by Alex Kratz
This week in the Villages: We have the story of a recent Nyack High School graduate who spent the end of her senior year trying to save lives. Meanwhile, images from a robust and prideful Rockland Pride Day, a North Clarkstown runner wins an NCAA crown, and coverage of the new Bayard Rustin Way in Nyack. Plus, more news, your weekly 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 email@example.com.
The World Needs More Jayden Turners
Last week, Jayden Turner graduated from Nyack High School. But not before changing the world. [LoHud]
Days before graduation, the 18-year-old Turner celebrated what might have been a more personal and meaningful milestone: the passage of Alyssa’s Law, a measure mandating that school districts in New York consider installing silent panic alert systems in schools.
The panic alert systems, which the state would pay for, would alert local law enforcement as well as school staff in the case of an emergency — like a murderous shooter showing up on campus — so both police and staff could take swift action to protect kids from imminent danger.
In other words, it would do something to combat death from gun violence — perhaps our country’s most intractable problem. All we need now is for Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign it into law, which looks like a pretty sure bet. (Apparently, Alyssa’s Law is one of more than 1,000 new laws, most passed in the last seconds of Albany’s notoriously last-second legislative sessions, that Hochul still needs to sift through in the next month. Still, Alyssa’s Law should be on the books by mid-summer.)
This is cause for celebration and memoriam. (A huge kudos to LoHud for highlighting this important story!)
The idea for Alyssa’s Law was born in the wake of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where another disturbed young man with easy access to heavy artillery killed 17 people and injured 17 others in just four minutes.
One of the lives taken that Valentine’s Day in 2018 was Jayden Turner’s cousin, Alyssa Alhadeff, who was 14 years old and a soccer star. Turner and Alyssa had just hung out a few weeks earlier and were discussing plans to see each other in the near future. LoHud grimly but poignantly pointed out that Alyssa was shot 10 times.
“Time equals life,” Turner said at a press conference last week after the bill passed.
Turner and Alyssa’s mom (Turner’s aunt) spent the fall lobbying and working with local leaders on a rare bipartisan effort — Democratic State Senator Elijah Reichlen-Menlick and Republican Assemblyman Mike Lawler signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. The panic alert legislation passed the senate on May 23, a day before the shooting in a Uvalde, Texas elementary that left 19 kids and two teachers dead.
This legislation will not prevent the next mass shooting, but with any luck, it might save lives when it comes.
It is something. It is something a young person did to turn a senseless tragedy into constructive action
With all the craziness going on in the world, it’s comforting to know, especially during this graduation season, that there is a Jayden Turner right here doing something to help change the world.
The world needs more Jayden Turners.
In other local news . . .
Scenes from the Rockland Pride Day in Nyack:
Chuck Schumer showed up — with signs, just in case you didn’t know:
- Katelyn Tuohy, a record-setting youth distance runner from North Clarkston High School who now competes at North Carolina St. became the first Rockland County resident to win a Division I NCAA track championship — winning the 5,000 meter race in Oregon on Saturday, June 11. [LoHud]
- Here’s LoHud’s story on the naming of Bayard Rustin Way after Black gay civil rights hero in Nyack. Our Bill Batson wrote about the dedication and the icon in his Sketch Log column last week.
- Fraud charges against the operator of Rockland county animal shelter will go forward after a judge denied an appeal for dismissal. [Rockland County Biz Journal]
- A developer is facing pushback on a plan to build an enormous distribution warehouse off Route 303 in Valley Cottage. Clarkstown board members are skeptical of plan given that the developer does not have a tenant for distribution warehouse lined up yet. [Rockland County Biz Journal]
- ICYMI last week: 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]
- 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”.
Early Monday showers should give way to sunshine and temperatures hitting the 80s for most of the week. There may be a shift to clouds and rain on Thursday and Friday, but there should be sky clarity, with sun and temps in the high 70s, over the weekend. [National Weather Service]
Severe Covid cases and hospitalizations in Rockland County dropped remarkably over the past week. As of June 10, the CDC is now classifying Rockland county at a “low” Covid threat level (we were in the “medium” zone for the past month or so).
- The “early warning” detector for Rockland is showing that the percentage of positive tests per day is down to 5.68% (down from 7.46% last week), with 26.99 new cases per 100,000 people, down from about 30 cases per 100K last week.
- Severity of the cases remains low with 0.92 gross hospitalization per 100,000 people (down from 1.76 last week).
- Hospital capacity is not threatened.
- A total of 13 people (down from 22 last week) in Rockland county were hospitalized for Covid related issues; 6 out of 13 of those patients were symptomatic.
- With three new lives lost over the past week, Rockland’s Covid-related death total is now up 1,188.
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 Covidtest.gov. Or pick them up at Village Hall in Nyack, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
More than 81.1% 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.
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.
Village of Upper Nyack Updates
Click here for updates from the Village of Upper Nyack.
Nyack Public Schools Updates
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:
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 (nyackschools.org)
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 June 14, 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:
- 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, 2022. 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.
Editor’s Note: We want to hear from you! Send thoughts, ideas, news tips, as well as meeting and events announcements to us at email@example.com.