TIMELINES: Week of January 17, 2019

Orangetown Police Investigate Suspicious Incident Involving Child

From Orangetown PD/MidHudsonNews

Orangetown Police are investigating an incident on Saturday, January 12 in which a van pulled up to a 10-year-old boy sitting on the curb in the area of Lang Terrace and Lombardi Road in Pearl River and asked him if he wanted a ride home.

The van was a white cargo vehicle and the driver was a white man. Police said there does not appear to be any criminality involved at this time. The boy saw his neighbor walking and asked her for help at which time the van left the area.

Police said the boy did the right thing in seeking help and they encourage all parents to have the conversation with their children about what to do if this were to ever happen to them. If anyone has information or video about this incident or if you were the driver of the vehicle, you are asked to call Orangetown Police at 845-359-3700.


Chestnut Ridge Residents Frustrated by Worship Housing Proposal 

Chestnut Ridge residents continue to voice opinions at public meetings about the controversial proposed law regarding houses of worship in residential areas. Two earlier hearings drew more than 700 people to the meetings with longtime residents in opposition and Orthodox Jews in favor of the proposed law. The residents opposing this law believe residential houses of worship need stricter enforcement of zoning codes and a 5-acre minimum. Another meeting was held Tuesday, January 15.

Critics believe it will change the neighborhoods, increase traffic and off-site parking. While the village of Chestnut Ridge allows home prayer under the U.S. Constitution, this proposed law would set rules for the number of people attending at-home services. Village planners created a three tier system separating residential houses of worship from neighborhood and community worship houses based on capacity and amenities. Some residents believe the hearings aren’t enough and their frustrations aren’t being heard.


Ramapo’s Property Dilemma 

The Town of Ramapo is debating the future of properties it previously bought for profit and historic preservation. Currently facing a more than $8 million deficit. At a recent public hearing, dozens of residents packed the Ramapo Town Hall to offered ideas for the buildings. Some of the properties discussed included: The Burgess Meredith mansion outside of Pomona, the Suffern Quarry which the town bought in 2006, a vacant parcel on Pine Brooke Road in Chestnut Ridge, the Ramapo Cultural Arts Center in Spring Valley, and a collection of small rundown houses dating to the Revolutionary War era. 

The ideas ranged from ranged from rehabilitation, passive park development, preservation through nonprofit partnerships, creating affordable housing, or transitioning properties to use their historic value for cultural and educational purposes. According to Town Supervisor Michael Specht, no decisions have been made by the Town Asset Review Committee. Some residents said the town already dedicated the properties as open space for preservation and would need state approval to sell. No one at the recent meeting suggested selling the properties for commercial development. Some speakers focused on the Striker property off of Route 45 in Pomona and other possible properties to sell.


 Gannet Receives Unsolicited Buyer

A media company has put forward an unsolicited bid for Gannet Co. which owns USA Today and 109 other local media properties, including local daily newspaper The Journal News. The company, MNG Enterprises, also known as Digital First Media, proposed to buy Gannet at $12 per share, 23 percent above last week’s closing price of $9.75 per share.

Digital First Media, which is majority owned by hedge fund Alden Global Capital, currently operates the Denver Post, the Los Angeles Daily News and the Boston Herald. Gannet CEO Robert J. Dickey announced in December his plan to retire as CEO in May 2019 and Gannet shares have fallen almost 20 percent over the last year.


Stottlemyre Passes Away

From Rockland Report

Mel Stottlemyre, who pitched for the New York Yankees for 11 seasons and won five World Series titles as a pitching coach for the Yankees (1996, 1998-2000) and the New York Mets (1986), died Sunday in Seattle after battling cancer for almost 20 years. He was 77.


Statewide ban on single-use plastic bags proposed

From MidHudsonNews

ALBANY – A ban on single-use plastic bags is going to be included in the governor’s proposed state budget that he will unveil this week.

The announcement on Sunday was lauded by environmental group Riverkeeper.

Jeremy Cherson, Riverkeeper’s legislative advocacy manager, said the ban would be a step in the right direction, but they are concerned that would lead to a switch to paper bags, which come with their own environmental issues.

“In the experience of the City of Chicago, they went with a plastic bag ban only a few years ago and had to repeal that law and switch it to a fee because of the environmental effects of the switch to paper bags,” Cherson said.

The governor also announced an extension of the state’s bottle bill to make most non-alcoholic drink containers eligible for the state’s five-cent redemption.

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