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Ramapo has 6 months to appeal ward vote decision

October 25, 2014 "Voters may not learn the status of the controversial ward referendum until next spring, as the town has up to six months to
complete its appeal process. In her recent decision, state Supreme Court Justice Margaret Garvey invalidated the Sept. 30 special election, which
asked voters whether to increase the number of Town Board members from four to six and whether to elect each board member from a different
geographical district, also known as a ward. Currently, Town Board members are elected at large. Garvey also ordered a new election, although
she didn't specify when.
Ramapo Town Attorney Michael Klein said the town, which has filed notice that it will appeal Garvey's order with the
state Supreme Court's Appellate Division, has up to six months to complete the process." Complete Journal News story here.

Developers' influence in Ramapo

October 24, 2014 Many Journal News subscribers have read about Ramapo Democratic Party Chairwoman Mona Montal's remarkable request for
$10,000 or $20,000 donations from Ramapo developers to help defeat the Ramapo ward referendum. Why would Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence's
director of purchasing ask Ramapo developers for such huge contributions? Unfortunately, the answer is obvious. If you have the right connections you
can build anything here. Just take a drive through Monsey. If you haven't driven through this area in a few years, or even within the past year, you will
be amazed by the new and massive construction. (More)

Upper Saddle River awarded nearly $1 million in sewage lawsuit

October 21, 2014 "A federal court judge awarded Upper Saddle River nearly $1 million from a Rockland County sewer authority for sewage spills
into the Saddle River and its tributaries, officials said. Judge Edgardo Ramos of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York ruled in favor of the borough in a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit and late last week decided that the Rockland County Sewer District No. 1
should pay the borough about $950,000 by Dec. 31 or be fined $25,000.
The money will be used to cover Upper Saddle River's legal fees and to set
up an environmental protection fund the borough will control. (More)

Stressed or 'scare tactic'? Examining Ramapo's financial audit

October 24, 2014 "The audit report, prepared for the town by O'Connor Davies LLP, stated that cash assets in the police fund were about $3.2 million
at the end of 2013. There was $4.6 million in the capital fund and $322,000 in the highway fund, and $97,168 in the general fund.
"That implies the town
only had $97,168 in cash on hand to run general town activities," the Republicans said. "Further, the Town of Ramapo had total liabilities exceeding
$200 million at the same point in time. ... This is astonishing." Complete Journal News coverage here.

State investigates United Water after VP's departure

Ocotober 23, 2014 "The state has launched an investigation to determine if the actions of three United Water New York workers terminated
last month have affected the rates charged to customers. The chairwoman of the state Public Service Commission, Audrey Zibelman, informed
the company of the investigation in an Oct. 17 letter addressed to David Stanton, president of
United Water's regulated business division. Informal
discussions had previously been held, with the company providing responses to PSC staff, Zibelman stated. One such response, on file with the PSC,
lists the subject as "United Water's investigation of misappropriation of funds/misstatement of revenues." Complete  Journal News story can be read here.

Government Files Suit Against Kiryas Joel Slaughterhouse

Charges Processing Facility with discharging animal waste into Ramapo River tributaries--Fine is $330,000

October 23, 2014 U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “For years, the defendants flouted the law by repeatedly discharging waste from their
poultry slaughterhouse into the waters of the United States. Today’s consent decree will ensure that the defendants do not resume these illegal
practices in the future and requires them to pay a significant financial penalty for their misconduct.” EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck
stated: “From disposing of chicken parts and fats directly into storm drains and sewers, to discharging animal waste into Ramapo River tributaries,
this poultry processing plant has a long history of violating the Clean Water Act. This legal agreement and fine will help protect the Ramapo
River.” Read the press release here.

East Ramapo apology 'not enough,' Latino protesters say

October 23, 2014 "A fourth night of protests by the Latino community and supporters resulted in a personal apology from the East Ramapo
schools superintendent that did little to appease his critics.
Superintendent Joel Klein has been under fire for comments he made at a board
meeting two months ago suggesting that the district's growing immigrant population was responsible for its high dropout rate.
"I thought it
[the apology] was appreciated but not enough. He needs to resign," said parent activist Steve White, a de facto spokesman for the Latino
community who co-organized the initial protest in September." Read the complete Journal News coverage here.

Kaser: Fire-damaged house awaits inspection

Fire officials say they found possibly a dozen illegally converted units on Sunday

October 20, 2014 "The village's building inspector said Monday that he's has not yet been able to inspect a Cedar Lane apartment building
where fire officials say they found possibly a dozen illegally converted units during a fire on Sunday morning. Bill Press, who also is the Kaser
village government fire inspector, said the village approved five apartments for the 25 Cedar Lane building: two each on the first two floors
and one in the basement. After the fire, a Monsey Internet site issued an alert that a family that lived in the house needed a 3 to 4-bedroom
apartment. Press said he believed that family was living in the basement. Rockland Fire and Emergency Services Coordinator Gordon Wren Jr.
said Monday that he saw three or four apartments in the basement and 10 or 12 total in the building, which has 2,698-square-foot of living space
on two floors."Why aren't there routine inspections, and if there are why aren't these serious violations cited and corrected?" Wren asked." Read
the complete Journal News story here.

Monitor Hank Greenberg Questions East Ramapo Compliance on immigrant rights

October 20, 2014 "The former federal prosecutor who is monitoring East Ramapo schools questioned the district's "understanding of and
compliance with" the law governing immigrant students' educational rights in a letter to the superintendent last month.
Hank Greenberg,
the fiscal monitor assigned to East Ramapo, expressed "concerns" about how the district is serving immigrant students in a Sept. 23 letter
to Superintendent Joel Klein.
The glimpse into Greenberg's behind-the-scenes work in East Ramapo was revealed by Deputy Commissioner
Chuck Szuberla in a rare email response to community activist Bob Kurkela, in which he copied members of the media Sunday.
Kurkela, of
New City, wrote to state Education Commissioner John King Sunday, accusing him of "hypocrisy" and of "ignoring" the East Ramapo Latino
community's two months of protests in response to Klein's comments. King last week ordered an investigation into the enrollment procedures
in a Hempstead, Long Island, school district that has allegedly refused to allow recently enrolled immigrant students to attend class, according
to published reports."  Read the complete Journal News story here.

After Months Delay Klein Decides to Apologize to Hispanic Community

Ocotober 18, 2014 "After two months of protests, East Ramapo schools Superintendent Joel Klein has apologized for suggesting that the
district's growing immigrant population was responsible for its high dropout rate. In a letter addressed to district parents, mailed Friday
morning, Klein wrote that he was "profoundly sorry" for leading some to believe that he was disrespectful to the Latino community."It was
not my intention to be disrespectful or insensitive to these students or to the Latino community," he wrote.The statement comes days before
the next Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, when 
protesters are planning to rally and some may again demand Klein's resignation.In his letter,
Klein wrote that he was to blame for not "choosing my words more carefully" at an Aug. 19 school board meeting. Read complete Journal News

Developer pulls Suffern apartment plan; tax deal stalls