Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Happenings around Peekskill

News and noteworthy events in the local area
Happenings around Peekskill

City updates ‘CodeRed’ notification system

The City of Peekskill’s CodeRed Community Emergency Notification System has been updated. The no-charge update will allow message recipients to easily identify calls coming through the system.

The message on the recipient’s Caller ID will read OnSolve or 866-419-5000 or CodeRed. If residents miss the call, they can dial the number displayed on their Caller ID to hear the last message delivered.

With this updated system, residents will also receive automatic alerts concerning emergencies.  The recipient’s Caller ID will read OnSolve or the number 800-566-9780 with the same callback feature.

The secure, customized Community Notification Enrollment (CNE) page allows residents and businesses to add or update their contact information to ensure they will be included when a message is sent. Unlisted numbers, mobile numbers, TDD/TTY requirements can all be entered.

If you previously enrolled in the former CodeRed System, you must enroll again in order to take advantage of the new features. To enroll in the CodeRed Warning CNE go here


 Peekskill declares ‘Blondie Day’

(Left to Right) Geraldine Kearse, Kecia Palmer-Cousins, City Manager Matt Alexander, Rebecca DeYoe, 
Auzerais Bellamy, Marianne Oros, Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber Executive Director Carole Voisey, Deputy Mayor Patricia Riley, Councilwoman Kathleen Talbot, Councilman Dwight Douglas 
 – Photo courtesy of the City of Peekskill

The City of Peekskill launched “Peekskill Day” recently by celebrating a local business in the community. The launch was held at Blondery, a specialty bakery located at 922 Main Street in Peekskill, where city officials presented owner Auzerais Bellamy with a proclamation to recognize Nov. 17 as “Blondie Day” in celebration of her one-year anniversary.

“Peekskill Day” is a new initiative started by the City of Peekskill and the Office of Economic Development to recognize local businesses with a day dedicated for them.

“We are excited for the launch of Peekskill Day as a way to celebrate businesses in our community,” said City Manager Matt Alexander. “Local businesses are the heart of our community, and we look forward to celebrating and recognizing businesses throughout the city as part of our Peekskill Day initiative.”

All businesses located in the City of Peekskill are welcome to participate in Peekskill Day and members of the community are welcome to submit nominations. Contact Stephanie Romero, executive assistant to the City Manager, at (914) 734-4245 or via email at [email protected].


Peekskill Community HUB receives $50K in state funding

Peekskill Mayor Vivian McKenzie and State Sen. Pete Harckham. Photo courtesy of Office of State Sen. Pete Harckham / Tom Staudter

 The City of Peekskill received $50,000 in state funding for the design of its planned Community HUB, a campus of facilities adjacent to City Hall on Main Street.

“The City of Peekskill is pushing forward with a number of important projects as part of its impressive and ongoing renaissance as an important economic driver here in the Hudson Valley,” said State Senator Pete Harckham.

The Peekskill Community HUB project will design the adaptive reuse of the Hook and Ladder Firehouse building that dates to the 19th century. Additionally, the HUB design will include reuse of ancillary buildings connected to the firehouse, and the Peekskill Neighborhood Center across the street.

The Community HUB will house a workforce development center for training in the food services industry, a professional restaurant training facility, two kitchen areas, dining spaces and an area for senior services.

“This funding will help jumpstart an initiative to create municipal space that will serve residents and business owners,” Harckham said.

“The City is very thankful for the support and recognition of its efforts to concretize its Community Hub as a campus of programmed community classes, programs, food and gathering space for the entire community,” Peekskill Mayor Vivian McKenzie said.


 SUNY Peekskill Workforce Scholarships Awarded by Gateway Chamber

Pictured (from left) Mary Foster, Maureen Whelan, Jane Solnick of the Chamber Foundation; Bruce Apar of River Journal; Dr. Sherry Mayo of SUNY Peekskill; scholarship recipients Josephine LaRiccia and Megan Brown. Photo courtesy of River Journal North

Two workforce scholarships to SUNY Westchester Community College Peekskill were presented recently by the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce Foundation and by Dr. Sherry Mayo of SUNY Peekskill’s Center for the Digital Arts.

Student Megan Brown’s goal is to pursue SUNY’s Social Media Specialist Certificate with instructor Becky Livingston ( The program teaches how to use various social media platforms for branding and marketing strategically. Megan works in the Westchester Library System, where she designs and maintains web-based resources.

A second student, Josephine LaRiccia, will enroll in the Historic Preservation Certificate program at SUNY Westchester Community College Peekskill to study lecture classes such as Historic Preservation, American Architecture, and Archaeology, and do on-site fieldwork at historical locations throughout the county.

Dr. Mayo thanked River Journal North, which donated $1,000 to the scholarship fund, and the Chamber Foundation. – Courtesy of River Journal North.


Iona students explore how public art can fuel economic development in Peekskill

Iona University professors and students in the City Labs project in Peekskill at a kickoff event with BCW President Marsha Gordon, left, and city representatives. Photo courtesy of the Business Council of Westchester

 Iona University students will explore how public art can propel economic development as part of the Business Council of Westchester’s fourth Westchester Innovation Network (WIN) City Labs partnership with the City of Peekskill.

Students in Iona’s Introduction to Ideation and Design Thinking class will spend several weeks meeting with stakeholders in Peekskill’s arts community and neighborhoods to learn about residents’ vision for developing the city as an arts destination. The Iona students are expected to deliver their final report the second week of December.

“Thank you for coming in with all your efforts and looking at our fabulous art, what Peekskill can do to produce more moving forward, and how we want to market our city,” Peekskill Mayor Vivian C. McKenzie told the students. “We know that art really does produce economics.”

BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon challenged the students to put their creativity to the test. “This initiative is designed to help brand Westchester as a place where innovation is the cornerstone for economic development,” Gordon said. “We encourage you to think outside the box about what could be innovative and what could be different here to make Peekskill stand out.”


School district vendor suffers data breach

The Peekskill City School District received a letter from the law firm Kirkland & Ellis notifying the district of a cyber security issue that may have involved the personal information of some current and former Peekskill students, according to Superintendent Dr. David Mauricio in his latest weekly message.

The vendor reported that it immediately launched an investigation and initiated steps to secure the student data.

Per their letter, their investigation found that between May 27 and May 31, 2023, an unauthorized third party obtained certain files that were being transferred via the MOVEit tool. These files were related to the January 2022 security incident at Illuminate Education. No social security numbers were collected or involved.

If a student’s personal information was part of the MOVEit breach, they will receive a letter from Kirkland & Ellis offering identity-monitoring services for one year at no cost to the parent.

The district’s Director of Technology and Superintendent David Mauricio met with the School District’s attorney. The district’s attorneys are contacting the company to address this matter so that all data is permanently deleted to eliminate any further risk.

We want to hear what’s happening with your group in and around Peekskill. Send a few paragraphs and a photo to [email protected] and we’ll let the community know about events you’ve held, promotions in your company and other newsworthy items.





About the Contributor
Jim Roberts
Jim Roberts has been in this business for more than 35 years (hard to believe) and still learning every day. A third-generation Peekskill resident, he started as a lowly researcher at the Westchester Business Journal in 1986 and learned how to be a reporter from many veterans in the field. He’s worked in private companies, Connecticut state government and wrote for the Co-op City Times for 10 years before retiring from full-time work in 2019. Roberts wants to contribute to building the Herald into a news website for residents who care about what’s happening in Peekskill.