MICHAEL FALCO          Newspaper Publish Date: 14 January 2022 

                         Cornwall Central High School graduate, and sensational vocalist DEBBIE MAJOR, is doing what she does best this coming Thursday evening – singing! You can catch Debbie’s act (The DMajor Project) performing her music at Cosimos, Rt. 211 in Middletown. January 20, 7 till 10 p.m. 845-692-4232. 

                         Members of the HGTV film crew were seen enjoying a late Friday afternoon lunch in the spacious dining room at popular Twins Eating House in Cornwall.  The TV crew enjoyed the food and their visit so much this past Tuesday that they eagerly returned on Friday. “The food is delicious” the film crew were heard to share with building and restaurant owner FRANK FRASCA.
                         Pizza for Breakfast?!  Yes, Please! ROSARIO is happy making Breakfast Pizza at Twins Eating House in Cornwall. Delicious pizza with Ham, Bacon, Sausage, Eggs, Cheese & Jalapeños. A brand-new menu item and a weekend special!

                        BRENDA GOLDFARB, Adult Programming and Outreach Project Coordinator at the Cornwall Public Library, invites you to CONNECT and CREATE! This coming Tuesday, January 18th and/or Tuesday, February 22nd, 3:30-4:30 p.m. – Basic Knitting (LIBRARY COMMUNITY ROOM). You are invited and encouraged to beat the winter blues with a new hobby. Learn the basics of knitting such as: casting on and knit & purl. No prior experience needed. All materials provided. Ages 12 and up welcome. Online registration open. Space is limited. Admission is by re-registration ONLY. CDC guidelines for indoor gatherings will be followed at the library. 

                         No question about it. Our winter nights are cold. That said – for one-evening hour, you can otherwise bundle up, and enjoy an interesting program “Stargazing: Winter Constellations!” Mark your calendar in advance, for the night of Saturday, January 29; from 6 till 7:00 p.m. Join Environmental Educators Tori & Taylor to observe the winter hexagon– aka the winter circle– a collection of the Northern Hemisphere’s brightest stars (Taurus, Orion, Canis Minor, Canis Major, Gemini and Aurigo). Make sure to dress warmly. Bring a flashlight, and a blanket and/or camping chair(s). Refreshments will be provided (warm beverages and cookies). This fascinating, celestial program is produced by Museum of the Hudson Higlands, at the Museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center, located off of Angola Road in Cornwall. Call before you go and obtain complete details: 845-534-5506. 

                        Cornwall based music man MARK HENDERSON, long a part of a musical performance duo, is now performing his music in a solo act. You can hear Mark Henderson tonight, Friday 01/14, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., performing in the Magnanini Winery in Wallkill. Thurs. 20th, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Mark will be performing in Painters’ Tavern, Cornwall-on-Hudson. Next Saturday, 01/22, Mark returns to perform his music, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Magnanini Winery in Wallkill. 

Assemblyman Schmitt Announces Washingtonville PopUp COVID Test Site

In a Partnership between Assemblyman Schmitt, Horizon Family Medical Group, Quest Diagnostics, and Village of Washingtonville Mayor Bucco Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt (R,C,I,LBT,SAM – New Windsor) in conjunction with Horizon Family Medical Group, Quest Diagnostics, and Village of Washingtonville Mayor Joe Bucco have announced the launch of a new pop up COVID-19 testing site in Washingtonville to serve all area residents in need with PCR COVID-19 tests from January 18, 2022, until February 18, 2022. The lack of COVID-19 tests and testing sites has dramatically impacted our region with rising COVID-19 case counts over the last several weeks. To assist constituents, Assemblyman Colin Schmitt has secured a public-private health partnership with his office, Horizon Family Medical Group, Quest Diagnostics, and the Village of Washingtonville to dramatically expand PCR testing availability for the entire region.

