Team Legacy At WMS Adopts Eagle

Washingtonville Middle School “TEAM LEGACY “adopted” LEGACY THE EAGLE through the American Eagle Foundation’s website. The shared name made the perfect fit! Legacy is a daily presence in the classroom via livestream, even as students work on their assignments. They have observed fast growth in recent weeks, and look forward to watch it spread its wings soon! Some students have grown attached and check on Legacy over the weekend, too.

County Historian Hosts Ceremony Honoring Author David Schuyler

Schuyler, a Newburgh native, was Andrew Jackson Downing’s biographer

On Friday, April 9 the Downing Park Planning Committee of Newburgh hosted a spring tree planting and dedication ceremony honoring celebrated author David Schuyler, a Newburgh native who is Andrew Jackson Downing’s biographer. 

Master of Ceremonies, Orange County Historian Johanna Yaun, as well as colleagues of David, Dr. Gretchen Sorin, Director of Cooperstown Graduate  Program and Wint Aldrich, former NYS Deputy Commissioner of Historic Preservation will gave remarks and insights into Schuyler’s achievements. Colleague Dr.Gretchen Sorin talked about David how they met and the talks they shared about the Hudson Valley. Family Member Barry Schuyler shared memories of his life growing up with David.

Schuyler, who passed away last July, was a professor of American Studies at Franklin Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and he edited, authored, and co-authored many additional works on architecture and historic preservation.

This event was made possible by donations of friends and family of David as well as in kind services of Jon Joseph Welding & Fabricating, Inc. and Palisi Autobody, Inc. furnished and painted the commemorative plaque base, and John Giudice and members of the Delano Hitch Restoration Fund who did  the cementing work.

Moodna Creek Watershed Intermunicipal Council – Science and Outreach Committee

At the Council’s Spring recent meeting, Simon Gruber spoke about water availability in the Moodna Watershed.The watershed is being depleted and there is concern  where the water is going.  “Water is not being stored. and that the pattern of rainfall is changing. Farmer’s rain  (light and often) is best to reduces erosion, but we have had too much erosion from flooding and development. The committee will look into grants for this research.  Jay Beaumont spoke about the 5 kiosks now in progress – Cornwall, Chester, Goshen, Monroe, and Hamptonburgh.  Jay is working on a Moodna Creek Explorer Program to encourage people to visit the kiosks.  There could be prizes such as certificates, bracelet, patch, and T-shirt.  The date is set for Trees for Tribs, May 1, from 1 to 4 PM at Otterkill Rd. and Jackson Ave. There are no further developments at Browns Pond Dam.  The gates have been opened for slow drainage.

Pertinent parts of the council session were shared with  the Town Board of Blooming Grove and residents  by Johanna Kiernan, liaison to the Watershed Council.

Round Hill Elementary Students Record Spring Senses

Blooming Grove – RHE kindergartners in Mrs. Schiraldi’s class engaged in a sensory learning experience on school grounds, searching for signs of spring they could see, hear, smell and touch: from bright yellow daffodils and soft green grass, to the warm and fragrant breeze blowing through the magnolia tree…They even THINK they heard cricket & tree frog songs! The young explorers recorded their observations in illustrations that now hang in the hallway. Sensory learning supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction. You might note, the young scientist at the right in the picture below is sporting a shirt that says “Future President”.

Village Of South Blooming Grove Residents Face New Boards And New Rules

Many Village of South Blooming Grove residents learned the cost of this year’s light vote turnout this week, as their new mayor and trustees took their first significant votes.  The new board members passed resolution after resolution, and when all was said and done the existing Planning Board and existing Zoning Board of Approval members were let go, and new representatives appointed to those boards, along with a new Village Historian. The final action of the evening’s Zoom Meeting was to schedule a public hearing as follows, “WHEREAS, the Village Board has identified the need to enact a local law that would establish a special permit with regard to houses of worship.

More than a few residents were also angry that there are no longer any women on either board, that “it lacks diversity” reflecting the entire village, and that a resolution concerning intermunicipal sharing (including of building inspector) was proposed by a non-board member while public participation was shut off for other non-board member participants. The man proposing the IMA change stated that he believed the IMA, which has been in effect between both villages and the town, had been snuck into the paperwork and needed to be removed. The Public Hearing regarding  Special Permits for houses of worship is set for May 10.


At this afternoon’s vaccination session the County’s POD for giving vaccinations at Hatfield Lane in Goshen, staff announced that they have 100 extra doses for the FIRST MODERNA shot. They are offering those doses to anyone over 18, so they won’t go to waste.

Also, note that Orange County Government has reworked their website, and a sign-up option is the first thing that appears. The way it is now configured it takes less then 5 minutes to sign up.


