This week in the Villages: In the wake of the recent racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, local leaders and activists warned that a similar incident could be fueled by local white supremacy ideology. Meanwhile, the state passed new gun safety legislation aimed specifically at stopping potential shooters like the 18-year-old shooter. Also, a Nanuet gridiron legend passes and a New City brewery expands into Blauvelt Plus, more news, your local weather forecast, Covid updates, upcoming meetings and much more!
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Mourning with a Warning: This Could Happen Here
At a recent vigil in Haverstraw to mourn and honor the victims of a racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, local leaders and activists warned that a similar tragedy could be stoked by white supremacist ideology right here in Rockland County.
“This could have been here ,” said the president of Nyack’s NAACP branch, Nicole Hines, who has joined a chorus of voices denouncing a string of recent racist incidents where students from Pearl River have taunted and spewed racial epithets at student-athletes of color during sporting events. “Right here. In our own county. We have white supremacy. We have racism.”
While some have dismissed the incidents as the poor word choice and inappropriate expression of immature young people, Hines and others at the rally said these shootings often start with words.
Hines said the Buffalo shooter, an 18-year-old Binghamton resident, “completed his manifesto at 17.”
In response to the shooting in Buffalo, state legislators in Albany recently passed several gun safety measures, including one that would effectively raise the age to buy a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21 (the Buffalo shooter was 18 when he legally purchased an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle); one that would prevent people from buying body armor vests (like the one the Buffalo shooter used to fend off attempts to stop him and kept him alive); and one that would strengthen the state’s Red Flag laws, which may have prompted law enforcement officers to put the shooter on a list that could have prevented him from buying a firearm in the first place. [City and State]
While many New York business associations say they support tougher gun restrictions, at least one local business owner, Keith Nicolson, who has run Shootz & Latters for five and a half years in Suffern, says the new restrictions will hurt their business. He’s moving his gun shop to Tennessee. [Rockland Business Journal]
In other local news . . .
- Just days after another mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas took the lives of 21 students and teachers at an elementary school, two Rockland high schools experienced scary brushes with minor mayhem in their own hallways. [LoHud]
- A look at summer dining options in the Lower Hudson Valley, from food trucks to farmer’s markets and everything in between. [LoHud]
- Legendary Nanuet football coach Rich Conklin, who lead his team to an undefeated and unscored upon season in 1989, died on Sunday. He was 72. [LoHud]
- New City’s popular brewery, District 96, is planning to open an enormous new beer hall in a Blauvelt industrial park, hopefully in the spring of 2023. [Rockland Biz Journal]
- ICYMI: Rockland is now home to its first university, as Dominican College will become Dominican University New York, a change in status and name recently approved by the New York Board of Regents. [Rockland Biz Journal]; The New York Boulders, (formerly known as the Rockland Boulders) returned to action in May. Read about how this diverse group of veteran players stay motivated and keep their big league dreams alive. [LoHud]
- ICYM our stuff last week: Bill Batson’s latest “Nyack Sketch Log”, Mike Hays’ most recent “Nyack People & Places”; and our coverage in last week’s “The Villages”.
Showers likely during the middle of the week, with clear skies and sunshine taking over on Friday and then a return to more clouds and intermittent sun breaks during the weekend. [National Weather Service]
While Covid cases continue to rise at about a 15% rate in New York state, severe cases and hospitalizations in the greater Nyack area stayed relatively low. As of June 3, the CDC is classifying Rockland county at a “medium” Covid threat level.
- The “early warning” detector for Rockland is showing that the percentage of positive tests per day is down 7.47% (down from 9.62% two weeks ago), with 30.37 new cases per 100,000 people, down from about 47 cases per 100K as measured two weeks ago.
- Still, the severity remains low with 1.76 gross hospitalization per 100,000 people (down from 1.82 two weeks ago).
- Hospital capacity is not threatened.
- A total of 22 people (down from 29 two weeks ago) in Rockland county were hospitalized for Covid related issues; 14 out of 22 of those patients were symptomatic.
- With seven new deaths added over the past two weeks, Rockland’s Covid-related death total is now up 1,185.
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
More than 81% 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 rocklandgov.com/departments/health/. To search for additional COVID-19 vaccination opportunities nearby visit vaccines.gov.
Find a COVID-19 testing site near you, by visiting 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.
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.
Click here for updates from the Village of Upper Nyack.
Let your voice be heard about Nyack public schools by filling out this “Community Pulse” survey.
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:
Find out what else is going on in Nyack-area schools at Home Page – Nyack Public Schools (nyackschools.org)
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.
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 June 8, 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.
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:
- Heat Lamps or other electric heating equipment
- Additional tables and chairs for outdoor dining
- Market Umbrellas
- Plexiglass Shields
- Patio Fencing
For more information and to download an application visit rocklandgov.com
(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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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