“When former students of the Happy Valley School gather for their annual reunion next month, there’ll be more than a little sadness mixed with their nostalgia. The remnants of what was once a residence for children from broken homes lay on the grounds of the Minisceongo Golf Course, which was recently sold. Alumni are uncertain whether they’ll be able to get together for a yearly visit to the school building and grounds where they learned to live together and gained the values that would carry them through their adult lives. Or whether the last vestiges of their childhood could be bulldozed into history. There are no clues yet for what the Monsey-based owner plans to do with the nearly 300-acre parcel off Pomona Road. Ramapo Town Attorney Michael Klein said there have been no applications from the owner. The property is zoned for single-family development on two-acre parcels, Klein said.” Read the complete Journal News story here.
“Volunteer firefighter Aaron Lerer points to his protective jacket with large, brown scorch spots staining the shoulder of the fire-resistant material. He holds up a helmet with a melted face shield and burn marks, and displays one of the radios needed by firefighters inside burning buildings that has an antenna held together by tape. The department’s main tanker truck is 24 years old, more than a decade past its shelf life, and has broken down at fire scenes. Those are just some of the issues Spring Valley firefighters say they are coping with as they respond to emergencies without proper equipment and dependable trucks. They blame a divided village Board of Trustees, which has refused to allocate money to aid the beleaguered volunteers. [Read more…]
State education commissioner’s visit highlights improvements in troubled district, underscores need for oversight
“Elia’s day-long visit (and the fact that all three state-appointed monitors were at her side during the three-school tour) sent a clear message that deep concerns remain in East Ramapo and that the state Education Department is committed to long-term involvement. During a subsequent interview with the Editorial Board, Elia doubled down on her support for state legislation that would install a monitor, with strong oversight abilities, in the uniquely troubled district. Asked what she would do if the state Legislature will not install such a monitor, she said that the Education Department will continue to monitor the district to the extent that it can.” Read the full text of the editorial here.
Published Online on the Rockland Voice
By Julie D. Globus Child of Cultural Yiddishkeit, an Attorney, an Advocate and a Mother
This letter addresses comments made by Legislator Wieder in a speech made to the Rockland County Legislature, as well as comments that followed a letter written by Assemblyman Hikind to the Attorney General. This letter seeks to establish a format whereby one can criticize the activities of a community without being labeled an anti-Semite, a self-hating Jew or defamatory. This letter hopes to give people currently silenced by the shield of being labeled an anti-Semite, a voice. [Read more…]
They Deserve Better
Article in the New York Daily News
By Naftuli Moster
Each year, approximately 32,000 boys in New York City are not being taught science, history and geography among other subjects. If they’re lucky to be under the age of 13, they get 90 minutes of English and math, taught by untrained and unlicensed teachers.
Alarmingly, when these boys turn 14, most of them spend 14 hours a day in school, from around 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., yet learn no general subjects at all. An estimated 17,500 additional boys attending schools in Rockland and Orange Counties are subjected to the same. [Read more…]
“A leaking roof at Ramapo High School can be replaced using $1 million in emergency state funds, but critics of the troubled East Ramapo school district say the fix is a short-term solution to a bigger problem.Parents and students have been complaining for years about the deteriorating condition of district buildings. [Read more…]
“Are private yeshivas run by Hasidic Jewish sects providing students with an education equal to that of public schools? New York filmmaker Menachem Daum reports on accusations that ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools are failing to teach secular subjects that would help prepare students for jobs. A lawsuit alleges that some of these religious schools are not complying with New York state law by not teaching English, math, and science.” To view the PBS news story click here.
They had all been there before, the planning board, the residents, the lawyers, and the Ramapo police at the back of the hall. It was the third time the developer Yechiel Lebovits was bringing the application to the Ramapo Planning Board. The meeting room was packed at 7:30 as Rice and Rocks, attorney and engineer for the developer, labored through their presentation asking for approval for the massive, high-density transplant of about 500 homes on the property once owned by John Patrick.
By the end of the evening, about 12:30 pm, 19 residents, lawyers, mayors, and a county legislator had presented their views on the project. 90% spoke against it, and 10% spoke for it. The two individuals who didn’t object, actually avoided the pertinent issues with one deploring the rhetoric and the other offering a character reference for the builder, Lebovits. [Read more…]
Google Street View of 9 Zeissner Lane, Spring Valley
Walter Booker was released without bail. The homeowner, Rabbi Jacob Goldman, is also facing charges.
“Spring Valley’s chief building inspector and a businessman were arrested Thursday in a corruption investigation that alleges the inspector gave the man false certificates of occupancy for the man’s Zeissner Lane home.That false certificate allowed the businessman to get sizeable tax exemptions and otherwise profit from day-care centers run from the property, prosecutors charge. [Read more…]
“Steven Jaffee, husband of Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and a longtime Suffern resident, died Tuesday at age 73.The Jaffees moved in 1978 from Brooklyn to Suffern, where they raised their children, Marc and Allison. They were married for 51 years and have three grandchildren. Steven Jaffee was a longtime Democratic Committee member, former chair of the Suffern Democratic Committee and coached youth baseball.” (More)