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The Villages: An End to the Madness and Grim Reminders

Saint Peter’s star forward KC Ndefo blocks a shot during Friday history win against Purdue. (Photo credit: Saint Peter’s University)

This week in the Villages:  With the month winding down, we take some time to honor the March Madness exploits of our adopted “local” Cinderella, the proud Peacocks of St. Peter’s University in nearby Jersey City. Meanwhile, Rockland County remembered a series of grim anniversaries and milestones last week, including the death of a Spring Valley firefighter, a Congers school bus crash that killed five teenagers 50 years ago, and a conviction in the murder of West Nyack car deal from 2018. Also, in a symbol of its continued dysfunction, an education monitor left the East Ramapo school district. Plus, your Villages-area weather forecast, all your local meetings and civic updates.

Editor’s Note: Send us all your feedback, ideas, news tips, meeting details and event announcements at info@nyacknewsandviews.com.

Local Love for Peacocks’ Strut into Hoops History

The proud Peacocks of St. Peter’s University, the Villages adopted local basketball team (because they are just a brief commute away and, frankly, we are bandwagon jumpers when it comes to March Madness Cinderella stories), became the first 15 seed to advance to the Elite 8 when they beat Purdue on Friday night…

They followed this historic victory with a little bit of a letdown on Sunday night against North Carolina:

Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, the small school hopes to capitalize on the March Madness buzz and boost enrollment. [News 12]

The Pearl River Hotel hosted a March Madness watch party to soak in Saint Peter’s Friday victory over Purdue on Friday night. The hotel’s owner, Keith Kennedy, is the grandson of legendary Saint Peter’s basketball coach, Don Kennedy. [LoHud]

One of the college basketball blue bloods — Duke, Villanova, Kansas, or North Carolina — may win the title this year. But no one will forget this year’s flight of the Peacocks.

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Stay tuned…

In other (decidedly less cheery) news . . .

Last week marked a grim and heavy sequence of anniversaries and milestones that have required us to revisit tragic events and lost lives.

On Tuesday, a man was convicted in the murder of Youbens Jospeh, a West Nyack car dealer and father of three, who was shot by a disgruntled customer after an altercation in 2018. [LoHud]

On Wednesday, March 23, hundreds came out for a vigil to remember the life of Jared Lloyd, a 35-year-old single father of two young boys who was killed when a wall collapsed on him during the fire at Evergreen Court Home for Adults exactly one year earlier. Steve Leibman with the in-depth story.  [LoHud]

On Thursday, writer Robert Brum revisited a Congers school bus tragedy that left five teenagers dead 50 years ago — March 24, 1972. The Nyack High School students who died were James McGuinness, 17; Richard Macaylo, 18; Robert Mauterer, 14; Thomas Grosse, 14; and Stephen Ward, 16. [LoHud]

A state-appointed monitor of East Ramapo’s embattled school district abruptly resigned without much explanation last week. Nancy Cutler has the story, which traces the roots of East Ramapo’s struggles to a scathing report published in 2014 by the state’s education department titled “East Ramapo: A School District in Crisis,” which called for monitors in the first place. However, the results have been less than satisfying for the students and families who remain in the district. [LoHud]

Fresh off the heels of Nyack Feasts, we now have Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, which runs from through this coming weekend, April 3. Not a lot of Rockland County options, but Greekish and Broadway Bistro are both participating. More from News 12.

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ICYMI: How will the Hudson River be impact by the rising water levels associated with climate change? [Times Union]

Weather Forecast (March 28 – April 3):

Freakishly frigid temperatures early on this week will give way to more warmth and possible showers on Thursday with hopes for sunshine and 60s on Friday. No hint of rain with temperatures reaching into the mid-50s with at least patches sun of this weekend. [National Weather Service]

Nyack Area COVID Update (stats through March 25)

Through March 25, local Covid rates remain low, although there’s been a slight uptick.

The “early warning” detector for Rockland is showing that percentage of positive tests per day is now 1.96% (up from 1.8% last week), we have 435 total cases and hospital capacity is not threatened. A total of 8 people in Rockland county are hospitalized for Covid related issues, and 6 of them are symptomatic.

To find out what case and hospitalization trends look like in your town, click here.

Here’s the CDC’s data on Rockland.

Covid Testing and Vaccine Info

To get free at-home Covid test sent to your home, visit Covidtest.gov.  Every home gets four, takes about a week to arrive.

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About 80% of eligible people in Rockland County are vaccinated. To schedule an appointment for a 1st dose, 3rd dose (for immunocompromised), or booster COVID-19 vaccine from any Rockland County Department of Health Clinic visit rocklandgov.com/departments/health/. To search for additional COVID-19 vaccination opportunities nearby visit vaccines.gov.

