This week’s issue – January 13, 2017

Contributed photo Ronghui, Mingxuan and Shiman Chen (far right) have been living like orphans in China. Their mother was killed in June in a car accident that left their father in a coma. Their aunt, Suki Chen (second from left) has been trying to bring them to America.

Contributed photo
Ronghui, Mingxuan and Shiman Chen (far right) have been living like orphans in China. Their mother was killed in June in a car accident that left their father in a coma. Their aunt, Suki Chen (second from left) has been trying to bring them to America.

Torn between two continents

Suki Chen is torn between two continents. In America, she has a nail salon in Cornwall and a home and family in New Windsor. In China, she has three young nieces (ages 4, 7 and 11) who are living as orphans.

The girls’ parents were in an automobile crash on June 12. Their mother died and their father sank into a coma that has lasted for seven months.

The girls were left to fend for themselves until their grandmother (Suki Chen’s mother) flew from the United States to China. She was with them for a short while when she was killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street on July 26. Page 1

Reval letter coming in February

If you’re a Cornwall property owner, you can expect a letter with your new assessed value in mid-February. The letter will indicate what your taxes were last year, and what they would have been if the revaluation had already taken place.

The process doesn’t end there. If you have questions, you can arrange to meet with a representative of the company that did the work. Page 1

Larkin gets jersey; starts new term

Sen. Bill Larkin had a visitor soon after the Army football team defeated Navy. Scott Flanick is a Pine Bush graduate, who is now a sophomore at West Point. He’s on the football team as a center and long snapper.

A few years ago, when he was applying to colleges, Scott came to Sen. Larkin for a letter of recommendation. The visit must have been memorable, because Scott returned to the senator’s office last month with a souvenir jersey from Army’s historic victory. Page 1

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High school duo makes return to regional poetry contest

Kristen Henry and Jessica Wu will represent Cornwall in the regional finals of the Poetry Out Loud Competition.

Kristen Henry and Jessica Wu will represent Cornwall in the regional finals of the Poetry Out Loud Competition.

Cornwall High School students Kristen Henry and Jessica Wu are no strangers to the Poetry out Loud competition. Both will be making returns, on Feb. 3, to the regional portion of the competition after finishing second and first respectively in the in-school competition last week.

“I’m excited we’re both going,” Henry said. “I think we both have a good chance to do very well.”

Henry, a senior, qualified for the regional competition as a freshman and sophomore, but never made it to states. Last year she failed to qualify as the high school’s winner or runner-up, losing points for accuracy when she read “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns.

Wu, a sophomore, is two-for-two when it comes to being one of Cornwall’s representatives at regionals. Last year she moved past the round before bowing out in the state finals.

“I feel it gets easier the more you get up and recite poems,” Wu said. “The more I do it, the more I like it.”

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Lee Roaders like “dogging it” on stage

Photo by Ken Cashman During a break in Saturday’s rehearsal, cast members gathered around Nana the Dog. From left to right are Hannah Bartley (Mrs. Darling), Greta Frossman (Wendy), Jacob Carter (Michael Darling), Keaton Vernachick (dog), Rikhil Meisuria (John Darling) and Nate Parsons (Mr. Darling).

Photo by Ken Cashman
During a break in Saturday’s rehearsal, cast members gathered around Nana the Dog. From left to right are Hannah Bartley (Mrs. Darling), Greta Frossman (Wendy), Jacob Carter (Michael Darling), Keaton Vernachick (dog), Rikhil Meisuria (John Darling) and Nate Parsons (Mr. Darling).

The cast of “Peter Pan Jr.” was at Cornwall High School on Saturday morning. There were kids in the aisles, waiting to march down to the front of the auditorium. On stage, a few performers were listening to the director. The kids were attentive. But as they listened, one reached down to pet the dog. Another messed with the animal’s fur.

The dog curled up in delight, but didn’t bark. Of course, he didn’t bark, because he was a student in a canine outfit.

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Obituaries – January 13, 2017

Robert E. Gayton Sr.

October 10, 1937-January 4, 2017

Robert E. Gayton, Sr., of Mountainville entered into eternal rest on Jan. 4 at Orange Regional Medical Center. He was 79.

The son of the late Edward L. and Mildred Schreibeis Gayton, Bob was born on Oct. 10, 1937 in Cornwall.

He was the President of Mountainville Lawn & Yard, Inc. and the former owner- operator of Robert Gayton & Son, Inc., dairy distributor. He served in the U.S.  Navy on the U.S.S. Intrepid.

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Alert Cab helps take drunk drivers off road

Tom Kennedy, general sales manager for Dana Distributors, emphasized the importance of saving lives during a press conference, last week, for the Alert Cab program.

Tom Kennedy, general sales manager for Dana Distributors, emphasized the importance of saving lives during a press conference, last week, for the Alert Cab program.

Over the last nine years, Dana Distributors has provided more than 1,200 rides as part of the Alert Cab program. The program was started by Anheuser-Busch in 1982 and adopted by the Goshen-based beer distributor for the last 30 years.

Since its inception, over $1 billion has been invested in the program to ensure those who consume alcohol get home safely rather than getting behind the wheel and causing an accident.

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Rotarians on a mission in Vietnam

John Dodson (not shown) and Charlie Murphy enjoyed the time they spent in Vietnam, particularly the time they spent with school children and orphans.

John Dodson (not shown) and Charlie Murphy enjoyed the time they spent in Vietnam, particularly the time they spent with school children and orphans.

