Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Newsworthy Notes of the Week


Field Library Board of Trustees welcomes newest members

TREVOR NOBLE was born and raised in Ireland. Noble emigrated to North America in 2008 and following a couple of years in Toronto, he moved to the United States and settled in New York City. In 2018, he and wife Amie relocated to Peekskill.

Trevor Noble

Noble has 20 years experience working in hedge fund accounting. After returning to school during the pandemic, he earned a Master’s in Public History at SUNY Empire State University and is seeking a role in the museum and public history sector.

As the creator of the Peekskill History App, and its associated instagram account @peekskill_history, he is passionate about presenting an exciting and accessible history of Peekskill. In addition to serving as a trustee of the Field Library, he is a volunteer docent at the Lincoln Depot Museum.

SINDUJA SRINIVASAN started volunteering with the Board in 2022, and was formally appointed this year. She and her husband visited Peekskill in April 2020 on a whim; they fell in love with the city and two weeks later were in contract for a house.

She moved to Pittsburgh for college, and then studied and worked in Bangalore, India and London, England, before moving to Los Angeles for her Ph.D. in Policy Analysis. She then worked as an economist for the United Nations in Santiago, Chile.

Sinduja Srinivasan

With UN News, she started the podcast UNcomplicated, which distilled the behemoth bureaucracy into conversations that conveyed how the UN is relevant for everyone.

She became a full-time podcaster, joining a science podcast on the day that the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s worked on several science shows, each of which translated scientific and mathematical concepts into engaging radio for a general audience. Currently, she is a story editor for the Peekskill Herald.

CATALINA FORTINO is very proud to be serving the Peekskill community as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Field Library. She brings an extensive background in education, career and community service. A CUNY graduate, she earned a BS and MS in education, along with completing advanced graduate studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, in curriculum design and teacher preparation.

Catalina Fortino

Promoting, sustaining and facilitating growth and development in individuals, teams and organizations has been the central theme of my career across New York State public schools. From shaping statewide educational policy to facilitating adult learning in school teams, to guiding the lives of young children in the classroom, her focus has been to draw on and build on the diversity of cultures, languages, and beliefs that are at the heart of families and communities.

As an immigrant New Yorker, native born in Argentina, she values the importance of public libraries as places that inspire and support lifelong learning, engage the imagination and most important build a sense of belonging and community.

Red Devils win Nyack Tournament

The Red Devils boy’s varsity basketball team won this year’s Black and Red Nyack Tournament with a 51-47 victory in the championship game on Dec. 28.

Winning Peekskill team

The Red Devils are 7-1 entering 2024. Head Coach Tyrone Searight has his team ready to be a top squad this season in Class AA competition.

In their 73-37 win over Ramapo in the first game on Dec. 27, Jaden Chavis led the Red Devils with 24 points, while Amir Thomas scored 18 and Isaiaha Crawford chipped in 12.


New pickleball courts in Depew Park part of upgrades underway

Pickleball courts will be ready for play in the spring.

Depew Park is currently undergoing construction on the main field and one of the clay tennis courts. When finished the Park will have an improved multi-sport field with new irrigation, an asphalt track around the field, and Ecua Volleyball Court at the north end.

The clay tennis court have been converted to four pickleball courts. The court will have screens on the Hudson Avenue end to help dampen the sound. The courts will only be open during regular park hours – sunrise to sunset.

All the work is thanks to a New York State and Municipal (SAM) Facilities Grant sponsored by former State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef when she was in office. The facilities are scheduled to reopen in the spring.

Condo project work continues at River View Place on South Street

Work continues at River View Place on South Street, a 52-unit condominium project at 505 South St. The parking garage level is completed and the four stories of units will be constructed above the garage.

Construction continues on the project at the corner of Grove and South Streets.

The building also fronts on Grove Street off of Smith Street near the Parkway Plaza apartment building. Originally proposed by Unicorn Contracting Corp. of Cold Spring and principal Paul Guillaro in 2019, local businessman Louis Lanza became the primary applicant when the project won approval.

The registered agent for River View Place Associates Of Peekskill LLC is  C/O Demetri Vourliotis, 92 Roa Hook Road, Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567.

