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Hudson Valley News

Hudson Valley Brief Year In Review, Minus COVID

Dec 31, 2020
Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, NY
WAMC, Allison Dunne

Though the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the airwaves most of the year, there were some other significant developments in 2020. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne highlights a few of them in an abbreviated year in review.

Part of the current food shelf at the North Country Veterans Association
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill sponsored by Hudson Valley lawmakers to increase food donations to food pantries and similar nonprofits.

MTA Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi
Courtesy of MTA Metro-North Railroad

The $900 billion COVID-19 funding package President Trump signed Sunday contains some $4 billion for the MTA, which includes Metro-North Railroad. Proposed layoffs and drastic service cuts can be shelved, for now. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi about what the funding means and more.

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shipment
Courtesy of ParCare Health & Medical Center

The New York state attorney general announced Monday that her office was opening an investigation into a Brooklyn-based healthcare provider with a location in Orange County. The investigation is focused on COVID vaccine distribution. The Orange County executive says the investigation should come from higher up.

Looking Back At COVID Beginning In New Rochelle

Dec 29, 2020
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and New York National Guard members, March 12, 2020
Courtesy of the City of New Rochelle

It was the first weekend March when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, which took hold in New Rochelle. For a time, the Westchester County city became the epicenter of the virus in New York and the country.

Project Resilience efforts
Courtesy of the Office of Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

The Ulster County executive has announced the next phase of an initiative that began in March as a community fund and local food distribution effort to support residents impacted by COVID-19.

Sandra Lindsay, left, a registered nurse and Director of Critical Care at Northwell Health, is the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, December 14, 2020
Scott Heins for the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

A New York state assemblyman plans to introduce legislation barring elected officials from getting a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of priority groups. It comes after various members of Congress have received the vaccine ahead of frontline workers and others.

Rep. Nita Lowey Bids Farewell On The House Floor

Dec 23, 2020
NY-17 Rep. Nita Lowey delivers farewell remarks on the House floor, December 20, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Rep. Nita Lowey

Outgoing U.S. Representative from New York Nita Lowey recently delivered farewell remarks on the House floor.

NY-17 Congressman-elect Mondaire Jones
Courtesy of Mondaire Jones

A Congressman-elect in New York’s Hudson Valley has been appointed to a certain caucus as well as the House Judiciary Committee.

Colleen Laico, from Kingston, NY, a medical professional at the ER at Kingston Hospital, receives her COVID-19 vaccination at MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie, December 18, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced the formation of Regional Vaccination Hubs to help facilitate COVID-19 vaccinations once Phase 2 of the state's plan begins in early 2021. Regional task forces are part of the process. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with a few county leaders who are on the Mid-Hudson region’s task force.

Webutuck Central School District
Courtesy of Webutuck Central School District

A rural school district in Dutchess County is getting ready to construct a health center at its school. The center was supposed to be up and running by now but the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the process.

U.S. Capitol
'Architect of the Capitol' | Flickr

Congress has reached a deal on a $900 billion coronavirus relief package. It does not contain direct aid for state and local governments. For the New York State Association of Counties and county executives in the state, that’s a problem.

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.