Horizon Family Medical Group will administer the testing operation at Village Hall in Washingtonville which is directly accessible from Route 94 from 8 AM – 1 PM from Monday through Friday, January 18, 2022, until February 18, 2022. This will not be a walk-up testing site. Appointments for the pop-up PCR testing must be made directly with Horizon Family Medical Group going to bit.ly/covidtestpopup. If insured, patients are asked to please bring a copy of their insurance card.

Quest Diagnostics offers $0 out-of-pocket Covid PCR testing at no cost to patients when billed to their insurance or the government. All patients, including those who do not have insurance, are eligible for this program unless this testing is for a back-to-work or back-to-school program or patients are experiencing severe symptoms.

Community COVID-19 Pop-Up Testing Site

8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Monday to Friday, January 18, 2022, to February 18, 2022

Village Hall Parking Lot, 9 Fair Lawn Dr, Washingtonville, NY 10992 (right off Rt 94)

Appointment Link: bit.ly/covidtestpopup

Assemblyman Schmitt stated, “I saw a need for testing with constituents calling on a near-daily basis looking for testing options. I was able to secure home tests for hundreds of families for those in need of rapid testing. The need for PCR testing has continued with limited local options for many constituents who have reached out seeking help. That is unacceptable and a delay in new testing options is also unacceptable, that is why I am proud to have worked with Horizon Family Medical Group, Quest Diagnostics, and Village of Washingtonville Mayor Joe Bucco to secure a community pop-up COVID-19 PCR testing site in Washingtonville. This site will be administered by Horizon and Quest Diagnostics, offering full PCR tests to those who need it. No residency restrictions exist. This site is to serve all in our region who may need it during this spike in testing demand. If you are in need of a test please make an appointment using the online portal. Be safe and be healthy.”

Washingtonville Mayor Joseph Bucco stated, “There is a surge in the need for COVID testing and I along with the Village Board are pleased to partner with Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, Horizon Family Medical Group, and Quest Diagnostics to offer PCR testing to anyone in our area who needs it. Our Village Hall will be the site of a pop-up testing facility for an entire month. This site will help provide more testing access and relieve some of the backlog currently happening in our region. I want to thank Assemblyman Schmitt for organizing this partnership across levels of government and medical providers to help people out. Stay healthy and please use this testing resource if you need it.”

Jim Olver, CEO of Horizon Family Medical Group stated, “Horizon Family Medical Group is proud to continue to be a community partner during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This pop-up PCR testing facility in Washingtonville will offer an additional testing option for local residents who may be in need and help alleviate the testing strains we are currently seeing. Thank you to Assemblyman Colin Schmitt for coordinating this endeavor with us and the Village of Washingtonville for offering your convenient and safe location for patients in the community. Please visit bit.ly/covidtestpopup to schedule your test if you are in need.”

Skoufis Distributes Over 1,000 Rapid Test Kits in Orange County

Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) and his team distributed more than 1,000 COVID-19 rapid test kits at three drive-through distribution sites in Orange County last week. 

On Thursday, nearly 500 residents dropped by his Chester Academy distribution, while roughly 350 residents collected their kits from his Friday morning distribution at Brooks Park in Fort Montgomery, and another 350 from his Sunday morning distribution at Smith Clove Elementary School in Central Valley. Skoufis also provided approximately 1000 N95 masks to constituents.

“Rapid testing remains a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19, and I was grateful to see so many neighbors retrieving these complimentary kits to help inform and protect their families and communities,” said Senator Skoufis

This multi-stop distribution follows Skoufis’ successful push for a state-run testing site in his Senate District: a mass testing operation recently opened at Stony Point’s Patriot Hills Golf Club after Skoufis and other area legislators urged Governor Hochul to increase testing capacity in the Hudson Valley. The site at Patriot Hills is open 8:00am to 6:00pm, Monday – Saturday. More information about testing can be found at coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing.

