Say it ain’t snow

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Photo by Jason Kaplan Old Man Winter isn’t going away quietly. About two inches of snow covered the ground on the first day of spring. A warmer second day melted the fresh powder. Up through Wednesday, the temperature hadn’t risen far above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Photo by Jason Kaplan
Old Man Winter isn’t going away quietly. About two inches of snow covered the ground on the first day of spring. A warmer second day melted the fresh powder. Up through Wednesday, the temperature hadn’t risen far above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Best friends finish with top grade point averages

Megan Gagnon and Christa Sidoti

Megan Gagnon and Christa Sidoti

Cornwall High School seniors Megan Gagnon and Christa Sidoti have been best friends since fifth grade. The two have finished with the top two grade point averages in their class. Gagnon is the Class of 2015’s valedictorian while Sidoti earned salutatorian honors. Each will speak at the graduation ceremony.

“It’s like a name to our accomplishment,” Gagnon said. “It doesn’t change anything we’ve done, but it recognizes us.”

Gagnon and Sidoti learned last year of their class rankings, which became official earlier this month.

“Last year I was surprised to find out I was ranked second,” Sidoti said, even though she made the prediction seven years ago. “It’s a good achievement, but I wanted to hold it officially for graduation. I was trying to work really hard first semester. Taking four AP classes, that was pretty hard. It felt good to know it was all finalized.”

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Maloney backs health center funding

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney went to bat for Community Health Centers last week.

There are four of them in Orange County that could be affected by a sharp cut in federal funding — the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center (GHVFHC), Hudson River Healthcare, Ezras Choilim Health Center and the Middletown Community Health Center.

At GHVFHC, for example, patients pay on a sliding scale based on their income. The center can offer a discounted rate because its bolstered by federal funding.

Now that funding could be cut by 70 percent as the government looks for ways to reduce expenses. Rep. Maloney referred to the dilemma before signing a letter to the chairman and the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Labor.

“While Congress must make smart budget decisions,” the representative said, “it’s senseless to significantly cut a cost-effective investment in primary and preventive health care…. Thousands of my neighbors rely on community health centers to provide quality and affordable health care.”

The Congressman, who received an award for his support of health centers in 2014, discussed the funding issue with nearly a dozen of his constituents on March 19.

The letter he plans to sign indicates that, across the country, health centers service 23 million people, including nearly seven million children and 268,000 veterans.

In addition to providing medical care, the centers have been helping patients enroll for health insurance.

Short days can be challenging

Principal Lynn Imperato

Principal Lynn Imperato

Most of us are familiar with “snow days.” The school district allows for six of them in its annual calendar. If the district exceeds its limit, the solution is simple — the school board shortens a vacation or cuts into a long weekend.

But not every snow storm results in school being canceled. Students and teachers had six short days this year. Twice they went home early because of a storm. And on four other occasions, they started late.

Early dismissal at the high school means the last few periods are canceled. But the rest of the classes are unchanged — they’re the same length as always. The next day the schedule is repeated; so students get to attend the classes they missed.

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This week’s issue – March 27, 2015

Photo by Jason Kaplan During Monday’s Historical Society meeting, Dr. James Welu, director emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum, answers questions following his slide presentation on the Monuments Men.

Photo by Jason Kaplan
During Monday’s Historical Society meeting, Dr. James Welu, director emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum, answers questions following his slide presentation on the Monuments Men.

Monuments men recovered artwork

During Monday night’s Cornwall Historical Society meeting, Dr James Welu, director emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum (WAM), spoke about the group of museum directors, curators, artists, architects, and educators who helped recover art that was stolen by the Nazis during WWII.

The efforts of these men and women were kept top secret for nearly a decade. Only a handful of books have been written on the subject. Last year, Columbia Pictures released a movie titled “The Monuments Men.” Page 1A

Willow Avenue a blue-ribbon nominee

It’s the highest award the U.S. Department of Education can give. Every year the department recognizes 340 Blue Ribbon Schools across the nation for academic excellence. This year Willow Avenue School could be one of them.

The state nominated Willow in January after the school showed significant gains on the previous year’s assessment tests. A school can’t apply to be nominated, and it takes more than good test scores to be selected. Page 1A

Village votes slide for third year

In the last three elections, candidates for seats on the Cornwall-on-Hudson Board of Trustees have run unopposed. Coincidentally, voter turnout has decreased in each subsequent year.

In their re-election bids last week, Mayor Brendan Coyne received 60 votes while Deputy Mayor Mark Edsall received 62 and Trustee David Carnright was the recipient of 63 votes. Page 1A

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Special Town Board meeting

The Town Board will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 6, and vote to go into executive session to discuss a DEC consent order with counsel.

The Consent Order consists of two parts; part 1 is mandatory upgrades of the Shore Road wastewater treatment plant; part 2 – a $15,000 payment to the DEC not acknowledging or denying any alleged violations along with a project in lieu of additional penalties to be considered a “Green project” to benefit the community to cost $50,000. Hence the bio retention ponds project that the DEC granted approval.

The board is due to return at about 7 p.m. to begin its scheduled work session.

Chief Hines cites history at firefighters dinner

Photo by Ken Cashman  Dan Dulaney (left) receives the Captain’s Award from 1st Lieutenant Keven Smith. Past lieutenant Don Bounty is in the background.

Photo by Ken Cashman
Dan Dulaney (left) receives the Captain’s Award from 1st Lieutenant Keven Smith. Past lieutenant Don Bounty is in the background.

“We never knew that,” some firefighters admitted after hearing the opening remarks at the Highland Engine Company dinner. The event was held at the fire house on March 14.

Serving as master of ceremonies, Chief Pat Hines began his welcome with a brief history of the company. It was formed in 1830 when 18 people paid $2.50 in dues, and purchased a hand pumper from a fire company in Brooklyn. It wasn’t until later that the volunteers added wheels.

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Accident on Route 32

Photo by Suzanne Tagliaferro

Photo by Suzanne Tagliaferro

On March 13, emergency personnel responded to a three-car accident on Rt. 32. A 2006 Acura, operated by Susan Miner, 69, of Highland Mills, was attempting to execute a right turn onto Rt. 32 at Pleasant Hill Road and then an immediate left onto Angola Road. Her vehicle collided with a 2011 GMC truck being operated by Steve Gerber, 55, also from Highland Mills, who was traveling north on Rt. 32. Gerber’s vehicle then collided with a 2007 Chrysler Suburban operated by Inocente Vallechavez, 31, from Central Valley. Vallechavez was traveling south on Rt. 32. Miner and Gerber were taken to the Cornwall Hospital by ambulance. Vallechavez and a 4-year-old passenger were flown to the Westchester Medical Center by helicopter.

French students visit Cornwall’s upper schools

Photo by Jason Kaplan On March 13, students from France visited Cornwall Middle School. The French students answered questions posed by our local students.

Photo by Jason Kaplan
On March 13, students from France visited Cornwall Middle School. The French students answered questions posed by our local students.

For the first two weeks in March, about 40 high school students were visiting Cornwall from France. On March 13, Cornwall Middle School students, who are just beginning to learn French, had an opportunity to sit down with their European visitors for a cultural exchange.

Since 1991, Cornwall High School has been involved in an exchange program with juniors and seniors from Lycée Val de Durance in Pertuis, France. Every other year, Cornwall students spend a week with host families in France and then four days in Paris.

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