Judge Hopefuls Square Off Over Poll Watcher Law
PORT JERVIS — The City Court judge race is heating up, with the two candidates squaring off over a violation issue that arose as a result of a recent change in a New York state election law.
City Court Judge Matthew Witherow, 40, a Democrat, alleged that former Councilman James Hendry, 37, a Republican, violated the new poll watcher law and that the matter is in the hands of the Orange County Board of Elections.
Witherow noted that Election Law, Section 8-500, reverses the previous law that allowed a candidate to be a poll watcher. The new law prohibits a candidate from poll watching.
Poll watchers were allowed to monitor polling stations so that candidates could be assured that all state procedures were followed.
Witherow said, “Filing a poll-watcher certificate and being present at a polling station violates state law and creates an [unfair] advantage. It calls into question my opponent’s ability to serve as City Court judge.”
Hendry said, “My opponent is digging for negative press by taking swipes at me. If he is going to file a complaint, let him file a court action. He needs to take a stand and not grandstand.”
Witherow said that one of the six city election inspectors flagged Hendry’s certificate at one of the four polling stations. That inspector said in an interview on Monday that she noticed that Hendry had placed a poll watcher certificate on the table at the polling station to which she was assigned on Primary Day on Sept. 9.
The inspector said that she obtained confirmation through Freedom of Information Act filings that Hendry had filed under his own name to obtain poll watcher certificates not just at her station, but at others in the city for the Primary.
She was aware of the new law’s restrictions barring candidates from such filing.
Therefore, she included a copy of the Hendry certificate at her station as part of her routine post-election folder submission to the county Board of Elections.
When controversies over election matters arise, Orange County has two commissioners who oversee elections, one a Democrat, and one a Republican. Republican Commissioner David Green said in an interview on Monday that he had yet to receive any formal complaint about the alleged violation.
Green said that the law is so new that the NY Board of Elections notified Orange County Board of Elections only two days before the Primary Elections held on Sept. 2... for complete story get this week's issue.
Locally Shot Movie Screening At Westfall Cinema
WESTFALL — Writer/Director J.P. Chan’s feature film, “A Picture of You,” shot mostly in Pike County and the Tri-state area in 2012, is screening this weekend at Majestic Cinema 7 theatre in Westfall Township. A culturally diverse crew of actors and production crew, many Pike County residents, filmed sequences in Milford Diner in Milford Borough, the Grand Union in Milford Township, an architecturally distinctive home in Traces of Lattimore community development in Dingmans Ferry, Bon Secours Community Hospital, Culver Lake in Sussex County, and in a New York City subway.
Chan chose Pike County for his main location because he was familiar with it, having visited friends in the area for years, according to his producer Yasmine Gomez.
Gomez said, “This movie is a dramedy (comedy having dramatic moments). The story line is about a brother and sister whose mother recently passed away.“They have come to Pike County to pack up the contents of their mother’s home. While packing, they discover a secret part of her life no one knew.”
Chan said that one of the stars in his film is Teyonah Parris, who regularly appears in popular TV series “Mad Men.” Chan has written and directed six plays and six short movies, some of which have aired at film festivals.
Principal actors and crew in “A Picture of You,” such as Jo Mei, have worked with Chan before. His short films are on www.youtube.com. His website is at www.jpchan.com... for complete story, get this week' issue.