Blooming Grove Reorganization & Liaison Assignments Held

At this week’s Blooming Grove Town Board Meeting, the first of 2022, three public items of discussion were offered, the first being a complaint about the requirement that  requests to departments be given first to the Supervisor. Town Attorney Brian Nugent stated that the purpose of this process was to facilitate communication, not to deter it.  A consultant to the Village of South Blooming Grove said he felt that was not the case.  He was invited to submit documentation supporting his position to the town for review and further consideration.

When the yearly schedule for meetings and holidays was announced, new Councilman Simon Schwartz who represents the Village of South Blooming Grove said that he would like all of the Jewish Holidays to be included as days that meetings would not be held. Deputy Supervisor George Doering said that he thought that would raise further issues over special dates belonging to other religious groups and that review of the issue would continue in Executive Session before making any decision about it.

A petition by Orange and Rockland Utility Company was given to the Town to amend zoning such that the O&R ‘s substation would be zoned NNI (Non nuisance industrial) instead of a granfathered use in an otherwise Rural Residential area. A new code for Utility sites is planned, but until that happens their petition will be sent to PB/ZBA for review.

Council members were appointed to their liaison assignments . 

Town Board Liaisons

o Ambulance – Steve Amante

o Buildings Grounds & Parks – George Doering

o Emergency Management – Tom DeVinko

o Fire Departments– Cathy Gregg-Acevedo

o Highway – Chuck Quick

o Humane Society – Tom DeVinko

o Information Technology – Robert Jeroloman

o Personnel – Robert Jeroloman & Chuck Quick

o Planning Board/Zoning Board Steve Amante

o Police – Robert Jeroloman

o Recreation – Cathy Gregg-Acevedo

o Safety & Health– Steve Amante

o Senior Citizens – Rob Jeroloman

o Water/Sewer – George Doering

o Assessor/Bldg. Dept. – Robert Jeroloman

o Neighbors for Neighbors – Chuck Quick

o Conservation Advisory Commission – Tom DeVinko

o Volunteer Organization Coordinator – (liaison between organizations like Kiwanis club, Knights, Chamber, and other organization)-Chuck Quick

o Village Board Washingtonville – Tom DeVinko

o Village Board South Blooming Grove – Simon Schwartz

Breaking: Flowflex COVID-19 Test Kits Recalled (Issue is US FDA’s OK)

Flowflex tests handed out in Towns of Wallkill and New Windsor on Thursday

Orange County’s Department of General Services has announced that the Flowflex SARS-COV-2 antigen rapid test kits (self-testing) that the County distributed on Thursday, January 13 in the Towns of Wallkill and New Windsor have been recalled by the manufacturer from distribution in the U.S.

“The vendor represented that the kits were FDA authorized for U.S. markets,” said James Burpoe, Orange County’s Commissioner of General Services. “We have learned they are not FDA authorized, but are European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved for distribution in Europe. This appears to be nothing more than a trade and pricing dispute having nothing to do with the efficacy and safety of the product.”

The Flowflex SARS-COV-2 antigen rapid test kits were scheduled to be distributed by the County in the Town of Monroe on Friday, but that event were postponed. Any resident who received a Flowflex test in the Towns of Wallkill or New Windsor can exchange that kit for a new one at a later date.

Breaking: Letter to AG from Skoufis Office Requests Ethics Investigation of Legislator Michael Amo

January 12, 2022
Hon. Letitia James
28 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10005
Dear Attorney General James:
I write to refer two matters to your attention and request that your Public Integrity Bureau examine for misconduct.

