The Villages: To Stream or Not to Stream Public Comments

This week in the Villages: A local lawsuit challenges what is expected in our new pandemic-altered public life. Meanwhile, the Ramapough Nation’s chief filed a lawsuit over harassment related to parking in Hillburn, the Rockland Sports Hall of Fame inducted seven new athletic heroes and the Hi-Tor Animal Shelter is in the spotlight and not for anything related to its treatment of animals. Plus, your local weather forecast, Covid updates, upcoming meetings (yep, it’s still budget time) and much more!

Editor’s Note: Send us all your feedback, ideas, news tips, meeting details and event announcements at info@nyacknewsandviews.com.

To Facebook Live or Not to Facebook Live

The pandemic changed many aspects of our lives and how we conduct relationships, business and government. Much of “public” life ran through streaming video services, like Zoom or Facebook Live.

LoHud’s Steve Leiberman reports that this change of platform and protocol infringed on the Constitutional rights of at least one resident in Stony Point, according to a new lawsuit filed last Friday.

George Patanovic, a local environmentalist who says he’s been attending town meetings for more than 30 years, argues in his lawsuit that Stony Point officials stifled his right to free speech when they cut off live streaming of a meeting in October just as the public was about to comment.

Even though board members could still hear him, Patanovic said the move was made to block criticism from reaching a wider audience.

“When the town residents attend a Town Board meeting and speak during public input, they have a right to be heard by their elected officials as well as the public that is in attendance — whether in person or viewing virtually from home,” Potanovic told Leiberman .

Stony Point’s mayor and head lawyer both said the lawsuit lacked merit, adding that the town isn’t legally obligated to stream meetings that are also held in-person and that their intent was not to restrict any one speaker from being heard.

“The purpose of public input is for people to address the Town Board, not for individuals or organizations to have a platform to rant,” Monaghan told LoHud. “Unfortunately, I have had to stop people from making defamatory remarks about private individuals. Mr. Potanovic can go on his own Facebook page and say whatever he wants.”

I’m intrigued and curious.

As we move into more of a hybrid version of public life, what is expected, legally or morally or technologically, from our government?

Stay tuned…

In other local news. . .

Speaking of lawsuits against the government, LoHud’s Lieberman also has the story of Ramapough Nation Chief Dwayne Perry filing a lawsuit against the town of Hillburn for harassment. The issue stems from, you guessed it, a parking dispute.

The Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame held its first induction ceremony since 2019 on Saturday. Seven Rockland sports stars made the cut this year, including 1992 Clarkstown North graduate Will Cunnane, who spent parts of eight years in the major leagues and is now a Clarkstown police officer. [LoHud]

Hi-Tor Animal Shelter is fighting back against an indictment that alleges it filed false documents. [Rockland Biz Journal]

Meanwhile, the animal shelter is looking for new management as it deals with the charges and financial issues. [LoHud]

ICYMI (in depth): Nanuet native Don Mueller, a doctorate in chemical physics, is considered the “Nutty Professor” of pitching mechanics, according to Jane Havsy from the Morristown Daily Record [LoHud]; After presenting a cheery report about economic progress in his annual state of the county speech early last week (more on that below), Rockland County Executive Ed Day found himself, once again, fending off accusations of ethics violations that fused his personal and political lives of the. [LoHud] The Valley Table checks in on what’s going with New York’s recreational cannabis industry. [The Valley Table] Bottom line: we probably won’t see legal recreational weed sales in the Nyack area until late 2022, or more likely, early-ish in 2023.

ICYM our stuff last week: Bill Batson’s latest “Nyack Sketch Log”, Mike Hays’ most recent “Nyack People & Places” on our coverage in last week’s “The Villages”.

Villages-Area Weather Forecast

Clouds on Monday will probably lead to rain on Tuesday. But by mid-week, we should be seeing mostly sunshine during the day with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to mid-60s. Mostly sunny with temps in the 60s this weekend. [National Weather Service]

Villages-Area COVID Update

Through April 22, Covid rates and severe cases in the greater Nyack area remain relatively low. Masks are only required in limited designated spaces. As in other parts of the northeast, there’s been a steady rise in new positive test results in New York, but very few have resulted in hospitalization.

  • The “early warning” detector for Rockland is showing that the percentage of positive tests per day is now up to 4.65% (up from 3.51% last week and less than 1% just over a month ago)
  • Instead of total cases, Rockland is now only publishing “positive commercial tests”. Rockland has 1,182 positive commercial tests.
  • Hospital capacity is not threatened.
  • A total of 9 people (same as last week) in Rockland county were hospitalized for Covid related issues, 7 out of 9 of those patients were symptomatic.
  • Rockland hasn’t registered a Covid-related death in weeks.

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 80.4% 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

Hear from design engineers about a new “Safe Routes to the Nyack Middle School Sidewalk Project”which sounds important and necessary, at the Nyack Senior Center, 90 Depew Ave., on Monday, April 25, at 6:30 pm.

The Board of Trustees is holding a “special meeting” on Wednesday, April 27, from 7:30 to 9 pm. According to the agenda, several resolutions will be discussed. Here’s the Zoom link if you want to participate and ask questions.

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.

Order Military Tribute Banners

It’s time to order your Military Tribute Banners for 2022. These banners make a beautiful tribute to honor your veterans, active-duty, reserve, and National Guard members. Banners will be displayed from Memorial Day to Veterans Day in the village downtown area. For more information, contact Ann Marie Tisty at 845-358-0548 ext. 283 or at annmarietisty@nyack-ny.gov.

An exhibit at Nyack Library highlights the work of Dr. Max Gerson. (Photo courtesy of Nyack Library and Kay Zakariasen)

Nyack Library is offering a book exhibit (pictured) that highlights the work of Dr. Max Gerson, a local physician who dedicated his life to developing treatments for cancer. The books were curated at the library by Kay Zakariasen. Check out the exhibit for more info on Gerson’s life and work.

(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: info@nyacknewsandviews.com.

Village of Upper Nyack Updates

Celebrate Arbor Day at RiverHook in Upper Nyack on Saturday, April 30, from 11 am – 2 pm. There will be tree plantings, art exhibitions, poetry readings (and displays from the Nyack Poetry Walk) and special appearances by the Summit School service animals, including the famous Eleanor Pigby and goats Scout and Sawyer.

Nyack Public Schools Updates

Nyack public schools were closed for spring break from April 15, through April 22. Classes will resume on Monday, April 25.

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

Several meetings this week in Orangetownincluding

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 gases 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.

Children’s Playground at Veteran’s Memorial Park To Close Temporarily

The children’s playground at Orangetown’s Veteran’s Memorial Park will be out of service. The old playground will be removed and a new, all-inclusive playground will be installed. The grand re-opening is expected to be held in the spring.

Town of Clarkstown Updates

the Technical Advisory Committeewhich “evaluates the technical adequacy of land development applications and decides their readiness for Planning Board review,” meets most Wednesdays, including Wednesday April 20, 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:

  • tents
  • Heat Lamps or other electric heating equipment
  • Additional tables and chairs for outdoor dining
  • Market Umbrellas
  • Plexiglass Shields
  • tarps
  • patio fencing

For more information and to download an application visit rocklandgov.com

Editor’s Note: We want to hear from you! Send thoughts, ideas, news tips, as well as meeting and event announcements to us at info@nyacknewsandviews.com.

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