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The Villages

Nyack school district rattled by crisis of confidence (and other Rockland stories)

This week in the Villages, we look at Nyack’s school board, which is expected to go into a special executive session Friday night after school district unions voted they had “no confidence” in the superintendent, Susan Yom, according to sources who spoke with News 12 Westchester.

Teachers at Upper Nyack elementary school and other schools in the Nyack district gave Superintendent Susan Yom a vote of no confidence earlier this week. (Photo by Andrea Swenson)

No Confidence Vote for Yom

Nyack’s school board is expected to go into a special executive session Friday night after school district unions voted they had “no confidence” in the superintendent, Susan Yom, according to sources who spoke with News 12 Westchester.

More than 100 teachers walked out of a heated school board meeting earlier in the week, the outlet reported.

Some of those in attendance, including parents, backed up the educators and called on the district to negotiate better contracts.

“A hundred plus of them walked out of this board meeting because they are not OK,” said one woman addressing the board, according to video posted online.

“I feel compelled to speak with you today because we are not OK as a district right now.”

Stay tuned…

In other news:

  • Rockland BOCES – Board of Cooperative Educational Services – will get a $48 million expansion of its main West Nyack campus, according to LoHud. With the money approved by voters as part of the capital plan, BOCES is planning a building that will house, among other things, CTEC and STEM programs and an upgraded culinary arts program. The new construction will facilitate expanding the Jesse J. Kaplan School, which supports children with special needs.
  • The Nyack Village Board will consider a request made by newly elected Village Board trustee Joe Carlin to implement a six-month moratorium on new multi-family developments and whether to rescind waterfront zoning amendments adopted in 2016, according to Rockland County Business Journal. Members, however, stopped short of implementing a moratorium. “I don’t see a moratorium, but I can see a review of the codes,” said Trustee Pascale Jean-Gilles.
  • The Village of Nyack voted against a citizen’s resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza on Thursday, Rockland County Business Journal reports. Mayor Joe Rand posted his position on the We Love Nyack Facebook page prior to the meeting: “I want to explain why I will not support a resolution for the Nyack Village Board to call for a Ceasefire in Gaza.  Simply put, as a matter of principle, I do not believe it’s appropriate for the Board of Trustees to pass resolutions on issues that are not within the mandate we have to manage the affairs of the Village of Nyack.”

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”; and past editions of “The Villages.”

Weather prediction (through March 14)

Looks like clouds on Friday will give way to rain on Saturday. But should clear up a little on Sunday and then we should see some sunshine and temps climbing into the high 50s by next Thursday. [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.]

9+ 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, 2023.

[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 March 8, 2024]

Watch the video from Truth 2 Power below to learn more about what activists are saying, and why family, friends and police reform advocates are demanding answers.

Here’s our breakdown of what happened.

Here’s Lohud reporter Nancy Cutler’s in-depth piece on Harris and his mother’s suspicions about her son’s death here.

Village updates

Nyack

  • 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

  • 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 info@nyacknewsandviews.com.

Orangetown

Clarkstown

  • 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 somewhat regular feature we will post whenever possible. (Editor’s note: if you’re interested in writing about schools for Nyack News and Views, lease send us an email at info@nyacknewsandviews.com.

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

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Rockland-wide

It’s now been a year since polio was discovered in Rockland County wastewater, yet Rockland County has the fourth-lowest polio immunization rate in the state, according to Patch. Polio was eliminated in the U.S. starting in 1979, but it appeared again in July 2022 when a Rockland resident tested positive. The virus was subsequently found in New York wastewater, with a positive sample of concern found in Rockland last February.

. Here’s some info on how to protect yourself:

  • Pre-register for a free polio vaccination here or call 845-238-1956. Walk-ins also accepted. Local health care providers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, also provide the vaccine.
  • Learn about polio, including symptoms and spread, by visiting NYSDOH’s page here.
  • Educate yourself about the vaccine at the CDC’s page here.

Musical Outro

Little late on this one, but man, what a great performance by Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs on Grammy night. Almost makes me believe in bipartisanship!

Connect with Nyack News and Views

Note to readers: We want to hear from you and welcome your input! What do you think we should be covering in your Rockland County village? Let us know at info@nyacknewsandviews.com. Send us story ideas, issues to investigate, letters, reviews, photos, videos, feedback and news tips. And read about our vision for delivering high-quality, hyper-local journalism and how you can help us fulfill our mission going forward.


Nyack Farmer's Market


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