Welcome back to the Villages, where we are proud to be publishing twice in consecutive weeks. Woohoo! (Forget that I promised to have this done by Monday or that I even mentioned it right now. Let’s just move on.)
Happy New Year, dear readers! We’re going to take a little trip down memory lane before we dig into some important new stories that should be on your radar. And if you scroll all the way to the bottom, you will find my favorite songs of 2023. As always, thanks for your readership
Our Most Popular Stories in 2023
In total, some 93,000 people visited Nyack News & Views during our planet’s last trip around the sun. The following seven stories saw the most clicks. Let’s count them down, New Year’s Eve style.
Look at you conscious citizens doing (or at least reading about) doing your civic duty.
It’s still unclear exactly what is happening on this vast and apparently mostly unused property after a Yeshiva purchased it in 2021. Hopefully, for those using the campus, the new owners have cleaned up some of the building violations.
When we first heard about this mysterious death, it had all the makings a Serial-style multi-part true crime podcast (my favorite genre!) but it turned out to be just a mysteriously “tragic accident.”
If you didn’t watch it after clicking on the story, here it is!
3) A new Nyack mayor, a Democratic county legislature supermajority and all election results countywide
Look at you, come back to find out what happened after you voted (or read about voting). Keep doing this, please. Our democracy, if you haven’t heard, is at a crossroads. Let’s do our best to keep it alive by a) voting; and b) paying attention to what our local elected officials (even if they try to ban us from attending their public town hall meetings).
The answer: probably not anytime soon?
This was, by far, our most read story of 2023. Quick update: my soon-to-be-13-year-old daughter and her gaggle of awkward pre-teens survived this loss. However, it’s unclear what became of their favorite barista Justin or James or whatever his name is/was.
Editor’s note: we’ve heard you loud and clear, folks — more election coverage, more mysterious deaths and more “end of”-style real estate stories. Got it.
In other (newer) news:
More than 100 former Nyack High School baseball players have signed a petition to bring more accountability for the sexual abuse by two coaches against players they say occurred between 1991 and 2007. In early November, according to News 12, the Nyack School District settled a lawsuit filed by a former player against the district for negligence during the time of the abuse at the hands of “then/volunteer coach,” 1996-2000. This coming Tuesday, a group of former players is expected to bring their concerns and demands to the current Nyack School Board.
State police shot and killed a motorist near Ramapo on Wednesday afternoon after the motorist, who state officials said was wanted in an Albany-area homicide investigation, opened fire on the troopers, according to Lohud.
The NY Attorney General’s office opened an investigation into the incident a day later, which is standard procedure in any death involving state law enforcement officers, according to Lohud. This is similar to the Sean Harris story below, which remains under investigation more than six months later.
Good scoop by Rockland Biz Journal on a discrimination lawsuit filed against the owners of the Hotel Nyack (formerly the Time Nyack Hotel).
This Clarkstown murder-suicide story from Dec. 30, gracefully covered by Lohud, is beyond tragic, but it is great to see a community come together and mourn a devastating loss. See Lohud’s video coverage below.
ICYM NNV’s weekly features: See Andrea Swenson’s newest Photo Shoots; Bill Batson’s latest “Nyack Sketch Log”; Mike Hays’ most recent “Nyack People & Places”; past editions of “The Villages,” including last week’s story on Nyack’s own Mario the Maker Magician’s hitting the big time.
Weather prediction (through Jan. 7)
Snow possible this weekend(!)(?) [Click here for the National Weather Service‘s latest 7-day forecast for the Nyack area. Click here for the latest Air Quality Index report for Nyack.]
7+ Months Later: Still looking for answers in the death of Sean Harris
We continue to look into the case of Sean Harris, who died under suspicious circumstances after an hours-long standoff with police on May 30.
[Update: On October 30, 2023, a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office said they were still investigating Harris’s case. There has been no update from the AG’s office as of Jan. 4, 2024]
Watch the video from Truth 2 Power below to learn more about what happened and why family, friends and police reform advocates say they want answers.
Here’s our breakdown of what happened.
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.).
Click here for updates from the Village of Upper Nyack.
Thanks 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the draft chapters of Orangetown’s new 2023 Comprehensive Plan.
Help limit greenhouse gases and curb pollution by joining this new food scraps recycling program.
Check out the Orangetown YouTube channel.
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.
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 (nyackschools.org)
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 rocklandgov.com.
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Words and music to live by in 2024 and beyond:
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