You can find it here in Cornwall

heroin_series_logoFrom the beginning we assumed there was heroin in Cornwall. It was everywhere else, and we believed that no community was immune.

It didn’t take long for our belief to be confirmed. As soon as Part I of the series hit the news stand, a reader called and agreed to come into the office. He told us that his son had been a heroin addict until 2012. The son had known people in Town with the same problem, and had been able to buy heroin in Cornwall, as well as in Washingtonville and Newburgh.

We heard a similar story from Caylah Matos, a 2012 NFA graduate, who moved to Cornwall after graduation. She had been using pain killers since 10th grade. But in her new location, she escalated to heroin, which she bought from a man she would meet in a parking lot on Quaker Avenue.

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Scout creates easier access to park

Photo by Jason Kaplan John Zanin and Michael Miller, along with Brendan Gonyo and Andrew Cucci, break ground on Miller’s Eagle Scout project - creating a safe pathway to E.B. Roe Park.

Photo by Jason Kaplan
John Zanin and Michael Miller, along with Brendan Gonyo and Andrew Cucci, break ground on Miller’s Eagle Scout project – creating a safe pathway to E.B. Roe Park.

Nestled at the top of a sharp 100-yard incline is E.B. Roe Park. A small sign, on Boulevard in Cornwall-on-Hudson, indicates where the trail begins, but the park isn’t one of the more well-known in Cornwall. Boy Scout Michael Miller hopes to change that with his Eagle Scout project. A light rain began to fall, Tuesday morning, as Miller and three friends broke ground on the project.

“The trail right now is very broken down and needs to be rebuilt to allow access to the park,” Miller said. “I want the community to be able to go back up there because it’s a great view.”

Miller’s parents signed him up for Tiger Cubs back when he was in first grade. Some of his friends had also joined, so scouting was an immediate hit with the youngster. As Miller got older he saw all but one friend drop out, but now the two share a role as assistant senior patrol leaders, passing on their knowledge of scouting. Over time, Miller began to understand the responsibility that comes with being a Boy Scout and how it can prepare him for the adult world.

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Kids take a new look at Holocaust

Contributed photo Eighth-graders survey documents related to the Holocaust on the last day of school before spring break.

Contributed photo
Eighth-graders survey documents related to the Holocaust on the last day of school before spring break.

“They were engaged in history all day,” Andrea Stupp said proudly.

And it was a difficult time  for students to be engaged in anything. They were due to get out of school early on April 11 and start a 10-day vacation. Their final chore of the week was an assignment on the Holocaust.

That’s nothing new. The middle school holds a Holocaust Remembrance Day with guest speakers every year. But this year the program was different. Each eighth-grade class received six boxes filled with documents from 1935-45

There were photographs, post cards, report cards, ID cards, birthday cards and journals. Some were copies of documents  (with translations) from the Yad Vashem Archives. Ms. Stupp created others using actual information.

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Search for a swan

File photo The resident swan of Ring’s Pond is in need of a friend. The town is looking to obtain another swan and invites anyone to call Town Hall with leads.

File photo
The resident swan of Ring’s Pond is in need of a friend. The town is looking to obtain another swan and invites anyone to call Town Hall with leads.

Ring’s Pond has been home to two swans, but one of them recently died due to shortness of breath. The swans are cared for by Cornwall’s Buildings and Grounds Department during the winter. They’re kept indoors and entertained by listening to the radio. Supervisor Randy Clark is asking residents for any leads on how to obtain a friend for the remaining swan. Swans mate for life, said Clark emphasizing the importance of finding another swan in the next 30 days. Two residents have already come forward to help pay for a new swan. Those with information may call Town Hall at 845-534-3760.

Obituaries – April 18, 2014

Candice E. Cullingham

June 10, 1954-April 7, 2014

Candice E. Cullingham , of New Windsor entered into eternal rest on April 7 at Mt. Dora, Fla. She was 59 years old.

The daughter of Curtis Remfrey and Bernice Baird Remfrey, Candice  was born on June 10, 1954 in Cornwall. She  was a clerk in Radiology  for Cornwall Hospital, and was an active member of the Cornwall United Methodist Church.

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Police officer struck by car

Officer Steven Bedetti was assessing the scene of a car fire on Route 32 and Quaker Avenue last night when he was struck by a passing car. Bedetti was taken to the Newburgh campus of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital and treated for a fractured leg and head contusions.

Cornwall Police Chief Todd Hazard said the driver was heading northbound and was unable to see Bedetti due to darkness and smoke from the fire.

Hazard wasn’t sure how long Bedetti would be out of work, but said it could be a few months.

New York State Police Department was tasked with investigating the accident. Hazard said officers were recreating the scene last night, but didn’t know if any charges have been filed against the driver.

This week’s issue – April 18, 2014

File photo The Town of Cornwall was initially fined $271,000 by the DEC for violations related to the Shore Road Sewer plant (above). The fine was reduced to $15,000, as well as an additional $50,000 which the town must spend on an environmentally green project.

File photo
The Town of Cornwall was initially fined $271,000 by the DEC for violations related to the Shore Road Sewer plant (above). The fine was reduced to $15,000, as well as an additional $50,000 which the town must spend on an environmentally green project.

