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Hudson Valley News

Bard College President Leon Botstein (left) and Pace University President Marvin Krislov announce a new joint admission agreement.
Courtesy of Pace University

Two academic institutions have a new joint admission agreement.

Portion of Wallkill Valley Rail Trail
Courtesy of the Open Space Institute

Improvements to a rail trail in Ulster County, New York, have been completed.

Two Of Rep. Delgado's Veterans Bills Await Signing

Dec 18, 2020
Congressman Antonio Delgado, NY-19, speaking on the House floor about his veterans bills
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Antonio Delgado

Two of Democratic New York Congressman Antonio Delgado’s bills to support veterans await President Trump’s signature.

Slide presented during Environmental Working Group press briefing on PFAS and COVID, December 17, 2020
Courtesy of the Environmental Working Group

Scientists and toxicology experts say PFAS chemicals known to affect the immune system could impact the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine. While the link has not yet been cemented, they are concerned that communities with high exposures to PFAS may be more vulnerable during the pandemic.

NYS Lawmakers Propose A SALT Workaround For Some

Dec 18, 2020
Donkey Hotey/Flickr

Two New York state lawmakers from the Hudson Valley have introduced legislation for a state and local tax workaround for partnerships. The hope is to counter what they call the negative impact of a state and local tax deduction cap under federal tax legislation signed three years ago.

Congressman Antonio Delgado holds a virtual town hall December 16, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Antonio Delgado

New York Congressman Antonio Delgado held a virtual town hall Wednesday night. He talked about COVID-19 relief negotiations in Congress and answered questions on topics ranging from student debt to rural broadband.

Tropical Storm Isaias damage in Dutchess County
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Virtual public hearings begin today following the completion of a New York state Public Service Commission investigation into electric utilities’ responses to Tropical Storm Isaias. The August storm left thousands of customers without power for days. The public hearing on Central Hudson’s performance takes place Thursday (Dec. 17) afternoon at 4. PSC Special Counsel for Ratepayer Protection Rory Lancman is conducting the hearings. He spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.

Mural Celebrating Diversity In Yonkers Is Unveiled

Dec 16, 2020
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, the Mayor’s Disability Board, Artist Jacqueline Rivera gather in front of ‘United Together,’ on Hawthorne St.
Courtesy of Maurice Mercado/City of Yonkers

A mural was recently unveiled in Yonkers that celebrates the diversity of the city’s residents, especially those with disabilities.

NYS Assemblyman Discusses Vaccine Distribution

Dec 16, 2020
NYS Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (center) with Dr. Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and General Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, December 8, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of NYS Assemblyman Colin Schmitt

An assemblyman from the Hudson Valley was the only New York state official to attend the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit at the White House earlier this month. The next day, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state’s vaccine distribution plan. Orange County Republican Colin Schmitt says he still has some questions and concerns. He spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.

Ulster County forms Vaccine Distribution Coalition
Courtesy of Ulster County government

The Ulster County executive has announced the formation of a county Vaccine Distribution Coalition.

City of Kingston, NY seal
Courtesy of the City of Kingston

The mayor of the City of Kingston, New York has issued an executive order on affordable housing.

HV County Execs Detail COVID Vaccine Rollout

Dec 15, 2020
 George Latimer and Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard deliver COVID briefing December 14, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer/screenshot by WAMC, Allison Dunne

Hours after the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in New York Monday, to an ICU nurse in Queens, a few county executives delivered COVID-19 briefings. They talked about vaccine distribution along with potential shutdowns. Indoor dining was closed in all of New York City Monday, and leaders wonder if the same could happen north of the city.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.
Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC /

A person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended a wake and funeral in Columbia County. And now the county Department of Health is concerned after learning a lot of people went to the events over the course of a few days.

Connect Mid-Hudson Transit Study slide from December 10, 2020 public presentation
Courtesy of Foursquare ITP

Key findings and recommendations of a Mid-Hudson transit study have been released. The study, whose recommendations call for improvements like the expansion of some park and rides to microtransit zones, is still open for public comment.

