Westchester: Legislature Opposes Discharge
The Westchester County Legislature on Monday (March 6) unanimously adopted a resolution opposing a plan to empty the spent fuel pools at the Indian Point nuclear power plant near Peekskill into the Hudson River.
On Wednesday, Rockland County legislators did the same, although an effort has stalled in Putnam.
The two resolutions also expressed support for a bill in the state Legislature introduced by Sen. Pete Harckham and Assembly Member Dana Levenberg that would ban any person or company from discharging nuclear waste into the waters of the state.
Holtec International, which is decommissioning Indian Point, has said it plans to discharge the water by early September. Although it would be filtered, the water contains tritium, a radioactive material that is extremely difficult to remove.
The company has not yet announced how much water would be released, although several external estimates have calculated it to be 1 million gallons. Holtec says the radioactivity of the water will be far below allowable federal limits.
Nancy Montgomery, who represents Philipstown and part of Putnam Valley on the Putnam County Legislature, said on Wednesday that she and Legislator William Gouldman, who represents the rest of Putnam Valley, in February proposed a resolution opposing the discharge. However, she said Legislator Amy Sayegh, who chairs the Health, Social, Educational and Environmental Committee, has not responded to requests to put it on the agenda.
Ulster County: Finance Commissioner Resigns
The Ulster County finance commissioner, Burt Gulnick, resigned March 1 following allegations he stole thousands of dollars from the nonprofit Hurley Recreation Association, for which he served as treasurer.
According to the Daily Freeman, County Executive Jen Metzger has asked the state Comptroller’s Office to conduct a forensic audit of Ulster’s books.
On Monday (March 6), the county announced that Wendy Trojak, the head of the payroll department since 2006, also had resigned, although no reason was given.
Nyack: Teens in ER for Marijuana
Doctors are seeing more teenagers who are sick from marijuana consumption, Dr. Jamil Rizqalla, an emergency physician at Montefiore Nyack Hospital, told The Journal News. He said that when treating minors in the ER, they often tell him they don’t use drugs but will say “yes” if he asks if they use cannabis.
Although there has been concern when young people become sick that they have consumed fentanyl, which can be lethal, that remains primarily a risk for adults who are addicted to opioids, Rizqalla said.
However, people who consume large amounts of marijuana can experience “acute psychotic breaks,” he said. It also can make people dizzy, disoriented and confused for as long as 24 hours, added Dr. Ivan Miller, director of emergency medicine at Westchester Medical Center.
Albany: Name Back to Tappan Zee?
An effort to change the name of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge back to the Tappan Zee, including a petition with 260,000 signatures, may get new life with a bill before the state Legislature, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.
The name was altered in 2017 after a proposal by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo. James Skoufis, who represents most of Orange County in the state Senate, this year became the first Democrat to add his name to a bill to restore the old name.
“This is nothing against the Cuomos,” said Skoufis, who added he would support naming another bridge, tunnel or roadway for Mario Cuomo, who was governor from 1984 to 1994.
Peekskill: Lottery for Affordable Housing
Applications are due March 20 for a lottery to be held by the Housing Action Council for apartments in a newly constructed, 81-unit affordable housing project on Main Street and Central Avenue.
According to the Peekskill Herald, the development includes 18 one-bedroom apartments, 49 two-bedrooms and 14 three-bedrooms. The rents, which range from $1,040 to $2,883 per month, are set so that they are affordable to households with annual incomes that equal 40 percent to 80 percent of the median in Westchester County.
Founded in 1974, the Housing Action Council is a regional nonprofit that works to expand housing for low-income households in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and New York counties.
Greene County: Police Commander Investigated
The New York State Police commander who oversees troopers in Putnam and Dutchess counties is under investigation for firing her service revolver on Feb. 15 inside her Greene County home.
The police said Kathryne Rohde was alone in the room when she discharged her weapon into a wall. No one was injured. The gun fired when she was transferring it from one holster to another, a police union attorney told the Albany Times-Union.
Rohde, who was appointed commander the state police’s Troop K in May 2021, remains on duty. She began her career with the state police in 1999.
Peekskill: $4.4 Million for Food Sites
Two vacant properties on Washington Street will be rehabilitated with $4.4 million in state and federal funds, according to the Peekskill Herald.
As part of the Restore New York Communities Initiative, $2 million will be used to renovate a former bakery and gym into a 12,000-square-foot Cosmo’s Fresh Market at 630 Washington St., bringing a grocery to the south end of the city. In addition, $2.4 million will transform the former Peekskill Centennial Hose Co. firehouse at 701 Washington St. into a commercial kitchen incubator.
The incubator will have stations for storage, packaging, prepping, shipping and receiving, and food entrepreneurs will be able to rent space in a storage container for their equipment. Spaces will be available for raw and cooked food that needs to be frozen or stored.
Carmel: Man Accused of Killing Dogs
ACarmel hunter has been accused of killing two German shepherds that he said he mistook for coyotes.
NBC Connecticut reported that, according to an arrest warrant, Michael Konschak, 61, was hunting with a crossbow in November in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
When a taxidermist refused to work on the dead dogs, Konschak allegedly beheaded the carcasses and skinned them for their pelts, the station reported. The owner of the land also alleged that the signature on the private-land consent form that Konschak said gave him permission to hunt was forged.
The family that owned the dogs — named Lieben and Cimo — had reported them missing to Ridgefield animal control after they escaped from a fenced yard.
Konschak, who appeared in court on March 1 to face charges of violating hunting regulations, tampering with evidence, forgery and interfering with an officer, was released on $15,000 bond.
Carmel: Moratorium on Smoke-Shop Permits
The Carmel Town Board on March 1 voted unanimously to not issue any new permits for smoke and vape shops while it considers changes to its zoning laws.
The moratorium lasts until June 30. According to the Putnam County Times, Danielle Canora, the owner of Hudson Valley Hemp in Mahopac, asked the board to distinguish cannabis retailers from vape and smoke shops.
Although he voted for the moratorium, Council Member Stephen Baranowski said he questioned its usefulness “since we already have, what, a dozen or so of these shops.”
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