Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Newsworthy Notes from the week

Herald wins grant for environmental reporting; fundraiser for Peekskill Police Officer Mary Greenan April 7
Newsworthy+Notes+from+the+week

Peekskill Herald awarded grant for environmental articles

The Westchester Community Foundation (WCF) has awarded grants totaling $579,000 to 17 nonprofits. Among the grants awarded, the Foundation prioritized efforts to enhance civic engagement through local journalism, advocate for affordable housing, and bring community members together to tackle difficult issues. The WCF envisions healthy, equitable, and thriving communities throughout New York City, Long Island, Westchester, and beyond.

Among the grant recipients is the Peekskill Herald, the local news website dedicated to informing the citizens of the city. The Herald will receive a grant to fund a series of news articles on environmental issues relevant to Westchester residents.

“We are grateful that the Westchester Community Foundation recognizes the value of informed citizens,” said Regina Clarkin, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Peekskill Herald“When residents have knowledge of what is happening in their communities they are more engaged on all levels which can only benefit us as a society. The Herald is grateful for the opportunity to dig deeper into issues concerning our local environment through this grant.” 

“Many decisions that affect the daily lives of Westchester residents are made at the municipal level, including land use planning, economic and housing development, and municipal action on climate resiliency,” noted Senior Program Officer Tara Seeley. “Without reliable local news, residents are unaware of the issues that affect their lives. Support for The Peekskill Herald and the Hudson Independent will support local newsrooms that have the trust of their local communities.”

Fundraiser for late Peekskill Officer Gregory Jones’ family April 7

The Peekskill Police Benevolent Association is hosting a 10-13 [Officer Needs Help] event for Officer Mary Greenan and her three young children in honor and memory of Officer Gregory Jones on Sunday, April 7 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Beacon Elks Lodge.

Donations are $30 at entry. Make checks payable to the Peekskill PBA (note Mary Greenan in the check memo). There will be food, raffles, a 50/50 raffle, door prize and a cash bar. Entertainment by DJ Kevin Soundz. 

For information contact P.O. Pam Sgroi (Retired) at 914.224.5487 or Sgt. Brandon Kruithof at 845.313.918. Show your support for Peekskill’s Finest.

Red Cross volunteers install free smoke alarms in Peekskill

The American Red Cross Metro NY North Chapter installed 178 free smoke alarms, including one bed shaker alarm, in 57 homes and educated 133 people about home fire safety during a Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event held in Peekskill on Saturday, March 23.

Red Cross team members from across Westchester and Rockland counties, and Greenwich, Conn., as well as dozens of volunteers from MIRA USA, a national partner group, participated in the Peekskill Sound the Alarm event, despite inclement weather that covered the region with several inches of rainfall. 

The 128 workers were also joined by local elected officials, including Peekskill Mayor Vivian C. McKenzie, State Senator Pete Harckham, Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg, and a representative from the office of Congressman Mike Lawler.

“A working smoke alarm can be the difference between survival and tragedy when a home fire strikes,” said Stephanie Dunn Ashley, CEO, American Red Cross Metro NY North Chapter. “That’s why the Red Cross teamed up with the City of Peekskill and others to help ensure local residents, especially those most vulnerable, have these lifesaving devices. It was so rewarding to see our Red Cross workers undaunted by heavy rain and helping make tangible impacts in the Peekskill community.”

The Red Cross offers free smoke alarm installations and fire safety information across the country. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Red Cross offers free bed shaker and strobe light smoke alarms which use a vibrating pad installed under the mattress or a flashing light and are activated by traditional smoke alarm sounds. Volunteer teams from the Metro NY North Chapter work weekly to respond to such requests.

To request a free fire safety visit and smoke alarm installation for your home, please visit www.soundthealarm.org/mnyn. During the visit, volunteers will test existing smoke alarms, install new free smoke alarms, and share information on the causes of home fires, how to prevent them, what to do if a fire starts, and how to create an escape plan.

This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from regional partners including State Farm, FEMA, NY Cancer & Blood Specialists, USBank, Marsh McLennan, and Northville Industries. The Red Cross is grateful for the partnership and support from the City of Peekskill, including the Office of Emergency Management, the Fire Department, and the Police Department.