Outgoing NYS Senator Jen Metzger Reflects On Her Term

Dec 14, 2020
NYS Senator Jen Metzger
Courtesy of the Office of NYS Senator Jen Metzger

As the year comes to a close, changes are in store in the New York state legislature. In the 42nd Senate district, first-term Democrat Jen Metzger lost her bid for re-election as the seat reverted to Republican hands. She says she got a lot done in two years and found the work gratifying. Metzger spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about her term and what lies ahead.

Donkey Hotey/Flickr

Two New York state lawmakers from Rockland County are pushing their bill to automatically renew property tax exemptions for senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Planned entry to Broadview Senior Living at Purchase College
Courtesy of Broadview

Senior residential learning communities are a fairly new trend in senior living options in the U.S. So far, the only one in the tristate area will be at SUNY Purchase in Westchester County. Shovels have not yet hit the ground for the on-campus specialized community, but a few of the future residents are already participating in activities and cannot wait for move-in day.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, Newburgh waterfront
WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s bill to permanently ban oil barge anchorages on the lower Hudson River has passed in the House.

Road paving
Courtesy of NYS

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says a resurfacing project on a portion of an interstate in Dutchess and Putnam Counties is complete.

COVID-19 testing
Courtesy of Orange County, NY government

Orange County, New York is partnering with a medical group to provide COVID-19 testing at mobile sites this month. The sites are in the state’s designated yellow zones for micro-clusters.

Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany
Karen DeWitt

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill to strengthen the state’s food supply chain. A state senator from the Hudson Valley sponsored the measure.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivers COVID-19 briefing December 7, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer

As the number of COVID cases continues to climb, county leaders are distilling New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefings to their residents. On Monday, Cuomo announced new guidance concerning hospitals and indoor dining, but did not assign any new zones. Some leaders in the Hudson Valley anticipate that will soon change.

Letter writing
Courtesy of Orange County, NY government

The Orange County executive has launched a letter-writing campaign to pay tribute to COVID-19 frontline workers during the holiday season.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Environmentalists are speaking out about a bill New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently vetoed. They say the legislation would have protected thousands of miles of headwater streams and creeks.

Buttercup Farm Audubon Sanctuary. Stanfordville, Dutchess County
WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York Congressman Antonio Delgado has introduced a bill to help retain young people in rural communities by offering student loan relief.

Courtesy of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor

A bill to honor the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor with a commemorative coin awaits the president’s signature.

NYS Will Begin A Study of Property Tax Exemptions

Dec 4, 2020
Donkey Hotey/Flickr

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to launch the study of real property tax exemptions. Hudson Valley lawmakers were the prime sponsors of the bill they say could results in changes in tax status and savings for residents and municipalities.

Ribbons of Remembrance Ceremony, Yonkers, NY, December 3, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Westchester County Executive George Latimer

Westchester County officials and spiritual leaders participated in a ceremony Thursday to honor residents lost to COVID-19. County Executive George Latimer hosted the ceremony at a Ribbons of Remembrance memorial in a county park in Yonkers.

Standing in front of three rows of purple ribbons fluttering in the breeze on a tree and rope structure at Lenoir Nature Preserve in Yonkers, Senior Pastor at the Mount Vernon Heights Congregational Church Reverend Troy Decohen offered prayers.

Billboards from NYADD in Albany, November 2020
Courtesy of the New York Alliance for Developmental Disabilities (NYADD)

A number of New York state assemblymembers recently called on the state to reverse funding cuts to the intellectual and developmental disability community. They say that even though funding is especially strained across the board because of COVID-19, the developmental disability community cannot afford the cuts.

Hudson Valley Democratic Assemblyman Tom Abinanti has long advocated for the developmental disability community.

“We have gone from benign neglect to active abandonment of people with disabilities,” Abinanti says. “And it’s all about money. It’s all about money.”

A nursing home
U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, a lawmaker from the Hudson Valley is urging New York state to develop a plan to more effectively protect residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.