Town has $50,000 to spend on green project

The Town of Cornwall board has been tasked by the Department of Environmental Conservation to spend $50,000 on an environmentally green project. Supervisor Randy Clark is currently accepting suggestions from residents and hopes he and the board can reach a decision by the end of May. The fine the DEC wanted to impose on the town for five-year-old violations was reduced from $271,000 to $15,000. Page 1

RiverFest asks community for help

Wynn Gold has been involved with RiverFest since its inception. For the last several years, he’s been the chairman, and now he’s turning to the community for help.

“Sadly, this year’s celebration at the river could be the last,” he reports in a letter to local businesses. He asks them to consider being sponsors to make up for the loss of corporate funding. He’s also added a donation option to the organization’s website, www.river-fest.com. Page 1

Council approached about energy partnership

It’s possible Cornwall residents could save about $700 a year by implementing cost-effective energy saving measures such as adding insulation to their home, air sealing, upgrading lighting, replacing windows and doors, and replacing heating systems. Meredith Nierenberg, outreach coordinator for RUPCO, recently spoke before the Town of Cornwall Board in the hopes of partnering with the municipality in order to get the word out to residents. Page 3

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Only 3 outcomes for heroin users

heroin_series_logoThe name “Stu Green” is fictitious. But everything else about him is real. He grew up near Cornwall and almost died from an overdose.

Stu Green was stretched out on his back at Arden Hill Hospital. He could hear his mother and his brother. They were talking to him, but he couldn’t answer. He couldn’t move; he couldn’t even open his eyes. The doctor opened them for a moment and then let them shut.

Stu Green was flat-lining. His heart had stopped; he had no pulse. Everything was fading.

Seeing no sign of life, the doctor was about to give up. But a nurse prevailed. “Let’s give it one final try,” she pleaded, as she applied the defibrillator for the eighth time. The device jolted the patient back to life.

With his back to the camera,  Stu Green talks to Editor Ken Cashman

With his back to the camera,
Stu Green talks to Editor
Ken Cashman

That was almost five years ago. Sitting at a restaurant near his home, Stu Green retells the story to confirm what he has learned. “If you use heroin,” he says, “there are only three possible outcomes — you can die, you can go to prison or you can quit.”

The options weren’t always that obvious. Now 33, Mr. Green wishes he could go back and talk to himself at 18. His life might have been different. “I didn’t even get to enjoy my 20s,” he laments. “I was just doing dope. I traded those years for a needle.”

It seemed innocent at the start. As a high school student, it was easy to get Percocets or other prescription drugs. He got them from friends, who probably raided their parents’ medicine cabinets. The pill didn’t seem addictive, and the highs were rewarding. By the time he was 18, he was doing it every day. And he was switching to oxycodone.

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Voters OK with budget over cap

Voters weren’t disturbed by a budget that was over the tax levy cap. They approved the library’s spending plan on April 8 by almost a four-to-one margin. The final count was 363 in favor and 100 opposed.

While the tax levy for the library will increase by 4.69 percent, that won’t amount to much in dollars. For most homeowners, the difference will be $10 a year or less.

In crafting the budget, the trustees allowed for changes in customer requests. Board president Susanne Vondrak described the trend in an interview last month. “We’ve seen a 20 percent increase in request for e-books alone…,” she said. “So we factored in some funding for purchases of things like e-books and capital equipment such as laptops and iPads.”

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Attorney hired to cover four village boards

April11_swearingin2

Trustees James Kane (left) and Kenneth Schmidt (below) were sworn-in, by village clerk/treasurer Jeanne Mahoney during the Cornwall-on-Hudson Board of Trustees reorganization meeting Monday night. Mark Edsall (seated) retained his position as deputy mayor.

The Cornwall-on-Hudson Board of Trustees held its annual reorganization meeting on Monday. The first order of business was to swear in Trustees James Kane and Kenneth Schmidt. Mayor Brendan Coyne then re-appointed Mark Edsall as Deputy Mayor.

“Mark is an amazing help to the village and a great source of guidance to me,” said Coyne.
Much of the rest of the meeting was business as usual. Public officers retained their position for another year, as did appointed employees of the village.

Maser Consulting will continue to serve as the village’s engineering firm. The rate charged ranges between $65 and $200 an hour depending on the level of staff required to perform the work. Nugent & Haeussler was named as the auditor. A full audit is expected to take place in May.

April11_swearingin1

Trustee Kenneth Schmidt is sworn-in, by village clerk/treasurer Jeanne Mahoney.

One of the biggest changes of the evening was the re-hiring of attorney Joseph McKay, and his firm Catania, Mahon, Milligram & Rider, PLLC  to serve not only the Board of Trustees and the Ethics Board, but the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals as well.

Richard Hoyt, Esq. and Kevin Dowd, Esq. previously represented the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals respectively.

“Before I came into office this is the way the village conducted business, so I’d like the board to resume that way of conducting business particularly because I have a strong relationship with Joe McKay and I think it will make for a smoother working of the village,” said Coyne.

The law firm will charge the village $175 per hour, the same rate the two sides have agreed upon the last three years.

In assigning committees on which the trustees serve, the only change Coyne made was placing Schmidt on the committees former Trustee Peter Russell had served.

The assignments are as follows:
Buildings & Grounds – David Carnright and Schmidt
Public Safety (police and fire) – Edsall and Schmidt
Insurance & Public Utilities – Carnright and Kane
Personnel & Labor Relations – Edsall and Kane
Public Works – Carnright and Edsall
Sanitation & Recycling – Kane and Schmidt
Recreation & Summer Youth – Carnright and Schmidt
Grants & Economic Development – Edsall and Kane.