Orange County News Roundup, June 8
Middletown Farmers Market Opens
The Middletown Farmers Market opened on June 4 near Clemson Bros. Brewery on Railroad Avenue with an array of vendors. One vendor sold Polish baked goods. Others sold flowers, vegetables, honey and homeopathic products.
Sharon Loder, market manager for the Middletown Business Improvement District, has managed the market for almost 20 years. “It gives our local farmers a chance to sell their product. We have great farmers here. They’ve been with us for years,” she said.
Neuhaus Given ADAC Annual Service Award
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus was awarded the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council of Orange County’s Service Award at its annual dinner on June 2. The award is given annually and given to someone who recognizes the need for alcoholism and substance abuse treatment, prevention, and recovery, and engages the community in efforts to promote that. “He has specifically taken a leadership role to ensure continued support and success for agencies on the front line of the current issues we face with opiates,” said Jim Conklin, ADAC’s executive director in a release. Neuhaus announced a partnership with ADAC to raise awareness about the county’s Social Host law, which holds adults responsible for underage drinking on their property, earlier this month.
Skoufis Writes to DEC over Sludge from KJ Pipeline
Assemblyman James Skoufis wrote a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation on June 6 about water contamination during construction of a water pipeline for the Village of Kiryas Joel. The letter stated that “a clay-like drilling fluid called bentonite flowed into the neighboring Woodbury Creek, a protected, trout-spawning body of water in the Town of Woodbury.” Skoufis noted that tickets were issued but insisted more be done. “DEC regulations clearly state that consent orders—an enforceable and far stronger action than tickets—are required where ‘there are multiple violations even if they are minor and can be corrected within a short period of time'” he wrote, quoting the regulation. The letter said grey sludge has coated the creek many times, warranting a DEC consent order and a DEC monitor.
OC Partnership Honors Wallkill Supervisor
Town of Wallkill Supervisor Dan Depew was honored Most Valuable Partner at the Orange County Partnership’s breakfast on June 2 for “attracting new companies, keeping existing ones, and improving the community’s infrastructure,” reported the Times Herald-Record. Wallkill developed several medical facilities on Crystal Run Road where Partnership Executive Director Maureen Halahan said a third of Orange County’s 12,000 medical jobs are located, the Record reported. Wallkill is also home to Pratt & Whitney’s turbine-coating facility, Piller and Monroe Cable, and President Container.
State Appeals Court Upholds Lower Court KJ Ruling
A state appeals court denied a motion by the Orange County Board of Elections to dismiss a lawsuit about election inspectors in Kiryas Joel, reported the New York Law Journal. The lawsuit, Matter of Convers v. County of Orange, challenged the board’s decision not to assign some non-Hasidic election inspectors to work at voting places in Kiryas Joel. United Monroe, a citizen group against the expansion of the Hasidic village, said on Facebook, “The panel ruled that non-Hasidic election inspectors who were turned away based on ‘cultural differences’ in fact had their constitutional rights violated by the County Board of Elections.” Non-Hasidic village residents called on the Board of Elections to intervene because they said Hasidic village residents were coerced by their religious leaders to vote in a for certain candidates, and wanted an outside monitor.
Newburgh Comptroller Arrested
City of Newburgh Comptroller John Aber was arrested on May 24 and resigned soon after, reported the Wallkill Valley Times. The city said in a statement, “There is an investigation pending regarding grand larceny related to his resignation.” A senior accountant in the comptroller’s office, Kathryn Mack, is now acting city comptroller. Mayor Judy Kennedy said he had been charged with fourth degree grand larceny, reported the Times Herald-Record.
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