Preserve Hudson Valley event raises $16,000

Money will be used for the group's legal fund to oppose annexation proposals in Kiryas Joel

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  • Photo by Linda Mastrogiacomo From left to right are: David Sutz , Village of Woodbury Trustee; Emily Convers, chairwoman of United Monroe and co-founder of Preserve Hudson Valley; Rich Cannava, co-founder of Preserve Hudson Valley; John Allegro, co-founder of Preserve Hudson Valley; and Mike Queenan, Mayor of Woodbury.

  • Pictured from left to right at the Preserve Hudson Valley fund raiser last month at the Falkirk Estate are Village of Woodbury Mayor Michael Queenan, County Executive Steve Neuhaus and Village of Harriman Mayor Stephen Welle.

— More than 200 people attended the Preserve Hudson Valley Summer Barbecue and Silent Auction fund raiser at The Falkirk Estate on July 26 .

The event raised more than $16,000, organizers said. All of the proceeds went directly to the Preserve Hudson Valley legal fund "to prevent the unsustainable and illegal land grabs by the Village of Kiryas Joel," the group said in its press release.

The fund raiser also attracted many politicians, including Assemblymen James Skoufis and Karl Brabenec and County Executive Steve Neuhaus.

The Falkirk Estate owners provided the venue, food and music for the event as a donation.

OriginsPreserve Hudson Valley, the non-profit corporation was formed in 2014 by John Allegro, Rich Cannava, Karen Hall and Emily Convers.

In the articles of incorporation, the purpose of the non-profit is to promote a sustainable future for the Hudson Valley, protect our natural resources, and, in addition, defend the Establishment Clause of the Constitution which calls for the separation of church and state.

The board members of Preserve Hudson Valley feel that these goals can be met through litigation.

“We are prepared to take Kiryas Joel and the Town Board of Monroe to court once they vote to approve the 507 or 164 acre annexations," Cannava said. "These land grabs are illegal, unsustainable, and we have an excellent law firm and a great legal case to prevent them.”

Preserve Hudson Valley has retained the White Plains-based law firm Zarin and Steinmetz.

“We are prepared to take this to the federal courts if necessary," Convers said. "The Village of Kiryas Joel leaders are orchestrating these land grabs and it's unconstitutional. If we all pitch in, this annexation and future land grab attempts by KJ leaders of Woodbury land, can be prevented.”

For more information about the group, visit online at donate/.

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