The North County News is headquartered in Yorktown Heights. It purports to cover the northern part of Westchester County and the southern part of Putnam County. Whenever a newspaper tries to cover such a broad area, it inevitably invites scrutiny. As soon as North County News reporters venture away from home base, Crotonblog finds that they get into trouble—largely with facts.
The North County News also publishes an electronic edition mirroring in part the print edition. Here, under the rubric “Local Towns” they attempt to provide coverage of news items over the broad area in which they hope to increase their circulation. The North County News does not seem to appreciate the subtle differences between town, villages and hamlets in this part of the world. These are the names of the seven communities listed as “local towns”: Yorktown (T), Ossining (V,T), Croton (V), Peekskill (C), Somers (T), Cortlandt (T) and Putnam Valley (T). Of these seven, (and depending how Ossining is categorized) four or five are towns, one or two are villages and one is a city.
Omitted from the North County News’s list of “local towns,” and presumably not covered are the following Westchester communities: Buchanan (V), Briarcliff Manor (V), Montrose (H) and Verplanck (H). Of these the first two are villages and the other two are hamlets. Omission may be as good a reason as any for residents not to read the North County News. So much for the North County News’s rather selective coverage of local communities under the misleading rubric of “local towns.”
Mistakes are common at North County News, so common, in fact, that Crotonblog has considered making the task of publishing corrections to the North County News a regular feature (particularly since they do not publish such corrections themselves). In this week’s print and electronic edition of the North County News, we find the following story on Croton by reporter Adriane Tillman:
Croton Village’s proposal to extend its bike path/sidewalk from Senasqua Park to the yacht club on Elliott Way is about to move into the permit phase of the project. The village board approved borrowing $25,000 to create a plan to build the sidewalk and widen the road, which would also reduce flooding on Elliott Way on Feb. 4. Widening the road requires installing sheet pilings in part of the river and the village must secure permits from the city’s department of environmental conservation in order to proceed.
The problem with this story is that New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection has no jurisdiction whatsoever over Croton or improvements in Croton, particularly along the Hudson River shoreline. The U.S. Army’s Corps of Engineers, not mentioned in the story, does have jurisdiction over any changes in or alterations to the shoreline of a navigable waterway.
Also in this week’s print and electronic editions of the North County News, we find the following story written by reporter Sam Baron:
The Ossining Village Board appointed William Hamilton to serve as village justice, replacing Andrew Grass, who retired in December. Hamilton, 45, works for a law firm in the village and sits on the village’s ethics board. He was sworn in on Tuesday and will officially take over on Feb. 25. Before becoming a lawyer, he was a detective for the New York Police Department. Hamilton also taught law at Albertus Magnus University and earned his law degree from SUNY Oswego. His term expires in 2011. “It feels great,” Hamilton said. “I’m looking forward to starting my new career.”
The problem with this story is that SUNY Oswego does not have a law school and does not award a law degree. Mr. Hamilton may have a law degree but it cannot be from SUNY Oswego.
It would seem that the North County News’s problems are wider than geography and nomenclature. What it needs is more vigorous fact checking.