CHEERS: To Atlanta, the three-year-old filly from Middletown who led wire-to-wire to capture the $1 million Hambletonian in 1:50.4, becoming the first filly to do so since 1996. She was just the fifth filly to even run the race since 2000 and the 14th in the race’s 93-year history to win it – in her second race of the day, no less. “She just feels like a superhorse,” said Scott Zeron, an elite local driver who led Atlanta to victory. “I’ve never sat behind anything like her." And she gets around. She spent some of the winter in Florida before returning to her home. Now she heads to Canada to compete in races including one against Manchego, the 3-year-old filly who won the Hambletonian Oaks in a record 1:50.
CHEERS: To the Town of Wallkill which did not let adverse weather get in the way of the annual Night Out Against Crime celebration. Crowds huddled under 10 big tents at Howard Drive Park in the Scotchtown section and scooped up hundreds of yellow T-shirts bearing the town Police Community Council's slogan: Together We Make a Difference. Police Chief Robert Hertman said the slogan, created by longtime Police Community Council president Barbara Alvarez just before she died, is “important because it shows that the police and community stand together to take a stand against crime in our town.”
CHEERS: To Orange County for helping farmers cover up. The coverup in this case involves feed for cows, feed often stored in a trench that is covered by a large tarp most often held down by old tires. Those rows of tires are both unsightly and unhealthy, collecting water and becoming breeding places for mosquitoes. They also are about to become more cumbersome for farmers who face new regulations to either cut the tires in half or drill holes to let water out, a practice that is likely to leave bits of rubber and metal mixing with the feed. The county has embarked on a demonstration project with a tarp able to be secured by only a few bags filled with gravel. Now it needs to raise more funds to provide such tarps to more of the county’s dairy farmers who this summer are facing the loss of their milk market.
CHEERS: To the City of Newburgh for suing those responsible for polluting its water supply. The real culprit is the U.S. Department of Defense which knew decades ago that foam used to fight fires at its installations, including the Air National Guard base at Stewart Airport, contained dangerous chemicals and that there were inadequate measures at best to prevent the danger from reaching nearby streams and water supplies. Newburgh is asking a court to order the cleanup of Washington Lake’s watershed, which encompasses the airport and air base, to pay for clean water until the cleanup is complete, to compensate the city for its costs and require the defendants to pay damages. Other communities polluted by the same chemicals across the country should join in the effort because they too have their health at risk and should not have to bear the cost of remediation.