Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Newsworthy Notes from the week

Rep. Lawler available to speak with Peekskill constituents June 18; Peekskill firefighter lawsuit against city continues
Newsworthy+Notes+from+the+week

Congressman Lawler hosting mobile Peekskill office hours June 18

U.S. Congressman Mike Lawler and his district staff will be holding mobile office hours in Peekskill at the Peekskill Neighborhood Center from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18. Lawler and his team look forward to hearing feedback on important issues and helping constituents and their families with any casework needs.

Representative Lawler’s office may be reached via phone at 845-201-2060 or reach out through his website at lawler.house.gov. Additionally, you can keep up with the latest news on his efforts by following on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and by opting in to periodic updates from the office by clicking here.

Firefighter’s lawsuit claiming discrimination continues

Robert Pappas

The Peekskill Common Council’s “agreement” passed in a resolution at the Council’s June 10 meeting wasn’t a “settlement” of an ongoing lawsuit filed by a paid firefighter against the city.

The resolution allows Robert Pappas to immediately retire from active duty as a Peekskill firefighter and serve the remainder of his employment until August 4 by using the remainder of his sick leave time. He will then receive all his full pension and retirement benefits.

The 20-year Peekskill Fire Department veteran’s ongoing lawsuit against the city and fire chief claims racial discrimination because of his Middle Eastern descent.

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York in September 2023, demands that Pappas be promoted to lieutenant and that the city pay him an undetermined amount of punitive damages.

Pappas injured his back on-duty in November 2022, and, after originally denying his claim for workmen’s compensation and disability status, the city reversed its position in April 2023, placing him on disability leave, according to the lawsuit.

The case is now in discovery with both sides exchanging evidence for the trial. Attorneys for the City of Peekskill have denied all the charges.

Information on Summer EBT for school students

Beginning in Summer 2024, New York state is implementing Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), a new federal program to help in-need households with children to purchase food during the summer when school is out of session and children can no longer rely on access to free or reduced-price school meals. 

If you have questions regarding Summer EBT, please visit their website for updated program information.

General questions about child nutrition programs and policy may be directed to the Child Nutrition office at (518) 473-8781, or [email protected]

Free clothing at next pop-up shop June 21 and June 22

The next MendByMe Pop-Up Shop will open its doors on Friday June 21 from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, June 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Elks Lodge, 1038 Brown St. in Peekskill.

Anyone in need is invited to come and shop for free at the pop-up shop. MendByMe offers clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children, as well as bedding, towels and more. There is no entrance fee.

County bus service free to riders this summer starting July 1

Westchester County’s Bee-Line Bus service, including ParaTransit, will once again be free this summer starting on July 1 through Sept. 2.

This initiative, which has been implemented for the past few years, is meant to support local communities, ease transportation costs for families and encourage the use of public transit. More than 65 percent of Westchester County residents live within walking distance of a Bee-Line bus stop, making the service easily accessible.

With numerous, fun events happening across the county, the free bus service can make getting around easier and more affordable for everyone. Additionally, it can help reduce traffic congestion.

Juneteenth Basketball Showcase at Kiley Center June 19

Peekskill Parks and Recreation is hosting its 4th Annual Juneteenth Basketball Showcase on Wednesday, June 19 from noon to 5:30 p.m. at the Kiley Youth Center at 709 Main St. 

The showcase will include a skills & drills clinic with SUNY Oswego coach Jason Leon from noon to 2 p.m. The clinic is open to ages 10 to 18 and current college players are also allowed to participate.

Following that clinic, four teams will compete for a championship and the program will include music from DJ Pete. 

For more information, please contact the Parks and Recreation office at (914) 734-7275.

Youth Bureau summer program registration underway

Registration is now open for the City of Peekskill Youth Bureau 2024 summer programs. 

This year’s programming runs from July 1 through August 16 and includes the Rising Stars Program (ages 10 to 13), Rising Tide Boat Building (ages 13 to 18, boys only) and Summer Employment (ages 14 to 20, limited space). 

To register for any of these programs, please complete this form. For additional information, please contact Darryl Francis at (914) 734-2051. 

Online Summer Business and Leadership program for girls

“Girls with Impact” is offering summer learning opportunities for girls. Designed with Harvard experts, Girls With Impact is a unique program for all young women ages 14 from 24, equipping them with entrepreneurship skills, confidence and business knowledge that set them apart when it comes to their future success and college resume.

The Girls With Impact Summer Academy program, a live, online five-week Business & Leadership seminar, is a great boost for college applications or building a resume. 

More information is available on the websiteThere is a significant tuition cost, however scholarships are available. 

The tip line is always open at the 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]

City of Peekskill seeking candidates for five positions

The City of Peekskill is currently seeking to fill five open positions on the city staff.

