Journal News Editorial–July 26, 2015 “On July 29, the ballots will be tallied by town officials — who have most at stake in preserving the status quo. The count will be done publicly, in a room in Town Hall. But many remain concerned that impartial and pro-ward participants won’t have enough access to ensure all — and only — relevant ballots are tallied. . . Ramapo Town Clerk Christian Sampson described a prescribed process for validating the approximately 550 absentee and 2,500 affidavit ballots. Town of Ramapo employees will perform those tasks. “Of course the media will be invited,” he said, along with the petitioners, “and there may be room for others to come in and observe the process … but they can’t interject in the process.” [Read more…]
Archives for July 2015
Posted by The Rockland County Times — July 16th, 2015
BY JANIE ROSMAN A multitude of allegations against the East Ramapo Central School District are detailed in a lawsuit — Montesa v. Schwartz, 12-cv-06057, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan) — filed on behalf of parents, students and taxpayers by public interest law firm Advocates for Justice on August 8, 2012. [Read more…]
East Ramapo superintendent to lose post
The Journal News July 19, 2015 “The East Ramapo school district will soon remove beleaguered Superintendent Joel Klein from his post, almost a year before his contract is set to expire, several sources told The Journal News. In recent weeks, the school board has faced intensifying pressure to distance itself from him – from community protests in front of Klein’s home demanding his resignation to state Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch calling for the same. The district, while not confirming that any action was imminent, did confirm “that Klein was in the last year of his contract and that the school board would soon develop a process for replacement.” Complete Journal News Coverage here.
The Journal News July 16, 2015 “Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City, also pressed the New York State Department of Education in a separate letter to enforce regulations mandating private schools in Rockland submit annual fire inspection reports showing the facilities are safe and meet regulations. He said 60 schools are in violation. Zebrowski and a countywide housing task force have raised concerns for several years that the lives of firefighters, students, and predominately poor tenants are being endangered by overcrowded houses carved up into multiple apartments and schools being operated in single-family homes without proper fire suppression equipment. [Read more…]
Journal News Editorial “Calls to remove Superintendent Joel Klein – by protesters at each meeting, and by New York State Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch – must be heeded. Klein last year blamed older immigrant students coming to the district for damaging the district’s graduation rates. “They want to learn the language. They want free lunch, breakfast, and whatever else they can get. They know they cannot get a diploma,” Klein said during an August 2014 meeting. Protests have been held ever since, at just about every school board meeting, including Tuesday’s. Klein has said his words were distorted and taken out of context. In a district where most students are children of color, where many are immigrants, where dozens of languages are spoken, such misunderstanding and stereotyping cannot stand. Klein must go.” Read the full text of the editorial here.
July 11, 2015 (Contributed by Michael Bongiorno) In 1957 John F. Kennedy won a Pulitzer Prize for writing Profiles in Courage, a volume of short biographies describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight United State Senators who did the right thing despite criticism and damage to their political careers. In New York we have the complete opposite: “Profiles in Cowardice”, where self-serving politicians do the wrong thing and sacrifice the future of thousands of schoolchildren in order to retain the support of the ultra-religious and electorally powerful bloc vote. [Read more…]
July 8, 2015 “The East Ramapo school board is parting ways after six years with Minerva and D’Agostino, the pricey Long Island-based law firm that many say added to an already volatile atmosphere in the district. The board hired New York City-based Harris Beach as its new legal representative Tuesday at a 7 p.m. reorganization meeting that drew more than 100 people, including Judith Johnson, the Lower Hudson Valley’s representative on the state Board of Regents, and Family Court Judge Sherri Eisenpress. [Read more…]
July 7, 2015 “A Monsey-based energy company accused of ripping off people by falsely promising lower rates is being forced to repay $1.25 million to 25,000 customers, the state attorney general said Monday. After an the introductory rate, customers of HIKO Energy LLC saw their electricity bills soar, the AG said in a news release. The settlement amount, which includes fines, resulted from an investigation by the office’s Consumer Protection Bureau. The office found HIKO lured consumers with false promises of lower rates of 10 to 15 percent and then fleeced them with much higher bills.” The company had a contract with the Town of Ramapo and donated to the campaign funds of St. Lawrence, Daniel Friedman, and Ilan Schoenberger. Complete Journal News story here.
July 6, 2015 “The builders of the proposed 496-unit Patrick Farm housing development owe Rockland more than $607,000 in taxes on the 208-acre property outside Pomona, officials said. The tax delinquency dates to 2013, county officials said, and if the debt is not paid by year’s end, the county could foreclose and sell the land at public auction. The Monsey-based builders appear to be trying to pay off some of the debt. They entered into a two-year installment plan this month at 1 percent interest with the county to pay $382,154 owed on two of the six delinquent parcels, officials said. Those parcels house the stables and land that have been used by the Rockland Sheriff’s Office horse unit for nearly four decades. The rent paid by the county to the owners will be held in escrow until the taxes are paid, officials said. Patrick Farm owners’ current tax debt includes Rockland, town, school and village taxes. The Patrick Farm builders operate under the companies Scenic Development LLC and Scenic Development SM LLC, whose partners include veteran builders Yechiel Lebovits, his sons, and Abraham Moscovits.” Complete Journal News coverage here.