Rendering of the River View Place project.

The original plan calls for one- and two-bedroom units priced in the $300,000 to $400,000 range. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, a pool deck, and a first-floor fitness center and club room.

Unicorn Contracting was the developer of 216 South Division Street, a three-story mixed-used building with 22 market rate apartments, commercial ground floor spaces and underground parking.

Peekskill receives state grant for tree inventory

The City of Peekskill won a $75,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Grants from the Tree Inventory and Community Forest Management Plan categories. The grant will help the city complete a Tree Inventory and Management Plan.

Aerial image of trees on the South and Grove project before construction began last year.

The 18 projects to receive funding were selected from 28 applications, evaluated on cost effectiveness, project planning, use of partnerships, support of disadvantaged communities and inclusion of an outreach and education component. The urban forestry grants complement DEC’s ongoing initiatives to address climate change, environmental degradation, and environmental justice. A second grant award announcement for Round 16 for the Tree Maintenance and Tree Planting categories will be announced in 2024.

Other awards in Westchester went to: Village of Hastings-on-Hudson – $21,525: Tree Inventory; City of New Rochelle- $100,000: Tree Inventory and Management Plan; and Village of Rye Brook- $50,000: Tree Inventory.

The UCF grants are part of DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, which works to increase public awareness of the importance of trees and helps communities to create healthy forests while enhancing the quality of life for residents. For more information about DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, visit DEC’s website.


Harckham hosted Hispanic round table

Participants in the Hispanic Rountable


New York State Senator Pete Harckham held a roundtable in Peekskill last month, bringing together Hispanic leaders to discuss the crucial issues of concern in their community.

“It was important to meet with the leaders of the Latino community to learn first-hand of the challenges that they and other members of the community face each day,” said Harckham. “We need to hear from members of historically marginalized communities and partner with them to create a more equitable and just society.”

The discussion included the problems Latinos face with language barriers, housing, low income, representation in the criminal justice system, health care and education.

Harckham said he expects to schedule more such roundtable discussions at different locations in the 40th Senate District.

“It was wonderful to experience meeting so many Latin leaders to discuss how we can make our community stronger for generations to come,” said Lissette Fernandez, Peekskill City Court Judge.

“This was an enriching and fulfilling experience,” said Yanira Martinez, a senior at Peekskill High School and a member of the Latino Culture Club. “There are so many things going on that I did not know about and that will help me give back to my community.”

Hispanics officially comprise 26 percent of the population in Harckham’s 40th Senate District, but that number may be undercounted, he said.

In addition to Castillo, Fernandez and Martinez, the other participants in the round table were: Shirley Acevedo, founder of Latino U College Access; Luisa Granda-Rodriguez, Neighbors Link Director of Operations and Community Engagement; Norma Pereira-Gross, Putnam County community leader; Ramon Fernandez, Peekskill City Councilmember; Jose Ayavaca, Peekskill High School Latino Culture Club member; Karine Patiño, attorney and Mount Kisco community leader; Amy Vele, Peekskill School District Board Member; Mariella Ramirez, Putnam County community leader; and Bruno Villazhiñay, Bedford community leader.

Balter named a Westfair 2023 ‘Person of the Year’

William Balter, a co-founder and principal of WBP Development in Chappaqua, was named a “Person of the Year” by Westfair Communications, the publisher of the Westchester and Fairfield County Business Journal.

“Balter is being cited for building his company into a leading developer of affordable housing projects when many of his fellow developers focus on market rate and luxury housing,” the magazine wrote.

William Balter

“At the same time, WBP Development is active with other segments of the real estate market. In September, a $51 million affordable housing project in Peekskill that Balter had developed with the Housing Action Council, had its ribbon cutting.”

645 Main Street Apartments opened earlier this year, providing 82 apartments in an affordable multifamily residential community. The development serves households with income levels ranging from 40-80 percentArea Median Income and was financed by NYS Housing Finance Agency and Westchester County. On-site amenities include a fitness center, clubroom, central laundry facility, management office, and green roof courtyard.






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.