In Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2013-2014 budget, he recommends closing two prisons in New York. One is in Dutchess County. Governor Cuomo proposed closing two of the least efficient prison facilities in the state. One is Bayview in Manhattan. The other is the Beacon Correctional Facility, a female, minimum-security prison, which he says has a 53-percent vacancy rate.
He said closing the two facilities will impact 273 positions, all of which can be absorbed in the current system.
As President Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term today, the nation celebrated the life of civil-rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And January First marked the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing hundreds of thousands of slaves.
Construction work begins this month in two Hudson Valley counties to prepare for a new bypass tunnel. New York City Department of Environmental Protection officials say site-preparation work will soon begin for the Rondout-West Branch Bypass Tunnel, a roughly $1 billion project that will repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct. DEP contractors will begin working at sites in Newburgh, in Orange County; and in Wappinger, in Dutchess County, where shafts will be built to allow for the construction of the 2.5-mile bypass tunnel. Last year, DEP purchased several properties off Route 9W in the Town of Newburgh, just north of Pine Road, where it will build one of the shafts. The shaft construction site in the Town of Wappinger, off River Road North, will be built on property already owned by DEP. The site work and bypass construction will be done through a project labor agreement with the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council. The agreement is expected to create roughly 160 jobs.
Non-profit group Scenic Hudson is celebrating 50 years of work with a traveling photo exhibition that kicks off Saturday in Columbia County. The exhibit of some 40 works by 12 photographers opens at the Hudson Opera House, and will run through February 16th, after which time it will travel to about five other locations, ending at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. The photos depict traditional landscapes and waterfronts in transformation; as well as polluted locations and other areas with challenges. Poughkeepsie-based Scenic Hudson began in 1963 with six people mobilized around a campaign to protect Storm King Mountain, a campaign that led to a landmark legal victory known as the “Scenic Hudson Decision”.
A national watchdog group that espouses the importance of the separation of church and state is calling upon the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to stop including prayers during official events. In response, a Chaplain Alliance is asking West Point officials to allow such prayers to continue.
The Hudson River PCB-cleanup project is about halfway through, and both governmental officials as well as environmental advocates provided an update on the Superfund project Wednesday. What has not yet begun is a project to restore the Hudson River’s natural resources, including fish and wildlife, but planning for the restoration is underway.