If you need information on where to find a COVID-19 testing site near you, visit coronavirus.health.ny.gov. Individuals who have questions regarding eligibility or access for testing should call the New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit the NYSDOH website covid19screening.health.ny.gov.

A state operated COVID-19 testing site is open at the Patriot Hills Golf Club, 19 Club House Lane, Stony Point. Regular operating hours will be Mon – Sat from 8a – 6p and testing is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Appointments may be made at appointments.bioreference.com.

Rockland Community College (RCC), 145 College Rd, Suffern, is open as a New York State COVID-19 testing site. New York State has partnered with Quadrant Biosciences to operate the site which will provide oral, saliva-based PCR COVID-19 tests. Regular operating hours will be Mon – Fri from 8:30a – 4p. Appointments may be made at app.acuityscheduling.com.

Village of Nyack Updates

Drop off humanitarian aid, including first aid, painkillers, blankets, baby food, diapers, non-perishable food, antibiotics and more, at Village Hall, 9 N. Broadway (or at the Orangetown town hall, .

The Nyack Business Council meets Monday, March 28, at 4 pm.

Nyack is looking for a new Chief Operator and Supervisor for its water department.

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Here’s the list of all upcoming meetings posted for the Village of Nyack.

Military Tribute Banners

It’s time to order your Military Tribute Banners for 2022. These banners make a beautiful tribute to honor your veterans, active-duty, reserve, and National Guard members. Banners will be displayed from Memorial Day to Veterans Day in the village downtown area. For more information, contact Ann Marie Tisty at 845-358-0548 ext. 283 or at annmarietisty@nyack-ny.gov.

Village of South Nyack Updates

This is it. The Village of South Nyack will officially dissolve on Thursday, March 31. All municipal services will be provided by the Town of Orangetown after that date. Police and DPW services transitioned to Orangetown on January 1, 2022. For more info on dissolution plans, visit here or here.

Village of Upper Nyack Updates

Upper Nyack will hold its annual organizational meeting on Monday, April 4, at 7 pm at the Old Stone House.

  • To participate in person, come to the Old Stone Meeting House, 347 North Broadway, Upper Nyack, NY 10960
  • To participate virtually, please click the link below to join the webinar:
  • https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83678906780

ICYMI: In an outcome everyone predicted because they ran unopposed, the Village of Upper Nyack elected Jeffrey Epstein and Kennon Rothchild III to new 2-year trustee terms.

Nyack Public Schools Updates

There is a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, April 5, 6:30, at Nyack Middle School, 98 South Highland Avenue.

Masks are currently optional for all students and staff in all Nyack district schools.

However, they posted this notice on circumstances where masking would be required:

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3-4-22 UPDATE: NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) released its “New Masking Guidance Update” for schools. The update reaffirms the removal of the statewide universal masking mandate in schools and on school buses. However, the guidance also notes that masking is required in the following cases. All present mitigating procedures in our schools will remain in place.

For individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 (Isolation):

  • Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, may return to school and extra curriculars, must wear a well-fitted mask, after isolating for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic at the end of 5 days (on day 6) or if symptoms are improving. Individuals must be fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications before returning to school; and
  • Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must mask on return from isolation during days 6 through 10 after COVID-19 infection, in schools and public indoor spaces and on school buses. Parents must ensure that their child is properly masked on days 6 through 10.

For individuals exposed to COVID-19 (Quarantine):

  • Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, may remain in school following an exposure, as long as they are asymptomatic, must wear a mask in schools and public
    indoor spaces and on school buses for 10 days after exposure.
  • Individuals who have been exposed are encouraged to test immediately upon learning of the exposure and 5 days after exposure. COVID-19 home test kits will be available for pick up from our schools on school days starting Monday, March 7.

More than ever, personal and parental responsibility will have a critical impact on keeping our students and staff healthy. If your child is sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please keep them home and consult your medical provider.

The district also posted a listing of resources for parents:

NYSED Social Emotional Wellness
NY Project Hope
Social Emotional Learning Parent Resources (Fordham University)

Find out what else is going on in Villages-area school at Home Page – Nyack Public Schools (nyackschools.org)

Town of Orangetown Updates (Town Hall: 26 W. Orangeburg Rd.) 

Several meetings this week for Orangetown, including a big-time “special” board meeting at the Orangetown town hall on Tuesday, March 29, at 4 pm to discuss the dissolution and subsequent acquisition of South Nyack. Public comment is, of course, allowed!

