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I believe that good government depends on an alert and informed citizenry, and for this you need independent news media. I work hard to make sure our local journalists have access to Orangetown meetings and documents and can contact me directly with their questions, because this helps the media serve you, the “consumer” of both local media and local government services. In fact, I recently sponsored a Town Board resolution to hold our weekly meetings Mondays instead of Tuesdays, to avoid conflicting with County and school district meetings and thereby give the media and residents easier access to town hall meetings. The resolution failed to gain the support of the majority of town board members, but I hope this review of local media helps you “tune in” to local issues and decision-makers.

First, let’s hear it for Jan and Shel Haber, and The Nyack Villager, a beautiful and well-established monthly newsletter with tons of useful information. Same goes for the other two village monthlies I read: The Piermont Newsletter (published by the Piermont Civic Association, sent to all village residents automatically) and 10964, the Palisades community newsletter (sign up at PalisadesNY.com). All free, these are great sources of local information.

TV: You can keep tabs on me and the rest of the Town Board by tuning into local access cable, Verizon 30 and Cablevision 78. We replay town meetings at 2 pm and 8 pm every day, and fill the rest of the day with useful PSAs on safety, local events, and other topics relevant to local government.

The Journal News, the County’s only daily, with both paper and online versions, covers some local, and increasingly regional and national news. Two weekly papers cover Orangetown town board meetings extensively, The Rockland County Times and Our Town.

Our Town covers Clarkstown, Orangetown and northern Bergen and is delivered for free, in both paper and online versions, to anyone who asks for it. I highly recommend signing up, as this paper provides the most thorough coverage of Orangetown news and includes well-researched editorials, letters, and lots of events. They present a truly wide range of views and give you a sense of just how diverse our Town is!

Another “weekly” is my Wednesday morning interview on WRCR 1300AM at 8:45am. I take listener calls, discuss town issues and promote weekend events in Orangetown, so send your event info to me at supervisor@orangetown.com and I will mention it on the air.

You can’t beat the “web” for instantaneous alerts about breaking news, online dialogue and multimedia info. Everyone should subscribe to NY-Alert, a notification system that gives you real-time emergency–related notices, especially storm warnings. You can limit your alerts to those affecting your zip code, and receive them via text or email. Sign up at nyalert.gov

My Town e-mail “blast” comes out every few weeks, either because there is a major storm coming, or because some other big local event triggers me to sit down a write to town residents. Sign up at www.orangetown.com.

Several online news sites have sprung up in recent years including The Patch.com, with its Nyack-Piermont, Pearl River, and New City Patches, but it appears that much of the local staff has been laid off. Nyack News and Views, featuring Bill Batson’s wonderful Nyack Sketch Log, is definitely worth a visit, as is Bill Demarest’s Nyack Free Press.

Whether you prefer print or electronic versions, there are many news sources to consult and most of them are free of charge. Knowledge is power, so we are lucky to have such a rich array of local media helping us to keep track of local issues and hold decision-makers accountable.

—Andrew Y. Stewart, PhD Town Supervisor,
Town of Orangetown, 26 Orangeburg Rd
Orangeburg, NY 10962
845.359.5100ex2261 845.359.2623 fax

http://www.facebook.com/andy.stewart.9655

astewart@orangetown.com