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Statement: Congressman Lawler – George Santos Should Resign

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PEARL RIVER, NY – Rockland’s Congressman Mike Lawler (NY-17) has released the following statement regarding controversial newly elected Congressman George Santos:

“It is clear that George Santos has lost the confidence and support of his party, his constituents, and his colleagues. With the extent and severity of the allegations against him, his inability to take full responsibility for his conduct, and the numerous investigations underway, I believe he is unable to fulfill his duties and should resign.”

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Rockland County Warns Residents Of Crooked Contractors Family Scammed Out Of $90 K

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In a recent scheme, a Rockland County family was scammed out of $90,000 by a contractor who promised to renovate their yard while the family was away on vacation but never did and has since disappeared. So far this year, the Rockland County Office of Consumer Protection indicates families have been scammed out of over $200,000.

Unfortunately, these types of scams are common with an estimated 1 in 10 people falling victim to Home Improvement Contracting Scams. 

“These individuals can often be hard to catch, and the money stolen harder to reclaim, which is why I stress to our families that prevention is key,” said County Executive Ed Day. “A little amount of due diligence will go a long way to protecting yourself from falling victim.”

Office of Consumer Protection Director Kim Von Ronn urges families to always:

  • Steer clear of unsolicited contractors
  • Get a written contract
  • Never pay until job is complete
  • And utilize a licensed contractor

“The benefits of contracting with a licensed vendor/contractor ensures a few things but first and foremost that the contractor is insured,” explained Director Von Ronn. “Without appropriate and adequate insurance coverage, if the contractor or their employee gets injured when working on a home, the homeowner can be responsible for damage or injury.”

Once you decide on a contractor, keep in mind:

  • Every home improvement project over $250 requires a written contract. 
  • A down payment shall not exceed $1,000 or 15% of the contract price, whichever is less. Exceptions to this must be stated within the written contract and agreed upon.

If a conflict arises between the consumer and business, Consumer Protection can assist with the dispute and mediation process.

Complaints regarding terrible workmanship from unlicensed vendors or an unlicensed vendor scamming a consumer out of money for an uncompleted job can also be investigated by our Office of Consumer Protection resulting in bringing the responsible party to Criminal Court. The Office of Consumer Protection also can impound vehicles in these scenarios thanks to Rockland County Local Law Chapter 286-21(H) which was sponsored by County Executive Ed Day during his time serving in the Rockland County Legislature.

In 2023, the Rockland County Office of Consumer Protection investigated 617 complaints and returned $66,000 to homeowners.

Residents with questions or concerns can contact their Office of Consumer Protection at (845) 364-3901 or by email at [email protected].

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Ways To Be Safe In The Water This Summer

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Summer is here, and with it comes plenty of fun times spent in the water. Unfortunately drowning can happen to anyone in seconds, any time around water.

The Rockland County Department of Health recommends you follow these important tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent drowning deaths, injuries, and the often life-long disabilities from near-drowning:

  • Learn basic swimming and water safety skills: Everyone should know the basics of swimming.  For swim and water safety lessons, you can contact your town’s recreation department, swim schools, the American Red Cross, or places like the Rockland County YMCA, JCC Rockland, or Rockland Community College. Make sure that your children learn how to swim, but don’t consider them “drown-proof” because they’ve had swimming lessons. There is no replacement for adult supervision. 
  • Learn CPR: Your CPR skills could save someone’s life in the time it takes for emergency services to arrive. For information on learning CPR call the County Emergency Medical Services at (845) 364-8923. 
  • Build fences that fully enclose pools:  Visit https://dos.ny.gov/pool-safety-information for important information about New York State pool safety requirements. Also check with your town and village.
  • Remove all toys from the pool area:  Toys left in and around the pool might attract children to the pool when the pool is not in use.
  • Wear a life jacket:  Children should wear life jackets for all activities in and around natural water, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets can also be used by weaker swimmers of all ages in and around natural water and swimming pools. They can also reduce the risk of drowning while boating for people of all ages and swimming abilities. Do not rely on air-filled or foam toys; these are not safety devices.
  • Supervise closely: Be on the lookout when kids are in or near water (including bathtubs).  Designate a responsible adult to supervise closely and constantly when children are in or near water. Adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, talking on the phone, and using alcohol and/or recreational drugs. After swim time is over, shut and lock doors that give access to water. Be proactive and learn about any risks when visiting another home or unfamiliar location. Adults should supervise children closely, even when lifeguards are present.
  • Use the buddy system:  Always swim with a buddy and choose swimming sites that have lifeguards when possible. If you have a backyard pool: remember to have a cell phone, emergency numbers, a first-aid kit, rescue equipment, and CPR instructions by the pool.
  • Do NOT rent backyard residential pools for use or rent your residential pool out for use.  These pools are not permitted by the Rockland County Department of Health and are not subject to state and county health regulations that help prevent drowning, injuries, and the spread of recreational water illnesses.  Illegal pool rentals are a growing problem in Rockland County and present a number of safety and health risks to patrons and significant liability to property owners.  Illegal pool rentals should be reported to the Rockland County Department of Health and violations are punishable of up to $2,000 per day per violation.

Click here for more important water safety tips from the CDC. For information about staying healthy and safe when you swim click here.

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