Michael Amo is a County Legislator representing parts of the towns of Woodbury and Palm Tree; for over a decade, Mr. Amo has been a registered voter in the former Independence Party. n 2018, the Orange County Legislature amended its 1969 charter to grant Mr. Amo a stipend for leading his oneperson (himself) Independence Party caucus, a move that resulted in a nearly $7,000 pay increase.
Following the 2020 election, the Independence Party ceased to be a party in New York State. According to Section 1-104 of Election Law, a “party” is defined as any political organization that receives greater than 2% or 130,000 votes – whichever is higher – in a presidential or gubernatorial election. The Independence Party failed to meet this requirement and subsequently ceased to be a recognized party in
New York State. Local Law 4 that amended the Orange County charter refers to this section of law. Nevertheless, Mr. Amo continued to receive his taxpayer-funded stipend for serving as a “party leader” to a party that does not exist under the law.
Separately and additionally, it is widely known in the local community that Mr. Amo’s primary residence is no longer in the Town of Woodbury at his Summit Avenue address, a property that is currently for sale as evidenced by the enclosed photo. According to Article 2, Section 3 of the Public Officers Law, an elected official must be a resident of the political subdivision in which he or she serves. On behalf of my constituents whose taxes pay for county legislator stipends – and who deserve
proper, present representation – I respectfully request your Public Integrity Bureau examine the aforementioned two matters for misconduct.


Sincerely,
James Skoufis
Senator, 39th District
CC: New York State Board of Elections Enforcement Unit
Hon. Katie Bonelli, Chair of the Orange County Legislature

Skoufis Launches “Redefining Our Downtowns” Initiative, Awards $400K to Four Villages to Fund Local Enhancements

Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) joined with officials from the villages of Chester, Washingtonville, Monroe, and Woodbury on Thursday to announce the launch of his $400,000 “Redefining Our Downtowns” initiative. Skoufis will award $100,000 grants to each of the villages to fund improvements that will enhance their “main streets.” Each of the villages have formed citizen committees to determine which projects are of highest priority. In Chester, the grant will fund new “Historic Chester” banners, garbage receptacles, lighting, flags, and more around Village Hall. In Monroe, officials hope to construct a train stop-style pavilion with new seating, walking trails, and a water fountain. The Washingtonville committee has identified
tree plantings along the highway and new lights along a well-traveled bridge as priority. And in Woodbury, officials are focused on the int rsection of Smith Clove Road and Perrone Circle, where they’ll install scroll-arm lamp posts with planters, as well as banners along Route 32. “No one knows what a community needs better than the folks who live and work there,” said Senator Skoufis. “As my team and I began to develop ways to make the greatest impact with the tax dollars we’re bringing back to Orange County this year, we knew that putting citizens at the center of the decision-making was the best possible approach. These are much more than
beautification projects – taken as a whole, they will improve quality of life for residents, boost pride in our local villages, and entice visitors for years to come. I am excited to see what these four communities generate through our new initiative.”
Village of Chester Mayor Christopher Battiato said: “The Village of Chester is very appreciativeof Senator Skoufis and his staff for their guidance and efforts in securing these funds. The Village Board and our constituents are very excited about these projects and we are grateful for the Senator’s continued support.”

Village of Monroe Mayor Neil Dwyer said: “It is the belief of our village that we will accomplish much more by finding opportunities to partner with government officials like Senator Skoufis and others. When good people come together for the good of others, there is no limit to what can be accomplished.” Village of Woodbury Mayor Andrew Giacomazza said: “The Village of Woodbury is grateful to
Senator Skoufis for introducing this exciting new initiative. With these funds, the village will be able to make some much-needed visual improvements to our downtown that will boost community pride and put our welcoming spirit on full display for visitors.”

Senator James Skoufis describes the benefits that these grands will offer Villages

Former Village of Woodbury Mayor Timothy P. Egan said: “I am grateful to Senator Skoufis for reaching out to me last year to coordinate this revitalization grant for $100,000 to the Village of Woodbury. I was very pleased to get our newly formed Revitalization Committee working together with the Town Beautification Committee on this much needed project. The improvements to the Smith Clove Road/Perrone Circle intersection will be integral to the future growth and beautification of downtown Central Valley. Thank you Senator Skoufis for bringing back our tax dollars for the betterment of our Woodbury Community!”