Help limit greenhouse gasses and curb pollution by joining this new food scraps recycling program.

Check out the Orangetown YouTube channel, and this video of the special town board meeting two weeks ago, which included renderings of a new town hall.

Children’s Playground at Veteran’s Memorial Park To Close Temporarily

The children’s playground at Orangetown’s Veteran’s Memorial Park will be out of service. The old playground will be removed and a new, all-inclusive playground will be installed. The grand re-opening is expected to be held in the spring.

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Town of Clarkstown Updates (Town Hall: 10 Maple Ave. New City NY)

The Technical Advisory Committee, which “evaluates the technical adequacy of land development applications and decides their readiness for Planning Board review,” meets most Wednesdays, including Wednesday March 30, from 10 am to noon, in the town hall’s Historic Map Room.

Ambulance Corp Volunteers Needed

There is currently a nationwide shortage of EMTs and Ambulance volunteers. Within Clarkstown, there are five ambulance corps serving the community that are in dire need of volunteers. If you are interested, or know someone who may be please consider contacting and volunteering with one of these great organizations: Nyack, Congers/Valley Cottage, Nanuet, New City, or Spring Hill.

Rockland County Updates

Rockland Youth Bureau’s 2022 Youth Employment Program

The Rockland County Youth Bureau is now accepting applications for the 2022 Youth Employment Program. The program helps people ages 14 to 24-years-old develop attitudes, skills, and behaviors to help them thrive in the workforce.

Employers from the private sector, local government, and not-for-profit agencies hire these individuals through the program to give them the experience they need for a successful future. For more information about the Youth Employment Program, please contact RCYB@co.rockland.ny.us or call 845-364-2929.

Conservation Corp. Looking for Applicants

Here’s what you’ll be doing: “Rockland Conservation Corps members perform a variety of outdoor, environmental community service projects throughout the Rockland region. Responsibilities include educating the public about water stewardship, ecological conservation and environmental health issues, fieldwork and data collection, building and maintaining nature trails, teaching environmental education, planting gardens, patrolling streams, connecting young adults to their local environment, facilitating clean ups, and implementing food recovery programs, among others. Corps Members will take an active role in beautifying, protecting, and preserving Rockland’s parks, open spaces, and valued resources.”

Key Details: “To be considered, students must be at least 18. Members are required to serve 350 hours between May 23rd and mid to late August at local sites that may include the Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources, the Clarkstown Planning Department, the Town of Ramapo, the Rockland County Drainage Agency, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Cornell Cooperative Extension, among others.”

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Compensation: “Members are paid a $2,300 living stipend for the summer. After successful completion of 350 hours, Corps Members earn an additional $1,342.86 educational award provided by AmeriCorps and The Corps Network.”

Apply: “Applications are due Friday, April 8, 2022. The program begins on May 23, 2022, with most of the service taking place late May through August. Candidates can request an application by phone (845) 364-2937/2932 or by e-mail rcsc@co.rockland.ny.us. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.”

Reviving Rockland Restaurants Grant Program

The Reviving Rockland Restaurants Grant Program will reimburse businesses between $5,000 and $25,000 for past expenses or fund future expenses for eligible outdoor dining COVID-19 mitigation equipment. Eligible entities include restaurants, food stands, food trucks, bars, saloons, lounges, taverns, bakeries, delis, cafes, breweries, wineries, and other similar places of business.

Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Tents
  • Heat Lamps or other electric heating equipment
  • Additional tables and chairs for outdoor dining
  • Market Umbrellas
  • Plexiglass Shields
  • Tarps
  • Patio Fencing

For more information and to download an application visit rocklandgov.com

Flu Vaccine Clinic

The Rockland County Health Department is holding flu vaccine clinics for the 2021-2022 flu season on various dates and locations. This clinic is for everyone 6 months and older.

Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome at all clinics. There is a $20 fee for those 6 months through 64 years old: cash or check accepted. For those with private health insurance, we will provide you with a receipt to submit to your health insurance for possible reimbursement. To make the process quicker, please print and bring the completed 2021-2022 FLU VACCINE FORM with you.

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The vaccine is free of charge if you:

  • are 65 years and older (please bring identification with proof of age)
  • have Medicare or Medicaid (please bring your card)
  • are uninsured or underinsured

The Health Department is giving the quadrivalent flu vaccine, which does not contain preservatives, including thimerosal. For more information about the flu and the flu vaccine clinics visit rocklandgov.com or call 845-364-2534.

Note: Send news tips, as well as meeting and events announcements to us at info@nyacknewsandviews.com.


Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.


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