Budget Updates From Senator Skoufis

They Say “All Politics Are Local”
So Are State Budgets

New York has been fast and furiously finishing up budget items that will impact every New York resident.  The first big and controversial one was for recreational Marijuana.  The bill is passed but may take up to a year to implement, so its use will be as safe as possible.  While more bills will be passing before they are done, as we go to press Senator James Skoufis sent notice of bill after bill that passed, including:

Record Levels of funding to Hudson Valley schools. This includes the local school districts as follows (and is on top of federal funding).

• Chester: $977k INCREASE (23.98% INCREASE)

• Cornwall: $1.99M (16.50%)

• East Ramapo: $7.45M (19.24%)

• Kiryas Joel: $27k (2.00%)

• Monroe-Woodbury: $3.79M (12.14%)

• Newburgh: $12.74M (10.75%)

• Wallkill: $558k (2.69%)

• Washingtonville: $1.61M (7.40%)

Small Business Support

• $800 million for small business grants

• $200 million in small business tax credits

• $40 million for the non-profit Arts and Cultural Organization Recovery Grant Program

• $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit

A Property Tax Break – Skoufis fought successfully fought for a $440 million “circuit breaker” relief program in the recently adopted budget. Households making under $250,000 that spend more than 6% of their annual income on property taxes will receive a $250-$350 annual credit on their state income tax returns.

rebuilding our roads, bridges, pipes, and broadband infrastructure.

• An unprecedented $1 billion direct investment into local roads and bridges – in addition to work on state-owned infrastructure

• An additional $500 million for clean water infrastructure projects to make sure everything below our roads are just as safe as everything above

• We direct the Public Service Commission to conduct a comprehensive study on the availability, reliability, and cost of broadband throughout the state in anticipation of federal dollars moving us to universal broadband

• Funding that prioritizes public-access electric vehicle charging infrastructure and, additionally, increases the rebate for municipal investments in charging infrastructure

Legislator Lujan Regarding Expansion of Danskammer Plant

During the Danskammer hearings last week, 170+ spoke AGAINST the plant, 13 spoke in favor. Over half of the people registered were unfortunately unable to speak because the hearing ran out of time after 9 hours ! To say that people are against this plant is a severe miscalculation.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, we need you to #stopdanskammer.

 My full speech is as follows

“Good evening everyone. Thank you for allowing me to speak this evening,

My name is Kevindaryán Luján and I am an Orange County Legislator representing half of the City of Newburgh and a portion of the Town of Newburgh. I want to begin by saying that I am absolutely AGAINST the Danskammer power plant expansion and that I do not believe that this project will have any positive impact on our community or any neighboring communities here in the Hudson Valley.

Newburgh already struggles with numerous environmental and racial justice issues…. from PFOS and PFOA in our drinking water, lead paint in our homes and bomb trains traveling through our community. We were also amongst the hardest hit in the region by Covid 19 and the lingering health risks this pandemic will leave behind. And unfortunately, long before this global pandemic our city had the highest unemployment rates in the region.

Now on top of all the challenges mentioned we are also battling the risk of having a fracked gas power plant operating full time in our backyard and poisoning our air and water further and dangling temporary jobs in money in exchange. That is irresponsible and insulting.

Danskammer wants to make you believe that the influx of money and temporary jobs somehow outweighs the devastating impact this plant will have on our communities. They do not care about the black and brown communities in our city, south of this plant which will be the most impacted by their expansion.

If the Danskammer power plant expansion is approved, our community members will have to live with the negative impacts of this plant for generations to come. That is not a legacy we can afford to pass on to future generations that are already struggling with some of the most challenging issues of our nation’s history. We need forward thinking bold ideas that will not only create jobs for the future, but that also recognizes the importance of preserving our environment. We must also stop feeding the false narrative created by big corporations that we must sacrifice our environment, our health and our region, for short term jobs and monetary incentives. That was the great promise and hope laid out by our State Reps and our Governor when they paved a road map of what progress would look like in 2018. This environmental racism is certainly not that. This initiative will be a massive detour from the right direction and endanger my constituents for generations.

In closing I want to address the comments made by the Chairman of the Orange County Legislature. Unfortunately, the Orange County Legislature did not follow the lead of nearly 30 municipalities across the Hudson Valley that took the time to truly weigh the pros and cons of this project. Instead, it rushed through a resolution of support that had very little support in communities across Orange County. They refused to hear from our Commissioner of Health on the possible health risks, refused to read any supporting data or allow any experts to speak on the environmental impact this project would have on my community. The Republican majority instead rushed through a resolution to appease its Corporate friends. Nevertheless, despite a Republican super majority, the resolution of support from Orange County saw immense dissent and controversy from both parties. And that is because regardless of party lines, many of us do believe in science and understand the horrible impact this plant will have on our communities for generations to come. We understood that the we need to put people over corporations.

On behalf of the City of Newburgh and Town of Newburgh residents, my neighbors, my friends and my family. On behalf of their future children, and the legacy I hope we will leave behind. I plead with you to reject this application and stand on the right side of history.”

Thank you for your time.

Legislator Kevindaryan Lujan
Orange County District 4