State Passes Law to Restrict Tankers on Hudson
Gov. Andrew Cuomo Oct. 24 signed into law a bill that establishes “tanker-avoidance zones” on the Hudson River that restrict where oil tankers can anchor (Lawmakers Target Hudson Anchorage Proposal, March 31). State Sen. Sue Serino, who represents the Highlands and co-sponsored the bill, says it puts the state in a “stronger position to prevent anchorages from being sited at points that pose a clear and direct threat to the environment, quality of life and local economic development goals.” One of the proposed sites was between Newburgh and Beacon. The law was proposed by Scenic Hudson in January after the U.S. Coast Guard said it was considering a proposal to add 10 anchor sites along the river.
On Sept. 7, a bill proposed by U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney that would defund attempts to establish anchorage sites on the Hudson passed the House.
St. Mary’s Raises $73K
Father Shane Scott-Hamblen, the rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Cold Spring, which this summer had a serious financial shortfall (St. Mary’s Faces Another Crisis, July 28), reported the church raised more than $73,000 through fundraisers such as a patronal festival and basket raffles, along with contributions through Gofundme.com.
Scott-Hamblen said the church had brought together a team of professionals to recommend a long-term solution to the parish’s chronic budget woes, which should by the spring recommend a plan to the vestry (parish council).
Graswald Sentenced in Kayak Case
Angelika Graswald, who pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the death of her fiancé while kayaking near Bannerman Island, was sentenced Nov. 8 to 16 months to four years in state prison, the maximum allowed (Women Pleads Guilty in Kayak Case, July 28). She initially was charged with second-degree murder after Vincent Viafore, 46, drowned on April 19, 2015. On Oct. 27, Viafore’s sister filed a wrongful death suit against Graswald for unspecified damages.
PTSD Approved for Medical Marijuana
On Nov. 11, Cuomo signed a law that added post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana (Medical Marijuana Takes Off, Aug. 18). Veterans’ groups had pushed for the change.
Legal Pushback to Police Plan
The Village of Wappingers Falls may face two lawsuits after the village board voted Aug. 30 to disband its part-time police force and rely on a new full-time force and deputies from the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Department (Wappingers Falls Disbands Police, Sept. 8). One complaint says the village should have conducted an environmental review, while the second claims the village wrongly dismissed a petition that would have forced a public vote.
New President at Desmond-Fish
Anita Prentice was elected on Nov. 11 as president of the board of the Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison, succeeding Hamilton Fish, who took a leave of absence following complaints by female staff members at The New Republic, where he was publisher, alleging misconduct (Hamilton Fish Takes Leave at New Republic, Library, Nov. 3).
“As I take on this role, I want to express my tremendous admiration for Ham Fish and his decades of service to the Desmond-Fish Library and the Philipstown community,” Prentice said in a statement. “As board president, he has been an exemplary leader, adhering to the highest ethical standards and dedicated to sustaining an institution that has meant so much to our community…. I look forward to working with Ham again in the future.”