800 from a Chestnut Ridge homeowner who contacted him to pave the home’s driveway. The homeowner claims she contacted Coursar in December 2015 to do the job, paid a deposit, and the work was never done. He also did not refund her money on multiple requests. Coursar was arraigned in the Village of Chestnut Ridge Justice Court and released on his own recognizance. If convicted, he faces a sentence of up to seven years.


SoftBank CEO Wants to Create Jobs with Trump

SoftBank Group Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son claimed he would create 50,000 new jobs in the U.S. by investing $50 billion into startups and new companies according to a conversation between him and President-elect Donald Trump. Softbank, which controls wireless carrier Sprint Corp., wants to work with Trump after being unable to win over the Obama administration. Bloomberg’s source said the funding isn’t meant to facilitate mergers and acquisitions with T-Mobile.


Riverkeeper, Others Push to Prevent New Anchorage in Hudson River

Riverkeeper, an independent nonprofit in the Hudson Valley, submitted comments to the U.S. Coast Guard protesting a proposed plan to allow commercial vessels to drop anchor in the Hudson River. Almost 9,000 comments have been submitted to the Coast Guard to reject the plan that would create 10 anchorage grounds, occupying 2,400 acres of the Hudson. Riverkeeper submitted a 39-page comment letter explaining the organization is proud of the gradual health being restored to the river, and doesn’t want to risk losing it. The letter also explained any proposal for anchorage would have to undergo a comprehensive environmental review including an environmental impact statement.


Trump Tax Plan Issues

Over the past few weeks President-elect Donald Trump has made multiple statements and tweets about implementing a 35 percent tariff on any goods U.S. businesses manufacture abroad then try to sell in America.   While this was one of Trump’s campaign promises, international trade experts are skeptical whether he would have the authority, as president, could force these taxes. Tax bills need to start in the House of Representatives and would require Democratic support to reach the 60 votes necessary to move a bill to the Senate. House Speak Paul Ryan supports tax reform to keep businesses in America, but doesn’t necessarily agree with all of Trump’s plans, possibly making it difficult for the President-elect to gain full Republican support.


Italy Rejects Prime Minister’s Reforms, Resignation Ensues

The populist movement struck Italy this past Sunday as it had in the United Kingdom and America earlier this year. Italy’s center-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after voters rejected his reforms to the constitution that were back by his government. Renzi wanted to streamline power, decrease Senate power and increase stability. But Italy’s voters, including the youth vote where 35 percent are unemployed, rejected his ideas. Daniel Hannan, a British politician and leading Brexit organizer, explained the populist movement is spreading across western countries.


Local University Students Argue with Coast Guard over Hudson River

Students from Pace University argued in a letter to Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft that environmental studies and public opinion should have been addressed when the Coast Guard received the proposal to add new commercial shipping anchorages in the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston. Zukunft claims the proposal is at the beginning of a multi-year processes that will be open to public comment, and environmental studies will take place. Chief Coast Guard Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy said they are not hiding any information from the public and the Coast Guard will review the comments.


RCC to Add Art and Decrease Greenhouse Gas Emissions

RCC will welcome five or six new sculptures by the end of spring 2017 donated by Greg Wyatt, who is continuing his father’s legacy of fostering art at RCC. Wyatt leads Models-to-Monuments, a highly competitive program that displays sculptures in Riverside Park. But the sculptures can only stay in Manhattan for a few months to make room for next set of students, so Wyatt has been donating sculptures to RCC since 2012. He believes this relationship with the community college helps pay tribute to his father, artist Stanley Wyatt who shaped RCC’s art education programs. The college is also moving forward with an $11.1 million project to decrease energy consumption at its Ramapo campus. The project is expected to decrease RCC’s utilities bill by about 44 percent. The works include updating heating and cooling systems and improving aging equipment.


Construction begins for the Stony Point Dog Park

It’s been three years in the works but the Stony Point Veterans Memorial Park may finally be adding a new fenced-in Dog Park. Optimistic projects are for the park to be completed by the end of March 2017.

The park will have two sections, one for large dogs and one for smaller dogs, signage, benches, a walkway with gravel, and plantings. “There will be toys for the dogs and landscaping as a barrier. We are looking into whether to have permits for the dogs to make sure they have been vaccinated. The park follows the AKC regulations,” Town Supervisor Jim Monaghan told The Journal News.

The Stony Point Dog Park Development Fund received state grants and in-kind contributions which makes the park all paid for. Benches have been donated by local businesses.

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