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Villages: School Board Vote on Tuesday

Last week, candidates for Nyack School Board, including (clockwise from top left), Michael Mark, Matthew Watson, and Antonia Sambevski, took questions from moderator Crystal Smith. (Photo taken from the Zoom video)

This week in the Villages: With elections going down on Tuesday, May 17, we have a brief voter guide (and video) to help you navigate your way to a polling place and a sound decision! Also, board elections are becoming increasingly intense and political everywhere in the Hudson Valley, a Democratic challenger emerges against Assemblyman Mike Lawler, and fallout from the racially-motivated Buffalo shooting over the weekend. Plus, your local weather forecast, Covid updates, upcoming meetings and much more!

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

School Board Vote on Tuesday May 17

New Yorkers from Niagra Falls to Nyack go to the polls on Tuesday to vote for school board leadership positions and budgets.

Here’s some help and guidance from your friendly neighborhood news site.

In Nyack, three candidates are vying for two positions. There is a clear distinction between viewpoints and public disposition, as you saw if you tuned in to last Tuesday’s candidates forum.

Watch the unedited video below from the forum, weigh your options, and get out to vote!

Find out where to vote, by going to this Poll Site Locater. Polling locations in Nyack include: Depew Manor, Hilltop Administration Building, Valley Cottage Elementary School, Upper Nyack Elementary School.

You will also be expected to vote on the budget. Here’s a newsletter from the Nyack School District that summarizes the overall budget plan, outlines some key details and provides some helpful graphs and visuals.

Bottom line, the district says, the new budget: “continues cost savings, efficiency measures and compliance with the NYS Tax Levy Cap while expanding educational initiatives, STREAM instruction (Science/Tech/Reading/Engineering/Arts/Math) and maintaining class size.”

The district also took pains to repeat that the slight budget increase will come at “no additional cost” to taxpayers or homeowners.

For a wider look at local races outside of Nyack, LoHud’s Gary Stern and Nancy Cutler combine forces for a deep dive into Hudson Valley’s increasingly electric and political school board races. [LoHud]

Stay tuned…

In other local news . . .

Buffalo residents rallied after a devastating and racially-motivated shooting at a supermarket in a predominantly Black area of the city.

Social Media platforms like Twitch are facing scrutiny about promoting violence after the Buffalo supermarket shooting that left 10 people dead on Saturday. [Hudson Valley News 12]

President Biden honored Spring Valley firefighter Jared Lloyd, who died in the fire that engulfed the Evergreen Court Home for Adult on March 22. Resident Oliver Huested, 77, also died. [LoHud]

Looks like Republican Assemblyman Mike Lawler, who represents most of Nyack, will have a Democratic challenger after a lot of technical issues and legal gamesmanship. An apeals court judge found that Democrat Eudson Francois had indeed reached the 500 petition signatures to enter the race following the Board of Elections initially found him to be just short. [LoHud]

ICYMI (in-depth):  School board coverage from last week, including our warning about the politicization of our local school boards and this story about how  a man running for the school board in Carmel dropped out of a hotly-contested race after Facebook post surfaced revealing a long history of racist online comments. [LoHud]

ICYM our stuff last week: Bill Batson’s latest “Nyack Sketch Log”, Mike Hays’ most recent “Nyack People & Places” on our coverage in last week’s “The Villages”.

Villages-Area Weather Forecast

Monday’s brush with tornado-like conditions will give way to a milder Tuesday, possible rain on Wednesday, and then it heats up with temperatures climbing into the 80s this weekend. [National Weather Service]

Villages-Area COVID Update 

Through May 13, Covid rates and severe cases in the greater Nyack area have steadily increased, with the CDC now saying saying Rockland county is at a “medium” level after classifying it as low for the past few months.

  • The “early warning” detector for Rockland is showing that the percentage of positive tests per day is now up to 9.7% (up from 7.4% last weeks ago), with 61.9 new cases per 100,000 people, up from about 54 cases per 100K.
  • Still, the severity remains low with 1.53 gross hospitalization per 100,000 people (same as last week).
  • Hospital capacity is not threatened.
  • A total of 25 people (up from 16 last week) in Rockland county were hospitalized for Covid related issues; 21 out of 25 of those patients were symptomatic.
  • After one person died last week, Rockland’s Covid-related death total is now up 1,173.

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

Get free at-home Covid tests sent to your home, visit Or pick them up at Village Hall in Nyack, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

More than 80.7% of eligible people in Rockland County are vaccinated with at least one dose. 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 To search for additional COVID-19 vaccination opportunities nearby visit

Find a COVID-19 testing site near you, by visiting 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

Village of Nyack Updates

The budget workshops are all wrapped up. If you haven’t seen it, take a look at the second draft of Nyack’s Appropriations budget (what they plan to spend). And the second draft of their Revenue budget (how they make their money). Not clear how or if it all those numbers have changed, but we’ll keep you updated. As of now, the budget is $6,055,600.91 coming in and going out 2022-2023.

Drop off humanitarian aid for victims of the war in Ukraine (, 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, 26 W. Orangeburg Rd.).

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

Order Military Tribute Banners (Last Chance!)

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

(The Dissolved) Village of South Nyack Updates

Alas, the Village of South Nyack officially dissolved on Thursday, March 31. All municipal services are now 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. No word yet on any movement to revive South Nyack’s villagehood. Please email us if you hear anything:

Village of Upper Nyack Updates

Click here for updates from the Village of Upper Nyack.

Nyack Public Schools Updates

Get out and vote Tuesday! Find out where by clicking here.

Applications are now being accepted for universal pre-K and full-day kindergarten.

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, including close contacts and other scenarios.

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 Nyack-area schools at Home Page – Nyack Public Schools (

Town of Orangetown Updates

There are several meetings this week in Orangetown, click here to find out what, when and where.

Check out the draft chapters of Orangetown’s new 2022 Comprehensive Plan.

ICYMI: Here’s the official resolution Orangetown enacted with regards to the sale of two South Nyack properties, which appears to say the proceeds will go toward wiping out South Nyack’s debt, which is what South Nyack officials were lobbying for as the dissolution date approached.

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 a recent special town board meeting, which included renderings of a new town hall.

Town of Clarkstown Updates

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 May 18, 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

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

Editor’s Note: We want to hear from you! Send thoughts, ideas, news tips, as well as meeting and events announcements to us at

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