Three new Peekskill restaurants win rave reviews

Peekskill’s restaurant scene continues to draw fine dining fans from near and far. This month’s Westchester Magazine reports: 

3 New Peekskill Restaurants You Need to Book ASAP

A rooftop taco bar, a smokehouse turned Thai, and an offshoot of a Croton favorite top our list of places you should check out this month, reads the magazine article: 

“Peekskill’s “restaurant row” — the photogenic strip of North Division Street just south of Main that houses some of the city’s most iconic and high-trafficked eateries — received a triple-boost recently, with the practically back-to-back (to-back) openings of three new culinary delights. Following soft launches, these Peekskill restaurants are now open to the public, so sneak a “peek” below to decide where you want to make your reservations.”

Peekskill’s Paramount entertaining gem for generations

The Paramount Hudson Valley Theater is enjoying a rebirth as wide-ranging performances draw audiences from throughout the region.

Upcoming acts in April include psychic medium Matt Fraser on April 5, The Neil Diamond Experience on April 6, Mandy Patinkin on April 12, Benise – Fiesta! the award-winning Spanish guitar and dance spectacular on April 13, and an evening with David Sedaris on April 18.

The Paramount has a long history in downtown Peekskill, offering entertainment and a community gathering place for generations. The long history of the Paramount is recounted through words and photos this month on the website nysmusic.com: Historical Peek at a Theatrical Gem: Paramount Hudson Valley Theater in Peekskill.

“Completely decked out to the nines, this Art Deco style theater hosted so many wondrous artistic elements. For nearly a generation, the Wurtlizer organ ascended from the pit of the stage to provide simply spectacular symphonies.”

Hit the trails in Peekskill and enjoy the first days of Spring

The birds are chirping, the trees are blossoming and it’s time to shed the winter coats and hit the local trails. AllTrails.com rates Peekskill’s Charles Point Waterfront Trail as the eighth best walking pathway in Westchester: 

This scenic hike along the Hudson River is 3.9 miles and takes around an hour to complete, but will take longer if you’re soaking in the stunning views. The majority of locals use this route for bird watching, running, walking, and catching the sunset views. The Peekskill waterfront boasts a marina, playground, sculptures, and local eateries nearby. (Difficulty: Easy)

The entire list of Peekskill trails is available online.

Sheridan’s Irish eyes smiling for all of Peekskill

Sue Sheridan was honored by Senator Pete Harckham in recognition of Irish American Heritage Month for her efforts in promoting Irish culture in the City of Peekskill. 

Sheridan, who serves as chairperson of the Peekskill St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee, is a former captain of the Centennial Hose Volunteer Co. and was a major organizer of the efforts to place the Sept. 11 monument honoring Sam Oitice at Riverfront Green.

Registration is now open for the Westchester Fishing Derby

Westchester County Parks and the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association will host their inaugural Youth Fishing Derby on Saturday, April 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Croton Point Park in Croton on Hudson. Westchester County Parks Commissioner, Kathy O’Connor said, “Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the United States. We are excited to partner with the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association and to offer a new program for County youth to enjoy.”

Children ages 8 through 16 are invited to participate. Adult/parental supervision is required. Equipment and bait will be provided, or you can bring your own. Check in is at 9:30 a.m.; derby starts at 10 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Pre-registration is required through Eventbrite for this free event. Deadline for registration is Friday, April 5. Rain date is Sunday, April 7.

For more information visit the Westchester County Parks or call 914- 231-4645. Croton Point Park is located at 1A Croton Point Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.

Westchester Parks to hold two Seasonal Job Fairs

With the change in seasons seemingly happening all around Westchester County, it’s time to start thinking about summer employment opportunities.

Westchester County Parks will hold two job fairs for those who want to learn more and apply for seasonal jobs at its parks. They will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at the Westchester County Center and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at Muscoot Farm.

Attendees can apply on the spot to the numerous positions in the Parks Department including naturalists/educators, nature camp counselors, lifeguards, and recreation attendants. Locations span the entire parks system at more than 50 facilities.

“The Westchester County Parks Department is busy year-round and needs to staff up in the summer as it is their busiest season,” County Executive George Latimer said. “In addition to pools and beaches, nature centers ,and other facilities are hiring.”

The Westchester County Center is located at 198 Central Avenue in White Plains. Parking will be free for those attending the job fair. Muscoot Farm is located at 51 Route 100 in Somers. Parking is free.

