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Rockland Battles Toxic Air and Gun Violence (and Other Local Stories)

This week in the Villages we take at a look at Rockland’s fight against gun violence and the smoke tsunami that crashed our midweek plans. Plus, other local news, a weather prediction, quotes and videos of the week, a Covid update, upcoming meetings and much more. Thanks for being here!

Orange is the New Black

We’ll start with the fight against gun violence because the smoke story seems to be dissipating — literally and newsworthily (I just made that up, but I think it has potential).

Last Friday night, after a tropical-ish storm ripped through the afternoon humidity in the Hudson Valley, dozens of local moms (and other mom-loving gun violence fighters) demanded an end to gun violence in Memorial Park.

Andrea Swenson, our photographer, was on hand to take in the action. See her photos above. She told me this interesting tidbit: the color orange was chosen because that’s what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. Maybe all of us should wear orange all of the time.

Learn more about the Wear Orange campaign here.

Hudson Valley, Like Much of the Northeast, Gets Smoked In

Littler leaguers and anyone else with outdoor activities planned on Wednesday and Thursday were stymied by a wave of smoke that blanketed the northeast, including Rockland.

After storm winds brought wildfire smoke from Canada, the air quality descended in Rockland County into “very unhealthy” territory, which is why all outdoor activities were canceled on Wednesday and Thursday and residents were told to mostly remain indoors.

Check out how it looked on the Hudson around Nyack and Piermont in this smoky slideshow by photographer Andrea Swenson:

The worst appears to be over. As of Thursday night, we were in the “moderate” to “poor” air quality space, where it is safe to be outside without a mask and uncompromised people shouldn’t experience any damaging physical symptoms. It’s fine to go for a walk now, but maybe don’t run a marathon for a few days at least.

Click here for the latest Air Quality Index report for Nyack.

Stay tuned and be in touch …

In other relevant news:

Here we go. Let the debate begin. Here’s my take: Yes, the bridge should be called the Tappan Zee. No, we shouldn’t waste time or money changing the name (and all of the signage, etc.) officially at this point.

According to Lohud’s Chris McKenna, the bill probably isn’t going to pass this year.

Quote of the week:

Ok, Mike.

Videos of the week:

This is apocalyptic. New York City on Wednesday. Insane.

ICYM NNV’s weekly features: Bill Batson’s latest “Nyack Sketch Log”; Mike Hays’ most recent “Nyack People & Places”; and our coverage in our last edition of “The Villages”; Our latest Nyack Schools Report. If you haven’t read it yet, please check our vision for the future of Nyack News & Views and how you can help build our coverage and capacity.

Weather prediction (through June 11)

Thankfully, for the sake of the air quality, rain is coming on Friday and into Saturday. Plan for sunshine on Sunday. [Click here for the National Weather Service‘s latest 7-day forecast for the Nyack area.]

Covid Update! (threat level: still “low”)

According to CDC data of recent hospitalizations and cases, Rockland’s community threat level of Covid-19 is now considered “Low” after spending 6 weeks over the holidays in the “high” range and then dropping to medium throughout January. With a low designation, the CDC recommends getting tested if you have symptoms or have contact with someone who tests positive. Otherwise, live your life. 

Village updates


  • Here’s the list of all upcoming meetings posted for the Village of Nyack.
  • If you could use help paying your water bills, click here.
  • 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.).

Upper Nyack

South Nyack

  • Due to reader request, we have re-added South Nyack, which dissolved as an official village earlier this year. Please send us info about what’s going on in South Nyack at



  • 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 this Wednesday, from 10 am to noon, in the town hall’s Historic Map Room.
  • For a calendar list of all Clarkstown meetings and events, click here.

Other Local Updates

South Nyack advocates have filed a petition with the town of Orangetown seeking to show support for a new Elizabeth Place Playground — the grassy play area and dog park just south of 87 and right off the Esposito trail. After South Nyack dissolved in March, the town found the playground equipment at Elizabeth Place was unsafe and not compliant with ADA regulations and removed it. A new ADA compliant park has been proposed and advocates want to see the proposal approved and implemented. Click here to read and/or sign the petition.

Nyack Schools

Check out our latest Nyack Schools Report, a new regular feature we will post bi-monthly.

Find out what else is going on in Nyack-area schools at Home Page – Nyack Public Schools (


A rare polio case was recently discovered in Rockland County last summer. Here’s some info on how to protect yourself:

  • New Yorkers can pre-register for a free polio vaccination appointment here or call 845-238-1956 to schedule. Walk-ins will also be accepted.
  • Vaccines are also available through local healthcare providers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers.
  • For more information on polio including symptoms and spread, visit NYSDOH’s page here.
  • New Yorkers can learn more about the polio vaccine available in the U.S. at CDC’s page here.
  • 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. For more information and to download an application visit
  • Fill out this survey to help the county provide better digital services.

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