(Editor’s Note: West Point- Highland Falls Rotary Club members Barbara ‘Charlie’ Murphy and John Dodson, both of Highland Falls, travelled to Vietnam as part of STEP — Schools to End Poverty — in November. Here, Murphy whittles down her “200 pages scrawled in a journal and 750 photos” to provide readers a bit of what the trip was like for her. Coming later this winter, Dodson’s, an Army veteran who served for three years in Vietnam, view. – MJP)

When you sign up to go to Vietnam with Schools to End Poverty, you go with the understanding that this is not a trip for the faint of heart. While that is true, our 17 days ‘in country’ last November also provided a life-changing adventure. STEP was founded by Vietnam veterans who are also Rotarians. The program combines a humanitarian mission with healing memorial stops for the returning veterans among its volunteers. For several volunteers, this was their tenth STEP trip. I want to talk about what STEP does for kids.’

After a brief stay in Saigon (the new name, Ho Chi Minh City, has not caught on), we took off at 3:45 A.M., flying from Tan Son Nhut to DaLat City where we would visit and dedicate an addition to the Rose School. DaLat is high in the Central Highlands and famous for raising flowers and ‘Weasel Coffee.’ The latter is an atrociously expensive brew made from beans that have been processed through the digestive track of a rodent.

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Newcomer helps set relay record

On Dec. 29, Jack Byrne, Blaine Doyle, Caleb Johnson and Jeremy Small Hawks (left to right) combined to set a relay record for freshmen and sophomores in the Marine Corps Holiday Classic in New York City.

On Dec. 29, Jack Byrne, Blaine Doyle, Caleb Johnson and Jeremy Small-Hawks (left to right) combined to set a relay record for freshmen and sophomores in the Marine Corps Holiday Classic in New York City.

Few athletes have had an experience like Caleb Johnson. The Cornwall sophomore joined the indoor track team to get in shape for lacrosse. He appeared in his first race on Dec. 29 at The Armory in New York City.

Caleb wasn’t alone. He was part of a distance medley relay team for freshmen and sophomores. Running with him were Jack Byrne, Jeremy Small-Hawks and Blaine Doyle.

“They carried me,” the newcomer admitted with a smile. That’s partially true. But Caleb didn’t let them down. He helped the Dragons finish a lap ahead of everyone else, and set a meet record for the frosh/soph event — beating the old mark by six seconds.

In the event, each member of the team runs a different distance. Jack Byrne led off and carried the baton for 1200 meters (six laps around the track). By the time he passed the stick to Caleb, the Dragons had a 50-yard lead. They were still out in front after Caleb ran a quarter of a mile in less than a minute.

At this point, Jeremy Small-Hawks (2:09 for 800 meters) and Blaine Doyle (4:37 for 1600 meters) ran away from the rest of the field. When Doyle crossed the finish line, the clock read 11:10.67. The Dragon foursome had clipped six seconds off the record for the Marine Corps Holiday Classic, a huge meet that’s been around since the turn of the century. What a way for Johnson to begin his indoor track career!

Cornwall’s best individual event was the girls weight throw, where Jillian Dorego was third (39-3.25) and Tamera Dorcinville fourth (37-8.5) in a field of 36. The teammates have been close to one another all season, always finishing one notch apart in the final standings.

Other highlights included the varsity girls (Sydney Decker, Gabby Fanning, Abby Munterich and Hannah Mellino) placing fourth in the distance medley relay, and the frosh/soph girls (Molly Cameron, Ashley Hickman, Sophia Perez and Meredith Hickman) taking third in the same event.

Obituaries – January 6, 2017

Steven (Stevie) Patrick Pacenza Griggs

July 21, 1964-December 14, 2016

Steven (Stevie) Patrick Pacenza Griggs, 52, entered into rest at Florida Hospital Celebration in Celebration, Florida on Dec. 14.  He was born in Cornwall to Patrick A Pacenza Jr. of Cornwall and Patricia Rhodes Griggs of Marlboro, and was baptized at St. Mary’s in Newburgh.

Stevie was the chef and owner of Vinelli’s Catering in Lake Mary, Fla. recently selling the business to pursue a degree in counseling which he was doing at the time of his death.

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Festival of Lights

Photo by Jason Kaplan On Tuesday, Rabbi Shmuel Serebryanski lights the menorah, at Rings Pond, on the fourth night of Hanukkah. About a dozen people gathered to hear the story behind the origin of the holiday and why it lasts eight nights. The guests were then invited back to Munger Cottage for donuts and homemade latkes.

Photo by Jason Kaplan
On Tuesday, Rabbi Shmuel Serebryanski lights the menorah, at Rings Pond, on the fourth night of Hanukkah. About a dozen people gathered to hear the story behind the origin of the holiday and why it lasts eight nights. The guests were then invited back to Munger Cottage for donuts and homemade latkes.

2016: The Year in Review

Superintendent of Schools Neal Miller (right) welcomed Gen. David Petraeus to the high school on April 28.

Superintendent of Schools Neal Miller (right) welcomed Gen. David Petraeus to the high school on April 28.

JANUARY

On Jan. 1 the Local reported that the high school gym had been named for the late Glen McGinnis.

The Town Board voted 3-2 to reduce the hours of a part-time records clerk and cut costs by $7,000.

Cornwall-on-Hudson instituted weekly (rather than biweekly) pickups of items for recycling.

As previously announced, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital became part of the Montefiore Health Care System.

The Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline drew a crowd to a Friday night meeting in the Town of Newburgh.

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