Westchester County offers help to aspiring entrepreneurs

The Westchester County Office of Economic Development has launched “Launch1000” and is now accepting applications. Launch1000 is an innovative, fully remote, self-paced program designed to help aspiring business owners test their ideas and get their new ventures launched. Westchester County residents who are interested in participating in this year’s program are encouraged to apply today. Priority will be given to first-time applicants.

The program is led by entrepreneurial expert Pam Hoelzle, who has coached tens of thousands of early-stage entrepreneurs. Launch1000 requires a commitment of 7 to 10 hours per week and is designed for individuals who can commit to steadily working on their idea from April to September.  

Three years of the Launch1000 program comprises ventures that generate more than 625 jobs, payroll of close to $30 million, revenues of close to $80 million, and ROI (return on investment) of $10.10 per dollar invested by the County. In addition to Launch1000, the Westchester County Office of Economic Development offers a suite of programs and resources to support businesses and entrepreneurs including Westchester County Biosciences Accelerator, Element 46 Tech Accelerator, and other programs.

How Peekskill households spend their money

A recently released report (2024 U.S. Household Bill Pay Report) by doxo.com, a bill pay network, reveals that Americans spend a total of $3.35 trillion annually on household bills. The report also found that the average American household spends approximately $2,126 a month, or $25,513 per year on the ten most essential household bills. 

doxo also has new 2024 household spend information for Peekskill, including the following: The average Peekskill household pays $2,753 a month, or $33,034 a year for the 10 most common household bills; Peekskill households spend 38 percent of their income on household bills.

Those bills are: Mortgage $2,244; Rent $1,798; Auto Loans $334; Utilities $510; Health Insurance $118; Auto Insurance $258; Cable & Internet $164; Mobile $164; Alarm & Security $99; Life Insurance $111.

The household expenses in Peekskill, on average, are 29.5 percent higher than the national average of $2,126, and 4.8 percent higher than the state average of $2,627. Peekskill is the #143 most expensive city in New York for household bills.

You can detailed information about Peekskill here

From an Op-Ed published by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and President and CEO of the Business Council of New York State Heather Briccetti Mulligan

For several years leading up to the COVID pandemic, New York State was experiencing population loss. This loss has accelerated since 2020, and has important implications for the economy, the tax base, and the state’s finances. Today, policymakers are at a crossroads with the challenge of keeping New York an attractive and affordable place to live and do business.

Between July 2020 and July 2023, New York’s population declined by more than 533,000 people — about as many people as in the city of Sacramento. Much of this decline happened between 2020 and 2021, as New York was impacted severely in the early days of the COVID pandemic. 

However, population losses have continued, with New York’s population shrinking by more than 101,000 between 2022 and 2023, the largest decline in the nation.

This population loss directly affects the tax base. A report by the Office of the State Comptroller shows at its peak, New York State lost 1 out of every 100 Personal Income Tax (PIT) filers during 2020, four times the pre-pandemic average. While net-outmigration dropped in 2021, it remained one-third higher than pre-pandemic levels, and remained significantly higher for high-income earners.

While the overall number of filers is at pre-pandemic levels, a greater share are non-residents, paying state taxes only on income earned in New York State — on average only 20% of income.

These findings are concerning for the long-term prospects of state revenue. PIT is the largest state tax revenue, accounting for more than $60 billion in 2021, and a small set of filers have an outsized impact on revenues. Those with incomes above $1 million were just 1.6% of all filers, but comprised 44.5% of the total liability in 2021. These individuals also realize a larger share of earnings from capital gains and from bonuses, particularly in the financial sector.

The good news is lawmakers have an opportunity to make New York State more attractive to its people and its employers. Exercising spending restraint will be crucial for taxpayers who continue to see high inflation impacting their everyday family decisions.

Lessening the burden on those who supply the jobs to our friends and families will be beneficial when decisions need to be made about expansion, pay raises, or relocation. Improving the quality of life for our loved ones will have a ripple effect across the state.

The tip line is always open at Peekskill Herald

Have a story idea that you’d like to see a reporter from The Herald check out? Ever think of a question that you wish someone would answer? 

We always want to hear from our readers and here’s your way to reach us. Whether it’s a question regarding a specific event, an economic development project or just a trend you’ve noticed, we want to hear it. 

Send us your questions. We’ll review and evaluate the submissions and select those we can answer. We’ll publish the story. Send your question to [email protected]

About the Contributor
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.