Mayor Joseph Bucco said “We are so very excited that the Village of Washingtonville was cosidered for the Downtown Revitalization! The Village of Washingtonville is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Having the ability to “spruce up” our home to make it even more beautiful is such a welcome idea. Thanks to Senator Skoufis and his staff for the opportunity.”

Members from some of the villages’ citizen committees were also in attendance for the announcement.

Kevindaryán Luján Takes Oath For Second Legislative Term

By Michael Lebron


Back in November, voters resoundingly decided to return Kevindaryán Luján to Goshen for a second term as Orange County Legislator.

On Sunday, January 2, 2022, the Inauguration ceremony took place at 123 Grand Street before a large group of community members on a chilly afternoon on the lawn in front of the Newburgh Heritage Center. It began with the changing of the colors with the Newburgh Free Academy ROTC, and the national anthem sung by Christine Shoshannah, a local Newburgh vocalist. The lineup of speakers started with former Ward 2 City of Newburgh Councilwoman Genie Abrahams, who conducted the opening prayer. City of Newburgh Historian Mary McTamaney spoke briefly the historical significance of the Old Court house. Also among the speakers was Mayor Torrance Harvey.

After the swearing in, administered by City of Newburgh Court Judge Joanne Matthews Forbes, Kevindaryán spoke of his accomplishments to date, having to do with racial justice, criminal justice reforms, health equity issues and providing more accessibility to education and workforce development. Millions of dollars have been invested in repairs to county roads and bridges, and into tourism, as well as into SUNY Orange, all while not raising the burden on the taxpayer.

But challenges remain for the future. Among them are navigating out of the global pandemic, finding tools to cope with the rising cost of living and the lack of affordable housing across the region, and addressing the growing need for more adequate transportation options. He thanked his supporters and invited them to get involved in these and other issues confronting communities, helping to make the region a better place for all.

Caption: Legislator Kevindaryán Lujan’s swearing in, administered by City of Newburgh Court Judge Joanne Matthews Forbes

(Photo by Michael Lebron)

ASSEMBLYMAN COLIN SCHMITT DISTRIBUTIONG FREE COVID-19 ANTIGEN TESTS AT DISTRICT OFFICE

Washingtonville – Fulton Square/Depot Street Assemblyman Colin. Schmitt (R,C,I,LBT,SAM-New Windsor) will be joining with local leaders and his staff to distribute free COVID-19 antigen at-home rapid tests and KN95 masks out of his district office in Washingtonville this TODAY, January 9, 2022 starting at 3:00 PM until supplies run out.

Testing kits and masks will be provided free of charge on a first come, first serve basis. Distribution will be limited to 4 tests and masks per car.

Attendees are reminded to allot enough time to go through the pick-up line and that tests will be handed out until supplies run out.

What: Assemblyman Colin Schmitt Free COVID-19 Rapid Test Distribution Site

Who: Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, local officials, and community members
Time: 3:00 pm EST
Date: TODAY, Sunday, January 9, 2022
Where: District Office, 6 Depot St, Unit 103, Washingtonville, NY 10992

Special Delivery For Christmas

Blooming Grove’s Highway Department gave the residents on Brian Court the best gift they could ask for over the Holidays.  They worked for many hours on end to finish the rebuild project of the road entry and bridge collapse that happened there during Hurricane Ida.  Last week they put the icing on the cake by adding a layer of asphalt paving.  Another layer will be added in Spring, but for now the residents are very happy that the coming and going in their lives is back to normal.

Councilmember Chuck Quick thanked the Highway Department and the residents for their cooperation, and also one of the residents, for starting a group online share during the process so that everyone would know how the progress was coming along. Highway Superintendent, Wayne Kirkpatrick, said the ongoing communication to residents took a lot of the weight off of his shoulders, allowing him to concentrate on the culvert and bridge.