The job openings are:

Peekskill Planning Commission June meeting canceled

With no proposals ready for review this month, the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 18 has been cancelled. The next scheduled meeting for the Planning Commission will be held on Tuesday, July 9.

Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber honors its 2024 Stars

The “Stars Along the Hudson” aligned last Sunday in recognition of the dedication that local business people provide throughout the year to the community. The annual event, sponsored by the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce, was held June 9 at The Factoria At Charles Point Fin & Brew.

This year’s honorees are:

Hudson Milk + Market, Business of the Year: “Our mission is simple: to provide families with access to real food, free from artificial additives and sourced from small, family-owned farms who prioritize sustainable practices and animal welfare, and independent producers who refrain from using lab-created ingredients.”

New Era Creative Space, Quality of Life Award: NECS provides learning experiences that boost confidence and empower young people to think creatively, critically and collaboratively. Programs include visual and performing arts, media arts, nature and leadership programs.

Bruce Apar

Bruce Apar, Volunteer of the Year: Along with his writing, Apar’s passion is community service. He serves as vice chairman of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce and has served on the board of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber. With wife Elyse and daughter Elissa, he manages the Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Foundation, a grassroots charity in memory of his son that supports local recreation and education.

 

Chloe W-G

Chloe Warham-Gordon, Young Professional of the Year: Chloe transitioned from a professional ballet dancer to social media manager and established DigitalDancer Social Media Management, catering to diverse clients, particularly in her adopted city of Peekskill. She is a member of several Peekskill organizations reflecting commitment to local growth and community engagement.

Pronto Printer, Chairperson’s Award: Founded as a franchise 50 years ago by Gerald and Agnes Marvin, Pronto Printer thrives by staying on the cutting edge of technology along with customer service, quality and price. In 1996 John Marvin and friend Ralph Maffettone took the reins to bring the store into the 21st Century.

County Planning Department hires flood mitigation director

The Westchester County Department of Planning has hired a Director of Flood Mitigation and Resiliency. 

Dean Tarulli, formerly of the New York State Office of Storm Recovery and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will help develop and manage flood prevention and mitigation projects, as well as look at ways to maximize state and federal funding in communities plagued with flooding issues.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “We have all seen the catastrophic impact flooding and severe storms can have on our residents and businesses throughout Westchester County, which is why we created this brand new position as part of our 2024 County budget. Dean Tarulli has been brought on to create a more comprehensive approach to flooding concerns in all of our communities, and we know the County will greatly benefit from his past experience and expertise.”

Tarulli’s responsibilities will also include administrating the County’s Flood Mitigation Program funded in the capital budget, addressing concerns from local municipalities as the County’s Floodplain Coordinator, and collaborating with many county departments including Emergency Services, Environmental Facilities, and Public Works and Transportation.

County legislators hold hearing on change in length of term

The Westchester County Board of Legislators will hold a public hearing June 17 on a proposal to change a legislator’s term to four years from the current two years.

Legislators say the change is necessary because it’s costly to hold elections every two years. The change would reduce the amount of campaigning and fundraising necessary to run for office and allow lawmakers more time to see their policies through. 

“The Board of Legislators is consistently working to find ways to be more efficient, aligning Westchester with norms of other counties in New York,” a spokesperson for the board wrote in a statement.

“Rather than perpetually campaigning, Legislators will be able to focus on crafting legislation, delivering resources, and allow their priority to shift away from politics and back to the reason they were elected in the first place, to more adequately represent the needs of all Westchester residents.” 

The proposed new law would keep the current term limits in place by changing the language from six two-year terms to 12 consecutive years.

According to the proposal, voters would have to give the final approval in a mandatory ballot referendum in November and the change would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025. A New York State plan to move most local elections to even years would begin at that time as well. The state plan faces several lawsuits that could impact the county plan. 

The meeting will be streamed live and archived on the meeting webpage. No registration is required to watch. Just visit the link, scroll down to find the meeting, and click on “In Progress” or “Video” in the video column.

DARE hosts demo at Hillcrest, adds newest member to force

Members of the Emergency Response Team collaborated with Peekskill’s Community Policing Unit D.A.R.E. instructors to host a tactical response demonstration for Hillcrest Elementary School D.A.R.E. students. The students learned a great deal about special weapons and tactics and the functions of the team. 

Also, please join in congratulating Sergeant Carter on her recent graduation from DARE Officer Training School. Sgt. Carter joins Sgt. Franco, Sgt. Stewart, PO Long, and PO Fries as certified DARE instructors tasked with teaching and mentoring youths at Hillcrest Elementary School and in the Cortlandt School District. We wish all of Class D.O.T. #61 the very best. Good luck Sergeant.

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.